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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Further Along...Thanksgiving 2012

Well, the holiday season begins and I find myself with so many things rapidly changing, some happy, some not so happy at the moment, but I'm feeling and though life is changing rapidly, far more rapidly than I'm used to, I also have a sense of peace that everything is going to be alright.

Since last Friday, so many things have been happening. My supervisor is now aware of my gender identity, though we have not had a chance to talk about my transitioning yet. That will happen next week, unless the events that have followed since interrupt that time line.

My father became gravely ill Friday night/ Saturday morning and my mother is having a difficult time, so I have had to become the primary contact and take the initiative in making some important decisions about his care and honoring his wishes about how he wants to live out the end of his life. I asked for the hospice team to come to assess him for end of life care and with their input we will make some decisions as a family to respect what my father wants and make him comfortable.

Yesterday, my Patty became ill and needed to be hospitalized. The saving grace is they are both in the same hospital where I work and this makes it much easier for me to take care of everyone involved in my family.

I thought I would never be able to handle any of this, yet I have had several talks with my father about his life ending in the future that he initiated and have been able to do this with a calming grace that I would have never expected to possess at this time.

My mother brought up my gender identity for the first time since finding out about me by accident in June. She was quite upset at the time, as was I and it has been something that she has not spoken of since finding out until now. My father’s illness has created a place where she is able to start to talk to me about this, something I have longed for since she found out. No child wants to think their mother or father is ashamed of them.

I heard that the word “Crisis” in Chinese also means “opportunity”. I believe strongly in God and believe that He is putting all kinds of opportunities in my life right now and giving me a strength I didn’t know I had to cope with all these changes that are happening right now.

Yesterday, I sent in the form to Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles to change the gender marker on my driver’s license to Female, and will get that changed next week.  So I was very happy about that. Soon I will have a new picture and the right gender marker on my license!! YAY!!!!!!

This morning another friend who didn’t know about me was told and she was very supportive. I had accidentally outed myself to her and didn’t realize who I was emailing because I was half asleep. I didn’t panic though. I called her up and talked with her. She’s very happy for me and it worked out just as God intended.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, because it draws me in to a reflective place to remember that I have so much when I know so many who are struggling in many many ways and don’t have the blessings that have been freely granted to me.

I’m thankful for the strength to deal with the illnesses in my family. I’m thankful that I have friends and coworkers who are supportive and I have a therapist who is also supportive of me.

I’m thankful for my church family who love me and care about me and all the other friends over the years who have been my family as much or more than my birth family.

I’m thankful for my good health and that the few health problems I have are relatively small.

I’m especially thankful for a career that has allowed me to help others as I get ready to complete my 40th year in health and human services. I have had the opportunity to help children, adolescents, adults and the elderly in a wide variety of settings both in hospitals and in the community. I’ve always felt that service to others was my purpose for being here in this life.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to have given homes to so many different kinds of pets who have given me so much love, especially during the times when I felt like no one loved me or cared about me and I was lonely.

I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to speak to a wide variety of audiences on transsexual issues and have found my talks to always have been well received by the people I’ve talked to and found acceptance where I didn’t expect to find any, and that has always been a joyful experience.

I’m thankful to live in a very beautiful place in the country where I can look up at the mountains that have brought me comfort most of my life.

I’m thankful for having been able to receive an excellent education, something that not everyone has access to, and that I was able to use that education to help others.

 I’m also thankful that I have this forum to reach other people to share my life, to let them know that even though I am a therapist, when it comes to dealing with my own gender issues, the stresses, losses and joys are the same for me just as everyone else and I hope that this blog helps others to navigate their own unique path on finding a place in their own gender identity that brings them peace and happiness.

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