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.

Something's just clicked in my head...

Posted by Anna at 19:00 on Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Something clicked inside my head after I went to bed last night.

As I lay there in that sedate state between awake and sleeping, I gently felt the skin between my legs where Dr. Suporn will construct my vagina in just 6 weeks time. I was startled to realise I could visualise - almost feel what will soon be part of me.

This is a moment I think I've been subconsciously waiting for - the moment when what my body is about to become finally sinks in and becomes real.

Wow.

Another year passes

Posted by Anna at 18:56 on Wednesday, September 24, 2003
It's my 37th birthday today.

I've been half hoping that my parents would at least send me a card, but sadly there's no sign of one yet - and they aren't normally late. It's almost as if they are trying to pretend that I don't exist. Thanks a bunch.

Compare that to the response I've had from friends (both within the TS Community and out in the "real" world) - three phone calls at work today from friends wishing me a happy birthday, innumerable emails and a wonderful card from Andy and Bev who've so supportive of me from the very beginning.

Oh and not one person at work wished me a happy birthday (despite me telling them a week about it or so ago). I'm not surprised, just disappointed.

I'm going up to the Reading Beaumont cocktail party tonight to celebrate with those who actually care.

You'll never guess what I'm doing on 14th November...

Posted by Anna at 00:36 on Thursday, September 18, 2003
I'm quite frankly stunned.

After three weeks of what can only be described as sheer emotional torture, something's finally happened to swing things back entirely. the other way. I'm not out of the woods yet, but this will most certainly help!

I originally made enquiries of the Suporn Clinic about my surgery (combined GRS + FFS) in June, at which time they weren't yet scheduling for January 2004, when I was intending to have surgery.

I'd already moved the date forwards once (from Spring, which I'd opted for in part to fit in with work) after realising I couldn't wait that long.

When the Clinic opened its scheduling at the end of August I was informed that they were no longer booking combined (GRS + FFS) procedures (for reasons I completely understand). However, that left me with a problem, as my company limits paid sick leave to 13 weeks per calendar year.

With my GRS booked for 21st January, I just couldn't see a way to fit in the FFS the same year...and the lack of certainly and doubt in my mind about what to do has only served to aggravate the problems of isolation and resultant depression I was already having at work (which were already bad enough, believe me).

By this Monday morning I was finally "with it" enough to write back to the clinic and inform them of the difficulties I was having. I also wrote an initial enquiry about FFS to Musgrove in Manchester, as a possible fallback.

I haven't had a reply from Musgrove yet but it's now rather academic, as this morning I had an email from the Suporn Clinic informing me that a cancellation date might be available this year. A flurry of emails ensued, the end result of which is that as of this evening my GRS has now been rebooked for 14th November!!!

Words aren't adequate here. I'm absolutely and totally stunned, and believe me if I had a bottle of champaigne handy right now there's be a party down here tonight for sure!

Incidentally, the date I had booked for GRS (21st January) is now the date of my FFS, so those who expected to bump into me in Thailand then still will...I'll just be a bit more post-op than I expected to be by the evening of 21st January....

8 weeks to go!

No more laser treatment...at least on my face

Posted by Anna at 20:28 on Sunday, September 14, 2003
I had what could well turn out to be my last facial laser session this afternoon (the 17th believe it or not). Over recent visits the laser hasn't been anywhere near as effective as I'd like, but effective enough to continue treatment for the time being. Now I think the time has finally come to switch to electrolysis. I havn't decided where to go yet, but I do have a couple of leads to follow up, so hopefully I'll get something sorted soon.

Rather than take the train from Basingstoke for my appointment today I'd driven up to Richmond and took the tube into town, (which is just as quick, albeit less comfortable if the weather is warm like today). I had it in mind to drop in and see my friend Siobhan on the way back, so I (eventually) naviagated my way to Hounslow and - after lots of aimless driving around - found her street.

She wasn't in (she's hard to contact by phone too - we haven't spoken for ages), so I left a little note to say I'd called. I was a little sad to have missed her, and then driving back the tears hit again. I should have recognised how low I was this morning while I was chatting to Susie really, but I didn't.

So today has been far more painful than I was prepared for. I'm really looking forward to being able to sleeping tonight, and I just hope I can cope with work tomorrow.

