A Dream never acheived

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From early in my teen years I dreamed and wished to be in love with someone for the rest of my life.And yet somewhere in my mind even then I knew it was not to be for me.

Maybe things could have been different if I had had the courage to be myself, instead of following the path that I thought would lead me out of the way I was and into some utopia.

I look around me and I see marriages like my Father had with my stepmother that lasted 60+ years,and my Sister who has always had a perfect marriage now for over 30 years,and friends who have been together for very long marriages and I marvel at how it really works.

When I married my sons Mother she got pregnant the very same night so we really had no time to get to know if things were going to work out or not we just set about doing what was necessary,to raise a child in a very normal way,well as normal as two young hippies could at the time.The very best thing that came of it all was that our lifestyle at the time allowed us both to be in his life during his formative years,that was good for all three of us I’m sure.But in the end the marriage failed like the vast majority of American marriages do I don’t blame my condition on this one so much as just chalking it up to normal in our society.We grew apart there may have been some telltale signs of who I was peeking through toward the end but it was not the reason for the end.

I could have stopped the whole cycle right then by just summoning the courage to be me, but once again I succumbed to fear and made the same mistake again.And still again once more.

I guess I realized some where out in the middle of it all that any chance for being in that dream relationship was gone forever.Finally as sure as it was real the girl in me began to leak out more and more as if I were finally testing the waters so to speak. I had I guess by then  started to know that a traditional marriage was not for me,that I was simply not good at it nor was I finding it at all desirable to my life.

Realizing now that that dream will never be fulfilled I have to let go of all that and venture a new type of dream to fulfill my need for companionship,perhaps there is still a chance that two pairs of slippers will end up up under my bed at night.

Butterfly

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Insomnia

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For a long time now I have suffered from insomnia or as some would call it sleep deprivation.

It wears you down day after day sapping from your ability to even function on any level,and begins after a while to effect your physical well being.

This is for sure a pattern I developed in my late teens having been exposed long term to combat in South East Asia. It did subside to some degree over the years after my return home but I don’t believe it ever went away fully.It manifested it’s self in varying degrees through out my life depending on my level of anxiety at any specific time,and certainly because of my condition of being transsexual  that was a lot.

I was able to mostly keep it out of my life through long hours of hard physical labor and the copious consumption of alcohol and drugs.

Alas my health escaped me and my ways changed over the years ,so those things that helped me are gone now,I stopped doing drugs all together long ago and the drinking is now,down to very minimal levels.And so my sleeplessness is rearing it’s ugly head in a big way,also my my anxiety levels are very high now for a few years due to the loss of my wife to suicide,and compounded by the fact that I have no one really in my life for all this time,for me that is a suffering I really struggle with I am just one of those persons who desperately needs companionship,and not having it or being able to find it just makes me all the more anxious in life.And so the problem continues to magnify it’s self because I keep going over it all the time.

I have tried OTC medications and two different prescription drugs,but i’m thus far not getting much relief from my problem.The many changes in how I live my life now and how I lived it years ago have brought me to all this,the ultimate question is how do I fix it now.

In recent days I have struggled very hard with this,there are many root symptoms that are playing in to it right now that make things worse than they are most of the time,one it’s the dead of winter and cabin fever has set in in a big way this is pretty much something we all go through this time of year here on the prairie,secondly it’s been so darn cold that staying warm all day is a job in and of it’s self,those things alone are depressing enough.This along with being alone almost constantly something I despise in and of itself,my lack of ways to get worn out during the day physically,and I’m just to old to continue drinking myself to sleep without creating even more of a health hazard,anyway you get the picture radical change has really brought a lot of this on and now I have to relearn And make my body and mind relearn how to sleep.

I did in the last few days begin to notice it was so cold in my room that I was rolling up in a ball with my head under the covers and fighting to stay asleep my muscles began to ache in a couple of hours and that helped keep me up,so last night I added another comforter to the bed and found that being able to stretch out and relax helped a great deal,I have also noticed that I’m much more able to relax when I know my good friend is coming over to spend time with me.It’s a small thing maybe to most of you but it makes a big difference in my psyche and helps me.Having both of those components available to me last night resulted in a pretty good nights sleep.

While I can control being warm I cannot control being alone,so I have to figure out how to deal with the things I can’t be in control of,for that reason I have contacted my Dr. in hopes of finding a solution to help when I can’t control the things that stop me from sleeping.

The extreme Anxiety,

More to come when I get answers.

Butterfly

The yoke

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Too long I struggled pulling hard against the yoke that was the burden of my life,and now my body worn I am released.

I stand now looking out at a new horizon,finding that there is still time to find happiness and comfort in my days ahead all the bonds cast off now and my mind clear in purpose I feel renewed in life once more.

