Wednesday, 4 June 2008

First steps

Yesterday was another special day for me. I feel so happy, so peaceful, it is such a lovely feeling.

I have thought for some time my creativity has been back but I have been unable to put my hope into practice. I go to an evening art class with my best friend once a week, which is run by the most talented watercolour wild life artist I have ever seen. She is such a sweet person & another dear friend. She, together with my best friend kindly agreed to let the class know about my condition on June 26th 2007. I had written a letter which my friend the teacher willingly agreed to read out to the class.

At that time I had never come out to such a large group of people in one go. Only close friends were aware of my condition at the time of which a couple where regulars at the same class. I had been told by my best friend that many of the class had been discretely asking my friend if she knew why I looked so ill & had to give up painting. I did not want them worrying about me & this promoted my decission to disclose my condition. Earlier that day I had gone to my favourite bench in our local country park with our corgi. It is so quiet up there, high on a hill looking over the valley. Almost like you can touch the clouds. I had refound my religion as I finally rediscovered my soul & this was a perfect place of solitude, to say my prayers & give thanks. That evening I stayed anxiously at home awaiting the reaction of the class. I need not have worried. They were all so relieved, that it was nothing terminal as I had lost a lot of weight & looked very gaunt. I returned to the class the following week & was overwhelmed by their support. For some one who had been bought up to believe they would lose all their friends if they ever found out my condition this was a major event. Many of the class were friends but some were just acquaintances. I could not ask them to keep my disclosure confidential & besides I had no real reason to. It simply needed to happen as part of my transition. This was the day I came out to my little part of the world.

To me it was a big event but as I was to find out many times over, it quickly becomes yesterdays news & most people realise you are the still the same person, only a much happier version. Word quickly spread to my old colleagues, as the wife of one of them was a member of our class. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I had been coming along to sit & chat with my creative friends & do the washing up, but I just could not get in touch with my creativity at all because of anti-depressants blocking my feelings & the shadow of my GD. I was so lucky to just be around my creative friends, they helped me hold on to reality & were a vital connection to the outside world. I disappeared from the class for 2 months at the start of this year until my facial feminisation surgery settled down.

It was a magical time when I went to the class presenting myself as Debbie for the first time in March. Once I started living full time as a women my health began to improve & I felt the urge to paint returning. I began turning this blog into a therapeutic way of awakening my passion for painting. The complementary remarks you all so kindly made lifted my spirit still higher.

I started with just a simple little monochrome sketch in water colour pencil. It was of a gangly young cheetah cub taking what appeared to be some of its first wobbly steps in the world. It was from a series of photographs I took of a group of young cubs late on a glorious sunny winters afternoon as the sun was getting low in the sky. He was born in captivity at our local zoo. I painted him sat down but changed the green grasses of Hampshire to look like the warmer colours of the African bush. How I wished he was born free in real life, not just in my creative world.

That painting was called "Waiting for Mum" & was one of the last I ever managed to complete. It was painted in oils, a medium I had only just begun to fully enjoy. I have attached that painting above to remind me that one day soon hopefully I will take my creativity towards the peak it had reached before my creative world crashed.

I had tried desperately to paint since but when I couldn't it upset me so much I became scared to even try. That was two years ago. Recently as my creativity has begun to re-awaken I could manage to concentrate for 20 minutes at first, then a few weeks ago just before half term I managed 40 minutes.

Last night I went back to the class, with a peaceful contented mind. For the first time in a very very long time my soul was telling me, you are free to paint again. I could have filled my water bowl with the tears of joy I felt at that realisation. I painted for nearly two hours. That's one hour for each year of the two years that I have been unable to feel my creativity. My brushes just flowed. I felt so peaceful so happy, so contented, so normal, just me.

Just to round of a lovely evening my Mum informed me our Pet corgi now recognises my new name. When she told him Debbie's coming home in a few minutes, he got really excited & was there to great me at the door when I got in.

Today my friend Rebecca has her facial feminisation surgery in America. I hope & pray the lady she will soon see in the mirror is as happy & as peaceful as I feel today. It is so nice to see our friends like Jo & Nicky, all finally beginning to find the clarity of mind to achieve their rightful destiny. Long may that continue.

Last night I took my first wobbly steps back into my creative world. I have finally managed to break free from the captivity of the imaginary cage I had built around my dreams.

I am Soooooooooooooo Happy

I hope to add my humble little monochrome sketch as soon as its finished.

In monetary terms its worthless but painting means so much more to me than money.

Peace of mind is pricelesss.


Anonymous said...

It sure *is* priceless Debbie. You paint wonderfully! (but you know that...x)
I recall when I could not play the guitar for at least a year, I was just too distressed.
And you get pleasure from being back within the warmth of that group of people. Out there in the real world. Fantastic!
And to hear you write so positively is truly marvellous.
Thank you for sharing !lranhgq
And get painting ! x

Anji said...

It was lovely to read how you painted for so long yesterday. Everything seems to be falling into place for you. It sounds as if you belong to a great group of painters. I'm really pleased for you.

Jessica Hart said...

Very pleased for you, Debbie

julia barber said...

So good that you are starting painting again.

Josephine said...

Fab Debbie...the inner you is breaking through once more, you've shed all those grey painful layers that killed it all.

Doris said...

:-) :-) :-)

fineartist said...

I understand mostly where you are coming from in this piece, I've found my creativity blocked before and it is like having a piece of you missing. Painting makes me feel complete, and when I am not able to paint for a while I find the stress of life tightening up my chest and I fear that I will go mad, absolutely.
I have GOT to have my creative outlet or I am much less healthy mentally, not that I'm all that healthy mentally anyway but without that outlet I am ready for the booby hatch!

I think it's part of the souls cravings to express ourselves in whatever medium works best for us.


Debbie K said...

Thank you Nicky, Anji, Jessica, Julia, Jo, Doris & Lori.

Your kind word of encouragement are an inspiration to me.

Welcome to my humble blog, dear Julia & Lori.

Dear Julia you are such a special friend. Bless you.

Dear Lori wowwwwwwww I love your work. What great imagination & feeling. You truly are a creative soul & are one fine artist.

Peace & Love to you all