Saturday, 17 January 2009
I have been struggling to get a good nights sleep recently. I had yet another sleepless night last night, as I had just too much on my tiny mind. This is perfectly illustrated by my continued inability to concentrate properly & also get back to my painting. Like so many people in these troubled times, my life seems out of control, my future uncertain, on hold, in void, simply not able to just get on with an ordinary life. I want to get back to work. I would like to financially be able to contribute more towards supporting my family. My love & support how ever well meaning simply cannot pay all their bills. Financial & employment worries, coupled with my deep love & need to care for my parents, which in truth is blurred very badly by my enmeshment issues, are creating quite a difficult challenge. I am so lucky to have the life I have now & this will I hope just be a temporary blip. I need to stay strong at a time when I feel so vulnerable.
I have also been battling my anxiety over my rather obsessive ever increasing need for gender re-alignment surgery. An NHS commissioning panel meet on Wednesday 8th January to discus funding my surgery after they had received a referral for me to be considered for funding via an extra contractual referral. I have been becoming very nervous as to the outcome. I had started to feel the self pity rising up in me, an all to familiar feeling from my not too distant past. My finances, my funding, my transition, my life were all out of my control as were my feelings for a few days. At one point I likened the panel to that of a court judge who could sentence me to a further 6 months, a year, two years or more, in a state of limbo between the genders but that was just me being over emotional. I still have no answer at the time of writing this but life goes on & I cling to the hope that no news is good news.
Just before Christmas I was told I had failed to get a part time job I had applied for at a local tourist attraction. I have worked there for many years as a volunteer. The job was filled internally by a job share, as so many jobs often are these days. The HR manager was very kind to me & took a lot of trouble to tell me the news in person. This had been my first job application in nearly 32 years. After being employed by just one company for the previous 29 years, this was all a new experience for me & was another landmark on my journey. My first ever job application as Debbie. I was sad but not surprised I did not get the job. I am under no illusion how difficult it is going to be to get back to some kind of paid employment. At one time my career background may have discounted me from applying for certain jobs as I may have appeared over qualified or the salary too low. Times have changed, so have I , so has the world. I asked her if she could spare me a few minutes of her valuable time to give me any advise or feedback on my application so I could learn from the experience. This led me to another first. My first ever real job interview as Debbie. She kindly gave me an hour of her time. To my complete surprise she was so impressed by my enthusiasm & polite positive attitude she said she may be able to offer me a part time role as a receptionist later this year & will keep my details on record for any other suitable position should they occur. Me with all my insecurities particularly about my voice on the telephone & she considered me a possible suitable choice at such a busy tourist attraction. Out of something that appeared a setback something really positive had happened.
I had lost all perspective for a while. I am lucky. I have just had the best year of my life. I have a future to look forward to. The matter of actually paying my way in life again is going to be a tough challenge but I am alive. I have choices. I have so much to be grateful for.
A number of my dear friends have not been so lucky recently. I have one friend who used to work as receptionist & secretary for the same company I had worked for, who has just been told her cancer is inoperable. She may not have very long to live. She is such a sweet gentle person. Another dear friend has found out she has a disc problem in the base of her neck which could render her permanently powerlised. She has had serious back problems for over ten years & often struggles to walk. She used to be a brilliant athletic swimmer. Now she is possibly only one sneeze away from life in a wheel chair. I met her at an art workshop this Sunday where we were were both helping out. She was walking the best I have seen her for a long time but in so much pain with her neck. In typical fashion she still went round every classroom to meet & greet everyone. The operation needs to be done urgently & carries great risk, yet the poor love has to wait until at least the end of February. One of our dog walking friends, who has MS who walks along the path by the river each day come rain or shine with her dog has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is having an operation today. My thoughts & prayers are with her. She used to be a school teacher until she had to retire early because her MS became so debilitating she was afraid she may collapse on top of a pupil. She is one aamazing lady. She has a wonderful outlook on life & never ever complains. She is always smiling. She is an Angel, a truly remarkable person. WHY do these terrible conditions have to happen to such kind people? Everything happens for a reason, but why God, why?
My brave friends have a truly inspirational attitude to life, the most incredible life spirit. I feel so very humble & their tragic stories certainly put my worries in to perspective.