The Road To Jenny
A series about the journey of a transgender woman and her family
“Navigating Hormones: A Family Affair”
Hormones and I hold such a bitter sweet relationship to each other. For years all I could imagine was taking these small wonderful little pills and waking up the woman I wanted to be. As I aged, a more practical view developed and I realized what an undertaking that these little pills would be for me, but I was unaware of how much it would affect my family as well.
My favorite part to talk about is all the wonder and magic. The effects of hormones have been noticeable and I am ecstatic about that. Finally getting breasts was a huge rite of passage for me. I love putting on a bra without having to fill it full of silicone and pads. My boobs were worth every sore chested aching day. I enjoy the way my muscles have reduced in size to give me a less masculine, more feminine shape. It is so nice to not have my forearms rip through my blouses. I love being an emotional being. The increase of feelings was so majorly underestimated before. I love having new feelings I never knew I had and the increase of the ones I already had. The feeling of balance and peace was the most noticeable and wonderful thing I could ever imagine. The feeling of aligning within my own self was completely amazing to me.
“Puberty was hard enough the first time without having the troubles of adulthood around.”
The fact that I am 37 years old, a single mom with a full time job, and going through puberty is a tough juggling act. Puberty was hard enough the first time without having the troubles of adulthood around. Those wonderful feelings are also very strong and sudden. My girlfriend had to put me in check more than a few times and remind me that, “Mom cannot fly off the handle every time your four year old spills something.” I had to compose myself in the beginning of situations in order to keep my emotions metered. There have been many sleepless nights viewing things from my past with different eyes and emotions. My girlfriend has to tolerate having a moody teenager as a companion. She sometimes has to remind herself how new these things are to me.
With all of the physical changes one thing that has been the most difficult to us both is the way the act of intercourse has changed for me. In the beginning weeks of hormone therapy my sex drive took a nose drive. Mandy had to be the pursuer, which was a role she was not used to having to fill. Also at the same time, things did not feel like they used to feel. My sensitivity shifted to other areas and then again later to different areas. We would start to have personal relations and I would have no idea how or what I needed in order to get where I needed to go. So our communication about the physical act of sex had to be open and honest. It made us both better lovers and allowed us to explore things neither of us had tried in the past.
My role in the world changed when hormones started taking affect. In the beginning the guys at work would snicker or tease me as my strength abandoned me. They would watch in friendly amusement as small tasks that were never an issue became an issue. They also started to notice that I was becoming more sensitive to conversations and jokes around me. They could see how being mis-gendered would wear on me as the work day would progress. Over time they would start helping me more with heavy items. They treated me different in the sense that there was this brutish want to see me fail. Some of the guys started opening the door for me and some started to open up more about themselves to me. At the same time I went from people taking my word on something to being questioned all the time. I became the one who had to answer the phones while everyone had a meeting.
Life at home changed and I had to reevaluate what household roles I viewed as male and female. Being a single mom does not permit the luxury of being particular in what chores you do. In my relationship with Mandy I wanted to be more submissive and take a more supportive role. I had to be the head of the house all those years as a man and I honestly wanted to let someone else wear that hat for a while, but this was another ridiculous notion. In a relationship, balance is essential to happiness and we both have to take turns being the strong one or the vulnerable one.
“As a mother, hormones have allowed me to see my daughter through empathetic eyes.”
As a mother, hormones have allowed me to see my daughter through empathetic eyes. I understand now how powerful her feelings are and how much they deserve recognition. I am more nurturing and compassionate than I was in the past. Our relationship has grown stronger with the common journey we now share of growing into the women that both of us are meant to be.
I would not trade one second of my new life for years of my old one. The minor aches and pains of hormones are now well worth the reward of being aligned within me.