Longtime coming

There are many things that I cannot get my head around.  Some of these are how my mind is working now.  I am sitting in a coffee shop in a suburb of Minneapolis and listing to Any DiFranco, dressed in a frilly top and cute black lacy maxi skirt and I have never felt more me and still like a tourist in this body all at once.  The reason that I chose this music is because of some pretentious thought that it is artsy and rough enough for me to be a “real writer” and the sad/funny/stupid thing about it is that I actually believe that shit. I find it funny the things we do to make ourselves feel valid.

Validity has been at the forefront of my mind for a while now for many reasons.  This is one of those things that always seem to come into the conciseness of every person that is struggling with their identity.  As a trans woman I kindly and fully fit into this group of people.  For many of those who maybe reading this will not know what I am talking about.  This is because you who fit into that camp have found that the places that their lives and circumstances have placed themselves in fits.  I want to tell you folks that I am not going to slam or shame you for this fact.  I will be honest and say that I am often envious of you all.  What I am going to do though is try to give you a glimpse of what is like on the other side of the looking glass that they world calls life.

I have a family that is supportive and loving.  I have friends that are supportive and loving.  I am lucky.  I am privileged and I own that fact.  I feel that I need to get that addressed from the onset.  I know many of my siblings in the alphabet who do not have that and I am going to attempt to check that privilege as much as I can, as often as I can.  I am very lucky.  This fact though does not invalidate my feelings or experience. See there is that word again, validity, so into it.

Many will ask people in my place “What is it that you see when you look into the mirror?”  I think this question is not the right question to be asking.  If you ask me that I will tell you that I see someone who is not where she needs to be. I will tell you that I still see parts of the gender that I attempted to be for almost 40 years.  I will tell you that I see more that is wrong then that is right.  I will tell you that I see something, not someone, who is more broken then whole. What I will not tell you is that I see me.  The better question it ask is, “Who do you see when you close your eyes?”  I asked this exact question to a very strong and brave young person what is very close to me that has been struggling with their gender and how they fit into their world.  The reason I like this question so much more is because it give me at much better idea how the person I am talking to not only wants to see themselves but also how they want to be seen.  This shows me what their goals and where their shortcomings are as well. The funny thing is that they may not even know that they are telling me these things.

For me when I close my eyes I see a mother.  I see a strong woman who is willing to do whatever is needed to see that the people she loves are provided for.  I see a woman who is broken but is doing her fuck all best to hold it together and not be a burden.  I see not the ‘me’ I am but the me I could be.  The ‘me’ I will be.  I see a woman who will never know the joy and fear and pain and the love of having a child of her own.  I see a woman who is stuck in a place that she does not know how to move forward from and at the same time does not know if she wants to.  Most of all I see a woman.  I see me as I truly am.  It is this reason that I am not a fan of the mirror question.  I see almost none of that in the mirror.  So what keeps me looking in the mirror everyday?  It is because every so often I catch a glimpse of that woman I see in my mind looking back at me.  She smiles back at me whispering, “Keep going, you are getting closer.  I am here and can’t wait to meet you in person.” So I do.  She is an amazing woman that I can not wait to meet and each day I get that much closer.

So dear reader, let me ask you this to you.  What do you see when you close your eyes?

Cheers!

Karissa

Xmas Double Feature

So I do not post for weeks on end and now I post twice in the same day!  WTF is up with that?  If must be an Xmas mericle!

Today is the 25th.  Last night I worked and thankfully it was not bad.  No real tramas to speak of but just a lot of sick kids.  There is the standard winter plague going around and with people traveling, things spread like wildfire.  I had some time to think about what this holiday truly means to me.  As many of you might already know I am an Atheist, but I was raised ELCA lutheran.  This means that I can still walk into any ELCA church, on any random Sunday and do the worship without opening the LBW (Lutheran Book of Worship).  Even now just thinking about that fact, my mind started the service and confession of sins on autopilot.  This also means I can remember the countless Christmas Eve services that we attended and holiday programs we did.  There are times that I miss the tradition and music.  There was something beautiful about being in my old church, the only light in the sanctuary was that of the hundred or so candles and the sounds of the congregation singing silent night.   

