First Time

Well it happened for the first time today, something was said about my transition in front of me in a negative way and it was at work.

I was stepping into an elevator and with four other guys who work somewhere on my floor but not in any of my areas. I noticed as I stepped in that they were all sort of staring at me, not a big deal, I know I am hot. I turned around facing the door and the words, “What the fuck is that” were uttered. 

It was pretty clear what was being said and why. I looked over and they were all looking away. I am sure whoever said it didn’t mean to say it aloud in my hearing but it didn’t matter. I had heard it.

The weird thing is I shut down immediately and just wanted to go home. This is not my normal reaction. Normally I will get mouthy, in people’s faces. Hell I have cornered other people in their van (while I was on foot) when they made a shooting gesture at my husband and got in their face. The just shutting down thing is not a reaction I would expect from me.

Problem is, I can’t prove which one said it and there is the off chance it is because of the clothing I am wearing (I definitely don’t worry standard business casual) but I know exactly why and I just wanted to go home.

I didn’t like that feeling at all. The rest of the day at work was great, but I didn’t feel great. The only other time that day was when I walked into the bathroom in front of someone and they immediately veered away, that was awkward but that has happened a couple of times.

I know this is the least I will have to put up with, and now that the initial shock to my system happen I think I will be fine in my reaction. However this has me totally reassessing what I want to do for a living. Working in close quarters in an office is going to be like this and that is fine.

I am just frustrated this shit was why I left the DoD, and funny enough I think this wouldn’t have happened in my actual office at this time because everyone knows me (it definitely would have happened at a minimum if I changed offices or went to training, let alone no work protections, so no regrets leaving anyways).

The funny thing out of all of this is I had one other occurrence happen a week or two ago. I was at the urinal and a guy stepped up using the one beside me and turned towards my chest. His eyes were at my boob level (and they are starting to be obvious) he stared at them for a few seconds. Then he went back to peeing and I never saw him again. I thought that was hilarious… but yesterday not so much.

Mental Health

I have always had mental health issues. These have included such things as diagnosed depression, diagnosed severe PTSD, I can be manic and I wonder if I am bipolar like my father (never been tested for this). I have known something is off mentally for my whole life, and to be honest that is partially why I never confronted being transgender. I was worried that it was all wrapped up and my being trans was a sign of mental health problems, not of who I truly was. I can say categorically now that isn’t true. Transitioning has saved my life, and I don’t think I am being hyperbolic. The only unfortunate thing is that it comes with some unexpected side effects.

I couldn’t tell you how much of my mental health is genetic/chemical and how much is how I grew up and what I saw. Either way, it isn’t anyone’s fault. The portions I was born with isn’t anyone’s fault, and my parents tried as much as they could (with their large mental health issues) so I cannot blame them for my upbringing. No matter what though, the mental health issues are there.

I am not sure if it’s the fact that I have to relook at every aspect in my life and change to be who I need to be as I grow into the woman I am, or maybe it’s just the estrogen helping me change how I think. Either way it doesn’t matter, it is just happening. This means I have bad days and good days. I think that is better than before when I had “nothing” days.

“Nothing days” were normal for me. Most everything was by rote and sort of blended together for me.I didn’t hate anything, and while I loved some things greatly, I always felt fake, a liar and undeserving. This meant I buried all my feelings and just went about my day. I would wake up not wishing I was dead, but ok with that happening because then at least my hubby would get a cash payout and he could live debt free. The only times I seemed to snap out of it was sometimes gaming, and usually when a crisis hit.

The changes over the last six months now mean I have a lot of thoughts and feelings from childhood on up to a few months ago that are pushing on me, and I can’t shove them back in the box. That makes me panic sometimes, I have relied on the box for close to fifty years and I don’t have a tool kit to deal with emotions.

This new set of emotions both up and down results in more days that I want to just hide in bed, and some days where life is great and I feel awesome. However, I almost never have a “nothing day”. I think I would rather have real emotions then to just wish maybe things would go away and the hubby might get some money. So I know this is better, even if I have to deal with things.

I was going to write a lot more, but weirdly enough it took a lot out of me just to write those short paragraphs. I suspect this will be a slow unpacking, so this is only part 1 of many.

Transition Consult Stuff

Lately I have had a deluge of things happening, the biggest thing was my first Facial Feminization Surgery consult. It was with a well known/renowned Seattle surgeon and it went fairly well.

This is me in the consult room, I am trying to train myself that I don’t look bad so you are all stuck with lots of pictures for me.

The first pro is I think he knows what he is doing. He has the typical smarmy “I know it all” that almost all surgeons have, but he comes across trying to be friendly. His office is gorgeous when you walk in, very high class, and he is very well known for soft work (muscles, fat, hair, etc). He talked about some of the facial bone stuff I need, and agreed to do stuff for me. He would do it in 2 surgeries to minimize how much it hurts.

Unlike the quick review I got by Ley, the local doctor focused more on my fat placement and face lift use as opposed to bone work (Ley wants to do a jaw shave, and more in depth brow work). I know it can be done multiple ways so that didn’t bother me.

The first con is his price. I got a partial consult back in May from Dr. Ley/Meltzer and it was super quick. The “quick” assessment was about $20k in a single surgery (plus 9 days recovering down there). This Dr’s price was almost three times that, close to $60k. That is about what I owe on my student loans. I think this doc is a little more money orientated, no shame in that, but the first thing he did was try and sell me on a nose job, whereas Ley/Meltzer both dismissed the idea of a nose job as a waste and mine was great.

I figured it was going to be more expensive because of locality costs and the fact that this local doctor likes to show off the famous people he works on. I assumed closer to 30k… but the almost 60k was a shock. There was no cut deal for combining several procedures together (Dr. Ley/Meltzer’s was a lot cheaper because they were already there working on me and the other procedures were just “time on the table”). He quoted me the same total price as if I did each procedure separately.

That slowed my roll immediately and right now I am not sure if I would do it. He does great work, however he is not quite the bone experience that Dr. Ley is (she was a cranial/facial reconstruction expert for children before doing this) and she was very informed about my bone structure. The local doctor mistook my forehead for muscle not bone (Ley knew it on sight) plus I have heard he doesn’t do much bone work, and he really pushed a lot of soft tissue/face lift instead.

However, I do need to say he does excellent breast implants. He also stated he could do them with my insurance coverage. He had me try on some implant prosthesis and I found it looks like 650cc boobs is great, but not overly huge on my chest.

 

I may very well go to him for my breast augmentation when my year has passed and insurance will pay. However, not so sure about the FFS. I am still withholding judgment until I see Dr. Ley/Meltzer for a complete/in-depth consult on December 3rd. They are wonderful surgeons and unless they stick me with another 60k bill I suspect they will be the winner. However, we will have to see.

Goodbye Ghost

I had a bunch of posts I wanted to do, I have been traveling for work, hanging with husband. Sadly though Ghost had taken a turn for the worst. Yesterday he wouldn’t really get out of his blanket area except to go check out the outside when we opened the kitchen deck door (he hated outside before this apartment).

So yesterday we contacted The Good Life, the same vet that helped him a few weeks ago to have her visit today and help us say goodbye. However, Ghost will do what he wants and he passed away after we went to bed last night.

The hubby has been sweet, he tried to keep me from having to see it or deal with it. I have helped with all our other animals and while it is a lot harder to not cry right now and I appreciated his effort, it was my duty to help.

Goodbye old man cat, Mr. Pinchy, Ghost… We love you very much and I really do hope something like the rainbow bridge exists. Take care.

Prepare to be bombarded with cat pictures. We will get back to my regular thoughts after I can get back to it.

Taking it Easy, shadowrun group (artwork, sketch, 1991)

Wraith, Spook, and a bunch of characters I don’t remember, Pencil Sketch 1991 – Shadowrun

Shadowrun Group, pencil sketch 1991

At that time in 1991 this was actually one of my favorite pictures. In it is our shadowrun group. On the left is Wraith, my combat decker. Beside her is Spook, an asian cat burgler.. sort of (it’s hard to remember). The other two characters I think were Ben’s whose name I think was Mist… maybe. The other was Drew’s and I have no idea at all the name of the character.

The game was pretty cool, the group was a lot of fun but a lot of problematic things now that I am 28+ years older. Spook… that name would have had an objection from me now, but honestly we didn’t even consider other racist commentary possibilities.

As for other characters, Spook and Mace (Weylin’s characters) were really the only ones I liked in game, considered close and would protect. Ben and Drew’s characters were not liked by Wraith (or by me), they were just sort of filler/backdrop. 

The funny part is hearing other people’s stories, and its always intriguing to hear different points of view. I am sure Wraith was annoying to other characters/players just like they were to me. Just as humans we rarely look outside our own point of view to take it all in.

It was a good set of games, well at least until we started having bad things happen… then waking up from it like it was a dream. That pretty much killed the campaign for me.

Wraith, combat decker (artwork, sketch, 1991)

Wraith, Combat Decker (before they were a thing) Pencil Sketch 1991 – Shadowrun

Wraith was my first female pc. I had run as a GM several female NPCs and they had always been my favorite to fall back on. Once I ran Wraith as a player I never really went back for male characters. After that point I can only remember three male characters in thirty years. One was Grim, an ex-FBI sorcery adept in shadowrun, one was Shaan from my most recent Battletech game, and a very short lived character in a hubby game.

This was probably the first adult indication of who I was (not her personality), and that I preferred to be a female character in a game. I knew at this time what I felt I was, but in no way did I ever think I could jump the divide so I buried it.

I think the image is based on an in-game situation when we were imitating being a special forces team, or it could have been Bryon’s “Abyss” run, a shadowrun mission roughly based on the movie the Abyss. A lot of his games tended to fully imitate movies/tv shows for missions or characters this is not unusual, every GM does it, but I try to hide the details enough that at first glance you can’t tell.

Rage (artwork, sketch, 1991)

RAGE, Summoning Shaman, Shadowrun 2nd Edition

Rage, pencil sketch 1991

Rage was a 2nd edition Shadowrun character, a summoning adept that I had for a short time in a game hubby was running. It is horrible, and I admit it, but like I said I want to post the things I did in the past.

Her chest sucks (and the fact her chest is bare was originally going to be clothed but I wanted to practice breasts… obviously didn’t work).

The character itself was a bad guy, worshipped dark things and really wasn’t that fun past a couple of games (hence why it ended so quickly).

Answers to questions I don’t know… and spiders (dream)

I am sure this dream was mostly an anxiety dream, but it bothered me because I don’t cheat on tests, in fact I have horribly flunked tests, but never cheated. Here I was doing it.

I was sitting on what appeared to be a park bench like table. My class was being held outside and other people were taking a midterm or final and I just sat there watching, and I couldn’t find my question sheet.

For some reason I decided that was fine, as everyone finished they gave their answers to the teacher, which looked a lot like a friend of mine named Dunk. He handed me the answers and asked if I would watch out over them. He then left, and in my hand were every person’s answers to the twenty question test, but instead of single sheets of paper, each answer was put on tiny, post-it note size pieces of paper so I had a stack of hundreds, one with a single answer by a single person to a single question.

I still couldn’t find my question sheet, so I set the answers aside, waiting for the other people not part of the class to fade off. I figured I could copy the answers, and that would be that. The sad problem is people kept walking up, asking what it was I was holding and I kept having to “vague answer” them.

By the time I was alone the answers to the questions I was holding were tattered, worn and I am pretty sure I lost some of them. I went over to where my car was about 10 feet away. It was parked up against and under some old building, so the hood went under.

That is where I noticed these spiders were spilling out from the building onto my hood and windshield. They weren’t big spiders, they were tiny, ugly looking spiders.  They kept whipping silken threads to catch the wind, floating up towards me in a non-aggressive yet yucky way.

I was so annoyed and I was trying to deal with that, with tiny and very ugly spiders floating up to me, and some sort of liquid running onto my car from the house. I still couldn’t get to the answers and it kept gnawing at me that I wouldn’t be able to even start answering because I had no questions, and everyone else’s answers were scattered, ripped up, now burning and of no use to me.

Then I woke up, decided that was enough and here I am going to bake my friend a cake (second attempt).

Berek Halfhand, (artwork, sketch, 1986)

Pencil Sketch 1986 – AD&D Character

Berek Halfhand, a half elven ranger from a First Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I drew it when I was 15, so that would make this 1986. Sadly the art pad got pretty damaged and I couldn’t do much to save it (well I guess there is always photoshop).

I started drawing just like everyone else in elementary school or earlier. I was always in awe of a childhood friend in school who could draw so realistically (it would still be a childlike drawing as an adult, but as a kid it was steps ahead of the rest of us).

I didn’t start really drawing until I hit my teenage years though (13+). Gaming images always stoked that fire. I know I have drawn dozens of fantasy cityscapes, castle views and characters. I also know they were not very good in comparison to others but that didn’t bother me at the time.

One problem though was we were so poor that we could only afford a single artpad I had for years. I was always terrified to use up pages, which I still did slowly up until I was 20 or so. Sadly the pad didn’t survive some of our moves and I only have a few pictures, mostly half done sketches (which still will go up). Here is the oldest one to date.

What I want

I have never been afraid of dying, and I would actually say I have been (and sometimes even now) am more afraid of living. There is a whole slew of reasons for it (toxic masculinity, fucked up upbringing, and a ton of others that probably includes the trans thing). However, the one thing I always hated about the idea of dying was that all the stories in my head wouldn’t be able to get out and that so many stories I hadn’t even spoken to others about would die.

When I was young I would draw, write, and run roleplaying games. As I hit late teen/early twenties the writing and drawing slowed down to a crawl and then mostly disappeared. The roleplaying games I run are the only way I have consistently been able to express my creativity (plus it is a great socializing thing). So roleplaying games (including larping) were my only outlet for everything I wanted to tell the world.

Instead I focused the rest of my life on school, work, etc and I thought I wanted to make more money, get myself out of poverty and take care of my family. I did do a lot of that. We took care of my parents, got the hubby’s health back online and transitioned, but I found I am not happy. I miss the creative side. I can buy stuff, but it isn’t what interests me.

So I decided I am going to forego pursing my CPA. I already hate 9-5 work. I make enough now with my degree that even though I am going to be paying forever on my loans, I can get by. Instead I want to get back into art.

I want to start drawing/creating images again, so I have a few digital art programs I am learning. I have an art pad with paper and an ipad if I want to use a pen like item, and I have started to write again. I even now track my roleplaying games in in-depth websites supporting all the content so I can go back later and tell the stories on paper/in images that we told around the tables.

That means I am going to be posting my old artwork. I am aware a lot of it is not good. I am also aware though that I have to be able to let it be public. That shyness about it is one of the reasons I stopped twenty+ years ago. I need to be ok with people to see my creative stuff. I won’t get better if I can’t accept what I did before (both good and bad). This means you will get a lot of my old stuff and I will add the new as I create it. After all, that is the goal of what is in my head isn’t it?

What I want to do is unload as many of the stories in my head into the world before I shuffle off this mortal coil.