Stubborn Dogs
a real-life journey of discovery, acceptance and change…

When I grow up …

I was a 13 year old blue-belt judoka and a confident fighter

If I thought it was hard enough getting through puberty first time round then bang, crash, wallop, here it comes a second time at 43 instead of 13. I’ve had a lot going on in these umpteen months I’ve been quiet here but, as those of you who’ve followed the ups and downs on Facebook know too well, I’ve had a lot to learn along the way about how my transition has impacted on my life. I felt, to be mindful of my own and my loved ones’ privacy, that I needed this ‘downtime’ to gather myself in my new emerging skin.

 
It’s a long winding road, and now I am trying to earn some desperate cash *open to offers!!* and am writing applications and getting back into business. At the same time I am trying to find somewhere to live so my poor parents can get their life back and I can get my desperately needed independence back again.
 
I can’t believe it is days away from my first manniversary, a year since I started T. The changes have been profound and life-changing for me and, apart from my deformed fatty pecs/ex-breasts aka The Beasts, I am man-shaped, man-voiced and, yep, pretty much like any other bloke you might bump into.
 
Coming up to this milestone has been an emotional journey in itself. I have been collaborating with a young transman in producing a short film. The film, along with other work will be part of an exhibition at The Cube in Corby 3-5 June 2011.
 
Too much has happened to be able to do it justice in one post but I am working on a book/film now to fill in some gaps and explore more of the issues that have emerged for me in my own transition. If you are a part of my life then I would always ask your express permission before naming you but I am finding ways to explore my own experiences without breaking trust. This has been a powerful lesson to me in this last year. That my own caution-to-the-wind approach about sharing my transition journey in such a public way has meant that people from all aspects of my life might identify themselves in my telling of a personal story. I just want you folks to know that if you feel uncomfortable with what I write then please let me know. I won’t use names unless you want me to!
 
Finally, thanks to everyone for being so patient with me. I am going to revamp and re-organise this blog and get my shit together with my professional site. The online counselling skills course I started has had to be put on hold temporarily while I get my housing and work sorted. Desperate for a venue to work from as a counsellor but am also getting back into some voluntary counselling work again soon once applications are processed and interviews, CRB etc done.
 
Still, at least things are moving in a forward direction again. I might get easily distracted at times still, but I am also strongly focused and motivated mostly, bar the few bad days. My social anxiety is just not there now. It’s good but, having been a bit of a recluse for most of this last year, I am now missing the day-to-day social relationships I used to enjoy hugely when I worked in my last job, as with other jobs in my life too. I enjoy working as much as I can. There’s always a shit side as a wage slave but if I am being paid something approaching what I feel I am worth then there’s a great deal of satisfaction and personal esteem that I find in ‘doing a good job’. If I’m paid shit and/or treated like a turd on a shoe then I find it so very easy to say a big F U in my own way.
 
That’s all for now folks … will post again when I have more details about the coming exhibition. I’ll also be doing a live interactive session(s) as part of the project. Looking forward to that … and to the launch event on 3 June. An occasion for the suit again ;-)

One Response to “When I grow up …”

  1. ” The film, along with other work will be part of an exhibition at The Cube in Corby 3-5 June 2011.”

    Wow!! That sounds excellent. Will it be going any where else i.e. Southeast, London?? Really would like to see this exhibition.

    “My social anxiety is just not there now. It’s good but, having been a bit of a recluse for most of this last year, I am now missing the day-to-day social relationships I used to enjoy hugely when I worked in my last job, as with other jobs in my life too. ”

    That pretty much echoes how I feel at the moment. Reclusive hiding away from the world. I too miss day-to-day social relationships but things kinda scare me which didn’t before, frustrating too! It’s a contradiction as part of me knows I have to “get out there” the other part is nervous as hell.

    “There’s always a shit side as a wage slave but if I am being paid something approaching what I feel I am worth then there’s a great deal of satisfaction and personal esteem that I find in ‘doing a good job’.”

    I second that as well. There’s also routine as well now I am unemployed (long frustrating traumatic story why I lost my job re my mental health/parental bereavements etc. suffice to say the org. that REALLY shoulda known better got rid of me based on my mental health more or less unfair treatment…. that has also increased my distress and hopelessness as I did like my job and what it entailed ….social and political justice… I worked for a trade union.

    Hope Saturday goes really well for you and will be there in spirit x


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