Friday, September 09, 2016

You underestimate the power of the trans side.

Hi,

After a much enjoyed holiday, I'm back. I hope the back catalogue of scheduled posts kept you amused while I was away. The holiday was one to remember and the Jones Massive certainly had a good time and without too much coin nor trouble. What's not to like eh? :-)

Unexpected Turbulence

It's funny, I'll often start a post with a line about highs and lows. Frequently, these are minor bumps in the road of life. Nothing to knock your tracking or rattle the frame mind. Then, there's the proverbial near miss, pothole or - as it felt like this Tuesday - driving through a hailstorm.

What set me off, I don't know. I could hazard a guess at a combination of being back after a grand break, to missing a meeting or... well, I could go on (Ed: and you usually do :-P ) but I doubt I'll be able to put my finger on it. I mean, I've missed meetings before and all has been fine. I've skipped getting changed during hot weather and enjoyed the chat. I've been back to work after long and short breaks, and it's been no big thing. I've had smooth then not so smooth arms, but that's been fine.

Heh, it's ironic in a way, given my earlier post about staying strong, getting help and dodging the shadows of the woods. I didn't reach out, I didn't get help and by the time I realised the cold cloak had laid its misery around me, I was drawn in. As we say in England, bugger. :-)

Yet, there was the growing push - ache? - to want to be not just in bloke mode. I don't say clothes, because it's more than that. That, or a want to shave my legs or arms and not feel, well, so 'him'. Thing is, doing either of the latter will upset the Ever Lovely Mrs J and I really don't want to do that to her. Much as it itched, I felt if I gave in, it would be wrong somehow.

As I said to Val, last night, I don't want to use the word desire, because it has sexual connotations. Likewise, using need or want, makes me sound like an addict or someone with a fetish. Maybe that's the truth and I can't bring myself to admit it....

Or, and I'd like to offer this as the reason, I can't exist in just Richard mode. Don't get me wrong, I'm not two people and I don't have two lives. I don't feel that Lynn-time means I can leave all my 'other life' behind and dance, skip or swish my way through the night.

No, it's more.... more an ache. A ache of being trapped if I'm forced to be just one gender. For all my wry looks when someone says 'bi-gendered', perhaps that's closer to my truth than I'd like to admit. I know I don't want to transition and there are may days in which I can take or leave it, when it comes to being fabulous. I guess, I can't leave it completely, that way, sadness lies.

So, Wednesday, it all became a little too much for me and I must admit I had a bit of a cry on the way home. One of those incidents were you're glad of slow moving traffic and sunglasses to hide behind. Just keep that stiff upper lip, Jones. A nation expects. Plus, summer equal hay-fever time, so there's a ready excuse.

Perhaps the emotional hit of Disturbed's rather good cover of The Sound of Silence and the lyric from Pendulum's The Island hammered it home:
My reflection, will slowly fade,
To another time, until my head escapes
Poetry with a beat. Where do I sign up. :-)

Happier Times

Back home I found myself lost in computer games or whatever the e-commerce version of window shopping is. Distractions, I suppose. I did find a lovely dress in Dorothy Perkins, but it seems everyone else liked it and they were a little quicker in ordering. Still, money saved.... and then spent in Boots, as I *ahem* invested in a new eye pencil and a fab new lippy.

Thursday was busy busy, with work stuff and then numerous home tasks. Mrs J wasn't feeling well, so I did the Helpful Husband routine (because I love her, not because I felt a duty), of chipping off early to sort the dogs, collect Little Miss, pick up the shopping and then collect Wee Man from his friend's house. After that, it was a quick shave and off to Chams.

Once I'd started to get changed, I could feel myself beginning to settle and relax. In a moment of weakness, I'd been a bit overzealous shaving my ankles, so my footless tights didn't have to be as low as they are normally. Ah, is this the tipping point and this starts to be the new normal? Well, I guess we'll see. :-)

Being all of me.
The new lippy - a matte red from Nyx (see above) - went on beautifully and stayed put most of the night. That's pretty good considering I was drinking water on and off. It didn't bleed too much, although that may be down to the lip liner (a girl's best friend) and Lipcote to keep it in place. Seriously, if you've not investigated the last two products, do yourself a favour and give them a spin.

In Chams news, we're getting the new bank account sorted out, as both Val and Diane kindly volunteered their 'other' name & address for the account. Luckily, the account doesn't have anything to do with Chameleons, so their and my secret identities remain.

