After Life

Book Two: Purgatory

From Journeys and Transitions

by Melanie

Chapter 85


November 15, 2005

It is exactly four weeks since Teresaís surgery, and exactly three weeks until mine.  It has been a good day.  It is about 8:30 in the evening now, and we are watching a program on the Plains of Nazca on Discovery Channel.

Both Teresa and I had been intrigued with Von Danikenís theory of the Ancient Astronauts when we were children, and we each had read his books.  Of course, now that theory is even more discredited than it was, but the Nazca images are no less intriguing.

Teresa took her first long walk today, up to the top of hilly drive from our house to the main street to help me bring down the trash cans.  And later, she wanted to hike down into the 3 Ĺ acres below our house into the old, abandoned apple orchard.  This time of year, the leaves of all the trees are golden, and when the sun shines through them from behind, they glow.

Her intent was to have a more interesting location for her one-month video interview for the DVD we are producing on the FFS Experience.  Although several of our earlier interviews were significantly more powerful and poignant, this was certainly the prettiest.

When we returned, I did a little more work for my agreement with that troublesome business associate, then uncharacteristically took an afternoon nap for ninety minutes or so.  Teresa is usually the one to seek out some mid-day repose, but though she joined me, she was unable to sleep and got up while I was still slumbering.

Overall, a rather uneventful day, yet gently significant.  This has now been the longest stretch during which I have felt truly happy to be alive, and worry free, since well before Teresaís surgery.  Everything is pointing North.  Even sales are up!  It seems the holiday buying season has arrived two weeks early at my online store.

We didnít spend a lot of time discussing FFS nor TG issues today, though I know we were both thinking about them.  Still, though it is a Tuesday, it seemed more like a Saturday, and we pretty much took it free and easy that way.

Part way through the day, I started thinking of what I wrote yesterday.  I really wanted to sit down today and take it all back.  But I couldnít.  I looked within myself, and though I realized that here, alone with Teresa, I feel more free to express my femininity, more complete as a woman than I ever have before, I still cannot carry that out into the world.

Still, I can modify my earlier statements just a bit:

If you havenít made any changes to your face, you cannot know what it is to truly be a woman.  BUT, you can get an approximation of it when safe inside your own home.

Because I have made the commitment to make the change, I can tell there is a feeling I want all the time that I canít even get here at home, except for moments at a time.  Since my sea-change moment, I have been able to feel more complete, and to know the totality of my potential to be, but because I know I havenít actually made the change to my face yet, I cannot get that feeling of not being legitimate, of not truly having become, out of the back of my head.

It is there all the time, like background noise.  And though I think the feeling of completeness will not increase with my surgery, the feeling of not being complete that co-exists in a different place in my mind will finally be dispelled.

Yeah, thatís it.  It is as if I was of two minds.  Or as if I am sensing two different areas of my mind, mixed emotions, or logic vs. feeling, or some other process the mechanism of which I am unaware.  Usually, a mind it a singular thing, feeling what it feels, or at worst seeing or experiencing contradictory emotions.  But this is more like experiencing a mental cancer Ė a tumor attached to my joy at having finally discovered the fullness of my female heart.  There is no more me to see, but there is this growth upon it that taints it, undermines its positive energy, and creates a nebulous discomfort that overlays my joy.

It is that additional harmonic, the sour note played during an otherwise perfect harmony, that keeps me from truly having become a woman.  Changing the face is what is required to cleanse oneself of this discordant sound.  The face must be tuned so that all works in harmony.

Let me be objective.  Out of 900 cases Dr. O has seen, only three did not need surgery.  I am one of the three.  Iím sure there are many other young TGers out there who are far prettier, far more female looking than me.  Do they also need to have surgery to finally embrace the total reality?  I wonderÖ.

I know I do.  But then, I also have a few features that arenít as female as they might be.  My lip was never a problem before I got old and got jowls.  But it really was always too long and too uncurled to be truly female.  Still, with the rest of the package, it didnít have any negative effect.

And when I did my nose, why didnít that make me feel more legitimately female?  I suppose it was because it hardly changed from the front.  From the side it changed a LOT.  When I see my profile, it looks very female.  If I could see my profile all day long, I might not even consider doing the lip.  But that isnít the view I get in the mirror, and so I must do something to change what I see every day.

Thatís what Iím talking about.  And I suspect that no matter how pretty or how young a TS person may be, I really donít think she can shake the connection to her old self until she changes something in her face that she sees every day.

Perhaps if you were never accepted as a male, never passed as one, were always ďmistakenĒ for a woman, never married, never had kids, well then maybe you donít need to do it.  But if you were accepted as male, did pass, or got married, had kids, and so on, then I think you absolutely need to make the change.

As I pondered this, I considered how good Teresa has been to me.  Not only did she bring me to the point I could find my heart and open it up, but she has let me deal with my issues, even while she has so many of hers that are so much more timely.

Her surgery was just four weeks ago, and yet she discusses my issues with me, rather than speaking of hers.  Sometimes I feel so self-centered, and yet, she has had her surgery, she has that feeling of having made the change, and I have not.  Perhaps that justifies my focus.

Still, I she has been so good, I cannot help seeing beyond my own ego-centric perspective to realize that although I had feared I had been left behind, she had worked continuously to do whatever she could so I wouldnít be.

She never left me behind.  She urged me on, took time to show me the path she was taking, she reached back her hand to help me along, even though it delayed her own journey.

There is no way she could have carried me on top of her own burdens.  But she gave me every chance to follow her, and did whatever she could to smooth the way ahead.

I feel so bad for having doubted her, so bad for having thought she was leaving me to my own suffering while she attended to hers.  In fact, she has done quite the opposite, even through pain, even through exhaustion, even through my tantrums and self-absorbed rhetoric.

Yes I did my part.  I did not give up.  I did not watch her walk away down the trail until she disappeared from me.  I struggled to keep up, I stumbled but got back on my feet.  And every so often she would stop, look back to see where I was, and either tarry a while until I caught up, or leave a marker for me to follow.  She would move stones off the trail that I might trip over, and would leave spiritual nourishment to refresh me when I at last came upon it.

No, my Teresa has been more selfless that I have seen people behave in my life.  And she did it while carrying her own load and struggling to find her way through an unknown land.

I wonder now if this is all I have to say until after the surgery is complete.  That doesnít feel right.  When the first book ended, I could feel it coming.  So far, there is no such precognition here.

Yet I have completed what I set out to report this evening.  And so, I bid you goodnight.

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