Sunday, 12 September 2010


Since Angela's facial feminization surgery, things at home have felt sedate and quiet. I have a lot of things on my mind and I guess I should find someone to talk about them and find some resolution. My daily routine, if I don't have any books to sell, is to go to work, come home go through the necessities of cooking and avoiding cleaning up everyone elses mess. Although my ability to avoid domestic chores is really quite impressive. After the kids are asleep I tend to surf the web and then I always end up drinking alcohol, never to the point of stupefaction but always to the point of just muddling my brain. It's always the same and everyday I feel brain damaged, not fully functional, not able to concentrate and focus. My intellect is like a rusted sabre, useless and dull. I have to stop drinking, for numerous reasons but I dread confronting the grim harsh faced reality of my disastrous life.

I am so grateful to be here with my love Angela and the two lovely children we share the heavy sense of loss and guilt of not seeing my two eldest children is truly awful.

I just hate to be clear minded, all the crap floats to the surface and I just don't know how to resolve it all. All my true friends, seem to be in the distance and hazed on the horizon, I guess I am at heart selfishly insular and tend to avoid chat and light hearted conversation. I never phone anyone, rarely text anyone, send jokes, I like to be face to face, together. It means I have lost intimacy with many wonderful people. My Facebook depresses me, it's like looking at postcards from another planet. I have tangled and alien feelings about other people's happy settled lives and strong feelings of envy when I see the happy pictures and accounts of my old friend's happy marriages and children who excel. I have been completely unable to make the right relationship choices in the past, tried to commit to marriage but always chosen unsuitable partners and to be honest my children have paid the price. I am a loss how to even approach them, what to say. The negativity is immense. The only way to deal with it is face it and confront the situation. I don't seem to have the mental strength, since my brother's suicide I think I've been hiding from anything that means facing the truth...

The truth is a hate my first husband immensely, i don't want to talk to him, deal with him, I certainly don't want to be in the same space as him- he is repulsive to me. He screens all the children's correspondence and I believe uses them for his own security not theirs. I have to decide how to contact them... via the school perhaps? Writing this helps, it helps me reach resolutions on how to deal with things. On an action plan. An updated life list.

Stopping drinking is the first thing, to uncloud my mind, to face my fears, when I drink I don't function on full steam. I actually have a sensation of being lobotomised. Coshed. Last night Angela, told me she was 100 per cent convinced she would outlive me.... she didn't say it but it's because she knows really I am slowly and deliberately drinking myself to death, I don't actually care. It seems acceptable to be a mere moth. Jittery and dwelling in the dark, drawn to weird and deathly lights. I just can't stand it, being alcoholic. This is the point of reference, that I have to stop. I know I need to go back into rehab... but how? Maybe next summer.... if my mum can stay sane and look after my son....when she's good she's wonderful but when she goes into one of her occasional malicious rampages she is dangerous and causes terrible damage. It's ironic, she is great with young children... but I think it's because she has total control of young kids and they don't challenge her. But the point for me is if I have to go into rehab and have daily therapy, like before, i need her to look after Isaac. Somehow I doubt his Dad will look after him and Angela can't.

What's the point here - I am going to stop drinking again - I need to take positive action to stop the negativity. Writing this helps me take action. I will ask Angela if for now she will take me to AA meetings. That way I may not need to go into rehab---- but I need to do something.

The point is I do care, I care because I want the kids to be OK and know they are deeply loved, I need to find the bright and luminous girl I have been and can be. A resurrection is possible, but I can't face the reality till I ditch the drink.

Another point - I am so angry with my mother, that she plotted with my first husband to have the kids taken off me (allegedly because of Angela)that I could smash her face into a brick wall and batter her to death... my anger is buried but it is murderous-- if I started to scream, I'd never stop. BUT I HAVE TO STOP AND TAKE CHECK AS LONG AS I KEEP BLAMING HER - I FAIL TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY LIFE - I NEED TO TURN AWAY FROM HER AND FACE MYSELF - THEIR IS AN ABYSS OF MURDEROUS RECRIMINATION AND THEIR IS A LUSH NORTHERN VALE OF ACCEPTANCE WHERE I TAKE POSITIVE ACTION - I do not want my legacy to be a garage of used books and to be remembered as an addict.

My fucking Beelzebub lover- Booze.

I have to do something - for everyone - for me - I am fed up - I hate inertia - I hate feeling subdued - there is more in me. I have to stop drinking and I will.

The list
Find nearest AA meeting
Get out of the house - an activity that involves other women (God knows, I wish I felt like other women, but I don't, I feel totally disassociated from other women and I need them around me. There is nothing like the platonic love of other women to keep you sane).
Do my accounts
Sort my Bills out
Decide to take positive action.
Resharpen my sword.
I need to sort out the garage to prepare for the delivery of 3,000 books this week and use that task of sorting the books, to pay my old bills (they worry me), and use that task to provide a structure for my sobriety.
I want to write about my eye floaters
A table in the kitchen where I can read and get away from the noise of the telly at the weekends and keep away from Facebook.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Blog Split

Hello, perhaps you are a regular reader of my cisgendered-journey? If so please add yourself as a follower and feel free to ask questions or pass comments.

It's been an incredible two years with many highs and lows. To live with a "Great love" is a blessing but to lose your children a curse.

I have decided to split the blog. My documenting of Angela' transition and it's affects on me and our loved ones can now be found at:

Transgender Love (ie this blog) will also be continued but will be a closer analysis of how I will eventually come round to understanding how my immediate familys breakdown in childhood and my father's struggles with gambling and substance abuse has impacted on my own family. My accounts of my brother's suicide my frayed relationship with my mother and my on going struggles with alcohol seem a sad tangent from the central issue of transgenderism. Hence the blog will now be divided. It seems like an obvious metaphor where I would prefer to live vicarioulsy through Angela than confront my own demons once and for all. They are legion as they are many.

Thank you everyone who who has read the blogs to date and if I have offered a positive insight to anybody and made anyone think again about the existence of third gender people then I will sleep a little easier. Or perhaps you your self have been affected by loss and become a survivor, just like me?

Fear and love are contradictory terms. Love is reckless in giving away, oblivious as to what it gets in return. Love wrestles with the world as with the self and ultimately gains mastery over all other feelings. My daily experience, as of those who are working with me, is that every problem lends itself to solution if we are determined to make the law of truth and non-violence the law of life. For truth and non-violence are, to me, faces of the same coin. The law of love will work, just as the law of gravitation will work, whether we accept it or not. Just as a scientist will work wonders out of various applications of the law of nature, even so a man who applies the law of love with scientific precision can work greater wonders. - Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Relaxing together the day before the big OP.

All about me

Angela is regularly asking me whether I still fancy her, does she look OK? But it's weird. I have no notion what she will look like when the swelling goes down. Prior to the op the team of surgeons where all aiming to get a result that was the same face, just softer and feminine. THE SAME FACE JUST A FEMALE VERSION... but what I am seeing five days after the op is a new face, a face I have not seen before, this is bizarre and we are talking about this a lot. I feel like I don't know this face. How would you feel if you woke up one morning and the person you loved and desired had a new face? It's unsettling and I gaze at her awake and while she sleeps and wonder how it will feel to kiss this newly feminine face. It is very very different. How will the children react when we get back? My young son is staying with Nan in Ireland for the summer holidays, he adores Angela, he does not know yet that she has had the op? I need to prepare him. I think it could be a great shock otherwise. His daughter, who is under 10, knows about the op and why it is being undertaken, but how will she feel about her beloved Daddy's new appearance? We have to be sensitive and use our time together to talk and about what all this means. Where do you find resources on this? Who can advise us? We are as a family in the dark. I hope-and if I felt that there was a god - and I'd pray that by talking honestly and openly it will be an easy transition for our family. It is more life changing I feel, than the Sex Reassignment Surgery for everyone else, as it changes our perceptions. Aesthetics are a very powerful thing.

Walking along the promenade yesterday to get Angela an Ice Cream and me a strawberry Daiquiri, I felt uncomfortable being affectionate to her in pubic and I knew exactly why. It is an old personal issue I have had...
I find it OK to be the loving partner of a transexual woman (on the margins of society, individuals who have been affected by this call it cisgendered, I don't know why) but feel a peculiar discomfort at being seen as an older lesbian.... I don't like it. it may be a cap that suits others but it doesn't feel right on me. This is not a new feeling for me, I have had relationships with women but as much as I loved those women I struggled with a lesbian identity. I just don't identify with that. I have been lying in bed at night trying to work out why? Is it internalized homophobia, is it that I want a man? Is it that I am very cerebral and analytical by nature? I feel that humanity has constructed a society with all it's structures and codes from words and the problem with that is that the world shifts and words also change in their meaning and their power. Have we built a world on the back of thought or is it all just in out heads? I find it very hard to explain what I mean because at the end of the day it's all semantics, descriptions, trying to put a definition on how I feel, who I love and how I love and if I hang the banner of say Lesbians Moms over me and Angela I feel odd... but in essence this is what we will become. I so hope we can be this and that I love her enough to accept all the words that could be used to describe what I purportedly am.

I'm experiencing a kind of quiet turmoil, that my positive feelings for Angela quell but do not erase. What will it mean for the future? I have no bloody idea! I do know that it means adapting and that my love is a living interpretive thing that can dismantle fear and piece back together things that previously got broken.

I will write more later... everything I am feeling is I think normal, when your partner has been through a life changing operation and at the end of this chapter, I know for her it is liberational and where the real person she always was can finally start taking shape and be at peace.

I just need to remember in the middle of all this is me- and beside me is Angela and what remains of my family.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Turning the corner

After Angela had clearly got most of her balance back and was able to eat, we were given the all clear to leave. I was longing to get back to our private space and unpack in order to cook us a lovely dinner. I ended up whizzing out to the supermercado to grab essential provisions for the invalid, ie, chorizo sausage, sangria, garlic, fresh plum tomatoes, onions and anything else that someone else with a mouth with full of stitches would find hard to resist. Later in the evening I cooked it all up with pasta with liberal amounts of grated mature cheddar... and ate it she did, albeit slowly.

We are now in the convalescent stage where, we can only try to rest, ease her pain and deal with her hopes and fears as they emerge. Angela is going to add to the blog soon and talk about what she has emotionally and physically been going through. She is up and down really, laughing and giggling one minute, (One minute I'm one hell of a gorgeous trans person then hey presto I'm a panda!) then half an hour later she is tearful and down. She has felt palpable sorrow and empathy for anybody who has to have their face taken apart and reassembled. All so they can look in the mirror and feel they can walk the streets not in stealth but as just another number. Just to feel normal - like the rest of us. It is absolutely true to say that on one hand Angela and I were accepted but it is a point of fact, every time we went out people stared at us. I wish all transexual women who suffer from this dysphoria could afford this procedure. It must be a terrible curse to be the inhabitant of the incorrect physical form. Gender dysphoria is no joke, it causes divorce, alienation, suicide and horrible fears of rejection. This is NOT a choice, your gender is fixed in the womb, and no one chooses to undergo such an agressive and painfull procedure without being totally driven by the need to feel normal.

It is testament to A that everyday since the op she expressed worry for a good pal of ours Abigail who is due to also have extensive facial feminisation, concerned for how she will cope in the heat and without a partner.


So what now? She has to recover, it will take months for her to get her true strength back, i think after the bruises have faded like a post pyroclastic sunset, we will still have to put a new and different life together; although Angela disagrees with this - for her she sees life made more easy, hopefully not having to worry about putting lippy on before greeting the postman in the constant battle to remain just a number rather than a freak).

What springs to mind is:


When we got back to the apartment, we were both in better health but in a kind of malaise, Angela is very, very strong and healthy (she has never smoked and did not drink much either) but the trauma of the op has taken it's toll and she has not slept properly due to the physical discomfort and I think being in strange surroundings. It has made us both tired, we have both been having unusual vivid dreams. It has been praying heavily on her mind, whether she has made a mistake - she fears her nose is not set properly.

At 2am on our first night back in the apartment, at the toilet she noticed blood in her urine while she was urinating. This was a little worrying for her but when her urine stopped the blood didn't - there was a fairly strong flow which had completely coloured the toilet water within a minute. She was very frightened. Just before coming here there had been a series of TV programmes about botched surgery and this was foremost in her mind.

So what do you do at 2am? the inside of her penis was still bleeding (although not painful), and to be honest, had we gone to hospital, we would have sat for ages and they would not have done anything then anyway - so we waited until the blood stopped and filled her knickers with a makeshift towel and went to bed.

It was obvious to me that she had bled because the catheter had adhered to her urethra, and caused a small wound when it was removed - I remember she yelped when it was taken out. There was already some blood around her thigh even then - so we guessed that this was when the nick was probably made. It was painless but still disturbing in the wee small hours when I was mopping the blood up of the bathroom floor and then trying to make a pad out of gauze to soak up the bleeding.

In the morning Angela tentatively went to the toilet, dreading what was about to happen - she had not really slept at all, running through the various medical possibilities and ramifications all night. Keeping a tight reign on the flow, - no blood appeared. The relief was visible through those black Panda eyes - I felt like giving her a bamboo stick and a conservation certificate to cheer her up.

So we called Ana the patient co-ordinator and she got Dr Daniel to call us straight back. This bleeding was not unusual at all. The important thing was that the blood had not formed a clot and hence blockage in the tube (which would have meant an urgent op as you could not go to the toilet) - so drink lots of fluids and take it easy. This is not extraordinary.

The last 48 hours has been peculiar, both of us exhausted and me pretty much feeling helpless, just trying to ensure she eats decent food and relaxes.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Day 1 - Airhead syndrome

We had an assessment with Dr Danial and Dr Capitan today and it was agreed without question that Angela should stay in for one more night. If she had become dizzy and fallen I would not have been strong enough to hold her - she was just not well enough to be moved.

Yesterday was a worrying day, A had noticed that her forehead felt like a freezer bag filled with slush. We assumed this was just post-op swelling.
We had not realised that all the swelling on her temple was trapped air, from the operation and not just oedema. Her brow was very "soft and squishy". The air was creating pressure, and therefore, Dr Danial, got a long thick hypodermic needle and made several holes in the top of Angela's scalp and proceeded to apply pressure to her forehead and push out the air. We could hear the air escaping. Hissing like a burst football. It was far worse for A as she got internal noise as well. It was explained that the air would have been naturally absorbed over a couple of weeks if left, but this procedure just accelerated the healing process. We were told it would not hurt as her scalp did not have a lot of sensation, but after the fifth hole was made and he was soaking up the blood with some gauze, her feet told a different story entirely as her toes started furiously wiggling.

It did hurt and I maneovred myself around the bed and held her hand she squeezed it tightly. She bled a Little from the puncture wounds and I am hoping soon to get her hair washed as the last thing she needs is an infection in those wounds. Her long hair is matted with blood, sweat and literally tears, it's going to be awkward to get it clean. I can't wait to get her all scrubbed up and sparkling again.

It was not nice for A to have the air pushed out of the wounds in the top of her head but it did reduce the swelling noticeably and Dr Danial applied strips of surgical tape to keep the forehead flat.

Dr Danial on his round did reassure us that, it was not a cause of concern and we managed to all make light of it.

Today though after her first shower the blood clots from her nose work were loosened and she tried to gently blow her nose and suddenly gasped in horror as she realised her head was noticeably inflating.
Angela was scared and as we had not had any prior knowledge of this phenomenon we were a trifle alarmed to say the least. The doctor's I think are so accustomed to this happening it did not occur to them or anyone else on the staff to tell us. It was bizarre and a real shock for Angela, as we thought something major was wrong. I on the plus side said she always was an airhead and would never need a snorkle ever again.

It was explained today when we sought advice from Dr Danial, that this was normal for any patient who has had their brow and nose bridge adjusted as an air-pocket under the forehead is a normal outcome when the sinus wall has been removed and altered so drastically. The reason for this is that the cutting of the bone to allow it to be extracted means there will not be an airtight fit when replaced into the forehead. and sitting upright whilst sleeping and the cold mask for the rest of the day would help. Anglela was instructed to NOT blow her nose but suck it up and swallow it..... yuck! If this had been properly explained yesterday A would not have got such a fright when she blew her nose.

I need to add here that we have entirely pleased so far with all the treatment and some of the smaller problems like this were well dealt with as they happened. The nursing staff were diligent and all requests, urgent or otherwise were dealt with kindly and promptly. The clinic was superb. I have shared this experience so as to give a clear picture to other transsexual women what they can expect if they are planning FFS..

As soon as the Dr's left, Angela fell into a deep sleep. The tiniest effort is utterly draining.

We will now wait for the nurse and get further blood tests, to check her haemoglobin levels and also, to get her mouth cleaned and her teeth brushed. This could be sore but something that will reduce the chance of infections in her mouth and also make her feel fresher. The catheter is coming out in the next hour and we plan to get her in the chair and enjoy a delicious ice cold orange juice.

I am so relieved that we are staying until late tomorrow and Dr Danial has prescribed extra pain medication!


A visit from Dr Kai

13.48, I popped out for a sandwich and a large cafe con leche, on my return I found Dr Kai, re-dressing Angela's nose, all the packing had been removed and he was in the process of reapplying the splint and generally cleaning up her face. The new nose looks finer, with a very gentle ski type slope, the bridge is more refined and her nostrils are smaller. He went to great lengnths to create what her refers to as the "nose tip deformity" which is a characteristic that most female noses share. Concern was expressed by A that she would not be able to pick her new nose!

A asked me to take some pics of this new stage and show her them, she is all puffy and rather grotesque, she peeps at me out of one very bloodshot eye.
"Oh Dear" she says gazing at the digital photo, her specs lightly poised on the squishy and delicate bridge of her nose.
"Yes, Love, I've had hotter dates"
She smiles at me gently and Dr Kai chuckles.

Dr Kai, did keep slipping with his pronouns though, with plenty of "he's" and "his" peppering the chat. Although he was very tender with Angela and referred to her as "My Dear", it felt very kind and not in the least bit patronising. He is extremely sexy (as some of the female staff had also noted) and reminds me of some of the lotherio type mediterannean men I have met in LA

As he went to leave his mobile rang, it was clearly "a lady", she wanted to know where he was in no uncertain terms, he placated her with the truth,
"I couldn't find you, so went to see one on my patients, I'll be there in five minutes"
We laughed together after the call:
"That was so obviously a women" said Angela
"Ah women, can't live with them, can't live without them" I laughed.
It was very funny when he replied to us with no intended irony
"Ah yes, women, I like lots of variety"
Angela and i laughed after he went,(well I laughed, A actually made muffled grunting noises like the piglet Babe), she was clearly pondering his reply.... "Do you think he meant VARIETY" ?

With no doubt, tonight will be difficult and we are going to try to get her another night's stay, as she is very dizzy. On a plus point, she ate a good portion of cold Spanish Omelette and ham and seemed nourished by the meal.

Yet again she is sleeping, her cold mask has a reassuring hum, it conceals her face and while she naps will hopefully reduce the notable swelling on her face and skull.

It's lovely and sunny outside and I'd love a glass of crisp chilled white wine. I will so deserve one!