I woke up this morning terrified from a dream I can’t remember, anxiety about things coming up, and obviously some self dislike at the least.
As I talked about earlier I am hoping this week to give notice to my current employer. If things work out I might just mic drop and walk out of the job since it will never appear on any sort of linked in, resume, etc. I have only been here 8-10 weeks in the end, so it isn’t something I am going to use for future job growth.
That being said, we can absolutely afford me taking a couple of weeks off before starting my new job, but I woke up anxious about my pay from the new job. I woke up terrified I was screwing us. It isn’t necessarily the wage I am making more than an adequate job to live, but a large drop in what I make now, about $20,000 a year less then my current job. To be honest even with almost $140k in student loans we can make the payments and have a really good life, even if we would rather go back to working at a coffee shop/book store.
The cost of my FFS is what is freaking me out. A very rough estimate is in itself $20,000 for the surgeries I want, plus up to two weeks in a hotel, two flights down to Arizona and back and anything sundry. I am worried I am making my husband work at a job he is not fond of to be our primary support. We both make about the same, but there are multiple other surgeries coming up that makes my work erratic (orchiectomy, breast implants, probably a tummy tuck from my extreme weight loss and even a thing on my neck/chin – close to a face lift). All of these combined is more than my student loan.
Let’s not even combine the fact that I am on the higher end of 40s. Not like I have 40 years to pay this shit off… well hopefully I do but that means retirement sucks.
I logically know we are doing a good thing. The funny thing is, if this was for the hubby I wouldn’t even blink. I would be down for it and insisting he do all the surgeries he needs to be who he was and never feel bad for a single moment. It is because it is for me that I feel that way. Even knowing this logically it makes my stomach hurt and me terrified I am fucking up things for us. Especially that I might be fucking him over.
I realize I am going to have to get over it, there are other more real issues such as dealing with the public now that I am almost to the point I will be public. I just can’t get over shackling my husband with “golden chains” for my needs. He deserves so much more than that. That is what I woke up terrified about, that I was going to hurt my husband.
I have never been this anxious about looking for work, and while I did just get a very good paying job I have found a lot of issues dealing with my transition and the job in general.
The new employer had HR present a new Employee Policy Handbook last year. This included recognizing Gender Identity as a protected status. This is expected as it is state law. However, the council voted to NOT adopt it, because “It would send the wrong message”. They didn’t want to bow to pressure to let “men use the women’s bathroom”. I talked about this here in my “Settling In” post so I won’t go further about that specifically.
There is absolutely no flexibility in my position. I am going to have to have a lot of doctors appointments and surgeries coming up. My boss was quite clear that she only wants us working 8-430 in a solid set schedule. This might seem normal to some, but in the last 10 years and 5+ employers I have never seen this. Normally you are given core hours you need to be there (say 9-3) but you could adjust it to come in late or early (6-3, 9-6, etc). This flexibility does not exist here.
The strange part about the flexibility is that my job isn’t done by anyone else and I can’t do any job others do. I am the only auditor/monitor in my area for my group and no one knows the job so they can offer me no coverage, but even more so I can’t cover them, they are accountants and its a totally different job. This means it’s useless to have me there to “cover for others” when I don’t do their job at all.
This follows up to another point about my coworkers. There has been a lot of jokes about “men in skirts”. They don’t address transgender men but I assume that is because those men often can disappear into society easier after transition so people don’t realize they are there. They even joke around this to me when I am married to someone they know is transgender (but a man… right?).
That combined with the fact they want me to fix things, but not really means this job isn’t a fit. It especially isn’t a fit when I get full FFS surgery, breast implants and an orchiectomy and will need to miss a lot of time. I don’t feel safe there, so it isn’t a permanent spot for me.
Fast forward to Tuesday’s appointment. My old boss at a state audit job asked if I would be interested in a supervisor job. I said yes and applied last month. I got called last week and asked to come in for an interview which I did, and I think it did well.
The job has incredibly flexible hours. After my training as supervisor (this is my first fully titled “supervisor” job, but I have ran audits with up to 8 auditors under me so it actually isn’t new) it sounds like I can telework 3 days a week (60%) and more if needed. The hours are what I want them to be daily (of course this has to be reasonable), and I can take off whatever time I need for medical.
