It’s been a really difficult few weeks since my last post, so my head has not been in the blogging game at all. I’ve really wanted to write and get it all out of my system but the truth is I don’t know what I’m feeling. It’s annoying and incredibly frustrating. I’m feeling it (whatever it is) but it’s not something I can even begin to describe.
A few weeks ago I started private treatment, which was a huge step forward. With the contents of my head being so messy recently, I’ve not even been able to write about that. When I say treatment, it was the first appointment. Still, it was a big deal. I think it went ok? I wasn’t sure what to expect really. I’ve had therapy and stuff in the past but this is more than that. This wasn’t designed to fix me. It was designed to assess me – which is why it was so fucking scary too. A part of me felt like I was being scrutinised and made to justify or prove my own thoughts. I can understand why they would need to ask questions but, given that nobody except for me knows how I feel, I came away from the assessment feeling a bit frazzled. Maybe this was the start of why my world now has a different tint to it?
The assessment gave me things to think about. Important things. Ok, maybe “think about” isn’t the best way to describe it. The assessment left me doubting what I thought I knew – things which I previously took on face value. Where I would previously accept people saying they support me and that nothing will change, I’m now wondering if that really is the case or how long that would last. I’m not questioning the intentions of people, not at all. If anything, the assessment made me see that things could change and that I can’t simply rely on what’s been said. It left me guarded and very cautious. Realising there’s a distinct lack of communication around me, I can’t help but be a bit cynical. This is life changing stuff – not just for me but for those around me. Close relationships will be affected the most. In fact, it happened to somebody I know. Reading about what happened to them broke my heart. It was a reminder that it could happen to anybody at any time. It’s a huge wake up call and something that hasn’t left my mind since.
A few days after the assessment, I did end up telling my mom and sister. Previously, I didn’t feel they deserved to know as our relationship is a very basic one. We’ve never been a close family where we share thoughts or emotions. If we were, then I never got that memo, nor did I get an invite. It’s more like a family of robots. After doing some thinking, I just randomly messaged them with the news. More of an FYI. It’s obviously not news, as I told everybody else last year. This was more a formality so I could move on. I didn’t bother telling my dad though. He only ever contacts me when he wants something. He is somebody who could never understand the emotions of others, let alone offer the right support. If he doesn’t hear the answer he wants, then he stops replying. The responses from my mom and sister were what I expected. My sister said she was supportive but a day or so later, things had gone back to normal: no contact. My mom said she was supportive but didn’t want me to do anything about it (?!) and to just get on with life. Again, it’s business as normal. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s not like it’s a big deal or anything…
I was told by a customer that there’s a rumour circulating the area about me. People love to talk, don’t they? How it started or what’s been said is anybody’s guess. In a way, it helps me as I’ve been keeping things low key whilst at work so nobody is made to feel uncomfortable. I shouldn’t even have to. At the same time, it could harm the business when reputation is everything. Sadly, people do find little ways to let me know where they stand with things. Slipping phrases like “I’m a man’s man” into conversation is a common one. Just in case I got the wrong idea about them or their masculinity. A regular man who was very much into women only. All I can think about is the phrase “a man’s man”…surely if you’re a man’s man, then you’re a guy who is for men? If they were into women only, then would that not be a “lady’s man”? How bizarre that “a man’s man” has come to mean “a man who is not into men at all and only into women so nobody should question his sexuality or masculinity in any way, let alone think he isn’t anything other than a manly man descended from the manliest man that ever lived”. Anyway, yeh. There are rumours. People are wondering about me. Talking about me. Discussing me. If any of them want to know anything, I’d be more than happy to talk to them about me. After all, this is my life. I’m the one who has to live it. Not them. Will this rumour affect business? Probably.
If I’ve not actively been doing anything then I just feel like sitting in a corner and crying. Not sure what I’d be crying over though. Just crying for the sake of it? In the past few weeks, I’ve questioned so much around me but I’ve questioned myself more. To the point where I’ve lost motivation to do anything. I can’t focus on much at all, which makes the whole stay active thing even more challenging. A part of me really wishes I could start again elsewhere. A new start and another chance. But would that actually change anything? Even with going private, there’s still a wait. Not as long as on the NHS but we’re still talking months. A new start won’t change that. No. Running away doesn’t ease dysphoria nor does it change the way people treat me. So what else is there left to do? Keeping active is ok but deep down I know it’s just a distraction from what I can’t fix right now.
Featured image: via Google
4 thoughts on “Alone In A Room”
I’ve just read through your “Alone In A Room” blog post properly, and although I’m still absorbing and digesting what you wrote, I can see a few key points that are significant.
First of all, apologies for my anger last night. It wasn’t to do with anything that you had done. Sorry. As I said I had only skimmed quickly through your post, and the trigger was the guy with the koi tattoo. I was speechless with rage at his “entitlement” to comment…. but more of that later. Sorry.
Secondly, congratulations on going private for at least the initial phases(s) of your medical journey towards dealing with your gender dysphoria. It’s expensive, but worthwhile for cutting down the ridiculously long wait. And although you felt frazzled afterwards, and are (quite naturally) feeling some doubt, it is an important part of the process because it helps to crystallise your determination to go through this difficult time, and also will help bring clarity to your thoughts. There will be enough people casting doubt and shade on you, because they simply don’t understand what it REALLY feels to be in your place. So it’s vital that YOU are (or become) certain of your resolve to get through this “Eva-lution”, and become the real you.
Thirdly, change will happen… people around you will have their own doubts and opinions about the validity of your dysphoria. Like most things, one can sympathise with another person, but it’s almost impossible to truly empathise with that person, if you haven’t been (or are going) through a similar journey. You can not prevent those changes in others, and some of those changes will mean loss of relationships with people who were once regarded as friends, or supportive people. But also, there will be people who become MORE supportive, and will be important as you journey onwards. I’m not saying this just to gain praise for myself, because I don’t know how your journey will change me or my perspective. I hope to be able to get to the end, but it simply might not work out that way.
Finally, the reason why I was so angry last night was because of the customer with the koi tattoo. I could hardly believe that someone would be so insecure that they would have to make remarks like he did, or even get a tattoo that probably looks ridiculous (a straight fish? WTF?) because of his prejudice. My parents always told me that if I can’t say something nice, then I shouldn’t say anything at all, and I genuinely believe that is a good way of living. However, that “decency” seems to be missing from our world today… Kids and predators request explicit photos, keyboard warriors inflict their political/racist/shaming/destructive opinions without thought of the damage they do, post-referendum racists/neo-fascists feel empowered to freely say hateful things to people with different skin colour or birth country or culture or lifestyle choice…. all with apparent impunity. I weep for the lack of tolerance, and refusal to engage with diversity, and I’m worried for the effects on people subjected to such activities in the previous sentence. 😢
Sigh…. and breathe once more….
Be strong as you keep moving on…. this is YOUR journey. Other people will walk with you, maybe only part of the way, but they are still beside you. Most of them will encourage you, some will disappoint you. That’s part of life and dealing with other people. 🙄 Keep the communication going with people you trust, but also be aware that trust may be broken.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you so much Andy
LikeLiked by 1 person
I wondered why you’d stopped posting; reading this makes a lot of sense. Good call on letting your family know. Even if the response was far from ideal, you’ve made your case and you know where they stand. As for the state of your current thoughts and emotions… I hope it’s a temporary condition where the old is poked, stirred and burnt – to make space for everything you’ll bake into the new you x
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you 🙂