One, Two, Three, Four...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Amazingly enough, my journey began four years ago today.

That was the day I finally admitted the truth to myself: I was a girl, and I had to transition.

It hardly seems possible that it's been four years, a sentiment I felt each of the previous three years as well.

More on the flip slide, including some photos of me along the way from then to now. :c)

Tighten(ed) Up

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hi everyone. I want to say thank you to everyone checking in the past few weeks. It means a lot. It's been a long, mentally tiring stretch. 

My therapist helped quite a bit at our session last week. As she always does, she is able to help me look at the big picture. 

Quite honestly, she took me by surprise. I had assumed she would agree with my decision to move on. 

But she did not.

"I know why this hurt you so deeply, and why you feel such terrible sadness," she said.

"But this is where things are at this moment, Cass. Not forever; just for this moment. That's all." 

Her advice was to step back for a bit and give myself a chance to process everything. She helped me see that there has been a great deal of progress - but that it doesn't always occur in a straight line. People make mistakes, get scared, and sometimes don't know what to do. (She was also referring to me when she pointed these things out, needless to say.)

In any case, that is what I'm doing at the moment. Taking a break. Thinking a lot. And remembering why it is worth investing this much time and effort. Some things - some people - are worth it. 

Even when they drive you crazy. 

Maybe especially when they drive you crazy. :c)


The title of this post has nothing to do with the previous section. Unfortunately for me, it does have to do with a sore spot - specifically, my lower back. :-/

I had electrolysis last Tuesday after work, as I always do. We were working on my neck - always a great deal of fun, needless to say - and I wound up laying at a slightly uncomfortable angle for about 15-20 minutes. 

It didn't hurt; in fact, I felt fine when I finished the session. It wasn't until I stepped out of my car 20-25 minutes later that I realized my lower back was quite sore.

I never have back problems, fortunately. I'm grateful - and lucky. One of my legs is nearly a half-inche longer than the other, something I only found out a few years ago at a free chiropractic screening at my gym. 

The chiropractor was astounded that I've never had any back problems with such a discrepancy. She attributed it to being slender and exercising regularly to keep my core muscles strong.

In any case, I've had a stiff back since. It was much better by Friday, but still a bit sore. For once I didn't ignore it or try to do too much to soon. I went for several short walks (45 minutes) and one relatively long one (1 hr 45 min) Thursday through Saturday.

Today it felt well enough that I decided to try my first run in a week. If it started to feel even a bit off, I was going to stop.

Happily, it did not. I was able to run six miles, albeit at slightly less than my normal pace, and walk for another hour. Once my muscles loosened up in the chilly weather, my back felt fine. And it still does, five hours later.  Hopefully I'm back on track.

I took the photo above after returning home, btw. Even my hats don't really fit me any longer, oddly enough. I suppose there are worse problems...

Have a good week, everyone. And thank you again.


I chose a few songs that seemed to fit this post. Up first is a soul classic from Archie Bell & The Drells - 1968's "Tighten Up":

And here's a song from one of my all-time favorite bands - "She's Tight," from Cheap Trick's terrific 1982 album One on One:

And last but not least, here's The Who with "Slip Kid," from 1975's The Who By Numbers:

This is an underrated album, which is probably inevitable since it followed their two greatest albums, Who's Next (1971) and Quadrophenia (1973). But it's quite good on its own merits. John Entwistle drew the cover, incidentally...

Thoughtful article about Bruce Jenner

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I wanted to share an article I read earlier today about Bruce Jenner's interview last night on American television.

The author, Christina Kahrl, transitioned about 10 years ago. She's one of my favorite baseball writers for some time, and has written a number of times on trans-related issues. This is one of her best. Hope you agree.

How To Fight Loneliness

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A huge part of my transition has been learning to let myself truly feel for the first time in my life.

After spending a lifetime holding in my emotions (for a variety of reasons, not all trans-related), allowing myself to be vulnerable has been a challenge.

I haven't written a lot the past five or six months, beyond several humorous posts. Those posts did not, and do not, really reflect how challenging this time has been. I would prefer not to go into the reasons, or all that transpired during that time.

But I will say this: letting others get close to the real me has been a painful experience.

