Tuesday, August 25, 2015

8-25-2015 Entry: Buying a New Car As Emma, Despite Legally Being Robert


Hello my lovelies, I hope you had a good weekend! Mine was definitely much more relaxed than the one before since we didn’t go on a road trip, but it was also a bit stressful. My wife and I, despite it probably not being the best plan ever, decided to trade our car in for a brand new one! We went from a 2010 Honda Civic, which I loved to pieces (it was the first car I’d ever bought myself), more than anyone should ever love an inanimate object (although I’m not entirely sure cars don’t have souls of their own kind), to a 2015 Honda CRV.

 

The decision was rather spontaneous and may come back to haunt us later since the payment is higher than our previous car, but the civic was closing in on 100k miles and was starting to need some costly repairs that our warranty wouldn’t cover (damn wheel bearings and brakes!). Rather than pour a thousand dollars or more into it to get it back into tip-top shape, we decided that for the first time ever, the two of us would like to own a BRAND NEW car; as in never owned previously. We did just that! our CRV had 13 miles on it when we bought it which gives me a feeling unlike any I’ve known before.

 

To know, to a rather sure degree, that I won’t have to fix anything on the car for probably at least 30k miles makes me feel very happy. Our previous cars, Chevy Cavaliers, were total lemons that required constant repair and upkeep, and ended up costing way more than they were worth to keep running. Our Civic has been almost completely perfect except the 2010 civic burns through brakes like a teenage boy burns through 12-packs of mountain dew (I’d know a thing or two about that) because of the way they are constructed.

 

So, buying a car, that’s totally unrelated to transgender issues or the transgender experience, right? Actually, no; not at all, at least not this time. So here is a lovely aspect to the story I just related that you might not have considered. I bought my Honda Civic as Robert. That’s right, the title of the car belonged to Robert. The loan on that car belonged to Robert, so in order to trade in my car and buy a new one I had to be Robert for the day.

 

The only snag in this was that I went to the dealership as Emma, because that’s who I am now. I very rarely go out into public without wearing a wig, female clothing and/or makeup, and Saturday was no exception. I was at the Honda Dealership presenting as Emma. The sales person who worked with us addressed my wife and I as “ladies” and for the beginning of our interaction understood me to be Emma… until it came time to get down to the legal logistics, and then everything changed.

 

Talking with the salesman, looking at cars with the salesman, and test driving cars with the salesman was great. It was fun and exciting. We were going to buy a new car! The new car was so nice and had all the features we wanted in a new car. Everything was going great, and then I had to out myself to the salesman who’d been quite content to help my wife and I as “ladies” before then.

 

The look on his face when he read the name on the previous loan information was both amusing and really disappointing to me. He had no idea what to make of us. How could two women own a car belonging to Robert?

 

I was filled with a sick feeling in my stomach as I had to say, “Yeah, that’s me. I’m Robert.”

 

To his credit, he rolled with it pretty quickly and just proceeded without question or further displays of confusion. I felt the need, although likely without necessity, to explain that I hadn’t changed my name yet because it is an expensive and drawn out process (another lovely burden placed on trans* people by a cis-stratified social system).

 

He continued with the paperwork and disappeared several times to go talk to the financing guy and I’m guessing to do other job-related things. Whether or not his increased absence was a result of or, effected by, the discovery that I was transgender is hard to say, but I couldn’t help but notice, in my heightened defensive state, that he interacted with my wife and I a lot less after he found out. He was probably just busy doing things, but the fact that I was feeling suddenly so… unattended to after revealing something so personal about myself to a complete stranger cannot be discounted.

 

Eventually, upon one of his return trips to his desk where my wife and I were waiting to hear how much this new car would cost us, I did manage to revive the conversation. My wife thought I was being a bit ridiculous, I’m certain, but I figured that if I was going to sit there with this great awkward air about us that I might as well capitalize on the rather unique situation. Although I’m never shy about explaining that I’m transgender to anyone interested or asking me about it, I have very rarely, thus far, experienced getting to know someone as Emma the apparent woman only to have them discover that I used to be Robert rather suddenly and unexpectedly.

 

So, without much hesitation, I decided to ask him if he had figured out that I was transgender before he saw my name Robert on the car title/loan. His answer was difficult to discern because of the way he responded but I believe he said that didn’t have any idea that I wasn’t just straight up cis-female until after we had gone into the dealership to talk with him about buying the last car we test drove. I almost think he was saying that he didn’t really know until he’d seen the name Robert on the car info, but I cannot be certain.

 

Part of the reason I was so curious about this was the fact that I wasn’t wearing any makeup for this outing, so it was basically just me, wearing a wig, some women’s shorts, shoes and a regular t-shirt I wore as Robert. If passability was something to be concerned about, my appearance that day would have been the least likely to be passable. When I wear makeup, I do notice that people seem to notice me less, so I was very curious to know how long I’d been able to be perceived as female on such a not-so-passable day.

 

When I asked him this question he eventually explained that he had lived in San Francisco for a long time and was therefore used to seeing transgender people. He did proceed to also ask me the question that everyone always asks, “Did you always know?” (When did you first know? How long have you known? Etc. they are all basically the same question).

 

I answered as best as I could, saying that I always knew there was something going on but that it took a long time to figure out what it was. He was rather respectful and said some affirming things like, “We are who we are,” and “Everyone has the right to be happy.”

 

He then proceeded to ask about the next subject people always ask about: my marriage. He asked if we were married now, and then proceeded to ask if we had been married before my transition. Under different circumstances I might have balked at these questions from someone I barely knew, but he was not only respectful but seemed genuinely interested in learning/understanding more. I try my best to always educate anyone who is willing to learn because I know that shutting out a curious mind is the fastest way to build resentment in that mind. It’s okay, at least for me, to ask questions, especially when done respectfully.

 

My wife answered for us saying that we were married before, and he responded by nodding and saying something like, “It’s still the same person.” After that he disappeared again. My wife and I sat, talking a bit about this and that, discussing what we would and wouldn’t be willing to pay for this new car. All the while, however, I felt really frustrated by the situation. I knew there wasn’t much I could do given the circumstances but I was suddenly so aware of how little I wanted to be Robert anymore.

 

I hated the fact that I had to buy this car as Robert. I hated the fact that I had to give Robert’s ID over, what with his silly expression and the goatee he was sporting. I hated that I couldn’t just be Emma, that there were so many legalities to changing my name and gender. I lamented, then more than ever, the fact that I hadn’t already gone to get my name changed. And more than anything, I felt really alone in my struggle.

 

My wife was there with me, of course, but even though she was sharing this experience with me, she couldn’t really know what it was like to have to be someone else for legal reasons; what it was like to go from being seen as the person you want to be seen as to being seen as some sort of aberration or anomaly. I doubt the salesman has had this issue more than perhaps once or twice. So few people know what this experience is like, and it struck me that my situation was so uncommon. True, among the trans* population this experience is likely something that isn’t completely unique, but the 99% of people who are cis, never go through this.

