Monday, August 27, 2012

Some days

There are some days, like today, where I am just inexplicably down and nothing seems right.

I try so hard not to dwell on the negative.  I try equally hard to not let the things I cannot control have any control over me ... but I am human.

Today is just one of those days where I am having issues coping.  First I called off from work even though I really didn't need to ... I just didn't want to deal with the crap.  In a way this was a mistake because it left me home with my thoughts and imagination on a day where I needed distraction.

I just want a way out ... an easy way out.  A quick fix resolve to the issues that have been with me my entire life.

Why can't my brain just choose to match my body?

I don't want to deal with this, but I cannot ignore it.  I feel selfish for expecting my wife to stay with me while I upend everything about my body ... but not my mind nor my soul ... they remain unchanged yet tormented.

It is days like today that I am angry that I waited so long to begin this journey.  I could be living full time or perhaps even be post-op if I had started years ago.  Yet I am leery of the path I've chosen.  Do I really need to do this?  Are these changes going to bring the spiritual peace and mental relief that I've waited my entire life for?  Will filling the void of self only cause other more painful voids in my life?

I do not know the answers, nor does anyone else.  I must discover these for myself.

My wife went to see her therapist today.  It is her first appointment since we talked about how feminine I want to become.

I was nervous ... I knew she was going to talk about me, but she needs to.

She would do her usual procedure of seeing the therapist, visiting her mother (in a board and care home) and then come home.  If things went well she'd feel better and possibly have a better understanding of my issues and her therapist could help her cope.  But if things did not go well ... ... ...

The phone rang.  She sounded uptight ... she wanted to go talk.

My mind went nuts.  This could not possibly be a good thing.

We decided to go to dinner.  On the way she started talking.  I am expecting her to tell me that her therapist asked if I was transgender and that she wouldn't be able to deal with it ...

She didn't.

She was mostly upset that her mother has shown some decline with her dementia.

I was relieved.

We wound up having a nice dinner.  She wound up feeling better ... I was relieved, but I still feel out of sorts ... and I still feel frustrated that I have somehow through cosmic coincidence been chosen to endure this transgender issue.

Tomorrow will be better.

I added a few pics.  I hope you enjoy them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gurl School

Sometimes it is the little things that perplex me the most.

For my entire life I have watched girls ... ladies take a handful of hair and after a brief moment of dactyl manipulation their hair is magically transformed into a beautiful bun, or possibly held in perfectly symmetrical place by a hair-clip.

This is better than a Chris Angel illusion as far as I'm concerned.

As I try to work with my hair I am convinced that I look like a Parkinson's patient taking a Zumba class.  With my occasional Tourette syndrome outbursts I eventually wind up with a strange mass stuck near the back of my head ...

Oh well. 

There are other slightly more complex issues that are still beyond my grasp ... Like, how to fit just about everything into a purse ... everything but the one item you need apparently.  I don't even know why women need to carry half the stuff they do, just that they have it "just in case."

There are so many times I cause myself to worry and doubt ... from the silly and insignificant like what shade of lipstick, to huge things like will I ever actually look like a lady.  And when these fears hit I just stop ... like a deer in the headlights, temporarily paralyzed in the moment of uncertainty and not knowing what to do.

My wife and I haven't talked much about me since last week ... I don't blame her, this is a lot to adjust to.  By the same token, knowing she says she will support me helps, but her silence raises my trepidation level.  I do know the thought of me taking hormones causes her some concern ... but she has not said no to the idea.

I will wait.  I've waited this long, I can be patient for a few weeks or months for her to get used to the idea.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Today is my birthday ...

OK yes ... it is actually my birthday as far as the calendar is concerned, but it kind of dawned on me ... Since I do not keep track of exact dates when I've done things, I cannot accurately say, "I've been transitioning to female since ... ... Whenever."

