(As featured on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour)
In 1987, my father was keeping a secret he could no longer hold inside. He had a shocking confession for the family, he was a transsexual and wished to become a woman. We all have a story about coming to terms with change and this is my very personal story of her loss and acceptance.
Although I wanted to be supportive, I didn't want to lose her dad, and it was hard to accept his decision. In those days, asking for help wasn't the norm, and gender issues like this were swept under the carpet. Throughout the years of emotional, conflicting and tormenting thought processes, I wondered if life was ever going to feel normal again.
We all have a story about coming to terms with change, whether this is transgender reassignment, separation, divorce, loss, grief, illness, disability or living through another trauma. As we live through our story, we do the best we can with the strategies we have at our disposal. Sometimes these are not enough and we have to search long and hard to find alternatives.
That's where my book will help you. I share 7 of the strategies that helped with her family challenges. These can support you too, whatever difficulties you're facing in your life.
With self-help tools that focus on topics like your values, self-honesty and positivity, you'll develop a plan of action to support you through the difficult times. This will help you to understand, acknowledge, and accept what needs to happen to move forward and live your new normal. These strategies are those which I use now with my clients as a life style change and stress relief life coach.