Cindy Robertson's page

81 posts. Alias of Bob_Loblaw.


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Thursday, 11/7/19, I start my injections. I'm incredibly nervous. I don't know if anyone remembers, but 4 years ago today, I nearly died from blood clots from a complication from heparin. I am now at greater risk for blood clots. It was a venal clot, which is apparently the worst kind. They were everywhere, but the biggest one was in my brain. Estrogen puts me at greater risk and having a venal clot puts me at an even higher risk. I will be starting with a low dose and I will be closely monitored. I'm still terrified. I have to do this. I will be safe. There's no point in doing this if it's just going to kill me. I have a lot of support. I'm going to make sure that my friends and coworkers know what the signs are so they can be aware before I am.

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Today, on National Coming Out Day, I started my hormone replacement therapy!

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Freehold DM wrote:
Cindy Robertson wrote:

I got a new shirt yesterday. I shared it in a dice group on Facebook and it inevitably lead to the predictable question of "what are the straight colors?". The comment has since been deleted, but the fact that the non-oppressed and completely accepted majority asks that question is precisely why we don't need straight colors. (Yes, I know about the black & white and the blue & purple/pink). It's incredibly annoying.

I also tend to somehow piss people off when I just use the word cis to just say non-trans. It's getting tiresome to have to explain to some people over and over and over and over again why it's not an offensive word.

that's strange. I could have SWORN I saw some straight ally dice not long ago. I think it was another(cheaper!) set of sexuality dice.

While I have of heard some people attempt to turn cis into a slur of some kind, that is the currently accepted term, yes? I work in the human sexuality field, but I am getting older/set in my ways/forgetful.

Not ally colors, but just straight colors.

As for the word cis, no matter what word is used, it's going to be seen as a slur by a small group of people. They just don't want a label. Welcome to our world.

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I got a new shirt yesterday. I shared it in a dice group on Facebook and it inevitably lead to the predictable question of "what are the straight colors?". The comment has since been deleted, but the fact that the non-oppressed and completely accepted majority asks that question is precisely why we don't need straight colors. (Yes, I know about the black & white and the blue & purple/pink). It's incredibly annoying.

I also tend to somehow piss people off when I just use the word cis to just say non-trans. It's getting tiresome to have to explain to some people over and over and over and over again why it's not an offensive word.

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They sell fast. See if your FLGS can stock them. Mine does and they sold faster than anyone expected.

They are also getting ready to release translucent ones.

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I don't know who here collects dice, but you should check out Heartbeat dice. They are tailor made just for us!

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I'm thoroughly impressed with how fast things are going for me. It seems like it's taking a long time, but I'm also building up some very important skills along the way to make the transitioning easier. I see the endocrinologist in October about HRT. I see speech therapy in November. I also join a trans group in November with the VA. Hopefully they can help me find ways to get electrolysis covered. The VA won't pay for it, but I may be able to either get my insurance to pay for it or they can help me find someone else who can.

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Things are getting better and better every single day. My dad sent me a friend request. I had shut down my male Facebook account. I didn't send him a request because I assumed that he didn't want to be bothered with this. I was wrong.

I went to my favorite game store as Cindy instead of Bob. I just walked in and sat down. I didn't make any announcements to anyone that I was going to do it. One of the employees (she knows all about me) complimented my outfit. About an hour later I was adjusting my bra and one of the female gamers I've known for years said, "bras suck, don't they?" About 30 minutes after we failed to save the world in Eldritch Horror, several of us stayed to keep playing other games. She said, "so what should I call you now?"

Those were the only 3 comments on the situation. Not a single person had an issue with it at all.

There are a few people who go there that I am concerned about. I've already spoken to the owners and the employees. Since then, they have put up signs on the door that say "everyone is welcome" and it's on a rainbow background. They have also changed the signs on the bathrooms to no longer be gender specific. They told me that they will deal with things as they need to, but I don't have anything to be concerned with. If someone takes it upon themselves to attack me, then they are at fault and will be asked to not return. The same rule applies to me: if I attack someone, then I'm the instigator and I would be asked to not return. That sounds very reasonable to me.

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I don't post very often, but I do like to come back and give good news. On Wednesday I did what I thought was impossible. I went to the VA in a dress for my first appointment in the women's clinic. I didn't have anyone there to hold my hand and help me. I did it on my own.

I spent the entire day as myself. I had several anxiety attacks throughout the day. I survived though, and that's a huge plus for me.

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I came out to my boss and HR today. I have their support.

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Vanykrye wrote:
Cindy Robertson wrote:

I've been using the VA for my mental health care for a while now and I just started seeing someone to help me with transgender issues. She is going to have me see an endocrinologist to discuss HRT. As of today, I have an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria. My coordinator thinks that it's possible to link my depression, anxiety, and panic disorder to my service because I served prior to Don't Ask, Don't Tell and at the height of the AIDS scare. He thinks that things got worse because I was unable to seek help because it would have meant the end of my career.

I know it sounds weird to be happy to have that diagnosis, but I think it's awesome because that means that I can progress down the appropriate path, whatever that may be, with proper care.

I know this is a bit late, but I just caught up on the last 100+ posts, and this one struck a chord for me.

When it comes to the VA, having the diagnosis is everything.

I'm not going to get into the well-publicized issues the VA has had at the national level over the years, but I can say that the VA system where I live was nothing but spectacular for my father. They did everything they could to help him and went out of their way to continue to help him even when he was an obstinate, stubborn SOB. You know, his default mode.

But finally getting his PTSD diagnosed meant that he was automatically eligible for a host of benefits including serious financial aid for his housing and getting the proper care that he needed. It was like entire worlds opened up for him. He refused to see it, but it was everything.

I'm noticing that the VA mental health support is outstanding. I have been nothing short of impressed. I am hoping that getting a rating will help me get even more care.

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This week has been one of the most eventful weeks I've had and this month has been one that I can say I'm truly proud of myself (see how I made it about Pride?).

I'm seeing a therapist who specializes in transgender issues. She's outstanding. With the current administration's stance on LGBT issues and specifically trans issues and the military, I have decided that I can't keep pushing myself backwards. I need to pull myself forward. I've been going out of my way to be myself. It's not easy and I struggle to do it every day.

I spent one day at my favorite games store for a few hours as myself, mostly. I was there with one of the owner's wife and one of her friends. It wasn't very busy, which helped me from having a huge panic attack.

I've gone in and out of the VA mental health clinic fully dressed up with makeup on and everything. I'm getting pretty good at it and as long as I'm not speaking, most people don't really notices that I'm trans.

I've set the expectations for the two groups that I'm in at the VA by showing up on day one as myself.

My brother and his family are visiting from NH. I spent the day as myself with them for the first time. He only made one mistake with my name, and I didn't correct him. He made the correction himself the next time he said something to me. No apology, just a correction. That's how I like it. I don't want words. I want action. His kids (11 and 8) were worried that they would forget to use the right name and pronouns, but they were correct the entire day. They were so happy to spend time with me. They never once treated me as anyone other than their aunt CJ or aunt Cindy. I was also not misgendered a single time by strangers or people I was doing business with. No one treated me as anyone other than a woman who was just spending her money.

I was going to try and hit the Trans Pride March, but I couldn't make it. Today I'm going to the Seattle Symphony to listen to them perform the entire score to Empire Strikes Back and I'm going to be wandering around the Seattle Center with a friend or two so we can enjoy Pride and just hanging out as friends are wont to do.

I'm getting closer and closer to living as myself every day. I'm pushing myself out of my comfort zone and making it happen. I'm doing it by making it harder for myself to go backwards.

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If you don't like the food and don't want to frequent them because of that, that's ok. You can still recommend them and support them through other means.

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I've been using the VA for my mental health care for a while now and I just started seeing someone to help me with transgender issues. She is going to have me see an endocrinologist to discuss HRT. As of today, I have an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria. My coordinator thinks that it's possible to link my depression, anxiety, and panic disorder to my service because I served prior to Don't Ask, Don't Tell and at the height of the AIDS scare. He thinks that things got worse because I was unable to seek help because it would have meant the end of my career.

I know it sounds weird to be happy to have that diagnosis, but I think it's awesome because that means that I can progress down the appropriate path, whatever that may be, with proper care.

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Last night I spent a few hours with Owen Stephens, his wife LJ, Stan!, Alex Augunas, Perram (from Know Direction) and a bunch of others for a pre-Paizocon gathering at AFK Tavern in Everett. I spent the time as myself. Everyone was incredibly wonderful. They all used the correct name and pronouns. There was even someone I knew from another game tavern who recognized my face and had no problems at all using the proper names and pronoun.

I had spent the day at the VA speaking with someone about my journey as a trans person. It was our first meeting. She is going to be wonderful at helping me navigate all of this. I presented as myself. I only had one dirty look from one of the employees, but that was the only negative interaction.

And, this may seem like something minor, I used the women's restroom without an escort. I usually feel like I might be intimidating because of my size so I like to make sure that the other women feel safe when I go in. I had to pee really bad and I figured that I might as well go for it.

Anyway, I had a wonderful and productive day!

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Today was a huge milestone success story for me. I spent all day at the VA going to appointments while presenting as myself. I was there from 830 to 4. That's a long time to be interacting with a wide variety of people.

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CrystalSeas wrote:

Sad face:

Caster Semenya

That's rather stupid. So she's a cis woman who has too much testosterone? What about the men who have lower than average testosterone? Do they have to raise theirs to be able to compete with the men?

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VixieMoondew wrote:

In other words, a transvestite is usually a guy who saw a dress and said, “yeah, that’d be comfy, but I’m still a guy. I’m just a guy in a dress.”

Eddie Izzard is a great example.

“They’re not women’s clothes; I bought them, they’re my clothes!”

I found out recently that Izzard identifies as trans and came out 30 years ago. Oddly, I'm only hearing about it in the last few months. I don't know which pronouns they prefer, but it seems like "he/him". The quote is still true though. They are Izzard's, not "his or her" clothing.

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Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Fair enough.

In my head, I had based my definition of trans on the assumption of being uncomfortable with one's born genitals. So, thinking out loud here...

What's the difference between transgender and transvestite? I had set up the difference in my head as 'likes to dress as other gender' and 'wants to physically be other gender.' But if the latter isn't always true, is there any hard qualitative difference? Or is this a spectrum situation?

Thanks for the help; as I mentioned, my understanding is very limited.

Transgender is an umbrella term that simply means that you don't identify as the gender you were assigned at birth. It's a very broad umbrella, but that's really all it means.

Cis people identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. That's the vast majority of people in the world.

Transvestites commonly wear clothing that is not the social norm for their gender. It's basically a cross-dresser. It's falling out of vogue because it's really not a good term. It assumes a binary world of gender. Instead of transvestite we are moving into gender-non-conforming or non-binary because those terms cover more ground.

Transvestites are often seen as fetishists and even though there are some men (and it's only applied to men because we have a patriarchal world) who do this for sexual pleasure, not all do and most people seem to associate the term with the act of sex.

I hope that helps.

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Hello everyone. I know that I've been out for a while. I don't really come to the boards much anymore because I don't currently play Pathfinder or Starfinder. I will need to stay up on things soon.

My life has been very hectic. I suffer from extreme panic attacks. My doctors have been working with me to deal with them. The therapy makes me feel worse. I don't like it at all. I'm going through this before I go through therapy to deal with being trans. I have no idea what that's going to be like so I want to make sure I have tools in place to deal with the emotions that will come up very strongly.

I've been reading a book called You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery. It's a workbook written by a therapist who works as a gender therapist. It's not a light read or work at all. It makes you really look at yourself and ask a lot of questions. I'm having a transmale friend help me through this.

I'm currently in an LGBT group at the VA and it's sorta helping. Last week I went to my panic attack therapy appointment mostly as myself. It was the first time I went into the VA like that. I had a friend come with me for moral support. He is a great friend and I'm glad that he's in my life. It's nice having cis allies who are just there accepting you for you and not interfering with things unless it's asked for.

Anyway, after that we went to a friend's place so that I could finish getting changed so that I could go out to lunch with someone I had never met who was in the area to see her doctor. We all went out to Red Robin for lunch and I was treated as just a normal customer by the staff. My online friend brought a friend and they were both great. At no point did they make me feel uncomfortable. I was misgendered once, but she didn't apologize. She simply changed her words and moved on. Her actions were the apology. She didn't make it about herself and that's what I need to feel accepted and loved.

