Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Long Hard Road Out Of Hell

We are again talking, and things have eased up considerably.  However there is a rim, an edge, a fence of don't trespass here feeling about most of our time together.  And in an award winning show of passive aggressive, T.H. (The Husband) started asking me what was wrong in completely inappropriate times.  When?  Oh, how about in line at the grocery store, when he can see I'm just barely hanging on to my tears.  Or how about 5 minutes from our destination?  Or when I'm cooking supper with some of the kids in the garage, who are over working on their sleds (Alaskan wordage for snow machine), and T.H. just came in to retrieve something?  Yeah, that is what life was like since the drive talk.  As time passed, I once again felt corralled by his silence, knowing he didn't really want to talk about, wasn't ready to talk about it.  And to give T.H. his props his entire world view had shape sifted into something he isn't comfortable with.

I'm sitting on the sofa knitting, tears silently running down my face, he's sitting at the table reading one of his magazines.  He makes some comment about what he was reading to me, and when I gave him an answer with tears clearly in my voice, he got ruffled up and complained that he was tired me always being sad and how it was impacting his life.  I went from sad to instant furious.  The starting bell for the bout rang and off I went.

"How dare you!  It's not always about you!"

After some sharp back and forth, we both calmed down and started to talk, and this time we really talked openly.  He actually listened to what I had to say, and made some very concise comments.  By this time I was snuggled on his lap, his arms tenderly around me, my head resting against his neck.  

"I've never told you this, but all my friends thought I had an awesome wife.  They kept telling me that you were completely different than any woman they ever met, you made sense to them.  I guess we know why now, huh?"

He finally admitted how after our last talk he had been thinking and while he kept coming up and looking at, poking it with a stick, the idea of me being a inner guy was the truth.  And it scared him.  If he asked me once, he asked me countless times the same question that must have been burning him.

"You're not planning on leaving me are you?"

After telling him no, I had to desire to leave him, more times than he asked, things slowed down and suddenly the silence grew heavy like the air will before a thunderstorm.  

"I have no right to ask this of you, but will you please not change your body?"

We did finally and without holding anything back both talk and listen to each other.  I told him of my desire for top surgery.  After talking about it quite a long while, T.H. told me that surgery would be a deal breaker for him.  Ya know what?  I totally understand his viewpoint on this.  And for the time being am willing to honor his wishes.  We ended the conversation with agreeing to come back and re-visit this subject about top surgery again at a much later date.  This will give us both time to decide what is really important to us both.  What we can live with, and what we can live without.

Since then things have rebounded back to before I started this conversation back in December.  We are happy again, no shadows, no fenced off topics that are forbidden to speak about.  And ya know what?  It feels so very good to be free of angst and hurt, and just wallow in our usual relationship.  I'm not innocent enough to believe that this is the last time that thunderheads will build up and hasty and hurtful words will be hurled at each other.  I know they will be, but now I have hope that since we manage this last and greatest hurdle we should be able to weather any thing.

I got what I wanted, acknowledgement from him that he recognized my inner boy.  And he got what he wanted/needed from me, that I did still love him and wasn't planning on leaving.  I'm very sure that as time passes things will need to be adjusted and subtlety altered to fit both my stretching out of my shell and his accommodation of my needs.  Sensitive will be our new byword.  We are going to have to be sensitive of each others needs in our requests in a way that is going to be new for us both.

I want to thank anonymous for your wonderful comments!  Thank you very much, your comments meant a great deal to me.

And I got a very nice comment from Micky, that I want to comment on.  

If you were a boy you'd need to do pretty well everything as a boy or you'd be back in a quandary.
I don't think so, what I need from my viewpoint, is a way to express my boy.

If you are a girl but can part-time as a boy then you can pick and choose which behaviours (learned or 'natural') you want to follow at any particular time.

This is very true, and is what I'm trying to do now.

There is a big expectation in anyone changing their physiology because they then have to be 'super-male' (in your case). Being 'ordinary' or 'half-hearted' are not good enough. Everyone who has been prepared for the new you will want to see someone different emerge.

See, I'm not to sure about this.  What I see looking at the world is that there are women who are rather masculine, and men who are rather feminine, and then the whole beautiful spectrum between. I think that people would take me as I am, but that is me, always with my glass way more than half full... 

