Friday, November 11, 2011

"Because the plot thickens every day,
And the pieces of my puzzle keep crumblin' away,
But I know, there's a picture beneath"


Hiya,

It's been a bit of a mixed week this time around. Mostly good, with what really shouldn't be a big deal. Shall we get on with it then? Oh and a brief apology as this week's entry is rather lengthy.

The Trans Factor

Channel Four recently started a new series called My Transsexual Summer. I guess that's following the idea of X number of folk of a particular type, get them under one roof and film them. There was a show earlier in the year called Seven Dwarves which featured - wait for it, wait for it - a number of vertically challenged people who shared a house. AFAIK there wasn't a bird from a glass coffin who did the housework. ;-) Okay, that's the last of the fairy tale gags, I promise! I guess it was a sort of old school fly-on-the-wall reality TV programme. As opposed to 'reality TV' where no celeb folk are interviewed, labelled (the funny one, the cute one, etc) and the subjected to events that wouldn't happen in the real world (Big Brother, etc). Maybe it's unfair to be so overly cynical of television programmes, especially as I seem to watch less and less these days, but a bad show leaves bad vibes.

I did watch it and I did feel for those of them transitioning. I mean, there are ups and downs associated with being trans. The whole coming to terms with it, being able to be yourself, buying the right clothes and going out. That last point splits into two: firstly, as a common-or-garden tranny, I spend my working life in Bob Mode and I don't have to face the Big Bad World in Lynn Mode unless I want to. To that end, I guess I'm shielded from the discrimination that full time trans folk may be exposed to... and as if on queue, there was a brief part showing bigots doing what bigots do best (Ed: that's right, acting like a w***er). That was something the Every Lovely Mrs Jones picked up on. She said that it was one of the things she worried about when I went out. Not so much Chams, but out to trans events; what if you bump into some thugs? You only need to be unlucky once, etc.

I suppose the personal safety bit comes back to a conversation I had with Maddy. Things such as being careful where you go, avoiding dark/quiet alleys (unless you're a vampire, vampire slayer or even both), etc. I don't consider myself to be female, although when it comes to being out and about, I do find myself thinking is where I'm going safe for a woman on her own? Simple things like avoiding dodgy areas or not being on my own when it's kicking out time at the local lager lout venue.

Worse things happen at sea!

I've been running low on the anti-miserablist tablets for a while. That was mainly due to me feeling fine and as such, I didn't feel I needed to go back to the doctor. Errk, wrong answer, Hans! Not getting my finger out to go see the doctor meant I was down to taking one every other day and yes, I did notice then. I started to feel like I was starting to circle around the dark, or perhaps more accurately, I could feel the depression beginning to come back into my thoughts. I think it was temporary as provided I'm on the happy pills (not that they actually do that), I'm okay. I suppose it was a combination of brain chemistry, thinking over what I saw on Transsexual Summer and the Tranny Force. The latter has been quite strong of late. What really worries me - terrifies me at bad times - is that's the route I'm headed for. Don't get me wrong, if you're walking that path, good for you. I'm not here to disrespect your choices, what I'm talking about it my fear of losing my family, the people I hold dear, the idea that going full time is my only route out of depression. Well, it scares the sh** out of me.

So I did my best to be honest with the doctor and not do that typically English thing of stiff upper lip / putting a brave face on it. I answered his questions as best I could and tried not to steer the conversation, just let it happen. Now, I've got another few months of tablets to keep the Black Dog at bay and I'm on the list to talk to a therapist. The doctor's word were: "for some, the medication is keeps you going until the issues are over, but if the underlying problem hasn't been addressed, they're not much more than a sticking plaster."

It made sense to me and I should be getting a call later in the month. Going on from the worry about full time, that fits in with a conversation I had with Sam. She asked, where is the compromise between the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and myself? It's a tough one to answer, because each couple's relationship is complicated and unique to them. What works for one, may not work for another and other cliches. Without being rude, I suppose I can see her point of view. Equally, I can see Mrs Jones' wishes and 99% of the time, the fully carpeted legs / arms and non-pierced ears are fine. Just flights of fancy..... yet.... there are times when I feel locked away. I guess it's only human to want more, but at the same time, I'm fairly sure that going too far down the trans route will mean I run the very strong risk of losing the lady and children that I love. I don't want to pay that price. It's too high. Ahh, but if life were simple, we wouldn't need blogs eh? ;-) I'm hopeful that talking to someone professionally will help. Maybe it's not all trans related doom and gloom, merely an aspect of who I am? Maybe there's another something lurking within my psyche, or - as a mate once said - maybe you're just a morose c***. :-D

Out and About

On to brighter news! It was time for Chams again and all went well. The previous tenants departed on time and I had a nice chat with a member of the local council about it. The chap in question pretty much repeated the local clerk's position on the matter of us staying and that he - and the rest of the borough massive - were with us. If we're happy, they're happy. Good news eh? Oh and I got an email along the same lines.

It was also an evening of new folk. We had a visit from a young lad from Sheffield way. Bless him, he'd been waiting outside patiently and then after seeing me draw the curtains upstairs, he came up to knock on the door. "Is this the meeting?" comes a voice from behind the door.

At this point, I've got most of my lady gear on and I'm just putting my lippy away. "Which meeting would that be?" Thing is, we've had folk come to the centre on other business and you really don't want to be exposing Joe Public to a half-made up tranny at the best of times. Hell, it's not always safe to expose some of them to a fully made up one either. :-)

"The Chameleons Group?" At this point, I let him in and we had a good chat while Gayna and I finished getting ready. I'll leave the personal background aside, but the 'L' poor dear had been outted by an ex. Why do some partners do that? I think it's really low. What was good is that while some friends had been a bit funny about it, most were not and just accepted him. Maybe there's hope for us all yet eh? ;-) His current girlfriend seems much more accepting and encouraged him to come along. I think it's cool when folk fight the fear and come along.

Anyways, downstairs and feeling much chipper, I mingled and chatted. Later on Amy turned up and I had remembered to bring in my spare wig for her. She seemed very happy with it and as Maddy said, the jump between your male self and you with a wig on really helps with the self image. I wasn't giving it away, so I let Amy hang on to it for an evening's test drive. I've had a lovely email from her, which makes the organisation (well, what little I do) very worth while.


Val had been snapping pictures of the group on and off for a few months now. Not so much the posed tranny images we all know and love, but more crowd scenes: images of folk talking, life shots if you will. Anyway, her 'Valbum' was brought in and I'm hopeful I may be able to get a few to share within FlickR. I think it's a cool way to capture what's going on in the group. Talking of snaps, Gayna kindly volunteered - or was volunteered, I'm not sure! - to take a group shot of us.

We also had a visit from two new folk: one lady had been before, but many moons ago, whereas the other hadn't been out before. Understandably she was very nervous, so you do you bit to make people feel at home. Try to reassure them, get them a drink and let them settle in slowly. Jayne, bless her, also popped in to the kitchen to have a chat. It's good in that it lets people circulate and they're not stuck with having me prattle on.... like you are now..... Bugger. :-)

The evening few by and I enjoyed catching up with new and old friends alike. We had a quick photo session and then I joined the girls for a swift half at the local gay pub. I had said no previously, however this time.... I decided to go. I'd heard that the parking was right outside, so it was less than a stone's throw from the car to the bar. I didn't stay long because I was conscious of the time and I didn't need yet another late night. It was fun to be out after what would normally be going home time, that and a little long to chat.

Talking of night's out: Sam's planning Invasion Nottingham which I'm keen to go to (16th December). Not just because of it being a good night out, but because of all the hard work she's put in. I think it's great that folk grasp the nettle and organise stuff. Mrs J is cool with me going, so it's a case of sorting out something I can dance in. Step on! ;-)

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's lyric: Falling to Pieces by Faith No More ]

7 comments:

  1. (*RAGE* Blogger lost my first post)

    I'm going to give My Transexual Summer a miss. Apart from my avoidance of telly, I sort-of know Donna and it would just be wierd. It would probably be OK if I was a close friend, or didn't know her at all, but there you go!

    On the danger issue, the funny thing is I've only ever had bad experiences in male-mode. (Well, there was a time that some girls in a club took offence to my cis-gender female friends, but that's beside the point). I'm glad my only visits to A&E have not been in drag!

    And finally, I hope everything goes well with the therapist. I had some sessions with a counsellor myself, and found its really good to get things off your chest to someone outside the problem, and non-judgemental. Good luck! :)

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  2. Odd to say but I really appreciated the time spent in therapy. Gave me the space to explore my feelings and talk to someone who was never judgemental. Can't deny though I knew the answer before I started and over 2 years of therapy didn't change my view.

    I find myself in a similar situation about the choices I feel I might want to make. Scares me as well.

    Becca

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  3. Pandora: I hope the rage has cleared up. :-)

    I think I get what you mean about watching a friend. I mean, if they'd wanted to share all aspects of their life with you, they would. I suppose it may be a bit too much, but as I don't know them, I guess I duck that. Funny how we can divorce TV folk from real people... even though they are (obviously!).

    Thanks for the well wishes. As I said, I don't know where it'll go, but all I really want is to be free of the dark cloud... well, subject to the associated social/emotional price tag attached. :-)

    Becca: Hi there! Is every trans person in therapy? :-) Two years seems like such a long time, but I suppose you can't rush certain processes.

    I've been reading your blog and it's very interesting.

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  4. Is every trans person in therapy? I wonder whether they should be? I know it may sound like a broken record with me but... I can't say enough how much it has helped me. And those around me (even those who don't know me yet) have commented on how I seem more relaxed these days - though they put it down to managing the stress of our bigger projects better..

    Good luck with the tablets, and enjoy your trip invading Nottingham (seems an odd thing to say for someone from Leicester ;p)

    Stace

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  5. Stace: Hello, chuck. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, maybe most of us should be. Not because there's something wrong with us, but simply because it seems so many of us seem to struggle with who - or perhaps more accurately - what we become.

    As as aside, Mrs J bumped into an old family friend who said that her son was not well. Not well in that classic British understatement way. Kinda puts things into perspective.

    Glad to hear that it helped you and ta for the well wishes re: the Nottingham Invasion. Not sure if the parascending part is still on though.

    "Bloody hell lads! Trannys! Thousands of them" :-)

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  6. Hi Lynn,
    Be careful what you feed the therapist - you might find that they feed the same ideas back amplified. I know depression is a bugger when it bites, but we all get it to some degree and I think it's part of the human condition.
    Penny

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  7. Penny: Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought of that and it's obvious now I think about it.

    Re: depression, I think it's one thing to be down and a bit off, but - and I don't mean this in a 'woe is me' kinda way - it's another thing where as soon as the medication wears off, you start to feel yourself sliding back into the dark space where you just want to hide.

    The good news is that while the meds are working, I'm safe from the Black Dog, it's just that - obviously - I can't stay on them long term and really, I'd like to get to the bottom of the issue and move on. I'm hoping it's not trans related because being trans isn't all bad news.

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