Is it worth it?

Often I find myself asking the question “is it worth it” when deciding to say something.  When faced with the potential of backlash, bad reactions, misunderstandings and possible ridicule, I have to weigh in if it’s worth saying something.  I am unique in how I think and feel, so much that I find it hard to find others who agree with my opinions.  I also have little to no patience or sympathy for those unwilling to listen to what I have to say.

I tend to “ghost” when I feel that a person or a group becomes unsafe because of the things they say or share.  And I’m not talking about general disagreements.  Disagreements are to be expected between individuals.  Constructive criticism and disagreement can be helpful and healthy to a conversation.  But sometimes those disagreements turn into threats.  Even mentioning that it’s a perceived threat is, more often than not, met with negativity or completely ignored as if the feelings don’t matter.

Overtime I have grown to be very impatient with people who ignore this or jump down someone’s throat when someone else is offended.  Yes there are those who go completely out of control when offended.  But anymore when it is just a mere mention of it, it turns into a victim blame game where the offended is the offender.  Of course the person who offended originally will usually start this.  In some cases it becomes the entire group blaming the victim.

I constantly think about weather it’s worth it to bring up if something offends or threatens.  I’ve become silent when I needed to speak.  Missing when I needed to stand up for myself.  I have to measure my emotional state to see if it’s worth getting hurt just to be who I am and not let someone stomp on that.  I do not give up on all my fights.  I fight where it’s most important.  But I do not have the time or patience to fight where the ends to not justify the means.

Some people are just not worth wasting energy on proving that I am who I am and they are not going to step on me.  I will leave if I feel as if they are doing this.  It sucks because I miss out on conversations with others in that group.  But I have to think about my mental health and well being.  If it feels unsafe, I leave.  I get enough crap as it is fighting for who I am.  I will not deal with it where I do not feel it’s worth dealing with.

Gaming Friends, a letter to you.

I use to game a whole lot as a lot of you know.  I loved when I would stream and have the company of people all over the nation and sometimes world.  It’s fun having that company while gaming and it also helped my social skills.  When I’m not anxious, I am able to just talk to people, even if it’s just a little bit.  Gaming became an obsession.  Come home, hop on the computer and start playing something.  I spent HOURS on games like Smite, Minecraft, various platformers, Star Trek online, and the list goes on.  I also really enjoyed having a collection of retro games and collecting more systems, games, etc.  Was a part of a fun podcast where we talked about games, the gaming industry, shared opinions and just generally had fun with our passion.

Lots of things have changed.  Am I still a gamer, but I haven’t played them very much lately.  Most of you already know why.  But I do miss the community I had helped build.  I am very much still a part of it in some ways, but I feel like I’m being left further and further behind as far as game experiences go.  I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing though.  The obsession I had, for me personally, was not healthy or maintainable.  I spent most of my time gaming and much less on doing anything else.  I was letting life pass me by as I mined endlessly for diamonds or spent hours in online arena battles.  And when not doing that, I was watching stream after stream after stream while doing those other things.  It’s just not maintainable for me anymore.

I love to stream and share experiences with friends.  I love to watch streams and spend time with online friends where we wouldn’t get to hang out otherwise.  I loved making and creating and entertaining when I could.  I loved the jokes, the laughs, the research, the sharing of ideas, all of the social aspects of gaming.  That is what I miss most.  The games are really just a means to an end.  I am a very social gamer.  I want to play with others, not just by myself.  It’s depressing to game alone.  I want to have that fun social interaction with the passions we share.

It’s just not possible to do that anymore.  I am in love with someone very special to me and want to experience more things with her.  I have so many other things going on in “RL” as we all say.  I am getting some of the same social experiences I was getting before without gaming.  I don’t think I will ever stream again.  I try to catch a stream when I can.  I still enjoy the company and conversations I have on occasion with my gaming friends.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I miss you all.  I am still here and love you all the same as before.  I wish I had more time to spend with you all like before.  But life has changed so much.  I am a much happier person after making some major life changes.  I would not trade it for anything.  But I have not forgotten about you all.  I hope that you have not forgotten about me.

