A Case of the Ever Creeping Guilt

Wednesday, 14 September 2010


I know my work situation isn’t exactly exhilarating to read about, but I just thought I’d mention: My manager has offered me the role of “Coach”. It basically revolves around me training up new members of staff and running the induction courses for new Christmas temps. This struck me as a little odd as I am currently under the effects of a written warning, and in that it states that I would not receive any pay rises, nor would I be able to be promoted within the company until a year after my ‘mishap’. So how exactly would that work? Would they just not pay me again (like last time) or would they rather ironically breach policy just to get me into the role that they now need. Are they going with the ‘because we say so’ bit of the policy that I failed to notice in the small print of my warning?

You might wonder why I’m so annoyed at being offered promotion. Well there certainly is a bitter taste in my mouth reminding of me the last time that I took a ‘promotion’. That is certainly playing an important part of it. I have just generally lost a lot of faith in the company as a whole and I really would like to get out it.

So I turned it down. Not only because of all the bitterness, but I just plain didn’t want to do it. It’s the kind of thing I’m not comfortable doing. I would not like to talk in front of a group of people, telling them what to do. It’s just not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I probably could do it. And I would end up a lot more confident, but I just don’t want the hassle at the moment.

So after they’d offered me the job, they then offered it to a few other people, one of them being my girlfriend. My girlfriend, being a very different kind of person to me, would enjoy talking to a group of people like that and so she accepted the offer. She’s done well to get offered a promotion within a year of being there, it only took me about three! She doesn’t have the job yet. She still needs to be assessed and then if she passes that she gets sent for a day training course and then if she passes that, she’ll have the job. I have all my faith in her and I’m sure she’ll do just fine. After all, I managed all of that and just failed at the last hurdle a couple of years ago.

On a different note, getting the time to dress and put on make up is, these days, a little hard to come by. I’m not sure why exactly, but it really does seem like I ‘doll up’ less now than when I used to at home. Sure, everyday I still wear girls stuff to bed, and if I manage to drag myself away from the computer or TV when I get in from work I do get changed then, but I barely ever put make up on. I don’t know if that’s because I feel like I don’t need to anymore; Sarah sees me as I really am so it doesn’t seem as important. Or is it because I’m getting past a ‘phase’ in my life? That’s the usual logic for hearing a child is acting in a transgendered way, ‘It’s just a phase’. Well, is that happening to me, just a bit later?

It was recently my Dad’s birthday and I picked what I thought to be a really nice card. It said something like “Now that I’m finding my own way in life, I realise how glad I am to have had someone to show me the ropes”. It was something like that, with a picture of a man and a boy both wearing cowboy hats. Probably looks better than it sounds. I tend to avoid the ones that say “From Your Son” and I don’t really even contemplate sending him one saying “From Your Daughter”! I think that even though I have all of these feelings, he will always be my Dad and when I was a child, I was his boy, and I appreciate everything he’s ever done for me, even if it’s been showing me traditionally ‘male’ things. I just find it very hard to talk to him now. It’s not really awkward, but you can tell what he must be thinking about me, and it is both a relief and a pain knowing that he knows.

I guess what I’m trying to get at in a very roundabout way, is that I still feel guilty for who I am. I know it is wrong to think that way; you don’t need to tell me. “Do what you feel is right” and all that. Well, what if I don’t know what is right? A lot of people can’t see into the future, how do they know that what they are doing is right? What do I want to do with my life? What will make me happy? I want to be successful, I want a happy family, I want to enjoy every day of my life. I want all of these things, but I do nothing to reach them. I feel like right now my life is just sat in a box in my cupboard. Maybe not that bad, because I am very happy with Sarah. I guess I’m just feeling a bit low. I’m starting to think writing this in the early hours of the morning whilst I wait for the sun to rise was probably a bad idea. It’s being alone with my mind that gets me the most upset. Being tired doesn’t help either.

Basically I have doubts all the time about what I should be doing with my life. I don’t know the right way to turn. I know what I enjoy and I know what I hate, I’m just not sure I know myself. I’m finding it very difficult to say this, and right now I don’t think I will upload this, but I’m just saying it to get things off my chest. I know I sometimes seem like I know what I’m doing, but I really don’t. My life is up in the air and you know what the saddest thing of all is? I don’t feel any more like Ella than I did when I started this blog.

I’m sorry. This post got a little derailed by some unforeseen depression. I hope I can get back to you soon with a happier toned entry, but right now I just don’t feel like it.

