Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Blood...

I've been debating whether or not to write about the following topic, but since my goal in writing this blog is to help people, I decided in favor of sharing. DISCLAIMER: This is meant to be at least somewhat funny, but it has some gross parts, too.

Transsexual ladies, you may look like women, sound like women, feel like women psychologically... but there's something you can NEVER have that truly means being a woman and you will forever miss out:

Menstruation.

I hate my period. I've always hated it. It's messy, stinky, painful, emotional, messy, messy and.. oh yeah!... messy... and emotional. Did I mention emotional? Having a period may be the key to being able to have kids, but seriously? Come on! If there is a god, and that god is good, it ain't a woman!

Trust me: you might be saying to your computer screen, "I'd take having a period if it meant I was born in the right body." You SAY that, but you just don't know. I was born in the right body and once a month, I wish I wasn't a woman. I'm not joking... Well, I'm exaggerating, but I really, really hate my period. I'd like to start menopause now, thank you. I've had the kids; what do I need the period for anymore?

You know why I really hate my period? Besides the messy part, which really totally sucks, what I hate the most about it is that once a month, for about two days, I think about the worst things. I already think bad thoughts. I have awful visions of my children being abducted or Tasha being in a car accident or a fireball hitting the Earth. That's during the other 26 days. But when the cycle starts, for the first two days, my whole life is wrong.

Today, for example, I was folding clothes from our wonderful, hasty withdrawal of our stuff from the bed bug infested bedrooms when I came across an elegant piece of lingerie I bought before I met Tasha. I still have a few pieces, but my husband didn't really get anything out of them, so I stopped wearing them. As I put it aside and continued to take women's clothes, hers and mine, out of a plastic bag, I felt worse and worse. In my mind, I said, "You wouldn't wear that anyway. You hate how you look." I thought about putting it on for Tasha and I didn't like that feeling at all. I got scared. I tried to imagine being passionate with Tasha and that felt... wrong. I really started to panic. I tossed the lingerie into another plastic bag intended for donations and tried to put it out of my head.

I couldn't do it. So, I activated my rational mind. I reminded myself that we never really had a highly passionate relationship. Sex was not a big part of it, although we did have sex more often in the beginning. I called my friend, B, and asked her to call me. I needed some reassurance. In the meantime, I had a conversation with myself about how I'd been going through some kind of desire to have desire for several years. I reminded myself that what I was feeling went beyond my spouse becoming a woman.

I was still bothered. This happens on my period. I waited until B called.

Would you believe that I had no distinct memory of being passionate with anyone? B reminded me that I had, in fact, been so stupidly passionate in my youth that I was in a doomed relationship because I wanted to have sex. I did that a few times. I ignored the hazard flags for sex. Not atypical, but I honestly, truly forgot! B also reminded me that she and I used to go to Victoria's Secret to buy lingerie just because it felt good to do it. We felt good about ourselves in the outfits.

The fact is that the relationship I am in had passion, but it was not that fantasy kind. I was older, too. I'd been there and done that and I really wanted a soul mate who was also my best friend. B suggested to me that BECAUSE I am now faced with having to change my sexual preference in order to keep my marriage, a long-buried issue has reared it's nagging head and my special time has exacerbated it. The issue is that I have missed the passion, partly because it made me feel desired. I know that my spouse desires me, but then here I am again facing the fact that, while her view of me has not changed, my view of her has.

I don't mean to get into an exhaustive monologue about this issue in particular. The crux of this blog is what my period does to me. Periods make small things big. Periods make little concerns huge issues. During a period, I have a strong sense of the differences between my rational and irrational minds. During my period, guess which one is louder?

The fact is that sex is still not an issue. The fact is, like my other friend, D, said yesterday, at some point a great relationship becomes a great friendship. The fact is that I still have NO IDEA what I will will not do in terms of intimacy when all is said and done.

I hate my period.

So, why have I shared this experience? I think I decided to do it because it's important for transfolk, MTF in particular, to understand that so much drives how we born women feel from day to day. Remember that what you experience on HRT is similar to what we experience. It's different, though. Take your emotional roller coaster over a month and shove it into a few days to a week. As men, you might have been patient with us as we went through our special times, but now, as hormonal women with your own crazy mood swings, it's important to stay conscious of how crazy your partner's emotions are, too. Be reassuring, be kind and be PATIENT. Remember that it's okay for your partner to have moments of doubt, anxiety, confusion or panic. As long as those moments pass and your partner is mainly on board, there is still hope for a happy ending, you know? I wanted to demonstrate that, as much as I show my support of Tasha going through this transition, even I, the devoted spouse, have moments of freak-out.

