Monday, 13 April 2009

A Moment in time!

I have been really busy getting on with my life, at last: trying to build a new life & plan for my future. I have had some incredible moments in the last two weeks as well as the last two years. The moment when I finally received the letter confirming my GRS funding was now available & it was not just a dream was quickly followed by the news from Brighton where I will be having my surgery that all being well I will be able to have my surgery in October this year is something I never dreamed possible.
Another moment was absolutely priceless when my beloved family & I where all able to go out as a family to celebrate my Mums 81st birthday as Mum, Dad & daughter; just a totally ordinary family but a wonderful day. A moment to truly celibrate.
It is so important to cherish your health, your family, your friends & for me also my creativity. Sometimes we can take things a little too much for granted. Its only when they are gone you truly appreciate how much you miss them.
I seem to have moved on mentally & felt completely comfortable with where I am with my life. When I started this journey I was shy, totally devoid of self esteem & confidence. One word one moron, one piece of transphobic abuse & I am not sure I could of coped & then there would have been no where to go. I have had many landmark moments in the last couple of years.
There was a moment when I pressed a send button to tell my best friend which burst the bubble I had been trying so hard to exist in. There was another when I pushed the same button to send my funds to Belgium for my facial feminisation surgery 18th Dec 2007. From that point on there was no going back. Thankfully I have never ever wanted to & as I did not have a choice there would have been no point. Having the facial feminisation surgery with Dr Dussen on January 23rd 2008 was one of the best decisions of my life & has helped so much with my sense of self & made my transition considerably easier. At the time I had received an unrequested diagnosis by a person who was supposed to be supportive suggesting if I had FFS before my GRS I was clearly not TS. I always needed & intended to have GRS but as no one was going to see that part of my body while I was transitioning I wanted to give myself the best chance of successfully living my life the way I felt was right for me. How I wish that Facial feminisation surgery was considered a primary part of the treatment for all NHS patients with my condition, so that if they felt they needed it, they too could have the mental well being & benefits it provides to our daily lives.
I had been out for a lovely meal with a dear friend on the previous Thursday & was so sorry to read a day or so later on her blog about the cruel behaviour she some times has to endure. I have been so fortunate to finally just be able to go out & about & generally be treated like anyone else with respect. For a time when I took my Mum & Dad out to celebrate my Mums birthday I was hyper sensitive that some bigot might hurl some abuse & ruin the special day for my Mum. I would still be upset if I was on my own if I received abuse but I am stronger now & providing I was not in a vulnerable situation be able to stand up for myself. I have as much right to be who I am & be where I want to be as anyone else. I never ever expected to be able to feel that way, not from where I started out confidence wise.
We had a lovely meal out & went to see an art exhibition. Gradually as I have got my life back on track after my referral for funding for GRS was originally rejected a year to the very day I had my FFS on 23rd January 2009, out of the ensuing angst, I had begun to rediscover my creativity. Now like a creative chameleon I just seemed to blend in with my surroundings. This was such a magical moment not just for me but also my parents. I have totally reconnected with the creative part of me that had shut down nearly three years ago. I could see & feel, my emotions finally allowed me to reach inside & let me find that creativity once more. I love oil painting but had been too scared to go there for so long. Now I cannot put my brush down. Where there was once only GD there is now a creative energy that is driving me & I just love feeling like this.
The day after my Mums birthday I went off to work at the hospital in a lovely state of mind. I had another super day apart from one moment when a childhood friend appeared with his new wife & very young baby. We had known each other from the age of six until I was about 22 years old. I had actually dated his sister. OMG I was sat at a desk 10 feet away from them with a name tag prominently displaying my name. He glanced across at me & there was not one sign of recognition. I was unsure what to say or do. They were there for their baby that was all that mattered. There little child thankfully appeared ok & their visit was a routine one but at that moment when my past collided with my present was quite surreal. I had a very busy productive day. I spent a great evening at an art class & carried on painting late into the night. My brushes were on fire.

