A Week Of Thoughts

This week has not been my best. Thankfully, it also hasn’t been my worst. There are many things going on right now, much of which I am not comfortable sharing. There are things however, which I feel I need to share because I know I am not the only person who deals with such things and I want anyone who is, they are not alone. As much as it may feel as if they are. 

(Well, let me say something here… it is important to understand each of us really do go through rough times alone in a way which is difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t been through similar situations. In truth, we are all alone in our own heads. We cannot express every thought and emotion, as much as we might want to. In this way saying someone is not alone is a bit of a misnomer… all any of can do is share our own struggles and hope others can find a small measure of peace from knowing they are not the first or the last to have these experiences.)

Having said all of this, let me add one more thing… if you find yourself at a fragile point in your life, it might not be the best thing to go to places such as YouTube and find transition videos. Yes, they can be uplifting in they show what is possible, however if you are like myself, then you see what could be, which makes looking in the mirror an act of masochism.

More often than not, this isn’t something which is overwhelming, but this week… on top of other stress, it became almost more than I can stand. I keep reminding myself this is temporary. I have been through this before and odds are I will do so again. Of course it doesn’t make it better at the moment, yet it is a life line I have taken in both hands and I won’t let it go.

Finding Myself

As time passes I find myself feeling more at peace with myself. It is something beyond questions of gender or even identity; more of a calm which has come over the totality of who I am.

I have spent this past week trying to think less and feel more. To set aside the quest for ‘why’. No matter what the circumstances which brought me to this place and time, they were nothing but steps on the path and while I can appreciate the journey, now, this moment is what is important, not a past I cannot change… Would not change even if I could because it is what has made me who I am.

Still there are things which I am still learning about myself. Understandings of what I think and feel and why.

One of those things is the level of peace I feel with myself. Part of this is finally giving myself permission to be myself. Permission to be happy. To be satisfied with now. 

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. I still find myself thinking of the past and what I would have done differently. I also look to the future and see it cast in shadow. I have to take a step back and a deep breath, then force my mind to let such things go. They do me no service.

I too find myself looking at my thoughts and emotions now and questioning myself. Am I sure I am doing the right thing? Can’t I be happy being what the reflection in the mirror wants me to be? The chain goes on and on… 

Then a moment comes when I don’t just see myself… I understand. 

Yesterday was such a time. I have gone this week without trying to present as anything at all. Neither male nor female, masculine or feminine; yet I have not suffered from any serious dysphoria as I have in the past and this was troubling to say the least. After all, shouldn’t the very thought of being seen as male send me into a depressive spiral as it has so often done? The why not now?

The answer came to me unbidden…

Because no matter what I may look like, how much effort I put into ‘presenting’, more often than not I am seen as female. It has nothing to do with hair, makeup, or even clothing. The reactions are the same regardless. 

It is me.

All other things are nothing more than props.

I am the same regardless and people sense it and respond appropriately. I haven’t really thought about if I am ‘trans enough’… Trans is just a label like any other, it has only ever given me a sense of the ground beneath my feet and has never been the totality of my personhood. On the other hand I have wondered if I am woman enough.  It is a core part of my identity, just as having blue eyes. 

Funny how I just realized I have never once asked myself if my eyes are ‘blue enough.’ 

The answer to the question can be seen in the reposes of others. In the Mams and Misses. In the Ladies and the Hers and She’s I have received time and again, indeed, more so as time passes, regardless of anything I have said or done.

So it is that I have become comfortable with this body no matter what I do or do not do to present in a particular way. 

This isn’t to say there aren’t things which I would change in a heartbeat if given the chance, because there are. There are those things which make me uncomfortable with myself, things which make me self conscience, which make me anxious or nervous.

There are situations and will go out of my way to avoid if possible, even to the point of discomfort. 

I’m not sure it is possible to be me and not have these thoughts and feelings. What is important is they are no longer crippling. 

It’s a strange sense of freedom I am still adjusting to. 

Yet I wouldn’t change things for the world.

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.

Full Time (or Finally Being Myself)

How many times during this journey have I wanted to give up? To stop in one place and never move again?

How many doors have I passed through? Some with too much thought and some with not enough… Knowing each would close behind me, never allowing me to retreat, always pushing me forward?

Over the past several weeks I have found myself drawing closer to another of these doors. Again I am faced with a decision; this one more difficult then the last, or the one before. It is the culmination of every step which has brought me to this place. Steps I never could have imagined taking, never imagine not taking.

As with all the others, I stand on this side knowing where I am, what I face, the day to day battles large and small. It is the devil I know. On the other is the unknown, an entire life I could only live in day dreams and fantasy. One, not so long ago, which seemed forever beyond my grasp. It was more than my heart could stand, stronger than my courage. Of course I could say the same of so many things; walking out the door the first time on Halloween. The first time I went to therapy as my true self. So many firsts, indeed, which I never thought to experience in my life time. Yet I have. Walking in public. Feeling the sun on my face. The wind in my hair, the sidewalk under my feet.

To be seen.

Yet not… all of my fears melting away as I realized no one was going to stop me. There was no laughter, no pointing or staring. No name calling… no punches, or kicks, guns or knives… nothing. It was as anticlimactic as I had feared it would be climatic.

Another lesson in human nature.

I went from once a year to once a month. To once a week, then every weekend, my days at home spent building my confidence. I was growing… becoming… faster and faster with passing day.

Still, I fought to maintain a double life.

There were, and are, good reasons to try and live such a life. There are so many stories of ruined lives, unemployment, homelessness…

The truth is, my discomfort wasn’t stronger than my fear.

It’s difficult to live you life in fear. To let it define you. To build walls around you.

There comes a point where something has to give. The unstoppable force  or the immovable object.

The fear of taking a step or the pressure to move forward.

In my mind, I see it has standing on a ledge. A wall on one side, an unknown expanse of darkness at your feet. You can step out and hope something you cannot yet see will support you or you can wait until the wall slowly pushes you forward until there is no where left to go.

Either way I face an uncertain future. A great unknown as large as any I have moved through so far and I know once I take this next step, the door will slam shut behind me. No going back, no do overs.

Yet I cannot stand still, as much as I want to. I cannot hide anymore, safe in the known…

Safe? An interesting choice of word. Is where I have been truly safe? Or was safety as much of an illusion as who I tried to convince myself I was? Another lie along with so many?

Yes and no.

It was a toxic wasteland which was slowly destroying me from the inside out. Fear. Self loathing. Hate… Depression. Dysphoria. Suicide.

The poison ran through my veins with every beat of my heart.

Sometimes salvation is only found when you have no where left to run…

No. I could no more stay on this side of the door than I could any of the ones before. Oh, I tried. Yes I did, just as I have every time. Just like all those others, I have found myself pushed forward by my heart, my desire for life.

The unwavering quest to becoming myself.

So here I am, faced with a decision which really isn’t a decision at all… To remain behind the door, knowing the world which I face or I walk through to the other side and a world full of the unknown. Do I live with the devil I know or the one I don’t?

Either way I cannot continue as I have. I cannot live two lives. It is slowly tearing me apart. Every look in the mirror, every whisper of his name. Every male pronoun, every assumption or expectation about who I am or should be, is a death by a thousand cuts.

It is either step through the door and go full time living as myself or sinking back into his world, once again becoming an non entity. A ghost. A reflection.

A lie.

More than anything this is what I cannot stand to do any longer. To live a life of lies. To accept deceit. I am not who they think I am. I never have been. I never will be. To allow them to think otherwise is beyond my ability. It is beyond my ability to continue with the charade, to live, breath, eat, and drink a life which is not mine.

It is theirs.

No.

No more.

I want to be me.

