Saturday, August 31, 2013

3 months ago today ... ...

"As long as you're happy and Pam's happy, then who else matters?"

The story of today (August 31, 2013 ... The three month anniversary of starting HRT) began last night.  Pam, Sedona and I had all had long days ... it was hot and humid and none of us wanted to go to bed because of the sticky weather.  We were planning on sleeping in today ... when it would be even more hot and humid ... ... uhhh yeah, the logic of tired and uncomfortable women for you.

I roused once during the night and turned on the ceiling fan again.  I questioned why I set it on timer to begin with, but I easily fell asleep again.

7:58 a.m. my eyes pop open ... I am wide awake ... I feel great ... There is no chance of going back top sleep.

8:03 a.m. I get out of bed and wander to the living room where my mom is watching golf.

I will not bore you with the next hour or so ... just general conversation, cat stories and talking about things to do around the house.

9:12 a.m. I squirm in my chair, but I feel this is the right time.

Me: "You've never commented or questioned the clothes I've been wearing for the past ... well, for a while."

Mom: "I figured you were just experimenting."

My beautiful wife Pam
Me:  "No, not experimenting.  I know this is what I want.  This is how I'm comfortable ... how I'm happy."

Mom:  "Everyone has a masculine side and a feminine side and it sways back and forth through your life."

Me:  "I've always been a bit more feminine.  One of the doctors I am seeing put me on estrogen."

Mom:  "Why?  All the estrogen does is gives women breast cancer."

Me:  "It's a low dose, that is not likely.  It will smooth my skin and help with other feminine features."

Mom:  "You realize this might put you at risk of losing your job, don't you?"

Me:  "I've done a lot of research for a long time before making any decisions.  Pam and I have talked about it for a long time.  I am protected by California law and company policy."

Mom:  "Okay."

Me:  "I have been very happy since starting the estrogen.  Pam is happy ... ... Linda knows, I've been talking to her.  Sedona knows ... ..." I hesitated.  She didn't speak, like she knew I had something else to say.  "I am worried about one or two of my siblings, though."

Mom:  "If you're happy and Pam's happy then who else matters?"  She paused.  "As long as you don't wear a dress in front of them or something."

There are not words to describe how I felt at that moment.  The conversation quickly wound down and I walked away from the table.  I went into the bathroom burst into tears of joy ... after a moment I regained a bit of composure and realized I had dropped to my knees without realizing it.

My sister Linda and my mother Faith
This alone is a moment worth celebrating.

*** May 31,2013 - 4:06 p.m. ***

I held the pills ... contemplating ... wondering ... what power do these pills hold?

I mean, they're not magical ... not really.  But somehow they hold the power to change my life ... to change me.

I stared at them for a moment longer, grabbed the glass of water and entered a whole new world ...

That's the quote from my June 1 blog entry about my first estrogen dose ... I entered a whole new world.

Really?  Has that much really changed?

The problem with me judging what has changed is I cannot possibly be completely objective.  There are changes I have noticed that are absolute, they are physical and measurable.  However there are also changes that may be things I want to change, or things that everyone else talks about changing, or perhaps simply things where I am letting go of the facade behind which I have hidden for 40+ years.

What I know has changed:

- My skin has become visibly smoother and softer.  This has been gradual, and at first I thought I was imagining it.  It is likely not noticeable to those who see me daily, but someone who has not seen me in weeks, or months may notice something.

- I have lost physical strength.  This is abundantly obvious when I try to carry things the way I used to, but some might argue that my perception is swayed by my desire to be feminine.  I conducted an unscientific experiment on myself.

My initial prescription
Before HRT I performed 2 curl and press with a 45 pound kettlebell with both hands.  I am ambidextrous, but my right arm is stronger due to bowling and other activities.  On that day I was able to perform 2 reps with both hands.  30 days later I performed the same task.  With my left hand I had much more difficulty performing the curl aspect of the exercise.  Very recently I repeated the experiment.  I can no longer curl the 45 pounds with my left arm, and it is strenuous to complete with my right arm.

- I am developing breasts.  They are becoming noticeable depending on what I wear.  They are not large nor are they fully formed, but they are growing.  I know most women who transition later in life do not grow large breasts, and that is truly not my goal.  I am just happy that I am developing some ... enough to make me feel a more feminine.

