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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hrt, transgender

Altering Energies, Shifting Waves

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I must be the most dour transwoman on the planet.  Please forgive me for not being excited about the new swirl of poisonous sex hormone energy coursing through my body.  Please forgive me for not being excited about finally being free and finally taking steps towards female physiology.  Please forgive me for not being very feminine, masculine, or non-binary.  I saw it the same way I did at the start, I’m an individual trying to deal with gender dysphoria, trying to not think so much about gender, trying to take out some of the sting that transition entails.  I am learning the general lessons that many who came before, and many who will come after, learn.

I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m just expressing my (fatalistic, privileged) experience. Take your own excitement and embrace it, live it, and make the world better by living your truth!

Hormone Replacement Therapy has helped me a lot, and quickly.  Nearly 3 weeks in, after the initial wave of foggy contentment and slight change things have calmed down considerably.  It’s like watching the most beautiful paint in the world dry.  In ways, keeping tabs on changes is a bit of an energy drain, checking the mirror every morning for the slightest sign that something is happening physically.  At the same time, every morning I get up and take my 2mg blue pill with gratefulness that my mental state is improving.


Recent Changes: (Disclaimer – Talk of sexual functioning)

Day 9 – Nothing.  The first phase is complete; I expect no further changes for weeks, probably months.

Day 10 – I rubbed my belly as I woke up, it is definitely softer.  Feeling the first signs of potential overwhelmingness leading to the big cry I so seem to look forward to.  Slight impatience.

Day 11 – I think I had a slightly different kind of orgasm.  It built up more and exuded itself in a more convulsive manner, which was difficult to not vocally express, although it was less physically powerful.  My brain fuzzes at points during the day where I feel more ‘female’ in thought.  It cannot be described; it is like thinking on another plane.  Males and females being so similar these changes are slight and possibly only distinguishable by subjective self-awareness. I can just tell that in ways different information comes into my mind sometimes, yet I deal with them using the exact same identified consciousness.

My skin still feels softer; it feels good but creates an awareness of physical vulnerability.  After so long being rough with my cards in the man game, I feel the slight worries beginning about my physical strength.  Socks, belts and other things leave heavier, more long lasting imprints in my skin.

I went to see a hypnotist to help with tobacco cravings, which may have impacted the affects of the next day as described below.

Day 12 – I tried to summon testosterone after waking, in the way that I know how.  It wasn’t there, the same angers and frustrations were there, but I didn’t feel that swelling call to violence and sex.  Instead of feeling properly angry, I felt disgusted.  I also felt incredibly liberated.  Some trans folks talk about the ‘veil lifting’, about ‘seeing the world in colour for the first time.’  I believe that’s what happened today.  As I looked around contemplating what felt like a pin prick of light into my sub-conscious, I noted that surfaces were brighter, physicality seemed surreal for a brief moment.

Something clicked in my brain, and I noticed I gave that look, my voice had that tone.  In my relationships with females, many times was I chastised by an exasperating look and tone that caused me to swell with male anger, I hated it, I hated how I automatically reacted to it.  Now I understand it; without the remit to generalised testosterone based internal imagery, all I’m left with is exasperation.  I put my arms somewhat to the side, squint my eyes, part my lips and with a slightly condescending, slightly sarcastic voice I say to myself, ‘What are you doing?  What are you even doing?’  I feel a minute surge of the self-respect that has been missing, and actual feeling of caring for myself.  When I went out into public, I could still summon the same cocky arrogance I like to carry at times.

I felt slightly bitchy towards the people I feel have let me down recently.  I felt like I part way understood why those harlots on ‘Real Housewives of….Blah blah blah’ are all dissing on their friends, always falling out.  Part of it is because they are emotionally and socially underwhelming, but also part of it is ‘What are you even doing?  Seriously?’  When people, especially close people start becoming emotionally or socially vampiric, being forced to call someone out for it could easily lead to fireworks, fall outs and drama. Disengage.

No testosterone but still with just as strong a sex drive.  It is less urgent, but no less desired.  I keep now a dirty unwashed top from before starting HRT with my unhindered man scent after reading a blog about how different the smell is now.  It certainly didn’t smell the same way as it did before, in fact it was a more pleasant smell.  I don’t fancy myself but it’s an interesting experiment.

I made some videos for this day: Please excuse any offense caused.  I intend only to belittle my own experiences, not those of anyone else’s.

Day 14 – Is my butt changing already?  The dimples at the sides of my cheeks seem to be filling out.  Maybe.  I don’t make a point of touching my bum that often so it’s hard to tell.

Day 15 – Again, not that I make a point of touching them, but my testicles certainly seem noticeably smaller.

Day 19 (Today) – Sex drive is still there, but sexual functioning is taking more effort.  I’m not particularly enamoured to encourage whatever strange sexuality I now possess, but the option to not act (or be able to act) upon urges is welcome against the punitive demands of my hitherto male sexuality.

I woke up in a mood I haven’t felt for…ooohhhhh, 19 days.  It felt like testosterone was trying to worm its way back into my body and it felt horrible.  The testosterone blocking injection may be wearing off, I’ve heard before that the last week before a shot can be difficult in this regard.  Perhaps in a way this will help me understand more clearly the benefits of HRT; by being reminded of how horrible it feels when the effects begin to wear off.


Over-analysis is probably a hallmark of the experience at this point.  Experiences and decisions become more weighted.

A few days ago, I decided I finally had the confidence to meet a transwoman who lived close by that I had been talking to online.  I should have used my gut instinct and stayed away, but the prospect of meeting someone a little older, a lot further ahead was too tempting an opportunity to seek advice and support.  We met at a cafe, then decided to get a beer as it was an unexpectedly sunny day.  It was pretty much fine, we chatted, nothing unusual.  She invited me round to her place later in the evening to play computer games, which I thought would be fun, you know, a new friend.

I went round to her house after dinner and she was stociously drunk.  She regaled me with much too personal stories and uncomfortably loud music, asking odd questions and for some reason affirming that she definitely thought I was transgender and asking about my sexuality, frequently mentioning that I’m so different from the other transgender women she knows in her more extensive network.  I let all this slide.  After a while she tried to get a little bit more touchy, admitted that she found me attractive and so on, then cried when I turned her down.  I hugged her because she was crying but she inappropriately started rubbing my back and touching my hair.

She insisted repeatedly that I stay over and ‘cuddle.’  I tried to explain in many terms that I wasn’t going to do that, politely expressing my own issues and concerns.  She tried all sorts of tricks, telling me about my trust issues, how I just need to ‘let go’, how I need to express myself and find out about my sexuality….but to not worry because if I wanted all we had to do was cuddle.  On a first meeting, who does that?  I made my excuses and left as soon as diplomatic opportunity arose. It felt like with a wink and a nudge she was saying ‘We’re all girls here, right?’

I’m already in a place with trust issues so this really affected me.  My real life experiences with transwomen so far have been overwhelmingly negative – from sneers, ignorance, mental incapability, emotional unavailability, unsupportiveness, to now virgin seduction I feel more isolated from the community than before I even knew there was such a thing.  It’s strange because the folks I’ve met online and through this blog have been amazing and generally very well screwed on!

In real life though, it isolates me.  My friends ask little about my transition and I have taken to offering little as I realise what I say isn’t taken on board.  There are only a few people I trust to talk about my transition with now.  The way I figure is, that if people aren’t interested in my general emotional state, then I am not going to subvert the few avenues of friendship I have with a running curiosity about medical effects.

I feel like I’m back in the closet, so few people know that I have started HRT, and it takes a lot of energy not to come clean about it, although I painfully feel that for now it is a better option to not bring it up.  Coupled with the negative experiences with real life transwomen I feel incredibly distant from what it means to be trans.  In all honesty, I would prefer right now to sweep it all under the rug, to go ‘stealth’ if the option existed.  I am sickened, because transparency was a goal when I started all this yet I feel now it would work against maintaining any emotional security I have left outside my own skin.

My energies are changing, my life is changing.  I need new avenues for my emotional well-being.  Unfortunately my general emotional and mental states are irreducible from the experience of being trans.  Unfortunately I live in a binary world where the issue of being trans is going to come up.  There is no escape from being trans, ever.  So, I have to find other ways, because I will not allow a draining rot, nor abandonment of my principles.

Now that I’m on HRT, the transitional pressures have become less urgent as dysphoria has declined.  Being a new chapter, some of the worries can fall away.  I still don’t care about aesthetics aside from the basic dysphoric effect, but now I care even less about maintaining the obviousness of my transition, aside my voice and facial hair.  I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m female, not even myself; all I need is to find the most balanced formula to keep dysphoria at bay.

I’m not going to be going on a date anytime soon, so how I look from day to day is of little concern. In fact, it may help me blend in. Confidence and not giving a fudge seems to go a long way.

I have to move on, some of the lessons I’ve learned up until now in my transition are becoming irrelevant.  Having my gender struggles at the forefront of my life and thoughts is becoming a hindrance rather than an emancipation.  As much as being trans for a transperson is part of simply being alive, any opportunity to take away some of the pain is worth consideration.

Certain trans issues need to be dealt with as specifically trans issues (preferably with the help of medical professionals, trusted transfriends and those closest to the heart) but other issues I feel need to come back to being more a case of the general gamut of life problems.  What I mean is, I intend to try to express myself in the same terms as any cis person would, rather than making being transgender the focal point of my shown identity. My identity is already trans, I don’t really need to do anything else to confirm it, so why mention it unless it is important.

I feel as agenderly asexual as I feel pangenderly pansexual.  I feel non-binary to the non-binaries.  Thinking about gender conflict is simply a pain, the less I can think about it, and the less it affects my life interactions, the closer I feel to accomplishing my goal of living a life where gender dysphoria has abated enough that it no longer has the crippling impact it does now.

With that it means eventually disengaging from trans issues, and even from trans people.  This sounds dangerous, disingenuous, fallacious and depressingly isolating.  There must be another way, if anything to help protect those dealing with the same problems but without the same privileges I have been fortunate to be blessed with.  I have it so damn easy, yet I neither appreciate nor utilise it.

Learning never ceases.

Amy Xx

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