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
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.