Sunday, May 24, 2015

A little bit of everything

So I'm sticking with my plethora of disconnected rambling thoughts theme.

Really there is nothing specific to tell you about ... it's more like a bunch of thoughts and issues that all seem to happen at the wrong time.

I will start off with my 2 week progesterone update.

I am really not as moody as I thought might happen, or like others have encountered ... well ... I am moody, but I think it is caused by so many other things that are going on at the same time,

What I have noticed physically ...

 Hold on.  I know some people don't want too much personal information, so plug your ears for a minute or so.  Well, I guess, you need to plug your eyes ...

Whatever ...

I have gained 12 pounds in just over 2 weeks.  A big part of this is the fact that I find myself craving certain foods that are neither healthy or low calorie.  I am not shoveling buckets of food in my mouth, but I am definitely dealing with a different level of , OH MY GOD!!  I HAVE TO HAVE THAT!!!" that I have never experienced before.

The extra weight is obvious when I step on the scale because ... well, because the number is higher.  The extra weight seems to be collecting more in my boobs and butt rather than just on my belly.

And when one of the side effects of progesterone says, "May cause breast tenderness" this is an understatement.  It needs to say, "They will become so tender that you will feel it if somebody looks at them for too long."

I'm sure things will get back to normal as my body adjusts.

So why am I moody?

Where do I start?

Pam's front tire went flat last week.  This caused a sequence of events that made my one remaining nerve begin to fray.

- Fighting with the spare tire to dislodge it from the trunk.  I mean ... I broke a freakin' nail, had a small laceration on my forearm and aggravated my elbow which has been sore anyway.  Then, while planning on how to get the car to the tire shop because the stupid spare is in bad condition it was like Pam and I were suddenly speaking different languages.  We were saying the same thing about needing to tow the car and I drive her to the shop, but we just weren't grasping what the other was saying

The tire fiasco set us back somewhere around $200.  I won't add the "Your front axle needs to be repaired" amount.

- My tooth has been bothering me for a while ...

Well, I have more than one tooth ...

It would be better to say that I have a tooth that has been bugging me for a while.  Somewhere just before Pam's tire gave up my tooth decided to try harder to get my attention.

We have wanted to switch dentists since our last visit 3 or 4 years ago.  I went to the list and decided to search for a female dentist.  No particular reason ... well, I do feel a little more comfortable talking to women even on dental issues.

When I called to make the appointment I gave all my legal information, then I said, "There's one more little thing ... "  It is so cool that everything on my records refer to Tiffanie rather than him.  My legal name does have to be on certain documents, but there is no awkward adjustment period going to a new doctor.

It is a bit of a plus that she is kind of good looking, but that did not play into my decision.

And why is it that most dentists and optometrists seem to be less than average looking?  It's like they are thinking, "I'm going to get into a job where I'll spend most of my time mere inches from someone's face so they have to look at me."

I don't want some faces that close to my eyeballs ... I don't like anyone that close to me, but if they have to be can't it at least be someone halfway decent looking?

So I find out that the last (and only) cavity I had filled was very close to the gums.  There is now some decay working under the filling causing my pain.

I already have an appointment to get a crown.  Personally I would prefer a tiara *rolls eyes*  This is another $600 that we don't have.

So as of right now my "Get my name and gender changed" fund has gone from $0.00 to negative $800.  This is not the most frustrating aspect of the issue, but it is just another obstacle between me and a goal that I truly want.

- All of this has been exacerbated by an environmental study being done at my bus yard.  This group is drilling 10,563 holes and taking soil samples to test for  ... well, I probably don't want to know what they are testing for.

So every day I am hearing this extra noise on top of the noises from shop, the airplanes taking off from the airport and the other businesses in the complex.

The last few days the drilling, jack hammering, and all the other heavy machinery was just outside my office wall.

It has been a week of sensory overload beyond comprehension.

This may actually be a part of why my tooth has hurt so much more this week ... I have been clenching my jaw so much that everything is sore from my navel up to the top of my head.

I did get a chuckle when the lead worker told us that he had a probe stuck in one of his holes and didn't want a bus hitting it.

On the brighter side.  My brother and sister in law stopped by for a visit.  It was nice to have a visit that doesn't include family emergencies or other frantic events that have everyone on edge.  They brought down the Christmas gifts ... yeah, it's been that long since their schedule has been calm enough to manage a trip here.

My brother is running a marathon tomorrow.  I hope it goes well for him.

*** Epilogue ***

The bulk of this entry was written Saturday evening.  I do know my brother finished his marathon.

Today I went for a walk in a local botanical garden while Pam visited her mom.  The walk was nice, but proved to me that my assessment of my fitness level was spot-on.  The effort of walking up even a small hill on a half mile loop killed my legs and bothered my knee a bit.  The stress was enough to get me wheezing the same way that running did a few years ago.  My pulse never raced and I didn't get winded, so all is not beyond hope.

Pam's mom wants to know why I didn't come in and visit afterward.  Until a few weeks ago she did not know about me being transgender.  After the Bruce Jenner interview Pam found a moment in a conversation to tell her about me.

I will need to visit her.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Born this way ...

Breakfast of champions
So I will tell you upfront that some of the things I am going to say may not be popular opinions.

My thoughts, my ramblings, my observations are just that ... mine.  And no, this isn't a huge LGBT advocacy spiel.

Well ... not really.

If you remember I did say that I've had a lot of random disconnected thoughts recently ... I may be proving that here.

When people tell me that I see things differently, or I think about things in an awkward way or whatever, I just shrug.  This is me ... it is the only way I have ever thought so it is normal to me.

A long time ago I began joking that I had ADHD.  I joked about it because somewhere in me I knew it was true.  A year or so ago I was tested and pretty much pegged the scale on the attention deficit aspect of the test, not so much on the hyperactive portion.

In short, I was born this way.

Does this make me a different person than you knew a few minutes ago?  ... a few months ago? ... years?

The creativity and imagination that distracted me during my school days are the same attributes that have moved me forward in life.  These are the same quirks that allow me to see things from different angles and find solutions that others cannot see.

Back in the 70s most people called ADHD hyperactive ... others called it spoiled or out of control kids.  It was not as common to give medication for these conditions.  Teachers, principals, parents, so many others did not understand that we weren't intentionally looking for excuses to break the rules or not complete our work

Much of the time they would say things like ...

Try a little harder ...

Behave like the others ...

Just focus ...

Apply yourself ...

Sneaking in through the fence
In other words, change who we are to fit in.  Alter how we feel and act to please others.

It is a little ironic that so many people don't hesitate to say things like, "He's a natural at his sport," ... "She was born to dance," ... "Music runs in their family."

Whatever ...

We don't ever seem to question these God given talents ...

They were born to do this ...

Anything positive is said to be a gift from God.

I don't hear many people say "She is blessed to be on the autism spectrum." ... "His gift is severe anxiety and depression." ... "He was born to have muscular dystrophy, or Parkinson's, or dementia."

Life is life ... it is what we make of it.

Now here I am saying that God has set me on this path of transitioning to female.  I am positive something good will come from this.

There are many who tell me that I am not truly female, that I have chosen to pretend to be something I am not ...

I am lying to myself ...

I have turned my back on God ...

I am an unrepentant sinner ...

In other words, I am supposed to change who I am to fit in.  Alter how I feel and act to please others.

beautiful flowers
outside the house
All I can do is shrug.  This is me ... it is how I have felt my entire life so it is normal to me.  I am at peace, I am happy and I have grown closer to God.  I know what my path is, and I don't expect anyone to truly understand.

In fairness I have to say that not many Christians are holier than thou, hate filled bigots.  The ones that are ruin the reputation for everyone.  To those who are adamant that my life is a conscious choice to live in sin, I have a question.

Were you born Christian?
John 3:18 (NIV)Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 
Romans 10:13 (NIV)
for, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 
Being Christian is a choice ... a lifestyle.  The Bible states it takes a conscious decision to become Christian.  It is not how anyone is born.

