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Jenna's Story, continued...

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JennaD:
Hi, at Faith's suggestion I'm starting a bit of a journal here, for updating my progress.

Hi everyone, it's been an insane few weeks and I haven't been on here, but I've missed it.

Updates: I'm on HRT for two plus weeks. Changes? Well, feeling relief at starting is a change. Also it creates a "timeline" where there wasn't one before. I've started to give serious thought to when and how I'll socially transition.

I decided to tell my exes. I realized I was holding back in certain ways because I was afraid of them finding out, and I didn't want to give that power away. So I just told them in emails. My first wife I just straight up said it and that was it, because there is no love lost there, for either of us. I just needed her to know so it was like saying hey I'm moving to a new house.

Which is kind of true, by the way.

My second ex (technically we are separated) was trickier, because we are in court and she has accused me of emotional abuse (which is absurd, she was in complete control of our lives and used rage whenever her "boundaries" were crossed), and we have a (now) eight year old son. I was worried if I said it, it would come up in court. But I decided I am not going to let that stop me either, so I wrote her an email and asked her for her support around our son.

It took two weeks but she replied with what I'd call cautious kindness. She respected my decision and asked to be part of telling our son. She asked what pronouns I'm using. It was ok. She is definitely still seeing me as an adversary but it was maybe a start to something better, in terms of understanding and parenting together. At the very least, I spoke my truth, whatever the response.

I started work again, after two plus months of being out with post concussion syndrome, and I hate my work. I'm in an elementary school after school program. I don't like the age group I'm working with, I don't like the school setting and it's the school where I met my second wife. It's also just not feeling conducive to transition, it's a huge community versus the small one I was in before my injury (same job, different building). I like working with kids but I don't love it, it's draining and it doesn't feel right, ultimately. I've been thinking, if I'm willing to change my body, why wouldn't I be willing to change my job? So I'm taking steps to move to something else.

I'm planning a book. I've been writing daily since the summer and I'm joining a writer's workshop this winter. It's going to be a memoir in the form of stand-alone chapters, sort of a collection of autobiographical short stories. I've been wanting to do this for years but the idea has lacked a centering theme, and now I know why. My transition ties it all together, just as I am connecting all my hidden and fragmented pieces, in my life. So I'm excited about that.

It's getting really difficult to keep putting on male clothes every day. And hearing my voice, sounding disconcertingly foreign, like listening to someone else speak when the words are coming out of my mouth. My name is also becoming a burden, and I've started automatically writing Jenna on things and having to scribble it out (because I'm not out socially yet and the guys at the sandwich shop taking my order don't need to know all that). Basically my urge to move forward is gaining force and anything slowing it feels disturbing and tiring.

My supervisor at work is a former prison guard, he's actually a nice guy but he's mad cis, and is not great with gender stuff. He was telling me and my workmate, who's cis female, about how women shouldn't get pregnant by multiple men because it's harder for women to get turned on. So, apparently, they should have plenty of time to stop and get a condom, as they build an emotional connection in the moments leading up to sex. I mean, I didn't even know what to say to that (I said nothing) but it surely showed me this is a person with a limited, and outdated, grasp of gender identities and roles. He's pretty invested in me being "another guy" there, and turns to me with football and car comments. It...is...draining.

I got a wig in the mail! It took like three freaking months to arrive, from China. I assume it was rowed over in a small boat. But it's here and it's quite beautiful. I was really deep in dysphoria when it arrived so I only tried it on for a moment. I couldn't really look at my face framed by this lovely flowing hair. But I have tried a few more times and I think I will have a friend do a full-on makeover and help me with the wig.

My laser is working! Once or twice I've missed a day shaving (I feel like I'm losing layers of my face to constant shaving, trying to keep as smooth as possible) and I can see pretty large areas of hair-free skin! Or with hairs here and there. That's after one treatment, so I am really optimistic now. I go back on Tuesday, and I will be more ready for how it feels, which is like having a car lighter held to your face.

My chin is the most unaffected by the laser work, and I know that's an area that is follicle-heavy. It's also where that "blue" shows up after shaving. I'm keen on getting it clean (unintentional rhyme, which happens all the time).

Finally, I've been reading a ton. Both Janet Mock books, Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox, Trans Like Me, by CN Lester, To My Trans Sisters, edited by Charlie Craggs. All highly recommended. Lots of oh my God me too moments. It's very reassuring to read these narratives. And of course informative.

I'll leave you with a sweet moment I had yesterday. There's a little trans girl in my neighborhood, who attends the preschool I work at. I was getting in the car to go shopping with my son, and she and her mom were across the street. I crossed over to say hello. She was on her bike, wearing one of those Blade Runner bike helmets with the mohawk-type design on top, and coat, leggings and a frilly skirt. My heart soared. I asked her her name (I haven't seen her since I was injured) and her pronouns. She'd chosen a beautiful name. I felt compelled to tell her mom I'm transgender, and that it makes me so happy to see kids being respected and supported around gender. Her mom was surprised and really happy to hear that I'm transgender. It made me think, maybe I want to work with trans kids. Just a thought.

Thanks as always for reading,
Jenna

PS I started an Instagram account @jennarising if you're on Instagram!

Sarah-Red:
Sounds like you're really at a fork in the road! It's great to read :) I can relate to quite a bit of your feelings like about your voice and all. I'm starting to relax a tiny bit about it, because I noticed that the more I struggle with it, the harder it is to more easefully try softer tones and all that. It might take some time, but I think i'll get better little by little. And yeah there's no reason not to look at other jobs there could be. I think feeling comfortable is important through these times. Hope you find something that works for you :)

I think it's interesting to tell the exes. I know there's something that felt good about it for me. I would guess that the longer you are with someone, the more surprising it is to them. (or not, if they saw your feminine side)

2 weeks on hrt? That's like the opening phase, the next while should be interesting though.
I'm starting to feel changes now, especially where it's sensitive :P

I'm quite interested in writing too. It's something I want to get into more at some point. That and singing.

Well, it was nice to read your post, hoping you to have some good times seeing things change. :)

BlueJaye:
Jenna, it's great to see you starting a dedicated journal thread. I enjoy hearing every update and will be following this new thread.

JennaD:

--- Quote from: Sarah-Red on November 10, 2019, 11:40:26 am ---Sounds like you're really at a fork in the road! It's great to read :) I can relate to quite a bit of your feelings like about your voice and all. I'm starting to relax a tiny bit about it, because I noticed that the more I struggle with it, the harder it is to more easefully try softer tones and all that. It might take some time, but I think i'll get better little by little. And yeah there's no reason not to look at other jobs there could be. I think feeling comfortable is important through these times. Hope you find something that works for you :)

I think it's interesting to tell the exes. I know there's something that felt good about it for me. I would guess that the longer you are with someone, the more surprising it is to them. (or not, if they saw your feminine side)

2 weeks on hrt? That's like the opening phase, the next while should be interesting though.
I'm starting to feel changes now, especially where it's sensitive :P

I'm quite interested in writing too. It's something I want to get into more at some point. That and singing.

Well, it was nice to read your post, hoping you to have some good times seeing things change. :)

--- End quote ---

Thank you! I should have added that I'm going to take singing lessons! So we have that in common as well. What kind of writing are you interested in?

JennaD:

--- Quote from: BlueJaye on November 10, 2019, 11:48:29 am ---Jenna, it's great to see you starting a dedicated journal thread. I enjoy hearing every update and will be following this new thread.

--- End quote ---

Thank you BlueJaye as always!

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