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..
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
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