Monthly Archives: March 2014

What Lupron Does

About three weeks ago I sat in a small room at the hospital and a  lady stuck a needle in my leg filled with Magical Degirlifying Potion (that’s the technical name) – and I was ready to roll on the floor with agony or cry out helplessly to the sky, but I didn’t even feel it. Some mild sensation like a pinch, and then she’d taken it out and I was staring at her stupidly. Then they set me free and I limped home. The pain wasn’t bad, it was just stiff for a bit; and I made sure to run around a little bit because they recommend activity after shots that go directly into your muscle. Two days later I felt no pain or stiffness, and there was no sort of bruise.

Then followed about a week of walking around in agitated circuits of my bedroom, stuck inside because of missing school and my mom being in the hospital (she’s much better now, recovering, laughing, eating, getting mad at me, all the normal things) and waiting desperately for something to happen. I’ve been told that Lupron will degirlify me – meaning, as far as I understand it, my MGT (Monthly Girl Thing) will cease, my body fat will redistribute itself (I imagine it like a lot of little people inside me trudging to other places of my body with suitcases and bags over their shoulders) and I may or may not get more hair in more places. For the first week, nothing happened besides a lot of anxiety – then I started to go through a form of menopause, because that’s what all boys yearn for, and it’s still somewhat ongoing, meaning bizarre hot flashes at inopportune times and some fiddly stuff going on with the MGT that I’ll try my hardest to explain for the reader’s sake. I’m assuming you’re interested, in the effects of Lupron, or in transitioning from “female” to male. What happens is, Lupron decreases your estrogen if you’re “female”, and that’s what it’s doing to me – it means my MGT will go away, supposedly, even though it was just fairly bad, accompanied by hot flashes and mood swings and a desire to punch things that has thankfully gone away. This MGT that I just had should supposedly be the last, ever, meaning it won’t happen next month. But there was some extra MGT stuff that happened after the usual 4-5 days, which I don’t know how to explain; I asked my mom and she says it wasn’t anything to worry about.

The main things I’m feeling right now as I sit here writing anxiously in the twilight of a warmish March evening is a desire for this stuff to happen quicker, and make me feel better. Lupron’s effects so far have been bad, and there’s none of the good effects that I’m waiting for. I’m waiting for the MGT to go away for good and for that fat redistribution thing to run its course. (I have lost weight, I should mention, and I can’t quite tell but it might already be happening, the redistribution. I say this hesitantly, and only because my favorite jeans that I outgrew fit me again.)

Meanwhile, either my deodorant is expiring or I smell more. I think I just smell more. I noticed it at the Arcade Fire concert I went to (read about the awesomeness right here on the music thing that I write sometimes), where I was dancing a lot. I remember being smelly in the days where I refused to wear deodorant because it was a grown-up thing – but then I started playing hockey and the pure necessity of it drove me over the edge, so I succumbed to societal pressure and have used it since. To the best of my knowledge, it works very well; I haven’t smelled much at all for years. Now I smell again. That’s great.

Another thing which I feel must be a side effect of Lupron and decreasing hormones are my mood swings. The other day like I said I was so angry I almost felt like I’d throw up – and my mom saved me from myself by dropping me off on the curb and telling me to walk the rest of the way home. (She’s smart, it worked.) Part of that anger was, I’m positive, because of how frustrating and horrible this whole thing is, and how desperately I want to get through it, to the other side – but there’s no excuse for just how angry I felt. I’ve rarely felt that heated, and I’m worried this is going to be a trend with my messed up hormones.

A third, and admittedly dubious aspect of Lupron is hairiness. Staring at my non-existent blond mustache today (see older blog post) I noticed most assuredly existent blackish hairs where the blondish hairs had always been, alone and sad. These blackish hairs were just visible where I’m 90% sure no black hair has ever been seen before. Now, you have to put some faith in me here, because I take great pride in my non-existent blond mustache and I know all its ins and outs – so try to believe that I’d notice when more hairs came to be. I do believe, therefore, that those blackish hairs are new.

So saying, we can assume Lupron actually does make one hairier. Which is interesting to me, because it’s not a hormone – it’s literally an anti-hormone, and is driving out bits of the estrogen in me. But whatever. I’ve got a non-existent REAL mustache now. That’s an oxymoron, heh.

