Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

SugarMagnolia

Small steps lead to big ones

Recommended Posts

Bethany G

I think seeing a therapist is what I need :)  I just need to work up the courage and make the appointment , I'm super nervous and scared . But I need to it's the road to being me and happiness 

Share this post


Link to post
Charlize

Bethany you are confronting the same fear many of us faced here.  Your not alone.  Relax, take a deep breath and remember making an appointment doesn't mean you can't cancel.  It's just a step.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

Share this post


Link to post
tracy_j

Sometimes Bethany I think with things I have done  - Others can do it so I can as well, and just do it! Yes it is scary, exciting as well, but nothing compared to the reward at the end

Tracy

 

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia
16 hours ago, Bethany G said:

I think seeing a therapist is what I need :)  I just need to work up the courage and make the appointment , I'm super nervous and scared . But I need to it's the road to being me and happiness 

Working up the courage is the hardest part, I think. I was amazed at how respectful and matter of fact setting up my initial appointment was once I took that first step.

One thing that helps meet sometimes is to try and envision in detail whatever it is that I'm afraid of. Usually, if I think it through, even the worst case scenario is not deserving of the amount of anxiety that I'm giving it.

Charlize is right on with her reminder to relax. Remember that you're in control and it's OK to go at whatever speed is right for you or even to change your mind if you're not sure about something.

You're doing great, Bethany, in accepting yourself and thinking about your next steps. Keep it up!

Hugs,

Julie

Share this post


Link to post
Bethany G

Thank you so much Julie for being here for me and all the great encouragement. It feels so awesome to have all of this support. 

Hugs

bethany 

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia

90 days on HRT have come and gone now. I haven't posted any updates since just after starting because a lot happened in my life separate from HRT and I just haven't had the time to be online.

In non-HRT news my entire team at work (about 12 people) was laid off. It's a large company and we've had many rounds of layoffs over the 16 years I was there, but I'd always survived until now. That was a stressful, but I was blessed to find a great job only two weeks after my last day at my previous employer. I've been there about a month and am loving it. I should have made the jump years ago. The only real issue is a bit longer commute and a different medical insurance plan neither of which is a big deal other than having to find a new therapist and doctor. 

On the HRT front, it's been wonderful. I've been so much more even keeled and relaxed. Prior to HRT, I was always a little guarded and defensive around other people, but now I feel more open and relaxed. It's lovely. :-)

After the latest round of labs a few weeks ago my doctor upped my estrogen to xxxxx transdermal. I've really had no side effects other than the Spiro making me a bit groggy for the first couple of weeks. That seems to have gone away, thankfully. In terms of physical changes, my skin has softened, my leg hair is a bit lighter, my fat distribution has changed a fair amount (belly to thighs mostly), and breast growth has been reasonably steady although not noticeable to others yet. I've also noticed some definite loss of muscle mass.

However, the biggest change in all of this is my thinking on my gender identity and my transition. Prior to starting HRT, I was nervous but fairly focused on a complete transition to presenting full time as a woman. Now, I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin that I'm thinking I may be more gender fluid than I thought. I'm not sure how to describe it, but instead of being so focused on "passing" and swapping one set of prescriptive gender behaviors for another, now I feel comfortable just presenting as me -- whatever that may mean on a particular day.

So, I'm just taking one day at a time and focusing much less on some roadmapped transition goal/timetable and more on just enjoying the ride and looking forward to finding out where I'll end up. I guess it really is a roller coaster ride. :-)

Edited by CyndiRae
removed dosage info per T & C

Share this post


Link to post
CyndiRae
On 12/16/2016 at 10:48 AM, SugarMagnolia said:

but instead of being so focused on "passing" and swapping one set of prescriptive gender behaviors for another, now I feel comfortable just presenting as me -- whatever that may mean on a particular day.

 

What you describe above is a good place to be. It's like why trade one box for another ?

Liberation and joy...

Cyndi -

Share this post


Link to post
Briana

First, I'm glad you got a new job so quickly after your lay-off.  It's not fun getting laid off.  While I've never been laid off, I've had to do it and it's always one of the most painful things for me.  It's not like separating someone for poor performance or behavioral issues.  These are generally good people and WHAM!  Sounds like your changed ended up being a good thing thankfully.

