Monday, 29 September 2008

Well this is weird

I have my deed poll document, it's rather boring actually, just a few basic sentences and some places to sign for me (with my old signature and new one*) and a witness and that's it.

It's somewhat of an anti-climax.

So I just need to get the 5 copies (what will do alot will do a little) printed out and signed and that's it.

* - I had to actually think about a new signature which felt really weird. I've done one before for the credit card I have in a female name but that was in some ways just a bit of fun (I drew cirles over the 'i's instead of a dot just to be a bit different).

This is probably a huge, amazingly big step and, as per usual I'm kind of approaching it with, at the moment, little deep thought. I mean this is, from an external point of view, my identity! I'm quite excited about it but then again it's really quite scary ... what on earth are my parents going to say? I haven't really discussed this with anyone in depth it's just happening because it's part of the plan.

I'm not sure if this is going to help, will it make me feel better, more female? More certain? More uncertain? More silly? More at ease? More questions???

It kind of feels like it should be a momentous occasion but I suspect that it won't be because it's going to take a long time, even for me, to get use to having a different name - as I've mentioned before, I've never thought that my name was such an important thing though I recently have felt that I would feel more comfortable with something more in keeping with my appearance, e.g. it was quite bizarre going to the doctors to pick up my blood test results today and having to say my old (male) fullname; it's even more disconcerting when it pops up on the screen prefixed with Mr in the waiting room to announce that the doctor with see me!

Instead of rambling, I should get to bed!

Night, from Fiona :D

Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Plan

I'm still thinking that I'm relying less on feelings about how I want to be and more on an actual plan of changing: I'm kind of going through the motions of the things I think I need to do to get the next bit of treatment or change without considering too much what the end result will be in case I get too disappointed by the possible outcomes.

The current plan at the moment is:

  • Name change
  • Ask for letter from GP/specialist that allows me to change gender marker on passport
  • Get new passport/drivers license etc and then start changing name with relevant organisations (banks, etc)
  • Voice training - this is very important and very scary for me
Overall try not to think about this all too much because I seriously doubt I'm going to be happy with the final result but I still feel I must do it and I want to keep accelerating through the process.

I'm going to pick up my blood test results tomorrow as well, they were all normal apparently (a relief), but I need to send a copy to Dr Curtis and will ask at the same time about the letter for change of gender marker.

Being seen out and about

I use to really worry what I would do if I saw someone I knew while I was out dressed as Fiona. Thankfully this never happened so I didn't have to avoid people or deal with that situation - I'm sure I would have handled it badly and I guess it would also have meant that the secret would have been out.

Now, I fear the opposite in some respects; I worry that I will be seen by someone that I know when I'm NOT presenting as Fiona. I was actually thinking about it today because I was going out with my son and have to appear as male when I'm with him.

And it happened.

I bumped into one of my friends from work (I'm sure he'll be reading this) and his wife. It was for me, quite awkward and odd because I am so use to seeing everyone from work when I'm presenting (well trying to present) as female. I felt embarassed and I'm sure I over-compensated on my voice/mannerisms so probably looked even more stupid! Oh, and I looked in the mirror when I got back to the car and as well as clearly not looking how I want my hair was a mess as well.

I think this is one of the hardest things at the moment; I need to make a huge effort to have a look that I am vaguely happy with and sans make-up and appropriate clothes I look horribly male.

I am hoping so much that hormones will be able to help with this to some degree - looking at before/after pics of others there can be some improvement, on the other hand I guess it's best not to get my hopes up too much.

Actually presenting as male is quite a problem for me now and it leads to a great deal of confusion and also obviously brings back memories and self-image/feelings that I had before. This is intensified by the fact that I'm with my son as well and that alone brings out the 'parent' or more specifically 'Dad' in me. I can almost feel that this whole TS nonesense should go away when I'm in that situation which is very odd.

I felt quite desperate at one point today and wanted to try and compensate for this in some way (throw on some overtly female clothes) when my son left. I haven't as yet as I'm been glued to the laptop for sometime but the more I think about it the more unhappy I am with my current appearance, though also find it hard to see how this can change radically enough.

Company Summer Party

I'm a bit behind with the blog posts so I'll try and catch up a bit and then keep on top of things next week ... erm, well hopefully anyway.

In the interests of brevity (word of the day) and avoiding any rambling here are the highlights of the night:
  • Only too me two hours to get ready! Okay, sounds bad but that's shower, dry/straighten hair, make-up, get dressed all interspersed with worry and stress about how I was going to look! No pictures of me (well there are some but they have other work colleagues in them so no appropriate for public disemination) but the outfit was pretty simply; red satin top and black jeans (both from Dorothy Perkins), the multi-coloured shoes from Evans (see post from ages ago) and black & silver necklace and earrings from M&S.
  • Food was at one of those Tepenyaki places - plenty to eat and drink and all very entertaining even when they fling food at you which is impossible to catch!
  • Next was cocktails at Cloud 23 which is the bar on top of the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate in Manchester - amazing views across the city - I've always loved the sight of a city/town at night from a distance, the lights just look magical (cue Bette Midler singing "From a distance").
  • Then taxi ride to Tiger Tiger where we were in the VIP area and able to drink vast amounts ... I don't think I was *that* bad but I seem to have managed to get nice and drunk anyway.
  • Chatted to some really nice girls who had been quizzing one of my work colleagues about me. I was probably rambling at that point but it was fun nonetheless.
  • Actually talked to a lovely girl outside Tiger Tiger who was handing out flyers and she was so nice and fun that I seriously regret not getting her number or something - not for any reason than just to talk to her again.
  • Everyone was very drunk on leaving the club and heading back to the hotel and a few hurtful comments were said but we'll forget about that I think.
Woke up at 7am because B was trying to get hold of me to arrange me seeing my son this weekend. Couldn't get back to sleep so go up (slowly) and had a wander round Manchester, buying some more make-up and similar things. Also had a look at dresses in Monsoon in preparation for the Chirstmas Party shopping!

Didn't really have the heart (or money) to shop much so drove home, got a few things from Tesco's and then had a bit of a sleep before my son came over.

This pic is me AFTER having a sleep, hence the slightly dishevelled look!

Honest I looked alot better on the night out and MUCH better before having a sleep!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Psychosexual Psychotherapist Appointment

Well I'd write lots about this now but I'm just about to rush out to get to Manchester for the summer do and I really can't concentrate on composing eloquent words at the moment.

Suffice to say the appointment went well, the lady I saw was really nice and let me ramble away for over an hour.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Get your skates on!

I must be mad!

I've just ordered myself some Rollerboots!

Obviously not going to use these in anger BEFORE the work summer party on Thursday, just in case I can't quite remember HOW to rollerskate properly, OR if my memory of actually being not too bad at it is a little bit of an exaggeration from reality!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Disappointed in myself/Crisis of faith

I was meant to be going up to my home town now to see the production that K is involved with, but I'm not, and here are a few of the reasons why (in order of importance):
  • K said it was fine for me not to go and that it was on in Manchester at another time so I could see it then.
  • An ex-girlfriend (mutual friend of K and me) was going to be there and would almost certainly recognise me. Not entirely sure how she would react and there is no animosity between us (the ex-gf status is incidental and I only mention it for completeness)
  • I'm not really looking my best at the moment, paranoid about my skin, hair (both the wanted and unwanted variety).
  • My family don't like the idea of me going up because of bumping into someone they know. Okay this is the same as the 2nd reason above and to be fair I probably would have had less problem going up if I didn't know for a fact that someone I knew was going to be there.
These are all good logical reasons but in reality I'm not going because I'm scared and that is what is so disappointing to me. I feel bad as well that I'm not going to be there as a sign of support for K though I'm sure she doesn't need that and probably me being there would actually make her worry about me which would obviously be unfair.

