Susan's Place Transgender Resources

Blogs => Member Blogs => Topic started by: CaelaNotKayla on September 08, 2020, 06:33:57 pm

Title: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 08, 2020, 06:33:57 pm
Hello everyone!

I'm taking the plunge and starting my own blog thread.  For those of you I haven't yet had the pleasure to interact with, my name is Caela, and I'm a 46 year old widowed MTF/bigendered individual, and currently identify predominately female.  I'd like to share some of my daily trials, tribulations and observations- but before I get there, I need the catharsis of telling my story.  It's not a Disney fairy tale- kisses don't wake the princess up, she doesn't live happily ever after with her "street-rat" prince by her side, and the shoe definitely doesn't fit... but it is real life- and it starts with an ending.

Part One- All Good Things...

2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, but my challenges began long before COVID-19 shut the world down.  As the door closed on 2019- My wife was fully engaged in her battle with cancer, and my father was in a accelerated decline in his health.  I never imagined that they would both be gone within months.

My father was the first to go, before the year had barely begun.  During the planning for his funeral we heard rumors of a potential pandemic virus spreading in China.  Within a couple months COVID-19 had spread to our community- and shortly thereafter we were in lockdown and working from home.

Lockdown caused a significant shift in my wife's cancer treatment.  Everyone has heard of the families of COVID patients being unable to be with their loved ones, but in our community every patient- regardless of what they were being treated for- were blocked from having someone with them. I was no longer allowed in to hear the words of the doctors and nurses- and it became much harder to advocate for her care.  She had surgeries, treatments, and chemo all without the support of someone next to her.  We went into lockdown in the knowledge that her treatments were not working as they had hoped- and sometime during lockdown she was told that her cancer had spread to a point where the remaining options were no longer viable.  She held this information to herself and wouldn't talk about it- but it was obvious that her sense of hope had vanished overnight.  Her health declined fast, and we soon called in hospice to provide her with palliative care.

I woke up early one day to the sound of my wife's rattled breathing.  I was holding her hand when she passed away.  I felt her life fade away as the warmth left her body.  Her nine month fight with Metastatic Colon Cancer had come to an end.

In a moment everything in my life changed.  A gaping hole existed where the center of my life once was.  All of a sudden I was a single parent.  At first I tried to keep moving forward.  Funeral planning again.  School for the kids.  Work.  Figuring out finances on a single salary.  Seeing memories in everything I touched.  That is, except for one thing- something I found on a shelf in the back of the closet, something that I'd never seen before.

One brown wig. 

And in that ending is my new beginning.

Next- An Old Friend

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 08, 2020, 06:50:40 pm
Caela, well done with being so brave and starting your blog..here for you and reading.. xx

 (I hope 2021 gets better for all of us.)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 08, 2020, 07:59:23 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela

I am so glad to see that you have started your very own thread that is all about YOU and your experiences !!!
Consider this your personal journal that you can share with your readers and followers here on the Forums.

The previous reply comment from @SarahEL is correct...
Caela, well done with being so brave and starting your blog..here for you and reading.. xx

 (I hope 2021 gets better for all of us.)

I am very happy to read that you are now documenting your official transition journey with your very own personal Blog/Journal.
Yes indeed, I and the rest of your new followers to your thread here will want to see you post updates and even a few photos.

In addition to having several ongoing threads here I also keep and "old-school" pen&paper journal at home for my eyes only.  I include lots of venting and thoughts that I have and also include some colorful doodling and an occasional snap shot photo or two.  On a cold and rainy night in front of my fireplace I can find myself in my comfy chair reading my journal for hours, sometimes with tears of joy in my eyes and sometimes with tears of unhappiness. 
Your journals will be a very good form of therapy for yourself.   Keep them updated.

Having you own journal thread here on the forums is very good therapy that allows you to not only safely vent about you disappointments and failures but also about your successes and your good experiences.

When you post good news, we are here to rejoice and be happy with you and when you report not-so-good news, we are here to listen and to lend our shoulder for you to lean on.
We are your biggest fans and are always rooting for your success and happiness.

Again, thank you for starting your very own thread, I will be eagerly looking for your updates as you feel so led to share them with us.

HUGS and best wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Birdie on a Wire on September 08, 2020, 08:20:14 pm
Oh Caela... I am so, so very sorry the loss of your wife. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.

I can relate with what you said “Seeing memories in everything I touched.”  Years ago I divorced and in little things... innocuous, mundane activities I would feel memories. I physically ached over the loss. It is the closest I can think if at how it must feel for you.

Again, my deepest condolences.

Take care. I look forward to reading more from you.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 09, 2020, 03:21:00 am
Thanks Sarah, Danielle and Birdie- 

Your support really means a lot to me- I don't think that I would be posting here if it wasn't for the care and compassion that I've seen from everyone on the forums- and I wouldn't be baring my soul if not for the strength that I've seen in your own posts.

I can relate with what you said “Seeing memories in everything I touched.”  Years ago I divorced and in little things... innocuous, mundane activities I would feel memories. I physically ached over the loss. It is the closest I can think if at how it must feel for you.
Birdie- my therapist says that the strongest feelings will come from the mundane, normal activities that you wouldn't think twice about- but made up more of your life than you admit.  Grocery shopping of all things often turns me into a wreck.

(I hope 2021 gets better for all of us.)
Sarah- I'm in full agreement- (knock on wood, throw salt over shoulder) we all need a better 2021!

Again- thank you all for your support!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Birdie on a Wire on September 09, 2020, 09:29:45 am
I know right?
One thing I vividly remember was absentmindedly placing a cup to my left when eating because my wife had always sat to my right.

When I actually realized what I did I turned into a blubbering mess.

I often wonder now if the strife and conflict we had was because I was struggling with unknown-to-me gender issues and was retreating from her, occasionally lashing out and in general just being a butt.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 09, 2020, 12:24:47 pm
I often wonder now if the strife and conflict we had was because I was struggling with unknown-to-me gender issues and was retreating from her, occasionally lashing out and in general just being a butt.
My kids have observed that I'm more confident and comfortable in girl-mode, and more insecure (with all the compensations that are driven from that) in male-mode. I can't fathom the pain that that caused my wife over the years, knowing that I was somehow broken and not knowing why...

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 09, 2020, 01:12:15 pm
Part Two- An Old Friend

One of my wife's initial worries during her fight with cancer was a great fear that she would lose her hair.  She was never really a vain person about her appearance, but for her the thought of losing her hair was one step too far.  Our first stop after her first visit to the infusion suite was to the "wig room", where the local cancer society was providing free wigs to cancer patients.  My wife picked out a very nice black Jon Reneau wig to match her hair.  And as far as I knew- that was the only wig that she had.

But it turns out I was mistaken on that point- my wife had in fact purchased two more wigs. Both of them were not her style, and appear to have been just put back on the shelf after she had tried them on once.  I found them when I was going through her side of the closet for clothes to donate, and something stopped me from sending them off at the same time.  I put them back up on the shelf, along with other items that I couldn't bring myself to part with.

I kept thinking about the brown wig in particular.  Why did my wife buy a Brown wig???  Brown wasn't her color, and she never wavered in her entire life from her hair color.  One day I decided to try it on to see if maybe it was the shape she was attracted to.  I put it on, looked into the mirror- and was surprised to see an old friend looking back at me.

---

As a child, I was always closer to the girls in the neighborhood.  Part of that was simple proximity- more girls lived in the neighborhood.  Barbies, Easy-Bake Ovens and dress-up became regular playtime activities at their houses.  In preschool, I remember often playing dress-up with the girls.   At home, I would touch the dresses in my Mother’s closet.  I remember the feel of the fabrics compared to the rough clothes boys had.  One year I wanted to go to Halloween at school as a girl- and my mother let me.  She later said that folks told her that was wrong to do, but she let me go anyway.  So my first girl pictures are of me in one of my mom’s wigs, with her shortest red dress hanging down to my toes.

As I grew up, the little girl in the red dress came out to play less and less.  Around age 9 I experienced something very traumatic about which I will only say that I have very strong personal reasons for never, never, ever trusting a person outside my family with my kids.  I wonder to this day why my mind remembers the trauma vividly but blocked out its immediate aftermath- but that was the first time I started over.  Dress up ended, and so did most of my relationships. The happy outgoing child turned inward.

It was about a year afterwards, digging through a pile of used books that I came across a sci-fi anthology that looked interesting- so I put a dime in the payment bowl and took the book home.  One of the stories made a big impression on me- "Options" by John Varley. In that story, a woman is living an unsatisfying life- and decides to have a sex change, which in this future is an easy no-fuss outpatient procedure.  The story delves into the challenges of their relationships post-change, and ends with the thought that they were not one sex or the other- but both.  I remember thinking how it would be cool to be a girl, at least for a while- and it was also the first time I was exposed to the concept of gender not being binary.

---

So yes, it was that little girl in the red dress staring back at me, only this time she was all grown up.  Wearing the wig completed something in me- and the sense that had been growing for years of not looking how I saw myself lessened. I hadn't done anything else to look feminine, standing there in male clothes and a beard- but it still felt her gaze, and it felt more right than I had been in a long time. 

I liked those feelings.  And that scared me more than anything else.

Next Part- Happy Birthday

Caela

Postscript- I've written about some pretty tragic stuff in these first two parts- but I want you all to know that I don't count my life as tragic.  We're getting to the good stuff I promise!
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 09, 2020, 04:23:15 pm
A lot to love in your last update...

First off, love the new avatar - very natural - you look really content.. that is nice to see.

Second, love that explanation of the 'first look in the mirror' - I too remember that, when Sarah first put on a wig, i remember saying, 'hello Sarah' to my image... The first time I ever heard my name out loud.
I actually was clearing out my wardrobe today and came across that wig, ready to get rid of it (I have the real hair now!) I just thought - ahhh, it was a starting, like babies first shoes or something, so I put it back..

Thirdly, that John Varley short story... wow I have heard so many people quote that as a reference... but yep, it touched me too at about the same age as well....

Can't wait for part 3!....
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: IamKatrina on September 09, 2020, 10:53:33 pm
Caela, My heart truly goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss. I was there holding my dad's hand when he passed. That is not an easy thing to deal with.  Hugs...Katrina
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 09, 2020, 11:25:09 pm
A lot to love in your last update...

First off, love the new avatar - very natural - you look really content.. that is nice to see.

Second, love that explanation of the 'first look in the mirror' - I too remember that, when Sarah first put on a wig, i remember saying, 'hello Sarah' to my image... The first time I ever heard my name out loud.
I actually was clearing out my wardrobe today and came across that wig, ready to get rid of it (I have the real hair now!) I just thought - ahhh, it was a starting, like babies first shoes or something, so I put it back..

Thirdly, that John Varley short story... wow I have heard so many people quote that as a reference... but yep, it touched me too at about the same age as well....

Can't wait for part 3!....

Thanks Sarah!

I've become a selfie queen now that I'm happy with my look.  If you take enough pictures you'll always have a few good ones  :D  My last one was my "glamour" shot- this one is much more representative of how I usually look, and I'm wearing my favorite brown wig (the same brown wig in my posts)

Your real hair looks great in your avatar!- my own hair is much more Patrick Stewart than Kristen Stewart, and I'm pretty sure all the minoxidil in the world won't change that.  I've embraced that though, as It means I get to change my hairstyle as often as I like!

You're the first person that I've met who has read "Options"!  It's one of my formative stories, and was always one I held in high regard- even before I truly understood the personal implications.

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 09, 2020, 11:34:09 pm
Caela, My heart truly goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss. I was there holding my dad's hand when he passed. That is not an easy thing to deal with.  Hugs...Katrina

Thanks Katrina-

I'm sorry to hear of your loss as well. It's not something that you can easily describe to someone who hasn't been in that moment themselves-  I realized after looking through my journals that that was the first time that I'd written about the moment. I'd written about events that happened before, and I'd written about the aftermath- but not the moment.

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: IamKatrina on September 10, 2020, 11:34:57 am
Thanks Katrina-

I'm sorry to hear of your loss as well. It's not something that you can easily describe to someone who hasn't been in that moment themselves-  I realized after looking through my journals that that was the first time that I'd written about the moment. I'd written about events that happened before, and I'd written about the aftermath- but not the moment.

Caela

TY Caela. My dad passed away back in 2003. Just know you aren't alone and if you ever need someone to talk to about all that comes with it I am always here. Hugs!!
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 10, 2020, 11:47:22 am
I had a dream this morning.  I dreamt that I woke up, showered and started getting ready for my first zoom meeting.  I put on my face and hair- my new flowing, curly, auburn wig.  I put on my regular prosthetics instead of the smallies.  I put on a nice blouse with a flounce instead of a football jersey. Then I sat down at my desk and logged into the computer.  No one freaked out, no one got weird- it was just business as usual.

It was a good dream.

But I woke up, and I'm not ready for these people to see me yet, so I showered and changed into male-mode instead.  And then I noticed that sometime in the past few weeks that had shifted in my mind- I'm no longer changing into girl-mode, I'm changing out of girl-mode.  A small step but a seismic shift.

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 10, 2020, 12:40:17 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Thank you for sharing your recent dream.
I trust, hope, and pray that your pleasant dream will soon become a reality for you.  :icon_chick: :icon_chick:

Your personal transition journey definitely requires patience on your part... and there are lots of details... physical and mental ... and with relationships and employment that needs dealing with.

Please continue to keep me and the rest of your followers updated as you feel comfortable doing.

HUGS HUGS HUGS,  :icon_flower: :icon_flower: :icon_flower:
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 10, 2020, 02:47:52 pm
It is not a bad dream to have Caela, one I had not too long ago too... And then my wife divorced me and Saturday, I got up and put on a dress, as normal day wear  ... The dream realised? Just to be me and be happy in my skin....And today I was talking to my therapist about when to change my name legally - and the answer is very soon.  This is all a process of getting those ducks in a nice orderly queue...!



(I wanted to say, but did not really know how to put it in words, but I feel for your recent loss of your wife... My father passed away in May after catching Covid, so in some small way, I understand a little of what you are going through).
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 10, 2020, 03:13:33 pm
It is not a bad dream to have Caela, one I had not too long ago too... And then my wife divorced me and Saturday, I got up and put on a dress, as normal day wear  ... The dream realised? Just to be me and be happy in my skin....And today I was talking to my therapist about when to change my name legally - and the answer is very soon.  This is all a process of getting those ducks in a nice orderly queue...!



(I wanted to say, but did not really know how to put it in words, but I feel for your recent loss of your wife... My father passed away in May after catching Covid, so in some small way, I understand a little of what you are going through).

Sarah-

I'm sorry to hear about your father, please accept my condolences..  Having lost my father as well this year, I know that you are going through a lot with grief and transition all mixed up in one.

I'm also very happy for you and your dream coming into line!    I'm looking forward to the day when who you are, and who the law sees you as are one and the same!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 10, 2020, 04:01:17 pm
Part Three- Happy Birthday

In today's digital world, everyone has the opportunity to make one representation of themselves exactly as they like-  their avatars.  My avatars all had long flowing brown hair.  My avatars either had glasses with larger frames, or no glasses at all.  Sometimes the beard would be gone.  I made my avatar look how I wanted to look like because I didn't like the way that I did look...  I never thought I'd have a chance to bring that image to life.

---

In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I had given myself the task of going through the stuff that I had inherited.  A lot of it it went directly into bags for donation to a local charity.  But some items (like the wigs) I couldn't bring myself to get rid of.  Some had "sentimental value", and I set those aside for the memories.  But other things just seemed random clothing items at the time.  (I realized later that I had been subconsciously setting aside the few things of my wife's that my female self thought might be useful.  Everything that got donated was obviously too small or something that I would absolutely never have chosen to wear. )

One day about a week before my birthday, my curiosity about that little girl got the better of me and I tried on those random clothes.  Unfortunately, while my wife wasn't exactly a small woman- I'm definitely a BIG woman, and there wasn't all that much that fit.  And since I was still curious- I went out male-mode, swallowed my nervousness about being in the womens department- and bought a couple of tops before they sent the clothing police after me.  I got home, hung them in the closet where so recently my wife's clothes were- and then freaked-out over what I had just done. 

At first I figured that I had snapped- that in my grief I’d gone crazy, and would soon end up in a padded cell somewhere shot up with enough happy pills to make me catatonic.  But I didn't feel crazy, and I remembered that I'm not the first in my family to come out- That was the person I identify as my father-in-law, and she didn't seem to be crazy as she described her life, her challenges, and her transition.

So if I wasn't crazy, what did these feelings mean?  Why was I so curious about what a female me would look like?  I decided to give myself a birthday present, and carve out some time to explore these feelings in a more complete fashion.

---

In the back of my mind, I still thought of this potential self with the name I had used as a child, a name that my mom had said that I would have been named had I been born a girl.  But I knew from the look in my eye that it wasn't her name anymore- I had given it away as my oldest child's birth name.  So I started looking up names, and asking myself it it was right... The day before my birthday I came across a name that rang bells in my head. I wrote it down and it looked right. Now if only my look matched up with the name....

---

I woke up early on my birthday, and finished my work as quickly as I could.  I fixed my vision of myself in my mind. Then I shaved off my beard for the first time in 25 years, dug through my wife's makeup drawer, and went to work.  And when I was done, the look was closer to the vision.  Looking back, the makeup job was basic, the wig was thrown on without being styled, and there was no shape under my new women's top- but I was quite happily surprised with how it looked, and I took the first of many selfies.

Looking at the pictures that I had just taken, I noticed something that was quite jarring... My glasses.  Even without a beard, with a wig, with makeup on- I still looked quite mannish wearing those glasses- and in that moment i almost gave up on the whole thing.

And then I noticed my wife's eyeglasses sitting on the counter.  A shape that my mind had always seen as feminine.

I put them on, and to my surprise- I could actually see through them.  They weren't quite my prescription, so anything further than six feet away was progressively fuzzy.  But the three feet from my face to the mirror was clear- and I saw a face transformed-  I saw the face that I had pictured myself as complete for the first time- the face I'd tried to model with every avatar I'd created.

I smiled, and said "Wow, Cae!"

Next Part- Covert Operations

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 10, 2020, 04:07:43 pm
I dressed like my dream- just had to get past my meetings!

Coincidentally, this is the blouse I wore in my first selfie!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200910/cc3eabc7a2df3853768efd65ebbc0c22.jpg)

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 10, 2020, 04:51:24 pm
Thanks for your latest update Caela... You come across as such a sweet and lovely person.
Your top in the photo looks lovely too...

and I will say it too (and have said it many times over the last few days)....

WOW CAE!


Can't wait for the next part xx
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 11, 2020, 01:44:28 am
Thanks for your latest update Caela... You come across as such a sweet and lovely person.
Your top in the photo looks lovely too...

and I will say it too (and have said it many times over the last few days)....

WOW CAE!


Can't wait for the next part xx

Thanks Sarah!

I'm really glad you like my story. It's quite cathartic to take a second look at my start and revisit how I was feeling at the time.  It's so empowering, but also scary, to put it down in words and post it for the world to see.  I've received so much help and enlightenment from those who came before me (yourself included :)) that it would be quite remiss of me to keep my tale to myself if it could provide encouragement to another.

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 11, 2020, 12:05:48 pm
I can't believe I just did this!  In our part of the world we have a Friday ritual during the NFL (gridiron) football season called Blue Friday, where people show their Seattle Seahawks team pride at work.    I've been gearing up for supporting my team this season, and decided I wanted to wear the new stuff- So I woke up today, put on my blue and green wig,  my wife's jersey, some beads and joined my team's video conference call.  I got called out by one of the girls- "M--- you don't get to be cuter than me!"

Ill-advised?  Maybe.  Edgy?  Yes.  Self-affirming?  Most definitely!

Caela.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200911/6b000cb02974ee4c466ff979598459d2.jpg)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 11, 2020, 01:51:50 pm
Part Four- Covert Operations

My birthday evening had been planned with friends for a while.  Our community had just opened back up for in-person dining, and we had two tables reserved so that seven people could eat while following the socially distance guidelines.  I was still on cloud nine from seeing myself complete.  I looked (and felt) younger, vibrant, happy.  I wished I could have stayed in that moment forever, but I knew though that I had to start getting ready for dinner. I reluctantly pulled out the makeup remover, and went back to male-mode.  I looked in the mirror and saw a very drab dour face completely at odds with the girl I still saw staring out from my eyes.  I knew I needed that feeling again, so I determined to try again tomorrow.

In my excitement, I'd forgotten that I'd made a pretty significant visual change in shaving off my beard.  I'd worn a beard for the past 25 years, and my kids had never in their whole life seen me without a beard. They were the first to be shocked, before we even left the house.  At the restaurant all my friends were shocked.  I think I told them I did it so I could look younger.  It wasn't quite untrue- I just left out the pieces that were truly important to me, and that felt wrong.

The next morning, I started thinking about my next steps.   I knew there was more that I needed- a couple of tops don't make a full wardrobe.  I calculated out the rest of my sizes, and my male-self went out shopping early- and found that my sizes weren't generally available.  I quickly found more tops that would fit, but shoe sizes in stores stopped two sizes too small.  Bottoms were a problem too.  I realized that I'd need to search every rack in the store to find what I was looking for- and that would result in overwhelming anxiety for my male-mode self. I resigned myself to online orders.

I felt really bad that I now had a part of my life that I couldn't share with anyone, that I had to keep completely private- but unless I was ready to come out it was the only thing to do. My pattern was to get my work done early, run downstairs when my online orders showed up and grab them.  I'd then lock my bedroom and go girl-mode for a bit.  Try on clothes.  Practice makeup.  Spend a few fleeting moments being happy before going back to male-mode.

I learned that something that looks good online may be complete junk when you are holding it.  Sizes all different, fabrics that didn't feel right.  It was frustrating to know that I could probably find stuff in stores and make sure it was right before purchasing instead of the hit-and-miss of online shopping- if only I was comfortable being a male in a women's clothing department.  But that was impossible.  If I was a girl, no problem.  But everyone would see through my bad makeup job and shapeless form- and I'd just be that much more uncomfortable.  That thought made me sad until I had an epiphany.

The parts of my face that I was insecure about would be covered by a COVID mask! Maybe I could go out!  Maybe I could go shopping! But I'd have to plan it like a military operation. 

I figured I couldn't wear makeup under the mask, so I'd need to create enough of the rest of the illusion that I would be comfortable.  My wig and my wife's glasses would go a long way, but I'd need shape underneath my blouse- I could dig out a bra of my wife's, 6 sizes too small, stretch myself into it and stuff the cups  Anything that I didn't have I'd just have to choose my most androgynous alternate- it ought to be ok for an hour.  Check!

I'd have to find a store that would be relatively quiet, and away from where anyone I know lived or worked or shopped.  I could drive across town to a Walmart close to their closing time.  Check!

I'd have to quickly change outside the house, since I couldn't run the risk of my kids or neighbors seeing me. I could wear a blouse underneath a football jersey, wig and glasses in a bag.  I could change everything on a quiet street a couple of blocks away.  Check!

And once there I'd have to try not to do anything that would out myself.  Ok, so no talking, and I'd pay in cash.  Check!

In hindsight, I can't believe I actually had the confidence to pull it off.   I spent a wonderful hour doing what most women take for granted- digging through every rack looking for just the right thing- without anyone else taking a second look.  I didn't end up buying a lot- but I had enough to complete at least one full outfit.  Shorts, Jeans, Panties, a Bra that fits, a belt.  I got home, closed my bedroom door, tried it all on and cried- everything I was wearing was feminine and my size.  I was giddy with excitement, and my confidence in myself was soaring!

But it wasn't all wine and roses.... I wished that I had someone to share these feelings with.  I knew the kids were concerned about me, and the time I was spending locked in my bedroom.  After being out and about I didn't want to be locked in my bedroom anymore either.

And I knew there was only one answer to those problems. I was tired of secrets. The only question was could I accept the risk of losing the most important things in my life?

Or was it even a question at this point....

Next Part- Family Matters

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 11, 2020, 04:05:29 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I am so very glad that you got "brave" enough to start your very own personal journal/Blog.
While it is certainly important and helpful to you to document your transition and life story, all of your followers here will get an opportunity to travel with you on your journey.
The give and take of reply comments mixed with what you post here on your thread is something special for you and for all of your followers.

I love your Seattle Seahawks dressup day.... and YOUR HAIR !!!!!!

Again, thank you for keeping your thread updated with interesting happenings in your life!!!!,

HUGS and HUGS
Danielle

I can't believe I just did this!  In our part of the world we have a Friday ritual during the NFL (gridiron) football season called Blue Friday, where people show their Seattle Seahawks team pride at work.    I've been gearing up for supporting my team this season, and decided I wanted to wear the new stuff- So I woke up today, put on my blue and green wig,  my wife's jersey, some beads and joined my team's video conference call.  I got called out by one of the girls- "M--- you don't get to be cuter than me!"

Ill-advised?  Maybe.  Edgy?  Yes.  Self-affirming?  Most definitely!

Caela.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200911/6b000cb02974ee4c466ff979598459d2.jpg)

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 11, 2020, 04:24:38 pm
I guess I'm extra chatty today :)  I had an interesting conversation with my oldest kiddo while we were out driving. 

Them- " I have a weird question- when exactly did you know?"

Me- "I dunno, maybe a few weeks after your mom passed away."

Them- "I was wondering because you've been sending off feminine vibes for a long time"

That kinda floored me- I come to find out that in their eyes, I'd been putting out feminine vibes for years.  It makes you wonder about the signs that we all miss  (or downplay) in ourselves as we go through life- and how that drives a lot of the strain and depression and unhappiness so many of us face silently before we come out to ourselves.

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 11, 2020, 04:33:00 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I am so very glad that you got "brave" enough to start your very own personal journal/Blog.
While it is certainly important and helpful to you to document your transition and life story, all of your followers here will get an opportunity to travel with you on your journey.
The give and take of reply comments mixed with what you post here on your thread is something special for you and for all of your followers.

I love your Seattle Seahawks dressup day.... and YOUR HAIR !!!!!!

Again, thank you for keeping your thread updated with interesting happenings in your life!!!!,

HUGS and HUGS
Danielle

@Northern Star Girl

Thanks Danielle! 

As much as I would love to have real hair like a lot of the girls here, I'm realistic about my chances for significant regrowth- and that really opens the door to explore different wigs!  I love this one and I can't wait for the stadium to reopen for this "12th Girl" to cheer for the 'Hawks in person!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 11, 2020, 06:01:43 pm
Wonderful updates Cae... so I have to update my other post..

WOW CAE!

Kids can be wonderful...and see things a lot sooner than adults.  My daughter told me that she would call me mom... on her own volition. I never asked her to call me anything - when I said how humbled that made me feel, she added... But you've always been my mom??  yep, that made me cry...

Thankyou for sharing all this - I remember going out, with a man-mode covering my actual clothes, so as not to cause any upsets... It does get easier... and then you forget how much you had to hide...

Looking forward to more..!!  (sorry, I am greedy)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 11, 2020, 09:33:05 pm
Caela,

Very compelling, your writings are.
I will keep reading and thank you for sharing out.
Lovely avatar.

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 12, 2020, 01:33:01 am
@SarahEL

Sarah-

Thanks again for your kind words!  That's so sweet with your daughter.  She really is an incredible person, and you are really lucky to have someone like that in your life!  I've told my kids that I am never to be "mom", that their mother will always be "mom"- I'm still Dad, and since that can be rather awkward they generally call me Caela.

I've been smiling and cringing as I've written the story posts, as I've come a long way in a short time since these events happened.  The girl that I'm writing about is charmingly naive.  She didn't have anyone to teach her the ropes, so if it seems like she muddled through and made it up as she went along, you'd be correct.  Since then I've grown more confident, more consistent in my look, more comfortable in my voice, able to converse and navigate publicly- and I'm still pretty naive!

(and don't worry- I've got more  to write ;))

Hugs!

Caela

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 12, 2020, 01:40:17 am
Caela,

Very compelling, your writings are.
I will keep reading and thank you for sharing out.
Lovely avatar.

Chrissy

@ChrissyRyan

Thanks Chrissy!  I really appreciate that!  I noticed you changed your avatar, and I like all the colors in your hair!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 12, 2020, 07:18:13 am
@ChrissyRyan

Thanks Chrissy!  I really appreciate that!  I noticed you changed your avatar, and I like all the colors in your hair!

Hugs!

Caela

You put your thoughts and words together very well.  I know you have went through a lot and I certainly reach out to you in sympathy. 

You are also finding your real self and developing the courage to go out and obtain more of a wardrobe.  Congratulations.   

I do wish that you have a growing happiness, and that applies to all aspects of life.   :)

You go, girl!   :)

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 12, 2020, 11:06:08 am
Woke up this morning needing a little boost.  One of the great things of being the parent of an AFAB child in the 2000's is being introduced to the mind-altering effects of Disney Channel bubblegum popstars.  If I'm feeling down, putting "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus" on the music player usually turns me right around with high-energy girl-positive songs!

Diabetic Warning- This song is sugar coated Disney bubblegum pop!  But I love the message!
   You can find it on YouTube        Hannah Montana- Nobody's Perfect

Caela

               Hannah Montana- Nobody's Perfect
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t93u0qg5q_M



Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 13, 2020, 05:44:44 pm
Part Five- Family Matters

Followers of my blog have already probably picked up that I'm not the only one in my family to have questioned their gender identity.  I'm not even the only one to actively step towards transition in any form- I'm actually the third on that account. And to tell my story I have to share a little bit about them.

The first person was the person I identify as my father-in-law, who came out to my wife as H___ over ten years ago.  My wife was close to her, and she had reached a point that she wanted to share her discovery- and told my wife not to tell me, that I wouldn't understand and didn't want me blabbing it out to my mother-in-law.  My wife told her that we had already inadvertently found out a few weeks prior and were already keeping her privacy- and though we both admitted that we didn't understand fully , we both were willing to accept and support her as H___.

She soon gave us a written copy of her journey, outlining her challenges, her interactions with parents and siblings, and her concerns over her partner.  We talked it over as we went through the story- and we came to understand what she was going through. (Although, after I began my journey and read those stories again from my new perspective, I realized how surface that understanding really was.)

The second person, and harder to swallow was five years later when our oldest child came to us with their gender identity and wanted us to call them by a different name. I think what made that hard is that their birth name was the childhood name of my girl self, and it was like a piece of that girl self was fading away.  But in the end there was no question to be anything other than accepting. 

So I found myself the third person, locking myself in my room, hiding the person that I was becoming- slowly losing the positive energy from my discovery in the negatives of shame and fear and secrecy.  And I just couldn't go on that way, it was tearing my girl-mode self apart as much as grief was tearing my male-mode self. I realized I would have to share my secret- I would have to have someone to talk to.  But to who?  I first thought of the others that have come out- they would likely be more understanding about what I was going through.

H___ was no longer really with us.  Alzheimer's had taken both sides of that individual that I knew away.  The sad part of that disease is how much you lose yourself-  this became effectively a forced detransition and they probably don't remember or realize that anything was ever different!  My heart is torn just thinking about it.

So I came out to my oldest child first.  Their generation is our future, and they are politically aware, reject the depersonalization of issues, and stand up for their feelings.  I needed someone who would at least listen.  It was hard to open my mouth, but very easy once the words started coming out.  And I worried a lot about nothing- with their own transition they found it very affirming that their father- who they already felt was giving off female vibes- had discovered themselves.

But I made in restrospect a very bad decision, and made the same call that H___ had made towards me ten years priror- I asked my oldest not to share with my son- they just wouldn't understand, and would probably blab it to my mother-in-law. 

My oldest was opening up to me and wanting to talk more and more about our situations- but they were also abruptly stopping whenever my son would come near.  It became very obvious and uncomfortable and really weighed on my mind.  By the next morning I realized how wrong that was and that I would have to come clean with him as well.

I didn't think it went well.  I told him how I was feeling, that I was questioning just like the others, and that in exploring myself he would see me dressed and presenting as a woman.  He just said "OK", and walked off.  He didn't talk much, and wouldn't look at me when I was presenting as a woman.  It was obvious that he said he accepted but really didn't.  I shared that concern with my oldest, and they said that I was mistaken- he was supportive, but that he was taking the losses (his grandfather, his mom, and now his dad) hard.  He came up to me the next day to ask about my pronouns, and also if I wanted to be called Mom.  I told him, no I don't want to be called Mom, that his mom will always be the one he should call Mom.  I realized that he was just dealing with my transition in his own way- and that I'd have a lot of work to fill the void in his life.

And after that bit of drama I was able to walk out of my bedroom.  I was able to be myself throughout my own house, and that led to more time as Caela.  My kids have noticed that I'm happier as Caela- I'm in better moods and that extends to my interactions with them.   Instead of losing my kids I may be closer to them than ever!

It filled a great deal of the need for company, but there are some things that you can't talk with your kids about. I needed adult conversations. I knew I'd have to step miles outside of my comfort zone.

Next Part- Unmasked

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 13, 2020, 05:54:40 pm
Part Five- Family Matters
    [snipped]

It filled a great deal of the need for company, but there are some things that you can't talk with your kids about. I needed adult conversations. I knew I'd have to step miles outside of my comfort zone.

Next Part- Unmasked

Caela
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I am riveted to your postings and how you are so openly sharing your life, your transition, your story.
Your last sentence sums up what I think is very important.   While we should open up to our own children, we do need to have conversations and discussions about out transition with adults... cis-men, cis-females and certainly other like-minded transgender individuals.

Thank you for sharing... and as you post more on this, your own Personal Journal Blog thread... I will certainly be eagerly reading and following.


HUGS and wishing success and happiness for you.
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 13, 2020, 06:03:11 pm
having a child that can love you unconditionally is the greatest gift any parent can wish for....

Without my daughter and her love, I would not exist today. (or have a liking for teeny-pop?? how DOES that happen?)..

Lovely updates Cae.. I am so enjoying your story and learning about who you are. It is inspiring me to write mine, but I do not know where to start??

Sending you big hugs XX
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 13, 2020, 07:23:58 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I am riveted to your postings and how you are so openly sharing your life, your transition, your story.
Your last sentence sums up what I think is very important.   While we should open up to our own children, we do need to have conversations and discussions about out transition with adults... cis-men, cis-females and certainly other like-minded transgender individuals.

Thank you for sharing... and as you post more on this, your own Personal Journal Blog thread... I will certainly be eagerly reading and following.


HUGS and wishing success and happiness for you.
Danielle

@Northern Star Girl

Danielle-

Thank you! This one was hard to write as I was trying to find the balance between telling a story and maintaining security.  It feels good for my soul to be open as I can- but still so much is left on the cutting room floor :)

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 13, 2020, 07:44:46 pm
Caela,

Thank you for continuing to share out your experiences that make up your personal story.

We are here to support you as you move along in your journey.   :)

Hugs,

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 13, 2020, 08:16:16 pm
having a child that can love you unconditionally is the greatest gift any parent can wish for....

Without my daughter and her love, I would not exist today. (or have a liking for teeny-pop?? how DOES that happen?)..

Lovely updates Cae.. I am so enjoying your story and learning about who you are. It is inspiring me to write mine, but I do not know where to start??

Sending you big hugs XX
@SarahEL

Thanks, Sarah!

It's great to have someone you can share your journey with and be there to support you (and be a shopping buddy :) )  I know I'd be in a much darker state of mind without my kids!

Teeny-pop! -It happens when you have the television tuned to the Disney Channel for your kids with for two hours of "Hannah Montana" every day, and if your kids want you to sing along- you have fun with them!  I still know most of the songs from those sing-alongs ten years ago, and they take me back to a happy time!

I'd love to hear your stories!  I've been writing a lot this year, mostly stream-of-consciousness entries in my journal.   As I started posting here I realized there was more about myself that I wanted to share- and I didn't want to derail someone else's thread by doing so.  Baring your soul and writing the first part is the hardest- much like putting on makeup and going outside, you hope you got it right (and don't end up sparkling in bright sunlight! :) ) 

And like any good story- it's better if you don't know the ending! and I'm still finding that out myself!

Hugs!

Caela


Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 13, 2020, 08:19:19 pm
Caela,

Thank you for continuing to share out your experiences that make up your personal story.

We are here to support you as you move along in your journey.   :)

Hugs,

Chrissy

Thanks, Chrissy!

I really appreciate all the support and care that I've received from everyone since I decided to contribute!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 14, 2020, 11:55:22 am
Good morning everyone!

I thought I would share a gift that I received today that was very special to me.  I woke up this morning and started getting ready for my morning video calls.  After showering and drying off I looked in the mirror and noticed that my belly seemed flatter and my "moobs" seemed more defined- more like real breasts- because of it.  I don't think anything had truly physically changed- but most definitely my perception of it had.   

Self-acceptance is powerful stuff!  Today is a good day, and I hope you all have a wonderful day today!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 14, 2020, 12:08:53 pm
Good morning everyone!

I thought I would share a gift that I received today that was very special to me.  I woke up this morning and started getting ready for my morning video calls.  After showering and drying off I looked in the mirror and noticed that my belly seemed flatter and my "moobs" seemed more defined- more like real breasts- because of it.  I don't think anything had truly physically changed- but most definitely my perception of it had.   

Self-acceptance is powerful stuff!  Today is a good day, and I hope you all have a wonderful day today!

Hugs!

Caela


@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
The effects of HRT can be disappointingly slow for many, but changes will happen as you stay the course.

What you described is exactly what I had experienced earlier in my transition and I am just about certain that most transitioners, when they do see and feel some of the body and mind changes, are very exited and motivated to continue on.   

Enjoy these self-confidence, self-assurance, and self-acceptance moments.... hang on tight, there are many more of these experiences coming your way.

Please continue keeping me and the rest of your followers updated, but only as you feel comfortable doing.

HUGS and lots more HUGS,
Danielle

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 14, 2020, 03:36:40 pm
Part Six- Unmasked

Going on shopping trips was always painful for my male-mode self.  I'd begrudgingly go, and I'd hold bags- but I always felt so self-conscious looking for clothes.  I'd always want it to be like a commando raid- get in, get the task done, and get out before the enemy spotted you!

As Caela I love to go shopping!  I can spend hours walking around the mall, looking in all the stores, searching like an archaeologist for the fabled lost treasure.  Maybe you come home with a new outfit, maybe you just come home with a single new color of eyeliner, maybe you didn't find anything at all that said "buy me"- but it's fun and affirmingly normal just to be out and interact with the shopkeepers.

Over the next few days after coming out to my kids I went shopping nearly every day.  Each day was a win, each day added to my confidence.  The first day was the first time I was called "ma'am"; The second day I found shoes in my size, and actually had conversations with other shoppers about their finds;  The third day I found a nice purple summer dress that I adore;  The fourth day I went to the optometrist and ordered new glasses so that I could have my female look and see too!

I soon had built enough confidence along with my new wardrobe that I started thinking about perhaps coming out to another person- this time one of my friends, an adult that I could share my trials and tribulations with.

I have many friends that I would consider more open to understanding, and could probably handle the shock- but there really was only one person that I felt comfortable having the first conversation with.  This friend had been there for me when I was coming to understand my oldest child's desire to transition.  My friend shared that they themselves considered themselves somewhere in the middle, with  tendencies towards being the opposite gender. I figured if anyone was going to understand it would be this person.  I didn't want to just talk to this person though.  I needed the social aspect too- and since restaurants had reopened for in-person dining, I made arrangements to meet up for happy hour.

I had been spending most of my time since coming out to the kids in girl-mode, and that day was no exception.  As the day progressed, I knew I would soon have to choose what I was going to wear- and I didn't really want to change back into male clothing.  And I also didn't have a consistenly flattering makeup regimen.  Previous attempts had run the gamut from barely there to goth kabuki- none of them were very flattering.  But that day things came together for me.  My skin tone was even, the mascara wasn't running, the eyeshadow looked good- and I didn't want to remove that either.  So on an impulse I decided to stay in girl-mode, and deal with the consequences.

And if I was going out as Caela- I was going to do it right!  I put on pantyhose and my purple dress, a cardigan that coordinated well, some of my nicer jewelry (The one grouping of things that I inherited from my wife that I didn't have style issues with was jewelry- I had picked most of it out after all  :)), my tan purse and comfortable flats.  I matched the clothing choices with my new prosthetics that balanced my body shape, my wife's glasses that framed my face in a female fashion and my favorite wig (which I'd just started trying to style). And lastly I stuck on a set of false nails that I had painted the day before. It was my best attempt yet to pass, and I hoped it would be enough.

After all that work (it takes time to look good!), I got to the restaurant fashionably late- and figured my friend would be sitting in there already.  But they were running even later, so I went in and found a table and ordered a glass of Rose.  I had to take off the mask to enjoy my glass of wine.  I learned pretty quick that I would have to relearn how to untie knots, hold glasses of wine, and how to do just about everything else with long nails.   

It had been just over a month since my admission to myself, exactly a month since my first furtive steps outside the house- and there I was sitting in public, unmasked, with only my tenuous makeup job providing cover.

When my friend arrived, i didn't see them come in- and they didn't see me.  I finally got a text asking if I was here, to which I replied, "I'm the girl in the purple dress." To say that was a shock to them was an understatement!  They had apparently walked past me several times and didn't recognize me- so I counted that as huge win!  We hugged, talked about my transition and my state of mind- and then we chatted like we always had.  Discussion of our regular mundane topics only intermittenly broken as I'd do something to cause one of the false nails to fall off!

But we could kvetch only so long- and soon it was time to head back home. It was a wonderful evening- and wouldn't be the last, but the firsts are always more memorable.

I was happy as I drove home that day.  The next day would bring bad wardrobe choices and another failed makeup job- but for that one day I nailed it!

Next Part- The List

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 14, 2020, 04:26:03 pm
Oh Cae, you made me smile reading your latest part... So much rings true with me too...
Oh, and shopping, I LOVE shopping..(and today, out and about a canvasser tried to stop me in the street with 'excuse me madam...' -  I dodged, but the smile on my face (under my mask) lasted ages!)...

Roll on Part 7!...
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 14, 2020, 05:17:26 pm
Oh Cae, you made me smile reading your latest part... So much rings true with me too...
Oh, and shopping, I LOVE shopping..(and today, out and about a canvasser tried to stop me in the street with 'excuse me madam...' -  I dodged, but the smile on my face (under my mask) lasted ages!)...

Roll on Part 7!...
@SarahEL

Sarah-

Right!   I LOVE shopping, and not because of the items I'm ostensibly out looking for- it's the interactions!  I love being accepted, and being called "ma'am", and making small talk while shopping.  I always leave the mall with a big smile on my face after these wins!   And if you find something it's like a bonus!- I was out with my oldest this weekend and I got a little handbag that has a saying on the back that is so true for me-  "I know I should stop shopping! But I am not a quitter!"

It's my new wallet now! :)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200914/24e1b17626a9edad637549af3e99006c.jpg)

And I have to say you are looking GREAT in your new avatar photo! You look happy and content!  I hope there will be a story leading up to that smile!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 14, 2020, 05:33:16 pm
 ;D ;D  Yes, When the going get's tough, the tough go shopping!  >:-) >:-)

I love the bag! and the sentiment.  It is so nice to have little things like that with you all the time. Shopping is a very real form of therapy for me, especially with my daughter in tow.. We have such fun together.
Last week we were out together, and just window shopping really, but we walked past this very, very expensive bag shop.. I wanted to look but my daughter was saying 'oh, you know it's all over-priced tat'.. we walk upto the window with the purses in and simultaneously we both say 'OH, I LOVE THAT ONE' and point to the same black purse, we then fall about laughing (it really was both at the same time... I always say she was a clone, not an offspring!)...

(Thanks for the kind words about my avatar - I am not quite at the 'happy ending' yet - but working hard on getting there)...
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 14, 2020, 05:56:07 pm
Good morning everyone!

I thought I would share a gift that I received today that was very special to me.  I woke up this morning and started getting ready for my morning video calls.  After showering and drying off I looked in the mirror and noticed that my belly seemed flatter and my "moobs" seemed more defined- more like real breasts- because of it.  I don't think anything had truly physically changed- but most definitely my perception of it had.   

Self-acceptance is powerful stuff!  Today is a good day, and I hope you all have a wonderful day today!

Hugs!

Caela


Yay!   :)


Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 14, 2020, 05:57:17 pm
@SarahEL

Sarah-

Right!   I LOVE shopping, and not because of the items I'm ostensibly out looking for- it's the interactions!  I love being accepted, and being called "ma'am", and making small talk while shopping.  I always leave the mall with a big smile on my face after these wins!   And if you find something it's like a bonus!- I was out with my oldest this weekend and I got a little handbag that has a saying on the back that is so true for me-  "I know I should stop shopping! But I am not a quitter!"

It's my new wallet now! :)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200914/24e1b17626a9edad637549af3e99006c.jpg)

And I have to say you are looking GREAT in your new avatar photo! You look happy and content!  I hope there will be a story leading up to that smile!

Hugs!

Caela

Cute!


Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 15, 2020, 09:39:21 am
Part Seven- The List

In the early days of my journey, I had written myself a list.  It listed several things that my new girl-mode self wanted, and I had been slowly fulfilling all of them. 

Quote from: Caela's List
Micaela wants
a pair of flats
capris
more tops
pierced ears
freedom!
better glasses
a diary
longer gold and silver chains
learn how to do makeup!
friends- but not being needy
more writing practice

Love
   Cae!
   
 Be You!! You are wonderful

By this time in my journey- I had already checked several of these off the list. The day after I made this list I picked up a journal (Pink with the words "happy thoughts" on the cover), and had already filled about a quarter of the pages.  I was writing in cursive for the first time in probably thirty-five years, and the writing I had been doing in my journal gave me plenty "more writing practice." My excursions to the mall had already brought me plenty of shoes, bottoms and tops.  In fact my wardrobe had filled up all the space in the closet that I had just recently cleared out!

I had also already put in motion getting better glasses.  My plan was to get two pairs of glasses- one male-mode and one girl-mode.  I had gone through the box of old eyeglasses trying on different styles, this time fully en femme, before I went to the optometrist.  I wouldn't be in girl-mode during the visit, so I wanted to already have set in my mind what styles would be flattering.  After trying them all on, the one that was the most flattering were the ones I had already been wearing- my wife's.

After being seen by the doctor, I quickly found my new male-mode glasses, and a near match for my wife's glasses to order in my new prescription.  With all the COVID restrictions they were pretty backed up at the optometrist, and we had to wait in queue for the optician.  Since we were waiting, I took a close look at all the other frames- and found a pair that I liked the look of - but I had no idea how it would really look once I was fully en femme!  I ended up deciding to roll the dice and buy the third pair myself since insurance was covering the other two.  Now I had to wait two weeks while the lab made them.

For "learning how to do makeup" I put on my technical hat and tried to reverse engineer what worked when I was satisfied with my look. I had a drawer full of product from my wife, and methodically tried each one- and started making another list of the products I would actually like to use.  Her skin was shaded cooler than mine- and I soon learned that different makeup products would be required for my tone.  So i focused on the overall basic look rather than tone.  I found eyeliners that I could get in a straight line without creating a mess.  I found out about concealer that would cover my blemishes.  I backed off the eyeshadow.  I discovered I have naturally long lashes, so I stopped using the lengthening mascara.  Once I had an overall look that I liked, I went shopping for the appropriate tones.  And finally I had a nice glowing look that was flattering to my eyes- and even better, I could repeat it!

I next tackled the jewelry aspect.  I had entire cabinet of jewelry that I had inherited from my wife that was pretty much to my sense of style- I had bought most of it as presents for her over the past 28 years we had been together.  The only issues were physical- I'm in every dimension a bigger person that my wife was- and there were very few items that I could wear right off the shelf. Her larger rings would become tight pinky rings for me. Her pendants would hang mid-chest, but would be chokers (or smaller!!!!) to me.  And all of her earrings assumed that you had pierced ears. 

So firstly I made an appointment to get my ears pierced at a nearby body art studio.  I had heard too many stories about gun piercings done at the mall- I wanted needle piercings.  I looked very androgynous as I went in, even with my bald head- and after I picked out a pair of Amethyst studs for my first earrings the girls there treated me very respectfully as one the girls.   After a short wait I was ushered in the the back room, which was sparkling clean, and within about ten minutes (and two short pinpricks) I walked out with my new stud earrings!

Afterwards I went over to a local jeweler to look at chains.  After a short wait due to COVID-19 limits, I was allowed in and shown the nice thick male chains.  I explained again that I had several pendants from my wife, and I'd like to wear them in her memory- and they brought out the thinner chains. They really had to dig in the back of their safe- I think I cleared them out of of longer women's style chains.  I left with two 24" and two 22" chains that met my style and would accent the pendants.

A few days later- I got the call that my new glasses were ready.  The pair that I added at the last second wer beyond perfect!  It was the final piece to complete my look.  They're curved with larger lenses- and look nothing like the style my male self has worn for years.  They're comfortable and I like them so much that I've inadvertently wore them several times male-mode on conference calls!

I had slowly been building my confidence, and my openness with others- and had gone from sneaking out of the house in male-mode to walking confidently out of my garage door en femme.  I had gone from thinking I would be out of place in a store to confidently walking in as if I fully belonged there (because I did).  I went from being afraid to use my girl voice to accepting that it may not be perfect, but if I'm confident in how I use it I can converse with anyone. I realized that I already had the "freedom" that I yearned for at my start.

Which left "Friends- but not being needy".  I had already come out to my kids and my close friend, and I was still on really good terms with all of them. (And I hope that I'm not being too forward in counting you, my readers, as friends as well.) I wanted to bring more people into my circle of trust- to whom and where do I come out next?

Maybe my mom?!?!?  Nah, that's just crazy....

Next Part- Mother's Daughter

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 15, 2020, 04:23:41 pm
Part Seven- The List

In the early days of my journey, I had written myself a list.  It listed several things that my new girl-mode self wanted, and I had been slowly fulfilling all of them. 

By this time in my journey- I had already checked several of these off the list. The day after I made this list I picked up a journal (Pink with the words "happy thoughts" on the cover), and had already filled about a quarter of the pages.  I was writing in cursive for the first time in probably thirty-five years, and the writing I had been doing in my journal gave me plenty "more writing practice." My excursions to the mall had already brought me plenty of shoes, bottoms and tops.  In fact my wardrobe had filled up all the space in the closet that I had just recently cleared out!

I had also already put in motion getting better glasses.  My plan was to get two pairs of glasses- one male-mode and one girl-mode.  I had gone through the box of old eyeglasses trying on different styles, this time fully en femme, before I went to the optometrist.  I wouldn't be in girl-mode during the visit, so I wanted to already have set in my mind what styles would be flattering.  After trying them all on, the one that was the most flattering were the ones I had already been wearing- my wife's.

After being seen by the doctor, I quickly found my new male-mode glasses, and a near match for my wife's glasses to order in my new prescription.  With all the COVID restrictions they were pretty backed up at the optometrist, and we had to wait in queue for the optician.  Since we were waiting, I took a close look at all the other frames- and found a pair that I liked the look of - but I had no idea how it would really look once I was fully en femme!  I ended up deciding to roll the dice and buy the third pair myself since insurance was covering the other two.  Now I had to wait two weeks while the lab made them.

For "learning how to do makeup" I put on my technical hat and tried to reverse engineer what worked when I was satisfied with my look. I had a drawer full of product from my wife, and methodically tried each one- and started making another list of the products I would actually like to use.  Her skin was shaded cooler than mine- and I soon learned that different makeup products would be required for my tone.  So i focused on the overall basic look rather than tone.  I found eyeliners that I could get in a straight line without creating a mess.  I found out about concealer that would cover my blemishes.  I backed off the eyeshadow.  I discovered I have naturally long lashes, so I stopped using the lengthening mascara.  Once I had an overall look that I liked, I went shopping for the appropriate tones.  And finally I had a nice glowing look that was flattering to my eyes- and even better, I could repeat it!

I next tackled the jewelry aspect.  I had entire cabinet of jewelry that I had inherited from my wife that was pretty much to my sense of style- I had bought most of it as presents for her over the past 28 years we had been together.  The only issues were physical- I'm in every dimension a bigger person that my wife was- and there were very few items that I could wear right off the shelf. Her larger rings would become tight pinky rings for me. Her pendants would hang mid-chest, but would be chokers (or smaller!!!!) to me.  And all of her earrings assumed that you had pierced ears. 

So firstly I made an appointment to get my ears pierced at a nearby body art studio.  I had heard too many stories about gun piercings done at the mall- I wanted needle piercings.  I looked very androgynous as I went in, even with my bald head- and after I picked out a pair of Amethyst studs for my first earrings the girls there treated me very respectfully as one the girls.   After a short wait I was ushered in the the back room, which was sparkling clean, and within about ten minutes (and two short pinpricks) I walked out with my new stud earrings!

