hrt, male to female, transgender

MTF HRT 2 month+ update

TRIGGER WARNING AND DISCLAIMER– Depression, Suicide, Sexual Function.

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My transition has been unremarkable thus far.  Hormones work in a similarly unremarkable way.  However, over time one realises that things have changed, and it’s not a case of missing the alterations, it’s just that they are each so miniscule and consistent that it takes up too much energy to record or even stay aware of each little thing.

It’s not a bad thing, focusing on thinking too much about gender can create a tangled mess of dysphoria.  Rather, feel it:  Breathe in – feel the turmoil inside, all the words, possibilities, permutations.  Breathe out – Let as much of it as you can go.  Focus on the important things, not all the little things, they’ll take care of themselves as products of appreciation borne from a simple, guided, determined intention.

I cannot dismiss HRT as an interminably important force in transition, but as expected, I’ve found it is more difficult to wait for them with shining desperate eyes than to deal with the reality of the tectonic pace of change.  Unless one is prepared to stare into the mirror all day every day with a magnifying glass scouting for changes, hormonal transition actually makes up for very little of the day.

Mentally however, the flux of completely replacing one set of sex hormones for another can be a massive tumult.  My experiences seem indicative of puberty: my moods are very fragile and subject to change; I’m incredibly insecure sometimes; I like sitting in my room listening to loud music in the dark writing about how I hate everything; lamenting how no-one understands me; being obviously upset but when asked how I am, replying ‘I’m fine.’  However settled I may feel at times, there’s no telling when the next uncontrollable emotional episode is on its way.  Sometimes I can wake up and know that it’s going to be a hormonal day, but even then the malaise can be sneaky, trying to turn physical symptoms into mental wars.

According to my therapist, many transfolk on the Testosterone blocking injection of Leuprorelin (Prostap SR) suffer from listlessness and therefore an increased incidence in depression.  I understand this well, having fallen into a deeply anxious self-imposed hate cycle without any reason to feel that way, isolating myself at home, my transition fading, my hopes dwindling.

It all came to a head on Hallowe’en.  It was to be my one year celebration since my first proper public outing as trans, and it was a disaster.

I had regained enough resource in my spirit to attempt presenting truly again, making my plans and readying them for action.  On the day of Hallowe’en I was to meet my Mum and Nan in town, giving my Nan a first chance to see how little I think I’ve changed.  Instead of getting up early to get appropriately dressed and put on my make up, I opted for a sleep in, put on the dude jeans and t-shirt basics and left the house.

I’d never felt so bad, this wasn’t me.  I couldn’t cope with being seen simply as some cis-male.  My mood plummeted to new depths and the afternoon was deeply troubling.

Later, I was to go out clubbing with a whole bunch of friends.  Instead of embracing this opportunity, I sat in my room, in the dark, bawling, and my friends were freaked out.  At one point I left the house to stand by the road wondering how fast a bus or a van would have to be going for me to step in front of it.  Later I was found by a friend sitting in an alley sobbing.

I assured everyone I was fine and they went out to party.  Then I made this video:

TRIGGER WARNING – Depression, Suicide

Soon after this, I was made aware that there would be a house party in a few hours and that I was invited.  Something clicked; I told myself that there was still a chance to make tonight work.  So, I pulled out of my slump, I ate, I washed and I got ready the way I should expect myself to get ready.  I didn’t want to be a stereotype, I didn’t want to be a statistic – I know my experience is very average but I wanted to inspire and be inspired so I decided I would make this happen.

I made this video soon after the first, to show that there is always a way back from the brink, there is always a silver lining.  Sometimes, the best yielded seeds are sewn in the aftermath of a disaster:

It wasn’t the best party ever, it didn’t need to be, it was an opportunity and I took it.  I decided afterwards that I could embrace my identity again and I’ve been feeling stronger everyday since.  We can all make this happen, what opportunity will you grasp that you thought you would let slide by?


As far as physical changes…it is so hard to describe sensing that maybe something might maybe maybe possibly almost maybe be changing, trying to decide if it’s real or a trick of the eye.  However, I know things are changing.

I know how interested I was about the effects of HRT before I even thought they were a possibility, so I share my personal log of changes.  There is no real pattern of regularity as to the frequency and qualitative properties of noticed differences, but each one raises a special smile only for me.  Or mostly manic laughter, it’s so strange!:

Day 42 – Leg hair seems to be growing in more slowly and sparsely.

Day 44 – I felt a little lump under my left nipple.

Day 45 – The lump feels hard under my areola.

Day 49 – Lump now visible at top of areola. Still no feeling on the right side.

Day 55 – Veins seem less prominent on my hands at rest.  I haven’t had a release in a while, nor a single erection I haven’t coaxed as a weekly necessity.  Ejaculation doesn’t necessarily equate to orgasm, and I’m pretty sure I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to that department anymore.

Day 56 – Left nipple much harder, the lump has moved past my areola.  It has been nearly two weeks and no feeling in the right.  It feels odd, but in the grand scheme this is no time at all.

Day 61 – I look decidedly less male.  The crying thing isn’t an issue so much anymore but the depression is harsh.  Right nipple where the left was about three weeks ago.  I seem to be getting more back fat than hip fat.

I actually noticed a few days ago that my handwriting has changed a little.  There are more diagrams, more colours, whilst even some of my lettering has changed, the sharp stabbing lines of a ‘w’ now more often a curved ‘uu.’  This isn’t contrived, I just sometimes feel like maybe brightening up the drab walls of black text.  Which I know I should work on with this blog too.


I haven’t been out in the world too much this month, it has been very difficult.  I am cheating a bit because I’m closer to 3 months but just including notes up to the two month mark.

The hormones really did a number on me, that was a tough tough month, but I’ve been feeling better.  Can’t let those bad times define you.  The night out on Hallowe’en helped.  Writing to myself afterwards, I decided to write as if I was having a conversation with my own sense of hope, if it still existed (it always does because hope never dies).  When you listen to your heart through a depression it can be a powerful moment.  It takes a long time to push back through, trying to have a sense of holding on long enough until the next chance to beat it comes along.

Next blog we’ll have lots of positive fun, ok?!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Amy Xx

 

 

 

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gender, transgender

Estrogen makes you calm and crazy

I am sitting on an emotional swing.  Each day it gets more intense.  Genetic females have had a lot longer than me to come to terms with the rollercoaster of moods but everyone who experiences it has to start somewhere.  I can’t ‘man it out’ anymore, 40 days and 40 nights of HRT and I’m already losing subjective cognition of my testronic existence; slowly the maleness falls from grasp.

I’ve had to ask friends to remind me sometimes that I’m just going through the side effects.  Again, I don’t know if it is because I started hormones, or their actual effects, but doors are unlocking in my mind.  I’ve really learned about friendships I’ve needlessly strived for that are beyond their sell by date – I visited one of the old friends I’m having to let go of and noticed for the first time in a long friendship the light behind her eyes that process any way to avoid talking about either of our real issues.  A year after the fact I finally recognized the emotional abuse that is still a large cause of suffering from my last relationship – I told those close to me and they say they knew for a long time, they tried to tell me.

There are other revelations now that force me into a new life.  A cornucopia of general life issues coupled with constant hormonality combine into painful birth squeezes of a new life; the water broke, the contractions are more frequent, powerful – there’s no stopping it, it is coming.

My aesthetic transition is really suffering now, not just because of facial hair but because of the emotional pressure.  I spoke to a woman who apparently had GRS but lives satisfactorily as a male without heavy dysphoria, content in the knowledge she is female.  Hearing this struck a chord and she said there were only a few in many years she had met who are like this.  Again, when I was a young child I wasn’t thinking about sneaking into my mother’s room for clothes and make up, I was trying to get rid of my penis, not as a Skoptic, but because I was female.

I don’t really care often enough who knows I am female so long as I do, and the people I care about do.  It still hurts to be called by masculine terms, but I feel I’m constantly facing off between constant counterbalancing weights of dysphoria.  It’s less urgent, but I’m still thinking about and I wonder if I can ever come to peace.

After some diligent sleuthing by Mia, we found that this woman had in fact de-transitioned because she had passing issues and other issues that are her business.  I myself am not trying to cop out of transition, although it really is taking time finding my way.  There is much more to the story with this woman for another time.

The point I want to make here is that it is important to be gentle with yourself.  On top of everything going on in life, there are also the unquenchable effects of cross sex hormone therapy and trying to figure out how to transition and do it in a world that isn’t always happy to let you live your life.  Even without external grief, the internal experience is such a battle that I can understand putting oneself at risk.

I feel the level of personal risk is the same, but different in nature.  I’m just as on edge, I’m crying like crazy, freaking out, hating the world.  I was so wrong about the crying; cries feel different, more frequent, because as before I cried when I was desperate, now I cry because I need to cry.  It needs to come out just as I need to talk more about stuff – if I don’t vent, I break down.  I’m notoriously bad for talking about my issues with people, now I have to.  Afterwards, I don’t feel as bad as I would before, sometimes I just switch and I feel good again for a while.

I have less violent urges, lower sex drive, lower sexual functioning.  After a week without an erection or a real desire for release I decided to try and force it.  After a long time of distraction and confusion about what I was doing with what I was touching I got there and it was as arbitrary as expected from something so forced.  Straight afterwards I grabbed a toffee crisp from the fridge and bit into it.  The chocolate made my senses explode!  I loved chocolate and was iffy about sex anyway but the gulf widened considerably and that’s just what happens sometimes. Now I don’t have ‘morning wood’ so much as I have ‘morning tofu.’

I was naive in not listening to other women way ahead on HRT, I thought I was special, aware enough, emotionally centred enough to beat back the waves of hormonal change.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s only like that sometimes, often enough I feel as good as I ever have.

I was really worried about how much my emotions would intensify and whether it would put me in more danger, and it is hard, it is very hard.

My mind is working overtime absorbing all this new emotional information.  Sometimes I panic, other times I am just a sponge for information and beautifully contemplative thoughts that will take a long time to unravel.

Tough as it is, I rejoice in the new challenge, the new lease of life.  This is a perfect time for realisations that lead to effecting positive personal change that will fuel hopefully the release of a lifetime of untapped potential for the rest of my lifetime’s emotional strength.

This is only the beginning, it has to hurt to get better, this is how we heal.  We show ourselves now in survival so we can prosper when we come to truly thrive.

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