 

I certainly didn’t have these feelings or experiences when we bought our first car. The only anxiety I felt then was the worry that my credit would be denied. There was no sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because I had to go into the financing office as Robert, the man who looks like a woman. There was no feeling of regret for not having legally changed my status in the world so I didn’t have to go through things like this.

 

Just as I was trying not to be overwhelmed by these thoughts and emotions the financing guy came out of his office (a burly white guy in his 40’s with a giant gut, wearing a shirt and tie) and wandered around for a minute before he asked if we were Robert and Sarah. The confusion on his face was rather apparent as he looked over what appeared to be two women. Clearly our salesman hadn’t warned the financing guy about my appearance.

 

 We confirmed and he reached out to shake my wife’s hand, introducing himself to her. She replied with her name and shook his hand. He came over to me and extended his hand again. I hesitated. How did I introduce myself? This was the man who was responsible for giving a car loan to Robert and agreeing to buy Robert’s car, but I wasn’t Robert, not anymore. Did I introduce myself as Emma? Would that further confuse him? The pressure of the situation crashed in on me and I shook his hand dejectedly saying, “I’m… er… Robert… but please call me Emma.”

 

He nodded without making eye contact and took us into his office. We discussed the price of the car, which was higher than we wanted, honestly. He did pretty well with making sure to call me Emma (only slipped up once or twice), despite all the paperwork saying Robert on it. It was obvious to me, however, that he was feeling a bit out of sorts at having a previously believed-to-be male dressed and appearing like a female in his office.

 

Eventually we settled on a price and signed the all the paperwork. Each time I had to sign I was reminded yet again of who I used to be and wasn’t anymore. I even decided that in order to keep things as legit as possible I should use Robert’s signature on all the lines with his name listed below them, so signing felt almost alien to me. It was like Robert had been temporarily raised from the dead so he could sign away his rights to property that used to be his but was now mine in all but name.

 

We finally finished with the paperwork. He shook our hands and thanked us for our time. We went out to the old car to move everything from it into the new car. We got into the old car and sat in it for a minute, saying our goodbyes to a trusted friend. I started to cry as I said goodbye. My very first car that I bought and owned myself was no longer going to be in my possession. I felt as though I was abandoning it to some unknown fate, almost like I was leaving a pet behind at a shelter, hoping that the next person who owned it would love it as much as I did. It felt truly awful to say goodbye.

 

We got out of the old car, wiping our tears away (my wife cried too) and got into the new car. The salesman wanted to help us connect our phones to the new Bluetooth integrated system. We followed his instructions and all was going well until the he referred to my phone as “Robert’s phone” despite it being titled Emma’s Phone in the car system. It was then that my grief returned in full swing.

 

The excitement of the new car wore thin as I looked over at Robert’s civic once more. Another piece of my former life, gone, given away with the hopes of a better life ahead. No, Mr. Salesman, it’s not Robert’s phone, and it isn’t Robert’s car either. Robert is gone, dispelled as quickly as he was summoned to sign away his final piece of property. His name might be on the title of this car, but that is only a temporary means to an end. There really is no Robert, not anymore.

 

-Emma

Thursday, August 20, 2015

8-20-2015 Entry: Let's Talk About Underwear


my darlings! It is I, the great and magnificent Oz… er… I mean Emma. Okay, I’m feeling a bit playful today, can you tell? I can attest that a vast majority of my playfulness is a result of my recent experience of reestablishing my World of Warcraft addiction for the first time in about 4 or 5 years, but overall I’m feeling better about life than I have been in recent weeks.

I suspect that my Saturn return easing past its natal position probably has something to do with it as well but generally speaking life has become more bearable. I am still unable to write blog entries during the time I was for many months, but I’m finding ways around that blockage. I know, it’s all so mysterious and vague. Well, probably not really, but for the sake of keeping things on the up and up I cannot explicitly explain what I mean. You know, plausible deniability and all.

So today’s entry is going to be a bit more exciting than some of my recent ones, at least I’m hoping it will be. Today, my darlings, I want to talk about the unmentionables. That’s right, we are going to chat about underwear, and what it is like as a transwoman who has not had SRS to live her life in lady skivvies.

So, before we begin I suppose some background is probably in order. Robert was never one to care much about his underwear. He had a specific kind that he eventually settled on and beyond just the type, there was never much thought given beyond that. In fact, almost 99% of the underwear he had, even into his twenties, had been purchased for him by his mother and grandmother for Christmas. Funny how as a child you dread getting things like that for Christmas, but as a young adult you are like, “OMG YES!! I can finally throw away these hole-ridden underwear I’ve been shame-wearing for the last 3 months! The chafing is finally at an end!! Thank you, Grandma!!!”

Basically, Robert eventually settled on boxer briefs as his preferred method of boy-bits-covering and that was for a couple reasons. First and foremost, it offered the greatest protection against chafing, something that became all the more important when he gained 100+ pounds over the span of about 7 years. The second reason was that they were generally more innocuous when it came to lady seducing time than say, batman themed boxers, or heaven forbid, tighty-whiteys. The final reason was that they were easy to comfortably lounge in when no one was around because they basically looked/felt like shorts.

Notice, my lovelies, that Robert didn’t think about fashion at all because, let’s face it, boxer briefs are relatively unimaginative in their construction or coloring. He never sought out expensive versions of his underwear either, usually sufficing with good ol’ Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. He also didn’t think anything at all about the way the underwear looked on him. They covered up the bits, fought against chafing, and that was all that was needed.

So, you can probably imagine that walking into the women’s underwear section at the store was a bit like stumbling into wonderland when we finally decided it was time for us to transition genders. Women’s underwear, is sooooo different than men’s underwear. First, and foremost, women’s underwear usually comes in singular form (although not always) when men’s underwear basically always came in a plastic multi-pack bag (unless you were buying the afore-mentioned super-hero themed boxers, that is).

Women’s underwear also comes in more varieties than men’s underwear. Men basically just have boxers, briefs, and tighty-whities. Women have boy shorts, thongs, no-line undies, granny panties (I don’t know what else to call them, sorry), and like 10,000 different kinds of lacey lingerie-type underwear. I mean, there are entire stores, physical and online, practically dedicated to the varieties of women’s under garments (Victoria Secret to name one). You don’t see a store called Albert’s Secret dedicated solely to men’s underwear, do you? If that doesn’t indicate how drastically different the two worlds are for you, I’m not sure what will.

In addition to the increased variety of underwear, there is also an entirely additional component to lady-dom that men don’t have to worry about, their chests. I’m talking about bras, of course, and they are almost as numerous, if not more numerous, in variety and fashion than underwear is! There are push up bras, convertible bras, adhesive bras, demi bras, front closure bras, full support bras, maternity bras, minimizer bras, padded bras, racerback bras, and the list goes on and on (check out this site if you don’t believe me http://odyb.net/discoveries/29-common-types-of-bra-designs-and-their-functions/ )

Are you starting to miss the simplicity of a multi-pack of boxer briefs yet? I know I certainly am, although despite the increased stress of trying to find not only the kinds of underwear I like but the kinds that will actually fit me functionally, this jaunt into women’s underwear wonderland has been rather exciting.

It’s somewhat like you’ve only ever eaten oatmeal for food your entire life. Sure, you can have a variety of oatmeal like peach oatmeal, blueberry oatmeal, thick cut oatmeal or just plain oatmeal (aka whity-tighties if that wasn’t clear), but it’s still just boring ass oatmeal. One kind often blends into another in a forgettable line of meals. Going to women’s underwear is like going from that boring, relatively unimaginative diet of oatmeal, to arriving at a fancy banquet-style buffet. No, I’m not talking about Golden Corral, I mean like a fancy hotel in Vegas where the price of admission to the buffet is like $35 a head. There’s filet mignon, unlimited crab, lobster tail, and on and on. The kind of buffet that is actually memorable (like the one my wife and I had at our wedding, which was SOOO good)

I do not remember ANY of the underwear I wore 3 years ago… like literally none of them. Sure, I have a vague idea of what they might have looked like because they were just like the ones that came before and after, but overall they were hardly memorable at all. I now have underwear I’m certain I won’t forget for a long time because I picked each one out specifically and almost all of them are different. Some of them are so much more exciting than any of the boxer briefs I had, what with the neat colors and interesting patterns.

I have found, in my experience, that it is much more permissible for a woman to wear multi-colored underwear than it ever was as a man. Even the most basic of day-to-day underwear can be both unique in design/color and even sexy (if that’s what you are going for). Boxer briefs, at least to me, were almost never “sexy” to wear or be seen in. Tighty-whities are absolutely the opposite of sexy. Batman boxers, while neat, are definitely not sexy. The simple, black, boy-shorts I have on right now, definitely have the potential to be sexy.

Anyways, there is obviously somewhat of an elephant in the room when we discuss women’s underwear as a transwoman. Women’s underwear is not designed to comfortably fit or encase, boy bits. Early in transition, with relatively miniscule breasts, wearing a bra can also be a bit tricky. So what to do? Yes, we’ve arrived at the meat of this entry, the practicalities of wearing women’s underwear as an early transition, pre-SRS non-binary transwoman!

Okay, so what are the main concerns when approaching women’s underwear as an early transition, pre-operative transwoman? What are concerns that might not be so obvious at first but are really important? And lastly, why do it at all? Why not just wear men’s underwear still?

First, the main concerns. Obviously, comfort is a key concern. You might feel sexy in your new underwear, but are you going to be comfortable in them for what you are doing? Do you wear the same underwear out on the town as you do for 8 hours at work? If so, are they going to itch, pinch, pull, squeeze, or chafe in a way that won’t be bearable? Depending on the size of your bits, which will likely shrink some with HRT, this can be something rather easy to overcome, or can be a big problem… literally.

Because women’s underwear isn’t designed to fit and snuggle up nicely to a penis and scrotum, chances are, most of the underwear isn’t going to fit the way you’d like. There are way around this, which we will discuss in a moment.

The next concern is how does the underwear display what you have going on downstairs? Does it look like a banana hammock or does it minimize your bits? If you are anything like me, you want the second of the two, especially with certain types of clothing, but is the underwear alone enough to minimize what you have going on?

Some dresses, skirts, pants, and shorts are really amazing at showing the entire world that you have a bulge downstairs, which if you weren’t aware, is a HUGE giveaway that you are transgender (guys like to check girls out, from head to toe, including hips/crotch area, so it is noticeable). If passing is something you are concerned with, you cannot have a bulge in public.

Some clothes + underwear combinations can go so far as to actually display, rather revealingly, the specific features of what’s going on downstairs. I am wearing a maxi skirt right now that does this exact thing. If I don’t make proper underwear decisions, everyone can see not only a bulge, but the actual outline of the penis. Imagine how mortifying that was to discover after buying the skirt.

So, what to do? How does one fix this issue? A lot of you, I’m sure, have heard about tucking. Essentially, it’s where you tuck everything under so that it has a rather smooth, vagina like appearance to it. There are a lot of ways to do this, some more painful and honestly barbaric in my opinion than others. The big one you will hear about is using tape. Yes, that’s right, people are out there right now, strapping down their penis and balls with tape (duct tape, packing tape, etc.) to make it look like they don’t have them.

I commend people who have the pain tolerance to do that because I am not one of them. I haven’t even tried it, honestly, because I’ve seen videos about how to do it and it is not pretty. It looks more like a form of self-torture than anything, but I understand if that’s the route people feel they need to go. I do not judge them, I only implore them to be careful.

The next way you will hear about tucking is through the use of a gaff. This is basically some sort of clothing or device by which you tuck everything in nice and tight without the use of tape. I have seen a lot of ways to do this, but my personal favorite was offered by one of my favorite youtubers, Violet, which can be seen here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzp9tbedh7Q ) you basically take a long stretchy hair band, the tube of a tube sock, and fashion something rather similar to a jock strap, except instead of encasing your junk to protect it, you tuck it in rather tightly.

I liked this method because it was quite effective and relatively easy to fashion, but the problem with it is that it doesn’t really work if you have a larger waistline, which I do. It’s also rather uncomfortable for long periods of time (like sitting in a chair all day at work) so it’s best used for short-term wear, at least in my opinion.

There is a third way of tucking that I, myself, have discovered which is rather effective and easy to achieve. I actually discovered this method by accident when I was trying on swim suits at old navy. I tried on a one piece, which I liked, but it revealed terrible things about my legs that I wanted to hide. I decided to also put on one of those skirt-like bottoms to cover up the scary parts. Upon looking in the mirror with three layers of, essentially, underwear on (my underwear, and two swim suit bottoms), I realized that you couldn’t tell I had boy parts at all. My wife even confirmed for me that it didn’t look like I had a penis at all, and the best part was that it wasn’t all that uncomfortable. It was a little snug, sure, but not unbearable.

I took this discovery home with me and decided to try to replicate the effect. I have found that boy shorts are my favorite kind of women’s underwear so far because they most adequately encase my boy bits (also they weren’t a huge jump from boxer briefs which made the adjustment easy). I have several pairs of them, so I decided to put on more than one pair. I began with just two pairs and what would you know, they almost completely tucked my bits in a way that you couldn’t tell they were there. One pair is usually enough to reduce the visibility for less revealing bottoms, but two pairs is almost as effective as wearing a gaff. The best part is that it is actually comfortable; snug, sure, but comfortably so.

So, for me, the problem of that bulge has been solved by wearing multiple pairs of snug-fitting boy shorts under my more revealing articles (like the maxi skirt I have on), but what about bras? How does one pick the right kind of bra for early transition breasts?

Again, the size of my body limited the kinds of bras I could get. I happen to have a very large torso with some added fat (because I still need to lose weight) so most bras at a regular store aren’t long enough around to fit me. I forget the size I had to get but I ordered one of the largest lengths available from Torrid (big and tall lady story) and still had to buy an extender (ProTip, those can be found at craft stores like JoAnne’s fabric in case you need two or three inches on your bra circumference).

So, what did I land on? Well I bought two two-in-one bras that can be worn as strapped or strapless. At first I wore the straps on them but I hated how often they were falling down my shoulders, so I have been wearing them strapless for the last month or so. I do have to occasionally hike them back up as they can slide down your chest/back, but generally they fit pretty well, so I don’t have to do that very often.

Obviously, things are still rather small upstairs, so rather than trying to find a padded bra that fit me, I got slightly larger cup sizes (a B and a C) and just pad them with folded socks to even things out a bit. Most of my tops are not all that revealing so usually no one can see the socks, but if you like to wear revealing tops, this solution may not work for you. You may want to seek out a padded bra at first, but I leave that up to you to decide. Stuffing is definitely a bit inglorious, but it’s a means to a temporary end.

The last thing is lingerie, which I honestly haven’t even begun to experiment with. I suspect that is something I may hold off on until I can have SRS and can actually wear the lingerie the way it is meant to be. That’s maybe just me, but it feels silly to put that stuff on when my body soooo isn’t in the right place for it. Sex drive has been an issue lately, in no small part because of my body not matching what I want it to be, so showcasing it with expensive lingerie isn’t my idea of a good time. Again, no judgment to others who do want to experiment with it, I hope you find what you are looking for with it.

As a final side note, I do want to say that I still own and regularly wear the men’s boxer briefs I have. I usually wear them after I get home or when I sleep at night because they are a bit more comfortable. Plus, it is really important for your boy bits to have some air to breath. It prevents infections and other nasty things that are miserable to contract (I’m guessing, since I haven’t had that problem). I don’t love the way I look in those but when I’m at home wearing jammies, I don’t really mind.

 I do, however, find a particularly enduring sense of excitement and joy when everything is tucked away under my boy shorts and I look like I have female bits. It just feels right. It just feels like that’s the way it is supposed to be and that’s why I do it. More than fashion or due to gender roles, I wear women’s underwear because it makes me feel happy and comfortable in my body. When I’m in nothing but my skivvies (bra/underwear) and look so much like a girl, I feel at home. It just puts a smile on my face. Plus I’m dead sexy! >;)

Well, my darlings, that’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by and reading up on the unmentionables. If anyone has anything to add please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email

With love,

-Emma

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

8-18-2015 Entry: Overcoming Depression and Faceless Voice Chat Anxieties


 

Hello my lovelies. I hope you are all doing well. I’m sorry I haven’t been posting many entries lately. These changed circumstances are proving to be rather difficult to overcome. The most tragic part of all of this is the fact that I have so much to talk about! I have so many things to share, so many new experiences, both good and bad, in my new life as Emma but I just can’t seem to find the time to share them with you all.

 

I want you to know that I am working through my depressive fog and seem to be coming out the other side. I won’t lie, in order to overcome the near overwhelming urge to commit suicide I had to turn to an old and familiar drug to help me cope with my distress. During my college years as Robert, I played a lovely and addicting game called World of Warcraft and have started playing it again.

 

Try to contain your laughter and eye-rolling. I know it sounds completely silly that in order to overcome my depression I turned to an almost destructively addicting MMORPG but I have found that since reactivating my account for the first time in 4 years, I am feeling extreme relief from the more dramatic grief I was experiencing. Perhaps it is a bit ridiculous that a stupid video game could be the one and only thing that brings me joy and fills me with a desire to keep living, but I’m not going to question it. In fact, my therapist gave her seal of approval on this decision and I can see why.

 

Rather than being at work, feeling hopelessly bored, burnt out, and stir-crazy inside my cube, I spend my hours at work counting down the minutes until I can go home and log into WoW. It gives me something to look forward to, something to feel eager and excited for, something that fills my need to have a bit of control over my life during this period of a severe lack of control.

 

I hate my job. I hate it. Plain and simple. The people I work with and work for are nice enough, and they have certainly been good to me during my transition, but there is no escaping the fact that I hate being a paralegal. I hate the stress. I hate the drudgery. I hate the near-thoughtless paper pushing I do on a daily basis. I am completely unchallenged in the work I do and I now know that I will NEVER be challenged by it. There is nothing in my current field that will challenge me intellectually, but, sadly, it is a necessary evil for a while.

 

As much as I wake up every morning and consider just calling in sick or just quiting via email and going back to bed, I must keep going. I have bills to pay, I have a wife to take care of, I have 4 mangy mongrel-babies who depend on the money I make from this job. I have to keep working as a paralegal until I can begin working as a therapist in a few years out of necessity. If I wish to maintain my life in our house, with our car, with my insurance, with my prescriptions for HRT, and with all the amenities that come from middle-class living, I have to keep going.

 

In order to make the next two years bearable, however, I have to have something that keeps me going; something I feel happy, excited, and eager for. School is exciting and I am eager for it, but it’s also going to be stressful and a lot of work, and I already have so much of that. World of Warcraft, as completely lame as it might sound, gives me a respite from the trials of everyday life. It gives me somewhere I can go and just be free from obligation or stress. When I soar around on my flying mount, farming ore while listening to techno, I feel unburdened; I feel happy. I don’t want to kill myself when I’m doing that, and that’s the point.

 

Yes, it is an addiction. Yes, it is a drug. Yes, it is a coping mechanism, but it’s also what we call damage reduction. Will world of Warcraft adversely affect other parts of my life? Probably; but it’s keeping me alive. Better to be alive and neglecting things occasionally than to be broken and eventually dead, right?

 

For now, it is the drug that causes the pain to subside. It is the salve that heals the wounds of my heart, and it doesn’t come without some unique opportunities to overcome gender dysphoria and fear about my gender. It also presents wonderful opportunities to practice certain aspects of my gender presentation without the fear of being seen, like my voice.

 

I have recently joined a guild and that guild recently signed up for a voice chatting system where players can talk to each other. I have been using this system and I have to say that it is amazing the kinds of fears and anxieties that come up when you begin talking with people who believe you to be female and cannot see you.

 

When I walk around the world wearing my female clothes, my makeup, and my wig, it is MUCH easier to get away with having a not-so-passable voice. All of those other social ques help solidify the gender expression in ways that cannot be discounted, but voice chat with strangers holds no safeguards.