So this brings me to the crisis of faith - sorry being reading the God Delusion and feel like using certain words in a sort of ironic way. Except that it's not entirely ironic; I've been doing lots of thinking this weekend and have also not had much of an opportunity to feel particularly feminine in any way - yesterday wasn't bad, cycling is pretty much a non-gendered thing, I'd feel equally exhausted as either male or female - but today as been a mass tidy up in the flat wearing rather scruffy clothes.

I really am having trouble imagining that any transformation is going to be a success. I can't actually picture how I'll look or how I'll feel. Not going up to see the production this evening also makes me doubt how committed I am to trying to live me life as female; surely if I'm that sure this is what I want it wouldn't be such a big deal (yes, yes, I know all the stuff like "it takes time", "one step at a time", etc, but that doesn't make me feel much better).

I'm not feeling any depression, anxiety or overwhelming desire to change my body this instant, but then again I'm not feeling any strong motivation to stay as I am either, in fact I'm probably just being indecisive and not commiting to a route. I kind of expected that I'd feel more certain and more driven to change. All I can be really certain of is a kind of low-level background dislike for how I look, act, and am and a general happiness when I can look in the mirror and see the female version of me looking back.

Anyway, since I have nothing else to do this evening I can have more thinking time and I also have a whole glass of some rather sickly, but very alcoholic, banana liqueur (with grenadine added as well, I don't like the banana thing on it's own) that has been sitting the fridge as I kind of emergency drink.

Southport ...

... is about 20miles from my flat, or more precisely the round-trip is 66.6km which is 41miles in old money.

I know this because I was foolish enough to cycle there and back (just) yesterday! And yes, I was absolutely shattered when I got back, it hurt like hell, and it wiped me out for the rest of the day! And no, I'm not likely to do that trip again in a hurry.

Actually I might go to Southport again, using alternative, less tiring transport, as it actually is a very nice place. I don't generally like seaside resorts and hate all the tacky shops and amusements, but Southport doesn't seem to have descended too much into that kind of thing and is, for want of a better word, a little more 'posh'.

Anyway, I managed to cycle there without much trouble and it was a really nice sunny day and there were lots of things to see on my scenic route out there. Roads weren't too bad but there are some busy dual-carriageways, but these bits aren't too long.

Actually had a very inconsiderate and frankly arrogant (and probably stupid) driver honk his horn at me as he whizzed past, gesticulating towards the cycle track at the side of the road. Okay, yes I could use that but I didn't want to 'cos it was right next to hawthorn bushes and I'm fed up of getting punctures! I have a right to be on the road and I was cycling properly, was clearly visible and he had plenty of time to pass (the road wasn't that busy). Also honking a very loud horn at someone is more likely to make them jump (like it did me) and risk an accident than if you were just a little more considerate and got past me.

The trip back started to hurt quite alot - my feet, hands, and obviously my bum all become rather numb and my muscles started to seize a bit as they really aren't use to all that distance. Really slowed down on the way back and thought several times that I'd have to stop for a rest as I felt I simply couldn't go on anymore.

In the end my GPS said it took around 3hrs of travelling and during that time there were only 4minutes when I was stopped, they were all traffic lights! When I get the track off the GPS I'll get a view of the route on Google Earth and put a pic up here.

When I got back I quickly ran a hot bath, made some food, and then had a good long soak. I use to think it was better to have a shower so that I kept moving but, so far, the bath seems to have done the trick and I don't hurt too much. Had a bit of a sleep in the afternoon and then managed to wander around making tea etc.

So, a good adventure and lovely route to cycle but I think I'll try and do shorter rides in future to build me up to attempting this one again.

[ Note: I really shouldn't have done this on a mountain bike as that just makes it even harder given the suspension and the rough tires, I'm sure it would be so much easier on a proper road bike! ]

Thursday, 18 September 2008

A rant.

I know that my parents are finding this hard and that they are concerned for my well-being as well as that of my son, B, and the rest of the family in general and also that they have different experiences and values than those that society has today; things move on and change and was wasn't acceptable now is (or isn't as unacceptable anyway).

