CW: Life Stuff ~
It’s 5am, I’ve got my headphone turned up, and I have some serious feelings I need to get out. This is a joyful post.
When I was in 7th grade my class had to fill out a sheet with a list of “Major Life Events” with different point values, like a CATS screening for trauma. Things such as Moving House or a Divorce would be 50 points, breaking a bone would be 30 and so on. Filling mine out lead to the school calling my parents to talk about it, as most of the kids in the class had a 100 points at most where I had checked nearly every box, as I had a very tumultuous childhood.
I revisited that episode with my Mom on a visit to California recently, we talked about how much change happened in my childhood (and beyond) and the sturdiness of our wills, of our family. I’m not so convinced, as I tend to be wary of talk of bootstraps and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. So while she attaches cliched palliatives to the 16 years of shared trauma called My Childhood, I’m staring blankly and thinking “I should google ‘Trauma Seeking Behavior'” I think as I sip my milkshake.
From the moment I could talk
I was ordered to listen
This year I had 2 of the biggest challenges in my “recovery” journey.
First, I went through a major drama event with my friend going to the hospital in Feb, and I passed with flying colors. I stayed positive, supportive and did not feel any serious weakness or doubt, just the occasional tinge quickly dismissed as intrusive thoughts.
Second and more recently, I took trains, planes and automobiles to California, spent time with family, went to a Wedding with all my old friends filled with smoking & drinking & more and never for a moment felt weak or at-risk.
And as a bonus, I’ve had an incredibly stressful month since coming back with some health/dental issues, and I remain confident and solid on my choices. This little girl is unwavering and it feels good.
Side Note: The only moment I felt a nicotine pang was when my Aunt said “It’s really embarrassing when you only order water at restaurants” but the craving was as fleeting as my desire to see my Aunt after that comment. If you want any idea of how fucking repressed and ridiculous my childhood was, that’s a great example. There’s a long timeline of abuse in my family and I mean to put an end to it. But I digress.
All the times that I’ve cried
Keeping all the things I knew inside
It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it
I didn’t have a lot of confidence going into this year, my usual dread was cranked up to 11, I was quitting smoking, nervous about my career and future and my friends health and the wild year ahead. I was a damn wreck around Xmas. It’s well halfway through the year and I can say today, in this moment, I have the confidence of a Gladiator or one of the particularly kinky Roman Emperors, that is to say, I feel like I could swing a warhammer over my head with ease or fuck a lion. Let me tell you why.
I got back from the Doctors yesterday with some very good news. But first allow me a little more background, I am currently on a 50MG Spironolactone oral and 2MG Estradiol sublingual as well as Finasteride to curb hair loss & Vitamin D. This is a fairly low dose and I have been on this for less than a year. I initially started taking hormones in July 2009 and started and stopped for various reasons over the years. I stopped taking them seriously when I moved to LA both for sex work and because I knew I couldn’t behave debaucherously and take hormones at the same time and survive, so I chose career and addictions over transition.
If they were right I’d agree
But it’s them they know, not me
Enough Backstory, here we go…
I’m going to start towards surgery. I have insurance now that will allow for some procedures, specifically a Orchi (essentially removing the testicles) or a Vaginoplasty (creating a vagina from my penis, the “Classic”). I’m going to double my Hormones to 100MG Spiro/4MG Estro and a month or so from now I will reevaluate and maybe even raise them a little more. I’m reengaging with research on Docs, will need to jump through some hoops and get some hair removal, get 2 therapist referrals and probably spend a bunch of money as Insurance will only cover a small % I imagine.
But it’s incredibly exciting and I am on my way. I could be having surgery within a years time, there’s waiting lists etc but I’m a great candidate and PA has lots of medical options. This is all new, I never thought i’d be able to afford it or be healthy enough for it, but here I am, ready to go!
I was surprised how much my insurance does cover, though I have no interest in any “feminization” surgery being trans never had anything to do with how pretty i could be, none of it is real. I always imagine myself as an old woman, barefoot at a farmers market, wearing a sundress and a diaper with my experience present on my face, down my arms and legs, the topography of my body goes from smooth plains to craggy mountains, my voice sounds like Tom Waits and nobody masturbates to me anymore but i’m happy.
It’s not time to make a change
Just relax, take it slowly
You’re still young, that’s your fault
There’s so much you have to go through
Find a girl, settle down
If you want you can marry
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy
I’m starting to feel free. I have been weighed down by so many things in my time and am starting to really feel authentically me, not like i’m playing a role or faking happiness/sanity. I have lived so much of my life behind a mask, and “Riley Kilo” and this blog is as close to the real me as I’ve ever gotten. I believe who you are is made up by what you actually do, not what you think or intend to do, and I am starting to have a congruency between how I feel and what I do.
Do I still have unresolved personal issues? Do I still have big emotional swings between happy and melancholy? Am I still tightly wound and still hear that ominous whistle as if a cartoon bomb was ever-falling above my head? Do I still have a temper, am I still insecure?
In Order, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes and i’m working on it, Yes.
Take your time, think a lot
Why, think of everything you’ve got
For you will still be here tomorrow
But your dreams may not
Things won’t be perfect for her, Riley as a Mature Woman, I forsee inevitable pain and mistakes in my future, hard work, humility and rejection, such is the life of the artist. I did a number on myself in the 18 years since I turned 18 and i’m going to be paying for it as long as I’m on this mortal coil. I’m tired of waiting, being afraid of my future. The first 18 years of my life I had very little agency, I was a child and the world made me pretend to be a boy. The second 18 Years I explored, sowed my wild oats, fucked and failed and floundered, climbed mountains and slept in gutters, had everything and nothing, I’d been to paradise but i’d never been to ME.
This little girl spent her first 36 afraid of the future and healing from her past, so she’ll spend the next 36 embracing the moment. I want to do more to encourage my fellow transpeople, I have the smarts and platforms and perspicacity, I just never felt like I was in the position to give anyone advice, being such a screw-up and all.
And there’s another part to all this, I make my living doing sex work and some of my fans expect certain things, I have delayed my transition for work before but I have faith my supporters will follow me wherever I go and I imagine my content will get much, much better the happier I am with myself and my body. So yeah, it’s a huge topic and potential career change, but that’s on me as a content producer and artist, I have to figure it out on my own.
I’m on the road again. The world has challenged me and the challengers have been left wanting, I have tipped the scales in my favor, gained control over my life and my choices, I feel as free as one can feel in our world. I’ve achieved the kind of clarity that only comes with a lifetime of experience. I know I may look back at this post in a decade and think “What a naïve little girl I was back then!”
So it took me a few mornings to finish this, I wanted to take my time and make sure I said things right, Judge Luttig style. Thanks for listening, and I will keep you informed of my journey! I have had many “First Days of My Life”, and now 13 years later I’m just the same excited, optimistic girl I was back then, just with alot more experience, support and lessons learned. Big hugs friends ❤
(Lyrics from Cat Stevens – Father and Son)
Audio Version of Post Below: