Sunday, 17 August 2014

Can we ever really escape?

Of late, this is the question that I have pondered most.  As I commence my annual holiday, it is probably the first time in months that I have had an opportunity to think.  The other allied question is do I ever want to escape?

Anyway, by way of update.  Things are going ok.  Mainly because I have thrown everything: heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears. Literally everything, into my work.  Is it any wonder that work is going well? Those of you who have read this blog for some time will know that I use work as a kind of transgender escape tunnel. It pushes girl thoughts from my mind.  Not completely. Obviously. Like most of you, approximately every 10 minutes, the pang of desperation to be a girl haunts my mind. The feeling of inadequacy that I'm not female.  The constant wish that I was able to be myself.  Pervading every thought.  But when there is so much work to do, I can mentally push her to one side and robotically get on with the next tick item from my list.

Since I have given up alcohol too: the result of my January illness, none of my "vices" are allowed to flourish.  Jill is a very dull girl.  When you are trying to escape from the biggest of all "vices" (who you are) and alcohol is not available, where else do you turn?  I have never even tried smoking or drugs.  Given that I have an addictive personality, I'm not sure either is a good idea.  So work it is.  To quote Grease's Rizz, "there are worse things I could do."  I guess its the way I'm wired.  I have to be full on with something all the time.

The outside world is astonished at my increased productivity.  My friends see the underbelly.  The sinking into regular despair.  The inability to reconcile my "new life" with the reality of the old.  The desperation to be Rhiannon.  The days that work doesn't win and a kind of depression lands bringing the futility of pointless resistance into sharp contrast.  The jokey comments about nail polish or nice dresses that aren't really jokey.

Really, despite everything I might think, the success in leaving the girl behind and being a high work achiever is not really a success.  There is never ever any escape.  And more importantly, I don't want there to be.  She needs to rise.  The consequences for my marriage and family of allowing that to happen do constantly play on my conscience. But I know that the pull to be myself, to deny her no longer, is stronger.  I know it's a matter of when not if.  For now the fight, rightly, continues. I win battles, but never the war.  Can you ever win a war that deep down you want to lose. Prolonging it for the sake of others is perverse, even if it is the right thing to do.  But bit by bit, day by day, losing I am.  And I've never been happier (or prouder) of being a complete loser.  The woman who is winning is beautiful, kind, loving, fun - and most of all, she deserves her time in the sun.

15 comments:

  1. I hope that T-Central notice your post and feature it, because surely it sums up precisely what those with a good career, and a family they care about, must feel.

    I've never read of anyone who found a long-term solution to this, except in some eventual form of transition, to ease the internal pressure.

    In your shoes - and this is not advice, just saying what I might have done - I would be stretching the boundaries of low-level female expression in every possible direction until I'd fully established just how far I could go without seriously disrupting my life. Maybe there were things I'd not actually yet done, that I could still discreetly do, that would release some steam. I used to enjoy wearing silver jewellery under my male office clothing, for instance. It wasn't much, but it did help. I couldn't go too far, by wearing fancy rings and bracelets, for example, because maintaining absolute credibility in my official role was important, and imposed a clear boundary on girly expression.

    But of course half-measures are no good at all for an all-or-nothing personality. They are probably worse than complete self-denial.

    Lucy

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    1. Thank you so much for your continued encouragement Lucy - you really are a very kind and lovely lady. I have done what you suggested in the past - clear nail varnish, growing my hair a little longer, toenails always painted. You put the nail on the head though - for me, its never ever enough. I really need to be Rhiannon all the time if I’m going to do it. This period of self-enforced withdrawal has been horrible, but when you are under so much scrutiny it is tough. Plus I remember the reason I’m trying to do it. Perverse, as I said, but for all the right reasons for them. But I can feel my resolve starting to wain which is unsurprising I guess. I just fundamentally want to be me.

      Rhi x

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  2. I wish I had some words that would help. All I can say is that we both send you our love. Have a good holiday.

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    1. Thank you B - it is really nice - hot and dry. Bikini weather almost - but I would never subject people to that!! Your love is appreciated and you have already said all of the right words, there are no more to say. I keep starting the next sentence with ‘I just need to…’ and not being able to complete it because every possibly ending to that sentence is hard on someone. Look forward to seeing you when we get back x

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  3. Rhiannon you may be young enough to still do this. I think if you feel 100% sure that you are a woman, then maybe you should also pour that energy into a concrete transition plan so that you can avoid a crash later in life about why you didn't do something about this sooner. So much of this is about trying to spare other people's feelings but they don't have gender dysphoria and will never relate. You need to survive and be mentally healthy so please look after your health and search your feelings. If this is truly for you then you should make it happen without panic. Just slow and steady planning. All the best!.....

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    1. Hi Joanna,

      Thank you so much - and I do completely agree. Left to my own devices, I would have transitioned years ago. It is as you say, it is all about doing this (or not doing this) for other people who really don’t understand or appreciate the sacrifice. But it is also for me. When I split from my wife, I felt such loneliness and missed the family so much that I went back. Limbo now is worse in a lot of ways. But I always prioritise other people over me. I agree that the long term effect will probably be damaging for me, but I just hope that it means that my kids end up undamaged as a result. I have a very clear idea of the steps I need to take to transition. I plot them out in my mind with alarming regularity. I should stop trying to spare others, but somehow, its easier not to. I’m probably just cowardly, but for now it just seems like the right thing to do.

      Rhi x

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  5. I'm not the best when it comes to giving advice but I will say this, don't make the mistake of spending your life wishing only to regret not making it happen in later life.

    Take care and enjoy your holiday.

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    1. Thank you Charlotte - and completely right. Not being able to be Rhiannon devastates me, but I’m trying to balance it off with my perception of the regret that others might suffer if I continue along that path. Y’know, it sounds silly when I write it down like that… x

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  6. Rhiannon,

    What you are doing, meaning using your work to suppress the girl, works very effectively for me, but if I relied on work alone, I would be a wreck. It takes other escapes too, to suppress the deep desire to transition. I have blogged several times about this. I had to do something several years ago when depression was getting the better of me, so I set forth to use exercise, diet, long work hours combined with public service work, keeping in touch with close T-friends, and reading books written by female authors to effectively suppress the depression side of me. It has worked very well for me.

    The book thing, especially works well. Women authors write differently from men. Reading books really puts my mind into the world I would like to live in.

    Don't think that the thoughts ever leave me. Why would I be reading this blog? The thoughts are always with me, but when you are motivated, and for me that means keeping family and career in tact, there are legitimate reasons to refrain, at least for now, from transitioning.

    And yes, Lucy, I am going to feature this post on T-Central!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rhiannon. If you ever want to discuss in detail and private, send me an email.

    Calie xx

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    1. Calie - first of all, thank you for featuring my blog, it was really unexpected. My few blogs of late have been from a dark and frustrated place, I felt wrong somehow for voicing them, being featured has really encouraged me to get back on the horse.

      To your comment, it is really appreciated - some great ideas. There is more I can do, I just tend to be all or nothing. If I read female authored books, I find the desperation increases. I feel my resolve crumbling anyway - it is the longest I have ever gone with no Rhiannon time and being on holiday, stopping the welcome distraction work brings, makes me realise just how much I miss it.

      Rhi x

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  7. Rhiannon,

    You know that you are supported and understood by many people, I should like to add my voice to that choir. If there were a way to hug you or provide you with some form of physical support through a more acceptable known-to-you intermediary, I would do it.

    Just remember: you are You and you are, fundamentally, a Good Person. These things make nothing easier, but it helps to be reminded of some truths once in a while.

    Best wishes, truly, the very best,

    Joanna

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    1. Hi Joanna - thank you for your comments, it is so nice to hear from you - I appreciate you taking the time. I’ve really been enjoying your blog so much lately. The strides forward you are making are really exciting and the way that you are trying to piece back your relationship is heartening. I’m in a similar place of trying to do the same thing, but I think you have managed to get a little bit better of a balance. Although, as I said in my blog, I’m not sure I really want the outcome I’m striving towards. Living without being Rhiannon for a prolonged period has been very difficult.

      Rhi x

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  8. No advice, just well wishes and whatever happens, I hope it happens for the best <3

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    1. Thank you Lynn - I appreciate it. Your wise words from your blog and from conversations in the past still apply and are still live and being applied! x

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