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Perpetual Horror

Perpetual Horror

Life lately has consisted of constantly staring this horrific reality in the face and not blinking. Then, taking what I see and figuring out how to make it better, by going through even more horror – the horror that got us here – and finding the way out.

I read H.P. Lovecraft at night because the ultimate horror of which we do not name has nothing on this timeline.

I’m going through old bible stories and remembering things from my childhood. Like how my parents would rather that we had been raptured because they didn’t like who I was getting married to, and since I’d experienced love (and loss) I’d felt everything I need to for one lifetime. Or how they told us, multiple times that if god were to whisper that us kids should be killed, they would do so without hesitating. I remembered how my mom worshipped the women we knew who almost died in labor for their dedication and faith.

Only now do I see this as obvious signs of depression that they decided to go ahead and verbally pass on to their children. I’ve never been afraid of death and it’s a struggle not to see it as a blissful void, resulting in a much needed break from this cruel reality.

My optimism looks like: Well, things are shit and are going to be for ever unless we maybe do something about it, and that might not even work, or we’ll die before it happens, but we can say we tried, which is better than nothing.

I keep going, I keep fighting, because it’s all I know how to do and I haven’t managed to die yet. What matters most is what we do next, where we go from here.

Occasionally I have glimpses of what it must feel like to have a normal relationship to life. One where you really adamantly don’t want to die instead of being blasé about it. The one where stopping feels sad instead of restful. My parents ripped that from us by spending all their time talking about how great it would be if we were dead and in heaven instead of alive. It always bothered me, because like, we weren’t dead – and committing suicide/non-god-sanctioned murder meant you’d go to hell – so?

It’s really hard to find that right now. To be anything but nonchalant about dying and our dystopian future. In some ways, it almost feels protective. Like one less thing I have to worry about, because I’m generally meh about my existence. Life right now is mimicking my childhood on a much grander scale and pushing all the CPTSD buttons and I do not appreciate it. But all the coping mechanisms I honed while there, are back. I can press on, because it’s all I know how to do, and maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll catch glimpses of things that feel vaguely hope-like again.

Things I learned in therapy

Things I learned in therapy

My therapist guesses that starting T will help with my hormone induced dysphoria too (just need insurance again).

We opened up the jar of trauma that is my relationship with my body when I’m bleeding and realized I’ve never healed from that. Surprising no one, I know. But I realized that the terror that I feel as soon as fluctuations occur stem from the first time and thinking I was going to die and being unprepared while my mom called everyone in the phone book and I was hurt and scared and confused. In addition that, the voices in my head that push me to never rest stem from trying to survive my childhood and be one step ahead of my mom so she wouldn’t get set off. Jerk brain is just trying to keep me safe and help me survive the environment it’s known the longest, and logic isn’t going to convince it that it’s safe.

So we did this exercise where I found that part of me and told myself it’s okay, no one is allowed to yell at us, no one can hurt us anymore, I’ve got this. And something clicked. And I found out how much that moment hurt me, while I was bleeding and alone and I just kinda hugged the little versions of me that were coming out and terrified and have been scared this whole time.

Jerk brain has been so much quieter since Thursday.

Depression and Therapy and Burning Man (maybe)

Depression and Therapy and Burning Man (maybe)

It’s been a long month of more new scary things. Started a job being a glorified receptionist with the bonus skill set of being able to translate people’s computer problems into useful information for the IT people (and no, I don’t get paid more for that skill). Had housing fall through on me twice, the second iteration of which I am still currently fighting to get my deposit back. My potential roommate has been unreachable for the last two weeks so I’m starting a Small Claims thing on Monday and hopefully someone can find her. The lease demands she pay me back within two days if the move-in didn’t occur, so legally, she’s obligated, it’s just the tracking down that’s the problem.

I’ve been in an awful depressed spiral because of that + utter stress of a new job where people are grumpy about their computers at me all day and the hours are not conducive to my mental health or productivity (and the company documents I was handed use air quotes around mental health, which, as someone with intense mental health problems, does not make me feel safe at all). I managed to push through September, I did everything I needed, I started a job, I got to work every day, and was chained to the phone doing the best I could working between sobbing from the sheer overwhelmingness of everything.

I started seeing a therapist on Thursday (funnily enough the first day in like 2 weeks I was able to get through without crying or intensely passively wishing for death) and I told her about the overwhelmingness of everything and got to hand her my brain and be like, here, you hold this now. Someone who is not me is aware of the mess that is happening inside and is equipped to figure it out.

So I started off by explaining everything that’s happened since May. I’m trans, I’m divorced, a different partner broke up with me shortly after I moved here, I only recently got a job (that inevitably wants my soul), and even working full time I don’t make enough to afford rent, and I don’t have benefits or PTO. The stress is eating away at me and pulling at my soul through my back and everything compounds in on itself and I can’t handle it alone anymore.

And she looked at me and was like, so it seems like a lot of new things have just happened all at once and you’re doing a lot of transitioning right now and it’s stressful.

