Author Topic: The Stephanie Chronicles  (Read 31961 times)

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Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1320 on: March 18, 2018, 11:46:55 pm »
Just a few comments before I collapse into my own bed:

One, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the classy comments all you ladies make in my thread. Snotcicles. Sheesh. (Actually, one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comics has Calvin commenting “Don’t you hate it when your boogers freeze?”)

Two, we made it back home last night after a cold, but completely successful trip to NYC. I’ll update my travelogue after...

Three, a certain lorry containing a certain driver is expected on my property tomorrow. I am well-armed, and intend to use those arms to hug the stuffing out of said intruder.

Four, Sue, Cassie, new friend Luna, and I tried one of those locked-room mystery thingies today. We were spectacularly unsuccessful, but it was fun!



That sign that Cassie’s holding... not. My sign was accurate, as were our “loser” signs.

More later. Thanks everyone for your fun comments!

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Cassi

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1321 on: March 19, 2018, 12:30:32 am »
Just a few comments before I collapse into my own bed:

One, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the classy comments all you ladies make in my thread. Snotcicles. Sheesh. (Actually, one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comics has Calvin commenting “Don’t you hate it when your boogers freeze?”)

Two, we made it back home last night after a cold, but completely successful trip to NYC. I’ll update my travelogue after...

Three, a certain lorry containing a certain driver is expected on my property tomorrow. I am well-armed, and intend to use those arms to hug the stuffing out of said intruder.

Four, Sue, Cassie, new friend Luna, and I tried one of those locked-room mystery thingies today. We were spectacularly unsuccessful, but it was fun!



That sign that Cassie’s holding... not. My sign was accurate, as were our “loser” signs.

More later. Thanks everyone for your fun comments!

Stephanie

Really?  That "L" sign is for loser(s), I thought it was for Lesbian(s).  Well, I never :)

Online SassyCassie

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1322 on: March 19, 2018, 05:37:38 am »
Just a few comments before I collapse into my own bed:

Three, a certain lorry containing a certain driver is expected on my property tomorrow. I am well-armed, and intend to use those arms to hug the stuffing out of said intruder.

Sorry I won't be able to join you for that, so please deliver one extra-special hug for me, okay? I have to save my days off for the upcoming road trips. On top of that, being that it's Spring Break, it seems like everybody with kids is going to be some form of "out" this week.

Four, Sue, Cassie, new friend Luna, and I tried one of those locked-room mystery thingies today. We were spectacularly unsuccessful, but it was fun!


That sign that Cassie’s holding... not. My sign was accurate, as were our “loser” signs.

Umm, if you look a bit more closely at the sign you're holding, you'll notice that, in small print at the bottom, your sign says, "Yes we did...".

Speaking of which, if you'll recall, I had the door to that second room open in the first 15 minutes we were in there! Apparently, the whole thing is procedurally-oriented rather than focused on results! It was almost like being back in school and faced with a relatively easy math problem but having to plod through it under the directive of "Show your work".

I mean, seriously, if they really wanted that door to stay shut, they should have used a latch that can resist a pair of postcards shoved into the gap.

Still, it was a fun time and I don't think we did half-bad, considering the fact that none of us had ever done one of those before. You know, they have a scenario called "Cat Burglar". Maybe that's a bit more my speed. ;)
Accepted the truth about myself: June 2016
Started HRT: November 2016
Went full-time: July 3, 2017 (My Independence Day)
Name change: TBD
GCS: TBD

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1323 on: March 19, 2018, 07:55:19 am »
Wow Steph what an exciting day seeing all those people. It is a surreal feeling discussing all this in such matter of fact terms...but so affirming. I am sure with your great outlook they will see you as the NO1 candidate.....I never thought 2018 would get her either and now I am 8 months away....your time will fly and suddenly you will feel as though its rushing along.

Thanks Liz,

You're right, it all seems to be moving so slowly right now, with so much left to do. But I have to keep reminding myself that it was just over a year ago when I started minoxidil and bought herbals to try to self-medicate. I must have unconsciously made my decision even back that far, and it seems like an eyeblink now.

