Ok, apparently I was having a "moment" the other night.  Get back on feet, dust self off, etc.  Anyway, we're back to HappyFaline now.  Everyone has their moments.  Perhaps using Nietzsche in the post title was a little over-the-top and dramatic, but whatever.  Last night I went out for dinner with two girlfriends... a couple women that I was friends with years ago at an old job, fell out of touch with, and have recently reached out to.  My one friend, Bente, was one of the best friends I've ever had and it is SO nice to be back there again.  We've gotten together a few times and it's been just like it was before.  The other woman, Ellen, last night was the first time seeing her in years.  I always liked Ellen but was somewhat of an ass back then, so I didn't get close to all that many people.

When Ellen saw me, she went absolutely bonkers, in a good way.  That happy shriek that women do, punctuated by several Oh.My.Gods, several "Wow, this is you!  This is totally you!"  "you look so comfortable and happy and natural!" and one "geez, you're prettier than me, you bitch!! :) "  I have to say that I did look pretty cute.  I won't soon forget her reaction.  I'm still smiling, thinking about it.  Anyway, we had an awesome time, sat and chatted over dinner and drinks for a few hours... the sort of GNO that I've wanted to have for my whole life.  And now I have the rest of my life to continue having them... how awesome is that?

There was a family sitting at the table next to us, and not one of them gave me a second look.  As they got up to leave, I was talking more loudly than I had been, and the husband totally read me, based on the voice.  Gave me a big, big look.  Haha, whoops... I need to work on that voice.  Anyway, he looked back over his shoulder as they walked away, and then I saw him say something to his wife.  Then she looked at me.  So the two of them were staring at me... I looked them straight in the eye, smiled, and gave them a big wave.  Haha. Ellen started getting a little mad about that (them staring, not me waving), but I wasn't.  I thought it was funny.  No matter how well you pass, there are times when you're going to get read.  And if you can't let it just roll off... you'll be in for a rough time.

Anyway, we had a blast.  This morning I just have that general feeling of happiness and warm fuzzies.  A feeling that outnumbers the feelings from the other night, about 20-to-1.

Ciao!!  :)

I wrote last week about this supposed purgatory that I'm in... focusing on the physical, appearance stuff. I'm also in a purgatory of another kind... a mental purgatory, not between male and female, but between fantasy and reality. One particular member on my trans website is fond of saying "when the fantasy stops, the reality begins." I'm having a lot of trouble these days discerning between the two. There is a big part of me that feels as if nothing I'm doing now, is real or has meaning... I feel like reality starts, the meaningful stuff starts, when I go full-time. The stuff I do now... go to support groups, the rare night out with cisgender friends, the trips to the grocery store, mall, etc., don't feel like reality. Going out shopping, etc., that's not interaction with people who mean something to me. Which renders such interactions meaningless, more or less. The people who do mean something to me, I rarely see, and I am getting tired of constantly being the one to reach out. I did have a little dose of reality today when I called my daughter's school to tell them that she had a "family situation" that the school ought to be aware of.  I ended up leaving a message for the principal... I think the anticipation will be worse than the reality, with respect to that.

Another reason that things don't feel all that real to me now, is that *I* don't feel all that different. Generally, I feel happier and more smily and better, but I don't feel like this different person, for the most part. I don't feel female at the moment, I feel transgender and dysphoric and lonely. I don't enjoy any of these feelings. I hope it goes away someday. Intellectually, I don't know that my life is going to change all that much. And if that's true, why the hell am I doing all this? What's the point, why am I subjecting my kids and myself to this, other than the fact that I have no choice?

Someone on the same website posted a link to a story about Christine Daniels... a TG woman who de-transitioned and ended up killing herself.  She was a sportswriter for the LA Times who transitioned rather publicly.  She couldn't handle the reality of her situation. Once she went full-time, it was too much for her to bear. The thing that scares me is that I really have no idea or concept of what it's going to be like, until I am out there. These days, if it is convienient for me to, I can put on the male hat when I don't feel like dealing with being trans... on the phone, with my landlord, when I step out of my townhouse to get the mail, stupid everyday nothing things one never thinks about. When I'm full-time, I won't be able to do that. I'll have to be "on," 24/7.

I remember thinking, back in my days of denial, thinking to myself, "Wow, I am so glad I am not a transsexual. I feel so sorry for those people. No matter what they do, or how they look, they'll never truly be what they want. They'll never be able to carry a child. They have to take pills for the rest of their life. They'll never be a genetic woman." Well, guess what, chica. Welcome to your life. Christine Daniels wasn't able to be what or who she wanted. Granted, she was a public figure and no doubt felt tremendous pressure to be out there as a representative of the TG community. Which didn't help matters. But still. I hope that my path gets me to the point of congruency... makes the dysphoria go away. I don't know what I will do, if that turns out not to be the case. One can see how a woman such as Christine Daniels ends up doing what she did, and this scares the crap out of me at times.

I hate it when I start thinking like this. I'm pretty optimistic as trans people go, but this isn't all rainbows and unicorns and sunshine, no matter how cute I look in a ball cap and ponytail. Right now, my thoughts are best described as very nihilistic. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.  I'm not in a good place right now, so I am going to shut up.

(wednesday evening)
I've been pretty emotional all day. Didn't cry but I felt it... there... all day. I'm sure you know the feeling. My son is starting preschool, my daughter kindergarten... between that, ink being still fresh on the divorce, and oh, this whole gender thing... lots of emotions constantly running through my head.

The next time my kids stay at my place, I am putting them in bunk beds. It's time. Currently my son has been in the crib in my room, daughter in the other room. Tonight we did G's bedtime routine... read him book, said prayers, then I pick him up and carry him over so he can turn his monitor on, and check his night-light. We then turn on his music and stand in front of the crib and cuddle with his head on my shoulder, me gently scratching his back, until he decides he wants to go down... usually a minute, maybe two. That cuddling is one of my favorite things.

As I walked back to the crib, carrying him, it occurred to me that this was the last time that I was ever going to do this... for him, or any other child of mine... I'm not having any more kids. It was all I could do to hold it in... I didn't want to put him down. Of course, this was the night when he immediately went for the crib. I laid him down and rubbed his head a couple extra times and told him I loved him. I hoped I didn't drip tears all over him. He extended that little arm of his and I kissed his hand and wished him good night.

I left the room and the floodgates opened. I stood there at the top of the stairs, bawling, trying to be quiet. My daughter heard me, asked why I was sad... I came downstairs and explained through my tears that it mostly makes Mommies and Daddies happy when their children grow up, but sometimes it makes them a little sad, too. She ran over, jumped in my lap, and hugged me. Then she said, "well, I am going to cheer you up." So she got some markers and crayons, and we drew some silly pictures together. She helped... a lot. Every couple minutes, she'd look over at me and say, "well, you look happier now." "Yes, I am, thank you honey girl."

Did her bedtime routine and came down and wrote this because I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget what it's like to lay my son down in his crib. I don't want to forget what that feels like.

I feel better, but still a little sad and wistful.

We will migrate to the new bedtime routine, and it will be fine. And the last time we do that routine, I'll probably write some more.

I'll probably go upstairs and watch him in a little while, after they are asleep.

(thursday morning)
I did go up and check on him.  He looked a little chilly so I covered him up with his blanket.  Her, too.  Adding to the emotion is the fact that they're going on vacation with their Mom starting this weekend, so I won't see them for a couple weeks.  I was still emotional and S. was aware... after breakfast she comes to me and says, "I think that you are still sad.  So I don't even want to play!  I just want to make you pictures to cheer you up.  And when you are done cleaning the kitchen we will just cuddle on the couch."  She drew me a few pictures, we cuddled, and I dropped them off.  And of course completely lost it as soon as I got back in the car.

Between this trip, the divorce, the gender change, kids starting school, and my body just getting used to E flowing through it, sometimes it is all too much to bear.  I know that I will be a better parent to them as myself... intellectually I know that there isn't anything I can't do as a female with them, that I can do as a male... but there is still that feeling that I am taking something away from them.  I can't define what that is, but it's something.  That intangible something is really hard to deal with.

They came here last night. left this morning... played for maybe 2 hours total.  It is amazing, the mess that a 5 and 3-year old are capable of making in two hours.  Usually we all clean up together.  This time, we didn't.  I think I'm going to leave the mess here for a while.

It's kind of ironic that I wrote that "purgatory." blog the other day and talked about the "is she or isn't she" look that I've currently got going on.  Case in point:

Obviously, at work I am not presenting as myself.  Yesterday, I was wearing clothes that no one would take for female... baggy dress pants, men's size L light-colored and thin polo shirt.  It is beginning to be questionable if I should wear this shirt anymore, given the light color and how thin it is.  Got my salad and headed towards the registers.  Passed the produce guy, who smiled at me and said, "Hi, how are you today, ma'am?"  Sometimes when I've been out like this in old me mode I hear stuff like that and am not sure.  This was unmistakable.  I was a little stunned... hadn't even shaved my face that morning.  He got a bit of an, hmm, let's say, odd look on his face, as if he made a mistake.  I gave him a big big smile and said, "Great!"  Then he relaxed his face a little bit, as if thinking, "whew, I got it right."  This is great, but soon it is going to get to be a problem.  A problem I like, but a problem nonetheless.

So, anyway, I pay, and now outside, it has started POURING rain.  Like, un-be-lie-vable pouring.  And here I am with my light-colored thin shirt, and baby boobies, heading back to the office... Yay!!!  And it was quite a ways to the car.  I tried to cover my chest and sprinted across the parking lot.  Fortunately, my chest stayed pretty dry.  Perhaps I ought not wear this shirt anymore.   I got into the car and looked at myself in the mirror, somewhat amazed, but happy, that someone can could look at me, dressed as I am, and see a woman.

I'm stuck in this at-times annoying place.  Most things are close to where I need them to be... but not.... quite.... there..... yet!   Overall, things are good with me.  I'm happy and pleased that I am where I am in a relatively short amount of time.  But I am still doing my time in Purgatory.

  • My facial hair is a LOT clearer, but there's enough hair that, for example, after a laser treatment, I can't go out for a couple of days.  I can't get a good shave after laser for 3-4 days.  I don't want to go out of the house except for work, unless I am myself.  For example tonight, I don't have anything good to eat.  I don't want to go out.  So I had all this miscellaneous crap for dinner.  Blech.
  • My voice is not where it needs to be... I think that some friends believe that what I am experiencing is real, but when we hang out, I think that they probably think of me as a male.  Not because of anything they have done or said... but because *I* believe what really makes the woman and the personality is the voice.
  • And of course, there is work, where I am still my old self.  I'm mentally ready for full-time, but not physically.
  • I'm in that "is she or isn't she??" androgynous phase, appearance-wise.
  • It still takes a decent amount of time, normally, to get ready, in terms of shaving.  Face.  Arms.  Underarms.  Legs.  Chest.  Neck.  Upper back.  I am sooooo sick of shaving!   :)
  • I'm mentally at the point where I am ready and open to meeting someone.  If you count the amount of time that I was unhappy while living with my wife, it has been 3 full years since I have been in a relationship.  For anyone who has been following this blog, there has been no mention of dating, or relationships.  Mostly because it wasn't a priority.  Lately, I am starting to get a little lonely.  I've worked through my "stuff" and I believe that I would be a caring and giving partner for someone.  I have more than my share of alone nights at home.  Nothing new, but I've been so immersed in thought, reading, etc., that I've not noticed.  It's different now.  So that is simmering, as well.  It's not a "priority" per se, but it's palpable.
  • Hmm, that bullet point was by far the longest.  Maybe it's more important than I think.
I have come so far in the past 10 months.  I'm not complaining... for the amount of time I've been at this, I'm doing well.  It's human nature to want to get to the next step, the next phase, etc.  So anyway, I'm in this place halfway, well, more than halfway, between where I was, and where I want to be.  It's a little frustrating at times.

I am getting my haircut for the first time in 11 months, in about a week.  Plus I am getting all the grey hair out. I'm excited.  I think this will help with the andro look I've got going on.  I need some shape, badly!  I'm pretty excited.  Oh, I already said that.  There *will* be pictures here after the cut & color, make no mistake about it.  I hope it turns out OK.

My uncle is around 60.  He's been through a lot of crap in his life.  He's a Vietnam vet with some of the typical after effects, struggled with (and conquered) addiction, father killed in car accident, he was the one who found his mother who died in a tragic circumstance.  Not one to show emotion... sat stoically at my grandfather's funeral.  He's not one to open up.  He makes sexist jokes, owns a hole-in-the-wall dive bar frequented by all sorts of miscreants.  Conservative Republican/Homophobe, or at least he puts on an act like he is.  False bravado, perhaps.  Because he this a soft spot inside him... you know it's there.  You see it when he plays with his granddaughter, in the way he interacts with kids.  Anyway, Unk was one of the people that I thought I was certain to lose.

A while back, my Mom told me that she filled him in vis-a-vis what was going on with me.  A couple days later, my eyes widened as the cell phone rang and flashed... Unk calling... Unk calling... Unk calling...  I held my breath and answered.  I've never talked to Unk on the phone, ever.  Great, I'm about to get reamed.  I couldn't have been further off base.  Unk called to tell me that he and Poppy (my grandfather, who died in the car accident) both loved me and would, no matter what.  He knew how much I loved Poppy, and he also knew that I've had thoughts like "Poppy is rolling over in his grave right now..." so for him to mention Poppy the way he did, just shows how much he gets me.  Something I didn't realize.  We talked for another couple minutes or so... I hung the phone up and cried, feeling ashamed that I gave this man so little credit.

I visited family a couple weeks ago, for the first time since coming out... I saw Unk at a birthday party we had for my kids.  At the end of the party, he pulled me aside and said to me, "Anyone who doesn't like who you are, tell them to go fuck themselves."  Absolutely blew me away.  A couple nights later, he called again and told me that he felt selfish and a little ashamed, because before the party that he was worried about feeling awkward around me, and after he thought about it some more, he thought, "gee, what must it be like for T?"  I told him that whatever he was feeling was valid, and it wasn't selfish... this isn't an easy thing for anyone.  He responded that to his surprise, being around me wasn't awkward at all... we then talked about quite a bit... he told me about his half-assed, as he put it, research, where he read that the prevalence of TG people was about the same as redheads.  We talked about how I looked, and he told me in the most non-weird way possible that I looked "attractive."  I told him that this entire conversation showed me what a good person he was, and what a good heart he had.

We then got to talking about why is it that it took this, this change, for me to say this to him, why can't men do that?  What do they have to lose?  Why can't men tell each other they love each other?  We never would have, before this conversation.  He acknowledged that it was easier to say these things to the female me, and I acknowledged that it was easier for me now as well.  Why does it have to be that way?  But it is.

Needless to say, I've been shaking my head in amazement at this series of conversations.  Now *I* am the one who feels ashamed... that I thought this man, who obviously has a huge and accepting heart, was going to reject me.  Perhaps the trauma he has endured in his life makes him sympathetic to what I am going through.  It doesn't matter, really.  All that matters is that we now have this closeness that we otherwise would not have.

When I expressed angst about telling this person or that person, my therapist would always say, "People might just surprise you."


I am online, a lot.  Too much, I think.  I go back and forth in my head about whether or not the Internet helps relationships, or hurts them.  On one hand, I've made many friends that I otherwise wouldn't have. The people whom I confide in most, are all, save one, people I've met online.  So in that respect, I've met and talked to many, many people I otherwise would not have.  I've made friends I otherwise would never have.  Overall, it (the Internet) is a good.  But it has its' detriments.  It allows one to fool herself into thinking she has more true friends than she really has.  It allows one to fool herself into thinking she is a better friend to people than she really is.  I've been an okay friend in the past.  In the past I wasn't the most giving/helpful person in the world.  There is lots I've learned about myself in the past year.  I've seen myself for who I was... basically an angry person who had a lot to offer, but it was buried.  I'm not using GID as an excuse for the way I was... it's simply something I need to work on.  And I am.

I was very much into triathlon before starting my transition.  Through a triathlon website, I met a lot of local people... we've all been friends for a couple years.  Since transition, I've lost my motivation to train.  I'm very much into transition, and they are very much into triathlon.  Both are noble things, and both are consuming in different ways.  Many of these relationships have degraded into online-only friendships.  I don't see the point in maintaining a solely online relationship with people who live 15 minutes from me.  I've sincerely tried to maintain the real-life part of these relationships.  I've attended a couple races and come to a couple of the local triathlon club events.  There are a few people to whom I've reached out to multiple times to get together outside of the context of triathlon, and I get excuses, or worse, no response at all.   I don't know how much it has to do with me being transgender... probably not that much actually, but it doesn't really matter.

I'm not reaching out to those who don't anymore... I'm not going to fixate and stress on this person or that person... if I want to expend negative energy and stress, I have plenty of other subjects to worry about ... gender change, kids, divorce, maintaining family relationships, the financial mess I find myself in, etc.  The more time I spend as myself (outside of work, basically all of it), the less desire I have to spend so much time online, nurturing "relationships" that used to be real-life, but now solely consist of 0's and 1's.  I will lose contact with some people, but I want real-life friends...  not to be on the "Most Commented Blogs" on some triathlon website.  I want to connect with people in real and meaningful ways.

It's too bad.  I was part of a fun group of people who shared a common interest.  I don't share that interest anymore.  That's life.  People come and go.  You have more in common with some people at certain points, and less in common at later points.  That's a fact of life.  What sucks, is thinking that you had more in common with some of them than you really did.  It doesn't make you or them bad people... you're just more different than you once thought.  So you move on, and nurture the relationships that you're fortunate enough to have.  And try to find your niche.

P.S.  And then, of course, there are always new friends....

I received notification that my divorce was finalized by the Court.  So that's it, I'm not married anymore.

I feel somewhat numb and reflective right now.

I wonder when it will hit me.  Or maybe it won't.  I pick the kids up for the weekend on Saturday.  I might feel very emotional, I might not.  Guess we'll see....


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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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