Yes, I know, it's ages since I've blogged but as you can see I'm back (at last). It seems silly to offer one but I guess I owe you all an explanation. You're an audience. I told you about my life so far. Up till now, aspects of love' (I'm not talking Lloyd Webber here) have featured only a little but in the next 'act' that's about to change. I've been more honest about my past and life than I ever thought I could be or maybe should be? Then my life came to a crescendo, there was Gender Reassignment Surgery, the house tab came down for the interval and I guess or wonder if you've been waiting there for the next act......no, you wouldn't wait that long....you have a life to live LOL. But on the off chance that there's anyone left in the house still eating popcorn or ice cream, here's what's happened. Given that there's been an awfully lot happening, this is kinda like 'so that's what you missed on Glee!' Apologies to those who don't watch that maddeningly addictive series!
Surgery has changed so much; way more than I imagined. I had somehow persuaded myself that it would change very little really; a matter of dotting 'i's' and crossing 't's': Indeed my therapist had said the same. "If by the time you approach the eve of your GRS you aren't psychologically a woman...rearranging a few bits of anatomy will do nothing" summed up what he had to say. I have been living and working as a Mom and as a woman' for the last seven years. 'As'?...no that's stupid....I had just finally been given the chance to be myself for the last seven, almost eight years. When you get to that point, what is there that's so different? One doctor (my ex-endocrinologist!) even asked (referring to surgery) 'Do you really need to do this? There can be so many problems!' Small wonder that I wasn't prepared for the huge changes that GRS DID bring. I genuinely saw none of this coming and I'm not quite sure why.
So what was so surprising and new? I'm sure that you don't want to know about my experiences of surgery itself....anaesthesia, haemorrhaging, compression bandages, morphine, analgesia, catheters, messiness, pain and all that. There's little point in telling you about procedures, about post operative healing and learning how to pee again...so many have written about it and what to expect if you too are transitioning. No, 'life changing' came in the form of new and changed relationships. Surgery and your hospital stay are relatively short but if you're like me you will leave with a whole new bunch of friends as well as your dilators, a few packs of lube and your discharge instructions. Finding yourself back home with 3x daily dilations and cleaning up to do can be so lonely. It's nice to have visitors and someone to chat to. I longed for them. I didn't expect what happened next.
Martin was someone I'd known since December 13 2012; a Facebook friend. We'd met after introducing ourselves online. There is a twist to this story but I'll leave that till later (pause while the curious go to check for another blog post - sorry it hasn't been posted yet!). On that lovely 13th day, Martin and I shared lunch at a seaside coffee shop not far from where I work. We kept in touch over the Winter about my impending GRS in Spring this year. Fast forward to April 16 this year and there I was spending the first two pain ridden pre-op weeks at my sister's house doing what seemed like a never ending round of dilations. When, in my first few weeks back home, he arrived bearing flowers at my apartment one morning, I was so pleased. He stayed for what seemed like hours and I loved his company. He was so understanding, so interested in what I'd been through, so supportive. I sat on the sofa and couldn't take my eyes off him, just couldn't look away. Entranced by those lovely brown eyes; I felt like I wanted him to stay forever; I desperately wanted to see more of him: I just had to.
Over the coming weeks and months, not only did I see more of him but it was quite clear that we both wanted to spend more time with each other. We had a long hot summer reaching out in front of us but I was still seeing others. In those initial weeks we had emphasised a really open relationship; friends with benefits, a refusal to trap each other into a closed love affair. Who was I kidding really? myself primarily I suspect. At the time I was still talking to potential dates, flirting online, saying I would date others, texting, sexting wanting to at last find out what it was like to be out there. It was a little scary. No it was REALLY scary. Predictably some of the guys I went out with at first (yes I was still doing this while I was recovering and healing, was I mad?) wanted only one thing (I was in no position to give anything of the sort!) Some people are so desperate for 'it' I suppose. I guess that I really needed to ask myself why they were single!
It was only when I set off one weekend for a date with someone else and faced with his expectation that I might sleep with him that I realised what an incredible mistake it would be. Waking up in a stranger's bed the following morning, having someone else touch me, suddenly felt really wrong and I realised then what I had chosen to ignore, that I wasn't actually finding out what was out there, I had already found it. I was head over heels in love even though I had told myself it was WAY too early for that!
Even when you can admit that you've fallen in love, it's so hard to tell someone isn't it? It works that way both for boys and girls; at least I think it does. It took a trip to Bruges, Belgium to bring up the 'L' word. Maybe it is being aware that the girl you are fond of is out on the North Sea, on a ship bound for Zeebrugge with a rapidly dwindling phone signal that concentrates a guys mind. I wouldn't know. What I do know is that getting a message from him telling me 'I love you' and realising that there might be very little time left to tell him you feel the same, concentrated my mind! Already so in love. I messaged that I loved him back from an upper berth in an outside cabin on board the 'Pride of York' car ferry.....it still remains an intensely romantic moment!
You can imagine the long hot summer of days on the beach, first kisses, warm sensual intimacy, lunch dates, romantic seashore walks with his arm around me, evening walks with lovely kisses, losing my virginity in rain soaked woodland with water cascading down on us. I hope you can because I'm not giving details. All these things and more lead to me realising that having GRS changes way more that just a few bits of anatomy. Love does change everything, especially the way in which you perceive your GRS. Before surgery, GRS had become an end point, now it seems like a beautiful beginning. GRS paved the way for a freedom to experience intimacy as a woman, to feel orgasm and sensuality as I had never felt it before. Maybe even more important it opened the way to experiencing love and emotion in a completely new way.
Fast forward now to December this year. December, the Solstice, Christmas, Hannukah; a time of miracles and wonders, of light that refuses to go out, of hope for the future; a time for gifts and new beginnings. I got my new beginning, my miracle and my precious gift. In December this year my love moved in with me and came home to stay. There are no more tearful goodbyes waving until his car disappears out of sight; no more desperate hugs feeling that I want him to go on holding me forever. Now all I have to do is reach out tenderly in the night and he's there by my side. I still find it hard to believe that it's really happening.