Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome is a bitch. There, I said it, dear readers of the page. Impostor syndrome makes me feel like a big fraud, a phony, like I am not a girl or woman, but some freak trying to fit into a round puzzle with a square piece. It blinds me, and consumes me, and often (well, not super often) tells me to pack it in.

What makes me turn off this negative way of thinking? I don’t have many friends, so a support sytem is small and cis and heteronormative.  The only person who can kind of understand this irl is Egg, and I’m sure she will even have a tough time truly understanding just how destructive this way of thinking becomes for a lot of trans people. I don’t know the percentages between trans women and trans men concerning impostor syndrome, but from groups and boards I’m in , this syndrome affects a lot of trans women at some point in their transition,

For me, I feel like I won’t be accepted into women-only spaces. I feel like my voice sets me apart from other women. I feel like a giant compared to most women. I’m generally self conscious when it comes to my awkwardness. I want to break out of this internal funk, this battle in my mind.

I won’t stop transitioning. I’ve come so far. I’ve had a surgery, and have another one scheduled in two months. But having a vagina does not make me a woman. I will still have abundant facial hair, and 42 years of testosterone poisoning to try to overcome. On the outside, everything is going smoothly. But in my heard, there is a thunderstorm, a cyclone, and a hurricane all popping off at the same time.

I am a fighter. I have had a relatively easy life. I have a my mood disorders and and invisible illness to deal with, but my upbringing was comfortable, thanks to my parents. They are not, however, supportive of my transition, which leaves Egg and two other people who actively support me. And one of those people I see often enough to believe that I may be able to fool the population at wide. But I don’t want to just fool people (although, I must admit that I take perverse pleasure in hearing people stumble over their words when trying to identify me), I want to be recognized as a woman, and treated with respect and dignity. I haven’t had the blessed opportunity to come across a TERF in real life, so I’m thankful for that. I often wonder what will happen on that fateful day. Will I try to argue, or just say fuck off and keep it moving? I don’t know.

Right now, all I want is to feel good about myself, to feel some self worth, and to get out of my head so much. So, Ill wrap this up now. I don’t really have much more to say, other than impostor syndrome is a bitch. Thanks for coming to my Ted talk.

Flight And Hotel Booked

Hey there, dear readers of the page! I am so happy right now! We booked our flight to Philly several weeks ago. Today, we booked our hotel, too! So now we have a place to stay and a way to get there.

We don’t know, however, how much the surgery will cost. They will tell us about two weeks before surgery, which sucks from a planning point of view. So we are going to Philly. Who knows if surgery will be pulled off, but we are definitely going, lol! I told Egg that, while Philly would probably be really cool, it’s not a place I currently want to spend ten days in without surgery. It would be so anti climatic, you know?

Anyway, that is the special news for today! A bientot!

Estrogen Tuesday

Today, dear readers of the page, is Estrogen Tuesday. I take my shot every other week, and today is the lucky day!

I wanted to check my emotional stability, as right before last shot, I was a hot mess. Just crying over any and everything. I wondered if it had anything to do with my levels dipping to low, you know? But nothing like that happened this time. I feel good. No crying jags, no cramps, nothing. Guess I will chalk it up as an anomaly and keep it moving.

Therapy Day And General Update

Today, dear readers of the page, was therapissy day with Kristine, my therapissy. I love, love, love her. She is so kind, and very perceptive! We had another productive session, so all is well on that front.

Egg is healing nicely from gallbladder surgery a week ago Friday. We even went to the gym yesterday. She still has some tightness, but the pain is minimal, at least that is what she is saying.

Fingers crossed, we should be getting some money soon, and that will help us pay for the hotel in Philly. Hopefully, they will still have a room for that length of time. We are going to be there for a clip, so this is important.. The hotel will be near the hospital, which is good in case we need to rush back after surgery.

My mood is stable again. I had a period right before my last delestrogen injection, where I was crying about all sorts of things. I just couldn’t stop crying, and that usually signals a depressive episode oncoming. The one thing that I didn’t have was suicidal thoughts, so that was good, and different from my regular depressive episodes. I’m wondering if it was because my estrogen level dropped too low. There is a theory about trans women having period symptoms. Of course, not the bleeding, but some cramping and definitely being more emotional. I don’t know what it was for me. All I know is that everything little thing was setting of these crying jags, and I was extra emotional and almost down. I remember having my shot on that Tuesday, then evening out slowly after that, to where I am now – an even keel. I really need my moods to stay stable for this upcoming surgery, ya know?!

I am going to drop a couple of pics for the timeline.

Finally February

Hey there, dear readers of the page. It is finally February. January seemed to go on forever. It was a long month.

Let’s switch gears and talk about my gofundme campaign. It has stalled. The last donation was two weeks ago, and I cannot seem to find a way to get this campaign out to a larger audience. I was hoping that friends of mine (what few I have) and associates on FB would share it with their friend groups. I think one of the problems is that my friends are all cis hetero, ya know, so there’s no traction. This is certainly putting our trip to Philly in jeopardy. And that sucks.

