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All posts for the month May, 2015

Week 66 – Day 2 : Understanding me..

Published May 26, 2015 by Katier Scott

It was going to happen wasn’t it.. but missing one week in 66 wasn’t bad going and I have been on a weeks holiday so good excuse!

July, 2 years ago, a friend of mine moved in with me as a flat mate and from that point forward my life rapidly moved into fast forward. When I moved out from my ex and started living as ‘me’ I really only had one good friend, I so only, that’s probably not fair, the fact I had one is better than many people in my situation and the fact she’d stuck with me for 8 years so far is amazing. But the reason I mention it is the situation I now find myself in is a complete contrast.

2 years ago that changed, I started getting a social life, making friends, meeting people, that’s continued and snow balled. I now have friends, friends from the live music scene, from motorsport marshalling, from Live Action Roleplay, from Roller Derby and from other areas.

At time that’s become overwhelming for me, it’s not something I’m used to and more recently I realise that I’m having to learn about myself and understand social interaction quickly!!

I bet I’m not alone in finding that once the ‘burden’ of living the wrong gender is lifted you suddenly find a lot more about yourself than you imagine. So, as with a lot of people in this kind of situation, I’m learning a lot, fast. Fortunately I’m extroverted and have some very good friends, so being able to talk out feelings and be given constructive stuff in return has helped massively.

When I first started socialising I’d get very edgy, and worry if something went wrong, or someone’s reaction wasn’t what I expected, my older employment was a story of bad boss after bad boss, or good boss but bad luck, and when trying to socialise with the few people I could, I’d often not get anywhere, or be told I’m talking about myself too much.

While to a degree I am absolutely convinced I do talk way to much at times, and often a bit too much about myself, it seems to be much less of a problem than it has been. I think people find me interesting, or what I’m doing interesting so are willing to listen… which is a good thing because by and large I am TERRIBLE at small talk!! But more importantly I have a lot of friends with different passions so I can talk different subjects with different people.

But what I’m really learning is how to handle myself when it comes to my skills, my abilities and how I understand how to handle it. For example in Roller Derby I am doing better than I expected and most feedback is very positive, and not a false positive – if I’m doing something less well I get given constructive feedback. But that led to over-confidence and some cockiness, likewise within the LARP I do I’m realising that not only do I do a decent job, but I tend to overwork and wear myself out..

So what I’m learning and trying to improve, is essentially to control my eagerness, confidence and understand my strengths and weaknesses. That isn’t to say that being eager, and confident is bad, it’s not, but I’ve learnt it’s very easy for them to become negative if you become overconfident or talk simply way too much about a subject.

Roller Derby is the area that encompasses this best, due to how well I’m doing and how much I’m enjoying it I talk about it a LOT!! It’s incredibly easy, as a result, to respond to posts with enthusiasm rather than experience, and generally get over confident and if anything a bit cocky.

But, ironically, Roller Derby, LARP and courses at work have suddenly all combined and allowed me to start to understand where boundaries are, how to balance confidence and enthusiasm with experience and generally improve myself – and I think that for me it shows that becoming yourself is far more than just living as who you really are.. the weight it lifts means that suddenly you might be doing things with more confidence or more relaxed, might be socialising better because you can feel more comfortably socialising in circles that you feel attracted to and generally become more than just yourself in a new gender – your personality is possibly going to come out more, and learning or improving inter-personal skills is just another thing we have to learn quickly.

As with everything else in this crazy situation we’ve been placed, we don’t have many many years in which to hone ourselves, we are suddenly learning new interactions, new ways of dressing, skills such as makeup, how to interact as a different gender, and if that also throws you into new social circles, new adventures and new experiences it can easily get overwhelming but for me this journey is incredible, I continue to meet and make new friends, have met some fantastic new people and feel like I am a far better person than I was 2 years ago.

I’m still in many ways exactly the same person, and I like to think that my friends wouldn’t want me to change, but improving social interaction, and just yourself in my opinion is no bad thing.

Well that was a ramble and a half, I’m not sure if I completely hit the point I was intending but hopefully someone will understand what I’ve been trying to say, and naturally welcome any thoughts, comments, or questions.

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Week 64 – Day 7 : Making progress.

Published May 17, 2015 by Katier Scott

So what a week, as you know I’ve been treading water with a lot of stuff recently but while none of them are completely sorted there has been definite progress.

The book, Born a Woman, is now up to 5500 words and making slow, but steady progress. I’m going on a long train journey in a couple of weeks so plan on putting a few 1000 more words on the count during the trip, alongside steady progress in the intervening time. 10-12000 by the end of the month would be nice.

