Tuesday, January 11, 2022

It's "Patch" Day

Twice a week I apply new synthetic estrogen patches which help me to match up my exterior with my feminine interior.

 Approximately eight years ago I started my transgender transition journey very seriously by being able to begin hormone replacement therapy. Even though I was still living part time in both binary genders. Specifically, I was attempting to balance my old life as a man with my new life as a woman. Needless to say the entire process was very difficult for me and led to many other problems. I was miserable. Deep down I knew the answer was I couldn't continue to live as a man any longer. Finally I faced reality and sought out medical help to start my hormonal journey.


As I write this post, or any others on HRT I urge anyone and everyone to seek medical advice to make sure you are healthy enough to do it. 

Of course I had many questions I attempted to have answered as I started my journey. I learned of a nearby doctor in Dayton, Ohio who would prescribe hormones, was accepting new patients and didn't require a therapists' approval. I made an appointment and nervously showed up in the office.

Very soon I had a prescription for the minimum dosages of Estradiol and Spironolactone which would inhibit my testosterone. As I remember, the only real advice the doctor had for me was I would grow breasts, my hair would grow on my head and my sex drive would go away. I accepted all of that and off I went to the pharmacy. I think now I was more nervous in the pharmacy than the doctors office. Especially after the one time the pharmacist made it a point to loudly point out did I know what taking Estradiol would do to my body. Regardless of her transphobic mini rant, at that point of time I didn't fully understand all of the changes which were coming.

The biggest change came when the Veteran's Administration announced it would begin helpomg veterans with their HRT needs. Since I am a veteran and use VA health, I researched what I had to do to qualify for the program. Even though I disagreed in principal, I had to go through a VA therapist to be initially approved. I was fortunate. My assigned therapist had a knowledge of  transgender issues and we are still together today. From that point forward I was able to purchase my meds through the VA and save money.

Since I was on a minimum dosage my changes were supposed to me minimum too. Except they weren't, for the most part. Very quickly it seemed I was developing very feminine breasts, my body hair was thinning and yes the hair on my head really started to grow. It was time to quit wearing all my old guy clothes and start my life as a fulltime transgender woman which I was so ready to do. Except it was still so scary. You know what is said about the unknown.

As I fast forward till today, my experience with HRT has been a magic carpet ride. Over the years, my world has developed into a much softer place. Sure my breats have developed too as well as my skin has softened. I am more emotional and have a tendency to cry even when I am happy.

Overall, it's been a fun journey I have been blessed to take. I used to think my bi-polar meds were the most important meds I take to maintain who I am. 

Now I think it's the Estradiol.

Monday, January 10, 2022

No Days Off

 Yesterday I took a rare day off from all my blogging activities. It was one of the few days I couldn't come up with anything to write about in the cluttered transgender universe which is my mind. Today as I retrieved and turned on the old lap top (I knock on wood every morning when it comes on.) and proceeded to come up with a new post. 

Cluttered Office=Cluttered Mind?

Writing for me is either a labor of love or a real chore. I compare the whole process to the early days when I was exploring the world as my true feminine self. Many days I would feel so confident and good. Other days, the process was not so seamless. It felt like everytime I turned around something was going wrong. An example was the day I was (in my mind) proudly negotiating a mall in my dress, heels and hose when I promptly stepped into a crack in the sidewalk. Needless to say I didn't feel very feminine as I almost fell and had to retrieve my shoe. Fortunately no one else seemed to notice and I learned another valuable lesson. Watch where I am going and not so much on the publics' reaction to me. 

Another discovery I made was learning I could never take a day off from the feminization process I was slowly but surely going through. Unfortunately, the whole process made me a very difficult person to live with or work for during what I called my "down" days when I couldn't cross dress as my true self. Between battling my bi-polar behavior and gender dysphoria, life was no fun. Still I kept going spurred on by working way to hard all the way to changing jobs and moving to different places. Another prime example was when my wife and I moved from one part of Ohio to metro NYC then back again, only to move to  a very rural area of Southeastern Ohio to open restaurants. I learned the hard way no amount of frenetic moving and changing could solve my basic problems. Plus, I won't even m mention the amount of heavy drinking I did to self medicate my problem.

Along the way, I always considered myself to be a competent but deeply flawed person. Looking back now I see taking any days off from my issues would be impossible until I "manned up" and faced them like a woman. Which is exactly what my wife told me to do. Instead I blundered ahead until I tried suicide. It turned out I even screwed that up and went to work the next day like nothing happened. Looking back of course, I am glad self harm didn't work for me. 

What did work was finally realizing my inner feminine self was the dominate portion of my being. Once I let her live was when I could relax, build a new life as a transgender woman and take a day off...from myself.  


Saturday, January 8, 2022

Dreams

 I have been curious, as I add to the years I have lived as my authentic self , how long would/will it take for my dreams to switch over to being exclusively feminine in nature.  Right now nearly all of my dreams are from my male past.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I guess living nearly sixty years struggling to live in a male world completely imprinted my subconscious. As much as I dislike it, I seem to bypass the times I spent with my first wife (seven years) and current partner of ten years and go straight to my deceased wife of twenty five years. 

As much as I feel frustrated my dreams are still masculine in nature, obviously it seems there is nothing I can do to flip the switch and be feminine. Perhaps as time goes by and I compile more experiences as a transgender woman, all of this will change. 

I also know in the scope of life, dreams are less of a priority. Just getting by in the world is just more important. 

For example, today Liz and I have several errands to run including her getting a booster vaccine.  It would be a poor time to get harassed over living as my authentic gender. Since I will be wearing a mask, chances are slim. 

Speaking or writing about Liz, she is more of a believer in the power of dreams. So I asked her what she thought of my dreams. She said several things. The first suggestion was did I have specific dreams of being a guy or was I dreaming of being in a male environment. An example would be the time I spent in Army basic training. I rarely if ever dream of being back in basic, instead I dream of re-enlisting. Over and over again.

The second point she brought up was how early in life we become gender objects. In other words, the time our parents begin to make sure they pound us into gender stereotypes. Transgender women and men are unlucky enough to be round pegs pounded into square holes. This process can affect us for life. Including our dreams. 

Finally Liz said I could shape my dreams by training my mind before I went to sleep by thinking feminine thoughts. Of course, as she told me all of this, she couldn't help but tell me when I sleep with the television on (which I do) does me no good. She didn't think I had anything to worry about.

Now I can focus on the present, not the past.