Dec 20, 2007

another storm picture


Winter Strikes again!

This is something new for me, I'm blogging from my phone. It isn't too bad because it has a full keyboard. As you can see by the picture winter hasn't even started yet and we already have more snow than last year!

This picture was shot outside my work window this am. We are expecting another 10" today

Dec 12, 2007

Almost Christmas

It’s been a crazy week of weather going between snow, ice and rain. It seems that the winter snowfall came very early this season. Today it is raining and all the previous snow we had is melting off creating a slight fog in some areas. This weekend we are being told to expect a Nor’ Easter but there isn’t any determination to how much or how strong of a storm it should be. (**coworker just walked in and claimed he is hearing major storm possibly up to 2 feet of snow)

Well as we sit here ½ way into December and our holiday fast approaches it always seems to be a time for reflection of not only the people we love but our past experiences and maybe people who are no longer with us. For many years the month of Dec spelled a month of depression and bitterness of the holiday season. This year as well as last year it seems as if that black cloud has finally been lifted from over my head and I no longer feel that way for various reasons be it Christmas or my impending birthday.

My Birthdays were never great as it sat right next to the biggest holiday of the year. It not only tended to get overlooked growing up but it was used as a tool to combine gifts. I guess now as an adult that is not a big deal but I can tell you that as a child this was always a major disappointment. My friends all got gifts for their birthdays and gifts for Christmas, rarely did you ever hear about combined gifts. Still people seemed to take advantage of the loop hole in my arrival to this world.

When I was a young child Christmas was a magical time for me as it is for most kids. I always looked forward to Santa coming and seeing what he would bring me. I never had a nerve to ask him for anything girlish, I knew I have to answer to my mom or my friends. Try explaining that new Barbie doll to your best male friends. Not only would they not get it, you’d probably get punched. None the less I enjoyed Xmas until about the age of 9.

In 1974 my mom was at the happiest I’d ever seen her. She had a new boyfriend that she intended on marrying. Larry was a cool guy and he was the father I had never had. Looking back the best thing about Larry was that he treated me as though I was his own and I would have been happy to have him as a step dad. Family life was good back in those days and mom was as lovable as any of my friends mothers.

Dec 24th 1974 my 9th birthday my mom was at her boyfriend’s home when he complained of a headache and wanted to rest. My mom found him dead lying across his bed from an aneurysm. It was not only one of the worst birthdays and Xmases I remember, it was the start of a very dark run of holidays for my family. My mom was never the same after that, she spent 2 years very depressed feeling as though she wasn’t worthy of happiness.

We all have painful moments in our life that stay with us, but it is how we bounce back from those hard times that can make us who we are. My mom was never the same person and in being this way she tainted every holiday season after that. From that point on Christmas in my house was never about family being happy and together, only about abuse, darkness and sadness. This would be one of the things that would stick with me for most of my life.

When I met my wife and started my family it was the first time in a long time I had not only stability around the holiday season, but my birthday would always be a big deal. I applaud her for being that caring, being around a family that always had the ability to see how they enjoyed the holidays I’m not surprised, but it simply wasn’t me. I could never seem to find that magic again and as December would approach my already depressive moods would get worse and I would withdraw.

Bad Christmases, Bad Birthdays and a life of not caring about myself because of my innermost feelings were all a struggle I could not manage. At any given time we are all able to overcome and negative issue but when your core being is broken all those other issues often seem beyond repair. For a very long time this was who I was and it was very apparent to the people around me as they saw my December decline every year, how helpless they must have felt.

Looking back I’m glad to see that I’ve finally worked to overcome at least my core issue and in doing so I’ve come to realize that I cannot rewrite the past. What I can do is write a new more positive future and that is the direction I’ve been heading into. While I will never change the dark years I’ve had, I am thankful to be able to create new better memories. None of this would have ever been possible without my changes as those changes affect every facet of my being. My holiday gift for this past year and this Christmas is my ability to enjoy not only who I am, but also my family for who they are and what they mean to me now.

