Jun 30, 2008

busy weekend

Well we had a busy but dull weekend. Friday night we decided to try a new Chinese restaurant in town. Dee has NEVER tried a scorpion bowl before so she was dying to try one. I have to admit the food there was pretty damn good, seems like we have a new Chinese restaurant as a favorite now. This was the first time I've had that type of food where something wasn't incredibly greasy. Usually I shy away from that stuff but this food was really light ..it was awesome!

Friday before dinner I had a follow up appointment with my Dr. This was the first one where my name is legally changed so I had more paperwork to fill out. She said that my blood tests looked really good. My hormone levels and liver function were excellent. My blood pressure was perfect as well. The only weird thing and it was really funny this came up because Annah and I had been discussing this recently. I lost 1" of height! I'm down to 5' 8" now.

So if any of you girls have experience with that let me know..

The last part of the appointment the Dr turned to me and asked "You're over 40 right?" well yeah ..unfortunately I am. Well I think the next words almost knocked me off the table and in fact Dee probably had a good laugh at the look on my face. She said .. "You need to get a mammogram" ..

Now, I totally understand the importance of having one done and I'm not knocking the reasoning but this took me by surprise. I never thought I'd be having one so soon … Damn

The rest of the weekend was spent running around and getting Dee's Harley back on track. So as of yesterday it is repaired!! I swear I could do that job in my sleep now. As we were working on her bike I told Diane I hated doing stuff like this, it makes me feel crappy and reminds me of being male ..go figure ..

Wed os group and I haven't gone in a while. Anne and and another girl are prodding me to go. I guess they feel because of the name change it is a big deal. Not sure what I'm going to do yet, I so hate paying to go to group and listening to problems because it leaves me feeling down.

Anyway, life is good and I'm happy. I now have my motorcycle back to myself …. YAY!!


Jun 24, 2008

Movin along

Hello, is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?

Yeah, yeah, I’m in a good mood but most days are like that for me now. Years ago those days would be far and few between and even at that it would never be consistent. We had a pretty decent weekend this weekend. We had originally planned to take the Harley down to the coast for the sandcastle sculpture contest but the weather didn’t feel like co-operating. Basically we had a quiet night at home.

Sat morning Dee had to work and then after she got home we decided to get some long needed yard work done. I decided I needed to get my lawn mowed and some things cleaned up. As I was mowing the lawn I turned onto my street and headed for my driveway for another pass. As I turned in I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye and turned to see the mail truck following me. I nearly jumped off the tractor because she startled me.

As she passed on her way back to deliver my mail she stopped and yelled to me out the window. "You’re a mad woman on that thing!!" She waved, put the mail on the box and off she drove. I sat there a bit perplexed for a moment. She’s been our mail carrier for years, seen me all through my unshaven days and yet she used the proper wording. It definitely left a smile on my face and I happily finished my work.

Sat night we had plans to take the motorcycle with Dee’s parents and head up to the Anheiser Busch factory for what is dubbed "Ribfest". Basically Ribfest is a big BBQ competition and a festival all combined. As we walked in the gate we were told if we intended to buy beer we had to get pre-checked and get wristbands to show we were ID’d This would be the first time I’ve used the ID as Karyn so I was incredibly nervous. NH hasn’t caught up to other state yet so even though it says "Karyn A" is also has a little "M" down on the bottom. But honestly, it went off without a hitch.

My new paperwork and cards are slowly tricking in, I’ve already gotten my new Social Security card and yesterday I got my first of 2 debit cards in my new name. I think it is starting to become less surreal now and reality is slowly settling in. I told Diane when my other debit card comes in that I’m taking her to dinner because I haven’t signed a dinner check in 2 years LOL! It was nerve wracking having a waitress refer to me as "She" and then having to hand them a card with the name Kevin on it. Not long ago my coworker and I went to lunch at a local bar and when the check come I paid using my card. The girl ran it and when she returned she pushed it towards him. She was quite perplexed when I was the one who grabbed it and signed it. :o)
Sunday Dee and I headed out to our local farm to gets some fresh fruits and veggies. We got stuff as usual to do our fresh salads but while we were there the strawberries looked so tempting so we got a quart. When we got home we chopped them up and I put a little sugar over them to get the juices to make is nice syrup. Then we realized we forgot vanilla ice cream so out we went to the store.

On the way home we noticed a rainbow in the distance and marveled at its beauty. It was the first of the season for us that we noticed. As we were turning onto the last main road I noticed that I could see the WHOLE rainbow end to end. It was the first time in my life I’d ever been able to see the whole thing. Being in the area that we are it tends to be rather hilly so all we ever see is ½ of a rainbow beaming out of the clouds. I so wish I had my camera for this one …. It was so awesome to see …

Oh yeah the Strawberry sundaes were awesome too!

Anyway I guess that’s where life is for now … not too bad eh?


Jun 19, 2008

Watching a friends strength

I wanted to take a moment and write about a dear friend of mine that has been one of the strongest women I know. I met Kristi in 2004 through her Husband Todd who was one of 4 people that used to run the JCF with me. Both of these people have been a huge inspiration in my own struggle with Kristi being the one who could relate to what I was going through on a much different level.

In 2003 a then unknown assailant sexually assaulted my friend in her own apartment. In 2005 it would turn out that the person who was suspected of the crimes was actually a police officer. Over the course of several years it would come to light that this sick individual assaulted at least 4 women and stalked a 5th.

Any assault can have a drastic affect on a human being but to have to endure the things that these women had to be beyond belief and yet as hard as it was, my sweet friend fought her way back and regained control of her life.

In 2006 when it came time for me to start talking about my story Kristi was one of the first people to embrace me, make me feel normal and could relate to me on the perils of dealing with therapy. While my story pales in comparison to hers, it was in her determination and strength to come back to life that gave me an incentive to be stronger in mine.

This past month has been incredibly tough on my friend as she has had to endure getting on the stand and testifying against her attacker and deal with the vast amount of press coverage that has been thrown into the spotlight. As hard as this has been on her she has done an excellent job of keeping her composure and most of all realizing that she alone is in control of her life. At times reading different press articles has been hard on her as one would expect and with every new printed word we would discuss our thoughts on things never wavering from the belief that this scumbag would be found guilty.

Monday Kristi made her final appearance in court to watch the jury take the case into deliberations and then spent several days on the edge of her seat praying for her justice. That justice came yesterday in the guilty verdict on 35 separate counts. My hope for her this am is that she awakens with a much lighter weight on her shoulders.

As I sit here and write this I'm incredibly proud of her for her strength and determination to get the justice she deserved and most of all be who she is today. It takes an awesome human being to be compassionate and a source of support all while keeping it together. I am in awe of her and only hope that I can learn to be ½ the woman that she is.

If you want to read more of the story the articles are all here


Kristi, thank you for being my friend throughout such an incredibly difficult time and remember how proud I am to know you…

Your friend/sister

Jun 18, 2008

The boring details! .. Not ..

I've again been quiet for a few days and I know there are a lot of people interested in hearing about the next steps. I haven't intentionally ignored anyone, I've needed a few days to let things sink in and let it just be mine and also Dee's I do appreciate the comments and emails more than anyone could understand.

My phone forwarded the last blog note shortly after the change was made legal so I haven't even signed on to see what the deal might be.

Monday started on an early note for me as I wanted to hit the hospital for blood work. I have a Dr's appointment on the 27th and I'm at my 6 month interval for blood work. I wanted to make sure it went in before the name change so that there would be no confusion on the insurance. The local lab at the hospital starts drawing at 7 am so it is pretty convenient.

My court appointment was for 9:30 am on Monday and I was probably as nervous as I'd ever been during any major event in my life. We arrived in the court parking lot at 8:55 am. We wanted to be there early enough just in case we got stuck in traffic. Because there was no traffic it afforded me 20 minutes of sitting in the car playing with butterflies, in my stomach!

When we got called into the courtroom the bailiff had us sit while the judge was getting ready for us. They then brought Dee and I into her chambers to do the change in private. She had me swear in and showed my the form I filled out asking me if everything on that form was true and if the signature was mine, I agreed it was. She then asked me if I had completed my surgery and I told her I hadn't. At that point she kind of sat up in her chair and asked if I had discussed what I was doing with any doctors. I explained that she had a letter from my Dr and she realized that the clerk had sealed the record. She asked for my permission to unseal the record and after reading the note from the Dr she approved it on the spot. She then explained that I could go to the office next door and get any copies I needed.

Dee and I proceeded to the office next door to get my copies and when the clerk asked "how many?" I replied "three please" and sat on the bench to wait. I guess it hadn't hit me until Dee asked me how I was feeling and I could feel the tears starting to come out. I guess the whole thing pretty emotionally overwhelmed me and it finally hit me.

From there we decided to the DMV for my new license (Picture is horrible) Apparently NH has started a new licensing system and not all the kinks are ironed out. When we first moved to NH we were used to long lines at the DMV's in Mass, we became spoiled here. In NH all licenses are done at the DMV all registrations are done at your town hall. This made a trip to the DMV painless and literally a 10 minute ordeal … not the time! It took 3+ hours this time!!

When we walked in the length of the line overwhelmed us. They had a trooper greeting people, giving them forms to have ready and in general getting them where they needed to be When he came over to me he went to hand me a form and I showed him the one I had printed from the web, he agreed it was the proper form but I hadn't checked off a reason for a new license. I told him I was unsure of which because I was there for a name change. The trooper told me that would be an easy one and just asked to see a marriage certificate ..um … maybe you need to read the court order there … I have to say he never missed a beat and it was cool to just have it assumed I was changing my last name due to marriage ..LOL ..

As we were in line waiting we ended up striking up a conversation with a young lady who had just been married. She misplaced her license and needed a replacement for her honeymoon. During the course of the conversation she mentioned her "Wife" and how they were going on their honeymoon. After a comment I made about Dee and I she asked "Oh are you two together?" She then asked if we had done the civil ceremony in NH or the whole marriage thing in Mass…I have to say I walked out of the DMV tired from the wait but elated that I was just blending in without really trying too….

From there we hit the Social Security office and then the Bank so most of the major stuff is done. I just need to do my car registrations and credit cards now. With all the running around it was hard to absorb that it was finally done and it is definitely a huge stepping stone for anyone going through this process. The bottom line is that I'm happy I did it and I don't have to worry about it anymore, all my fears and nerves were unfounded …

Legally me ~Karyn!!~

Jun 16, 2008

It's official and legal! ~K~

It's official and legal!

Jun 13, 2008

T-Minus 3 and Friday thoughts

Well it is Friday, the sun is shining and it is a bit cooler today than it has been so I'm happy. I wrote in my last blog about feeling tired and rundown, I guess it was worse than I thought..

On Wed after I left work, I went home, had dinner and decided to unwind a bit before going up to get ready for my session. Generally my sessions at this point are every 3-4 weeks and I usually make them for 7 pm. Being a 45 minute ride I try to start getting ready to go around 5:30.

After dinner I decided to sit down and read for a while in an effort to get lost in a little me time, just kind of unwind as I mentioned. Dee went upstairs around 5 to do what she needed to do and somewhere around 5:35 it struck her that .. Geez, Karyn hasn't come up to get ready that's odd"

She proceeded downstairs to check on me only to find the following. Poor Karyn sitting on the couch, with the book being held open to the page and zonked out cold. Yes, I fell asleep in the middle of reading and never lost my page!! Apparently I was so tired that she said it took her a full 2 minutes to get me to come too.

So yeah, I'd say I was a bit rundown!

At my counseling session we went over the feelings I had about the name change. Between Anne and all my awesome trans-sisters I am happy to say I am feeling a LOT better about it. While I'm not saying my nerves are gone, I am saying that I now understand that they are very normal to have at this stage. At some point I was beginning to think my anxiety was pointing toward one big mistake, I know it isn't though ..

So all of you who have extended yourself to me I will say a heartfelt thank you too. It is in all that encouragement that I find some sense of peace and yes Sara I do believe you are right. I need a little selfish Karyn time this weekend.

Sara made an interesting point in her comment from my last writing. She said that she wishes I'd open up a let a little bit more of the negative aspects out so girls behind me see what they are in for.

While life gets better as we work on ourselves it isn't always in a perfect frame of mind. In fact because we are Trans, something's we tend to view differently than a gender girl would. For instance if my wife and I were to take a walk through the mall and someone looked at us the Trans mind focuses on being read, the gender girls mind focuses on "Hey someone is checking you out!" and being the paranoid T-women that we tend to be we never tend to believe that. (BTW Thanks for the analogy Cyn it was a good one I had to use it)

In transition is takes a lot to get from point A to point B and we all need to do that in different ways overcoming our own fears as we move along. We go from Depression and guilt to Fear, Fear to Self-acceptance, self acceptance to full acceptance, full acceptance to visually and emotionally being who we are, and yet in that journey each phase causes its own set of obstacles to overcome.

I was able to beat the guilt and fear of who I was easily. I was lucky that the people around me were very accepting and that help with my own self-acceptance. Where my fear and anxiety started in that phase was worrying about what others would think of me out in public. The steps to conquer that we to add things slowly and get used to them For me just going from boys jeans to girls jeans was a big deal. Now I wear girls jeans almost exclusively. I wear girls tops almost all my time away from my job but they are very androgynous and plain. At least for me this way people try and figure me out and I am happy when I get female pronouns.

To move into the next phases have been an enormous step for me and they still to this day cause me anxiety. A feeling that I truly hope the name change will help with by building more confidence. Then I can make the move into more feminine looking clothing. Still what a stranger may see isn't what I assume they see and sometimes is very hard for me to see visually. I look at pictures of myself a feel as though I don?t pass well yet others tell me I look great. The trans mind then kicks in and reasons it to be "Oh they are just being nice." It doesn't matter whether it is a passing look in a mall or a compliment from a friend or loved one, there?s always a way to have your mind invert what they are telling you.

Calpernia Adams was recruited to help Felicity Huffman get ready for her role in the movie Transamerica and when asked by Felicity what it was like to be trans, Calpernia broke it down very well into one thing. She told hee to picture every time you step out of the house the feeling that every person you see is staring at you, and laughing as well. It is the exact emotion that I"ve been attempting to over come in myself.

Transition isn?t without its bumps in the road but with every step positive and negative I've learned a lot about myself and the world around me. I've learned that I had a lot more strength emotionally than I ever believed I had. I've learned that I misjudged the people around me and how compassionate they can be. I've learned that most people will say nasty tings behind a keyboard and yet would never say it to your face. I've learned that it took me 40 years to see how beautiful a sunrise really is . Or for the first time noticed the incredible floral smell in the air on the bike at the time of year. I learned that I wasn?t broken and unlovable, that I was just a little lost. I've learned how much blue eyes can tell you without the person ever uttering one word. The fact that I love the feel of soft skin. I learned that a good cry CAN make you feel better and many many other wonderful things.

So yeah, transition has its missteps and low moments but what we gain from it is so much more rich and true. It's probably why I don't focus as much on the negative aspects of it, I spent 39 years of my life being negative, I love being positive for a change. I am not without my moments but hey I'm human ..

T minus 3 . Yes I?m getting excited!

Again thanks for all the wonderful comments and emails. There's a little bit of wisdom in all of them!!


Jun 11, 2008

Tired and Worn down days

T-minus 5 days and counting..

Today looks like it will turn out to be a nice day. The past 4 days have been incredibly hot with yesterday reaching 100 degrees. When it starts getting in that range the only time I venture out is to move from place to place. Thankfully today is only supposed to be mid 80's (Boy that sounds kind of funny)

I'm feeling incredibly rundown today and I'd swear I could sleep for 24 hours straight. I'm not sure what's making me feel this way, I took a nap yesterday after dinner and went to bed at my normal time so I actually got more sleep than I normally would. The only thing I can think of is that the heat and humidity just took a lot out of me.

The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster ride for me and I think part of it is largely due to feeling rundown. On the board I run the people have been super but a few have taken too calling me names on another board. Some days my skin gets way too thin for all the judgment we transsexuals receive and I end up letting in take me over. Add into the fact that my nerves are up over the change of name and well you can guess it gets to be pretty stressful.

The thing that sucks is that in my heart I don't like making others uncomfortable, making them feel like they can't be around me and I always have a bad habit of putting other feelings above my own. This is something that a lot of transsexuals deal with before transition and they need to learn to be slightly selfish so they can take care of themselves. From the time I was a little child this has always been my nature and it is a tough thing for me to overcome...

I can easily say I don't care what others think but some days it gets hard to actually feel that internally. Maybe some would view it as a weakness but I view it as compassion to some degree. I feel sorry for other people that they need to be consumed by disdain for other human beings.

Tonight is my session with my counselor and I guess I am looking forward to this one. I need to put somethings into perspective for my own peace of mind so I can move on comfortably.

I have'nt had much to say recently, maybe because of the fact that I've let way too much get to me and I don't like others to think it's all bad. Life is good, much better than it was and I'm terribly lucky, luckier than most people in my position. I have an incredible family who not only loves me but continues to point out what I'm doing is right. So many of us deal with the very opposite. Hopefully I'll never be able to take that for granted.


Jun 5, 2008

H.R meeting

Well my H.R meeting went well I guess. It was more about formalities than anything. The paperwork they need, assurance they are supporting me. They asked me to make sure I report ANY instance of harassment no matter on the level. It really sounds like they are committed to a diverse work force. So I'm expected to bring in my court papers on the 17th and that will generate all the changes and it will be official here.

On a side note the response from the guitar board has been astounding to say the least. Everyone that is supportive posts and I think the people who might have an issue just keep to themselves... no biggie, I'm not looking to make others uncomfortable, I'm only looking to live me life ..

Well that is about it for now, I'm hearing heat wave this weekend .. could be interesting ..


Jun 2, 2008

Back from vaca

Been a few weeks since I've posted anything, I'm doing well and just got off my vacation. I have a belief that anytime off work is good time and this was no different. I've found I really needed to time off. So, if you have emailed me and not gotten a response then that is why.

As of today we are two weeks away from the official court date for the name change. As I write this I have butterflies in my stomach. I can't believe that time has gone by so fast and that one of the biggest moments of my life is almost here. It is pretty overwhelming to say the least.

Last Thursday a member of the guitar board I run posted a rant on the court passage of gay marriage in California. Generally political threads are frowned upon simply because they always end up in a major fight between liberals, conservatives and everyone in between. While I do not agree with the initiator I do hold firm the belief that it's a free country and you are entitles to your own opinions. That is until that opinion is used to suppress an entire class of people.

During this thread one member showed his true colors by not only gay bashing but using epithets to make his point at one point even attacking. "Trans" people. A good friend of mine "Todd" came out swinging explaining how it wasn't a choice and he had a friend going through it. That he thinks no less of this person they were still simply, his friend. It was heartwarming and inspiring considering I knew I was the friend he had been referring too. The counter post was something to the effect of "I'm sure there are mentally ill people all over the board"

After pondering this members bias and my friends defense I decided it was a good time to tell my story and posted it for the entire membership to see. I have to admit it was pretty nerve-wracking to hit that post button and let the chips fall, I have so many friends on that board that I had a lot of worry. I'm happy to say that not only were my worries unfounded, all my friends embraced me in a positive manner. Again in preparing for the worst and hoping for the best I was pleasantly surprised and very amazed.

Walking with G.I.D most of your life and not understanding yourself is one thing, but to have to reveal your most fragile part of your being is emotionally draining driven by pure fear, after all who wants their heart crushed

It's amazing so much good can come out of the dust of such a negative thread …