Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘coming out

Mood: Wubba wubba Wednesday
Music: Current 93-Red Hawthorne Tree

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Holy cats, you guys!  I’m actually writing a Blog, Sweet Blog post for its own sake and not just reposting mah tumblrs.  Don’t get me wrong, tumblr is my new spiritual home and the place I spend most of my time, but we’ve been through a lot, this blog and I, and I can’t stop loving it just because its not tumblr. Besides, this post is relevant to Blog, Sweet Blog‘s interests, which is why I’m posting it here first.

It’s my anniversaries!

I started this blog (well, posted first anyway) on April 23, 2008, or  2.0767 years ago, give or take. I can’t begin to tell you how important this blog has been to me.  It wasn’t ever about attracting readers or experimenting with practical narcissism (those came later).  I’ve always considered this blog to be a safe place for dumping the crazy, discussing whatever, and letting the air out of my head.  I’ll be getting to this in a minute, but it’s easy for me to forget how turbulent the first six months of HRT were for me.   I had just ended a three year long relationship with, until that point, the person I loved most in the world and I was in the middle of chemically altering my body and mind.  I felt unhinged most of the time and happysadangryhyperdepressedenergeticlazy the rest — but not in a bad way, if that makes sense; it felt right and weird.  Anyway, I don’t think I would have done as well if I hadn’t blogged and exercised.

My little blog, bless her, has changed with me.  I’ve struggled with moving from more of a personal/transition journal to an everything blog featuring my thoughts and creative work.  I’m still not sure of where I want to take it, but I  kind of like that it’s all over the place.

I started HRT on June 6th, 2008.  I had started some other transition processes before then (started seeing a therapist, my doctor), but I think it’s fair to call that date the start of my transition.  So, let’s see, that makes me 1.097 years old, in a way.  I won’t ever be celebrating my “new birthday” (the old one is just fine) but I do keep the date on my calendar.  Like I said above, a lot has happened since then (here are the big ones).  I think the process of transition is never ending, but I feel much closer to the end almost two years later.  There are still more physical changes to endure (bottom surgery, the neverfuckingending weekly electrolysis), but I feel like I might have finally graduated to late puberty, at least emotionally.

The last anniversary occurred 1.0548 years ago when I changed my name and started back to work as the real me, the girl named Anna.  Life has gotten kind of weird since then, but work has always felt like a safe place.  I’ve had better and worse days, but no one has ever made me feel uncomfortable or anything but loved and valued.  I know that my experience, sadly, is not the norm and I can’t fairly attribute the ease of my work transition to any more than luck…ok, maybe a little bit of preparation and moxy helped :-).

Still, I’ve struggled with my career choice.  I really don’t think I would have become an engineer if I would have transitioned earlier.  I’m not 100% sure I’ll stay an engineer until retirement, but I feel a lot better about it than I did a couple of months ago.  If I won the lottery or totally stopped caring about my current life, I’d move to New York or Paris and trade engineering to become a professional artist/bon vivant/salonnière/cultural maven/woman-about-town.  There aren’t any plans to move in the near future, but I’m working on my writing and art in the meantime, just in case.

So that’s it, you guys, happy anniversary/birthday to me and Blog, Sweet Blog!!!  I hope the following years are way easier/better than the last two.

Mood: I have the dread
Music: WBLS’s In Control from 7.14.89 feat. Ultramagnetic MCs and 3rd Bass

Margaret demonstrates the low point in Victorian-era Women's athletics, the wildly unpopular, Single-handed Trunk Drag.

I was watching Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I started writing this the other day and I realized, the first five minutes of  that movie are totally metal.

So Happy New Year, y’all.  I realize it’s a little late to do resolutions and wrap-ups (or so says John), but I wasn’t aware of any rules or time limits banning the writing of New Year’s resolutions after January 1st.  I figure, as long as I get something out by the end of January, we’re good.

First, let’s recap the major events of 2009…

-continued basking in the crappy, coming-out aftermath with my parents.

-CAME OUT AT WORK!!!  Seriously, in retrospect, this almost seems like a non-event, but, let me assure you, it was definitely an event.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the megaWatts of energy expended in sweating worry, HR meetings, legal wrasslin’, and amazing letter writing before the big day, but it was all totally worth it.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been full time for 8 months now.

drove out see my father in Iowa for July 4th weekend, had a great time.  Also saw the mighty Sunn O)) in the mighty Big O.

-finally realized my cat might be trying to kill me.

-spoke at work conferences in both Washington D.C. and Mobile, AL…I should prolly tell those stories at some point.

-renewed my nuptial vows with my first love, Cheese.

-read some books.

went back to graduate school, got an A.

-battled King Ghidorah with Godzilla on Japan’s mysterious Monster Island.

tried internet dating and won.

-made up with my mother and she and my aunt came out to visit.

-had an unplanned gall bladder-ectomy.

-crowned Queen of Donkey Kong.

-won a caption writing contest and got my first professional writing rejection.

Holy wow, that was quite a year, hunh?!  I’ve read how some other bloggers didn’t particularly care for our old friend, 2009, but I thought it was pretty great.  I think my choice to (and following through with) transition helped a lot and waking up from the eight-year long nightmare of the Bush/Cheney regime seemed to lighten up the place considerably.

This is getting long, so let’s take a cheese break and meet back at the next, thrilling New Year’s installment, Viva la Resolutions!

Mood: like I just gave birth…to this blog post!
Music: Neko Case-Maybe Sparrow

*ed.  I’ve already written this blog, but lost the whole thing because I forgot to log in.  The first version was awesome, but I can’t remember it.  Sorry if this one isn’t as good, Internets. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Ugh, I’ve been feeling so off for the last month or two.  It’s not really a depressed kind of thing (or maybe it is), but it’s been really hard for me to generate interest for anything beyond bathing, watching television, writing emails, blogging, feeding the cat, and doing homework.  I’m constantly late to work.  I haven’t been eating much.  My sleep pattern is more of a random process and the mail is unopened, my house is unclean, and my to-do list is undone.  I’m not sure why I’m feeling Maybe it’s because my mother and my aunt are flying out here on Friday.

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost  a year since I came out to my family and friends.  For the most part, people have been sweet and accommodating…my mother is an exception.  She lives out-of-state and she’s had a very hard time with this.  Since coming out, we’ve only spoken on the phone once about ten months ago and traded a very few, terse emails.

I’ve tried every trick I could think of to bring her around.  I’ve sent her the sweet, “it’s no big deal, I’ll wait” email, the pleading, “why don’t you love me?” email, and the angry, “screw you, I’m better off without you” email.  Nothing seemed to work.

The last time I tried one of my special emails, she sent me a reply that said she was still trying to come to terms with this. She told me she’d tried counseling and asked how she could see my YouTube videos. Heartened by the sudden turn for the better, I sent her video instructions and encouragement. Weeks went by without another word.

She called my sister at some point. From what my sister said, it was almost as if she’d gone backwards in her progress and acceptance of me. My mother was all, “have you talked to your brother lately?” and “how is he doing?” It was beyond infuriating and I felt angry, sad, and powerless…again.

Unless you’ve gone through this, it might be hard to understand how this all feels. I still had a mother, theoretically, but she didn’t seem to want to have anything to do with me and, try as I might, there was nothing I could do to make her feel differently.  And it’s not like I suddenly became a Nazi or a pedophile. This is a recognized medical condition, she’s a nurse, and this isn’t totally without precedent in my life. I’m still a college graduate, and an electrical engineer, and good at my job, and a tax payer, and a voter, and I have friends, and I’ve never been convicted of anything more serious than a traffic misdemeanor.  I’m also an adult and I have lived a great deal of my life without having to rely on my parents for money or esteem-boosting.  Still though, it’s an awful feeling to be shunned by anyone, especially a parent.

My sister and I came up with one last idea.  I would send her a copy of True Selves along with a positively frigid, “this is your last chance” email and wait for her response.  I sent the email and book about a month ago.  Four days later, she sent me an email saying she had read the book in one sitting and was planning to come out to see my sister and I some time soon.  A week or so after that, she sent me another letter saying that she had purchased two airline tickets and wanted to know who was going to pick them up from the airport.  Apparently, True Selves is a magical tome forged from unicorn tears and fairy wings under the light of a pregnant moon.

So yeah, I’m nervous and excited.

I’m excited because I actually miss my mother and I desperately want her to be a part of my life.   I may have discussed this before, but my childhood was…different.  My parents divorced when I was seven and my little sister and I spent most of our childhood moving between parents and states and addresses, usually once every year or two.  As the eldest, I’ve always felt like the peacemaker, the caretaker and I’ve never been happy with my family’s cool indifference toward each other.  We barely talk to each other and, when we do, it’s usually through gritted teeth and pursed lips.  The half-closed mouth is a guard against accidentally speaking our mind or unleashing a torrent of pent-up hostility and recrimination.  I think other Scandinavian/W.A.S.P.-types roll the same way.