It was a very friendly interview with her and two others. So much so that I was upfront about my status. I explained that I now present as male, but that is changing and I am transitioning. There wasn’t even a hesitation, they said they want me and they would protect me. The state is incredibly protective over LGBTQIA so I don’t doubt it.
They said they have to talk about it, and talk with HR to see if they can get close to my salary I had before (they won’t be able to come close at all, probably 65% of it). I reassured them I know the state pays a lot less, but I want to work at a place I feel does a good job for the citizens, for its employees and that will protect me.
I am hopefully going to hear an offer today, but I am quite aware that bringing up my transition status may torpedo the job offer in the end. I figure I would rather not get the job then work for people who have a problem with it. I am already at a job I can hover at for a long time that pays better but treats people like they work at McDonald’s. I can make that work until I start getting surgery if I need to.
As my husband would say, “It has started”, the weird undercutting, insults and insinuations of my new and real life from all aspects of my social circles. This evidently includes people who call me their friend.
Saturday I went out with my husband and my friend to a nice little niche restaurant/bar. I had told our friend earlier in the week via text that I was transitioning and she has been the mandatory supportive person you would expect from someone who says they are a friend. I don’t even doubt she thinks of herself as a friend at that, but it doesn’t change her words or actions, maybe it just makes them worse.
I have known her for over ten years. We got to know each other at my job with the state and while we only worked together for a year and a half or so, we stayed in contact since then via text, email, facebook and lunches.
She has been up to this point a good person, supportive, interested in the hubby’s transition and in general been a friend. I don’t know how we became good friends like that in the beginning, but it was something that kept going.
I had told her via text only because she is on my facebook list and I had posted about coming out there (things were slipping out). Things were great and I was looking forward to seeing her, even if I was a bit anxious socially after being out to her on what she might say.
The lunch went well in the beginning. We talked about things, she was happy I was being myself, it was all good. We even joked about the horrible service we were getting at the restaurant, while the food wasn’t bad, that waitress was pretty horrible.
Things were going great and I was talking about facial feminization surgery and the options/surgery that was involved. That is when she leaned forward and said she wanted to tell me something. So I leaned over in anticipation, smiling at her when she said the words.
“I am glad you are getting FFS because you currently make one ugly woman.”
I knew almost immediately she thought she was joking, but it still hit me pretty hard she said that to me. I know what I look like, I know what I have always felt about my looks to begin with, let alone when I put on makeup and dress like who I am.
I saw the hubby freeze for a moment and I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. He is incredibly protective over me and it would be within possibilities he would pop her in the head (although honestly that would have been more likely when my husband still presented as female). However, I saw the moment pass on him when he took a deep breath.
We both sat back and laughed politely. I didn’t know what to say, or how to feel. I knew logically by looking at her face and the way she laughed after saying it that she thought she was joking, so I pushed it away and thought I would deal with it later and that it shouldn’t be a big deal.
What really bothered me is I have NEVER EVER insulted her or said anything derogatory, she has some mental health and stress issues and I have never wanted to upset her, why she joked like that to me I couldn’t understand.
It is a big deal it turns out. We made our goodbyes a little later and went clothes shopping for hubby. I originally was going to look for some clothes for myself (I have hit 75lbs+ weight loss and don’t have enough currently) but I stepped into the store and couldn’t do it. I didn’t really want to look at myself in the mirror.
The hubby was so pissed, but he was there being supportive of me. He understood I was going to bail on buying myself clothing, but he was so angry. He wanted me to pick out some things I liked and instead of having a good afternoon before seeing our friends later and shopping I was quiet and followed him around.
I do have some follow up stuff (how she has reacted since, how my friends reacted) but this post is already 500 pages long and I will wrap it up here.
Suffice to say, it has begun as hubby says, the insults, insinuations or just callous disregard. I am going to be fine, but this is the one negative of my future.
Before I started transition I was continuously warm, as in I needed to have the windows open in winter when it was 17 degrees Fahrenheit out. I was like this at the age of 17 and skinny, and at the same at the age of 45 and fat.
Fast forward four and a half months on testosterone blockers and estrogen I have lost 75+ pounds. It is 90 degrees outside, but we do have the air conditioner running inside. Keeping the apartment a nice even 65 degrees or so.
Yesterday I got home from work and was running around cooking the husband dinner. I was bare foot when I found that the linelouem floors were too cold and I had to put on slippers… what the hell is that about? I wore slippers for the next two hours. First time I have worn these slippers that I bought 2 years ago.
