Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (or OCD) is the inability to stop a self- destructive compulsion. Some sufferers of OCD have to wash their hands to the point of bleeding. Some have to say everything twice. Some have to make sure they turn three times to the left if they turned once to the right. Some need to almost ritualistically scar themselves. Whatever the compulsion, mild or otherwise, the sufferer is powerless to stop themselves.
I had a lot of problems. Along with several mild OCD symptoms, I stuttered, was asthmatic, near-anorexic, and was so painfully shy that I essentially had no friends. I was the runty little bookworm whose friends lived in the pages of other people's imaginations.
My older sister, Jan, thought that she had thrown out the home- electrolysis equipment that she had bought on E-bay. Apparently, the pain of zapping each individual hair follicle far outweighed the idea of never having to shave her legs again.
I didn't need to worry about smooth legs. I didn't want to make myself hairless. I was just curious to see how much it hurt before returning the stuff to the trash. Jan was in high school now but still just a girl.
"This can't hurt THAT much," I whispered to myself in the dead of night.
After re-reading the instructions for the fourth time, I pressed the electrified needle to the base of a leg hair. I then pressed the foot pedal for the required two seconds.
"OUCH!" I silently yelped before gently plucking the now-dead little hair easily from my leg.
It hurt like hell! I could easily see why Jan had given up on the process. To go through that pain, hair by individual hair, would take countless hours of jarring pain to leave even one leg smooth.
But that was where my OCD took over. I put the needle to a hair on my other leg, "just to even things out."
I should have ended things there, but I couldn't. Though I winced at every two-second, hair-killing, jolt, I continued zapping my poor little leg hairs deep into the night.
"Are you OK Sweetie?" my mother said the next morning.
"You don't look so good," Jan said too.
Jan really was a good sister to me. Particularly after Dad had died, Jan was almost like a second mother. Her concern was as genuine as Mom's.
"I'm f-fine. I j-just d-d-didn't sleep so so well."
My mother looked at me appraisingly before rendering a verdict. My stuttering was worse than usual, never a good sign for her.
"You're staying home today Brian. You look way too run down."
"Y-Y-Y-Yes M-Mom," I said sheepishly.
I could afford the day off. In spite of, or maybe because of, my quirks, I really was a good student. But I was also secretly ashamed for the self-inflicted absence.
All that time behind closed doors in my room made too good an excuse for more of my hair-killing. I realized what was going on. I realized that my OCD had kicked in. I just couldn't do anything about it.
I was red-eyed the next morning but not quite so drained. At some point during the night, I just had to rest my eyes for a moment. The accidental sleep allowed me to recover enough for school. I fell into a routine. Though I would start my little obsession soon after getting home, and go deep into the night, my little eye-resting ritual at 12:34 am allowed me to get SOME sleep.
Days turned to weeks as I compressed months of paying-women's electrolysis sessions into each of my own nightly rituals. The weeks passed with me hating the progress of my ever-increasing hairlessness. I hated how "pretty" and girlish my smooth slender legs, arms, and body started looking. I hated that I had to keep doing it. I hated the "permanence" of what I was doing. But I still couldn't stop. Maybe I started avoiding a regular haircut because I saw it as somehow offsetting.
"Come on Honey," Mom said for the upteenth time. "Let's just get a trim. It's getting way too long. How can you see?"
"AAAAaaaiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee!" I shrieked in one of my embarrassing panic attacks as she reached to touch my hair.
"SHHHhhhhhhhhhhhh," she said calmingly while dropping her hands. "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh Sweetie. Mommy's not going to do anything to you. We're not going to get your hair cut. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh. Everything's going to be OK. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."
I uncurled enough to let her hold me as I rocked uncontrollably in her arms.
Thankfully, long pants and long sleeves could hide my embarrassing hairlessness. Thankfully, my conditions kept me from having to deal with PE classes and locker rooms. Unfortunately, I ran out of body hair.
My body was now permanently and completely hairless. My total-body smoothness was revoltingly girlish, particularly on my tiny starved frame. But even though I hated the electrolysis I had done to myself, I got almost jittery with nothing left to zap.
"J-J-Jan p-p-p-p-p-pluck-k-s her b-brows," I said to my naked self after a self-loathing shower.
I don't know why Jan's brow plucking meant anything to me. The hair- killing compulsion had always been very "in the moment", a painful little ritual that had nothing to do with girl-making. But the feminizing result was simply impossible to ignore. The idea of zapping brow hairs somehow got wrapped up in it all. I was unable to stop myself from sneaking a peak at Jan's girly magazines and learning more than I wanted to know about how to shape a brow.
