Happy New Year!
There have been some small victories for me as a transgender person this Christmas and new year. When it comes to friends who don’t accept you, it’s a simple decision to leave them. Family is different. My family mean a lot to me, and I want to take them with me on my journey, not leave them behind. I have chosen to spend a lot of time and energy working on this instead of the simpler shutting them out. I’ll admit the repeated conversations are draining and have extremely slow progress, and more often than not it feels like 1 step forward, 2 steps back. However, the small victories make up for all the pain and tears. This Christmas, my dad has given me a card saying ‘to my son’ for the first time, and my grandparents have had a conversation with me about being trans. It’s a couple years down the line for my immediate family, but I’ve only just begun the coming out progress properly with my grandparents. If I could tell my younger self something, whilst I was hurting so much because I initially felt rejected, it’d be give your family time to adjust.
This Christmas, the little things have made it an amazing holiday. Every time my family:
- Uses my nickname
- Uses neutral gendered pronouns like ‘grandchild’
- Writes Liam in my Christmas card
- Corrects themself on my name and pronouns
- Says Liam outloud
- Calls me handsome instead of pretty
I feel so incredibly happy and valid inside.
Here’s to a brilliant year ahead, filled with positivity and lots of opportunities.
At long last I have returned, ready to bash out 5 more posts before this month ends. My mental health has been suffering this past week. The worst I’ve been with dissociation and trauma memories and psychosis in a while. The voices are back, and even visual hallucinations because I’m gradually lowering my antipsychotic/mood stabiliser. Things are levelling out now but more of that in a new post. This one I am going to focus on the joys of my transness and the fun I’m having with Gender identity clinics. Almost like a trans mini series. I posted GIC referral in September, so here is the update since.
In September I was referred on, but it turned out I was accidentally referred to the adult services so the letter came back and I had to be referred again to Tavistock. My referral was received and then accepted in December, and the following January I was sent a letter much to my delight saying my first appointment would be 18 weeks from when my referral was accepted, which I worked out was mid April. I was hopeful in March and expecting a letter because I knew they notified you at least a month before your appointment. March came and went, April came and went, and here we are in May.
I chased it up and I will be got back to in August. It’s not even a definite you will hear by this point. So clearly something drastic changed from January when I was told there was now no delay and now suddenly there’s 4 months.
Emotionally I’m struggling hugely with dysphoria. I’m limited in almost everything I do, including basic hygiene. Hopefully in a couple months time things will be better and easier to cope with when the future is a few steps closer.
Ah CAMHS, reminiscing over CAMHS causes mild panic, disgust and some level gratitude for keeping me alive. Being new to CAMHS is like being sucked up by a whirlwind and waiting for them to plop you down somewhere whilst you get smashed in the face with new people and professionals and diagnoses. Many people detest it, however make up your own mind, don’t listen to everyone else. Whilst I was with CAMHS I found it very helpful and vital in my recovery. Looking back I can see the flaws and things I would have done differently if I was a professional, however I am not. And I am still thankful of them.
People get admitted to CAMHS for all different types of illnesses. And also for no illnesses at all. CAMHS help people who are: depressed, anxious, transgender, autistic, have ADHD, have a learning disability, have an eating disorder, have psychosis or schizophrenia, have bipolar disorder, have a personality disorder, have PTSD, dissociative disorders and more.
I was thinking of structuring this post addressing the new CAMHS go-er and some things you need to remember, and then some CAMHS vocab, because it’s a very strange world.
- Be honest. You need to be honest to get help, and they will listen.
- Trust them as much as you can, they do want to help
- They will not force you to tell them anything, however if you’re in danger please please speak out because they can help
- Do not stand for a bad therapist. If you feel victimised or discriminated against by any of the staff you need to speak out because you deserve better than that.
- It doesn’t matter that there’s trying to help you if you don’t help yourself.
- Your parents don’t need to know everything that goes on in sessions, except that when you are in danger they need to be involved in keeping you safe. However, if your parents are the ones struggling to come to terms with it, tell CAMHS. They are used to helping the parents as well as the child, they can explain things and are often listened to because they are professionals.
- Whatever illness, disorder, diagnosis or label you are given, that is not all there is to you.
- CAMHS – Child and adolescent mental health service
- Crisis – When you are high risk and need extra support to get through each day. Often someone will visit your house or call every day if you are on the crisis list and you can also access 24 hour phone support.
- Crisis team – The team of therapists who come and visit children and teens in crisis. They are involved temporarily during a time of high risk.
- Psychiatrist – A highly qualified professional in medicine who deals with the medical side of treatment. This involves prescribing medication and giving diagnoses.
- Psychologist – A highly qualified professional in psychology who help treat different mental illnesses or emotional difficulties with therapy.
- Section – When you are forced by the mental health act to be in hospital for a certain amount of time
- Therapist – Someone who specialises in helping people with certain conditions, illnesses and difficulties. Specific types include occupational therapists, play therapists and psychotherapists.
I hope that is helpful and informative as well as interesting.
See you next time,
It’s time for some reflecting on this blog that I titled His Adventures in Wonderland nearly 1½ years ago. I started this blog with a few things in mind…
- I’d talk about mental illness and being transgender
- I’d write about my own experiences constructively
- I’d spread awareness, break stigma and help those around me with less talked about mental illnesses by offering genuine advice I’ve worked out over the years
I think it’s fair enough to start a blog with others as the main thing in mind, but I’ve kept going because of myself. This blog is loved by me and I enjoy posting lots of different types of posts, not just advice to benefit those around me. My posts help me too. 16 months and 49 posts down the line, I am still here and able to reflect on what I’m doing here. Have a colourful spider diagram listing some of the things I gain from blogging!
Thank you for reading, whether this is a one off post, you are a recent follower or have been doing so for a while. See you in my next post!
My last post was 4 days ago and very rambly so instead of posting new things I’ve edited the most recent one so it can be more constructive and helpful, and have also updated my About section. Writing on here regularly is making me feel great and I’m glad I’ve used blogmas as an excuse to get back into posting. I’m definitely going to be building blogging back into my weekly routine.
I’ve noticed some things about myself that I shy away from looking at, and to overcome this I am going to write about it here and take action. I need to face these vulnerabilities.
I’m struggling with showing femininity when I know it’s just who I am and certainly doesn’t make me less of a man. I’m naturally incredibly expressive and affectionate and whilst I know there are so many guys like that, my mind keeps making me think that it’s making me not pass – something I obsess over and focus on a lot as a transgender person. This all leads to me stopping myself from talking so much in public, purposefully slouching and talking quietly because it sounds lower. I feel like it’s got too far, and although gender dysphoria never goes, there is a point where it’s not okay to just live with. A massive challenge would be for me to express that femininity in public places and focus on being me more than passing.
See you in the next post!
This week I had an appointment with my GP for a general meds check up. I hadn’t see her for over a year so when she last saw me I hadn’t come out as transgender yet and I was also very very unwell with my various mental illnesses.
Anyway so I was a little worried about her reaction to me being transgender and prepared myself for any negative or ignorant comments as it wasn’t a stretch to imagine her not being understanding or having personal beliefs against it.
Fortunately, she was great. She was so encouraging of the progress I’ve made mentally and was very open minded when I explained about being transgender.
I explained my feelings and how if I could I’d have top surgery and be on T in a split second, but that it was so much more complicated than that. I explained to her all my reasons for not pushing for a referral to a GIC:
- The waiting list is so long
- My mental health has to come first
- My own dad still hasn’t accepted that I’m trans and I don’t want to push him in case it ends up with him never accepting me
- My age, I’m almost 17 but if the list is a year then I’ll be almost 18 when I have my first appointment so I might as well get myself on the adults GIC waiting list
- CAMHS had basically ignored it so there was a part of me that believed it wasn’t something to talk about
AMONGST MANY ORHERS.
So then she asked again if I wanted to be referred and I said yes. SO SHE DID! SHE’S REFERRING ME TO TAVISTOCK JUST LIKE THAT!!!!
There are so many emotions racing in my head but I’m just incredibly excited because its so important to me. I can’t wait to see what’s coming up over the next few years of my transition, things are just being kickstarted.