Chrissy

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Everything posted by Chrissy

  1. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Whats the point...   

    That sucks, I'm sorry :-(
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  2. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Life is Good   

    Emma,
    So glad things are going well, and love the dress ūüėÄ #PinkItUp
    I have a "life is good" t-shirt (pink), it only occurred to me after I bought it what I had bought! Before my "coming out" i would never have bought something with such an affirmative thought.
    And indeed, life is good ūüĎĮ
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  3. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Finding Peace
    Ok people, so this isn't technically - or at least not fully - about being trans, but something I need an outlet for.  It might be a bit meandering.
    I've been going through a difficult stretch, including a series of "endings" that have left me feeling - well, I don't quite know, but I know a thought that has crossed my mind several times is "when will I find peace?"
    The endings - (1) I'm applying to grad school and on Friday got a rejection from one of them - the one that was by far my first choice; (2) the drag queen who often lets me guest perform is no longer doing her show at the bar I go to; (3) my 2 best friends are about to move to California; (4) one of my favorite uncles passed away in January; (5) ... I know there are a few more, but I'm blanking right now.
    This is all on top of having a job that has gotten progressively worse over the past few months, and there is absolutely no sign of it turning around anytime soon (or ever).
    So how do I find peace?  I used that line in therapy today and she asked me what that would look like to me, peace. My initial answer was that I would have a job that I didn't hate going to every day and didn't cause endless annoyance and stress. As I thought about it on my way back to work I know that that was too specific an answer, but a good lead-in to maybe figure it out.  Because it's not about getting things to be happening the way I want them to, it's about getting me to think about things differently.  I think the serenity prayer is always a good baseline - give me the courage to change the things I can, the strength to accept the things I can't, and the wisdom to know the difference.
    I think this is related - but keep in mind I did say I might meander :-)  Every Wednesday I go to a supervision group for the volunteer organization I belong to, and last week (at our last session) I made a comment about how this group, for those 2 hours a week, allow me to feel completely comfortable with my complete identity.  It's not that they accept me being trans, it just is. And I thought afterwords that if I can feel that way in the group, i should be able to feel that way anywhere :-)  Just knowing that I'm capable of feeling that way makes it possible.
    To relate that back to the broader theme - I'm capable of accepting difficult things, so I should be able to accept any difficult thing.  Ok, that's just a starting point perhaps.
    One final point on the grad school thing. Being rejected by my first choice school actually hurt me a lot more than I expected.  I think that although I harbor some doubts about being able to do it, I assumed the choice would be mine (I'd be accepted and then decide if I want to go).  But this really was crushing - I got home from work the day I got the rejection and literally cried for about an hour (and even thinking about it right now almost makes me start again). It became really clear that "coming out" as transgender finally made it possible for me to realize where my passion lies, and to have that set-back on the path to fulfilling it was very painful.  It doesn't end things, I have a couple of other applications out still, but those options would be more difficult - but probably worth pursuing.
    So thank you to anyone who got this far - and if you didn't, well you're not seeing this now so there's no reason for me to say anything to you - but I understand :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  4. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Finding Peace   

    Thank you Veronica :-)  It's always enough just to have this space to get things out, but definitely an added benefit to get a kind response.
    My uncle was older, and hadn't been doing well, and honestly I hadn't seen him in quite awhile. We were closer when I was younger, but then drifted. 
    As for my friends, we had also been drifting, so I'll most likely let that go - distance rarely works for me in that kind of situation. I don't like to travel to start with, and I have no interest in going to LA - with apologies to anyone on here who lives in LA :-)
    There are also some beginnings - like my volunteer work with Identity House, and one particular friendship that's emerging from that.
    So peace will happen :-)
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  5. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Another step closer
    I had my weekly therapy session today and she confirmed that she had faxed the needed letter to my surgeon to authorize my top surgery - yay!  In this case insurance doesn't actually require it, but the surgeon does - needed a letter from a therapist confirming gender dysphoria. I called and confirmed that they got it, and they did - tomorrow they'll be contacting the insurance company to start the pre-authorization process.
    It isn't happening until August, but I still was happy to see it moving forward 
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  6. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Dress up time!
    This past weekend we hosted a moot court competition at our school, and as Moot Court staff administrator I was very involved in the planning, and naturally attended the Saturday night reception for the event.  It was my first real opportunity to "dress up"   The picture below is me (on the left) and 2 students.
    I did realize on Friday night as I was packing up for the next day that I had never really dressed in plum before, so I didn't know what color make-up to use - fortunately Google exists and I found that lavender works perfectly!
    Overall a very fun night!  My next opportunity will be the Law Review Banquet on April 1 - of course I just wore this dress, so I'll have to come up with something else for that occasion.
     
     

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  7. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    New path
    Hi all,
    It's been awhile since I've been able to write - very busy at work, and outside of work (the outside part is all good, but tiring).
    In a prior post I wrote about an "exit strategy" from my current job, and that point has advanced substantially.  Several weeks ago I had breakfast with my electrologist (her appointment after me had cancelled). I was telling her about my job issues and half-jokingly asked if she knew anyone who was hiring. She replied that I was asking the wrong question, and that what I needed to ask (myself) is what is my passion, and how can I make a career out of that?
    It took virtually no time at all to figure it out once I had that question in mind and I've decided to try to pursue an MSW (Masters of Social Work) and try to become a therapist. Long ago I had thought about pursuing that career, but never followed-through. Looking back now and realizing the impact of gender dysphoria, I think that it was impossible (or at least improbable) that I could have figured out what my passion was, much less follow-through on it, until I came out as transgender (which, BTW, was a year ago this month).
    Earlier this year I started volunteering with Identity House - a group that provides peer counseling, support groups, and therapy referrals for LGBTQ people in the NYC area. I've never done anything that has given me as much personal satisfaction as this! So at this point I've applied to 2 MSW programs, that might be about it, I had to choose based on some logistical constraints - but one of them is Rutgers University, which has a well-regarded MSW program.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  8. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry New path   

    In my work with Identity House, the very first time I did the peer counseling, the client we had was a person who came in to discuss "concerns about transgender thoughts" - he (he still identified as he) seemed very positive about the interaction (we spoke for about an hour and a half), which felt really good :-)
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  9. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry I aint a Cait fan...........   

    I watched season 1 because I felt like I should, but I decided as that season ended that I wouldn't watch it again (and apparently I'm not alone, ratings are WAY down from last year).
    The comment I heard that she made that shocked me was that she thought she could be an ambassador for Ted Cruz to the transgender community. I don't think either side wants that!!!
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  10. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Nature vs. Nurture: Nature Scores!   

    It would be really nice if medical science could finally confirm something biological to establish being transgender - though increasingly I only hope for that for the benefit of people who don't think it's real at all.
    Having been "out" for a year now, and on HRT and fully presenting as a woman for 7 months, I have no doubt that it's "nature" :-)
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  11. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Impatiently Waiting   

    That sounds very encouraging - good luck! If only they could do breast transfusions, I'd be in NH in a second
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  12. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Day one   

    Congratulations Nicky :-)  I just passed 7 months on HRT and it's been a wonderful journey
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  13. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Surgery
    Last Thursday I went to Albany, NY for a surgery consultation (Surgeon who does breast augmentation + surgeon who works with transgender patients + takes my insurance = go to Albany).  The surgery won't happen until August, I have to be on HRT for a full year before insurance will cover it (they'll cover it if I'm "not comfortable with the growth that occurs after a year on HRT"), so it's tentatively scheduled for August 12.
    I got the basics down - it's an outpatient procedure that will take about an hour.  He took measurements and photos so that we can work on size issues later.
    But most important!  As I waited in the exam room for the surgeon I took a moment for a "gut check" - periodically when something is becoming "more real" I like to stop and reflect on how I feel in that moment.  This time, as with every other gut check moment so far, the feedback was "great!"
    I am still checking around for other surgeons - even if I go with this one I know I should talk to more than 1 (I did like him though)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  14. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Spontaneous Smiling Alert   

    Love the top!
    I think your therapist's advice was great - "stop thinking" - that came up recently when I was doing my volunteer hours (peer counseling) and the client who came in was "concerned about transgender thoughts" - he was quite smart, a college student, and clearly was spending a lot of time analyzing the situation from an academic perspective - I was trying to find subtle ways to share that same advice, to stop thinking!  I know from my own experience that I can over-analyze and there are just situations where that will drive you crazy ("analysis paralysis" is what one therapist called it)
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  15. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    ...but this time...
    This is basically part 2 of my previous entry about work issues.
    I totally agree with everyone who followed-up suggesting holding out until surgeries are done, I can't imagine starting a new job and then telling them I'm going to be out for X weeks, so better to do it now, which also lets me get more experience.
    The problem is that that's an "exit strategy," but it doesn't address how to cope on a daily basis with a job situation that I find basically humiliating.  I don't like the idea of trying to just see it as a job, but that might be the only way.
    The other important piece that I came across recently involves performing  - and doing something that I feel passion about.  As some may know I have done some performing during a friend's drag show (earlier I would say that I was doing drag, but that isn't accurate anymore).  A couple of weeks ago I did this and after I was done thought I had decided that it was time to give it up.  The issue was that while I kind of enjoyed doing it, I didn't feel like I was bringing enough to it to warrant it (I don't sing, I can't dance...what else?).  But then last week I was at her show - not performing just to see it - she had another guest so at one point she says "I'm going to do one more song and then bring up my guest."  I had a strange feeling of excitement.  I knew it wasn't me, I wasn't performing, but I still for a second reacted like I was.  That's when I realized that I do still want to do it - I just have to find my angle.  So yesterday I signed up for a beginner's jazz dance class :-)
    Passion is definitely something that I'm missing, so I'm excited to pursue this possible venue!
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  16. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    It's happening again...
    I could almost think it's something about me, but it's not.
    In my previous position with the school I provided administrative support to the Law Review (a student publication).  Under the original faculty publisher I had a lot of responsibility, and it grew over time.  Then a new faculty publisher came in and suddenly I found my position gradually (though not slowly) being diminished.  She never bothered to even learn what I did and started giving the students more and more responsibility which had formerly been mine (and responsibility that they really couldn't handle given their schedules).  So I felt like I was effectively demoted without changing positions.
    In September I moved to the Marketing Department and immediately loved my new job, my new responsibilities, and my new boss.  At the time I reported directly to the Vice President of Marketing, and she gave me quite a bit of autonomy in my position (maybe too much, who knows).
    In December the VP left.  In the interim her management responsibilities were split between another VP and a manager in our department (I took on some of her non-management responsibilities).  So for the transition period I knew that I was working under that manager.  I wasn't thrilled by that - I like her, but she's not a very good supervisor (her communication skills are seriously lacking).  But I figured I could survive, and they were pretty quick in finding a new VP, so all seemed good.
    Then in early January the Dean sent an email to the entire school announcing the new VP.  At the bottom of that email he also mentioned that the manager I had been temporarily working under had been promoted to Assistant VP, and among her responsibilities was supervising some of the Marketing Dept., INCLUDING ME!!!  So, I had been once again effectively demoted (adding a new person/position directly above you in the chain of command is a demotion), and only found out about it through an email that went to the entire school.
    I decided over the weekend that there really isn't much I can do about the situation except start to develop an exit strategy.  I've only been in this position for about 5 months, and it's a new role, so I definitely need to hold out longer and learn more.  I'd also like to get through my surgeries while I'm still here rather than having to deal with that with a new employer (especially GRS since it will involve a longer recovery time).
    While it's nice to have an exit strategy in mind, it doesn't help much in terms of getting through day-to-day.
    So anyway, I just needed to get that out somewhere :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  17. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Depressed with HM Government   

    That was the "Reagan Revolution" over here - intentionally drive up deficit spending (on the military mainly) so that they could justify shutting down government services (a "starve the beast" approach).
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  18. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Depressed with HM Government   

    Although I have to say that I'm not a fan of sayings that make wolves out to be bad :-)  (I'm a big wolf lover)
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  19. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Depressed with HM Government   

    Sadly it seems (from my U.S. view) that right wing idiots seem to be on the rise throughout Europe, even in my beloved France!  Don't get me wrong, we're doing what we can to keep pace (Donald Trump and Ted Cruz specifically - Trump isn't really right-wing, but definitely an idiot).
    My view is that it's a global issue of economic inequality getting bigger and bigger every year, which drives all sorts of bad things among the have-nots (when you have very little you tend to start focusing on the "others" who you suspect are trying to take what you have).
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  20. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry It's happening again...   

    One finger is customary here :-)
    Fortunately I find the situation upsetting and even aggravating, but not depressing - really nothing has made me depressed since last February when I came out 
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  21. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Gender Dysphoria - a year later (almost)
    It's been almost a year since I first openly acknowledged to myself, and then my therapist, that I am transgender (it was sometime in February).  That got me to thinking last night about gender dysphoria.
    Early on I had read many accounts of people's experiences with GD, and I was having a hard time relating - most included comments about "knowing from early childhood that I was a girl trapped in a boy's body," etc., and I didn't really have those memories (I also recognized that at 48 years old I don't have a whole lot of any childhood memories).  Then I started seeing other stories - including Janet Mock's - that resonated quite soundly with me!  It was more about experiencing being the "wrong gender" as opposed to consciously knowing it.  So I settled down, and the road has been much smoother since then.
    Anyway, on the point of GD.  The best evidence that I now have that I had it is that I clearly no longer have it - it's in it's absence that it's most noticeable!  On that day last February when I came out, a lifetime of depression and malaise lifted immediately and has not returned (not that i don't have down times, but it's not the same existential crisis that it used to be).
    I get really annoyed/angry when i hear about those who question if GD is real, or how serious it is - I know what my life was before and since, and my GD was very, very serious, even if I didn't recognize it as GD (for a good part of my life I don't know if the concept of GD even existed).
    Just some thoughts on the approach of my anniversary :-)  (well, one of my anniversaries - I just have to figure out what date it was)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
    (BTW, I'm trying out "Chrissy" as a nickname)
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  22. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Top Surgery
    On February 8 I have an appointment with a surgeon to discuss top surgery 
    I'd have to wait until August for insurance to cover, but I wanted to start seeing what's involved.  He's in Albany, but that's not too far and he's in-Network for insurance.
     
    Unrelated - today in Jersey City
     

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  23. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Top Surgery   

    Thank you Veronica :-)  I tend to think that I wasn't capable of that kind of smile until say about a year ago.
    Eve, I just want the storms out of here, where they go from there is none of my business ;-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  24. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Anxiety, Doubt, Friend problems and Dysphoria   

    Ren,
    Good luck with insurance and surgery! It really seems like even aside from dysphori you have medical issues with your breasts that they should cover. But it is insurance (mind only came around to covering transition costs because New York made them, it would be great of more states, or the federal government, would do the same).
    The problem with friends sounds complicated! At the risk of sounding new agey or Oprah-ish, I think the longer you live your more authentic life the more likely you are to start meeting new friends who will be more compatible with you. Not that it means giving up existing ones, just adding new - which might relieve some of the issues with the old ones.
    And of course you always have us to talk to
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  25. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Celebrity Losses   

    For me it was Whitney Houston.  To this day it hurts to think that she is gone.  Even with her later music, when her voice wasn't what it had been, i couldn't listen to her without feeling something, and that is truly a gift.
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