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About this blog

This is Bree's journal talking about how life changes, and how you grow with them (probably with the occasional freakout, I'm good at panic mode too!).  Life has been hard since day one, and not doing it alone is the key!

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Seriously, some days I don't even know.  Nikki has gotten a diagnoses, so that's good, however, he's been on a roller coaster of moods because next she wants to talk about the childhood abuse.  So from moment to moment I have very little idea what is going on in his head right now  and keep 'stepping in it' as it where.  I wish I was better with the random, he needs support not clumsy right now. 

The dog comes in last night, and apparently found something that died horribly and instead of avoiding it like a normal mammal who possesses, you know, A NOSE, she in her infinite doggy wisdom decided to ROLL in it.  So it turned into some sort of Benny Hill/Three Stooges chase scene comedy crossover with us trying to herd her into the shower and keep her from touching ANYTHING and spreading that hideous smell around the house.  Nikki took one for the team and got in with her and scrubbed her down good while I gagged and struggled not to lose it.  Very susceptible to smells I am.  And it was horrid.

So my Mom, instead of calling the doctor when something starts to go wrong like a normal person, AGAIN waits until it has reached a crisis point and is in the hospital for pneumonia.  And I am too tired to care to be strait up honest.  She bring it on herself, and there is nothing more I can really do.  I sometimes honestly wonder if she has some sort of Munchhausen's weirdness going on.   So of course other family members are crawling all over me because FAAAMMMILLLLY and she's my MMMOOOTHHHERRR like she actually ever did anything but read crappy romance novels until I pestered enough that she would finally make some food, and that was what passed for raising me.  And spent my entire adult life bitching because I didn't let a failed marriage destroy my desire for happiness like she did and continued dating which she told me was 'stupid and I should have learned better from my divorce' and really resented me for doing well and having nice things with Nikki.  *headdbang*

But Nikki took me to the zoo and I FINALLY got to see the new sea turtle that I have been trying to visit for a year, the one he bought me a zoo pal support membership to help care for her costs and put my name on a board for Christmas, and she looked back at me, and we had a moment.  It was magic.  Nikki had a fairly good time even though we were only there for like and hour and a half, but he likes it when I get super excited and lose my mind over the animals at the zoo.  AND THEY HAVE A TOUCH TANK NOW!  And it has my favorite thing ever inside, rays!  The most adorable little brown bat rays, omg so soft like stingrays and amazing little guys.  Nikki made a Jurassic Park 2 joke about me always having to touch things, and well, yeah!  LOL

Got SUPER frustrated with Nikki when I just wanted a simple yes, please budget so we can to go the TransOhio symposium or no I'm not interested.  I know depression makes even simple things complicated, but I just wanted a yes or not answer.  Settled for him sending a bunch of questions about the event to the person who mentioned it to us to see if it's a thing he'd like to do. 

Then got my monthly and hit full on hormonal CRAZY levels, which rarely happens to me, but I'm under a lot of stress trying to get everything together by August. And I just had a quiet meltdown.  Nikki is used to my meltdowns being dramatic nuclear bombs, and it took him a minute to realize something was off, and when he asked I just lost it and started hysterically freaking out about all the financial issues, health issues, and how overwhelming it is and how unqualified I feel to do anything about any of it and how lost I am in it all and he just took over for a while, and calmly solved the problems, and reminded me alot of the solutions were mine and I'm good at handling things I'm just feeling a little crazy right now.  And crampy.  And not sure if it isn't the cystic kidney disease that is cramping, they're in a weird place, I might be bursting another cyst, in which case I'll be lucky to be walking around tomorrow. 

Then we went and grocery shopped, got a lot of fruit and some veggies, less junk, and he put into motion some food change plans we created to save money AND eat healthier.  And we replaced the patio set in the backyard like we decided last year.  My best friend is going to take the old one and get it new cushions.  I told her she can expect delivery next week, she invited us to play games and hang out since ti's been AGES.  She told me yes, she envies the hell out of me even with all the issues I'm facing (the depression is SO scary) because at his core Nikki is always thinking about me and trying to work with me, and her husband isn't like that.  And that spending time with us being affectionate and fun together makes her happy.  And she promised to spend more time in my pool with me this summer, SCORE!  I love company in my pool. 

So upside again, I have a lovely new set.  We picked the table from one, and the chairs from another.  We're kinda picky, and we hated the table that came with the swivel chairs and we hated the chairs that came with the round faux tile mosaic topped table we liked, so mix and match it is.  And miraculously it all fit in the minivan we forgot to take the back seat out of.  LOL 

Had a long talk with my best friend(not just about the furniture, I swear!), Nikki's coworker with his blessing, and told her everything that's been going on, and it was a great talk and she understands my fears and thinks I'm dealing well with all the crazy my mom is inflicting and we talked about her issues and just had that kind of talking about all the bad things but feeling better about it cuz your with your best friend kinda thing.  Came home and made pizza with Nikki, who then went to bed starting his new getting more sleep regimen to support his recovery.  She was immediatley worried if she'd offended him with anything she was working on for her transgender paper for one of her classes, shes' studying nursing.  I told her nope, he was just scared she wouldn't like him anymore, and she said he's silly, she loves us.  :)

So right now i have zero idea what I'm feeling, sorta internally being pulled in many directions, but one constant remains, our asshole neighbors are watching my front thinking we're going to put the old set they keep trying to take because we 'don't use it enough' and they're finally going to get it free.   I hope they stay up all night waiting to grab it.   Mean Bree laughter.  Seriuosly, they once came to my door announcing they were going to move it to their yard since we 'didn't use it enough'.  I was VERY CLEAR that was so not happening.

I think I need a slice of the fudge I bought at that zoo.  Fudge is magic, it will fix everything.  Don't tell me if it won't.  And soon it will be time to put the pool up. SO excited!  Pool is magic too. 

There are huge, sweeping changes we have to make to our day to day lives.  Me exiting the working force changes our financial bad habits, and getting those under control is never easy.  All the prep work I have to do to exit the job for the person after me.  Supporting Nikki's depression recovery required a lot more changes.  Meeting his desire to change his poor social habits still more.  Figuring out how to fit girl time into all this crazy.  Trying to overcome the dysmorphia and bad health habits. Sometimes I just don't know what to do with it all.   It's not a fear or panic attach, it's just a sort of...quiet nothingness in my head as I stare at all the work and have no idea what to even pick up.  I'm just sorta frozen and unmoving. 

And sometimes Nikki can be mean about things.  I was trying to talk to him about some of the changes and he tried shaming me instead of dealing with the actual issue.  Which didn't feel good at all.  Especially since it was something I had asked for help (from him too and didn't get it) to overcome.  He apologized right away, but that unpleasant feel lingers.  And then there is the feeling of it's not really fair to ask too much while he's fighitng off such big things to get better. 

Some nights I"m just... a small turtle.  Tomorrow I'll make sure to be a tortoise again, but tonight I'm just a tiny turtle whose not sure where to go or how to get there.  And that's okay too.  I don't think anyone else has all the answers either.  So it's okay when I don't. 

I feel better talking about this.  Thanks for listening, I"m going to bed now.  *hugs all around*

 

Rough week.

By Briannah,

So last week sucked, lost our Yuriko.  The day of her vet appointment she was having seizure after seizure and we knew we were definitely taking her to the Final Visit, no hail mary last minute outs for my little kitty girl.  The offspring met us at the vet's to say goodbye and be with her as she went.  Horribly painful thing to do, but watching her the way she was was worse.  Nikki has been incredibly down and not much I do can help until time does it's work here. 

Talked with Nikki about my stresses about going back to housewife, and he calmed my freakout that he secretly hated me and the lifestyle changes we have to make to support it.  A lot of them will actually be supportive of getting healthier in general, so he's perfectly happy with it and having access to me at all times he's not at work.  I believe he's lookiing forward to having full weekends with me again instead of just one day a week where he has to get up early the next day so sleeps part of it away. 

I'm getting excited as the appointment for the antidepressants gets closer.  I have no firm expectations, but there is a hope that my happy bouncy Nikki will come back a little bit.  Depression can be contagious, and I'm working hard to keep my own self internally healthy so that we don't have two big Depression issues going on at the same time. 

Things between us are almost back to where they used to be.  I have adjusted to the changes in our life, and the only thing standing in the way now is his depression.  Oh, the corset is on the chair.  I think I'm about to be squeezed into his corset, he wants to see what it dose for my hernia if it's better support for the hernia than the girdles.  Obviously if it is good and works, I will pretty much only be doing that when he's going to be home to both get me in and get me out.  I am aware that people DO manage to get into and out of these things alone, however, I also know I am inherently clumsy with hand-brain issues and I can't even tie a simple bow behind my back for my jumper dress, let alone pull and tie a corset on. 

Relief, no, my turn in that thing is soon but not today, as I already expressed some abdominal irritation to him.  It's going on him.  Isn't that silly that I'm scared of corsets?  I think I still have a Victorian crazy image in my subconscious that I'll be laced in so tight I can't breath, and I know rationally Nikki would never do that, but rooting out subconscious stuff isn't a simple thing.  I might have agreed to let him order me a decorative one for intimate use like an idiot, but he tries to make all my wishes happen, so I can wear one for that without fainting for him.  I'm not entirely convinced the second surgery, when I decide it's a good time to have, is going to completely fix my issue so supportive garments are probably going to be a lifelong choice.

Excuse me, I have to go assure my dog the mailman STILL is not here to murder us all and she can stop barking now please. 

Wouldn't I be surprised if he ever did?

Just thinking about where i am today with Nikki.  THis is probably rambly and nonsensical as my add levels are high today and it's hard to focus.  It thought writing may help, but now I'm not entirely sure.

So after a crazy whirlwind of two months, things have settled down greatly, progress is being made, and that feeling of living in a crisis (as far as Nikki is concerned, don't even get me started on the cat or the yard or house maitenance!) has mostly dropped away.  Both of us are occasionally getting some weird mood swings, but they're not horrible and we just get though them.  I saw an interview with Helen Boyd and they asked her what advice she would give someone..well...someone basically in my position, and it was "Fasten your seat belt!" Man was she ever right.  Most often now though it's just fun, and trying to balance "what items do you NEED vs. WANT cuz we is poor right now?" 

There was shock.  There was anger and betrayal.  There was spirally crazyness on both sides.  There are serious mental health issues in the mix on both sides (OMG mixing the usually anchor person who is suffering depression with the flaky attention deficit disorder partner is so NOT going well on the day to day chores front, but we're starting to get it back under control).  It sounds like a recipe for disaster, and anyone in the future reading my blog who might be in a position like me, here's something you should know.  It's only a recipe for disaster if you add the final ingredient...and that is...wanting it to be. 

If instead, you want to learn what is happening, and work with your partner to find places that work for both of you, it also opens up communication like never before, and in our case, learning to meet each others needs, not just Nikki's like a lot of the narratives you'll see online, and our marriage ended up in a better place.  Yes, my husband enjoys wearing women's clothing, and that's fun for me too.  I like it.  When he's under any major emotional stress it goes from enjoys to needs, and that is okay too.  I am learning to recognize I want to have some girl fun with you Bree from OMG CRAZY STRESS HELP ME.  We ALL have our crutches under stress.  One of mine is to disappear for a while at one of the places I spent a lot of time with my grandfather to calm down.  There are a few places I haven't told Nikki about so I have a bolt hole where no one knows where to look for me even now.  Probably a bad idea in a crazy world with creepy people though.  Our life and our marriage didn't end.  As far as crossdressing, I kinda don't get why so many people freak out about it.  It's just clothing.  90% of crossdressers stay that way according to my reading.  And you wont' find a lot of narratives for them, they aren't online talking about it.  They have their personal family and friend supports, and most of them aren't really struggling with it beyond wanting to talk about ways to further the illusion or discuss makeup and fashion.  Because most of them aren't unhappy.  So I'm leaving my narrative here for you as best I can.  I looked for the narratives, and there are some, but not so many.  There are a great many websites claiming there are no perks to your husband being into crossdressing, and that depends entirely on you spouses.  I have found fun, laughter, bonding, theatricity, openness, communication, and adventure in my new life.  I really enjoy these things, and am enjoying sharing it all with Nikki more than I can say.  Do I have fears?  Of course.  But I wouldn't ever ask him to stop the fun because I occasionally get scared he may change his mind about trying to be a woman in the future.  If that road comes I'll walk it as best I can.  There really isn't another choice at that point.

And yes, that other 10% is kinda scary.  Future reader, maybe you'll be facing that 10% that it doesn't stay clothing and fun and shared activities that then go back to what you consider the normal marriage.  And my heart goes out to you, that is a lot harder water to navigate.  I can't help you much there unless my own circumstances changes with time and I have to confront the harder realities and choices down the road.  You're entire romantic and sexual roadmap are being drastically altered, and it's not as easy to find support as it is for the person with the gender dysphoria, but you can find it.  This is a great place if you are reading this! 

I wish all of you who will become 'me' in the future the love, laughter, and compassion from your spouses that mine showed me while I was navigating my fears and learning what it meant for my life as he was and is doing the same. 

Sometimes I just don't feel appropriate emotions to what is happening.  My best freind's husband is on suicide watch, and I really care for her, but not so much for him anymore.  He doesn't listen to the doctors.  He treats her like crap.  He makes no effort to get better, and spends a lot of time telling me how awful a wife she is, bragging about the time he had an affair, and other things that I honestly would have divorced the dude over, but she just sighs and says that's how he is.  She deserves so much better, but nothing I can do about it. 

I really don't want her to be in pain, and I don't wish ill on anymore, but I just can't muster it within to really CARE beyond about her needs, ya know? 

The first time I realized that being a girl was different than the boys was when I was in fourth grade.  If I remember right, that made me around 10?  11? 

Growing up, I had a big group of mixed friends.  I liked the games, toys, and kids in both sides of the fence pretty equally, and never really thought much about any differences other than for whatever reason the other girls and I weren't allowed to run around topless in the summer like the boys, even though we all looked the same there, and I knew the differences on the bottom, we all shared.  Kids get curious, and they have seen the other options in most cases.  :)

Then fourth grade hit, and the music teacher came in for glee club recruitment.  We had a choice of glee club or study hall in the classroom with a teacher.  I hated music class most days.  Because I hate singing.  I really really hate to sing.  I have a really unpleasant singing voice (and really odd speaking one) and always have.  My throat hurts when I sing.  I really dislike it.  So of course, I didn't raise my hand.  I was the ONLY girl (apparently in the history of that school, not just in my class) to not raise her hand, and about 7 of the boys also didn't.  I got taken out to the hallway by my teacher, and he tried to strongarm me into joining.  I refused.  The music teacher joined him, I still refused.  I got sent to the freakin' principal's office, with all three adults pressuring me to join, and threatening to call my parents.  It was early in the year, so safe to say, I WAS TEN YEARS OLD.  I caved.  I wish, going back, I could tell myself not to, it did set a pattern of caving to things like this, and that was hard to break later, but I was ten and frightened by the pressuring adults.   I wish I could whisper in that little girl's ear "Remind them they taught you that everyone is free to make choices and pursue happiness, and you are free to not sing!"  But I can't, and I joined the glee club.  I lip synched, even though I didn't know what it was called then.  I was bored outta my mind and miserable, always in trouble for moving around to amuse myself.  But most of all I hated being there every minute.  Just being there reminded me I had no power over even small things in my life.

But there was one thing I realized that day aside from the fact that it was apparently critically important that I stand on that stage and do next to nothing.  And it was that not ONE of boys even got asked a second time if they were sure.  Not one.  And that really upset me, and it scared me, and I didn't know why.  I didn't know why the boys weren't put through that, and I knew it was unfair, but I didn't know why it SCARED me that that they weren't. 

It wouldn't be until fifth grade, when the music teacher was annoyed that we weren't getting something right in practice and she yelled at us "Anyone who doesn't want to be here you know where the door is!" and I bolted to the sound of her yelling "Not you <Lastname>".  But it was too late, I had my shot at getting out of this and I took it.  And I ran to my classroom.  I was kind of close to my fifth grade teacher, she was actually the twin sister of my third grade teacher from another school, and after a week of confusion in my first days in fifth grade, we got on.  Apparently her sister said I was a nice student.  :)   So when I arrived at the classroom she asked why I was there and why I was upset, and I told her, and she sorta sighed and explained some of what had happened.  That the world expected all girls to be the same, and that by not wanting to do something that was expected, people would try to force me.  She then talked about the women who stood up for voting rights, Rosa Parks, and other figures I forget now and explained to me that I didn't have to, but it would take a lot of courage to say no and stick to it, and I should practice learning that.  All people being equal was a lie in history lessons.  One of the boys sat with me and told me it was the same for him, not about singing but about other things, because he was black.  I was equally horrified for him.

It wasn't the last lesson I'd ever learn about the world being determined to force a difference on men and women or people from different races and their choices in society, but as they say, you always remember that first one, whether it was a good first like that first love or a horrible one like this.  I remember that time often, especially lately when someone tagged my name in a photo posted by that teacher and I saw him collecting praise from a lot of students.  I blocked him and moved on, but I will always remember he was the first person who took away my choices solely because I was female. 

I think sometimes talking to that boy, and learning it was the same feelings for him even if the details are different, are why I never really joined the 'revenge on men' stuff some of the really crazy feminists pull.  I don't need revenge, it won't change the past, I just want to be free to make my choices by skills, talents, interest, and ability to engage in the option, and not by my gender, race, or any other classification.  As much as we like to tout freedom for all in America, none of us really are, until we all start just looking around at everyone and seeing other human beings.  Meh.

SERIOUSLY I hate my job.  Nikki did the math, and barring any unforeseen financial emergencies (I can hear the peanut gallery laughing at the girl who thinks life is going to cooperate and nothing major will break in the last five months) it's looking like August is my exit day.  This week was just stupid.  Paperwork going wrong, customers being weird, half the people on vacation, half of who was left getting seriously ill.  If I have to forcibly tell one more person "I am reception/accounts recievable, I actually can't tell you what is in stock, what the pricing is, or when a tech will be available, you will have to leave a voicemail to get help!" and get "I'm sure you can help me!" I"m going to hide under my desk and weep sadly.  Cuz you know, I have nothing better to do than lie to people about my super amazing telepathic knowledge of where the techs are hiding! 

I did get a lot of work done this week though with less people dumping still more stuff on me, that was pleasant.  Looking forward to my one day a week off with Nikki tomorrow.  I need down time. 

I watched Hateful Eight with him yesterday, I admit I was curious to see it, the trailer looked like it was going to be somewhat funny.  However, I went in assuming Tarantino would fail to entertain me, and I was right.  I recognize the mans movie making skills, he does amazing shots and really good technicals, but his stories just fail to engage me.  Nikki loves them, he really really loves Tarantino so getting me to agree to sit down and watch with him (mostly because I really love Kurt Russell despite the really scary mustache) was fun for him.  Tomorrow we have Vin Diesel's Last Witch Hunter (Vin Diesel rarely fails to entertain me, I love that voice) and Insurgent that I picked out, and Ant Man that Nikki wanted to see.  I expect very little of Ant Man, no pun intended.  LOL  I was really surprised I liked Divergent as much as I do. 

So life is settling down, and Nikki told me to switch my main focus from researching our future with his dressing needs since we've worked out a pretty good system that makes everyone happy, and to start researching depression.  X_X  Okay, so...it's been years since I dealt with it really, surely there has been a lot of progress and new understandings and stuff...and....nope.  So far not coming up with anything I don't already know.  Every article I read on the science of it to the supporting your spouse who suffers from it is pretty much what i already know and do.  I'm sorta disappointed.  I was hoping to find new things I could do to help I guess.  The CD stuff was easier, I could buy him things, come up with new girl/girl role play scenarios, shop with him, watching makeup and other tutorials, get involved.  Depression doesn't really let that happen.  Sure, I'm engaged with him in everything else, but this one there's not so much I can do and he's going to have to fight through it internally.  Meh. 

It's surprising how much difference not going on a cruise this year made.  We hadn't realized how much the destress of a week of no worries other than what do we feel like doing/seeing/eating right now helps after the long overtime season and cold winter cabin fever months.  We're going on once next year that is going to be a challenge and a half on it's own, Nikki's family is going with us!  At least his dad and stepmom are.  His dad's great, but his stepmom can be...strange.  Like she gets really weird about odd things.  A good example was it was someone's birthday, and they went to a seafood house because the birthday person loves seafood.  Nikki hates it, he ordered the steak.  And she freaked out that he didn't choose some sort of seafood at the restaurant.  And they constantly have to have us doing something, they spend so much money.  I tried to talk to them about it, Nikki would like some time to just hang out and talk to his dad without being involved in some over the top activity, and she was very firm about how ungrateful I was being.  Ri-ight.  I gave up.   So I anticipate some real challenges regarding shore excursions and meals on this trip.  One thing Nikki and I agree on firmly is that the ONLY person who will be sharing a cabin with us if he's able to go is my son.  We are not taking on any of the couples in the family if anyone gets bright ideas.  Nikki would probably deal with it better than I would since it's a family norm for him, but I would go nuclear without a retreat space.  I didn't even want to share a cabin with my own mom.  It's not a space thing, I'd have no problems in a four person room with Nikki and two of a list of my friends.  Purely a personality issue. 

When we went on the whole family trip with my family, I learned 'how bad can it be, it's a cruise ship!' in the middle of the week when I went absolutely volcanic on my aunt after she was stupid about something to Nikki.  I was in the  middle of paradise screaming my fool head off.  LOL  My aunt was stunned, my mom was trying to be invisible, and my grandma tried to control the situation until I turned on her and started screaming still at full volume and she realized I Was Done and retreated to the bathroom to wait for me to leave.  My other aunt came into the cabin and tried to get involved and her husband yanked her out saying "I have no idea what Jan did, but that girl is ready to eat you for lunch too, let's go dear".  LOL  Then I stormed out and went back to my cabin and my mom called about 20 minutes later and asked Very Cautiously "Am I allowed to come hang out with you guys or not?"  LOL  She came down and found out what actually happened and was all "oh..."   Aunt who had been bitchy was Nikki's best freind for the rest of the damn cruise.  LOL  Nikki has had a shouting match with her in the past too...she means well, but she's one of those people who thinks her way is right for everyone and has no shyness about trying to force it on people for their good.  Nikki's family has even more people like that...so I foresee needing an escape haven.  :)  The worst part is it was my bright idea to invite them.  Ya'll can believe i"m going to try to budget hard and see if we can't afford two cruises that year (it can be done with a really good sale.  And we drive down to the ship instead of flying, so that decreases the cost by $500 to $1000).  One year with a really good sale we literally spent $1992 total.  That included the crusie tickets, tips, soda cards, hotels, gas, parking, food on the trip, spending, and shore excursions.  I kept track becuase I was curious how small I could make a week in the Caribbean.

 

The most important thing about today is its Nikki's birthday!   So obviously an important day to me.  I took him to lunch at Pizza Hut and we splurged on brownies.  No diets on birthdays!  Lol.  Right now he's playing the video game I got him Knights of Azure.  He was really interested in it for the female/female love story so I knew he had to have it!   It's cute so far I'm watching him play chilling out with my IPad.  He likes it when I hang out in here with him vs going to the computer room.  :)   

Work is crappier than ever but the math seems to be five more months maximum.  Thank goodness.  I'm so lucky Nikki values my welfare more than eating out as much as we do.  Time to start cooking again!

So...I'm starting to feel like some kinda superhero or something.  Nikki was messaging me all day, he's really upset about how the cat is doing, she's hasn't been eating and getting skinnier and skinnier.  So I told him stop at the pet store and get kitten canned food.  Which he couldn't find, so we settled on Iams.  The reason I was trying to find kitten specific food is that it has a much higher fat content to it, and I suspicion is very tasty.  Yuriko did everything she good to scarf Logan's kitten kibble when he was tiny, and did she ever get fat on it until we got good at locking her in the bathroom while the poor kitten ate.  She was hard to catch back then.  I was kind of wondering all day if it was time to call the vet again, but I didn't want to say anything to Nikki in case my high-fat plan possibly worked.

And as of right now, it's going well.  The cat is eating.  I repeat, the cat is eating.  She can't manage a whole can at once, so I suggested we offer her food three times a day to make sure she's getting plenty and fatten her back up to a normal cat weight again.  It's the best I can do for her right now, I wish I had more.  I don't want my cat to leave me.  I really really don't.  I know nothing is eternal, not even mountains, but I'm just not ready and need more time.  So does Nikki.  I'll spoon feed her if I have to.  Of course, she's a lazy cat, she may have figured out this is the way to get everything she wants, including spoon feeding.  Hard to tell, she's a smart one. 

Bring on the next problem, I'll solve that one too. 

She changed my second blood pressure medication at the last visit reluctantly, since my blood pressure is now perfect, however, I had developed that really horrible cough that the stuff can cause.  SO...been on the new stuff for nearly a week now, and the cough is gone, but my throat is still stupidly dry, swollen, and often sore.  I'm going to have to go back, apparently there was a reaction to the meds and something else going on.  Meh.  And it's not dehydration, ya'll would not believe the giant water bottle I carry around and suck on all day.  It's 63 ounces, and I'm drinking a whole and a half on average.  That is a lot of water. 

So was trying to be helpful when Nikki had a bad day the other day and I threw a bra what I thought was to him, and pretty much hit him in the face with it.  Then I was getting the breast forms outta the box still determined to be helfpful while he was lounging on the bed, it got stuck in it's plastic wrapper thing, so I pulled, and smacked myself in the face with a weighted silicon boob.  Hilarity ensued for Nikki, while I started wondering when my ability to handle inanimate objects declined exactly.  And then my add kicked in, and I started thinking about like 20 things at once ranging from fake boobs to zebras (don't ask, I have no idea where the zebras came in) but where I was going wasn't one of them and I smacked into the door. 

On the upside, Nikki laughed himself silly and had a good moment. 

Nikki's blood pressure is refusing to cooperate.  It's still high, and they managed to conquer mine even.  I don't know if he's stressed out under the depression and unable to really feel it to deal with it, or if there is something more serious going on.  I know it sounds early to worry, but Nikki has a history of a minor thing suddenly becoming a health crisis.  So I worry.  Cuz I can't imagine being without him.  He's made an appointment with her after briefly discussing antidepressants, she wants a full appointment and to talk to his therapist before she helps him choose what to try because she was quite clear that being sure that there are no early warning signs of a variety of conditions matters, to avoid actually making him feel worse.   I love her, she's very clear and open about things.  And actually looking to help.  So that will happen in about a month. 

And didn't look at me funny when I abruptly ran out of the room to get to a bathroom, my cycle does weird things to my digestive system.  She changed my blood pressure stuff due to the coughing, because the one I"m on can cause that, but it should clear up in two to three days if it's the pills.  Please go away now cough, changing prescriptions is easy and preferable to something being wrong with my throat.  She was a little worried about the heartburn, but it's ONLY just after I cough, and only lasts a minute or two.  So acid reflux was tentatively ruled out.  And I did hit the target blood pressure.  Apparently I'm reasonably healthy!  Go me.

I'm persona non grata at work.  There was A Letter.  Basically, my aunt who is my immediate boss and office manager is retiring.  So she's leaving.  But Mark's smoking is becoming awful, in addition to the generally toxic nature of the place, so I'm leaving sometime between June and August.  Originally they had a plant hat she was going to keep working part time and I would to, but the schedule she wants to force on me didn't work at all for Nikki and he wasn't interested in me vanishing into that place so told me to quit after we hit a few more financial goals.  So they have to hire a new full time person to replace us, and Jan was honest about the smoking issue, and the staffing place wrote us a letter on why they are unable to help us until it's resolved.  So many liabilities whether they get a smoker or non-smoker.  SO somehow this is MY fault, and smoke addict is ignoring me unless absolutely forced to deal with me.  On the one hand, insulting.  On the other, it's more peaceful.  Pros and cons.  

Had a conversation with Nikki when I realized all the dressing and needs conversations we've had were focused on or around the depression crisis.  Which is fine, immediate needs must be addressed first, but it also occurred to me to realize that eventually he's going to get better.  He's putting all in with conquering this, and I believe in him and his natural happy state.  So...he will recover and regain himself and his emotions.  So...what does all this look like then?  No promises, no bans, no rules, just a conversation about what he thinks it might look like in the interest that this is the rest of my life, and I'd like a sort of vague directional marker where it's heading.  He asked if the crossdressing doesn't go away is it a dealbreaker, and I'm like no, I'm not really expecting it to go away, I just wanted to know what it all would look like.  What changes in our current need/stress driven routines did he think would fit in with his life the way he remembers it being, with the understanding that I am just exploring the topic and not expecting a cast in iron polaroid photo.  It was nice. He was relieved, but said that once he was okay again he'd put it back in the box if I needed him to.  And I just didn't.  Six weeks ago I would have looked at myself like I was nuts, but I really did adjust to all this.  So it can stay, it's welcome, let's just figure out how it works when it's happy instead of sad.  I like happy better.

 

So I get up, let my dog out, give her her morning dental treat, and sit down to read/answer some e-mail.  All of a sudden my dog is racing around the house like crazy, so I go out to see what is going on.  I'm not talking a little pacing, I"m talking full speed full charge ahead around the place, she never does this.  She goes behind the table where I can't see her, so I go around too, and she's on the floor on her side seizing, her little paws twitching and some foam on her mouth.  Having some experience in this with our cat, I wait until she starts to come out of it and get up and I got to her and she snaps at me.  She NEVER snaps at me.  Even when Nikki has her all riled up and chewing on him in play, I can reach my hand in without fear and she won't chew in the slightest, just licks me.  Then she's running away from me.

This is where it went from scary to really bad, she literally didn't know who I was and was terrified outta her mind, which took me along with her.  I tried to calmly approach with the lead so I could throw her in the van and take her to the vet, but she started growling at me.  The I mean business growl. So I backed up to the door, opened the inner door so I could get out if she charged me, she was acting so weird I didn't know what to expect, and called Nikki with the "Come home RIGHT NOW Alita is not okay" incoherence, hung up on him and called the vet to notify them we were incoming once Nikki got home to help me wrangle her. 

Just before Nikki pulled up, she started to recognize she slunk forward her in her most extreme I'm sorry posture but clearly no clue what was going on, so I started calming her down and petting her as best I could.  Nikki got home and did a quick house and yard check to see if she got something, and couldn't find any evidence of anything.  Other than realizing she both peed and pooped all over the house, something else she never does.  So we grabbed a wad of poop off the floor and took that too just in case. 

The vet checked her over thouroughly, and her phsyical exam by that point was perfect.  So it didn't do any severe damage at least.  They are going to look at the poop and took bloodwork.  At this point he agreed it didn't seem like she got into something, no smell on her breath, no secondary signs, and recovery was very fast for that, so they send us home with her to watch over here today and we have to wait and see.  Its uncommon but not rare that he's seen this happen to dogs who never had another episode again, so the best course now is to run the blood/poop tests and wait and see. 

But that was scary.  She's freaked out and clingy to us right now, poor thing.  She's curled up on her computer room pillow with her head on Nikki's foot like don't leave me daddy.  I"m so happy it didn't happen in the middle of the night at least.  My poor baby girl.  She's a 9 year old lab/beagle mix of sweetness.  She's got a very laid back attitude about most things, and loves just chilling out with us.  And chewing on things.  OH my gosh she loves to chew. 

A few glorious days of spring, then back to the 30's.  Like look what you COULD have Bree, but I'm not going to let you.  I'm going to make you be physically cold and stew while you're working through your latest emotional pissed offness.  Yesterday we were talking about our sex life in the car, and Nikki told me flat out he had been sexually bored for years, and he loves now that we're doing all sorts of new things. 

And it didn't percolate right away.  I didn't like hearing that, was minorly annoyed because I worked hard on trying to make our sex life good.  Alone.  Yes, alone.  The responsibility for it has always been in my hands.  I could barely even get him to tell me what he liked that we were doing.  And then it was just a casual humor her "yeah, that feels okay".  But then in a few hours, the thought really percolated and I got royally pissed off.  All the years I'd been TRYING to get him to tell me what HIS fantasies were, what things HE wanted to try (most of the things he's loving know I was only peripherally aware of at best, not withholding), the trips to the creepy adult store that he got weird and didn't look at anything at all after telling me a few times he wanted to go, and trying to get HIM ACTIVE in the whole sex life and telling him that <b>I</b> was bored with it because it was always on my shoulders and I had run out of new things to want to try after 10 years... and now he's admitting he was bored and didn't bother telling me and that's one part of why he was checked out for the last several years in that area of our marriage....

Just wow.  So have calmed down, and he was graceful when he realized the anger had finally set in.  He knew that was coming, and strait up told me he deserved it, keeping so many secrets that affect us both so deeply.  I think if he'd just shrugged it off and not admitted fault or put it on my inability to come up with enough sex ideas for 17 years by myself I would have lost it.  I swear the secrets in all of this have been the worst part, the most destructive parts.  I am having trouble with the dichotomy of knowing how much he loves me(I think), and my innate questioning of how someone who love me can hide that much from me that affects me so directly and deeply.   It's not an anger issue, it's really a questioning issue.  Did he really love me then, vs. now that he's all in?  Is he only falling in love with me now?  And that's why he's opening up?  What WAS the last 17 years? 

He asked me how I would have handled it if he'd told me honestly when I asked after the first few weeks of dating.  I'd cleaned his room (I was scared the mountain of boxes was going to fall on me in the night, it wasn't a little sloppy, it was scary) and found one of those DIY catalogs with all the creams and pills that promise you boobs.  He claimed it was junk mail that he sorta thought of as a fetish, and I accepted it.  I have NO idea how I would have belt about it then.  I can't answer what my thoughts would have been.  I was just out of yet another failed relationship with a girl, and a guy just before her, and at that time hadn't yet realized how much I had been forcing my minor attraction to women to be the full blown deal so I could hide from men as needed, so I probably would have been okay with figuring it out.   I hope I would have had the sense to wait to marry until he'd figured out who he was and who he wanted to be though.  But looking back on the last 17 years, particularly the last five, I will never be able to condone keeping secrets this big if you decide to marry someone.  Be it your sexuality, gender, addiction, mental illness, personal baggage, whatever, marriage without disclosure is just wrong.  It may be done with the best of intentions, but it's an abuse of trust.  Can we fix that abuse?  Yeah, slowly.  But I have some hangups making it harder, I had trust issues to begin with and he swore so hard and did so much to prove that I could trust him, that I slowly overcame them, only to end up here at the wrong end of secrets and the fallout there of.  So it's going to take time, and that's okay too. 

I want summer to come, so I can stop thinking about all of this for a while.  I WANT a break from it, but my brain is like nope.  We have nothing else to do, let's figure out our feelings.  Stupid brain. 

So Nikki was explaining binaurial tones to me, especially in the therapeutic uses in various diseases such as Parkinsons and so on, and that they are often used for relaxation and sleep aids.  He's not really happy with my out there sleeping habits currently, and he's right, I'm needing the pills too often, and my brain is getting stuck in high gear.  So I've been trying them for while, following the instructions, trying to relax, just the tones, the tones with a hypnosis induction, I WANTED this to work dammit...and...they totally don't work for me.  I felt nothing, I wasn't sleepy, I wasn't any more relaxed than just trying to be, there was nothing.  No changes.  They do for him.  And when we were discussing it he mentioned it was kinda close to hypnosis, and I did some research because this was treading something else... Nikki never really knows how the dots connect in my head until the reaction erupts... and it is kinda a similar effect on the brain.  I'd actually been unable to be 'brain tricked' with some light party hypnosis games before...and now this failure of my brain to accept and enter the state...I'm having to come to terms that I might be one of those 3 in 10 people who can't be hypnotized, something about my brain won't do it. 

It led to a surprise breakdown.  (for him, for me this was my first little steps into something I'd been thinking about for a decade) Nikki had no idea that was coming, and was really confused why I was crying because I can't be hypnotized.  But it was the death of a dream that was important to me.  I WANTED to go to hypnotherapy, not for my dismorphia or anything, but because the memories of my grandfather are fading.  Not the life lessons, and that is important, but the DETAILS of them.  I can still tell all the stories in great detail, but when I used to do that, I could smell the places, feel the sun or cold on my skin in my head, hear his voice, and that's all fading like an old photograph.  Which is normal.  But I had this wild hope that I could go to one of those hypnotherapists, and he could take me back to those days and refresh the DETAILS and FEELINGS behind the stories.  Telling them over nad over sort of fixed them in my head like menomics, but it's not holding onto the little details.  I don't remember what Assateague Island smells like anymore, although I spent two weeks on it every summer and those were the best weeks of my life.  I don't remember the colors anymore, or the sounds.  I would spend whatever money the therapist wanted for those memories back, to relive it even just for an hour in my head like I was there again.  No room at this particular inn for Bree.  I will probably go anyway, and I still sit in that chair and put my whole heart into following that voice and the instructions, but it will really hurt to fail.

I didn't call attention to it to Nikki, but when we got robbed and they stole my video camera, they also stole the only tape in existence with my grandfathers voice on it.  And now I can't remember it.  Time steals things. 

 

Actually going outside is helping my mood swings considerably.  I'm off the charts unpredictable with them when I'm stressed out, so Nikki never knows what he's walking into with me conversationally these last two months.  Finding out in the middle of cabin fever probably did NOT help my emotional cycles.  I can't go out much in the winter, the cold air even with a scarf on sets my lungs off like nothing else, and I literally can't breath.  So my time outside in Ohio between November to March is pretty much limited to racing from the warmth to the car as fast as I can, and then racing from the car as fast as I can back to the warmth.  But now the air outside is warm enough that we have been leaving the house in increasingly longer jaunts, and I feel way more relaxed.

Other than the troublesome cough with the embarassing consequences.  Nothing like trying to entice Nikki into some personal time upstairs and then losing lunch all over the floor the minute he turns to head for the stairs.  I don't want to deal with me right now either after that one!  LOL 

I ordered a new smaller girdle to reflect the weight I lost.  Nikki was on me about it, it can only protect the vulnerable bits if I keep replacing it so that it's actually fitting.  So while I was there I ordered him a set of pg's like I have that are a top and shorts, for the summer, so he doesn't roast to death trying to wear the ones he has now for winter.  They're a cute teal set like my blue set with the moon and star pattern on it.  Also got a set for me in the same pattern with capri's, so hwen we're on vacation in teh summer I don't have to worry about freezing to death because they are SERIOUS about the air conditioning at that cabin. But that's fun too, I share a blanket with one of my best friends N and we sit there being silly together. 

So last night I asked Nikki to reconsider his resistance to antidepressants and talk to Bethany(our doctor) about finding the right one.  It has been 20 years since I was on one, and my understanding of the modern choices is that the different kinds aren't just different brands, but work differently on different types of issues.  I assume Bethany will know more, she's been concerned about his mental state for a while and wanting him to talk over the options with her.  She's not a pill pusher, in fact she swings the other way, let's try to control things first through behavioral adaptation, if not, then lets start with the lowest dosages possible and slowly increase until we reach a workable effect is her approach.  I trust her not to zombie him out, but help us choose the right medication to ease him back into his emotions so that his therapist can better help him work with them.  The therapist has also been talking about them to him. 

The more we talked, the more clear he made it to me that he ONLY feels sadness, numbness, anger, or extreme high happy.  All the other emotions of life are just gone.  This isn't unusual for depression, but it does make it such a hard condition to defeat. 

I have taken them during my first bout with depression, it was what made me able to deal with the actual issues going on in my head and know what I really actually felt about them because it restored my ability to feel.  It took six months and two different prescriptions to find the right one for me, but it was worth it.  The frustrating part was i was a minor and my parents kept me on the one that wasn't working for four months, two months after my therapist told them I needed to be switched because there should have been an effect.  And I think the depression never had a chance to get as deep into me because I was already in therapy for the add and the Dr. recognized the symptoms of the second disorder sliding in and treated it very quickly with the two prong medication and therapy approach.  And taught me how to self treat without the pills once I was recovering.  Which is how I pulled myself out of that I feel nothing pit I was in in 2011.  I don't think Nikki ever pulled out of it, I think he just quietly slid deeper and can't find his way out. 

I honestly don't know if I'm surprised or not, but he agreed to do so without much discussion, and most of the discussion about antidepressants was me making sure he understood that I wasn't asking him to take the pills as a cure, that doesn't happen, but as a tool to be able to regain his emotions to help him sort out what is happening to him and cure himself with therapy and healthy living.  Still no suicidal issues I can see, but l know what long term lack of emotion does to people.  Been to those memorials. 

He remembers being happy up until around 2011, even when things were hard, remembers emotional ranges and the sheer variety of feelings and thoughts, he just can't touch them anymore.  That breaks my heart for him.  They aren't something I can find for him.  But I can do my level best to make sure he is trying to get better, and has the tools to do so. 

CRANKY.

By Briannah,

Doing taxes.  Gyah.  Just argh.  Frustration.  Confusion.  HEadache.  And I'm using the Turbotax site that does most of the work for me but this is still irritation.  Nikki's on his own tonight, I'm too cranky to be alive.

So the more I read, the more I see a LOT of splintering and unkindness between the different groups under the big group umbrella.  It makes me sad.  All the groups under this umbrella are small population wise, logic dictates to me that banding together would be the way to go.  Rights for everyone, equality for everyone!  But instead there seems to be conflict everywhere.  Large groups of gay and lesbian hating each other, large groups of both of them hating trans people, a lot of transgender people looking down on crossdressers who are only cd, the asexuals feel like everyone hates them, everyone wanting to erase the bisexuals and force them into a choice, and other conflicts I don't even know about.  

I think it really surprises me in particular with this umbrella because they all share the common theme of we deserve acceptance and normalcy.  With that mindset, why on earth would people deny others the same thing?  I know it happens.  I see it in my reading, I've seen it in the male-female social power dynamic.  There are a lot of feminists who do cross the line into Feminazi territory, who can't tell the difference between wanting to be equal and wanting to replace men as the group in power. 

Why doesn't the struggle to make the world a place that just accepts people unite us?  If it can't, does that mean something?  Does it mean our species in it's development of intellect and social behaviors isn't ready to give up the division of groups and the need to feel our group is right other groups are wrong?  Are we just not developed enough in brain power to overcome that self-interest only on a mass scale?  How much do we as a species NEED the external validation of others? 

And if we can't even do this on a smaller scale of people with alternative to the binary 'norms' (Male-female, gay-strait, mono-poly, etc.) then how can we ever hope as a species to overcome the cultural, racial, and religious divides and learn to exist peacefully and gracefully together if we can't even handle people making personal choices in their lives?  How far could mankind GO if we stopped trying to kill each other, control each other, and really learned to make peace between all the nations?  But we can't even manage it inside our individual nations. 

Sometimes it feels to me like the ENTIRE PLANET just collectively decided to ignore the truth that we're all human beings on the same planet and should be working together.  And yes, I have fallen into that trap too.  Especially when feeling threatened.  It's an easy trap. 

I wonder if Rodney King knew how really profound his "why can't we just get along" really was.

It's like my entire life blew up all at once.  I never really realized how MUCH I'm capable of handling all at once, and still managing to be happy and helpful to others.  But at the same time, it's really hard when EVERY front in my life is changing dramatically all at once.  I keep feeling like I'm stressing out for no reason, and then I sat down and thought about WHY I'm having downward spirals and feel generally uneasy most of the time right now.  Nikki wants to think it's all him I think, but it really is a HUGE mix of my whole world.  All at once. 

1) We had committed too and started making financial changes in our life, and day to day living.  And need to continue altering lifelong poor habits to improve, that's really  not easy.

2) Still trying to establish healthy boundaries with my crazy dad and step-mom and failing utterly because they are insisting boundaries between parents and adult children are unrealistic and they feel they have teh right to treat me like crap.  So they get cut out, start acting like normal people, contact is re-established, and the cycle continues.  I could just refuse, but there is part of me that wants a family of some kind in that direction, not just generation forward.  I'm dumb.

3) Restructuring my marriage, from communication, trust, sex, issues, roles, and who needs what as well as how to acquire the material things required given point 1.

4) Trying to actually conquer the body dismorphia.  That's so much fun.

5) Major upheavels in my social circle to navigate.

6) My sick cat.

7) Crazy mom and all her issues.

8) the super and ongoing flu.

9) The hernia issues and trying to balance excercise and weight loss with not incarcerating again and needing immediate surgery. See points one and four for the major reasons I don't get that fixed now. 

10) Attention defecit disorder and asthma.  Always random stress induction.

11) All the self questioning realizing how very out of touch I had been with my own reality.  Granted i wasn't given the data for a lot of it, but at the same time, however irrational, is a feeling of how could I not see? 

That's a big list.

 

Still trucking.

By Briannah,

So...stormed outta the house yesterday.  Was trying to talk to Nikki about realizing that even when he is the catalyst, he is not actually MY FEELINGS.  And that every feeling and confusion I have, even if they are started by something about him, is actually NOT ABOUT HIM, and talking over me as loud as he possibly could that it was made me leave.  I went to the park and froze my ass off sitting in a place i used to spend time with Grandpa really missing him.  Then I went to work, and Nikki sent me an apology.  He's good with that, taking responsibility when he does things that hurt me.  And talking over me and making everything about him like my dad does was was ugly. 

So we went to get our calzones...and that place was packed.  I'm talking there wasn't even standing room to wait for a table, so I suggested going further up to the next city and getting Boston Market Chicken since we both love it and don't have one in our city, healthier than the calzones anyway and very very tasty.  (But next Friday I'm getting my dang calzone, will try to time arriving a bit later in the day).  The only other thing that Nikki likes in the town we were in is one of those drive up burger stands without an indoors that I actually HATE the food at.  If I'm going to blow my diet to have a date with him in dress, I wanted to at least like the taste of the food.  I'm selfish that way.  :)   So the food was awesome, date afternoon was as much fun as it always was, and there was a stop at the  pet store to peer at the animals.

I barely managed to hang onto my sanity in the pet store, came REALLY close to walking outta there with this huge gorgeous five year old girl that looks just like my boy cat only had white paws whose human had passed away.  But four cats would be ridiculous, especially with the female needing extra care now.  And we travel twice a year, and I don't want to overwhelm my pet caretakers.  The glow in the dark fish were tempting too.  Seriously, black light glow in the dark fish.  SUPER COOL!  I did get a piece of driftwood to add to the dragon's cage.  We have a female bearded dragon I gave Nikki a few years ago for Christmas after my turtle passed and we had space, he'd been wanting one for ages.  And I'm good with reptiles if they have legs.  I spend a lot of time playing with her actually, she's a very mellow dragon that likes to ride around the house on our shirts.

I am SO tired.  Spent all night going to the bathroom, must love blood pressure medication.  *Headdesk*  And I can't find my digital camera.  I just saw it a few weeks ago when of course I didn't want it.  Sometimes I think the inanimate objects ARE alive, and out to mess with us.  But Nikki is talking another zoo trip, the one we took for my birthday was slightly disappointing as the aquarium with the new seaturtle they got was closed!  Tragedy!  Actually we're talking about going once a month because it's good exercise and makes our membership a great value.   And I want better pictures of the seaturtle than I can do with my digital camera, and Nikki was talking about wanting me to photograph him.  Maybe I can take him out to the Black Swamp, some really nice vegetation and backdrops out there that would be fun to work with.  There is a tiny nature preserve of the swamp about 20 minutes from there that used to reign over the whole area. You can even see turtles through the wildlife blinds on a good day, and once I saw a fox, some beavers, possums, racoons, and a variety of birds.  Really nice place I forget to go to often.  We actully have a variety of nature preserve type parks here that we go walking at on occasion, but unfortunately a lot of them don't have bathrooms of any kind, which can get awkward for me at least.  Despite camping since childhood I never mastered the outdoors squat exercise. 

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend, it warmed back up to sixty here.  Yesterday was stupid cold here!  I asked Nikki what our target date for the pool was, I was thinking mid may, he said potentially next month depending on the ongoing weather patterns.  That would be awesome!

So... obviously right now gender is a spotlight conversation and understanding topic in our household while we're figuring out how to meet everyone's needs.  And now that I have time to think, I'm realizing he's confusing things in my head.  This is not a complaint or criticizing post, this is just me working out my thoughts way early in the morning.  I'm not usually up yet, and it's hard to articulate these feelings, so forgive me as I'm about to fail badly to express the mess in my head.

Nikki has real trouble communicating thoughts and feelings (something that doing is inherently female to me, this throws my ability to see his inner girl but I keep trying) so maybe he's just not expressing himself well, but what he does express boils down being a girl to....boobs, makeup, and clothing.  So we talk about those things a lot, but...they're all superficial to me.  They are not what make me female.  I didn't get a choice about the boobs(and would shrink them by half if he wouldn't have a massive sad and there was a nonsurgical option), and I ditched the makeup the minute I realized I DON'T need to do what society tells me to and I don't care for doing it much(but I don't mind Nikki doing it, but it triggers my I'm not artistic and I don't want to do this attitude), and I grab whatever I can find in clothing.  But Nikki only ever says "I feel girly" if it's physical.  Sometimes I try to interact with him like I did past girlfriends and he just gets weirded out.  Granted I wasn't a very good partner in a girl/girl relationship, so maybe I"m doing it weird and that was part of why they all failed, but still... And that is making me question the whole thing.  Not Nikki's needs, but the whole gender thing, and what IS my place in the world as a female?  Is it just what I look like?  Surely it can't be.  Spent my whole life and equality stance on the idea that it's more.  Was I wrong? 

I thought it was the strength to deal with all the ugly emotions, the flexibility in thought and beliefs to alter with every new understanding of the world, my ability to relate and maintain those relationships with others, my emotional barometer, and even the general softness of behaviors that i and most women I know exhibit.  The physical stuff is just what I'm stuck with.  Everytime I try to talk about these things with Nikki, he looks at me like I just grew a second evil head.  He listens, but he stares at me utterly confused and it goes back to the phsyical conversation again. 

Option A: It's like he's idealizing what it is to be a woman based on what men perceive women to be, instead of feeling like one and trying to make his outside match his inside.

Option B: I really don't understand what it is to be female, and have fallen into a trap looking for it to mean more than my outside to deal with societies judgement that i"m part of the lesser population, and am trying to attach strengths and behaviors and meanings to it that aren't there to counteract that feeling of lesser in my head.   

With time it will all get sorted out.  I will keep telling myself that.  But I had no idea this was going to make these kind of internal questions come up.  I thought my part in this was to help him sort himself out, not have my own sense of self challenged to this degree.  Although the psychologial websites say this is a normal phase for the spouse, so I guess I just got to it a wee bit late.

Went to the therapy place with Nikki, and I stayed in the lobby, but man it was relaxing.  They had this really zen music playing, and it was nice, and there was this pretty mood lamp next to me, and I was just mellowing out have a nice conversation with a lady until her appointment, then sitting working on a puzzle.  I really should have asked what cd they were playing, that was some really nice laid back music.  The couch was comfy.  And there was water and a coffee bar if I got thirsty. 

Then lunch, and then we both got our hair cut.  Well, I got mine maintenanced, basically did what I usually do, a layered bob that is easy to control and puffs up nicely so it doesn't LOOK as thin as it is.  Nikki got an awesome choppy layer cut that looks great on him, and he was excited to show me how the front pieces hide the male hairline pattern.  :)  He'd been giving me side eye all week since I sorta locked him into this, but I think he's really glad he went with it.  At the place I leaned over and whispered "This is a huge girl thing, relax and try to zen in girl mode and enjoy it!"  And still plenty for me to play with.  WOOT! 

Now I"m trying to figure out what to do with myself.  It's an overcast day here, and that gray light literally sucks out my will to exist.  Now that all the planned activities are done, I find myself bored outta my mind and lacking the motivation to really do anything about it.  Dang gray lighting.  Back in astronomy class in high school we did experiments with lighting, and had to put our head in a box, and different lights were used in the box.  Full spectrum lighting made you feel awesome, the gray 'overcast' light simulator made you feel instantly depressed and down.  It was really enlightening how immediate and dramatic the responses were to the lighting I was exposed to. 

IT hasn't been like this...since um...the first year I was married maybe?   I stopped fighting with my skin and just didn't really care.  Nikki didn't care.  But now it's a thing again, because I noticed that people see what they expect to see, and two girls going out for a calzone (OMG I LOVE CALZONES! and they are SO hard to find in my area for some reason) blend better if they are dressed and made up similarly.  Like i reinforce the image of him.  I know when I went out with actual girls people would stare at our group a lot because I was visually out of place.  And while my female friends can deal, I don't want to put that strain on Nikki til he's more comfortable out.  And there is a level of fun letting him do me up (and more practice for him is good).

