Author Topic: Randi's transition (in)decision  (Read 10684 times)

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Offline CarlyMcx

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2018, 11:57:10 pm »
Hi Randi!

At 56, I’m also of a certain age.  I can tell you from experience, HRT and makeup can do miracles.  Granted my profile photo shows me after an hour in the chair with a professional makeup artist, and is way more involved than my daily go to work makeup, but still — it shows what is possible.

Go to a Sephora or an Ulta, get someone to work on you, and spend a C note or two on some product to get some quality stuff for your face and reward your salesperson for their work.

One of the best things I ever did back when was to sit in the chair and get matched for foundation.

Have fun and see where the road leads.

Hugs, Carly

Online randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2018, 06:56:33 am »
Thanks all for the support.  I actually have been to a Sephora for a foundation match and I was wearing it in the wig photo.  Probably not very well applied, and trying to get the concealer right underneath is difficult without looking too heavily/obviously made up. I have alternated between trying concealer and color corrector for the beard shadow, but it's a tough nut to crack.   A close-up shot from a bad camera angle doesn't help either.  And no blush, no eye makeup, nothing on the brows, etc.   I am thinking of going to Sephora today to get advice on blush and lipstick, etc.  Maybe revisit what can be done about the beard shadow. The obvious answer is beard removal, but that is a long term commitment.  Wearing the wig will be interesting.  I will obviously be a man in a wig, but I will look less mannish than without it.  And a whole, whole lot better from the side and back. So it feels like progress.  It feels like a step forwards towards claiming and owning a public female presentation.  There are plenty of 65-yo women who don't look like models.  I think there's room for one more.

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2018, 04:51:47 pm »
So... Had the day off today and ventured out into the world looking like this... https://imgur.com/vcyMu8M  The riding boots don't show up.  Got lots of smiles and nice treatment and even got called Miss once.  Store training I guess. It was quite interesting in terms of walking around with long hair, even if artificial.  It..just...kept...falling...in...my...face.  Amazing to be discovering things ciswomen discovered in middle school.  I think there is definitely a skill set in terms of posture and movements to minimize it, but you probably have to relax and accept that if it's not in your mouth or blocking your vision you just own it and roll with it.  At least that happened with me.  I can see why older women go with shorter cuts.  I'm sure it loses it charm after 20 years.

Offline laurenlucy

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2018, 02:26:31 am »
Randi you look so great!!! I’m so happy you got to have that experience.


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Offline Chloe_freebird

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2018, 03:00:50 am »
Looking amazing!
Xxx
Chloe

Started hrt 3/7/2018!
Came out to team at work 15/8/18


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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2018, 04:48:09 pm »
So, my transcation is over as Kristin returns from the coast.  Clothes, makeup, etc. get discretely stored here and there in the house to honor our shaky DADT arrangement.  She is slated for a session with my therapist tomorrow.  The therapist wants to alternate sessions between her and me for a while.  Molly is good, but I fear my wife will be a tough nut to crack.  Interesting time to myself.  Got a good wig and wore it out in public a few times, expanded the makeup to include some eye makeup and lipstick.  My skills are weak with that, but as with anything else, practice, practice.  And I did get some more of that.  Climbing a notch up the femme ladder definitely takes me out of my comfort zone.  At times I felt like a big buffalo stomping about, all mannish and clumsy, and really self-conscious and nervous a lot.  And my face.  Oh...my...god... Let's just say I'm read faster than a speeding bullet from a great distance.  But I have always thought that if I keep going down this path I just have to put my big girl pants on and accept being an openly, out trans person that doesn't pass.  That is a tough adjustment, but if it's just me, internally, I could handle that I think.   But as always, the big question is if my wife and I can reach any sort of compromise with me being trans.  I have some really tough decisions if we can't.  I don't know if I would decide to transition, but I'd sure love to experiment more and go further down the road. The final chapters of my life could have some real plot twists.  At least being trans has helped my sex life.  I walk to my car at work now and think "I am so, so f*****d."


Online randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2018, 03:52:33 pm »
Weird times looming.  Trying to get ready for Christmas while thinking in the back of mind this might be my last Christmas with my wife. I am increasingly unhappy trying to live this "normal" straight life.  Feeling increasingly dysphoric when I see my reflection in the mirror, when I get dressed conventionally in my male clothes.  It's not agonizing or anything, but increasingly meh and unsatisfying.  I ponder fantasies like... donating blood en femme. I have a bunch of Christmas shopping still to do.  I want to do it as a woman.  But Kristin shows no signs of thawing and I can't keep living with someone who so clearly disrespects, if not despises, the authentic me.  I don't want to blow up the holidays or drop a family bomb on my daughter while she prepares for her marriage in June, but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up past the wedding. Wondering what things will be like after the wedding is over. Thinking hard of starting HRT and laser in 2019. That might be the gun safe that breaks the camel's back.  I don't even know how to describe myself.  Woman, transwoman, non-gender-conforming natal male?  All of the above? I am increasingly afraid cis male is about all that is going to work in my relationship, and sadly, that just isn't me.

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2018, 04:22:19 pm »
@randim
Dear Randi:
As you have experienced so far, the transition journey can certainly be an exciting one, but it can also be a road full of potholes, disappointments, and discouragement. 
You are the one that obviously has to modulate your transition course and timing so that it works with your relationships and your life endeavors.   
This can all be very difficult anytime but especially so during the holiday season with all the events around family, friends, meals and parties all so close together, etc.

An easy answer for solving your issues certainly escapes me but do know that I can identify with some of the pain that you are feeling.  You are definitely not alone in what you are going through as you described it.   It doesn't take too much looking around the various threads here on the Forums to see that many other transitioners are having or have had similar difficulties as well.  Read over some of those appropriate postings to glean any help that you are able.
Certainly therapy sessions, counseling and even "couples" counseling with a good gender therapist can be helpful.
I will be following your thread to keep up with what is happening with you... I am praying for good news.

I really do not know how else to advise you... but I am thinking of you and trusting and hoping that you can discover amicable solutions for your and your wife, your daughter, and certainly other family members and friends.
Hugs and well wishes to you and please try your best to have a happy holiday season.

Thank you very much for sharing.
More HUGS,
Danielle

Weird times looming.  Trying to get ready for Christmas while thinking in the back of mind this might be my last Christmas with my wife. I am increasingly unhappy trying to live this "normal" straight life.  Feeling increasingly dysphoric when I see my reflection in the mirror, when I get dressed conventionally in my male clothes.  It's not agonizing or anything, but increasingly meh and unsatisfying.  I ponder fantasies like... donating blood en femme. I have a bunch of Christmas shopping still to do.  I want to do it as a woman.  But Kristin shows no signs of thawing and I can't keep living with someone who so clearly disrespects, if not despises, the authentic me.  I don't want to blow up the holidays or drop a family bomb on my daughter while she prepares for her marriage in June, but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up past the wedding. Wondering what things will be like after the wedding is over. Thinking hard of starting HRT and laser in 2019. That might be the gun safe that breaks the camel's back.  I don't even know how to describe myself.  Woman, transwoman, non-gender-conforming natal male?  All of the above? I am increasingly afraid cis male is about all that is going to work in my relationship, and sadly, that just isn't me.
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
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Offline dee82

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2018, 04:46:58 pm »
Randi, I feel for you. I look at my male clothes that still hang in the wardrobe and feel terribly unhappy (dysphoric) if I find myself needing to wear them.

Once out the bottle, the wanting to transition genie is very hard to put back in.

I started doing laser hair removal on my face before coming out and was amazed by the number of people who never noticed. People often don't really look, do they?

If you can start doing laser to help keep yourself sane, I say go for it! No need to wait.

About your relationship with Kristin I have been hoping you would report a positive change. I don't want to give up on better news in the future, and Danielle's advice is sound.

But in the end, you are the only one who can say what you can live with, and without.

~Dee.

Offline Beverly Anne

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2018, 05:17:22 pm »
Randi,

I think you look amazing! I'm really pulling for you. We've all been there in some form or fashion. My advice is simple and unafraid. Decide what makes YOU happy. Do THAT at all costs!

Happy holidays,

Beverly
Be authentic and live life unafraid!

Online randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2018, 09:32:46 am »
@Danielle (and, really to everyone)

Thanks so much for your support.  It means more than you know.  You really are just super, super sweet. One of the very best qualities.  Advise is nice,... but hugs are better.  I am very grateful.

@Dee

Thanks for your concern.  That is very kind. You are so, so right about genies.  They seem to have a mind of their own, don't they?  Of course, they also grant wishes..... Ummm.

@Beverly

Thanks so much for the kind words.  Judging from people's reactions, amusing might be more appropriate than amazing.  :D But smiles of any sort are kind.  For an old, hormone-less, beard-shadowy coot, it will do.  I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas as well.   


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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2019, 08:17:55 pm »
Oh, do you have the time
To listen to me whine?


I have not updated my sad saga in some time.  So, back the dump truck up!

There may be some signs of thawing on the marital front.  Maybe.  The last support group meeting I went to Kristin saw me take clothes out in a bag and noted it.  The next day she nervously asked if she could see my outfit. I did not model but showed her the jeans and sweater.  She seemed relived.  And a couple of days later she hinted that I could perhaps wear something to bed.  I told her I would think about that.  My concern there is that what I have are a couple of nightgowns, which, unfortunately, suffer badly from man-in-a-dress syndrome.  It would probably work better if she just saw me in something more androgynous.  But still, it seems like progress.  I kick myself for not parlaying those openings into a more meaningful conversation, but she has been so emotionally abusive in the past I just don't feel secure.  I don't want to be called a freak, or abnormal, or a <not allowed> so I stay silent, even when I shouldn't.

Along those lines, my therapist has been having me write a letter to Kristin, and I'm about done with that.  Not sure how that would be to deliver it.  It is true that it's a good vehicle for expressing myself openly.  It's been a while since I've done a letter, and it has some feeling of anonymity, even though it is not, and hence more honesty.  We'll see how it goes.  I do have a fear of any real conservation about it ending up like Maura/Shelly in the first season of Transparent.  "You let other people see you like this?.....I'm out of here."  I don't know.

The great irony is that I am struggling mightily with what I want to do.  Every time I try to present female, I feel so disappointed.  I am so old, so male.  My therapist says it is common for dysphoria to be severe at the stage I'm in (am I in a stage!).  Maybe that it it.  But it is worrisome that it remains so, so difficult to present in public.  It is true that I tend to have lonnng stretches between doing so, but every time it seems I have to sit in the car and breath in and out real hard a few times and tell myself to put my big girl pants on.  It is true that I almost always do, and when I do, it feels....awesome.  Perhaps awesome is not the right word.  Organic?  Natural?  Right?  But it is hard.  I don't know if that is internalized trans phobia or what, but it is hard.   

And it is true that I am getting close to lining up some kind of beard removal.  I just.... hate... it.  Tonight I shaved and then tried a facial peel for grins before putting makeup on.  And my God, the chin and lower lip just look like a mine field.  Might be some skin thing but I have to think zapping the hairs would help.  Of course HRT is the real mountain to climb.  Should I do it?  Would Kristin leave me (or ask me to leave) if I did?  Do I really want to grow breasts?  Is it safe (I have some cardiac issues)? I don't know! It was interesting that in a session I while back I was grousing about crying and how I didn't have tears and Molly just kind of said real low that "hormones would fix that."  I have thought about that a lot in retrospect.  She is all about not influencing my decisions but I do wonder what she really thinks of me sometimes.

I dunno.  I have always thought of myself as fairly radical for my age, and someone whose could fit into a non-gender-conforming role, but more and more it seems I am drawn to the female end of the binary.  I would so love to look age-appropriately cute in a female way.  Sadly, that is quite a river to bridge.  Like the poet sez, who'd have thought tomorrow would be so strange?


Online randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2019, 10:39:29 am »
Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
'Til your agony's your heaviest load
You'll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you're learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while
.... E. Saliers

Well, I finally got up the nerve to get a consult about laser/electrolysis.  Disappointingly enough, she recommended being on hormones, at least finasteride, for several months before starting.  So I guess that increases the pressure to make some decisions about HRT, which increases the pressure to have some very difficult conversations with Kristin. Fun, fun.  Is there a good link for an HRT for dummies sort of thing? It looks like a pretty complex topic, and I would like to read about it before seeing a doctor.  My ability to procrastinate is unparalleled, but it may be running out.  I am so all over the map with this.  I had some free time this week for a few days.  Broke the wig out and wandered around a hipster district near the university in Durham, did some shopping, attended a different support group meeting.  And yet still feel very self-conscious, ugly, male. I am so prone to over-dressing.  I was waiting at the electrologists office in my ankle boots while cis women came in wearing sweats and sneakers.   A learning process I guess. Wearing the wig is very strange.  It seems to attract so many more double-takes and stares than my old, fugly man-head.  It really seems like it should be the other way around.  Just...strange.  I dunno. There is a voice inside that keeps saying "no, this can's work" but it seems more and more like telling the tide to stop coming in.


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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2019, 02:59:53 pm »
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...

There may be some progress on the marital front.  Perhaps.  A couple of weeks ago Kristin had offered to let me wear something to bed.  I said I'd think on that.  (Turns out her thinking behind the offer was that she would be asleep and not have to see me very much.) This weekend we discussed it and I told her me in a nightgown might be too jarring for her, but that I would like to change for a support group meeting at home rather than in a bathroom there (which I hate, hate, hate doing). She agreed so I underdressed to a point where I was hardly dressed at all (just jeans and a woman's flannel shirt).  And that went fine.  I may be moving into a position where I can wear androgynous things openly around the house without stepping on any toes, which feels like a big step up from being called a sick freak.  I am not at all confident she would be so accepting of more feminine garb, however.  But we will see.  Maybe the ice is cracking a bit, and maybe we can start talking about it some.  Radical thought...

I am not sure where the road is heading on this.  I am really close to starting beard removal.  I am starting to hate the feel of stubble on my face with the heat of a thousand suns, but the electrolysis person I went to recommended that I be on hormones before starting.  That seems unnecessary to me.  I wouldn't think hormones would have much impact on the efficacy of electrolysis on the face, but what do I know?  I do wonder if a little kindly gate keeping was going on -- looking at the grandfatherly old coot and thinking "Honey, do you really want to do this?"  But, I have been thinking about hormones. I do need a physical, and as chance would have it, my old doctor is retiring.  I have been thinking of switching to a practice that advertises transgender care as one of their services.  Their intake form is pretty cool.  Inclues gender identity checkboxes, preferred pronouns, sex assigned at birth.  Seems like it could be a really good choice for me. So I am thinking of making an appointment there for a physical and discussing hormone pros and cons. 

It is funny though.  Seems the further I do the more aware I am of how far away it is and how I'll probably never get there in terms of passability and such.  Pretty scary, but I feel like I can't turn back.  I don't what label to apply to myself -- woman, transwoman, transfeminine, queer, non-gender-conforming, but whatever it is it ain't cis male.

Offline Rachel

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2019, 08:09:06 pm »
Hi, I disagree with the electrolysis / laser person. When you go on HRT your pain threshold will degrease. Your facial hair will in time slow down but never stop. I have been on HRT full dose for 7 years (wow, 7 years) and post op 2.25 years. I am still getting electrolysis. I must have over 300 hours by now. I have 4 hours tomorrow with numbing needles and the machine turned up.

If you have black hair and fair skin electrolysis is a good start. Plan on 8 treatments 6 weeks apart. See how it is going and go from there. If you are gray then start with electrolysis.

-------------------

Finasteride has been associated with increased suicidal ideation and can cause reduced libido. Please make sure you check with a doctor that knows you would be using this possibly in conjunction with HRT.

If in the USA and doing low dose HRT your doctor is the best person to ask about finasteride in conjunction with spiro and estrogen.

In general low dose can reduce dysphoria to a more manageable level. It depends on a lot of things and everyone is different. I know for me HRT was not enough. I thought it would be enough but it was just one step.

Good luck on your journey and I hope this helped,
Rachel

Offline LizK

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2019, 09:00:20 pm »
I agree with @Rachael she is spot on about the electrolysis. I have a problem with hypersensitivity on my face due to a number of childhood surgeries(we think( and after starting HRT this just worse.

If you do have dark facial hair you could try Laser. I have had excellent results and it removed about 60% of my facial hair and the majority of the rest was done with traditional zapping. I found the most challenging part  was working out my pain management for it.

I like you approach with your wife...slow and steady trying to keep her feeling in mind. It can be frustratingly difficult to do but necessary if you want to keep your relationship intact.


I hope it works out well for you

Liz

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2019, 09:07:11 am »
I agree with @Rachael she is spot on about the electrolysis. I have a problem with hypersensitivity on my face due to a number of childhood surgeries(we think( and after starting HRT this just worse.

If you do have dark facial hair you could try Laser. I have had excellent results and it removed about 60% of my facial hair and the majority of the rest was done with traditional zapping. I found the most challenging part  was working out my pain management for it.


