The long break – Dysphoria watch – week One

I’m on my long break from work. And I’m worked up about it…. Girl at work, boy at home is my dividing line. How will I survive with minimal girl time? If the  couple of weekends before Christmas are any indication, then the answer will be badly 😦

Day 0

Girl me rode home from work today. Anything to have a little more girl time. The best part of my day was actually riding around to the post office and shops in my pretty skirt. It’s hard to beat, feeling pretty and cruising around on my bicycle. 

Coming home and taking my makeup off was a bit traumatic though. I could feel the dysphoria rising up in me. 

Day 2

Theres no time for dysphoria so I’m doing well as a result. The bad news is that I’m still busy even though work technically finished on Thursday at 12pm (Ha! Another 10 hour day). And Friday was a full morning of work followed by optometrist and christmas shopping. And today was another full morning of work followed by preparing the house for Christmas Eve lunch with the in-laws. 

Day 3

Christmas Eve lunch. I hit all my timing targets 🙂 so the day was under control along with my dysphoria. Big menu….. Lots of leftovers which we will be eating for days to come. 

Day 4

It’s Christmas day! It’s been a busy couple of days and I’ve missed being a girl but I haven’t slipped into dysphoria. Today should be fun. It will be an especially busy morning but hopefully I can relax a bit after that. Much to do! Much to do! 

I wonder if it’s because I’m too busy for dysphoria to strike? I think that I’m not too far away from the edge though. So what have I been doing to keep it at bay? I do have my pink mules in the laundry room so that I can wear them when I go out to hang out the washing. And I’ve been wearing my “diamond” studs continuously. And I have been working on hip sway. 

I practice hip sway when I can. It’s such a rhythmical way of walking. And I wonder if people notice when boy me is walking that way. Not that I want them to. It’s just that at the moment I don’t have girl time to practice. However I do know that in a skirt hip sway feels deliciously feminine.

Day 5

Boxing day. And no plans to do anything today except relax at home and play games with the family. We all slept in for once and we all really needed it. However not being busy gives my dysphoria a chance to rear its head. Luckily it didn’t didn’t get ugly though. 

I was certainly showing some symptoms though. Mild depression, and anxiety. And a longing to become Loretta. Fortunately that was as bad as it got, and I survived another day.

Day 6

I went for a ride this morning. So that was good. However I could feel that in the background things weren’t quite right. No dysphoria though. I also stopped at the shops and saw this girl in a pretty white skirt. Oh how I would love that skirt. High, low, lace overlay. I’m sure she saw me checking her out. But I’ll bet she never thought that I just wanted her skirt! 

Then I found out that we were going to holiday with the in laws for a whole week! Not my cup of tea that’s for sure. Effectively it means that my long break is now a week shorter. And I’m really not looking forward to this. I guess I’m worried that it’s going to turn into a one week bitching session. Given how Christmas eve turned out I would not be surprised if that happened. 

So I’m depressed. I don’t think that I’m dysphoric but I am trying to find comfort through my girl side though. Necklace and earrings….but they’re not helping a whole lot. I guess I just have to hang in there.

​Day 7

Hot day! And today we’re off to wet n wild. But not before the bank calls about a direct debit. Money is tight at the moment and my wife is not happy about it which is fair enough. Sadly though it’s putting my stress and depression levels through the roof. Dysphoria? Well it’s there but in comparison to the stress and depression it’s a non issue. At least wet n wild was fun and we got to celebrate my nieces birthday at dinner 🙂

End of week one

So that’s it….. I’ve made it through week one! Too busy early on to be dysphoric. And too stressed and depressed later in the week for dysphoria to be a major problem…… I’m not sure that this is how I was planning to get through my dysphoria though 😦

Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel

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Oh! I think I’m a girl! 

I never wanted to come to this conclusion. It has too many ramifications for my life as a husband and a father. But the​ thing is, it’s quite possibly true. 

The past couple of weekends I have suffered a bit more than usual from gender dysphoria. The last weekend more than I’ve ever known. I think it’s because holidays are coming up so Loretta won’t be around much. And I will desperately miss being her. 

Tuesday was the work Christmas drinks at the Opera bar. And there’s me, checking out the girls and wondering if they would mind me taking their dresses off so that I could wear them!

On Thursday I did manage to get to Christmas wonderland after all. I knew it wasn’t going to be very good, but I really wanted to go ice skating! The ice rink was small and bumpy but at least it wasn’t wet. It was chockablock full of little kids who couldn’t skate. So it wasn’t the best skating experience but I’ve never been skating as Loretta before and I was desperate to go. 

There’s a whole heap of little things like this that I desperately want to experience as Loretta. I’m not sure why. I’m guessing it’s all part and parcel of her wanting to be out and about, experiencing life. 

Photo by Giulia Bertelli

 

Trials and tribulations of being a girl. 

The trials and tribulations of being a girl. They didn’t teach me about this in girl 101, so I guess it’s one of those things that you learn through life experience. 

Today I decided to wear that white dress that I didn’t get to wear in my challenge. It’s very clingy and shows off my curves…….or lack thereof when it comes to my hips. And of course being a white dress my blue knickers are showing through! Noob! You think I would have learned from the photo shoot the other week!

It would also have been better if I had a nude bra. But at least I have a white bra on. It’s a lacey dress with a lining that starts just above my breasts. So you can see my shoulders through the lace. It has a v-neckline and my pink and blue butterfly necklace nestles perfectly in the V. 

It clings to me and shows off the outline of my breasts nicely. I think it would look even better if I put my hip pads in to give me some curves down there. It falls to just below the knee, and requires two pairs of knickers, as I really need the flat look.

My floral, pink and blue stiletto sandals complete my outfit. And I think I look quite good if I do say so myself. Although it is a little strange to feel the clinginess of the dress around my hips and thighs. Not my usual look that’s for sure. But I feel good. 

So what’s the problem? I look good, I feel good. But………this dress is slippery! What? Well it has a lining, and it really clings to me, and my bottom. I work in an office and spend a good part of the day sitting down in front of a computer. So between the chair and my bum are two clingy layers. The lining which is very slippery. And the lace which grips tightly to the chair as I sit on it. As a result my bum keeps sliding slowly forward and I end up in a very un-ladylike position! 

I can’t keep sliding and readjusting all day. So I’ve found two possible solutions. Either hitch up my dress and sit on my knickers. Or hitch up the lining and sit on the lace. Both solutions leave me exposed if I stand up. But sitting on my knickers means I can pull my dress down when I stand up for complete coverage. Sitting on lace means that I need to pull my dress up then down for full coverage. Or I can leave it as is for a look that is borderline SFW. What to do? What to do? 

Fortunately there is an option number three! Hitch up lace and sit on the lining! This actually works and I didn’t think of it at first because I thought that the lining was the slippery part. Thank goodness it worked because out of the other two options sitting on my knickers was the better option! 

I guess this dress is more for standing around looking pretty rather than being practical. Hence the issues that I am facing. But that’s part and parcel of being a girl. And I’m revelling in it!

Photo by Pro Image Photography 

Thirty two outfits later 

Thirty two outfits later and I have gone as far as I can go. I haven’t used any pieces of clothing more than once, knickers, bras and hose excluded. I have two more possible outfits, a lacey, white figure hugging dress, which I’m not sure where I would wear it. And a pair of white shorts with black pinstripes which should work with one of my t-shirts.

But with the AGM on Monday night I don’t think I will wear either of those outfits. So I have come to the end of my challenge to wear different outfits for as long as I can. 

It’s been a really good experience. I’ve discovered a confidence to wear clothing that I hadn’t before. I found clothes that I will never wear and that need to be donated (not many, phew!). I found clothes that I haven’t worn and really liked. And I found that I should never, never, never wear a button shirt with pants, because it makes me feel like a boy. 

Why? It didn’t matter that the shirt was definitely a girl’s blouse. It was shaped and translucent. I teamed this with black “parachute” pants. Definitely girl pants, they were cropped. Not Capri length though. With my bright floral stilettos it was most definitely a girl outfit. And one of my work colleagues said it was elegant. So why did I feel like a boy wearing it?

I think it was the combination. Essentially I was wearing shirt and pants. A combination I’ve worn thousands of times in my boy life. Even though the clothes were softer, girlier, and prettier. Putting them together was too much of a reminder of being a boy. I think I might be able to wear either of those pieces with something else. But together they say boy to me. Maybe the pants with my black floral crop? Maybe the blouse with my skinny blue jeans…or my flirty black shorts. Anything so long as they’re not together. 

So what did I wear first time back from my challenge? Does my bum look big? Yes I wore that dress from the photo shoot. It seemed appropriate seeing it was the AGM and my bum, in that dress is featuring prominently in our campaigns. And tomorrow I’ll will definitely be one of my favourite spring skirts. 

Ah skirts! I love my skirts! It’s so wonderful to be able to wear them. But until now I’ve always worn them with the armour of pantyhose. Now it’s too hot for pantyhose so I’ve taken the step of going bare-legged and it’s been just heavenly

Now I don’t have the best looking pins. They’ve suffered a bit of damage from kicking too many bicycle pedals. But because I ride a lot, they’re in good shape 🙂 So wearing pantyhose makes my legs look much better. And pantyhose somehow makes me feel a little less….exposed? Then there’s the added benefit that pantyhose helps keep me looking flat where I need to look flat😱

So no pantyhose, feeling exposed? And then there’s shoes! And I pretty much wear my pantyhose with all my shoes. Courts, pumps, flats, sandals, ankle boots. But now without pantyhose…hmm I better pack my boots away. But I love my boots! Especially when I’m out and about, because they’re so comfortable and easy to walk in. Looks like I better break out the short skinny socks!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Does my bum look big? 

So we needed fresh photos for work for our advertising campaigns. Now given that we’re a tiny non-profit, we don’t have any budget for that. So we had to do it in house and we staff had to be the models. Oh did I mention the campaign coming up? This summer’s campaign is “bummer”.

It was a lot of fun mucking around on bikes taking photos for an hour. I don’t know that I could do it much longer though, or do it without my bike. Not only was it fun, it was a great bonding session as well.

The dress I’m wearing is actually one that I dug out of the I don’t know box. When I bought it, I pictured it as one of my work dresses. But this was early on in the piece when I was wearing pants all the time, before I became a dotti girl. And then the stitching was faulty and needed repair. So it went into the I don’t know box until I picked it out and fixed it up.

Never did I think that I would be wearing this dress, on my bike, getting a photo taken, of my bum! So does my bum look big? Bummer!

Oh and I never thought that I would ever post a picture of myself on my blog but there you go. Another first!

Photo by Kim Lavender

Dysphoria 

You never know when dysphoria is going to strike. Today I woke up with dysphoria and and struggled through the day. You would have thought that I had plenty of girl time already this week……but for some reason the moment I woke up on Saturday I was missing being a girl.

So what are the symptoms? I get anxious, a little shaky inside, and a little depressed. I know that if I let the girl in me out I’ll be alright. But sometimes life gets in the way. Today we’re picking up mum and going to the cemetery to visit my dad’s grave. Not that I haven’t been there before but it means there’s no time for girl time.

I slip on a pair of studs in my earlobes. The pair that my mum-in-law gave me along with my dad’s ring. Sadly they don’t do anything to alleviate my dysphoria. But it’s time to go so off we go.

Visiting dad’s grave is good. The plaque we had done looks great and the grass on the grave is looking better each time I see it. It’s only a quick visit and mum leaves dad a small pot with things from her garden. Agapanthus, bamboo, cactus, midnight queen. Despite the distraction I’m still anxious and shaky.

We head off to the shopping centre for lunch. And of course it’s jam packed. Finding parking is a nightmare. Especially as I watch the fuel guage drop from 3 to 2 to 1 bar. Dumb heavy car!

Now for me, the worst place to be when I have dysphoria is the shopping centre. Why? If I have dysphoria it means I’m not actually being a girl at that time. So shopping centre’s must be 60% aimed at females. We love to shop right? So all the displays of pretty summer dresses, and cute tops and short shorts. Ugh! It’s overwhelming.

I look at them and want to cry. Even if I was being girl today I couldn’t wear some of these pretty pieces. Off the shoulder tops? Not a chance. Spaghetti straps Ut-uh! And then worst of all there’s girls everywhere, and I’m envious of them all!

For the first time I feel pangs on envy when I see this pregnant lady. I don’t think it’s the pregnancy that I envy though. But can you express being female any more than when you’re pregnant? I hug myself, wishing that I could hug my breasts as well. I hurt inside.

I text S to tell her that I’m struggling. And she texts back that she’s struggling too. She was with her mum, and in boy-mode too. Maybe the stars are poorly aligned today?