Night. X

22 Responses to “A Case of the Ever Creeping Guilt”

  1. DelorisCD Says:

    Oh sweety, I feel for you. Its ok for you to feel the way you do. Many people dont really know what to do with thier lives when they are at a young age.

    Why dont you try and sit down with Sarah and talk things out and see if you guys come up with a plan.

    I know what you mean when you dont feel femme all the time. Ive had the same problem, what I do is not dress up or do anything for a while until I get the strong urge to dress up or feel dolly. I dont know what it is but when I put on an outfit I see myself as more prettier than ever. Try it and let us know how you feel.

    *KISS KISS* Good luck

  2. Randi Dennis Says:

    Hey Ella,

    For one each person has doubts. Not downplaying anything that is going on…it is just that is part and parcel of life in itself…and it is nothing new for any of us, especially those in this community. And any person who has been in the position of deciding which path re: transition etc is going to have those times as well. So this going back and forth does happen. It has happened here over the past 20 years of being FT and even during the time 2 years back during the height of the combined illnesses here [which I have detailed to You in other corners]

    Using that as an example, the answer here was to continue with the transition even though because of heart issues not to go on the HRT. There are those who thought this was a bad decision, after all to be ‘genuine’ means that one has to be on the HRT, have the electro and other sundry things. However I was under the impression that being ‘genuine’ meant being true to one’s own vision of their life…which is what is going on now. And while it is not perfect….in addition to it beating the alternatives, it means one can look in the mirror and know ok…’this is me and I am happy with who I am’. Just keep that in mind….it is something that will help down the road.

    About work..something about how management is treating you reminds me of how some people are given the ‘vote of confidence’ and that will mean a promotion will be a way of setting a person up for a possible failure. Not that this is meant as a downer either..not the intent in the least..but by illustration there is someone rather infamous on these shores for doing that to his employees, that being the late George Steinbrenner….who was the owner of the New York Yankees. It was a testbook case of how not to treat ones employees, be they baseball managers [such as Yogi Berra, Buck Schowalter or the infamous Billy Martin] or in any other line of work. Not saying that your managers would act in such a capricious manner [and mention that to Sarah as well] but in some cases managers may try a run around in iorder to decrease the employment rolls. Again it is nothing You did….it is how some humans [that is being kind] operate.

    Dealing with parents in this is a touchy issue. In talking to my father, I am finding that there are 3 subjects we can actually talk about and not have anything turn into a range war. They are sports [in particular, baseball], the cats [who he likes but Rachel and Marissa have a problem with all of my relatives, except for my sister] and his business [which can be dicey considering some of the practices he has engaged in] So in my conversations with him….I keep it to those, no hard feelings, no anger. If he is dissappointed in how my life has turned out, that is fine in that his path on things, many things is in no way how I would want to navigate life…be it out of transition or otherwise. The fact that in my own line of work I try to do things above board, legit and offer as many possible fixes for a person’s PC issues is a holdover from dad not really doing the right thing in his. In its own way it was a very big lesson learned

    Please do not be sorry about your post, Hon. If you are wondering if anyone is going to think the less of you because of your doubts, well I for do not. You are a friend here now and always [if You have been checking the blog posts recently, You know this is the case..and then some] and I hope You feel the same way…so do not worry about Yours Truly walking away. As for writing, folks do that when they see fit to do so or when the time is right. There are stories out there about how some have pen and paper on the nightstand to write what comes to mind even at 2am [that would not work here…more often than not, at that time Rae and Marty are playing ‘let’s keep Mom awake….after all she gave us the catnip’] What You are doing or have done on this blog is a way of getting a lot of what was going on out before it started to eat away at the soul. So find that way whenever the time is right by You and the words will flow….

    Again whether You are Ella or not…You got me, Hon.The status does not matter: FT, PT etc….You need to be happy with what You want to do and how You want to proceed. As has been said from this corner before, once one issue is dealt with, the other items and issues will then become clearer and all the easier to handle.

    Til Later on and Love Always,


  3. Randi Dennis Says:

    Hi Again Ella,

    Hon….check Your email when You get a chance….a little bit of a continuation from what was mentioned here *S*

    Til Later on and Love Always,


  4. exaxis Says:

    A woman in make-up is a light bulb that has been switched on. If the bulb isn’t switched on… isn’t it still a bulb? *hugs*

    Sometimes my wife skips the make-up too. Sometimes you want to be all you can be, sometimes you don’t 😉

    When I feel down and I’m not entirely sure on the cause (especially when working night shifts), I send myself an email from my phone. I pour my heart into that email, I let myself say how low I am and why I think it is and then I send it off into the ether. When I read it after I’ve slept I can usually identify what the real issue was. I used to email it to a friend but by the time I’d slept I really wanted to be able to unsend it!

