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.

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.

Some updates…

Long time, no see…

I’ve been busy these months, thinking, feeling and planning. Things are moving pretty well. I’m probably getting soon the permit for changing my legal name, and then I will get the authorisation for my surgery. So I have booked already an appointment for this.

I hope everything goes well.

I’m a bit scared about the surgery. I’ve got some quite reassuring comments from friends and doctors. They tell me that everything is going to be all right. Still I’m a bit scared of having to stay one month without my hormones, and of what comes next.

It’s like I can’t figure out how it is going to be. Sometimes I feel that, in a transition, you are doing leaps of faith. You just jump to the void, and hope not to fall, whenever you come out to someone, or when you tell at your workplace, or when you first go out as a woman. And this is like jumping in a big black hole, and hoping not to fall.

Still, I have done this so many times that I feel emotionally disconnected. I can do this, and I will do this because I’m tired of being like I am now. And because if I don’t do this I feel more or less things will remain the same. And because I want to feel my own vagina.

I hope everything goes well.

Normality, it is…

Today I thought I was going to write a post. I realise I’m spacing my posts more and more. I guess it has to do with my own personal development these days.

These days I’m feeling a lot less anxious. I still feel some anxiety, some uncertainty about my future, but it is much more manageable than it was before. I’ve been writing a lot in my personal diary, and somebody pointed me to Richard Wiseman’s 59 seconds. In my youth I was given a lot of self-help books, and some were not probably the most appropriate ones, so I grew reluctant to these. But I must say that this book has a scientific approach and is based in proper investigation. And it is also nice to find out that some of the advice the book offers were things I had begun to do instinctively to feel better and help myself solve my problems, or things that I’ve been already doing right for years.

I keep thinking, pushing myself into acting right. First I learnt the lesson that the world keeps going on, (and this is a very reassuring thought to have in mind at all times, I tell you), and now I’m assimilating, incorporating it into my own mind, as if it were some crucial pillar in my life. I’m allowed to make mistakes, and I’m not supposed to do everything right.

I still have lots of feelings I’d rather now not express. I feel it is better now like this. Maybe in the future I can talk openly about this, but right now I’m more or less comfortable keeping these feelings to myself, and trying to act according to them in the measure I’m allowed to. It’s no longer like I feel pressured because I just can’t express my feelings aloud, it is more like I choose not to do it, and I’m okay with it, because I feel it is best this way.

And yet, I’m speaking more than ever. And more important, I’m listening. I’ve come to learn that this one is a very important thing, and it is not that difficult. And it gives you a lot of knowledge about where you are, about what the people around think. It is important because it is what keeps you close to your loved ones.

And I still feel a lot of insecurities. Today is the day I complete two months full time. I feel okay, I’ve had no problems, I feel great. As I’ve said sometimes, it’s like living without that big stone on my back. I feel I look good, I feel comfortable with myself. It’s been eight months since I began taking hormones, and I’m still impatient because my tits are not yet big enough, and because I’ve got still a muscular torso and wide shoulders, and because my hips are not round. Probably they’ll never be, and I’ll have to accept that. But my tits keep hurting, and I feel them growing, and probably the rest of my body keeps doing the same, very slowly. So I’ve got to be patient.

I’m looking forward to having my surgery done. I’m a bit scared about that, but it’s okay. It’s a really important thing for me, because then I’ll see my body more complete, I’ll have one less reminder of having being born with a wrong body, and most important of all, I’ll feel more sexy, more excited about my own body.

Still, this is just a process, and it is a hard one to live through. It helps somehow thinking that it’s like I’m just 12 years old now, and that most of my body features have still to develop, with time. I’m still a bit scared about having waited too long before starting my transition, and being locked out of the chance of liking my own body.

So, all in all, everything goes fine. Everything is normal. I feel that I’m growing, that I’m becoming a better person. I’m not repressing myself any more, but I’m also trying not to push too much the people around. And I have lots of unfulfilled desires, and a lot of things I’d like to have in my life. But I’m working on it, and things can only become better.

So, I guess this is normality…

Some milestones…

This sunday it will be six months since I started with the hormone replacement therapy.

Today I’ve been full time for two weeks, with no problems at all.

These last days I’ve received a lot of compliments. People say it feels right for me to be a woman, that I look better. My boss has complimented me about how I handled the process in the office. A lot of people said to me that I’m pretty, and brave. And everything has happened in an atmosphere of complete normality.

I’m having the longest period of happiness I have ever had in my life. For the first time of my life I feel I belong. And I am a little scared, because I don’t want it all to go away. I don’t want to wake up.

Looking back it seems so far away when I was that sad boy who felt he was weird…

I’m getting results 🙂

Another little step…

Today has been the day. Today I went to work openly as a girl.

To my surprise, I was not nervous in the morning. Just excited. Expectant. But not nervous. I didn’t have the chills, my hands didn’t shake a bit. I had to think twice where the things were, because it is a new morning routine to do, but that’s it. I’ll get used to it soon.

I drove to the office. I’m getting better at driving, but still I need to get better. I didn’t have any problems getting to the office, though. I arrived, parked, and stayed in the car for some moments. I looked at myself, and gave me the heads up. Then, I opened the door and went into the office.

Some people were very kind. There were also some people I don’t usually talk to who looked at me with this what the hell? face, or who just didn’t look at me. That’s it, normality, no more, no less. Everybody treated me as they had always done.

In my department all the people were in the know, I expected no surprises and I had none. Everybody was kind, some people asked if they had to call me Marta now, and some people still addressed me like “hey, man, can you help me with this?”, but I didn’t care. I guess they’ll get used to addressing me as a girl.

I got my new badge. The picture doesn’t make me look good, but it’s okay. I know I look better than that. I’ve never looked good in ID cards’ pictures. Probably nobody does. But my badge now has my name written on it.

I felt happy all day long. In the morning I was like in a rush, excited about everything, and sitting down in front of the computer was so difficult. But then I became more relaxed, even too much. It felt like a heavy burden had been removed from me. I felt like going home with a big smile in my face, cuddling up in the sofa and having a nice and well deserved nap. Still I had a nice productive morning, it wasn’t difficult to think clearly about the work I had to do, and I didn’t have to make any efforts to be focused.

I talked more than usual with my colleagues. Some had questions, some were curious about some aspects. I got a lot of support today, indeed, not only by my coworkers, since I commented stuff from time to time with my girlfriend and some friends.

And I returned home. The drive was the worst part of the day, because I found no parking spaces and had to go in circles for some time, and I got a bit nervous and clumsy. I still have to get better at driving with my attention divided. But finally I could park, got home, and could finally relax.

And that’s it. Quite a pretty normal day for me. The first day of the rest of my life, because I guess I can say now that now I’m living full-time as myself. Some friends said that today is one day to celebrate and remember in the years to come. I like the idea.

For me the transition, (or at least its outer, public aspects) is something that’s moving on very smoothly. There was this day which I won’t forget, the day before I started taking hormones. We had this dinner in a restaurant. This day was for me like a secret celebration of the beginning of the process. Then it came the day when I was no longer noticed as something weird in the street, when I passed, and I began to feel safe outside.

Today it was just one step more. A big milestone, they say. But for me was smooth, seamless with the rest of my days. It’s all a part of a process, a little step in a big sequence of the smallest changes.

And a lot more steps are yet to come… 🙂