Sunday, 24 April 2011

This is really tough


That probably sums it up.  And was written three days ago because I’m struggling to find the right words and am finding it hard to even tell myself without crying.

Further to my previous blog and in a desperate (and I mean desperate) attempt to save my relationship with the people I love, I’m trying to detach myself from my transgenderness.   This is probably the opposite blog from most you have ever read before on that basis.  Instead of making myself more girly, I’m trying to be a boy again.

But OMG is it hard.

I’ve promised myself that I will try.  I will never be able to live with myself if I get to the point where I lose those people without having tried everything that it humanly possible to overcome what I feel inside.

I’m so sad and I feel like I’m letting myself, and all of you, my sisters, down by even trying.  I’ve known I felt like a girl and not a boy for the last 30 years. Through a lack of bravery, a massive amount of stupidity, a dash of false hope and a terrible context, I’ve allowed myself to create a non-girl life that now demands some payback. 

I’ve tried to stop feeling like this before.  Who hasn’t?  I’ve never succeeded.  Why should I now?  I’m not sure that I can.  But I’ve surely got to try.  To be honest, I’ve never had so much at stake before, so much that I could lose.  That really is a motivator.

I’ve read hundreds of blogs and know the price that most transgendered people have paid for their intent to be female. I see every hard decision they’ve agonised over when they are in my shoes.  And perhaps you could say, they’ve been braver than me – or maybe just less stupid.  But I keep coming back to the point that unless I try, unless I do my best for my loved ones, they’ll always wonder and so will I.

So please, bear with me.  I need you, the kind people who read my blog and then comment, encourage and empathise with me, even more now.  My journey forges on and I still want to record it here.  Going back to my original aim, I need a place where I can think – and this continues, rightly or wrongly, to be it for now.   

Friday, 15 April 2011

The big crisis experiment

OK, so here’s the thing.  I’ve reached the crunch point.  For many different reasons, everything has aligned and it’s now or never.  But I’m faltering.  I’m really struck with anxious uncertainty.  The stark choice (and it genuinely is a stark choice) is between Rhiannon and my family.  I am not allowed to have both.

I have spent the last three months pushing down the Rhiannon route over everything else.  This week I had the chance to push the button on cementing her into place.  But I flinched.  I’d found the perfect new flat to move into – it was actually (quite literally) my dream place.  It’s the kind of place that I’d never been allowed to choose for myself because there were other people’s requirements to take into account.  I have spent years longing for the features that were in this flat.  It was within my budget.  All I had to do was make the call and I didn’t.  And in not making the call it quickly went to someone else.  It was that good.

It was like the scene in the film, Four Weddings and a Funeral where Hugh Grant is in a Landrover with his friends driving away from the woman he wants to ask out.  He gets them to stop the car, gets out and they drive off jeering at him.  Introspectively, he says, in the British way that only Hugh Grant can, “Odd choice.”  That’s how I felt.

So where is this leading to?  It’s making me realise that maybe I actually want my family more than Rhiannon.  Everything within me is screaming no and that it’s an impossible choice.  It’s telling me that the girl within me won’t be put in the corner (to use another hackneyed film cliché).  Sorry, I talk in film clichés when I’m nervous.  In fact the thought of never dressing again, never seeing my toe nails painted or of tottering around in heels so high that they make me smile makes me feel sick and like I want to cry.

I’m not even sure that it’s actually possible to give up.

But the thought of my wife, that I love with all my heart, being lonely and upset without me and knowing that I’m not able to wake up to my kids capering around me whenever I want is too heartbreaking.  And I’ve rehearsed the reverse arguments.  She’ll get over it eventually and find someone else and be happy.  Kids are resilient, they’ll get used to it and they can always visit you.  But the point I keep coming back to, heartbreakingly, is why should they have to?  Why should my priority be greater than theirs?

I’m really sorry if that offends the many hundreds of you who have made that and even greater sacrifices to be who you truly are.  I don’t mean to belittle you or what you have achieved.  But I’m not sure I can actually make that sacrifice.

I am wondering whether, as an experiment, I can live a Rhiannon free six months?  And in doing so, whether this aching need to express myself will go away?  It’s probably complete nonsense, but when I get to my deathbed (cheerful I know) and I look back, having not tried to save my family situation, will I regret it so much that I’ll die unhappy?  Is six months too much to give to find out if I can be the person my family want me to be?

I’m locked on the horns of a very wild dilemma, but now is the crunch point.  In the next few days, one way or another, my life changes dramatically.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Is there any way back from this?