I lay peacefully basking in the sun of a new era in my life,an exciting Chapter yet to be written,and comforted by the love of my friends and family.

I no longer feel the pain in my mind,but see only the candle in the dark leading me to a new dawn.

The treasure I have sought so long is mine,I will not hoard it like a queen in her castle cold,but spend it freely and frolic in it like a child in it’s youth.

No time is left to look back and feel the pain I lived so long,now is the time to live out those dreams I dreamed all those years.

I have birds to see and hear,and much love to offer.

Life has emerged from the death of my burden,and given me new hope.

I walk leisurely down my new path with a smile to share with all I encounter.

I have been given much and desire to give much back.

Metamorphosis is mine,the butterfly has emerged and drys her wings in the warm sun of of a new day.

She will fly now living like all before her seeking beauty and following the sun.

Life is good and it is mine too live no one can deter me now,I have tasted the nectar of freedom.

Butterfly

Insanity prevails

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I subscribe to a post from the national center for transgender equality,and today I received a message praising Obama for his stance yesterday on marriage equality,I guess it is note worthy that he mentions these issues but there is little chance of any movement in the congress on the issue. In the post they also are saying how important it is for Immigration reform because so many LGBTQ people are illegal immigrants  in all the recent posts I have received from this group the emphasis is always on LGBTQ people.

Really I should give a damn about illegals who are LGBTQ my head is ready to explode from the lack of genuine reform for transgendered persons here,It only reinforces,my belief that I need to forget about the movement and just live my life as a woman and to hell with these people who have no clue, but think they are taken seriously by the people in power.

A time to move on.

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I”m well into my fifth year now,of having lost my wife to suicide.

During those years a lot of new growth has taken place in my life,I have finally been able to accept and grow as who I have always been in life,something regrettably I didn’t do much earlier  on but we just can’t go back and have a do over in the real world.

In recent months I have come to realize that looking back at my life has little benefit to the new me as a matter of fact it’s only proved to always be a hindrance.

For all most all of  the past 5 years I have grieved for a woman I now realize didn’t love me nearly as much as I loved her,at first her loss seemed to be one of the most tragic moments of my life,surely coming home from work to find your wife dead shot by her own hand with your own pistol is not something any of us would want to find on our most desired things list.The entirety of that evening was one of the worst nightmares I have ever experienced,even surpassing many of the horrible tragedies I saw in the Vietnam war.I called 911 and waited in great anguish for them to arrive by the time they got there I was having a panic attack and they put me in the ambulance and finally got me calmed by then a full blown investigation was underway with the coroner and three detectives and countless squad cars on the scene,I was quickly ushered into the back of one of the squad cars where I would remain for over 6 hours as all this unfolded,on a few occasions being questioned by the detective in charge.And then I watched as her body wrapped in a sheet was removed to the coroners van this was my last vision of her she was taken downtown for autopsy and only released to the crematorium after that.I never had a time to look at her and say my good byes.In the following days I received her ashes,and a grocery bag containing the clothes she wore that day complete with the blood for added memories I guess I could have done without that at the time but oh well.

I spent the next couple of weeks sorting through our life’s possessions as I moved because I just didn’t think I could ever look at that place and regain any sense of relief in life again,I continued to work each day coming home in the evenings to sort through all that we were and crying only to get up the next day and do it again for what seemed an eternity.Finally it was over and I was moved and set forth about my life without her.

Within a few months I began to become very ill but stubbornly went on working thinking it would pass in time but it just kept getting worse until I couldn’t go on anymore I had lost nearly one hundred pounds and couldn’t keep any food in my body as fast as I would put anything in my sick stomach it came out as diarrhea,I had a friend drive me to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with colon cancer,problem was I wasn’t in well enough condition by then to be operated on,they immediately began feeding me through IV and as they could getting me to eat double meals and drinking ensure 4 times a day in an attempt to get me strong enough for the operation  after nearly a month they succeeded and then found that there was  another complication I also suffered from a bad case of COPD they said that putting me under was very risky and that in many cases I might not wake up from the operation but I knew we needed to go forward and at the time I was close to giving in anyway and just joining my wife where ever she was.The operation that was supposed to take about 2-3 hours became complicated and lasted for over 7 during which time they removed a grapefruit size cancer and 4.5 feet of my colon. needless to say my long stay in the hospital and now time needed to recover left me in dire straights unable to work or maintain a residence any longer left me without a lot of options,I petitioned the state and my local veterans office for assistance but was denied on both fronts ,left pretty much alone in Florida  I was out of ways to see my way on and my son decided I should return with him to Indiana where I grew up,so I did and process of starting my life over began,I applied for disability  and after being examined by the state was found unable to work and it was granted,slowly for the next 6 months I began the process of getting my own place and getting out of my son and daughter in law’s place (a painful story best left untold) I finally got my own place and my life began to grow again this time as the person I knew I was, Shelle.

Upon starting up my new home I was still in mourning over my wife and decided that a bookshelf in my living room would become a shrine to her a place I would use to remember her and our life together.Time has gone on now and Shelle has grown and has flourished in her new life and the old memories have faded now into the past,so I have dismantled the shrine put the things safely away and made space for the new life I so warmly embrace now.

Thanks must go out to my loving family and friends for helping me grow to this point and giving me great hopes for the future.

Until next time yours

Butterfly

Jihad

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Tonight I honored a commitment I made to a friend I thought had left my life,we were very close and shared much of the same pain in life,and had come to many decisions that I now feel are based on personal input that we looked at in a skewed view.She asked that I call and that we might renew our mutual desire to have the truly transgendered in the world have recognition and justice under the law.

We both have the noblest intentions on this and try to always pick our fights and present the truth as accurately as humanly possible.

During our discussion we both came to discuss a common problem  that we share, the need for our children to love us as the new persons we now represent .

This is a subject that has brought great distress to us both in our attempt to get what we feel we have paid for in life long sacrifice and suffering by having to lead lives that were not ours at all.

The true reality is we chose to live out a long lie to do what we had been taught to think was right in life.

We assumed that if we lived this long and painful life we were some how at the end of it owed some instant acceptance from our children because we raised them and they should have the good sense and knowledge we passed on to them in life surely they could not deny us what we felt we were owed by our long suffering.

Me being the pragmatic and very analytic type began to examine why I was unable to get  this desired result from my son. I kept going over and over the things he said to me during my constant jihad to gain what I thought was mine by some right of passage in the transgendered journey I began near the end of my life.

The one thing that kept coming up over and over in my head was this statement he made to me.

He said ” you lived your life making me believe for forty years that you were a mans man a hard living ass kicking  man who was more of a man than any other I had ever known and now you are telling me that was all a lie and that you were always a woman,I love you and I defend your right to be who you are but I can’t just wrap my head around it just like that”

The more I thought on it and as painful as it is to admit he is right,and I am wrong to continuously keep launching my transgendered jihad on him expecting that this forty year old lie could be changed miraculously in a few months.

I have come now to adopt the title to an old Beatles song… “.Let it be” no good can come from  me demanding something he is not ready to receive,and over and over putting myself in pain because my demands aren’t being met on my schedule.

The facts are this I spent countless hours instilling in him the right set of values,I now have to step away and let him use the life tools I taught him,he will make the right decision in the end,will it be in time for me to know while I’m living or will it come to me as a posthumous gift at my death. I don’t know the answer to this but I have a life to live now because like it or not I am Shelle and my happiness at this time in life is paramount. I have a lot of living to do and I’m gonna get er done.

Butterfly

Chapter Two of Dr.Jekyl and Miss Hiding “The lay Of the land”

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I begin today by telling of my birth place, and something about the the state it’s located in.

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This is the heart of my downtown,nestled in the rolling hills of the Wabash River valley,the sister city on the north west bank rises up onto the home of the Wea plains Indians an area that is now home to Purdue University a vast and prestigious institution with now about 40,000 students and some of the finest research facilities in the world.

On our side of the river we were in the early years dominated by the agricultural area,that the pioneers and General William Henry Harrison  removed from the native Indians of the plains surrounding the town,which was built on a major trade route to the west,we were part of the Wabash and Erie canal system which funneled trade goods Via lake Erie to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. As the industrial age began we remained a major trade route by virtue of the Monon railroad “the Hoosier Line” which was headquartered here in Lafayette,It had a main line that connected Louisville,Ky. in the south to Dear born station in Chicago, Ill. It also had a secondary line that was formed in the rolling hills of southern Indiana Home to vast strip mines producing the coal needed for the Steel mills in Gary and Hammond  on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, this line also ran through Indianapolis and north through the flat land where the Highest yields of corn and soybeans in the world were grown.Certainly the influence of this railroad in our town spawned industry that would augment our agricultural interests. and the town also became a major factor in manufacturing war materials in the second world war. Gears and aluminum goods vital to the war effort. This is where I come into the story of Indiana,at the end of that long war in the late 40s. now that we have established where I came from our next Chapter will begin with my early  childhood memories.

Until then Farewell Butterfly

Ask and you shall recieve

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For some time now I have belonged to a couple of transgender dating sites,and no no one has found me to be so attractive or like able to that I am able to leave the sites yet.

But after being there for some years now I found that a large number of divorced men are seeking the company of a transgendered woman.

Being the curious girl that I am I began to ask those who approached me why they as straight men were seeking transgirls.

I recently ask of a man from Ga.  “If you don’t mind me asking why are you as a straight man interested in someone like me”

I received this honest and insightful answer from him.

They are more feminine, more in tune with a man’s interest, take better care of themselves and their man. And they understand that men aren’t perfect and DO make mistakes.

Out of all I have ever asked I don’t think I ever got a better answer.

I guess it is true what my mother said,if you want to know something ask questions.

Butterfly

Updating the issue

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Actually, trans people are still labeled as “disordered” in the DSM-V

By JOS | Published: DECEMBER 18, 2012

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On December 3, a lot of the internet, including this site, got very excited that the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), which is used by mental health professional and folks in related fields, no longer labeled trans people as “disordered.” This would be a great win to celebrate. The problem is, it’s not actually true.

It is true that Gender Identity Disorder, the main diagnosis put on trans folks, was changed to Gender Dysphoria. This is a big deal, and hopefully matches the goal of a lot of trans organizers in this struggle: to make sure trans folks can access the medical care we need without being labeled as disordered. That would be in the hands of competent health professionals, of course – the diagnostic criteria are still coming from a pathologizing place, and are still very much a problem. Kelley Winters, who’s played a central role in the trans community’s response to the DSM, explains:

On the negative side, the proposed diagnostic criteria for Gender Dysphoria still contradict social and medical transition and describe transition itself as symptomatic of mental illness. The criteria for children are particularly troubling, retaining much of the archaic sexist language of the DSM-IV that pathologizes gender nonconformity rather than distress of gender dsyphoria. Moreover, children who have socially transitioned continue to be disrespected by misgendering language in the diagnostic criteria and dimensional assessment questions. There is very plainly no exit from the diagnosis for those who have completed transition and are happy with their bodies and lives. In other words, the only way to exit the GD label, once diagnosed, is to follow the course of gender conversion/reparative therapies, designed to shame trans people into the closets of assigned birth roles. While supportive care providers will continue to make the diagnosis work for their clients, intolerant clinicians will exploit contradictory language in the diagnostic criteria to deny transition care access and promote unethical gender conversion treatments.

However, GID wasn’t the only possible diagnosis for trans folks in the DSM. Transvestic Fetishism has always been the most dangerous diagnosis, and it only became stronger in the new DSM. And now it’s been renamed as a disorder. Again, from Kelley Winters:

Like its predecessor, Transvestic Fetishism, in the [former] DSM, Transvestic Disorder is authored by Dr. Ray Blanchard, of the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH, formerly known as the Clarke Institute). Blanchard has drawn outrage from the transcommunity for his defamatory theory of autogynephilia, asserting that all transsexual women who are not exclusively attracted to males are motivated to transition by self-obsessed sexual fetishism (Winters 2008A). He is canonizing this harmful stereotype of transsexual women in the DSM-5 by adding an autogynephilia specifier to the Transvestic Fetishism diagnosis (APA 2011) . Worse yet, Blanchard has broadly expanded the diagnosis to implicate gender nonconforming people of all sexes and all sexual orientations, even inventing an autoandrophilia specifier to smear transsexual men. Most recently, he has added an “In Remission” specifier to preclude the possibility of exit from diagnosis. Like a roach motel, there may be no way out of the Transvestic Disorder diagnosis, once ensnared.

Transvestic Disorder probably won’t be an issue for folks like me, living in a city like San Francisco where I have access to knowledgeable medical and mental health professionals. Hopefully it won’t cause problems for folks who crossdress but already have access to a kink or crossdressing-friendly therapist. Just looking at the diagnosis at face value, it’s a real problem that folks who do get off on crossdressing are being labeled as disordered. And Transvestic Disorder could prove disastrous for, say, a rural trans girl who only has access to one or two medical professionals. If those doctors happen to be ignorant and/or bigots, this diagnosis will be there for them to slap on her.

I see this as a super feminist issue. Being sexualized and labeled as disordered because of the medical care I need as a woman resonates strongly for me with the idea of hysteria, a diagnosis that sexualized women and saw them as disordered because of their gendered bodies. Yeah, the trans community is still stuck fighting hundred year old feminist battles.

For more on this issue, Julia Serano has a great overview of the struggle around Tranvestic Disorder, chock full of useful links. And of course Kelley Winters has a ton of useful material on the subject. DSM reform, and the larger project of ensuring trans folks can access the medical care we need without barriers, is a huge project. And unfortunately, the work is still far from ove