Are you really so very different from the bi-person you can be now?

No, I'm not.  What I'm playing out here in blogger is my adolescence.  For better or worse, I'm just like a teen now, trying to figure out who I am, what I am, and who I want to be when I "grow up".  And you hit the nail squarely on the head, I am a bi-person who is trying to figure out what I want.  

It is, you know, an enormous step. 

But all of life is an enormous step and leap into the great wide unknown.  

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flirting with Transexual

My inner and my outer don't match, and while I am cool with that, as that has been my reality for my entire life, it's just now I have words to define who/what I am.  I took to the word androgyne quite easily.  Transgender, was a whole different can of worms.  It actually took me a few days to even be able to say the word out loud.

And then the questions starting to perk, thoughts that were relatively new to me.  Questioning what was me, the real true stripped to my core me, and how much of me was social construct?  Is there any way to rub off what society has painted on me?  Do I even want to do that?

Mainly I'm trying to tease apart how much of a "boy" I am.  What part of me is actually "girl"?  The feminine things I do, is that an expression of me, or my conforming to society ideals of femininity, as of this moment I have no clear idea.  I love to knit, and when I was a child, men just didn't knit, but all the women in my circle did needle crafts, knitting, crocheting, embroidery.  It took them a long while to corral me into sitting down long enough to even learn how.  I was happiest outside running, climbing trees, getting muddy, and riding my bike as hard as possible without any fear of falling or getting hurt.  I was given to my Grandmother for awhile when I was around 7, for her to tame me.  I had been asleep, but woke up to use the bathroom when I heard my name mentioned.  Sitting there on the floor of the hallway, listening to my female parent and my part time step dad talking with an aunt and my grandmother about how I was turning into a tom boy, and was to wild for my own good.  For the rest of Grandmothers life, she worked at taming me.  Teaching me how to can veggies and fruits, knitting, and cooking.  She was a sweet and very kind lady, never lifting her voice, getting her way by subterfuge, never confrontation.  I was allowed to climb trees, but only as a place to sit outside and read.

I think my family saw more of the true me and worked at changing me into something more "acceptable".  One of the questions I have is that what caused my female parent beat me so severely?  Did she hate what she saw?  A girl in body but not in spirit?  And her always shaky hold on reality, she was never able to handle any new situations, was stressed by my difference?  Am I excusing her abuse?  NEVER!  It's just that she is mentally ill, borderline schizophrenic, and these are questions that fly around in my head.

My entire life I have swung between acting and dressing masculine and feminine.  It's almost like dress up for me when I dress feminine, but in real life.  It's a rare occasion when I make it out of the bathroom with lipstick on, for whatever reason that is something that really upsets me.  And in a few of the more feminine periods of my life, when my self respect was rather fragile, a weird look from my husband about my makeup or hair would send me into self doubt, almost a self hate.  I had no idea who I was, and it was eroding me.  Luckily in my area you can dress down as a woman and aren't really thought poorly of for doing so.

Trying to decipher myself I keep coming to the same cliff face, and I keep peeking over it.  Transexual, am I actually transexual, or am I transgender?  And therein lies the reason behind my wondering how much of me is "boy".  If all of my "girl" is social construct then what am I left with?  I'm left with being all "boy" inside. And what do I want to do with this understanding of me?  Will I be content to live as I have all of these years, or do I want more?  I have absolutely no idea what so ever.  I keep coming back to the mirror.  There are things about me that I'm not happy with.  And I'm not talking the usual things, a bit of extra weight, being short, no my actual package of my being female.  When I started puberty I freaked.  I hated the breasts sprouting on my chest.  Luckily they never got very large, but still I have them……  And now?  I keep finding myself googling pictures of top surgery.  Googling articles about testosterone treatment.  The hormone treatments would still let me live in the realm of transgender, but the surgery?  Oh hello and welcome to the world of transexual.

