Wow, a lot has happened this week... And I am not sure what to make of it all.
Chrissie left a comment last week saying 'the cover is wearing thin'. I think that is quite a correct interpretation of where I am at present. I am tired of lying to people and trying to cover my tracks. I’m finding it more and more difficult to cover up my mannerisms and having to try and be careful all of the time. And that fact has led to a few situations this week...
Mrs Stace and I had a few chats last weekend. I can't remember what I was talking about but I said something that when played back in my head came out quite differently that I meant it.
"That's not my way of telling you I am going to transition"
"The writings on the wall, it's been there for a while"
"Maybe you are right... But that's still not my way of telling you I'm going to transition"
That was on my mind for the rest of the day, and I was getting a little worked up. Later in the day (well actually at night after we had gone to bed) I told her that if the VU say that they feel transitioning would be the best thing for my mental health I probably will. Obviously with what she was saying earlier in the day it was not a shock for her. But it is something else that she has to deal with.
I told the people in the office that know (a couple of colleagues and my boss) and they all came out with variations on the same sentence. ‘Kind of assumed you would.’ And I decided to get the HR woman involved – she knows that something is going on, but not what. We went for a long walk and I told her everything. She was great, really supportive and told me it would not affect my job in any way – and was shocked that I thought people were going to react badly, pointing out that The Netherlands is quite an open country, and that the company (as in employees) is very open and that whilst we have our share of manly men Alpha Males, that she feels even they would accept it should I decide to transition next year, and commented that it’s nice to think that the IT dept has more women in it.
She also commented that people (read women in the office) thought I was quite a feminine man and so wouldn’t necessarily be surprised. That surprised me as I rather naively thought I still put on a reasonable act. Guess not... Asking what she could do to help I gave my normal answer “react the way you reacted and don’t feel sorry for me”.
The differences between the way men and women see things is odd though. I told my boss that I had spoken to HR and let them know what was going on. I told him about the feminine man comment and he didn’t see it at all. When I told Mrs Stace she said ‘well yes, what do you expect?’ Interesting
Last night things got a little intense. We have a foosball table in the IT department, but with a change in the way out building is used we lost the space where we could use it to during the day. Seeing as it’s something we all used to enjoy I arranged a foosball evening for those interested. As is the way of these things it started with lots of enthusiasm, people chasing me up for dates etc and ended up with 6 of us (from a group of nearly 30). The idea was beer, pizza and foosball.
When it came to ordering the pizza someone though it was a good idea to go to a restaurant instead of ordering in, we rang and got a table and went on our way. We were all having a good time, those who lived close to the office arranged to meet their other halves there and we were all having a light hearted go at each other’s nationality (Dutch, French, English and Indian) when suddenly there was this weird noise coming from next to me. One of my colleagues started to choke most of the group froze, and I checked that he was actually chocking and then started whacking him on his back, and was trying to remember how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre. Thankfully the whacks were enough and he sat back in his seat. I just couldn’t get over it though and at the point when one of the wives asked if I was OK just had to get out of the restaurant.
Now the reason why it hit me so hard is that 20 years ago (more or less) I was chocked on a piece of bacon and my lips were turning blue and I was passing out before my dad managed to remove it. That is something that I just can’t get over – eating bacon still frightens me and everytime I hear what sounds like someone choking I go into panic mode.
The guy that was choking came out to see if I was OK, by which time I was in tears collapsed against the wall outside the restaurant. He came out to ask how I was doing, we went for a walk to try and calm me down. And I ended up telling him both reasons why I was so emotional at that point. He took it well, and was not totally surprised. He confirmed that people had noticed something about me, and that someone commented that they would not be surprised if I was gay.
This got me thinking... If people already think that I think I would rather they knew the truth - I don’t think it’s something I am going to do, but I guess it’s something to speak to my therapist about when I start (first session Thursday morning BTW - woohoo).
Oh well time for a skate whilst the weather is good I think.