I have opened my heart completely.

And I have been hurt. Almost unbearably so.

There were very, very brief moments of happiness during this time... but that only led to even greater hurt when those moments ended.

"He" learned early on to closely guard his emotions and, particularly, his heart. It was how he survived all those years, years lived without love.

After starting my transition, I slowly began to lower those walls, bit by bit. Undoing a lifetime of well-earned caution and fear is not an easy process. But I did it.

And, unfortunately, I have been hurt. Again. Just like he was, each and every time he took that risk.

I've been in therapy for 17 years, with four exceptional therapists. Even the three therapists I worked with before finally realizing I had to transition were outstanding, given that I was never able to tell them the truth. As for M, my current therapist... she has been a lifesaver. Period.

But as grateful as I am to them - and I will be never be able to repay the debt I owe them - I can see that some things are beyond being fixed, even by the very best. And even with my very best effort.

And one of those things is to be loved - truly loved - by another. I want that more than anything in the world - even more than my surgery, if that is possible. I have yearned for it my entire life.

I had two very, very brief glimpses last fall - exceedingly brief - which were just enough to let me know how much I have missed in my life by being alone.

Those glimpses both ended almost as soon as they started, and represent the only occasions on which I have ever come remotely close to experiencing what it is like to be truly wanted by another. I almost wish I had never had those few moments, in all honesty. Knowing what I lost, even if I only possessed it for literally hours, makes the heartache that much more palpable.

But in spite of the pain, and without going into specifics, I still thought that, at long last, it might yet happen for me. So much so that I worked even harder to try not to give in to the darkness and to believe.

As a result, I let my defenses down completely over the past few months. I let someone into my heart, fully and completely.

But I have learned a harsh lesson over the past 4-6 weeks.

It is not going to happen.


Sometimes you can do everything in your power, to the utmost of your ability, to make a dream come true.... and still fail, in spite of those efforts.

Finding that one special person was that dream for me.

But I know now that it was never to be.

I cannot, and do not, blame anyone else. They were simply being themselves, for better and for worse. (And it is both; otherwise I would never have allowed myself to take the risk again.)

The hard truth that I must face is that I was being myself as well.

And I did not measure up.

Just as "he" failed to measure up, over and over and over and over.

Transitioning means becoming your true self.

It does not, however, mean that you leave behind your shortcomings and weaknesses.

Some things are immutable, I have discovered.

I cannot put myself through experiences like those of the past month-plus ever again.

I just can't.

I do not for a moment regret transitioning.

I am finally living the life I was supposed to lead, and being the person I should have been, all along. It far exceeds what I could have ever hoped for before I stated my transition. If I had a dollar for every person who has told me how obvious it is to them now that I was always a girl... well, I could retire right now.

But living the life you should does not protect you from paying a steep price for being yourself.

I haven't spoken to my brother or his wife for nearly two years. (Or, more accurately, they haven't spoken to me, since that was their decision, not mine.)

Nor have I seen my nieces (my brother's children) during that time. To the best of my knowledge, they still have no idea I transitioned.

My parents... well, they are who they are. It is crystal clear that they will never accept the truth about who I am. (They still call me by his name, nearly a year and a half after I went full-time.)

And, similarly, I cannot come to terms with why I am incapable of being loved by that one special person.

It is something I lack, or perhaps something I possess that I wish I didn't, that explains why I am alone, rather than the shortcomings of others. The one common factor in every instance, after all, is me.

If I could, I would do whatever it took to make being loved possible.

But some things are beyond us, no matter how hard we work, or how much we long for them.

I do not say that in a self-pitying way. I am well aware that others face struggles far greater than mine.

It simply is what it is.

Learning to live with that fact is the challenge I face moving forward.

All I can do is try my very best to do so.

And I will.

I have no other choice.


Eddie Vedder and Jeff Tweedy say it with far greater eloquence than I ever could.

How to fight loneliness
Just smile all the time
Shine your teeth 'til meaningless
And sharpen them with lies

And whatever's going down
Will follow you around
That's how you fight

You laugh at every joke
Drag your blanket blindly
And fill your heart with smoke

And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you ever need
That's how you fight it

Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time

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