Tag Archives: identity

Quarter winding down

19 Mar

Quarter is winding down at college.  I mentioned I signed up for 5 classes, which is a lot.  I was sorta manic and 3 classes last quarter didn’t keep me busy enough.  I’m not going to pass one, but I changed it from a graded class to a Pass-No Pass class.  This is the first time I’ve never passed a class in my life.  My identity and self-worth use to be so built around my intelligence I had a hard time once I started failing Greek, but I’ve sort of accepted it.  I have all A’s and B’s in my other classes.  I went to the NAMI Kick Off Luncheon Friday and they didn’t give me a star walker pin.  You get a star walker pin for raising over $1,000; I raised over $2,000 last year.  I actually had the courage to speak to one of the people in charge and they said they’s look into it.  I should mark off assertiveness on my DBT Skills list.

All my in class finals are tomorrow and a large paper is due by 5pm.  I should be working on it right now, but I’m not.  I have a hard time working on things unless it’s crunch time or I’m with other people who are working on things too.  I’ve taken 3 naps already today.  My not taking my medication as prescribed is catching up with me.  I haven’t been loading my pill chart, mostly out of laziness.  So I’ve only been taking 1/2 of my mood stabilizers and 1/2 my PTSD meds and my sleep has been off at night; therefore I’m sleeping more during the day.  Last night at 1am I took the extra meds I should normally take.  I need to load my pill chart today.

Next quarter will only be 3 classes, it will be less stressful.  Hopefully, busy enough to keep me motivated though.  Next week is spring break, 20 somethings friend is coming!  I’m so excited!

Resource: Emotional Abuse

1 Oct

One definition of emotional abuse is: “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault ♦, humiliation ♦, intimidation ♦, infantilization ♦, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity♦, dignity♦, and self-worth.♦”1

Emotional abuse is also known aspsychological abuse or as “chronic verbal aggression♦” by researchers. People who suffer from emotional abuse tend to have very low self-esteem ♦, show personality changes (such as becoming withdrawn) ♦ and may even become depressed ♦, anxious ♦ or suicidal♦.

Emotional Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Emotional abuse symptoms vary but can invade any part of a person’s life. Signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Yelling or swearing (read about: Emotional Bullying)
  • Name calling or insults; mocking
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Ignoring or excluding
  • Isolating
  • Humiliating
  • Denial of the abuse and blaming of the victim

Emotional abuse, like other types of abuse, tends to take the form of a cycle.2 In a relationship, this cycle starts when one partner emotionally abuses the other, typically to show dominance. The abuser then feels guilt, but not about what he (or she) has done, but more over the consequences of his actions. The abuser then makes up excuses for his own behavior to avoid taking responsibility over what has happened. The abuser then resumes “normal” behavior as if the abuse never happened and may, in fact, be extra charming, apologetic and giving – making the abused party believe that the abuser is sorry. The abuser then begins to fantasize about abusing his partner again and sets up a situation in which more emotional abuse can take place.

More information on: Dynamics of Emotional Abuse in Relationships.

Information from Emotional Abuse: Definitions, Signs, Symptoms, Examples

Seems very familiar other than the last sentence about the abuser fantasizing about abusing the person again.  I don’t think that necessarily happens/ed

Book Review: Transgender 101

10 Feb

Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue

Nicholas M. Teich

transgender 101 cover

 

Excerpts:

… How does this tie into the differences between gender identity and sexual orientation?  Well queer does lump GLB in with T and others, but in this case it can be a more comfortable way for someone to identify without explaining that he is a gay transman or a straight transman.  For example, a transman who is attracted to women could be defined as straight.  However, if a transman does not feel comfortable identifying as straight because it erases his past and identity in a way, he might identify as queer.

There is a saying in the transgender community: “FTMs pass in the streets; MTFs pass in the sheets.”  What exactly does this mean?  Well,, it’s important to note that here we’re only talking about FTMs who have been on testosterone for some months and have had top surgery (or who can hide any semblance of breasts they might have) and MTFs who have been on estrogen for a while and have had lower surgery as well.  Average people on the street who walk by an FTM will not think they have just passed by a transgender person.  Testosterone and lack of breasts make a person look male- and to someone who doesn’t think about diversity of gender on a daily basis, this means an assumption that the person was born male.  This is clearly not always the case.  However, once a transman who has not had lower surgery takes off his clothes “in the sheets,” it is clear that he was not originally assigned the male sex.  MTFs often, but not always, have a harder time passing in the streets.  If puberty has already hit by the time the natal male transitions to female, she may be much taller than most other women and may have developed traditionally male features that female hormones cannot change.  These include but are not limited to large hands, full facial hair (electrolysis is often necessary), and more prominent or angular facial features.  However, “in the sheets,” an MTF who has lower surgery is often indistinguishable from a natal female.

These are two of my favorite quotes/excerpts from the book.  I had never heard about the sheets and the streets but it makes good sense.  I also have a transgender friend who didn’t know if he should identify as straight or gay and I thought this cleared it up.  I would highly recommend the book; it covers such subjects as: what the term transgender means, sexual orientation vs gender, coming out, transitioning in terms of social, emotional, and medicals, history of transgenderism, mental health and transgenderism, discrimination, and lesser known types of transgenderism such as cross-dressers, genderqueer people, drag queens and more.  The book was very comprehensive and informative.  It was also relatively short, being only 125 pages.

Coming Out Again: Why More Queer Folks with Mental Illnesses Need to Speak Out

8 Feb

Very interesting post about what it means to be queer (I prefer the acronym LGBT) and have a mental illness. For those who’ve read my blog for awhile I wrote a post about the intersection of my identity with mental illness and sexuality. I read it in front of my LGBT studies class and answered questions. A few months later at a sleepover with a bunch of LGBT friends we were talking about “our stories” and I read that blog post. Since then I’ve had a number of people with mental health issues talk to me about their own experiences or ask advice. It’s been a good thing for me.

Let's Queer Things Up!

[The illustration features a door. On one side, a group of queer people are whispering amongst themselves; on the other side of the door, a masculine queer person stands with their arms folded, visibly distressed, excluded from the conversation happening on the other side.]Illustration by Jessica Krcmarik[The illustration features a door. On one side, a group of queer people are whispering amongst themselves; on the other side of the door, a masculine queer person stands with their arms folded, visibly distressed, excluded from the conversation happening on the other side.]

Many of us in the LGBTQIA+ community know all too well what it’s like to be queer with a mental illness.

I know this because when I tell you that I have a mental illness, more than half of you say, “Me too.” We have these conversations on the regular – whispers at Pride, a confession in our support groups, anonymously in our forums, or if we’re feeling brave, it’s an off-hand comment when a friend is struggling.

But too often, these conversations are happening behind closed doors, and the folks who need us most are often left on the other…

View original post 1,284 more words

Brain dump

19 Jan

It’s bedtime (well, well past it) and I can’t sleep again. I constantly am worried about how abnormal myself and my life are. The things that bother me, the gaps, my quirks, a lot of who I am and what I experience/have experienced is related to mental illness. I remember when the psychosis stopped and I wondered who I was, if any of that time was “real.” I never really know who I am without “crazy” being part of my identity. I’m less symptomatic more now than I have been since I can remember. But I know these are chronic cyclic illnesses that don’t just disappear one day along with taking the whole past with them. I started a gratitude jar today- the first thing I put in it “I’m glad I didn’t try ECT again.” When I was on my date the other day it’s so difficult explaining my life without disclosing my struggle. I did okay but I feel like I’m hiding part of who I am. I’m trying to reason with myself that it’s probably not appropriate to delve into all that stuff on a 2nd date. But all that stuff is me and I feel bad inside thinking I have to hide it (at least for now,). Worse is I don’t know what to talk about in my life…. I have another date Monday, which technically is today and I have no idea what to do. My brain is racing and I’m anxious so it’s not a good combo. I was thinking about seeing if she wanted to work on Legos together, since she seemed interested in them yesterday. But it sounds kind of childish. I don’t know what to do and I actually like her. To stop stressing about that and because that’s who I am, I’m currently deconstructing gay movie night I’ve just had at my house. There are definite cliques or pairing offs, with some people left out. I feel sympathetic but I just don’t click with any of the more outsiders. And I wonder if I’m doing any good inviting them. Then I think how the cliques and pairings operate. I think it’s easiest to observe others and guess what is going on in their’s, than to ask or introspect what’s going on in mine. I’m just happy to have friends even if it’s cliquey and awkward sometimes. Any suggestions for a 3rd date?

