Sunday, July 20, 2014

Life gets in the way

Dear Blog,

Hello! How are you? I hope you have been well. Life's been treating me well, or at least I feel that it has. In fact that's why I'm writing … to apologize for not writing. As the title suggests I've been busy with the in's & outs of life and my time for social media and blogging has had to sit out for a few things. 

These 'things' or activities range from painting the kitchen, driving 800+ miles (round trip) for a memorial service, having a mani/pedi with my amazing wife, birthday celebrating with friends, a trip to the county fair (Andrew didn't know what to make of it), and of course Pride.

All these things and I'm sure some that I can not remember at this time have taken up time that I use to write you. I know I'll have more time once the summer is over but until then take care of yourself and I'll write again soon. 

Regards with hugs and love,
Sabrina

Monday, June 16, 2014

Laser Hair Removal - Chapter 1

This entry contains my first two experiences of laser hair removal; one being the consultation & two being the actual first removal appointment.



May 29, 2014
Consultation

I arrived far too early to sit in the waiting room so I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes to kill some time.  After checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, some text messages and my make-up I saw that enough time had passed so it wouldn't appear that I had arrived almost 50 minutes early for my appointment. I gathered my purse, put on my sunglasses and proceeded from the parking lot to the front entrance. I wasn't really nervous while waiting in my car but as I took those first few steps an overwhelming feeling of nervousness and anxiety flooded over me, however as I approached the double front doors the anxiety and nerves went away and I was just another customer walking in for a laser hair removal consultation.

Walking into the waiting room and approaching the front desk to check in, the receptionist took my name, verified my appointment and handed me a few papers to fill out.  The waiting area was not very full at all.  I believe there was about 20-ish seats in total and only four people were waiting. I found a seat and started filling out the general paperwork which took about 15 minutes.  Once completed, I returned the papers & clipboard to the receptionist and returned to my seat to wait, once again browsing Facebook to help pass the time.  This seemed like the longest 15 minutes of my life.  Just sitting. Waiting. Waiting for my name to be called.  Once it was called I went into the consultation room and again waited for another 3-5 minutes for the nurse to come in and begin the consultation.

When she did return and started the consultation, a sense of comfort and serenity filled the room.  I could tell she had interacted with many trans woman in the past.  She was in her late 40's or early 50's (maybe older since she does work for a company whose business is to make people look younger.) We spoke for about 25 minutes about my wants & needs and what they can do to help with them.  She was wonderful.  Once we were done I was guided to the check out receptionist who helped me schedule my first appointment and reminded me of all the do's and don'ts about Laser Hair Removal.

For a first time experience that could be nerve wracking I felt completely at ease and taken care of.  I'm looking forward to my first appointment.

June 10, 2014
Day Before First Appointment

Part of the process is to shave 24 hours before your appointment.

I used to have some major dysphoria issues with not having a freshly shaved face before taking on the day; so the thought of having 24 hours worth of growth before heading out has been a real roller coaster ride in my head. Ever since I had my consultation I've been keeping a close eye on how fast (or slow) my facial hair grows. Over the past two weeks I've come to realize that it doesn't grow as fast as I initially thought and that most of the "OH MY GOD I HAVE BEARD GROWTH" anxiety was really all in my head.  It seems that I can go almost 48 hours before I see so much growth that I absolutely MUST shave.  This realization was surprisingly a calming reassurance. The fact that I can go almost 48 hours before the hair becomes very obvious is wonderful.  Mostly because the instructions say that you should shouldn't shave for 24 - 48 hours AFTER your appointment depending on the sensitivity of your skin. I am hoping that my skin is not too sensitive that I'll have to wait longer than 48 hours to shave because by that point I'll just look like a woman with five o'clock shadow (if I'm lucky) but I'll probably look like an effeminate man with five o'clock shadow.

I'm understand why but I'm saddened that I can't wear anything on my face other than sunscreen and numbing cream.  I think wear some mascara and eye shadow just so I don't feel completely naked in the make up department.

June 11, 2014
First Appointment

Morning Of Appointment

So ... again i'm nervous / anxious about my appointment, but also excited to start this process.  It's been a long time coming.  There were times in my life when I never thought this would happen so the excitement is out weighting the nervousness and anxiety.  And now that I reflect on the nerves and anxiety it's much more like opening night stage fright which I'm very familiar with and I'm anticipating it to pass as my appointment time draws closer during the day.

BEFORE Appointment

I'm parked in the lot. A little nervous, but I'm feeling good. I'm always early when I have appointments. I don't really know why I have this habit. I think it's from not wanting to be late to anything. I'm sure my father had some influence on me because he hated being late to things. He liked to arrive at places about 30 to 45 minutes early and give the place a once over before the scheduled time of whatever it was we were attending.

So I sat in my car for about 30 minutes before heading into the facility.  I applied the numbing cream to my face and neck and it felt like topical Novocain on my face.  Each section started to become desensitized and dry and my mouth/nose area of my skin didn't want to follow my nerve impulses to move as I spoke.  It was a very strange sensation.  After I finished and sipped some water the time had come to sign in for my appointment.

Before Appointment - Anesthetic Cream & Sunscreen applied

I exited my car and made my way to the receptionist.  I signed in 20 minutes early for my appointment and only had to wait about 7 minutes before I was called back into the room.  They actually were starting on me about 10 to 13 minutes early.  It was awesome.  Here I am, an overly punctual person who usually has to wait 5 or more minutes past the scheduled time and I was starting my appointment early.  It made me very happy to be running ahead of schedule.

Once in the room the nurse explained the process, let me look at the laser and allowed me to ask any questions at anytime during the procedure.  We had some small talk during the process which was not trite or forced, it was actually very pleasant.  Now the process itself is very bizarre to explain.  The easiest description is it felt like having a tattoo.  The longer answer is: static electricity.  Not one of those large pain inducing shocks, but a semi-mild shock that lets you know that static electricity is in the environment.  One of those shocks that takes you by surprise when you go to open a door handle.

The process didn't take more than 20 minutes even with all my questions and the explanation of what was happening so I suspect that future appointments will only be about 15 to 20 minutes.  After gathering my things and myself I left the room and proceeded to the receptionist to schedule my next appointment six weeks from now.

After Appointment - You can see the redness on my neck and chin.


June 11 through June 15
After care

The evening of the appointment was weird.  Weird in the sense that my skin was recovering from not only the anesthetic but also the procedure.  About four hours after the process I could feel the air moving against my skin as I walked but it was not the normal feeling.  It's hard to describe because I could feel the air but NOT feel the air at the same time.  I used some hydrocortisone cream before bed because my skin felt extremely dry and itchy with a few red bumps at some of the more sensitive areas, specifically my neck.

The next morning I felt fine.  Great actually.  No discomfort. No bumps. No overly red areas.  The only thing I noticed was that my skin was dryer than usual.  I used some more hydrocortisone cream and some sunscreen twice during the day and aside from some slight itchiness I felt as if nothing happened.

On Friday (two days after the appointment) I had plans to have lunch with a friend and when I shaved I noticed that my hair was courser & rougher and that my skin was much dryer & flakier than they ever had been before.  My wife commented that my face felt more like sandpaper than it ever had.  She mentioned this throughout the weekend with different degrees of growth.

Throughout the weekend I kept using hydrocortisone cream and sunscreen with not much change to how my skin/hair felt but the itchiness and irritation slowly reduced itself by the end of the weekend. I will say this is the most bizarre feeling I have ever felt in regards to my face & beard.  I am very much looking forward to this weekend because the nurse informed me that all the follicles should fall out between 7 and 10 days after the appointment and Saturday the 21st is the 10th day.

2.5 days after my appointment



2.5 days after my appointment.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

These Clothes are Made for Girls

Like most trans women, I remember the first time I ever wore female clothing knowing that it wasn't made or designed for me and that I really should not be wearing it. 


