A year ago

Jul. 22nd, 2011 08:53 pm
meegosh: (Default)
This week is something like the 53rd week since I saw my GP and asked to be referred on about gender stuff.

I have legally changed my name and my title. I've had my second appointment with the clinic. And today I went and changed my name on my medical records and saw my GP again. You know, compared to this time last year - I'm doing well. It was a year ago I took two days off work at really really short notice because I was breaking down. In comparison my work now is better than it's ever been and whilst I'm still struggling to find the energy to do stuff and still struggling with sleep problems, my world is SO much better than I was a year ago.

I can't wait to see what the next year brings. I'm really really lucky in that I have some lovely and supportive people around me.

Grief

Jul. 11th, 2011 08:42 pm
meegosh: (Default)
This post is overdue. I meant to write it about a week ago.

Last week I found myself grieving for the life that would not be lived. Not in a way that felt like the door I was closing was the path I wanted to take. It felt more like I was just realising that I was putting aside the life, and the expectations which had gone with that life, aside. I could suddenly understand my mother's grief.

My girlfriend framed it as that I had been [old name] for a long time. But it doesn't feel like that encompassed it entirely. I wanted to do *something* to remember that life or perhaps to release it from me. Lay some flowers or something.

Shit's happened since then and I've moved on. But I wanted to record that this feeling happened. I don't know if this feeling is common to other trans folk or not. But it feels a bit like the first time I've been able to get some perspective on the past.

work

Jul. 4th, 2011 08:31 pm
meegosh: (Default)
So one of my female colleagues today said to me "I'm sorry but when I mock [male colleague 1, 2 and 3]  I'm going to include you too."

As you can imagine - this was a terrible thing for me (lol).
meegosh: (Default)
I share this for everyone GLBT and/or christian who might read this:  74year old woman is charged with assault for kissing a hate preacher.

I think she did a very christian act. She saw someone filled with hate and instead of threatening them or belittling them she hugged and kissed them on the cheek. And yet a "christian" minister is charging her with assault.

Love thy neighbour indeed.
meegosh: (Default)
so yeah, I got told that by a customer today. My responce was witty enough ("yeah it would be if I was a woman") but I got a snarky responce back and I know I said it weakly.

I have this huge contrast between my colleagues who greet me as my new name and are generally mostly awesome and customers. Or to be fair, roughly one customer a day. But it still sucks.

I've come to the decision that so many people are just basically clueless and rude. But that doesn't make it easier. My skin's not that thin, just that it touches a raw nerve because I know that the comments are temporary and that there is a way out. Next clinic appointment next week.
meegosh: (Default)
At least a few times a day I get asked this towards the end of a call at work. Sometimes it's because the person is keeping a record of who they talk to, sometimes because they just want to have a name to say thank you to. It happens. Even if the gender of your name matches the apparent gender of your voice.

Only now it makes my stomach churn. Because I've been asked it half a dozen times since I changed my name at work. And half those times I got a comment about my name. And whilst I have comebacks to most of the comments I get it still makes my stomach churn.
meegosh: (Default)
so I made fewer mistakes with my name. Although the big one was when I gave the correct name at the beginning of the call and when pressed at the end of the call by the [cough] on the other end of the line gave the wrong name. I also got asked whether Henry was short for henrietta. But for everyone who did rather a double take though at the contrast between name and voice - there was someone who was like, "so what did you say your name was? Okay, thanks for your help Henry".

And I realised how much less stressful my day was. I mean, my job can still be pretty shitty but there was no jarring. And I almost did a little squee as my manager's manager walked past and said "hi Henry" nice and loudly. But then he seems to get something of the issues which are important to trans folk so I'm pretty sure it was nicely deliberate.

I think the only thing left to be changed over to my new name is my name badge. But my original badge took ages to come through so I'm not holding my breath.
meegosh: (Default)
So management already knew and I had organised with my manager on monday to tell my team during our team meeting today. Our team meetings are fairly informal. They generally start with a minimal amount of business and then the rest of the hour talking through anything that needs to be talked through.

I can't even remember much of what I said. It centred about my name change and something about the depression. But my team seemed to get it. Loads of support. Some questions. One team mate expressed his support. One stayed quiet. One said she'd thought I had been about to announce that I was pregnant. One had kind of wondering. Another had just figured that I was a tom boy. One guy sent me an email of support straight after.

