Prompt 5 A Poem

Yonder sits a starlit night,                         Its moon a sphere of pure light .

I chose a snowy evening                             where the horse swayed slightly,             Without care.

Do I dare speak of the dove                       Its mightiness expressed in love.

Of wedded bliss.                                           And church bells ring.                               Of dappled deer–                                       A songbird sings.

And when I leave I take.                             With me the scene.                                     Of sun and sand and wind and sea.

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Prompt # 6

It happened last Monday in my writing therapy group:

“What is it I need to express?”

A shit ton of people feel that we are not our body. It’s a popular concept. That our body is simply a vessel.

Ask any trans person, especially one like me who can’t transition, what it feels like to be in the wrong body.

I feel tricked by God. Like I have this body thrust in my face on a daily basis.

A dead name I have despised forever. Body parts that I don’t want– that I feel don’t fit me–my personality.

I am angry! I want to scream! Try living in the wrong body! Just imagine if you are a man waking up with a vagina. Vice versa for a woman. How would you feel if you looked down and saw a penis every time you showered?

No one knows how I feel. I am so different and you have never walked in my shoes.

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Closer to Home

Over coffee, I’d mentioned that I hadn’t posted to my blog in months. I was worried about offending some folks who might read it. Well, I’m over it now.

Here goes: I landed a spot to live after six grueling months of on-again, off-again situations that aren’t worth going into. I am with two roommates;  each of other worlds.

My roommates are kind beings, sort of aliens to me, as I am not so sloppy and don’t touch what I didn’t purchase. It’s taken me some time to adjust to say the least. I still have mini meltdowns. Perhaps it’s my nature to explode from time to time. I’m making peace with the uniqueness that is me.

Two things: I am on a regimen of psych meds built for a superhuman.  I am excited about the way they’re working. The other is I’ve got the correct insurance to be covered by in order to receive what I consider excellent psych services.

I get to attend group therapy four times per week and I see an individual therapist weekly. All is needed to deal with the circumstances of life, to be certain, and the fucking shit I carry from childhood trauma.

I still attend the meeting for writers on Tuesdays and have begun reading a book on Nonviolent Communication. I practice mindfulness on a consistent basis. In April, I will join the church I’ve been attending the past few months, as it feeds me like no other.

I am not sure if I am happy with the fact that I am on my own, but it was a necessity. Becoming independent, setting boundaries and practicing Self care are all new to me. I must be making it because my chronic suicidality is kept at bay .

I am wondering what feeling at home feels like to most. It’s much more than four walls and off-street parking. The joy and blessing of having my Tommy Boy by my side; my forever friend and confidant. Having a church family, being accepted as trans there, can’t be beat.

All in all, I am more content than I ever imagined I’d be, moving forward and doing my best to not live in the past. That is good. Life overall is good.



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I want desperately to write. There’s a burning, yearning.

I am raw. I feel so very alone. I am homeless.

A hotel room lovingly provided. A night in the spare room of a dear friend. Moving forward, two weeks offered of a sofa in the efficiency apartment of another. Applications to places for the displaced that are full, at present.

Finally, the notion of the fact that Tommy Boy Kitty will most likely not be able to share with me in this new, sudden life.

Prayers all around, folks. Gonna need ’em.

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Yet Again


Another hospitalization under my belt. Suicidal ideation reared its head. For the fourth time in a fifteen-month span, it beckoned. This time, I managed to avoid the clique-ishness of the staff at the one hospital and the vulgarity of another.

The unit was twenty beds. They check on you every fifteen minutes, without fail. It’s customary now to remove all patient bathroom doors on psych units. There’s a scant curtain in its place, so you’re left with essentially no privacy. If you’re unfortunate enough to need to be placed on a one-to-one safety precaution, the staff needs to watch you as you use the toilet.  Sleep, the ever-elusive necessity for healing? Practically nil, for me.

I managed to pull myself together fairly quickly this trip. One week as opposed to two and even three. However, I did myself a grave disservice by insisting on being discharged before fully detoxing from the noxious antidepressant meant for titration. I simply longed for home.

