Remorse, Forgetfulness, a Six-Month Anniversary to Not-celebrate… and can a girl ever have too many clothes?

Most of my posts I suppose are of the this-is-what’s-happened-since–I-last-wrote–type, that some of you consider a bit simple and, perhaps, uninspiring… though they do often contain indications of how I have felt about certain things or particular high and lows of my new life, as per the title of this blog; well, it’s my blog, my journey, and it’s life-changingly significant enough to warrant recording it for me at this point in time, and perhaps for others to read, to digest and reflect on. Anyway, this post is not one of that type, it’s a reflection on how I feel about certain things at this point in my new life.

I have not quite got to the point where I have lived full-time as a woman for six months, though that’s arriving soon enough, and of course that IS something for me to celebrate.  The six-month anniversary, that occurred at some point in the last week, is that it is six months since I last saw my daughter – being a parent who has dearly loved the daughter I thought was a miracle when she was born, this “milestone” is not a happy one. On the plus side, some of my previous posts indicate that my daughter IS in contact with me, via email only… but emails received in the last week from her, indicating how much she is enjoying her Irish summer school, have made this anniversary feel worse, as although I am thrilled that she is having an unexpectedly (for her) good time, it has served to remind me of our distance and how much I miss her at times. In my emails to her, I have responded in a style that I believe is quite similar to how I ever might have before I told her that I am a woman, with a certain humour that we share between us. But she is 13 years old, a typical terrible teenager going through lots of change herself, with her own desire to fit in… and, of course, having a parent who has revealed her gender to be the opposite of what she has known all her life, a fairly special but unusual situation, is not what most teenagers can take on board. Perhaps I could criticise myself for not trying earlier in her life to teach her about diversity, though I tried hard in recent years during the limited exposure that I had to her compared to my ex-… who I am sure, as a much less hands-on parent compared to myself, made little effort at all. And, no, it doesn’t make a difference that my ex- didn’t know about my gender dysphoria, it is important for people to be educated as early as possible in life that everyone is equal regardless of race, gender, sexuality, and so on, and regardless of any circumstances of their friends or family. So, I guess you are all perhaps thinking that this is the remorse I hinted at in the title of this post – well, actually, no it isn’t, remorse indicates to me some kind of regret at one’s decisions or situation in life, and this is certainly not the case. To-date I have never regretted the decision I made to tell everyone about my true gender or my life-changing switch on the morning of 30th January 2015 when I began living full-time as a woman, because that’s the best decision I ever made in my life because, for the first year ever, I have felt more happiness and fulfilment than ever before. I may feel sadness that my daughter, and my brother too, cannot handle my gender-revelation, but my feelings don’t really amount to anything more than that.

Since I turned 40, nearly nine years ago, I began to have quite a number of little health niggles – most of these were due to the fact that I became increasingly fat, neigh obese, largely as a consequence of comfort-eating while trapped in an unhappy marriage where I was continually criticised, never complimented or thanked, and, as it spiralled downwards towards oblivion, I became aware of my feminine side starting to bubble more violently under the surface. Over a similar period my sleep patterns have become disruptive, largely perhaps as a result of increasing worries over revealing my feminine side. I have also become increasingly absent-minded and somewhat forgetful… and all of those issues in this sentence are also side-effects of hormones. I suppose they are all a consequence of each other too – I get over-tired so I don’t focus satisfactorily, I don’t focus enough and so I become absent-minded, and so on. I hope that one day, as I become increasingly content with life, that some of those mental issues will reverse or diminish…

