A First Time For Everything

Another post? Yes… 🙂

 

As it happens, A wanted me to post about our latest adventure… coloring her hair. How did it turn out? Well, I’m not going to beauticians school anytime soon to begin a new career!

Having said as much, it actually turned out pretty well, especially for my first time. I certainly learned a lot and know some things not to do, but more to the point, I have some confidence I could do it again and not botch it.

As a note, her hair is naturally dark brown and she wanted to change it to black…

Here are two photos:

 

Hair Color 1

 

Hair Color 2

In Response

For some reason WordPress isn’t allowing me to access my Notifications through any of my browsers, (Chrome, Safari). I can still answer short comments via my phone but detail responses are difficult.

So, because I felt it was important to respond to one comment in particular, I am doing so here instead, I hope Robin doesn’t mind.

Let me copy her comment here and then I will respond below.

“I found that while I had to wait, going to a gender therapist to confirm what I knew in my heart was very affirming and helped a little. Daily application of moisturizer and shaving almost all of my body hair helped, too. Sometimes, since I had to work in “boy mode”, wearing something feminine underneath (bra, panties, maybe a chemise) helped… all stuff that no one noticed (despite my fear it would be glaringly obvious).

I also recommend you start shopping for wardrobe *now*. Shoes, coats, gloves, scarves, hats, skirts, blouses… all of it. You will need an obscene amount of clothing when you do go full time… and buying pretty things (even if you’re on a thrift store budget like I am) can help.

Also, remember you are on a process… it won’t happen overnight, but little by little you will get there. *hug*”

 

Robin,

I am currently in therapy, though not with a GS. Unfortunately the nearest ones are in Chicago which is a three hour drive.Still my therapist, Jodi, has been a tremendous help for me in working through many issues and I am thankful to her for her support.

As for my “stealth” presentation… Mostly this is an issue when it comes to work. I am not conformable with the idea of coming out to my employer or coworkers and I have to admit I might never be. So I will continue to present as male there for the foreseeable future, though I admit this might have to change at some point.

Because of this, I do some similar things to yourself; using moisturizer, body shaving, using Secret instead of men’s Speed Stick, I have also let my hair and nails grow out, wear a pony tail and clear nail strengthener in place of polish. All of these things do help, though it often the use of my birth name and male pronouns which cause the most problems.

On the issue of dressing; for work I have found there is little difference between what I use to wear and what I do now. In fact, no one has really noticed the slight changes I have made which are more about being comfortable rather than obviously feminine. T-shirts, sweat shirts, jeans. All of this is pretty gender neutral outside of sizes and fabrics and who looks so close anyway?

Away from work is a different story and here I have to say my dysphoria is more about my internal dialogue than it is about other’s reactions.

I have breast “enhancers”, silicone shapers, which give me the correct shape. I wear pretty much women’s clothing exclusively although I do often wear those same T-shirts, sweat shirts, and jeans as I do to work depending on my mood and how lazy I feel. 

 I really do have a decent wardrobe at this point, tops, pants, black and blue jeans, mock necks, turtle necks, sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, some button up blouses, three quarter and full sleeves. I happen to have some tattoos). I also have a decent collection of shoes and boots including flats and heels, sneakers and even a pair of furry house boots.

I also have acquired some jewelry, a necklace, a bracelet, and ring which I often wear regardless of how I want people to see me.

In addition I also have a Winter coat and a leather jacket for Spring and Fall. I have several scarves, though I want to get more and two purses, one with matching wallet.

I also have two wigs, though how often and where I wear them is a point of contention with my partner. If you look through my posts or “About” page you can see me with them on.

99% of my shopping is through thrift store, consignment shops, and garage sales. As I like to say, I have champaign taste on a beer pocketbook!

If I buy anything new it is only when there is a great sale.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, much of my current problems are internal. It is the way I project my fears and expectations onto those around me and not the way I have been spoken to or treated. In fact, as time passes I find I am greeted with female pronouns and generally treated as a woman more often than not. Those time when I am not, it is because I have had to use my birth name or am presenting androgynously enough the other person isn’t sure how to address me.

The fact I am so often aware of those things which I feel mark me as “different” is more on me than anyone, after all, I am the most aware of those things being an issue, most people don’t even notice. This is true of my voice which is a major sticking point to me. I have been told time and again it is more than passing, yet to me it is completely wrong… I don’t know what I think it should be, but it isn’t what I hear. 

As for the other part… well, there are ways of reducing how noticeable such things are and I am looking into those. Thankfully they aren’t overly expensive as such things go and I plan to have something before Summer arrives.

 

Let me add something here… In the end it doesn’t matter what I do, what procedures I have done, what training I engage in; there is only so far I can go in transition.

There will be a point beyond which I cannot pass, after all, my past is what it is and cannot be changed. Also there is basic biological differences between what I can achieve and what I would have been born with… bone structure, nerve endings, skin texture, hair texture… there is quite a list of what will always set me apart from my sisters. The thing is, only I can come to terms with such things. Only I can become fully comfortable in my own skin. There is no magic pill for it. I have to do it for myself and this is what I am struggling with at the moment. 

Yet you know something?

Right now, with all of the ups and downs, doubts and fears… I feel more complete and at peace with myself than I have err felt in my life.

I can look in the mirror, see who is there and smile because, makeup or no, hair or no, half asleep or wide awake, it is me there and she is a beautiful person.

There Had To Be A Part Two

After I spilled my guts and my tears in my last post I tried to get some sleep, which was only partly successful.

Since then A has returned home and we have spoken more about things, but I want to let you know why she wasn’t here earlier. Her father is currently in the ICU of a local hospital. He has a very bad infection he is fighting and had to have one surgery today and will have a second tomorrow. Her, her mother and sister were with him for most of the day today. She and her mother will return in the morning.

In the midst of this I have felt incredibly selfish regarding my own issues.Here her father is fighting for his life and all of her attention and worry should be directed there, not toward me.

Yet is because of this situation that we talked and I found out something which I didn’t know before and which takes a small amount of stress off of me and it is the fact almost everyone in her immediate family knows about me. The only exceptions being her father and her sister’s husband. Of those who know, it seems I have their support. The only concern being with the boys, which has been my main concern as well.

Everyone remarked at how different I was this past Thanksgiving which was the last time we were all together. My brother-in-law spoke to their sister and got her to “spill the beans” and as I have been told more than once, the phrase, “that explains a lot.” was used more than once. They all noted I was much happier and at ease than they have ever seen me, which all things considered makes me wonder at how I had acted before this because I was seriously stressed over weather or not to come out to my brother-in-law and his wife or not. I really felt out of sorts that day and worried it showed… I guess not as much as I feared… but still… if I was so noticeably different from before just what kind of person had I been?

One thing her mother said which makes me feel better is it doesn’t bother her, she knows some people are just born differently. As I said, her concern is with A and the boys and how they are dealing with things, which I completely understand.

A’s brother and sister are much of the same mind and knowing I don’t have to pretend any more is a real relief. I’m not going to throw it in their faces, but I know I can be more relaxed and myself from now on.

Another thing which A and spoke about is her own discomfort, not to mention her worries regarding me and the boys in regards to how others might react to me. She knows there are many intolerant people out there and she doesn’t want to see me hurt, emotionally or physically. She also doesn’t want the boys to see someone confront me in public in a hateful way, which tank fully hasn’t happened yet, but could.

She did tell me she has trouble with change and she is still adjusting to everything, but it is her problem and not mine. She told me not to let it bother me, but we both know better…

Last weekend had been very stressful for her and me adding to it, without warning really, was just too much. I can understand this though I won’t say it didn’t hurt me deeper than I care to admit. Still, it something we both need to work through. The main thing I see is communication. We need to keep talking, to keep making adjustments. There may not be a lot of wiggle rum at the moment, but there has to be some.

So… as of now things are better than they were just a few short hours ago, but there is still a long, long way to go.

To bring this to a close, I ask if you would keep my Father-in-law in your thoughts and prayers. Right now no one knows how things are going to work out but we are hoping for the best.

Thoughts

Sometimes it takes reading someone else’s thoughts and words to make me realize something about myself. I may not want to acknowledge it, I might resent having a light shown into the shadows, yet I cannot deny what I see. What I feel. What I know is truth.

I know she didn’t pen her words with me in mind. No, she has bigger things to think about. Still, Ali said something today which also spoke to me in a way I cannot ignore.

In her post she is speaking about her upcoming appointment to begin HRT.

 “I’m not sure if it’s because I’m winning or surrendering.”

I so often wonder this as well.

“The truth is, I don’t think I could ever have gone on living if I hadn’t reached this point.”

Again, I can relate to this, though some days it’s still a struggle not to do something drastic and permeant. 

“That’s exactly how I feel about my appointment next week. The sound of inevitability. The sound of death. Because in the film, Smith is right. When Neo suddenly makes his declaration — “My name is Neo!” — and breaks free of Smith’s grip, that is the moment when Mr. Anderson dies. That’s the moment in the film when Neo is fully born, when he begins to believe in who he is and lets go of who he was. 
This appointment is, for me, inevitability. I have been headed for it my entire life, even when I didn’t know it. When I take that first dose next week, it’s going to be the moment I really let go of who I was and embrace who I am. It’s the moment I will begin to feel fully born.”