And I was like, yes.

 

It’s not bad. Just new. and a lot. and I can manage new.

 

I feel so far away from everything I want to do, but as I listed them out (CRHE, art, tech, learning shit) and she asked me if I’d stopped or been unable to do those things, I realized I hadn’t, the capacity just changed. It’s just new and adjusting. I haven’t stopped.

 

I feel like I’m in a rut or a dead-end. I need to forge my own path out. I know what I want and don’t want, I don’t know how to get there yet.

I don’t want to stay at my new job forever, the stress is a lot and not worth the not-being-able-to-pay-rent-or-get-sick deal. I want to work somewhere that I and my health are valued, and that pays me enough to afford to live out here. Somewhere I don’t wake up dreading. Because while I am fucking fantastic at my job being a translator receptionist, I prefer to not have the entire bay area and misc parts of California thrust upon me in an afternoon. I am a hacker and I can singlehandedly take care of the entire internet-based infrastructure of an organization. I am full-stack for myself and that’s a useful skill.

Taking messages for problems doesn’t give you the same feeling that solving a problem does, either.

Anyway, what I’m saying is, I need something better, but at least I have a stepping stone now, and I know that I have a lot more to offer than what I’m being paid (poorly) for. I don’t know how to make that happen yet.

 

She asked me if I liked the Bay and I told her I’d never intended to be here, I just wound up here because it was a place available to me when I needed it. But now that I’m here, I have that same feeling I had about Burning Man – there’s something for me here, something I need to do or be a part of, and I don’t know what it is, but it’s not time to leave yet. She asked me if I found that at Burning Man and if it was intuition or not – it was, on both counts. I found out a lot about my own strength at Burning Man, a lot about myself, I let go of a lot of things and it was what I needed. I don’t know what the next step out here looks like, but that same instinct is keeping me here, so I’m going to follow that and see what happens.

She was impressed that I was so in-tune with myself. I guess that’s what happens when you self-therapy until you just can’t anymore.

 

I’m writing this now from my other partner’s couch, watching the sun start to rise, and freezing. Life is fucking terrifying but I think I’m going to make it after all.

 

I made it out of that spiral, I can make it out again.

Preparing A Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things (Written in 2010)

Preparing A Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things (Written in 2010)

When I was 19 I had the opportunity to write out…basically my life story and post it to a website with a lot of readers. It helped me start processing my life and was the catalyst for rethinking all the things I was taught and starting to see my abuse for what it was. I’ve requested the author of the site to take the articles down because I feel the site no longer represents or seeks to aid survivors of abuse like mine – but I still feel like my story – though I have grown and changed massively in the last six years – is important and can maybe still help people like me. So I’m posting it here. It was originally published in 6 parts, but I’m posting it in one fell swoop with handy navigation.

This was my start. I was just out of my parents house and still talking to them, facing a world of unknowns, and clinging to religion and the hope of a healthy family. Where I was then is still important, because it gave me the courage to become who I am now.

  1. Big Girls Don’t Feel
  2. Maintaining Appearances
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Growing Up
  5. Waking Up
  6. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

 

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health log/update 2015

health log/update 2015

Second pap smear ever today. New doctor is really nice and good at listening, was ready to stop at any time and actually knew what she was doing and had the tiny speculum. No crying or death levels of pain, and we got a good sample, so yay. No one judged me for my weight/gain, and my doctor actually listened when I talked to her about medications, preferences, and the no-libido-at-all problems I’ve been having while on lexapro.

She lowered my dose of lexapro to 10mg, and put me back on bupropion at 150mg. Meeting a month from now to re-evaluate. I’m so happy to be back on the thing I know works for my depression – though it’s the XL version which looks a little different than the other one I was one which wasn’t XL. I don’t know if there’s actually much of a difference. Apparently it might also help with the libido and I remember from last time there was a possibility of it helping with weight, though while I’m still taking lexapro I’m not really holding my breath.

No one acted like my current weight was an issue though – and I explained how I gained a lot from zoloft and even more from lexapro. She didn’t tell me how much I weighed today when I told her I hadn’t been looking, either, which was really lovely.

I got it on the little handout though, and it’s a bit, but not as much as I feared so that’s good.

I felt really cared for and listened to and not judged by anyone here, which was so nice. I was so scared, but now I’m so relieved I could almost happy cry.

I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE I WAS GONNA DIE THIS TIME, AHHH. so good. And when I told her the story she was like, yeah no wonder you would be super anxious about it.

 

Then I came home ate some stuff and slept because I was up all night with anxiety. 😛

{I matter}

{I matter}

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I don’t have to be productive 24/7. All that matters is that I take care of myself – everything else will follow. I matter.

Because my body is remembering it has a uterus for the first time in almost 6 months and even though it’s still worlds better than it was untreated, it still…..fucks me up a lot. I feel like it makes me lesser, but I know that’s bullshit…

I’m scared that my period problems are going to rule out any opportunities I ever have, but I know that isn’t true, also. I hope.