The Deep-Seated Need to Realize: “I’m OK”

gg2015-09-19 03.06.38

I get to check just about every box in the “yes, I’m unusual” column. I’m a t-girl. I’m gay (a girl who likes girls). I’m into BDSM. I’m poly-amorous. I’m sexually intense when I want to be. It took me a long time to be OK with all this, and by implication, with who I am. Nowadays, I’m more than OK with it; I’m downright happy about it.

It’s been a difficult journey. I grew up in a highly repressed and repressing sub-culture that was hostile to transgender people, gay people, BDSM, poly-amory and sex for pleasure. Wow, was I a misfit. When I was younger, I was convinced that I’m so different that:

a) Nobody else is this unusual,
b) My attributes are considered bad, so I must be a bad person,
c) I’d better not let on, and
d) I’d better figure out what’s wrong with me, and fix it — so that I could become like all the cookie-cutter people.

Nowadays, I like to find others who are unusual in similar ways as I am, and who feel ashamed, isolated, and alone. I enjoy helping them discover that as to what makes them unusual:

1. There are many people like them
2. It’s not a character flaw even if bigots say so
3. It has very useful aspects too

The synthesized message is … “so now you can stop beating yourself up, and make peace with (and later, celebrate and enjoy) who you are.” It’s rewarding to see the relief and gratitude of the people whom I’ve helped break out of their self-imposed personal, psychological prison. And no, I’m not a counselor, and if you need one, go find one. Amateur psychology is about as safe as amateur brain surgery, for similar reasons. Still, sometimes my informal input is enough to be helpful.

Just hearing a well-substantiated “you’re OK” means SO much to people who feel bad about themselves, and isolated, and alone. They mostly feel that way because bigots in that person’s culture have been saying “it’s not OK” about the characteristics that the person has. For example, they hear that being gay is supposed to be bad, and it’s scorned and ridiculed — and they realize that they are gay, so secretly they are in that category, and then they feel ashamed of who they are.

It’s very rare that a young person rejects all the bigotry surrounding who they are; too often, the young person internalizes this negativity, and starts down a road of confusion, repression, secrecy, shame, erratic behavior, anxiety, isolation, sadness, anger … possibly leading to behavior in which the person self-punishes, such as by self-mutilation, self-inflicted pain, substance abuse, and even suicide.

If all this eventually gets resolved, then the first steps down the road to redemption is the person concluding that they are, themselves, basically OK. Some figure it out by themselves; others need to hear it from someone else. Either way, that’s the start of the road to health and happiness — the realization of “Wow, I’m actually OK.”

Advertisements

The Value of Visualization: Portrait Pro Software

Maybe five years ago, when I was just coming out as a trans girl, I took some pictures of my sad face and sent them, along with some money, to someone in Britain, to spruce them up and made them look less sad and depressing.

The idea behind that was to show me that, if I stop trying to live the life of a guy, and I live openly as the female that I am brain-wise, then after some cleaning up, cheering up and corrective surgery, I might look like … the edited pictures she sent back.

That helped me a lot. It gave me hope. Ironically, now I feel and look way better than her pictures indicated, yay!

Regardless, it helps being able to visualize.  So here’s a picture of me a couple of months ago:

Original

One of my many faults is that I take hardly any time to put on make-up. I have fake permanent lashes, and most days, that’s good enough for me. On a day when I actually put on make-up, it’s maybe half a minute to put on some eyebrow pencil and then I run out the door. On such days, I look like in the above picture. It’s a happy, country-fair-wholesome look – not exactly like Sharon Stone in her movies.  Much room for improvement, and make-up would do some of that. But, I’m a busy girl. Before I allocate the time to put on make-up, I need to know it’s worth the time.  For a rare occasion, fine.  Otherwise … I don’t know. It’s hard to say.

… until today. I downloaded a trial version of Portrait Pro, and played with it. I love it so much that I sent them $40 for the full version.

This software allows me to import a picture and without making a complete mess of it, I can try on various types of make-up and see the net effect. That way, I can decide what would look good on me, and I can make all my dumb mistakes in the software. Then, I choose what looks good, and then I go focus on that. I’ve already learned a lot. Finally, I do now understand why lipstick does help significantly. So, please do expect my glasses and cups to be smeared from today on.

