Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cliff/Tori: If they only knew...

I've been spending the last couple of weeks getting over the shock of knowing I'll be this way for a while longer, while the word "forever" echoes in my head.

Nothing's changed. Being a girl isn't any worse or better for me than it was before. I don't feel depressed, I don't feel relieved, I'm just... going on. Is this good? I don't know. But it is what it is.

But I got a good boost of reassurance on Sunday, which was Father's day. I don't spend a ton of time with the family... keeping myself a bit independent while under their roof has helped keep me sane. I get up after my parents have gone to work, I get home when they're going off to bed, mostly because I hang out after work with the girls/guys. On the weekends I usually do my own thing, with the occasional exception.

Father's Day was a big deal to me, though, because even if they don't know who I really am, I wanted to prove how important they've become to me, both parents. So I made special arrangements to show off my cooking skills, which was the one thing my real dad and I really had in common. So I did a whole steak dinner for the family, and put Mae in charge of the side dishes (which didn't go so well in the end, but good for her for trying.)

It felt good, just to hang out in our backyard, the four of us, later joined by Ken and his fiancee, who was quick to point out how surprising it was that I was suddenly such an avid chef. We sat around after dinner and everyone told stories, although I was still silent... most of what I know about Tori's life is from her diaries, so there's not a lot of material that's worth sharing. Still, it was great to hear these sweet candid moments of family togetherness.

It wasn't until the next morning that I really started thinking about my own dad. I got up that morning and couldn't get the guy out of my head, and suddenly I was filled with this deep, intense shame. What would he think, if he knew the truth about his youngest son? That instead of getting his life together and moving to England for his career, he was living as a girl in Philadelphia? That at that moment on Monday morning, he was slipping on a pair of panties and clasping a bra... brushing his long dark hair, putting on a pair of tight shorts and a top that revealed his cleavage, his middrift... that his son was now somebody's daughter, and didn't mind it so much?

I don't think he'd understand that I didn't want this, but that I don't hate it either. Maybe he'd think less of me for giving in, for enjoying it at all, but I don't care anymore. I'm through with that attitude. It's something I could never explain to him, but finally, I like where I am.

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8 Comments:

At 6/25/2010 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good. Men like girls who know their place.

 
At 6/25/2010 5:12 PM, Anonymous Alia said...

Okay, that's really, really offensive...

 
At 6/26/2010 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suggestion:

1. Write out an extensive list of everything you wanted to do with / in your life, back before the change. Take a few days to do this; maybe get a steno notebook just for this project.

2. When you're done, put it away for at least a few hours and go do something else so you see it afresh when you come back to it.

3. Mark every item there that you cannot do as a woman. Never mind relative difficulty, changes in priorities; if you can still accomplish it, it stays unflagged.

I suspect you'll find that the only flagged items are directly related to old family connections or new biological role in mating and reproduction. I also suspect that there won't be many flagged items.

Everything else in that list is doable if you choose to invest the time, energy and fixity of focus to do it. Your priorities might be different, now, because you think through a differently-built brain and respond to a different set of hormones, so some of those item might no longer be important to you, but that's up to you. Now that you own the life you're in, you're not so powerless after all.

 
At 6/26/2010 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect that commenter #1 is the same person who made a similarly offensive comment on another recent post by Cliff/Tori. Whoever you are, your comments don't contribute anything useful to this blog, but they do reveal how out of touch with modern values you are.

 
At 6/26/2010 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment 1 may be poorly worded, but is it really offensive or out of place? There is, after all, a difference between men and women -- heck, just look at all the women's magazines and their take on what guys want.

Take a look, also, at Penny's last post, in which she notes that has at last come to recognize that she "has a woman's place in the world." And Ashlyn, in her post about falling in love with Matt and giving him a special present, discusses some of the differences between what is expected of a man and a girl.

So, yes, some of the comments being posted seem to be written a bit harshly. But is that also unusual? Because there are a fair number of men who take a rather harsh approach to dealing with women.