I just reread and actually thought about the recommendation letter that Dr. Berk wrote for me. I hardly recognize the stable, articulate woman she writes about, considering the ups and downs that I've had, and the difficulty putting things into words I sometimes encounter when things are bleak. And the constant correct gendering and underlying unquestioned assumption of femaleness are so affirming and empowering. The two simple words "excellent candidate" when referring to GCS almost had me in tears.

My constant worry now is whether our hateful government will arrange things in the next nine months so I won't have insurance coverage for the procedure in 2019. I made sure that all three people I talked to understood that it was a serious concern and was driving my desire to get it done this year. Of course, all they could do was shrug, but at least they know about my urgency in that regard. There are two things possibly in my favor: I was told that they're bringing on some additional surgeons in early summer, which may help alleviate some of the backlog. Also, I let them know that, being self-employed, my schedule is very flexible, and I can be available very quickly in the case of a cancellation.

In the meantime, I'll be seeing my electrocutioner tomorrow and will be discussing getting started on hair removal "down below." Despite what I've read, there's very little difference in that requirement compared to the other GCS methods. Oh joy.

Stephanie
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 04:27:54 pm by Steph2.0 »


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1324 on: March 19, 2018, 07:59:48 am »
Really?  That "L" sign is for loser(s), I thought it was for Lesbian(s).

Well, if the shoe fits...

Quote
Well, I never :)

Never? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1325 on: March 19, 2018, 08:13:51 am »
Umm, if you look a bit more closely at the sign you're holding, you'll notice that, in small print at the bottom, your sign says, "Yes we did...".

I wondered about that.

"It's simply contradiction."

"No it isn't..."

Quote
I mean, seriously, if they really wanted that door to stay shut, they should have used a latch that can resist a pair of postcards shoved into the gap.

Yes, a simple latch, an outswing door, and stiff postcards... What did they expect?

Quote
Still, it was a fun time and I don't think we did half-bad, considering the fact that none of us had ever done one of those before. You know, they have a scenario called "Cat Burglar". Maybe that's a bit more my speed. ;)

Perfect! Paging the Perfectly Sane Cat Lady!

Stephanie (the Crazy Dog Lady)


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Online Kendra

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1326 on: March 19, 2018, 09:26:47 am »
So I re-read your NYC trip and it's interesting how gender rarely came up on a trip that was all about gender surgery.  In an unfamiliar place, and yet you are becoming increasingly comfortable with the new normal as yourself.  Damn right.  Ya got a problem with dat?  Didn't think so.  You own it.  ;)
Assigned male at birth 1963.  Decided I wanted to be a girl in 1971.  Laser 2014-16, electrolysis 2015-17, HRT 7/2017, GCS 1/2018, VFS 3/2018, FFS 5/2018, BA 7/2018. 

Offline Cassi

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1327 on: March 19, 2018, 02:02:21 pm »
Well, if the shoe fits...

Never? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

Stephanie

LOL.  Well, one of these days I'll have an "L" relationship.  Wife #2 was rather demanding and instructional on what made her happy and it seemed to work on #3, lol.  So, we'll see :)

BTW, does your frig make Martinis?  If so,I'll have one dry, shaken, not stirred :)

Offline Sarah_P

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1328 on: March 19, 2018, 04:08:34 pm »
I'd like to do one of those escape rooms some day, they seem like fun. I've seen tons of variations, including zombie escape & Legend of Zelda.
--Sarah P

There's a world out there, just waiting
If you only let go what's inside
Live every moment, give it your all, enjoy the ride
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Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1329 on: March 30, 2018, 04:43:56 pm »
Hi Friends,

I can't believe it's been 11 days since my last post here on my own thread. So much has happened in the meantime.

I'll start out with links to an incident that I posted in a different thread, that really knocked me flat for quite a long time.

https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,235672.msg2112270.html#msg2112270
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,235672.msg2112687.html#msg2112687

I'm mostly recovered, but it seriously hurt for a long time. Read on for the continuing adventures that pulled me out of that hole...

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1330 on: March 30, 2018, 04:54:27 pm »
Somewhere in the last eleven days (I can't remember too clearly since I had oxygen starvation in the rarified air above the fridge) I had a visit from the driver of a certain lorry:

https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,234629.msg2110763.html#msg2110763
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,234629.msg2111100.html#msg2111100
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,234629.msg2111214.html#msg2111214

Despite the dire warnings, I discovered that Ms. Laurie is (as they say about Earth in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) mostly harmless.

