Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Still so much to learn

Yesterday, I had an appointment for my 5th laser session on my face. I had been told previously that the 5th session would hurt more than any of the others so far because they turn up the laser. Well, they turn up the laser every time, I believe, but for some reason everyone I know as well as the laser operators have told me that the 5th session will hurt more. The last 4 sessions I had on my face were no exception to the pain so I was not looking forward to this session but at the same time, I was seeing serious regrowth on the chin area so I knew it needed to be done.

I found myself in deep thought as I drove to the laser center, numbing cream applied, pressed under clear cellophane. I was thinking to myself about the pain of laser and all of the physical and emotional pain I've already been through and have yet to go through, still. When the process began like usual, laying on my back looking through sunglasses as the operator began burning away what was left of my beard, I was thinking to myself about how far I've come. As the operator continued and I felt the pain, my eyes started tearing up, not from the pain but because I was telling myself "Look at how far you've come, Debra. Embrace the pain, it's worth it." I was almost overwhelmed emotionally, just hearing myself say that and thinking about it. I have been through so much and it has been worth it.

The journey continues and just like every other laser session, I expect to battle breakouts on my face for the 2 weeks following. On another note, I'm learning that I have a long ways to go still learning to really be a woman especially after learning to live as a man for the last 28 years of my life. Learning to use more words when I talk instead of the "short and to the point" less-than-sentences men so commonly use, learning to make serene suggestions and calm concessions instead of demanding respect, learning that it's ok to open myself up and show a little more care for others and even sentimental things.

I may be a full time woman but there is still so much to learn.


Rebecca said...

Life is always a learning experience, or at least it should be. You're well on your way in this exciting journey, and I have no doubt that the best is yet to come in your life! And you should feel very proud of yourself for what you've accomplished. I know I'm proud of you!

Shannon said...

Little one, if there is no pain then there is no joy. If there are no tears, there is no laughter. If there is no night, there is no Morning. I live for my mornings. You've heard me laugh [that braying monstrosity no one will ever mistake for a woman's laugh]. The voyage my life has been has not been smooth, God promises me a safe arrival in Jesus.

Petra Bellejambes said...

Nice to find joy in a little ordeal Jerrica. I have to tug on your hem a bit about the voice, and how you express. Don't worry about the man-way, and the woman-way. There is a Jerrica way to communicate, and it has worked for 28 years.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater to conform with anyones expectations, or to set false expectations for yourself.

Did you see Sandra Bullock holding Oscar the other night? Much of what she said was open and "womanly", but she had all the short self-deprecating throw-away lines peppered in, lines consistent with man-voice.

She was still the prettiest sight in the room.

Just thinking...

Keep well - Petra

Debra said...

Thanks girls. =)

Yes I understand what you mean Petra. It's actually more of the opposite for me though. They are used to hearing me a certain way and yes it has worked for me for 28 years but it's not me. It isn't necessarily about man-way or woman-way it's just that I feel more like a woman so I feel the need to express myself as such but I'm constantly brought down by years of experience doing things the man-way or hiding expression.

Lucy Melford said...

Hello, Debra! I've just found you via Rebecca's blog ('Rebecca's Thoughts'). May I say at once that I was very impressed with your last video posting, and that I'm now following. I have to say, your situation with your parents struck a chord, but at least you still have them, and maybe one day they will see that they still have their child, and that there is as much happiness in having a daughter as a son. It's just a different sort.

On laser treatment, I actually find it more painful than electrolysis. Electrolysis is slow but some of it is really quite comfortable (relatively speaking) and even the worst bits can be borne without crying, but the zap from the laser is awful and I sometimes had to ask my therapist Roz to give me a chance to wimper a bit, wipe away the tears, and blow my nose before continuing! I say 'had' because the hair on my face was mostly blonde or grey or white, and by now we've cleared most of the dark stuff. The rest will have to be fixed by electrolysis. The accumulating cost is serious, but it is all gain, and every session brings me closer to the ultimate goal of a smooth, shadow-free complexion. Even now, I have so much more confidence.

I think you look and sound very, very feminine. Best wishes with the man you've met! He sounds very nice.


Dana Andra said...

Hi Debra,

This was a very encouraging & inspiring post, indeed, especially when you said, "Embrace the pain." I find myself hesitating starting laser, but I know I have to, and soon. I'm totally with you on learning how to be a woman, being more serene, feeling open about showing your feelings for others, etc., but why do women need to use more words? This is something that still drives me crazy about talking with my ex-wife. She throws in 700 peripheral details that have nothing to do with anything. Maybe it's the guy part of me that would just rather get to the point, but I that having the advantage of being privy to how guys think, we (as women) would benefit from knowing how to avoid making them glaze over. I think women do speak differently, and with a different emphasis on what's important, but more words just drives guys nuts. :-)


Treacle said...

Oh my goodness! You're so brave for doing this, my dear. I don't think about all the (comparatively) little things like facial hair, but it all makes sense once you write it out.

Also...very interesting comments re: gender and the way different genders express themselves. I find people often are disoriented by more "masculine" blunt and to the point style. And even if I say something the exact same way as a male colleague, they'll get offended at me mostly because I'm not speaking the way I'm expected to.

Debra said...

@Lucy - Thank you for the compliments and follows. I imagine I will need some electrolosys at some point but luckily most of my hair is indeed dark. I guess we will see =)

@Dana - Women don't necessarily NEED to use more words....really these are mostly stereotypes. Not all women use lots of words but a good number of them do. To that effect, it's something I want to add to myself because it helps make me feel more feminine. I also don't mean more words in general, I mean saying something like:

Female: "I can understand what you are saying but I don't know if I necessarily agree."
Male: "I get it but I dont like it."

@Treacle and yes as you and some of my other friends on facebook pointed out, some women talk with shorter sentences too....and I'm sure some men talk with more words.

I guess for me, using more words when I speak is the same as wearing makeup. Not all women do it but it helps me feel more feminine and helps me come across as a woman much easier.

Dana Andra said...


The example you give of expressing the same comment but in different ways is great. The female version is far more respectful and inclusive. I think I was mostly projecting my on-going frustration with my ex's manner of veering off-topic at every opportunity.


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