If I jump over the cliff to fly into the world of transexual, my entire life would change, and not for the better.  It would mean coming out to everyone, some thing that quells my heart to a stand still.  The thought of telling the boys?  Tears are now rolling down my face at the very thought.  But the biggie is T.H.  Me transitioning into a boy is a deal breaker.  My starting male hormones is also a deal breaker.  I feel like I'm caught in a net, the more I struggle the more entangled I become.  I see no way out thru the coils of my mind.  Boy? Girl?  Trans gender?  Transexual?  Androgyne?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My favorite Holiday of the Year, St. Patrick's

Yes, St. Paddy's day is my favorite holiday of the year!  You are sitting there right now wondering what is wrong with me.  Well besides the usual?  Today is my anniversary.  And per usual for me, not of our wedding, but to me of a far more important date, the day T.H. and I  met.  If you don't know me well, there is a little quirk in my make up, ok ok more than one I will admit to, but for our visit today, only one is important.  I almost never know what number a day is, and often forget what day it is, and almost every holiday, birthday (including my own) surprise me when they arrive.  I was always the kid that wasn't wearing green and so got pinched a lot, because I never remembered that it was St. Paddy's.  So, as you can see, me remembering what day we met is a huge thing.  March is a busy month for us, two of the boys celebrate their birthdays, and one of my daughters in law is a happy March baby too.  Since holidays make most of us nostalgic, let me tell you how we met.

Date:  St. Patrick's Day, 1978  
Place:  My college dorm
Time:  pfft! not a clue! LOL

I'm in bed, dead asleep when someone starts shaking me.  Blearily prying my eyes open, I roll over trying to focus on why I'm being ripped from the sweet arms of sleep.  Standing over me is a friend and she looks rather wound up.  Thinking I'm late for a class I start to sit up, then I remember that today is Saturday!  WTF!  And why is she waking me up?  I roll back over, almost asleep again, when she pulls the covers down, and then just as quickly pulling them back up.  She has a thing against being naked.  Knowing she won't leave me to sleep in peace until I talk to her, I lean over the side of the bed, and root around looking for something to put on.  Ah!  A tee-shirt, I duck down under the covers, pull it on, and sit up.  Needless to say, I'm not a happy camper, I'm not happy at all.  It's sometime on a Saturday, the sun is still up, and why am I awake?  She cocks me a look, which leads me back to the side of the bed where I again root around looking for something to wear.  Even though I am covered up, me being naked bothers her.  I feel a band of elastic, great a pair undies!  And pull out a pair of men's undies...... hum, ok that won't work.  And yes the look on her face wasn't very pleased.  Giving up trying to please her very Puritan ethics, I asked her why on earth was she bothering me?  She was almost bursting with excitement, get up, get up, get up, she keep saying, almost without a space to breath.  Knowing that she would just have to run down before I could get anything out of her, I laid down again.  Only to have her pull me up!  Ok, and now my rather long fuse to mad is about encounter the black powder.

"You have to get up now!  You don't want to miss him!"  Miss who?  I'm not following at all, and have less than no idea what she is talking about. I'm within seconds of loosing my temper and doing something unforgivable, namely getting out of bed naked, which will set her against me for a while.  Finally she catches on that I don't have a damned clue to what she is babbling on about.  "My brother, he is coming today!  You promised that you would be there to meet him.  You Promised!  He called he will be here in an hour or so.  Get up!"  Finally I remembered her extracting a promise to meet her brother, and waved my hand at the door making shooing gestures, and thankfully she left me in peace.  I heard thru the door, "I'll be back for you!  Get ready!"

Now this girl was a pale friend, we had almost no places where our lives or interests crossed.  The only reason I knew her, is that her my best friend and her best friend shared a dorm room next door.  Sister is very religious, and me? Pfft, no I lost my ability to believe years ago.  They live in the middle of Alaska, is some town that has fewer people than our dorm does!  I don't care how cute he is!  He isn't my type at all.  But a promise is a promise, so I get up.  I'll go but I'm so not making any effort here.  Picking up  my favorite jeans from the floor, I looked down at the tee-shirt I had on.  It was my worn out junior high gym shirt, ehh it would do, I'll just wear my dorm hoodie over it.  Dragging a comb thru my hair, it looked like I had just rolled out of bed, ok hat it is.  I pulled a ball cap on, and peered into the mirror.  I stuck my feet in a pair of high top converse, that all the girls on the floor made fun of.  Why can't I focus today?  Oh yeah right, I need to put my contacts in.  Got them in, washed the face, brushed the teeth, and that was as good as it was going to get.

I was laying on the bed, almost asleep again when Sister barged back into my room.  Pulling me up, I stumbled along behind her to the parking lot.  Yes, we were going to the parking lot, no waiting for him to arrive in her dorm room, nooo.  I sat down on a curb and leaned against a nearby car my eyes already closing, gods above was I tired.  Hearing a feminine squeal from Sister, I knew Brother must have shown up.  Great!  I could do the meet and greet and then get back to bed. Ah, sweet sweet sleep!  Staggering to my feet, I carefully rubbed my eyes and followed the 10 or so girls she had corralled into meeting Brother.  Wanting to do this right, so she wouldn't be all angry with me later, I shook my self awake mentally, slapped on a little smile and prepared to do just the bare amount I needed to do to appease her so I could go back to bed.  The gaggle of girls parted just as I got caught up, giving me a clear path to see this paragon of a brother. 

 And. My. Heart. Stopped. Beating.  

The world fell silent, the color drained away.  There was only two people in the world, and he looked as stunned as I felt.  

With a suddenness that felt rather like a bad case of vertigo, the world snapped back, with all the noise and color it usually held.  Sister ran around making introductions, in between hugging the life out of him.  When it was my turn, I held my hand out, something none of the other girls had done, but I like to shake hands, and to be honest I had to touch him.  When our hands touched, I never wanted to let go.  All thoughts of sleep were banished from my thoughts.  I followed thru one silly thing to the next only to be in the same room, college, city, state, world as him.  And he kept moving around trying to place himself next me, or if that wasn't possible stood or sat so that he could see me.  I don't think I listened to anything anyone said except for future T.H.  I was lost in his hazel eyes, the smooth flow of his voice, the way his muscles moved under his clothes.  Was it lust?  Ehh, a bit, I won't lie to you.  But, this was so much more than that.  It was moth me drawn to the candle of him.  Dinner time came and Sister and future T.H. left.

I spent every available minute possible with him that week.  Four days later he proposed to me.  He left for a few weeks, but called every evening when he knew I would be back from classes and work.  From St. Paddy's day until college let out in the middle of May, he would come and go, spending weeks with me.  He hated going, but had made plans prior to leaving Alaska to visit friends and family, and if T.H. makes a promise almost nothing will shake him from making it good.  We parted for a few weeks before he flew me up to Alaska for a visit, and I never left.  July came and unable to wait any longer, we married on the 28th.  At a friends house, with only his family in attendance.  This summer we plan on having a blow out anniversary party, and are toying with renewing our vows.  I feel the first time took really well, who wants to jinx it?  But we shall see.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Heart and Soul

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful, the sun reflecting off the snow was almost painful it was so bright.  T.H. suggested that we go for a drive and enjoy the sun.  As I jumped up into the truck, and shut the door, he asked me what had been bothering me lately.  Said he noticed how unhappy I had been of late and wanted to know what was going on.  I told him he didn't want to know what I was upset about, he told me to try him.  Gender issues, I told him.

As we drove finally, in fits and starts all the stuff I had been holding in came tumbling out.  Things were going along well and I felt like we were finally connecting again, when the question I had been dreading popped up.  Do you want a sex change?  I explained that yes, part of me really wants a sex change, and no I didn't want a sex change.  He wanted to know why yes, and why no.  I explained to the best of my abilities that while I do feel like a girl only rarely, I'm not sure that getting totally rid of my girl body would be something that I would want.  And to be brutally honest, you can't build working boy parts out of girl parts.  What I have, while it doesn't completely fit me, at least works as it was designed, which is important if you ask me.

T.H. told me that if I wanted a sex change, it was a deal breaker.  And ya know what?  I'm totally cool with that, and understand him completely.  He didn't marry a boy, he married a girl, expecting the status quo to be maintained.  After listening to my reasons for not to have a sex change, he agreed with all of my reasonings and then said, "So, you will be unhappy in your own skin the rest of your life?" What a perfectly wonderful thing to say!  He finally is starting to get it, and is understanding of my dilemma.  I go thru periods of wanting a boy body, and not liking my girl body, and I DO go thru periods of liking my girl body......yes, yes I know, what a mess.

