Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Steps 2, electric boogaloo

I have an official appointment set up with my therapist!! I see her next Thursday! I am so excited and nervous and afraid and did I mention excited?! Another step, so many steps in the last month or so! It's like I finally learned how to walk or something. I apologize for the exclamation points in the previous sentences, I'm just jazzed.

She was really nice, my therapist, I am going to call her Dr. L. Dr. L sounds nice and is excited to help me. She will be the first person, who isn't family, to know my truth, to know Beth! (sorry)
I'm not going as me, I am coming straight from work since it is the latest time she has available and I will be in my "the guy" clothes. I hope I get out of this what I want to get out of this. I'm not sure what I want out of this. I want to just be me, I want to be told that it's ok? or perhaps that I have been waiting for no reason this is perfectly natural? I don't know, I don't think I need her to tell me anything, I just want someone to listen to me and not judge me before hand on how "the guy" has always had to act or what he has said to maintain his manhood facade.

I am going to try my best to just be me, to tell her how I feel and where I have problems. We all have issues, and as with all transgender I tend to fall into a certain type. Depressed, introvert, untrusting and pessimistic, a few of my favorite issues. So we will see. I am just glad I am moving forward, like a pretty shark. It means everything that I am not standing still, that I am not just typing at this blog explaining over and over why I haven't done anything.

I don't judge anyone for not transitioning, I firmly believe you find your own balance with what you can handle and what life brings. But I can't not do it, I have to do it. Another step on the stairs to being me.

Incidentally, I would love to debate  those who think that being gay or transgender is a choice, step into our shoes and see if you think that we would choose to work so very hard to just simply be. Preaching - Choir I know. I am excited and I have all these thoughts going through my mind.

The Particulars of being Me

There are a lot of areas in which my life interweaves with "the guy". It makes it difficult at the least and almost insurmountable at it's worst. Little things add up and can take a toll on your psyche. I spend all day in the company of what is the essential enemy. There are only one or two people who would be sympathetic, but not an ally. The rest would be calling for my resignation (senior management, the whole lot of them) and looking for ways to get me out. So I am there all day, contemplating the price of just being me. It must be nice to be a person who doesn't have to do this, that can go on blithely through their days never worrying about how others might react to them.

Then I return home, and I want to get comfortable, so  I change out of my business clothes and into a pair of shorts and a tshirt. I don't have long hair, I keep it cut short because of my position. So I would love to put my hair on, to feel just a bit more like me. But now I have to think about how my wife and my daughter will react after seeing me come in as "the guy". Or if we order pizza, or a vehicle pulls up into the drive looking for directions, a pizza man delivering our pizza, how will they react? I don't have makeup on, I have a 5 o'clock shadow and I'm wearing a wig, wearing womens shorts and a tshirt. Even I think I look ridiculous.

So, during the entire week I wear only what I can get away with, womens jeans and panties, the rest are mens clothes. I don't wear my hair, except for a few really early mornings when I have time. I worry about how I look, it bothers me that everyone sees "the guy". But "the guy" is who they accept as me, while Beth is what they believe (if they know) is some kind of temporary thing or what I might pull out for parties. (I don't)

If I transition, the fear is that I still don't get to be me, I get to be some version of "the guy" with boobs and in a dress. If my penis is gone, testes are removed, breasts enhanced, I am still somehow "the guy". It's not going to stop me, from transitioning, but it's a real fear that I have.

I have spent my entire life wanting to be loved for who I truly am. I dreamed about my body magically turning into a woman overnight, or hoped that when I woke that I had this nightmare about being stuck in a boys body. Now, I won't know if they love me, or the man that I have pretended to be all my life.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Finally seeing myself

I have an idea of what I look like, it is idealized and hopeful. The mirror tells me there is a man standing there and I have to deal with that. Today my daughter, R, did my makeup. She says it's not her best work, but she just got nails put on yesterday so her work is a bit shoddy. I think it is brilliant! It was hard taking a photo, as I was trying my best not to cry. I can see me in there, I can almost touch her. I'm not talking about being pretty, we all want that, I am talking about seeing that person you keep hoping is going to be reflected in the mirror but never is. It's not fully realized, but I can see her!


My name is Beth, I have spent my life hidden away and afraid. That ended today.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Steps

Not everyone gets to be who they want to be. It could be that they didn’t have the passion or the talent or circumstances in order to have that career or to be that person. I grew up at a time in life where parents told you that you could be president if you wanted. That wasn’t true, the reality is that life is not fair and it doesn’t play favorites just because your parents loved you enough to lie. I didn’t want to be president; I wanted a vagina where my penis was. I wanted boobs where my, well man boobs are. I wanted what every girl wanted, for her dad to tell her she is pretty. And that the boy she has as crush on but doesn’t notice her, is insane for not liking her. 

My dad wasn’t horrible, he was mean when I was younger, but he mellowed over the years. But for him I was a boy, so he treated me as a boy. This isn’t his fault; it’s mine for fearing him so much I never told him I’m not a boy. My fault for not pressing my mom, after briefly telling her I wanted to be a girl. I detested going to the department store with my mother, who would take me each year for school clothes. I was led into the boys section, a man would help my mother pick out pants and shirts and then I was to go and try them all on. She would ask me how they fit and if I liked them. I never liked them. They were not what I wanted to wear. It wasn’t the clothes; it was that they represented the opposite of what I felt. I was made to wear a big sign that said, “Here is a boy, let no one dispute this, for he is a HIM and never to be mistaken for she, her or girl!” I was made to stand there, embarrassed because I was in the boys section being pinned down as what they wanted me to be, what they thought I should be.

I have made a few steps lately, small changes for most, but big leaps for me. And I think I am ready to stop hiding in my skin. I’m calling the therapist for an appointment. I kept putting it off; I kept thinking not yet, that there are other things to spend money on. I have to do something; I am just playing house right now, dressing up at home and not actually living my life. So tomorrow, I am calling the therapist so that I can get some help on my journey into transition. Sounds grand right? It’s a long, hard slog I know, but it will never be over unless I start.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Great Weekend

I had a great weekend! I didn’t go out as Beth. I am still working up the nerve, and to be honest, the body for this. I have body issues, aside from being male, that center on my getting fat after I turned 35. I went through a divorce that destroyed my self-esteem and I let myself go. Really the marriage is what destroyed the self-esteem, she got my ego in the divorce. (lol) Anyway, I am bigger than I would like to be, so I am working out, trying to get fit. I am not trying to be a fashion model, I am trying to be fit and feel good about myself. This is all a process and I have to follow my own logic for it. I want to be at least fit, if my face still looks male. Ok, back to why it was a great weekend…
Michelle, my wife, out of nowhere and with enthusiasm showed me how to put on makeup! She had just gone through her weekend morning routine, wake up, sit on couch and go through all her social media, make tea or coffee. When she asked if I would like to see how her makeup routineshe does during the week, and how to apply them. I told her that would be great, and she gathered all the materials at the kitchen breakfast bar.
She showed me on herself, and I understand she doesn’t do makeup on other people; it’s the equivalent to my trying to tie a tie on someone else. It is much easier to do it on myself. So I watched and took mental notes. For instance I got primer, and after watching her, realized I was applying it far too thick and incorrectly. She gave me really good tips and she also took the time to tell me what brushes to use for each application. It was really wonderful, I am so grateful she took the time to show me this. Also, I hope that this means that she is working through a process of accepting who I am more. That eventually she will be alright with full time Beth, and say goodbye to the guy. It is a very good sign, and I love her so much.
R didn’t get to do a makeup session with me this weekend; she had a friend over unexpectedly. She had gone to a school game with her friend, L and L’s parents were supposed to pick her up, but that didn’t happen and they couldn’t get ahold of them. So we brought them home and L spent the night. So that threw off our makeup session. I will try to get it done next weekend, and I will be taking photos!
(part of post didn't make it on copy/paste)
Also, I got to chat with Avril on Facebook, for much longer than I think she wanted, lol! I am on Facebook now, as Beth! It's still on private everything, but it's a nice big step. Avril invited to a lot of wonderful groups, of which I am grateful for. I am an introvert, so I won't join things like this without some prodding. (Thank you Avril!)
I am feeling a lot better with all these positive things happening. I want to be a positive person, I tend to dwell on negative aspects so I won't be disappointed. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Beth's Next Day

Alright, so the day started out well, I showered, dressed and put on my face and hair. I was in that bubble, where everything seems to be coming up Beth. So pretty nice morning.

My wife and I binge watched the first three episode of the new season of Great British Bake Off. And apparently the Rob Lowe roast (to see Ann Coulter get roasted). Still a good morning and we learned what a Dampfnudeln is. R woke up (at her usual 10am on a sunday) came through the living room where we were watching tv and into the kitchen to find something for breakfast. She came back through the living room and said she was going to her room.

Several hours later I went in to check on her, as she usually stays in her room but not this much. She was upset and crying. My heart dropped, as I knew this wasn't about the movie she was watching on the television. I asked her what was wrong, knowing but hopeful that I was mistaken. She said things were changing so fast, and she didn't want to hurt my feelings. She didn't expect to see me the next day wearing a dress and wig and in makeup. It was sensory overload for her. I told her it's ok, that she only needed to tell me. I appreciated that she didn't want to hurt my feelings, but I am the grownup and I should have considered easing her into this. I was in my bubble I guess.

So I changed and we talked. She is still ok with things, just a little freaked. I told her we can take this slow, I will go easy and perhaps we take it one step at a time.

So not the greatest day, but not the worst day either. I just wasn't thinking. I have to remember, I lived with this for 46 years, she found out all of this, one day ago.