On a side note I went to the mailbox the other day to get the mail, pulled it out and as I was reading the various pieces of mail I noticed a Xmas card envelope addressed to "Karyn and Diane"!! This is the first time I’ve received mail from someone who knows me with my new name, I was overjoyed to see that.

Hope your Xmas plans are coming together nicely, enjoy the season while it is here, I know I will.


Dec 6, 2007

Needing rest and some other thoughts

Well things are slowly getting back to normal, Diane’s feeling better and I’m slowly feeling more like myself. When I wrote that last blog my tank was running on empty for several reasons. I was emotionally drained from the fear of losing my wife. Monday I had risen at 5 am and only eaten scrambled eggs the entire day and I didn’t stop running until 7:30 that night only to have to get up and clear now in a 200 foot driveway alone.

All these things added up to me being in a very poor frame of mind, I simply wasn’t rested enough to be objective. When I wrote that. This isn’t to lessen the fact that those were my feelings at the time. I’ve come to the realization though that I need to learn how to do things differently now. I know that my body has changed, it isn’t the same as it was 2 years ago. I still do things like I always had dome them out of habit and I get frustrated when that doesn’t work to my advantage. It’s something I really need to learn to identify and work around now.

Like anyone when I become fatigued things build up, be it reality or in my head. It is something else that I’ve come to understand over the last 2 years. Being well rested is not a luxury anymore it is a necessity and it goes hand in hand with my ability to cope with everyday life.
I got a letter from a friend out of the blue who read my blog and gave me what I’ll refer too as an ass kicking. I deserved it and everything he said in his email was right. What struck me about the email is how open he was to the fact that what I’m doing is right for me. I know it’s there, I feel it everyday, but for someone else to say "Hey, you have no options here you need to go forward" was surprising.

So the bottom line is that Dee is ok and I’m slowly getting back to normal. To me that should be what’s most important.

Last night was what I refer to as a session when talking to people who know me. It’s one of my monthly counseling sessions that are required to not only deal with the GID and Transition, but help me work through any problems I may be having with it. I’d be lying if I’ve ever made this sound easy, it’s not by any stretch of the imagination. What I can tell you is every step is an emotional reward.

Generally on counseling session night I go the extra mile to look nice. I take extra time to take care of my hair and face and look rather presentable. Last night was no different and I have to admit I felt pretty good going to the session. But one of the things we discussed was that very topic. IE Dressing

I recently read a post on a BB I am on for transgender people asking why it is once TR women transition they change. They don’t seem to worry about clothing and makeup much, they don’t stay active in the community and they simply fade into society (Otherwise known as stealth)
The first part of the question is something I can answer easily. When I was confused about who I was and where I was going in life I needed specific things to not only identify with who I felt I was, but those things made me feel more normal for a small amount of time. Clothing, makeup or even something as simply as a nice smelling skin cream was an anesthetic for me. Removing these articles from my life surmounted to the anesthetic wearing off and the pain coming back.

These items were necessities in my life and without taking care of those needs I couldn’t function. This isn’t to say that life was completely normal it just seemed to help a bit. It helped me find me for a few hours here and there.

Looking back now after almost 2 yrs of hormones, countless hours of therapy I can say those things have changed a great deal for me. I no longer need those things to feel normal, they are just a part of my life. Before getting dressed meant fully dressed, clothing, makeup and most things to bring out that inner feeling I had.

I get out of bed now feeling that I am who I am. I know deep down in my mind I am female, I’ve always been that regardless of the exterior. The difference now though is that I don’t need materialistic things to give me that feeling. Don’t get me wrong it doesn’t mean that I still don’t like those things but now they simply do not define who I am. Instead of these things being needed they are finally able to be a choice in my life. If I wake up and feel like just wearing a T-shirt and jeans I can and I can do it without feeling like I need to do more to be normal.

The stealth part is a funny one because I cannot speak form experience yet but can relate to what I’ve not only seen but also how I personally feel about it. For those who are unaware stealth is the idea that once we transition we just fade into society living like anyone else without having the TG tag. We are simply our gender like anyone else and we don’t need to to let others know of our past unless we have too.

The goal of most TG people seems to be stealth, I know it was a target for me. I think that slowly changed when I watch Annah Moore for a period and saw how she handled herself in public. Annah does not scream from the rooftops that she made this change but yet she is proud enough to not hide it either. This is a quality that I not only have admired but it is one that I aspire to be. While I once saw myself as trying to be stealth I now see myself helping others.

The first steps of that proof are the writings on this blog detailing my intimate changes, something 2 years ago that I would have been ashamed to do. I’m proud of where I have come and hope that the next person behind me will see that example and step up to the plate.

Lastly I just want to touch on something about stealth that I find not only hilarious but a tag ignorant at the same time. I’ve read numerous posts from people who think they if they saw a TG person that they would know it the moment they saw them, after all how can you miss a 200+ pound man in stilettos and a miniskirt. Sorry got news for ya people, we’re just like you and not all of us stand out. I am proof of that in the sense of being read female when dressed as a male!!

Heck you might even know someone trans yet not actually know anything ….

Be good and happy holidays..

Oh screw it ..Merry Christmas !!

Dec 4, 2007

working through a scary day

This morning I am emotionally and physically drained. I am drained to the point of wondering if I have the strength to stay on the path that I am on. It’s not that I am in a poor me mode but in the last 24 hours I’ve dealt with so much emotional stain that I’m wondering what’s right.
Yesterday after prodding my wife to go to the Dr I got a scary phone call asking me to pick her up and take her to the local hospital. Possible Diagnosis- Meningitis. When I heard this I would be lying to you if I did not admit my blood ran cold with the fear of not only my wife having a deadly disease but the possibility that I too was exposed.

A million things run through your mind when you are out in a position of wondering if you are about to lose someone you love. IT is not only scary but it is probably one of the most draining emotions I’ve ever dealt with, sitting in a hospital room waiting for a diagnosis.

6 hours in a hospital room, Blood tests, X-rays as cat scan and finally a spinal tap revealed that she had nothing more than some sort of viral infection. It would take a few days for her to feel better, at least the prognosis wasn’t the worst that it could have been.

As all of this unfolded we were in the midst of a winter storm. Snow was blanketing the ground and turning everything into a Christmas shade of white, very festive indeed. By the time I had walked through the door last night at 7:30 PM, I had been going since 5 am with only scrambled eggs for breakfast in my system. I had no desire to clean the snow from our driveway or walkways and certainly no energy to do it either.

I rolled out of bed this am, struggled with the snow blower, struggled with the shovel and realized how much my strength had changed. I also realized how much of a team Dee and I really are. When we are together we are unstoppable. Remove one of us from the equation and it is like a car with a missing wheel, it just doesn’t work right. Before this would have not been an issue for me.

As the snow flew from the hopper of the blower this am I reflected on the events of the last 24 hours and what it not only had done to me emotionally but physically. I’ve always been able to easily take care of my family, it is something that was just my responsibility and I accepted their well being over mine for the better part of 23 years. As I was attempting to clean the white clutter from the driveway I realized that while my love of my family hasn’t been altered, my ability to take care of them and not be dependent on them has been altered.

I love who I am becoming more than anything and I cherish my wife for allowing me to be who not only I believe I am, but who she believes I am as well. But I had to ask myself at what expense? I still try to be everything I was for the people who I love but the fact is that I am now part of the dependency to need help from them. I often wonder if I am doing them a disservice by not being their rock instead of them being mine and yes, that makes me feel guilty.

I guess I still have things to sort out .. I need to figure out what’s most important, my sanity or my family