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.


"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."


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.


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."



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?


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.


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?