I want to be free.

Free of lies and deceit, expectations and reflections of a society which has never fully claimed me as its own, nor I, it.

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…

First Impressions – Underworks Padded Brief

I received my Underworks Padded Brief which I ordered directly from the manufacturer. The cost was $44.99 + S/H, the total being just under $52 with 3 day shipping.

Underworksside2

I arrived in a soft side envelope with no indication of what was inside, if you worry about nosey neighbors. Inside it was sealed in plastic. 

The material is heavier than you might expect, but still light enough to be worn all day without issue. It certainly seems as i it should last for a long time, even with daily use.

It is high waisted and helps flatten out your tummy though not as much as a dedicated shaper will. You do have to keep an eye on this as despite what one of the reviewers claimed, it can slip and bunch if you move too much. Also, the legs are a little loose at the hem. It hasn’t caused an issue when wearing jeans, but I’m not so sure about clingy fabrics.

Maybe my thighs just aren’t big enough?

In any case, the real reason for wanting this was to help keep “things” in place and reduce bulges where there shouldn’t be any and again, wearing denim, I do see a noticeable difference.

Here’s the main thing; wearing this I felt instantly more confident in my presentation. The padding gives me the shape I have long wanted/expected and the flatter tummy is a bonus.

I can’t say this is for everyone, it really depends on what sort of look your after and how concerned you might be about unexpected bulges or movement “down there.”

I think, for me, this has been an excellent investment, though I can’t say with 100% certainly until I’ve had it for a few months. At some point, unless something goes wrong, I’ll try and write another review and let you know how it performs long term.

What’s Under There?

I haven’t spoken too much about those things I need to feel more comfortable with myself and my appearance. I’m not sure why… maybe I’m a little embarrassed I need the help?

Anyway, I thought I would share some of my little secrets…

First off, a needed boost in the chest department.

Enhancers

Lingerie Solutions – Enhancers Silicone Bust Enlarging Bra Pads

I’m so glad A found these. They have made a real difference in my self confidence and comfort level.

They aren’t anything fancy such as the many breast forms out there, but they provide what I need and the cost was much more affordable,

From the Wal-Mart website:

Lingerie Solutions-Enhancers Bust Enlarging Silicone Bra Pads are push-up bra pads that allow you to accent your natural shape while giving you added push-up and cleavage. The bra pads are made with a 100 percent polyurethane covering and a 100 percent silicone interior. To use, simply insert these silicone bra enhancers into the bra pockets.Lingerie Solutions – Enhancers Silicone Bust Enlarging Bra Pads:100% polyurethane covering with 100% silicone interiorAccent your natural shape while giving you added push-up and cleavageSimply insert the enhancers into the bra pockets.

They are very comfortable and after awhile you forget they aren’t a part of you.

 

As Seen on TV Genie Bra XL, Black/Nude, 2-Pack (I think everything in Wal-Mart is “As Seen On TV” these days.)

Genie bra

From the Wal-Mart website:

Designed for comfort, support and style, this As Seen On TV Genie Bra XL makes a star-quality foundation for your wardrobe. Featuring a woven everlast comfort stretch fabric and form-fitting seamless construction, this 2-pack Black/Nude As Seen on TV Genie Bras will provide you with all-day comfort. The cups of this woven bra stretch to conform to your shape, and it has a magic pouch to slip in support pads for extra lift and coverage. The wide comfort-life band prevents rolling. With no wires or hooks, the As Seen on TV Genie Bra XL is machine washable and is designed to retain its shape through the wash.As Seen on TV Genie Bra XL, Black/Nude, 2-Pack:Woven everlast comfort stretch fabricForm-fitting seamless constructionCups stretch to conform to your shapeMagic pouch to slip in support pads for extra lift and coverageNo wires or hooksWide comfort-life band — no more rollingMachine washable — never loses shape.

