Summer holidays are over

I’m sad. The summer holidays are over. And after 5 weeks I still don’t want to go back to work. So much at home didn’t get done. And at the same time it will be good to be Loretta again on a regular basis. I’ve really missed being her.

So the overriding feeling is one of sadness because I don’t want to head back to work. Maybe I really do need a change of scenery?

My colleagues are great. The location is convenient. But it stresses me out too much. I’ve put in a lot of years there and whilst things have changed, they’re still the same. Maybe it’s just me that has changed?

Photo by Brian Mann

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The long break – Dysphoria watch – week five

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 29

Oh! So dysphoria was sapping all the energy out of me this morning, and it was extremely debilitating. So I’ve gone girl to try and re-energise myself. I think it’s helping, but now I’m feeling guilty for being Loretta at home. While it’s helping me out, it doesn’t make my wife very comfortable.

And my son is wondering where I’m going today as a result. So I had to tell him that I wasn’t going anywhere. Then he asked why I was dressed up. So I told him I felt like it. And that’s the truth.

Today is the day before we head up the coast. So no girl time for a week and I guess I was anxious about that. This is compounded with it almost being the anniversary of my dad passing away. So I guess I was already feeling down.

Success? Yes! Being Loretta totally calmed me down and I was able to do things. No longer was I in a fog πŸ™‚ It’s crazy how dysphoria can affect me like that. But I guess I’m lucky that my dysphoria is only mild. I can barely imagine what it is like for those who suffer from chronic dysphoria.

And for some reason today was different. The last time I was Loretta at home I really didn’t feel like I was Loretta. Today I definitely am πŸ™‚

Day 30

Today is just a tough day. It’s one year on since I lost my dad. So emotionally I’m at a low already. And then throw in a long drive (for me anyway, you see I ride my bike for more kilometres than I drive, so 200 is a long way for me….are we there yet?). And I know for a week there’s no Loretta time, so it’s distressing to say the least. So I’m seeing the next week as one to just struggle through. Hopefully my dysphoria doesn’t get too bad as I pretty much don’t have any of Loretta’s things.

Day 31

Oh my! Lots of waiting around today. But no time for Loretta. That’s OK. While I’m missing her, I’m not not falling apart without her. So dysphoria today is fine. Frustration however is quite high. Thank goodness for some hugs from my niece. Somehow she seems to understand.

Day 32

Another day, and more wasting time sitting around on my bum. Maybe if I sit around long enough it’ll get big enough to fill out some of my dresses? Hmmm?! But then I can’t wear my killer skinny jeans. What to do? What to do?

Sigh! How much am I enjoying this holiday? Well I’m holed up in the bedroom because I’m tired of hearing my sister in law arguing with her husband. And then they want to tell me their problems. I so don’t care and don’t want to know. If it wasn’t for my niece and how much fun she and my son have together it would not have been worth coming.

Today I heard from S for the first time in quite a while. S found love! And I’m so happy for them. Ooh change in pronouns? Yes! It seems like S is back to being P, as this seems to work for them best. Not exactly a detransition, just someone working out what they’re comfortable with. And all of us in the transgender spectrum go through this, and hopefully through trial and error we can figure out who we are.

If only we could be accepted for who we are and this probably wouldn’t be as difficult as it is. But it is what it is, and we’ll continue our journeys to wherever they may lead us.

Day 33

I’m not sure that I really enjoy holidays anymore. I don’t get to be Loretta that much. And it seems like everyone else is on holiday but not me. Breakfast, dinner, the dishes, the driving. It’s certainly not a good break for me.

I’ve made it past halfway on this trip. And it’s not one that I want to experience again. It’s just awkward having to listen to the in laws bicker every day. And even more awkward to hear my tween niece telling them to stop it.

But how am I going dysphoria-wise? I’m ok, well hanging it there at least. I’m so busy doing holiday stuff and also not having a holiday stuff that dysphoria is in the background.

