I don't usually wake up startled in the middle of the night, sit up in my bed in the stillness of a dark room and wonder why my heart is racing and my skin has broken out in a sweat. I can't say that I could recall exactly it was that I had been dreaming of either. I can say that it wasn't anything positive or uplifting. Far from it. This doesn't usually happen to me so what exactly happened?
Yesterday started out like any other day in recent times. I woke up, logged in to work and set out about my day. At some point, I found myself with some free time and so began to pick up where I left off with items associated with my name and gender marker change..... Another credit card company to call, another financial institution to correct some error on the new and present name I am proud owner of, another lawyer to contact about legalities that need to be synced up.
Usual stuff. Well, it seemed usual. In all truthfulness, everything has been wearing on me, and while I try to make light of it as I enjoy the amusing situations that occur as a result of my name and gender marker changing, it still becomes a tiresome melange of copies to make, faxes to send and mail to drop in a post box. This I can handle.
Then I find myself deluged by all sorts of negative waves as I hear about what transgender laws will be repealed and what rights of equality we will suddenly find ourselves without when Trump and Pence get into office. Again, I shrug this off with the realization that I have most of my paperwork completed and that I am in a better place than I am willing to admit to myself. Well, I try to shrug it off at least.
I've been intaking a lot of negative happenings to a lot of my friends and feel powerless to help directly. I'm an empath. I take other people's concerns as my own. I shouldn't always do that but this is what makes me.... me.
Back to work. Apparently when I took my training for the past year under my "Clark Kent" name, those courses did not translate over to my now current name. No way was I taking diversity training again at work. You would think I should have a degree in understanding diversity to begin with just being who I am. Wonderful.
Now to my passport. I've applied for a new passport and of course I had to send in my old passport along with the required documentation in order to receive one in my now current name and gender. For some odd reason, it bothers me greatly that I now no longer hold a passport and that I am pretty much locked in and unable to freely travel. I am also hopeful, yet concerned, to receive my passport prior to any changes being made making it difficult for a person such as myself to get one. Again, I file this worry under "P" for passport in my virtual vault and leave it be.
Next we have the doctors. I'm in the process of trying to get GCS on the radar and to do that, I need the help of my two therapists to write me letters to the surgeon recommending me for such a procedure. I called the doctor's office to find out if those had been received and no, they have not. I can't schedule a surgery without them and I need them just to get myself on the 6 month waiting list to have my turn come up. Now, to make this worse, they want a letter from my electrologist stating that I have been cleared prior to their making that appointment as well. I'm pretty close, but it's going to be a few more visits. More frustrations, more waiting and more time. File this one under "D" for doctors.
I didn't think I would have this much frustration with my current plumbing and if you asked me two years ago, I would have given you a nebulous and rather blase answer on the subject. Now, it can't seem to happen fast enough. It seems that living my life as a woman.... I mean really, really living it, has given me a perspective that I had not seen or been privy to earlier. I had some growing up and growing in to do. Now I have urgency and panic over this, but again, we just put this in a nice box and add some stoic duct tape to seal it shut. File it under "D" for dysphoria.
I try, in fact, to put all of my issues into nice neat boxes and wrap them up tightly. Compartmentalizing each objective has worked well in the past. Why shouldn't it now? I'll get to each of these in the order in which they were received. Would somebody please STOP ADDING MORE TASKS TO MY BOXES PLEASE?
They must not have got the memo. I keep getting more speedbumps and Jersey Barriers thrown at me. Still, I am doing better than most. That's what they all say. I should be happy with that. OK....sure. whatever. Hand me another placebo. That isn't working..... give me a prescription for Fukitol..... extra strength.
Now comes the thought of the holidays. I've been wished a Happy Thanksgiving by many. I really have no biological family left but take heart that I am not alone in this. I am blessed with many friends. A very few of the people who have been the closest to me in life have offered me the same salutations and hopes that I have a place to spend it, although I'm not really included in any of their gatherings. There are dysfunctional relatives that I could squeeze in with but I'm not sure how badly I want to listen to bickering and arguments for an entire day about trite and meaningless things. I can hide out in my basement at home never mind in someone else's house where I can spend the afternoon learning how to use their complex series of television and media remotes. Pass.
Then I get an email yesterday from the father of a family whose young pre-teen daughter has fully transitioned and who is now living stealth as her true self. I had met him only briefly in passing at a conference and exchanged contact information. We had spoken for perhaps no more than 5 minutes yet here he was offering me a place in his house for Thanksgiving dinner. How amazing is that? How ironic as well that someone I had just met saw something in me that those who have known me my entire life did not? I am told that I should be grateful, that I am loved yet here was the evidence of those sentiments made good by a near perfect stranger? I can tell you that I came close to tears last night and certainly did shed many this morning after waking in the middle of the night.
Let's top this entire menagerie of seemingly meager meanderings with the fact that I had been dealing with a constant sinus post nasal whatever for the past few weeks. It had gotten into my right ear and was causing pressure and an earache. Easy solution: decongestants. I don't like to take Pseudophed for countless reasons, one of which is the fact that it makes me, an already hyper person, just batshit crazy. Still, I needed to take something and the one medication that seemed to work well without making me more hyper than a squirrel on crack was phenylephrin. I popped one just before bed and I am quite sure it did exactly what I had hoped it would not, It was the catalyst to untie the duct tape bows that held in the contents of each of the little boxes for each of the fears I hold deep within.
I am told that I like to be in control. Of myself, yes. It certainly got me to where I am today and in a position that makes me independent to the degree that I am. I just wish I could sometimes let that go and just live in the moment. It's hard when those moments are all filled, all at once, with everything that needs to be done still and isn't. But it will..... I have to remember that. It's hard too, as strong as I say I am, to wake up at night in a room, in the dark, alone, and not have someone to give me a hug and to hold me and to just say, "Everything will be alright". That would be the best therapy I could have.