I left the unit, being only partially detoxed; was sent home without any Effexor because NOW, I am on a new antidepressant.  Had every withdrawal symptom imaginable, when I googled “side effects of detoxification from Effexor XR. ” Actually, the only good thing, was that I was spared the vomiting. Thank God for small favors.

As a result, I wound up driving to the local hospital’s emergency room the day after discharge. The withdrawal had become unbearable. The fact that I am able to drive myself  to these places boggles the mind.

If an experience at an E.R. can be described as fulfilling, this was it. Walked out of there a new man. The I.V. fluids laced with the heavenly nausea drugs did the trick.

Speaking of feeling a new man brings me to the bottom line. What’s been going on with my transition (I could say virtually nothing) is once again a trigger for my “Passive Death Wish.” It’s a condition, I’ll call it, where I  don’t really want to go through the messiness of a suicide; I simply yearn to be gone of this earth.

There are other triggers, to be certain, yet none more formidable than the fact that I cannot medically transition. If I allow myself to focus on this, I can’t go anywhere but south with it.

I will continue with my weekly visits to E, my lifesaver of a psychologist, and continue to be med-compliant. And hope and pray for a deliverance, of sorts. I turn to, and value beyond mere words, all of the supportive people in my life and to Tommy Boy, the boy who has been glued to me since my arrival home. The kitty with heart. My UU church fellowship family has been a sturdy anchor in these waves of depression. Blessings all the way around.


It’s three in the morning now. Thundering, off in the distance, gives way to a shock of lightning here and there. A steady stream of rain falling. The geraniums welcome their early morning respite. The storm has arrived; showers insistently pound as though they’d make their way inside. Comforting in its own right.

“And the thunder rolls…”


Posted in Community, Connection, FTM, Gratititude, Hope, Hope, Mental health, Mental illness, Psych Hospitalization, Suicide, support, UU Fellowship | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Writing at “Steel City”

20-30 minute prompt: A Big Favor

I have a tendency not to ask too many–favors, that is. I’m inclined to believe it may be due to my upbringing. What isn’t connected to my upbringing, I think.

I was brought up not to expect too much to come my way; emotionally at least. Crumbs come to mind. Take what you get. Don’t ask for what you can’t get. I grew up this way. As a woman. You are not a cis, white, affluent male, so…

And, guess what? I grew not to expect to be listened to or have my opinion respected or my gender expression recognized. Never mind ever to have the opportunity to live as an encouraged non-binary person.

A big favor…not so big…would be for you to stop misgendering me. So, you’re being asked NOT to do something. Hard for you to do because I present as female. Please don’t misgender me.

I can’t take hormones. At age sixty, my body has rejected them. Please don’t misgender me. Top surgery is an issue. I won’t be getting it, for a variety of reasons.  Please don’t misgender me.

You are my mother; my father. Each still living. Please don’t disown me. Those on the Internet, the street corner, the churches–with or without steeples–Big favor: Please don’t wish me dead.

To All the rest. Big Favor: Please don’t misgender me.


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Elevator Angel

Before today, I didn’t have an advanced directive stating my desires surrounding my end of life. Today I will ask my friends, T, and D, to witness my signature on the form G brought home.


“Are you okay?” asked the stranger.

I was not. I was a wreck.

“No,” I said, “My best friend just died. They took her off life support.”

“I’m so sorry,” said the woman as she held me in an embrace.

We’d reached the ground floor of the hospital and folks began to pour into the elevator. I looked up to thank the woman who’d so kindly reached out. She was gone.

That hug gave me enough strength to make the thirty minute drive home. I’d spent the day, from seven in the morning, to two o’clock in the afternoon, waiting for Barb to have the ventilator removed following a massive coronary, which had killed her at approximately eleven o’clock the previous night.

Barb was set to undergo a procedure on her heart. She died before the procedure could be done. She was sick. Without a doubt. When told, umpteen times, to quit smoking, she balked, basically, until it was too late. The damage was done.

Barb didn’t like to be told what to do. By anyone. Not even the doctors. Fiercely independent, she ran her own show. Till the end. So she presumed. She remembered signing ‘something’ telling not to keep her alive by machine. Unfortunately, there was no copy of the advanced directive on her chart. No DNR. So, I had all sorts of visions charging through my mind of nurses and doctors racing around, beating on her chest. Inserting this here and that there. It sickened me. It saddens me.

We always talked about not wanting to be kept alive by machines amongst ourselves. When Barb was dying, the nurse told me she was asked if she wanted to be put on the ventilator. Barb said Yes. She meant No.

By the time I’d gotten to the hospital, I knew that my favorite friend in the world was gone. One look and I knew. So, at two o’clock, when a copy of Barb’s advance directive was finally faxed over from her lawyer’s office, I kissed Barb’s lips, her eyelids and hand. And I left. To grieve heavily. Uncontrollably at times. Still.

I am certain that I’ve encountered other angels in my waking life and greet even more. The others are with me. Ones I don’t necessarily see but I know and feel them there. And the ones that surround Barb as she exclaims with glee, Oh, Jan, It’s so beau-T-ful here! Because that’s how she’d describe Heaven. With extra emphasis on the T.



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Writing this in hopes of connecting. My soul’s been on disconnect for much longer than expected. Simple tasks had become behemoth; brushing my teeth, a feat of massive proportions. And I spent another five weeks searching deeper into my head and heart during October and November behind the scenes, as it were. Scaling beneath the surface of angst looking for a place where I could be. Just be. Inside the walls of the psych unit.

Fortunately, I didn’t stay stuck, though it would have been easy enough to do. Thrashing, I tore through membrane and sinewy shards to be here. Honestly, from a different perspective, I can’t answer where else, if I’d had other options, I’d be.

The landscape sure looks brighter from where I stand. Shocked and in awe, I find my friendships intact. My marriage, for lack of a better term, is surviving its brush with death. The communication gods have bestowed upon us the proper way to educate ourselves out of the bleakness. Me, being raised by wolves and all. Sometimes I feel I couldn’t find my way past the grocery clerk in the checkout line with the skills I was handed.

Faith abounds. Love that sentence. It does. It has. It will. Not necessarily in that order. My kitty, best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world, is dying. And, as Sam is a pseudonym and my cat’s name isn’t really Mango, I want to give Cookie Girl her recognition. The best, you are, my little love.

Instead of changing “religions” I inadvertently checked out a new church. Inadvertently, because I had not been paying attention apparently, as some members of my old congregation flocked to the one I now attend. They’re both UU. How cool is that? Only what struck me–what roped me and drew me in–was the BAND! Rock my soul.

Recently, I totalled the number of writing groups of which I am a part. Five. Twice weekly and three monthly. Sometimes it costs money to belong. One great group consists of three of us. One is brand new memoir writers. It’s all such fun; a focal point for me. Very nice social outlet. However, outside of the groups, I am not writing. This blog lay dormant for the better part of six months.  I’ve yet to sit and tap out a story about anything/nothing for me. For the hell of it.

So, I am going to do that. And, I am going to read a book of fantasy. Beginning Saturday, I will take walks. It’s snowing furiously at the moment and tomorrow I will have surgery to remove and replace a descended lens (inserteted to correct cataracts years ago) in my right eye.

Once back on track, and I can see myself clearly, I will at least stand a fighting chance. Because, as so many people who have been confronted with issues that seem insurmountable, I am a willing fighter. I like to think of myself sometimes as a close friend puts it: superhero. Plain. Simple. I am.



Posted in Community, Connection, Family, Friendship, Hope, Psych Hospitalization, Reality, sadness, superhero | 15 Comments

Three Strikes?

