Monday, 28 September 2009

Beautiful Day

Incredibly my Dad appears to have turned his depression around. I wanted to show him the person he loved was very much still around. It was a bit of a risk for so many reasons but as part of a birthday gift I took him to see the football with his daughter. Something we always used to do together. All week he had been so excited. When the vile Sun published articles about trans children on their front page I thought it might derail his progress but thankfully we worked through that as well. The day was perfect.

In the morning I had the sweetest of phone calls from my best friend inviting me to see her the following day. Dad & I had a great day together. For a dear Dad who in turmoil & denial at one point vowed he would never walk with me again if I transitioned, who ended up in hospital with all the worry it caused him, only two years later to be at a stadium with 19000 people in with his daughter by his side totally relaxed, a day neither of us ever believed could happen, makes me cry just thinking about it.

From the rather surreal experience of ordering the tickets at the stadium a few days earlier on the spur of the moment. Asking for seats in the quietest part of a football stadium. To be treated so differently to how I had ever been before by the staff in my other life. I mean that in the nicest of ways as throughout they treated me as ME a daughter devotedly taking her elderly Dad to a match. They helped Dad up the steps to his seat. They even took photo's for us using my camera as memento's of the day. In keeping with the script our team behaved perfectly by not getting my Dad over excited as he likes to kick every ball even at his tender years. They actually won for the first time in ages. Our team have been so bad for so long they have ended up back in the same low division they played in when my Dad was a young boy.

This was a big big day for my Dad. He had survived the second world war but this day was potentially full of a lot of emotional shrapnel. It has been so difficult for him as the parent of gender dysphoric child. We were unheard of in those days. My parents had no reference to guide them. I was useless at sport & try as he did he was perplexed as to why his young child showed so little interest, as he himself was brought up on sport. He had almost given up hope when he finally coaxed me along to his great passion. We bonded as he had always wished for. I loved every moment with him.

My childhood memories from the seventies of my distant past flood back to me. I wanted to please my Dad & live up to his expectations but where was my place in this apparently male dominated world. As an only child I had led a fairly sheltered life, preferring my own company, living in my safe imaginary world. I felt so alien in the landscape he wanted to take me to. Like a monochrome chameleon I had to quickly learn to adapt to blend to survive.

Of my early visits to the football, these random thoughts echo my feelings. The horrible smell of tobacco, the pear drop sweets, the machismo I felt no part of yet it felt ok with my Dad. The strange tribalism of the large crowds. A crowd I felt so isolated in, aside from being so close to my Dad. Sweet Caroline playing on the loudspeakers. The long haired androgynous hippie fashions of the youths of that bygone time. The frightening potential for hooliganism to ignite at any time. My confused & distressed feelings at the sometimes sexist, racist & homophobic reaction of the crowds. Political Correctness had not existed in those dark days. I recall seeing George Best play & his girlfriend a model called Angie walking the touchline. She was probably the original WAG & was subject to all kinds of chauvinistic catcalls which really upset me. She seemed so confident, so content in her own skin. I felt I must be the only person with a male body in the stadium who wanted to be like her & not the gorgeous wayward genius Georgie Best. I felt safe by my Dads side.

Sorry I digress from our perfect day. We savoured every moment of our time together sharing what we both knew was likely to be our last ever chance to share such an experience. When the final whistle blew we took an age to leave. As we walked through the crowds outside my Dad stumbled & as I struggled to hold him upright a kind football fan appeared from no where to steady him. This mans compassionate act could not have been further from the preconceived fears we both once may have had about how we may be treated by certain parts of society. If we could have danced back to our car together we would have done, we were both so happy.

When I got to see my friend the following day we got on really well together. Ironically her Dad had always wished for a son & she was bought up supporting one of London's football teams with a fearsome reputation in the seventies. In those days female fans were something of a rarity. Thankfully times have hopefully changed. Its early days but there is hope in my heart that we can rebuild our friendship.

When a Dad & his daughter can share such treasured moments. When on evenings my Mum & I can walk arm in arm, our faces free of make up, our minds free of insecurities & simply be perceived to all the world but most importantly ourselves as Mother, Father & Daughter, its a beautiful day!

My dear Dad will be 85 years young this week. He is the most wonderful Dad, a true Saint, my hero!


Saturday, 19 September 2009

Don't let "The Sun" go down on these children

The hate mongering vile British tabloid newspaper "the Sun" continues to put profit before lives. How many more lives will be ruined; how many lives will be lost as a result of such vile journalism as the one they smeared across their front page today. Stories they had featured on two successive days in a national paper like a glorified modern day witch hunt of the most vulnerable in society, children!

There is a UK support group for gender variant children & teenagers called Mermaids for any who may have been effected by the issues raised.
Further information is available at the bottom of this page.

I am loathed to give the Suns article any publicity or insult the intelligence of the kind folk who visit this blog but for those who wish to

The Sun editorial comment today quoted the following :-

"A crass act
NO child can know his or her sexuality at nine.
So it is alarming that a school has allowed a boy of nine to start term as a girl, with the headmistress's approval.
The situation calls for sensitivity.
But it also demands more intelligent handling than we have seen. "

The editor of the Sun appears to have been blind to the levels of crass insensitive unintelligent hate filled bigotry directed towards one of the remaining minority groups they seem to believe are open to abuse without legal protection. They seek to deliberately sensationalise to sell copy by deliberately misleading people by mentioning sexuality which is nothing to do with the gender issues these vulnerable children are experiencing. Gender & sexuality are not the same issue but sex sells tabloid papers.

Lets hope as was suggested on a recent support forum that the children & their families involved, can take this tabloid newspaper to the European court for breach of Article 8* of the European Convention on Human Rights.

* Article 8 .1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

I am ashamed to say my parents have had this paper delivered to their house since my adolescence & still do today. Sadly even now they believe some of the filth they continue to publish including parts of this article. If only these were the beliefs of a bygone age! An alarming indictment of the society we live in is that so do many others; because if people stopped buying it & they could not sell copies, they would not write such hate filled filth.

I am also ashamed because although I felt so angry about this article I am not able to find the courage to stand up for our rights & there in perhaps lies the uncomfortable truth of my angst. I also had a very distressing discussion with my parents raised by the ignorance in this article & even now a life time on, I lack the confidence or eloquence to convey just how upset frustrated, angry & frightened for these children I feel. This kind of malicious journalism further generates ignorance & destroys whole families lives.

In the end, humanity conserves only what it loves.

We only love what we understand.

We understand only what we are taught.

Thanks to journalism like that in the Sun newspaper, gender dysphoric children who are so vulnerable & are often critically endangered, may one day very soon become extinct.

I am still haunted by my parents comments regarding similar articles about transgendered people, at the breakfast table when I was a child getting ready for school. The fear of bullying, the trauma they contributed to my life is something I will never ever forget or forgive. In those days the articles did not appear to directly target vulnerable children in what appears to be a modern day witch hunt as the Suns articles have done today but they still had an impact on gender variant children. These children in the Sun article are so brave & must have been through so much to do what they need to go through so early in life. I am one of the lucky gender dysphoric youth of yesteryear. I still very much have a life to live for.

The saying "Sticks & stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" could not be further from the truth. Words can hurt & ignorance is no excuse.

How many gender dysphoric children's lives have been ruined or have taken their own lives without any one knowing the reason why, since the Sun went down & down? How many more innocent children will have to die at the hands of hate filled bullies before journalists stop publishing such insensitive ill informed stories?

Please dont let the Sun go down on these children

Further videos are available from

In support of this one aim, they also intend to:

Offer support to parents, families, carers, and others
Raise awareness about gender issues amongst professionals (e.g. teachers, doctors, social services, etc.,) and the general public
Campaign for the recognition of this issue and the increase in professional services.
Helpline: 07020 935066 (12 noon - 9pm UK time, when staffed)

This was a song from my past & I thank God I have a future

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Please say a prayer

Please say a prayer

I truly have friends for Angels. Right now some of those angels really need our love. There are days when I feel my anxiety for my family & friends, engulfing me. This is one of them. At these times I turn to my faith.

Most sacred heart of Jesus I place all my trust in thee.

So often they have been my Guardian Angels here on earth. So often they have reached out & touched my heart.

My beloved Dads health is causing concern for Mum & I. He is at times becoming very withdrawn& his thinking quite muddled. The poor love has confided in Mum he is not coping at all well with the thought of my surgery in November. This is all so hard for him. It is so cruel that sometimes we hurt the ones we love so much in this world. We all have our own worries.

There are several friends who kindly visit this blog who are going through really challenging times. Sometimes our blogs go quiet because we are just so busy living our lives. Sometimes its what we do not say that speaks volumes. Sometimes there is nothing wrong at all. A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you today the way you are. Bless you all.

A Guardian Angel Prayer for Friends:-

Guardian Angel,
watch over those whose names you can read in my heart.
Guard over them with every care
and make their way easy and their labours fruitful.
Dry their tears if they weep;
sanctify their joys;
raise their courage if they weaken;
restore their hope if they lose heart,
their health if they be ill,
truth if they err,
repentance if they fail.


Friday, 11 September 2009

A room with a view

On Sunday I took my dear Mum to visit to the Nuffield hospital Brighton where I hope to be having my gender realignment surgery in November. I had arranged the visit with Liz Hills the lead clinical nurse to try to help allay my Mums worries & ease her anxiety about the care I would be receiving.

Sometimes with a bit of imagination there seems some parallels between the EM Forster novel “Room with a view” & my life. Lucy the lead character lived in Victorian times & seemed destined to follow a path of what was expected of her, hiding her emotions, something I am thankfully now almost completely incapable of doing. I certainly never dared dream, I would one day be in “the room with a view” I shared with my Mum last Sunday.

This visit was going to be an immensely difficult day for my Mum. My heart is still laden with the guilt of needing to take my beloved elderly parents through a period of huge change at their time in life. I am very conscious of just how blessed I am to still have my beloved parents with me.

It was an incredibly emotional day. Mums courage, her unconditional love knows no bounds. Liz was so kind, so understanding, simply 110% perfect. Mum was very impressed by the whole experience. The hospital, the staff & its location all met with her approval. They were all way beyond what she had ever expected.

I started the day with an early morning walk with my Dad. Each walk we share is absolutely priceless. This memorable morning we were greeted by the poignant sight of the young signets flexing their wings nearly ready for their maiden flight.

I worry so much about my beloved parents & how they will cope in the coming months. It would be perfectly understandable if they are still mourning what feels like the death of their son. To them my GRS date may fseem like their son’s funeral. It is not how I feel & after this visit I truly belive they can see my GRs as something more positive. It seems much harder for my Dad, bless him. He has had to come much further than Mum or I in a comparatively short space of time. From being in denial only two years ago, he has shown tremendous courage & kindness in accepting my need to transition. He is now incredibly protective of his daughter but coming along on this visit was just too much for him to cope with. Dad agreed to stay at home to look after our dog while Mum & I went off on our journey.

We played the songs from “Mama Mia” by Abba all the way there, stopping off in Arundel on route. I knew Liz was such an Angel & having spoken to her several times since my first visit in September last year, I had great faith in her. I did wonder perhaps if I may have been on an emotional hi during my first visit & got a bit carried away about just how good the hospital & its staff were. Seeing it for the second time & seeing my dear Mums face light up with a big smile of approval was one of the most happy & emotional days of my life.

I have so much to write about the experience, so much to remember. There are a few unexpected changes for me to come to terms with. I am going to have to curtail my hospital voluntary work a lot earlier than I had originally planned because of the risk of MRSA, cdif etc & will have to stop once I have had a swab test 4 weeks before surgery. Afterwards I have been advised that I should not risk going back for 12 weeks. I will also be staying in the hospital for seven days after my GRS, which is slightly longer than I appreciated. Mum & I struggle being apart for so long but thanks to this visit Mum is as impressed by the Nuffield as I was the first time & her anxiety may not be as bad as we feared. Her positive reaction to this visit lifted both our spirits & suddenly there was no limit to just how far our hearts could see.

I was also told by Liz there would be no need for me to travel to Brighton for a pre op appointment after all. She will be able to ask lots of questions over the phone which together with the results from the blood tests she has asked my GP to provide will give them all the information they require.

Unexpectedly we were invited to visit a patient from Edinburgh. We were introduced to a young lady of 26 who had her surgery 3 days previous. She looked amazing & had such a happy radiant smile. Her Dad was proudly by her side. They too had initially been afraid how their daughter would cope & had not wanted her to transition. She had felt very little pain & only experienced slight discomfort. Her only concern had been feeling rather sick due to all the medication still in her body from the anesthetic It was so sweet of them to allow us to visit them. There were so many intense emotions like this during the visit.

Afterwards we sat in the car talking & Mum revealed a secret to me that was to melt my heart completely. For years my dear Mum has struggled to deal with the loss of her family particularly her sister & Mum. She had never found closure in over thirty years. Each tragic anniversary her mood would dip dramatically, it was so difficult for all of us. In recent years she had hidden her grief from me.

