Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Catching Up Part III: Work Disclosure

Sorry for the delay, preparing for fulltime and dealing with the holidays.

Well I don't recommend it.

Can you say busy?

I knew you could.

Thus between Christmas cards, Surgery, baking cookies, getting the final gifts, recovery, still finding things I need for myself, therapy, gift wrapping, electrolysis...ok I'll stop but you get the idea.

There just hasn't been time to write.

(Ok, I got caught up a little during the down time I had stuck at home. Yet not as much as I wanted to as I was tried a lot and resting as much as I could.)

After I got back from my trip down to Florida I had a busy schedule. My revision was on December 2nd. I would be off until the 12th. The team and department were due to find out on the 5th.

That all changed.

Upon my return to the office I got a call from my HR rep.

"We have to tell them on the 1st. We have some big corporation changes and we are going to use that time to add your news to it. Any issues with this?"

I was fine with it really. Though about an hour later my manager emailed me to "suggest" I work from home that day. Everyone knew I didn't want to be present in the room as I didn't want to be a distraction, so they felt it better if I could relax at home and just focus on work I need to do.

They couldn't have been more wrong.

About being relaxed.

Come the morning of the 1st I got up, did the usually shower and get dressed, I simply cannot work in my PJs like some people. I can be just as comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt but I like to feel clean and presentable or I just feel lazy and useless.

I was doing ok as I sat at my desk working remotely doing just fine until about 10:45.

The reason was my team was due to find out at eleven.

The rest of the department between twelve and one.

To distract myself I started clear some old mail off my desk. Stuff I had been meaning to sort through for a few weeks when I found something important.

I had not rewed my vehicle tags.

Perfect!

With a DMV office not more than a half mile away from my house I can get out of the house for a few, pick up my prescriptions while out also, and hopefully keep myself from freaking out and remain calm.

I quickly sent out an email to the team right before eleven stating I would be away from my PC for about an hour but I would have my cell should anyone need to contact me.

One of my team members sent me an immediate response.

"Umm you do know we have a meeting at eleven right?"

My reply:

"Yes but I already know what it is about."

The response:

"ahhh...ok"

Knowing the person I could her the confusion and bewilderment in his voice through the email. It didn't matter I locked my laptop, my keys and things, and scooted out the door.

Turned out to be a great decision, as I was busy for over and hour with things, got a salad for lunch and was able to keep from completely focusing on it.

I got back to my desk relaxed. Well more relaxed than I was. I still was freaking out a bit on the inside. When about two o'clock I got the first email.

It was all positive as it was a woman in the department who actually was friends with an FTM. She understood it and supported me.

Than another. Followed by another, getting a total of two more that day.

All good, all positive and all repeating one theme. How brave I was and they would be completely supportive of it.

Well as I have made known I am not the brave one others are.

I replied to them all. Since than I have gotten more the following week while I was home recovering. Followed by a few more personal ones once I got back to the office this week.

Now I am not coming to work as me just yet. I did want to give people some time to process the information. With the time I already had off I would only be back for nine days before the holiday break. Then be off again from the 22nd of December until Jan 3rd.

My first day in the office as me.

Right now I am swapped with the things I need to do for the next few weeks. After that I will have to ready myself for the return to the office.

It will be then we see how others will handle it.

At least there hasn't been any negative reactions yet.

I like to think this can happen and go smoothly. I know there will be a period of adjustment for everyone including myself.

We shall see.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Catch Up Part II: The Surgery

I know, I know the work disclosure needs to be posted but this was a quick one I wanted to get out.

Mostly things have gone really well. It was a much easier recovery this time as it wasn't even a full rhinoplasty but two minor corrections.

I am at home recovering and I can tell you 7 days later and I feel really good and I am looking forward to getting the splint off soon.

The interesting part of the story is what happened before surgery. When I say before, I mean right before. As in when I was in pre-op getting changed and what not.

I was sitting there in sweats and old button down shirt and a zippered hoodie. (Really I would not be able to pull anything over my head so I have been keep some of this stuff around as I will need it at least one more time.)

A pre-op nurse was in the process of taking my vitals, heart rate, blood pressure, mini EKG, etc. When I saw one of the OR nurses start to enter the room.

Then stop.

Back up.

Check the name on the wall outside.

Then start back in.

She asked if I was ? I confirmed. She gave me a curious look, introduced herself as Lisa and then started in the pre-op check list. 

That I had not eaten, how had I prepped this morning, asked me what I was having done that morning and started on my medical history.

During this time the pre-op nurse got my wonderful hospital gown, a bag for items, surgical socks laid out on the bed.

While this was going on a second OR nurse came in to the room. Lori. Now I missed her entrance in the room but I did catch an odd exchange with Lisa.

Now I am at the point they need me to change. They arranged the dividers so I would have a little privacy and a changing I went.

As I am changing Lisa and Lori are on the other side of the curtain and we get into the part of my medical history that was covering my daily medications.

Obviously I have to reveal what I am taking and so I do.

Next we get into prior surgeries as I am finishing up and packing the last of my clothes away in the bag.

I explain what I had done before and it all get rather quiet on the other side of the curtain. Only briefly as I then get asked if I am ready.

I indicate that I am and they open the curtain.

(I should note that my mom was not yet in the room with me. She did get to come in a bit while I was waiting but so far I had been on my own.)

So the curtain gets open, they instruct and help me as I get on the bed and situated so I am comfortable and Lori comes around to connect the IV tubes to me and get all that prepped.

At this point Lori looks at me and said:

"Can I ask you a question?"

"...yes?"

"Are you transitioning to a girl?"

(Should I be stunned at this point? Probably not and I don't think I was. Though I might be more realistic in saying that I probably feel a state that would be something along the lines of mild concerns. As I don't know what will happen once I confirm it.)

"Yes I am."

All I see are two big smiles appear and the response of:

"Good for you hun...but we had a hunch once you started telling us our medical history."

Now what I find out is that it was the medical history that made them think this.

No it was, as I discovered during the next few minutes, that my appearance was the first thing. Since it seemed both of them were confused as they entered the room expecting to see something that would reflect him. Only to see a girl sitting in the chair near the wall talking with the pre-op nurse.

That is what caused Lisa to back out of the room cause she thought she had walked into the wrong one.

Apparently Lori did the same but my attention was drawn elsewhere at that time so I missed it.

We then got into the conversation of where I was at in the process. They did and didn't seem surprised that I was on the verge of going full time so soon. That I was in getting the correction on my nose since everything else turned out well from the earlier surgery sans my nose. I told them I was waiting on my name change. HR was in the process of alerting the department and various parts of the company.

They also asked how long it had taken me. I explained to them that I started four years ago by finally having the courage to sit down with a therapist and talk about what was going on with me. Through all that was removing facial hair, losing extra weight, starting hormones once my therapist offered them and I felt I was ready for such a big step. That I had been on them for 2.5 years. All of that.

They both smiled and Lori said this as she was standing next to my arm arranging tubes and starting the drip.

"Hun you look great. This is going to be easy for you really. You look better than a lot of women I know." All said with a big smile.

Lisa followed up with: "You do, you really do look amazing. I would never have any reason not to think otherwise if I ever met you in public. I have known of a few who have done what you are doing, but never one like you. You going to do great!"

With that they both realized they had not asked me what my new name was going to be so I told them. The loved it an thought it fit.

Just before anesthesia came in the door to send me off to sleepy time land. The two of them were wrapping my legs with inflatable compression garments to help leg circulation. Almost at the same time said:

"Just remember you are a pretty girl, no one can take that from you. And don't worry we are going to take very good care of you. We wish you the best of luck!!!"

They left after this to prep the room as my mom came in just before anesthesia.

I explained to my mom that the nurses had figured it out and if she said anything nothing would be a big problem.

I will say the level of professionalism they should me was great. I know they were also curious about me since it was apparent that they don't encounter people like me and I was not meeting their impression of what a trans person was supposed to be. I think they were stuck with the mental image of a over the top drag queen or something like that. I know I thoroughly impressed them and they were genuinely happy for me.

I'll go even further, post-op. All the nursing staff helping me as I woke up and readied to go home all referred to me as her, she, etc. I don't think they ever looked once at the chart they were just doing all they could to get me safely out the door. They even gave me a different under the nose band to help save my skin from tape as what I had was just going to be awful if I wore it for a few day.

My favorite part was the nurse wheeling me out. Telling everyone she was leaving for a bit with me.

"I'll be gone for a bit as I am taking her out to wait for her mom to bring the car around."

:D

I have learned a lot about myself over the last several months. I have learned even more about the world around me. One of the biggest reasons I finally came out to work was the face that I was no longer able to present the general public with a boy. It had become impossible. It was then that I realized I needed to finish this and start the new part of my life.

There will be some ups and downs mostly those will come from those around me who knew him.

Because honestly if I had my name legally changed I don't think those two OR nurses would have suspected anything at all.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Catching Up Part I: The Trip

Recently I mentioned taking a trip down to Florida to spend some time with a very dear friend and her family.

I don't have many friends right now and worse still, other than my mom, I have lost my sense of family.

In addition to that, over the last four years I haven't really met many trans individuals that I would call close friends. About six or so that I talk to with any kind of regularity. Two that I would consider dear friends.

One of them, however means so much to me that the only way I can accurately explain our relationship is to describe her as my sister.

It is truly just that.

She appeared out of nowhere with an email.

I didn't know why at first.

Until I discovered she had been reading my blog.

Even stranger.

I realized I had been reading hers.

Even though I have talked to a number of people who contacted me through my blog and email address. For some reason(I can only think it was meant to be) her and I immediately identified with the other. We also realized that even though we have encountered a number of people during the course of this journey that here was finally someone we really and truly identified with.

We found a bit of ourself in each other.

From there the friendship blossomed even though we live nearly two thousand miles apart. The truly incredible part was that we were transitioning at nearly the same pace. Though I would always joke with her that I was about six months behind her. (This came true as she went full time June of this year and I am going full time in January, roughly six months later.)

When last year I decided at the last minute to attend a trans conference in Atlanta it was for two reason. One I needed a break from my home life and some of my distress. Two, and more importantly, was she was going to be there.

She had actually asked me weeks earlier if I was going. At that time I wasn't planning on it but after events leading up to it prompted the need for a bit of a getaway.

I really would have rather gone elsewhere but here was an opportunity to finally stand in front of each other face to face.

I took it.

Even though I was terrified that she would not like me as much in person.

That is the truth.

Far from it and even though we were constantly pulled in different directions for the course of that weekend we got to spend some time around each other and together.

I can only speak for myself but I know she was everything I thought she was and more.

Since then the friendship has done nothing but grown.

As I have said, she is my sister, in far more than just being trans, but it is the only word I can think of. Besides it is true.

She is.

So this summer as my family structure was eroding and after disclosing to a number of friends and loosing their friendship. She learned that I was mostly likely spending my holidays by myself (Remember this was before Brandon's cousin C extended an invite to her thanksgiving dinner).

Almost without hesitation she invited me down to Florida to spend it with her family. There were some logistical issues and such to work out but needless to say I was speechless at the invitation.

Her words: "You are more than my friend you are family. You shouldn't be alone for the holidays."

Thus after spending a few weeks sorting out my personal schedule. Clearing the idea with my mom(She was disappointed but also understanding of what this meant to me and encouraged it). Finding a decent fare for a plane ticket down. I accepted.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Even though I am still awaiting my court date for name change and working through the process to start working full time. I knew I was going to spend the week as me. Flying down to Florida. Cooking dinner with her family. Spending time with her kids and getting to know her parents. To attending a football game at her Alma mater(she is a undergrad and graduate there and a booster).

I had a wonderful time.

Even though I was pulled in many different directions. From accompanying them to work. (I think I failed to mention I was wrangled into working on three different computers there.) Getting to learn to cook a thanksgiving turkey (I had never had the opportunity to do so before). Playing games and teaching one to the kids. To meeting her co-workers(my sister has her own accounting firm) whom I bribed with shortbread cookies I baked the night before just in case my charming personality didn't win them over. Along with surprising her parents when they realized I was the Kelli that had been mentioned to them and that I wasn't living full time yet. They wanted to know how it was possible I was still going to work as a boy.

In all it was just a wonderful week to be myself. I enjoyed meeting new people playing, silly yard games while tailgating, to talking with my sisters oldest daughter. Who caught me totally of guard when she walked into the bathroom one morning when I was working on my hair. I, who was sharing one with the kids, naturally thought she needed to use it and asked her such.

She said no, proceed to close the lid on the commode and use it as a chair and opened up conversation with me. Talking about anything and everything. It was just nice to share that time with another girl(even if she is thirteen). Which just went along with the week I had with everyone.

The entire trip was worth every cent I paid for it with the experiences and growth I had a person and me. I never felt self conscious or out of place. My sister even told me how proud she was of me just being myself. That I came out very natural.

Though she did mention to me that I seemed a little awkward when greeting new people. I told her it was just a personality trait. That I really never know the right or wrong way to greet someone for the first time. It is something I have stumbled with my entire life regardless of my trans issues. Once I get past that though, I did find I was a lot quicker to talk to people and have a conversation in the past.

I wasn't quite as shy and quiet at I normally am. I had some great conversations with people because I was able to let myself go.

My favorite part of the who long weekend?

When I wasn't so much asked as I was told I needed to come back next year.

It may sound odd, but that time allowed me to regain some sense of family. I know they aren't mine by birth but I honestly felt a part of it. No one ever made me feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. Quite the opposite in fact.

So the answer to the question about next year?

It is already on my vacation schedule for that week.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

REALLYQUICKUPDATE

The trip to Florida was amazing and so much fun. I simply don't have time for a full post but I have some down time next week I promise to get caught up. It has already been placed in front of me to make it an annual thing. :D

My story gets told to the rest of work tomorrow. At least all of those that really need to know. O_O

I have a nose revision on Friday and the following week off. I won't be able to see anyone until the 12th of December.

Jan 3rd is 33 days away. I am so scared, happy, freaked out, excited, scatterbrained, hopeful, and terrified all at once.

I won't be seeing family for Xmas this year. I simply am not able to get in touch with anyone regarding the upcoming changes. :(

That is all I got for now. As I mentioned I will follow up with more next week when I have some actual free time. I am not sure I actually remember what that is.

More soon!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Today I am getting out of dodge.

I get to hop on a plane and fly to visit a dear friend and her family for the holiday.

Since I am not being invited to my parents (because of dad). Oh well. I know I will catch up with mom later.

In the mean time I will get to fly down as me. Spend a number of days soaking up the sun. Sharing time with friends. Then come back. All as me.

But most importantly I hope I am charging up the soul's batteries. Since when I come back I will be down to just over thirty days left before full time. Not to mention the department at large finding out. I could probably really use the boost.

I will post when I get back about how it all goes and hopefully have some stories.

See you all soon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Teardrops on My Pillow

Two weekends ago I got a call from my Brother on Friday night.

Sadly I had been kind of avoiding him. I felt bad about it but I just felt that if I did talk to him it would turn in a direction that would be uncomfortable and awkward at best.

Yet I felt compelled to answer it this time thinking I should stop and actually talk to him for a change.

It could not have been a worse decision.

Now it didn't start of bad. He brought up his favorite topic. The local NHL team that we are both huge fans of. Discussing things about the team the some of the issues they have been dealing with. Etc.

Nothing earth shattering with that. I don't mind it either for a couple of reasons. First if it gets a person comfortable talking to me, good. Second, talking about something familiar is always a good thing.

Well it didn't last long.

Sadly we got into what is going on with me.

I don't have a problem talking about it. I informed him of where I was at and what was happening.

I could hear some sadness in his voice, I assume in regards to losing his little brother. I made mention that he is gaining a little sister in the process. Not really sure that went over very well. I am trying to get people to look on the brighter side of things.

I know I have had to otherwise I would have lost my mind a long time ago.

We kept on this line of thinking and discussing the changes coming when the worst happened.

He interrupted me and started saying how he didn't understand how I could ever look like a woman. To the point that he actually started laughing about it and attempting to compare me to a famous model.

Did I mention he laughed?

It wasn't an uncomfortable laugh either. It was a plain cold laugh of 'you are going to look so ridiculous and I cannot believe you are doing this' laugh.

It hurt.

A lot.

If fact I think I was crying for the rest of the entire call.

I did manage to hide that. I also responded.

First I told him how unfair it was that he would compare me to someone else. Let alone a super model.

Really?

In today's day and age models are all what they appear.

Cindy Crawford once famously stated she wished she looked like Cindy Crawford.

Thus holding me to an impossible standard wasn't fair at all.

I was simply trying to be me.

I did my best to explain to him that even when I am trying to be a boy. I hardly if ever get identified as a boy. Nope I almost always get viewed as a girl these days no matter how I am dressed.

I also did my best to convey the idea that when dressed up a bit. I seem to attract a fair amount of attention and advances.

People seem to think I am pretty. So why should I accept what he thinks.

I understand he is struggling with it. I didn't get angry or mad at him. I just tried to tell him that no matter what he thought it wasn't what everyone else thinks.

As if he is one to judge at all. He ignored his family, ended up getting divorced, moving to the ends of the earth, hardly sees anyone or his kids, and now complains about how lonely he is.

Like this really make him a pillar of how to live life and judge others. What exactly has he done?

Nothing.

Yet he is my brother. I would like him to remain my brother. He can be a great person when he wants to be. I have learned and experienced a lot from him. Even if it was the wrong thing to do.

I just didn't need this now.

Plus as hard as I tried I wanted to end the conversation and get off the phone. I really didn't want to talk to him anymore after we went through all that.

Sadly I spent almost another hour on the phone after that. Still getting teased and laughed at.

I finally made a plea to get some sleep as it was late, and I got him to let me go.

It hurt.

It still hurts today.

I try not to dwell on it because in the long run his opinion will not matter much.

Maybe one day it he will see it, maybe he won't.

But I am not living my life for him anymore.

I am doing it for me.

No one ever likes to be laughed at, in that manner.

Worse still as it came from family.

I know I cried myself to sleep that night.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gonna Make You Sweat.

“But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—BeyoncĂ© brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.” -- Tina Fey, Bossypants

I like this quote for a number of reasons. It is so very true that we try to hold ourselves up to impossible standards. You have seen the digital alteration of models to make them look better. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOSW8U]

Even worse when they alter a woman's figure into something unobtainable. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq5sVyTpbmI]

Lately there has been a movement entitled Thinspiration. The idea is pretty and fit(mostly skinny) girls showing off with hard work what they now look like.

There is also an anti-thinspriation buzz where they deride these girls saying that starving yourself to try and reach a body that isn't possible or unhealthy.

They are both right.

And they are both wrong.

I fully understand women come in all shapes and sizes. It is physically impossible to all be 5'6", 110 lbs and a size 4 or even 2.

Which brings us to why I am talking about this anyway.

Recently I had been feeling, well for lack of a better term, fat.

Not that I actually was, but I was feeling lethargic and bloated. I still watch my diet and I was still walking a lot. It just seemed as if my body was just caring extra weight and/or flab around.

Something also occurred to me as I was pondering this a few weeks ago and noting my weight was sitting a bit on the higher side. One I was I have reached the two and a half hear mark of being on HRT. While I haven't avoided activity I haven't exactly done a lot of higher intensity stuff as I used to. Knowing this, I felt that this was sufficiently a long enough period to say that my body had change and really wasn't like it used to be.

Suffice it to say I had shifted form the influence of testosterone and wasn't feeling the easy calorie burn anymore. I was feeling blah.

So the time had come to add something to my routine. I can still eat sensibly and keep walking, i just needed a little more. I found this:

Do this first thing in the morning before  
your brain knows what you are doing
Do 2x:  50 Jumping Jacks --  5 Pushups  --   
20 situps or crunches  --  20 Mountain climbers  --
30 second plank  --  7 burpees

If you are not familiar with some of the exercises I highly suggest googling them. I like this because it is simply and fast. I do this first thing in the morning it takes me 15 minutes. (I am not trying to do it fast I have long held that taking the time and doing an exercise in a controlled fashion is far more productive than trying to speed through it.) I than can hop into the shower and start getting ready for work. I am in week four and I can tell you it is HARD. That first week was killer as I have been doing it five days a week.

The effort as already been felt. My body needed this extra work. I am enjoying it. I already feel better but I know it will take time to really see the results. I must keep the following in mind.

Now the list was compiled with women in mind. The picture with it is classic thinspiration thinking. Work out like this, look like that.

This is where they are wrong.

I'll never look like that, it just isn't in my shape or DNA.

That doesn't mean I have to accept the out of shape feeling I was having. Which is where I disagree with the anti-thinspiration crowd.

I am not a size 16 nor am I a 2. I am solid 8 and I am more than happy at that. Yet I want to stay there comfortably. I won't starve myself, but I started eating healthier several years ago. Now I am just wanting to increase my fitness level to say their easily and not feel so guilt when I consume something yummy.

This is why I feel the anti-thinspiration mindset is right. Embrace your body both good and bad. Learn to love it and find ways to feel good about it.



Just don't fall into the trap that fat is beautiful that I see quite often on these types of sites.

You are not going to be a size two the thinspiration crowd would like you to think. But that doesn't mean you have to let yourself to. Take care of that body. It is the only one you have. So be the best size 2 or size 16, or wherever else you fall. Just do take care of it. Don't starve yourself, just eat better. Get some exercise.

Find that balance. Really these two groups need to come together. A happy medium is the best place for you to be at. You'll feel better, which means you will look better to others around you. Find an exercise program that works for you and watch what you eat, but enjoy yourself from time to time too.

Don't be something you can't but don't be miserable about it either.

You need that body to go out and enjoy life. Best take care of it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shopping With Mom

Ok, I realize this post is long overdue.

Really I am sorry, life have been busy, busy, busy.

I think I have mentioned that.

Yep, I did.

(Sheepishly I will admit to accidentally deleting my original draft. Hey, I did say it was an accident. Sheesh!!!)

However, without further ado I give you the complete story of what happened when I went shopping with mom.

First even though I got up early, gave myself plenty of time to eat breakfast, shower, dress, hair and a bit of makeup. That guy Murphy decided to make an appearance.

I got three phone calls. Had to sit on hold for half an hour with a support desk. Talk with two different people. (which makes doing your hair and makeup really, really challenging. I managed to leave my house only a half hour later then I wanted to. Which would put me about 15 minutes late in meeting my mom.

I did have to stop at the ATM first and I was originally leaving with enough time to do that and get there on time.

Did I mention that guy Murphy? Yeah he and I are so not friends.

So once in the car I gave my mom's cell a quick ring. Now I should not I have never used my voice in front of her.

"Hello?"

"Hi? Are you there? (Mom can be a little cell phone challenged)

"Yes.   Who is this?"

"LOL!! It's your daughter!"

"{pause} OH!!! Did something happen?"

"No but I am running a bit behind. Long story but I will be there about 15 to 20 minutes late."

"Oh, ok, don't worry I am just leaving myself so I will be a little late too."

"Ok, I will see you then."

I guess when your own mother doesn't recognize your voice on the phone you know it has changed. Too funny.

After a quick trip to the bank and the twenty-five minute drive over to that side of town. I pulled up next to my mother waiting in her car at the prearranged location.

Now I parked on the near side of her so my car was between us as I got out. This gave me the chance straighten myself out before I walked around the car to meet her.

I should note here that was simply in some jeans, sneakers, tunic sweater, scarf(it was cold that day), and my lighter sport jacket. Really I was shopping and other than dealing with the scarf from time to time. I wanted something cute but able to get in and out of quickly for changing.

Proceeding around the car I stopped in front of her and said 'Hi Mom!'

She stopped, took me in, grew a big smile on her face and came forward to give me a hug. Then she stepped back and said I looked good. Different but good.

We proceeded to walk into Nordstroms which is at one end of the outdoor mall that we were at.

{If you are not familiar with outdoor malls leaving each store takes you outside to a cobblestone or paved walkway. Even though the stores are facing each other as they would in a typical mall you are always outside moving between store. I like the idea but here in the Midwest it can be challenging but on crisp winter days it can be really need especially with all the decorations outside.}

I like Nordstroms because I can afford some of the stuff in there and they usually have a good sampling of current trends. If I find something I like but it is too expensive I keep the item in mind as I hit other store. Still I do buy a fair amount from them because I typically am never disappointed in the selection, quality and the service. There is a story about this coming later in the is post.

As we entered the first set of doors. I stopped for a minute adjusted my hair, as it was windy this day, and straighten my purse. I turned to my mom before we went in the second set of doors if she knew what the rules for the day were.

She looked me and smiled stating that I was Kelli and that I was her daughter for the day. No other names or pronouns were to be used. I love my mom, but she can be frustrating and stubborn at times so with a sigh of relief, knowing she was aware. I started to go in. Yet she stopped me, with yet another smile and said: "It shouldn't be too hard for me, you do look really good, and cute I might add."