Some of you who have read my posts over the course of the last year, or those that know me personally, may have an inkling that I have a slight penchant for shopping. Okay, that was a bit of an under-statement, I luuuuuuuurve clothes shopping… NOW that I can finally express my feminine side freely and with confidence, it feels a natural pastime that I should have always done – that is the feeling that I felt last Saturday, after meeting an old friend for the first time as the new-look me, while clothes-shopping in Penneys (Primark to some of you) largely for summer clothing for my forthcoming vacation, it felt like I should have been able to shop in that way for ALL of my life, to shop as a girl, the gender I should have been born with… and that filled me with a convoluted mixture of joy over where I am in my journey now but sadness that I had been deprived my true life for so long… and THAT is what I felt remorse about, that only now, after almost fifty years of being on this earth, am I finally living my life in the manner that I now feel it always should have been, and it all felt so unjust and unfair. Oh well, at least I have permanently sorted this out at long last, and I have largely done it all by myself with careful planning and determination…. albeit with advice along the way from good, supportive friends, who I would never have met had my gender dysphoria not metamorphosed itself.

As I returned home from Dublin last weekend, with several bags of clothes acquired from different stores, I wondered to myself whether a girl can ever have too many clothes… and I guess there are several factors to consider in answering that myself. I don’t propose answering that from a transsexual’s point-of-view, and that is mainly because I do not consider myself as such, except from a medical point-of-view, where I am having to undergo certain, essential medical treatments purely because I am not a biologically born female; also if I answered taking that into account, I might consider addressing it from the point-of-view of someone who is not yet full-time and who generally would not require clothes for all those occasions that I now do. But from my point-of-view I do not need to do so – I live everyday as a woman, like any biological woman who presents as such, and thus I require clothes to suit all eventualities that that entails. As to how many clothes a woman can have depends to a certain extent on the girl’s interests, their job, what type of holidays they go on, and in fact whether they actually have much of an interest in clothes, fashion, or their appearance – it is quite clear to me that some women that I come across clearly have either no interest in clothes or not the slightest clue about how to put an outfit together that suits them… though of course there are plenty of women where that is not the case, and I don’t necessarily get it totally right every time myself, though any wardrobe errors of mine I feel are pretty much rectified while getting ready when initial thoughts may end up cast aside in favour of something that does work, or at least more suits my mood that day. I feel that I DO have pride in my appearance, and although I don’t spend extortionate amounts of money on individual items of clothing I do try and make my best effort in making sure that every single item that I wear goes together, and looks right on me. I also know certain colours that don’t, and never will, suit me… and so I will never become a total fashion slave and purchase any items in bright yellow or horrendously violent or nauseous shades of orange simply because some overpaid lunatic in the fashion industry determines that those are THE must-have colours of the season… even if they do suit some people. At this stage, after eighteen months of serious shopping, there are probably not many items of clothing that I absolutely NEED at this point in time…but that doesn’t mean that I don’t WANT to increase my wardrobe further. As my Project Manager said to me today, if something makes you happy, like shopping, then bring it on, and do it. As I have been living full-time, and thus working, for almost (but not-quite) six months and I have not on any two days worn the very same outfit, and in fact on every single one of those work days I have worn at least one visible item of clothing (i.e. not underwear, and not footwear either) that has not been worn on any previous day at work, then maybe I really shouldn’t acquire many more clothes – after all, at this stage, my next purchase should probably be a piece of furniture in which to store a portion of my bursting wardrobe. But I have still to acquire a smart coat for summer, I am only starting to acquire such light-weight summer clothes that suit a climate rather warmer than my own (for my main holiday this year), I have yet to acquire a swimsuit (and there is no point in doing so until my gender surgery is complete), I do not yet have a pair of heeled sandals that are satisfactory, I have yet to acquire a skirt or dress in a red colour that suits me (and perhaps I never shall), I constantly wear the same watch and often the same jewellery, I do not yet have an evening dress that I could wear to a seriously dressy event… and I could go on… and on. My pride in my appearance also means that I do not have a desire to repeat outfits regularly like some people… even if, out of work, there are certain items that I have worn on a number of occasions. However, clothes shopping is also an activity that I now enjoy doing, and clothes are something I enjoy spending money on. I also have a serious amount of catching up to do clothes-wise, after all, as indicated, I have only shopped in earnest for clothes for around 18 months whereas most women my age have shopped for adult clothes for around thirty years! There are some stores that I have never bought anything from, but would like to do so. And so will I ever reach a stage where I have enough items in my wardrobe that I do not need to acquire any others? What do you think!