What is missing from some of these blog posts, certainly from Cliff/Tori's posts, are an examination of the psychological aspects of the switch. Yup, going to put on softer clothes. Yup, got cleavage now. Hey, gotta deal with periods. But all that is physical.

Do you feel treated differently by society? Do you feel that you're obligated to look sexy, and if so, why? How would you be treated by those around you if you dressed like a guy? And does being in a physically softer position (weaker muscles, shorter, softer clothes, more exposure) affect how you act, and how others act around you?

Most guys, after all, do like girls who know how to be girls. They're usually not attracted to girls who act like macho guys. And a former girlfriend once told me that for girls, the be-all end-all is that "it's all about being pretty." Without concentrating on that, not much else is going to go easy for a woman.

 
At 6/26/2010 1:24 PM, Anonymous Alia said...

First of all, some of you are going to figure out some user names. It's getting really confusing.

Secondly, to my mind, there's a difference between "finding your own place" in life and "knowing what a woman's place is." The way the comment was worded, it sounded to me like Cliff should learn to look pretty and serve men, so that they'll like her. Maybe I'm just sensitive about it.

As to the psychological issue... well, maybe you're right. The difference between genders definitely goes a lot deeper than what clothes you wear and what shape your body is. The thing is, when you've been transformed, your mind gets sidetracked with all the other stuff you need to cope with that these issues sometimes don't become obvious until later.

 
At 6/26/2010 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> First of all, some of you are going to figure out some user names. It's getting really confusing.

Fine, I'll identify by sig at the bottom ('suggestor', since I made the "Suggestion" post), since I'm not in a place where I can afford to be publicly identified with this topic of discussion.

> The way the comment was worded, it sounded to me like Cliff should learn to look pretty and serve men, so that they'll like her. Maybe I'm just sensitive about it.

I don't think so. That comment struck me as not merely contemptuous and nasty, but wrong. Women who confine themselves to those interests have nothing else to discuss. To a male such as myself who's not attracted to males, that's not of interest, so that leaves us with nothing to talk about. Worse, it's all subservient and selfless, so there's not even a self there to talk to.

> The thing is, when you've been transformed, your mind gets sidetracked with all the other stuff you need to cope with that these issues sometimes don't become obvious until later.

How much of that 'all the other stuff' is a direct consequence of taking over another's life en-route, and having to 'cover for them' until they can get back to it?

(suggestor)

 
At 6/26/2010 7:37 PM, Anonymous Paradoxical said...

> First of all, some of you are going to figure out some user names. It's getting really confusing.

Did that in the first post here, used the main title of a book on the topic being discussed. Sleep/dreaming.

The first comment, offensive. . .yes. . .and no. There is more than one way to interpret it. The first, well that has already been covered in it's two facets that I perceive as negative. The third that I see as possible, is that men like women who know themselves and what they can do or what interests them. Unfortunately I do not think the writer was going for such a remark based off of Cliff/Tori's post.

> The thing is, when you've been transformed, your mind gets sidetracked with all the other stuff you need to cope with that these issues sometimes don't become obvious until later.

--How much of that 'all the other stuff' is a direct consequence of taking over another's life en-route, and having to 'cover for them' until they can get back to it?

I would wonder how much of this is not merely avoidance. Burying the issue to avoid facing whatever skeletons in the closet that the situation not only could uncover but might create as well. Avoidance doesn't work well, but it works in the short term. Cliff/Tori has confronted some of this I believe in his self challenges to submit to the female body he currently has and he has made it his own in some ways in the clothing options. Penny, though unheard from for awhile, switched tracks not too long ago. From one of avoidance to acceptance, whether this is in a good way or not is impossible for to discern without 'her' further input here. Penny's friend did a similar track when the original male body was lost for good, although adhered more to the host bodies original standing in some ways.

So, although not explicit, I would say the psychological issue is addressed by some in the past. Less in the present, but that it is there if one is willing to 'read between the lines' to coin a phrase.

 

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