This totally broke the ice with me and I was fine for the rest of the day. Really I was relaxed and totally at ease the rest of the day.

Mom was great, really she was. We were there for a total of five hours and during that entire time she only slipped once. Really I couldn't even get upset because she caught herself and I could totally tell it was just force of habit that caused it. Think about it I have been her son for almost thirty-seven years. Old habit die hard, but I cannot complain when since that was the only issue. She even referred to me as her daughter to sales people and other shoppers and I went through the stores. I could not have asked anymore from her.

She like what I was shopping for as I was looking to increase my wardrobe with things I could wear to work, and I was picking out things that looked tasteful and good on me. While being a bit stylish here and there. Plus I was looking for pieces I could use with other things that I already had in my closet.

I think my second favorite part was I found a really nice winter coat that I could use for casual or dress if I needed to and it was very reasonably priced at Nordstroms. I was complaining about my figure when I took my jacket off and she saw all of me underneath without being hidden by the bulky coat. Her eyes popped and then gently chided me about even complaining. I laughed and said my shoulders were a bit bulkier and wider for someone my height than if I had been born a girl. I noticed that when trying certain tops on and jackets and coats are the trickiest for me.

She just chuckled and told me I was being silly but then smirked and said: "Well you are just like any other woman, there is always something they complain about."

LOL!

Remember the scarf? Well when I was looking at coats and jackets I took it off a minute so it wouldn't interfere. Mom told me not to untie it thinking I would have a hard time redoing it. I chuckled at her and told her not to worry. Which became clear when I went to retie it and I through it over my shoulders brought it back around front and did this little pretzel style knot in it.

She looked at me and immediately wanted to know how I learned that. I told her I looked it up and that I knew a few others too. Then proceeded to demonstrate two other before going back to my original look. She laughed and told me I had to teach her how to do that.

I haven't had much time to talk with her after this but through the day and even at lunch my mom look completely relax and that might have had something to do with that I was relaxed myself. It took me a long time but I really am at peace with myself and probably more pleasant and comfortable to be with. We laughed about a few things. She chided me for my clothing fussiness and I teased her about being a mom.

My favorite part was when she had to leave (she is nearly 68) and was tired but gave me a big hug and told me she was really proud and told me I surprised her with what I looked like and stated I was going to be just fine.

My mom is can be difficult and opinionated, trust me I know myself first hand. But I also hear it second hand from various parts of the family. Still she had been a huge boost and supporter of me through all this. I think that even though I know she can be a pain, we are getting along better because I am not at odds with myself as much so than I am not at odds as much with her.

I am glad I went. I am glad I enjoyed myself and I am glad my mom finally got to meet me. I feel it went a long way with her. I know I will find out when I talk to her in about a week when we do the usual dinner thing.

Oh and before I go the coat thing. After going to several other store to see if I could find something else we returned to Nordstroms to look at the coat again. Mom and I agreed it look really good on me and it fit the best. The issue was the zipper would pull itself open after I had zipped it closed. With almost no effort really. So I asked the sales girl about it and she looked at it, told me to hold on a second.

She went and called Alteration's they sent a person up looked at the issue and said they would replace the zipper. She looked at me and said 'no cost' but did ask how soon I needed it. I just said if they could have it done this week that would be great. She said that wasn't a problem and after taking my name and information (yes I am registered in Nordstroms computer as Kelli) took the jacket and I got an alteration receipt.

For a coat that was $130(see not always the most price), knee length, they replaced the entire zipper at no cost to make the sale. Both the alterations person and my sale girl told me Nordstroms refuses to sell faulty merchandise. Even that if anything ever needed alterations they do them for at no cost.

Service there has always been superb and I never have been dissatisfied with anything I have ever purchased. Yes I cannot spend too much there but sometimes they are totally worth it.

It was a very productive day in more ways than one.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week In Review

I know there are posts that I need to finish, trust me I am working on them but I have been exceedingly busy. When I do finally have time to sit down I have been crashing. Hard.

Most of the time I am either reading for a bit or catching up on a little TV when I finally get some spare time.

(Really I don't even know what spare time is these days. Honestly I am told it exists but like Bigfoot and the Loch ness monster, I am having a hard time believing it does.)

(I DVR Dexter, The Walking Dead, Mythbusters, and Castle. I totally forgot to set a schedule for Once Upon A Time. Told you I have been busy. And yes that is about all I watch regarding TV.)

I do promise to get caught up with my outstanding posts. I know there is a big one everyone wants to read.

There is a friend I owe an email too and I feel bad about it. She probably thinks I have been neglecting her. I haven't but there are times were I have so much other things to focus on that I just don't have enough time in the day.

Who do I have to ask to get the number of hours in a day bummed from 24 to 32.

Better still who do I have to bribe or kill to get 32 hours.

Ran into a little snafu getting my fingerprints taken for my requisite background check so I can legally change my name.

The issue?

My drivers license picture doesn't match me or I don't match it. Which ever works better to your point of view.

The Detective refused since he could no verify I was who I said I was.

I am? Well we know that answer but we still have to prove I was the old person I pretended I was for so long.

Details. Psssh!

Thankfully I had taken the afternoon off so I rushed over to the local DMV office and got my license updated with a new picture. Didn't care too much about what I looked like since it will all get changed again when I change my name.

I will have to wait for the new one to arrive by mail. So I will be back to my local police department next week so I can get printed and checked.

Really if I am not me who is?

Is there someone out there who looks more like me than I do.

This could explain the sudden spikes on my credit cards.

No...wait...that is all me.

Damn.

Crammed in between therapy, electrolysis(can't wait for that to be done). I had to get a flower arrangement sent to the funeral I am not allowed to attend. Return to Nordstroms for a winter coat that I liked.

Not that I decided I wanted it I did but last weekend when I was there with my mom (I know, I know. No need to remind me.) The zipper kept breaking open, it wasn't the size that was an issue just a simple tug on the coat, say putting your hand in your pockets, would cause it. Nordstroms offered to replace the zipper for free. After I had tried on so many coats that day I couldn't say no.

Hence I returned on Saturday to pick it up. Now since I had been running around with other things that day as the boy. I needed to change because Nordstroms had everything registered as Kelli.

The neato part? Well I was rushing right? So quick change of clothing, hair pulled up into a ponytail strung through the hole in the back of a hat. Grabbed my purse and jacket. Out the door I went.

No makeup or anything else whatsoever.

As soon as I walked into the coat department. Ma'am can I help you? No questions. No weird looks.

Really though at least the hard work, pain and effort is showing. A year ago I wouldn't have tried it without a wig, two years ago, without makeup. Yet here I am today using neither and just letting myself be me.

And it worked.

Better still I didn't even think about it or panic.

In addition to having a few sit down talks with my manager again, and my department head. Well things are looking up the both seems to relax a little and were willing to discuss somethings. It is a start regardless.

Just busy, busy, busy.

Oh and in this lack of spare time I need to increase my workout program. I am going to introduce some calisthenics to help with overall fitness and muscle tone. Nothing to build anything up I don't need but I would like to start toning a bit now that my body has been pleasantly adjusted by HRT.

I just want to see if I can trim a little more of the unnecessary deposits off my figure. Plus I have been holding at the higher end of my weight scale so I know I have been carrying more then usual.

I think that is it. I'll have posts coming when I can get some spare time...

...Hahaha, who am I kidding?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It Isn't Always Rainbows and Lollipops

Even though I have had been lucky enough to generally have good reactions to telling people about me, it hasn't all been wonderful.

I still haven't heard from my friend J since the night I told her.

My bother, while still talking to me, obviously doesn't want to deal with the issue.

But the worst thing I have come to realize is that I may never see my father in person again.

How do I know this?

My mom called me last night to tell me her Aunt and godmother passed way. She was my Grandmother's sister.

I haven't seen much of the side of the family in the last ten years but I do remember them and I used to see them rather frequently.

So when my mom gave me the news I asked her to tell me when to arrangements would be made and where I needed to be without thinking.

It appears that wasn't the best idea.

I could hear the distress in her voice as she told me that I probably should not come to the viewing.

There was obvious pain in her words regarding it. It had nothing to do with me and my situation. She actually said she would have asked her cousin(this was her mother who passed) if I could come to the viewing, as she already knows about me.

