Annie and James Rushden were man and wife, until James revealed he was transsexual. Annie writes about the experience of falling in love all over again with her partner Claire. Same soul, different gift wrap.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Another new chapter

or the next stop on the timeline...

Anyway, as some of you may remember, in a galaxy, far, far..wait, wrong story.

I married my other half 13 years ago in March (yay!) and around 2007, I started on changing things up, and being who I needed to be. I got very lucky and thankfully we're still together.

2008-2009 I had a serious health scare, and since then life has been pretty crappy, to say the least. The surgery was traumatic (if anyone wants more details I can point you to the story) and it took 6 months for me to physically recover, and there are still some residual issues that I'll have for the rest of my life, but I'm still alive.

Since 2009 I have had more issues (I was always an overachiever, lol) resulting from the surgery and I ended up with depression, social anxiety & the best of all, agoraphobia. They're still not fixed, and in fact are still an ongoing battle. Sometimes I win, but more often I don't.

Trying to cut a very long, and probably boring story short, through it all my other half has stuck with me and now we get to the interesting part ;)

She has always identified as bisexual, but as long as we've been together it's just been us two. Recently we've been talking about things again and we decided (with lots of confirmations, and triple checking) that life (as I almost found out) is way too short, and I need to get out and try some new things. So we decided we're strong enough, and have enough trust in each other that we're now going to have a polyamorous relationship (sometimes called open, but slightly different and nicer).

So, on Saturday we went to meet someone, just to talk, maybe have a meal etc. and it was without a doubt the best night out I've had in years. It wasn't easy. In fact, I almost didn't go & I was stuck to the bed most of the day fighting a panic attack. The agoraphobia isn’t beaten, not even close, but I'm fighting. One day at a time.

I don't know why I posted this. I have been very irregular with posting since I came back here. But heck, why not?

TLDR: I kissed a boy, and I liked it.

Claire kissed a boy, and she liked it!

Claire has been suffering from crippling social anxiety and agoraphobia for 5 years now. It hasn't been easy for either of us. She started making strides in getting out of the house over the last few months, and one of my friends was able to convince her to join her in social settings a few times. This person is a doll. She knows about Claire's transgender status and adores her for who she is. Claire feels comfortable with her and it was nice to see her relaxed and happy.

I have long been a fan of polyamorous relationships. There is a lot to be said, I believe, in realizing that although you love someone and wish to grow old with them, that they may not fulfill every need you have. I am not girly. Quite the opposite. Put me in a dress and I will most likely dissolve into ashes. I don't want to talk about girly things. I will, because I love her. Likewise, she doesn't care about hiking, pottery, or things that make you dirty. 

So I talked to her about the concept of being able to expand the relationship. She has missed out on so much in life from when she was shut down and living in the wrong gender. She was curious if she might like guys. Curious about threesomes. Wishing she had someone content to snuggle and watch movies with, rather than a half feral animal that can't sit still or focus on just watching the movie (that's me, lol).

I finally talked her into the idea of a polyamorous relationship. She decided to test the waters. We found a wonderful guy for her first date, and he did not disappoint at all. Handsome, kind, funny, and obviously attracted to her. The three of us went out and it was the best night. Watching her feel comfortable and be drawn out of her shell and feel empowered and beautiful was just MAGICAL to me. She said that for the first time she felt "normal" - not full of anxiety, not self-conscious, not trans, just a woman that had the attention of a really nice guy. At the end of the night, although she kind of got quite shy, she got a very nice kiss good night. And she liked it.

After that, we made another date with him, and she felt like something had been lifted from her. The guilt and pressure to conform to a societal standard of marriage was gone and she saw that yes, she could watch me kiss someone else and enjoy the fact that I was having fun, and she could kiss someone else and not be breaking some vow. Her world has opened up and we have declared that the change is official. 

She thought about changing her Facebook status, but got a little nervous. We agreed I would change mine so she could see the reactions, if any. Well, joke was on her, because Facebook changed it for both of us. LOL. Since then I have been messaged with supportive notes from friends, and have even discovered that people we know are poly. Sadly, they don't live close by.

Will there be rough times? I'm sure. This is all new to her, although I have experienced it before. I am incapable of jealousy, but she is not. However, she now has the freedom to flirt with, make out with, snuggle during a movie with, and take to bed anyone she chooses, either with or without me. She has been liberated. I feel the rules of society are stacked against people like us anyway, so who frankly gives a shit what anyone thinks? If this helps free her of her inhibitions then anyone that has a problem with it can leave our life. 

So, on to adventures, happiness, and gratuitous human connections :)



Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Hi all, long time no talk. We've been doing just fine, plodding along with life. Have a house full of dogs now (6 of the monsters) and Claire is a stay at home mom for them. I'm working full time, taking out the trash, good old fashioned 1950's style life. Haha :)  Where's my dinner, wench?

We have been thinking about adopting a transgender child/teen that is in the foster care system. We put out feelers today to the agency that specializes in LGBT kids to see if they have anyone we might be able to help. The group is called Chris Kids http://www.chriskids.org. We're not rich, but we get by, and if there is someone out there that needs people like us, well, I guess the universe will put us together and it will all work out. We've done okay in that area so far, I think.