Liz

Thanks.  I have salt and pepper in my beard.  There is no way to avoid electrolysis but if laser can eliminate the pepper I would think it would speed things up.  I do get the impression laser is best done in the winter when you're not out in the sun much.

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2019, 04:23:49 pm »
Brief update.....

Actually went out dressed with Kristin today!  Extremely underdressed but it still felt different to me.  My therapist has had me work on a letter to Kristin that I have finished and need to share.  Tough working around to that, and I'm not sure how she will react, but her attitude seems light years better than just a few months ago, though there is a huge difference between flannel shirts and jeans off the women's rack, and what I would like to do, at least some of the time. Maybe it's a baby step in the right direction.  I have also made an appointment with a trans-friendly medical practice for a physical and a discussion of hormone pros and cons.  That's still a couple of months away but some big decisions looming there.  Trying a new hair stylist Friday.  Hope to be able to explain my situation and get some help figuring out what might work for me down the road in terms of a haircut. Really weird.  The realer things get the scarier they get it seems.  Blissed-out cross dressing seems so far in the past.  But if I could really integrate that into my daily life?  Can that really happen?  :o

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2019, 09:38:03 pm »
Well, I had some discussion with Kristin tonight.  She is improving to the point where she says the house is now a "safe space" for me.  Which is an improvement.  But it is clear she thinks no one else needs to know and I should just stay behind closed doors. It would humiliate her to be seen in a restaurant with me in drag, as she put it.  Good to know that I make a super-ugly woman.  Of course, it is an incredibly heavy lift for her, and on balance maybe it means some steps down the path, but there are light years to go. I am not keen on being on house arrest, and I don't know that she has even considered me starting hormones or anything like that.  But the discussion needs to move to that level soon.  May 1 will be here before you know it, or at least I know it.  And I am not even sure where my head is at.  Transwoman, genderfluid, non-binary?  I don't know!  Cis is not a term that comes to mind though. Maybe I would feel more confident of embracing the female binary if I looked better.  I do feel so, so envious of natal women, especially, of course, the pretty ones.  But, alas, that ain't me, and there aren't enough hormones and makeup in the world to make it so. I do think I would be ok with being a butchy old grandma, but I don't know how others would take it.

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2019, 04:54:10 pm »
Update time.  I suppose the hamster spinning the trans wheel in my head needs a break. I have my first joint session with Kristin Thursday with my therapist.  I am very nervous about that.  Talking about the elephant worries me I guess. Kristin claims to be down with me dressing at home, though I haven't pushed that.  I guess I don't fully believe or trust her, something that should become clearer with time.  But I don't know that she would be down at all with HRT, which is something I may be deciding in the not-too-distant future.  She clearly wants the marriage to survive, but I don't know how much change she can absorb to that end.

It is kind of funny with me right now.  Gender seemed like a five-alarm fire so much of last year.  It seems much less so right now.  I feel like the wind has died down on a sailboat and I'm kind of becalmed.  Don't know if that is normal or not, but this has not been a straight road for me by any means.  But, as always, it's ... there.  I'm slated to have the house to myself next week and I realize I'm really, really looking forward to it, and the freedom that goes with it. It does make me realize that left to own devices, without the marriage to consider, there wouldn't be a lot of indecision, at least in terms of going further down the road.

I realize when pondering HRT that I am very apprehensive about developing breasts.  Seems so.... permanent.  I don't seem to have much body dysphoria.  My fantasy body is probably fairly androgynous -- just really skinny and smooth and hairless with a feminine face and hair.  Not so much curvy or voluptuous, though there certainly are times I am really envious of the curves.  Maybe I am just frightened about actual physical changes and things becoming real. Kind of feels like crossing a Rubicon. Ironically though, at my age, it is quite possible that hormones wouldn't do much at all to me physically.  And it's not that I am opposed to breasts.  I told my therapist I was breast-agnostic.  She thought that was funny, but I do wonder if that's a bit atypical.

I seem to be becoming ever more demanding of my appearance the more things seem real/normal -- I really am unhappy with my beard shadow and hair.  I am getting a lot fussier about the way clothes fit and a lot more self-critical about makeup and bad/inappropriate clothing choices.  And flipping through my journal.  Whoa.  Let's just say somebody's banging on the door pretty hard wanting out.  I don't know where I'm going to end up, but  I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore.

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