meegosh: (Default)
So today I walked into town to see my bank. HBSC. They were awesome about it. The staff not only professional but friendly. The woman who actually completed their paperwork with me in a way that was not only friendly but very respectful. We chatted about picking names, fitting names on forms and the uselessness of the NHS to get anything done quickly. She also offered, without me needing to ask, to change my gender marker because she "presume that's the way that you're heading". For a small branch in a small town I was very happy with the way it was dealt with and how the staff communicated with me.

And hey - I have my name changed with somewhere, and my gender. And my new card and cheque book is on its way to me.

Just figuring out Part 2 now. Changing stuff with work. But that comes on Thursday.
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I think psychologically knowing that my name has been legally changed, although it's not been changed with many places yet, has eased something in my mind this last week. It's a certain kind of pressure to keep up changes and progress with transition but at the same time it's taken pressure off too. Because when I hear my old name used for me I'm no longer thinking "that's won't be me for much longer" but thinking "that's just the name they're using because they don't know any better".

There was more I was going to write but it escapes me now. I think it involved wondering how it is that I seem to have binder related back pain when I haven't done my binder up all day? (being the weekend I have been walking around with my t-kingdom binder on ready to do up for outside of the house, but since I've been in the house or driving all day it's not been done up). I try and look after my back and lungs by not binding in the house and yet I still seem to get binder back pain. This isn't fair.
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My father is supportive. My step-father is having to repeatedly correct my mother. But he's turned into a brilliant ally because he doesn't slip with name/pronouns/etc and makes sure that I'm not the one continually correcting my mother. My hair, after being chopped off a couple of weeks ago, is growing into a more comfortable shape. It could do with growing out some more than then going to the hairdressers to actually shape it properly. Next week is my one-to-one at work and I'm trying not to chicken out of coming out to work but am now beginning to think seriously about the steps I want work to take and the timeframe for them. I know that if presented with things I need from work, my manager will respond by making sure that stuff happens. He's good like that.

And I'm still waiting for an appointment from the clinic. I have some time off this next week so I will phone the clinic to chase. My mood is better than it was but since I'm going to start the whole real life/full time stuff soon I'd like to know that I will be getting that long promised support sooner rather than later. I'm getting really twitchy about it again. And when I say twitchy - I mean obsessive.

But good news to round everything off. I have in the last week signed my deedpoll. Need to send it back for my legal copies. But in the mean time I might use some time off work to walk round to places to get my name changed on some stuff before the legal copies. And I think I've decided that I don't need to change the picture on my driving licence.

NEWS FLASH

Apr. 28th, 2011 08:54 am
meegosh: (Default)
My funding for assessment has been approved!!!!
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He took it fairly well. Although I was a chicken and my sister had to start telling him. Yes all thing considered I think he took the news very well. He's taken it on board very quickly. We'll see what happens.

On a side note, I think my sister wants me to be her daughter's godfather, but is a bit worried about whether the church will accept me as a godfather. I love cuddles with my niece. I cuddle her and I am Uncle Bug. And it's so much nicer than being auntie.
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Nicely bent by the postman. I have no one to be my witness, but hey - it's here. I am doing away with former name and in with the new. And I already know that once the legal copies come back through I am sending one to go with the mortgage etc and one off to get my driving licence changed so I can have id in the right name.

In other news this morning my sister is bribing me into coming out to my dad. She's using her month old daughter as bribe. Yesterday I really resented being forced into coming out to him if I wanted to see my neice this weekend, but I feel differently this morning. My deedpoll is here, so name change is about to happen. I am preparing to come out to work. And I have given myself some time to think about what I'm going to tell him/how to tell him. I've written a letter to give to him (although I might edit it later). And I've had a chance to reflect on the fact that I suspect that he has his suspicions and actually that he suspects the truth. My dad doesn't normally notice stuff, but he has noticed that I've changed. That I'm happier (seems mad saying that when I know just what my depression is like, but it's true). And his christmas present sent from amazon said it was sent by my new name, and he mentioned this to me at the time. Asked me to thank Henry. So yeah, I think he knows and is just waiting for me to tell him. Doesn't make it easier to find the words, but I think I've found some. Can't easily say them, so they're written down.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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So it's been more than 2 months since I had an appointment/stuff was put together for my re-referal but only 3 weeks since the referal was actually sent on to the PCT.

Yes I had a breakdown a couple of weeks ago when I learnt that I had waited more than a month and my referal had only just been sent on. But whilst I had that breakdown I decided not to wait for the NHS in order to transition. I have told a manager at work, I have paid for (and am waiting on the post on this one) my deedpoll. I am taking practical steps towards living full time. I am not waiting for the NHS. And the last couple of weeks have been easier than the weeks before, I haven't mentally counted each and every single day from appointment to decision.

However I am back to counting again. Taking the timeframe I was originally advised of - 3 or 4 weeks and counting from when I know the referral was sent on to the PCT. And I have even calculated how that timeframe has been affected by the bank holidays (because 4 weeks is 20 working days, so I have to exclude the bank holidays). Not that I've been thinking about this much. It'll happen, it's just annoying having to wait (expect another breakdown should things get delayed AGAIN).
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But I can't seem to tease any of them out into actual posts. There was one about relationships through transition and other ones. Brain is completely boggled down by "stuff". Rather overwhelmed and just kind of getting by from day to day. Things aren't really as bad as that sounds because I am just about getting by but there are many things that seem to be on hold whilst I try and cope with everything right now. Forward thinking is about out the window.
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The subject line says it all really. So really I'm just whining. On the bright side I just realised that it's been more than 11 working days. I expect it to take 15-20, so I might hear something by the end of next week.

I HATE this wait!!!!
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One step closer.

I wanted to make sure that this was marked. It feels a little scary, but it's a step which is entirely reversable. Don't ask why I'm left doubting myself again. I'm just gently reminding myself that every single step I've taken so far has felt good and felt right. I've taken a lot of baby steps and I don't think I've rushed into anything nor had any warning signs that this is wrong for me.
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It sucks being trans, it sucks still having to wait for a decision on whether my assessment can be funded, it sucks that my mental health is being affected by the wait, it sucks that my career is kind of on hold waiting for my mental health to improve.

Of course I'm focusing on the positives in my life and the fact that things will get better - but for the moment I can't shake the fact that dysphoria sucks and that I'm in a not great place.

I want to get on with my life but it feels like there's endless hold-ups. The NHS, waiting for my manager to get back from leave, waiting now a month until I have a one-to-one scheduled with my manager so that I can come out. My skin crawls every time a customer at work repeats my feminine name back to me and annoys me that of course they have no idea how hearing it affects me. I want to get on with my life but it feels like the universe doesn't want me to. I know things will get better, but the waiting? that just plain sucks. (I know that I'm lucky that things will get better, don't think for one moment I don't realise that)
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If it's not Russell Howard and the BBC then it's the news that the equalities act is up for debate, and if it's not that then the news that the psych community are having a trans meeting/conference and inviting Bindle. Thanks for reminding world that it won't be long before my colleagues are debating my gender behind my back. Cheers, I needed that thought hurting my brain whilst trying to recover from my breakdown, be proactive at work and wrap my head around moving soon.

And I *really really* can't wait until I can use a different name on the phone at work. I'm rather fed up of having to give out a feminine name. Or more specifically, having people repeat it back to me. They use it like it means me or something. It bores me. Even just the shortened version of that name would suit me right now. 4 weeks until I come out at work. Going to ask to straight away be able to use shortened version of name given at birth.

Can I just curl up at home and ignore the world now??
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The one who used to help keep me sane/make me laugh/etc who left our work place back in about nov time. Her response? She had kind of guessed already based on how I had been for months before she left. In case anyone is wondering - yes there are awesome cis folk out there.
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and am so far sticking to it. Althought my bank balance is scared of paying for my deed poll and it's still early in the month.

And I find myself going back over ground I covered a year ago. Kind of. Because a year ago I was just asking to be called by a different name. Now I am asking not to be included as a woman. This has all been incredibly personal and intimate but it's time for it to become public. 

I have another post in the pipework but it's still forming in my head.
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Before I started on the anti-depressants I kind of said that if my funding application got turned down by the PCT again that I would have a breakdown. I was so close to it then that I knew that I couldn't handle the disappointment. Only because I knew that I could apply again or appeal, really the disappointment was having to wait even longer. And so that letter the other day has done it. I'm having a breakdown again. Thank the gods I have supportive managers around me at work.

Two days in a row I have got just passed lunchtime and just hit a mental brickwall where I could do no more work. Walking out of work today I ended up sitting out on the grass and sobbed for about half an hour. And then just ambled off for a walk for an hour. This is never a good sign because I've done stuff like that at the height of stuff in the past. I walk off because I decide I can't go the direction I should be going, decide I can't face turning back. And well, in the past that's meant ending up 5 miles away before I could face heading back. It's not like going for a walk to clear the cobwebs or anything, I'm always going somewhere and decide that I can't possibly actually go in that direction. But it was productive because it allowed me to actually feel what I've been feeling and not just push it aside for the sake of functioning.

And I've been feeling detached from myself. I'm grieving something. I feel invalidated and trapped.

And I don't think just talking about it is going to help. Being detached from myself is part of hiding myself. What I'm grieving is the life I still can';t have and I feel invalidated because I let people use female pronouns and terms for me. And I feel trapped because I've been letting myself wait for the NHS when really, I couldn't give a feck and can't wait for their timetable.

I want to completely shed female me outside of work. I need to sit down and write that letter to my father. I need to lay down for my mother that she has to stop referring to me as her daughter. And I need this time away from work, and from customers calling me "miss". I need to walk the walk now and stop dabbling. I need to stop playing and start living the life I need to live. And I can't wait for the NHS in order to do so. I need to bite the bullet. Work will have to wait because my manager is on leave and he is the next person for me to speak to in order to make things happen there.

I would go to pride this weekend but I fear getting mistaken for a butch lesbian. And I need a bit more headspace. Am due to meet up with an online friend for lunch sunday so I have some potential for positive there. I'm not going with boyfriend to meet up with a group of people we know this weekend because I can't cope with the invalidation of my identity I'll get.

This is it. I draw the line. Female me is no more, even if I have to play the role for a bit longer, and the proper me is born.
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I had my general assessment with the general psych 17/2.
Report was sent on by psych to clinic and myself 25/2.
Report sent on to PCT for funding application 1/4.

The psych told me to chase it up after 3-4 weeks if I'd heard nothing. I did and was told to wait 2-3 weeks later and I should recieve a letter. Well I have, only it's from the clinic to what I can only presume it the funding people because the letter mentions a request for funding for ASSESSMENT.

What has taken so long for them to send this in for funding? Why are they only applying for assessment? And how much fecking longer am I going to have to wait?!? 
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This has generally been on my mind recently. Mostly because I know I have to work myself towards coming out to my dad.

First of all, I think it's something that only happens when you're ready. Coming out to ex-team leader was something I tried to do weeks back and I couldn't get the words out. Last week - they came easily. The time was right. I think it was right when I told my sisters and my mum too. I think part of the reason I haven't told my dad yet because the time isn't right. I think it's difficult to underestimate getting the time right.

Second of all. My dad has his own mental health problems and I realise now that I've spent years trying to avoid overburdening him or distressing him. This is difficult and something that I'm only just beginning to grapple with. I think figuring this out will help me get to above but I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to make thing something positive enough. I mean, transition will be a positive move forward for me, but there's everything else that goes with this need to transition. I don't know, I'm sure other trans folk will understand what I'm getting but perhaps that will be less clear for cis folk. Plus my father knows and understands enough to know that gender identity disorder is something that is inheritantly distressing. I need to keep working through this until I reach an answer.

This will be delayed/affected by real life at the moment. Including needing to pack up and move house again.
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so I told ex-team leader today. She has known much of my struggles with depression, with trying to get NHS funding (although not what for), and the near break down last summer and I explained in that context. I explained that the psych had diagnosed me with gender identity disorder because I wasn't comfortable with saying the word "trans". And she got it, not just what I was getting at but also that it's something that is hardwired about people.

Amongst telling me that she's proud of me, and other stuff, she also said that she thought I was really brave. And because it was my end of year review and it did bring back memories from over the last year and I think yes, I have actually been fantastically brave. Not because I'm trans, but because I've battled depression, self-harm, professional disappointment, an identity crisis and a whole mountain of self-realisation and discovery AND I have not missed a single day of work off sick with any of this. At the height of my breakdown I very quickly took a couple of days annual leave to pull myself together to be able to function again. But I have delivered consistently good IMPROVEMENT at work, helped support my team though some difficult change and faced the difficulty of all the changes in my relationship with love and communication. I have been fantastically brave. And today I am wearing that badge. Tomorrow is something else though.

Not to suggest that those who feel they have rather caved under similar weights, because frankly if you're faced similar difficulties and are still here then you are amasingly brave. And perhaps we should take a moment to realise that we really are that brave. Be proud of it. We are fantastic. And yes there are certain people I am thinking of right now, but everyone knows their own story and whether they are brave or not. Sometimes being brave isn't being a hero but simply getting from one day to the next. It takes a lot of bravery sometimes to have enough hope to believe that tomorrow might be better.
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My family are no longer willing to out me to him. My sister has offered to help me tell my step mum. I have to say that I am losing interest though. I want to just go home and get on with my transition.

I am really knackered from lack of rest this weekend. Trying to grab some now. I learnt from my sister that I am having panic attacks in my sleep. Or what my sister described as being very distressed in my sleep. And certainly when I remember my dreams they are often distressed. Yeah I know, all these panic attacks serve to remind me that my mental health problems aren't solved by the anti-depressants, as much as they've helped my mood/helped me cope.

I'm feeling the need to curl back up in isolation again. I'm ready to return home and get cracking at work again. Just need some more rest first.
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Because I'm in the middle of a panic attack/bad spell right this minute and because I wanted to post about this.

I'm slowly trying to conquer my fear of the using the bloke's loos. Small steps. Supermarket toilet at 8 this morning. I didn't see anyone else in there but I caught sight of myself in a mirror later and decided that had I just acted natural I probably wouldn't have raised any eyebrows. Small steps.

Right, carrying on fighting this feeling of just wanting to curl up into a tiny little ball and go wibble. Feeling badly over-whelmed and kicking myself for forgetting to take my tablets with me up to my family's (ie took my tablet 12 hours late).
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