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Journeys

This is the post excerpt.

 

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journeys….. we all take them… could i ask, can life be considered one long journey or just a multitude of small journeys… and at the end of a journey always lies the destination… is that what we seek in these journeys, in our life, this so-called destination….
over the past hundreds of years thousands of voyagers have walked the “Camino de Santiago”, a pilgrimage also known as “The Way of St. James”… is the sole purpose of this pilgrimage to reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain…. no for a pilgrimage can be defined as a journey or more importantly a search of moral or spiritual significance….. what we find and gain everyday of this journey, that is the reward we carry with us for the rest of life, not the final steps to our destination…

this blog i will write will be about journeys… the journey i take this summer in Alaska… but also about a journey i waited a lifetime to take in life…. i invite you to walk with me… the pages that follow will be my thoughts, lessons i learned, my hopes and also my disappointments, my happiness and my pain….
it’s once been said a journey begins with the first step taken… this is my first step

 

transitioning…a dream or a tragedy

A post from Alana Joy

So it’s five a.m. of yet another long and sleepless night. I vaguely remember the days when I did experience nights of sleep, but these days sleep is a rarity, any sleep at all. And the nights I recall when I’d sleep seven hours straight thru, now extremely rare. Oh well.

No, now it’s lie awake analyzing every facet of your life all night long, beat yourself up for the dumb things, like transitioning, that you’ve done. Yeah, I said dumb things. Transitioning equals throwing away every single element of a life you’ve ever known, and doing so in the hope of finding something better. I guess this could be seen as a giant leap of faith by some, tho personally I see it more as an act of desperation. The desperation of releasing ones self from the ever clinging claws of G.D. (Gender Dysphoria).

But we transition to be ourselves you say. Ok, but at what cost? And how do you define being yourself? Is being yourself only a gender thing? Personally I have found there is a whole lot more to being myself than just gender. And since transitioning, I have lost that. The real me is gone!

Or is it? Or could it be that pieces of that cocoon are still breaking away? Pieces of the old and familiar life are still desperately trying to hold on as an all new life is slowly being created?

Since starting my transition 6 1/2 years ago I have experienced extreme highs, extreme lows, and every possible flavor of emotion in between. I have had experiences both good and not so good, but all have taught me something new.

Our universe is constantly expanding and so are the entities which we each call me. I believe this is why we are here, to experience, to learn, and to create. And while it is easy to remain as we are, it is not so easy to take that step into the unknown. If we are to expand our knowledge then we must take that step into the unknown, the unfamiliar. And as we do so we create a whole new life for ourselves.

Some of us have thick skulls (such as myself) and we have to fall and hit rock bottom before we can see through the haze and glimpse a shimmer of light. But the experiences we gain in doing so give us a new understanding of things we could not have previously understood.

So, do I still see transitioning as a dumb thing? Yup, I certainly do. I mean, you’ve gotta be out of your mind to think you can transition from male to female, or female to male, in a society which is so focused upon sexuality and the physical body!

No, there’s nothing even remotely easy about transitioning. And looking back now I see how living with GD while also not easy, still was nothing compared with transitioning and living and dealing with the issues of post transition. 

But here we are, a small minority of individuals born into this world to take that step into the unknown, to experience emotions beyond the comprehension of most, and to hopefully help create a new, more accepting, more understanding, and loving world for future generations of humanity.

I just hope that upon the day I depart this physical plane I can look back and see that I had a small but positive part in this, and that I somehow left this place a tiny bit better than it was when I arrived, but honestly, I think this is all most of us can hope for. While it hasn’t been easy, I am thankful for my experiences both good and not so, and I am thankful for every sleepless night that I can somehow turn into a positive experience by morning, whether any of this makes any sense or not. Now off with the lights, I’m getting sleepy . . . 

i responded:

Tess Julianna Alana… i too am experiencing all these feelings that you are… did we even have the faintest idea of what our world would be like once we began to transition… all i saw was the broken dreams that i fantasized over all my life, and guess what… some never happen..

I responded:

Tess Julianna

i wonder…. no i know for a fact…  one can look at their transition, at various points during that transition and ask the question… was this a dream or a tragedy..

i have no regrets on transitioning… but then this wasn’t a choice… an emotional collapse, unable to go on for even another moment… unable to rationalize or even think… i did what i wanted to all my life… i did what i had to do for the pain was just too much and i couldn’t bear it any more… i cried out in pain… 

and in that moment i didn’t think of any of the consequences, what life would be like, what trials i would have to face… no i was scared and fragile and i didn’t want to die i just wanted to be the girl i always prayed to be

From “a thousand voices in my head”

i stand here

broken and crippled,

raped by pain

emotionally stripped

with voices in my head

10,000 strong and more

pounding in my brain

these voices in my head

and the words that i said

my life had ceased

paralyzed

strip of reasoning

responding only to pain

with voices in my head

10,000 strong and more

pounding in my brain

these voices in my head

and the words that i said

a bullet 

naked and cold

a rusted razor

an empty vein

or a sinner to scream

a pleading confession

with voices in my head

10,000 strong and more

pounding in my brain

these voices in my head

and the words that i said

so given a choice, remember it’s a choice i never had… would i transition or just bear the pain of gender dysphoria and continue on as jules…

this i know for a fact…  a smile comes on my face every morning as i awake and know that I AM A WOMAN… at times the world doesn’t see that smile or that fact but in my heart i know i am… i gently caress my femininity and i think of all those tears that were cried just to be here in this moment…  how can i ever forget the joy i experienced that day i really began my journey… i was sitting with tears of joy as i took my first dose of estrogen….  something i must do everyday for the rest of my life… or the incredible joy i felt as i was being taken into the operating room for a surgery i prayed all my life for… no one will ever know that joy we felt in those moments… you have to be transgender to understand and appreciate that joy we felt in those moments…

 and at night when i close my eyes i know i will wake once again as a woman… that is a blessing i prayed for every night in my life as jules..

but now i will also be honest with you.. this is part of the pain i carry with me everyday….i wonder and sometimes pray will i ever be able to walk into a room without the thoughts that plague me… is that laughter directed at me… do they know… do they even care… what are they thinking… i can always see the questions in their eyes…

a lady asked me once, “tess if you had one wish right now what would you wish for?”  without even thinking i answered to walk into a room just as you do… all everybody sees is a woman, yea she may be beautiful or just plain but the bottom line is they see a woman..

 and most days now i stand in a classroom… in front of my world, in front of my peers, in front of the the generation that i hope will end all this hate…yea i believe most of them know my secret… and i know some hate what i represent… but this is ME and this is the community and family not only that i belong to but what i represent…. and i feel i owe it to everyone of my brothers and sisters to stand there with pride… it’s hell a lot of the time…  but i have to do this…  i have to show those kids, the kids just like i was in my teens… battling gender dysphoria that you can do it… look at me..

and then in the summer i literally stand before thousands as tess… yea tess is transgender but most see the beauty of the person that she is…. i have to show the world that i have no shame… for i did nothing ever to be ashamed of… 

this world of transitioning is so full of the up’s and down of just trying to be accepted and feeling accepted… at times i think of all i had to go through just to get to where i am today… there were days of nothing but tears… and guess what… i still cry….  the surgeries i had just to go through, the endless hours of electrolysis just try to feel and appear feminine…  the endless days of trying just to appear as a woman…  and in those early days of transitioning, no one will ever know the daily battles we fight just to be who we are  

would i do this again… at times i think being jules had so many good points especially since he was loved and so well accepted… but tess was always in his heart needing to come out… yea transitioning is the hardest thing you can ever do in life and at times i can understand why people would say “why did you do that”… but the bottom line is, if they had tess in their heart screaming to be… and the pain of gender dysphoria they would understand…. 

and sometimes it’s the quiet moments when i sit in silence, caressing who i really am…  i imagine the world is exactly as i want it to be… but then the reality of my situation stares me in the face… and it hurts and i want to cry…  i will never be loved or be able to love someone as a woman….  i want to be kissed as a woman, hugged and desired… doesn’t every woman want that.   i have to have dreams… 

i love my wife dearly for she has stood by my side through all of this… she loves tess in so many beautiful ways….  and i will never cause her anymore pain than i have caused her with just being tess instead of the man she fell in love with..   

transitioning is bittersweet… but i have never felt the joy i have in those special moments when i know i am tess

 i love you Alana and my prayers are always with you

“doorways”

i had an appointment this morning once again with my dream-maker (my surgeon)… i’ll never forget the first time i walked thru that door, and at the moment i never knew the dreams that awaited for me on the other side of that doorway or the beautiful people that would fill my life…

“doorways”

i walk thru a door
and there are countless doors
doors we walk thru everyday during our life…
doorways can be magical
a gateway to a new beginning
or a tunnel to depression, pain and sadness
a sadness that will have you curse that doorway…
our life is simply nothing but doorways
doorways we must traverse….

but my heart knows of a doorway
it’s a doorway to a dream
a dream i held in my heart
held for countless sleepless nights
held while endless prayers were prayed..
and i knew that doorway was always out there
for my heart told me so
told me so
but i just had to wait
wait till it was my turn
my turn to walk thru that door…

i will never forget that day
that day the door was there
there for me to walk thru
i wanted to run thru that door
i was excited but in a way scared
scared for i could not believe that
that doorway to my dreams
was right in front of me…

and today
how many times had i walked thru that door,
well only my heart knows,
my heart knows because every time i walked
walked thru that door
my heart skipped a beat because of the joy
a joy that filled my soul
and with this joy came a blessing
a blessing of my dream of a lifetime
of a life that is so beautiful
beautiful because of that door…

but today i feel a sadness
a sadness for i’m afraid
afraid that this may be the last time
my heart walks thru that door
a door that gave me my dream
a dream i prayed for a million times every night
prayed for every night for a lifetime…

i walk thru a door
and there are countless doors
doors we walk thru everyday during our life…
doorways can be magical
a gateway to a new beginning
a gateway to my dream….
tess julianna 8/7/19

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“Songs of the Siren”… the last entry

March 25, 2019

in the afternoon of November 6, 2015 i began a journey i never thought i would take… yes in many ways i always dreamed of this journey… but in all those beautiful dreams i never knew how that journey would begin.. the beginning is the most fragile moment in your existence… i had no control over my fate in those moments… moments that were filled with pain and tears as “his” life came to a crashing end…. i had no prayers or dreams to cling to in those endless seconds… i had nothing…. and in that moment of emptiness i said words that never could be taken back…

and when i began my journey i promised myself i would write a journal, and in that journal i recorded every tear i would cry… every emotion, whether it be one of pain or joy, i had to write it all down so they would never be lost… i called my journal “the songs of the sirens” as it was the sirens i heard all my life, calling to me…. haunting me and luring me to some unknown… and i wrote in that journal now for three and a half years… that journal is the most precious thing i own… i love it and i am so proud of it….

i wrote in that journal never thinking that it would have an ending… that there would ever be a last entry i would write.. i just assumed that i would have to write chapter after chapter… but today i realized that journeys begin and journeys end… the carousal of life stops only to begin again… and in many ways i realize now, that this journey of transition i began, i began when i cried out in tears, afraid of the moments that would follow….. now i realize this journey is over…. the carousal will stop, but my journey of life continues… tess now will simply be tess… after all wasn’t that what that little boy always dreamed of, dreamed of and held in his heart

how many endless hours did i sit in that chair and cry, and that beautiful voice always told me, “tess it will happen”…. my therapist believed in me, more than i believed in myself…. and of all the circles of support i sat in and wondered if my tears of transition would ever end…. and in those moments i never could imagine that one day i would just be…. be tess… not tess who lived with that asterisk by her name… an asterisk that was never wanted…. i often wondered would it ever be possible to erase that mark that i felt caused me so much pain.. could i just simply be tess…
and even if i could, i would never want to forget… forget my journey….. yes deep in my heart i will always remember the journey i took to get to this day, for in remembering my journey i alway realize the blessing i now hold and i never want to forget, or just take for granted what i have been blessed with, blessed with in this special moment…