Eye shadow … I have mixed feeling about that. It makes a HUGE difference if it’s put on right, but it’s not good for that very sensitive upper-eyelid skin, where premature skin sagging and damage could make me look like Mother Teresa on a bad day. So I haven’t decided what to do about that, as yet. But as to the short-term benefits, yes, sold.

Eyeliner, ditto. Concealer, probably. Blush & bronzer, maybe.

No offense to my past clients intended, but I am SO enjoying taking a break from doing part-time escorting work. But it IS nice to be get paid $300+ per hour, and no, I don’t have sex with the client as part of the deal, but I’m as charming and sexy as I can manage to be for an one intense hour. Typically I’m not wearing much clothing except for hot lingerie by the time such a session ends. And after playing with Portrait Pro, I’m pretty darn clear on how much better I could look for a client. That could translate into better cash flow, if one day I become inspired again.

But, why stop there? The software can do way more.

If you’re a genetically integrated girl, then probably your facial shape is highly feminine, and your facial bones are the main reason. But had your body been awash with testosterone during puberty, you could have ended up with a prizefighter jawline, cheerfully assertive nose, and a forehead & brow-line like Arnold or Rambo. Kinda like what happened to me.  Wouldn’t it be good to have an “undo” button? Yes! Well, in life, there isn’t one.  There is, however, facial corrective surgery but wow is that expensive. I’d have to sell a lot of my time at $300 per hour to justify that as a valid business investment. Plus to recoup the investment pronto, I’d better not just look half-way pretty but drop-dead gorgeous. Problem is, I wouldn’t know what I’d look like afterwards anyway, so it’s difficult to even fantasize about such surgery.

But now, thanks to Portrait Pro, I can envision better. Here’s what my face might have looked like, had it had a naturally female shape as if I’d gone through puberty with the right hormones. (Please ignore the albino skin tone; I’m still learning how to deal with that.)

Female_Standard.jpg

Okay, great. Still too wholesome, though. Now let’s …

… smooth & plump lips, darken the lipstick, widen & brighten & whiten my eyes, lighten the dark shadows under my eyes, enhance my cheekbones ….

Female_Standard_511

So that might be the “me” look now, if I had I managed to go through puberty while being on E, not T, and if I put on some proper make-up properly.

This was fun but informative, too. If could use this picture as a guideline. If I ever have vast amounts of money, and I have all my debt paid off, then (let’s ignore that by then I’ll be 150 years old) I could walk into a surgeon’s office and say “here’s the look I want.”  Even if its unrealistic then it’s less unrealistic than walking in there with a picture of Sharon Stone and then saying “here’s the look I want.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Risk of Feminizing Hormones, Dramatized

First, some non-fantasy stuff. I went in for a medical check-up today and had my blood pressure tested. It’s 124 over 86 — which I gather is really good. I told my mom the numbers. She’s a health and nutrition guru professionally, so I value her opinion highly as such. She liked the numbers very much. She said that, at this rate, I might live forever. So, that’s good.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this feminizing-hormone business. I’m very glad I’m on them but they’re pretty high-risk stuff.

A friend of mine went on feminizing hormones without medical guidance. She achieved her basic objectives but her bones got so brittle, her thigh bones snapped and now she’s unable to walk.  So, this isn’t a good place to exercise more initiative than caution.

If we want to make a dramatic fantasy about my situation, it’s that a young princess was put under a wicked spell by an evil witch, so that instead of growing up to be a lovely young lady, her voice and body became all distorted compared to how she should have been. Finally, a good witch came up with a magic potion to undo some of the effects of the evil spell, but the princess had to take only small dosages every day, and eat right, or she would drop dead. Also, it would take many years for the reversible effects to be reversed. And most of the effects would never be reversed anyway.

So, yes, it’s a fantasy story, but if you substitute “my nurse practitioner and her MD” for “good witch” and “Spironolactone plus Estradiol” for “magic potion” it becomes more realistic. The part about “small dosages every day, and eat right, or she would drop dead” is no fantasy. That’s my life, every day. Even with medical supervision, these hormones are risky:

  1. It’s a lot easier to get a stroke or heart attack.  With bad blood cholesterol, estradiol is a huge risk.  Me, I’m super-careful about what I eat as to a low amount of saturated fats, a high amount of unsaturated fat; salmon, olive oil, walnuts, shrimp, avocados and so on. I get my blood cholesterol tested regularly. So far I’m doing great, but if I slack off, I’m dead. No super-sized double-meat extra-cheese extra-bacon burgers with extra ranch dressing and BBQ sauce, for me.
  2. It’s a lot easier to get an aneurysm. As part of my prescribed medication, I take one tiny-dosage aspirin pill every day … it has a blood-thinning effect that helps keep me alive, I gather. The blood-thinning aspirin, however, if combined with too-high amounts of natural blood thinners like garlic, or walnuts, or salmon, or avocado … that could create some quickly-fatal problems for me. So I have to be always mindful of that aspect too.
  3. It’s a lot easier to get kidney failure. The Spironolactone has a massively dehydrating effect, and unless I drink vast amounts of water per day, regularly throughout the day, my fingertips are all shriveled up and … how do I say this nicely … my pee is bright yellow. I recently weighed myself: 183 pounds. The next day: 193 pounds. The difference was probably how dehydrated vs. hydrated I was. I actively keep track of how much water I drink daily and there’s a case of Walgreens water with me or in my car wherever I go. Also, sleeping the whole night through without having to get up part-way and going to the bathroom to pee … that hasn’t happened for months, and might well never happen again.
  4. It’s a lot easier to get heart failure. Before going on Spironolactone, I managed my sodium intake carefully to protect against high blood pressure. Nowadays, any sodium that I take in, my body wants to get rid of. I try to win the race by taking in vast amounts of sodium. The little soup cans that I used to love until a friend read the label and called it “heart attack soup” due to all the sodium … I eat at least one per day, nowadays. I put extra salt on my omelets, on the nuts I eat, and when I eat veggies then I dip them in soy sauce. I thought I was doing fairly well as such. But, the most recent time when the medical specialist read my blood test results, she was pleased with everything except … my sodium intake was too low.  Wait, what?! I should take in even more? Wow.  Conversely, my body now struggles to get rid of potassium. I have to carefully manage how much I take in or I could get my potassium vs. sodium balance out of whack, and then hello heart attack. I used to cheerfully eat potatoes, tomatoes, kiwi fruit and bananas. Now they are a rare treat, for me. And even so, my potassium levels are OK but barely so.
  5. It’s a lot easier to put on weight. Testosterone vs. estrogen … you get the idea. I’m delighted my boobies are growing, and that I look less blatantly muscular, but I’m also slowly seeing my body weight increase over time, even though my diet and exercise aren’t changing much. I’m putting on weight in places where girls put on weight, so I’m not complaining, but it’s possible to have too much of that, too.
  6. It’s a lot easier to get liver damage. The estradiol I take is supposed to be absorbed under the tongue, so it bypasses the liver. If I mess up and I swallow the pills instead, I could mess up my liver, pronto. Probably a little estradiol gets swallowed anyway due to saliva finding its way around. So, me avoiding alcohol is a key factor in keeping my liver healthy enough.

As part of my mentoring process for trans girls, I strongly advocate that a girl should get her dietary habits and blood chemistry commendably under control before she goes on hormones and ends up miserable or dead.

 

Breaking the Binge-And-Purge Cycle

I’m currently mentoring two trans girls in person. As so many trans girls do, each of them started out trying to make sense of their strong need to live in a way that’s consistent with their fundamentally female sense of self. This included wearing female clothing.

Both of them grew up in a cultural context in which it would be totally unacceptable for a man to dress as a woman. Not realizing at the time that

a) it’s fine for their happiness to be valued and the opinion of bigots to be dismissed and

b) their brain structure makes them female anyway, hence their deep-seated need to dress as a female

… they would go through cycles. Each of them would resist the need to dress as the girl she is, and then finally give in and get her hands on female clothing, and then feel disgusted with herself, throw it all away — and the cycle begins again.

The lady who told me the story today also mentioned that she experienced much anger during the time when she was trying to resist.

Eventually each of them figured out that they’re trans girls, and that dressing and living in a way consistent with who they are, is not just fine but a mark of integrity.

 

Symptom #6 of Feminizing Hormones

In November of 2014,  I wrote about the effects that feminizing hormones were having on my sexuality, with a focus on its effects on my, um, reproductive equipment (yes, the stuff in front), and how that body part was working less and less in the way it had been before I started taking hormones.

It’s now more than a year later, and whatever that particular body part used to do, it does hardly any of, except for peeing. The last time it was used in a non-solo active role was last summer, more than half a year ago, with my girlfriend. I hadn’t expected to be so very much OK with this massive decline, but I am. I really don’t miss the use of that body part. I mean, it’s still physically there and maybe I could use it to write my name in yellow in the snow, but somehow I’m not super-motivated to go try. That’s about it, as to excitement resulting from that body part. It just really doesn’t matter to me. The biggest effect it has on my life is negative: it creates a less-smooth-than-I-like profile when I wear a thong.

ggg2015-12-28 00.29.30

To my surprise, I still get erections. However, they are super-rare (like once every few weeks) and they happen when I’m feeling mentally intensely sexy in my proper role, i.e., on the receiving end of things. Used to be when I woke up in the morning, I had a raging erection. That hasn’t happened in many, many months.

Any guy reading this might not understand this sentence, but … I can feel very horny while not showing any increase in size “down there.” It’s girl thing, specifically a t-girl thing.

Initially I’d expected to still be very horny but as to being on the receiving end of things instead. That’s not how things played out. My interest in ANY sort of sexual pleasure (solo or otherwise) is close to zero, except that I like to give pleasure.

Maybe a month ago I realized that sex is less interesting to me than doing my taxes, and I thought I should make a point of, well, getting laid (safely, of course) so that things don’t fall into disrepair from sheer neglect. I recognized that feeling from way back when. It’s how I used to feel when I decided I really should make a point of going to the gym.

ggg2015-12-28 00.16.17

So, I placed a Craigslist ad looking for guys. Whatever I have lost in enthusiasm I seem to have gained in appeal. I had many applicants to sift through. Finally, I met two guys (separately) and enjoyed the sexual time with each of them (separately) well enough. I’ve had my share of bad sex with guys and so by contrast, I know that the experience with these recent two guys was indeed good sex.

Afterward, I recognized how I felt about that. That feeling matched a feeling from way back when, too. It’s how I used to feel after I’d decided I really should make a point of going to the gym, and I had just come back from the gym. It’s a sort of satisfaction as in “well, I’m glad I made the effort.”

By far the most interesting result of the ad was that I met another t-girl like me. And no, nothing got sexual. We had lunch and chatted. I really enjoyed that, as evidently did she. At some point in the dialog, she said she hadn’t been with a guy for a long time, and I said “gosh, me too.” I’d completely forgotten about the two sessions from that very same month. Wow. I later remembered, felt like a dumb blonde, and emailed her a correction, explaining that these two sessions just really had slipped my mind. In all candor, that does tell the entire story of how horny I nowadays am, and how literally forgettable sex with guys is, to me.

It’s not that I feel sexless. I am taking better care of my health and looks than ever. I still like wearing sexy shoes, and dresses. I like going out and exploring the world while looking as good as I can. I feel sexier than ever, just not sexual.

My situation is skewed in that the wonderful lady with whom I’m in an open-yet-safe relationship isn’t currently here, and if she were, my sex life would no doubt improve. Still, even that is not how it used to be. She and I used to do wild stuff much of the time, when we were together. Nowadays we’re emotionally closer than ever and it’s still a sexual relationship too, but when we’re together in person, there’s not much wild stuff going on. And of course we’ve discussed it, and she and I are both just fine with that.

ggg2015-12-28 00.23.09

 

 

 

 

The Best Way to get Snow Chains on

Before I came out as a t-girl, for business travel, I drove an old Volvo back and forth across the Sierra Nevada mountains, pretty much twice a week. This included Donner Pass at 7227 feet of elevation, which means A LOT of snow in the winter. Life was hard back then. And no, the heater didn’t work. And no, I didn’t have money or time to fix that.

