In the period since my last post a number of things have happened, progress continues to be made, and life feels pretty good.
First of all, chronologically, I had two and a half hours out as me on Saturday 13th December while my daughter was doing her usual shopping centre meet with her BF. I went to my local town of Banbridge where after popping into a couple of shops on the high street I went to the library and spent 45 minutes contentedly surfing away, mostly loading my favourite photos from past holidays onto my flickr account; I was sitting opposite a lady on another computer with several guys also tapping away next to me and nearby, but nobody gave me any attention at all. Then I went to my local big Tesco and did a good grocery shop… and then all too soon my precious Andrea-time was over. If you are interested, here is the link for my flickr photos; https://www.flickr.com/photos/124325987@N04/sets
On Monday I went to my Gender Clinic once again, this time for a group session; on the way I had to stop to go to the loo and get some cash… and just as I was leaving that pit-stop someone had a car accident on the roundabout, and so I only just got there in time. A TS woman who has completed her journey, operation and all, had come in, and several of us part-way along our own journey were invited to listen to her tales of her experiences, and ask questions. It was very interesting, especially hearing about the operation and pre/post treatments, and also her frustrations along the way. While there I also had a short chat with my nurse/counsellor and, once again, I was told that it would be better for me to wait over three years until my daughter is 16 before I tell her about me… and YET my friend who was also there admitted that her son can’t accept her and yet he is 23!!!! So how will me waiting to tell my daughter potentially be beneficial? Anyway, I told her that I simply can’t do that, I have suppressed my feminine self for FAR too long, and that I have to do it… because Andrea is ME and the idea of living the rest of my life any other way is intolerable.
I left the GIC and returned halfway home to Sprucefield where I met up with Kirsty for supper and a chat. It was lovely as usual to meet her – I recounted my latest GIC counsellor chat about daughter… and she admitted that she, and Mrs K, thought that the method that I was planning to tell her was a bit too childish considering that she is nearly 13. My trouble is that I only see my daughter every other weekend and so I always feel like I am in catch up mode as I miss out on so much of her day-to-day living, so I have no idea how much she knows about LGBT. So I left a bit disgruntled with much food for thought, and spent half the night thinking about it… but I know now that Kirsty (and Mrs K) were right and so I have a revised plan more or less ready.
The next day, following a suggestion at the GIC, I rang SAIL for advice; they are an organisation there to help and support Transgender persons and their families. The half hour call was very useful, the guy will email me some more info, but he said that my plan to tell my daughter about me just before my ex- is the right one (as daughter must hear it from me, in my own words), and I was relieved to hear that; he also may be able to put me in touch with other TS women with children of a similar age, and he re-iterated advice that I have read which is that the most important thing for a child is to have a happy parent, TS or otherwise.
Over the next few days I made enquiries with a few organisations about changing my name and how to do it with them; the process would seem to differ from one organisation to the next, so anyone in my situation I would advise to phone around rather than blindly sending out letters and legal cert copies because in some cases that will not do. Santander, for example, seem to insist that I have to go into the branch with my new ID… and I really didn’t like the somewhat arrogant tone of the guy I spoke to on the phone; maybe I will take my accounts elsewhere! When I got home I found that an envelope had arrived containing the certified, legal copies of my Deed Poll name-change form… and so I can now start writing to organisations to tell them to change my name!!! That brought a real smile to my face when I found that that had arrived.
Friday was time for my second Xmas meal, this time with my BF Kirsty, another friend and two of her work colleagues. My train was late at my station, also I had to pack for staying the night, so I got to friend’s apartment a bit late. We took a taxi into Belfast to the venue of our meal, which turned out to be a rather rowdy hotel called Benedicts with a really noisy bar on the ground floor and a restaurant above, which we were admitted to after a few minutes. To summarise, the night was only OK; I of course enjoyed the company of my BF who I was sitting next to, but as time went on the music got louder and louder and it was almost impossible to hear what anyone was saying without them shouting (and the problem is that being a TS girl, the louder one’s voice the more unfeminine it is); my voice especially is a problem in these situations, it has ever been loud even while living as male, and so in a loud venue like this I just gave up talking, I am not going to ruin my voice by shouting unnecessarily… and so I wish a quieter venue had been chosen. Apart from the bland starter and over-cooked vegetables the food was reasonable, my salmon was very nice and chocolate torte dessert gorgeous. As the night continued, people got up to dance… and after a while I achieved enough confidence to want to do the same, but it seemed impossible to generate any interest from anyone else around the table – at one point I stood up when Kirsty seemed to agree, and as I was about to head off to the dance floor she sat down again! The other three girls got up to dance… and within 10 seconds seemed to change their mind and sit down. And as our departure time neared I was about to get up again, but was told that the lyrics to the song were a rape-anthem, which was not acceptable… but I liked the beat of the song and just wanted to dance!!! But it was not to be, and I was VERY disappointed. The restaurant was really busy, but we didn’t seem to attract any attention, and a guy made a particular effort to hold a door open for me which was nice too. And I was very happy with the latest dual-selfie of my BF and me… even if the resolution is poor: