After some pondering, I have felt that I will continue with the blog but updates may be a little more irregular. I get feedback about some of it and the whole GRS part is very popular. There is still more updates on this as I am not yet completely healed and the 6 month mark is approaching fast. In fact, I am quite excited about writing that update because it will give me an opportunity to see just how things have moved on; emotionally and physically. There are new opportunities emerging in my life now and perhaps they will be good to write about these as they progress.
In short, the twice weekly updates will probably no longer happen and there will more likely be a post about important and interesting matters every so often. I hope those that have been following, do check back to see what has been happening. Of course, I will link in from my Facebook page and will probably think of this as more of an extension of that media. everything I have written up to now will still be here and I hope that people can use that for their own purposes. Many have said how helpful my GRS part was and because it was written as it happened, it is about as accurate as it gets.
The two weeks since we got back from the Lake District have been non-stop. This was actually part of the reason for not updating here, I simply haven't had the time to do it. Here is a brief run-down on what has been going on;
When we arrived back, a letter from the gender recognition panel was on the doorstep. Excitedly I opened it wondering whether it was the news I was waiting for. Sadly it was not but I was informed that the panel were sitting on my case on the 6th July, this Monday coming. I will be informed within 2 weeks of this as to whether I have been successful on the first go.
I have finally succumbed to the evil that is a smart phone. I decided in the end that the idea of having a fortnight away without even being able to check my emails was scary. When we returned I decided to get one, and after a little research found a deal I liked on the O2 website. Instead of buying it from there, I went into the local shop instead because in the even of an issue, I could just take it back there. I was apprehensive, wondering how they would treat me but when the young man dealing with me asked me if I was Ms. or Mrs., I knew it was going to go well. The phone itself was a steep learning curve and it will NEVER replace my lovely desktop PC but it is very handy when out and about. I just wish there was more 4G in the south west but then we are usually the last to get anything!
I also started my CBT for the mild PTSD I have described previously. To be honest, I have found that as my life has settled down since my surgery, the anxiety issues I was having have gotten much milder. I have a worry diary and there is not as much in there as I was expecting. This could be a result of the full fortnight I have had, no time to worry in all that and I will discuss this on my next appointment on Tuesday.
I started my new voluntary work at the Laurel's properly a week ago. I have done two days there now and it is far more rewarding and satisfying then I ever imagined it would be. I expected it to be a simple case of answering the door and talking to people, but the reality is far more than that. I really hope I am providing something to the people I am talking too and that this is putting something back from what I have received.
This weekend saw the start of a much tougher few days with dad being admitted to hospital. Last Sunday was to be my first day of relaxing since we got back and yet this managed to scupper that. I also had a distressing event with a long term friend and the sad fact is that this friendship is now over. I am still scratching my head as to what went wrong but the fallout from it all did not help.
I had a massive dose of PMT this Monday and my mood was very low. I took Mandy to her day centre in the morning, realised where I was emotionally and then decided I needed to seek help. I have learnt from the past 6 months and knew exactly who to contact and not mess around in misery any more. They were about to go out and they said they would call in a lunchtime. In that time I found someone else messaged me to just chat, I said I was not very talkative and yet still ended up chatting about rubbish for a time. This kind of helped and I was in a better place.
It might seem a little strange but during the worst of my PMT, I found myself with a sudden increased libido. My sexual desires have been rock bottom most of the time since my surgery apart from a couple of moments when I have been unable to do anything about it. Aside from this, I have been trying to use my new clitoris for three months with no success and lots of frustration and tears. This new surge of libido was very strong and I decided to have another go. This time was very successful and it made me feel more complete than I ever have in my life. Even though this was a side of things I could have lost, it still made me feel inadequate and to have it all confirmed working was a fantastic feeling. The orgasm wasn't half bad either!
My friend rang not long after, she had her surgery a couple of months after me and we celebrated my news. We had a good chat about things and with my success came a happier feeling along with the PMT dwindling. I also told another friend later on that my "magic button" worked and she rang me straight away. It's a little bizarre but even now I am surprised at how many have been waiting for news of this success. I guess little of my life is private any more with what I have written here. Oh well...
Tuesday was a trip to Brighton to take someone for their pre-op appointment. It was nice to see Liz Hills and also chat to a couple of the staff. I was able to thank them personally for everything they did for me.
By Wednesday I was starting to flag. Dad was still in hospital and I was getting extremely tired. I described myself to Mandy as emotionally exhausted and felt that a breakdown would be coming soon. The only time I had had to myself since the holiday was during dilation and the strain was starting to tell. Finally though, Dad was discharged and in the evening I took him back home.
Thursday was my day at the Laurel's again and it was so nice to get away from it all. It was not restful, but a way of being free of all the hassle back at home. When I saw dad on Friday, I told him my situation and that I would not be available until after the weekend unless it was an absolute emergency. He did understand and so far he is managing.
Which brings us to today. It's the 4th of July and that means it is a special day for me. It's nothing to do with Independence day but actually an anniversary of me changing my name. Some seem to not see it as anything special but for me it was a massive moment in my life.
To achieve this required me to solve probably that hardest of all problems a trans person might face and that is transition in a workplace. At times I felt it would not be possible to do this where I was working, a sawmills of all place. However on July 2nd 2012, I stood up in front of 25 very masculine men who worked there and informed them that I would be leaving after the next day and returning the following Monday as Lucy. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life but set me on my path of living full time as a woman.
At 18.30, I took my Deed Poll to Bristol where my good friend Al witnessed it. I signed my old name, then my new and it was like stepping over a line. I have heard many try to negate that moment by saying theirs was no big deal but for me it was massive. It was a very happy moment and we went out to celebrate with a meal.
Today there was no such extravagance and I originally said I was doing nothing today because recharging my batteries was far more important. However, nice weather was forecast and I fancied a spot of retail therapy. Mandy and I got into the car and we went to Exeter. We hit all the charity shops, bagged loads of bargains, bought a salad box and went into the gardens to enjoy it. It was a lovely morning, I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel more refreshed already. I've been the real me for 3 years now, but now I really am myself. My transitioning and surgery have done so much for me and I hope for many more happy celebrations of this day.