 

If I sound too masculine to these people, they are not going to just assume I’m female because they can see how female I look. The typical rationalizations the brain does on an almost unconscious level aren’t there to say, “Hair = female, Face = female, Clothing = female, voice = not entirely female…. Analysis says 99% certain female”

 

They are going to wonder if I’m just a guy pretending to be a girl (there are a lot of them in WoW, apparently, although usually not via voice chat) and that’s probably not going to end well. So far I think they likely believe I’m female although it’s difficult to say. I have no idea how I’m sounding when I chat with them, so I have no idea what they are hearing.

 

I may honestly never know because they may never say anything to me about it. What they say to each other when their push-to-talk button isn’t pressed down is beyond me. Is the wife asking her husband if this Emma-Mellendra (character name) sounds weird to him too? Is she thinking that I’m a guy? Or has the picture of me on the chat, my name Emma, and the consistent insistence that I’m a girl been enough to seal the deal in their minds?

 

It has be extremely nerve wracking to talk with them and I’ve been relatively quiet and shy in voice chat as a result. I don’t want to forget to use the appropriate voice, which I tend to do if I get too excited or angry. Despite the nervousness I’m finding the experience to be rather rewarding. It’s an excellent opportunity to practice talking as Emma that I’ve been sorely missing. Talking to my wife or friends doesn’t bring out these stresses because they understand I’m still in the process of raising my voice, but talking to strangers who can’t see me pushes my boundaries and takes me out of my comfort zone, which only promotes growth and eventually confidence.

 

I have so much more to share and so many experiences to talk about, but for now I must leave it at this. I’ll try to write again soon, I promise. Emma is not gone and isn’t giving up on writing in the slightest. I love coming here and I hope that you do too.



With love,



Emma

Friday, August 14, 2015

8-14-2015 Entry: Money, Saturn Returns, and Taking Back Our Life


So I have to make this quick because I don’t have much time to write, but I wanted to say a word or two about the ads you are likely seeing on the blog. I have decided that, while it makes me feel a bit like a sell-out, the next step in the evolution of this blog is to monetize it a bit. I’ve done what I could to make the ads as innocuous as possible so you won’t be barraged with flashing pop up crap about payday loans or anything like that (at least I hope that never happens) but just by you viewing my blog posts I make a small amount of money (we are talking a few cents). I’m guessing I make even more money when someone clicks on them, but I leave that up to the reader’s discretion on whether or not they see something interesting enough to click on.

 

I have an entry I’ve been working on but just haven’t had time to publish yet, partly because of my changed circumstances and partly because of the depression I’ve been struggling with. For anyone who knows anything about Astrology (I am an astrologer, btw, although I tend not to discuss it too often these days) this month is essentially the peak of my first Saturn return. When I was born Saturn was at 28 degrees Scorpio and for the first time since my birth  it is at 28 degrees Scorpio again. I’m sure I’m speaking gibberish to many of you but if you are curious to know more about Saturn returns feel free to read this article.


 

It sums it up pretty nicely. If you are approaching your 29th or 30th birthday, I’m just going to say you better be ready for it, because it’s probably not going to be pretty. Mine has basically turned my entire life upside down. It is no coincidence that I came out as Trans* right before my 29th birthday (as Saturn approached its “natal place” in my chart) and why recently I have been at a serious cross roads in my career, my marriage, and my life as a whole. I have determined that Grad school is the way to go and a new career is my future, but more than that I have determined that I MUST make additional changes to my working life in the immediate future. I cannot continue as I have thus far. Either I change my life, or I fall apart until I eventually kill myself. That is the malefic nature of Saturn and its return to its natal home; mortality becomes the essence of your experience. Life is too long and too short to work in a career that drives me to suicidal depression. Life is too long and too short to do something just for the money and no other reason. I must take control of my destiny instead of allowing others to control it for me. I must become, at long last, a true adult.  Childish things must be put aside, and chief among them is giving others the power to dictate to me what I will and won’t do, what is and isn’t a priority, and how I am supposed to spend my time.

 

I am not a child anymore. I am not peon anymore. I am not a new kid on the block anymore. I’ve seen my fair share of heartbreak, disappointment, and abuse by authority. I have lived nearly 30 long years as two people and will not be contained any longer. I refuse to hide who I am and I refuse, most especially, to allow others to dictate how I live my life. There are consequences to every action and I’m finally ready to face the ones I’ve been afraid to face.

 

I am Emma... We are Emma, and we will be as brilliant and beautiful as WE decide.

 

With love, as always,

Emma, transwoman extraordinaire!

=)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

8-11-2015 Entry: Depression Is...


Hello my darlings! I have missed you. These changed circumstances that are preventing me from posting on here as often as before are driving me a bit crazy and I’ve started to unravel a bit. This blog has become such a wonderful avenue for me to exercise my more creative and analytical capabilities that my current profession leaves practically untouched on a daily basis and gives me a feeling of relief from the triviality of daily life. I find writing here to be so much more worthy of my time, effort, and cognitive abilities than the drudgery of my paper-pushing career in law. I read a quote the other day that was transcribed by Betty Friedan in her book The Feminine Mystique that went:

 

"The more your intelligence exceeds your job requirements, the greater your boredom"

 

Sadly, I’m not entirely sure who said those words since she didn’t list the person’s name, but I found these words to be truly encapsulating of my current work conditions. I know it probably sounds a bit pompous or self-congratulating to suggest that the reason I’m so bored with my job is because I’m too intelligent for the work I’m doing, but it’s really the way I feel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel that I’m more intelligent or better than any of my coworkers, but am simply suggesting that the work I do requires so little thought and puts so little strain on my analytical capabilities that I’m constantly finding myself positively bored to death; and I mean that somewhat literally. The depression that my job has caused me in recent weeks, especially as a result in changing circumstances that have limited my ability to find relief here, has definitely driven me to an almost constant state of suicidal depression.

Sure, I can put on a smile and even socialize somewhat normally but almost every night over the last week or two I have gone to bed asking myself why I should keep going, why I should keep living. As I mentioned in my entry last week I nearly walked out on my marriage and life, all simply because of the despair I feel towards my job and my inability to do this (writing) full time.

 In so many ways I feel like a resounding failure. After almost three years of writing books and blogging, I’m still unable to make this effort something more than just a time-consuming hobby. I have dreamt of being a writer as my primary job for over 15 years now and despite all of my efforts, I don’t feel any closer to achieving that goal than before I wrote my first novel. If anything, sometimes I feel further away from it than ever.

People are telling me all the time that I am not a failure and telling me how amazing I am and how good of a writer I am, yet this is the nature of my depression: no matter how much anyone else tries to tell me I’m worthy, I still feel unworthy. The worst part right now is how bad I feel for all of you being subjected to my little pity party. I expect that you came here to read something uplifting, something entertaining, something funny, or even something enlightening and yet all I can seem to write about is my own misery.

The only thing that seems to make me feel better lately is seeing myself in the mirror on a good makeup/outfit day or when a random stranger refers to me with female pronouns/descriptors. It’s like I’ve finally gotten the outside to look more like it is supposed to and that gives me such relief to get to be the person I know I am, but the inside is still so messy and chaotic. Every day is a battle, every day is another difficulty to be overcome, every day is another choice to keep going, to keep living. I pray to god constantly to just kill me, to just put me out of my misery because I’m too afraid to do it myself but those prayers keep going unanswered.

I haven’t answered an email from people writing into me for help in ages because I just can’t bring myself to do it. How can I give them advice when I feel so helplessly lost and alone? How can I even begin to ease their suffering when I have so much of my own clouding my vision? Why would anyone turn to me when I’m such a failure?

This is what depression looks like for me. These are the questions I battle with every day…

 

Depression is when you wake up in the morning and want to call in sick to work every single day because you don’t have the energy to deal with the world.

Depression is when you fake the smile and you pretend everything is okay because you’re convinced it’s better to hide your pain than reveal it to others.

Depression is when you spend the entire day at work wondering if today is the day you finally decide to kill yourself.

Depression is when you are silently crying in bed next to the person you love and all you want is for them to notice your tears, for them to recognize the pain you are in and to comfort you by telling you everything is going to be okay, but you are so crippled by your despair that you cannot bring yourself to reach out for help.

Depression is when you feel so hopelessly alone, even when you are in a room filled with people.

Depression is when you can’t stop yourself from believing that you have no worth, even as everyone around you tries to convince you otherwise.

Depression is when you stop talking to people and begin to isolate yourself because it takes too much energy to keep pretending like everything is okay.

Depression is when you cry yourself to sleep almost every night.

Depression is when you start to wonder if anyone would even notice if you weren’t around anymore.

Depression is when you become certain your life will never be worth living, that you will never achieve your goals or any sense of lasting happiness.

Depression is when you purposely hurt yourself so you can feel something other than emptiness.

Depression hurts.

Depression cripples.

Depression overwhelms.

Depression destroys.

Depression is…

 

If you have ever felt like any of the above I want you to know you aren’t alone. In my darkest hours I always feel so alone, so hopelessly isolated from anything good, warm, or loving, but I want you to know that it is okay to feel this way sometimes because you really aren’t alone. Just because everyone else seems to have everything so under control compared to you doesn’t mean you are broken and they are not. I have done so much in my life, achieved so many things that most people only ever aspire towards, and yet I too feel that crushing loneliness sometimes. I too suffer the overwhelming emotions that come when you can’t think of any reason to keep living.

This entry isn’t for the happy people, it’s for every person out there who has felt so absolutely alone and isolated that the only thing that feels like it could relieve your suffering is death. This is for the people who feel misunderstood and ignored. For the people who wonder if they even matter.

You matter. You really do, I promise. I know it’s hard to remember that sometimes. I know that when all the walls are closing in on you and the light seems to fade out into total encompassing darkness it can be easy to think that you don’t matter, that no one cares and no one will ever notice your pain. I care. Even though we’ve never met and there are a thousand blog posts and youtube videos just like this one, you matter to me. I know how hard it can be to keep going, to keep fighting even when you are certain you’ve already lost, but you have to keep going. You have to because the world would be lesser without you.

If you are feeling like this now, I want you to ask for help. I want you to overcome the crippling pain and reach out to someone for help. It doesn’t matter who it is, just say something, write something, hell even scream something if it makes you speak up. Just speak up! It never gets better when you keep it all inside. I know it’s hard to reveal that kind of pain. I know it’s difficult to even explain it to others, but you have to try. Depression is silence, and silence kills; it really does. Tell a friend, tell a family member, tell a coworker, tell a therapist, tell a priest/pastor; just tell someone, anyone, that you need help, that you can’t keep going like you have on your own.

You aren’t weak for needing help. You aren’t admitting that you are broken when you reveal your suffering. You are human, and suffering is part of the human condition, but suffering alone in silence will only make things worse. It’s okay to want comfort, to want someone to tell you it’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay.

No, really, it’s going to be okay.

You are okay.

You are stronger than your depression.

You are more powerful than these painful thoughts and emotions.

You are beautiful.

You are amazing.

You are extraordinary.

You are irreplaceable.

You matter.

You matter.

You matter.

You are not alone.

I’m here with you, and together we can beat these demons back.

They don’t own us.

They don’t control us.

They are just shadows, but we are light and love.

Light and Love have nothing to fear from the shadows.

You don’t have to be afraid.

You are not alone.

You are beautiful.

You matter. Don’t ever forget that.

 

With love,

-Emma

Thursday, August 6, 2015

8-6-2015 Entry: HRT 23 weeks, aka "Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!"

Hello my darling readers! Another week has come and gone, which means I’ve made it through yet another 7 days on my trip down HRT lane. I have been on estrogen for over 5 months now, and Spiro (T-Blocker) for over 6 months now, which just seems unbelievable. I know I’ve reminisced about this previously but it wasn’t all that long ago that I thought I’d never make it on to HRT. I even put it off for a few months just to be sure, and now I’m nearly half a year into it! I guess time flies when you are having fun!

Well, perhaps I spoke too quickly there. HRT is definitely something, but I’m not sure the word “fun” quite covers the experience. It is exciting, especially when the results start to become visible, but the excitement is definitely brought down to reality with some of the, for lack of a better term, side effects.  (**warning, possible TMI times ahead**)

The most noticeable one for me has been the almost constant tenderness of my breasts as they have started to develop, which is something that is brought into painful awareness every time my kitten decides it’s mommy-snuggle time and she stomps with her full weight on my chest (even sometimes leaping from the couch to the chair, using my chest area as her landing pad). The pain at first was an almost constant ache, which eventually subsided some until my estrogen levels were doubled, at which point the throbbing returned for another few weeks. Now, they feel mostly okay, nicely snuggled inside my bra, kept warm and padded by the socks I use to fill the gap between actual me and the perceived me (more on this in a moment), but touch them and it’s a different story. It’s kind of like a sore muscle after a hard workout that just never goes away. At first it was like day one muscle soreness (you know, when you are actively wondering, “WHY THE FUCK did I work out yesterday??”) but now it’s more like day two or three soreness where the pain isn’t blinding and constant, but if you strain at all you immediately regret it.

Back to the socks in my bra. Is it just me, or does anyone else get some flashback memory of a teenage girl in middle school being totally awful and spreading rumors that some other girl is stuffing her bra so the boys will pay attention to her? Am I the only one who has a memory like that? Every time I mention the socks in there, it brings up this vicarious shame I felt for the poor girl having rumors spread about her, like I’m suddenly going to be judged and made fun of because I have to “enhance” the ladies a bit to look truly feminine. I mean, of all the damn things people would poke fun at, I’m sure they could start with a lot better ammunition than “she stuffs her bra,” am I right? Anyways, I just wanted to address that because it comes up every time. I know I could probably actually fit into one of the smaller/smallest cup sizes these days since they are continuing to grow at a steady rate and are becoming noticeable, but I choose to add breast forms. Besides, it’s not like I’m wearing those black tube socks to work anymore (thank god!), so why not repurpose them? =p::

The next noticeable thing about HRT, and this might just be me, is the havoc it has played on my digestive system. I would try to blame the pills compared to the patch but it started before I switched to the pills. I’ve always had digestive issues, but HRT seems to have worsened them, in rather unpredictable ways. The most noticeable digestive drawback has been the… well… how do I put this… oh damnit, I don’t know how to colorfully describe what only one word can really, fully, describe. I have been constipated for months now. I warned you TMI town was approaching, you have only yourself to blame for continuing to read. =p:::

As an aside, I once saw a graph that had friendship quality on the x axis and the amount you talk about poop on the y axis (bet you never thought all those painful days in school learning algebra would lead you to this moment of me talking about a poop conversation graph, but alas, here we are. You are welcome.) and it was a perfect y = 2x line where the better the friendship, the more you talked about poop (and the more you talked about poop the better the friendship). So see! This is a good thing! We are becoming better friends as you read right now!

Moving on from our real world application of algebra, I luckily have medicine that helps alleviate this issue, but sometimes I forget to take it or don’t have the right opportunity to take it, and the next day I suffer. This sudden stoppage, or as I playfully refer to it as the trade embargo between me and the porcelain god, is completely the opposite that it was prior to HRT, but we aren’t that good of friends yet to discuss pre-HRT pooping. We’ll see how well you do with this tidbit I’ve given you and if I don’t hear any rumors about how Emma is constipated circulating the interwebz then MAYBE we can go down that road, but only if you are lucky. ;)

The final drawback to Estrogen, at least for me, is the increased volatility of my emotions. More specifically, sometimes I just cry and I don’t know why. I can go from having a perfectly wonderful day, everything going my way, my wife being nice to me, eating yummy food, relaxing, feeling accomplished and happy, to /tears, in like no time at all. About a week ago, I was in bed, staring up at the red LED display of the clock telling me it was almost 1am and I just had to cry. I don’t know why I cried, I don’t know why I felt sad, I don’t even know when my sadness began but it just did and I had to cry. An hour earlier I was watching a show I liked and felt content, but there I was, crying myself to sleep.

The only thing I can think is that all the overwhelming emotions I felt during the week prior (The News Interview was very stressful) finally caught up to me and I had to let them go. When I was living as Robert, ruled by the dark powers of testosterone ;) this would have likely never happened. I rarely cried unless I actually felt like there was a reason to. If I’d had a really shitty day at work, if I’d argued a lot with my wife, if I’d not gotten something I really wanted, ect. I might have cried but I would never have just been suddenly overtaken by tears. I don’t want anyone to think that all women are like that or some sexist stereotyping that justifies differential treatment, I’m merely relating my own experience as a naturally emotional person who just so happens to now be under the relatively new influence of estrogen as my primary sex hormone.

Lastly, there is something that’s both, and yet neither, exciting nor bad… it just simply is. I feel… different. Like I literally feel like I have become and am continuing to become a new person. I know, some of you are like “Duh, Emma, you started being a lady, so of course you feel like a different person”  but it’s more than just taking on different gender roles. I’ve been having this growing feeling in the back of my mind that I’m a different person than I used to be, that along with new hormones, new clothes, new presentations, and a new name, there is a new person inside of me. For an in depth look at this refer to: http://transadvent.blogspot.com/2015/07/7-27-2015-entry-22-weeks-on-hrt.html

I notice the change in subtle ways and in passing moments. One way is that things I used to like and used to be interested in or drawn to no longer hold my attention. The easiest example is music. There are some songs that I used to love a lot, and would always enjoy listening to, no matter how many times I heard them, but I’m finding myself not being interested and even disliking some of them. Obviously every song fades a bit from relevancy in a person’s life, but you know that every time you hear that blink 182 song “what’s my age again?” you are still going to rock out to it, at least a little bit (or any other song you used to love 16 years… ago…….. wait, 16 years?? Holy shit that was 16 years ago?? OMG I’m sooo old… /sobs).

What I’m talking about is listening to a song that used to be one of your jams but despite not really hearing it much in recent memory you are like, “I hate this song.” I’m not talking about hearing a backstreet boys song you used to secretly like and now going, “God what was I’m thinking? The 90’s were such a strange era!” I mean hearing all-time favorites that you loved for a decade or more, you know the kind that survive the test of time, and suddenly being like, “I don’t enjoy this at all… like not even a smidge of reminiscence to days of old.”

There have been too many of these in recent memory to really single one song out but suffice it to say that my tastes in music have changed, rather dramatically. I used to be able to tolerate the occasional objectification of women in music (think Maroon 5, for example) or even occasionally enjoy a really dirty song (ying yang twins comes to mind) but now if something is really overtly male-centric or is just talking about women as objects, I won’t listen to it. I just can’t stomach it. In the days of Robert I might have identified a bit with the sexual urge that drove those kinds of lyrics but in the post estrogen era of Emma, I just can’t identify with that primal urge to see women as objects, which leads into another rather significant, albeit subtle change. (I promised we'd talk about sex, after all).

My sexuality is completely different than it used to be. I don’t mean that I’m attracted to men, because I’m really not. Hugh Jackman in the later x-men movies COULD be a possible exception, because good lord man! but otherwise, I’m a big ol lesbian. What I mean is that the way I think about sex, the way I feel sexual attraction, the way I want to experience sex, and the way I actually enjoy the act itself have all changed. That doesn’t just happen to a person and them feel like the same person they were before, especially when it’s this significant. For example, as testosterone driven Robert sex was ALWAYS on my mind somewhere. Maybe I wasn’t actively thinking about it but it was always in the active queue, ready at a moment’s notice to pop to the forefront of conscious thought. Seeing a really attractive woman had a sexual component to my reaction to her. There was an actual physical drive being activated when I saw something I found stimulating or arousing, and the bar for what was stimulating or arousing was REALLY low sometimes.

Forgive me for what I’m about to describe because I know I’m going to sound like a total gross guy in my previous life but I really want to explain this because I don’t think I was alone in these feelings. The conversations I’ve had with other men indicate that I was not unique, at all, so just bear that in mind.

If I saw a girl wearing a short skirt with nice legs and maybe a tight top, there was literally a twinge down in the nether region. Almost like a sleeping dragon catching a whiff of something yummy stumbling into his cavern. My brain processed the image and before I could even really grasp what I was observing it was already activating the “SEX!!!” protocol. There was an almost yearning in the loins to have sex with that girl… someone I’d never met, knew nothing about, and probably wouldn’t have even liked, yet something drove me to feel a desire to have sex with her. So often women were viewed through the lens of objectification before any other lens. If she happened to be smart, funny, driven, charming, or accomplished, those things always came second to whether or not she was attractive, and it was to the degree of uncontrollable compulsion.