Afterwards I went over to a local jeweler to look at chains.  After a short wait due to COVID-19 limits, I was allowed in and shown the nice thick male chains.  I explained again that I had several pendants from my wife, and I'd like to wear them in her memory- and they brought out the thinner chains. They really had to dig in the back of their safe- I think I cleared them out of of longer women's style chains.  I left with two 24" and two 22" chains that met my style and would accent the pendants.

A few days later- I got the call that my new glasses were ready.  The pair that I added at the last second wer beyond perfect!  It was the final piece to complete my look.  They're curved with larger lenses- and look nothing like the style my male self has worn for years.  They're comfortable and I like them so much that I've inadvertently wore them several times male-mode on conference calls!

I had slowly been building my confidence, and my openness with others- and had gone from sneaking out of the house in male-mode to walking confidently out of my garage door en femme.  I had gone from thinking I would be out of place in a store to confidently walking in as if I fully belonged there (because I did).  I went from being afraid to use my girl voice to accepting that it may not be perfect, but if I'm confident in how I use it I can converse with anyone. I realized that I already had the "freedom" that I yearned for at my start.

Which left "Friends- but not being needy".  I had already come out to my kids and my close friend, and I was still on really good terms with all of them. (And I hope that I'm not being too forward in counting you, my readers, as friends as well.) I wanted to bring more people into my circle of trust- to whom and where do I come out next?

Maybe my mom?!?!?  Nah, that's just crazy....

Next Part- Mother's Daughter

Caela


It sounds as if everything is falling into place for you quite nicely.  :)

That is wonderful. 

Hugs,

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 15, 2020, 04:36:01 pm
Cae..

What a lovely addition to your blog. It really does sound as if things are coming together.. a little bit of planning and logic never go amiss in getting us to where we need to be...Your confidence sound like it is building nicely.. It is a really happy thing to read. thank you (again) for sharing with us all...

I can check most things off from your list too - just need pierced ears (will be done in a few weeks, my daughter wants hers done too, so we are going to do a mum/daughter thing together.. really looking forward to that),  better glasses (mine are old and need replacing) and freedom (and got a whole lot more of that, but want total freedom now!)..

AND... You are definitely not being forward in counting me as one of your friends.....
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 15, 2020, 06:53:09 pm
Thanks Sarah and Chrissy-

I've tried to build myself up on the easy things and get confidence before I start trying to knock out the hard ones.  The second third of a book is usually where the challenges start piling up. 

Work for example- I had my one-on-one with my boss today, and he asked me to please keep him in the loop as to what is going on with my situation- for them, "my situation" is being a grieving widow(er).

My situation to me is just a mite different ;)

I almost want to walk into the office tomorrow en femme in a tasteful skirt and business top, not say anything and see what happens.  As much as that appeals to my "drama queen" side,  I realize how truly non-productive that would be and how much it would set me back personally and professionally. Even though I have an "oh poor guy he went crazy with grief" get-out-of-jail-free card to play if things went sideways- I don't want to have to play it.

As fast as other things have happened for me, it's not about speed- it's about being right with myself.  Therapy for me has been unpacking my grief as well as my identity, and everything will happen in it's own time. So it's not time for Cae to make her entrance tomorrow- but maybe it is time to be a little bit more androgynous than the last time I was in the office.  >:-)

Cae..

What a lovely addition to your blog. It really does sound as if things are coming together.. a little bit of planning and logic never go amiss in getting us to where we need to be...Your confidence sound like it is building nicely.. It is a really happy thing to read. thank you (again) for sharing with us all...

I can check most things off from your list too - just need pierced ears (will be done in a few weeks, my daughter wants hers done too, so we are going to do a mum/daughter thing together.. really looking forward to that),  better glasses (mine are old and need replacing) and freedom (and got a whole lot more of that, but want total freedom now!)..

AND... You are definitely not being forward in counting me as one of your friends.....
I'm so excited! I get to switch out my training studs in about a week!   My oldest wants another set of ear piercings, and the place that did mine did such a great job I'm going to take them there, and we'll make a grand day of it!  (I have to show the girls there how things turned out anyways!)

 
Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 16, 2020, 12:14:10 pm
Part Eight- Mother's Daughter

My parents were married in the salad days of their life.  Young, and with their whole life ahead of them, they looked forward to starting a family of their own.  Like most people, they always envisioned having two kids, a boy and a girl.  But life never goes the way that you plan, no matter how hard they wished or tried.  All of their brothers and sisters had children (and some grandchildren) but for my parents it never seemed to happen for them.  They grew into their middle ages, and turned to loving their dogs and enjoyed time with their friends, looked after nieces and nephews that were sent to live with them- and soon gave up on the dream of having children of their own.

So it was a shock when my mother found out she had finally become pregnant, and they started their family at an age where others were seeing their kids move onto their own lives.

I remember having a generally happy childhood- interleaved with flashes of anger and disappointment from my father.  He never laid a hand on me- but words are sharper to a fragile psyche.  I know that he was very proud of me to other people- but rarely did he share those sentiments to me.  So like most boys, I became closer with my mother- and she shared with me that had I been born a girl, my name would have been "Andrea".

I remember motherly activities like laundry (oh to roll around in clean clothes fresh from the dryer!) and cooking (I loved my Tupperware kid's baking set).  My parents were active in the Masonic orders, and while the men were upstairs in their lodge meetings- I would get to chat and play bingo with their wives.

It always seemed as if I was the only boy in the neighborhood.  The two girls in the house next door became close playmates, and I would spend my days running back and forth between our houses.  Playtime was full of dressing up Barbies and making cookies in Easy-Bake Ovens.  I remember the cute dresses the girls would wear in the summer, and I would sneak into my parents room and look at my mom's dresses.

I was about 4 when I got to wear one.  I looked so cute in my mom's shortest red dress, and one of her wigs.  The preschool halloween party was coming up, and mom let me dress up for that too.  The same red dress, The wig now with a cute red bow in it, a black cardigan sweater and jewelry.  She later said that people had told her it was wrong to have let me go- but she did anyway, and I had a lot fun.  Or should I say "Andrea" had a lot of fun.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200916/f692f2da1e27b9c724220c1a15126ad3.jpg)
"Andrea", age 4.

---

And as far as my mother had known, that was the last time "Andrea" had been around.  But "Andrea" never really went away.  She would sneak up and feel the fabrics of mom's dresses.  She would dig through mom's jewelry and put bracelets on. She would happily play dress up with the other girls at their houses.  And even as an adult- she was hiding around in the corners of my mind.

---

My mom had recently had hip surgery, and over the past few weeks we had traded off my male-self, the kids, and the folks from her church in making sure that she had someone to help her while she healed.  After she was cleared by the doctor- she was under orders to continue to excercise her leg, and was allowed to go back to taking care of herself, and I went back to my normal activities.

My plan had been to stay in girl-mode all weekend.  Saturday was a whirlwind day of shopping (At least for me and my oldest- my son would probably say it went on for far too long!), and when we got home- I got a call from my mom while making dinner.  The feet on the bottom of her walker had been wore off as she rolled it on the concrete- and she wanted me to put some tennis balls on the walker in their place.  I told her we'd come by in the morning and take care of her.  This was my mom and I put my girl-mode plan on the shelf.

I woke up in the morning and started getting ready.  I was a bit ahead of schedule, so I decided to go ahead and do my usual makeup practice. I was getting pretty consistent in my regimen, practice always makes perfect, and I wanted to keep it that way- I could wipe it all off when I was done.

I was about half way done when I thought for a second- What if I stopped right here?  I had foundation and powder on already-What if I didn't put my lipstick, eyeshadow, and mascara on? I realized I looked like my natural self with a clearer complexion.  I just needed a little cover where I'd gotten foundation on my lips.  My wife had a shade of lipstick that I hadn't thought much of because it didn't do anything for me- it was the same shade and tone as my natural lips! I remembered it and bingo, I had my long sought natural "no-makeup" makeup look!

I had another makeup win- and I didn't want to wipe it off this time either. I had also had this vague thought of how I would eventually come out to my mom.  I knew she would go ballistic, I would be chided for my childishness- or wore for setting a bad example for my kids.  I agonized over it for a while- and decided it wasn't going to be better later- This would be an awkward conversation for me no matter what, so the plan was back on.  I put my wig and glasses on and girded myself to reintroduce my mom to someone she hadn't seen in 42 years.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200916/7df4973b10ef626835db85177eeb69be.jpg)
Caela, The morning I came out to mom.

---

The kids went in first when we got to my mom's house and I followed after.  I said "Hello" to my mom and sat down in the floor of her living room to look at the walker.  She looked around, looked back down the hallway, and asked the kids where their dad was....

My mom didn't recognize me!

I looked at her for a moment, and said "Mom, I'll answer any questions you have after I fix your walker." 

She looked at me, looked at the kids, looked back at me- and slowly the realization of who she was looking at came to her. Here it comes! I thought to myself....

And there was no upset- only surprise.  She truly didn't recognize me, and was surprised that I didn't look like male-mode me.  I fixed her walker and we talked about makeup (that she might borrow sometime), my falsies (that she wanted a pair for herself), and if my wife had known.  We talked about how the little girl was now a woman named Micaela. She shared that my father had always wanted a boy and a girl and "he didn't live to see the girl."

Somehow I don't think that I'm quite what my father had in mind!

We talked for a while longer before we longer- again normal conversations.  It wasn't the response I had expected, but it was surely the response I needed.

I was on cloud nine- I passed by my Mom!

Next Part- Echoes

Caela


Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on September 16, 2020, 01:24:47 pm
My mum almost shows me off !! Mums are great .
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 16, 2020, 05:36:25 pm
Part Eight- Mother's Daughter

My parents were married in the salad days of their life.  Young, and with their whole life ahead of them, they looked forward to starting a family of their own.  Like most people, they always envisioned having two kids, a boy and a girl.  But life never goes the way that you plan, no matter how hard they wished or tried.  All of their brothers and sisters had children (and some grandchildren) but for my parents it never seemed to happen for them.  They grew into their middle ages, and turned to loving their dogs and enjoyed time with their friends, looked after nieces and nephews that were sent to live with them- and soon gave up on the dream of having children of their own.

So it was a shock when my mother found out she had finally become pregnant, and they started their family at an age where others were seeing their kids move onto their own lives.

I remember having a generally happy childhood- interleaved with flashes of anger and disappointment from my father.  He never laid a hand on me- but words are sharper to a fragile psyche.  I know that he was very proud of me to other people- but rarely did he share those sentiments to me.  So like most boys, I became closer with my mother- and she shared with me that had I been born a girl, my name would have been "Andrea".

I remember motherly activities like laundry (oh to roll around in clean clothes fresh from the dryer!) and cooking (I loved my Tupperware kid's baking set).  My parents were active in the Masonic orders, and while the men were upstairs in their lodge meetings- I would get to chat and play bingo with their wives.

It always seemed as if I was the only boy in the neighborhood.  The two girls in the house next door became close playmates, and I would spend my days running back and forth between our houses.  Playtime was full of dressing up Barbies and making cookies in Easy-Bake Ovens.  I remember the cute dresses the girls would wear in the summer, and I would sneak into my parents room and look at my mom's dresses.

I was about 4 when I got to wear one.  I looked so cute in my mom's shortest red dress, and one of her wigs.  The preschool halloween party was coming up, and mom let me dress up for that too.  The same red dress, The wig now with a cute red bow in it, a black cardigan sweater and jewelry.  She later said that people had told her it was wrong to have let me go- but she did anyway, and I had a lot fun.  Or should I say "Andrea" had a lot of fun.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200916/f692f2da1e27b9c724220c1a15126ad3.jpg)
"Andrea", age 4.

---

And as far as my mother had known, that was the last time "Andrea" had been around.  But "Andrea" never really went away.  She would sneak up and feel the fabrics of mom's dresses.  She would dig through mom's jewelry and put bracelets on. She would happily play dress up with the other girls at their houses.  And even as an adult- she was hiding around in the corners of my mind.

---

My mom had recently had hip surgery, and over the past few weeks we had traded off my male-self, the kids, and the folks from her church in making sure that she had someone to help her while she healed.  After she was cleared by the doctor- she was under orders to continue to excercise her leg, and was allowed to go back to taking care of herself, and I went back to my normal activities.

My plan had been to stay in girl-mode all weekend.  Saturday was a whirlwind day of shopping (At least for me and my oldest- my son would probably say it went on for far too long!), and when we got home- I got a call from my mom while making dinner.  The feet on the bottom of her walker had been wore off as she rolled it on the concrete- and she wanted me to put some tennis balls on the walker in their place.  I told her we'd come by in the morning and take care of her.  This was my mom and I put my girl-mode plan on the shelf.

I woke up in the morning and started getting ready.  I was a bit ahead of schedule, so I decided to go ahead and do my usual makeup practice. I was getting pretty consistent in my regimen, practice always makes perfect, and I wanted to keep it that way- I could wipe it all off when I was done.

I was about half way done when I thought for a second- What if I stopped right here?  I had foundation and powder on already-What if I didn't put my lipstick, eyeshadow, and mascara on? I realized I looked like my natural self with a clearer complexion.  I just needed a little cover where I'd gotten foundation on my lips.  My wife had a shade of lipstick that I hadn't thought much of because it didn't do anything for me- it was the same shade and tone as my natural lips! I remembered it and bingo, I had my long sought natural "no-makeup" makeup look!

I had another makeup win- and I didn't want to wipe it off this time either. I had also had this vague thought of how I would eventually come out to my mom.  I knew she would go ballistic, I would be chided for my childishness- or wore for setting a bad example for my kids.  I agonized over it for a while- and decided it wasn't going to be better later- This would be an awkward conversation for me no matter what, so the plan was back on.  I put my wig and glasses on and girded myself to reintroduce my mom to someone she hadn't seen in 42 years.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200916/7df4973b10ef626835db85177eeb69be.jpg)
Caela, The morning I came out to mom.

---

The kids went in first when we got to my mom's house and I followed after.  I said "Hello" to my mom and sat down in the floor of her living room to look at the walker.  She looked around, looked back down the hallway, and asked the kids where their dad was....

My mom didn't recognize me!

I looked at her for a moment, and said "Mom, I'll answer any questions you have after I fix your walker." 

She looked at me, looked at the kids, looked back at me- and slowly the realization of who she was looking at came to her. Here it comes! I thought to myself....

And there was no upset- only surprise.  She truly didn't recognize me, and was surprised that I didn't look like male-mode me.  I fixed her walker and we talked about makeup (that she might borrow sometime), my falsies (that she wanted a pair for herself), and if my wife had known.  We talked about how the little girl was now a woman named Micaela. She shared that my father had always wanted a boy and a girl and "he didn't live to see the girl."

Somehow I don't think that I'm quite what my father had in mind!

We talked for a while longer before we longer- again normal conversations.  It wasn't the response I had expected, but it was surely the response I needed.

I was on cloud nine- I passed by my Mom!

Next Part- Echoes

Caela


The reintroduction turned out well.  Great!   :)

Hugs,

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 16, 2020, 05:41:15 pm
I'm not surprised you mom did not recognise you - you look very feminine in that photo..Lovely too...
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 17, 2020, 11:48:11 am
Good morning everyone- I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Yesterday was the annual flu shot day in the office, and folks were making their first trip back to the office in months.  Our office is pretty casual, and I was dressed in what I would call "Caela Casual"- skinny jeans, t-shirt and a hoodie- no wig or makeup but I was wearing my smallest falsies.    It had been forever since we had all got together, so my close circle of work friends (some in the know, some not) decided to hang out after work. I got a lot of comments about my lack of a beard, my fingernails being painted, and my weight loss.  It was pretty obvious that my friends were worried about how I am doing, and I kept getting dragged out one at a time by each of my friends to chat while they smoked... 

I'd been on a "smoke break" with one of my friends for almost a half hour and I felt that i'd reached a critical moment in the conversation, and i decided to come out to them.  I showed her some of my selfies, said that this was my life now- and her reaction was that she's so happy that I've got a cute new girlfriend ???

Oh well- I guess people see what they want to see. And I'm cute! :D

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 17, 2020, 12:07:40 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Thank you so very much for sharing your good and encouraging report regarding your co-workers reactions to your revealing.
Certainly a self-confidence building moment for you.

Personally, for me, coming out was not as bad as I thought it would be....
...my big worries were mostly unfounded.  I am kinda thinking that for many
that are in their journey that, but especiallyl for myself, coming out and revealing
myself as Danielle was the most mind-freeing experience that I have ever had...
... it was like a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders and off of my mind.

Again, thank you for sharing and posting.

HUGS and wishing you continued success.
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on September 17, 2020, 12:52:02 pm
Well done but the question on my lips is did you put her right and if so what happened?
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 17, 2020, 02:17:20 pm
Well done but the question on my lips is did you put her right and if so what happened?

Davina-

I tried!  I said- "no that's me" - which she took to mean I was ready for another drink, and pulled me back in with everyone else.....so I figure putting her right will involve me sitting across from her fully en femme with coffee on the table, not adult beverages.

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 17, 2020, 04:00:51 pm
Good morning everyone- I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Yesterday was the annual flu shot day in the office, and folks were making their first trip back to the office in months.  Our office is pretty casual, and I was dressed in what I would call "Caela Casual"- skinny jeans, t-shirt and a hoodie- no wig or makeup but I was wearing my smallest falsies.    It had been forever since we had all got together, so my close circle of work friends (some in the know, some not) decided to hang out after work. I got a lot of comments about my lack of a beard, my fingernails being painted, and my weight loss.  It was pretty obvious that my friends were worried about how I am doing, and I kept getting dragged out one at a time by each of my friends to chat while they smoked... 

I'd been on a "smoke break" with one of my friends for almost a half hour and I felt that i'd reached a critical moment in the conversation, and i decided to come out to them.  I showed her some of my selfies, said that this was my life now- and her reaction was that she's so happy that I've got a cute new girlfriend ???

Oh well- I guess people see what they want to see. And I'm cute! :D

Hugs!

Caela


People truly do often perceive to see and try to understand in congruence to what they wish situation or facts to be.  When perceptions are not in congruence, often people do take steps to ignore, diminish, or explain away those differences.

I think overall that was a positive outcome.  Good for you!   :)

Chrissy

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 18, 2020, 02:37:11 pm
WARNING!!  This post contains references to child abuse and its after effects.  If you are bothered by this content, please wait for "Part Ten".





Part Nine- Echoes

As we go through our lives on this planet, we all experience things that change our souls- and the effects of those experiences echoes throughout the remainder of their lives.  For some it was their marriage day- for others it was a trip, or a visit with an idol- it just has to touch their soul.  It doesn't have to be big, but sometimes it is big enough to consume you- and the echos reverberate through your life like the aftershocks of an earthquake.

---

As I had previously mentioned- my parents were very active in the Masonic orders.  Every weekend would have a meeting of one the orders.  For some I would be taken along- for others they hired a babysitter and I would stay home with them.  Sometimes it was one of the neighborhood girls- they were always great to hang out with.  Sometimes, it was someone different.

One of my father's lifelong friends lived a few miles away and his stepson was looking to make a little extra money.  They talked and I suddenly had a regular babysitter.  At first I remember "Jeff" being a little awkward but fun to be around.  He'd joke around and laugh with me, and would be always up to play games- Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Clue- he cheerfully played any game I wanted to.  He would compliment me, and for an only child it was like having a brother.

"Jeff" also had his own ideas for "games".  You won't find these "games" on the shelves of your local store.  These "games" involved a lot of touching.  These "games" involved clothes being removed.  These "games" involved... well... I think you get the picture.  He called these our "Secret Games" and that I shouldn't tell anyone about them because I would get in trouble and he wouldn't ever come back.

This went on for months before my feelings of wrongness outweighed my fears of getting in trouble, and I finally told my mom about the "Secret Games". Suddenly "Jeff" was no longer my babysitter.  That's it- no charges, no police- and as the years went on and I learned how wrong what he did to me was, that fact bothered me more and more.

---

People have often remarked about my memory, and how I can remember trivia and details from years past- but I know that there is one big exception. For years I blocked that period in my life- I can remember the child that went in, I know the broad outlines of what happened (with further flashes of insight from time to time), and I am the scarred person that came out the other side.  I know before I was a pretty open, popular kid- and after I was a pariah who had lost all of his friends.

Even afterwards, my father and his friend had stayed close.  Some years later his friend had moved to another part of the state, and my dad wanted to take a trip to see their new house.  I shared with my mom how uncomfortable that was for me- that I might run into "Jeff".  My dad had already forgotten all about it.

---

I get older and girls begin to catch my eye- but in every case I would end up as friends.  Our society has this concept of males taking the active lead on these things- and I couldn't even bear the thought of it- being active reminded me too much of what happened to me.  Much easier on my soul to be the passive one.

I meet a girl who I am very interested in, and who seems interested back.  Prom is coming up, and I want so much to ask her- but I physically can't bring myself to do so.  Luckily for me she was interested in me, and asked me to the prom- and I didn't let her go until she died in my arms.

We raise two wonderful kids- and we make sure that if we are going out they are staying with one of their grandparents.  Hiring a babysitter is a non-starter in our house, and we don't go out regularly until the kids are old enough to watch themselves.

"Me too" becomes a movement, and I explain to my wife how much I identify with the women that are coming forward.  For the first time I am able to talk about this part of my past with my friends.

---

I wake up and look in the mirror today and see a confident woman.  I realize that I have to forgive "Jeff"- not for his sake but for my own.  I have to let go so that I can move on with my future.  I will always have this as part of my past- but I need to stop letting it define my present.   

And maybe I can stay strong as the echoes continue to fade.

Next Part- The Plateau

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 18, 2020, 06:32:24 pm
Hey everyone-

My previous post was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  It wrote itself easy enough, but letting go of a secret you keep even from yourself was nearly impossible.  But a new beginning is truly that- and I've realized that life is what you make it.

I'm moving from a grief therapist trying to field my discovery at the same time without much experience, to a gender therapist who also handles grief.  My first appointment with the new therapist is Wednesday.

Thanks to everyone for your support- I wouldn't be 8000+ words into my story without the kind words of encouragement of everyone!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 18, 2020, 07:22:20 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I think I am "enjoying" your journal/blog/thread as much as you are....  I know that some of the things that you are writing about are very difficult for you to express and to re-live... and that is where your Blog "The Chronicles of Caela" comes in... it is a great place, the right place, to write out you feelings regarding your experiences in your life.
 
As you share some of your deep feelings, it will be like being released from a ball and chain....  it will give you the opportunity to discover ways to let go of past disappointments and plot a new successful course for your life.

Keep posting, keep sharing.....  I, and the rest of you avid followers are rooting for your success and looking forward to your continued chronicles as you feel comfortable with sharing your story.  We are your biggest fans and supporters.

HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 19, 2020, 09:32:35 am
@Northern Star Girl

Danielle-

I'm really glad you are enjoying my blog.  I spent a very affirming night last night with some dear friends- I don't think it would have happened if I hadn't found my voice in these writings!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 19, 2020, 09:34:42 am
Hey everyone-

My previous post was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  It wrote itself easy enough, but letting go of a secret you keep even from yourself was nearly impossible.  But a new beginning is truly that- and I've realized that life is what you make it.

I'm moving from a grief therapist trying to field my discovery at the same time without much experience, to a gender therapist who also handles grief.  My first appointment with the new therapist is Wednesday.

Thanks to everyone for your support- I wouldn't be 8000+ words into my story without the kind words of encouragement of everyone!

Caela

Thank you for sharing.
I wish you the very best in everything.   :)

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 19, 2020, 10:59:41 am
Thank you for sharing.
I wish you the very best in everything.   :)

Chrissy

Thanks Chrissy!

Hugs

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 20, 2020, 12:06:51 pm
Part Ten- The Plateau

Climbing a mountain is an incredible achievement.  Striving for a summit is a culmination of preparation, training, and perseverance- but along the way you can reach the high plateaus, areas of pure beauty that many never see- places flat enough that you can stop, rest, and reflect on your climb so far. 

After two months I had reached a plateau in my journey.  In the two months since my discovery, I had moved from a timid new girl trying to figure out what my discovery meant to a woman much more confident in herself.  I had shifted from seeing another person in the mirror to seeing myself.  Fear of being caught was replaced with openly talking to my friends.  Makeup failures replaced by a consistent look that I'd been complimented on. My overall male and female looks, which were so disparate at the start had shifted to predominately female- even my male look had become markedly androgynous.  I had moved beyond where my transgender family members could give guidance- and had begun seeking out other individuals online.

My world had flipped- starting off as a male sneaking away for a precious moments in female-mode, I became a female who was pragmatic enough to realize that some things for the moment required being male- but most of the time being femme or androgynous was acceptable.  The thought processes that go along with shifting from male-first to female-first also shifted, and new worlds opened before my eyes.

Things that were previously full of discovery had shifted to being normal activities.  The firsts had been replaced with the seconds (and the thirds).  I stopped trying to impress myself, and realized that I was happy just being me- perhaps for the first time in many years.  But discovery hadn't stopped- and the new paths that opened were not necessarily as overt as earlier, but in many ways much more profound.

The sad, aging, run down person who had held his dying wife moved aside, and a happier, younger-looking, energetic woman stood in his place. My grief had not gone away- but it was no longer debilitating.  I came to new levels of understanding about my wife. I learned that it takes time to just look decent when going out.  I experienced getting hair in my face, and learned why my wife always kept hairbands and clips in her purse.

I would shortly shoulder my backpack, grab my trekking pole and continue my climb.  As I looked forward to summit, I realized that as far as I thought I had come- I had really only begun. My path continued far upward into the clouds and there was much further to go.  But I also knew that I couldn't do it alone- I needed my friends, I needed the big sisters that I never had. 

I swallowed my fear, and made my first post here at Susan's Place.

Caela

---

Postscript- I've finished my backstory, and I'll be moving towards current observations about my life and progress.  I don't have a "Next Part" in mind- My future is yet to be written, so I'm keeping that open.  I want to thank everyone again for your kind words of encouragement as I've relived my baby steps, and hope that you are up for experiencing the rest of this story as I intend to- one day at a time!

Hugs!

Cae


Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 20, 2020, 12:11:10 pm
Thanks Cae, I have really enjoyed reading your progress to get to where you are now - even though each one of our paths are different, similar things happen along the way - sharing your path has allowed me to contemplate mine..
Thank you...
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 20, 2020, 12:21:34 pm
Thanks Cae, I have really enjoyed reading your progress to get to where you are now - even though each one of our paths are different, similar things happen along the way - sharing your path has allowed me to contemplate mine..
Thank you...
@SarahEL

Sarah-

You are more than welcome!  I'm glad my story was able to help- as I have gained strength from reading your story.  There are bits and pieces in these posts that I would never have felt right about posting if not for the openness and strength that I have seen in others. 

Thank You!!

Hugs!

Cae
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 20, 2020, 01:56:22 pm
When I started going through my closet soon after my wife passed it was pretty much even between my wife's stuff and my stuff.  After I got done with my first round of donations, I had plenty of space- and spread my stuff all through the closet.  As I started building my Caela wardrobe- I had to start shifting that stuff back.  I just shifted another rack over this morning so I'm officially back to half female and half male in my closet (and you know which half I'm eyeing for donation now!!)

I also came across some old Christmas presents- button up collared male office-chic shirts that I never wore.....and at this point probably never will.  I had an epiphany-  if I don't take steps I'll be getting more of them.  I got all of them from one person, a person on my "Please-avoid-the-drama-Cae-and come-out-to-last-just-before-coming-out-publicly-please-please-please" list- and I probably should talk to them before they do their Christmas shopping.   So I've penciled in sometime close to Halloween, and I can let a conversation about my "Hermione Granger" costume be the icebreaker.

Human interactions are so surprising at times- and it will be hilarious to me if I end up leaving stealth over a practical driver instead of an emotional need to share my discoveries.

Your quirky Christmas elf!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 22, 2020, 11:12:12 pm
There is someone out there in the world that I need to apologize to.  I was doing some shopping today, and with my sizes I always have to look at the shoes.  In this store, the size 10+ ladies shoes were back in the corner, somewhat hidden from view of the rest of the store.  I came around the corner and a person presenting male was trying on heels.  They quickly put them back on the shelf and walked off. 

I wanted to say that I could come back in a bit- but I stopped myself. In a flash of insight I realized that I might have witnessed their first overt experiments in self-realization.  That person would have been me just months ago, and I would have been mortified if that had happened in my early experiences- if someone had actually said something to me I'd probably have run right back in the closet for a long time....

So to that person, I'm sorry if I scared you off- you have good taste in shoes and I pray that you can find the confidence to continue your own journey.  With so many things that we have to deal with in the aftermath of our discoveries, being ashamed of who we are shouldn't have to be one of them.

Hugs!

Caela

(To my followers- I've got my muse back! So..... Next Part- Office Space)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 23, 2020, 12:34:31 am
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Wow, your last posting was a heartfelt admission and apology.... kudos to you for sharing.

I would bet that if there is a next time for a similar event that you will react in a much different and more accepting way.

Thank you for sharing and posting.

I will definitely be eagerly looking for your posting "Next Part- Office Space"

Hugs and best wishes as always,
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 23, 2020, 02:26:57 pm
I hope everyone is having a wonderful day today!

I just had one of the most thought-organizing, cathartic, affirming conversations that I've ever had in my life.  I think I'm going to get along just fine with my new therapist.  Her questions were caring, to the point, and really helped me in my own thinking about where I am and where I see myself going.  I felt comfortable, and it was easy to talk about even the more darker periods of my life.  She restated things in ways that I hadn't really thought of- but as I heard her speak I knew they were pretty spot on.  We're not even really through discovery, but my fear is gone- I'm looking forward to the next session.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 23, 2020, 02:58:52 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Wow, your last posting was a heartfelt admission and apology.... kudos to you for sharing.

I would bet that if there is a next time for a similar event that you will react in a much different and more accepting way.

Thank you for sharing and posting.

I will definitely be eagerly looking for your posting "Next Part- Office Space"
Hugs and best wishes as always,
Danielle

@Northern Star Girl
Danielle-

Exactly- At the very least I'd try to leave and not spoil their fun!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 23, 2020, 03:05:51 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I think that this was your first appointment with your new therapist and it sounds like it went very well for you. 
I know from your previous reply comment that you had questions and perhaps trepidation about your first therapist appointment.

As is the case many times in our transition journeys the fears that we have are mostly unfounded.
I am so very glad to read your good report.

HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on September 23, 2020, 03:29:24 pm
I hope everyone is having a wonderful day today!

I just had one of the most thought-organizing, cathartic, affirming conversations that I've ever had in my life.  I think I'm going to get along just fine with my new therapist.  Her questions were caring, to the point, and really helped me in my own thinking about where I am and where I see myself going.  I felt comfortable, and it was easy to talk about even the more darker periods of my life.  She restated things in ways that I hadn't really thought of- but as I heard her speak I knew they were pretty spot on.  We're not even really through discovery, but my fear is gone- I'm looking forward to the next session.

Hugs!

Caela


That sounds very positive!   :)

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 23, 2020, 03:38:00 pm
@Northern Star Girl
@ChrissyRyan

It was my first appointment- and it really set my mind at ease.  I know it's the beginning of a long road, but it is a very encouraging positive start.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on September 23, 2020, 04:00:42 pm
@Northern Star Girl
@ChrissyRyan

It was my first appointment- and it really set my mind at ease.  I know it's the beginning of a long road, but it is a very encouraging positive start.

Hugs!

Caela
I’m so pleased for you! Sounds really positive and exciting xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 23, 2020, 04:12:36 pm
I’m so pleased for you! Sounds really positive and exciting xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
@Pammie

Thanks Pammie- I'm really pleased too (and a lot more relieved!)

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 24, 2020, 02:27:36 pm
Part Eleven- Office Space

Since COVID-19 sent everyone into exile from the office, I'd been working remotely from home.  It was nice and convienent when I was playing nurse to my wife to be working mere feet from her.  I'd fire up my video conferencing, and mute video when I needed to handle something, and un-mute when I was done. 

My discovery started throwing new wrinkles into that concept. At first nothing really changed- I would finish my day of meetings and then dress for a short period before dinner.  But as time passed- and especially after I came out to my kids, I started to spend more and more time dressed.  I kept a wig stand and a shirt at the ready to quickly shift when needed to a look folks would recognize.  Even so, I know that much more was slipping out than I realized.  You can't really strip nail polish that quickly.  I know I've left my prosthetics on for a few calls.  I've definitely wore my Caela glasses to meetings.  And for the most part people have been taking it in stride.

But recently, I've stopped trying so much to shift back and forth.  I prefer to wake up as Caela, get dressed as Caela and spend the entire day as Caela.  And I'm a much happier person for doing so.  One of my friends who knows said that they actually can't remember me wearing a single piece of mens clothing in the past month.   Even my androgynous look is made up entirely from my girl wardrobe.

I've been shifting to work more in the physical office.  With everyone working from home it's an empty place, and most days I have half of the floor to myself. For my first day back in, I decided to go back on the femme side of androgynous- no wig, no makeup, my smallest inserts (the ones that girls use to push up what they have) and it felt great.  There I was in my office, and I looked completely different than the last time I had set foot in it.  I even set my office back up differently than I left it- and the little changes made it seem more like my office and less like my old-self's office.

The following Monday I planned on going in again.  This time I turned the dial more feminine.  Jewelry and my boy-cut wig.  My Caela glasses.  I didn't have on any makeup- but I felt unmistakably female.  As I've gotten more comfortable with being myself I've been spending more time without makeup- I'm still Caela.  And again it felt great- I walked around the office past the few people who were there and no one batted an eye.

The next day I added pink nail color and my blue flats.  I made the drive into work confident that today I would be able to have another day building my comfort level.  That hope was shattered as I pulled into the parking lot. More folks that I interact with directly had shown up in the office

I took a sharp breath.  I had been fairly laissez-faire about being in public, and this was a bridge that sooner or later I knew I'd have to cross anyway.  So I grabbed my bag and went on in.  Sure enough, one of the office jokers was there and eventually came by to say hello.  And surprisingly they didn't mention my look at all.  I didn't volunteer anything, so it was a rather normal conversation.

The next day was planned to be a remote day- I (as Caela!!) had appointments, so I dressed up for going in public.  My long hair, makeup, pearls, larger prosthetics-  my full female presentation.  As the day continued, I realized that I had left something that I needed in the office- so I swung by the office in full girl-mode!  It was only for a few minutes, but I had to walk past several folks.  So I'm assuming that it's now known that I'm genderfluid- but it felt really good to be myself in a place that I hadn't anticipated ever doing so.

I woke up the next day realizing how risky that was over the previous two days- so I went back to my androgynous self.  For a little while I can be "Mica" and let people draw their own conclusions.

And "coming out professionally" will have to be a topic with my therapist.

Next Part- The Hole

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 24, 2020, 03:22:02 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:

Your Part Eleven- Office Space post was wonderful for me to read...
... so many times we have unfounded fears about coming out or other similar things related to our transition journey.... and fortunately the reality is so much better. 

Sure, there are nasty and non-accepting people that we encounter but generally if we make a half an effort to dress and look according the our chosen gender, we make get a strange look or two but usually that is about it.

Thank you for sharing.
I am now eagerly waiting for you to post Part 12- Next Part- The Hole

Best wishes to you... and lots of HUGS,
Danielle
Title: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Birdie on a Wire on September 24, 2020, 05:25:01 pm
Hi Caela...
Love reading your posts. Your writing is quite conversational so it’s almost like sitting at a table, having coffee or tea and talking with a friend.

Hard to believe this has all happened within the span of about six months for you.

It took me six YEARS of questioning, trepidly testing the waters of going out as the opposite gender, hesitantly telling a therapist I thought I might be transgender and even now after three months I wonder if HRT is the right path...

and then you!... in a very short time go and cannonball right into the deep end making as big a splash as possible.

Pretty dang awesome.

Oh... as for coming out professionally. I think you already did honey.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: TSL_NB on September 25, 2020, 04:05:15 pm
Hey Caela, I'm pretty terrible at keeping up with blogs, so I'm just catching up on yours now.

Wow.....after everything, and you're still here with us.  I'm inspired by your strength. :)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on September 26, 2020, 01:11:34 am
@Northern Star Girl
@Birdie on a Wire
@TSL_NB

Thanks everyone for your kind words! Thirty minutes after my previous post, I received one of those calls that no one ever wants to get.  I've spent the past 36+ hours awake in various hospitals, supporting one of the rocks in my life as they wrestle their own demons.    They are currently safe, but my own planning and transition is currently on pause while I help them get help for their challenges.

I don't always feel that I am strong- until times like these come along and I have to be.  My transition steps are the same way- I question myself a great deal until I cross a balance point and end up doing what I feel I have to do. My Gemini superpowers I guess.

Hugs!

Caela

----

I want to take a moment to talk directly to those in the community that find themselves in a moment of crisis.  I know that everyone is dealing with a lot of stress and challenges this year- and you may be feeling that there is only one way out. You should know that you don’t have to feel that way and there are people that you can talk to-

In the USA please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.
In Canada please call 911 or the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566. 
In the UK please call 999 or the Samaritans at 116 123. 
There are other numbers you can call in these and other countries at this topic here https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,112674.0.html 

There are always options, and these groups can help you find yours. Even when it doesn't seem that way, life is precious. Please give yourself a chance.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on September 26, 2020, 01:23:02 pm
I hope your friend is okay.. I know what it is like to be in that position, unfortunately..
I am glad they have such a good friend as yourself Cae... Stay strong, they will need you. xx
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 01, 2020, 03:14:00 pm
Part Twelve- The Hole
Quote
London boys are gazing as the girls go hand in hand
With a pocket full of innocence, their entrance is grand
And the queen of the dream stands before them all
She stretches out her hand as the curtains start to fall
But it's too late, too late, too late
Too late, too late for love

     Def Leppard - "Too Late For Love"


Human beings are by their very nature social animals.  We all go through our lives passing from interaction to interaction with other people.  We define ourselves by some of these relationships- and many strive to have a partner to share their lives with.

I can identify with many of the other girls on the board here with much of my life.  But there is one big part of my life that I feel that I stand apart on- my relationship with my life partner.  I've read stories of girls that have been welcomed with open arms by their partner.  I've read stories of girls who have been ostracized and forced back into the closet by their partner.  I've read stories of girls who have been abandoned by their partner for their discovery.  And I honestly wish that I could be any of them, because that would mean that the person that I loved more than anything would still be alive.

My relationship with my wife didn't end-  often it just seems like I misplaced my wife instead of losing her.  I didn't leave, nor really did she.  There was no rancor, only love.  Yet I suddenly find myself single- but in a strange still kind of married way.  My transition will always be bounded by a hole where she was in my life- but I've realized more and more that the hole is also bounded by my transition.

As I’ve processed my own discoveries, I've come to some pretty interesting realizations. One is that my wife and I had swapped much of the supposed societal roles.  She was a tomboy when I met her who liked outdoor activities, I was more flamboyant.  She touched base with her friends every once in a while, I was the social butterfly.  Another is that my Mom, who I felt was overall accepting- may actually see my transition as me trying to replace my wife.  I guess I have to see that in terms of her own grief- I’m not the only one in my family to have lost my spouse this year.

I've started to think about and piece together what I would want in my future romantic life and I realize that I've got a tough road ahead.  Any relationship that I start in male-mode will eventually have a difficult conversation- there's a strong likelihood I have known them for years in male-mode, and I've got a surprise for them.  Any relationship that I start in girl-mode will have the opposite conversation- perhaps easier as I'm more likely to be starting fresh, but the surprise will still be there.  But it's a bridge I know I will eventually have to cross- I'm too young to live the rest of my life alone.

So I’m trying out this thing that didn’t exist when I last went on the dating scene- online dating.  Yes it’s the new thing to do, but it seems so impersonal.  I wish I could go somewhere, sit down, and strike up conversations with other folks.  I wish I could go to a club and just find someone to dance with.  The world being on lockdown definitely makes things difficult.  Swiping right doesn’t feel the same.

I’m also starting to loosen some of the things I’ve kept tight for security.  Girl-mode social media accounts to facilitate girl-mode dating.  Yes- I know the world is much too small, and that that will likely lead to someone putting two and two together- but I guess I'm not seeing it any differently than going to my local grocery store in tights and a cute blouse.  I'll feel better starting those new relationships on a basis of truth. 

And the hole?  I know I’ll never fill it.  Maybe I’ll find someone to help me plant some trees and pretty flowers so that I can see it less and less.  I believe that there is room in a person’s heart for two.  It’s never too late for love.

Next Part- Observations

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on October 01, 2020, 05:46:28 pm
That is a really tough update to read Cae. It bought me to tears...
I know you will never know how you're partner would of reacted, or even how you would of pursued these feelings of femininity you have if they were still around. They are questions that the answers can only be guessed at. I cannot begin to imagine how tough that is. I so feel for you and the grief this brings.

However, I too feel that hole, even though my ex partner of 30 years is alive and well, her complete rejection of me is a loss, one I too grieved. In my case, I know the answers. They were hard to come to terms with. I gave 30 years of complete devotion. Never once thought of any other way but us... Unfortunately their rejection made me question how much of that devotion was shared and had tainted my memories. Somehow, in the worst way possible, you have been spared that and have good memories to look back on, untainted. That is precious.

Online dating is the worst. Please be very very cautious with your personal info as a lot of people on these sites are more interested in extortion than romance. It's sad but true and spoken from experience.

You're such a lovely person, I am sure you will be amazed when love hits you up again and it probably will be from the most unexpected quarter. It happened to me quite unexpectedly, here on this very forum.. Just a few weeks after my ex abandoned me. I certainly was not looking for another relationship (neither was he!) but some higher power (god?) pushed us together and in a moment my future took a 180 for the better.

So take heart, there is happy ever afters. I am sure yours is not too far away.

Lots of hugs..

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 01, 2020, 06:56:13 pm
That is a really tough update to read Cae. It bought me to tears...
I know you will never know how you're partner would of reacted, or even how you would of pursued these feelings of femininity you have if they were still around. They are questions that the answers can only be guessed at. I cannot begin to imagine how tough that is. I so feel for you and the grief this brings.

However, I too feel that hole, even though my ex partner of 30 years is alive and well, her complete rejection of me is a loss, one I too grieved. In my case, I know the answers. They were hard to come to terms with. I gave 30 years of complete devotion. Never once thought of any other way but us... Unfortunately their rejection made me question how much of that devotion was shared and had tainted my memories. Somehow, in the worst way possible, you have been spared that and have good memories to look back on, untainted. That is precious.

Online dating is the worst. Please be very very cautious with your personal info as a lot of people on these sites are more interested in extortion than romance. It's sad but true and spoken from experience.

You're such a lovely person, I am sure you will be amazed when love hits you up again and it probably will be from the most unexpected quarter. It happened to me quite unexpectedly, here on this very forum.. Just a few weeks after my ex abandoned me. I certainly was not looking for another relationship (neither was he!) but some higher power (god?) pushed us together and in a moment my future took a 180 for the better.

So take heart, there is happy ever afters. I am sure yours is not too far away.

Lots of hugs..

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
@SarahEL

Sarah-

I thought of you often when I was writing this and the complete scorched earth pogrom that your ex did to you.  It is a backhanded blessing that I won't have to go through that-  the cost was rather extreme.

But I don't want anyone to cry for me- you've followed my story and know that it is one of triumph over trials.  Yes I've experienced the pain of loss, but that doesn't mean I've given up on the joy of new love.  Yes I'm highly skeptical of online dating, but that doesn't mean I've given up on dating altogether. 

My story is far from done and I'll yet have my second happy ever after :)

BIG HUGS!!

Cae
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 04, 2020, 11:38:50 am
I'm in a bit of shock right now.....

You know that point where what you need to do conflicts with what you would like to do?  Woke up this morning to that same situation.  We've got an activity today with folks who don't know (and if I have my way won't know for a while)- yet I had to fight myself to dress down today.  Even with the risk I wanted to go out with these folks in tights carrying a purse!  Half of me was saying "NOOOO", and the other half was saying "but you have to!"  It was the first time that I've had that strong of a reaction!

So after much debate where both halves were shouting over the other like two kids at a schoolhouse brawl- a compromise was reached, and I'm wearing jeans with pockets instead of tights and a purse.

They are my cute skinny jeans though  >:-)

Have a wonderful day everyone!! Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on October 04, 2020, 06:16:08 pm
I hope your activity went well!

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 04, 2020, 11:21:32 pm
I hope your activity went well!

Chrissy
@ChrissyRyan

Chrissy-

It was a fun day! We started with a pasta lunch, then we drove up to a lake with a boardwalk trail and walked around. No comments about my clothes, shoes, or rings- but they did notice I was wearing one of my wife's hats!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 04, 2020, 11:26:17 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
What you described its what a lot of transitioners expeience...   until you come out to everyone full-time there are those moments that the best decision is a compromise.   You are the only one that can weigh the pros and cons of your circumstances and the resultant consequences of what you decide.

One step at a time....  little by little you will reach your goal, probably in little steps and not big leaps.

I am wishing you well as you press on to the finish line... it is indeed a journey.
The good news is that I and the rest of your followers your biggest fans and we are always rooting for your success.
When you report good news we will rejoice with you and when you report not-so-good news we will lend you our ears to listen and our shoulders for you to lean on.

Thank you for sharing...
I will be eagerly looking for your future updates as you feel comfortable sharing.


HUGS and  HUGS,
Danielle


I'm in a bit of shock right now.....

You know that point where what you need to do conflicts with what you would like to do?  Woke up this morning to that same situation.  We've got an activity today with folks who don't know (and if I have my way won't know for a while)- yet I had to fight myself to dress down today.  Even with the risk I wanted to go out with these folks in tights carrying a purse!  Half of me was saying "NOOOO", and the other half was saying "but you have to!"  It was the first time that I've had that strong of a reaction!

So after much debate where both halves were shouting over the other like two kids at a schoolhouse brawl- a compromise was reached, and I'm wearing jeans with pockets instead of tights and a purse.

They are my cute skinny jeans though  >:-)

Have a wonderful day everyone!! Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 06, 2020, 04:36:32 pm
Two quick thoughts as I listen to the music of the late, great Eddie Van Halen.

I snuck out last night to the pub around the corner.  Somewhere where I am very much known as <male-name>.  No makeup, my boy-cut wig, and everything else girl.  It felt really good.

Also good- the weight loss continues!  Biscotti and Coffee for breakfast, then one meal the rest of the day, with dried fruit for snacks.  If this keeps up I'll be back in the regular women's section yet!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 06, 2020, 04:45:53 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Dieting and heading for your weight goal can take a lot of will-power. 
You must be determined and be focused on getting to where you wish to be....
...and in the regular women's section is a good place to strive for.

Thank you for keeping us updated.

I am always wishing you success and wishing your well as you forge ahead.


HUGS,
Danielle


 
Two quick thoughts as I listen to the music of the late, great Eddie Van Halen.

I snuck out last night to the pub around the corner.  Somewhere where I am very much known as <male-name>.  No makeup, my boy-cut wig, and everything else girl.  It felt really good.

Also good- the weight loss continues!  Biscotti and Coffee for breakfast, then one meal the rest of the day, with dried fruit for snacks.  If this keeps up I'll be back in the regular women's section yet!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 06, 2020, 05:27:05 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Dieting and heading for your weight goal can take a lot of will-power. 
You must be determined and be focused on getting to where you wish to be....
...and in the regular women's section is a good place to strive for.

Thank you for keeping us updated.

I am always wishing you success and wishing your well as you forge ahead.


HUGS,
Danielle

@Northern Star Girl

Danielle-

Getting to shop for smaller clothes is a great motivator!  I've already dropped a dress size, and even those are big. Everyone says I look better than I have in years, even though there's less of me to love :D

It's amazing what confidence and self acceptance can do!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on October 06, 2020, 06:33:53 pm
Two quick thoughts as I listen to the music of the late, great Eddie Van Halen.

I snuck out last night to the pub around the corner.  Somewhere where I am very much known as <male-name>.  No makeup, my boy-cut wig, and everything else girl.  It felt really good.

Also good- the weight loss continues!  Biscotti and Coffee for breakfast, then one meal the rest of the day, with dried fruit for snacks.  If this keeps up I'll be back in the regular women's section yet!

Hugs!!

Caela


I m happy for you that things turned out well for the pub visit and for your weight loss.  :)

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 07, 2020, 01:08:23 am

I m happy for you that things turned out well for the pub visit and for your weight loss.  :)

Chrissy
@ChrissyRyan

Thanks Chrissy!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 07, 2020, 12:28:41 pm
Part Thirteen- Observations

For forty-plus years I've been a keen observer and admirer of the female form.  I of course would note the women I found attractive- but it often wasn't for the reasons that you'd think.  I'd note how certain combinations of clothing would look good together, how hairstyles would accentuate the faces, how makeup could turn plain into prime.  I noticed the individuality that each showed.  Unknowingly, I was creating my own archive of what I liked and didn't like- a rudimentary sense of style.

After my discovery- I put these senses to the test. One of the first things that I bought where I wasn't just grabbing what I could so I could get out of the women's department before melting down or being caught (whew!) were definitely on the glamourous side of the equation.  A polka dotted A-line dress with a black crinoline. Heels with a 4" rise.  It was pretty, it was lovely, it was completely impractical!  I picked up other items that looked great and matched my style in the store- and looked like a beached whale when I tried it on at home!

I realized I'd have to stop and think about a balance between what I liked, and what worked for me.  I worked to find clothes that met my sensibilities, were more functional, and fit the activities I would like to do. Club wear while shopping really isn't appropriate.  Ankle hugging jeans look good on me.  Floral blouses.  Flats.  I also found my colors.  I like purple- and purple looks good on me!  I like brown hair with a tinge of red.  As I moved towards being dressed more and more- comfort became a huge factor.  Leggings feel great, and tees are often just fine. Comfy sweaters as it gets colder.

Jewelry was a huge problem.  Any standard ring is a pinky ring for me.  Chains meant to be a choker would do just that!  So I've customized my wife's fine jewelry with larger chains- and found places that cater to the larger woman to buy costume jewelry.

With all the new clothes I want to keep them looking good, and I've gotten used to looking at the care tag on everything.  I've learned that everything that my wife and I had been doing with laundry was completely wrong!  Who knew that I'd have the equivalent of a full washer load of hand wash items every week!  Fabric softener is pretty much a no-no!  "Spray n' Wash" has become a trusted friend! 

As a man I never really understood my wife's seeming obsession with shoes and purses.  I had a pair of casual and a pair of dress shoes- and who really needs more than one wallet, right?  (Poor guy, he really was clueless.)  I understand now- but in my own style. My wife loved Coach purses- I found I like Kate Spade purses.  My wife liked short boots, I like long boots now that I know they make them in "Wide Calf."  My wife liked darker colors, I'm much more colorful!

There's just one area where I'm actively trying to be "less female", and that's my weight.  I've been steadily losing weight- and it feels great to be back at a weight I haven't seen in years! It felt good as I dug through my closet- and pulled out the stuff that really doesn't work for me any more for donation! 

Some days I wake up and just want to be natural.  I've started using a trick that my wife came up with when she thought she would lose her hair during chemotherapy.  She purchased several head coverings that are definitively female.  I'll put one on, and while I look like "Cancer Patient Caela", I don't feel like I'm looking into the mirror at a man.  It's within the overall variety of female looks.  You don't have to look like a supermodel to be female.

I've shifted from trying to look my best all the time to just being myself. That comfort level I spoke of- it's much more than skin deep.  I don't feel anymore like I have to accentuate things to feel feminine- I've moved to smaller prosthetics.   I wear less makeup.  I don't feel any less female in presenting that way, so I don't act any less female, and I'm not treated any less female.

One last observation, and probably the most important one.  All of the above hinges on one thing- being comfortable in my own skin.  As a male I never was.  Accepting the person who I am discovering- and the challenges that that has brought- has completely changed my perspective.  For the new girls who are reading this blog- you are all angels and have worth beyond measure, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks.  Believe in yourself.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 07, 2020, 01:33:12 pm
Part Thirteen- Observations
- - - - - -
      {snipped}
   - - - - - - -

One last observation, and probably the most important one.  All of the above hinges on one thing- being comfortable in my own skin.  As a male I never was.  Accepting the person who I am discovering- and the challenges that that has brought- has completely changed my perspective.  For the new girls who are reading this blog- you are all angels and have worth beyond measure, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks.  Believe in yourself.

Hugs!

Caela
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I have been enjoying your recent detailed posts here on your blog/journal thread.
WOW, you are now up to "Part 13" !!!

Your "last observation" is exactly correct...
Yes, for sure, believe in yourself.
 
My personal opinion for any of us is that we need to accept ourselves if we wish and expect others to accept us.


HUGS and best wishes as you continue on.
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 07, 2020, 06:35:17 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I have been enjoying your recent detailed posts here on your blog/journal thread.
WOW, you are now up to "Part 13" !!!

Your "last observation" is exactly correct...
Yes, for sure, believe in yourself.
 
My personal opinion for any of us is that we need to accept ourselves if we wish and expect others to accept us.


HUGS and best wishes as you continue on.
Danielle

@Northern Star Girl

Thanks Danielle!  I really appreciate your kind words!

I wouldn't have believed it if someone had come to me five months ago, and said in five months I'd be almost 11,000 words and 13 parts into a story about my (mis)adventures as a woman!  I had a great session today with my therapist, and I know with conviction- my story isn't over!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 08, 2020, 10:05:35 am
One thing that I'm noticing about therapy.  I often already have my answers, but need to hear the validation that they're not way off track.  Sometimes those answers seem so off the wall i don't even want to share them..... My therapist beat me to the punch about one of those.

In our ongoing conversation about what it would really mean to be Caela (like cutting the cord being Caela!), I mentioned my female-shifted androgynous look- and she threw out What if that was your presentation all the time?  What if you let them draw their own conclusions?  I'd been thinking about that for a bit now (as my readers know), but hearing it out loud from someone else brought it home- I'm comfortable in myself, and maybe it is time to unmute.

So in a few minutes I'm going to log into my team conference call and see how it goes!  And the video will be on!

"Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!"

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on October 08, 2020, 05:40:06 pm
Wishing you the best results.

Chrissy



One thing that I'm noticing about therapy.  I often already have my answers, but need to hear the validation that they're not way off track.  Sometimes those answers seem so off the wall i don't even want to share them..... My therapist beat me to the punch about one of those.

In our ongoing conversation about what it would really mean to be Caela (like cutting the cord being Caela!), I mentioned my female-shifted androgynous look- and she threw out What if that was your presentation all the time?  What if you let them draw their own conclusions?  I'd been thinking about that for a bit now (as my readers know), but hearing it out loud from someone else brought it home- I'm comfortable in myself, and maybe it is time to unmute.

So in a few minutes I'm going to log into my team conference call and see how it goes!  And the video will be on!

"Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!"

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 08, 2020, 09:05:33 pm
- - - - - - -
      {snipped}
    -- - - - - - - - - -
 I'm comfortable in myself, and maybe it is time to unmute.

So in a few minutes I'm going to log into my team conference call and see how it goes! And the video will be on!

"Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!"

Hugs!

Caela
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
You now have all of our attention....
when you feel ready... when you feel comfortable ..
Please give us an update regarding your team conference call,,,
we are rooting for your success.


HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 08, 2020, 11:12:39 pm
@Northern Star Girl
@ChrissyRyan
@SarahEL

I've got a very 2020 answer for you all-  Technical issues cancelled the video call!

But I didn't let that stop the plan- I just went about the rest of my day,  boy-cut wig, pink tops, ankle jeans, white purse, pink nails.  I only got clocked once. 

I topped it off by going with the kids to our favorite restaurant, somewhere we've gone every week for years.  That was.... interesting.  The owner didn't think the boy cut wig worked for me.  Our usual waiter just kept up the sports talk.  Our usual waitress on the other hand wants to know what I'll wear next week! (Remember, I'm not saying anything- just letting them come to their own conclusions!  I'm curious now what drove the different responses!)

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: EllenW on October 09, 2020, 10:58:31 am

Remember, I'm not saying anything- just letting them come to their own conclusions! 

Ceala,

That is the same way I transitioned around my house. I just started dressing using more and more famine cloths and let my hair grow and colored nails. It worked very well and slowly people just started to use female pronouns. This allowed me to grow as Ellen before announcing it formally a work.

The difference for me was that I have worked remote for almost 13 years and all the conference calls were that phone calls, no video :)

Ellen

 
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 09, 2020, 01:56:17 pm
Ceala,

That is the same way I transitioned around my house. I just started dressing using more and more famine cloths and let my hair grow and colored nails. It worked very well and slowly people just started to use female pronouns. This allowed me to grow as Ellen before announcing it formally a work.

The difference for me was that I have worked remote for almost 13 years and all the conference calls were that phone calls, no video :)

Ellen
@EllenW

Ellen-

That's good to know I'm not the only one thinking this way-  How did you handle the introductions during that stage?  Did you introduce yourself to new people as Ellen, or was it still a balance with <other name>?

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: EllenW on October 09, 2020, 02:22:21 pm
@EllenW

Ellen-

That's good to know I'm not the only one thinking this way-  How did you handle the introductions during that stage?  Did you introduce yourself to new people as Ellen, or was it still a balance with <other name>?

Hugs!

Caela

Caela

At first I did not give a name except when asked. When I had to I gave my legal name which is a unique name. Then I started using my family nick name which, although uncommon for a women could be used for ether gender. FYI, the femmin spelling of that name is now my legal middle name Richi.

Also, when making reservations I always used my wife's name. When people at the restraints started to think that was my name. I knew that I could live as my true self

Ellen
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 09, 2020, 03:38:00 pm
Caela

At first I did not give a name except when asked. When I had to I gave my legal name which is a unique name. Then I started using my family nick name which, although uncommon for a women could be used for ether gender. FYI, the femmin spelling of that name is now my legal middle name Richi.

Also, when making reservations I always used my wife's name. When people at the restraints started to think that was my name. I knew that I could live as my true self

Ellen
@EllenW

Thanks Ellen!!  I like the spelling of your middle name! 

My wife had shopping accounts all over the place- they just assume it's me when I give them the number!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 12, 2020, 04:16:23 pm
Part 14- The Gauntlet

In the four months that I've been actively Caela there has always been something holding me back.  I've found my self, my look, my confidence, my ability to be in public, and my ability to be out and about makeup or no.  I've begun to come out to friends and I've been to work in my tights and long hair.  I've gone from being someone who held all their feelings inside to someone who has become very open and vocal (and happy!).  Some of my readers are probably scratching their heads wondering "With everything that you've done, in the short time since you've made your discovery- What, pray tell, could you possibly think is holding you back?"

Life is always a balance- For all the emotions that you feel upon your discovery- the euphoria of things in your life clicking into place, the contentment in finally being able to be yourself, the raw joy in looking into a mirror and seeing the girl- there is another emotion that is in balance to it- Fear of the unknown.

One of my fears has been what would happen when I come out to my in-laws.  It's always tragic in life when someone outlives their children, and they both looked to me for support.  How would they take it when their rock all of a sudden shows up painted pink!  And so they were put in the category of "People to come out to last".

As times pass, and gears turn in your head- some things start looking less like good ideas.  Throughout my journey, I've tried to keep true to myself- and not trying to hide who I am has been a key driver in coming out to other folks.  I also realized that my mother-in-law would soon begin Christmas shopping- and unless I wanted to get several more button down Men's dress shirts this year I better find a way to telegraph my newfound situation.  So I made a resolution to come out by Halloween- perhaps show up in my "Hermione Granger" Halloween costume.

Over the past week, I had had another great session with my therapist.  One of the thoughts she left me with was if I am happy and comfortable with myself- why not go ahead and dress, present how I would like, and just let folks draw their own conclusions.  At least I'd be true to myself and comfortable.  I'd gotten to a point of not being bothered by what strangers thought, so why hide myself from those that I truly care about.

I have my computer set to note a list of upcoming "holidays". Some are the big Federal holidays.  Some are the fun ones where you might get a free taco.  Saturday night it notified me that the next day would be "National Coming Out Day."  I had been musing about inviting the parents over for the televised football game on Sunday night- What if I came out then?

I woke up in the morning and decided to invite my mom and the in-laws over to watch the game.  And I got ready for game day the way I had for the previous five weeks.  Tights, my new woman's jersey, a blue and green haired wig, my full-size falsies, blue flats, and makeup including dark blue lipstick and green eyeshadow.  (Yes, I'm dedicated fan.) And I'd let them draw their own conclusions.

My mom arrived first, took one look at me- and knowing my in-laws were coming over too asked me if I was going to change or was I planning on coming out to them today...  "Yes Mom, I guess I am."

I'm in the kitchen finishing up cooking when my in-laws show up.  My father-in-law comes in the kitchen, looks at me, and chuckles as she says hello.  Right after him was my mother-in-law- her response was "Oh, no!"

As the night progressed, my mother-in-law would converse every once in a while, but didn't really look my way.  The game was exciting, and the team we all support managed to eke out a win.  In the excitement of the last second win, my Mom looks over at me and says "You know, you make a pretty girl"- right in front of the in laws!

My in-laws left shortly thereafter.  I figured it didn't go great, but it didn't go badly.  I had previously planned to drive my mother-in-law into the city in the morning and show her the way to a doctor's office, and I figured I'd get an earful then.

I woke up this morning, and got dressed.  She came over and she looked at me when I answered the door, and said "Oh, dear!"  The conversation in the car was somewhat stilted- I could see she wanted to say something, but didn't know how to start the conversation.  So it started with talking about my kids, and my father-in-law, and other mundane things.  Eventually I mentioned the fortune my family is making for our therapists- and our conversation really started.

"So are you on hormones" was the first question.  She wasn't overly critical though, and over the next hour we had a frank woman-to-woman chat.  Halfway through she opened her purse, and gave me a ziplock bag of lipsticks- The lipsticks we had taken up to the funeral home when they were preparing my wife's viewing!  I would have cried if I hadn't been focusing on my driving.

By the end of the conversation she was laughing at some of my jokes, and most importantly was able to look me in the eye- I think we ended in a good place.

I think we often focus on the fear that things won't go perfect- when in reality it will be OK as long as things don't go horribly wrong. Will things be the same?  No, they never are.  But OK is something that I can work with.

And so I find myself typing this update, four months after after my own revelation, with the relief of making it through the gauntlet of coming out to my closest family.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on October 12, 2020, 04:59:13 pm
Part 14- The Gauntlet

In the four months that I've been actively Caela there has always been something holding me back.  I've found my self, my look, my confidence, my ability to be in public, and my ability to be out and about makeup or no.  I've begun to come out to friends and I've been to work in my tights and long hair.  I've gone from being someone who held all their feelings inside to someone who has become very open and vocal (and happy!).  Some of my readers are probably scratching their heads wondering "With everything that you've done, in the short time since you've made your discovery- What, pray tell, could you possibly think is holding you back?"

Life is always a balance- For all the emotions that you feel upon your discovery- the euphoria of things in your life clicking into place, the contentment in finally being able to be yourself, the raw joy in looking into a mirror and seeing the girl- there is another emotion that is in balance to it- Fear of the unknown.

One of my fears has been what would happen when I come out to my in-laws.  It's always tragic in life when someone outlives their children, and they both looked to me for support.  How would they take it when their rock all of a sudden shows up painted pink!  And so they were put in the category of "People to come out to last".

As times pass, and gears turn in your head- some things start looking less like good ideas.  Throughout my journey, I've tried to keep true to myself- and not trying to hide who I am has been a key driver in coming out to other folks.  I also realized that my mother-in-law would soon begin Christmas shopping- and unless I wanted to get several more button down Men's dress shirts this year I better find a way to telegraph my newfound situation.  So I made a resolution to come out by Halloween- perhaps show up in my "Hermione Granger" Halloween costume.

Over the past week, I had had another great session with my therapist.  One of the thoughts she left me with was if I am happy and comfortable with myself- why not go ahead and dress, present how I would like, and just let folks draw their own conclusions.  At least I'd be true to myself and comfortable.  I'd gotten to a point of not being bothered by what strangers thought, so why hide myself from those that I truly care about.

I have my computer set to note a list of upcoming "holidays". Some are the big Federal holidays.  Some are the fun ones where you might get a free taco.  Saturday night it notified me that the next day would be "National Coming Out Day."  I had been musing about inviting the parents over for the televised football game on Sunday night- What if I came out then?

I woke up in the morning and decided to invite my mom and the in-laws over to watch the game.  And I got ready for game day the way I had for the previous five weeks.  Tights, my new woman's jersey, a blue and green haired wig, my full-size falsies, blue flats, and makeup including dark blue lipstick and green eyeshadow.  (Yes, I'm dedicated fan.) And I'd let them draw their own conclusions.

My mom arrived first, took one look at me- and knowing my in-laws were coming over too asked me if I was going to change or was I planning on coming out to them today...  "Yes Mom, I guess I am."

I'm in the kitchen finishing up cooking when my in-laws show up.  My father-in-law comes in the kitchen, looks at me, and chuckles as she says hello.  Right after him was my mother-in-law- her response was "Oh, no!"

As the night progressed, my mother-in-law would converse every once in a while, but didn't really look my way.  The game was exciting, and the team we all support managed to eke out a win.  In the excitement of the last second win, my Mom looks over at me and says "You know, you make a pretty girl"- right in front of the in laws!

My in-laws left shortly thereafter.  I figured it didn't go great, but it didn't go badly.  I had previously planned to drive my mother-in-law into the city in the morning and show her the way to a doctor's office, and I figured I'd get an earful then.

I woke up this morning, and got dressed.  She came over and she looked at me when I answered the door, and said "Oh, dear!"  The conversation in the car was somewhat stilted- I could see she wanted to say something, but didn't know how to start the conversation.  So it started with talking about my kids, and my father-in-law, and other mundane things.  Eventually I mentioned the fortune my family is making for our therapists- and our conversation really started.

"So are you on hormones" was the first question.  She wasn't overly critical though, and over the next hour we had a frank woman-to-woman chat.  Halfway through she opened her purse, and gave me a ziplock bag of lipsticks- The lipsticks we had taken up to the funeral home when they were preparing my wife's viewing!  I would have cried if I hadn't been focusing on my driving.

By the end of the conversation she was laughing at some of my jokes, and most importantly was able to look me in the eye- I think we ended in a good place.

I think we often focus on the fear that things won't go perfect- when in reality it will be OK as long as things don't go horribly wrong. Will things be the same?  No, they never are.  But OK is something that I can work with.

And so I find myself typing this update, four months after after my own revelation, with the relief of making it through the gauntlet of coming out to my closest family.

Hugs!

Caela



It is going to be okay.   :)

I am happy for you.

You did just fine on National Coming Out Day and the day after too!

Hugs,

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on October 12, 2020, 05:55:11 pm
What lovely acceptance from your mom to say such a nice thing Cae.. That was really touching to read.
And wow, that is certainly one way to celebrate 'national coming out' day! What style you have girl!

I unfortunately had no-one left to come out to.. oh well.. Still going to get me one of those green and blue wigs! haha!

happy it all went well for you too...  Hugs to you too..you deserve them for being so brave.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 13, 2020, 01:48:47 am
@ChrissyRyan
@SarahEL

Thanks Chrissy & Sarah!

It really is truly a relief.  There is a much longer road ahead, but my core support folks are (at least for now) coming along for the ride too!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 13, 2020, 12:59:42 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Your last update, Part 14- The Gauntlet, was a positive set of steps that you took in your transition journey.

Usually our "coming out" fears are not as bad as we fear that they will be.   
There are exceptions of course, they are those that are adamant about not accepting us but there can be many more that are more open and accepting regarding our transition.   

This can be a good time to "sort out" our friendship priorities. 

Thank you for posting and sharing this tidbit of your life with all of us.

OH, BY THE WAY:  I love your newest  Avatar/Profile photo... you look very lovely.


HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 13, 2020, 02:08:36 pm

OH, BY THE WAY:  I love your newest  Avatar/Profile photo... you look very lovely.


HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle

@Northern Star Girl

Danielle-

THANK YOU!!  I decided I wanted a change, and this picture has my new favorite hair!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on October 13, 2020, 05:11:00 pm
Long hair suits you, pretty lady!
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 13, 2020, 05:15:09 pm
Long hair suits you, pretty lady!

@SarahEL  cc: @CaelaNotKayla

I wholeheartedly AGREE !!!   
      Caela's beautiful hair looks wonderful!


HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 13, 2020, 06:59:06 pm
@SarahEL
@Northern Star Girl

Dearest Sarah and Danielle-

You're making me blush!!!! Thank you!!! :D :D :D

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 21, 2020, 02:33:34 pm
Just a quick update to let everyone know I haven't gone off the deep end!  Things have been going well, but family has taken a bit more priority for me of recent.  I've been continuing to write- but any good story needs a closure, and all three that I've been working on are still open.  So I'll leave you with a quick little story for your second cup of coffee this morning-

With all the restaurants closed over the past few months, the farmers and food suppliers have really been hurting for business.  So the government stepped in and created a "Farmers to Families" program to take the food the famers and suppliers can't sell and get it to the underprivileged families throughout the country.  My widowed mom, living alone with only her Social Security check got one of these boxes of food yesterday.  It was very large, almost institutional sized portions, so she called us over to look at what they had sent (potatoes and onions and cheese and meatballs and taco meat and yogurt and apples) and decided to split up everything into meal-sized packets for her. She invited us to stay for dinner, and it was obvious that with all that food we still couldn't make a full meal!  So I went out to our local grocery store in girl-mode for the missing items to complete our meal.  My mom lives 5 minutes from my house, so this is also my local grocery store - and it was the first time I went there dressed! Very risky, and yet it felt more true to myself to stay in girl-mode- and I didn't really want to drive out of my way just to feel more comfortable.  So I get inside, start doing my shopping, and I turned a corner and there was my Pastor!  He gave a slight glance, almost like "That almost looks like someone..." and went right past me. Nothing bad happened.  The world didn't end.  I finished shopping, went back to my Mom's and fixed dinner.  But it highlights how far I've moved in my own mind- this was just a normal activity for me, and I knew that running into other folks would happen sooner or later.


My sister has said that I'm going about my ongoing discovery the right way; My therapist agrees and suggests that I need to trust myself and my instincts.    Life will happen- and every action has a reaction.  Things will never be perfect, so perhaps it's time to live life more and fear the reactions less!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on October 21, 2020, 04:06:32 pm
Just a quick update to let everyone know I haven't gone off the deep end!  Things have been going well, but family has taken a bit more priority for me of recent.  I've been continuing to write- but any good story needs a closure, and all three that I've been working on are still open.  So I'll leave you with a quick little story for your second cup of coffee this morning-

With all the restaurants closed over the past few months, the farmers and food suppliers have really been hurting for business.  So the government stepped in and created a "Farmers to Families" program to take the food the famers and suppliers can't sell and get it to the underprivileged families throughout the country.  My widowed mom, living alone with only her Social Security check got one of these boxes of food yesterday.  It was very large, almost institutional sized portions, so she called us over to look at what they had sent (potatoes and onions and cheese and meatballs and taco meat and yogurt and apples) and decided to split up everything into meal-sized packets for her. She invited us to stay for dinner, and it was obvious that with all that food we still couldn't make a full meal!  So I went out to our local grocery store in girl-mode for the missing items to complete our meal.  My mom lives 5 minutes from my house, so this is also my local grocery store - and it was the first time I went there dressed! Very risky, and yet it felt more true to myself to stay in girl-mode- and I didn't really want to drive out of my way just to feel more comfortable.  So I get inside, start doing my shopping, and I turned a corner and there was my Pastor!  He gave a slight glance, almost like "That almost looks like someone..." and went right past me. Nothing bad happened.  The world didn't end.  I finished shopping, went back to my Mom's and fixed dinner.  But it highlights how far I've moved in my own mind- this was just a normal activity for me, and I knew that running into other folks would happen sooner or later.


My sister has said that I'm going about my ongoing discovery the right way; My therapist agrees and suggests that I need to trust myself and my instincts.    Life will happen- and every action has a reaction.  Things will never be perfect, so perhaps it's time to live life more and fear the reactions less!

Hugs!

Caela


You seem to be on a good flight plan.  You have a good altitude of achievement and a good attitude.  Keep going, you will make some mid-course corrections, as we all do.

Chrissy


Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 21, 2020, 09:52:25 pm

You seem to be on a good flight plan.  You have a good altitude of achievement and a good attitude.  Keep going, you will make some mid-course corrections, as we all do.

Chrissy
Thanks Chrissy!  It really means a lot to have the support of all the folks I know here!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 25, 2020, 12:41:02 pm
Part 15- Miss Hermione Granger

I knew that the holiday season would be a challenging part of the year for me.  In rapid succession I would have my wife's birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Each a time of wonderful memories- and this year the thought of much of it rings hollow. 

For the past few years we had been hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My wife always went into full gear for the holidays, decorating the house and planning exquisite meals.  While she loved to cook, she never felt comfortable with the everyday lunches and dinners- her forte was the holiday feast!  My mom will save me for Thanksgiving- she wants to host.

In the midst of this run of days lies one of my wife's favorite holidays- Halloween (All Hallows Eve or Samhain for some of you).  She would decorate the yard and house with her scary decorations, work for months with the kids on their costumes, and cheerfully hand out candy to all who came to our doorstep.  In the midst of grief and COVID, I knew I had to find some way to continue her traditions.

The kids and I talked soon after my wife's passing about what we thought of the traditions- and at the time COVID was declining and we thought we'd definitely decorate.  As we've got closer that trend has turned around, and cases are back on the increase.  We made the hard call to not have trick or treaters come to our door- and that meant not decorating outside.  So we're setting stuff up for inside, and my kids can come up and "Trick or Treat" at my bedroom door!

Next was working with the kids on their costumes.  My youngest I thought would be the hardest to find- he often has no opinion, but settle pretty quickly on being "Steven Universe".  One down!

My oldest had a very clear idea of what they wanted to be- but we'd have to make our own (Peridot from Steven Universe).  So we started out getting all the supplies for a costume, and in the ensuing couple of weeks he got it about 50% done before life intervened.  So we ended up going out and getting a pre-made "Sora" outfit from Kingdom Hearts.  Two down!

Now on to my costume- with the added challenge that I had a decision to go male-mode or girl-mode.  I thought about all the options, and I didn't really like the male-mode options (closest was being a "Ghostbuster") Girl-mode options seemed harder- most everything is sized for someone much smaller.  The few outfits that did fit (Slutty Nun! Emo Witch! Busty Pirate Wench!) just were not my style.  But then I got to thinking- We had always been fans of the "Harry Potter" books (just don't get me started about the sensibilities of their author...), and when the stores had reopened I had found a plaid Gryffindor miniskirt on clearance.  Maybe I could get more schoolgirl-type clothes online, and go as a student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

I dug through our stuff to see what I already had, and as expected none of my wife's stuff fit.  So with just a mini-skirt, and my wand that I picked up at Universal Studios I started to build an outfit.  I found a Gryffindor tie at one of the stores that cater to my kids, and a pair of socks while visiting a local tourist town. I actually found a plus-size Hogwarts robe at the Halloween store. Amazon brought the rest.

I tried it on to see how it would look all put together.  With makeup I thought it looked really beautiful!  At the time I was still building confidence, and while I was happy with the look I was concerned about showing her in public.  At least we were going to do an indoor COVID lockdown Halloween!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201025/092903235a3809724b04b1117c95b03f.jpg)

Time passes- I become not only more confident in myself, more accepting of myself without makeup, and to the point of presenting how I want and letting other folks draw their own conclusions- and then I get an invite to a video-call Halloween party at work.  I looked at my calendar, and noted that I had plenty of time in the schedule to get ready.  I could block off the hour before the party- dress, put on makeup, and join the call right when it started!

Oh yeah, about that..... Life happens again, and by the day of the party my schedule is completely booked.  I woke up early, dressed in my costume and threw a bulky sports jersey over the top for a "Zoom shirt" and began my day.  At least my call right before the party looked like it would end early and I'd be able to put my makeup on (haha, right!) 

So it's time for the party, my previous call is going long but finally ends.  I'd just have to wing it.  I switched to my favorite long hair, fixed the lighting so it wouldn't look entirely horrible and joined the bridge sans makeup.

Comments were generally positive- Some thought it was funny that M____ was wearing a wig.  Some that said I looked really pretty in long hair.  One of my employees said "Boss, I know this will probably get my bonus taken away- but I don't think I like this look on you!"  (I looked that up afterwards- the government wouldn't be happy if I took his bonus away for that comment... Oh well!  >:-) >:-) )

So in the spirit of "Pictures or it didn't happen", I present to you Miss Hermione Granger making her appearance to a wider circle of folks at work in all her badly lit, unflattering camera angle glory!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201025/ea5d58c51165966963ddd891c3b0521a.jpg)

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on October 25, 2020, 01:53:37 pm
You have a nice look Caela.


Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on October 25, 2020, 02:52:55 pm
Part 15- Miss Hermione Granger

I knew that the holiday season would be a challenging part of the year for me.  In rapid succession I would have my wife's birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Each a time of wonderful memories- and this year the thought of much of it rings hollow. 

For the past few years we had been hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My wife always went into full gear for the holidays, decorating the house and planning exquisite meals.  While she loved to cook, she never felt comfortable with the everyday lunches and dinners- her forte was the holiday feast!  My mom will save me for Thanksgiving- she wants to host.

In the midst of this run of days lies one of my wife's favorite holidays- Halloween (All Hallows Eve or Samhain for some of you).  She would decorate the yard and house with her scary decorations, work for months with the kids on their costumes, and cheerfully hand out candy to all who came to our doorstep.  In the midst of grief and COVID, I knew I had to find some way to continue her traditions.

The kids and I talked soon after my wife's passing about what we thought of the traditions- and at the time COVID was declining and we thought we'd definitely decorate.  As we've got closer that trend has turned around, and cases are back on the increase.  We made the hard call to not have trick or treaters come to our door- and that meant not decorating outside.  So we're setting stuff up for inside, and my kids can come up and "Trick or Treat" at my bedroom door!

Next was working with the kids on their costumes.  My youngest I thought would be the hardest to find- he often has no opinion, but settle pretty quickly on being "Steven Universe".  One down!

My oldest had a very clear idea of what they wanted to be- but we'd have to make our own (Peridot from Steven Universe).  So we started out getting all the supplies for a costume, and in the ensuing couple of weeks he got it about 50% done before life intervened.  So we ended up going out and getting a pre-made "Sora" outfit from Kingdom Hearts.  Two down!

Now on to my costume- with the added challenge that I had a decision to go male-mode or girl-mode.  I thought about all the options, and I didn't really like the male-mode options (closest was being a "Ghostbuster") Girl-mode options seemed harder- most everything is sized for someone much smaller.  The few outfits that did fit (Slutty Nun! Emo Witch! Busty Pirate Wench!) just were not my style.  But then I got to thinking- We had always been fans of the "Harry Potter" books (just don't get me started about the sensibilities of their author...), and when the stores had reopened I had found a plaid Gryffindor miniskirt on clearance.  Maybe I could get more schoolgirl-type clothes online, and go as a student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

I dug through our stuff to see what I already had, and as expected none of my wife's stuff fit.  So with just a mini-skirt, and my wand that I picked up at Universal Studios I started to build an outfit.  I found a Gryffindor tie at one of the stores that cater to my kids, and a pair of socks while visiting a local tourist town. I actually found a plus-size Hogwarts robe at the Halloween store. Amazon brought the rest.

I tried it on to see how it would look all put together.  With makeup I thought it looked really beautiful!  At the time I was still building confidence, and while I was happy with the look I was concerned about showing her in public.  At least we were going to do an indoor COVID lockdown Halloween!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201025/092903235a3809724b04b1117c95b03f.jpg)

Time passes- I become not only more confident in myself, more accepting of myself without makeup, and to the point of presenting how I want and letting other folks draw their own conclusions- and then I get an invite to a video-call Halloween party at work.  I looked at my calendar, and noted that I had plenty of time in the schedule to get ready.  I could block off the hour before the party- dress, put on makeup, and join the call right when it started!

Oh yeah, about that..... Life happens again, and by the day of the party my schedule is completely booked.  I woke up early, dressed in my costume and threw a bulky sports jersey over the top for a "Zoom shirt" and began my day.  At least my call right before the party looked like it would end early and I'd be able to put my makeup on (haha, right!) 

So it's time for the party, my previous call is going long but finally ends.  I'd just have to wing it.  I switched to my favorite long hair, fixed the lighting so it wouldn't look entirely horrible and joined the bridge sans makeup.

Comments were generally positive- Some thought it was funny that M____ was wearing a wig.  Some that said I looked really pretty in long hair.  One of my employees said "Boss, I know this will probably get my bonus taken away- but I don't think I like this look on you!"  (I looked that up afterwards- the government wouldn't be happy if I took his bonus away for that comment... Oh well!  >:-) >:-) )

So in the spirit of "Pictures or it didn't happen", I present to you Miss Hermione Granger making her appearance to a wider circle of folks at work in all her badly lit, unflattering camera angle glory!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201025/ea5d58c51165966963ddd891c3b0521a.jpg)

Hugs!

Caela
That is so wonderful - I just love your commitment to being yourself. You have been through so much and do deserve happiness. Extra big hugs xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on October 25, 2020, 02:59:20 pm
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
― Albus Dumbledore

❤️❤️❤️
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on October 25, 2020, 03:17:20 pm
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
― Albus Dumbledore


Sarah - im not convinced of the validity of quoting Dumbledore but i’m gonna give you a pass on this one


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on October 25, 2020, 03:31:34 pm
"Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." — Hermione Granger

 ;D ;D ;D  (sorry, Cae started it by dressing as Hermione!....)

Oh Oh Oh... I have another one for Cae...(slightly modified)...

"Just because it’s taken you three zoom calls to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!"
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on October 25, 2020, 03:36:23 pm
"Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." — Hermione Granger

 ;D ;D ;D  (sorry, Cae started it by dressing as Hermione!....)

Oh Oh Oh... I have another one for Cae...(slightly modified)...

"Just because it’s taken you three zoom calls to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!"
Oh dear! I think you’ve started something now!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 25, 2020, 08:05:58 pm
@ChrissyRyan
@Pammie
@SarahEL

Thanks ladies!  You've brought a big smile to this girl's face!

Chrissy- Thank you! I'm really happy with my look in that first picture- the second one.... I'm content with :)

Pammie-  Thanks for the hugs!  It's important for me to be true to myself!

Sarah- ;D ;D ;D Maybe you did start something sis! Here's your quote!

"Young girls are told you have to be the delicate princess.  Hemione taught them that you can be the warrior"- Emma Watson

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 26, 2020, 01:56:29 pm
Hello everyone!  I hope you are all having a most wonderful day!

I thought I'd post an old Polaroid selfie I took!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201026/6582afd911a49898fbff6e3bc9978cec.jpg)

I look good back then! (Haha I took that a couple of days ago on my old Polaroid camera...)  It feels good to disconnect and get back to an analog world for just a bit!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on October 26, 2020, 05:26:58 pm
Nice Polaroid pic Caela!

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 26, 2020, 05:39:17 pm
Nice Polaroid pic Caela!

Chrissy
Thanks Chrissy!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on October 26, 2020, 06:23:13 pm
Cae - sis - I did not know you had a magic polaroid camera that made you look 16...
Please send it to me... Please.... !!!!
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on October 26, 2020, 10:19:32 pm
Cae - sis - I did not know you had a magic polaroid camera that made you look 16...
Please send it to me... Please.... !!!!

Shhh Sis!!!.... we can't let the Muggles find out about our enchanted Polaroid Camera!  ;)

Hugs!

Cae
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 02, 2020, 01:03:52 pm
Good morning girls!

Hermione didnt get to come out to play on Halloween night... life, as it is wont to, happens.

But remember- Halloween was also a Blue Hunters Moon, and as the calendar changes I'm already feeling the positive energy!  October was a challenging month- be positive about November, and let good thoughts create peace of mind.

Another milestone day is coming up in a week- six months since my wife lost her fight with cancer.  I'm planning to celebrate the life of the woman I loved, not mourn her passing.

Hugs everyone!

Caela

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on November 02, 2020, 02:01:22 pm
Evening dear (8pm here) Yes celebrate, remember fondly XXXX
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 10, 2020, 02:05:52 am
Part 16- Six Months Down....

TRIGGER WARNING- This post covers losing a loved one and dealing with grief and it’s aftereffects.

Today marks six months from the darkest point in my life.  Six months since I sat at my wife’s bedside, holding her hand as the warmth of life drained from her body.  Six months since I became a widow.  Six months since my life irrevocably changed forever.

Readers of this blog will know that I’ve discovered and learned a lot in these six months- and I’ve chronicled quite a bit of it in these stories.  No real new mind-blowing things in this blog- this post is definitely in the category of “Externalizing Self-Acceptance”.  And for anyone looking for the trials and tribulations of a bigender female-dominant person, this post will strictly deal with grief- feeling grief, dealing with grief, and coming to terms with grief.

Cancer is a diagnosis that affects everyone around the person with the actual tumor.  My wife’s cancer, and the stage that it was discovered at, gave her slim odds from the time of her diagnosis.  She fought- sometimes cheerfully, sometimes in rage- for every day of the remainder of her life.  And just because things are stacked against you, doesn’t make it any less sad or shocking when the worst comes to happen.  Six months ago, her fight ended, and mine had only begun.

Day zero you are numb- you haven’t really processed what is going on.  You have a flurry of activity as the funeral home comes in, the family gathers, and you begin planning.  Complicating all of that was our friend the Coronavirus.  By day 1 you have begun to realize the cliff that you are staring up at.  We had planned somewhat ahead- and I would come to realize in the following days how much more had to be done.  You don’t really think too hard about it all, because it just keeps coming fast.

At some point following your loved one’s passing, things start to slow down.  For me it was about a week or so after my wife’s passing.  Funeral planning had been completed and we were biding time until that day.  I started going through my wife’s belongings and our life together.  Photos, clothes.  For what I started to find that day, I’ll direct you back to my first story post in this thread.  But it put me on a path of profound change and discovery.

First though, I had to make it through the funeral.  Regardless of what anyone may say- a funeral doesn’t bring closure.  ( My father had passed away four months before- and I sit here now ten months removed from that and I can firmly say that I’m still working on closure with my father.  ) A funeral does bring a point of inflexion to your life.  I was highly emotional that day- something that I did to myself in the choice of music and pictures that were in the service.

Afterwards, when the circus died down- I was left alone, watching over our two kids.  I soon realized that I had to be both Dad and Mom now.  (A friend suggested we should celebrate both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day for me…. A concept that quite frankly horrifies me… regardless of anything else I’m still firmly “Dad”) In the midst of my other discoveries, I had to channel that female-type thinking more and more.  And perhaps that accelerated my comfort levels. 

I’ve had to discover how to make life go without a partnership of two.  That has lead me to another realization-  I can!  We fight a lot of challenges but perhaps the biggest is self-doubt- which can lead us into a spiral downward.  I didn’t have the choice in a lot of things- If I didn’t do them they just flat out wouldn’t get done.  So I found out that I can do them- and that led to other things that I found out that I could do.  My advice for anyone is to figure out how to get your own spiral of confidence going upward.  Even little things keep building that confidence.

And I got on the train of alternating feelings called grief.  At first those shifts were quite large- but as time has gone on those shifts have gotten less and less extreme.  At first I was in denial about a lot of things- but as time has gone on I’ve realized that I have to take care of business.  No one else can, and there’s again a feeling of empowerment there.  I’m no longer just the hapless widower- I’m also now the strong, slightly sassy, widow!

Two weeks ago would have been my wife’s birthday, and I felt her loss dearly.  Today I celebrate her life.  I’ve stopped fighting the grief- it is a part of me, it will be a part of me, and it’s something that I need to experience. In accepting that I’ve been able to manage through the alternating feelings.  I’m sad, I cry- I’m happy, I laugh- but most importantly, I live.  Grief doesn’t have to own you.  It doesn’t have to be debilitating.  It doesn’t have to color every relationship you have going forward.

Strive to be happy!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on November 10, 2020, 03:42:48 am
HUGS dear XXXX
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on November 10, 2020, 04:39:49 am
Reading your your post with tears in my eyes. It is amazing where we find the strength from that we need, especially when we have our children looking to us for their own safety and comfort.
If it is okay to say.. I know your wife would be very proud of you and how you are dealing with everything.

You know I am here for you sis.. sending you hugs, and will be thinking of you all day today!.. Take care XX
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on November 10, 2020, 09:11:24 am
Part 16- Six Months Down....

TRIGGER WARNING- This post covers losing a loved one and dealing with grief and it’s aftereffects.

Today marks six months from the darkest point in my life.  Six months since I sat at my wife’s bedside, holding her hand as the warmth of life drained from her body.  Six months since I became a widow.  Six months since my life irrevocably changed forever.

Readers of this blog will know that I’ve discovered and learned a lot in these six months- and I’ve chronicled quite a bit of it in these stories.  No real new mind-blowing things in this blog- this post is definitely in the category of “Externalizing Self-Acceptance”.  And for anyone looking for the trials and tribulations of a bigender female-dominant person, this post will strictly deal with grief- feeling grief, dealing with grief, and coming to terms with grief.

Cancer is a diagnosis that affects everyone around the person with the actual tumor.  My wife’s cancer, and the stage that it was discovered at, gave her slim odds from the time of her diagnosis.  She fought- sometimes cheerfully, sometimes in rage- for every day of the remainder of her life.  And just because things are stacked against you, doesn’t make it any less sad or shocking when the worst comes to happen.  Six months ago, her fight ended, and mine had only begun.

Day zero you are numb- you haven’t really processed what is going on.  You have a flurry of activity as the funeral home comes in, the family gathers, and you begin planning.  Complicating all of that was our friend the Coronavirus.  By day 1 you have begun to realize the cliff that you are staring up at.  We had planned somewhat ahead- and I would come to realize in the following days how much more had to be done.  You don’t really think too hard about it all, because it just keeps coming fast.

At some point following your loved one’s passing, things start to slow down.  For me it was about a week or so after my wife’s passing.  Funeral planning had been completed and we were biding time until that day.  I started going through my wife’s belongings and our life together.  Photos, clothes.  For what I started to find that day, I’ll direct you back to my first story post in this thread.  But it put me on a path of profound change and discovery.

First though, I had to make it through the funeral.  Regardless of what anyone may say- a funeral doesn’t bring closure.  ( My father had passed away four months before- and I sit here now ten months removed from that and I can firmly say that I’m still working on closure with my father.  ) A funeral does bring a point of inflexion to your life.  I was highly emotional that day- something that I did to myself in the choice of music and pictures that were in the service.

Afterwards, when the circus died down- I was left alone, watching over our two kids.  I soon realized that I had to be both Dad and Mom now.  (A friend suggested we should celebrate both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day for me…. A concept that quite frankly horrifies me… regardless of anything else I’m still firmly “Dad”) In the midst of my other discoveries, I had to channel that female-type thinking more and more.  And perhaps that accelerated my comfort levels. 

I’ve had to discover how to make life go without a partnership of two.  That has lead me to another realization-  I can!  We fight a lot of challenges but perhaps the biggest is self-doubt- which can lead us into a spiral downward.  I didn’t have the choice in a lot of things- If I didn’t do them they just flat out wouldn’t get done.  So I found out that I can do them- and that led to other things that I found out that I could do.  My advice for anyone is to figure out how to get your own spiral of confidence going upward.  Even little things keep building that confidence.

And I got on the train of alternating feelings called grief.  At first those shifts were quite large- but as time has gone on those shifts have gotten less and less extreme.  At first I was in denial about a lot of things- but as time has gone on I’ve realized that I have to take care of business.  No one else can, and there’s again a feeling of empowerment there.  I’m no longer just the hapless widower- I’m also now the strong, slightly sassy, widow!

Two weeks ago would have been my wife’s birthday, and I felt her loss dearly.  Today I celebrate her life.  I’ve stopped fighting the grief- it is a part of me, it will be a part of me, and it’s something that I need to experience. In accepting that I’ve been able to manage through the alternating feelings.  I’m sad, I cry- I’m happy, I laugh- but most importantly, I live.  Grief doesn’t have to own you.  It doesn’t have to be debilitating.  It doesn’t have to color every relationship you have going forward.

Strive to be happy!

Hugs!

Caela
I lost my elder daughter last year and it showed me that im not as strong as I thought and that grief is something to learn to live with not something that can be beaten. That said there is one massive difference between losing a daughter and losing a wife. Losing a wife means one has to find the strength to contemplate one day having a new relationship. Losing a daughter just leaves a massive hole that can never be filled and for which there is no concept of replacement. Not sure either is a great place to be but I think ur being so very strong and im so proud of you. Xxx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 10, 2020, 02:49:53 pm
@Pammie @SarahEL @davina61

Thanks gals-  this hasn't been as hard a day as two weeks ago.  I've been keeping myself busy, and the day is full of video calls and meetings.  I'm not nearly as strong as folks think I am, but I am as strong as I need to be.  Knowing that I still have her love with me every day helps. 

Pammie-  I'm sending you all my spare thoughts today.  Nothing can fill the holes that we both have- and no mom should have to lose a child.  Be strong for her memory.  Big Hugs!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 10, 2020, 02:54:51 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I don't have words that will make everything OK for you considering your loss....
... but I do want to give you lots of heartfelt and tight HUGS....
Thank you for sharing from your heart.

Danielle
    (https://i.imgur.com/kFTwOf1.jpg) 
                        (https://i.imgur.com/kFTwOf1.jpg) 
                                           (https://i.imgur.com/kFTwOf1.jpg)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 10, 2020, 03:24:39 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I don't have words that will make everything OK for you considering your loss....
... but I do want to give you lots of heartfelt and tight HUGS....
Thank you for sharing from your heart.

Danielle
    (https://i.imgur.com/kFTwOf1.jpg) 
                        (https://i.imgur.com/kFTwOf1.jpg) 
                                           (https://i.imgur.com/kFTwOf1.jpg)

Thanks for the hugs Danielle.  Nothing can make it OK- but Life is beautiful, and my wife wouldn't want me to forget that.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: TSL_NB on November 10, 2020, 03:30:40 pm
Hey Caela, as usual, I'm behind in responding....but, know my thoughts and prayers are your way, too!
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on November 10, 2020, 05:58:15 pm
Hi Caela,


Hugs and more hugs.
I know that this is a tough time for you.

We are here to support you.


Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 10, 2020, 06:01:43 pm
@TSL_NB @ChrissyRyan

Thanks girls!  I can't tell you how much it means to feel everyone's caring thoughts and hugs right now!  Hugs back to everyone!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: EllenW on November 10, 2020, 08:22:05 pm
Caela,

I just hope I will be as strong as you are when my wife passes. She also has late stage cancer and we just returned from seeing her oncologist. Her prognosis is not good.

Thank you for your great example of how to handle the loss of your love one

Ellen
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 11, 2020, 12:13:36 am
Caela,

I just hope I will be as strong as you are when my wife passes. She also has late stage cancer and we just returned from seeing her oncologist. Her prognosis is not good.

Thank you for your great example of how to handle the loss of your love one

Ellen

@EllenW

Ellen-

Oh no!  I'm so sorry to hear about your wife, and really wish that you both weren't having to deal with this challenge. Everyone's cancer fight is different, but feel free to message me if you want to chat with someone who has been through the battle.  You both will be in my thoughts and prayers.

and I have to say this....CANCER SUCKS!!

Hugs!

Caela

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SoCal_Holly on November 11, 2020, 03:05:15 am
Carla:

Hugs !

Holly
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 13, 2020, 02:35:52 am
@SoCal_Holly @EllenW @Northern Star Girl @SarahEL @ChrissyRyan @TSL_NB @Pammie

Hey everyone!-

I wanted to thank all of you for your kind thoughts and words of support-  I can't find the words to describe how much of a challenge this has been for me over the past couple of weeks as I've navigated empty birthdays and dark anniversaries... But I want everyone to know that that is not my whole story....  C.S. Lewis once wrote of "Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time"- dark words of treachery and death- only to write shortly thereafter of "Deeper Magic from Before The Dawn of Time" with the power to restore life.

Are you stuck in a deep dark place?  Look for your own Deeper Magic.  It is out there for us all, and light can shine from the most surprising places.  I find myself caught in the web of Deeper Magic, and no matter what may come of it in the future- today I have hope for the future and strength to stand in the face of my challenges.

Be strong girls!!  You've got this!!

Hugs!!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on November 13, 2020, 06:34:08 am
Cae, sis, I am sure you future story will be filled with just as much love and light as your past... In fact I am certain of it..
You are an amazing and inspiring soul and give so much of yourself to others.. I for one, am honoured to call you my friend..

C.S. Lewis also wrote 'Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.'...

Some day soon, I hope for you...
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 17, 2020, 07:44:48 pm
So the company sent out a diversity and workplace happiness survey today- and at the end where they gather demographic data I stared at the "Gender" section for quite a while....  I agonized over it, and finally decided that it didn't really matter.

I put "bigender" in the field and hit submit!  And I have a smile on my face after submitting one of these stupid things with how I've been identifying to myself for months!

We go back into lockdown at midnight tonight, but for today we've got a reservation at our Italian restaurant- and I'm going to enjoy it!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on November 17, 2020, 07:51:55 pm
So the company sent out a diversity and workplace happiness survey today- and at the end where they gather demographic data I stared at the "Gender" section for quite a while....  I agonized over it, and finally decided that it didn't really matter.

I put "bigender" in the field and hit submit!  And I have a smile on my face after submitting one of these stupid things with how I've been identifying to myself for months!

We go back into lockdown at midnight tonight, but for today we've got a reservation at our Italian restaurant- and I'm going to enjoy it!

Hugs!

Caela


Enjoy your meal and fellow diners!

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 17, 2020, 11:26:33 pm
@ChrissyRyan

We had a wonderful evening!   Wine, companionship, and Gorgonzola Cream Filet Mignon with Portobellas!  Complete win for everything but my waistline!

Hugs!

Caela.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201118/49427901a67c83cc28d284c0033171a6.jpg)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on November 18, 2020, 04:19:24 am
@ChrissyRyan

We had a wonderful evening!   Wine, companionship, and Gorgonzola Cream Filet Mignon with Portobellas!  Complete win for everything but my waistline!

Hugs!

Caela.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201118/49427901a67c83cc28d284c0033171a6.jpg)

That sounds wonderful.

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on November 18, 2020, 05:04:17 am
Wow... Looks wonderful sis.. So glad you enjoyed this before being locked down..

Sent from my Intellec8

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: TSL_NB on November 19, 2020, 08:23:12 pm
I haven't eaten Portobello mushrooms in a long time....I know what I'm looking for on my next grocery trip to toss on the grill (after I soak them in balsamic vinegar). :)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 20, 2020, 02:15:42 am
I haven't eaten Portobello mushrooms in a long time....I know what I'm looking for on my next grocery trip to toss on the grill (after I soak them in balsamic vinegar). :)

@TSL_NB

That sounds yummy-  I think I'll have to steal that idea!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 23, 2020, 12:44:56 pm
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! 

As someone who has been "follically challenged" since I was a teen- I haven't really been really happy with my hair in decades.  That unhappiness accelerated as it went prematurely gray- and didn't really get reduced until after my discovery- and it made it very convenient to put on a wig!

But I've been letting it grow out a bit- I was looking in the mirror the other day after I had put on one of my really short haired wigs- and noticed my natural hair sticking out the back all gray and curly and ughh!  Going into the holiday something had to be done- I wanted to look good for all of my relatives and guests- and since some of them are not in confidence of my discovery I had to make both modes work...   I had used "Just For Men" comb in color before, but I wanted a color closer to my favorite wigs.... so I picked up a box of Garnier Nutrisse in "Chocolate Caramel".  I opened the box a few days ago a little apprehensive...  I remember my wife taking all morning doing her hair color (with another product)- and that messing it up would probably result in male-mode going full Patrick Stewart....  But I dutifully did my allergy test and patiently waited to see what would happen.

Woke up yesterday morning, saw no reaction and figured it was time.  And it was actually pretty easy.  It was maybe three times as long to do as the Just For Men was, but not nearly as long as I thought it would take- and it was just as simple.  The color looks good, maybe a little lighter than I was hoping for but with just the tinge of auburn that I was looking for- I may not be able to cover the hair in the back up with a short wig, but at least it will match better!

So another new experience for this girl- and another where the buildup was worse than the actual.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, even if you are not in the US where we have our Thanksgiving- and that in and amongst the challenges of this year you can see that there is always something to be thankful for!

Hugs!

Caela

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on November 23, 2020, 02:36:28 pm
Something I have been thinking of for the same reason, I had been cutting it short with a beard trimmer but have not done it since March . Trouble is I now look like Coco the clown , might eventually get a topper if they do one large enough.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: TSL_NB on November 23, 2020, 02:44:59 pm
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! 

As someone who has been "follically challenged" since I was a teen- I haven't really been really happy with my hair in decades.  That unhappiness accelerated as it went prematurely gray- and didn't really get reduced until after my discovery- and it made it very convenient to put on a wig!

But I've been letting it grow out a bit- I was looking in the mirror the other day after I had put on one of my really short haired wigs- and noticed my natural hair sticking out the back all gray and curly and ughh!  Going into the holiday something had to be done- I wanted to look good for all of my relatives and guests- and since some of them are not in confidence of my discovery I had to make both modes work...   I had used "Just For Men" comb in color before, but I wanted a color closer to my favorite wigs.... so I picked up a box of Garnier Nutrisse in "Chocolate Caramel".  I opened the box a few days ago a little apprehensive...  I remember my wife taking all morning doing her hair color (with another product)- and that messing it up would probably result in male-mode going full Patrick Stewart....  But I dutifully did my allergy test and patiently waited to see what would happen.

Woke up yesterday morning, saw no reaction and figured it was time.  And it was actually pretty easy.  It was maybe three times as long to do as the Just For Men was, but not nearly as long as I thought it would take- and it was just as simple.  The color looks good, maybe a little lighter than I was hoping for but with just the tinge of auburn that I was looking for- I may not be able to cover the hair in the back up with a short wig, but at least it will match better!

So another new experience for this girl- and another where the buildup was worse than the actual.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, even if you are not in the US where we have our Thanksgiving- and that in and amongst the challenges of this year you can see that there is always something to be thankful for!

Hugs!

Caela

Hey Caela, that I understand very well.....I've let what hair I do have grow out (I can wear winter caps pretty nicely), but since a lot of my bio hair fell out over the years, I have a topper that I use on a pretty regular basis.

But (hey Davina, you may find this to be helpful), the one I do use is by Jon Renau, called 'Top Full.'  It's a synthetic one, and pretty pricey (around $300-400 US, which is inexcusably expensive here in Canada, but I did it), but the base is actually  11x11.5. 

It's huge, covers a lot, and the colours are pretty spot on. :)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 23, 2020, 08:47:57 pm
@davina61 @TSL_NB

Thanks ladies!

TSL-  I really like my long wigs. I'm not convinced that I've got enough real hair to hold a topper in place (haha). My wife had bought some cancer caps, and I've been using them when I'm active and don't feel like putting a wig on.  These have an integrated scarf around the headband that I can drape in the back to give the feel of longer hair back there in a ponytail.  But if I'm going out for anything beyond a walk around the neighborhood I'm putting on one of my wigs!

Davina-  "Coco the Clown" just about describes it!  but since even that pops out from under my cancer caps, the color really does make a difference!  It's another thing that makes me feel good!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: RandyL on November 23, 2020, 10:43:04 pm
Caela, I've just found your blog and have read quite a bit of it. It's fascinating and you tell your story so well! I offer my belated condolences for the passing of your wife. That's a precursor to transition that I'm lucky not to have faced. You are very strong and such a good parent for your children.

I'm glad you were able to come out to them and that they accept you. That's so, so important. I'm lucky that my grown children also accept me. I know some folks who have been split from their children by this, and I'm glad not to have to go there.

Keep on keeping on!
Randy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on November 24, 2020, 12:35:31 am
Caela, I've just found your blog and have read quite a bit of it. It's fascinating and you tell your story so well! I offer my belated condolences for the passing of your wife. That's a precursor to transition that I'm lucky not to have faced. You are very strong and such a good parent for your children.

I'm glad you were able to come out to them and that they accept you. That's so, so important. I'm lucky that my grown children also accept me. I know some folks who have been split from their children by this, and I'm glad not to have to go there.

Keep on keeping on!
Randy
@RandyL

Thanks Randy- I miss her every day.   My kids have really been a rock for me this year, when so many have been knocked out from under me- having that connection has been incredible as I've moved from tentative exploration to understanding this is who I am.  I'm glad that your kids are there for you too- and I'm sure their support means to you what mine means to me- it means the world to me.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 05, 2020, 01:19:46 am
Part Seventeen- A Circle of Sensibilities

I’m often asked if I ever dressed up while my wife was still alive- Did we go out as swapped genders or was it just something we kept hid at home.  If you’ve read this blog you know that my discovery was after my wife had lost her fight with cancer.  Looking back- I see a lot of tendencies that I was quite blind about, but my wife in her lifetime only knew a person identifying as cisgender male.

One of those tendencies was being rather curious about my wife’s wardrobe selections- and unlike many of the girls, very little of it was of a size that would fit me.  I’d hold things up and wonder why my wife chose this- or why she didn’t wear something that was rather attractive to me. 

And then of course, one day this wardrobe was my inheritance.  My first furtive experiments started with a more or less complete wardrobe- that I really couldn’t fit into…. My wife’s accessories, jewelry and scarves get quite a bit of use, but all those cute clothes have sadly passed along to other closets. 

------

I am not the only one in my family to have lost their spouse this year- my Mom lost my Dad four months before my wife passed away. 

He was someone who desired everything to be perfect, and I was far from it before my discovery.  For every proud word he’d say to someone else about me, I’d only hear how much of a failure I was.  To say that my father would not approve of my current state is a vast understatement.  I can just imagine what I would hear from him had I appeared before him with my beautiful long hair and makeup.

My mom on the other hand has been accepting.  Yes, she can’t get my name or pronouns right- but doesn’t raise a fuss about my appearance and has said on multiple occasions that she’s happy if I’m happy.  I’ve wondered about how far that acceptance would go- and I’d soon find out how far.

-----

My Mom invited me and the kids over to visit and have dinner- and before she served dessert, she brought down a bundle of clothing for me!  She had gone through her closet looking for things I might be able to wear.  Like me she had been losing weight too, and there were things that too big for her anymore.  My mom is a tiny person, and I just had this thought that she was trying to be nice- too big for her would still be too small for me.  But I’m a dutiful daughter, and I went up to her bedroom to try them on.  There were four blouses and two skirts.

I started with the skirts- both of them were pleated long skirts- in a size that might be a little smaller than I’d been buying- but one I knew my weight loss was trending to.  Both fit well- probably better on me than ever did on my petite mom. 

I moved onto the blouses.  I have to buy bigger tops, and these tops were labeled in a size that I knew would be a challenge for me.  The first blouse was way too tight- I could feel it in the shoulders before I even buttoned the front.  The second blouse however was loose enough to wear!  The third blouse was even bigger and looked like it had never even been worn.  The last blouse I tried was about the same as the third one.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201205/b2ebb62080ee4a627f75ac6de982e764.jpg)

Mom shared that the first blouse was big, but of a size she could wear.  The second one was something she picked up but was too loose for her.  The last two were Christmas gifts from my wife- and were so large she had never had the chance to wear. 

And I find my story coming full circle- from inheriting my wife’s wardrobe in her sensibilities (that didn’t fit) to finding myself bringing home clothing from my wife’s sensibilities that does fit!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on December 05, 2020, 03:28:52 am
Yes my mum has been great, before lockdown she would go charity shop trawling with her sister at least once a week and bring me stuff (not all to my taste!) . I have been with them and they both help me look for stuff. Not sure what my dad would have said but he passed a long time .
 Its great your mom is on your side, be you and the world accepts . XXXX BTW my mum is 84, digs her own veg and looks after herself well (but she cant do technology !!)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Birdie on a Wire on December 05, 2020, 07:37:53 am
What a heartwarming story Caela. It is unbelievably sweet.

Like you, I am extremely lucky to have someone in my life who is not only accepting but encouraging and affirming.... my spouse of 12 yrs.

It certainly didn’t happen overnight. In fact it took several months of talking and talking and talking and yes... more talking.

She has been amazing much like your mother, which is so sweet to hear how she’s been with you. So happy for you.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on December 05, 2020, 07:55:38 am
I am so glad you have people around you like your mom sis... You really find out who is special in your life at times like these...
Your clothes haul sounds like a nice bonus as well.. though we do have to talk about the peach socks! hahaha!....
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: EllenW on December 05, 2020, 10:36:46 am
Caela,

It is wonderful that you have such a supportive mother. I kept it a secret from my parents. My wife always knew but I always reverted back to a male presentation when we visited. Only are my mom's passing did I start to transition. Like Birdie on the Wire, I have been lucky to have the support of the love of my life, but only after decades of work by both of us.

Ellen
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 05, 2020, 11:51:44 am
Yes my mum has been great, before lockdown she would go charity shop trawling with her sister at least once a week and bring me stuff (not all to my taste!) . I have been with them and they both help me look for stuff. Not sure what my dad would have said but he passed a long time .
 Its great your mom is on your side, be you and the world accepts . XXXX BTW my mum is 84, digs her own veg and looks after herself well (but she cant do technology !!)

Thanks Davina!  My mom and my mother-in-law go shopping, and after trying on the clothes I showed my mom my selfies to give her a peek at my tastes.... she off-handedly said that she should go shopping with me and not my mother-in-law!!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 05, 2020, 11:56:16 am
What a heartwarming story Caela. It is unbelievably sweet.

Like you, I am extremely lucky to have someone in my life who is not only accepting but encouraging and affirming.... my spouse of 12 yrs.

It certainly didn’t happen overnight. In fact it took several months of talking and talking and talking and yes... more talking.

She has been amazing much like your mother, which is so sweet to hear how she’s been with you. So happy for you.

Thanks Birdie!  I'm really happy to hear that you have that someone in your life too. My wife never got to know this me, so I'm very glad that my kids and my moms are there and accepting!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 05, 2020, 11:57:59 am
I am so glad you have people around you like your mom sis... You really find out who is special in your life at times like these...
Your clothes haul sounds like a nice bonus as well.. though we do have to talk about the peach socks! hahaha!....

Thanks Sis!  The orange socks were a great match with the clothes I wore over to Moms... much less so what she had me try on (haha)

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 05, 2020, 12:02:32 pm
Caela,

It is wonderful that you have such a supportive mother. I kept it a secret from my parents. My wife always knew but I always reverted back to a male presentation when we visited. Only are my mom's passing did I start to transition. Like Birdie on the Wire, I have been lucky to have the support of the love of my life, but only after decades of work by both of us.

Ellen

Thanks Ellen!  My Mom is an angel!  I think when I came out to my mother-in-law it was less shocking that I was standing before them en femme than it was for her to see how supportive my Mom was about it!  My mom has really started to come into her own with dad's passing, and she surprises me with things I never thought I'd hear mom say!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on December 05, 2020, 12:42:21 pm
Thanks Ellen!  My Mom is an angel!  I think when I came out to my mother-in-law it was less shocking that I was standing before them en femme than it was for her to see how supportive my Mom was about it!  My mom has really started to come into her own with dad's passing, and she surprises me with things I never thought I'd hear mom say!

Hugs!

Caela
Im so glad you have that support. Ur a lovely lady who has been through so much and yet always makes time on SP to support others. The world is a much better place for having Caela in ur. Xxx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 05, 2020, 01:32:13 pm
Im so glad you have that support. Ur a lovely lady who has been through so much and yet always makes time on SP to support others. The world is a much better place for having Caela in ur. Xxx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Awww!!! Thanks Pammie!  I'm glad that I can pay it forward for all the support and encouragement that I've received from my friends on SP!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on December 05, 2020, 02:08:34 pm
Awww!!! Thanks Pammie!  I'm glad that I can pay it forward for all the support and encouragement that I've received from my friends on SP!

Hugs!

Caela



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on December 05, 2020, 04:35:12 pm
@CaelaNotKayla   @Pammie   @EllenW  @SarahEL
@Birdie on a Wire  @davina61  @RandyL  @TSL_NB
@ChrissyRyan  @SoCal_Holly
   ...
....and all of our members that offer their timely support and encouragement to our members.

The Susan's Place Forums is the the place to be to help us with our travels on the transition road.
Thank you all for your support and comments around the Forums.


HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle


Awww!!! Thanks Pammie!  I'm glad that I can pay it forward for all the support and encouragement that I've received from my friends on SP!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 14, 2020, 01:25:18 am
Hello everyone! 

It's been a bit since I last posted on my blog, so I thought I'd touch base.  It's the holiday season and wonderful things are happening- hopefully I'll be able to say more later, but I'm still working through the all the implications with my therapist.  The biggest gift that I've been able to give myself this year is self-acceptance, no matter where that takes me.  Today that is taking me on the adventure of normality.  I don't dress up anymore, I just dress.  I don't feel like I have to put on makeup- I put it on when I want to.  I don't feel like I have to be anything other than myself!

Now everything isn't a perfect world of positivity.... without long hair of my own, I've developed a habit of absently playing with my earrings- and my fave pair of amethyst studs broke!  These are flat backs, with a hollow stem that the front piece pins into, and the pin broke inside the hollow stem!  I can't get the pin out so I can't resolder it back on!   Oh well, it's forced me to try out the rest of my earrings and get over my fear of swapping them in and out.  In addition to what I already had in my cabinet- I picked up new go-to pairs for both girl-mode and guy-mode.  A beautiful Tanzanite pair for the girl, and jet-black cubic zirconia for the guy.  Little steps every day!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on December 14, 2020, 04:25:57 am
Yes dear its just getting dressed not dressing up, not worn any glad rags since March and when I put on make up its BB cream and a streak of blush . Reminds me that I need to wash face masks! Hate it when earrings break , always the favourites due to constant wear. Bought some nice red and gold studs and the  shaft broke on one putting it in the first time.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 14, 2020, 01:47:02 pm
Yes dear its just getting dressed not dressing up, not worn any glad rags since March and when I put on make up its BB cream and a streak of blush . Reminds me that I need to wash face masks! Hate it when earrings break , always the favourites due to constant wear. Bought some nice red and gold studs and the  shaft broke on one putting it in the first time.

Davina-

I bet no one put "Washing my face masks" on their list of things they would have to worry about at the beginning of the year! I sewed up a bunch of masks (I like the kind that ties in the back instead of the around the ears) so that I wouldn't have to do a load of masks quite as often.

That would really bother me if I broke a stud right off the bat.... Luckily for mine I bought the set as two singles, and I may be able to buy a replacement for the one the broke.

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on December 14, 2020, 02:36:42 pm
Hello everyone! 

It's been a bit since I last posted on my blog, so I thought I'd touch base.  It's the holiday season and wonderful things are happening- hopefully I'll be able to say more later, but I'm still working through the all the implications with my therapist.  The biggest gift that I've been able to give myself this year is self-acceptance, no matter where that takes me.  Today that is taking me on the adventure of normality.  I don't dress up anymore, I just dress.  I don't feel like I have to put on makeup- I put it on when I want to.  I don't feel like I have to be anything other than myself!

Now everything isn't a perfect world of positivity.... without long hair of my own, I've developed a habit of absently playing with my earrings- and my fave pair of amethyst studs broke!  These are flat backs, with a hollow stem that the front piece pins into, and the pin broke inside the hollow stem!  I can't get the pin out so I can't resolder it back on!   Oh well, it's forced me to try out the rest of my earrings and get over my fear of swapping them in and out.  In addition to what I already had in my cabinet- I picked up new go-to pairs for both girl-mode and guy-mode.  A beautiful Tanzanite pair for the girl, and jet-black cubic zirconia for the guy.  Little steps every day!

Hugs!

Caela
Ooh exciting! Now I’m impatient to know more hun!
Good thinking re ear studs! Xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 14, 2020, 05:05:00 pm
Ooh exciting! Now I’m impatient to know more hun!
Good thinking re ear studs! Xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks Pammie!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 18, 2020, 10:55:38 am
Hello everyone!

Today is an unbirthday to me!  Six months ago I first looked in the mirror and saw someone that I wasn't expecting- and one of the few things in life that I thought was pretty firmly set turned out to be as fluid as water in a wave pool.

And as the waves have started to settle- I'm no longer the person I was.... I'm also not the person that I thought I'd be when I first saw that face in the mirror- I'm just me, not quite a new person but for the first time in forever starting to feel whole.  I've accepted that that i'm slightly off-center, and my journey for the past month has been to realize what that means to me. 

So tonight I'm going out with a very close friend- we'll snuggle around a fire pit and stay socially distanced from everyone else.  I don't know what we'll have for dinner, and I don't know where things will go.  But I am thankful and grateful to be alive, to have two wonderful kids, to be in a place of self-acceptance that I've never been before.

Yes, a very merry unbirthday indeed!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on December 18, 2020, 11:47:00 am
Hello everyone!

Today is an unbirthday to me!  Six months ago I first looked in the mirror and saw someone that I wasn't expecting- and one of the few things in life that I thought was pretty firmly set turned out to be as fluid as water in a wave pool.

And as the waves have started to settle- I'm no longer the person I was.... I'm also not the person that I thought I'd be when I first saw that face in the mirror- I'm just me, not quite a new person but for the first time in forever starting to feel whole.  I've accepted that that i'm slightly off-center, and my journey for the past month has been to realize what that means to me. 

So tonight I'm going out with a very close friend- we'll snuggle around a fire pit and stay socially distanced from everyone else.  I don't know what we'll have for dinner, and I don't know where things will go.  But I am thankful and grateful to be alive, to have two wonderful kids, to be in a place of self-acceptance that I've never been before.

Yes, a very merry unbirthday indeed!

Hugs!!

Caela

Have a nice time! 

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 18, 2020, 12:55:19 pm
Have a nice time! 

Chrissy

Thanks Chrissy!  I'm really looking forward to it (and the day just isn't going fast enough!!)!!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on December 18, 2020, 01:21:54 pm
Hello everyone!

Today is an unbirthday to me!  Six months ago I first looked in the mirror and saw someone that I wasn't expecting- and one of the few things in life that I thought was pretty firmly set turned out to be as fluid as water in a wave pool.

And as the waves have started to settle- I'm no longer the person I was.... I'm also not the person that I thought I'd be when I first saw that face in the mirror- I'm just me, not quite a new person but for the first time in forever starting to feel whole.  I've accepted that that i'm slightly off-center, and my journey for the past month has been to realize what that means to me. 

So tonight I'm going out with a very close friend- we'll snuggle around a fire pit and stay socially distanced from everyone else.  I don't know what we'll have for dinner, and I don't know where things will go.  But I am thankful and grateful to be alive, to have two wonderful kids, to be in a place of self-acceptance that I've never been before.

Yes, a very merry unbirthday indeed!

Hugs!!

Caela
Hope you have a lovely time!  Happy unbirthday xxx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 18, 2020, 06:12:51 pm
Hope you have a lovely time!  Happy unbirthday xxx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks Pammie!! 

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 27, 2020, 12:10:18 am
Sorry for not posting so much recently- I've been very busy with the holidays, and I'm finally starting to catch my breath.  My Christmas Eve meal turned out wonderful, and as is our tradition we opened family gifts to each other that night.  I was so grateful that the usual male clothing gifts were nowhere in sight!  I was also reminded of how far I've come in my weight loss when one gift was a pair of slacks in what was my size only two months ago- that will be a very happy trip when I step out to exchange that pair!

And then I opened a gift from my mom- a lovely heart pendant with my engagement picture with my late wife.... and I just lost it.  That wound will be very raw for some time. 

Christmas Day I ended up cooking about half the meal as well!!! Another day that turned out good- and I've been invited along with my mom and my mother-in-law on a shopping trip!  I'm so humbled and grateful to have their love and acceptance.

Hugs everyone- I hope you join me in looking forward to a new, magical 2021!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on December 27, 2020, 01:25:51 am
- - - - - -
    - - - --
And then I opened a gift from my mom- a lovely heart pendant with my engagement picture with my late wife.... and I just lost it.  That wound will be very raw for some time. 
- - - - - --
    - - - - -
Hugs everyone- I hope you join me in looking forward to a new, magical 2021!
Hugs!!
Caela
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
         
HUGS
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on December 27, 2020, 02:27:34 am
More hugs from me , what a wonderful gift. Have a magical 2021 dear XXXXX
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 27, 2020, 11:04:17 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
         
HUGS
Danielle

More hugs from me , what a wonderful gift. Have a magical 2021 dear XXXXX

Thanks Danielle and Davina!  It really means a lot to have the support of all my friends here!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: TSL_NB on December 28, 2020, 03:53:19 pm
Sorry for not posting so much recently- I've been very busy with the holidays, and I'm finally starting to catch my breath.  My Christmas Eve meal turned out wonderful, and as is our tradition we opened family gifts to each other that night.  I was so grateful that the usual male clothing gifts were nowhere in sight!  I was also reminded of how far I've come in my weight loss when one gift was a pair of slacks in what was my size only two months ago- that will be a very happy trip when I step out to exchange that pair!

And then I opened a gift from my mom- a lovely heart pendant with my engagement picture with my late wife.... and I just lost it.  That wound will be very raw for some time. 

Christmas Day I ended up cooking about half the meal as well!!! Another day that turned out good- and I've been invited along with my mom and my mother-in-law on a shopping trip!  I'm so humbled and grateful to have their love and acceptance.

Hugs everyone- I hope you join me in looking forward to a new, magical 2021!

Hugs!!

Caela

Hey Caela...I'm sorry too, as it's been almost as chaotic here.   But, my hugs to you as well! :)
Happy Pre-Lated 2021, sis!

V/R,
Vivian (TSL_NB)
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on December 28, 2020, 04:03:51 pm
Sorry for not posting so much recently- I've been very busy with the holidays, and I'm finally starting to catch my breath.  My Christmas Eve meal turned out wonderful, and as is our tradition we opened family gifts to each other that night.  I was so grateful that the usual male clothing gifts were nowhere in sight!  I was also reminded of how far I've come in my weight loss when one gift was a pair of slacks in what was my size only two months ago- that will be a very happy trip when I step out to exchange that pair!

And then I opened a gift from my mom- a lovely heart pendant with my engagement picture with my late wife.... and I just lost it.  That wound will be very raw for some time. 

Christmas Day I ended up cooking about half the meal as well!!! Another day that turned out good- and I've been invited along with my mom and my mother-in-law on a shopping trip!  I'm so humbled and grateful to have their love and acceptance.

Hugs everyone- I hope you join me in looking forward to a new, magical 2021!

Hugs!!

Caela
My dear Cae,
There are so many challenges at this time of the year and yes, that will probably always be difficult. It does sound like you also had some great positives which is wonderful!
2021 just has to be better! 2019 was the worst year of my life but 2020 has been pretty pants too.
Sending hugs


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on December 29, 2020, 01:43:59 am
Hey Caela...I'm sorry too, as it's been almost as chaotic here.   But, my hugs to you as well! :)
Happy Pre-Lated 2021, sis!

V/R,
Vivian (TSL_NB)
My dear Cae,
There are so many challenges at this time of the year and yes, that will probably always be difficult. It does sound like you also had some great positives which is wonderful!
2021 just has to be better! 2019 was the worst year of my life but 2020 has been pretty pants too.
Sending hugs


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Vivian and Pammie-

Thank you for your kind words!  We all deserve a much better 2021!   

My friends have often said that I'd been together with my wife since the dawn of time....  Well..... (with apologies to C.S. Lewis) 2020 took away my Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time. But life never takes you in a straight line- and the answers to life's questions always come from utterly surprising directions.  Remember this, dear sisters- 2021 may be the year for Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time. Keep an open heart and an open mind, and we will all find our way forward! 

But for now.... the next three days can't come quick enough!!  Stay safe, stay healthy, and I wish you all a wonderful New Year!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 02, 2021, 03:17:36 pm
Part Eighteen- Gender Soup

It’s been six months since my personal discovery, and I thought that I would share where I am in my journey.  Please know that everyone has a different journey- and my thoughts below strictly apply to my journey.  I’ve met many incredible people on this forum and I fully support and embrace your personal paths and discoveries.  But this is my blog- and I think it’s important to share something that may not change much on the outside- but is pretty profound for me on the inside.

When I’m talking with my therapist, a phrase that I often use is that “It’s all in the soup”.  Your gender, your sexuality, your family, your entire life experience from the moment you were born to the present day are all parts of your soup.

I’ve been watching my own gender soup boil and bubble on the stove for six months from my discovery, but the current pot starts with the passing of my wife.  In one moment I found the “us” of life torn asunder leaving only the “me” part.  Grief is a great eraser of conventions, and I began, perhaps for the first time in my life- really asking the question of “Who am I?”  A little over a month later, I found a very shocking and surprising answer.

Upon my discovery it was apparent to me that there were aspects that truly fit each gender- and I initially worked to keep those lives separate.  Male and Female.  In the absence of anything really pushing me (other than work) towards my Male side I was spending the majority of my post discovery time in Female-mode.  So I described myself as “bigender female dominant”

Throughout this I began working with my therapist on coming to terms with my grief, my gender discovery- and how all of that is coming together into this beautiful person that I am.

As time progressed, I noticed that that separation wasn’t hard and fast.  My “Male” mode became a rather androgynous look with plenty of my female aspects on full display.  My “Female” mode moved from a glam look to an everyday Jill. 

I never was a manly man.  Whatever possibility I had of that path died long ago in the aftermath of rape.  There are things that I just cannot bring myself to do as they carry the connotation of that assault. 

But I’ll also never be the girly girl.  I don’t feel the strong gender dysphoria that others do.  I don’t feel a need to begin HRT or have surgery to complete this self.  I am happy looking in the mirror and seeing the eyes of the girl staring out at me.  And I’ve become a much stronger confident person by embracing my feminine aspects- and I can’t lose those gains.

As I thought about what I need in my future life- I realized that there truly are things on both sides that are important to me.  I realized that it’s a fallacy to say that I have to be one or the other gender- that my reality is somewhere in the middle, and I can’t be truly happy and whole without accepting that.

And more and more I’m seeing that all those things in my soup are leading me not to continue to separate these items- but embracing them all.  I am asking myself “why is this a feminine trait?” and “why is that a masculine trait?”  A friend was in trouble and I thought to myself am I the guy who wants to jump to the rescue- or is it a mothering instinct that wants to jump in and protect- and it blew my mind as I thought how similar those drives are- yet we ascribe different gender roles to each!

And it doesn’t really make a difference to me if you see the feminine male or the masculine girl- I’m going to be me, and I reject the concept of a binary gender.  My sense of self is very fluid- and I’ve made a realization that my gender is as well.  Eyes once opened can’t be closed, and I continue to explore myself.  In six months I may yet feel different.  But as before, I don’t feel the need to do anything drastic.

My gender soup today is “non-binary”. 

Hugs!!

Caela

Next Part- Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time!
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on January 02, 2021, 03:31:06 pm
Truly understanding who we are is the bedrock that happiness is built on.
I feel privileged to have been part of your journey so far.. And am proud to stand beside my non binary sibling...
Your a lovely and beautiful person and deserve much happiness.

And.... I'll still copy your nail varnish choices! Ha ha....

So it does beg the question... What role do you want at my wedding?   (and gosh.. Thinking of it.. Arnt weddings heavily gendered!!)

Sent from my Intellec8

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on January 02, 2021, 03:33:39 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
My Dear Caela:
Thank you for composing and posting your Part Eighteen- Gender Soup today. 
I have been eagerly looking for your update since you posted your
Part Seventeen- A Circle of Sensibilities   about a month ago on December 04, 2020

I will be reading and digesting what you wrote when I have some more time this evening... then I will be
able to post a half-way intelligent reply to what you stated and your thoughts that you shared.

Again, thank your for your new Part Eighteen update.
HUGS and best wishes to you for the New Year in 2021.   
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on January 02, 2021, 03:41:17 pm
Part Eighteen- Gender Soup

It’s been six months since my personal discovery, and I thought that I would share where I am in my journey.  Please know that everyone has a different journey- and my thoughts below strictly apply to my journey.  I’ve met many incredible people on this forum and I fully support and embrace your personal paths and discoveries.  But this is my blog- and I think it’s important to share something that may not change much on the outside- but is pretty profound for me on the inside.

When I’m talking with my therapist, a phrase that I often use is that “It’s all in the soup”.  Your gender, your sexuality, your family, your entire life experience from the moment you were born to the present day are all parts of your soup.

I’ve been watching my own gender soup boil and bubble on the stove for six months from my discovery, but the current pot starts with the passing of my wife.  In one moment I found the “us” of life torn asunder leaving only the “me” part.  Grief is a great eraser of conventions, and I began, perhaps for the first time in my life- really asking the question of “Who am I?”  A little over a month later, I found a very shocking and surprising answer.

Upon my discovery it was apparent to me that there were aspects that truly fit each gender- and I initially worked to keep those lives separate.  Male and Female.  In the absence of anything really pushing me (other than work) towards my Male side I was spending the majority of my post discovery time in Female-mode.  So I described myself as “bigender female dominant”

Throughout this I began working with my therapist on coming to terms with my grief, my gender discovery- and how all of that is coming together into this beautiful person that I am.

As time progressed, I noticed that that separation wasn’t hard and fast.  My “Male” mode became a rather androgynous look with plenty of my female aspects on full display.  My “Female” mode moved from a glam look to an everyday Jill. 

I never was a manly man.  Whatever possibility I had of that path died long ago in the aftermath of rape.  There are things that I just cannot bring myself to do as they carry the connotation of that assault. 

But I’ll also never be the girly girl.  I don’t feel the strong gender dysphoria that others do.  I don’t feel a need to begin HRT or have surgery to complete this self.  I am happy looking in the mirror and seeing the eyes of the girl staring out at me.  And I’ve become a much stronger confident person by embracing my feminine aspects- and I can’t lose those gains.

As I thought about what I need in my future life- I realized that there truly are things on both sides that are important to me.  I realized that it’s a fallacy to say that I have to be one or the other gender- that my reality is somewhere in the middle, and I can’t be truly happy and whole without accepting that.

And more and more I’m seeing that all those things in my soup are leading me not to continue to separate these items- but embracing them all.  I am asking myself “why is this a feminine trait?” and “why is that a masculine trait?”  A friend was in trouble and I thought to myself am I the guy who wants to jump to the rescue- or is it a mothering instinct that wants to jump in and protect- and it blew my mind as I thought how similar those drives are- yet we ascribe different gender roles to each!

And it doesn’t really make a difference to me if you see the feminine male or the masculine girl- I’m going to be me, and I reject the concept of a binary gender.  My sense of self is very fluid- and I’ve made a realization that my gender is as well.  Eyes once opened can’t be closed, and I continue to explore myself.  In six months I may yet feel different.  But as before, I don’t feel the need to do anything drastic.

My gender soup today is “non-binary”. 

Hugs!!

Caela

Next Part- Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time!
I love to read about your self discovery and I can imagine that some of what you say will resonate with others. I love how self aware you are and your posts demonstrate just how lovely a person you are. Keep exploring and just being the lovely person you are. Extra hugs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on January 02, 2021, 03:47:30 pm
Part Eighteen- Gender Soup

It’s been six months since my personal discovery, and I thought that I would share where I am in my journey.  Please know that everyone has a different journey- and my thoughts below strictly apply to my journey.  I’ve met many incredible people on this forum and I fully support and embrace your personal paths and discoveries.  But this is my blog- and I think it’s important to share something that may not change much on the outside- but is pretty profound for me on the inside.

When I’m talking with my therapist, a phrase that I often use is that “It’s all in the soup”.  Your gender, your sexuality, your family, your entire life experience from the moment you were born to the present day are all parts of your soup.