On the Wednesday I set off for work again at the hospital. I have been stepping up my work experience & really enjoying being back at work. I was the happiest I had ever felt in my life about going to work that fateful morning. As I was driving I was vaguely aware of an old car in my driver’s rear view mirror & as the traffic in front of me slowed I reacted. The guy driving behind me kept on going. In a moment, all the confidence, all my vanity went out of the window as the car behind slammed into me. I was ok & was fully conscious. I was in shock & felt sick. Time stood still until the lady in the car in front of me which I had been shunted into during the impact, started banging on the window. My wig was perched on my nose & it must have looked like my head had come off to this poor woman. My neck was really stiff but it could have been so much worse if we had been travelling over thirty miles per hour. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. If my beloved parents or my little dog had been sat with me I shudder to think what may have happened. Both our cars appear to be write offs. I managed to drive on to the hospital to work but was too shaken & advised to go to A & E but I did not want to waste their time. I agreed I would at least see my GP for a check up. My neck became stiffer & my GP sent me back to the very same hospital I had been attempting to work at. I was treated brilliantly & thoroughly looked after. I had only suffered a minor whiplash injury. Pride certainly comes before a fall.
My insurance company wanted me to seek compensation for the injury & quickly swung into action. I did want any fuss & was just eager to get back to building my new life.
I am recovering well & fortunately not been too frustrated. I have since been busy at the local zoo over Easter helping to raise nearly another thousand pounds for Cheetahs thanks to the generosity of our visitors. I have had another job offer to help out as a receptionist one day a week, since then. I had another traumatic incident which I pray has a happy ending for a dear friend. I have received some brilliant help from our police force. I have met up with some wonderful friends. My dear Dads footbal team won which cheered him up. We even had some sunshine. I have had a super Easter & finished my first oil painting in three years.

Right now like the Tiger in my painting I am on top of the world, hanging on tight, enjoying the views. I just want to make sure I do not let this feeling escape, so shhhhhhhhh please, do not tell anyone, as it only takes a moment in time!
The mantra"Plan for tomorrow but live for today" has never felt more true.
While this post evolves very much around my own little world, my thoughts & prayers are with those dear souls who were caught up in the earthquake tragedy in Italy.
I hope life has been kind to you.
Take care.
Drive safely.


alan said...

I wish you could see the smile these words have have you regain your abilities with brush and pigment along with all the other wonderful things that have transpired is truly fantastic!

I'm sorry about your car, though I'm glad it gave itself to protect you! I hope your neck heals properly and soon this is only a memory on file somewhere in a drawer or on a hard drive!

I shan't tell a soul, Debbie, but I can't stop smiling!


LucyTolliday said...

Roll on October. So many good things to comment upon. Sorry to hear about your car, hope you fully heal soon. Pass on my birthday wishes.
So delighted :)

Lori D said...

Sweetie, your words give me the hope that I too will one day see these fields of green you so beautifully speak about in your own way!

Love to hear you love life!

Hannah J. R. said...

I can only add what a beautiful post Debbie. It warms the cockles....
Hannah x

NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

so sorry to hear about your your neck any better Debbie? and not long to October! xxx

Anji said...

That is such a lovely painting at the top of your post. I'm sorry to hear about your accident, hope your neck isn't too uncomfortable.

It sounds as if everything is falling into place for you. Only 6 months to go! I expect your childhod friend was probably thinking that you must be a sister of his friend.

Lucy Melford said...

Just got back from a caravan holiday in Wales, and very sorry to read about your accident. I do hope your neck gets well quickly! Pity about the car - getting to work will be a bit awkward for you now, surely? Take care. Lucy

Debbie K said...

Dear Alan, Lucy T, Lori, Hannah, Nicky, Anji & Lucy M

Thank you so much for kindness. My neck is improving & only really stiff if I do no not keep on exercising it. It should heal up just fine. My car is probably going to be scrapped but at least no real harm was done. I may have very little money but right now I feel like a millionaire.
You have all lifted my spirits when I have been struggling & now suddenly there is no limit to how far my heart can see.
Bless you all.

caroline said...

So glad everything is going well now. In Britain we do not seem to have much appreciation of how much appearance matters to us, the bit you see is probably more important than the bit you can't and there is no help at all. Your encounter with the old friend proves the case, the world sees you differently now!

Best wishes Caroline.

Karen said...

Sorry to read about your accident. Glad your ok.
Your painting is absolutely beautiful, so alive. You really have a talent. Hopefully you will post more and it's great to hear things are finally working out for you.

Debbie K said...

Hi Caroline
Thank you for your kind comments.
So much of this journey is about how the world perceives us. It seems very spiritual, sometimes uplifting, sometimes painful, but oh soooooo alive rather than in my previous persona where I had just been existing.

Jess said...

Sorry to hear about your accident Debbie, I'm only just catching up on things online now; I hope you're getting over things - shock can take a long time.

FFS before GRS = not TS? Oh for crying out loud, haven't people got better things to do?