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.

Habits…

It’s strange this thing I’m feeling right now.

It feels a bit like peace.

I’m still feeling some anxiety, some nervousness, some uneasyness. But I’m feeling peace.

And I’m tired. I’m now constantly watching my own thoughts, trying to stop myself and think slowly whenever I start going down, or when I know I’m about to say or do something that is wrong.

But whenever I do this, it brings me peace.

Today I feel like it has been easier than yesterday. Not much, just a bit.

I hope that soon I’ll be hearing the noise of my own bad habits starting to crack.

Breakthrough…

Not two weeks ago I identified something wrong in how I processed my emotions. The last entry is about that.

For the last month I had been writing my thoughts, my feelings, whenever I felt anxious, or insignificant, or wrong.

Today I’ve reviewed all of that. It has been amazing.

In the past month I’ve managed to identify most of the emotions that make me feel bad. I’ve been able to label them. I’ve learnt from them a lot. In the end I came to discover how my feeling bad in my own skin, my lack of self esteem, was the underlying cause of everything.

I’m learning to control it. My feelings still hurt sometimes, but I’m now beginning to be able to control them.

The most amazing part is how everything fits. How everything makes sense. How I can consistently fix myself. And how I’ve been able to learn this mostly from my own reflections. I’ve had help, and I’ve read things that have helped me. But sometimes I’ve got an idea on my own first, and then I’ve seen it outside. Or at least, sometimes I perceive it like that. Probably it was all so mixed up that I’m deceiving myself a little.

Still, I’ve got this feeling of having progressed this far by myself. And it feels good. Very, very good.

I can learn from my own mistakes, because I’m willing to do all of the introspection I need. I’m quite honest, and I try not to fool myself so that I have not to bear with thoughts I can’t stand. I guess that being an accepting transexual person has trained me in this aspect.

I feel good, because I feel I have a mind that is able to recover, to regain balance. I feel reassured, I feel mature, and I feel healthy. I feel in control.

I still have lots of work to do. I know I will fall again, and then I’ll have to get up. But this is a huge reward in just a month.

I’m going to be fine.

Just as good…

I’ve been feeling lately a bit of anxiety.

I’ve been a bit needy with my friends. I’ve looked for contact, for conversation more intently than before. I’ve felt sometimes like I didn’t belong. And I’ve had quite a lot of fear of losing my friends.

All because I’ve been feeling small, childish, immature, inadequate, unexperienced.

Today a friend made me notice this was not healthy, because it causes an imbalance in the relationships.

It does. Because if I feel so inferior, I’m not a friend, I’m an admirer or something. I can’t offer my friendship in equal terms, I offer it because I feel it is the only way I’ll get somebody to appreciate me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this today.

It’s been just me the one who has messed all this up. I could possibly come up with some reasons why I did it. But I don’t care about that now. I want to fix it.

Because if I don’t fix it, I’m bound to relive the past. Because I’ve just come out of the closet and started living as myself, showing myself to the world. In all these years I’ve spent feeling ashamed of myself I’ve developed lots of bad habits when I deal with people. Because I’ve never put myself in a position of equality with the rest of the world.

And thus, I’ve tolerated being bullied at work. And I’ve tolerated being belittled and humiliated in two relationships I had. And I’ve pushed myself to my own limits just to buy love.

Even worse, my worse bully was me. I’ve had this feeling of guilt whenever I masturbated looking at whatever I liked, whenever I dressed up like a girl, whenever I’ve seen something I wasn’t supposed to like but I did. There I was, with my whip of guilt, causing myself pain.

And this is not healthy. This is bad for me, and for the people around me.

I am what I am. And I’m fine with that. I deserve love for my own sake, because I’m a good person. As good as anyone can be.

I’m going to teach myself to feel great. To not feel shame for being what I am, for liking what I like or for having had the past I’ve had.

I’m a great person. And I’m not going to accept less than that when I deal with people. I’m not going to beg for love. I’m not going to fear somebody leaving me, or not liking me. I’m not going to look for external validation, because so far I’ve got most of my life right on my own. And I’m going to not look for consolation or pity, because I’m not some poor creature that deserves it.

This is going to be a huge change. Even bigger than the physical transition, because I have these habits very thoroughly learned. And I’m going to have relapses, that’s going to happen because I have to unlearn a lot, and learn another lot. I don’t even know if I’m going to succeed in the long run. But I have got to try.

And I’m going to be okay.

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… 🙂

Full throttle…

I’ve got my car finally!

And I don’t know how to drive! 🙂

This happens usually when you’ve never done something for a long time. I got my license nine years ago, and I’ve never driven since. But it is funny, because a lot of stuff remains in the brain. So far, I’ve been able to drive to some friends’ places, to go to the mall and to drive to my office. I’m taking a vacation at the moment, so I didn’t enter, but I know how to go now.

I’m nervous, and I’m scared because everything is new. Sometimes I do something that I know it is wrong. Well, not wrong, but it’s not properly done. When you drive there are lots of inputs, and I’m learning to discern which ones are important and I should react to, and which ones are not.

It’s a lot like being a person. Filtering inputs, and keeping the ones that matter.

I’m quite feeling like I’m growing. I’m becoming more independent, more self-sufficient. I don’t need relying on other people for transport, but it also means being able to help others with that. And it gives me a bit of the preparedness I need for starting my life as a woman, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It has been my brother who has brought me the car. He’s been here these days, helping with advice about how to drive. He’s been also my first relative to see me face to face as a woman. And the first encounter was nice. He just smiled and said, “You look very natural, huh?”.

