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I told her, in as many words, how abusive she was during the eleven years that we lived together.  I hadn't intended to say it.  I was hearing about how she just had to leave because I was the one who just had to change genders.  Well, yes, I remember a day in January 2007, when I did something really stupid.  She was screaming at me for something; I can't even remember what it was because it all melded together.  During all of this, she screamed "I don't know how to take you any more!  I don't know how to take you any more!"  I replied "Fine, I'll be someone else."  I went about trying to develop a personality so unlike myself that it would be impossible to connect it to the objectionable me.  That personality happened to be vaguely feminine.  You know how stupid that was, right?  The kid in the blue shirt who is the target of the playground bullies cannot escape them by coming to school in a red shirt.  The bullies just call out "Hey, the kid in the blue shirt is wearing a red shirt today!  Let's get him!"  And that is the way it was then.  I was the target of the most horrible abuse for nearly eight years.  I took it because I feared destitution.  I took it because I feared isolation.  I took it because I was stupid.

When I told her of her abuse, I said it calmly.  By the expression on her face, I know that she wasn't hearing it.  It was that dissociated half-smile I came to know and love in psychiatric wards and halfway houses.  So, I suppose that I'll have to withdraw.  Flour isn't prohibitively expensive yet.  I can play the Apollo 11 air-to-ground recordings for company.  I discarded that faked personality when she left, 2½ years ago.  I'm me now; I've paid dearly for that, especially through the emotional upheavals of the last three months, but I am me, and I like it.

I'll go on until I can go no further, then I'll stop.  At least I won't have a kitchen knife thrown at me with taunts of "Go ahead and use it on yourself," designed to try to get me to make the attempt such that she can call 911, get me committed, and take all of my options.  I've lately been
either very courageous or very stupid.  Maybe both, probably the latter.
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I am thinking about the person who would call himself my father.  I am thinking about an exchange between us, six weeks ago, probably our last.  I raised my voice against him, not in defiance, but for the first time, in admonition.  With the power of my voice, I told him, without equivocation, that he was without honor.  For the first time, I demonstrated my superiority over another, and who would that person be but the one individual to whom I am to always unquestioningly defer.  He did not like it, and he has not spoken to me since.

What have I become?  If I am wrong, then why did I allow it and why do I not repent?  If I am not wrong, then why did this take so long?  Had I found it within myself to have done this forty years ago, my life would be very different now.  I would surely have had a much harder life, but is it possible that I would have had a much more fruitful life?

As much as I have lately fantasized, I cannot change the past.  I cannot agonize over what was and will always be.  But what can I do now to find some measure of fulfillment, or is it the case that that opportunity is long passed, erased by what I then was not?

What am I?  What am I to become?

dclarion: (Default)
[personal profile] moropus  recently reminded me of a very significant time in the lives of Miranda-kitty and myself.  I've been going through my old LJ entries, and found the month's worth of posts in reference to what I now call The Saga of Miranda, and  I've put them up on my web site, in the section entitled Diana's Transition.  It might seem strange to some to place a story of the kitty what has me in the story of my transition, but in my view, it works, as I attempt to explain in the Epilogue.
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Melody called me, yesterday, wondering if I wanted to tag along on a trip to the grocery store and the booze store. Yeahsure, could be fun, even useful. It turned out that it was quite useful, as I found some spices (cumin, mustard, and celery seed) and some booze (Black Velvet, Harvey's Bristol Cream, and Cherry Kijafa). Now I have more booze that I can forget to drink. The trip was quite significant, also, for an incident at the booze store.

I had brought my bottles to the counter, chatting with the nice lady as I set them out, and produced my credit card and driver's license. The nice lady looked at my driver's license, then at me, hesitated for a second, and said

"There's a problem. You're not Edward!"

I was floored. I knew what had happened, but could not believe it. I dropped my voice to its male register and explained that I am a transwoman in mid-transition, and that I had not yet secured the appropriate changes to my documentation. She immediately got the point, and everything was fine.

The incident, itself, was not a problem. What was significant, to me at least, was that for all of the times I have been "sir-ed" in the past, this was the first time that anyone had claimed that I was not the man that my documentation insists I am. First time. Ever. I know that there are friends of mine who will know exactly how I felt at that moment, but for the rest of you: I cried. I cried tears of joy. I even thanked the nice lady for her challenge of my documentation.  I am sincerely grateful to all of those who accept me without question, but this little incident was a Defining Moment™. I was, for the first time, questioned not about my status as a woman, but about my categorization as a man.

I have occasionally wondered whether I should observe a sort of "second birthday", and if so, what that day should be. Should it be the day I chose my name, sometime in in mid-1997? Should it be the day I first went public, 7 September 2007? Or should it be 16 December 2011, the day somebody claimed that I had the wrong driver's license, because it read "Edward"?
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My friend Peggy had me over her house today, to play Makeover Barbie™. She's the friend who has been insisting that I color my hair. I actually got her to lay off a little bit, getting her to wait at least another visit or two before hitting me over the head with the Clairol bottle. We talked about Things® while she worked on my hair with a curling iron and brush.  When she had finished, she took a look at me, and out of her mouth came the words "I don't want to color your hair any more," and she proceeded to describe the subtle gradations of my natural color.  I was so relieved, and so pleased when she showed me the result of her work.  Once I got home, at about 02:00, I took a shot of myself in an effort to preserve the look, such that I might try to recreate it.  The camera cannot begin to capture what I see in the mirror, but I here give it a try.  I truly cannot believe that this is me.  I look almost pretty.

Here be the result:

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My landlord was just here, and I gave him the rent check.  Now, as it turns out I also do grounds maintenance here, for which he pays me a small stipend.  He handed me a check today, I am paid through the end of the year, and I have another $90 toward my name.

YAY!
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About a week ago, I was chatting online with my cousin-in-law; she had told me that my father would be having cataract surgery, that she thought the surgery would be performed the following week, and that I perhaps should take the opportunity to talk to my mother.  Against my better judgment, I called a few minutes ago.

My mother answered the phone.  When I asked how it was going for my father, she replied that he had not yet had the surgery, that he was going in next week.  Then she told me that if this -- my transition -- is what I wanted, that I should go ahead and do it, and that maybe she'd call once and a while.  I don't know whether she listened or just heard my voice when I told her that, to obtain my diagnosis, I had sat before a panel of medical professionals, that I was under a physician's care.  She only said that she didn't know who was going to take care of her and my father now.  She told me that only God is going to take care of me now, that I had better say some prayers.  Incidentally, she knows very well that my philosophy is atheist.  As she closed the call, I told her that I love her.  Her reply was "Goodbye."

What we transfolk endure is not pretty.  We are presented with the choice between the pain of living a lie in order to have people around us and the pain of isolation for living our lives as the people we know ourselves to be.  Most of us hide ourselves for years in order to avoid rejection; and when we finally come out because we can take no more, we are castigated for not having said anything earlier, and are rejected anyway.  I lose count of the number of times that my mother has told me that friends are useless, that family is all one can count on.  I have learned the true meaning of that statement, I have learned that it contains a tacit element.  I have learned that the full statement is
Friends are useless; you can count only on family as long as you are what we want.
Outside, it is a cold December day, as I write this.  I am, in a way, grateful for the infernal hot water heat I have in this apartment, even if I have to sleep with my bedroom windows open.  Even so, I am cold.  I once stated that, in coming out to my parents, I gambled everything and lost.  As I sit here, I realize that the cold feeling comes of never having had anything to gamble in the first place.

This is probably the last time I will speak to either of my parents; I will probably never see them again.  I think back upon my adolescent days, when I knew that I had all of the answers, when I knew that my parents were wrong about everything.  I think back upon the years I spent in hiding because I felt that I could count upon my parents' total rejection, were they to know about me.  I think back upon what my mother told me so many times, that family was all I could count on.

As much as it pains me to say it, my mother was right.

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My allotment from the wonderful people at the Social Security Administration was deposited into my checking account today.  I'm probably an idiot for doing this, but I transfered $25 (2.7%) of it to what I laughingly call my savings account.

May it also be said that I am probably also a silly person for tracking my finances about a closely as an accountant would track the finances of a business concern.  I mention this because, a couple of weeks ago, I established a sub-account of my bank savings which I call "Name Change Reserve", seeding it with $75 from my savings.

I am looking at the entry I just posted to my General Ledger, and am trying to decide whether I should laugh derisively or cry bitterly.  The balance of the Name Change Reserve stands at $100, leaving only about $900 to go.

Let's not even talk about surgeries.
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No, that's not a threat; I couldn't afford to book a bus trip.  It's an Xmas song for which I had written a parody, last year.  It came to mind when a new verse flashed into existence in this addled old brain.  I just wish that I could find some instrumental backing in my range; it would not be beyond me to record it.

I'll Be Home for Christmas

I'll be home for Christmas,
Girly little me.
With longish hair, blouse cut to there, and skirt above my knee.
Mom and Dad have told me
That their hearts I have speared.
But I'll be home for Christmas,
Just as the family feared!

I'll be home for Christmas,
I won't go away!
I'm finally free, I'm being me, and this is how I'll stay!
Look at me, you people,
See the one inside.
Yes, I'll be home for Christmas,
And no more will I hide!

Lyrics © 2011 Diana Athena Clarion

DC

Nov. 16th, 2011 12:20 pm
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For the two-plus years that he's lived with me, DC has not been a lap kitty.  Not at all.  He's the alpha male.  So imagine my surprise when, yesterday, he jumped into my lap and stayed there while I cuddled him.  Miranda shot him the Glare of Death for invading HER lap.  Over the last six months, DC has been more affectionate with me.  I can't regard it mere coincidence that this is the period of my greatest antiandrogen dosage.

I had to laugh today.  I was getting dressed to go across the courtyard to look in on Ariel, and my jeans were in a pile on the floor.  There was DC, pawing through the crotch, making love to my jeans while I pulled my panties on.  I swear that I have a whole new chemistry.  Perhaps it shouldn't surprise me, then, that I've got more than a few admiring glances from menfolk.
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I called my father, a few minutes ago.  I wasn't thrilled to do it, but my cousin had just e-mailed me to tell me that her mother, my aunt, my father's sister, had died overnight.  Kathy asked me to make the call because she just couldn't deal with it.

I began the  call with "Kathy just e-mailed me..."  Rather than asking why, and before I could get the next word out, he launched into "Oh you advertise all over the place...!"  After twice trying to tell him that his sister was dead, I finally had to scream at him to "Shut the fuck up (yes, those were my exact words), your sister died!  Aunt Eleanor died!"

"Oh, okay" was his answer, whereupon, he hung up.

The obituary I wrote, stands.

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Earlier today, I stepped across the courtyard to visit the ex-, who wanted to show me the gift she had purchased for her father.  It is one of those "home weather station" arrangements, hygrometer/barometer/thermometer, in brass and cherry.  It is quite pretty, and at least as useful as it is decorative.



Anyway, while I was there, she asked the question I always dread, namely "What would you like for Xmas?"  Now, there are things that I want, surely, but I have always found it difficult to accept gifts; in no small part, I think, because throughout my life, and especially in regard to my parents, gifts always came at too high a price.

So it is, now.  There is something that I want very much.  I could never request it as a gift, partly because it commands no small price -- perhaps the better part of $1000 -- and partly because of the implications that this will have upon my relationships with those closest to me, for values of "close" most conveniently expressed in light-years.  Just the same, I want this; one could even say that I need this.  I will, then, do what I can to find and save the money I will need for its acquisition.  If I am supremely lucky, I may be able to have it by Xmas 2014, or perhaps for my 56th birthday.  Until then, I will wait, as patiently as I can, for the day that it can finally be mine.

I want my name.

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I finally have the infrastructure live, with a couple of old photos.  Old photos, as in pre-everything.  I have a few more to put up, as I write this, and will be actively searching for more.  For the curious, the title, with link, is

Diana, in Pictures

Have a look and laugh yourselves silly.

This has been a public service announcement from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Transsexuals So Rash as to Go Public With Their Pre-Transition Histories (PETTSRatGPWTPTH).  Thank you for your time.  We now rejoin Real Life, which is already in progress.

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I just did one of those "cheap online legal advice" things, to try to get a preliminary answer to some debt questions I had.  The reason I did this is quite simple: My parents, by their rejection of me, actually did me the superb favor of removing a major roadblock in the way of my seeking a change of name.  Another fear of mine, however was my credit record: I did not know whether there were money judgments against me, and what I could do, were there any.

Everything came back just fine!  I can start putting money away to retain an attorney!  This cost me $42, but the result makes me so damned

HAPPY!

YAY!

I'm actually trembling, about to burst into tears of joy.

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In my previous post, I mentioned finding rips of several Maynard Ferguson albums.  As it happens, the later tracks of one of the rips are somewhat distorted.  The particular distortion involved here is called "clipping", which is caused by trying to achieve too much gain.  To see what I mean, crank your home theatre system up to 11.  You'll get the point, if you don't shred your speakers first.

Anyway, Back In the Day, clipping was a part of everyday life.  Think of who I was, rather than who I am.  I heard it, of course, but that just enhanced the experience.  Any more, it grates horribly on my nerves.  Chalk up another one to estradiol?
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I just carried a case of pop/soda/fizzy drinks/whatever up the stairs, and am feeling just a bit dizzy.  This has happened a few times in the last couple of months; not all that often, but here and there.  One thing that I've noticed is that this seems to happen when I haven't eaten for a while.  For more years than I care to remember, I've been a one-meal-per-day type; what I'm beginning to wonder is that, given that this started happening at about the time of my last spironolactone dosage increase, could the spironolactone be inducing a mild hypoglycemia or something.

At least I hope that if anything is going on, it's a metabolic thing.  The last thing I want is hyperkalemia induced by the spironolactone.  Hey Jessie, do you have any comment?

I See Her

Nov. 4th, 2011 03:37 pm
dclarion: (me)
I haven't owned an automobile in 22 years, so I'm a PATransit frequent flier.  I even have my own seat unofficially reserved.  It's the one right behind the rear door, with the ½" Plexiglas ahead of it.

Now, segue to my bathroom mirror.  Even once I started my transition, the face that looked back at me was very often that of an old man.  I'd sometimes think of going the Amish route with no mirrors in the house.

Back to the bus.  I had taken a trip to Shadyside for the usual appointment with my therapist, only to find that I was five days early.  Hey, I'll take it; the way I usually am, I'd be late to my own funeral.  Anyway, I get involved in a couple of spontaneous conversations at the bus stop during the wait for the trip back home, the 64 arrives, I board and trundle on back to my assigned seat.  The early afternoon sun must have been streaming through the windows at just the right angle, because I chance to see, in the Plexiglas, a rather clear image of a face, the face of a reasonably pretty woman of perhaps 40.  Not Sophia Loren, mind you, but rather pleasing to the eye, nonetheless.  Then, I blinked.

The face was my own.

Given what has happened to me over the last couple of months, I probably should not have been surprised; but surprised, I was.  No, not surprised.  Amazed.  Astonished.  As I write this post, I am looking at the little icon in the upper-left corner of the page, the representation of the face that is ostensibly mine.  That is not the face I saw.  I've just come back to my desk from the bathroom, having looked into that mirror to compare that face to the one on this screen, thinking that I might have missed something this morning.  Apparently, I did.  I have changed.  Not only has the texture of my skin changed, but the shape of my face has, as well.  The difference is as striking as it is subtle.  I look like the woman I have known myself to be.

As much as I will not complain about this, I'm not sure what has happened, what is happening.  I swear to you on a stack of printed copies of the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care that this face was not mine in July.  As much as I tell myself that it cannot possibly be, did you do this for me, Ron?  Was that emotional tsunami of mine a "peak experience" or something?  Was it not only an emotional transformation, but a physical one, as well?  Am I beginning to understand what happens to people who find religion?

I need to study this.  As wonderful as this is, I cannot be content to simply have it.  I need to know what this is, find a way to bottle it, and make a fortune.

May 2013

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