Unexpected

(I’m sorry to have to mention a warning with this post, I certainly hope my words are soft enough to not become a trigger for anyone, but the possibility exists. So I am adding a trigger warning for suicide.)

 

Sometimes life goes a step further than we expect.

 

From the beginning I was surprised and yes, a little worried, about the seeming lack of pressure on me to change things sooner than I was. (It is true I kept things going as slow as possible to give my partner and children a chance to adjust, yet there was more to it. Every step has been filled with a combination of fear and guilt. I sometimes think overcoming them has been the most difficult part and will be a part of my life in one form or another from here on out).

I have, sometimes to my surprise, found myself pushing beyond anything I believed possible even a few months ago. There always seems to come a point where trying to stay or stop is simply impossible. Whatever fears I have don’t disappear, yet they become less significant compared to my need to take another step. The same has happened now, only it is going further than I expected…

At first I thought to slam on the breaks, to refuse to take the final step through a door I knew was going to shut behind me forever. There was fear, I will not deny it, but more than that was guilt. An oceans worth of guilt and the belief I never deserved to be in a position to be truly happy. In many ways it has taken more strength than I realized to overcome them this time, but at the same time there was never really a question I would do so because there simply wasn’t any other choice I could make…

Well, I suppose that isn’t entirely true…

Not so long ago I told Jodi there were options I had long held onto which needed to be taken off the table; then last week I realized they were still very much in play… I hesitate to talk about this…

As I stood outside one night looking at the few stars which cut though the lights of the city and from them to the overlapping shadows which turn the world into shades of black; I remembered the times in my youth when I would send all night out walking. My mind in an endless cycle of chaotic thoughts and emotions and wanting more than anything to be swallowed by the night. To simply pass into shadow to never return.

With this came a realization, all options were still on the table. Stopping. Going back. De-transitioning…. Everything…. Including simply ending it here and now. After all, I have long felt as though I have been living on borrowed time.

It became bad enough I started to fantasize about how I would do it. Pills again or maybe an insulin overdose. I even considered eating a bullet… Not a very good time for me to say the least but it did lead me to finally speaking to A about things… just not the suicide part…

It was only through speaking to her and understanding there really wasn’t a choice to be made; that it was step through the door or die never knowing what was on the other side.

I knew I wanted to live. As much as it may hurt sometimes, I want to live.

So I took a step.

Here is where I come to the ‘Sometimes life goes a step further than we expect’  statement. 

You see, today I thought we were going to take our youngest with us shopping. Knowing this has caused issues before, I decided to go out “Plain Jane”. 

The longer I was out the more bothered I became. It was my voice first, then my chest and finally everything together. It was an itchy feeling of wrongness, almost like the feeling you get when you think someone is watching you even when they’re not.

It didn’t take very long to admit I’m not going to be able to have lazy days, where I just throw on whatever and head out the door. There isn’t really going to be any more acting as if I’m like everyone else. 

So it is I find myself stepping further into a new phase of my life… just a little faster than I expected.

Thoughts

I’m not sure where to begin…

So many thoughts, so many emotions…

 

Maybe I should be begin simply.

 

This past week has been difficult. I haven’t attempted even the slightest thing to present as female. In fact I have done just the opposite…

You see, I realize something; I cannot continue to live a double life. Trying to switch bcd and forth, even for the best of reasons is taking too much of a toll on me… trying to “pass” at work is draining emotionally and physically. Hearing my birth name is slap in the face, a gut wrenching reminder of what I am…

The thought of going back makes me almost physically ill and leaves me depressed and constantly questioning what I am doing. 

Being myself, being Kira, has become my new comfort zone… I know how I am and I am at peace in my heart… Trying to be seen as male is so stressful… I am so much more aware of everyone and everything around me and I feel as if I have a sign stuck to my back…

Every weekend I have gone out again, as myself, not him and I am at peace… then the work week begins and I am left to be someone I’m not… not in my thoughts, not in my heart, not in my soul…

The problem has been, and is, coming out at work… I simply cannot afford to lose this job, but I cannot keep living like this either. Someone at work told me to forget about everyone else and just do what makes me happy… Jodi has suggested no one is really going to notice a difference as I don’t often wear a wig…

Even my own thoughts have reached a point where I am constantly thinking about going in as myself and the world be damned…nothing about it… I have dreamed about it….

