Friday, 19 August 2011

Trying to 'Fix' someone

I recently read a post by someone who is dealing with being transgendered and their other half wants them to see someone who might be able to help them by 'fixing' them I found it a fascinating read, especially all the comments that people left. If your on Pink Essence then you can find the original blog there.

The person that they were being referred to is at http://www.prodigal-ministries.com/.

I have to admit if my other half suggested that I saw someone because she thought he could fix me then I'd be heading in the other direction as fast as I could. Even if he was a legitimate counselor and was bound by patient confidentiality I'd be wary of going to him if my spouse had already spoken with him. I know that mine has her head part buried in the sand and is hoping all of this will go away but who knows what she might say when talking to someone, especially if she thought that they might be of help to her in getting her own way.

Several years ago I had started the process of getting a referral to Charing Cross and told some close church friends what I was doing. They were stunned and didn't know what to do but suggested that I might like to try counseling. They knew of a couple that had moved down to our area from London and who were trained counselors as well as Christians. I agreed to see them and went to where they lived. They were a lovely couple and we chatted, we even prayed but they didn't have the experience to be able to deal with me properly. They did offer some suggestions as to places I could try. I looked up each of them and decided that I really didn't like the look of anywhere that was suggested. They were either too extreme in their outlook or took the stance that they could "fix" a person.

Since then I've come to terms with who I am and how it impacts on my Christianity. It has stopped me doing some things that I was involved in but that is mainly because it would either be confusing for the children that I was teaching at Sunday School or would be a distraction or even downright dangerous for the work I was doing as a Street Pastor. My faith is still strong and if anything I've developed more of a tolerance for people and their differences and a deeper love of my fellow men and women.

Last year I came out to the leadership at my church about the fact that I was transsexual and planned on transitioning. I'd told the same church friends I'd previously told that I had an appointment to see a psychiatrist in order to get a referral to the local gender clinic and they decided that they couldn't continue to support me on their own and that our vicar and his wife should know so that they could help provide support to my family and I. I agreed to that and also to going along to meet up and to have some prayer ministry. Before I agreed though I made it absolutely clear that if anyone tried to pray for me to be cured and to remain a man that I would walk out and have nothing more to do with it.

There are now about 22 people at our church, out of a congregation of nearly 150, who are aware of what is happening. So far nobody has rejected me and no-one has tried to quote the bible at me, not that they could apart from the obvious verse buried in Deuteronomy. A couple have spoken to me briefly about it and have said that if they can help they will but they don't see how they can. One admitted that she was trying to get her head around it and if she had questions she would ask me them if it was ok, she did then go onto say that she'd have to be a bit more careful about what she said to me in jest, I had to laugh and tell her that she should carry on as she'd always done and not worry about it.
Another one came up to me at the end of a church weekend and asked me how I'd been over the weekend. In response to my "I'm fine" she said "OK, and now how have you been really?" I somehow don't think that I'm going to be able to fob her off with the usual responses that people give to questions like that. I think she might be one of the few people I know that really is tuned into what God has to say to her.

All of these people are ordinary Christians living ordinary lives and showing me just how loving and caring people can be and I wouldn't be without anyone of them. However, if they even remotely suggested that I could be fixed so that I stayed the same person that they've known for years I'd walk away there and then, having told them what I thought of their suggestion.

The thing that I do find really interesting is that the one group of people that I would have thought would have been more supportive are the pastors organization I as part of. The coordinator was really helpful and listened when I told her about what was happening and as I updated her through the initial months of seeking help. At the end of last year I thought that I might be able to go back with them but they needed to discuss things. Early this year I got a letter from the chairman of the management team telling me that they had regretfully decided that I couldn't go back, I understand their reasons. In March I had an email from the coordinator asking how my appointment had gone with the psychiatrist. I told her what was happening and have not heard anything since.
Now that has been a real disappointment as I expected more from them than to simply ignore me for the last 5 months.
Just to be clear though I'm not knocking them for what they do because they do incredible work at times when most people are out having fun and the only other people that are around are bar staff and the emergency services. They are all volunteers and do what they do out of love for their fellow man.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The eyes have it

Last time I went to see Zee at the salon she wouldn't tint my eyelashes because she thought I had developed a stye. That was 6 weeks ago.
The other day one of my colleagues pointed out to me that I'd developed a lump on my eyelid and that it was quite noticeable.
I popped along to the doctors last week and saw one of the nurses. She examined both lumps and decided that they are probably cysts, a stye would normally have burst and gone by now. So apparently I have a Chalazion or Meibomian Cyst which she's prescribed antibiotics to try and help get rid of as there was some inflammation.
At the moment it doesn't look like the one on my eyelid is going away, it looked worst last night if anything, so I'll be back at the doctors on Monday morning and looking at getting an appointment to have a minor operation where they make a cut on the inside of the eyelid to allow the cyst to drain. It can be done under local anaesthetic so I should be in and out quite quickly.

The Wanderer Returns

Its been a week since I dropped my son off for his trip to Barretstown in Ireland. Today I've got to drive back up to Heathrow to collect him, a nice 5 hour round trip.
I'm fully expecting him to forget all the details of what he's been doing the moment he walks through the door at arrivals, he usually does!
He'll have been eating like a horse for the last week, a very healthy horse, but still a horse. From past experience they have three substantial meals a day. Today will be nicely different. There is steak and new potatoes in the fridge so he'll be having that for dinner, he likes his meat and especially steak. One time when we were out at a restaurant he was served his grampa's meal by mistake and proceeded to eat it.
So my little angel comes home today and I'll be so glad to have him back.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

First Anniversary

In ten days time, 21st August, it will be one year exactly since I sat down with my other half and told her that I was transsexual and planned on seeking GRS. One year since I was so low that I seriously considered ending my life rather than speak with her.

Like last year, earlier this week we drove to London Heathrow and dropped our son off with the two chaperones who were escorting him and 7 other boys to southern Ireland for a weeks activities with several hundred other youngsters who have, or still are, dealing with major, life-threatening illnesses.

So far this week has been quiet. On Wednesday night as we sat down to dinner my other half asked me why I'd not dressed. Why wasn't Jenny sitting at the dinner table. I might spend some time as Jenny over the weekend but I'm certainly not going to let things end up like they did last year.

A, who is the nurse that has been meeting up with my son to discuss things ever since we told him about my plans to transition, came round on Wednesday. The two of them have been discussing all sorts of things during their little outings. As far as me, they've critiqued my hair style in the pictures that they've seen, they prefer it when I had it pulled back for my burlesque debut rather than the wind blown look  I had when I went for my first appointment at The Laurels. He's still confused about what to call me when I transition, so am I to be honest. When he comes back from Ireland I think I'll have to sit down with him and discuss it with him, work out something that we both feel comfortable with. He's also worried that he might say something to my other half or I that will upset one of us or cause one of us to shout at the other one, again that is something that can be resolved by sitting down and talking it through. There's nothing that he can say that will upset me and I'm not going to go and shout at my other half because of something that my son says to me.

I've also been persuaded to take part in a charity concert and to perform my burlesque routine solo at the beginning of October. I'm nervous about it but thinks its about time I did like the other women in my class and got out there and performed in front of a proper audience.

Some of the girls from my class are going to be coming to my home town in the near future as they have a booking for a performance/lesson. Its going to be a bit too soon for Ms Jenna Von Risque to perform on home turf so I'm going to go along and help out by being their roadie for the evening and escorting them around some of the nightspots our town has to offer. I've got a couple of places in mind. Should be interesting, especially as I'll have on my dance school tee-shirt. Might have to make sure that I have plenty of caffeine and don't drink masses of alcohol though as I realised today that I actually have a sprint triathlon the following day. I'm pretty sure that a lack of sleep wont effect my performance. Pretty sure.

I've got a couple of other things planned for the near future but I'll tell about them when they happen.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Assessment Number 2

Today was the second of my three assessments with a counsellor at The Laurels. It was quite a pleasant experience as the counsellor is really friendly and she's easy to talk to.

We went over some of what we'd discussed at the last appointment then carried on as I filled in more of my background and feelings.
Next session we were going to go over my educational background but with 10 minutes to spare we were able to go over that there and then. I expect we might dig into that a bit more.

Before next session all of the notes that have been taken will be typed up and I'll get to read them to and we can make any tweaks that are necessary where things are missing or need expanding upon.

After the next session  I'll get an appointment to see one of the doctors who will then make an official diagnosis as to whether I have gender dysphoria or not. If the doctor does make that diagnosis then he'll write to my GP to let her know and I officially move into phase 2 of treatment which will be where I change my name and begin my Real Life Experience. Throughout my RLE I'll see the counsellor every six weeks and the doctor every three months.

One step further on, one step closer to where I want to be. Roll on September 6th when I have my next appointment and get the date to see the doctor.