Sunday, June 19, 2022

Impostor's Syndrome?

 Are you kidding me? Yet another transgender phrase I have to worry about? Just what does "impostor syndrome mean to you...if anything. 

To me it means when I am walking through a busy restaurant my partner Liz and I go to on a regular basis, will I be "exposed" as a transgender woman or all I am not seem to be. For Connie's benefit I used the "exposed" word sensing she is ready to pounce. 

Regardless of all of that, I do suffer from impostor's syndrome. I also wonder who was smarter or more creative than I and came up with the phrase. I used to refer to it as "transgender PTSD" or transgender post traumatic stress disorder. Mine was brought on early in my formative years when I was attempting to live as my authentic self. Of course most of my failures came as I was just learning the basics of gender presentation in public. All too often I tried to wear ill fitting clothes to match my clown wigs. In a sense I spent too much time being trashy rather than classy. All of my ill fated attempts led me to being laughed or snickered at and even having the police called on me when I used the bathroom. I suppose you have to be transgender or even a cross dresser to understand the mental trauma it causes.

I guess new phraseology and alphabet letters are the rule rather than the norm in todays LGBTQ society probably coming from all the new people discovering their new gender realities. Even locally in the small transgender - cross dresser support group I am a part of, there seems to be a rather sharp division between the younger and older members of the group. It's rather sad to me that so many get their "panties in a bunch" over situations we all should be united behind. Especially in today's society where so many people are attempting to erase us totally. 

So, when push comes to shove, I will have to accept yet another phrase as a part of my gender vocabulary. I believe also, resistance to change is often a sign of age. I am sad when I lose contact with several members of our group because they got their feelings hurt by someone else.

Virginia Prince

We need every person to be as united as possible to propel us into the future. Similar to me standing on the shoulder's of the Virginia Prince's of the cross dressing world, it would be wonderful if just one person could see me in the same light.

At that point I wouldn't have to worry about "impostors syndrome" again. Maybe I will have to wait to see what happens in my later years when or if I have to be admitted to an extended care facility. 

Perhaps I will never have to worry about it and the final transition will come peacefully. That's all anyone could ask.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Therapy

 My experiences with therapy started years ago. So long ago I barely remember when. However I do remember I built up the courage to tell my first therapist (a man) that I liked to cross dress as a woman. I remember too he basically glossed over my admission and began to write me prescriptions for such mind altering medications of the day such as Prozac and Lithium.  I don't remember much about the

Jessie with Brutus Buckeye

side effects of Prozac but I know I didn't like or tolerate Lithium well at all. Through it all, the medications didn't have an affect one way or another on my cross dressing. Plus, I felt the doctor must have felt worse talking about it than I did, because he never brought it up again.

Around that time was when I picked up my small family and began to move to various places around the country trying desperately to out run my gender problems. Following a year and a half stay in the NYC Metro area, we bounced back to our native Ohio, to a largely rural area along the Ohio River.  Near that time was when I began to seriously explore the world as a cross dressing woman. My wife knew of my cross dressing desires but never approved of me going out from our house which happened to be in a very rural area. Of course, the more I snuck out the more I wanted to. Which led me to being on a collision course with being caught by her. Every time it happened a huge fight between us took place. One time after a particular nasty altercation, I volunteered to schedule an appointment with a therapist who specialized in gender difficulties or dysphoria, I believe I discovered her information in an issue of "Transvestia" magazine. To do it at all was quite a task because of where she was located an hours drive north of us in Columbus, Ohio. 

Ironically she was a successful trip for all the wrong reasons. Fairly early in our visits, she told me there was no way she could help me with being a cross dresser or transvestite as it was known back in those days but she could help me with the vicious mood swings I was going through. In other words, she was the first therapist to diagnose my Bi-Polar disorder. Through it all, every visit I managed to take, I was prolonging the inevitable next fight with my wife. So all in all, my experience with this therapist was a success. At least the next time I was caught out and about cross dressed by my wife I could say I was trying to do something about it.

My next experience with a therapist came years later when I began my care under the Veterans Administration health care system. One of the main reasons I sought out their help was because I was severely financially challenged and unable to purchase my Bi-Polar medications on my own. Of course in order to be prescribed through the VA I had to be seen by a therapist. This was near the same time my wife had passed away and I was considering starting hormone replacement therapy, so in essence invisible doors were beginning to open for me since this was all in the early days of the VA accepting HRT work also. 

I was really fortunate. The therapist I was assigned is still with me today. A near impossibility in the VA system as I know it. More importantly too, she was willing to listen to me and accept the fact my transgender issues were completely separate from my Bi-Polar issues. She kept me on the medications which had been a success for me in the past and approved me for HRT meds. Fairly quickly she became one of the most important people in my life.

I am aware I could be the exception to the rule when it comes to therapy and many transgender persons resent the idea they need therapy before they can start HRT.  I know also several trans persons who either had a difficult time finding a therapist who deals with gender issues or being able to feel comfortable doing it. 

Hopefully if you have sought out therapy you have been successful finding one who helps you with your gender dysphoria or any other issue you may have,   

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Still Melting

I am so over this ultra hot weather! Here in southern Ohio we have been stuck under this power dome of hot weather. As I have mentioned several times, we don't have an air conditioned house so the weather is so much worse. I am sick and tired of seeing a heat advisory on the television. 

By now you are thinking what does this have to do with being a transgender woman. Mainly the post has to do with the effects of hormone replacement therapy on a male body. Previously I wrote of a thermostat change which occurred when I seriously started on the hormonal route. I was cold all the time. 

The problem I have is how my age reacted with my new feminine hormones for change, Since I actually started down the serious HRT path when I was in my sixties, I felt my natural testosterone levels were already in decline. Making it easier for feminine changes to occur. 

Less is more it seemed as the changes started to come fast and furious. Before I knew it I was presenting as a highly androgynous person. Along with the natural changes such as breast growth, were the less noticeable but still as important changes. All of a sudden I could smell better and along with that it seemed my body chemistry was changing also. I didn't perspire as much was the main change. I wonder now if less perspiration hurts me now in this very hot and humid weather. One way or another you take the bad with the good.

Coming up this weekend is Cincinnati LGBTQ Pride and the weather is supposed to break for a couple days before we go back to the extreme heat again. We are still deciding if we are going to go downtown and party. Standing in the way could be my partner Liz's work hours and finances. We are still going to wait to see what we are going to do.

Until that time, I am going to continue to hope for no more rolling blackouts. At least now I have my fan to make life less miserable.