A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Posts tagged ‘surgery’

Getting in shape.

I’ve been feeling like it would be a good idea to start focusing on some area of self-improvement that’s less trans focused.  To be honest, there hasn’t been a day in the last nine months where achieving “maleness” wasn’t on my mind at least once every few hours.  To be sure, my life has improved because of the switches I’ve made, but it seems unhealthy to be so obsessed with one aspect of my life, and frankly, I’m getting tired of it.  Not to say I’m tired of being male- far from it, and there’s no way I’d ever go back.  But sometimes, I just want a break from gender entirely.

BUT, there are few respites from that kind of personal awareness- either falling into some form of substance abuse (and I have to admit, I’ve had my share of alcohol since my birthday, which I’m now generally staying away from), or focusing my energy somewhere else entirely- doing something challenging enough and consuming enough that I have little time to focus on the things that I want a break from.  Since my job hunt is continuing to go nowhere fast, and I’m almost entirely creatively constipated (I’ve been trying to partake in Scriptfrenzy, to little avail), I’ve chosen to start trying to get in shape.

It’s no coincidence that this decision came about the time my family decided to buy a Wii.  About a week and a half ago, when we got Wii Fit with the balance board, etc., I decided to go on a rigorous and serious workout regime accompanied by my personal form of dieting.

Exercise tends to come out to about an hour a day, with half of it aerobics and the other half yoga and strength training.  I wanted to start by getting my body fat back into an acceptable range, and then do a lot more strength training and bodybuilding to build back up, only with muscle.  I’m working on a lot of cardio and endurance, and the yoga is making me almost as flexible as I was when I was 13.  It feels pretty damn good- don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t work up a sweat on the Wii, because you can if you look for the right exercises and work at them long enough.

The dieting portion is turning out to be somewhat less enjoyable.  I call it the “water diet,” which isn’t nearly as horrible as it sounds.  You start by keeping your system constantly flushed with water, which over time can help by removing toxins.  Also, I learned that much of the time, when your body is telling you that you’re hungry (especially if you’re used to eating a lot but not drinking much), it’s really just saying that it’s thirsty.

The second element is calorie content.  I did a little research and found that, generally, if a woman wants to lose weight, the safe range of calorie intake is  1200-1500, and for men, it’s 1500-1800.  I try to hover around 1500 a day, eating a balanced composition of all food groups.  The leeway of the men’s side of things is also a lot easier, at least at first.  I’m still getting used to eating smaller portions and I wind up kind of lightheaded a lot of the time, but my body just needs time to get used it.  I’m not really changing WHAT I eat by too much, other than to add in more fruits and veggies, and cut out most of the soda and junk food, but I am changing how much of it I take.  It’s all about portion control- I’ve learned in the last week that the serving sizes of things tends to be about half of what I pour in my bowl!

The point of this diet, in a nutshell, is to consume exactly the amount of food that I need to remain healthy and working at top performance, no more and no less, and replace the rest of what I would normally eat with water to remain hydrated, so that my body will eventually get used to processing only the calories that I need without storing a bunch of them away.  I know my stomach size must be distended, because I’m used to eating probably twice as much.  So over time, my stomach will hopefully physically adapt to the amount of food I’m putting in it, and shrink a little.

To be honest, though, I think I’m taking it a little too quickly here at the beginning.  Last time I did this diet, I didn’t really count my calories too much, and I actually lost about 20 pounds over the course of several months, without even exercising.  But that was several years ago.  This time, because my body weight has settled into a higher bracket, and I’m seeming to have a harder time taking it off (probably because I’m 21 and not 16), I’ve been cracking the whip at myself pretty hard.  Most of what goes into my mouth comes out of a measuring cup, and meal time becomes math time.  And I’m finding a different result some of the time with drinking the water than last time.

I’m accompanying my meals with a lot of water, and by the end of it, my stomach feels full, greatly so, but sometimes I’m actually finding myself lightheaded, dizzy, and… how to put it… hungry in my head, like I actually do need more fuel as opposed to more “full”.  I think I really should take it a little easier from this point, and start to listen when my body is telling me it’s hungry, especially when I’m drinking craploads of water.

All that said, I’ve been on this about 10 days, and I’ve lost 3 pounds so far, which isn’t an unhealthy rate of weight loss if you’re doing it right.  I’m pretty happy with myself, since on the whole I actually feel stronger and more flexible.

I think the most positive thing about this is that it’s a form of self improvement that is gender neutral.  I know that women are generally more concerned about calorie content and weight, and men are generally more concerned with being toned and having muscle definition, but everyone wants to be healthy, right?  Not only that, but taking some pounds off will really help my awful knees.  Furthermore, it is tied in with transition in a somewhat obscure way- I’ve heard awful stories about gender surgeons declining patients because they were too fat, and while I don’t think that’s a HUGE danger for me, I do weigh a lot more than I look like I weigh due to my muscle content and bone structure, and I’m afraid that I might fall into the category of inoperable if I don’t at least take SOME weight off.

Long story short, I’d rather be all muscle and bone and weigh the same weight I do now than weigh 30 pounds less and be a pencil-neck, but at least some of this is fat and I need rid of it.

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About that thing… (sex)

So, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how my sex issues have been working out.  Either people are having the same problems and they’re looking to me for the answers, or they’re just generally curious, but either way I’ve been wanting to make another sex-related post anyway, so here’s to it.

To start, my partner and I have just been more or less negotiating a lot on when to do what.  As I’ve said before, I have a lot of problems bottoming lately, and he just generally doesn’t want to a lot of the time.  But after I sat him down and said to him, that old classic line: “I have needs, too,” and pointed out that I really only got to top about 20% of the time, and asked him to try and imagine what it would be like if the tables were turned, he really put himself in my shoes and put a lot more effort into trying to accommodate.

Aside from that, we’ve been trying to find a natural rhythm in which to switch back and forth.  I’ve discovered something rather counter-intuitive about myself.

I have moments where I feel more or less in tune with my female side, and more moments where I’m in tune with my male self.  When I’m in tune with my male energy, I feel a lot more confident and comfortable in just about every area of life- except the ones that enhance what I don’t have, specifically, my penis.  So (and I’m assuming this will change when I get on T), when I’m feeling more male, I have a really hard time doing anything in bed that really has anything to do with the genital I have.

But when I’m in tune with my female energy, I feel awkward, overly sensitive, and generally weirded out in every area- except where sex is concerned.  I’m assuming this is because when I’m doing something that’s so basic and physical in nature, it’s better for my energy to be attuned to something that matches my body, rather than my mind.

So, to recap, I’m basically only comfortable with sex- and sex only- when I’m in tune with my female energy, and therefore with my body, but I’m far more comfortable with pretty much everything else when I’m in tune with my male energy, and therefore my soul.

I’m starting to feel that this problem could be rectified by having the full battery of surgeries and bringing my body in line with my soul, because quite frankly, the moments where I’m in tune with my female energy are far more few and far between.

Anyway, we’re trying to sync up the times when I bottom with the times when I feel more or less comfortable with my body, and topping with when I feel more male, particularly when I’m feeling very, very inadequate and unhappy about my… bits and pieces.  It works some of the time, but sometimes it’s unpredictable how I’m going to feel about it afterwards.  It can be very upsetting sometimes to try and force a stiff upper lip and take it on bottom without getting emotionally disturbed, and think that everything’s going to be okay, and then afterwards, feel completely broken and worthless, as if everything I’ve ever stood up for and fought for and every piece of manhood that I’ve built up from scratch has been ripped away, and I just stood and watched and let it happen because I loved the person who was doing it, and they didn’t even know what they were doing- god, that got to be a lot more dismal than I meant for it to be.

But anyway, it can be dangerous to think that I’m not going to feel like that and it wind up being that way, if I don’t want to be depressed for the rest of the day.  It can take every last bit of inner strength to build myself back up from something like that, and I think he’s finally starting to get what it takes out of me.  So, I get to top a little more these days.

On the subject of topping, I have a personal question for any of the guys out there who have had the problem of not having a member where they felt one was supposed to be.  This could be graphic, so speed away if you’re bothered by that sort of thing.  It’s also a pretty weird subject, even for this blog, so I don’t know how easy it will be for most of you to suspend your disbelief…  anyway, the point is, proceed at your own risk.

Sometimes I really have this feeling as if there’s one there, and it’s just… invisible, and untouchable.  The feeling of wanting someone to be able to touch it has been so strong in the past that I’ve actually had the experience of… well, I don’t know if there’s a word or a phrase for it, so I’m just going to call it “sensation transference.”  In other words, if there’s a part of my body that resembles the shape of said member, specifically, a finger, that is touched, or stroked, or even sucked in an erotic way, it can almost feel like the part that’s missing, to the point that if I close my eyes, I can even forget for brief periods it’s not there.  So… basically, for the time being, any time things get hot and heavy, my right pointer finger has inadvertently become my penis.

That can become awkward.  I’ve noticed a particularly strange characteristic in these last couple weeks- I think it’s subconsciously programmed itself due to my behavior over the months, but whenever I’m aroused, it feels really, really bizarre to try and bend my finger.  Not painful or anything like I’d suspect it feels to bend a natural one, but it’s sort of strange, like trying to watch a contortionist… or feels weird in that way that it’s odd to move your toes when they’re asleep- you know you should be feeling one thing, but you’re feeling something entirely different.  So, when I’m aroused, my finger’s default position is to be pointed, and I CAN unpoint it if I focus on it, but only when I notice and really pay attention to it.

Long story short, I get finger boners.

But on the other hand, we got some finger cots and I keep my nails cut short, and it feels REALLY, REALLY amazing when I really get in the zone and penetrate my partner.  It can almost be enough to stave off the dysphoria on most days.  Sometimes, though, the mental disjunction of the distance between where my finger attaches to the knuckle of my hand and where my penis should attach to my body can snap me back to reality with the weirdness of it, and sometimes even make things worse if the illusion breaks hard enough.  It all depends on how focused, or unfocused I am on any given element of the situation.  It’s all jumping through mental hoops.  But hell, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the face.  On some days, I can be satisfied!

So, does anyone else experience this strong penis-finger connection, this “sensation transference,” or am I the only weirdo who has this thing?

6 months of gender EUphoria!

As of yesterday, on the 24th, it’s been 6 months since I began my transition journal, and it’s flown by unbelievably fast.  My life has been so full since coming to terms with myself, and bringing those around me to be on those terms.  So much has changed- mainly, my respect for myself and my own standards.  I’ve dropped the practice of hiding behind the wrong gender and pretending to be what I’m not just because it’s easier, or because I was afraid.  I’ve gained more friends and more respect for coming out than I would have kept by keeping it all inside.  Most importantly, I’ve gained a father who knows me- not just someone who looks like a girl verson of me- and my father has gained the son he didn’t know he had.  The richness of life this has brought has made my life an unbelievable dream come true.

Just six months ago, I probably would have still worn makeup and even female garb if the situation called for it.  Today, I wouldn’t put those things on if someone told me they would reject be forever if I didn’t.  And on top of that, I’m comfortable enough with my gender that, if I wanted to put on a girl costume just for the fun of it, I could probably do that without any serious emotional injuries.  The point of all this, as contradictory as it seems, is that I don’t wear what I wear for anyone else’s approval, because of fear, or because I believe that what I am is unacceptable.  What I look like in any given situation is now my choice and mine alone- nobody can tell me what to be.

I’ve learned that people in general are very, very stupid.  The 95% majority of them are not educated in the least on the problems that people like us have, and the ones who are usually are misninformed, ignorant of the more important subtleties, insensitive, bigoted, or just plain prejudiced.  A lot of people will go out of their way to let me know that what I’m doing is wrong, but that they still love me anyway, even though I’m going to burn in Hell.  Others will tell me that they’re very sorry that I feel the way I do and that it must be very hard, but as long as I still haven’t had surgery, still sound, smell and look like a girl, I will be a girl in their eyes and there’s nothing they can do about it.  Even the people who do accept and support me 100%, put in the effort to educate themselves, and do their very best to make people like me comfortable in a harsh and cruel world… are simply not equipped to deal with something this complex.  Most of the people in my life are not college graduate gender theorists, majors in psychology or left-wing social workers.  I have to keep in mind that even I have such a hard time sorting everything out, and I’m steeped in this information and situation day in and day out.  There is nothing about this that is easy for anyone.  I have to be grateful for the people in my life who at least don’t make a big deal of it, and certainly for the ones who don’t want to kill me.  There are certainly enough of those in the world.

I’ve also learned that people are very, very different and very unpredictable.  There’s no way to know how they’re going to react to my situation until I tell them.  Some of the people I thought would reject me, hurt me or try to fix me have turned out to be the people who are most supportive- the ones who try the hardest to get the name and pronouns right.  And sometimes, the ones I thought would be behind me 100% all the way turned out to be most resentful of my transition, if for no other reason than I “killed off” the person they thought they knew.  I’ve had to learn to accept and work through the feelings of betrayal that some of my friends have had since this started.  It can be just as hard for me to understand the way they feel about this as it’s hard for them to understand why my female aspects are abandoning them forever, but we all have to work together if we want to get through this in one piece.

I’ve learned that there are places in this world that are surprisingly accepting of people like us, all evidence to the contrary.  I’ve learned there are places that are suprisingly dangerous, all evidence to the contrary.  I’ve learned of the unbelievable bigotry and ignorance in the LGBT community, the place I was convinced I could turn, the people who should understand gender issues more than anyone.  There’s a big difference between queer and trans- in the eyes of the world, queer people LOVE the wrong gender, and trans people ARE the wrong gender.  But we all fall under that same umbrella: the world rejects us because of some relation to the wrong gender, and if we can work together to dispel the gender stigma, then we’d all be better off.

I’ve learned that my own issues run deeper then I thought they did.  Since I’ve developed a healthy sense of self respect, I’ve learned there are things I’m not okay with.  I’m not okay with being touched in certain places, or used in certain ways.  I’m not comfortable with wearing long hair while I still have the soft, round features indicative of the sex my body still is.  I’m not comfortable with being dominated most of the time- I’ve learned of the delicacy of the male ego and the paradox that comes with that.

And of course, I’ve learned all the logistical facts and skills, like how to bind in a matter of a few seconds, use an STP, shave my face, walk and talk like a dude.  I’ve tasted the victory of being “sirred” in public, being read as male at least until I opened my mouth, and being told by some people that my being male “really does make sense of a lot of things” with me.  I’ve been told to put the toilet seat down, to stop being such an insensitive Guy, and to sit with the dudes.  I’ve been called by Tommy at least as much as by my legal name these last couple of weeks, and that, I know, is a huge improvement and a sign of respect and of being taken seriously by those who care.

I have a long way to go.  I still have to get back on medical insurance so I can get consultations for getting on T, but the paperwork is in the system.  I’ve worked out that I will just barely be able to afford testosterone with the paycheck I get now, but I’m prepared to put a lot of other things on hold so I can get my life going in the right direction.  I have to quit smoking before I can get on T, but so far I’ve cut so far back that, when the time comes, it will be a piece of cake.  I still need to buy a real binder, but I think I’ll have that in the works by the time I get back from San Francisco.  I have yet to come out to any of my extended family, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out once I start showing up with facial hair.  I still look female, but my genetics dictate that the T will have a nearly catastrophic effect on my body- my father and mother both grow hair prolifically, and both had very male, broad physiques.  I’m not exactly built with the most feminine structure as it is.  Quite frankly, I can’t wait to get the stuff in my body- it’s going to feel great!

The new year will bring a lot more revelations, to myself and to the world, or so I hope.  I would hate to remain static in this state, either physically or mentally.  I have a lot still to learn.  My opinions on what I may have done surgically, for example, are not the same as they were 6 months ago, and they probably won’t be the same in 2 years.  I’m sure that the effect the T has on my mind and body will direct that.  But to put it all in one sentence:

I’ve walked further on this path than I thought I had, I’ve got longer to go than I thought I would, and over all, I’m just happy to know that I’m finally on my way home.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

I came out to my dad last night.

It was unexpected, unplanned, and exactly the way it was supposed to be.

Well, sort of.  It took some weird complications to make it happen, but I think if it weren’t for those, it wouldn’t have gone as well as it did.

See, last weekend my dad and I went up the hill to shoot his shotgun and hit a couple golf balls after I’d had some serious relationship issues (more about HIM later.)  My dad seems to think it’s great therapy to blow off steam by blowing up paint cans, and he couldn’t have been more right.  It was the golfing that got me.

On my last swing, I lost track of my form and swung not just my arms but also my back, throwing something out of alignment.  It wasn’t a HORRIBLE injury, just enough that I was done goofing off.  But all that accumulated in my back seriously giving out on me last night.  I was trying to get the baby in her high chair when my back went SPROING, and all of a sudden I couldn’t move my arms, couldn’t lift my head, and I was completely immobilized and panicked.  Good thing my best friend was there helping me watch her or it would have been me stranded and helpless with a screaming 2-year-old for 2 hours.

Anyway, I tried to get comfortable, took my last two Vicodin from my old knee injury and waited on the ‘rents to get back.  I won’t go into the gory details of those two hours, but let’s just say that 1000 milligrams of hydrocodone should have worked better than they did.  I was in humiliated tears before the night was up.

And when they got home, things just got better.  My stepmom the nurse gave me another 1000 milligram and said that was enough for the night, which did little other than to make me drowsy and nauseous, but hardly touched the pain.  My dad, pious believer that he is, decided to get out the holy anointment oil and try to pray the injury out of me.  He sent everyone else out of the room, and I just sat there, with nothing to say.  When he asked if I was alright, I looked him square in the eye and said, “Do you really think I would still believe in a God who would make me this way?”

Once I started, I couldn’t stop.  Everything just rolled from there, but even in my drugged stupor and excruciating pain (probably the reason I didn’t have any reservations about saying what I said,) it couldn’t have come out better.  Everything I’ve been struggling with figuring out how to say for months flowed out like water, and at the end of it, my dad said he would love me forever, no matter how much I decided to surgically mutilate myself.  Well, it was funny at the time.  You have to get my dad’s sense of humor.

No matter how he put it, I knew he was behind me 100%.

Whole new worlds have opened up to me.  Of course, I’m still stranded here at the house with my back busted and it’s going against my better judgement to even be sitting here at the computer instead of lying down and resting, but I had to share this.  Yesterday, it was 2 weeks until my birthday and I still had the burden of trying to figure out how to tell him before I turned 21.  Last night, all of that went away.  Today, I’m free.  My dad still cares about me, he won’t try to change me or preach at me, and he knows everything there really is to know about me.  I feel like we’re really friends now.

One other thing- as soon as I can afford it, I really want to get on Minoxidil (or Rogaine, see the minoxidil discussion on the Beard Board for details) for my facial hair growth.  I don’t feel nearly so awkward about it now that my dad knows I’m FTM.  Everyone else can just figure it out for themselves, but now that I have my dad’s blessing, I feel free to express my gender and really start the ball rolling towards true transition.

It’s time to start planning my coming out party!

Boys Don’t Cry

So I’m a little late on the uptake for this one.  I tried my damnedest to find some way to watch it on the TGDoR, but nothing really wanted to work out for me on that day, period, and I wound up stranded at my trans-non-sympathetic friend’s house.  He accepts me well enough, but he doesn’t really see that there’s a tragedy going on with these people, thinks the surgery is “cosmetic” and didn’t do more than shrug when I told him what day it was, or the Statistics.  I started thinking, sometimes the ones that don’t care are worse than the ones who damn us.

But then I watched Boys Don’t Cry.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the story front to back, watched the documentary on Youtube, read the blogs and news journals, but they don’t take you into the experience of the story like the movie does.  And I tend to relate very heavily to a given character when I watch a movie, whether I’ve got much in common with him or not.  Brandon was Me in too many ways for me to even feel comfortable with, before we even got to the bad part of the movie.  (Well, except in the juvenile delinquent sort of way.)

Anyway, I got to sit down properly with my boyfriend last night and watch it (until his mom got home, at which point I got to sit down awkwardly and stiffly and watch it.  I don’t think she likes me and she’d like me even less if she knew I was a guy.)  But as awful as it was, it was worth watching.  He gripped my hand tight through the worst of it.  The rape scene WAS the hardest part to watch, but I think most of the horror of it all washed over my head until the end of the movie.  I think I sat there staring blankly at the screen for about five minutes.  And then his mom told us dinner was on the stove and she left the room, and then I got my plate and sat with it and I couldn’t eat, and then I noticed there were tears dripping onto my plate, and I just sat there like a statue until reality snapped back and I had to go to the bathroom to blow my nose.

I’m trying to think of the only other movie that made me cry.  I can’t remember.

(Might have been Wrath of Khan.)

So on one hand it kinda left me feeling scarred for life, and on the other hand it brought home how dangerous it is out there, really sort of made the danger and hurt mine to own and internalize, really sparked a spirit to do something about this in me.  I’m not sure what yet, but it’s brewing.  After all, I’m only 20.

And that brings home another point.  Last night I stared at my boyfriend’s calendar and started shaking when I realized I have no more than three weeks to come out to my dad if I want him to know about this before my 21st birthday.

I don’t know how to cope.

I’m just scared of how things are going to change around here when he knows.  We’re really tight these days; he’s slowly been turning me into a Trekkie by ordering the first season of Star Trek through Netflix.  Whenever we go out to do yardwork or something together, I call him Captain and he calls me Mr. Spock.  It’s really dorky but it’s something we share, and I think he’s somehow slowly coming to understand me by it.  I don’t want it to end, but in that same way, I don’t want our relationship, as good as it is, to be fake in any way.  I don’t want to be whatever he wants me to be just to preserve our friendship.  I have more respect for him than that.

On a happier note, I came up with a name for my… upper region that’s better than “tumors” or even “moobs”.  They are my chestnuts.

wOOt

More on the trans movement.

 

Today, I feel like connecting with someone.

I know I just posted about ten minutes ago, but I don’t feel done yet.  It’d be nice to just be in the company of someone who understands, someone else trans, maybe someone old and wise who’s been through it all.  Like Kate Bornstein.

I just checked out the only book of hers that our local library carries, “Hello, Cruel World.”  I know it’s a suicide prevention guide, and my gender dysphoria hasn’t been nearly bad enough lately to make death an option, but I just wanted someone who understood me to talk to me.  She didn’t fall short of that at all.

Even my boyfriend, who is supposed to get it more than anyone else, and who really does, isn’t THERE- he isn’t from this place, and I can’t expect him to automatically understand, even when he tries.  I don’t know any trans people in real life and I have a few remote blogging buddies, but I don’t know a single flesh-and-blood person who can relate and talk to me about this, past me educating them about something they’re clearly clueless on.  When I want guidance, and our conversations mainly consist of “How is this any different from cosmetic surgery?  Why don’t you get liposuction while you’re at it?  You’re fine the way you are,” it gets a little wearying.  When you’re talking about the sobering suicide statistics of trans people, roughly one in three, and the only way the guy can respond is “Well, they must be weak/stupid, anything is better than death,” when you’re stating that one in 12 trans people world wide will be murdered violently and you’re standing up to possibly be counted in that slaughter, and they only way they can respond is to say that it must be easier to change the inside than the outside…

You just know you’re talking to people who have no idea.

It’s a little like being from a different country entirely.  It IS being from a different culture.  Imagine being born part of a race that is physically branded by the color of their skin or the rituals of their culture to be ridiculed, spat on, torn down, made fun of and be one of the last politically “safe” punching bags the bullies can use.  Welcome to our lives.  We are the New Roma.

And guess what?  It’s only getting worse.  In a world where the circle of those who are accepted under the umbrella of protection is expanding, where the fringe of people it’s still safe to beat up on is rapidly shrinking, and where those who love to hate can’t find their fix and are told to focus their hatred and ugliness only on those who REALLY deserve it, there are only the sickos, perverts and inexcusible freaks of nature left.  And sadly enough, in the current world view, transsexuals are still under those categories.

We’re the only people left trapped in a burning apartment that the firemen won’t dare enter for fear of getting burned themselves, and we’re running out of time- if we don’t save ourselves, nobody will.

And this brings me to another topic that really burns my gills.  One of the only ways we CAN save ourselves in the world view is to stop being sideshow events and porno subjects and Jerry Springer fodder and try to make our way up in the world as respectable, upstanding, contributing citizens of society.  And yet…

It is SO hard to give back to a culture that has taken so much from us.  When you go your whole life beaten by the system and expected to be nothing more than punchlines and punching bags, you DO tend to live on the fringe, the only place that will accept you, and it’s hard to really clean up, duck your head, give nod to the Man and go back to living a white bread, vanilla life.  How can you even do that when you’ve seen so much cruelty, how far the all-powerful System falls from grace where we really slip through the gaps, when you’ve seen the really ugly side of life?  And it’s a double sided push, too.

On one side, you’ve got Society, the people who expect you to be unable to hold down a decent job and life and expect you to be ugly, incompatible with propriety and generally wrong- and yet, paradoxically, expect you to be able to overcome all of that, and sneer when you can’t.  It’s a direct challenge.

On the other side, you’ve got the trans community, which, as it evolves with the times and defines itself, can be almost as bad of an enemy as anyone else, in spite of itself.  I feel much more tremendous pressure from THAT side of things to be successful, respectable, and morally upright, and never ever let any cisgendered people catch me doing anything that might cast a shadow on the rest of the community.  In that way, I carry the burden of every other trans person on my shoulders every time I step out my doors, every time I make a decision, every time the public eye is on me.  We all do.  We all, individually, carry the weight of every other trans person out there.

And let me tell you something.  I hate it.

I hate being under such scrutiny that, if I decide to do something a little naughty, suddenly my whole people is paying for it, not just me.  I’m sure that anyone of a scrutinized minority understands that feeling.

The truth is, I do feel a responsiblity to my community, more patriotism than I do for my country or even my blood family.  I want to change the world and make it a better place for those like me.  But suddenly I’m a part of this fraternity just for being born this way, and I realize that things are turning around again for me, only on a grander scale.

I’m not part of the trans movement primarily for the sake of making the world a better place, to make a political statement, or because I believe in something greater than myself.  I didn’t “join” this to be part of a club or to take the banner of something that I believed would make me morally purer.  I’m not here because of some crusade, and I don’t support it because I want to give myself to a cause.

I’ve become trans to become myself, and I feel that if I reform myself because the trans community expects I owe them something on the sole virtue of being trans, then I’ve defeated the purpose we’re all here for.  If I become something I’m not for one side or the other, then I haven’t made any progress at all- just switched sides.

So I apologize if anything I ever do or say seems retrogressive to the trans movement, or if I ever seem selfish.  But I believe that, to change the world, we must first change ourselves, and if I change myself into something that I don’t necessarily believe in, then what do I expect of the world?

I will always try to honor my community the best I can, because I do love them, and I do want to change the world beyond myself, and I would like to make an effort to keep from tarnishing an already almost ruined people.  But I will not be fake to do it.  I will not censor myself, and I will not go quietly into the cage that the establishment has cut out for me.

I am me, nothing else.

Procrastination and venting.

Ugh.

So, for the last five days I’ve been cleaning.

I am SO FUCKING TIRED of cleaning.

Aside from the fact that I came down with a mysterious flu-bug-type-thing that made me puke my guts all over the place and I’ve therefore been wanting to sleep pretty much non-stop lately, I’ve had to clean places in the house that I forgot existed, for people who usually don’t care that much about said places.  But when these people are in surgery, and want a house spotless when they get back, and threaten not only with the fact that there are going to be an inordinate amount of visitors in the following days, including house inspectors from Child Protective Services, but also imply that the quality of many people’s lives will depend on whether you’ve cleaned your room or not…

you have to clean.

I’m serious, things are getting out of hand.  I’ll try to keep this short because there’s really no way of fully explaining it without completely slandering my stepmom’s no-good rotten son, but basically my step-sister-in-law is in a tough spot and needs someone to take care of her two small daughters or they’re going into the foster care system for a long time.  So they’ve turned to my stepmom, and if things turn out the way everyone expects, we’re going to have two squalling foster children running around here.  Living in a bedroom two feet from mine.

I can’t begin to explain the vast number of ways this may wreck my life.  It’ll DEFINITELY change things.  For a rather petty example, I was counting on having the house to myself again in 3 months when my stepmom goes back to work, which is an unimaginably long enough stretch for me, but it’s probably going to go more like this- when she’s at work, I’ll probably be expected to look after them.

I never wanted to be a babysitter.  I never asked for any of this.  I certainly never asked for my dad to marry someone whose son would wind up in prison and dump his children on us.  I know I’m being particularly cold-hearted and awful about this, but this is the worst time in transition for any of this to happen.  I don’t want those babies seeing me like this.  I don’t want to explain to a seven year old why I’m tying my dirtypillows down every morning before I get dressed should they walk in on me.  I definitely don’t want them to walk in on me using my STP.  I don’t want to explain any of it, I don’t want her talking to my parents about what her curious little eyes may observe should she poke around like she’s so apt to do.

Long story short, it’s time to get out before things get weird.  I can’t stand being observed like this 24-7 anymore and I don’t care what it takes.  I’m afraid I’ll have to move a long, long way from here and everyone I love just to get away from things that might wind up tearing me down.  Or at least from things that might drive me insane.

And the first thing that those girls are doing to me is making me clean, way faster and more than I ever wanted to.  My stepmom is intent on pressing the point that, if my room is dirty, they’ll deny us custody of those girls and a lot of people’s lives will be ruined, including mine.  I’m sure she’ll make certain of that.  (Whereas, if I DO clean it, the ONLY life that will be ruined is mine.)

Okay, I’m being very selfish there.  One way or another, a lot of people are hurting through this.  My stepmom has a 14 inch incision on her side where they replaced her hip, and she has to take care of them through her recovery.  No matter where those little girls end up, they’re going to be ripped away from their mother and no children deserve that.  My step-sister-in-law is going crazy without her children, and even seeing them in the hands of people she can trust, she’s being denied almost ALL visitation rights.  My dad is 50 years old and, I would judge, too old to be taking care of a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old; it’s going to be tough on him too.  He was just settling into his later years, seeing his first kids out of the nest, and now it’s all starting over again.  So many more lives are being upturned by this, and I’m reacting to it like a big, selfish baby.

But I can’t help but vent about it.  I’m just thinking about little children hanging off the back of my computer chair (the family computer, I might add, is conveniently placed in the living room where anyone can bother me if they so choose- my parents at least have the tact to not read over my shoulder).  It makes me shudder.  They’ll probably invade every aspect of my life that they can while they’re here, and the thought of it drives me up the wall.

Maybe it’s a good thing.  My job hunt was grinding to a depressed, rejected halt after getting denied so many menial jobs so many times, and this may drive me to such desperation for an income to live out of here on that I’ll find a job I otherwise might have missed in my miserable stagnation.

I think I’m mainly afraid that this is going to slow the process of transition somehow, when it’ll actually probably speed it up some.  This is happening at a time that’s rousting me out of a comfortable place of nothingness I was settling into.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that stagnation is generally a bad thing, but I really needed it right now.  In that period of few events going on in my day-to-day life, I was experiencing an intensely accelerated period of mental growth, rooting out old problems and sorting through the past, really finding the root of everything.  But now that I’ve pretty much gotten to the bottom of things, my life is picking up again, whether I want it to or not.

I feel a little bit like I’ve been standing on the side of an ice-cold pool, contemplating diving techniques, swimming strokes, the temperature of the water, and all kinds of other water-related things without actually swimming…

And then two little girls came up behind me and pushed me back in without warning.

I’ll probably be pretty pissed at them for a little while, but would I have done any swimming at all if they hadn’t pushed me in… before closing time?

Time to jump back in.

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