Journal

Welcome to my online journal, which I started in December 2002 after several very persuasive hints from friends. Although I obviously don't write about everything that happens in my life here, I hope it'll provide an insight into who I am and what's happening in my life - whether good, bad, happy or sad.

I'm really not looking forward to tomorrow

Posted by Anna at 22:21 on Thursday, February 27, 2003
I'm a bag of nerves tonight and hate the feeling. Tomorrow morning I've (yet another) Divorce Hearing at Basingstoke County Court. This is the one that should sort out the finances - the real formal one with barristers involved which will hopefully decide what's to happen with the house, savings and so on. I've had to engage a barrister for it and all told this one day's adding over £500 to my overdraft. Ouch.

On a more optimistic note, I'll hopefully find out whether my aim of flying out for surgery next year is realistic, so here's hoping! I've got a bottle of bubbly on call to celebrate or commisserate as appropriate tomorrow night.

On a more fun note I was up in Reading for the monthly Beaumont Society gathering last night, and met a couple of new friends which is always wonderful. There are so many special and wonderful people out there.

The armour returns

Posted by Anna at 16:08 on Saturday, February 22, 2003
The last couple of days have been interesting.

On Thursday night I went to a Mayflower gathering near Southampton and figured something out about myself in the process. Since the end of my transition and start of my Real-Life Test I've been conscious that in day to day life I'm a much more confident person than I've ever been before, and it's wonderful! However I've always been very shy socially, and I didn't know how I'd feel in that sort of situation. As there was a disco there so it was chance to see how I felt in about the safest social setting I'll ever find (TV/TS gatherings are about as safe as it gets for us).

As it turns out I went shy again...although I love dancing and knew a handful of people I just couldn't bring myself to join in. I guess I've a bit more work to do I think.

On Friday night I was at a Church social evening (quite the opposite end of the spectrum!), and enjoyed it. Although I don't really have any peers there I'm starting to feel very comfortable with everybody.

my armourOne more thing worthy of note happened. Since I moved out of the house in late October I've had stuff stashed with friends. I've gradually been reclaiming it as I figured out where to put it all, but as I've gone from a 4-bedroom family home to a single room in a shared house, that's proving to be a bit of a challenge!

Last night I picked up probably the most unusual of my possessions - the 15th century medieval armour which I used to fight in at re-enactment events with the Hounds of the Morrigan and the Woodville Household:

It's rather wierd seeing it sitting there as I haven't used it since about 1997 and for the last few years it's been packed away in a cupboard. Ironically, I'm getting back in touch with friends from those days so I feel it feels rather appropriate that it's back.

Next on the list is an authentic 15th century canvas tent (20ft long, 8ft high and 11ft wide when it's up). Where I'm going to put that, I've absolutely no idea!

Reflections

Posted by Anna at 23:53 on Wednesday, February 19, 2003
It's a lot quieter this week as you can probably tell by the lack of posts. Aside from working (it's starting to get busier again) I haven't done anything apart from see my kids on Sunday and sort out yet more paperwork (driving licence this time!).

Friday night (Velentine's Day) was a little strange this year. I was planning to spend the night in with a bottle of wine and a DVD (nothing mushy - everything would have just come flooding back and of course there would have been no-one there to give me a hug and reassure me), but in the event I ended up chatting with a female friend in the US via Instant Messenger instead. It's a very lonely night to be alone, but I think the wine and chat helped.

It's hard to believe that this time last year my wife and I were still together. I still have the card she sent me last year (the same month we started divorce proceedings), and just looking at it now makes me cry. Even after everything that's happened I miss her so much, but neither of us could go back now.

Although I know I'll meet someone special sooner or later, right now it's probably better to live with the loneliness as I'm really not sure I'm ready yet. All in good time.

On a slightly more optimistic note, tomorrow night I'm off down to Totton for a Mayflower bash (I finally got persuaded lol) and on Friday night I'm going to a Church do in town (at the bowls club no less). I might even splash out and book a cab so I can drink something other than coke this time...

I'm seeing the kids again on Sunday afternoon (yay!), but unfortunately that means I won't be in Church this week as once I'm dressed and made up I don't think I could bear to change back to see them.

Alone on Valentine's Day...but am I upset? Not at all...

Posted by Anna at 19:45 on Friday, February 14, 2003
You can probably tell it's been a busy week as I haven't posted anything since Sunday!

I've actually been out for the last three nights which is something of a first! On Tuesday night I was visiting friends (I've been asked to put together a website for a reeanactment group), Wednesday I went out for a drink with a friend, and last night to a Mayflower meet near Southampton.

Another bit of good news is that I feel a lot better at work at the moment - still isolated, but not hurting anywhere near as much. Hopefully the depression will stay away for a little while.

Sadly, on the CSA/NHS front things are as crap and inflexible as ever. I'll keep plugging away, but I doubt I'll be able to achieve anything immediate. Wait and see.

Finally, today is Valentine's Day and as expected I've not had a single card (let alone flowers, chocolates and the rest). Like a lot of others, I'm spending tonight with a bottle of wine and my own company. Oh well.

Maltesers, mead and medieval seige weapons

Posted by Anna at 23:12 on Sunday, February 09, 2003
You know that feeling you get when you know that if you'd had just one more drink last night you'd have a hangover? You guessed it - that's me today after last night's party.

I arrived at about 8pm, and as it turned out I only knew 5 of the people there...but I've made some new friends which is always cool - and it certainly helps my self confidence. You can get an idea of the tone of the party by the fact that by 9pm we were shooting maltesers at each other with a miniature seige weapon (how can you tell everyone there was a re-enactor?).

All in all, it was a laid back but fun evening. I'd almost forgotten how much fun re-enactment people are, and once I'm through surgery, I'd definitely like to get back on the re-enactment cicuit. I'm certainly not going to lie low again, that's for sure.

Off work, pizza and party = Happy Kitten

Posted by Anna at 19:26 on Saturday, February 08, 2003
I'm sure you'll be glad to know I'm feeling a lot happier now (because I'm not at work, maybe?).

I had the kids over this afternoon and we went out for pizza (messy as usual!) then back to my place where we played together until it was time to take them home.

After I'd changed (remember I have to see them in drab for now), I headed out to get a card and a bottle as it's a friend's birthday and I've been invited to a party tonight! Just for a change I'm not driving (I've booked a cab) so I should be able to really get into the swing of things.

There'll be a few people there who knew me in my past life so I'm a bit nervous, but excited too!

Feeling lost at work

Posted by Anna at 19:03 on Friday, February 07, 2003
It's the end of the week and all I can say is "about time". Aside from laser on Wednesday, all week I've felt like a lost soul at work - depressed and liable to burst into tears without warning. I'm not even sure if this is the career for me anymore...but I've no idea what else I could do! I'm almost certainly stuck until after surgery anyway, so maybe the question's not one to ask right now. One thing is for sure though - I hate feeling like I'm killing time at work.

What does help is my friends and all the kindness they've shown me, and (I guess) my innate optimism about people and life.

Next Monday afternoon I go for my first speech therapy session, so hopefully another bit of the puzzle will start to fall into place.

The next big hurdles are the divorce hearings (financial and contact) coming up at the end of February and beginning of March. Fortunately, all the preparation at my end is complete, as far as I can tell. I do hope it gets sorted out soon.

Grieving for the child I can never carry

Posted by Anna at 20:23 on Tuesday, February 04, 2003
After the huge high of Saturday night I kept myself busy on Sunday afternoon sorting out the pictures of the evening.

Yesterday was a strange day though. In the morning I was aware of feeling more and more out of tune with what I do for a living. That unease probably isn't helped by the fact that the company made a few people redundant on Friday. I'm also feeling particularly isolated now as I'm the only girl working on my floor, so I've no peers to chat to during the day.

Yesterday lunchtime I read a beautiful story written by one of the girls in the Yahoo TS-UK group (a slightly fictionalised account of her childhood and transition), and by the time I'd finished I was in floods of tears. It just hit so many nerves and reminded me of the pain I've left behind.

Since then I've been feeling more and more upset...in part because I'm grieving for the child I can never carry. It hits every so often, and when it does, it's devastating.

I need an early night. If you've written to me today I'll try to reply before I leave for the laser clinic tomorrow morning. Right now, I'm all out of inspiration and words, but before I dive in the shower I do want to say a huge thank you to all the friends who've welcomed me back. I've missed you.

Floating down from a big high

Posted by Anna at 14:09 on Sunday, February 02, 2003
I'm kinda floating down from a big high today.

Last night was amazing - I got to the pub just after 7pm, and just before the first of my old friends (Sam & Michelle) turned up. The others gradually arrived as we were chatting. It was almost as if nothing has changed, though so much has...it's been about 5 years since all of us have got together like this.

I felt totally at ease and relaxed (though the nerves were in full flow while I was driving up theire, believe me!), and now I'm looking forward to staying in touch with people and having a bit of fun. More reunions will follow, I'm sure.

Here's one of the group mugshots we took at the end of the evening (a couple of people had already left by then though):


Time to share a little bit of good news...

Posted by Anna at 17:08 on Saturday, February 01, 2003
For the last few years I've pretty much isolated myself from my close friends, to the extent that I haven't seen any of them for 5 years. Looking back, I can't believe I let that happen.

Anyway, back in September I got back in touch with 3 of them (by phone) and tonight a whole bunch of us are meeting up at a pub near Reading (The Old Devil Inn) for a bit of a reunion! I'm very much looking forward to it, although the news this afternoon about the loss of Columbia has left me a bit numb.

As one friend said in an email to me recently "it's been far too long... you should of got in touch sooner... silly cow!.

Ironically we're meeting at the same pub I met Sarah (who would probably have become my mentor through transition if she'd stayed in the area) back last February. With that in mind, I expect tonight to feel even more special.