Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The post I wish I had read twenty years ago…

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I know TMTR, but it might save your life...



After a year of being frozen I discovered that my other blog, a photo blog which ran daily for nearly six years, had become unfrozen! If any of you who read this followed it, I have to say that not having the outlet for my quirky view on the world caused me to lose interest, especially since the world is now smothered daily by more images than were produced in the whole 200 year history of chemical/silver-based photography. That rant over ... I really dislike the new blogger interface so...


I came here to see if this blog had been shaken out of its straight - jacketed state by Google, but sadly, not so. Still very little functionality beyond making a new post and even then my template is broken. So here is a rare one from this dormant, freezing hulk of a blog. I rarely even write a shopping list now, so please forgive any lack of style.


My life has been a long series of fitting into minority boxes, the trans one being a prime example. I have found another. If, like me, you have changed your body chemistry with magic female hormone you may have also added a certain body mass as time has gone on. You have, like me, probably tried to address this with various degrees of success then slowly losing absolute control slipped back into more relaxed eating habits and not been too happy.


There are an infinite number of "diet plans" it seems and companies ready to sell you ready-made drinks and meals to give you that beach-ready body that you always dreamed about - well, unless your favourite beach is a naturist one where you are accepted whatever nature gave you, which is where my whole blog started so many years ago.


These last two years have offered their own challenges and mine was remaining home with a vulnerable partner and surviving mainly because a couple of friends have been dropping off groceries. We live in the UK and those bags often contained crumpets which, when toasted and covered with a good spread of butter, are a pure delight. Very slowly I regained a stone - 14 pounds. Yes we are still in the stone age in the UK. Then we got supermarket delivery slots which had before been unobtainable and my partner started ordering ginger flavoured biscuits! Weight started to be gained more quickly!


I was going to revert to a previously successful 5:2 intermittent fasting diet but with the world slowly opening up and visitors sharing the garden sunshine with us, having visitors on a fast day was not going to be fun. I thought that I would see if anyone had posted videos of any way that they had worked something similar. That is when I slipped down the rabbit hole of body chemistry videos. My other reason for some research was because my last blood test had shown a growing insulin intolerance and posed a threat of drug intervention, I had already heard of horror stories of how doctors trained many decades ago treat such patients and it is beyond illogical!


I was a solitary geeky kid who obviously could never find role models in fiction so as a teenager I read chemistry and physics books like novels. I have been fascinated by just how much recent research has been done on the very complex chemistry which goes on in uncountable trillions of chemical reactions in our bodies daily.


I have to admit to having reservations about writing this post. I do not wish to be responsible for anyone regretting their choice to try what is working for me, so I would suggest doing your own searches for evidence so that it makes sense before trying it.  What you will be up against is the entrenched medical "thinking" which your doctor, trained decades ago, will quote like a ranting preacher.


First they will test your blood for sugar for countless years and tell you that they are happy, until one day, about ten years later than they should have done, they will actually test for insulin levels because they have a pretty good idea that you have been following the SAD (Standard American Diet, but much the same world over) and have ruined your ability to control blood sugar with insulin. They will rub their hands and say that they have a nasty drug which will ruin your system in time and help you put on a lot of weight. I think such a suggestion should be treated much like the witch offering a rosy-red poisoned apple with a toothless smile. You should run!


The circulation system can only handle one teaspoon of blood sugar at any time. Any extra sugar has to be dealt with double quick. Insulin is produced to open the liver cells to store this. There is a limit after which it will be stored elsewhere. Good as the body is, it over-produces the insulin which, when sugars have been dealt with, remains in your system, giving you an energy dip because insulin nastily is now stopping the energy stored in the liver from being used! Best have a quick, carb snack and you are set on the insulin-carb rollercoaster for the day, probably starting minutes after you woke and had a carb-loaded breakfast. After your last evening snack, it will take most of the night for the system to settle then wham, back on the ride! Since the 50s and especially since the SAD recommendations of the 70s the west has been on a high carb, low fat max seed oil diet.


Before that, for tens of thousands of generations, easily absorbed, highly-refined carbs were hard to come by and at best were seasonal fruits just when you needed to slowly store some reserves for winter. Healthy saturated fats formed much of the diet from meats. Seed oils were a future industrial chemist's wet dream so that they could play with their carcinogenic solvents at high temperatures and pressures and then try to wash them out with bleach and other chemicals in their chemistry set to stop the highly unstable oils from oxidising the moment they touch the air.


If your "doctor" has caught you out having poor insulin response, you are not alone. Until the 50s it was fairly rare but slowly increasing, but if you see the graph of world-wide obesity and diabetes the graph rises like your plane taking you off on holiday. Relax, says your "doctor", cut out pure sugars, take the nasty drug, and base your diet on a daily THREE HUNDRED GRAMS of carbohydrate which turns to sugars in your system within minutes! Only eat low fat foods which have added sugars and artificial sweeteners, based on weedkiller and turn to embalming fluid and wood alcohol in your body. And do not forget, only the industrial cocktail which was once a nice plant material but is now an Omega 6 filled disaster.


