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  1. This past weekend I spent with a group like minded people who love driving Mazda Miata's. Friday we drove what the average person would consider a dangerous drive where in 19 miles there are 170 turns where the majority are marked at 20 MPH and we took them a good deal faster (the fastest was 70 MPH and the average was 45 MPH). Friday evening we have a group dinner with about 120 people. Saturday we drove two drives, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (Friday's drive was an all day event).
    When we returned on Saturday to the hotel I wore for the first time a bikini and was hit on by three men, that was a good feeling and was fun flirting. Saturday night was another dinner and I decided to wear a nice evening gown with heels (I seldom wear this attire) and had two of the men from the afternoon hit on me again.  It's nice being at this stage of my life not needing to worry about anyone even considering my former life and truly didn't think about it till now and decided to write this entry (as usual, as the thoughts enter my brain writing them down).
     
     
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  2. Today is St. Distaff's Day. Compitalia, celebrating the household Gods. Today we honor Frigg and her followers, the "Freefolk". "Partly work, and partly play Ye must on Saint Distaff's Dayu" the old adage goes. It is also time for me to "shield in place". I need to take a break from the constant ups and downs regarding "my" dysphoria. My affliction. Tired of facing inward and trying to fix something that in the scope of my life? A lot less of an "issue" than it needs to be, considering. What? Well, let's throw out some things shall we? I have recieved some excellent "counseling" from someone who says my dysphoria is NOT my biggest concern. OK. Good to know. My counselor is a pretty decent person. Specializies in helping people who's professional lives expose them to some very traumatic stuff. I was amazed at how good this person was at getting me to talk. Good to find someone I can be comfortable with. A person that is familiar with the "problems" people who work in compartmented "projects" all they're lives can develop. I thought I was lossing it to Paranoid schizophrenia! The counselor just laughed at me and said "No, that's called self preservation. Johnathan Pollard actually existed. That actually happened. Your pretty much screwed for the rest of your life, just stay frosty and relax". Showed me this picture and said if you can balance these? Your mental health issues will be skosh. When I broached "dysphoria"? Push me over with a feather, the counselor replied "You'd be astounded to know just how many people I deal with could use a little clarity on THAT subject". Love them Doc's that don't beat around the bush! 
     

     
    How is your 2017 going to go? I have a good idea of how mine is going to go. Lots and lots of time in medical facilities. Lots of appointments. Lots of testing. I am VERY HAPPY about that. This flurry of medical activity surrounds my Soulmate and not me. She is FINALLY going to get the medical assistance and screening that she deserves. She is. not me. I am working on my "blackouts" and my manic depression issues, but for now, I am good. I have a mea culpa. I have NOT been a good spouse for a while. My prediliction with my tripartite self. I have been selfish. So, there you go. "Ronnie" is a steady state for me. 50/50. MODLOC. I have a lot of "new" things to deal with. I can NEVER drive a car on public roads EVER again, unless it is the most dire of emergencies. I can't get on an airliner. I wouldn't be able to fly a plane. I'm not even supposed to operate power tools without supervision anymore! But that doesn't mean I have to stop living or caring about the awesome folks I've met here. 
    I was going to leave this site and then I thought, why? It can help me. Hopefully, I can be of help to someone else. I have 41 and in a less than a month, 42 Y E A R S invested in the person that I DO love most. Violet pretty much is my Universe and she deserves better from me. Sure, some will say that I may be "disengenious" with regard to the "community". That I am not being "true" to myself. Really? I exist in a different "plane" than most people. The person who is my betrothed is also a Petty Officer in the US NAVY, like I am. She saved my life. That's what she does. She can make a towering Marine break out in a sweat by snapping a rubber band, holding a syringe and saying "Need to draw some labs". The only things that can make the USMC hesitate? Godzilla and Hospital Corpsman. Oops, my bad. Hospital Corpsman THEN Godzilla. Got to preserve the natural order of things as the Creator has made them. Nope, for me? This fight isn't about a community. It's about my sanity and I am the ONLY one that can fight it and that means being in it to win it. I may never be "complete", but I promise, I will try NOT to be boring. But I'm not that salty so having a wingman? PRICELESS. I know she always has my back. BRAVO ZULU Doc! 
    So for this new blog, I chose "Scutum" because I need a shield right now. Something that will insulate me from the Demon I have just gotten to go back to sleep. Scutum is called "Sobieski's Shield" in some places in Europe. Jan III Sobieski was a bad ass. Your writings here and how you look at the World and what you are doing to cope and  just the minutiae of our everyday existence can be the exact thing I need to stabilize when I start to get wiggy! 2 anchors are better than one. I have Violet and I have you all. I am blessed. Monsters from the id. They're real.
     

     
     

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  3. Just read an article The Challenge of Being Transgender in a Nursing Home. I wonder how many transgender people think about if and when they need assisted living and have not had surgery how will they cope with an environment that may not permit them to carry on as prior to moving to assisted living.
    I am sure some think that "I have my own home and will never need assisted living" but I see this as a falsehood because their home may not be okay for quality of life. Some where in the article they mention a person who moves into assisted living and surmise that within a week or less time their true gender is discovered e.g. a bath is given to them, that is a sure fire way to be discovered or in some cases "outed" and not in a pleasant manner.
    Another part of the article talks about how some cross-dressers and transgender forego health care in fear they will be outed in one or more ways.
    The article also mentioned there are 700,000 plus transgender people in the US and some are learned from various reports from say Social Security or census.
    So if you have not consider this it might be time to do so. I have as the females in my family generally live to over 90 years old. My mother is 94, still living at home with my brother but if something happened to him she would need assisted living. 
    Thinking of myself, even after surgery I could have issues but would guess much less than a cisgender male living as a female without any surgeries and the same for a cisgender female living as a male.
    Food for thought. 
     
  4. Time flies... in In and Out of Darkness


    By JayM, posted
    I can't believe it's been so long since I last wrote something here. In fact, it's been weeks since I even visited this site. I seem to have got caught up in so much stuff that I've been too busy to spend time on the internet. I've missed it, though.
    Yesterday was TDOR and I was surprised that our company LGBT network didn't even mention it. They always make a big thing out of IDAHOT and Coming Out Day and the various Pride celebrations around the country and other days that stand out as something to be celebrated or remembered or promoted. But yesterday? Nothing. So I wrote something on our company LGBT notice board and a bunch of other members jumped on there and complained about the lack of shouting too. So I don't think the network will make that mistake next year.
    Tomorrow is Sunday, and where I live there's going to be a big memorial event for TDOR. There will be readings and prayers (although I'm not religious) and a candlelit vigil and a bunch of people will walk through the city to gather at the trans* memorial in the park. I attended this event last year, but I stood on the fringes and I wasn't trying to be involved in any way. I just quietly stood at the edge of it all and paid my respects in silence, and then I went home. Tomorrow, it'll be different. I am going as myself, for the first time. I've also persuaded my husband to join me. If I'd asked him last year he would have laughed and said no. This year, he didn't hesitate to say yes. And then afterwards we will spend the evening with a bunch of other people like me. That will be a big step for him, because he hasn't really been involved with other trans* people before.
    I have to say, his support, just lately, has been amazing. He's the one who keeps telling me to get back in touch with my doctor and ask where my referral to the GIC is up to. He's the one who, last night, helped me clear out every single piece of female clothing I still owned and stuff it into bags and take them to the charity shop. He's the one who is correcting people, before I even get a chance to open my mouth, when they misgender me. After more years together - and sometimes apart - than I would care to admit (because then people would know just how old we are), he has finally accepted me.
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  5. New tattoo in Karen's thoughts


    By KarenPayne, posted

    Yesterday morning I was thinking about covering up one tat for another and got lucky, the artist told me she is backed up until mid September but had a cancelation so about one hour later I had a dolphin covered up and a butterfly in it's place.
    Since the new tat is on my back need to get a friend to take a picture which I will post when that happens. Went for coffee this morning and the girl there took a picture for me.
    Any ways now have butterflies and flowers on left and right side on my upper shoulders. On the right side I have a combo of butterflies, flowers and a happy and flowery skull, 
    The artist last saw me as a male and yesterday did not recognize me but said after I told her she worked on me before that she said that she thought she knew me somehow but was not sure. Once I told her my story we got on very well, had a great conversation while she worked on me. The best topic was on being female from the perspective of both of us being cisgender even thou I am not cisgender as she treated me that way.
    What I took away from us chatting is that if a trans person, me or another acts the part them conversation does not revolve around one's journey but instead day to day life. This is important for others to realize following the path I took to not focus on your journey when coming out to others but only give them the minimum facts and move on to day to day chit-chat. I will admit she did ask a few questions like was my surgery in Oregon and how did I select a surgeon.
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  6. Thinking of transitioning as difficult (thinking of those going through this currently); everyone will have some level of difficulty where a good deal of issues come from the degree of support we have and we can feel that we can compartmentalize each part as in family, friends and work and that is it but as many know here we must also deal with society at large. Having an overall good support system will lessen what difficulties they will have to contend with.

    Is it possible to change everyone’s perspective on you being different from the norm? Not for one minute will everyone come to terms with this and attempting to force feed people the fact that you are a well-adjusted person will not fly with many.

    Trust me when I say I don’t have anywhere near all the answers to fixing this but do believe if possible before beginning one’s journey a good support system must be in place. This support system may be one person or several people. You should be able to communicate in person and or via phone to allow you to deal with issues that may (will) come up.

    I started off with one female cisgender friend outside of work then a three male and one female friend outside of work which I had better than good relationships with and one I had saved their life but even with that I needed to use kid gloves. Having this small circle is much better than having nobody at all and having nobody will surely lead one to many hardships down the road which is not where you want to be.

    We all know that bad/dark place where only things like alcohol, drugs, self-mutilation and thoughts of suicide enter the mind and are so easy to not resist. I have known enough people who sunk to dark depths for other reasons and think about it, we see people in the grocery store everyday picking up their wine and beer so they can go home and forget the world. Trans people typically don’t have the luxury to simply drink their disgust with their physical anatomy away, it’s there whether we are sober, high or intoxicated so it’s always there. We need others who we trust and can let out our frustrations without the fear of pushing them away.

    I think many will consider a place of worship as a haven but many religions are not so accepting of transgender people as “this is not how God made you and is a sin” so understand when going to talk with clergy that you may have the raft of God descend upon you which, again goes back to having a good support system and that places of worship may not be this way. If you attend services regularly listen to what is preached and attempt to get a feel for how you will be treated by them by coming out to them. Of course it’s not always the case that they will shun you but be prepared when talking to them well in advance what questions may be asked and practice your responses to these questions.

    Lastly, many tend to think that they must stay in the same area they are now but what if the environment is toxic? If your current environment is toxic prior to coming out what do you think it will be like after coming out? Yes it can be extremely difficult to pick up one's life and transplant to a safe environment but it's possible. I saw this early on and made the decision to re-invent myself from a sales person making $25,000 in 1990 to $40,000 after one year of spending long nights studying to become a computer software developer then another year to move from one coast to the other coast to find a stable environment that was much more accepting of transgender then the last location. It's not easy to relocate and makes transitioning to take longer but I think in my case it was worth the effort. So if you live in a toxic environment and are suppressed by it you need to get out, figure out what it takes and do it.
    Any ways as mentioned earlier I am not expert so that my advice with a grain of sand.  



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