ok, so feeling a little better after last night's pity party.  we all need a night like that now and again. I think I make things worse in my head sometimes, than they really are.  As far as the beard removal and E3000 vs. hour-at-a-time (HAAT) goes...  Maybe HAAT will force me not to rush things.  And besides, even if my beard was gone 6 months from now, it's not like I'd be ready to go full-time anyway.

To contrast from last night... things that are good about my appearance... let's focus on these, instead, Faline, k?

  • I have small hands and feet.  My hands are the same length as many of my GG friends, and I'm a size 9.5 in shoes.  No one will look at me and think "man-hands."

  • I'm 5'9", so while I'll now be considered "tall," I won't be "Too Tall Faline."

  • I won't need a scalp advance, or hair implants.

  • My face is actually somewhat feminine.  I like my eyes a lot.

  • I've also gotten compliments on my lips.

  • I'm not overweight and likely never will be.


My latest thoughts on full-time, are that I am done paying alimony in September 2011.  My financial situation will begin to improve then.  So it really ought to be no earlier than that.

I have my kids tonight, Friday a dear friend who I've never met is visiting, Saturday I have support group, Sunday am hanging out with one of my best and most supportive friends.  So life isn't all that bad, really.

Probably the worst I hate most in the English language is "beard."

This is going to be an annoying feeling-sorry-for-self post. I usually do pretty well at staying positive, but we all have our moments.  I've been in a bit of a funk since yesterday.

Have had 4 full-face and 4 muzzle laser treatments. It is doing a good job on reducing the beard shadow and will reduce the total hours of electrolysis. I'm pleased with how that has gone. I know some of them will come back... I knew this going in, but there will be permanent reduction.

I've been doing electro for almost 3 months and have managed a meager 13 hours. Realistically, if I keep doing it this way, at this pace, I will be at this for another 2 years, at least. This I also knew going in... but it's hard leaving work early, driving 35 miles, paying $114/hour to be in pain, driving 35 miles home.

With gas and tolls, it costs me about $130/hour.  My electrologist says she can get around 300 hairs in an hour.  5 per minute... seems about right.  Figure a kill rate of 33%.  So that's 100 hairs gone forever, for $130.  That's $1.30 per hair.  That's fucking nuts.

And not being able to shave for 2 days. That's depressing. It's depressing to look at my face. It's depressing to look at my face in a makeup mirror and realize just how many follicles there are.  And those are just the active ones. I'm thinking about E3000 for at least a couple clearings, but don't know if I can come up with the $3000 or so that the first trip would cost.

I took a picture of myself tonight... my hair is at that awkward length (around 5") and there is lots of grey... the beard... bags under my eyes... I look at this picture and wonder how the hell that I think I can pull this off. I look old, ridiculous, and nowhere near feminine. I look awful, like one of those awful mugshots that appear on the Smoking Gun.  And let's not even get started on my voice.

See?  This is what happens after a couple of days of not shaving.  I HATE not being able to shave.  I don't know how I am going to keep doing this for 2 years.

There are really times that I wonder if this is some unreachable dream for me, that is all going to come crashing down someday.  There are times I wish this would just go away, that I hate being like this.  Despite the blog title.  There are times I wish that I could go away.  But I won't.

I heard back from my Mom yesterday... she sent me a short email. Basically she said that my letter was devastating... she loves me and always will... isn't sure what role she can play in this... is emailing because she doesn't want a debate, but thinks this is a big mistake, questions what peace and happiness can come from this, and of course she reminded me of the phenomenally obvious, that this will be a lot for my kids to deal with. And that was pretty much it. In about as many words. I am somewhat disappointed, but not surprised. I wrote her back and thanked her for letting me know where she is, that I appreciated it, and although I didn't want to get into this over email, when she was ready to talk, I'd welcome it.

Then I got an email from my Dad (not a coordinated effort, they've divorced) saying that he is having difficulty coming to terms with my plans and course of action. He is sincerely trying... but let's face it, it's pretty early in the game and it's not realistic that he'd be able to come to terms with it, as he puts it, so soon. He is coming down here in a couple weeks to see the grandkids.

As for my mom, I am somewhat "meh" about her reaction... in the sense that whatever she is feeling now, in the big picture, doesn't matter all that much. I need to be patient with her, and remember that we have the rest of our lives to work on this. I have to remember that her response is not coming from a place of hatred of TG people, it is coming from a mother who is very concerned about her child. It's hard to always remember that... I find myself stopping and counting to 10 a lot. :)

I'm not going to waste energy trying to convince them that this is the right thing for me. That's an impossible task. There are no words I can say, or books and articles I can have them read, which will accomplish that. My belief is the only way they'll see that it's right, is to see me as me, over time, see me happy and balanced as myself. I will educate them both about my present and my past, but not with the intent to "convince."

I had about a gazillion thoughts and emotions run through my head immediately after reading her email. The old me probably would have fired off a curt, angry response and exacerbated the situation. The old me probably would have started doubting myself. I did neither. I'm at peace with myself and it is gratifying to see it reflected at times like these. Makes me even more confident about my path.

So I suppose that where we all are right now was expected. Could have been worse, could have been better.

So I finally made myself a Facebook profile yesterday, and friended a bunch of people. Now that immediate family knows, I want to get out there. I changed most settings to Private, but left my picture public. Same settings I have for my old profile. A couple of well-intentioned people cautioned me that I might want to change it to private... a friend-of-a-friend saw the FB update "Jane Doe and 20 other friends are now friends with Faline Allyn." And this person clicked on me and figured it out.

I'm so over hiding, being embarrassed, being ashamed, being afraid. I'm done with that. She did say that the friend didn't "judge," but really, I don't care if people a) "figure it out" or b) judge. Someone who judges me based on this is missing out on a pretty cool person, and missing out on the opportunity to learn. It's crazy how for years and years one hides in the shadows, despising this thing about herself. And then one day something clicks, and she now loves this about herself; in fact, is proud of it. Proud to not be afraid anymore. Proud to be different. It's amazing and it makes me feel strong.

I don't want to have two Facebook pages, two emails, two identities... I have one identity. Uno.

I want people to know. This is me, this is who I am, I love it, deal with it. I am woman, hear me roar, and all that crap. :)

accept. embrace. live.

That's what I'm doing.

Lots of crappy stuff running through my head the last couple of days... you name it, it's kept me up at night.

Finances... I am not going to write about it all here, at least the financial part... in a nutshell I've created a financial hole for myself over the past couple of years. I've spent what I want, when I wanted, and now I am in debt up to my eyeballs. And with electro, it is not going to improve for a while. It is going to take time to fix. And I'm not sure how I am going to. But I'll figure it out. I've got no one to blame but myself for this.

Family-wise... I talked to my sister for about an hour on Sunday, she is supportive, actually she somewhat knew. But the reality of this is a shock to her. Got a brief email from Mom saying that she was numb and that she'd need a few days to let it sink in. She did sign it "Love you," so that's something, anyway. I mentioned the email from my Dad in my other post... I have the kids in a couple weekends, and he is going to come down. I'm so glad this is finally out there, no more hiding/lying, etc.

Friends... they were by and large supportive when I told everyone. My friends are all triathletes, and I'm not doing triathlon this season. A major part of the triathlete's social life revolves around training. When you don't train, it's not like you are ostracized from the group, but you just don't spend as much time with them. And that, combined with the fact that I really don't want to go out that much as the old me anymore, isn't a great combination for maintaining these friendships. I need to work on that.

Food... with this financial difficulty, I've put myself on a draconian budget. No eating out for lunch or dinner, only buy things on special... and after 6 days, I am so sick of soup, sandwiches, etc. Blech. I need to get more cheaply creative. I am allowing $20/week for "entertainment," but I doubt I'll use it every week. I am allowing myself an eyebrow threading once a month. That's my little indulgence. No manis or pedis this summer. :(

Fun (not crappy)... am going to support group on Saturday and out to dinner. Am very much looking forward to it since I've not gone out as myself in almost 4 weeks, since my "so over the wig" blog post. I wanted to wear this cute dress I've never worn but it looks like it's going to be too chilly.

Had a visit to the endo today... things are going well so far meaning no adverse effects, so now he has me up to 200 mg/spiro a day and after a week if all is well, 3.75 mg Premarin.  He said this was his "maintenance dose," which I guess means that is where he likes to top people out.  Most people on Premarin that I have read about, are on 5 mg/day.  But he's done this before, and I have not, so we'll go with it.

I just want things to start happening.  He told me to try and me patient, and I told him I'd try my best, although it's not my strong suit.  :)

Hi... I've been neglecting this blog lately... I think that since I've told friends and am communicating with them about it, I haven't felt the need to write here as often.  But, I just took a big step... I sent this letter to my mother, father, (they are divorced), and sister.  They received it a couple of days ago.  I got a wonderful email back from my Dad, using my name, and saying that he was with me.  I think my mother and sister will come around, but it is going to take time.  It'll be OK.

Maybe someone Googling "transgender coming-out letter to family" will stumble upon this post, and it will help them...

Hi...

