Monday, March 30, 2009

Things are looking up!

I was all primed to make a big complaint post about something that happened yesterday at the track, involving a completely insensitive and unaccepting jerk, but this morning I realized that it just doesn't matter. Nothing actually happened, so there is no reason for me to actually complain. Besides, nobody wants to read a bunch of whining from me, and I'm just tired of being negative.

"The track", to which I referred above, was the Houston Raceway Park, and this past weekend was the annual NHRA national event there. I have been going for the past several years, usually with C; this year E and their oldest daughter came as well. I was expecting it to be another hot-sauce festival, but it was about a million times better. I've made so much progress since then, both emotionally and physically, that this time I think it was more of a feeling of anticipation than any kind of negative feelings I had back then. Seven months can be a long time.

Lately, I've been kind of going back to where I started this journey. L and I had a wonderful conversation over a few slices of pizza this past weekend, and she got me thinking about everything that's happened. It's been a little over a year since I started the whole coming-out process. One year to go from wondering if I shouldn't kill myself, to a state of excitement and anticipation of things to come. About ten months since I first walked out the door in girl-mode; now I actually get a bit down if I don't get the chance at least once a week. Seven and a half months since I began my first physical changes - hair removal on my face. Three and a half months since I started hormone therapy, which has improved my mood to an unbelievable degree, and started to alter my body.

These thoughts of the past have woken me up to possibilities in the future. I'm going to a wedding in Wisconsin this July, and I intend to do the whole car trip in girl-mode. While there, I'll be meeting a bunch of people in person, whom I've met only on Second Life. On this same trip, I'm also going to try to schedule a consult with a plastic surgeon in Chicago who does FFS procedures. There will also be a job change in the (hopefully) near future, and I have decided that prospective employers will know exactly who they'll be hiring. I expect that I will be denied some opportunities by revealing my transness, but if an employer is willing to deny me at this early stage, it's equally likely that they would seek to get rid of me when I get to the full-time stage later. I'm saving everyone from extra work. But an employer who is willing to accept me now, before the change, knowing what is coming... That's a Martha Stewart-style Good Thing.

I'm finding it interesting how people react when faced with the information that this person standing in front of them, who has a name and a life and a mom, is transgendered. Surprise and confusion are very typical; let's face it, my people and I are rather rare. But every single person has tried to find a way that they could accept it, or at least a way they could have it make sense to them. Every one. Just thinking about the success I've had, and the success I anticipate in the future, I can't help but smile and giggle a little bit. Cynical old me becomes a believer in the inherent goodness of people? Stranger things have happened.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is it working?

We always hear about how getting rid of the poison testosterone and going on estrogen will calm our moods and make us more gentle and happy. I'm thinking that either that's a big load of bunk, or something isn't working for me.

I'm on call at work. For those non-IT people out there, that means that if there's a problem in the middle of the night, and the guys who are in the office can't fix it, they call me. Anyone who has to go on call can tell you: being on call pretty well stinks. It doesn't make me happy, regardless of how much I am actually called. I don't do well with interrupted sleep schedules, and I certainly don't do well with people who seem wilfully ignorant or purposefully difficult, both of which my company seems to have in long supply.

I got a call tonight from the guy in the office who seems to lack any capacity to actually learn anything, about a ticket from the most purposefully difficult customer we have. As if that wasn't bad enough, my wifi signal kept having troubles, and my VPN connection kept dropping, and all sorts of other stupid technical hurdles kept leaping into my path. I left C & E's house, where I was attempting (and critically failing) to enjoy the company and the evening. On the drive home, I had to keep telling myself to keep the throttle off the floor. I kept wondering why I was having thoughts of utterly destroying my unhelpful laptop, literally breaking it in half, and other thoughts of reading the customer the absolute riot act, followed by some Inquisition-style retribution.

Seems a little extreme, doesn't it? It certainly did to me; I haven't felt rage like that in years. But it made me think: isn't all this hormone therapy supposed to moderate that a little? Calm me down?

I almost burst into tears a couple times during the drive home. Once I got home and took another look at the customer's snark, verified that he was in fact lying, and plonked down a "you're wrong and here's why" response to the ticket, my rage evaporated pretty quickly. I sent a few tweets to my friends, and felt a whole lot better. But it was just the intensity of the whole thing that rather shocked me. I can only shake my head and wonder. I would really like some hugs right now too, but that will have to wait until tomorrow evening.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I've been trying to gather the courage to come out to my gaming group for a few months now, but with the holidays, and since the new year, we've gotten together to play only two or three times. During those few times, I just couldn't do it. Once we get involved in a game, it's just not the time.

Tonight, we were supposed to play, but it ended up just being me and J. I went over, and as we were getting ready to go see a game store we'd just discovered, I said "before we go, I have something I need to talk to you about."

It went way better than I expected. I thought he might be confused and shocked, but he was really supportive. When I told him that I am transgendered, he wasn't quite sure what the word meant. Once I explained, and talked a little about what is going on with me now, he took it right in stride. He talked a little about a coming-out experience he had with a lesbian former roommate, and I related a couple of my own experiences. A couple times during the evening, he seemed unsure of what he should say regarding who I will become, and I hope I was as supportive of him in those times as he was in the initial conversation.

I'm sure he's still processing everything. That's a lot to dump on someone all at once, and especially someone who's not used to thinking about such things. I'm ready to help him understand, because I want to support him just as he is supporting me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back and forth

Today was a bit of a weird day for me. I'm off work on Fridays, so some friends came over to help me put the engine back into my race car. They say it's because they want me to be happy about my car again, and I say it's so I can sell the thing. But whatever. The foremost question in my mind this morning was "how I should present today?"

C came over first. Since we had hit a roadblock in our work, and were having K pick something up at the parts store on his way over so we could get past the block, we went up to the kitchen and I started making a pizza crust for lunch. He came out with "so I guess you're just in boring-guy mode today?" I was feeling rather amorphous, and wasn't sure, but he sort of clarified things for me a little bit. Depending on the top I'm wearing, my booblets range between not-really-there, and decently visible. My clothes today went to the decently-visible end, which C also commented on. So I'm in something of a middle ground, not feeling one or the other, not looking one or the other, really.

So anyway, I just was today. Just me. Whatever that may be right now.

My therapist has commented that I'm "coasting". I'm not making any emotional progress. I'm not taking steps to present myself in my preferred role more often, or to many new people. I'm not making any progress to reducing my anxiety. And she's absolutely right. Today would have been a great day to make an effort to present female, and still do my car work with my friends, but I didn't make that effort. But I'm not going to beat myself up over it; next time there is an opportunity like this, I need to take advantage of it. It will help me, and it will help everyone else too.

Later in the afternoon, once we got the engine in and bolted up, C and K left to go back to C's house, and I hurried to make myself beautiful, to go over and make dinner for everyone. All the food was good, and I think everybody had a good time tonight. I felt really good, which was a good contrast to a day of feeling weird. I'm totally worn out, but I got a lot done today. I always feel better when I accomplish something, and today I accomplished several somethings. I have plenty more somethings which need doing, but they can wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Proof positive

Yesterday morning I decided to try the higher estradiol dosage again, just to see. This afternoon, on the bus home, my head started spinning and hurting, and my tummy started churning, and I thought I was going to throw up. The bad signs are headaches and dizziness, so that's enough proof for me. No more doubled dosage.

Now I just need to lie down and try to sleep this funk away.