End of Act I

I find myself lacking a proper theme or any real news, indeed, but lest this blog be facing its permanent wind-down at any time I would rather it did not vanish without explanation.

Not that this is necessarily the case, but I think it may have a long hiatus, at least. Its purpose was always to give me a sense of progress during my transition, but of late that sense has been very elusive. The NHS has been silent, my self-prescribed meds are having little discernible effect (other than to give me very flaky nails), and after twenty hours of electrolysis I could probably still grow a full bushy beard if I had a mind to it. Oh, and my Facebook feed keeps chucking up articles on detransitioning, of all things. Sometimes it almost seems as if the universe is trying to send me a very unwelcome message…

Given the little progress I have made, If I stopped this now I could probably resume my former life in fairly short order. Not a remotely appealing prospect, but the wiser course may be to impose a delay. For it seems I am faced with having to choose between trying to continue transition on my own terms, paying for treatments and medication and so forth, or investing the money into a college course instead and putting my DIY transition “on hold.” Not an easy decision. Work has been grim of late, with some embarrassing episodes of anxiety to liven the tedium. Finding a job better suited to me will be no easy task – introverted transwomen with useless PhDs and four years’ work history of sorting mail (and not much else) are only of so much use in a modern workforce – so further study would be highly advisable if I don’t want to be stuck there the rest of my life. But ending my ongoing transition-related expenses would be a hard sacrifice to make.

In the interests of rebuilding my morale and clearing my head, I am planning to spend much less time on the internet. I’ll keep a fairly regular check on my email, so please feel free to contact me, but social media and blogging will be joining wine on my Lenten abstinence list. Hopefully this will also give me the impetus to start writing again, which also raises my spirits (as long as I am not writing about trans topics). Hopefully this will not be the end, so much as it is just a rather downbeat close to Act I…

20 thoughts on “End of Act I

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  1. I hit like because I like reading your blog and then I thought…don’t hit like…this is not something to like. SO..I like that you wrote but I don’t like how you’re feeling.

    I completely understand stepping back from the internet. I will miss you, but I will write. 🙂
    As for your dilemma, I wish I had useful advice. Going back to school is always a good thing in my opinion, but to sacrifice your progress, well that doesn’t seem like a healthy choice. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. I can feel your frustration and it makes me want to help. I wish I could.
    I can offer a hug (long distance) and a reminder that I’m in your corner, hoping that some how this works itself out and your progress can continue. ❤
    I can offer one bit of advice. Maybe add anyone offering up 'detransitioning articles' to your
    Lenten abstinence list. I just can't fathom why anyone would do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am mulling over alternative options. I may find something I can volunteer for that has the prospect of becoming a more appealing job, but that will take some careful research. I have volunteered before only for it to lead nowhere, and my time is currently too precious for me to be selfless with it, sadly.

      The hug is most welcome, and I do feel cheered up by your warmth and kindness. 🙂 I’m expecting things will pick up, but until they do I will be rather socially withdrawn, though hopefully creative at the same time.

      Re: the detransition articles. They were shared on a social feed for various people, and were certainly not a personal attack. But having said that the general mess of trans politics is certainly wearing on me as well, and I will take your advice to heart. I feel I have nothing positive to contribute at the moment, so a long (and possibly permanent) rest from that subject will also be welcome…


  2. It sounds like everything is shit and I’m really sorry that things are not going well. You need to do what you need to do for your well-being but stopping your progress does not sound like the avenue that would benefit your well-being. The universe knows nothing – the detransition articles are all products of society discourse rather than a personal sign although given the context of events I can see how it would feel that way. Now is the time to write. I love reading your blog and appreciate your honesty in writing. Sending you positive feelings and hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holistically shit, certainly. 😦 I work in an unsuitable job (very alpha-male environment) with people who trigger me because that is the only way I can afford to pay for my transition expenses, but I will never save enough that way to actually pay for surgery, so unless the NHS does agree to help me (and it has not so far) this could be never-ending. Cal is in much the same boat, albeit from the opposite angle (surrounded by women in his place of work, who struggle to treat him as a man, or just don’t bother).

      Though of course I should rein in the self-pity by reminding myself of the many trans people who do not even have that degree of autonomy, and to whom the prospect of affording self-medication, binders, hair removal etc. is a hopeless dream. We are fortunate in comparison. I remember Cal even sending one of his spare binders to a trans man in America who could not even manage that expense.

      But writing will help, you are right. I think focusing on my unfinished novel will be better than writing on trans issues, though, until I better know what I want to say and bring to the wider table of trans politics. I would like to think one day I can be a productive voice, but right now it is very hard to see the struggle apart from our own particular plight. We cannot see the wood for the one massive tree we keep bumping into… Fiction writing is always good because it lifts me out of the mundane, and often gives me pleasant distractions and flights of fancy to hypnotise myself at work.

      Realistically, though, I need to think of a new job. My meds are definitely exacerbating my social anxiety, so rubbing shoulders with a bunch of sweaty, scowly, sweary blokes will only be sustainable for so long…


      1. It sounds like work is causing both Cal and you so much unneeded stress! I am frustrated for you that the NHS refuses to help out. It seems like fiction writing may help ease your mind a little until you find out what you want to say in relation to trans-politics and than might be a good choice for you at the moment. What kind of work would you move into?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ideally, something that actually involved writing, editing, journalism etc, but such jobs are scarcely common, and they would tend to go for an experienced person. There are some more plausible jobs that I would prefer – library work, entry-level admin, and suchlike jobs that are less “laddish” – but the problem is starting in those jobs I would be paid a lot less than I earn after four years at my current one. If I am working more hours for less money, it is really only worth doing if the job itself feels completely worth doing in and of itself, hence why I will probably try my plan B and see if I can find opportunities through volunteering.

        The NHS isn’t refusing as yet. Just making us sweat a lot. 😦 I do worry where things might head though, with Tory cutbacks. If it becomes impossible for anyone but those with the cash in hand to transition in the UK, I dread to think what our options will be.


  3. I am really sorry that life is tough for you both at the moment and that your transition progress seems to have come to a full stop. May I send you a big virtual hug?

    In the short time I’ve been blogging / transitioning you’ve been very supportive in your comments and I’ve gained some great advice/ information from your blog. Thank you for that. Indeed it was helpful to read that your mails are flaking and you put it down to the meds; my nails have started to do the same.

    IMHO it would be a shame to throw away the months of medication. We both know there is little physically to show for it….yet.

    Kindest wishes


    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, of course. I have laid in supplies for some months, so certainly not stopping yet. I really feel the need to do something about the job situation, but there may be cheaper options than college. There are just not many employers who train staff these days, it seems. They just expect you to arrive with the experience.

      More than happy if I could be of any help, and I am very happy to share virtual hugs with you, sister. 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry things are difficult and frustrating right now. It’s too bad that the NHS doesn’t seem to be able to fulfill its role when it comes to treating trans people (because I know you are not the only one wrestling with that).

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and feel very appreciative of the thoughtful comments you’ve left on mine. If taking a step back from the internet is what you need right now, then I hope it is a positive step that lets you bring other parts of your life into focus. But I also hope you are not giving up on things you want just because it feels hopeless right now – maybe think of it as finding a different path to where you want to be.

    You are clearly a person who is smart and thoughtful and caring, and has a lot to give to the world. I hope to see the finished product of your writing someday! In the meantime, take care. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Words of wisdom, and I will take that advice to heart. I don’t feel quite pushed into such a corner that I am ready to give up, but now does seem a good time to step back from the chaos a bit and try to focus on the things that build my energy rather than drain it (Politics drains it, and the internet never ceases to dredge it up…).

      And you are very right about the NHS: Cal and I have been luckier than some, even if we have no real help as yet. Work insurance would not have helped, as the policy Royal Mail offer would not cover such an unusual procedure. The narrowness of options can be rather discouraging. I wonder if I would have found things easier in the US (ironically, as we Brits do quite like to boast of our public healthcare).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love that, though I will of course be happy to wait until the craziness gives you some respite. I hope things are not too hectic. For an arguably intangible concept, gender sure has brought a lot of stress into our lives… xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Eleanor, I will miss you if you truly disappear for a while. But you’re in a hard place right now, and any decision that brings you more peace of mind is the right decisions.

    Whatever you decide, please make caring for yourself a very high priority. The world is hard and judgmental, and you must not let those judgments prevent you from fully being the lovely person you are. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m on and off, but trying not to spend too much time on social media. I think I am happy with the friends I have (lovely people that you are), and will keep within that circle without casting my words further afield. Getting into all sorts of weird debates has lost its appeal.

      Mainly it is about getting time to create, though. I know that writing in particular raises my spirits when I can see little hope on the horizon, and it is getting to that point where Cal and I are wondering if this journey will ever have an end.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just as I’m coming off my hiatus you decide to go on one. Bad timing for me. You have always been a great source of inspiration. I do hope you find a way to be true to yourself while coping with the roadblocks that have been thrown in your path. Sometimes transitioning is a process that can last for years. Just be true to yourself and know you are a special woman, no matter how difficult it is to believe sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been on and off sporadically, but really running out of things to post on myself, and finding the internet discouraging as often as it is encouraging. I definitely need to focus and reduce its role in my life. My coming out was supposed to be just that, and though there is a temptation to delay being more socially involved until my transition is more advanced, I must accept that it may never be or may, as you say, take years. No plans on disappearing completely, though. I would miss you too. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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