I have something that I need to share... I've sent this letter to all three of you. I don't want to keep this from you any longer. It’s uncomfortable for me to talk to you without you knowing what is going on with me. I say “share” instead of “tell” because I need you to be a part of this; I love you, and it’s crucial that you know and understand who I really am. I've been dealing with this in various ways since I was about age 6... I've made a decision, and it's time to come out.

Not what people usually mean when they say "come out." I'm not gay. I'm transgender. I have been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, meaning my internal (brain) gender is in conflict with my outward appearance & physical biology. It is about gender conflict, not sexual orientation. In short - I have a female brain and a male body. The part of me that makes me "me," is female. I am female. And over the years, it has torn me up. You're aware of (a minute fraction of) some of the struggles I've had in life, trying to deal with this. Since age 9 or 10 have been sneaking out in the middle of the night crossdressed, isolating myself from people by spending countless nights home alone, drinking excessively, being jealous, sometimes angrily jealous, of women, being angry in general and not knowing why... point being, this has had a severe impact on my life and relationships, for close to 30 years.

It is very important for all of you to understand there was and is nothing, absolutely nothing that any of you did, or did not do, to cause this, or prevent it. Gender identity is something which is deeply embedded in a person from the earliest age. One does not learn or unlearn their gender identity. No one caused it, no more than anyone caused my eyes to be hazel, for example.

Shortly after I decided to make things final with (ex-wife), I also decided to commit to figuring out what this is, why I do these things, and who I am. I began working with a gender therapist, and what I have discovered, accepted, and now embraced about myself, is the only way to achieve balance, to be truly happy for the first time, is to make my body match my gender, and live as myself. I recall around 10 or so years ago… (sister) had seen a talk show and the guest was a transsexual woman. She called and asked if that was me... did I feel like a "woman trapped in a man's body." I answered no, and at the time I thought it was the truth. I absolutely feel that way now. I'm handling this in a much healthier manner than I used to, through venues such as therapy and support groups. I am embracing myself, instead of being ashamed. All the behaviors mentioned above have gone away since I've accepted who I am.

I have been acting for my whole life - putting up a male facade, although not realizing it. These days, I am very aware and conscious of the fact that I am acting, and it's not a good feeling. For example, I was very uncomfortable at Thanksgiving and Christmas... uncomfortable because I could not be myself. Now that I am aware of it, it is difficult to be around people who do not know; to have to continue hiding. I am happy that I am now able to be honest and open with the people I care about. I love and care deeply about you all and I hope you will be supportive.

I've been working with my therapist and other parents who have been down this road, to introduce this to (kid #1) and (kid #2) in a way that will cause them as little confusion as possible, and ensure that they stay the happy, confident children that they are. A happier person makes a better parent... I will be an even better parent, being authentic. While there will certainly be difficult times ahead and I have a ton of work to do with them, I feel that I'm in a unique position to teach them love and acceptance of those who are different. The professional guidance I have received with respect to the kids is that if one is going to make this change, the sooner it happens in the children’s lives, the better.

I have told all of my friends, as well as (ex-wife). I have neither told work, nor anyone else in the family. Work will come as I approach my goal of living my life full-time as me... a woman. I'll answer any questions you have, of course, anything, refer you to good sources of information, anything that I can do to help. This is something I have been dealing with for years, but it is new to you, and I will be cognizant of that as I move forward. It is very freeing to me to be able to finally talk about this after 30 years of acting and hiding.

My new name will be Faline… Faline Allyn. I'm a lot happier with this decision made, less moody. I am more of a helpful and kind person than I used to be and am more at peace. I like myself a lot now, and am confident that you will too. I am happy that I have come to this realization, and happy that I can now be honest with myself and my loved ones about whom I am. It is important for you to know that while changing one’s physical gender is indeed profound, it is merely peripheral to the core of what makes us each the unique people we are. That which makes me “me,” is not changing. You’re not losing the child you raised, or the sibling you grew up with. My gender doesn’t affect my morality, my judgments, my intellect, my sense of humor… the person you know and love is not going anywhere.

There's a lot in life that I've missed out on... but it's not too late to live the rest of my life, as myself. I am very excited about it.

I understand that this is a much unexpected thing I am presenting you with. Take as much time as you need to think and/or discuss amongst yourselves and your partners, if you are so inclined. Call me when you are ready to discuss further. I love you and it is very important to me that you are with me as I go through these changes, which in the end I am sure we all will find to be good for everyone.

Love,
Faline

me.

My photo




When I transitioned, there just weren't too many blogs out there written by straight, transitioned women. Well, here's one.

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