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Why T is not the answer

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I’ll level with you, I have started this blog post about a hundred times.  My feelings about  Jeremy are so mixed each time I try and write it I get confused and my attempts to rationalise and unpick it gets sidetracked.

But here it is.  Testosterone was not the answer.  It has been a significant part of the answer but it has not been the solution in totality.

Since November Jeremy has been finished with school work.  In the last week he finally got to Centrelink to  register for Youth Allowance.  In between he has floundered in a sea of anxiety, lack of direction and dysphoria.  I’ve done my best to provide love and support but my patience and my bank balance are wearing thin.

For nearly three years we held onto a D date of Jeremy’s 18th birthday and his first injection of T.  On reflection I had no idea what I expected from this injection.

He is becoming more masculine day by day and that is fricking awesome.  His sideburns are epic and his goatee and sideburns are starting to meet on the sides of his face.  His voice is deeper and there are even times when he is comfortable without wearing his binder.

But those mental health issues that sent us to a psychologist pre-transition are still there.  They are exacerbated when he meets people in the general public that, despite beard and deep voice, somehow still misgender him.  Dealing with Government organisations has a special challenge, and I am pleased that the Federal government employees in Newport Victoria are much more aware of gender diversity than their counterparts in Werribee.

So mothers and fathers – I thought the step of starting T would be a bigger solution than it was.  It was a significant step but if I have learned anything from the last six months it’s that Jeremy has hopes and dreams about his physicality.  There are dreams that I have offered to make a reality but he is still considering the implications for himself.  He understands that he is in a position of privilege.  It doesn’t alleviate the underlying feeling that he has that his journey is just starting.  It doesn’t help when he feels that taking the first step isn’t accepted or understood.

It’s so unfair.  I see his peers at Uni, getting part time jobs.  He is so bright and engaging and that bundle of contrary actions that has bewitched me for nineteen years.  His legacy was supposed to be bright and successful.  The poor kid can’t even prove his identity because the forms are overwhelming and the questions daunting despite my support, love and credit card.

Time to put on my big girl panties and keep fighting the good fight.  Because if the world won’t voluntarily step toward J, I will damn well make sure it does under duress.

 

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Things getting real

2015 has been a goalpost in my mind for a long time.  I have had two years to come come to grips that this is the year that Jeremy starts his physical transition.

My own physicality was something that I put at the back of my mind.  In 2008 I started a long journey to gain strength and health through exercise and diet and by 2011 I felt amazing.  In 2012 however, a combination of factors combined to start me on a self indulgent slide back to my heaviest.  I spent last year addressing my mental health so was primed to start addressing how I look.

At Christmas I made a promise to my sister that I would exercise with her via a shared app.  Much as we would love to exercise together the Melbourne – Chicago commute is time and cost prohibitive.  So we check in with each other after we work out and this simple mechanism is enough to get me out of bed and turning on coach Justin for thirty minutes of exercise.  That plus a free food tracker has helped me to monitor what I take in.  Three weeks in and I realise the biggest difference is I now really want to change.  My muscles ache, some mornings I am really tired but I value myself enough to give myself a half hour three times a week.The changes have been small but they are there!!!!

Jeremy is not feeling great about himself so we have discussed what he can do.  I know first hand that depression sabotages your best efforts, poor self esteem can lead you back to the biscuit barrel far more than it does to the fruit bowl.  For a committed chocoholic like Jeremy the lure of the sweet is overwhelming as well.

So the plan is to help J start moving and eat better.  I’ve had to stay “no” to certain things, J has decided to make some changes and he will get support from me to help him stick to the changes that he wants to make.

Next week J has his blood tests, one step closer to starting cross hormone treatment.  These hormones will change his body, my wish is that J wants to makes changes so he can look in the mirror and see the handsome young man that I see.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Two years

I love “Call the Midwife”, a beautiful BBC series about midwives in London in the 50’s at the advent of the NHS and in the middle of the baby boom.  Watching a Christmas special these words from an elderly character made me catch my breath as she recalled dark days in the workhouse “She had bones as fragile as a birds. The wardress brought her to me one night on account of the noise, she had chilblains, I wrapped her in my petticoat and held her all night. They took her away in the morning, I never saw her again. I had too many, I knew when they stopped singing”.

Such is a mother’s heart.  How many of us instinctively know when our babies are distressed or hurt.  In my heart I would probably know if the unthinkable happened and I lost J,

I can hear the anxiety in J’s voice on occasion.  A legacy of childhood he can still react from a very primal position when he tries to balance multiple priorities.  It is countered with a “dude, chill” from me when I am around.  Lockie has a similar strategy to manage the anxiety that gets directed at him by J.  Jeremy’s depression however is a distant memory.  For that I am profoundly grateful.  My child two years ago was a bundle of defensive anger and anxiety, careless with possessions, rude and aggressive.  We were at the end of six months of my being at home fully supporting him and his activities. I was wondering why the heck I had bothered as I felt I hadn’t made a difference.  I was stressed and broke and feeling hopeless as a parent and a provider.

Last night J had a number of friends stay over, Lockie and Titan were here too, so I got my fill of puppy cuddles.  I got to put faces to the names that I hear all the time.  J baked up a storm and cooked a fabulous roast dinner.  He and his friends watched movies, ate food and hung out.  We had pancake brunch and the dishwasher has been going all day, but J was so relaxed, happy and every inch the young man.

Next week marks two years since I introduced my son to the world.  It was a low key, tentative step.  I was anxious, confused and angry at God and a world that gave my baby this difficult path.

Our next year will be characterised by physical transformation for J as he commences cross hormone therapy.  I have often spoken about the delay in J being able to access the next stage of treatment as a gift to him so he can take the time to adjust.  So it has been for me as well.  2014 has been in some ways my own annus horrendum in terms of relationships and finances.  I stood at the edge of transformation and stepped off the ledge into the unknown to find that old hurts and pains could be healed.  I am a different person to the momma of a year ago and two years ago.  J has been vocal in his support of my transformation and I treasure his support.  I am looking to 2015 as a year of professional successes and positive action.  Woven into this will be J’s physical changes and Year 12 studies.  It will be challenging however this year of space has helped me so much in terms of getting my head around the next stage of J’s journey.

So I think for J 2015 will be when he finds his voice.  It will be a new voice for my ears but one that I will love as dearly and the beloved voice I know so well.  I am ready for this next step.

 

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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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