On a slightly different note, I am working on converting some of the material I've bought over the years from Pathfinder to 13th Age. I know that I can do it legally, but I asked one of the designers if he would mind if I did it and posted the conversions. He said that he would rather pay me if he likes it. So I accidentally got a chance to start getting some of my stuff published and I might be able to make a few coins on the side. I submitted my first one and now I'm just waiting to see if he likes it. Poor guy and his wife have been sick or injured several times since I submitted it so I'm just trying to be patient (which isn't always my strongest trait). I know that they are both very busy outside of this one part of their lives.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in and say hello.

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Thank you all for working hard to make the world a better place. Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Thank you all for doing your part in making that list shorter and shorter as more and more of us work on being ourselves. Yes, the list is getting longer right now, but statistically it's actually getting smaller.

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On a positive note: the bariatric group I'm in on Facebook has 16,000 members and more than 90% are women. This is their first year doing an annual awards and they have put me in the running with everyone else. I'm not just in there, I'm currently in the lead by a wide margin. They all know that I'm trans. They all have seen current pictures of me. I'm certainly not the prettiest person in the group. It's really just a great feeling to be listed along with all the other ladies. It's an even better feeling that they are voting for me.

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Thanks everyone. I've been so busy with so many things and not really playing any Paizo systems right now that I haven't been on the boards much. I feel like I'm being abandoned, but I know that it's the right thing for me to do. It's just really hard. I have another group that I'm in where everyone is accepting, they just don't all know. I haven't come out to all of them yet and because we game at the same store where the group I just left also games, I am now at odds with what I should do about coming out more.

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I just had to drop out of one of my game groups. I was talking about transgender people and half of the group (2 out of 4, both of whom are men) said that they don't think that trans people exist and that it's all BS. They said that it flies in the face of science and that it's a new phenomenon. Even though I was able to show them that it's only new if you discount the 4,000 years of charting it through history (we see 3 genders shown in ancient Egypt) and I tried explaining the science.

One of them actually said to me that if I came out as transgender that he would still call me Bob and refer to me as male. That was the straw for me. He had said only a few hours earlier that he considered me one of his closest friends. I don't think he understands what that word means.

I really enjoyed the games most of the time. I just cannot be friends with people who dismiss my very existence.

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Selene Spires wrote:

Hey everyone...being dealing with frustration and just being depressed lately. I just not moving along anything...and I can not. Money issues and my living situation just makes it impossible.

And recently I had a dream where my father found out...it was not a good dream

Worst...right now I just don't feel like I have anybody to talk too.

I really understand how you feel. I was like this for a very long time. I wish I had answers or suggestions. I hope you are able to get things going in a positive direction sooner than later.

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For my birthday (it's on Monday), can I ask a favor? I know that man know about the child in Oklahoma who was threatened for being trans. Can I ask that you send a card full of love to the school to make sure that she gets it? Her name is Maddy. The school's address is:

Achille Public Schools
P.O. Box 280
Achille, OK 74720-0280

She needs to know that she is loved and that this world loves her. She should never feel fear simply for existing.

I want to make it clear that the school, school district, and the local police are limited by Oklahoma laws and they are supportive of her. Please make sure that you do not attack the school or the district. Only show her love. Together we can and will make this world a better place.

I'm really struggling trying to find a trans friendly place to live that's affordable. Even in Washington, people will openly discriminate. It's a private home renting out a single room. It's all women who live there. They don't want a man living there. I tried to explain that I'm not a man no matter what my ID or voice says. I don't want to sue. It really won't help me right now. I'm actually wondering what the legalities are though because the ad didn't say anything about anyone's gender. It was mentioned on the phone before I said I was trans. I understand wanting to be safe or comfortable in your own home. I just wish that it was said up front.

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I know that I don't post much at all anymore. I just want to pop in and say that things are going ok. I have been trying to take bigger steps. I have gone out several times in a way that feels most comfortable to me. I'm still terrified, but it's only by facing that fear will I learn to love and accept myself the way my friends do.

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I can't go to Pride this year. My new job has me working. That's ok. I need to make money.

The VA did have a Pride celebration though and that was fun. One of the old-timers was whining that "in my day we kicked them gays out like they should have been." The associate director was talking to us and he overheard it. I love his response. "Sir, unlike when you were serving, you are under no obligation to show up for formation anymore. You can either enjoy your free ice cream or go about your business."

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

I haven't had issues in PbP, but I have had some issues with misgendering of characters in 'meatspace' play.

That being said, GMs in question were having other issues of respect in general.

I run into that problem often, but it's because I see the player and I don't always remember their character's gender. This is one reason why my characters are always male. I usually present as male and it's just easier on everyone.