I finally made progress with the complaint with Porterbrook, I had a very pleasant phone call with the consultant who had been assigned my case, and he clearly agreed with my complaint. While he couldn’t commit to any decisions without talking to Porterbrook he agreed that the way Porterbrook had handled my transfer wasn’t correct and sounded extremely surprised that they refer to Leeds for the second opinion rather than simply trying to arrange the next available appointment. It sounded like his plan A is to find out which clinic can give me the earliest appointment and go from there, but he couldn’t commit to anything. At least it was a positive telephone call which kicked off, for me, a fantastic week.

I’m going in tomorrow to sort out my ID for my second job, so that’s great, means hopefully my financial position will improve soon, and remove a little stress. It’ll also mean I can start generating experience relevant to my future career as a Mental Health Nurse, speaking of which got my Occupational Health appointment for that on 1st June. Heard about that this week so that was good.

Roller Derby has also been positive this week, despite a poor performance on Weds I pulled it back, then enjoyed a fantastic skate with some of the league in the local park. I topped that off by, with the help of one of the experienced members of the team, choosing my derby name – Rita Skate Worth – which finished off a slightly crazy, but brilliant week.

As you can probably imagine I’m in quite a positive place now, next week I’m off LARPing although I have to confess not massively looking forward to it. The weather forecast is poor and I burnt myself out in the mud last event, so bit worried same might happen again.

Week 63 – Day 7 : Off Colour, but slight progress.

Published May 10, 2015 by Katier Scott

Had a bit of a cold all week which while it’s not stopped me doing anything, has definitely effected my energy levels and left my more tired than normal. As a result this weeks blog post almost got forgotten about.

Next week I have my third voice therapy appointment, and the first that is actually about voice… as I think I mentioned previously my therapist has this thing about posture and isn’t flexible enough to understand that not all girls worry about their presentation. These days I only ever really get misgendered/people get confused, is when I speak.. the way I carry myself and walk doesn’t seem to cause problems – so why worry about it.

So it’ll be interesting to see how it goes as I’ve done practically none of the excersizes she left me with, and not sorted a folder.. she won’t be pleased.

I’ve also chased up my official complaint with Porterbrook and found it was a good job I did!!

You might recall Porterbrook had told me they’d forwarded my complaint letter to the ‘correct people’.. turned out she didn’t get it. Her response has been very good though, she instantly got on with processing my complaint and promised to try to turn it round well within the 25 days they normally do.

They are already technically well over the 25 days, so the response was perfect, but it’s not their fault that they are late, Porterbrook for some reason decided to email the letter (rather than post it) and got the email address wrong!!

Anyway it’s good that their progress and hopefully I’ll get to speak to the person my complaint is being handled by very soon.

Week 62 – Day 7 : Life’s not slowing up!!

Published May 3, 2015 by Katier Scott

Wow  I think this is the latest post but the last week has been pretty busy. That busy I completely forgot to get my latest blood test done, so NEED to get that sorted next week before I run out of hormones. That said my GP would do a repeat as I’ve been on this dose of 6mg for a while but still a chance it’ll go to 8 at some point.

Blood test should also include some immunity tests for my nursing which saves the NHS doing them a second blood test, bundle the two into one.

My new job still isn’t sorted, but it’s making progress. The company I’ll be working for started a new ‘recruitment’ office which included I think a lot of new staff so it’s been tricky at times as I get the impression there has been some communication issues between departments within that office. For example one person told me via email they couldn’t contact the manager of the regional office I’ll be working with, I got a bit frustrated so contact the girl who’s my ‘point of contact’ at the recruitment centre and she sorted everything she could.. in about an hour!!

But the company seem to be a company who do actually care for their employee’s (important in the job I’ll be doing) and the DBS problems aren’t their fault so I’m just about keeping my patience.

This week has also been filled with Roller Derby which will be mainly covered in my other blog but that was really enjoyable but I’ll pay for it tomorrow!!

My next Voice Therapy appointment is next week which will be the third appointment and first proper appointment aimed at voice rather than posture. I’ve found the posture stuff very frustrating because I feel she’s telling me I ‘NEED’ to do ‘xyz’ to be a woman.. given I rarely get seen as anything other than a woman (until I speak) I never feel like the way I walk and carry myself is an issue. Some bits are general ‘good’ practice so don’t mind those but I did feel she pushed that side a bit too heavily. Didn’t adapt to a girl who actually doesn’t have issues in public, just wants to improve her voice mainly related to telephone and similar, although in public will be much appreciated.

Ironically these last two weeks my voice has been BAD.. I strained it badly cheering on Wolverhampton Honour Rollers in their epic win then followed it up with a cold which left my voice in a bad way. It’s starting to feel much better today though :).