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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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Antideppressants

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. 

Briannah

Briannah

 

CRANKY.

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.

Briannah

Briannah

 

Why so much conflict in LGBTIA

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.

Briannah

Briannah

 

Restructering your whole life at once is hard.

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.  

Briannah

Briannah

 

Still trucking.

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!

Briannah

Briannah

 

Where Nikki's gender questioning messes me up a bit.

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.

Briannah

Briannah

 

Wednesday musings.

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. 

Briannah

Briannah

 

My face is covered in makeup.

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. 

Briannah

Briannah

 

Youtube is eating my soul.

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. 

Briannah

Briannah

 

Mixed signals.

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.   

Briannah

Briannah

 

It's getting a little warmer!

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*  

Briannah

Briannah

 

Tired of winter.

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. 

Briannah

Briannah

 

Waiting on bad news.

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.

Briannah

Briannah

 

The upsides of being married to Nikki.

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.       

Briannah

Briannah

 

Sunday musings.

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.     

Briannah

Briannah

 

Can I just please have some air?

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.

Briannah

Briannah

 

Words Matter, and Bree finally figures out her changing sexuality.

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

Briannah

Briannah

 

Still alive

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.

Briannah

Briannah

 

Surrendered to the Nyquil

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. 

Briannah

Briannah

 

Morning moment of confusion.

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.     

Briannah

Briannah

 

Nikki did it

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.  

Briannah

Briannah

 

The germs have invaded

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.  

Briannah

Briannah

 

The One LIngerie buying rule for Nikki.

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. 

Briannah

Briannah

 

Great now there is a Bree problem in the mix.

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.

Briannah

Briannah

 

That weird moment...

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.

Briannah

Briannah

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