My team leader then sent me a copy of the email he was going to send out to other team leaders to send to their teams. It was basically [old name] has changed her name to [new name]. It bothered me and I replied to ask him to change the her to his. I knew when it had gone round because emails of support started to come through.

After the meeting I started to use my new name on the phone with customers. My team leader got my name changed on my emails and got me a new name card for my desk. It'll be a couple of days for my new name badge. Working on the phones I have a little bit that I say at the start of each call that includes my name. And I have said it at least 20k times with my old name. So I have never struggled so much to remember my own name!

So in short - it was positive. We'll see how things go from here. I don't expect them to go downhill because I'm very well protected at work, but you know, this is just the start. But it feels good.
meegosh: (Default)
So tomorrow during our team meeting my team leader will tell my team that there's something I want to tell them and then hand over to me. That'll be my cue to explain that I have changed my name because having been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria/being trans I am starting to live as male as treatment.

Or something like that. I don't know exactly what I'm going to say yet. I'm really nervous and yet this is something that I really really want. I feel that before I wasn't ready put myself forward as my new self to work colleagues and to customers. I am completely ready now. I can give my old name as my speel at the beginning of a call but if I have to repeat it then I'm biting my tongue not to give my new name.

Nervous but excited. It'll be good not to have to hide something so big from people I see every day.
meegosh: (Default)
  • no internet for three weeks because of a "technical problem at the exchange". It returned today. 
  • my mental health went more downhill the longer I was without internet
  • I went on camp with the guys the group. There was about 40 of us and I had an awesome time
  • I took part in a singing group on camp and we sounded awesome and all harmony like. Bit Warbles like. And I have discovered you can hide many sins by getting people to sing like that. It was also good to learn ways to make my voice sound lower without straining my voice. And I really enjoyed singing, I would like to find a group locally so I can do more singing.
  • We also went swimming at a local pool. We spent most of our hour in the pool trying to see if we could see a group of us could stand on large float. (answer - yes, with 8 of us and a lot of closeness)
  • My hopes have been raised by someone saying that in many cases charing cross will write a letter for hormones after a second appointment. I know I don't see them but still, my hopes are raised because I have my second appointment in less than 3 weeks and really would like a deeper/lower voice already now.
  • after having spent the weekend being called my proper name I returned to work today and had a customer ask "can I take your name for my records?". Answering with my old name hurt my head and I actually struggled to say it. I then went and asked my manager if I could speak to him. In short - later this week I am explaining to my team mates/colleagues that my name has changed and that I am male. So bar folks in my village/scouts, that will be stuff in place and my proper "real life experience" begun.
  • I want a new binder in time for going to london this weekend, so I tried to order one from amazon only to discover that most of the underworks stuff on there isn't available in my size. so I've had to buy NOT the one I wanted. I will be ordering from t-kingdom next month because I really really want on of theirs.
There is more but have run out of time/energy to write it up or even to remember it all after 3 weeks. Hope everyone is keeping well.

update

Jun. 12th, 2011 08:24 pm
meegosh: (Default)
Have been two weeks without internet with no clear idea when the problem will be resolved. We moved house and have been let down by our provider. The date it'll be resolved by has been pushed back and pushed back. We're very unhappy but in a rather powerless position. We have another move on the cards so will be looking to change provider, but in the mean time we're just trying to get internet back again. In case you're wondering how I'm writing this - thank the rain in quebue and the lovely work pet.
meegosh: (Default)
I was with one of the new guys at the Laurels. It was an hour long. I expected to have to reharsh much of the stuff that I'd rehashed in previous appointments about why I think I'm trans. I was expecting to have to rehash traumatic stuff and feel rather shit at the end of it.

I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, I did have to rehash about my childhood. I did have to talk about the depression and relive some shit things. But we didn't dwell on them. I also got asked about how far I'd gotten and where i wanted things to go.  Which was expected . . . but still nice considering he didn't seem to think less of me for saying that I'm not interested in making a decision about surgery on my genitals until I've explored how I feel after hormones and chest surgery.

The really surprising thing was that he recognised that I have been sliding into role. Having described how I had recently done my deedpoll, spoken to my manager, how I have been formulating plans for coming out with my manager, how all my friends have started to use my new name and new pronouns, my family know and are supportive . . . he said he felt that I was pretty much starting my real life experience nowish. I need to get my deedpoll back from my mum (I was using her address for it to be returned because I don't trust our post atm) so I can carry on getting my documents changed and take it with me next time. Work is the final hurdle and one way or another I'm coming out there in a couple of weeks time. It would be next week if my manager wasn't away. I can't keep using my old name on paperwork, it's getting really frustrating. It's less about talking to customers and more about writing out that old name.

So housemove tomorrow and then I need to go clothes shopping soon.
meegosh: (Default)
Everytime I put my old name down, or sign that name, everytime I allow someone I know fairly well to call me my old name because they don't know better, everytime I walk into the women's loos at work - I feel like a fraud. I am not that person, and I am not a woman, and to keep passing myself off as one feels wrong.

I had my one-to-one with my manager today. And explained that with everything on my plate right now I'm not ready to make the shift at work. Each day at a time. But I think this is one of those niggly feelings that could swiftly change into a shadow over my life. I think I need to prepare to start being completely and utterly full time. One step leads to another . . .

First clinic appointment tomorrow. Reading the blog on the guardian website about Juliet's first clinic appointment (albeit a different clinic) I get the feeling that it's going to be rather anti-climatic. I'm expecting to have to relay my whole history, one I feel I am moving on from, and explain the steps that I've taken so far, end up feeling like shit, and then having to return to work. Ho hum. I'll just carry on with my transition and hopefully hormones and chest surgery will happen whilst I'm still this side of 30 (I'm 27). I know a guy who started hormones last autumn and he's waiting for his second opinion appointment about his chest surgery.
meegosh: (Default)
So today I have a routine check up with my GP about my anti-depressants. And I get there and she asks me whether I'm excited about my appointment on friday. Guh? She had on my notes a scan of a letter from the clinic saying that I have an appointment on friday. News to me, I haven't had this letter from them. I copy the details of the letter down. My GP notices that there was a form included with the letter so i figure that I'd call the clinic after my GP appointment so that I can figure out getting them to send me another copy.

So I phone the clinic. And first of all they struggle to find my details. Then try and tell me that the appointment was last week. And then offer me the same slot in the letter. And then confirm that they have my address right (not sure that they're telling the truth, and clearly they've never been told you NEVER confirm an address over the phone). All of this involves me being on hold a few times, and a total of nearly 6 minutes (which is a long call, I should know). By the time that they're done offering me the same appointment that the letter had offered me - I'm off the phone and then realise that I have no idea whether they're going to resend me the form or not. I'm guessing not. I really hope, since the original letter said to bring the form with to my appointment, that it wasn't something that will prevent my appointment going through because that will really piss me off. Because I got my deedpoll returned to my mother's address so I won't be able to take it into my appointment. All that effort and pretty much nothing to show for it come the appointment. Well, I have a cheque in my new name which has been used. I guess that's SOME evidence of having used my new name.

Trying to remind myself not to get too eager. It's still going to be a slow process. And to be honest at the moment I have too much else on my plate, I can't make more changes than I already have because of everything else. They're on hold until I have completed at least ONE house move. (got my car back todat) But you know, please be excited for me.
meegosh: (Default)
Still working through all the life stuff so transition still on hold.
BUT it's not feeling like a deperate situation yet. Still getting waves of dysphoria but it seems much more body based and less social based. No idea how long that will last but it's ok at the moment. Things are only on hold until I have at least one out of the two house moves sorted. And then I can think about going clothes shopping and make myself some more binders and stuff before transitioning at work. I kind of feel on the cusp here, and I'm happy enough here for the time being. Still no word from the clinic. No idea how long to leave it before I chase up there, but I'm going to have to try and change my address with them again. When I move from my village I'm going to have to pay for my post to be forwarded to me JUST BECAUSE OF THE CLINIC.

It made me feel better chatting with WP and filling him in on how it went telling our manager this afternoon. And it's nice to mentally think every time a customer double checks my name (still female name at work) "nah it's not that name, but ok".

I'm still wondering about the wisdom of trying to present as male over the phone before hormones.

NEWS FLASH

May. 18th, 2011 08:56 pm
meegosh: (Default)
My new cheque book and bank card have arrived!! In my new name!!

Must sort out legal copies of deedpoll so can get driving licence changed in a couple of weeks (once moved). Actually will then need to start working through that list of places I need to change my name with. 
meegosh: (Default)
So I had one of our managers come up to me on the office floor to talk. This isn't as much of an issue as it sounds because it's very possible to be very discreet on our office floor. Most people are on the phone and very involved in their work, a couple of metres away and yet a million miles. Just setting the scene.