But now I was scared. Brows weren't something you could hide under long pants and shirts. Somehow, I was able to end my session before doing any real damage. I had cleaned up some stragglers and lightly zap/plucked underneath my brow. The result was barely noticeable. At the very worst, my brows were neutral and not at all feminine.
I couldn't wait, but dreaded, coming home from school the next day.
"J-J-J-Just one more," I said to myself.
I can't tell you how proud I was of myself to be able to zap just one little brow hair and put the electrolysis needle away. I did the same the next night, and the next, as a new ritual took over.
My ability to do "just one" though started to add up, no matter how slowly. Electrolysis is permanent. Each missing brow hair never got replaced. The hair-by-hair process might have helped people from noticing the gradual change, but my brows ever so slowly started changing from neutral to something softer, less boyish. With my delicately thin frame and features and lengthening hair, strangers started mistaking me for a girl with an alarmingly growing frequency. If I had any friends, I'm sure they would have teased me.
Jan came into my room after gently knocking on my door one night.
"Are you OK Brian?" she said sitting on the edge of the bed next to me.
She looked at me, almost unsure of how or if she should continue.
"You. You look a little different," she said tentatively.
"H-How s-s-s-so so," I stammered nervously.
Jan stared at my face, her eyes flickering to my brows. Any illusion that the gradual changes went unnoticed was shattered in that flicker.
"Not bad Brian," she shrugged. "Just different."
I loved her for not coming out and saying what she really meant. She continued.
"Is there anything you want to tell me or even Mom?" she asked expectantly.
"N-N-Nah," I shrugged.
"You know I love you Brian."
"You know I want to help you. Right?"
"You would come to me if you had something to talk about."
"Good Brian," she said putting a sisterly hand on my leg. "Because I'll always be here for you. OK?"
"O-OK," I said. "Th-th-th-thank you J-J-Jan."
Jan gave me one of her warm sisterly looks and a big hug before leaving me to my self-hating thoughts.
I pulled out the electrolysis equipment. I had already zapped my "one" for the night, but now I was angry with myself.
ZZZZZZaaaaaaaap! ZZZZZZZaaaaaaaaaap! ZZZZZZaaaaaaaaap!
It was a long session. At the end of it, I was left with two delicately arched, ultra-thin and unmistakably feminine, brows that no boy (and few girls for that matter) would ever have.
I started crying. I hated myself. I hated my OCD. I hated the damned electrolysis equipment and the drastically permanent changes it brought to me. I started lightly tapping on the equipment as I sob/rocked in my misery. The tapping turned to banging. The banging turned to bashing. A never-before-used baseball bat came into play. I never heard them come in as I pulverized that hated electrolysis equipment, screeching like a wounded animal.
The bat was lifted out of my hands from behind on a back swing. My sudden shock was only matched by the look on Mom's face when my own turned toward her. She dropped the forgotten bat, tearing up while scooping me into her arms. Jan stood rooted by the door, staring with hands over her mouth at the shattered remains of the electrolysis equipment that she instantly recognized on the floor.
"Oh my god," Jan said in a shocked hush.
"Shush!" Mom scolded between her own tears while holding my rocking form in her arms.
"I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I'm I'm I'm S-S-S-S-S-S-O SO S-Sor-ry sorry," I sobbed against her.
"Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my baby," she comforted. "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."
I don't know how long we stayed frozen in time like that but I was almost too scared to emerge from the safety of my mother's cocoon-like embrace. There was some painful open staring, an agonizingly long process of getting my stammering story out, and many more tears, but I finally told them everything.
"Since you don't want to be a girl," Mom said frowning in thought, "we might be able to hide the brows with some makeup."
"A little brow penciling might do it," Jan added helpfully.
"Maybe," Mom said a little unconvincingly. "If we can get you to put on some weight and cut this hair a"
I nearly jumped out of her arms and into the grip of another panic attack. Somehow, the hair on my head had become almost sacred after removing it everywhere else. I hated even the sound of my animalistic reaction but was powerless to stop it.
Used to my outbursts, both Mom and Jan simply rode it out until I was calm enough to deal with again.
"Honey," she said with a soothing smile. "We won't cut your hair if you don't want. But you should know that it's going to be real hard to make you look like a boy."
I nodded, holding my hair like a security blanket.
She stared at me for a long while.
"What's done is done Brian," she started calmly. "Right?"
"You do know that people are just going to see you as a girl like if you do nothing. Right?"
I nodded again. I stuttered and had other problems, but I wasn't dim.
