Wednesday, 12 November 2008

23 days and counting

I guess it seems a long time since I started on this path (I really need to fine better metaphors for this - everyone uses paths, road, journeys, adventures, etc) but in reality it hasn't been long since I went for my first appointment and decided on taking the RLE (Real Life Experience) route.

I thought this would be the easy option as I was already spending more and more time presenting as the female me. In fact at the time I remember thinking, and maybe even writing here (too lazy to check), that it was the obvious thing to do and meant that I would feel better being able to present how I felt I wanted to.

But it's not easy. It is fun at first and certainly I can't see me presenting/living any other way, but after the novelty wears off I am now left with the sad reality that I have a long list of 'faults' and a long long way to go to rectify them.

Alot of people also suggest that things are done using a clean sweep, for example changing job or starting with a complete new image with everything intact and sorted out, e.g. appearance, name, etc. I think other people in this situation have actually kept the final 'coming-out' until they are well on their way in terms of hormone treatment and even surgery.

I haven't done it that way.

I think I have probably done it the hard way in reality. Yes, I am getting to wear what I like and change my identity (gradually), but I also have to live with my appearance and everything about me being far from perfect or complete. This makes it hard to transition properly in many ways, for example the name change has been okay but people at work still make mistakes, somewhat understandably*, and that grates at best and at worst knocks a chunk out of my confidence each time it happens.

[ * - Yes, I get remembering a name change being hard, particularly given my appearance, but it's strange how some people insist on using a name in normal conversation. It's fine to attract attention, e.g. "Fiona, can you just ...", but when in a discussion why do you need to use anyone's name. Exercise for the reader: listen to when people do this and see if it is a) just silly, b) patronizing, c) complimentary, d) just a quirk of odd people ]

So, I potentially have only 23 days to go before I may be able to start hormone treatment. As this time ticks away and other things in life affect my thoughts and feelings I'm obviosuly beginning to think seriously about what I'm doing. I guess to over-use some more metaphors I'm "taking stock", or looking at the "state of play". Here's what I've come up with:

  • I have limited confidence
  • I have limited finances (some of this is self-inflicted)
  • I am under pressure now to maintain a job so that I can keep both myself and the family I once had in a flat and house respectively
  • I have, what seems like, unlimited debt - okay maybe not the worst in the world but a big chunk (yes, self-inflicted I know)
  • I have little prospect of any normal relationship or life anymore no matter what
  • I have the propsect of losing touch with my son once the changes from hormones get noticeable
  • I have to live with all of this for the rest of my life
The above is a random list of self-pity, on the plus side I do have some fantastic and supportive friends and some vague, possibly unjustified, optimism and even excitement about how I may change once I start treatment.

I was trying to make a point and really make myself feel down but guess I've just rambled again. I would probably also count this as a plus; so far I've not had to deal with anything really difficult or what I have gone through I've coped with - either way I hope this is how it continues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I changed my name a while back, parent's can be so cruel in their choices for their child's name, thinking they are being modern, clever, witty or all three. They're not the ones who have to live with the consequences of their choice. I changed my name and told all those around me of the change yet they still insisted on calling me my old name. It drove me to distraction and I just gave up in the end.

I wonder how you settled on the name Fiona? Did you look in the mirror one day and say to yourself "I look like a Fiona"?