Author Topic: Chapter 5: I am Emma  (Read 14440 times)

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Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #320 on: January 24, 2021, 08:37:30 am »
Awww thanks Chrissy.  I love the warmth, particularly today.  It's 22 degrees F here today. ;D

Rachel I am so sorry that those that surround you have chosen such a narrow view. 

I am not being political but the last election helped sort out my friends for me.  It was pretty clear that those who supported Trump would have a difficult, if not impossible time, understand or accepting me.  One of the toughest part I feel in transitioning is the impending sense of public rejection and scorn.  You have to decide what is most important to you.  Your level of gender dysphoria also dictates what you can and cannot tolerate to live your life.

I have been sorting my priorities and my needs.  I can't let their bias and ignorance dictate what is best for me.  It takes a lot of strength.  Strangely I just published this on Medium so this seems like a good time to share it:

                                                      The Complexity of Being Transgender

My life was simple BTA (Before Transgender Awareness).  I was in complete male alignment.  I knew where I fit in and everyone accepted my role in their lives.  Although It wasn’t perfect storybook life, it worked just fine for me.

Then somebody threw my character right out the script.

Suddenly I felt like Freddy Krueger in the middle of It’s a Wonderful Life.  I didn’t fit.

I was a 61-year-old male.  Except I wasn’t.

I was a husband, a father and an uncle.  Except that role wasn’t clear to me anymore.

I was the male spouse to my wife and to all of the couples that we socialized with, I was a male role model for my sons and my nephews, I was the rock that my wife, my Mom and my nieces could rely on and the guy that other people could count on in a pinch…until I suddenly felt like I was a stranger to them.

So, who am I to myself and to them?

Society has done a wonderful job isolating me from everyone.  How are they to relate to me and, me to them?  Does my gender presentation mean so much to normal social discourse that by changing it I have eliminated the single anchor that gives me substance in their lives?

All of us present different facets of our personality depending on the social circumstances that we find ourselves.  Being transgender has simply multiplied the facets.  We now have to reconsider who we are and what we show to the world.
 
Unfortunately, many of those new aspects are not seen as attractive or are appreciated by the world.  They refuse to see the incredible beauty that we have added with those new facets.  If they would take a moment and simply look at the dazzling colors that we have added to our lives, they would, themselves, share in the marvelous new lights, dimensions and reflections that we can offer and we offer so much.

We are one of the rarest diamonds. To create our diamond, we have had to undergo so much pressure and pain to create this new beauty.  Through that experience we get to show so many glittering facets that are desperately needed by humanity such as compassion, understanding, sympathy, empathy, kindness and care. 

We added these facets to Society in one of the hardest ways possible, through their rejection.  Maybe someday they will see the light we throw off, not as a threat to Society, but as a celebration of what we add at no expense and at no additional cost.





  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online EllenW

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #321 on: January 24, 2021, 10:25:45 am »
What part of the country do you live in?  My friends and family were anguished over Biden’s nomination for HHS (because she is trans).  Nasty things were said about how awful we are, and how we shouldn’t be able to get a job.  I think things are different here.

I live in Orange County, CA. I am remote employee based out of Mass. and my boss is Michigan. My family is spread out throughout the US.

I know that I am lucky to have the support of everyone I know. But I do really believe that attitudes about transgender people is getting better.

Ellen
Known all my life I was different
Started to live part time as my true self in 2010
HRT January 2018
Full time at work February 2018
Legal name and gender change January 2019
GCS - January 2021

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #322 on: January 25, 2021, 10:15:55 am »

Ellen I am sure you are right but, like Rachel, I am pre-measuring the support I may or may not get when I come out.  My fears are greater than confidence.  I suspect it will be better than I feel at this moment.

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #323 on: January 25, 2021, 10:38:35 am »
@Emma1017

Emma- that was a wonderful piece that you wrote.  While we focus on those that we stand to lose- I think we lose track that we will also find people that no longer fit our views of the world.  I have close friends from the other side that I don't care to associate with on this side.  I might be mourning the loss, but I absolutely know that I will be better without the vitriol in my life- and it will be their loss.

Society is slowly becoming more accepting, and while there will always be those who are against us, more and more people are coming to a level of acceptance.  In my experience it truly was different than my fears, and I hope that you find the same when you come out.

Stay warm!!

Hugs!!

Caela
My Blog Thread - The Chronicles of Caela

Who knew it'd be so bright without the blindfold - Demi Lovato

Offline RandyL

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #324 on: January 25, 2021, 12:20:40 pm »
Caela, you are right. I don't see it so much as friends who become undesirable as that they no longer resonate. I think it's like when you become a parent. It's not intentional, but your set of friends tends to gravitate towards other parents. It's a natural progression as your lives change.

Of course in this case, many of us are also grappling with changes or losses of our relationships, which just makes everything so much harder. Not to mention isolation from the pandemic! Hugs, Randy

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Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #325 on: January 25, 2021, 12:47:38 pm »
Caela thank you so much.  I am glad that my writing meant something to you.

I agree with you and Randy, relationships change.  I have read many spouses say that they mourn the loss of their spouse even though, in some cases, they have been able to preserve the love in a new relationship.  As I consider my own relationship with my wife, that mourning bring with it a huge sense of guilt.  In some eyes I have killed the spouse.

I have killed the spousal relationship we had but it can either be a passage to a new and maybe deeper and more honest relationship or it could the death of the relationship.   Each has to chose what is best for them.

As you both have said:

Caela: "I might be mourning the loss, but I absolutely know that I will be better without the vitriol in my life- and it will be their loss."

and

Randy: "It's a natural progression as your lives change."

It is the nature of life.  You can try and keep things static, which is impossible, or accept change and find ways to have joy in your life.

Hugs,

Emma

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #326 on: January 26, 2021, 06:20:19 am »
I feel I will be coming out later this year.  It will depend on the vaccine and then on getting FFS.  GCS in definitely next year.

I am really not sure how public I will be and I am not sure if I come out selectively, that it will a secret very long.  I am so tired of hiding and it even makes me angry to be forced to.  Now that the military can accept back transgender individuals to serve their country, the least I can do is stand up and not be afraid.

Talking tough now.  Let's see where my courage will be then.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #327 on: January 26, 2021, 07:38:04 am »
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
You can bend but never break me
'Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

Online EllenW

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #328 on: January 26, 2021, 10:19:23 am »
I feel I will be coming out later this year.  It will depend on the vaccine and then on getting FFS.  GCS in definitely next year.

I am really not sure how public I will be and I am not sure if I come out selectively, that it will a secret very long.  I am so tired of hiding and it even makes me angry to be forced to.  Now that the military can accept back transgender individuals to serve their country, the least I can do is stand up and not be afraid.

Talking tough now.  Let's see where my courage will be then.

Emma,
I am very happy for you. We are all hear for you to lean on when you start coming out.

Ellen
Known all my life I was different
Started to live part time as my true self in 2010
HRT January 2018
Full time at work February 2018
Legal name and gender change January 2019
GCS - January 2021

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #329 on: January 26, 2021, 11:21:39 am »
Ellen, O&C and Helen Reddy thank you for the pep talk.  Always needed and always appreciated! ;D
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #330 on: January 26, 2021, 02:58:25 pm »
Ok I thought this was so funny that I had to share it here.

I just came from my GP doctor today.  I have been having severe back pain since November that she has been treating as sciatica.  Over the last three weeks the painful spikes have lessen but not entirely, so I went back.  She had me x-ray my back and reviewed by a specialist so fortunately it is not spinal related.

As I showed her where the precise area of pain was, she leaned back and asked:  "Are you still on female hormones?"  She knows that I am transgender.  When I said yes, she smiled and said that the symptoms reminded her of women who are pregnant.  Being in my third year of hormones she felt that my body was actively changing because them.  She suggested I follow up with the endocrinologist, gave me some stretching exercises and gave a new pain prescription.

Out of total ignorance I asked if my chest ,which is technically 40D, was putting stress on my back.  She laughed through her mask and said she won't know because she was flat-chested but she assured me that the pain would be further up my back.

What we go through to find some peace and happiness!  Wow!!!  Do you think the pain will go away in the ninth month?

;D
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline RandyL

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #331 on: January 26, 2021, 03:16:16 pm »
My wife helped me rip off the bandage when the time came. She needed support from friends and family, so I told her to tell anybody she needed. From there it was a short step to publishing it in the annual holiday letter. I've kept it from very few people since and it was a nice relief from the load of hiding.

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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #332 on: January 26, 2021, 04:04:51 pm »
Out of total ignorance I asked if my chest ,which is technically 40D, was putting stress on my back.  She laughed through her mask and said she won't know because she was flat-chested but she assured me that the pain would be further up my back.

40 D?  How do you hide that?  Binding?

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #333 on: January 26, 2021, 08:56:59 pm »
Randy my wife and I have a long painful  way to go but I have hope.

Rachel no one ever looks at a guys chest and I always wear a shirt even in the summer.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #334 on: January 26, 2021, 11:32:19 pm »

What we go through to find some peace and happiness!  Wow!!!  Do you think the pain will go away in the ninth month?

;D

Emma-

Thank you for bringing a smile to this girls face!!  We do go through a lot to find peace and happiness.... and I do hope that the gestational period we go through for self-acceptance and confidence drives the pain away- whether or not it's nine months or nineteen. 

Be strong sister!!!

Hugs!!

Caela
My Blog Thread - The Chronicles of Caela

Who knew it'd be so bright without the blindfold - Demi Lovato

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #335 on: January 27, 2021, 06:57:08 am »
Thanks Caela.  There are some funny stories and experiences in transitioning.  The nine months I was referring to was regarding my sciatic, I have 3 months in and 6 to go. ;D

My transition path seems to go on forever but, hey, it is part of my life. :D
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #336 on: January 27, 2021, 09:47:17 am »
I keep writing for Medium and I just published this.  I post it here so you all don't have to pay Medium for it.  I hope posting them here has some value:

                                                  How Do You Describe Emotional Pain?

Break an arm and the cast immediate draws out sympathy.  People even ask to sign it in recognition of your obvious pain.  Tell someone you have a headache and everyone empathizes because we all have had one.  Tell someone you are in extreme emotional pain and they start filtering the words you use to see if you have a mental problem.  It is difficult to touch and feel.  It lacks physicality.  People offer words of comfort but generally don’t have a similar experience against which to understand.

Therapists were created for such moments.  They are trained to recognize and understand emotional pain as a tangibility.  It has a definable reality for them even though they haven’t personally experienced it.

Psychological pain, mental pain, or emotional pain is an unpleasant feeling (a suffering) of a psychological, non-physical origin. A pioneer in the field of suicidology, Edwin S. Shneidman, described it as "how much you hurt as a human being. It is mental suffering; mental torment. There is no shortage in the many ways psychological pain is referred to, and using a different word usually reflects an emphasis on a particular aspect of mind life.”

Intense 'unbearable' mental (psychological) pain is defined as an emotionally based extremely aversive feeling which can be experienced as torment. It can be associated with a psychiatric disorder or with a severe emotional trauma such as the death of a child.  It defines gender dysphoria.

I have it and now I have it twice over.  I have developed a case of sciatica.  Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.  On a physical scale of pain of one to ten, I give it an 11.  It started three months ago and I am doing everything to make it go away.  It seems that sciatica and gender dysphoria have a lot in common.  It has been pointed out to me that sciatica could be psychosomatic and is brought on with extreme stress….hmmm have I discovered a physical partner in pain with gender dysphoria?

They are both excruciating and randomly strike without any kind of warning.  They do not negotiate and require regular massaging to relieve the pain.  For those of you who have had sciatica or watched someone experience it, you now have a measure of the emotional pain that gender dysphoria inflicts.  Sadly, sciatica generates sympathetic nods when mentioned while gender dysphoria generates confusion and dismissal.

Fortunately, I have started to feel that my sciatica pain is beginning to recede.  My gender dysphoria, on the other hand, is going the other way.

With it I have a 24/7 sensation of pain that can run up and down the scale but to see me you wouldn’t notice it.  I have developed a professional level of hiding.  Shame, guilt and fear of rejection have trained me over a lifetime to bury it deeply away so that I don’t even know it is there.   With sciatica I have produced cries of pain with a few well-chosen curses that certainly gets the attention of those around me.  With gender dysphoria I simply whisper a sigh of sadness rarely heard or understood by anyone.

I act normal and I seem normal but I have a birth defect that everyone has been trained to find socially unacceptable.  I know that so why would I tell anyone?  If I told them, would they really want to know so they could understand or would the subject make them uncomfortable and cause them to seek the company of others with whom to share a more common dialogue. 

It’s my “dirty, little secret” after all.   Other than fodder for gossip, it takes a remarkable cisgender person to even go out of their way to help ease the pain instead of feeding it. 

That is so sad.

I continue to hope that my writing added to the multitudes of others will help cisgender to at least understand the pain that we suffer and possibly ease it with their understanding and acceptance. 

That is part of the cure.



  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #337 on: January 27, 2021, 10:25:38 am »
Rachel no one ever looks at a guys chest and I always wear a shirt even in the summer.

Mmmm, that’s not true.  I always notice a man with boobs.  There was a older guy in my classes in grad school who had pretty serious gynecomastia (later found out he had had prostate cancer and this was related to that).  Anyway, he was a big guy (heavy) and was at least D’s, if he had worn a bra, which he didn’t. 

No one said anything to him about it, but everyone noticed.

Maybe in winter, under heavy coats and sweaters and such, it wouldn’t be as noticeable.  It doesn’t get that cold here much.  So, maybe.  But, spring summer and most of fall, people will notice D’s.  I am a little jealous that you have them, but when you come out, you might not surprise as many people as you think.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 11:30:09 am by Rachel Montgomery »

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #338 on: January 27, 2021, 10:36:17 am »
I was the same size last summer.  As you said regarding the guy with breasts, you didn’t assume he was transgender.  For the same reason I am safely stealth. After I come out, people will put 2 and 2 together but not now.

 Breasts are not attractive on men so people ignore them.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Pammie

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #339 on: January 27, 2021, 11:17:23 am »
I was the same size last summer.  As you said regarding the guy with breasts, you didn’t assume he was transgender.  For the same reason I am safely stealth. After I come out, people will put 2 and 2 together but not now.

 Breasts are not attractive on men so people ignore them.
I can’t imagine “D’s” would escape notice, that’s a serious amount of boob!
Probs i’m jealous too!


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