I go through phases at night time with my sleep patterns, sometimes I sleep all the way through to after 6.00, sometimes I regularly wake up at a particular time, which can often be 3.00-4.00, or even earlier. On January 22nd I woke up while it was still dark and went to the toilet and, as the little light on my mobile phone was flashing, I took the phone with me – there was a text from my ex- which had been sent at 1.00am that morning saying the following (have replaced daughter’s name with ‘Your daughter’):
Your daughter does not want to see you again, but cannot tell you to your face. Please to not call round to our house again.
I did not cry when I read that… although I feel a bit teary-eyed as I write it now, but the day of receiving that message and the following one (yesterday) I felt really sad, as though my heart has broken. And maybe that is how my daughter feels, that I have broken her heart and as a result she wants nothing more to do with me, even though when I gave her my news I tried to be as sensitive as I could, and told her how much I loved her and want to remain inn her life. It has been a severe struggle remaining in one piece at work (especially as my boss said made a couple of little insensitive comments in relation to me) and not bursting into tears and running from the office.
Anyway, life goes on, I am not going to change or slow down my journey whatsoever, everything else is going smoothly so far, I will surround myself with people who do value me as a person (whatever I look, or sound, like) and want me in their life in whatever shape or form that may be. As everyone else I have told has been great, I will have to put down my situation with daughter as being due to her age… and possible influence from my ex-.
The previous day I was off work on sick leave, having appointments relating to my gender dysphoria.
My first appointment was with the lovely Paul Meekin, who is my hairdresser… well, not just mine, but you know what I mean; he is a very kind, sensitive guy, and seriously knows what he is doing with people’s hair. My appointment was at 11.00, to have my latest wig styled – I scraped into his swish salon a minute after that and in a few minutes I had had a hug from Paul and was sitting in his VIP room. As soon as Paul saw the wig his enthusiasm went through the roof, it is made of human hair and he was very impressed with the quality and set about styling it; as it’s human hair it can be styled with moderate heat and so with a pair of heat paddles Paul set about giving it some shape and then trimming the fringe. Further down here you will see the new image – personally I am still getting used to seeing a different look in the mirror, but I do like it and the movement in the hair is great and natural… as far as I know.
With plenty of time to kill before my next appointment I drove over to the Abbey Centre for shopping and lunch. One reason for going there was that there is a big M&S and so I hoped I might find a nightie that I have already purchased in UK-10 but in a 12, because although I am generally a UK-10 on top I thought something a bit looser for nightwear would be better… but to no avail, none left at all. I went upstairs for a toastie and tea for lunch and all was fine there, it was really busy, I had a guy on the table right opposite me facing me and noticing nothing; on the way out I patiently walked behind a woman and her old mother, and she thanked me once we had exited and I then passed her. I went to the ladies and, after doing my business, at the sink was fine-tuning my make-up when a woman kindly pointed out that my ‘top’ (it was a dress) was tucked in at my waist, as though I was showing a bit too much leg – I thanked her… although it may have just been the asymmetrical line of the dress. Downstairs I browsed through the sale rails and tried on a dress in a couple of sizes, but it wasn’t really me, and when I gave them to the lady I went on about it being in a couple of other colours which I had preferred (which had sold out), but it was nice to chat. Then onto the Abbey Centre itself on a mission to find a smart woolly hat for work, costing less than the ridiculous £18 that M&S were looking for… which after a few stores was successful in Dorothy Perkins – I was able to use my Xmas e-giftcard, though the till-girl had no clue how to process it and had to call her manager, so much conversation ensued with another assistant joining, and I joked that they were having a mini training course.
My next appointment was with my gender clinic. It was another one of these ongoing assessment chats to see how things are going. Of course, I had an awful lot to tell her, she gave me a bit of advice about my daughter, ex, and so on… although some of that is a bit redundant as I can now not even go to ex’s house. She was very impressed with my new hair, which was nice to hear, she said it had been cut very well. I was there for an hour and a half, and left with letters from her that I can include in passport and driving license application forms.
I drove to the nearby Forestside shopping centre where I had a mocha and cake in the M&S café, and was served by a tall, slightly rough-looking guy I thought… but he was very nice and asked ‘madam’ what she would like to drink. I browsed in a few places there, and found a really pretty top in Next with beautiful trim around the neck and sleeve lines, then drove to Sprucefield where I bought a few things from Boots, including hairspray (for the first time ever) for my own hair.
Dinner at 8.00 had been planned with Kirsty and Michelle, with much to-ing and fro-ing about a venue. Eventually we had decided on Ed’s Diner in Lisburn, near the cinema, and that is where we met up. It is nice enough on the interior, with quite a few of the tables in booths which is good for a bit of privacy. It was nice to see my friends, and we had a good old chat and catch-up, and both seemed to sincerely like my new hairstyle… which is illustrated to the right. The food was pretty good value, and Little Miss Weightwatcher here had a carb-free chicken ‘burger’ with a lot of lovely salad… before consuming a huge chocolate brownie sundae. We eventually retired to Support Group headquarters for a cup of tea and more good chat before returning home… far too late again.
Yesterday I ‘came out’ to the Project Manager that I work for about my Gender Dysphoria, and that I will be coming to work in just over a week as a woman. He was a bit shocked, but he was good about it all, and we had a nice chat. He asked me one question which stumped me a bit, which was ‘How do I actually know I am a woman inside?’, and my answer was more like how everything is wrong and out of balance when I have to lead my life as a man, with so much of the real me suppressed, and how when I look in the mirror what I see I either don’t recognise or fills me with horror. But then he went onto say that he does consider me very soft, and quite effeminate too, especially my run, and he pointed out even the way I was sitting in front of him, with my legs crossed and my head tilted. Around lunchtime I had a talk with the HR lady, who has put an action plan together for who does what and when around the communication about me and arrangements therein, such as pass cards, logins, and toilets – it all looks good. I had a good chat with Joan (recruitment girl) over mocha at a nearby coffee shop.
Later, because my boss kept piling on the pressure with me at work, I had to tell him the news about my daughter… and once that was out he looked like one of his own relatives had died, as though it was his own sadness instead of mine. He offered to put me up in a hotel if that suited… but it only suited HIM, because he wanted much more work doing in advance of the weekend (when some people are in work), and I almost packed my bag and left there and then. But I tried to stay calm, I said that although emotionally I would prefer to leave right then but I would stay until 6.30 and that is what I did. But although my boss is quite supportive, he always has his own agenda… and my team colleague is really fed up with him and as his contract is up in two weeks time I fear that I will not see him much more.
That Friday is the last Friday I will ever have to present as a ‘male’… for next Friday will be the first day of being full-time and the rest-of-my-life as Andrea.
Thanks for reading.