Headaches, in general, have not been a problem for me. Muscle discomfort. PMS strife. Pain following twelve hour scoliosis surgery. All familiar. The near-migraines ( have experienced those, as well) that have plagued me in the last couple of weeks are a new and less than exciting addition to my discomfort repertoire. Between pain and discomfort, I’m not certain where to log them.

What I am certain of, however, is they began following my August 31st dose of T. Good old T. Gave it a try in February 2016 and broke out in an itchy, sunburn-type rash “downstairs” and discontinued treatment with HRT. Once again, in April of this year, gave T a second go around. Same rash. Quit. Four months of designated cognitive therapy passed and I was granted permission by the T fairy to try it again. This time, I opted for injections. Rash returned but I didn’t care. This time, determined, there was nothing gonna stop me. I was on a roll.

I love injecting T. It doesn’t go into the muscle; it’s injected subcutaneously. The needle is tiny, isn’t painful and causes a weird euphoric feeling. Besides the rash, I’ve developed eczema on my face that is hardly an issue. Because it’s only been a few shots, my voice hasn’t changed, no hair loss or hair growth, at this point. Just these damned headaches. The first one scared the crap out of me. Immediately, I emailed my T provider and he didn’t think there was anything out of the ordinary. Saw my primary for another issue and she said, as well, there was no need to worry.

Then I really dug in to reading the side effects of T long-range. It can cause bone cancer. Kinda knew that and ignored the severe effects the steroid can have since I thought I needed to have it. Wanted to have it. Badly. Polycythemia, which comes up as a misspelling just now, is the technical name and one of the symptoms is headaches. After my measly five injections , my paranoid mind travels. Could I have this dreaded disease? The red blood cell count goes up and is distinguishable in a blood test. Plan is to get my blood tested ASAP.

My one thought automatically veers toward cutting T out of my life. Extricating it. Forever. The rest of me is hoping I’m not on the slippery slope of giving up my elixir. Last month, two days before my third shot, I strained a muscle in the groin area of my right leg while attempting to navigate the dunes and slight surf of the beach. The sand has always been a detractor. It’s hard to walk on it when you have the balance issue I have. Since that day, I’ve been back on the cane full-time. It precludes me from visiting my therapist weekly downtown. Determined (my catchword), I have every intention to walk through the strain and not be infirm. The orthopedist said to fear not. After he’d twisted me like a pretzel, there was no way anything of significance had been whacked out of place. A smile and handshake. Told me to exercise.

In August, before any shot, I went to the eye doctor for a problem with blurriness in my right eye. Diagnosed me with Vitreous Prolapse and scheduled me with an eye surgeon. The appointment is tomorrow. I will mention the headaches, naturally, and pray it’s not a difficult fix. I feel the need to be heard. Desire someone, somewhere, to give me the thumbs up. Fire that starting pistol. I’m older. My body’s hyper-sensitive. To drugs. To even the sun. I want to be healthy enough. Have someone say, “Hail to the T!” Then send me on my way.

In a few weeks, on a rather related/unrelated topic, I have a consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss removal of my breasts. I have every thought, prayer and intention to get myself in physical shape by May of 2017 to receive a double mastectomy. Eat right. Exercise. Hard. Those who know me get me. Those who take what they know of me and of the situation, unfortunately don’t. G is in my corner. My closest friends support me. Even the trans men, ESPECIALLY the trans men, on FB rally behind those of us in the process of our journey to seek top surgery/T. Whether it be T or top surgery– if not one then the other– or none, I must thrive. Get up to bat. Swing and a miss. Swing and a hit. Swing and a grand slam. Go for the gold. No matter what. This, I owe myself.


Posted in Celebration, Dignity, Friendship, FTM, Hope, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Testosterone, Therapy, Top Surgery | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

High Road

Can’t say there’s a reason I’d abandoned Sams Space. Possibly because I’d stepped away from me for a while. Ironic, since I returned to cognitive therapy sessions as a precursor to hormone therapy, as requested by my provider of T. On May twenty-third, when I last saw D., I made him aware that things in my world had gotten bleak. Hadn’t apprised him previously, via email or otherwise, I’d been hospitalized in April for wanting to be gone from this earth. He was concerned about putting me right back on T.

