Posted in Internal Thoughts Transition

Didn’t expect this

Since I started my transition back last spring I have tried clothing for my chest wear such as a camisole, or other garments. My chest wasn’t very large so I didn’t have to pay much attention. After all I was still in “boy mode” and wasn’t concerned about passing.

Fast forward to end of the year and my boobs are becoming real. Not big, but early-mid teen level and becoming obvious when I wear shirts. This absolutely pleases me of course and I don’t mind them poking out. The problem is I am going back to work (I will post about that later) so I need to be conservative and keep them in check. Plus I am starting to work out now and they are starting to hurt when I bang against something.

I realize they are still not big, but the hubby got me some sports bras to wear. So now I am trying to wear them for support and in preparedness for my chest surgery this fall (and they will be fairly large) so I know I will be a bra person from this point forward.

During my wearing of a sports bra I can tell you what someone who was AMAB is surprised about. These are obvious things but when you live as a guy for four+ decades you never have to consider these two items.

1. Bras are tight across the chest. I realize this is a “duh” moment, but the privilege of not having to wear a bra means you might know logically, but you don’t realize until you do it how different it is.

I have found it comfortable sometimes, my breasts are fairly tender now and if I lean against something like a guy or don’t pay attention they smart from being tapped, tagged or smashed against something. The bra definitely helps that.

I also found I really understand now (and I bet even more so when I have the chest surgery and larger bras) why the women I was around were so happy when they could take their bra off. The sigh of relief I heard always seemed a bit odd to me. Men’s clothing doesn’t fit like this at all and I didn’t realize it was a relief to get the bra off. Now I get it.

2. The second, and even more unexpected aspect of the bra is the weird way it feels around my mid/stomach section. The bra doesn’t feel weird, but the feeling of something on my upper chest but then nothing on my abdomen is an absolutely bizarre situation for me.

I never wore half shirts/muscle tees that expose the midriff and I am sure this is a similar feeling, but it felt awkward to have only the top half of my chest covered on one layer, but not below. It was even weirder to feel the shirt I am wearing on my belly, but a different layer of fabric (the bra) on my chest.

I have gotten used to it, but it struck me how separated we keep the genders for clothing and what it means. Just a little insight to you on what a transitioning women is thinking about bras in her first weeks of experience.



Posted in About Me Health Internal Thoughts Transition

Risk Tolerance and Aversion

 

One of the unexpected results of being on estrogen and testosterone blockers (spirolactone in my case) was the change in my risk tolerance lowering and my risk aversion increasing greatly.

For the first 46 years of my life I was a very high risk tolerant person. I wouldn’t stress quitting a job on the fly. When I was younger I would hang out of a truck at freeway speeds being held by only a belt that a friend was holding (or freeway surfing in the back of that truck on the freeway). I didn’t mind jumping apartments more than once a year, and I liked a lot of change in my life.

Yes that is me in the back of a pickup, but at least we weren’t doing freeway speeds.

My safety didn’t concern me one bit, not physically, financially, emotionally or domestically. It would drive my husband nuts and I can’t say that I don’t blame him for being upset, especially now.

For the last 10 months on hormones and blockers my risk tolerance and aversion has become inverted. I get anxious driving too fast (especially if I am not driving). The idea of looking for work freaks me out. The idea of having to move is pretty intensely bad for me and finally I have developed this weird fear of our financial situation deteriorating even further that I want to stock up.

So much so that I made the husband buy a freezer and now we keep it full…

Now, part of my risk tolerance and acceptance I had before my transition can be directly laid out at how I was raised. Being raised around bikers, police involved in our lives, violence and guns (oh and living homeless for more than a year in high school) contributed. This was along with poverty and a lot of hunger made me pretty bullet proof for risk.

This of course combined with my 30 year long fight with depression (transition related along with PTSD and childhood trauma) made me really risk tolerant. I honestly never thought I would live to be this old and I didn’t really care. Not that I thought of it that way, I just assumed I would be dead by something.

This changed massively when I came out as transgender and the depression retreated back. I am in counseling for my depression, PTSD and trauma. The biggest piece though seems to be the testosterone restriction. It is a huge difference now. Some might say it is only correlation but I watched the husband go the opposite direction from before his transition (he got very anxious about risk when he was still presenting as feminine) and now he is a lot more tolerant of it. Our roles have almost flipped not just gender wise but in the risk aversion.

