The Hiatus

I haven’t blogged for a while, despite having been full time for nigh on 4 weeks! A combination of coming out, social events, a bug in the WordPress iPad app and the sheer hell of typing long posts on the iPad onscreen keyboard made blogging not only difficult, but a downright chore. Happily the app has been updated and I have just received my latest toy, a iPad keyboard, in the post (I am using both now) so, hopefully, I will be able to get back on track. Such a lot has happened that it would be criminal for me not to record it for prosperity.

So… watch this space. :D

A Plan

Here I am then, my last 3 shifts. I’m currently on my break, midway through my last late shift. Tomorrow and Saturday will see me working 7-4. And that’s that. He will leave the store for the last time. Sort of.

Today I have had a long discussion with my Boss. She agrees with me that the Managers are the only people I have to worry about, and came to the conclusion herself, which is reassuring. She also, however, agrees with me that, given the nature of my job, heavy make-up is inappropriate. I do a lot of “grunt work” and spend a lot of time sweating. Does wonders for my weight, but foundation wouldn’t last long and my shadow would soon show through. Being that my goal is to pass as best as possible, we have made the decision that I will return to work with my new name, and with everyone knowing that I am living as a woman full time outside work, but remain in my male uniform until my laser treatment reduces my shadow enough. This may be a week, as I am receiving treatment during my holiday. It may be 5. The way my laser is going I suspect it will be no longer than that, by which time the rest of the staff will be used to the idea and will probably have seen me outside work.

So, that’s the plan.

I’m more than comfortable with that timeline. The Managers will be told on Monday, the day I come out on Facebook and in public (officially). By the time my holiday has finished then they will have had a chance to chose their attitudes and deal with it. I’m hoping that, on my return, I can slide back into my role with the minimum of fuss.

On Tuesday I visited my Dr and got the results of my blood tests. Everything was fine, and he promptly prescribed me 4mg Estradol Validrate (spelling!). I started the increased dose on the same day. That will give my body almost 3 full weeks of the higher dose before I return to work. I saw some changes quite quickly on 2mg. I hope I see a few more, however minor, over my holiday. I know that my boobs are little hotbeds of sensitivity today, and trust that this is a sign of action :)

Also, I also revealed myself to my Mum today. I was only in jeans and a cami top, and I pulled a fleece on just before she arrived, but it hid little. I kept my jewellery on too. Conversation felt a little stilted, as I don’t think we knew quite what to say. But it was ok, and as she left she suggested I start writing things down. She had given it thought and decided that my life story, my hopes and fears, may help someone else. The very fact that she had given it that much thought makes me happy.

So, there it is. The plan is made, the timings set. some of it is out of my hands and in my Managers, which means I can’t chicken out :) New life, here I come!

Two Litres of Cider

Well, I’ve just spent a pleasant evening with one of my oldest friends. It’s the first time he’s seen me in a skirt and full make up, but I think he did rather well. Bless him. We chatted as if nothing had changed, and I cannot commend him enough. And I was the perfect lady, drinking only 2 litres of cider to his 3 1/2 of Bitter (and mine was only 3.5% abv).

Poor loved slipped up twice. He called me by my old name, but quickly corrected himself. Then, upon leaving, he went to shake my hand. That struck me as odd, with a female companion, especially as I habitually hug when I’m me. Awkward moment, but took the blame and said that it was because I had swapped from contacts to specs and wasn’t sure where his hand was going. Also sensed a little trepidation when he left as I went to walk through the front door and wave him down the road, and he demonstrated the same furtive behaviour I demonstrate when sober and the sun is up. The hurried goodbyes and furtive looks up and down the road.

But! I don’t want to dwell on little things. Ultimately I’m amazingly happy. If the rest of the world could be as accepting as him, it would be a much better place.

The Final Days

Sitting in the canteen watching my associates eating, chatting, laughing and conspiring. Today I am looking on through choice. A tough morning, I need an hour to myself to regroup my thoughts and rest my body. In seven days, however, it will all be different and I fear that I may be sat alone for different reasons.

My Manager returns from her 2 week sabbatical next Wednesday. I’m early shift, but on a reduced one due to an appointment with my Psychiatrist at 13:30. At some point on that day she will be discussing my transition with the rest of the management team. In theory, 7 days from now, it will be public knowledge across the store. Right now, it’s beginning to scare me.

The release of letting the world know is going to be immense, but work is a confined space and I have no real place to hide, should I experience too much negativity. Even though I spend the majority of my time hiding away in the depths of the warehouse, I still come in contact with about a third of the staff on any given day. I have avoided building too much of a relationship with a lot of them, but there are a select few that I spend more than a few moments chatting to. I can only hope that they see past the change and continue to recognise the person within.

As far as the Management team itself is concerned, I am less worried. I have worked hard to be seen as a bit of a “blue eyed boy”. As much as I hate my job, I do take pride in working to the maximum of my ability and I go out of my way to help out other people. Whether they like me or nit is irrelevant. Hopefully they are professional enough to treat me as a team member, and not let prejudices get in the way.

