In my last post, I talked about some of the celebrations that should have happened, but did not: my court date, my birthday, telling my story publicly for the first time. It has been a busy summer, even though it does not really feel like it. The sadness I have felt over the lack of celebration has been looming over me, especially as my wife helps plan two weddings and, a few weeks ago, a neighbor’s birthday. Combined with the continuing dysphoria surrounding my face & voice and my family’s financial struggles, I have not been in the best of moods lately. I am tired, lonely, and isolated. But, as I said in my last post, I do trod on.
I finally received some good news this week. My insurance has approved me (without a fight!) to begin specialized vocal therapy, so that I can begin to properly address my voice and work to make it sound more feminine. That should be a great relief to me, but the excitement was muted by the fact that my first appointment will not be until December due to scheduling availability! I will have to wait for this about as long as I had to wait for my court date to come, and that was tiring. Hopefully, a cancellation will move me up the wait list.
On the face front, I am flummoxed. I am beginning to struggle mightily when it comes to how my face looks. I really long to restart electrolysis that I suspended in June due to financial stresses. That means I have to shave every day and then work hard to conceal that shadow that remains. It is exhausting. I love make-up, but I would like to be able to walk out the door without it every once in awhile if I am in a hurry. Doing so now would just make me look awkward. Also, for the first time, I have really started to take some time to look at the potential for surgery.
Since the beginning of my transition over two years ago, I have put off the notion of surgeries. I had soooooooo much other stuff to work through that the idea of any surgery was put out of my mind, as I deal with the here-and-now. But as time passes and I settle into my life as woman, I begin to think about the future. My facial dysphoria has put the idea of facial feminization surgery (FFS) as an attainable way to correct the masculine features of my face. To that end, for the first time, I have begun to ask questions of friends, analyzed my face to project the kinds of work I need (and luckily don’t need), and even gone so far as to begin researching potential surgeons. The latter may be a bit premature, but at the same time, I know consults and surgeries have long wait lists, and it could be to my advantage to start the ball rolling now. However, I really want to resume and finish electrolysis. FFS does not seem smart unless I have finished what I can do without it. So many questions, and no money to do it. The thoughts weigh me down and compound my frustration with myself.
And of course, opening the door to surgery discussions, cracks open the idea of potential gender reconstruction surgery (GRS) down the road. I am not quite ready to start that process, but I definitely lean in that direction. But as I have done all along, I try not to jump ahead too much. One step at a time. I don’t really consider GRS right now because there are more pressing needs. I don’t really consider breast augmentation because my breasts are still growing, even if at a slower rate than I would like. But FFS seems attainable with the right surgeon and the right timeline. It is something I need to bring up to my family, too, and I really have no idea how to begin to introduce that topic. Surgery is a big deal and a big step. It requires doctor’s visits, consults, the procedure, and the post-op aftercare. How much support can my family provide if I take this step?
I am markedly happier as a woman. Now 7 1/2 months full-time, I am still secure this is how I was meant to live my life. But until a few things change, I continue to be insecure of how I present to the world. That change will not happen on its own, and I continue to look for ways to make those changes happen. I just wish I had more of a support system behind me to encourage me on my journey. Maybe then, someone would celebrate me and my accomplishments.