Sundays visit had been a random date that was convenient for Liz & for me. Unbeknown to me until my Mum told me after our visit, September 6th was the anniversary of her dear Mums passing. She had courageously not said a word about it because she knew I would never ask her to go through such an emotional visit to Brighton on such a day had I remembered the significance of the date.

She told me it had felt right to go with her daughter on such a day. She told me that a date that had always until Sunday been a sad day on her calendar will now be remembered for a happy occasion. The courage, grace, dignity & unconditional love, as well as the total acceptance she had a daughter she knew needed this surgery, will be embellished in my mind for eternity.

We were still sat in the empty car park talking as the lovely Liz drove by cheerily waving at us as she finally went home exhausted & late to see her family. Liz had been at a TG conference in Norwich with the surgeon Mr Thomas for several days & only driven back on Saturday. Then on Sunday she came into the hospital to catch up with her work & freely gave up her afternoon for as long as we needed, never once making it seem like we were wasting her valuable time. It was such a heartwarming privilege to see these two wonderful Mums bond together as only Mums can. My beloved Mum got so much out of this special visit but she also gave something beyond her daughters most optimistic of dreams.

After I had hugged & kissed my dear Mum for all she had done for me, all the love we shared, we finally set off for home. Mama Mia was playing softly. The first track that played was by chance, supposedly random just like the date of our visit but in keeping with the spiritual aspects of the day it proved to be so memorable:-

"I have a dream"!
I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I cross the stream - I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I cross the stream - I have a dream
I cross the stream - I have a dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I cross the stream - I have a dream
I cross the stream - I have a dream

Last Sunday the tears just rolled down my cheeks at the joy & emotions of the most magical day of my life. I certainly believe in Angels!

The picture above is of of my Mum in one of the rooms I am likely to be staying in at the hospital, looking at the view, contemplating the future of her only child. We are so fortunate to still be together & have a future to share, each day of which I cherish. There are so many less fortunate.

My thoughts turn to those who have lost their loved ones on this the eighth anniversary of the attacks by hijacked planes on America this day. My thoughts & prayers are with the nearly three thousand innocent victims that day & their bereaved families. How did those victims feel looking out of their office windows in the twin towers that day. You can read a very moving account of that day by dear Michelle She was one of the survivors. The scars of all those whose lives were effected by this tragic day may never ever heal. How do all those families who have lost their loved ones that day & those who have continued to lose their precious loved ones in combat as a result, cope with knowing they will never see them come home again? Some of those who witnessed this tragic day unfold on television as children are now risking their lives at war. God bless them all.


Saturday, 5 September 2009

The Butterfly

Right now it feels like I am surfing a huge wave. I want to ride it for as long as I can. It has been such a life affirming experience.

A month ago I was at a cross roads. My emotions were running so high. I was afraid I could lose everything. I was close to having panic attacks, my Mum was becoming ill, I had increased my anti-depressants because my depression had returned, the progress I had made with my volunteer work & my creativity. This was all because I thought I could not deal with the breakdown of the relationship with my best friend. Once my reaction to this began to effect my Mums health I realised I had to turn my life around, once more. I was so fragile & vulnerable at this point. Thanks to my family, my dear friends & my faith, I found the support & comfort to make positive steps on the right path.

I have just been through a month of my life which encompassed the whole spectrum of emotions & humanity. Hopes, dreams, friendships old & new. Inspiring , unsettling, heartbreaking but all of it 110% living life to the full.

Last years annual art exhibition was like a "coming out" ball for me. It was wonderful. At the time it crucially gave me the confidence to believe for the first time in my life I could really live the life my heart had always longed for.

Just prior to this year’s annual art exhibition with my emotions so entwined with my creativity I felt I was on the verge of losing all the creative progress I had made. To stop this happening I decided it was time to “Come out “again, this time regarding my art. I had never felt confident I could paint the way I used to before I was so ill a few years ago but I had recently connected with my creativity more than ever before. I finally decided to let the hospital where I do voluntary work know about my creative side by showing them a book of my art. I also invited them to the art exhibition. They were really impressed & this boosted my self esteem. It also meant I could not back out of the exhibition or stop painting. The only place to go was forward.

