WARNING! Here be dragons, again. Ranty Sarah is in the house.
Ever had one of those weeks that feels like someone punching you repeatedly in the crotch? Yeah, one of those. This week has been, well, tiring, yet every night, without fail, I’m awake at to see 3:00am, either, like tonight, falling asleep exhausted at 20:00 and waking up, from a particularly odd but interesting dream, at 23:55 thinking it’s the morning, or lying in the dark wondering if sleep has gone off on a bender somewhere leaving me all alone with my thoughts.
So, without burdening you with the sheer weight of silliness and stress this week has been, I’ll briefly summarise the fun points of the last four days; my favourite cat (yeah, I know you shouldn’t have favourites, I love all those monsters, but this cat has a special place in my heart) had an infection in her mouth that I hadn’t noticed, and needed a couple of teeth removed under anaesthesia on Monday; when I was at college my two year old dog, who I loved a lot, had a similar thing and went to the vet for exactly the same op; she died when they injected her, a reaction to the anaesthetic. So Monday was rough for me; I spent all weekend worried about it. My car started to leak on me when it rained (long story), took that to the garage on Tuesday and they told me it would be a grand to fix it. And that they couldn’t, because they don’t do bodywork. So, took the car to a bodywork place, they stripped the seals (soft top, windscreen mount corrosion), fixed the metal; I took the car back to the Audi garage and they went ‘err, we can’t refit the seals. That will be another grand. And we don’t have the parts so we’ll have to keep the car until April 7th to fix it.
Wednesday was different. I had to give a live deep dive technical demo to an important customer. I was a bit worried because it was five things at once, had it all prepared. Ten minutes before the demo, powercut. Power is off for two hours, miss the demo.
Thursday I saw the doctor about my feet; in lockdown I’ve gone a little, well, mad, and. a side-effect of that is excessive exercise; last Saturday.I walked another marathon distance on hot tarmac (I’ve been averaging a marathon a week) and my feet have, well, suffered. Good news is I haven’t done any real permanent damage, but it’s bye=bye at least four toenails, I have a swollen lump on the tendon on the bottom of the right foot and I have blisters under callouses. Oh, and my ankle popped as I walked the eight miles back from the garage having not picked up my car, a round trip of 16 miles on hot tarmac, six of which I did with a screaming ankle.
Yeah, that kind of week.
So I find myself awake at the magic three o’clock in the morning and, you know, I actually enjoy it. The world is quiet, I’m all alone in my mind and my bed, and it gives me a chance to, well, wander around in the pink silliness that is the inside of my head.
It is amazing what the mind throws up at this time in the morning; they used to call midnight the witching hour, but to me it’s that quiet time between 2:00 and 4:00, a time when the majority of people die (it’s all to do with the biorhythm; this time of morning is the reboot). My brain jumps around a lot; dipping back into distant memories, like the Gang Show one from last time, or just ruminating life in general.
We feel like we are on the verge of starting the trip back to reality, and it occurs to me that I’ve kinda forgotten what that reality is, both from the drab side of me and Sarah. It’s hard to stay grounded and focused in these kind of stress full times, and what I am finding at the moment is a lot of the construct I had in my mind as to who I am, who I wanted to be and who I was has crumbled a bit. Could be a good thing, could be a bad, but it is what it is.
Part of this, to put it a little more technically, ‘base rewrite’ is a long hard look at not so much where and who I am, but more who I want to be.
Reason I raise this is during the doctor’s appointment, which was with a lovely young female doctor (masked of course) who seemed genuinely concerned in a proper human way about my feet, I came very, very close to breaking down in tears about my gender.
That’s never happened before. And I was talking about my damn feet. But there was a sudden compulsion to tell the doctor that I was critically unhappy; that living with the constant pressure of pretending to be something I’m not was suddenly too hard. I wanted to ask, no, *beg* for hormones. For something to take away the brutish anger, the self-loathing at the coarse masculinity. To just be able to be ‘soft’, to be able to just breathe out in a feminine way, to delight in things that are beautiful, to me.
I didn’t, of course. The hard-wired man in me put his (swollen and bruised) foot down hard before I could blurt it out, but it was an odd and interesting sensation. That sudden need to just be someone else, even if that someone else is the real me, came over me like a wave.
Yes, it was probably just an avalanche of crap from the week, combined with the looming anniversary of a year under lockdown. But the feeling was so raw and so insistent it took a huge amount of effort not to literally beg the doctor to help.
One of the reasons I mention this is that it was International Transgender Day of Visibility yesterday and like a huge number of people, some of which who have said it on various Social Media, I couldn’t contribute in any way. See, if you are a ‘casual’, and I use that word in the most ironic sense given the internal pressure I feel at times to be feminine, cross-dresser you feel like a fraud to stand up and wave the ‘T’ flag. The community is so varied and, to be honest, opinionated that people like me, who haven’t for whatever reason committed to a full-time life in feminine attire and mannerisms, can be sidelined.
And the nature of our own self-guilt and self-loathing, which seems to be a common thread amongst a lot of cross-dressers, means that we, or at least I (grant me the royal ‘we’, it’s that time in the morning) means that a day like the TDAV is actually pretty negative for us. You feel even more of a fraud, even more of a failure.
We all know that the whole spectrum of gender identity isn’t binary, that’s the whole point and problem. It’s just, being honest, that kind of day make me feel even more ostracised. Don’t read this as an attack on TDAV, it’s not that at all. It’s just the prominence of that kind of day highlights for me the fact that I don’t belong in any community, the red-blooded mysogynists or the T-world. And that’s saddening.
It’s not a call for pity either; part of my personal make-up means I’m proud of what I am; I stand over the line you shouldn’t cross. I have a foot on both banks and I love to think that makes me more of a complete person. But even for an introverted shy person like myself we like to feel that we belong, and on a day like TDAV I feel more alone than ever.
Again, insomnia and the witching hour rips apart any pretension or veil.
There are times when I look at the pictures of Sarah and all I see is a middle aged man in a dress. There are times when I look and I see a vulnerable woman. On days like TDAV you can guess what I see.
And as we are on a bit of a rant….
Why does J.K.Rowling make me so angry?
I enjoyed Harry Potter. There, said it. When it became popular it was looked down on as being books for kids, which it was, but it was a reasonable story. The whole arc got a bit self-indulgent and a lot of JKRs personal grudges were obviously visible, but it was entertaining light fiction, not a religion (yet).
I grew up in the same area as JKR. We had a very similar upbringing, literally only five or so miles apart at the same time. I always identified with her because of that.
Until she started tweeting and I saw exactly what kind of person she was; talented in one way but terribly flawed and quite vicious in another. Go look at some of her ‘putdowns’ and she’s nasty, spiteful and vindictive.
And that’s fine. Lot’s of people are; when you use social media you don’t have the normal shields and empathy you get when talking directly to someone’s face. Her views on what makes a ‘woman’ I found very distasteful and bigoted, but again, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
And then she played the abuse card.
That’s when I got very, very angry with her. The majority of people I know have had some level of abuse during their life; personally I had a terribly abusive childhood, both mentally and, as memories start to surface, physically (I suddenly remembered yesterday a time when I went to hospital as a young kid, being driven in the car by my parents, with a shattered little finger, with them telling me to tell the nurses that I had tripped going down the stairs when in reality my father had bent it back to ‘tell me off’ for some unknown slight against my valium-addicted mother and had literally snapped it – another suppressed nugget of fun). To use the excuse of being abused to explain a sarcastic nasty attack on transgendered people is and was utterly appalling.
“I was abused so that allows me to vindictively destroy other people’s fragile self-esteem’. Put like that you can see how horrible that is. And that makes me very angry.
What makes it worse is that it feels, to me, like a lie. And the problem with that is that if it isn’t it is destructive to abused people. You can’t throw that into people’s faces as an excuse for abuse.
Again, it’s a bad time right now but for some reason this really incenses me.
Don’t let trans-people into our ‘safe spaces’!
Following on from the nasty stuff JKR has said I got a little cross about this as well. See, the men’s toilet is a bloody awful place. I am a pretty imposing (she says modestly) person when in drab and I get unnerved using a bathroom, especially in pubs. There’s always someone a little too drunk in there and it’s either a case that they want to be your friend (and believe me, the last place I want to strike up a casual conversation is when I’m stood in front of a metal trough with my genitals in my hand trying to squeeze out four pints of water as fast as I can) or they want a fight, period. The men’s toilet is a very dangerous place for men in general.
The idea of using a men’s toilet when I’m fully dressed and behaving as a woman is terrifying. I personally feel very vulnerable when dressed; I’m not a man when I’m dressed, that’s the whole point. Violence has always appalled me; in the army I used to get physically sick after an engagement, I hate conflict. Even dressed conservatively if I walked into the majority of toilets in public establishments I would get stared at, mocked, verbally attacked, physically attacked or sexually attacked. Period.
There’s just something unpleasantly feral about male toilets.
I have used women’s toilets a number of times when out and about dressed. They are safer places; for a start there are stalls. A trans-person/cross-dresser is not going into a woman’s toilet on the prowl; they are going there to excrete waste. This assumption that every man in a dress is a sexual predator/sexual pervert is grossly offensive and misses the point entirely as to why the man is dressed as a woman in the first place.
The likelihood of a trans-person getting assaulted in a men’s toilet compared to a woman getting assaulted by a trans-person in a woman’s toilet isn’t even comparable.
The real question for me is this – where am I meant to go when I need a toilet and I’m Sarah? The problem is that there are two answers to this; the first is to make all toilets gender-neutral. The downside is that this will put women at risk, especially in places where alcohol is served. That’s a terrible reality of the gender based society we live in. The second answer is to have specific trans bathrooms. But this can be seen as offensive, rightfully, to fully transitioned women.
It’s a very hard question but I’m going to be contentious on this; I have as much right to be safe as anyone else. Currently the rights of the trans-person, in whatever form they are, seem to matter less than women’s rights, and that is shocking once you realise the depth of what that means.
Want to impress me online? Send me a picture of a rose, not your cock
Regardless of what we think or try to portray human beings are sexual animals. And Social Media is a terrible place to try and have a conversation with someone. You get none of the usual subconscious clues as to the person’s motive; any statement can and has to be taken at literal face value. I spend a lot of time on Social Media as Sarah; it’s a way that I can embrace the women I love inside in a way I never could before.
And there are a lot of lonely people out there. Even though we have massive communications now they are making us more alone than ever, especially during the pandemic. Not being able to meet people physically is very difficult, even for the natural hermits, like me, amongst us.
The T’community, in all its facets, has always been a tale of two genders. As someone on the feminine side of the fence I will post pictures, write blogs, express myself in a feminine way, as much as I can. From my perspective this is slightly skewed; the person I portray online is a construct, my interpretation of what a woman is.
If you are an ardent reader of this blog (and if so, I LOVE you) then you know where my tastes lie; I love retro and vintage clothing; to me that personifies femininity. It’s how I want women to be and as styles and tastes have moved on and constantly change, women don’t dress or behave that way anymore. I’m more than happy to adopt those styles and mannerisms; it’s what gives me that wonderful delicious feeling deep inside my soul.
On the masculine side of the T’community we have, and I don’t like the term, ‘admirers’. I’m very lucky in that I can jump back and forth over the fence depending on my mood (and possibly the amount of estrogen flowing through my veins at any time). There are some wonderful and lovely admirers out there who know exactly what to say and do to make us girls blush and giggle. And then there are some others for whom the whole scene is, well, different.
Reason I’m writing about this is I just checked my Facebook Messenger spam folder. I do it occasionally, and I do it with a sense of dread as it is always, unceasingly full of pictures of men’s cocks.
Don’t get me wrong; there are certain days and certain times when Sarah, bless her and her unsatisfied libido, wants to look at male genitalia. But the key word here is ‘solicited’. I’ve always said, and always will, that whatever happens between two consenting adults, regardless of their biological gender, is completely OK. I’ve had late night back-and-forth online chats with the most delightful and interesting admirers. And I’ve sent them various pictures of Sarah, and got pictures from them.
However, sending unsolicited pictures of your genitals to someone you fancy seems a bit, well, rapey if you’ll excuse the use of that word. It reeks of shock value; what does the person expect the girl, biological or not, to do with that? I don’t get the vapours when I open a message and someone’s one-eyed snake is staring back at me. I don’t get angry or frustrated. I just delete the message. I truly don’t understand what the sender is expecting – ‘oh, you’re so big! I’ll chuck on a frock and some lipstick and come right over!’. Has that literally ever happened?
If you have never talked to me online and you are attracted to me, thank you; I dress as a woman in a way that is meant to be attractive, primarily to me and also to Sarah. Send Sarah a rose. Or a complement.
It may be old fashioned but try to imagine the person you are talking to is someone you love; not lust after, love. Treat them nicely. It will make you feel better, and them feel special. Spread some love, we all need it right now.
4:30am. Rant and vent over, think it’s time to try and get some sleep and maybe let Sarah have some dreams of gorgeous frocks, perfume and quality girl-time.
Stay beautiful, stay sane and try to keep your sleep patterns healthy….
6 thoughts on “[Philosophy] The 3:00am Train to Insomnia Central”
Whenever I write anything it has a tendency to come out as disjointed and slightly rambling however I shall do my best.
Like you I have a tendency to be awake at stupid hours of the night, I am not worrying about anything particularly I just want to get out, meet someone nice and live happily after, bit far fetched but theoretically possible. Who am I looking to meet, its easy a tall elegant woman who most of the time wears a dress, perfect make up and matching bag and heels. A woman who lets me buy her dinner and knows I will always hold the door open for her, who will be confident in herself but also slightly glad that she has her man with her just in case. If you recognise yourself in there then thats fine, you appear and sound and write as though you are in that category.
She doesnt have to be “T” but it doesnt matter if she is. Anyone who presents and identifies as a woman, even if for only 1 day a month, is a woman. When I speak to her when we are apart although she is probably in jeans and T shirt with possibly on the television I still only see her as I know her, as described earlier.
Since, some years ago, I took the (to me) huge and slightly scary step of going out on my first date with a wonderful and very attractive woman (full time but pre op) I have known that there is a side of me that wants that in a partner. Nothing like setting a high target as many girls cant always be there. My most recent could be herself one day a fortnight so thats what we had, but I digress. I quickly realised that it was a much bigger and more scary step for the girl I was with. I always had the option, never taken, of moving one step away and saying “nothing to do with me”. Three dates, one satisfying kissing session and it was over but it left a mark, a rather large one that cant be erased.
To prove it was just a passing phase and with nobody knowing I then went out with “Cis” girls but it wasnt what I was looking for. Then I had the good fortune to meet possibly the most wonderful girl who I spent the most incredible 3 years with. Totally out, never hding in the shadows it was different for both of us. We never hid although I accept we tended to go out at the higher end of the market, nobody is going to offer me a fight in the Royal Opera House after all though we went in Wetherspoons as well, on a Friday night in Leeds. Full time, pre op, bald as a coot but always a girl to me. We virtually lived together and although towards the end it had turned into FWB I had stupidly fallen in love. The end was rather sudden as she had met a girl and although she had tried it was her gender she had changed not her sexuality. Like yourself I am ex forces and even took her to a couple of reunions as these people had been an important part of my life, I was very proud of her. Lots of trolling, unsolicited mails and calls from hidden numbers with death threats. I dont have anything to do with the veterans world anymore and am quite wary of social media in general. Since then dates, some succesful, others “I made my excuses and left” as the papers always say.
My real friends are not bothered, if they meet me with a girl then they treat her as such and one has even been to friends houses for dinner and a few drinks. The way it should be.
I also thought I must be gay but one date with a guy made me realise that it wasnt the case. I only find females attractive. Some of them have different plumbing but they are all still girls.
Will we ever meet, probably not as I live in the dark frozen North, possibly beyond the Wall, and although I go to London occasionally it has to be with someone though to meet someone isnt to be ruled out.
I feel I have waffled on for long enough and you may not be here now but I do wish you all the best and would be happy to chat, buy you dinner or even whisk you away to Paradise. This should probably be called an admirers story but I hate the word. It implies a difference which isnt there.
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Apologies for any errors and spelling mistakes, its early and a day off
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You hit the nail on the head for me with the 3am rant. Bless your heart . Thank you. I wish I could say the things in my head like you can. You are a lovely person, inside and out.
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First off, in sorry to hear you had such a sh** of a week.
The visibility and the guilt on feeling ‘not quite doing enough’ is familiar and your blog reaches – and perhaps touches – more people than you think. Unlike seeing you in the street, a visitor here gets to hear your voice as a person. To listen to your hopes, fears, and ask the things that make us people.
As to telling the doctor, for every horror story there’s many more positive stories from trans folk – full timers, part timers, the unsure, and we ‘casuals’ – that help can be given. When I told my GP over a decade ago, he was empathetic and I got the help I needed.
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Good morning Sarah, XX
Firstly, thank you again for another lovely, candid blog post. 🙂 XX
Secondly, I know you’ve not had a great week but I am sorry that I didn’t realise it was so bad! 😔 I hope that your feet are recovering? Will they be ‘match fit’ for your next London visit? And also, please be careful when you go to collect your car!
I totally understand how you nearly ‘broke down’ to your doctor. I have almost done it myself on a couple of occasions. I want you to know that you are my most dear friend. And it upsets me when you are upset. If ever there is a time that you want to talk – about anything – then you know where I am. And you know that I will listen. XXX
I have to say as well that in no way should you EVER consider yourself a fraud. You are most definitely not! You are just you. Us ‘girls’ are all in the same sea. We may not be travelling in the same direction nor even in the same boat but we are all trying to do our best with what we have. And I’m sure that for every trans-person that has transitioned there are hundreds who are still walking that path, sailing their ship or even still stood on the shore building up courage to enter the water. We should be kind to others, and we should be kind to ourselves too. Don’t ever think that you aren’t ‘trans’ enough. And don’t EVER let anyone else tell you what it is to be transgender. You are an absolutely amazing and inspirational person. 🙂 😘 XXX
My views on JKKK Rowling are a whole different rant in and of itself so I won’t go into it here. Her money has enabled her to weaponise hate against a vulnerable minority and for that I will never forgive her.
Fashion and tastes change and women’s views on those fashions and tastes also change. But there are a good number of women that do enjoy the more feminine appearing retro fashion. Despite lockdown knocking a few in the head, there are still a good number of companies out there that make retro and vintage style fashion for all the girls that enjoy it. We should have the same rights to present ourselves as we wish as much as anyone else. And if that involves petticoats, seemed stockings and a swing dress then so be it! XX
I just want you to know that you are my dearest friend Sarah. Whatever the future holds for you and whatever you decide to do, I will always have your back. 🙂 XX
Take care and stay safe.
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She’s so fem and beautiful
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