We are talking again, and life is good.  He keeps asking me if I want him to treat me differently, and I keep telling him to just love me like he always has.  Because I am not a new person, only a person with new knowledge of who and what I am.  Same same me, no change there, only a new understanding of me.  So, we are both going to have to feel our way thru this whole new understanding of me, and I think we will encounter road bumps as we go along.  And yes, I did tell him that I refuse to go back to a more fem hair style, this is here to stay.  My clothing is going to change also, and he was cool with that too.  He said if I do go to far for him to be comfortable with it, he mention it.  Honestly though, I think he will just pull back away again, if we hit a large bump and it will take work to get things worked out.

But, for the first time in a really long time, I have hope for our future.  I believe that we have a tomorrow together, and not apart.  The specter of life without my heart, my lover was something I didn't even want to contemplate, and thankfully now I don't have to.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life in Plastic

I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world
Life in plastic, it's fantastic!

After struggling around within myself now for weeks, feeling like a fish on a sharp barbed hook, I finally just stopped running away from me.  Me, what I am, what in a perfect world I would be, male. 

I have a female side, but how much of that is actually me, and how much is social construction, or protective camaflague?  There is no way of being able to know positively, without any doubts. How does one even go about dissecting an inner life between what I naturally am, and how I have been molded by society.

Am I a man tangled within the confines of a womans body?  Yes, I believe so. Would I trade my present form for that of a male? Yes....if there were no complications, no repercussions with the life I now live. If it were possible to build an actual working boy body out of girl parts....but as we all know that's impossible. 

I'm both male and female. In Taoist belief I am the perfect empty circle. The balance of yin  (feminine) and yang (male) has reached a quiescent with me. Not wrong, not right, but just who I am.  At once both, but not fully either.

So what does this mean for my present life? Do I have changes planned?  A few, only a very few. As money allows, I'll be changing my clothing to items that feel more like me, that make me happy, like my hair does. Clothing that doesn't feel like a costume, or even worse make me want to hide. A more gender netural wardrobe, glasses and hopefully I will begin to feel more whole. Less fractured into my many parts.

While chatting with Aek one night he made me realize that I am a doormat to my family. It hurt, as the truth often does, and many tears were spilled.  I took that knowledge and used it to examine my life. Was it only the childhood abuse that caused me to act in a very submissive way?  Or was it just another symptom of my need to be camaflagued?  Who knows, and it's really not that important. I do know that I took this new info and tackled T.H. about money issues. I took him to the mat, and came out victorious!  And the very best part of the whole experience?  At no time did my voice go shakey, did I come close to tears! I was calm, cool and never raised my voice.  

Does this mean I'm going to force T.H. (the husband) to deal with my true gender?  No, it does not. This is something that he is going to gradually absorb for him to be ok with it. He is currently enjoying a grace period of no remarks about my gender. How long will his grace period last? Your guess is as good as mine. But after that period of calm has passed, he will be receiving comments, observations and any other tidbit I feel the need to pass on. Is allowing T.H. that grace period more of my doormattiness?  No, I don't really believe so. I think if I was to push to strongly, hard and bitter feelings would pile up. Feelings I'm not sure I could over look easily.  I'm to new, to raw to withstand harsh words without them leaving a permanent scar, both on my heart and our marriage. 

Will I ever come out to the boys?  The desire is there to be sure. But will I?  To be honest, I have no idea. So, I will continue my plastic life, it's fantastic, not. 



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lookin out my Backdoor

If it is March, it is time for the Ice Festival in Fairbanks.  So, we loaded up the truck with our winter gear and headed off to Fairbanks to check out what has been carved so far.  Only the single blocks have been finished and judged.  The multi block sculptures are still being worked on.  The single blocks weigh 5 tons and are 3x5x8.  The multi blocks are built out of 12 blocks that are 3x3x4 and weight up to 20 tons!  Here are a few of my favorites.  Pictures courtesy of T.H. (the husband).
This is called Cell-R-Ice

Swimming Free

Junk Shark

Chasing the Wind

This is a sneak peek at one of the multi block sculptures in progress.  We had such a good time, even though the weather was cold, it was about 8F or-13C.  I did get really cold, even thru all of my gear.  When the large ones are finished, I want to go back and see more!