And so, with that sort of history, is it any wonder that the little, seven year-old girl in me wants to fix her family?  I wanna have one of those movie families where people love each other and support one another and often choose to be in the same room with one another because they enjoy each other’s company.  I think I’ve made good progress with my father, hopefully the same will be true with my mother.

I’m also nervous.  For one thing, she’s bringing my aunt with her.  My aunt and I have never been that close, so she must be a traveling ally/mobile support system.  Which is fine, I guess.  My aunt is part of my family and I might as well get right with her while we’re at it.

I’m also nervous because I’m not sure what to expect.  Mom mentioned that we’re going to have a “talking party”…whatever that is.  Honestly, if she’s not planning to lead off with a day-long hug while gently whispering, “I’m so sorry” over and over again, then I’m not sure what we have to talk about.

People who like me say I’m “strong-willed” and that I “speak my mind.”  People who don’t like me say I’m a “mouthy bitch who should shut her fucking know-it-all, pie hole every once in a while.”  The truth’s in there somewhere, Internets.  If I’m as serious about making the peace as I claim to be, it might help to try being sweet, patient, and accommodating…just this one time.  Or maybe I’ll just drink a lot.

So, fun family weekends ahoy!  They leave sometime on Sunday and I’ll update you some time after.  Until then…

Mood: Somewhat productive
Music: Pixies-Bone Machine

So, as I posted yesterday, I had my first day back and it went really well.  Oh, you want some detail and amusing anecdotes?  Fine, but I feel like I should say…you’re very needy and a little bit too interested in my personal life.  Maybe we should talk about that some time.  Not in an intervention-y sort of way, just an earnest, “I’m here for you honey, do you want to talk about it” over coffee kind of thing.

Amway, I got up earlier than usual to get ready.  I wanted to have enough time to do my makeup and get dressed without feeling the rush stress.  I had picked out what I was going to wear the night before (which is like the best thing ever and something I’m going to try to do henceforth) and it was an excellent choice if I do say so myself…knee-length khaki pencil skirt, short sleeved red crinkly blouse with white polka dots, a black long-sleeve crewneck cardigan, and black leather flats.  I thought it looked nice and it seemed to be professional, kind of cute, and def’ly not embarassing.  Sometime around when I was doing my makeup, I started feeling the nervous.  After the 1100th time looking in the mirror to make sure I looked ok, I said goodbye to the cat and got in the car.

The drive to work was long, but kind of fun…I did a lot of singing in traffic to take my mind off of the morning.  I got to work about 20 minutes late (I know, don’ and sat in the parking lot for a few minutes.  I was already late so I didn’t want to waste a bunch of time on second-guessing and reconsidering.  Like I said, I’d kind of done most of the worrying already.  I was still nervous about walking in the door, but I wasn’t not going to walk in, you know?  So I did.  And there were a bunch of people in the hall holding up a big sign.  I thought, “oh noes, they’ve been waiting for me with a big stupid ‘welcome back’ sign and now they’re going to be so mad.”  Turns out, they were hanging signs and stuff for the big boss that was coming later in the afternoon.  Still, no one said anything…which was fine becuase I prolly would have thrown up right on them and that stupid tie they were wearing.  I hate that tie.  Why do guys think ties with cartoon animals on them are appropriate to wear out side of their own closet?

So, I got into my office without passing out and locked the door.  I had to take a moment to steady myself and put away my things.  Within ten minutes, my boss was knocking at the door to check in on me (which was really sweet and he’s been so awesome throughout this whole thing).  He asked if I was nervous (check) and told me not to be.  After that, I opened my door “for business” and started looking at my to-do list.  My computer login had changed to my new name (cool) but there was some kind of problem with the emails.

The email problem is still ongoing even though I spent most of the day with an IT guy sitting in my chair (don’t be nasty, I sat in the other chair).  And that was kind of cool.  Right from the start he told me that he admired my courage and thought the meeting went well.  And it was nice because I had to deal with him and other people the entire rest of the day.  I’m sure I would have wanted to hide out, but I was kind of forced to put myself out there.

I waitied a long time to use the restroom.  I don’t think I’ve discussed it much, but, even though I’ve been mostly living this way full time for a couple of months, I’ve avoided using the bathroom to a ridiculous degree.  And I can’t explain it.  I think I look alright and I certainly belong in the women’s restroom (or much moreso than in the men’s), but…it’s scary.  It’s like I don’t want to offend people or be weird or anything.  So, I waited and finally went when I absolutely could not hold it any longer.  And like everything else, it turned out to be no big deal.  I’ve been feeling super dried out for whatever reason, so I was drinking loads of water and had to pee a lot yesterday.  So, I feel better about it, but it’s still a little bit nerver-wracking.  I think I’ll feel better after when I actually see someone I know in there.  If you’re keeping score at home, the restrooms are much nicer.  I’m not going to give away all of our secrets, but there’s a couch and magazines.  The men’s room has…well, not magazines, that’s for sure.

I grow weary of this exercise, so I’m going cut to the expedient bulleted list method of exposition…

-It sounds cliche, but the security guy I got my new badge from thought I was trying to play a joke on him when I handed him my old badge.  I assured him I was not and he continued to be nice and friendly.

-I went out to lunch and got”ma’am’ed” all over the place.

-It seems like a lot of people were out of the office or incredibly busy yesterday.  So not everybody got to see me.

-I must have spent a total of two hours in 1 minute intervals worrying about how I look.  And that wasn’t fun because it was more of a worried rather than vain thing.

-I work with a lot of guys and none of them thought to comment on how I looked.  My one girl friend said something nice, but that was it.  That doesn’t really bother me, because I kind of know how guys are.  Either they were too afraid or didn’t think of it.  Regardless, it would have been nice to hear something like that from one of them.  I swear I will not file a sexual harrassment lawsuit for the occasional, “you look nice today.”

-The boss guy gave a speech for everyone on campus at the end of the day, but I was so tired that I barely heard anything he said.  Yesterday was exhausting, really.  That’s one thing they don’t tell you in the brochure.  I think it’ll get better, but I’m still pretty tired today.

-I gave a guy friend at work my blog’s address (hey you) and that is weird.  Ok, it’s weird having everyone know my biggest secret eva, but it’s weird to also have someone know my motivations and be a party to my every internet thought.  Still though, he seems like a good sort and it feels good to just be honest for reals.  I might give it to another person.

-I didn’t get a card or any flowers.  I was kind of upset about that but I kind of understand…I wasn’t in the hospital and I didn’t experience a death, or have a baby.  And everyone was really busy yesterday, so whatevs.

-A lot of times yesterday, I caught myself wanting to edit something I was going to say or do.  Like, I still had to hide or didn’t want my neighbor to hear me.  I was able to talk myself out of it, but I’ve been doing it for so long.

-I spoke to a couple of people out in the hall while they were waiting for the grande queso.  This one guy, who I like a lot and respect, told me how he was really proud of me and how courageous he thought I was.  I thanked him but told him that I didn’t feel all that courageous.  I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand…it’s either do this or be doomed.  So, it didn’t seem like much of a choice to me.  Regardless, it was really sweet of him to say that and be so supportive.  He’s someone I’d like to get to know better.

-The day ended better than it began.  I drove home and talked to Becca then Kaylee before bed.  I was really tired but I had so much fun talking to both of them (we lol’d, hard).  That was the perfect way to end the day, thanks you guys.

Mood: Getting over it.
Music: Opeth-Nectar

I’m not going to go into a lot  of detail, but yesterday was pretty bad and I felt like I needed to have a little cry party with drinks.  So I did.  Even though I got like no sleep, I feel a lot better now.  I think it’s prolly just dread about Wednesday and the 1,567,944 things I have to do before then.  Unfortunately, I’ve set myself up emotionally so that most of those things needs to go perfectly.  And if they don’t?  Dunno, but another, more intense cry party with more drinks might have to be scheduled.

In other, though eerily similar, news, today is my last day at work y’all!  See the lighting bolt and kitties?

I am happy and nauseous and have the aforementioned dread.  I don’t have much planned for today, but here’s a tentative list.

1. Write a quick note to the few people I kind of like and let them know what is going on with me and why they’re having this weird meeting on Monday.

2. Print out some lolcats and art pictures and put them up near my door.  I have a few pictures up now, but I thought I’d increase the visual interest at my office home if the entire institute is going to be walking by my door next week.

3. Pick up my office and clean the desk.

4. Maybe do some work.

5. Freak out some more.

6. Go for a run in the rain at lunch.

7. Post another 3(?) blogs.

8. Go home early.

To be honest, if I get three of those done, I’m going to call it a win.  See you again in a few minutes.

an introduction

Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.


All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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January 2022