In the motel room, while Beloved slept, I checked out the tsunami on the news channels. Inexpressibly sad; one wants to help, but one worries about the way money buys things that just pile up on runways, then disappear into the black market. I have the skills, but I'm not young anymore, am needed here, etc. etc.
We're members of the Society of Friends, which means that we have a reliable service organization that's efficient to support for this kind of work: the American Friends Service Committee. So I'll be able to contribute through that ... but I kind of miss being young and resourceful in a more direct way. But maybe I can work directly with them, or with the Friends World Committee, later, if I live to retire.
While on this trip, I discovered that my 5-o'clock shadow is coming back with a vengeance. Either there is some problem with my electrologist, or the HRT is less effective than it was. I also don't feel as feminine as I feel I should. There's been no reduction in bust, so I'm not sure what to think.
Went to work after an 11 day layover. Work helps. Having people call me "Risa" or "Steffi" and visit with me about girl stuff helps! My identity re-stabilizes. I advised a student on nail polish, and a couple of the others, who acknowledged it was good advice, laughed with her and they called me "mom." (!!)
Afterwards, at the mayor's swearing-in, more of the same. New friends, old friends, people are happy to see me and I'm happy to see them -- and they are all women. Some kind of barrier has dropped; I don't feel judged -- I feel trusted and included.
I told Beloved about all this, and she agreed that this is actually a major, major plus for me, that the conversational and affective woman-to-woman bond is, for me, a deep-seated psychic requirement which I had been denied by circumstances.
I told her of meeting a friend to whom I confided that I'm finding it difficult to face the new counselor, because of the high need that good counselors have to establish beyond their own doubt that you are not mistaken.
"And I've faced the estrogen decision 423 times now, and every time the answer has been yes!" -- and of course I tuned up to cry. This little woman, who towers over me in years, experience, authoritative personality, and wisdom, took hold of both my elbows and looked me fiercely in the eye.
"Girl," she said, "never mind what anybody says or asks you. You know who you are.. So you're gonna be fine!"
Sniff. Snurk... "Yes'm."
-- risa b