All I Want for Christmas is HRT

This weekend, my boyfriend came to my apartment, and we met in person for the first time.  I was in girl-mode the entire weekend, and I was as happy as I’ve ever been.  And it wasn’t just a feeling of not being alone any more.  It felt like much more than that.

For the first time in my life, I actually felt like this is who I am.  The level of contentment that comes from that sort of realization is hard to describe, and it’s definitely something I’ve never gotten much more than glimpses of before.  It felt like I was finally all there.  Like everything was somehow figured out when I put on that dress and makeup.  It’s something completely new and wonderful and comforting.

And now more than ever, I’m realizing that I hate what I currently am.  My current body just doesn’t reflect how I feel inside, and I’m ready to make the changes so it does.  I don’t know yet how far I’ll be willing to go or what it will all entail, but I’m definitely sure that I want it to happen.

Now I just need to figure out who I’m telling next, because I really need to start getting on that, especially if I want to start making these changes as soon as possible.

I Just Don’t Know What Went Wrong

Well, here I am, sitting at work, feeling like crap.  The day started out well enough, too.  Nothing terrible, no big worries, generally not too bad.  But now I’m beginning to become overwhelmed by a bunch of negative emotions, and I have no idea where they came from, for the most part.  So, in order to work out all this stuff, I guess I’ll ramble for a bit.

I guess I’ll get the physical ones out of the way right now.  First, I’m cold.  It’s fucking freezing in here right now.  I’m shivering my ass off.  And that sucks.  Second, I’m hungry.  I haven’t had anything to eat today, and I won’t until I get home.  Pile on that my constant desire for emotional eating, and my stomach is just begging to be filled.  Third, I’m tired.  I know this is from a general lack of sleep, combined with a lack of energy from having to deal with everything else.  Hopefully I can relax and unwind a bit when I get home and some of that will go away.

Okay, on to the emotional ones.  I’ll start with the most obvious emotion I’m feeling, which is anxiety.  I know this is stemming from a bunch of what-ifs that I’ve begun going through, but I’m not sure exactly how to handle it.  The most pressing what-if involves my appearance, especially as it relates to my SO.  He’s coming to visit me for the first time next weekend, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s going to be okay with how I look, sound, and act.  I mean, he’s always showering me with compliments and telling me he likes how I look, but we haven’t actually met in person, so how is he really going to know that?  And on a more minor note, part of me is worried that I won’t find him as appealing at first sight either.

Another what-if that has been plaguing me recently is whether or not I’m trans at all.  I mean, I love when I shave my legs, do my nails, put on makeup, and wear a cute skirt around the apartment, but am I truly expressing myself, or am I merely playing out some nonsexual fetish?  When I’m not doing this kind of stuff, I have a hard time feeling feminine, especially when I’m playing video games.  Even more so at work.  I mean, what if all of this is just another of my great in theory, terrible in practice ideas that may end up backfiring if I don’t go through with it just right?

Well, since I’ve talked a little about gender, I guess there’s no harm in going to my sexuality now.  I’ve always known that theoretically I could be attracted to any person, regardless of sex, gender, age, race, economic background, what have you.  But up until now I’ve never actually been attracted to someone who didn’t present as female.  And that kind of worries me a little.  What if I’m actually just kidding myself with this attraction?  I don’t want to get into a situation where it gets real uncomfortable real quick, but I don’t want to lead him on, either.

Okay, so on to some more difficult ones.  There’s definitely some stress involved in the upcoming holidays.  Having to go see my family isn’t necessarily one of those things I’m looking forward to all that much.  None of them know anything about my current situations.  They all think I’m still single, male, and straight.  My grandparents from time to time even ask me when I’m going to cut my hair and if I’ve gone to church recently.  I’m not sure what would happen if I were to tell them that I was an areligious, borderline atheist with a boyfriend and a plan for transitioning to live as a woman.  It’d probably devastate my mom’s side of the family, and I’d probably be ostracized from my dad’s.  I really don’t want to have to deal with the issues that will arise, but at the same time, keeping the status quo is just going to make things harder for myself.