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1331 on: March 30, 2018, 08:28:11 pm »
The Daughter of All Road Trips, Part 1

Not one to let a certain lorry driver outclass me, I decided to make some of my own road trip memories. I'd purchased a camping trailer from my sister in Michigan, and had to fetch it home before the big Sun-N-Fun fly-in here in Florida coming up in a week. My BFF Cassie volunteered to co-drive, so we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly headed to Michigan.

Cassie has an innate talent for naming things, and considering that my truck is a Ford F-250 diesel, it had to be something big. After discarding other candidates she came up with Colossus. I realized the source of the name and completed it with the obvious, and it became The Colossus of Roads. Off we went, at 10pm Friday, March 23rd. straight up I-75 from Florida to Michigan.

We'd decided that, since the truck was easy to drive with nothing behind it, we'd cruise straight through, swapping pilots as necessary. I'd contacted friends who live along the I-75 corridor, and found that we'd be in the vicinity of one of them right at breakfast time. Remember my friends who took me to Disney back when I was first getting started? That was them. We met up with T, L, and their son W at a restaurant just south of Knoxville, Tennessee. They, of course, were familiar with my modernized persona, so it was a joyful reunion.



Even the bear outside gave me a fist bump.



Back on the road, and to my sister's house northwest of Detroit. We arrived about 10pm on the 24th. My sister has been awesomely supportive, along with her husband, but they hadn't actually met me face-to-face yet, and they warmly welcomed their new sister into their home.

Stand by for Part Deux!
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 06:55:40 pm by Steph2.0 »


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1332 on: March 30, 2018, 08:37:36 pm »
The Daughter of All Road Trips, Part Duex

The next day was a bit lazy. I cooked my famous breakfast burritos for everyone, minus the tortillas, since they had none. Then we went to the storage yard and towed the trailer to their house, and just like New York, it was ridiculously cold.

Then we did one of the coolest things ever: We went clothes shopping with my sister. The original goal was to get a warmer jacket for Cassie at Kohl's, but I'd had my eye on a dress there for a while. Thinking it wouldn't be a good fit, I had never tried it on, but Cassie and my sister talked me into it. While I freely acknowledge that it shouldn't have been, it was still a very scary thing to open that dressing room door and let my sister see me in that dress. But there was no drama. She and Cassie looked it over, my sister showed how it would have be be modified to fit the shoulders better, and in the end we all decided it just wasn't a good style for me. But how cool was it to just go on a girls shopping trip with my own sister?

After we got back to their house we headed out to dinner at an awesome restaurant that used to be a train station. The passing trains shook the whole building. Excellent food and company.



When we got back from dinner my niece stopped by, and again there was no drama. As we sat around the kitchen table I offered to do an "Ask Me Anything" session. I wanted to make sure everyone had any and all questions answered. And every one of them said they had no questions. I was who I was, and part of the family as always, and they all accepted and loved me as such, as long as I was happy.

And I am.

Coming up, Part C!


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1333 on: March 30, 2018, 08:44:17 pm »
The Daughter of All Road Trips, Part C1

The next morning Cassie and I left early and relaxed in a local StarSchmucks while we talked over the problems I was still having from that misgendering incident last week. No real resolution other than giving it time and letting newer positive experiences dilute it. We realized suddenly that we were late for my next appointment, and we steered the Colossus on a westbound heading.

I had arranged to meet up with some previous coworkers from my last real job, when I was IT director for a food company. I had been in touch with my closest friend there, and she knew my whole situation. I'd given her the ok to tell whomever she wanted to, and invite anyone who wanted to come to meet us for lunch. We met up in a local bar, and it was so amazing how cool everyone was. You may or may not remember a previous post I'd made about my going-away luncheon when I'd left the company; how it was all women from the sales, accounting, and marketing departments, and how comfortable I'd felt in that situation. Well, here we were again. Five of the women who'd seen me off 16 years ago welcomed me back, this time as I'd wished I'd been back then. There were of course a few misgendering accidents, quickly apologized for, and with no repercussions.



When the rest of them had to go back to work, "E", the woman who used to work for me (who had the day off) hung out with Cassie and me until late in the afternoon. When I'd left the company we hadn't been on the best of terms, mostly because of my inexperience with management, even after seven years, and my propensity for unrealistic expectations. I apologized for that, and we let that water flow under the bridge. Then with much sharing I learned about a pretty cool lady who I'd never gotten to know in all the time we'd worked together. I've since become Facebook friends with her. All of us shared some deeply meaningful things with each other, and made what I believe will be lasting connections.



But wait, there's more! Sit by for Part C2!


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1334 on: March 30, 2018, 09:08:02 pm »
The Daughter of All Road Trips, Part C2

The day wasn't over yet. I had been in touch with the few people who I'd hung out with in school and for a while afterwards, and we ended up setting up a get-together at one of their houses. Our host, J, has a very liberal and laid-back outlook on life, and Cassie and I were immediately welcomed, correctly named, and never misgendered by him.

Next to arrive was NM, who I'd considered to be the first and only friend who'd openly shown respect for me. He and I had bought identical ultralights back in 1984, and while I went on to where you know me to be now, he let it drop after a while and went on to other things.

Next knock on the door, TM. He'd usually been the driver in his Montego when the group went somewhere in the old days. I'd hired him as a minion about a year before I left my last job, and he now has the position I used to hold as Director of IT. I was a little anxious about him, not for my sake, but because he has extreme right-wing political views, diametrically opposite from J. As it turned out, the power of our old memories and the fun we had later outweighed political considerations, and they weren't even hinted at.

Lastly, R arrived. She was one of the few female members of the group, and I'd always felt close to her, despite the shell I wore. I'd had to make sure she was invited.

J prepared a great meal for us, and wine and beer flowed freely. At one point I sat at the end of the table and watched the interactions among these people who I'd known so well 45 years ago, and who I was now seeing through older - and female - eyes. And they were seeing me through both the lenses of memories, and as the person I'd become - and they accepted and welcomed me back to the group. When there was a lull in the conversation I told them, almost in a whisper, and with misty eyes, "It's so good to see you all again." They all agreed.



My wife had also been a part of the group, so we had a FaceTime conversation with her so she could see how everyone was doing.

J is quite an accomplished musician, though he continually denied it while wowing us all. TM was in the choir in school, and I'd always wanted to sing harmony with him, but was always too shy to let my voice out. But not that night. I finally fulfilled a long-deferred dream and let it ring. And it was awesome. TM was stunned by the music we were making, and it felt so good to finally join in. He complimented me profusely, and I was so happy - not least because I could sing the female harmonies convincingly. All that practice in the car by myself paid off. Cassie says she videoed a lot of it. I can't wait to see how it really sounded.

TM and I getting ready to make musical magic:



One by one everyone had to go, and there were hugs and best wishes all around. It's a shame I now live so far away. I'd love to be able to sing with them again.

As we left around midnight and navigated the Colossus on the half-hour voyage back to my sister's house, Cassie let me know (possibly due to all the beer in the afternoon, followed by wine in the evening) that she really wanted to get something from Taco Hell. Note to self: Do Not attempt to eat a crunchy taco while piloting a Colossus. I swear there was an explosive charge in that taco, because it ended up all over the conning tower. I think the Russians were working in that Taco Hell and were attempting to sink us.

So endeth Part C2. Upcoming: Part IV


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1335 on: March 30, 2018, 09:58:03 pm »
The Daughter of All Road Trips, Part IV

And then it was Tuesday, March 27th, and time to go home. Today Cassie wowed us at breakfast with another of her Culinary Curiosities. After a breakfast that couldn't be beat, we piloted the Colossus to the nearest fueling barge, then returned to hook up the trailer, which at this point hadn't yet been named. Cassie needs some time to learn someone's personality before applying a moniker, and we hadn't gotten to know the evil b*tch well enough yet. But I get ahead of myself.

After goodbyes and heartfelt thanks to my family, we ruddered the Colossus on a southbound heading toward the Ohio border. The as-yet unnamed trailer dutifully followed behind us, and we made good time, despite heading into continuous drizzle. I'd been contacted by another dear friend who lived quite a way from our course line, but wanted to meet up anyway. We made arrangements to meet at a Cracker Barrel in Lima, Ohio (it's Lye-ma, not Lee-ma, dangit! And while I'm at it, Milan, Michigan is MY-lan, not Mill-ON, and Saline, Michigan is Sah-LEEN, not SALE-een. Uh, where was I? Oh yeah...). D is the very first person I'd come out to, at the Oshkosh Fly-in last year. He's one of the people I trust most in this world, falling right in there with my wife and Cassie and a few of you here on Susan's. It was so good to see him again, even though it'd been not that long ago when he'd traveled all the way to Florida to attend my New Years/New Life party. Except for @Kendra, he'd come the furthest just to see me.



After eating meatloaf comfort food at Cracker Barrel, we had to get back on the road. Hugs all around, and it was atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed, and we again launched southward on I-75. On and on the Colossus droned, until it was time to quit for the night. Strange as it sounds, most Wally Worlds welcome overnight campers in their parking lot. Since there was a little house following us, we decided we might as well take advantage of it and get a decent night's sleep. We rolled into the Walmart's in Jacksboro, Tennessee, and set up camp for the night.

Next at bat: Part 25^-2
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 07:03:57 pm by Steph2.0 »


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Sarah_P

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1336 on: March 30, 2018, 10:50:48 pm »
So many road trips!! I wanna travel again!!

It looks like you all had / are having an amazing time!
--Sarah P

There's a world out there, just waiting
If you only let go what's inside
Live every moment, give it your all, enjoy the ride
- Stan Bush, The Journey




Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1337 on: March 30, 2018, 11:13:23 pm »
The Daughter of All Road Trips, Part 25^-2
or The Rage of Christine

Next morning we justified our parking by shopping in thet there Walmart's, then had breakfast at the MAC-donalds. Cassie was so excited over the big city ambie-ants, she just had to get in a pitcher.



Once again into the breech. Off we went. Somewhere down the road a piece, we decided to switch drivers at a rest area. And the true nature of that creature that had been following us began to become known. When Cassie engaged impulse drive, we found that the electric trailer brakes weren't working. This had happened once before, and reseating the trailer plug at the truck had fixed it. This time no dice. Nothing we did (on the side of the road) fixed it. We didn't have decent tools, or even a multimeter (yeah, note to self for next time...) so in-depth troubleshooting was off the table. Since I had more experience with trailering, I took over again, and determined that as light as the trailer was, the truck brakes would be adequate. OK, rolling on...

At Cassie's suggestion we went looking for a Zaxby's for lunch, and found one in Acworth, Georgia. We relaxed and had a decent lunch, and prepared to relaunch. And now that beast started getting vengeful. We walked around the building, and there before our horrified eyes, was the left front tire of the trailer, flat as a flounder. The valve stem was split wide open.

Ok, we've got a spare. Roll the good tire up on some blocks to get the bad one off the ground (tandem axles). Swap out the tires using the lug wrench from the truck, then use my itty bitty Harbor Fright compressor to get the pressure in the spare from 10 to 35 psi, which took a few minutes short of forever. We were right in front of the drive-through, and car after car went by, with no offers to help the ladies change the tire. That's all right. We put on our bandannas, rolled up our sleeves, and said We Can Do It, and did. Didn't even get that upset. Certainly not the raging apoplexy I would have flown into in the bad old days. We got enough pressure to let the trailer down and get to a station where we could get the pressure where it needed to be, and once again we were on the open seas.



Rollin' rollin' rollin'...





We were running pretty late, but were on track for a 4am arrival at home, still early enough that Cassie could get some sleep before having to report to work. About 1am I took over driving, and Cassie checked out. And around 2am, Mephistopheles incarnate behind us cackled horrifically and threw another evil bolt at us. Boom! At 70mph the spare tire we'd used to replace the first flat blew up.

Now we had no spare. The next exit was 3.25 miles down the highway. We limped at 8mph down the shoulder to that exit, found a place to park, and gave up for the night. Cassie texted to say she wouldn't be in to work, and silence descended.

Relax and get some popcorn. The final chapter awaits.


