Yesterday was my long-awaited grilling at the hands of theCommunity Psychiatric Service. For those not au fait with how this works…the would-be tgirl first raises her hand at the GP’s.
They, in turn, should refer to the community psychiatric service, who assess as to whether gender dysphoria is genuine and in need of further treatment. They then refer on to a Gender specialist unit.
The process can be drawn out by there being a preliminary assessment followed by the real one -which is where I got up to yesterday.
It was one of the most stressful hours i have ever passed.
Maybe it is the fact that i am increasingly happy to dive into femme mode: but at the start of the inerview (a psychiatrist and a social worker) i had more or less curled into a ball…trying to shrink as small as possible… doing my best to extricate myself from the panic i was feeling.
What if they said i was wrong? What if they turned round and said i was mentally il? unstable? i knew my stressing was making things worse: but it just drove me further inside.
OK. They didn’t bite. In the end, the questions were OK: tears just the once; i felt myself uncurl and – i can grin now – by the end of the session was even ever so slightly flirting. Bad girl!
Brownie points played and won as i reminded the social worker that my name was jane (he’d been calling me “Mr” throughout): he blushed and apologised.
Oh. But then, that part of the torture over, they had to go and fetch the really big cheese. You could tell he was a senior consultant by the dark suit and practised smile. Though clearly he had been warned about the name and politely referred to me as jane throughout.
OMG! More questions. The terror was back. i felt utterly intimidated: me, little me, sat, being stared at by three blokes who were doing their best to be sympathetic, but probably won’t ever understand this.
Then, like opening A-level results, the denouement. Yes: i presented as dysphoric. Yes: he would be referring me on – probably to Charing Cross. And please (mild wrist slapping): would i decide whether to go nhs or private.
i staggered out to the car park and just sat for a while. Trembling. Driving straight away was not an option. At least its on more hurdle over. One more barrier down.