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Current State of Mind

Written July 3, 2024 over a bottle of whiskey and since then revised, rewritten, tweaked, improved, buffed up, and is fantastically written. And that skill means nothing for me...

This is being written in the middle of a long stretch (for me since I opened Pandora’s Box) of no-Kandi time. Our daughter’s wedding has contributed to this as well as the need to make up time taken off at work for the wedding. Motivation is somewhat lacking, my appearance is not up to Kandi standards (I am fat). She would look down on me…

I remain and probably will for the rest of my life, conflicted.

Yes, I have absolutely accepted this part of me. I won’t go into the very long list of reasons why this is fact but will use just one example. Fifty+ years of rarely smiling in pictures, rarely taking pictures. Now over ten years of beaming in every picture I take (frequently), male or female. Let alone the enormous amount of women’s clothing I own and cherish and certain things I do every single day that are not, as we will say, guy things to do.

I still am filled with great joy when I am dressed and out. But that has to include dressed, out and actively involved in something. Just getting dressed doesn’t float the boat. Just being out with nothing in particular to do doesn’t fill the soul. Dressed, out and interacting with others in a very public setting, there we go!

Large time windows that previously let me spread my wings are long gone, resources are somewhat lacking, side kicks no longer really exist, if they ever did. I am the ultimate solo artist. Every millennium you may see me out with Sherry, but her life is moving in a direction that doesn’t jibe with mine. I have grown weary of trying to sync up with my “girl” (despise the word “gurl” as demeaning as it is) friends, cis and otherwise.

The internet has run its course for me. My Flickr page almost feels obligatory than something I enjoy. I have faded from Facebook, still present, but no longer posting everything except to share posts from here. My months and months of prior Facebook posts are almost all gone, with me deleting them. I am a member of a known sorority and I cannot understand why I am associated with it. Nothing wrong with this group, more of what’s the point, for me? It’s not you, it’s me. This blog still fills me with pride and a place where I feel like I belong, but sadly it is principally virtual. No real world grounding. My annual trip to Erie is in the near distance and I am thinking strongly against not going. It’s not you, it’s me.

I also miss the completely male me, if that ever existed. I am breaking down physically. I cannot run much at all. My back is hit and miss. The hands may as well be stumps. I am well aware that is what happens to all of us as we age. I am indeed aging, but also still evolving. I have never had any gender dysphoria, never disliked being a guy. I was just always drawn to being feminine or more accurately described, a sort of flamboyant version of myself. One feels like me (dude), the other lifts me (chick). Straddling the line always has me looking in the opposite direction of where I am leaning at the time.

Am I alone feeling this way? Probably not. We define our self worth in our own unique way. I have been able to provide fairly well for my family. I have certainly fucked up in my life, leading to having to work a bit harder at being a provider than many others. Our children are amazing, by any nonbiased assessment. Am I a good parent? Probably, but I have always felt the failure of my shitty career. I would love to look with pride upon my accomplishments, but all I can look at is my ability to survive, grind out one day at a time. I have accomplished nothing really. The wedding was surreal. Loving family and friends, great pride and all I could think about is that I didn’t deserve it. I deflected any compliment, it wasn’t my day anyway. Being there was amazing and then life slapped me in the face and it was back to reality.

So I am in a bit of a funk. This could change in a second with something popping up to fill the void. But I will always want to be “normal”, having a easier life. Not being this multigendered person would certainly simplify things. But that ship has sailed, I should be content, but that will probably never happen until the final shovel of dirt is thrown on me. I am a restless soul.

If the dream of my business would gain traction, I really do believe it would help with my uneasiness. It would put salve on my wounded self worth. I have built a brand, I have assembled fantastic brand partners and associations, all of which complement each other and tie together nicely. I am doing…okay…but it could be so much better. I just don’t have the ability to either imagine it all working or better yet, saying “fuck it” and pushing all my chips on the table. I am investing in technology but none of it is intuitive. When I took my little “sabbatical” (aka when I was down or to the uninitiated, in prison), technology blew past me at such a pace I am still trying to catch up thirteen years later.

Yeah, yeah, okay, I’ll shut up now.

Please understand, I am by no means complaining, I am using this platform for what it is for me, a journal. A diary, a means of documenting my feelings at any one point in time. Saying it “out loud”, therapy. Pull up a couch and listen. When this post actually runs things may well have flipped back. I have two Kandi windows and as I write this, I am deliberating between taking advantage of them both, maybe one or most likely, keep her in the closet so to speak.

Time will progress, feelings will change, shift, turn around, roll over me like a train. Choo, choo…

Before you worry about me, wait until tomorrow.


15 Responses

  1. It’s become a bit of a cliché to say that ‘I could have written much of that myself’ but here it’s true – I did sit down to write my next post yesterday and actually did write much of that myself as I too am currently inhabiting the land of evaporating opportunities, conflicting pressures and just not ‘feeling it’. Some, of course, always attempt to ‘reassure’ with the assertion that ‘it never goes away’ (which of course it doesn’t) as if we’re committing some sort of heresy by not releasing the inner woman but it’s all too easy to overlook the fact that underneath the flowing locks, makeup and gorgeous outfit lies a very different person with a very different life and, as I have found out, it’s sometimes exhausting trying to keep the two sides apart.

    Ultimately, perspective is important, both for us and for those who we share this side of our lives with. Some may sympathise that life has conspired to deny us of the opportunities to spread our feminine wings but the fact that we have another life that we value (and sometimes gets in the way) is something to be proud of.

    Do we cease to exist because our feminine sides remain resolutely shut away? Of course not – they’re an important part of who we are regardless of whether or not they’re on show to the world. So just carry on being you – it’s why the rest of us come here day after day.

    But, if all else fails, making train noises is great therapy!

  2. Dear Sweet Kandi,
    I, along with thousands of other people, love you. No matter what you look like.

    Good news or bad news, you choose. It looks like I’ll be visiting Cleveland in February and March. Hopefully we can get together.


  3. HI Kandi –
    Ah Kandi, thank you for addressing the elephant in the room! If I had read your post a couple of months ago I might have said “Nah, this can’t happen to me” but I find myself in a very similar place. It’s as if reality has intruded upon the rich fantasy life of Kris and created something of a lull in her existence. After the uplifting fun of Keystone this past spring I find that it is no longer as satisfying as it once was to simply dress up and take some pictures. The connection with others has become a prime motivator. , When that is limited by time, economics or availability I tend to sink back into the quiet, shy individual that is my male self rather than the more effervescent persona that is my alter ego.Pputting Kris aside for now makes me feel off, less balanced, and emphasizes how important this aspect of my overall personality has become to my psychological well being.
    I am determined not to succumb to this. Writing helps, connecting with others either in forums like this or chat helps also.
    Making new friends through social media is always a lift. I will try to create opportunities for Kris to appear in the real world ( as opposed to the virtual world) even if solo, and perhaps most importantly allow her to influence and inform me overall.

    And it always helps to find that you are not alone.

  4. Kandi,
    I really get what you’re saying , even for me going fulltime it would mean very little if I didn’t step out my door . The contradiction is it’s both easier and harder for you , you still have your supportive family close at hand no matter if you chose to be Kandi or not . The hard side is not totally in a situation to go out as Kandi the woman and make female friendships , they know you’re a guy , I know you don’t have a problem with that but it’s partly what holds women back . It is easier for me because I’ve lost the guy , he dosen’t exist as far as my friends are concerned so they openly accept me as a genuine friend , if that fell apart I would be dead !

    Most of us are bad at beating ourselves up , I really have to give myself a good talking at times to realise there are people far worse off than me . You must see that through your charity work , you are a good person for that involvement alone .

    Sometimes it’s hard when you find you’re sitting on the fence , is life so bad in male mode or is it so much better as Kandi . Perhaps it would be easier if your dysphoria was more defined like me because it was a clearer decision , I had to live with the possible losses and consider what the gains would be .

    I have to conclude the decision was the right one , I now have more genuine friends than I ever had as a married man . Every morning I know I have to make the effort and transform my body , it’s not a chore because I couldn’t face a single day in male mode . I appreciate it is a very thin veneer but it works , I go out as Teresa with a smile on my face and that smile is infectious because other people respond to it , they include me in their lives .

    That feeling of being an outsider happens , the more you live Kandi the more it distances you from where you came from , nothing wrong in that it’s just happens . This is partly why I stopped attending CD/trans groups , without knowing it people spoke less to me because I’d distanced myself from where most of those people were , they stopped relating to me . I do miss some of them and I always said my door was open to them but very few have ever taken up the offer , I have to accept that the closet is a safe haven to some , to me it was solitary confinement , I had to escape .

    I would never accuse you of complaining , you’re having to consider decisions for your future , the past hurts you but it’s gone , it’s history , try and close those chapters . As for keeping a diary , I tried that thinking it would help me make the next day better than the last but the battle were so bad at times I found reading about them made me more depressed but it did give me the strength to find ways to climb out of that black hole .

    Please believe me when I say Kandi will be your saviour , don’t give up on her , she’s the best part of you .

    1. One of the biggest benefits of belonging to our community is all the great and interesting people you come in contact with. Hearing others stories is the best therapy for me. I remember meeting another person like myself in 1978 like it was yesterday. Thank you all for opening your hearts.

  5. I can relate to being torn in 2 directions. Being my girl self is certainly fun for a while but after that while Itss just being me. How much can I shop or go to CD meetings, there are not many anyway. Doing somethings can be done in either mode anyway. Cutting the lawn or washing the car is probably easier in guy mode, tee shirt and shorts. If in girl mode I want to be more fancy a skirt, heels and jewelery. I’ve tried some of those thing that I mentioned in girl mode but the thrill of girl mode just wasn’t there, so why bother. I guess that is what makes me a CD instead of a TS, not that there is anything wrong with that. At least that is what a full time TS told me once. Life has to go on and its way easier to be comfortable. But I do enjoy my Sallee time.
    Kandi, thanks for your aticles they are always interesting


    1. Sallee,
      You’re so right , heels and short skirts don’t go with mowing lawns but they do go with sitting in a lounger afterwards to enjoy your hard work.
      Seriously I don’t have a choice because I often stop to talk to neighbours or passers-by , your TS friend is right I do what I feel most comfortable with . Even when wearing an old Tshirt and jeans I’ve still been chatted up , OH MY when men see BOOBS , you kjnow how that ends !!

  6. My dear friend, I know we have never met but I definitely feel I know you
    We are close in age and well while I was never incarcerated sometimes I felt as if I was in prison as I’ve never felt I could be just me.
    Then I began to read your blog and you inspired me to just get out there and not be concerned of those scary people out there.
    Now I just get out and while I’m more fluid than en fem when I leave my house I feel I don’t have to explain to others
    Of course I’m still careful as to who I open up to but I know if a person draws back from me then that is on them not me because I’m a good person one who loves people and wants people to fine hope and happiness.
    It doesn’t always happen but even if I don’t always share my faith I hope it comes thru in how I speak and act
    Love you my friend and thanks for being so open with us all

    1. Rach,

      Yes we will probably never meet. Yes, this is all virtual. Yes, I do love you and we are sisters, always.

      We have been going down this path pretty much at the same time. I have had my issues, you have had your challenges.

      But we are sister and will always be!

      Your sister,

  7. Ah Kandi, the ebb and flow of this life. Maybe it’s low tide now, but rest assured, the tide WILL come back in.
    Life has taken most of my leisure activities away from me. I have had so many injuries and hospital stays combined with father time has slowed me down as well. Some of the “sports” I had plan to do (and enjoy) in retirement, such as golf and tennis, are no longer possible. Several of my income rivers had dried up, but life goes on.
    For example, I go through periods where I will wear a bra all the time for days and then days or weeks when I don’t. Makeup is also like that.
    But I charted a different path where my girl and boy can survive together. Again life (injuries and …) have played a part that has allowed me to create a niche where I can wear (almost) only women’s clothes in professional male mode.
    Although I have what I need (maybe a better wig) to go out fully deck out in my LBD, I just don’t have that draw, or maybe its opportunity to do so. Who knows, one day soon I might show up at Keystone or Vegas dressed to the nines? For now, I am satisfied puttering in my vegetable garden in a bra, bikini, and hoodie pulling weeds, with or outwith makeup.

  8. Kandi, thank you so much for sharing those heartfelt feelings. And it was truly Kandi speaking from the heart as I don’t think men are apt to share those kind of feelings. But it is fine and indeed proper for women to share those kind of feelings with each other. That is one thing I’ve so enjoyed about my feminine side, being able to talk about such things with others. It is wonderful to see the expressions of understanding, kindness and love from these other ladies also. I think you are a very special and humble person, much loved and appreciated by all who know you.

    I can’t relate personally too much to those feelings at this point in my life. My feminine side was very lonely until I found others like myself on Flickr that eventually led me to this site. But reading this post I will say my heart aches for you, knowing just some of the things you have gone through that you’ve talked about in times past. It seems you have had more than your fair share of hard knocks through life and done the best you could. I hope things start looking up for you again soon. This from a friend and admirer who thinks the world of you.

    1. Thank you Lizzy, please don’t worry about me. As I said in the post, I will sometime use this as a journal, get things off my chest. The support here is always amazing to me!

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