Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tiffanie emerges ... venturing into the unknown

I sometimes wonder how I would handle some of the situations I've run into over the past several months if I were not transitioning.

Would it make any difference?

Would I dissolve into a deep depression or other form of mental meltdown?

Would I have handled them better?  More professionally?

I will never know.

I do know this ... Over the past few weeks at work there have been an inordinate number of incidents.  Everything from having to terminate a driver for misconduct, having another driver on the verge of being terminated for misconduct to corporate considering terminating a driver for an accident that was not his fault ... oh, and I had to suspend the delegation process of a potentially great trainer because he also has been choosing to not follow policy.

We've had the area director of safety and the chp in the bus yard digging through our records, inspecting our buses and facility.

We've had several accidents ... too many to mention.  The fact that all but two were not preventable only makes things slightly better.  The amount of paperwork, the time diverted to accident investigation,  and other company requirements cause me to fall behind on other job requirements.

Work has been simply stressful ...

Hair before coloring
Hair after coloring
But, on the brighter side many drivers are now seeking me out to see what color nail polish I am wearing. I think that shows a great level of acceptance without even being sure why I am wearing it.  I can't wait until next week when I walk in with my hair dyed ... reddish blonde ... I literally just had it done last night.

I am feeling more and more comfortable as myself ... I feel like I am slowly emerging from the mist and the shadows for the world to see.

But there are still many hurdles to cross.

One of the smaller steps I took recently happened at a local store.  Pam and I had been out for a bit and I had to go to the restroom.  To get to the men's room you go through a door that leads to part of the storeroom ... but other than employee areas, that's all that is there.  The ladies room is through a different door leading to the back of the store.  This door is closer to the cashiers where many other people are.  I have not felt comfortable going into a public men's room for quite a while, but feel I am not ladylike enough to get away with the women's restroom.

After a brief discussion I decided to use the ladies' room.  Pam thought it was a single user restroom and I could lock the door behind me.

Umm ... nope.

But I went in anyway.  Nobody was in there, so I entered a stall and took care of business ... I washed my hands, left the restroom and headed back out into the store.  That's when I realized how many people could actually see the door ... but nobody said a word.

A few days later the restrooms at work stopped working.  I decided to go to a local drug store because they are usually not busy during the day.  I went into the ladies room ... empty ... I took care of business and was washing my hands ... the door opened.

My heart stopped ... it is strange how many thoughts can go through your head in a millisecond.

Another lady walked in.  In the mirror I could see that she glanced at me, but she went into her stall and closed the door.  I dried my hands and went to the cosmetics department.  A few momenta later the same lady was standing near me looking at makeup ... she never said a word.

Does she see me as Tiffanie?  The lady she happened to see in the restroom and then again in the store?  It does make me a bit more confident to have this little issue behind me.

The truth of the matter is, now that I have crossed this threshold I never plan to nor want to go into a men's room again.  I will likely battle some nerves until HRT starts to have some physical effects on me ... and even then possibly until I have my gender legally changed on my records.

I am likely worrying too much, but I do not want to be the next transgender headline in the news for being in the ladies' room.

Anyway ... ...

Thursday finally rolled around ... and it dragged on forever.  The usual 30 minute review of the driver records by the CHP turned into a 2 hour ordeal ... this after making me wait another 2 hours from the time they said they would be in my office.  It wasn't anything bad, but a new many was being trained and the inspecting officer was (and always are) looking with greater scrutiny to impress their fledgling.

They found one mistake ... I feel stupid because they usually find zero.  To listen to the inspector talk you would think that my single mistake would grind all school bus traffic in the state of California to a screeching halt while the transportation gods exacted torturous punishment on my ravaged soul.

But we passed.

I told Maggie about the mistake, and how I was going to rectify it.

I was a bit surprised when the pair of inspectors talked to the staff that suddenly this one mistake (not a little mistake, but not horrible) turned into "many serious situations ... but I will be lenient and give you guys a satisfactory ... ..."

Really??

So I go to see Catharine, my counselor Thursday afternoon ... and I went dressed as girly as I have ever been in public.  A nice top I picked up on our last shopping outing ... freshly painted nails ... Pam gave me a pair of earrings she made to go with the top ... and of course my shoes.

I felt fabulous ...

And I'm sure I looked almost androgynous ... possibly on the feminine side of the scale.

The session itself was not spectacular ... I really didn't feel like talking much, although going on a rampage about the CHP or whatever may have released a bit of tension.  We did, however touch on many interesting topics.

The fact that I had used the ladies room ... and the issues it could bring if somebody complains ...

My upcoming venture into hormone-land ...

The fact that I should wear a bra with my new top ... ... ??? ... Ummm ... maybe after I have boobs ...

Looking into voice therapy to help me sound more feminine ...

How comfortable I feel going into public dressed in such a feminine manner ...

Well damn ...

That last one got me thinking.  I haven't gone into public this girly.

I left the appointment and went to K-mart.  I couldn't buy anything because there is no money to spend, but I walked around and looked ... through the women's department ... the cosmetics department ... amongst the other women.

I felt like I belonged.

It was a week of progress ... a week of confidence building ... a week of emerging as Tiffanie in every way possible.

This was all topped off today.  Pam, Timmy and I took my niece to Los Angeles to run some errands.  It was a day much like a few weeks ago when we decided to go to the big city ... but there was one big difference ... I was dressed as Tiffanie.

New hair color ...
Pretty teal tank-top ...
My new shoes ...
Earrings ...
A touch of BB cream ...

I cannot say I looked beautiful ... But when I looked at a couple of the pics I will admit that I teared up because I see me ... Tiffanie ... a lady.

After our trip we went to dinner at a buffet place.  Pam and I went to the restroom together for the first time ... again, not a big deal, but a first.  I didn't flinch at the sight of a lady at the sink when we walked in ... we just went to our stalls.  I didn't even flinch when I saw the little girl and her mom outside the restroom when we walked out.

Dinner itself was fabulous ... not because of the food, but because of being myself in public, and having those closest to me their with me.

Today will be one of those days I will remember as milestones in my transition.