    I spent a long, long time imagining myself to be a disappointment to my father. I don’t know why I thought so then and I don’t know why I don’t think so now. We’ve never had cause to discuss it. I do know some perceptions change with age though… not only did I think I was a disappointment to my Dad but I felt he was one to me. Why? Simply because I thought his job was menial and that embarrassed me. Rather odd that now, I’d love to have his job LOL
    My point?
    I’m a father too. One trait we’re all pretty crap at is expressing ourselves. Communication skills are pretty much on a par with our observational skills.

    For you… relax. You’re too bright. Sometimes you examine too much! Live life as you are.

    Take care and be well.

    All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.– Samuel Butler

  5. Anonymusme Says:

    Hi, Ella.

    I really feel the same way as you about the whole transgender thing (I haven’t told anyone about who I really am) right now. That I feel like I’m sort of low, depressed and feel guilty. And I really don’t put that much effort into it, like the make up and changing and such.
    I get this feeling creeping in on me everytime the last bits of summer decline and fall sets in or so. But when I can start to glimpse spring somewhere over in the horision I usually start to get the spirit back and puts more effort into it again.
    So if the same is true for you, don’t despair and don’t feel to guilty, it’ll pass, like any bad thing in life does.

    Btw: A fact that might help is that in fall season men tend to produse more testostoron (Arg, that horrible hormone) than what they use to in other parts of the year, so these feelings might just be the resulsts of a temporarily boosted amount of testostoron.

    I don’t know about you, but I always find that a simple little natural or logical explenation helps.

  6. sophiataylor Says:

    Hi dear Ella,

    First of all, do as you feel yourself the happiest. Second, do not let any remaining secrets from your past ruin your current happiness with Sarah. And try not to keep any secrets. It’s a bitter personal experience.

    OK, my situation is a bit different, I had been in a long relationship with my girlfriend before my desire for my transformation took me totally. My girlfriend supported me half-heartedly. Until she recognized that my transformation was not just some sort of game. Then she disagreed every step on my way. So I answered with secrecy.
    Secrets are out sooner or later of course. So the problem grew greater than before. I am now called liar by her. Well, she has some truth, I must admit. Now our relationship seems to be broken forever.

    We can’t see into the future as you wrote but we must decide every step of our lives nevertheless. It’s best when both of you feel the same complacency about your mutual decisions. Then nothing else really matters. If you feel yourself complete with your girlfriend and you don’t need crossdressing any more is as good as if you feel this need and Sarah fully supports you from the bottom of her heart.

    The only thing that matters is finding a life which provides happiness both of you. If one of you feels something a sacrifice for the other’s sake, a problem will appear sooner or later. So never enter into the spirit of something you think some kind of sacrifice. Talk it over again instead and try to find another solution which provides more happiness for both of you.

    Just be happy and good luck!

  7. spacial Says:

    OK. What you are doing is thinking about your life.

    Can’t think of anything better really.

    The reason why you’re interesting is because you think. Like it or not, your posts are always intersting and thoughtful.

    Now, you’re moving a bit into the dark side.

    But you’re a thinker. Never stop being who you are.

    Looking forward to the next post.

  8. Goldilck Says:

    Hi Ella,
    I love your blog. Its so honest. I just read your latest post and it really struck a cord with me. I think we’ve had alot of similar, um, issues? Is issues the right word? I dont know. Have you been to the doctor about feeling low? I recently told my doctor about my own shit feelings (didn’t mention my gender issues, just that i was really down) and he was really good. He spoke to me for ages and then gave me some anti-depressents which really have helped alot. I was always against these sorts of drugs but if they help you stop feeling like shite then they cant be all bad. Think about it anyway because it helped me. If you fancy chatting about it or anything then just drop me a line hun (because complete strangers, everyone knows, offer the best psycholgical advice). Take care with everything, love,

    Mj xx

  9. Anmol Says:

    I dedicate this song to you to cheer you up….:-)))) The girl singing is you!!!!

