Monday, May 6, 2013

On T, Therapy, Lumps, Singing, and Dysphoria.

As I mentioned last time, I started therapy, and got my letter for T. This was a month or so ago, and I have yet to call my doctor to attempt to set up a meeting to talk about it.

I am terrified. The last time I called my doctor for anything specific, I got roped into a "well woman visit". The last thing I need right now is someone staring up my cooch, talking to me about "women's medicine". I am uncomfortable enough with the concept that my anatomy is inverted and lumpy without someone reminding me pointedly of the fact.

I have been wanting this for many, many years. I eagerly await facial hair, a cracking voice, increase in muscle mass, weight redistribution, and even the goddamn acne. I am not looking forward to readjusting my emotional state (I'm just barely getting that under control as-is), or the act of getting surgery, but I am more than ready to get the lumps off my chest. I have been ready to lose my lumps since they showed up, which culminated in my second (abortive) round of therapy, when I realized that I was beginning to make, if not plans, then calculations about taking a gun to my breasts to get them off. While I quickly abandoned the therapy (it's hard when you don't click), the thoughts and calculations are still very much there. These are calculations that resurface every time I step into the shower or attempt to change clothes.

Binders are helpful, but they can only do so much, and I am still "Ma'am"ed and "Miss"ed and "She"d, etc, on a daily basis. I am hopeful, when I do manage to get arsed to call my doctor, that the T will cause breast shrinkage, as it has with some I know. I am hoping that, perhaps, a beard will go some way to stop the "Ma'am"ing. For that matter, I'm hoping I'll be able to grow a beard relatively quickly. Or, well, a bit of a beard. A few hairs to stroke in thought.

I say that I am looking forward to the change in my voice. I have fears -- several of them -- about where my voice will end up -- I do not want my father's voice -- or rather, I do not want the voice he most often used. I do not want to end up with a nasal whine and a harmonica. I do not want to lose my ability to sing.

I should go into that more: I have a degree in Ethnomusicology (sort of), and I have been singing most of my life. I have been told, on numerous occasions, that I would have a good sining voice if I trained it properly. I have been told that I am an Alto, or a Mezzo-soprano. I have never thought I had a good voice. Always, I have been either too high, or too low. I hold with me the belief that I am constantly off-key. My singing voice, as time went on, went from being a reprieve to being an integral part of my dysphoria.

I have stopped singing, almost entirely, in the past few years. Nothing has ever sounded right, and it is simply sounding more wrong the farther into myself I step. In coming back into grips with who I am, what ability to sing I had in the first place has fled and hid under a rock. I am hoping that, with testosterone, I will find my voice coming back to me -- or rather, coming to me at all.

I would love to drop to a tenor. I would love, for once, to open my mouth and have the sound that comes out be the sound I want to be making. I would love to be able to match key and pitch.

I think -- I think -- that I will start singing again -- practicing singing, pointedly -- as part of my medical transition. If I can work up the nerve, I may document the changes through recordings. I dread a hoarsening of my voice, a tightening and decrease in projection and power, and having to re-learn the making of noise with my facehole. On the other hand, I am a Pro at Projection, and learned to project with diligence and luck the first time, so that might be easier than I'm worried about. I wouldn't exactly mind a hoarse singing voice, provided it did all the things I want it to do. And, relearning singing may mean that I actually, you know, learn to sing this time.

Each fear I have about what the coming months and years will bring is cut and countered with the intangible "what if?" For each new terror of what might happen, there is also the possibility that what might happen might be wonderful.

So now I just have to work up the nerve to call my doctor and figure out what my insurance covers.

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