I have never been too cold. That above example is only one example of what is happening lately. I find myself turning on the car’s heat in the morning, while I do quickly turn it off, there were years I never touched the heater in this very same car.
In fact, the air conditioner and I sometimes end up having a war. I sometimes end up turning off the air conditioner when I get up in the morning or when I get home from work because it is too chilly. This is unheard of for me, even the hubby is astonished sometimes. In fact he gave me a hard time about putting slippers on yesterday, and I have to admit it was kind of funny.
I honestly can’t tell if its because of the weight loss, my age or the new hormones. My logical self doesn’t think it can be either. I can’t think of a single reason why my weight shift would do that when I didn’t have that problem when I was younger (unless it is a metabolism thing), and I still am not sure how estrogen or lack of testosterone would change how I feel hot and cold. Also let us not forget we are in the peak of summer here in the Pacific Northwest mid 80s and higher.
Maybe it is all in my head and I have something going on believing that it would have this effect. I don’t think so because I get goosebumps, but then again if it is psychosomatic I wouldn’t know would I? Either way it doesn’t really change for me. I have just been weirded out by being cold. This is a new sensation, although I prefer that over being too warm.
Just thought I would share the weird changes lately.
Friday, the day after we met up with Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley, we headed into the one panel I was interested in. It dealt with surgery options for Facial Feminization Surgery, Breast Augmentation and Body Contouring. I realized I would probably know most of the stuff they would say, but I wanted to double check.
The commute into Seattle from Tacoma wasn’t the worst, but I slept poorly from my anxiety of meeting the docs the day before. I am really excited to do this, but it does make me anxious to think about them cutting open my brow and front of my sinus, cutting it into pieces and rearranging it, along with grinding my brow and jaw down and moving my scalp forward.
We arrived at the convention and I will admit I was intimidated. I am very fortunate to know some very awesome trans people, but I had never been around that many. That brought up a whole slew of anxiety that maybe I will talk about later, but this isn’t the time.
When we got there, just a few minutes before the panel, we found our case manager Raeylean… she is fantastic. I had brought her a flower to thank her, and she seemed overjoyed. She is incredibly huggy as a person and we got to talk for a little bit until it was time to go in to the panel.
The panel itself was very informative actually. Some of what I thought was no longer the case for surgical techniques, and even more importantly I found out that before coming to Meltzer’s office, Dr. Ley had been a pediatric craniologist who specialist in working on the skulls of small children… I have a huge head so that means I should be easy for her. Way more reassured I am going to be ok. The panel was worth it just for that.
We left and visited a little more with R, then headed out to pick up our friend straybits. He is as close as any family and we have been friends for decades. He just got back from Southeast Asia/India for the last year and will be going back for a few months. He was heading back up to Bellingham, so we told him we would take him up.
On the drive up we got caught up on everything and just enjoyed being with around each other. It was a nice drive with me, hubby and straybits. We got some food in Everett and 3 hours later were in Bellingham. During this time I came out to him and he just gave me a hug. I am not sure what I was worried about.
In Bellingham we dropped him off. We are really hoping we can see him before he leaves again, but if we don’t we know we will always be there with each other.
We then got to go see my brother. He is doing really well, sober and thinking straight. He seems to be accepting my transition and was very positive. We stayed with him for awhile before we moved on.
By now it was about 7pm, but we wanted to stop by my parents grave (both of them are together) and pay our respects. That only took a few minutes, but I realized we need to clean it up when we come back up in a few weeks.
We then drove the 120 miles home and went to bed. It was a really good day, but a really exhausting day. We are still recovering now, a week later from the trip. It was worth it to see family and get reassurances about my surgery.
I went to my first Gender Odyssey convention and it was emotionally draining. Not that anything went poorly, but the emotional baggage around everything is so huge and it definitely took a lot of spoons.
The event started Thursday night. I got to a hotel to visit with my husband’s GRS surgeons to look at me. Just the week before waiting for the short 15 minute consult I was amped, Thursday got bad, especially at work, so by the time we arrived at 6:30 at night I was just jumpy.
The surgeon’s office has always been good surgeons, there was some bedside manner and after care issues, but I definitely recommend them for their skills. That is why I am going to them.
So they had me come into a hotel room where both surgeons are, along with three staff members. One of the surgeons is getting close to retirement I believe, thus finishing the training and getting ready to pass the practice to the second surgeon. Both are incredibly good though.
They sat me down and I told them what I want. I want FFS, especially hairline, brow, eyes and chin/jaw if possible. They listened for a couple of minutes and then leaned forward and started looking my face over in depth, including the requisite touching my face.
They said my hair is in real good condition. I knew that logically but it was a huge weight off my shoulders hearing a professional say that (yes the husband has always said it was good, but sometimes husbands do that to make you feel better).
They then thought the moving up my brow, with some cranioplasty would definitely give me a more feminine hairline, along with opening my eyes up. That along with the chin/jaw work and with the lip implant they suggested (and they are right, my upper lip is flat as any boy) I think I have a really good chance at this.
I left the meeting feeling both good for myself, and worried of course. What happened if something went wrong, how would I proceed. What if hubby saw me as too feminine and couldn’t handle it. What if I cost us too much money. All of these were thoughts, but were not true, not in the least.
So we went home and got some sleep before going to our single panel we were going on Friday. The day was worth it, but already costly emotionally and mentally. We knew the next day would be worse, as not much sleep to be had along with severe family obligations/pressure. I will cover the Friday in a different post with lots of details.
I figured I would give a physical Update. Since this has started I have now lost 70+ pounds. I weight about 230lbs and it dropped from 300+ at the start since end of March 2018. I usually round down which is why I say 65lbs lost with all the fluctuations.
I have dropped from a Casual Male/DXL 46 inch waist (found it is closer to 48+ since they seem to vanity size) to between a 38 and 40 (40s are becoming too big now). I fit in my tiny husband’s baggy cargo pants now (its a 38). I don’t think I have fit that small since I was 24 or so. I can now fit into shirts and pants at Target, without looking like a sausage. First time in a decade. The weight is still coming off so I am still hopeful for the 180-200lb range. I am thinking maybe by Christmas if I am lucky.
The hormones and t-blockers are going well. They upped me to 300mg of Spirolactane and it seems things are working better. Breast growth has started. Not really noticeable unless you know what to look for, but I can feel it. I hear a lot of complaints about pain, but they just ache occasionally.
I did find out some great news. My insurance changed since it is now through my husband and his job with the state. They will reimburse after six months for electrolysis (I have done it three times now for my face, the laser hair removal part). It means the remaining three times for laser, and the actual electrolysis that follows might be affordable.
Also found out after 1 year (for me I think its April 6 2019) they will cover an orchiotomy and breast augmentation. Definitely the orchie will happen, the breast augmentation will depend on if I am far enough along or if I need the effects of the orchie to help me progress.
The hubby and I have talked about FFS and that is definitely something I want. See if they can pull my scalp forward, some cheek/jaw work and maybe open up my eyes a bit. I don’t think I need a nose job I think, but maybe some lippo under my chin as well. The insurance said its possible it will be allowed next year, but I am not counting on it. As soon as we get hubby’s car paid off I think I am just going to pay it to get it done.
Other than that, I have been super healthy. My depression is at an all time low. I am excited for last three months to just do things, enough so that hubby I am sure is tired by now. Also my hair is getting longer, I am going to get a trim since I have dead ends, but it is longer then it has been since I was 17 and that makes me excited.
Overall my physical and mental condition is great. I will report in on that in another month or two unless something happens.
Stay tuned for more posts though! I have a whole list coming.
It has been a month since the mic-drop and things have been great.
It is true, the move, the new job and settling in is always stressful, but I didn’t realize how stressed out and depressed being at the DoD was. I had already gotten better by stepping out of my egg, but moving down here has been a blessing.
The new city is pretty accepting. We see rainbow flags everywhere. They had an LGBTQIA pride festival (sadly I couldn’t go) and there seems to be a lot of tolerance so far. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of #MAGA stuff here, but I do believe it is a minority.
What I was surprised to find out at my new job is things aren’t as friendly in the LGBTQIA sphere as I had hoped. It isn’t as bad as the DoD but the government I work for had its board shoot down making Gender Identity a protected thing (like sexual orientation). What is weird is that it is a state law for it, so you think they would just take it in stride. However, enough of the council didn’t like it that they torpedoed the entire HR update just so the wording for gender identity didn’t make it.
