Teenage Revisited

During the last six years I have become increasingly aware of how important the teenage and pre-teen years are. This is when boys and girls experiment with looks, ethics, beliefs, attitude and many other things. For most this is an experience that will set them on a path for life, helping to shape career, orientation, status, conformity non-conformity, femininity or masculinity regardless of gender. For a few, like me, this is not quite the case.

True, I have my ethics, my lack of belief in a deity, my politics, my shyness. All formed during my teenage years. But I also have my masculinity. Even though I was more comfortable with girls/women and even though I think it was easier being a teenager then (in the late 70s/early 80s), you still had to survive in the pack. In those days, it was not done to be openly gay or effeminate, certainly where I was growing up. Don’t get me wrong, these people were there and I was in awe of their bravery, but I was not that brave and I had to survive!

But now I realise that that teenage angst, which makes them so difficult to live with, pretty much moulds everything about them: how they stand, sit, lounge, move their arms, cross their legs, answer questions, put their point of view across (or not), talk to people of their own gender, talk to people of the opposite gender, flirt with men, flirt with women, handwriting, length of stride, the step pattern, walking in general, hand gestures, cadence of voice, laugh, in jokes, films seen, role models, fashion, make-up, hobbies, standing, gestures when speaking.

As a closeted transwoman, I find myself gong through a second puberty, not through hormones, but purely through realising how much I have to learn from my new peers. The problem with that is my peers are not teenagers and are not programmed for those conversations, learning exepriences and experimentation. They did that decades ago, and it was exhausting then and they are certainly not going to relive it again thank you very much. What to do?

Books!

I read vorasciously anyway and with the rise of Young Adult (YA) books there is plenty to choose from. I have read a lot by trans authors, though often these are frustrating as they usually have the lead character magically beginning to transition with no intervention but magic. I am sure that there are many of us out there who wish that that could happen but personally, I live in the real world. Having said that, if anybody knows how to activate the magic so that my boy bits can gradually morph into girl bits, could you please let me know? I would be eternally grateful.

Fortunately there are a large number of coming of age young women novels. The most recent ones I have read are by Jenny Han. I really enjoyed “To All the Boys I have Ever Loved”. I saw the film first but reading the book afterwards was still great as there were enough differences that you still wanted to turn the page. This was also the first of a trillogy and I enjoyed the next two just as much, if not even more. I have also read Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty”. Different characters, different story, but just as good.

I am learning from my friends on the written page. Maybe not as good as going through puberty with other teenagers but you have to make the best of what you have got.

Nighties and Nightshirts

When I was a child I wore pyjamas. It was what you did! We often got them for Christmas, all three children with a different coloured pair. I hated them. They were made of Nylon, which made you sweat, but worse, because they were Nylon, they twisted round your body when you turned over and were extremely uncomfortable. I rebelled at the age of eleven and slept naked for 40 years.

But for the last 5 years I have suffered from night sweats. I can wake up in the middle of winter with my sheets and quilt soaking in a body-shaped patch, and everything sticking to me. The first few times I was mortified because I thought I had wet myself. Oh my God, imagine starting to pee the bed again at 51. Nightmare! Fortunately it was that, but I was sweating out a huge amount which was pretty disgusting in a similar way. I had no idea what to do about it.

Until, that is, I took a group of primary children away on a trip. Now, in the past I had always worn shorts when on these trips as, obviously, sleeping in the nude is not a good idea when you are on call at any time of the day or night, particularly when those in your care are under 10! This time, I wore a pair of leggings and a long T-shirt. What a revelation! Both were stretchy and tight fitting and therefore did not wrap themselves around me. Both were absorbent so they had kept my sheets dry and, because they hugged my body, it did not feel as if I was sleeping in a puddle. What a revelation.

I have not slept in the nude since. I have several bodycon dresses that I wear as nighties. I have night shirts that I wear with leggings. I have women’s P.J.s that I love. And of course, i wear my compression knickers underneath.

Because we wouldn’t want a bulge would we?

Nail Varnish

I took my nail varnish off today. My Gel Varnish done with UV light and great care. My purple varnish that changes colour in different light. My nail varnish that makes my hands look really feminine (in a certain light and after a lot of hand cream).

There are many reasons why I love nail varnish:

(1) I love the way it makes my hands look (see above);

(2) I love the way it makes my nails look because the are wide, ridged and scarred, with nailbeds so damaged (see (3) below) that the white bits on some fingers start half way up. They are, to be honest, an old man’s nails, not even an old woman’s. With varnish I can shape them into thin, delicate woman’s nails;

(3) It stops me picking my nails! I remember having my nails cut in the house we moved from when I was 11 and my mother cutting one too short. Short enough that it hurt. I remember worrying and picking at that nail, you know how it is when something is a bit sore and starts to heel, a scab you have to pick, an itch you have to scratch. After that I never really had to have my nails cut again. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did not bite my nails (well hardly ever, that damaged the cuticles too much and made the bleed!), I picked them. Until they were raw. Fingers and toes! For 40 odd years. Until the day I put on nail varnish. And felt my nails. They were no longer flaky (a by-product of long term picking), they did not split every time you felt them and they grew!

(4) I love the way it makes my nails feel, the heaviness, the smoothness, the hardness.

But I got back to work the day after tomorrow and so have to return to stealth. So tomorrow I will put on clear varnish, 2 layers and a top coat. This does not satisfy (1) and (2) but it does for (3) and (4). And two out of four ain’t bad. Not great, but not bad!

New Year Resolutions

It is New Year’s Eve and I am sitting teaching my son Advanced Higher maths (or math if you follow the American convention). We went “sales”shopping yesterday and l bought a new, beautiful Christmas jumper in the Next sale; I am wearing it tonight to the children’s teenage NYE party.

I am excited about this but I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about New Year’s Resolutions! My first idea was that I should resolve to write this blog every day. In fact I sat down this morning to do my first post of this year while tutoring the boy. Since then I have got clean, tidied up a little, cooked 2 courses for 11 people, had lunch and done some shopping. And I am only on paragraph 2. Oh, and I’ve done my nails!

1) So I have to cut myself some slack and endeavour to write at least one blog a week

2) I am overdue my next appointment at the Gender Identity Clinic, so I have to make an appointment to attend. Now on the face of it, this seems to be very easy, however I have misplaced the letter so am going to have to work out who I email to make the appointment. But, more importantly, they are going to ask me again what I want to do about my gender now that I have been diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria and that is a really depressing question. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place as I really want to transition, but my wife, who I utterly adore, is adamant that I should not, as she is not gay, likes me as I am and would leave if I even begin the process. Actually that is not fair, I think we would still live together but not in the same way. So, before I can complete 2, and attend the appointment;

3) I have to decide what I am going to do.

Happy New Year

Tucking Update

Recently, I have begun a new addition to my tucking routine. I read about it years ago but have never been brave enough to try it before now.

Even using control knickers it is very difficult to remove all evidence of my “maleness.” If somebody was to do a “Donald” and grab me by the (genital area) they would be able to feel the outline of my penis and in my head I can see it sticking out from anything I wear. I find myself having to concentrate on NOT constantly checking that it is not sticking out obviously. Because, obviously, it is not good form, socially, to constantly feel your own groin (or anybody elses for that matter)

So what am I doing differently? (Whispers) I am using sanitary towels. Yes you read that correctly, I am using sanitary towels. They add a bit of stiffness to your knickers and this means that you are unable to see, or feel, your own appendage. Indeed, I once manage to get my underwear so tight that I was able to actually make it numb, thus making it unfeelable in more ways than one. That was a great day. Though the pins and needles as the feeling came back were a bit odd!

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