Resource: Breaking Down Emotional Walls

28 Sep

I read this awesome article from PsychCentral about braking down Emotional Walls and how they form to protect us in childhood when we deal with emotional neglect.  I really recommend checking out the full article here.

Here are Five Steps to Breaking Down Your Wall:

  1. Open up: Override the unspoken childhood rule DON’T TALK. Identify the trustworthy people in your life, and talk to them about difficult things in your life and difficult things in their lives. Talk about things you never would have before. Be vulnerable. Talk, talk, and talk some more.
  2. Make friends with your emotions: Several times each day, close your eyes, focus inward, and ask yourself, “What am I feeling?”  Pay attention to how you feel about things, and listen to those feelings. Know that your feelings matter. If the feelings that come up are difficult to handle, please find a trained therapist to support and help you learn to tolerate and manage them.
  3. Take your own needs seriously: Override the unspoken childhood rule DON’T ASK. Tell the people in your life when you need help or support. And then let them help you.
  4. Let people in: Fill your life with quality people. Meaningful relationships are a primary source of richness, connection and meaning in life.
  5. Get to know who you are: Pay attention to everything about yourself. What do you love, dislike, excel at, struggle with? What is important to you? What are your values? What do you care about? Once you see the full picture of who you are, you will see your value and worth, and you will feel stronger.

It’s been a real weird year

14 Sep

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile wanting to write it as my yearly wrap up, but I can’t wait for that.

In January I came out as gay to my parents and told them that the group I’ve been going to for a few years (the 20 something’s ) is an LGBT group. I then had to explain LGBT, the conversation was short but I knew it wouldn’t be the end of it. My mom has been just like I predicted, though every now and then she will have a question for me. My dad has tried to keep his comments down but we’ve got into it a couple times about my gay friends and gay life. Now that I’m beginning dating I know there will be more to come.

In February I found a new medication that’s been a blessing and a curse, Latuda. Two of the three sets of voices are gone and haven’t really been back since. The med causes mild Tardive Dyskynesia symptoms and that’s been a major argument with dad. Also without the psychosis I felt like I was no longer legit with my mental illness, now only dealing with depression, BPD, and Trauma. I wondered if the voices were ever real and went through an identity crisis. With the end to the voices I thought I’d be “better” and was so excited and nervous about all the opportunities I’d have. That wore off after about a month and some major depression and BPD symptoms kicked in that haven’t really let up since.

I’ve tried to reach out and make closer friends. Being out to my parents meant less lies when I wanted to do things with my friends from group. And they’ve even been over here. There have been some really fun moments. That I wish I could clutch to in the times if despair but they seem to vanish. One friend in particular I’ve gotten real close with and while it’s great and progress, it causes me so much anxiety and just freaks me the fuck out sometimes. (BPD abandonment issues, past experiences).

I had to withdraw spring semester after being forced into IOP by my case manager and was put on academic probation at one of the schools I attend. My student is my other identity and gives me a sense if self mastery/self confidence. And now the craziness has taken that away too. In addition to IOP I spent a month in partial and another week inpatient. While in the hospital i had my first friend visit me, my hospitalizations are probably at like 15 now.

I’m dating, even including me asking people. I’m thinking about moving out again, after the whole Latuda thing and transition I’d given up on that. I realized even without the voices I’m still not well enough to work, so will be pursuing disability.

I’m considering working on the trauma/back 2 voices. But because of everything I’ve been in crisis mode so much, it’s hard to do anything.

