"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Thursday 27 December 2012

A Gift to Share

This was a very special Christmas with many of love's small victories that I might not have noticed in past years when a troubled mind made every road seem a long and weary one. 

Driving along yesterday, the radio gifted me with this song.

Touch the hand of love,
Let it calm your troubled mind and caress your tender sorrow...

May your 2013 be filled with love and peace.

Friday 14 December 2012

Feeling Better

Today dawns and yesterday's overwhelming emotional reaction (to what???) has passed.

I would take it all down and not do this (apology? explanation?), but something is telling me, no, let those who stop by know that confused emotions are a part of your life, but they don't rule it. Let this stand and be sent back to that sensitive little person for them to know who you are right now, so many years later hasn't landed so far from them after all.

Today I am feeling differently and feeling better so far and still am wondering what yesterday meant.


Thursday 13 December 2012

Gut Feeling

Too late now, but maybe I shouldn't have done it. This one concession to my desires has brought me to a feeling that seems to be summing up all the feelings of sadness that have been building for so long. For over a year I have been using an epilator to remove all the hair from my chest and tummy. I do it for me; smooth and soft for me.

Process ended a half hour ago now, hand moving over the once more delightfully smooth surface, it stopped on my lower belly, pressed down and for the first time I experienced what has been repeating since, over and over, demanding to be said here in all its sadness grief.

Empty ~ Never to be filled ~

Saturday 8 December 2012

What Does That Mean?

When you write an article and publish it, like we do here in Blogistan, that information goes out much like smoke from a chimney. Straight up if there is no breeze and swirling and well, interesting looking if there is any sort of air movement (yes we have a wood-stove here). Out there, affected by what often seem to be random factors, you really cannot tell how that information will be taken, interpreted or used.

It is always good to get some sort of feedback about the ideas that go out, if only to know whether anyone really understood it the way I intended. I am not a wordsmith by trade or training you see. Much happens here by trial and error.

"Blogger" gives some basic feedback, letting you know what posts are popular for instance. What it doesn't tell you is why that post is popular or not and that is a bit frustrating.

A perfect example is a post from over two years ago here that I titled "Become A Woman, Eh?". According to the stats, it is the second most popular post on this blog. Not having looked at it for a long time, I decided to investigate what might be at the heart of the continuing interest.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that image of a sexy robot ad. Now, that post also featured some really excellant writing on the topic of femininity vs. Madison Av. imagery, and that was just the collection of insightful comments. My writing on the topic seemed pretty good too (if I do say so myself). There is no statistic on whether all those 'readers' over the past two years since the last comment were actually visiting to read.

So, I am left wondering why the post continues to draw attention, and cannot help but think it is for a reason connected with, but contrary to the spirit of the post. Sigh..  did I mention when you write for the public you really cannot tell how that information will be taken, interpreted or used?

BTW, the most popular post (and it hasn't been up as long) has been "Almost a Guest Post", by my friend Sarah. I am not at all upset that someone else gets credit for that popularity... well maybe a little jealous. :-)

Thursday 6 December 2012

Recognizing Beauty

In the spirit of my previous post, I can see that self-acceptance seems to have taken a new turn. Why not follow it to see where it has come from and where it takes me? How others see me may not have caught up to how I see and feel myself, but I won't let that impede positive thoughts and feelings.

This afternoon I read about self-acceptance in a blog called 'already pretty' and loved the way it is expressed so much I needed to pass it along to you. Aren't you lucky? 

The author Sally McGraw and I have very little in common. In her own words
"I know a lot about my body. I know its strengths and its graces, its quirks and defining traits. I know that I have strong legs and an elegant collarbone, pert breasts and dainty wrists, luxurious hair and an angular little nose. I know that I’ve got a lot going for me."

Let's see, my nose is not little (see the drawing; it really looks like that), but is strong and well defined. My legs are also strong, soft and shapely, something to build on there. My feet are quite nicely shaped, and while not small for a woman, size 10 is at least not hard to find; lots of selection. My breasts are not perky or pert, but I do have dainty (if slightly hairy) wrists and a collarbone that is nicely defined. I have a relatively small waist to hip ratio, and a really nice tushy that is a bit too small, but still…TMI? 
You can see, I have lots of good qualities to build upon, and that is what Sally writes about; that and not getting down on yourself for what you are not, or things about yourself that are less than ideal (I am not going to start that list thank you) according to some fashion magazine. 

I only started to follow Sally's blog recently. She writes well about recognizing beauty and I like her positive outlook. I couldn't help but be drawn to her use in this post of words like revelation, freedom, and liberating. 

You may wonder how it is that someone like me who is ts/non-transitioning would care about these issues. 
That is just how I am. I take inventory and care how my body looks, and recognize that yes, there is a beautiful person here, even if she will never be like that other Halle (her, you know, the famous one). 
I am me, and becoming strangely happy to be able to say that.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Tuck and/or Nip?

It's possible this has never come up here, but it is a topic that has occupied a great deal of my thoughts as I came to understand my feelings and needs as a late blooming transsexual. The topic today has to do with the pros and cons of the use of surgery as a remedy.

From the perspective of this blog the obvious surgical remedy has to do with correcting ones sex. There is all kinds of information that says the success of this procedure depends upon remediation of other co-related issues such as voice, hair, body structure, as well as co-related mental issues. Transition is never something to take lightly.
Another necessary transition and an aspect less emphasized by many (I love to read Lucy's blog because she definitely has not ignored this or any other aspect), is the mental shift from making your way as a male to making your life as a female. There are a lot of these aspects that would be a no brainer given a mind that already works in many ways the way it should, but as old as I am, there is a lot of 'being a woman' that will still be difficult to capture, including coming to grips with a lack of female history, but especially in areas of beauty, positive self-image and their good friend sexual desire.

This brings me to another surgical remedy. As women age,and gravity has its way, there is a danger that positive self-image begins to slide and when compounded with the need to compete against younger women for employment or social status, many turn to the cosmetic surgeon for a boost.

Fact is, at my age, most women have, or are having to come to grips with their own transition of sorts, realizing no amount of cosmetic or hair colour or surgery can give them the life of a thirty-something or younger again. It seems to me it is important to do this 'coming to grips' with a grace and style the individual alone can develop and sustain.

Here is a link to a related article on making peace with aging as a woman that my spouse and I found interesting in the blog Total Image Consultants.

