Moving on and moving forward, Amanda is still work in progress. It’s been a long journey over many years. She is evolving and developing all the time!
For years I have been a black or white person and have been wondering what makes me tick?
- Why was I born like this?
- Where is this all going?
- Is there an end to the journey?
- What is the end result?
- Why is my brain wired like this?
- Why do I get these intense feminine feelings?
- Why am I so at ease and comfortable as Amanda?
- Why do I want to be Amanda more and more?
- Why do feminine beauty treatments feel so natural to me?
- Do I want to fully transition? Some difficult thoughts and questions. No easy answers!
Some years ago I regularly went to a transgender group called Fabuliss which was based in Liphook Hampshire. It was run by a lovely married husband and wife team. The husband embraced his female side with his incredibly supportive wife. Social events were organised on a monthly basis with regular guest speakers, make up beauty demonstrations, mannerisms, deportment lessons and pageants! One could really embrace ones female side. It was a great place to be and meet up with others on the TG spectrum. Its sad end came when the wife died after a long illness. A great loss to all.
So where is all this going? Well, one event was run by a TG councillor who worked for Hampshire NHS Trust based in Portsmouth. She offered help and counselling on the NHS. I had a long chat with her at one of the meetings and made an appointment to meet up professionally and discuss Amanda. I attended four sessions that helped me come to more of an understanding about what made me tick. It also though presented some interesting data. On some psychological tests I came up as 74% female. That explained a lot! This was a few years ago and over time Amanda was becoming more and more important.
My wife wanted me to seek professional help and explore Amanda more. How would I find the right person? Well the internet came up trumps! Independently, we both googled Psychologists specialising in TG clients based within a radius of where we live. We also decided I would pay and go privately. There were 5 possible people on the search list. My wife has a medical background being a GP Practise Nurse. We both independently read up their CV’s and chatted about our listings. “Amanda,” she said, “Who do you think ticks the boxes for you?” I gave her the name. “That’s amazing,” she said. “Your number one is my number one!” Well, that answered my question. I exchanged emails with my first choice and got an appointment for a consultation two weeks later.
“You will be coming as Amanda” she asked? “Yes” I said! Well, two weeks rushed by. I was very apprehensive but knew it was the right move. I spent the morning getting dressed. Nail extensions on, full make up, Dior perfume, the full works. A dress, jacket and high heels complemented the look! I wanted her to see I was serious about Amanda. I arrived early for the appointment and knocked on her door. “Come in Amanda. Wow you look great, you are very convincing and confident!” I was instantly at ease with her. She had a lovely smile. I instantly warmed to her. We talked for over an hour. Time flew by.
“Well,” she said, “We can go on this journey together if you are comfortable opening up to me? You need to be totally open and honest with me. There may be some difficult and challenging questions and answers. We will dig deep! Are you committed?” she asked. “Do you want time to think about it?”
“No,” I said instantly. I was ready to proceed with a professional counselling course. A date was booked for the following week. I was asked to keep a diary and write up comments, observations etc after each session. Initially we met up weekly for the first few months. We then dropped to alternate weeks, then every three and then monthly. Now it’s when I need help we meet, talk, discuss, explore. We covered some ground! My note book filled up fast. When I got home I was exhausted. My brain ached! So much going on, so much to think about. Every week I was given homework to do, articles to read, internet research, books, magazine, journals etc. We discussed media postings, films, documentaries, radio programmes etc. Most weeks TG issues appear in the media.
When I got home my wife always asked me do you want to talk and discuss what went on? Most times the answer was yes over a cup of tea or glass of wine. I was taught how to cope with my TG side. To embrace and not fight it. My Psychologist got me to see life not as black or white but shades of grey. This is a much more comfortable place to be than black and white. She described my journey as a train ride. Imagine the Portsmouth to London railway. I’m now at Clapham Junction heading towards Waterloo. I’ve been at Clapham now for quite a few months. There are still more questions than answers but I am now in a much more comfortable place. At greater peace with my mind and body than I’ve been for years. Where do I go from Clapham? When will I leave Clapham ? Do I ever leave Clapham? Is Waterloo my end stop? What happens when I get there? The journey goes on! A massive grey area! Dark grey!