Family Drama (dream)

Last night’s sleep was a bit rough. I ended up waking up just before midnight and then fell back asleep to have some weird dreams. A lot of them I can’t remember, but the one I woke up from I do mostly.

I dreamt that Wolsey, myself and some other people were rummaging around an abandoned shop or restaurant. It might have been a fire hall now that I think about it. With us was someone who in the dream seemed to be my uncle on my dad’s side. He looked like a bit younger Sam Elliott (fifties or so) which is funny because my dad and Sam Elliott himself had a lot of similar looks to them… especially the ‘stache.

We had gone into one of the back rooms and found some bronze wall hangings. At some point in time, someone said it belonged to us and we shouldn’t lose it again. I told them I didn’t think it belonged to us, it belonged here in the place we were in. It matched with the same decoration and dedication as a photo that was hanging on the wall (for the life of me I can’t remember what the photo was, but it was important).

We dug around the abandoned place for a while and found a room with a large king-size bed. I was tired and was frustrated about something in the dream and I just fell on the bed and began to drift off to sleep… yes, sometimes I dream about going to sleep…

I wasn’t fully asleep, just listening to everyone when my uncle sat down on the bed and started grumping about me being in the middle. I was trying to regain enough consciousness so I could move over when he leaned over and started spinning me around in a circle on the bed to try and make more room. The whole time he was complaining that I probably wasn’t even asleep and that I was intentionally being a dick to him.

I opened my eyes in the dream almost immediately and he used that to exclaim even louder than I was intentionally fucking with him. I wasn’t. But for some reason, him doing that flipped me the fuck out and I shoved him off the bed. He stood up and I was on him shoving him up against a wall. I remember there was a little shelving set behind him that came up to almost his butt level. I was shoving so much that he was braced against it.

He wouldn’t look at me and he had shut down. The whole time I was screaming at him “Fuck you, I was sleeping you, fuckhead, I wasn’t lying.” I then shoved a couple more times but didn’t get any more physical with some intentionally thought. He did stop saying stupid shit.

It ended with me telling him that I might not be on testosterone anymore, but I sure as fuck would kick his ass with my weak ass arms (or something to that effect).

I woke up amped, angry and still not feeling bad I had lost my shit on a family member. It was also when I realized that it was the first time in a dream that I can remember that acknowledged my current life, that I was trans. It wasn’t wish-fulfillment where I thought I was a cisgender girl, and it wasn’t the old dreams I remember where I was either a guy or a monster. It was me as I currently was.

I don’t remember a lot of my dreams over the last couple of years. I posted about a couple of them but the last one I talked about and wrote about was in December 2018. I do know with my new injectable estrogen regimen that there have been a lot of physical changes, I suspect there has been a lot of mental changes as well (well chemically influenced at least). I also am finally feeling like this is my body.

That is one of the two important things I took away from this dream. That for the first time in my life, or at least since I was a teenager, I feel like I am in my body. I don’t feel like my body is done, it has a long way still to go, but it’s the first time I feel connected to it in my dreams as well as in reality.

The second important thing to take away from this dream is I have some unresolved family angst/drama/anger that I haven’t worked through. That is the only reason I can think of to have a fictitious uncle in the dream and why I was so angry at what really wasn’t that big a deal.

Honestly, I miss remembering my dreams, even if they can be incredibly bad nightmares (not this one). I hope this means I might start remembering them more. I like recording them and then looking back on them in future years.

Shifting Focus

The last several months have been completely overwhelming. I have been running at a spoon deficit since I started to transition and it is only getting worse. The burnout is bad, and I do feel myself slipping closer into bouts of depression again.

I was talking to the hubby and he pointed out that every single hobby I regularly participate in is to please other people. As a general rule almost all the hobbies I still partake regularly are more spoons out than in. I think I am going to do some changes. I need to stop doing things as hobbies for other people.

Take for example baking, mostly for other people. I don’t like eating that many sweets, and the sweets I do want to make are generally not favored by Americans (not sweet enough, unusual ingredients, etc). I suspect I will reduce/eliminate my baking. I will expand my cooking though. I do that for me and the hubby and I enjoy it.

I do like talking about politics, but for the last couple of years, it has been more of trying to help shift people (or outright fight with MAGA shits)… which doesn’t change things when done online. I haven’t learned much new and I certainly haven’t enjoyed it. In response to this, I dumped all my political feeds today, I probably will only do anything LBGTQIA related, and then only on occasion.

I will probably mute a lot of people who do politics only. That means my Facebook will mostly be shitposting, selfies, photos of my food and random inane shit I think about.

