It’s been two months since a shunt was put in my right brain ventricle. Things were progressively better, and then began to revert. But I didn’t realize this was happening for a while because the tool that I use to know how my brain is doing It’s been two months since a shunt was put in my right brain ventricle. Things were progressively better, and then began to revert. But I didn’t realize this was happening for a while because the tool that I use to know how my brain is doing is my brain, and my brain stopped doing that job as well as it had right after the surgery.
I’d leave the stove on after cooking a meal. Same with the water tap in the sink. My “normal” driving speed became slower, I began repeating anecdotes, I began to shuffle again despite frequent walks and physical therapy. I didn’t notice this until other people told me, and then I’d forget or discount it until the next time they told me. I began losing track of what day it was. I became dangerous to myself and to others.
I so wanted to believe I was getting better, that things were continuing to get better, going back to normal. They weren’t.
I hope that at my next visit to my Neurologist he increases the flow of my shunt: it doesn’t require further surgery because it’s adjustable (with the use of a little magnetic tool - just watch out for small electric motors like the one your barber uses to trim your hair, or you use to dry your hair). So, we’ll see. In the meantime please, please honestly tell me how I’m doing - I need the feedback. Really. Because I can’t always tell when I’m screwing up, and for my safety and yours, tell me how I’m doing - I need the feedback. Really. Because I can’t always tell when I’m screwing up, and for my safety and yours, I need to know.
cc: Dr. Ali Shirzadi, Dr. Gunnar Roll
Well,yeah. but that was written in a mild fit of depression on not getting better, faster. Things still getting better, though.
I discovered my gender dysphoria at age 8, was discovered crossdressed a few years later and immediately subjected to electroshock "therapy" in a locked ward for several months. I gamed the system by claiming that the treatment was working. It was. It did. Of course it was the punishment of shock treatment that made me avoid dressing for a while. There is no cure.
Eventually the compulsion returned, as it does to all crossdressers, and thereafter made me create many literal closets to dress in. That worked for sixty years. I'm only now out to friends, Facebook, and family (since 2010), but almost never dress publicly and have little interest in transition. To all appearances I live and have lived a perfectly normal life. Only the last of my three wives welcomed my cross dressing. She’s gone now.
So, has my closeted silence warped me in any way? Probably, but I think not visibly. I was hurt more by my parents than anyone else, and my absolute lack of trust in authority seems to be the result. Being closeted I've always felt myself apart, and had no small amount of self-hatred to overcome. Aside from the trauma of having two wives die in my arms, I don't believe my psychological makeup is significantly different from most others. Nor do I feel that those crossdressers just now coming up have it any easier -- different, yes; but not easier.
Now that I have no obligations, I'm interested in experiencing a more female emotional and cognitive experience, and to that end I'm now taking daily estrogen (estradiol valerate) and beginning to use progesterone cream, but not any testosterone or androgen blockers. I've experienced only minor physical and emotional changes, and occasional bouts of sexual disinterest, but it's early days.
I've been a (mostly) good husband and father, a lifelong lefty-social/political activist and organizer (even while in the Marine Corps), and a productive member of society. My sexual identity and presentation (except when actually in my closet) is male and my sexual orientation is primarily hetero. I've always been thoroughly monogamous, but now, even though widowed and single again, I consider myself solo poly. I'm an atheist and only resent proselytizers, including atheist proselytizers.
Had I been accepted and loved as a crossdressing child, or as a girl, would I be different now? Of course I would! Would I have transitioned (possibly) or become gay (unlikely), but there's no way of knowing, is there. Am I resentful? I have been, but at 79 that seems a little silly.
I’m financially stable, comfortably housed, reasonably well-fed, and looking forward to continuing with EMDR therapy, which seems to be dealing with my anxieties and traumas. My crossdressing doesn’t need dealing with -- it’s who and what I am.
I’ve been a student, a teacher, a school principal, a Marine, a librarian, a radio announcer, a forms designer, a father, a TRS-80 hacker, a publisher of 25 books and writer of four, a security trainer, an event and convention organizer, an inventor and vendor of circus-arts props, and a professional juggler. Also a serial owner of three homes, and a serial husband to three wives, with lovers in between. About a new obsession or two every decade or so, it seems.
At my 70th birthday I was asked what my next decade would be characterized by. Without thinking I immediately said, “Sensuality.” (It’s been true!)
I am curious as to what the next decade will bring.
Your suggestions are welcome.