Thursday, December 31, 2015

I...have choices.

Okay, this may not seem like a big deal to some. But the other day I was sitting in my car eating lunch (long story) letting my mind wander a bit.  And I realized that I wanted something or wanted something to happen, simply because *I* liked it. As I began to focus on the observation that this happened, and how it was a very new feeling for me, whatever it was slipped away again. But I didn't care;  I knew that something had shifted and there was no longer that same block preventing my wants and needs from being felt and recognized or from my frame of reference, existing. I want to see how this plays out...

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hey, who stole my depression?

For the first time since I was a child, I don't have depression lingering behind everything I do or think or feel.  It's strange, really.  I feel a negative emotion or reaction and prepare to be emotionally hit with the overpowering whammy...but it doesn't come.  I feel *bad* in a flavor that depends on what happened, but that crushing feeling of total defeat is gone.  It helps that I've had a lot of three and four day weekends lately and from the time I get home from the last workday, I change into *my* clothes and out of the ones that designate "him".  And I live the next few days as myself.  My confidence normally start to get a little rough around the edges by Thursday from repressing, so the last month or two has really helped me make this leap.  I've also spent my "Christmas present money" on the basis of a small solid new wardrobe (my wife and I decided years ago that we like using Xmas as an excuse to each buy ourselves something we really do want but might feel guilty about otherwise).

How big is the change?  Yesterday my oldest child and I went to my parents' house to deliver some 4-H fundraiser candy they'd bought.  I felt confident in who I was, and I knew I "passed" as myself.  I usually just blend in, now - who knew I'd love being invisible so much?  Anyway, when I got there, they both noticed and hesitantly complemented my "jacket thing" as my dad put it.  It was just a white down Claiborne vest, but the cut is unmistakably a woman's cut & it was the final touch on an outfit that I made look *good*.  Not sexy-good, just unmistakably middle-age, suburban woman good.  My folks, no longer in the super-social Thanksgiving holiday spirit tried as usual to yank the emotional rug out from under me.  For the entire visit they used he/him, my birth name, and "our son".  So much so that my child asked why they did it on the way home later.

In the past, this would have sent me spiraling right back into my well of depression & it would be weeks before I had the confidence to even think of myself as a person, much less a woman.  Yesterday though, all it did was prompt me to decide to get my official paperwork changes done as soon as I can so I can sit them down, show them that the State recognizes me as a woman named [name] and let them know that they need to do the same going forward.

Now I just have to figure out what to do about work.  Do I risk transitioning in situ?  I've got eleven years with the company & over a month vacation time.  And I live in the state with among the best anti-discrimination laws.  And good health care that covers almost everything, trans or not, for my family.  But the owners of the company, along with more than half the staff, belong to the local So-Bap congregation.  The alternative would be getting a new job with an employer that has a good anti-discrimination reputation, but having to build up a history of being an invaluable employee, not to mention vacation time before attempting to complete my transition.

Any observations, advice or personal experience would be greatly appreciated, please use the comments?  I could really use it, I have no local trans community or resources.