Not That Strong

Someone once told me that there were things. I shouldn’t share on my blog. Things that didn’t need to told to the world. I regret that I listened to that person, that there were struggles I kept hidden.
Several times in the beginning, overcome with fear and guilt, I determined that I would put all my TG thoughts and feelings back into a box, that the people I love would be better served if I returned to the way thing were before I came out. I was going to purge my computer, shut down the blog and never mention any of this ever again.
That person and A talked me out of it each time, which in truth seemed to be weekly, helping me to see that I could never really go back. Each time until the last time.
I’m not going to talk about what happened, but I was deeply hurt, and I guess I haven’t gotten over it completely.
The reason I tell you this now is because I find that I am fighting those feelings again.
I have posted several times about not being able to consider HRT, and I have told myself over and over that I can get past this and find a different path.
I am trying so hard to be strong, to use that pillar of strength to help me stay on my feet…
But I’m not that strong, not really. It is all I can do not to crumple to the floor in tears. To not let the reality crush me.
Obviously I didn’t give in to those feelings before. Despite everything, I have continued to write, but now it just seems so pointless. I just don’t know what I am going to do from here.
I can’t go back and I can’t see the way forward.
I guess I will do the only thing I can… I will put my heart into words, bare all to the world and hope I can find a way to keep going.

After all, what else can I do?

The Bitter and the Sweet

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(This was written on June 26th)

 

Today is a bitter sweet day for me. 

This day every year for the past forty plus years has been faced as a male.  A day that has seen trucks and cars, G.I. Joe and Tonka. Clothing and underwear that declared to the world what the people around me assumed, but never asked. It got to the point over the last ten or so years that I dreaded this day.

Today is different on so many levels, though in the most important, it is the same. 

I face today not as my old self, but the new, and yet I still have to keep this basic truth hidden. I will see this day through looking to all the world as male. That’s just the way things are for me at this moment.

Though I have known this all along, it doesn’t make it easy. No, not one bit.

One day maybe I will wake up and put on my make up, a nice outfit, and I will celebrate this day as the real me.

A girl can dream can’t she?

Catalyst

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Something I have been encouraged to do is to try and think back and see if I can find what first pushed me to cross dress as a child. Was it simple curiosity? Was it something else and if so, what?

When I first started this blog, I talked a little about that fist time and I have returned to that memory several times since. In truth, it is something that I think about often, going over what I remember, seeking to bring out more detail.

The thing is, the more I have sought to bring this to the forefront, the more I have remembered. At first it was little more than the memory of putting on the clothes, my emotional state and what I was thinking was rather fuzzy, beyond the extreme fear of being caught. Now I am beginning to touch on those emotions, those thoughts, and some of what I originally thought has changed.

I do want to say that I am not looking for validation here, the fact was and remains, that I did start cross dressing, that from that point forward I thought, dreamed, and fantasied about becoming a girl, about being able to live in the world as a girl. I wondered many times if I could make myself up as a girl and simply walk out the door and be accepted as female. 

In all honestly, this memory is the catalyst for everything that followed… or that is what I have thought for all these years. 

Now I’m not so sure. In digging into this memory I have to wonder what was pushing me, what was the irresistible need that drove me to finally pull the trigger and put on women’s clothes despite the almost paralyzing fear?

At this point, I’m still not sure what drove me. This memory is like a concrete wall in my mind. 

While I have some memories of the years before this, they are spotty at best. There are a few things that have managed to remain fairly clear in my mind, but none as vivid as this. 

Now I am left wondering what might have happened that some part of me refuses to look beyond the surface of my past.

 

Ghost of a Past

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I am having one of those days when my mind just won’t settle down. I have already written two posts for tomorrow and shouldn’t that be enough?

All through last night and today, I have had a number of flashes of different dreams and fantasies I have had over the years of buying the things needed to present as female. memories of a powerful wish to leave behind the life I was living and start over as the person I wanted to be in my heart.

Memories of experimenting with make up, tucking, making make believe dresses made from bath towels. All this aded to by distress I have felt since I was a preteen over my developing body. The desire to never have body hair, to never have my voice change. To not want to get any taller, or developing the muscle I knew men had.

It wasn’t a matter of not wanting to grow up, I wanted that desperately so I could escape from my family. No, I didn’t want to grow up to be a man.

I know that many of my thoughts were so confused, I was attracted to girls, but it was as much to socialize as it ever was sexual attraction. Though that was there too, which I know added to the confusion. I looked at girls and thought it would be wonderful if I was like them on many levels. Unlike the boys, I was less interested in kissing the girls, I wanted to talk, to exchange thoughts and ideas. There were times when I thought I had a crush on one girl or another, and I might very well have, but in looking back I see that more often than not, what I really wanted was friendship, companionship, the ability to talk with someone who could understand the way I thought, the way I saw the world.

Things which were so alien to what I saw and heard from the boys I was forced to be around.

It was one of the things that made me feel so lonely as a child. That there was no one I could talk to openly and honestly. If I tried, I was looked at like I was a freak. None of these guys cared about butterflies and flowers, none thought to look at the world and seek the beauty I saw there. None thought about hurt feelings or wanting to do something just because it was nice, or sweet, or thoughtful. No, it as all army men and pretend wars and finding ways to best the other boys. It was all competition and struggle. Who was faster, who was stronger. Who was braver and more willing to take the greatest risk, like jumping from roofs or trying to pick up that nasty looking bug.

I did some of those things, I had to compete with the others because it was expected, but I hated it.

I know there are more things I’m not remembering right now, there are too many years to go back through, but all of this has really had me wondering what was going on in my mind, specially when I didn’t understand enough to explain what I was thinking and feeling.

And just what do these things mean for how I now understand myself?

Something that I now realize is having been unable to put so much of my past to rest has allowed it to continue to dog my heels, making it difficult to live in the present. To simply enjoy today, never mind trying to plan for the future. I want that. I want to be able to think about where I want to go and not where I have been.

I just want to be happy with my life, being the person I am meant to be, not a ghost of a past I can do nothing to change.

Becoming Kira

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Thought I would take a moment and talk about how I came to have the name Kira.

Way back in the days leading up to last November I was preparing to enter the online writing contest; National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. I had been a participant for several years, but this time was going to be different. I had a plot already in mind and a character I wanted to use. The problem was I hadn’t decided on a name for her.

As November loomed I took some time and thought about this character, who she was in my mind, how she looked and sounded. I thought a long, hard time about what her name should be. Then it came to me; Kira. As soon as I thought it, I knew it was the right choice, and she would be called nothing else. The only concern I had was if this was a “real” name or not. Since I was writing a fiction piece, it wouldn’t really matter one way or the other, except it mattered to me. I wanted to use a name that a “real” person might have. I don’t know why, but that was very, very important.

So I did what any good writer would do…. I Googled the name.

Imagine what a pleasant surprise it was to find that Kira was indeed a “real” name!  I spent more time looking at the different meanings of the name and when I found that one of them was “strong woman”, that sealed it for me. Kira she was and Kira she would be.

November 1st rolled around and I began writing.

There had been a lot of things going on in my personal life just then, and I was very much aware that my stress levels were reaching a breaking point. There was also the matter that I had begun to question my gender identity as a result of said stress added to the fact that the core of this “novel” was one of many dreams I had had over the years in which I was female.

It didn’t take long for me to be completely consumed with writing this story. I decided almost from the first word that I was going to pour everything I could into it. I wanted to use it as an outlet for all of my pain, all of my fears. All of my hopes and dreams.

Everything.

It all went into writing and I found myself weeping openly as I wrote. I’m surprised my poor keyboard survived, so often was it covered in the tears I couldn’t stop.

I have never in my life had an experience like that.

At the end of the month I hit my 50,000 word mark and the story was only half done, but I was so emotionally and physically drained I couldn’t continue.

Less then a month later I was still a wounded animal, I hadn’t been able to recover from that release, in fact, my depression and distress were getting worse.

Finally I broke and the truth of who I was came pouring out over a two day period.

A new me was about to rise from the ashes.

This new me needed a name, A first suggested Kira, but I was still too close to the experience of writing that story, I wasn’t ready to assume that name. I decided on Anne instead, but it just didn’t sound right. It was a nice name, but it wasn’t me.

I knew then who I was.

Kira.

As soon as I accepted that fact I felt a peace within myself I had never known before.

I kept Anne as my middle name. It was the name of the secondary character in the same story and I liked it as a middle name. The two together were perfect.

So here I am.

Kira Unbound

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Another day is winding down. In many places of the world the day has just started over and others it is just ending. Here it is evening, and the sun is more than an hour from setting, though you can’t really tell as clouds have moved in. 

For me, I find that my mind is still going a mile a minute, so much has happened, at least in the way I am thinking about things.

