When it was first suggested that we get connected to the Internet I was highly resistant to the idea. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it if it was available and was unsure where it would lead. A lifetime of isolation that left me in a very strange dark place, but it was my dark place and that was the only place I knew. Finally I gave in and when we got connected with it was not long before I was searching the net the details of the subject which interested me, my friends thought I was searching for photography! Probably still do!
At first it was just nuts and bolts. Just trying to see how I fitted into the scheme of things, just trying to prove to myself that I had always been right and to see if there are any others like me out there. It took me a long time before I started to search out individuals and read their stories on their blogs. I certainly wasn't alone and as the months went on discovered all the things had felt and gone through has been similarly experienced in the by many more before. I felt bad about just reading the blogs and passing on, as much as I wanted to comment I just didn't feel justified and had no web presence with which to sign in. I had already spent many years slowly removing the all my facial hair and had long dressed only in women's clothes, but it was still just me saying to myself that nature had made a mistake. Finally I couldn't bear it any more, it wasn't right just to read the blogs and not join in. Without comments or dialogue they're just shouting into the dark and that's just as lonely as I had always been. My first comment was to someone called Caroline, what a curse, signed in as Carolinetoo and never looked back. I comment quite a lot, perhaps more than most, as I said before I think we need more dialogue, certainly more than we get on most blog posts. I just hope I don't comment too much!
Eventually I started a blog of my own but not until I had an orchiectomy and really felt I'd paid my dues to join the club. That procedure had not been as pain-free as I had hoped for, being originally botched and then having to be repaired as a weekend emergency. I didn't miss a heartbeat when asked for the final time if I was sure I wanted to commit myself to the operation and even knowing the pain I suffered I still would have said yes.
I thought that was as far as I would be able to go with surgery in my transition. Now the possibility of continuing to a future GRS operation has been dangled in front of me like carrot and I like carrots !
Blogs represent everything in life from the joyous to the depths of misery, just as my new options are offered the blogs I follow offer full descriptions of the pain and suffering possible after a GRS operation. Others are contemplating some of the many procedures which help us in our transition and are understandably apprehensive. Pain and suffering is bad enough when you have no choice but here we are asking for it! To outsiders it must seem crazy but it gives us a small chance to live something close to a real life, there is little choice and it's a very small price to pay. The descriptions of the pain and suffering are a salutary lesson that the choices are not ones to be taken lightly. Few of us are lucky enough to be able to afford these procedures or will live within countries and health systems which pay for some surgeries. To be one of the few who may benefit makes me immensely grateful and privileged, all my worrying was done long ago and my hand will not shake on the consent form signing. I lived too many miserable decades of suffering alone to make the pain of the surgery pale into insignificance. I'm not going to start counting chickens, there is still too far to go but just being offered a glimmer of a chance to end my days living the way I should have lived has raised my spirits immensely.
Until this possibility was offered I would have said that I was alright living the way I am and was comfortably resigned to that fact, only now being told that it's actually within reach and opened my mind to the possibility do I fully realise just how much it would mean.
In this topsy-turvy world we live in the powers that be have paid no attention to all the research which has shown the amazing cost effectiveness of the surgeries helping members of the trans.a community lead productive lives, it is just a shame that this opportunity has arisen four decades after I first sought help. That is all passed, all I can live now is the future, it is a strange new experience for me looking forward and I'm starting to enjoy it.