Another blog all about style and grace as we age is ADVANCED STYLE. This collection has certainly made me rethink my impressions of how worthwhile it would be, even with all its challenges, to fulfill a heart's desire at an advanced age.

These are issues best understood well before one is forced to deal with them, but better late than never.
Did I really write that?

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Brief Encounter

We were walking toward each other on the opposite side of the street when we made eye contact.
The outfit she wore was perfect for a weekday in November in our small town; daytime casual, with a bit of eye makeup, earrings that were just big enough to help frame her face along with medium-short hair that had soft bangs and enough flip to bounce as she walked. Tailored beige slacks were tucked into her light brown boots that had just a bit of heel to emphasize her purposeful stride.
A hip length early winter coat with a colourful scarf completed her look.

In spite of all, to my eye she had a slightly androgynous but very attractive look that she wore well. She returned my gaze evenly, with a hint of a smile that seemed to say she recognized me, not for who I am, but for who I could be.

My own look these days, soft black leather jacket, white scarf and black bag with the strap keeping it comfortably against my hip might say, to someone who was aware of the possibility, androgynous but male in the same way her demeanour said androgynous but female.

Had she made me? Is she someone I might have a lot in common with?
I crossed the road, and as we passed, I smiled again and said 'hello'.

No doubt this is more about my state of mind than anything else, but if she had stopped and said she was noticing there was something about me that was worth the risk of mentioning, I would have admitted finding her fascinating back.

Believing as I do that we are lead through life by a playful spirit, perhaps her playful spirit and mine might arrange for us to meet again. Maybe she will read a blog post and recognize herself.

"Please take a risk and say hello back when I say hello next time."

Thursday 22 November 2012

Back and Forth

Sixty is a magical number for many reasons. Alternately, it says look back and then look forward, as though it is a pivot point somehow.

Five times as old as I was when I realized I could never pretend to be a girl again, believably anyway, as my Adam's apple first began to poke out and I sang soprano for the last time.

Four times my age when I had my first 'girlfriend'. She loved being with me 'because I was a good looking guy' and she felt safe (I honestly believed that was a compliment) with me, and her parents knew they could trust me too.

Three times the age when my second girlfriend broke up with me, almost certainly because she was tired of waiting for me to 'do her' and found a 'real man' who was 'up to' the job.

Twice the age when the plan to be a good man seemed to be working perfectly, with two beautiful kids, their fabulous mom and a mortgage and sixteen hour days to prove it.

Several times there has been a knock at the door, but luckily, just a courtesy call to remind me, not a come now, it's time. When someone close gets that call to move on and join the choir eternal (no links to the parrot sketch today Python fans; you know where to go for that), you remember that the day will come for you to do likewise.

So, time for what is next, before there is no more time.

Time spent on working out who is left here when we strip away layers that were the masquerade person, and beginning to get to know the unvarnished and amazingly fresh person under it all has not been wasted.

What is next in this context has, refreshingly, nothing to do with what needs to happen to continue life, and how I dress or even what sex is written on my driver's license.

Wouldn't it be a pleasant last thought on the way out the door to know that today's what's next turned out to be something lasting.
After all, when appearances end, there are things that ripple outward.

Others have said it better ~

Sic transit gloria mundi

This too shall pass

Monday 19 November 2012

Life by the Pod

It amazes me the way information seems to come as it is needed. 

Caroline's comment to the previous post to this pointed me to the podcasts of a BBC radio program Desert Island Discs, and of course now I am hooked, and having fun going through the archives of this very entertaining, long lived program. 

Finding this 'new-to-me' podcast naturally (or perhaps supernaturally) brought me back to another collection of podcasts (you can choose to have them update themselves once you subscribe) that had been accumulating; Radiolab from NPR station WNYC. 
Radiolab is advertised as being about the Natural Sciences, but the scope of their offerings is amazing. The latest program, a 'shorts' called "What's Up Doc?" is, appropriately, about Mel Blanc. If you don't recognize his name, you should, but that is all I will say on that topic. For me, the learning from that nineteen minutes of radio has to do with recognizing something of myself in this very talented person. The part of me that I recognized there had to do with the multiple personalities that once inhabited my mind; all of those men who helped me manage to get through life in a body I was at war with. 

I do not know at this point what the sequence of guidance was that brought me out of the land of confusion over the past few years, but from today's perspective, that feeling of somehow being part of a larger and more complex whole, that somehow gives direction to what otherwise might be a random life, is real. Thank you Aadi, or Whoever...

The dark eyes looked at me level. "Don't you believe you're guided, if you really want to learn this thing?"
"I'm guided, yes. Isn't everyone? I've always felt something kind of watching over me, sort of."
     "And you think you'll be led to a teacher who can help you."
     "If the teacher doesn't happen to be me, yes."
     "Maybe that's the way it happens," he said.
(Richard Bach: "Illusions")

Friday 9 November 2012


In a recent correspondence, a good friend asked me to tell her how the spiro is working out, because she couldn't tell from reading the blog. I wrote back and told her lots of detail. 
That is how I do things. Correspondence with a friend is a place for lots of feelings, and this is a place for ideas, and maybe how I feel is contributing to the ideas, but it has been my choice to do things that way. 

I do have a message to my younger self though, but that person might not like it. 
Your best bet is to get into therapy as quickly as you can and sort out that tangled ball of stuff called your life. Taking some sort of hormone suppressant might be a really good way of giving you a chance to do the sorting. Stop beating yourself up because you can't think yourself out of this.

My feelings and impulses driving me before this past month were like a really tangled up pile of electrical cords, all the same colour and size lying on the floor of an airplane hanger. They were wrapped around and around and interlaced and pulled tight. 

Like the job of untangling those cords, it was hard to know where to start the process of understanding, because there are co-related issues; lots of them. Feelings about one bleeding over into another has confused me into believing one was the cause of the other, or visa-versa. Some of these issues, on their own were hard enough to deal with, but when they were tangled so badly, feelings of guilt and shame mixed in, they seemed impossible to deal with.

The anti-androgen has calmed some things way down and individual issues can be seen in relief. Sort of like those electrical cords suddenly being a different colour, or thickness that allows you to figure out how to deal with one at a time. 

Petra said once my search was like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. This analogy of untangling cords seems more useful right now. One cord at a time. 

