Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Realization About My Emotions

Realized something else over the last week or two.  This is how this entire thought process progressed.

I've been horribly obsessed with trying to find someone.  This loneliness has been driving me mad.  I've gone to clubs, I've joined 3 dating sites, I've tried flirting with and hitting on pretty much everyone and anyone that seemed even remotely interesting and not a total ass or stupid, will never be desperate enough to be ok being with someone that's stupid.  But anyhow, I've tried everything I could think of.  I keep getting advice to just chill, go out, have fun, do whatever I normally do and I'll find someone.  To me that feels like giving up though.

A friend of mine suggested I wait until after my surgery when things were more settled down to worry about finding a relationship.  And that's probably true, a lot of people don't want to get in a relationship and deal with all this immediately.  I had hoped I'd be lucky enough to find that exception.  But waiting also means being alone now.  And right now it SUCKS.  And I guess part of me was hoping to have someone that would go through this with me.  I guess I had kinda wanted to be able to say I was with someone that wanted to be with me even before the operation.  I know, that seems ridiculous really.  I mean who cares right?

Then I got some more advice about enjoy what I have now while I have it.  So I thought about that a lot.  And I do have a lot right now.  I have a ton of amazing friends.  I have plenty of stuff to do.  I feel like I'm giving back to the community and helping to educate others when I get to speak or anything along those lines.  I have people that love me in various ways and at various levels.  But then I keep thinking, I don't have someone for me though, ya know?  And it's hard to focus on enjoying what I do have because my mind just wants to dwell on what I don't have.

My recent freak out over surgery though made me think about a lot of things differently.  Including this whole "trying to find someone" thing.  And what I have realized is I do need to wait until after surgery to try and find anything serious.  Not because it will be easier, but because I have come to realize I am not currently emotionally stable enough for a relationship.  If I were to find one I'm not sure I could handle anything going wrong or any of the problems that I know would likely arise.  Just too many thoughts and worries of my own right now.  And so on that note, I probably am better off just trying to enjoy what I have and not get into something I probably can't handle right now even though I want to.

And then I have to also consider that everything I have now may change at any time.  There's no guarantee from minute to minute that things won't change.  And who knows how things will change after my surgery.  Who knows how I'll feel about anyone or anything.  And dwelling on trying to find someone or what the future will be like only takes away from enjoying the happiness I have now while I have it.  I have a lot of good things going for me right now.  Friends, people I talk to every day, things I enjoy doing, places I enjoy being.  I really need to enjoy now.  I do have people that care and want to be with me, even if they're thousands of miles away or not wanting to be with me for the same reasons I want to be with them.  I'm certainly not alone.  I have an asston of friends, many of which are always wanting to hang out with me.

Now this in no way means I'm giving up.  I'm certainly not deleting my dating site profiles or anything.  I'm still going out places and looking.  I guess what it boils down to is I don't care anymore.  Right now I really can only focus on my upcoming surgery.  It's hard to think about anyone or anything else right now.  So just going to enjoy things as they are, focus on my surgery, and should something happen with someone along they way then yay, but I'm not putting forth the energy to worry about it anymore.

After my surgery, after I see how I feel about myself, about my life, the world.  After I get through this and have nothing major to worry about anymore and after I'm sure everything is done and turned out ok.  After all that when I don't feel like I have something I'm hiding from anyone I meet.  Then, I'll see about putting forth more effort to find someone.  But for now, just going to try and enjoy life.

And for any of the people I have been talking to or flirting with, don't think this means in any way that I don't still want to get to know you better and see what happens.  I just can't take any of it seriously right now.  I need to focus on myself first for the next 10ish months.

Another funny thing that I've realized is what it is I really want.  It's not some relationship or someone to love or sex or any of the many things I thought it was.  What I'm really looking for is just someone to hold me.  As simple and silly as that sounds.  I really just want to find someone that wants to hold me as much as I want to be held.  That's it.  Maybe I will find someone soon, maybe I won't.  But at least I have a better grasp on what I want and where I'm at and what I can handle right now.  So I guess that's a good thing right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So, I Freaked Out... About Surgery...

This bothered me so much when it happened I wasn't sure I wanted to share it with anyone.  But I was so freaked I needed to talk to someone.  So I called a very close and dear friend and told him.  He seemed a little surprised but really had nothing useful to say (no offense).  I decided to ask a close friend who's known me about 16 years.  He said it seems normal to him.  So I decided to ask someone else going through transition who's very outspoken and he also said it seemed normal to him.  Here's what happened and what I make of it after some thought.

First off, I FREAKED.  When I say freaked, you have NO idea.  Near as I can figure I must've been half asleep.  Because it's blurry in parts and it happened abruptly as if I woke up.  What I know is I was thinking, dreaming, not sure which, about the actual day of surgery.  I was imagining and visualizing all too well myself going in and getting the IV hooked up and heart monitors and those tight socks and hair net and all this.  And just the thought of me about to go unconscious and wake up with different parts.  I freaked.  I was suddenly horrified.  I mean I never felt such utter terror.  So it's at this point I figure I fully woke up.  Because I remember opening my eyes, having thought I was just laying there awake thinking, and I was suddenly faint, soaked in a cold, clammy sweat, and my heart was leaping out of my chest.  I started thinking things like, "omg I can't go through this, I'm scared, what am I doing, what am I going to do, omg".  This is when I started the above chain of talking to people.

My initial thought was that I was awake thinking, visualized it, got scared of losing parts and freaked and because I freaked I got scared and questioned my gender for the first time in 20+ years.  But then I did talk to those people.  And I did think about it.  And I did go over it a thousand times in my head and I realized what's really going on.  It's not gender related fear at all.  I still want the surgery more than anything in the world and have no doubts or hesitations about that.  The fear is just from "it" not being there.  Yeah I want it gone, of course.  But, it has been there 39+ years.  The thought of it not being there makes me a bit faint.  And I have been told a couple times that it's not really gone but turned inside out.  And yes, it is still there technically but that's not how my brain is processing it.  In my head I'm seeing it more as losing what i have and gaining something new.  And while I can't wait and am so excited over the gaining something new that I should've always had.  I am scared to lose something I've had so long.

This fear would be the same if it were a foot, a finger, an ear, whatever.  Just the thought of part of my body no longer being there.  Regardless of the awesome new parts.  I think a lot of this comes from things I've seen on TV and movies.  The stories you here about people losing body parts and what it feels like.  Just freaks me out some.  Well freaks me out a lot.

The other part of the fear comes from the fear that what I end up with might not work.  I mean what I have has always worked really well.  Well... up until last May/June.  It's starting to shut down at this point.  Hard to get it to function anymore.  But the point is what if I can never enjoy sex again?  I mean I know I'd enjoy it more with the "correct" parts.  But just scared if they don't function.  But I know this is an unfounded fear based on nothing whatsoever.  I know several patients of Dr. Bowers and they're all super happy and all their parts work just fine.  I've never seen or heard of a single person not being happy.  I've heard of no real stories that would make me think anything other than it will be a great success.

Another thing that messed me up at first is the fact that I never expected to be nervous.  I've had 13 operations because of my Crohn's Disease and the related complications.  So what's one more?  I've even said that many times to many people, speaking engagements, family, friends.  I always figured, no big deal, why worry?  I've wanted this for decades, I've had operations, I'm used to this.  But I'm still scared.

In the end, what I've come to realize is basically I'm a dumbass.  I don't know why I have to always think so much.  That's what really happened.  Whether I was awake, half asleep, whether it was a nightmare or just a really vivid mental image, don't know.  Facts that remain is I still want the operation more than anything just like I always have.  I'm still going to do it and no force on this planet will stop me.  And yes, I'm scared to death.  But, like I always say, "It is what it is."  In the end I KNOW it will be fine and I will be happier than I've ever been or could ever imagine.

Moral of the story?  Just fucking chill!  lol

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Truth Shall Set You Free - "About Me"

So, it's time to get a few things off my chest.  It's not that I was ever keeping anything a secret.  I just never felt it relevant to tell any of this to anyone that I wasn't planning to let see me naked for any reason (i.e. sex or doctor).  Over time it's gotten to be more like I hope people who don't know already don't figure it out.  Not that I cared, but was a bit scared to lose friends that I hadn't said anything to.  But now, at this stage in my life, I have many things I want to say.  Many things I want to blog about.  And I can't without revealing a few truths about myself.  So I'm going to call this post my "About Me" post and hopefully somehow link it to my "About Me" section directly for reference.  This is far from being everything about me.  This is really just everything about this part of me.  So, here it is...

My name is Krysta. I am a pansexual, intersex, transwoman. What does that mean? Let's start at the beginning I guess. At birth, some doctor decided to stick me with the gender marker of male based on a visual examination of body parts and what he and society assume based on that.

