I suppose most of my posts that I write on my blog are along the lines of “this is what’s happened over a period of X days, and I felt emotions A, B, C…” and so on, along with the occasional selfie or two. And, for me, that has all been very well, it preserves memories of some really special times, and special people. I also up to now have written about the vast majority of activities done and time spent while presenting as the real me, because those were such high points in my otherwise dull and unhappy life. But now? Well, now, I’m me ALL the time… and SO much of my life every day is such a real joy! I can hardly write about ALL that I do now as Andrea… because that’s 24/7, and you’d all no doubt nod off if I wrote about it all.
So I thought I would pause in the diarying and reflect on a couple of things. Everyone is different… and thus the people that now know about Andrea (which is very nearly EVERYONE that knows me) have not all reacted the same. Some have taken quite a while to get used to the idea, many (especially at work) have taken to me instantly… and others not, and of course there is my daughter who is awaiting counselling and currently does not want to see me again:
- My brother was the first person that I came out to, way back in September… and although our emails are ongoing and largely unphased it turns out that after all this time he is still trying to get used to the idea of me as a girl. One reason for this is that he does not talk to ANYONE about it, thus any thoughts he has about it are in his head and not channelled to anyone that can help.
- My parents were the next people who I came out to. Their initial reaction was utmost shock, and it took them weeks to communicate coherently about it to me, then with a tonne of questions that I replied to as honestly and openly and helpfully as I could. Two months after I told them about me, it was Christmas Day, when I received my first email addressed “Dear Andrea”, a Dorothy Perkins e-giftcard for me to buy girlie clothes… and now they have photos of me that they have commented on very favourably and we are back to phone conversations. So, my ageing parents, having recovered from initial shock, have way-overtaken my supposedly open-minded brother in their acceptance of me.
- Two old friends immediately accepted me… proving that they are indeed true friends.
- My daughter is in email contact with me, largely around presents for her forthcoming birthday (typical teenager)… but other than that she cannot take this on board as yet, poor thing.
- My ex- was initially rather positive and seemingly open-minded about my situation… but has now become less positive, blaming purely my transsexual femininity on the break up of our marriage… even though I suppressed it as much as I could at that time… and even though the legal process concluded that it was a no/equal fault break-up.
- My boss was initially very supportive of me, although rather naive about the difference between a TS and a CD… but at this point, now that I am full-time, he seems to be becoming less supportive, or at least less sensitive, about this significant, psychological life-change that I am going through and is getting ready to pile stress and pressure back onto my work life as if nothing has changed… and I am worried I just will not be able to take this.
- The vast majority of my work colleagues have been instantly accepting, and in only seven working days it has been really interesting watching the relationship between us evolve and, in some cases, blossom. People I have never had much dealings with up to now suddenly talk to me and we have good conversations. A girl I have never had much to do with has invited me to lunch… and her power-figure facade has fallen away, at least with me, and she has shown a sensitive side.
So all of those comparisons and observations are what I think of as changing views, generally positive, but sometimes becoming either less so or progressing slower than expected. All this does not mean I will push anyone, I am not a pushy person, I want people to come to accept me in their own time… as long as it takes for them to do so.
Today (Wednesday 11th Feb) is only Day 13 of me living full-time as a woman… and yet today I was thinking about the past… and, well, maybe I have a goldfish memory, but as the days go on it is already becoming difficult to believe firstly that I carried on so long pretending to be some ‘guy’ that people thought they knew, and secondly that I was ever really ‘male’ at all. Of course, if I think harder, then of course I realise that I did go through life life that, conforming to people’s expectations because I was afraid to do anything else. And, if I am honest with myself, I know I do have some good memories even when I was living as a ‘male’… but all the really vivid, happy memories that immediately spring to mind are of life as Andrea over the past year when I REALLY started to live life with no boundaries… and almost everything that I do now is SUCH fun, I notice so much more, so many interactions are more fulfilling, and I take less for granted.
The ONE person who I don’t feel happy dealing with at the moment is my boss – I don’t know whether that says more about me or him, I have not had a lot of time with him since I started my RLE… but the main problem I feel is that he continues to be a workaholic (who is far too dedicated to work to the detriment, at least time-wise, to his family… even if he may well be a fine parent) with the expectation that everyone else adopts a similar attitude to work; he generally treats people like commodities who fulfil an end-game for his own objectives, and I don’t think that is right. But he is possibly at least partly caught up with the general attitude going around in my company at the moment, which is the abuse of people’s personal time, leading to many poor work-life balances.
So I sign off feeling fulfilled with every-day life… and yet a little anxious about what the future holds at work.