I went to gender group tonight and we were talking about the term trans* specifically with the asterisk and what people thought of it and whether it was inclusive or outdated or whatnot. Most everyone didn’t like it. I don’t really care one way or the other, but was surprised to see people had such strong opinions about it. I think it’s important to have a name for our community that doesn’t just include transgender men and transgender women, but also non-binary people, gender non-condorming people, gender queer, agender, gender variant, and all other people under the trans umbrella. I guess it is outdated, but there isn’t really anything else and I identify as gender variant and that’s not really well knows so I just say under the trans umbrella and then I have to explain what that means.
So I went to gender group tonight on Campus and as I was walking to my car, there was a bicyclist that was riding on the sidewalk. I don’t know maybe they were trying to park their bike, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. So I was trying to cross the sidewalk to get through another walking path when the bicyclist was like “Excuse me, Sir” and we managed not to crash into each other. Which was nice, I’ve already been hit on campus by a bicyclist before. Anyways, Not even wearing my binder or anything. Just normal clothes and my baseball hat and my glasses. But what I noticed it both times I’ve been male gendered I’ve had my glasses on, so maybe I should wear my glasses more frequently.
I feel like a failure and if you don’t know me, you might think I am one, heck you might think I am one if you do know me. I’m having a hard time with my classes, for the first time in my life. I’m trying to work on transitioning within a medical establishment that maintains I must stay mentally stable under a presidency that guarantees I stress out about my rights and fear about even being able to transition if I ever get stable. And roundy round goes the pattern. I missed school again today, I managed to do some homework- but feel paralyzed right now. I need to unfreeze but I don’t know how and assignments are due tomorrow, more quizzes and my first midterm Friday.
I don’t fail, or do I?
Lots of stuff going on in my head lately. Not sure how much I can trust to the mental health professionals as I fear they will block my transitioning goals, which is sad. Means I have to deal and stress alone, which I know isn’t good for my health. The other day was Holocaust remembrance day and it was also the day our stupid president decided to ban refugees to enter our country. Many don’t know/forget that gays were targeted during the holocaust too. Yes, i know the president hasn’t done anything yet to target the gays. I was also thing about the Stonewall riots that were not that one ago and how the police arrested people who were wearing a piece of clothing of the opposite sex, this would be everyday. Will the US come to this again? So many things to stress about.
Things are going well. I’m into my 3rd day of the new quarter here in college. I already like it much better than last quarter. Taking more classes I thrive as the structure helps keep me accountable and busy- last semester there was just too much down time. I bought a binder to begin wearing this year, when it came in the mail and I saw it I was like “Yikes!” it looked so small, especially around the stomach area. I’ve been wearing it for 4 days now; usually only the first half the day while I’m in my classes. There is some discomfort when walking and I can’t slouch, which may be a good thing. But I really like the way I look. I want to buy a few more, as I just bought one since they are sort of expensive and I wasn’t sure how I’d take to it. The thing is it’s really hot, which is fine in this rainy wet weather we are having now, but what happens once hot summers come? I also found new boxer briefs that don’t ride up and practically become like woman underwear. I bought 4 more mens shirts and my dad just gave me some more money for the month. I think I’ll buy another couple shirts.
My classes this semester are 2nd quarter Greek, 4th quarter Spanish, New Testament in Greek, Upper Division Writing, and Gender, Language and Society. There are 5 classes but the New Testament class is just one hour, once a week. I also have an ungraded connection that meets once a week around the common interest of being a Future grad student. I’ll be pretty busy this quarter.
Counseling will probably be cut to every other week so I can go to gender group, also because I’m doing well right now. If I start to have problems we may change apps to Friday or I may go later on Wednesdays and skip Gender group sometimes. When I see the therapist at the end of the month I’m going to ask her AGAIN about when I will have a consult with the gender therapist, I know I was in crisis in November and then in December she had to cancel because she was sick but I’m running out of patience. I just found out today my psychiatrist has a reminder set to have a phone appointment with me on the 20th, then we will talk about reducing the Latuda we had to increase at the end of November because of the psychotic symptoms.
Sine the increase of the Latuda I have been doing much better. I’m still feeling the increase effects, so mind slow and sleepy so I am overcompensating with caffeine (Red Bull and Starbucks) unfortunately the increase had to be made the week before finals, but hey what can you do. Probably in a week or two my body will just and I’ll no longer feel the mind slow or extra sleepiness and be able to lay off the extra caffeine, plus school will be out so not much will be going on anyways.
I’m worried about going back home for break. Less structure usually means worsening of depression symptoms. Being home means less experimenting with/exploring gender identity. But there is more people looking at me, so I doubt I can stay too inactive and let myself fall apart too much. I just don’t want to un-grow.
I haven’t needed the extra DBT skills since the Latuda increase, but have a feeling I’ll need them when I’m home on break. I’ll still have my apartment so maybe some time I will come here to get away. I hope to get off the extra Latuda by the end of January, but that may not be realistic- we’ll see once school starts up.
I attended a thing on different types of attraction yesterday that the LGBTQIA center put on yesterday for Asexual Awareness Day. I’m trying to figure out things and for now I’m thinking gay grey A and biromantic. I’m not sure how it will fit in with my gender identity and all that but for the most part I’m more attracted to women. And I still identify more as woman if you make me chose a binary, but gender variant under the trans* umbrella otherwise.