But the above doesn't stop me being a little annoyed about their views so I'll rant about it here and then I'll feel better. This rant should in no way indicate that I want to cause further upset and heartache or shout and scream at my parents, I can see why they would think what they do and, as ever I don't blame people for not being able to cope with this or finding it 'wrong' in any sense. Everyone is entitled to their views and opinions.

Anyway, the first point is that it's apparently fine for me to do what I do in the privacy of my own home but not for me to publicly present this way, my parents don't understand this. Well first off why should how I want to present have to be something 'dirty' that must be kept secret? What is wrong with someone wanting to wear certain clothes or present a certain image? Okay, it's not 'normal' but who cares, there are plenty of people who wear and present in all sorts of ways and that's fine, be who and what you want to be and be proud of that (with the usual proviso that what you do doesn't endanger, abuse or hurt others).

I felt so good when I was able to come out of the proverbial closet and admit that I dressed in female attire and presented a female persona. It was a huge weight of my mind and incredibly liberating. Looking back it was horrible to feel that this was some terrible secret and that I was a 'weirdo' or should be ashamed of what I do. Apparently feeling like that is better than being open and honest about how I feel and showing the world that I am still a human being and a nice person.

[ Aside: the nature of the demise of Alan Turing has always been a source of some annonyance to me; he was a brilliant mathematician and contributed alot to the world and he was harassed and, potentially, pushed to the point of suicide because he was homosexual. So because of peoples rabid bigotry, small-mindedness, and prejudice, we lost a great mind of the 20th century. I'm sure that there are countless, less famous but equally valuable people who have suffered a similar fate. ]

The other comment was about the feelings I have that drive me to dress and present this way. Apparently I should just control these. The example used in a previous conversation was of alcoholics, the one last night was about wanting to stay in bed and just sleep rather than get up and go to work. I can't see how wanting to have a lie in, but fighting that 'feeling' so that you do get up and go to work is in anyway similar to resisting the urge to dress and present how I want.

It sounds a bit like going to work is something that you just have to do, it's your duty in a sense, so by extension conforming to a given gender role and keeping everything under control and hidden is also something I'm obligated to do. Taking the analogy to it's extreme; most people probably want to lie in instead of going to work but once you're there you just get on with things and usually enjoy it in some way (or change job if you don't).

What people generally don't do is go through the entire day longing to be back in bed and constantly thinking about it and feeling unhappy that they are not there nor do they obsess about being back in bed to the detriment of everything else. Also you're not really tempted to take bits of the bed to work in an attempt to make you feel better.

Bad analogy I think.

I have tried to supress the urges to dress and present as female but they don't go away, I've gone through lots of cycles of purging to no avail. This doesn't go away, it is constantly there and something that I can't just hide; surely the fact that it has been a re-occurring thing all through my life and something I've felt I have to do no matter what embarassment or shame I have felt.

And just to clarify, this isn't just some sort of sexual thing, some perversion or kink. I use to think it was, I use to come up with all sorts of reasons to explain what I felt and to rationalise it but that didn't work.

It is a bit hard now for me to see that I have a 'problem' as I am able, to a large extent, to dress and present and feel how I want. Essentially that is a partial cure. I only really notice now when I am not able to express who I am and can't dress/behave in that way.

I'll say again that I can understand why my parents think the way they do, they simply don't understand gender dysphoria, too be honest I don't fully understand it I just know that I feel happier going along this journey than not.

I am so very sorry that my family can't understand this and that it is causing them so much hurt and anguish. I have never wanted to hurt anyone.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Yep, knew the down had to be coming

Felt a bit down this evening having been hit by a nasty bout of reality after I removed my make-up before cycling home (avoids having the mascara run and it making me look like something put of a horror film). So, not feeling too good anyway but tried to recover and then got a call from my Mum about various things the main theme of which being that none of the family is coping with this and me popping up to the home town is probably a bad idea. Also we had a bit of discussion about why this had to be out rather than a private thing and couldn't I just control my feelings etc. All understandable questions and concerns but again, futher proof that I have upset a great many people by taking this path and that they are having an excrutiatingly hard time dealing with it. On my own on this one I guess.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Big Sister (aka RLE) - Day 14

I'm counting from the appointment with Dr Curtis as, since then, I have been attempting to live full time (FT), 24/7, in-role, so that I can show that I have completed the 3months Real Life Experience (RLE) at my next visit.