How did we get here? Researchers reassessing the original research data and researchers correspondence from that time have unsurprisingly found that they were being funded by the sugar industry, and hey, saying lower fat consumption must stop you getting fat will be believed if they say it loud and often. Nobody ever tells you that your body can manufacture all of the carbs it needs from the fat that is stored, if it is given the chance!


As a once science geeky child reading chemistry and physics text books instead of heterosexual games and violence fiction like everyone else, even I am amazed by how much has been discovered about the minute chemical workings of the human body. It is a great shame that your "doctor" is not aware of them.


If their recommended diet was really how your body works, then carbohydrates are the only fuel the body runs on and the brain needs 600 calories of sugar based chemicals every day to survive. A couple of days fasting and your "doctor" should be writing out your death certificate! The Inuit living on only the animals they hunted must have been a fictional being! They had never seen a vegetable and certainly not a vitamin C stuffed lime. They had eaten almost nothing but saturated fat for three thousand years. Of course, now, eating the food supplied by outsiders, they have type two diabetes in higher numbers than their suppliers. Could it be that "doctors" have been telling us the wrong thing? Are they not concerned that we are all going to die from diabetes before the planet overheats!!


I am angry with myself for letting my long depression with "T" problems make me loose track of the ball. I have now done a complete U turn and cut out as much carb from my diet as possible.

No sweets, ever! Very careful with only eating very low carb foods and selective on nuts because some have very high Omega 6 which you will find needs to be balanced with Omega 3 - who knew!?


I shun the industrial polyunsaturated seed oils. I use cold pressed olive oil for dressing salads and cook with duck and goose fat. Tough luck if you are vegetarian or vegan. It might be harder to find fats for cooking, Try coconut oil.

I aim for four to six ounces of grass fed meat or some fatty fish like salmon or sardine each day.

Preferably unpasteurised full fat farm cheese and yoghurt.

I eat until I am satisfied over about an hour or so and that is it for the day!

My body is now adapted to using fat as the main source of energy, and yes it can make enough blood sugars to keep my brain going since it is now about eight weeks since I started working up to this regime. I HAVE NOT BEEN HUNGRY FOR EIGHT WEEKS!


Idiot as I was, I paid too little attention and assumed that a Keto diet was probably just another fad diet when it is actually the "Human Biochemist's Diet". I was hovering under 16 stone when I stopped looking at the bathroom scales. This morning my weekly weigh-in said 13 stone 13 1/2 pounds, I had hoped to be down to 14 by Christmas...


Others may get different mileage.

 I suggest you do your own investigations and wish you luck.



Sorry, but Google has broken my comments box.


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My friend Deanna is following same plan and has a better post WITH pictures!


https://hallesfacade.blogspot.com/2021/10/food-revelation.html

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Sunday, 3 January 2021

Random thoughts.



Half a century of mental isolation due to being transsexual in a medical truth denouncing world set me up for a quite enjoyable 2020. The air cleared and I was able to hear every chime of the town clock without the constant background rumble of traffic. Just like a forty year flip back in time. Since I have spent those years maintaining a home and garden with little money but plenty of time, not much had changed. Others may not have remained so calm…


This blog was once the core of my life through too many years of transition. I recently came across a cache of over 650 bookmarks under a forgotten heading, there were many others long deleted from those times. It reminded me of countless fellow bloggers and almost without exception their online work has vanished. There used to be much grumbling as each blogger did their time, got as far as they felt they could or needed to, and went “stealth”. This was considered a dubious and bad thing, why would they abandon us like that?


I am sure many just wanted to vanish into society and felt cutting links to visible past was a wise thing to do. I was visible long before transition and always felt it would be pointless to try and hide my past. As it turns out, taking on a real persona and living that life openly and honestly is just what we always hoped for and it just works for many of us. It has worked for me. After a few weeks of trying to tell people face to face what I was going to do it became impossible to remember who had been told and who had somehow been told by others, at that point I gave up and just got on with life… Now I am just me and have no idea who amongst my newer friends knows of an interesting past and I suspect that many do not and if they do they certainly have never given the slightest clue. Call it stealth but it is just getting on with life, why else would we want to change?


How long ago you are asking yourselves. So long I keep forgetting! Anyway it is near the anniversary of a long snowy trip to get my GRS. More than I could ever have hoped for.


My best wishes for anyone else on a similar journey. A decade on my experiences probably bare very little resemblance to whatever the current procedures are. Heck we can even marry anyone we like here in the UK and that was beyond anybody's wildest dreams! 

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Still alive.

