A Not-So-Brief Update

A kind soul sent me a beautiful, inspiring message on Thursday, and expressed interest in hearing an update on how things are going for me. Here is that update. I’ll break it up into a few parts, since it’s been a good while since I’ve last posted something of substance. Plus, formatted text is always a delight.

Now Legally Milo

This last Friday was my court hearing for my legal name change. As the title of this section suggests, it was successful, and I now begin the process of updating every last institution and documentation that uses my old name. I don’t have any game plan for this in place, and beyond the important stuff (social security card, driver’s license), I figure I’ll just tackle various things as they come to mind. I’d actually already been using my new name when I could get away with it for a few months – for things like dentist appointments and therapy and such. So that will ease the process a bit.

This was perhaps one of  the most dreaded steps in my entire transition, believe it or not, and mostly because navigating legal systems and red tape terrify me to a nearly phobic level. The thought of appearing in court was, to say the least, wholly unappealing.

On the morning of my court date, I dressed nicely for my hearing, and took my anti-anxiety pills before I left, trying to time it so that their effect would hit me right about when the hearing began and I’d be rendered as dumb and uninhibited as possible without anyone thinking I’d wandered into the courthouse plastered or something.

The hearing was… hilariously unceremonious. At least, considering the stress I’d experienced beforehand. I think even my husband was almost disappointed there wasn’t as much pomp and circumstance as we’d anticipated – and all we’d really anticipated was my name being called, standing before a judge, a brief exchange of words, and a stamp and a few signatures. It wasn’t even that.

There were about ten other parties in the courtroom, and at the appropriate time, we were all ushered in and took our seats. Since I was one of the first in, I tried to be courteous and not choose the seat closest to the aisle so as to not force everyone thereafter to awkwardly stumble over me to get to the remaining seats. Instead, it just meant that I sat at the very opposite and then had to squeeze my fat ass past every one else on the way back out. Nobody was a winner. Oh well.

My paperwork had told me that there would be clerks in the courtroom to double-check paperwork prior to the hearing proper. They called us up to a little side-table, a couple at a time, to go over our papers with us before sending us back to our seats.

After that, we waited. After about thirty minutes past the time of the hearing, I began to suspect the judge was late or something, but at that point, one of the clerks called me, and only me, back up to the little side table. I thought, shit, something’s amiss, I forgot some document at home somehow, something’s weird with my birth certificate or ID or something, shit shit shit. 

“Congratulations”, she said, as I sat down at the table again. “The judge approved your name change. You’re good to go.”

Okay then. Nobody ever saw the judge – he was in another room the entire time, signing and stamping our paperwork. Fine with me – I really hadn’t particularly wanted to stand up in front of a dozen people and be asked about my reasons for changing my name (which is putting it lightly), but it did catch me completely off-guard.

So, that’s that. I’m now officially, legally Milo.

A Scar Never Fully Fades

When I wrote the Identity Coma post, I know that I was all but reveling in my newfound comfort. I don’t regret that, either; it was warranted, at least in my mind. I expressed that I was aware of this then, but I think even more so now do I realize that what was once a crippling discomfort will continue to linger as a sort of post-trauma – in some manner or another, for the rest of my life. It will continue to soften and I will, ideally, continue to refine my ways of coping with what continues to haunt me.

I am still figuring out my anxiety – in particular, social anxiety. It is profoundly less than what I used to deal with, and I feel like it’s steadily continuing to improve, but it still troubles me. My medication is a good crutch, but there are still times I get very frustrated with my brain’s reaction to certain stimuli. Like the court hearing, or airports. I hope that I will either learn to be less frustrated with myself, or the anxiety itself will taper off almost entirely. Then again, I imagine they need not be mutually exclusive.

Ultimately, I feel better, but heavily scarred. The basic (and major) difference between the struggles I have now and the struggles I had back then is that I have a sense of safety, and more importantly, a sense of my future – these two things work in tandem to create what I feel is the basic scaffolding of my being – a sense of self. I’m not preoccupied with trying to repair, but instead grow – build, expand, know myself beyond the pain I struggled with. Before, I felt as though I did not have that scaffolding – like my being was some amorphous, gelatinous thing that slipped through my fingers any time I tried to shape it into something that resembled myself.

Curiously, I have had people who struggle express that I am fortunate for being trans, as if I’ve found an easy, fix-all solution that only people in my shoes are lucky enough to be able to apply. To a degree, I do fault myself for inadvertently presenting my situation as such; I can easily imagine the profound and sudden joy I’ve felt has made it seem as though I have, by total chance, stumbled upon absolute happiness. That isn’t the case – in fact, I’m reluctant to believe there are many stories that genuinely play out in such a way. My actual story is rather complex in the same way that all life stories are, but in the interest of brevity, it’s more that I used to not feel human at all, where now I do. I have a beginning; my scaffolding.

I am fortunate that I’ve found this, and I have much sympathy for those who have not, and will never find that. My situation as a whole is not fortunate, though – not in such a conventional or straightforward sense. I still hurt, I still struggle with a colorful variety of things that I’m still working to understand, and I will continue to seek a sense of wholeness.

I think that’s what most creatures with a sense of self-awareness tend to do. It could be considered, perhaps, ultimately a futile process, but one I feel is wholly worth engaging in regardless.

Like I expressed before, it will be hard for me to forget the 26 years of tar pit that claimed my life. I’m not striving to; I know it’s valuable. It has shaped me in its own way. I also know that, even if I’ve managed to climb out of it, the edge of it still exists just a few steps behind me, waiting and hungry.

A Few Words on Genuineness, Gentleness, and My Goals as a Human Being

Having some semblance of goals is personally important to me. I know a few people who are very much the opposite and do not value the concept of self-improvement goals, but I feel like many of those same people, at least partially, share my perspective regardless. I feel as though I will never be satisfied – and I never want to be, since that would lead to a cessation of growth. It’s a funny sort of conundrum.

The difference between a goal-oriented personality and one that isn’t, isn’t inherently based in a disinterest in self-improvement. Instead, I feel like it’s perhaps just another way of shaking one’s fist at that catch 22. That’s not to say I don’t believe in idiots, but that’s not what I’m writing about here. Or much of anywhere.

Regardless of how much of a gap between your gender and biology there is or isn’t, or how you identify in terms of sexuality, I think a lot of people do struggle with finding a balance within the self – in whatever form that takes. Personality has so many facets even beyond gender and sexuality, and a lot of life seems to be a balance between being genuine, and being accepted. And not merely accepted for the sake of being accepted by the world as a whole – not in the sense of “fitting in” – but learning the difference between blatant self-absorption with complete disregard to loved ones, and being wholly true to oneself. It’s something of an art that comes more naturally to some than it does to others.

If nothing else, I strongly feel as though my transition thus far has rendered me a more gentle person. I have a much larger reservoir of patience and empathy to draw from, and I am still learning how to apply that in ways that genuinely benefit people, and in a way that does more good than giving me something to pat myself on the back for. I’d be giving myself far too much credit if I didn’t say that at least some of my motivation is based in self-gratification, but I do think a new interest is blooming alongside that.

I see people hurting, and I know that so well, or at least my own particular flavor of that – and I can’t help but want to help, in some way. If there is a chance for me, I feel like there’s a chance for everyone.

I’m still getting a feel for how true that is, as well the art that is helping, in and of itself. I feel as though I’ve always been something of an empathetic and gentle creature, but almost always passively. Having lived in my head for so long, I admit that being truly proactive is a very new thing to me.

Whatever the case, I wouldn’t call it an obligation, but I feel far more compelled these days to give. Right now it sometimes feels like a clumsy compulsion of sorts that manifests in the form of occasional little GoFundMe sprees and sending encouraging e-mails to strangers online who seem to be hurting, but I want to make going out of my way for other living things a habit – and I want to refine it so that it is of real benefit to them, and without being a detriment to myself in any way.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I was a selfish or greedy person back when I hurt – I don’t think much of anyone who knows me would say that about me. But I only had so much capacity for generosity in any form, and even then I had a much harder time distinguishing generosity from well-meant naivety that got taken advantage of more often than not.

Other Miscellaneous News

I am looking forward to going home to see my family for the holidays. Portland has been wonderful and welcoming – both the friends my husband and I have here, and the local strangers. At the same time, I am a bit homesick – not for Kansas, but for my family. I am excited to spend Christmas and New Years with them.

Everyone continues to be supportive. My husband, in particular – I think I take his love of me for granted. I think I’m prone to that in general. My family, too, has given me nothing but encouragement. I occasionally get messages from people I’ve never met, whose kind words move me to tears – one of those is largely responsible for me updating my blog, and whose message was mentioned at the beginning of this post.

I took up vegetarianism on September 22nd for reasons I would prefer to keep to myself, at least publicly. That said, since doing so, I’ve lost another 10 lbs.. I don’t think it’s the lack of meat in my diet that helped me get back on track, at least not solely, but instead the practice of self-discipline and my diet being limited in a way that benefits me beyond satisfying my moral concerns. I’ve reasoned that vegetarianism just has such a basic rule set – no meat – whereas eating healthy involves a vast variety of factors and multiple levels of self-monitoring. I’ve been able to adhere to my vegetarianism since starting it, and I think that ability has enabled me to apply the same self-discipline to other areas of my diet, as well as in general.

I struggled with a brief bout of mild depression throughout October and the end of September that mostly resulted in fatigue, lack of focus, and feeling a little more on-edge than usual. On top of my depression and anxiety, I also suffered (and perhaps still do) from seasonal affective disorder that generally hits right around the end of August and lasts anywhere from November to January. Incidentally, I was also diagnosed with a pretty remarkable vitamin D deficiency recently, and just last week got started on a supplement to help bring my vitamin D levels back up to a normal range. There’s also the transition to vegetarianism and the temporary iron deficiency that tends to come with that. So, I’m not sure where the depression came from, if anywhere in particular (it’s sneaky like that), but there seem to be a couple potential causes. In any case, it seems to be on its way out.

I think that’s most of what I had to share for the time being. Thanks for reading, as always.

Oh! And a recent picture. Why not.

10_27_14_2

The Story So Far (In Pictures)

I figured this would be mildly interesting.

Incidentally, this is also a story of weight loss – and that’s a story that’s still in the works right alongside my gender changes. I don’t have any pictures around the time I started my diet (and when I was at my heaviest), but it was August of 2012; I’ve lost 60 lbs. since then. Still quite a bit more to go before I reach where I’d like to be.

life_timeline(I will make an actual post soon – promise!)

20 Weeks on T and a Few Words On Coming Out

I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve updated. I don’t really have any good excuses, so I’ll spare you the bad ones.

“Very interesting,” said Eeyore. “I suppose they will be sending me down the odd bits which got trodden on. Kind and Thoughtful. Not at all, don’t mention it.”

I’m at 20 weeks since starting testosterone. Here’s a rather unenthusiastic picture.

I’m still not sure how to smile for the camera, and may never actually learn. My fake smiles look kind of scary, so this is really just out of courtesy to my readers.

Things continue to go very well for me. Since my last update, I came out to my family. It was a wonderful success, and didn’t happen the way I had planned it to, nor did it have the results I expected, which were dreadfully pessimistic at best.

At some point it had become an emotional ordeal to attend family gatherings. In particular, back in May, my voice had dropped enough that people had started remarking on it. There are only so many excuses a person (at least me and my walnut brain) can come up with to explain a change like that.

I dislike liars, and I dislike lying. I only made shit up because it didn’t feel like the right time to tell the truth, and lying seemed like the lesser of two evils; the plan was to wait until I moved to Oregon and send an e-mail or letter from there, but the moving plans kept getting woefully delayed. The lying hurt, not only because it was lying, but because I was so eager to come clean with all this. It was something that had changed my life in such a positive and substantial way, and I didn’t want to keep it to myself. At the same time, though, I didn’t want to ruin everything my therapist and I had so carefully planned, because I felt certain that was the only way this would go well.

At the end of May, I was invited to a birthday party for my niece. Tentative moving plans in the near future, I didn’t want to decline any invitations to spend time with my family. At the same time, things were changing in a way that was hard to hide. Alongside the voice changes, my husband remarked on my facial hair that I had tried shaving as clean as possible in preparation for the party. I was so nervous about being asked about it that I put foundation and powder on to hide it.

Going to the party, I was a wreck. I hadn’t been this nervous since before starting my transition. I felt a million miles away. I tried not to talk often, but when I did, people still noticed my voice, and didn’t hesitate to ask a hundred questions I didn’t know how to answer.

More notable, though, was how uncomfortable I looked. I think my discomfort was tangible to everyone there.

After the party, in the middle of the night, my mom sent me an e-mail. It was more or less an expression of great concern. She insisted that she knew something was up and made me promise that I’d talk to her about it, whatever it is.

Well, regardless of whether or not she was prepared for what I was about to tell her, I went ahead and took the opportunity. I replied with the e-mail that I’d been tediously picking at over the past few months in my drafts folder. I sent it, and went to bed.

The following morning, I braced myself and opened the new message in my inbox. And I cried. I sobbed, hard. Even writing this now, a couple months later, I feel like I could cry again. I’d never felt such unequivocal warmth, love, and acceptance in my life. I felt like I had thrown one of the greatest, most confusing challenges a parent could endure at my mom and dad, and what I got back was solid proof of my family’s love and integrity.

I wonder now if I wasn’t skeptical of its existence due to my own lifelong pain and confusion. I think I can apply this to most people in my life; I think I was simply unaware that I could be loved, in any sense. I do believe it will take me longer still to fully accept that as the case, but at least now I don’t think it’s a notion that I vehemently oppose.

I think my family, as a whole, was ultimately relieved to hear the news. I get the impression that my discomfort with myself has been noticeable for a very, very long time, and has been a source of confusion for everyone around me, as well as myself. A few of them even expressed that they were unsurprised, or “had a feeling all along”.

After coming out, my interactions with my family felt worlds more genuine and more comfortable. I can’t express how thankful I am that things went how they did. The thought of leaving for Oregon feeling like I was hiding something, and those being my last memories of my family prior to my move, makes me nauseous. I’m so grateful for my mom’s empathy, and her intuition. It may very well be better than my own, even regarding my own feelings.

I have since moved to Oregon, and my family threw a really nice little going-away thing for my husband and I. I’m keeping in touch, and should be back for the holidays.

Having told my story, there are a few things I’d like to share with the world that I feel like I learned from this experience. I think this can apply to any sort of “coming out” scenario, regardless of your situation.

I suppose this is just a list of things I wish someone would have shared with me beforehand; take what you can from it, and leave the rest.

Have no expectations. If you are any kind of human (and you may very well be), this will be difficult. Regardless, it’s worth trying to catch yourself and manage any daydreaming, positive or negative, you’re doing in regards to how your coming out will go. There are a lot of people I expected to lose upon sharing my transgender struggles; it never happened, and a lot of those same people ended up being my greatest sources of undying love and support. Similarly, there were some people I had thought would be wholly enthused and understanding who just fell short of that.

Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Everyone. Similar to the above sentiments, it’s easy to develop presumptions of how people will react. If you go into this defensively or with obvious pessimism or aggression, I feel as though you will be throwing more issues into the mix than you would be otherwise. Give everyone a chance, and wait for the dumbasses to present themselves. Proceed accordingly.

Emphasize the positives. Ideally, you are making whatever change you are making because it benefits you in a very real way. Share this. If they love you, perhaps they will feel your enthusiasm and love and respect of yourself, and may feel more empowered to help you on your journey.

Be the adult. These sorts of issues can indeed bring out the worst in people. If someone you love simply does not know how to cope, don’t reciprocate with the same hostility. Likewise, do not make excuses for yourself, nor apologize for things that don’t warrant an apology. Of course, don’t let yourself be hurt, in any sense. Leave the ball in their court and haul ass if need be.

Empathize. A lot of people have simply never questioned their gender or sexuality or otherwise been in your shoes, even a little. Sometimes, this can be very confusing. Parents may blame themselves, or struggle with accepting that you’re doing the right thing for yourself – sometimes not because they are just bigoted or hateful, but just because they don’t understand and are genuinely concerned for your long-term well-being. Be patient and understanding and make your goals and feelings clear.

I think that’s all I wanted to say for now. I hope everyone reading this is doing well.

Identity Coma

I feel like I’ve been asleep the past few years – just not fully present; in some kind of identity coma that I just recently woke up from.

I feel as though, the last four or five years particularly, right before I was able to lay a finger on this gender stuff, things had coalesced into something I could simply no longer keep track of. My discomfort had swelled into something massive and incomprehensible. Everything felt like it was hard to keep up with, to keep tabs on. I was under my own constant scrutiny while feeling incapable or unwilling to make changes. There was too much I felt needed correction, and I had no goal in mind – no correct alternative. No right answers. I just hurt, and I think I eventually just began making an effort to come to terms with being a bad person. The only thing I could consistently identify with were my character flaws. Everything else, I tried on like hats.

For the longest time I harbored what I now feel like was a real stupid perspective of the world and of myself. Not invalid, just inaccurate, I guess. Skewed. The majority of my resources were spent doing psychological damage control, trying to manage this abhorrent image of myself I’d pieced together in the only way I seemed to know how. I had nothing left over to foster any genuine appreciation, of things or people. My interests became increasingly fleeting over the years, and I begin to pursue things out of a residual appreciation – solely on the knowledge that, at some time in my life, this meant something to me, so I should do it, regularly and rigidly, and someday I will be happy. I had become a stranger to myself. I journaled for a long while, regularly vivisecting my every whim and emotion, if only in an earnest attempt to cobble together some vague reference of myself – something I could look back on when I felt particularly lost, and remember who the fuck I was. I spent more time reading those entries than writing them. Over and over, seeking out anything consistent, any patterns, any clues to how I thought, what I felt, what I liked – essentially, who I was, and who I was not, and a reliable way to distinguish the two.

It was an incredible, futile challenge. The process scarred me deeply. I frantically questioned every thought that went through my head, and picked apart everything that came out of my mouth. I envied those I thought to have a grasp on their most basic identity. I didn’t even envy people for their particular personalities or the way they lived their lives – I just indiscriminately envied any indication of personality, to the point that it was emotionally debilitating and I couldn’t wring anything constructive out of the whole mess. I held absurd expectations of myself, painted ridiculous futures in my mind, and habitually set myself up for the most disheartening of disappointment and sense of failure.

I can remember trying to explain this chronic disconnect to the people who cared about me. Desperately, many times, and ultimately in vain – in the end, I couldn’t even explain it to myself. I did not understand it. It was too complex and terrifying. It was a monster only I could see, and even the most genuine, heartfelt sympathy couldn’t save me from it. It devoured me, utterly. There were times, months at a time, where I could focus on nothing but this overwhelming miasma of self-hatred. I felt completely alone, and that feeling in and of itself tore me apart with guilt, because I was loved far more than I could ever fathom loving myself. I kept from committing suicide because I thought that to be perhaps the ultimate gesture of disregard for those who loved me and wanted to help. It was on my mind constantly, regardless.

It felt, to me, as though there was no reasoning with it, any more than there is a way to reason yourself out of pain when pushing your hand to a hot burner. I was not aware that taking my hand off the burner was an option. I realize now that nobody had any way of knowing the degree of pain I was in, and even I myself had no way of properly gauging it, because I had nothing to compare it to at the time. That was my life, since I was about five years old. That was my normal, and it was growing harder and harder to cope with until things began completely collapsing last year and the couple years prior.