With the exception of the times that I see my son I have been presenting as female at work (I spend most of my time there to be fair), shopping, going out, even exercising*, etc.

[ * - Yes, I have actually been out cycling, a significant distance in fact - 30km is my usual amount - while wearing female cycling gear, complete with enhancement in the cheat area. I have discovered that sports bra's while not the most attractive things in the world are pretty good at their job and are quite comfy! Sorry, that's maybe a little too much information but it might help or amuse someone. ]

I'm continuing to contemplate changing my name (to Fiona Andrea ) as well as wrestling with my thoughts in general.

Today I feel upbeat, I suspect it won't be long before I lapse into confusion again. Anyway, I'm going to TRY and keep a diary of how things go and how I feel through this period.

One thing worth stressing, if only to get it embedded in my head as well, is that 3months RLE sounds like a short time but in reality it means for the rest of my life; I don't reach the end of that period and stop, I actually carry on afterwards. In fact a scary thought it that, if I manage 3months and do then get treatment it could take many (minimum 6) more months for there to be any noticeable change.

More stark truthes

Well further evidence, if it was needed at all, that I'm completely naive and generally oblivious to how much my 'condition' impacts real life and the people around me.

I won't go into the specifics but in general terms it concerned my idea for a trip up to my home town to see something at one of the local theaters, I had also mused about meeting up with my sister and even seeing my parents. These last two items on the itinerary were unlikely, in fact one would probably be impossible.

What hadn't really occurred to me was that even going to my hometown could potentially be a risky business as there would likely be someone who knew someone who knew someone else, etc, etc, etc.

I've seen a remark that transexualism is the new homosexuality; announcing you are gay is no longer such a 'bad' thing (I'm sure it may even be fashionable in certain circles) and there isn't as much stigma in general (though I don't doubt that it still can result in a fair amount of emotion, trauma and even conflict). Thinking about it I wonder if I should have tried that tack first, just to guage reaction, before plunging on into the depths of gender dysphoria? I'm kind of curious to know

Actually changing gender is not seen in the same light though, I guess part of that is it's a new 'unknown' that people are only just getting use to and also the fact that the in-between (and probably the final) appearance is pretty obvious to everyone, at least being gay you can hide things to a certain extent!

I had wondered (and continue to wonder) what was really meant by the whole real life experience thing, I mean, how hard can it be to do something you want and maybe even enjoy doing? Well I guess it means that I have to think about places I go, and, considering it now, it probably means I can't see my parents for a long time; no popping up to collect things (there are some pictures of mine at home and there were some toys I wanted to borrow for my son), no dropping in for Sunday lunch.

As a partial defence it does occur to me that dealing with being a transexual almost neccesitates a certain degree of insensitivity to how people percieve you and treat you. I can't imagine how I would be able to do anything in real life if I wasn't able to block out the stares, th whispering, the comments or the very thought of how bad a may look/sound/act. I'm trying to bulldoze my way through life as a way of coping with this, which just makes it harder to be aware of how much I may be hurting other people.

As you might be able to tell from the writing style and quantity I'm not actually feeling that down about all this and I suspect this is an excellent illustration of how stupid, naive, and frankly selfish I am. I should really have no cause to feel anything other than depressed and despondant given the situation I have put everyone and myself in.

GP Appointment

Went to see my new GP today to give her the letter from Dr Curtis and obviously to ask about the things mentioned there (blood tests, counselling, and voice training). I also asked about counselling to help with my son and other family dealing with the changes. The counselling and how everyone deals with this are very, very important and I really need to sort this out and not get complacent and distracted by my own problems and successes. To illustrate how easy this is I really want to say more about how supportive the doctor was and how good I felt today being dressed fairly smartly (for no particular reason). I'll leave further details to when I have a real keyboard and not just my phone. Here's a pic of me with another hairstyle on the theme of 'attempting to control a mess'.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A better week next week?