I have spent my entire life keeping things bottled inside, my thoughts, hopes and dreams. I have fought to keep my emotions locked away because anything seen as weakness was a way to hurt me. So many times I locked myself away in my room or went as far away from those who knew me as possible so that I could shed my tears without witnesses. I was suppose to be “a man” and men were never to show emotion unless it was anger, or rage. Then it was okay. So I kept my true feelings hidden. 

 Now I have, at least in my own heart, shed the deceptions and embraced the truth that I am a woman and I am no longer bound by those restrictions. 

I am slowly being freed from all the chains with which I was bound. All the assumptions that were made based on the way I look, by a single letter on a piece of paper. 

An entire world is opening up in front of me, a world in which I can be who I truly am. No masks, no facades, no constructed personalities. Just me.

This is the world inside, where I look at myself in the mirror of self reflection and I am finally beginning to see the true me.

Out there, in the real world, I don’t have that same freedom and it is chaffing. I hate that I can’t be as true to it as I am with myself. 

But that is the unfortunate reality we face. 

As long as people seek to tear down others, to find reasons to hate, to separate, to divide just so they can gain some advantage, even if it is only in their own self image, we will have to keep parts of ourselves hidden away.

Say My Name

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I’m back from the therapist and I have to say I am very happy with the way things are going. Of course I have a lot of things I need to work through, but I feel that I can do that. What’s more, I was able to explain myself much better then I feared. I was told I was able to express myself better than I give myself credit for, which is good to hear.

Some things that came up were that not only is she confident I am what I say I am, but I should be able to reach a point of balance between my two lives. She wants to explore just how far I need to go to be completely comfortable with myself, so we will need to discuss things like HRT though I did tell her I think surgery if off the table unless things take a major turn.  Another thing I brought up was what name I wish to be called during sessions, and she agreed to call me Kira and not my male name. In fact she called me Kira today and it sounded incredible to hear it out loud in someone else’s voice… I still don’t have the words to describe the feeling.

I know I have only had two sessions, and she needs a lot of additional information before the real work begins, but I already feel as if some of the weight has been lifted off of me. It is such a relief to look someone in the eye and just speak the truth. To speak about myself as myself without all the dancing around I have had to do for so long.

Another bit of good news is that she doesn’t think I should be taking any antidepressants, at least not yet. She wants to see if therapy and some other measures will help without resorting to drugs. Anything I can do to keep from putting more surf in my system is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

I have to say that finally going into treatment was the best thing I could have done and being able to work with a female therapist is a god send. I couldn’t imagine talking like I have been with a man. In some ways I wish I had been seeing someone all along, but I wonder if my gender issues would have been addressed in the way they are now.

In the end, it doesn’t matter, I just want to be able to live my life as a happy and complete person.

Looking Forward

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My next session with my therapist is coming up at the end of the week. It has been three weeks since my first session, and though we agreed to my seeing her every two weeks, she couldn’t see me last week so I got a little break to really think things over.

Not to decide if I want to continue, I have already decided that I am more than comfortable enough with talking with her. No, what I have to try and understand is what goals I want to set for myself. I am sure that we will talk about all this, about what sort of balance I need between what I want and what is reasonable.

It would be so much easier if I wanted to come out full time. If I wanted to live as who I know I am. If I knew that I needed to transition completely.

Even if that was an option at this point, I’m not sure I am ready to take such a major step. 

Of course, for the foreseeable future, such steps aren’t reasonable. In fact, my best case scenario is on a twelve year time table. At that point my youngest will be almost be an adult and I think he will be able to understand what is going on with “dad”.

That seems like a long time, but when I stop and think of the fact that I have been married for almost sixteen years, I find it difficult to believe, it seems like we met just yesterday. 

So what I want, what I need, is to find a balance that allows me to grow as a woman while maintaining this male facade. Living a split life isn’t going to be easy. 

Already, I find there are times when having to act male grates on my nerves.Times when I want so badly to tell someone the truth. Times when I want to scream to the world that I am a woman. 

Times when I want to get dressed and walk out the door and say to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it.

These are the things I must deal with to try and live as happy a life as I can. The things I must keep in balance. 

I also want to understand what is going on in my head in regards to the way I think, the way I see the world and how this compares to other woman see and think.

I need to ask about finding a support group.

……

 

I am going to take a step back here for a moment.

 

In many ways I wish that I was like the people around me, blissfully unaware that issues like this existed. I don’t so much envy those who have never questioned their gender identity, that’s like envying a bird for having feathers, but I can’t help but wonder what life would be like without the questions, without the doubts. Without wondering if I’m just crazy. Not that I do that much, knowing what I now know.

I guess in many ways it’s just a matter of the questions one asks.

Who I Am

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There have been a lot of people who have started to follow this blog recently and I can’t expect anyone to take the time to dig through all my posts to understand who I am or why I am writing this blog. 

To say that the issues I face are complicated is a minor understatement and I really don’t expect anyone who is not dealing with something similar or who knows someone who is, to really understand what I am going through.

Having said that, to those of you who are willing to open your hearts and minds, to try and understand something that may be so far out of your own experience, I say a very heart felt thank you. You are miles beyond too many people in this world.

 

For those who haven’t figured it out yet, I am a Transgender woman. That means quite simply that I was born in a male body with a female brain. To many that won’t make sense, but the fact remains that the way my mind woks, the way I think, the way I see and interact with the world, is as a woman despite the fact that my body presents as male.

I have thought, dreamed. fantasized, prayed and begged to wake up one morning as a female since I was ten years old. It may be that these feelings and self awareness trace back even father but I have suppressed and blocked out a great deal of my childhood until only the strongest, most persistent memories are still clear in my  mind. I can say one thing though, having been raised by a Baptist minister, and seeing what other such men have to say regarding LGBT children, I can understand why deep down I don’t want those memories. If I were to remember being physically, mentally, and emotionally “corrected” the way such men have suggested, then I consider myself lucky to have survived and not find myself locked in a rubber room somewhere. 

 

By the same token, it also explains why I first thought seriously about killing myself when I was ten.

 

I want to note my choice of words there. I said “kill”, not suicide. Suicide is a choice regardless of the reasons. I don’t think at ten I was making a choice, it was something I was being driven to. Putting so much pressure on someone that they see death as the only way out is just another way to kill them without getting your hands dirty. It is a form of murder. That may sound harsh, but I can’t think of any other way to put the seriousness of this into peoples minds.

If someone has been bullied into killing themselves then those who did the bulling committed murder, they just didn’t tie the noose or pull the trigger. They are still just as guilty and I wish on them the same consequences any murderer would suffer.

 

I have been accused and suspected of being gay many times over the years. Always before I would be very hurt by this. I would redouble my efforts to present as male because I knew what sort of treatment I could expect if that label stuck. The fact is I am not gay. Because I present as male I see myself as heterosexual. That is, I am sexually attracted to females. I am not, nor have I ever been attracted to males in that way. If I ever transition fully to female, then I would be a lesbian, not a gay male.

The thing is, there are indeed Transgender people who are homosexual, who are lesbians, who are bisexual. The Trans* community is as diverse as the rest of the population. Being Trans* does not make you gay, but you can be gay and Trans*. 

Okay, everyone got that? Good.

I want to get to another point here, I am closer now to fifty than I am forty. I came out to myself and my wife just before this past Christmas as a result of a near breakdown. There were a lot of things going on in my life and the stress of that added to the stress of trying to suppress who I was on the inside, of trying to be a “man” when I was anything but, finally caused me to snap. I have been married for more than fifteen years and neither I nor my wife understood what was going to eventually boil to the surface. I had so completely buried my thoughts and feelings that even I didn’t understand what was happening. My wife saw only what I wanted her to see, I never really gave her a clue.

If any of you have been sitting there wondering how you missed all the sign, then I say this, if I didn’t understand what I was dealing with, then you wouldn’t either.

Hind sight is always twenty-twenty. What may make you look back and think, “So that’s why!” are things you never had a reason to really wonder about. 

I don’t know if there are things that I said or did that might have given my wife any warning, she hasn’t said and I haven’t asked. At this point that is all water under the bridge.  All that matters is she has accepted me and is doing her best to deal with life as it is now. She has been incredible with her support and I can never thank her enough.

There are a number of things going on my life which require that I maintain my public life as a male. I don’t know when or if I will be able to fully “come out” and live my life as a woman. That makes for some difficult times for me because I find it frustrating to have this growing understanding of myself that I cannot fully express in the ways that I feel I want and need to.

But I have said time and again, there are people in my life who depend on me, who I cannot and will not let down. If that means I have to do things I don’t like, then so be it. I will deal with the consequences of that. I won’t ask others to do it for me. None of them asked to be caught up in this and they deserve better.

So that is where things currently stand. I am in effect living two lives and doing my best to deal with the conflicts that causes. 

One thing I can tell you is this. No matter what my appearance, no matter what others think they know of me there is one truth.

I am a woman who has survived. I am a woman who has faced pain and confusion and I am a woman who will carve her own place in this world.

I am, I have always been, and I will always be:

 

Kira Anne Moore.