Anniversary Post

I can’t believe it’s been a year already and I am still writing here. Since then lots of things have changed. I am still living at the same place, but the home is much different. Lost a wife, stopped having a youtube channel, stopped streaming on twitch, watched a great podcast go to the wayside. I love myself and have fixed so many issues in my life.

I don’t miss my ex anymore. I realized that I was settling for less than I deserve. I still think about her and worry about her, but its a fleeting thought. All she is to me now are memories and lessons learned.

I stopped having a youtube and twitch channel. I just don’t have the time or energy for it. I do miss it from time to time. My focus now is on the wonderful person in my life and sharing in the experiences we have. I still love video games, but I no longer feel compelled to stream them. I do however miss my online friends and sharing time with them in that way.

Being tired is now a normal thing. I am always tired, but I am happy. I get a lot of sleep when I am not staying up all night talking or having fun time with my girlfriend. I still need to work on my career goals and get my certifications, but I no longer have to change jobs. I am accepted up here, well, at least in my own department. I am the first transgender woman to come out at my place of work and its not been a big deal. I do wish that others in this place were more accepting. Other departments are not as nice, but I remember to stand my ground and remember they can’t make me less of a woman by their words.

It is dangerous to live here. Sometimes I forget that because I can pass as female most of the time. That’s not a luxury that my other trans friends have. A friend recently was on tv and talked about the bathroom bills and what not. The hateful comments from the idiots who live here makes me feel unsafe. My girlfriend worries for me, but unlike before, is willing to protect me and help other trans people. She has a huge heart.

Hard to believe a year has passed already. The journey has been easier in spots and hard in others. I am happy that I have the support of most of my friends and family. And I have made new friends along the way. It has been amazing so far. I am no longer depressed, anxiety doesn’t control me. I look in the mirror and see Sara, not that other person from before. I no longer have to live a lie. I am me, no one can change that.

Reflection

As I was cleaning up my desk today, I found something I had wrote on several months ago: 

I feel alone, I feel I am an irritation to others, I want to cry, I don’t want to work on anything, My throat hurts, my head hurts, I want to go home, lock the door and hide from the world.  

A few months ago I was not okay.  I was hurt, felt abandoned, felt like I had no place to turn to and I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it.  Those feelings seem distant and fleeting.  I still get depressed from time to time, but no where near what it use to be.  I have an abundance of love around me from friends, family and extended family.

Love lost meaning to me for a long time.  Before my first marriage, I had dated and gone out with several girls, but nothing that lasted.  I wanted to find that kind of love from someone.  The kind that is unconditional, the kind you get from someone special.  I thought I had found that.  For the first few years of the relationship I though I understood what love was.  Eventually that faded and the I love you’s became habit and lost all meaning.  Despite that I was still willing to try.  To try and make things better, to deepen the feelings and make them meaningful.  I am not perfect, but I sacrificed a big part of myself to try and make that work.

I realized that its hard to love someone when you do not love yourself.  I started trying to change that.  I started trying to accept who I really am.  Apparently this was too much for the person I was with.  She did not love me despite my flaws.  I was “too much” or “she could not handle someone like me”.  It made me realize that the love she said she had for me was not really there.  I was destroyed for a long time.  Lost and didn’t know what to do.  I wanted to just be alone and suffer.

Luckily I could not let things stay that way.  I went out, tried to meet people at social groups.  Sure it was a BDSM group, but I had to explore the other parts of me that I had hidden away to please someone else.  I started talking to some people.  One person saw I needed help and decided to do something.  So far she has helped me to redefine what love is.  This may or may not have been her intention, but that was the result.  Her family and friends, her unconditional love and affection have helped me realize that I haven’t really known love for a long time.  It’s helped me in my other relationships and helped in building others.  Talking to other people seems easier now with a bit of the self love I’ve gained.

I still have self doubt and some depression.  I know I am not out of the woods yet.  But instead of stumbling in the dark, I have tools to see through and a person to help guide me on to brighter pastures.

Trapped

I tend to be inside my own head a lot.  Thinking about things, assessing things, playing a song in my head, thinking about lunch, etc.  Often I am so far entrenched that I barely notice others around me.  I have learned to do this over the years.  To constantly ignore the outside world to protect myself.  I am hyper-aware of my surroundings, but often put effort into ignoring it to protect myself.