"Strangers don't really matter," Mom mused to herself as she appraised me, "but people that WE know. Hmmmmmmmm."
"For now, we'll keep you out of school," she decided. "I can home- school you for a while. Sound OK Honey?"
I nodded again, knowing how bad my stammering would be in my state.
"But we still don't want people who know you to recognize you. Am I right Brian?"
"Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Yes-s Yes," I forced out meekly.
"Then if we can't make you look like a boy Sweetie," Mom said slow, deliberately, "your best disguise will be what you have already made yourself look like."
I stared at her in horror, shaking my head "no".
"Unless we can do something about that hair Honey, you're going to be taken for a girl anyway," she said calmly.
Jan continued staring through the exchange, almost holding her breath during it all.
"N-N-N-No!" I said shaking my head still.
Mom waited me out. Then she said, "I'm not talking anything permanent Brian. Just a temporary disguise until we can sort this all out, maybe see a doctor. I'll tell you what. Let's just see how you might look. Like a test-run. If it bothers you that much, you can take it all off. Deal?"
I openly stared. Deep down, I knew my options were limited. I just didn't know what was more terrifying, the idea of being spotted as Brian like that, or putting on a dress and actually TRYING to look like a girl!
"What do you say Sweetie? Can I just put a few things on you to see?"
After a long miserable moment, I finally shrugged, hanging my head.
"It won't be that bad Brian," she said lifting my chin with a comforting smile. "You'll see."
"You'll be fine," Jan finally added timidly from her spot by the door. "I can even help."
Somehow Jan's not making fun of me, her helpfulness, made the idea somewhat more bearable. It wasn't like I had much choice. Like it or not, I was stuck looking like a girl anyway, whether I wore my clothes or Jan's.
I tried smiling bravely through mist-filled eyes.
Jan and my mother left to get some things for me. I sat rooted to my bed, unable to move as I waited for them to come back. I was a few years younger than Jan, but not very much smaller. It was easy for the two of them to pick from the clothes that were either small or that Jan had outgrown but not yet gotten rid of.
"OK Honey," my Mom said. "I've turned up the heat a little. Why don't you strip down to your shorts and we'll see what we can do."
"I'll wait in the hall," Jan offered.
"Nonsense Jan," Mom said simply. "You've seen Brian in his shorts before."
They both gasped in amazement as I shed all but my boxers. I wanted to die. Though they both knew what I had done, it still stunned them to actually see my smooth, hairless, little body.
"You did it everywhere?" Jan whispered in amazement.
"That's enough Jan," Mom warned.
I nodded yes with my head bowed.
"I'm so jealous," Jan said in spite of Mom.
"R-R-Really?" I stammered.
"Uh huh," she said still gaping.
"Please!" Mom barked, now frowning at me.
"Wh-What?" I stammered.
"Those boxers Hon. I'm afraid they won't do."
"Wh-Why n-not not?"
"You can't have certain things flopping around Brian. We'll need something that can hide your wee wee, something can hold it tucked back between your legs."
Without waiting for a response, she simply got up and came back in with a pair of stretchy lace panties.
"Mom!" Jan shouted for me.
"You shouldn't own a pair like these anyway young lady!" Mom scolded, having obviously just discovered them. Then turning to me, "These should do perfectly Brian."
"Oh don't be ridiculous," she said in a frustrated huff as she pushed them into my hands. "Just put them on already. See if you can tuck things back under your legs."
I hesitated. She rolled her eyes.
"We'll close our eyes. Jan. Turn around a moment."
With Jan turned around and my mother looking away with a hand blocking her eyes, I stared at the panties Jan obviously picked up at a fancy lingerie store. The white lace was made of a firmly stretching fabric. It looked very small.
"Come on Sweetie. Don't take all day about it."
Looking at them one more time, I quickly dropped my boxers and stepped into the very different underwear. I had them up in a flash, feeling very strange with that fabric stretched tightly over me. Without thinking, I reached into them from behind, pulling my little boyish privates back between my legs. Rearranging myself like that made those ultra-feminizing panties fit so much better as they essentially erased my undeveloped bulges.
I inwardly cringed. Without a stitch of anything else, I already looked like a girl.
"Can we turn around Brian?"
"Yes," I said under my breath.
They both tried to hide their own continued surprise.
"Should I get some of my pants to too?" Jan said, passing Mom the first skirt they wanted me to try on.
"That's OK," she replied to Jan, handing me the skirt in turn. "The less boyish, the better chance no one will spot him."
