The dog days are over

Another week passes at incredible speed making me wonder where this year has gone to, I mean the X factor starts this weekend a sure sign autumn is within our grasp!
I’ve read back over my last 18 months and realised how far I have actually come in this process, I found they evoked many feelings again and also realised I probably didn’t write some of the worst incidents, those that have been in a similar situation need not be reminded of their child telling them they wish they were dead it’s been a tough road to travel but at last the dog days are over 😄
Jake and Matthew have found a flat, after a slightly chaotic week for them and a stressful one for me hoping all was going ok, the contracts are in the process of being signed with my husband and brother standing as guarantors, and that’s what families are all about I reminded Jake, as much as he may feel some may not take him seriously, although they do and have supported him, when the going got tough they stood firm.
I also saw a 12 year old Jess peak through, or should I say the insecurities I associated with Jess emerged, it’s reminded me my child is still the same within. We were chatting about the flat when he looked a little anxious,
I asked him what was the matter,
he stated he was worried,
why I enquired,
well I’m actually leaving home properly and well what if I die?
I tried not to laugh,
Only if you forget to eat I stated!
You see the 12 year old that was always anxious and full of what if this happens made an appearance, it was Jess who of course has always been Jake.
This weekend also had us at a carboot sale, clearing out the remnants of Jess to make way for Jake and leaving home. Only in England would you arrive in a field at 6 am with a car fall of unwanted goods and unload them and wait, the things you do for your kids! Jake was happy to come away with almost £90 I’m happy he’s not leaving it all behind for the bright lights of London Town!
I’m still feeling happy, a little tired after a busy week at work whereby I had to work 5 days, back to 4 next week, I’m liking my new 4 day week.
We’ve also booked a holiday for February and this I’m really excited about, the pacific coast of Mexico to a luxurious hotel, it will be a much wanted and enjoyable holiday, this years holiday in Cuba was nice but I also took many worries with me so never really enjoyed it as much as I should have. Life is looking better and I can only reassure others that think it will never improve, it does, honest just hang on tight, take a deep breath and run with it!

Two steps forward, one step back

The second appointment with his consultants colleague arrived and a referral for surgery is the next step do obviously Jake is happy, I try not to think too deeply, in the front of my mind I try to keep all of the positives that have come forward this last year, his general happiness and confidence has blossomed, so any of my worries and heartache I keep to myself.
Before dropping Jake at the train station we popped into my parents, who have been fully supportive, but for sone reason my dad continues to use Jakes original name and pronouns, I could see my mum giving him the what are you doing stare, we left and immediately I knew this had affected Jake. He then told me he wasn’t coming home again, blah blah and basically nobody took him seriously and that I should have said something. In hindsight I should have, I have asked him to think about this decision, he is only home 2 days a week and assured him I will not put him in that position again. Of course on arriving home in tears and trying to explain to Hubbie I got the feeling he just doesn’t understand, I told him I’m never completely happy as I always have this eating away at my insides, it has changed me as a person, I’m not the happy relaxed person I used to be, I try but how can you be after this? I imagine he sees this as a take on our life but that’s not what I implied it was how I felt inside.
He retreated to his cave and watched football , that makes everything worse, I feel totally isolated and I think the thing that pushed me over the edge was one particular fb ‘friend’ who does nothing but Whittier on about her life, anything for attention and she posted her leg was sore so no running FFS so basically this was the straw that broke the camels back , she’s shut up now so deep breath, gather all the snotty tissues, cram the boxes shut and try and think how to resolve it and hope once Jake has thought about the situation we can smile again

Box recycling

Today’s blog is in the present, it’s about me, it’s about having a moan. I write another blog else where on this thing called the internet, it’s mainly connected to my running but to be honest contains many of my random thoughts, amusing pondering, client experiences but lately I’ve realised it’s become a bit of a moaning place, I’m the eternal optimist, I can generally think things and see humour in them and share with others, I feel I don’t want to bore my so called internet buddies on that site all the time so maybe it’s time to share it here instead?
Me, well for those that are not from the other site, I’m a runner, well in saying that I’ve always ran, I discovered the treadmill at the age of 18 and instantly fell in love, I love the feeling running gives you, the freedom for the mind, the ache of tired muscles when you’ve pushed yourself. It’s been a constant in my life to various degrees, but 4 years ago I stepped out of the gym and trained for my first half marathon, I was immediately hooked, it became addictive, I was amazed how quickly the body adapted to the pressure you were placing on it. My running improved and within 18 months I found myself at the start of my first marathon, something i had always said I wanted to do. So my journey continued, 2012 I ran the London marathon with a 2 nd one the following weekend, I loved the sense of accomplishment. It was during the summer of 2012 I began to feel unwell, tiredness overcome me and in the September I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, medication was prescribed and I began to improve, although 6 months later I began to feel,unwell again and my medication was adjusted. I can’t say I’ve felt as healthy as pre diagnoses days but I have to be realistic I’m almost 47 and I’m asking a lot more of my body than most woman of my age. My running had become a race with myself, it wasn’t about just running, it was about reaching time and targets.
So spring 2014 finds me at the start of London marathon once again, I know I told many that I hadn’t another marathon in me but circumstances meant it was my therapy for my angst, a hot day that had me finishing 30 mins after my predicted time and once again thoroughly despondent, but not one to quit I entered another for 3 weeks later, this ended for me at 18.5 miles, my hayfever made it impossible to run and breath.
Since then I’ve gone down hill it seems, I’ve rested, I’ve switched to some spin classes, I’m barely hitting 10 miles a week, this is from someone who was doing in excess of 40 miles some weeks during training, I feel like crap, I’m exhausted, disheartened, I’ve a list of symptoms that makes me look like a google doctor but apparently after having my bloods checked the gp I saw said I was within the limits for my iron, b-12, I asked for these to be tested as as well as a long list of hypothyroidism in the family we also have pernicious anaemia, I’m not wrong to ask surely? The GP made me feel crap as if I was making it all up! I’m due to be retested this month but have already made an appointment with my GP to discuss this.
So I’ve gone from being able to run 26.2 miles to barely 1 in 3 months, I’m not accepting this is normal.
Today’s 5 k had me sweating and gasping for breath, it’s like I can’t utilise my energy, I wasn’t even pushing the pace, in fact it took me 14 mins longer to run this distance than pre diagnosis.
So today I’m feeling crappy, whilst I’m dealing with my angst I feel without the running the angst starts to take over. I don’t want to be miserable, short tempered and to be honest could just shut myself away from others.

Stages

The next appointment at the gender clinic, breast reduction was spoken about, Mr T supported it but Jake would need a second opinion so an appointment was arranged to see a colleague at the hospital. Jake wanted the surgery as soon as possible, I know he needs it but as a mother I will still worry and obviously don’t want him to be in any physical pain, it’s a mom thing!
With each appointment it brings more thinking for me, the latest thought process has been one of inner angst, tears and turmoil and has I think begun the final stage of my grief.
They say grief comes in stages 5, 7 or more and this past year I have been through the lot.
Stage 1
Shock & denial
Oh boy was it a shock to me, I had had some worries over the years but actually thought it was just a phase, I guess this disbelief would protect me from the shock I was feeling and protected me from being overwhelmed.
Stage 2
Pain & guilt
So I then realised this was here to stay, I had to take charge and deal with it, so on the outside I was my normal functioning happy self, I hid behind my smile, became wrapped up in work, as these people knew nothing of what was going on, I could completely deny the situation, I have defiantly retracted from friends as I felt they would see beyond the smile, it is something I will need to rectify and I hope once they know the reasons they can understand my behaviour, the shock was subsiding to be replaced by utter guilt, what had I done wrong? Could I have done anything to help earlier? If only I could had, All those questions went around my head, my sensible side knew it wasn’t my fault but my heart felt different, the pain has been overwhelming at times and I guess still is, I would worry about so many things most parents wouldn’t even need to think about. I still feel as if pain will always be there but as they say time heals.
Stage 3
Anger & bargaining
I can’t say I’ve felt anger, it’s not in my make up, maybe my anger has been in my short temper to some at times but I have bargained, I guess a lot of anger was dissipated within my running, I used it to push myself, to expel those feelings that were churning within.
I questioned why I had to deal with it, could I do anything to change this point in my life, of course I knew this was ridiculous, it was a time I had to be strong, to support and encourage but most of all to show love.
Stage4
Depression, reflection loneliness
This has been a long phase, I’ve had to deal with what I thought I had, what I thought I would have had and then replace it with this is how it will be, my isolation from others has escalated, I don’t talk about it with any one apart from a few friends, who have given me an outlet to do that, maybe the ones that know think I’m dealing with it and I’m feeling more positive, maybe I am, my heart still has a void , a sense of emptiness, but I try to focus on the positive points of my life. It’s been difficult this last month due to lack of exercise, from injury and illness, I have felt like the one thing that has kept me normal has been taken away, as if someone is having a game with me, saying ha ha you thought you were doing ok, so lets take something from you that is fundamentally you and see how you cope! And guess what ? I have, it’s been tough but I think it’s led me to the next stage
Stage5
The upward turn
I’m adjusting, I’m not just acknowledging I’m accepting. I have read, researched and even though I’m dealing with something that’s not ‘ the norm’ I’m not the only one, I’m beginning to enjoy little things again.
Stage 6
Reconstruction & working through
In a better frame of mind I have been able to help and offer practical advice, to give more support , to be strong.
Stage 7
Acceptance & hope
So I realised today how I had accepted and not just acknowledged, doesn’t make me incredibly happy but it’s helping. I know I will never be the same person again, but I think even if I go through life with that little piece of my heart missing, it has made me a better person, someone who truly can accept anything and anyone, I can offer help and reassurance to others. I’m sure one day I will see what I have gained and this will make me smile and the love from that will fill that little hole in

Warehouse management

Jake settled in relatively easily to uni life, staying away 2 nights a weeks and often traveling to London on a Friday to spend the weekend with Matthew. His relationship remained solid, knowing this helped me cope as I knew at least he could talk with him if he didn’t want to with me..
Suddenly Christmas was upon us again, traveling to work one day I realised how far we had come but felt I needed some mind recycling time as I was beginning to feel my warehouses were overflowing, I had been unable to run consistently for 2 months due to illness and injury and I could feel the affects of this. So I took the time whilst driving to think, I thought about my childhood days full of love, my teenage years where I thought I was infallible , the years of worry connected with having an alcoholic brother and not being able to help,i thought of all the wonderful years I spent with my daughter, encouraging her inquisitive mind, admiring her individuality never once thinking it would lead me to where I am today.
Recently a friend and I were discussing how I was, I was a little tearful and she said it was ok to cry, but I answered her by replying it wasn’t as the amount of tears I have cried has not made me feel any better, it hasn’t resolved anything, in fact if I really started to cry I feared I would never stop, I guess the difference the year has made is as much as I have accepted the situation and given my support 100% my heart feels as broken as it did a year ago but now I can stop the tears, not dwell on my worries too much, is this progress?
I have so many things that can set me off and the majority of the time I have to fight them back, take a deep breath, smile as if nothing is a matter, I seriously wonder how I’ve kept my sanity at times, maybe i haven’t?
So I guess another year will bring bigger challenges, hopefully for one person lots of happiness and fulfilment, for me? Well all I can hope for is the rain inside my heart to stop, the sun to come out and allow me to chase rainbows again. It’s really tough being an optimist at the moment, but I guess I will always be.

Moving forward- the start of a new life

The following appointment blood tests were taken and medication prescribed, T day had finally arrived, one Jake was so looking forward to with jubilation one I had to accept and try not to feel sad about, this was making my child happy, so how could I be sad?
Jakes relationship with Matthew was still going strong and the next step was Jake beginning university, I have added a blog I wrote else where about the start of uni, it was how I felt at the time and is part of the story, one that was an extremely heart wrenching experience, one that took an incredible amount of courage from Jake and me but one that had been one of the best decisions he has ever made, I’m so proud of what he did that day, I’m not sure I could have done it.