For me, Xmas has never been a big favorite of mine.  I have always found the time to me more stress then joy.  Part of this, ok a big part of this, came from my mild to moderate social anxiety and the rest was because of all the stuff I felt/feel I need/ed to do.  This changed ever so slightly with the birth of my kids.  I still do not like this time of year but I like to do stuff for the family so I suck it up and get through it with as gracefully as I can.  

As I said in my last post I know there are people out there, maybe even you my dear readers, that find this time of year to be almost to much to bear.  I am not going to talk down to you and tell you that is till be ok or that it will get better or to just hang in there. I will say that I understand.  If you are close to your family, please go to them and let them help.  If you are not close to your family, go to your chosen family (friends, partners and such) and let them in so they can help you through this.  If you do not feel that you have anyone and things get bad please reachout!  I will post some numbers that you can call at the end of this post.  Mental health issues are not something that takes a holiday break.  I am not going to put a bunch of cliche phrases here to try to prove anything.  I promise.     

I will close this short post with this.  No matter what you celebrate, no matter who you do or do not pray to, no matter what you call yourself, no matter how you identify or who you love, I hope this season brings you love, peace and joy.  Cling to each other however you can.  We are all in this together in the end and no one makes it out of ride alive. Drink deep, fight hard and love strongly in this thing called life.  Now is what we have and all that we are given.  Grasp it with all your might and do not let go until you are without any strength left…and maybe a few moment more.  You are loved, you are powerful and you are valid.  These three things have been, are now and will always be true no matter when you or others may tell you.  

With love and Cheers!

Karissa RN-S

Trans Lifeline (877) 565-8860

Trevor Lifeline 866-488-7386

GLBT National Help Center 1-888-843-4564

Youth Talkline 1-800-246-7743

Fenway Health Helpline 888-340-4528

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Finals, Holidays and a Bit More.

NOTE: So I have written this over a few day as I was able to make time.  If this seems disjointed I am sorry.  I am posting this on Xmas 2017.  I will have my holiday thought in full at the end.  In the meantime, enjoy!

 

Hello my patient and amazing readers.  Once again I have been slacking with my posting duties.  With finals and the holidays life, once again, got away from me.  So enough with the prostrating myself to the masses :).  

The school term ended with a bang.  Finals all went well and I walked out with all B’s.  I will take it.  I was also able to get one of the two mandatory tests that I needed to redo knocked out.  This means that I just need to brush up on my Pharm and I should be good.  I think that I should be ready for that one near the end of the first week of the new term.  I am now only 22 weeks from Pinning and a few more from the NCLEX.  Holy shit I am actually doing this!!!  Sorry.  It still doesn’t feel real sometimes.  I know that there are alot of you that are reading this that have told me that I am going to be good at this whole nursing thing but I am still scared out of my mind.  I think that is normal because of the responsibility and risk that comes with that kind of work.  I know in my heart of hearts that I will do fine.  I feel that a bit of fear is a good thing.  I think that it will keep me sharp and ever vigilant.   A complacent nurse is a dangerous nurse!

Onto the transition front.  I have been on estrogen for just over six weeks as of writing this.  So far it has been a good ride.  There were some moment of suck but they were soon gone.  As I have said in previous posts, I have been dealing with mental health issues in my life.  I knew coming into this that transition nor HRT would not solve all my issues.  What I have found is that it has been able to remove one layer of these issues and give me the biochemical tools to deal with them in such a better way.  With the reduction of the testosterone has reduced my rage to almost nil (unless truly called for) and the estrogen has made me feel more like a whole and real person.  There was a real low point in the last sex weeks but I was able to get out of it within about a day.  This is huge for me.  Normally,  something like that would knock me out for over a week.  This is kind of my bench mark to tell me that this is whole thing is working.