The above is what struck the deepest chord with me. I can see now I am struggling to hold onto what has already slipped from my grasp. To grasp for the tattered remains of life which in so many ways doest exist any more… Much as A refuses to use my name because it will mean she has lost “Him”, I am doing the same and for much the same reason. He was comfortable. Not heathy or right, just seemingly better than the unknown of being true to myself. Just as I have found with taking an antidepressant, my “normal” has been anything but. It has been a warped and twisted version of reality, but it was my version. One I have lived with my entire life and I was comfortable there. Comfortable in the pain and misery, comfortable in the confusion and unhappiness… because staying there was easier and less terrifying than the alternative. I guess I’m like the bird in the golden cage who, when given her freedom, refuses to leave because the known is better than the unknown. 

I’m not making excuses, just giving an explanation. I know on so many levels what I am feeling is wrong. It is dangerous and it is killing me, yet I find it so difficult to let go of those golden bars and fly…

I can see now, there must come a time when I say “My name is Kira!” and I accept the death of who I was to became who I must be.

I’m just not sure if I can do it…

And yes, I am scared. Terrified of the unknown both inside and out. Maybe acknowledging the fear, (as if I could deny it), will be the first real step I have to take.

Playing Catch Up

Today I felt like I was playing catch up. For everything I got done there seemed to be two more waiting for me. This was before the kids got home at which point I can forget about getting anything accomplished at all…

I was also having problems with my back, which ended up putting me in bed as soon as things calmed down. I’m not sure how long I lay there with spasms going from my back, down my legs but at some point I fell asleep and got about an hour’s nap before I had to get up again. Thankfully A was home by this time and she was able to get dinner fixed so I didn’t have to. The thought of standing over the stove was enough to make me want to go back to bed.

When I got up to get ready for work, I was able to so with only a little pain and no spasms, but I’m being very careful to not aggravate things any more then necessary.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Taking The Night Off

Dental icon md

 

I’m basically taking the night off. I have this set to post up for tomorrow, (by WP time).

 I had two more teeth extracted today and I feel as if I was hit in the face with a bat, so it’s pain meds and sleep for me.

 

I’ll be back tomorrow.

 

Hope everyone has a great night,

Kira

Apologies

I have to apologize to everyone. I posted several links to music I have found and wanted to share, but for some reason the direct link to download the albums from NoiseTrade aren’t appearing in the published posts on my blog. Even through they are present in the Preview Pane I use to edit before uploading.

I have had no issues with linking to YouTube videos though, and I use HTML for both. I guess I am going to have to simply create links to the appropriate pages so people can at least find the artists. It’s an extra step to listen before deciding to download, but I can’t think of another way to get you the information.

One example is “Just Be Honest” by Shannon LaBrie. Since you didn’t get a preview of this wonderful artist I’m including the video, I hope you enjoy.

A Must Read

I know I could simply reblog this, but I wanted to make a personal appeal for everyone to take a few moments to go read this post titled “A Letter to M”. It is more than worth your time.

Invalidation, The Other Side

Scary

 

In my last write up, I spoke about my feelings of invalidation. How brushing off my fears and concerns, my hopes and dreams, made me feel as if I were meaningless. 

I would later read a post by the partner of another trans woman and she gives a very moving account of the other side of this issue. You see, nothing happens in a vacuum, to every story there are at least two sides and this is as true of the trans story as any other.

It is almost impossible to truly put ourselves in another’s shoes even when they are walking a similar path to ourselves. This is so much more true when they are going through something we have never imagined. How difficult then is the path we as trans people walk when there are those we love on the other side?

This brings me to the point of this post. You see, I find myself doing something similar to “P” in the above post. Living with a deep seated feeling of guilt and responsibility, we both have assumed responsibility for our partners feelings and reactions as if they are incapable of having them on their own. It isn’t right for all the same reasons I spoke of in regards to myself. What’s more, because I have faced these feelings I think I should be more aware of how my own actions and words can make someone else feel the same things… but naturally, I became so involved in my own head I miss the obvious. A is her own person with her own feelings and thoughts, hopes and dreams. By demanding I take responsibility for them I have then invalidated her right to them and this is wrong. If I want to be able to own myself, then A must be free to do the same. I have apologized to her for being presumptuous and promised to try and correct my behavior in the future. Of course, words are cheap, it is going to take me doing what I say to show I mean it, but I believe I am moving in the right direction.

Transition is such a complicated, multi level process. A life changing undertaking in which we have so much to learn, to unlearn, to become aware of both in ourselves and those around us. There are going to be mistakes, missteps taken in ignorance and misunderstanding. But how much better will we be, as people, as partners, as parents, for having made the journey.