Another decade! With the high murder and suicide rates folk like us have I never imagined that I would reach the end of my twenties let alone still be around twenty years into the new millennium.

I have just checked back in the blog and it was just a month into the start of the last decade that I finally submitted to the psych test at the Glasgow gender clinic which led just a year later to my GRS. Decades hiding away in fear then transformed  into someone who could finally breathe free and enjoy life. I really should not have taken so long then I could have enjoyed more time with my friends who are starting to crumble with age or just die! Yesterday was the memorial for my closest and longest friendship formed when I first moved here half a century ago, too many of my closest circle of friends have departed in recent years...

Just stopped by to show that transition really can work and to let Google know that the blog is still alive too! Though remember comments no longer work on this blog.

Best wishes for the new year to anyone who finds this.


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Anniversary and end of an era...




It is that time of year again, an anniversary of note, the start of bliss with my absolute deletion of facebook seven years ago. Unlike those who invented and run the thing I read all the terms and conditions and realised the privacy and data concerns which those responsible claim they have only just realised…

It is also the seventh anniversary of my trip to Brighton for a snowy week with surgery and recovery from GRS. I have to admit that I only know the number of years by opening this blog and searching back. Day to day and year to year it seems something lost in the mists of time. I guess that proves that it worked.

The UK Guardian newspaper recently published a better than usual article about transition later in life. Always nice to know that I am not alone and that others had successful outcomes, perhaps after a few more decades of decent articles the general population might finally accept that we exist and are not the danger that the gutter press would have people believe. Sadly those who do manage to find the help needed and get to spend some time in the role they always wished  to live are still only a small percentage of the total. Hopefully the likes of T Central and the blogs which it promotes and similar sites on the subject, help people gain the confidence to tackle a transition fully aware of the challenges it will entail.


This blog is hosted on Blogger which has slowly and relentlessly reduced my control of the site. Now all that it will allow is editing my Blogger profile and removing myself from the site! I have no control over the template and though there is a comment box no comments ever get through. If I had more to say, and for many years this blog was the life saving centre of my life, it would be a great concern. My experiences remain here for as long as Blogger remains supported by it’s fickle owner. All that I am saying in these infrequent posts is that it worked. This seven year itch is telling me that finally, after 320 posts, blogging time really is up.

I hope that visitors to this blog gain as much joy from any transition they undertake as I have done from mine.

Wishing you all the best, Caroline.


Monday, 24 December 2018

Sleigh bells roasting on an open fire…




Despite my first job being the driver of Santa’s sleigh ride in a department store I have a lifetime dislike of this time of year, perhaps I mean because of...

People still do not seem to understand what a torment it is to go through life being unable to show appreciation for any presents received. How could they, our situation is totally and unfathomably alien to them. Most of us probably just go with the flow and accept their fate of accumulated unwanted stuff.

My parents were mean hearted in mean post war times so I never expected or got much from them as a child. Relations clearly tried to do the necessary present giving in the busy month of December with birthday and the other event very close together. I have no idea how I got over the idea to them  that the presents were unsuitable but at a very early age they were magically transformed into postal orders for money or nice crisp ten shilling notes from those who did not have to post. Thankfully that could buy books, something else my parents did not understand!

In times past the Yule replacement festival came and went quite quickly but now in what we are told are times of austerity, billions are spent to the refrain of endlessly repeated pop and carols. Thankfully once a few days worth of bad TV has been broadcast we can get down to the serious business of funerals for the surprising number who have just shown exactly what they thought of suffering yet another festival of over indulgence. I have to put my hand up to some comfort eating to cheer me through the months of watching a friend struggle then rapidly decline, a tight waist band is uncomfortable and the look is terrible. Some increased physical exercise is required on the non icy days.


At least a tree has been saved from being cut down then dehydrated in the corner of the sitting room and in the chaos of hospital visits not a single purchase of the one redeeming Yule treat, mince pies, has been made. Just as well.


See how much calmer Yulefest was in the past!





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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Ooooops, out.


I have friends old enough to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary and was invited to the celebration at a rented large country house in the north of England. People came from far and wide to spend two days of food wine and chat. New me does these things with joy, always happy to help out with the organising, catering and teaching a group of my age how to play snooker on the full sized table in the games room, sign of me once trying to misspend my youth…

The chat with such a wide range of folk was the main attraction though the food was good. Most interesting for me was a guy who had seen his whole life at one of the most dangerous jobs, deep sea fishing, and enjoyed every day of it and never lost a close friend at sea the whole working life.

Sitting next to me at the evening meal on the first day was a charming woman, widow of the brother of one of the anniversary couple. We chatted generally on subjects now long forgotten, then the subject somehow got round to how she and her daughter used a so called social media site but each restricted it to one subject interest only, not mixing different parts of their lives. I kept quiet about how I feel about these sites and how they force changes without warning, I can no longer make comments using my old Blogger profile for example… Out of nowhere the subject was all about how the woman’s daughter used her media presence just for LGBTI campaigning and the person I was talking to herself just could not understand the idea of transexuals at all…

Where do you go from there?

I suggested that she should find someone who was T and talk to them... 

“Have you ever had a conversation with a transexual to get their perspective on the situation?” I asked. “ I have never met one” she said. “I think you have “ was my reply, “what do you want to know?”. There was some confusion and bewilderment before the penny dropped that the woman who had been chatting away with her for so long had an unexpected and interesting former life!

Her daughter seems to be a masculine female who is quite content with the body she has but keeps on about trans rights and the poor woman just did not get it.

Naturally I gave her the full lecture from confused two year old through the life of dishonesty and misery, having to hide true self and never fitting in until it is a choice between suicide or transition. You get the idea, and I think she can now write a post doctoral thesis on the subject.

From her reactions she had clearly never considered any of the many interesting facts she heard but made it clear that she was much better informed and ready to finally have a heart to heart conversation with her daughter. I never did get to talk to my parents…
Our chat interestingly never changed the way she interacted with me for the rest of the two day celebration and even made an effort to seek me out to say goodbye.

Normally these days I rarely think much of my past or the transition to my new life. Calm as I was during the chat there was a brief period of sick to the stomach feeling before something distracted me back into the real world.

It is sad to see otherwise bright well educated folk still completely ignorant of our predicament and easy to see how less well educated are the same and easily whipped up to pointless fury by wilful media or governments asking for inputs to proposed reform of previously badly made gender equality legislation as is happening in the UK at the moment.

I no-longer have the time, energy or inclination to campaign, it is time to pass the baton on to the younger generation. 



Friday, 17 August 2018

Notes from Bramble Cottage.




Once my life was completely centred round blogs and the net. My life had been slipping ever deeper into a dark place and it saved me. Me, who had rarely written more than a shopping list for decades started to write this blog, it only seemed fair when I was reading the innermost thoughts of others. 

Once my experiences seemed less relevant to the current transitioners, and my life had been transformed, there seemed little to write here. I planned a new blog based on notes from my garden here at Bramble Cottage. I registered it at this time of year and wrote several posts to try out the subject and writing style but in the end decided that it was probably not a blog that many would be subscribing to. I have just got on with my life.

I was reminded of this fact as I was confronted with a huge crop of brambles which started ripening this week, we are very regular at the moment!

Thoughts moved on to how the garden had changed over time. It was originally a place for me to hide from the world, a garden can absorb all your energy and still look like you had hardly bothered! As my moods darkened this village garden started to turn into a small suburban forrest, did I mention hiding from the world? The supposedly slow growing trees took off like crazy in the rich garden soil and soon started to block out the light. Those living here and neighbours were not exactly happy. 

Here comes the juicy bit, the T part, the warning… If you are going to Transition M2F I would suggest  taking advantage of all that unwanted testosterone by burning up any anger doing heavy garden work while you can. Once that is gone you will wonder how on earth you managed to place things in the garden since they now seem immovable. All those jobs you put off because you were sure to die before they became urgent, they will need doing and will be exhausting!

Do not imagine that any of your male friends will be available to help. They have not run away because they cannot imagine being seen with you, they have all had strokes, got dementia, diabetes, awaiting a triple heart bypass or the latest one, had all their small intestines removed through blood clot! I tried paying for help for first time in my life undoing the first half of the job they made a mess and broke things and never returned for the second half… 

Well unlike transition, a garden is never completed and I can live with the half wilderness which my garden has become around the different sitting places for different times of day as we chase or hide from the sun. Latest garden accessory is a wine fridge to make sure that there is a selection of bottles always available as I finally have learned to sit back and enjoy the moment.

This stuff does not flow out quite how it used to!. Recap, get on with it and stop being so depressed, it can work out fine and you can keep friends, take advantage of the male hormone while you can.





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please note that comments do not
 always seem to work on this blog.


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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Blogs were an Electric Ladyland...



This was going to start with a video of Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix, but as proof that the internet is useless, a long search has only found the evidence that lawyers have wiped them from the face of the earth… Lyrics are at the end. 

It seems like a lifetime ago now. I had long resisted our getting a computer then even more resisted getting connected on line. I first argued that a slow connection at home would be pointless when my partner already had faster connection which she was allowed to use at work, “ let’s just wait for broadband…”. Then broadband arrived in the village!

As a student in the 70’s I had scoured the university library in search of writings about transsexuals and even though it included a medical school I found nothing. Surely over three decades later this new fangled internet would tell me all, surely a few taps on the keys and all would be revealed… I knew that I would tap those keys given half a chance and had done all I could to keep that temptation at bay.

Finally we were connected, I had not a clue how a computer worked, my last contact had been in ’72 when I was writing some programs on punch cards and it would take a day to run the cards and see if each part of the program actually worked, one slip and you had zilch. I did run my small business invoices from a pocket organiser but that was hardly much help in knowing what to do with a desktop machine on the net.

I was clumsy, treating the net like an encyclopaedia and a bit confused by the small snippets of information which leaked out. It was an age before I discovered that people wrote “blogs” but those which might interest me seemed to be rare as hen’s teeth and not the personal and open things which would be found a few years later. I seemed to have just missed the age of dial up chat rooms, probably a good thing with my fear of showing some of the world’s worst spilling…

As soon as I was finally reading blogs about people’s personal experiences and also the comments made on them I started to feel strongly guilty, like a voyeur. I had to join in, that meant signing in to get an authorised identity and since the first comment was to a Livejournal blog I signed up with them. I was hooked! I had no intention of ever writing a blog of my own, I even resisted writing a shopping list, I had successfully hidden my dyslexia for half a century, why ruin it now? The spellchecker saved me and I became an avid commentator, I did have things I wished to say and confidence was gained. By now you have worked out that my dyslexia is in the writing part of my brain, not the reading part, a blank page is far more terrifying than spiders or rats!

I have lost track of just how long it was before I finally made my first attempts at a blog of my own. I waited until I felt “qualified”, surely an orchiectomy was enough to make me feel that I really had something to show my seriousness!

That first attempt was on the live journal platform but even with all my comments on other blogs I seemed to be whistling in the wind. It was great for one of my reasons for writing, to keep track of my thoughts and changes, things very easily forgotten. By now it had become obvious that there was more interaction on the Blogger site so I copied all my previous posts and nine years ago on the 14th of April my blog, originally titled “In Search of Lost Time” started her on Blogger. For many years I was obsessed with life online, ten times more diligent than any previous studies I had ever done, I had hundreds of bloggers bookmarked and often read their entire blogs from start to finish when I discovered them, not something that blog platforms like to make easy! Did I mention that I was a bit obsessed? That was even though I was still convinced that I would probably never progress much further on my transition. Well that finally went much further than I had really ever dreamed that it could and some of you may have noticed a certain amount of encouragement on my blog not to hang about wasting time like I did.

All now seems so long ago and hard to imagine that writer was me. Life is more transformed than transitioned. If I had not been sifting through my ancient and grinding old iMac for the few files which I want on a new simpler machine I might not have noticed the nine year anniversary. I would have posted on the right day if I had not been delirious with nasty cold symptoms.

If anyone had told me all those years ago that one day blogging would not be an ever present part of my life I would have thought them mad, but there you go, transition can lead you to the sort of life you had always dreamed of and that becomes your new obsession…

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Have you ever been, have you ever been, to Electric Ladyland?
The magic carpet waits, for you.
So don't you be late
Oh, I wanna show you, the different emotions
I wanna run to the sounds and motions
Electric woman waits for you and me
So it's time we take a ride, 
we can cast all of your hang-ups over
the side.
While we fly right over the love filled sea
Look up ahead, I see the loveland, soon you'll understand.
Make love, make love, make love, make love.
The angels will spread their wings, spread their wings
Good and evil lay side by side while electric love penetrates the sky
Lord, Lord I wanna show you
I wanna show you…
Show you


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Friday, 22 December 2017

A rare seasonal present.


My local shop started selling easter eggs a week ago.


There is a certain irony about my first real job, it brings an interesting range of reactions when I tell people.

I drove Santa’s sleigh! Yes, I know, like most worshiped characters this one is a madey up character and my Santa was a lecherous child hater who loved his Bunny Girl helpers. My job was to load the sleigh ride and run it for as long as I judged suitable to keep the customer flow going and grab the moving landscape side-screens if either jammed. If the lines extended out into the street the ride would be very short but sometimes when quiet I would see how long I could make the ride last… Fathers with dandruff on their dark jackets provided the only snow effects in those dark light lamps, I tried not to notice. For the two month run up to christmas there was only one 45 rpm disc played until it was almost worn out, I have blanked that tune from my memory. I got that job to pay for the “present” of a reel to reel tape recorder my mother had “bought” for me, did I mention that my parents were mean and selfish?

