Friday, July 27, 2012

"Cause I'm in too deep, and I'm trying to keep,
All the thoughts in my head, instead of going under."

Hi folks,

Deep breath and concentrate, Lynn....

It's been a bit of a mixed bag since my last blog entry. There's been some good stuff and some not so good stuff. I'll get the moaning not so good stuff out of the way and end on a positive note. ;-)

Given last week's mental... issues... I had high hopes for Chameleons this time around. Funny, really; I could have really done with some 'Lynn mode' this week, yet it did not come to pass. Or more accurately, not completely. Home was fine, work didn't hold me back, but the weather - for me at least - was just too much. I was late leaving home and on the way there, I just got hotter and hotter. By the time I arrived, the last thing I felt my body need was to pile on a face full of make-up and don a wig + shape wear for the night. I'm a cold weather bird at heart. Give me log fires, hot chocolate, boots, a good scarf and long walks in the crisp autumn air. Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of sunshine, but not when it's blazing hot. Honestly, there's no pleasing me is there? ;-)

Head-wise, I think I could have gone with a bit of glamour or whatever it is that resets the trans switch in me..... and yet, despite feeling rather upset at the disappointment of not doing so, as the evening rolled on, so I started to feel a lot better. I think it was a mix of being with friends and despite being sat around like Chewbacca at a surf contest, I did begin to relax and cheer up. I think it may be because at Chameleons I don't feel any pressure to 'man up' and we can (and do) talk about anything and everything.... sometimes strictly for laughs, sometimes more seriously.

It was probably as I was talking to Alison about how her trip had gone to Sparkle, when I started being a bit more honest. She asked how I was and my brain gave out as I thought about rolling out the usual line of 'oh, okay really.' Instead I smiled and said in all honesty, a bit sh** to be honest. Sorry, mrs. So the conversation rolled on and knowing that I'm not alone in trying to keep the British stiff upper lip, helped. Kate (J) had popped in for her second visit and we had a good long natter about various topics: how her transition was going, work acceptance, family stuff (hers and mine), etc. All good - as she would say ;-) Sadly, no sign of Rhi as - like me - the weather had proved too much and I can't say I blame her.

The Unusual Suspects rolled in later on and conversation, snacks (there goes the diet!) and drinks were the order of the day. At one point, I was talking to Tanya and a thought struck me as we were joking about wedding outfits (no, not the bridal fantasy that some t-folk seem to have), more the struggle to keep the Pink Fog at bay during a social occasion. Those occasions where you are suited and booted, but would feel a lot more comfortable frocked and heeled. (Ed: are those last two even words? :-P). 

Anyhoo, I remember asking: "At what point did a roving eye switch to dress jealousy?". I think that is one of my main problems.... well, lets not go into the others, there's only so much bandwidth and time after all, ;-) But jokes aside - and how can I put this? - I do seem women who I think are pretty. Of late though, its less about the fact that they are pretty and more that I am not. Soooo, I think what I need to do is try to stop worrying about what I don't have, and instead, start looking at what I do. I don't think it will be easy, but I think it's the only way forward. 

The other option would be to pursue what I consider to be 'the impossible dream' in that given my height, build and bone structure, I'm never going to look girly. I'm not saying that to fish for compliments, I think that you can dress well, you can look good, but.... if I did go full time, I'd never be happy with how I looked. It's more to do with were I am mentally, that how I look. Even if there was some magical / sci-fi transformation system, and the gender fairy waved her magic activation console and I was 100% female I'd still not be happy. No doubt in part that I know that I'd have to leave my family and they mean too much to me to do that. I need to try and become comfortable with who I am, again. 

So, a poor start week-wise, but ending on a good note. Fingers crossed the good mood will continue into the weekend. I've a new mobile to play with, I'm off on a course next week and the weather's taken a turn towards the cooler. All good stuff really.

Thanks for reading,

[ Today's lyric: In Too Deep by Sum 41 ]

Friday, July 20, 2012

"He's trying his best to understand the 'cause of his dismay"


Today's post is a bit of a tough one to write. Not that I've run out of stuff & nonsense to chat about, but.... ah, you'll see in a mo. I had thought about talking about careers, jobs and progress, but I guess I'll save that for another day. It seems that.... and how I hate to say it, I'm in danger of slipping back into sharing company with the Black Dog. It is not, all encompassing, but it is there.

Y'see, I do and don't want to talk about it. The don't comes into it as I don't want to allow myself to be defined by this, nor do I want to feel as I do. Additionally, I am conscious that this emptying-of-my-head post will seem like another woe-is-me stream of consciousness, which to be honest, doesn't hold a lot of interest for me as a blogger. :-\ Yes, I feel a little off it, but then we all do on occasion. What's annoying me about it is the sleeplessness at night, tiredness during the day and my memory and concentration are not what they should be. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones has been noticing the latter and has (politely) voiced her frustration (and then concern) that I seem to be slipping.

