Electrolysis Trip #2 – Day 2 and 3

Another late post, but life is going at a million miles an hour. Then again Day 2 and 3 were remarkably quiet.

The biggest thing of course was a combined 10 hours of electrolysis I got. I sat as two wonderful people worked on my face at the same time for five hours. They got a large chunk of my face done. This included all around my mouth, almost to my chin and all the way up the left side of my face. Even now, two weeks later, I have a lot of smooth skin, especially above the lips (the important spot).

I had planned on going out later that night, but you can see from the pictures that I was feeling rough, I definitely wasn’t feeling feminine and we hid out for the entire day eating grocery store food and door dash Mexican food. It wasn’t a bad night.

The next day was a little better. I woke up feeling ugly duckling, but decided fuck it and I would dress up anyways. I got some looks from the locals, but no one had the cajones to say anything so we remained where we were, ate La Quinta breakfast and then turned in our room key (btw the Tempe LQ SUCKS, it was dirty, loud and at no time did we feel safe).

We then went and saw Charlie’s Angels. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly, albeit I admit it wasn’t “good cinema”. After that we went to Del Agave in Scottsdale and had a wonderful meal. The server/bartender Daniel was a great guy, I felt safe (probably the safest place I had felt in Arizona) and told us what to order that was the best, and he was right (and it wasn’t the most expensive dish).

 

Hubby was happy for real food

We had an encounter after the meal though, walking to our car a guy was walking his two kids. He spotted us and loudly proclaimed the following:

Dad: So kids, who are we voting for in 2020?
Kids: Donald Trump!!!

Yep, the asshole said it as an intimidation factor because he saw I was transgender. I thought momentarily about going over there and handling it verbally, but he had kids and I was feeling fairly vulnerable after the electrolysis, but I decided not to. I thought the hubby was going to kill him though, that is why I love the man.

I was surprised when we boarded the plane that a very conservative lady (with a church group) told her husband to let “her” through so “she” can get her stuff and she smiled at me. I cannot even explain how nice it was to have someone validate me, especially someone who looked fairly conservative, after the Trump asshole. It put me in a better mood.

We then got back to the airport, waiting around for a few hours and flew home. I always forget how much I miss it here until I land in the Pacific Northwest

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Hubby Nightmares

I figure it is one thirty in the morning and I would relate what happens when my husband has nightmares.

He has these nightmares every so often. The external noises start off distant and scattered, some sort of faint noise coming from his throat as he sleeps. In the beginning I didn’t know what that meant, he was a small girl who doesn’t make a lot of sound (pretty much the exact opposite of me). Yet these screams would build up and becoming terrifyingly loud. Now after his transition the sounds aren’t any less bad, just a deeper tone.

The starting whimpering sounds are not pleasant. They come in waves actually, I have them figured out now. If I am not awake enough at the very beginning I am sometimes unable to move as they continue to grow louder. I end up panicking trying to move knowing it will be worse the longer I wait. They become this horrifying nightmare scream that totally fucks me up. The kind of sound someone watching something truly terrifying would make.

I immediately will lean over, rub his arm, hold him, kiss his head and reassure him and he whispers something like he loves me or something else small and rolls over to go to sleep. Usually that is it for the night, he sleeps and half the time he doesn’t even remember anything.

Yet here I am at 1:30am not going back to sleep at all because that noise freaks me the fuck out. His being in pain has always freaked me out and made it so I couldn’t sleep or do anything else but worry on him, but the nightmare sounds are the worst and I lay in bed terrified after waking him up and him going back to sleep.

The funniest part is sometimes he surfaces in his dreams after the nightmare and he doesn’t remember, he will pat me and ask me if I am ok or if I am sleeping well… My thoughts are usually “I was… til you had a nightmare”. I don’t say it though, but I do usually give him a hard time the next morning when I am looking exhausted and he is usually his normal self.

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Electrolysis Trip #2 – Day 1

This post is a little late, but last weekend we went down to Phoenix for 10 hours of electrolysis. The overall judgment is that it is always worth it, but it was really rough. I will break this up so you don’t get a wall of text, so lets cover the first night, Friday November 15, 2019.

The first thing that happened the week before was growing out my facial hair. I haven’t done it since August and it really set my dysphoria off. It was enough that I don’t think I could do it just for 90 minutes of electrolysis, the 10 hours is something I would go through this for though. I just can’t do short visits because I would have to keep my beard long indefinitely, and I can’t do this week after week.

2 days before electrolysis

The morning of the trip was awesome and stressful at the same time. I fell asleep around 10pm and was promptly awake by 1am, but I didn’t feel too tired because I knew we had to be up at 3:30 anyways, so I stayed up and played some video games (Judgment) and headed out very early when my hubby woke up.

Hubby is not happy.

 

Arrival at SEA-TAC with Pre-Check was worth the money for five years of coverage. We got through the system in a record time, and I didn’t even get wanded by the guard, although my bag got “randomly selected”… so no wand for me, but the poor bag wasn’t so Lucky.

Waiting at the airport was a little stressful though. It was the first time I had to grow a beard in three months and I just wanted to hide. Eventually I had to visit the boys bathroom for the first time in 7 months since I was way too masculine looking for the women’s without risking assholes, so the hubby and I both went in to the boys bathroom together, where I took a picture of how I looked.

I didn’t get looked at much, which was great with me, but surprisingly the boys bathroom was a lot more alien to me then I remembered. Not sure what the difference was, except it was quiet even though there were several guys in there. I never imagined missing warm bathrooms with voices. Weird isn’t it.

We arrived in Phoenix with little problems, although the steward was nice and gave me a hard time for “being in a band”. However when we talked (he was obviously flaming) and I told him I am trans, I showed him before and after  and he was floored (as was the other steward). He had a lot of questions, he thought it was funny a lot of people ask him about transgender people, and he would always explain “How the fuck do I know?”

We then landed in Phoenix, dirty, browns and browns, it is not something I would like to live at for the beauty of the landscape. We sat in first class as this other man in first class started taking everyone’s pillows and blankets and stuffing them inside his suitcase… WTF… We then got ourselves a fancy rental car… even had its own AC/heater temperature for each side…

We then checked in to a different then normal La Quinta… and that was its own brand of hell, but at least on Friday night it just seemed a little bit dirty and worn down. From there we got sandwiches at AZ Sandwich CO and hid out all night waiting for my 8am appointment. We watched videos, trying to use Hulu to stream, but that was limited results. Eventually we logged into Youtube and watched videos until we both passed out for our first day.

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Fried Bologna and Spam Sandwiches

I woke up missing my father terribly this morning. I have always meant to talk about him more here, to share both the good and bad (and there was definitely both), but it has been hard with the transition, with the changes in my life and just how tired I have been.

Dad and I in 1972, always had a tight bond.

This last couple weeks have been really bad, I have wanted desperately to call him and talk to him and my mother. I did it daily until I was 45 and he passed (I talked to mother multiple times a day for five months after that until she passed). However I never got to tell them about my transition fully (we talked a little, that is its own story).

This morning though I really missed the quiet times we spent together. It wasn’t super regular, but it happened regular enough that it was an expected feature.

He would come in and wake me up at a very late/very early time (somewhere between midnight and four am). He would be drunk sometimes, stoned sometimes and sober a lot of the times. He would sneak into my bedroom and have me get up and take my blanket (even at the age of 14 or 15) and we would go out into the living room. Even though he was my father, we snuck around like we could get in trouble. He tried to do this with both my siblings, but neither one of them were ok with being awoken at one in the morning, I have always woken easily and I loved these moments. So other than a few exceptions, it was generally just me and him.

An example of late night watching tv with my sister and brother. They definitely weren’t as fond of it. Sorry the image is not retouched yet. That colored blanket/bedspread is the one I remember the most and I think we were watching Legend of Hell House.

He would just talk to me about the day, he would ask me all about my day, if I was in sports, chorus or orchestra he would ask me about that. We would watch a movie (usually a horror movie) together. Often he would make me a snack, one of his famous fried bologna or spam sandwiches, maybe some bratwurst or kielbasa, or if it was a good day one of his (and mom made this too) no-cook peanut butter oatmeal bars. We would sit and watch the movie and it was pretty spectacular for me, even as I became a teenager. Weirdly enough the movies I remember the most were Telefone and The Legend of Hell House.

These were quiet times in what was a very stressful life of violence, drugs, bikers and homelessness. I never complained or minded doing it at all. This morphed when I moved out, but never went away. I have horrific insomnia that wakes me up after midnight or one am anyways, and my dad would sometimes call me at super early hours and we would talk. I never had my ringer on so if I wasn’t up I wouldn’t’ wake up. I would just notice in a morning a call had happened and a voicemail that said simply “I love you Lucky.” I so miss those voicemails, and I am so angry I didn’t save them. It is hard to think of a world where your dad isn’t in it with you, before he is gone. I never fully considered that in time, funnily enough even though I stressed about him and mom passing for decades.

