Explanation

Before you read any further, please let the video play as background music…

I suppose I should try to explain my last post…

As I said, I had written a longer post which I have since decided not to post. It is about Saturdays therapy session with Jodi; as I was writing it I realized all I have been doing is making one excuse after another for why I can’t move further in transition beyond the point I have now reached, which truthfully isn’t very far at all.

The conversation is rather broken in my head, there are points of clarity but I cannot remember the sequence in which they took place, so if the following seems disjointed this is the reason…

Jodi asked if I was planning on going out again this Halloween, which I have been, sans the boots… it would be flats from now on… We got somewhat sidetracked talking about costumes for our kids which somehow brought us to what happened last year when A and I took the boys to see her parents… She had told her mother I was going to be out fully dressed, so she had a heads up… we didn’t just spring it on her. Still, I’m sure she was expecting something over the top, a silly, obvious spoof, a goofy drag queen… what she got was something infinitely different and she was surprised to say the least… it was her response which I haven’t forgotten…

“Your not going to dress like that all the time are you?” 

The rest of the evening went fairly well, but I couldn’t shake that one question. Her disapproval was clear and I felt like a liar for laughing it off… I just couldn’t see a way to have a conversation with her which would end well.

This lead to us talking about last year and what I felt being out. About what I thought I would feel if I went out again this year. Which in turn lead to what has come to bother me so much now…

She asked me if I had thought of going about my normal day as Kira… being out in town… I can’t fully express the slow, creeping terror I felt as I pictured myself out, surrounded by people… We spoke of different things including the bathroom issues, which ended with us trying to remember all the places we know that have gender neutral bathrooms. This in turn brought her to ask if I had thought about going to a different city where no one would know me… a thought which almost made me physically ill… being somewhere unfamiliar where I had nothing and no one for support.. All of this lead to a discussion about what I feared could go wrong, of issues with store staff, strangers, the possibility of getting into a confrontation… an endless series of ever more unlikely situations… at some point I knew I was just making excuses… letting the fear drive me beyond a common sense caution. I think it was pretty clear to her as well, though she was polite enough to not push me too much.

She then asked about going with A and I admit it has crossed my mind more than once, but I haven’t asked her. I’m not sure which would be worse, being rebuffed or acceptance and it was at this point I had to stop writing because it was clear as glass all I was dong was making excuses for myself… all the countless reasons why I can’t take the next step. Why I could never hope to make the dream a reality… because I know damn good and well I could if I put my mind to it.

All my life I have been ruled by my fears. Time and time again I have not followed my dreams because I talked myself out of doing so… excuses, excuses… excuses. I have gotten so good at convincing myself of all the reasons I couldn’t do something, reasons to give up, give in, to run away and hide… it is second nature to me now… You see, it is true, when you have given up once, it become easier each time after until you don’t know how to do anything else…

And so I was forced to finally be honest with myself… I am a coward. It is easier to give up than fight for what I want. To keep my head down and just do what is expected of me. 

Yes. There a number if very real reasons why I need to move forward slowly, to think very carefully about the risks caused by what I do, but this implies I am still moving forward when in truth I am at a standstill, unable to move in any direction at all… I have lost count of how many times I have been in this place before… as a child looking at her reflection in a mirror, as a teen applying makeup until I suddenly became terrified and quickly cleaned it all off, as a twenty something sitting in a motel room making a list of all the things I would need to go out the door as female… time and again wondering if I could pass… to simply be accepted as just another woman out and about her day… the countless times I passed the cosmetics counter and trying to find an excuse to get a makeover… passing the perfumes and wishing I could try something… to walking through the clothing and seeing something I really liked and wishing I could simply buy it for myself… to seeing women out in the world every day and wishing I could be just like them, just out and about being myself… 

Every time to let the moment pass, the thoughts to slip beneath the surface once more, buried by more and more excuses and rationalizations until they were forgotten… at least for a little while.

I’m Not…

I wasn’t sure if I was really up to writing a personal post… Things have been a bit too much for me to feel comfortable sharing… But I ask myself, just how honest am I being with you, or myself when I try and hold everything in? I suppose it is much the same as I feel holding things back from A… I know she is worried, but there is nothing I can do or say to ease her concern… 

I wonder why it is the smallest, most unthought of things can have such a devastating impact?

Last weekend I spent time out and about, some with the kids, some with just A and I and all that time I was male mode… well, at least as far as my appearance was concerned anyway… I tried not to think about it really, after all, it’s just the way things are right now. Yet.

Yet… every time I was addressed with a “sir,” mister,” or even “buddy” it was a searing knife blade cutting into my heart. God, I feel so pathetic talking about this… by the end of the weekend I had lost all sight of the future, any hope for change… all which was left was the crushing truth I was and will always be seen as male. It’s what people see when I walk down the street, when they pass me in the store, when they talk to me on the phone… 

It’s what the world demands of me regardless of my feelings on the matter and I just can’t see it ever changing. So in the end I realized something…

The world wins.

I’m just not strong enough to keep up the fight. Day after day, often one moment from the next… 

I’m not ready to face my fears…

I’m not brave enough to be alone.

A Good Day

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It’s been a long day… in a good way. As in I have been on the run the majority of the daylight hours. It might have started out better though, as my alarm went off at 5:30AM and I then turned it off instead of hitting snooze like I meant to…

In any case, I did manage to get up and going in time to go to an early therapy appointment, at 7:00AM. Seriously… who does business so early? Just kidding, I understood why J needed to schedule me so early and I was fine with it.

Our sessions have been interesting lately because we have been mixing in a lot of general talk with more therapy related things with the subjects ranging all over the place from current events to religion.It certainly keeps me on my toes. Some interesting things came up this time; for one was the question of it is possible for me to find a way to buffer myself when I am reading something which has the effect of setting off my depression to one degree or another, such as the topic of my last big post. In talking about this I realize there aren’t any quick fixes to these situations and maybe there shouldn’t be. Sometimes I need time to process something and find the right answer for me. There are more times than not doing so is going to take a few days, as it did in this last case, but I am in a better place when I finally find an answer. Also, it gives me a better perspective of my own thoughts and feelings and I am better able to discuss things with others.

Speaking of my post and the original by Ali which lead to me writing what I did… We talked about it and I let J read what I had written after talking about what I had read. The discussion lead to what I thought and felt reading that post and the conclusions I had worked out for myself, mainly about being myself, being Kira, 24/7 regardless of what I wear; with or without makeup or a wig. As I told her, my outward appearance, while important for various reasons, has nothing to do with who I am inside my own head.

This lead to some interesting discussions, about how ones outter appearance can often be confusing and lead to someone being mis-gendered regardless of if they are male or female, gay or straight. That lead to something I didn’t expect which was finding out one of J’s daughters, who I have met several times, once asked if I was a boy or a girl. She wasn’t sure of which was correct and she didn’t want offend me by asking. This was without me really doing anything to change my appearance…  All of which lead to another observation which was I cannot know how I am being read by anyone else, nor just what their thoughts might be. Because I cannot judge such things, I tend to be much harder on myself and the way I present than I should be. As A pointed out, we are always harder on ourselves than others are and this is magnified by my situation and insecurities.

I have to remind myself it seems I am presenting as more feminine than I realize. This is an interesting thought as I have been working to undo many of the habits I picked up while in the Navy, to return to more of the way I was before that point in my life. If I have succeeded to any degree, and people are seeing me now in much the same way they did back then, it explains a great many things which happened, and which I heard or was told by others regarding how I was seen by those around me. If this is really the case, then I truly have come a lot further than I ever imagined, which is a pleasant surprise indeed.

Only I Can Live In This Skin

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There is a lesson to be learned here, a truth to be seen. To be felt and embraced and lived, if only I catch hold of it. Keep it close, never let it go.

Yesterday I set out to clean up my blog, to do what was right for myself and my readers… and well, a world full of artists who deserve better of me… of us.

In the process I found something interesting had happened, Not only do I feel better about the content I provide, I feel as though I am setting an example… nothing huge, just a little vision of what is possible… and something else. During these past tenth four hours I set aside the internal disquiet and concentrated on doing something. I forgot to feel helpless and hopeless. I forgot to worry about tomorrow or the day after. I forgot to cling to the past… to all of the could have beens, might of beens. The never was.

I’m not sure how long I sat here in front of the computer before I realized anything had changed, but one I did I cannot forget it. 

It is true. I spent years isolating myself from everyone and everything, seeking to separate myself from an every day I despised more with each breath I took… There is a price to be paid for such isolation. I had forgotten how to interact with others and myself. I forgot how to listen to their voices and my own. I forgot how to touch and be touched.

I have come a long way from where I began. I have learned things about myself and others, had my eyes opened to a reality I had blindly ignored both inside and out. Yet there is so far yet to go, so much more to learn and understand. As much about myself as anything. Despite myself, I remain a creature of habit, both good and bad. 

At this point I often find myself struggling with my inability to affect any outward change, at least something I can see in the mirrors of glass and others eyes, yet at the same time I have not put as much energy into the more important aspects of who I am… those on the inside.

I may have to live in this world, but only I can live in this skin.

Believe

Before I began this blog, even before I had reached the point where I could admit the truth of who I was; I began to write a story. I didn’t know what is was going to be about but I knew why I was going to write it. I needed a way to express the increasing emotional pressure which was building inside me. I needed a place where I could release all of my pain and sorrow. My confusion and despair. I needed a conduit through with I would pour every ounce of myself and I found it in my namesake… a character I named Kira. Even in those first few moments I saw her not as a separate being out of my imagination but as a direct reflection of myself. She would speak the words I could not. Would express those thoughts and feelings which had been locked in my heart for so long.

I know I have spoken of this before, but it is important now in understanding what I am going to talk about.

Every day I wake to find the same reflection in the mirror. I put on the same clothes, do the same things, see and speak to the same people and in all these things I often feel as if I am trapped behind a veil, a magical construct which keeps me and everyone else from seeing the true me. It sounds silly I know, but it is how I feel… As I have mentioned before, this has and continues to cause me issues. It is often almost impossible to reach inside and connect with the truth which is in my heart. In truth I have too often become so caught up in what I am feeling at the moment, I forget to even try. When it happens I begin to doubt myself. I begin to question what I am doing and why… I forget who I really am.

Now I see I need to reach inside once again, as I did so long ago and embrace who I am when all of the barriers have been torn down. When all of the mirrors have broken. When everything I have wrapped around myself has been ripped away. When I stand, as I did, naked and alone.

It was in such a moment I reached out and embraced the truth of who I was, of what I was, had always been… when I knew I was Kira heart and soul.

In a moment of blazing clarity I was free.

I have tried several times over the past year and a half to go back and begin work on that story, yet each time I found I was unable to embrace the feelings and energy which drove me. I had built a barrier around my heart in the intervening months. Maybe it was fear, maybe it was not wanting to really believe the truth I had found. In the end it didn’t really matter. No matter how I tried to fool myself, I was still missing something important. An emotional connection…

It’s true, we so often refuse freedom because the unknown terrifies us. We would rather remain forever caged in the false security of the known. Even if, in the end, it kills us.

I have spent tonight and yesterday pushing through the barriers I have put up, burrowing deeper into myself determined to reconnect my heart and mind. I simply cannot continue to live in fear of myself.

I know who I am. I just have to believe it… to believe in myself.

No Turning Back Now

For better or worse, I have had plenty to keep my mind occupied today. All three of children are on Spring break this week, so I have them all at home while the outside temps are just off enough everyone wants to stay in more than be out, which means having to play referee. Add to this my youngest being sick and its been interesting to say the least.

So what have I been wanting to be distracted from? Well, for one, A had her appointment today and the doctor said he wants to go with the radiation treatment to kill off her thyroid. It’s better than surgery, but not exactly what we were hoping for. Still, once this is done, she knows it will only be a matter of time before she gets back to feeling more like her old self.

Now, to what is really going to be on my mind for the foreseeable future…

As I mentioned earlier, she also talked to the doctor about me. He said he has no problem treating Transgender patients, which is one less thing to worry over. He has agreed to treat me, so I need to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. He wants to get my labs done so we know where my levels are and he’ll talk to me about the depression and what we can do regarding that at the same time. Of course there is going to be a very long conversation which means going over a lot of things I have had to discuss with my therapist and I am not looking forward to that, but it needs to be done.

Now I need to do some research and put together a list of what questions to ask. I also need to understand what I need to be able to tell him as I am sure he is going to have a ton of questions for me as well.

No matter what, I have taken the next step and there is no turning back now.

A Memory Of The Girl In The Mirror

One of the interesting things about writing here is it gives others a small glimpse into my head. Though what appears here is much less chaotic than my thought process thanks to editing as much as my being forced to think clearly in order to get things across in a way which won’t drive people insane…

I was going to write a much longer post, but I realized I was over thinking things… not as if I haven’t been accused of that before…

Maybe it is because I am listening to Kevin Wood’s album, “Kindred” or maybe I’m just in a reflective mood; whatever the case, I was writing when a memory came to mind and for just a moment everything else was washed away and I was left with a small smile on my lips and tears in my eyes.

I saw, once again, a small child standing in front of a mirror. She was wearing her mother’s clothes and smiling ear to ear because in her reflection she saw clarity. Everything made sense. The world had come into crystal clear focus and she knew she was seeing herself as she truly was, her heart reflected in the glass.

Just a faded memory now, the true impact sanded and smoothed by the sands of time, yet the emotions, the razors edge of understanding, are as sharp now as the moment they happened.

I can see the glitter in her eye, her truth radiating out like a beacon in the night. She knows who she is and the knowledge is a physical force.

I am and will always remain that little girl…

I forgot that once….

Never again.

Behind The Curtain

I have spent more time today catching myself wiping away tears than doing anything else… It was the same last night too. I find myself sitting on the steps to the throne of Oz, one hand on the curtain and terrified of what I will find on the other side.

As much as I have written over the past year and more, there are things I have danced around, truths I have alluded to, but I did everything in my power to pretend the things I didn’t want to acknowledge simply didn’t exist… You see, I know there is much which has happened in my life to make me who I am today, and while I have endeavored to only concentrate on those things which have become mile markers in my life, there is much which resides in between them which is becoming more important in understanding who I am…

Speaking about the guilt I have felt, continue to feel, over simply being who I am has brought some of this to the surface and it is going to eat me up inside if I don’t deal with it.

I have spoken before of the things my mother said and did, her cutting comments, her obvious disapproval, her refusal to see in me anything but her own failures… but more than that was the constant, unspoken feeling that whatever had happened in her life was in some way my fault. That her life would have somehow been better had I not been there. It was rarely overt, just a look in her eyes, a downward twist to her lips. Her refusal to accept I had a right and reason to become my own person… her clear thought that the only reason I should exist was to cater to her every need and whim, that doing otherwise was a personal insult. That in seeking my own path, in searching for my own happiness, I was being spiteful and selfish.

There was a time when she wanted me to use my veterans benefits to help buy her a house, when I asked what would happen if I met someone and wanted to get married and have a place of our own, she told me in no certain words I was just being selfish. The look on her face made it clear what she thought of me meeting anyone who would waste their time being with me… A year later I met A and she never forgave me.

There was nothing I could do which would ever be good enough… I would never be good enough… No one would ever love me or accept me because I didn’t deserve it.

I was born and raised in guilt… It was because of me all the bad happened in the lives of those around me… If I hadn’t done this, if I had done that, if I were just bigger, smarter, more talented, a more obedient child, a better student….

Certainly my father was no better. In his eyes I was a disappointment. I wasn’t his “little man” no matter what I did. I wasn’t rough and tumble, (I always managed to got hurt), I wasn’t interested in the things he was. I wasn’t into sports or guns or the crude humor he enjoyed. I was too sensitive, too emotional, too introspective. We had nothing in common and so he made every effort to ignore me unless there was something I needed to be punished for and some how there always something… He tried to teach me to “man up,” to “be a man.” He thought using pain and humiliation was the way to teach me how to be what he thought I should be.

All I learned was to bury myself deeper within myself. To hide myself away and try and survive another day.

I took all these things, big and small and used them to punish myself until the time came when what they did hurt less than what I did to myself.

I have lived so much of my life believing all the bad things which happen to those around me was because of me. If they had never met me then none of it would have happened. I was a jinx, a bad omen, an angel of suffering.

I didn’t deserve to be loved, accepted, understood, or even tolerated.

My own hopes and dreams were meaningless.

The only use I had was in what I was able to do or others and in that I allowed myself to be used. I didn’t have true friends, I surrounded myself with those who saw in me what they could take for themselves.

These are the things I am finding as I slowly lift the curtain. They are painful to see, to acknowledge, but they cannot be ignored. Not if I am to heal.

Yes, It’s Been One Of Those Days… Months… Years… Lives… *Sigh*

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Some days I just don’t know what I’m feeling and this is one of those days. There is so much on my mind, so many worries and unknowns and there isn’t anything I can do about any of them. I spoke with A and she said I can talk about what is going on, as I said, I didn’t feel it was my place until I had permission and now I do.

She has been having some health issues for a while now but she didn’t see the doctor until last week… after I had told her more than once she should get checked out, (but that’s another argument for another day…) As it turns out her thyroid isn’t working. She is going to have some more tests done this week and then we should have a better idea of what is happening and the best treatment. The good news is whatever the diagnoses, they are all very treatable so the long term outlook is excellent.

However…

This is another worry which does weigh on me added to the fact I broached the subject of both dealing with my depression and my thoughts regarding HRT at the same time as her diagnosis came back…

Just typing that turns my stomach inside out…

From the beginning, I knew hormones might come into the picture, though I tried to convince myself they were something I would never need. We have spoken about them before and I think it fair to say she was less than enthusiastic. I understand her feelings, this is a step which has the potential to radically change our relationship. Though to give her credit, she has said time and again we will deal with whatever happens when it happens. 

Still I cannot help but feel guilty for adding my issues to her problems, not to mention all the guilt I have felt from day one just because I can see how my trans issues have, and continue to, turn the lives of those around me upside down. I feel as if I am  a burden… an ever growing, high maintenance, needy girl who demands too much attention.

Another Step

Well, went to my session this morning and had a long talk which took us to places I hand’t anticipated, which is a good thing. Before I get into details I’ll share my homework for our next meeting…

Talk to my doctor about starting on an anti-depressant and at least begin a discussion about HRT.

Now to those pesky details. The discussions began with talking about the depression and my concerns over how it came out of no where. She agreed that if I felt such a level of concern, then it was something I needed to deal with and the sooner the better. As she told me, I will be amazed at the difference I will feel. I need to remember, my “normal” is anyone else’s abnormal, and this will give me a chance to finally feel the way I should. The thought of possible getting this under control is a great relief to say the least.

From there the conversation raged all over the place, from my last suicide attempt and the thoughts and feelings which surrounded that time in my life, to alcohol abuse to spirituality and all the way to porn of all things… I still have no idea how that came up in the conversation, but it did.

Then we came to the issue of HRT. This is something which has come up more than once during our sessions, but it always remained a hazy possibility somewhere in the future. Now it is becoming a more of an issue. It’s not overly pressing at this moment, but it has become a constant buzz in the back of my mind. I can no longer fool myself into thinking this isn’t something I am going to have to face at some point in the foreseeable future. Because of this, because it as remained a constant over time and is not going away, it’s best if I finally speak with a professional. Preferably someone who knows my medical history and can give me a competent assessment of the risks. This is something I am very nervous about. I simply do not know where he stands in regards to treating Trans* patients and I have no idea how he is going to react. Provided he doesn’t have any issues, I need him to tell me one way or another if this is something I can undertake. If I can’t then I am going to have to do some very serious thinking on what I will have to do in order to reach a point where I can live.

I don’t say comfortably with myself or with life in general. I have very serous concerns over what might happen if I find I will never be able to be the person I know I am… and that scares the hell out of me on more levels than I can express.

Then there is another issue which has me nearly in tears… and that is regarding A and our relationship. I know this was something she feared, something which is going to cause issues in how we relate to one another. We both understand this isn’t something I have chosen to do, that the path I follow is the only one I can, but so help me, it pains me to know this has to be tearing her up inside no matter how brave a face she puts on. She didn’t sign up only to watch me slipping away, moving in a direction she cannot follow. I still feel full transition isn’t in the cards, I just haven’t experienced the drive or desire to go to that point. I know that might change with time, I can’t completely rule anything out, but I just can’t see it at this point. I do know if I do cross that line then our relationship is over, but I cannot help but to think this step is putting me closer to that line in the sand, that indeed, it might be too close for us to remain together. It may be I am fearing over something which might never happen, but I can’t help it and it hurts more than I can say.

So that is where things stand tonight. One more step taken…

And none of us can ever go back.