Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice

Looking back through my school reports recently prior to my autism assessment, I was reminded how seldom I used to speak to anybody. One of the earliest labels I acquired was shy, and my teachers in comment after comment expressed their belief that I could go far if only I would talk more. Or, indeed, at all in a lot of situations.

The contrast between that and my assessment report which mentions my tendency to talk too much and go into too much detail is remarkable. So what changed?

There isn’t one single factor that helped me develop my self-confidence. Rather, it has been a combination of changes in my life, the most obvious of which has been my gender transition. Since reaching the point where I’m comfortable with how I look, I’ve become less self-conscious which translates into a more confident presentation.

I’ve also, with help from my wonderful daughter in particular, got out of a toxic relationship where I’d been controlled. My new-found freedom has enabled me to get out and about, spending time with friends. Indeed, it has allowed me to develop close, supportive friendships, where before I wasn’t able to due to restrictions imposed by my former partner.

As my support base has grown, so has my confidence in my own ability. I’d been gaslighted for years, told that I was no good at certain things, that I could never manage on my own. I believed it, and so was trapped in that situation by my lack of self-esteem and self-belief.

It’s been hard to break away from that dependency, and I didn’t get out unharmed: the trauma of living in fear for my safety has left me with mental health problems. But even so, I am definitely better off than I was before getting out.

Most of all, I can be myself. It took a long time to get here, but I found out who I am. For years I tried to be the person I believed those around me wanted me to be. I wore a mask that had been designed by others, and it didn’t fit. When at last the chafing became unbearable, the woman who emerged from behind that mask into the light of day needed a little time to find her feet. To find her own voice.

And I have. A voice that draws from all my experiences, all that brought me to where I am today. My voice.

3 thoughts on “Finding My Voice

  1. I’m happy to have been one of the people who helped you to regain your confidence and feel accepted. I love having you in my life, and you make me laugh just as hard as Dom does – and frequently. Who else would wear a fez and wave a sonic screwdriver with me? Nobody else would do pickling with me and fall into hysterical laughter when cabbage is poked hard enough to fart!

    And you don’t even care that the house is a mess due to medical issues – you simply come over, flomp out, and we have fun. Plus, you’re not plotting to steal Noodles lol.

    You bring light, love and laughter when you know I’m feeling down. You listen, you care, and you are just the most amazing friend. I’m so glad I met you; you mean the world to me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thank you (even if you did just make my eyes leak). I’m so glad we got to meet and get to know each other, and it’s just a shame I can only pop over every 2-3 weeks.

      It means the world to me that we can hang out, chat about our various fandoms, drool over certain hotties… 🤤😘❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t forget that we’re watching Bohemian Rhapsody this weekend! Dom has already bought some drinks in for you. He’ll probably stay downstairs to avoid us singing (and doing the “We Will Rock You” hand-clap thing) because he bought the film for me rather than him – he’s not that bothered, so he’s probably going to watch Big Clive or Beard Meets Food on Youtube… or snore on the sofa lol (don’t tell him I said that!)

        Oh, so many hotties that we have in common! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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