Low, but coping better each day

Posted by Anna at 23:07 on Saturday, September 13, 2003
I'm still quite low (and very lonely) but coping better each day.

This evening I went on a Thames River Cruise with my Church which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was good to be out on the water again, but I couldn't help but be reminded of the fact that I go to these events alone.

Depression does fade away...eventually

Posted by Anna at 19:41 on Thursday, September 11, 2003
Although I still feel numb, the depression's beginning to lift. That it's happening so quickly is undoubtedly due to the support and help I've had from friends, who've been absolutely fantastic to me.

I'm under no illusions. The pain of the last three weeks is going to be raw for quite some time, but now the depression is fading I think can deal with it. All I can do is wait and see, and try not to let it all hit again.

Numb

Posted by Anna at 20:25 on Wednesday, September 10, 2003
The last two days I've felt numb; almost emotionless. Somehow I've managed to struggle through work - I really don't know how.

Tonight though the tears have started again.

On a more positive note I received my referral letter for surgery today, so it isn't all pain and depression.

Perking up...and being slapped right back down

Posted by Anna at 20:29 on Tuesday, September 09, 2003
I'm still hurting terribly, but thankfully the tears have stopped for now.

Sunday night was ghastly. I hardly slept, and on the few occasions I did manage to doze off I invariably woke out crying my eyes out. I finally got to sleep around 7am.

Needless to say, I didn't go into work yesterday.

Have you ever noticed that so often something happens to perk you up, only to be slapped down again? Well that was yesterday afternoon. Totally unexpectedly, my friend Sarah rang to congratulate me on booking my surgery. She was the first trans woman I met (way back in February last year), and she inspired me a great deal - far more than she realises!

We chatted for ages, and it did help. Hugely.

Then of course something else has to happen. Later in the afternoon I had an appointment with a CAFCASS (Court Welfare Service) Officer at Basingstoke County Court to discuss my application for contact with my children. I learnt something at that meeting which I won't discuss here but I find totally shocking. How anyone can make such disgusting false allegations escapes me. It's in the hands of the Court now.

After that the tears started again.

Somehow I managed to get through work today, but it wasn't an experience I enjoyed...especially meeting with the MD to discuss my sick leave etc. He can't be in any doubt about how I feel on this and other issues within the company now, that's for sure.

From depressed to broken hearted, with not much in between

Posted by Anna at 00:40 on Monday, September 08, 2003
This is the last thing I expected. From depressed to broken hearted, with not much in between.

I've let myself fall for someone - something I haven't done for a while. I know I didn't misread any signs...but tonight it all came crashing down. All because I heard part of an IM conversation that wasn't meant for me.

I'm not ready to go through this yet. Just when I was starting to climb back up from the pain of the last week, the tears have hit again - hard.

I really don't want to sleep alone tonight, but what choice do I have now?

Oh God it hurts.

Emotional Bouncing

Posted by Anna at 20:23 on Sunday, September 07, 2003
Well, I've bounced again!

I can honestly say that this last week has been one of the hardest since I transitioned. Despite that, I'm certain that I'm making progress of dealing with depression when it hits - in the past I would shut myself away completely and just hope that a friend would call....but recently I've come to realise that I'm slowly getting better at reaching out and telling those I love how I'm feeling.

This week was a very good illustration of that. As well as quite a few phone calls and emails, Helen and Tessa have both come to visit and that's made a huge difference. To everyone who's helped or spared a thought for me this week, you have my heartfelt thanks.

Hopefully I'll be able to cope a little better at work this week. I'm seeing the Court Welfare Service Officer tomorrow about my application for contact with my children, so hopefully there'll be some progress on that front, although I still don't expect to see them this year.

Yesterday I was up in London again to see Russell Reid (the consultant psychiatrist overseeing my transition) once again. It was really just a catching up session - he's quite plainly very happy with my progress. At the end of the session I asked for my formal referral for surgery, and he said he'd do it the same day, so hopefully I'll have it this week.

While I was waiting for my appointment I met a couple of new friends (Ann-Marie and Jane), which is always wonderful.

Tessa came over last night (thank you honey) and we shared a bottle of wine, several bottles of vodka reef and a box of maltesers while listening to a variety of music until the early hours of the morning. Who says my diet isn't balanced?