Before anyone thinks this is to do with my GRS, you might need to rethink. This post is actually about my discharge from the Laurel's G.I.C. and not any kind of fluid emanating from my body!
I recently wrote about making this decision in a post called Decision making. Because of a massive influx of referrals, the clinic is now overwhelmed and waiting times are rising dramatically. A conversation with the clinic manager last week led me to make the choice to dispense with the services of the clinic 8 months early. It was made with me in mind too, I simply do not need to be visiting there every 3 months for a chat with Lynda, nice though that is. I also expressed an interest in helping the clinic with volunteering and one of the stipulations of that is that you are essentially ready to move on in your life, with no more therapy needed.
I wrote to Lynda advising her of this and she wrote back, quite upset. It seemed she wanted to do this with me face to face. I wrote back saying that if she wanted, I could come in at short notice when convenient and go ahead with this. She found an appointment for yesterday and Mandy and myself duly went in.
This was to be by far the best appointment so far. Despite all the bad history, I found it quite strange to have got to this point. When you embark on this part of transitioning, the end seems a very long way off. I started in February 2012, although there was a mistake and I didn't enter the clinic until February 2013. There were some massive errors, a couple of serious ones and it was a very bumpy start. Lynda was instrumental in getting me to regain some faith in the clinic and the system, often acknowledging that I had been failed.
I have managed to get through the system fairly quickly and those coming through behind have some massive waits in front of them. I wont get too political but my feelings are that today's election result does not bode well for the trans community as a whole and the next five years are going to be tough going. This morning before setting out was gloomy, even tearful, because of this and I even felt that it might be difficult to show I was ready to be moving on.
By the time we got to Exeter, my spirits had lifted. I think it was just the despair I had been reading on Facebook had gotten to me. Getting back out and in the real world helped enormously and of course a good bucket of latte helped too. We walked into the clinic and found it a far different environment than normal. It was quiet and peaceful with hardly any of the usual bustle. Friday is usually a much quieter day and this made the staff seem in a much more relaxed mood. The clinic manager was not rushing off to somewhere for once and made time to chat to Mandy and myself, handing me the application forms for volunteering. Lynda was soon out and we were herded in for my appointment.
This was more of a chat than anything, and it felt more like and official goodbye. We talked in depth about a lot of things particularly the future for gender services in this country as well as how the election result was going to affect things. Lynda seemed worried, and this reinforced my fears. If she was worried, then the worry was real indeed. I spoke of my need to be involved with the community for the time being and she felt that volunteering at the clinic was a very good way to help and give back. The finances of the clinic were very strained and every bit of help was desperately needed.
Lynda also made a big point about moving away from things and drifting away from the community if I felt the need. I fixed her with a raised eyebrow and said she was hardly the person to be pushing that on me given how much she does herself. She also spoke to Mandy and we agreed that she can return at times to help Lynda with work she might do concerning partners and family.
We go out to the main reception and we spent the best part on an hour there chatting to the manager again as well as one of the other volunteers. We set a date for a start of my work, some observation work and it's time to leave.
So that's it, almost. I no longer have to attend any more "therapy" session but I am technically still on the books until my final appointment with the Dr. in 5 months time.