Last Thursday as I was planning my day I knew that that evening I had an appointment with my therapist. I made plans to drop by an Amazon locker to pick up a new top and told some people that I was nervously thinking of putting it on in his restroom and surprising him in our meeting. At lunch I read some encouragement from Veronica, Bree, and I think others, which just felt wonderful. After, as I walked to get a cup of coffee I suddenly realized I was smiling. I felt so wonderful to contemplate that evening and to receive everyone's encouragement. Thank you!
Now as it turned out I hit traffic on the way there and was kind of in a rush. I dashed into the restroom, tried it on, and felt that it was too small - I should have ordered the larger size. But I tried it on today and it is maybe a little small but I think it's okay. I took my photo wearing it along with the leggings I bought last weekend. It feels really good to be wearing it now as I write this. (BTW: I bought those tulips in the photo for my wife to surprise her for Valentine's. Score!)
At my therapist appointment we had a nice conversation but I complained that although I'm feeling better these days I still find myself questioning my being transgender. It's as if a part of my brain is stubbornly refusing to let go and I keep on running through a rather long list of history and experiences that make it so obvious that I am trans. His advice? Stop thinking, and appreciate the fact that Emma is a huge and lovely part of me. Learn to love her and live by following my feelings more than my thoughts. I think that is good advice and I'm really working on it.
I'm also reading a book called "Who's Really From Venus?" by Peggy Rudd and really liking it. It's basically a book about how to live with yourself as well as a partner when you are transgender. She has a lot of experience with this, as her spouse is trans. I am about halfway through it now and am at a place where she talks about how to cope with yourself. Here's what she provides as coping skills:
- Learn to deal with problems successfully.
- Define the problem and seek solutions, possibly with the help or input from others.
- Handle or dissipate the fears and hurts of life in a constructive manner.
- Recognize yourself as unique.
- Realize your potential for true inner strength.
- Develop the ability to move forward in spite of the lack of acceptance.
- Keep learning from all experiences, both positive and negative.
I think that is terrific advice and the third one is probably the toughest for me. She also writes:
Even if it takes years to find a comfort zone with your own identity, you must keep searching. Acceptance from others will follow. At some time we may need to have the forgiveness of others, but of greater importance is the forgiveness we owe ourselves. Love is not about keeping old wounds open. Love is about healing wounds. It is about moving forward and learning from past mistakes. It is about getting on with life.
We do owe ourselves forgiveness and space to be ourselves. We are all wonderful and loving people who just want to be... ourselves.
As an aside in case you read her book there is one thing I have a concern with. She writes everything about "crossdressers" instead of "transgender people." I think that is an important point since I really don't see myself as being all about the clothing whatsoever. It's much deeper than that. Maybe she, given that she is cisgender, doesn't discern the difference or the sensitivity to that word. (Or maybe I'm making too much of a deal out it.) Anyway, I love the book regardless.
Be well, and with warm hugs,