As a small child I had been dragged to see Santa in this very same store, I froze, not through temperature, or shyness, but through sheer terror of not being able to play the part and lie. How could Santa not know that I was really a girl and his presents would be unsuitable! How could I tell him? Nobody could understand why I could not be happy and show joy when given presents. First couple of years was easy, soft toys and bricks, by the time of my third birthday and the arrival of my twin sistersI knew exactly who I was but could not work out why adults did not seem to have worked it out…

Only briefly did I ever have any money so have never been swept up into the shopping frenzy, once the ghastly seasonal music contaminates the air I stay away from all but necessary grocery shopping. Dressing a Yule tree has held interest since it is the honest pagan part of the season acknowledging the change of the solar cycle as the setting sun pauses for several days, not changing it’s setting position inline with a cross shaped group of stars nearby, then slowly the daylight starts to lengthen again. So many religions have jumped on this bandwagon but hey who can even see the stars now with all the light pollution? For many years now I have improvised the tree element refusing to wantonly kill a tree then pay a small fortune to watch it dry up and drop needles between my floorboards. For the past two years the “tree” was virtual but the decorations hung in midair much where they would be if they were hung on a tree, that was a great hit. This year, in the spirit of recycling, I have made a cutout tree from corrugated cardboard left over from a long ago exhibition. Cleaning up after is going to be a breeze.

We have rounded up a houseful of folk, all at a loose end with no family to feed them, so shall cook up a feast much like any of our dinner parties except there shall be flames flickering over the pudding once it is doused in heated brandy…

As usual we have each nominated a recently acquired item as designated Yule present, just incase someone asks! I doubt that I shall ever fully change my attitude to presents so late in life. 

At least the new improved me can enjoy a party now.



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Thursday, 5 October 2017

A momentary lapse of composure...



I am having a go at writing a post. So long since I even opened the email associated with my blog that I have forgotten how to access it! Life has moved on so far since I started the blog that it feels very strange thinking about that time.

I keep a quiet eye on a number of fellow travellers who were on the path with me and for personal reasons have not been able to reach the point of “it just is” as one just posted after her long delayed change.

After a lifetime of “not being” and the constant sense of tension and disquiet that instills it is strange to think that it is possible to wake and just “be” and get on with life as though that had always been the case. I have always found it difficult to explain the feeling of “not being” to those who have lived without our point of reference, it is an alien concept to them to have ever questioned their roles in the world.

I have just returned from a three week family visit where web connection is dire on the best of days so I found myself in an off grid paradise most of the time and joyously lived in the here and now. What made it especially fun was having a very smart 19 month old, the only one of that generation in our family, as almost constant entertainment.

It got me wondering… I knew from a very early age that I could never find a place in the world which included creating a family. before I was three I knew that I was a girl, who was thought to be a boy, who was attracted to girls but not in the way boys are… … … yes, a lot of thoughtful dots. How was I to know that within my lifetime all that would be overturned in the more civilised parts of the world? Someone from the village has recently married her girlfriend and have already produced their first baby! Nobody seems to have been bothered by the production of another loving family…

Ou est C******e? Encore pour C******e was her most regular chant for her great aunt, as if I had not eaten enough already. 19 months and already she is a tall slim girl fast becoming sophisticated. Stopping her getting hold of a knife is one of the hardest jobs for any designated watcher, I am sure that she really just wants to use it properly and probably ambidextrously like she uses her fork and spoon to eat food I never knew existed until I was in my thirties. the last meal was slow to be delivered so she ate a bowl of potato crisps while waiting for her fresh pan fried foie gras, ( I sense any Californian readers feinting in horror ), meatloaf with mixed roasted vegetables and French beans followed which she swilled down with a glass of water, plastic is just not acceptable. After seconds and thirds of the veg she polished off a full sized portion of ice-cream with a fondant of chocolate and cream with fresh cooked fine biscuit before wiping her mouth on the napkin and delicately cleaning her hands!

She showed me what “ just being” I had missed out on time and time again as she revelled in being alive and discovering the world. 19 months and she has already done more living than I did in half a lifetime cowering away, it was if a strong hand had reached inside and squeezed and twisted my heart and guts overtime this thought crossed my mind.

Tears still well up when I think about it. A life wasted as a dry husk while virtually everyone else on the planet is oblivious. Once the cold which has struck me down I hope to put these thoughts behind me and get back to “just being”, and unbelievably great that is too.


My blog was always for others to be encouraged by, yes you too could step over to the other side and get a few years, or a lifetime, of living free.


 Inspired by http://hallesfacade.blogspot.co.uk/



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Friday, 11 November 2016

Cobweb corner and the power of small pronouns.

Looks like I shall soon be in Cobweb corner…

Strange that I had never quite got that far down the TC page, always so much to find higher up. Few in that section ring bells with me and in my day I was up most of the night reading hundreds of blog posts. I guess so many blogs get deleted by their writers once their minds are set or their transformations are over and the new life begins.

The smallest things stand out now and they are pronouns. You would assume that the “she” and “her” ones would be at the top of the list but you would be greatly undervaluing the power of “me” and “I”. When you have been using them your whole life, or using them as little as possible in my case, you have been using them in reference to a disguised role you are playing. If you are sensitive each use would have been a stab in the soul. A downright lie overtime you used them…

I am now out of practice writing and even at the height of my blogging probably could not have expressed fully the joy of honestly using “me” and “I” when finally living honestly, openly, and fully accepted.

Only when freed from the shackles of that old life have I finally been able to fully understand exactly who I am and what makes me tick…

Out to lunch today visiting relations, one recounted a recent phone call from a close school friend too distraught to actually speak through her tears. When she finally made a second call she said that her daughter in her early twenties had just declared that she was really a boy. “Oh we have someone in the family who did a change, works fine” or words to that effect was her reply. The friend said that she was “Not worried about the change, just heartbroken that a child has had to suffer for so long”! Not all family fear for their own embarrassment, some actually care about their nearest and dearest. 

Recently someone posted that we are usually the only ones who know how the self timer works on a camera. It made me smile and it is probably true. Until I started contemplating the possibility / impossibility of transforming, what looked to all the world like a sullen bearded terrorist rather than anything resembling a woman, the old “I” had avoided being in any photographs as much as possible, even those being taken by tourists! Any reminders of what that person was and the absurdity of that existence was too much to bear. Old photographs do occasionally turn up but no longer make me physically wince, it is as if they are of a long lost sibling…

For an intense few years self-portraits, as they were once called, filled my photo file, a digital snapshot camera became “best aid to transition”. Now “I” am more than happy to be part of the world but no longer feel the need to record my changes. I thought that I needed to look back a couple of years to find one for this post until I remembered a recent one taken. Our niece had a baby early in the year, even named her after one of us so we had to drive a thousand miles to visit just after easter to check out the new arrival. Times past there was an assumption that “guys” wanted little to do with such creatures and I would be shut out. How strange to finally feel part of the circle of life. She has just been to visit us here at home with three adults to help carry her belongings, she is going to be a fun part of our lives.



Truth be told “I” do have one regret, I believed when I was told that there would be no help available in my lifetime and I hid from the world only to be reborn with a limited number of years left to enjoy and many of those may be wrinkly! Do not take that as anything like a regret at changing, nothing can fully express the pricelessness of finally being your true self and everything that brings with it for you.

Something nasty froze the browser with my blog access six months or so ago, it will be interesting to see what I last wrote when I try to post this. I am really interested to see exactly how long since I had my operation, like so much it has all faded into distant memory buried with cobwebs. Sweep me into that corner now, this chapter of my life is now concluded.

Seems it will soon be five years, how they have flown by! Time really does fly when you are enjoying yourself.

Best wishes to any who have been in contact along the way and best of luck finding peace to those who have yet to reach that point.

Calie, sweep me into that corner now please.


Friday, 15 January 2016

The Danish Girl and the Scottish girl...




Everybody knows that there is an Oscar nominated film out about a Danish girl who broke the ground for all of us.

There have been several weeks of will I , will I not go and see this film. Do I need to stir up old memories and torment now that my physical transformation passed it's last big hurdle just two weeks short of four years ago. Memories of the transitional years and the decades of misery which preceded it have almost faded to nothing. A life which I never imagined possible just flows naturally day to day, congratulations on how well I am doing have petered out and most now seem to have appeared to have forgotten my previous incarnation. I guess what I am saying is that transition has worked just fine.

Today was the last day of the local film run, it was a clear ice free day and  not pouring with rain like the fast few weeks so I invited two of the friends who have known me the longest, through all incarnations to see the film. It cost me dearly since I felt that I had to pay or I may never hear the end of it! Perhaps the film would pass on some insights which I had failed to pass on. Others have written far better reviews than I could, I am rubbish at remembering names so shall just stick to random thoughts and impressions.

I was struck by the beauty of the film making by the second shot and knew that I felt I was getting my moneys worth and this was just an upside down reflection of a stark winter tree in a pond, those who know me will understand. It is  superbly crafted beautiful period piece with marvellous attention to detail. I was a bit disturbed by clearly newish roof tiles and guttering on a street of terraced houses but am probably the only one to be so... if the costumes have not been nominated for an Oscar there is no justice in the world. Someone got a steam train to drive over a bridge into Dresden for several wonderful seconds of screen time while a carriage interior shot from that train filled the screen for little longer, no expense or effort has been spared.

The casting and the performances cannot be faulted and were all believable, it is hard to imagine anyone else now taking the lead role. Some have muttered about not letting someone transsexual play the role but that surely would have defeated the point of showing the struggle of someone with a male body trying to find a way to break free, you needed an unaltered slim 20's period body for most of the film.

There are no two stories the same, just occasional similarities along the way so this is just a portrayal of one story at a time when medical knowledge on the subject was almost non existent and anyone whom you approached for help was more likely to harm you. Sadly ninety years on in many places not much has changed... There is a long slow awakening from the buttoned down role of fashionable successful painter who hated the limelight falling upon their fake identity. This stabbed me through the heart since my success as a photographer caused me to stall at the height of my career as that hated name kept showing up in reviews. The new me could cope quite well but lacks the energy and drive but has shown herself more than capable of standing in front of a crowd and giving a lecture without an extra heart beat.