Have I mentioned how much I hate my period?

13 comments:

Teagan said...

I read your blog a few times this morning, and I'm going to be presumptuous. I realize at the end you said that the crux of this blog is what your period does to you... but I'm not reading it that way.

I think it's pretty amazing that you've put some of these feelings out here as you did with such honesty. Since you did, I do wonder about a couple of them...

"B suggested to me that BECAUSE I am now faced with having to change my sexual preference..."

In the spirit of the honesty of this post, I'll say that I do not believe this is possible. I wrote about how mine has changed, but the difference with me, and what you're suggesting, is that you're implying that one can make a choice to change her preference.

I suppose that what matters is the level of contentment within the marriage that you and Tasha possess. In this larger context, the sex part might, or might not, be important. I truly hope for both of you that it remains a cursory issue, and I truly hope that your period is just temporarily exacerbating things, as opposed to bringing something which was buried, to the surface.

big hugs to both of you.
Teagan

Casey said...

You are right, Teagan. You can't actually choose to change your sexual preference. I can't. What Tasha has asked me to do by following her own path is to take a detour away from my own natural path. We have known from the start that for her to change, my life would have to change.

Because I have always been an (mostly) open-minded person, and because sex is not an integral part of our relationship, I do believe that this is a hurdle that can be overcome.

Although I don't consider myself old by any stretch, I am approaching that time in many people's lives where the desire to have sex starts to fade and the relationship one has becomes a friendship. I think this is where a lot of relationships fail in that there was never a friendship to begin with, so when the intimacy fades, there's nothing left.

Yes, my period was exacerbating an issue that isn't a pressing issue the other 26 days. I feel better today, except for that lingering feeling that all of my organs are being held up by my pelvis so I can't stand for very long. :-)

maddox said...

This reminds me of how transmen feel about their period - completely awful and dysphoric, because it is a reminder of their body as a woman. But as you and many others always point out, NOBODY likes their period!

You should check out this hilarious ad to cheer you up:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpypeLL1dAs

Anne said...

Hi Casey. Like Teagan, I am essentially floored by your ability and willingness to explore extremely intimate and personal issues.

Regarding your issues with that recurring "messiness", I remember that for several months post operatively, I bled. I realize that doesn't happen much anymore, but it did for me. I bled and discharged and just plain SUFFERED for months.

I also remember thinking that this was part of "paying my dues" for being female, except that I got to pay mine all at once, instead of on a monthly basis. Yuck! Yuck! and DOUBLE YUCK!

This other 'thing' about sexuality is a tricky one. For what it might be worth, I will share it with you, and by extention, your readers. I am not by ANY means declaring that "THIS IS RIGHT" or that "YOU ARE WRONG". I am just recounting how things are and were for me.

Prior to my transition, I worked VERY hard at denying who I was and essentially doing everything possible to "prove" to myself that what I felt, what I KNEW, but refuse to believe, was al lwrong. I mean, how could I be a girl, if I was built and "plumbed" like a boy?

When the TRUTH, the REALITY of my situation finally overwhelmed my ability to evade, dissemble, distract, deny and in any way AVOID the cold hard truth, I finaly had to look and assess what EXACTLY I had to look forward to.

One of those REALITIES that came along with this "transition", was the FACT that I would NEVER, EVER be able to enjoy heteronormative SEX with another woman, EVER.

Nor would I EVER be able to have children. I was 22 when I was forced to make these momentous decisions in my life. To say that I was not a highly sexual creature would be an outrageous lie. I was highly sexual with women and so "giving up women" was no small price.

On top of that the ability to achieve orgasm was not really known. Despite all that, I went ahead because I KNEW, "I had no other choice". to be cont'd....

Anne said...

Because I only know one or two women that transitioned "early", and "back in the day", I can only speak for myself. When I finally recovered from the SRS, and all the subsequent "messiness", I proceeded with due diligence to execute my doctors orders to the best of my abilities. I took his recommendation to "Use it or lose it" to heart and proceeded to do so with due diligence.

Now what is relevant here is that my "orientation" changed 180 degrees. Prior to the onset of HRT I was strictly hetero. My partners were exclusively female. Post-Op, I was again strictly hetero, with my partners being exclusively male. How or why that is, I really do not know.

I do know that ever since I finally achieved a congruence of body and soul I have continued to be highly sexual. Even in my advancing years, I still enjoy very satisfying sex with by beloved husband. Could I give that up? I don't know. I don't think so. But then, that is just me. Asi soy...

Angel said...

Casey, I don't pretend to know what it's like to have a menstrual period, but I do know what it feels like to see my spouse undergo radical physical and emotional changes. Sadly, that proved devastating to our marriage. I hope you have much better luck.

You deserve to be happy.

Amy K. said...

A few comments, if I may:

Being Wiccan, I believe in a God and a Goddess. Dianic Wiccans actually celebrate the Goddess almost exclusively to the God, and they specifically celebrate menstruation. The shedding of blood without endangering life is viewed as sacred, and it's the time that women are most open to inspiration from the Goddess.

I do go through the hormonal issues. I can be quite a bitch at times, for no other apparent reason. ;)

I wish you the best of luck in dealing with being together and figuring out what to do between the sheets, if anything. It really takes a lot of bravery to write about this. Bravo! :)

Casey said...

@ Anne - Thank you for sharing your experience with me and my readers. It's interesting that you discuss switching your sexual orientation. That subject does come up on occasion, mainly because I believe in "the other shoe" theory (I made it up). I'll probably write more about this in a post, but basically the other shoe theory states that there is always another shoe (as in, waiting for the other shoe to drop) no matter how much you think everything is settled. For us, the Other Shoe is the one thing that Tasha insists will not happen because she is a "confirmed" lesbian.

@Angel - I am truly sorry that your marriage ended. I won't presume to know why, but I hope that the decision was made after very careful scrutiny of any and all possible underlying reasons, and that the decision has or will bring you more happiness than you had before.

@Amy K - You and I have to talk/email. I've heard about the issues you've been having with some Dianic groups. My opinion of that particular sect of Wicca is strong and I could go on for a long time about it, but I won't here. :-) Anyway, I am very familiar with that view of menstruation. It's quite empowering, but frankly, since I'm done with my uterus, I'd be happy to stop the blood! :-D

Casey said...

@Maddox - I LOVE the ad!! Thank you for sharing! :-)

Ariel said...

Casey, I don't know if my crackpot theory is related to your "other shoe" theory, but these are my thoughts on a sexual orientation "change."

I know transsexual women who are attracted to the same sex after SRS as before, but I also know transsexual women who continue to be attracted to "other" or "same" -- which, after SRS, is different than before. Natasha's avowal might hold up, but it might not. I definintely did not expect to be attracted to men, but it happened.

Amy K. said...

Sure, Casey. :) I'm amethystnewyork at yahoo. Just fill in the symbols and such. Or if you're on Facebook, my FB profile badge is on the sidebar of my blog. :)

Samantha said...

So, here's the thing they never tell anyone and I don't know why.

Many MTF women will go through a "period" of adjustment to the profound impact that HRT can have on them. The part folks don't talk about is how it effects one's brain. Now the brain we know is connected to everything else. Eyes, Ears, Nose, skin, everything. Things that these women spent their entire life NOT seeing, NOT hearing, NOT smelling, NOT feeling all explode into their existence in a way no-one ever prepared them for. Believe it or not what can often seem like a change in orientation is just this process of finding themselves some balance. When all the shifting stops, much like with Teenage girls, they find themselves right back where they started. Tasha hasn't hit the point when all the mental and emotional connections fall into place. When they do, you'll probably be stuck with her. :)

Ack, periods, yeah, I so know your pain there. Sounds like you too have a short cycle. And yeah, those few days every month when you lose your mind, or so it has often felt like for me. And then of course there's British boarding house syndrome. For whatever bizarre reason everyone winds up cycling me instead of the other way around. I have friends who have 45-50 day cycles, I've always been jealous. Of course too much time around me and they start having 28 day cycles. And I get hollered at, like there's anything I can do about it.

For years as I went through my own journey I wished I was a nice normal MTF Trans woman. Regrettably I'm one of the few lucky women who really is intersexed. Which is why the years of cycling, and cycling, and I HATE MY PERIOD TO! Not even just for how it, shall we say, skews my perspective, but the damn cramping.

When I finally started to address my health issues the doctor said "This may throw you into menopause..." My only reply was "Promise? Really? No more cycling?" HRT has made them less severe, less annoying, less painful but they are still there.

Yeah, I hate my period too. I keep hoping it will end one day soon.

As to moments of freak out, we all have those Luv.

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