What things may have changed:

As this list could go on for pages, I will try to keep it simple ...

- Emotions ... I have always been sensitive and emotional.  I clearly remember being 8 going on 9 going to see the movie Benji ... I cried when the little white dog got kicked ... and 50 bonus points if anyone can remember the name of the little white dog in the first Benji movie.

Part of the emotional blossoming is simply removing the facade ... but it is more than that ... something I can't easily put into words.  Testosterone tends to generate  emotions of aggression, so regardless of the situation ... regardless of the emotion it slowly (or quickly) morphs into anger or frustration or ... and of course men are not supposed to show emotion anyway, so feeling any emotion often causes embarrassment and frustration anyway.  The testosterone blocker has likely dropped my T level to normal female levels ... it was below normal male levels to begin with ... much of the pent up frustration ... the negative energy I felt is gone.  Don't get me wrong, I still get angry and frustrated, but not as often ... and it does not feel as if it is always pent up inside me.
The first girl's bathroom
I ever snuck into

As for the rest of the emotional spectrum, I will never truly know if it was there or not.  I know I feel much better ... simply put - I feel.  Everything seems to flow much more freely, and in turn this makes me more relaxed and happier.

- Sense of smell ... Well DUH!  Everyone (or almost everyone) has a sense of smell ... and I have always had a pretty sensitive sense of smell, unless my sinuses are acting up ... *sigh*  I am finding pleasure in different fragrances.  No, not flowers ... many flowers irritate my nose or give me a headache.  Different things.

Pam and I were eating sushi the other day.  I have always loved the flavor of wasabi ... I've seen it, I've eaten it, I've smelled it probably hundreds of times at least.  When the waitress brought the condiments to our table I dipped my chopsticks into the green paste to nibble a little, but I caught the aroma and paused.  I must have sat there for several minutes just smelling the wasabi ... it was wonderful.

Last night Sedona opened a fruit tray which had cantaloupe and watermelon in it.  I could smell the musk melon from ten feet away ... I have never liked that odor ... until last night.  I stood there and enjoyed the aroma for several seconds.  There are other examples, but those are the two most recent.  I have not had a situation yet where something I used to like is no longer enjoyable.

The "Estrogen Connection" - Many have told me of this mysterious sisterhood that exists ... how women often gravitate and connect on a different level than women and men ... or men with each other.  I cannot comment on how men connect with each other because I have always been an outsider ... usually by choice because I knew I didn't fit in.  The few times I was in the inner sanctum of manhood for guy talk I wished I was not involved.

Even before transition there would be ladies talking in the drivers room about "girl stuff" as I would enter, they would pause for a moment then would say, "It's only Tim" and continue their conversation.  I never cared, usually never hung around, but found it interesting that they would talk about things in front of me that they would not in front of the men.

I have grown my hair long and have been wearing earrings for more than 2 years.  Occasionally I get a compliment on my hair or the earrings I am wearing.  Even after I dyed my hair in May ... before HRT, I only received 1 comment.  Since mid June, 2 weeks after beginning estrogen therapy, I have lost count of the number of compliments I have received on my hair and earrings from women ... just like they would for other women.

My manager, Maggie and I have been very close for many years.  We will talk to each other about thing that we will not talk to most people about.  She is gay and came out many years ago, so she understands some of the difficulties I am going through ... or about to go through.  Very recently she made a comment to me, then with a startled look stated, "Oh my God.  I can't believe I just said that to you.  I must be sensing your estrogen."

But that is Maggie ... we're friends.  I figured our friendship is just getting closer.

Usually the female employees will go to Maggie or Tuti when they have personal issues ... especially personal medical medical issues.  Since mid July there have been three cases where ladies have entered my office and began to open up to me about something personal ... and in one case, very personal, despite the fact that both Maggie and Tuti were available to talk to.

I could carry on for a long time and it won't prove anything.  I am not trying to convince anyone of my growing femininity ... maybe I'm still trying to convince myself.  There are many who will say that estrogen cannot truly change a man ... and they may be right.  I am a woman.  If my brain was not designed to run on estrogen I would have had a very adverse reaction to the medication by this time ... but yet I haven't.  In fact I've thrived, and I am happier than ever.