Effort…

Actually, I think it’s not a matter of vulnerability, or aggression. I am talking about the sushi incident.

As a friend said recently to me, it’s a matter of effort.

In a day-to-day basis, my reality is quite uncomfortable. Reasons why, there are plenty of them. It is a personal space thing, probably. I don’t own my space. I’ve never done. I’m alert, as I’ve always been.

It makes no sense being alert. I mean, no more than usual. And probably I could afford being even less alert. I just had an uncomfortable moment with a guy who didn’t realise he was approaching a transsexual person, and that probably didn’t know how to approach one. And he actually did quite well, because he didn’t know what had happened. I corrected him, and he stuck to the correction.

I’m tense. It was a stressful moment, as if I needed any more stress in my life. I’m always making another small effort. And then another, and another one. I just need time to relax.

And I’m tense because I don’t feel comfortable if I’m not in control. I can’t control other people, I must accept that. I like to know what others think of me, because it gives me information about how to deal with them. I don’t like interacting with people unprepared or unaware. I like to know from where the blows will be coming.

It’s not healthy. It takes a lot of energy. And in the end, it makes me feel bad.

It’s a huge effort dealing with people when you don’t know how many of them will react badly to you, and when you may expect many of them doing so. Even when your expectations are a lot worse than reality. So far, most people have been perfectly correct to me.

However, I need a bit of time alone.

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Time…

I need time.

It’s not so early now. I’ve been thinking and writing for a couple of hours now, and I wish I could stay here for a couple more.

I haven’t written in a long time.

But I need to move. I need to go to work, and put off everything what’s important for me now, for the sake of duty. And I need to pack my feelings and be professional.

I need time.

Vulnerable…

When you think you’ve occupied your space; when you think you’re comfortable in your world, something happens. And you feel vulnerable again.

And it doesn’t need to be something big.

Yesterday I was walking home from work. I had my plans for the evening in my mind. Having a quick meal, then a short nap, and then start working out again.

As I was opening the building door, the owner of the sushi bar passed by. Some years ago, girlfriend and I were quite adept to this sushi bar. We’d order sushi at least once a week, and the people there would treat us very warmly and politely. We liked that place.

But as I transitioned, as I removed my beard, I grew more and more reserved. I felt uneasy outside, especially at those places where I was known. People could notice me changing, and sometimes they were puzzled.

This was the case at the sushi bar. They started making comments about my skin, about how soft it was becoming. Maybe it was just politeness, but I felt uncomfortable. So, in the end, we stopped going there.

Yesterday, the owner of the place passed by, and I don’t know why, but I said “hello”. And he recognized me.

So, he greeted me.

He was quite effusive, as he used to be. “Hello, Mister!”, he said. And, in the middle of the street, not knowing who was around, I explained him that I was not a “mister” any more, that I was rather a “miss”.

For me, this was too much to handle at the moment. I must say that he remained polite at every moment, and that he seemed to understand. He does not speak the local language quite fluently, so this made all the scene a bit more awkward. But I guess he understood, because he said that I looked pretty. We shook hands, and said goodbye.

I entered my apartment all cold and shaky. I guess it is normal. We have levels of acquaintances. We have relatives, and closer or distant friends, and then we have people who are just there. And transsexualism is a difficult matter. It always is.

It is a difficult matter because it is controversial. People they take positions about it, even when they shouldn’t. And the problem is that you cannot hide that you are a transsexual person, unless you pass.

I usually pass. I don’t raise quite a lot of suspicion. And it is quite likely that, if I hadn’t said “hello”, this would not have happened. But he recognized me, and then I felt exposed, and forced to talk with someone who is not so close about something that is quite intimate for me; something that is such a delicate matter, and that may cause many people to immediately take position against me.

I felt naked and vulnerable. Probably if I had had the chance to talk about this in a more relaxed way, in a safer place… It would not have felt more comfortable, but at least I would’t have felt so naked.

I don’t see bad intention here, however. This man was just greeting some person he had recognized. He was just being polite.

Maybe it is time to return to the sushi bar, and face my own fears…

The kitty asks for food…

The kitty asks for food. He wants to eat, right now. It’s only 5.25AM. I don’t know if he’ll let me finish this post, or if he will insist until I’ve fed him. I’m trying not to feed him until 6 o’clock, so that he gets used to it and doesn’t wake us up too early. But today I can’t sleep.

In these past months I’ve had my own emotional turmoil. I guess this was the reason why I stopped writing here. Depression grabbed me, and I couldn’t get free of it. I had to fight my way through it, just to be able to keep moving. I’ve been spending all my energies in keeping myself up and running.