My video game lets plays are another thing. I do enjoy it, but the stress comes about in my desire to provide content for others.  The stress about scheduling and what games to play can sometimes get in the way of having fun. I haven’t played a video game for me in a long long time other than Battlefield and I don’t know how to even do that now. I think I might continue, but at my pace and only with the games I want to play.

My Things You Should Know channel is the most fun of the youtube but that is probably because I do that at my speed. Originally it was multiple videos a week, now if I get a video a week out I am happy and that is fine.

My photography, one of my “me only” hobbies has been curtailed severely due to the spoons it takes (money and time). That will be coming back soon.

My writing has been haphazard. That is purely for me. I think that will take a lot higher focus and I need to let that be something I come home and do, instead of putting it away so I can do things for others.

Gaming… the biggest hobby I have had over the course of my life. Currently, I am not a player in any game, so there is no “me only” focus. However, as a GM I get a lot of out it. It helps with my creativity, leads to me writing stories and bonding with friends. So it will continue. I enjoy making stories, and my technical writing skills ARE SHIT, but I am really good at the actual telling of stories (insert oral joke here).

I will also be expanding world-building not just for my current games, but future games. I very much enjoy the process of building worlds, cultures and making websites on them. I realize most people don’t read the. websites for the games they are in, let alone the others and that is ok. The websites/world-building is mostly for me. Plus if the worlds are built, its easier to run them as a game.

The one hobby that is for me and is new is makeup. I have gotten a pretty good basic foundation on it, but I think I want to get better. I want to include dressing up,  hair, etc. It is dual purpose though, the better I can do, the closer to passing I can get. This means my public life gets easier overall.

End result… I am dropping politics/news, and baking, while cutting back on video editing (but not stopping), increasing writing and makeup/girl stuff and staying the same on my gaming. Photography I will come back to eventually, just not enough spoons with the surgeries and travel for transition. So that is how I am shifting focus at this moment.

Don’t mess around with razors

Lately my hormones have been coming more in line. The HRT has been causing the feminizing changes such as larger boobs, hips and butt shifting, lightening hair (except on face) and most especially making skin softer.

The skin softer has also made it a lot more sensitive. This is mostly good, except for when it comes to shaving.

For more than 30 years I shaved without really caring about the razor. I was more interested in saving money then a “good razor”. My skin was fairly resilient and it wasn’t painful. Then I transitioned, my skin is soft and sensitive and HOLY FUCKING SHIT BAD RAZORS HURT.

I even tried “women’s razors’ and to be honest those are a complete joke. They are on the level of bad razors, but more expensive. Just because they are pink and say “for sensitive skin” they LIE!!!

Today I finally got to use one of the good ones from Costco and it felt so much nicer. I cannot tell everyone enough, if someone has sensitive skin, buy them the damn nice razors. Trust me guys, you have no idea how much more it hurts with estrogen ridden sensitive skin. Don’t cheap out on that person.

Definitely worth the extra 20% cost.

Contrary to what I have written lately, I am happy

I realize a lot of my posts have been negative lately. The grief of the anniversary of my father’s death, the stresses of family, the transphobia on a regular basis. This might make it seem like everything is just doom and gloom. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am happier now then I have been since I was seventeen. To be honest I am much happier than even then. This morning I was in the shower and I saw in our little hanging shower mirror the girl I am. It only lasted until it steamed up again, but I caught a glimpse, something I never saw my entire life before my transition.

In other mirrors I sometimes catch it, or maybe just in the way sometimes people react. Sometimes I even feel it inside, sometimes for a brief moment I forget all the stresses and I just feel like me. It is the greatest thing ever.

I definitely see it a lot in the eyes of my husband. That is where I see myself the most, and the most often I feel whole. Not specifically that I wouldn’t be whole without him, but I see the confirmation of who I am. Not just as a transgender girl, but my creativity, my intelligence, and emotional capacity. There is a validation there.

I just wanted to clarify to everyone that while a lot of hard things are happening, I have never been happier before, and so unhappy as well, evidently when the depression leaves, I don’t get access to the ability to numb the bad parts, but that is ok it means I feel the good parts too.

I just can’t tell my friends and family enough how much I love them for their support in allowing me to be who I am. I especially can’t tell my husband enough how much he means to me.

Things are great in my head, I promise!!!

Acknowledging my privilege

I am sure in the ensuing days that I am going to rant, rave and cry here about my transition. There is so much that sucks, so much that isn’t talked about that you could fill a book (and I probably will).