 

And the real Tour de Force, which is in transit as we speak…

Underworks Rear and Hip Padded Brief

Underworks Padded Brief

From their website:

An instant derriere and rear enhancing brief that gives you a shapely and toned look in a “smooth and firm” spandex nylon that truly fits and feels smooth and flattering. Pads on rear and side are from a proprietary Underworks® exclusive mold that are perfectly formed to conform to your body while enhancing your shape and providing you with the curves you need so you look natural under anything you wear. No protruding pads, no unsightly lines, no unnatural hills and valleys, just a smooth blending of your body and a perfect enhancing partner. The enhance panty also flattens your tummy and features garter tabs. Pads are removable and washable. Made in U.S.A. of nylon and spandex smooth and firm fabric.

This should arrive by Friday.

 

One of the things I have had some difficulty with has been getting past some of my reservations regarding needing help with my physical presentation… In other words, there have been times when just ordering these things made me worry I was just a cross dresser with delusions of grander. In my head I know better, but sometimes my heart doesn’t listen…

 

I also know there are many women in the world who need and use the same products, yet it still leaves me with an uneasy feeling. Funny, when I really stop and think about it, even HRT would put me into an artificial state as it requires medical intervention… it isn’t “natural” which is what my I really want… but then, don’t we all?

Seriously, I have been told many times over the past several months I think too much. That I worry about things no one even thinks about and I suppose it’s true. Even without any of this I have been gendered as female more often than not. So maybe I am projecting my fears onto others…

On a similar note…

I have looked into voice lessons more than once and what I found interesting is the claim they can help you “pass” (THAT word again…) even over the phone which is really funny since most people assume I’m female when we speak. Even when I have to use my birth name, there is always that hint of disbelief while they speak to me… you know, that slight, are you serious? hesitation before they use a male pronoun. The other day I could tell the woman on the other end didn’t completely buy the idea she was speaking to a male. I even tried to roughen up my voice a little, but I don’t think it made an ounce of difference in her mind.

Well, getting this out has helped me to get out of my head as it were and now maybe I can let a little more of this go until I don’t even think of it. 

Thoughts

I am simply going to write what comes into my mind tonight… I can’t think of another way to get through this.

 

The past few weeks have been physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Much of it is due to having one or more of the kids home for either being sick or snow days. It has left me with very little down time to let my mind unwind. In fact, the first time I had all to myself was the past Saturday during the 20 minute drive to therapy. Yet even then, while I felt a sense of peace, there was a layer of numbness as well. 

During this time I have been having some issues. A feeling of being outside of everything. I felt as if I am not an “Other” but more of a “Neither.” 

I am neither male nor female. There is no where I fit. When I present as male, I feel wrong, out of place. As if I’m wrapped in a cocoon of deception. Every time I have heard ‘Greg’, it has been like a slap in the face. An almost physical blow. 

Yet when I present as female I am hyper aware of the things which make me anything but. My throat, my skin… “down there”… especially that. I find myself ashamed of this body… afraid it will betray me… I just wish it wasn’t there… that I would wake up from this nightmare and find myself as I need to be….

Is this dysphoria? I don’t know… It doesn’t really matter what name I use for it. It makes me want to break down. To cry until there are no more tears… It makes me sick to my stomach…. 

I keep asking myself why I can’t I accept things the way they are… Yet I know I cannot. I have never been be able to… not really. I tried to bury it with drugs and alcohol. I tried to burn it out with anger and self hatred. I tried to ignore it. To pretend I was like the people around me… 

But it wasn’t until I had no choice but to look at myself honestly. To acknowledge a truth which I had tried to hard to deny… Only then did I begin to find a measure of peace within myself…

How could I ever return to what I was… to who I was?

Yet I don’t know how to move forward either… not yet.

First-grader prompts Cumberland schools to address gender identity

At least they are willing to begin having this conversation. Only time will tell if they take the correct path for all students.

Read the complete story here.