Monday, November 30, 2015

11-30-2015 Entry: Lessons from Venus and Finding a New Perspective

Hello my darling readers. I hope you are well. It snowed here in Minnesota last night and as I’m looking out over my neighbors backyard covered in pristine snow, their tall, leafless tree frosted over I can’t help but feel a bit sad.

I decided to not go to work today. Why? I have no idea really, except that I couldn’t bear the thought of having to go to that place today and when I got up and saw that it had snowed my mind was made up. If I’m honest, I really want to quit my job. I really really really do. I’m just so bored by it these days. There is another job that’s popped up that I’m going to apply for today. Sadly it’s still in the legal field but somehow I feel like it will be a better job, one more suited to what I’m wanting out of the last few years of my legal career. It’s more of a secretarial role than what I do now, and although the thought of being a secretary isn’t one I really revel in, I believe it will offer me the opportunity to develop some underutilized skills. I’m honestly hopeful that it will help me stay organized when I decide to start my own therapy practice (or start a practice with some of my grad school friends).
Regardless, though, it will be a change of scenery and a change of pace. My whole life is sort of in a spiraling free-fall and I’m really having to start all over again, so why not start over in my job as well? I started my current job as Robert, so why not let that go to the grave like everything else from his life already has? Total rebirth sounds like a necessary step in the right direction.

 I knew when I decided to transition that this was likely going to happen, that my life would have to be reinvented in almost every way, but I guess I wasn’t all that prepared to be doing this part by myself, at least not under these circumstances. My best friend and the person who truly supported my decision to do this, to transition to my new life as a transwoman, is gone. That’s mostly by my choice right now, although I’m not sure I was given amazing options. It was either continue to be hurt by someone whose actions contradicted their words far too often, or to be alone; so I chose to be alone.
I cannot deny that I still miss her, or that some part of me is still clinging to a misguided hope that she’ll come back, but I’ve found ways to not think about her or to shut down any thoughts of her that do crop up. I’m not always successful but my anger has helped with this ongoing effort. It’s easier to not want to talk to her, to not want to reach out, to not want to see her, and to not allow her inside when I am angry with her.

I am on the other side of the looking glass, so to speak, when it comes to this situation. I’ve spoken about it before but many years ago I did what’s been done to me to a person I loved, and even still care about/think about. I hurt her beyond belief and she has hated me ever since. I understand her hatred now. For so long I thought it was just malice, but really it was a defense mechanism. In order to survive the pain that’s been inflicted upon me I must hate the woman I love. In order to protect myself from being hurt by her any further I must think the worst of her.

It’s an awful feeling. It’s a terrible way to be or to think. I hate hating her, but in order to survive I feel that I must hate her. If I do not hate her than I will allow her inside again and the tiny amount of healing that has occurred will be undone. Nothing would give me greater relief than for her to treat me with kindness and compassion, to truly be my friend like she used to be, but she seems incapable of doing that. Her selfish actions propelled by a desire to “be happy” are more important to her than making sure the friendship we’ve cultivated over the years isn’t shattered to pieces. I want her to be happy, deep down beneath all the resentment and anger, but I also can’t be there for her, not after how unfair she’s been to me.

I recently read some more on Venus in Libra (a very important aspect of my birth chart, and personality) and it brought me so much perspective. I’ll paste what it said in a moment but Venus is the planet in a person’s birth chart that dictates relationships, especially love relationships. It reveals how you love and how you want to be loved. It shows what you value and what you cannot stand. This is mine:

“Venus in Libra people will try to impress you with their kindness, evenhandedness, and willingness to make your relationship work. They have a polished manner in love, which sometimes makes them appear insincere or superficial. They are gentle lovers who hate to be offended. They are threatened by bad manners and direct or abrasive expression of feelings. They not only prefer to choose the middle road, they seek the middle ground in their relationships. You can expect to be treated fairly, and you may be turned on by Venus in Libra's willingness to concede and adjust their lives to fully accommodate you.
Venus in Libra men and women have idealized images of their relationships, even to the point where the relationship becomes bigger than life, taking on a life of its own. They can become quietly resentful if they feel they are being taken advantage of -- and they make it easy for more aggressive types to bully them around.
Pleasing Venus in Libra involves treating them kindly and fairly. They love to share everything with you, so let them. Foreplay for them can be mental -- they love to communicate with you about the relationship. Sharing turns them on, and tactless or uncouth behavior is a turn-off. Although they seem to put up with a lot, be fair with them. Over time, imbalance in their relationship is sure to make them unhappy, and when it comes to this, they may try to even the score in subtle, roundabout ways. Don't let it come to that, and you will be rewarded with a lover who puts themselves in your shoes and treats you exactly how they would like to be treated.
My Personal Ad Bio: "I'm just a nice guy/gal -- some say I'm too nice. I'm romantic and love good conversations. I will please you. All I ask for is fairness." - http://www.cafeastrology.com/articles/lovesexsecrets_venuspg2.html (with added underlining)

All I ask for is fairness… truer words have never been spoken about the way I treat relationships and love. I want it to be fair. I want to please a person and to give them everything they need, but they must treat me with fairness. I have not been treated with fairness. I have been treated about as unfairly as a spouse can be without it involving physical/sexual abuse.

Reading this excerpt, and a few others that I won’t paste, really opened my eyes to a few things. It became clear to me why I felt so hurt and why our relationship unraveled that way it did. She has Venus in Capricorn which is about as cold of a Venus placement as is possible.  It basically means that she cares most about what the relationship she is in does for her, how it serves her, and how she can best utilize it for her own benefit than she does about how her partner feels. I’m not sure there could there be two perspectives more vastly different than those. My love is about fairness and pleasing my partner. Her love is about how it benefits her, how it makes her look, and how she can best exploit it.

She said to me again and again that she wasn’t a lesbian and admitted several times that she didn’t like the way people looked at us in public (she hated the staring). I never fully understood it before doing this research. A Venus in Capricorn cares so much about what other people think of their relationships, because it’s about status. She kept saying that she missed being seen as a regular hetero couple (social status 101). If the relationship is holding a Venus in Capricorn back in some way, especially social status, it will be over in a heartbeat. She was ashamed of me. Even if she supported my decision to transition and maybe legitimately wanted me to be happy, she didn’t want to tell people about us because she was ashamed to have to admit she loved a transwoman.

I was a transwoman and her association with being married to me meant that people might think less of her for being a lesbian or something else unknown. That, I’m sure was intolerable to her. So much so that she destroyed and threw away an amazing friendship because it was more important to her to be seen as straight than as something else. Add to this the fact that she was no longer financially dependent upon my income to afford to live (she got a raise the same day she cheated on me, coincidence? I think not, Watson) and it becomes so apparent why she left. In her mind, I lowered her social status and my financial stability was no longer necessary… of course she’d jump ship and run off towards the next would-be victim of her exploitative love.

And the way she did it was so evident of her Venus placement as well. Could there have been a more cold, calculated, and callous way to end a relationship? Don’t uncouple peacefully, no that would be far too fair and loving (Libra-like), instead torpedo the entire fucking thing and hope it sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

Realizing all of this makes me also realize that I am better off. In all honesty, she was rarely fair to me and rarely put in the kind of effort I needed to make me happy. She did a lot for me in the way of budget, cooking, laundry, etc. but she was always somewhat cold and distant. The only time she ever became truly affectionate or open was when she wanted something from me. Before my transition sex became a currency to be traded for my compliance to her wishes or favors she’d asked. After the transition, I no longer cared about sex the way I did before and so that currency lost its value.

If anything, all of this has shown me how important being treated with Libra-like fairness is to me and will be to me in the next relationship I engage in. I will never date a person with Venus in Capricorn again and I will never tolerate someone who ignores my needs so fully in place of their own. I’m happy to accommodate a person and to please them unendingly, but it’s got to be give and take on their end. They cannot just take, take, take, and take again until there is nothing left to give and then they move on. I have far too much to offer to be exploited anymore. What I have to give must be valued and appreciated, and reciprocated.

I have learned that being alone is not a worse fate than remaining in a horrible situation. That is the danger of a Venus in Libra placement: the fear of being alone becoming so powerful that even insufferable conditions will be accepted to avoid it.

I do not love being alone because I love to love, I love to make someone happy and to make them smile, but I do recognize that it is not the end of the world. Just because I do not have a partner does not mean I am even really alone or have to feel lonely. I have many friends and am gaining new ones week after week. I have the opportunity at an amazing new life, free of her BS. True I do not have someone to share a home with, or even a bed with, but in the immortal words of Kelly Clarkson, “the bed feels warmer sleeping here alone…”



-Emma

Friday, November 27, 2015

11-27-2015 Picture Entry: 40 Weeks on HRT

So, I realized that It has been entirely too long since you’ve seen me, and as today marks my 9th month on HRT (40 weeks today), I might as well post some pictures I’ve taken quite recently.

I will post a longer, more in depth HRT update entry (because there is a lot to tell, yay boobs!) but right now I’m still recovering a bit from yesterday’s events with my Ex. I’m far less angry today than I was last night, and she and I have had a brief, albeit positive, conversation, but I don’t really feel up to writing a long-winded entry just yet. Unfortunately I have to work today because the law firm I’m at is completely absurd. Like 50% of us are gone, yet the rest of us have to come in? Anyways, I won’t bore you with whining about work when you are probably looking forward (I hope) to seeing my gorgeous self! =p::


So, here they are. I’m looking good, aren’t I? ;)

I really liked this one, even if it was in the bathroom at work, lol.

This is me all gussied up for a night out at the gay bar.




And this one is of my natural hair (without makeup, tragically). Not sure if you can tell but I have it up in a pony tail because it's long enough for me to do that now. I'm really getting close to being able to retire the wig, thanks to Biotin (highly recommend it if you are trying to grow your hair out. I take two 5,000 mcg tablets a day with breakfast and I get them from Trader Joe's where they are super cheap comparatively).

Well, that's all I have for now. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to look for an actual HRT update entry soon.

-Emma

Thursday, November 26, 2015

11-26-2015 Entry: Thanksgiving Travesty and the End of a Friendship **edited 11/27

Well, my darling readers, I’ve come to a decision. As many of you know, I’ve been somewhat on the fence about whether or not I want to try to foster a friendship with my cheating ex-wife. After seeing her last Saturday I started to think that a friendship between us was possible because our interaction was friendly and reminiscent of the closeness we had while we were married. She even invited me to go to her mom’s with her for Thanksgiving, which I eventually decided to do after some serious thought.

Some of the things she’d been doing or saying had led me to believe that perhaps she was missing me more than she expected, that perhaps the week away from one another had reminded her just how much our companionship meant to her and that she might be having second thoughts. The adage goes that you never really know what you have until it’s gone, and I was thinking that perhaps she was realizing what she had now that it was gone. Her inviting me to thanksgiving only furthered this belief. Why would she want me to come with her to this holiday like I had so many times before if she wasn’t pining for my companionship? I even probed more than once to make sure she actually wanted me to come with her, and every time I asked she asserted that she wanted me to.

I spent the week actually looking forward to it. There was a voice inside of me that was like, “This is a bad fucking idea, Emma,” but that voice was drowned out by so many other voices saying, “we’ve gotten along so well lately, maybe it will be fun!” “It will be nice to spend time with her again, we miss her so much!” and the loudest voice cried out, “Maybe she really misses us the way we miss her and if this goes well she will remember why she enjoyed being with us. Maybe she’s having second thoughts and we can salvage things after all.”

One of those voices was right, and I’ll give you two guesses which one it was…. Nope, it wasn’t the last one…. That’s right, it was the first one. Going to thanksgiving with my ex was a bad fucking idea, although some “good” has come out of it.

Basically this is how it went down. I went and picked her up at her apartment. It was immediately apparent that she wasn’t excited for this event and wasn’t really all that eager to see me. Great, she insisted she wanted me to come and now that I’m here, out on a fucking limb, risking getting hurt by her again… she doesn’t even want to see me? This is off to a great start already.

We grab the dish she made for the dinner, and we head to the car. Once we are in the car the awkwardness only gets more palpable and I’m really starting to regret agreeing to this. I try to break the tension by starting a conversation, which only ends up making things worse. I ask her what’s new in her life and pretty much the first thing she tells me is that she went on a date two days earlier. I can almost see all of you cringing right now, and you are right to do so. Seriously? That’s the first thing she tells me about, her date? I’m over here, listening to the very goddamn misguided voice suggesting that maybe she actually misses us and maybe we could find a way out of this tangled mess she’s made of our lives, and she opens with telling me a dating story???

I swallow the lump in my throat and inquire further because, dear god, I cannot stand going back to the awkward fucking silence. She starts telling me about the guy and it’s immediately obvious that he was the absolute worst match for her. Everything she tells me about him is like a strike against him being compatible with her (and there were a lot of strikes). I do know her better than anyone else alive, after all. This actually makes me feel a bit better. If she’s having struggles in the dating world then maybe that loud voice isn’t so misguided after all. Oh, wait… never mind, she then proceeds to tell me that she basically has another 3 dates lined up over the next two weeks and says that she has 600 likes on OkCupid (I have like 20, as an FYI).

There’s that lump again, except this time it’s made its home in the pit of my stomach. We struggle through the car drive up and I tell her a bit about my dating (or lack thereof) adventures, which she only seems half interested in. We finally get to her mom’s house and things only get worse. Everyone stares in that “I’m thinking a lot of things but am trying really hard not to look like I’m thinking those things” way. Again, I’m thinking, “fuck, why did we sign up for this?”

Her family is very nice and I take a seat next to her grandfather. He makes small talk with me like he always has and I start to feel a bit better. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. She comes over to the table and sits on the other side of it instead of in one of the three empty chairs near me. SIGH. Eventually I shift over one chair to the end of the table and a moment or two later she says she’s going to sit in the chair I was just in (right next to me). My heart leaps a bit. She wants to sit by us. Maybe things will get better.

GUESS AGAIN!! She sits down next to me and almost immediately begins texting one of the guys she met on OKCupid (I’m assuming that’s how they met, although I could be wrong). I know this because I see the unfamiliar name on the phone screen while she’s too busy smiling about whatever he wrote her to realize that I can see their conversation. Yep, there’s that fucking lump in my stomach again, except this time it’s gained about 45 pounds. I’m just floored. First she opens up our conversations by telling me about her dates and now is ignoring me while I’m two feet away so she can text some guy she might start seeing?

Why the fuck am I even here? Is the only question I can come up with. She gets up and goes into the kitchen while I just sit there in shock, unsure of what to do. We drove together so I can’t exactly leave, not without leaving her stranded and conflating an already tense situation. She eventually comes back and has a glass of water in her hand. Normally, she would have asked me if I wanted something to drink when she knew she was going to the kitchen or at the very least when she comes back with one of her own. Not this time though, she sits down again and starts reading her texts with that same stupid grin on her face. I know this grin well, not because I’ve seen it on her too often, but because it’s the same grin I get every time I get a message from either butterflies or another person I’ve really hit it off with (we’ll talk about her later).

I’ve had enough at this point. I’m thirsty, she’s being unbelievably coldhearted and selfish, and I cannot stand the sight of her smiling like a fool, so I decide to go find a drink of my own. I pour myself a root beer and head back to the table. On my way in the room I see her, yet again, smiling down at her phone, texting someone. I just feel sick to my stomach. Just utterly sick to my stomach. I don’t even want the drink I poured myself anymore. I don’t even want to eat the food that’s almost ready to be dished up.

I sit down next to her and she hardly notices my arrival. Her grandfather starts chatting with me again and a few moments later her mom comes out of the kitchen and announces that the food is ready for us to dish up. The ex and I get up and head into the kitchen. I decide to head to the end of the line while she heads for the front. I don’t want to be near her at all. Her aunt, a person I’ve always liked, notices that I’m not doing so great and comes over to me to ask how I am and hugs me. It took everything I had to not break down into tears right there. I had to blink away the tears as I told her that I was hanging in there. The ex’s mother also notices my downcast demeanor and probably even noticed me blink away the tears. They both want to comfort me but I can’t handle that right now so I try to disengage and grab a plate to start dishing up. They drop it and let me gather my food.

I get my plate ready with entirely too much delicious food and I start heading back to the table where I’ve left my root beer in the hopes that it would save my spot at the end. GUESS AGAIN! Not only has my spot not been saved, but my fucking ex is sitting in it without a goddamn care in the world. She didn’t save me a seat next to her either. She’s just sitting there, eating her food right in front of my root beer without a care in the world. She even looks up at me but doesn’t try to explain or gesticulate that she’s sorry she took my seat.

Luckily there was an empty seat at the opposite end of the table and I was able to sit to eat. By this point I was done. I hardly enjoyed the food I was eating because I just felt so disgusted by my ex’s actions and her complete lack of fucks about me having any sort of pleasant experience in such a difficult place. We are at her mom’s with the family that isn’t my family anymore because my cheating ex decided she wanted a divorce. I’m sitting with these people who are all wondering, just like I am, why the fuck I’m even there, and the only person who could make this situation better or more pleasant is too busy texting some new boyfriend to notice I’m miserable.