That being said, the vast majority of the time it doesn't matter what gender the character is in my campaigns. There are sometimes when it might matter, but not often.

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Jacinta Skye wrote:

Congratulations on being so brave and reaching out to your parents Cindy, I'm glad that things went okay for you. Sorry to hear that the rest of your family might not be so understanding if you told them.

It's good you have the support of your folks at least.

I knew that my sister would not be accepting long ago. To be honest, I don't think that she is accepting that I'm even alive so her opinion means very little to me. I don't see my aunt very often so her opinion also means very little.

My concern is always about how family get togethers will be. I just want to enjoy time with family and not get into fights about superficial things.

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Selene Spires wrote:

*Cheers Cindy and hug*

Hopefully one day I will get a similar reaction from the rest of my family.

I still need to keep it from a few members of my family. My choice, but my parents understand why I would want to. My sister honestly hates that I exist. If I were to go to any family functions there would be some serious problems. She's not happy that I call her out on raising her kids to be racists (they are all over 18 now). She's not happy that I call them out on being racists. She's not happy that I don't put up with her stupid conspiracy theories. I just have no place for that in my life from anyone.

If I were to show up like this, she would start a fight and then my family would have to make a choice and they would be practical. She lives 15 minutes away from them and I live almost 2 hours away. She would be told to leave. Then she would think that they took my side when they really didn't want to take any sides.

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My mom called. She said they read the email and she said that they love me and that nothing has changed about how they feel.

I'm so very glad that I did this. A huge weight is gone.

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I sent this email to my parents yesterday. I don't know if or when they will respond.

There's something that has been on my mind for a very long time. I have known for most of my life that I'm not like everyone else in the family. I have wanted to say something, but I had no idea what was different. The last few years I've been spending my time trying to understand more of who I am and what it is that makes me different from the rest of the family. I still don't know everything about who I am. I do know that I am transgender. That doesn't mean that I think I am a woman. It just means that I know that I am not male on the inside. I really don't understand it much more than that. I'm currently in therapy to help understand this more. It's going to take me a long time to understand it and even accept myself.

Almost every time we've talked about things and there was a long silence I debated if I should say anything. I always chose not to. I can't say the words out loud. I was and still am afraid that it would be the last time we get to speak or see each other. I may be in my 40s, but I still feel like I want the love and acceptance of my parents. I have come to terms with not really being a part of the family and there are a lot of reasons for that with no blame to be thrown around.

If you do still love me and want me as part of the family, please do me one favor and don't discuss this with anyone else. Clay is the only one who knows and he doesn't know very much. Right now I have no intention or desire to visit anyone appearing as someone you aren't familiar with.

If you have any questions about what this means I will do my best to answer them. Know that I really don't understand it all myself yet.


I really would love for them to say something soon. I don't know when I'll get a good night's sleep if they take too long.

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Another milestone met today. Not only did I try things on in the store, but I did it when there were other people in the store. Someone was using the fitting rooms. The sales associate immediately used female pronouns the second my friend mentioned them as just a normal part of the conversation. I tried on a bunch of things.

I'm super stoked! I'm also seriously thinking about dying my hair. I may want to slow down a little bit, but I'm really feeling like I'm making a lot of progress and I don't want to break that momentum until I feel like I need to.

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Selene Spires wrote:

So it is Bar-B-Que season so I have been going to lots of large gatherings of people(there has been two and more on the way...my Satsuma are going to be busy)...most who don't know I am trans...so there large feelings of gender dysphoria and frustration...but the last time I had a friend introduce me as Selene...it got people looking away and than pretty much ignoring me for the rest of the day.

In good news there is a poly group that my friend connections runs with somebody who wanted more of a spectrum of lgbt+ folk so I started going to these meeting. Most only know me as Selene and it is friendly group of people.

Just a little update...I have been lurking mostly because I just generally feel frustrated and lonely.

Something that I have been doing is going by a nickname that works no matter how I am presenting. I go by CJ when I want to be Cindy, but I'm presenting as Bob or if it may be uncomfortable for me to be called Cindy for whatever reason. Maybe a nickname might help. It's also less formal so people may be more receptive.

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Freehold DM wrote:
Cindy Robertson wrote:

For anyone who is wondering, Sephora is not only trans inclusive, they have classes for non-binary and trans women and their allies to learn makeup and it's free!