On top of everything else, I feel like a fake, a fraud, trying to keep up this charade.

Then there is the other side of all of this…

I am not a fake.

I am not a fraud.

I am not mentally ill.

I don’t do the things I do for a thrill or a charge…

Or some sexual gratification.

I am not a cross dresser.

I am not a part time girl, only taking on a costume when it is convenient.

I am not a weekend only woman…

I am

And shall always be

A full time transsexual woman, regardless of any other factors.

Trying to be anything else is destroying me from the inside out. I have been having trouble sleeping, eating, even finding the connections to my emotions.

I am often let feeling like a walking shell… the lights are on, but I’m not home…                                                                                

Even given all of this I let it best to do the unthinkable…

To return to full male mode.

For my marriage,

For my family.

or my job…

I was the simplest answer and the one which would cause the fewest problems for everyone around me… 

Ah, to be the martyr…

Better I sacrifice myself, don’t you think?

As the saying goes… “The best laid plans of mice…”

I don’t think it going to be quite so simple… 

Today A and I had to go shopping for a new washer and dryer. The first store we were greeted with neutral pronouns. The second, it was with female pronouns with the sales person apologizing profusely when he realized I was suppose to be a guy… The third the sales lady made a point of addressing me with a “Sir” and it felt like an accusation.

More often than not, regardless of what I am doing or how I look, sound, or act, I am more often than not addressed as female…. Even A said it must be a sign.

Maybe she’s right and trying to be seen as anything else is a waste of time and energy… Maybe I’m just too far gone to ever go back…. if I was ever “over there” to begin with…

Have I just been wishing I could fit the mold? That I could be this thing so many have insisted I be? 

Or am I just terrified of finally being real without a mask to hide behind?

As I said, I don’t know…

I really just do not know what to do… what to think… what to feel anymore.

I want to cry but the tears will not fall…

Beautiful Darling (2009)

Beautifuldarling

 

I watched a movie I didn’t know existed until a few days ago, about a woman I knew nothing about. Now I sit here with tears in my eyes and a sadness in my heart because hers was a life too short.

The movie is ‘Beautiful Darling, The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar’

The title seems a little dry after watching the film, though accurate in it’s way. 

I’ll share with you the storyline as given on IMBD website.

“Candy Darling was a fixture in the New York Off-Broadway scene in the 60s, in Warhol films such as Women in Revolt and Flesh, and became a prominent personality in Warhol’s circles, influencing such noted contemporary artists as Madonna, David Bowie and Lou Reed. This documentary will use a series of interviews, archival footage, and images from Candy’s home in Massapequa, NY. Archival footage includes rare 25 year old interviews conducted by Jeremiah Newton with members of Warhol’s Factory and Tennessee Williams. The film features interviews with colleagues, contemporaries and friends of Candy, including John Waters, Peter Beard, Holly Woodlawn, Bob Colacello, Geraldine Smith, Pat Hackett and Ron Delsener.”

 

My thoughts…

Watching this, I found myself fascinated by Candy. I wanted to know more about her, who she was, why she was… If I hadn’t know from the description on Netflix that she was Transsexual, I never would have guessed and it wouldn’t have mattered if I did. She was, by her own hand and deed, larger than life. The flame which draws the moth, and like the flame, burned out too soon.

She was part of time which, when looking back, seems so far from us now. A different climate, a different understanding… society has moved on… Yet it really hasn’t. What you see and hear of life in the New York LGBT community of the late 60s, early 70s isn’t so far removed from where we stand at this moment. Maybe laws have changed, maybe people want to believe things are better, yet listen to the words of those interviewed, see their reactions to the memories which lie no so far beneath the surface and you will the same battles we fight today.

I do have to wonder about this film and it’s purpose. If it is to showcase a lost treasure, it does it well. If it is meant to be a cautionary tale, it does leave the proper impression. But if it is meant as a way to honor a unique soul. To spotlight the trials and tribulations of life… well then, I feel it missed the mark just a little.

You get a glimpse, through her journal of the sadness and loneliness which marked her days on the earth. You can just see, almost hidden from view, her desperate need to be accepted and loved for who and what she was.

And you can feel the weight of each passing day in which she did not find what she wanted most.

If your interested, the movie is on Netflix, available to streaming. 

More Stories About Grantland and Dr. V

Grantland apologises for article that outed transgender golf inventor

The prestigious sports website Grantland has admitted poor judgment and offered a profuse apology for an article about the inventor of a revolutionary golf club who committed suicide while the piece was being researched, and whom it posthumously outed as transgender.

Source: The Guardian

 

The 4 Most Important Points In Bill Simmons’ Apology For Publishing A Piece Outing A Trans Woman

Bill Simmons, the founder of Grantland, an ESPN-owned sports and entertainment site, issued a wide-ranging public apology on Monday for the site’s decision to publish a piece about the inventor of a golf putter who killed herself while the piece was being reported. Simmons’ piece answers many of the questions I and other critics have raised about the story, “Dr. V’s Magical Putter.” He acknowledged that the reporter, Caleb Hannan, should not have outed the subject of the piece, Essay Anne Vanderbilt, as transgender in a conversation with one of her investors. He admitted that Grantland had been careless in its use of gendered pronouns in referring to Vanderbilt, and in employing other language that implied that being transgender is strange, deceptive, or in keeping with fraud. And most strikingly and importantly, Simmons acknowledged that he and his staff had failed to supplement their own lack of understanding of transgender issues by bringing in outside editors, an omission that the site took a small step towards rectifying by publishing a thorough analysis of the piece by ESPN baseball reporter Christina Kahrl, who is herself transgender.

Source: Think Progress

 

When a Journalist Threatens to Out a Trans Woman, Where Do the Ethics Lie?

Just like Caleb Hannan, I know that when you set out to write a story, it doesn’t always end up where you thought it would. Human beings are fascinating, complex creatures, and sometimes a simple story on, say, a miraculous golf club evolves into something else as you uncover more and more about its maker. It’s then that you reach a breaking point: stop to refocus the story, or follow it in a new direction? What if following it would require outing your subject as a transgender woman, potentially endangering her?

Source: Care2

A Little Pick Me Up

If there is one way to pick yourself up after a down day… or week, it’s to go shopping! Which is what A did or me today. I bought a grey tunic top, black fleece lined leggings (not shown), and some new socks. Not much, but believe me, it really makes a difference 🙂

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I think I have underestimated just where I am on this journey. After my talk with A earlier this week, I thought things would adjust mentally rather quickly, but I was wrong. The entire episode had brought on some depression… some? Well, let us just say it was bad enough to overcome my dysphoria. 

The thing was, until i returned home and changed, I didn’t realize just how bad I was doing. I guess this is what I get for thinking I can just act like nothing has changed when I know darn good and well it has. It is such a difference internally I can’t fully express what it feels like. It’s almost the sensation you get after being on your feet all day and finally getting home and kicking your shoes off. It is such a relief it almost hurts.

It’s strange in a way because I find I can go to work in plain jane mode and it really doesn’t bother me all too much, but just going to the store the same way is almost more than I can take.

On a totally different note; the FIL came through the third surgery without any major issues, but he’s not out of danger yet. In fact, it will be a while before we know he is going to fully recover. All we can do is try to keep his spirits up and pray.

An Ending and A Beginning

As I sit here writing this, it is still New Years day. 

A new year, a new beginning…

The chance to leave the old behind in the ashes and to light a fire for the future which races toward us with each passing second.

Yet, as so often happens, we find ourselves still tangled in the snares and streamers of a past we cannot undo, which follows behind us, a nebulas trail of vapor and regret.

Hw often have we wished we could step through the waterfalls of time and be purged of what has gone before?

To drown in possibility.

 

This past week has not gone well, though I have tried to hide it behind closed lips and dry eyes…

I had resolved to not continue writing personal posts… It seemed such a pointless endeavor. Yet here I am again, doing what I thought to not do… 

I’m sorry this is so confusing, I am writing through the screen of my emotions and trying not to break down in front of the boys…

Maybe… maybe this is why I am writing this at all… not for me, for them. Maybe the day will come when they will read everything I have written over the past several years and through all of these words, find some small understanding of who I was… 

Maybe not, but I can hope can’t I?

Things began to come apart last weekend. Saturday I went out partially dressed, no wig, no makeup. I did it because I knew going out with me fully as Kira made A uncomfortable. I wrote the post about using my male name because of that day and my realization I can’t continue to walk in two worlds. A point came where I needed to use the restroom and instead of embarrassing myself, I choose to return to our vehicle and leave my “boobs” in the center console. I was upset with myself for feeling the way I did, for not being willing to stand proud as myself instead of slinking off and taking the easy path and it ruined the day for me… cutting off my nose to spite my face…

Sunday A and I were getting ready to take the boys out to use the gift cards they received for Christmas… I walked out of the bedroom wearing my hair…

A was not approving at all. Everything else was fine with her, but not this…

She even said having my enhancers in was fine… (I know they would be hidden by my coat…), Her main concern was this would be the first time I had went out with the kids and she was worried about how they would react, what would happen if there was a confrontation. (The only other times I have been out in public with them has been Halloween… nothing like this). 

Her reasons were sound, I couldn’t argue with her because I also think she was right. 

I took off the wig, took off my enhancers, took off my boots… I returned to what was acceptable… what was approved…

And I haven’t gone back since.

She told me yesterday it was a matter of going too fast, that I needed to slow down… 

I simply cannot keep doing this, it’s tearing me apart a piece at a time. Either I am myself or I am not. I am not some toy which can be put together from bits and pieces, mixed and matched at a whim. If I cannot be who I really am I would rather be nothing at all.

One hurts as much as the other.

I sit here and feel as if it has been a pointless waste of time, money, hopes and dreams…

Two years, for what? 

I was a fool to think it would be any different.

She told me she was asking me to slow down, not to stop but I cannot go any slower than what I have done to this point… I have told her I cannot keep up this charade, it was getting too painful, yet this is what she asks me to do… and I can’t… not without going in reverse.

Something inside has broken and I don’t know if it can be mended… I don’t know if I want it mended…

More than once I have wished I would simply go insane, loose touch with reality to the point I am nothing but an empty shell sitting in a chair looking out a window without seeing anything. A voiceless, thoughtless… thing.

I would rather never feel again than continue on as I am.

Ned Vizzini dies at 32: Fans mourn ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ writer

A sad story which is repeated all too often…

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The New York-based author of “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” a semi-autobiographical story about a teen’s battle with severe depression, committed suicide on Thursday, the city’s medical examiner’s office confirmed to TODAY.com. His injuries were consistent with someone who had fallen to his death.

Read the rest on Today.com

Though I Walk Through the Shadow…

I have spent much of today looking at a blank screen. There are so many words I wish to write, yet I have already cast them out into the world a hundred times or more and I believe I will do so a hundred more before this journey is done.

I so want to keep these things to myself, to hold them inside forever until they bury me, until I can no longer think or feel. I want to be selfish and not share them, to give to you a picture of happiness and contentment which will sooth the heart even as it burns my soul. To give you and those around me the image you so desperately seek…

To convience you I am all right.

Yet such a thing wouldn’t be honest. It wouldn’t be fair or right of me to do so. Not when I have tried so hard to be as open and honest as I can with what is in my heart…

For those who have walked this path before, you know. For those who follow, you will learn. This is a journey with many twists and turns, a maze to confuse with one false path after another. It has mountains so high they take your breath away and valleys so low the weight of the air its self threatens to crush you. It is happiness and pain, laughter and tears. It is hope and disillusionment. It is life compressed between the tick and the tock of the clock. The hesitation between one heartbeat and the next.

One moment can find you in one place and the next another and so often without warning or reason. The smallest things can send ripples across your soul and leave you gasping for breath. A sound, a smell, a simple word overheard in passing… unexpected laughter or the stare of a stranger passed on the street.

Why, I don’t know. I suppose if I did I could write a book and make my fortune. Yet nothing is so simple is it?

This week has been a breath of fresh air, a respite I needed more than I realized. Yet it is not without its dangers. I found myself on the slippery slope of losing my hope. There has been a wellspring of sadness which has forced its way to the surface of my thoughts. I don’t know where it came from or why, though I suspect it is a manifestation of whatever ugly little part of me which seeks to sabotage my efforts to finally be happy with who I see myself to be… to just be.

I find myself fighting the same battles over and over again, the same thoughts an emotions which have ripped through my soul for as long as I have memory. This feeling as if everything I have done, hope to do, is pointless. This knowledge of no matter how hard I might try, nothing is really going to change and in the end it will have all been for naught.

In my mind I know this is not true. I know what I am now is miles from where I started, yet my heart trembles to think so many people in my life were right. Their judgments and condemnations well founded and deserved.

My mind screams with voiceless denial, yet the tears still fall from my eyes.

I know the words which have been shared here, in comments and thoughts. I know the support I have from those who care… 

Yet this is a battle which only I can fight.

As much as I might wish I could hand all of this over to someone, something else, bigger and stronger than myself… I cannot.

This is my heart.

My mind.

It is mine.

 

I do wonder if some of this will pass when and if I go full time…

Acceptance

Before I begin let me advise there may be things which may be possible triggers. I cannot write this post without discussing my attempted suicide and if this is a difficult subject, then I ask you to not read any further.

Since last Saturday things have been somewhat strange for me, I have been in a mental state unlike anything I have felt for a very, very long time. The truth is, the last time I found myself in such a place was the day I chose to die.

Yes, it was a choice.

I decided I and the world would be better if I were no long in it. More to the point, I did something which many would consider presumptuous at best or sacrilegious at worst… I told God it was up to Him what happened that night. I spent the day drinking until I could barely walk, then returned home and overdosed on sleeping pills. My thought being the alcohol would suppress my system enough to allow the OTC pills to finish me off.

I didn’t expect to wake up again.

This is where what happened then relates to now; leading up to this night I had spent weeks in state of constant chaos. Every way I turned seemed to be a dead end. I was trapped by fate and the decisions I had made and nothing I do or say, hope or pray could undo what I had done. I was in the Navy then and couldn’t see a way to get out of my commitment. I was in finical trouble and well in over my head… Then there was me. Just plain old me who was worthless, useless… a waste of space. There were few people I would dare consider more than acquaintances, and only two who I thought of as friends and even with them I felt they only felt pity for me… After all, who was I really? What did I have to offer?

I didn’t know then I had slipped into a dangerous depressive state… I suppose I had long suffered from one level of depression or another but this was different. I went two weeks barely eating, not sleeping,I felt nothing but a constant buzzing from head to toe. It hurt the think, to breath. The thought of being around people was salt in an open wound. I looked in the mirror each morning and hated what was there. I showered and hated the body I washed, I hated the hair I shampooed, I hated the teeth I brushed.

I hated the stomach I filled once a day at what were called “Mid Rats,” a meal served at Midnight for those who worked or had watch during the night. I know they served several things each night but I only at a single burger and had a cup of coffee. I didn’t want to eat or drink at all but I was afraid of what would happen if anyone realized what I was doing. I couldn’t stand the thought of being force fed, so I made a show of eating this one little thing. When my stomach growled, I filled it with water so no one would hear.

I turned ever more inward until I often found myself walking someplace without any memory of how I got there. I had conversations but never knew what was said.

I became a shell. A ghost walking in the real world.

I was already dead, people just hadn’t realized it yet.

The strangest part for me was yet to come…

I reached a point where death wasn’t a question of “if” but “when and how.” At the moment I reached it, it was as if I found myself at the center of a terrible storm, in the very center where it was eerily calm and still…

The silence was deafening.

In that moment there was no doubt, no fear. I suddenly had a purpose in life even if that purpose was to end that life. I knew what I had to do.

I handed all of the responsibility off to The Creator and washed my hands of the whole affair.

Everything which had ever tormented me throughout my entire life suddenly became nothing more than dry leaves blown before the wind. They had no weight, no power to hurt me any more.

I felt at peace for the first time.

All of this would come crashing back down on me the morning after.

God had seen fit to deny me release.

So why is all of this important now?

Because I find myself in a similar place.

It’s not the same in so many ways, yet it enough to make me uneasy.

Up until last Saturday I had been ambivalent about going out, especially alone. As the day progressed I felt the stress and emotions building to breaking point until at last I knew I couldn’t do anything other than go. I was still nervous until the moment I got in the car and then it hit me. This point of almost terrible stillness. I pulled out of the driveway and the rest is history.

Ever since that moment I have been in this place, where it seems I have made a momentous decision and suddenly everything is nothing more than leaves before the wind. So much which had bothered me before, which had set the butterflies in my stomach to fluttering, which had caused me to doubt myself so deeply, is gone.

It’s like I have once again accepted my own death…