I had a great time working at our annual wildlife art exhibition this year. I felt like I really played a full part this time. It took a team of over twenty helpers five days to put up. We had over 700 paintings & sculptors from 230 professional & amateur artists. On the handing in day I was like a child at Christmas mesmerised by the brilliant art work being unveiled before me. We were only open during the day for four days. There were three very busy private view nights & at the weekend we also had marquees with artists demonstrating their skills. We were fortunate to have several thousand visitors & sold over £60,000 of art. Financially it was an exceptional success considering the world wide recession. What I really enjoyed was the pleasure the work seemed to give & the inspiration it may have given to our visitors to take up art & perhaps think more about the conservation of our precious wildlife. When it was all over it only took a day to come down & it felt rather sad like taking the Christmas decoration downs. It was a lot of hard work for a small team of dedicated volunteers & seemed all over far too quickly but it was so worth the effort for the joy that it brings to so many.

The event was socially in terms of gender issues a total none event. I spent much of my time liaising between the artists & the full time staff, making teas or just running about doing errands. I continued to be totally comfortable & totally accepted as me as Debbie. Just as it should be. I felt completely comfortable in my new role in life & blended seamlessly right into my natural habitat, that place they call real life. If I could paint a picture that conveyed how beautiful & wondrous that feels yet also so ordinary, it would be a masterpiece, I feel impossible to express in my limited vocabulary. May be its a picture no artist could paint?

It has been such a special time for so many reasons. Having my beloved parents by my side attending one of the private view nights of the exhibition was one of many. An event they were unsure they would attend because of the complex issues of the break down of the relationship I had with my best friend.

Meeting so many wonderful friends was always going to be a joy. Some were old & many new. Friends from my old life, my previous working life who took the trouble to come along & were so pleased at how much happier & healthier I looked now than I ever had as Bob.

Meeting dear friends who are on the same path, such as the delightful Jo, a lady whose “Spirit of adventure” helped me so much to find my true self. Receiving a hug from dear Nicky via Jo was so sweet. Meeting the delightful Lucy Melford whose company was so charming & sharing some time with her on one of her own first big adventure into the full on real world. She very kindly bought my cheetah cub painting. She too has a creative talent & passion which had perhaps been dormant for far too long. To see her blossom in a haven I had found such solace in, was another major highlight.

Meeting my best friend & dealing with the initially fraught situation that followed with dignity gave me new strength that I was actually stronger health wise than I thought. I would like to publicly thank my friend Karen for offering me such inspiration in coping with stressful situations such as this. I had feared I may have been foolishly acting rather like a moth suicidally attracted to a flame, continuing to hope to rekindle something which once burned so bright. Thankfully I was wrong. Her initial angst was followed quickly the same evening by me receiving an unexpected apology from her. There after, each time we meet there was a thawing in the chill that had beset our friendship. This culminated in an opening of communications between us to a level which may, with some caution, given time, heal our friendship.

The last thing I would ever have wanted was for her & her husband to feel ostracised & isolated from our group of creative friends, who would all be at the exhibition for several days. This had all come about because of the insensitive cruel behaviour of a prominent couple in our group. To know how much they were hurting cut me to the bone. For me a person who had been in the closet afraid they would be ostracised from all their friends; only to have this incredible couple transform my life, by holding my hand every step of the way, until I was ready to be left free, my empathy was so intense. Perhaps I found it hard to let them go, perhaps in some way they had with me? May be its time for me to stop over analysing every part of my life & just live it. In good faith I did all I could, while respecting their wishes to give them space, to make sure everyone they knew realised how much they missed being with their friends at this event in the hope they would all reach out to them. Only they could make peace with their own demons, it was up to them to speak with the couple who had caused all their grief.

Last year something truly heart warming had happened out of a year of great sadness for my best friend, when she was finally able to discover just how good we all knew her art was, when her first solo exhibition was such a huge success. Her husband was also lacking in confidence in his brilliant artistic wildlife photography, which so many of our artists use as reference. Magically by the end of this years exhibition week he too was to discover just how good his creativity is & discover some self belief he never had before. Best of all they both found they had many many friends who had never stopped loving them. They are now both on a well deserved holiday.

Artists are often never happy with their work & tend not see their talents in the way others do. Perhaps a certain amount of artistic dysphoria prevails, who can say?

I had new members, new artists just starting out, chatting with me. Some were disappointed they had not sold. I hope I was able to reassure them & encourage them to make the most of their creative gifts. No one knows what potential they have in them until they try. It's never too late. I reminded them “it’s the taking part that really matters”, the camaraderie, the pleasure of creating something meaningful. This is art for goodness sake not war, it should be fun, and we are not in competition. At the same time it can mean so much & so enrich your soul. I reminded them to just enjoy taking part & meeting new friends. To be inspired not daunted. I told them of the times when I could not enter because my creativity was blocked. I commiserated with several artists who had been unable to enter this year & wished them well, trying to reassure them they will find a way when they are ready to achieve their creative dreams once more. I was so pleased to sell both my paintings this year but the event was about so much more than just selling paintings.

On the final day of the exhibition I had an encounter with an artist I had never had the privilege to meet before. This stranger was in many ways a kindred spirit. He was an elderly gentlemen who had been born in Africa & lived there most of his life. When he shared his story with me he bought everything that had happened in this maelstrom of creativity into perspective.

He had been a prolific & very successful wildlife artist in Africa who had been living in this country for five years. He was yet another tragic refugee from Zimbabwe. His only consolation was that he had escaped with his life. He had lost his family, his home had been burnt to the ground, he had been threatened with murder & torture several times before finally being driven out of his homelands. He left his soul in Africa; his creative life force had been burned to a cinder.

Sadly he is one of several new members we have had from Africa who has been through such an experience. He was to my knowledge the only one who had been completely unable to return to his painting & connect with his creativity & it was this fact that really got to my heart.

He kindly showed me photographs of his work, the most ethereal wildlife paintings I had ever seen. They carried such feeling, I was close to tears & so humbled. That he kindly shared them with me, is one more of many memories I will take with me. He had enjoyed our exhibition & the company of our friends so much he decided that very day to become a member. That we may just inspire such a tortured genius to return to his art after he had suffered such adversity in his life, was truly humbling. At this point, I was lost for words & still am. Everything happens for a reason but why………

All of this happened with the knowledge that this special haven of friends, this event could well be our last for my society of creative friends. Some how being through all of life’s recent challenges, in the scheme of things this did not faze me. It will be a tragedy particularly for amateur artists but also for the tourist attraction that holds our exhibition, as we both win from the situation of having our events in the park.

I will be so sad if that happens yet incredibly I feel more able to cope with my future now than ever before. Hopefully the friendships we have all made will survive. It does feel like so many of my social eggs are in one basket but so much is changing, evolving now. My life is so much richer. I have learned so much about myself & life, in this most incredible year. What will be, will be.

Upon my return to volunteering this week I had more amazing experiences. I intend keeping myself busy for as long as I can as my date with destiny on 3rd November suddenly begins to zoom into view. I am now doing voluntary work up to three days a week working in a hospital which I find so rewarding. I help in a paediatric department, the volunteer’s office, with a learning disability team & a bereavement team, mainly helping with administration tasks.

The senior sister in the paediatrics department asked me to see her this week. She had been so impressed by my art she asked me if I would consider painting murals in their sensory room, for the children. She also asked me if I would paint murals in their “Butterfly Room”. This is the room they take the brave young children to have their blood tests done. Often they have had so many injections & tests in their young lives they become frightened. They have creams or spray applied on their arms to help ease the pain of the injections. When they are ready they are taken to the "Butterfly Room" which is designed to be tranquil in appearance to help to relax them. The room is coloured pink & sprinkled with butterfly’s but now in need of some fresh paint. The sisters remit is for me to use my artistic judgement so that the room caters for boys & girls. They will be applying for funding soon & once I have recovered from my surgery I have this fantastic project to look forward to.

I am totally exhausted, emotionally drained but so grateful for the life I have now. I find the words of a song I heard recently resonating in my head. The singers name was familiar from my past, his name was also Rob, it seems I will never forget him.

"Life is for living, I have so much love running through my veins, so much to live for!"

How quickly life can change. There seems to be no time to draw breath as a new challenge or a new experience comes into my life. I am so relieved I have managed to cope with my anxiety issues & flourished in situations that had seemed potentially daunting. I am thrilled at the progress I have made in the last month to get my life back on track.

Sunday I hope to take my Mum to visit the hospital & meet the team where I will be having my surgery. She wants to come but if she changes her mind that's alright too. The trip is purely to help her anxiety & give her comfort that I will be in the best possible hands. That I need to put her & my dear Dad through such trauma at this time in their lives still fills me with so much guilt. She has been through so much in her life time, bless her. She looked so radiant at the exhibition, pretty as a picture.

I feel like a butterfly bathed in Sunlight for the first time. I wish these feelings could last for ever & that all of us who struggle, could believe in themselves & be given the chance to live our dreams!

Sweet dreams
Ps Please excuse the epic length of this post. I have hardly had time in my own home to type anything up for the last few weeks & just wanted to record all the special moments to share with you.