My niece had a bunch of questions for me last night. She just wanted to know more about me and my girl side. So I answered her questions and she tried to digest it all. This has been pretty good for me as at least I get to discuss this side of me rather than ignore it. So I think this has helped to reduce my dysphoria. Thank goodness we’re going home in three day’s time. But I can’t believe that it’s back to work time already. I’m so not ready.

Day 35

Did I tell you that I seem to have a daughter now? Well she’s been spending a lot of time with my son. And in our car, and generally hanging around with us. And right now the two of them are lying with their heads on my lap.

It’s kind of nice having a daughter. Even if it’s only for a little while. And it’s great that she knows that I have a girl side and she’s keen to know more about Loretta. And it’s also nice that I can share that part of me with her. It certainly helps me get through dysphoria πŸ™‚

Photo by Ivan Franco Bottoni – Cinque Terre

Why do high heels give me a lift?Β 

There’s nothing like the feeling of slipping on a pretty pair of πŸ‘ . I’m sure that a lot of girls feel this way. But why is that? I mean they’re not that comfortable after a while. But they certainly give me a lift, and I don’t mean my height.

Yes they make me “taller” but that’s not the thing. I wouldn’t mind being shorter so that I could blend in a little more! Is it because they’re unmistakably feminine? Well they definitely are so that is a possibility.

So maybe it’s that instant connection with my femininity when I slip on a pair of heels. But shouldn’t it be the same with other feminine items? Bras, pantyhose, skirts, spaghetti strap tops? Somehow it’s not quite the same “lift” as a pretty pair of heels.

Putting my boobs on probably comes second to a pretty pair of heels. Hmmm or maybe my wig is second? But really the “lift” is remarkably different. Putting my boobs on is a “Hi girls!” moment. Putting on my wig is a “Hi gorgeous!” moment. Putting on my pretty heels evokes neither of these feelings.

So how do I feel? They make me feel good about myself. They give me confidence. They make me feel feminine and a little bit sexy! The heels pictured above are my favourite, and feel so me, that slipping them is an instant connection to Loretta. And they give me the biggest boost of all my heels.

Flats don’t have the same effect for me. Although maybe I haven’t found the right pair yet. Maybe those white floral ballet flats would have that special feeling, but sadly I couldn’t find them in my size.

I guess if I really want to know if πŸ‘  are what gives me a lift or perhaps just pretty shoes, I guess I’ll have to buy a whole heap more shoes! πŸ˜‚

Photo from NineWest

The long break – Dysphoria watch – week four

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 22

Busy, busy, busy, busy there’s so much to do! So in between house cleaning and minecraft there’s been not a lot of time for dysphoria. Sure I’m missing being Loretta, but here at home even if I dress like Loretta, I don’t actually get to be Loretta. So there’s really no point in getting dressed up. At least I’ve figured that out.

Day 23

Another busy day, mum’s birthday lunch and more minecraft! So again not much time for dysphoria. But that’s OK. I really don’t want dysphoria I just want to be Loretta at some stage.

Day 24

I miss being Loretta. But I think I’ve resolved that there is no point in dressing up as Loretta if I’m not going to actually be her. Besides I don’t have many days left to get things done around the house so I’m busy busy busy! No time to dwell on dysphoria.

Day 25

Another day without Loretta. I’m sad about that but I’m just going to struggle through. Dysphoria is still only mild and could best be described as melancholy.

Day 26

Loretta time πŸ™‚ Yay! I spent some time with mum as Loretta today and that was really nice. And Loretta got to pick up her bicycle after about a month! The boys in the shop didn’t bat an eyelid and were perfectly fine with it all. So a really good day…and no dysphoria…just warm fuzzies πŸ™‚

Day 27

Busy busy busy busy! There’s so much to do. Dysphoria? Who’s got time for that? At least I got to go to the Opera house to see a live show……78 storey tree house no less. Followed up of course with Mamak and N2. Mmmmm yummy!

Day 28

Busy busy busy busy! There’s so much to do. No not a carbon copy of day 27 or 22 or 23. But still no time for dysphoria. Lots of cooking today and I need to fit in a haircut. And if there’s time I need to pack!

So I survived another week. But it looks like I only survived because I was too busy to dwell on dysphoria. One and a half weeks to go….and this might be the toughest time for me.

Photo by Jeremy Thomas

The long break – Dysphoria watch – week three

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 😦 

I survived week two! And am becoming more comfortable and less dysphoric. Perhaps it’s all in my mind…..oh wait! 

Day 15
Oh boy what a day. Spent most of the day gardening on a hot day. We have hedges and wild irises lining our long driveway….. And it’s become difficult to navigate our way through with the car because they’ve grown too fat! So hack and slash was the order of the day. By the end of it all I was exhausted. Dysphoria? Not a chance, I just wanted to collapse into bed. 

Day 16

After such a hot and sweaty day yesterday I’m craving some Loretta time. I wouldn’t say that I’m dysphoric, just that some girl time would be a welcome change. I feel the need for some pampering. 

I’m still tired as I went deep into the red zone yesterday. My hands are sore and I have a couple of blisters. My forearms and lower back are also sore. Lounging around in a cute chemise is what I would like to do today but…gotta get up, get the washing on and breakfast started…sigh there’s no rest for us girls is there?

Day 17

Rest? What’s that? Somehow my son woke up at 4:30am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep…..and as a result kept us all awake. He’s more of an πŸ•— riser but for some strange reason we were all awake way ahead of schedule on a super duper hot day! 43 in the city! 47 out west! 

Dysphoria? No, but gee it would have been nice to wear a skirt and perhaps a camisole type of top. I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed wearing my wig though. And certainly my pink mules would have been a better choice than runners and socks. 

Day 18

Well here it is dysphoria is back! Today I’m missing all things girl, and I’m a bit depressed as a result. No anxiety though. Im not sure that putting on some pretty clothes is enough though. 

It might be, At this time of the day my family would need to interact with me dressed up. But is that enough? I still don’t really get to be Loretta. 

So it’s time for some music to help, “This is the part of me, that you’re never gonna ever take away from me!”, “If you see me holding up my middle finger to the world, F*** your ribbons and your pearls. Cos I’m not just a pretty girl.”. Well at least I feel a little bit better πŸ™‚

Day 19

I’m hanging in there……just. Now that I think about it, whenever I have downtime where I don’t need to think about other things, I’m thinking about my girl side.  Or things related to my girl side. It’s like I’m not free to be me, so I live my life in my head…..which is not a good thing to do. 

The holidays are a blessing and a curse. I desperately need the break from work because it’s stressful. But I haven’t been able to be all of me 😦 I have only just been able to unwind from work but find myself worked up about not having much girl time. 

It’s not so much dysphoria, although as you can see I have had some slides into dysphoria land. It’s more that I don’t get to be the authentic me. And I’m not saying that the authentic me is girl me. It’s just that I hold back the girl side when I’m feeling like her. 

And I think this holding back translates into my girl side spilling over to my boy side. So effeminate boy is the result. Not that I’ve ever been that macho. But the lines are blurring and I’m not sure that the androgynous route is the way I want to go. 

See, the androgynous route is a bit confrontational. And that’s not me. Blend in! Blend in! Fly under the radar. And the androgynous route doesn’t really allow me to fully express my girly side. 

What? My boy side? I know how to express him. That’s easy! I’ve done that all my life. I can do that in boy mode and androgynous mode. So really it’s the lack of space to express my girl side which is troubling me. 

Day 20

Its counselling day. ☺️ The good news is that Loretta is back! How I’ve missed her. So I’m here for half a day at least. Well we’ll see how it goes. The problem today is that I’ve no idea of where or how this counselling session will go. To be honest I’m sensing that there will be tears today.

…………………………………………………… 

And I was right, there were tears. Oh my! I knew that my head wasn’t in a good space. But I wasn’t expecting to drag up old memories like these. At least I could talk about them with Candy. It was a really difficult session. Hardest so far of all the sessions bar the one which my wife came to as well. And I certainly didn’t leave feeling all that great. 

After getting home I stayed in Loretta’s clothes but was daddy me. I thought that the clothes might help me feel better, but I think my dysphoria got worse. See I was dressed as Loretta, but I wasn’t being Loretta. That’s a whole different kettle of fish. By the end of the day I was feeling pretty numb, and was happy for the day to be over. 

I had this day in my diary as being the one where I could be Loretta and feel good about myself. However the reality was almost the opposite. It was a really hard day. 

Day 21

I moved onto the front foot, and have been more proactive in getting things done. Not much time for being a girl today. Although I have been wearing my pink mules a bit, and of course I’ve been working on hipsway and leading with my hips. 

So no dysphoria today. And I’m feeling much better about myself than yesterday. And I’ve been quite productive, and my wife and son have been there helping with the productivity. All in all a much better day today. 

And that’s it! End of week three. I’m still hanging in there, although yesterday just about killed me. Hopefully I have enough in me to get through another week! 
Photo by Tatiana Lapina 

Tip toeing around

I think I spend a lot of my life tiptoeing around. Take this morning for example. Rather than go for a ride I lay around in bed until everyone woke up. I thought they were going to wake up earlier than they did. And then when they did I got up and did the washing, breakfast and then more tiptoeing around until they got out of bed….two and a half hours later! 

My life is a lot like this. Trying to keep quiet and not disturb things. Sadly it doesn’t do me any favours and I don’t complete enough of what I want to get done. I actually have to stop this and just be me and get things done. 

It’s like this with my being transgender. Hence the girl at work, boy at home dividing line. It helps others out, and allows me to express myself but not always at the time that I would like to. Hence my dysphoria watch series of blogs. 

It’s part of me flying under the radar. Trying not to draw attention to myself. Being as feminine as possible in girl mode. Long hair, girly skirt, fitted top,make-up, hip sway….well maybe I am drawing attention to myself but only insofar as that I’m trying to make sure that there’s no mistaking me for anything but a girl.

Sadly however this tiptoeing around doesn’t seem to be working so I’m going to have to be proactive and get some stuff done!  
Photo by Alexandre Tsuchiya

The long break – Dysphoria watch – week two

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 😦 

So I survived week one with only minor dysphoria. But this was not achieved in the prettiest of ways. Hopefully week two is better? 

Day 8

Dysphoria? Who’s got time for that? It’s nagging at me but there’s too many other things to worry about. Another hot day today……and I get to spend it at a funeral 😦 At least it won’t be as hot as Taryn’s mum’s funeral….now that one really was hot! 

Today I’m getting by with my diamond studs and my necklace. I’m needing them to counterbalance a long sleeve shirt and pants. Can’t I wear my short black skirt with a short sleeve crop top? Surely that would be much cooler, and cuter too! What do you mean that’s not suitable for a funeral? Sigh! 

There’s no time for any dysphoric episodes today as I also need to get the shopping done and get dinner up. Yep very short on time! I do manage to give uncle Tom the heads up to expect a call from me though. 

Day 9

Sort of a relaxing day. But getting stressed over money again. I’ve put my head down to review last year’s figures and prepare a budget going forward. We’ve also decided to go to NYE fireworks… Target? Dawes point…. Oh boy it’s going to be busy and we’re going to need some luck. 

Managed to get some Mario galaxy in along with some scrabble and minecraft cards. So I did get to unwind some. And I even had time to make burgers and chips for dinner πŸ™‚

In dysphoria world its still only mild, partially being offset by earrings and necklace. 

Day 10

New Years Eve. Oh God how I would love to be able to wear a pretty dress for new years eve. That would be just so cool! I think I’ve developed a thing for white skirts. I know I gave a reputation for pretty spring skirts….but white skirts a really capturing my attention right now. 

Dysphoria watch says that everything is calm and under control. It’s like I’ve gotten over the cold turkey stage and smell feeling OK. 

Day 11

New Years Day. It’s wet n wild day. And I’m feeling good – dysphoria wise. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t jump at the chance to be Loretta again. I’d do it in a heartbeat if the timimg was right. 

Day 12

I really think that I’m ok. I’m not suffering anxiety or depression anymore. And I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve had time to relax and unwind? Maybe I’m discovering that I can survive for a bit longer than I thought without Loretta being in my life. 

Well that’s not entirely accurate. It’s all me, it’s more about being able to express Loretta. And really that only occurs when Loretta goes out and interacts with people. But for now I’m doing OK. 

Day 13

Loretta is back. Today was always going to be a strong chance for Loretta to make an appearance. I’m visiting mum, and looking for more of dad’s old documents so I can get his tax returns ready. 

Mum’s is a safe place for Loretta to go and we had a good talk. And she got to go to the shops and to the bike shop…where she’s been going to for years….just never as herself. And in another wonderful moment, they were so accepting πŸ™‚

I had a great day. And it was so good to be able to go out and interact with people, and just generally feel alive πŸ™‚ I certainly missed my girl time but I’m pretty sure I can make it through at least until the 19th. After that all bets are off. 

Day 14

And two weeks is over. I’ve made it. No dysphoria today either. Although as I’ve said before I would jump at the chance to be Loretta again. But I’m ok, I’m not feeling bad without her. 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 

Happy New Year!Β 

Happy New Year! 

So I’m a Sydney girl through and through. And this year my son is old enough that he wanted to really go and see the fireworks. So we decided that he was old enough that he would be able to withstand the crowds and the wait….. But we’re not watching the midnight fireworks. We’re going to the 9pm edition.

So here we are down by Bradfield Park. Well actually on the street…. Kirribilli Avenue to be exact. Picnic blankets and people all over the place. But everyone is cool and it’s a happy atmosphere. And we’re pretty lucky we’re up on this little hill. The park itself looks like chaos. At least we have a little bit of room here. We are set up next to the “path” where people are walking up and down. But people are patient and nice about it. 

So far everything has gone like clockwork. We found a parking spot not too far from the train station. Managed to get some takeaway for dinner. I wasn’t too happy about it but my son was ecstatic, so I’ll let you figure out what the takeaway was. We even got seats on the train. And now we’ve settled in on our picnic blanket and had dinner and we even have time to play the game of life and the minecraft card game. Who would have thought that it would be so good? And we also got to see some amazing aerobatics from some crazy pilot 

At 8.40pm we get our first burst of fireworks. Everyone jumps to their feet to see what’s going on. But it’s only a quick burst and it stops. Five minutes later we get another quick burst of different fireworks, and everyone is up again. This is a good thing because my son had been lying down and now he’s up.

Things settle down again, and before you know it…. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, ONE! And the sky is filled with πŸŽ‡ It’s wonderful to be here with my family, down by the harbour, enjoying the nye fireworks. It’s a really great atmosphere and everyone is happy and in good spirits and the thousands of people who are here with us are so well behaved. It really makes for a perfect night.

And when the show is over, my son is happy to go home. He’d really like to see the midnight version but he knows he’s not ready to stay out that late yet. In fact he’s the one who says, “let’s go home now”

And then we start the long trek home. First we have to get out of the little street we were on. This is the hardest part. Some people are staying for midnight fireworks. Some of us are going home and some people are trying to get in to claim the spots being vacated. Result? Gridlock! Eventually we get out of the street and head up the hill.

We head back to the train station following the river of people flowing up the hill. So many people that my son describes it as a, “people road”. We follow the crush up the stairs to the platform and lo and behold a train arrives as we get there. We hop on…..and find seats! And then we’re away. The journey going home is even better than clockwork. Less than an hour after the last fireworks we’re home!

It was a great evening and my son wants to do it again next year. And we got home in plenty of time to see midnight fireworks on TV and they were spectacular! Maybe one year we’ll see it live. But my son says not next year…but who knows?

Happy New Year! 

Photo by me!

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