It was back when I was either 10 or 11 and being a 'latch key kid' there were a few hours between my coming home after school and my parents arriving home from work. I don't know what possessed me to look through my mothers' clothes. ... Maybe she had some laundry out on her bed or in their bedroom or something and I felt myself growing … 'curious' … so I grabbed a dress, bra and pantyhose that were laying on the bed or in the clothes hamper or someplace else in plain site and proceeded to the bathroom to try them on. Even though nobody was home I went to the bathroom just in case someone arrived home earlier than expected.

Once I was in the bathroom I stripped down to my fruit-of-the-loom "tighty-whities" and proceeded to put on the pantyhose. I had seen my mother and sisters put on pantyhose before so I had a decent idea of how to do it. I may have even seen it done in a movie or TV show too, I don't really remember exactly where I learned it, but none-the-less I felt confident in my knowledge of how to successfully put on pantyhose.  Using my hands & fingers, I scrunched and gathered them leg-by-leg down to the foot of the hose and placed it over my toes & heel then slowly pulled them up each leg, alternating every few inches between my left and right legs, being as careful as possible not to put any runs or tears in them.  I had seen my mother "pitch-a-fit" when she got a run, so I knew I had to be extra careful not to damage the hose.  Once the pantyhose were on and up around my waste, I took a moment to enjoy the feeling of having my lower half encased in nylon. It was a different feeling.  Not weird. Not shameful. Not even embarrassing. The simplest way I can describe it is ...  a feeling of "sexiness" embraced me.  You may be asking yourself, "Sexiness at 10 or 11 years old?!?"  ... Yes.  That is what I felt. I may not have known it at the time, but in hindsight, yes ... definitely sexiness.

Now that I had the hose properly in place on my lower half, I moved onto the bra.  Not really knowing anything about how to put on a bra or adjust it or anything, I did the old "put it on backwards, spin it around, and then stick your arms through" move. I was smart enough to not make any adjustments to it because my mom would then wonder why her bra didn't fit. Lucky for me I guess we were about the same-ish size because it seemed to fit fairly well from what I remember.  (I'm using the definition of 'fairly well' from a 10 year olds point of view who had no clue about what he was doing at the time)  As I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror, it was the first time I realized that I needed boobs. ...  Real ones? ... Maybe, but I don't specifically remember.  What I knew I needed at that moment was something to take the place of boobs and in my 10 year old mind the first thing I could think of was ... balloons.  In my head I ran through a quick inventory of what was available around the house and I quickly realized that we didn't have any balloons so I moved on to the next idea ... socks.

My room was right next to the bathroom, so I thought about quickly running to my room, grabbing socks and returning to the bathroom.  The time on my watch confirmed that I had at lease another 30 minutes of time before anyone was due to return home so I took the risk and ran to my room and back again with a pair of socks. It may have only taken a few seconds but to me it felt like ten minutes. Returning to the bathroom I started rolling and balling each of the socks up as best I could and made some make-shift boobs that would work for the moment, meanwhile filing the thought away in my head that I needed to get some balloons the next time I was at a store.

Now it was time to put on the dress.  It wasn't any special dress.  If I remember correctly it was made of cotton or a cotton blend and was a simple mid-length black dress with some sort of floral design embroidered along the chest and hem.  It was a scoop or V-neck with short-ish sleeves.  It must have been made sometime between 1977 and 1981 because I remember seeing my mom wear it in the recent past.  It seemed to fit me fairly well.  It's a memory that is slightly spotted after thirty years, but the one thing I do remember was looking at myself in the mirror and instead of feeling shame or guilt or humility I felt comfort and correctness.  It was then that I realized I was running short of time to be able to remove and return everything to its original place ... OR ... I could keep these three items hidden in my room and in the next day or two go to the store to pick up balloons and try this all over again with better boob making material other than balled up gym socks.  It was a big dilemma and I didn't have much time to ponder it.  So I took the risk and returned to my room to disrobe, hide the clothes and redress in the attire I was wearing that day.  Once all of this had been completed and except for the blatant fact that my mother was missing three articles of clothing, no one but me would know what happened during the previous 20 minutes or so.

Within the next couple of days I went to our local 7/11 convince store and purchased some balloons. Nothing fancy, just a small bag of simple party balloons. The day after my excursion to 7/11 when nobody was home, I experimented with the balloons both with water and without.  I didn't do too much with the water filled balloons because I knew how easy it would be for them to break.  In fact, when I did place them in the bra, I was always standing in the tub just in case they accidentally burst. That way I wouldn't have a potentially huge mess to clean up and explain.  After about a week of experimenting with the three articles of clothing and balloons, I returned them back to my mother's room.  I don't know if she ever knew I borrowed them or not.  She never asked.  Even during the week they went missing she never looked around for them (thinking she left them in the laundry room or something) and she never asked me if I had seen them. Nothing.  To this day I find it strange that she didn't go looking for her missing clothes especially a bra, but she may have assumed one of my sisters borrowed the articles.

The thing I remember most about this time in my life was knowing that I wanted boobs which didn't make sense to me.  A "boy with boobs" was not a normal thing.  It was at this moment when I started feeling shame, guilt and humility for feeling different then the rest of society. Something I'd eventually come to terms with but it would take me 20+ years to get there.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Open for feedback

Hello everyone!

Just a quick note letting you know that I am completely open to questions from you about my transition and journey. I'd be more than happy to answer them in future posts.

Send your questions through this blog or my twitter @SabrinaMiller41

Hope you're all having a great day!

Hugs
Until later
Sabrina

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Three Big Milestones

As I mentioned in my 'Coming Out' video which was included in my first blog entry; there were three big milestones that happened in my life that helped or rather allowed me to come out to myself and the rest of the world.

Here they are listed in chronological order.

My 40th Birthday
July 30, 2012

I think all of us go through those "Oh $h*#! I'm not getting any younger!" moments many times in our lives. I started experiencing them in my mid to late thirties. Many were just fleeting thoughts about where I've been and where I'm going; while some would cause moments of anxiety and panic. The one big anxiety/panic attack I had around my 40th gave me about a week of insomnia. During that sleepless week my mind kept repeating what I can only refer to as a "waking dream."  This 'dream' started in my pre-teens or maybe my early teens and happiness usually as I am in bed trying to fall asleep.  The dream would allow me to be the girl/woman I was supposed to be and usually happened by some 'magical method' while I slept resulting in the 'new me' when I woke up.  Over the years I had many variations of this dream but they all ended in the same results.  I would be accepted by society as a female.  My solution to this insomnia/anxiety around my 40th was to start privately cross dressing more. This solution was a only a band-aid for a broken bone, but it suppressed my desire to transition for about another year.


The Birth of My Son
September 15, 2012

My wife and I were blessed with a healthy baby boy on September 15, 2012.  It was during an unusual heat wave where temperatures reached over 100 degrees in some parts of the city.  After the proverbial dust of labor/delivery and our hospital stay had settled and we were back at home trying to readjust our lives with having a newborn; a brief moment in time came when I was awake and my wife and child were asleep.  It was the first moment of time I had when I wasn't needed by someone else.  It was in the middle of the night and I couldn't sleep.  This was strange considering how exhausted I was, but I didn't want to try laying in bed hoping to fall asleep so I went and sat on the couch to cruise the Internet and/or watch TV to try and induce sleep.

A dose of reality hit me as I sat there and I realized that I was a parent.  My life had completely changed as I had known it.  It was scary and wonderful all at the same time. Even though I had the TV on and my lap top open to some social media site, I was not really paying attention to what was on the screens.  My mind was racing ... thinking and digesting this huge change that just occurred in my life.  It was during this moment of self reflection that another "I'm not getting any younger" thoughts occurred along with another version of my "wake up and be a girl" dream, but this time it was slightly different.  The end results of my thoughts didn't seem so far fetched.  It would be challenging but not impossible.  It's hard to find words to describe that feeling I felt, but it felt as if a self-built wall had come crumbling down.  There were still many walls and blocks to go, but one of the mountains had become a molehill and was no longer in my way.


