Sunday, October 28, 2018

Ebb and Flow

Tonight, I'm sitting here watching the World Series. Although the Red Sox stand poised to maybe end it tonight in only 5 games, there has been a fair amount of back and forth. Especially that third game. A long time ago, I think during another World Series, the Dominican pitcher Joaquin Andujar was quoted as saying, "There is one word in America that says it all, and that word is, 'You never know.'". I think that's about right.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Be Careful Who You Wish To

Shortest blog entry I've had yet. In honor of my favorite holiday, Halloween (tongue planted firmly in cheek), I wanted to share this short story by my new favorite author, Jenny Boylan.

They say you should be careful what you wish for....but maybe we need to be careful who we wish TO. Check out "The Hag of the Beara".

Stay spooky, my friends!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Leap When Appropriate

"Why do you think people would treat you worse if they knew the truth?"

This question is asked of Dr. Gregory House, M.D. (played by Hugh Laurie) by Dr. Darryl Nolan (Andre Braugher) in the second part of the House, M.D., season 6 premiere. It aired on September 21, 2009. I don't remember it distinctly, and just looked up the details on IMDB after catching that line as I rewatched the episode on a rainy, lazy Saturday morning in Georgia.

House is in a psychiatric hospital, to which he committed himself in an attempt to cure his Vicodin addiction. If you've ever watched the show, you know this character has developed a facade of, to put it mildly, being an asshole. Genius, wounded, addicted, Asshole.

Friday, October 19, 2018

A Little More Of Others

For whatever reasons, humans go through a lot during their time on this planet. The human spirit, if you stop to think about it, even for 60 seconds, is beyond belief. With disease, war, work, politics, religion, traffic, mothers, mothers-in-law, young folks, old folks, the trials people face just never ends.

The trials of the gender-confused is just one of many, many, many such ordeals the eight billion of us Earthlings collectively endure. It's good for each of us to realize this. Our issues aren't the only ones happening around us. Despite what the news shows, I still think we do a decent job of supporting our friends, family, and even strangers. Today, I am writing about one such person. A special person who can use a few more positive thoughts sent her way.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Neither Here Nor There

It's been just short of a full week since I eliminated most of my online presence. Time to take stock of where I am, and in so doing, give updates to those who still see this blog and are interested.

The past weekend was one in which I did not chat online at a chat site, or watch Twitter, or some other time-consuming activities that I usually engage in. The idea has been to see what it feels like, and put more emphasis on my actual life. So what did it feel like? The first couple of days, I thought about what a mistake I was making, that I missed those things, and other negative emotions. I also was proud as each hour passed by. Online can be very addicting, and this was my drug I was witdrawing from.

I did note that, while not having my face buried in my phone or laptop, that my kids engaged me a little whereas they may have just passed by in the days and weeks and months previous. Not a lot, but I did notice. Did they see me as someone they wanted to talk to again? They must have; all I did was try to be available.

I didn't make any pronouncements or anything about what I was attempting to do, or why. I am hoping that it will be noticed. Not only am I on my devices less, I have returned to my former location to watch TV, etc. I knew I had moved in order to hide my chatting, etc. and so, to me, this is something I hope will be noticed and possibly appreciated.

I will admit that I created a login for chat this morning to just go in and observe, see how I felt. I saw names I hadn't for a week. It was nice to see they were still there and hopefully doing well. I didn't engage anyone, and left soon after. I noticed quickly that I was just waiting for something interesting to be said, and when it didn't, I thought about the time I had devoted to this, and how it wasn't as beneficial as I thought. Maybe I will return more later, but only if I have found balance, and certainly I won't log the hours I did before.

How have I filled up the time that I suddenly now have? No drastic changes. If I watch TV, I am able to focus better on that, and get more out of it. I need to start doing more actual activities instead, but access to things is limited for other reasons, some of which may be excuses, some may be legit. I'm aware, and hope to do better. Less passive, less timid.

Things are otherwise the same. I get pangs of loneliness. I've had those all along. During one of those the other morning, I responded in part to my wife's challenge that, if I am serious about this transgender stuff, I would tell my parents. She didn't think I would do it. I thought on it a couple of days, and when the loneliness set in, I chose to look to someone that's part of my life to be an ally. That person was my mother.

If you've read before, my mother had expressed to me encouraging words on the native North American concept of the "two spirit" or transgendered person. Even though it turns out she didn't quite understand it the way I thought she did, I was able to use that as a lead in to telling her about myself, to an extent at least.

I told her some details of what I feel like, what I did growing up to combat what was then an unknown, not-understood condition. Before I did so, she thought I was telling her I was gay or bisexual or something. As with many folks, the separation of gender and sexuality is a difficult concept. I told her I hadn't done anything like that, and gave details of my life of crossdressing.

Somehow, I survived that. As evidenced by the fact I lived to type the tale today. It wasn't as if I got a, "hey, that's wonderful" reaction, but I wasn't comdemned, and I feel like I was at least heard by someone who cares about me, even if the caring often gets presented in odd ways that can leave me baffled or infuriated or both.

Now that a few days have passed, I need to talk to her again and see what questions she has. We aren't mentioning it to anyone else yet, at least I hope we aren't, but this a step in....a direction. A positive direction, I hope. A way to emerge from the shadows just a tiny bit more. To be more authentic. Less deceit, more truth.

I guess that's it for now. As always, it feels good to get the thoughts and feelings out my mind and into the ether, no matter how condensed they may be. I wrestled with writing the blog all week, as I know that very few are likely to read it. I did say I would continue, and I will. If for no one else than myself. But I believe my words will help someone else, even if it's a single person.

A very good friend reminded me of that possibility the other day. I lamented not getting the exposure I had before (it wasn't much, but wasn't nothing), and that I didn't want to blog and have it look a "woe is me" kind of thing. She mentioned that in a way, I'm lucky. Many people who might need to express themselves in some way and yet cannot, might read this blog and see some hope, and my good fortune. I thought that was crazy at first, since my life is a mess. But when seen through the prism of a possible future where I realize more of my goals, the possibility then would exist for others to look back and see that someone achieved, and that they can, too.

So, I write for me. But, present-day me and future me both hope that others are encouraged and helped by my expression of self, of documenting my journey. It really is more about the journey than the desination. We never, ever "get there", because "there" immediately becomes "here", and then is gone infinitely quicker than you can even have that thought. So, concentrate on the journey. Try to enjoy the ride. It will be worth it.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Get tuned, Stay tuned.

I'm tempted to call this one, "When I Stop Leaving, I'll Be Gone". Because I like to rip off old song titles, album titles and such. But to do that, I'd need to be either leaving, or gone. I feel that I'm doing neither.

This post is in reference to a decision I made yesterday to pull back drastically on my social media presence. It's something I've been thinking of for a while, and the moment came yesterday when circumstances aligned to where it felt best to do so.

I've spent an inordinate amount of time in the past couple of years communicating with many people that I felt can relate to me and who I feel understand who I am, and who I am becoming. I have done so largely in the shadows of my own family, and thus drove the perceived deceit factor up through the roof. The actual deceit factor is much less, but perception is what counts.

I am writing this early on Saturday morning, and I am already feeling the effects of what I have decided to do. I am awake, and feel alone, and therefore am in need of comfort and comradery. A very main focus of mine in this blog is to be positive and not whine about my situation. Nobody wants to read that. I will try to minimize it here today, but I feel I must be open about where I am with things. There are people that I've communicated with that will miss me, I know that. That's the hard part, because I like being liked, and the thought of being missed tells me maybe I did something right.

I have left just enough avenue open to strategic people that I know in order to not only be there for them as I want and need to be, but so that folks can know I'm ok. Somehow, I will be ok. I am ok. There are a great many people out there in the world who are not ok. I'm not one of them, relatively speaking. If I look hard enough, I still do have blessings.

So again, if you are still reading, why did Shannyn decide to strip back things? My hope is that in doing so, I can further emerge from the shadows, or at least not be buried in them as I have been for so very long. Hiding is perhaps my biggest sin of all, to my family and even to myself. When someone is different, in any way, we can either own it fully and say, "yeah, I really like ping-pong, and I don't care who knows it", or we can join the underground ping-pong club that plays late at night, probably with glowing paddles and balls to minimize what even their own members see. Ok, that's way exaggerated, but actually sounds really cool. Maybe I'll start such a club. The NPPAOA. Nocturnal Ping-Pong Association of America.