Thinking back, my first memory of doing anything that would be considered outside the gender binary illusion would be dressing up as Wonder Woman at age 4 through 6 every day and spinning around till I got dizzy. I guess I figured if Linda Carter could spin around and turn into Wonder Woman then maybe if I dressed up as Wonder Woman and spun around I could become Linda Carter. I also had a little orphan Annie curly red wig I'd wear sometimes around the house for no real reason except I liked it.

Growing up I was never taught anything about gender or orientation. I had a girlfriend from kindergarten. And one right after the other girlfriend, girlfriend, girlfriend, girlfriend, boyfriend... Yeah I didn't care. I liked who I liked and gender never meant anything to me. I was never taught about sex or anything by parents or teachers. I had no brothers or sisters and rarely saw my older cousins. My elementary school we had six kids in my class for sixth grade. Three presumably cisgendered boys, two presumably cisgendered girls, and myself. We don't really know if when they grew up they still identified as the gender they were assigned (cisgendered). I lost touch with all of them sadly. So at school there was no gender separation at that age for me. Was no boy group and girl group. There was all of us. There was we're playing football today that means all or no one. Same with everything. Gender was irrelevant in that situation.

Then I went to junior high and was immediately the outcast. I did not fit in in any way. I didn't act like any of the other "male" children. I didn't fit in with the girls either. I had a few friends that came from my elementary but we quickly grew apart. Who wants to hang with the outcast right? Luckily I was only there for two years before moving on.

Senior high, Christian school, oh god why. Puberty started, surprise, surprise, I'm intersex. I started developing breasts and male genitalia.  I didn't know what was going on. I grew up loving sci-if, fantasy, comics, I had no knowledge of male or female or body parts. My first thought? I'm a mutant! I told no one. I hid it at all costs. Started wearing jackets 24/7 even in the 90+ degree South Florida weather. Got made fun of because of always wearing jackets. Had to hide and change during Phys. Ed. Scared to go swimming, what was always my favorite thing to do growing up, spent the next 25 years too scared to ever go again.

Around my junior year of high school I saw an episode of Jerry Springer. Yeah, I know, ugh. But it was the first time I had ever been exposed to the idea of transgender. I found myself immediately intrigued, I NEEDED to know more, wasn't even sure why at that point. Was blown away that such a thing was even possible. Went to the old North Miami public library and dug through the card catalog and some ancient books with my then girlfriend trying to find information. There was no internet yet, no easy way to find out anything. Came across the story of Christine Jorgensen. I was like omg, this is me! I was excited at first to finally have an explanation for what I'd always felt. Then I freaked. I was like oh no, what do I do? If this is me, no one will accept this, I can't do this, what am I going to do!

So I rebelled at first. Went the heavy metal route. I could have long hair, wear a biker jacket to cover over breasts, wear boots, tight jeans, and yet somehow be considered "male". I got bad into sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. I was doing anything and everything and I was excited about it and didn't care if I lived or died.

In 1991, June, I graduated high school (barely), turned 18, and was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Explaining the eating habits I had growing up with. It didn't bother me that much as long as I took my meds that first decade.

By 1992 I had done enough research and read enough to know that at some point in my life I wanted... No, NEEDED to have GRS. That I couldn't live my life as a lie forever. But I had no idea how I'd ever be able to do it.

Around 1994 I came out to my girlfriend at the time. She was very supportive. Which was actually bad at that point in my life. Because now I was not only very out of control I was able to be myself 100% and be even more out of control.

By late 1995 I had been engaged twice, done every drug known to man, and had a $500-$1000 a day crack habit. I was robbing and stealing from everyone. From work, from family, friends. I was having sex for crack. I would stay gone for days and days just smoking until I couldn't get any more. Then I'd go to work, steal $500+, fake being sick, leave early and continue my non stop smoking.

Then one day in 1997 something crazy happened. Something I still can't understand to this day. I woke up one day, after having smoked for weeks straight, and I had no money, no job anymore, no way to get money, nothing but physical pain. And I decided right then it was more than I could go through anymore. And I never did crack again. Quit all hardcore drugs cold turkey that day without help, just like that.

And so I went back to my first true love... Sci-if, comics, fantasy, gaming, anime. I joined a Star Trek fan club. No one is more accepting than Star Trek fans right? I started a small chapter of another Star Trek fan club. I started running tables at conventions, it became my life, obsessively. I came out to them very early on and was of course accepted without problems. But then some of us broke off from that and started doing other things and it slowly faded and died.

