Musings on the road to recovery

A confession

I have a confession to make. One which is terrifying in its potential ramifications and one which could change the way my colleagues and friends view me forever. It’s a big step to take, announcing it in this way, but I’m determined to take that step now. I only hope that you won’t think any less of me in the future, I looked into the mirror this morning, whilst doing my make up and realised that I couldn’t hide from the truth any longer. I, Mrs RR, crazy cat lady in training, am turning into a GIRL!

Now before you get confused and wonder if you’ve stumbled upon the blog of a pre-op transsexual male, I can reassure you right now that’s not the case. Since childhood I have, most resolutely in many cases, eschewed the trappings of femininity in favour of pursuits which were considered less “girly” by my family: car fanatic – tick, tree climber – tick, horse rider – tick although I suppressed my feminine side, it did emerge and take me by surprise occasionally, but so occasionally that I was able to discount it as an anomaly.

I have to face facts though, I’m taking care with my appearance, long gone are the days when I leave the house with a cursory brush through my hair and, shock horror, I am now using styling products. It’s also being cut regularly, instead of once every two three years, when it took over and I was found lurking under mountains of hair, Cousin It style. I’m also now applying make up most days although am yet to get the hang of blusher, I either look like I’m suffering from consumption or like I’m about to audition for Coco the Clown.As yet, there is no middle ground.

I even now have my nails, as I look round furtively to ensure that no-one is around to hear my dirty little secret, “done” every week. It’s shameful, I know but it’s a secret pleasure of mine. Chatting away to the beautician while she completes that transformation from unkempt and ragged into respectable and, /cough, red. I have developed a penchant for wearing red, blood red, nail varnish. I’m convinced that it has something to do with my grandmother’s firm belief that only slatterns (I qualify in that category, no wonder we have to employ a cleaner!) and ladies of ill repute wear red nail varnish, and, by doing so, I feel like I’m letting my inner devil out to play. Some people choose drugs, alchohol, fast cars to release their inner imp. Me? Give me a bottle of red nail varnish and I’m a goner.

I’m convinced that this is related to my burgeoning sense of self respect. I used to hate myself with a passion which was only matched by my love of chocolate and icecream, but as each day passes, I notice another facet of my appearance or personality that I like, even, shock horror, sometimes admire. I chalk this up to my psychotherapist, who encouraged me to make a list of things that I like about myself daily and things that I’ve done well that day, no matter how small, whether it is the way in which I toasted a crumpet (more tricky than you’d imagine in this house, our toaster only ever does a lightly toasted, somewhat pallid slice of bread or burnt. There is no alternative) or that I have pretty eyes.

It’s been hard but I think I’m getting there, I’ve had three comments in the last few days about how I look like I’ve lost lots of weight, when actually I’ve gained 2.5lbs and how well I look. Mr RR is convinced that it’s down to how I’m now carrying myself, less hiding behind my hair, being apologetic for my own existence,wearing baggy, shapeless jumpers,  more flattering clothes and light make up. I don’t think I’m ever going to appear as polished and elegant as others, as soon as I knock over my walking stick for the tenth time that day, trip over my own feet or walk into a wall, I give myself away for the clumsy devil I am but for a moment, just for a split second, these days, if you looked at me, you might mistake me for the 20 something professional that I am.

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