Oh, insurance hell. So, back in the day, I had received unequivocal assurance that "your procedure is not provided to people of your gender" and presumed that all my insurance for the surgery had been denied. Well, not presumed... that's what they said.
So now it's October (surgery was back in May), and I get a bill from something in june that was screwed up b/c of the name change. I make some phone calls and discover that there's some book-keeping I need to do (my employer still listed me as male in the insurance, I guess? I've never been "male" here, but whatevs) and I discovered that some of my stuff HAD been covered!
DON'T CHANGE YOUR NAME UNTIL YR SURGERY'S PAID FOR < that's a pro-tip!
Anyway, boo. Trans insurance hell. At least I'm getting SOMETHING covered, which is more than I expected.
Dudes. They have an interesting appeal now that they didn't used to. It's something I noticed recently ESPECIALLY with respect to body odor*, but also as a general notice. The cooncept of snuggling a boy cutie has shifted. I've known I was bi since I was 14, but interaction with a boy was always boy-boy interaction. It was hot, and I could get down with it, but there's some kind of interesting chemistry that occurs now that it's boy-girl interaction. Or... boy plus whatever this is (gestures towards self) interaction. I don't know whether I'm treated differently or if pheremones affect me differently now (likely, I suppose), but I've heard a number of transladies who WERE only into chicks pre-transition mention how they're more towards the middle of the Kinsey scale now. Lotta anecdotal stuff, but hard data would be interesting.
*I've determined I really like body odor on fellas or chicks. So long as I'm on-board with the person, I'm SUPER onboard with smells. If I don't know 'em or like 'em, it's as repellant and annoying as ever. This is a relatively new thing! Also SUPER fascinated with my own smells, since they're all kinda new and junk
Hung out the other day with a buddy I met online. Homeboy jus' had his top surgery (transdude) and it was cool to catch up with him. I noticed that, in an anecdote he was telling me, he said something awkward that drove home the pronoun use. "Not the kind of thing a boy like myself would be into" or some such. I don't even know if it was something anyone else would have noticed, but I picked up on it. It's the kind of thing I say. Reinforcing my own identity to drive the point home to anyone nearby... and partially a little bit of repeating it to myself so as to say "this is real. This is actually happening". I'm glad i was able to meet him. Glad I was able to see that resonance. Lotta value in fellowship.
This afternoon, I heard myself laugh when something made me guffaw. The sound I made was a spot-on imitation of my dad's laugh. I'm very much my father's child in many many respects. I've got his laugh, I've got his sense of humour. There's a lot of echoes of the man I see in myself. It's just that in many ways, I'm terrified of being my father. Part of it might just be adolescent rebellion I never got over. Maybe that's why my hands have arrows on them (he has _exactly_ my hands). I don't know. I just know that I don't want to be him. And I violently don't want to be a "him". Maybe part of my anathema is the fact that dad represents manhood in many respects to me. Fathers tend to be a model for manhood, I guess. And as my friends on the internet pointed out, there ARE ladies that take after their fathers...
Maybe it's just too soon to take comfort in that concept.
Maybe it's because I'm terrified that I'm doomed to be him, that one day, all of my transition will be stripped away and I'll be him. Afraid that my destiny is tied up in this man who can't accept me as his daughter, who holds WILDLY disparate convictions. I wish the obvious impossibility of that potentiality was a comfort.
I feel uncomfortable saying "I'm my father's daughter" when I would proudly joke about being his son. But the language isn't equitable. Just as with the boy I hung out with, sometimes my language doesn't quite fit. You can't just fucking SWAP boy-words with girl-words. Doesn't have the right weight to it and there isn't a good counterpart. I ain't a goddamn "Daddy's girl". I just didn't fall far from the tree. I want to celebrate the positive elements of the fella that he and I have in common. It just raises obvious discomforts where I want as much distance as possible.
Not sure when this happened, or if it's actually transition related, but I've become more socially... capable. There was a version of me a couple years ago that was paralyzed by the idea of being in a group of five people. I wouldn't know how to handle myself, I'd feel panic set in... and I don't feel that way any more. I can go to new places now. Hang out with people I've never met. I've done that quite a bit recently, and it hasn't been too bad. I've felt comfortable in large crowds; even not saying anything! Just being there was okay.
It's not always that it was FEAR dissuading me from socializing... Some of it was irritation. I used to have a terrifically short fuse. If I was around new people and they weren't interesting to me or making me laugh, I would get bored easily. It was horrifically superficial and shitty of me, but there I was. Lead a horse to water, I suppose. I was used to having a very small number of very close friends. And my close friends are still DEAR to me. Being with my sweetie-pie or being with my close friends... that recharges me. But new people... I think I've developed a richer sense for listening. Letting situations play out the way they WANT to play out. Time and time again with people, places, new ideas... If I push past the initial shock or fear or distrust, I usually like what's on the other side.
Part of it's self-sustaining, I'm sure. The more scary unknown stuff you undertake, the more scary, unknown stuff you feel capable of.
Sex is strange. Just when I think I'm finally slowly getting the hang of things, shifts continue shifting and the rules are all different again. Erections: A little stiff (excuse the pun), but not as sore as they have been. Still takes a decent amount of focus and concentration, but everything pretty much works!
I TOTALLY understand the "Full body arousal / Full body orgasm" concept. I thought that it was partially just me getting into pot that made me realise how intensely tactile-sensitive I can be, but even stone sober I can collapse into uncontrollable sexyshivers from gentle massage. I kinda like it and kinda get annoyed at how easily manipulated I am. Regardless, bathtub-time (especially when high) is a transcendental experience these days. So nice.
Orgasms have been a strange variety. Sometimes they're incapacitating shudder-fests that last for minutes, sometimes they're quick little outbursts. I've had a couple instances of ejaculation without orgasm... It's strange. Like, it's not TERRIBLY difficult to re-program what I expect from an orgasm... It'd jus' be nice if it wasn't such a moving target. =)
Spending the next couple of weekends hangin' out with boy/girl couples thet are friends of ours. Makes me wonder if my sweetie-pie feels cheated, seein' ladies who get to date dudes (not that anything's stopping her from dating dudes, just wonder if it occurs to her).
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Not sure where to go with this journal any more. The physical changes have plateaued, the psychological changes have become consistent enough that there are few surprises... I wouldn't say that my life's become routine, but the transition is less of a daily adventure and more of me just keepin' on. Still feels a little fake and weird and cheat-y to call myself a lady, but it's just me. Everyone else seems to be comfortable and clear with me fittin' into a lady-space.
It all feels like I've had too easy a run of things, but I'll take what I can get. =)
When I began I was worried that once a week wasn't enough! Perhaps my problem was the "every Monday" plan. I think that with my transition at least (and perhaps with ALL self-induced transitions), It starts passionately then becomes routine. These are themes I've touched on recently, I guess.
This is one of those weeks that would flash by in the montage sequence, I guess.
Things are still surreal and strange. I don't know why I presumed that life would ever go back to normal (or whatever "normal" means) in any short amount of time... but I keep finding myself surprised and I wonder how long that's gonna be the case. Reaching over to get the shampoo while I'm in the tub, I'm surprised by the size and softness of my boobs. I take off clothes I worked out in and I'm surprised and fascinated by how weird everything smells.
I think novelty is a curious drug. New situations and experiences are exciting and a romantic notion, but they're also exhausting and interminable. I LIKE being a girl. I'm sure these are the right answers for me. The QUESTIONING has never really been an issue. Once I knew I was trans, that was that. It's just... When you decide to get a tattoo, you can be 100% clear and confident about it and still just be WEIRDED out for a couple weeks to see that shit on your body. Even if it's nice and welcome, it's NEW. And newness has a fatigue to it after a whie.
Part of this stuff is the emotional rollercoaster continuing apace. I still feel like a tourist in my own brain. I'm not used to being on the verge of tears and when asked "what's wrong?" have literally no answer. This shit just happens sometimes.
I like it here. I WANT to be here. I just... in many ways, I've just been born. Gonna teach me a while to figure out how to run this new loadout.
Community is SUCH a powerful thing. I'm regularly reminded how powerful it is to have people in my life that are trans. And not JUST trans, but kinky folks, queer folks... I'd gotten used to my patterns pre-transition, and there were lots of things that were longstanding wants that I'd more or less tuned out.
This week, I went to lunch with a lady I've chatted with online. We talked trans stuff and kink stuff and general life stuff, and I found out that her transition began a day before mine. Another buddy of mine came out to her mom as trans, beginning the first "real" interaction she's had coming to terms with her transition. I feel like I'm able to help. To provide meaningful support and perspective and experience. All of this is SO novel to me. I'm used to not DISTINGUISHING between kink and queerness and genderfuckery. I'd always assumed it was different facets of the same object. And nobody really GAVE a shit about that object.
I don't know that it's so much a huge element of my Identity that's been neglected as it is a part of me that's in focus now. I move in a direction, feel comfortable, and keep moving. It's just that getting started in that direction can be strange.
This weekend, I was at a party where I was naked and nobody batted an eye about my anatomical configuration. I've only been a lady to these folx, and I was treated as such. One fella pointed at me when I disrobed with a "Sweet! Girlcock!", but it was POSITIVE. I was understood. These folks know transladies. They're just another type of lady. Intoxicating, that feeling. The not needing to explain, the not needing to divulge. I just AM. And they get it.
I'm happier now. Happier than I've been in a long time. My moods still swing... I have up times and downtimes. It's not like EVERYTHING's a walk in the park... I still have a lot to figure out and a lot to understand, especially helping my sweetie-pie through all this change. But the baseline is high. I'm feeling hopeful about the future. Hell, I'm THINKING about the future. I'm really excited.
