2014 – New Job, New Support Group & Re-decorating
Well, I have not posted since October 2013 and for that, I do apologize. I have not real reason as to why this has been the case except; that I had not been in the right frame of mind to write any posts. Every so often, I go through a phrase where I am on the verge of lethargy within my own being. By lethargy I do not mean being over tired but, a lack of interest in anything that I like eg, practising on my bass is a prime example. This can lasts for a mere few days upto several months. No one ever realises any difference because of the mask I don. On top of this, I have found that I have been feeling a sense of loss – feeling left out of my immediate social circle; and I still do. Being single for so long has been a major hindrance for me. There are many things that I would like to do, places to go that are better experienced with another person. I have no one to fill this gap. I could divulge but, I have chosen not to at this juncture.
So, what has happened since my last posting? Firstly, I have a JOB! It is only part-time but it is work which gets me out of the house a few times a week. What is the job and who with? I am working as a Self-Checkout Host (SCH) with ASDA in their Queensferry store. I started with them on 25th October 2013 after being unemployed for almost a year, despite a handful of interviews. The one thing I did not want to do was to go back in to retail work but, with being unemployed at the time, I could not say no. I have previous retail experience with TESCO where I was a baker. After a couple of weeks training or in my case, refreshing on the checkouts, I moved over on to the Fast Lane – self checkouts. I was given a 13 1/2 hour contract because the plan was to move into the bakery. This did not happen because I was suffering an unusual number of vertigo attacks during November, Therefore, I informed the bakery manager that I could not risk myself or the current bakery staff should I have an attack whilst holding a hot bread tin or rack. Gutted to say the least.
Did I have any reservations prior to commencing my first shift? Yes. I had my concerns as to how I would be treated by my new colleagues and of course, the general public. I am very happy to say that I was and still am, accepted with no prejudice or discrimination whatsoever. In fact, one woman thought I was just another bonkers woman until she found out about me. See, I had posted a status on my Facebook page about seeing my ex-wife with her husband in the store. Apparently, she did not get this status and a fellow colleague told her that I use to be male. Initially, I was not bothered by being ‘outed’ by this colleague but, after thinking on it over the next week or two, my mind changed. She had no right to say anything of the sort. However, on reflection, I decided so what. Most, if not all; know I am transsexual. What this co-worker said to me after mentioning the status was basically – “Does not bother me. You’re still crackers”.
I have slotted in remarkably well and I have genuinely had no issues with any ASDA colleague nor from the customers. I have at present 20 Facebook friends from ASDA which is great considering it has only been 7 months! I do like working there but, with only having a contractual 13 1/2 hours per week, I do need more hours and every now and again, I do get them. I really do need to find a full-time job.
I mentioned seeing my ex-wife back in January. Well, I saw her again last week on bank holiday Monday – 26th May with her husband and two young children using the Fast Lane. I had to go over and give assistance (at this point, I did not realise it was them). Cath now has short red hair again and he is going quite grey. I do not think either one realised who I was. The question – how did I feel about seeing her again? I am glad that she is still with Stephen after 14 years and I think they have been married for about 10 years I’m guessing.
In other news, also from October 2013; I received a letter from WLMHT for an appointment to see Mr Thomas at the gender clinic on Monday 17th March 2014, 3 months after I was last there for my evaluation appointment with Consultant Psychologist Dr Penny Lenihan. 5 months seemed like an age to come around especially as I have eagerly been waiting for the gender realignment surgery. Forward to March 2014 and my parents and I head down to London, where my parents stayed for the week. My appointment was for 2.15pm and I eventually go in nearly 40 minutes later! Mr Thomas has a quick chat with me before examining my groin to see whether I require genital hair removal (which Clinical Nurse \specialist Iffy Middleton had previously checked back in July 2013). After the examination, he went through the procedure and made sure I was aware of the ins and outs of the operation and how long I would be off work for (12 weeks). Mr Thomas handed me a letter to take to administration to be put on the waiting list for GRS and asked me to make an appointment to see one of the Consultant Psychologists to ask for another referral letter stating that I have seen two CP’s and ready for GRS because the one he had off Dr Lenihan is dated August 2013.
3rd April and just my mam and I go back down to London for my appointment with Dr Lenihan which lasts all of 15 minutes! She was not expecting to see me until after my GRS and was taken aback as to why Mr Thomas had requested a further referral letter considering the one he had received off her was still valid. She has written a new letter which she sent to myself and Mr Thomas and now, I am waiting with anticipation for a date of surgery.
In May, thanks to my mam and dad, I have been able to have both my lounge and dining rooms redecorated. The first time since the summer of 2005! Both rooms have the same décor. The separating wall between next door and myself has been wallpapered whilst the other three walls have been painted ‘Matt Chocolate’ and done over a three-week period – that is to say, the decorator came back three weeks after completing the lounge because I had to strip the dinning room of the wallpaper already on the walls. I have also had new blinds fitted – Vertical blinds in ivory. Looks fantastic and fresh as you can see. I did take a photo of my blinds once they were up but, the picture was dark.
More up to date news, a new and local Transgender support group had its first two group meetings last month (May 2014). The group was set up by a dear friend Kate Hutchinson and called Trans Support Wrexham, and we meet up every third Sunday evening. The second meeting saw a couple of new members attend which was fantastic. It is surprising the number of transgender people there are in and around the Wrecsam area. Our third get together will be on the 15th June to plan ahead with the groups aims. The purpose of the group is give support to those who identify on the transgender spectrum; whether they are coming to terms with their gender identity through and beyond transition and, to support their loved ones and allies to understand what it means to be transgender. I am quite looking forward to our third meeting tomorrow (15th June), and to meeting new members.