Author Topic: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)  (Read 5357 times)

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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #120 on: June 08, 2021, 05:55:17 pm »
I think I like the auburn better. But either way, you have a beautiful smile, Rachel. :)

I LOVE the Auburn hair.  It is absolutely the color I wear most often.  My family has several red heads, and while I am not one of them, I do have red hairs mixed with other colors, and my dermatologist looked at me and said “well, you certainly have the red head gene”. 

If I ever get to live presenting as a woman, I will have Auburn to to Auburn with strawberry blond highlights almost all of the time. 

But, the blue and platinum blond blend struck me as a fun “me” hairdo. 

Offline RandiL

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #121 on: June 08, 2021, 11:21:39 pm »
Rachel, big hugs for you. I know how it felt when my wife was trying to control me. My dysphoria continued to squeeze out at unexpected times and she hated it. She wanted warning before it happened but I just couldn't contain it.

I hope your interludes as Rachel are enough to keep things under control and for you to be happy enough to live a good life. When you live a good and satisfying life, that enables you to support your wife, family and friends in the way they deserve.

More hugs, Randi

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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #122 on: June 29, 2021, 12:01:13 pm »
I am feeling much more Dysphoria this week.  I don’t know why.  I have an intuition that it may be hormonal.  I think my T is low again.  My skin is more fragile, more prone to tear open with light abrasion, and I am losing a bit of muscle mass.  And, my chest (I don’t have much breast) is achy, tender and warm.  That has happened before when my E was high. 

The weird thing about me is, I both like it and am scared by it.  I want to be a woman, and when my body cooperates in its own way to feminize me, I take medicine to stop it.  I suppose it is my internalized transphobia at work.  I am just trying to hold my life together.  And, my life is built on the presentation of me as a man.  Yes, it is a bit of a deception, but one that seems important to maintain. 

Ugh, to paraphrase Tai Verses, I’m stuck in the middle, and losing every part of the benefit, it hurts me more than my wife ever knew, but it’s <bad> cause it doing the same to her too.

Offline RandiL

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #123 on: June 29, 2021, 01:25:10 pm »


...
The weird thing about me is, I both like it and am scared by it.  I want to be a woman, and when my body cooperates in its own way to feminize me, I take medicine to stop it....

My body started doing that around the age of 60. I loved it and hoped for more but of course it didn't persist. You probably don't have to suppress it if you don't want to. It's just natural you.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.

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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #124 on: June 29, 2021, 03:22:54 pm »
The bigger problem is the dysphoria.  I think it is like one of those things where you are on a diet, depriving yourself of everything and you get sort of used to the idea you can't have it.  Then, you eat some and you want more...you WANT more...YOU NEED MORE OF THAT NOW.

Essentially, I start to obsess about it, and have trouble focusing on anything else, which doesn't seem to be a real problem for me when I am in deprivation mode.  This is why I feel strongly that if I ever start taking HRT, I am transitioning come Hell or high water.  I think it would be like a dam break; a metaphorical tidal wave of urgency to achieve my ultimate goals.

Offline Rachel

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #125 on: June 29, 2021, 06:31:58 pm »
Hi Rachel,

I thought I would go on low dose HRT. I had to wait 5 months to go on HRT because I was not stable. When I started HRT I said I wanted a high transitioning dose. I think it was maybe a week, and although I was scared, I knew I made the correct decision and I would be on HRT for life.

I definitely knew all along I would fully transition.

I had to come out at work, change my name on my ID and express full time. I thought it would be impossible for me to do it. I did it and although it was scary and tough I grew from the experience.

I am going on 5 years post op. I am glad I made the journey. There was a lot of sacrifice, tears and pain. It was not easy. But I am glad I made it.

Rachel
MTF in need of help link https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,133631.1980.html
MTF in need of help 2 link https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,251825.0.html
HRT  5-28-2013
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Offline Sephirah

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #126 on: June 30, 2021, 01:45:39 pm »
The weird thing about me is, I both like it and am scared by it.  I want to be a woman, and when my body cooperates in its own way to feminize me, I take medicine to stop it.  I suppose it is my internalized transphobia at work.  I am just trying to hold my life together.  And, my life is built on the presentation of me as a man.  Yes, it is a bit of a deception, but one that seems important to maintain. 

I don't think it's that weird, Rachel. And I don't think it's transphobia, either. Internalised or otherwise. I think it's more of a defence mechanism based on what you've told me. You are in a position where you're in a constant battle with yourself between what you want, and what you need. And both are equally important.

It's easy to say "just be yourself no matter the cost." But the cost is something that you sometimes can't ignore. To live is one thing, to have a life is another. And sometimes the two aren't the same thing. The world doesn't work that way. As much as I think we all wish it did. Life is built on a spider web of connections with people around us. It's gossamer thin at times.

You know who you are, though. And that's something a lot of people can't say about themselves. I think I know you well enough now to be sure of that. I think that were everything aligned in such a way... your path would be clear to you. And it's my greatest hope that one day it will be. I think... keep hoping for that time, Rachel. Until then... be yourself where and when you can, and know you have people in your life who get what you're going through.

*massive hugs*

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #127 on: June 30, 2021, 09:58:36 pm »
Once again Sephirah, you are sweet and affirming.  Thank you for being you.

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #128 on: June 30, 2021, 10:23:09 pm »
(Copied from the internet)

Quote
In The Wrath of Khan (1982), Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Captain Kirk answers, “Or the one.” This sets up a pivotal scene near the end of the film (spoilers follow).

With the Enterprise (ship) in imminent danger of destruction, Spock enters a highly radioactive chamber in order to fix the ship’s drive so the crew can escape danger. Spock quickly perishes, and, with his final breaths, says to Kirk, “Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” Kirk finishes for him, “The needs of the few.” Spock replies, “Or the one.”

In the next film, The Search for Spock (1984), the crew of the Enterprise discovers that Spock is not actually dead, that his body and soul survive separately, and that it may be possible to rejoin them—which the crew proceeds to do. Once restored, Spock asks Kirk why the crew saved him. Kirk answers, “Because the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.” This is, as Spock might say, a fascinating reversal of the message in the previous film.

How can these ideas be reconciled?

We find an answer in the next film, The Voyage Home (1986). At the beginning of this film, Spock’s mother, who is human (his father is Vulcan), asks him whether he still believes that, by logic, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. He says yes. She replies, “Then you are here because of a mistake—your friends have given their future to save you.” (The crew had broken the law and had gone on the run in order to rescue Spock.) Spock says that humans are sometimes illogical; his mother answers, “They are, indeed!”

Later in the film, when crewman Chekov is in trouble, Spock insists that the crew save him, even at risk of jeopardizing the crew’s vital mission to save Earth and everyone on it. Kirk asks, “Is this the logical thing to do?” Spock answers, “No, but it is the human thing to do.” Although Spock reaffirms his claim that the needs of the many logically outweigh the needs of the few, he suggests that sometimes we must do the “human” thing, not the logical thing, and put the needs of the few (or the one) first.

So Spock, Kirk, and Spock’s mother have affirmed the idea that acting logically and acting “human” can be at odds—and that acting logically means always putting the needs of the many first. This is the alleged reconciliation of the apparently conflicting ideas with which we started.

But this logically is not a reconciliation at all.

In logic, (a) there can be no divide between acting logically and acting human; and (b) as Ayn Rand discovered and explained, the needs of the individual are what give rise to the need and possibility of value judgments to begin with.

Our capacity to use logic, to integrate the evidence of our senses in a noncontradictory way, is part of our rational faculty—the very faculty that makes us human. Obviously, we also have the capacity to be illogical, but that is because our rational faculty also entails volition, the power to choose to think or not to think. We also have the capacity to experience emotions, which are automatic responses to our experiences in relation to our values. (Various other species have an emotional capacity as well, but our values are chosen, so even on this score we are substantially different.)

Our emotions, though real and important, are not a means of knowledge; they are automatic reactions to experiences in relation to our value judgments. Our means of knowledge is reason, the use of observation and logic.

In regard to the Star Trek example, the reason Kirk was right to help Spock is not that doing so was “human” as against “logical”; rather, he was right to help Spock because, given the immense value that Spock is to Kirk, both as a friend and as a colleague, and given that the mission to help Spock was feasible, helping him was the logical and thus human thing to do.

In this case, Kirk’s emotional ties to Spock aligned with his logical evaluation of Spock’s value to him. It is possible for a person’s values to be out of line with his rational judgment, but in such cases his rational judgment remains his means of knowledge, and his emotions should take a backseat until he reassesses his values and brings them back into line with his logical assessment of the facts.

Once we see the relationship and potential harmony between reason and emotion, we can see that Spock’s claim that being logical is (or can be) at odds with being human makes no sense.

What of Spock’s claim, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”? Logic requires that some evidence be offered in support of such a claim—but Spock offers no evidence in support of this. He just asserts it. Which “many”? Which “few”? “Outweigh” on whose scale? For what purpose? To whose benefit? Why is his or their benefit the proper benefit? Spock does not address such questions; he simply asserts that logic clearly dictates his conclusion. But it doesn’t.

Far from being an expression of logic, Spock’s claim that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few is an arbitrary assertion and a restatement of the baseless moral theory known as utilitarianism, which asserts that each individual should act to serve the greatest good for the greatest number. (For a critique of utilitarianism, see my essay on the moral theory of Sam Harris, TOS, Winter 2012–13.)

What logic actually dictates is that if human beings want to live and achieve happiness, they must identify and pursue the values that make that goal possible. As Ayn Rand points out, life makes values both possible and necessary. We need to eat—in order to live and prosper. We need to wear protective clothing and find shelter—in order to live and prosper. We need to pursue a productive career to gain goods and services—in order to live and prosper. The principle holds true in more-complex cases as well. We need to build friendships to gain a wide variety of intellectual, psychological, and material benefits—in order to live and prosper. We need to experience great art to see our values in concrete form—in order to live and prosper. The pattern holds for all our values. Logically, the only ultimate reason we need to pursue any value is in order to live and prosper. (See Rand’s essay “The Objectivist Ethics” for her derivation of this principle.)

How does this principle apply in the Star Trek examples? In the case of Kirk’s dangerous mission to help Spock, Kirk logically concludes that, given the full context of his values, saving his dear friend is worth the risk involved.

What are we to make, then, of Spock’s final actions in The Wrath of Khan? Does he sacrifice his own life and values in order to serve the needs of the many? No. Khan, piloting a damaged ship, sets off a device that will soon cause a massive explosion that will destroy his own ship along with the Enterprise and its entire crew. Captain Kirk says to his chief engineer, “Scotty, I need warp speed in three minutes or we’re all dead.” It is at this point that Spock leaves the bridge, goes to engineering, and enters a radiation-filled room in order to repair the ship’s warp drive. As a result of Spock’s actions, the Enterprise speeds away to a safe distance from the explosion—but Spock “dies.”

Spock does consider the needs of his friends and shipmates in making this move. But he does not thereby sacrifice his own values or even his own life. His only alternative is to die with the ship anyway. Instead of dying and having all of his shipmates and friends die too, he chooses to uphold and protect the values that he can and to uphold his commitment to serve as a Star Fleet officer—a position that he chose knowing and accepting the risks involved.

Although in this case Spock must pick the least bad of two bad options, he makes the choice that best serves his interests and thus his life.

The only principle consistent with logic and thus with humanity is that if we want to “live long and prosper” (as Vulcans often say) we must use logic and pursue our life-serving values. Fortunately, contrary to Spock’s occasional illogic, this is what he actually does. And this is why so many people love him. It’s only logical.[\quote]

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #129 on: June 30, 2021, 10:37:23 pm »
The post above is applicable here because I agree with the idea that the only principle consistent with logic and thus with humanity is that if we want to “live long and prosper” (as Vulcans often say) we must use logic and pursue our life-serving values.

For Emma, it certainly seems that this means she must transition.  Whether she is convinced of it or not, she has convinced me that she has to transition to thrive, and that she will do both. 

Figuring out how to best thrive is figuring out “which hurts more”.  But, ultimately the pain is a secondary determinate.  The primary question is what is your strongest need, and can you be happy, can you live a “good life” without it?  If the answer is no, and you know the answer is no, then the pain isn’t the biggest factor.  The promise of an opportunity for fulfillment is. 

Whatever pain aside, either way, I don’t see a present path to fulfillment without maintaining the relationships I value.  And, I honestly believe that transitioning would destroy the most important relationships in my life.  So, for now, I can’t.

But, I can try to work towards opening up the chance that I could transition later.

Offline Laura1951

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #130 on: July 01, 2021, 11:00:21 am »
Every time I come here to catch up with you, I feel a little sad. While I know my transition was rough and frightening the first three years before I committed to HRT, married MTFs have a harder journey.  In a way, you're in a transition now, having made the bargain that, to maintain your marriage, you've agreed not to transition. Your wife may be unhappy. because she know's what you need and you can be dysphoric because Rachael can't really express herself or begin her true journey.

I don't have any data showing whether MTFs can maintain this devil's bargain for life, but I've read too many stories where eventually the dysphoria becomes too large to handle. That's the transition you're in now, whether you can hold onto the bargain. I can't even imagine the pain you must feel at times, as the dysphoria pokes through the veneer. I wish I could help or provide you comfort.

Laura
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Offline jennifer7020

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #131 on: July 01, 2021, 11:40:50 am »
Thank you. I think posts like this are like a hug through the screen.

I am in a similar place-- married and just starting therapy. My wife doesn't know.. but the time she will is coming. Like Rachel.. I live a good life. I wonder if it is enough. I know I am at the point I need to sort out who I am. I think the story of my transition has started..hard to say where it ends.


Jennifer


Every time I come here to catch up with you, I feel a little sad. While I know my transition was rough and frightening the first three years before I committed to HRT, married MTFs have a harder journey.  In a way, you're in a transition now, having made the bargain that, to maintain your marriage, you've agreed not to transition. Your wife may be unhappy. because she know's what you need and you can be dysphoric because Rachael can't really express herself or begin her true journey.

I don't have any data showing whether MTFs can maintain this devil's bargain for life, but I've read too many stories where eventually the dysphoria becomes too large to handle. That's the transition you're in now, whether you can hold onto the bargain. I can't even imagine the pain you must feel at times, as the dysphoria pokes through the veneer. I wish I could help or provide you comfort.

Laura

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #132 on: July 01, 2021, 02:20:34 pm »
Thank you. I think posts like this are like a hug through the screen.

I am in a similar place-- married and just starting therapy. My wife doesn't know.. but the time she will is coming. Like Rachel.. I live a good life. I wonder if it is enough. I know I am at the point I need to sort out who I am. I think the story of my transition has started..hard to say where it ends.


Jennifer

FWIW, to date I have found some comfort in the fact that the life I am living is my own choice.  Yes, it is a choice between two (for me anyway) very difficult options.  One option, I live my whole life never actually being "known", never giving anyone the chance to love the full me; but in exchange I get to maintain my relationships which are the most significant treasures in my life.  Or, I can give that up to be known, to have the opportunity to be loved by people who actually know me.  The cost for that is my marriage, my step children, my sisters, my nieces and nephews and my parents; combined with the knowledge that they would probably go out of their way to financially break me.  I would never make over minimum wage again, because the IRS would garnish any income down to minimum wage.  It's a heavy price.

Offline Sephirah

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Re: Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)
« Reply #133 on: July 01, 2021, 02:50:25 pm »
FWIW, to date I have found some comfort in the fact that the life I am living is my own choice.  Yes, it is a choice between two (for me anyway) very difficult options.  One option, I live my whole life never actually being "known", never giving anyone the chance to love the full me; but in exchange I get to maintain my relationships which are the most significant treasures in my life.  Or, I can give that up to be known, to have the opportunity to be loved by people who actually know me.  The cost for that is my marriage, my step children, my sisters, my nieces and nephews and my parents; combined with the knowledge that they would probably go out of their way to financially break me.  I would never make over minimum wage again, because the IRS would garnish any income down to minimum wage.  It's a heavy price.

I don't believe people can fully hide who they are, Rachel. I don't think anyone is that good an actor, or actress. The part of us where the real Us resides, is in a deep place which bleeds through into the way we act, the way we think, the way we speak. Our outlook on the world. For something to be so much a part of our core being, and to drive people the way it does... it isn't a switch you can just turn on and off. It's something that's been with you since birth, and something which will be with you until death... maybe beyond.

People who know you... they know a part of you. The real you. Even if they don't know it, or you don't want to show it. Because it's just who you are. Hold on to that, okay?

It isn't about wanting to be a woman, sweetie. You are a woman. You always have been. What you're doing is working out how to live your life the best way you can. We come in all shapes and sizes. There is no mold for you to fit. You just live your life the best way you can. But never forget that you are you. And always will be. And in the spaces you're allowed to show it, you'll be seen and loved as such. :)