How’s things with you? Hopefully all rather good. It is – at least at the time of writing – the weekend and for some of us, that’s two days away from work. Time for you the Jones Massive to duck the treadmill of modern life and kick back into the slow lane. With luck, there’ll be a spot of lunch, a few walks in the park and if the weather stays good, maybe a bike-ride too. Yay for spring!
Cheer up, Mrs
This week saw the last of my anti-miserablist sessions, or as the NHS like to call it: CBT. The session was fairly brief, just a summary of what we’d talked about and a bit of the obligatory completion of a feedback form. Was it all worth it? Did it work? Well, I feel better than I did when I went in all those weeks ago, but I wonder in part if that’s the weather (sunny days, getting out more and getting ‘out’ more: Invasion, etc.). That doubt aside, some of the mental exercises and discussions around negative thinking did help.
About a week ago I was strolling along with the dog through the fields and I could feel myself start to slip. That familiar cloak of cold dread slipping over my shoulders, except this time it was different. As the negative thoughts of this’ll never work, this is crap ‘cos you failed, you won’t be able to go, etc rattled through me, there was a somewhat cheeky internal shout of knickers!
Okay, it was more a word along the lines of bullocks, but the point remains the same. 😉 The negativity was truly derailed and instead, I found myself looking at the darkness and dismissing it. No, I hadn’t messed things up – stuff would sort itself out at work. I didn’t fail at work, I just need to rethink things and not being able to go out? Again, not true: I hadn’t asked at that point and really, when has the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones said no?
So I shrugged the proverbial cloak off, let its cloying misery evaporate in the morning sun and when I walked back that way, there wasn’t a trace of it. As the late, great Mr Dury once sang: reasons to be cheerful.
Does that mean I’d give it my ringing endorsement as the one true way to go foward? No, not really. I think it’s about finding something that works for you and sticking with it. What I will say is this, don’t dismiss it – or another therapy – straight away, it might just be right for you.
A few weeks ago, Jessica Who dropped me an email asking if I’d be interested in doing a guest post for her (rather good) blog. I felt rather honoured, so after putting pen to paper – proverbially speaking – I sent off a couple of paragraphs around the word Tranny and why I’m trying to wean myself off using the word. Should you be interested, the post is here, but I strongly recommend you hang around a bit longer to read Jessica’s other posts.
Thursday night meant time for Chameleons and unusually for me, I was packed and ready to go. I arrived a little later than I would do usually, only to be sort of pounced on by a lady in a car. The lady – a lady lady, not a trans lady – was the make-up rep and had come along early to set up. I helped her take a few things in from the car – bless her, she’d brought stock along – and carrying heavy loads in heels? Well, I guess most of you reading this will know that can be tricky 😉 While Miss H was setting out the stall, I provided tea and popped upstairs to get changed. Bless her, she did offer to do my make-up first, but me being me, I don’t like to mix modes: I only wear slap when I’m cross-dressing.
A bit later on, I’m back downstairs: Miss H in killer heels and a mini, me in jeans. Trans people eh? When did we go respectable? 🙂 Everyone had gathered and in lieu of a volunteer – okay, I had done my foundation + powder – I was in the hot seat, while Miss H (Ed: she wasn’t a dominatrix, okay, Lynn’s just shortening her name. :-P) gave a very interesting and has on talk/demo about the benefits of applying make-up a certain way.
|Camping it up.|
I certainly learned a few things and the look was different to what I’d usually go for. Much as I liked it, two people said they preferred the way I did my own make-up, which made me feel good. I guess it’s tricky: making a woman up is one thing, making a man up like a woman is slightly different. We did talk about highlighters and I’m not sure highlight around the brow bone is a good idea when you’re trans. Please note I’m not saying Miss M did a bad job, no far from it, I wonder if in part people are used to seeing a person dressing / made-up a certain way and a big change is… well, quite a jump from what they are used to.
Midway through said make-over, a new girl – Emma (not this Emma) – called in. and Mrs Alison (another ‘H’) was kind enough to pop over, say hello and provide the obligatory welcoming cup of tea. I found out later that she’d got the bus in from town – despite it being diverted to the wrong road!. I had wondered when Emma would turn up, as she’d emailed the group the day before and again, gold star for bravery. Walking in to a busy group when you don’t know anyone: is that ever easy?
With the make-up demo over, folk started to mingle, chat and survey the products. I was off to the kitchen to top up of Miss H’s tea, only to find someone else waiting for me. (Ed: Nice to be popular :-P). This time it was a member of staff from a not-so-nearby prison. No, they weren’t looking for one of us to go back, more that they were asking for clothing donations. Some time ago, said lady had emailing the group saying that they had a male prisoner struggling with trans issues. With no lady clothes, he wasn’t in a good place mentally. Now, I’ll be honest and I did ponder this a bit. Part of me was wondering what he was in for and should I help? That part got squashed as I still think people should get the opportunity to change if they want to. Would it be moral of me to judge him based on assumptions? In the end, I thought if what we pass on makes one person feel better and maybe helps them go in the right direction, isn’t that a good thing? So I handed over a carrier bag of leggings, boots, some tights, bra, body shaper, a few tops, some nail varnish and a bracelet. Sadly, I’d already trimmed my wardrobe down pre-Xmas, so pickings were slim. Luckily, as said officer explained the situation, so a few people offered to pass items along too. All good stuff I hope!
After that busy spot, it was a case of catching up with folk and it was time for photos as per. A few folk disappeared to the pub, but as I was feeling tired and I had an early morning the next day, I politely declined. Bless her, Sandi mentioned that she’d sourced a proper photographic backdrop, so with a little luck – and some place to store it – the group’s shots may start looking a little more professional. Alison and I had a good long chat with Miss H and helped her pack away. I also saw our psychologist friend talking away to people – another H! 🙂 – so, I stopped off to say hi and had a bit of a laugh.
After getting changed ready for home, I bumped into Sue – the lady who helps run the Centre – and she let me know a little more about the timing issue we’d had with another group. That sounds like it is sorted out and dare I say it, that after talking with other folk, the problem seems to be down to just one or two people – certainly not the whole group. What was lovely to hear is Sue saying the owners are 100% behind us and the other group we see at the Centre – the Karate folk – said they’d never had a problem in the seven years we’ve been in. They’ve always been really good to us and we do our best to stay out of the way when the kids are going home; just to help parents duck any awkward questions from kids really. Not that there have been any. Everyone’s really cool about it.
[ Today’s lyric: Part of Me by Katy Perry ]