Friday, 24 August 2007

Trapped in No-Man's-Land

I am Paula Grieg. I have three children and no stretchmarks. Therein lies the story of my life; a life of inner conflicts and contradictions. My early life, childhood and adolescence were spent in Germany, a country to which I am now bound only by memories, since almost all my family there have vanished.

Before I reluctantly left Germany for a new life in Ireland, I first became aware of my gender ambiguity, though at the time I had no clear idea what this meant or where it would lead. In Ireland I fell in love, married and started a family; those same dearly loved three children. My career took off and I built an existence. Those who looked on might have thought I had it all, but everything I built always stood on shaky foundations, because at the very heart of it I was not who I seemed to be.

Progressively I realised that I needed to acknowledge my true self or I would never find peace within myself. But that personal inner peace came at a high price—the disintegration of family, the loss of friends, home, career and status, and once more, emigration.

Both my career and my thirst for knowledge of other places and other peoples have led me through five continents and more than 50 countries. They have given me a broad and tolerant outlook on diversity in every sense, while my life in two genders has given me unusual personal insights available to few. But it is also true that the more I travelled, the more I have become displaced and lost all sense of home.

My biography No-Man's-Land is the telling of an unusual story, the writing of which helped me to make sense of my life and the telling of which will hopefully help to reduce barriers by helping others to understand the challenges faced by transsexuals and to realise that transsexuals can and do lead normal lives.

I remain hopeful though that there is another chapter yet to be written, entitled, ‘The Leaving of No-Man’s-Land,’ where through finding love once more I will also find that elusive sense of home and belonging, and can then look back at my life with a new perspective.

- Paula Grieg

1 comment:

enthusiastic crochetoholic said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Paula many years ago in my official capacity when she first arrived in Salford. I will be buying the book. I am so glad things are turning out well for her. Lovely lady.