I can imagine dozens of people not reading to this sentence while screaming, "Here's another atheist, bleeding heart, left wing liberal spewing anti Christian sentiment to justify her sinning lifestyle."

Well ... wrong, wrong ... and wrong.

I am relatively conservative thinking, although libertarian leaning.  I think the constitution has a lot to say if everyone on both sides of the aisle stop creating interpretations that include their personal agendas.

I am Christian ... I just don't feel the need to yell and scream at everybody I feel is not acting the way the Bible and Jesus has said we should.  I prove more with the way I treat others than by quoting verses and judging other people's actions.
Matthew 6:1 (NIV)
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
A little blue sky
peeking through
the clouds
What cracks me up is when these few defend their comments by saying, "I'm not attacking you personally ..."

Just to enlighten you, words like disgusting, abomination, atrocity, repugnant, vile, vulgar, repulsive, revolting and similar words are a tad bit hostile and are usually taken a little personally.

I do wonder why so many these Christians yell and scream and protest the LGBT community but don't feel the same acrimony toward other issues.

Why aren't there groups of angry Christians at every bar or club protesting those moral values or holding signs with I Samuel 1:14 on it
“How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
Why are there no marches at Islamic centers, Pagan festivals or other non-Christian celebrations?  Why don't they wave signs with Exodus 20:3?
"You shall have no other gods before me"
I am not saying people are not entitled to their opinions.  We all have our own perspectives ... our likes and dislikes, and talking to others in a civil an open manner is often a means to come to an understanding or a level of mutual respect with many people or groups.

Intentionally singling out a group to exclude them from one thing or another is called bigotry, discrimination, fanaticism.

To makes comments like, "We don't allow gays in our church." is just announcing your disregard for a person's spiritual  well being.

And how do you know there are no gays in your church?  Are you flirting with people of the same gender to see who is interested?

And if you are right and we are all doomed to hell shouldn't you be wanting us to be there?

Is this not like a hospital saying, "We don't treat the sick or injured ... only healthy people are welcome here."

A restaurant owner saying, "We will only serve those who have already eaten.  Hungry people don't belong here."

A homeless shelter only allowing people with proper identification and proof of residence or an address in for assistance.

A barber shop who only will accept naturally bald patrons.

A college not accepting an application because the person has not already earned their degree.

Wow ... I could run this list for several pages, but I think I've made the point.

We all live in one world.  We were all born with our strengths and weaknesses.  It is not for any of us to question what or why people are the way they are ... we just need to be there for them.
John 15:12  (NIV)
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you
I am not trying to change the world ... not even my little corner of it.  I am trying to understand why so many have trouble sharing it.

Another flower with
fresh droplets of water
from today's rain
 
 
If you are not Christian, I hope you realize that not all of us are the screaming radicals the television media show.  I have too many friends who practice other religions ... or o religions.  I have learned much about love and acceptance from you ... especially self-acceptance.

If you are Christian, this post is not aimed at everyone.  I have too many friends that do not fall into the category of hateful, small minded bigot that I get so frustrated with.

I generally do not engage in political or religious discussions.  I just had to get this off my chest.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

There's a madness to my method

The M^M universe
Will likely redo this photo
I have had a plethora of strange and disconnected thoughts over the past few weeks.  This in and of itself is not unusual ...

There are so many times throughout my life I've been told that the way I do things isn't the right way.

- I hold the golf club wrong ... but yet I can out drive so many and have pretty good accuracy.

- I don't know the proper way to throw a bowling ball ... but my average was the highest in my jr. league, and I beat everyone of my coaches when I went to the adult leagues.

- The way I hold chopsticks is strange ... but I can use them better than most people.  I've even eaten cake and ice cream with chopsticks because I was challenged.

- I do not hold a pencil or pen properly ... well ... okay, my writing sucks and always has.  Holding the pencil differently never made my writing better.

Organized my earrings
The point is that I figured out what worked for me.  It may look unorthodox to other people, but what difference does that make.  The world would be very boring if everyone did everything exactly the same way.  If this was the case we would never have seen any of the technological advancements we all enjoy today ... nobody would have thought to do something differently.

I seriously doubt anybody is horribly offended or mortified that I do so many things in my own unique way.  It is highly unlikely that a Facebook friend will see that I hold my chopsticks wrong and unfriend me for being socially unacceptable.

I mean ... we all have our quirks ... our own things that we do that are exclusive to us.  Isn't this what makes us individuals?

I am, and always have been self conscious about my weight.  In a society that sells size 2 women with double d breasts I am really out of place.  I get stressed out about my weight an looks at times ... the issue here is that I eat when I get stressed.

Can we say downward spiral.

My therapist mentioned a girl on Youtube ... the video was called "Fat Girl Dancing" and she has a television show about how she copes with her weight issues.

I got home and whipped out my Google ... Whitney Thore was thin and loved to dance when she was young.  She suffers from a medical condition that has caused her to gain a lot of weight.

She got tired of being treated like a non human just because of her weight.  She found a way to love and accept herself.



This all helped me realize that you can love yourself and embrace your differences.

I mean ... if the most horribly unacceptable thing about me is that I'm fat then I am doing pretty good.  I would rather spend time feeling good about the positive aspects of me and stop demeaning myself for that one issue.

Not that I am satisfied with being fat ... I will make adjustments to lose weight, it's just not *the* most important thing.

Ever since I stopped worrying so much about the number on the scale I've started losing weight.  Realistically I know I will never fit the super-model mold, but I don't need to.  I need to be happy.

Very recently my niece Andrea contacted me and said she wants to start our Saturday morning training again.

Images in the smoke
What do you see
Well, maybe not training.  More like walks ... slow and probably short walks as opposed to the 10 mile training runs we did in 2011.  Either way I am thrilled.  I do want to make sure my knee is ready for the additional stress a walk that includes slight hills and not perfectly even surfaces, but this is in our immediate future.  It is a step in the right direction for my weight and fitness goals.

I just don't understand why people treat others so horribly because they are different.

The poor child on the autism spectrum that catches hell daily because the other kids can't comprehend that his brain works differently.  The others probably don't realize that the one they are traumatizing can likely outperform them in many areas ... he just needs the chance and the right environment.

The kid that stutters, the kid with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia or any other learning disability ... these kids are often tormented by teachers and parents because they are not functioning as well as the rest of their class.  If they only apply themselves they might ...

They might what?  Become normal?? ... No, they might get more frustrated and learn to hate school.  So many of these kids have superior skills in other areas ... memory, math, learning by hearing or seeing, physical capabilities.  Why not appreciate what they do good.

The boy who acts feminine ...

The girl that is a tomboy (although a little more socially acceptable) ...

The kid that's too tall ... too short ... too fat ... to skinny ...

The daydreamer ...

The shy kid ... the one who would rather be home ...

The kid whose grades are too good, or they seem too smart ...

The kid who is not athletically inclined ...

The black kid in the class of whites ... the white kid in a class of Hispanics ...

Wait a minute ... wasn't I talking about adults and societal expectations?

Well ... yes.

More smoke
This mindset ... this bigotry starts somewhere, and that place is almost always childhood.  Kids are taught that people who are different than them  are ... well, different.  They are taught that what they are must be better, or at least more normal than what these different kids are.

This attitude will follow them into adulthood.  Often the attitudes become more intense ... so ingrained into their being that they look for differences in people so they can feel superior.  They want to make others feel bad about themselves.  They cannot tolerate anything that falls anywhere outside their narrow view of acceptable ... can we say Westboro Baptist Church?

Westboro is not the only hate group, but they are the first to come to mind.

Not all kids who pick on others carry their biases throughout their life.  So many learn to become accepting and see the value of people in spite ... or even because of their differences.

The kids that take the ridicule carry something as well.

