Friday, 22 March 2013

A grey day

Today was my second appointment at the gender identity clinic and after my first appointment, I was quite looking forward to it. 

The weather was pretty awful today, it was light rain when we left Taunton but Devon was a different proposition entirely. Even as we went past the county border beyond Wellington, the weather changed considerably and driving became difficult. It was with some relief that we finally got parked in Exeter and headed off into the city. My hair was the first casualty, I hadn't bothered any major styling today and for good reason, within 30 seconds of leaving the car, it was all over the place - in my mouth, eyes and even up my nose!

We had a small wander around before heading off to the Laurel's. We got there and this time the lift was working although there was some confusion as to it's relationship with gravity. I put Mandy in there and because it was quite small, had to leave her and walk down the stairs myself. I pushed the button for the lower ground but it said "lift going up"! This panicked Mandy but she needn't have worried as the lift was headed down. 

We checked in and I soon went in for my session. I must admit to finding this second appointment to be very hard going. It's hard to explain but I'll give it my best shot as to why I am finding it frustrating. Firstly, I am finding it tiring to be constantly questioned on what I say. I am asked a question, I give it my best answer and then asked to explain more. Sometimes there isn't any more and I let the silence fill the void. There are many things I have worked out myself and I can't think of how to express it in words. This is linked in with the issue that I have already transitioned with regards going full-time and name changing and I know where I am headed. There are no doubts in my head as to the fact I want to be a woman, always wanted to be and should have been born so. To constantly be prodded and probed with all this questioning in this manner is not very useful to me.

It was suggested I was putting up barriers so we delved a little deeper into this. I decided there would be no messing around here, and told her straight that I find it annoying to have to prove to someone (again) that I am a transsexual. I have had 3 years of trying to bring my life back into my control only to have that control placed back into someone else hands. I did ask what happens if we get to the end of this and I do not get my transsexual diagnosis? I received no answer to this so my fears have not been allayed. I have agreed to try not to put up the barriers in the future but it all seems so one sided, some of the questions seem so irrelevant, like how did I find sex as a man? As far as I am concerned, the man in me died a few years ago and wasn't ever me anyway so anything I did as him is completely meaningless. I find it bizarre that in the two hours I have had, we have not even really touched upon how I feel now which is what is important.

I guess I am probably going to be an awkward customer. I am a Samaritan and very in touch with my thoughts and feelings. I know what I want and need no double checking to be sure. I hope I can work through this in the coming months but it is not going to be easy.

There were lots of other niggles today and to be honest, I don't think I got anything out of it. This part of the process is called "therapy" but I found nothing therapeutic about it. What is it that they think I need sorting in my head?

One positive thing is that my next appointment is only a fortnight away. No longer being employed makes it much easier to fit this in with my life and I need that appointment sooner rather than later to try to get this back on track, because I feel it seriously derailed today.

 Fingers crossed for next time.

6 comments:

  1. Lucy,

    Reading this makes me feel that they are trying to test you by putting you "through the mill", which if true I find bizarre. As for "barriers" I'm sure they must be used to such things. You are one of the most open people with regard to her feelings that I have ever met. Heaven knows the size, number and strength of the barriers they'd find if I was put through this.

    Keep going, girl, you're going to get there.

    If you feel like a chat I'm in every evening.

    Susan XXX

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    1. Hi Susan,

      "through the mill"? I certainly hope not and I don't think so either. I just find some of the questions completely irrelevant. Again, "how was sex as a man for me?". How is that in any relevant to how I am now?

      Something that I find myself thinking more and more every day is the stark fact that the only people that know how life is for us transsexuals are us transsexuals. To have to hand my future to those that can't truly comprehend how I feel, is frightening.

      I am really hoping I can get something more positive out of this on the next session. If not, I may have to rethink all this because I could not see anything useful gained from today.

      Thanks for the offer of a chat, I did think about it but I'll wait until we said.

      Lucy x

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  2. Perhaps you should print out all of your writings, and the next time they ask you irrelevant questions, hand them your "book" and say, "Read this! It's how I've been feeling for the past .... years!"

    Speak your truth from the heart, not from your brain. Be very demure and ask the agent if she is a transexual. Perhaps it would be better if as you say they should have one who is one to know one!

    I admire your resolve. Stay true to yourself and it will come to pass.

    Hugs to you and Mandy,

    Gia xx

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    1. Thanks Gia for your support, it does help. I have a few things to say but I'm going to write them now in another post.

      Lucy x

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  3. Lucy,

    I am disappointed that your therapy is going like it is. I do think that it will get better and I feel certain that things will work out the way you know they should. It is just a shame that the process is being made so difficult and aggrevating for you.

    I wonder if this experience is due to the particular therapist you are seeing or something inherant in the system there in the UK. From talking to people here in the states, such a situation in therapsy would be very rare and if one encounters a therapist like this they can easily move on to a different one. My experiences with 2 therapists were not like this at all. In fact the primary therapist I first saw (who specializes in gender therapy) delved very little in my past and wanted to focus more on where I was at the moment, where I wanted to go and what was the best way to get there. Also, it is my understanding that the transsexual diagnosis is basically a self diagnosis. If you are born one sex (male) and view yourself as the other sex (female) then you are considered transseuxal. It is all about how you identify yourself. My therapist told me that, except for some rare delusional cases and certain mental illnesses (that they screen for), men simply do not come into a therapist office wanting to become women. It just does not happen.

    A lot of people go to these gender therapists to try to figure out if they are transsexual or not. They seek to "find out where they are on the gender spectrum". This was not my approach but I also did not go in proclaiming myself transseuxal. At the time I was living the primary part of my life as a male but I did want to transition. I guess what I wanted to know is if I Needed to transition. Most of us should probably hope that the answer is no, we do not need to transition, as it is much easier to live a dual gendered life than it is to go through the upheaval of transition.

    This should be a no brainer in your case, and in fact anyone in England who is coming in for hormone therapy, because you already are living full time in order to qualify. I just do not see how they could say to you now that you are not a woman and should not be allowed to medically transition after you have already transitioned socailly. I will be following your situation here but I am Certain that you will get the approval for the system that you require to move forward. My only hope is that they do not make the process too difficult, painful, frustrating or long and drawn out.

    Hugs and Good luck,
    Tammy

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    1. Hi Tammy,

      I take on board what you have said and you acknowledge that my situation is a little different and much less common than many. I have already made the step to going full time and I am a year late getting to the clinic (through no fault of my own). As far as I am concerned I do not need a diagnosis because I know I should have been born a woman and was not. That's self diagnosis, but in this business that is often the case and you mention that. It should be remembered that even though this is called "therapy" it is actually just a diagnosis stage.

      However, they have their procedures even though it doesn't fit everyone. Something that always makes me cheerier when I encounter inflexability in things like is, is a famous quote by the master philosopher Homer Simpson, don't ever speak ill of the program! The program is rock solid. The program is sound. as heard in one of the best episodes ever, Viva Ned Flanders.

      I also take on board what you say about changing therapists and this is in my mind because it is an option. I am going to give it a little longer and see how it goes. Again, it is good that the next visit is much sooner so I can try to get it all moving again.

      Thanks again Tammy, and everyone else.

      Lucy x



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