I’ve fallen a long way now.  Its one thing to be a complete girl, to dress up prettily and put on make up.  It’s even fine to think that men are attractive and to even want to be romanced by them.  But over the last 24 hours my condition has become much worse.  Its regretful, but I feel the need to unburden myself.

I love reading books – a lot.  I have a Kindle, a room full of books, several large drawers full of audio books and loads more on my various iPods. I read a range of books from crime to thrillers and have always been fond of books about relationships and friendships.  My favourite authors often manage to combine comedy, excitement, fun, love, humour within their pages.   Regularly, when I’m reading or listening to a book (even thrillers), I start blubbing away about things that would not even be considered sad or touching by most people.

But therein is my confession.  Despite high standards of literature and being the owner of a veritable library, there was one genre I’d resisted.  For the last couple of weeks I have felt it creeping on.  Little niggles.  Occasional ideas.  Furtive little glances when I’ve been in the bookshop.  But yesterday, despite all my best efforts at resistance, I gave in.  The desire overwhelmed me and…and…I downloaded some chicklit.

Not just any old chicklit either.  A book by Sophie Kinsella no less.  One of the royalty of the modern chicklit novel.   To my guilty shame I downloaded ‘The Undomestic Goddess’.   And it gets worse.  I’ve read the whole thing.  Cover to cover.  And I enjoyed it.  And I cried.  Now, I want to download more.  This is not the action of a sane man.  This is the action of someone who is having their life taken over by a romantically obsessed girl.

When I read it I was caught up in the main character’s plight – I understood why she reacted as she did.  My heart heaved as she ran away from her ideal man before, (and sorry to ruin the end) they got back together.   I wanted to find someone and to fall in love all over again and to feel like she did with someone wanting to consume me with all of their heart and to think that I’m the most gorgeous thing on earth.

I guess its more than having bought a book from a genre that I never thought I would buy.  It leads me back to the question I posed: is there anyway back from this?  And the answer?  I sincerely hope not.  But that said, surely it can only go downwards from here…

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Risky Risky Risky

Whenever I have gone out dressed as a girl, I never seem to do it in the sensible way.  Let me caveat that.  I’m a outsized girl who has hardly ever been out so I possess a limited experience.  Combine that with my lower confidence because I worry about some of the stuff you hear from other girls who go out more often.  Large groups of teens, disapproving women, sniggering men.  And I'm not sure I'd know how to deal with that yet.

So sensible to me, probably wrongly, but as a starting point in the journey to being a public girl, is to get dressed up in a nice dress and go to a safe t-girl bar or nightclub, dance away and then return safely.

But the other night, for reasons I still can’t quite explain even to myself, caution got thrown to the wind and I took another risk.  I went to a place where the general public are found.  Brazenly I might add.  OK, so I mitigated it a little.  Admittedly I was wearing low heels, girl jeans, a blue top and a purple cardigan.  Possibly this might have meant that people didn’t clock me as anything more than a boy.  But when you know that the shoes were v girly, the top had lots of pretty detailing, I carried a handbag, my wig and breasts were in place and there was a whole load of make up going on, it was probably quite obvious really.

I’m probably making it sound braver than it actually was.  The trip out consisted of walking 300 yards to the car, driving for an hour to the hotel I was staying in, walking into the hotel, checking in and walking to my room.   But it seemed more than that at the time.

The whole car journey was spent thinking about how I would react if someone said something.  Or was negative.  Or even horrible.  I obsessed with the fact that I might see someone I know.  As I pulled up at the hotel, I nearly gave in.  In fact, I had brought my boy clothes with me in case I chickened out. I really couldn’t help but wonder if I was making a really bad decision.

But the words of comedian Dave Gorman came to me.  In his Googlewhack routine, he makes a decision to do something crazy and he says [and I take artistic license due to memory problems], “I thought fuck it, I’m Thelma and Louise going over that cliff.  I’m Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I’m David James fucking Gorman. And I’m just going to do it.”

So I opened the car door and got out.  I put one very nice heeled foot in front of the other and I walked into the lobby.  The receptionist in the hotel clearly realised who and what I was, but was genuinely kind and lovely.  I felt such a relief as I got my purse out of my handbag and paid.  I really smiled.

I regularly stay in hotels, arrive late and want Rhiannon time.  It takes a while to transform and means I’m often up late: this girl is not good at doing late!  This night was different and fantastic. I got ready first, went to the hotel, was already dressed and ready so got to my room, watched some crap TV, drank far too much diet coke and relaxed.  It was how the world was meant to be.