Talking of the latter, we've had to can our application for funding. Not only did the funding body want full name and address, but unlike the bank, the information may be shared with interested parties. Sandi mentioned that she'd fallen foul of having her information linked to a charity she helped with and received sale calls, junk mail, etc. Yeah, I think we'll pass. Mind you, it's a shame, as the Ever Lovely Mrs J said.

Moving on to good news for the group, we've got a party to sort out for the first meeting in October. Then, at the end, we're due for a meeting from TrendCo. They're a top pair of ladies, who run a wig consultancy in Nottingham. They really do go the extra mile, so if you can't make the meeting, do pop by their shop, you won't be disappointed.

At the end of the night, Val and I hung back to lock up, and we had our usual quiet chat, as I turned back into a slightly less made-up pumpkin. I won't go into the details of the conversation, but I will say listening to Val's advice helped. After that, it was back downstairs to turf out the Unusual Suspects and then head off on our merry ways.

Right, that's my brain - and possibly heart - emptied for another Friday. I hope you have a good weekend and that the upcoming week is kind to you and yours.

Take care,
Lynn

14 comments:

  1. Good to hear this weeks 'social' did you some good. The body hair is a tricky issue though. When I finally got rid of mine, what I hadn't realised was how sensitive I would be to it growing back. At least my own circumstances mean that I am free to be rid of it. But with all the warm weather this summer I'm often sat on the sofa in the evening wearing shorts - and have actually ended up with a razor on the table ready to use when I make a sighting - there's a hair growing there! So just a word of caution really - as you're not as free and at liberty on the body hair issue, going too far could be difficult to come back from again.

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    1. Thanks Claire. Wise words indeed. Perhaps, a whiff of freedom - so to speak - and it's very hard to put the genie back in the bottle. I had a long chat with Val about such matters and they were on similar lines.

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  2. Nice to hear you had a good holiday. My mum's actually on holiday in the UK right now (and not for the first time either), and she's really loving it. She's in Scotland now, having just spent some time in North Wales (talking of which, I've often wondered what the big deal with South Wales is, given we named a state after the place! ;))

    As I said to Val, last night, I don't want to use the word desire, because it has sexual connotations. Likewise, using need or want, makes me sound like an addict or someone with a fetish. Maybe that's the truth and I can't bring myself to admit it....

    With regard to cross-dressing possibly being a need or want, I often think we CDers end up being put in a Catch 22 situation when we're asked, "Do you think you could ever stop?" Say no, and you're assumed to have a "compulsion" (in which case, you must stop, for your own good of course!). On the other hand, say yes, and the next question you're liable to hear is "So why don't you?" (not that I've ever been asked that myself, but if I was, my answer would probably be something along the lines of "Um, because I don't really want to.").

    I'm not sure what advice I could give you regarding your own predicament, as I'm not at all familiar with your situation (you wouldn't want to listen to any advice I might give you anyway - it'd only lead you astray!). That said, one absolutely terrible piece of advice I've heard given to CDers who're trying to find healthy ways of integrating their feminine sides into the rest of their lives is to express said feminine sides through the stereotypically feminine "virtue" of self-sacrifice (ie sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of others'). Um, how about no (particularly since that isn't regarded as a terribly healthy way to live for anyone)?

    Re your friend Sandi's unhappy experiences with the charity she'd helped, that sort of thing really makes me angry - it really abuses people's goodwill. I've had similar experiences myself, though in my case, it was after I'd signed petitions - I ended up being constantly pestered by people whose attitude seemed to be, "Well, seeing as you support X, you must support Y too, so sign our petition [or join our campaign] as well!" Um, how about no, or f**k off? It's also like this demonstration I went on a couple of years back against our absolutely-terrible-PM-at-the-time, Tony Abbott - we ended up being told by the people running the event to start doing shit like chanting in support of the latest Palestinian Intifada and nonsense like that. "F**k off!" I remember thinking at the time. "That's not why I'm here!"

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    1. I hope your Mum is enjoying her time in Dear old Blighty. Sounds like she's certainly getting her money's worth with all that travelling. Doesn't it bug you when people say: "Oh, I've been to so-and-so-country, I went to the capital." Sure, you've certainly witnessed all that country has to offer... ;-)

      I've had the good fortune to have a few holidays in both Scotland and Wales. North / South Wales feel like two different places, not just in geography, but culture too.

      Stop...

      If I stopped - stopped completely, I think, in all honesty, I would probably go nuts. I think being trans runs through me and it's as much a part of my personality as being British, male, straight, a parent and over 40. All of those cultural tags have an influence on how I act and I doubt that I could turn some of them off. I don't think we work like that. Sure, maybe I could dial down certain behaviours, but I don't think I can swap out left wing for right wing views, just to fit in at the local golf club (a good walk spoiled, etc :-) ).