Oh, and what about work?  Things are really busy here right now, and at times I’ve been in pretty far over my head recently.  Combine that with a yearly review coming up soon, and I’m starting to worry about what the next year is going to bring me.  Throw in worry that my coworkers are maybe starting to pick up on my subtle attempts to transition a bit to make it worse.  And add in the worry of actually transitioning at work to bring it all together.

I guess now I’ll start throwing in more of the abstract ones.  The biggest one being clinical depression.  I really need to go see a doctor about getting on some medication, but I don’t know if I can afford it, especially when my parents keep throwing unexpected bills at me.  I know I’ll benefit greatly from it in the long run, but I just can’t get myself to make the appointment.  I mean, it took me 2 weeks to make another appointment with my gender therapist, and that’s probably one of the more pressing things I need to deal with right now.

I’m frustrated with my lack of creativity right now, too.  I wrote a new story last week, but I want to write more.  And I want to draw.  And paint.  And sculpt.  And sew.  And forge.  But I can’t, either through lack of material or lack of vision.   I’ve just got this huge creative urge, and I can’t do anything about it.

Then there’s the gender dysphoria.  I know I said earlier that I typically don’t feel like a woman when I’m not dressed up like one, but I don’t exactly feel male, either.  I’m sick of this feeling that I don’t exactly fit with my current body, and I just want it to be gone.  And although it may not manifest itself on a day-to-day basis, it sure as hell does when I’m on the verge of a mental breakdown.  It’s like my brain files it away for a rainy day, then decides to unload all those terrible feelings right as the dam is beginning to crack.  And it sucks that the only time I can express that emotion is when I’m expressing all those other pent up emotions that got me there in the first place.

Well, I’m not sure if I feel any better after writing this, but at least I’m starting to figure out where all this is coming from.  I know some will get better with time and others with practice.  Hopefully the ones that can’t or won’t get better will work themselves out.   Until then, I’m gonna deal with one of the problems I can actually handle right now, and go see if I can find something to eat.

For Old Time’s Sake

It had been thirty years since the last time he had seen her. Thirty long years of hiding from police, trying to get his new life together. When he got the call a few days ago, it was very much a surprise, but somehow also relieving.

Somehow she had tracked him down, something the FBI, CIA, INTERPOL, and every other police organization in the world had tried and failed. She just wanted to meet over coffee, see how things were, catch up on each others’ lives, maybe rekindle a little bit of that flame that had been missing for so long.

And now here she was. Definitely a little worse for wear, but what do you expect after thirty years of running from the law? Her hair was gray, skin wrinkled, that manic, sultry grin now replaced with a warm, comforting look of satisfaction. She’d had some work done to hide her identity, but he could tell she was still the same woman he’d first met in a padded cell all those years ago.

“James Witten?”

“Ha…, er, I mean, Francine. It really is nice to see you again.”

“It has been a long time, hasn’t it, old pal?”

“How have you been?”

“Oh, well enough. working with abuse victims isn’t nearly as exciting as criminal psychology, but it’s definitely rewarding. How about you? How has the simple life treated you?”

“It could have been worse. Being a vintner tends to mellow people out. It gives you a better perspective on life. Something about the long waits for the rewards.”

A familiar smirk began to form across her face. “My have you changed over the years. Though it’s probably for the best. We’d definitely both be dead by now had things stayed the same.”

“True, but a great man, or at least his legacy, would still be alive today. And the world without it has been desperately in need of one like him for years now.”

“Yes, but would the world truly be any better of a place? For every one of him there’s at least one of you… er, one of what you were. And right there with him would be someone who could understand him, to give him comfort, and give their everything to try to make him happy.”

He let out a long, deep, pent-up sigh. “But I’m not that man anymore. And if you’re looking for him, you’re gonna have a hell of a time, because those kind of men can’t exist without someone like him.”

“I know. I guess I just thought that maybe, just maybe I’d find some part of him still here.”

Her chair slid back and the click of her heels trailed across the cafe. As she walked out the door, she looked back and gave him that jovial, sultry smile that he used to know so well. “You know, I really did love you, Mr. J.”

He returned a warm, sad grin, something she’d probably never seen before. “I know, but that me died on that rooftop with the Bat.”

Living With a Lot of Problems

In the grand scheme of things, my life isn’t all that bad.  I have ample food and shelter, a job, a loving family, and a decent social network.  I’m also physically healthy, and at this point, I haven’t been diagnosed with any of the bad stuff that runs in my family.  On the outside, I’m actually in a pretty good place in life.

But all these good things don’t make all the bad things any less real.  I’ve been suffering from depression since grade school, first triggered by near-total ostracism and constant bullying from classmates.  Add to that the refusal of my parents to acknowledge the depression at all.  Then there’s the constant pressure to succeed at everything that I’ve had piled on me since I was little.  Then there’s my general lack of common sense and social awareness that get me into trouble from time to time simply due to accidents.  Since I started my new job, I’ve had to deal with a lot of social isolation, too.  And now pile on top of that the realization that I’m not the gender people think I am, and all the stresses and anxieties coming from latent dysphoria and the transition process.  My life may not be physically rough, but psychologically, I’ve got a lot going on.

One of the big things I’ve learned about living with all this is that all these things, no matter how bad,  have really made me a better person in the long run.  I know how to live with being lonely later in life because I had to do at a much younger age.  The pressure to succeed and fear of letting people down kept the depression from driving me to commit suicide.  The social awkwardness and lack of common sense helped me to find my niche in college and create a number of close, long-lasting friendships.  The gender issues are helping me to define and express myself like never before.  Without all the bad, I would have never come upon much of the good.  I’d be an average joe working 9-5 in an office somewhere pushing paper with a suburban house and a suburban wife with 1.5 kids or something.  And for how much I sometimes wish to be “normal” I certainly never wanted to be average.

Another thing is that even though the clouds have silver linings, they’re still big, nasty, black storm clouds.  I can’t just ignore them forever and think that my life is fine with them going unresolved.  Getting help with my problems has helped me a lot along the way, and I’m glad that I’ve started doing it more.  They may have helped define me when I was younger, but I do need to let go, have fun, relax, without the anxieties and stresses of my past haunting me.  Hopefully, with time and effort, those ghosts will go away, especially since I can already see some of them fading.

And the best thing I’ve learned is that living with problems my whole life has made it easier for me to cope with bigger and more problems now.  My times of weakness have made me stronger, ready to handle tougher tests now and in the future.  Because I’ve been dealing with depression for a while now, I can deal with it a lot more easily when it flares or combines with other stressors.  Being bullied has helped strengthen me for the struggles I know I’m going to have while going through transition.  And that pressure to succeed has help me to learn how to manage several problems at once without completely breaking down.

Living with a lot of problems has been hard, but luckily, those problems have strengthened me in the long run and made me who I am.  The path may have been long and difficult and at times life-threatening, but I’ve made it so far.  And although the path may continue for a while longer with no end in sight, I’m beginning the feel fresh air against my face.  Hopefully as I keep pushing forward, I’ll eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Halloween Party, AKA the Time I Came Out and No One Cared

I just got back from my fraternity after spending the night over for the Halloween Party.  I went dressed up as Flutterguy, so I wore a yellow hoodie with wings, a mane, and ears, a frilly pink skirt, and some knee-high yellow and pink socks, and did my nails and hair.  This was the first time I’d done any kind of crossdressing in public, so I was a little nervous about how people would react.

I always knew my fraternity was awesome and that I really belonged there, but I had no idea to the extent until this weekend. Turns out there’s three active members down there right now that identify with nonstandard genders – one MtF, one FtM, and one genderfluid. A few of the others are actively questioning their gender identity, and absolutely none of them care. I wasn’t the only one in a dress last night, and I got a ton of compliments on my costume. The only person who actively asked about my gender was a brother of mine who apparently is also looking to transition soon.

I’m really starting to think this whole transition thing is going to be easier than I thought, especially if I keep in touch with my brothers.  The amount of support that my fraternity can give me through the process is phenomenal.  I know I can trust them no matter what ends up happening.