I am still raw and shaken. I am disoriented. I’m still all flushed and tender from clawing my way out of that husk I was rotting away in, but I think I am safe now. I can breathe. I am still gradually accepting this new-found clarity. Every day since I started testosterone, I’ve had moments where I get this rush, just remembering that I am safe now. I’ve been waiting for this all to come crashing down, but it hasn’t. I don’t think it will, not to the degree I have grown to expect. I am realizing that feeling comfortable is not an unrealistic expectation of myself, and I may very well never fall to those depths of depression and self-loathing again. The pain has subsided enough now that I can examine all this in retrospect, objectively, and see it for what it was – without mercilessly questioning and dissecting every last thought as it comes to me.

As grim as it is and as much misery as it caused me, I have no desire to pretend it never happened. It is what it is, and it constitutes a very large part of my life, and brought me to where I am today. Now, at 26 years old, I feel as though I have enough clarity to begin to get to know myself, and the world around me.

In time, I will recover, I will heal and proceed with my life – but I don’t think I will ever fully forget that pain. And I don’t need to; I don’t want to. It’s part of me, and the only thing I will ever reliably have to my name is myself – in my humble entirety.

Facial Hair vs. Moving Plans

So, it’s been a while! I figure it’s time to dump a quick update here.

Things are still going swimmingly. At this point, due to my choice of not coming out to my family until after I move to Portland, it’s been a race between progressing with moving plans (which are unfortunately contingent on something I can’t control) and noticeable changes from testosterone.

My voice began dropping at around 4 weeks in. For a while, I just occasionally sounded a bit gruff, and noticed I could sing a bit lower. Nobody at family gatherings seemed to notice at that time, or at least didn’t say anything. When it began, it felt like I constantly had a bit of a lump in my throat, as if I needed to cry. For the most part, though, for the first week or two after the perceived changes began, I wasn’t completely certain anything was happening, and figured I was probably just getting ahead of myself.

Presently, at about 7.5 weeks, it is no longer something I can completely hide. My family has noticed, and they’ve asked about it – if I’m getting sick, if I just woke up, etc. This is with making an effort to try to control it around them, too. I also notice that when I talk in too high a pitch, like baby-talking my dog, my voice cracks terribly. It also cracks pretty distinctly when I talk in a friendly tone to strangers – I guess I am prone to having a more feminine tone when greeting strangers. It also sounds a lot different when I laugh. I used to despise hearing myself laugh, or talk in general, but that is no longer the case. I sing an octave lower for most songs, now, and it still occasionally catches me off-guard when I first hear and feel my voice after sitting quietly for a bit. It has a tangible resonance to it, and I can feel it in my chest as opposed to further up in my throat.

I am still not used to enjoying the sound of my own voice. I am and have always been a person of few words in most environments, and that was partially due to the feeling I got from hearing my own voice. I like to imagine I will eventually get used to how I sound and that part of my discomfort with speaking will have been dealt with.

Aside from voice changes, I’ve also been getting hairy. I have a patch of darker hair on my chest that leads down into a treasure trail, but it’s still fairly faint. My arms and legs haven’t undergone the same changes yet. My face is getting very fuzzy, but not dark, and I’ve been trying my damnedest to resist shaving – once I do, I feel like it’ll just explode with hair and I won’t be able to hide it anymore. I decided to attack my face below the jawline with a razor a couple weeks back, though – as such, I have a bit of a neckbeard I have to trim pretty much daily to keep it from being noticeable. I’m hoping the rest of my face reacts to shaving with such enthusiasm once I’m ready for it. I have an especially fuzzy tuft on my chin and upper lip.

There have been changes down below, too. My clit has grown a bit already, but I have also been pumping regularly as advised by other FTMs; I don’t know if the growth is mostly from testosterone or from the pumping. I’ve gotten mixed reviews on the long-term effectiveness of pumping, but it doesn’t take much discipline to remember to do it once or twice a day for 15 minutes, so I may as well. It was suggested that doing this during the first year of T would be most effective in the long term. In any case, there’s that. It so far remains just as sensitive, but I’ve read that will decrease a bit as the tissue becomes less concentrated.

I have also stopped having periods. No spotting or cramps yet, or any complications otherwise. I tried having vaginal sex a couple weeks back, and it felt different. I felt “loose” despite not having anything there for months (I have never been overly fond of vaginal sex), but it still hurt. All in all, a good enough reason for me to lose interest in it pretty much entirely. I am assuming this is indicative of the first signs of atrophy.

Those are roughly the extent of my physical changes thus far. Psychologically, I am still feeling consistently good. I haven’t taken my Klonopin for a good while at this point. No panic attacks. No insomnia. The euphoria has cooled off for the most part, but I still feel worlds more focused, confident, and comfortable. Anxiety is at a minimum – any anxiety I do have is slight, and I feel like is a product of habit that I will need to work to unlearn. Occasionally I will have a faint sense of dread before leaving for an errand, only to then remember I don’t have to deal with that level of discomfort and pain anymore, and it dissipates. I have even had a few situations in which I’ve objectively observed, “This is something that would have given me a panic attack before starting T.” And, well, I don’t have a panic attack. I don’t obsess, I don’t stay up all night, I don’t want to die. It’s nice, not wanting to die constantly.

I have read about trans guys becoming more angry and violent after starting T, and I have read more things that debunk this notion. It has been said that if you have problems going into T, you will only continue to have those problems. T does not create problems, and it doesn’t cure things on its own. It can aggravate problems, but it does not turn a gentle person into a raging, violent maniac. By the same merit, it can’t turn a raging, violent maniac into a gentle person. That makes sense to me. That said, I’ve made an observation about myself. I am by no means suddenly invulnerable to frustration or negative feelings, but instead of wallowing in self hatred after my train of thought hopelessly derails into a flaming pit of loathing for the good part of the day, it just feels like I’m a little more curt and serious until I’ve addressed whatever threw me off, either with a solution or by reasoning or, failing that, distraction. It feels very rare I’m in that state of mind, though, and I ultimately feel like my ups and downs have evened out incredibly. I also feel as though I have much more capacity for happiness and affection. I feel more able to appreciate the happiness in other people and less fixated on fruitlessly trying to manage my own stupid insecurities. I’d like to write more on that soon.

I keep having those dreams about coming out to my family. Last night I dreamed of several different scenarios in a row. They were pleasant, at least.

2 Weeks Photo and a Brief Update

I have always hated taking pictures (go figure, hah), but I imagine I’ll probably thank myself for documenting all this in a few years. Maybe I’ll make a time-lapse video and put it to inappropriate music.Image

Anyhow, this is my mug at 2 weeks on T. You can tell it’s especially serious because it’s monochromatic.

Don’t panic. I won’t be shoving my face at you every two weeks, just whenever there’s something worth showing, like facial hair. Or goat horns or extra eyes or whatever else comes with this. I didn’t read the label on the bottle.

Incidentally, brushing my hair is against my religion.

In all seriousness, things are still going well. I’ve been busy with work, but my mood has been stable and I’ve been sleeping well. Anxiety remains quite subdued. No panic attacks yet. My second shot was on Friday and went smoothly. It seems like it took a good 24 hours before the muscle ache started creeping up on me this time, but ibuprofen seems to be able to handle that fairly well, both this dose and last.

I’ve recently been having this recurring dream in which I’m at some family gathering, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, and everyone’s sitting around after dinner. I mention that I have an announcement to make, and I stand up. Everyone turns their attention to me. “I’m transsexual,” I say. Just like that. Right then and there, without warning, I drop the bomb. There’s a brief but intense silence, but then everyone stands up and cheers joyfully and rushes in to hug me! They crowd in around me and congratulate me and wish me well – and oh boy golly what a happy and loving family we are! Hugs and kisses all around! How wonderful! What fun! I should have brought a cake or confetti or something! Haha!

That’s around when I usually wake up.

I’m not sure if my unconscious mind is just a sadist or I’m actually that delusional on some level. Well, half the fun is finding out.

I don’t rightly know what the other half is.

Pronoun Perusal

There have been so many things happening in such rapid succession that I haven’t had time in between simply entailing all of them to post anything more introspective. So, let’s do that.

Let’s talk about pronouns and what they mean to me when someone uses them in reference to me at this point in time. That sounds like several varieties of thrilling! Hold onto your britches.

He/him = The individual is being respectful of my gender, or, at worst, humoring me. Alternatively, I am passing during brief interactions with strangers – either in person or in online environments wherein my gender is not publicly stated. At this point, I do not think it comes naturally to anyone who knows me but me – I could be wrong. That could be totally presumptuous. That said, I do think it’s still a conscious effort on the part of my friends and will be for a while, but one that I appreciate. It makes my little black heart giddy to hear it.

She/her = Generally, the individual isn’t aware of what I’m going through. Uninformed acquaintances, family, strangers who see that I have tits and a girl-face. Among people who know, I usually write it off as a slip-up. Slip-ups are okay with me, especially when they are then corrected or apologized for. There are also the token dipshits who simply refuse to play my whimsical little game of not feeling sub-human, but I don’t know that it’s happened yet, or I’m not astute enough to pick up on it (more likely). I only correct those I feel should know better, but I’m not a hard-ass about it yet.

They/them = I am okay with this. I identified as genderqueer for the years leading up to this, and still feel fairly androgynous and probably won’t stray too far from that. It’s also a respectful way to refer to someone online whose gender you don’t know, and a lot of times it is just that.

It = I am actually really quite fond of this, but I am every bit as satisfied with it as I am with “he/him” and therefore don’t feel overly compelled to commit myself to a life of awkwardness and frustration in trying to train friends and family to apply it to me. I admit it also has a fetishistic appeal to me, and I don’t really need to lace my daily life with that. For me, it works better sparingly and intimately. It’s precious and meaningful; something endearing to be savored, like a pet name – a pet pronoun. That said, I genuinely like the discomfort it causes due to being a word for objects and animals – things whose genders (if even applicable) are often considered unimportant to acknowledge. I like the thought of applying that knowingly and respectfully in reference to a human being – to think that a pronoun that’s not just ambiguous like “they/them”, but so boldly disregarding of gender altogether, could be used in a respectful way. It’s an intriguing challenge.

Xe/xer/shi/hir/etc. = I will gladly use these or anything else in reference to those who identify with them, but they simply don’t speak to me. I don’t think I’d mind, though.

So, there you go. Things have been going well, and I look forward to my shot on Friday. I haven’t had any more of those weird “dry panic attacks”, as I’ve been calling them, though there was a point at which I thought I felt one coming on and took Klonopin in an attempt to ward it off. Success. I haven’t needed Klonopin otherwise, but I’m keeping it in its holster just in case.

I’m in the process of trying to sell my house in order to run off to Portland. My sister may be interested, but… well, that’s a story for another post. Another blog, maybe.

Big Update: Successful Injection, Hormone Highs, and a Bonus ER Trip

This is what I get for waiting a week to update. My apologies if this entry is a bit sloppy. I’m still tired but wanted to get an update posted.

After my last post, I went ahead and gave myself a second half-dose of testosterone in the opposite thigh the following Friday. With the uncertainty surrounding the initial injection as explained in my last entry, some phone calls were made to ensure I wasn’t about to do anything stupid, and with my endocrinologist having given me the option of a full or half-dose for my first injection, I decided to just make it a full dose total for my first injection via two half-doses with the approval of my doctor; I admit I was feeling fairly antsy to get a first dose in my system that I was confident was administered correctly, and I could have just as easily waited two weeks. Ultimately, and thankfully, nothing adverse ever came of the injection the nurse assisted me with, at least not so far, but it was concluded by everyone we called, including the office at which she works, that she should not have used such a short needle for an intramuscular injection.

In any case, the second injection went fine. This time it was with a 1.5″ needle. For those with needle anxiety seeking a bit of reassurance with this process, I’d like to try to assure you it’s far less of a big deal than you may think. I myself don’t have a particular aversion to needles, but being anxious I can’t help but not trust that I will do it right. It is a bit freaky to do it to yourself the first couple times for most people, I’d think, regardless if you are phobic of needles or not. You get everything prepped, the site cleaned and your hands gloved and the syringe properly filled and aspirated and aimed at your target meat… and, at least for me, there was this brief pause of “Hmmm. I’m about to sink a couple inches of metal into my flesh.” But, well – then I did. The needle is so thin, I only barely felt it penetrating the surface of the skin, and I would not call it painful to any degree. It just slid in. The testosterone is suspended in an oil and is rather thick, so it takes a bit of effort to slowly push the entirety of the dose in. Other than that, given one does everything safely and cleanly in the way instructed, it’s not a big deal.

So, again, that went just fine. About 12 hours later I began feeling an ache in the entirety of the muscle into which I’d injected – something I was fully expecting. It lasted a little over a day and then subsided. Nothing crippling.