I realize I bought into the whole toxic masculinity when I was younger. I totally admit it. I loved (and in some cases still do love) adrenaline rushes. I love the feeling of a plane taking off and landing (just as much now, one of the weird things that hasn’t changed), but the idea of our finances and my unemployment ending freak me out. Driving in rainy freeway weather freaks me out. The idea that we might have to move yearly again makes me uncomfortable when a year ago I always looked for new apartments and new adventures.

I do feel bad though. I used to always give a hard time to my female friends and especially my husband (at the time my wife) about being such a nervous Nelly. He would be anxious driving in the rain, or other bad weather conditions, nervous about moving again or quitting jobs, etc. I just assumed he needed to get over it. I didn’t understand at all what he or my other female friends felt.

I didn’t realize how much of it is hardcoded into the hormones/position in society. I feel like a total dick because of it. Not that I was mean, but I would roll my eyes and bitch to myself.

So there it is, I am now way more risk averse to physical things, financially a bit and definitely domestically. It is amazing how much of us is dictated by our chemistry.

Posted in Internal Thoughts Memories Transition

My father in the mirror

I never really thought about what I looked like when I stared at myself in the mirror. I generally would just groom and move on. It is just a station to stop at and fix up as best I can what I see in the mirror.

It is strange now that I have lost more than 105lbs, I am under 200lbs for the first time since I was 18. That combined with the fact that I am growing my beard out for electrolysis and causing a huge influx of dysphoria (which I will talk about more later) and the final touch realizing that most of the brown in my beard is gone due to laser hair removal means it is mostly a glint of silvery white.

Combine that with my longer thinner face and my hair is still brown means I am looking at myself in the mirror and realize I once again look vaguely like my father around this age. Especially when I catch it in the corner of my eyes, it catches me off guard. Not in a bad way, he wasn’t an unattractive man. I don’t hate the sight of him.  I loved him dearly even with the alcoholism and other issues. It just wasn’t something I expected to see again.

Dad, 4 or 5 years older than I am now.

When I was 18-19 and I first started dating the hubby I looked similar to now (just 30 years younger of course). I had more than one occasion where I would walk the hubby down the street (he was a tiny, very very attractive punk rock girl at the time, since this was 24 years before his transition) and people would comment back to my mom that they saw “John” down on Railroad (the local bar road) with a younger girl.

Hubby and I a few years after the incident but before transition. As if you couldn’t tell looking back we were headed somewhere different.

It got my dad in trouble a couple of times for stuff he hadn’t done, and I never understood it. I never really thought we looked alike (although looking at a photo album I can see what people were saying). We even had one person step out of a bar and start calling my dad’s name when I had walked by with my hand around Wolsey’s waist. Of course when they got outside and got closer they realized I was his older kid and apologized, but it was funny now (and I was a bit horrified back then).

Me, about 2 years later, a little heavier

I grew older and within a couple of years I had put on a lot of weight. I still think I looked hot (well, I didn’t, but W always thought I did) and I looked a lot more like my mother’s side of the family, the viking norseman bloodline was a lot more evident and similarities to my father disappeared under my bulk.

A little younger 40ish, hated it but it was expected.

Now that thirty years have gone by and I have recently lost all that weight I look different and my body has morphed closer to my father (except far taller, my dad was always shorter than me) and my grandfather on my mom’s side similarity has receded.

So now sometimes, with the beard coming out and the silver white coloring glinting in the light of the bathroom mirror I see memories of my dad. Part of it makes me smile, I loved him dearly. Part of me misses him terribly. I haven’t yet really talked about the horror of him passing away and the total fucked up situation my siblings put the whole thing through.  Maybe I am at a point I can do that.

Then part of me panics for a moment. Shame that I might “destroy” what is left looking like him living here in the world. It is a stupid thought. A fear that I am going to fuck something up. I realize this is more about fear of the unknown when it comes to the FFS, but that is how it comes out. That I might destroy the last remnants of my father that still live and look like him.

