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And we always made it work, no matter how much it did hurt…

And we always made it work, no matter how much it did hurt…

On the eve of the 364th day of vagina ownership, I feel that a update is required. However, I don’t really know what more to say. Once the initial healing was done, the dilations tapered down, things just got sort of normal. 

Things I’ve learned about having a vagina: 

  1. Unlike your dick, it has more than 3 smells. Dick has a tendency to smell like one of a couple of things. Freshly showered, Dude you need a shower, and “OMG WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH THAT THING?”  A vagina has approximately 15 or more smells. I know what only some of them mean. 
  2. Bacterial Vaginosis is a thing. A thing that I don’t like.
  3. Yeast is used for more than just making bread and beer.
  4. Make sure the toilet paper is actually free of your, uhh, folds before you stand up.

Other than that, things have been fine. My underwear fit for the first time in the last 18-20 years. My pants fit better. I bought a swimsuit that I neither hate or love, which as I gather, is success. I still don’t have hips, nor a butt. No one gets it all. 

Over that period, I lost my newest and last form of virginity. As if I was 15 and in high school, I thought it was with the person I would die with, but months later I found that was not true. Even with my best efforts. I made Lloyd Dobler look like a fucking amatuer, and for a fleeting time I thought I did it, but it was all to no avail. Just like the rap guys misogynistically say that you can’t make a ho a housewife, the same applies to politicians. 

It’s been a year of triumph, it’s been a year of utter failure. I honestly can’t tell you that I’m better today mentally than I was a year ago. That has nothing to do with my genitals though. I can tell you, without question, I’d rather be in San Francisco tonight, on the eve of this surgery all over, than here in Kentucky.  I’ll never forget the feeling of waking up that morning, not tucking, not caring. The thought that nothing else really mattered today. That feeling of waking up in post-op. A brief bit of terror, asking the nurse if the surgery happened, then tears of joy after she told me that it went just fine. 

All the exams, all the “frog legs,” all the poking, prodding, the bleeding, a month long period, all those pads, the catheter, the miralax. All worth it. So worth it. There were moments of fear, of terror. Not that I had made a mistake, but that something was wrong and I was going to end up with some complication. Pictures taken from awkward angles, texted to my surgeon and the replies always similar “Looks fine, just be patient.” All the while thinking, “Bitch, you don’t know me. I don’t do patient.”

I would do it 100 times over. There’s not really a good way to explain how much better my life is because of it, but it has changed my life in a way that only a trans person can understand. A huge source of dissonance between my mind and my body corrected after a lifetime of conflict. 

From the days of being a 15 year old “boy” laying on the bed, with hands not on the genitals, but on the spot where the vaginal canal was supposed to be, imagining what it was like. Thinking of what I believed I was supposed to have from the womb. Through the years of searching for “sex change operations” in the back corner of the all-boys school computer lab. All of the years of thinking about being a girl and then being overwhelmed with shame and feelings of filth. To today, where I am the woman, ready to stomp on anyone that says otherwise, it’s been a long wild ride. 

The fight for my basic rights as a human are not over, but I have the body. I have the confidence. The confidence to tell anyone who thinks I’m anything but the woman to go fuck themselves. It’s liberating. 

Colly Strings

Colly Strings

A pity invitation to an awkward house,
For pseudo-boy that would rather wear a blouse.
I sincerely saw your skin for the very first time.

My curly hair and a voting booth,
Confessedly, this is the first time I’ve loved you.
And God I mean, God I mean it, I hope that I mean it.

Once again, I’m standing on a proverbial ledge — just kicking rocks over the side, looking down. Someone told me today that they wanted my life. I laughed a little laugh, replying “My life is very messy right now.” This is probably the understatement of the century. My life is more like the white water rapids and all I’ve got is some floaties to keep my head above water. 

It’s no secret that I’ve been unhappy in my job for some time. In more ways than one. The normal way, is just like my coworkers, the work is shit. However, we all show up for that paycheck. Those benefits. That PTO. A lot of us are like, just a couple more months.. or another year. Always with this expectation that we’re going to do something better with our lives. Sure, ok. But the way I’m different from my co-workers is that I’ve been asking to be transferred out for over a year due to the recurring issues in the workplace. 

