June 30, 2015
Had yet another electrolysis session last night. Making headway. Between that and laser, there has been great improvement. I need less and less foundation these days (except right after laser as my face looks a bit rough for about 10 days – normal for the course), and not shaving for a few days is not longer automatic banishment to the basement !! So, overall, happy with that progress….a small victory to focus on!
Day by day, in every way, I am getting better……(repeat)
June 29, 2015
What an outstanding day yesterday. Spent it with an awesome friend who took the time and trouble to drive for over 2 hours just to come to my town and spend the day together. It was rainy and cool, but it was perfect! We chatted, had tea, went shopping – each spending probably more than we had planned – had lunch and then enjoyed the most ridiculously delicious red wine I have had in a long, long time! And chatted some more. It was exactly what I needed and good for my soul. It was also nice to be out and about with another woman as I usual go out on my own. Everywhere we went, we were treated like two women out for some shopping and fun. No issues. It was awesome. Not that it would have been an issue, I am so passed that. So going to revel as long as I can in the memories of the weekend. It was……a good day to be me.
June 27, 2015
It always amazes me how much by brain calms down when I am just being me. Having a really good day so far….did some errands and spent a bit of time at my office. I wanted to catch up a bit after a busy week last week and not getting to all the things I wanted to. What would have probably taken my 3 hours during the week as male me, only took me an hour today as “real me”. No internal distraction….no distracting “self talk” etc. Just sat down and did what I needed to do and then got the heck out of there to enjoy the rest of the day. Days like this, I wish they would never end. But alas, I am not there yet….but soon!!
June 25, 2015
So, I met with the woman who contacted my a few days ago, last evening for coffee. She is a kind and gentle soul that has had a bit of a rough go of it, but is doing better. She was in the US marines for 10 years, but is now out and married to a Canadian woman and is now living and working in Canada. She is mostly presenting male (she was in male mode last night) and is just starting the journey. She has support from her wife which is awesome and her family in the States. She did a few tours of duty overseas and does have a bit of PTSD, so has a bit of an up hill climb. But given all that, she is in a better place mentally now.
She desperately needs to find “her tribe” and not feel so isolated, so I am going to hook her up with the local support group and some of my contacts in town that are TG friendly for therapy, medical care, Make up, hair, etc. so she will have that info as a fall back plan to use when she is ready to engage those services should she not be able to find any on her own.
Made me feel quite fortunate actually for my situation, though we all have our crosses to bare and issue to work through. I think she will be okay. She certainly has a lot to offer the world…..I hope the best for her.
June 24, 2015
I was contacted by someone last night who is new to this whole journey. She started seeing my electrolysis tech and came out to her on the second visit. My tech told her that she has another client who is transitioning (me) who is happy to meet with others (which I am). So, with my permission, she gave her my cell number. She called my last night and we are going to meet this evening for coffee. She presents as her male self, so is really just starting out. She has no contacts locally and is excited to be able to meet someone else for the first time in our community. So we will see how she is doing. I know that I really appreciate how others locally have taken time to meet with me and point in the direction of support services, so I know what it is like to feel alone and isolated.
So, I will see what questions she has and what she is looking for, and go with the flow as to where the conversation goes.
June 23, 2015
Had a really good session yesterday with my gender therapist. We basically have worked out a time line for my transition that I am comfortable with. I have a few restrictions due to schedule of major tasks/project at work. The most convenient time would be either January or July so that I don’t transition half way through a major undertaking. I decided that January 2016 is too soon. I want more time for HRT to work and for laser/electro to be well in hand. So, that means, mid July 2016 will be my “coming out” date, if everything goes as planned re:HRT and impact on me. On one hand, this does seem far away, but on the other, not really. Not given all that I would like to do prior to going full time forever. So, I think I will be able to make it through one more winter.
