Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Living in Dreams: The Helper

This blog post will venture outside of the reality of Tammy World and venture into the alternate world of my dreams.  I often have vivid and remarkable dreams, usually remembering something about them when I wake up.  Most dreams are quickly forgotten but a few of them really stick to my mind.  I often feel that my dreams are like movies and are there for my entertainment.  Sometimes they are scary and leave with me with a bad feeling throughout the day, sometimes they are enjoyable and sometimes (though rarely) I feel they may have great meaning.  Occasionally I have lucid dreams, a dream in which I am aware that I am dreaming and may have some degree of control over the dream.  Some dreams, like the one I will describe here, are just fantastic in their own rite.  For now, I will incorporate posts on my dreams into this blog.  Dreams too, are a part of Tammy World.

Living in Dreams will be a new series within Tammy World, sort of a blog within the blog.  Occasionally I will blog on a dream or relate something that has happened in my dreams with a new installment in this series.  I am sure everyone experiences this to various degrees, but some of my dreams can be rather amazing and extraordinary.  When it comes to Living in Dreams, I will just call them like I see them.  Unless it is obvious, I don't try to attach any meaning to my dreams, even when I feel there may be some hidden meaning there.  I have not found anyone to help me find any insight as to the meaning of dreams beyond the obvious, but I am open to any interpretations or suggestions from anyone.

The Helper

The Helper is my first installment in the Living in Dreams series.  I had this dream a few nights ago and have finally decided to post it.  I feel like it has real meaning but I do not understand it or know what that meaning is.  A friend suggested that maybe it related to Spirit (or God) talking to me and offering to help me in some way.  On this particular night I had several dreams I remembered when I woke up.  Some of them were occurring at the same time, I think, and I was going back and forth between them.  This one started when I was having another dream and it is the last dream I had before waking up.  It has been a couple of days and I still remember it vividly, its just one of those dreams. Here is my description of my dream.


Part of my dream was of a beautiful woman lying on the beach.  I don't think she was naked but probably had on something like a bikini.  She seemed to be getting a massage from another beautiful woman.  I was having other dreams at the same time but I kept coming back to this scene.  It appeared within the other dream like maybe a promo or commercial and then I would go back to my other, more mundane dream.  Later in this dream she had another woman lying next to her and I also noticed that they were under an umbrella.  The woman getting the massage was lying on her back and the other was on her side watching her.  There was nothing implicitly sexual about it but she was being massaged mainly around her upper thighs and hip area.  In the last part of this dream I realized that I was the woman giving the massage.  The character did not look like I do in reality but I realized it was me giving the massage.  I never saw any nudity or realized anything sexual happened, all I witnessed was simple hand to skin massage and this was viewed in the third person.   At or toward the end of this segment I realized that the woman receiving the massage had experienced an orgasm but I did not witness anything that would indicate that.  I just knew it. 

This happened on a beach, very near the water and other people were on the beach as well.  Next, I noticed I was entering the water and I placed something or something was placed onto my eyes that looked like swimming goggles.  My recollection is that when I put them on the glasses or goggles were blackened, like the goggles that had been given to me during electrolysis to protect my eyes.  I began to swim in the water but did not venture out far from the beach.  At this point the dream became at least somewhat lucid.  I realized I was dreaming and had some control of what I was doing.  Other people were in the water also and no one was going very far from the shore.  I believe I tried to swim further out but was somehow kept in very close to the beach.  At this point I realized that the water became very deep just a few feet off the beach and this point other people were in the water close to me.  It was very calm with very few waves but it was not slick calm.  I knew it was an ocean and at first the water was not very clear. 

I seemed to be moving along the beach as I was in the water, moving towards my right as I faced the horizon of the coastline.  As the dream progressed most of the other people seemed to go away and the water became very clear.  I could see an extreme drop off or ledge just a few feet out form shore.  I kept venturing down into the water but I do not remember seeing anything underneath except white sand in the shallow area.  I could not see the bottom after it got deeper.  Then it seemed like the shore took a sharp turn, like a right angle, and I swam down the beach very close to shore.  It was like there was a sandbar running parallel to shore and then the sandbar seemed to jut out from the beach aways.  I remember feeling adventurous at this point and following the sandbar further from shore and wanting to dive down into the deeper water.  I got the feeling that the water went up under the sand as if it were a ledge and I pictured the sandbar protruding out from shore. 

At this point in the dream I had the viewpoint of being in the water and part of the time being above the water, looking down on it.  The sandbar began to look like a large phallic symbol when viewed from above and as my view moved back back to shore I saw It.  There was a large monument or statue right on the beach and the sandbar appeared to be a phallus extending from this great statue or skeleton or whatever it was.  In my mind the size of the statue was like that of an Egyptian artifact like the Spinx.  It was  humanoid in appearance and in a position that I believe was seated.  It looked like a giant king seated on the beach in a Buddha like position and at times I believe it was colorful and at other times it may have been the color of the sand.  

I didn't really see anyone else there at this point and I moved (either walking or floating) up to the great relic, viewing it closer up.  At this point it came to me that the name of this thing was The Helper.  Nothing else was revealed to me about it but I now knew I was viewing something called The Helper and the sand around it seemed more like the white sand of a dessert than a beach.  Everything in the scenery was very bright with a clear blue sky and bright sunlight.  The crystal clear blue ocean was still there and I glimpsed the phallic like sandbar that protruded into the water.  At times it seemed as if I was hovering over The Helper or floating around it and the view was first person, I did not see myself or what I looked like.

In the last part of this dream my mother was with me and we were exploring The Helper as if it were a tourist site.  Some of this part of the dream I viewed in third person and some in first person, although I cannot remember what I looked like.  There were a few other people around but I only caught glimpses of them out of the corner of my eye.  At three different spots I found information boxes that contained sheets of paper, or flyers, and at each one I took a piece of paper out and examined it.  Each box was almost empty and I think I got the last sheet out of each one of them.  There may have been another information box that was empty of flyers but I remember the three sheets that I saw.  The first was titled, The Language of The Helper, and it was full of information although I did not read it, only taking it with me to study later.  The second box had something like a page from a children's coloring book with a picture of The Helper and the last box had a sheet with a picture of the woman on the beach being massaged.  I don't know if there was any writing on the last one or not but it did seem to have a trademark of some sort on the bottom right.


That is how the dream ended.  This was just a basic description of my dream but I do not think words can fully convey how fantastic this dream was and is for me.  I have never had a dream quite like this one and it is still just as vivid in my memory now as it was the moment that I woke up.  To me the most remarkable thing is that I was given a name for the monument and that the name is The Helper.  So now I wonder just what this means.  Who is The Helper and why did it reveal itself to me in this way?  Is there anything I am supposed to do in real life now that I have had this dream?  What is the significance, if any, of the woman on the beach?  If such a Helper exists how can it help me or is it me that is The Helper?  Maybe it was just God talking to me in a dream, or is it something different?  Was it something spiritual speaking to me or simply a part of my mind expressing itself?

I guess I will just have to live my life and determine if this dream has any particular meaning.  I wish it had continued but I ended the description right at the point I woke up in the morning.  There are mysteries in life and often deeper mysteries in dreams.  Mine just got a little bit deeper.

Monday, February 18, 2013

9 Months HRT, Testing Positive

It's time for an update here after 9 months of hormone replacement therapy.  I am feeling great and will be going back to the doctor week after next to check my blood and get new prescriptions.  After my doctor's visit I will post another update, but I feel like everything will check out ok and that I am making good progress.  On my 6 Month HRT Report I gave a lot of details on the effects of hormones on MTF transsexuals; dosages, timetables and so forth.  Things do seem to happen a lot quicker in the first few months because everything is new and perhaps because we are more acutely in tune to wanting something to change while noticing every little thing.  The first time you notice a little breast growth or softer skin is remarkable and validates that the hormones are working.  Over time it is possible that the changes occur more gradually or perhaps it is that we are already used to them; or they don't seem as fantastic and they just don't faze us as much anymore.  I hear this from almost all my trans friends and this is becoming my experience as well.  Having said that, some days I wake up and notice that things aren't the way they were not that long ago and I am filled with wonder and good feelings. 

Probably the biggest news since the 6 month report is that I have gone to a 36 B bra from a 36 A.  I have not grown a full cup size and I'm not a full B yet but the A cup bra has recently become too restrictive, so I had to switch to a B.  Things like this happen slowly over time and full breast development takes 2-5 years or more, but I do think I had a growth spurt a couple of weeks ago after several weeks of what seemed like a lull in new growth.  During that time my breasts got very sore and more tender than usual for a number of days.  I think its normal to have growth spurts and periods where it seems nothing happens.  Then you wake up one morning and there is change.  It is nice to move up in bra size and now I have something to work on/look forward to; filling the B cup. 

Something else that I have noticed since November is a reduction of shadow from facial hair.  I have only had one short electrolysis session since then, and that was on a small area, so I know it wasn't from electro.  The hair on my face has not gone away at all or changed much that I can tell (except on my upper lip).  It must be growing a little slower and be a little finer now though because I really don't have to use concealer under my MAC Studio Fix make up to cover it anymore.  This is especially true on my upper lip.  I had that area cleared once back in September and by November everything seemed to have come back like it had been before.  Now, with no more treatments, I have very little hair there.  At first I thought maybe it was a growth cycle but the hair there is still very light and splotchy.  This used to be one area I really had to concentrate on with concealer so this is definitely a big improvement.

My body hair continues to grow a little slower and seems to be a little bit lighter as well.  This is supposed to be the final effect of HRT to manifest itself, with the onset of this decreased terminal hair growth listed on the endocrine society's chart of feminizing effects, at 6-12 months.  Some have said they have noticed changes in my face and from going back and looking at old pictures this is probably true.  I used to wear a lot more make up back then but I do believe my facial features keep slowly feminizing.

I have gained a little more weight although most of it is in the right places.  My butt is bigger than ever and it is getting round and firm so hopefully it is a "good" bigger butt, lol.  I have added a little bit to the hips also with the only bad news being that my love handles are a little bigger.  It is definitely easier to gain weight and harder to lose it now.  I am sure that is due to the continuing loss of muscle mass, which I still notice happening gradually.  Females have a lower percentage of muscle so it is harder to burn calories.  I have heard that it is good for us to gain weight on HRT so that we can get curves but I do believe that one must train themselves to eat like a fit female and I have to keep reminding myself of that.  I really do not want to gain any more weight and need to lose some but I am scared I will lose some of my butt and hips so I haven't really tried yet.  I am trying to eat less and stop gaining weight and am hoping that fat redistribution will move it to the "good" areas and away from the bad ones.

Emotionally I am feeling the effects of hormones more than ever.  The last two months have been an emotional roller coaster to say the least, but that is due more to my life's events than to the medications.  The hormones just magnify my emotions much more and I can honestly say that I have cried more in the last 2 months that I did in all my previous years combined.  I am even crying now during movies but that doesn't feel bad and is not out of control like some of what I experienced in the weeks following my separation.  I was very close to an emotional breakdown then and I can thank the positive experience I have had coming out to my parents and the solid support of my boyfriend for pulling me through.  I never want to feel like that again.  Being able to express emotions is a beautiful part of having female body chemistry, but not being able to handle it when things get out of control can be scary to say the least. 

Testing Positive

Having completed 9 months of HRT, I am also very close to completing 2 months of living full time as myself.  This is also called Real life Experience or sometimes called the Real Life Test and recently I have personally experienced some of why it can be called a test.  Overall though I am having a very positive experience and there is no way I will go back to living as my old self.  If nothing else these first few months are a real learning experience and time of personal growth.  On another positive note, I have started shopping some again for the first time since Christmas.  The other day I picked up 4 new pair of shoes for a total of $101.37 and have also found some good deals on sweaters, tops, skirts and pants at thrift shops.

New Shoes
Passing has not been a problem for me but I keep working on my voice and overall presentation.  I am really just being myself and acting naturally but I try to make sure the outside world does not read me as anything other than female.  I get called ma'am even without make up and I think that will get even better over time with the effects of hormones and electrolysis.  Something I have had to realize though, is that being in this same small city that I have lived in most of my life, I will never be able to lead a "stealth" existence.  I have not bumped into anyone I know from the past yet and had them recognize me but being out with my father, who is getting a little senile, has proven to be an adventure.

My dad is having a hard time remembering to call me Tammy.  I am alright with that because I know he has increasing memory issues and at least he is making the effort.  He was having an especially bad memory day last week and this is the day it dawned on my that my life now is a test, a Real Life Test.  He has always called me by my (male) middle name.  This doesn't sound too bad when he makes a mistake, as it is a name that is sort of androgynous.   It sounds a lot better than something like William or James.  So we were in the doctor's office waiting area and a couple of times he called out to me with my old name.  The worst thing was when he tried to introduce me to someone (this happened twice) as his son.  One of the times he did this when we were sitting next to each other he corrected it to daughter after I tapped his arm. This must have really confused the old man he was introducing me to, lol.  

The next day we went to a Chinese restaurant to order take out and I got inside before him and made the order.  He came up behind me and the lady told him that she had already made the order and he just needed to pay for it.  That made me feel good because that was a day I was not wearing any make up and I knew she read me as female.  Well he walked right up and said "did he order yet" and then looked to me and said "son did you make the order"...Uh oh!  Oh well, even if being out with my dad means I will be constantly outed I am happy and proud to be able to go out anywhere with him.  He does consider me his daughter and that is what really counts.  After all, this is a test for me and I think I am passing, even though there will always be people in this town who know what I am and was.

The only other negative experience I had was earlier this week when one of my old (so called) friends found me on Facebook and sent me a few messages.  I took some time, via text and Internet messages to explain what is going on with me and come out to him.  At first he seemed semi supportive, then got negative and downright rude.  Finally he said that he loved the old me but could not "follow me down this path".  This is an ex friend that I have mentioned in earlier posts as one who I basically kicked out from coming to my home 2 years ago.  His problem is a combination of being a redneck and quasi fundamentalist religious zealot, as well as a self admitted asshole.  In the past he said I was going to hell for drinking, drugs and listening to devil music.  Now I am going to hell for transitioning.  His wife said that I would be better off on the drugs so that is the type people we are dealing with. My last message to them was that I did not share their beliefs and "Good Luck". 

Female No Matter What

A couple of years ago, when I was making the decision, or coming to the realization, that I had to transition, I was walking around a mall and saw a handicapped lady about my age walking towards me.  She was using metal crutches and I think she had been in an accident or had some form of permanent disability.  She could have used a wheelchair but she was walking alone with the crutches even though I could see it was big challenge for her.  She may have been in some pain.  The thought occurred to me at that moment that if something/anything like that happened to me I still had to transition.  I needed to be female no matter what.  If I was burned, got into an accident or got very sick there was still no other way to go for me.  I wasn't trying to win a beauty contest or lead some dream, glamorous female life.  I needed to live the rest of rest of my life as a female, the way I am supposed to be, no matter what life throws at me.

Recently I went through the ordeal of finding a skin cancer next to my eye, having it removed and going around with a swollen, black eye and big bandage on my face.  There may even be a small scar there after it heals.  I am very lucky that it was not any worse than it was and that the surgeon got all the cancer, but this again made me think back to my decision to be a female no matter what.  It wasn't really a decision or an impulse but something that was necessary for me to go on with my life.  The key here is that now that I am full time I couldn't hide this thing.  I had to go out in the world and live my life just as I am.  In the past I probably would not have gone out presenting female until this place had healed.  Now that I am full time there is no choice.  This is not just a real life test but it is real life and life goes on no matter what.  Sure, I would rather not have had this place on my face but I felt a lot better going out with the black eye and bandage than I would have going out as a male, with or without the black eye and bandage.

2 weeks after skin cancer surgery, it was a lot worse the week before.
It has been a great journey so far and even though I have related some negative experiences today, and you all know what I went through initially with my separation, it is and has been a positive experience.  I had a very good afternoon with my ex the other day.  We walked the dogs in a park, went to lunch and went shopping.  I was wearing the lightest make up possible but was called ma'am in the restaurant and stores.  She doesn't seem to mind being out with me now and our shopping experience was awesome, just like 2 close girlfriends.  Having gotten two cards from my mother referring to me as Tammy Ann, she asked me about my new middle name.  I told her that mom had given it to me the day after I came out to her and that I had told my mother I would honored if she gave me a middle name.  My (ex) spouse still doesn't call me Tammy but on this day she did hint that eventually she might call me Tam at least. 

If this is a test I would say I am testing positive.  It has been said that if you don't put 100% into transition you will fail somehow.  I am putting 110% into mine and I will not fail or fall back.  My next goal is getting my name changed.  I am running into some challenges out here being full time and still having a male name.  For instance, at the drive through window the other day when I was depositing my check and the lady said to me "Ma'am, is (male name) in the car?"  I told her yes and she asked me if she could see him.  I looked right at her and she finally recognized me from the picture.  Thank God I updated it a couple months ago when I already had long hair.  It's just another part of the real life test, but it will get better when I have my name changed.  It always  gets better....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Light in My Life

Valentine's Day 2013....

Valentine's Day this year has been very special to me.  I had the most beautiful flowers in the world delivered to my house 2 days ago and yesterday I got the most special card ever.  I got a great card from my boyfriend delivered with the flowers and he gave me an early Valentine's Day card last week but getting a card from my parent's addressing me as their daughter is priceless.  Mt. Everest was definitely worth climbing and I am very happy now at last.  I'm finally on the other side of the mountain after making it through the forest of depression I experienced after my separation, I finally feel like I am at peace in the valley.  Feeling comfortable with myself for once And feeling good about my current situation makes it all worthwhile.

Happy Valentine's Day from Tammy World!!!

Valentine's Card from my parents

Valentine's flowers from my boyfriend (100 rose blooms!)

Light In My Life

There is a light in my life that shines through and brightens the dark spots; gives me hope and fills the void in my soul.  This light is the most positive thing that has ever happened to me and he has a name.  This is a tribute to the best boyfriend in the world.  Happy Valentine's Day Mitchell!!  I love you very, very much!!!

Some pictures from our 16+ months together...:)

The second time he gave me flowers and our first dinner date...Sept. 17,2011

He took me to the State Fair on October 18, 2011.

At a party with my baby..November 12, 2011.

At a hotel.. December 11, 2011

In Love.... December 2011

CMP Christmas Party...December 2011

New year's Eve 2011

Clubbing in January 2012
Celebrating Valentine's Day 2012
Showing some love...February 25,2012

May 2012

Dedicated to my man...May 2012

Communication is key to a great relationship...May 27, 2012
Relaxing at my house...June 2, 2012  

At the James River in Danville on my first trip to Virginia to see my man
Dining out in Danville...June 10, 2012

Dining out in Cary, NC on July 8, 2012
CMP party...July 14, 2012
I love how he holds me...August 12, 2012
My man stands behind me

I stand behind my man

First Date Anniversary..September 10, 2012
My World is not complete without my man..September 21, Tammy World 2012
In the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia..September 2012

In my sweet baby's arms...October 6, 2012
Anniversary kiss...October 14, 2012
Celebrating Mitchell's birthday..November 2, 2012

Dinner with my baby at O'Charley's on his birthday, no more wigs!

My man kissing me on his birthday
Dining out..November 11, 2012

With my man on his birthday

New Year's Eve 2012
New Year's Eve 2012 dining out with my wide eyed man, lol
New Year's Eve kiss 2012....what a way to end an Awesome year!!!
Stay tuned for 2013 and beyond.....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day in America is observed on February 2nd.  A ceremony is performed in Punxsautawney, Pennsylvania (among other places) in which a groundhog emerges from his winter hole and predicts the fate of the second half of the winter season.  In that Pennsylvania celebration the groundhog's name is Punxsutawney Phil.  The story goes that if the Phil emerges from his hole on this day and sees his shadow,we are in for 6 more weeks of winter.  In the event the groundhog does not see his shadow then spring is just around the corner.  It seems like the groundhog usually sees his shadow but this year it is reported that he did not.

The movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murry and Andie McDowell, is a real classic comedy and the plot revolves around the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa.  The twist of the movie is (spoiler alert for both of you that have not seen this movie) that Groundhog Day keeps repeating itself and Bill Murry's character is doomed (blessed) to live this day over and over again. 


Today is Groundhog Day.  My spouse came to back home today to visit her dog and she reminded me what day it was.  In the last couple of days I had been anticipating her visit , both because her dog needs to spend time with her and because I really wanted to see her back home again, if only for a couple of hours.  I had a tiny moment yesterday thinking about it and today when she told me this was Groudnhog Day I began to get emotional.  I tried to hide it from her and she did see me crying a little bit, but I didn't make a big deal about it.  The thought in my head was that if she visited us on Groundhog Day, then she would visit again and again every day as this day repeated itself.  Most of the time that she was here I left her alone to visit her sick dog, Jumper, but we did walk all the dogs together, watch some of the UNC basketball game, talk some and rode out together to get gas in her truck.

She wanted me to drive separate to get the gas but since I was buying it (and it is a waste of gas to take two vehicles out to get gas for one) I convinced her to let me ride with her.  We get along good now but she is distant.  She has been this way for a long time, increasingly so over our year's together.  I will say that she was already distant in many ways (at least emotionally) by the time I came out to her as transgender in 2010.  Now she is distant in almost every way.  She doesn't even seem to show the care and emotion for her dying dog that I would have expected of her.  My boyfriend said that she is "shutting down" and that may be a good way of describing it.  Occasionally I see glimpses of life in her and those moments and the hopes that things will get better for her (and us) is what I cling to.

When we were in the truck I apologized to her for not paying her enough attention recently when she lived with us and she said "yeah, you were really into yourself."  I spent a lot of time on the internet and when we would watch television together I would be on my smart phone much of the time, texting or looking at Facebook etc.  I wish I had a "do over" and another chance to spend more time with her and pay attention to her while she was here.  I certainly did not want to make her think she is not important to me or a very important part of this little family.  Groundhog Day is just a movie and I will likely never get this chance but I am going to keep trying until I can get her back in my life again on some level. 

I do think it will be healthy for our relationship to evolve past that of a married couple.  We had never truly existed as a married couple anyway, especially in recent years, but I am still not happy being "separated".  A legal separation as a means of obtaining  divorce (mandatory for one year in North Carolina) is fine but separation means apart and I still do not like being totally apart from her.  The dogs don't like being  apart from her either but we are getting used to it.  I guess if I had the chance to live a Groundhog Day like the movie portrayed, I would keep working at it until I got her to fully understand me and accept me just the way I am.  We could have sort of a non traditional, non romantic ,non married partnership like I have recently come to realize is possible.  But we would not be separated right now in the way that we are, especially now with her dog, our original dog, living in her final days or months.

I want to find out more about these types of partnerships that are kind of post marriage living situations.  I just met a new friend on Facebook who is trans and has this kind of relationship with her wife.  She is the same age as me and her and her spouse are choosing to stay married at this time for the kid's sake, although her wife has a romantic relationship with a boyfriend.  This is kind of like my situation in reverse.  In my case I am the one with the boyfriend.  When their kids are grown they plan to get divorced but stay together in some type of partnership, even if they don't live together and even if/when they find other true loves. 

I found out there are three types of love.  Eros love is romantic love and it has been a very, very long time since my spouse and I expressed this type of love or even  experienced it.  I am lucky now to have a strong eros type love with my boyfriend and I know we are developing much deeper love as well, including both other types.  Philos love is based on on friendship between two people, more of a family type thing.  Philos love is considered higher than eros love and is the type of love I have for my spouse.  In this way I will always love her.  Agape love is the highest form of love and it is unconditional love.  I wonder if she and I have or ever will have this form of love. 

Maybe the only reason I want us to stay close is for the dogs' sake, because I view them as children, and maybe it is because I have been with her for 5/6 of my adult life and really don't know anything different.  Maybe it is because I am not enjoying living alone and maybe it is because I regret not treating her better when she was here.  I want to tell you that I am getting much better at handling this situation but it is still going to take more time to fully accept it.  Going over a week without any crying was really good but it just got to me again today somehow.  On a positive note, she did say she wanted to meet me halfway between our homes this week so we could walk the dogs and visit with them.  She also said we could have lunch together, to make up for her not wanting to eat with me here on Groundhog Day. It is that child like kind of thinking and mindset that I miss about her.  Who else celebrates something like Groundhog Day?  We always liked to eat out and have a little celebration on any holiday, no matter how small.  Happy Groundhog Day everyone!