I finish my plate, take it to the kitchen, and move over to the couch. I’m done. No more trying to chat, no more pretending like this is anything besides a fucking travesty, no more hoping that it might get better. Her uncle comes to sit by me and we start chatting. I never particularly cared for this guy but he is nice enough to me. Eventually the ex leaves the table to put her plate away and then returns to sit in a chair on the opposite side of the room. There really weren’t many options for seating near me, but I can’t help but be painfully aware of the physical, mental, and emotional distance that’s separating us.

She is pretty much in direct line of sight of me and what does she do? She starts fucking texting again with that stupid grin on her face. I was so pissed. I decided that since she was clearly fucking paying attention to her phone that I would give her the message that I wanted to GTFO as soon as possible via text. She reads it, replies that she wants to wait until after dessert is served but that we can leave after that. She asks if I’m okay, to which I simply reply, no.

The night goes on for another hour or so of us sitting on opposite sides of the room and her smiling down at her phone while she texts somebody. Was it all with the same person? Hell if I know, but I certainly assumed that it was based on that stupid smile she kept getting. Every so often she would look over at me with this, “What’s wrong?” expression but I’d had it with her. I was fucking done. There was no way I was going to engage with her, not after how disrespectful and cold she’d been. If anything, that look of confused concern just solidified that she was completely unaware of the way her actions were being perceived, which also means she was thinking only about herself.

I’d never do this to her. Never. Never, never, never to do anything like this to her. I could never be so selfish or cold. I could never be so unaware of how my actions were ruining someone else’s evening, especially not someone who’d been my best friend for the better part of 7 years, someone I’d loved and claimed to still love and care about.

Eventually dessert was served and we got ready to leave. I basically refused to speak with her, even when she came up to me to ask me what was wrong. I was far too angry and hurt to give her the satisfaction of seeing me be vulnerable. She didn’t deserve that, not anymore. She could not be trusted to not stomp all over my pride or my heart if I let her in again. She’d say she was sorry but her words would be half-hearted, at best.

I went out to the car without really saying goodbye to anyone besides my former mother in law (I just couldn’t bear the thought of pretending to make nice and happy with a bunch of people I was unlikely to see again any time soon), and pulled it into the driveway to allow it to warm up (it snowed today). I went back to find my ex saying goodbye to her mother and minute later we were in the car driving home.

She said she was sorry I’d had a bad time and I told her that the food was good and her family was nice, but that I just couldn’t be around her. She kept probing to see if I’d unpack my feelings further for her benefit but I just couldn’t and wouldn’t. I was done. The chorus of voices that had prompted us to go to this dinner were completely silent and the only voice left was the one that had urged us not to do it. The only thing that voice had to say now was, “There is no possible way for us to be friends, not anymore.”

And so, we drove then entire way back to her apartment without really having any significant conversation. She kept looking at me hoping she could unlock the door to my feelings/thoughts like she always used to. She kept giving me that soft expression that has melted my heart countless times before but it would not work, not this time. I couldn’t and wouldn’t let her inside. I wouldn’t tell her how hurt I felt that she’d ignored me all night in favor of texting with some guy. I wouldn’t tell her how disappointed I was that my belief that she might be having second thoughts about the dissolution of our marriage was incorrect. I wouldn’t let her see me brokenhearted, not again.

I dropped her off at the curb without really saying any substantial kind of goodbye. She’d suggested that we hang out just the two of us in a couple weeks but I had no intention of allowing that to happen. I would not put myself at risk of disappointment or heartache on her account again. I drove away and that’s when the walls came crashing down. She was no longer there to see me so I could finally let it out.
I cried the entire way home. I cried for the better part of 20 minutes in the car after pulling into the garage. I went inside and cried for another half hour. I was so mad at myself. How could I ever allow myself to think that she might be having second thoughts? How could I ever allow myself to believe she’d be anything besides selfish and unaware of her effect on me? How could I have let her back inside and trusted her with my heart after she’d already done so much damage to it? We’d had such a lovely day on Saturday that I thought it was possible to be her friend, to be close to her and yet separated. I trusted her with my heart by believing she would put in the effort necessary to make friendship a true possibility, but she broke that trust once again.

I’d had enough. I had had enough… she’d asked me to tell her what was on my mind in the car and I was ready to finally do that. I sent her a message that explained that I’d thought she’d missed me the way I’d missed her but that it was clear she didn’t. I asked her why she’d invited me to the dinner when all she was going to do was tell me about her date and then text some guy all night. I asked her if she was unaware that I still loved her, that I still wanted to be with her, and that I wanted nothing more than for her to come back home. I told her that she must either be oblivious or just didn’t care, but regardless, I didn’t want to see or talk to her anymore. I told her to go live her happy new life without me because I wanted no part of it. Not now, and maybe not ever.

She replied a few times but I will not answer those messages. I went and unfriended her on Facebook as well. There is nothing left inside of me for her. She is no friend of mine. Friends don’t treat each other the way she treats me. Friendship is about respect and companionship. Friendship is about anticipating the needs of another and being there for them when things get hard. It’s about placing the needs of another before your own because you know they would do the same for you. She is incapable of being there for me or placing my needs ahead of her own, either because she’s too wrapped up in her own little selfish world to see how to be there for me or because she just doesn’t care enough to place my needs before hers.  I have bent over backwards to try to make this post-marriage friendship work. I helped her move, I drove her to the store multiple times because she doesn’t have a car, I made the divorce as painless as possible and even helped pay for the fucking thing, I tried to give her space and respected her privacy, I let her sleep in the bed with me when I should have kicked her ass to the curb and despite all of that and more, she has done nothing but think of herself the entire time. Everything she’s done has been for her own benefit, regardless if it breaks my heart or not. Fuck that and fuck her.

I have plenty of true friends who care about me, who treat me with kindness and respect, and who have stepped up when I needed them to. They know what friendship is about, and they would never treat me the way she does. They know that even if I put on a good show of being okay that I’m completely not okay. They know that even though I’m making efforts to move on with my life and meet new people, that I’m still grieving the loss of my wife and best friend. They understand that just because I don’t go around crying all day every day that it doesn’t mean I’m not still completely broken up about this. They understand that I need kindness and affection to help the healing process, even if it’s not convenient or easy for them. They do that because they know I’d do the exact same for them. That’s what real friends do.

So, I’ve made my decision. There will be no friendship with my ex, not now, and probably not ever. She doesn’t deserve my friendship. She doesn’t deserve to be rewarded for her appalling and selfish behavior by me being nice, doing things for her, and placing her needs before my own. I won’t put her guilty fucking heart at ease by pretending everything is okay when it isn’t. She has done awful, horrible, selfish, destructive, and cruel things to the person who loved her more than anyone else and she will have to live with the consequences of knowing that she may never be able to fix this friendship she’s broken so utterly.
If she ever hopes to make a friendship possible between us, she will have to prove to me that she is worth my time, and in not sure she is even willing to try. 

-Emma

Monday, November 23, 2015

11-23-2015 Entry: Am I coming, or Am I Going?


Good morning my lovely readers. I hope this Monday morning is a little less blue for you than it is for me. I think I have to sadly report that my understanding of the mutual attraction between Butterflies (a person I’ve mentioned a few times) and I was possibly a mistake. I think that there is a degree of attraction there but it seems as though I was more interested in the interaction than they were. After spending the evening with my friends, which includes Butterflies, it became somewhat obvious that the flirtation was really only going one direction most of the time. Yes, there was a scrap coming here or there but it is quite possible I was reading into things that I shouldn’t have been.

I left the pseudo-party feeling really… disappointed, honestly. I had considered not even going out because of the difficult time I’d had the night before at the gay bar but I decided that because I’d have greater opportunity to interact with Butterflies that it was worth taking another shot at it. In many ways I wish I’d just stayed home. I think lying on the couch and snoozing to the Vikings losing to my Packers would have been a preferable experience. I certainly would have spent less money and used less gas driving all over town.

I am left, yet again, feeling hopelessly lonely. My best friend is gone. The person I did everything with, who meant the entire world to me and was really the only person I ever wanted to hang out with on a regular basis isn’t really part of my life anymore, and she doesn’t really want to be. I miss her. I know I said I would try to talk about her less but the sadness is too great to keep bottled up. I miss my wife. There are no two ways about it.

It doesn’t matter how many other people come into my life that are interesting or flirtatious, at the end of every day I miss her. At the end of every day, no matter how good or bad it has been, I want her and only her. I’d give all of this new life and these new experiences back if it meant that she would come back, and the part that kills me is that she won’t come back. She never will. Either because she doesn’t love me anymore or because she is too proud to admit that she made a mistake.