The other aspect is the people. They are really nice, and nothing bad has occurred. However there are a lot of jokes about men wearing dresses and playing make believe. My supervisor is fairly conservative Christian. She has been nice to me, but she always has this look of confusion and standoffishness when she sees pictures of my husband (I have pre-transition and post-transition pictures). Oh and she is very very confused that in one of the pictures I had coke can red hair. That was also hard for her to understand. She kept asking if it is real.
I am pretty sure I wouldn’t dare come out here. Not that I would be fired or anything, but I am suspecting with the amount of petty things I see with others that I will be the subject of many. Doesn’t mean I am quitting now, and it is still FAR FAR better then the DoD. It does mean I will keep an eye out for other options.
I am hoping at the very least to work enough to pay off the hubby’s new Kia. I think that is a reasonable goal.
I do have a list of things I want to talk about, my goal is to not let a month go by again without chatting at you a lot more.
It is over, my last day at work was last Friday and while part of me is freaking out about possible financial crises that may arise in the future, I have not felt this good since before I worked at the Department of Defense. I was worried I would feel bad as I was escorted off the secure facility, but not at all, I was extremely excited and happy.
I didn’t realize how much stomach acid burning feelings of dislike I had. I don’t have to worry if someone notices my hair growing out (it is much longer now then it was normally), or when I wear nail polish, bracelets, etc.
I am now adopting most of all that as my daily style. This means whatever job picks me up this will be my “normal” look. Until I am officially out (when my hormones and external work get to a point that I appear at least moderately feminine) I will be that “fabulous” gay guy. That is ok too for now.
I didn’t realize how much driving onto a secure facility with checkpoints bothered me, even if the outsourced security (btw the same security company I believe that provides security guards for the mall and my understanding is they rotate) was the biggest joke you would ever see. Seriously, my site ID badge has me 60 pounds heavier with short short hair, I am now way lighter, wearing a lot more casual clothing and my hair is down to my shoulder blades and I look different enough that people that knew me for years don’t recognize me right off the bad. These are new guard so they don’t even know me. That my friends is an example of our security at our “secure” facilities working on classified projects.
Or having defense contract workers glare at us for being auditors, to be fair we glared back because they were privileged asses, so I guess that is a wash. However I won’t miss having to deal with a group of people so out of touch with the rest of the workforce that they assume they are somehow more special. Hmm… I guess I really didn’t like the site did I.
Overall, while my gerbils freak out about illusionary money issues, I haven’t felt this good about my soul in years. I think only part of that is transitioning, the other is not working for the war machine.
I woke up this morning at 1am to a horrific panic/anxiety attack dreams that I was fucking the husband over. Not the transition, I am sure this is who I am and who I am supposed to be and I know he will still find me attractive, but the impact this decision is going to have on our finances.
Working in a very conservative profession (auditing, accounting, etc) means by transitioning I am very likely stepping down a huge amount. It is a white man’s world to begin with, then when you add in the fact I am transgender that will push me out of most jobs that are well paying.
We have a lot of debt left, which is almost entirely just student loans (cashing out from the DoD should basically pay all other debt). By leaving a job that pays 80k a year, I am hoping to find something that is 40k, but will probably have to settle a little lower (looks like online accounting jobs might work with the transition). That means 34k a year if I am fortunate (although I am not too proud to take minimum wage, that is the level of job I worked until my thirties when I graduated college late).
It isn’t that we need the money to live, we can absolutely live on husband’s wages (he makes less then me at the DoD by quite a bit, but we always budget to live on the smallest wage and use the rest to pay debts). Once all bills are paid we are left with a couple hundred a month (but my loans are in deferment/forbearance when this happens with me being unemployed) But I worry I am cursing him to a life of never getting the student loans paid off.
A lot of this is of course just anxiety about leaving a high paying job. The reality is the job is incredibly toxic, I don’t sleep much and I never feel good about my job (when we are allowed to do it) so there really isn’t a loss here except a higher income.
However I am in my late 40s and I really need to focus on being who I am these last few decades, I don’t think I can afford to “buckle down” for ten years and be close to 60 before I can transition, so I do think the timing is the best I am going to get at this point.
Overall I know this is the right choice, but I feel incredibly selfish to be casting my husband into a position where our student loans are so high that we aren’t going to be able to get anywhere for a long time.