Putting snow chains on the Volvo was a miserable task. It was cold and dirty and messy work, and clearances were tight. If I screwed up then it could take a looooong time to get the situation unscrewed, and until then I couldn’t move my car, and my fingers would be getting ever colder and number. Some of the work was too intricate for the gloves I owned at the time. Forget about breaking a nail — one bad session could break them all.

It’s happened that during this process, it was also dark, plus late at night, plus the storm was getting worse, plus slushy snow was pouring down, plus the temperature was plummeting, and I still couldn’t get the stupid chains on.

There was no leeway for panicking or throwing a fit. Self-control was the only way. It was me vs. the mountain, and the odds were not in my favor unless I kept calm and got the job done.

After I had the chains on, I still hadn’t won. Unless I managed things just so, the chains could come loose, or break. And that might mean going off into a ditch, or having to wait by the side of the road for a tow truck to show up and find me, ideally before someone else ran into me.

After the snow cleared, I had to take the chains off again, or they’d break. If that happened, I might need a tow truck and they might also have destroyed part of my car in the process.

Now and then I’d take my chances and see how well I could do without them. On a two wheel drive, rear-wheel drive car, the odds were rarely in my favor. One late winter storm about fifteen years ago,  I chanced it. Bad idea. Visibility got worse and worse. Eventually it was essentially zero except high up, I could dimly make out the red lights of the large truck-and-trailer in front of me. If I could stay behind him, fine. If not, I could die. I could not see the road or where it was.

If I kept driving there was no reason to believe I wouldn’t end up in a ditch, freezing to death. If I stopped I’d have to guess where the side of the road was, and in the process of slowing down I might run into a person, car or truck by the roadside. If I guessed wrongly I might stop in the roadway and have trucks smash into me from behind. It was a likely-fatal no-win situation unless I could keep up with that truck. I desperately tried to stay right behind the truck, but I could feel the Volvo’s rear tires losing traction, then barely regaining it. Had they lost traction, I would not be here today. Where I’d be is debatable depending on your views on what would have happened after I’d frozen to death. I might have become worm food, or have taken up playing a harp, or be dealing with 17 virgins, or be in a too-hot climate, or have come back as a grasshopper (bad) or as Sophia Loren’s underwear (good).

So, this morning, many happy years later, I came back from a drive in the Monterey area, and having happily blossomed as the girl I am. Even so, I was nevertheless on the wrong side of the Sierras, trying to get home to Nevada. The freeway was closed due to the snow storm. Nobody could get through, chains or no chains. Later, the road was open but the flashing signs made it pretty clear that chains were required. And I’m not taking any more chances on this sort of thing again.

I pulled over, put on my elegant warm leather jacket and color-coordinated gloves, and unpacked the chains from their carry bag. These were brand new and I hadn’t ever used this kind. I was studying the instructions, untangling the mess and trying to figure out how to use them. 

I had my long blonde hair down, and I was wearing some pretty black high-heeled boots, an elegant skirt, black tight-fitting leggings and a pretty black top with spangly  insets. I also wore a matching silver-ish necklace, along with the elegant tight-fitting black leather jacket.

I was a study in black-and-white, elegant, coordinated clothing. Even my underwear matched. My make-up had been carefully applied and my skin moisturized. I was bright-eyed and well-rested with a good breakfast in my happy tummy, and I was well-hydrated besides. I felt good. I don’t always look good, but this morning, I looked good. Not that this was the best attire for getting snow chains on a vehicle … or was it?

Indeed it was.

I didn’t want to rush the process. I calmly laid the chains out, and stood reading the instructions. I was actually having a good time, trying to figure out this puzzle, and feeling proud that I was driving a high-quality almost-new vehicle, I had new and high-quality snow chains, I had pulled over while the weather was more warm than it would be higher up the mountain, and that I’d found some thin but pretty, comfortable, warm black gloves to wear.

Behind me was parked a big truck-and-trailer with two young-ish guys in it. I suppose they were getting a show though I wasn’t actually trying to show off or strike saucy poses. Even so, I have a good posture and I tend to move elegantly. With my large (fake) boobs I probably was interesting to look at.

Pretty soon, they came over and offered to put the tire chains on, for me.  Yay for gallantry!!

It’s quite possible that if I’d looked like Mother Teresa on a bad day, then maybe they’d have helped me too, but maybe not…