It was the simple fact that my Father would be the problem. My mom told me flat out that if I needed to come around and work on their computer my dad would make himself scarce.

She also let me know that the idea of having me over one weekend after thanksgiving, since they are going to visit my brother and I am visiting friends, isn't going to happen either.

It was her hope that she could have gotten my father to sit down with me and try to at least see me. She simply wants him to acknowledge me as a person. As a daughter or child was another matter but if she could start there that would be a positive step.

I even told her I would do it. Even it if got painful or ugly I would at least make the effort.

My dad doesn't want to.

I could hear the pain in my mom's voice as she said this too me. She knows I am still going to talk to her. That even though I have changed I am still her child and still mostly the person she remembers. Just with a few changes.

I know she trying her best but I also know she is feeling like her family is being torn apart.

I don't blame my mom for telling me I should not come. She didn't want my dad and I to make a scene at a funeral, though that would be on him. I wasn't going to start anything and would probably try to walk away if it did. I completely agree with mom since that isn't the time or place for anything.  So I will stay home and send my condolences from afar.

The sobering thought when I hung up with my mom was that this type of event might be the only time I get to see my dad again and not in the manner I would want to.

This means that even though I have had some wonderful friends, been able to take the steps I have to finally be happy and myself, it doesn't come with out it's share of pain, heartache and loss.

As the title of this post states...

...It isn't always rainbows and lollipops.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

People Say The Darnest Things

As I have mentioned recently I disclosed my function to the human resources department at my current employer.

We all know that went rather well and since then things have been moving along. My department head was informed along with my direct manager. I haven't spoken to my department head but I have talked to my manager.

As to be expected he was shocked but that as long as I perform my job he told me he would be supportive. We both knew there would be some adjustments but we would work through it. I did leave myself open to questions if he had any and he did say he would take me up on that at some point.

So far, so good on that front.

I have not had the opportunity to talk to my department head but I plan on doing that soon.

Last week I had a meeting with my HR representative and it was nice to go over timelines and find out where everything stood at this point.

I know a few of the executives know and more will be finding out soon. Also we went over how announcement were being planned out and what I thought of things so far.

However one of the things that was supposed to happen at this meeting, didn't.

Namely meeting my HR director.

Since I had contacted HR and told them about my situation my rep has mentioned having me met her. I didn't disagree but since she is a very busy exec and between all our schedules I had not happened.

And at the little update meeting I had last week she was out with pneumonia so again we missed meeting.

Until today.

I made the march over to the other building at the appointed time and met with my rep briefly. After a brief talk he had me sit and wait in a sitting area that are dotted around the building so he could then go check to see if she was available.

After just a few minutes she popped out of her office and came over introduced herself and brought us all into her office.

A few pleasantries were exchanged and we moved on to the heart of the matter. My rep open with everything we talked about last week. Giving her a brief overview of timelines and other items. Several things were mentioned and he finished by asking me if Jan 3rd was still a date that would work for me and mentioned that from what I had told him work was the only place he really existed.

This was true and I stated that I had just reached a point with everything were work was really the only place he was left.

The Director interrupted at this point and asked me about these changes. I briefly described that I had spent the last three years changing who I was physically to match who I was.

"Can I ask you a question about this?"

"Of course."

"Has anyone asked or mentioned anything to you about your appearance?"

"Not really. Though a couple of people have asked about my hair but nothing much else has been said."

"Really?"

"Yeah."

She looked right at me with an expression that could only be described as awe.

"Honestly that completely surprised me. You, sitting here right now, look completely like a woman. If I didn't know you were supposed to be 'him' I wouldn't think twice about it."

You could have pushed me over with a feather.

From that point her whole demeanor was just a positive push that this wasn't going to be an issue. Almost like up to this meeting she was wondering how it was all going to work and the moment I walked into her office, that problem went out the door.

As if she knew right then and there. Ok this isn't going to be an issue. In fact it should be rather easy.

Her statement later about the bathroom issue really confirmed this when she told met that should not even be a problem as most people, if they were to encounter, me would not even realize anything. They were going to work on it and make sure everyone would be happy with the situation. She also came to understand that to force anything else would make my life difficult because it was obvious walking into the men's bathroom is not an easy task for me now.

We discussed several other things, all positive and the plan is starting to firm up.

They also told me that other than the immediate department and some other people I see from time to time they were not going to make it a company wide thing. Since I stay hidden in my little corner most days, she gave me the impression that telling everyone would place a unnecessary focus on me since she feels I am not really going to be drawing attention to myself otherwise.

This I think came from meeting me first hand and seeing what she was dealing with.

By the end of the meeting it was her hope that I could do this successfully, we are a creative environment and very diverse. However, as I have mentioned and she understood, that you just never know how someone will react. There will be a company notice regarding diversity sent out and it will focus a bit on having a trans employee. They just don't want to place a target on me as they feel it would be unfair.

It something were to come up it would have to be brought to HR's attention and discussed so it isn't like I am going to stay hidden by any means.

I can live with that and I actually like it. It isn't my intention to live fully stealth but I don't plan on advertising it either. Since I don't interact with 95% of the population why do they all have to be told upfront.

When you consider the reaction the Director had to my appearance, and mind you I was trying to be a boy, that says a lot.

I was always worried what kind of reaction I would get as I started coming out to work but I certainly did expect this.

Friday, October 14, 2011

End of the World as I Know It

Can I freak out now?

Please?

Pretty please?

With sugar on top?

Hard to believe I am here.

After all the pain. The lifetime of telling myself that this wasn't possible.

Sitting down almost four years ago admitting to myself I had an issue and that I needed help.

Working through all of it with a therapist, wrapping my noggin around the concept and setting things into motion.

Though it seems like everything has unfolded very slowly and has taken forever, a profound thought finally hit me.

I have 81 days left.

81?!?!

Where did that come from? It didn't seem that long ago I didn't know what was possible. I was still fighting myself with everything I had.

Working through numerous hangups to even take the smallest steps.

Yet here I am staring it right in the face.

So far things are good. Had a few more disclosures that I would say went ok.

Talked with HR yesterday, the are putting together a great plan to allow me to do this. They really have done their homework and talked about some of the things they want to do. I really do have to tip my hat to them in regards to their effort.

It was after the conversation I realized I am nearing a major, MAJOR, milestone.

And that I am really here at this point.

Jan 3rd will be my first day at work. At that point I will be living full time as me.

I am scared, nervous, excited and amazed all at the same time.

It really is very surreal.

All I have been doing is trying to deal with my anxiety keep doing things that I need to and taking my mind off it when ever I have down time. (I have been doing a lot of reading when I am not busy otherwise I think I would just let my nerves get the better of me if I didn't stay occupied with something.)

The clock is ticking things are about to change.

Change is good right?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Dinner With Mom?

As you might now if you have been following along. I have been having dinner with my mom once a month. Mostly this is due to the fact that as of right now I am not welcome around my father. His issue and Mom is working on him but she knows it will take time.

She surprised me during our last dinner when she said she didn't care if my Dad ever acknowledge me as his child or even daughter but she did want him to be able to acknowledge me as a person. She is determined on that part and figures if she can get him that far the rest might fall in line behind it.

Kudos to Mom for at least starting there and working her way up. Who knows if anything will ever happen.

Now we had been meeting once a month on the first Wednesday of that month. However she called me during the week before last weekend to ask if I could move our meeting to the Wednesday after.

I am ok with that as it does occasionally need to happen.

Know this though that up until now I we had been meeting mid week on a Wednesday and since I work south of where I live and she lives north of where I live, I was generally racing out of work to meet her around six pm. Which meant I had always been doing the work/boy mode thing.

Over the weekend I thought about this and on Sunday night I called her back.

I asked her if she would be interested in doing something different than dinner.

She said sure.

I then asked her if she wanted to go shopping either this Saturday or next which ever worked better for her.

She said she would love too.

I next asked her: "You do realize why I am asking this and what is going to happen if we do, right?"

"I am going to meet my Daughter?"

"Yes. Are you ok with this?"

"Of course I was going to have to meet you at some point. I have been looking forward to it."

"Lol why didn't you say so? We could have done this earlier."

"I was waiting for you to ask."

LOL! I told her I had been waiting for her to suggest she was ready. We laughed about it and set it for the second Saturday.

So in just under two weeks I am going shopping with my mom. And she is going to met me for the very first time.

I am excite, nervous and scared all at the same time. The good news was my mom seemed very enthusiastic about it and willing. Which helps.

We will see how it goes and I am sure there will be a story.

I mean how could there not be?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Disaster Averted

This last week I had my annual physical with my general practitioner. Now as this appointment approached I realized I was getting low on my hormone supply.

Perfect! Usually when these two appointments get close like this I have my GP add a few extra test to the list and send the extra results to my HRT Doctor.

Knowing this I called the office of my HRT Doctor.

Only to find out he was no longer practicing at that office.

In fact they didn't have any way for me to contact him and scouring the internet and other resources I could not find him.

O_O

Oh, did I mention the HRT supply was getting low?

Yep, not good. remembering how when I stopped hormones for surgery I became the wicked stepmother incarnate.

Knowing this I starting scouring the internet and any other trans related forums I could find and came up with a name. Better still he was an Endocrinologist (which my other wasn't), which I had always would have preferred but had trouble finding one two and half years ago. On top of it all he is a well known Doctor at the biggest university around here. Not to mention one of the top medical schools in the country. Double super bonus he accepts my medical insurance.

And he sees trans patients.

Woot!

The issue was, when could I get into see him.

By the time I tracked all this info down the best I could do was call him the morning of my appointment with my GP. Hopefully I could get this resolved and have my GP help me in the mean time if there was an issue.

I called and got a wonderful office associate named Pam. She asked me why I wanted to see the doctor. So I explained I was on hormones and my last doctor was no longer practicing. My current prescription was running out and I needed to find a new doctor.

She told me that wasn't a problem but that he was on vacation in October so when he could get me in was going to be tricky. Yet before that she asked if I was a new patient to the Hospital and University's medical care program. Explaining that I was she still decided to double check.

"Let me just make sure you aren't in here somewhere. What is you last name?"

Which I supplied.

"Ok what is your first name?"

{Knowing that my insurance was on my old name still, and that for now I am legally known as him I gave her that one. }

"Wait...Your {His name}?"

"Yes."

"oh...{pause}...OH! I see, well you aren't in the system, but for our records do you have another name you prefer, so that we can put it into our records?"

"Yes, Kelli. Is it going to be an issue that my name isn't changed yet?"

"Oh no, of course not! We just want to know so we address you correctly when you are here. Are you going to be changing it?"

"Yes, that should be happening sometime in the next six months."

"Great! Well for now we will bill you with the old name but when you change it and your insurance changes just let us know so we can update everything."

"Thank you so much."

"Oh it is no problem at all sweetie. Now lets find a day we can get you in."

Which she did. She was so very sweet and apologized for a system goof on her part. Which didn't bug me at all. She was very nice and extremely helpful so taking a little longer to sort things out wasn't an issue. She found a couple of dates in November for me and I choose the first one that would work the best.

Appointment set she put me on hold and got the records office on the phone to properly get all my insurance info into the system. Before she let me go she did inform me that I would be getting a patient record card in the mail and a notice of my first appointment. And to bring the patient card with me as it will expedite entering my info into the system.

That all set I had one other issue to take care of.

Namely, my current hormone supply was not going to last until the second week of November.

Off to my annual physical I went.

Once my Doctor got into the room, we went over everything that was going on. He did the standard physical once over for someone my age and asked me about my hormones, as he isn't handling them. He just isn't experienced with it and doesn't feel comfortable doing so. Which is fine with me. I just want him to be me standard doctor and take care of the mundane stuff.

This allowed me to then go into the story I mentioned already. He was shocked as he knew the other doctor and had not heard anything. He was then extremely curious as to what had happened. I did stop him before he went to far and added that I was going to run out of hormones soon and was wondering if he could refill my current script so I would at least have enough to get me through the waiting period and than have the new doctor take it from there.

He asked how long I had been on these doses and I told him almost twenty months. This relaxed him a bit as he wasn't going to be changing what I was taking.

We then finished my appointment, had the nurse come in and draw blood for the usual test and the extra ones. Prescriptions in hand I was on my way.

Glad a least to have myself covered until the end of the year and a new doctor on the way. Because when I found all this out I was in total panic mode since things had been going so well up to this point. That and I recalled the misery I was in during the time I had to stop for surgery.

I am so not looking forward to that ever again.

At least I manage to avoid that again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tipping the Scales

And no, this post as nothing to do with the bathroom variety.

For me to successfully transition I had to defeat my long standing arguments and logic of why I shouldn't transition.

Minus the fear, which is always there. I had to undo one basic fundamental reason I usually used to stomp out the idea whenever it came roaring to the front of my head.

You(as in me)don't look like a girl.

It was easy to use against myself. As strong as the desire was to do something about my transsexualism I could take one look in the mirror and say; Nope, not even possible! End of story.

I mean really, I had let myself go. I was fifty pounds over weight, I was flabby, hairy and had been cutting my hair incredible short for fifteen years.

To say the experience of stepping outside as me, the first time, was traumatic is a bold faced understatement.

Every argument and logical reasoning, all fueled by fear, I had was in my head resonating like a jet airplane. Screaming at me that this was all wrong, it would never work, etc, etc, etc.

And really I came home and cried that day for two reasons.

First, I never thought it would ever be possible.

Two, I didn't want to live the way I had anymore.

No easy feat. I knew right away I had a very long road ahead of me. Yet if I was going to do this I needed to change just about everything about me.

At least physically.

I started a controlled and careful diet and consistent exercise. Which I maintain as best I can to this day.

I began letting my hair grow out.

Then there was the removal of facial hair. (Still working on this one but I am getting really close. YAY!!)

Next I brought hormones into the mix. This had a larger effect on me mentally but the physical changes cannot be discounted.

The other ingredient was time. Really I started all this four years ago, maybe not all at once but I did start with what I could at that time.

I simply needed to sit back and let all these ingredients simmer for a bit.

When they were close and almost ready I added in a big one by changing a few of my most glaring facial features via surgery.

Really there were a few things that just had to change and a couple I wanted for aesthetical reason.

OK! Shush, so I was also being a little vain. Fine, I'll admit it but if I was going to go under the knife why not spruce up two things. Again I was trying to defeat a long standing reason for not transitioning.

Now that I have taken the time, the pain, the process. Things have indeed changed and for the better.

This was a driving force behind my finally telling HR. I had simply stopped existing as a boy, not counting work.

Once things finally had healed up, and other things kept changing. (Think hair) I would try to present the world with a boy and fail miserably at it.

To the point I can't even show someone my old drivers license and have them use the old gender pronouns toward me.

He, effectively, is gone. The constant reverberation of what the world at large thinks about me, when they see me, has finally quashed those old arguments. They simply have no muscle behind them and their faint little whimper is about to disappear entirely.

I literally tipped the scales the other way. I am no long afraid of stepping out of the house as a girl. It doesn't bother me. I simply am.

The converse side of the equation is that I am uncomfortable attempting to be a boy. Sans work, every other local I step into has viewed me as a girl. I get more odd looks then than I do as a me.

There was a lot of pain. It took a lot of patience but the balance as swung. I know who I am know and I am comfortable with that person.

I am not saying this method is for everyone. Some people might just be able to go into head first and handle it just fine. For me, I need to push myself far enough that there were wasn't another option. Because I knew fear would convince me to take it.

Am I done yet? No. There are a few things left to do. Thought I am far enough along that they aren't a big issue and one of them would only happen after I went full time anyway.

And that isn't that far away.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Other Woman

Who would be me!

Scandalous!!! It'll be splashed over all the tabloid before I know it.

Now I know I am thinking I totally just shattered your good girl image of me.

I haven't, maybe.

Not sure actually, but let me explain.

Last weekend I was out with B(shocker I know!). This was actually the first time in nearly four weeks we were able to spend any considerable time together. Other than seeing him for about an hour at the end of the evening I spent with C.

So there we were hanging out at his favorite spot, catching up on things, laughing, having fun.

As we discussed everything that was going on he reviled to me that he had a work wife at the new job.

{insert eye-twitching jealous rage}

They are in the same training program. They had been hanging out after work, which is easy to do when you are both getting off the clock at around midnight. He had a lot of good things to say about her and she was the first co-worker at the new job he has come out too.

All in all it seemed like she was someone worth while and he seemed to really like having her as a friend.

While chatting about everything B gets a call from...well I will call her C² since I don't have a clever nickname yet and she shares the same first initial as C...C²

Seems she is out and about with friends for a bachelorette party and wants B to come hang out a bit.