By the way, a carton of clementine oranges does not go very far when it's one piece for me, one piece for each dog. I think I averaged 2 pieces per clementine. LOL

Peace and love,


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Angie Zapata

Lighting a candle today in memory of Angie and all the other GLBT victims of hate crimes. It's time to realize that the hate needs to stop.

Please visit:

and get involved!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Husky torpedo!!

Hiya's, just a small update. The ribs are healing slowly (having a 40lb puppy torpedo you in the ribs hurts if you didn't know, be warned!). Mostly having pain when it's cold & rainy and bad aches when trying to sleep.

I go see a new Endo in April as the previous one refused to do the tests I asked of them, my GP (who rocks) ran the tests and found out my liver absorbs the pills way too much and could be the reason my estrogen levels were below what they should have been.

She's dumped the pills and put me on new patches till I go see the endo, these ones are HUUUUGE.

Annie, is still swamped so she's not posting much, she's also having sleep issues poor girl, she didn't realise how wiped this past year has made her. It's my birthday soon and I'm sending my doc a present of one of my photo's because if it hadn't been for her, I prob wouldn't be writing this right now.

Anyway, boss is due home shortly so gotta run lol


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year everyone

Yeah I know it's late, so sue me. Wait don't, I have no money.

So it's been a while but things have been crazy as you can imagine. The ribs are healing and almost no pain at all for a couple of weeks now, except when I have been asleep or sneeze or try to lift something I'm not ready for like my 35 pound puppy :/

I saw the surgeon and he said the scars look great, I noticed he wasn't worried about the dwarf vampire bites above my navel, claiming they were from the chest drains uh huh.

Last year we had more than our quota of bad things coming in threes so this year we are hoping to have a break please.. k? thanks.

Hope you all have a good year,I'm sure Annie will be back soon, well as soon as the tidal wave ebbs from work.

Be nice to each other, you just never know. I was lucky.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday morning update

So, we're still in the intensive care unit. We were supposed to get the chest tubes out and leave ICU on saturday to go to a regular room. It might happen today, but they aren't really sure yet.

Apparently, when the doctor went into her chest, he found a lot more than he bargained for. The main tumor was about 8cm around, and had apparently been growing on her spinal area for many years, and just kicked into overdrive the last few. There is a large vessel that supplies between the arms and is the main source of the left emptying and apparently supplying the right. Over the years, secondary vessels have grown into place because that main vessel was completely inside the tumor. As the tumor grew, it compressed the vessel until she only had a pencil point opening. She never could hold her arms above her head for more than a minute but never gave that a second thought. She had terrible arm pain for the last 2 years (that was diagnosed incorrectly as cubital tunnel syndrome) that was miraculously cured for a few months early this year and again about 3 months ago when she was sick and got antibiotics. It baffled all the doctors involved as to why nerve pain would be affected by antibiotics, since the tumor wasn't near the nerve bunch for the shoulder. But now we know. The teratoma was infected when they took it out. Apparently, when it would get really bad, that tumor would swell around the vessel and clamp it down further. There was no way to safely remove the vessel from the tumor, and because the secondary support was in place, the doctor chose to remove it. As a result, Claire's left arm is terribly swollen (twice normal size) and her hand and fingers were swollen so much that the skin was super stretched, looking at least twice as big as normal. Her right shoulder (the source of all the pain before the surgery when the tumor was infected) has been hurting her pretty badly since the op. This morning, her fingers finally are starting to look normal, but there is still a lot of swelling in her arm. Dr. Smith said she'll probably need some therapy with her left arm.

There was a second tumor in her thymus gland. Apparently it was about the size of an egg. Both were removed and initial results from pathology indicate they are benign.

Because they've had to treat her for an OD of morphine (they discovered she's apparently allergic to it), she's been given a lower acting dug. The morphine caused her to be put back on the respirator once (they thought it was actually sedative related at the time) and then later when they moved her onto morphine from something else, she fell asleep and stopped breathing. They gave her Narcan to counteract the Morphine at that point realized that she can't tolerate the morphine. The pain relief now isn't really isn't touching her pain when she moves, coughs, or takes a deep breath. That is making it excruciating for her to try and do breathing exercises and walk around, so we're way behind schedule on chest tube removal. We're also at really high risk for a bad case of pneumonia still. Once the chest tubes come out, her pain will decrease, but it's a catch 22. Until the pain abates a little, she really is under-functioning right now. They are continuing antibiotics to try to prevent sepsis (from the infected tumor) and pneumonia.

They have her off the saline now, and her blood pressure is somewhat normalized finally, so now we'll have to see how she does trying to eat and drink on her own.
They are being wonderful and letting Kiddo and I stay around the clock in the ICU. I'm sure the fact that we're both trained as first responders helps our case, but it's also critical for panic control for Claire, who is still very afraid to sleep now. As I write this, she's sleeping lightly beside me. They are about to sit her up and see if she can get the tubes out in about 10 minutes.