We’ve talked. I know he’s got his own share of maturing, of growing up as a person in these last years. Now I know that he’s somehow evolved in sort of the same way I have. He’s freer now, less worried about structures, labels, about how people should be.

Sometimes he says to me that I would have been able to do my transition a lot earlier, because I wouldn’t have had to face any problems from my family. I know this now, and it makes me a bit sad for not having had the trust in my family to talk about this before. It’s nobody’s fault, I was just scared, and I had to test myself, to discover who I was, to have a taste of that standard life and discover it wasn’t for me.

Now I’m very scared because these next weeks are going to be difficult. But if everything goes well, the outcomes are going to be awesome, and I’m going to be a step closer to being complete.

Tireless…

Do, or do not… There is no try. (Yoda. Jedi Master)

Plans. Goals. Illusion.

I guess I’m lacking a bit of this.

As I said yesterday, the weight of some mostly unhappy past is something that drags you down if you’re not careful. I am a bit scared of not being able to overcome this. I’m seeing now that I’ve got all this freedom and I don’t know what to do with it.

But if I don’t start moving, I’ll never know. Plus, I’ll have wasted my time worrying.

I’m not dead. If only, I refused to do some decisions, or decided in a different way to what I would have decided now. I had my reasons, good reasons to do so. So, even if I don’t like now those decisions, they’ve put me in this place. This is what really counts about my past. I’ve got the means to be me, I’ve got the support to be me and I’ve got the experience to be me.

The mere act of thinking this makes me feel so relieved… I’m going to try to cling to this feeling.

So, that’s it. It’s easy. Plans. Goals. Projects. Illusion. I’ve got a life to live.

Symmetry…

Sometimes I feel that the easy thing to do would be starting my life over again.

I know that my transition is going well, that I have no health problems and that almost everybody is fine with this. I know I’m having one of the easiest transitions I know of, and I’m lucky for that. And I also know that I should be grateful for this and stop complaining.

The thing is, sometimes it’s hard to feel so good even when the sun shines and everything is so fine. And I feel a bit guilty about this.

I think I can count a lot of friends now. I’ve met most of them in the last five years, and many come by the hand of my partner. And yet, we have already a background.

We’ve shared events, places, anecdotes already. They have formed an image of me, based in these years’ experiences. They have an idea of what I like, what I dislike and what is it to be expected from me.

And most of that stuff is plainly wrong, because I never talked about what I really liked, or disliked. I’ve missed things I would have loved on purpose, because I didn’t want to be there as a boy. The feeling of not being able to enjoy those things as a boy was too hard on me, so I preserved my feelings. I’ve deflected a lot.

And I retained the geeky, nerdy stuff and the absurd humour, because it was a safe ground.

So, in the end, I know a lot of people, and I know they have a friend on me. I feel that way, because I (more or less) know them, because they were not deflecting. So I can love them as they are, and I can think of ways of making them happy. Maybe I’m wrong, though.

But I have this strong feeling that they don’t know me at all.

A gender transition has many, many hard obstacles to overcome. The first and more obvious is the looks, the being able of going out as a girl, maybe pass (or not), and be able to be comfortable in public. Okay, check.

Then I feel there is all this stuff of being happy with one’s life. This part of trying to cope with your old crap, and not crumble. I’m at this point.

Because I can’t recall a happy memory from the past, one happy moment with my friends, without thinking that I wasn’t really happy then. I just looked happy. And maybe in that moment I was oblivious to my feelings, but they were still there. Each time somebody calls me by my old name, it hurts a bit, because it reminds me that maybe this person doesn’t know me that well.

And I have this bunch of memories of moments that I had to hid myself the hard way, to bit my lip and say “meh…” to something I really loved. Sometimes there were things I wanted to ask a thousand questions about, and I had to just look away. I wanted to enjoy those things, but not that way.

I’m so different from the person my friends know…

I have just a few friends who I’ve met in the last months. I feel different with them. They won’t say my old name, because I’ve always gone by my new name. We have few memories from the past yet, but all those moments don’t hurt when I remember them. I can talk with them about my past life, because they just accept that it was me, trapped in a male body. With them I’ve always been a woman. With them I’ve never hidden the things I like.

With all the rest, I’ve got this need to talk. To talk a lot, for hours, so that they can know who I am. And it feels selfish to me, because I’m asking for the same effort twice. But that person they know, it wasn’t me. Still, I can’t change that perception in their minds. It’s more like I was a man before, and now I’m a woman. So I’ll have to bit my lip for a long time yet, while they know better the boy I was than the woman I am.

I guess that, with time, I’ll start doing all this stuff I want. I’ll talk about the things that interest me. I’ll go to places I want to go, and listen to music I want to listen to. I’ll dress the way I like, and they’ll become used to be with this other person they don’t know yet. But it is like starting over. We just met, but I already know you.

I don’t want to leave, because I really feel that I’m loved now. But sometimes my past is so heavy that I’d wish to run away and start things anew.

Update: I have this fear of having screwed things too bad by denying myself for too long. Of having broken something that can’t be fixed. But those were my choices in life, then. And a lot of them sucked, but they made me who I am right now. And I can’t say I’m not proud of who I am. All I can regret is not having been happy during a lot of time. But I got pieces of happiness. And I met a lot of great people. And now I can get this happiness I was missing.

Let’s not screw that too.