In a very rare blue moon before we moved out of Bellingham, but after I was with the hubby, I would go over there and we would sit in the living room watching tv early in the morning, with a single lamp on one of the side tables. While we drank coffee and had something to eat. In the last few years before I moved to Seattle and this was only via phone I had begun to bring his favorite donuts, Hostess raspberry filled powdered donuts, along with myself cooking the meals. He wasn’t able to get around like he did when I was a kid. I never thought my fried bologna sandwiches tasted as good, but he promised they were better than his. Maybe they were for him.

Dad and his dog Nikka

We still talked though when we didn’t meet in person. He would just chat with me, tell me things he was worried about, he was proud about with the other kids, or just how our family friends were doing. I would do the same. I think he liked talking even more when I was an adult. He didn’t have a lot of support network and when I could be there as well as an adult I think it helped. It helped me because he would listen to me as well.

So I woke up this morning in an unfamiliar hotel missing my dad. I feel guilty that it is only my dad I woke up missing. I love my mom, but our relationship was more complicated and it was my daddy I was missing.

Mom and Dad

I just thought I should start sharing more about my feelings and what I am thinking here. So here you go, the reason I spent most of this morning crying. That is hard because I never cried pre-transition, I am still not sure how to handle it. You would think that three and a half years later after his death this wouldn’t happen, but that’s isn’t true. You don’t get over people, you just adapt to the new circumstances.

I love you dad, and I really miss our late night/early morning tv watching.

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Tired…

This was originally a Facebook post I posted earlier this morning, so if it isn’t cogent… I blame Facebook.

People make me tired. This is a long rant so please scroll on by if you are inclined.

I was in a line at Safeway yesterday standing behind this older looking guy (but probably not really any older than me). He is a little shorter than me and I am dressed in my blue skirt and a black top (with red under shirt). I am grumpy, but I am feeling fairly good with my look.

He stares at me, looks away, turns back and stares again but this time makes some sort of “hrummph” sound, looks away, looks back and makes a motion with his hand and mutters “what?”
Continue reading

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Office Situation

I currently share an office with a pretty cool guy named Tom. He and I get along, he hasn’t had any problem with my transition and it is just a comfortable situation.

Yesterday our boss came in and told us that we would have to move into cubicles. The department hired someone else that would need the office and we will have to move out in about 3-4 weeks to two cubicles smack dab in the middle of a full office staff.

We were both frustrated, annoyed and a little pissed. Our position requires space for a lot of files, and to meet with people. However, it is true neither of us are supervising management. We checked out the cubicles and they aren’t horrible, but they are in the middle of everyone.

For the rest of the day I was annoyed. I felt it was because now it will be loud, and there are others there that I suspect track each other’s breaks and stuff and we won’t have the space we are used to. It bothered me a lot, more then it should. I totally agree its ok to be annoyed but honestly I logically realize it isn’t a big deal.

I got home and the hubby commiserated with me, and he brought something up. He said I am probably upset because I feel safe in my office and now I am in the main area with everyone. I am no longer in a safe spot, with someone I can trust.

I hadn’t even considered that, but he is right. This is the first time I have had to sit in a public space since I fully transitioned and it freaks me out. Partially its irrational, and partially its because I know some of them dislike me (well, that plus its loud and there are break watchers). So now I am anxious and pacing.

I know things should work out, but it is going to be anxious for me, and I am glad my hubby is so understanding. I realize also that most have to go through worse, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is new for me, so I will forgive myself that.

I am going to miss this office.

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Highway to Hell and my dad (music/memory)

ACDC has always been part of my life as far back as I can remember. My parents listened to bands like ACDC, then others like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queen, etc.

My strongest memory of ACDC though is one Sunday morning we were getting ready to go to church. Church was a rare event for us, my father always had issues with religion after going to Vietnam, and this was one of those days where he was deciding he didn’t want to do it anymore.

My dad a year later, still with that rolling cigarette tobacco sitting next to him, and my little brother.

I was 13 years old, living in our Lombard street apartment with my dad cranking up ACDC at 8am. They had been on a party binge and we all knew my dad wasn’t going with us to church (secretly I was hoping I didn’t have to go).

There had been an argument between my mom and dad over this fact, and my dad said “fuck that, I am staying home and listening to music”. This meant he would probably start drinking while we were at service and that Sunday would be a continuation.

We got dressed and were getting ready to leave, with my dad rolling his cigarette and sitting in his chair. ACDC’s song, “Highway to Hell” was blaring out and my dad was singing to it.

Just before we left my mom started yelling at my dad again. Then something strange happened, and I am not making this up, I watched as the stereo system starting making a clunking sound. Within a few seconds the cassette mechanism spit out the tape and Highway to Hell stopped playing as spooling cassette tape was everywhere.

I watched my dad just stare at the tape deck quietly for a moment. Without a word he stood up and got his coat, then he said, “C’mon lets to church” and we went.

This never permanently effected my dad, the religion problems continued, but he never played loud music and told my mom he was staying home to listen to music again either on a Sunday.

For your listening enjoyment, an oldie but a goodie!:

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Jessie’s Girl and Wolsey (music/memory)

See bottom of post for pronoun disclaimer (note 1):

Jessie’s Girl has a special place in my heart. It reminds me of my husband and the time before we got together (before he was my wife, or even girlfriend). The song fit pretty squarely as part of the soundtrack of my life. This was because when I first met Wolsey and fell in love, Wolsey was dating my best friend Doug.

I met Wolsey when I was 17 years old and had just moved to Bellingham WA. I was a virgin, going to my fourth high school in 2.5 years and I had just found a group of friends to hang with. My best friends at the time was Doug  and Jay.

We had met in a geeky Dungeons and Dragons game (and this was summer of 1987 I believe). By the end of that school year (so summer of 1988) my friend had shifted from being a geek to being a stoner/punk (I didn’t, I was sort of my own thing… think older brother from Stranger Things but from a biker family but who is a geeky gamer).

The advantage of Doug and Jay shifting from geek to stoner/punk was meeting new people and one of those new people I met was a very beautiful young lady who eventually would change her name to Wolsey after we had been married for decades (original name is classified as Wolsey hates it).

Wolsey was friends with another girl named Colby and they were also in the punk scene. Colby dated Doug for awhile, and I met Wolsey a couple of times. I thought she was pretty cool, and I was attracted to her. The better part though was I felt like we could be friends.

From R to L: Rob, Colby (laying down), Doug, Wolsey. (yes there is a censor line, the photo reveals a little too much).

Fast forward through teenager drama and Doug and Colby broke up and Doug started dating Wolsey. This meant I saw Wolsey constantly and we became best friends. I introduced Wolsey to Dungeons and Dragons and while Doug and Jay would play but fuck around, Wolsey and I both enjoyed the role-play, the story telling. I learned that while Wolsey looked punk as fuck (and hippy sometimes, Wolsey would float between the two) Wolsey liked reading, stories and was super creative.

Doug and Wolsey moved into their apartment together and I was there all the time. Doug would bail on us and a lot of times it was just Wolsey, myself, with others in our social group hanging out. It was fairly soon after we started hanging out with each other like that, that I fell in love with her (him).

It really was angst with a happy ending!

However, Wolsey was dating my best friend and I absolutely would not do something like try and break in on that. Funny enough the next time I was in this type of relationship situation with another woman I went the other way and not sure that it was any better a result.

Funny enough my parents both knew Wolsey well by this point and tried to get me to pursue her (him). I told them there was no way she was interested in me, and both my parents shook their head and said that Wolsey would be perfect for me (they were right in the end… damn them 🙂 ). Although I still to this day wish I had listened to my parents and done it. I didn’t realize they were right and she had a thing for me at the time.

The first time I noticed Jessie’s Girl as a song (it had been out for awhile) was when I was sitting in Wolsey and Doug’s living room. Doug had just been an asshole to Wolsey and stomped off. Wolsey was sitting there looking annoyed and frustrated and the song started playing. That was the soundtrack of how I felt about her for a couple of years. For some reason the song kept playing that summer too, even though it had been out for a few years.

I never wanted to jeopardize our friendship though. Even with how fucked up my childhood was (or maybe because of it and what my dad did try to instill) I tried to remain the paladin, true to my word and to my friend.

The other large part I didn’t act was that I truly truly loved being Wolsey’s friend and I never felt like I was in the “friend zone”. In fact I valued our friendship above everything and didn’t want to jeopardize that.  It is why I can’t stand friend zone people and incels. The other person owes you nothing (and Wolsey absolutely owed me nothing, I was just happy to get Wolsey’s friendship).

That is how it was for nine months as my best friend (well he had sort of drifted away as being my best friend to be replaced by Wolsey) and his girlfriend lived together and I would go over and visit. As a side note, in all fairness Wolsey was interested in me, showed me several clues but I was too shy/resistant I didn’t follow up. My romantic soundtrack for that time period was Jessie’s Girl.

I do realize now as a fully mentally formed adult that the song can be problematic, but I still like it and it reminds me of when my husband Wolsey was a pretty girl dating my best friend before she (he) usurped that spot and replaced Doug as my best friend.

