Dr. Loren Cannon, an award-winning HSU philosophy professor with numerous published essays…
Over the past several months I found myself pushing little by little toward continuing to transition even when I believed I had finally given up. It was always something small, using my name instead of my birth name to set up an awards account at a store I rarely shop at, asking different doctors offices to use it as well and then the big one…
(I am trying to get Social Security disability because I am no longer able to work due to anxiety and PTSD. Though even in this I am having difficulty doing what they ask of me, just looking at the paperwork they sent sets off a panic attack…)
regardless, I made the point to request they use Kira instead of my birth name. While I understand the official paper work needs to have the old name, I made it clear I prefer to be addressed by my actual name and female pronouns.
So far everyone as been very understanding and accommodating for which I am very grateful.
So now I suppose I have a known alias…
It’s been awhile since I wore something personal, mostly because most of what I might have said was the same things I have said so often throughout the years and if we were honest, I think most of us became tired of such things a long time ago…. (at least I know I did.)
The problem was I knew deep down what I needed to do to move forward in my life yet the was always something holding me back. Something I been fighting my entire life but of which I did not speak enough. Not to friends, family, or you.
Mental illness… depression, anxiety, PTSD and all the things which come with them.
Thinking about it, I have to say depression is the hardest to deal with. It makes everything ten times harder; leaving me feeling as though nothing matters, that nothing will change, no matter how much I might wish for it to be otherwise. How difficult it can be to simply get out of bed each morning or how many times it has put beck there, often without being able to say why. The feeling of being weighed down by a soaking wet blanket you cannot escape. Struggling in darkness, heat, and a closeness which leaves you feeling almost claustrophobic.
Then there is the anxiety eating through me like an acid and leaving me shaken and weak. Many times I’m not sure what might trigger it, a thought, a feeling, even the ringing of the telephone. Sometimes it’s a memory or someone using my birth name. Sometimes it’s being within sight of another person, sometimes shaking hands. It can be almost anything and anytime.
The PTSD may be the most difficult thing to explain to anyone who not had to deal with it. So much of what it entails seems so common place, so insignificant, it’s understandable why someone might think you’re over reacting or making it all up.
For me, just being around men can set it off or having someone walking too close behind me. Being surprised by someone or imagining there might be someone just out of sight or worst yet, by the flicker of a shadow out of the corner of my eye.
Worst of all are the thoughts I will finish this life not as who I am but as people insist on seeing me. To have my birth name used on my obituary. To have everything I have become, who I have become, simply dismissed.
In fact it was this final thought which haunted me most of all over the past two years. Years in which I flipped back and forth between moving forward in my transition and giving up. It has been the root of my thoughts of everything being pointless, of how , when everything was said and done, nothing will have changed. Knowing I will live and die in a body which tells nothing of who or what I was, am, had dreamed of becoming.
Having some family issues I need to take care of.
I’m setting up a (new to me) computer. I forgot how long a process this can be especially when you have a hundred things going on at once.
Still don’t know what I reacted to but the swelling has gone down which I’m happy with. Sadly my lips are still sensitive to the slightest touch.
The Rev. Donnie Anderson and Debbie Jamieson have spent the last year on parallel journeys of self-discovery after Donnie’s announced intention to transition to a woman.