A howl of delight tonight!

Ohoyo, an alpha female howling

What a fantastic week it’s been so far! The best news has to be that yesterday’s initial screening appointment with my local secondary care mental health workers went better than I could have imagined. They were empathic and real and utterly respectful of how I am feeling.

They asked me a bit of background as to how I came to be at this point in my life so I shared a potted version of my story with them. After a few questions about my where I was at with my depression right now I was able to explain that now my core sense of ‘wrongness’ is on the way to being put right and I can be happy in my bigendered male identity the depression has lifted. They listened attentively and scribbled some notes and following checking out with me that I was not a risk to myself or others, had a quick consultation themselves and came back with a psychiatric assessment appointment for 23 December!!!!

I had expected to get an appointment for late January if I was lucky so you can imagine how happy I was to get this in before Xmas. If I had a tail it would be looping great circles around my arse, wagging my whole body by now! I couldn’t stop an excited whoop of delight as I thanked these wonderful frontline mental health workers for understanding quite how much this meant to me.

So only two weeks to wait until my referral to the Gender Identity Clinic. The workers felt I’d only need the one session with the shrink as I am completely rational about my choices and have good cognitive functioning so at least those boxes can be ticked. So assuming I don’t come away from the appointment with a hitherto undiagnosed serious mental health problem (I don’t count the depression because although it is serious there’s been good reason why I’ve experienced this all my life), then I hope to be on the waiting list for the GIC by the end of this year, Xmas-post willing! I don’t yet know how long the wait will be from then but somewhere I think I’ve read that the ‘target’ time is no longer than three months which will give until the end of March 2010 to get to go to the Charing Cross hospital in London for the first time.

Today too I went to see my GP and I got signed fit to return to work. Woohoo! Tomorrow an Occy Health appointment and then the council wheels can kick into motion so I can get back to work pronto as I want to use the Xmas period to start my phased return. I went to our Xmas lunch at work yesterday too and everyone who knows so far are being wonderful. I told a couple of new people which went well. I think I’ll do an email or something when I get back so I can get round everyone without anyone feeling like they’ve been left out of the loop. The next big thing will be preparing for the reactions of the young people I work with as I begin to morph more into a visible he. I am expecting some corkers at some point I know. What I love about working with young people is their honest directness when faced with something they have not met before. I have never had problems with being an out lesbian prior to transitioning, so I expect to be able to deal with it as it comes up in a natural and respectful way. I’d be really keen to hear from others about experiences of transitioning when you work with vulnerable clients – if anyone out there has experience of this then please do let me know.

The other howls of delight come from how happy my she-wolf Rubi makes me when she talked about ‘his’ when referring to me in a conversation with a friend of her’s, and how happy my brother made me feel when he called me his brother the other night. You’re both stars, my lover and my brother and I love you dearly.

Every day there is something new and growthful….I can’t wait for the next full moon so we can have a really great group howl for trans-folk and their families and friends everywhere 🙂

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About Sam Feeney

I am a counsellor, trainer and LGBTQI community activist. I write about my journey through life as a someone who lives and breathes gender and sexual difference and who cares passionately about creating powerful and sustainable radical social and political change.
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