Mental milestone

Yesterday I ran my first ever official running race – I completed a 10km “epic” hill run. My aim was just to get across the finish line because it is the furthest I have ever tried to run, but I placed myself a target of completing it in under 1 hr 45 mins. The timing is done by electronic chips on the numbers so my official time ended up being 1 hr 19 minutes and I was absolutely delighted. I was so happy to have completed it that I was openly tearing up in front of my sister.

As these races require medical contacts I had to list my gender as male which made me a bit sad, but I now wear running tights which are basically leggings anyway so it is not any different to what I would wear if I could go as Dee.

Unfortunately halfway around the course I tripped over an old chain link fence buried under the long grass we were running over and did a full on superman dive into the muddy trail. A lovely woman made sure I was okay when I stood up before we all carried on, but by the time I had finished the race, and driven home I could barely walk and I could not put much weight on it at all – one sleepless night was enough to convince me to call my doctors and so they sent me for an X-ray to check and see if there was a fracture – it is only a sprain but it does mean that I have to try and rest up, this impacts my aim to exercise every day of January to improve my mental health, and it definitely stops me trying to get more comfortable at running longer distances. Thankfully though because of the NHS it was all free and I was back home inside of two hours with an ankle support I bought at the shop..

This time last year I was still emotionally a big gooey mess, not much has really changed, but I am not so terrified of admitting that I am Dee as I used to be – the fears are all around whether I should transition, not so much for the impact on me as I am starting to come to terms with myself, but for the potential impact on my children.

My emotional eating was out of control and then when I did not want to eat I was using meal replacement shakes to try and rapidly drop my weight, of course things went well for a little while but it was in May that my sister encouraged me to start going to Parkruns, I literally could not run 1km – after nearly killing myself that first time getting numb in my hips and wanting to actually throw up.  I was the second to last person for the next 3 weeks, just in front of the tail walker who volunteers so that no one has to be last. I started going out during the week too and usined a couch to 5k app to encourage me along. In October I completed my first Parkrun without stopping to walk, and now I have just competed a 10km run.  I walked up most of the hills, but where it was flat and where it was downhill I was jogging, I could, in theory call myself a runner even though I still do not see myself as one.

What’s crazy is that I am back to 16 stone (101 kg) so I am running with just as much weight as this time last year, only now I can run. Even with all that extra weight – it is just that I am carrying 3 stone of weight that I do not want.

My sprained foot would normally have me reaching for the chocolate to console myself, proof that I am a loser and cannot do it – but instead I am trying to work out what exercise I can still do so that I do not lose my aerobic fitness while I heal. I have other races I want to do this year.

I still have to sort out my eating patterns and habits, but I will get there. I think a part of me wants to lose weight so that if/when I decide to start hrt then I stand the best chance of being happy with my body, after all I am not in this for the boobs but for the peace of mind that I hope will come.

I am trying to acknowledge to myself that I have actually achieved something over this last year, because physical well being definitely contributes to mental well being.

I also decided not to reschedule my hospital appointment again, instead I will just leave my work conference early and catch a train to get there on time, for me it is the right choice to make at this moment in time.

Take care

xx

Just a quick thought

It has been a busy but quiet week, my son was ill and so I was being a mean parent not letting him play online with his friends and insisting that he actually spend some of the time in his room.

I have done at least 15 minutes activity every day of January, it is for a mental health awareness charity and is called Red January; the premise being that intentional activity is good for you, especially at this time of year, it has been cold and icy and windy but I have felt good going out, even on the really short walks – due to the increased exercise I have already done 45km of walking/jogging this year, which when I look at it that way seems like a lot!

Today has also been wonderful, I was dressed as Dee around one of my sisters for the first time, all we did was share lunch together but it was nice and relaxed, I was just in jeans and a top, but she is visiting with me for a while and I was explaining that I liked Mondays because I get to be me for a little while, I then realised that having her around does not mean I have to stop that anymore and so I went and got changed and it took my sister a while to recognise the clothes as Dee’s.

I have since had to change because the school day will be ending very shortly, but it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

Unfortunately I have also already had to book out all of my holidays for this coming year and so I know that I may not get to any/many of the Pride days, which makes me sad as I was hoping to increase my time out and not decrease it.

It seems odd having a week with so little to moan about or digest!

Take care

xx

TMI? Probably.

While I had no interest or access to the boxing day sales, the January sales caught my eye.

I have been making do with the mis-matched hodgepodge collection of things left when my ex moved out and I have really wanted to make changes to my kitchen so in the sales I have replaced the kids tablecloth with a dark grey every day (wipeable) one and have a decent one for special occasions, I now also have marble effect place mats and tableware and some complimentary rose gold coloured cutlery. I also bought matching copper stoneware pans too. Slowly but surely I am putting my own stamp on the house.

I have also taken advantage of the sales to buy myself a black and white tee and a pair of jeans – it turns out that even in women sizes I am short in the leg, I bought regular and they will have to be worn with heels to prevent them dragging on the ground, but it will make it easy to remember.

My spree also included two pairs of ankle boots one pair with a small cone heel and another pair of black Chelsea boots that I am hoping are generic enough to wear even in man mode.

All in all I was very happy with my haul.IMG_1070

Unfortunately for me there was also a clothes order bought late at night that makes me quite embarrassed. I thought I had moved on from, for lack of a better phrase buying slutty fantasy clothes, but order some I did and I also dressed and imagined myself being attractive and seen as sexy by a lover. The clothes are obviously bought by women to please their partners with some fantasy role play or for those sexy romantic getaways so in themselves while not everyday wear they should not be embarrassing, but for me they are.

It is at these times more than others I hate testosterone.

I have no partner and am not likely to any time soon, so all that my libido achieves is to add to my guilt and shame and frustration that I am a fraud. I do not want to feel like I am just dressing to please myself, without upsetting others I do not want to feel like a man dressing as a woman to be less. It is a brief period of wish fulfilment followed by an empty sense of frustration, money and time wasted.

Which brings me to the world of online pornography. It has not helped my self worth any (shockingly enough) the trans women are ridiculously attractive with over or undersized breasts, perfect hairless bodies and groins. The sissy’s I’ve seen are submissive and sometimes properly effeminate which strikes a chord with me and always has, but they are into being humiliated and degraded with a view that being a woman is somehow less which holds no appeal for me.

Yet they are obviously closer to me physically at the moment than anything else out there; the cis women and lesbian categories are of course not only physically different to me in every way but usually physically skinny and perfect too which just makes me hate my body shape and manfuzz all the more.

Part of my disgust is with myself for spending time looking at it in the first place and helping in my own way to keep the industry going.

Sorry if that is too much information, but this is a part of my journey. A part I admittedly thought was behind me once I admitted that my preferences were into being perceived as a woman but somehow recently pleasure has been almost constantly on my mind.

The accounts I have read are that HRT drops libido almost completely and especially from this perspective it is something that I cannot wait for.

Obviously I dream about being able to walk down the street and be considered conventionally attractive in whatever I am wearing – I do not want to be seen as ugly any more than I want to be seen as stand out stunning.

Yet I am not shallow, while I love a nice smile and beautiful eyes it tends to be humour and personality that attract me.

I will get my 2nd appointment at the gender clinic in a few weeks and it will be interesting to see what they want to talk about from the 2 hours of downloading I did in my initial appointment, last time I agreed to be called my male name as that is how I present and made the appointment, but I am thinking that even if I turn up presenting male I may ask to be called DeeDee while I am there, as it is certainly how I think of myself these days.

IMG_1087 Smart enough for everyday wear? I am still undecided.

Take care

xx

One year over, a new one almost begun

It seems to be obligatory around about this time to do a year in review type of blog. How do I review my year?

Physically very little has changed, I started to drop weight and become more active, but piled it all back on in November. So it feels like I am back to square one- however I am now fit enough to complete a 5km parkrun every Saturday and I even went out for a jog on Christmas Eve morning. I count that as a positive step for my mental well being. I hate it while I am out and I frequently stop to walk when on my own, but I push myself and by the time I get in I always feel so much better that I have actually achieved something. Unless I starve myself I am unlikely to get into the yellow sundress my sister gave me but I will continue to try.

