At this point I was fairly settled in at work, and P and I were still in the “honeymoon” were no definite decision could be made about SRS. I was still entertaining the notion we could find a way to stay married even if not romantically. There were signs this probably wasn’t practical, but we were getting along well, so it was a good time.
It was then at the start of 2015 that I started to feel that I wasn’t being fairly treated at work. For yet another year there wasn’t even a nominal pay increase and the excuses seemed lame. All discussion of promotions were off the table and I was in a catch-22 position of needing a position to justify a promotion that would have made it easier to justify the promotion. All this with having held such positions in the past there and elsewhere.
As time started to go by the discussion about SRS started moving forward. When it should be done, whether we were on the same page, and where would I go. Here was my list of pros and cons about SRS at that point:
- Feeling more genuine, not feeling like an imposter/fraud sometimes
- I feel like my current genitalia are useless and bring me little joy/pleasure. Admittedly I have the occasional orgasm, but it takes an inordinate amount of work since contact is a little off putting. The only other way to combat this would be to detransition, and as mentioned below, that probably wouldn’t help other than to make me more depressed and suicidal – not a good trade.
- Being able to experience my sexuality as I would like to (understand that I’ve not been particular ok sexually for a good five or six years now, several years before I came out)
- Not having to worry about tucking or how “it” is sitting beneath my clothing
- Having normal access to places like the showers at the gym or changing rooms at a pool.
- Not worrying about being denied care in some intolerant areas of the county should I have an accident or fall ill on travel
- It might be the last straw for P, even if she decides at this point that it is ok, other variations, we stay together in a non-intimate closed marriage, or an open marriage where one of us can’t cope and we divorce anyway, except with resentment built up
- It might “break” my sexual orientation to straight female and destroy whatever forlorn hope of maintaining intimacy with P
- The op is a major pain with a long recovery time. Three months minimum before anything sexual at all, a year for full healing
- Complications are not unheard of. Most are not a big deal, but some of the scary ones, like fistulas, can be tricky to repair and a very debilitating from a mental and physical standpoint. The odds are with me, but.
- I’m not guaranteed to be orgasmic, nobody can guarantee that, so sexuality might be a moot point post op
- Issues like #6 above are becoming much less common as time goes on, am I inventing boogeymen?
- If I do need to start dating again at my age I may well find my depression issues a real stumbling block
I started asking more questions and planning on SRS. Here was a post asking for what I needed to do:
A short follow up. One of the comments that P got from her therapist was that it was important for me to line up people for emotional and physical (?) support ahead of GRS. I’ve always understood the aftermath of being primarily recovery of energy after major surgery and having to spend weeks with an oppressive schedule of dilation. I was assuming that I would be able to manage to move from bed to shower and back to bed, toss the used bits that kept lube and other assorted off the bed and generally clean up without too much trouble. I figured I’d set up the other bedroom reasonably ahead of time with a second bed, tv for entertainment (or maybe just watch netflix on the ipod).
Do I have this straight or should I be planning for more? I’m assuming that I can rely on P to provide basic nutrition for the first few weeks where cooking will presumably be not a good idea for me.
In June I posted this; more preparations that were needed for surgery. (GHR is genital hair removal)
Things keep moving along and P and I keep talking. I’m scheduled to go for a GHR consult in a couple of weeks and probably have my first session as well. I have my doubts they can do much with laser, but I’ll listen. I plan on asking the therapist to allow for a recommendation letter for surgery this Friday. I believe P’s willing to attend the next counselling session, which I’ll try and schedule for the following Friday but she doesn’t want to be the gatekeeper on my having surgery and I really don’t blame her.
There was a great deal of internal debate with myself, as well as actual discussions with P and with the online support group. Ultimately what changed things was not what I might have expected.
First, my reasons for SRS ended up being these:
- To feel more genuine
- To end the dysphoria (which I mentioned to P is getting worse and worse. It’s been bad enough at times recently that I’ve had impulses to hurt myself. )
- To let me participate fully in locations and events that are off limits right now (changing in the lady’s locker room and using the shower for example)
- To hopefully restore me to being a whole person both physically and sexually
- To enable me to be able to have a sex life if that becomes a possibility
Around June, P and I decided to separate and moving forward with SRS became much clearer. I started searching for apartments and making plans. I flew down to Philadelphia to interview two SRS surgeons, Dr Leis and Dr Rumer. While in Philly I got introduced to their infamous parking when my rental was towed and I didn’t get that totally resolved until months later.
I eventually decided on Dr. Leis and scheduled the procedure for November 15th.
I moved with the much appreciated help of friends including P into my new place early in September. After that I settled in as quickly as possible, bought supplies and stocked the freezer for the coming hibernation.