I think that maybe I was trying too hard to move forward when what I really need is to just be alone and sad for a while. I know that sounds disheartening but I don’t think I’m ready for anything besides that. My interactions with Butterflies have only shown me how raw everything still is and how much even the slightest perceived rejection can hurt and can send me flying into depression.

I think that I’ve decided I’m going to stop trying to be social. I’m going to stop going out to the bar unless I’m specifically invited and I’m going to stop actively trying to meet new people. I’ve already decided that I’m going to stop trying to capture the interest of Butterflies and I may very well stop surfing around OKCupid as often as I have been. I won’t stop that completely because I paid for a membership and that would be a huge waste of money, but I think I’m just going to let people come to me. That likely means I’ll be lonely for some time, but perhaps that is for the best.

I think that I’ll just go to work, go to class, and just go straight to bed when I get home. I don’t want to be out and about anymore. I don’t want to get dolled up for the bar and end up sitting on a barstool by myself, not talking to anyone, feeling sad because everyone else is having fun when I’m not. I don’t want to go to pseudo-parties with the hopes of getting quality time with my pseudo-crush only to end up leaving feeling disappointed and somewhat rejected.

If everything I try to do results in me just feeling sad and alone, then why not just embrace the sadness and loneliness for a while? Why keep trying to force something to happen when clearly I’m meant to be alone right now.

There is only one person I want to be with right now and they don’t want to be with me anymore, so I guess I’ll just be alone. I know how defeatist that sounds, and I know that these are just my defense mechanisms telling me to shut down in order to avoid further pain, but I’m inclined to listen to them. They are there for a reason, and right now they are pretty persuasive. Rather than risk being hurt further when we still need to do so much healing, it sounds better to take no risk at all until the wounds mend a bit, so that’s what I’m thinking I’ll do.

This is all such a roller coaster ride, so god only knows how I’ll feel in a couple hours but for now I’m content just being sad and alone.

I do suppose, however, that if I’m giving up my aspirations of cultivating some sort of non-committal relationship with Butterflies that I might as well reveal the big mystery. Hopefully you recall that I said this person came from the most unexpected of places, and I’m guessing that it hasn’t been lost on everyone that I have been using they/them when I refer to them (see did it again). The reason I’ve been so reluctant to reveal too much information about this person is because I wasn’t entirely sure I could trust my feelings about them.

You see, I have a type that I’m attracted to. I have a certain idea of the kind of person I want to be with either physically or emotionally. That type has changed somewhat since I start HRT but for the most part it’s rather consistent. I like femme women. Sure, I’ve started to notice myself being attracted to women who were a bit more masculine or androgynous in their appearance, but for the most part I preferred femme women (If I had to pick a lesbian category that I fit into, it would be a lipstick lesbian).

Butterflies, however, isn’t femme at all. In fact, Butterflies is a trans man. Yep, that’s right, Emma lesbian transwoman extraordinaire found herself suddenly and surprisingly attracted to a trans man. Can you imagine my surprise when this happened? It was so unexpected, so unanticipated, and so, so confusing.

WTF? I like a trans man? But I’m not attracted to men at all…..……………. There just were no words. It was like I’d been thrown off a horse and the whole world went topsy-turvy.

Was this real? Was I dreaming? Sure, I was at the end of my second rum and coke, but surely these feelings weren’t just the alcohol talking. I was legitimately getting butterflies over a trans man? I went home that night in a fog of confusion and excitement. I took a shower and kept wondering if I was suffering from a temporary bought of insanity or if it was time to re-examine my self-concepts about my sexuality.

I have always been attracted to women. I have always believed that I was a lesbian, even when I was still living as a man. I have always envisioned myself with a typical female. Being attracted to a trans man was never something I thought I’d be okay with or even excited about. I did not envision this. Two weeks ago my therapist (She’s queer and is married to a trans man) asked me if I’d ever consider dating a trans man and at the time I was fairly confident with my “probably not” answer. Now I don’t know what the fuck the answer is.

So, in the midst of me writing this “I’m just going to be alone and sad because Butterflies isn’t as interested in me as I thought and maybe that’s for the best” entry it would figure that I’d start a text conversation with Butterflies. One that is not only super flirty, but kind of sexual in nature.

Jesus, my friends, my life is a hot mess. Am I coming or am I going? I cannot tell. Just when I think I hit solid ground and I can stand surefooted for a moment, it falls out from under me again.

Am I resolute in being alone or do I want to try to see this person? Am I a lesbian, or do I need to start thinking of myself as queer instead? Am I attracted to trans men or is it just this on in particular? WTF?

My friends, I’m just not certain about anything anymore. I thought I had life all figured out and under my control and now I don’t know WTF is happening. I thought my gender issues were difficult to figure out, now I get to start questioning my sexuality too? /SIGH

I guess only time will tell where I end up with all of this craziness. I guess you should stay tuned if you are as curious to know where this goes as I am. I honestly cannot predict what tomorrow will bring. I just have to ride the waves of this rushing river called my life and see where it takes me.

-Emma

Sunday, November 22, 2015

11-22-2015 Entry: The Initial Ups and Downs of the LGBT Nightlife

Hello, my darlings. I hope you are well. If you are in the U.S. I hope you are actually looking forward to Thanksgiving. I know that going to see family members, especially within the trans* and LGB community can sometimes be more painful than thankful. I know what it is like to have family members not only refuse to acknowledge who you are, but to be rather mean about the whole thing. Pronouns and birth names are truly a hot-button topic when it comes to family gatherings and I wish my trans* readers the very best of luck if a family gathering is looming.

I hope that many of you are among the lucky few who have totally accepting and supportive families, and if you don’t I hope you are like me in that you’ve developed an adopted family of people who truly have your back. This thanksgiving I am thankful for my friends, for the people who have no reason to be good to me but still are. For the people who’ve taken me under their wings as I find myself suddenly single at 30 and completely new to the LGBT social world. I don’t know that an introvert such as myself could have survived the trip into the unknown realm of LGBT nightlife alone. In fact, I’m certain that without their help and care, I’d be totally hopeless right now.

I know that because I feel as though I’m on the verge of it now. Were it not for the safety of my close group of friends, I feel as though I would be plunging over the side into the gulf of loneliness and despair. Going to the bar, as I did last night, is both a rewarding and truly depressing affair. On one hand it’s exciting and new and fun. It’s wonderful to feel social, to know that there are people who care. It’s also fun to get dressed up and feel all sexy and confident. It’s even more rewarding when your efforts to look good net you a lot of positive attention from the local lesbian populace. I definitely got checked out many times by women who clearly thought I was attractive and even had a few flirt with me.

There was one in particular who caught my eye, and we met and chatted a couple different times, but my shyness overtook me. I wanted so much to expand our interaction, to try to get to know this person better and to see if her flirtation was more than just harmless fun, but I just couldn’t bring myself to be that bold. Although my friends were around and I talked with them many times, they were also working the fund-raising event that was going on, so our interactions were usually pretty brief. Despite knowing and chatting with perhaps 8 or 9 different people that I’ve met in recent weeks, I felt completely alone much of the night.

The person who I’ve been having butterflies about was there, and a big reason I took my appearance up a notch or two was because I was hoping to impress them. I wanted them to be blown away by how well I clean up when I put in the time and effort, but as my interactions with them were truly limited (they were working the event too), I didn’t get the positive reception I was hoping for. While I know it’s important to be confident in yourself and to not rely on external validation (I’m seeing a tiny version of my therapist standing on my shoulder reminding me of my “work”) to shore up your confidence, I am at a very vulnerable place in life so external validation does wonders for my broken self-esteem.

I’m single and alone for the first time, truly, in about 10 years. I am less than 6 months into living full-time as Emma and I’m having to throw myself into very uncomfortable and anxious environments without much support or safety. I really don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never done this before. I was never the person who went out and went to the bars on a regular basis. Sure I had a close group of friends and we’d hit a favorite bar a couple times a month to drink beer before going to watch hockey, but it was always a group outing. I was never totally cut off from my social circle.
When I’m out, alone, in an intense social situation, I clam up. If someone doesn’t come to pry me open to remind me that I need to get out of my own head, I just gravitate to a corner and watch the scene quietly from a distance. I know, even in that moment, that if I just let go and started to not care or not worry that I could have a great time, but I just… don’t do that. I don’t know why but I can’t. I get overwhelmed and then just want to crawl into a hole and hide, or flee back to the safety of my own house. I can usually stand to be in such a situation alone for about an hour before it becomes too much for me.

