We just finished off a week with my wife's nephew, who stayed with us and enjoyed some of the offerings that we could share with him in our beautiful state. Although I had to work during the weekdays for the fact that with this corporate takeover I was relieved of all of my vacation time, Joanne was able to spend time with him during the day. Evenings and weekends we packed full of swimming, hiking, biking, kayaking and all sorts of adventures. I found that although I tried to take time away from my gender dysphoria in this way, it still haunted my inner being and I still would find myself breaking down at quiet times during the workday at home.

It's the stress... the accumulation from so many sources...

Mom is out of the hospital and doing somewhat better after taking a spill down the stairs... but her memory is still, if even more so, failing her after this event. It bothers me greatly to see an independent woman become so dependent upon my dad now - and my dad will not take my offer to help out as he feels it his responsibility on his part and a failing by him if he can't. I've never told my mom about me and I feel like the time will slip away and I will never get that opportunity either. My dad would never understand this but my mom maybe could - I don't know anymore....

I'm finding my "part time" as Christen to be so difficult to manage as I really find that Christen is the real me uninhibited and that the male role is so uncomfortable and forced - the facade. It's the facade that caused me so much anxiety over the years and the anger inside - and the depression - and the thoughts in the past of just throwing in the towel on this game they call life....

Joanne has been great - she came home the other day with her nephew in tow from a local women's clothing store. She bought nothing for herself but did procure a nice top, a belt and a comfy pair of summer flats for me. She is so thoughtful and wonderful beyond words.... Yet I feel as if I am ungrateful and selfish to feel so frustrated that Christen needs to live full time. Need is not the right word really... it feels like inevitability, as if I am trying to hold back waters of some dam springing more and more leaks. The breakdowns and crying still continue at odd times and suddenly without warning. I am trying to balance the needs for her with the needs for myself and I curse myself for not being stronger...but it is so hard when your inner mind keeps at you day after day after day. Each situation I am in, dealing with any person brings back the dysphoria and I am only able to put it out of mind so long as I isolate myself from the world.

But even isolation brings a reprieve which is short lived. For during those times I have time to think freely and to see the direction I am moving and the small changes I am making. Each small change makes me more comfortable with who I am and less comfortable with who I was. Each small change makes me feel better about myself and yet worse about myself for the anxiety I cause for Joanne. I try so hard to please others and I curse myself for what I am doing - yet I cannot stop fully. I am trying to stop a runaway truck with a rope tied to the back of the trailer, my feet skidding as I am dragged along by the careening vehicle. I backed off the social networking sites to try to gain focus and I felt worse than ever.

Something will give at some point. Already many have made comments that I look different and dress different. I've had one comment that my breast size was surprisingly large for someone so thin. I'm not on estrogen but I'm apparently up an inch and a half in breast size since the early spring. I wake up each morning and just hope to make it through each day without breaking down. I should be happy. I received a promotion from work last week but I feel like an actor in a play - playing a role - and doing it darn well - but hating every minute of it.

Perhaps if I could find a niche whereby I could give back to the community in some way, I might find some peace for myself. I am told I have great writing abilities, a compassionate ear and good, sage advice to give - but I still wonder how I could find an opportunity in making a difference in my life, perhaps by making a difference in someone else's. I'm just not really sure anymore and so vacillate between these thoughts and the thoughts of sometimes just wanting to fade away into ambiguity and oblivion.


  1. Christen I wanted to pass along my best wishes for your Mom and that she recovers quickly. I know how hard that is and you know I am pulling for you.

    It sounds like you had just a terrific time though with your nephew. I am sure all your trips were wonderful and hopefully he had a great time. I'm sure he's sad not to be there for more, but it will make his next trip better and better.

    You have always uplifted my spirit and I have found you and Joanne to be terrific friends. Just knowing that you have made a difference in one life is something you can always lift your spirits and I am certainly blessed to have gotten to know you and Joanne as you are both outstanding people and so generous in your time and your knowledge.

    I hope I brought a smile to your face and some lift to your spirit!

  2. Christen, my heart goes out to you. I hope and pray that your Mom makes a quick recovery! I know how hard that is and what a burden it places on the family, what matters most is to be strong and know that you are loved.

    I am glad Joanne's nephew had such a great time with you. It sure sounds like you had a lot of fun and did really neat things. I am sure those memories will last a long time with him and make him remember you both fondly.

    I know how it is to feel in a rut, but you know how much I respect and admire you and Joanne as friends and wonderful, caring people. You have amazing skills as a writer and you are so gifted with all your talents. You have both made a positive impact on my life and made me less scared to put on a brave face and try new things. When I first went out I was terrified, but terrific friends like you and Joanne made me put away my fears and put my best heels forward (even if they didn't quite fit!)

    I hope that my message brought a smile to your face and some lift to your spirit!

    *hugs* to you both!


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