I’ve been watching my own gender soup boil and bubble on the stove for six months from my discovery, but the current pot starts with the passing of my wife.  In one moment I found the “us” of life torn asunder leaving only the “me” part.  Grief is a great eraser of conventions, and I began, perhaps for the first time in my life- really asking the question of “Who am I?”  A little over a month later, I found a very shocking and surprising answer.

Upon my discovery it was apparent to me that there were aspects that truly fit each gender- and I initially worked to keep those lives separate.  Male and Female.  In the absence of anything really pushing me (other than work) towards my Male side I was spending the majority of my post discovery time in Female-mode.  So I described myself as “bigender female dominant”

Throughout this I began working with my therapist on coming to terms with my grief, my gender discovery- and how all of that is coming together into this beautiful person that I am.

As time progressed, I noticed that that separation wasn’t hard and fast.  My “Male” mode became a rather androgynous look with plenty of my female aspects on full display.  My “Female” mode moved from a glam look to an everyday Jill. 

I never was a manly man.  Whatever possibility I had of that path died long ago in the aftermath of rape.  There are things that I just cannot bring myself to do as they carry the connotation of that assault. 

But I’ll also never be the girly girl.  I don’t feel the strong gender dysphoria that others do.  I don’t feel a need to begin HRT or have surgery to complete this self.  I am happy looking in the mirror and seeing the eyes of the girl staring out at me.  And I’ve become a much stronger confident person by embracing my feminine aspects- and I can’t lose those gains.

As I thought about what I need in my future life- I realized that there truly are things on both sides that are important to me.  I realized that it’s a fallacy to say that I have to be one or the other gender- that my reality is somewhere in the middle, and I can’t be truly happy and whole without accepting that.

And more and more I’m seeing that all those things in my soup are leading me not to continue to separate these items- but embracing them all.  I am asking myself “why is this a feminine trait?” and “why is that a masculine trait?”  A friend was in trouble and I thought to myself am I the guy who wants to jump to the rescue- or is it a mothering instinct that wants to jump in and protect- and it blew my mind as I thought how similar those drives are- yet we ascribe different gender roles to each!

And it doesn’t really make a difference to me if you see the feminine male or the masculine girl- I’m going to be me, and I reject the concept of a binary gender.  My sense of self is very fluid- and I’ve made a realization that my gender is as well.  Eyes once opened can’t be closed, and I continue to explore myself.  In six months I may yet feel different.  But as before, I don’t feel the need to do anything drastic.

My gender soup today is “non-binary”. 

Hugs!!

Caela

Next Part- Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time!

Self discovery is fascinating.  You have been experiencing it.  So have I.
What is revealed when we are honest with ourselves is a better, true understanding of ourselves.
Be it the ingredients of your soup, or your gender spectrum, your fears, joys, desires, emotions, experiences, goals, plans, and so on.

It is good to reach such understandings.

Then we do change with time...   :)    But for the better, right?

Hugs,

Chrissy

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 02, 2021, 05:22:40 pm
Truly understanding who we are is the bedrock that happiness is built on.
I feel privileged to have been part of your journey so far.. And am proud to stand beside my non binary sibling...
Your a lovely and beautiful person and deserve much happiness.

And.... I'll still copy your nail varnish choices! Ha ha....

So it does beg the question... What role do you want at my wedding?   (and gosh.. Thinking of it.. Arnt weddings heavily gendered!!)

Sent from my Intellec8

Thanks sis!  Outwardly it doesn't change much to make this realization.... "bigender female dominant" and "female-leaning non-binary" are almost nitpicky with specificity. Inwardly however it's very self affirming to knock the wall down!

I'll be whatever you need in your wedding sis!  I just need to know you colors so I can go dress shopping!

Hugs!!

Cae
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 02, 2021, 05:23:51 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
My Dear Caela:
Thank you for composing and posting your Part Eighteen- Gender Soup today. 
I have been eagerly looking for your update since you posted your
Part Seventeen- A Circle of Sensibilities   about a month ago on December 04, 2020

I will be reading and digesting what you wrote when I have some more time this evening... then I will be
able to post a half-way intelligent reply to what you stated and your thoughts that you shared.

Again, thank your for your new Part Eighteen update.
HUGS and best wishes to you for the New Year in 2021.   
Danielle


Thanks Danielle- This was written two weeks ago and I forgot to post!  I've got "Part Nineteen" too which I'll probably post tomorrow!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 02, 2021, 05:51:28 pm
I love to read about your self discovery and I can imagine that some of what you say will resonate with others. I love how self aware you are and your posts demonstrate just how lovely a person you are. Keep exploring and just being the lovely person you are. Extra hugs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks Pammie!!!  I love the extra hugs!!!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 02, 2021, 05:53:00 pm
Self discovery is fascinating.  You have been experiencing it.  So have I.
What is revealed when we are honest with ourselves is a better, true understanding of ourselves.
Be it the ingredients of your soup, or your gender spectrum, your fears, joys, desires, emotions, experiences, goals, plans, and so on.

It is good to reach such understandings.

Then we do change with time...   :)    But for the better, right?

Hugs,

Chrissy

Most definitely Chrissy-  Knowing yourself better with love and acceptance can't help but be for the better!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on January 03, 2021, 12:10:30 am
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I love your therapist's analogy of each of our personal Gender Soups that all of us here must deal with.
Your description and statements of what you are dealing with in your life are not all necessarily unique but it is your unique "soup" that fashions your decisions and is the catalyst that displays who you are.

So many transitioners do not know who they are and worse yet don't know who or what they should be.   You are
way ahead of them by getting to know yourself, your needs, your life desires and accepting yourself. 
    The old saying that is so very true fits all of our situations:
      "If you can't accept yourself how can you expect that others will accept you."

I am eagerly looking forward soon to be reading your next chapter:
             "Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time!"

HUGS and best wishes to you in the new year 2021.
Danielle             
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 03, 2021, 12:21:53 am
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
I love your therapist's analogy of each of our personal Gender Soups that all of us here must deal with.
Your description and statements of what you are dealing with in your life are not all necessarily unique but it is your unique "soup" that fashions your decisions and is the catalyst that displays who you are.

So many transitioners do not know who they are and worse yet don't know who or what they should be.   You are
way ahead of them by getting to know yourself, your needs, your life desires and accepting yourself. 
    The old saying that is so very true fits all of our situations:
      "If you can't accept yourself how can you expect that others will accept you."

I am eagerly looking forward soon to be reading your next chapter:
             "Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time!"

HUGS and best wishes to you in the new year 2021.
Danielle             

Thanks Danielle-  In the midst of a year of great change- that sense of being open to myself, in whatever form that comes,  is the one constant that my therapist has noted.  We have to find that truth for ourselves, and your quote is so true!  We have to be able to accept our complete selves if we want someone in turn to accept us completely. 

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: davina61 on January 03, 2021, 04:23:42 am
Exactly , what more can I say.
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 03, 2021, 12:04:29 pm
Exactly , what more can I say.
Thanks Davina!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 05, 2021, 10:45:23 am
Part Nineteen- Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time

Grief is a road that everyone follows in their own ways.  I was lovingly devoted to my wife for almost 21 years until cancer took my Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time away from me. But this post is only tangentially about Grief…. This post is about the road back.

And it starts with a kiss!

----

Too often we get so focused on ourselves- in our issues, our challenges, our foibles- that we miss the signposts along the way.  Grief reshuffles that completely- and will lead you deeper into that focus in some places, and leave you completely open in others.  The focus part led to my own discovery...  and with that discovery was the thought that I probably was going to be alone the rest of my life. 

I think it showed…. my friends were becoming increasingly worried about me.  Locked in from COVID, alone with no interaction, spending most of my days feet from where my wife passed- as well as the little things, the slight differences that were becoming more and more noticeable. 

Friends that I hadn’t talked to in years started coming out of shadows to offer sympathy, support and concern.   One invited me for a movie night- and we caught up on the years over drinks and dinner.  We both were more open than we would have been at other times.  Words of sympathy became hugs.  Hugs became kisses, and the kisses awoke me out of my early grief funk.  I realized that I was still young.  I realized that my life hadn’t ended- it just opened a new chapter.  I might technically be a widow on a pension- but I didn’t need to start looking for cats to adopt!

---

Seasons change, along with my ever growing sense of self and confidence in the newness.   Summer ends, Autumn leaves fall, and first snows of Winter fall on the ground. The holiday season was a time when I anticipated that I would feel my missing wife most dearly.   I wasn’t about to let her memory down…. So I planned out the meals, bought the presents and tried to make the holidays as festive as she had while making our own traditions.  But I knew one tradition would not be in the cards- I would not get my midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve, and that sad thought hurt a lot.

Out of the blue I hear from a person who I hadn’t talked to in years.  Someone who was special to me long before I had ever met my wife.  We got to talking and made plans to get together and catch up after the holiday craziness.

Like a lot of the best laid plans, it soon started falling apart…. as we kept texting and after the holidays became that Friday.  And the Friday and Saturday after.  Somehow calendars aligned and we were suddenly both free on New Year’s Eve….  and I got my midnight kiss!

Total unexpected out of left field swoon!!   I’d stumbled upon some form of Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time!  One of the first girls I ever remember kissing…. has become the last girl that I’ve kissed. 

---

After my summer’s kiss, I had put up a dating profile… but I didn’t do much with it- I wasn’t truly ready to contemplate dating.  After my winter’s kiss, I’ve realized that I am ready- spending time with another will not take any of my feelings or memories of my wife away, and having a connection with someone is truly magical.  I don’t know what I will find out there for me… but I’m now at a point where I want to find out. 

As the New Year begins, keep your eyes and mind open for the opportunities that life sends your way.  It will surprise you in completely unexpected ways!  Don’t miss out on the chances that life will put before you!

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SarahEL on January 05, 2021, 11:26:13 am
Life is what happens when we are busy making plans...

With you every step .... and kiss... of the way sister!... I hope you find much happiness in this new chapter..
and I hope I offer just a small percentage of the strength you have offered me on my journey...

2021 just got a whole lot better for us both eh?   ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on January 05, 2021, 12:37:53 pm
Part Nineteen- Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time

Grief is a road that everyone follows in their own ways.  I was lovingly devoted to my wife for almost 21 years until cancer took my Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time away from me. But this post is only tangentially about Grief…. This post is about the road back.

And it starts with a kiss!

----

Too often we get so focused on ourselves- in our issues, our challenges, our foibles- that we miss the signposts along the way.  Grief reshuffles that completely- and will lead you deeper into that focus in some places, and leave you completely open in others.  The focus part led to my own discovery...  and with that discovery was the thought that I probably was going to be alone the rest of my life. 

I think it showed…. my friends were becoming increasingly worried about me.  Locked in from COVID, alone with no interaction, spending most of my days feet from where my wife passed- as well as the little things, the slight differences that were becoming more and more noticeable. 

Friends that I hadn’t talked to in years started coming out of shadows to offer sympathy, support and concern.   One invited me for a movie night- and we caught up on the years over drinks and dinner.  We both were more open than we would have been at other times.  Words of sympathy became hugs.  Hugs became kisses, and the kisses awoke me out of my early grief funk.  I realized that I was still young.  I realized that my life hadn’t ended- it just opened a new chapter.  I might technically be a widow on a pension- but I didn’t need to start looking for cats to adopt!

---

Seasons change, along with my ever growing sense of self and confidence in the newness.   Summer ends, Autumn leaves fall, and first snows of Winter fall on the ground. The holiday season was a time when I anticipated that I would feel my missing wife most dearly.   I wasn’t about to let her memory down…. So I planned out the meals, bought the presents and tried to make the holidays as festive as she had while making our own traditions.  But I knew one tradition would not be in the cards- I would not get my midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve, and that sad thought hurt a lot.

Out of the blue I hear from a person who I hadn’t talked to in years.  Someone who was special to me long before I had ever met my wife.  We got to talking and made plans to get together and catch up after the holiday craziness.

Like a lot of the best laid plans, it soon started falling apart…. as we kept texting and after the holidays became that Friday.  And the Friday and Saturday after.  Somehow calendars aligned and we were suddenly both free on New Year’s Eve….  and I got my midnight kiss!

Total unexpected out of left field swoon!!   I’d stumbled upon some form of Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time!  One of the first girls I ever remember kissing…. has become the last girl that I’ve kissed. 

---

After my summer’s kiss, I had put up a dating profile… but I didn’t do much with it- I wasn’t truly ready to contemplate dating.  After my winter’s kiss, I’ve realized that I am ready- spending time with another will not take any of my feelings or memories of my wife away, and having a connection with someone is truly magical.  I don’t know what I will find out there for me… but I’m now at a point where I want to find out. 

As the New Year begins, keep your eyes and mind open for the opportunities that life sends your way.  It will surprise you in completely unexpected ways!  Don’t miss out on the chances that life will put before you!

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Hugs!!

Caela
Im so pleased for you, you are so self aware and so strong and you so deserve a new future with someone special xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SoCal_Holly on January 05, 2021, 01:41:42 pm
Caela:

What a great way to start the new year!

I’m certain 2021 will be a banner year for all of us.

Hugs,

Holly
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 05, 2021, 02:16:39 pm
Life is what happens when we are busy making plans...

With you every step .... and kiss... of the way sister!... I hope you find much happiness in this new chapter..
and I hope I offer just a small percentage of the strength you have offered me on my journey...

2021 just got a whole lot better for us both eh?   ;D ;D
And sometimes you have to throw plans out the window and just live life :)

Sis you should know how much strength you have already offered me!  And 2021.... is definitely looking up!!

Hugs!!

Cae
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 05, 2021, 02:18:53 pm
Im so pleased for you, you are so self aware and so strong and you so deserve a new future with someone special xx


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks Pammie!  I may not yet have my Andy, but I'm looking!

Hugs!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 05, 2021, 02:20:05 pm
Caela:

What a great way to start the new year!

I’m certain 2021 will be a banner year for all of us.

Hugs,

Holly

Thanks Holly!  2021 is off to a great start, and I'm positive it will be good year for us all!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: TSL_NB on January 12, 2021, 04:13:16 am
Hey Caela....I was thinking the same thing.  I'm feeling really hopeful for 2021. :)
-Vivian
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 12, 2021, 10:30:48 pm
Hey Caela....I was thinking the same thing.  I'm feeling really hopeful for 2021. :)
-Vivian
Vivian-

We have to stay hopeful... We have to believe... We have to look to the positives in life... 2021 will be a better year!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 14, 2021, 12:10:59 pm
Music is a big part of my life.  It seems that my life has a soundtrack that is ever changing as I live it.  Today I was listening and heard a lyric that caught my ear-  "Who knew it'd be so bright without the blindfold?"

It was from a song I've heard a hundred times.... "Old Ways" by Demi Lovato.  She wrote it about dealing with life post rehab- but today it hit me how affirming it is for anyone going through life's transitions.  Going through life with a blindfold on is something that describes my pre-discovery life perfectly- and I can't go back.

I want to share a bit of it for you (you can find the whole song on Youtube if you like https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,252878.msg2406836.html#msg2406836 ).

Quote from:  "Old Ways" by Demi Lovato
And I just keep changin' my colors
I'm not in the same place that I was, I was

(And the best part about it)
(Is I'm only one who can do somethin' about it)
(I fill the well with some water, it's overflowing)
Black into gold
Who knew it'd be so bright without the blindfold

And I just keep changin'
These colors, colors, colors, colors
I'm not in the same place
That I was, I was, I was, I was

But if somebody tells me
I'll go back to my old ways
I'm gonna say no way
I'm out of the doorway
I'm hearing them all say
I'll go back to my old ways
Not going back to my old ways

Songwriters: Jason Evigan / Olivia Waithe / Scott Hoffman
Old Ways lyrics © Sony/atv Songs Llc, Underground Sunshine Music, Babydaddy Songs

I hope all my sisters (and brothers) are having a wonderful day today.

Hugs!!

Caela

Title: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on January 14, 2021, 02:19:04 pm
Music is a big part of my life.  It seems that my life has a soundtrack that is ever changing as I live it.  Today I was listening and heard a lyric that caught my ear-  "Who knew it'd be so bright without the blindfold?"

It was from a song I've heard a hundred times.... "Old Ways" by Demi Lovato.  She wrote it about dealing with life post rehab- but today it hit me how affirming it is for anyone going through life's transitions.  Going through life with a blindfold on is something that describes my pre-discovery life perfectly- and I can't go back.

I want to share a bit of it for you (you can find the whole song on Youtube if you like https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,252878.msg2406836.html#msg2406836 ).

I hope all my sisters (and brothers) are having a wonderful day today.

Hugs!!

Caela
As I read the lyrics it was that line that jumped out at me too! Like for you it resonates with me!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on January 14, 2021, 03:12:45 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Thank you so very much for sharing your last posting and including the song  "Old Ways" by Demi Lovato.
You are very correct about how the lyrics of the song address transitioners fears, needs and desires.
Like you said .... there is no going back!!!

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and the rest of your followers here on the Foums.
HUGS and best wishes for your continued success and happiness.
Danielle   
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 15, 2021, 01:43:57 pm
As I read the lyrics it was that line that jumped out at me too! Like for you it resonates with me!

@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
Thank you so very much for sharing your last posting and including the song  "Old Ways" by Demi Lovato.
You are very correct about how the lyrics of the song address transitioners fears, needs and desires.
Like you said .... there is no going back!!!

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and the rest of your followers here on the Foums.
HUGS and best wishes for your continued success and happiness.
Danielle   

Thanks Pammie and Danielle- It struck me so much I changed my song quote below

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on January 26, 2021, 11:13:59 pm
I guess one casualty of getting closer to yourself is things becoming ever less special...  For some time I haven't had anything that bubbles up to the level of a breakthrough moment... but today I was hanging out with friends....  at a covid -safe distance sat another group of acquaintances.  Through the night we get to talking back and forth when one of them looks at me with a shocked look in her eyes and asks "Are you wearing black stripes?  When did you start dressing so fashionably???" 

Dang it!!!!! My cover is blown!!!!  But then I realize.... I am who I am.... This is the presentation I put forth.  I am the person in black stripes with complementary sweatshirts!  So I complemented her dress and we went on with the conversation for the night!

Hugs sisters- remember that challenges do not have to be roadblocks! and that speed bumps do not have to be mountains! This is who I am..... and to those who would question me my answer is "ok.... so what???"   I hope that you all are able to find the strength in the moment to be the wonderful strong individuals that we all know that you can be!

Hugs!!

Caela
 
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on January 27, 2021, 12:07:54 am
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:
WOW-WHEE ....  what a wonderfully positive and encouraging  update that you posted on your thread.
****There is much truth in what you stated.

You are very correct, "challenges are not roadblocks" ... and "speed bumps are not mountains" but they rather are a test our resolve to overcome and to postulate positive actions and thoughts to make things better.

My favorite quote and personal mind-set regarding this comes from Winston Churchill as he penned the following quote during England's dark days in World War 2.
       "A Pessimist see Difficulty in every Opportunity,
           an Optimist sees Opportunity in every Difficulty"


Thank you Caela for posting and sharing your encouragement that applies to all of us.

HUGS and more HUGS, .... stay positive and resolve to overcome life's struggles.
Danielle

I guess one casualty of getting closer to yourself is things becoming ever less special...  For some time I haven't had anything that bubbles up to the level of a breakthrough moment... but today I was hanging out with friends....  at a covid -safe distance sat another group of acquaintances.  Through the night we get to talking back and forth when one of them looks at me with a shocked look in her eyes and asks "Are you wearing black stripes?  When did you start dressing so fashionably???" 

Dang it!!!!! My cover is blown!!!!  But then I realize.... I am who I am.... This is the presentation I put forth.  I am the person in black stripes with complementary sweatshirts!  So I complemented her dress and we went on with the conversation for the night!

Hugs sisters- remember that challenges do not have to be roadblocks! and that speed bumps do not have to be mountains! This is who I am..... and to those who would question me my answer is "ok.... so what???"   I hope that you all are able to find the strength in the moment to be the wonderful strong individuals that we all know that you can be!

Hugs!!

Caela

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on February 03, 2021, 03:53:09 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:

Hello beautiful.
... your latest Avatar/Profile picture absolutely shows a beautiful woman!!!
Thank you for sharing it with me and the rest of your followers! 

HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on February 03, 2021, 04:15:56 pm
@CaelaNotKayla
Dear Caela:

Hello beautiful.
... your latest Avatar/Profile picture absolutely shows a beautiful woman!!!
Thank you for sharing it with me and the rest of your followers! 

HUGS,
Danielle

@Northern Star Girl

Thanks Danielle!  You're making me blush!! 

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: RandyL on February 03, 2021, 05:36:13 pm
Caela, I love your new avatar! I noticed it over on the word game and came here just to compliment you.

Sent from my dual-floppy Victor 9000 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on February 03, 2021, 05:40:20 pm
Caela, I love your new avatar! I noticed it over on the word game and came here just to compliment you.

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I agree, what a lovely photo! Xx


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Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: TSL_NB on February 03, 2021, 08:03:47 pm
I'll chime in too - you're rockin' in that new pic, sis! :)
-Vivian
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on February 03, 2021, 09:34:24 pm
@RandyL
@Pammie
@TSL_NB

Randy, Pammie and Vivian-

Now you're really making me blush dears!!  I very much appreciate it- I woke up today feeling all out of sorts- and decided to give myself a little makeover to help myself feel better!   Blonde hair, new blouse, new sweater- new eyeshadow combo!  (yes, finally found a use for the yellow in my favorite eyeshadow palette!!) I really can't express how much the support I get from my sisters here means to me.  Thank you all for warming this girls heart!

Hugs.... Hugs..... HUGS!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on February 03, 2021, 09:38:55 pm
Caela,


You are sporting a nice look. :)


Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on February 03, 2021, 10:10:29 pm
Caela,


You are sporting a nice look. :)


Chrissy

Thanks Chrissy!!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: SoCal_Holly on February 04, 2021, 01:21:24 am
Caela:

Looking fabulous, love the hair !

Hugs,

Holly
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on February 04, 2021, 12:05:24 pm
Caela:

Looking fabulous, love the hair !

Hugs,

Holly

Thanks Holly!!!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on February 05, 2021, 05:07:34 pm
@RandyL
@Pammie
@TSL_NB

Randy, Pammie and Vivian-

Now you're really making me blush dears!!  I very much appreciate it- I woke up today feeling all out of sorts- and decided to give myself a little makeover to help myself feel better!   Blonde hair, new blouse, new sweater- new eyeshadow combo!  (yes, finally found a use for the yellow in my favorite eyeshadow palette!!) I really can't express how much the support I get from my sisters here means to me.  Thank you all for warming this girls heart!

Hugs.... Hugs..... HUGS!!

Caela
Our pleasure hun, you are such a supportive lady and well done for the makeover - i also think ur looking great hun! Xx


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Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on February 05, 2021, 07:12:55 pm
I dressed like my dream- just had to get past my meetings!

Coincidentally, this is the blouse I wore in my first selfie!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200910/cc3eabc7a2df3853768efd65ebbc0c22.jpg)

Caela


Caela, you look nice all the time.

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on February 06, 2021, 01:25:51 am
Our pleasure hun, you are such a supportive lady and well done for the makeover - i also think ur looking great hun! Xx


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Caela, you look nice all the time.

Chrissy


Pammie and Chrissy-

Thank you very much for your kind comments!  I try to be strong and supportive and positive for all my friends here, but somedays it's a challenge just to make it through the day....  and then I'm so thankful to have my friends here supporting me!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on February 06, 2021, 05:14:40 am
Pammie and Chrissy-

Thank you very much for your kind comments!  I try to be strong and supportive and positive for all my friends here, but somedays it's a challenge just to make it through the day....  and then I'm so thankful to have my friends here supporting me!

Hugs!!

Caela
It’s what community is all about  -  3 streams, receiving support, providing support and being enlightened (some people manage a fourth which is providing insight to enlighten others but that’s probably not my forte)


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Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on February 06, 2021, 05:32:15 am
Pammie and Chrissy-

Thank you very much for your kind comments!  I try to be strong and supportive and positive for all my friends here, but somedays it's a challenge just to make it through the day....  and then I'm so thankful to have my friends here supporting me!

Hugs!!

Caela


Try to do what you can each day for it to be “special” in some way.   :)

Make it so!   :)


Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on February 07, 2021, 03:26:33 am

Try to do what you can each day for it to be “special” in some way.   :)

Make it so!   :)


Chrissy
Every day we can be Ourselves is a special day - for those who cannot be their true selves permanently I guess just having a little me time in any given day would make it special


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Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on February 07, 2021, 03:55:28 am
Every day we can be Ourselves is a special day - for those who cannot be their true selves permanently I guess just having a little me time in any given day would make it special


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Each day that passes will never come back so if we can make good use of our time, that’s great.
Relax, help someone, learn, work, show love... 

I hope you all have a very nice Sunday.   :)

Chrissy
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on February 07, 2021, 03:36:24 pm

Each day that passes will never come back so if we can make good use of our time, that’s great.
Relax, help someone, learn, work, show love... 

I hope you all have a very nice Sunday.   :)

Chrissy
Chrissy, you are in danger of becoming my fave poster - and there is a LOT of competition!


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Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: ChrissyRyan on February 07, 2021, 05:21:20 pm
Chrissy, you are in danger of becoming my fave poster - and there is a LOT of competition!


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>Awwwwwwwww<

Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: CaelaNotKayla on February 07, 2021, 10:40:50 pm

Each day that passes will never come back so if we can make good use of our time, that’s great.
Relax, help someone, learn, work, show love... 

I hope you all have a very nice Sunday.   :)

Chrissy

Chrissy-

This is a VERY important thing for us all to remember- We only have our one shot, so it's up to us to make it the best shot we can!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Northern Star Girl on February 07, 2021, 11:06:03 pm
@CaelaNotKayla   @ChrissyRyan

Dear Caela and Chrissy:

EXACTLY CORRECT! 
May we all make the correct decisions and good choices in our journeys!!!!

HUGS,
Danielle



Chrissy-

This is a VERY important thing for us all to remember- We only have our one shot, so it's up to us to make it the best shot we can!

Hugs!!

Caela
Title: Re: The Chronicles of Caela
Post by: Pammie on February 08, 2021, 04:37:35 pm
@CaelaNotKayla   @ChrissyRyan

Dear Caela and Chrissy:

EXACTLY CORRECT! 
May we all make the correct decisions and good choices in our journeys!!!!

HUGS,
Danielle

Amen


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