So today is girl day, as we agreed on.  A little sad to be locked in doors, it's GORGEOUS outside, but Nikki's needs come first, and spring is coming.  Right?  RIGHT????  OHIO???  The weather is perking me up, I only lost an hour and a half to silly news and wedding fails today.  :)  Soon Nikki will be putting up THE POOL!  *squirms in turtle excitement*  I wish it was Friday, Friday I will be eating a tasty calzone.  All I have calories left for dinner tonight is soup.  But I'll still come in a bit under my daily allotment, and as ever I didn't include the exercise I did, and I did put in a short walk. 

Which I probably would have enjoyed more if my dang throat would clear up.  Seriously, all the flu symptoms are gone except a persistant but really FAINTLY sore throat, and the roof of my mouth and throat are really white but not like strep, and my throat has this horrible dry itching that results in insane coughing.  I would go back to my doctor but all the ice cream I ate to numb my throat packed six pounds back on, and I don't want her to know that.  Trying to be good!  And lost that six pounds super fast to go in.  I know, it's dumb, but my dismorphia has been poked a lot and I need a small break. 

Seriously, I lost gobs of time to Youtube.  It always starts out innocently. I want to hear a certain song.  Watch some tutorial videos so I know what Nikki wants me to buy.  In the mood for a laugh so look up news blooper videos (OMG nothing is funnier than news going wrong!).  The try guys people I like watching trying new things for the first time.  And then...it's there.  The bane of my existence.  That bar on the right with other videos linked, ones that tempt me into clicking, and the next thing I know I"m light years away from my original topic, and have just spent 2 to 3 hours on the journey from an eye makeup tutorial to crazy science magic tricks, from John Oliver into weird video game easter eggs, from news bloopers into strange porn things I had never heard of before. 

It's crazy how many things are out there in the world. 

Mixed signals.

By Briannah,

I don't feel shiny today, just kinda stressed and confused but trying hard to work it all out. 

So...after trying to sort out some mixed signals from Nikki, I decided it was time to be Bree and came up with a plan.  Nikki talks about going out A LOT more than he realizes.  But when I asked him about it, he's like one to two years down the road.  Okay.  But then he talks about it again with all the signals of I want to be doing this.  Nikki and Bree have a dynamic here, and that is Nikki is afraid to do things, and wants me to pick up on them and make it happen.  So....I asked him if that dynamic was in play here.  He nodded, and I said okay, Friday he doesn't work, he can spend the time I"M at work putting on the makeup we got him and getting dressed.  Then I'll come home and get him, and we're going to go to a small restaurant we both like in a nearby college town.  Highly unlikely he'll run into anyone he knows there like going out in here.  And he got really excited by the idea.  I expect tomorrow he'll change his mind, and then Wednesday change it back, and flip flop, so I have no idea if it will actually happen, but right now my plan is to take him out of this house into public and have a nice lunch, do all the talking so he can hide his voice, and have a nice afternoon.  But he's so hard to read, he talks about a lot of things like he wants to do them and genuinely doesn't really, he's just fantasizing outloud.  I realized how many of my barometers in this relationship are broken today.  So working on re-calibrating them.

And this led into more discussion about whatever i want vs "I want to..." or "I don't want to".. or "I have no opinion on this Bree" if he genuinely doesn't.  The  more we're examining how to be a healthier couple, the more I look inward, and realize I HATE having the entire responsibility of the relationship lobbed at me all the time.  I can't meet someone's needs if they won't tell me what the needs are.  I do inherently have a somewhat aggressive, dominant personality that Nikki loves, I know that.  But I want to be a partner, not a....a caretaker.  Aggressive dominance in me does not manifest into my way or the highway, it more manifests in that I want to be moving emotionally forward at all times and make thing happens because we only live once and I've used up half my time.  Gotta use the rest to the max!  I think he doesn't understand that part of me.  I think he doesn't understand a lot of parts of me, because he couldn't have these conversations with me without straying close to having to lie to me actively on why he does/feels things or having me come uncomfortably close to the secret before I knew. 

I'm confused and distressed because I realize I didn't really know him, nothing I ever interpreted from his actions and words had the full picture.   And now I'm starting to see that all the secrets closed me off from him even though I was holding the door open.  We have a lot of learning to do.  But at least we're moving, and moving in the right direction.  I still struggle with stupid things.  "It's not fair!" crosses my mind a lot, when I realize that I"m literally starting a marriage over after 17 freakin' years.  But I remind myself fair went out the window, and has no place in sorting all this out.  There is no fair here about how we got here, we are here.  There is only what is, and what we can do to improve it.  And I'm slowly letting go of the 'it's not fair'.  The anger about the lies is dwindling, and I'm relearning to trust he's honest with me now.  I had major trust issues when we met, believe me when I say a 17 year lie rocked my world to it's foundations and was a severe emotional trauma for me.  But Dr. Hollandt told me the one that saved my life during all the bad times I went through was that I'm extremely adaptive and quick to process.  That is working in mine and Nikki's favor now.  Sometimes I get tripped up by my emotions, they are still in there, just slowly packing away the negative ones after processing them so its' healthy and not bottling them, and actively reinforcing my healthy emotions so they are growing and working for me.  Life is a process.  I keep forgetting this is only week 7 since it all went down, and I start to feel angry and frustrated at myself why I still obsess over this thing or feel angry at that, and I sit down and look at the calendar and go "Oh yeah, it hasn't been that long, I'm actually doing GREAT and adapted really fast, this is okay".  I've hit the point where I don't feel guilty anymore for my feelings.  That is a huge step, was raised on guilt from both sides of my family. 

Grandpa, you prepared me well by teaching me to adapt and deal with what is.  If there is an afterlife, I hope you see that I'm using all the lessons you gave me to the fullest and doing my best in a hard situation.  I was graceful, listening, and learning.  I focused on what I can do to help the person in my life who is hurting, and making new friends along the way.  And I really wish you were here to talk to these days, but I've wished that every day since, both the good and the bad days.  I think I'll want my grandfather back for the rest of my life, or Alzheimers.  Whichever comes first.  I really had a freakout on my wedding day because he wasn't there.  Which resulted in an absolutely horrifying and involuntary laughing fit I couldn't stop until the mayor calmed me down enough to get married.

Sometimes I'm really frustrated trying to explain things to Nikki.  And I think useless things like "If you were a girl like me, you would understand!" Which is totally unfair, and I'm trying to pack that away.  I have as much gender norm expectation as everyone else.  And it's hard to understand Nikki telling me he feels like a girl right now, then not getting it or acting like it in ways I recognize as female.  Most of his behavior and emotional talk tracks so male to me I have to remind myself genderfluid, genderfluid, genderfluid.  And that is totally in me, not him.  I expect certain things from someone who tells me they are a girl.  Trying to learn to not do that and I'm trying to learn the language to frame my thoughts better and try to get it across.  I didn't realize how much common language I really  have with my friends, for all they tease me about taking away my girl card.  I don't care about girl interests so much, but I DO think and speak like one. 

And I'm back to 'trying', although I still don't know what I'm 'trying' to do.  But I got makeup again too, nair for my legs, and am actively trying to present in a better way.  I never really understood what people meant when they said i"m not even 'trying' because I didn't do these things, but I am putting in an effort to share things with Nikki and do them together.  And maybe I was worsening the dysmorphia by not doing them, I don't know.  I'm going to see if making an actual effort to change the appearance works on the inside.  Sometimes it does. 

And if Nikki doesn't hurry up and shower faster so that I can heat the soup and we can eat something I might start eating my desk.  So hungry. 

 

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