By 2000-2001 I was starting to get really sick from my Crohn's disease. I was in the hospital a lot. Long story short I ended up with what I was told at one point was the worst reported case of Crohn's. I have been on every FDA approved med, several experimental, and several that were VERY dangerous. I've had 13 operations, been code blue at least three times that I know of. I had an ostomy bag on the left side for 2.5 years and on the right for 6 months. A wound vac for 3 months. IV feeding nothing by mouth for 6 months. Have had all of my colon removed and some of my small intestine removed. Have had anal fistulas, abscesses, and a half dozen or more side effects from Crohn's and the meds for it.

Through that 10 years of practically living in the hospital it was always in my charts I was trans. Not once did anyone ever refer to me by my preferred name or pronoun. Every doctor, surgeon, nurse I had told me I can't go through transition, I'm too sick, it's not worth it, my health is more important. They'd ask me if I wanted to see a hospital therapist and they'd tell me the same thing. I can't do it, not worth the risk, not THAT important...

I became so depressed I stopped going out except to go to the doctor or hospital. I became a hermit basically. I did nothing but play online games where I could hide out and be who I always truly was without having to deal with anything. I was down to four friends who I only ever saw if they visited me in the hospital. And three of them were mad at me because I never wanted to hang out.

Then by dumb luck, in early 2010, when I was bouncing from hospital to hospital, I ended up on two medications at the same time. By accident. Neither of which had worked on their own when I had tried them. But together, it stopped my symptoms for the most part. I started feeling better. And in fact an entire year went by, sitting at home, feeling better, but not myself still. I knew I needed to begin my transition no matter what anyone said. But I had no idea where to even begin. I had no money to pay a therapist or doctor. Medicare and Medicaid certainly don't cover any of this. I couldn't find anyone online.

Then one day my then best friend ran into someone she hadn't seen in 20 years. That person, now a therapist, gave her the name of someone for me. That therapist was trans educated AND took Medicare. On my first visit after hearing my story she referred me to my first endocrinologist, my support group; the TRUE Group, and the Yes Institute. I got in to see that endo almost immediately and she began my HRT without even having received a letter from my therapist yet. It was quite clear to everyone I was talking to that I am definitely female.

So then the last hurdle came. My parents. My mom had found out some 17 years ago in the early '90s when I got caught by someone and word got back to her. She was very supportive most of the time. We went shopping and did our hair together and all that mother daughter type stuff. But my dad, he never knew. He was the only person that didn't know. I was living female 99% of the time for so long. But had to hide when going to see him. Made me hate going to see him. I was scared. Would he take back his car he lets me use? Would he disown me? Write me out of his will? Physically hurt me? I had no idea what to believe. He certainly never showed any signs of being the type of person that would be supportive. He was always so racist, sexist, hates everyone that isn't him. But I had to risk everything. I had to be me. So, scared to death, I told him on the phone. He freaked a bit, cried a lot, said he kinda knew, but he didn't understand. I brought him to my support group, and he learned. He went to the Yes Institute and he learned more. Today he's my biggest supporter. He helps pay for my laser hair removal, doctors, and any medical when necessary. We flew out to California to meet Dr. Marci Bowers for a consultation for surgery and she said she could do it even with my medical issues. My dad is going to be paying for that too because he gets it. I don't know how or why but he does and he knows how much I need to do this. My mom on the other hand, considerably less supportive since I began my medical transition. But she's coming around again, I think.

As for my health? My gastroenterologist whom I've had for roughly 15 or more years, who has saved my life several times over, says this is the healthiest he's ever seen me. My primary care doctor I've had for a dozen or more years says if he didn't know how sick I was he'd think I was extremely healthy based on my perfect blood work. Irony here is... The number one cause for Crohn's Disease flare up is stress. It's what triggered most if not all of my flare ups. Had I begun my transition a decade ago who knows how much healthier I would've and could've been overall. All those times I was told it didn't matter, my health was more important, and it was hurting my health all along.

My surgery is set up for about 10 months from now. Life has been amazing. I now write, run and maintain my support group's website. I am a volunteer speaker on the topics of gender and orientation for the Yes Institute. I've been filmed for two documentaries on gender. I embrace the LGBTQ community whole-heartedly and feel they do the same for me. I've made amazing new friends and been through so much in the last year I can't even believe it. I've grown to love who I am, mentally, emotionally, physically. And more so every day the closer I get to surgery. And I am proud to say I'm a pansexual, intersex, transwoman. :-)