Music

I had forgotten how much I liked music.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A great experience and a realization

Last week I had an awesome thing happen. I was sitting in the McDonald’s drive thru (don’t judge me, I was hungry haha) and was talking to a young dark haired lady. Probably in her late twenties she was very chatty and I was dressed fairly femininely. As I pulled away she just smiled at me and without hesitation, without asking me to clarify my pronouns, she called me missus. The happiest feeling I have had about this transition after my husband confirming he wasn’t leaving me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am quite aware I am not passing or stealth at this time. Sometimes in a dark room, with very dim lighting maybe… but it is obvious how I am dressing and what I am putting out there. This was the first time someone didn’t ask me to clarify my pronoun, and who didn’t roll their eyes before using it.

My coworkers overall respect me and use it, there have been a couple of failures but I can’t hold that against them. I am 6’2″, they originally met me the first time I worked at my job as a male and it very rarely slips out. I get it, I don’t get mad at them, but I find it hurts now.

Fast forward to yesterday, I wasn’t dressed up too much at all and by the time I got home from work I had minimal stuff on my face. My hair wasn’t done and while I was wearing a girl shirt and uggs it still wasn’t really clear. It was more of a “fabulous” gay man then a girl look.

We went out to the local pot shop (thank god for a legal state) and while there we were chatting with the employee he referred to me as a he… not surprising and not offended. I was surprised though when my husband called me a he twice to the guy (we were joking around about something).

First and foremost, everyone slips up and I am not at all upset. I still do it very very rarely with him when we are talking about a time before his transition. I also wasn’t sure if it was to just smooth things over with the employee (sometimes its just easier to go with whatever the person I don’t know says instead of correcting him). Whether it was either one I am not at all upset at him or offended.

What I did learn from that and has been on my mind until this morning is that the pronoun thing does bother me. Not at my hubby. He did nothing wrong and I don’t blame it, but every time in the day someone says he (and it happens almost all the time unless I am talking to them directly, which case most of the time they just use my name) it feels like a small punch in the gut.

I can’t tell if this is a new thing, or if this is one of the many things that beat down on me for decades, but I was too numb and depressed to even know what it was.

It also could be a rough moment for me. I have surgery coming up in a week, lots of debt I put on our family for it, I am not nearly as far into the feminization of my body by hormones due to my testes fighting me at every step, the fact my hormone levels are all over because of my testes fighting my spiro dose, and after a year I am tired and the initial elation of coming out is gone.

It doesn’t change that I am happier, but it means it has been a rough month. It doesn’t mean I don’t have times where I wonder what the fuck I am doing and why am I bothering. They pass quickly, but I wanted to be forthright about how I felt in my writings. I think I am just in a down spot at the moment, hopefully to be buoyed by regaining my wind, getting some awesome surgery and being able to do something with my hair and eyes when I get back from Scottsdale.

So much going on

I have been incredibly quiet, but not because I forgot to post here. There is a lot of things happening and to be honest I haven’t had the time.

Physically I am doing great. I feel so much better then I did before this process started. The hormones don’t seem to have any ill effect except the expected results of testosterone blockers (but nothing overall bad), just caught off guard, this will be a future post.

Bicalutamide
Bicalutamide an antiandrogen or testosterone blocker

I have lost more then 45lbs since March, and not from any specific diet, purely because I stopped eating junk food. I also think this ties into my mental state as well as I have way more energy.

Mentally the transition is also spectacular. I haven’t felt this good since I was a teenager. My depression symptoms have left and I feel better about everything. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of stress about quitting my job in three weeks and the fact I will at the minimum lose 30k a year for whatever job I do get (if I get one).

The job loss though I think is also contributing to this better feeling in its own way. The Department of Defense is incredibly toxic in general. The election of Trump and Pence has given informal permission to every bottom dwelling conservative who wants to discriminate a way to speak out about their hates.

I think leaving this job makes me feel better in general, and especially makes me feel better concerning the transition. There are a ton of other reasons I am glad to leave (pretty much everything but money) but that is the biggest one right now.

planhappiness

The other stressor is our move. We already have a place lined up, we should be ok financially to do the move, and if the hubby gets cashed out like he is supposed to it might even pay the car off. We even have it figured he can just break even supporting us both if I am unable to find a job.

It is a cheaper place, but with nice amenities, and close to the hubby’s work. I think it is a good place to start on our journey out of here both DoD wise, and Seattle wise.

There is a lot more going on, but that is enough for one post, will have to post about the other things separately.

Until then, take care.

Positive unexpected physical changes

While I do like to post about some of my negative thoughts/feelings/experiences I also find it is very beneficial to posting about the positive changes since I came out. Primarily right now I am very pleased with my health. So I wanted to post about some of the unexpected physical changes (non-HRT related)

I already feel physically better. Since I came out on March 13th I have lost about 25lbs. I had gone into the doctor at the beginning of March for a work injury appointment and the scale hit 300lbs for the first time ever. Normally for the last 10 years my weight would rock between 280-296 or so, I thought I was safe. The depression I was in (maybe still a little) always had me aim for what was safe, which was completely different to who I was up until about age 37 (I am 46 now).

I know my hubby was worried when he saw the scale. Not that the weight is problem, he is always sexually attracted to me, but he knew how I would feel about it, and he was worried about my reaction. He was right, I felt crushed inside.

My reaction was simple, I knew something has to change, this isn’t working. I struggled for about a week trying to figure out what I could do to stop feeling like I was drowning. I had finally decided out of all the stresses I felt, my only option was to come out.

The reasons for this is that I couldn’t quit the job I absolutely hate. Right now there are a lot of debts, and while the hubby would be happy to support me and for us to just get by, I can’t let him struggle to support us. I couldn’t work out or try to get physical since my foot is still broken and the bike/pool is out of the question. So I went with the other thing that had been building for decades, I needed to come out (not unexpectedly to the hubby).

Ever since then things have been changing for my physically, even before HRT. I have done no physical exercises due to my foot. However, even with that, in the last 6 weeks I have lost 25lbs (started losing that weight 4 weeks before HRT). I did that purely by quitting eating sweets. and adjusting to approximately 2,000 calories (but not being too pushy with the calorie counting, that sets off other anxieties).

25lbs in 6 weeks is too fast, even with the normal 10-12 pounds of water weight. My target is 1.5lbs a week (and that is still very fast). However it seems the majority of my weight was being kept on by my stress eating, and the more I was at work the more I stress eat. Hell, even working from home I get cravings to eat more when I am working, as opposed to just watching TV. That is a sign of how much I don’t like my job, I emotionally eat when I am doing it.

So here I am down to about 275lbs or so, a weight I haven’t been at in ten years and I feel better physically then I have before. It makes me want to go out and do a lot more (which I can tell is only partially the weight change, also partially the depression being lifted. I am hoping in 2 weeks I will be out of the boot and I want to start using the exercise bike, and some weight training.

The bike I am aiming for 10 minutes a day, and see about increasing that 5 minutes every month or two (I am hoping monthly so by the end of summer I would hit it about 30 minutes a day). The reason for daily is so I can drill the habit into me, make it part of an every day routine and at a slow enough rate that I don’t just quit.

I realize 10 minutes to start seems like a why bother, that it will take me longer to get dressed, walk down to our gym and then walk back and get undressed, but its the repetition I need. However, it is a very small amount of time and something that can add to my habits.

The weight lifting is different then before. I don’t want to super bulk up, but I want to convert what fat I can to muscle, it raises your metabolism and maybe staves off some of the loss of strength from the HRT. Nothing super heavy or big, just smaller weights to keep things moving.

I am aiming big, I want to drop 120lbs from my March 3rd weight, and even out at 180lbs. I am already down 20% of that with only 95lbs to go. I realize it is a big goal, and I am prepared if it doesn’t happen and that is alright too. I also realize that sometimes it fluctuates. However I feel so much better being just 25lbs lighter that it helps with me wanting to go further.

I haven’t had this much energy in years, and whether its the weight or the depression is irrelevant to me. Whatever it is I want to continue and I think I will go with my plan as it is and see what adjustments need to be made.