We are shackled with doubt and low self esteem.  We begin to believe that we are not good enough ... that we will never be as good as ... that nobody will ever truly accept us.  We become our own worst enemy.  We cannot trust, so very few people ever get to see the real person inside.  We do not want to show what we might be able to do because we've been told it will never be good enough.

We become stuck ...

afraid to move ...

and not asking for help because we feel like we don't deserve it.

I'm sure there are some reading what I just said and are thinking, "This is a load of crap.  You're just making excuses for your failures.  Step up and take responsibility for your own shortcomings."

To you I will simply respond with this ... Thank you for proving my point.

Love my silly fur-babies
Maybe it's time to stop thinking others are not thin enough ... not smart enough ...not rich enough ... lack motivation ... don't do things the right way ... don't fit in.

There are so many ways that I am different than others.  There are so many things that I do not use "the proper technique."  There's a madness to my method, but it works for me.

It feels good to see what I have accomplished despite ... or maybe because of my unique processes.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Taking a P ...

No ... this has nothing to do with restrooms.

Although I will finally say this.  Just over a year ago my HR department decided to change the 2 restrooms at my facility to unisex restrooms rather than having a separate men's room and ladies' room.  Both are single toilet facilities with locking doors so there was never an issue of privacy.  The reason the HR rep gave was in essence to make restroom use a non-issue for everyone.

Tiffanie's brain heard, "Because there is now a transgender person in the facility we cannot force her to use the men's room, but we ant to avoid hearing complaints of her using the ladies' room."

This hurt.

I did not ask for this, but EVERYONE thinks it was me.

I mean, it was more than 6 months after I announced my transition at work and began really being me.  Why was it suddenly a potential issue?  Nobody I know of complained.

I waited until now for 2 reasons.

In my office
It is very likely that people from my work read this blog.  I don't really care if they do.  I speak my mind, I never mention who I work for so I am not defaming any person or the company.  I did not want to make an issue over something like this.

Actually, I have never asked for or expected any special treatment.

It is truly the exact opposite ... I wanted to be treated normally.  So many in the company do exactly this.  They treat me like they did three years ago or more.  I appreciate them soooo much.  There are so many new people in the company that they have only known Tiffanie and not the other facade I presented.

 The only concession I every asked for is understanding.

When I first went on estrogen I told several people that I was basically going through puberty again ... I was going to feel like and maybe act like a teenage girl.  I had no clue how I would act ... and truthfully, there was a period where things became very rough, although this was not completely hormonal ... it was depression and PTSD driven.

The first time I went hormonal at work the understanding I received was a comment, "We've all learned to control our moods and emotions.  I expect you to do the same."

Really?

You controlled your mood swings and behavior 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years into puberty?  I really want to talk to your parents, teachers and siblings.  I do not know of any teenager, male or female who has gained control of their new feelings in a matter of weeks.

Today my doctor prescribed me progesterone.  This shouldn't be as bad from what I've read ... but everyone is different.

I wanted to start it 6 months ago, but I was not in a good place mentally ... and I told him that.  I also told him everything I read and acknowledged that there does not seem to be any conclusive evidence on either side of the issue.

He seemed a little impressed that I went in with information from articles studies  He went over some of the negative possibilities and stated he prefers to not go the progesterone route, but it is up to the patient.

But here are some of the potential positives ... Slight increase in breast size, possibly more full looking - Possible increase in energy, more efficient use of fat for energy - Possible lessening of anxiety, a calming feeling - Possible more regular sleep patterns.  There are more, but those top my list

He wrote the prescription and said to monitor myself and stop taking it if it is causing adverse effects.

He does ask why I haven't changed my name or gender legally yet every visit.  I really want to tell him that nobody is willing to give me the nearly $500.00 to do this, but I know he is trying to encourage me to proceed.

My next appointment is in 6 months.  Maybe ... just maybe this process can be underway before I see him again.

To celebrate a day together and a successful appointment Pam and I ate at Sushi Fresh in Ventura.  We rarely go there, but today we deserved a treat.