      As to advice, yes, that idea on giving up for others does indeed sound terrible. :-D

      petitions...

      Yup. Been there too. "But you signed against anti-immigation, why won't you sign against frankenfoods?"

      Because one's bigotry and the other is anti-science. They're not the same cause! :-)

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    2. Yeah, my mum is enjoying herself. I get an email from her every few days, and she's really having fun from the sounds of things. It's not her first time in the UK, though - I've lost count of the number of trips she's already made there, but this must be at least her third.

      Interesting what you said about North and South Wales being very different places. I'll probably have to come over and see for myself sometime. :)

      Re people who only visit the capital of a country, what's even worse is when people go to some Third World country, and never venture out of the nice, safe holiday resort they're staying in (can you even say you've been to a country when that's your only experience of it?). And even worse than that is when people never even leave their hotel! I actually heard of that happening once - I think it was a case of a couple going to some country that only one of them really wanted to visit; the other one apparently stayed in the hotel and did crosswords all day!

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    3. Your mum must love the place, if she can face that flight! :-)

      Talking of hotels, a favourite author of mine (Peter Hamilton) did a book tour and I was lucky enough to get a ticket to listen to a reading and a Q&A. He said he'd been to Australia recently and someone asked him what impression had the country made on him. He did that wry smile and answered: "I saw a lot of hotel rooms, so I'm not sure." Dearth of a Salesman, and all that :-)

      As to tourists, the Ever Lovely Mrs J and I visited Egypt a few times and got to see the pyramids, Giza and other temples. We also got out and about a bit, so we saw more than just swimming pools and aircon malls. I like a bit of luxury, but getting out and seeing what people get up to, and even just people watching, is something I love too.

      If you do come to the UK, I hope you have a grand time.

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  3. Lynn, I know exactly what you mean when you write about the growing ache not to be only in boy mode and the need and feeling of being trapped that goes with it. For me it's been growing steadily over the last few months, and the few days I've been able to let Susie out have not so much released the pressure as helped give the bottle a good shake before screwing the cap back on again.
    I'm still not sure how much Susie is a separate person than bloke me, apart from being happier and smiling more often. It's hard to tell when she exists in a social vacuum.

    Shaved ankles? Well, OK I shave (or rather epilate) my wrists and hands, but I hate that in-between look when short bristly hairs start to grow back.
    Shame about the account.
    I can vouch for Lipcote, by the way.

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    1. Hi Susie. Yikes, did you say *months*? You have my sympathies. All Jack and no Jill is not a good situation :-( I hope the drought begins to clear soon.

      As to the idea of separate people, and I hope this won't cause offence, I don't consider trans folk to be two different people. Of those I've met, they are themselves, just dressed differently and with a new name. Personality traits may step up depending on how they are dressed, but they're still Bob or Jackie, so to speak.

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    2. It's possible that Susie is me without the mask of pretending to be the man other people expect me to be that I've worn for the last 40 odd years. Funny old life when you exchange one mask for another made of concealer, liner and lippy to feel free.

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    3. Yes, there's a certain irony there. I'm with you on the 'male mask'. I think we (trans folk) have to learn how to blend in and not out ourselves, when we're younger.

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  4. Really good post, Lynn. I featured it on T-Central. There are so many out there in blog land, who are deeply closeted and just lurk in the background, that can learn from posts such as this one. I wrote in the T-Central comments that being a member of a local trans group is really the best therapy you can get. I'm glad you're feeling better and I respect you so much for the love you give Mrs J.

    Calie x

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    1. Thanks for featuring another post, Calie. More than that, thank you for the very kind words you used in the intro. That's very sweet of you.

      Maybe we all need a little help from time to time and to mash a book title from the late Mr Douglas Adams: Mostly Happy :-)

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  5. This bit…..

    "No, it's more.... more an ache. A ache of being trapped if I'm forced to be just one gender. For all my wry looks when someone says 'bi-gendered', perhaps that's closer to my truth than I'd like to admit. I know I don't want to transition and there are may days in which I can take or leave it, when it comes to being fabulous. I guess, I can't leave it completely, that way, sadness lies."

    …resonates with me so much. I’m getting lots of thoughts and ideas about writing about this subject myself. A private cry can provide a little relief to step away from reality x

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    1. Well, at least we won't be alone on the ward together :-)

      If you do write about it, I'd love to read your take on the subject.

      As to a small cry, occasionally, yes, but best if it's not required <3

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