Yes - It's the old Chuck Berry song, but appropriate I think here.
I had always assumed my parents would not react kindly to discovering I was transsexual (nice bit of understatement there btw). That really stemmed from my feelings about it when I was little, my general upbringing and my relationship with them. They have always been quite traditional and fairly strict, and we haven't always seemed eye to eye at all. That and one incident when I was thirteen or so and hoping my TS feelings could be 'discovered' and accepted defined the way I thought about them and this. I think it's also one of the major reasons why I didn't try to transition when I was 19ish. Totally in fear of them in many ways, afraid if I talked to the doctor they would find out, fear of rejection, of anger and isolation. That's not to say they are responsible for it - far from it. Not only was I way too naive, innocent and unprepared to have transitioned, but I also have never had the sort of self belief and strength of character to transition so young - really it was my idea of them that was the problem not them themselves of course. As you can maybe guess there is of course a twist coming here.
About eight weeks ago I had a really bad day. It was a monday morning and I had upset LJ on the sunday night, due to my thoughtlessness, aided by some massive internal pressure and a fair bit if wine if I'm honest. Not going into the details here, but monday was hellish, and at lunchtime I was almost ready to top myself. As I sat in the car crying I thought about calling the Samaritans, but instead called my folks. For the first time since I was little I wanted my mum.
As it happened I got my dad, or rather he got me, crying incoherently down the phone to him. He's not really a talking, emotive sort, but coped with me in floods of tears as everything came out. More than anything he listened and did not judge or comment. He probably saved me that monday lunchtime. Later on I spoke to my mum who had been out, and slowly more things emerged, but still probably confusing to them, so I wrote a long email trying to explain what I'm suffering from. In response I got the most wonderful email, that despite being essentially private is too good not to share.
"Thanks for the Email, your mum and I have read it fully and think we can understand your suffering. We will put together an email later as we try to understand how we can help. The fact you have told us is perhaps the first move along the road to a less stressful situation.
You have our full love and support in every way.
Mum & Dad"
They have been so good about this and so understanding. I actually feel closer to them both than I have for over 35years. Now I know they do not yet fully comprehend (maybe they do), but there are some things best played out slowly for all of us I think. The point is, that for years and years we invest our own internal picture of others and what they experience, just as they never knew about their son always really wanted to be their daughter. Now the screens have been shattered and I'm sure they now find themselves reading things they probably never even considered (I did make sure they had links to good info on this and didn't let them google away blindly and find some of the more unsavoury things out there). It has to be said though, that finding yourself speaking fairly matter of factly to your mum about the constant thought that I ought/need/want to be female must be right up there in terms of surreal experiences. As I said; "Se la vie" said the old ones (it goes to show you never can tell).
What else to talk about? Well I didn't run the Fling as has been obvious really. Hoping to make the Clyde Stride though and have started doing some hill running, including my 2nd munro (just a little one) and a few 2250footers. There is a certain feeling on the hills, a certain solitude and peacefullness I can find nowhere else. That and the long time on the feet will surely help the training for an ultra. It has been a tough year with the depression limiting my energy levels and ability to get up (never mind get going to) and while the depression has moderated a tad, it still hovers around the moderate - moderate/severe level mainly due to the ongoing problems with sleep, energy and occasional 'dark thoughts'. I had a 2nd opinion from a psychologist in February which appears to have confirmed the diagnosis, to the extent that when I saw my psychiatrist last week, he said he was happy to arrange an appointment with a gynecologist (ironic I know, but they are the hormone specialists round these parts) to discuss starting hormone treatment. Really looking forward to starting on them, to see if they can make things more sustainable as they are. As I've said before, if I can survive without splitting from my beloved family I will try to, and I know that the pressure will wax and wane over time to transition (it does), so every bit helps so to speak. On the same subject the facial hair removal is going well, with less shaving required and less time and plaster required for anytime I head out. I have also started attended the local trans support group which is held in a lovely (and accepting) country pub at last. It's good to meet others going through the same process at various stages, from just starting to GRS. They are a great bunch of girls, they really are.
Overall all these things are helping develop my presentation skills as I try to learn all those things 40 something women are supposed to already know. For instance I had decided to attend my psychiatrist appointment presenting as female, and despite having two fairly rough looking guys sitting opposite me, nobody really batted an eyelid. Not sure if it was me 'passing' or them not caring, but either way, no hassle is always good, no matter when or where you are. Why did I attend presenting as female? It seemed appropriate, given all my other appointments have been in my usual male office wear, to do so more than any other reason tbh. It also seemed natural to do so.
So, to close this first post in ages and ages let me close with this quote I found yesterday (and absolutely love)
"Having an opinion about transsexuality is about as useful as having an opinion on blindness. You can think whatever you like about it, but in the end, your friend is still blind and surely deserves to see."—Jennifer Finney Boylan
Read This First Please...........
Whats this blog about?
I suffer from Gender Dysphoria, a medical condition that sets the mind against the body. It's more commonly know as transsexualism and is commonly percieved as a 'choice' or sexual in nature. It's not. It's a genetic quirk, a birth defect - no more a choice than having blue eyes or being left handed, and has nothing to do with sexuality or gratification. It is not a mental condition but a physical one of the hormonal system and the way it interacts with the brain. It's been with me since I was 3, but always pushed away as 'wrong' and a foible of my mind. in late 2008 it exploded back out into my now normal life with a loving family. It's put me into the pits of depression with this, and have been close to suicide twice now. I'm not going to fight anymore. I give up - I can't beat this and I now accept that I will have to transition to female at some point. Or I'll die. It's as simple as that.
I am, and always will be a family person, so one thing I can promise is that this blog will not contain content likely to be regarded as being offensive. It may make you think, but will never be salicious or rude. So I've blogged about fighting being trans before and I've blogged about running before. It's time to start to normalise apparently contrary things in my life [ha!] and accept that all parts of life are not incompatible.
So it's 20/12/10 today as I start this blog. In April 2011 I'd like to run the Highland Fling as a male vet. At some point in the years not too far ahead I'd like to run it as female. Now there is a target.
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