Even though it’s been very mild on the whole, it has been a very long and lonely winter. Severe bouts of depression have been interrupted by our transgender group meetings, visits to my nephew’s place afterwards, and the occasional coffee with friends. For all of these things I am particularly grateful.
The past week to ten days has been a complete roller-coaster of emotions, for various reasons, but this past weekend I managed to feel a blessing on the edge of calamity and it has given me a new perspective.
Last Saturday was our monthly transgender group meeting and it went particularly well, especially as we welcomed a lovely new couple to the group. Most of us adjourned to a local hostelry for coffee afterwards and then, as is my routine, I headed over to my nephew’s place for chat, vodka and a game of poker with him and his partner.
It became a very long evening, and it was around 4am when we finally packed up the chips and headed bedward for sleep.
This is the point at which it all started to go wrong.
Having got to my room, removed my wig, jewellery and glasses and placed them on the bedside table I went back to the door to turn off the light. As I had no nightwear with me I was still dressed in a full pair of black tights, sparkly skirt, and double layer of white top. Then, aiming to get to bed in the pitch dark, I tripped over the end of the bed, stumbled, and hit my head on the bedside table; full frontal, just above the eyebrows.
Instinct told me this was not something my body was happy about.
My nephew’s house is a long cottage, and he and his girl were at the other end, so I picked myself up and carefully headed down to their room where I called for their assistance.
They helped me back to the kitchen for an immediate assessment and decided that I should go to hospital. They called for an ambulance which arrived soon after, and the paramedics were lovely, caring and understanding.
Soon I was on my way to hospital with John and Sam following behind.
Over the next few hours I was periodically assessed and finally cleared to go at around 10am. Everyone who attended to me was wonderful, and yesterday I realised why I had felt so comforted, assured and at ease while I was there.
My nephew had done most of the talking to explain to the staff what had happened, and he (naturally) and the staff always referred to me by name, Tish, or as “she”.
This may not seem to be a great thing as John and Sam always refer to me this way, but here I was in a strange environment, with strangers, and often more of an observer of the conversations than a participant.
I remember on several occasions looking down the bed, seeing myself with the skirt and tights, and feeling particularly comfortable and at peace with myself even though I had no wig on.
Put together as a whole, that experience of being truly myself, being accepted as such, and feeling in no way out of place or made to feel awkward or embarassed was wonderfully cathartic, and it is something I shall remember for a very long time. I hope it emboldens me more to do just that; be myself.
I cannot thank John, Sam, the ambulance crew and staff at Ninewells Hospital enough for the sensitive way they all looked after me.
As I can’t remember the last time I felt as relaxed about myself, some good did come out of the bad after all. 🙂