She is also able to help with all the name change paper work and providing all the letters/documentation that I need. That is part of her service/assistance for her transitioning clients, so that is good. She knows exactly what documents need to go to who by when, so that is a big help for me. So, it is a bit of a relief to have a bit of a better laid out plan moving forward, ’cause as anyone who knows me, knows I am a planner!! The key is to realize that nothing is carved in stone about this, but at least I think I can carve it in Jell-O !!
June 22, 2015
Had a great weekend. Went to Toronto to visit my girls. Very short, up Saturday afternoon, back Sunday evening. But we had a lot of fun. It was good to hang out and just chat and laugh and not talk about the separation and transitioning. I think they just needed some time with their dad to see that I haven’t changed that much…..still the same ol’ goofy me. Especially for my youngest. She really needs to know that she hasn’t lost her dad. She is getting there, but it is definitely a struggle for her. But we hit a few really great restaurants, went shopping (my youngest’s birthday coming up, so I thought when in Rome….) So nailed that. Went to a movie, watched them sent up for the Much Music Video Awards (was outside this year) and took in a few bands at the Jazz festival. So, I think it was just what everyone needed. They both wanted some “one-on-one time” with me to chat about stuff, so I had a two hour chat with each of them on Sunday morning. Was good to learn where they are at with stuff going on in their lives and with me. My oldest is totally fine with me, she just has some stuff she has to deal with in her life which just feels like life piling things up on her. I get that. So we chatted mostly about that.
For my youngest, it is more about me and transitioning. She asked me a really good question, one that no one has asked me before. She asked me “Wht does it mean for you to be a woman?”. I thought that was a brilliant question !! She is a self admitted feminist, but a moderate. She really wants to do well and be taken seriously and she sees that is an issue in her vocation (lawyer). I get that. I think what she was getting at is that she is afraid that I will set the movement back a few hundred years by becoming a “ditsy blond”, thinking that is what it is to be a woman. Focusing too much on hair and nails and make up and not being a woman of substance. I laid that to rest pretty quick, but it is interesting where her mind is going. I think she is concerned that I will loose all my status and that people (men) will think they can run over me and not take me seriously. I get that too. But that is not the case. At least, I won’t let them get away with it. They may try, and some probably will, but how I handle that is up to me. But, an interesting question none the less.
So got home last night, a bit exhausted, but happy, feeling better about how they are doing, and looking forward to a much less hectic week at work.
HAPPY FIRST (okay second) DAY OF SUMMER !!
June 20, 2015
Well, it has been quite a week. A few 18 hour days – 24 hours of “overtime”, 12 one hour one-on-one meetings with execs working with them to solve issues, getting a brief done to try to avoid a 7 figure loss to our bottom line (which my boss thought was a great piece of work, so at least I got that right ), dealing with my youngest who is calling in tears, all with a 3 day migraine. On top of that, my GD spiked a bit as it tends to right after laser as my face looks like crap for about a week after, and a minor anxiety attack – mostly due to being surrounded by stunning women in very pretty summer dresses most of the time at work. So, by last night I had had enough as was a bit teary.
But today is a beautiful day….got some house work done, going to do a few groceries, then off to the big city to see my girls. Mostly for fathers day, but just to spend some time with them, especially with my youngest who is struggling right now. She wants to have a good chat for a couple of hours by ourselves, so I am hoping that this will help her.
So, just have to put on my big girl panties and get on with it. Off we go….
June 17, 2015
My youngest is having a really hard time with all of this. It breaks my heart. She called the other night and we chatted for over an hour, but she was crying pretty much most of the time. She is managing to get through her days at work, but is feeling pretty blue the rest of the time. She is really obsessing about it. She is seeing a therapist once a week, but I think she needs more. Unfortunately, all of her good friends are in another city, and sometime she just needs a hug and a shoulder to cry on for a few minutes and she feels better. This is the part of all of this that really sucks!!!
