Sunday, 29 June 2014

A busy summer

Summertime and the living is easy
Summertime and the living is good

Or not as is going to be the case this summer.

In just over a week my family will be heading to Bristol for 6 weeks so that my son can have his radiotherapy. They are going to be there Sunday to Friday, which means I get peace and quiet at home for a while.

Unfortunately it also means that I'll be having to work longer days so that I can drive back to Bristol on a Sunday evening to pick them up and bring them home.

Having them away does mean that I can make a serious attempt at losing weight. I'm nearly 13 stone now so need to lose a lot of that. Hopefully over the next 6 weeks by watching what I eat and also getting a lot more exercise I'll be able to shed the pounds.

With my training for September's Great North Run underway I'm running four days a week. I've just discovered that the leisure centre I'm a member at does Body Balance on a Monday evening so I'm going to start going to that from tomorrow. I'm also going to try and get in a few sessions at the gym since I've changed my membership to allow me to use it at any time and not before 5pm on a weekday.

With luck, by the time they are permanently back home in Yeovil I'll have managed to get my weight down closer to 12 stone and be on my way to the weight I'd hoped to be by the end of the year.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Should have been born a girl

For a while now I've been hoping to bump into S, who I used to work with a good number of years ago. She doesn't live far from me but she retired just around the time I changed jobs. Over the years I've bumped into her while shopping but I've not seen her since before I transitioned, my other half has and told her about my transitioning.

Today as I was on my way home I had to pop into the supermarket to pick up some cherry tomatoes for dinner. As I was just about to go in I saw K, S's husband coming out and then saw S.

I called out to her and she stopped and turned towards me. I watched for a few seconds as she tried to recognise me before going over and saying "You don't recognise me do you."
S replied "Yes, you're ..."
"It's <my old name>"

Her face lit up at the same time as I spoke as recognition dawned.

S asked how things were going, how work had been with everything and how my family was.

We chatted for a few minutes and I said that she'd not changed. She said the same about me before adding "Which proves that you should always have been a girl."

There are some people that you just love to pieces no matter how long since you've seen then and S is one of those for me.

Just Lie Down

This is something I wrote for the Just Lie Down writing prompt at The Writer's Journey Roadmap

Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back any more.

The first time I heard the song Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen I knew I’d found my latest personal theme song. It sums up the way I’ve had to leave behind the life I’d built up to have the life I needed.
For the first 45 years of my life I lived the life I that I thought people would expect from me. My childhood was a good one. I always had everything I needed, my parents worked hard to provide for my sister and I. Still they could never provide me with the life I ached to have. How could they for as far as they were concerned I was happy, healthy, had a good education and a good job when I left university. What more could a parent want for their child?
Still it was all a show. Everyone that knew me saw the person they expected to see. They saw what was on the stage, not what was behind the scenes.
My partner came along and I finally found someone that I could let see behind the scenes. I took them backstage and found a person that I could finally be myself with. Of course I eventually found out that they were equally good at projecting an image while thinking and feeling something different. Still we’re together after 20 years and have a relationship that is as strong now as it was back then.
I worked hard at having a career. I did sports and took it to extremes by doing marathons and then moving onto open water swimming and long distance triathlons. People that knew me, even close friends, saw what I wanted them to see, what I thought I had to let them see.
Then I reached the point where I had to let go of being what I thought they needed to see, I let go of what I though I needed to be, and decided I had to be me. I’m still doing that now, as I patiently wait for the time when I’ll finally be completely me.
You see I was born a boy, raised as a boy, grew up to be a man, started work and built up a career like the other men around me. Played sports and did the things other guys did. I was so good at it that nobody suspected a thing.
But inside was a little girl screaming to be let out and over time that little girl grew into a young woman and continued to grow until she was old, enough and strong enough to be able to deal with life on her own. So I let it go, I let being the male that I thought I had to be for my family and friends go. I let him go and allowed her to be free to take life as she wanted it and how it came.
Sometimes I regret his passing but like a character in a book, his story had reached its end. Its my time and my story that needs to be written now.

So to paraphrase the song from Frozen

Let it go, let it go
That perfect boy is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Bristol Again!

Last week we had to go to Bristol so that my son could have a kidney scan in preparation for his radiotherapy that is going to be happening over the summer. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Quite hot but not unbearably so. Of course with weather like that I had to think carefully about what to wear.

I have a problem with my shoulders and the tops of my arms as they are far to masculine looking. At least that's what I think so when I go places I tend to cover them up as much as possible. T-shirts that hide my shoulders are good but strappy tops, no!

Until Thursday. I couldn't find one top I liked that covered my arms. The only think I could find was a gold coloured top that had thick straps but left my shoulders completely visible. A bit of thought at a very light cardigan that would hide them came out of the wardrobe and into my bag, where it stayed for the rest of the day. Bare arms and shoulders were on view all day and the world didn't end or the ground open up and swallow me when I had to deal with someone.

The scan went OK but while my son and his mum went in to get it done I stayed in the waiting room. I was the only one there apart from one of the hospital housekeeping staff. As I sat there she came over and stood looking down at me, then started talking to me about guys that she's been seeing and how the relationships have been. All I could do is try and answer in a sympathetic way. I did feel really awkward but she seemed fine discussing such personal matters. All I can think is that she simply saw a fellow woman who was waiting around and she just started chatting about whatever was on her mind.

After she'd gone to find one of her colleagues I continued sitting there waiting for the family to return when a porter came in wheeling a patient. He went back and forth a couple of times and as he passed me on one of them complimented me on my shoes!! I was so stunned all I could do was say "Thank you" in a quiet voice.

Once the rest of the family had returned from the scan we headed back to the shopping centre to browse for outfits for my other half and I to wear to a wedding in the summer but before getting into some serious shopping we grabbed some lunch at Subway. That's where we had the only disappointment of the day when the guy that served me referred to me as "Sir" over and over. The first time he said it I thought it was simply his accent and English not being his first language (I suppose that could be the reason) but after he'd said it 3 or 4 times I was feeling miffed. Not wanting to cause a fuss since the place was quite full I let it slide and didn't say anything to draw attention to myself but it put me off using Subway, particularly that one, again.

The rest of the day was fabulous. Shopping but failing to find the right outfit. A visit with my other half's Aunt and Uncle then a trip to Pizza Hut to get dinner before making our way home to watch England manage to lose their second match of the World Cup. I can imagine that a lot of people are disappointed by the way their playing. I would be too, if they are playing a real game but its only football. Its not like their playing rugby, now that's a game for real men.

Oh, and as for the wedding outfit I've managed to find a top and trousers to wear (other half has banned me from wearing a dress because although the bride is my other half's cousin's daughter and I've known her since she was quite young we don't really know her friends and fiance's family). I'm currently looking for another top because the one I've got is a bit short apparently and with the trousers I've picked my other half is worried about people noticing things she doesn't want them to in the groin area. A slightly longer top is on the cards with some form of jacket to wear over the top.
Once I've got the outfit I'll upload a picture so you can see what it looks like.

Friday, 13 June 2014

What to bring

When I go to Brighton next month and see Mr Yelland I'll be discussing the chest reconstruction that I need to have. After receiving the appointment details I started thinking about what I might need to take with me. Will I need a sports bra or something in order to work out what size implants I need? With that in mind I emailed his secretary to ask.
The response I got back was that he would discuss sports bras with me at the appointment, all I needed to bring with me was an idea of how I want to look. So between now and then I have to give some serious thought to my body image, in particular how I want my breasts to look.
So do I want something understated or something that is going to have the guys talking to my chest rather than my face, something that did happen once and I found quite funny.
Time to put my thinking cap on.