Last night was no exception. It was fun, it was interesting, I had a lot of great experiences and moments of flirtation, but after a while I just felt lonely and overwhelmed. Everyone was having so much fun and there I was, sitting on a barstool by myself, not talking to anyone and no one really even noticing that I existed. My friends kept walking past me doing their job*, maybe pausing to smile or wave, but not really talking to me.

 (*They were pretend police officers who were putting people in “jail” where others had to come bail them out; the bail money went towards the fund-raising cause. It was really quite entertaining and I was even one of the people who got put in jail; Butterflies was the person who took pity on me after I’d been in there for 10 minutes or so and bailed me out because they are a total sweetheart).

So, it didn’t take long before the overwhelming loneliness became too much for me and I decided to leave. I decided to be somewhat bold as my final act of the night and went up to the girl I’d chatted/flirted/danced with and told her that it was very nice to meet her and that I hoped to see her again. She was very kind and said likewise. I said goodbye to my friends, grabbed my jacket and fled the scene with a growing sense of sadness.

I just felt so… lonely. So sad and lonely. I drove home alone, I arrived to a dark house, and I went to bed alone. None of my friends, despite recognizing that I’d gone dark on them, messaged me to see if I was okay before I fell asleep. I did wake up an hour or two later to see that Butterflies (that’s their new name, just as an FYI) had actually messaged me a short while after I dozed off to see if I was okay. That did make me feel better before I fell asleep again, but in some ways the damage had already been done.

I’d dressed up, gussied up, went out feeling all confident and sexy, had fun for a while, and then eventually crashed into lonely depression. It doesn’t bode well that so much effort and excitement resulted in such crushing loneliness. The depression makes me want to not even try again. I know I will, because Emma is never truly defeated but I needed something more than what I got. I want to heal from all of this recent trauma and I know that having positive and rewarding experiences will help in that process. The risk, however, is that promising and rewarding experiences can easily become mistakes or regretful experiences, which only exacerbate the situation in need of healing.

I don’t know that I regret going out last night, per se, but I definitely don’t think it helped me in the healing process. It’s one of those things that the results of the action take so long to truly manifest that It’s difficult to tell if it was a waste of time or not. Perhaps going out last night, socializing with these people I’ve recently met, meeting flirtation girl (her new name for the moment), getting checked out by the local ladies, and becoming a more familiar face around the bar will be a good thing in the long run. Maybe it will even net me amazing opportunities later for fun, excitement, friendship, sex, or even love, but it will be a while before I can say for sure. All I know is that I went home alone, sad and feeling dejected, and now I have to pick myself up out of the dirt again.

I’m getting so tired of falling face first into the ground. I’m truly weary from it, my friends. A big part of me just wants to lay in it for a while; to just give in to the weight of gravity and stop trying. What’s the point in getting back up when all I’m going to end up doing is landing right where I am now? Taking a nap sounds so much better right now than struggling to get up again. I wish I could just spend a couple weeks sleeping my days away. Eating like nothing, drinking entirely too much rum, and sleeping. We can call it a depressed-drunk-acation. Think my employer would pay me for that? If only.

But no, I must keep moving ahead. I have to keep going to work and going to class. I have to keep forcing myself not to give up. I have to keep eating and I have to keep getting dressed up. I cannot let it all slip. I refuse to let it all slip. If you fail, try and try again, isn’t that the old adage? Well, I have failed but I must try and then try again. Eventually, it will be better. Eventually getting dressed up like a foxy lady will pan out and some lucky person is going to finally recognize in me what I already know, that I’m totally fabulous!

Anyways, thank you all for coming here to read my random thoughts and depressing candor. Sometimes being able to discuss these things is the only thing that brings relief from the pain, so thank you for bearing with me as I try to navigate this storm that’s swept my old life away. I promise that someday soon I’ll be writing to tell you about all the new and exciting things I’m doing and experiencing because of my new life as Emma the Trans* socialite. A bright future is out there waiting for me, and for all of us, we just have to keep moving ahead, even when things are difficult and heavy.

I hope you all have a lovely week and I hope you find yourself surrounded by loved ones.

**MUAH**

-Emma

Friday, November 20, 2015

11-20-2015 Entry: An Open Letter for Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015


So, it occurs to me that I should probably step out of my own little world for a minute and say something about today. For those who’ve been living under a rock today is the Transgender day of Remembrance. It is perhaps the saddest day of the year for me and for those like me. Today is the day we look back over the last twelve months and grieve for those who have been attacked, raped, and murdered because of transphobic violence. There are varying numbers floating around for the number of transgender people murdered over the last year but as many of these crimes often go unreported it’s hard to say what the true number is. For many victims their true gender isn’t recognized and they are simply categorized by their gender assigned at birth/presumed sex. As such, it is difficult to truly say how many have perished this last year but the number is in the hundreds.

What I think should also be taken into consideration, and is often overlooked, are those trans* individuals who lose their life to depression and suicide. While these are often self-inflicted acts of desperation, they are also frequently the result of the transphobic climate we live in. Violence comes in many forms and there is rarely one more harmful than social delegitimization, ostracism, and intolerance.

Although I have been fortunate to only have minor altercations with people, I am one of the countless numbers that gets harassed, mocked, ridiculed, and derided by strangers on a regular basis. I have had complete strangers sexually harass me and then laughingly ask me if I’m a girl or a boy. I have had strangers laugh at me, mock me, and try their damndest to out me to everyone in earshot. I get stared at. I get treated like I’m less than human. I have people who used to treat me with decency when I presented as male suddenly turn a cold shoulder or completely ignore me. I have had family members disown me and insist upon calling me by my male name/pronouns despite me asking them not to again and again.

I get emails from people all around the world who have families that disown them, who have families that kick them out, who have experienced abuse, who have experienced violence, who have been homeless, who have had to resort to sex work to survive, and who have considered or attempted suicide. I have brushed virtual shoulders with countless people far less fortunate than I am, and my understanding of the suffering of trans* individuals around the world continues to grow. I have vowed to make my life’s work to make it easier for trans* individuals to find and obtain help. I have vowed to use my education and privilege to bring further understanding to the trans* condition. I have vowed to live openly and proudly, unafraid of the abuses I receive, because I understand that in order for us to gain acceptance, we have to be visible.

Today is about making transgender people and the violence they face, visible. Today is about telling the stories of those who’ve passed away simply because they were not accepted for who they are. Today is a day that we remember that the fight for equality is far from over. We’ve made such enormous steps in the right direction and we need to celebrate that, but today reminds us that there is still much to be done. So, tonight, before you go to bed, I hope you will take a moment to be silent. I hope you will use that moment of silence to reflect on what you as an individual can do to help raise trans* awareness.

Maybe it’s as simple as sharing something on social media about TDOR, maybe it’s as simple as openly supporting and praising a trans person you know (assuming they are okay with you doing that, you should probably check first), it may be that you are trans* or think you are trans* and just haven’t had the courage to come out. Maybe today is the day you decide live out and proud instead of living in the shadows (not a bad thing, just so we are clear). Maybe you have a child or family member who is trans* that you could be a better ally for. Maybe there is a local outreach that takes in LGBT people struggling that you could volunteer at. Even just one act of kindness, courage, or awareness-spreading can have an amazing impact. We are all in this together. Whether you are straight, gay, bisexual, queer, lesbian, pansexual, demisexual, a trans man, a trans woman, genderfluid, androgynous, bigender, agender, genderqueer, or just a damn human being, we can all do something to help.

I get on here day after day, week after week, month after month pulling back the curtain on one possible trans* experience. I volunteer when I have time to help those questioning their genders, and I’m doing almost all of my grad school research on trans* issues. I am networking with researchers from around the world who have been studying the trans* condition and who have helped propel amazing innovations in mental health and medicine for trans* people. I intend to carry on their work into the next phase of understanding the fluid and fleeting nature of gender. I agreed to go on the news so people would have a chance to see a local transwoman, perhaps for the first time. And yet, I know that I have not done enough.

I hope, if nothing else, that my example inspires you to jump into this fight. Some of us are living and breathing this trans* revolution while many are just idly sitting by. Some of us are dying for the cause, and that, my friends, is unacceptable. No one should be murdered for living true to themselves, and you can help stop it. You can spread love instead of misinformation, fear, and intolerance. You can raise awareness, and it doesn’t have to be hard. Figure out what you can do, however small, to raise awareness and promote love/acceptance, and then do it. You’ll be on the right side of history, this I can promise.

To those who have passed, I offer this final word: You were all so fabulous in life, and I know you are even more fabulous up in heaven, but I promise you that I’m going to do everything I can down here to make sure our brothers, sisters, and siblings can live true to themselves without fear of abuse or death. I promise to keep living openly and to keep pushing the boundaries of our understanding on what it means to be trans*. We are trans* and we are beautiful.

-Emma

11-20-2015 Entry: Emma’s Hot Mess of a Life, Episode 1


Hello my darling readers! I hope you are well. I hope you are all finding happiness and love, and maybe even some good sex these days! Unless you are a minor, then maybe the sex part should wait a bit, it does truly complicate things children /wags finger.

Anyways, obligatory wait-to-have-sex disclaimers aside, things have been going pretty well for me, all things considered. As I wrote yesterday there is a new “romantic” interest that’s popped into my life very unexpectedly and from the most unlikely of places. I’m still not going to share too many details at this point because, again, I don’t kiss and tell. Well at least not until there has been enough kissing that it’s no longer any huge secret that it’s happening.

My suspicions yesterday that this person was interested in me that way were definitely confirmed last night, and all I’m going to admit to for now is that quite a bit of flirting ensued. It was nice, really, to have someone actually want to give me attention. To actually have someone interested in me and getting to know me. I guess the drawback to marriage is that eventually you may get bored with “getting to know” your significant other. I definitely was still interested in learning how my ex was growing and having new experiences and becoming a more rounded adult as she progressed in her career and hobbies, but alas, my interest in that has started to fade out of necessity. I’m sure it’s pretty mutual, if not more so on her end than mine.

Regardless, this new person is sweet and kind and funny and fun to be around. They make me smile and in a way I never would have imagined. It’s hard to explain but with the ex, I was never really adored as a woman. Sure, she appreciated my increase in personal upkeep and presentation, and even told me I looked pretty a handful of times, but she was never really in to it the way this person is. This person sees me as a woman and is attracted to that. Instead of just tolerating it and complimenting it sometimes, they are actively engaged and compliment it quite a bit.

I don’t remember the last time my ex actually showed that she found me sexy. It might have been a few years, honestly. By the end sex had become more a marital obligation than something that happened organically, especially after I went on HRT. There were no more knowing looks from across the room or the unspoken body-language agreement that we were going to get down and dirty at the first opportunity. There just wasn’t really that chemistry or connection anymore. Not because I didn’t want there to be, I absolutely did, but it takes two to tango, and she either forgot or purposely left her dancing shoes at home.

Now, however, I have that again. There is that flirtatious, body-language connection. There is that, Joey Tribbiani “how you doin?” aspect to the dynamic.



Don’t get me wrong, I do not love this person. I am not interested in loving this person or entering some sort of committed relationship with them, and from what we’ve discussed they aren’t into that right now either. All this is/going to be is a non-committal flirtatious and physical relationship. Perhaps some of you are out there judging me, but if I’m ever going to succeed in this world as Emma, I have to experience sex as Emma. I have to understand how sex in the Trans* world works and functions. I have plenty of practice in the hetero-cis realm, but that doesn’t really apply to me anymore. Not only am I not a man anymore, but I’m not very comfortable assuming the male role in a sexual encounter (if you accept that such a thing even exists).

Besides, if the ex is out there getting some action, why shouldn’t I be getting some too? I’m the one who was cheated on and left behind, if anyone deserves a non-committal fuck-buddy it’s me. Back when I was actively considering having an affair I wanted an NSA FWB (no strings attached, friends with benefits) situation. I wasn’t looking for someone to fall in love with; I just wanted that mind-blowing sex that I’d been missing at home. Now, I can have that without the guilt of hurting someone I'm committed to.

I was so afraid when the ex left that I’d never find someone who was attracted to a transwoman, let alone someone who was attracted to me and me to them in return (trust me, there have been plenty of people interested that I was NOT uninterested in). I was terrified that I’d be alone for many years, if not forever, because I thought no one would come anywhere near a girl who had boy parts, even one as passable and attractive/charming as I am. I knew I’d always been a lady-killer in my younger years, but those were with straight women. How would I ever manage that same level of suave in the trans* lesbian/queer/bisexual world?

I suppose I cannot claim total victory yet, but I’m off to a promising start. I’m heading in a direction of entirely new and exciting sexual experiences, and they are going to look nothing like the ones I’ve had before. While I hold no illusions that this new romp into the realm of trans* sexuality will cure my broken heart or erase the scars left by my ex, it will, at the very least, help reinforce my somewhat damaged confidence. It has already started to. I might be a hot mess on the inside, but I’m a sexy devil on the outside, and for now, that will have to be good enough.

I know, you probably hate me a little right now with all this teasing and vague-blogging, but I really don’t want to risk jeopardizing what’s happening so early in the process. Trust me, my darlings, you will know most if not all of what’s happening in time. You’ll just have to be patient. I expect the next few weeks will have quite a few new developments in them, so stay tuned.

Well, that’s all I have for today’s episode of Emma’s Hot Mess of a Life, tune in next time to find out if this mystery “romance” gets any hotter. >;)

-Emma

Thursday, November 19, 2015

11-19-2015 Entry: Well, That Was Unexpected...


Good morning my darlings! I hope you you’ve been well. I have certainly been all over the place over the last few weeks but this morning I feel a definite shift.

I am going to torture you some and keep what I’m about to discuss very vague and in the abstract because I’m not sure I’m ready to fully divulge what happened last night when I went out to the bar with my friends. Believe me, it will be as hard for me to keep this abstract as it likely will be for you to read. Just bear in mind that nothing I’m about to discuss is negative or bad. I’m not positive it is good either, but for now I’m content being in the middle between good and bad.

After my ex made the decisions that she made over the last 3 weeks I have to tell you that I honestly felt like I was worthless. The person I loved and cared for more than any other, the person I had devoted my life to and had done everything in my power to make happy had cast me aside like I meant nothing. Her continued cutting me out of her life and past only furthered this feeling of worthlessness.

I have never really been very good at feeling worthy and have certainly struggled over the years to believe that I was worthy of love. There were some serious issues in my childhood (abandonment, sexual abuse, etc.) that made it very difficult for me to accept love from others or at the very least to not doubt their love entirely. My ex was the first person I managed to overcome that hurdle with. I found that I did trust her love and that I did deserve her love. That was an enormous thing for me, one that I doubt she ever fully grasped.

When she cast me aside like I meant nothing to her, that shaky foundation upon which I built the infant belief that I was worthy of love and that I deserved to be loved was left in a smoldering heap on the ground. I was certain that I had just been mistaken, that perhaps I had been right all along that I wasn’t worthy of love; that I didn’t deserve to be loved. Who could ever love a wretch like me?

So, imagine my surprise when after only a few weeks I have found someone who has begun the restoration of that destroyed foundation. Imagine how truly unexpected it was to find someone like that when I was so down and broken, and for them to come from the most unlikely of places.

This person is kind and caring. They are sweet and they treat me like a lady or a princess of some kind. They do things for me and try to take care of me when I’ve had too much to drink or I’m feeling overly shy. They compliment me and they flirt with me. They make me feel cared for and cared about. They seem to really genuinely care for me and their affection has been a soothing balm on this scalded heart of mine.

I’ve only known them for a short while, but in that time I have felt myself growing more and more fond of them with each new interaction. At first I thought it was just a blossoming friendship as this person wasn’t exactly my type, but something shifted last night. I don’t know if it was just the rum or the fact that I was incredibly vulnerable after several days of my ex systematically removing me from her life/past, but I started to feel something more than just friendship for this person. They saw me as Emma and I’m 99% sure they are attracted to me as Emma (they’ve certainly flirted enough with me to give me that impression). It’s so weird to be seen as a woman and to be found attractive as a woman.

I still can’t quite put my finger on the exact emotion this person has elicited from me, but it took me by surprise, to say the least. There was a warmth there… and tiny little spark of affection. I started to wonder if I could actually see myself with them. They are so unlike anyone I’ve ever been attracted to, yet I found myself wanting more from them. I envisioned kissing them and being with them. I left the bar and drove home with them on my mind. I thought about them while I was in the shower and then again when I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep. I awoke this morning with them on my mind, and obviously I’m still thinking about them. For the first time in three weeks, I had someone else consistently on my mind besides my ex.

I don’t know if it’s just because of how sweet they have been to me, or if it’s because I may actually like them that way but I am left with more questions right now than answers. I really don’t know what to do. I did not expect this and I don’t know if I want to do anything about it. I want to be better than my ex and not become involved with someone immediately after our divorce. I don’t want to try to fill a gaping hole in my heart with someone else’s affection when really what I need to do is heal that hole myself.

All I can do is take things one day at a time. Maybe this feeling will subside. Maybe it will intensify as I continue to see them on a regular basis. Either way, I cannot predict what’s ahead of me and I’m not going to try. For now, I will be content knowing that despite the damage my ex has caused me, I am still worthy of love. I do deserve to be treated with kindness and affection, and to be found attractive and sexy. I’m a fucking catch and she was a damn fool to have given me up. If she can’t see that, others will, and some already have.