Later into that weekend, I began feeling what I perceived as the first effects. It’s admittedly been hard to tease apart what is a literal effect of the hormones, what is a placebo effect, and what is simply a resulting feeling of being officially on the right path. I’m probably guilty of crediting all sorts of little inconsequential and irrelevant things on my first T injection, but after sorting out my thoughts, these are the changes I ended up attributing to the hormones – whether transient or more permanent, we’ll see.

I first noticed I felt increasingly generally comfortable. It didn’t dawn on me immediately. I am a chronic sufferer of anxiety, especially social anxiety. In going out, I noticed I felt less “vulnerable” and “raw” around other human beings. Less burning on the back of the neck, less feeling dread upon seeing another person in an aisle I need to go down. It was slight and almost undetectable at first, but it began to become more conspicuous and discernible the more I went out, to my wonder – it was absolutely not how I was accustomed to feeling in public. I eventually began wanting to test myself, to go out and expose myself to these stimuli that would generally send me straight into my shell. I found myself, while still as socially inept and awkward as I’ve always been, able to talk to strangers a bit – to make sure my “thank you”s were audible, to step up to a counter without feeling like I’m walking through a wall of acid – to handle the most basic requirements of necessary social exchanges without feeling anxiety. It may not sound like a lot to someone who doesn’t struggle similarly, but this is very valuable to me, and it has had me fantasizing of how I can hone and foster this into something even more rewarding.

At home, I began feeling the subtle lessening of anxiety spread out more generally. The best way I can explain it is that things simply stopped bothering me as much. It wasn’t that I was becoming numb or less perceptive, just that I wasn’t overreacting to certain stimuli. I wasn’t spending my day squirming.

I have a history of anxiety-induced sleeplessness – sometimes periods of full-on insomnia. I can’t shut down my mind consistently with any method, and I have tried countless methods. Reading, meditation, ASMR videos, self-hypnosis, melatonin supplements – many things over many years. My mind is ablaze, no matter how exhausted mentally or physically I am. I think about everything, both positive and negative things. I worry about the time; I worry about being able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. It’s always too hot or too cold. I feel uncomfortable. My blanket is folded weirdly against my leg. My toe is sticking out of my blanket. My pillow is not perfectly tucked between my head and arm like I need it to be. Every molecule in my body is not properly aligned in order to allow me to sleep.

That weekend, I noticed a difference. I slid into bed one night, and noticed that I was just… comfortable. I was fascinated. I tried different positions. I felt like I could fall asleep in any position. And I was able to. I fell blissfully asleep and woke up refreshed.

The general comfort spanned outwards to other things as well. I felt like my daily worry pestered me far less. I didn’t feel quite as jumpy or irritated. I felt a little more focused and hopeful, less easily perturbed.

All these feelings continued to increase, more quickly than I could keep up with. Early the following week, the comfort took off into what I perceived as a high. I couldn’t help but wallow in it a bit. I began imagining a future in which I didn’t struggle daily with anxiety, and this fed the high. I could easily see myself male – both in my head, and in the mirror, despite still not being able to pass as such most of the time (though I did at the store on Monday or around then – the cashier said “Have a good evening, gentlemen,” to my husband and I). I could easily visualize my future as one that was good by my own personal definition. I was so overwhelmed with the prospect of finally feeling right that at several points, I broke down in tears of joy, or simply sat in silent awe at what I was feeling. I admit it was hard to concentrate on work because my world just felt quite suddenly… fascinating.

When I described all this to my husband, and told him I’ve been feeling high, he remarked, “What if that’s not ‘high’ at all, but comfortable?”

If that’s the case, I don’t have the capacity right now to lament the years I spent dicking around being miserable and squirming. I don’t know that I will ever consider them wasted. Possibly better spent, that’s all.

In any case, I do not imagine I will be in a euphoric state for the remainder of my life. I believe that things will stabilize, and I will adjust, and begin to take for granted that I am the correct sex like much of the population does. That said, I have reason to believe that the level of chronic, everyday crippling discomfort I felt before is, perhaps, a thing of the past. I can’t properly express what this means to me. It is profound, miraculous. I still have a hell of a way to go with all this, but it all seems very doable now that I’ve started. It no longer intimidates me.

And yes, there has been a distinct increase in my libido. It began around the same time the rest of this did, and it developed into something that has been, at times, uncomfortable in way that I haven’t been able to ignore too well yet. There has been a lot of sudden slinking off to the bedroom for private time. It verges on absurd at times, until I can read into just about everything in a sexual way and become aroused. I’ve also become more visually sensitive in this regard. Imagery appeals more. Actually, everything appeals more, in a sexual sense. Being touched is exciting. Reading text is exciting. I am sexually excitable. I feel like a teenage boy, and I feel like I’ve had a boner for the better part of the past week. This is significant to me especially, because I’d been struggling with lack of libido fairly consistently throughout the past two to three years.

So, things have been going brilliantly so far, at least until this morning.

I went to bed last night feeling noticeably off for the first time since starting T. I felt uncomfortable, but in a way that was vague and strange to me. There was nothing I was psychologically distressed over (not to imply I’d really ever had solid reasons for being anxious in the past, but this was quite a bit different), and there was really not a whole lot for me to pick apart beyond the fact that I was feeling restless and less than good. A stubborn ass, I went to bed without taking my anti-anxiety medications, though I mostly just reasoned that I wasn’t feeling anxious because I wasn’t having anxious thoughts. I fell asleep after about an hour of tossing and turning.

I woke up very suddenly at around 7:30 AM this morning, which is early for me and my schedule. I lied there for a moment, and for the first few minutes I just felt frustratingly awake and alert when I had a good four hours of sleeping left to do, especially considering when I managed to fall asleep. The alertness turned into a tangible physical restlessness that was so uncomfortable it prompted me to get out of bed. My heart started pounding and racing. I felt hot and nauseated and dizzy, and was shaking fiercely, my hands trembling, and I was hyperventilating and had a definite tightness in my chest. I had no idea what was happening to me, and after pacing around in the bathroom for a couple minutes trying in vain to take measured breaths, I concluded reluctantly that something was very wrong – that I was possibly having early symptoms of either a heart attack or stroke. I woke my husband up and he drove me to the emergency room.

