After Birth

Book One: Into the World

From Journeys and Transitions

by Melanie

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Chapter 102

Hangtown Justice Fudge

December 8, 2005

Last night I dreamt I made love to my mother.  It was very weird: sheís not my type.

In my dream, I realized she had returned from the dead, and I wanted to give her a special present.  Although she was uncomfortable with the act, she did not resist.

When I awoke, more surprised than appalled, I realized the scenario was just my subconscious mindís symbolic way of passing information up to a level of awareness.  Simply put, I had just realized my mother was a lesbian.

She had never said anything to me to indicate this, and yet, quickly mulling over what I knew of her earlier life coupled with my own experiences with her, it all fit.

But what importance was this to me?  And why would it come to mind now, of all times?

I canít be sure, but perhaps it is somehow associated with one other notion I found stuck in my mind as I came to: I used to think of myself as a boy who had some wanky biochemical events occur during pregnancy that gave me the mind of a girl instead.  I now see myself as a girl whose biochemically screwed up time in the womb gave me the body of a boy instead.  A subtle semantic difference perhaps, but nonetheless significant I am sure.

I recall from my childhood that all the women in my family seemed a little weird to me: my grandmother who was always reading books on the meaning of the conscious mind and getting in touch with the true nature of self, my mother who went to classes in self-hypnosis and wanted to be a writer and psychologist but never was, my aunt with the strangest sense of humor I have ever encountered, my other aunt who journeyed to the communist block in the early thirties, brought back films on the life there, chartered theaters in Hollywood in which to screen them, and was followed by the FBI who kept her on a list.   Then there was the cousin who ran away from the Midwest and came to Hollywood, thereby making all the local papers back home.  And the other cousin who lived some vaguely referenced seedy life and was eventually killed by her boyfriend.

Each of these women was exceedingly strong willed.  And whenever two or more of them got together at the house, it seemed more like a meeting of a secret society that a coffee clutch.  If I were to find out they all had double lives as top degree members of the Illuminati Council, I would not at all be surprised.

I really believe there is some odd gene that runs along the female line in my family.  It manifests itself in unique and different ways in each woman it touches.  I have it, and perhaps Iíve passed it on to my daughter as well.

I donít know about the men.  They all seemed pretty odd to me to, but then again, that might be just because they are men.  Most of them were withdrawn and sparing in their emotions, tended to get loud around one another, treated their women like appliances, and were given to alternating fits of morose and anger.   YeahÖ  they were probably just normal men.

Interesting retrospective speculations all.  But are they worth anything?  Can I do anything with them?  Conceivable, but right now I havenít got a clue.

Oh, and as for the lip thing?  Swelling is down today and the result is becoming prettier each day.

12:19 p.m.

Okay, so as not to leave my readers in the dark, I did promise occasional updates on how things resolved.

Hereís one:  I just looked over at Teresa, working at her computer desk.  She looks even prettier and more feminine today than ever before.  In my previous entries, this both attracted me and also caused me pain, as I felt I was not the same sort of creature, nor could I be.  I lamented her apparent reality and inner peace, while I seemed to myself a pretending half-ling, with nothing but angst for my lot.

Now, I see nothing but her beauty.  There is no elation at having my lip done, but just a simple confidence that I too look pretty and natural.  And from this grows a closeness as I gaze across at her, rather than a feeling of separation.

So, if youíre keeping score, thatís one pain gone and replaced with gentle contentment.

6:04 p.m.

This afternoon we took my first trip into town since my surgery.  Teresa wanted to drive into town to our favorite candy shop (the home of Hangtown Justice Fudge Ė green in color made with pistachio and jalapenos).  Since my energy level was up a bit today, I joined her for the trip.

Partly, I just wanted to get out of the house, but I also wanted to do two other things:  One, to see if I would really feel confident out in the world, and two, to put Dr. Ousterhoutís handiwork to the test.

You see, I still have the stitches in, which run from the outside of one nostril, under the nose, and up around the outside of the other nostril.  It looks like a spindly little mustache.  I figured that if the shape of my face after the lip reduction and curl was as good as I thought it might be, I would be able to relate to people face to face without gender being and issue, even with the stitches.

Just before we left, our landlady arrived to check on the progress of some workers she had hired to make some improvements.  Iíve never felt that she saw me any other way than as how I presented myself, and yet I was always nervous speaking with her as I feared that something might give me away as being other than she had thought.

When Teresa and I stopped to speak with her, it was my first face to face contact with another human being since surgery.  I wanted to see if the positive feelings I had about my appearance continued to hold in conversations with others.

Sure enough, I felt differently than I had at any other time in my life, through all the years as far back as I can remember.  I felt a simple confidence, not to be confused with a superior sense of self, but rather just a notion that I was in no danger of being seen as anything other than I am.  A certainty that I was whole, and normal, and consistent inside and out.

Iím sure she didnít treat me in any way other than the friendly manner she has always expressed, but it really did feel different.  Iíve never been at ease around people in social scenarios, yet today I was.  It was really pleasant to just be myself and to know with absolute conviction that was how I would be seen to others as well.

We bid our farewells, and then took off down the road to town.  Along the way, I could not believe the peace in my heart.  Iíve never driven anywhere without fear that I would be judged by those around me, and tension that I must be on guard at all time to avoid appearing improper, odd, or flawed.  Instead, I could look at the scenery, converse with Teresa, and just enjoy the day for what it was without fears of my presentation clouding it all.

When we arrived in town and parked, we strolled up the street and into the store.  Here was the real acid test for both the real world effects of Dr. Oís changes to my face and for my confidence in the impact of those changes.

First off, I was smiled at a lot in ways I donít recall ever having been Ė even, mind you, with the glaringly obvious line of stitches across my upper lip.  And I donít know how or why, or if it was just perception, but people in the store looked me right in the eyes with a wide smile in human connection, and I returned the gaze during every conversation.  Iíve never been comfortable making eye contact before when dealing with strangers, and usually have averted my eyes.  But today, I was so sure of how Dr. O has made me look, that I simply enjoyed the interchange.

I never once had the hint of a problem the whole time out, and never worried that there would be one.  Afterward, Teresa noted that she herself had seen how differently I was treated, in addition to noting the new way she was treated as well.

So here it isÖ  Another major angst is resolved as a result of my minor FFS experience.  My inability to connect to others one on one, which has undermined my attempts to make friends, has vanished.  And the constant anxiety of being worried that someone might see me as a man is simply not there anymore.

For the scorecard, these are two other issue that pained me so over the years, and were irritated and amplified to such a degree by Teresaís FFS, that have now been fully resolved, all due to the gift I have been given by the skills and humanity of Dr. Ousterhout.

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