All posts for the month March, 2013

Letters From The Edge Of Blogspace: It’s Astounding, Time Is Creeping….

Published March 31, 2013 by Christine

It is done. The official marriage notice has been given and displayed. We have two weeks until the wedding and I must admit I’m nervous, happy, worried, happy, scared, happy and just in case you didn’t notice, I’m happy. On Monday, Tracey and I posted the official Notice of Marriage at the registry office. I hadn’t realised that there was so much to go through, just for a simple ceremony like ours. Getting all the official paperwork together, (discovering that short birth certificates are not allowed, but expired passports are), joint interviews, separate interviews, deciding on which words to use, and much more. The only thing that upset me was that on the official paperwork I am still the groom. This bugged me more than anything. Even more than having to put my previous name on the Notice of Marriage. It seems such a tiny thing, considering it won’t be mentioned in the ceremony, or on the certificate, but it rankled, nonetheless. Still, its done. Legally, everything is set.

Still on the wedding: Had fun playing with hair this week, with Tracey and her sister Becky. I’ve settled on an updo with a short fringe and a small silver tiara, although I still have to buy this. Becky tried several different styles and I had to go and choose the one that takes the longest to do. Oh well. <Laughs at memory of Becky’s face> Tracey has decided to keep her hair down, but with a crimped style with silver slides. Makeup-wise, I have no idea yet.

I’m too busy being nervous.


Note: I now have another blog: Passing the Speed of Light which is my thoughts and observations on current events and other stuff. Please feel free to read it and comment.


Letters from the Edge of Blogspace: School Daze and other Things

Published March 24, 2013 by Christine

This entry was inspired by a chat to someone from my old school. Its not so much what happened at school, rather more of how I felt. I can only hope that my memory is more accurate than usual. If anyone reads this and went to the same school and thinks that something is incorrect then please let me know. I’ll not be naming anyone but those who went to this school should recognise it from the descriptions. (Apologies for the next line, been watching Saw too much).

I want to play a game….

(The boys can play as well). Imagine, then. You’re secure in your body. You are a girl. Your body knows this, your mind knows this. All feels right. One night you go to bed as usual, thinking about the next day and what it will bring. Sleep claims you and you drift off. You wake up with a start. It’s morning but something is wrong. The room is different, you feel different. You look down at a flat, hairy chest. You jump out of bed and run to the mirror. You’re a boy. You have a boys body. You have male clothing in your wardrobe. The bedroom is definitely male orientated. Yet you know you went to bed as a girl. In your mind you know you are a girl. You hear a voice telling you that you are now male, everyone knows you as a boy, as if you’d been born one. No matter what you say to people they will only see the male you, and this will be forever. You will go to bed every night praying its a nightmare and that you will wake up as a girl, but it never happens. You tell people until you are blue in the face that you are really a girl, but with a boys body, but all they do is laugh at you, or push you around, hit you and call you a poof.

Imagine this, then imagine feeling like this since the age of five, going to bed every night praying for the nightmare to end and waking to find it hasn’t. If you can imagine this then perhaps you may understand something of how I have felt all my life.

It’s very hard to explain to someone about how I feel, and that is probably the closest I could get to explaining it, (without the explanatory voice, of course).

The worst time for me was probably school. My earlier school memories are pretty vague, whether through choice or bad memory, I don’t know. All I can remember is that it wasn’t that much fun. My last school, (although memory is nearly as vague, but I’ll do my best), though, wasn’t so bad. This may be because I was beginning to understand why I felt the way I did. This school was a mixed boarding school set in massive grounds, with three lakes joined by a river, several playing fields, a full size indoor swimming pool and a massive chapel. There were four girls boarding houses and five boys houses, plus an ‘infants’ house. I seemed to make friends reasonably easily but never felt that I ‘fitted in’ with anyone. The junior house I started in was really two houses in one. One side was the girls and the other was the boys, separated by a corrugated partition in the common room which was rarely opened except on special occasions. I remember suffering from terrible home-sickness for the first few weeks, before eventually getting used to things and beginning to sort of enjoy certain aspects. One particular aspect was music. The house had an old record player in the common room and I remember one of the house staff playing two albums that I absolutely loved: ‘Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds’ & ‘Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’, (which I would eventually play in the school orchestra). Music became one of the constants in my life from then on. The other was computers. I eventually moved up to a ‘senior’ house. Unfortunately for me, the one I moved into had the worst reputation in the school, somewhat reminiscent of ‘Animal House‘ . This actually scared the crap out of me. To cap it all, it turned out that the housemaster was also my maths teacher! As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. I quite enjoyed most of my time in there. There were down times though, many of them. Times when I would lay awake at night cursing God for giving me this body, this horrible birth defect. Times when I would watch the girls walk past wearing their skirts and blouses and amazing hairstyles (I’m still a big fan of 80’s fashions, a guilty secret), and wish I could look like that. Times when I wish that I would be told I’d been issued the wrong uniform and should be wearing a girls one. There were times when, if I couldn’t be the girl I knew I was, I contemplated disappearing into the woods and slashing my wrists. These feelings were exacerbated by the onset of puberty and the need to shave. This deepened the depression I already felt. It was only the thought of things eventually changing that kept me from acting on my suicidal feelings. There were happier times as well. Myself and two others running across the school roof at two in the morning. Wandering down town at one in the morning and getting stopped by the police and brought back to the school to face the wrath of the housemaster. Rollerskating  everywhere in school. The Radio & Electronics club, which eventually morphed into Computer Club, (with the advent of the Sinclair ZX range and the school’s RML380Z). Film club, (‘Watership Down‘ immediately springs to mind there), and the orchestra. I loved playing the trumpet, but stopped after I left school. I even took my Grade 3, but failed by one point! The highest point in my short musical career was performing ‘Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat‘ in front of the Duchess of Gloucester and the rest of the school. (Ron Rollock’s guitar solo for ‘Song of the King‘ was spectacular). Things like this kept me going, kept me sane (sort of).

That’s enough memories for now. I’ll write some more, possibly, in the future. There’s so many things running around in my head it’s impossible to sort them all out at once. That’s probably why this post seems so rambling and disjointed. Apologies for that.


Letters From the Edge of Blogspace: Definitely Getting Hormonal…

Published March 4, 2013 by Christine

It seems I’m on a bit of a run with blog posts, three in less than a week! It’s good to get things written down. It’ll give me a chance to see how much changed when I’m older. Well, that’s my excuse anyway. 

On Friday I wrote about handing my CHX letter into my GP’s, which I’d done last week, (Tuesday, I believe). On Friday, I received a phone call from my GP asking to see me on Monday (today). This superseded the appointment I’d made for Thursday. (Still with me?).

Today I went to see him. It was an interesting visit. Being his only trans patient I ended up helping him with interpreting the letter from CHX and providing further information regarding the hormone regimen, (having done plenty of prior research, and talking to other women online). After taking my BP, and discussing the pro’s and con’s of HRT,  he gave me a prescription for HRT, comprising 2mg Estradiol Valerate, once a day. After three months, this goes up to 4mg a day. First, though, I have to have a fasting blood test. (No food or drink until after the blood is taken tomorrow). Once this is done and there is nothing wrong I can start taking the hormones. This is a massive step and one I’ve been waiting for for years. Once I start taking them, I’ll probably keep a diary of sorts, tracing the changes, including photo’s. It’ll be a developmental record that may come in useful in the future, but I doubt I’ll ever make it public. 

All in all, another good day. 

Letters from the Edge of Blogspace: Woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown….

Published March 4, 2013 by Christine

Of all the things I’ve written about regarding transition, fear is one thing I haven’t touched on in much detail. I’ve written something about it as part of my description of my early transition. It’s a difficult subject since people have different levels of fear, different reactions during transition. There is also probably not a great deal that I can say about it, except from my own point of view. So here goes…..

Possibly one of the biggest problems facing many transsexuals is the fear of going out in public, especially for the first time. This fear, this nervousness, stems from the potential reaction of others. From the thought of being ridiculed in public to the very real possibility of verbal and physical violence. Over the last thirty or so years, homosexuality has gone from something viewed with disgust and fear to something socially acceptable and generally ordinary, to a certain extent. Its only in the last few years that this has been true of transsexuality. Unlike homosexuality, though, transsexuality has a very visual component. A gay couple can walk down the street without anyone knowing they are gay, unless they are displaying affection for each other. Whereas a transsexual, unless they started very young or have feminine features, may not be so lucky. This is where the fear comes from. Social attitudes to something that is different tend to be formed by knowledge and understanding. Unfortunately, many peoples knowledge of transsexuality comes from the media, especially the tabloids, which tend to portray it as something to be ridiculed. The phrases “bloke in a dress” and “chick with a dick” tend to be quite common. Unfortunately many tabloid newspapers tend to over-simplify what transsexuality is, believing their readers couldn’t possibly understand the concept. Consequently, transsexuality becomes something misunderstood and ridiculed. This stereotype is also reinforced by certain chat shows which, again, ignore the potential to inform and so oversimplify and portray transsexuals as people to be made fun of, or even pitied. Even some serious television programs can get it wrong. Believe me, I’m not on a crusade against the media, just giving some background, and hopefully some information.

When I first came out, I felt a sense of relief, like a weight was gone from me. I felt good, euphoric even. Proud that I had finally done the thing I had been wanting to do for years. I started to dress in the way I wanted to, to show the world who I was. I tended towards more formal skirts and blouses which I considered feminine, so no-one would mistake what I was. The only problem was that no-one could see. I was in my flat. I kept coming up with excuses not to go out and changing back into jeans and t-shirt when I did. I tried several times but, each time I reached the door I would freeze. My heart would start thumping, I would start shaking and I would have to run back up stairs, breathless, shaking and entering into a severe panic attack. I couldn’t do it. I had told the world I was here and now I was afraid to face it. Each time I approached that door I began to imagine the worst. If I stepped out the door, immediately I would be laughed at. People would call me names. Somebody would attack me. Groups of men would kick me to the floor and beat me. I would get stabbed. I would lie there bleeding and be ignored by all and sundry and would die on the street. All of these images would flash through my head, triggering a massive panic attack and leaving me paralysed by fear. In the end I would be left with a sense of failure, feeling a sense of having betrayed all those who had supported me.

This went on for several weeks. Going out at night wasn’t a problem. No-one could see me clearly and it was easy to hide my face. Especially as it was usually only walking to the bus station and back, a matter of a hundred yards or so. Eventually, though, I had to do it. I had to conquer the fear, the fear created by my own lack of self-confidence and the stories I’d read and peoples reactions to those stories. Tracey finally dragged me out. We approached the door and I felt the familiar fingers of fear gripping me. By the time she’d opened the door I was on the verge of a full-blown panic attack. She stood by the door and almost pushed me out into the street, then closed and locked the door behind us. I looked around as if I’d never been outside before, (in a way I hadn’t). People passed us by, not even looking at us. My heart was pounding as we started to walk down the street. The further we got, the less conspicuous I felt. People weren’t even looking at us except the odd sideways glance. I began to feel better. Optimistic, lighter, happier. This was Christine’s first outing into the wide world and it felt good. There was nobody laughing at me, no-one taking the mick. There was no group of big, hairy men chasing after me to beat me to a pulp, no-one coming towards me with a knife to end my brief existence. I caught my reflection in a window at one point and discovered I was smiling like a loon.

Over the last two years I’ve been lucky. I’ve not been verbally or physically abused. There was a small incident with a group of youths outside a local shop who called me names but that was only a couple of months ago. Had it been two years ago it would have affected me badly, but not now. The fear has gone, to be replaced with a sense of normality, rightness, belonging. I know who and what I am. I still have a long, long way to go but I have overcome the biggest hurdle of all. Finding and being true to my self.

Letters from the Edge of Blogspace: Oh No, She’s going to get hormonal….

Published March 1, 2013 by Christine

Sometimes, waiting for something can get boring and, as a result, time drags. Other times, it passes so quickly you barely have time to blink. Such is the wait I’ve had. During my last appointment at Charing Cross (CHX), I was told by the clinician that, I was “endorsed for feminising hormones on psychological grounds“. This meant my GP would be authorised to prescribe HRT on the grounds that I was not psychologically disturbed and there were no medical reasons not to. This made me very happy. The clinician then said that a letter would be sent out to my GP to this effect, meaning I should be on HRT before Christmas 2012. Unfortunately this did not happen. Knowing the delays and admin backlog on letters, I decided to give CHX the benefit of the doubt. This proved to be a bit of a mistake on my part.

I had my third appointment at CHX on Monday (25th Feb). Just prior to this appointment I received a letter in the post stating I would be attending two appointments, one directly after the other. Not wanting to lose the appointments, knowing how long it would take to get another, we left in good time, and arrived forty-five minutes early, again. The first appointment was with the clinical nurse, IM. This was due to a new procedure to deal with all overweight patients opting for surgery. After talking to her for a few minutes, it became apparent that she was labouring under the misapprehension that I was already on HRT. I told her that I had started yet. She was amazed and, after producing a copy of the letter from the clinician, angry that it hadn’t apparently been sent out, or had become lost in the post. After going through the weight-loss program, measuring and weighing me, (I’m 5′ 9” and 109 Kg! (should be 89 Kg)), she gave me a copy of the letter to pass on to my GP. Then I had another appointment with my lead clinician, Dr Barrett. This proved to be a rather less intimidating visit than my first in Feb 2012, but just as off-the-wall as the first. As well as my life since my first visit, we also managed to cover such wonderful topics as what may have happened had Rommel planned D-Day, the best way to protect yourself in a car, the impact of the coalition government and the implications of the same-sex marriage bill, and whether subspace and other dimensions existed. Had time allowed, I think we could’ve talked all day. He, too, was annoyed at the mishandling of my HRT but seemed pleased with my somewhat stoic attitude. Once again, after leaving Dr Barrett I received my next appointment letter almost immediately. They did offer to send it in the post to save me waiting but, knowing the system now, I decided not to take any risks and waited for it. I walked out with my next appointment for October for both IM and Dr Barrett.

The next day I went straight up to the GP surgery, letter in hand and made an appointment with my GP. I’d written a covering letter to go with the clinician letter and handed it to the receptionist, extracting from her the promise that it would be put in the doctor’s hand as soon as he arrived. My GP appointment id for next Thursday, which is quite handy. Last time I spoke to my GP, he asked that when he received the letter, if I could allow him a week to research HRT before prescribing.

This time next week, believe me, its gonna be hormonal.

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