Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Ugly Duckling

So much of my life, this journey I have needed to take, has been about perception. "How I had been perceived in the world & how I perceived myself". Appearances can be deceptive & judgements based on assumptions not always the right ones.
I have been trying to get on with building my new life. Thankfully I seemed to have swapped the roller coaster life I used to have at the start of my transition for a slightly more relaxed life, akin to one of those low budget game shows where a contestant has to take part in a solo its a knockout style task of leaping from one platform to another across water never knowing if the platforms going to be solid or if they are going to get drenched, in my case some times in tears.
My dear Mums recent health worries were a source of great anxiety for all of my family but she now appears to be making a good recovery. She has in recent times appeared frail but thankfully she may be a lot stronger than she looks. We had a lovely family walk along the river on Monday & were rewarded with the glorious sight of these swans & their month old new signets. They reminded me of my childhood memories of the children’s story by Hans Christian Andersen about the Ugly Duckling. I dreamed of being that duckling. Walt Disney did a wonderful version
The adult twist to that story for me now is the reality that in the case of swans they may appear beautiful on the outside but they can be very very ugly on the inside.
Swans can be very territorial particularly during breeding time. They are very protective of their family sometimes over protective. The male swan in the family on this photo is very aggressive & has killed other swan family’s signets. He hisses & threatens anything that gets in his way. I am so glad I am human & have the most wonderful devoted gentle man for a Dad.
In many ways I am the signet who never quite left the nest who was too nervous to learn how to fly. Learning to fly at my age is quite a challenge. Like the duckling in the story I have on many occasions felt like the world is laughing at my feeble attempts to conform to something I was never born to be. Now my life is free from these constraints & I am able to joyously just be true to my soul as nature intended, my life is so much more fulfilled. In times of turbulence I still tend to flap too much & may be try too hard. That is also just something I have to accept is part of my nature.
Recently the cumulative effect of certain external events beyond our control have made my family & I feel very vulnerable to some of the harsh realities of the modern world. I am becoming increasingly anxious how they will cope during the time when I am unable to be there for them during the post operative recovery stage of my gender realignment surgery. It is a perhaps a slightly irrational fear of the unknown, too which my anxiety fuels the worst of my imagination.
Some of my thoughts recently have unsettled me. I will never be beautiful on the outside but I had hoped I would stop feeling ugly on the inside. I need to find the right balance & face some uncomfortable truths. I have to appreciate I cannot be responsible for how my loved ones feel or wish to act. I must not be overprotective like that swan & must also be careful to respect my parents by not smothering them with love. My priority is there well being & their feelings, not me. They too need to be allowed to live their precious lives & fly free as nature intended.
Life is both wonderful & sometimes scary, with phases of melancholy, blissful ordinariness & total chaos. A wise & wonderful dog walking friend of mine who suffers from MS has been an inspiration to me. She has such a positive outlook on life & explained her secret as that "where possible life is to be embraced, lived to the full & not to be dictated to by our condition or limited by our circumstance. If only I could always stick to those wise words!
May your worries become small & your happiness blossom.
Have a good week.

My thoughts & prayers are with a kind friend on this blog, dear Lucy Melford, who has recently tragically lost her beloved Father.


Anji said...

Yes, I had a run in wih a male swan once, they are very very strong and not to be messed with.
I'm sure that your parents want you to go ahead with your surgery and would not want that you hesitated because of them.

There must be so much going through your mind at the moment and you must be so excited too

Debbie; you are beautiful!

Debbie K said...

Thank you dear Anji
There is a great deal to do & much of it is exciting beyond anything I could ever have wished for.
I have so many questions in my head that only I can answer.

Jess said...

Stick with it Debbie - the sun shines on the righteous. Worry about your parents, and your op, is natural - but look at how far you've come - not much further now.

Karen said...

Debbie your dog walking friend is right as I am learning and in your heart you know.
Your blog has been an inspiration to me as I'm sure it has for others.
You are just about there. Go for it and live you life and be happy. I'm sure thats really what your parents want for you and not to worry to much.
Karen xx

Lucy Melford said...

Dear Debbie, thanks for the kind mention. I sometimes think that those who have blogs are completely focussed on themselves (I am told my own blog is certainly like that) but you are a shining exception.

I sometimes want to send you a more personal message than can be conveyed in a mere 'comment' - do you have an email address I could use? My own is - this is incidentally named after the beaches in New Zealand which are often littered with bleached driftwood, very striking, with many curious trunks and roots.

LucyTolliday said...

Your friend has a great attitude despite all that has befallen.