HRT Year One: The Quickening

img_e0608Initially, I was hesitant to do a one-year review of my HRT. I did a 6 month and that was enough I think. For me, HRT is a marathon of a lifetime of medication, it is not a sprint for changes. Perhaps because I am older, I know that it is unlikely for much to happen with HRT. Or because I am slightly wiser than I was in my youth. Either way HRT is great, it helps me, but I am not checking daily (anymore) to see what changes it has wrought upon my body.

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Photo by Alejandro Alvarez on Unsplash

I will say the greater changes after 6 months have been mental changes. I am not saying that HRT has made me zen-like, but the changes are subtler than an overall change in attitude. I am more likely to accept things as they are and work to change them in positive ways, rather than to rail against the machinations of circumstance. I no longer try to fix everything for those I love, rather I have self-initiated actively listening to their woes and commiserating with them.  I never had compassion for others in a large amount, generally it was always in this very vague sense that I never cultivated. Now, I empathize with most everything. We got chicks delivered as we are starting a small chicken coop of about eight chickens. They sent ten and only seven survived, one died in transit before I even got home, my son taking care of it before I got home. Two more weakened and died soon after, I was home at the time and trying to keep them alive. As these two died, one by one, I ugly cried as if they were family members. I cried for them, for me and for how they must have felt dying in a strange place with strange smells and the unknown, feeling so alone as they died upon the pine shavings. I cried and still now I am crying just typing this. Empathy is great, but it can allow the deepest cuts.

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Photo by Joe deSousa on Unsplash

Changes to me physically, there have been few after 6 months. My skin is softer than even at 6 months. Playing with our dog, who is part boxer, guarantees that will receive painful cuts on my forearms that used to not even be scratches, from her nails. (Boxers have a tendency to use their paws to grab and hold or pull.) My penis and testicles continue to shrink, oh how I wish they would all disappear. My sexual arousal is there, thanks to the Progesterone, but my unwilling need to make my penis part of that isn’t there. Ejaculate is almost nothing at all, a few drops, which is nice.

The Progesterone has amped up breast growth, it’s not extreme, but I notice a difference. I am still an A cup, but I must wear a bra at night as I sleep on my side and it can be awkward-to-painful with my breasts getting in the way. As I said, the progesterone has also affected my libido and reawakened my sex drive but not overly so. I used to masturbate almost daily, my sex drive was pretty er, umm, driven. Now, I barely think about actual masturbation, it’s more all in my head. In fact, I can reach release without really touching myself at all. So, that is different.

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Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

On the other things in my life, I am still awaiting my FBI background and my “born abroad” birth cert, so I can finish the name change paperwork and get it in the court system. I’m ready for this to be done, so ready. I have anxiety over the FBI background (no reason, I’m just anxious), and that somehow, they will lose my birth cert in the mail. I need this done, I need my name changed. I need to be fully out and stop having to pretend to be “him” at work. I need to stop being put in a situation like this handyman we hired to fix our bathroom ceiling. I feel I need to keep my work clothes until he finishes because I don’t want to turn him off the job midway, and I don’t want to have to explain my life story to a guy because my deadname and actual name conflict on my checks. I don’t want to keep doing this even a month longer, but here I am waiting for things to come in through the mail.

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Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

My best friend accidentally misgendered me last weekend during our Saturday D&D game. I said nothing when it happened, because I knew he would catch his own mistake. He did and corrected himself through the rest of the game. My heart didn’t dip, I didn’t become despondent. He later called me and apologized. He also texted me and apologized. I told him that it was fine, that I didn’t need an apology, but that it’s appreciated. He took it much, much worse than I would have, I told him to not punish himself over this. I don’t mind if someone mistakenly misgenders me, honest mistakes happen. I don’t have a voice yet that is trained to what I would like, so especially on the phone this is going to happen. My gender isn’t so precarious that I can’t manage someone making mistakes.

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Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

My in-laws came over last weekend. It was so wonderful having them in our home. They are always affirming and, in many ways, my cheerleaders. That they are Trump supporters, blows my mind and is a reminder that not all who vote are of the mind of the politician. We had a wonderful day with them, showing them the chicks and talking about the Mandela Effect. I was sad that it was over so quickly. I kind of wish they would move up here onto the property. We have an apartment above the garage that they could renovate and live in for free. But they aren’t ready to do that yet and have a lot of friends in South Carolina. Perhaps when they retire? But I miss then when they are gone. They have become much like my own parents, and not just in-laws. In this situation, I feel a lot like Sandra Bullock in “While you were sleeping” (at the end), loved and accepted, a movie which makes me cry every time.

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