Another thing that sucks is that I won’t know how much I owe the surgeon and such until two weeks before the actual surgery date. This is pretty stressful because it doesn’t allow us the time to prepare, money-wise. It’s like, how much do we actually need. We’ve already booked our flight, but not where we are staying. Accommodations for the time we are going to be there will be about 2500.00. Ah, the stress is getting to me, can’t you tell? All I can think about these days is how we are going to scrape this money together. We already filed our taxes, and I am hoping that Egg gets a bonus at work, along with a pay bump. She deserves it. She is the rock star of her division, and everybody knows it. Show her the fucking money.

Disability – oh, where to start? I filed for disability about seven to nine months ago. Still no answer. They are still sending me packets to fill out and return. And I am supposed to be on the fast track, but damn this is taking forever. I’m probably going to have to meet with a state-appointed psychiatrist. I had to last time I was on disability. I was in a manic episode then. I am not now. So the interview could sink me. All I know is that I was expecting disability to kick in by now, and it hasn’t. But, I know, in regards to disability, I am nothing special or new under the sun. The adjudicators have seen it all before. I’m just hoping that they believe me. I have tried my best to hold down a full time job, but my disabilities always crash the working party. I have to use the bathroom too much, thereby affecting my ability to be productive. Also, last year I had a four month depressive episode, where I lost the ability to do most basic things like taking a shower, concentrating for long periods of time, and a complete drop into the abyss of nothingness. I wanted to be swallowed whole, an not live anymore. I was extremely suicidal,, which is a feature of my bipolar depression. But y’all know how it is. I couldn’t tell my therapist the full on bipolar response because I didn’t want to be hospitalized. Anyway, this is where we stand on the whole disability process. It’s a lot of hurry up and wait. For months and months and months. And this is why so many people give up on the process and try to go back to work, often with disastrous results. I am lucky and privileged to be in a position where, while I need to work, my Egg supports the both of us. So, I shouldn’t be bitching too much. I know a lot of people go it alone, and it’s gotta be rough.

So that’s it for this entry. Please join me soon, same place, same channel for another update. A bientot!

Dream Walker Take Three (Maybe)

Hey there, dear readers of the page! This post will be concerning my three night dream sequence. All of these dreams center around transition. The particular avenue involving the transition process is also one of my biggest problems: pronouns; now, I usually let people using sir/he/him slide off my back, like water to a duck, but recently I have become emboldened to actually stand up for myself when faced with the pronoun situation. As you know, I go by she/her or any variation thereof. Also, I don’t mind they/them if a person just can’t bring themselves to use she/her.

What emboldened me, you are asking yourselves, to step up to the plate, to rise up, to finally start speaking up for myself? Well, several weeks ago I had a pretty vivid dream, which I had forgotten about in the passing week until…three nights ago. Maybe the dreams started again because of an action I took for myself at Chick Fil A (I know, I know – stone me later, if I don’t do it first) and the people who take orders always ask for a name. I use my nickname SoSo, and give that to the person. Then the person say something like, “thank you, sir.” So, I, in a moment of pure brashness, said something to the effect of, “excuse me, it’s ma’am. You can call me ma’am.” After a beat, she said okay, and awkwardly finished the order. When I drive up to pay, the guy says ma’am. When I get to the window, it’s a girl that recognizes me(they don’t come across that many visibly black trans women with beautiful locs) and we chat for a bit, she hands me my food, and says, “have a nice day, ma’am.” And I felt a sense of peace. And all was good in frog’s world again.

With every silver lining, comes a downpour of dirty, gray rain. A perfect example is having to go to an auto store. Fuck, doing anything while visibly trans can be tiresome.  Auto parts stores and auto shops are my particular kryptonite. If y’all remember, Cam(my car) had some problems recently, and I had to get it to the auto parts store to test the batter;y and alternator. First guy I talk to is totally respectful, but doesn’t use any pronouns. Bravo! I applaud not using pronouns if one is not sure of what people go by.  Second guy was a complete dick, and gave me a look up and down, and thus, my lot in life was cast. There was a woman who he was training, so she came along outside to help check my alternator.When the guy connects the reader to the battery, I turn on the car. Cam, the grumpy bitch that it is, does absolutely nothing. I get out of the car. I start asking questions, but he shoots me down immediately. “Sir! Sir! Sir!,” he kept yelling over me. And I relented. Folded like a sack of potatoes. I didn’t correct him. I let him treat me like a piece of trash. Everything I was wearing shouted woman, right down to my red nails and beautiful ring that Egg got me. Egg was standing right there. In that moment, I felt shame. And it is embarrassing and painful to admit. It hurt my already fragile ego. Anyway, fuck him!!! Now, back to those dreams! Hahaha, took another detour, but I promise, I am getting to the dreams.