i was dressed in my formal wear…. i felt beautiful… no longer do i feel it necessary to wear my wigs, no tonight my hair was tied up in my little ballerina bun… i own a smile now that is genuine and beautiful and that smile was framed with my bright red lipstick… i stood in that room and listened, i really heard or maybe understood for the first time how so many people see this entity of tess… the Senior Officers sang praises to tess… that tess was an important member of their team and how tess was loved by all the passengers… and when in the Captain’s Farewell Party for the passengers, the Captain of this magnificent ship, the most important and respected person on board… and tonight, when on that stage they would introduced the Captain to all the guest, it was the Captain who insisted that i walk out just moments before he did…. and as he stepped on that stage and took the mic and said that tess might as well be the Captain, as she is loved so much and by so many of you…. i smiled and tried desperately to hide my tears of joy as my heart pounded out in happiness… it was then i really realized that all i really am is tess… tess is what all these people saw… what they knew or figured out of my past meant nothing to them, nothing at all for they just simply loved what they saw, this woman who has a passion and a beautiful heart for what she is doing…..

and i realized then that it’s time i too just be tess….. saying this, i know there will always be those times that i will be mis-gendered….. it will happen and i must accept this… accept this and not let that moment eat away at my happiness….
my “journey of transition” has ended tonight…. so i wonder now what words will i write to close out this part of my life…

thoughts written to a dear friend…. my journal…
thank you Mary for telling me to journal through this journey… my journal has helped me so much with my journey… it has been read often, always showing me the gains i made in my journey but also reminding me of all my tears…

the pages were empty..
alone…
without ones hands to gently turn
to stop and linger in thoughts
be they of pain or happiness…
you were unfilled
alone and empty like my broken spirit…
and then came my words

you didn’t care if they were words of pain or love
you never judged
but always accepted…
you knew my words were honest
the pain it was real,
for the tears would stain your pages…..
you taught me to hold on tight
when i was falling
being broken by ugly thoughts….
pain was all i felt for many of your pages
but you said “hold on tight you must”
for there was always another page
waiting for that smile
you promised….. just write one more page

all those words…..
pages and pages of silent words
never felt, but by your soul
and of those countless pages of words
you taught me to believe
that tears could be wiped from crying eyes
and my broken heart could mend….
you told my hand
never tire,
you must go on
find those words amongst the many
for the words can heal,
they have that magic, if you believe,
and so the words continued to come….
you told me honesty can hurt,
it will stain these pages with painful tears
but write the truth
with all its pain for then the words can change
and the tears can dry
and words of joy can start to fill these pages.

today i looked at the words
and like always tears were felt…
my heart it ached
but as the words continued to fall
i realized you were right,
you promised me,
you never lied…
today these pages had joy,
joy i never knew
and as i write my tears they rain
tears of joy
tears that wash away the pain
tears that know that the many empty waiting pages
can and will be filled,
filled with beautiful words….
oh my friend
with this tired pen
and all my words,
pages and pages of words,
you hold them dear…
never oh never let them fade
but let them rest in peace
if you will,
i love those words
because with them you showed me how to smile
so i write….
thank you my dear friend
tess julianna 4/13/2016

The End

“i miss you my friend”

Mar 17

i miss you my friend… i miss the solitude of those early mornings hours that we spent together… i would sit in my chair alone in the new day, still hours before the dawn, with just my thoughts…. if it wasn’t my dysphoria, it was the confusion and uncertainty of this new journey that i was on… i needed you then to help me and today i miss you… i miss the time we spent together… you my friend became the journal that i still write in, Songs of the Sirens….

now, for the most part, my nights are peaceful, i can sleep, when before my mind was awake, struggling with where i was heading… in those early morning hours you brought me answers to the thousands of questions i was asking… was i really transgender… i “came out” and with those words my whole world and Joanne’s world changed forever….. i could never take those words back again… the hours and days i cried before i began my therapy, before i really even knew what all this pain meant…. my tears, pain and frustration was endless…. i was emotionally falling apart and i needed answers and i needed help… you gave me a person who would hold my hand, and still holds my hand… you gave me Mary, my therapist…. i searched and found psychological testing sites that would give me the answers that i wanted… yes there really was a feminine side deep within me as Mary told me there was… i took those tests time and time again to reassure myself that yes i was transgender… i remember, early in my therapy when i had to go in for psychological testing with a psychiatrist… i was so afraid that the test would not confirm what i wanted it to say… each question i answered, i answered carefully as it might lead to the final conclusion in any number of ways… i felt so fragile… i wanted the answer to be that i was transgender… being transgender then was the reason for this dysphoria, it wasn’t in my mind…

i found a site, “The Transgender Channel”… how many times did i listen to the words that really confirmed to me that i was transgender… i began to find out more about this journey i was embarking on…. yes it was one thing now to be transgender, but the really hard part would be how do i present myself in my assigned gender… there was so much i had to learn, simple things as just how to fold my hands, how to sit with my legs…. hour after hour i would sit in our silence and practice these new tasks… how does a woman walk… my shoulders, arms, hands, hips, my new gait, all this i had to learn, and you my friend were always there to help me… and the funny thing, i am now in my fourth year of my journey and i still look for these answers… my eyes are restless as every woman i see might have another answer i’m searching for…

HRT… i wanted this so bad… with this, my journey would really begin…. would my marriage even allow me to really take the journey i so desperately wanted, so desperately  nee4ded…. our marriage was falling apart…. my world was in total disarray… i was transgender and i wanted to to take the steps of being transgender… arguments… silence as i sat with my anger… silence as i would not talk to her as i was so afraid my world was collapsing all around me… and all i had was you my friend and those quiet morning hours to keep me sane…. i knew HRT would be a direction i had to take…

and friend you helped me discover what it meant to be this new label that i would wear for the rest of my life….

and with this label i now had to learn to be the entity  that i really was…. there was so much i needed to know, and in those quite morning hours you held my hand and gave me my answers….i had and still have a folder, with all the internet links, links that gave me the knowledge that i so desperately needed…. and in those quiet hours of the morning that folder and all those links w2ere my lifeline…

i sat with you and shared all the first steps that i took, for i wanted to remember everything, i promised myself i would write all my thoughts so i would remember all of it, the pain, the tears and all the joys…

beginning HRT and how it silenced my life-long dysphoria only to bring on countless of other problems that i didn’t know i had to fight… but you were there with me, my friend, and we fought each battle together and celebrated every step we took…

besides you my friend, with every step i took i bought something to physically remind me of the steps i took… today i still wear my silver chain with three simple charms on them, a pearl, a heart and a disc with the letter “t” etched on it… this was my first gift to this beautiful person i wanted, no i needed to be, the person who i called tess… it was the first Thanksgiving in my journey when in the early hours of that dawn i searched for “her” name with you my friend, a name i wanted for the rest of my life…. i still love to wear my very first bracelet, a bracelet filled with pearls, for pearls is the birthstone of both jules and tess…. and you my friend were there to help me find that gift….  and when i began my HRT i bought a Brighton bracelet with the words “Embrace the Journey” that i wear everyday to remind me never to take this journey or any day within it for granted… and when “her” name became official, Joanne bought me a simple bracelet with a heart and the name “tess” on it… these are things that are dear to me and i carry them with me everyday of this journey…

and you were with me friend as i searched for all the answers… the books we looked for in those quiet morning hours that i prayed would have more answers for my journey…. 

i’ll never forget my first summer in this journey, alone on the Coral Princess, 5 months into my HRT but everyday i had to be “him”…. the tears i cried that summer and all i had was you my friend to listen to my tears… i recorded every tear on the pages that we spent together…. that was the summer when “the Poetry of Songs of the Sirens” really came to be….