Talking of which, we did talk about why, when there's anything 'wrong' (my words) with my behaviour, I blame it on my depression. Well, maybe there's a reason for that; if I'm falling asleep on the sofa, it's because I feel very tired. If I can't remember anything, it's because my subconscious is (at least I assume) busy doing something else. If I feel little joy in activities, it's because of you-know-what, the Big D. I do see her point in that being able to pin the blame on a condition rather that me, means technically, I'm off the hook. Ergo: there's nothing I can do about it - which, by the way, I don't subscribe to. Yet, if I had a broken arm, would there be the same level of discussion around why I was behaving a certain way? Ah, the fun of an invisible illness! :-P

I am keeping busy with work, reading rather than brooding and walking to keep myself going..... but I think they're all just delaying tactics. I still don't know if you can fight this.... blackness... off, or if you just have to sit it out. Anwers on a postcard to the usual address.

It was also said that "I bet it is trans related". As I said to Mrs J, I don't feel it is. I just think that things aren't going right upstairs (as in, in my head) and I've just got to keep going, not give in, etc. I didn't feel it was due to trans stuff and yet, much later, I thought about this. What if it is? I know that pushing to go out more, or be more femme (smooth legs, ears pierced, Sparkle, Invasion, etc) will not be good for our relationship. If I'm honest, much as the previous ideas make the trans part of me sit up and clap its well manicured hands, I don't think it is the answer.... Or perhaps, more honestly, I hope it is not the only answer, because I don't think it would work for both of us. As much as I don't want to feel as I do now, I don't want to drive my lovely wife away.

Heh. Considering I wrote that I didn't want to talk about it, I think I've rattled on enough about that. :-) Still, sometimes it helps to get things out into the open and work it out. On the upside, there are a couple of birthday parties for friends & family and I've got some good books to work my way through. I've also got a short story I need to finish off. Oh, talking of the latter, I think there was a LGBT author meeting last night, but I didn't get around to checking it out, nor going along. Maybe one for the future.

Righto. Deep breath. Pull a smile from somewhere (no, not *there*) and man up (oh the irony) until it's Chameleons next week.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Fifteen Years by The Levellers ]

Friday, July 13, 2012

"I'm a weirdo,
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here..."

Hello again dear reader,

How's things in your neck of the woods? Hopefully all is well. I guess it's time for this week's sit-rep.... woo, I guess I've been reading too much tongue-in-cheek techno-horror, but it sure beats what's on the television at the mo :-P

Little Miss had another half day taster at school, although this time she hung on to my leg rather than scampering off to join the others. I waited with her for a mo, gave her a cuddle and told her that Mum would be picking her up just after dinner. Luckily, the teacher managed to distract her with talk about the group having a story together, so off I went. One of the other mum's was in tears and I think I can understand that. It is a bit of a milestone and, to me at least, drives home that she's growing up. Climb into the car, stiff upper lip and play something incredibly heavy.... or Radio 4 in my case ;-)

Talking of growing up, Wee Man had his birthday earlier this month. Wow, nine years old; where has the time gone? Oh yes: eating, sleeping, meetings, dancing about like a big silly mare and queueing.... but not always in that order ;-) So he was happy as the proverbial on the big day. The weather stayed nice, so there was lots of running about and general quality kid stuff. Oh, and cake plus nibbles too. So much for the diet! Still, I think it all went to plan and there were no tears before bedtime - but enough about the adults. :-)

Aside from family history, things have been okay really. Well, that's not 100% true. I'm not sure if I've been overdoing it of late, but the earlier part of this week, I was feeling out of it and dropping asleep on the sofa pretty much as I came in. I'd like to think (hope?) that the weekend and a lie-in will top up the old batteries and I shall be good to go once more. I suppose that's one of the good things about CBT, the idea that you don't panic when you start to feel yourself slip. Yes, I could hear the distant bark said Black Dog (albeit very far away, luckily!). I did see the occasional cloud of Pink Fog, but neither came for an extended stay, mere a temporary presence on the horizon. I guess the thing that kept me going was feeling that maybe it was just tiredness and that Chameleons was just around the corner. In other words: don't panic, Jones. ;-) So, keeping a level head helped - oh, that and a good book.

Straighten yourself
out, Lynn.
Chameleons was quiet this time around and I think that was due to a lot of folk getting ready for - or in some cases, already gone to, Sparkle over in Manchester. As Saffy had popped up to visit Sophie for their Sparkle visit, both of them dropped in to say hi and have a cup of tea (Ed: so very British!). I had an interesting chat with Helen (TS lady) about the merits and our mutual disregard for the notion of passing. She was saying that so long as she's treated respectfully, she's not bothered if people know or not (you already know my stance on this). Helen went on to say that she's fully accepted for who she is at her local church (bar one odd-ball), but she herself, still feels a bit of an outsider. It's something I can equate to and again, we talked about if this was more our collective problem rather than society? At what point do we start excluding ourselves when really, most folk don't seem to give a hoot either way?

As the evening wore on, Sophie, Saffy and I headed off to the pub for a few drinks and, but of course, a bout of karaoke. Sophie and I had a pop at Pure Morning and if I say so myself, I think it went okay. Certainly a lot better than Razorlight's America which I pretty much slaughtered. Sorry for putting you through that audience! I guess I need to stick to the shouty / rap style ones in future. Still, lessons learned eh?

After a quick boogie to Footloose, it was time to say goodbye and go find a pumpkin patch to turn back into a large orangey spherical thing before heading home. All in all, a very nice way to set me up for the weekend: t-batteries fully recharged and off we go again.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Creep by Radiohead ]

Friday, July 06, 2012

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both."

Hello dear reader,

Well, I have faffed and messed around this evening. Hoping that by the delay, I will be blessed with a visit from the Muse - from a classical sense, not the band - and something interesting would pop into life between my ears.

That hasn't happened. :-) I did toy with the idea of leaving today's post until Saturday night, but I have a feeling that the same thing would happen again. I guess that's how blogs wind down, not with a bang, but a whimper and all that. I should add that I'm not thinking of giving up just yet. When I do get my head around blogging, I do enjoy it. I've met some interesting folk through this collection of ups & downs and made some good friends too.

Yet, this evening, there is no great secret I wish to impart, nor any burning issue I feel I need to share with you.


Perhaps I have overdone it in the creativity department - as much as this stream of consciousness is creative - in that earlier in the week, I had a two ideas for some short stories. One a steampunk affair, the other something more modern but with a twist to add in a moral dilemma. With both, I had scenes that I wanted to write, but no beginning per say. Indeed, one of them, I had the ending imagined, but no start. I guess that's part of the challenge. I mean, I do like to write, although most of the items aren't that long and while I've tried my hand at the occasional short story competition, I've yet to get anything in return. Still, you keep trying don't you.

Talking of trying, a few of the trans massive have been coming out to their parents (or are in the process of). I will, if I may, share with you where I stand on this. Oh, I should add that this next bit is all about yours truly. Firstly, 'cos I'm a self obsessed trans blogger [/slight irony] but mainly because I feel I can only write about my own feelings, not those of others.

So with that disclaimer out of the way, I'll say this: my folks don't know about my trans status. Yes, I did tell Mum back in the (very distant) past when I was going through a rough patch as a teenager. But then, who doesn't have a tough time being a teenager? Hell, if there's an Elixir of Life, you can stick it unless I can start in my 20s. ;-)

Skip on a few years and I was visiting home midway through University (well, polytechnic in my case) and I had my one and only purge. I hadn't got a lot of clothes (a top or two, some shorts - it was the 90s, don't ask :-) ), so they went to a charity shop and the rest was binned. I thought, perhaps naively, that I could put it all behind me and have a stint of 'going straight'. Straight as in the criminal sense of the phrase. Hmm, that's telling isn't it. :-) What prompted the purge? Oh, me struggling with growing up and - if I can admit it to the Internet - seeing Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. The character was such a monster (and well played by the actor), that I took.... Actually, I'm no longer 100%. I think the idea that BB was so messed up that it tapped into my own feelings of body image and even a fear of self-delusion. Yes, it was fiction and yes, I did know he was a character, yet a little bit of blade cut something deep (if that makes any sense). There I was, long haired grunger with combat boots and obligatory plaid shirt, yet inside.... not quite so macho. Ahh, the masks we wear eh? ;-)

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."
Skip on to post purge and I remember helping with the washing up with Mum (Ed: ever the good boy eh?). She asked me how things were going. The course wasn't going well and either through a lack of academic ability - or perhaps more accurately, a lack of personal drive / confidence - deep down, I knew I wasn't going to finish the year on a good note. Ahh, failing to prepare equals preparing to fail? Who can say. :-P

Anyhoo, I remember trying to be so matter-of-fact and saying to my Mum that I'd had a chuck out. "Oh? What do you mean?" Cue the nod and the y'know look and she seemed so happy. For a while, so was I, but.... well, we know how this one plays out don't we boys and girls. :-) I think I lasted six months or so, but the feelings didn't go away : just the mechanism to allow myself a little Lynn time (not that I had another name then).

I remember the look of relief on her face and no, I do not hold any grudge against her for that. She had her reasons and because of that, I've not told her (or Dad) otherwise. Lying by omission as a friend said? Yes. Will I tell them? No, I don't think I will. I think if I did, I would worry that they'd start worrying about its [my dressing up / occasional depression ] affect on the relationship the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones share and how it could affect the kids.

Does this mean I think other folks shouldn't tell their parents? No, not in the slightest. What works for me, is (so far) working for me and my life is not your life. Do what you need to do to get through it. If you feel the need to share, good luck to you. I think you're very brave. Likewise, if you decide to keep it all quiet, I can dig that too.

Take care,

[ Today's quote is not a lyric, but a line from Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken ]