Long Ago; Far Away

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    Will anyone recall me? Really, it's been so long since I last posted. So much has happened. 


    I last wrote in the fall of 2009 and it's now the spring of 2011. I am almost a different person.


    Perhaps the best news I can offer is that I have finally threaded the needle of transition and have scheduled my SRS in Montreal for January of 2012. Finally, it will happen. It was a trial to get here. It was in October 2007 that I stepped out into the world completely as Ann. It is fortunate that the rush one enjoys at finally taking that step blinds one to all the stares and comments. It was a tentative time but I was blissfully unaware of the impression I was making.


    Over the months and now years, I found myself -- or rather, I shed all of the insecurities of my former self and was left with this ephemeral feeling of normality. Actual, what I felt was the absence of 'wrongness' to my life. At 6' and nearly 200 lbs, I'm an attraction at the very minimum. Acceptance by others, though, came more from my growing comfort with self and acceptance of self. My confidence carries the day.


    Perhaps the greatest measure of success over the last 3-1/2 years is my ability to 'dress-down' now. And how ironic that I am most readily accepted in my neighbourhood when casual in jeans and a t-shirt. Slowly, I'm tossing my early attempts at attire. How right the truism that the difference between a transvestite and a transsexual is the comfort of her shoes. I'd  add clothes to that.


    This hasn't been without strain, however. With mother's passing I was at risk of being tossed from her house, where I had cared for her for 2-1/2 years by all of my siblings save one. My older brother is my hero. Nearly 18 months since her passing and I still fighting to take as my inheritance mother's house. It is safe and familiar. It is a claim to my former life that I cannot yet surrender. 


    I started back at school in the spring of 2010. The first courses went well but it was a challenge. The school tested me and discovered that I was, on top of everything else, ADHD. it actually felt good to know why I had struggled at school before. The help from the college has been wonderful.


    My first full academic year however was a bust. Emotionally, I just wasn't strong enough. The experience however was dazzling -- magic. I took a Women's Studies Course -- which I'd recommend to everyone. My new existence unfolded in this class in ways I couldn't have imagined. I made friends - albeit, young - who accepted and responded to me. My best incident came when helping a classmate with her essay in the college library. Looking very earnestly at me during a pause in our research she tentatively asked, "May I ask a personal question?"


    "Certainly." I replied, anticipating the topic


    "Given how hard it must be now, what made you decide to change from business to social work?"


    "Really?" I thought but didn't say aloud. How strange it is when one worries about one thing and finds that others cannot even see it.


    I was asked to make some presentations. I was happy to do so.


    I have applied to Social Work. I aspire to find a new career as a Social Worker or counsellor. We shall see.


    Slowly things are falling into place -- in ways unimagined. I am finding the nooks and crannies of my true personality. There is a new confidence of self that is emerging between the dying embers of uncertainty, self-doubt and even self-loathing. 


    Gender Dysphoria has left scars. I will continue to suffer depression through my life. But there is promise of a new kind and, yes, I can even say I'm happy.

  • Joanne Lee Welcome back Ann, Life is a struggle but you are doing fine
  • Rachel de Blanc Hello Anne What a life-affirming post. Pleased to read you are well. Rachel
  • Anna-Marie Trindall How could we EVER forget you Hon. Its nice to see you back.
  • wendy larsen Ann, I am finally catching up on my past 7 months and just read this. I am happy for you, and not the least surprised to hear how far you have come. I found that being "happy" gave me a benchmark for how unhappy I had been for most of my...  more