So, these last two days have been a wash. Fortunately I’m feeling better but it took most of the day and way too much sleep to have my energy back . It will take me the rest of the week just to catch up with the housework. On the bright side I am in a better place mentally than I have been for a long time. Of course I know there are going to be good days and bad but that’s life, (shrug). No matter how others see me I still have many issues to deal with, challenges to overcome, and new things to learn. Living as my authentic self isn’t going to make my depression and anxiety disappear, though I hope this will provide me with one less thing to use against myself. My past is still there with its scars and I will still need to overcome the lessons I learned from them.
Transitioning isn’t a magic pill. It won’t fix everything, but it does give me the ability to look forward and for me that is precious.
I can give a longer, more detailed explanation later, but for now I will simply say I am caught in loop. Dysphoria, anxiety, depression… rinse and repeat.
The last time I spoke with my therapist she said I was going to have to make a decision. I knew she was right, I had known it for a long time but there were things I had to understand about myself before I could do what was best for myself.
I haven’t worked through much of anything yet but one thing I know is I want to live.
I’m sure I could burn a lot of words here, goodness knows enough have tumbled through my mind.
I’ve reached the point where I am tired of the self inflicted wounds. All I want is to move forward and let the chips fall where they will.
I had a therapy session today which thankfully went well with us being able to clear up a number of misunderstandings.
We talked about what I had written the past several days and I think we can work forward on a number of issues which while not being directly tied to my transition are things which are holding me back in this and many other areas of my life.
It’s amazing and terrifying how things from a lifetime ago can still hold such power over us in ways we might not be aware of. For me there were years of abuse on multiple levels, many of them on a daily even hourly basis. Emotional, phycological, spiritual, and physical which culminated in me trying to do the impossible… to take responsibility for others happiness. It also lead directly to my identity issues, my feelings of failure, of never being good enough or being worthy of happiness. These are the things which aren’t going to disappear even if I was able to fully transition this very moment. If I want to move beyond simple survival to truly living the life I know deep down I deserve, I must overcome them.
This isn’t going to be simple, quick, or painless, none the less it is something which I must to do and I’m going to need someone who has gained an understanding of my background, who has seen and heard the way I think and the ways I deal with crisis, which is why I feel it best to stay with Jodi instead of having to start over again with someone new.
Facing forward I am confronted by an unknowable future (and yes, I understand the future is never knowable before it happens and then it is the past) however, there has been a painful yet comforting familiarity to the past which has allowed me to face each day as little more than another expected sentence added to the book of my life. These are the waters I have tread for so long the I have fallen asleep to their rhythm.
Now that rhythm has been broken, those once placid waters have become storm tossed and shark filled and I seem as incapable of stepping into this new unknown any more than I could step into those waters.
I know this sounds melodramatic, especially if you haven’t experienced anything similar. It’s a problem I have run into when trying to explain what I am feeling to someone who isn’t lgbt, never mind trans. Even my therapist seems to have difficulty during our recent sessions, which has added to my own doubts and questions when it comes to where I need to be. Don’t get me wrong, I am not faulting her here, I’m amazed we have made it so far when my issues are so far beyond her own experience, not to mention all the added baggage I brought to the table. I seriously credit her efforts with keeping me sane and alive this long.
Still, I want to break down in tears of frustration when she asks why I cannot be content with where I am now. Can’t I be satisfied with being seen as more androgynous than male? With wearing certain clothing or having long hair.
When she suggests maybe I need to accept putting things off just a little longer, until my children are older, until I find a workplace which is more accepting, until, until, until… As if deliberately dragging out my transition for all those reasons and more for over five years hasn’t come close to destroying me more than once. When every time I have made one step forward, my entire past comes crashing down on me like a tsunami and I find myself having taken a dozen steps backward.
There are times when no matter how hard I try, the words I want to say slip away like mist before the morning sun. I have spent days on end trying to find them, those words which would describe where I am at this moment in a way others could understand when even I cannot always understand myself.
One way is imagine yourself standing at the edge of a pool with jet black water where there aren’t any depth markers so you have no way of knowing how deep it is… (oh, and you can’t swim.) At the same time there is a wall, covered in spikes, razor blades, and all sorts of nasty, painful things just a hairs breath behind you, steadily moving closer, forcing you to make a choice, jump in or try and go back over that wall (which you climbed just to get to this point.)
Looking from the outside it may seem the answer would be obvious.
From the inside it you know it is anything but obvious, simple, or easy.
I know all too well the price for climbing that wall. I know what awaits me on the other side just as I know at some point in the future I would find myself back in this exact spot.
This has been a long road… One which stretches from this moment back to some of my earliest memories. It traverses a life full of doubts and fears, of questions and answers I have tried desperately to forget. A lifetime of running from the truth.
Now I have reached the point where there no place to run. I am standing at the threshold between who I was and who I might become and I won’t lie to you, I have never been so scared.
I’m writing this after working all night… as the title says, I should be in bed falling asleep but my mind just won’t let things go. All night my thoughts kept jumping around from one subject to the next as it fought to keep me from concentrating on what should be my real concerns; my health and sanity.
From half forgotten songs to Facebook posts to news stories, my thoughts just wouldn’t stop. I know anxiety and depression are fueling these feelings… the hopelessness, the worthlessness. It warps my image in my heart and mind, twisting it into a monster who will never be what I see when I close my eyes.
The scary part is I know I am not doing well, no matter what I tell myself. I can feel it. mentally, physically, and emotionally even with the shield the antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications give me… I don’t want to think of where I would be if not for them…
I was going to write about this blog, how what I have shared and written has often been as much about distraction has it has been about sharing but even in this I am not sure how to go about saying anything which would make sense. So many times I have found myself afraid to share something personal because I have said those words over and over and at some point it just seems to be little more than looking for someone to tell me I’m really okay, that I am worthy of happiness, that I am… I don’t know, maybe simply worth something…
Wow, this sounds really pathetic when I read it back to myself… but I have been having so much trouble convincing myself this is real, that I’m not crazy… or maybe that I am… I want to believe there is a point to all of this, that there will be a time when I will be… myself… my true self… that I will wake up one day and be able to do what I wish for others to do so dearly… to look beyond the exterior… beyond the flesh and bone, down to the very essence of whatever it is that makes me, me.
I look in the mirror and all I see is a thing. My body calls me a liar and with every breath my soul is broken a little more.
One word, so simple to type yet so difficult to define when it is all which consumes your heart.
I have come a long way; to the point where I can look back and be overwhelmed by where I am this moment. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine finding myself here, when the very possibility was beyond my wildest dreams… or worst nightmares.
I thought I had set a reasonable goal of going full time this year, yet as I found out, there was still a door I needed to go through before I was ready. In the not too distant past I found myself once again wondering if I could even continue and I actually stopped for several weeks. I did all I could to not think of anything related to transitioning, still it consumed every unguarded moment and last week I knew I couldn’t hide from myself.
In so doing I took the step I have been terrified to take, have done everything to not take. I made reasons, excuses why doing so would be impossible. Paperwork, confusion… the mockery of those I work with, even the impracticality of wearing a wig at work… until I ran out of reasons, real and imagined and had nothing left but to listen to my heart.
Then I told my department head I had to go full time, including at work.
She didn’t even blink an eye and told me I need to do what I needed to do, I would have the full support of the staff and she made it clear she wouldn’t tolerate any issues with the others who work on the same shift.
I know this is more than many could hope for. It is more than I would have thought possible four years ago, yet fear still makes my stomach clinch and blood run cold…
Tonight will be the first time I will walk into the time clock room as myself. The first time many of the other third shifters will have had a chance to meet the real me …