There’ll come a time when you hear it and you’ll wonder “Where in the world have I been?”

Have you ever thought you knew something only to find out you had no idea what it was really like? I’ve had so many of those in this last year.

Just over a year ago I started my transition in proper. I claimed my name, I started seeing a counselor, and begun my road towards being myself. Each day I’ve been more and more sure of how right my decision has been. If it even was one really.

Coming out as poly has been a similar experience, and my two wonderful, loving partners are the best things to happen in my life.

I’ve been exploring my return to spirituality, letting go of the anger and ignorance of my atheist days much like i let go of the hurt and ignorance of my Christian days. I believe in magic. Not just the great game my girlfriend and I bonded over, but in something greater than just us. I don’t know that I believe it’s beyond human. In fact I believe it comes from inside us, in the words, the music, the art, the science we create. This is my magic, my runes, my spells. And I’ve adopted the title of witch because of the historical context relating to trans womanhood. I’m young in this but eager to learn more.

But the point of this post is to talk to something else. All my life I thought I knew what a home was. My life with family, with partners, with friends. It turns out I had no idea. Much like being a woman trying to be a man, I thought I was home when I was really a stranger.

I spent the last 9 days in Las Vegas with my star, my princess, my love. I called her Peace at the post about 2015 in review. It has been a truly amazing experience. In those 9 days I experienced great joys and love. In those 9 days I never once questioned my womanhood. I never deadnamed myself. I had no doubts about who I am and how I feel. I was with people who love me and I love. I found my home.

Months ago I mailed a symbol of my love, of my heart to my love Peace. I have a personal story of how I heal my heart from being broken, wearing it on a chain. I sent my chain to Peace, knowing full well I already had given her my heart. These past 9 days I was united with my love, and reunited with my heart. And in that time, my heart had come to know where I belong. I felt only right in Las Vegas in a way I’ve never truly felt in Kansas.

The coming months will be hard. I’m attempting to return for more trips, with plans to move and be together with both my loves. I cannot wait for that day.

I fought back tears in the airport, just minutes after watching my love drive away. On the flight (where I’m writing this) I finally broke down and cried, climbing higher and higher as I watched my home shrink into the distance. Once again I’m a displaced soul, who’s heart resides miles and miles away, going to a place of some loving friends and family, but mostly a false family who don’t support or recognize their love is not unconditional. I will miss people I love when I leave, but I will not miss a home, for I have never had one. “Home is where the heart is.” My heart, my home, is with Peace, in Las Vegas.

And if I only could, Make a deal with God, And get him to swap our places.

Hurting for yourself is one thing. Hurting for someone else is a different kind of pain entirely.  And it’s even harder I think.  I’m honestly pretty shit about taking care of myself.  I don’t know how to be good to myself, do things for me.  But for people I care, I can spend my spoons so much easier if it’s for others.  I love to cook for other people.  But for myself I have to struggle to even just heat up a can of refried beans.

I had a pretty bad scare last night.  One of my partners started to tweet asking for reasons to stay alive because she couldn’t think of any.  This put a huge scare into me, and another partner of hers.  They were at least able to get in contact with her just before she had to return to work.  But at least they were able to get a response from her.  But then it was hours before she’d be done with work.

Words will never express my panic, my fear, my racing thoughts that she could be gone.  She’s going through a serious bout of depression.  I’ve been there and I know how bad, how scary it is.  I love this woman and I’m unable to help her from this distance.  It kills me that she’s hurting so bad and I don’t know what to do.

I got lucky.  I was with some amazing friends.  They were supportive, made me tea, brought a blanket, held me and put on tv to help distract.  They let me talk when I needed, they let me sit, shaking quietly when I needed.  They are part of my family, and I’m so grateful.  Friends, these family, were ready to get me money to put me on a flight if needed.  I almost wish I was just to force getting out there.  But we’ll get there.

I misread when she might get off work.  I called her and then got worried when it took so long to respond.  But once she did it was a wave of relief.  It took a bit before I finally got to talk to her, but I did, and it helped a lot.  The next few days are important.  I need to be vigilant for her.  I need to be whatever she needs me to be.  I need to be what her other partner needs me to be for them too.  I am terrible at taking care of myself, but I can at least be here for both of them.

Walk away me boys, walk away me boys and by morning we’ll be free. Wipe that golden tear from your mother dear, and raise what’s left of the flag for me.

Two Thousand and fifteen. 2015.  I’ve had major years in my life before, but I don’t think anything can ever come close to just how big my life has changed in 2015.  Strap in, because this could take a bit.

I started 2015 in so many closets and I think I’ve come out of each one in some way this year.  I didn’t just come out of the closet, I burnt most of them to the ground.  May the light of those fires guide my way.

At the start of the year I had a partner I did love, but there wasn’t a real chance for us I think.  She was wonderful and I’m still glad to call her a friend, but she doesn’t love women that way.  And I respect that fully.  I was working a job I didn’t hate, and I started going back to school.  Funnily enough, these things sound great but turned out to be very not.

After my partner ended things, I started to really consider what it would take to transition.  I needed to do it, as the thought of not was building to unsafe levels in my head (up to and including suicidal thoughts.)  I began looking into local counselors who have experience and discovered a place called The Transgender Institute.  Turned out the price ranges were so high I literally cried.  But one of the counselors was willing to work with me on a sliding scale, and to do more condensed sessions to help ease costs.  This was incredibly helpful, and I believe she,  more than the TI’s founder, is interested in removing the gatekeeping for trans people to get the medical care they deserve.  If anyone is in the Kansas City area and would like to know more, I’m happy to suggest seeing her.

She was able to give me a letter to see a local doctor with a long history of working with trans patients to get HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and after a few months of waiting due to her highly in demand help, I was able to get my first dose of hormones and start HRT on May 4th, Star Wars day (yes, I am that big of a nerd.)

During my early days this year I started seeking out other trans women for companionship, and I did so via an online dating site.  I was seeking friendship, and maybe more, so I thought it was a good idea.  I met one person who was very nice, but cut contact suddenly, and I never spoke to her again.  Then I met a wonderful woman who I went out with a few times, but she became very busy (she’s probably one of the busiest people I’ve ever met) and we grew apart. I still call her a friend, but we’re not particularly close.  The third person I met made some pretty big changes in my life.  She is still a friend, and we even spent xmas together with other friends too.  She introduced me to my local support group.

While all this was going on, I was starting this blog.  I used to be much more active, posting almost daily.  I really like using this as a way to work out when I’m dealing with big ideas, but it takes a lot of spoons (mental energy) so I now only do it when I’m really needing it.  But I don’t intend to give this up.  At the same time I started this, I joined an online transgender message board.  I made a few very good friends there, and even when I stopped going, I was able to keep being close to these friends.  One of these friends became my closest friend for a time, but we had a falling out, and she doesn’t speak to me anymore.  I also started getting close to a very wonderful woman who I care for very deeply.  I’ve loved watching her grow as she’s come into her own this year.  She will always have a special place in my heart.  Thank you for everything E.

When finally started HRT, I made a plan to come out.  I gave myself a month to come out to my close friends, 3 months to come out to family, 6 months to come out at work, and a year to socially transition.  I thought it a decent pace.  I just didn’t anticipate how quickly it would change.  I was out to friends in a month, but by 2 1/2 I was living part time out, and it was too hard to keep going.  So as I prepared to go on a trip to an anime convention, I knew I was going as myself fully, and there was no way I was going back in the closet.  So I came out to my family the only way I felt safe to do so, via letter.  People have told me I did it wrong, but there is no wrong.  There is only what I did for my own safety, mental and physical.   At 2 1/2 months of HRT, I walked out the door as myself and didn’t look back (mostly.)

My extended family has been really good.  They don’t seek out to spend time with me, but they’ve been open with inviting me to things, and they try to use the right name (all of my xmas gifts had the right name.)  My brother is still one of my closest friends.  But my parents have been mixed.  My dad has been less active in talking to me, but will look at me, and doesn’t call me by any names.  My mom refuses to look at/directly interact with me, only speaks to me via text messages, uses the wrong pronouns, and dead names me.  My sister refuses to even be in the same building while I’m there.  I didn’t know who I would lose in my family, but I had a feeling I would lose some.

I’ve also become extremely more aware on social issues.  I now understand so much better things I was kinda a piece of shit about before.  I know that antagonistic atheism is not much better than the things it’s fighting against.  I now see how ingrained racism is in the system, and in turn people.  I see just how shit good people are when it comes to trans issues, issues they don’t learn about because they don’t care.  It doesn’t make them bad people, but it does just further the system of oppression, and makes them complicit in it.  I’ve learned how to spot shitty allies, and how to be a real one.  I’m not perfect, I screw up.  But I’m learning, and I’m trying.

Coming out as trans has just been part of my coming out.  I also have accepted my mental illnesses, and am actively considering using disabled as a label, as mine do inhibit my ability to care for myself.  I need to seek disability, because I need help, and I cannot do it on my own.

I used to identify as pansexual, that I had no physical preferences of any kind for people I’m interested in.  I’ve since started to identify as demisexual, because the thing that matters to me in attraction is an emotional connection with someone.  When I don’t have that, I’m pretty much asexual now.  But when I care about someone, when someone touches my heart in that way, that completely changes.  I use the label queer, as I’ve tried to make it clear I’m very not straight.  I have recently started to use gay a lot more as well.  I definitely find I have a preference for other trans women, followed by non-binary people.  This isn’t a physical preference though, but has everything to do with being able to relate to them.  I would go out with a cis person, even a cis guy, but it’s going to have to be someone extremely special for me to relate to them and find them attractive anymore.

