Lynn.

I don’t know whether to make this post to Lynn or about Lynn because this is a post I never wanted to write.

Lynn was my therapist and she passed away recently after having particularly aggressive cancer.

My world without Lynn is weird. There’s no other way to describe it. My world is missing something and I’m scared that it will never feel as full.

At Lynn’s funeral there was a reading of some sort that said that whatever Lynn was to us she still is. I get that, it’s not as though I’m ever going to forget her but it isn’t the same. I can’t text her when I need some instant reassurance and I can’t cry in her car watching Ted talks with her.

Lynn was the first person I came out as trans to and she was a constant supporter of mine. She challenged me, swore with me and gave me the confidence to start my transition.

It all sounds like trivial things written down but she saved my life and hers was cruelly taken from her.

She was relentlessly positive and remained so even when she must have been in agony. I know she must have been scared and in pain but she didn’t show it; she had a level of strength that was immeasurable.

In one of my early sessions she asked who I idolised. I’ll be adding her to my list.

It’s kind of ironic how she taught me so many coping strategies for life and yet she didn’t teach me how to cope without her.

I’m angry. I’m angry at the world. I’m angry at the people who don’t appreciate their lives and I’m angry at those who moan. I guess I’m angry with myself. 

She requested that “Bat out of hell” be played at her funeral and when I heard it a week ago on the radio I sat in my car and sobbed.

I cry little and often and normally alone. I’ve cried in restaurants and pubs and even at work on the bus.

If I try really hard I can still remember what her voice sounded like.

I’m upset for selfish reasons mostly. I feel sad that she’ll never see me transition fully and she won’t meet my children and she won’t see me grow into the man that she helped me be.

I just have to hope that she knows how much I valued her and that she knows that I’m alive today because of her. Because I am, I owe her my life and I’ll live it in a way that she’d be proud of.

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Reference points.

“I understand that, but that’s only a point of reference.” – a sentence that my therapist must say at least twice every time I meet her. 

Reference points might as well be called assumptions.

I assume a lot about people; mostly how they’ll react in a situation. Sometimes, I’m right. Very often, I’m wrong.

It is very easy to assume how a person will react to something based on past similar experiences.

The problem with assumptions is that they might hold you back or persuade you to do or say something. 

It also means that when you have a positive reference point and you experience something negative from that person it hurts rather a lot.

Say thank you more.

I hear a lot of people telling their tiny humans to “say thank you to the bus driver!” and they normally do. Whether it’s a quick thanks, a shy thanks or a bold, almost shouting thanks I always appreciate it.

We could all say thank you more.

Here are my current thank yous:

  1. Thank you to everyone who has stood by me recently. Notable thanks to close friends (that drunkenly ring me to tell me they love me), my mum, a couple of colleagues and my therapist.
  2. Thank you to every single person who works in any emergency service. Paramedics. PCSOs. Fire fighters. Coast guards. Mountain rescuers. Police officers. Don’t listen to what “The Sun” says. Have your cup of coffee in a public place; you deserve it. Every single day you leave your house not knowing what the day will bring or whether you’ll even return home. 
  3. Thank you to doctors and nurses and physiotherapists and porters and cleaners and receptionists in hospitals all over the world. The world simply would not exist without you.
  4. Thank you to my goddaughter who reminds me that happiness can be found at the top deck of a bus or at the bottom of a tub of poster paint.
  5. Thank you to the musicians who have managed to say all the things I can’t say and better.
  6. Thank you to my favourite poet who has changed my life beyond comprehension.

Say thank you more.

Foreshadowing.

Last night, I had a foreshadowing mindfuck dream.

In it, I confronted one of my biggest fears about one of my favourite people.

It was a mixture of painful truth and awful potential.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think dreams are our way of safely exploring things that we cannot process while we are awake. And my theory has never been more prevalent than now.

I don’t struggle with difficult conversations but I struggle to figure out the emotion surrounding them. I can get how I feel out there but then I can’t handle what happens next.

My therapist has told me that sometimes when the fantasy becomes a reality a terrible realisation sets in. All of a sudden, you have what you want and, even if it’s exactly how you had imagined it would be, it’s a shock. 

I am in shock and last night I dealt with that in dream form and today I’m dealing with the idea that I might finally have the opportunity to be happy.

Happiness is scary.

Lying to my therapist.

On Monday, I lied to my therapist. 

It was the first time I have intentionally lied to her in the hope that she wouldn’t think I’m a bad person. 

I realise this is flawed, and I shall list why now:

  • She is, as far as I know, pretty damn objective and I don’t think she’d judge me.
  • She doesn’t believe that people are “good” or “bad”; she understands the complexity of humans and knows that people are more than a three or four letter word.
  • Even if she did think I was “bad” she certainly wouldn’t tell me.

    Some people might say that it shows some disharmony between the two of us if I’m willing to lie to her but, instead, I’d suggest it shows disharmony within myself.

    I’ve just sent her a text telling her that I faced one of my fears this morning. I’ll face the rest of them next week.

    Fear.

    “Does that frighten you?”, my therapist asked me in our reflective time at the end of our session.

    “Yes.”, I replied; without even contemplating it.

    “Good. It should.”, was her response.

    Fear drives us forward.

    Today, I’m driving and I’ll be full of fear. I’m doing a rail replacement bus service in London and I’m terrified. I was talking to a colleague about it and he said “You get a buzz; the unknown roads, knowing you might get lost. It’ll spur you on!”. There was a hunger in his eyes.

    There are only flashing danger signs in mine.

    For me, fear is very social based. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough. Fear that someone will realise that I’m 23 and basically just winging it.

    You can’t wing London.

    2017. A year of great change.

    Happy new year everyone! This isn’t my first post of 2017 and it’s rather late on the whole “new year” front but it’s here!

    2016 was interesting, I’d say it was the most life changing year so far (more on that in another blog post).

    Today is blue Monday and I feel strangely positive about it. Rather aptly, I have a session with my therapist later and I’m excited to tell her what’s happening in my life.

    I don’t fall into the trap of thinking that my life will be revolutionised in the new year; I am annoyingly realistic. I doubt I’ll lose 5 stone, meet the love of my life or take more photos but that doesn’t mean that change won’t happen. It’s happening now, I already feel much better than I did this time last year.

    I can’t even remember this time last year really – without even noticing it, I think the depression has descended. 

    That’s how I like to picture depression; like a black cloud. Towards the end of last year I learned how to move out from under the black cloud and how to make the black cloud less detrimental.

    16 days into January and I feel changes are afoot. 2017 will be good, it’ll be a year to remember.