I will have my 2nd appointment with the gender clinic in January, they pushed it back by sms again, but I have waited 41 years to start listening to myself so a few weeks one way or another won’t make too much difference.

I can happily for the most part admit that I am transgender, that I do not feel comfortable being perceived in society as a man, although I struggle to find a way to say that eloquently and I struggle all the time now when others are using heavily gendered conversation.

When I wake up and look in a mirror it is all too common for me to see this man looking back out at me; yet if I examine the eyes carefully I see a woman screaming to be let out from the inside. On the good days I just see DeeDee smiling back.

I have not ventured out as myself for the last couple of months, but my niece is already trying to take holidays to cover Pride weekend so we can go out again.

I have started to finally change bits and pieces in the house too, the bedding was never overtly masculine so having a pastel or butterfly duvet is not a big deal, but I have started changing the colour scheme in my kitchen to include copper coloured items instead of the red that has been the default arrangement for years.

My children were with me for Christmas, I have maintained a good relationship with my daughter and was actually helping advise her on blending some concealer properly as she has started wearing it to cover some spots – I suspect she is lonely and went with her mum out of a misguided loyalty as she has told many of my family that she is unhappy, but maintains a positive outlook around me. I have worked really hard to make sure that she knows my door is always open and that I would have her home with me in a heartbeat if she ever wanted to.  The reverse is also offered to my son, but he very much blames his mum for breaking up the family and has to be coerced to go and spend any time with my ex, her new man, and his girls.

No one new has been told about my gender crisis, I hide it less than I have and am more open and honest about those “guy” things that I am supposed to be able or want to do.

Yet I have years of habit, I have no qualms about the fact that I enjoy gaming, watching films, or reading, but now I am openly using my female avatars, I am admitting that I like romantic comedies and have watched through the Bridget Jones films as well as Brittany runs a marathon which actually made me properly cry near the end; and a few other comedies. I enjoyed looking forward to taking the kids to see Frozen 2 and most recently sat and watched both Star Wars and Cats in the cinema in less than a one week period. I am still a bit unsure about the way the plot of Cats unfurled, they seem to be competing to die as an offering and get reborn… but the singing, the acting and the scenery were spectacular.

My mum has finally left the house to go down and stay at my sisters, I have enjoyed having her but she had been gone less than 10 minutes before I found myself putting on my Christmas dress and a pair of tights so I could take a photo of my best Christmas present.

It was addressed to me so I had to open it away from the children and I love it! Having to wear my hair to fit in may help me feel more comfortable when I am out as less people will stare, but when they do it never hurts to look fabulous! (lol)IMG_0856

Looking forwards I will continue to work on my fitness and eating habits, if I can get down to a UK 12-14 I will be delighted, though a 14-16 with my current physique is far more likely. I have a 10km race in January, a 16 km (10 mile?) race in March and a 16km obstacle race in August.

I want to go out as me for at least a day or two, so I can say that I have done normal every day things as well as go on a night out. If things go well I hope to start trialling oestrogen to see how my brain feels.

By summer I want to have made enough of a dent in my debts to start facial hair removal again, though I am considering getting my chest and back done first because they pain me to see.

I basically want to stop spinning my wheels, if I can fully accept myself then I can start progressing to that tipping point where I trade off being openly Dee all the time with the complications of where I can work and where I can live, and whether or not my children will accept me (still makes me feel ill thinking about it).

I can accept rejection from people I know who will not accept me as Dee, whether through religious or good old fashioned traditional life bias, but being rejected by my children would really really hurt.

I am sat as me now, still in my Christmas dress; and polishing off some Turkish delight chocolates that I really do not need while drinking a tin of fizzy juice, all while my dog (also given back fairly recently from my ex to enable her to help a friend) is curled up into the crook of my dress & legs and snoring beside me.

Part of me would really like to have a human someone to snuggle into or fall asleep beside, but given how much of my time is not spent as Dee I would not even know where to start looking, or even how to. So for now daydreams and the occasional lustful thought will have to do.

I have to acknowledge that for all of my insecurities life is actually going fairly well – things may be moving at a snails pace, but I am not in the almost constant panic that was my companion this time last year. I remind myself that when I was mountain biking it was accepted that you had to slog up the hill to be able to reap the benefits of coming down.

I hope that you have a positive start to this coming year wherever you are and whatever you intend to do.

xx

The run up to Christmas

Twas the run up to Christmas, when all through the house,

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hidden away in a drawer,

the dresses, the jeans, and the make up no more;

The woman inside tucked up safely in bed;

the visions of coming out played in my head;

Of mamma accepting that her boy is a girl,

that my gender is not what I thought after all.

At Christmas I’d rather be stood in the kitchen,

than sitting around with the guys simply drinking.

Now more than ever I’m aware that I’ve grown;

I may fit right in but I feel all alone!

If everyone found out the me that I hide,

the part of me buried so deep, down inside.

Would they laugh? would they taunt? would they call me a freak?

Would they tell me I’m selfish? pathetic? and weak?

Would they tell me that I am no longer allowed,

to sit with my family who once were so proud?

Would I end up an outcast? No more Christmas at home?

Doomed to be me, but me all alone?

I really don’t know; the woman in me wants to be free;

wear what I want, when I want; to be her and not he.

There is a slim hope, I’ve seen others who’ve made it.

They’ve escaped their own chains, and worked through all the shit.

Despite all my angst there is one saving grace.

Something that anchors me down in my place!

I have one small gift that’s secretly hidden.

A gift from my sister to me, it was written.

This is my true gift, it’s for no one to see;

but she knows who I am, she really sees me.

*****

 

I didn’t mean to keep going after the title, it is a poor truncated cousin of the original poem but I doubt I am the only one putting all thoughts of having enough privacy to be Dee aside for the next few days.

I love Christmas, that I get to spend it with my children this year makes it so incredibly special, it is a time of miracles; of giving and of love where we all try to be just a little bit more aware that we exist in a world with other people and that they matter too.

Perhaps one day soon I will spend every day as Dee, and the man mask will be relegated to those Facebook memory photos that pop up from time to time on my timeline, until then I will tiptoe forwards, feeling my way, scared and excited as I strip away all of the safety nets and dismantle the smoke and mirrors and pray that there is enough real me left underneath it all to actually be someone.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

xx

Why cant I stop eating at night!

I found myself getting very jealous of various women wearing Christmas dresses recently. They were all sorts of different ages and shapes, but each of them had found a style that let them express being Christmassy in a way that a tie or a mens jumper just can’t.

With the temperature plummeting I love the boots and scarves and wooly hats too. Now I can be totally honest and admit that I am jealous of them.

Conversely because I have been ill my weight is now back up and I have a definite belly again. I can avoid food during the day but for some reason between 9pm and midnight I just go crazy for snacks or sugary bad food, and with Christmas coming up I already have a whole cupboard of ridiculous pastries and chocolates to scoff with my family.

The problem is no one wants to eat a salad when it never gets above freezing outside.

I desperately want to lose weight, I am 101kg and wear it relatively well until I try and dress as Dee, I want to be down closer to 82kg which was a weight I was happy with many many years ago. I need to get past my own sabotaging. Someone photographed me at my local parkrun, my first one back for over a month and I was horrified by how fat and unhappy I look.

I do have fitness goals, I have signed up to run a 10k in January and a 10 mile (16k) race in March and August with my sisters. Money has already been spent and I want to be able to run for most if not the whole way round the courses.

I watched a film called Brittany runs a marathon and it made me cry towards the end because of the way her friends supported her even though she had pushed them away. There are scenes of her running where little kids pass her walking faster than she is going, and mentally she has to force herself to run just one block.

We don’t have blocks where I am but that is me… mentally just forcing myself up and outside is so tough! yet if I ever want to be able to face others as Dee full time I know that taking care of myself needs to start coming first.

xx

How? But not yet when?

How do we reconcile who we are on the inside with who we are on the outside?

Biologically speaking I came out of the womb and was classified male. I had no issue in believing that for the majority of my life.

Yet I have never felt good enough. I have suffered from an almost constant feeling of being the cuckoo in the nest and could never quite put my finger on why.

Since before my teens I have been I suppose a secret cross dresser, someone who enjoyed the prettiness of girls clothing and the way the fabrics and dresses and tights all made me feel.

Those feelings of contentment were always overshadowed with feelings of guilt.

I watched an online video recently of an Australian drag act visiting a school. He went in full makeup, with flared boot cut ladies trousers, a bright glittery jacket and high heels and just chatted to the children. It was the first time many of them had met anyone who identified as gay, let alone did not fit the binary gender stereotype, but those children overwhelmingly accepted him for who he was. When he shared that he had not been accepted at school they were shocked and two children even wished that they had been there to support him. I found it incredibly emotional to watch.

It shows how much our prejudice is given to us socially. As someone who was bullied at school just for moving into the area, I did everything within my power to fit in. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I suddenly realised that what the bullies thought of me did not matter as I knew I was a decent person.

The friends I made over the next 5-10 years have remained my friends.

Yet here I am, 41 years old and still worrying about what people will say and think about me.

Am I trans enough to transition?

Do I fit the profile well enough to want to live openly as a woman?

Even though I know that for me it is less of a question about being a woman in society and more a question of being seen and recognised for who I am.

At the moment I sill put on a front, less strict than it used to be, more openly feeling than I was this time last year, but still… all outward physical evidence is that I am a man trying to be a woman.

I do not want to become a target for scorn and ridicule.

How do I describe the small joy from shaving off all of the hair that grows mercilessly across my body, the disappointment when I look down and see the follicles already starting to push their way through the skin even though I have just shaved.

How do I describe the emotional comfort of sitting in my house wearing a shaped hoody, and simple knee socks, the simple joy of wearing lipstick or nail polish if even for a few hours while knowing all the time that it will have to come off before my child gets home from school.

How do I describe the sudden lifting of my spirits when I catch sight of myself walking past a mirror in my wig and then the emotional slump later on when I see my bald and stubbly face reflected on my laptop screen?

How can I spend hours looking at ladies Christmas jumpers and feeling disappointed that I have to order a mens one?

Why do I want to be cute and not rugged and how is that even a thing in my thought process?

How can I ask my sisters to treat me as one of them instead of their brother when I have to arrive and leave their house as their brother and not their sister?

Do any of these things actually make me trans?

Am I just a man enjoying his softer side in an area where having a softer side will make you a target?

I cannot tell you what my definition of manly is without using stereotypes, but I can tell you that inside that label does not fit me.

I have all of these emotions inside me and yet I do not have the capacity to express them.

I considered taking part in nanowrimo and joined what I considered to be a fairly obscure site for short story writers using transgender as my identifier and deleted the account without submitting anything when in just under two weeks I had received 31 private messages and only 2 of them were generic welcome messages, the rest were all from men who either wanted to do something to me or wanted me to do something to them; and that was without a profile picture or a descriptor of myself.

I am not totally innocent when it comes to the ways of the internet, but while it did not bother me too much, as all I did was shut the account down and walk away from the website, I cannot do that for my main accounts. Will I get a similar ratio of people contacting me through F.B. and Twitter if I come out there?I keep the controls strict, but these places exist to harvest information and sell it on.

I know that I am an INFP – introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceptive, anything I have read that discusses this personality type fits me well.

I want so desperately to connect with the world around me and yet find the entire process exhausting.

How can I know that I am being authentic as Dee? How can I find genuine ways to explore myself that will not be great by default simply because it is a rare night out or time away?

It is a complicated part of life, I want to talk about when I transition and when I come out to my children, my mum, my friends and my work, but instead I still talk in terms of if I should.

If I have accepted that I am transgender why am I so hesitant to do something about it? Others have changed presentation without being on hormones and yet when I daydream about it, that moment comes after I have reached a physical point of being unable to hide as a man anymore can I really hope to minimise the awkward?

*sighs* at least most of the Christmas presents I have ordered for my children and family have arrived, I can look forward to putting on some Christmas music and spending an evening wrapping them in the coming week.

xx