    • sophiataylor Says:

      It’s a shame that I currently started to learn Russian so I don’t understand what Natasha sings about the little country…

  10. Felicia Anne Says:

    Be brave, Ella. You don’t know how brave and amazing you are, and how much hope you give others. Seeing you smile and pursue your dream keeps me going when I want to give up on mine. I am sending 100 little hugs via an army of 1,000 butterflies. I hope they find their way to you soon!

    Felicia Anne

  11. Becky Says:

    Ella, perhaps you should think about using your blog as a means to help rationalise your thoughts on the need to transition, or otherwise. By spending time publically exploring the options open to you, vs. your own reasons for and against, you automatically help yourself reach a state of mind and outlook with which you feel comfortable.

    Also, don’t feel that by writing about your exploration of living as Ella, you are being willed into anything akin to transition; it’s not the law or anything. Think of it simply as experimentation. Experiments are allowed to fail, too, and if you don’t have an insatiable, uncontrollable drive to transition at all costs, then let it be. If it comes eventually, you’ll know. Maybe that direction will come later.

  12. Becky Says:

    Hey, Ella!

    Maybe it’s just a phase… ha ha!! like you said. Maybe not all of us are made to transition. I feel just that way, so I name myself a crossdresser. Although I’ve been daring enough to go on hormones by myself for a couple of months, that’s not my ending goal, so I quit it. I still kind’a miss it sometimes, but hey, good things deserve sacrifice.

    Everyone in the transgender community knows that by heart. Whether if it is commiting to staying as you are, or transitioning against all odds. Either way it’s painful.

    What matters most is your ultimate goal. That, you assume it. Stephen Covey (auth. for the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) said: “…imagine you are escalating the ladder of success, it’s the highest, you’re the fastest, only to get to the top and realize it was set on the wrong wall.”

    So, it’s not a phase of being transgender, it’s a phase of life. And it will happen to you time and again, not only with this issue, but also with profession, relationships, and others. It’s not that you’re down. Saying depression is the doctor’s easy way out when they don’t want to do their job: which is to ask you to think more. Exactly what you’re doing. It’s not a matter of throuwing everything away, but more like redirecting life towards bigger things. Things that are real and everlasting.

    If you’ll allow me saying, and with all due respect to everyone: I’ve found these things are out of this world.

    Remember to set your goals based on principles. Then you’ll be sure you’re walking on solid ground. Values vary from place to place, from age to age, but principles remain.

    Hey, maybe you’ve gotten comfortable with who you are, just like that. Remember not all women glam out everyday. Hey, everyone needs a lazy sunday!

    I’ve discovered some cool things Icould share with you. But I guess that’s a blog topic, and this is your fabulous blog, Ella. Please receive my best wishes and blessings from the one above.

    You’re in my prayers. ;P


  13. Randi Dennis Says:

    Hey Ella,

    While doing some thinking on this end about what is going on about Your work circumstance, there is a lyric from an old if not slightly obscure song Renaissance used to play in concert. Part 2 of their opening when they touring behind ‘Azure d ‘Or’ and ‘Camera Camera’.Granted at the time, I did not know what the piece [The Vultures Fly High] was about, all I knew was it was short and had a rather vicious keyboard part. But over the years, for me it is something that I play whenever there has been something that has happened outside that drives down the mood. And it is this excerpt from the second stanza that has helped when I have run into employers who were trying things to add to the bottom line via subtraction:

    “All those who sheltered in their smile
    Are scattered here from yesterday
    And if the weak are left behind
    They have to pay and though you haven’t much to give
    You know they take it, yours and mine
    Sometimes it looks as though we lose
    But then in time the finger points at them
    The next in line”
    [Betty Thatcher-Michael Dunford]

    Something having to do with karma. Amazingly enough, not many folks out there understand this simple concept, especially those who are corporate managers. But if things do happen at work, remember the above lyric….as well as the fact these folks are going to have to live with themselves. And gee whiz, that can be a rather lonely existence.