She seems to be of the opinion that the whole thing is very cool. She said that my manager has approached her for help, which doesn't surprise me because she was his manager for a while and because she's fantastically supportive. I mean, that's been my experience when I've needed a supportive manager in the past. She said that they're sitting on everything until I'm ready. Things won't move until I'm ready for them to move. And all I have to do is tell them.

But with everything going on in the rest of my life right now . . . I almost can't even think about it. Transition is sitting on the backburner whilst I deal with that stuff. But one thing is for certain - I need to organise to go clothes shopping some time in the not too distant future. And need to make a couple more binders, since I'll be wearing one 5 days a week soon.
meegosh: (Default)
that I need to blog about today. Alas I have run out of time to do so today. So please me remind that I need to write about it. Because there was a pretty big moment today and it kind of got overshadowed.
meegosh: (Default)
So umm well yes. So I've carefully held onto the piece of paper needing my most uptodate personal details. And feeling a need to be brave earlier today I filled it in before my one-to-one with my new name and title.

this is how panicked I was about this )

So I went into my one-to-one with my team leader. Chatted business stuff. If you really must know - I am awesome. And then I was asked if there was anything I wanted to talk about. I said about the gender identity disorder and changing my name and how I'd written that name on my sheet because well, I'd signed to say that I would give up the old name.

I'm not entirely certain that my teamleader understood what I was getting at, but I also spoke to ex-team leader today (who knows) and team leader said he'd find out how we make the changes needed in work. My only other one-to-one with him so far (due to only taking over a couple of months ago and him being away and them being cancelled over easter) I went in with a list of stuff I wanted him to do for me and he got it done within 24-48 hours so I know he's good on his word. Felt slightly anti-climatic but I got out and Work Pet checked how it went (because he'd had me gittering via email earlier in the day).

I'm kind of glad I didn't go in with a high expectation of this meeting. I think I should have had something more of an action plan to take to table, but considering everything else going on in my life right now I'm happy that they know and with the knowledge that I can move things along faster if I need to. I don't have to worry about that awkward conversation now. It's done. There's many more to come, but that one's done for now. And I'm off now for a bit so I'm pretty certain that by the time I return my team leader will have a hell of a load of questions for me. I need to send off for my copies (but can't find my paperwork for that discount) of my deedpoll so I can get my driving licence changed.

Part 3 is the driving licence.
meegosh: (Default)
So after a rather chipper start to yesterday, my mental health rather went downhill to the point where I wasn't fully functioning. I knew it was the dysphoria in particular when I *really* started to wibble at the thought of getting naked to shower.

It's been a few weeks now since I was showering in the near dark because the dysphoria wouldn't let me cope with the sight of my own naked body. At home I normally shower by a single tealight when I'm that bad. Only I wasn't home last night, I was at my mum's. So I had to go for a navy shower instead. Shortest possible time naked. My head was not on straight.

And I had a realisation last night as well. I've heard plenty of folks further along with transition than me comment about the dysphoria never really goes away. My interpretation of that is that the trigger parts of our bodies shift and that our bodies can still affect us in a negative way. But last night I realised that my biggest trigger is often the contrast between when I manage to get myself to a point where I feel comfortable (which currently is clothed) and the "truth" of my body. And yeah, I have a feeling it might never go away. I might feel as negatively about scars as I do about the lumps and bumps now. But it's no reason not to transition. I might always feel body dysphoria, but hopefully transition can deal with the dysphoria which is gender based rather than body based, and will ease some of the body dysphoria. And I hope that's not an unrealistic expectation.

PS At team meeting today we all got reminded to return ASAP our sheets with all our info, so that the database can be updated with our details. I'm holding onto mine until my one-to-one tomorrow because I think it'll be a good step in to explaining to my manager. "So I didn't want to fill it in without explaining the name change on it to you". I figure it's a good enough lead in. I don't know what I want from work yet but I know I need to tell them. My plan was to figure out how to start transition at work ASAP but with so much RL crap going on I might need to delay a little to get stuff sorted out. That's just my thinking and I will make it clear that I might need to move things on a bit faster if I react badly mentally to waiting, but trying not to pile too much onto myself at once. Oh and STILL no word on an appointment at the clinic.
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