Mentioned to him I’d become distraught and no longer wished to be trans. Actually, it’s why I wanted to die. What I neglected to say was, I don’t want to live as a trans person/male in a female body. Also, said I was especially bummed because I thought I was allergic, somehow, to the testosterone itself. We discussed alternatives to the gel I’d tried; he told me he didn’t feel T would have caused the allergic reaction. Perhaps it’d been the oil the T was suspended in. Then he had a behavioral health consultant meet with me.

C. is a cool guy. Liked him immediately and wished he could have become my counselor. He was there for crises only but made excellent referrals. When I phoned the first recommended psych center they were not taking new patients. Phoned the second and was told there’d be a three month (at the earliest) wait to be seen. That was early June. By some miracle I was granted an appointment for the 16th and have been seeing A., same name as my mother–eek– since. At my first visit, A. determined I needed weekly visits and got me on a scholarship so I could afford them. Don’t know what the winter will be like, traveling to and from the city, but I am passionate about my journey.

Opening up to A. was not difficult. Saying as much about her as it does me. She’s kind, caring and supportive. There’d been years of therapy on my part, more than half my life devoted to the cause; this was just one more chance to have someone listen and help me sort out my dysfunctional upbringing and the ensuing pain brought on. Last week, at a loss for something to focus and zoom in on, I told her I’d hoped she had an arsenal of questions for me. She did and therapy continues.

Because I am not yet on T, ( I have an appointment with D. next month to possibly try the patch), there’s no delving into behaviors which may arise as a result of introducing said hormone. So I talk about fears. Not directly tied to going through second puberty, this time as male, but other fears. One day, shortly before I was interviewed and on the evening news discussing the mess of a railway system in our fair city, I looked around. It dawned on me there were no emergency exits from where I sat, underground, in the train station. I know a good deal about safety and its concerns. Drove a school bus for twenty-plus years and worked as a security guard for a time. Know danger. Be aware of a way out. Always.

Naturally, A. must inquire as to whether I obsess on thoughts of crises, fire and the like. My answer: No. But, I am aware of my surroundings, I tell her. Have decided if there is a likely menace and no escape, I will kneel, say a prayer and stay put. The thought of being trampled in an attempt to escape a crowded tunnel, which, in essence, is what the train station is, does not appeal to my good senses. That said, I say a prayer each time I embark/disembark. And go on my way.

The other week, I was disrespected by an acquaintance when I revealed I was in counseling for trans issues. I know I put myself out there. For eight years, J. and I have been members of the same group. Part of me was testing the waters. Would I be accepted as trans in the all- women’s atmosphere? When I ‘came out’ to the moderator of the group, she assured me I’d be welcomed. This was to see how another might feel, within the ranks, so to speak.

“What did you say?!” “Did you say transitioning?!” J. asked. It was at a party and it was kinda loud. I nodded. Then she turned, spat and said, ” Fa putz on that!” Shocked and on my way out the door, anyway, I turned and left. Didn’t confront J. Until a few days later when I wrote a type of email.  “Anyone has a problem with me being trans, I wanna know NOW,” I wrote. Something to that effect. More diplomatic. I was pissed.

Folks gave a bit of feedback and I felt even more widely accepted  than when the moderator warmly calmed my fears of discrimination. Contacted the moderator and genuinely wanted the woman removed from membership. At her suggestion, I got in touch with J. and we chatted. J. was all apologies.  Said I must have heard her wrong. When confronted, she had the nerve to say she never used the term and wouldn’t know what it meant. To me, quite simply, it means, FUCK THAT! So, she’s been exposed. She’ll think twice before ever offending anyone again, I’d wager.

That’s where I’ve been these weeks and moving forward. Continuing therapy. Looking forward to trying T for the second time. Taking the high road when necessary.


Posted in CBT, Celebration, Community, Dignity, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Lesbian, Mental health, Pride, Testosterone | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments