Recognising My Own Reflection

Sky Reflection

Well, the last few days have been a complete whirlwind. So much going on inside my head, at home and at work. When it all reached boiling point, I was ready to explode. Instead of checking out early though, I did something I never thought I’d do: I made a decision.

After spending my life struggling with my gender, I’ve finally admitted what is going on and decided it’s time to speak to a doctor.

You know what? Deep down, I knew all along. Previous feelings of confusion were just a cloud to distract me. Denial. Looking for blame or answers elsewhere. The struggle was never about deciding if I was female, it was knowing what to do about it. Separating who I’m supposed to be and the impact it will have on my life. As the saying goes, you can’t make an omelette with breaking some eggs. Before all this, I never wanted to rock the boat. I just wanted to exist quietly, hoping nobody would notice me. If I didn’t matter to anyone, then I didn’t have to do anything about myself. I’ve been denying and frustrating myself all my life, which ultimately affected my mental and physical health. It’s very clear and obvious now. I can’t keep overlooking what’s right in front of me. I have to live my life. The real one, not the pretend one that I’ve put together to distract or fool myself. I have to be me. The real me. I’m not going to lie, I’m really fucking scared. Scared and worried about what will now happen. For somebody that’s so organised and analytical, this step into the unknown is actually terrifying. My life will never be the same again. Any change is scary, especially something this big. Since I made the decision a few days ago, there’s been a massive change within me already. I feel such a sense of relief and peace. I’m no longer at war with myself every waking moment. I’m just…calm. Like all the additional voices and conflicting thoughts have been silenced, and there’s just me left. Is this what people (who don’t ever have to go through this) feel like?? I’ve been missing out!!

It’s not something I feel like I need to announce to the world though. There won’t be a Facebook status or any sort of post to let people know. I’m doing this for me. If people find out, then fine. If people ask, I’ll tell them. Otherwise, I’m just getting on with my life. I mean, you don’t tell the world that you’re switching to another brand of toothpaste, do you?! Well ok, some people would. But that’s them!! At this early stage, I’m just enjoying inner peace for the first time ever. There may come a point where I need to say something in order to clarify things or address certain issues but I’ll deal with that as and when. Yeh people may still refer to me based on who they knew, but that’s understandable. Using the right pronoun or gender references will take time – not that they should matter so much. I’m not going to get hung up on it, so I don’t want others to either…even those who are opposed to my choice. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I know this doesn’t just affect me. At no point have I forgotten or overlooked those around me, nor do I want to take them for granted. Having spent my life helping or fixing people, it’s not something I’m going to stop doing. I’m just being respectful about it whilst doing something for me, for once. I’m all too conscious that some people will disagree with my decision, some might welcome it, some may want struggle to accept it, whilst others may not give a shit. Each to their own. The last thing I’m going to do is throw this in their faces. Another reason why I don’t feel an urge to make a huge announcement about it.

So far, I’ve told my best friend about my decision. Her response? “…about fucking time…what else should you be other than you?” She has a certain way with words, hahaha…but she’s totally right. I’ve put this off for far too long due to being scared of how people will treat me. I can’t live in fear of that. It’s easier said than done, definitely, but I’d like to think it’s a step in the right direction for me. In a way, despite the ups and downs, I’ve actually been slowly heading in the right direction since seeing Courtesans earlier this year – I just never realised. As a band, and as (awesome) people, what they represent and what they stand for has been a huge influence on me. I’ve played with and met a lot of bands but never met a band like them. They’ve shown me that I can stand up to the world and be myself, without being afraid. Ok, I’m still working on the “not being afraid” part. It’s not often that you meet people who care so much for others so soon. I know it sounds cheesy but in a way, I feel like I need to say a HUGE thank you to them. They don’t know that by being themselves and through their music, they’re helping people so much. Actually one of them knows. The other person I’ve told about my decision is actually their singer Sinead. Since I told her about me a while ago, she’s been incredible and has given me so much advice. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of her and my best friend. They’ve been so understanding and encouraged me to just be myself. I’m so grateful.

The one other person I need to tell about my decision is my other half. Given the communication problems we’ve had, it’s been so difficult talking to her about anything. Since I first told her about my gender dysphoria exactly 6 weeks ago today, it’s not been brought up. She’s not asked me anything nor wanted to talk to me about it. There have been plenty of opportunities but nothing has come of it. As I mentioned above, I fully respect the decisions of those who don’t agree with what I’m going through. Yeh, it hurts like fuck. It’s torn me apart every day since I told her. In fact, every time I look at her. Before I told her, I beat myself up every day for not being able to tell her, despite the huge need to make sure I tell her. I turned to alcohol and prescription strength painkillers to numb myself from the world when I couldn’t carve myself up or end it all. It’s been an anticlimax and I would’ve thought she’d want to talk about the one thing that will finish us. But I have to respect her choice. I have no right to force her to talk about the thing that’s destroying her life. Maybe she is scared too and not wanting to talk about it is her way of dealing with it? I honestly don’t know. She never says anything so I have no clue what she thinks of it all. Even if I wanted to approach the subject or ask her what she really thought, it’s her birthday today so I don’t want anything to overshadow her day, cause an argument or ruin her birthday. I’ve done all I can by telling her, as I did a few weeks ago, and it’s up to her now. I can only wait until she does want to talk about it. Until that day, if it ever happens, I can only focus on the next step for me. Since I moved, I never registered with a new doctor in the area. Maybe that was me trying to put it off? Having now filled out the registration forms, I’m determined make an appointment to ask the doctor for help: a referral to the gender identity clinic. The start of the rest of my life.

Featured image: via Google
Featured video: “Reflection” from Disney’s Mulan (via Disney’s YouTube page)

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