Author Topic: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl  (Read 10098 times)

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Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #240 on: July 31, 2018, 03:35:30 pm »
That reminds me of the One Ring in Lord of the Rings.  When it is time for it to be owned by someone else, it just moves on, seemingly by accident.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Online Steph2.0

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #241 on: July 31, 2018, 04:55:58 pm »
This one was only semi-precious...


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 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018 * FFS Consultation with FacialTeam 8/30/2018

Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #242 on: August 02, 2018, 07:00:56 am »
That reminds me of the One Ring in Lord of the Rings.  When it is time for it to be owned by someone else, it just moves on, seemingly by accident.

That's a good way of putting it. Since it came from a little silver-peddler kiosk and was fairly inexpensive as sterling silver jewelry was back then, you could refer to it as the One Ring to Rule The Mall.  ;D

Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #243 on: August 02, 2018, 07:02:11 am »
This one was only semi-precious...

Yes. The jewelry I have now holds a much deeper meaning to me than what came before.

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #244 on: August 02, 2018, 07:25:44 am »
you could refer to it as the One Ring to Rule The Mall.  ;D

OMG, that should have had a Trigger Warning or Groaner Alert!   ;D :D
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

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Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #245 on: August 02, 2018, 08:57:32 am »
That's a good way of putting it. Since it came from a little silver-peddler kiosk and was fairly inexpensive as sterling silver jewelry was back then, you could refer to it as the One Ring to Rule The Mall. 

One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them; One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Uh-huh. Sounds like shoes shopping to me!


Stephanie
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 08:09:51 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 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018 * FFS Consultation with FacialTeam 8/30/2018

Offline LizK

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #246 on: August 12, 2018, 04:23:45 am »
One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them; One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Uh-huh. Sounds like shoes shopping to me!


Stephanie

@Steph2.0
Or a really bad night in Kings Cross Sydney https://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/kings-cross

Hi Cassie thought since I now have had the pleasure of meeting you I would drop in and say hello which will help me keep up with your soon to be, busy life  Hope you had a fabulous night I would say you are probably sound asleep by now..at least I would hope so as it got to be 5am there now LOL Sleep tight


Take care

Liz
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, GCS Scheduled November 28 2018, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

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Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #247 on: August 13, 2018, 10:23:40 pm »
@Steph2.0
Or a really bad night in Kings Cross Sydney https://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/kings-cross

Hi Cassie thought since I now have had the pleasure of meeting you I would drop in and say hello which will help me keep up with your soon to be, busy life  Hope you had a fabulous night I would say you are probably sound asleep by now..at least I would hope so as it got to be 5am there now LOL Sleep tight


Take care

Liz

Hi Liz,

It was so nice to have had the chance to meet you, face-to-face (as close as we can get via video chat)! I can only hope that my soon to be busy(-ier) life will be for all good things.

Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #248 on: September 11, 2018, 06:51:04 am »
Accepted but rejected

When making the choice to transition and face all of the fears head-on, one of the fears is losing friends. As with so many other aspects of the transition process, I had not so much expected to lose friends but had braced myself for that possibility. With all of the horror stories from other trans folks who had been immediately rejected by their friends and families, it was only natural to be prepared for the worst. Nevertheless, I still had to do this.

Fairly early on, as I came out to more and more of my friends and co-workers, I didn't experience any of the typical rejection one hears about in the community. At least, not initially.

I have to wonder what's worse - being immediately rejected and pushed away by one's friends or having them just sort of fade into the background.

As time goes by, I've realized that that is just what is happening. Granted, I'm overjoyed that I have so many more close friends these days than I ever had in all of the years behind me. They're the first of my friends I came out to after dropping the transition bomb on my wife.

At first, things were fine, once the initial awkwardness of visiting them as Cassandra was past. We still had some good times and I even attended their wedding. During the inevitable moments of being misgendered and the subsequent, gentle corrections, there manifested a subtle yet perceptible discomfort on the part of my former roommate. His wife had already been through the process with another friend and she had the name and pronouns right on every time.

As the months went by, I heard from them less and less, yet I still see them going out and doing the things that we all used to do, albeit with other folks and I wasn't invited. Maybe I'm being petty or overreacting to something minor but I have to admit that it hurts. Recently, I pointed out someone in a picture they posted on FB and half-jokingly said, "Look, there's "B". He's my replacement." It's sadly funny but he looks an awful lot like I used to.

