Sunday, 12 February 2012

Numbness - part 2

Sorry, it’s been a while.  And actually whilst lots of things – very positive things have happened, I’m left currently with a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach.   One that leaves me quite unsure about myself.

So first, the good stuff.  Over the last couple of months – shamefully since my last blog, I’ve had some real highs.  In addition to having come out to a few more people, who were lovely in their responses, to having setting up a profile on Roses Forum, which provided some interesting and useful advice and to having bought some new breasts, I have pushed the envelope further.

Before Christmas, I went shopping.  Not just shopping you understand. Shopping.  I went shopping in girl clothes.  Well, boots, jeans and a girl top.   But when I was out, I didn’t just go shopping for clothes, I went for make up too.  I stood in a department store in the centre of a city and had make up applied to me while the ordinary punters milled around.  And actually, I didn’t really care whether they liked it or not.  I was trying to improve on my foundational make up and facial preparation and the male make up artist slash salesperson was very helpful indeed.  Set up by one of my fabulous real girl friends who then went for supper with me.  I had a ball.

Then in January, despite having the most horrendous time at work and not to mention an even worse workload than ever before, I took the evening off and I went out.  Full on Rhiannon – the whole shebang.   ‘She’ being the operative part of that sentence.  Before you start thinking I was actually brave, it was only to a support group.  A fantastic support group (Nottingham Chams) nonetheless, but still a safe haven of other transpeople.  The brave part actually was walking from the hotel room to the car.  It was a very fun evening.  Lots of very kind, very interesting characters.  From the photos that the very lovely and spectacularly amusing Lynn Jones took, it was clear that I was having a wig malfunction.  I’m growing my hair out and the fasteners had snapped with too much hair volume under the wig.  I know – I’m getting a skullcap for next time.

But its what has happened since that is odd and slightly inexplicable. I just don’t feel like wanting to be the girl anymore.  I’m feeling numb to the world around me.  I had a similar experience back in July last year and blogged on the subject.  I normally have an irrepressible need to dress like a girl, to blog, to talk about it, to email my t-girl friends, to engage with the community I have fledglingly become a part of, but at the moment I’m not.  Three things have happened recently that have just winded me completely:

Firstly, at work, I’ve had a several negative sets of feedback about work I’ve done.  It has been like the feedback just drained all semblance of confidence from me.  I was feeling fragile already and now I feel worse.  I wonder whether I can ever bounce back from what I’m feeling inside.  I always considered myself to be good at what I do, but the last 3 months have stripped me bare in how I feel about my capability.  I tie a lot of my self-esteem into my work and nothing feels right anymore.  I just stare at the screen not knowing where to start.

Secondly, I seem to lack any motivation and the energy to want to do it.  Its like a switch has been flicked off inside.  I have regressed into myself where work is about the only thing I force myself, kicking and screaming, to do.  I’m really not sure what is wrong.  For the first time this morning in weeks, I thought that putting a skirt on would make me feel normal again.  So maybe I’m coming up the other side.  But it is like when you have an injection in your gum for dental work and you can’t feel it, when you touch your face afterwards you can’t feel it and its almost like its someone else’s face.  I just don’t feel like doing anything at all.  Combine that with the fact that I’m supposed to be losing weight and I’m not.  I just hate the way I look at the moment – all chubby and horrible.

Thirdly, that night at the support group, as wonderful as people were – and they were lovely, I looked around and felt like a man in a dress.  I felt like I was a fraud.  Most of the people there just carried it off better and were womanlier in their mannerism, speech patterns and in the things they said.  I guess when you hide in the closet for a long time, you don’t know how far behind the curve you are.   Or maybe too many curves is the problem.

I know the immediate thing to say is that I’m probably being hard on myself.  But I’m really not.  Actually I feel I’m lazy and self-pitying.   I feel like I should tell myself to just get over myself and to stop being such a wuss.  But when I do that, I make myself cry, so I’ve stopped that.  I’m not coming from a place of wanting attention either. Recording these things on a blog may say the opposite, but I write more because I haven’t blogged for so long that I wanted to explain a little of where I'm at.  I actually hate drawing attention to myself.

I don’t want to go back to being really negative in what I write, but this is a weird thing that I’ve caught and I sometimes don’t really know what to do.


  1. You say 'only' but it can still be a big step. Walking through the door means you're going to be sat (or stood), talking to people like yourself. Will you be judged? Will they like you? Will they be a bunch of complete twits? :-) They're all valid worries.

    As to 'bloke in a dress', with the exception of the (natal) females and otherwise, the majority of us at Chams are just that: blokes in dresses. Yeah, some nice dresses, but still. I don't think it's about being behind the curve, I think it's more a case of you're being too hard on yourself and if you are feeling down, you will withdraw and not 'be yourself'. :-)

    Getting a social kicking from work is never pleasant and I think I can understand why it's thrown you. Hopefully, though, you are coming out of it and will be back to your usual self as things get better. <<>>

    If it's any help, I think the majority of folk don't know what to do either - and I don't mean trans folk either. It doesn't mean that the right thing won't come along in time, or maybe, you'll change tack and do something completely new. Just... just try not to be so tough on yourself. That's an order ;-)

    ps: Spectacular? Ooo, the flattery! :-) Now you've set a precedent! :-D

  2. Life often isn't pretty. 

    I have and do find myself in difficult places. The numbness and disconnection seems to hit me when I am so far away from where I want to be that I scarce do anything to help myself - weight included. All I know is that when I do take little steps forward they do seem to help. 

    x x

  3. Its strange isn't it - that sometimes you are so down and very quickly back up. After a happier week and some work successes it all seems easier a bit more again.

    Its so hard being so up and down!!

    If I didn't know better - and I was a little bit older - I'd think I was going some kind of menopausal mood swings. But given the biological impossibly of that, I must just be a moody old cow. :o)

  4. Oh...and...

    @Lynn - if the truth (not flattery!) leads you to higher levels of amusing-ness, then I'm pleased to have taken a part in your route to comedic fame and fortune...