So, a week ago or so I found myself in a situation that was alien to me. Enjoying some sexytimes (like ya do), but no orgasm happened. Not even that no orgasm happened, but no orgasm COULD. Like, everything was FINE, I wasn't worried or nervous or distracted or anything... but the time kept passing and I wasn't getting any closer. It was WEIRD. Like, I could FEEL that nothing was gonna happen. Never experienced that before. Scared me a LOT, it did. Like, I didn't have an erection for days afterwards no matter WHAT I did and I was panicking that I'd finally broken everything.
My sweetiepie was all "Orgasms aren't sex. Welcome to being a woman". Love that gal. She's the ABSOLUTE best.
Anyway, after panicking and freaking out for several days, I woke up with morning wood (which NEVER happens these days) and self-abuse worked like it should! False alarm, mebbie... I dunno. Really strange. Hard to go back and think about where my headspace was and why I wasn't able to finish things off, but yeah. Hopefully this sort of thing will freak me out less when it's not THE FIRST TIME IT'S EVER HAPPENED
Still room for surprises.
Heard back from all the insurance fuckers re: my surgery. Absolutely no coverage whatsoever. So on one hand, I'm glad we had some savings tucked away. On the other hand, I miss those savings. <=\ We had kinda prepared for it, but it still hurts.
Got into a heavy conversation with the misses. She wanted to use my old name in a twitter anecdote she was relating about me, and I asked that she not do so. This caused a cascading worse-and-worse discussion. It's hard to GIVE her things, and I feel guilty for all I'm taking (and have taken).
I've mentioned the name stuff plenty of times before. I don't MIND her using my old name. There's a comfort in it, and a familiarity I don't want to lose. I don't have the same relationship with my old name that a lotta transladies do. For whatever reason, it bugged me for her to use my old name in just that context. I don't introduce myself as my old name (and neither does she)... I dunno WHY it bugged me. Something about her using my old name in ways that people who don't know me could see set me off. Got me thinking about what things I COULD offer her.
On an almost completely unrelated note, orgasms are FUKKEN difficult. Doesn't matter how wonderfully ideal the situation is, shit just takes TIME. And effort. And concentration. I read one translady's sex experience had become more of a "once I'm in the mood, I work that feeling into a comfy, nice feeling plateau, then I snuggle a bunch". Pretty consistent with how I'm doing things. Having been a dude most of my life, it's INCREDIBLY weird to experience the feeling of masturbating for a while, then getting distracted or whatever, and not being interested any more. It's not that I lose interest in SEX. I just lose the energy and focus to sit there maintaining the erection and working towards orgasm. The orgasms I HAVE are still spectacular, and they're great to have if I can get 'em, but Gah, SO MUCH WORK.
And it's not a concern for ME, really. I'm comfortable and happy self-abusing if I feel it and not if I don't... But it's embarassing if I'm WITH someone and I can't make th' fireworks happen. I mean, I'm sure no one gives a shit but me... I'm just... I'm still hung up on my old boy-perspective notion that orgasm = Good times, and no orgasm = Unfulfilling sex. It's a bullshit poisonous mentality, I know, but when orgasms were a dime a dozen, they WERE an easy marker for me. They were so easy, there wasn't much point in NOT having one.
My sweetie consoled me with "Sex isn't orgasm and orgasm isn't sex. Welcome to womanhood".
Still not talking to my folks much. Used to chat with 'em every week. Gettin' easier to skip weeks than to stress about gettin' misgendered/misnamed. Never even told my brother I had a new name. Mebbie when I catch up with him on his birthday I'll say something to him.
It's an incredibly strange time in my life, these days. The shock and weirdness of the transition is dying down to routine, the scars of unemployment just about paid off from the new job... But when the determination to transition was made, a number of things broke, and putting them back together has taken (is continuing to take) lots of pain, stress, and tears from myself and my sweetiepie. We feel very much like there are no rulebooks for what we're going through and no online communities or whatever have been a lot of help. So we're tryin' to wing it, keeping the lumbering, complicated machine of our relationship aloft with love and patience and work.
It's not JUST about sexuality (My sweetie's never been anything other than straight), though that's doubtless a part of it. There's a lot of factors working to tear us apart, and sometimes we have the "Why are we together?" conversation. Comes down to the fact that we WANT to be together, I suppose.
And the answers don't come easily and the steps backwards burn fiercely, but we're both trying. I feel like a complete jerk, puttin' my sweetie through this. Why should I get to take and take and take? But there's still sorting out between wants and needs.
Wonder how much of this is Mid-Life Crisis type shit. Kinda funny that no-one's accused me of that, yet.
I've got things better than I deserve. I jus' hope I can help my sweetie-pie get everything she wants, too.
Or, y'know, that we each get as much as we can with what we've got. Poor girl's still stuck with me, after all. <=)