Lunch and shopping over we drop mum home and head home ourselves. I’m still shaky and anxious. I have to go dig in the garage for some books and games for my son. While I’m there I slip on my ankle boots and I feel a bit better while I dig. But of course when I slip them off the dysphoria comes rushing back.

Time to spend some quality time with my son, so we hit the Mario galaxy for a while. Neither of us know what to do so it’s a steep learning curve but a lot of fun. But my dysphoria doesn’t disappear, it still lingers.

Afterwards I head for the showers. And I look at my body. I don’t hate my body. I like my boy bits. But I still have dysphoria. I’d love to have my own breasts. But could I deal with that if I had breasts permanently? All hypothetical of course. Hormones are not in my plan.

I get dressed, I’m no longer wearing earrings and ring, not that they helped at all. And I decide to wear one of my necklaces. The silver one that I got from brasnthings. The pendant drops lower than all of my other necklaces. And it’s definitely a girl necklace.

I slip it on, and…..it helps! I’m no longer anxious and shaky. I don’t feel 100% but I’m feeling so much better with my necklace on. But why? Admittedly I wear those earrings and the ring in boy mode sometimes so maybe they weren’t girl enough.

And I don’t really wear necklaces except for when I’m a girl. And I could feel it’s presence around my neck giving me girly vibes. So this time it helped, but will it help the next time or will I be desensitised now that I’ve worn my girl necklace in boy mode? I don’t know, but next time I have dysphoria I might give it a go first.

……………………………………………..

Sunday (the next day)

Today I have no dysphoria, it’s like any other day. I still have no idea why I was dysphoric yesterday. But at least I got through and found a solution for yesterday at least. Fingers crossed that it works next time too….but I have my doubts.

Photo by Léa Dubedout

It’s summer! 

So it’s officially summer, and lucky me gets to go to counselling today. It’s another warm day so it looks like summer is heating up. Sky blue baby T, and my favourite white floral circle skirt. It’s been a long time since I’ve worn this skirt and I’ve missed her. But I have been getting to wear a lot more of my clothes 😀

I’m starting to get a little worried. I’m going on holiday for a month after Christmas. I do this every year. But this year it will come after a whole year of being a girl at work. You know me? Girl at work, boy at home? So I’m worried about how I will cope without my girl side for a month? 

I know I did it last year, but that was after only 7 weeks of girl at work. This time it’s been pretty much a whole year. So I’m a little anxious to say the least. I’m really expecting withdrawal symptoms this time. And I really don’t think I will make it through without having to find Loretta.

So what do I do? Girl at work, boy at home is very much the line I’ve drawn to make things easier at home and at work. The consistency helps everyone else, and to be honest I kind of like the routine. But it doesn’t do me any favours at holiday time. 

I suspect I will need girl time. Question is when? I don’t want to spend a lot of time with my wife and son as a girl. I think that might be too confronting. Oh I know they’ve seen me heaps all dressed up, coming and going. But that’s boy in a dress, that’s not actually me being a girl, 

It’s like I’m a crossdresser, boy underneath, girl clothes on top. They actually haven’t met girl me, they actually haven’t met Loretta. And I’m not sure that they’ll want to. In actual fact, in my family, only my mum has had a lot of interaction with Loretta. I don’t drop the girl when I visit as Loretta. 

My sisters have only met Loretta, at mum’s when we happened to be there at the same time, and at the hospital when dad wasn’t well. So to be honest I’m really a bit of a mystery girl to my whole family! How crazy is that? They know I exist but they don’t really know me. Do I want to go there? I don’t know. 

……………………………………………….. 

Did I mention that I look forward to counselling? Well I’ve just finished my session and had a revelation! I always thought that the free counselling I was getting was only to deal with my gender issues. But it actually turns out that the counselling is for those of us who are gender diverse. So this time we talked about a lot of different things. 

And now Candy has a much better picture of what I’m going through and how much stress I have. It was so good to get those things off my chest. Things I’d only thought about but never told anyone. And the only reason we got there was because I mentioned that my GP had referred me for counselling for stress with another counsellor but I never went because I couldn’t afford it. And then Candy said that I could talk with her about it. Oh God! I’m sure my blonde roots are showing!

It was a really good session for me. Normally I don’t need the full hour. But I’m sure I could have talked for another hour. So gender issues getting smaller but other life issues are weighing me down. But at least I have someone to help me through it 🙂

Photo by Todd DeSantis