Much is made of the clothes. We all approach female clothing differently, Lili is shown having her grasp on the old male facade cracked  open by exposure to the exotic world of different materials, textures and garments at a time of more mutually exclusively allowed modes of dress. To wear "other" really was to transgress! Lili does transgress and old defences against the world crumble.

Her wife Gerda is both supportive and by turns struggles with Lili's need to leave the male world behind at a time when there was no real alternative available. How all this is shown is probably much clearer to those of us who have lived through it all, it came over more hazily to my film going companions perhaps because of the slow languorous pace of the film to this point.

Then it gets more serious with a race between breakdown and finding help proceeds, this leads to finding the one person probably on the planet who can and is willing to attempt to help. I remember being asked multiple times, "are you sure that you want to go ahead with this procedure knowing all the possible risks?" Lili faced the same question but the risks were in a different league without modern antibiotics and multiple stage experimental surgery! Having been to the point of "I would rather be dead than carry on" I think I know something of how she may have felt, perhaps not as momentous a decision as most viewers would imagine!

After the long slow bulk of the film I feel that much must have hit the cutting room floor to speed over the final chapters.  We were given to understand that the operation would have to take place in two stages and at this point it becomes a bit unclear as to how far she has got. It was as if someone whisked away you plate of half eaten food in a fine restaurant while you exchanged a few words with a fellow diner, choice bits you were about to savour gone! The final chapters of the film were too rushed to give a true idea of what Lili had in the way of a life, we saw her happily working and having a close friendship with a male friend without any indication as to weeks, months or years passing... Perhaps a full gritty ending was too much for the producers...

It was a beautiful film to watch, a heartbreaking human story fairly well told but not one to really use as an educational tool to help your friends understand. Fairly flushed out the tear ducts in places. one scene was a master stroke when still male attired Lili pays to view a woman through a window and is at first given the usual routine only to quickly realise that she was having her movements copied, the centime drops and a feminine movement tutorial ensues...

A sad week when the news of David Bowie's death was announced on the radio as I was waking up, I thought it must be a very bad dream. The Beatles allowed me to start growing my hair beyond the previous ultra strict rules but Bowie sashaying about in gorgeous dresses like the one on the "Man Who Sold The World" LP and the gender fluid lyrics on those early seventies LPs really opened a door to a new world where I could survive. He really helped save my life. RIP.



















Sunday, 20 December 2015

Life just gets better.

How time flies. I have always found this dark and dreary time of year somewhat depressing. Nearly two months of ads to be glutenous and spend beyond our means to give  presents few need or want knowing full well that the sales start only a day or so after the rebirth of the sun. Perhaps having mean selfish parents who gave rubbish presents, and certainly never anything someone like me would ever want, did not help...

A week from now and I can stop watching the video recordings with no christmas ads and life can return to normal. Since transition I bounce back quickly in the new year whilst in the past the dark dreary months  do little to dampen my new enthusiasm for life.

When we start a transition the way is laid out before us in seemingly enormous lengths of time, a year for this, two years for that etc. It seems like it would never end yet here I am four years past my trip to Brighton to be reborn.

The only christmas present I have ever really appreciated was a slightly negative one but a landmark moment. It was four years ago when christmas marked the time to stop hormones prior to my operation, something which focuses the mind on just how far you have come and how quickly the time passed once that first step on the path was taken.

If there is a downside to transition it can only be that something like the calorie content of the food about at this time of year will plump up the body faster than you ever could imagine possible. Could be why I still hate christmas but look forward to a happy new year. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The internet saved my life, now Google wants to kill us all!

http://www.zdnet.com/article/google-bans-explicit-adult-content-from-blogger-blogs/?tag=nl.e539&s_cid=e539&ttag=e539&ftag=TRE17cfd61

Google often behaves irrationally. Not long ago it was linking accounts without asking and causing deaths in the process. It likes to mess up my accounts all the time and all no-reply emails from Google are addressed as coming from an individual blogger, one I do not even follow! This was the main reason I started withdrawing from using Google services and stopped posting to my blog.

Now if you read the link google wants to shut down a whole raft of sites it has decided it no longer likes. Like a trawler it does not care which sites get caught in its net and get closed down.

Overnight your blogs could be effectively dead, locked out of interacting on the net unless the blog owner invites you directly, how on earth would you be found!? You could find yourself in the dark at the bottom of a mine shaft, lost to the world.

If anyone could post an easy to follow guide on how to migrate a blog to another platform and especially maintain all links they would be doing a lot of people a great favour.

 Brave new world!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Happy Birthday.


Happy birthday to me, three today!

Not only is life transformed, the memories of pains, trials and struggles of the old life have almost completely vanished from my mind. Truly have regained time...

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