Bad Beth, you know better than this.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Telling the truth...

I told my youngest daughter, R! I told her today, while we were out on errands. I told her and she took it so well I am left wondering why I thought it was such a huge thing in the first place. I told her and she still loves me, she said that it doesn't change anything for her! I am really just overwhelmed! She took things so much better than almost everyone else, aside from Martin. I followed A Morgan's example and showed my daughter photos of me as Beth, I think this helped her to process everything.

(Thank you all for your help on this! Avril and Daughter M, Leslie Ann and all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all your encouragement and suggestions! I owe you all so much.)

I was able to tell her all the things I have been wanting to tell her, that I wasn't happy about keeping this secret, that I worried over how to tell her, that I loved her enough to trust her with this. I had a letter for her prepared, to either read to her or have her read, depending on the situation. But I didn't have to use the letter, I told her as I was driving and she was great! I gave her the letter after, something to keep as a reminder that day she found out that her Dad is a woman.

I asked her for the letter, so I can post it here. In case anyone wants an example of how to tell your child you are transgender. I am not saying it is great, or even correct.  I am saying there are so few examples that even my letter is better than nothing:

R,

You aren't in trouble, no one here is sick, your Mom and I aren't having marital problems, the world is still spinning and no, you aren't getting a pony. I want to share a secret with you, something only three people on the entire planet know. Before those three knew, I carried this secret alone for my entire life, which is 45 years of hiding, of living in fear.

Before I tell you, I want you to understand a few things. First and foremost, I love you as only a father can love a daughter. You mean the world to me and I don't want that to change, though I accept that some things may change. I will always love you, nothing you say or do will change that. You will always and forever be my daughter. Second, I didn't choose this, it was determined for me at birth. 

I have known since I was very young that something was wrong, that I felt wrong. As a child I knew that I was much more like the girls than they boys and it was very confusing. It took many years of denial and trying to be a "guy" to finally realize that what I am is transgender. As a teenager, I thought I might be gay, but that wasn't quite right. Then in my early 20's I thought I may be a cross dresser, but that word also felt wrong to me. It only described a man dressing in womens clothes, not a woman in a mans body, as I am. I am planning on transitioning, changing this person into more of a woman, with hormone treatments and feminization surgeries.

You are probably wondering how this truth I am giving you is going to change things. Well, this secret is still for now, a secret. I am not sharing this with others, our family and friends, my work, cannot know who I am, not right now. I understand you may need to talk about it, so if you do I would like for you to talk it over with me, your mom or Martin. I'm sorry, but it's not a secret for finding out if a friend is trustworthy. This also means that you will see me a bit differently. But inside I am the same person you have always known. I cry easily at sad movies, or tv shows. I will still share the same love of musicals; we can still watch "Bye Bye Birdie" together. Only now, you will understand that I identify more with Kim than Hugo. We can still have breakfast together, and you can still sit on my lap so I can tickle you. Those things that matter, they haven't changed.

In case you were wondering, I have a name appropriate to my gender, it is Elizabeth or Beth. I don't care what you call me, or what pronouns you use. "He" or "She" doesn't matter to me, you call me whatever you feel comfortable with. It's bound to be confusing, I still have to dress a certain way for work and for going out, for now. In the end, I just want you to remember that no matter what, I love you.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Work and WOW

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been so busy the last couple of weeks. Work has taken a lot of my time, with board members showing up, hiring a new US CEO, etc. I won't blame work for everything, World of Warcraft (WOW) has a new release out and I have been playing it with most spare moments. I'm a geek, it's bound to happen.

Nothing much on the transgender side of things. I have some days where I avoid the wife when I am being me, then there are others like today, where we have a great day. I was able to be me, she learned that my name is Elizabeth, and just had a good long normal conversation about things without me feeling like I was being talked at or judged.

My name came up because our son, Martin's name is similar to his given name. My wife was telling me that she noticed a lot of transgender lately have been choosing older names. I added that a lot tend to choose the feminine or masculine version of the name they were given, but there is no rule, it's about what we like. That opened it up for me to tell her what my name is, which by the way is not any version of my name. I even explained why I am Elizabeth Anne Locke. The "Locke", for obvious reasons, it mainly just to protect my anonymity. "Elizabeth" because I have always liked that name, always, since I was a child, wanted to be called that. "Anne" because, again, I am a geek and it's in honor of Buffy (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who's middle name is "Anne". Strong and pretty, we can be both, why limit things.

My wife and I spent the day on Saturday at an apple festival. We had a great time, I love spending time with my wife like this. But there is always something, as we walked I kept seeing women wearing pretty sundresses and able to enjoy the day as the person they are. I'm jealous of that. We could be two women, walking hand in hand, with me wearing a nice sundress and sandals instead of the male clothing and being called "sir" at stands. It's frustrating. Still had a good time, would have rather not been in the costume the entire time.