However - Since I opened up to my wife and told her in excess of 98% of the entire story about me I consider today my official Transition Birthday :-)

The reality is my wife me the best gift possible ... the gift of being myself.  And equally importantly, the gift of love, companionship, support and understanding while discovering myself.  I have felt a different level of happiness today that I have not felt since I first got married ... That happiness was tempered by the fear that my new wife, my soul-mate would discover my secret ... would find out I am female and would reject me .

I feel like I've been set free and the world is suddenly a more beautiful place.

The past few days have been a series of wonderful happenings.  One thing that seemed small at the time has turned out to give me a confidence boost that I didn't expect.  I showed my therapist my driver's license with a picture that was taken back in 2005 ... Short hair, mustache, phony smirk to try and hide the pain in my eyes.

"Wow," she said.  "There is quite a difference.  You are transitioning well."

Happy birthday to me.  I am giving myself the gift of living and loving in a way that I could only dream of before.  I am very lucky to be me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A plethora of thoughts

I like that word ... plethora.  I think people should use it far more often than they do ...

Anyway ... Just as a fore-note, this entry has been written across several days ... 

I continue to have these up and down, back and forth mood swings.  I am angry that I am even having to deal with this ... with myself ... with changing.  I don't want to take the steps to move forward, but cannot tolerate being where I am at.  I do not want to risk rejection of those closest to me, but do not care whether they accept or condone my true self or not.

Why do these conflicts persist?

I feel like I am bursting at the seems.  I want to get everything out in the open with my wife ... We have been talking in these veiled, cryptic conversations, and although I am pretty sure she knows what is going on I just want the air to be clear between us.  Unfortunately the past two weeks have been filled with the daily calamity ... Her uncle dies, her mother is getting worse, my niece is having issues, her niece is having issues, her brother is a complete asshole, her great aunt dies ... I could list all the events, but these were the bigger ones and the most stress causing ... It is mostly the timing of the issues.  I feel like I don't have time to talk to my wife ... And the few times I've tried the phone rings and anither issue is arising.

I cannot add to her overloaded stress load right now.

But then again, not talking is causing me to become more uptight and anxious which adds to her stress.

I feel like I cannot win.

Soooooo ... ... ... I decided Tuesday was the day.  My wife and I would spend some long overdue time together and I would spill the beans ... everything everything.

Ummm ... No.  The home where my mother-in-law is staying invited my wife and family members of other residents to dinner.  And then it wasn't really a dinner.  It was a sales presentation for some horribly expensive cookware ... ... and she did not get home until pretty late ... so no talk.

I was upset.

I was upset at myself.  If I would have told her everything weeks ago I would not be here now.

So then it would be Wednesday.  My company was having the school year start up meeting and after that I was having my first laser treatment ... after that we would have plenty of time to talk.

I wasn't paying attention to the clothes I chose when I woke up.  A polo short for work, a nice v-neck top for the laser appointment, but instead of my usual style of pants I wound up wearing leggings.  I didn't care.  I was late and didn't feel like changing.

And the meeting went well.

So off I went to the laser clinic.  I just love the people there.  They made me feel so welcome and comfortable.  The laser tech and I were chit-chatting away, talking about family, cats, work.  It was fun and relaxing.

She was probably 80% done when she asked, "Are you transitioning?"

My eyes popped open, and I think I almost put my head through her magnifying lamp.  Did I just hear that? ... ... No ... Couldn't be.  "I'm sorry?" I asked.

She seemed a little flustered.  "You know.  Sometimes men want to ... or feel like their body ... ummm ... They don't want to be ..."

So in the millisecond that passed from the time she started her sentence to the time it dawned on me that she really asked if I was transitioning I went numb.  I proceeded to have this huge debate in my mind, "Tell her, don't tell her ... tell her, don't tell her ... tastes great, less filling ... just be honest, nobody can know the secret."

I looked into here goggle covered eyes.  "Yes."  I nodded.  "I am."  I choked back a few tears.