I also have a concern with the school. I was remiss and rested on my laurels. Now, suddenly, it’s the last day I could have spoken to them. The kids are off next week and will be returning on my first full time day. I envision a weekend of trying to find the perfect “in between” outfit so that I can go ahead without causing too much of a stir. I will have to book myself in with the teachers then.

38 years, 11 months in the preparation and I’m still not ready. To be honest, though, I don’t think I will ever be ready. I could easily excuse my going full time for so many reasons, big and small, but, at the end of the day, the only way I can deal with some of them is by going full time.

In 8 days and 1.75 hours until my male persona leaves the store for the last time. I just hope that THEY can be ready.

Almost there… Almost there…!

Ok, today I have passed another big hurdle. I have come out to someone who isn’t important to me, but has a huge effect on my life. My Boss. The wheels are in motion for my change in the world of industry, as well as in my home life.

She was great. Having attempted to find a mutual free 15 minutes for 3 days, I resigned myself to writing a letter. When I saw here this afternoon, I directed her to her pigeon hole, she read it and suddenly there was a window in her schedule. Amazing. In her defence, however, I have been in her position and I know how hard it can be to find that scrap of free time. I’m not blaming her at all :)

Her main concern, after I assured her that I would be able to continue to do my current job role for a while longer, was how quickly she could share the news with the other Managers. After a quick discussion we came up with a timeline. She’s on holiday after today, so she’s going to get her head around the potential fallout, and I am going to prepare myself for the same. On her return, we are going to get together again and decide on what will be said, and to whom. Then the Managers will be told.

I am on two weeks holiday after that week. The management team can then feed the information to the rest of the store so, on my return, they will have found time to choose their attitudes and let me get on with it :)

My only real concern? My Personnel Manager. I have known her for a long time and have no faith in her at all. However, we have both walked the lonely road of depression, so I am hoping that she will understand a little of what I’ve been going through.

In other news… I have had my 4th trip to Charing Cross and have been given the clear to double my hormones, blood tests permitting. I have to visit the Nurse Practitioner on Thursday for bloods. Hopefully that will all go through in time for June 6th.

Even more excitingly, since Tuesday 10th May I have officially been Natasha Anne! I am waiting for some notarised copies of my name change, but it is all done and official. My old name is now cast to the four winds (apart from being written EVERYWHERE until I get my copies and start sending them out to all and sundry)

Just 3 weeks, 2 days and 6 hours and I’ll be the happiest woman alive.

He Just Doesn’t Get It

Having just posted my last entry, I noticed that this post was still flagged as draft. I could have sworn I posted it :-/ Still… Here it is…

Went to see my Brother on Wednesday night. He invited “me” to come, but I knew his daughter would be there, she is 6, so I decided that “I” should come with me in a bag for the time being. Sadly, “I” stayed in the bag all evening. Darling daughter wouldn’t settle, and by the time she did it was almost time to leave. This, however, is mostly irrelevant. I was there to see him, and check he was ok as he’s going through a bad patch with his partner.

It was a pleasant enough evening and, ultimately, conversation came round to my future. He asked lots of questions, and gave me a lot of opinions. At the time, I was tired, I just let it all sink in. However, I’m now realising that he doesn’t really understand.

Let me start with the statement that shocked me the most. I was a little speechless when he said it, but I thought, “No, let it pass this time, I will make him understand GENTLY when my brain is a little more alive” and merely suggested an alternative. He said, “When you come out on Facebook, why not set your profile picture to David Walliams [presumably as Emily Howard] because everybody is going to take the piss, so why not beat them to it?”

Seriously.

At the time I countered with “Or, maybe, Roberta Close, who is stunning”, but I am more than a little stunned by the fact that he even suggested it. And more than a little hurt. I know that he is struggling to come to terms with it, and I respect that. I need to talk to him a lot more before my birthday, though, and I need to get him to realise, as I have, that the majority of the world is a lot more tolerant than he thinks (although not as tolerant as, maybe, it could be). The impression I get is that he envisions the whole world pointing and laughing when I come out. Standing in the streets mocking me. Well, yes, there will be a degree of that, but “beating them at their own game” with pictures of Bad Transvestites? *sigh*

My whole situation is extremely surreal, as I imagine it is for a lot of Transfolk. Knowing that there is a huge imbalance between body and mind, and coming to terms with that in oneself while the world looks on unaware. By the time I felt fully able to accept who I was and deal with it, remove the imbalance by matching one to the other, it had become a perfectly “normal” part of my life. Everyone else, those who have been oblivious, are now confronted with someone who is totally at ease with themselves in a different gender role. It’s not the easiest thing in the world.

The time of transition is fast approaching. I have just over 60 days until my birthday. I think I’m going to be spending a lot of it communicating with him and reassuring him. To be honest, though, I’m not sure that 60 days is long enough.

Next time, the “I” am coming out of the bag. We’ll see how he copes with meeting “me”.

Time Is Running Out

Tomorrow is April 6th. That leaves me 2 months until Live Day. Now is the time for me to start making the big plans and taking on the “big boys”. Work and the boys school. I can honestly say that I’m not looking forward to the conversations with either, although School is going to be easier than work.

Sometime this week I will be taking my Line Manager aside to have a quiet chat, or at least arrange a time when I can have an undisturbed conversation with her. From the moment I have that chat, things are going to change. I can’t help wondering if I will be able to see the revelation trickling through the upper echelons. There is bound to be some change in the way that some of them speak to me, I can’t expect everyone to take it in their stride, or react positively. I will, of course, be noting it all here. Once we have spoken, though, things should also get a bit easier, I can be more open. I trust, then, that when Live Day comes, no-one will totally shocked. However, Only time will tell.

School… who knows. I expect to see a flicker of reaction, for some reason I think they are more likely to laugh at me. What happens after….? We will have to wait and see. I’m not planning to go full on girly in the mornings after the 6th. Will be jeans and boots, I expect. I don’t want the boys feeling intimidated by narrow minded parents.

My next visit to ChX is almost here too. Just over a month away. If I haven’t spoken to work by then, the whole thing could go tits up. Dr L is expecting me to have come out to work by then. I don’t want him to lose confidence in me.

At the end of the day, though, I’m so excited about this summer. My first one as me, not hiding myself away. It’s going to be fabulous. The parties, the days on the beach, having friends round, whatever happens, it’ll be amazing.

Siblings

Tomorrow I am off to my brother’s house for a few drinks. He’s told me he’s happy for Natasha to come. He’s going through a bad patch with his GF at the moment and I don’t want to push him if he’s teetering. I’m going to take some things in a bag. Watch this space…

Was It Really That Obvious?

A post  I began constructing on my iPhone a few days ago. Have lost the thread now, so it will remain incomplete…

Yesterday I added another friend to my female Facebook profile. This time, however, she requested me. Not unusual in itself, but I have gone to great lengths to keep my identity on Facebook hidden from the masses. I wondered what prompted her to make the request, knowing she is not the type to randomly add strangers.

My initial thoughts were of my brother. We’re mutual friends with the lady in question. I asked him outright if he had been discussing me. He told me he had, which is fine, and that he suggested she friend me, which is also fine. What threw me a little bit at the time, though, is that he told me he thought she already knew and that’s shy he suggested the request.

The thing is, she really did know. She told me over a year ago that she thought I was a lady, her words, and I jokingly dismissed it. It was early days and I was being cautious. I made the odd light hearted comment about it once or twice afterwards, but I never really had opportunity to speak to her properly again until last night, so I considered it water under the bridge.

So, last night I it was ok to add her. She was online, so I took the opportunity to talk to her about it. The first thing she said to me was that she had been discussing my whole transgender situation with my brother frequently for 18 months! Talk about mixed emotions! Firstly, why hadn’t she told me, if I had known he was “ok with it” back then my journey would have been a lot easier. Secondly, it’s great knowing my Brother has someone there to talk to. Thirdly, and this is what has me thinking, if she knew, and was sure enough to act on her assumptions, how many other people sussed me?

Emotional Wreck

My little blue friends appear to be kicking in on an emotional level. The tiniest of instances today, an inconsiderate gesture by a manager, has totally knocked me for six. I have been teetering on the edge of tears for almost 2hrs. Crazy. Even though I have been expecting this, it’s an incredibly strange feeling and I’m not quite sure how to deal with it. A very small part of me is loving it, another sign that changes are happening, but the almost overwhelming feeling of sadness and frustration is, well, wow.

In addition to this, upon arrival in the canteen for my dinner, I discovered that the special needs lad who collects the trollies has dressed as a woman for Comic Relief. He’s plainly enjoying the experience and, maybe, overplaying a bit. This is causing much amusement to the rest of the people in the staff room. Had it been some one of, and I use the phrase hesitantly, “normal” intelligence, his actions would be taken as good fun. But as he clearly has learning difficulties then he’s an object of amusement. And this is knocking MY confidence. He’s obviously taking it seriously, trans or not, so does this mean that the seriousness with which I will be taking my own transition will be treated with equal ridicule? Granted, I won’t be singing “My Guy” at the top of my voice as I walk through the store, but I will be wearing “women’s” clothes and make up.This is the last thing that I need on my mind, with my emotions running amok.

I think the time has come to bite the bullet. I think it’s time that I come clean to my superiors and let them know what’s happening. If 4 1/2 weeks in I’m on the verge of tears, where will I be in another 4 weeks? If they aren’t prepared then they’re going to wonder what the hell’s going on. I will arrange an appointment with my Manager when I see her next. No more hanging back.

In the meantime, the act of writing all this down has actually helped. I’m still in the canteen. I have another 18mins of dinner left. I’m not even sure if this post will save, so I can publish it when I get a signal (my workplace is awful for mobile signals).

It’s all so tiring. It will be worth it.

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