Saturday, March 17, 2007

Background -- Part Two

My name is Vyxyn.

I was born in 1965 on Phoenix, Arizona, and I have lived with gender Dysphoria from then until now.

Now is different, obviously. But how is it different?

Its different because a few days ago as I write this -- not quite 72 hours, really -- I realized that even though I'm 40 years old, I actually have a chance to correct this imbalance in my life, and As I'm really, really tired of coping and letting it trickle out as I go through life, I'm rapidly becoming utterly convinced that this is the direction and the decision I want to make.

I expect to second guess myself daily for the next five years at the very minimum.

I have no real clue why I'm writing this. The reasons that come to mind are pretty basic and simple, though:

1 - its for my therapist, who I see for the first time today. This is somewhat problematic, as I'm not sure my therapist will have access to the Internet to see this page, and I'm too damned cheap and broke to get a new cord for my printer.

2 - I'm a 40 year old person who's come to this realization. That's a lot of years of built up coping mechanisms. As I've researched this out, I haven't come across a whole lot of other 40 year olds talking about this. Given what I was exposed to in my life, I suspect that perhaps my perspectives might be of use to someone else in a similar boat. And this is a sinking ship I wouldn't wish on anyone.

3 - I'm a total attention whore. This one doesn't fit my personal image of myself, but I have no doubt it will strike someone like that.

I know that when I complete transition, I will go under what I've learned is called "deep stealth" -- that is, when I am finished, I will make a completely clean break with my male past, and I will vanish as a male and become me.

I also found nothing online that told me what to expect or what to do or how this feels. And although I plan to go stealth, that might not be possible, and I may change my mind in the process and become something of an activist myself.

You see, at this moment, I can't find *anyone* to talk to about this.

I reached a critical point in my life a few years ago, and didn't even realize it. It totally side stepped me. Two years ago, though, I was forced to begin reconciling myself with it, and in the process I've had to deal with myself once again.

These events are, basically, that I moved out of my family and began to live alone.

I have only lived alone a few times in my life. Each time, I've suppressed memories of things and events -- and over the last 10 years I've seriously buried a lot of crap, even though it peeked out of me off an on in little tiny ways.
This time, however, I'm living alone, and there's a pretty serious rift in my life. My marriage is over. Has been for years, but there's still so much shared communion there and the welfare of my son to consider that I haven't completed the process of the divorce.

I believe I'll have to do that now. And I believe I'll have to start cherishing every moment with my son like no other. I say that because I know, for certain, that my wife will not support me in this, and that she will take my child away from me because of it, and I also know that I won't stop her as long as she declines any sort of support.

I know because this has already happened once before, and my wife is a very predictable sort.

So the question arises, first off, why the hell do I think I'm gender Dysphoria, and what the hell is a transsexual? At this point, I don't know. Based on what I've encountered in the media and so forth, its someone who feels that they are the wrong gender. I can't answer why, because I have no clue, and everything I've seen thus far is pretty much the same: no one actually knows, but its real enough and prevalent enough that its been classified as a psych condition.

Basically, I'm crazy. But this is a good crazy.

Now, I think this because I meet pretty much every single symptom I've seen for it but one, and I unfortunately not only can't verify that one, but I don't remember it either.
The one I'm missing is some sort of early childhood stuff. Prior to 6 type of stuff. I have no memories of my life before age 6 at all, and from 6 to about 10 things are *really* sketchy.  I've been this way since I was about 15 (that is, the memory thing), and I've tried to talk it through with people and do research on it with family members to try and recover something.

Squat. It made me who I am today, however, whatever it is.

The rest of it, though, I can pretty much tell you best be described the stuff I have been remembering over the last two weeks and especially strongly the last few days.

My whole life, I've internally identified more with women than with men. Now, the thing that I've always countermanded that with myself is that I was raised by a single mother in the 70's.  This fails, however, because I did have a father figure, directly in the form of my brother's father, who definitely has/had feelings for me and I can absolutely say the same on my part. He's my Dad. I haven't spoken to him in a long time, however, and at this point, I'm highly unlikely to.

but wait, there's more! Almost every night for the last 25 years -- and probably longer, given other signs and thoughts and feelings remaining from before then -- I've gone to bed wishing I would turn into a girl overnight.