It's called "CLASSES FOR CONFIDENCE: BOLD BEAUTY FOR THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY" you can find it at the bottom of the page here. It's not available in all areas, but it looks like they really are trying to do the opposite of what I see other companies do. They are trying to bring in business by catering to people!

Yes. I signed up for the one in Tacoma on 6/5.

after my poor experiences with my moms ignorance of male hygiene and style needs during puberty especially, I have wondered if I should take such classes in case I have a daughter.

There are men who learn how to apply makeup and style hair just so they can help their daughters. The worst that can happen is that you will be able to help your friends with tips if they need it.

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For anyone who is wondering, Sephora is not only trans inclusive, they have classes for non-binary and trans women and their allies to learn makeup and it's free!

It's called "CLASSES FOR CONFIDENCE: BOLD BEAUTY FOR THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY" you can find it at the bottom of the page here. It's not available in all areas, but it looks like they really are trying to do the opposite of what I see other companies do. They are trying to bring in business by catering to people!

Yes. I signed up for the one in Tacoma on 6/5.

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Update on how the walk went. I did it. We walked 1.5 miles. It started off on back roads, but about 1/3 of the way through I suggested that we walk along a busy road on the way back.

I have a blister because cute sandals don't mean great for walking.

But I did it.

I also got my ears pierced this week. I'll be able to wear dice earrings for my birthday! Woot!

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This evening I'm planning on going for a walk as myself. I have a lot of support. My friend, her fiance, and her 18-year-old son all said that they will put on dresses and we can all go for a walk together. The only things that will hold me back are my fear and my knee. My knee really has been in pain for about a month and the VA can't see me until the end of the month.

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One of my friends used to be a manager at Lane Bryant and she said that it was a constant problem in the stores she worked in. She tried to change the culture but couldn't so she left (there were other reasons as well).

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Selene Spires wrote:

Congrats on the new job...

And way to go dress shopping by yourself...I have not done that yet...I am kinda stalled. :(

I found a store that treats me like a person and not a freak. I had gone there with a friend a few times already so I figured that it was time to see if I could at least go to a familiar place. I won't shop at any other Torrid because I don't know the team at those stores and I'm terrified of how they would treat me. One in particular concerns me because the Lane Bryant in the same mall treats me like I'm some sort of evil.

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It's been a while since I've posted, but I wanted to share a milestone with everyone. I had planned on celebrating my new job (yes, I finally got a job! I just haven't started yet because of the drug screen and background check) with a couple new dresses. I had planned on going out with a friend so I crashed at her place. The next day she had to drive out to take care of paperwork for her new car so it would have to be done in the early evening. I wanted to try things on in the store and I wasn't sure if I could do it when there are a lot of people shopping. So I asked her if I could borrow her apartment keys and I would see her when she got back.

I went to Torrid alone and tried on 4 dresses. I left with 2 of them. No one came with me. I did it all on my own. I know that it seems like it should be no big deal, but I overcame a huge fear of mine. I also sent a personal message to Torrid about how wonderful their staff is. They really made sure that I felt comfortable and welcome.

Oh, and the dresses are super cute.

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She thought so too. Now to find a pendant of a scallop so we can get "achievement unlocked 3/12/18" engraved on it.

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So she got the flowers. She loved them! These are the ones that I got for her.

I'm struggling to find the pendant I want to get her.

She is so very happy with how things have turned out. Her surgery was a huge success. It's making me think about a few things for myself.

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Hey everyone! I'm still here, lurking and watching everyone's stories. I have been very depressed and not really interested in conversations.

I am poking my head in to say hello! A very good friend of mine just had her gender confirmation surgery and it went very well. She's so very happy to be on to a new journey. Today she should be getting flowers from a bunch of us. She doesn't know that they are coming. We went with tulips because they represent Spring which is about rebirth. We found rainbow ones that would represent her LGBT status. I'm sure she will love them.

A funny story she said was about when they were unpacking the gauze from her new undercarriage, she told the nurse that it looked like a clown car! It was 7 feet of gauze!

Anyway, it's making me think about my own journey and where I want to go. She's an inspiration to me. I started going to an LGBT group at the VA. I don't know if I like the group though. It just feels like a bunch of people whining instead of people looking for solutions. We shall see though. I've only been to one session so far.