Quite a few of them are lying on that hanger floor right now, neatly coiled and not likely to get tangled again. 

So, I am getting better thank you. It is never going to be perfect. I will accept better. 

Trying to live as true to myself as possible in a complicated world, just like all of you are I am sure. 

Take care.

Friday 2 November 2012

Not Sugar Coated

Stream of consciousness stuff today ~ most unusual but it is my blog so...

Woke up at o'dark thirty and didn't feel like doing anything but making some coffee and reading how some of you are doing out there. I'd love to visit Meg and help her organize that apartment, and yes find her boobs too! :)

Last week we (doctor and I) upped the dosage of 'spiro' to 50mg. It never occurred to me in the past that having elevated blood pressure was good news, but it seems that spironolactone is first and foremost a diuretic and is prescribed for hypertension. Bonus for me is my blood pressure is in the normal range for the first time in years.

Calm and in control for the first time in a long time, and feeling that way now for a few weeks, what exactly does that mean as far as gender dysphoria? Well, unlike many who I enjoy following out there in Blogistan, it has never been about getting dressed for me; oh sure, I have dressed because it was something I had to find out ~ just how much like a man in a dress I would appear to be. The answer to that was with the proper attention to details, not at all. Very satisfying to know.

If it isn't about the clothes then what? I will calmly and rationally tell you, that even now, it is all about that offending item down 'there'. As long as I can convince myself to go one more day without fixing that problem, I will.

Oh, the sugar coating? When the sun finally rose this morning this is what greeted us. Just a dusting, but it justifies having put on the snow tires already.

It just looks like a layer of confectioner's sugar.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Seeking Connection

When pondering the complexity of life and how guided we all feel at times, it is hard to resist the idea that some higher power must be in control. So, is Aadi an angel, or some sort of spiritual guide, or just a product of an imaginative person under the influence of hormone-suppressing chemicals?

After Aadi left, I sat for the longest time (in a dream that might mean hours or seconds in 'real time') wondering about that 'tree' and what it meant to be part of a whole that somehow represented all of the possibilities of one spark of life, my spark, started sixty years ago from my perspective, but somehow transcending time-frames. Why does it matter? What does this experience have to offer me other than some insight into the gears and such that make the clock tick?

A slight shift in focus revealed other trees in different colours from mine intertwining. Branches of different colours often seemed to touch. Were those encounters random, or somehow planned? 

We all get inspiration from somewhere, and it often moves us in a direction that seems random at the moment, then somehow it turns out to be important later. We look back and cannot believe our good fortune that we followed a 'gut instinct' to go somewhere, or do something. 

Do we all have access to a version of Aadi? 

Where would I have been on that great tree if every day I had taken time to listen to that inner voice's nudges? There is a good chance I will never know that, but maybe paying attention from here onward might give me some idea.

Morning meditation ended and time to get on with this day on this branch of tree Halle.

Sunday 28 October 2012


I wonder why some days there is no inspiration and others it bubbles over. 
Where do ideas come from anyway? ~  ~ ~

"You have been looking for me"

My first, my only thought upon waking was 'shimmering' and then a wide eyed 'Oh My!'.
The being who was before me (saying standing just wouldn't make any sense for there was no place to stand there) defied description. Dickens had said it best, writing "... - like a child; yet not so like a child as like an old man through some supernatural medium..." when describing the ghost of Christmas past. To this spirit, not a man or boy - not a girl or woman but all at the same time, I asked or maybe just thought "Who are you?"

"I'm Aadi" she said, settling down to appear to be a woman about my daughter's age, "and you have been thinking about me a lot lately, so it was time for us to meet." 
The landscape gathering itself around us seemed to be a forest and we were (or seemed to be) sitting on that old beach blanket at the base of a huge tree. "And you are..." she looked up into the tree and pointed at one leaf suddenly glowing enough to stand out among the rest "that one" and smiled gently at what had to be an astonished look on my face. "Are you saying that I got it right about the tree and all being one?" She tilted her head side to side, as if deciding; "You did a pretty good job creating a metaphor that works for you, so we will take it as far as we can; ok?" I nodded at that because it almost seemed to be a condescending remark but had been said with so much love that I couldn't possibly feel offended. "So, every decision we make does create a new branch?" 
"Yes, as I said, you have a good model here, but you do know it is more than that don't you?"

Before I could answer, she looked up and I followed her gaze and saw the branches of my tree suddenly shrink in thickness into hairs. Where the branches could have been counted, the threads were infinite in number and the branching of those threadlike paths was so dense I couldn't follow it any more. Where there had been leaves there were dots at the tips of the threads, more numerous and as bright as stars.

"In what you wrote the other day it was all about your choices." She shook her head. " There is so much more than personal choice." "Well, yes, I left out all of the sub-atomic particle stuff." There was that gentle smile again. "You left out a few other things too, so here is an important question. Did you choose to be transsexual?" I tried not to look offended. "I am not crazy! Nobody would choose that!" Almost laughing at my reaction, Aadi carried right on. "You already know from meeting Beth that not all of you are male-born, let alone transsexual, so tell me, what explains these sort of things if not choice?" 

I nodded and then shook my head too realizing the implications of my oversimplification. "Yes, I see. There are important factors that make our paths diverge that aren't under our control." She was nodding at me to carry on. "Like whether we were male or female born, or whether we got measles with the rest of the neighbourhood kids, or... " Aadi reached over and stroked my hair and beamed at me as though I was a toddler who had finally started to stand on my own. "This streak of curiosity your branch has is endearing. Keep at it." She got up and smoothed the gown that had been spread around her legs. "Stop by and visit again if you get stuck, ok?"

"Please, wait, I have so many questions!" 

Looking over as she began strolling away and disappearing like the Cheshire Cat, 
"I know. 
Like I just said,
an endearing quality."

Friday 26 October 2012

All One

Those of you who have been here regularly have read my infrequent reports on travels in dreamtime to visit with alternate selves. It may be that you have wondered about them. Those of you who remember your high school literature classes might be thinking 'literary device'. The physics students among you might be thinking 'many-worlds theory of reality'. I am more of the latter variety than the former, although writing here has made we wish I could go back and give Mrs. Lane more of my attention in grade 13 Lit.; such is life.

For me, these alternate selves are real. "Every action has a consequence" allows for every possible thing that might happen to actually happen to some version of each living being. For example, deciding to write this post has caused some other thing that might have happened to be part of the life path of some other version of me while 'I', or 'this version of I' am sitting here instead. Every moment's decision causes some change in our future, but here is the thing; every possible consequence and every possible 'person' we might have been does in fact exist in their separate reality. An amazing thought and one I am convinced is real. Every life is like a multidimensional tree where every choice creates a new branch. Each leaf is a unique but connected individual.

Some version (or most certainly, versions) of 'me' in some time in her past found a way to transition. When I found Beth, a version of me who was in fact born female bodied, created by a choice made before we were born, It was a surprise. The alternate 'me' I was searching for was not a genetic female, but one who had transitioned. Sometimes what we get is what we really need though. Understanding her has been something of a turning point for me.

Since that conversation on the beach, I have continued the search for that person the boy might have become. It might be that like many of our sisters here in Blogistan over the years, having moved into a life as a woman, she has no interest in chatting, even in dreamtime, with one who did not. More likely, the right circumstance just hasn't happened yet.

In the meantime, it is a real pleasure to chat with, or read the blogs that some have begun to post after their lives here are done. I am not going to point at individuals here. Some don't want followers who make casual readers start wondering about their history. Others don't seem to be worried about that. We are all so very different and isn't that wonderful!? Whether these ladies concern themselves with things 'T' or just report on the people they have met, perhaps a new job, a hobby, boyfriend, recipes or places they have gone, these women are reporting about a sort of life that gives me hope for those many versions of 'me' that are out there now, and are yet to be. To those who wonder, I can report that even when you don't transition, life is interesting and full when you accept yourself where you are, and let it be interesting and full.

It might be that I will never have a conversation with one of Halle's descendants, but that is ok. Maybe I will be one of them? Future choices, choices and more choices.

To all of my sisters and brothers in an infinitely diverse set of worlds, be well all of you. In some magical way, we are all ONE.

Saturday 20 October 2012

What common frame of reference?

There are things that go on in our lives that we have no trouble telling folks about because they just get it. Everyone has been there and done something so similar that we can empathize right away. We share a common frame of reference. 

The first time I remember hearing the phrase used was in a Star Trek movie, I think it was the fourth. Mr. Spock, having been recently resurrected, is quizzed by Dr. McCoy:
"Come on Spock, you have been where no one else has gone. Tell me what was it like?" and Mr. Spock tells him "I cannot. We have no common frame of reference." 

These last few weeks have been such a gift. My mind is calm and clear. I understand who I am and what it means for me to be transsexual, even as I know that being drug-induced, nothing is certain in the long-term.
Wondering how I might explain to a 'civilian', I feel like Spock. I have spent so much time fighting tooth and nail to avoid transition and it has made me able to accomplish more right now, and to be a kinder and more accepting person.  Beyond wondering how I could explain transition to a loved one, I wonder if there is any way to share something of the journey so far with others who know nothing of transsexuality.
No doubt some folk wouldn't want to listen, no matter how well thought out my attempts.
I would love to be reminded who included this poster in their blog in the recent past. It might have been LeAnne. I love the sentiment and understand it better because of that struggle for self-acceptance.
                    ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Recently my friend Ellena wrote a post on the deer in her garden. She and I live in the great Canadian woodlands, separated by a provincial border, but not so terribly far from one another. 
Here wildlife comes and goes at its own pace usually along predictable paths. In those places, deer and moose are definitely a danger to drivers and there is little we can do about it other than drive cautiously. 
But wait! Maybe this woman has an idea that might work!

Monday 8 October 2012

A Turn in the Road

To everything there is a season ... 

Here in Central Ontario, the season is showing its true colours
Brilliant Colours!

On a personal note, the past five days have been some of the most calm and stress-free of the past years, with a quieting of the urgency I have felt to fix myself by any means possible.

A time of peace... I swear it's not too late.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Living With Ambiguity ~ 2

A very long time ago in my short life blogging here, I wrote about my search for a way to live with my reality rather than fixing it. It is hard to understand a longing for something you have never had and nobody has ever described, so it was a very emotional experience to actually read someone else describe the person I wished to become.

In part one of Living with Ambiguity written almost two years ago, there is an excerpt from Annabel, the novel by Kathleen Winter. It was and continues to be that inspiration for what might be for someone with aspects and desires of both sexes in one body. I will freely admit that in my case, the male characteristics of 'warrior strength' and 'potent aggression' have never been ones personally valued in the least. My spouse values these however, and I value her.

Yesterday was wistful and today is real.

By taking spiro, I hope to reduce the detrimental effects of testosterone, and find a way to come to terms with being me, as close as possible to the person I am. My hopes are getting pretty 'last ditch' admittedly. As I have written here, the effort needed to create an all female vessel for my soul still seems extreme and is subject at my age to the law of diminishing returns.

I will concede that by taking spiro there is a possibility of ending up one step closer to that 'other path'. If that is what happens while living true to myself and doing what I truly feel is correct for me right now, then so be it.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

I Ain't Doin' Nothin'

You read that right. Doing nothing is not part of the plan, so yes, I am doing something.

My plan says first be a person then do your best to live true to yourself. Here is a start:

Spironolactone 25 mg.

I was in my middle teens when Barbra first captured me with her wonderful voice; something I have never forgotten. Watching Funny Girl on the big screen I can remember disturbing feelings Omar Sharif's Nicky Arnstein brought and wondering what those feelings meant. 

What I remember even better though, I was Barbra singing "a feeling deep in your soul, says you were half now you're whole, " "but first be a person who needs people"

Tuesday 18 September 2012

true to myself?

It seems so long ago I set my goals: 1. Stop being phony.  2. Be true to myself.

To avoid being phony was easy and a bit like being on aversion therapy. Every time the old bits of the façade were dragged out to make me seem really macho male in some situation I would (every now and then still do) mentally grab myself by the scruff of the neck and shake until it passed.

Part 2 has been a problem. Start living true to what?
I am going to be brutally honest here. Given the standard question of sex identity, being true to myself and who I want to be, what I feel in my bones I must be is now seeming impossible to achieve.

Obviously, when I say impossible, I am not talking about sex change here because yes of course I could begin hormone therapy. I could have electrolysis and laser and get rid of the body and facial hair. I expect to have lots of time for FFS to fix the nasty bone structure. Lots of life left to take voice lessons to sound the part. Last but definitely not least have my SRS and finally get to the place to be physically where my friend Beth is now.
Oh wait, I forgot to mention invention of a plausible history to avoid being identified as trans for the rest of my life whenever I get into a conversation about life and love and ... oh, I had to go and mention love didn't I... sigh...

What part of the reinvention above is really part of 'living true to myself'"? I say none of it. I would do all that necessary reconstruction in order to put myself into a body where I could then begin to find that true person, in other words, this would be part a plan to eventually live true to this new and properly aligned self image.

As with any one of us, living true to myself would also mean following my heart to love. No matter your orientation, love truly makes life worth living.

Now Beth didn't seem inclined to find herself a lover, but she had forty plus years of that to look back upon. I am this person of no female history, so I ask myself, how many 60 something single women are finding love affairs out there? And is it love if you are not honest and open with the object of your affection? So rephrasing, do I expect a reconstructed woman of trans-history in her 60's will find a lover to share life with? Can I begin my life and live 'true to myself' by starting all over and giving up that part of the dream? Do I have the heart to follow a path that cannot ever lead to my hearts desire?

So to deal with item 2 on the wish list, back to the beginning I go, asking myself "what does it mean to be true to myself with what I already have"? The cynical man moping in the corner says "You're screwed.  You want the body, you want the clothes and the life only becoming female can give. You can't give that up and you will drive yourself crazy trying to."

There is a more powerful person developing here; a non-linear thinker who refuses to be put into a box and tossed away. This person reminds me that everyone who lives in their 'here and now' has to accept a personal history and the limits that puts on them. The person in the wheelchair knows they will not climb a mountain. This does not mean they have no personal goals left that they can pursue.

This inner voice that speaks in such a feminine way to me says it is how I self-identify that is important because self-identification defines us. If I assume that sex is the number one factor of self, then the cynical guy hunched in the corner is right and I am totally messed up.

Her inner voice asks new questions.
What qualities other than my sex define me as a person? 
Could I begin my self identification statement with something other than "I am a (wo)man who..."?
Am I powerful enough, self assured enough to expect my world to accept me as the person I am becoming?
What are the dreams and goals of this real person living true to herself today?

Saturday 8 September 2012

It's Chicken to be a Realist

Here's a link to Brené Brown's blog. Please follow it and explore. 
If I am daring at all these days (and I am) it is likely because Brené's ideas encourage everyone to live with their whole heart, and above all, dare greatly
I am getting there....

Not quite like these women. Inspiring.
The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

 Read more about their invention here.

Monday 27 August 2012

Hey!... I Got A Social Disease!!

I have a   condition ...  situation  .....  reality I live with.  

If this 'reality' is the real me, then I shouldn't be trying to fix ... hmm... alter myself should I?

Because I was made like this, I should therefore live with a man's body and a woman's brain rattling around like a tigress caged. Full stop. End of story.  Ahh, no to that, thank you. 

Therefore, "renovations" continue and this 'reality' will become a more reasonable one. I have promised myself that.

Laurie at Who Am I Really? asked the question "Do I Really Have a Condition?" in her latest post. This isn't just semantics.

Thanks for getting me thinking Laurie.

Thank Leonard Bernstein for the title and this...

Sunday 19 August 2012

For All We Know

How can a year have passed already?

She left a comment on July 2, the day I posted, writing 
"Those who I love the most in this world, know
and accept the real me.
"Since I have gotten older, I realize that I am me, regardless of what I am wearing." 

She and I loved the same sort of music; an eclectic collection ranging from the great American songbook to Beethoven. Hers, the first comment on that post and her last ever to me, was a comment so close to my heart. She wrote 
"Love Cole Porter, love Natalie Cole, Love the song!"

The song that day was Every Time We Say Goodbye.  

It makes me cry to think of the irony. How could I know we were so near to our last goodbye?

A year ago today was her last day; meandering over, and soon to be at peace.

If there is an afterlife, nobody gets to send messages in this direction from there, but perhaps she can feel this coming from so many of us who she touched here.
Miss you Melissa. 

Sunday 5 August 2012

A Woman Named Beth

I was expecting to see the boy again. It was the smells and sounds that took me back to my youth that made it harder to recognize the woman stretched out on the blanket at first.

Wavy blonde hair hanging just above her shoulder was framed by a colourful golf visor with no logo on it (my kind of person obviously) . The white coverup showed a royal blue bathing suit underneath and her feet were bare. A pair of sandals with jeweled bands were lying close by the bottle of spf60 sunscreen and not far from the ~ I Love Bermuda ~ beach bag. The overall impression was all woman, but unquestionably, all me.

This was dream-time, and I had asked for what was to come so many times that it was a surprise to realize it had come this night. Going to sleep, there was a calm reverie; walking down my childhood beach as my young self, yet as the dream I was currently having began, I was that same man who shows up in the mirror every morning, not the young me and definitely not the person who inhabits my heart. This dream was to be about contrasts, and the woman I was looking at took my breath away as I began to grasp how the results of such small difference happening at the microscopic level so long ago had cascaded down the decades.

She was on a very familiar and very old beach blanket with lots of other goodies spread around her. A phone, cooler bag, an ipad that she was busy working on beside that colourful beach bag with a copy of "i of the vortex" by Rodolfo R. Llinas sticking out.

"That's a really interesting book isn't it?" I remarked, pretending to have just been walking the beach, when in fact I had simply materialized behind her.
Looking up at me, obviously surprised, she did a double take, then looking back and forth at me and the book, said "yes, very". Staring deeply into my eyes then up and down with a 'deer in the headlights' sort of urgency she just as quickly apologizing, explaining "Oh my, you really startled me! Usually when someone walks down this beach I see them long before they arrive. It isn't just that though. Your eyes, mouth and nose are so much like my father who passed away ten years ago. I am sure I know all my relatives, but... "

Shaking her head side to side and looking out toward the water, she unfolded her body and stood, offered her hand, smiling and said, "Please, shall we start over? I'm Beth." I told her my first name and she shook her head again. "That is so strange! That was my father's name too and you do look so much like him; taller and more hair by far (she chuckled at that as she took in my lengthening gold and grey mop), but your face… oh dear I am going on aren't I?"
Her image shimmered for just the shortest of moments and it felt like this dream was about to end, but then it became clear again, as she looked up smiling a smile of recognition, "This is one of my lucid dreams! I haven't had one of these for so long. This is just like Richard Bach's One... you look like dad because you are an alternate me! One with some obvious and startling differences!" I laughed at myself; as me and as her and we joined hands as we laughed together at the absurdity of such a thing being possible. Laughter turned to hugs and we sat together on that old blanket, quickly losing ourselves in conversation so intimate, deep and open, the sort only old lovers usually have.

So went my dream-time 'afternoon on the beach' with the woman I could have been. She was born Elizabeth Anne _______ (my last name, of course) on my own birthday (of course). Telling her my own history, she accepted the situation in a way I thought only I could, but the books we were currently reading and discussions of other books, both fiction and non-fiction we both read over the years revealed how alike we truly are in spite of different life experiences. We showed each other photos of our children (two daughters and one granddaughter in her case) and brought each other up to speed on an alternate lifetime.

She had been a professional dancer just like mom, doing lots of stage shows, but had gone to university too, creating a successful career as a physiotherapist. She was so jealous that in my world dad was still alive, but very disappointed that I had never had a positive relationship with the man she idolized up to and obviously since his death, a man who had accepted, encouraged and cherished her. She was now using my father's home that I never visit any more as her summer get-away.

Beth was as fascinated at the choices we had made as a man as I was hers. She looked so sad when I answered her question "Didn't you want to be a dancer?" with a description of how mom had told me no when I told her how much I wanted to learn to dance. Of course, when I told her of my own musical endeavours, she brightened. "I have always thought it would be wonderful to play an instrument of some sort." "You should start now." I told her and she gave me the answer so many do at our age; "It is too late to try something so different, isn't it?" To which I replied (physician heal thyself) "it is never too late to learn and grow."

Her logical organized side immediately latched onto my love of teaching and she admitted a flirtation with setting up a dance school had never got off the ground. "There was always something else that we needed money for as the kids grew up, went off to university and got started in the working world." I remembered how quickly my own middle years had flown by with needs and dreams being put on hold until they seemed of little importance and then it felt as though it was too late for them.

The afternoon stretched on and on. Finally, I asked the question that had brought me to her here in dream-time. "Beth, have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if you had been born a man?" "No, never, but it seems I have got to know the answer to that today anyway haven't I!?" she replied with a glowing smile and a squeeze of my hands. Looking serious all of a sudden, she quietly observed, "I am guessing you have wondered about life as a woman. Tell me why this matters to you."

As I explained as best I could about my struggles, she nodded to encourage me, gave me puzzled looks to get me to explain more, but did not interrupt once. My what a good listener she is; so much like mom. Her eyes looking straight into mine told me there was no need and no point in holding back from this person. When I decided she was at the point of overload, holding both of her hands and sitting quiet finally, I looked at her, and waited for her comments or questions to come. She shook her head and looked down,
"I so wish there was something magical to tell you about womanhood that you don't already know. I get up in the morning and never have anything like these thoughts you talk about having each day. I am who I am and have done my best to be a good person for sixty years. I worked hard most of my life. Being a working mother wasn't easy. My kids have been my greatest joy; the centre of my life, especially after Jeff and I separated. Now, finally there is time to relax and take some time for myself. I love golfing with my girlfriends down here, and we travel together in the winter months. I take my granddaughter Tess on outings and of course my girls and I get together as often as they will have me!" We talked then for what seemed like hours about family and friends and life.

As the sun hung low on the horizon, I helped her pack up her things and we walked back to the old tin boat tucked into the reeds right where I remember dad always left it. We hugged for all our might. Tears of joy came easily as I woke and said goodbye to a bright summer afternoon with Beth.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Loneliness ~ Stealth ~ Fame

Making a choice to get to know your true nature but keep it hidden comes with many consequences. Not the least of these is the possibility of thinking some very interesting thoughts about the human condition and my condition in particular, of course. Today, a post for my benefit, and for the benefit of others who might have the same condition.

'C' and I were chatting and I started a discussion I usually avoid on the 'transition option'.
He is a wonderful friend and a very good listener who knows my heart and as such will not pressure me one way or another. When there is a question I have not asked myself but he thinks I should, he ventures to ask it for me. This time, he simply observed that "if you think you might be lonely if you do this or that, you might be lonely already."

Now even though the transition option is not on the table, a really good observation like that did send me down interesting paths of thought:

Loneliness ~
The way things stand, interaction with people in my world is stifled. I can be with a group of people and none of them really know the real me, but they think they do. Everyone is acting 'normally' and things can be as my wife wants them; stealthy. One of the things people do know about me involves the arts in our community. I am very recognizable; almost famous as one friend put it. There are so many opportunities for really good and interesting conversation. Sadly the commitment to stealth means becoming engaged in an interesting conversation can be risky because there are often ideas I cannot share. Faced with a possibility of outing myself, I 'clam up', generating feelings of loneliness and isolation. As 'C's observation suggests, how much worse could it be to simply be alone?

Stealth ~
The real person and everything she feels and knows is a secret from almost everyone, so people think I am what they see. There is no need to fabricate a life story right up until a couple of years ago, it is only my current and new thoughts that need to be hidden. Stealth; simple but lonely.

For some of those who have no other option but transition, there seems to be yet another sort of stealth, living as though they were part of a 'witness protection program'; creating a new identity for themselves and hiding their back-story, all so that they can simply be their true sex. That sort of thing might work well for the very young, but at my age and in my case it could be a problem. I do not think I would want to have to become a hermit, or move to some place where nobody knows me then make up some sort of false history to be able to live in peace. To me, that would be the ultimate loneliness.

Fame ~
To be really true to myself might mean accepting the sort of attention one gets if you are an object of curiosity, at least for a while.
I don't hate attention. If it weren't for stealth, you would read here about parts of my life that already bring me some measure of fame. They are things that have come as a result of hard work and passionate commitment. To be an object of attention because of something you are rings as unpleasant to me.
There are definitely parts of my art and work that have become richer and stronger because of my transsexuality, but transsexuality does not define me. More and more, I wish to share that complexity and richness, but have not found a way as yet.

Some stories here in the Land of Blogs seem to imply that once people's initial curiosity over what it means to be transsexual passes, you can get on with your life successfully. They make me wonder how true that might be for me and what that might mean for the lonely feelings.

I wonder if it is time to
Accept and expose this very special quality I have, no fault of my own
Acknowledge its value and let others 'get over it'
Blend what have been two lives into one even more unique and public one.


Accept the stealth
Accept that loneliness is part of the human condition
Learn to live with feelings of loneliness
End the self examination

 ~ "move along... there is nothing to see here" ~

Friday 22 June 2012


An old issue has come back to haunt me, related to that womanly heart that has been stuck all my life in a man's body.
For most of my life, I have had only one girlfriend; I married her. We are good friends mostly because, as she reminds me, we know each other so very well. We have shared history after all.
She and I compare notes on the women in our social circle, some of whom are her friends.
It comes naturally to notice the outfits they wear, and what makeup they are wearing and how appropriate each is for the occasion. Hairstyles and what sort of cut their stylist gave them get checked out and how they conduct themselves gets checked out too. It is fun to compare notes with my wife of course, because she notices all these things too. Her women friends are sometimes my friends too of course, but they are not my 'girlfriends'.
Since blogging started, I have developed a circle of friends here of course; you have been catalysts for growth and positive change; thank you all.

What I have noticed most of all though is how rare it is for me to meet someone in my 'real life' who I think I would want as a friend. Amazingly, in the last few months it has happened, three times. One of these three women is also my wife's friend, and that complicates things, but she knows and is understanding about my transsexuality. There are two other women who I have got past the superficial stages of conversation with, moving into feelings and what we really care about. No, they do not know I am transsexual, yet.

I am struggling; I want to continue to engage them in this sort of serious conversation. I care about who they are and what they think, and like good friends do, they are also wondering how I think and most of all how I feel about those topics we have already broached. They worry about me sometimes when I have a hard time hiding my depression.

There are problems at many levels with such conversations, not the least of which is an old problem. A man (and that is what they see) and woman who start such serious conversations can very easily seem to be 'coming on' to each other. In my case, it is not true, but it may be for them; I do not really know, but I really care because I do not want to hurt them.

These sort of concerns bring back memories of myself, a teenager, not understanding why my girlfriends could not just be my friends. They wanted more, and when I did not respond appropriately with sexual advances, they started to pull away. I realize how naive that 'boy' was now. They never asked if I was 'gay', but they were likely thinking that, and 'friendship' was lost.

Here I am, sixty, and still wearing the body of that teenaged boy, somewhat worse for wear, about to reach out, and risk much by attempting to navigate the 'girlfriend who is not a lover' conundrum yet again.

More to the point, here I am, considering the possibility of getting to know some new friends; ones who would very possibly be best friends sex change or no. They could become my first real life girlfriends. I would really love that, because they are both wonderful, interesting people.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Gender Binary

Humans have a tendency to believe in the situation they have chosen strongly.  It seems like a defense against second-guessing. Sadly, that same attitude tends to make us critical of those who make different decisions, or who are 'bucking the system', almost as though we are taking another persons choices as a personal criticism. Those who like myself who are quite clearly pushing the system to its limits feel like outcasts, sadly.

After living most of my sixty years fighting an internal war of the sexes, and acting crazy much of the time because of it, I am used to feeling like an outsider. As a pleasant change, perhaps a bi-product of the particular way I have chosen to travel this path, I have become convinced the way I am is normal, and the rest of the world is missing the mark, widely in many tragic cases. Of course, I am willing to believe I am a victim of that tendency I wrote about above.

It seems to me that the time has come for the war I fought so long against myself to be turned against the real enemy; a limitation to human growth whose usefulness is long past. Real men and real women don't have to prove anything in order to be human, but do real humans have to be either all male or all female?  

Let me speak personally first.
I have great respect for those whose life path takes them to follow the binary. If not for the binary my children would not exist; that alone is something to give thanks for. However, given other circumstances, this blog might not exist because I quite simply would have corrected a genetic defect and eliminated all evidence of maleness. Instead I chose to do everything possible to stay male and have suffered (and yes, continue to suffer) the unavoidable bouts of wrong-sex pain, sometimes greatly, and sometimes less. Ironically, that same choice has given me the gift of seeing life from a unique perspective. There is a huge difference between the person I am now and who I was when starting this blog. The change is all internal and it is about what I know and how I feel about being who I am inside. 

There is no guilt because I know who I am is not hurting anyone and not telling family and friends is simply a choice to not share a burden of secrecy, having nothing to do with whether I am good or bad, right or wrong.

I have nothing to be ashamed of, so shame is also gone. 

I do not hate myself. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Now, the strength of what is a unique way of seeing the world and of seeing my fellow travelers along the way is making me powerful in a way I never experienced before.

Moving away from the personal, "Guts... Glory... Ram" might be an innocent tagline, but how many truck commercials feature women stepping out of the cab after a day of hard work on the farm? And why not? I have nothing against Sam Elliot's voice, but it does make my point that stereotype is a marketing tool that works best when people believe strongly in the binary. When they make a commercial where a woman steps out of one of those trucks, you can be sure she will pull off her Stetson and her hair will billow out as though (you think?) she moments before stepped out of a hairdresser's chair.

There is so much more to being a man than driving a big-ass truck wearing a hat, flannel shirt and jeans with cowboy boots. 
There is so much more to being a woman than having billowing hair while wearing high heeled shoes and a little black dress. 
Nevertheless, for those who would cross the gender gap, you need to start somewhere, and there is no point in being subtle, is there? 
Little boys pretend to shave and try on daddy's Stetson. 
Little girls put on a dress and totter around wearing mommy's high heels.
There is nothing wrong with playing with gender. If the little boy wants to try out the heels, who is being hurt? I know from personal experience how it hurts the little boy when told to leave those heels alone and stop being a 'sissy'.

There is a sad reality for everyone. Wanting the clothing, or the pose, the skinny body, or the youth, or the truck, or the house; whatever it is that we have identified as being desirable is not something that promotes full humanity, but it could be part of a path to full humanity if it was treated as what it is, not some perversion.

In Allison Hope's article, with the controversial title A Penis and a Dress: Why the Gender Binary Needs to Go Away  she writes, "If we shook the very foundations of our limiting, binary-gendered society, we're likely to see a very colorful array of confident, creative, beautiful people who span the range of internal and outward gender identity and expression."

It is clear to me we cannot trust big business, or government, or our churches to help us through a critical time for humanity. Of course the media supported by the vested interests will tell you how perverted you are if you step away from that binary model they find so essential to their marketing plans. When churches and governments step in to support them the trap simply becomes stronger.

It is my belief that as a society we need to accept and develop the blend of traits and qualities that allows each unique individual to grow to their potential, risk free. 

There is too much at stake to continue to allow ourselves to be manipulated by superstition or greed.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Virtual Love's Virtues

I have struggled for a long time, and lately have been unable to really put into words changes that are bringing me a semblance of inner peace, finally. It is impossible to put it all into words, but here is a start.

It was some time ago you were introduced to 'C', my virtual boyfriend. This post is not an update on that relationship, something that may come your way sometime, but instead it will concentrate upon the revelations within me, ones that love has generated.

As in the lyrics of that song "For Good", I cannot say if I've been changed for the better, but I have been changed, for good. I will never again feel shame, or (heavens no) guilt about who I am inside or out. Walking through life and observing the young holding hands or gazing into a loved one's eyes has taken on new meaning. Why would I ever have felt shame you ask?

After puberty it was always a struggle to act the way I was expected by myself and others to act. More than one young woman tried to get really close and all were eventually forced to back away. I simply did not have the programming to do the manly things they expected of me. Finally, I found (or was found by) this one woman who could take my hand, and look into my eyes in a way that moved me enough to become her lover. She continues to walk with me and there is love there; a very special bond and the thought of losing her has brought me to tears. 

After so long, my spirit that traveled through life hidden inside, a real person who I denied and abused with my shame has finally been given life. That spirit that seemed to be a tormentor for so long has turned out to be the best part of me, and finally we live together as me.

That spirit's prodding caused me to recognize and hate the phony person I was, but that was not her goal. Nevertheless, I was damaged and hurting for most of my life.

She made me want the clothes and the soft skin, but that was not really her goal either. I crossdressed in secret and loathed myself for it; purging and repeating for so long.

She kept pushing me until finally we discovered others to talk with about what I felt. We found friends who cared about the real person who might eventually live here. I realized there were names for the way I had lived, and reasons to believe I was neither evil nor damaged.

Together spirit and mind sought a middle road, but none appeared for a long time. The man continued to fear the woman who desired so much without reason.

When I got to know and fell in love with 'C', our experiences together let me simulate the whole person I need to be. It helped me know that I don't need the clothing, but instead I need to open my heart and accept worthiness and love. 
In the best of worlds, I was born in the correct body, and grew up to become the woman. 
At some point along the way in this life born male, a second-best scenario would have seen me transition so that I could live some part of that life. Reality is what I am right now.

I needn't feel guilt or shame about that. Knowing that wholeness in some portion is possible, how can I do anything but accept and act on that? I embrace the heart and know there is worth here, something no body issue can ever snatch from me. The body issue is something else and one I am determined to continue to learn to grapple with.

Living through and dealing with this conflict that drove me to think myself worthless and crazy for close to fifty years might have been the best preparation for the rest of my life. If I was twenty, or thirty (and not married with children yet), there would have been no way to 'think my way out' and avoid transition surgery. It would not have been an option if I had felt this way then. I understand 'change or die trying' now.

There is an appreciation here of what the amputee knows as phantom sensations. Body parts not lost, but instead, never acquired light up in my brain when I am "with C". Feelings that remained dormant all my life dance about singing a siren song of sexual experiences only a woman could possibly truly know.

So, there is now some small inkling of what might have driven me if circumstances had been different in my youth. There is a heartfelt appreciation for what drives the younger versions of myself to do anything they must to give themselves a chance at what they know, heart and head, is the only reasonable life that is possible for them.

For me, right now, the heart is full and content, and the head knows it can survive, (and not just a bread and water existence) and needn't send mixed messages to the rest of the body when we give into the impulses that allow for survival in this body, with this mind and heart, as it is.  My life is my unique adventure. Truth for me, in this here and now and the circumstances that have been part of this life path. 
As I have been reminded this morning, there is no need to explain or apologize for being yourself.

If you have managed to get this far today, thanks for hanging in. Hopefully some part of this has made sense. I may have to re-read it myself from time to time, so what better reason than that to press the Publish button?

Couldn't have got here without you C... xxxx

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Followers and Other Statistics

In between posts I will go for long periods when there are no reminders to me or anyone else that I write a blog. Lately, real life has intruded in a big way, and there has been no time to write down those fleeting thoughts that once were the fodder of posts here.

During those between times here, the number of 'page-views' per day has seemed artificially high to me. According to that statistic, there are quite a few folk who look at posts whether they are recent or not. Perhaps something from my past is relating to their present. That is a pleasant thought isn't it?

Logging onto Blogger yesterday, I noticed that the number of members of "Team Halle", what blogger calls "Followers" had changed. When I thought about it, that number has been artificially high for a long time. It went down, and to be honest, I am not sure who left, but I have an idea and it makes a lot of sense if I am correct.

I know for a fact one "Follower" has been dead for almost a year, and I still miss her, but, unless I have completely misunderstood the afterlife, her face and name on my list is just a wonderful reminder of good conversations from the past.

Some are women (a couple of them very young too), and as much as I love the idea woman might find ideas here interesting, I am not sure why they would other than perhaps to be supportive. Come to think of it though, the best comments have often come from those women, so please do not think I don't appreciate your visits.

Quite a few friends have transitioned since they began following, and well, they are women now, so... read the previous paragraph.

As I have been reminded recently, having turned sixty last month, numbers cannot hurt you, in fact they really don't mean much at all. How you feel about yourself is much more important than your age, or even how many 'hits' your blog gets, hmm?

By the way, I'd like to say a special hello to all my readers in Russia! :)

Friday 25 May 2012

A Special Sort of Purgatory

I need to admit something here. The plan I am living is in some ways worse than denial. Yes it is bad to hate who you are and put that part of yourself under a basket in a refusal to examine or acknowledge her. Today I see that what is going on with me is so much worse.

Looking with a cool eye at what is going on in my life right now, it seems a bit like a corpse being maneuvered about and going through the motions of being a man. People around me seem confused, asking way too often, 'are you alright?'. to which my inner being cries out "NO! I am not alright at all. I am dying in here. Please help me!!" even as I hear this masculine voice reply " I am fine thanks".

What I know right now, like a blinding flash of insight is this. There is a special sort of purgatory reserved for a person who has a light, realizes it, and puts that light under a basket on purpose so that none can experience it.

Right now, that is the precipice before me.