April, what a fully loaded month!

April has been a cold month here in France, but also with a few beautiful sunny days. I made full use of those days by catching a little bit of a tan too. Also, a 10 day trip to the UK planned on the 20th.

The first three weeks of the month were at home keeping warm mostly. It was also a month of garden machinery breaking down. My grass strimmer/brush cutter lost a part and stopped working. Luckily I found a spare in my garage and managed to get it working again. Then my ride on mower had a problem. While cutting the grass I bumped a tree and then lost all drive and cutting abilities, so it sat at the bottom of my garden. I had to drag it back near to the house by tying some rope at the rear and hauling it uphill and through a narrow entry to the garden near the house. Two weeks later, I now have the parts fitted and it is working again!

Off to the UK

A late afternoon flight from Limoges airport to London Stansted. My ex was sweet enough to meet at the airport and drive back to her house where I would stay two nights before traveling to visit my daughter. Part of the reason for the visit, was a Christmas present from my ex – tickets to see Joe Bonamassa at the Royal Albert Hall in West London on the Friday night with her and my daughter.

After an hour by train we arrived at the 5,000+ capacity venue and we found my daughter. Just enough time to grab a drink to take to our seats. What a great concert. 10 guitars changes, 6 great musicians and 2 superb backing vocalists. A night to remember!

Saturday afternoon I set off on a two-hour drive to stay with my daughter. I arrived early that afternoon and she quickly suggested that we go and meet a couple of her friends at a bar nearby. They happened to be a couple of gay men, who we had a lot of laughs with and a few drinks on a sunny terrace above a restaurant on the local high street.

The visit had started off pretty well and was very enjoyable. However, a few days before I made my trip to the UK, I had chatted with my daughter one day during her lunch break. It got a little mixed up and she got rather upset, so we agreed to continue when she got back home that evening. While I had been intending to come out to my daughter during my visit, the situation had suddenly changed lanes! I quickly came to the conclusion that I needed to tell her that evening to ease the tension that had been created by myself and probably due to my pending plans.

Wow, was that some decision to make that day! I uploaded some of my selfies as Sophie, so that she could view them and see, that what I was about to tell her was not just me playing about with some urge that I had but something serious for me. We agreed that she would send a message to my phone to let me know that she was free. My heart began to beat faster and my hands trembled a little as my phone signaled a message had arrived. I took a very deep breath and dialed the number. I could hardly speak and had difficulty in swallowing. The words came out slowly and awkwardly with a shakiness. I explained that I had uploaded some photos she should look at before I could to talk to her in-depth – another tense period while she looked at the photos.

I received another message. It read “I still love you dad”.

I almost broke down and cried there and then, but knew I had to compose myself for what was about to follow. The second phone call. More of the same, only even more shaky and holding back tears while trying my very best to speak without falling apart. Oh my, how hard that was. In broken and disjointed sentences I began to talk about how I had got to this point in my life and who and what I was. She was so very sweet and tried to be supportive and say all the right things. That made me even more emotional. I said that I was telling the total truth about my self and she was the first person to ever know me as nobody has. I made jokes, probably poor ones, but to try to take the edge off of the situation. By the end of the evening it felt as if a great pressure had been removed from my life. My daughter was the one person I worried about telling and I most likely blew the situation out of proportion a little. I left it that she could ask me anything she wished and I would only answer with truth and honesty.

What I had not expected of realised was the effect it would have on her in the following days. She asked few questions about our life when we lived as a family, but nothing too deep. It wasn’t until a few days later that is became clear that she was having difficulty in coming to terms with me as anything other than her father.

This was going to be harder than I imagined

By mid-week I was struggling with not being Sophie for the longest time since the beginning of the year and it was taking it’s toll on me. Also the tension between us was getting to us both. That day, I had been doing a lot of cooking, preparing meals for my daughter to freeze, and as evening crept in I said that I felt that I needed a drink and could we open a bottle of wine. I cannot recall the meal we ate that night but we began to discuss my life which resulted in us both sobbing and hugging many times throughout the evening. Two bottles of wine later, floods of tears, headaches and glasses of water, we both tried to sleep. That night she told me many things about herself that I we had never discussed, so it became a two-way exchange. That was the first of a few nights to follow that I would not sleep well and survived the rest of the week on about 4 hours a night. The following day I made an error with something I said, she got upset and went for a walk. We met a couple of hours later in a local pub and talked more over a drink. I apologised and explained why things went sideways and we got things back on track. The following morning I felt as if I had just made things worse by coming out and wished I was back home, I wanted to get away from it all and felt bad about myself. One of my life long go to bad places.