I have a very vivid imagination.  Often I will put myself in a situation or place where I am constantly/silently playing.  My mind stays occupied so much that sometimes small things can surprise me.  When I do not do this, I feel as if every person who passes me by is staring at me, perhaps judging me.  I feel the stares of others, it’s hard not to.  I tend to hide my face, look the other way, or put my head down so I don’t have to meet their gaze.

Hyper-awareness is a blessing and a curse.  I typically have to turn it off or down some so that the anxiety does not invade and make me feel awful.

This is the typical norm that I default to.  It’s learned behavior that is hard to break.  I know that I don’t have to do this.  It’s unnecessary but it is VERY hard to break the cycle.  It is not for lack of trying.  I use to drink to turn it completely off, but that’s hardly a solution and pretty dangerous at that.  Especially since I am diabetic.  I shouldn’t be drinking much if at all.  I tried using someone else talking for me to open up conversation.  That’s not a solution either as it causes other complications and sometimes resentment.  I tried just talking myself and I trip over my own words or don’t know what to say.  I often don’t know what I could add to a conversation.  Especially if it’s about stuff I know nothing about.

I have been blamed for being clingy.  I tend to stay close to those I trust with my feelings and words.  I am open with those I trust and will talk with them openly, but when around strangers, I clam up.  I just can’t get words out.  And when I do, it’s one or two things and the conversation moves on as if I said nothing.  Or if I do say something more than a few sentences, I lose track of what I’m talking about and get overly anxious.

The place inside my head is safe.  It doesn’t challenge me to try to be social.  I have done it for too long and have never really learned how to interact with people I feel.  At least not in person.  I am sure I will be told with practice that I will be better able to communicate.  I just don’t know where to start.  I am impatient and lazy.  I know there is no easy answer to this.  The work needs to be done and I can not imagine it away.  I need to talk to people.  I need to be more social.  Or I will continue to be a prisoner inside my head.

Nothing

I have run out of things I care to share publicly.  I still write, a lot even.  The time for making it public is done.  Not that I don’t want to share things with people.  But I have nothing good to share.  I may come back and write again, but for now, there is nothing to say.  I can not help but protect myself at this crucial moment.  I am in pain still, it’s different every day.  But I can’t continue to share it here.  It’s just too personal.

Healing

To get better sometimes means feeling the worst of what ails you.

I have been so grateful for meeting a group of friends that have been there through all my emotional issues.  It helps when you have a group with a common interest that can come together.  Not only being accepted, but also looking past the problems and just talking about the thing that we came together for.  Being accepted as part of the group can help when you feel like you are alone.  Especially when your exploring a new part of who you are.

Even with the good, there are the times when I come back home and remember.  Memories tied to things, some material, some digital.  In this case, it was all the digital memories.  Lots of things that were created together.  Pictures, videos, projects, vacations, graphics.  Every part of it a memory of something I no longer have.  It hurt, a lot.

I cried for a while, it was ugly.  I both needed to happen and did not need to.  The emotions need to be let out, but I can’t keep feeling this way when I am alone.  Lately I have been feeling dysphoric at work.  Sometimes causing major anxiety.  I am tired of coming here, wearing this uniform of a person I am not.  A mixture of these two feelings hit me yesterday while I was still at work.  I had to close my office door because I could not control the tears.  I am lucky to have the friends I do, that are willing to listen to me when I am in this much distress.  I can’t thank them enough.

The hurt I felt brought back the issues I’m facing.  I am not over it by a long shot.  The days that are good are increasing in amount, but there are still days that are some of the most hurtful they have ever been.  I know it won’t be fixed overnight.  I am thankful for all the support I have had so far.  I hope that those around me are patient enough to listen when I am having one of those days.  I personally am always there for them, but even if someone says otherwise, I still feel I am a burden.  So much pressure in the world to “feel positive” or “enjoy life”.  You know though, sometimes I am not okay.  Sometimes I am not feeling good.  And that is okay for me to feel that way.  I need to so I can heal.