Like, three nights ago, and for the next two nights(including tonight) I have vividly dreamed about correcting people who use the wrong pronouns. And those dreams have produced a certain euphoria in me. You know, maybe I’m beginning to round one of the many curves in my transition. Being out, loud (well, maybe squeaky, lol), and proud. I always feel like I stick out anyway because, like, I am not fish. And passing in the conventional style will be a 50% type of thing with me. I am tall, trans, woman, black, and in a mostly white world and area, and owing to not having many queer, poc friends –  all of these makes me somewhat memorable. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is to be determined. And, as the saying goes in the trans woman community, at least for most of us, I’d rather be a moderately attractive/plain/ugly woman than to be confined to life  AMAB. And when I die, do not let them call me a guy!

My worldview is expanding again, as it should, and I want to experience it away from my keyboard, ya know? Activism – don’t know if I have enough spoons for that. Definitely not crisis lines. Then what? Only the future will tell, unless one of my dreams becomes prophetic!


Update On Pennsylvania

We’ve gotten one step to Pennsylvania, dear readers of the page. We bought our plane tickets recently. So we are set on flights. Next up – accommodations. Should we stay next to the hospital, where it will be more expensive, or should we stay closer to the surgeons office, which is farther away from the hospital.  The recommended hotels near the hospital are less than a mile away, so if something were to go wrong after surgery, we would be closer to the ER. And one of the good things is that all recommended hotels will give a discount for patients of my surgeon. That’s cool. Honestly, I would rather stay at this hotel in between the hospital and the surgeon’s office. A lot of trans patients stay there, and it looks beautiful, meditative, and peaceful.

As for the flight tickets, we didn’t get the bottom dollar tix, instead we went up one level. A little more expensive, but hopeful a little more space, and we were able to pick our seats ahead of time. I thought that was standard, but at the lowest rate, we wouldn’t have been able to pick our seats, giving up the chance of not sitting near each other. We are not near the bathroom, but that was more my choice, as I didn’t want to sit near the back of the plane. I will take some Imodium before the flight. Maybe, I should consider a butt plug, lmao!!!

Voice Training…Take Two

Back in the summer or fall, I bought the voice feminization program by Kathe Perez. I think these streams and lessons are specific to trans women, although anyone who wants to speak in a more feminine voice would benefit from this program

So back when I first bought it, I completed the first two lessons. One of the lessons has me recording myself repeating phrases that Kathe puts forth. I gotta say, I sounded horrible, and that increased my need to quit (or put the streams aside for a bit), which is what I did. Well, now I am beginning to work on my voice again. The dysphoria surrounding my voice and the embarrassment of sounding like a squeaky mouse deters me quite a bit.

I know, logically, that with a lot of practice, I may be able to get my voice into a decent andro space, which is honestly what I’m shooting for. My voice is sooooo deep, that even when I’m dressed obviously female, I still get sir’d and even told by little kids that I am not a woman. It’s is becoming a worry. Should I change my voice at all? Why do I need to? People are still gonna misgender me all the time.

With all that negativity, I am still gonna give it a fighting chance. I’d like to be andro voice before I go to PA for surgery. So practice, practice, and more practice.

Talk With Surgeon

Earlier today I had a follow up call with my surgeon for GCS. We both agreed that limited depth vaginoplasty is the way to go, given my Crohn’s history, and being in an active flare, where I go to the bathroom 5-8 times a FREAKING night!!

I will be in the hospital for one night, instead of the three originally stated. I will still be in PA for around 10 days. The surgery itself will not be that much shorter. Only by half an hour, the surgeon said. After surgery, my bed rest will be four weeks instead of six.

All in all, this conversation made me really happy, and inspired confidence that my surgeon is on my side, and was willing to talk about my concerns.

Kid Problems

One of my best friends has two beautiful, wonderful girls, aged 6 and 4 (I think). Everything has been hunky dory as far as transition goes with both of them. They both call me Sophia, which is great! And up until recently, the six year old has been using the correct pronouns. But these last couple of visits, she keeps on saying “you’re not a girl. You’re a boy.” Now, she’s young, and it has never happened in public, so I try to use it as a coaching moment. Sure, it stings a bit, but her reasoning is a rather astute observation for one so young. She says that I have to be a boy because my voice sounds like a boy. And here we are again. No matter how much I explain, no matter how many books or videos I show her, I think she is always going to revert to this way of thinking. And I know it’s jarring to EVERYBODY who comes in contact with me what with the way I dress and then I open my fucking mouth. One of the shitty things that older trans women have to address. To modulate the voice or not. If not, then one has to expect a lot of stares, and some outright rudeness and transphobia. It sucks, but in this cis heteronormative environment one must expect the worst, and be pleasantly surprised with the good.

Maybe I need to have a talk with her mama, my best friend. I don’t want any friction, but there is going to come a time when out in public and she slips up and she won’t know any better, but I will be totally embarrassed.

I bought a book by Sophie Labelle.  She writes cartoons about gender issues surrounding trans and cis kids. I hope this can be a good tool to convey my feelings with no ill will toward either of them. And there is no ill will. It’s just that once is a mistake. Anything after that and the kid is doing some serious questioning of my gender based on clothing and such vs. my fucking voice.

Everybody used to tell me I had a great speaking voice. But fuck, it is so hard to change it. Halp!!!!