My next injection is on the 28th (just ten days), and then I’ll have two more injections before, in an ideal world, I can force the medical people to throw me my MBD (Magic Boy Drugs) and begin the “actual” transition. Meanwhile in the social part of the issue, I’m feeling a lot of stress, but a lot of support, too. Zoe’s dad has been super nice to me, as well as Zoe herself, and her family. My mom has been uncertain about pronouns, and it bothered me so much the other day when she was purposefully not saying one that I blew up a bit (probably Lupron instigated? Or not) and now she said she’ll try to do “he”. I felt bad for getting mad. But it is incredibly weird to have your friends and family switching constantly from “he” to “she”, being awkward when they say “he” and being equally awkward when they say “she” and trying to catch themselves. (It’s also really nice of them. But really uncomfortable for all of us.) On a walk the other day with the dog my grandpa referred to me as a young lady, even though he knows about the issue now. It may have slipped out – he may be in denial – or he may have no actual idea what to do. Probably all of those. My mom referred to me and Zoe as “the girls” a few days ago, and then caught herself and said “Zoe and Brynn.” I don’t mind what people call me right now, because everyone’s having to come to grips with it. But if it goes on a lot longer I’m going to go insane. I feel schizophrenic, listening to my competing identities fight each other for supremacy.

me and zoe

 

Old Brynn with old Zoe, in Montreal, 2011. I was 13.

jake bugg

 

New Br – oops, that’s Jake Bugg. Hold on a second.

photo (24)

New Brynn, 16. This is my Arcade Fire concert selfie to show off my goggles.

Funny how it comes full circle, huh? In 2011 I went with Zoe to see Arcade Fire; now a couple of days ago in 2014 I went to see them again with her. As cliched as it may be, so much really has changed in the three years since then. I’m not a new person – I’m just me understanding what’s going on with myself. Lupron of course is making me feel pretty weird right now, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. I will post if I grow another head.

– Brynn/Cellar Boy

 


Grandma Stella’s poem

My great grandmother died today. She was eighty three, and I have some good memories of her, even though we never spent that much time together. She liked to play cards with me. She called our house once in a while, and it was a bit of a joke when she did because she would talk for a really long time and neither me or my mom really wanted to sit there and listen; but it made her happy, so I always talked. I didn’t really mind, even if it was annoying in the moment. I wrote a poem for her, I don’t know if it’s too melodramatic, but it came into my head so I thought I’d post it up here, just so I can have this here to remind myself of her and how I feel right now. I’m sad, but I’m not crying. I’ll miss her because she was one of the people in my life who really cared about me, and I cared about her, too.

In the meantime, it’s finally spring, and the weather is getting warm and I see grass, pushing up through the snow. I’ve heard birds lately. Everything’s moving along like always.

Grandma Stella’s Poem

Where was I when she died?

I was walking to the library that day

Dodging puddles, the snow made bridges

Cloud cities in the sky,

Shadows and light made arches and ridges.

When was the moment, I wonder?

As I tied my shoes,

As I crossed the street

It happened very far away

As I was walking to the library that day.

How strange to be alive in the morning

And never see the next

How strange to suddenly be gone

In the pause between two breaths.

In the spring things are supposed to be born

In the fall things are supposed to die.

When it happened, where was I?

I didn’t know her well enough to cry

But her absence is there, somewhere

And in my heart, just a small sad rip

While my mind struggles to come to grips.

Where was I when she died?

I was walking in the sunlight.


Weird Mood Swing Inspires Pointless Blog Post

Sounds like a newspaper headline.

So, one o’clock in the morning is around when my brain begins to plead for mercy because it wants to sleep. One o’clock in the morning is around when I ignore my brain and continue to be awake.

Traditionally I’ve always had mood swings, but I’m wondering if I’m having worse mood swings right now thanks to the Lupron floating around in my body. Earlier today I was really anxious about changing my gender on Facebook – and right now I give so little fucks that it’s like we’ve gone into antimatter fucks here. Any fucks that collide with my antifucks are going to instantaneously cease to exist. I’m sure, though, that this feeling will wear off by tomorrow, and I’ll be sitting around anxious and extremely stressed out again. So I guess I might’ve not done it in the first place – but I think not doing it would’ve bothered me more, in the long run. And by the way, many a high five to Facebook for even having the option of changing that – they didn’t used to. Now you can even customize your gender; I tried to do “I am a fish” but they gave you a list to choose from, so.

This blog post is crap. I’m sorry. It’s the Lupron talking, I bet – it’s sitting up in my brain with a megaphone making me type stuff. (Now say I am your leader!)