As far a changes to my physical body are concerned, I am starting to see some different progress.  I am starting to get the curves that I have always wanted.  I am starting to fill out where I should and taper where I should.  I know that it is still early but I am liking what I see.   I have had others tell me that they are noticing as well so I know that it is not just in my head.  WOOHOO!!  

Lastly, the holidays.  This is the time of year that people get together with family and enjoy time with their family.  Ok that is bullshit for the most part.  This is the season of stress, spending too much money and dealing with crowds.  On and spending time with family…for better or worse, they our blood.  For many of us they are our support systems while there are still many others that they are their greatest sources of pain.  Whichever type of person you are, I hope that you are able to spend time people that love you and make you feel worthy and loved and valid.  

Cheers!

Karissa RN(student…for 22 more weeks)

P.S.:

If you like what you are reading and want to help keep this going and help with the expenses not covered for my transitions Please feel free to go to my gofundme page (links on the sidebar).  Please follow me on twitter so you can hear about my post as I get them out.  I promise to be better at doing them more often.  I will have my blog’s facebook page up soon (I hope).  Once I get that up I will add the link and blast it out. If you have any question that you would like me to answer here please either tweet me or email me at mammabear8486@gmail.com and use “Blog question” in the subject line.  I am not processing that I will be able to answer all the questions but I will do my best to do so (within reason).   

Something Simple!

Hello my forgiving readers. Once again my life got away form me.   Life here goes on much like everything else. School is almost done for the quarter. IT IS ROUGH! There is nothing new there but that is nursing school right? As usual, with the end of the term is filled with tests, projects and anxiety. No matter how well you do during the previous weeks you always worry if there is enough points to pass. I know that I am doing fine but that I am still freaking out. I know, I know, I know! I just need to take a deep breath and just stay the course.

So enough of school, onto the trans stuff. So I have been on estrogen for a month now. There are some good and rough spots but more good then rough. Some of the best things that I have found are that my skin is so much softer even now. I had one of my girlfriends said she could see a glow. Insert schoolgirl laughter here. My mind is a bit calmer (ok a lot calmer). The only issues that I seem to have at the moment is that there seems to be a wall between my and emotion release. NOW GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER!! I am not talking about sex. I seem to get to the point where I can almost cry but just not crest that ridge. I have been told that it will get better. OMFG that dose sound a lot like sex.

That is my life is a nutshell. Again, thank you all for reading this little slice of my insanity. If you want to follow me on twitter you can find me at @transkarissarn.

Cheers!

SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTSSHOTSSHOTS, SHOTS.

Hello my faithful readers. Another week has passed and here we are. I am glad that you are still reading after my past post. I am not going to apologize for what I said because it was a truthful as I could be. I feel that if I apologized for that then I would be somehow invalidating how I was feeling. As I said when I started this blog I was going to be brutally honest with my readers and with myself. I stand by those word now and for the foreseeable future. This means that at times it is going to get raw and bumpy. Sometimes it will be sunshine and unicorns pooping rainbows at times too though. This is a blog about real life, real transition and a real person. Shit gets messy.

To quote Monty Python, “Now for something completely different!” This week has been one of exciting starts and a few minor setbacks. I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that things can happen to make you question your base faith in humanity and resort it within tens of hours of each other. But more on that later. First let us talk nursing school. This is just over the half way mark in my term and I am still sitting at a solid B in both of my classes. After the exam that happened at the beginning of the week I though I was going to be lucky if I passes at all. All through the test I KNEW I was going to fail. It was so bad that around question 30 of 50 I had already started doing the math in my head about what I would have to get on the two remaining tests to even achieve the 78% test average needed to pass the class. So when I got to question 50 and hit the submit button I took a deep breath and refreshed my grade book screen. There it was. I refreshed again. Nope it was still there. I thought I was looking in the wrong spot so I refreshed yet again. Still there. I had scored an 84%. I know that there are some of you out there who see that and think, “Come one now, 84% is OK at best. Why are you getting so excited about and 84%” Here is why. There is a running joke in nursing school that C’s are the new A’s. It is funny because it is true. This is why I was excited. Yes there are those students in nursing school who will never score bellow a 97%. This are often younger students who do not have families, jobs, live at home with their parents and nothing but time to devote to studying. Then there are the rest of us. We are the parents, who work (either at a job or in the home and YES THAT IS WORK! But that is another topic for another time), and have responsibilities outside of school. For these people, my people, we only have one goal. TO PASS!!!

In the realm of transition, this was a huge week. I STARTED ESTROGEN!!!! This has been a long time coming for me. So from now to when ever the doc decides to stop my HRT for something better, I will be giving myself injection of estrogen every Thursday. So yes I give them to myself. No it is not as bad as most people think. It is a bit of a mind-fuck the first time you give yourself injections but that is easily over come. I know I stick people with needles every day at work but it is still odd when you do it to yourself. I have been asked if I can notice any changes yet. The honest answer is…I do not know. It is not like some magic serum that with I good to be Thursday night and POOOFFF wake up Friday morning a Cis Woman (or even a Trans Woman with a great rack J ). This transition thing takes time. For those who know in IRL, know that this is my biggest hurdle that I am working to overcome.   I like stuff to happen NOW and in a hurry. I guess this is the universe’s way of making me slow down and not force things to happen. What I have noticed is some very small and subtle changes. To be fair, I do not know if these are being caused my the estrogen or are psychosomatic. The biggest thing is that my mind seems quieter. I have been on T-blockers for almost over two months and I have noticed that I am less prone to outbursts. So by adding the estrogen, it may have smoothed out things even more. Like I said though, I am not sure where to attribute it too but I will still count it as a win.

Unfortunately that was some shittyness this week too. This was the week some of my patients decided to take offence at me being trans. I knew this was going to happen. For the most part it seemed to affect my coworkers more then me. After one particularly vile person decided to ask, “Are you a man or a woman or something in-between,” I had a coworker ask me is I was good. I thought that he was asking if I need help with that patient or some other stuff in my assignment. I said I had the assignment squared but thanks. What he said next almost brought a tear to my eye. He said, “No, are YOU good?” I am tearing up a bit even now. If you were to look at this guy out on the street you would think that he might just be another stupid cis-het male. The truth is that he is a great man and has supported me for years. First when I came out as gay and not when I came out as trans. For this fact alone I love the guy. Thank you E.

The next time was a few nights later. This one I kind of laughed at. Sure this patient made it well known that he did not like me but at least he use the right works (“are transgender or something?) and my correct pronouns (“I don’t like her! She ain’t my deal” sorry sweetie, neither are you). When we got him settled down one of my nurses apologized for his comments. I told her though it was kind of her to say, it was not her apology that was warranted. I laughed and told her, “he may hate my but respected me enough not to miss-gender me.” Some days even that can be called a win.

I have said this a million times already, I knew that there were going to be bad reaction when I decided to come out as openly and be as visible as I am. I take it in stride. I have chosen to use the privilege that I have been given and use it to be an example to people that Trans people are just people. There are so few differences that it is almost difficult to name. Some has told me that I have been an inspiration. I am not sure how to take that. I am not trying to be anyone’s inspiration or the like. I am just trying to be me. Some days I can’t seem to even get that right. All I can do is just keep trying and see what happens. I know that I will get there someday. The road will not always be smooth as glass but it will never be boring.

Cheers

~Karissa~

 

 

  1. So as you may know, transition can and is very expensive. There are things that insurance just will not cover. This is not including the cost of legal name change and all the other stuff that goes with that. For this reason I have set up a GoFundMe. I hate to ask for help but if you are able to donate I ask you please do. Let me say this HERE and NOW, TransKarissaRN.com will ALWAYS be a free site. I will never turn this into a subscription site like others have. I would rather burn it to the ground and dance on its ashes before I do that. You can find the link on the edge of the page. Like I said, I am not here to pressure you to give ANYTHING at all. Also I do not want to cause anyone any hardship if they do give. If you can and do, GREAT THANK YOU SO MUCH! If you cant or don’t, GREAT THANKS FOR READING THE BLOGG!

Cheers again

~Karissa~