Everyday Dream

I found myself on a serene beach along the Atlantic Ocean coast line with the low weak autumn sun. The water was a sea of deep greens that felt like the depths of a dream and dark ocean blues further toward the horizon. Golden sands stretching along the edges of jagged dark rocks that bordered the coast and fresh white topped waves rolling in. Only this wasn’t a dream. This was a real day that felt so perfect that it felt unreal.

I would have stayed if it wasn’t for a final train to take me home. I have conflict for these places. I think for a moment, imagine living here. Why do I live where I live rather than this place that seems so perfect that I could visit every morning with a hot drink and take in that oxygen rich o-zone thick air to refresh me for the day. The thing is the reality of an everyday dream isn’t the same as that day I had, near alone on a wild beach with little in the way of other people and a sunset waiting each day.

The reality down there is being in-the-sticks. A few hours drive from family. More hours from friends and every day isn’t like that day. The rain and wind soon drive in hard from the ocean through the winter. House prices higher that affordable and jobs to pay for it rare. Trans-life is much the same. Miles from the serenity of a day trip and on top of it the hard poisonous injection of transphobes from time to time.

It’s not like I’ve forgotten about my gender thing or put it away or decided to kill it off forever. It’s there but life has got in the way. Work has been so non stop that I’ve had little and, more recently, less time for other things and other people. There hasn’t been a job I’ve stayed in as long as this one where I work the odd weekend and not felt hard-done by and sometimes hours into my own time, midnight being the current record where I had to close the work-at-home conversation on the headset to a close for fear of waking my neighbours and that coupled with annual leave not taken. But the importance of what I do means so much that I keep going through all the tiredness, anger and tears. But I’m so tired and look haggard in my face.

I’ve recently met a couple of people online in the trans-community and yet I barely feel I have enough time to even keep in touch. I’ve missed multiple meet ups at the running events I was doing pre-Covid and drinks with friends have been pushed back weeks on end simply because by each Friday I feel totally fried.

On top of this, where people I work with or friends and acquaintances are mostly married by now and settled, and where I don’t want to be so comfortably settled that I would feel stagnant, I feel like I’m living some part of a twenty-something as a forty-something.

I thought this week, and well – multiple other times since being discharged by the gender clinic – that may be I’d let myself down. I’d made so much progress over so many years going through the system from counsellor, psychiatrist, phycologist and all the way to a gender clinic in London, some 300 mile round trip each time for a psychiatrist specialising in gender dysphoria and to just fall off the edge of the cliff with it all.

But then I really thought about this, and while my indecision is in many way my downfall, much like the saying that there is no such thing as a bad student but only a bad teacher, that these specialists have fallen short of their ability to help me and allowed me to fall through the cracks in the system. A system with a waiting list that is now measured in years rather than months. The whole thing was really appalling.

Even though my days are spent a lot of the time in a work, eat, sleep pattern with the odd day break to one of those serene places like the beach on the wild coast, I realised that some of the things I’ve previously made progress with, such as the way I wear my hair in every day situations that I wouldn’t have dreamt of in the past or sneaking on that layer of clear nail varnish, are daily things I actually take for granted now – and isn’t it when we take those things for granted that we once longed for – everything about living that female life, much like living along side that beach even in the winter.

Until next time.

Hannah x

3 thoughts on “Everyday Dream

  1. I don’t disagree with your appraisal of the system Hannah. That’s not to say it doesn’t work it’s just not as flexible as it probably needs to be. Discharging people seems to be more about metrics than satisfying the patients long term needs.
    Even if you match the expectations in terms of the time for getting from A to B, the discharge can be sudden and the follow up support next to non existent. In the end you have to support yourself through friends and family, local services and through mindfulness as you describe so eloquently in these blogs of yours.
    In the end if you are happy then you are doing the right thing for you.


    • Yes, absolutely. I think the gender clinics are there was checking the boxes. If you’re ready and raring to go then it’s perfect (other than waiting times), but if you need exploratory psychology then they are not the place. My real moan, and that’s all this is a little moan, is that they don’t respond to communications. It’s a little frustrating and I can imagine extremely risky for those who might be on the edge. That said, there are things that can be done outside of the gender clinic. Hopefully this is the end of my moan of the GIC. I hate writing about gender politics.
      Hope you’re keeping well Debbie.

  2. I can’t imagine how hard it is to take the next step if you aren’t ready or even sure if that’s a step you want to take, it’s hard enough when you are.
    Hope you can get some support locally if you need it.

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