The last 48 hours have been some of the most stressful and quite painful I’ve ever had to deal with,
Jake was offered a placement to complete a degree last year but decided to defer for a year, to be honest I was quite relieved at the time as felt they were not ready to flee the nest, well what a years it been, a year I wouldn’t wish on anybody but I’m hopeful it is getting better. Jake was preparing for uni but had decided to commute as its only an hour on the train, depending on time table to stay overnight in a premier inn if they had an early lecture, last week I could see Jake become agitated by it all but plans were still in order, until Sunday night, he revealed he had no idea why he was going what it involved, he wouldn’t be able to cope, the panic escalated during the evening and into the early hours of the morning, we chatted, with me trying to guide him to a decision of his own, I still had doubts about if he would cope initially but, not with the work just the change of city, travel etc, without going into the horrid details of this evening it was agreed he wouldn’t go to uni and try and find work,I felt he was giving away such a fantastic opportunity but I could only advise and guide him to making a decision he was happy with, at the last hour he decided to go on the Monday and if he hated it that would be it, I held my breath and hoped for the best
After little sleep we drove up to the uni but got caught up in traffic, Jake was becoming more nervous and feeling car sick, when we finally pulled into the car park he leapt out of the car and puked everywhere ! We had 15 mis to find the uni, panic was rising, I left him with nothing eaten, no drink and a head full of guilt, I said if he wanted to meet for lunch I would return at 12, if he wanted to stay with his group I would return later. I spent the next 2 hours in a state of panic and guilt, if only I could do something to make it all better, I chatted to a friend, that helped but it was still in the back of my mind. I returned to the uni and realised The city had a tram system and the one stopping outside of the uni went straight to the station, this would make the commute a hell of a lot easier. I suddenly saw my child walking towards me, it felt like the first day of school, remember when they are 5 and you’ve left them at school and miss them so much, he looked at me and I could see the nerves were still there but a sense of relief was also about him. I explained my tram discovery so caught it to the station then walked to costa for lunch, he told me how many others actually knew less then him he was beginning to realise that what he lacked in some things he was way ahead in others, I do believe the confidence was returning
He returned to uni for the afternoon lecture and arranged to meet at 4, we had planned to stay over, he initially had said he would enrol on Thursday as that’s when the decision would be made on whether to go. So I spent the afternoon worrying more and at 4 saw him walking down the street, he told me he had got out early so had gone for a walk and then enrolled!!! I was so happy, what a change had occurred, I told him that I was very proud of what he had decided and to have come full circle in 24 hours,
We went out for dinner later discussed the commute the finances etc etc
This morning I left him there, tomorrow they have a very busy day with lectures but will be home Thursday afternoon, I will be happy once that first commute has been done.
I drove home this morning, once I was on the outskirts of The city I felt a tear escape, it was one of relief for the choices made, of sadness for other stuff. But I stuffed the worries back into my boxes and firmly shut the lid. A friend has said they are worried about the warehousing of my worry boxes, but I have assured her that I do deal with them and eventually the contents are sent to recycling, I have to be hopeful cos without hope what do with have?
I ran when I got home but it was so tough, I felt completely exhausted drained of everything that I normally have but some how got out there, I think living on adrenaline for 48 hours takes it toll, so I ran, slowly at times, I even walked in places, but I just didn’t give up and knew the run eventually would make me feel better and also allow me to be a bit of mental recycling
So I’ve left my son in the city, I hope it’s the start of good times for him

Reflections

Some early memories of the initial transition still stick with me.
The time I could see jake was feeling depressed awaiting his first gender appointment so I suggested he cleared his wardrobe and I took him shopping to buy some male clothes. I remember back to any other time we went shopping. Jess hadn’t enjoyed it and generally had turned her nose up at anything I had suggested now I knew why, so armed with my protective bubble and poker face we entered the male section of a clothes shop, jake choose some jeans, t shirts, and shirts, he looked happy as I paid for them, I knew this was a step forward, he would have to develop his own new style of dress which has evolved over the year, now some colour is being incorporated, he no longer looks like he is trying to camouflage himself. As much as this was difficult for me to do it was a necessity for him, over the months all his clothes were replaced and with each purchase a more confident person was evolving
Although there have been many things I have learnt to accept during his transition I have to say the hardest and it still remains difficult for me is the name change. The name your child is given at birth is one you have chosen, loved and just becomes them so suddenly having to forget this person along with the pronouns and address them with a name they have chosen hurts, it really hurts. I know it’s a subject we have had a few heated discussions about and I haven’t used their birth name or female pronouns it saddens me I haven’t yet said Jake- it just doesn’t flow off my tongue, I go to say it and it’s if my throat closes and nothing comes out as I feel my heart being wrenched from
Me. Sounds silly when you write it down but to me it’s something I’m still struggling with. Jake is at home this week so I’m going to use his name. Yep I will, I guess the first will be the hardest but I have to.