Everything is changing and I can’t peg anything. The anxiety is horrible. I’m learning to just live with the fear and discomfort and do it anyways, most times. I’m getting better at communicating but I got a long way to go. I’ve gotten close to 2 blogger friends and feel like I have people to talk to that are on my level.

It’s been good, it’s been bad, there have been great times, mostly full of anxiety and depression but DESPITE that I’ve still made a bit of headway and hopefully will continue to.

Identity

7 Sep

It is sometimes difficult to know who I am.  I know identity disturbance is one of the criteria for BPD, and low self-esteem usually goes with identity issues as well.  Sometimes I just wish I could see myself as other people saw me, so I knew what I looked like to the world.  I feel like so much goes on inside and it’s so much craziness… I’m not always even sure what is presented to the outside world or how they take it.  There’s angry me, the me that deserves everything I get, an intelligent generally sad core me, the scared little kid me, and the silly/impulsive/adventurous kid me.  They all have their time and place and sometimes they blend.  I wish the core me wasn’t so sad all the time.  I wish I knew the magic secret to get better.  Sad thing is I’m not even sure if I would do it.  I try real hard to get better, sometimes harder than others granted… but it seems like it’s never enough otherwise of course I would be better.  I’m not even sure what better looks like… I thought with the voices gone there would be all kinds of opportunities and stuff and I actually feel worse most times.  The voices aren’t there to preoccupy me I guess.  The therapist talked about acceptance but it’s hard for me to accept this is my life, it seems so unfair, and like I have so much potential who knows what I could accomplish.  She says it’d cut down on the suffering but I just can’t get to that stage yet, I was getting there before the Latuda and the voices being gone and all that.  My identity is this, some part times some all times: intelligent, silly, caring, angry, self-loathing, terrified, gay, crazy, trying to be the best I can, insecure, daring, always thinking, thoughtful, empathetic, quirky, awkward, shy, introverted, emotional, scared, anxious, dependent, hopeless, grandiose, wasted potential, planned for something, everything happens for a reason, misunderstood, timid, passive aggressive, kind, compassionate, generous, animal lover, easily discouraged, stubborn, resilient, determined, quick learner, impulsive, moody, suicidal, helpful, witty, understanding, nonjudgmental, nervous,

Overall irritated

2 Sep

I went camping this weekend with some friends from high school. By the time Friday came around I was having a horrible day and wished I could back out but couldn’t. I got Friday under control with the help of some people. We left Saturday and I slept most of the drive. The whole trip I didn’t have much energy or the enjoyable spirit depression steals from you. Sat I was annoyed some things I had counted on them bringing, because they said they would, they didn’t bring. It was raining. And my mood. I tried to put it aside for the most part and started emailing blogger friend 2. I also was snap chatting 20 something’s friend. It was one of those situations where people are around you and you feel so lonely. I tried to just let it go and have a good time. Sunday was overall a pretty good day, but looking back at the post it was all due to my effort. Which I guess should make me feel better but really just upsets me. Monday the day we went home was really the disaster. I’d been stressing all weekend (and mentioned it numerous times) that I had a French quiz I needed to study for that was early Tuesday morning. I forgot my book to study and throughout the trip when ever I was feeling like I wasn’t having fun or was annoyed I just felt guilty. Which added to the bad feelings. Anyways, enough ranting.

Also I threw up on the way home, combo of car sickness and emotions, and now remember why I use to throw up if I couldn’t cut. The bile taste and burning in the back of the throat represents how I feel and perceive myself as a person.

When everything but a few things are too much

30 Aug

It seems like everything’s too much. Too exhausting. Too meaningless. Not worth it.

I try to keep going and keep up a “normal” appearing life. But I don’t even really want to anymore.

It’s so tricky explaining what’s going on in my head. Like different people fighting for what they want/need. And it’s all opposite, and it’s all exhausting.

The three people I want to reach out to I’m getting weary about. Each for different reasons. I wish I could just have an honest conversation, but that’s too scary. And what if they don’t want to/can’t help. Then what?

Then what?