Follow your dreams the universe is listening

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b8Kg119Bm_YTime passes and I life goes on only it never ends there is always more to add so what’s been happening in the last 3 years you may ask?

Jake moved back home after his break up, finished his final stages of surgery and then started working which involved a move towards London.

Whilst his life continued I knew he wasn’t completely happy so made every effort to keep in contact with regular drives down. Ten months later he was considering another move as his landlord was increasing his rent which was eating up half of his salary, after a weekend flat hunting and him spiraling into a melt down I suggested he moved back home.

So the next chapter began. His work meant he could spend long periods at home which made him very isolated or weeks away in a hotel. I continued to support and nurture him as I felt he had missed out on this during his ‘wilderness ‘ years.

His mental health concerned me but thankfully he sort help and began antidepressants along with a referral for a diagnosis.

As the weeks passed I could see his mood lifting, he finally passed his driving test and then made the decision to return to university to study for his masters. But the usual Jake then began to put in the what if and what about questions, let’s be honest we can all talk ourselves out of doing something we don’t know the outcome for, taking that step into the unknown makes us vulnerable but without this how can we fulfill our dreams? I asked him to trust in his choice as he admitted if he continued in his work it would wear him down and destroy him. I know I’m one of life’s optimists but I asked him to trust in the universe as once you put a plan in action magically things begin to happen, his one concern was money and although he had saved to pay his fees it was still going to be tight on his finances. I reassured him he would have a home and food and life is to be enjoyed so to follow his dreams.

So he did…

August 2019 he is currently in Japan. Yes he followed his dream to study Japanese and has finished his first year of his masters and August has been spent attending university in Kyoto.  My heart literally explodes with pride when I think of what he has achieved. I think back to the 8 year old Jess that told me one day she was going to live and work in Japan, Jess the teenager who refused to use a knife and fork opting for chopsticks and blaring out Japanese music from her bedroom. The Jess who loved anime, cosplay and anything Japanese became the Jake who still had a passion for Japan, that still held that dream deep with in his heart, that all he had been through he was brave and strong enough to take that step into the unknown.

As I had reassured him the universe stepped up and money arrived, he found a part time job which he hated but it once again showed him where he didn’t want to be in life, his dad paid for his flight to Japan, the money pot he had been saving his Christmas & birthday money and one I kept topping up paid for his hotel and living costs, he then had a tax return and landed 3 weeks full time work office based, which thank the universe appeared 2 days after he left the hated job!

So he’s been there 2 weeks and has another 3 to go, he seems to be enjoying it and has found the language easier being within the culture.

I’m astounded that 10 months since beginning his masters he is now fluent in Japanese and continues to seek out his dreams.

I know I will always worry about him but I guess that comes with the territory of being a mother, why would you ever not care?

It’s been 7 years since my journey began, 7 years that have made me the person I am today, I’ve been battered along the way and at times wondered how I coped but I did, I always will. I am a strong woman who will never allow problems to overcome me, I trust that the universe has plans and if you take time to actually listen there are always plenty of signs for you.

You just need to be vulnerable to progress.

It’s just the beginning….


Two weeks post op and Jake is now on the road to recovery. Surgery went well and after 2 nights in hospital he was allowed home so we drove to London to bring him back. He’s been fitted with a super pubic catheter and also a stent that needed to be removed by a district nurse one week post surgery and this was the first battle we came up against.
I contacted the gp to arrange a district nurse visit and all was booked in and seemed ok until the day arrived. The district nurse called Jake to say she couldn’t remove the stent, it wasn’t something they did on district and therefore she wouldn’t be out to change his dressings, he would need to contact urgent care or the hospital, when Jake reminded her he needed his dressings changed her reply was ‘ we only come out to people that are bed bound’ Jake replied he was whereby she confirmed she wouldn’t be out to treat him and put the phone down. He was distraught and said it was obvious why she didn’t want to come out. I contacted my medical friend who was in disbelief, obviously she said she could do the procedure but as a formal complaint should be submitted he needed to go through the correct channels, she also stated that even if the district nurse thought it was something she couldn’t perform, which of course it wasn’t, she couldn’t refuse to come out and change the dressing.
We went to urgent care and were seen relatively quickly and were treated with a complete professional manner, which always restores my faith in our NHS.
The practice nurse was in disbelief about why Jake was there and why the district hadn’t come out but at least he was seen to and all was healing ok.
Later on that day he started to suffer with lower back pain, which escalated quite rapidly and by early evening even his painkillers were not numbing the pain. The following morning we went back to urgent care where the dr thought he possibly had a urine infection so took a sample and issued some more antibiotics, we thought this would be the end of it but by mid afternoon Jake stated that the pain was so intense he felt like he was dying, it was worse than any surgery he had experienced. So once again after a quick chat with my friend we headed off to A&E.
Whilst registering some confusion occurred as the guy dealing with us, after reading his post surgery letter looked at Jake and said he couldn’t understand what surgery he had had, I pointed out it was all listed, once again he looked confused but tapped all the info into the computer, I guess you have to laugh at moments like this as it proves others seeing Jake see a young man and not Jess, I don’t think at the time Jake saw the funny side to it. We were seen after an hour which in A&E terms was excellent. The dr was confident the pain was not associated with the surgery and most probably a urine infection, he issued some alternative painkillers and stated that 2 days of the antibiotics and Jake should feel a lot better. Jake went to empty his catheter bag before we returned home only to see some crystals in it and his back pain had eased considerably. It seems he has passed a kidney stone which of course would explain the intense pain he was in and the instant relief.
I can tell Jake is feeling a lot better as he’s now bored and came up with an ingenious idea to allow him to actually leave the house without worrying about the catheter bag strapped to his leg becoming loose. He asked me to pick him up a pair of cargo trousers and had cut a hole in the pocket to allow the catheter pipe to pass through and the bag to sit comfortably in the pocket supporting its weight, well you do have a degree in business management I said!
The catheter has to remain in place until the 19 th August whereby we have to make another journey to Harley street in London and hopefully that will be the end of surgery for a while.
Emotionally it’s been draining to watch Jake in so much discomfort but I know the journey is coming to an end and he will have a body that matches his brain and once again I’m eternally grateful for the NHS and the journey we have been on with them.

