I have to say it has been quite a busy week for me, something that hasn’t happened in a long time.
Tues was my first group session that I’ve ever attended and I have to admit I was very cautious about this whole thing. Any nerves I had subsided as the group was underway. I later told my counselor some of the concerns I had going into group that kept me from attending.
When you live your whole life a certain way and you suddenly confront something such as GID it can really change the way you view the world.
In my case my view went from a very negative, dark and uncaring world to one of bright color and a renewed faith in people. I’d often felt as though everyone was out for what they could get and not concerned for the well being of others. While this doesn’t mean that I think all people are entirely good now, I certainly have a much nicer outlook.
In a conversation with a friend the other day I had mentioned that I was looking forward to living a long time, something I had never thought before. I often told my wife when we were young that I wouldn’t live to see 30, but as life would dictate to me that wasn’t in my cards. Then it was basically marking the calendar off every year in hopes that god would take me before my next birthday. My friend was happy to hear that changed for me and even threatened to kick my but back from the afterlife should it ever happen. She’s just the girl who could do it too!!
How does all this relate to group?
When you finally see a New World open up and you start learning more positive things about yourself and the people around you it gives you a new appreciation. I absolutely look forward to seeing what each new day brings my way now. The problem comes from within because we deal with such a fragile core issue to our being.
Having GID and hiding it for so long makes us very vulnerable human beings when we admit who we truly are to the outside world. What happens is that you basically hand to most fragile part of your soul to the people you know and hope that they don’t do any damage to it.
Within group there are various degrees of people in transition and not all have the ultimate goal of completing the journey with surgery. In my case that determination hasn’t been made yet, I am just thankful for each "happy" day I now have and use that to walk the ladder on my journey. When you walk into group for the first time you are walking into the unknown even when you understand that the others are there for the same reasons on whatever level.
Because people are in various stages of transition you could see some very pretty transgender people to people who have a very long road ahead of them and even people who will probably never ever look normal enough to blend in. I am not a judgmental person by nature and walk with a fear that I may judge someone in a way I wouldn’t want to be considered. The fact is though when you walk in with a fragile heart it is the people you may see that have you scared of being there.
In my case and I guess in many others as I would later learn the fear is based in seeing ourselves in other people. My fear was that I would see people who I thought would never pass legitimately and I would see that in myself. (Just who do they think their fooling syndrome) When we have such a fragile core we are afraid of doing damage to that. When there are so many positive and uplifting changes in your life you are simply afraid you will lose them because of your fears…..
I’m happy to say I came away unscathed and later learned that it is a very common fear going into group.
I did my best to look nice and I shared that with a few close friends to get their opinions. I get the impression that I am on the right track. Tuesday night was certainly a major milestone for me and I thank anyone along the way who has encouraged and supported me.
Wed was more of the same on a different level because I had my normal counseling session. This can be a bit of a pain because the drive is a 45 minute one from my home to the counselor’s office. I generally get to do this once every 3 weeks which gives me just enough time to have new experiences, ideas and concerns to discuss. Having the back to back drive and sessions is a bit tiresome though because of what I have to go through to get there.
Get out of work, make dinner shower, get ready and drive for 45 minutes is all compressed into a window of 3-4 hours. It takes 20-30 minutes just to dry my hair because of the thickness alone. When I go to my counseling session I do my best to look nice as I feel this was the first steps in not only my own acceptance of the change but it slowly gets me comfortable with the whole coming out of my shell routine.
Wed night my counselor handed me a letter that I am able to keep with me at all times. It explains the changes to my appearance should anyone question my identification. The funny thing is that my counselor told me that as she was writing it she was having a hard time writing he and my mail name throughout it because of all the changes.
In essence the letter states that I am being treated for GID and that I am required by treatment to present as female as much as possible. It asks that anyone dealing with me give me the same respect they would any other person and if they had any questions regarding the letter to contact her.
It was quite strange getting the letter in a good way I guess. In some small way I think it signals the start of the last of the old me, and the new person who is emerging. In essence it is the first document I have of the change beyond my prescriptions. I guess it is just a matter of time before this becomes fulltime reality…
Thursday saw me getting a minor laser session to the front of my face (ie upper lip, lower lip and a little bit of the jaw line). This is another signal that some of this phase is coming to an end and it is time to prepare for the next hurdles. It is certainly both scary and exciting all in one fell swoop …
When we got home last night I made homemade tomato soup and quesadilla’s for dinner. Cooking has always been one of my favorite things to do but it seems since I’ve started transition and HRT this particular activity seems to have so much more meaning to me. As dumb as that might sound, it is very soothing and fulfilling!!
So here we are rolling into the weekend and Sat is looking to be a nice day. Dee and I are planning on getting up early and going out for bagels and coffee followed by a bit of shopping. I am hoping to finally find some presentable sandals and some new tops …. At any rate any time with my love is good time …
Hope your weekend rocks …