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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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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'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. 


Super excited about the weather, and had a long talk with the girl who runs our summer retreat of friends, and she is fiercely pro-Nikki and told me (unsolicited, I was just answering her questions why I'd gone weird the last six months and then so busy I couldn't talk to anyone because I was in deep talks with Nikki about everything) "I'm completely comfortable with him bringing his femme clothes and anyone who isn't comfortable here can go the fuck home because this is our safe space".  I love her so much.  I relayed that to Nikki, and it was just so huge for him.  He was asleep during my catch up call, but they are going to try to catch each other during the week and talk, they are as deep friends as she and I are.  But she's a nightowl and we thanks to Nikki's job are stupidly early risers.  Him way more than me.  I fess up, I snore at him while he's getting up and ready for work, bad Bree. LOL  SO now he's considering taking the plunge, trusting our close inner circle, and spending a day en femme at the retreat.  GO NIKKI!  He asked how I feel and I was all I don't care what you wear as long as it includes a bathing suit to swim with me.  There is a rule at the retreat no one swims alone for safety, and while I do it at home all the time, I completely respect the hostesses need to feel safe that we're not drowning.  :)

So my insomnia is kinda going dormant and I can sleep again.  The stress levels of the past nine or so months were crazy, and went absolutely nuts the first week I found out about Nikki's secret, but all the subsequent talking and working things out and the exit plan to my lung cancer-inducing job have made things so much better.  I had no idea how twisted up I'd gotten until we started working things out.  Knowing what is going on with Nikki and embracing it has made Nikki 'check back in' to the marriage.  The last four years he'd been really checked out emotionally and timewise, and I was really unhappy with that and trying to connect but he was unable to tell me what was wrong and engage with me.  Now that he's back as my spouse in the fullest sense of the word, things are getting back on track beautifully.  There is no need to shut down conversations getting to close to his secret anymore, and the openness fosters a deep closeness between us that works both ways, he's been as supportive of me and trying to deal with my issues now as I am of him. 

Life is getting better everyday.  :)  And the weather is going up again!  I hope this summer is hot and normal, like the winter was pretty much back in normal ranges after two brutal  years of excessive cold (our normal is in the 20s, it was ranging from -10 to -45 at the worst the last two yeas).  The last two summers were rather cool, which is great for those without ac (like us in the house) but sad for those with pools who want to swim.  :)  The first year I got the pool sucked so bad, they changed Nikki's hours shortly before we got it and I was on first and he was on seconds and everyone had to swim alone except for weekends.  Then last year I missed like six weeks of swimmable season due to the surgery.  This year we are going to swim and swim together dangit.  *shakes her paw at the sky*


I'm tired of being cold.  I miss my pool.  I miss being able to just walk out the door and not worry about balancing what feels like a hundred pounds of clothing with my lungs cold-air reactions and Nikki freaking out that I"ll have an asthma attack.  I miss playing D&D outside in the backyard in our lovely screen tent (cuz wow the bugs in this area), sitting at night with Nikki at the backyard fire pit watching the flames and talking quietly about the life, the universe, and everything in the comfy zero g chairs, and the backyard barbecues.  I miss the smells of summer, and the colors. 

I feel whiny tonight.  My life is going really well mostly, other than Yuriko.  Things are going really well with Nikki, we're slowly getting our house back under control from the chaos that ensued post surgery and long recovery period into the holidays and the flu epidemic, everyone is healthy again, Nikki starts therapy this week, I'm in talks with my doctor about getting a firmer handle on my own health, and we have awesome friends.  But I want all that and summer's heat too. 

Bree was born for summer.  Here is the view from my backyard comfy chair on a lovely summer afternoon. 


Took Nikki's favorite cat to the vet, her purr has gone weird and she lost a lotta weight, we thought she had a respiratory infection or something.  Unfortunately, it's looking like something and not an infection.  They are sending her xrays and labs out, but the prevailing thought right now is that our kitty girl has lung cancer.  :(  So not happy right now, and desperately hoping for a hail mary your local vet was wrong, it's nothing.  I know she's 14, but I'm just not ready.

So now that I'm adjusting, there are some real upsides to being married to Nikki (specifically for me, or someone genderfluid in general).  I was talking to my freind Kate about all this and explaining why it was unrealistic for me right not to be able to attend her wedding in June adn she should give my spot to someone able to go (her guest list is really tight, and better she able to invite someone who could potentially enjoy it) and I thought I would put these things down here.  This is about the upsides for ME with the new things in our life. 

- He's really learning to talk to me about everything, all his feelings and share his life experience with me.  I don't feel like I'm looking in the window from outside anymore, because the secrets are gone and communication and closeness has taken over, and I get more from him than most of my friends are getting from their cisgender spouses, even if it's taking time while he learns to share feelings that don't have language-thoughts ready already in his head.  Because he's learning to lean on me for support with his gender feelings, he's learning how to be there to support my feelings much better than he ever did, and he was already rather good at that. 

- He's really helping me out with my clothing.  I look much better in general, so I feel better.  He has a much less biased opinion of me than I do.  And he doesn't mind my crooked face.  Gah, even taking about my face makes me stupid unhappy.  Next topic.

- Nikki is studying youtube to be the official makeup artist of the house.  HIs art skills and innate talent suit him to this far better than anything I can do.  And I LOVE the feeling of him taking care of me physically like that.  SCORE!  And him doing it allows me to disconnect from my face and focus on the joy of touch and care instead of triggering what happened in the above point.

- Nikki has awesome hair that I get to play with, and yes, it IS sort of like having that barbie head when I was a child, but getting to experiment and style with Nikki's hair is a LOT of fun.  I think I"m going to fill in the houses hairdresser position, although he's going to have to help me with some styles I like but am too awkward to do evenly.  He let me do his hair up similar to mine today with my newly re-acquired pony flipper (my absolute favorite hair accessory ever!) and he likes the result.  I wonder if he liked me taking care of him phsyically the way I like him working on me? 

- The intimacy has some really fun perks.  :)  But more importantly, doors have opened that one or both of our disorders closed to experiment with, because the increased emotional closeness makes it feel safe and okay.  And I've had fun exploring new things with Nikki. 

- My skin is loving the lack of hair on his.  We've made great strides in that arena, and it's doing wonders for me.  Excema is awful.  Don't get it.

- We're dieting together, which is making it better for both of us.  He's also really realistic about the costs of things, and is keeping his spending on things that he will outgrow as he loses weight small.  I know he'd ultimately like the breastplate kind of prosthetic, but those are really expensive to keep replacing as his body changes, so he compromised on the ones we have until he stabilizes down the road. 

- He's going to therapy for his depression, and has stop putting it off.  YAY!  Happier Nikki is great for me. 

- He's spending a lot more time with me.  I think he was so sublimating the stress and venting it in the cyberworld that there just wasn't much left for me.  But now that I"m included, and he's able to dress and vent off his stress that way with me and having me involved, there is a lot of time for me.  I'm really grateful for that. 

- He understands and deals with my freakouts (I get anxiety attacks that this is the calm before the storm and he'll need hrt/surgery and our life will fall apart.  I try not to, but I can't seem to control that.  It will settle with time, I keep forgetting ti's only been about six weeks since my life changed), and works with me to overcome the brain-sensory input issues that crop up from interacting with him dressed.  I will never love them when I have touch them directly, but I have accepted the plasticly feel of the breast forms.  But I do much prefer to handle them under a bra or shirt, where they feel real and not creepy plastic.  There was a breastplate that advertised textured silicone skin instead, when his weight is more stable I might have to get him that for a christmas gift or something. :)  He's firmly supportive in that I'm not collateral damage or any of the worse terms, and that we're going to stay places like this forum and find a support group that is friendly to us as a marital unit living in the gender fluid world together.  I may be cis, but I do embrace his fluidity and am doing my level best to embrace and support it, not just live with it, because it's who Nikki is.  There are learning curves, but I'm doing well!  Or so Nikki tells me. 




Sunday musings.

By Briannah,

Feeling better, still coughing a big but not like yesterday and there is no gurgling down my windpipe as I breat now.  So spent the day with Nikki watching the rest of this anime I stumbled into called K.  It's one of those that makes absolutely no sense the first couple episodes, it just throws you into the middle of a conflict, but I liked the characters and wanted to know what was happening to them, and by the end of the anime it had all unraveled into this beautiful and sort of sadly painful story that made perfect sense.  

Then we started watching youtube videos on makeup and beard coverage, which led me to watch one on tucking to see how that works, and that was an odd concept.  I get why people need to do it, but it sorta makes me think of a strange body origami ritual.  And logistical issues with having to go to the bathroom sprang up in my head.  The struggle is real.  Nikki is now unsure what bathroom to use and as we're talking about a whole day out doing fun stuff, not going at all is highly unrealistic especially on blood pressure medication.  My job is to do all the talking with my female voice.  We have one problem though, you have to show id to get in with your pass now.  That could be...awkward. 

I have wrangled OUT of jury duty this week, thank goodness.  I got a call that said "no jurors are to report on the date, this call ends your service to the court".  YAY!  I really was not enthused about getting up before the sun to leave for Toledo SUPER early because all the dang highways between me and the court are currently massively under construction.  So I'd have to leave stupidly early to get there on time or risk getting stuck on a highway and going to jail for contempt or whatever it is.  Honestly, Ohio ALWAYS seems to be under highway construction, it's like our roads are made out of tissue paper and falling apart every other month.  Don't even get me started on bridges.  I watched this documentary about how out of date bridge inspections are and now I'm paranoid.  Don't watch it.  Seriously. 



All the symptoms but the lung congestion have fallen away.  If it's not gone by Tuesday, I'm going to back to see Bethany because I've had things like this turn into Pnuemonia before.   And the last thing Nikki needs just before he starts seeing the therapist is for me to go from sick to 'into real trouble'.  Blargh.  I feel like I want to cough out my lungs, windpide, and or esophagus.  And I have this irrational fear that I"m ruining the weekends girl time, even though Nikki says he's not feeling great and doesn't feel like screwing around with it. 

I'm sorta in a perfect internal storm of anxiety triggers.  The ongoing struggle with my family, the extra hours at work (my job is awful, and the smoke from teh boss has been driving my congestion and asthma crazy), the paranoia that I'll get my guts twisted up from the severe coughing again (that is how I injured myself into surgery last July), my asthma triggering off the congestion and making it crazy hard to get enough air, and Nikki being really sick and down again are all making me crazy.  Doctor said two weeks is the normal clearout, so waiting til Tuesday unless anything goes wrong. 
I need to find something to do to get my brain outta thinking mode clearly.

I was talking with Nikki about something today, and he called this his problem.  I didn't like that.  This isn't our problem, this is our lifestyle.  The dog constantly dumpster and litter box diving, cats peeing anywhere they please, those are problems.  Nikki enjoying dressing en femme and needing his body hair as gone as we can make it?  Lifestyle.  Because language does dictate thought.  Ideas form from words, and the choice of words colors the thought.  And the only problem my husband has inside himself is depression and anxiety fits, those do need to be and can be solved with time and therapy.  My understanding of crossdressing is simple, it's not a disease or the disorder, it's a complicated set of emotional and possibly physical needs that require meeting, and will always require this.  Just like my needs.  So problem is an ugly word for this.  I like lifestyle. 

And I have spent a lot of time self-examining, trying to figure out all the roadblocks that we will have to face if his needs change in the future because I want to be prepared, even if it never happens.  And realizing I'm not really inclined to join other women in bed anymore made me stop and try to figure out, well, what the hell happened? 

And I realized with the maturity and healthier mindset I have on life and myself what happened.  While I do have the ability to enjoy physical sex with partners of either gender, I never really got into a healthy commitment relationship with any of the women.  And I had always identified a strong preference for men, but now that i"m examining it all I wondered what was going on with the women.  WHY did I act on it?  And why do I really not want to now?  The answer lies in my complicated feelings for men after my abusive marriage.  I had stopped trusting them, and I didn't like to be alone.  And when the first female hit on me, and I physically responded, I thought why not?  I don't like being alone, and here I can defend myself.  And I set out to explore this new aspect of myself, but I didn't look into it too deeply.  So now after a long, healthy marriage with Nikki, I realize had it not been for a deep fear of men warping my choices, I probably would NOT have acted on it.  And the actions I took probably weren't healthy for me or my partners, but we learn from living.  I'm not embarrassed to have explored with them with them or by their place in my past, but I am embarrassed that i didn't really give them myself like I should have as a partner.  It wasn't fair, but I was too messed up to know then.  I'm sorry for anyone's feeling that I injured in my inability to love them back.  The men after I started opening that door again too.  Nikki met me at a time where I was starting to overcome my issues, and was able to actually love someone back with the baby steps he was willing to put up with from me while I relearned my way in relationships. 

Well, at least I don't have a lot of 'what if's' about my sex life.  I tried things.  LOL

Still alive

By Briannah,

So Nikki and I had our follow up appt. yesterday for the blood pressure medication, and she glanced over us for the plague while we were there, and broke my turtle heart.  This is a two week plague.  *headdesK*  I'm past my first week and at least feeling better, but another week of congestion and coughing is not making me happy.  I imagine Nikki is less happy only being a few days into it.  And he's tolerating the blood pressure medication better than me, so mine has been changed.  Maybe I can spend less time in the bathroom now? 

3 more full 8 hours days before my boss gets back from vacation and I can go back to my happy part time turtle life, which at this point probably consists of sleeping the rest of this off.  Such an exciting life I'm leading this month!  My morning happy moment today was....I don't have to scrape the car, because ti's raining.  YAY!

Doctor was pleased Nikki is starting therapy, and she was pleased that I asked about some of the options she'd mentioned before to help with the weight loss.  She's more confident that I AM doing okay on my own right now without therapy wtih the dismorphia, as we went over breakthrough behaviors that I have achieved that usually are what they are giving you therapy before.  Thankfully my parents deciding I was nuts as a teen and sending me to therapy for years taught me a lot in how to self-help.  Dr. HOllandt was REALLY good.  And it was such a surreal moment to have an actual therapist sit you down and tell you it's really not you, it's the unrealistic and clashing worlds your family forced you into.  That went over like a ton of bricks when she wanted Dad, Mom, and STepmom to attend counseling to learn to stop the destructive behaviors.  None of them went. Mom would have, but she couldn't afford it.  When Dr. Hollandt literally offered to absorb mom's half of the fee so that she could help me, Dad's response was "I pay and she doesn't?  Hell no." And that was it.  THis from the man who prides himself on being a great parent who always does what's best for his child.  He has a major self image problem if you ask me.

I have a weird thing with cold meds.  I couldn't take any of them without risking a painful death when I was on my long term asthma medication, so I sort of developed a fear of them in general.  My brain makes important things habitiual so I don't forget when I'm half sleep or not paying attention.  So Nikki has to fight stupidly hard to get me to take them.  And of course, they are huge, my throat hurts, and damn near just choked myself. 

At least things with Nikki are going great.  We've settled into a comfortable environment for everyone involved, and things are going swimmingly.  We're still sorting through my tendency to big picture everything and his to narrow focus, but communication has gotten really good and we're learning.  For the spouses like me that stay, it's as much a period of change as the person talking the dysphoria.  So many things change for me too, and you really have to keep sight of balancing the needs of both.  If there's a secret to succesfully navigating this as a couple, that's it.  And as much openness as is feasible for a couple.  I Know some wives want to be completely out of it, but I couldn't be like that.  The known is so much less terrifying than the unknown.  Being included not only supports him, but it supports me.  He's happier than he's been in a long time.  Here's hoping the therapist will keep that going.  

And, of course, that i don't have pnumonia again.  If I don't feel significantly better tomorrow I"m going to the dang urgent care.  I don't have time for this crap.  I missed a gorgeous day!

WEll sorta anyway.  It was nearly sixty degrees!  SO AWESOME! I went out to lunch with Nikki, and you'd think I ran a marathon.  Wahtever this is has seriously damaged my internal energy production.  And now the scary Ohio wind has kicked up, and is finally caving in the neighbors scary chimney.  That has been falling for years and no one did anything about.  Here's hoping it doesn't break my house or our shed we have in the side yard. 

Nikki made a comment while I was plague moaning(I'm really whiny when I'm sick, I confess), that he'd been planning to spend all day until the gaming event tonight in girl mode, but me being sick required boy mode and I'd ruined his plans (In a joking manner, I don't think there was any resentment).  My response, after he figured out the words because my voice is cracked up, was "Does girl mode preclude me getting fed and taken care of?"  HIm: No... Me: Then what do I care?  Just gimme something to eat and some cough drops and do whatever the hell you want to.  As long as that involved making sure my blankets are cuddly and I'm not dead, I'm good. 

Kitten, Dinosaur, it's the same really.  The only part where I'd need boy mode is if the cough drops run out and a store run is required.  I'm so not up to driving.  I've walked into dang wall three times trying to get to the bathroom.  It's literally a 10 foot walk.  *hangs head*  But the supply looks good. 



Nikki did it

By Briannah,

He took our conversation seriously and rallied round when the guild teasing turned to me.  I'm so sick I just wanna hide and he was all nope we're leaving Bree alone tonight she'll play with you guys next week.  It was a great practice start.  Love my Nikki.  Wanna collPse quietly in a corner.  Germs you win.  I surrender.  

Awake stupidly early.  Spent much of yesterday sleeping or cuddled up in the blankets next to Nikki who was watching movies after the meltdown.  So we're both on this new supposedly low dose blood pressure medication since we're minority's but consistently above the normal range.  And my camel status has been officially revoked to a degree that is crazy.  So between waking up at four am again or explode all that sleep and I feel really bad is not letting me get back to sleep.  And my voice is going under.  Which will make my job fun because I answer the phones.   Bree has a weird voice to begin with.  Add the dead frog effect and even Nikki has to really sort out what I'm saying.  

Nikki working with me on what can be a marriage breaking issue that I didn't realize I was even carrying around has relieved so much internal unhappy.  It's funny how little we really know ourselves sometimes until the right thing makes us see.  

Froggy Bree is done rambling weirdly now and signing off.  

Okay, I did set ONE rule for the sexy time stuff.  (and teh same common sense financial ones that i live buy, but that is just even marital treatment).  If he is buying something like that for him, he buys something he wants to see on me.  (It's sort of an extension we used to have on video games, so no one was unhappy by not getting things they wanted and it was kinda fair, only he won that by default because they stopped making the kinds of games I like en masse). 

Yes, I'm totally going to ride this train into feeling more appealing to him. 

So as some of you know i sort of went on an obsessive research binge to understand transgenderism in general and specific to what is needed to make my marriage successful.  Only what isn't showing is that I'm still almost obsessively researching the social aspects of this.  And I do mean almost obsessionally.  And my friend M asked me why I'm stuck in this, and things gestalted.  I have a huge problem in this marriage that has nothing to do with Nikki's transgenderism, but is being triggered by it. 

Nikki never has my back in a conflict situation.  I'm always on my own.  I hate conflict every bit as deeply as he does, and i get physically sick from it, and terrified and spirally.  Whenever Nikki gets into a conflict situation, I always have his back and am right there as his first line of defense if it's an untrue or misunderstood issue, or give him space to work with this information if Nikki is in the wrong.  I've never left him alone on the hook, and he's been clear he never wants me to.  And I never really consciously realized it, I couldn't figure out what was wrong in our marriage prior to this coming out, and why the increased closeness and working things out wasn't <b>fixing</b> me in the thought it would.  And why I was so hung up on him throwing me under the bus in our talk with L on an issue i"d worked really hard to correct before any of this came out and was making a lot of strides, and when I explained my problem with Nikki saying now, she basically put it on me that i ask for to much.  So that amkes sense, whenever I ask something from Nikki, he says no.  EVERY single time.  And then does it.  Now, I have no gauge when no MEANS no.  Nikki got angry with me if I accepted no and tried to do it myself or went to do something else if I was asking him to do an activity with me, and he got angry with me if didn't accept no because i literally can't tell anymore.  When L asked what other issues were being worked on, and I brought that up, she brought up I ask him to do many things for me and that I was blaming him somehow when I as trying to express that I am literally confused about what NO means based on his behaviors.  And I said I don't think that was what was going on but I"d work on it, and he literally said nothing until she asked the next qustion, and I let it go because that's what I always do.   But the more I was doing for myself, the less I was feeling in a marriage because I was still on my own when it was hard and not being taken care of in a physical sense to substitute for it.  I know, substitution is never a healthy thing in something like this.  Nikki has been working really hard on that because h'es realizing I've lost my guage and I don't take it in a flirty way, and has been cosciously stopping that.  That helps tremendously with that problem.

It took a bit to gestalt, but I'm substituting the emotional feelings of 'he cares' when he does something for me to cover the realization that I'm on my own when things aren't pleasant and happy.  And how much I really hate knowing that.  When I asked him about not mentioning to L that I had realized that on my own and worked to get it under control, was he misleading me that I had have great success?  He replied no, he was just uncomfortable with arguing with her.  If he can't say to one of his bets freinds "She's worked really hard on that, it's not part of my thinking it's cute to say no every time she asks for something and confusing her and not hearing that she doesn't find it cute" how can I ever expect him to have my back with my ongoing issues wtih my parents, or in a new social setting like bars and nightclubs while he's dressed? 

This forum has been beautiful, but some weren't.  Some were really clear to me that I"m just collateral damage or baggage, or that I'm now allowed to have needs or am shallow for thinking that bodies matter and if I love/find him sexually attractive as a male I should automatically be able to do so as a female.   I can choose to pick a forum where I can connect with people emotionally and learn from that interaction in a positive way.  But in a face to face situation I don't really know how to not just want to cry and feel ashamed of being me.  And Nikki honestly admitted I would be on my own.  I don't know what to DO with all this.  He said he'll try to work on it like I have with his new needs, but it's all so confusing.  It tangles up in my head with how does someone value you if they are only really there when it's easy or when the difficulty is on their side and they need you? 

This is a godawful time to come to this realization too.   Nikki will be home soon and wants to talk about this and I don't even know how to verbalize any of this.  That's why I wrote it down, maybe he'll just agree to read it and then ask me questions so that I can get some sort of internal sense of direction and what I actually WANT to make this better.  I don't even know what is realistic and fair to ask for.

when you're browsing transgender oriented stores for your mate and suddenly are considering things for yourself too.   Is this something like what Nikki feels shopping on the woman's websites?  That this stuff is nice, I'm not the intended clientele, but dangit I want to wear some of this.  Then I trip over my own social paranoia like I'm not supposed to take these items and wear them, they're not meant for me, and then I realize wow, that is a silly feeling if the whole idea of embracing this new adventure we're on is that it doesn't matter who the clothes were meant for, only how the person who wears them feels.  Nikki is on an unholy quest to find me things he wants to see me in, after I (somewhat more timidly than I like to admit, behave dismorphia, embrace that Nikki finds me pretty and dress up for him) asked him if maybe the answer for my really awkward body shape and weight distribution might be found in these stores.  It never even occured to me before this to look.  I didn't close down Nikki's world, and for that he's opening up mine and maybe this won't help at all, but the possibility and looking at things is fun and good bonding with Nikki. 

He's also threatening to take up sewing and waved an unholy amount of scratchy-type lace at me that will make my skin go crazy...I think it's supposed to be motivation to work hard on finding better clothing with him.  It also made me realize the last thing I ever sewed was my first wedding dress (made my own!) and how long ago that was.  Talk about skill atrophy.

I was scrolling around in the crossdresser's forum to get more familiar with the topics discussed since the more Nikki talks the more he 'fits' the category at this point in time, so I wanted to learn more to help him be his best her on those days.  And I ran into this thread, and it's surreal.  I understand all the view points, but I realize so many things.

My insane life experience has made me uniquely qualified for this moment with Nikki and for once is a plus.  I believe I dealt with the 'confrontation' conversation thoughtfully, and firmly on the 'this thing you did is dangerous and scary and it's a real medical professional or nothing' angle while at the same time firmly deflecting him when he tried to lie again with a "I'm not here to be angry but I'm done with being shut out of my marriage and if I can't lie to you niether can you to me and this is safe" attitude I hope helped while taking as much care as I could to reassure him this was a conversation and not a lifetime decision or freakout. 

Then I went to learn.  I read website after website.  This is 11 years after this other woman, and obviously there are more resources.  I am much younger.  I had brush ups before.  I had a life experience that has led me to a certain fluidty of life experience understanding.  My hangups and stuck points were completely different.  But I could understand both her views and the responders.  I had trouble with some of the responses on both sides of the issue.  Love in a case like this does not conquer all, for example.  Love is fluid like everything else.  And it is absolutely possible to truly love a person and be truly unable to live with them in a marital situation.  I have seen this play out, and know this as fact of the emotional experience of mankind.  There is an inherent unfairness in finding out this is a thing in your life after so many years, just as there is an inherent unfairness in having to try to 'cure' yourself of this thing or hide away who you truly are, neither of which are healthy.  Sometimes fair goes out the damn window and you are just left with what is. 

I didn't realize how WELL I've grown until I read that woman's post, in much the same position I was in, and the responses.  And I realized that you can be in pain and fear and confusion, and never lose sight of the fact that you are talking to real human beings, and coming to them to asking them to share themselves with you to help you learn.  I think even the first day when I broke down in a crying frenzy to S (the only transgender woman I know for certain that I know who I could think to ask to help me understand and was so gracious and open with me on everything from what it's like to live with and helped me organize and prioritize what things i needed to know to start talking to Nikki about instead of bumbling around in the dark) I was already open to learning to deal with this reality even though I was terrified and wanted it all to just go away on day one.  I knew it didnt' work like that. 

And the reception I got here was beautiful and helpful, and that was something I had earned by how i honestly think.  I didn't do a persona, I didn't try to make myself fit any molds to fit in, I had worked my whole life to be a good turtle, and apparently it's worked. 

But reading that is so surreal.  And I can't imagine what would have happened to my delicate Nikki if I was more like that woman and less me.  So thank you everyone along my life from Grandpa to here, for all the learning and growing you help me achieve and continue to achieve. 

So after the movie we started talking, and I realized that Nikki has made an extremely comfortable place for me in this.  Which is both wonderful and truly scary.  I'm included in his personal world where no one has been, and actively participating in the practical demands and the emotional ones.  I'm finally at the level of closeness to him that was just slightly off, and I had started to think maybe I had internalized too much social romance culture and didn't exist and was doubting myself that something was off as time went by and life was great.  He makes sure it all goes at my pace, and for me really sat down and examined his own needs and feelings to find out what they were.  His google fu when looking for something speicific is amazing and a skill I count on because I often want to find very specific things on the internet, but my ability to big picture and connect varying things that are related but not obviously so led him to a wealth of information about what is going on with him he didn't have access too.  While I had to redifine my understanding of him, he had to do it also, and we did it together.  We have a healthy balance of his need for me to emotionally care for him the way he physically cares for me, and him dong it for himself that I don't think we had before.  I can't even say how much positive there has been to me blundering into it.  I learned that the reason he indicated to me the first time that he wanted the hrt was he'd sort of picked up from people on the forums he tried a few years ago it was inevitable, and he didn't really have a clear understanding of it's effects himself until I was showing him my research that i did in an attempt to ease my negative reaction to the idea, and unfortunately strengthened it into a coherent I don't know that I can do this point.  Also I'm completely free to ask for either mode, and I did ask for girl mode last night so that I could use my vday plans I'd worked really hard on dangit.  That was the first time I asked for actual girl mode vs. asking to let me see him like that and adjust.  That was, I wanted to be with you like that and got myself into this mindset and let's fulfill our emotional romance urges together.  I don't know how much of that he perceived, but I think that is a huge breakthrough in my head.  And it let me go further in making my brain ignore the creepy outer plastic of the forms to try to give him a more natural full experience.

But that's why it's so scary.  And I had this talk with him last night.  So many real voices I speak with talk about how it progresses as they go, and I do have real internal fears on a lot of things.  When I first started looking for places and tried to talk to real people instead of reading pyschological information, I was either mocked for my commitment to remain with Nikki (Support groups are so not supportive if they required a foregone conclusion of action to fit in damnit) or I was mocked for having sexual and emotional issues and needs of my own dealing with this.  And Nikki has a problem where he wasn't okay with either, but he's very conflict resistant and so started stewing.  Originally I was looking for him to guide me into this world, I didn't realize how much he'd jumped to conclusions vs. actual self-examination and was working under the misunderstanding that he'd scoped this all out and was just waiting for the courage to talk to me or the day I blundered into it.  That wasn't working out so great, so my I will find us someplace kicked in.  That is how I was the one to find this place and dip in first, that may have seemed strange to people, but that's our dynamic.  There is an underlying assumption between our personalities that i will always protect him.  The first clue I got when I arrived and started talking that this was the place was that no one thought it was weird or commented that I was the first to land, and people treated me like I belonged.  Even though I am cis, there is no part of what happens to Nikki that doesn't affect me and the supportive education I'm getting here on his feelings, mine, and all of yours is invaluable as we figure this all out and you all keep me on an even emotional keel so that I CAN even figure out what frightens me, what makes me happy, what I need to be able to make him happy (and I am progressing with the prosthetics, Nikki was beyond pleased last night).  You have all completely changed the coming out story in a truly positive way.   Just because I have the commitment and love for him did not mean I had to tools to even being to understand myself or him in this time.  And I really fear losing my comfortable place where I embrace just about everything that makes him feel good in both modes. 