Thankful

It’s seems so long since I’ve been here, is this good or bad?
After moving house at Xmas and having no home broadband I guess I just got out of the habit of reading the blogs I follow and updating mine.
Thankfully my brother, against all the odds pulled through and left hospital in early February, he still has on going heart issues but he’s still with us, so that has to be a positive.

We’ve settled into our new house and now have a new addition, a labradoodle, she kind of found us as I really wasn’t ready for another dog but sometimes these things happen and it doesn’t take long before you find another set of paws firming imbedded in your heart. It’s almost a year since Pepsi died and I still miss her, Dotty has a lot to live up to but she’s a lovely puppy and fitting into our lives as if she’s always been there.

Jake continues to just get on with his life. At the moment it seems he’s buried deep in his final dissertation as he will graduate this May. It’s incredible to think how quickly those 3 uni years have passed. Remembering back to that first day, which can still bring tears to my eyes to where he is today ( which also brings tears to my eyes but different ones) so much has changed.
Even though I now see Jake as male as Jess has long gone, I still have many memories that tug at my heart and make me think of how much easier life could have been for all of us.
Mother’s Day is a particular reminder for me, it’s a day that I now feel is blighted, yeah I know I have a child that’s happy and all that but even that sometimes isn’t enough to repair the damage with in my heart.
Seeing the constant updates on social media of ‘ look what I got for Mother’s Day from my wonderful children’ just really grates on me, because it’s just all show, why do people feel the need to basically brag?
To me, as a mother of a transgender child I’m just thankful they are still alive, thankful they had the courage to tell me, thankful they knew that they are loved unconditionally.

I’m thankful that living through this experience it has made me more understanding and one day I may be there for some one else that may think theirs lives have ended. In fact it felt like our lives were paused for a while and now have been restarted.

We are all fighting for something

To think 3 years ago I thought my world had ended, to how we all are today is quite amazing , it’s like a parallel life, what it could have been and what it is.
I feel full of mixed emotions about this operation, even though, l knew it was in the pipeline I hadn’t thought too deeply about it, it was just part of the plan.
The more I think of what Jake has endured this week the more my emotions swirl. It’s a major operation, most of us would never have to comprehend what it entails, let alone it be your child. It’s  a recondite situation.
I guess I’m confused, am I mourning, once again, a final piece of Jess or is it the procedure he has had to endure? I’m not sure if I would feel more at ease being at the hospital, seeing for myself he is ok. A friend said it’s probably the finality of the situation that now makes it real, I didn’t feel confused like this after top surgery, that’s when I finally began to understand, for those new to my blog and haven’t read back here it is
https://transgenderandme.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/and-then-i-understood/
Maybe when I visit on Sunday I will once again understand. Matthew has visited and said he’s told him he feel more complete so I guess that’s what I have to cherish, to feel complete is something we all crave, in what ever form.

