My last entry described my feelings about where I was intending to go with my blogging. I was unsure of how long I would continue with writing and whether it would be relevant to anyone now that the main part of my transitioning was over. Interestingly, this post attracted comments from two people that had never commented on before. They were full of encouragement and made me rethink my position that my time here might be limited. I attract very few comments for the wordage I put out, and although I am not writing for comments, it was very rewarding to read those comments.
So for the time being, I feel that there is a good future for my writing here and I hope that I can keep things alive and interesting. Ironically though, this post focuses on normality!
I had had a full week of my friend Susan visiting, and we managed to get something in every day. I was fully aware of not over-exerting myself after my surgery and felt we pushed it to the absolute limit on a few of these days. We made sure though that our activities were morning focused and returned home for my afternoon dilation, usually resting for the rest of the day. Last Sunday was a good day, she (Susan) made the step to full time and asked me to be the witness on her deed poll document. I felt this was a privilege and made sure that I help her celebrate by taking her our for a meal.
She went home on Wednesday and I was quite happy for a rest. During our time, Susan had accompanied me driving in the car for the first time. If I had had any difficulties, she could have taken over and got me home. to be honest, it was some effort to have kept myself from driving before she came down - I was starting to feel quite isolated in this flat. Once she had gone, I was happy in the knowledge that I now had some freedom to get out, have a coffee somewhere and pick up supplies. Not being reliant on others for lifts and food was a great relief.
So after a very restful day on Thursday, Today (Friday) I decided I would make use of this new freedom and go into town to sort a few bits and pieces out. I started with a coffee in my favourite Costa. I didn't have Mandy for company, as I can't lift the wheelchair in and out of the car for some time, so I took my book instead and spent a nice half an hour in a comforting environment supping coffee and reading.
The next stop was Argos to pick up my engagement ring - Mandy had proposed to me on my hospital bed in Brighton. It is very difficult to find rings for my big finger, and it is ironic that a general goods retailer would be the place that I would find something suitable. I tried on the ring, it was tight over the knuckle but fitted well on the finger. We boxed it back up, I paid and left. Next stop was the jewellers to collect Mandy's ring and again, this was pretty easy going. I finally stopped in Sainsbury's and collected a few bits of food we needed. Then it was off down to visit dad and finally a stop in Lidl's before heading off home.
I reflect back on the last five years of transitioning and realise just how normal all this has become. Those heady moments in the early days seem like distant memories. Going and asking for a coffee used to need buckets of adrenalin, now they know my name and even what I want to drink! The thought of having to deal with those rings were not even possible in the early days, now it's just, well, normal. Supermarkets too used to make me wary, they could be very hit or miss and now I just do it without thought.
Even post-GRS, it seems more normal still. Whilst what is between your legs should not make a difference to how you are in public, the reality is that is does to some degree. GRS wont cure any social anxiety you have and it should be noted I had none of these issues anyway. But the truth is that now the physical dysphoria is gone, I feel even more normal. That unpleasant reminder is now no longer there and even the soreness of what is there now reminds me that I am now fully "me".
So here's to the banality of normalily and long may it continue.