-Emma

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

11-18-2015 Entry: Moving Right Along...

Hello my darling readers. I hope you are doing well. I’m overcoming a touch of food poisoning, as if my life wasn’t tragic enough or I wasn’t lacking enough in the caloric intake department. I have lost quite a bit of weight already because of the past few weeks, which is probably the only really positive aspect of this divorce. I definitely enjoy my slimmer figure and I’m hoping I can continue this trend for a bit longer. I’ve been losing weight for about 2 years and now I’m closing in on 100 pounds lost thanks to the recent nosedive in appetite and some half-wit cook at Noodles & Co. putting beef in my order when I specifically asked for them not to (I might be a bit bitter).

I have decided, however, that for my own mental health I am going to try to reduce the amount of time I spend on here talking about my ex or her affair. It is ever on my mind and I am still struggling with the grief of the life I’ve lost because of her callous choices, but I no longer wish to publicly exorcise all the thoughts that torment me on a daily basis. She is off living her new life, dating this new guy, scrubbing her history of our time together, and being someone I do not really know or understand.  I think it no coincidence that very shortly after she revamps her public persona on Facebook by removing just about any hints of our life together, she suddenly becomes friends with the co-worker she’s been sleeping with. I’m guessing she didn’t want her history of being married to a transwoman to turn him off.

Regardless, I am finished lamenting publicly about her, or the pain she has caused me. I have turned to more private methods of exorcising my anger and sadness. For me, it means that I will process my feelings alone and with my therapist. For her it means that she will no longer be allowed to see inside my heart or thoughts. For the rest of you, it means fewer depressing as fuck blog entries and more interesting entries about dating and sex!

Yep, that’s right, Emma is out on the market! Lesbians better watch out!

Okay, maybe not quite so much. Dating is something I am so out of practice with that I hardly know where to begin, let alone how to navigate it as openly trans*. Also, before you get too up in a tizzy, i am not looking for anything too serious or long term. I really just want to have some fun and to remember how good I am at seduction (I used to be a pro).

Now is the age of internet dating, though, so I have begun to dabble a bit in that realm (more on this later). I have one particularly promising lead, but only time will tell if it goes anywhere. She is something, my darlings. I will not divulge too much information about her as that would likely be catastrophic, but let’s just say that she is gorgeous, sexy, mysterious, and kind. She has kind eyes that are easily turned provocative when she wants them to. She can be cute or she can be downright alluring depending on her mood. She has tattoos and piercings that are really quite a turn on, if I’m honest.

I guess Emma finds herself almost wanting that alluring yet, kind of dangerous thing. I spent 7 years married to someone who, despite how much I cared for her, was kind of boring and rather ordinary. I guess back then I just wanted to find someone I could settle down with and have some kids with some day. I wanted someone relatively stable, not too crazy or dramatic, and who was going places like an adult. I wanted predictable, and boy did I get predictable. Our marriage was nothing if not predictable and the sex was no exception.

If I’m honest, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t be given the circumstances, my ex was probably the second to worst I had ever been with. Sure, the first couple times when we were doing the long distance thing were pretty hot, but after I moved, it was just plain boring. She lacked imagination and that was compounded by a lack of motivation to be creative in the bedroom. As I’ve established previously, when I was in my early 20’s living as a man, I was a heartbreaker. I had quite a few sexual partners, and I won’t lie, I had some crazy and exciting sex… and a lot of it. I had a knack for attracting the girls who were totally crazy in bed. Usually they were crazy in the head too, but that’s another story.

When I decided I wanted to find the love of my life, however, I settled with someone who wasn’t crazy in bed. Sure, she was hot and we had fun most of the time, but the crazy, screaming, doing it in the public bathroom kind of sport fucking wasn’t what I wanted anymore, so I was okay with the rather boring sex life. It was predictable and it was pretty easy. Crazy in bed is rarely predictable and is almost always harder in the long run than you’d think.

I guess eventually I sort of gave up on the idea that she and I could have as good of sex as I’d had with several people before her, and so I likely stopped trying. She was also awful about not being in the mood and was constantly rejecting my attempts to turn her on. She just wasn’t really into it, and I don’t know why. I never could figure it out. The people I’d been with before could be completely aroused by me with a simple look, yet she was always so… unapproachable.

Regardless, I have decided that I want that exciting and crazy sex again. I’m done with boring and conventional; it turned out pretty awful in the end anyways, so why not have some more fun along the way if it’s doomed to fail no matter what? This new person offers me that excitement and passion that was missing from my marriage. She is everything I want right now. She is dangerous and intense and sexy and mysterious all at the same time. She is nothing at all like my ex, and that is truly appealing.

Anyways, I’ve likely said too much already so I’ll cut it off for now. Maybe later I can divulge more but for now I don’t want to kiss and tell.

I will say, however, that I met this person on what I’ve found is a great place for Queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans* people to meet others for friendship and more. I’m sure many of you have heard of the site OKCupid. It’s been really interesting and I have talked with several women. There are really so many more lesbian/queer/bisexual women out there than I expected, and so many of them are both interesting and attractive. Some of them, including this one, are so attractive and interesting that it’s difficult to believe they’d even need a dating website, but I guess I’m on there so I can’t say much because I’m totally interesting and attractive! =p:::

I have also tried match.com, but I’ve had a lot less luck with that one. I’m not sure why but I think that most of the women on there are strictly lesbians who want ciswomen. I actually kind of regret signing up for that one because it’s been such an enormous bust so far. If only I had found Autostraddle.com sooner and could have seen that OKCupid was the way to go, I might have saved myself some time and some money. I guess we will see (just watch, the person I end up with will totally be from match.com because the gods have a cruel sense of humor… /shakes fist at ceiling)
Online dating aside, it has been very interesting to go out to the gay bars, and when I was out on Sunday, I totally got hit on by this woman. Sadly she was nowhere near my type, despite being relatively attractive. I definitely have had some interesting encounters with other women and I suspect I will have many stories to tell in future entries. I’m about to get ready to go out tonight, so perhaps I’ll have something juicy in the morning to tell you.

Well, that’s all I have for now. I hope to spruce things up a bit around here so it’s not such a monumental drag to come to trans-advent anymore. I’m certainly still a hot mess, but I’ll try to keep the mess contained a bit more for both of our sakes.

-Emma

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

11-17-2015 Entry: My Life is the L Word (not really, but still...)


Good morning my darlings. I hope you are off to a better start than I am on this Tuesday. I want nothing more right now than to go back to bed and pretend like I don’t have to adult today.

Yesterday didn’t go as well as I would have like or as well as I expected it to when I wrote my entry in the morning. I spent the majority of the day going back and forth in rather confrontational tones with Sarah about the house and getting her off the mortgage. Amidst our escalating bickering that was going on she told me that she was going to be removing pretty much every picture she had on Facebook of the two of us. All of our wedding photos, all of our engagement photos, and all of our fun and silly pictures from when we were dating (she didn’t specify at the time but as she has gone and done this I am able to tell you what she removed). As of now there are only 4 pictures of her and I left.

She framed it in such a way that if I wanted some of them I had better go grab copies before they disappeared forever, which really just pissed me off. She has done just about everything in her power to leave behind or erase anything that might serve as a reminder to her of our life together. It sounds silly but there are little knick-knacks and random items that we have collected over the years together. For example, when we went to Madison this summer for our weekend getaway, she bought a coffee mug from the botanical gardens we visited. That mug, for me at least, serves as a reminder of that trip as a whole and the ridiculous time we had walking to the gardens. Although it wasn’t all that fun at the time, the memory of the experience was one we would both come to laugh about. That mug is still sitting in my cabinet. The coffee mug that she bought from the resort we got married at is also sitting in my cabinet. Every picture we had of us in our house was left behind as well.

I cannot express how much this hurts me or how low it makes me feel. I understand that she wishes to move on, and so do I, but her behavior tells me that she also wishes to forget we were ever married. She wishes to forget that we spent years together stumbling our way through our 20’s. I understand not wanting a 100 pictures of you and your ex kissing on Facebook when you are considering dating again. That doesn’t exactly scream “this relationship is totally over” to any would-be suitors, but to leave only 4, seems cruel.

I have the benefit that my profile on Facebook that includes all of our pictures over the years has been deactivated and my new profile contains only pictures since my transition to full time, so I do not have to worry about this. Regardless, I would never take down my wedding photos like it was some shameful thing to be hidden or not discussed. I am, or at least was, very proud to have married her. I am, or at least was, very content with that being a known and understood part of my past. I am the person I am today in no small part because of our relationship together, and the same can be said of her… yet I seem to be the only one willing to acknowledge that publicly.

