I have been thinking about writing this blog for quite a while now and today feels like the right day to do so. As I have said before this blog isn’t just about photography and I have been quite open about a lot of the journey that I have been on so far. As you may have guessed this blog isn’t going to be about photography but instead more about the journey.
Back in February I mentioned that a lot had happened in a very short period of time but wasn’t at the stage to share it. I then went on to share about my dad and now I am going to share about the other major event that happened at the beginning of February.
This event needs a bit more of a scene set though as it is more a build up of events that just a one off. About the middle of last year I opened up a box in my head that I didn’t even realise that I had there which was a memory of when very young 5/6 years old of a period of time where I would go to sleep each night wishing that I would wake up a boy or be kidnapped. I am not sure how long I kept wishing that and as I said it wasn’t something that I have remembered till that point last year. I didn’t deal very well with having that box opened as had absolutely no idea how to deal with any of the feelings that it brought with it or even what they were or anything really. I told my mother-in-law about it and that was it. It did however feel like that maybe it was something that had been underlying everything that had been going on and potentially something that thought I had thought had been well pushed away for many years was probably a lot closer to the surface that I had realised ( this has been the case as time has gone on and have started to realise a lot more about it ). Apart from it been briefly opened a few weeks later that was pretty much it closed again.
When that weekend in October happened Kat found out about this box and it was something we discussed a bit afterwards. As always she was great, very supportive , understanding and fully behind what ever I decided to do. I just had no idea how to handle, cope with, know what to do with all the feelings and thoughts going on regarding it. It was like this whole new category and though I knew it was important that was about it for starting to deal with any of it.
We had talked about if I was to be male, what name I would go for and at that point it was Max. It all pretty much stayed at that level for a couple of months really. I knew it was something that I should talk to my psychologist about at some point but how to bring it up, what to do with it all of that I had no idea and was just feeling completely lost with it all.
At the end of January the box got completely blown apart 100%, we went to an evening with a few friends, one of them is transgender and that was enough of a trigger for me. I then had no hiding place at all with all of it and it was full of with all the feelings, emotions, torment, absolutely everything with it. I didn’t want to be me and I didn’t know who me was. I wanted the box to go away completely, it felt like that this thing was happening regardless of what I wanted and I had no choice about it. It was 2 weeks of pretty much torture regarding it all.
In the midst of that there was the discussion regarding name as Max didn’t feel right to me or Kat and we decided on Robert but going by Rob.
It went from the point of thinking yeah I should talk to my psychologist about this but I have no idea how to right round to I have to talk to them about it. I have no other choice. So that was the first time I told someone for the first time verbally rather than through messaging ( which was Morag, my mother – in- law) or them already knowing ( which was Kat ) before we talked about it. That was a huge massive step and probably a fairly pivotal turning point.
Another huge turning point was actually this blog as the day after I had my appointment with the psychologist and telling them about all of it I then went for a walk with Morag and took some photos. When I got home I was labelling them and I at that point put ‘Fiona Berrie Photography’. I had spent the day as Rob and actually the most time I had spent out the house and in public as Rob, including physically trying to be as masculine as possible. However writing that on the photos triggered off every negative feeling possible and I was then the most upset that I have been on Skype to Morag, all guards were down.
The next day I tried to have a day where my brain wasn’t in total over drive and I wasn’t thinking am I Fiona, am I Fee, am I Rob and instead just be me and leave it at that. As the day went on I was thinking more and more I am Rob and that is where I see my future. Which to be honest is what I had thought all along but it was scary to start to move towards that and a huge change etc etc etc.
However I realised that yes the person I felt who I am is Rob and identify as male and want to move towards that.
I then had a massive day which I suppose was my kind of major coming out day as I made an appointment to go see my GP, told all my friends and also told my work. Work was a big one as going in and putting on this front to be someone who I felt was less and less me was really starting to get to me especially when I was finding work itself difficult enough anyway. Work in that regards have been great and I have just really overnight been Rob to them. Slightly more difficult with patients and anything official but slowly getting there. Being able to be Dr Berrie is a good compromise and many other steps to take regarding that but getting there.
My friends were and are fantastic about it so there was no issues there at all. I never thought there would be and it was more about me coming to the decision and being as comfortable or as comfortable as I could be to make the next step forward. My GP was exactly the same, happy that I had come to that decision, not surprised and taking it to the next step which was referring me to the Gender Identity clinic. I am now on the waiting list for that which is about a year, however I am on it and I never expected it to be a quick process at all.
So it has been a massive week with all of that happening but felt like the right thing to do and making positive steps forward. I then found out the news about my Dad which took the week in to a whole new level of life changing.
Telling my parents was all along in my head as being the big one in terms of telling people. At this point they don’t know and I am not going to tell my Dad, it is a decision that I have thought about and whether right or wrong it is the one that I am sticking with for the remaining time that I have with him. My Mum and the rest of my family will find out over time when it feels right / has to happen/ finding out, will just need to take that as it comes.
It is difficult going back to be Fiona with them, sometimes more difficult than others. At the moment it is just what situation is and dealing with it the best that I can.
That regardless it defiantly feels like I have made the right decision to come out as trans and to start the process of being male. To be fair I think it is something that I started a very long ago and as I said it has started to make somethings a lot clearer. I feel a lot more settled within myself and happy with who I am. Yes there is days where I don’t and if feeling negative about something else it will quite often bring out the negative thoughts regarding being Rob. However there is other points where it just feels right, like going out for a drink in a pub and just being able to walk into the male toilets no problems. When I am wearing a binder and liking how I feel in my clothes and also what I see reflected back at me in the mirror. There is lots of little things and lots of big things.
I Am Rob!