I can't remember all the things I wanted to write and it's rather late on Sunday night to even be wasting even more time on the laptop when I should be getting ready for work tomorrow and heading to bed.

I've had a lot of knocks to my confidence this week for one reason or another and I've also been thinking through what it is that I'm doing with my life. Add to that some stark truths, such as the fact that my son is getting quite upset about coming over to see me, and this along with many other things means that I can no longer view everything as easy and clear-cut anymore.

Last week was difficult, I have been tired from getting up so early to cycle into work and maintaining a routine where I am presenting as female 24/7. I'm trying to complete 3months of RLE (Real Life Experience) so that I can satisfy the requirements to get hormone treatment, but doing this isn't as easy as it sounds, even given the understanding and supportive work environment I have.

In fact I realised something (well lots of things) this past week and that's about acceptance. I can delude myself that I'm looking and acting female and maybe, if I'm lucky, I might one day even look (and sound) mildly passable and I'm sure friends the people at work will be very understanding and supportive ... but at the moment I don't feel that they will ever accept me as female.

In some ways this is kind of understandable, having known me as male for so long. I guess I can live with that but people still can say and do things that, while not intended like this, are incredibly hurtful to me and it just goes to highlight my own definciencies and failings. Not really being very articulate about this and suspect that going to bed now would be better than wasting more time dwelling on bad things.

Anyway, had a good chat to K today when we met up and, on a more positive note we're planning the following things to help us both get over our own personal 'glitches' in life:

  • Cycling - I'm going to do more and K is going to start with some (hopefully patient) help from me - think I need to remember what it was like when I first went out on a bike (I was shattered)
  • Roller Skating - None of those fancy inline skates, you can still buy the 70s/80s (90s?) version with 4 wheels, that rubber stopper at the front and best off all they come in bright white! Hmmm, just thought, I need to buy an appropriately bright and pleated skirt in which to skate!
  • Ice Skating in Piccadilly Gardens - we think that this may be both fun, visually stunning (the lights in the city, not the skating itself), and a good place to pick up men/women LOL

BTW, you'll notice the profile pic has changed; I'm trying to update things to be a little more realistic and the old pictures weren't really me, they were me with artificial hair, now you get to see the true mess that I am. To add further evidence to the case for me having a LONG way to go I provide another picture here:

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

And sometimes ...

You get away with drinking a whole bottle of wine the night before getting up at 5:45 and cycling into work in under 18minutes without the slightest hint of a hangover! Of course I could be speaking too soon and the hangover/fatigue may kick in later today!

Anyway, I've not been updating the blog much over the past few days mainly as I've been doing alot of thinking and I've either had too many thoughts swarming (maybe not an ideal word as 'swarm' implies some sort of order) around in my head or have not been able to clearly hold on to an idea in order to document it.

I haven't really come to a conclusion yet and have had quite a few doubts and contradictions in my head. I still seem to be continuing along with my RLE (Real Life Experience) and have at least overcome some of the practical issues associated with cycling in to work though there's probably more to be done to streamline the whole process.

In terms of how I feel it's harder to pin down, sometimes (like last night) it's very confusing and I'm less certain of what I want to do. Then again I can bounce back with some effort and feel a bit better about myself (like this morning).

Anyway, best get back to some work and immerse myself in some music I think.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Sometimes ...

The only way to escape is to drink too much, watch slushy movies, listen to equally sad/moving/slushy music in the dark and cry your eyes out for no real reason apart from the fact that you are probably screwing up your life in quite spectacular style or are so confused about it that it amounts to the same. Of course this could be utter rubbish by the time I'm sober (which won't take long due to an efficient liver). Sometimes it's nice to have uncluttered and sincere thoughts but sadly this state doesn't last long. Amazing how easy it is to type rubbish so eloquently, of course I'm sure it won't appear so in the morning!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Here's a quick summary of the journey there are back, just for completeness:

  • Train delayed from Chorley to Manchester because of "cable theft"!!
  • Missed my 9:15am train so had to get the 9:45am instead (not too bad really).
  • Nice comfy trip down on one of those Pendalino trains (we passed one named "Penny the Pendalino")
  • London Underground was busy, noisy and smelly as ever but worked fine
  • On the trip back I managed to get on an earlier train ...
  • ... which was then delayed because of "Youths placing things on the track near Coventry" (if any of said "Youths" are reading this: Thanks you inconsiderate morons!
  • Missed my connection to Chorley so had to wait at Manchester for 20mins followed by a further 40mins at Bolton (on freezing cold platforms, me with no coat and with all waiting rooms closed!).
  • Finally got back to Chorley to be greeted with howling winds and lashing rain!
  • Got into bed around 11:40 in the end - rather tired today!
Anyway, the appointment itself: I'd met up with Mandy (fab friend from FaceBook) earlier in the day and she was kind enough to come along with me. The place where Dr Curtis has his surgery (is that the right word) is a quite nice but unassuming building on Wimpole Street, nice and relaxing waiting room where Mandy got to sit (reading "Why women can't read maps and men can't listen" - that's such an ironic book to be in the waiting room).

I was quite nervous going into see Dr Curtis, I'd thought of all sorts of things to say but when it came to it I just burbled incoherently (as usual). I was a bit thrown by the initial open question which was "What can I do to help you?". Anyway, we discussed a bit about my history, both basic things like family and obviously my gender issues.

I won't go into the nitty-gritty of all the questions and things that we went through but at the end of it all there is no real conclusion or fixed diagnosis which I didn't expect but still it felt like a bit of an anti-climax when it didn't appear. However, looking at it another way, GID is self-diagnosed, my thoughts, feelings and actions and more importantly my decisions will dictate what treatment I need, which in some ways is better as it gives me a degree of control and time to think things through.

A few things were discussed such as counselling and voice coaching and I need to look into these soon. Also I need to talk to my GP about what is going on.

Most importantly I need to decide what I want to do and how to progress. Following the means that there are essentially two options, 3months of counselling or the same period of real life experience (RLE), the latter including change of name etc. After successful completion of either of these then treatment (if necessary) can proceed.

So, I'm left with lots of big decisions and lots of possibilities and I think I'll leave it until I've got my thoughts in order a little more before I say anything else about that!

Overall a good day though and another step along the way I guess.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

So, how did it go?

Well the first thing that springs to mind is: anti-climax. I had got worked up about things and was almost wondering why I was going and that I don't want to change much. Since I now feel that today hasn't moved me forward much (actually it has) I'm now wanting to change more and am almost disappointed that I'm not feeling some miraculous transformation and am not going to be for another 3months (I knew this before going down, the current guidelines must be followed). I'll write more detail later but the bottom line is that GID is self-diagnosed and there are two routes to prove it, 3months of counselling or 3months RLE (including name change etc). Again I'll eleborate more later but I'm actually thinking RLE at the moment! (it's 'free' and I'm practically doing it anyway). Got an earlier train back so hopefully get back at a reasonable hour.

T minus 3hrs

First off, sorry if the picture is on it's side, the Blogger app on my phone is being awkward! Anyway, on the train down to London now, quite nice and comfy and chilling out listening to some music and trying (and failing) to get a good pic of myself (slight drop to 90% on the delusion sheilds I think but still holding strong). Obviously doing lots of thinking but feeling quite happy and relaxed and even positive! Will have to stop typing soon as squinting at this screen is giving me a bit os a headache, actually this might have something to do with hunger as well - thought I would be too nervous to eat but clearly my stomach had other ideas! Hmm wish my hair was a bit (lot) longer!

T minus 7hrs and counting

Well, I'm on my way to London for my appointment with Dr Curtis, currently travelling to Manchester so I can get the direct train down south. Didn't sleep very well last night, woke up at 1am and then again at about 4:30am. Trying not to think about anything serious at the moment. I'm feeling relatively confident about how I look (delusion sheilds at 95% captain) though I really should have brought a jacket, it's a bit cold! Will try and get some pics of me later in the day. For now I'm going to go back to reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.