I also came out as polyamorous this year.  I have a pretty detailed post about this, and you’re welcome to go back and read it.  The truth is a lot of the jealousy I’ve had in my life with former partners stemmed from an unhealthy requirement of them fulfilling all my needs exclusively, and me to fill theirs.  I’m not cut out to do this, and honestly no one is, but for me the love, the emotional connection for romance and more doesn’t work when forced onto a single person.

It’s been an interesting year on that front.  A few people have touched my heart in a few ways.  There’s this foxy girl who’s beautiful, playful and fun.  If she’s ever in a place she feels comfortable and able to, I think we could be good together.  There’s a mermaid who’s become a big part of my stability and I want to see her stand tall, by her side.  There’s the mysterious alien lover who captivates my attention and speaks with an authority on issues I find amazing.  There’s my dear friend from so close yet so far, who needs to escape her hateful wife.  There’s my British rocker girl, who’s so full of life and fun, makes me feel young at heart, even if I can’t give her what she wants all the time.  And then there’s Peace.

Peace is a special one for me.  Peace changed my life in a way no one would have seen coming.  We met through twitter, when a blogger I follow retweeted her.  I saw a young, trans woman who was smart and outspoken on issues I cared a lot about.  So I clicked on her profile to see a little about her.  The first thing I noticed was a banner for lesser known game that was part of a series I loved.  I knew then and there I needed to follow this girl.  So I did, and we messaged a little, and she even offered to let me follow her locked account.  Through her friendship, I’ve met directly or indirectly most of my new friends, my online support network, and 3 of the others listed above.  Peace expanded my world and I am forever grateful to her for it.

Peace and I have gotten closer as time as gone on.  There have been some rocky points, as things have not always been easy for either of us personally.  We both have known hurt, we both have our problems.  But she’s got a way of looking at the world that I relate to on a core, fundamental level.  I connect with her in a way I have with very few people before in my life.  I think things are progressing in a way I would like with Peace.  She has something small, but very special from me headed her way in the mail right now even.  I’m hoping she will get it before 2015 is over, because I want next you to start with her having a real idea of just how I feel.

Life has had its ups and downs this year.  I’ve lost loved ones, two best friends, and faced open discrimination.  But the truth is, I wouldn’t change any of this, because I am finally learning to love myself, to like myself, and I’ve met people I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I will gladly remember my hardships faced, because they all brought me to where I am today.  Life isn’t perfect, the world is a mess, but there is goodness still.

If you read this monstrosity of a post, please know that I love you all.

07 15

Spark – a poem

I do not even remember,
Exactly how we met,
It’s funny just how easy,
A fire becomes lit,
With just one little spark

It started out so simple,
The kindness of your words,
Shift from sitting idle,
To slowly moving forwards,
With just one little spark,

So much I had not seen,
A world I did not know,
A light to brand new wonders,
Has just begun to glow,
With just one little spark,

New friendships have been made,
A community forming too,
It started with a friendship,
And the wonder that is you,
A candle in the dark

My life forever changed,
Not beholden to my past,
The false me burns away,
A phoenix from the ash,
With just your little spark.

(for A)

I will always hurt everyone I love. If I were you, I’d run away ’cause it’s true.

I’m a horrible person.  Not in the “I wanna kill people, I want to oppress people, I want to be mean,” kinda of horrible.  I just don’t know how to be an actual person.  I’m a complete screw up at life, at everything.

I can’t force myself to do things I know I need to do for self care. I go days without showering, I skip eating regularly, I don’t do a lot of things I should.  All of this is bad, should be enough to scare anyone straight.  It’s certainly enough to make me want to go back to cutting. I haven’t in a while now, and I’m trying to not, but I do feel the urge on days like today, days when it all starts to feel overwhelming.  But honestly, there’s something that scares me more about being a horrible human.

I’m horrible with people.  I cannot figure out how to actually be a person.  I don’t know how to be close friends.  I will either push people away, or more likely hold on to them too tight.  I’ll try to force myself into the lives of people I care about, and not recognize when I’m being invasive.  Or I’ll completely back away and then I’ll just wallow in my own loneliness.  I just wish I could figure out the balance to show I care, to show support and friendship, without putting constant pressure on someone.

And worse it how much it gets compounded once I figure out I like someone maybe a bit more than a friend.  There are just a few people who I’m starting to care about a bit more than a friendship way.  And if I’m horrible at being a good friend, I’m worse at figuring out how to show I care like this without pushing on them so hard.  I just with I could figure out the right balance.  Too loose, too tight, never can I do it right…

I’ll probably be okay, I’m just feeling like shit right now, really bad day with the depression, combined with trying to process how I feel about a few extremely wonderful friends who mean the world to me.  I don’t know if they will read this (I kinda hope they don’t) but if so, I love you.  You’re extremely important to me, and there’s nothing I want more than for you to be happy.