There is something else I meant to write about, but I forget what it is… and I have probably rambled on enough already! Thanks for reading.

x

7 thoughts on “Remorse, Forgetfulness, a Six-Month Anniversary to Not-celebrate… and can a girl ever have too many clothes?

  1. No one would ever say that Andrea does not take pride and care over her appearance. I know we joke amongst ourselves about your need to shop till you drop but if I were to find myself in your position no doubt shopping would rank pretty high. I am not sure if it is a new wardrobe or a whole room you need to purchase to house your growing collection. You are so right in that there is so much that is required for so many occasions.

    I still hold out hope for you that your daughter will eventually want to meet with you again. It will happen. Just be patient and give her space to accept. In your pisition I know I would be cracking up.

    M x

  2. The reason I follow your posts is because of the similarities that resonate with my transition. I was 47 when I saw my GP to start my transition and my teenage daughter was 14 at the time. I grew up in Newtownabbey although I hated the Abbeycentre (not much post-transition change there for me). Like you, clothes shopping has become a pleasure for me whereas it was previously a chore. I too was overweight and a poor sleeper and I work in IT. Reading your posts is almost like reading my own diary.

    When I came out to my daughter, she was confused and concerned but she asked me one question. She said “How do I tell people about you?” to which I replied “Who do you have in mind to tell?”. It transpired that she thought she had to tell everyone she knew. I told her that it was a private, family matter and she did not have to tell anyone if she did not want to, but if she did want to explain it then to say that it was a medical condition that I was receiving treatment for from my doctors.

    “I don’t have to tell anyone?” she asked.

    “Not if you don’t want to” I told her.

    At that point she relaxed a lot. Her central concern had been addressed and she was much happier. It still took time for her to come round fully but the stumbling block was out of the way.

    I am not saying that this would be your daughter’s main issue, but something will be and if you can soothe that then maybe she more receptive. It could just be that as long as you keep channels of communication open then she will come round gradually anyway. Most kids just want to know their parents will be there if they need them, that is usually enough, so keep those emails going. Give her time and just make sure that she knows you are there for her and that might be enough.

    BTW – some points from your previous posts. Do not be surprised if your sleep issues disappear if you are now using a GnRH analogue like zoladex or decapeptyl. It will slow your metabolism to female levels and tiredness is a symptom of that happening. Since being on oestrogen and decapeptyl I have slept like a baby.

    • Hi there.

      Wow, quite a few similarities – similar age, similar aged daughter, you work in IT, and live in NI too. Abbeycentre, well, I guess there’s not much unique about it and all of the stores there that I would be interested in have bigger branches nearer Belfast, but if I’m in the area I sometimes pop in.

      My daughter has never asked me a single thing about all of this, she won’t talk about this with my ex-, and with her counsellor not much comes out either… and she quite often ends up in tears when pushed to talk about it. Will keep up the little emails, can’t do much else.

      I’m on Progynova oestrogens, though only about two weeks so far, and sleep no better as yet… but I can always hope.

      x

      • I should have been a little clearer.

        I was 47 four years ago when I first came out and saw my GP. It was over a year and a bit before I was in a GIC and started on good old progynova aka The Blue Pill. Next week, if all goes to plan, I have my GRS and this process finishes for me.

        I am not looking forward to the risks involved in a major operation nut I am looking forward to moving on from transition. It has been a long haul and I have loads to be getting on with.

  3. A bittersweet anniversary indeed, Andrea. I have a feeling all will be well with your daughter, and that any problem is not with her.Sounds like she’s not letting it get in the way of having a good time at summer school, which has to be a positive thing.
    Clothes shopping? If you enjoy it and can afford it, then why not? Your conscience – and hopefully your close friends – will tell you if it really gets excessive.

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