Oh how I wish I was in a nice, warm place like I put together for this picture. I need it badly right now.
So, today was a bit embarrassing for me. While I had to work today, I didn’t have to work a full eight hours…just two hours at the start of the shift and two hours at the end of the shift. So that four hours in between, I decided to do some shopping.
A little background. I need bras…badly. If you ladies remember from your teenage years, the girls hurt when they are growing! I don’t know how it was for all of you, but mine hurt almost all the time now. When I get out of bed in the morning, I grimace as I get up. Every step I take when I walk hurts. And heaven help me if I get bumped in the chest! OUCH!!!
I was able to get away with wearing sports bras for a while, but now those cause more pain than relief. Throw in the fact I am really struggling to find my proper bra size, both because I am struggling to measure myself properly and I know I am at a size where it is really difficult to find bras that fit me well…let’s just say I am hurting most days and by the time I get home, all I want to do is stay stationary…not a good way to live daily.
So today, I decided on that four hour break that I was going to go to this boutique at one of our malls and get a PROPER bra fitting. Along with the store being well know for giving proper fittings, they are also known for their level of service. All of my friends who have hard to find bra sizes have told me no one there has ever tried to sell them something that wasn’t the proper size, like Victoria Secrets is known for doing. Instead, the store orders you the proper size at no extra cost. This level of service is what I need right now and so I was determined to head out there.
I knew my anxiety would be high doing this because it’s Saturday and the mall would be busy but I never expected what happened to occur.
I got to the mall and went straight to the boutique. As I looked in the windows of the store, I noticed two women from work who do not know I am transitioning. With work being such a delicate situation right now, I opted to walk a bit and come back to the store in a few minutes. So, to kill time, I walked through Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn and cried over all the cute decor I cannot afford to buy. lol
After a little bit of time, I decided to head back to the boutique. As I looked in the windows, my jaw about went through the floor. There was no way I was going in the store at that moment because one of my exes was in there. Yeah…no. Not happening! This particular ex is well known for not being able to keep secrets and so the last thing I was going to do was expose myself to this person possibly running their mouth about me and outing me before I was ready. With that being said, I decided to go treat myself to some Starbucks.
After picking up my favorite Starbucks craving, I decided to try going by the store again. This time, as I looked in the window, I saw the wife of a friend of mine from college. I adore them both and while I plan to disclose to them soon, the middle of this mall on a Saturday WAS NOT the time and place to have that discussion. After seeing her, I turned from the store and started to walk away…and then it hit.
Full blow anxiety/panic attack.
Its ironic I shot this picture before going to work. As I struggled to keep my composure and just get out of the mall and away from people, the theme of this image is what filled my mind to keep me calm enough just to get out to my car. Thoughts of salt air, seagulls, wine and a warm breeze was what kept me sane and functional. That sort of mental image was my savior. It was all that kept me from becoming paralyzed.
I did make it out to my car without causing a scene. I managed to reach out to some friends who helped calm me down. I managed to remain functional. Sadly though, still no bras and very sore girls.
Why do I share this story? I think more than anything I share it because it shows the level of anxiety people like myself experience just trying to get the basics…bras, make up, clothes to start our wardrobe, etc. When I was doing my internship, I remember talking with my supervisor about a client she had who was transitioning. She mentioned she had assigned the client homework between sessions to go buy a dress for herself. The client wasn’t able to do it. While my supervisor was still supportive of the client, I shared with her how intense the anxiety becomes trying to do something simple that women take for granted every day. After talking with me, she changed course with that client because she had not realized how intense the anxiety can become just from something as simple as clothes shopping.
And today, I got to experience that same level of panic that client felt.
This place where I am in my transition right now is difficult. Its a very awkward in between place where I literally think the general public may question what is going on with me.
I will say one good thing about today though, and this has been something I have been doing for about a month now. Anytime I have to give me name and that name doesn’t need to match my current legal name, I use the name I will be using in my new life. It is nice to hear my new name being called when I’m out.
I know, its a small victory. But after what I experienced today, I will take the small victory.
See it on Flickr.
Foxcity – Loner 7m
Boat Days Full Pack
Arlette decorative cheese platter
Arlette decorative cushions
Arlette decorative picnic basket
Arlette picnic blanket
Arlette Sweet Pea bouquet
Animated Seagulls A ConterClockwise
Animated Seagulls B ConterClockwise
Animated Seagull for Pole