I just wish I could figure out how to not be so horrible at being a human.

Sometimes Things Don’t Come Full Circle

So I never intended to take a break.  I definitely didn’t intend to be gone so long.  But I can’t promise I’ll be as regular as I was.  But I intend to try to return, and post once again to this blog.  I could use it.

So a lot has happened in the last several months.  The biggest is that I am now living almost 100% full time as myself.  Work is the final hold out, which has to do with an issue with the store manager and legal names.  I’m probably going to have to go over her head, because the company doesn’t have this hang up, but I fear retribution.  I’m about done waiting though.  This week I need to talk to HR about the issue.

My life has been better in almost every way since I started living openly.  I came out to all of my family, and aside from one major hiccup, they have at least said they wanted me to be happy, even if they don’t understand.  The hiccup though has been my parents and my sister.  My sister stopped talking to me all together.  Now I love my sister, but she’s not a great person.  It hurts to lose her, but I will live.  My parents reaction has been not so concrete and much harder to deal with.  My mother refuses to look at me, or speak to me directly.  She will only speak to me via text messages.  My dad doesn’t lock himself away, but he doesn’t seek to talk to me directly.  This has been this way since I came out, over a month ago.

My ex no longer speaks to me.  It hurt to lose someone so important to me, but inside, I know that she’s got her reasons.  I’ve become much more aware of some of the horrible things I’ve done in my life recently.  I can’t take those things back, but I can respect her need to be left alone, and I will honor that.  I miss her terribly still.  I hope she’s well.

My friends have been awesome, and I made a wonderful trans friend.  She and I are close to each other in timeframe for transition, so we get to go through so much of this together.  She also introduced me to a local trans social group.  I’ve never felt so accepted and welcome before in my life.  And there’s this guy.  He’s funny and cute and I may have a bit of a crush.  I’d just gotten used to the idea of being happy alone, and suddenly I find someone I kinda can’t stop thinking about.  It’s weird.  But I asked him if he wanted to get coffee tonight, and he totally said yes! I’m sooooo excited!  We’re meeting in about an hour, and I cannot wait to see him, and everyone else.

That’s enough of an update for now.  I’ll try to be on here more going foward.  I like having a place to work out what I’m thinking and feeling.   Later my lovelies!

Rachel

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do

I tried to write this post last night, but I’m glad I didn’t.  It would not have been a very good post.  Lately I’ve been feeling extremely lonely.  I have friends and family, but there are things I’m missing in my life.

One of the main areas I’m the most lonely is people who understand what I’m going through.  I have no close friends who are trans.  I know a couple people offline who are, but we’re not extremely close.  There also aren’t any local support groups I can find.  Online resources have been very helpful, and I’m even cultivating friendships there, but there’s something lacking from not getting to spend time with people who really know and see the real me.

I’m also currently single.  Dating is hard enough, but add in being trans and it’s infinitely harder.  Especially this early in transition.  I won’t look like this in a year, and while looks aren’t everything, it’s a lie to say they don’t matter.  Even to a blind person my body will be a different shape.  That’s not to say someone can’t find me attractive both ways, just that it would take a truly exceptional person.

Interestingly a fusion of those two areas seemed to be happening, but seems not so much now.  I met another trans woman through an online dating site, and we were hitting it off really well.  She’s much farther into transition, but we were getting along very well.  We even went out a few times and it seemed to be going very well, but she’s been very distant of late.  She messaged that she’s been very busy, and we’ve even talked about things that keep her busy.  I’m understanding, and want to give her the space and time she needs, but I still feel lonely.

I can’t be honest with my family either.  I’ve been thinking more and more about what will happen when I come out.  I still have no idea how they will react.  My parents I have no idea what they will think or do.  Same for my sister.  My brother is the only one I’ve told, and he’s pretty clearly not interested in talking about it.  At least we’re still friends, just not something he wants to really understand.  My extended family, especially my mom’s side, is pretty close.  But I don’t know how any of them will take things either.  I have some cousins who will probably think I’m weird, but will still be cool with me I’m betting.  The older generations I don’t know about at all.  My dad’s side I have a feeling won’t be understanding at all.  They’re not bad people, just not very progressive.

My current living situation isn’t optimal either.  I don’t live with people I can be open with.  When it becomes something I can no longer hide, I will come out, but until then, I’m not ready to risk being homeless.  I don’t make enough money to live alone, as much as I wish I could.  It also makes it hard to find a roommate because I need someone I could trust and wouldn’t mind me being my true self at home.

It all just adds up.  I’ll be alright, but the last few days have been particularly hard.  I just can’t wait for monday.