I didn’t feel like writing. At least, not in a calm, orderly and thoughtful fashion.

It comes from a long way away, from those days when I started taking my blue pills of hormones. Today I can try to point out why this happened to me. I thought it was because of the girl, because I fell in love; but now I think it is more likely that it has to do with my own emotional fragility, my own vulnerability to some of the things that we usually face every day.

Too cryptic, maybe?

I’ve got a lot of writing to do. And I don’t believe this all fits in a single post.

In the meantime, the kitty insists. All right, I think. I put some of his food in his bowl. Now he goes back to bed, to cuddle up with my girl. At least, I got some quiet to write.

It feels nice to have my own space here. I’ve been missing this a lot.

Let’s get physical…

Again, as we could say, “long time, no see, girl”… Almost four months since the last entry.

And during this time, I got my surgery.

The month before the surgery the hormonal therapy had to be stopped. The reason for this is that testosterone blockers and oestrogens increase the risk for thrombosis, and may cause blood clotting problems during surgeries. So, hormones out. And everybody says: “Don’t worry, you won’t notice”.

Bullshit.

Okay, effects are not so dramatic. But they occur. And I was probably too afraid to having the testosterone again ruling over my body, so I was too vigilant.

And I had this huge project at work. So I felt stress.

That month I was scared. I was nervous, I was irritable, I was angry, I was sad. Because I didn’t want to have to pass through all of that. I felt it was again this huge boot trampling over me again and again. And all the comments from people, telling me how brave I was or how good was I going to feel after didn’t help much. It wasn’t their genitals what was at stake, right?

The hormones didn’t help a bit. I don’t know how much of my mood was caused by having increased levels of testosterone running through my blood, but I definitely felt my breasts to shrink, my facial hair to grow and my skin to become oily again. It was not something nice to feel, especially after a year and a half waiting for the oestrogens to work.

So, the day came. That last night I spent at home before checking in I masturbated. July, 30th, 2013, this is the last time I have had sexual pleasure so far. The day after that I went to my office to give them the forms for the medical leave, I drove to the station to pick up my parents and then I drove to the hospital.

And the next day, at 1pm, they took me to surgery. As I entered the surgery room, I had this thought, “God, what am I doing? I hope seen my girlfriend again”. The surgeon was there, and reassured me that everything was going to be fine. Not that my genitals were my major concern at that point. And everything went dark.

I woke up. My feet were cold, and the nurses in the reanimation room were talking. I had to call quite a bit until they paid some attention to me. My throat was sore, and my lower lip hurt. And my crotch felt as if I had some thick codpiece protecting it.

I was taken back to my room, and they tell me I was joking. I didn’t gave much of a damn before surgery, and I didn’t gave much of a damn after. All the days before I had become detached of myself. I was kind of looking from outside. And when the surgery was done, I remained like that. This was something that had happened to me, just like things happen to people.

It was during the next night that it fell down to me. I had made that happen. I had signed that consent form, I had paid for that surgery, I had driven myself to the hospital, I had placed myself on that stretcher and put myself in the hands of those surgeons. I had done all of those things. I had been able to make those things happen. I had been able to detach my consciousness from my emotions and just make a puppet out of myself, and push that puppet in that direction, without a hint of fear or doubt, just because I had decided that this was something I wanted to do.

That thought made me feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t willpower. It was more like not fighting. Like lowering all my defences and walking directly into the fire. I’ve got to do this, right? Well, let’s do it. It was acceptance, and it was the ultimate level of trust placed in other people’s hands.

Still, I didn’t know if everything had gone well. I was told so, but still I didn’t have any actual proof, other than the surgeons’ word. But I felt quite well, aside from the fact that I was told not to move.

The third day since surgery came, and they removed the bandages. Then I realised that I wasn’t wearing any codpiece or protection at all. That feeling of numbness came from my own flesh, that was swollen and insensitive. I could touch it and my skin wouldn’t feel a thing. And yet, there it was. I could see it in the mirror. It was swollen, but nothing more. It looked quite healthy, given that it was made only three days before. I had a vagina.

And I could move. They allowed me to get up from bed and wash myself. So I started moving.

Four days later they took out all the bandages that were still compressing my vagina from the inside, and I was taught how to do my dilations. So there I was, back home, with my dilators, and about to spend almost a month with lots of time to think but unable to sit and do things to distract my mind.

Time with myself…

These days I’ve been really busy. Overworked. I had lots of appointments, duties, chores and tasks to perform.

These days, also, I’ve felt like noisy inside my head. I’ve felt disconnected from myself.

It feels like an eternity since I was able to just stay at home, alone, and be with myself. In the past months and years, however, it didn’t do good to me, because I stayed at home munching and twisting thoughts that my head created, telling me that I was inadequate, ugly, disgusting. I stayed at home and yet I felt repressed, because the things I wanted to do, the clothes I wanted to wear, the movies I wanted to see, and the books I wanted to read were not those a normal heterosexual boy would choose.

And it hurt being alone, because I expected to receive validation of my own worth from others. And these other people, instead, were living their own lives, maybe enjoying themselves doing exciting things with exciting people, maybe just having a boring evening watching TV.

I’m beginning to feel different. It’s like, at last, I can be fine with myself. It’s like I don’t need anyone else around, but me. I can enjoy myself, because I’m beginning to feel my own worth. For me it was a breakthrough discovering that my self-esteem depended only on myself, not on others. But that’s a thought, and it has to get rooted in order to work. Now, however, I’m beginning to feel it.

I’m beginning to feel that it is not wrong to be myself. It is not wrong to feel the way I do. It is not wrong to like the things I like. And that is my own whole universe, where I am queen. That’s where I am, where I’ve ever been, taking care of myself, trying to choose at all times what seemed best for me. I, in my own universe, am the worthiest person I’m ever going to meet. And I’m going to be here, for myself, always.

That is a lot. And instead of looking around, trying to find happiness in other people’s love, as I always did, I can now rely on my own love.

Still, I need time. I need time with myself, alone. I need time to do things with myself, to learn new things, to explore. I need time so that I can know myself, and enjoy myself, and love myself.

These last days I felt disconnected from myself, because I had such a little time to spare. But now, as I type, I’ve found here, on my own, and I’ve felt again that warm sensation of being with myself.

I hope this feeling gets deeply rooted in my heart, and never, never, goes away again.

Self-esteem…

Two months since I last wrote here.

I’ve been down. I am still down. Probably I’ve been down all my life, since I was a child. Back then I felt sad, different, inferior, weak. I felt uncomfortable, scared of other people. I felt safe with adults, because they would not attack me, or berate me (at least, too much). With equals, children, adolescents, as I was growing up, I always felt in danger, or at least, uncomfortable.

But this was my normality. I’ve never *ever* felt any different from this.

Now I’m trying to get up. Not like every other time I’ve tried to get up, by bashing myself, by repeating to myself that I must not break; that I must move on, like a horse under the strokes of a whip. I’ve finally identified that I’m depressed, and I’ve looked for help, to address this specific problem. I’m also reading David D. Burns “Feeling Good”, which I’ve been told it’s a nice book to get tools and methods to try to fix your depression.

I’m not aiming too high. I’m not aiming for happiness, for instance. I’m just looking to be “not depressed”. I can feel sad, and I will feel sad, but not in a pathological way.

Burns’ book says this is achieved by changing the way you think about things. Thoughts, distorted thoughts, are the way we interpret reality. Reality just *is*. We don’t have much power to change it. But we perceive reality, and our brain understands it, abstracts it into thoughts. And these thoughts sometimes hurt us, and cause us pain.

These thoughts are just simplifications, abstractions. Because they’re just that, they are flawed. They are distorted, because they don’t reflect the whole reality. Just a part of it. And sometimes, they’re only the parts of reality that make us despair.

I know I’ve had a difficult life, so far. One of the most disturbing, harming thoughts I’ve always had about it is that I should have started my transition much, much earlier. If I had done that, I would have had a happier life, I would be now a more adult person, instead of being like an adolescent now, and I would not have got into much of the trouble I’m now in. It’s easier to straighten a sapling that it is to fix a grown oak tree.

But I’ve, I am trying to stop bashing me for that. It was not my fault. I’m trying to learn this. My life was the way it was. But how I think about it is up to me.

I never had any chances of something different. All the messages I got at all times were telling me that I was flawed, weak, that I cried too much for a boy. I was taught from everywhere that gay people were wrong, and that transexual people were odd, strange, and ultimately deranged. I didn’t know what I was, especially when I started being concerned about my adolescence, about sex, about the things that drove me. I didn’t know anybody who was gay. I didn’t know any gay people until I was 15, and this person was seen as wrong, as bad, because he just came out and divorced his wife when he couldn’t stand living a life that wasn’t his.

The worst part was that I was told that I was lucky, because I had an open, tolerant family, and I could talk about sexuality, about ethics with them. I’ve wished so many times to be *just* gay, it would have been so easy…

But my family was not that open. Transexuals were seen as pitiable, and sex had to be restrained, saved for something else. For a higher goal. Not procreation, they were not like that. But sex had to be preserved for a meaningful, loving and lifelong relationship. Sex, for the sake of sex, was wrong, was lowly, was dehumanizing.

And sex had to be natural. Fetishes were weird. And people who had sex with too many people were, at least, irresponsible, and immature.

I had no alternatives. This was the “open” approach. And I had to feel lucky because I had people who were “open”.

I was too scared to move. I felt deeply wrong, being what I was: A bisexual transexual woman who was deeply kinky and fetishist, and who felt that could be involved with more than one partner at the time. I had everything set in place in my head, I was already defined, but I just felt that everything I was, in my most intimate core, was wrong and sick.

Wow, it would have been so easy being *just* gay…

Years later I met wonderful people. I met transexuals, and I saw they were just like me. I met bisexuals, who can love the very nature of people, and not get stuck in their genders, and I just love them. I met kinky people, who taught me what “respectful” means. I met polyamorous people, who showed me that love doesn’t just have to be restricted to one person to be “proper” love.

I just discovered then that I was not wrong. And as soon as I learnt that, I was able to move on.

It never was my fault to be like I am. I just had the bad luck to be born in an environment that made me thing I was flawed. I knew I had to go away from all of that, so I did as soon as I could.

I’ve always felt bad about studying this career that I didn’t like as much as others. I did that because I was told I could get more money doing this. I knew then I would need money. I labelled myself as a greedy person. Now I’m learning I’m not, I just knew, or felt, I would be needing a lot of money just to be secure, and to be able to become the person I am. I don’t feel guilty any more about having fought so hard to finish these studies that didn’t make me feel fulfilled. I just reached my goal – to be self-sufficient.

I never got any satisfying sex with people. Until recently, I’ve always felt inferior, damaged because of that. But you can’t have satisfying sex, unless you’re just being what you are. You can’t feel good if you’re just trying to please someone else, and trying to hide what you really are. Well, that is not my fault either. I’m not inferior, or worse at sex. It is not my fault, either. I’m not boring, or damaged, or bad. I’m just different. Maybe someday I will be able to be just myself at sex, and then maybe sex will be wonderful.

I feel this is going to be difficult, because people usually will tag me as weird. I will be in their eyes as a circus freak. I may feel a disappointment for heterosexual men who are worried that their masculinity will be damaged if they sleep with a person who was born male. I may feel a deception for lesbian women who feel tricked into believing I was just a girl. I don’t care. There will, there are people who will like me as I am. I have a friend who is just in my situation, and she feels bad because the only people who find her attractive are bisexuals. Well, I say, God bless bisexuals. I wouldn’t feel any bad if all of my partners in what remains of my life were bisexuals. I’m lucky for that. It’s a nice filter, actually.

All my life I’ve tried to comply to the standards of people who weren’t remotely like me. I’ve struggled so that people who didn’t like what I was liked me. And I’ve done that because I grew up in a world in which everybody was like that.

Now I realise I couldn’t have done better, and that I’m responsible for quite much of what I’ve got.

I didn’t lose my job, but that is because even when I’ve been feeling anxiety and depression, I’ve shown I cared about my work.

I didn’t lose my friends. I feel lucky for having the friends I have. But in the end, I’ve chosen them. I’ve chosen to get closer to people that was a bit more like me, and I’ve left behind lots of people I got close to just because they were there in the first place, and I needed so that I could have a beer with somebody. It’s quite much like other transexual people experience. When they open up, lots of people reject them, but they find new, better friends who accept them. I just did the same, but I chose who I filtered myself.

At the moment I’ve lost most of my family. I mean, I’ve given up on them. Only my parents, my brother, and a couple of relatives are in the know. Maybe when the rest of them know about me, maybe then they’ll give up on me. Or not. I don’t care much about this.

I am what I am. My transition has not been much different, or easier than anybody else, I guess. I did it when I felt I could. And this doesn’t make me a coward. I’ve fought hard, and the only thing I regret was to deny myself my own value, in trying to satisfy lots of people who didn’t deserve that, people I grew up around, and who taught me that I was wrong, and that I had to abide by their rules.

I am what I am, I like what I am, and I don’t have to feel guilty for that. I don’t have to please anybody, I just have to enjoy being with people who enjoys being with me. I don’t have to prove anything, because I’ve done always the best I could, and I don’t deserve being judged just because I couldn’t do better.

I just have to experience my life, the rest of it, from now on. I have the right of doing that. No less, no more. I have the right of being myself, and to feel that I, my feelings, my tastes, my inclinations, are perfectly fine. And I have the right to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with that.

My own value is not to be questioned, not even by me. And this feels good to know.