Sure, she tells me that she has fond memories and that she won’t pretend like we were never married or together, but her actions send the completely opposite message. The only benefit of the doubt that I can grant her is that perhaps she is still feeling guilty about what she did and how she (in her words) failed me. Maybe she doesn’t want the pictures, or coffee mugs, or little knick-knacks we collected over the years because it will only serve to remind her of how she betrayed the person who loved her more than anyone in the world. Maybe those items are as painful if not more painful for her to be around as they are for me.

Which it is, I’m not certain. Is she this cold-hearted person who wants to pretend like our 7 years of love and 4.5 years of marriage didn’t happen or that it meant nothing to her? Or is she still the woman who loves me, feels that she failed me, and cannot stand the thought of being reminded of that perceived failure? I wish I could resolutely say it was one or the other, but I won’t lie, I honestly don’t know. She has shown me colors in the past few weeks I didn’t think she was even capable of. She has brought a person to the surface that I wasn’t even aware existed within her. Her capacity to be hurtful, selfish, and uncaring about my feelings has been astounding lately, so I’m not positive who she is anymore.

Is she the woman I’ve known and loved all these years? The one I know better than anyone? Or is she this stranger I’ve had the unfortunate experience to get to know over the last few weeks? Where does she end and her defense mechanisms begin? How deep does the rabbit hole go, so to speak?

These are the thoughts and questions that keep me awake at night and the ones that drive my sub-conscious to continuously dream about her. I have dreamt about her nearly every night since she had the affair. She is the last thing I think about before I fall asleep and the first thing I remember upon waking. There is a verse in a Meg Meyers song that truly encapsulates how I feel (you can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8imFxu4Jbo ):

You're weak, broken in a motel

You blink, tears are falling down, down, down

And you're free, free inside your own hell

You speak, someone let me out, out, out

And I can't stop this pain, it only grows

 Tell me why I always feel alone

 And I can't fight this feeling anymore

 Show me what I'm really living for

The part about being free in your own hell is the one that really gets me. That’s how I feel. I am free now that we are no longer married. I am free to be who I want to be, go where I want, do what I want, and see who I want, but that freedom exists within my own personal hell.

We studied a concept called ambiguous loss in grad school, and basically there are two kinds of ambiguous loss. One is where they are physically present but psychologically absent (think stroke victim who can’t really speak or understand what’s going on but is still there physically). The other is when they are physically absent but are psychologically present (think of a child who goes missing, they are constantly on their parents’ minds, but physically absent). Although this concept isn’t usually applied to divorce, I’m getting a crash course in that second type.

She is physically gone, but she is still so present in my mind. I can barely go 10 minutes without some thought about her popping into my head, whether I want it to or not. The first thing I become aware of in the morning is that she isn’t there anymore. I hardly have a conversation anymore without her being brought up, either by me or others. It’s completely awful. Couple that ambiguous loss with the fact that she is expunging her social media of my very existence (she’s even already changed her name on FB back to her maiden name) and you can probably see why this is so difficult.

I hold no illusions that it isn’t over, because it absolutely is, but it’s starting to feel like that awful song “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye:

So when we found that we could not make sense

Well you said that we would still be friends

But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

 

But you didn't have to cut me off

Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing

And I don't even need your love

But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough

No you didn't have to stoop so low

Have your friends collect your records and then change your number

I guess that I don't need that though

Now you're just somebody that I used to know

I hate that those words are resonating with me so much right now. It’s truly heartbreaking to think she’s just somebody that I used to know. /sigh

So, I’ve been watching the L Word lately because if I’m going to be a lesbian I might as well see how it’s portrayed in the media (I understand that TV and reality are far from the same thing, but one often influences the other) and in that show there is a love dynamic in the first season I’ve really identified with. Well, there are actually a couple (more on that later), but the biggest one so far has been the catastrophic relationship between Jennie and Tim.

For those that don’t know this or haven’t seen the show, their story so far has gone like this (I’m still in season one as an FYI): Jennie moves to California to be with Tim because they are in love. Tim asks Jennie to marry him. She says yes. Jennie ends up falling for Marina (who is very alluring woman) and in the heat of passion she sleeps with her (a few times, I think). Tim finds out, and flips out (naturally). They have this awful situation that they make worse by impulsively getting married. Jennie leaves Tim to wander around without any explanation of where she is or where she is going the day after they are married (forgive me if I’m mixing up details here, it’s been awhile since I watched these episodes). Eventually Jennie shows up at the house, Tim is fucking pissed, they argue, it’s awful, but they eventually decide she can live with him in her studio (because Tim still loves her, even if he hates her). Jennie meets a new g/f, things are super awkward, and eventually Tim has had enough of her flaunting her relationships in his face while they are still married.

So, hopefully some of the elements of this fictional situation are easy for you to correlate to my situation. Instead of a heterosexual relationship being wrecked and torn apart by a lesbian affair, it’s the inverse. A (sort of) lesbian relationship is wrecked and torn apart by a heterosexual affair. Also, I was the one who moved to be with Sarah, not the other way around. The rest, however, is spot on, and I really empathize with Tim’s position.

He must live with the woman he hates to love and he has to watch her go off making new relationships with members of the opposite sex (to him) all while knowing that it’s because she is attracted to women and not men, like him (or so he thinks). He makes concessions to give her space to go on dates with these people even though it kills him to do so. He tries to move on but Jennie’s selfish actions and insensitivity to his justifiably hurt feelings makes that almost impossible. Jennie insists on talking to him about how happy she is and how great her life is while he is left trying to put together the pieces of the life she demolished, practically overnight. Their relationship continues to devolve and become more and more hostile as time goes by until it becomes a necessity for Jennie to move out. Hopefully it’s easy to see why I empathize with Tim, since he and I have shared many similar experiences.

The next story that I have identified with is Tina and Bette. I identify with Tina in this regard because she is caught almost completely off guard by discovering that Bette has been having an affair; an affair that was brought on by Bette not being open about how she wasn’t sure if she loved Tina anymore. Even while in therapy where it was appropriate to discuss this, Bette is unwilling to confess the feelings she has, so she pretends it’s all okay with Tina (leaving her to believe that they are still fine and mostly happy). Eventually Bette finds herself sexually attracted to someone she works with and is unable to resist the urge to sleep with them. Tina figures out the affair and is fucking devastated. She decides to leave their house and stay with a friend.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten in the show, so I don’t know how this story plays out or if it will continue to mirror my experience, but so far, it’s been difficult to watch, honestly. It hits so close to home. The episode ended with Tina in sobbing painful tears as she tries to process how the woman she loves and has been faithful to for so many years has betrayed her and slept with someone else instead of just confessing that she wanted out of the relationship. Again hopefully it is easy to see why I would identify with Tina.

So, that’s kind of where I am. Sarah is gone, yet is constantly on my mind. I’m discovering that my experience is not entirely unique (even if it’s only a fictional representation that I’m identifying with) and I’m struggling with Sarah’s desire to completely expunge our past from her life. We were able to come to an amicable agreement about the mortgage situation last night, but what resulted from that interaction was Sarah suggesting that we talk to each other less. She basically told me to stop calling/texting her, even though I was only ever responding to her messages/calls and was only really discussing business we must take care of before we can be truly separated.

It hurt for her to suggest without saying that she thought I was being clingy and needed to back off. The fact of the matter is right now, I’m honestly considering never speaking to her again after we are finished with the business piece of this divorce. If she wants to pretend like our marriage and our 7 years together never happened or didn’t matter, then why shouldn’t I pretend like she doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter? She says she wants us to be friends after we take some time away, but I don’t know that I want to be her friend anymore.

I don’t think I’m in any stable mental state to make that decision yet, but I’m keeping it in my back pocket for the time being. If she wants to be my friend then she will have to prove she is worthy of that friendship, otherwise what’s the point? She’s already betrayed my trust, kept things from me that she should have been honest about, and broken my heart again and again, so why put myself at risk again?

There is no feeling in the entire world as disheartening or dreadful than to feel your love and affection for someone die within you. It’s like a piece of you dies with it. Your heart turns hard and cold, and you feel as though you’ll never love or trust again. The walls come up and guards are posted all around it to make sure no one ever gets inside. My heart was stolen and then broken to pieces by the person I allowed further inside than any before. What remains must be protected and hidden away if there is any hope of healing or survival. Can that happen if we are friends? Can I be around her while at the same time feeling this coldness within, or has this relationship been destroyed beyond repair?  I honestly don’t know.

-Emma