The Passing of My Mom
January 21, 2013

Nobody likes loosing a parent.  Well, maybe a serial killer or murderer might, but they are not part of the general population and are not considered 'normal' by society.  My father passed in 2001 but for the last 10 years of his life he and I were not as close as we were when I was a child; so his passing didn't affect me as I once thought it would. But moms are different then dads.  I went through the typical feelings of loss when she passed but I also felt a sense of relief.  Two sided relief.  One side was regarding her and her quality of life, or lack thereof.  The last five or so years of her life were not easy due to her health, so when she passed I felt that she was more content and happy knowing that she wouldn't have to suffer on a daily basis.  The other side of relief I felt was similar to that wall coming down but it was more freeing, more liberating.  Feeling that there wasn't really anything holding me back from my desire to be the woman I've felt inside me for over 20 years except for me and my own personal self-inflicted blocks or walls. However, it still took me another seven months to come out to myself.

During those seven months my mind would wonder back to the 'wake up as a girl' dream as well as the "you're not getting any older' thoughts. Finally, sometime around my 41st birthday I had watched a good number of different transition video's made by different trans women on YouTube over the period of a week or so and by the end of August 2013 when I finally came out to myself and accepted the fact that I am a trans woman and that transition was indeed what I wanted.

Coming out to my wife is another story, which I'll save for a future blog post.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Disneyland - The Happiest Place on Earth

My Wife and I love Disneyland.

So much so we have annual passes.

They are the discounted 'Southern California' passes that have almost 200 days blocked out, but most of those days are in the summer and some Friday's & Saturday's when either we don't want to go due to the high attendance, the uncomfortable Anaheim heat or it just doesn't work into our schedules.  So the 'SoCal' passes works perfectly for us.


One reason we love Disneyland is that it holds a lot of wonderful childhood memories for both of us. Growing up in Southern California. Disneyland is usually an annual vacation spot for many families  from Los Angeles to San Diego and perhaps even cities north of Los Angeles although that usually involves an overnight stay.  As a child my family would plan at least one or two trips to Disneyland every year.  Each visit was the highlight of the season.  These trips usually happened around my birthday in July and around the Christmas season to be able to enjoy the beauty of the holiday decorations. Every visit was truely magical. 

As I grew up these trips to the magic kingdom became less frequent and as I reached my teens the visits would start to include a friend or two. When my friends and I reached driving age and acquired our licenses, we would go more frequently and usually stay till the park closed around midnight or just after. My wife had similar experiences growing up with her friends and family. Which is why one of the first big dates we had was a Disneyland. 

It was because of our mutual love and admiration for the park that "all started by a mouse" that I chose to propose to her during our first big date. It was a crazy weekend since it was 1) in the summer of 2008 when there was a heat wave and 2) a 5.4 earthquake happened that shut down all attractions for about 4-6 hours during our second of three days at the parks. Nothing was damaged in the quake but it made people shop more. We made the best of it and had a great time despite the strangeness of the weekend.

As I reached my early thirties and started to explore and try to understand my transgender status; Disneyland was one of those places that I felt completely comfortable to be me at. During 2003 to 2004 I visited the park about a dozen times or more and each time was better than the one before and I really started feeling better in my own skin.

Now that I've come out as transgender, Disneyland is much more a place I love to be. It holds so many wonderful memories for me. I feel so free there. 

So here are some recent pictures of my lovely wife Rebecca and I at Disneyland. For us it truely is the happiest place on earth. 






















Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Almost two months…

So as I lay in bed trying to turn off my brain I realize that it's been almost two months since I came out.

Here is a picture from the counter on my phone. 


It's crazy to think about and now that I am I can say that every day has been a bit easier than the day before it. Some days are a stand still but most have been a progress forward. 

Today my wife and I bought some high quality walking shoes because we want to treat our feet right and do some more walking in general to get/stay in shape. 



Now I didn't do a lot today in regards to makeup or anything. So I was really in that "Is he a she? Or is she a he?" phase. 



As I came out to the sales girl she said she had some family that was trans which made me feel very comfortable. I didn't ask her for any more information as it wasn't the time or place. What I should have done is given her my email or something, but hindsite is 20/20. 

Overall it was a awesome day. 

Now goodnight. ��������