Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Starting to Freak Out

I'm starting to freak out a bit and wondering if I've chosen the right path. I mean, this is something I've desired since childhood but why does it feel so right, yet feel so wrong? Inside it feels right and honestly, all else being the same, I'd push forward with very few reservations but everything isn't "all the same."

For example, there are my kids. Their mother and I are divorced so my relationship with them isn't what I'd like to to be. I've always wanted to be a full-time parent, but life has robbed me of that opportunity. I do see them quite a bit and are involved in their lives, but it is a tenuous thread at that, especially since they are older. I have a 21 year old son and we spend quite a bit of time together, will he still want to or will he be embarrassed? I hardly ever see my 19 year old daughter. Something like this might bring us closer, or might be the final straw. She needs her dad right now. My 17 year old, hard to tell. I think she'd be the most accepting but at the same time maybe embarrassed to bring her friends around. Next year she's off to college so I don't have much time left with her. Then there is my 11 year old a son I'd like to come live with me, or at least go to school in my neighborhood instead of his mother's. Nothing sinister against her, it's just that I live in a better district. But, going forward I wouldn't mind him living with me more, or even full time. I think he'd be happier and I think it would be better for him.

These blogs, while very positive and encouraging, also show a darker side of transition - the pain it causes others. While I'm lucky in that I'm already divorced and don't have to drag a spouse through this, my kids will be affected and regardless of how accepting they are now, who knows how this will impact them in the future.

I can't even begin to discuss my mother, Ms. Guilt and Shame. That woman would make it seem like I am destroying everyone's lives with my transition and maybe she would be right? Who knows.

Then there is the story of the Mike Penner, LA Times sports reporter who decided to transition, backed out, then finally killed himself. Is that in my future? I don't have suicidal thoughts, but did he before he decided to take his own life? It didn't sound like it.

Then there is my ex, with whom I've been spending a lot of time and her support of me through this has really allowed me to see her in a different light and honestly, my feelings have been coming back for her. But they aren't just any normal feelings. After we split up, we talked about what went wrong and in searching for answers I came across a book, 'Venus on Top,' about dominant women and submissive men. I shared it with her and she agreed that if we had that kind of relationship, that our marriage may have succeeded. We've toyed with that kind of relationship over the past year with varying degrees of success and my thoughts and feelings of submission have come back in full force the past week or so. Why? Is that the life I was meant to lead or is that a viable alternative to the more painful ordeal of transition? Am I escaping and which is the escape and which is my destiny? Should I follow my path or should I follow a path of lesser resistance?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Saturday!

It's been a heck of a long week (or so it seems). Let's see...what's new with Jane? Well, I reported last week that I shaved my legs and I love the constant smooth feel of them and seeing the purple toe nail polish. I sometimes forget it's there, but it's a constant reminder of my femininity. I hosted a writer's group last night and after the main group left (there were four + me) Mary Ann and James both stayed behind and we talked for hours about almost every topic under the sun. I am out to both of them so it was nice to be able to talk openly and freely with them, although it did take me a while to switch from "in the closet" mode to "out of the closet" mode since I wasn't out to the other two in the group. I did, however, get to show off my new legs at which Mary Ann commented "they're so feminine and look at that shape." Wow! Made my day. I hear and read that women are the most discerning so that was truly a compliment coming from her. She invited me to join her for a pedicure sometime and I think I'll take her up on that. We also talked about hormones and the changes they bring on, although I'm not at that point yet.

I'm feeling more comfortable why women's products. The other day I bought and outfit from Dollar General thinking it would be a quick in-and-out trip but, as luck would have it, the lady in front of me had $134 worth of items - from Dollar General! It kind of peeved me that she didn't invite me to go ahead of her as I only have a few items and was the only other person in line. Ah well. I bought what I thought was a nice shirt and pants outfit but when they rang up, they rang up as PJs! I could have sworn they were real clothes. Ah well, since I don't go out as Jane at all I figured I could use some more sleepwear.

Any way, the counseling appointment went really well. This was, believe it or not, my third visit and I have another appointment to see her next week. We are really on a roll exploring my past and she is asking a lot of questions I wish someone had asked me twenty years ago when I saw a counselor for the first time. I guess at this point I have two concerns:

1) Is she going to find something in my past that will invalidate my feelings? Such as "because your mom always wanted a girl, but never had one, you're self-identifying as a woman in an attempt to seek her validation." If that's the case, then what? Accept that I am what I am and pursue transition or deal with that first? The way I see it, as long as I get answers I'll be happy. On the other hand...

2) What if she just rubber stamps my desire for transition, without exploring the options, and three or four years down the road, after putting everyone through this with me (especially my children) I find out that there was another option? I think that scares me the most.

Another concern of mine is my age. I'm 45 years old. What will hormones do? I see some of these beautiful young women (Jerica for example, who has a great blog if you don't follow her) and think "wow, that could be me" which is quickly followed by "or not, maybe if I would have started 10-20 years ago). Then I find a youtube video of a 62 year-old undergoing a transition who is thrilled to death and really looks like an older women. And then I look around and think that I already look more feminine than about 10% of the women I see (I love that line from Seinfeld, "Have you been to the DMV lately?" when they were talking about what % of the world is actually good looking).

One other issue is outing myself. I'm out to three people - Linda (ex), James (long time friend, recently f2m tg), and Mary Ann. Both MA and J (we use each other's initial by the way) have said that they almost told friends, and I want Linda to be able to talk to someone about it if she wants. I'm okay with this because I trust who they tell. The one issue I have is a woman named Amanda. She is also part of the inner circle of friends, but has been out of the picture lately due to a pregnancy and subsequent newborn. However, she is starting to get out more and I feel bad with her not knowing and I would tell her in an instant but here's the catch - I am renting a house from her and her husband. I'm sure she'd be okay with it, but I'm not so sure about him and they lived in this house for years and are real close with the neighbors. I dunno but I do know that I am not going to tell her and then ask her not to share it with her husband. That wouldn't be fair to her.

Sorry about the long post. I don't know if it's better to post frequent short posts or infrequent long posts.

If you read this and have some feedback on the age issue, outing myself to Amanda, or my posts, but all means leave some comments! I think this is a great community and I've learned so much and have received so much encouragement - both directly and indirectly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shaved My Legs!

I was going to wait until after swimming season to shave my legs for the first time but I looked at my calendar and figured it's going to be at least two weeks before I have to be seen with someone in a pool. I have my own pool so I don't have to use a public one and the only people I see inviting over for a swim are people I am out to, soooo...I figured I was safe. Not sure how long it'll take to grow back but I'm thinking two weeks should be fine. If not I'll figure something out.

So, on the way home after dropping the kids off I stop by Walgreens and bought some shaving gel and lotion (along with a few other items to disguise my other purchases - I am getting more comfortable shopping for Jane while I am out and have a good cover having daughters and all), went home, and shaved it all off (I also bought some nail polish - purple). I have to say it required some stretching and bending I didn't know was possible for my own body. I had a lot to shave so my blade pretty much dulled by the time I was done but I think I got nearly 97% of it. I noticed I did miss a few spots (mostly behind my thighs - how do you get that spot?). I didn't really think much of it at first but it really hit after I put some lotion on my legs. It felt good - so clean. I know a lot of guys, when they make the decision to explore their feminine side, yearn to get read of their male genitalia. For me, it's the hair. Oh, and the first time my legs brushed up against each other it was definitely a strange feeling!

So when I'm done I go down to the family room (I live in a split foyer) and pop in my Sunday night NetFlix DVD (a classic Dr. Who - Peter Davidson's "Time Flight" if you follow the friendly Time Lord) and go to paint my toe nails. Geez, talk about more acrobatics! I finally got them painted (two coats) and like the look of them. I picked out purple, my new favorite color. It was such a wonderful experience to select among the many colors and I love clothes shopping and the selection available for women - even picking out a bra and underwear. Who doesn't love this?