Mom's words brought back the reason I was even trying this. I stepped into the skirt and pulled it up. It was a simple denim skirt, flared a little like an inverted lampshade and coming to mid-thigh. I inwardly cringed again, remembering how cute I always thought Jan looked in it. Now I wanted to crawl under a rock seeing just how cute my own hairlessly slender legs looked poking out from it.
Instead of handing it through Mom, Jan gave me the little pink T that she used to like wearing with that skirt. Unlike a boy's T-shirt, it had a wide scooped-neck and was made of a stretchy material that hugged her body like a second skin. Now it hugged mine.
"Here," she said in an almost awed hush as she passed me her strappy flat sandals with the big flower-appliqués just above the toes. I fastened the tiny buckles and stood before them.
"That'll do fine to start," Mom said appraisingly. "We can try on some more later. Let's work with this for a bit."
There were no mirrors but I was already scared by what I could see. Used to my own long pants and shirts, I felt more than naked and disturbingly feminine as they sat me on the bed. Jan's cute little sandals left my toes open. While Mom worked on my hair, I let Jan apply a soft pink polish to first my fingers and then my toes.
"Now don't move," she said earnestly as Mom started making up my face.
"I don't really want to make you up dear," Mom said. "But I think a little touch here and there might help a lot. Just a touch of mascara, like that. And maybe a hint of blush here. Annnnnnnnnnd a little of Jan's pink lip-gloss to bring out your pretty lips like sooooooooooo. Annnnnnnnnnnnd. Done!"
Mom wrapped one of Jan's little throat chokers high on my neck, while Jan carefully slid some bangles over one of my disturbingly dainty hands.
"I forgot," Jan said to our mother as she held out tiny flower studs. "Too bad she doesn't have pierced ears."
"Jan!" Mom scolded for calling me "she".
"Now wait right there Sweetie," she said to me. "We want to make sure the polish dries before you start moving around."
"You look incredible Brian," Jan said sincerely. "I hate to say it, but you're prettier than I ever was in that outfit."
Weirdly enough, I actually FELT pretty. I was sure Jan was just trying to make me feel a little at ease, but not entirely sure.
"Stop it Jan," Mom said.
"No. Seriously Mom. He is."
"You really think so?" I said trying to imitate Jan's sing-song way of speaking as a joke.
They both looked at me and then to each other.
"Wh-What?" I said staring back at them.
"Say something else in the girl's voice Brian," Mom said.
"Just try it Brian," Jan pleaded surprisingly.
"Do you think Christopher even knows who I AM?" I said, teasingly using the very words I heard Jan say on the phone the other night.
Jan didn't get mad. She didn't come back with a tease of her own. Her face was almost ashen when she spoke.
"You didn't stutter Brian."
"Wh-What are y-y-y-you t-talking talking ab-bout?"
"Use the other voice," Mom said simply.
"Whatever are you talking about Jan?" I said with my own eyes growing wider with each word. "Oh my god," I said in the almost comically cutesy girly-voice. "I'm so not stuttering! This like soooooo can't be happening!"
Jan's tears started it but we soon were all crying. My stuttering had been a silencing curse that I had lived with me entire life. But the newfound freedom from my linguistic cage was bittersweet.
"Will I have to speak like some ever so silly girl for like ever?"
"Well, it does suit you," Jan said with misty eyes and a bright smile.
"You might as well have fun with it while you're dressed Sweetie. Come on. I think your nails are dry enough to make it to my mirror."
We lived in a little cape, Jan and I in separate rooms upstairs. Mom's full-length mirror was in her bedroom downstairs. Walking down the stairs in the skirt, dressed like a girl, felt truly strange. But it was nothing in comparison to seeing myself as one.
"Oh m-m-m-m-m-y g-g-g-g"
"Use the voice Dear," my mother said gently touching my smooth bare arm.
"Like. Oh my gosh," I said raising my pretty polished nails almost unconsciously in from of my mouth in shock. "I'm a girl!"
"No you're not Honey," Mom said calmly. "You just look like one."
That was the understatement of the year. Jan was right about me being cuter than she was, but she missed by a mile. In spite of her being one of the prettiest girls in school, I made Jan look almost plain in comparison, which horrified me. I didn't want to look pretty at all!
"Oh. My. Gosh," I whispered nervously into my fingertips again, not believing what I was seeing.
"I told you that you're cuter than I am Brian," Jan said smiling.
"Jan!" Mom scolded.
"I'm like OK Mommy," I said. "You so don't have to yell at her."
We all started laughing.
"I really can't believe that this is me," I said again to the mirror.
"So what do you think Brian?" Jan said.
