mschatelaine: (Default)
This afternoon I went to see the counsellor again. I came away with an odd negative feeling. I'm on hormones, starting to show physical changes, going out dressed, people are remarking that I seem comfortable, some work colleagues know what I'm doing, some family know what I'm doing, my friends are supportive, where's the down side?

I said that I was not clear on what I'm doing and I am still thinking through my goals, and the counsellor immediately turned all cautionary and if anything slightly disapproving. Now I appreciate that the physical changes due to hormones are not easily if at all reversible, and I'm fine with that and understand his caution on that point. But I've come away feeling as if my 'progress' to date has somehow lapsed.

He spoke about how I had been talking this way 'early on', about how I hadn't been sure what I wanted and I was later more definite. The implication seemed to be that since I'm continuing to question what I want rather than having settled on my goal - either way, transitioning or not, all or nothing - I somehow have gone back to an earlier stage in treatment and that once I had decided on a course, I should not be questioning it later but be firm of purpose.

What do I actually want? I don't know. Every day I see someone pretty and say to myself, I wish I looked like that. I like girly things; shopping is a giggle, and so is makeup and dressing up. I like women's clothes and I'd like to be able to be feminine, at will, no questions asked or censure given.

But that, as the doctor quite rightly pointed out, is very different from having my genitals surgically remodelled. Do I want that? Ask me in a couple of years.

And to add the confusion, I met someone really nice last weekend, while dressed male, who wasn't phased when I said about going cross-dressed to Club Noir, and who seemed to like me. She has a boyfriend, so the issue isn't a pressing one, but she can't be unique, even in Glasgow.

So I'm going on with the hormones at their present level, and I'm refusing to be stampeded by any damn doctor. I have a lot to think about and a lot to decide and a lot of options to give up if it comes to it, and I'm not pleased that I'm feeling pressured in any way.
mschatelaine: (Default)
I've been using the HRT patches since Monday - you slap a fresh one on every three or four days to keep a continuous level of hormones going, and nowhere above the waist, presumably because they carry an increased risk of breast cancer and of heart problems.

It's too early by some weeks or months to expect any gross physical changes but I have noticed what may be a side effect in that I have had tense muscle pains across my back since starting on the course.

These are the same pains I get whenever I'm wound up over something, be it stress at work or a relationship going wrong. They are relieved by standing under a hot shower and appropriately enough by the relaxation I get when cross-dressed. I suspect a massage would also do me a lot of good. What I think is happening is that the hormones are making me more susceptible to being keyed up and that all my residual anxieties, that ordinarily wouldn't have any impact, are winding my back into knots.

I think I would still be having problems but the hormones may be making the effects worse. If it continues into next week I'll stop wearing the patch and consult the doctor. In the meantime I am cultivating serenity and thinking happy thoughts. I also have wheat beer, and books by Charlie Stross, Warren Ellis, Ken MacLeod, Al Reynolds and Richard Morgan.

Update - I slept the night wearing my boobs, which I don't normally because I have to wear a bra to keep them in place, and I also only recently acquired a pair that wouldn't burst on me, then loafed around the house today in my nightdress. My back is significantly improved.
mschatelaine: (Default)
I just posted a very nasty comment in the latest SFWA discussion. I'm really proud of it.

This is an emotional step forward, which I just realised and I want to celebrate.

Some years ago, I would be happy to engage in debate online or face to face, confident not in that I was right but that I could handle the conflict. I was perfectly happy to be proven wrong and delighted to learn something in the process. I was proud of my ability to argue fools into knots. My favourite weapon was detailed and correct interpretation of whatever authority my opponent would like to call on. My Google-fu was strong and subtle.

I loved "libertarians". Most of them were self-centred bigots that I could argue into showing themselves for what they were, out from their simplistic cloak of one rule to fit all political and social situations. I had so much fun.

Then I went through some hard times. My self-confidence was, in effect, shattered. I found that I could not engage in an argument online. Even if someone was self-evidently full of shit and I called them on it in detail and with justification, I could not bring myself to go back to that forum or newsgroup in case they had replied. Didn't stop me from calling bullshit now and again, but it eventually stopped me from going to the newsgroups that I had loved and had been my online social life and my intellectual grindstone.

And now I have not only engaged in an argument on a forum, I have taken in the response and comments and sent back incendiary replies that I look forward to seeing the comments on and responses to.

I don't know if I can convey the feeling I have right now, that I am not subject to a debilitating panic attack over the idea of seeing the responses to my post. I don't feel the need to rush out and attack everyone I see. It's like I (I just realised and burst into tears)

I can stand up straight and not cower.

(Interesting that I want to deal with this as [livejournal.com profile] ms_chatelaine, and not as [livejournal.com profile] ahforgetit, as whom I made the comment.)

Hormones!

Nov. 21st, 2007 09:55 pm
mschatelaine: (Default)
Today I want for my third counselling session. This time I went as Elaine, with flared jeans, high heels, a pretty top, eye makeup, lipstick and a wig. The doctor's comment was that I seemed very comfortable, that I looked good, and that he was very pleased with my progress, as was the psychiatrist that I had seen a couple of months ago. I've lost nearly a stone in weight over the last three months, and I've been getting rid of issues that have stressed me one by one, so he agreed to the next step, which will be to start on hormones.

This will be a major step, but again, one that is reversible to an extent. I'm looking forward to it. I don't know if I'll ever transition fully, because my need to be a woman isn't so strong that I could give up my family or cause the upset that it would be guaranteed to, but I want to reshape my body to be more feminine. As well as having breasts and hips, I want to reduce my belly (diet and exercise) and the breadth of my chest and shoulders. That last is a lot harder to do, but aerobic exercise, along with the reduction in testosterone that I'll be experiencing, should go some way towards it.

My goal at the moment will be to reduce my masculine aspects and increase my feminine aspects, so that I can be a woman when I'm dressed as a woman and a man when I'm dressed as a man. If it comes about in a couple of years that I'm more settled as a woman than as a man, then I'll consider transition.

An interesting point was that my blood pressure, in a situation where I might be expected to be nervous, dressed as a woman for the first time in the counselling session, was much lower than it normally is, 115/80 where I'm usually about 140/90. I really am less stressed as Elaine.
mschatelaine: (Default)
I had more panic attacks yesterday and this morning and when I went in to work, H, one of the directors, asked if there was anything I needed or if they could help me.

So I told her the situation and how I stand at the moment. She confirmed what I had thought, that I don't need to worry about being accepted at work and that they will be supportive.

And that there was a really nice red coat in Dorothy Perkins.
mschatelaine: (Default)
I've got an appointment for a psych evaluation on Monday morning, so I've arranged to take the morning off work. Quite apart from the fact that I'd do that every week if I could, this is a new thing for me and I'm a bit apprehensive. Counselling with a psychiatrist is like confession without the judgement and guilt; you get the catharsis of telling someone just how messed up you are and what you're hiding. This meeting, though, I suspect will be more like this.
mschatelaine: (Default)
Last night I was quite desperately tired, and also desperately avoiding the tidying up that I had to do. I finished washing the dishes after midnight and sorted my clothes into neater bundles than their accustomed heaps this morning. This was after a nap of an hour and a half and much more procrastination.

All the time I have a dreadful feeling - what have I done?

But what I have done has been to change my relationships with most of my friends, not disastrously, but definitely. And I've decided on a path of action that will cause me distress, hardship and grief. I hope it's worth it in the end. I wonder if I'll see it through?

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August 2016

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