"Oh my gosh.  that's great."  She smiled from ear to ear.  "I have other transgender clients who are having beard removals.  Some have been on hormones a while.  I know this great endocrinologist in Ventura.  Are you on hormones yet?"

"No."  I couldn't help but smile.  I felt so relieved ... so happy.

I left the office feeling like everything was setting perfectly for my conversation with my wife.  I giggled all the way home.

The euphoria was short lived.

My wife's phone rang before we could talk, and from that point on it was downhill.  I could not salvage the happiness from the day ... I was dragged into the drama and stupidity that has been the story of our home life for the past several months.

Again I was upset at myself ... and the family that bombards my wife with their unreasonable expectations.

Today I woke up in a bad mood.  I just could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I did not know how or when I would ever be able to talk to her.  We went to lunch with our son.  After we dropped him off we headed toward town for my therapist appointment.  I tried to generate a conversation ... my wife began to complain about her family and the recent issues.  Then her phone rang ... her mother, and undoubtedly another issue.

I kind of snapped.  "This is why I feel like I can't talk with you."  I let out an exasperated sigh.  "You already have all this crap you're dealing with and we can't go ten minutes without your phone ringing with another one.  I'm already causing you enough issues with the way I'm dressing."

She stared st me.  "You're just you.  I love you, and your clothes don't bother me."

"But I haven't gone out in makeup or anything."

She stayed quiet for a moment.  "That might take a bit.  I don't know any cross-dressers."

My heart sank.  I dropped her off to visit with her mother and I went to my appointment.

After the appointment my wife and I went to get some dinner.  The conversation was hit and miss, but it was progress.  I finally found the words to explain the conflict in my head ... or more specifically between my head and body.

She didn't seem to quite catch what I was saying.

After a bit she commented on the area where I had the laser treatment.

I asked, "Do you think I'm strange for doing it?"

She asked if I was going to do the full face and mustache.  She has always been fond of my mustache,

"Most people don't look very feminine with a mustache."  I giggled.  "I did tell you I want to look feminine."

"Do you want to grow boobs?"

"I would have to take hormones to grow boobs."

There was a long silence.

"Would it bother you if I wanted boobs?"  I was practically shaking from nervousness at this point.

My wife rambled a bit without specifically answering the question.

"But I will still be me."  I paused for just a second.  "Whether I grow boobs or whatever I will be the same person."

We stopped at a gas station.  The rest of the conversation can be summed up with one of her sentences. "When I said I do, 'til death do us part I meant it.  We will be together forever no matter what you do or how you look or anything. Even if you want surgery to change how you look."

After filling the car we went to K-mart to grab a couple essentials.  I found a darling little leopard purse which was on sale.  I just had to get it.

On the way home I told her that she was never supposed to fall in love with me.  I was looking for a reason to get out of the area.  If she didn't have feelings for me I would have left this area and never looked back ... but she love me, and I stayed.

Apparently I never told her that before.  But I told her I am happy I made the decision I did.

And tonight I'm happier than I've been in a long time.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

And so it was

Date - Fall 1974

Given a minute to think about it I could likely tell you what date and the time of day, but it is not relevant.  I can tell you that I was wearing a tee-shirt, blue jeans, a dark blue hoodie  and a pair of wallabies ... sort of moccasin type ankle boots which were sooo comfy ... I loved them, but they were not made for running.

I was sitting on a low branch of a tree waiting my turn while my classmates played two-square.  It was a typical warm So Cal autumn day, although the Santa Ana winds were not blowing.  We were having fun and joking, laughing and just being kids.  It was one of the few times I interacted with the group rather than just sit on the periphery feeling lonely.

The girls were a short distance away playing hopscotch.  I would glance at them, wondering what it would be like if I could be a part of their world, but I already knew I didn't fit in with them either.