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I had a great day yesterday. I had headaches and dizziness and fell a couple times. I had to press the button on the heart monitor each time. I didn't even feel like getting dressed up.

I was still called by the right name and gender. I enjoyed a great meal with great people. Played a few games. Lost all of them. Took some naps.

Fun was had by all.

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So I'm probably going to be spending Thanksgiving as myself for the first time ever. I don't have any money to contribute to the dinner, and my friends said that it was perfectly fine. I just got really lucky and managed to get an almost full Thanksgiving spread for free!

The Buy Nothing Group that I'm in has a few people offering to those who are in need. Someone offered:

13 pound turkey
Ms Smith's Pumpkin Pie (not gluten free)
Crispy Onions (contains Wheat)
2 packages of sugar cookie mix
Creamy Mash (gluten free)
Cut Sweet Potatoes (canned, gluten free)
2 Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
4 cans of Cut Green Beans

Someone else is making homemade cranberry sauce and is going to be donating it. From her post, she's trying to make enough so that everyone who said they were interested could get a jar.

Another member was gifted the dinner, but then he saw that I was in need and drove it over to me so that I could have it. I never asked him to. He sent me a message and offered. He and I don't get along well all the time, but he's a good guy and I am very grateful for people like him. Just goes to show that you don't have to get along with people perfectly to still do nice things.

Remember to always pay it forward. Good things will come to you even when you don't think so. I know that I don't always think so, but this is one of those times when I love being proven wrong.

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So my life got flipped, turned upside down. I have to move because I have no way to pay rent. The good news is that I managed to get enough donations and support from community resources to complete my lease so I will not have an eviction on my record.

I have to move into a spare bedroom so most of my stuff will be leaving. I won't be able to store it anywhere. I'm not sure what I'm going to keep, but much of my identity may have to be packed up because I won't have the room to store all parts of me.

I was invited to Thanksgiving as Cindy. It would be the first time I would be with people for a holiday. I know that it's a safe place. I also know that there will be several trans people and non-binary people there. I have met almost everyone who will be there. Some have already met both parts of me and have been 100% supportive and accepting.

I don't know what I'm going to do though because it's the day before I have to move out and my stress levels are getting higher and higher.

Also, even though it's obvious, I did not harm myself even though I had seriously considered it. I am not out of danger yet, but I'm feeling more hopeful. I am not actively trying to harm myself at this time.

I am sorry if I scared anyone. I never wanted to do that to you. I have been lurking because you are all my friends and I needed to see what was going on in your lives.

Stay strong my friends.

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I know that I've been absent for a bit. I've been reading, but not really partaking in conversation. I'm struggling with a few things, one of which is debilitating headaches that have been causing me to go to the ER and/or miss work. It's frustrating because the doctors acknowledge that they are getting worse, but they aren't prescribing anything for the pain. There are plenty of non-narcotic options that can help. Instead, they want me to be patient and wait until a CT scan can be done in 2 weeks. It's not easy for me to wait that long because every time I miss work I miss money that I could use for something extravagant, like rent.

Anyway, happy belated birthday to everyone!

I'm part of a bariatric weight loss group and I was selected to be their Inspirational Story of the Week. This is what I wrote:


Well, it looks like yours truly has been selected to give her inspirational story!
This may be a little confusing so bear with me. I wasn't always the beautiful woman you see before you. At one point I was a semi-handsome man. I was skinny. Really skinny. I could hide behind a pencil skinny. Then I joined the Army and put on a lot of muscle in basic training. I was injured and my metabolism slowed down, but my eating habits didn't. I also had a bunch of undiagnosed mental health problems.
I left the Army and started putting on weight. It was slow, but it was happening. I got married and then divorced (that's a different story for another time). This triggered some really deep depression. I needed a lot of medication. Those of you who have taken antidepressants know that a very common side effect is weight gain. The doctors were more concerned with keeping me from killing myself than they were with the weight gain. I ended up putting on over 100 pounds in a year.
I was eventually diagnosed with diabetes. The side effects of those meds are all weight gain. The solution to diabetes is weight loss. What a conundrum! I really tried to lose the weight. I went to gyms. I completely changed my diet. I went for walks. I would lose 10 to 20 pounds and then put on 30 to 40. I went from 165 pounds in July 1989 to 380 pounds in December 2014. I was still gaining weight. My ankle injury was getting worse. I was developing neuropathy in my feet as well, making exercise more and more difficult.
My psychiatrist had talked to me for a couple years about the surgery. My PCP didn't want me to do it. My brother ended up doing it himself and lost a good chunk of weight. Then my friend and his wife both had the surgery. I began the process. My psychiatrist spoke with my PCP and they agreed that I had done as much as I could on my own and I now needed another tool.
During my 6 months of nutrition appointments, I ended up losing 20 pounds and then put on only 10 or so. The neuropathy was so bad that I would sit at work (I have a job where standing and walking for 8 hours is the expectation) and cry because nothing would touch the pain. My feet were on fire and numb at the same time. I could hardly sleep.
So I finally got my surgery date (October 2015) and my brother came out to visit to help for the first week. At this point, I had already told him a bit about myself, but I continued to present as male because I didn't think it was the right time. It was great having him here. I don't get to see him very often.
After he fly home, I ended up having a major complication. There is a very rare complication that can occur from Heparin. It's called Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, or HIT. I had the more common version which takes 7 to 10 days to manifest. I ended up with blood clots throughout my brain and abdomen. I called a friend to drive me to the ER. By the time I got there (about 30 minutes) I went from walking around and speaking to needing to be wheeled around and no longer knowing who I was. I went to one ER and woke up in a completely different hospital a couple days later, still unaware of what what going on. I barely knew my own name. I had no idea what the date was. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and out of work for another 2 months recovering. Then I went back to work. (Funny story to go along with this: I play role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. If you roll well enough you can critically hit your opponent. When I woke up I was in the ICU. There was a sign above my head that read: CRITICAL HIT. I was in critical condition and I had a HIT. I was laughing so hard once I was aware of my surroundings because I am one of the few people I know who has actually felt what it's like to be critically hit!)
I couldn't keep food down. I would throw up every day. It was to the point that I didn't want to eat because I was afraid that I would throw up. I was on 4 different antiemetics and they barely helped. I would be in the ER every few days because of dehydration. I even had to be rescued from work when I collapsed. I know that the surgeon didn't want to remove my gallbladder at this point because I was on blood thinners and another surgery so soon was not a good idea. He eventually decided that it had to go. We set up the appointment. He joked that he should have another surgeon in there just in case his problem child causes any more problems. Turns out that he made the right choice. I bled out a bit and had to stay in there another day. At least I'm predictable.
I was so much better within days. I could work full time. I could eat. I had to experiment now to see what wouldn't cause dumping, but at least I could function again! I had no idea that the gallbladder could fail because of the surgery. My brother told me that they mentioned it, but I honestly don't remember. To be fair, I'm missing memories from the minor brain damage. There is a small part of my brain that still has no blood flow. It's just a black circle on the scans.
Here I am, down 125 pounds total. I feel so much better. My goal weight is 220. I know that women should be less than that for a proper BMI, but I don't care. That's a good weight for me. I may identify as female sometimes and male at others so I use the male values because they make more sense to me. 220 is still higher than the BMI says, and I still don't care. That's what I was when I left the Army and that's what I want to be again.
The one thing I'm really looking forward to doing is indoor skydiving. The maximum weight is 250. I'm fluctuating between 260 and 275. It's right within reach. I just need to actually start exercising. That's the hardest thing for me. I knew that it would be.
Honestly, the one thing that I'm really hoping for is not the skydiving, or swimming, or hiking, or anything like that. I want to be able to begin hormone replacement therapy and go on my next journey. I want to make sure that I am at a comfortable weight so I can have a more feminine figure. I know that it may seem odd to many, but I don't want to look like a man in a dress. I want to look like a woman in a dress.
So that's my story so far. I have a long journey ahead. I'm slowly working on the next steps. There are some major hurdles I need to overcome, and they are political issues (I would be getting treatment through the VA) so I don't want to get into that because it's all speculation and not productive.
I'm willing to answer just about any questions you have. I hope those of you who haven't gone through the surgery yet aren't scared because of my setbacks. There is only a 1-5% chance of having a HIT. There was only a roughly 10% chance of coming out of it mostly unscathed. That means that there was only 0.9% chance of this being a major problem with a less experienced team. I will forever be grateful for the surgery team at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. Dr Hunter was amazing. His staff was amazing.

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone!

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