“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs.”
The follow up with my endocrinologist, or the blood test doc as I like to call him, saw my prescription of HRT medicine doubled. This was expected and there is some relief that my blood test was fine. I have avoided the need for anti-testosterone shots for another few months at least. A sense of steady progression has grown from the chaos of early transition, the paperwork and deadlines have all but ceased and I can bask in my achievements to this point. It seems that a shift from uncertainty to cruising along has developed and the control firmly back with me.
Changes in my body shape have given me a glimpse of my future and there is an air of excitement that I revel in when looking in the mirror. Before I could not stand to stare, now I can’t get enough of looking at myself. Dreams of what is possible are spiralling into reality and as I reach forward to pull myself in the teasing starts. Patience is an intolerable trait I must master, and quickly! I try not to look and prefer to find the next lily pad of success to leap at. The trouble with waiting for things to move along is the moments of pondering become drawn out at times. At least when I had things to do my time was taken up, now I think about where life is heading and what I can expect from it.
One part of transition that is difficult to control is having outlets for the thoughts and feelings that rush around and come and go. I am actively seeking other trans friends who actually understand what is happening. Being involved in my works LGBT committee has given me a release of sorts but it is obviously a professional environment and not always Faith blabberingly friendly. I worry that being so nonchalant and vocal about what I am scares others in my situation away. It is understandable to be wary of the outside world, I am not oblivious of the need many trans people have to keep things under the radar but this is just not my style. It sounds strange to say but I just don’t think other trans people get me. I never focus on the struggles or negatives of being transgender, I force myself forward and refuse to feel sorry for myself. I get great comments from others who admire my confidence and ability to break through the barriers, but admirers will never be friends. I have had some coffee meets with others from online forums and social sites but they never call back and it does worry me that I am isolating myself within my own community. I do have vulnerabilities, just as everyone else does, but none that stop me living or that cause distress and anxiety.
I flirted with the idea of frequenting a trans support group but feel that I want friends not peers who sit around bemoaning the trans reality in ‘hi, my name is Caitlyn and I’m a trans-aholic’ type monologues. And it is dismissive of me to think that these groups are like that but it is not rigid meetings that would satisfy this situation, that much I know. Thinking about this further could bring me to the realisation that because I have burst into life these last few months maybe I do not need the support I seek. I am happy, functional in society and have a social life with various different groups. It is no surprise to me that there is a real lack of younger trans people in the safe spaces of London’s cross dressing and transsexual clubs. There is no need to find safe space, the world is turning, acceptance is everywhere you look. They are doing what I am doing, living as a person, not fixating on being trans.
Maybe it is just part and parcel of transition, after all it is a very personal journey full of self discovery and inward moments. It is not something you can really celebrate to any real degree as it can be very process driven at times and the achievements can seem minuscule to the rest of the world. I also notice that it is hard to relate to trans people who are at different stages. Currently I am slap bang in the middle and just riding out the journey towards surgery and a gender recognition certificate. It has been nearly 18 months since I started and find it awkward engaging people that have just started with all their excitement and nerviness. Not that I do not take the time to help and answer questions but find it difficult to go back to that point. And similarly it is hard to connect with those who have fully transitioned as like me they do not want to look back.
What is important is to keep focused and not worry about the things I have little control over. Work is going very well and I had a great boost when I received some recognition for my current efforts. I would not have been in such a position a year or so ago as I was in such a dark place and I know colleagues just saw an oddball where now they see a smiling, confident woman. Transitioning has meant more to me then I ever could of imagined and had so many surprising impacts in different areas of my life. This is not to be taken for granted either, I am fully aware of how privileged my position is. For some transition is incredibly difficult and the road long or tough, for me I have good people around me and a work environment that has bent over backwards to allow me to express myself correctly. I am able to give back to the community through my committee work which is very satisfying and I am closer to realising another goal of moving closer to central London.
One thing I have to put some of my focus on is surgery, even though it is some way off, it is important. I have not decided what I want to do yet and know that time will not always be on my side. I have spent lots of time in hospital due to many broken bones and the thought of more scars and risk taking with my body is truly daunting. It is the end game to transition and my initial thought is that I do want it and need to start engaging the practicalities of it sooner before it becomes overwhelming. I do wonder if there is any emotional and mental support for this side of transition, it is such a big deal and the decision permanent. Hello my name is Faith and I’m a trans-aholic.