The next morning it was my turn to get some fresh air. I had lost my appetite, had a thumping headache and felt bad about myself. What had gone wrong? I lost track of the time while walking slowing about the town, finding myself in a public garden by a stream. I sat down on a bench and cried quietly to myself as the odd stranger walked past oblivious of my heart ache and torment. Writing this is bringing me back to tears and I have to stop for a moment to compose myself!

Although it was sunny, it was also cold and I was beginning to shiver. I decided to continue walking and found myself on the way back to the flat where I was staying. I walked slowly as if I had no purpose or direction. I made an attempt to move myself into a better place but not with great success by the time I got to the flat. I didn’t eat that day, my stomach was incapable of digesting any food apart from that fact I had no appetite.

Back at the flat

I entered the flat and spoke to my daughter but things were a little tense still. As the evening went on we spoke more and more, by the end of the night I had brought myself back to a better state of mind and we were able to recover from the recent events.

I had learned that my daughter really needed me to be a father in her life for the time being at least. I hadn’t expected to find that and it took me a while to adjust to the idea. This has brought me to a new place in my life. After some thought I realised, that while I may not have dressed as a woman for most of my life, I have been Sophie for longer that I gave myself credit for. This realisation has given me new strength by managing to turn what appeared to be a very negative point in my life into a very positive thought.

While we out shopping one day after this, we crossed the road by some traffic lights. As I ran across the road in front of my daughter I had the thought that I was distinctly running just like a woman and it made me chuckle. I told this to my daughter who laughed and agreed with my observation.

I am very happy to say that the week I spent with my daughter was very special. I believe that we covered a lot of ground and my daughter understands exactly who I am. I also understand what she needs from me and can cope with things if I visit again at Christmas. I have no problems with that now.

I have three months of cooking in a restaurant as a man this summer but I am happy that I have found a way to get myself  though that. No matter how I am dressed from now, I know that I am Sophie on the inside and that will not change.

Before I end this story, I have to mention my ex and mother of my daughter. I was completely surprised by how cool and fully accepting of me she was, once with the knowledge of who I really am. She was extremely supportive and we talked a lot while I stayed with her, at the start and end of my visit. For the later part of my visit, she gave one of her night dresses as I hadn’t room to take any of Sophie’s clothing. I was very touched by that and found it a little comfort.

My daughter has been helpful with makeup. She qualified as a beautician and is very good with makeup. She gave me some mascara, a sponge applicator/blender for foundation and a great eyeliner. She will be sending me a list of products she recommends that I should try to buy.  I am thinking that I be may be glamorous when I visit at Christmas so I need to buy some pretty clothes too.

The trip has inspired me to begin writing more songs. The first I am working on is provisionally titled ” Bare my soul” and following close behind is “So that’s what love is” Both powerful stuff. At the time of posting this, both songs are now written. Bare my soul has brought me to tears each time I try to sing it, but it will get easier the more I play it. The other song may get a run through today, but certainly this week. God knows how I am going to perform or sing these!!!

Writing songs is a very therapeutic process for me. It allows me to get things out of my head and onto paper where I can absorb my words again and reflect on the whole picture. It’s really helpful. I will need to sing the songs a few times before I can get through them without falling apart – that is a key to development for me. I am discovering the depth of my new sensitive and emotional life as Sophie.

The month ahead

Hard work begins from May 19th, but enjoyable, plus a bit more cash in my pocket – but no time to spend it for a while. I look forward to the time when I can – giggle

Thought of the day:

Right now, my life is like a garden in springtime; the flowers are blooming and the colours are beautiful. I am enjoying the moment and looking forward to a sea of colour in the months to come

Picture: Lilly, another sweet cat with unusual markings that belongs to my ex.

I write with English spellings and perhaps some terms are not so well known in the USA or elsewhere, but I hope it makes sense overall

The month ahead

Hard work begins from May 19th, but enjoyable, plus a bit more cash in my pocket – but no time to spend it for a while. I look forward to the time when I can – giggle

Thought of the day:

Right now, my life is like a garden in springtime; the flowers are blooming and the colours are beautiful. I am enjoying the moment and looking forward to a sea of colour in the months to come

Photo: Minnie, my daughter’s sweet and playful catMinnieLscape

One thought on “April, what a fully loaded month!

  1. Hi Sophie,
    Looks like you had a good holiday, WITH lots of high and lots of very lows, but you’ve made it out the over side.
    Sorry I hadn’t comment sooner, having lots of ups & downs myself. I wanted to cry when I read about you and your daughter , I to feel like I want to keep walking and never come back, I feel it would be easier for everyone.
    Have been trying to be a husband and a father again, not working out so well, just want to be April, your probably feeling the same, and just want to be Sophie.
    Think positive, good things must come our way eventually !!
    Your friend


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