I had trouble breathing all the way there, but felt mentally calm despite my heart pounding out of my chest and shaking like a leaf. I definitely felt on the verge of either vomiting or fainting or going into cardiac arrest – maybe a glorious trifecta. The triage nurse took my vitals and I was almost instantly escorted back to a room due to my tachycardia and high blood pressure. They put in an IV, took blood, ran an EKG, took several x-rays of my chest, had me pee in a cup. My husband and I were increasingly baffled as they came back with the test results of each, confirming that everything was normal and healthy. More perplexing still, about forty minutes or so in, my heart steadily settled down to a normal pulse, and my blood pressure was healthy again. My shallowness of breath subsided. When we were left in the room in privacy for a few moments, I wondered: what if I had just had a horrific panic attack, but without the anxiety? Just the physiological components thereof, exclusively. Is that possible?

What the fuck is my body doing?

We asked the nurse when she returned – perhaps a little more eloquently. I explained that I had been feeling minimal to no anxiety since beginning on hormones, but have a history of severe anxiety with panic attacks prior to that. I wondered if my body could essentially be going through the motions of an anxiety attack without the anxiety, and she said that, yes, it is possible. Residual, ingrained anxiety response to nothing in particular? Sounds like something I’d be capable of. Definitely my style.

In any case, my mind was blown. It was beyond bizarre. The entire time at the hospital I felt positive, fully mentally present, and even engaging in jokes and such with the nurses. Mentally, I felt fine. I felt good – well, as good as you can feel after dragging yourself and your spouse out of the house to go commit to a morning in the hospital. My body was going nuts, but my mind wasn’t following suit, despite a panic attack generally calling for that in the reverse order in the first place.

It was no wonder I initially didn’t know what was going on when it happened, despite being unfortunately quite familiar with how a panic attack feels. I just woke up after some completely irrelevant, not at all distressing dream, and had a full blown, hour-and-a-half long anxiety attack, but while laughing, joking, and feeling generally calm and collected throughout the entire thing.

If this is indeed what happened to me, it also puts some perspective on just how distinctly physiological and how distressing and draining anxiety can be outside the realm of the mind itself. Having access to full mental acuity while experiencing physical panic attack symptoms is not something I’d ever experienced before today, by, y’know… the very nature of a panic attack. I’m used to being curled in a self-loathing ball in the corner of a dark bathroom, absolutely terrified and full of dread and doom and thinking I’m going to drop dead at any moment. It was enough for me to suspect that I was having a heart attack or stroke and go to the hospital, and I hadn’t been in the ER for about six or seven years prior to today, so it’s nothing I jump to particularly quickly.

I contacted my endocrinologist to get her opinion, and ended up leaving a message with her nurse. I will also be contacting my gender therapist and psychiatrist to get their take. I figure if anyone’s familiar with something like this, they would be. For now, should I start feeling strange like this again, I will just be taking my anxiety medication and seeing if that helps.

In the end, I figure I really can’t fathom everything my mind and body is being subjected to right now, or will continue to be. Strange things are bound to happen, both good and bad.

Beyond that, my insides have also been throwing a bit of a fit. My uterus is pretty upset about this turn of events, and has responded by giving me a horrible period that I think is just now beginning to taper off after a straight week of heavy bleeding. Having had a weird menstrual cycle in the past, though, it’s nothing I’m not at least somewhat used to.

All in all, things are going very well outside of the excitement this morning. It all feels incredibly promising and I believe that it will only continue to settle out and improve.

No T just yet, or possibly some T with complications? Who knows!

Part 2 of ??

Now, here’s a fun one.

After my last endocrinologist adventure as entailed in my last post, I went to be seen by a new doctor altogether on Wednesday. My husband came with me. My appointment was originally scheduled for the 24th, but I managed to bump it back to the 19th.

The doctor herself was very understanding and knowledgeable and professional. Didn’t question me unduly, didn’t patronize me. We got right to business. She made sure I understood the possible side effects and briefly went over all that would be changing, though with the understanding that I was likely already well familiar.

The nurse was a different story, unfortunately: bedside manner wasn’t so hot, and as she was entering in my information, it took a collaborative effort of both my husband and I and a full minute to explain that I took two .5mg tabs of Klonopin daily to equal 1mg daily. Is that somehow baffling? Because it seemed to be. She also just asked me to give her the height off my driver’s license instead of actually measuring me. I mean, okay, height doesn’t change much, but could we at least take two seconds to pretend we’re at the doctor’s office? She also mumbled a lot, sighed in exasperation about every two minutes, and seemed as though she’d be better suited working at a Burger King. My husband and I exchanged a few glances over her – half annoyed, half incredulous at her general ineptitude.

In any case, I got my prescription from the doctor. She asked when I wanted to come back for a service appointment to be shown how to self inject, since they didn’t have testosterone there at the office. “Today? As soon as we go pick this up?” my husband and I asked. She laughed, expressing that she adores the enthusiasm that comes with getting trans* folk started on their journey; nobody ever gets excited about diabetes medicine or being told what not to eat. She said that would be quite fine, so we rushed out to the nearest CVS to pick it up and bring it back before her office closed for the evening.

There were some complications at CVS getting the prescription that involved needing the pharmacist to speak with my doctor directly. After that was settled, they filled it, handing me a bottle of testosterone. Just the bottle, in its little box.

“Can I get sharps?” I asked, picturing myself instead just pouring the $90 bottle of T into a running bath and wallowing in it or something. Masculinity by osmosis.

“What?” he asked, looking at the bottle for what may very well have been the first time.

“Syringes. To inject. It’s an intramuscular.”

“Oh. Yeah, maybe? We might have those. Just a sec.”

He comes back with a handful of wrapped  needles, all identical. From the videos I’d watched, I saw them use two tips – one larger gauge needle to draw from the bottle with, and one thinner, longer needle to inject with. I explain this the best I can.

He comes back with ten more of what look to be the same needles. He says to just screw one tip off the smaller ones and put them onto the larger ones, and that they don’t sell the tips individually. Okay, sure.

He also insisted they didn’t have a sharps disposal container for sale; my husband found one about five seconds later and we brought it to the counter to purchase.

Getting into the car, I check the individual packages, and notice that he just gave me twenty-some of the same damn needles.  I figure I’ll just ask my doctor to supply some of the right gauge to take home with me.

I get back to the doctor’s office with my goodie bag of drugs and sharp things. Unfortunately it was the nurse who was to give me my self-injection tutorial, not the doctor. My husband and I grumbled in the waiting room for a bit until she called us back.

In slow, easy-to-understand words, I explain the needle confusion at CVS, showing her what the pharmacist gave me and explained that I’m pretty sure that there are two tips to be used, one larger gauge for drawing up the medicine, and one longer but smaller gauge for –

“I know,” she waved me silent and went to go get her equipment.

