Going on from my post yesterday:
The comments played on my mind throughout the night – did I word my thoughts badly (serious possibility, I am not the best writer in the word and struggle to get thoughts from my head onto paper), or am I being naive and foolish; or somewhere in the middle.
About the diagnosis from the VU, let’s see if I can get this coherently out of my head. I know what I am, and I *think* I know what I need to do to move forward with my. But this is a life changing decision – and if it’s not the right one I am going to be in so much more trouble than I already am at present. Ergo I will listen to what is said during the diagnostic phase at the VU, but I am not just going to transition because the doctors tell me too. I think I have worded my decision the wrong way around though - maybe because I am afraid of the impact of the other wording or maybe because I am still thinking everything through.
From what I understood at the open information evening the diagnosis is only a part of the decision from the VU on whether it’s a good idea to go forward. There is also the consideration of your personality type, psychological strength and ability to deal with the fall out of transition. If they believe that you are not going to be able to cope with life after transition they tell you.
With that in mind I think that this is more accurate: If the VU tell me they feel I do not have what it takes to cope then I will listen to them, they don’t just close the door and leave you to struggle, they open doors to other therapy to help you. If they tell me that they think I will be able to cope and that it would be a good idea to transition then I may go down that route.
Hopefully over the course of the next 12 months, with the therapy that starts this week and with the VU, whenever that starts, I can join the dots in my head and know what the right path is. I am not going to rush into anything blindly.
As for telling my company (my boss and HR), I guess that there are a few reasons.
First and foremost my performance has been awful for the last 6 months. 60% of what I can do at best. I love my job, it’s the only job I have had where after 2 years I didn’t feel the need to get out and where I have lasted longer than 2 ½ years (just had my 4 year anniversary in fact). When waking up at 5:40 every morning the only thing that makes me groan is the fact that it is 5:40, not that I have to go to work. I would rather that they know why I am performing badly at the moment, than guess at reasons that would not look good for me on my yearly review.
I’d never thought of it as testing the waters to gauge the reaction, but I guess there is an element of truth there as well I guess. And yes it is a great company to work for – on all counts.
Melissa noted that my colleagues have suspicions and still seem like me. I had not thought of it that way since I heard the information on Friday night. Thanks – that has helped me a lot :)
To be honest there is another reason I have told more people now: I’ve grown tired of hiding. When someone is asking you seriously what’s wrong and you can’t tell them it just adds to the weight of the problem in my mind, I spiral a little bit further down, and the person asking see’s that I am being cagey and they get either more concerned – which doesn’t help me at all.
Plus I am an ex-pat. I have two groups of people that I know: in laws and (ex) colleagues. The colleagues that I have told (with the exception of HR) are the ones that I also see outside of work, which I invite to my yearly summer BBQ. If I start to transition outside of work those that know about it will be my colleagues. Those who I trust and who I speak to when I am having issues are my colleagues. It’s difficult to separate the two unfortunately. When I was in the UK it was quite a different situation. I saw my colleagues 9 till 5, Monday to Friday. I saw my friends in the evening. I think that’s a very different dynamic to what I have now. How much of an excuse or how valid that is I am not sure.
I am not sure that is as coherent as I was aiming for, but it felt good to write it down and work it though it in my head. Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday, thanks for both the support and the questions that have continued to make me think about what I am doing and feeling.
And thanks for caring enough to spend the time writing them.