That being said, with the debt/transphobia/dysphoria and other problems I want to acknowledge my privilege at the outset. I am in a much better place then many of my trans and non-binary people and I don’t ever forget it.

There are multiple areas where I have privilege starting with my skin color. I am white, which starts me at the top of the privilege pyramid when it comes to transitioning concerning ethnicity. It is still absolutely dangerous for me, I could be stabbed, shot, beat up, fired, etc. However, the statistics show that out of all of my trans and non-binary people I am the least likely to suffer that hatred. It still can happen, but I start out with a weighted advantage.

The second area I have privilege is access to credit. I do not have money to pay stuff outright. I don’t have the ability to just buy things and walk away with no consequences. I do however have an education level and a professional field that gives me better access to white collar jobs, and much better access to credit.

I will still have to pay this all back. Right now we are at approximately $32,000 for my face left after paying back almost $8000 already. I have spent more than $10,000 in electrolysis on credit card that I have been able to pay back (and just dumped another $1500 today for flight down to Phoenix). There is an additional $25k I will be spending as we move forward (not counting my portion of the cost of SRS if I get it) for lip feminization/facelift/tummy tuck. I can access that credit right now if I wanted, but I really can’t afford the payments.

That being said I do have to pay this all back, but I am in a much better position then a lot of people transitioning who can’t even get access to credit. In the end maybe they are better off if their not hitting $50k in negative value, but the depression and dysphoria I suffer from is only worse for others who can’t touch it, so no I don’t think they are better off even if they aren’t in debt.

I have another set of privilege, I have insurance (this goes with the white collar work/education privilege). I still have to pay, but having the insurance gives me access to doctors, HRT treatments, surgeons and lab tests along with a very good therapist to work on my childhood PTSD.

Finally, and the most important privilege I have is my husband. I am married to someone who dedicates their life to me (as I do to them). They are devoted to helping me through transition. They are there when I cry, when I laugh or when I am just confused and scared. Wolsey is the highest point of my privilege and without him I would be dead (and that isn’t hyperbole). Too many of my trans people do not have someone else (whether they have class/ethnicity privileges or not). For this last privilege I am the most grateful and without it I couldn’t do this.

I know I have privilege, and I know even with that I am going to have hateful days of crying. I will come here to cry, just understand that I realize this privilege even if I use this platform to vent.

Finishing Off 2019

This last month was supposed to be mostly vacation and medical appointments. With Christmas coming and this being the first Christmas where I am not so depressed that I was numb, I knew it might be a little rough emotionally.

It was a lot worse than expected. On Christmas Eve I got a call from my sibling. They had a broken leg, had decided to run off to Vegas to marry someone and within three days of being there it was broken off. I get a call saying they are stuck there with no money, no flight and no place to stay. They literally only went to Vegas wearing pajamas (although they did get some clothing when they got there).

I spent the next three days on the phone with them, other hotels and airlines trying to arrange a way for them back. To make it worse, the sibling wasn’t behaving very rationally and was having some issues of their own. They wouldn’t just take the next flight home and had to wait a day and a half (meaning I had to pay for an extra hotel night). They yelled at me (but stopped when I hung up and I think they knew I was going to leave them if they didn’t cut that shit out), and finally they got home.

They are doing better, which relaxes me. However, I haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night until last night since this whole event. It has set off my own mental health issues, but fortunately my hubby and my therapist have been really good (more about my therapy in the future).

The end result is a lot of extra money on a credit card, mental health flare and a continual worry that my sibling is going to hurt themselves as they are currently homeless back in Bellingham. It wracks me with guilt because I can’t afford any more money, and they have been nice about it not asking, but I still end up feeling like a failure.

None of this even counts the emotional grief I am not able to process because of this for the death of my parents and my missing them.

That is ok, this is a new year, new outlook and a new girl who is establishing boundaries. So don’t pity me too much, I will be fine. I just needed to write down a very abbreviated version here.

2020 – Looking ahead

I will probably post a roundup of 2019, but I figure I will let that digest a few days first. As for 2020 I just wanted to outline my plans overall.

Resolutions are not the same as goals. Resolutions are the things I truly want to task myself with for the year. Things I expect to call myself out on. Goals are a lot more flexible. My life is hectic and I am trying to be ok with not achieving goals. The resolutions though are more important.

This list is mostly for me to work out over the next couple of weeks what I have time for and what I don’t. I will give updates to these subjects as the year progresses.

RESOLUTIONS

The only resolution I am going to try and keep is to be kind to myself. This has always been hard for me to do, and I would use whatever I could to be harder on me than I should. I have a great husband, a great therapist and a lot of great friends who are supportive. I will use that support this year to be kinder to myself.

