Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Queen for a Day: Reality Check

This is another post thats a bit delayed so a lot of things are clumped up into it. I'll start by talking about my visit back to the clinic on november 15th. I chickened out of wearing my girl jeans but I wore my bracelet that I bought a few nights ago with my friend. When I arrived, I covered it by holding my sweatshirt over it, but when I got to the waiting room, I entered the magical haven again: With a word I am Claudia. Nobody there questions me. One of the nurses referred to me as a "he" by mistake, but remembered to use she all other times, so I wasn't too offended... after all I look like a he. In this place... people respect who I am... as simple as that may sound to some of you reading this... it is truly a dream like to be appreciated as me by total strangers, and friends alike. In real life only trusted friends know who I am, and only a few of those friends really understand it. I don't really take being a girl for granted yet, nor do I know if I ever will. Should I? Maybe the whole point of this nightmare of a life I live... is to know better than to ever take that for granted.

I talked to their therapist... I was honest in how my past experiences with therapists have been... unpleasant at best... but she was very sympathetic, and said she saw me as Sara. She won me over pretty easily... I hate therapists still but I like this woman in particular. Also she was a woman, and younger, maybe not my age, but younger than my first therapist... the reason this helps is because I think age set me apart from the first one I spoke to, and made it difficult to communicate... we were from different generations and different schools of thought. The second one was a man... I have no clue what he was thinking about...

I told her of my consistent worthless questioning. I say worthless because I know I'm past the point of questioning... and that I've known I'm a girl for a long long time now. But I analyze everything I do hysterically in terms of male and female... its a reflex that I force myself into, and it often drives me insane, it hurts so much. My fear is... that having told her this will delay my transition even more...

She told me to stop questioning and to go ahead and be Claudia, advice that is priceless. Friends and my sweetheart have told me the same. I know its pointless when I know the answer is that I am a girl, yet I do it because I doubt... not doubt in my need to transition, or in who I am, but doubts in self esteem. I want to be a girl, therefor I must not be one. I need the self esteem to believe in myself.

I drove home that night holding on to hope as tight as I can... but I can't seem to keep my grip on it for very long. I talked to mom for a bit and she started asking me questions. This time I was certain I wasn't going to let her shake my resolve in believing in myself as Claudia. She said things like she doesn't understand how I can be who I really am by having a fake body. I know she is far from comprehending my suffering but these thigns still hurt.

It was in this... one of many painful conversations that she said something that changed me a little... made me understand HER a little better. She said she didn't know how she is going to live the rest of her life. She started asking me questions about the risks of taking the hormones and crying before I could answer... I realized she needs me to be a boy about as much as I need to be a girl. I feel like I am so selfish... I am taking so much from her... but I can't keep living this way... it just hurts too much. I guess I'm a terrible daughter.

I dont remember when exactly it was I found out I had been outed to my whole family. My uncle I guess was going through some of his own problems, and he ended up blurting it out to everyone behind my back. If I knew what he was going through I wouldn't have told him anything at the time... but apparently my business is everyone elses's and not the other way around. I suspected them but... now I know that many of the comments I thought they HAD to be making in ignorance (IE: boys do this, and you're such a boy because of this) were meant to help close and tape shut the boy box. They have all been talking behind my back about how they do not see it in me and my mom was just thrilled to tell me this finally, that nobody can picture me as a girl.

I'm not looking forward to later today... thanksgiving. I have to pretend to be catholic, pretend to be straight, and pretend to be a boy. I have to pretend even though my existance as claudia is and has been common kmowledge. I have to pretend for their personal happiness at the cost of mine. And I have to pretend to enjoy it. life in general is a chore for me most of the time... It is dreadful to exist in the physical world when I'm being a boy, for everyone else. This chore in particular... however is one of the more tasking ones. I'm not allowed to confront them. So says the great mom, proprieter of my social life... such that it is.

I do love them believe it or not... and I'll forgive them someday for this... but I don't know I'll forget... They are still dear and precious to me, and I do not want to lose them, my Mom my Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncles and Aunts... but I not really look forward to this holiday season with them.

I never finished this post, though reading through it it's about ready to be published. I remember wanting to say, that I wasn't ready to be stared at, and to be looked at as a freak, and that somehow I will have to find the strength within me. Edit and final publish on nov, 20, 2008 day of rememberance

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Girl's Night Out

This post is a bit delayed... so there will be extra stuff crammed into it.

I've had so much to say I don't know how to word it.
I went to visit a very dear and supportive friend of mine, one that has been there since the crisis that lead me to coming out as trans, many years before I began this blog. She's been supportive of me since the get-go, but this is only the second time we've gotten to meet in person, due to physical distance.

But I went not just for fun but with a plan on my mind. Call me silly, or whatever you will, but my new years resolution for this year was to buy at least one article of girl clothes for myself... to try to develop the strength to face people looking down on me, and to feel some sense of progress in my lack of a transition. There has been (hopefully) much more progress than expected... but I still wanted to keep this resolution... and I wanted to feel more like me!

I was a nervous wreck the whole day prior to it... I knew I was going to buy girl clothes... and that they were for me... and that I'd probably have to try them on... I tried to remain calm... tried to put it off for the last minute with eating and driving around trying to find a parking space (it was morbidly crowded, which did its job of delaying things but also made me worried I'd end up with an audience)
At the store where I was to try on clothes we were looking at something when the employee there said "hello ladies" before I instinctively turned around and she "corrected" herself. "I'm sorry sir!" "oh it's alright I don't mind hehe" - sigh... you should have gone with your first impression... I was flattered that I pass for a girl at a distance... from behind, in a plus sizes women's clothing store.
When the moment finally arrived I snuck myself into the changing room and my friend waited outside. I tried on a few skirts and some tank tops and an elegant dress... I felt wonderful... and awful at the same time. It felt great to try on girl clothes, and be feminine, but at the same time the ghastly horror that was my slightly hairy (thankfully only slightly) male, hideous body in the mirror, I felt like I was polluting the clothes I tried on. I was frightened with fear... if my friend would walk away to look at more clothes I would shiver on my own, and then eventually try something else on... I think I only tried on a few of the clothes I picked out... I was just too scared to move... My friend was saying something about"she's trying things on" when she was clearly there with a boy... but the lady figured us out, and I guess she smiled at her... I don't know. My friend meant well, but now the lady knows to some extent what I am... or at least what I am doing.
It was a wonderful and horrible experience... the employee that caught on to me, was polite and didn't say anything about my first real cross dressing experience. I bought myself a pair of girls jeans, a tank top, a sweatshirt and a new belt... all of them things I normally wear except for the tank top, but clearly feminine in design. I feel good about my choices... I can't hope to pass for a "real" girl in my current appearance, or even a girl at all... (maybe after a few months of hormones it will be possible... I hope) but with the choices I made I can at least express femininity in my current form, without in my opinion... looking silly by trying to pretend my body is different.
The rest of the day was easier... I bought some necklaces and jewelry, and had a little period of self discovery as I explored my style in things I never got to really try before. I bought nail polish and perfume and other feminine things, other things to make me feel more like a girl right now.

If only I had the courage to use them.

I know that being a girl is not about hair and nails and clothes and make-up. It certainly is about much more than that to me. In my opinion the real difference between men and women is much more subtle. I am foremost myself, and then female. But right now with my body and my family life, and school as a constant provider of negative reinforcement, I need some little ways to express who I am, some ways to FEEL more that I am a girl inside, then simply saying it to myself over and over... And I guess that is why I need to transition, even if there is a risk I'll never pass... to be at peace with myself.

Me and my friend are talking about moving into an apartment together, and she has even extended the offer of staying with her at her parents house while we work on moving out. I have not spoken directly with her parents on the matter, and it doesn't seem certain, but I guess its one more possibility. Things are looking up! My transition is becoming more and more likely every day, and in a lot of ways I'm over joyed...
You'd think I'd be able to take all this positive movement for what it is and not worry about it but... not me.
I can only help but be frightened something bad will happen, or that this is all just a dream... and that reality has it that I will keep living day in and day out with gender dysphoria, using the Internet to pretend to really exist, and dreading facing every day life...
After thinking about it long and hard I forced myself to tell my mom about moving out sooner. As expected we both got carried away and the conversation turned into another fight, about irresponsibility and gender dysphoria... Now she is heaping mad at me and cannot stand to look me in the eyes... and I feel shame whenever I see her face. She says her health is deteriorating, and I can't help but feel guilt. She told me she was coming closer to accepting me before but I guess now I should realize that was a lie... she's still hoping for me to be a boy, and hoping, even if without realizing it... for my misery.

None of this is fiction... not even my cross dressing experience... though I sometimes have it hard to believe I actually gathered the nerve to go out and do that.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mother and I

I promised myself I wouldn't do any double posts on the same day, but tonight I feel I have to...

Fought with my mom again today... it was stupid and more or less my fault... She reminded me I needed to shave before class, and I got frustrated and decided to comment at how I never forget how disgusting my beard hair is... so another fight ensued.

It turned into an argument about why I'm so depressed because I'm "getting everything I want" now. This is how she interprets medi-cal paying for my hormones and SRS... me "getting everything I want." It still doesn't change the here and now, I'm not depressed because I'm going to transition, I'm depressed because of gender dysphoria. I'm depressed because I can't seem to pull myself far enough out of reality to find pleasure in every day anymore. I'm depressed most of all... because I'm afraid of disappointment... I'm afraid that I've gotten my hopes up for beginning my transition, and something will go wrong that will end it... Medical will discontinue coverage, I'll turn 25 and be ineligible for their help... they will diagnose me a transvestite and cast me out of their care and tell me to go buy some lingerie.

And I am depressed about and at the same time scared of transitioning behind her back... I feel guilt like I've betrayed her, but also fear of being discovered.

She wonders why I don't act faster if I "want this so bad" Truthfully I'm trying... I've never written a resume before and I've not had too many jobs... The ones I have had have been awful, and its just hard to get up and face the day, much less actually accomplish anything in this confusion...
She told me to get out of her room, and go feel sorry for myself, and I did exactly that... I do what I do when it gets too much to handle or live with. I refuse to kill myself, but there is no rule against thinking about it... so when it gets to the point where I want to so badly, I curl up in a ball in my room, hug a pillow pretending its my love, and let the thoughts of suicide cycle through my head until they finally pass, and eventually something more pleasant, even if only mildly... seeps into my head in their place.
She went to get cigarettes while I was doing this... she was trying to quit again.
So I guess I'm killing her slowly.
I didn't want to feel completely defeated so, I forced myself to go to class... to sit there with people who's faces I did not want to see, and do drawings I felt no desire to do. I sat there trying not to look TOO miserable, but right now the pain is just too much to hide it from other people. Still for what its worth... I dragged myself up and drove over there and worked on my drawing, instead of laying there feeling sorry for myself. Still a great deal of self pity took place in the class room... so I don't know if I really accomplished anything by going or if I'm just kidding myself.
I've become a burden on my family, my friends, and everyone who has been there for me. I just cannot think happy thoughts at the moment. Little entertains me... enjoyment of life is a strain at best... and I cannot seem to pull myself out of this funk, so for the time being, I'm going to take a short leave of my friends, and everyone precious to me for a day or so... if your reading this, know I'm alive and I haven't given up... but I do not wish to whine to you, and I've nothing else to say...
Unfortunate for the love of my life... at least in my perspective... for I cannot face this completely alone, and so I cannot take my leave of her...

Not fiction.

The Ugly Duckling: Late onset transsexuality and why that by itself is a source of grief for me.

The ugly duckling is taunted and teased all her life, until she one day discovers she is a swan!
Ahhh such a lovely comparison to the so called "late onset" transsexual.

But such things are not so lovely for me... Do not get me wrong... my female identity means so much to me... I remember when I first did research on the subject of transsexuality... I found the ultimate discovery... that I did not just WANT to be a girl or WISH I was a girl... that all this time... the profound mystery that's haunted me all my life... was simply that I already AM a girl and I have been all along...
Wishing I could understand the female mind even better: gone! I have one! That explains why I'm always in tune with women, not men... (though some of my best friends are still men, and many have been) That explains why I've always found "being really in touch with my feminine side"
But whenever I look for advice or for information from other transsexuals any personal account always seems to start with "ever since I was a child, I knew I was born the wrong sex..."

... not me...

I just have never been that smart. I knew something was wrong... seriously horribly wrong with me as a child. I knew that I didn't want to be what I was, and I was absolutely appalled by being defined by, what at the time I -thought- was my gender. Yet I can also remember a number of times where I'd repress my femininity... not really knowing I was a girl inside or needed to be a girl, but "that cartoon is for girls, I better ask grandma to change it" rather than just watching it if it interests me.

I didn't really play with boy toys, or with girl toys, so I can't really use the old "oh when mother found me playing with dolls" story either, but my rough and tumble cousins were always aliens to me. In fact my experience growing up and some of my experience during adolescence (though by this time my feelings were more that of a transsexual) were much closer to that of what is called an "androgyne," or some other kind of gender variant persons... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgyne http://androgyne.0catch.com/
In some parts of early adolescence it was similar to the experience of a transvestite... that is sexual attraction to women, and my gender identity, were impossible to separate... so I thought it was a natural part of attraction.

... but though I've no problem with transvestites or androgynes, I feel I am neither one... and would not like to be mistakened for either one. My wish, my true wish, is to have been born a girl... though as a child I actually was afraid that my body would magically turn female (other transsexuals told me the felt this fear at one point) I have no doubts now, that given the choice to go back and do it all over again as a girl, I most definitely would.

You'd think this makes me unique, even for a transsexual... but I despise my existence and regret my childhood even more for these things...

If only I'd figured it out sooner I wouldn't have to doubt and keep trying to convince myself, I'm really a girl inside, I'm really a girl inside.
Even the other, who I am closed to told me she never knew how she knew... she just knew.
So why the hell couldn't I figure this out till I did tons of research? Why did it take me so long to figure out the most all encompassing aspect of my life?

Now it seems I am overtly feminine... I like the color pink... I like butterflies and tiaras and faeries... I suppose someone kind would say I'm reliving the childhood I realized I lacked... but my infinite ability for self torment accuses me of being a transvestite, (sorry transvestites, I mean no offense), because I am TOO girlish. I must simply be "trying too hard..." but I really do like these things...

The problem is that the lines are not so solid, even in matters like this... and I'm not proud or happy to be within the blur.

I wish I was at least a little less unique... a little less peculiar.
I do not wish to be special in this way... I just wish to be a girl, whole and complete.

Apparently on Harry Benjamin I'm a 5/6 (http://www.genderpsychology.org/transsexual/benjamin_gd.html note that I don't dress up as a girl in every day life, coz I don't look anything like one yet... or else I would. Also note that this is out of date as Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are found to be unrelated) "Moderate intensity transsexualism" but there is nothing moderate about this feelings... my feelings right now are either I'm a girl... or die.
I have no misgivings about transitioning... only the infinite doubt and confusion in my mind about what creature I am, and WHY I need to transition. (and the overwhelming fear that I will not pass for a genetic female, and be ostracized from society for all eternity)

I took Jennifer Diane Reitz's COGIATI (Combined Gender Identity and Inventory) and scored 350+ on the high end of the "probably a transsexual" category. That is to say I'm actually more transsexual than most, apparently. http://transsexual.org/TEST0.html I've taken this three times being as honest as I could... but I WANTED it to tell me I was transsexual... and it did. That's what I want... to not have to confirm this for myself anymore... for someone else to just tell me and prove: I am a girl, there's no more doubt or confusion on the matter any more, I'm a girl and that's all there is to it.
My nontranssexual friend who DOES identify as a man in touch with his feminine side... took this test and it told him he was an androgyne... so much for proof.
I suppose the only proof I can ever really have is the ultimate extent of my suffering... and that I've thought this through as thoroughly as possible: I do not like the idea of getting old and I don't really see myself as an old lady... but I'd rather be an old lady than an old man. (no offense to the elderly, I look up to my grandparents, I am just not there yet at age 22)

If only things weren't so complicated... ahh to be unique is not so great. Apparently no wonders are found in the obscure... only horrors like myself

And none of this is fiction.
~Perpetual little girl: Claudia

Monday, November 5, 2007

Clear, concise, direct to the point.

Everything my blog is not.
You may have already noticed the link, but I've been meaning to post this page: http://ftmstraighttalk.blogspot.com this man, another transsexual, female to male, offers a more direct an easy to follow explanation of transsexuality, and his personal experiences dealing with it as a man.
I wanted to share this link because he explains things in a very simple direct and positive manner.
I also wanted to share this link because it gives a man's perspective, as what little positive attention we get in the media is usually directed towareds male-to-female transsexuals like myself.
I wasn't planning on having a daily blog but lately so much is going on that I cannot keep up with my own life. (Yet nothing seems to really change)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Family Matters

"Tension so think you can cut it with a knife"
Ever heard this expression? I've always found it kind of silly, but I guess its the only thing that can describe what I'm feeling with my family right now...

I guess I never should have mentioned to my mom that medical will be covering the hormones for me... I wanted her to try to see this as treatment for something wrong with me... not as an "alternative lifestyle." She told dad the news, and now their both finding it difficult to talk to me. She told me their both upset that I'm going to begin my transition faster than they thought. I know this looks bad on the outside to them, and that they cannot understand what I'm feeling or why it hurts so much, but its hard to get any motivation in life when the two people who I depend on most, who I love, are counting on obstacles, delays, and failure towards my desperately needed goal. I layed down and felt sorry for myself for a little while, but I managed to get a little bit done towards getting a job this weekend... Still they fail to notice that... they are even less supportive of me than normal now...

And they don't know I'm beginning so soon.

I just want to be happy... as a girl... Must it be so forbidden? Must I want this with so much pain?

None of this is fiction.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Another Wasted Halloween

Students everywhere in costumes... families having fun with children... Halloween in my opinion you are never really to old for...

And it hurts like hell.
When it comes to Halloween, there's nothing androgynous or tomboyish about me... I want to dress up as a faerie or a witch or a princess... Halloween brings out the girly girl in me. Even the girl pirate costumes don't really interest me... the tomboy in me is totally gone on Halloween night.
So what did Claudia spend Halloween doing? Nothing at all. Lamenting on my usual pain, and wishing and hoping that some day, I'll be a pretty dark witch or an elegant princess or a beautiful faerie for one night, like the little girl I never was. I didn't draw anything for Samhain... too exhausted. I just went to bed... I went to class, and dropped off a prescription at the pharmacy for Halloween... my favorite holiday.
No boy costumes would have sufficed for any entertainment or fun for me... I have no interest in being a gender dysphoric samurai or gender dysphoric Dracula. I suppose I could go out in "drag" and be myself for a little while... but I'm too ashamed... I can't pass for a girl right now... and the drag would be taken as a joke... and I'm just too serious about it to be ready for that.