She came back with the thinner needles and walked me through the process. When she opened the needle tips for injecting, I noticed they were short. They were 5/8″ needles. Picture that. She explains that the longer ones aren’t necessary because they hurt more and are flimsy. Alrighty then. Benefit of the doubt; she’s a nurse, I am not. I’d never seen such a short needle, but… benefit of the doubt. I go through with drawing up medication, switching needles, and stabbing myself, and she seems to think I did it perfectly. I feel wonderful having done it myself. We go home, feeling successful.

Last night before bed I start thinking about the needle again. I am prone to anxiety and paranoia, but something distinctly seems wrong about the length of that needle, especially because I’m overweight. I wonder how thick the layer of fat is over the muscle, where the T should have been injected. I also again recall seeing how-to videos by FTMs wherein they use 1 – 1.5″ needles and also that they inject into the thigh instead of the butt because there’s less fat.

Hmmm.

I start looking some stuff up, like “what if intramuscular injection gets trapped in fat”. Possibilities are, according to Google – medicine is dispersed slowly, medicine doesn’t disperse at all and is just trapped and causes a horrendous infection.

Okay. So I don’t get my $90 testosterone at all, and maybe my leg rots off as an added bonus. My worst case scenario is becoming a little concerning at this point.

I express my concern to my husband. He asks me if it looks/feels infected. No. It feels fine. There’s a knot at the injection site, but Google assures me that’s normal for the first while. I’m being paranoid. I go to bed and figure I’ll just keep an eye on it and address anything that comes up. Or rots off.

Immediately after I go to bed, my husband calls several 24/7 nurse hotlines and it is confirmed that the 5/8″ needle is for infants only, according to several nurses. 1″ is the minimum for adult intramuscular injections. For obese people, 1.5″ – 3″. He is livid. I’m still blissfully asleep at this point, dreaming about making beetles out of clay and selling them at a garage sale to raise money for a friend with cancer that doesn’t exist in real life.

He called the doctor this morning in hopes that he’ll get a hold of the doctor herself to get around the incompetent nurse and get some straight answers and how to proceed with this.

The worst part is, if I wouldn’t have worried about this at all, if I would have just assumed my nurse knew best, I could have been doing it this way for 5 months at home with the same needle size. Possibly very much incorrectly, possibly never getting results, possibly getting depressed and concerned because of that, possibly going to the hospital with an infection. I mean, I’m sure I would have done something about it well before then in either case, but it is still incredibly scary and frustrating to even consider.

At this point, waiting for a call back from the doctor and hoping it’s not a huge deal and to just use a longer needle for my next dose.

Here’s hoping I get to keep my leg. I like that one.

No T just yet.

Part 1 of hopefully only 2.

I went to the endocrinologist today at 1 pm. The staff was incredibly friendly. The nurse was a little less friendly, but not unusually so, and my doctor was… well. It warrants a post on my blog.

Before even getting a referral to this doctor, my therapist told me that she was a bit “rude”. I don’t know, I figured I could handle rude. So I told her to go ahead with the referral.

I myself wouldn’t probably use the term “rude”, I guess. My husband joined me for the consultation, so we were seated in the office after the nurse did her nurse things. The doctor came in and immediately began asking a lot of questions. And very few of them seemed to have relevance to what I was there to see her for – to show me how to self-inject and give me a prescription for testosterone, neither of which actually happened.

First, she began asking me all the same questions my therapist did – questions I would expect from my therapist in the first place. About my family, about how I was raised, how many times I saw a “shrink” throughout my life (she used that term – wasn’t sure if she was trying to empathize with a perceived dislike of them on my end, or didn’t like them herself and felt the need to share, or wasn’t aware that the term is a bit unprofessional if not derogatory). She asked about my sexual preferences and if I have vaginal sex. She asked how many sex partners I’ve had and how many of those were of the opposite sex. This is still my endocrinologist we’re talking about, mind. I wasn’t mentally prepared for much of any of this.

She then sat back and I thought we were going to move on talking about being on a testosterone regimen itself, or perhaps she’d whip out the needles and we could proceed with a stabbing tutorial.

Instead, she starts talking like she’s prepping me for something that’ll blow my mind. And, I feel I should mention – I am using quotation marks liberally here – none of this is verbatim, but it is as close as it gets.

“There’s something that a lot of people don’t realize about starting testosterone. They think it will make you just look like a man. It changes what’s in here, too,” she says, pointing to her head. “Like, there are some people who come in here feminists and they suddenly realize they don’t subscribe to any of that anymore.”

Okay, well – first of all – no shit. While I obviously have no first-hand experience, I have spent the last several months poring over material that has made it quite evident that some manner of psychological and emotional changes take place, yes. That is very clear to me. To assume otherwise is fairly insulting. I could also go on a little harangue about the situation with the feminist-gone-not-feminist because I do not like the implications she made with that, but that’s something for another post.

Essentially it ended with her speech about the mental changes and insisting I had no idea what I was getting into. She basically ignored my written and signed referral from my therapist and told me to go get more therapy and come back later. She implied it could be months or years before I could get started. “But,” she said. “This isn’t about you convincing me.”

Yes it is. It obviously is. I convinced myself long ago, which I evidently failed to make clear. I also convinced my therapist, whom you are also ignoring.

I was a nervous wreck last night after making my last post, more than ready to get this first appointment over with and get this ball rolling, so to speak. But that’s not what happened today. I left without a prescription and wondering if I’d be able to get started on T before I die of a stroke from all the anxiety these first steps are causing me.

I ended up e-mailing my therapist and briefing her on the situation, and she said she’d just write me a referral to another endocrinologist because she’s been hearing back lately about this one (for whom she’s written a lot of referrals for). I don’t fault my therapist for sending me her way – from the sounds of it, it seems like this particular endo only recently got some weird stick up her ass about doing her job and only her job and has been suddenly ignoring referrals and sending all of her trans patients back to “get more therapy”. What fun! I mean, just speaking for myself, but if there’s any point in my life that I need to shoulder everyone else’s completely unfounded doubt, it’s definitely right now.

My therapist feels I’m more than ready and realizes I have a clear grasp of what I’m getting myself into, as do I. As does anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes talking to me and in more depth than an awkward battery of questions can provide (many of the answers to which she cut me off part-way before proceeding to the next question).

So, again. I don’t know about “rude” being my primary impression, but I would say “ignorant”. “Obstinate”, perhaps.

At this point, I have a fresh referral to a new endocrinologist. My appointment is on the 24th of this month. Let’s try this again.

In the meantime, more writhing.

I’m probably just going to tag all my posts with “anxiety”. It’s quickly swelling to the biggest thing in my tag cloud.