And then I did something I'd never done, asked him to fill a need I have that is as scary to him as the first time I went to see him dressed like a woman with breasts.  I think he's incredibly uncomfortable with what i asked (and it's NOT a trigger physical activity).  I've always been the initiator in sexuality matters.  Nikki is uncomfortable doing so, and the rare times he has is because I was so caught up in life and wasn't doing it and physical urges overrode his natural submission.  And it was a tentative would you like to...? sort of moment.  But part of my dismorphia that was cycling around for years unspoken and not even understood by me that his perceived lack of interest in starting that activity with me, even though rationally understood and accepted, was hitting my disorder in a very real way convincing me he didn't really want me, he only does that with me because I make it easily obtainable for him.   That was a terrifying moment for me, but I don't want him to hide from me, and since I had realized this in all this mess, I'm not going to hide from him.  It's all in for both of us or we might as well stop.  That being said, I don't mean he has to turn into a crazed maniac.  I think the proposed plan was he sets a repeating alarm on his clock for like every to weeks to remind hm to ask me to go upstairs with him.  My stupid brain doesn't need a full blown seduction attempt of the kind i actually enjoy putting on for him, it's sort of a really fun creative challenge for me how to reach and hit all his emotional buttons, which is why it kind of threw me that my Vday plan had been for girl mode and I had to come up with something on the fly. 

This is a very comfortable and amazing place for me, despite the ongoing confusion.  And there is still a lot of confusion on my end, when I try to talk to Nikki about what being  a woman inside means to him, his answers are ALWAYS fixated on the physical aspect.  This is not a judgement on my part, please understand, but this creates a communications disconnect for me and a lot of confusion, because my physical parts are a biproduct of it, and I rarely think about them beyond trying to wrangle their health and convenience, fitting into the damn bras and not hitting my own damn face with boobs, sexual aspects, etc.  So now I'm left trying to understand if Nikki has just not developed that part because of his kind of emotionally stunting family and didn't have a period in teenage hood like me where he realized how much he'd missed out on and actively set out to learn it for himself, or if his particular flavor of the transgender umbrella is really his brain focusing for whatever reason on the physical aspects, most strongly on body hair, general body shape, and breasts, but it likes his boy parts and psyche just fine.  LIterally, he puts on the forms and bra, and most of the time wears his normal boy clothes and does what he does around the house, and the only thing that changes is the stress switch in his head is flipped back to quiet.  Am I trying to connect to and nurture something neglected, or is it something just not there?  And Nikki can't answer until he works on this and finds out for himself.  But that crystallized some of why I'm scared about the future.

A huge potential problem is...Nikki and I really prefer the same kind of female, which he can't be in a relationship.  Which is way closer to me than him.  So while his tastes and desire for me present no conflict if transition is an inevitability he was originally led to believe (and I now now that the spectrum presents a lot of choice, and only with a lot of hard work will he know what his future life and needs will be like) that presents a huge emotional conflict and desire issue for me.  My tastes run to softer males and harder females.  I think if had been allowed to develop naturally, I would have been way more submissive than I am and acted on my inner taste for dominant males (I drool over Sabretuth, Snake Pliskin, Raislint Majere, etc.).  I enjoy dominant types.  However, my formative years being wired by a crazy man who hurt me over and over (met ex husband when I was 16 adn jsut starting out on the sexuality explorations and settings) made that impossible for me to ever trust and fully engage with in that with a man.  Nature v. nurture.

And, let's be real, him being a mix of both together, often as the same time, really works for me on all the levels, emotional, physical, and connectibility.  I think I am going beyond adjusting into full on this is my life and I like it, and I don't want to lose this.


So since Nikki was gone all morning I called my friend M and binged like a madwoman on catching up and going over our recent marital issues.  It was a great reality check for me, I reacted extremely because my bond with Nikki was threatened by the unknown, her bond with her husband was actually severed by his choices(nothing to do with anything like what Nikki is going through, think really badly handled midlife crisis choices).  And then when he realized his mistake, now he suddenly cares and is trying to fix it after some really brutal choices.  And she's a great person to know, she loves you with a whole heart and is really honest with you.  I don't think of my life in terms of worst case scenario in general, but I realize we had a fairly easy and quick sorting out of the initial phase as much as is possible at this point, and am so grateful for that.

And...I sort of floored her.  She knew from yesterday's face to face time friend we had a thing, but friend didn't tell M what it was, just that she might want to check on me, and shared some of the concerns L had about it based on my flaws and some positives they wanted to help me reinforce from my strengths.  So leaving from L's I texted her indicating I wanted to talk to her this morning and not do it on text again.  This is the kind of friendship we have, helping each other be shiny and overcome the dull spots, and L was worried she so emphasized with A she might not be getting me so asked M who is way like me but was in a healthier place with it earlier to reach out.  So M and I hadn't really talked closely in several years, we got busy with lives and live nearly four hours apart.  But it's the kind of friendship that you can pick up at a moments notice.  But she told me she was floored by how much I've grown, changed, and overcome my past issues.  Apparently L feels that I have more blame language than I realize, but also that I fully do not mean to be doing it.  So M said she would work with me and of course Nikki has agreed to point out if he catches any, but Nikki didn't quite feel that the comment I made that triggered L's thought was blamy.  So this is going to be hard improving what i don't quiet get, but I'm not dead yet, so I'll give it my best.  Cleaning emotional house with her was a wondrous reality check for both of us on where we are in our lives, and that it's okay to now know the best path forward and we'll figure it out together as we go.  We'll just never get to Cleveland.  LOL  We didn't get to Cleveland on the phone today either, but we did affirm our shared love of Nikki, and our agreement that her husband has a lot of work to do and it's okay for her to explore her feelings and decide if she wants to repair the marriage or not and owes him nothing until she decides either way.  I promised NIkki and I would make the drive to her in March, since logistically it's easier that way.  Offspring will care for my animals for a day trip, she doesn't have anyone for hers.  We're gonna catch up and eat amazing food.  Everytime we see M there is some new amazing food thing I can't believe I'd never had before.  She was the first time I ate Panera bread, Nutella, and a variety of other things. OMG Nutella on pound cake.  Just saying.

An analogy I used to explain to Nikki WHY I want to be part of the journey and not just the destination, why confused and uncertain but shared is not only okay to me, but desirable.  He likes to go on a trip with the route mapped, a clear destination, and as little disruption as possible.  So it's like getting into L's car.  But I like the journey, that is where I grow and do my best adaptation as the situations go.  I once got in a car with M and we were trying to go from Toledo to Cleveland (I lived in T-town then) and we ended up crossing half of Ohio and back at my house.  But it was the most fun road trip ever the minute we realized we were both lost and just went with it and used the time to chatter and have a blast.  And we learned more about each other and forged a lifetime bond that we have both relied on during various disasters over the years than we would have with a smooth trip to Cleveland.  And saw some really weird crap, Ohio, you are weird.  I think I've finally expressed my feeling to him, which was vague and probably really confusing to him prior to this conversation.  He never did understand WHY I kept getting in cars with M and being late to...well...everything we ever tried to go to together.  :)

M didn't know about my dismorphia, and feels like I crossed that last barrier of trying to hide things and so much she couldn't figure out about me is clear.  Adulting is hard, I want to just turtle. 

So Nikki got home from Valentine's day, in full on boy mode to my surprise, I thought we were still in girl mode honeymoon phase, but okay, I adjusted my Valentine day cuddle plans accordingly and had a lovely morning with him.  No big deal, my entire plan was tailored to things he said he wanted from me, so I have them in reserve for the day he does want them.  I'm prepared!  We're going to see Deadpool in a bit, and it is only my deep devotion to making that boy happy that is getting my cold shell outta this house into the SIXTEEN DEGREES that Ohio has decided to grace us with.  I need more layers.  Deadpool had best be as funny as people tell me he is.  Cuz our theater doesn't believe in heat.


By Briannah,

So today is kind of a scary day.  Were supposed to meet up with a mutual friend who has agreed to talk to Nikki about her childhood abuse, since they suffered similar pain.  I"m terrified for Nikki.  He's already stressy and nervous, and this will be the first time he's ever going to try talking to someone more than a brief "this happened" sort of thing.  He's doing this form himself, not for me, not for any advice, but because he wants to sit face to face with another human that shares his life experience.  He didn't want to wait until he gets in with the therapist.  I asked them to decide if I should be there or not, and they both requested I do so because I give good hugs.  It has been a long time since I sat in on a conversation like this.  And I'm scared for how Nikki feels and wll feel in a few hours.  And I want to find the person that did this to him and do things I won't get graphic about here.  I do have a rage for this faceless person that hurt baby Nikki.  And a general one for all people who harm others.  It really sucks that my best love and support, while important, can't really help him feel better, he has to experience this for himself to work through is feelings. 

I guess this is where healing begins, whether you talk to a professional, spouse, or another survivor.  You have to let it hurt and face it before it gets better, I know that, but I have this unrealistic urge to somehow magically make it all better for Nikki and am frustrated that i can't. I think he feels a similar frustration when I'm broken and on the floor in a mess and he can't fix it.  But I can't protect him from this, I can only love on him and let him know he's not alone.  Nikki is very much is a problem solver, he wants to always 'fix' whatever is wrong right then, and sometimes we have problems communicating on things that can't be fixed, only lived through.  I honestly feel like that contributed into his fear to talk to me.  Because he didn't know how to 'fix' either his feelings or our day to day life to work with them.  That is part of why I had so MUCH confusion when I first found out, his relations to me and behaviors are so typically waht I understood to be masculine(so much so I really had to learn to understand that cleaning my windows wasn't a whim, but literally his way of "I love you, and I'm showing you by doing this thing that will make you happy, there was a time when I wondered if I was some kind of living sex doll for him and if he remembered I was actually here, but once I figured it out I was floored by the sheer avalanche of ways he showered love on me), but I absolutely believed him when tells me that he feels like he's supposed to be a woman and the confusions he has going on inside, so I went into a crazy spiral of just confusion. 

I asked him if someone let him go back to the day before I found out, would he sanitize the journal entries I stumbled into, or would he let it play out?  He thought hard, and said he would go back and do neither, but instead do what he should have and talked to me(That was his words, not mine that he should have).  So I did get he answer I was looking for, he IS happier and this IS what he wants, for me to know and have been able to make my choices on how this works for me and have the chance to try to live up to his wants and needs from me. 

Going forward I think we are stronger.  I think we have learned to talk better to each other, talk more completely to each other, and to hear each others actual voice instead of echoes of our own issues in our heads.  We have a good foundation for a therapist to work with!  LOL  We  have also made a tentative plan ever fifth anniversary to take a staycation and do intensive marital examination like we did after this, because keeping better behaviors is a lifelong process and commitment to earning them through work and communication.  Apparently before I found out, this was a dip in and out thing and Nikki didn't really self-examine all that closely, but my need to understand helped him focus and find some answers in himself to know what he feels and wants.  Nikki has always been very focused on doing whatever it took to make me happy, in big and small things.  So I suppose honestly beforehand really digging into his distress and confusion would have presented a conflict with that desire, but now that I know and <b>I</b> needed that to regain my footing and security, it became much easier for him to do.  He told me me that me knowing and asking and researching and sharing what I see both the positives and negatives, helped him start to come to terms with everything in himself instead of being a nebulous cloud.  So we're learning together, and I like that.  I think he likes that.