And as far as HRT and gender front, sounds like you are also in a good place for you.  That's always a good thing.  :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Guest

Good for you. I definitely learned that I'm much happier when I'm embracing it rather than fighting it, go figure. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Bethany G

Seen my therapist yesterday for the first time and it went awesome!! I have this huge mountain lifted off my shoulders finally, I feel so happy . I start seeing my gender therapist every week starting next Friday, and group therapy once a month, I'm so excited ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Timber Wolf

Yayyyy!!!? I'm happy for you, Bethany!

 

Lots of love,

Timber Wolf?

Share this post


Link to post
Jani

Very good!

Jani

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia

Another 90 days (or so) have gone by, and wow, what a roller coaster ride!

In January, I started getting scared. Even though my small amount of breast growth wouldn't have been noticed by anyone, it started to scare me because I didn't expect anything to be noticeable. And I realized that I was feeling out of control...as though the hormones were taking me where I wanted to go, but MUCH faster than I had planned to get there. 

So, I paused my HRT with proper medical monitoring. 

Fast forward to last week and the anxiety, irritability and discomfort from my "normal" levels of testosterone were back. That answered so many of my questions. I know now that some level of hormone therapy is essential for me to feel whole and happy.

Perhaps more importantly, I've re-affirmed to myself that transitioning to presenting as female full-time is what I need to do. So, I'm back in the saddle, on HRT, and really focused now on therapy to help me deal with the fears that I know will rear their heads.

So much more to say, but I'll save it for another post. Just wanted to give an update since I think that sharing our ups and downs helps us all feel less alone! ^_^

~ Julie

Share this post


Link to post
VickySGV
11 hours ago, SugarMagnolia said:

Fast forward to last week and the anxiety, irritability and discomfort from my "normal" levels of testosterone were back. That answered so many of my questions. I know now that some level of hormone therapy is essential for me to feel whole and happy.

HRT has become a diagnostic tool for at least one GD possible cause, and it looks like you have that cause going on.  There are people who feel nothing and no improvement from HRT and who go on to live lives without it.  Your  quality of life seems to need to do it.  Keep the good work up,

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia

Hi @VickySGV,

Just curious, but do you have any references for that "diagnostic tool for at least one gd cause"?

I'd like to learn more if you remember. Otherwise, Google can be my friend. B)

 

Share this post


Link to post
VickySGV
12 hours ago, SugarMagnolia said:

Hi @VickySGV,

Just curious, but do you have any references for that "diagnostic tool for at least one gd cause"?

I'd like to learn more if you remember. Otherwise, Google can be my friend. B)

 

I have seen HRT mentioned in several places over the last 5 years about it being used as a "diagnostic tool" but I do not remember a specific resource unless you count two IRL friends who were given HRT  under that that plan.  One of them is on HRT years later and happy with full transition, the other found more problems with HRT, but still is living full time in retirement from a job.  I was the one who appended the "at least one gd cause" without a reference really in mind, but I am aware that there is a long list of ideas as to how gd is caused, and a longer list of discredited sources for it.  I might add that the discredited sources do  not stay that way for long and keep cycling on and off the "source list".  I was being a bit dry there.

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia
3 hours ago, VickySGV said:

I have seen HRT mentioned in several places over the last 5 years about it being used as a "diagnostic tool" but I do not remember a specific resource unless you count two IRL friends who were given HRT  under that that plan.  One of them is on HRT years later and happy with full transition, the other found more problems with HRT, but still is living full time in retirement from a job.  I was the one who appended the "at least one gd cause" without a reference really in mind, but I am aware that there is a long list of ideas as to how gd is caused, and a longer list of discredited sources for it.  I might add that the discredited sources do  not stay that way for long and keep cycling on and off the "source list".  I was being a bit dry there.

Thanks, Vicky! No worries. I just find the subject of "gd cause" to be fascinating in that it's so multi-faceted, varies so much from person to person. It's like the wild, wild west for theories. :-)

 

Edited by tracy_j
Removed probable unwanted strikethrough format

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia

Wow. It's hard for me to believe that it's been 10 months since I last posted in this thread. So much has happened, almost all positive, and I understand the "roller coaster" metaphor MUCH better now! 

