While the beginning of this week was a bit of an emotional minefield to get through the weekend has been quite pleasant.
Well, pleasant is not quite the word. On Friday I could not take it any more and spent almost two hours shaving my arms, legs and chest. I knew my weekend did not involve any time to openly be Dee but I had just had enough, I think when I am feeling down or going through periods of high emotional turmoil I shut down any non essential tasks and then slowly shovel food I know I will regret into my mouth until I feel bad about that too – emotional eating has become a modern form of self flagellation.
On Friday evening I travelled down to my sisters – I actually packed a suitcase in the boot of the car just in case the opportunity to be Dee presented itself (it totally didn’t but one can live in hope, when did I become the person that packs two bags for an overnight trip?) and spent another night chatting to my sister, this time chatting about her future plans rather than her just listening to my nonsense, it is nice to physically catch up – and then when I did go to bed I got to wear my pink pj’s as no one else was going to see them. I slept like a baby for the first time in many days.
I travelled in and arrived about half an hour early for my appointment, it was cold outside so I simply went in and sat in the warm catching up on other bloggers posts, but I read too fast, I should have taken a book. This time I had drank my morning coffee and when I was offered a cuppa by the receptionist I asked for tea and got decaff – now I own both decaff and regular tea and for anyone who claims they taste the same – they really don’t, coffee is harder to identify but the decaff tea has an almost metallic tang to it that made me wish I had asked for sugar.
This time as soon as I went in I was darling, and I love it. I may not fully understand the whole pronoun thing – I like people to address me by my name (even if it is not the name I would like them to use) calling someone he/she in front of them is just bad manners regardless of their gender or presentation.
I had worn pastel colours as they are just a little closer to what I would choose to wear if I could. We pretty much got straight down to – an application of something to my face followed by the first click and pinch of the laser. Then the second, then the third, by the fourth time my body knew what to expect and I started flinching. Over the course of the next 30-40 minutes I flinched many times, and almost cried once – though the tears also came at a point of conversation where I was being asked about how I felt about the news that my ex was re-marrying so soon.
If someone asks how I am doing usually try and give an honest answer – that way if they are not really interested they soon learn to not ask, I had been asked how my week had been and “bizarre” was the first word to come into my head. My consultant gave her opinion on the marriage and my ex and also informed me that if/when my ex discovers that I am trans that she will instantly absolve herself of any and all blame for the marriage failing, claiming it was my secret keeping/lying to her for all these years that made it not work. That was something that I have already established as being extremely likely anyway.
The constant flick from the laser took its toll, for me the line along my jaw on my neck was excruciating, the front of the neck and the top lip were unpleasant but under my jawbone by my ears was just agony and under my bottom lip was nasty too. It is not just that the constant flicking gets to you, but as your skin warms up it is like touching a scalding hot teaspoon to your face at the same time as being flicked by an elastic band.
I got through it with a LOT of flinching, only a little bit of whimpering, and an awful lot of clenching. When she applied cooling gel and asked how it felt all I could do was sigh in relief. I lay for about 10 minutes just letting the gel soak in. I have always thought myself fairly tolerant of pain, but this was equivalent to self torture, knowing that I had chosen this and was paying for the privilege. As my consultant also said though we are destroying the hair violently so it will be a violent experience.
Oddly though once I had gotten through my hour I was very pleased with myself, I paid for the session including an extra almost £40 for the gel – I know it is a giant tube but I could pick up aloe after sun soothing gel for much cheaper in the chemist and would be willing to bet it does the same job.
I had originally envisioned going and trying to visit a couple of friends in the area after my appointment but because I looked like I had a nasty skin condition I instead drove back to my sisters for lunch – she told me that it looked like I had nappy rash on my face and took a photo to send to the other sister in the know. Thanks sis!
I used gel before bed that evening and had to try and shave a little with the electric shaver just to tidy it up but today it looks like I tried to shave with a blunt blade and gave up, the bottom of my neck is still a little red but hopefully I can shave again properly soon – in three weeks time I go back so we can see where to start – this was just weed clearing with the IPL laser at its strongest setting. The thought that I still have many more sessions to go fills me with dread, the thought that it will not be too long before I never have to shave again fills me with joy.
Overall, this week I think that I am still very much afraid of being trans – it is not self loathing or shame so much as self fear.
What happens if I go through all this laser for the next 7 months and then when I finally see a gender therapist they just tell me that I have depression and am projecting my own feelings of being emasculated in my marriage (no idea where that nonsense penny psychology comes from but in some ways it was true – I was the one that gave up friends, family, hobbies and my own sense of worth to try to be what was wanted or needed in the relationship, everything literally revolved around her until the children came, then the kids came first and she came second, which is possibly why I was no longer good enough.)
I have still only been out once as Dee and am less than two months away from going out as Dee for a full weekend to an actual pride event – how can I claim to be proud when I am too scared to leave my own home or even really admit to myself that I am definitely trans instead of pussyfooting around with can I can’t I questions?
My consultant asked the very sensible question of would I be doing this if my marriage had not ended – and I had to say that while I do not know, the chances are probably not. I was never able to share this side of me with my wife for fear of her rejection and disgust, if we were still together then I would still be trying to please her for even the smallest compliment.
In other news my ex has advised me that she may be moving out of the area, she is considering applying for a job that she has been strongly encouraged to apply for, as her new man lives down that way I was oddly very calm about it all, really it was only a matter of time, and my only condition is that both children get the option of going with her or staying with me – at some point in the next year or two I will probably me moving too – if I ever want to become Dee in real life I cannot do it where I am and would have to move to a new area to do so.
Life continues to be overly complicated, but never boring!