February 17, 2016

I wasn’t able to post at all on the 11th, the anniversary my father passed away (2016). That being said, yesterday was the fifth anniversary of burying my father. Soul crushing in many ways, his passing left a hole in me. One that even now I haven’t fully acknowledged or even know the limits of. I think the only thing that would rip me apart worse (many times worse) would be if my husband passed before me.

My mother’s passing five months later was hard as well, but I have to admit whether it was my relationship with my father, or just I was numb by the time her passing happened due to the shit show of my family I couldn’t tell you. Either way at this point it feels like a lesser wound. Maybe there is a lot of issues I need to work with about her as well.

His funeral itself would have been hard enough, but the circumstances around his death and the entire situation are something I haven’t ever really talked about. I don’t think I even told the hubby all the details (he was out for the first portion due to surgery). I have started dreaming about it now. That combined with my therapy I am sure it is all bubbling up and I will need to start talking and writing about it.

So buckle in buttercups. I am sure scattered over the next many posts I will talk about this as well.

That being said, even though I feel I need to start to unpack everything and I prefer to celebrate his birthday, there is no way I could talk about it in 10 posts fully, let alone one. So today I wanted to just tackle remembering my father and the day we buried him without digging into even what happened on that day.

We love you dad, I hope you got the peace you never found here.

Dad, about the same age as I am now.

Dreams: Convention Bathroom

A rough few weeks and when I finally don’t take something to help me sleep I get weird/uncomfortable dreams again.

I was in a large mall/office building like place. I think the husband was with me and we knew we were being chased and the other people had weapons. There were twisting hallways, large open spaces and now that I think about it, it might have been a convention center.

Looking around we decided to dive into the bathroom. A large public bathroom that had a lot of stalls that were interconnected with lots of ways in and out of the bathroom.

Our pursuers were running around outside and we could hear the sound of impacts on some of the stall doors. I think in the dream they were supposed to be guns, but they sounded like bb guns bouncing off the doors rather than real weapons.

We kept dodging into different large stalls (they could hold half a dozen people hiding so obviously they weren’t realistic. Every once in awhile the weapons being fired would pierce the door and we would fire back… seemingly real in the dream but now I am fairly sure were firing back things that were more like bb guns as well.

Eventually the dream shifted and we were out in the main areas again. Lots of large convention like hallways filled with people. There I saw Gabe (not his partner Alex though). It was weird because they shouldn’t be there and it caught me off guard for whatever reason.

Gabe in the middle holding an item, I am on the left and hubby is on the right (both pre-transition by 12+ years so we are reversed gender look then we have now). Alex is behind Gabe.

We talked and got in line like it was a convention then, and something bothered me enough to wake me up…

… but now as I sit here typing with the cat on my lap, it is all sort of fading. I have been up too long and not writing. I will need to start writing sooner next time.

I suspect we look exactly like this right now (this was taken last month), not shaven, tired and Tally is out like a light on me.

So that is it, you get stuck with vague descriptions of what is now a vague dream. Maybe you will have better luck next time!

Dysphoria revisited

I think the last time I directly talked about dysphoria was back in 2019 (and it was face related). I thought it would get better as I was scheduled for major Facial Feminization Surgery. It did go away a lot, the first and second surgeries were awesome. It never went away fully though.

The first surgery corrected bones, the second cleaned up the first by cleaning up skin, muscle and my upper lip. Both of them I think truly did a great job for me. That being said, I have never gotten rid of the dysphoria, in fact I get it pretty bad now.

The subject is really heavy and probably something I can’t break down in one or two posts. In fact I don’t think I can talk much about my facial dysphoria at the moment (it is surging pretty bad). That being said I can acknowledge logically I am much closer to where I want, I just don’t feel it sometimes.

That is except yesterday. Even struggling with still trying to get my electrolysis done (thanks COVID for fucking that up) my body is shaping up fairly nicely. When I first came out I tried on makeup and immediately freaked out imagining it was what a football linebacker would look like if they put on makeup. The sad part is that observation isn’t wrong.

I am not nailing on myself, I weighed 320+ pounds, had not started hormone replacement therapy, and had stubble of the viking born. It was what it was.

