Saturday, July 6, 2013
Ch 33: 8 months on Estrogen - Progress
So, it's been a little while since I have written, I do have quite a few things to write about. I will start by stating that I haven't written much as I am still job searching and have been down on myself, a bit depressed and not really in the mood to write. In either case I have been keeping myself busy, and trying to make sure I don't get 'stuck in a rut.'
Last week was pretty uneventful, my wife and I have been working out our relationship issues. I actually called her my 'partner' instead of my wife for the first time at a job interview. All the job interviews I am finding either I am highly over qualified for a job, or I don't have the specialty expertise they are looking for. But anyway, the relationship with my wife has been tough as with my close family I have talked about this before but will do so again here, they are going through the five stages of grief while I am finally finding myself and trying to celebrate my changes. It makes for a very interesting combination, and while my wife does grieve for her loss of her husband, she sees the changes and the smiles and is very supportive in trying to work through things. The same as any relationship we both have things we have to adjust to and work towards. Sorry if I'm being vague, with ongoing issues I really don't want to write too much other than they are occurring and we are working through them holding our love for each other first and foremost when dealing with these issues.
In either case, similar to what my mom had suggested about holding a funeral, it is true that the male me is dead, gone, not coming back. And I suppose it's hard for some people to accept that. For more on the five stages: http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/
Then last Friday I went to my hormone doctor again for my 3 month checkup, seems like it's been 9 months, but I suppose that I only count 8 because I was sick early in the transition for a month and stopped taking the hormones for that period of time. In either case she looked at my readings, said my testosterone is still too high and we talked about further steps. I asked her about the progesterone, she said she was going to suggest increasing the dosage of estrogen again, though thought the progesterone would help as well. So we decided to start with the progesterone and then add the extra estrogen in another 3 months if the levels still aren't where she was hoping for them to be. So I started the new medicine about a week ago now, actually a day over a week ago.
This news though that my testosterone levels are still too high made me happy to some degree. I look at the progress I have made so far, after 8 months I have A cup breasts, and am now wearing bras almost every day. My hair has thinned out considerably, and with the facial laser hair removal that has helped deal with the thicker areas of hair. I go for my 3rd laser treatment next week. I still would like to be able to start doing laser over other parts of my body, but with the layoff it's more a matter of money than anything at this point. My weight is moving around, my thighs, hips, and butt are all larger while my arm muscles have weakened and my shoulders have thinned slightly. My face is rounder, and my mood has been better than it ever was as a guy. My counselor, couples counselor and psychiatrist all said the same thing when I saw them, your 'you,' your much more relaxed, confident, and with the wig and everything they were able to see the woman I was on the inside.
Not to say I completely pass, and I do need to work on the voice training as I think that's a giveaway and part of me is tired of 'standing out' and just wants to be viewed as a female and not a 'transgendered' individual. Granted I wear the transgender part of me on my sleeve and will openly talk about it, but still when I go up to a new person to meet them I don't want them to immediately jump to 'this is a guy in a skirt,' I want them to see a woman and then for me to explain my situation and eventually have them reply, 'I would have never known.'
Still haven't been able to find that voice exercises website for making my voice more feminine, if anyone knows of any good ones out there please share.
Now I will also share that I have been talking every few days to Erica Kay, getting updates on the projects she's working on, and using her as a sounding board for my ideas as well. I can't stress how amazing she is, and how much she has done so far to help the community and how much more she will likely do in the future. In keeping in touch with her she sent me the link to the television show that she did on the local channel in Cape Cod, MA and will share it for you to see here:
I have also shared the video on my profile for those of you who prefer to watch it that way.
Ok, so I've given you the update of the changes, and started with all the positive experiences, now I will take a minute to explain a couple negative experiences. In both instances I believe the individual was attempting to be nice and understanding but they obviously didn't know either what to say or what they were talking about.
First instance a couple days ago I walked the dogs down to the pond, was sweating and worried my makeup was running when an older gentleman came up and wanted to say hello to the dogs. He was friendly enough and interacted with me, petting the dogs and enjoying his interaction. Then he went to leave and excused himself by saying 'Now, I'm going to be nice and say have a nice day young lady. Now, wasn't I nice?' I responded yes that he was being nice, but it left a sour taste in my mouth, I really didn't want to cause trouble over nothing but at the same time why did he have to make a point to say that he was being nice? Was it that important that he receive recognition for being nice? Or was it a backhanded insult which I kind of took it as meaning more, 'I know your not a girl, but I'll say young lady anyway.' In any case it was unnecessary and I think a lot of people don't understand that we just want to be treated normal, and by normal meaning don't explain what your doing, just say 'Have a nice day young lady.' All the rest is filler. And even if you notice that we aren't the sex we are presenting as, by not acknowledging that you noticed it gives us a confidence boost and makes us feel genuinely good.
Second instance I went to a cook-out and was told by my mother later on that she went inside to put some food down and overheard a conversation someone was having. I'm not sure exactly what was said because I wasn't present, but I was told that it was something to the gist of 'There's a transvestite out there!' followed by the person explaining that it's uncomfortable, strange, weird or whatever. While I don't think this person meant any harm, my mother did tell me she asked the host afterwards if there was a problem, to which she stated 'No, I'm glad you brought her.' So, either she was being nice and was uncomfortable, or she genuinely didn't understand what she was talking about. My mother did say she stood up for me in the form of stating that I was 'transgender' and not a 'transvestite.' In either case I went in a little while later to get some food to which I was greeted, 'There she is.' My relatives gave me hugs and were kind to my face, though we are uncertain if many of them were staying inside to avoid me or if they were simply inside because of how hot it was and the AC was on inside.
In both of these instances though I felt like I was being 'outed' being referred to as a guy in women's clothes and not treated as an actual female. Again it mostly just makes me want to push harder or make more changes to be recognized as female all the time and not have others question what or who I am. Oh well I suppose I am venting anger more at the general public not understanding and not being educated enough to know what is going on, so this is why we write, we speak, and we educate to remove these prejudices and try to bring a positive image to the transgender community.