Now, I'm not talking your casual wish here. I'm 40 years old, and I'm talking a Pinocchio sorta wish -- the kind of thing you say and feel and want with all your heart.

I'm also going to say that I've never had a fantasy that is sexual in nature where I'm the boy.

My favorite sexual positions generally involve me being under. And I'm not all that keen on sex. At least, not with someone else.

I'm pretty damn good at masturbation. But most especially there, I'm never the boy. When I was in high school it was like that. High school was an incredibly traumatic time for me for several reasons, though. Perhaps the most painful of all of them was the dramatic change in environment at the time, as my mom bought a new house over the summer and sorta forgot to tell us, lol.
In my teens and 20's, I did a lot of stupid stuff. But I also did a lot of really interesting stuff -- things like letting my hair grow out so I could put it in a ponytail (it was something I could get away with), piercing my ears (I wasn't able to get away with it -- they closed and healed), growing my nails long.

Yeah, it's pretty freaking weird.

When I was young, however, I had a lot of friends who were girls, and very few who were boys. In high school, I made several friends. Two boys, two girls. They formed the core of an evolving friendship group that lasted for over 15 years, in fact -- until my marriage and the birth of my son.

One of the boys had a crush on me in high school. One of the girls had a crush on me in high school. Another of the boys had a crush on me in his late twenties. Both the boys are gay at this time, to the best of my knowledge (that is, they were when I last saw them some 10 years or so ago).

My one friend in 7th and 8th grade who was male, and my girlfriend of the time: gay.
It doesn't do much for one's self image when you are already dealing with this inside, and knowing that you *are* attracted to men but that your attraction to them isn't something you can act on because you aren't *right*.

I've never had a homosexual romance. Or, more accurately, from my perspective, I've only ever had homosexual romances, as I've only ever been with girls, and I can truly say that the experience in most cases wasn't all that exciting.

Not that my partners weren't exciting, I hasten to add. But that this wasn't sex the way I wanted it.

In fact, In the last few years of my marriage, I suffered severely from performance anxiety, and yet if I thought for more than a few moments about one of my fantasies, I could not only become aroused fast, I could enjoy it.

Note that I said earlier I've never been a boy in my fantasies. I've tried, though -- it doesn't do anything for me. If I work at it and I get particularly degrading in those fantasies where I force myself to be a boy to try and "normalize" myself, I can usually achieve orgasm, but the cost is that I lose interest for a few days.

When I was little, I used to make my peepee go away.  I would sorta push it back into itself and roll my sac up around it and put it all away. I would spend hours doing it. I used to tug and push at it as a child, too -- I was even doing it when I was getting towards high school age.

It offended me, but I didn't have the power or sense or ability to make that a known thing, and yet I knew it was what I was "stuck with".  I don't hate it, mind you. I'm still a human being, and I'm still interested in sex and all that, but I'm not all that attached to it.

There's more to this, too. A lot more.  But those are the ones that have jumped out at me in reflection, and then this one last one which is really just, well, totally sad.

I don't like the way I look.

This is a horrible one, actually. For me, at least. It did have a plus, though, in that hating how my body was, I was moved my being -- the essence of me, up into my head. I live in my head, they say, lol.  And its true.
Since my body become nothing more to me than the conveyance for my head, a tool I use to get around, it didn't exactly get the best attention from me. And the attention it did get was very negative.

I hid myself. Even from myself.

I avoid mirrors. Like a vampire, The me I know casts no reflection, and what is left is terrible to behold.

I never go undressed in the light.

I've never done much to "take care" of my appearance. This has always annoyed those around me, and has even been significant to job advancement on a few times. I don't care how I look because, well, why should I? I mean, for crying out loud, look at me!
As a result, I'm in pretty bad shape.  I smoke. I eat poorly. My teeth are terrible. I'm utterly untoned.