So, a good night and huge step forward for Jane. Hope you don't mind the picture.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Second Therapy Appointment

Just wanted to let everyone know that my appointment went well and that I go back in a week. Nothing really significant to report, we just discussed my befuddled relationship history. She kept on getting names, dates and children mixed up, we had a good chuckle about it and I came home to write up a time-line to give her for next time when we continue the discussion. We also talked about my relationship with both parents and my brother.

I do like her. She asks some really tough questions and I think she's going to be good for me. I do wish I had found her decades ago though. I have spent a lot of time in and out of counseling but nobody has delved as deep as this woman has, I really feel like we are getting somewhere and I go back in a week. If you are in the gateway city area and want her name, let me know. I'd be more than happy to refer her to you.

I'll keep you all posted. Kid weekend this weekend, following a rough two weeks of work (I had a class to train) and home (numerous meetings, school year start up, cub scout kick offs).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Night Quiet Time

Sunday nights seem to be the one night of the week I can count on having a quiet and free night. Chores are done (or I'm tired of doing it) and I'm ready to roll for the week.

My mind has been wandering quite a bit these past several days. I have another appointment with my counselor on Friday. She had an opening for last week but I thought that would be too soon. I almost wish I had taken it. It's not like I'm depressed or anything, just confused. And not confused about what I want - I know what I want. I want to shed my male body and embrace my femininity but, like I said in my journal, I have two feel firmly planted in the masculine world and that's one of the things I want to talk to my counselor about.

I'll tell you what I do like - I do like the facebook/aol/yahoo ads geared to my feminine side (I've been doing a lot of window shopping on line and I guess those applications have picked up on my cookies). I like replacing my "Nivea for Men" products with L'oreal products. I like friends giving me things like old earings (a pair of which will go wonderfully with a dress I bought) and I like walking around the house in girly pjs. Not to mention washing my "delicates" and replacing my guy clothes (my trans friend James is going to get first crack at those) with women's clothes. So far I have two dresses, about four tops, and a pair of capris. I'm also getting bolder about buying girly stuff in public - pantyhose, face wash for example and guess what? The whole store didn't stop and point at me. Cool. You know what I really want though? A jean skirt. But first, Dollar General had a nice top and black skirt combo I will pick up next time I'm up that way (if they still have my size).

So, that's it for now - hope you all have a good week! Supposed to be a hot one here in the Midwest.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

First Quiz as a Woman - Beauty Icon

I took my first "on-line" quiz as a woman today at - What Beauty Icon Are You?

Here is my result...can't complain. LOL.

Which Classic Beauty Icon Are You?

You're Julia Roberts

You're Julia Roberts

1990s down-to-earth, classic all-American sweetheart

Physically stunning, you’re a radiant natural beauty whose features — be it your dreamy eyes, megawatt smile, or statuesque long legs — make you stand out from the crowd. Forever our pop culture’s “Pretty Woman,” Julia Roberts always makes a splash on the red carpet, but she may be even more beautiful when she’s sporting casual jeans and a tee — and the same goes for you. People are attracted to your simple elegance, good-natured humor, and down-to-earth charm.

Your modern-day kindred spirits include Amy Adams, Freida Pinto, Rosario Dawson, Sandra Bullock, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Alexis Bledel.

Having Doubts

I started to have doubts this weekend about this journey I've started. Panic set in (not major panic, just a flutter) and I began to question what I was doing and where I was going. Am I doing the right thing? Should I bail now before it's too late? The feelings lingered the weekend (it was a kid weekend so maybe that had something to do with it) but after I dropped the kids off I came home, pulled some weeds, went for a walk and came home to enjoy some grapes, a drink (Sam Adams Witberry Beer, great with fruit), and a book (a trashy Star Trek novel) and when I was done - bubble bath time! Now I'm adjusted to life as Jane (until work tomorrow that is, I need a new job) and enjoying my evening. I definitely have chosen the right path. Sometimes the road less traveled is the most difficult, but it can also be the most rewarding.

It did help that my friend MaryAnn called and said she was clearing through her things and came across a few clip on earings I could have I was thrilled. I sure does help to have friends like her, a friend that is transitioning himself (f2m) and an ex-wife that is going to give me fashion advice. Not to mention all the blogger girls who have been more helpful than they realize.