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1338 on: March 30, 2018, 11:28:54 pm »
The Daughter of All Road Trips, The Final Chapter
or We Best the Beast

Next morning: disconnect from the trailer and head to breakfast at one of the few places to eat, an Arby's. It was at this point that Cassie compiled all the facts, correlated information from her names database, and created the moniker for our tormentor. From this moment on, the beast following us would be known as Christine.



A quick lookup for tire repair places, and it was off for the 6.5 mile run to Jasper, Florida to get the valve stem replaced in the original tire. I had been on edge about misgendering, but this morning I was feeling confident for some reason, possibly because of some deeply meaningful conversations we'd had the day before. Cassie asked if I wanted her to handle the transaction, and I told her no, I've got this. And I did.

The first "tire place" we drove to didn't even seem to have an office. Just a fenced-in area with barbed wire on top, piles of tires, and four guys out front who may have had 12 teeth between them. I didn't even slow down. The next place at least had an office, and I grabbed my purse, put on my voice, and marched up to it. Five minutes and eight dollars later we were on our way. It took more time to process the credit card than it did to put a new valve stem in. And there was no strangeness at all from the helpers there. That couldn't help to give the confidence level another boost.

Back to the trailer, hooked it up and rolled it to the paved lot next door, and while Cassie went for a biology break and drink refills, I got the tire mostly changed. We finally got on the road some time around noon. Two hours of driving plus breaks to go.

The Colossus of Roads and Christine.



We finally rolled into the driveway about 3pm. Squeeeeealll... pshhhhhhhhhh. And final shutdown.

I'd started this trip with a down attitude, trying to push through the sadness from misgendering, and having no idea how meeting all those people from my past would go. And it ended with renewed friendships, a glow of respect from everyone I'd met, and renewed confidence in my presentation. I'd become much closer to some special people, and learned new things about myself that had only been glimmers before the trip. It's the kind of thing that would be equivalent to immersion training for languages. I guess sometimes you just have to jump in the deep end, even if you don't know if you can swim. I'm sure I'll flounder again some time, but the memories from this adventure will be with me for the rest of my life.

And for my progress I can thank all the good people I know: my wife, my family, my old friends, my previous coworkers, and especially Cassie, who is there for me as I am for her as we work through our own personal Hells on the way to completeness. And finally, everyone here on Susan's who are so encouraging and supportive.

There sure are a lot of people for me to love...

Stephanie
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 12:48:54 am by Steph2.0 »


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1339 on: March 31, 2018, 12:25:26 am »
For what it's worth, this is what I just posted on my Facebook page for TDOV:



I don't consider myself an activist. Lately I've been posting only everyday life stories and adventures here, with no special emphasis on my transition. But today has been designated "Transgender Day of Visibility." I have changed my profile picture to reflect that. Today, despite the fears most of us harbor, we are making ourselves visible to the world instead of hiding, staying beneath the radar.

The intention, as I understand it, is not to "get in people's faces," hold rallies and marches, and make a lot of noise. It is specifically to show the world that people who are going through the same thing I am are just that: people. We deal with the same stuff that everyone else does, with the added complication of the possibility of rejection and hatred - all based on flawed stereotypes perpetuated by sensationalistic press, politicians pandering to whomever will keep them in office regardless of their prejudices, and organizations with their own agendas that are dependent on catering to the base fears and ignorance of those who pay their bills and keep them in power.

Here's all we ask: Understand that we are human beings. We struggle with something nobody who has gone through this understands - or are even capable of understanding. Let us be. We aren't freaks. We aren't out to hurt anyone. We are out to not be hurt ourselves. We are in much more danger from the rest of the world than it is in danger from us.
Don't know what I'm talking about? Talk to me! I will answer nearly any respectful question, as would just about anyone else in my situation. I have gotten to know many many people who are going through transition, or are non-binary, or are anywhere within the LGBT+ spectrum. I knew very little about any of this before I finally addressed the health issue that had been torturing me my entire life, and without exception every one of them are thoughtful, kind people, who just want to get on with life.

We are your friends, neighbors, business associates. All we really ask is the same respect and peaceful coexistence that every other sane human being on this planet wants. If you've read this far, thank you.


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018

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