This kindness also means to be more accepting of how I look. I have anxiety attacks about my transition, about what I look like, and about the fact I am changing shape (and this is good, more feminine). I know my body is shifting and its good. I know I may go up a little bit in weight and that is also ok.

2020 GOALS (NOT RESOLUTIONS)

I have a lot of goals for the year. I am hoping I can keep the majority of them but most of them are not required.

A LOT OF MEDICAL GOALS

  • Engage with as much of the transgender surgical procedures this year as I can.
    • Electrolysis (probably at least three trips in 2020 to Phoenix, unknown number locally for lower electrolysis). This includes the scheduled trip down to Phoenix in two weeks. Senza Pelo are awesome for this.
      • Breast Augmentation, aiming for April 2020. I am currently involved in consultations with three surgeons this January. Very excited by this, as it is covered by our insurance!!! Seeing Dr. Mangubat, Dr. Sajan and Dr. Ueno for the second time. I can go with Dr. Ley as well, but I would prefer not flying down and staying in Phoenix for two weeks, for something as simple as boobs.
      • Voice Work. I want to work on feminizing my voice. I have some resources, I just haven’t had the brain space to start.
      • Lip Feminization. I have consults with two of these same surgeons for lip feminization (probably the next biggest bang for my buck after breast augmentation). Currently considering Dr Mangubat, Dr. Sajan and I have already consulted with Dr. Ley.
      • Tummy Tuck. This is more optional, but I am fairly sure it might be done this year depending on our finances and the surgeons (we are seeing same surgeons for lip feminization as we are for this). I hesitate on this, and if it was only fat on my belly I might try losing more weight, but its a whole hell of a lot of skin from losing 100+ pounds and it sucks.
      • Lower face lift/feminization. This is also very optional. We have found it isn’t very expensive and I may consider lopping it in with Lip feminization (they already will have me under the knife).
      • Looking at possible procedure for Peryonie’s Disease. Unfortunately the side effect of dropping testosterone still hurts in full moments of passion and I may start pursuing “unkinking it”. That way if that fails we can always tap down the other side. I would like this done this year, this is painful, but it depends on everything else.
      • GRS… Gender Reassignment Surgery or the infamous “Bottom Surgery” is still very much on the table. I still have dysphoria, but it is always weighed on the risk of losing orgasm… however now the risk of my penis hurting when erect is also being considered. I suspect no matter what this isn’t even a consideration this year. I am just starting electrolysis for this in February. However it is now a possibility on the horizon.
  • I will have to look into my teeth this year. I need a crown at some point, I do have an FSA as well. I am going to see how much of my FSA I can use to spend on the above transgender items, but if I have enough left over FSA on what I can spend, I may go in and have a dentist do it.
  • I need to have my hearing looked at. It is steadily getting worse and we don’t know if I still have tubes in my ears. The prior ear doctor sucked, so we will have to start with a new one.
  • Get my stomach checked. I throw up pretty much daily, none of my medical questions have been answered and there hasn’t been much concern. I suspect it is a combination of hiatal hernia, greasy/bad/too much eaten food, and my anxiety. I am working on anxiety already with therapist, the rest still needs to be addressed.

NON-MEDICAL GOALS

There is a lot of stuff here, this is all optional and some will be done, some won’t. r

  • Put together my D&D World (2.0 baby)
  • Reassess all my websites, condense where I can and determine what I truly want to continue forward with.
  • Write at least 10,000 words a week. It seems like a lot, but I have done it before with minimal impact. This doesn’t have to be on a specific book, it can just be writing exercises or anything. This is just to get me back into it.
  • Get ahead in my self teaching of digital art.
  • Get ahead of Things You Should Know Youtube channel. For some reason this has been really hard, not in process, I have it super simple, but I am having some sort of anxiety/almost dysphoria about it. Might fall into my concerns with my voice.
  • Do more Photography.
  • Take more time with the hubby. I want to establish a regular weekly date night. We do this on and off, but things get stressed. When I say date night I don’t mean every time going out. I think living room floor picnic works for me, or just holding him.
  • Learn to not care about work when I am not at work.
  • Learn ASL (this falls under my failing hearing above). I am honest though, I have so much transition stuff that ASL is probably not in the cards. However, it is something I hope for.

I am sure I have a lot more goals, but those are all the main points I can think of now, I just don’t want to dig too deep as many of these deserve their own posts.

 

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.

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.

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 “Tired…”