Last week was one of the longest in my life. On Thursday (which is today) I had this appointment with the hospital psychiatrist, to see whether I would get scheduled for surgery. Or at least put on some type of waiting list. I had no idea what I would do if he said no. I did not think that I would be able to make it, not after this month.
I was afraid of many things. I was afraid that if he said no, it would be the final straw to push me over the edge. I was afraid I would hurt myself to a very serious degree and end up in the hospital or worse. A human being can take a lot, but the combination of feeling powerless and the constant reminders of childhood trauma were driving me loco.
So you can imagine the apprehension with which I boarded the train to Amsterdam. I was so absent-minded that I can´t remember much of my journey there. I just sort of arrived there, and went to check myself in. When Dr Lam (the psychiatrist) came to call me, I recognized him from a photo I found online (I like to know who I can expect).
The fear inside sort of balled up in my throat. People tell me that I have an excellent poker face, which comes in really handy in these types of situations. I retained my composure and nervously fidgeted with my hands while he was out to get me a glass of water. When he returned, he asked: “so tell me, why have you come to see me?”
He knew why I had come to see him. But I figured this was a test to see how articulate I could be in expressing what my goals were. So I told him, that I had come to obtain permission for surgery, plain and simple. I explained that although my own therapist had already diagnosed me, the hospital would like me to get a second opinion.
The talk was over very quickly. He told me that I struck him as calm, stable, and resolute in my desire to get surgery. For a second, my poker-face budged into half a smile. I cannot recall anybody in the gender business ever giving me such a human and honest compliment. “Good luck!” – he said, as I went to see the surgeon.
You can read the second part of this post here.