In August of 2018 we had moved to Tacoma, I had just started a job I knew I would transition at but hadn’t come out to work. In fact this was only a week or two after coming out to my friends. I knew I hadn’t lost all my weight, my HRT numbers were in shambles but we tried it anyway. It is a basic feminine bit of clothing and I expected it wouldn’t work yet. I was right.

If I saw another woman (cis or trans) in this photo I would think nothing of it, I would believe that they looked just fine. Sadly I have never been able to judge myself with the same eyes.

The way I looked flipped me out and I felt at that point I would never get to a point where I could accept myself. I realized I had many surgeries and hormones coming but it was a crushing feeling. So bad I deleted all the front-facing photos and the only one I know of that I have left is from me behind. Even now it makes me cringe, even though I would never second guess someone else, my dysphoria has a power over images of me.

It has been two and a half years since then. I still am wracked by dysphoria, but the difference is I have moments I feel whole and complete, or at least close enough. Yesterday I pulled out the same camisole in the above picture (I hadn’t tried it on since the initial picture) and thought I didn’t look too bad (honestly, the 38H chest doesn’t hurt).

The hormones, breast augmentation, and surgeries make me feel like I might get to where I can accept myself. I took a couple of selfies after a long day of work, and I found I was ok with myself.

I know the dysphoria will come back (actually already hit earlier today) but I wanted to share that it isn’t always black feelings towards my look. I just wanted to share my feelings, at least the beginning of my dysphoria.

I do have to admit, I am a little nervous sharing these pictures, but I feel like the camisole works better and maybe things are going well. Not bad for turning 50 this year :).

A Costly Egg Sandwich

I have a lot of experience with the medical system. Not just my transition, or my physical problems, but also my experience billing for insurance, running a clinic, etc. I have seen all sorts of ridiculousness.

Right now in my life there are a lot of doctors beyond just the transition. We are still working on the mass on my thyroid, and also the infamous espohagus/stomach issues and my vomiting. Right now we will talk about the esophagus/stomach issues and an example of why capitalistic medical system is bullshit.

I went into Kaiser on January 14th for a test that would trace radioactive material through my esophagus and into my stomach. I got a gastric emptying test, basically a test that detects how quickly my stomach breaks down and passes food through.

The end result was clear (meaning that isn’t the problem). However, the problem I had was the costs. They utilized a plain white bread fried egg white sandwich. No toppings, completely plain except it was coated in a specific radioactive substance that they tracked.

Most expensive plain egg white sandwich you will ever have. Could have at least used nice bread.

No big deal, the staff were incredibly nice and it tasted like a horribly bland egg sandwich. That is until I got the bill for it. I won’t even cover the cost of the procedure itself, just the cost of the material in the egg sandwich.

I am fortunate, I have medical insurance (an HMO) and they basically “charge” themselves for it. The total bill was about $1,853 or so for the procedure, they wrote off $590.16 to magically pay themselves (and also they still make a profit on that $1,200+ test.

The kicker was the $507.52 charge for the egg sandwich. Yes it is a radiopharmaceutical agent, but there is just something ridiculous about the cost. It appears they probably used Tc-99m Sulfur Colloid which the outdated information I had was $36 per dose. Let me be very generous and say the price increased 2.5 times or more and is $100 per dose.

That means for my sandwhich that should have probably cost $100 + less than $1 for the bread and eggs was a total of $101. Yet they charged me more than five times that much at $507 (and the odds are they got it closer to $50 and it is ten times as much).

This is why the capitalist system is bad for the individual. The government already payed the majority of the R&D (that is a whole other aspect), and yet they are still charging a minimum of 5-10 TIMES more then the cost for an agent that they don’t have to incur any danger with.

It is ridiculous, and I admit my yelling here won’t change anything, but it does make me feel a little better.

Instructions for US Servicemen in Britain in 1942, correct and patronizing at the same time

Book (Audio): Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain in 1942
Series: US Department of War Instructions
Genre: US Govt Manual
By: U.S. Department of War
Narrated by: Alexi Grebisch
Length: 40 minutes

Book Summary: Here is a recording of a War Department pamphlet aimed at U.S. Servicemen in Britain in 1942. The jovial tone of the document and its advice about how NOT to offend the British make for a nostalgic – and in places humorous – relic of World War II.

My Review: There is something appalling and reassuring at the same time in this audiobook version of a guide given to American soldiers heading to Britain in 1942. Americans were just as dumb, presumptive and entitled in the greatest generation as they are now, while the US Government is incredibly patronizing to the British at the same time.

The book itself is a great short read giving insight into a small slice of life. It is worth the time to just read or listen to it.

Santa Jaws should have been drowned before it started.

Movie: Santa Jaws
Genre(s): Sci Fi/Horror
Release Date: 2019
Studio: Active Entertainment
Director: Misty Talley
Actors: Reid Miller, Courtney Lauren Cummings, Jim Klock
Length: 1 hour 28 minutes

Official Summary: A young aspiring comic book artist is gifted a mysterious pen that brings his drawing to life. Now his creation, Santa Jaws, begins to devour his family and the remaining must battle for survival against this creature.

My 240 Character Thought (doesn’t deserve a long review): A very bad movie about a kid who uses a magic pen to create a Santa Shark (shark with Santa hat) who eats people. An Amazon streaming mess and is as bad as it sounds. I love B grade horror, this is Z grade and should be drowned before it started.

MOVIE TRAILER

Spring Breakers aka White Whiney Women.

Movie: Spring Breakers
Genre(s): Drama/Crime
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Studio: Muse Productions
Director: Harmony Koine
Actors: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine
Length: 93 minutes

Official Summary: Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper “Alien” promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.

My 200 Character Thoughts (doesn’t deserve a long review): A sad sad story of entitled white women who whine about “being bored” yet never having to work a day in their life. The biggest shame of this movie is that they didn’t get the just desserts that they deserved. Rename it “White Whiney Women”.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich… and a disgusting human being.

Movie/TV Show: Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
Series: Netflix Documentaries
Genre(s): Documentary, True Crime
Release Date: May 27, 2020
No of Episodes: 4
Studio: Netflix
Director: Lisa Bryant
Length: 227 minutes

Summary: Stories from survivors fuel this docuseries examining how convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein used his wealth and power to carry out his abuses.

My Thoughts: This show is huge on the triggering aspect, and brought up a lot of personal stuff for me. I might post about it in the future, but right now trying to address it. Consider carefully if you want to see something like this before watching it. It is definitely not a feel-good show.

I personally found this to be an extremely intense true-crime drama. The details are more shocking than what the news itself will tell you and your heart breaks for all the little girls that were abused.

I wish he hadn’t died myself. He should have paid with the remaining years in a deep dark hole that they pull him out of to testify against the other powerful people. The show did not address rumors that someone else killed him, they stayed away from conspiracy theories. However, I left it feeling that it is even more possible that someone else had him killed to shut him up. He was able to mysteriously escape so many legal issues with contacts that had a lot of power.

The show did leave me wanting to make the other rich and powerful who were involved to pay as well.

MOVIE TRAILER

Feral Sins, the sin was thinking it would be interesting.

Book (Audio): Feral Sins
Series: The Phoenix Pack Series
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Shifter Romance
By: Suzanne Wright
Narrated by: Jill Redfield
Length: 13 hours, 34 minutes

It is an urban fantasy set romance with a fairly traditional (read by the numbers) story between two werewolves. It seems interesting enough, it fits the category/niches I like. The narrator does a good enough job, and I have liked her on other projects. It just doesn’t have any life for me and doesn’t spark anything. For me, that means it is the writing, not the performer.

I guess the sin was thinking it would be interesting.

Broken Legacy… didn’t need a serial killer!

Same Review as Book 1 and 2 with an added front section.

Book (Audio): Broken Legacy
Series: Dark Legacy
Genre: Dark/Bully Romance
By: Jaymin Eve , Tate James
Narrated by: Marnye Young , Jarred Kjack
Length: 7 hours, 56 minutes

The third book has the same review as the first two. I liked it overall, but it had some tropes I don’t personally like. I figure I would give a list of things I would change and then copy the original review at the bottom if you hadn’t seen it for Broken Wings and Broken Trust.

Continue reading “Broken Legacy… didn’t need a serial killer!”