Just got off the phone from my psychiatrist and it’s just what I needed. I had no intent to go to classes today. I couldn’t sleep again last night with the voices and the paranoia and when the thoughts started to turn to sleeping under the bed to hide “just in case” I got out of bed and took some extra PRN Latuda and Valium. This helped me get to sleep, but unfortunately I woke up with nightmares that Trump had declared war and drafted all the men to go to war. When I got up to go to class I managed to take a shower. I really needed one, since Monday I just wore a snow hat and pajamas to school. However, that put me over the edge and once dressed for school I became fearful and crawled back into bed. I set my alarm for my 2nd class but near time to attend, turned it off and resent it for a trans clothing fair I hope to go to. My psychiatrist called and we are upping my antipsychotic Latuda by 1/2 which is what I have PRNing on a regular basis until I feel less vulnerable and more confident in DBT skills. He wants me to not associate taking a pill with the behavior which is fine, as long as I have some medical relief. I will also be using my coping skills I use- mostly DBT to deal with what voices, paranoia, and distress break through. And yes some always break through. Medication is no cure. During thanksgiving break I’ll go through my packets and go over some skills. My psychiatrist wasn’t me to set up a phone session with the therapist to go over how DBT skills are working with this stuff. So far I have the music skills I’ve been using and rationalizing. It’s been 2 years without voices so I need to re-look through my skills.
Safety plans in place, and I guess I got my psychiatrist all worried. So I saw my case manager on Friday and told her legit what was going on, and also that I was NOT going to go to the hospital. I told her I told the therapist what was going on but not how bad it was, because she doesn’t know me as well and probably would’ve hospitalized me based on my symptoms. I wrote my psychiatrist a message earlier in the week about my symptoms and he talked to my case manager and the therapist and he’s all freaked out and made an appointment for me next Friday. My case manager was talking about how he was invested in me and worried, lol. I think he’s just frustrated we found some meds that finally worked and now they’re now working again. My sister is holding on to my extra pills, so I don’t have them at my apartment- I’ve been extra suicidal so that’s part of me trying to be safe. I also put a Trans crisis line in my cell phone. My case manager reminded me she’ll be off this week for thanksgiving, but to feel free and call for an emergency appointment the next week and she’ll get me in. Although I gave my sister the extra pills, I put in my chart some extra PRN of Latuda (my anti-psychotic) and Valium in case the voices get to bad and I need to calm down. Just 3 more weeks of school to get through. Then 5 weeks of vacation, and I don’t care if I have to go to the hospital then- I mean I prefer not to but it’s a hell of a lot better than missing finals. Hopefully during winter break the symptoms let up, or I can adjust.
I had an appointment with the therapist today. It went okay I guess. I looked presentable and I didn’t get hospitalized. I didn’t tell her how bad things really were but I did tell her all of my symptoms. She asked if the gender specific therapist contacted me and I said no; she said she’d follow up again and I should get an e-mail. That will let me know what I will need to do in order to get top surgery. Looks like I’m going to have to play the game. I mentioned my dislike of the idea of binding and the likely possibility it will trigger dysphoria and the therapist just made some comments about having to do it. Maybe when I see the real gender specific therapist I can explain to her what I want and how I identify. I didn’t go to class today. I need to get a paper done, that I haven’t started that’s due Friday. It’s okay I work best under pressure.
Gender identity changes made so far:
- No longer carrying a purse
- No longer getting toenails painted
- Wearing all male clothing
- Got rid of all female clothing other than bathing suit
- Got rid of make up
- Got rid of jewelry other than class ring and sentimental stuff
I live in California a pretty democratic progressive state, everyone was outraged, sad, angry, pissed, scared, and a variety of other bad feeling when Trump won- well most everybody. My dad would have voted for him if he was in the states. Everyone who lived in my court voted for him and I knew others that did. I was sad and scared, but mostly shocked, it took awhile for the real feelings to kick in.
I’m 33, 34 in two days. I’ve waited a long time to start transitioning. I haven’t felt safe to do it in my own home. Now I don’t feel safe to do it in my country and worry about government policies and procedures that may prevent me from doing so. I already know it won’t go quick as I like because of my pre-existing mental health conditions; especially the episode a couple weeks ago with the voices. Now I feel set back, hopeless, suicidal. I wonder if I should abandon myself, my progress of the last few months with transitioning and the last 5 years of so with accepting my sexuality. I don’t want to be unsafe but at the same time I want to die. But I’d rather have it be by my own hand than some hateful bigot.
It’s been interesting lately. And of course by interesting I mean a combination of hard, no one knows what is going on, and yet I keep my head above water. I’ve given hints, but some family reads this and I worry what they will think- but I started this for me. About a week ago my nephew was born, about a week and three days ago I started to transition in wearing male clothing and bought boxer briefs and switched my jeans into male ones (though I’m still having trickiness with sizing.) The voices came back soon, they said the baby was going to die unless I went back and stopped making my changes. The voices were the back 1s, the voices that used to be the constant companions, not the episodic side voices like usual. Also the back 1s in the past have been positive, negative, neutral, or narrating so this was interesting that they came back for this to take a stance. I didn’t listen and added coping skills and increased my anti-psychotic. Unfortunately it was during midterms, otherwise I may have just went into hospital for respite/relief. I had actually taken extra Latuda the night before and morning of a Greek midterm and managed to still get a B, with double dose in me and active voices. My case manager thinks the voices are back because of my sister having the baby and that they want ME to hurt the baby and that’s not the case, that’s probably come from side voices. All my midterms are done, 2 B’s and an A; I didn’t try hard so I’m happy with my grades. I’m not very motivated, when not in class, at a club or workshop; I’m usually sleeping. I’ve been home weekends a lot, I don’t know if that’s better or worse, it prevents me from sleeping the weekend away. This weekend is my birthday, most my family is gone anyways, so I’m going to visit 20 somethings friend. Since I told my case manager about the voices I know it’s going to slow down transitioning, medically wise and I really don’t want to tell the therapist because I don’t have as good a relationship with her and it’s harder for me to tell her this is two separate things- even though I’M SURE they are.