Every so often something would strike me as funny and I would giggle.  Honestly I didn't think anything of it ... I had a strange sense of humor and giggled at many things.  Unfortunately for me Chris was a poor sport an was losing badly to Pat ... but Pat was the stud of the class and was expected to win.

I giggled.

Chris yelled at me, "Stop laughing at me."

"I'm not.  I'm giggling at everything, not just you."

He slammed the ball on the ground ... This struck me as funny, and I giggled.

The next thing I knew I was being pulled from the tree.  I hit the ground running with fifteen classmates chasing behind me.  I ran full speed for the better part of five minutes.  By this time there were close to thirty people chasing me.

You would think the sight of thirty kids chasing one kid might get the attention of a teacher or other adult ... apparently not.

The caught up to me in the fenced in basketball court and encircled me.

I stood my ground.

The mob began yelling, taunting and laughing.

I fell to the ground and cried ... like a girl.

And so it was ... The tone for the remainder of my school days was set.

Later I noticed that my running tore the sole of my wallabies.  I cried even more.

I told my brother about the incident.  His answer was, "You should never cry.  Find the weakest person in the group and take him on to show you're tough."

Fight?  Why do I need to fight?  Of course I didn't question him out loud, but I did not like his reasoning.  I was not a fighter ... I was not a boy, but somehow I had to find a way to survive.

I developed a very shard and sarcastic sense of humor which helped keep the bullies at bay.  I taught myself to not show any emotion ... good or bad.  Nobody would ever get through my shield ... or at least they would never see how much they had hurt me.

When people began to pick on me I would quickly fire back.  With almost surgical precision I could find their emotional vulnerabilities and lash out with the most savage and hurtful words.  While they were still off guard I would deflect any interest in me by pointing out differences or peculiarities of another nearby victim.

I hated myself.

This technique kept me out of the line of fire and back to being almost accepted by the group I so despised ... At least until the testosterone really started flowing.  When the teasing and taunting was replaced by physical force I was once again a prime target.  Although my pseudo bravery of standing up to the bullies with my comments won me a few allies, it also antagonized others to the point they felt the need to punch me.

I never actually got beat up too bad ... And I tried to act tough a couple times ... But in the long run I simply withdrew.

Back into the silent, self imposed isolation ... Back into my own private little hell where nobody could reach me.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

For the first time ...

For the first time in my life I said my name ... my real name ... Tiffanie out loud to another person.

My counselor and I were talking ... I mentioned something about work and HR and changing my name.

A lot of my sessions are more like strategy sessions ... I don't really open up to well or too often, so sometimes it sounds more like I'm going through a shopping list rather than delving into my feelings.  I also do not avoid question or subjects which are brought up ... I just have a harder time discussing them and rarely do I initiate the subject.

So the question came up.  "Have you thought about what your name will be?"

I paused a bit.  "Yep."

"It must be exciting getting to choose your own name."  She smiled.

I looked away feeling unusually anxious.  Staring at the floor I finally muttered, "I was thinking of Tiffanie."

"I love it."  She beamed with excitement.  "Why was that so hard to say?"

"I've never said that name out lout to anybody."  I choked back tears for a moment.

"It fits you," she said.

My wife and I took our son to dinner for his birthday last night.  It was a nice quiet meal with the usual frivolities.  My son has such a similar sense of humor compared to mine.  Often times we go off on these strange tangents and get ourselves laughing ... it's always fun.

I sometimes worry that when he finds out that I am transgendered ... that I am actually pursuing being female that he may not interact the same with me any more ... or he won't want to be around me at all.  I hope I raised him better than that.  I hadn't really worried about that for a while ... until today.  Losing my son's love would be devastating.

Losing my wife's love would be unbearable.

I have made up my mind that I will just tell my wife everything ... everything, everything.  I will show her my blog and let her read the issues ... sometimes I write things much better than I speak things ... especially emotional things.  So sometime between today and the end of 2015 I will get her alone and talk.