Now we just have to get through today, and through the work he'll have to do in therapy to conquer his depression and regain his joy in life.  I wish for him to feel as much joy in himself and his life as he tells me he feels in having my love and how hard I work to make him happy to. 

Today's good mindset: Scary things are okay.  Overcoming is what brings health, happiness, and security.

Today's Fear: Oh my god what is this going to do to my Nikki.

Winter's Day

By Briannah,

I am so cold.  My job is cheap with the heat, and I sit by a window.  And I"m in the middle of a mass of office equipment, so a space heater is not practical.  So I'm freezing cold, struggling with the four new steps they decided to add to an overly complicated invoicing process on a day when apparently the pricing dude decided not to deal with it so I have two weeks backed up.  Stressed out.  SO...Nikki had mentioned girl mode today and playing with the clothing and the forms, so I told him to take selfies for me and show them to me after work so I had something to think about besides the rest of my office trying to kill me by death from a thousand paper cuts. 

I do like the pictures, but he looks so serious.  I think I bring more out in him than he does by himself, when I took photos the other night I got emotion all over the place from him in them and he was really into it.  So now I'm really considering what that means, and what i come up with is make Nikki feel safe and free in either mode.  He opens up when I'm around, always has in boy mode before I knew too compared to how he is when I'm not there.  Our freinds at the summer retreat used to tell me that when I went down to the lake with E to swim Nikki would quiet up and bury himself in a book or videos, it took a few years before that stopped happening and he got more comfortable in this group. 

But even one on one apparently I bring out the best in him.  And that is the best thing ever for a life partner to be able to do for each other. 

Now he's wrapped up in the new PJ"s we picked up from WomanWithin and I'm wrapped up in my new jacquard wrap, but the real reason I"m warm is Nikki loves me and needs me.  :)

Good day.

By Briannah,

Today is a very laid back day.  We stopped in at the doctors office to follow up on my lab work since I didn't get the call that the order was put in (The computers were dead at our doctors the day we went, my prescription made it the pharmacy but Nikki's didn't, they were struggling so hard) and no one called like they said to tell me I could go in whenever.  And sure enough the order wasn't in the computer, so the receptionist left a note for our doctor to enter it.  And follow up making sure Nikki's referral got through the computer craziness.  Because after crash coursing on the transgender experience, I also was crash coursing on transgender issues, and it's really scary.  Knowing Nikki suffers depression and has anxiety attacks, it makes me really scared with him not being in counseling to help him overcome those.  He doesn't exhibit any signs that he's a danger to himself, but I have a really paranoid brain and I just get flat out scared of things sometimes.  

Then we had lunch, and now the best part has started.  Lounging around the house lazily.  Not going outside into the cold.  It is so cold outside that when I left work I actually started crying, my eyes just filled up and flowed over because I was so cold.  That was a WEIRD moment.  I dream of palm trees and beaches in Florida, but with our current situation that's really not practical.  But we dream, right?  :)  I don't even know why I love palm trees so much, they just make me happy as long as they are actual trees and not creepy neon plastic ones.  This week is beginning to make me feel like I have some kind of weird feelings about plastic in general.

Nikki is still in an up mood, and if it's just from the relief of not having to keep secrets from me anymore like a sort of honeymoon phase, I'll take it.  Please good mood last for him as long as it takes to get into the counselor!  I do like seeing Nikki happy.  Tonight we plan to take the mmo raid scene in our guild by storm, we missed the last couple of weeks on the nights Nikki is working on collecting items to make a weapon because we were doing so much talking and sorting out and redefining our marriage.  I'm now of the opinion that everyone should have a sit down every five to ten years and intensely talk about how the marriage is working and what they want from it.  This redefining period has really helped us bridge a lot of issues for both of us and improve the overall experience of living in it for both of us.  I'm so grateful that I have a really adaptive personality in general, and was able to be what Nikki needed once he'd given me the space to absorb and wrap my head around it.  In our early years Nikki always needed to have every problem solved RIGHT NOW and my brain just doesn't work like that.  I need time to absorb the issue, and even identify what my feelings about it ARE let along be able to articulate them and express concerns that can be 'solved'.  Usually between 1 hour and three days, depending on how complicated the subject is. 

There are some things I can't adapt to.  I have found the line between being able to adapt to a new thing and knowing I don't want to be part of a thing.  I was in a relationship with a really nice man, it was a newish relationship, and he was up front with me that he was a big participant in the adult baby world and I needed to know if we were going to persue spending any more time together.  He gave me resources to see and understand what it was. I took a few days and looked at all of them, and I understand it intellectually, but I couldn't participate.  I had a very strong 'I did my trenches in the diaper wars years ago' emotional reaction, and wasn't sad that they were gone.  I couldn't imagine my life centered around a perpetual infant-parent interaction, even though I could understand the need for nurturing that people who do participate have.  So I told him honestly I couldn't participate and while I really liked him it was clear I was the wrong person for him, and we parted on good terms.   That's how I know Nikki's reality is something that I"m not playing with because it's new and I"m trying to hold on to what we have at any costs.  I know the difference between trying to force myself to fit and realizing a new thing is okay and I just have to work on making some adjustments.  Somewhere after that marriage I let nearly kill me I learned to finally have a strong sense of self, and who I am, and what I can touch and what I can only intellectually understand.  That is making this period relatively easy for me.  So is the normalization that occurred from my Rocky Horror and anime convention periods of seeing men in full women's dress all over the place.  Which ties into something I posted on the forums, exposure is a huge factor in acceptance, or in some cases at least respect.  I respect ex boy and his choices, even if I couldn't join him, because he exposed me in a positive way that let me understand. 


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