Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Partial Answers To My Paranoid Questions

Just dropping in a clarification here.  When I wrote up the last blog, I forgot that outside the United States a "truck" means a really big truck.  Some comments referred to a trucker, and Mandy mentioned one as well in an email and it reminded me!  Here, what is called a baki or a pick up in the rest of the world passes as a truck.  The "truck" in question was just a full size pickup.  For the record. :P

My presentation and physical appearance has shifted a lot this year.  The fact that its all possible, I haven't lost my job as a result, and that most people in my community still treat me well feels nothing short of miraculous.  Sometimes its almost to hard to believe.  In part due to that disbelief, my lifelong inferiority and insecurities are still there, festering beneath he confidence that has grown as I've begun to assert myself and open up to the world.

At one point my insecurities literally ruled my existence.  Now weaker, they do not rule my life, but the insecurities to exert their own subtle influence.  Like, the baby I was afraid to talk to the other day, because I assumed the grandmother viewed me as some kind of weirdo.  I've just always felt inferior, and like my presence is burdensome, and though those feelings are weakening, they still surface at odd times.

Mostly though, it just takes the form of questions whispering through my mind when I'm in the presence of other people.  What do they think I am?  Do they hate me? Are they disgusted by me?  Do I look like a girl? Do I look like a guy?  Do I look like a joke?

I've had lots of encouragement lately.  All my friends tell me I look okay, and not at all male.  There are signs that lots of people here support me,and fairly neutral reactions from most, but the questions are still there.

Monday I got a text message from a friend.  He had overheard a conversation about me.  Basically he said that the consensus in this group was that I was turning out to be a very pretty woman.  He said no one was laughing or joking, and basically that the tone was light and conversational.

My friend has a lot going on right now, and I'm touched that he took the time to write it up.  He knew I wondered where I stand with the people around me at this point and realized this conversation would be a comfort to me.

The opinions of normal people talking privately without any reason to sugarcoat anything.  From the things he mentioned, it seems common knowledge that I am transitioning, the physical changes were evident to the people in this conversation, and at least this particular group seemed to have no problem with what I am doing.  All very reassuring! =)

If AT&T had delivered that message Monday instead of Thursday, maybe I would have felt less stressed all week. But that's okay.  I had quite possibly my last laser appointment Friday and I'm looking a bit rough.  I can use all the extra confidence I can find this week so the message is very timely.

If things continue as they are, September will be the month of my name change and officially coming out at work.  I anticipate very little trouble with the process now.  Everyone already knows, and I'm mostly already presenting right.  As I said in an earlier post, this really amounts now to a change of pronouns and shoes. On top of that, apparently it is a change people are already expecting.  It's still going to be scary, but nothing like I used to imagine.

I think I am more proud of this community than I have ever felt in my life.  So many people have been so sweet and supportive.  Some subtly so, and others more direct.  Here I am in the middle of a highly controversial process that mostly people haven't had a reason to think about here.   But for the most part they have made me feel at home.  (With the exception of a few certain students.)

I'm just feeling so happy and grateful to everyone right now. :)


Leslie Ann said...

The nice thing about students is they will move on eventually, and soon you will have a student body that only knows you this way. You just have to endure a few years with the idiots.

Amy K. said...

Wow! September? That's practically here! I'm so excited for you. I can't wait to read all about it. :) :)

Wishing you the best as always,


Rachel said...

*Chuckle* I did visualize the driver doing two u-turns, on a side road, in an 18 wheeler. I thought that it showed an extreme amount of determination on his part to talk to you. Also, by the time he had completed the manoeuvres you could have probably been all the way to Wendy's and have finished your lunch :-)

Glad you hear your are feeling acceptance in your local community.


Two Auntees said...

Since all I can judge you on is your pictures, I would never say that you look something other than a woman and your friends who support you are awesome indeed. Just enjoy the sunshine dear and keep smiling cause your face is shining.


ms.shandy said...

@Leslie You areright on the students. Most of them are okay even now though. Just a few girls that insist on giggling and some guys who seem to feel obligated to say something about me to prove they are straight. LOL!

@Amy Yip, practically here. It will probably happen near the end of the month. Maybe into October, but hopefully before the close of September.

@Rachel If he were determined enough to do a U-turn in an 18 wheeler, I think I would have been even more afraid, and probably would have just ran full speed off into the wooded area beside the highway and cut through the forest to Wendy's. :P

@Sarah Thank you! Confidence doesn't come easily to me, but it is building. Ssssssllllllloooooowwwwwllllyyyyyy. Hehe!

Robin said...

I think Leslie has basically noted what I've been telling you all along. Kids will seek out ways to be assholes in front of their friends. In a matter of 4 years (well, 6 if you include the middle school) they will be out of here, and a brand new generation of students that know you as the real you will move in.

But I'm so thrilled! I can't wait to take you shopping for your coming-out outfit. :P

Stace said...

In the last 2 days I've spent maybe 12 hours catching up on blogs that have been written whilst I was away on holiday. I can't tell you how glad I am that this one didn't slip through the net (12 hours of clicking can do that to someone).

The text sent by your friend put tears in my eyes. What a wonderful text to receive... Good lock in September, though I doubt you'll need it :)


BTW As with Rachel I saw an 18 wheeler, 32 tonner artic (semi?) when you said in your last post. From what my dad has said a U turn isn't something that I would try in a hurry :)

ms.shandy said...

Thanks Robin. We'll have to go figure out that outfit soon. I'm already moving on forward you know? :P

@Stace That was such a great feeling getting that text. It was so comforting. :)

The semi thing is so funny to imagine. I really doubt I'm worth the trouble of turning one of those.

Mandy said...

I've forgotten my login! Too funny...about the truck and the 'bakkie' as we call them :) you are looking amazing and I love you :)