I actually feel shame for the way I used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I was all about equality between the sexes and never thought men were better or more deserving than women when I was Robert, but I always saw women through the lens of how attractive they were. I don’t think I could really help it, it was just the way my brain worked. Sex was so constantly on my mind that I almost couldn’t think about a woman without wondering what she’d be like in bed (I told you I was going to sound bad, just remember, I was not alone in this. My guy friends were absolutely the same or worse). Sure I would treat women nicely and be a gentleman by keeping these primitive thoughts and ideas to myself, like my mother taught me to be, but that was only a conditioned state of actively repressing a very powerful and primal urge to procreate as much as possible.

This near constant state of on-demand-arousal resulted in consuming porn almost on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day. If I went more than maybe a day or two without alleviating the urge I would feel a spike in aggressiveness and in how pervasive the desire to have sex was. Go more than a few days and it would be all I thought about from morning until midnight (paradoxically, going a few months had the opposite effect, eventually I stopped thinking about it at all, but let’s save Emma’s Mormon past for another, more in depth, post).

Now, however, after 6+ months of repressing the testosterone hormone, I almost never think about sex. I might consider sex once a day at the very most, but usually go several days without ever feeling a desire for it. When I do feel a desire for it or I find myself “aroused”, it’s not the same as it used to be.

 For example, if I saw the same exact short skirt/nice legs/ tight top girl from before there would be almost no physical reaction at all. Sure, I’d still feel attracted to her and find her appealing, but that physical twinge wouldn’t be there. In fact, there would be almost no physical component at all but instead would be replaced by a very different emotional response. Instead of feeling horny and ready to go at it, I would think she was pretty and feel a sort of flutter in my chest. I’d probably wonder if she was nice or what kinds of things she liked. I would want to establish an emotional connection with her, to really know her and feel like we were a good match before sex was even something I’d consider. It’s like night and day.

I no longer want (on some level) to have sex with every woman I encounter. I don’t even really want to have sex at all most days. It just sounds too tedious or time consuming. I’d so much rather just cuddle with someone or talk to them while we lay in bed together holding each other’s hands.
I mean, how can such a switch exist without a person feeling like they are someone entirely different? I’ve heard about transmen discussing how much more sexually driven and objectifying of women they can become after they start taking testosterone and starting estrogen, at least for me, has been the inverse of that experience. I honestly believe, after having experienced both testosterone and estrogen as primarily sex hormones, that men really are pre-programmed to be more sexually driven than women. I hate to play towards any stereotype and I certainly, in no way, shape, or form condone misogyny or degrading objectification of women by men, but the two main sexes really are different when it comes to sex drive. Of course, there are always exceptions and personality plays a major role in a person’s sex drive (penis doesn’t have to = more sex drive than vagina), but what I’m saying is that hormones really play an ENORMOUS part in a person’s sexuality and how it manifests.

As an estrogen based human I experience sexuality much more through the lens of emotional and mental connection. As a testosterone based human I experienced sexuality primarily through the physical components. As an estrogen based human sex becomes a relatively dormant desire or need. As a testosterone based human sex was usually the prime, secondary, or tertiary objective at any given moment (usually competing with food and sleep). With estrogen, I rarely (maybe twice a month) feel a need to self-gratify. With testosterone it was almost every day; you practically couldn’t leave me at home alone for more than 30 minutes without that either occurring to me to do or me doing it, possibly more than once.

My relationship with my wife has changed a great deal in this regard, although I wish to keep the majority of the details of that private, for her sake more than my own. Suffice it to say that I spend a lot less time trying to convince her that we should and a lot more time being the uninterested party.

Anyways, the point is that things have changed on so many levels. Whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, or primitively, estrogen has turned me into a different person and continues to do so as time goes on. If only 6-ish months of HRT can change so much, how much more will change after a year? Or two? Or three? Or even five/ten? I guess only time will tell, but I think I like where things are going. Now I just need to get this damn professional life portion of my life in order and everything will be peachy-keen! 

Well, that's all for today folks. Hopefully you enjoyed the post. I'll do my best to keep updating the blog at least 3 times a week but with changes in the previous circumstances that lent themselves to providing me with additional time write it's going to be a challenge. I also start grad classes in like 3 weeks as well, which I'm sure will have an effect on things as well. I think I'm actually going to suspend my volunteer efforts for the first semester just to see how difficult school is. For those still waiting for me to reply to your emails, I am deeply sorry I've fallen so far behind. I haven't forgottoen about you, but you definitely deserve better and I'm going to start looking at those right now.

Mucho amor para todos mis lectores!
-Emma

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

8-5-2015 Entry: Surviving Our Bout of Coming Undone

Hello my darlings. I wanted to write in to let you all know I’m still alive and that I will be posting a new blog (other than this one, of course) soon. Some circumstances have changed and it may have an impact on how often I can post on here. Never fear though, I am far from done with trans-advent or blogging about my experiences and the transgender mystique. In fact, my next blog post will likely be about the mystique, but it is only about 75% done.
 
I do want to say, just for complete accountability, that Monday was a very hard day for me. I got very close to ending my own life and spent the majority of the day trying to desperately fight off the demons that were urging me to just give up. As a result of my struggle, I nearly walked out on my marriage, my home, and my life in general Monday night. I’m glad to say that my wife, saint of a woman that she is, weathered the storm of my mental unwinding (exacerbated by inconsistent dosages of my estrogen and spiro thanks to a ditzy moment where I forgot to pick up my Rx before the weekend) and was able to reel me back in and keep me from destroying everything I’ve worked so hard for over the last 6 years or so.
 
I guess I just want you all to know that even when everything on the surface might look like I have things together, it can all unwind in the span of a few hours. This transition, in my gender, the dynamics of my marriage, and my professional life, is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done and can often feel a bit like balancing on a tight rope as I walk over a tank filled with hungry sharks. (If I wasn’t dramatic I wouldn’t be any good as a writer, right?)
 
I am much happier with who I am as Emma and feel  more comfortable in my body than I ever have before. I would never trade that in to be Robert again, even when that means I have to explain to people I used to know as Robert that I am now Emma and that I hope it won’t change our relationship for the worse because I need their help. I know, I’m being really vague, and I apologize for that, but for the time being it is a necessity. More people who know me in real life are reading this blog on the regular and I must be careful what I share and don’t share. I promise to explain it all in time (in a long-winded post, of course, lol) but for now suffice it to say that I have to make some changes in my life if I’m going to avoid reaching the dead-end I arrived at on Monday night again. I can’t keep going like I have, and it’s time to take charge of portions of my life I’ve been content before now to allow to stay the same. I have had enough and that’s become rather apparent to me now.
 
We are Emma, transwoman extraordinaire, and we aren’t going out without a fight. Our demons might try to convince us we’d be better off dead but we refuse to listen to them. They don’t know us, and they can’t touch us. Thankfully we have people, who we value more than words could ever express, to keep us on the road when we start to swerve uncontrollably.
 
With love,
-Emma