Is it really doing anything, though, or am I just insane? The other day I half-convinced myself my voice was changing. Then I remembered testosterone does that. Then I tried to figure out if I was getting less curvy but I sincerely doubt that too, since it’s been about a week. The one thing I think it has done is stop the MGT (“Monthly Girl Thing”), but I’m not sure if it’s too early to know for sure. I was having cramps but nothing came of them – so perhaps my body was really trying, but Lupron just kept kicking it in the face until it gave up. Anyway, if that’s the case, and it really is never going to happen again, then thank fucking God, and Jesus, and all the non-existent holy people up in fake heaven. It’s one thing I can stop having to be dysphoric about. And besides being a boy kicking around in a girl’s body, who actually enjoys the Monthly Girl Thing? Isn’t it uncomfortable and embarrassing? I understand that children are made from it, but otherwise, what are the pros? I see many cons, very little pros. But then again I am kicking around in a girl’s body, so don’t take my word for it, I suppose.

I got my new health card, and my picture actually looks normal on it. Usually, on official documents, people look like unfortunate raving lunatics, for whatever reason – I think probably a mixture of bad lighting and not being able to smile – but this time, something went right, and it looks good. I look tremendously non-girl-like. But then there’s that little “F” stuck on, and it’s fucking stupid. You really think that person is an F, government of Ontario? Really?

Look at how normal it looks!

photo (21)

Maybe this doesn’t mean much to you, but to me it’s a tiny victory in a world of always being identified constantly and never-endingly and incessantly as female. If it weren’t for the “F”, you’d never know, I hope. Because I strive constantly to be “normal”, if nothing more, and I’m fucking normal up there. Fucking normal, man. I said it. I said it, I did. I’m normal.

Except when you start to look inside my brain. Then it’s existential nonsense and paranoia and Arcade Fire lyrics all the way to next Sunday.

I’m swearing a lot. I’m sorry about that – I think it’s too much Youtube combined with not enough sleep combined with the weirdest mood swing I’ve had in a really long time. It would have to be weird, for me to take a picture of my health card, of all things, and then brag about how normal it is. I hear teenagers post a lot of selfies with their shirts off, or something.

I hate that selfie stuff. It’s fine if you’ve got something you specifically want to show off, I guess – like a new hair cut or a new t-shirt or something, but when it’s just you standing next to the mirror with your phone – well, why? What great need inspires people to do that? I’ve taken selfies in my time, certainly, but I never put them anywhere other people can see, unless there’s some valid purpose. For instance my Jake Bugg selfie, seen below. I recommend you check that out, I’m proud of it. But other kids, they post these endless pictures of themselves in various so-called attractive positions, with dozens of embarrassing hashtags that range from straight “#selfie” all the way to “#beautiful” and “#gorgeous”. Why do they do that? And especially when the person in question is very much not beautiful or gorgeous, and they use the hashtag anyway. Yuck. It screams out for attention, and it’s the wrong way to get it, if people want you for your looks. For instance, I type off posts about gender issues and health cards expecting not very many readers at all to find their way here, and I’m happy enough. The world’s constant struggle for acceptance and popularity drives me completely insane.

That’s why, when I grow up, you’ll find me sitting on a hilltop drinking iced tea in only a pair of socks, finding shapes in the clouds and listening to Arcade Fire through my headphones. You can’t come unless you’re bringing more iced tea. And this has absolutely no relevance to anything.

Will I publish this post? Mm, I’m kind of worried about what I’ll think of it in the morning.

Now I’ll begin the process of getting to bed. My brain starts to threaten me with child abuse lawsuits around this time of night – child abuse lawsuits against itself, of course.


Short Terribly Worried Post

I changed my gender on Facebook to male, because I can’t stand seeing “female” anymore, and I’m terrified. I had to do it but holy fucking shit God I’m terrified. My friend Nathan, who has been subtly throwing hints that he knows about my whole transgender thing for years, who is my friend on Facebook, will, I’m sure, see the fact that my gender has been changed. All my various elementary and middle school friends will see the fact that my gender has been changed. My family will see the fact that my gender has been changed. Everybody will fucking see that my gender has been changed. I’m terrified. But I did it.  All right, that’s it. Now I’ll go hide in a shivering ball under the couch and dissociate for a while.


It Actually Ends Up Being Sensical.

I’m getting that desperate restless feeling again, and I absolutely hate it. I can’t do anything when I feel like this. I want to hit something or run my fist through a wall – I want to try and describe it, but it’s a weird thing. It’s as if my mind is going in loops, only touching on ideas and thoughts briefly before spinning around again, and it creates this unsettled feeling in me that’s like being on a constant roller-coaster ride. I think I can fix this by either going to sleep or jumping around some to get the energy out, although my mom might hear me if I started doing that and I’m fairly sure, her being exhausted and recovering from being at the hospital, she might actually disown me. I can’t do that to her right now. Maybe I could dance to my ridiculous screamo music (with headphones, of course, of course) and just do some quiet jumping up and down and moving around, until I’m too tired to be so anxious and restless.

I might do that. For now I’ll try to wring out this post, but we’ll see how sensical it ends up being. I find it interesting that I’ve never actually gone nonsensical – I guess I always have enough presence of mind to keep one foot in reality and not run off on wild philosophical tangents about existence and death, which are the two things that I seem to instinctively gravitate to when I’m anxious and overtired. It’s what I have panic attacks about; death, or what happens after death. If I hit that level of awareness where I convince myself I’m absolutely right about the oblivion after life, then I’m screwed, my heart leaps into my throat and I have to move before I lose my mind. Once when I was having a panic attack, randomly in the middle of the night, I was in my mom’s room before I realized I’d moved. I used to run around the block when I lived at my dad’s house, even if it was the depths of the night. I once ran right down the middle of the street, in the most dead and silent hour you could ever imagine, as fast as I could and trying to not stick to the sidewalk because it didn’t matter. It was so quiet. Like you could’ve sneezed and the stars would’ve started spinning. Right now I can talk about all this without feeling too anxious, but it’s different when it’s right in the thick of the night and I’m alone with my thoughts, not with a bright computer screen and music in my ears to distract me.

I’m listening to early mewithoutYou, and I love it. They’re amazing. People I think would instinctively hate them because they’re heavy rock/experimental (or at least their early albums are), but if you have the time, try to get past the screaming and take note of the instrumentals and the poetry, and the atmosphere. I don’t know how many people can, not as if I’m special – but if you’re depressed and need some feeling shocked back into you, then they’re a good band for the job. It’s hard not to feel anything when Aaron Weiss screams in Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, after a long gentle buildup. A very dark and difficult beauty, this stuff.

Why I feel so down, though, is difficult to assess. It might just be because my mom was in the hospital for a while, although now she’s fine and I don’t think it was ever completely life-threatening. It’s so nice to have her back; I wish she wasn’t exhausted, though. At least we were laughing earlier; same as when I visited her in the hospital. She was in pain but she was still laughing with me. A sign that she’s at least okay.

Right, and I’ve been missing school. I just can’t do it, math and science, two subjects I don’t like, with no friends and nobody that even looks very friend-worthy. And I’m so behind right now that it would be pointless to go back now, so far along. I do miss my friends, though, but I guess I’ll see them next year.

*

A little star just so the post has some order in it. Plus I need some asymmetry – like there’s been a lot of mostly equally-sized paragraphs going on the past little while, and I hate that. So I needed to do a double space to break that up.

Moving past the craziness now, am I ever tired. Life is a big tiring hamster wheel that goes around and around and never does anything for you, despite making you tired and frustrated. Although there’s one bright spot around here: that of going over to Zoe’s house the other day. Her dad Martin and my mom haven’t been getting along for the past couple of years, I’m not completely sure why, and I feel torn because I really like him, a lot. He’s never been anything but nice to me, and is the first person to start using boy pronouns of their own volition. (The school doesn’t count, we forced them.) And I just went to my e-mail to send a reply to my failed co-op teacher (I couldn’t handle her class, it was too much in the morning) because she complimented me on my writing, and now I’m sure I’m going to be agonizing about if my reply was all right for the next several weeks. I just said thanks a lot and that I appreciate her being so nice, but naturally my mind is going to twist it around until I convince myself I wrote the equivalent of “You’re a stupid teacher and I hate you so much, I hope you die in a hole somewhere”. I always second-guess every single thing I say to other people, and I hate the feeling of never being able to accept that what I said was fine. Whatever. I can’t get away from the anxiety, ever.

My dad came over briefly today, but he couldn’t stay long because whatever. I didn’t care. My mom said “Only an hour?” and I feel like that’s a little bit out of line, because at least we’re seeing each other, we could not be seeing each other at all – but I think she’s still mad because he didn’t bring me to my appointment last Monday. Which he was supposed to, and which he said he would be able to bring me to. And he didn’t, and he didn’t have a good reason for not doing it – and I was mad too, but I’ve let it go by this point, it’s over and far away, and he said he’ll bring me to the next one, anyway. I got a bit angry at him and I think he understood my feelings – but I can’t be that angry at him, because he’s so anxious all the time, like me. I feel like some slack should be given to him, not all the time, but right now at least.

And my appointment went well. I set it up myself – the clinic called and asked when was a good day, and I said as soon as possible, so they set it up for the next day. I returned to the endocrinology place and the nice nurse sprayed some stuff on my leg and stuck a needle in there for about three seconds – I looked away, ready for some incredible anxiety-heightened agony, and then it was over. I looked back at her, unbelieving, and had to admit that it hadn’t been nearly as bad as I’d thought it would be. It was a Lupron injection, so now the Lupron’s floating around in me slowly doing its stuff, whatever exactly its stuff is. I searched it online to refresh my memory, and maybe get some more details, but it turns out no one fucking mentions that it’s used on transgender kids, so nobody explained what it does in that respect. Under ‘side-effects’ on one website there was loss of your period and possible increase in body hair – under ‘side-effects.’ Side effects? Nice, that doesn’t make me feel awful about myself or anything.

But I know the basics. It stops the estrogen in my body and, it seems, will turn me into an eleven year old boy again. Because that was a fun time in my life. There may be something with fat distribution involved – and as far as I understand it, that means I won’t have the curviness of a girl anymore. I cannot wait to wear my beloved skinny jeans comfortably, which I wear a lot anyway, which I wish didn’t show those useless curvy things. Don’t need that shit. I wonder how long before Lupron actually starts working? It’s supposed to make me asexual, too, which is going to be weird. And I already have trouble figuring out the whole sexuality thing without suddenly being asexual, in the midst of trying to get a handle on this stuff – it’ll set me back a little while, I think. At least it’s only three months of it before, against all hopes, they’ll finally throw some Magic Boy Drugs at me. I’m not so scared of needles anymore – still get uncomfortable, but I figure that’s a good feeling to have, since sticking sharp objects in your own skin would logically not be a wise thing to do.

I just want it to start working. I’m not convinced about this body hair stuff; because it’s not like testosterone is being added. Estrogen is just being taken away. That leaves me… with funny Lupron stuff floating around in me? I have no idea about that. What did I have in me before puberty? Nothing? Well, I certainly didn’t have extra body hair. I probably would have noticed.

*

When I was at Zoe’s house, we played Monopoly for a long time with her little sister Nikka. She wiped the floor with us. And I was actually trying. Nikka’s only eight or so, but she’s a frightening little package of smarts and intuition and trickery – she kept trying to cheat, until the whole thing had dissolved into a depressing melting pot of dishonesty, which was pretty amusing at the same time. Even without cheating, though, she completely creamed us. Then we put on Louis Armstrong 45s and Nikka made us do lame Buzzfeed quizzes. I kept ending up being the troll character. One question demanded you pick your favorite Disney prince – I was debating about whether to go ahead and pick Aladdin, the least offensive of them all, when I noticed the “No” option. I picked that, relieved. Zoe reacted as if it was predetermined that I like girls, and therefore would have no interest in Disney princes – and I wonder if that’s just because she recently found out I’m transgender, or if she’s just known me so long that she knows that sort of question would horrify me. I think maybe a bit of both. Again we touch upon sexuality, and how clueless I am about it when it comes to my preference – because honestly, none of those princes are anything close to desirable or cute or lovable to me – while the same could very truly be said about the Disney princesses. Maybe this is just because it’s Disney.

That day we also went to the record store, because Martin needed a new band for his record player, and we briefly went to the anime store because I wanted to, where I scored the last volume of Fullmetal Alchemist from the quirky-looking cashier girl. Zoe and Martin and everyone were so nice to me that I had paranoid feelings that it was only some kind of ruse. They were trying really hard with the pronouns thing, and poor Nikka was doing her best, switching erratically and unintentionally between “he” and “she” as I sat there trying not to feel awkward and avoiding Zoe’s eye. Zoe even used “he” a few times, and I almost had to leave the room because I was getting too emotional. Even her step mom, traditionally a somewhat frightening Russian woman, was very nice to me, in a way that’s unusual for her since she’s usually so opinionated and tough. Although she’s always seemed to be a bit extra nice with me, for some reason – maybe that’s on Martin’s orders. Either way nothing was forced and everyone was genuine, and we ate spanicapeda (how do you spell that?) and fries and it was all good.

Nonetheless I still feel unsettled, and maybe not as happy as I should logically be. Ah, but, when it comes to feeling things, logic is an unknown concept.  I think you always just feel how you feel, regardless of why.

I don’t know what happens next. I’m thinking vaguely of a long summer, a stressful return to school in the fall, and whatever daily issues come in between. I think at the moment I’ve satisfied my restless feeling to just do something, and I should probably get to sleep now, before I wander off into the deep hours of the night again, writing and watching stupid videos and avoiding getting to tomorrow.

– Brynn, or Cellarboy, or “Arymm”