Add to that the wonders of having way too much testosterone and the curse of male pattern baldness, and you might suddenly see I do have an issue.

I'm going to be blunt here, as well.  The only reason that this whole thing is even a possibility for me is the advent of something called "facial feminzation surgery".

See, I could put on a dress and do my face, and get all prettied up, and I'd look like a man in a dress.  I have a wide back of my jaw, a round face, a noticeable forehead.

Little things, but when I look at the face, I see it. That's a boy.

I've never said I'm good looking.  I've always said I'm "not bad".  Look at that phrasing, though. I'm not "bad", but I'm certainly not good.  Its avoidance, lol.  What do you say about someone who is ugly but you don't want to hurt their feelings? "not bad".
"Not bad" is a great wishy washy term.  It lets you do things you wouldn't normally do and "get by".
So FFS, that surgery I mentioned, takes care of that. It's pretty startling, and I feel that with a bit of it to help, I could cope a lot better.

Its one of what I'm starting to see are a whole lot of possibly bizarre flip flops here.

You see, I've always "passed" as a boy since high school.  People who have known me for a long time will tell you I'm not gay. But there is something different about me. Its palpable. I have a very peculiar blend of how I move and stand and stride that simply exist.

But now, for this to go all the way that I want it to go (and that is all the way.  I will confess to suddenly having had those little tiny hopes that maybe I'll get married again and have a baby to raise once more), I have to be able to pass as a girl now. 

That funky will of mine will come in handy here. Getting it to cooperate might be a struggle, but I know that once it kicks in, I'll pull this off.

To most of the world, right now, I'd say I probably come across as 80% boy. As I go through this, I'll try and continue that "score".

The game is to tip the scale. Hee hee.  And you know, one big advantage to having learned all this boy stuff is that I understand what a competition is. And how to compete.

So off and on for the last several years, I've had little bits of things poking out.  The last time, As I think back on it yet again, I think I wanted to get caught on.  Like the suicide attempt ages and ages ago that I wasn't able to pull off.

My wife found a series of notes and discussions of things that I had written to myself.

In them, I stated quite clearly that I wanted to be a girl. And that she'd leave me if she knew.

She freaked.

I knew she would. I understand her, and I know the world she lives in.  I understand the sociology of the value system in which she was raised.

I told her it was all just a joke, just a "thing", me playing around, did all the right things, said all the right words (easy, lol -- just think about what would I want to hear in the same situation).  I was, simply put, a slimeball. I became every sad cliché you can think of for that moment to win her over.

And what's worse, what's so incredibly evil of me that I can only barely comprehend the magnitude of the crime, is that I wasn't doing it out of concern for her, or because I loved her (I do love her, but not that way), or because of anything like that.

I did it so that I could be with my son.

And now he's 10, and now I'm going to lose him anyway, unless he decides he doesn't give a damn.

It'll take a couple years, possibly.  But it will happen. I know it will. And what truly sucks about that is that I'm willing to allow it.
I've always said that we cannot raise happy children if we ourselves are not happy.

My wife will be happier free of me, and I will be happier when I am me.
And that's enough for this one.  In about 3 hours I meet my therapist.

I hope we get along.

Well, about three hours ago, I got back from my meeting with my therapist.
I have the intake form in front of me right now, and I'm looking over it, and laughing because so much of what I'm asked is revealed above.

A note on timeline here, and something odd about me.

One of the reasons that I've never seen a therapist before now is that a therapist is for someone who needs therapy. Someone who needs therapy isn't well adjusted.

I was well adjusted. Or, more accurately, I really *seemed* well adjusted. I've put all my efforts in life into learning why people are the way they are -- even have written some articles about my sometimes (but not usually) divergent theories on certain aspects of language and religion.

Basically, I had an enemy, and I had the ability to understand my enemy, and I did it.

Now for the double edged sword: I do not remember my early childhood. At all. In the many years of learning I've gone through, I've found that 80% of our underlying behaviors and the overwhelmingly important patterns and models of life we develop are forged during that time.

And because I do not know what happened in that period, I don't know for certain that, ultimately, I'm not actually faking this. Really. And the kicker is that although everything I have in hindsight points here for me, I'm well aware that hindsight is not 20/20, despite the old saying, but that's its more like a farsighted 20/40 -- because the relationship of the closer stuff to the past isn't always truly visible until you gain greater perspective on it.

yeah, I went holy shit too. It isn't changing anything. I've made my therapist aware of this gap in my head which is not normal by any stretch of the imagination (and especially not within my family, which is an important indicator), and if, in the course of our little adventure into my head here, It turns out that yep, there's good reason to think that, then I'll still have time to stop.

However, there's another element that I have to acknowledge: my anger.

Literally from the moment I reached that critical acceptance of this as an actual issue for me (which was entirely based, as noted, on the fact that there's suddenly a realistic chance, to me, that I can actually achieve what I want), the decades old knot of anger within me that has been a constant and unending companion in my chest since I was a wee bonnie lass has been fading in potency.

I know I'm not suddenly producing female hormones, so there's something else going on here. And that's why the possibility that I've even faked myself out isn't causing me any real discomfiture beyond a brief "holy shit" moment.

only an insane girl would have herself for a shrink. Keep this in mind over the next several years. Don't go here. Get help. Now. Please.

now, as to timeline, the epiphany occurred roughly 4 days ago. In my researches, some of the girls didn't see a therapist for literally months -- and many found their therapists were more of a difficulty.

I suspect this is because once you do accept this, as I've begun the process of doing, there is a need to *do something* about it. Now.
This minute.

I also suspect that after living so long as men, that that imperative is driven by our underlying maleness, created as a nice shiny coat of varnish over our hidden angela.

This is, I believe, a mistake. I could be wrong. (note -- since I wrote this, I have been wholly consumed by it, and have an entirley different perspective. So, in the end, I was wrong, :D)

The reason I believe it is a mistake is that it uses the one thing about us that is most wrong to correct itself. Its sorta like using good oil to clean up bad oil.  All you end up with is more oil and a hell of a mess. Or, in this case, a lot of stalled transitions and a lot of people calling their therapists bad names.

One of the benefits to the whole stupid SoC process you'll hear about is that it paces things out a bit -- which gives time for the knee jerk reaction that men are generally prone to to fade down to the more important and gender neutral drive to succeed.

Its still a stupid process (it requires you to prove yourself to others, ultimately, which you've been  doing for most of your life already), but then, I mean, really, think about giving birth for a moment. Or, my favorite, the idea of fellatio.  The woman takes, into her mouth, the same organ that is used for the transport of bodily wastes by a man. There's something fundamentally wrong there in a lot of ways, but you know what?

It works.

(and should this ever happen with me -- and note that I'm not gay -- right now, as I write this, the thought of sex with another man is somewhat horrific to me, but I have a really strong suspicion that this will not be the case once I'm transitioned, because there have been a few rather interesting dreams therein -- should this ever happen with me, I will be damned sure he cleans up first, lol.)

Now, yes, I've said all of this and I did only "suddenly realize" this four days ago.

This is a pretty natural reaction for me.  I have pretty incredible powers of denial, but they are not limitless (note that I wasn't able to deny that I had to live in society as a male) and they are not magical (however much I wished for it daily).  My brake is that I know the timeline for the services, and I know that barring some incredibly generous miracle on the part of the powers that be I'm going to be dealing with this for a long, long time.  This ain't cheap.  I'm basically buying a house in four or five years.

I want it to be faster.  OMG, you cannot imagine how much I want it to be faster.  If someone were to say to me right now "I'll give you all the surgery you want tomorrow, and you can pay me in sexual slavery for the rest of your life" I'd agree.

Without blinking.

That's not going to happen, though.  Nor are those covert operative working for an unnamed sheik going to kidnap you and take you to become a harem girl, doomed to despair ever after.

This isn't a story. This is reality. And reality says its going to run me around 130 thousand dollars for the whole deal. Do the math, here. That's $32,500 dollars a year. 2710 or so a month. Roughly 90 bucks a day. For four years. And that's not counting your needs for actually paying rent, electricity, food, all that stuff.

Now there's a serious holy shit for you.

When you are younger, it's cheaper. When you are older, like me, you are basically stuck, and to top it off, you've only got so many decent years left. I'm hoping for 20. My projected retirement age, I should note, is 28 years from now.
Its heartbreaking.
Its a challenge, though, and this is an area where the whole having had to be a boy thing can come in handy, lol.

So that's my brake. I can only earn so much in so long, and I have a very limited means at my disposal as I write this. That should be just about fast enough.  I do, however, have to do extra work, as I can right now only afford my own living expenses.

I have just awakened. It's the morning after I wrote that, and in the interim, things have gotten more complicated.

One of the bad things about desocialization is that you tend to have an urge to talk about things that you wouldn't normally talk about with people you wouldn't normally talk to. Loneliness is a really strong emotion, and from what I've seen of the stories of other so far, things are pretty much what one would expect from the stereotypical woman: there is a strong need for a man in one's life for happiness.

I don't know my neighbor that well. And yet I came out to her last night.

We then sat on the stairs, talking about things all night.

Is my first first. I've got a GG girlfriend -- someone I can talk to about the stuff I'm not going to be able to talk to J* about.

Although, lol, I'm sure that even J*s aware that I'm way too open about way too many things.  It's an unusual defense mechanism, but man, the way I've got it set up, its pretty handy, lol

I'm going to need to start practicing my self defense stuff again.

So I've suddenly found myself "out" to two people that my insight has established I could talk to about this. While J* I can understand, B*sorta worries me.

I'm slightly hungover this morning (no sleep for so long and then finally crashed last night -- not a booze hangover, and energy and focus hangover).  That fact that I am tells me the euphoria has passed (If I could bottle that stuff and sell it, I'd have the money in a week. When I'm "on", there is *nothing* that is more electric).

It amazing how the energy level in me spikes like that when I get all wired about something.

So here I am, awake in the morning instead of the afternoon for a change, still tired, very sore, not wanting loud noises, lol.  I wonder how my mom managed to do it -- all those years of waking up after a 12 pack or more a night.

I think there's something there in the way I tend to embrace all those things I find out about me so utterly, even though, like this, they might be something totally deadly to me.  Something in me is saying that my mom was fundamentally unhappy about something, and turned to the oblivion that alcohol can provide.

Since I value thought far too much, I rarely go down that road, and that by itself means that on those times when I do need a beer or something, I can just kick back and relax and not sweat it.

I also have a strong feeling that M* will be about as successful as I have been in trying to get to the root cause of the memories I've denied. Trained forgettery. Irrelevancy.

So where am I today?

I'm feeling really pretty much like crap.  Too many cigarettes, not enough sleep, almost no food.  All the things I have to stop doing now, because I need to get myself back into some semblance of decent shape and reasonable health for this. A girl who looks like she's had the crap kicked out of her is not very appealing.

My in depth knowledge of gender roles is working against me in some ways, lol. I'm hoping that my almost clinical study will come in handy down the road here.

My kidneys hurt again. My teeth are swollen. First order of business: take care of those teeth. This infection is going to screw up any bloodwork I have done.
alright, focusing...
The first meeting was really nice.  I had mixed feelings as I walked away, because I was in full boy mode (which, lol, of course is good enough to fool everyone, and is so ingrained its second nature), and because during the meeting I had a moment where my damned mom was there.

Hauntings are ok. Interference isn't.

M* got smacked with the full force of my "on" self. I hope she's ok, lol.  She said the same things I've heard for so long, though. She did say them differently, which is pretty cool, and now as I think about it is such a wild trip its not even funny.

She didn't say "you are so smart". She said I was Brilliant. Have to say that even though I immediately cringe at that, it still feels good to have people look at that and say "wow". Compliments are still compliments, I guess, lol.

It did, however, trigger the whole response I've always felt, and it was actually a fight to not turn off right then like I normally would.

And I love the use of the word Brilliant -- to shine, to glow, to illuminate. Metaphorically speaking, *whew* -- that is like so totally killer, lol. I wonder if I'm also suddenly having that little wall fall down as well. I rarely sit here the next day and actually feel good about this whole "you are a smart girl" thing.

Although, hey, ya know, it could be the smart girl instead of smart boy thing.  Be interesting to see down the road.

She asked my name, and since I'm still hesitant about it because I've suddenly discovered that I think E*** isn't going to work, I stalled by giving her the irrelevant background on my name, lol.
The meeting was too short. It felt awesome to have someone to talk to and tell about all my inner thoughts and to have someone else look at the things I've seen and sorta validate them, lol.

Its amazing how fast the changes are going on inside me already. Truly amazing.  My *walk* changed. On the way home. I wasn't even thinking about it, and suddenly *boom* there it was, a change in the way I walked, and I could feel it.

I don't know if its a "girl" walk, lol, but I know that its different. Still a hard heel strike, though.

I feel better about pretty much everything. I'm in total shock here, lol.  Its incredibly overwhelming.

M* prolly feels that I'm a basket case that's going to be fun to look into, lol.  Can't say I blame her if so -- I've been working on self analysis for three decades and *I*'m fascinated by myself, lol.

So I think I've got a serious choice, and the choice is so funny, because it goes back so far, lol. It "feels" right, as well. Although I really don't like the name Antonia. lol.
But being Me is really cool. And it even "feels" right, lol. I get to go back to my "maiden" name.
I really like that.

The intake form is way too standardized for me. Exclusive of this whole dysphoria deal, which is only one of the defining aspects of who I am (I know I'm going to have a hard time with those words), I have never fit into simple answers, lol.

Add in the love of language that I have and the way its blossoming of late once again as more and more of the "inner" me is released, and well, there's trouble here, lol

In going through the intake form, I'm starting to see that yeah, there really is something pretty intense going on with me outside and above and beyond my dysphoria, and if I'm going to be able to get through this transition, this transformation, then I'm going to need to solve it.

I'm looking at the series of questions about my two best qualities, 2 worst qualities, etc.

My accomplishments.

I've always separated them into distinct categories, because different things have different challenges, and because, ultimately, its easier to avoid something when you have it buried in deep among a whole bunch of other things like it.

I could fake an answer, like I usually do.  Probably will in the end. I don't do well here.  Its easier if I have an idea of the expected answer, of course -- job applications I just push the right thing.

This ties into the brilliant thing. Always has.  My mother always said I had a fear of success.  After several years, I sorta rationalized that into a fear of failure so great that I wouldn't try.  That helped me to  start trying a lot, and a lot more often, but then I had my little dark period (35 to 40 sucked for me in a way that is not readily nor easily described), and so I've made great strides in that direction, but there's still a little niggling thing there that constantly gets to me.

On top of this, I think I've come to the realization that I'm going to have to stoop to something less than pleasant to get some of my funding.

I gave M* all my earliest information.  It was a mistake, lol.  I have to write it all out again.

Still not awake very much, but at least the hangover edge has dulled. Going to have my first jar of tea in a bit, take some pills, and then  see where the day leads me.

All my excitement over this has really put me in some interesting spots.  Chief among them is that I told my wife last night that I've started therapy.

Sin of omission.

I didn't tell her what I've started it for.  I said "I've realized I have a problem, and have started therapy for it, and it was great."

She's not stupid, though.  I'll be avoiding what the issue is with her for a long time.

Then again, I have learned the value of biting the bullet. And it was one of my hard learned lessons, and then I've got my excitement about this to deal with as well...
Hmmm.  This could be pretty ugly pretty fast. I may end up just telling her. Getting it over with, so to speak.

LOL.  "shout from the mountaintops".
Yeah, I'd say that's a pretty good sign I'm ecstatic about this.

Things and motions and habits I've buried for years are coming up constantly in my head and in my actions.  I've already noticed I'm moving differently and my body language has changed.  I used to practice moving, lol.

Giddy feels pretty good.
Ok, back to real life.  Gotta pay rent, and keep the power on, and get the next batch of money.

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