The worst part is that is quickly overridden by the gut sick feeling I see of myself when I see that facial hair coming through. I never understood up until coming out and transitioning what it meant that I hated facial hair. I tried it a lot, I come from biker stock and it is part of the uniform, especially the mutton chops. I think a lot of the time it looked really good on me, better than without it. It didn’t matter though, I always hated it.

A little older 46ish, really hated how I looked

I hate it more now that I know FFS is coming up and there it is mocking me while I wait for the electrolysis to make it go away forever over a very long period of time. That however doesn’t stop the weird guilt and shame I feel over intentionally changing my bone structure and removing that beard forever. Don’t worry, that guilt and shame only last momentarily and then my desire for my true self to come out is stronger, but its there.

I know part of it is I just miss my dad a lot. He had a lot of problems, way more than most dads. In other ways he showed love a lot stronger than any dad I have met. It is complicated thing, but I think the transition is forcing me to deal with feelings. The fact that I see parts of him when I look in the mirror has made it harder. It doesn’t help we are coming up to the anniversary of his passing and I think with the anxiety of the surgery.

Sometimes I can’t even clearly define why I am upset about it, I am still working on it, trying to understand. I don’t know if all this will be is random emotions about my history, my life and experiences and complicated relationships, but that is why I write it down. Maybe in 20 years when I am closing in on 70 it will make more sense why I felt this way… or maybe I will still have no clue.

For now it brings out some sadness, a lot of dysphoria, but also a little smile when I catch my father in the mirror.

Dad and I
Posted in General Update Health Internal Thoughts Transition

Unexpected Changes

Before I go any further I need to put a disclaimer. This post is about genital stuff, mostly about changes, some of which are unexpected. I feel the need to write about it because that is the purpose of me blogging about my transition, all the details of it. However, if you are squeamish or don’t want to know about medical aspects of my genital transition then don’t read any further, I will even put a cut here for you.

Continue reading “Unexpected Changes”

Posted in Health Internal Thoughts Transition

Dysphoria

Today I wanted to talk to you about dysphoria and myself. Growing up I have always hated the way I look. I mean absolutely, truly hated it. No physical reason for it, I know I was considered attractive enough that others showed interest in me, and personality can only make up for some of that.

I never associated it as dysphoria though. I always thought I was just too fat, my chin was too big, etc. I even felt differently about the typical male role I played intimately with others. Didn’t like it, but didn’t identify it as a gender related issue.

The hubby tried to get me to buy clothing, to care about myself, a variety of ways to show me that there was nothing wrong with me. I didn’t have the words for him at the time. All I could put out there was that I was fat, stupid, etc. I just marked it mentally as mental health issues because logically I knew I wasn’t that bad, but the emotion would never stop.

That is to say until I transitioned and as my features slowly change I found I really starting to like what I look like. The emotion has gone away mostly. That is until Saturday and it is getting harder. That is because I have to grow my beard out for electrolysis. It is the first time in a year I have had a beard, and while I have had my biker/office chops before, I never liked it.

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Me, Circa 2016/2017

I find now I hate it even more. I am fortunate, laser hair removal has gotten rid of almost all my dark hair, so all that is left is white hair with some dark hair above my lip. So I don’t look quite so viking like. I also don’t think logically that I look badge even with the beard coming out. I have more of a David Bowiesque guy look going and logically it is fine. Inside it is a thousand times worse.

I am so close to where I want to go body wise, and now the beard has to be done and the feel of stubble and beard on my neck and face just eats at me. Sadly this needs to be done, the electrolysis will get rid of this problem, it is just a small trial I have to go through before I get my facial surgery.

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Beard doesn’t look like much yesterday, today is way worse (no photo of that yet).

Of course I have had negative thoughts as well looking at myself in the mirror, worrying as I drift away from masculine that the husband will be left wanting something I wouldn’t have to give him. He has never said this, he has made clear he is attracted to me, but that is a huge difference already. I have lost weight, I look fairly good already (the best I have looked in our marriage) but I feel like now that he gets the best look for “his husband” it will be disappearing soon.

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That is its own post, but I wanted to get an intro on what I am feeling and dysphoria along with worry my husband will not be as attracted to me. I am sure those are all interrelated to my beard growing out. Let’s hope it only takes a few weeks to do this.

