An Explanation

I know things have been tumultuous recently but that is partly due to my inability to put things into words in a way which makes sense.

Time and time again I found myself falling into a self destructive pattern of behavior. Taking a step forward then a dozen back. Of knowing deep inside what I needed to do but instead listening to the whispers… You’re not good enough, you don’t deserve happiness, you don’t even deserve to live…

You’re a burden on everyone around you, you’re selfish, You’ll never be worth anything,

You are a failure, worthless, unneeded, unwanted, unloved.

Needless to say, this caused a great deal of stress in the lives of those around me and the constant flip flopping just made things worse. No one, not even myself, knew what person they would encounter from one moment to the next as I would shift from being up to crushing lows at the smallest provocation.

I can go from being certain of who i am to being convinced I am a fraud, deluded, or just plain insane. For every positive thought there are a thousand negative ones, each more powerful than the last. All piling on my mind, seeking to crush me with their weight… and at some point they would win. That’s when I would entertain my darkest thoughts, dream my worst nightmares, plan my most evil of plans.

The abyss would stare back.

I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember but as with so much in my life, it goes in cycles. In the past when things reached their worst I had mental breakdowns which often led me toward suicide. This year had proven to be another end of cycle and my thoughts have been either very dark or outright destructive. As mentioned above, this is something which puts a mountains of stress on those around me, especially my partner.

This past week things reached a head when she became ill. It would have been bad enough if it had been just one thing but it turned into three which each wearing her down more an more. Then she also had family issues and now there is some financial stress as well, though we have survived worse, it just seemed to be the icing on the cake. Seeing how hard all of this has been on her I felt even worst about adding to her problems as I seem to do all too often.

As so much of my issues stem from from my gender identity and how, if at all, I should be expressing myself. So I made a decision, not so much for myself but for her and the boys.

I have gone full time.

So begins a new chapter…

Yesterday was unsettled to say the least. Not surprising since it was the culmination of months of uncertainty, of struggling with deep seated depression which kept me in an endless loop of inaction fueled by doubt and fear.

Now I considered writing a lengthy post explaining much of what has been happening over the past several weeks, but decided to make this short.

My partner has been under a lot of stress lately and I felt I was making things worse, so I told her I would quit sitting on the fence and finally go full time without looking back.

Looking Forward

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.

 

Decision

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.

Staying the Course, Bloody Though It Be

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. 


Why Can’t I…

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. 



Swim or Bleed

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. 

No Place To Run

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.