Opening Up

As you can tell since you’re reading this, I’ve decided to just go ahead and make this blog public significantly before I was originally intending to.  I talked to August about it, and came to the conclusion that it probably isn’t too big of a risk.  Besides, now people that I want to share it with, but don’t have WordPress accounts can still read it.

 

In other news, I had another little breakdown at work.  Now, I realize by most people’s standards, these are not breakdowns, but for me it definitely is.  Anyway, something unexpected came up on short notice that would have forced me to cancel family plans that I had made for the weekend a month or so ago.  When I was asked by one of my bosses how I was that morning, perhaps an hour after I found out that I was supposed to work this weekend, I shrugged and said okay.  At this point he wanted to know what was wrong, so I explained the situation as calmly as I could, but my feelings of having to miss important things with August and family so much lately and even more in the future bubbled to the surface and it took everything I had to keep my voice from sounding like I was on the verge of tears.

 

Long story short,  he could tell that something was bothering me and while he had stuff to take care of, he had one of our middle management pull me aside and check on me.  This guy, after I partially explained to him how I was feeling without giving any details of my situation, arranged for somebody else to cover for me this weekend so I didn’t have to cancel on people.  Not only that, but he went a step further in getting somebody to cover for me at another site that I was supposed to go to this week as well.  While I still have to go to that other site later on, this is an extra few days at home with August that I think I really need, even though August has to spend most his time focusing on school stuff this week.  Otherwise, I’d have only been home for a week before going out of town again.

 

I had two other people pull me aside that day to check on me.  I guess everybody could tell I was kind of on edge all day.  I even told one of my bosses that I trust not to gossip about what’s going on with August and that he just got his first injection, but I left my own transgender feelings out of it.  He was very supportive of August and understood why it was so frustrating for me to be pulled away from home so much lately.

 

I also told him that I was thinking about talking to a professional since I feel like I’m struggling, yo-yoing in and out of depression lately and have brought this topic up with August.  We’re going to look into it and were talking about maybe set some of our clothing money aside to pay for my sessions.  We’ll figure it out, I suppose.  Hopefully it’ll help me find my balance again and get my emotional stability back.

One Day at a Time

The last week has been a series of ups and downs.  I got back from a work related trip and still had most of last weekend to spend with August and our dog and had an all around good weekend.  Got the marriage license application in the mail this week, as well as took the clothes I’ll be wearing for the legal ceremony in for alterations.  Most importantly, August got his first testosterone injection today.  We went out to dinner last night to celebrate since he has an evening class today.

Those are all big things, great things, and I know when I look back at the week, I should be happy with the the progress that has been made.  I am, don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely happy with all of that.  I’m genuinely excited to see August start his transition and am so glad that I am home the week he started, even if I couldn’t be there with him when he received the shot.  I wasn’t sure that I would be, since work is taking me away from home again in a few short days.  I think it would have been much harder for me if it had happened next week when I was out of town and unable to even see him at all that day.

All this being said, I’m miserable at work.  I have to put on this mask of being just a lesbian.  It would be different if I was choosing to hide this from them, but the reality is that I’m being forced to.  Since I work in a predominantly male office, the fact that I am physically a woman is often brought to my attention.  I’m not talking sexual harassment or anything of that nature.  It’s more that they watch what they say and are worried about offending me simply because of my physical gender.  Or they will say something to one of the other guys, then realize I’m there and apologize for it, especially the ones that have never worked with women before.  I realize they are trying to be polite and unoffensive, but I really just wish they would treat me like one of them.

When I received the text from August today telling me he had just gotten his first injection, I was elated.  I know how badly he needs this, how badly it has been eating him up inside.  Soon after the excitement came a flood of emotions about my own situation.  I hate that, I don’t want to detract from his happiness and the wonderful things going on for him.  I don’t want to be making it about me.  I feel my resentment towards work growing.  The wait for my own transition feels so unbearable, but it’s not even that alone.  It’s that I can’t even come out to people at work about how I feel.  If I could do that, but still had to wait until my time there was over to transition, it would suck but it wouldn’t be near as bad because at least I wouldn’t have to keep pretending.

There are times at work that I just can’t wait to get home and be comfortable and knowing that is awaiting me gets me through the day… But knowing that there will be a period of time where I will spend months in their constant presence, away from home.  I won’t get to see August, I won’t have any privacy, I will have to wear this heavy mask at all times.  When I think about what I have ahead of me, I don’t know how I’m going to get through that, let alone getting through the rest of my contract.  If I could guarantee that I wouldn’t lose the education benefits, that the consequences wouldn’t blemish my resume when looking for future employment, I would just be out with it and let them get rid of me.  Get rid of me for nothing more than being me.  Not harming anybody, just wanting my skin to match my soul.

The worst part of it all, though, is that I feel like I can’t even be there for August.  I will miss his graduation because of work.  I will miss his next birthday.  I will miss most of the first year of his transition.  I realize that some of this matters more to me than it does to him, but I feel like I’m missing out on so many important things in his life because of a job for an organization that I have long ago lost the desire to be a part of.

All of this has been on my mind for some time, but when I got that text today and I was filled with so much happiness and excitement for August, all of this came rushing in on its heels.  I was on a bus coming back to the office after a work event, surrounded by my coworkers, struggling to keep my composure as I was filled with these overwhelming emotions.  I managed, somehow, to last until we got back to the office building, told them I was going to lunch, walked across the parking lot to my car, climbed in and just let it go.  It was a brief cry, maybe a minute, probably more like 30 seconds.  I didn’t need a good long one, I just needed a short release, needed to get enough out so I wouldn’t overflow.  Then I started the car and went to lunch.

I can’t get away from this.  It’s not going to get better for at least another year, and even then I’ll have a wait ahead of me.  All I can do is take it one day at a time and not look too far into the future.  It’s when I start thinking further ahead that I get overwhelmed.

Here I Am

Well, here’s my first post on this new blog.  In the past I’ve used blogs to vent, for self analysis and discovery, and to organize my thoughts and simply get them out of my head.  The use of this blog won’t be much different, except that these posts will all be centered around a specific topic.  Although this topic is one that I haven’t spoken to anybody of until very recently, it has been held deep within me for a very long time.  It will change my life and lead me down a long, difficult path, but I believe something wonderful awaits me at the end.

While this blog is currently only viewable to one person, I do intend to eventually make it public after a certain governing factors of my life have passed and I can be more open about things in my everyday life.  As such, I feel that I should give a brief history for anybody that has discovered this blog after it has been made public and decided to go through the archives and read from the beginning.

I was born a woman and by most people’s standards, I still am one.  I, however, do not identify internally as such.  When did this feeling within, this sense of not fitting into my own skin start?  It’s hard to say.  I have distinct memories of being a child and loathing being treated like a girl, wishing that I was a boy, feeling held back by my body.  I hated when my mom forced me to wear dresses, when my grandmother would buy me dolls, when it was assumed that I would want to play house.  I just wanted to go out there and play street hockey, football, ninja turtles, cops and robbers, and whatnot with my friends, all boys back then.  I loved it, they were too young to know I was weird, to them I was just another one of the boys.  I fit in.

Then came middle school.  We reached that age when kids began to mature physically – growth spurts, hair growing in weird places, body shapes changing.  I could no longer be one of the guys the way I had been in elementary school.  When the guys looked at me, they saw the woman I was becoming and they were of the age in which guys really start to take notice of women.  This made me very uncomfortable, despite the fact that I don’t have the most hourglass of figures or terribly large breasts.  What little I did have I did my best to hide under baggy, oversized boy’s clothing.  This carried on through high school.

As I started developing romantic feelings for people, I found myself very torn.  I often went unnoticed by those that I was attracted to and those that did notice me… well I usually wasn’t their first choice.  For a while I was just happy to be in a relationship when the opportunity came, but none of them lasted long as I quickly found myself dissatisfied.  Too often they would try to treat me like a princess, try to be my protector, and simply need me to be something I wasn’t, to fit in a pretty little box they had built for me.

It wasn’t until my early to mid 20s that I started to change the pattern.  Little by little I began changing the way I dressed, trying to find the compromise between femininity that was expected of me and what I could make myself be somewhat comfortable wearing.  The more feminine I dressed, the more attention I got from those I was wanting it from, man or woman.  I even attempted to change the way I behaved to a certain degree, trying to be more of what I thought I was supposed to be like.  My relationships started lasting longer, I even got married.  Still, nothing lasted.  The divorce was finalized and I came out to my friends and family as a lesbian two years later, thinking this at least would allow me to be partially myself.  Yet another box that I was trying to fit in.  The same problems loomed before me my first few attempts at dating in the lesbian world – expectations of others’ that I couldn’t meet despite my best efforts.

And then there was August, though I knew him by a different name at the time we met.  I could easily turn this into gushing over how amazing A is, how I can no longer see my life without him, how he’s the first person I’ve been able to be so completely myself with and how very much in love with him I am, but I won’t go any further than what I just said.  It’s all very true, but that’s not what this blog is truly about, though it is because of him that I have been able to come out about this at all.  August was my first real girlfriend, and is my future husband.  It was during a period of time in which we were trying to decide what to wear at our wedding and were contemplating both wearing dresses that he took the time to email me his feelings.  As I read the email in which he was coming out to me as transgender it all rang so true within me.  So, with my heart pounding in my chest, I replied to his email explaining that I felt the same way.  Even though he had already taken that first step and initiated the conversation, even though I knew he wouldn’t react negatively, I was terrified.  This was the first time I had ever told anybody this deep, dark secret of mine.  A was, of course, more than understanding and was relieved that his coming out didn’t change anything between us.

A hop, skip, and a jump and that brings us to the present.  The current situation is that both August and I have chosen new names to go by and are reworking our wardrobes to reflect the men we are.  We’re still planning our wedding, our future family, and saving for our future home.  We’ve talked to our close friends and family.  We’re both ready to begin our transitions, though August’s will be more immediate.  I won’t be able to start mine for quite some time still due to my current employment.  While at home I’m Alex, in the workplace I still have to identify as a woman and live to the expectations that come with that.  The wait is going to be hard, it already is.  Having come out to some people has made the feeling more urgent.  Not being able to come out to work without major repercussions, having that place where I can’t be myself and I have to put on that mask feels so agonizing at times.  On the other hand, I’m excited for August and am so glad I get to be a part of something so life changing and important to him as he begins his transition.  There’s a long road ahead of me full of ups and downs, excitements and disappointments, and eventually finding comfort and peace within myself.  So here I am, ready to start my travels and record them here.