Don’t worry, I will be back with more stuff soon!

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts Transition

Job Interviews

I should be more than happy about this situation. I had a job interview with the old job I had that I left in September earlier this week. Yes, the one that I left in September.

It pays $20,000 more a year than what I was making at the state. I share an office instead of a desk in a pod, and it is mostly self directed. Then why do I absolutely hate the idea of going back you might ask? Because I left originally because of the anti-trans issues that popped up from some employees and from the County Council.

I have the second interview there today and there is a huge part of me that is praying they pass me over. I suspect they won’t, they are using the desk guide I wrote and the guidelines I developed for whoever gets hired back. However, there is evidently three of us getting the second interview and one of the people had worked closely with the boss of this department. The voice inside my head is hoping that they give it to them. I hate nepotism but the dark side of me is hoping it gets used today. There is a part of me that just twists at the idea of having to deal with those looks daily at me for being trans. To be honest though, that would probably only only last for a few months.

No matter how I feel though, I know I can’t reasonably tank the interview on purpose. I watch the husband struggle with pressure that our finances rest on him. My face is going to cost the same OR MORE than getting a master’s degree (above $36,000) and it is going to be all credit. I do have unemployment and we do make enough to squeak by making that extra payment so we won’t crash financially (even with the payments on my face I can scavenge enough to keep us going at least 12-18 months). Even so, while I do have the ability to keep going financially,  I can’t say no if I get offered it.

I am already expecting though, if I get hired and find they are still the douchebag coworkers that I left because of, that I probably won’t return after my actual facial surgery. I am even looking at returning to the DoD as I felt there was more support there. Some of the management already said they would pick me up without a hesitation and since we won’t have to rely on the DoD for my medical that is an option. This is because the hubby is still working state and my insurance will still be through the state.

So I feel horrible that I even think I would like to not get the job. Like I am failing the hubby. I have no doubt this is all nudged by my transition specific stresses as well. It becomes this large ball of stress and I don’t know what to do.

That isn’t true, I know what to do and I will do it. I will go to the interview and give my best performance and take the job if it is offered, work my ass off on it no matter what others say and determine in May when I come back from my facial surgery whether I want to jump to the feds or not (right now higher probability then staying).

If I don’t get the job, I will keep applying at places and most likely go back to the DoD as well. Either way its going to suck mentally, but I need to do it. I can’t leave the hubby hanging.

The only thing about all of this is I have never been able to take time to just relax, or focus on my transition. It has been about work and money the whole time. It would be nice to focus on me at some point, but maybe once this is over I can work it out.

Posted in General Update Health Internal Thoughts

Anxiety, Unemployment and Job Interviews

I have been quiet the last couple of weeks due to an overabundance of anxiety, projects and money stress. Overall it has been going ok, and only some of my stuff is transition related so I will cover that in a future post.

As we all know, I was laid off 25 minutes after I put in my request for time off for FFS related to my transitioning. It was unexpected although not necessarily unwelcomed. I hated that job anyways, the management I worked with (as part of management) had favorites, targeted specific employees they didn’t like and overall, I disapproved of how they did it. So, my being cut out was fine, especially if it made me eligible for unemployment. Sort of a win-win.

Five weeks later they still were not approving my unemployment (sadly I worked for the people that handle unemployment, so it was a bit awkward signing up for it) and that has caused a massive amount of stress financially.

We can totally get by on what my hubby makes, even if it is super tight budget wise. He is working his ass off, but it crushes me every time I see him having to do what he does, and he does it willingly to help support me and my transition. That is why it was so important I get unemployment so I can take that burden off and smooth our wait for my surgery in April.

Last week I got asked to come in for an interview at the job I had before last. I left that job because of some pretty transphobic coworkers (they didn’t know I was transgender) and so I made a soft exit and went on to what was a cursed job. Now they wanted to interview me again so while I dislike the idea of working there again, I know the job and it pays fairly good, better than my hell job.

I went in to the first interview, part of me really hoping they wouldn’t want me back just so I could actually have some time to be a stress ball about transitioning and surgery. I was clear on the massive amount of time I was going to be requesting off this year due to four surgeries (at least, not counting any revisions or fixes needed). They seemed mildly ok with it.