    By the by with regard to what is going on outside of work, please consider the following [this one is from”The Captive Heart” off of ‘Novella’]:

    “So carry on don’t stop your feelings
    Try and make them flow
    Somewhere there’s a vision waiting
    You’ll find it when you know”
    {Jon Camp-Michael Dunford]

    Just a few words of wisdom from folks who are parsecs brighter than I to think about…

    Til later on and Love,


  14. Angela M... Says:

    Dear Ella, all one has to do is look at your pics to see you don’t need make-up, you are very pretty and I am jealous. I have been at odds with my transgender feelings all my life and I knew from an early age that I was a disappointment to my father. Not into sports or fishing or any boy stuff. Loved to play with girls and dress up and dad had a fit when I said I wanted to take Ballet. I never did but I was a figure skater and that was as close as I could get to dancing without him going off the deep end so it was tolerated. When I was in my early twenties I moved into my own place and then I could be the girl I always wanted to be (but in private) because I had a job to pay the rent and buy my girls clothes. When I was young nobody wanted to listen to me when I said I was really a girl not even my doctor, he said I just had too many female hormones and he could fix that with testosterone injections and in the sixties and seventies who knew any different, so I let him do it. Then I was a mess of mixed emotions and torn between who I really was and what I looked like. Anti-depressants came next and finally I stopped everything and just lived my life as a boy. I had what some would die for, a flash sports car, a nice apartment, a great job and a fabulous girlfriend but still I was torn between what I was and what I knew I should be. I continued to dress up at home and then my girlfriend found my girl clothes and wanted to know who they belonged to. I told her Angela and that was me. It took some time for her to accept me but she did not want to see Angela so she never came out when my girlfriend was over. We eventually got married and Angela slipped quietly away only to come out once in awhile if I was alone. We had a family and the house of our dreams but Angela has never left me and many times I have regretted not allowing myself to become her full time. There is always the longing in my heart that Angela is who I am really and if I had all the options open to young people today I would do it in a heart beat. I have pushed her out of my life so many times and thrown out loads of clothing only to allow her back again. My wife has ignored my feelings and Angelas wardrobe like they don’t exist and I am thankful for that but she does not know that if I had my life to live over again I would change everything and become Angela regardless of the outcome. If you think Ella is who you really want to be and Sarah has no objections you should do it as I feel you will be in the same boat as me in about thirty five years except you have all the options and support that I never had. I hope this has in some way helped you and if you need to email me feel free to do so I will always be there to help if I can,
    Angela M…

  15. BeckyL Says:

    I can only echo what the previous Becky said – transitioning isn’t for everyone and only you – over time – can and will work out the path your life is going to take. But it appears you have a sympathetic family and a brilliant girlfriend, things many on the transgender scale don’t. So don’t go beating yourself up, work your way through it and live your life to the full.

    I really do wish you all the best! x

  16. Adam from LA Says:

    So many people tend to think that their lives are about the future. They wonder how they’re going to be happy or who they’re going to be or what they’re going to do. So much time and energy is spent thinking and worring about the future that we miss the only thing we really have.

    The future doesn’t exist. Nor does the past. The only thing that exists is now. This current moment. If the future doesn’t exist then you can’t be happy there. You can only be happy, sad, angry, up, down depressed or joyful right now. So be the person who makes you happy. Right now.

    There is no right or wrong. There is only what serves you or doesn’t serve you. Be who you feel you are right now and immerse yourself in the experience. You can’t experience tomorrow and you can only remember yesterday. All any of us has is now.

  17. Alice Says:

    Hi Ella,

    I only found your blog today and tweeted about this post of your straight away, because it struck a chord with me.

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting about your doubts and feelings. Its made me feel less alone in my own feelings of guilt and “non-progress” and doubts too.

    Sadly I don’t have any great advice to offer, but your courage gives me courage. Thank you.

  18. futiledemocracy Says:

    Apparently, it’s our age. You and I are both young, and I constantly find myself doubting absolutely everything. I work part time in a bar, and every so often the feeling of absolute absurdity strikes me. I constantly think ‘what a waste of a life, giving people drinks, what am i achieving?’ I hate the constant questioning that goes on in my mind every second. But, apparently it is what people our age do, apparently. But then this worries me too. I don’t want to get older, becoming unquestioning and docile to what other people tell me I should be, and what should make me happy. I think i’d rather be the little questioning, curious mess that I am; it is what makes me…me.

    • exaxis Says:

      I don’t know if this helps or not but being questioning doesn’t necessarily leave you. I’m slowly becoming decrepit (ok, not so slowly maybe) yet I often examine where I am, what I’m doing and why.
      The best point is made by you though… it’s what makes me…me.
      The only advice I can lend is a simple advice; keep ambition. If there is always something you can look towards with the view of ‘one day’, you’ll be able to discount today’s mundane and frustrating because you can look forwards.
      The past is gone, the present is fleeting… the future though… that’s the place of imagination, dreams and hope.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    You are doing well, keep your head up.
    I wish you very well – and please keep us all informed!

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