when i began this journey all i knew was that i really was a female…i didn’t even have the faintest idea of everything this journey would involve…. i searched for every answer and every step i thought i had to take and i did it all with you my friend… as my body slowly healed after countless surgeries you were always there as a witness for the pain, and the joy of each of those steps…

and now today… 4 years within this journey, and with all my surgeries and procedures behind me i miss the time we spent together every morning… i still need you though… my demons are still with me, with me everyday as is the joy of being tess…. but rarely now do i share with you all of this… i can sleep good at night and because of that my peaceful nights have stolen the time we spent together…

have i grown that much that i don’t need your hand anymore… i hope not, for i love you and i loved all that time we spent together… so all i can say now is that i love and miss you my friend but never think you are forgotten

tess julianna  3/17/20

thoughts written to a dear friend…. my journal…
thank you Mary for telling me to journal through this journey… my journal has helped me so much with my journey… it has been read often, always showing me the gains i made in my journey but also reminding me of all my tears…

the pages were empty..
alone…
without ones hands to gently turn
to stop and linger in thoughts
be they of pain or happiness…
you were unfilled
alone and empty like my broken spirit…
and then came my words

you didn’t care if they were words of pain or love
you never judged
but always accepted…
you knew my words were honest
the pain it was real,
for the tears would stain your pages…..
you taught me to hold on tight
when i was falling
being broken by ugly thoughts….
pain was all i felt for many of your pages
but you said “hold on tight you must”
for there was always another page
waiting for that smile
you promised….. just write one more page

all those words…..
pages and pages of silent words
never felt, but by your soul
and of those countless pages of words
you taught me to believe
that tears could be wiped from crying eyes
and my broken heart could mend….
you told my hand
never tire,
you must go on
find those words amongst the many
for the words can heal,
they have that magic, if you believe,
and so the words continued to come….
you told me honesty can hurt,
it will stain these pages with painful tears
but write the truth
with all its pain for then the words can change
and the tears can dry
and words of joy can start to fill these pages.

today i looked at the words
and like always tears were felt…
my heart it ached
but as the words continued to fall
i realized you were right,
you promised me,
you never lied…
today these pages had joy,
joy i never knew
and as i write my tears they rain
tears of joy
tears that wash away the pain
tears that know that the many empty waiting pages
can and will be filled,
filled with beautiful words….
oh my friend
with this tired pen
and all my words,
pages and pages of words,
you hold them dear…
never oh never let them fade
but let them rest in peace
if you will,
i love those words
because with them you showed me how to smile
so i write….
thank you my dear friend
jtalarico 4/13/2016

“always the question”

i was subbing… a student was looking at me… trying to figure it all out… i felt his eyes as i walked around the classroom…. there was a conversation.. misgendered… an apology.. misgendered… i softly told my secret… he smiled as it now made sense….
but i think no matter where i go there will always be that question….
it can bury you…. steal your happiness, time and time again… and will i ever not care…
that’s the question i’ll always ask

“the question”

i felt your eyes
with always that question,
that question in your eyes….
there was not the hate
just the question
always the question
always the question….

your smile was warm
but it was your eyes,
your eyes that captured my soul
and i felt your question
always that question…
and in that room were others
and did we share the same reflection
no
no for my reflection carried that question
always that question
always that question

and as i weaved my way through that day
i saw so many eyes
but many of those eyes
lost within their private world
lost within their world…
and because of that
did i even exist
for it could of been anyone standing there….
and anybody standing there
anybody standing there
would of never felt
never felt the question
always the question

at times the day was flooded
flooded with laughter
flooded with smiles
but in that frame of time
it didn’t matter if you had that question
always that question
for i like to think you saw her spirit
her joy of “just being”
and because of that joy
and because of her joy
the question really didn’t matter
bit i still wonder
i will always wonder
was the question there
was the question there

tess julianna 3/9/19

“a dream unfolds”

March 15, 2019

these were the words written as a dream i held began to unfold right before my eyes… i also include the words that i write now trying to have those days back again…

March 14, 2018

6:30PM

i want to remember every moment of today…. going in for my pre-op appointment today i really knew that this wasn’t just another broken dream, no this was my miracle actually taking place…  i walked through the door into Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley’s office wanting to remember my feelings and my thoughts, every detail…. i remembered the first time i walked into this office, i was going for a consultation just for my testicles to be removed… this surgery was just a dream i felt i never could achieve, Joanne could never accept… but the feelings of being in this office, a place where dreams and miracles would happen held me in awl…. and since that day i have walked through these door many times and aways with this day in mind…. 

after Joanne and i checked into her hotel we went to Fashion Plaza, i went because i wanted to get something so that i would always remember today and there was a Brighton store to help me remember today… i bought two charms for my charm bracelet, one saying “Dream Big” and another saying “Life is Beautiful”, both will always remind me of this dream and how beautiful life is….. 

my thoughts today brought many tears of joy, moments when all this would really hit me…. my mind flies from one thought to the next, always with tomorrow in mind…. i laid out my clothes for tomorrow when i will report for my surgery…. i will wear an outfit of sweats, and i bought these in mind just for tomorrow.. i have read and reread my directions for tonight, i’ve examined everything in my big black bag given to me with everything i will need after my surgery… and yes in there were my dilators, something that i will hold in my hands doing a procedure i must do now everyday for the rest of my life……  and with all this i keep thinking how beautifully my body will have changed after tomorrow…. and in all honesty i am amazed at how excited i am that i will really have my new and beautiful breast…

and i think of the amazing circle of friends that i have standing with me and sharing in my miracle… i’ve never felt this much love from so many people before… to know that so many people feel that i am special, that i may have touched their life in some special way… “he” was a beautiful person and i only wish “he” could of felt all this love that i feel today…. in a way it’s so sad that transition causes these feelings… i know that jules will always be a part of me, but i know also that am no longer jules… and i wonder does Joanne still feel “his” essence as much as i do at times…. and i know with this surgery a physical part of “him” will be taken away forever… a face that Joanne once loved so dearly is being taken apart piece by piece…. “his” body is losing the reflection that Joanne loved to see, only to be replaced with a dream “he” held for a lifetime… once again i keep taking and Joanne silently loses…..

Mar 13

if i could have those days back, i would take them back in a minute…. without a doubt they were the most beautiful days in my life…. a dream i held for so long was really going to happen…. for the past month all i could think of was my upcoming surgery and the days that would follow… it didn’t matter what i was doing, i had only one thing on my mind…. but it’s a year later and those special days are now gone… they will never come back again, just like your youth, they are gone forever…. 

a year ago tonight my bags were packed and all i had to do was wait till the morning…. i had carefully picked out the outfit i would wear for my pre-op appointment with Dr. Ley… i wanted everything to be just right…

and today a year later i once again picked out a special outfit for my appointment with Dr. Ley….. today my appointment wasn’t a pre-op appointment but my first annual internal exam with Dr. Ley…. 

there are moments in life that are so special and beautiful… i cry because i want them all back again and i can never have them back…  i don’t even think about the pain that i felt in the days, and even months that would follow….  the healing process was slow and long but the miracles i ask Dr. Ley to do in those two days of surgery i knew would be worth the pain….

and today a year later my body has healed….. there is no more swelling on my face…. the swelling and soreness in my newly created vagina is gone and now instead of dilating 4 times a day, as i did those last few days in the hospital, i dilate every other day and without any pain or discomfort….. and i love my smile and the sparkle in my eyes and i guess it’s just because finally i really love the entity that i am…. 

March 15,2018  (3AM)

today is really here, a day i prayed for and waited for, i waited for a lifetime, actually it was two lifetimes…”he” had this dream, but it was always just a broken dream, a dream that caused “his” heart to break a thousand times over every time “he” looked at “his” reflection in the mirror”, it” was always there, there to remind “him” that prayers and dreams are useless, your fate was cast and you never had a chance to scream no… a thousand times you crossdressed behind locked doors just trying to get a second of happiness, a second without the pain and frustration but all you ever got was just more pain and tears…. and how many times did i stand in a shower to cleanse my soul and my hand would grab my fate and try to erase that image, tucking it behind my legs, hiding it so that as i looked down all i saw was a reflection that i would never have……. 

“….and every night I lied in bed. the brightest colors would fill my head with a million dreams but all they were, were just dreams….and i would think of what MY WORLD COULD BE……. but i learned early in life that dreams were just made to be broken…..

but tonight i could not sleep because dreams do happen and prayers are answered and yes there are fairy godmothers that grant little girl all their dreams and wishes….  

and how many mornings have i sat in these early hours of each new day writing words, words to heal my soul and dry my tears…. always this day was there in my mind, but it was just a dream i was trying to believe in, trying to believe that dreams are not always broken… many mornings i sat with tears as i tried so hard to believe in my journey… i learned that i had to shed a thousand tears to wash away my pain, but in the end i did just that…. every tear i cried now has allowed my dream to grow, to grow so today i can cry out to the world that yes “this is me” and no you did not break me down or wash my dreams away and yes “today” will happen, it’s not just another dream… 

in two hours i will finally walk into that hospital and prep for my dream to be granted… and how many countless smiles and hugs will i carry with me, friends that believe in who i am, that helped me dry my tears and wash away my pain, friends that have me in their thoughts and prayers for this day…. and i walk into this dream with my God, believing and not questioning, filled with prayers of praise and thanks…

and holding a hand that i have held for a beautiful 46 years, a hand that has shown me what unconditional love really means….

Mar 15, 2019

i don’t know how this story will end… i remember a beginning… and there are chapters within this story that i could read time and time again… and in one of those chapters there are the most beautiful pages in this story…

March 15, 2018… i could relive moments in that day forever, forever because never have i’ve felt such a happiness,  such an excitement for the hours ahead… and within these pages are the moments when a dream i held for a lifetime unfolded right before my eyes…. i capture this moment, this paragraph just a few hours before my gender reassignment surgery… i was in our hotel and we were getting ready to ride over to the hospital….the smile, the happiness in my eyes are worth a million words and to this day ,

 

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 this photo will always be my favorite.  the days that followed i can remember, i remember laying in my hospital bed wrapped in a celebration, yes there was pain as my body had just been through over 10 hours of surgery… two facial procedures, my reassignment surgery and only 3 days later i would have my breast augmentation surgery… all the pain really wasn’t a factor for my happiness overshadowed all that pain….

and today i cry, i cry because i want those moments back… moments that had the most joyful happiness i will ever experience…. letting go of these moments is hard for me… it always has been… and that why today i’m crying… but the tears are for those beautiful pages.. pages in what is a beautiful story… 

and so i struggle… these are my demons today

tess julianna   3/15/19

 

i’m so sorry

Feb 25

i was sitting down getting ready to play my guitar… my eyes were captured by a photo on a shelf of my bookcase right where i was sitting… the shelves of my bookcases are filled with golden moments that were captured by my camera… and the photo that caught my eyes had “him” sitting on the tailgate of his truck… he loved that truck…  his smile was framed by his salt and pepper beard… sunglasses hid his eyes… his arms tense by his side showed the muscular definition that he always carried with him… he exercised continuously throughout his life to maintain that definition… he looked happy… why wouldn’t he… he was sitting in his truck and it was loaded for one of his countless adventures he pursued…..

today i look at many of these photos and they all brings sadness to my heart… in so many ways i loved being jules but there was always that dysphoria that ripped that happiness apart… i can look at any of these photos and even though they all show his smile, none of these photos were able to capture the pain and endless frustration he always carried with him… i often wonder what “his” life would of been like if gender dysphoria was not his cross to bear…. and the sad thing is i will never know…

today, as tess, i have never been happier in my life… living without that constant dysphoria is a blessing only a transgender will know…. today i am living a dream i carried in my heart all my life,  and every time i stand naked and smile at my reflection in the mirror, it’s confirmation that yes i am a woman…. today i can not even imagine living my life other than being tess…. being tess is being complete… it’s feeling beautiful.. it’s living with a constant parade of emotions that men have know idea what they are missing… 

once again my thoughts drift to that photo and my heart cries out, “why did i have to be jules only to become tess… both of their lives were raped of treasured moments because of my dysphoria….. i’m so sorry jules… i’m so sorry that you had to carry that pain…. that you had to live with that ”lost angel” crying to be set free….

and i can never thank you enough for letting her wings finally open and fly and letting g me find true happiness…

but it’s today, and i can never bring back or change the past

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