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The Fight of My Life: Me vs. Me

Read about that little voice we all have in our heads and how it is simply very difficult to shake. Originally posted May 15, 2021, just after my father passed away.

Someone much smarted than I said that the greatest opponent one must conquer in their lives is themselves. Amen to that!

Everything I write about here I have either experienced or intellectually believe to be the truth or at least my perception of the truth. I do believe there is great joy in being Kandi. I have experienced that joy. I do believe that there is nothing wrong with me because there is nothing wrong with me. I have helped raise two productive citizens in our society and care deeply and have provided for my wife. I am a solid friend and brother and am now helping my parents, now just my mother, through their senior years and the pandemic. I have certainly made mistakes, which I have chronicled here. But it’s not those mistakes that eat away at me.

It’s Kandi. Despite having wonderful experiences almost every time I get dressed and go out, that little voice creeps in. It may be as I am cleaning up and putting things away, a process that I despise. Not necessarily the fact that I am returning to my male self, just the whole damn process! In respect to my wife (I have never been asked to do this), I try to keep much of my Kandi things out of sight. They are in a closet or a drawer, but I do not leave them lying around. It’s simply more time added to the almost two hours of prep time to even get out the door! Time spent becoming Kandi or putting away Kandi, not being Kandi or even myself (some one I frankly am okay with).

That voice creeps in on an off day (non-dressing day) when I have to undertake the body maintenance it takes, daily or very frequently, to be able to become a woman, properly (as I define and feel is proper). That little voice when I am out dressed and I get a phone call or text that requires me to lie about what I am doing.

I can very easily intellectualize these feelings and the need to allow myself to be me, but then I get some (I’ll be a lady here) a-hole who feels the need to follow me on Flickr with his page full of pictures of his genitals. What am I doing in that world where that is even possible?

When my wife has to drag herself to work for six consecutive days and on two of those days I was out, dressed and completely blissful. And I cannot share that joy with her because that joy is only something I can feel internally, it’s just not something I can slice up and pass around.

I try and be an ambassador for other ladies like myself, yet I still get annoyed at the splinters within our so-called “community” and I question why I even put myself into that grouping of people.

Believe me, I can list a million great things about who I am and what I have accomplished as Kandi, but the battle in my head rages on. That battle previously never allowed even the idea of a Kandi to exist, so there is progress. But now it’s turned and makes me feel selfish for letting her flourish while keeping her a secret from those that knew me before she was “conceived”. And the answer is not as simple as telling the secret as the downside risk greatly outweighs the upside.

Just a small glimpse into what I am sure we all go through, that fight with the most ruthless competitor we will ever battle: ourselves.


Dad, I guess you now can see me for all that I am and I am sure you are even prouder than before. I love and miss you! Rest in peace. I got your back and will make sure Mom wants for nothing and is comfortable here before she joins you some time in the future.

I had to say that “out loud” and this seemed to be the best way to do that. I have been touched by all the prayers and concern for me. I love you all. The reality hit me today (which was yesterday in real time) at my Dad’s calling hours that my life as Kandi is going to be diminished going forward as I now have added responsibilities helping my Mom long term and definitely in the short term, we have a lot of things to work through both with regard to her finances and living arrangements. I have to get rid of a car. She has cases upon cases of home dialysis solution to get rid of. I can go on and on and I know many have had similar or more difficult situations, so I am not looking for sympathy here. Just a warning, Kandi’s Land may have to morph a bit until things stabilize. Ladies, help me out here. If you have something to say, say it here! Help me build upon this loving and supportive community.


This post was rescheduled weeks ago to run today. Then yesterday, I got a gut punch. Last Friday, I texted my friend Jim a picture of my marathon race bib, upon which I wrote “For Jim”. I then joked I hope I wouldn’t disappoint him. He had not been very communicative of late (quite understandably so), but he immediately texted back “You could never disappoint!”.

RIP, Jim…… I so miss you. Not sure there was a better human being. I hope I never disappoint you.

This has really hit me because unlike any other human being I have ever known, I could talk to him about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I hold back things from other loved ones for many reasons (most of which are to prevent their worry). With Jim it was no limits. Not sure I cried this much for anyone. With Dad, I had to go into facilitator mode, funeral, Mom, etc. With this, it just took my knees out.

NEVER take a day for granted.

NEVER take a friendship lightly.

NEVER forget and always remember those we love.

This day just sucks…..


31 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    I have no answers for you, just support. I struggle with similar thoughts as you do. None of this is easy. I get really frustrated when I cannot be me, sometimes for many months at a time.

    What keeps me sane is reading blogs and seeing pictures of wonderful people like you and Stana and Michelle and Julie and Dee and Sherry and Lisa and Tina and Stephanie and Alison and Katie and ….. And hopefully my occasional posts on Kandi’s Land.

    There are lots of beautiful woman available to support you. As the song goes “Lean on me …”


    1. Kandi, first let me give my condolences on your Dad’s condition. Losing a parent no matter how old they are is sometimes a overwhelming circumstance. My family has always been the most important part of my life. I have been truly blessed with my wife and children and my ever growing grandchildren.
      My femme side has also been a important part of my life. As I get older it seems to become more and more a bigger part of my life. As regards to that the word “Balance ” is the keyword in my life. I have had , like all of us , had problems in my life. My thoughts on them was that , that every problem has a solution that solution may be not be what you want but it’s the solution. Also I try to have a optimistic attitude to the future. Sometimes in these crazy times today that is hard, but it usually works out.
      Thank you for your posts.
      Yours Terri

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  3. Kandi my dear there is no doubt we all go through these feelings of self Indulgence into our fem side, I’m certain had I not been so overwhelmed by needing to be Rachael I would still be married so yes it can be difficult

    As far as dealing with the surviving parent I do fulling understand , I went through this about a year and half ago. My sister who knows very little of my fem side has been the one who’s done the hard work for my dad but still I’ve been needed for certain things so yes it’s a tough time indeed. I wish you well and hey just put on a pretty pair of panties and know at some point Kandi will be out an about
    Love you Rach

    1. Thanks Rach! This is one of those things where I just need to get it off my chest and plow forward. Tomorrow is a new day, just a bit different than they were before.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. My dad passed away a few weeks ago at 92. I recently was thinking that now he fully sees me as I am, and I’m comfortable with that. I see that you are thinking along the same lines. Take care of your mom, she needs you now.

    1. Grace, what a beautiful comment and thought. Mom has my undivided attention, be assured of that! Thank you dear for your love and support.

  5. Kandi:
    My wife and I wish to pass on our condolences to you and your family. Losing one’s parent is one of those things in life that is difficult and sad.

    However, since my bride and I know you well enough from our time together at a Keystone event, we know that you will unselfishly sacrifice whatever you must to demonstrate love and support for your mother.

    As you requested, we will go light on the sympathy but heavy on offering our support, love, and friendship, as we remain sensitive to your needs.

    Over the years you have provided really great advice and friendship to those who know you and read your blog posts regularly. Just as you have brought wisdom and fun to your fans, it’s now time for your fans to step forward to returning those things to you as best we can.

    In spite of your occasional pessimism, I believe you will come to understand that you have many friends and fans. We do care about you as we share the sadness of your loss. Hang in there friend. This too shall pass.

    1. Having first come to know you and the Mrs. in the real world, your words touch me deeply.

      Trust me, I’m good but things are going to change. Less Kandi time and I’ll work with what I get.

      Without boring you with details, I was able to let our girls understand that blood is blood. You do what you have to for blood.

      Love you two!

  6. Don’t i know that battle. Being old enough to recall the 60’s comic strip,, it brought to mind Pogo’s immortal words; “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

    That pretty much sums up the internal battle between the person I think I should be and the person I actually am.

  7. Kandi, that was a beautiful post and one which made me feel quite emotional as I read it. Our lives will always be a battle to some extent and there are those who believe that the only solution is to go ‘all in’, so to speak. But we choose to fight rather than surrender because of those around us and no one exemplifies this more than you.

    It’s almost 10 years since I lost my dad. Time heals, of course, but that’s only in helping us cope with the loss – the loss is still ever present and, as we take life’s baton from them, we can only hope that we live up to their expectations as we ready our own kids for the inevitable.

    But what affected me most was Jim. I have my own ‘Jim’ – a guy who I’ve known for four decades and who is now fighting his own health battles, battles which sadly he lose sooner rather than later. He’s the brother I never had and I can talk to him about nearly anything and everything and when I feel the time is right, I will give him the final piece of the jigsaw that is me. I dread the day when I get the call to say that his suffering is over because that will truly create a void in my life that will be impossible to fill. My thoughts are with you as you try to come to terms with your loss.

    Sadly, life often sucks but fortunately life also gives us people like you who shine a ray of light when all around seems gloomy.

  8. Kandi,
    May the grace of God, and His peace which transcends all understanding fill you forever.

    Bless you.



  9. Kandi,
    NO there is nothing wrong with you and now I know there is nothing wrong with me , we truly have to believe that to move foward and be us but soemtimes it’s easier said than done !

    Clean up is not a problem if you’re a tidy person , thankfully I am . Aside from that the clothes etc. mean so much to me , I’ve often said that our outer appearance is our window to the World of how we feel inside so I take care of my clothes as much as I now take care of myself .

    I’m so glad the days of lying on the phone are over everyone knows how I will look because they know I’m out as Teresa . Saying that I did have a funny phone call from my son , he was hardly ten minutes away from my home with his wife and sons in the car . It was father’s day so he asked me if I was decent , at that moment I was buying ham from a supermarket meat counter so I turned to the SA and asked her if I looked decent , she said I looked lovely , my son heard the whole conversation over the phone . He decided to give me a miss and head straight to an adventure playground , when I returned home I found a father’s day gift placed at my front door .

    My mother has been so supportive even at 95 , I see her every two weeks , the deal is she cooks a Sunday roast for my sister and I cut and tidy her lawn . I know my sister isn’t 100% happy but that’s her problem , mum is the important one .

  10. Kandi,

    You are braver and stronger than I could ever conceive. Life is both a challenge and joy. It is in us to engage with both spheres and you have apparently learned how to accomplish both. Congratulations and thank you from all of us.
    Marie Anne

    1. No one said this was easy, right Marie? But we have the joy of each other and the ability to revel in who we are, one way or another.

  11. Kandi, the lose of a friend or loved one can leave such an empty feeling. They live one in the thought of the ones who loved them. My Condolences on your wonderful friend. Kandi, you are a wonderful woman and person, to have so many people that that care and love you.


  12. Hi Kandi,
    Aging changed my perspectives on both male and female sides of me. Part of aging is having to say good bye to parents, siblings, relatives and friends. I watch as my extended and immediate families dwindled. Out of both there, remains only two, my older brother and me. My Dad went the way I want to go, quickly with a heart attack. My Mom had dementia and the last year of her life she knew only one person, our youngest Son. They were connected the first time she held him in her arms. I had lunch with her every day until she too left us. Even most of my close friends have died.
    But thanks to my friends here at Kandi’s Land as well as all the others I have come to love, life is still something I will cherish and I know I will never be alone and you won’t ever be too Kandi.

    Trish ❤️

    1. Trish,

      I have a platform here. I personally use it to say things “out loud”, put them out into the universe. One of the mindsets I think I have changed with those that are part of our community, is that we all have life to deal with good and bad. I may get to put on a dress more that someone else, but that person may be retired, not grinding every day. We are all put through tests in life and given opportunities for blessings. That has been my case. Difficult time, circumstances, hills to climb. But I also have my wife, our children, family and many friends, relatively good health, I have seen and done both awful and glorious things and the cherry, all of you! Let continue to grow our community with this type of love and support.

      Thanks Trish!

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