I mentioned this in my last entry, the company had approached me with the idea of relocating to Miami, Atlanta or New Orleans. Today I took a call with HR that said that if I would consider it, that I had a 99.9% chance of having a position in Miami or Atlanta. I didn’t say no, but I didn’t say yes. I said I would think about it. I just don’t want to move to another red state and essentially jump from the fire into the frying pan. Atlanta has a nondiscrimination ordinance that protects gender identity, but the state doesn’t. Miami is the same. With the emboldened confidence of the GOP, I suspect that many other states are going to try and force HB2-esque bills through the state house and into law. This would invalidate the city ordinances.  

I acknowledge that this is not “the company’s” fault, they can’t control the whims of lawmakers (please hold your laughter.) They can’t be held accountable to the states in which they operate. Their position is that the company has a very comprehensive policy pertaining to discrimination. This is the part where I laugh. Or at least chuckle.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Honestly, I don’t understand why it’s so important to the company that I stay within the same bargaining unit. There’s not a state in the bargaining unit that’s better than where I am already. When you consider the shit I’ve gone through in the current state, it’s like why trade one shithole for another? I just don’t think it’s worth the effort of uprooting everything in my life to take a gamble on going further into the deep south. Or past the deep south into Miami, which is probably going to be underwater in the next 4 years, given our political electorate’s position on climate change. 

I’m really hoping I get a call or email or carrier pigeon on the Providence job. I am probably going to look for jobs there with the competitor. Since they’re the incumbent provider in that area, there’s probably more options in or around Rhode Island. On the other hand there’s a fear that they’ll actually want me. Then I have to figure out what to do with the house and everything else in it. #puke

Related, one of my best friends just bought a dealership in Dallas. I really liked Dallas. The political climate is arguably the worst, second only to maybe North Carolina. I had messaged him, congratulating him on his continued success. At one of the previous jobs that he held, he had tried to get me to come down and work for him again. At the time, I was married and I knew that Megan would never go back to Texas. However, I’m now divorced and I’m hungry for change. The years that I worked for him were arguably some of the best times I ever had. I loved my job, I was excited to go to it (most mornings.) I didn’t mind working 80 hours, because a lot of the time, it didn’t seem like work. Also because I knew that I was taken care of, that I was appreciated, and that there there was mutual respect between he and I. Of course, now that I’ve transitioned, I wonder about how that might impact our dynamic. I know that when a mutual colleague of ours had made a shitty trans joke at my expense, he went ballistic on the guy. I hope that carries. I just know that the last time we were face-to-face, he seemed distant. I remember crying on the way home because I felt like I lost one of the most devoted friends that I’d ever made. I would like to think that it’s just because we’re 1000 miles apart and we’ve just drifted. That things could still be the same if I was there every day. In any event, I was texting with his wife, saying that I wished we had never left. I’d have stayed there if Megan hadn’t wanted to move back home. She said she wished we never moved either and that my friend needed me more now than ever. To which I replied, tell him to make me an offer. I’ve not heard anything from them since, but if a reasonable offer came through, I’d probably jump all over it. 

I’d be less worried about the state level protections if I was working for him. I think he’d give me a fair shake and if there were issues with others in the workplace, that he would choose me over them. If they’re in the wrong, of course. I think Dallas has a nondiscrimination ordinance, too. On top of that, with all my documents updated at the state and federal level, I can’t imagine having a problem outside of the workplace. I don’t get misgendered in public, only other trans people clock me. We’ve got this transdar that picks up on everything. And I’ve got a fresh set of tits. #winning

Going to Dallas would close the door on the saga of Kayla and I. I admit that I have some far fetched idea that if was to end up in New England, that there might be an opportunity to open a new dialogue. The bridge is burned, but I own tools. I know that’s a dumb hope to hold on to, but we were talking about being together in the nursing home. I was going to propose to her, perhaps sooner than she might have wanted me to. I threw that away in a drunk discussion and then sober hardheadedness. I doubled down on a shitty idea and I got just that, shit. I know she’s going to read this, but I hope she doesn’t. 

I’m listening to “23” by Jimmy Eat World. I’ve loved this song since it came out in 2004. I was 24 at the time, but close enough to 23 that I could relate. The lyrics speak to me. 

Amazing still it seems
I’ll be 23
I won’t always love what I’ll never have
I won’t always live in my regrets

I need a person to follow me around and give me good advice all day. Where do I get that? I need a Kif. Jesus, does that make me Zapp Brannigan? That’s kind of gross. Ok, it’s nearly 4 am, I’m going to meet my mom at Waffle House for breakfast and then take my ex, my kids and her mom to the airport for them to go to Disney. Dueces. 

Transatlanticism

Transatlanticism

All I see are dark grey clouds
In the distance moving closer with every hour.
So when you ask “Was something wrong?”,
That I think “You’re damn right there is but we can’t talk about it now.
No, we can’t talk about it now.”

So I’ve not written in a while. I’ve just been in too much of funk that I couldn’t manage it. Funk is the wrong word, the phrase I’ve used a few times when talking to friends has been “mind-crippling depression.” I’m still very depressed, but I think I’ve pulled myself from the worst of it. The ideation has passed. I was going to say it was gone, but I know that at some point, sooner or later it’ll come back. 

I still spend an enormous amount of time thinking about Kayla. I really do. I was (am) very much in love with her. I keep thinking all the things I could have done differently, but none of that will help me now. I think that’s the hardest part. It’s like having murdered someone and having to sit in a cell every day and replay those events in your head. For me, the cell is my own brain. It’s not a place one would want to visit. It’s the exit on the interstate that you skip when you’re looking for a bathroom.  

Kayla had posted an idea of what her prime timeline looks like, with her doing successful things in Rhode Island, having never left. When I talked to her about it, I explained that in my headcanon, that timeline has me in Rhode Island with her. Everything is fine. I surmised that the two timelines had split the day we flipped a bottle cap to see which of us was going to move. In the darkest timeline, she came here and it played out as it has. In the prime timeline, I moved to her and everything is going well. 

I want to be on the prime timeline in a bad way. 

So the thought of leaving this place is again popping up. The only thing that kept me from leaving before was Kayla coming here. My reasons for leaving were only partly to be with her. They were also for me to have a chance to start over fresh without so much “dead me” baggage. This has come up due to my company finally starting to come around to the idea of transferring me out of the worksite. Since there aren’t any other call centers in Louisville with my company, they asked if I would consider moving to Atlanta, Miami or New Orleans. After doing some research, I’ve determined that no, I would not really consider that. I asked for something in a blue state. Somewhere that has statewide protections for trans people. I’ve been scanning the company’s open positions and I found a few that were interesting. I even applied to be a Store Manager at one of our corporate owned retail stores, in Providence of all places. 

It feels weird to consider going to Providence and not be there with Kayla. It feels backwards. It feels like dating your best friend’s ex-girlfriend. In any event, I don’t think that I would be even considered for that job. I’d been applying for assistant manager positions in Louisville and couldn’t get a call back. As John Cusack said in High Fidelity, ” It was like trying to borrow a dollar, getting turned down, and asking for fifty grand instead.” 

But whatever. But… what if they say yes. Then what the fuck do I do? I guess I’ll figure it out if that happens. 

It’s nearly 2am, I had to take a phone call when I was really focused on this. I’ve lost that focus, so I’m going to just cut it off right now. 

Black Sun

Black Sun

“There is whisky in the water
And there is death upon the vine
And there is grace within forgiveness
But it’s so hard for me to find”

This is an entry that’s hard for me to write. I debated writing anything at all, but this blog is my story, for better or worse. So, right… 

i am a huge fucking idiot.

There, I said it. I broke up with Kayla. We were facing an issue that needed to be dealt with. She offered a solution, I dismissed it immediately and said that I didn’t see that it was a long term sustainable solution. Thus ending our relationship as we knew it. I let it marinate for a couple days. I had serious remorse of the decisions I had made. I tried to make those known, in an attempt to save the relationship. Alas, it was too late. She left Kentucky this past weekend and headed back to New England, this time to Maine. 

From when she left up until now, I’ve been devastated. There’s no amount of antidepressants in the known universe that could have kept me top side in this moment. With the exception of going to work, I’ve been hiding in my bed ever since. I’ve come home and put the same shirt and sweatpants on, cried, watched tv and tweeted sad sad drivel. I’m not eating. I’m not sleeping. When I do sleep, I have the most bizarre dreams which usually have me in some sort of peril. No matter how much I hate to admit it, I’ll say that I’ve been suicidal. Still am to a certain extent. There’s no gestures or any plans made, but it’s there. It’s scary. It’s like this little nagging thought in the back of your mind that keeps pestering you. 

It doesn’t help when you’re being bitched at by customers for telling the truth and being 100% honest with them. To have them tell you that you’re a bitch and “fuck you very much” before hanging up. That kind of thing is mentally exhausting on a good day. On a day like today, it’s all you can do to keep it all together and not start crying with the customer on the line. 

At some point, I’m going to have to let it all go and just resign myself that I’ve fucked it up. That no matter what I do now, I can’t get mend what I’ve broken. That I may have lost the person that I love very much, forever. Considering how much time and effort I invested convincing her to come here in the first place, it’s hard to let it go. With such a drastic change in locale, it’s not like I could give it a few weeks and then show up on her doorstep and grovel. 

i hate myself. 

#PlotTwist

#PlotTwist

Right, so I had written something like 1500 words about a month ago. I rewrote it 2 weeks ago and even was trying to revise it to post Thursday the 7th. I’m thankful that I never did quite get it finished because everything has changed since then.

In a recently published entry, I had written that I was leaning heavily towards leaving Kentucky and moving to New England. In reality, it wasn’t that I was leaning towards it. I was going to leave, but like cooking live lobster you have to ease people’s minds into that idea. Even with it being just a hypothetical situation, that revelation was met with criticism amongst other things. There was a lot to be said about it. I think I lost more than one facebook friend as a result. I was obviously very broken up about that. #ByeFelicia

On the other hand, the only thing that I was grappling with was prospect of leaving my children behind. It was the hardest decision, but I was going to do it and hope for the best. I had intentions of trading access to my family for a chance at a fresh beginning in a new place with a new person. It was the truest idea of bittersweet. The idea of starting over for a trans person is not uncommon. We seem to all yearn to leave behind the husks of our old selves. To be surrounded by people who never knew you by any other name or gender.

Even now, 19 or so months into my transition and over 16 months full time, I still find that I am “he, I mean she” or worse, just “he.” To some people I will never be more than what I was before Addison. Even worse, is being outed by people that I know. They find it their job to tell people who have not yet met me that “she used to be a man” or “she’s trans” or whatever. Fuck that. In my experience, once a new person has that knowledge, they seem to lose their ability to gender you correctly 100% of the time. Each “he” feels like a shiv to the back. Not deep enough to kill you, but enough to make you bleed. A lot.

With the divorce paperwork submitted to the judge to be finalized, I was looking at the prospect of selling as much stuff as possible, giving away the rest and leaving with just my clothes and personal effects.  For two reasons, one was to get the new beginning and be somewhere that I could be Addison with no previous preconceptions or baggage. Where I could go to work and do my job and not be harassed or disrespected. The other was somewhat simpler, something that most everyone can appreciate.. I’m in love.

However, major components of the that plan crumbled over this weekend. I’m saying that in the best way possible. I’m not leaving. While I won’t get my fresh start, I’ll get the love and my relationship with my children. I’m very excited about what the future holds for my family.

“So what had happened was….”

Kayla and I met on Twitter in the latter part of last year. What had started off as some casual likes and retweets became some discourse, along with some banter and it sort of evolved over time. The conversations became longer and they covered all sorts of topics. Feelings on my part emerged quickly, but I kept silent about that for some time. However, much to my surprise, those feelings were mutual. The only problem was the distance. She in Rhode Island and me in Kentucky.

So when we finally met in early summer, neither was 100% what to expect. We made a deal that if either of us wasn’t feeling it, we’d speak up. The initial meet up was awkward, but soon the ice melted and we both deeply enjoyed each others company. We had a great weekend and it ended too soon.

Before we had met face to face, I had asked her if she would consider moving to Kentucky but she was fairly vehemently opposed to the idea. She gave me a myriad of very good and valid reasons. I had put that idea to rest. Megan had even reached out to her and taken a shot at attempting to convince her, but to no avail.

Megan wanted to meet her. The stated reason was that if this person was going to be around her children, she wanted to know her first. In reality, that was but a small portion of her intent. She wanted Kayla to meet the children and I assumed she was going to take Kayla on an all expense paid trip to Guiltsville. No matter the intent, I totally welcomed the opportunity to be together again. So, I arranged for her to come down. With that we began the countdown.

I picked her up at the airport late that Friday evening, with the intention of spending more time together. We both were feeling very confident that we wanted to be together, but we felt this visit would cement things as much as possible. As planned, I would be starting the arduous process of moving to Providence. Alas, plans are sometimes better on paper.

We had an amazing weekend together, enjoying each other’s company. We had great food, were entertained by the children and continued to learn more and more about each other. Her and I, along with Megan and the kids went to the Louisville Science Center. During that visit, Megan and her sat down to talk. I was not invited or privy to the details. As I would learn later, I hadn’t given Megan enough credit for her salesmanship.

By the time the afternoon drew to a close, I could tell Kayla was heavily in thought. Once we were alone in the car, she started talking about moving to Louisville. At first, I didn’t take her talk serious, because she had previously had this discussion but then decided against it. She told me that during the conversation at the museum, Megan had excused herself to use the restroom. While Megan was gone, Kayla said that Hunter decided to share his food with her. Holding his hand out for her and then dropping a puff into her hand. I had never seen Hunter share his food with anyone. She said that was the moment where she started to come around to the idea of being here.

As the discussion progressed further, I realized this was a real thing. Initially, Kayla told me that she couldn’t make that decision, but she would move here if I asked her to. At that point, I started to cry. Not of joy, because I didn’t want to be the determining factor that took her away from her friends, her career and her political aspirations. In the end, we decided to not make any decisions that night. Instead, we got dressed up in our black dresses and heels, put on our lipstick and went out to a lovely dinner.

On Sunday, we talked more about it. I still was not pressuring her to move here. I wanted it to be her decision. I told her that in a perfect world that yes, I did want her to move here. I explained that it would make things much easier for me, but it would mean her giving up a lot of things. Ultimately, we let fate decide. We flipped a cap from a bottle of Amber Bock. Looking back, I don’t know that it would have mattered if it came up the other way, but that was that. She said “Welp, looks like I’m moving to fucking Kentucky. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

It was an emotional afternoon. We steamed up a huge dinner of crab legs and potatoes and proceeded to eat ourselves toward a food coma. There was some what of a strange feeling in the air. I was content with this new arrangement, but she was still grappling with the decision she had just made. We also had a conversation regarding the appropriate time to tell Megan. Initially, I thought we should wait until certain things were more concrete.

In the end, We decided to tell Megan and I called her later that evening. She was sitting down for a late dinner at a restaurant, so I made it a short call. I told her that I was not leaving and that Kayla was going to move here to be with me. She was ecstatic and just said “thank you thank you thank you thank you.” I told her we’d talk more later and to enjoy her dinner.

Monday was bittersweet, because Kayla had to go back to Providence. This time there were less tears when we were saying our goodbyes, because we knew it was just a temporary situation. A means to an end. A time for her to get her affairs in order. For me it would be an opportunity to get the house cleaned up in such a way that it would be ready for her. It was important to make sure that she could come here and make a home that she enjoyed. To ensure that she wasn’t trying to dig out a place in the ruins of the marriage of Megan and I.

With that in mind, I will fly from Louisville International Airport after work on the evening of Friday, August 26th arriving at nearly 1am on Saturday at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick. In the morning, when daylight comes, Kayla and I will drive out of Rhode Island on our way through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio before crossing the Ohio River back into the bluegrass state. I am certain that this will be a very emotional journey for Kayla. To leave a place she had said she was never leaving just months ago will be hard. I will be eternally indebted to her for that sacrifice and I am so humbled by that.

I am so excited about this next chapter in our lives. Only time will tell where the story takes us, but the words “So dust off your highest hopes” that Taylor Swift sang in “Everything Has Changed” ring so true right now. My biggest hope is that everyone will welcome Kayla, because I love her very much and her happiness here is of paramount importance to me. <3

Much more to come….