The angst is back

On Thursday, whilst I was working I saw jakes name flash up on my phone, the usual reaction to this is my heart plummets as there must be something wrong, he only rings when there is a major problem, text is the normal communication with him. I immediately was taken back to the beginning of his transition when he would call me sobbing, saying he felt he didn’t want to live anymore, I would then have to remain calm and talk to him to reassure him that eventually he would get to a good place, quite often he would be 100 miles away in London, looking back I wonder how I remained outwardly so calm.
As I couldn’t take his call he text me to tell me he had a date for his next surgery, it’s next week. I replied and said I would call him later as I was with a client and asked if he was ok about it, yes was his response, just a bit shocked. I on the other hand have gone into an internal melt down, knowing what a huge operation this is and it being in London so I can’t just pop in to check on him has sent my angst into a tsunami again, just like last year with his top surgery. It’s not that I think he shouldn’t go ahead, he has made it clear he needs to, it’s the final step, it’d the fact my child will be in pain, my child has to go through this just to feel comfortable with in their own body. Once again I just want to wrap my arms around him to protect him and once again I have to put on the brave face and be strong for him.
I guess as things have been fairly settled for a year I hadn’t really thought how I would feel when this day came. I want to scream and cry until I have nothing left within me and then I will run, to switch off my emotions, to take some respite, even if only for a short time.
I have to have faith in the surgeon, the nurses who will care for him and remain positive, life is just so unfair sometimes.

Stop crying your heart out .

I was recently looking through my photos on my iPad, I have an album named Jake, not Jess but it contains all the pictures I have taken of them over the last 7 years, it still hurts me to look at them, it stirs lots of old memories and adds fire to the angst that thankfully has settled now to the pit of my stomach and rarely churns on a day to day basis.
I now see two different people, the baby years will always be just that, a time where I nurtured and loved my child until puberty struck with a mighty fine blow and Jess became unhappy and I begin the long term relationship with my angst! Then follows the Jake years, there’s only been three of these so far but what a turn around we all have seen. Jake now smiles, his confidence has blossomed, I think he is finally beginning to feel comfortable in his own skin.
When I now look at these pictures it is hard to believe it’s the same person, the changes are incredible, the pictures of Jess and Matthew at her prom still bring tears to my eyes, she looked beautiful, she never wanted to go but changed her mind at the last minute, I wonder now how uncomfortable she must have felt but was trying so hard to desperately fit the mould she had been given. My wedding photos 4 years ago where she reluctantly wore a beautiful evening dress, I can see from the photos she didn’t want to but she did it for me and that would have been the last time I ever saw her dressed as Jess, a beautiful young woman.
Now I have a handsome son emerging, his featured are becoming more chiselled, he’s lost his womanly curves and looks lean. Although he looks young for his age at the moment I can see the man Jake will become emerging slowly, a man with integrity, passion and the drive to conquer the world! Ironically this is what I used to say to Jess when she was talking about the lack of equality in the world, that one day she would change it, look out world is all I can say!
I guess where I’m going with this is to say to those out there that are struggling on this path with their child, it does get easier, acceptance of the new image that emerges becomes the norm, gosh I would be completely shocked if Jess walked back into my life now as Jake has now become my normality.
I think sometimes we tend to hold on so tightly to what we know it makes it harder to see what’s happening around us. Change can be difficult but from experience holding on to something’s only makes other things harder to accept, you need to make room in your life, let some things go and allow others to embrace you.
I was running on Sunday, the end of my marathon training is finally here, I only had to do 8 miles, only I say but after 20 miles at the end of already doing 15+ in a week it’s a welcome relief, and oasis ‘ stop crying your heart out’ came on and I reslised that’s what I needed to do, I know that there will always be a Jess locked away in my heart, which I will always treasure, but she wouldn’t want tears as she’s left plenty of room for Jake to fill it, it’s time to let go. And stop crying my heart out.

Hold on

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here, I guess initially I felt I had nothing to add, life was ok, Jake seemed fine so I was content in my little bubble.
The past couple of months we have been thrown into chaos as we decided to move house, a few years earlier than anticipated, at the beginning of the year I couldn’t even comprehend a house move, I felt I was only just emptying my stress boxes from Jake leaving home and starting work but here I am gradually packing up our home. We have sold ours and are hopefully moving into a new build not far from where we are now actually, but a house that will suit us better in 4 weeks time.
I’ve also decided to run another marathon in September, a final stab at getting a time I’ve trained for 3 other times and the weather along with hayfever has hindered it. I can’t say I’m loving running again, it’s a hard slog to commit to a training plan, but I can see it’s coming together, last Friday saw me completing 14 miles and it didn’t feel too bad although I can’t wait for the day whereby my legs aren’t omitting a low sound of ‘ouch ouch ‘ it will come I know from previous experience.
So how’s Jake you may be thinking?
He’s ok but has had periods of self doubt, thinking he won’t gain a good enough degree and looking at alternative employments, I’m hoping it’s just a little stumble, he came home for the weekend and I gave him a pep talk so I’m hoping his confidence is up again, it did make me sad when he told me the constant comments he has to endure at work by a select few, being told he should stop being so sensitive, this angers me, just because it’s not racial they seem to think it’s acceptable, I made him laugh when I told him I would love to punch any one who’s upsetting my boy!
He’s had the go ahead for further surgery which will take place over the next 2 years, when he informed ******** bank he would need 6 weeks off his manager asked him if he couldn’t take it as a career break- seriously it’s reconstructive surgery, not cosmetic, would this manager ask a woman to take a career break to have a baby, a hysterectomy or any other illness? I think not! I told him to stick with it and if needs be he will approach HR, I’m sure this particular bank doesn’t want to be seen as non PC!
Circumstances like this really remind you as an individual how you just accept your gender and the privileges that come with it, I’ve never felt this non acceptance and find it difficult how some people think they are more privileged than others because of their gender, skin color or nationality.
I’ve felt a little anxious over the last week as today Jake was flying out to Madrid as part of his study leave, after the tragedy of the tourists in Tunisia, it makes you,want to gather your loved ones close to you and the thought of him being in another country without me to help causes the angst to reappear.
But I received a text a short time ago that made me smile and realize although he is a child of few words he does still care. image

 

21 years later

21 years ago I gave birth to Jess, a perfect bundle of gorgeousness!
Who knew at the time the journey we as a family were about to embark on. Never did I consider I would need to take the path I have done over the last few year, never did I think I wouldn’t be sharing the journey with my then husband, just goes to show how life is so unpredictable.
The one thing I did know at the time was all I wished for was that Jess would grow up to be happy and content in her life, that I would love and support her decisions in life without judgement and I would always be by her side.
So here on Jakes 21 St birthday I wish exactly the same as I did then. I’m a very proud mother to see how my child has conquered so many difficulties in his young life and continues to grow with confidence and with what he wants to achieve. I truly couldn’t have asked for anything else.
Jake you are a true inspiration to others and I wish you nothing but happiness throughout your life where I will always be, by your side, just i case you need me.

All roads lead to home

As its Mother’s Day here in the UK I thought it was apt to post a blog inspired by a comment from my mum.
In life we are all on a journey, interlinking roads that many of us travel, some of us take a detour and discover smaller winding roads, that others would never venture down- waves to running friends- those that have explored this particular road will understand the joy and strength that can be gathered from the challenges we put ourselves through.
There’s always been a road that I guess I never noticed, one to be honest I thought I would never need to travel, it was down a tiny little track, surrounded by trees, blink as you were passing and you would have missed it, 2 1/2 years ago I tentatively found my self walking down this track, the darkness from the overlapping trees scared me, I wasn’t sure where it would lead me to, my heart felt heavy and sad, I didn’t want to be on this unknown path but I knew I had to as my then daughter Jess had ran on ahead without me, ignoring the fears, she had ran as fast as she could, she had no other choice, it was a path she couldn’t ignore, in her world it was a motorway the quickest route leading to the place she needed to be.
It has been a long and winding road I’ve travelled, the fear begin to subsided as I took time to look around me, gather my thoughts, breath the air and just appreciate what life had to offer. Jess was still ahead of me, occasionally I would see her look back, I was always with in sight even if I had yet to catch up with her, I would wave to reassure her I was still there. The road began to open up, the sun broke through the storm clouds, I began to feel the warmth and love I was surrounded by and I found myself amongst friends and family that had too discovered they were destined for this Journey.
There were times I felt I was stumbling, the rain and wind lashed at me, these times I felt isolated, everybody who had been around me were no longer visible, they too were dealing with their issues, it was these times I wrapped my coat around me, dug deep to unearth some strength and ran against that cold wind to gain some momentum to catch Jess.
Then one day the path opened into a beautiful meadow, the sun shone, the birds were singing and the flowers surrounded me, as I blinked and starred at the beauty around me I noticed I wasn’t alone I had finally caught up with Jess, but she didn’t look like Jess any more, the same eyes starred at me but there stood Jake, smiling, happy and looking comfortable in his body.
That’s were I am now, I’m comfortable, it’s a tough journey as a parent but one we are all capable of taking when our child reveals they are transgender.
Jake made a brief overnight visit home a couple of weeks ago as he had finished uni a day earlier than expected, to save him a return visit the following weekend I suggested he had one of his injections then, the only problem was I only had time to drop him to the hospital and then to his Nan’s and she would take him home, he agreed and later on that day I received a text from my mum:

image

image
So all roads lead to home but sometimes it takes as all a while to catch up with one another, it’s a good thing to remember when sometimes as a parent you think you are being shut out of your transgender child’s life, stay patient, support and eventually you find one another again , sometimes our children need to have a little patience with us.