So, I am going to see her this weekend and spend some time with her and just hang out. She says that she would like to find a chunk of time when we can be alone to have a good chat about all of this and she wants to ask me some questions. This is good. She needs to talk about this and she needs to talk about this with me. I am the only one that can answer some of the questions, so it is good she is going straight to the source and not getting info second hand from her mother. It will be good when she is back here in the fall with all her friends and closer to both me and her mom. I know she will be okay….eventually….but right now….this just sucks…..
June 16, 2015
Another session with my regular therapists yesterday. Nothing earth shattering….for a change! That is always good. But we still managed to chat for 90 minutes quite easily!!
One thing she has noticed is that with all the support I have in my life right now for my transition, it is ironic that I am the one that is wanting to go slow. My boss is happy for me to go full time at work as Erin anytime. Our Human Rights department is ready for me to go right now. A few others have commented that as I am full time outside of work, why not just go for it now?? Really good question.
The thing is, I just don’t feel ready. I want to physically be farther along. When I finally go full time, I want it to be all me, not forms and padding etc. I don’t know why, but I just do. Part of me wonders if subconsciously, I am afraid of what other women will think if it is all artificial. Will that make them resent me. “anyone can look good with fake boobs and hip pads” etc, etc. That is not a real woman. I don’t know. Maybe I’m nuts and just being paranoid?
My therapist is a bit concerned for me having to go another Fall dressing as a male, as the weather gets cooler and having to wear heavier male clothing etc. But there are some convenient “seasons” at work for me to go full time with minimal disruption to our client base. They are essentially July and January as good times for me to go for it. Given that there is no way I will be ready July (duh), that leaves next January or next July. And as I have no idea how I am going to react with HRT and given my age, I suspect that the earliest will be next July. So I will have to just tough it out.
Right or wrong, that is just me. At least I am now in the tunnel and I can see the light. Just not sure how long the tunnel is. So, I take my time.
June 15, 2015
Had another electro session yesterday. (She is taking today – Monday – off, so she had me come in on Sunday to keep me on schedule). She told that she is noticing my skin getting softer ! Crap…..crap. crap. crap. I mean, in one way, I am happy. But on the other hand, electro hurts a whole lot more once the HRT kicks in and your skin gets thiner and softer. I was hoping to get a whole lot done before that happened. Oh well, such is life. So in July, I am bumping up to 3 days per week to really push ahead. That means essentially that I won’t be shaving at all, so will look like hell, which really sucks. I am going to be on holidays, so work is not an issue. But I was looking forward to being 24/7 for a chunk of time. so much for that. Oh well….short term pain for long term gain. At least, that is what I keep telling myself…..
June 14, 2015
having time to do some thinking last evening (which is never a good thing), my mind wandered to how to deal with the few who don’t understand what I am doing and/or why. My question to them is…If I can’t be who I am, who am I supposed to be?
June 13, 2015
Well, I had to attend an event today as part of my volunteer activities and it meant going in men’s business formal attire. Needless to say, I was not amused. I was wondering the whole time….would this be one of the last times I have to do that??? Here’s hoping….
June 12, 2015
Had an appointment with my Dr yesterday to review my blood work after being on T blockers for 3 weeks. All is good. I have the green light to increase the dosage as prescribed by my Endo. Going back again in another 2 weeks to make sure my potassium levels and kidney function are still fine. My blood pressure was at the low side of the normal range, so will have to keep an eye on that as the dosage increases. Right now, I am feeling fine, no dizziness, etc, so hoping I will be able to maintain the higher dosage.
Yet another small step….
June 11, 2015
Had “the chat” with my boss yesterday. It went extremely well!! She is totally on board with my transition. We chatted for over 90 minutes. She had some questions and was sorry that I have been this unhappy for so long and that I hid it so well at work. She said that I am strong enough to do this and that I have cultivated a lot of political and personal goodwill in the organization and that she doesn’t anticipate any issues. And if there are, I have her complete support as well as that of the office and overall department in dealing with them quickly. She said that we (the department) are going to do to whatever it takes to make this as smooth, painless and anxiety free process. We talked about some strategies in the long turn as to how to roll this out from a communication point of view and what some next steps might be. So we are starting to put together a plan. She is happy to work with whatever timeline I settle on and to take whatever time I need for appointments and medical care etc. At the end, she gave me a big hug. I am so lucky to be working in such an accepting organization.
June 10, 2015
So I watched the first episode of “Becoming Us” last night. I must say, I did like it. I could relate to so much of it, particularly around Ben’s reaction to his dad, now Carly. That is exactly the same reaction my youngest daughter is having. She is focusing on the death of her dad. Not the survival of Erin. I am hoping she will watch it, but I am not holding my breath. She is very angry and somewhat in denial in that if she doesn’t try to educate herself or learn about it, then she won’t have to face it. I am hoping this will change. I think it will, but it is going to be very slow…..Looking forward to the next episode next week.
BTW, I think Carly’s transition is going nicely….she looks really, really good!! I am very jealous of her hair!!
June 9, 2015
Another electro session last night. Ugh. But I must admit they don’t hurt as much as I thought. But early days. I am sure there is more pain to come!!
We always chat during the session and it turns out my tech is also a diver, so we had a great chat about our favourite dive sites around the world. There is a good chance that we will also be diving together this summer as she goes to the same spots I do.
On another and more important note, we had a really good chat about how I am doing in the transition process. I was her last client of the day so we chatted for about 30-35 minutes after my 1 hour session was done. She really wants to know how the process works and what my plan is. She is super supportive. She even offered to see me on weekends if that would help. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by “health professionals” in every aspect of my physical and mental care that are so supportive. I actually got a little teary when we were speaking. She gave me a big hug and said she wants to help me in any way she can. She is very sweet.
It was a good day.
June 8, 2015
Yesterday I had another one of those WTF moments where you are wondering what the hell you are doing. But this one was different. Usually, at least for me, they typical run something like “why am I doing this to myself, why do I have to become a woman, come on, shake it off, be a man”, etc, etc, etc. And they usually go away in a few minutes once my sanity returns. However, this one was the opposite. I was driving to my dive club and the WTF moment was “Why do I have to present as a male!?!?! Why can’t I just get this over with and be who I really am???!!!”
Now, let me explain a bit of context. My dive team is all military and we work out of the local military base in my city. So, just a bit of a different environment??!! LOTS of testosterone that’s for sure. Anywho, yesterday was World Oceans day, so our chief instructor volunteered us to participate. As such, a team of us went to a local popular dive spot and we all took mesh collection bags with us to pick up garbage on the bottom. There were 9 of us who went, and in about 35-40 minutes we collected around 200 lbs of garbage for the cause. And while it was great to get in the water and we usually have a lot of laughs, there were a few comments about Caitlyn that I didn’t get all of, so can’t comment on the exact content, but I did start to feel a bit uncomfortable. I know that I have to come out to my chief instructor as my muscle tone and strength is going to change and that may impact my ability to perform some of my current duties and he needs to know so he can assign appropriate work for me and be confident that I can still perform all my duties. They will also need to know that such comments are not appropriate not just when I am around, but in general. Though I am not holding out much hope for that. I am only hoping that they will know it makes me uncomfortable and this is a “red light” topic. The other reason I need to tell my CI is that it is a safety issue as I am responsible for the safety of others. I know he is going to be fine with it. I have known both him and his wife for years. I am not sure about the rest of the crew. I think the majority will be okay. But I literally trust these people with my life and they have to be comfortable and confident that I have their back as well. So, I am probably going to meet with my CI later this week or on the weekend.
So, very long story short, at WTF moment that was in the other direction. I just want this done. It is getting harder and harder to present as male and getting more uncomfortable for me with each passing day. All of my equipment is custom to my build and muscle mass right now, so over the next year or so, that is all going to have to be replaced for women’s cut gear, which I am supper excited about, but not looking forward to the expense. But at least I am doing something about it and everyday I get closer to my goal. So, patience….not exactly my strong suit…..Sigh
June 6, 2015
Well, wasn’t this an interesting afternoon?? “Why?”, you ask. Well, I wasn’t really going to say anything, but since you asked…
Today was my first meeting with the local TG support group. They meet from 2pm-5pm the second Saturday each month. “but wait…” you say. “Isn’t this the first Saturday of the month?”. Why yes, it is. Look at you, all on your A game. Thing is, next Saturday is the pride parade here in my little corner of the world, so the meeting was rescheduled to the first Saturday, aka, today.
I am not sure that everyone got the memo as, according to the “regulars”, turn out was sparse. I was the newbie, so what did I know. So, in attendance were three young (in their 20s) single trans men. One was there with his sister and mother, as he still lives at home finishing his last year of university. His family, in total support, wants to stay plugged into the local network, so good for them. They were a delight to speak with!! Others in attendance were two older transwomen with their long time partners (their wives). They were also very kind and easy to speak with. We introduced ourselves, and being the newbie, I told just a little bit of my story. A rousing round of applause when I mentioned that I had just started HRT two weeks ago. It was good to see that they were supportive and welcoming to a new gal on the block.
We spent a lot of time talking about Caitlyn. There was a great deal of discussion regarding how they hoped her transition didn’t paint a picture that transitioning is easy and only for those that have $160,000 for surgeries and that everyone will look as beautiful as she does. All that being said, we all agreed that at least it provides a jumping of point for discussion, and that means more and more people are talking about it, so that is good. Dialogue is good.
Three hours zoomed by pretty quickly. We ended up agreeing to meet one evening this week to create the TG banner for the group for the Pride Parade. I unfortunately cannot participate as I have to be out of town in meetings until after the parade part is over. But I hope to have time to zip down to the end point where all the services available to the GLBT community are staffing information booths for the general public.
I was a tad over dressed, but then, I am a girly girl. But no one fussed. Everyone else was in jeans or capris. It was warm without being humid, so I wore a khaki skirt and pink short sleeve top. Luckily, I did manage to do a pretty good job on my make up, so with confidence high, I plunged in with both feet. I am going to attend the meetings for a little while a see if it is helpful. I don’t feel I can judge the efficacy of the group with one visit in summer time when attendance is typically lower. Let’s see what the fall brings. But at least I felt comfortable, so that is huge for me right now.
Onward and upward……
June 3, 2015
Met with my representative in our Human Rights/Equity office today. Mostly just to bring her up to speed on where I am in my journey and get some thoughts on timelines for work from her perspective. We talked about how to inform the masses when the time comes. I think I am okay with my team and my department, but the bigger picture is a bit more confusing. Outside of my department, I deal with most of the VPs and President on a semi regular basis, and their staff, so have to factor that into the equation as well. So we are going to work together, along with my supervisor and the Director of HR in my department to work on a strategy for that…once they know.
I am still thinking about when to tell my boss. My performance review is next week, so I am going to wait for that to be completed, then probably have the chat with her. I am thinking the more lead time we have to plan this, the better. I am positive she will be fine with me and supportive, so I am not concerned there. She already knows that I am having some “health” issues as I have had to take full days of medical leave to go to Ottawa for appointments and stuff and she is quite concerned for me, though is respecting my privacy with respect to not filling her in just yet.
I also volunteered to work with the Human Rights/Equity department on all things trans in my organization including any committees, or advisory boards, and to meet with anyone who is thinking about transitioning if they feel the need. I have benefitted greatly by those that have gone before me and it is only fitting that I do the same. So I will see how all of this hopefully comes together so that when it is my time, we have a solid plan. At least, that is the idea !!
and so the story goes….
June 2, 2015
another round of electro last night. Not to bad yet, certainly tolerable. Have booked a big block of time when I am on holidays in July for three weeks to really hit it hard. It sucks that my face will be pretty beat up, so not great for spending the entire time as me, but it has to be done, so a little sacrifice now for big gain later????