Relieved

I did it. Yesterday we had the meeting. Everyone was great, I feel welcome and accepted. What a huge relief. The therapist I work the most closely with, the whole pronoun thing is completely not registering. So I will be doing a lot of correcting.

I will say it was stressful. I came home last night and slept long and hard. My body was decompressing and the calm I felt about the whole thing today is so good to feel.

I wish that all LGBTQA people could experience the acceptance and support I have thru this whole process. Yes there have been some challenges but workable and not detrimental to me or our relationship. This is so not the experience of many. I am committed to doing what I can to make our world a more accepting place.

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More relieved

I met with my boss today. The conversation went very well. We therapists are an interesting group – I am usually really good at reading people. I totally couldn’t read my bosses reaction. He maintained a calm, flat and accepting demeanor. I did feel supported and not judged. He was honest that he personally has not dealt with this situation before and is happy to support me in whatever way he can. Turns out tomorrow we have a clinical staff meeting, so we decided to start with the clinical team and go from there. Actually this is what I had in my head to do and it was synchronistic to have the meeting scheduled. So I will out myself to all the therapists, interns and whatever psychiatrist(s) are working. A bit nerve wracking but I am ready as well. To be out and to be clear/transparent!

I appreciate everyone’s input on pronouns. I did tell my boss my preference (they, them and their) and also acknowledged the complexity given the flow of clients and staff. But my feeling is, if the clinical staff is doing it, everyone else will follow suit. If not then we will need to extend the reach of who I am out to. And getting misgendered as “he” will not be the end of my world.

In all, I do feel relieved and I am grateful for the incredible support I have in you, my readers and friends and family. I really get the struggles so many of us go thru without support of our loved ones. I do not think I could do this if the support wasn’t there. So thanks you everyone – I am so very grateful!

On a side note, it has been a really intense couple weeks. I started teaching last week at one of the Universities down the mountain from me. My adrenals are probably working overtime, and to top the anxiety off I had a 2 day training to become an accredited clinical supervisor (part 1 of the process). Transitioning, living authentically, inside and out, has been an incredible game changer. I find myself “manning up” in situations I would otherwise have collapsed inside from anxiety. This has given me the strength and courage to push beyond my comfort zone in social arenas where my comfort zone has been very tight and rigid. It is an awesome feeling to expand and grow into a wholer fuller stronger me. Wow! I do feel incredibly blessed. The road is hard, but such has been the way of this lifetime. The rewards are incredible and I continue to work towards finding ways to support others who are struggling and not as fortunate as I… sharing somehow the wealth.

Thanks again for all the support along the way.

Oh and another side note: my dad told me about an article he read in the Post about a trans kid who recently committed suicide after parents first did that religious … what is it called when the church therapy thing tries to get the gay or now trans out of you. Completely dishonoring and abusive system. They did that and then disowned their child when that didn’t work. Then suicide… anyways a story we hear all too often. But my dad said something along the lines of “makes me wonder what me and your mother can do to support kids that don’t have parental support”. I just love my family. So I told them about the local PFLAG and hope they will take action. Does anyone else know of national or local organizations where my parents might volunteer?

So much!

Almost relieved

So I am at work today and I had seen a client who right after me saw the psych nurse PNP. The PNP came into the office and sat down on the chair next to my desk and said “OK I just gotta just put this out there. [client name] kept calling you he while we were talking…..”. I think I had a moment of going blank cuz I do not recall what she said, I just knew it is time. Time to out myself. And I had a moment of panic. And I also knew it was time and it is ok. So I smiled at her and said “I wasn’t planning on coming out right now but I guess it is time. (pause), So I said I am transitioning and half the time people think I am a guy and half the time a female. I am ok with it.” PNP said “so do you prefer he?” I said I actually prefer they, them, their but know that will be complicated here.” Another therapist was there as well. They both almost simultaneously said that’s cool. That was it. Simple relatively quick and completely uneventful. The PNP got up and left. My co-therapist and I smiled and went back to our work. After it was done I felt a bit elated. Then as I am driving home I am thinking “Hmmmm, that was two people out of the whole clinical staff. What is it going to feel like when I get back Thursday? Are they going to out me to everyone else or will they have registered the comment about outing myself before I was quite ready”. I realized I didn’t really care. It was such a relief to have it out there. I know people are curious/confused by me. I am ok with that and here is the thing, I haven’t changed my name or gender marker. So all the legal documentation I do needs to have the name on my license. So that name is on everything I write. And my direct supervisor introduced me as she to everyone. But before he introduced me, actually I introduced myself as I got there first. I am fairly certain they saw me as male because when supervisor arrived that is when he said “she”. The confusion on there faces was evident, but well concealed. Everyone has been great so I am not too worried about it. But it does feel like I need to tell my supervisor now so he doesn’t hear it thru the grapevine. And I slept on this last night, maybe it is time to request everyone refers to me by a specific pronoun as clients tend to follow the lead of the staff. This way it is clear and everyone is in the same place. Is it too much, I ask, to request to be referred to as “they” or should I break down and go for the binary’s he? It is a conundrum. Any feedback is welcome.