I stared at her and then our mother. They weren't going to help me. This was a decision that only I could make. As silly and utterly feminine I felt though, I somehow knew what I had to do. Being able to finally speak, no matter how, felt more wonderful than you could imagine. In the end, I really didn't see much alternative. Being Brian seemed a temporary impossibility. I could be the girl in the mirror for a little while anyway.
"I'll need a girl's name," I said simply.
"Stacy," Mom said almost too quickly.
"Stacy?" Jan and I said together.
"It's what you would have been called if you were born a girl."
I turned to stare at myself in the mirror again.
"Hello Stacy," I said to the image staring back at me. "I'm ever so pleased to meet you."
After some hugs, we went back upstairs and a little fashion-show began as we saw what worked and what didn't to start my Stacy-wardrobe. After everything else though, the strangest part happened just after making space for my new girl's things. Mom and Jan left.
The girl-making was over. I was alone in my room as someone named Stacy. The clothes weren't a costume to change out of. When I went downstairs later, I was treated abnormally normally, like I really was a girl, like my name really was Stacy. It felt disturbingly ordinary to be going about the daily routines of life with my family as a girl.
Maybe it was the weird normalcy of family life. Maybe it was the relative isolation of being home-schooled by Mom. Maybe it was being dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the house for the first time to help get groceries without the world ending. Maybe it was the pure joy of being able to finally speak without a painful struggle. Whatever it was, I didn't just learn to deal with my temporary role as Stacy; I started to thrive in it. Without my stutter, my shyness melted away, only to be replaced by a newfound self-confidence that surprised even me. My OCD tendencies seemed to vanish.
I liked the person who I could be as Stacy. I liked that person a lot. Aside from the fact that this new me was a girl, I was scared by the fact that I liked the "new me" better than the "old me". It was only a week, but I was already getting more than used to being Stacy.
"We have a busy week planned Stacy. I've arranged three appointments."
"Really Mommy? Who ever could they be with?"
"Wednesday is with an endocrinologist. He should be able to tell us what, if anything, will happen with your body-hair when puberty really starts. Friday morning is a cosmetic surgeon to talk about hair grafts for your brows. The afternoon is with a new psychiatrist."
"Oh Mother!" I said theatrically but also seriously. I had a bad history with psychiatrists and psychologists since I could remember.
"Now don't start young lady," she said unconsciously using the words she usually reserved for Jan. "You've made tremendous strides with your stuttering, your OCD, so MANY things Dear. Now that we know that you CAN do"
"Mother!" I said adamantly, already knowing the rest of her speech.
"You are going to the psychiatrist young lady! End of discussion!"
Wednesday with the endocrinologist was a bust. Puberty or steroids or growth hormones would not grow back my body hair. Though it hadn't made me look at all "manly" so far, the very beginning of my puberty had given me enough growth around my pits and genitals for me to have been able to zap them. Only my never-shaved face would eventually be able to grow a beard.
"But we can stop that easily enough," he said unlooked for. "In fact, he's barely begun puberty. If we start hormone therapy for a girl's puberty, the results should be very satisfying."
"Doctor!" my mother started.
He finished by adding, "The timing is ideal. He could develop like any other girl his age."
The rest of the short consultation took on a cooler tone from my mother's end before ending abruptly.
A similar experience happened at the cosmetic surgeon's. After quickly learning that (1) I didn't have any suitable short hairs left on my body for a brow graft; and (2) grafting scalp hairs would mean a lifetime of nearly daily brow trimming; the doctor gave his own unsolicited thoughts.
"Brian's too young and, pardon me for saying, too pretty for me to help now if he decides to continue like this," he said waiving a hand in my direction. "Hormones would do better than my knife anyway."
"We've already had that discussion with an endocrinologist," my mother started, trying not to grit her teeth.
But before she could continue with vehement comment about us NOT considering that avenue, the doctor got the wrong impression and cut her off.
"Great," he said beaming as he stared back at the old photo of me as Brian. "In the mean time, I might suggest simple hair coloring or even color-contacts if you want "Stacy" to function with less chance of being noticed."
The psychiatrist was surprisingly good. He focused mainly on my stuttering and the OCD. He had obviously done his homework by talking to the long list of psychiatrists and psychologists who we had authorized him to speak with. After talking as long as we did in my Stacy-voice, this doctor didn't refer to me by my oddly discordant name of Brian.
"Stacy," he started. "Can you let my hear your Brian-voice for a moment?"
I shrugged then looked down at a spot on the rug in front of me. I wanted to do it. I almost needed to do it, just to let myself know that I COULD be Brian again. But I couldn't do it. A fear gripped me; a fear that I would start to stutter and never be able to stop it again; a fear that the cripplingly shy-me would come back; a fear that I would go back to being, well, Brian.
I started to cry.
"That's OK Stacy. Let's not try for now. Alright?"
I looked up at him, then to my silent mother, then back to him.
He pushed back into his chair and stared at his own hands for a while, as if trying to plan what he was going to say. He addressed my mother.
"Mrs. Jones," he began. "There is hope."
"There is," she said eagerly, as if she had come up for air.
"Yes, but I'm going to say a few unpleasant things. Things you might be ill prepared to hear. But if you'll let me, I think the both of you, Stacy in particular, will benefit from hearing them."
"OK Doctor," she said, actually swallowing in preparation.
"There is hope that with voice therapy, we might be able to eventually "wean" Stacy from her girlish vocalizing without the stutter returning."
"Please Mrs. Jones. Let me finish. There will be plenty of time for questions, I assure you."
"I am sorry,"
He smiled warmly before continuing.
"There are no guarantees. It would be slow and difficult for her to be in-between voices, but I think there is a small hope for success. The OCD, the personality traits, and everything else may or may not follow curing the voice, but,"
"But?" my mother prompted after a long pause.
"But," he said with a measured voice, "I personally think that more is at work here. While there is hope for the voice, I think the stuttering will eventually return, as with everything else. There is another option though, one that you should strongly consider."
My mother seemed deflated. My own thoughts were almost secondary. The doctor continued, but now had turned to me.
"Stacy," he began. "You're afraid of being Brian again. Be honest with yourself. There's nothing to be ashamed of in this room."
I looked into his penetrating eyes, then to my mother, then back to him again.
"Yes," I mumbled, still looking him in the eye.
"Mrs. Jones," he said turning toward her again. "When I asked Stacy to use the Brian-voice before, she visibly slumped in her chair, hung her head, and looked down at the floor. On the other hand, your daughter just responded to a very difficult question, looking me straight in the eye. She didn't use the Brian-voice because she couldn't Mrs. Jones. She was afraid of the stuttering, the OCD, the painful shyness, everything that she associates with being Brian coming back."
I was dumfounded to hear this doctor, who admittedly had talked to many of my prior doctors, reach into my psyche after one intense discussion and parrot my thoughts so clearly.
"You LIKE being Stacy," he said turning quickly back to me. "Don't you?"
"Brian! No!" my mother said in a panic.
"He is like so right Mother," I said to her now. "I hate Brian! I hate him and don't want him ever coming back!"
My own words shocked even my own ears as they spilled out of me uncontrollably.
"I LIKE being Stacy Mother! I AM Stacy! I'm never going back! I'm never going"
The tears hit me like a freight train. I cried with full body-gripping sobs that made me feel even more "girlish" right then, but it didn't matter. I really did want Brian to go away forever. I wanted him to die. If that meant wearing a dress to be the person I wanted to be. So be it.
I hadn't realized that my mother was holding me, crying uncontrollably along with me. The doctor simply let us cry, holding out a tissue box that we nearly emptied.
"I'll have to admit," the doctor said later, "that you're case is a difficult one Stacy, one that frankly might be beyond me."
My world started to crumble anew. This was the first doctor who ever was even close to figuring me out, and he was bowing out?!
"Normally, I'd refer you right to a specialist in gender dysphoria, but that's not quite what we're dealing with. Your issue isn't a gender identity issue at all, is it Stacy?"
"No. It isn't."
"No. It isn't at all," he repeated in thought.
"I don't want another doctor," I came out and said directly. "I want you. I want you to help me become who I should always have been, Stacy. I don't care if that means I'll be a girl. I WANT to be a girl!"
The crying started afresh, but by the end of the session, a few things were agreed. This doctor was going to stay with me. It would take a long time before he (and we) would feel confident enough to make any permanent changes, but in the interim, I was going back to the endocrinologist to start a girl's puberty.
After a couple of stops on the car ride home, Mom said "Are you SURE this is what you want Stacy?"
"More than ANYTHING Mother," I said looking up from the box of blonde hair-coloring with my new dazzling green eyes. My ears still stung from the little gold posts I now wore.
"I love you Sweetie."
"I love you too Mommy."
Soon after coming home, I became a blonde. Jan and my mother made a fuss over the hair and the piercings, but didn't say a word as I next starting carting my old Brian clothes and that life out to the curb. I felt no pangs, no regrets, as I purged all evidence of who I was. It was something I wanted to do. Something I had to do.
Still, it was strange getting my first shots and a regimen of pills to turn off my boy-making hormones and replace them with their feminine counterparts. I came home from the endocrinologist still not believing that women's hormones were coursing through my body.
The days turned to weeks turned to months and being Stacy had become routine. It had been a long time since I felt like I was "dressing up". My growing wardrobe had simply become "my clothes". Though I never quite got used to the mood swings and roller-coaster feelings brought on by the hormones, at least I recognized what drove them.
Until they became embarrassingly evident at the grocery one day, I hadn't really noticed the slow development of my nipples, only how incredibly sensitive they had become. Similarly, the little swelling of knot-like tissue under them seemed to creep up on me. In spite of everything, I was still scared. In spite of what I was sure I wanted, nervous doubts made me anxious. I was developing breasts!
"Here you go Sweetie," my mother said one day. "Let me know if you need help putting it on."
"A training bra?!"
"It's just a fact of life Stacy. You're blossoming."
"But a training bra?"
"You'll have to get used to wearing them anyway. Might as well be sooner than later."
Wearing the bra, or accepting the fact that I was developing breasts, seemed to be a significant milestone. Jan's classes were ending before the summer break. My mother had a long talk with my doctor.
"Stacy," she said to me at the dinner table.
"High school starts for you next year. I'm not going to home-school you anymore."
"You heard me young lady. You're going to c
Things started moving quickly. Instead of continuing the testosterone blockers, I found myself agreeing to have my testicles removed. I let it happen, the whole procedure being almost a non-event for me. There was talk about sexual reassignment surgery, or what we started calling "the operation". A date was set, right at the start of summer break. I thought I would be more nervous.
"That's a good sign," said my doctor.
Then one day, I found myself in an embarrassing hospital gown, groggy from drugs and lying on a gurney. I remember counting the ceiling lights as they wheeled me to an operating room. There was a mask. "Count backwards from ten Stacy." Blackness.
The pain was searing. I felt like I had been impaled on a hot spike, deep into my crotch. I wanted to die, but I didn't. Instead, I slowly healed. The pain slowly faded. The days had been a numbing blur. The bandages and catheter were removed.
"We're going to have you try to pee," a nurse said.
Somehow, I made it to the toilet. I sat. I stared. Where I used to have a bald little penis and testicle sack, I now had a swollen and bruised little vagina. I was told that it was sexulasses next fall."
Jan was the one who chimed in, "But Mother!"
"Jan," Mom said warningly.
"But I'm going to be a senior!" Jan whined.
"Look. I know it's been hard on you Jan. Your losing a brother and having to keep people we know from finding out about Stacy. But you don't have to worry."
"What about me?" I said.
"Both of you. Stop. Listen. Stacy will be going to another high school, one across town. No one will know."
We both stared at her waiting for more.
"It's been arranged, except for one detail. Stacy, it's time you had you name legally changed. The doctor and I all agree too," she said looking at Jan now, "that it would be best if you DIDN'T share our last name when you do change it."
"But," I started to say.
"It'll prevent anyone from connecting you to Jan Sweetie," she said calmly.
"Here are the forms," she added, suddenly producing a pen and a pile of papers from nowhere.
I stared at them in disbelief for a long while but eventually started to fill them out. What else could I do?
"What last name should I pick?"
"How about my maiden name, St. Clair."
"It IS pretty," Jan offered.
I just shrugged and wrote it in, and in, and in. There were many forms. Too many.
Mom scooped them up quickly and that was all that was said until several weeks later, when a new Social Security card came in the mail on the same day as my re-issued birth certificate.
I stared for a long while. It was official. Legally, and to the world, Brian Jones no longer existed. I was now Stacy St. Clair. Legally, I was a girl.
I continued to "blossom" over the summer. My breasts kept swelling. My slender hips started to widen. My butt started to fill out. Even my little nose and facial features softened and became even more completely feminine.
High school can be scary enough, even for someone without all my issues. Somehow, I survived the first day. With not a single stutter or nervous tick on such a stressful occasion, I knew I was doing the right thing. I even made some friends. Being pretty opened a social world to me that I wasn't used to. It was so wonderful that I had to hide tears on the bus ride home.
"Are you having any feelings towards the boys?" the doctor asked me one session.
"I like don't have feeling for anyone, the boys or the girls. But no big. That's not what I'm doing all this for."
"That's right Stacy. But you ARE a girl now, all except for some plumbing anyway. It's perfectly normal for you to like boys now. It's OK Stacy. It's even healthy."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The doctor was actually trying to help me feel fine with liking boys! I honestly hadn't given it much thought at all. There were nice boys at school, but I had gotten used to their stupid fawning real quick by basically ignoring them. I more or less only pretended to have interest in them to my girlfriends, whose lives revolved almost exclusively around "boy talk".
I just shrugged in reply. I didn't really want to think about it.
"The puberty seems to be coming along perfectly normally for a girl your age," he said smiling warmly. "Does that make you happy?"
"You know Doctor, I hate to admit it, but I rather think that I AM."
"Why did you say that you hate to admit it?"
"I don't know. It's just an expression. Right?"
"I think you're still hanging on to your old boy self Stacy. I think you haven't quite let go yet. I think that you are not LETTING yourself wholly be a girl yet."
He was right of course. He always seemed to be right. If I had allowed myself to truly be "all girl", I wouldn't hate to admit anything about my increasingly curvy body. I would be interested in the boys too, and not just "pretending" to be interested.
The more I thought of it though, the more I started wondering if I were in fact pretending. Maybe I wasn't acting after all. Jeremy was really was funny and sweet. William really was a good looking guy. Maybe my fake crush on Bobby, who hung around me all the time but who I never let get close, wasn't so fake after all.
"Are you going to the dance Stacy?" Bobby asked me just a couple of weeks later.
"No one's asked me yet Bobby."
I felt genuine butterflies in my stomach. I couldn't believe what was happening!
"That can't be true," he said sincerely.
"Well. I. Uh. I was wondering."
I couldn't believe how red Bobby's face had gotten, or how hot my own flushed face seemed to be getting as he nervously struggled to find the words. I couldn't believe the nervous excitement that I felt.
"Are YOU asking me?" I said.
"Well. Uh. Yeah. I am."
"I would be ever so happy to go to the dance with you Bobby," I giggled.
And then on impulse, almost to prove something to myself, I leaned in and quickly kissed him.
That kiss was a short friendly "thank you" kind of kiss, but it was my first real kiss, ever. I stared at Bobby, who stared back, equally as wide-eyed, equally as rocked by that simple peck.
"See you then," I said.
"Yeah. See you then Stacy."
I turned on my heels and had to purposely stop myself from skipping down the hall.
"Ask me the question about boys again," I grinned to start my next session with the doctor.
The freshman dance was a fairly tame and fairly tacky affair in the gym. It was way over-chaperoned, over way too early, and utterly terrifying.
Bobby and I arrived separately. Mom drove, surprising fawning over me in my long lavender dress and my first pair of real heels.
"Hi Stacy. You look great."
"Thanks. So do you."
"Oh. These are for you."
"Oh they're SO lovely Bobby!" I said as he put the requisite corsage on my slightly trembling wrist.
After Bobby's mother and mine snapped enough pictures to fill a dozen albums, I let him lead me out to the dance floor.
Mom and Jan had shown me the basics, and obviously Bobby had about the same level of instruction. We must have looked like two awkward robots, mouthing a count of 1-2-3 and 1-2-3 and 1-2-3. But it was still almost magical to be held by him, to have been chosen by him, to be wanted by this boy desperately trying not to trample my pretty polished toes.
There were no kisses. Even the dancing was almost just enough to say we did it. We spent some awkward time talking and even holding hands by the punchbowl, but more often than not I found myself giggling and comparing notes with my friends while Bobby did a boy's version of the same thing.
"Good night Stacy," he said nervously before initiating a quick goodbye kiss of his own.
"I liked that," I said truthfully.
"Me too," he sighed in relief.
"Good night Bobby."
"Good night," he repeated, with a smile from ear to ear.
And except for the telling and retelling to Jan, my Mother, and all my friends (on the phone that night and every day at school for a week afterwards), it was over.ally functional, that I could orgasm. I couldn't care less. All I wanted to do was relieve the pressure in my bladder and get back to my bed.
I really was a girl now. I really was Stacy.
Eventually, I was brought home. There were several bouquets of flowers. To the world, I had an appendectomy. There were many beautiful sentiments. One of the bouquets was from Bobby. It was simple.
"Dear Stacy, I love you. Your Bobby."
Jan and my mother came in moment later.
"Are you OK Sis?"
"Do you need more pain medicine Honey?" my mother added.
"No," I said. "I'm OK. No. I'm more than OK. I'm SOOOOOOOOO happy!" I said before breaking down again.
"We are too," my Mom said as she joined me in a tearful embrace.
"Oh Stacy!" Jan said, joining the happy tear-fest.
I was truly a girl now, and the happiest person in the entire world.
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