I’m sitting here with a glass of wine and a snoring dog curled up beside me. I just got back from a trip to Detroit to see Tegan and Sara (The Con X tour) and, for no reason at all except an urge to write, thought I should pick up this blog again and say something. When I opened it to post, I saw that it has been exactly a year and a day since my last post. Also almost a year since the first time I saw T&S with K. Funny that.
The photo at the top of the post is from Detroit, from the Mbad African Bead Museum. On the whole, I found Detroit to be depressing, run down and full of collapsing buildings and desolate streets. The museum was a bright spot, though. We didn’t get to go inside because it was closed, but the building is surrounded by art installations, sculptures of salvaged materials, huge and raucous and a little overwhelming in their strange beauty. I highly recommend it if you find yourself in Detroit.
So much has happened in this year that I’m not even sure where to start. K and I separated about a year ago now. I read back through my posts from last year and it boggles my mind, how surprised I was that our relationship was ending. When I look back, it isn’t surprising at all. Neither of us had been happy for a long time, and I’m not sure what I was so determined to hold on to, to save. It wasn’t the relationship I wanted. I guess I was just holding on so tightly because I’m afraid of change, always have been. I’m not sure where that fear comes from, but it’s certainly been a driving force in my life. I stay in places too long, relationships too long, jobs too long…all because I’m terrified about what might come next, and about hurting other people. But the thing is, is that someone always pays the price. It’s just that that person has been me. And, in the end, I just end up angry, sad, resentful. I’m not going to do that again. I can’t.
I started T in January 2017. I was so afraid of changing, that I wouldn’t like who I would become, or that my family would reject me. But now it’s been over 10 months and I’m doing just fine. I’ve experienced most of the usual changes that come with taking testosterone (lower voice, muscle growth, etc.) and I’ve been mostly happy with all of them. I don’t regret my decision, at all. I am at a more comfortable place with my gender identity – I’ve landed on non-binary. It just feels right, more so than either man or woman. I’m something else, something in between, both and neither. I’m excited to see what the next year brings. I’d like to get top surgery, but other things come first.
I moved into my own place, a studio in the same neighborhood. It’s even closer to the train, and it has a separate kitchen, a walk-in closet, and a little sun room. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it feels good to have a place of my own.
After many months of feeling better, my back pain is back, and worse than ever. Likely a consequence of moving. I didn’t do any heavy lifting, but I did a lot of bending and twisting when packing and re-painting the old place. I’m in pain all of the time, the kind of pain that sits at the forefront of your mind and blots out everything else. It takes my breath away and sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and cry, and just give up. I have a pain management specialist again, but he’s mostly useless. He recommends a fusion because he doesn’t know anything else. I’ve done a ton of research and the success rates for fusion are abysmal. There are doctors in Europe, Germany especially, who are doing amazing things with artificial disc replacement. That might be the way I go, but I need to get more tests done. I got my doc to write the orders for the tests I need, but I haven’t scheduled them yet. Yet again, fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown. And, of course, fear of being sliced open from groin to above the belly button. The surgery requires them to go in through the front. Terrifying, yes, but not as terrifying as fusion. I need to stop fucking around and just do what I need to do to get some opinions from these doctors. One foot in front of the other.
I dated J for a few months, starting in December 2016, but it was on again, off again. That relationship burned bright and fizzled out. She is poly and I thought I could handle it and make it work, but I just couldn’t. I spent too much time being jealous and sad, and lying to myself that I could change and be something that I’m not. We took some time apart and I went back on OKC in the interim. That’s when I met B.
I’ve spent a lot of time fantasizing about what I dreamed my ideal relationship would be like. Someone I could be honest with, talk to about anything, laugh with, play with, someone who would see beauty in the small things and not be ashamed of it. Someone who was on my level intellectually, someone who would challenge me, but also comfort me, someone who thought about things and asked big questions. Someone I could be myself with, and not feel ashamed. I would revisit these feelings every so often, and generally dismiss them as fantasies. That person and those situations never seemed attainable. I would struggle to cultivate those feelings in my relationships but it was always just out of my grasp.
B changed all that. They are, without a doubt, the most special person I’ve ever been with. They are kind, passionate, caring, sexy, driven, funny…and I have everything I wanted in a relationship, and more.We communicate so well, share so many of the same desires. This is the person I want to be with, for as long as they’ll have me. I want to buy a house with them, have kids with them, grow old with them. And for the first time, it all seems possible. We’ve been together almost nine months and I am still giddy, butterflies-in-my-stomach, head over heels in love. We’ve had a few bumps in the road, but we’ve talked through them and come out on the other side stronger.
Work is going well. I’m still on the Tech Support team but I mostly do training these days. I do a good deal of the teaching for new hires and develop and lead a lot of the ongoing training. I also might finally (finally!) get a new position at the same company. If all goes well, I should have that lined up by the first of the year.
So despite the physical pain, I have so much to be happy about. I’m in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in, I have a job I like and hopefully soon, a job I love. I’m hopeful that I can turn my health around. And, of course, I have a glass of wine on the table and a snoring dog in the bed. Things are good.