OK ... that time-span may be a wee bit too broad.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Really ... What have I accomplished?

Let me see ... In one day I managed to do the following -

One of the new applicants is a lady who used to drive for us a few years ago.  I noticed she was carrying this wonderful leopard purse.  As we went into my office / classroom I said, "I love your purse.  It matches my cell phone cover."  We then spent the next 5 minutes talking about the leopard items we owned ... I stopped short of telling her about my new shoes.

During a post accident retraining session with a driver she brought up "Having trouble being true to herself." ... Long story short, I just about outed myself in some strange, rambling catharsis moment.  I definitely told her more than I've said to most people.  Luckily I'm a master of double-talk and may have thrown her off without denying or retracting anything I said.

On the one hand I wouldn't care if she figured it out or told people what I said ... On the other hand I'm not ready for the world to know Tiffanie.

People aren't stupid ... okay - a lot of people are stupid, but not everyone is stupid an unobservant.  Over the past few years my physical appearance has changed dramatically ... my behavior and mannerisms have begun to change as well.  The line between Tiffanie and the dude has definitely been blurred.

My biggest hurdle ... my strongest roadblock is myself.  The endless circle that I dwell on.  I don't feel feminine because I don't look feminine so therefore I don't have the courage to dress en femme, let alone going into public dressed up ... but if I dressed up and used the right makeup maybe I could see myself a bit more as a woman.

If I can't convey how feminine my brain, my thoughts, my spirit is I may never get the hormones I so desperately crave.

All I can do is keep moving forward and hope things work out.

I have been having more anxiety issues lately.  I'm not sure exactly why, but that is the nature of anxiety ... there isn't always a trigger ... or you don't always know what the trigger is.  I'm hoping these episodes decrease as the stress of another school year start up passes.

Having dealt with these anxiety attacks before doesn't make it any easier ... it just reminds of how horrible they are.  I do seem to cope with the episodes a little better ... they don't throw my day into a turmoil, but that is a far cry from being used to them.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Is this all I am?

Back in the 90s and a few other times I dressed as a woman for Halloween.  To me it was a feeler to see how people would react if they saw me as a woman ... but it also ensures everyone will not take me seriously.  Actually, each time I've dressed up there were many who thought I was a girl (of course I was thrilled, but could not show it).

So today I get my new leopard print shoes ... they are fabulous :-)

I left them by my computer table (typical, but lazy habit ... leave my shoes where I am sitting when I take them off).  As my wife was getting ready to take my niece to the bookstore my wife said, "See his new shoes?"

My niece smiled and made a comment ... a nice comment.

My wife then said, "He wants to dress like a woman ... for Halloween."

Really?  Is she just trying to protect me?  Is she trying to find a way to cope with me?  Or is this all I am ... a Halloween costume?

They left ... I burst into tears.

Now I listening to somber, depressing music ... just like when my depression symptoms were at their worst.

I feel like I have run into a roadblock ... I cannot feel female unless I look female ... I cannot look female unless my dark beard is gone and until maybe I start developing some female features ... I won't start developing unless I get on hormones ... I cannot get on hormones unless I can get the courage to talk to my doctor about me.

About 4 years ago I grew a full beard ... It was actually laziness because I couldn't tolerate shaving, but it also helped me hide from myself.  Several months later I got my first ear piercings ... several weeks after that I shaved my beard and mustache.  My doctor told my wife (in front of me), "People change their image because they cannot change the environment they are in ..."

Although there is some psychological truth to this, it is also true that people change their looks because they are trying to change themselves.

I don't want to go see him.  He is a great doctor, a very nice man, but I don't want to have this discussion with him.

So I am stuck.

Stuck in the land of make believe and wishes.

I am building this house ... I am buying all the paint, the curtains and decorations, but I have not done anything for the foundation or frame.

Maybe I am just a costume ... The velveteen bunny that think she's real ,,, but there is no magic to make me real ... even though I have cried my real tears.