Sorry for rambling. What I'm seeing as important is an attempt to return myself to my family in some form, to recognize that I've been absent in their lives, maybe repair a smidgen of the damage hiding has done to them. It's a tall task, as the damage is immense. I know it's not all my fault, since I didn't ask for dysphoria, or to be transgender. It's not bad to be this way; as you know I have embraced it. But others didn't ask to have to deal with this either.

Another thing I recognize is the need to put my energies into things like furthering my public presence, if that's where this is all leading. I guess the idea is to stop hiding so much, and make the time I spend interacting with others like me much more a thing of quality versus quantity. As mentioned, it is designed to give time to MAYBE rebuild my family dynamic. It seems irreparable right now, but with God's grace and a lot of effort, who knows.

In that vain, I'm gonna steal something again. To whom I'm stealing from, remember it's a compliment to have your stuff stolen. We all kinda know this one anyway. And it is oh-so-apropos for me in this moment.

As I was describing the latest events to a very dear friend last night, she told me of her daily Bible verse that came up. It's John, 8:32. and even if you don't believe in God or the Bible at all (I don't judge, and hope I'm not judged), this should be pretty easy to understand and attempt to abide by:

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Imagine describing your feelings about becoming more transparent and truthful in your life, and then that verse is mentioned. It hit home, for sure. At the same time, I wonder what being more revealing will do to those who wish it from me. Will it help, or am I bound to, at some point, scream like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, "You can't handle the truth!"

I don't know the answer to that, dear readers. Two things can happen. Things get worse. Or things get better. They won't stay the same.

This blog will continue. Anyone can reach out to me via the comments. Some of you know other ways to reach me. Or you know someone who knows how to reach me. I take heart in the fact I've learned from most everyone I have met, even the negative stuff, and hope they enjoyed the Shannyn experience, too. Beyond this, should we meet again, I will be better than ever, more ALIVE than ever, and the good person I am won't be having to hide from the world.

I do have a specific request for anyone who reads this particular entry. My ability to spread the word about my blog is much diminished. That's an unfortunate side effect of my direction. I'd like to think the blog can do good for others, but for that to have any hope of being possible, it needs to be read. If you will, copy the URL and post it somewhere you visit, so others can see it. Share it with one friend, or on whatever accounts you might have. It all helps. Thanks.

I always thank people for reading, but I especially mean it this time!!! Get tuned, Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Four Stages

It occurred to me today that in interactions with other girls of my persuasion, there are many different dynamics that can exist between us and our female significant others. It seems everyone I talk to has circumstances that are just a little different. But there are definite trends. So after some thought, I came up with what I think are four benchmarks, or stages, that describe where many of us stand with our wives or girlfriends.

As always, I'd LOVE to get feedback on this topic, so COMMENTS ARE WELCOME.

I should mention that maybe there is a fifth stage, Stage Zero if you will, in which the significant other knows nothing of a girl's true gender/sexuality. However, the 4 main stages, as I see them, are:

1. Awareness. She knows you crossdress in some way or form. This can include the sexual component, but let's stick to gender identity and dressing as our true selves.
2. Tolerance. Or Acceptance. She is willing to put up with your shenanigans (I like to call them Shannynigans). But she doesn't like it one bit. This could extend to the "do what you want, but I don't want to see it" types.
3. Encouragement. She knows, and she's ok with it. She knows it makes you happy. She might even desire you to be this way, though that tends to stray into...
4. Attraction. She not only likes it, she LOVES it. She is sexually attracted to you in your feminine form.

Obviously, Stage 4 is the top of the mountain. I can't think of a scenario that would be better for a trans girl or crossdresser. If there is one, I want to hear about. It would have to be GLORIOUS.

If I had to rate my situation on this little scale, I would need to put it at maybe 1.5. What I do outwardly is tolerated, but probably because there isn't much choice. I'm feeling my way towards an appearance that gets closer to my ideal. I'm very far from that ideal, but it's inching in the right direction. My relationship might be inching (or leaping) in the opposite direction. It could be considered acceptance, but it's definitely not a desired acceptance on her part.

Should acceptance be a different stage from tolerance? I'm not sure. I'm not trying to make this definitive. Just a bit of food for thought created to start discussion. Thanks for reading. I'll be watching the comments section.