It’s hard being true to yourself

Positive thoughts are fleeting nowadays.  I see it when I write, feel it when I am emotional, think it when I let my thoughts wander.  But is it all that bad?  I am finally able to live as myself for the first time in my life.  I am finally with someone who encourages me to be who I am and doesn’t hold me back.  Why am I not happy?

Life situations tend to cloud what could be a very hopeful and happy situation.  I am unemployed, so my worth to society seems very little.  I have not made anything creatively in a long time.  My motivation to create, work, and do things has reached an all time low.  I know this and it’s a constant cycle of feeling worse and worse.  I know the solution is not to wallow in these horrid feelings that feel impossible to escape.

It is not easy living as ones true self.  In a lot of ways it’s been self defeating.  I have already said I have lost friends, lost this, lost that, etc.  So how have I managed to keep going and not just stay in bed.  Well for a few months, I didn’t really want to do much.  Depression can be very crippling.  I didn’t even apply for jobs, do house work, feed myself properly, take my meds, etc.

What has kept me going despite all of this?  Stubbornness?  To lazy to stop existing?  Some days I can’t fathom why.  But I know what has helped a lot.  The few friends left that I try to message and support, the few twitter friends I try to message every now and then just to see how they are doing, and watching the successes of my twitter friends.  I could talk about all of them individually, but that post would be excessively long.  Maybe I should write it anyway.  We all need a boost from each other right?  I feel as if even with that I have not been as supportive as I could be.  I don’t ever feel that I have done enough or that I have forgotten about others.  I try to remember that I have to take care of myself before I can help and take care of others.

My partner has been extremely patient and supportive during this time, even working overtime to help cover bills.  I of course feel guilty for this even though I know there isn’t much I can do about it.  I don’t want her to work so hard just to make ends meet.  I feel worse because I don’t feel like I am contributing to our household.  But I also have to remind myself of what I am doing and what I can do to contribute.  Depression doesn’t help make this any easier.  I have started to say “sorry” way more often than I should.

So why am I still trying when a lot of things have made me feel like a failure?  I love my family and friends so much that I don’t want to fail them.  I feel bad for not being able or willing to provide as much as I can.  So what is left if the depression has convinced me of these terrible things.  I have to remember to be myself, take care of myself, and that I can not help others if I can not help myself.

I have recently been trying to take care of myself.  Self care is so very important right now.  It comes in many forms:  learning a new skill, getting some chores done, applying for more jobs, getting interviews scheduled, updating my resume, eating right, taking my meds consistently, being a good listener for my friends, helping a friend who needs some advice, promoting my friends accomplishments, collaborating with others on projects both creative and otherwise, using my career skills to help friends and family, and more.

Part of this is self care, the other is doing things that I am able to do to help others out.  The latter is a reminder that I still have something to contribute to others.  The former helps me do the latter.  I can build my own cycle of reward to hopefully help me get out of the cycle of depression.  It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  It gives me a reason to live and breath.  It gives me a chance to be myself.

I have had to discover a lot about myself these past couple of years.  My journey has changed course so much during this time.  I thought I knew who I was, but I still do not know fully who I am.  But I have made plenty of discoveries about it.  So who the hell am I?

I am a kind and caring person to a fault.  I am a strong defender of those I care about.  I am forgetful.  I am intelligent but scared to show it.  I am flawed, but not trash.  I am imperfect but not worthless.  I love hard.  I will not put up with others stomping on my civil rights.  I will defend myself and will defend others.  I will lift those up I care about who let me know they need help.  I am strong willed and am unable to completely give up.  I am able to fake it till I make it.  I take things hard, but can bounce back from it if I try hard enough.  I need support from those I love, but rarely ask for it.   I am afraid to speak out of fear of offending others.  I am afraid of others judging or disliking me.  I am not 100% introverted.  I am not extroverted.  I want to be heard instead of ignored.  I am a person who holds honesty in the highest regard.  I show respect to those who are honest to me even though they may be afraid of hurting my feelings.  I fear the future, but am not opposed to it.  I want to experience new and interesting things.  I want to be free from my depression.  I want to continue to have the few friendships I have.  I want to strengthen those relationships.  I want to build new and fulfilling friendships with others that are mutually beneficial.

And finally, I want to love others who are close to me.  I want to be loved for who I am, not who I was.  I will continue to fight to be who I am and love those around me.  I will continue to try and build up current and new relationships.  I will not let depression take the things I care about most from me.

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Sometimes I want to die.

Even this title is triggering, so this is your only warning.  Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon amongst trans people.  But that’s not because of mental deficiencies.  It’s mostly because of how society treats us, how the media portrays us, and peoples opinions of us.  When I started my transition, things seemed to be going ok, people were surprisingly supportive.  It seemed like the ones I told were happy for me with the exception of a select few.  I was scared, but hopeful.  Determined yet skeptical.  Things were looking up.  But as well as it was going, things quickly changed.

After one conversation with my exes father, step mother and sister (who was formerly supportive of me), my exes attitude completely changed.  She was no longer supportive, even seeming to be somewhat resentful in every conversation after she got back.  She even seemed disgusted by me.  Someone who said they would be supportive and promised such to my family suddenly no longer there.  As painful as this was, at the time, I still had my friends supporting me.  Encouraging me to not give up, telling me to discover myself, be my true self, live as I really am.  I took that advice to heart.

I met someone who saw in me something she wanted to protect and lift up.  It helped so so much.  I started to open up for the first time in my life.  She showed me that it is ok to show vulnerability.  I started to discover who I truly was and be proud of that, to not be ashamed of who and what I am.  At first my friends were showing support.  But as the announcement of my “transness” faded, so did a lot of their support.  Not everyone has been lost.  And I know, it is true that only true friends will stick around.  But the loss is still felt and still significant.  It still hurts.  Especially when you at first hear them cheer you on, then they become silent.  When confronting some of them, they say things that make you think you are disgusting them, that you being yourself is bothersome to them.

Cutting more ties every day.  Everyday that I show who I am, post about something I believe in, show that vulnerability, someone decides that its enough and spits in my face.   Trans people are killed everyday due to the things people dislike or feel disgusted about with me.  About the things they argue with me about when I don’t even bring up the argument in the first place.  It can be as simple as a post I share.

During this “transition” from a positive experience to all this negativity, I have had tons of self doubt, depression, dysphoria about my body.  In the beginning it was manageable with therapy.  Now it seems every time I put myself out there, someone wants to shove me and my opinions back in the closet.  As if the message I get is that I don’t get to exist.  That my opinions are invalid and stupid for thinking that society can and should change.  Every day that I challenge someone’s perceptions, someone has to be so close minded and bitch about something I never even argued with them about.  Are the majority of people completely unwilling to challenge their hangups and preferences?  To expand their thinking and just for a moment, see through someone else’s eyes without saying that someone is being overly sensitive.

I am tired, scared, and feeling very alone.  I am withdrawing into myself again as I once was.  I no longer want to hear or see the hate or refusal to understand.  Yes I am opinionated, yes I believe in things that challenge most peoples limits and perceptions.  Because I want to see change, I want to be in a world that is more accepting of people like me, where I don’t have to be scared to be who I am.  Where I don’t have to be scared to show my vulnerability.  For every negative interaction, I withdraw more from friends, family, potential experiences.  I say less, I talk less, I share less, I live less.

Alone in my head left with my thoughts, shown that I can’t be who I am without the threat of harassment, hate, or death.  I can’t put myself out there to find potential friends.  I am shoved into the closet where the only thoughts left are if it’s worth it.  Is it worth trying?  Is it worth living as I truly am or being miserable.  Either misery seems just as bad.  Is the only answer just removing myself from the picture all together?   I know life is not suppose to be easy.  Everyone has their own individual challenges.  I won’t compare my torment to others.  But I am reaching a point where I wonder if its even worth trying anymore.  If I am not accepted as who I truly am, and the person I was before wanted to die bc of being trapped in the wrong person, then what place do I have?  What am I doing here other than wasting resources.

I know suicide is not the answer.  To those that still care, who are still here, it would hurt them.  I would hurt them by removing myself from their lives.  I will acknowledge that I have helped and continue to help those that are left around me.  I do not think the things that I do are nearly enough for them.  I do not think the things that I do are special.  I just don’t want them to feel the pain that I do.  I want to show them love, that life doesn’t have to be what I am constantly shown, that others do care.  In turn this should be advice for myself from the very people I help.  I do listen to it, I do hear it, and I do logically know that it is right.  Emotionally however, this hardly gives me solace.  I wish it weren’t this way.  There are times where those special people in my life show me that life can be special, can be a positive experience.  But the volume of negativity tends to drown out their voices over time.

Maybe withdrawing and only speaking with those that actually care will be helpful and reduce the volume of negativity both inside of me and outside.  I am willing to give it a chance.  But my willingness to share is fleeting.  I hate it, but when I feel this way, I just stop speaking to everyone.  I am afraid that eventually someone will find disgust in me.  I fear someone will change their mind about me and show the negativity, the hate, etc.  It’s hard to shake the fear when its happened often.  I don’t think I am able to share anymore.

 

 

Love hurts

Depression has been crippling lately.  I want to not care about the things my emotions do.  Logically it doesn’t make sense why I still care and worry about my past.  But my head keeps reminding me in a vicious cycle of places I’ve been, things I’ve experienced, love I have shared.

When I love, I love deeply.  It’s who I am.  I am devoted and loyal to a fault.  I don’t want to love her anymore.  There is a deep hatred of her, but deep inside the love is still there.  I want it ripped out of me.  I want to not give a shit anymore.  I want the caring, the memories both good and bad, taken from me.  It is just painful.  Especially since this person did not appreciate or tell me she did not want what I was offering.  I put so much effort into showing love.  No, I was not perfect, I made plenty of mistakes.  But I tried.  On the other hand, I want her to suffer as I suffer everyday.  I don’t really want this, but emotionally I want her to feel what I feel or worse.  I want her to see what she has and continues to put me through.

My emotions seem to latch onto the mistakes, the awkward moments, the things I can not get back.  I feel like I am at constant war with my past.  I try to remember the present and the good things about it.  And sometimes it helps.  But not always.  Some of you know I am into BDSM and appreciate a good beating.  I am in need of one, but even that is only temporary relief from the emotions that eventually come back and don’t let up.  I am not sure how much physical pain it is going to take to push through the emotional turmoil.

It’s not just over one relationship, although that is a huge contributing factor.  I am still grieving over Mom.  I am still reeling from the people I’ve lost as friends.  I know logically I need to move on, if they cared that they would have stayed, etc.  Emotionally those things don’t matter.  The memories hurt just as bad as they did before.  I was told I need to show discretion once…this is my outlet asshole.  I don’t understand the reasons for people unfriending me.  I am being true to who I am, being open with who I am as a way to be healthier.  I am taking ownership of who I am and embracing that.  I am trying to live as a person who does not have the limitations she did before.  It seems that others hate me for that.  Logically, they can kiss my ass and get out of my life.  But emotionally their reasoning hurts so much.  I loved you, why does your friendship have to have these stupid conditions?

All I want in life is to be loved, acknowledged when I feel a certain way, be accepted for who I truly am without judgement, have friends who aren’t there under certain conditions, and not have to worry so much that I hide who I am.  I am so depressed because I love too much and emotionally can’t let go no matter how much I want to.  I don’t want to hurt anymore.  I don’t want to care about the people who hurt me.  I want to know how to not love them anymore.  I want to not care about them or what happens to them.  I want to be truly free from them forever.  I want the emotional ties cut so that I no longer feel the weight of their betrayal or deceit.

The Great Divide

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I have lost friends over this.  I have stopped talking to people.  My circle is tiny now.  There are maybe a handful of people I can call friends.

My worst fear is abandonment.  I feel like once someone gets to know me, they leave.  Either by moving away, by going silent, by ignoring me, etc.  I have been left to many times by people I care about.  I can’t just stop caring about those people, but either they leave me or I have to leave them to be healthy.  When I have to leave, it’s because they want to rely on me to help them out of their emotional hole.  Yet they are unable or unwilling to help themselves.  I can not be dragged down into their despair because I have my own to deal with.  I want to help those I care about, but if they are not willing to put in the effort, what is the point?  I can’t solve problems of others, I can only offer help.  When I see they are trying to pull me down with them, I have to leave.

I wonder if people feel the same way about me and leave me because of the same reasons.  I like to think that I do not try to pull people down with me.  I like to think that I try to fix my own issues and just need someone to listen and acknowledge me from time to time.  I just don’t know.  But I no longer have the friends I use to.  The ones I still have that I consider close are physically so far away.  The ones that are close by physically are new friends that don’t really know me.  That is not their fault though.  I don’t really open up like I use to anymore.  I don’t want to risk being hurt again.  It has happened too much.  I do not want to open up, just to be abandoned like others have done.

I feel stuck, I want close friends again, but either they are unable to or I am unable to open up.  It makes me feel alone a lot.  I know only I can change this, but it doesn’t make the feeling of despair go away.  There is a great divide that seems hard to cross.

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.

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.

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.