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Allie’s Blog (or “The Blog Absolutely No One Demanded!”)

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ImAllie:
*cracks knuckles* Alright 2021… just when we thought you couldn’t get any lousier, you went and took Betty White at the last minute just because you could. I mean, that was SO 2021, 2021. I mean, Jesus, the subtle approach works too you know? But I immediately digress…

So I honestly believe that 2022 will either be the year that, at age 55 (for a month) I finally have an out loud conversation with another human being about gender issues that date back to 3rd grade and perhaps even take steps to address them… Or conversely find my inability to do so impacting me in ways that start being harder and harder to mask from those I care about.  Either way, I believe I can’t tell you how much the idea of the comments, criticism, suggestions, sarcasm and support from an online community of those who have done this before feels like at least I’m starting with one extra ace up my sleeve.

So a real quick catch up on the last month (i.e. why I think anything might be any different in 2022).

It started with Wonder Woman.

Annnd, now you’re caught up.  Good night all!

Ok, ok, the slightly longer catch up on the last month…

As a comic book geek, I have a home office that my wife has generously allowed me to do with as I wish. Meaning the walls are covered in original comic book art, the closet full with long boxes of comics, and shelves of vintage toys and super hero statues.

I’m also part of this really close-knit online comic community (don’t be jealous - when I’m with them I’m thinking about all of you, honest!). Each year we do a global Secret Santa - sending generous gifts all over the world to people we’ve never met. It’s remarkable and awesome.  We give a “wish list” but it can be generic, or specific… everyone is different.  Well this year on my wish list I asked for one thing only - A Wonder Woman statue. 

My entire statue collection, up until this point had been testosterone fueled… partly because I think “guys” with female statues sometimes seems pervy. Obviously that’s not why I wanted it. To me, Wonder Woman is female empowerment… dating back to the old 70’s show growing up! I always wanted to be her!  Anyway, my SS came through, and when I opened it Christmas morning my wife and son didn’t really bat an eye on the pervy thing (I was glad) and I arranged it into a place of prominence in my collection.

It’s not a big thing, I know… but I look at it every day… and every time I do, I think to myself “that’s how change happens…when I start advocating for myself.”

To that end the statue inspired a talk with my wife (not THAT talk! I’m not near ready for that).  She knows I’ve been down in recent months as she’s caught me in unguarded moments.  So I spoke to her and reminded her that several years ago my PCP sent me to a pain management counselor… but while I didn’t need help with that it spurred me into formulating a weight-loss plan. I went from 400 to 225 lbs on my own.  So I told her I’d like to see someone again, as if nothing else, perhaps it would start me down a new path.

She thought it sounded good.  I told her I’d call insurance and handle everything.  I didn’t, obviously, tell her that my intention was to see a gender specialist… but I’m ok with that omission.   I just didn’t want the whole therapy concept to be behind her back.  Because I really want to speak to someone to say things outloud to someone who has heard them before and knows how to process them… and then assuming that telling my wife is the next step (I would not wish to take any active steps before that) I need the therapist to help me prepare for the biggest conversation of my life.

So my original plan was, when she returned to the office on Monday to start the process of making calls!

Until yesterday when she got the word that her entire company was moving back to remote work next week… so she’ll be home.  So… probably not going to make the call. We’ll see.

But I do plan on shaving off the facial hair I’ve had for the last two years in the morning.  Never to return. That will be the first active step of 2022… well after this blog, I suppose.

Happy New Year all!

Love,
Allie

Allie Jayne:
Allie, I think I will enjoy reading your blog! I had never been diagnosed with gender incongruence, but I knew all my life. I told both my exes before we married, the first never really understood, and left me to raise my 2 children as she said I was a far better mother than her, and the second said it made sense, and she loved the female side of me, but also that she would leave if I ever transitioned. We were married for a wonderful 20 years where I was me all the time I was home, and she tried to stay with me through transition, but it just didn't happen. She thanked me for being totally honest with her and said it was why we had those 20 amazing years. I'm 68 in 8 weeks, she is coming to visit me tomorrow, and we still talk most days.

I put off transition until I became sick from dysphoria, and learned that this is something you can't ignore. I thought 2021 was going to be my year as it started with my GRS on January 6, but it went downhill from there! Betty White was the last straw, she would have made 100 in just a few more days. 2022 is my year to rebuild my life, but I'm not going to declare it my year as I did that last year to disastrous outcomes. I am at least looking forward, and I hope you will too. Your wife just might surprise you, and you might find there is a way to get through this without going all the way, it worked for me for 2 decades!

Hugs,

Allie

ImAllie:
Thank you Allie!

Yeah, I make absolutely no predictions as to HOW my 2022 will go, or where it will end up.  My only bold prediction is this — 2022 WILL follow directly after 2021, and in waking up this morning I’m already 1-for-1 this year, so… good on me.

I have found in my life, that the most progress I’ve made on big projects, personal and professional, occurred when I had the ability to sit back and see the whole field not try to just impose my world view onto a set of facts.  Ask questions, sure.  Not accept that the way things are are the ways they must be, of course… but setting out a 12-step plan for thing is kind of laughable.

I spent 20+ years in college athletics (raise your hand if anyone sees ANYTHING in this sentence with seems like overcompensation or deflection) and I learned a great lesson from college football coaches:  They often would script the first FEW plays of a game… NOT because they were trying to take control of the game and make it go exactly as the planned it (the way many fans think), but instead because those plays are actually “questions”  — what will the other team do in certain situations? They are trying to acquire information so that they can use that gathered information to decide what to do next.

I’m not starting this blog because I know what I’ll be writing about next January, or even if I’ll be here then… hope so.  I only know that today I’ll be looking at my Wonder Woman statue, and I’ll shave off my facial hair.

And then I’ll see what happens next.

Sounds like you’ve been reacting to your circumstances too, and despite going through the ringer in 2021, you enter the New Year in a really great head space… that’s amazing. I hope you have an amazing 2022!!

Love,
Allie

Battle Goddess:
Hey, Wonder Woman!

I wouldn't worry about the therapist. You'll find one. You'll find one, and your wife will respect your privacy during your sessions. Mine is an awful snoop, but she at least manages to grant me that.

You've reached the point where your gender issues are causing you distress. It's time to get help and support. Believe me, you don't yet know what you think you know, and having someone to talk things through will do you worlds of good.

Time's a-wasting. Hie thee up off thy hiney, girl.



ImAllie:
You’re right, I’m sure BG… I’ve always had an embarrassment issue when it comes to making phone calls within the ear shot of others.  Hell, embarrassment is the overwhelming soundtrack of my life.   So… this might be something I need to baby step.

However, even with her being home, I will make the insurance call this week… and once I have that info, I will start to reach out the the small list of gender therapists of narrowed it down to to ask my questions (probably via email, at least initially since that’ll solve that).

When it comes to the first appointment? I’ll get it booked and then deal with it when it gets here.  But yeah, onward and forward… regardless of what’s in front of me!   These are either words to live by, or the famous last words of someone who died falling down an open manhole in the street.  Regardless, I’m on board…

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