Frustration is king/queen!

I have found myself getting increasingly frustrated with myself this week.

I know what I want to do, I know what I need to do and I know what I am doing…

I’m stalling for time.

I have no doubts that I can express myself far more clearly and fully as a female than I can when I am trying to be a man for the world, and yet I cannot let anyone see that part of me.

Man-me is solid and dependable, and unflappable, able to cope with anything and known for being a mediator. Woman-me wants to be able to express herself, to stop hiding away, to walk down the street – to hug and cry and laugh and be vulnerable.

I am like a referee in a boxing ring keeping these two sides apart because they are opponents, all the while trying to find a way that lets them co-exist.

Point of proof – I dressed in ladies clothes for my counselling session, but the womens jeans, and top were hidden under a jumper that while it says it is a ladies on the label, looks almost identical to the male version I own in the same colour.  I also wore a lip gloss that would not really show up on camera (I use video chat). I never mentioned any of this, and I even took the bin out because I knew that on the screen and from more than a few feet away I looked like a guy in jeans, but inside I was crossing an invisible line in the least dramatic way possible.

All of my fears about coming out centre around losing my children, I would ideally have both of them full time, but I will accept that they will choose where they go and I want that freedom to choose protected legally.

So I cannot tell them, in case their mum finds out and decides to use that against me – it is a slim possibility but enough to make me balk.

So the two people that mean the most to me in the world are naturally excluded from being a part of this journey with me.

I encourage them to accept others for who they are, to recognise that we are all different and yet the one thing that connects us is that we are all special.  This is not some meme based feel good philosophy but the natural state of humanity. Good until we choose not to be.

The same thing is happening with showing Dee to the world, I literally cannot do it without military style planning and yet I so desperately want it to just not be a big deal.

I want to pass and blend and be pretty simply so I can walk down the street without everyone staring at me – I literally get enough of that in my day job.

The cosmetics are just a way to be expressive in a different way to the slogan tee shirts that I used to wear.  A way to say how I am feeling, because it is so very hard to say that the rest of the time.

I am being torn up by my inability to bring these two opposing parts of my life together.

There must be a way.

I am takings steps though.   I have taken a small step forwards, because my niece has booked us tickets to a Pride event happening in the city she goes to University in this coming year so I have a few months to get comfortable with the idea of going out into the world as Dee.  It is a big step because I have never left the house and do not want to be female for an entire weekend without having ever gone out one or twice first. There is a small chance of being recognised or recorded and broadcast by some person with a camera, but I think that if my position with my children is protected all that would ultimately do is bring forward my plans to include my workplace in the journey.

I’m also struggling to face up to my own greed and sugar addiction – if I want to look and feel good I am going to have to lose all the weight I have piled on over Christmas and New Year.

I also question my ability to be a woman in day to day life. I have not felt any kind of “I must do this or die” moment, which seems to be prevalent when looking at others who transition.  For me it is more akin to an awakening of consciousness, the more I question myself and my identity, the more I feel that the feminine part of me is actually a deeper rooted, bigger and more important part than the male part that I have been showing all these years, so I wish to reflect that and give it the space it needs to grow and flourish, and transitions seems to be the best way to do that for me.

Sometimes it is not enough to simply know who we are, but the real struggle lies in being who we are.

My brain hurts and my heart hurts but this can’t last forever – can it?

Take care

XXX

Advertisements

Who’s in the mirror?

I have been on a roller coaster of ups and downs over Christmas and New Year. The ups have all been great, I have a wider support network now, and having one of my male friends tell me that he is incredibly proud of me asking these questions about myself because in his opinion the world would be a better place if we all did it was very affirming.

Equally I have been away from home for long enough that I have been struggling with seeing arm and leg hair growing in again for the first time since October, it is hard to be happy with my reflection in the mirror when I see so much wrong with it.

I also had an interesting counselling session recently where for all my talk of being unsure I was told that the language I use is far more certain.

I do not want Dee to be yet another mask I put on for the world.

She is not some online persona – it is not something I pretend to do – I have been many things to many people and one of the reasons I am happy being anonymous at the moment is because no one else has any expectations of me.  Dee is who I am when no one is watching, no one would miss this blog if I stopped, I write because it is an easier way to actually sort through the Rubiks cube that makes up my brain and I write to remember. I also know that while I am starting to make some nice friends online,  equally that community is used to people coming and going and would soon forget me.

No, if Dee was simply a character I could delete her and pick up another game to play, but I can’t. More and more I want to experience life without all the bull shit. I simply want to be free to express myself by wearing whatever I want, by looking however I choose and by being recognised for who I am instead of the small parts that I allow myself to let others see.

Where I live restricts pretty much all of that – it is not simply a matter of self confidence although that’s in there, I am not a celebrity but I live in an area where I have no anonymity, and literally everyone knows who I am and where I work, I cannot be Dee even to do a small task like put the bins out, and while saying that it is killing me feels like I am being overly dramatic- it is eating me up on the inside.

Why won’t I contact a GIC? Why won’t I take a weekend to find a Travelodge or an Airbnb (or wherever I can afford) and then just go out as Dee? I dream of dancing but I would settle for a coffee or a cinema trip. Heck even being brave enough to go and get my eyebrows or nails done would be such a big deal to me right now.

I am trapped in this cage of my own making and am too scared to leave it in case it turns out to all be a mistake, and then I will have put myself, my kids, my family and my work through a whole pile of drama for nothing.

I think I still worry that I am too old to be questioning my gender – why was this not something that bothered me until now?

How do I get past my fears and embrace the unknown?

How can I be all me?

So many questions. So little coffee

XX

PS – This is my first ever handbag, as requested in a previous comment and obviously bought on sale! I truly hope that one day soon I will be brave enough to use it.

20190105_155702.jpg

Old Friends New Year

Some really good friends of mine I’ve known for years had travelled back to the UK from Canada to visit their parents, so we arranged to meet up and have a good catch up, of course because it’s Hogmanay a few friends had converged in the area and I ended up meeting with another set of friends at the same time.

I have not seen either couple for a while and there was a lot to catch up on, while the kids played we chatted, or rather I did – catching them up on the last 3-4 months of my marriage dissolving, my soon to be ex wife’s new partner, and my quest to find myself.

By the time all of that had come out and I had told them that I was seeing a counsellor it seemed like the natural thing to include the questioning of my gender and the fact that I see myself as Trans, one of my best friends gave me a hug as he told me that I was still me, and he still loved me. Another said that I was still me and she was there if I ever need anything. Good friends may be hard to come by but I have been blessed. Their respective partners may not fully understand or agree but we have been friends long enough that I know they will still be there for me, if anything I will know that any questions they have will be from a place of love. I can also trust them not to tell anyone else which is also a really big deal at the moment. The rest of the time with them was really enjoyable.

Later on I took my sister shopping for clothes for an interview she has coming up and it was so much fun finding some nice tops and trousers for her to try on, before she settled on a couple of outfits.

We then looked through the sales rack for tops for me, I wasn’t brave enough to try anything on but we would hold them up against me to check the size was right, we even tried out some handbags as I stated that I was going to need one if I was ever going to wear anything out – we looked at a few different ones and adjusted the straps and I tried them on all while presenting male, and while there were people about doing their own shopping, I don’t think any of them bothered to look at what we were doing – no one cared, least of all me. Until I got to the cashier and then my niece volunteered to come with me and use her discount card for the purchase to make me a bit less self conscious, which worked until we had a whole conversation with the cashier and then her manager about whether the card was valid lol!

Still, I ended 2018 with 4 of my good friends knowing that I am trans and being so chilled about it that I know they still love and care for me, I have spoken to my nephew who has said that as far as he’s concerned I am still the same person on the inside and am just trying to change the outside to match, my niece has not only volunteered to take me shoe shopping once I am comfortable with the idea, but has also suggested a girls night out dancing in the city where she is a student.

Oh yes – and I have a nice strappy white tee, two really nice green tops and my first handbag!

2019 is going to be an interesting year!

XXX

What’s in a name?

I have decided to switch away from the monicker of Sadie.

It was useful when I registered here to begin this blog, but I was never sure that I would keep it as I explored my gender.  I had no connection with the name, other than the ability it has given to express myself freely.

As I have stated previously one of my elder sisters has been using a female derivative of my birth name when messaging me and I really like it.

I have never hated my name, I like its meaning.  Until a few months ago I hadn’t even asked myself about my gender, so why would I need to change it?

The first time I was called this name, I was literally smiling – it signified a shift in her thinking of me as her baby brother and showed a real attempt to journey with me. She has used it a few times since and I am really comfortable with it as a name.

I am constantly bombarded by messages of “son”, “man” and “father” and while I know people mean well with them the terms have always made me feel uncomfortable – something others see as humility while for me it is because being good at any of them is a bar I have never felt able to achieve.

I have realised that having such a good Christmas as Sadie has enabled me to become incredibly comfortable with the idea of moving towards publicly changing my gender, internally accepting that I see myself as a Transwoman has not been difficult.  If anything it has been more like putting on an old pair of jeans, it just fits me perfectly.

So in that regard Sadie has done her job, and I am grateful, but I need to keep growing to see where I end up.

The name I am using moving forwards is Dee, and I am very pleased that it found me.

XX

My first Christmas

I sit writing this in my pj’s, relaxing this morning as I have the last two mornings with a cup of coffee. Although today when I get dressed it will be back into a suit of male clothes for the first time in over 50 hrs for work.

I have been fortunate to have a member of my family who know about me being trans come and stay with me over Christmas with her 17 year old son.

For two whole days I have gotten to be the person I feel, not wearing wigs or even putting on makeup, although I could have, but I have worn the clothes that I have wanted to wear and just been me, and it has been amazing.

This is the first time I have ever worn female clothes in front of another person, it may have been ladies jeans and a ladies jumper but it was a huge step for me. To be told that they suit me and that I looked really nice made my heart soar!

The fact that my sister actually claimed she was a little jealous of how the jeans fitted me was probably a little white lie, but as far as compliments go is a pretty good one.  There was no awkwardness, no shame, no embarrassment, from my nephew, my sister or myself – we just carried on with our admittedly lazy days and laughed and watched films and played games.

I even received a couple of presents aimed at Sadie – I now own a pair of the cutest pink pyjamas I have ever seen and some new toffee apple and popcorn scented skin creams.

It is hard to express how serene the last couple of days have been. Despite other things going on in my life for these past two days I have absolutely been able to relax and be myself and it has felt wonderful!

The sister that couldn’t come up has also told her two eldest children about me and they have said that they are proud of me which is just incredibly sweet, I only have to find a good time to tell my two remaining little sisters and then it will just be my mum, who is really the only person I genuinely worry about coming out to.

My sisters have also found a female version of my name to call me, not Sadie, but a derivative of my birth name that has been used in part as a term of endearment by some of the younger kids for years and so it feels very natural to be called it, when she messages and uses the name it gives me flutters inside.

Overall I have to say that this Christmas has been a truly magical time of year for me in a way that it hasn’t felt for such a long time!

XXXX

Parental much?

I have been feeling emotional this week, I was binge watching a TV series called Scorpion and I have been welling up every time the character development with Paige moves forwards. I am equally attracted to her character as she is very beautiful and envious of her wardrobe as she has the ability to make even a skirt and blouse look fantastic!

I connect with the character because she is a single mum just trying to balance everything in her life as she raises her child.

Internally I have been reviewing my parenting.  I have always been complemented on being a great dad, not because of anything special but simply because of the devotion to my children, with a wife who has spent literal months in hospital pretty much every year since they were born I have done my best to support and raise them into the wonderful people that they are.

(I did not give birth to them but beyond that if there is something a mother is supposed to traditionally do with their children I have done it. They were 4wks premature so were bottlefed although one child did try and latch onto me once and it hurt!)

I understand that emotionally and socially I very much perceive myself as female.

Looking at my children I have never seen myself doing the fathers role so much as the mothers. I tend to use the word parenting, because for me that’s what I’ve done – parent.

Literally every male trait I have is one I have copied from somewhere else in order to fit in. That or I have found ways to circumvent it – being a geek means I do not need to be jock, and the sports I do talk about are American and therefore not ones most of my male British friends can call me out on for my lack of knowledge like they could and do if I attempt to join in with a comment on footy.

When I try to thing of something I can be “manly” about I struggle to find a single thing. If I’ve been doing this for 40 odd years I should have more of a connection to the home team surely?

But I don’t.

Today I’ve realised that actually I have taken that mother hen role with many in my friend group as well, even if I didn’t know it. Being a couple of years older I always made sure everyone knew that my door was always open and my house a place of safety. Everyone who came in was going to be okay, I gave them a shoulder to cry on or an ear to talk off, or a safe and warm place to crash overnight if it was needed. Although there was usually a caveat to mediation once they had stayed and cooled down. I wanted to and do mother them.

I could never actually physically do anything, I’m just not built that way, but I know that my protectiveness of my friends comes from a place of caring deeply about them and so that is a part of me that I can say is absolutely me. Its not an act and it hasn’t been copied so I can blend in – it is a part of who I am!

Not a bad takeaway for the day.

XX

Learning to accept myself

I started this blog to organise my thoughts and to give me a space where I could write and explore my feelings. I am also a member of an online community where I have found the support and encouragement to explore who I am. This post is a version of something I wrote there last night while struggling to sleep:

I needed to learn about gender identity and what it meant in relation to me because the whole experience of questioning was new and scary even if I know that over the years my body has tried to give me clues.

My confusion and self shame made me chalk everything I did that was feminine down to either being raised in a predominantly female household or as a straight mans fetish.  Coming to terms with that has taken longer emotionally because my brain operates non stop – it acts like a sponge soaking up as much information as it can to then let me sort out the pertinent parts.

I have only had one meeting with a counsellor to discuss gender issues but I felt wonderfully unburdened and so happy afterwards that I could never see it as anything other than the right course of action.

I also know that on some level I view it as a way to pluck up courage to progress towards officially getting treatment to match outside and in, but am deliberately slowing myself down so that I know my own mind when I need to defend myself.

I am considering if dressing for my next appointment is appropriate, but do not want to do it simply for some sort of shock factor. I still do not know anything about pronouns or even if I have a preferred name.

All of my online interactions have been as Sadie – a name I am genuinely growing to love because I have realised I enjoy it when others use it!

I picked it randomly and I like that it comes from the Hebrew Princess even if I do not see myself as one.  I am still torn between starting to use/try a feminine version of my male name because it would let those who know me keep calling me the same name.

 

The ladies and gents who have spoken to me in my online community simply accept me as Sadie and (I hope 😳)  perceive me as feminine.  I have gushed and poured out my innermost thoughts and feelings and have been encouraged, answered and hugged (virtually) at every stage. This whole journey is one massive roller coaster for me emotionally and I am so grateful that I have found somewhere safe to do it all.

All of my thoughts and questions seem to have subtly shifted focus and I missed the tipping point – although I still cannot answer the question if I am a male being female or a female being male – it is not crippling me the same way that the fear of having a mental health issue did.  I am still searching for who I am and would love to get a definitive answer although it is unlikely because no one else can tell me who I am.

I have recently been invited on a stag do because the prospective groom is marrying one of my dear female friends whom I have protectively considered almost a little sister for years. I am now wondering if I will feel like a cuckoo in the nest, I have been a best man multiple times, and a groom once, but now wondering if my love of bridesmaids is because I’d rather be with them and wearing what they are wearing (sexually I am reserving judgement and reclassifying myself as bi-curious because while I am definitely still strongly attracted to women I have been having way more erotic thoughts recently about men finding me attractive when out as Sadie and being desired!).

The things I find myself thinking about now are how and when to come out to my other sisters, my children, my nieces and nephews, my mum and my ex, how to get a decent casual and work wardrobe, what kind of clothes would I wear if I could?

I think about presenting female even though I have been bald for years and whether I can realistically be feminine without a wig – I know other women do have to do it and it is a stage I would love to get comfortable enough to do, but passing is hugely important to me because it helps emphasise being rather than imitating.

I wonder if hormones would allow me to find the words I so often struggle to find when I am trying to talk about my feelings and if the fog would clear or simply become thicker. If I would actually grow the breasts I find myself regularly wishing for now.

I think about how to manage my work, and the resultant change of location and roles and friends dropping away which is inevitable if I start presenting as female publicly.

I think about how much transphobia and homophobia in general is a mainly male trait rather than a societal one, and wonder why I never realised it before.

I personally have no scientific proof but know that of everyone I know it will be a majority of men that have the biggest issues with me. Women seem to be naturally more accepting, which is good because men make up only one third of my online friends.

I think about how I can go about gaining real life experience as a woman before transitioning to become one, I want to go on holidays and Spa breaks and pamper sessions 💅, and go dancing 💃, and do lunch, and so many different things with the women in my life.

Even though I know that the process takes years these were not questions I was asking a few short weeks ago.

I have somehow gone from asking “is this normal?” to “what is the best way to do this?”.

I wonder if already having a vasectomy would impact reassignment surgery which at the moment I could see myself doing.

20181208_190131

I think about what I will miss about being male in this world and so far peeing standing up outside easily, having many pockets and carrying my trusty rucksack everywhere are about the only things I can think of outside of the risk that my kids may not want anything to do with me – which is hands down my single biggest fear by far.

And with all of that I find myself thinking that I have finally admitted to myself that I am no longer simply questioning my gender.

I do not need to ask myself if I am Transgender – because it is now really REALLY obvious to me that I am.

It may be more social and emotional dissonance than physical, and it may not cause me pain or give me harmful thoughts, but I definitely feel more female than male in many areas of my life.

The question now is more along the lines of, “what do I want to do about it?