Now I don't know about other locales but the latest thing around here is for a bachelorette party to end up at a gay bar where there is a drag show. I don't get it myself but that is becoming quite common.

The only place in our area is the same location I used to frequent when trying to build up my nerve to go out. It is a gay bar, has a drag show and on Saturday nights is trans night.

I never felt I fit in there and haven't been in a long time.

Yet B wanted me to meet her, I think because he saw the three of us hanging out from time to time. Since it was for him I screwed up my courage and went.

{must resist temptation to stab}

Best timing ever as we parked and headed in C²'s party bus pulled in. We waited out side for the happy(by happy I mean drunk) party to climb(stumble) out of their transportation. It was near eleven at this time so some of them were in a really good mood.

Introductions around as C² explained to the party who B was. Then turned to met me.

From there things get weird but not immediately.

She was friendly but inside B and I ran into our friends S & J whom had already met C² a week or so earlier. I forget the exact story.

Here is what I noticed, S & J are non transitioners. Granted I have a lot of respect for them. I knew my friendship could only go so far.( J even mention this to me very early on. She was super supportive about it. Telling me I never really belonged there to begin with and that she would welcome the day I moved on with a normal existence.)

C² is super friendly to S & J along with a few other people B knew there, mostly other gay men.

Me on the other hand I feel as if there was a gap between us. At first I couldn't put my finger on it as she was friendly and polite toward me.

What was it?

I think I was being sized up as competition.

Before I was just someone B had mentioned or talked about. Now suddenly here I was in front of her and I have no idea what B told her, but I think I was being viewed straight up as the other woman in our strange little relationship.

She knew B was very good friends with me. She knows I care a lot for B. Yet now she had deal with this living, breathing girl in front of her.

On top of that I am sure my looks didn't help her feel any better about it. (I know I have no ego, nor do I think I am that pretty, but really I can't discount what others say to me. Consider I had a lesbian hit on me earlier in the night at a different bar. For REALS!! I know that opinion exists.)

I can't fault for it either. I learned a long time ago this is why I would get jealous of my male friends when I was younger. When they would meet a girl and start spending more time with them than me.

Those bitches were competition!

I just never understood that feeling fully until much later.

Now I know I joked about the stabbing and crazy jealous rage earlier in the post.

I really have no problem sharing B. Honestly the boy needs more good friends and C² seems to be a solid person even if she has a little be of a wild side to her. Even though I got the feeling of being sized up, and maybe not fully welcome, she never made me feel unwelcome.

Time will tell, but honestly this was the first time I think I was really being viewed as such. At least from another girl in direct responses to my relationship with the same man.

Granted B is a gay man and nothing is going on there. It simply was what I perceived.

So for that night I felt like the other woman.

I am sure we will be fine. B asked me, as we were walking to our cars, what I thought of her and I said I liked her. That She seemed really cool and fun. She obviously thinks highly of B, so as long as she is good to him and a positive influence, I am good with that.

Treat him badly and my claws will probably come out, but I am in no way going to compete with anyone for his attention. I know how he feels about me and I have no worries about our friendship.

Besides I am willing to share.

We shall see.

Now, I would never actually be the other woman. Way too much drama there and frankly I have enough with everything else to generate more needlessly.

So stop thinking I am a tramp y'all!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Future but That Which We Make for Ourselves.



"There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk "their life, their fortune, and their sacred honor" on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else." - Stranger in a Strange Land

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Viewer's Choice

I told a friend this little story that happened and she felt I should turn it into a post.

Now I am not sure it deserves a post but I'll try.

You might remember the GNO I recently had with C.

Well there was an interesting little tidbit I left out that happened at the end. Probably the reason I didn't include it as part of the night is it wasn't something that happen while it was just the two of us.

See upon B's arrival home he immediately wanted to head out for a drink.

We both looked at each other and said sure. So off the three of us went.

Now for the sake of time (it was nearly midnight) we stopped in the sports bar not far from B's apartment. Seriously it is a hop, a skip and a jump away. Totally within stumble home distance.

We hoped out of the car, started strolling in and C suddenly looks at me and asks if I am ok going in there, since this was a rather John Q Public straight bar.

I shrugged and said it did not matter to me. We would just find out if it mattered to anyone in there. I also commented that considering our adventures earlier in the evening it should be pretty obvious I am not concerned anymore.

She smiled and said 'ok!'.

She wasn't worried I would get read, I think she was just worried about the clientèle.

In we went.

We strolled up to the bar, Myself and C on either side of B (She cleverly calls him a thorn between two roses! Too cute!) and ordered our first round of drinks. I kept my light as I was going to need to drive home soon. (Smartly followed up by a soda after).

We started talking, I glanced around, didn't notice anything to out of the ordinary. When suddenly there is a dude taking the chair right next to me on the other side from B.

I think at this point we had been there a whole five minutes. If that.

Now when I say dude I really do mean dude. This guy was squat and big. I wouldn't have called him unpleasant to look at but I really didn't find him attractive at all. Certainly not my type.

However, dealing with guys is something I need practice with. I have learned a lot but I thought why not. Lets see what is going to happen.

Quite quickly I learned he was mildly drunk, talked a lot about himself, was a poor conversationalist, and was awful at complimenting a girl.

Ok, sooooo time to ditch him.

Just one problem...I couldn't.

I tried once, twice, three times to let him go.

The last comment I made was "I really don't want to be rude, but I would like to spend time with my friends as I don't get to really see them all that often.'

All the attempts failed.

Now I was stuck. I so needed a life line.

I started looking over at C and B trying to make pleading gestures for some assistance during all this. Finally after I said my last line, AGAIN, I was hitting B on the leg under the bar. He finally got my message and helped bail me out. All he really did was backup my last comment by stating that Mr. Creepy was intruding and that we all wanted to talk. Without his constant interruption.

I mean really I turned my back on him. I told him I wasn't interested, nothing worked.

C told me after he was gone we needed to work on signals when I was in trouble. C knows I have dealt with being hit on rather well in the past so she knew I could handle myself. Obviously though there are going to be moments I am going to need a little help while I learn how to deal with new situations.

The thing that irritated me the most though, was the fact that he almost immediately walked up and took the seat next to me. The bar wasn't particularly crowded the three of us had almost one end of it to ourselves. So the question is why did he pick me? I wasn't dressed up. Simply a tee shirt, jeans shorts and sandals. I knew C was in travel mode and it really was just a casual evening of two friends hanging out chatting. So obviously I was not trying to advertise anything.

The only thing I do wonder is perhaps I was read and for some reason I was easy pickings or at least that was the thought. As if I feel the need to validate myself with a man or something as such.

No I don't, and while I want to be sexually active, I am not interested in dating during these stages of transition.

Simply not going to happen.

B and C both said I was crazy for thinking I was read. They just don't see why anyone would think otherwise.

C did tell me that, while I am a sweet girl, I will occasionally need to get in touch with my inner bitch to ward off the foolish ones.

"Put them in his place a times."

Good advice.

Still I am left to wonder what exactly was driving Mr. Creepy. I'll never no for sure.

In the mean time. Guys, really, I give you credit for trying but when a girl says she wants to talk with her friends and turns away from you...she ISN'T interested.

Thanks for playing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

GNO

This last Friday I was supposed to spend some time with B.

That never happened.

Something unexpected and better did.

What happened was this. B recently had started a new job. This was actually a really good thing for him. He needed it and the boy is putting great effort into being a good employee. I am already seeing a change in who he is as a result.

The issue was after he finished his training program he is going to be working the afternoon shift. Three-Thirty to Midnight.

At least that is what he thought and I was lead to believe.

Not so fast.

Instead, after being there for a few weeks for the initial part of his training, they switched him to afternoons about two weeks earlier then expected.

Only he found out the Friday before.

I, however, was out of town on business and seeing some friends the weekend before. So it happened he was unable to inform me of this change. Which meant I spent the week being blissfully unaware that he wasn't going to be free Friday evening to hang out.

Until Friday.

As I had this Friday off I sent him a text while I was out running errands to inquire as to what time he wanted my to be at his apartment.

*ring*

"B?"

"Hey babe, how are you? How did the thing go with work yesterday?"

"Really well sweetie, but why are you calling me during the day? Shouldn't you be at work?"

{It is important to note that B was keeping his phone off during the day. He was being that fussy about his new job. It didn't bother me I just knew that he usually wasn't going to answer my text right away or my calls.}

"Ummm...yeah about that. You and I have been so busy I haven't been able to tell you we started the afternoon shift early. All this week I have been working it. So I cannot hang out with you tonight."

{I swear there was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.}

There were my hopes and dreams crushed, I was going to be spending the night sitting at home ready a book or something when I was really looking forward to getting out of the house.

"So I am on my own tonight then huh? You couldn't have let me know sooner?"

"Well I apologize but you and I have both been very busy. Worse yet C is coming back from Japan tonight and she is staying at my place tonight before we head down to see family over the weekend for the Holidays and I haven't been able to get a hold of her to let her know how to find the key to let her in. As she was gone already before I knew myself."

"Wait a minute, are you telling me C is coming in this afternoon from her trip and staying all by herself at your apartment for six hours before you get home?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Awww I feel bad for her then. Tell her, if you do reach her, that I am not going to be doing anything tonight and if she wants to call me and I would still love to hang out. I'll even drive her around if she wants anything such as dinner or something."

"Really?"

"Yes really, I would hate for her to be alone on this side of town."

"That is really nice of you I will let her know if I can ever reach her while she is enroute."

With that settled we went on to discuss the events at work and some other things before I had to let him go so he could finish his errands before he had to leave for work and I could finish mine.

A few hours later I got a quick text.

"C totally wants to see you and is starving. Call her at around 5 to discuss. XXX-XXX-XXXX, she has your number too."

I then finished my chores and was wrapping up my errands when it was time for me to call C.

"Hello! Kelli?"

"Yes."

"Omg how are you?"

"I am good, you?

"Tired from the flight but starving are you still willing to go to dinner? I am not taking you from anything am I?"

"Of course not. If you didn't want to go out tonight I was probably going to just sit at home reading a book or something. Besides I felt bad B was leaving you there by yourself."

"Lol no big deal but I would love the company. I am still en route to B's and I have a few things to do after I get there. Would 6:30 work for you?"

"Totally! That is perfect, I need to take a shower and change anyways."

"Awesome I will see you then."

Thus after I finished a few thing, cleaned myself up I was at B's apartment at the designated time. Hugs all around, we catch up a bit as she finished wrapped up something for work(she was on a business trip.)

I gave her the scoop on work, which completely shocked her as she wasn't aware that I had not told them. We chatted about that, her trip to Japan(she even brought me back green tea and I love tea's so that was super sweet.) Other things that were going on or happening. After a bit we headed out for dinner.

After a few false starts as I am not that familiar the area B now lives in and she isn't with this entire side of the state we found a wonderful little Italian restaurant with some text help from the Professor, as he used to live on that side of town for a while.

Terrific dinner, enjoyed the conversation talking about so many things, life, B, dating, books we were reading or had read.

She loved getting a nice meal and the feeling of comfort food after all the fair she had in Japan. She didn't mind it as lot of it was interesting and really good, but being a Midwestern girl like me she wasn't used to it for ten straight days.

We finished dinner and heading back to B's place. We pulled out a chick flick, dumped it into a his DVD player. Climbed into his bed(the only DVD player is in there for now) and proceed to talk about everything for the next two hours as we waited for B to come home from work.

There was conversations about her up coming wedding. Some of the things that have happened with her friend Kitten(I mentioned her once here). Work, boys, shopping, clothes, even my issue(C asked some really good questions and had some great comments in return). At the end of it all she was so happy that I am able to do this. It was an amazing evening and I had so much fun talking to her about things in general. We laughed, cried, and just enjoyed the conversation.

Shortly before B came home she told me two things. That we had to do this again sometime soon and I think the best thing I ever heard.

"Kelli, you are amazing. Honestly you are such a girl it isn't funny, I don't know how you possible managed this long. I am glad I met you and I am glad I get to spend time with you. I am also glad you are friends with B, he needs more and you are such a good influence on him. He has grown up a bit since he has started hanging out with you and he needed that. I wish you all the best in the future, you deserve it."

C rocks!!! I told her earlier that I was just happy to have friends like her and B in my life. That they just treat my like me and my issue doesn't bother them along with that fact that because they know they are checking in on me to make sure I am doing ok.

It was a great and amazing night, she confirmed that if she is stuck in town ever again she will get in touch with me so she can have some good company. Even if B isn't avavilbe.

Also earlier in the night she asked me this:

"Hey, if you are around this Halloween a few of my girlfriends of mine from the other side of the state are coming into town for a big Halloween party. I would love it if you could come. Can you? I don't know if B can yet, but it doesn't matter it will just be us girls if that is the case."

Great friends have made this journey easier to bear and C has been one of the best. I cannot wait to hang out with the girls this halloween. (Yes B confirmed that as long as work isn't in the way he would be coming.)

People like C make this world a brigther place and better yet they make my journey a bit easier.

I cannot wait to do it again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And Now For The Rest of The Story

As you might know I recently did something rather earth shaking and profound.

I sent my letter to HR. You will also know that I got an email in response to my letter informing of an upcoming meeting to meet my HR rep face to face.

I could hardly wait. /sarcasm

This was to happen last Thursday.

So shortly after lunch I grabbed my notebook and began my trek over to the other building. (I have mentioned in the past that I work in a much smaller secondary building from the rest of the company.)

I can tell you this. My stomach was turning over like crazy. I had no idea what was coming. I had every reason to be hopeful with the email response I got from my rep didn't seem to indicate anything to really worry about.

That doesn't mean I didn't worry. If there is one thing I have learned in all of this is that one can never tell what someones reaction will be. In this case there was a tremendous amount on the line.

Without my job I would be unable to complete my transition. Though there is a chance that I would find work elsewhere you have to consider the current economy would not exactly be in my favor.

Having walked a number of times between these two buildings I can tell you without a doubt this was the longest and most nerve wracking of them all.

I made my way up to the fourth floor and back to the location HR was in. (Now I am not in this building very often so this was actually my first official visit to HR. Everything else has either been done in a conference room in a different location or via phone/email.

Now HR is located in a back corner, I would also imagine they don't get a lot of visitors there. Well I could be wrong it just seemed as I walk up to my reps desk he seemed to know someone was approaching and turned to see who it was.

Which is when he paused. Looked at me for a second, tilted his head and quietly asked:

"{his name}?"

"Yes."

He brighten up at that point and greeted me. Then he directed me to a little conference room they have up in their area. Told me to sit and make myself comfortable while he closed the door and sat down himself.

The first thing he said to me was this:

"I just want to say that in my eleven years of working HR have never encountered this. I do want to say before we go any further I think what you are doing is extremely brave. Second I also want to tell you that was one of the best letters I ever read regarding any situation. You obviously put a lot of thought and effort into it. It also didn't force or demand anything from us. I was really impressed."

So far so good.

"Now before I go into any of my question and ask you if you have any I just want to say HR is fully behind you in this. We want you to be able to do this successfully and we want you to be able to do it without any changes in your position or employment status."

"I can tell you this, you are the first I have ever encountered. So this is all new to me. Also I have talked to the director of HR and it is a first for her too. I do apologize but we are going to be learning a lot about this as we go. I hope you don't mind me using you as a source of information."

Can you day big sigh of relief?

With that we moved into a number of questions about things. Including some of my story on how I got to this point. Things I had to do yet. Time off that might be needed. We established a rough idea of how to go about telling my boss, manager and the rest of my team and the IT department. We talked concerned and issue. Maybe not resolving them but at least getting them out in the open so that everyone will know they are there.

My goal here was to start and open dialog and go from there. I didn't want to tell them how to do it. I want their opinions and hopefully just guide it along with what I feel would be best for me.

I am due to met the HR Director this week and they are going to talk to my boss. Which should follow with my manager.

Lots of back and forth, he stated he was very excite to have the opportunity to work with me to get through this.

I don't know who true all this is, but it does make me feel hopeful that this could go well. We shall see.

Oh and the awkward moment when I first showed up? Well being in HR he pulled up my ID badge, which is a bit out of date to put it mildly. His confusion was he was expecting someone else and I showed up. Let's just say we had a little chuckle about how the two didn't match.

I walked out of there feeling better but still woozy and in some shock that it all happened and it went as well as it did so far.

It is going to be an interesting few weeks as this news filters down to other people.

Even today I can't believe I did it.

Wish me luck!