Saturday, December 27, 2008

The inevitable letdown

Christmas is such a huge buildup to... something. And now that it's over, there's the after-holiday blues that always set in. I just decided to take the day off, to decompress and do absolutely nothing. It's been really nice! I'm still in my jammies, and it's very near dinner time.

Yesterday, C and E and the rest of the brood got back from their vacation, and I had to do my final cat-sitting duties yesterday anyway, so I decided that I'd save them some effort when they got home, and cooked them some dinner while I was there. It wasn't anything major, but it was very much appreciated. And it was the first time in a few weeks that I've had a femme day, so, apart from the cat pee on the floor, it was good.

I'm not sure if it's my new hormones, or just decompression from the silly-season stress, but I have been exhausted the past couple days. I'm sleeping like a rock for like 9 hours, and waking up still tired. I've read that some people have a lower energy level once they start on estrogen, so maybe that's what is going on. I'm also experiencing a lot more sensitivity to touch, which I've heard many other people report. The nausea seems to have gone away, so maybe that was just me adjusting. Things are moving along; some quicker changes than I expected, but they're very welcome changes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas stress, as usual

Christmas always ends up being the most stressful time of the year. It's supposed to be a time when we can relax and take it easy, and enjoy being with family, but things always seem to get in the way of that. We can't find the right gift for somebody on our list, or we don't have enough time to complete many of the tasks that we set for ourselves. And of course, despite my planning to try to head all that stress off, I've done it again.


I was sewing some things for my mom, and of course things went south. Of course, some of the pieces weren't fitting right, and of course that caused everything else to get all fouled up. So right now, I don't have anything to give my mom. Nothing. I know that I can just take her aside and let her know what happened, and that she'll understand, and be ok, but that doesn't get rid of the stress that it has already caused.

And then it's becoming something of a tradition that I bake some fresh bagels for the day. That, of course, always takes longer than I remember it does, so of course, I'm up until some stupid hour finishing things up.

I do these kinds of things to myself every year, and I don't seem to be learning anything from them.

And on top of all that, I was hoping to have some time to talk with my brother-in-law, but he and my sister have to leave early Friday morning, so there won't be much chance.

My mom used to say that I would always get really grumpy around Christmas time when I was younger. I don't really remember too much about it, but now I know that I do.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The not-so-glamorous side...

The spironolactone data sheet says that one of the side effects could be nausea. Sure enough. My appetite has been massive for the past couple days, and then when I get done eating, I'm just all... ugh.

I hope that I'm just getting used to it, and things will settle down in a couple of days.

On a brighter note, I had a really good session with my therapist this week. I told her that I was not happy with the way she talked to me during the previous session. We had a very good conversation about it, and we got a bunch of things out in the open. She was very happy that I confronted her about it, rather than keeping it to myself.

I also finally fulfilled a small dream I've had for a long time. My bed now has sheer drapes around it! I bought my bed frame 8 years ago, and since I saw it in the showroom I've wanted to get some sheers for it, so I finally measured and found what I wanted. I put them up tonight, and though they probably need a little adjustment, they're finally there. I'm so excited!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's cold as hell; life is good

They say if you're going to steal, steal from the best.

Actually, those of you who know me, probably also know that I love the cold weather. I absolutely adore it. Time to get out the sweaters and coats, and bundle up a bit. Time to snuggle up with someone special on the couch and spend some quality time, getting warm. In the area where I work, which has a lot of big businesses, all the ladies put on their long skirts and tall spike-heeled boots, which I just love. Of course, in colder climes, it means attempting to drive on ice, and having to shovel snow, and all that stuff that makes winter not so fun. But I will not let that ruin my romantic view of winter. After all, winter is my second favorite season.

I went to the endocrinologist today. I was sort of expecting physicals, or blood work, combined with "we'll meet again when we hear the results", or something like that. Nothing of the sort. I talked to the doctor for 10 or 15 minutes, about various aspects of what I'm doing, and he wrote me a prescription for spironolactone and estradiol. Just like that. So I am starting what the doctor called a "test dose", to see how I respond, and how I feel, and all that. Perhaps at my next appointment in six weeks, we'll take a deeper look at what's going on inside me, checking levels of various hormones.

Then I got to drive home in rush-hour traffic. Urg. Clutch foot.

I've made it over another hurdle. My hands were shaking before the doctor came in, but his manner put me very much at ease. He spoke plainly and pleasantly. He asked me at one point, if I did a bit of a dance in my head before I was able to get into his office. Which of course, I did. Dialling those ten numbers was almost as hard as dialling my therapist for the first time, or coming out to the various members of my family. But it's done, and I'm embarking on the next leg of my journey. Now, since changes will start happening, is when the documentation project really comes into play.

Oh, and since I'm stealing, I might as well follow up with the point of that post I linked above. My three happy-things for today: 1) I'm healthy; 2) I'm making great progress toward my goal; and 3) I have many friends who love me, no matter what.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Confidence, or the complete lack of same

It wasn't the best week ever.

Not even close.

I'm not quite sure what I should expect, with any aspect of my transformation. Should I have some sort of master plan, in which I can say, "ok, here's what will happen next"? I have an outline, but I'm just sort of fleshing things out as I go along. I'm pretty sure I know all the big things I need to accomplish, but there are so many small details, it's almost overwhelming.

Wednesday, I saw my therapist. It was a very different kind of session. Instead of just talking about things, she actually became somewhat accusative, and most definitely NOT supportive. She declared my attempt at a female voice to be "whiny and pitiful". I know my voice isn't good, and I've said so on many occasions, both here, and in real life. I try, but I'm not able to make any progress. I don't know what I need to sound like, and I don't know what I need to do to sound "better". I just don't know. The only feedback I get is listening to recordings of myself, and saying, "ok, that's not very good," and not knowing what to do next. I've been thinking about seeing a voice therapist, who would surely be more help than the nothing I have now.

On Thursday, I had a good long talk with E, about all this stuff. I count on her, as the only girl I spend any amount of time around, to give me feedback. When I'm trying too hard, when I'm not trying hard enough, when I'm just missing something entirely, or even when I get something just right. She said it was hard for her to help me with my voice; she did say she could definitely hear a difference between when I was trying and when I was just using my mundane voice, but not any one thing that she felt was missing. She's unable to give any constructive feedback, because, like me, she just doesn't know what I need to do.

The conversation went on from there. I'm very unsure of a lot of things. Women my age have had the benefit of a few decades of experience, and perhaps a decade of trial and error in their single-digits and teens, to get things right. I have to compress that lifetime into several months or a year. I have to start from age 8 or so, and get through to age 37, before I even get out the door. I don't get any trial-and-error time. That wouldn't befit a woman of my age. I don't get to experiment, except in my own house, in front of my mirror, where I get no feedback. Most girls have the support of their mothers, who have that lifetime of experience and can pass it on to their daughters. My mom is anything but supportive, and views my whole predicament as anything but a fun adventure. My sister seems even less supportive than my mom. Most girls also have, perhaps even more important than their family, the support of their group of friends, who can learn with them and help them along the way. I have one, who's already learned about everything she needs, and has her own extremely complicated life to deal with. The other few women I know, it's just so hard to get to visit with them, because they have their own complicated lives to deal with. I'm sure they understand, and are sympathetic to what I have to do, but that doesn't magically take care of their families, or jobs, or school, or distance between us, or any of the other complicated parts. I know they love me, and want to help me if they can. I don't want to impose on anyone's goodwill, but I sort of need to. I need help, and I'm not getting the help I need. But beyond that, there is so much help that I'm sure I need, it's next to impossible to know where to start.

I feel certain that if I can make even a little breakthrough, that a lot of other things might start falling into place. Confidence breeds more confidence. I have very little confidence right now, and I need to find some, someplace.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The next step

I took a few minutes and called up the endocrinologist this afternoon. I have an appointment this Monday afternoon.

Hmmm, seems a really short post. I dunno, I'm excited, and anxious, and we'll see what happens.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sound and color

I spent a little bit of time with the microphone and recording program yesterday, before I went over to C and E's for the evening. I was reasonably surprised at how I sound; it's still not great, but it's a whole lot better than I expected. My voice is one of the things that has frustrated me, because I'm just not quite sure what I really want to sound like. As a result of my frustration, I just don't have any motivation to work with it, and I don't improve at all.

But my current voice is fairly comfortable for me to use, and sounds decent. I wouldn't say it makes me happy per se, but I'm more pleased than disappointed. More positive than negative. It's progress, so I'll take it.

I felt pretty good about my appearance yesterday, too. I think I'm getting a better idea of some of the effects of the couple different makeup schemes that I use; the browns look pretty good with my coloring, but they seem harsher than the pinks. The brown liner and mascara doesn't really seem to go with the pinks, but the black is way too dark. I still want to figure out some good colors that will enhance my blue eyes, because I still get a little greenness out of the pinks. I have blues, but I haven't used the blue liner much, and the blue shadows are WAY too dark. They seem a little dramatic for the basic daily-type stuff that I'm trying.

So much to learn. But it's pretty fun, so that's ok. And I am getting quicker, and making fewer mistakes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another critical point

Today is the first day in two weeks that I've gotten a real chance to switch into girl mode. My voice is finally back to normal, and I'm basically over all that illness of last week - what an annoying pain that was! My facial hair is simply gone right now, except for the sprinkling of white-blonde hairs that simply ignored the laser. So things are good, in that respect.

I'm at another one of those critical, "gotta do it" points right now. It's time to call up the endocrinologist, and set up an appointment, and get that process going. I've got two feelings about it. First, I'm excited to finally be to that point, and glad that I've gotten here. I'm grateful for all the support I've received from my friends, and from the TG community here in town, and from my therapist. They've really helped me to believe both that I can do this, and also that I should be doing this. On the other hand, I'm scared to death about what could happen. I'll start changing, physically, and that could have implications for me, at work, or in my daily life. People who are "different" don't always get treated fairly, or even nicely. I could lose my job, just because somebody at my company isn't comfortable, or won't take the time to understand. The TG community recently observed its Day of Remembrance, to keep in mind that it's a dangerous world out there. What if something like that happened to me? How much would that suck?

I've got the doctor's phone number in my phone, so now all I need to do is call it and talk to the people who answer, the same as I did with my therapist, and the same as I did with the hair removal clinic. Those turned out ok, didn't they? I'm second guessing myself right now, and that's never a good time for me. The what-if game doesn't serve any purpose, other than to annoy and delay.