Sunday, 22 February 2015

Never met another Rhiannon?

Just a quick one today.  Do you ever have those moments when you just wish you had the wherewithal, albeit dressed in boy mode, to just yell out that you are not the boring guy sat in jeans and a horrible top, but that you are really a girl just dying to leap out of yourself?  I’m guessing that for the majority of my readers there is a simple yes answer there.

I keep myself under control most of the time.  The number of times per day that I out myself has significantly reduced.  But today I was sorely tempted.

Just for context, not for boasting, I’m in Washington DC.  For those of you who don’t know, I sometimes travel with work and this time, en route (ish) home, I stopped off for 4 days in Washington.  I arrived at the end of last week and have been on a mad museum, art and famous place fest for the last three days.  I’ve just had the most brilliant time.  I’m on my own, so am free to do whatever I like, when I like and how I like with no reference to anyone else.  This is the only time my work travel will seem glamourous.  Normally when away, I work Monday to Friday, seeing only hotels and the office and do my flying on Saturday and Sunday, effectively losing two weekends every time I travel.  Not glamourous at all.

Today is the last day of my time here and so I went for breakfast (in boy mode) this morning and was munching away (in a delicate lady-like fashion) when a very exuberant twenty-something American lady walked past.  (Is everyone exuberant in this country? It does feel like it.)  Anyway, I was sat at my table when she excitedly went past saying, “The most amazing thing happened this week.  I met another Rhiannon for the first time ever.  We were both (like) talking and she said that she was Rhiannon and I was just so amazed because I’ve never met another one before.” (etc, etc, etc).

You can imagine why I was tempted.

There used to be an advertisement in the UK where the tagline was something like, “When a man you’ve never met before suddenly gives you flowers…that’s Impulse”.  it advertised a body spray.  Well, this scenario was a bit like that.  “When a man you’ve never met before suddenly tells you that he’s the second Rhiannon you’ve met in one week…that’s probably weird and a little creepy.”  So I didn’t.  But today I was sorely tempted.  And hope that one day I will.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Dysphoric Moments

So truth be told, I’ve not been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.  And I’m relaxed about getting the label - if I am, I am, if I’m not I’m not.  I know that whatever medically or psychologically the Doctors decide, I can’t bear being in the gender that was assigned to me at birth.  I saw my GP and told them about my gender confusion a few weeks ago and so the process of thinking about that has begun.  Normally the feeling of awkwardness and dislocation is at a low-ish level of volume in the background.  Granted, it is there all the time, and I can feel it.  I’ve said it before but at least every 15-20 minutes of my life, something reminds me and my mind turns to it.

Last night, I had what I describe as a ‘dysphoric moment’.  Irregularly, and fortunately not frequently, I get a burst of intense panic where I have the most intense emotional feeling that I can’t live for a moment longer without expressing myself as a female.  When I say “can’t live”, you understand my meaning - I’m 100% not saying I’m suicidal.  My thoughts rarely turn that dark.  But when these ‘dysphoric moments’ strike, I feel beside myself with strong, difficult to control emotions where I feel that I'm about to explode and am literally beside myself.  Given that, knowing my personal circumstances, I can’t get into Rhiannon-mode as I desperately want to at that moment, I just have to ride it out and wait for it to pass.

Sounds easy doesn’t it?  But those of you who experience this, also know that it is more complicated than that.  My problem is that I'm a bit of an externaliser and when provoked, a talker. Bursts of intense dysphoria normally make me want to talk to someone, anyone about what is going on in my head.  I wish that my answer to it would be a cup of tea or a drive or to play some music.  But it isn’t.  In the past, these moments have led me to undertake some fairly stupid (and not particularly well thought through) self-outings to people.  I’ve done it, just so that I could talk to someone.

The worst thing is when I have the combination of having those feelings and being sat near any device or laptop with access to my Facebook account which remains in my male name for now.  It is a recipe for disaster!  Many times I've written and deleted statuses (or is that statii?) that have told the whole world who I really am! Fortunately tonight two people - a very good friend who, when the mood catches them, will talk the hind legs off a donkey and a female friend who knows about Rhiannon and is completely lovely - were both on line and willing to talk.  It meant that I could just blow off steam, have a general chat, and talk until the moment past.  I’m ashamed to say that my old coping mechanism that I shouldn’t revert to - i.e. a glass of wine, also came into play.

I got past it.  The intense period passed reasonably quickly and the residue went after a while and I was back to low level background noise.  It gets set off so easily that I’m now just waiting for the next one.  I hope its not soon…