The smell of
My parents, my doctors & I had been delighted with my progress last year. I had set myself a goal of doing some voluntary work & try to target a position of paid employment this year. I had attended my first mock job interview late last year & decided I would really like to try & find some voluntary work at my local hospital. A completely new challenge, for a completely new life.
Last Thursday I was asked to attend a volunteer induction day at the Hospital. I should have been raring to go & thrilled to have the opportunity but with my health as it has been recently times had changed. I had finally agreed with my consultant to send off my appeal on Wednesday which for reasons I had to trust him with, failed to contain my fundamental reason for my distress. Now this is where the acrid smell of burning martyr may begin to smoke. For a transsexual to have completed all that was asked of her by her doctors & honestly genuinely believed to be only a few months away from her surgery, to alleviate a life long deformity, to suddenly be told that surgery will not now happen for years as opposed to months, causes an escalation of their gender dysphoria that possibly only another person suffering the same condition could possibly fully comprehend. I say this with sincere apologies & gratitude to those kind compassionate friends who are non trans here. It is only surgery, it is not the news, the terrible news that that some people receive that their condition is terminal. I need to get over it & regain my perspective but for me my dysphoria had once more become almost unlivable. It dominates my every thoughts, I feel sickened by my body, I felt like a freak. At the same time I knew how lucky I was & what a wonderful opportunity to return to the workplace this would be.
The secretary of my consultant has become like a friend to me. I had recently become a very needy nuisance of a patient & possibly tainted our friendship with burning martyr, too. I had thanked her profusely & bought her a small box of chocolates as a gift for putting up with me while my dysphoria & depression had raged so badly. She replied with great sincerity, “Thank you for the chocolates that was very kind of you. I know it is not quite the way you thought things were going to go, but please look on the positive side, there are many more people out there worse of than you. You have your health and parents who care for you a lot, and the team here are here to support you. Take care”. Wise words with which I totally agree accept that (here comes that awful burning martyr smell again) I do not have my health as it was. Not at all. I may look the same. I certainly know how lucky I am but my body has never felt more in conflict with my brain, my soul. So on Thursday morning this week I faced a huge dilemma, a cross roads.
As I drove to work for the first time in four years I flitted between freakiness’, Marta Dom & pride & determination. As I approached the hospital entrance that overriding magical feeling that comes from being true to my heart washed over me. I joined a quite diverse group of some sixty new volunteer colleagues in the lecture theatre. We were from all different backgrounds, ages, genders, races, and religions. We were all there representing a random cross section of humanity all there to help others, freely giving of our time & in the process perhaps improve our own well being as well. It was a great thrill & privilege to be given a chance to work alongside such hard working dedicated staff, as a volunteer. I have to be 110% sure I can concentrate fully on the care & needs of the patients before I can consider trying to take on any significant role in their wellfare. Until then it will have to be be admin work & may be patient surveys. What ever duty I do I will always try to do it a with a smile & kindness. A smile costs nothing but can mean so much. One day, who knows, my dream to work in the caring profession may one day become true.
Next Wednesday I start work in the hospitals out patients department, a new beginning, a new & humble life, hopefully one day soon to be free from the blur of dysphoria & self pity.