Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Eight months on, postscript. Joy at the end of the rainbow...

Long ago now my blog started on my favourite beach. A place where I had felt most comfortable with myself and was able to be free of the tyranny of gendered clothing, to be free of society and close to nature. Brief respites from a life where I had been miss cast, a life spent hiding behind a barricade of facial hair, a life where I had preferred to hide away. After any public success I hid deeper with the self hatred that the false me was gaining credit and the real me would be forever invisible.

There is a certain irony that I could feel most comfortable when totally exposed. What others could see clearly from my perspective could not be seen, we see little of our own bodies without making a conscious effort so it was easy to dream…

My blog started when I had made a physical change by undergoing an orchiectomy, the limit of physical change I thought I would ever get. A statement that I was not male, never was male and the absence of testosterone clearly removed involuntary male physical effects and opened me to deeper emotional responses than I had ever allowed myself since early childhood. My test was to return to my paradise beach and sure enough I felt more alive than I had ever done before and was even more confident in my modified body than I could ever have been in the past. Surely this was my nirvana…

Fast forward several years to the here and now. I have just returned from a couple of weeks late summer sunshine curtesy of a ghastly but cheap airline and have spent several days wandering the beach and enjoying being tossed about in the wild warm surf like an insignificant piece of flotsam. It certainly puts you in your place in the scheme of things, tiny, vulnerable but alive.

Lost in thought on my first day there it struck me just how much more comfortable I now feel than the absolute peak of comfort I thought I had felt in the past, I have broken through the scale of what I though possible, that is the only way I can explain it. My whole being now feels right and I feel absolute comfort with my body. It is not the body of some goddess by a long way and a bit too rounded and curvy due to the wonderful French food! Walking the edge of the surf I finally have a woman’s body to suit my woman’s mind, looking down firm breasts come into view and move gracefully and naturally with my swinging stride and certainly nothing between my legs reminds me of nature’s mistake. My inward smile matches my feeling of being whole and right.

That feeling is no more than most people just take for granted every day of their lives which makes it very hard for us to ever explain to them and make them understand just how we feel before we manage to get our condition treated. 

My guilty pleasure these days is emotional fiction aimed at a female readership, you might call it chick lit! Reading it lying on the beach after the greatest heat of the day has passed is my pleasure when on holiday now, pressing all the emotional buttons long left seized up. As molecules organise themselves in regular patterns and get evenly spaced so do sunbathers on a beach, even the mathematically inept instinctively calculate to the finest degree the equidistant point between any two other sunbathers to set up their own spot. Imagine my surprise one day to hear a voice close by whilst deep in the plot of my book. It took me a while to realise that someone was trying to talk to me. A well toned, well tanned Frenchman A good few years younger than myself was practicing his native language on me, once I realised I used my best French to explain that my understanding of his language was terrible, (unless reading a restaurant menu), It did not put him off. He spoke with a southern accent which is not one which you hear at school but with his repetitions of many phrases I understood much of what he said and perhaps gave away that I understand more than I had let on, he asked if he could sit with me and I pointed out that where I had chosen to lie was surrounded by spiky dried plants! Perhaps he suspected more understanding now than I had let on… I was slightly amused by the guy and his refusal to accept a hopeless case and in no way felt intimidated, my recent reading matter had covered few flirting and seductive moves so I was on alert but unfazed. Clearly the guy had sight problems and tried saying that he thought me beautiful, sounds better in French. This could have been interesting and fun had he kept to his verbal seduction plan but he spoilt it by trying a move closer and  used the arm touching manoeuvre at which point my icy eye contact froze him to the spot. His asking wether I would like him to leave seemed a little superfluous, I said that I preferred to read my book, poor guy looked disappointed… Now if it had been a really fit woman it might have been harder to resist, my lesbian leanings of a lifetime have not changed… 

So there you have it, sea soaked, bedraggled and some fit guy actually took a fancy to me. I guess this test shows the project can be said to have been a great success.

I knew this already since my normal unexciting everyday life is a joy. There are no longer sleepless nights and constant endlessly repeating questions like could I ever change, what can I do to get help, who will still be my friend, will I be ugly, shall I ever be able to walk the streets without people pointing and muttering? 

There is peace and quite inside my head now, sometimes a strange spooky sense of quiet.

Life is good and for the first time in that life I actually “want” to be alive…

The words of others gave me information,hope and courage, if any of mine can do the same my joy shall be multiplied.



  1. That was a wonderful read Caroline. I am so happy for you. You appear to have come on in leaps and bounds since the last time you graced us with your posts. It is a lovely feeling isn't it, you know, that feeling you have finally arrived where you should have been at the start. At least you got there! Yes sweetheart, it IS great to be alive.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. Well, you DO live a fast life! Good to know that you love life so much now.

    One of a series of postscripts? I can't really believe you can remain totally silent from now on!


  3. How truly wonderful to have reached the end of the rainbow and claimed your own pot of gold; a new life. Thank you for a very moving post, Caroline.

    I echo Lucy in hoping that there will be more postscripts.



Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

I can be contacted on the email found on my profile page.