Jul 27, 2007

Nice visit tonight

Grandmother and granddaughter... I love this picture

What a week!

Been a weird week or sorts for me. I’ve been sitting on some news that my friends know but I’ve yet to post here, I guess I just wanted something to myself for a little while. This past Sunday evening my daughter Jess gave birth to a bouncing baby girl .

Gianna (Our first grandchild) was 6lbs 9oz 19.5" long and has one heck of a full head of hair. The similarities in birth weight from Jess to Gianna are almost spooky. Jess was 6lbs 8 oz and 19" even when she was born.

Funny enough as a proud father when she was born I never forgot the details of her birth. May 21st 1985 1:08 am 6lbs 8 oz 19 inches long. I have to admit I was pretty impacted by the birth of my daughter and I fell in love the minute I saw her. While I have had a lot of turbulent times with Jess in recent years the fact still remains that she is the apple of my eye to this day. I may not have liked my daughter at times but I’ve never stopped loving her.

When the news of this pregnancy was first announced I was very hurt and reserved. I was hurt that my daughter wasn’t more established with her life with a better education and maybe more stability. I was reserved because I was afraid of getting attached to a grandchild that could at some point be taken out of our lives. I guess most people would feel that was a strange way to look at things but for most of my life that’s all I’ve known and it never gets any easier having a revolving door, if anything it gets harder. The last 3 years have been murder on my soul. I’d missed my daughter terribly and had wished she would do a turn around and finally show me that she actually cares about me and that she really loves me. It’s been tough having someone you love so dearly totally ignore you as though your life and everything you’ve done means nothing to them….it had led to many sleepless nights and one emotional crash.

I was unsure of how I would feel about Gianna and I guess that was something that really bothered me. I was worried about my daughter and I hadn’t been terribly impressed with her choice in men. When it came time to finally embrace this whole thing I did so with a lot of fear and emotion. But when I walked into the hospital room and my granddaughter was there in the bassinet my heart melted.

I guess it finally hit me that she is part of my legacy and most importantly part of the family that I’d so missed having in my life. She is directly blood related to me, something I really don’t have very much of in a positive way. She is most definitely another apple in my eye and I already love her dearly. So it’s safe to say in 20 years when you ask me about Gianna I’ll be able to tell you she was born July 22nd 2007 at 4:05 pm, she was 6 lbs 9 ox, 19 inches long and a full head of hair. Why would I be able to remember that so easily in 20 years? Because I remember every aspect of Jessica’s birth 22 years ago and I love her dearly .. Gianna is and will be no different. I wish the new family the best of luck and am blessed to be a part of it.

On a side note I have had a bit of a rough personal week With the delivery of the new grandchild came the notion that everybody was allowed to call me "grandpa". I guess it shouldn’t be a big deal, they really don’t mean anything by it and a lot of them don’t know what is up with me yet. Still it wasn’t something I’d anticipate and the fact is that it has really been messing with my head in a bad way. I never expected in a million years that a simple name would cause me so much turmoil. I guess it really doesn’t fit in with who I am anymore….

Lastly in an email to my wife a good friend of ours referred to me as "she" and my wife decided I needed to see it. I have to admit I was pretty elated that someone else cared about me that much to be so easily accepting. I guess it wasn’t all bad this week.

Maybe later I’ll tell ya about my stair injuries!

Jul 25, 2007

In the face of blackmail

This blog is going to be a hard one for me to write and expose but on the flip side it is about time it was told in its entirety and truthfully. The only people that fully know this story are the people that it involved and at that I’m sure others would deny that ever happened. At any rate here it is.

Back in 1989 in an effort to make a better life with my family I made a deal with the devil of sorts. After years of a rough relationship with my mom I made the decision to go in on a house with her mainly to get my daughter into a better atmosphere and out of the city. The initial idea was to purchase a duplex so each family would have their privacy. The positives to this was that Jess would be able to grow up with her grandmother there and have a much better life. The problem arose when we realized that Most duplexes had turned into condex’s and they had really increased in price. This led to us making a decision to buy a home together.

Most people would think this would be a recipe for disaster but I figured we could make it work as we worked totally different shifts. I have to admit that in retrospect it was a bad idea.
When I was younger I had a passion for photography. I took it in Junior High and had a nice 35 mm camera as well as a dark room setup for many years. I guess that’s never changed, I still love it but I rarely take the time to practice it as I should anymore.

One weeknight after taking a bunch of pictures of Diane modeling for me (FULLY CLOTHED!) Diane thought it would be cute if I got dressed up and she could take a few of me and reluctantly I did this for her. I say reluctantly because it was during a period of trying to figure myself out and I wasn’t comfortable with the Gender Identity issues. But I loved my wife and I thought this would be fun. My only request because I didn’t want those photos developed in a lab was that we used a Polaroid instead. We had our little photo session, Diane got her pictures that she wanted just for herself and we both had a cute little secret.

In our bedroom we had a water bed with a mirrored headboard that had shelving on each side of the bed. On the shelving we kept our alarm clock, various memoirs of our years together and CD’s for the stereo. The pictures were placed under the CD’s so we would know where they were and they were out of sight.

When things had fallen apart with my mother and our interactions turned to nastiness I got hit with a restraining order removing me from my home. It’s a story I will get into depth in another blog when I am ready. What this did was give my mom unobstructed access to my belongings thus finding the hidden pictures. When our possessions were returned to us through a court order the pictures were mysteriously missing, I would later find out why.

In order to keep my family safe I was advised by my attorney to take out a restraining order on my mom to prevent her from doing anything to my daughter. The restraining order not only protected my daughter but was to assure I would not be harassed by my mother directly or indirectly through friends, it is a shame they never work.

Back around that time the drummer and my friend Rick from my old band managed a pharmacy that we used as a rehearsal space on the second floor. During the day Ricky would manage the store and then let us in to jam at night, so he was always at the store and that was always the easiest way to get hold of him. This would be the avenue my mom would use to do dirt.
I received a phone call from my friend Rick informing me that my mom had come in to send me a message that she intended to pick up her granddaughter that weekend and if I didn’t comply the consequences would be swift. She made it a point to let me know through my friend that I either did as she told or the pictures would be revealed without actually telling anyone what was in the pictures.

My response was simple and swift. I have a restraining order that states she cannot have contact with my daughter. When she heard this she was angered to the point of threatening me that "When she was done with me I wouldn’t have a daughter"

Those were hard times for me. I was being blackmailed with something that was such a deep core of my personality that it scared me beyond belief. I was afraid of what my friends would thing of me after seeing something about me they knew nothing of, nothing that would be easily understood either.

I never succumbed to her threats and stood up even under the duress of what might come and I’m proud to say that I made it through a very rough time. Not long after that she tried to contact Diane’s parents to try and show them the photos and turn them against me. It was another failed attempt at trying to destroy me. I carried that burden for a very long time having it as one of the reasons I had been so afraid to seek help. To this day those pictures have never surfaced but at least now I understand myself enough to not be afraid of them…

I’m not proud of them, but I am who I am


Jul 19, 2007

Learning new things

I learned something last night I hadn’t known about myself, but the counselor had picked up on it over our last 2 years worth of sessions. I was told last night I have PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which absolutely blew me away. But it also started to make a lot more sense and now I can see where it has affected me through my life.

When I was a child my mother while loving had a volatile temper and in some cases I had inherited that from her albeit for very different reasons than mine. I told my wife this am I often think she hated my dad through me as I grew up. After all what a better target than the offspring as I probably reminded her everyday of him.

My mom would lose her temper at the drop of a dime and without any possibility of seeing it coming, zero to a hundred in a tenth of a second. What this did to me was create a very nervous and jumpy child. I was very afraid of my mom and I knew that on the other side of that anger burst a beating was a good possibility.

It was something I hadn’t thought of entering adult life that I could still be carrying that in the form of nervousness. In one sentence from the counselor it suddenly all seemed to make sense. You have PTSD from all the stuff you dealt with as a child. I have to admit that was a ton of bricks and a godsend all at once as I finally understood why I was this way ..

Last night was a good session and seemed to be pretty productive. I generally try to "dress" nice for the session to get used to the change. So last night I did just that and I guess I’m starting to get used to it. I’ve finally gotten to the point on nice nights whenever we can we have been putting the top down and I’m getting used to being out in the open like that. I’ve not noticed any odd looks at all and I’m beginning to think that I don’t look like as much of a freak as I once thought, at least I hope not.

On one of our drives there it was such an awesome night to have the top down on the PT. The air wasn’t humid but it was refreshing like a nice summer night should be. As we turned a corner I caught a van out of the corner of my eye heading in the opposite direction and I suddenly freaked out. I spun my head around so quickly Diane must have thought I was going to break my neck in the process. I had thought I had seen a good friend of ours "Nancy" pass us at the corner and it freaked me out. I can only assume she didn’t see me or I was mistaken of who it was, or maybe she was just being nice.

To think I could get that freaked out must seem funny to some but I now think that might actually be part of the PTSD and hopefully that at least helps me move forward.


Jul 18, 2007

Reflection and looking forward

Today is kind of a weird day as it is not only my mom’s 71’st birthday but it is also the targeted due date for my first grandchild. As I’d mentioned before I have been estranged from my mom for the better part of 15 years now. It’s bittersweet for me as it is my mom and I do miss her but I am much happier without all the drama she put me through. This past weekend during our shopping trek we needed to stop and buy a birthday card for Dee’s dad as his 69th was Monday and while we were there I actually bought a card for my mom. I don’t know exactly why other than having the intention of mending broken fences but the fact remains for me, is it really I can of worms I need to open at this point in my life.

I know that I’d love to let bygones slip away but I’m not so sure she is the type of person to do that. To further complicate things I’m not sure she would either approve or even accept what is going on with me as she was always a very selfish close-minded person. Still that lingering thought remains in my head every day. At 71 she doesn’t have a lot of time left and we have already lost 15 years. I don’t know how I feel if things remain unresolved and something happens. Even more is the fact that I don’t know I could stand any more pain than she has already inflicted on me. So I sit with birthday card in hand contemplating my next move.

As I also mentioned today is the due day for my granddaughter (Gianna) From the sounds of the last conversation with my daughter she will be going over her due date. She seemed very frustrated by that because she is uncomfortable and such. I have to admit that when I first heard the news of this pregnancy my heart broke because I felt as though my daughter wasn’t in a great place to be a parent. I’ve since come to the realization that I have no expectations of her anymore either way. It is her life to live as she pleases and while I will always be there for her, I need to live me life as I please as well without expectations placed on me.

Once I had gotten myself into this thought pattern the cloud lifted a bit and I can honestly say I am excited about being a grandparent, even if I am WAYYYY to young for that. LOL. Things seem to be better between Jess and I, I talk to her quite a bit by text message although I do miss spending time with her. At least it has been a step in the right direction over this past month.

Tonight will be a busy night as I need to go to my counseling session but it has been an interesting and busy 3 weeks so I’m sure I’ll have a lot to discuss. Generally I enjoy going and talking about the progress and ort learning more about where I am at, hopefully tonight will be that productive.


Jul 17, 2007


I was watching the local news and I heard mention of this case where a Transwomen deducted her medical costs on her tax return and the IRS declined her. She is now suing the IRS claiming that it is a medically necessary treatment. Obviously dealing with this myself I not only support her but believe the same thing. It is beyond belief that most insurance companies will not pay for this and it becomes out of pocket but after THAT out of pocket the IRS says you can't deduct the medical costs... WTF? Seems to be bias either way.


If she wins this federal case I wonder if this could set precedent for insurance companies to have to cover costs. At any rate I'll be watching this one closely.

Jul 15, 2007

More vacations and a busy weekend

When I wrote my blog at the beginning of this week I had mentioned the close of vacation and the return to work. As fate would have it on Friday I received an email upon my return from lunch informing the employees of my company of a mandatory shutdown at the end of July. While I'm in a position of accruing my vacation very quickly I had to feel bad for the people who didn't have much time in. I also think it sucks that they could only give a 2 weeks notice but in most cases expect more in return when you are going to be out... Corporate America fukking sucks!

Ahhhhh, now that I've gotten that out of the way the fact is, I'm looking forward to another week off. I may even consider taking it unpaid so I can use my time when I want .. MY time..

Saturday morning Dee got up and went to work at curves. From there she was to meet her mom for a manicure and lunch. I took the time to get up early and meet a close friend of mine for breakfast and then go measure his Harley for some parts he needs me to make him. Upon going outside I decided it wasn't so cold that I couldn't take my bike, so I got some well deserved riding in. I had an enjoyable ride, breakfast and morning overall. While my friend doesn't fully know what is up with me yet I did tell him in the near future we need to have a talk. This is the one I'm totally nervous about.

After that I went home, did some work around the house, sat and had a cup of tea with Dee and her mom and headed out to get some errands done. I needed to hit the local farm to get some eggplant as my daughter had been begging me to make her eggplant parm for a family get together on Sunday. From there we decided to stop for dinner at a local diner and head home, all in all a nice time.

Sunday morning we met my Cuz for breakfast, something we have been attempting to make a once a month plan. We had been neglecting it during the month of June due to busy schedules and such so it was nice to finally get so see her, sit and chat. I have to admit she has been totally awesome and has been open about the changes I've going through. We we arrived at the restaurant she was already sitting down and as she would later mention to be she noticed with my hair down when i walked in how feminine my appearance was getting. I have to admit that with each person that knows me learning about whats going on I have a bit of discomfort until I get used to them knowing but when I hear those things it is such a comfort.

During the course of our breakfast she even referred to me as "she" to Diane in such an effortless way that I felt totally accepted... It was sooo nice to hear. As the three of us were leaving the restaurant the waiter exclaimed "Have a nice day ladies" which just re-enforces everything again. It seems that the less I try, the more I pass... It must have to do with me being more relaxed and letting it happen instead of willing it to happen, at any rate i wouldn't change it for anything ..

After breakfast we went and got some stuff at the local Walmart and headed home to make some stuff for the party today. I ended up spending 2 hours making the eggplant for Jess and it was nice to see how happy she was to get it. We sat today and had a nice little chat and at one point made a comment in private about my "boobs" apparently it has really gotten noticeable even under large men's shirts.

Normally I take a mans small shirt but what I had learned from my 200 pound large days was that if I wore a men's large it hid what i didn't want to be noticed, guess that theory is a bust now, or at least my chest is!

With the grandbaby being due this Wed the conversation was centered a lot around that and Jess even asked me what i was going to want to be called. I guess I had wondered that myself on one hand but on the other i hadn't really put much thought into that because I've been in such a weird place. The fact is that it was very touching for her to ask me that and most certainly shows that she cares about my feeling in all of this. It felt really good ..

Now I'm home and the rain has come in so it's time to veg and just enjoy the sound. To say it was a busy weekend would be an understatement but as weekends go, this was a nice one and i seem to have more and more of those lately, for the first time in my life I actually like my love and am learning that I can find happiness ... it's so fukkin awesome!!


Jul 11, 2007

Friends and delaing with the changes

As I’d written previously Diane and I spent Saturday with some very good friends of ours. We had a nice day and then later that night the conversation turned to what was going on with me. All is cool, I was treated with respect, love and friendship. The problem for me arose in a series of emails on Monday that affected me rather deeply.

My friends wife made it a point to explain that my relationship with Mike will change, he’ll always be my friend and be there for me but the fact is that the dynamic will change. She explained it as she viewed it now as she was gaining another girlfriend but Mike was losing one of his male friends. If anything ever left a sweet and sour taste in my mouth then that was it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at what was said, I know it wasn’t malicious or being used to brush me off at all. They truly and deeply care for Diane and I, I know they are still our friends. So where does this take the sour turn for me?

One of the symptoms that others have to deal with is the change and in some instances that change can be felt like a death. In essence one mourns the loss much like a death of someone close to them.
I guess on one hand I should feel blessed that Mike cares that deeply about our friendship that it hurts him to lose that particular dynamic, but on the other hand I’m very hurt that I did that to a good friend of mine. When I read that line my heart jumped and sunk all at the same time if that’s even possible. I even had a tear in my eye over it.

I wish I could do something to make it better for Mike, I certainly don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s hurt and I certainly understand why and how he feels the way he does. It just doesn’t make things any easier for me I guess.

When I explained what was going on to a friend of mine she pointed out to me that it was a real feminine trait I was feeling and portraying. Putting others well being ahead of your own tends to be a female trait and it is one I have had my entire life.

When I started counseling one of the things I was told I would need to learn was to be slightly selfish. I needed to worry about my well being before I could worry about others now. This was such a foreign concept for me that it really did take a while to let sink in and learn. I’m trying to learn that in small doses without losing my ability to be compassionate and I hope I’m succeeding.

When it came to the hurt I caused my friend though that old need to make things right seems to kick in and my heart breaks for him. I wrote back and explained to his wife that I wish there was a way for me to fix it and make it right. Her answer was simple and to the point.

She wrote "You can’t, the only thing you can do is to stay on the path you are one. If this is truly what you want and I believe you do, then stick with it" It’s so nice to have that kind of support but I can’t get over that pain I’ve caused yet. I guess that’s something that will always be a part of my nature I guess.

On another note my last blog talked about going up north, dressing and most of all my concern in passing. I have to say out of the blue I came back to my pc to see within an instant message a friend say.

"Oh I read your blog and on the issue of passing, don’t worry your doing fine" and then signed off. This was certainly a nice message to see as this has been such a hard feeling for me to beat and it helped make my night. I’m very thankful for my friends and it means a ton when I get that reassurance or support.

Thanks Jon, you’re a cool dude ..


Jul 9, 2007

Vacations over dammit

Well another week vacation comes to a close and it is time to come back to the real world. Thank god I’ve been here long enough that I earn almost 5 weeks a year because if I had to live with 1 week off I don’t know what I’d do. It was a relaxing yet busy week for Dee and I and I had a few milestones that I am happy about.

I’m finally working at breaking the final fears I had in getting myself out in public and living life. I cannot explain why but for whatever reason I couldn’t even wear a pair of girls jeans in public without freaking out. Well I am happy to report I’ve started changing some of my daily wardrobe over and hopefully it won’t be much longer that I can focus on fulltime as my goal instead of fear.

Tuesday we decided to head up to Meredith NH, enjoy lake Winnipesaukee. The idea was to simply go up walk around down town and end up at a local restaurant we like Hart’s Turkey Farm. If you are ever in the lakes region of NH and want a good turkey dinner with all the fixins Harts rocks.

The weather was great and I decided to wear as much female clothing as possible and just go. I put on a pair of jeans, a top, and sandals, got in the car and went. When we first got their I was terrified, after all what would people think when they saw me and then there was the biggest concern what if I had to hit the bathroom.

It took me a few minutes to get my bearings and get out of the car but I did and I have to admit I was surprised, I’d gotten no odd looks that I noticed and Dee said the same.. No one is paying any mind. It’s sad to think that something so simple can be such a terrifying thing to have to deal with. I once told my counselor it feels just as terrifying to me as my fear of heights does with all the same symptoms. The sad part is that I don’t have to look over the side of a cliff to live a normal happy life.

The inevitable happened, I needed a bathroom as well as Dee. As we walked around searching for a restroom we ended up in a gas station/Deli and as luck would have it it was a unisex bathroom, so that put me at ease.

All in all it was a nice day and a big milestone for me so I am happy, it is the start of the final hump in beating this and just finally living my life the way it should be.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Thursday morning we decided to go for bagel and enjoy a quiet morning. Running on the momentum of Tuesday I decided it was a good chance to jump right back in and do it again. So I through my nice jeans on a t-shirt and headed out. Again for the most part I don’t think I got any odd looks, but when I sat down at the table I did notice one girl intently staring at me. I don’t know if she was trying to figure me out, thought she knew me or totally just read me but it certainly made me feel a bit insecure. The fact is though …nothing happened from it ..

Insecurity has been a funny thing and I’m simply not used to it. When I was young I was pretty introverted and came out of my shell as I became a teenager. Playing in bands and such helped me beat that and I had found a certain amount of comfort in my confidence. This has been a huge readjustment for me as I’m not used to feeling like I’m always being stared at now. The bottom line is that I can’t wait to finally feel comfortable in life.

Saturday was the climactic part of the week for me personally as we decided to spend time with some friends of ours who knew. We decided to go to the zoo with them for the day, which was nice. The weather was amazing and we always enjoy being around their kids. Their kids know what’s going on with me and they treated me just as they always had which was totally awesome. The major impact wouldn’t come until later that night.

We decided to get the pup and being him over, order out and have a few drinks. As the alcohol took effect the conversation started to switch towards me and the questions they all had. At times I joked that I felt like I was in the hot seat but the fact is it was a reasonably comfortable conversation.

I think the most touching part for me was when I was asked by their daughter what I wanted to her to call me now and my answer was, "call me whatever you are comfortable calling me for now" I couldn’t shock them too much all at once. But without missing a beat she decided to call me Kay all on her own. I walked out feeling pretty good and being really thankful for their friendship. My only worry comes in the form of my friend as he finally admitted it has been bothering him a bit that he feels like he is losing a good friend. All I can do is reassure him I’m still the same person fort he most part and that won’t change …

At one point I was told that they actually "see it" now. It kind of surprised me as it wasn’t something I thought I would hear from them….

Yesterday was a day of rest which I severely needed as my body is beat up from hiking, sun and exercice. Maybe being back to work means it is time to recuperate.