Disclaimer Note 1: Let me get a clarification out here, I do refer to my current husband in historical terms as my friend, partner, etc. I also refer to him as my “wife” or “girlfriend” sometimes when talking about a memory when I was younger that happened before his transition. Sometimes I do this because it gets hard tracking who is who in those stories.

He is ok with this, as I am ok with him referring to me as his husband or boyfriend when recounting memories. It is hard with pronouns, especially when in context memories and of referring to us both as people we no longer are (myself as a boy back then and my husband as a girl back then). Just a FYI, he is ok with the pronoun use.

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Sometimes good shows up

I post a lot of stuff that is a little more negative about transition. Today however I have some beautiful stuff to talk about.

I had been out auditing an agency and when I wrapped up I drove the 45 minutes back to town. On my way back I decided I wanted a Costco hot dog, and that is what I thought about the whole time.

I got to Costco and went through my Costco hot dog purchase. The lady behind the counter was super sweet. She called me sweetie like five times and it was a good experience.

I walked back to my car with the hot dog, excited by the bad for you goodness I got to eat when I sat down (it was too packed in Costco dining area).

That is when tragedy struck me…

There was much sadness and gnashing of teeth. I was going to go back to the office and cry when I decided I could afford a second hot dog.

I went back to Costco, walked in and went to pay for another hotdog. All the ladies in Costco food were calling me sweetie, asking how my day was, etc. it helped me some

When I was getting rung up I handed my cash and I mentioned I had to come back because I dropped my hot dog. All of a sudden she stopped and pushed my money away. A second lady was shaking her head and saying “Honey, no money from you, we can give you a new one”. Then they all started yelling don’t pay for it, just take it.

The girl who sold me the original hot dog was screaming from the dishwasher area in the back to give me a free hot dog as well.

I asked them like 12 times if they were sure, they wouldn’t take any money at all. That single unasked concern for me reassured me and made me feel better than I had in days.

I can’t express the good it did for me, except I needed to share it.

Thank you Costco workers for being you!!!

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Music

I had forgotten how much I liked music.

I couldn’t honestly tell you when I stopped caring about music. When I was young I loved music, hell I used to sing in the shower (albeit not well). However, at some point I stopped. I am sure it was the depression from dysphoria and a traumatic childhood, but I couldn’t tell you when.

I wasn’t ever really good at music either. In elementary school I played the violin for a few weeks before they took back all the “loaner” instruments. Turn around five years later and I did play the bass in middle school. My parents couldn’t afford a violin (I was super poor) but there was an extra bass that the orchestra teacher had access too.

At the time I didn’t like it, I thought it was the secondary equivalent of being a wallflower, I hadn’t realized it was the same fingering as a bass guitar. That lasted a year and I was pretty good at it. Not orchestral good, but good enough I didn’t get booted out of the orchestra.

Eight years later, at the behest of my girlfriend, I auditioned for a choir. They loved my bass voice and wanted me in, but I ended up breaking up with her the next week so that never went anywhere (sadly, I do still have a pretty deep voice with my transition, that will need to be worked on probably).

Up to age 26-27 I would collect music, listen to it a lot and just enjoy it. My music taste runs from Russian Opera, to rap, country, rock, metal and folk. Pretty much I liked everything but R&B, and to be honest I like R&B now (I disliked it then for no obvious reason). Somewhere around that point I entered my depression and didn’t touch much music. I listened to a lot of audio books, podcasts, or when I listened to music I didn’t notice it.

Fast forward to age 47 (right before I turned 48 in August) and all of a sudden I love music again. I want to listen to it constantly, it triggers a lot of memories (each song almost has a theme, or memory associated with it). I also have been thinking about doing something music wise, maybe learn to play the keyboard or something. Not to be a “musician” but to just learn something new.

I am sure my transition and my depression cracking and releasing me are what caused this. I even want to go dancing with my husband, and I have NEVER wanted to dance as a boy. Not a single time, even when I went with my husband (my wife at the time) I would watch from the table when they would dance.

I think the weirdest thing is lately the memories and associations with songs (sometimes with brand new songs I have never heard before as well). My therapist once mentioned music sometimes can unlock things, and my survival trait growing up was to forget things, a habit I do even to this day.

So the music now effects me not only emotionally, but also my memories. I think I am going to start posting songs here, with a brief memory/association I have with them. It lets me work through things, remember both good and bad things, and maybe deal with all the shit I packed away for 48 years.

So there is that, you are all stuck with future posts with me and music. If its transitioned related association I will crosspost to Suddenly Straight, but otherwise it will just be here.

I am just thankful that I like music again. I think it means things are changing below the surface, not just on the skin level, and that really gives me hope.

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