 

I'm out now to the most important family and friends in my life and that's gone better than I could have ever imagined. I sometimes think that being open about who I am has made just as much difference in my quality of life as HRT has. Not having to hide is an incredible relief and feeling more able to express my inner self has been life changing.

 

A slow transition is part of my process, and what's been interesting is having to wrestle with feeling non-binary, gender fluid and MTF at different times in the process. I think I've come back to the MTF camp, but in a more nuanced way in which passing is de-emphasized in favor of being comfortable and authentic. 

 

I will admit to struggling with the concept of being a woman and whether or not that's truly possible in the absence of so much shared experience. That's one difficulty with transitioning at 50: my own internal "guy" rules are hard to unlearn and so many formative experiences of growing up female in our culture are lost to me. I'm trying to examine this through a lens of intersectionality and that's helping, but it's still difficult to feel like I'll ever get to the point where I feel comfortable calling myself a woman and feeling completely authentic.

 

What has been truly amazing for me, though, is becoming more politically active. I'm now the volunteer coordinator for a fantastic woman in my area that's running for US Congress, and she's totally supportive of my journey. I'm also now on the board of our county's Stonewall Democratic club and feel truly blessed to help represent the LGBTQ community in our political process. Through these activities, I've met the most incredible women, some of whom I'm out to and some not, but all of whom make me feel like a million bucks and with whom I feel incredibly accepted. The friendship of strong, intelligent women is so life affirming!

 

So, yeah, there's a lot on my plate including trying to keep a good relationship with my wife intact throughout all of this. But, I feel more alive, vibrant and impactful than at any other time in my life. It's up and down sometimes, but I'm truly enjoying the ride!

 

Hugs,
Julie

 

P.S. If you want to check out my candidate go to http://www.bateson4congress.com/why-i-run/. I hope that doesn't violate any T&Cs!

Share this post


Link to post
Charlize

It was lovely to read about your journey Julie.  Thanks for sharing.  I remember thinking that when i finished transition(is that even possible?) i would need to be fully "female".  After being male for 63 years that has simply not been possible.  What i've found instead is that i'm comfortable being a somewhat unusual woman.  I work a farm, drive machinery, work hard doing what my mother would have considered very unlady like tasks.  The fact is i'm simply being myself.  Accepting that has given me some peace as far as both gender and life in general.   

It sounds like your life is falling into line as you find your own path through the gender maze.  Maybe that is the best we can hope for.  For me simply being content, at peace, with myself is amazing progress.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

Share this post


Link to post
Jani

Good news Julie.  Thanks for the update.

 

Jani

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia

Thanks, Jani and Charlize. One day at a time works for many thing! :D

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia

So the next "small" step in my journey is what I hope will  be my final FFS consult. Tomorrow, I'll be driving down to SF and meeting Dr Deschamp-Braly. Unless the consult goes poorly I think this is the surgeon I'll be choosing, and I must admit to having a few jitters. In a way, it's a little bit like the anticipation for a first date. LOL.

So, I find myself thinking about what I'm going to wear and all of these other things that are completely beside the point. I know that I need to vet my potential surgeons based on skill, comfort and aesthetic compatibility, and I will, but I do still feel a little bit like I need to justify myself. It's funny that I'm going to potentially be paying them all of this money and yet I'm worried about how they'll feel about me.

And if I'm honest, I feel a bit conflicted about FFS. It's such a big expense, although one I can thankfully afford, and a bit vain and conventional to think that changing what I look like will make me happier. It will certainly make things easier, but I'm also not ashamed of who I am now and am not seeking to erase that. I know it's what I want, but I also know that I'm exercising quite a bit of privilege and that makes me feel somewhat self-conscious.

Ultimately, I just want to look in the mirror and see a little bit more of the 'me' that I am on the inside staring back at me. Much of this has already occurred thanks to HRT and self-acceptance, but that last little bit has been weighing on me for months. I suppose part of the emphasis is that I've decided to tie my work transition to my medical leave for FFS and so the surgery represents not just the changes to my physical form, but also my commitment to a more or less full time transition. It's definitely what I want, but there are a few "butterflies". 

Anyway, if you made it to the end, thanks for reading the anxious mutterings. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Annie

Beautiful post! Thanks for continuing to share your journey with us and good luck tomorrow! 🤞💛

Share this post


Link to post
SugarMagnolia

Thanks, Annie!

