I've never felt so vulnerable and on-display as I did on the drive home. It wasn't enough that the tight jeans and bra kept annoying me as I drove, but the having to stop and pee every few hours made me even more insecure than before. I could feel my heart start to race and my stomach start to turn at every stop. I could almost feel the men staring at me. I kept trying to ignore the feeling, and the thoughts of what they were thinking as they stared at my new form. I had to push-down thoughts of the more sinister things they might be thinking - reminding myself that those evil actions are not that common... that I wasn't like that; that my friends are not like that.
Jadyn kept assuring me that we'd be fine... as long as I listened to her advice of what places were safe and which ones were not. It only took the first rest-stop for me to decide that she was correct in her suggestion that we NOT drive straight-through back to Iowa. I decided that it would probably be more prudent to be someplace safe at night, rather than being at-risk on the road somewhere.
I was so glad when we finally got home Sunday night. I still didn't feel completely comfortable, but I felt safe.
Monday morning I faced a challenge that I hadn't really given much thought to - How to interact with Mom and Dad. I've known these two people all my life as their son, and now I'm their niece. I had to think quickly, try to remember how Kat addressed them. I must have done okay, they didn't seem to notice anything strange.
I suppose that last statement is nearly as confusing to everyone reading this, as it is to me. So, since I haven't mentioned this before, Kat's parents were killed by a drunk driver several years ago and she came to live with my parents.
Fortunately for me now, I also happened to be living with my Mom and Dad at the time, between jobs. So I remember some of those first few months that we were all living under the same roof. Since I don't... didn't live too far from home after finding my own place, I still visited pretty often. Perhaps I'm one of the luckiest people the inn has victimized - I've got some prior knowledge of the life and people in the life of the person I've become.
Still, the moment felt weird... everything still feels weird.
Talking about weird, yesterday's family gathering was surreal, really. I felt like I didn't really belong. I wanted to scream to the world what had happened, but I was afraid... afraid of what would happen if everyone believed me, and more afraid of what would happen if they didn't. I decided that perhaps if someone notices something out of place with 'Kat', that perhaps they would be open enough to believe the truth. So here I am surrounded by people who've known both Kat & I since birth... and nobody detects that anything is wrong or even different. Maybe they just attribute it the long drive back from Maine. My silence feels like a prison.
I found that the feelings of vulnerability must go hand-in-hand with a woman's life, they just don't seem to go away. Mom insisted that I wear a nice dress to the family gathering. I know how the rest of the family frowns on too casual of dress for these occasions once you've reached your teens. I really didn't have much choice but to comply, the last thing I need right now are more problems. This wasn't the first time I've worn a dress, but it is the first time I've worn one since I was a child... and the first time I've worn one in public. I thought that I was on-display and vulnerable when I was wearing tight jeans and a t-shirt... but the dress amplified those feelings so much more. I could feel the breeze blowing around under the dress, causing chills to go through me as I thought of how naked I felt wearing such a thin piece of material... and not much else.
I don't know how long it will take me to get used to being a girl. I can't tell you the number of times I had to remind myself to keep my legs closed. Even though we were at a family event at the church, and my dress was long enough to prevent anyone from getting a nice view of my underwear, keeping my legs closed was something that I would have to get used to.
Darren's right about one thing... I'm very glad that I have Jadyn to go to when I need help with this "being-a-girl" stuff. I've got more questions for her, such as the proper way to pee when wearing a dress. I think I did okay just gathering it up and in front of me, to rest on my legs... but it was a bit of a hassle keeping it there.
Well, I guess I'm going to log off now and get ready to help Jadyn unpack. That should prove interesting with this new body.