I got home and the next day I find I am approved for unemployment. Massive amount of pressure taken off both the hubby and I for at least six months. It isn’t a lot of money and it means we will not be paying any of the large debt we are incurring for my face, but it would keep us going.

Not more than three hours later I get an invite to the second interview for that job, a job I don’t want but pays too much for me to justify not taking it. So now there is a little frustration that I got the unemployment but that will probably be going away by the beginning of February IF they hire me (that is still not even close to a definite yet).

So now I have this cognitive dissonance. I am getting unemployment and am happy, but stressed it isn’t more money. I may get a job that pays about double my unemployment but will hate and here I sit spinning my wheels stressed about all of it.

Stress like a rat on a wheel, circling round and round.

I find if I express this it sometimes helps, which is why you get to all read about it. There are some transition things happening that add greatly to this, but like I said those will be their own post.

So here I am stressing out that I might have a better paying job, or that I am not making enough on unemployment. You would think between the two choices I would find myself happy, but I am not. Such is the life of a girl.

Posted in About Me General Update Internal Thoughts

A quiet week of scanning.

One of my goals in 2019 was to post several times a week, but already I got a little behind. For the last week or so I have been scanning our pictures packed away. I did this about two years ago shortly after my parents passed. it was done in a hurry, the scan qualities probably not the best, but I did it so I could get the degrading photos safely saved and handed out to my family members.

The photos from my childhood had traveled with us homeless for years, we moved more than 20 times in my childhood (eviction, poverty and homelessness) and this meant all we had left were some ratty photo albums that we kept no matter what. So when my parents died, I figured it was important to scan them, evidently not as important to my family in the end. Lesson learned on that front.

Now that we are settled and I am taking some photo restoration online classes I am learning a lot. I want to go back through not just my childhood, but the hubby and I’s photos and scan everything that I WANT. I make this distinction because there were a lot of photos I scanned that I had no idea who the person was, where it was at, etc. It was only done in case someone wanted it in the future. Now that I am doing it for myself, I can be picky. The other problem is my organization when I scanned it makes it hard to figure out what photos I want to keep and if I can get them in better quality, so here we are scanning.

That being said, being picky is pretty hard. I can for the most part not blink as I put aside photography dealing with people I don’t know who they are. I can also avoid photos of scenic (or not so scenic) views of places that don’t mean so much to me.

I have however found it difficult anyways to not scan some stupid imagery. Not that it means anything to me, but I think it is some sort of resonance, or worry that I don’t want to lose what my parents were looking at, at one point in time of their life. It makes me super anxious that I might be squishing out their point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still not scanning all of the photos I will never look at anyways, but it does give me anxiety about doing it. I am about 1/3 of the way done after a week and I will be glad to have it done, and stop the scanning.

At least at that point I can use my computer to figure out duplicates, remove them. Then remove photos I can’t restore and are no good. I will then go back through my current photo library (after backing it up) and deleting or replacing photos I don’t want or need.

The other good experience is I am learning pretty fast how to restore photos, it is both easier and harder than you would think. Hey, maybe now that my job prospects are shakier with being out and trans I might be able to pick up a little side money restoring photos, or even photo manipulation.

Either way, next couple of weeks will be busy as I do this.

Posted in About Me General Update Internal Thoughts

Wrapping up 2018

I have been remiss lately in my postings due to holidays, stress and other factors. However, I really want to start engaging more. I find that posting about my life lets me explore things and learn things about myself, or at the very least let’s me see where I was at a given point in time (even if sometimes embarrassing).

I am not someone who really has ever particularly liked the whole “magic day” that makes new things possible. Your new year starts when you want it to, it isn’t a date, but because I am more hypocrite then anything I thought I would start though with a bullet list of where I stand currently in my life, give me something in one year to look back and determine how things have changed at a glance.

Important Points in 2018:

  • I am married to the most fantastic, supportive man and love of my life for 26 years. Only decision (other than maybe transition) that I have not ever regretted.
  • I came out and began my transition in 2018, I have never been happier with how I looked or felt, lost 100lbs from March – December and am excited about the changes (20lbs more is my target, but I am ok where I am at if I don’t make it).
  • I am unemployed due to transitioning. I left my long term job because of the transition and working for the department of defense. I then left the county job to go to the state job in order to go to a place that would know who I am and support my transition. Only to be let go 25 minutes after I request off time for my upcoming gender confirming surgery (FFS/Orchie/Chest Reconstruction).
  • I have a great set of family I have chosen, it is small but meets what I need.
  • I have a great gaming group, first long term roleplaying game in over a decade.
  • We are financially stable even being unemployed thanks to my husband and being out of almost all debt (we got 100% out except student loans until I started medical transitioning and we had to buy a car).
  • I am in a secure apartment, with our goal to stay here for five years.
  • I am learning to walk away from toxic relationships, no matter who.
  • Our cat Ghost passed this year after spending three years with us.
  • I started photoshop, photography and digital art tutorials/classes online. Not much progress yet.
  • I finished 52 books this year.
  • Our book we are writing (accidentally gay) is at the editor and finally had first edit done, target date is around Valentine’s Day for publishing.

I will probably update this list as I think about it. It is after all only 3:55am and mornings are rough.

So, there you have in a nutshell (or bullet list) the big things this year that I remember happening). I will posts soon about what I want to do in the next year and see if it works out.

Posted in Events General Update Internal Thoughts Transition

Centering Myself

I have been quiet because I needed to take some time away and center myself. I talked about being fired last week, and that it caught me completely off guard. I needed some quiet time to set up for the long wait of unemployment, and to see where the finances stood for the husband and I. Mostly I just needed to work through the feeling of being betrayed.

The finances are still ok. We got both our student loans deferred (I am unemployed and eligible, he still had optional deferment available) so we can make it on his income alone, even with our car payment. So financially we are doing ok without any income from me.

I have turned in all the required paperwork, I wasn’t let go for cause and there should be no issues on my work record. I should get unemployment. However, that can take some time, since the four quarters they count my income are when I worked for the feds. The feds don’t report wages to the state unless a person requests, so it could be weeks before I get any unemployment… We can get by, but it means I can’t put money aside for the FFS.

Of course this all happened the same week I flew down to Phoenix, got my FFS, and everything medically is going into fast gear. So a lot of anxiety has been occurring. That being said, a week later I find myself happier. I truly was despising that job. Mainly the way my management team I was on would target employees they didn’t like. That put me on the other side of my co-managing team several times when I couldn’t agree to punish my auditors for things that didn’t merit that level of punishment.

On top of all this there was a lot of disdain for my transition that had been building up. There were some people that were great, but several people I worked directly with would get that weird lip pull back when I talked about it, and obviously they were uncomfortable. Evidently uncomfortable enough that after I submitted an FMLA request for my FFS surgery I was walked out of the office 25 minutes later with no disciplinary actions, no warnings, it was just cashing in on the CBA and giving me “no cause” for my being released.

The frustrating part is the reason I came here was they are supposedly open to transgender employees, that wasn’t the case in the end. Even now I am really frustrated I took a 30k a year pay-cut, my commute when from 15-20 minutes to over an hour and all because a boss I used to work for and thought was a good person turned out to be a pretty shitty person. It all kind of hit me there and then. This job was taken purely because of my old boss, and it was nothing like I was told.

This means that I am now applying at jobs as much as possible. I would like to earn as much money as I can before surgery to help offset the cost, but the odds are that no one will pick me up before April. I don’t pass anymore, and I am ok with that. I suspect job interviews in the conservative business world will not go as planned. You never know though, maybe I will be surprised.

So this week I have been meditating a LOT. Trying to sleep enough and taking care of the husband since he has a stressful job and the money responsibility is on him. I think he is liking that I cook, clean, take care of him overall. I hope it is making it easier.

Now a week later there is a part of me to be fulfilling the traditional wife roles, I have always been motherly to people (it is joked about) but now it feels like I can be who I am. The meditation and supportive family I have chosen has made this experience so far better than I had hoped. Now that I am feeling centered, it is time to prepare for the surgeries (4 of them in 2019) and to get mentally in the groove.

So there I am, more centered now that I am not working for a shitty boss. Finances are tough, but aren’t they for almost everyone?