Share this post


Link to post
Jani
10 hours ago, SugarMagnolia said:

And if I'm honest, I feel a bit conflicted about FFS. It's such a big expense, although one I can thankfully afford, and a bit vain and conventional to think that changing what I look like will make me happier. It will certainly make things easier, but I'm also not ashamed of who I am now and am not seeking to erase that.

This is natural to be conflicted.  We are "attached" to our looks to some degree.  I considered minor FFS and was concerned of losing my familial look.  My sisters and I do look similar.  

 

Seeing the real you in the mirror is important for self validation.  Don't be too worried.  A good friend had FFS last year and while she is different, she is certainly the same.  I know that sounds odd, but she is a softer version of her self.  

 

I hope your consult goes well.

 

Jani

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   8 Members, 0 Anonymous, 18 Guests (See full list)

    • AsTheCrow
    • Willow
    • Anna75
    • Jojo
    • Sally
    • JJ
    • Julie J
    • Kirsten
  • Who Was Online

    106 Users were Online in the Last 48 Hours
    • AsTheCrow
    • Anna75
    • Willow
    • Jojo
    • Sally
    • JJ
    • Julie J
    • Kirsten
    • MaryEllen
    • CyndiRae
    • ChelseaAnn
    • Cthorne
    • BrandiBri
    • Charlize
    • Natalie86
    • jo jo
    • Roberta-Belinda
    • stbSusan
    • KoreyA
    • DrumbeatAlex
    • Jocelyn
    • Petra Jane
    • Regn
    • tracy_j
    • Dev
    • Sharon Aml
    • Elyssia
    • muqdishaawi
    • Luna L
    • TiaMaria
    • Rebecca591
    • Michelle F
    • Cheyenne skye
    • jae bear
    • Jean.S
    • Martyn
    • Amy LeBlanc
    • Carolyn Marie
    • Bass Dragon
    • Kye Mitchum
    • VickySGV
    • Sk1ttles
    • OlyVersion1
    • SugarMagnolia
    • Rachael
    • Rowan
    • MaryMary
    • Jani
    • Evans
    • Cluck1992
    • Kris
    • just_me
    • ChickenLittle
    • conner
    • MadMadhatter
    • Tommyftm
    • DenimAndLace
    • Zavida
    • MarcieMarie12
    • MarvellousMattie
    • Dakota16
    • Snow Princess Sophie
    • Timber Wolf
    • Marbabar
    • Queenie
    • Laxmi Siriwat
    • JD
    • Terry
    • Paul Rankeillor
    • TheJudeResistance
    • Clara84
    • Sandra6sandy9sand
    • KymmieL
    • Cela
    • Maid In Bedlam
    • Noelia6
    • EnbieCutie
    • KeiraC
    • ejen
    • Janeshannon
    • doni
    • PaulaPlaytex
    • Emilio
    • samuel
    • claire1000
    • gski
    • Annie
    • Xavier/Aria
    • Lizzie McTrucker
    • Amy joey
    • Abigail3051
    • Lauryn Michelle
    • Avra
    • Erika_E
    • Carly murr
    • Miae_Flame
    • Naomi Knowles
    • Ravin
    • Leo ray
    • Lina
    • Cmattison
    • Jill55
    • JBfox
    • Laura Beth
    • Sydneyblue
    • April
  • Topics With Zero Replies

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      65,780
    • Total Posts
      594,954
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      3,501
    • Most Online
      8,356

    Rebecca591
    Newest Member
    Rebecca591
    Joined
  • Today's Birthdays

    No users celebrating today
  • Posts

    • Julie J
      Thanks for your comments and support Jani, Charlize and traci_j. I appreciate your encouragement and I look forward to getting to know others in these forums as I continue my journey.  Cheers,  Julie 
    • Cthorne
      I love how this is my normal now  
    • CyndiRae
      I am in the "let it go" category on this one, while this is not best thing to hear as you are picking up your script, it does not surprise me in the least (it's Iowa), if you are transitioning there are all kinds of scenarios where the dead name or gender maker from the past come back to haunt you, this sounds just like such a scenario. The legal name change / gender marker change, makes a difference in many of these instances (not always), and can really help you. If you are presenting female in the world, have a female sounding or neutral name, have a "F" on your documents and a lot of this simply vaporizes.... In the mean time one must put up shields to protect one's emotions...   Best to you   Cyndi -
    • Charlize
      Great reaction!  My grandkids had a similar reaction except one of them (the younger) is a bit of an imp and spent his time enjoying a game of trying to remove my wig.  Itch.......  Gotta love him.   Hugs.   Charlize
    • Charlize
      There is absolutely no reason to drop a skirt in the bathroom.  The only issue i've found is with a long full skirt that can be an armful while sitting.  I will never forget the first time i saw a woman squat in a field using her spreading skirts as a privacy screen.  I suddenly understood another important thing about skirts. As to men's attraction.......first of all don't lift your skirt.......sorry i couldn't resist a giggle.  I wear a wedding ring and while someone may be interested he knows that i'm not.  I don't try to attract men but obviously it is an ego booster when i'm found attractive by someone who forgot his glasses.   Hugs,   Charlize
    • Natalie86
      Hi Charlize     I am glad I joined to. Thanks for the welcome.     
    • Natalie86
      Hi Jani         Thanks, the words " be yourself" mean so much to me. Thank you.
    • tracy_j
      This does not surprise me in the least, and I would probably just let it go. When I was working in healthcare (although addmittedly not working with drugs), it was part of my job as I saw it, to be observant just in case a mistake has been made somewhere. I can imagine being in a similar position, with a confusion in combination of drugs with gender without realising background. The problem here, as I see it, would be the conversation being in the open with possible eavesdroppers (I think over here pharmacists are covered by medical confidentiality as are other health professionals, although not being one I don't fully know. They do have a responsibility to check what they are doing, and essentially flag up dangerous situations).   Tracy
    • tracy_j
      From my experience / opinion:   When I am wearing a skirt I usually lift it. Obviously the rear is the main issue, and I generally use a sort of scooping action to lift things out the way. This way, I can use a similar action with dresses which obviously would be impractical to pull down. One thing to remember is that women grow up from little girls. Little girls mostly wear short skirts / dresses so likely learn by lifting rather than lowering. I don't really know though, but as you are in private, it really does not matter.   I have less experience with dating, as I am not alone either, but when the occasion arises I love to flirt. Your relationships are really a matter for you, your wife  and your conscience. That said I would urge you to be very careful as guys are often out for just a quick lay. It is easy to get attention (even I have had that), but they can often take advantage, satisfy their urges and then realise and get nasty or at the least indifferent. Such men may well play the field and be risky healthwise in other ways too. As a woman, you need to think like a woman but be even more careful as some men are very transphobic. They may not realise that you are trans. When they do they will likely get very embarrased and get nasty.   I always put moisturiser on my legs after shaving (and at other times too). Personally I like matt legs so don't look for shine.   Tracy
    • tracy_j
      Hi Julie,   Welcome 😊   I am glad things are steadily working out for you.   Tracy
    • tracy_j
    • jae bear
      Oh goodness me, I agree with everyone here, that is definitely a breach of patient confidentiality as well as simply bad manners !   Hugs,   Jackie 
    • ChelseaAnn
      Also, I forgot. What is the best way to make my legs appear shinier? I shaved just tonight, but should i put lotion on so they look nicer?
    • Carolyn Marie
      If this is indeed a homicide, it would be the fourth in Florida this year.   http://www.14news.com/story/38695860/this-world-can-be-very-cruel-transgender-woman-found-dead-in-fl-with-trauma-to-body   Carolyn Marie
    • ChelseaAnn
      So, I hope this is in the right section. I occasionally get to go out as Chelsea when my wife gives me some time. I have gone out many times and had lots of success in passing, but I'm still learning some things. Disclaimer, some of these questions sound stupid in my head.   First, if you are wearing a skirt, long or short, what is the proper way to use the bathroom? Do you lift the skirt up or pull it down like pants? Or can you lift loose skirts but pull down those that are right?   Second. In the past, when I've gone out, a friend told me I attracted some male attention. (It made me feel good to hear that.) My question is, because I'm married, is it wrong to try and attract it? Like, not really flirting but actively trying to get the attention that cis girls get from guys?
  • Upcoming Events

×