I've tried reaching out a few times with really no more than a perfunctory response and honestly, I'm tempted to just un-friend them on there - not really as the cry for attention that most folks would automatically assume. It would be more an effort to spare myself the pain of seeing these things. Maybe I just can't let go? Maybe I need to just accept that it is what it is and move on.

Maybe this is one of the facts of life in the new normal.

The one thing about it that moves me to tears is that I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.

Offline Faith

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #249 on: September 11, 2018, 06:57:32 am »
Cassie, I cannot quite relate. My 'friends' from past would try to reach out to me, ask Lori about things, try to invite 'us' to events. I am the one that pushed away. There's truth in the saying that you have to like yourself first. So, for me, while most family and 'friends' are distant .. they always were. Now it is up to me to make the extra effort to reach out.

What I'm ineloquently (is that a word?) trying to say. Perhaps their uncertainly caused a drift that even they weren't aware of requiring you to try just that little bit harder to include them?

Ok, that wasn't too eloquent either .... *sigh*



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Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #250 on: September 11, 2018, 09:30:51 am »
Cassie, I cannot quite relate. My 'friends' from past would try to reach out to me, ask Lori about things, try to invite 'us' to events. I am the one that pushed away. There's truth in the saying that you have to like yourself first. So, for me, while most family and 'friends' are distant .. they always were. Now it is up to me to make the extra effort to reach out.

What I'm ineloquently (is that a word?) trying to say. Perhaps their uncertainly caused a drift that even they weren't aware of requiring you to try just that little bit harder to include them?

Ok, that wasn't too eloquent either .... *sigh*

Hi Faith,

I think I get what you're saying and I did have a tendency to keep most people at arms' length, back in the "before times". These friends were some of the very few close friends I had.

Since transitioning, I've become a lot more open to people and most of the friends to whom I had previously been somewhat closed off, have become very close and very important to me. That's what makes the whole situation doubly painful and confusing. To your point, it may very well be a discomfort that has gone unaddressed and morphed into a gradually increasing distance.

Maybe it's also subconsciously triggering some fear of rejection and a secondary fear that it might not be an isolated thing.

In days past, I didn't really push people away so much as to keep my distance from them and withdraw if they got too close. Usually when people had had more contact with me, they'd realize that there's something not quite right and they would keep their distance.

Now, I want to be around people. I'm out here for all the world to see and I'm not afraid of being social anymore.

Offline Faith

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #251 on: September 11, 2018, 09:37:25 am »
yes indeedy .. I can relate to that

Quote
Now, I want to be around people.
... same :)



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Offline Anne Blake

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #252 on: September 11, 2018, 09:44:57 am »
Hi Cassandra,

I think that I have had a bit of what you may be describing, but from a different direction. I have never been one for facebook so it has been face to face sort of stuff. Early on in transitioning we got close to some friends and hit it off well, besties so to speak. As I continued transitioning and have grown into myself, I have become more open and talkative about the magical things in our lives. Some earlier friends admit that they can't relate or understand the world of a mature trans woman. They don't know how to interact with me and our common interests have diminished. We have recognized this and are trying to work through it but I never saw it coming. I hope that this works for if it does not I will miss them dearly and I will cry at the loss.

Tia Anne

Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #253 on: September 11, 2018, 09:38:31 pm »
Hi Cassandra,

I think that I have had a bit of what you may be describing, but from a different direction. I have never been one for facebook so it has been face to face sort of stuff. Early on in transitioning we got close to some friends and hit it off well, besties so to speak. As I continued transitioning and have grown into myself, I have become more open and talkative about the magical things in our lives. Some earlier friends admit that they can't relate or understand the world of a mature trans woman. They don't know how to interact with me and our common interests have diminished. We have recognized this and are trying to work through it but I never saw it coming. I hope that this works for if it does not I will miss them dearly and I will cry at the loss.

Tia Anne

What you said makes me wonder if this is what it feels like to get a different kind of affirmation. Guy friends who actually perceive me as a woman in mind body and spirit and as such, feel like there's no longer a connection. I remember at first when I came out to my friends, one by one, that I told them, "I'll still be me". In a relatively short span, that changed slightly into "I'll still be me - just a kinder, gentler version of me."

After a while I stopped using it entirely because I felt like I was wrong. I am a different person from before. Maybe some day, they can be as good friends with Cassandra as they were with George.

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #254 on: September 11, 2018, 10:22:13 pm »
Larry, the Guy who Runs Cables

Yesterday at work, I had had a meeting scheduled for me with a contractor whom I had worked with extensively in the past. I hadn't had any contact with him for at least 5 years. It's been a while since I had to do something like this but, seeing as how this is the new normal, it was like any other business meeting.

I got along with him before, so there shouldn't be any problem now, right? ...Right? Hello?

Since our manager had set up the meeting, I had no idea when the guy was going to show up. All I had to go on was that he'd be here "this morning, but call him to find out when.". Great. Not what I was expecting but okay. Without even pausing to think about it, I put on my headset, dialed his number (from our help line, in case he still had my old name tied to my phone number in his contacts list), and put on my best voice I could manage. He answered, I introduced myself, and we talked about when and where to meet.

"Is your office still at <MAIN BUILDING>?"

Uh-oh. I guess he does know who he's talking to. No sweat, I can do this. Keep going.

"Yes it is, on the first floor."

"All right. if you want, you can just ride with me and we'll go out to the sites where you need cables dropped - or you can take your own vehicle and just meet me there. It's up to you."

Sensing no perceptible awkwardness, I replied "Sure, I can ride with you. That'll make it easier."

We said goodbye and then I texted my manager to ask just how much about me he told the guy. He said, "Only the basics, to explain the last name."

A little vague, but okay.

For this day, I had dressed a little nicer in my gray and black sleeveless color block dress - mainly in the hope of once again seeing that dawning of realization of exactly who this beautiful woman they were talking to actually is. 'Twas not to be, I suppose. Oh well. Moving on.

As I approached his truck, he got out and started walking toward the building entrance. Then he saw me and after a few steps, realized who was heading his way. I smiled and waved as I would with any prior acquaintance - at least these days.

At one point, I had wondered if when encountering people I knew or folks I was just meeting for the first time, whether or not I was giving them a friendly smile or if I had sometimes unconsciously reverted back to the old tight-lipped almost-grimace. It turns out that no, that look never wants to come out anymore. I do smile at people and quite unconsciously too. How about that?

Back to the story...

After a friendly greeting, I got in the truck with him and we headed to our first stop. When we arrived and I reached down to my purse, he said something, the significance of which didn't quite register immediately.

"It's okay honey, you can leave that in here. I'll lock the doors."

"Okay, let me just grab my keys for the building."

Rewind a moment. He said, "It's okay honey...". Knowing full well who I was before and he still reflexively addressed me as he would have (I assume) any other woman. Wow! Simply WOW!

It's moments like that which cause me to question any feelings or notions that people see that I'm trans and either don't care or are just being nice. It's one of those affirming moments that you file away carefully so as to enjoy it over and over again.

As we went around to the other facilities and chatted about other folks we used to work with on both sides and occasionally touched on something relevant to the job at hand. After a few hours, we decided to go somewhere for lunch (he insisted on buying). It was then that we got to address the elephant in the room. It was one of those educational moments because he knew very little about trans folks or any of what we go through, so I laid it all out for him and got caught up on all that had happened in the intervening years.

After lunch, we were back on the road to visit the last few sites and then we were back in my office, going over some final details about the job.

He even gave me a hug as we parted ways.

The day was a bit of a whirlwind, albeit a rewarding one.

Online Steph2.0

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #255 on: September 11, 2018, 11:22:24 pm »
I remember at first when I came out to my friends, one by one, that I told them, "I'll still be me". In a relatively short span, that changed slightly into "I'll still be me - just a kinder, gentler version of me."

After a while I stopped using it entirely because I felt like I was wrong. I am a different person from before. Maybe some day, they can be as good friends with Cassandra as they were with George.

And if not, the new people you know who respect and love you as you are now, will displace those from the past who would rather know the artificial construct you once were. The quality of these new friendships should more than make up for the loss of the old.

Your previous thoughts about whether we are the same or an evolved person after transition has me awake and pondering. Who exactly am I now? I need to think deeply about this. I believe I’ll have to turn my muse loose on it in my own thread if I come to any conclusions.

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 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018 * FFS Consultation with FacialTeam 8/30/2018

Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #256 on: September 12, 2018, 11:40:41 am »
And if not, the new people you know who respect and love you as you are now, will displace those from the past who would rather know the artificial construct you once were. The quality of these new friendships should more than make up for the loss of the old.

Your previous thoughts about whether we are the same or an evolved person after transition has me awake and pondering. Who exactly am I now? I need to think deeply about this. I believe I’ll have to turn my muse loose on it in my own thread if I come to any conclusions.

Stephanie

The second paragraph there kind of hits upon a similar notion I had had recently. Not only are the people in my life getting acquainted with this relatively new person, but so am I. I'm unsure as to whether it's a matter of learning who I am or learning who I want to be.

Offline SassyCassie

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #257 on: September 14, 2018, 05:39:12 am »
The Middle Finger

After 5 phone calls over as many months, I got a final answer from my insurance company as to whether or not the plan I'm on will cover GCS. The answer I got was not the one I had hoped for but the one I was expecting: The big fat,  gilded power tie-wearing middle finger - the answer many trans folks get.

"That coverage is specifically excluded from nearly all Aetna plans," was the final answer.

The thing is that the first call I made, I was told that it's not covered by the plan I'm on but that Aetna would cover it if I met certain criteria - basically the criteria that any insurance company would require for GCS: 18 months continuous therapy, living full-time for a year, HRT for a year, 1 letter from primary therapist, 1 letter from alternate therapist to confirm diagnosis.

At the time, I still had a few more of those items to check off the list, specifically the time-based ones but I was already past one and was not far from the other two. Once I had waited out the time and collected the rest that I needed, I made another call...and was told that not only was the surgery not covered but that no one had ever heard of Aetna covering GCS outside of any plans.

I was devastated.

...Briefly.

The thought crossed my mind that there might be some call center folks who are uncomfortable with the whole idea and might be inclined to tell me whatever it takes to end the call quickly. I got in touch with our plan manager at Aetna and was told the same answer - no coverage. I spoke to a man at the intermediary company that basically acts as a broker between my employer and Aetna, who put me in touch with someone higher up at Aetna. She also told me that it was specifically excluded from my plan and almost all other plans within the company and had never heard of it being covered outside of any insurance plan. She did however promise to send me the *entire* plan guide with the relevant sections highlighted.

With that in hand, maybe I can find something - a loophole or some little-known policy that may be helpful. I'm grasping at straws at this point but it's all I've got to go on.

The difference between the start of this little adventure into bureaucracy is that while i was devastated by the first "No" answers, this "final" answer did no such thing. I know that there's little chance of getting the insurance company to budge on any of this and going to the open market might be a bit costly. I'm honestly inclined to give the whole U.S. health insurance industry my own middle finger and go outside the country. I had been planning on doing just that for FFS and VFS which, of course, would both be out-of-pocket. GCS would be just another stop along the way.

The idea I'm formulating, if everything works out, just might culminate in a grand tour which would have me departing sunny Florida, circumnavigating the globe, and returning weeks later, a new and complete person.

It's a big dream and may prove unrealistic after consulting with the medical professionals along the way. I've come so far and achieved so much since that fateful Christmas back in 2016.

I can do this too.


Offline Stevi

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #258 on: September 14, 2018, 03:18:33 pm »
Cassie,

Your recounting of your day with the cable guy warmed my heart.

I am visiting the marina where we kept our boat in years past.  I was walking the docks when a friend from the past approached.  We have seen one another in the recent past so he was aware of my more feminine proclivities but not the full extent.  When he greeted me, he said "One of the smarter guys."  Not sure what he was trying to convey but I knew he was fine with it.  We walked on down the dock as if nothing was one bit different to where he showed me his new-to-him boat.  So nice to be treated differently while be treated the same.

Stevi

Offline LizK

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Re: Cassandra's Tale - The Making of a Brave New Girl
« Reply #259 on: September 15, 2018, 07:04:33 pm »
Hi Cassie

Doesn't seem like a pie in the sky dream you should have a look a @Drexy's thread https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,214757.0/topicseen.html

This is the kind of thing she did. I am unsure exactly what surgeries she had done  but I know for sure there was a lot. She is an Aussie girl and we can't get any coverage for it with out  the out of pocket being upwards of 15k depending on circumstances...you might recoup a few of those costs but not much.

it sounds way frustrating dealing with your health system although despite having universal healthcare in Australia you can't get coverage for GCS or any trans related cost except psychological and then you can have as much as you want..LOL

Keep formulating that idea, you might be surprised how much you can have done with minimal cost by going outside of the US.

Take care

Liz

HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, GCS Scheduled November 28 2018, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be – Lao Tzu

72D20H54M BWCA? ;D

 

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