Friday, September 4, 2009

A Girl Could Get Used To This........... know, living full time as herself. I am full long as I don't have to go anywhere! *grin* Hey, give me a break! I have almost 61 years of male socialization to overcome. It's a slow tedious process, but inch by inch I'm working myself into it.

I may have told you all this before, but because I live out in the sticks, I have no municipal garbage pick up, so I have to haul all of my trash to the county recycling center. I've been looking for more excuses to go out, just doing normal stuff in public as me, vs. that increasingly alien looking guy, that inhabited my skin for so long. I made the decision this week, that from now on all trips to the recycling center, would be made as Melissa, and on Wednesday I made good on that promise, when I loaded up the truck with a weeks worth of bagged household garbage, a pile of broken down cardboard boxes (thanks to UPS deliveries, and my penchant for shopping on line), a load of old brown paper grocery bags, and a couple of weeks worth of old newspapers. The trip went off without a hitch. A guy at the recycling center had his truck backed up to the bagged garbage dumpster, and he was busy unloading bags of garbage. While waiting my turn, I stopped at the recycling dumpsters, and unloaded my cardboard, and grocery bags. I was wearing a pair of white short, shorts, a salmon pink sleeveless shirt, and white New Balance sneakers, with pink trim. I can't tell you how good it felt, to be out in the open, illuminated by the sun, while dressed in the clothing, and acting in a manner, that best expresses who I truly am!

Just as I finished at the recycling dumpsters, the guy at the garbage dumpster, got back into his truck and pulled away, so I got back into my truck and backed it up to the same dumpster. I had about six or seven bags of kitchen garbage in the back of the truck, so I got out and unloaded them into the dumpster. In no time I was done, and I got back into the truck and drove past the attendant's shed on the way out. I was so elated by how well everything had gone, that I completely overlooked the pile of newspapers I had laying on the front seat, and I drove away with them still sitting there. Oh well, there's always next week's trip back.

I had a little talk with myself, in front of the mirror the day before. I was dressed as the girl I am; the way I have been dressing nearly every day of the week for the last year, except for a few hours on Monday, when I go to my mother's for dinner, and go grocery shopping. I had already made the determination, that all future trips to the recycling center would be made en femme, but that alien dude tried to reassert his now defunct authority over me, and he started filling my head with fear and doubts about my ability to pass. This was the same cynical little voice that used to ridicule me 30 years ago, as I sat in a salon chair, having my hair done. "What do you think you're doing?" "You're not a girl!" Don't be a fool!" "Do you really think anyone is going to believe you?"

Thirty years later, and that miserable little bastard inside of me, is still trying to beat me down. This time it hurt. It really hurt! For the last year, I have been slowly trying to claw my way out of the closet I've been locked in for so long, and finally, in the last few months, I've broken free, and been able to experience rare moments of pure joy. My emotions overcame me, and I began to cry. I looked into the mirror, and said "No! You are not in charge anymore! For the last 30 years, Melissa stayed locked in the closet begging to be free, while you cowered in fear. Enough! She's not listening to you anymore".

I felt so good, when I returned from the recycling center. I don't have anyone in my life who is truly intimate with me, so I have to be my own best friend. I stood before the mirror once again, but this time I smiled at myself. "I am so proud of you", I said!

Tonight I went to my second transgender support group meeting. This meeting was much better than the first. There were twice as many people there this time, and the non/pre-ops, at least equaled the post-ops, which made me feel much more comfortable. We watched an episode of NBC Dateline from back in 2000, about a Navy doctor, who went through SRS and became an SRS surgery specialist, training under Dr. Marci Bowers. Unlike the first time, where I basically sat like a bump on a log, I manged to get into a few brief conversations with fellow members (remember, I'm shy upon first meeting people). The holidays are just around the corner , and various venues for the annual Christmas Party were being discussed. One of them was a restaurant located in the rural county that I reside in. They don't have private party rooms, so our party would be seated in a section of the main dining room along side regular patrons. That could get real interesting. Especially if some of my neighbors, happen to be dining there that night. Not to worry though. Courage will get me through anything!

Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got? Courage! - The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard Of Oz



caroline said...

Marvellous to see how you have blossomed in the last wee while, isn't it great to be out and breath free?

The only problem is that every where I go you have just beaten me and posted the sort of comments I can only dream of composing! Don't stop I will get over it!

Caroline XXX

Anonymous said...

I understand what you're feeling. Every time our confidence is boosted, I think we pass better...not so much because we look more like a woman, but that we just feel a little bit more comfortable in our femme skin. That true comfort is what makes us who we are's what helps others see us as we really feel we are...normal women. I'm glad you're having so much fun these day...again, I understand what you're feeling, and it is so much fun to just be who you are without fear. :)Suzi

Stephanie said...

And you will get used to it. Eventually you will be so comfortable with being Melissa when out and about that you won't be able to fathom why you were ever afraid. The only people that give a hoot are the people you knew before transition. Be sure to figure out what you will say to them when you do see them, because you will, sometime. And once you tell them, even that isn't as scary as it seems now. When it happens, just put your thumb and forefinger together and imagine pushing the 'easy' button between them! lol
You once told me you wish we lived closer so you could help me through my rough times. I wish that too, so I could help you escape your fear.


Lucy Melford said...

Anyone who reads your posting must feel rather lucky that they are encountering you at this special moment of your life. Thank you for telling us about how you overcome your negative old self. How inspiring!

I agree with what Stephanie says: it will gradually become easy to go about as Melissa without effort.

Your support group sounds fine, and I hope much comes of it in time. But I also agree with Stephanie on the value of actually meeting up and sharing some time with 'electronic friends' in the wider world. I recently met Debbie K and we both seem to have got a lot out of it, not least the wonderful boost to morale. It is absolutely the best cure if you feel that you are facing all this on your own. Mind you, it's one thing to make a two-hour journey (as in my case), and quite another to travel hundreds of miles. It can be done, though...think of Rebecca and Nicky, bridging the Atlantic.

chrissie said...

Love the quote from Wizard of Oz, Melissa.

Sums it all up really...

It gets easier every time, I found.


Calie said...

Love the story! Love the confidence!

Calie xxx

Anonymous said...

Melissa, so good to hear from you!Going out and doing regular things can boost your confidence so much more than you realize. I have learned to cherish my mornings and my days off just so that I can run off and do my errands as a woman. Grocery shopping has become more fun than shopping for clothes..because it's more neccessary!