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.
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
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.
I wonder why I am so insistent (at least right now) to hanging on to some of my female gender identity. I don’t like being a girl. Is it because it’s so familiar? Because I’m so resistant to change in general and this will be a BIG change. Scared of what people will think, especially how the family will react? I’m not sure what it is in me, but it’s worth exploring. I think that’s what I should talk to the therapist about in two weeks. I also worry with what my gender identity is and how that will play out along with my sexuality and I’m trying to work them both out in my head at the same time. I know this is bad for me and I should let the identity figure out first and then sexuality next but I feel like i’m losing time and like most people I want all the answers NOW, lol.
What I’ve been waiting for. Since my case manager told me over a month ago that she wasn’t really qualified to handle the gender identity issues and to talk to the therapist I was angry. It seems everyone defers to the therapist that I see once every 6 weeks. (I see my case manager once a week.) I had also just gotten my ASD evaluation back and we were suppose to go over that. It seems everyone passes the buck to her and I have a harder time opening up to her as I don’t see her as often and haven’t developed as much trust.
Surprisingly things went very well. She has training regarding gender identity issues and is seeing other people with in Kaiser (my insurance.) My fears about not being taken seriously because I don’t fully identify as a trans person were unfounded. She let me know what my insurance covered and was okay with what I said I wanted to pursue, didn’t want to, and was unknown at this time. We talked a little about why it is coming up now, pretty much because I have the independence to be out of my parents house and I don’t plan on moving back. I don’t see my dad taking this well and knowing I won’t have to be around him while doing this transition and adjusting myself makes me able to pursue it. Also now being in the LGBT community I have names and real things attached to feelings and thoughts I’ve had for a long time, since puberty. The therapist is going to see me in a little over two weeks instead of the typical 6 weeks, which is much of an improvement and practically unheard of wishing psychotherapy in my insurance. She also suggested I check out a support group for trans and gender non conforming people and a local gender center. My first step is to e-mail them and find out times and dates. I hate group things and with my social and awkward problems this will be hard. At least for now it’s just finding out when they meet.
I’m thinking more about my gender identity issues and where I want to be in 5 years or more so what I want to look like and how I want to feel about my body and mind. Yesterday I researched top surgery, initially I was just thinking about getting a double mastectomy because I don’t like my breasts. But as I think more and as I explore more I am considering top surgery so if I wan’t to identify more along the male lines I will have a more male looking upper body than just no breasts.
It was interesting that there were two types of surgery depending on how big your breasts are, since mine are C or bigger I would have a certain surgery. I also would need to lose some weight so I have started to exercise and watch what I am eating.
One of the things I’m not looking forward to is that this is something I will need to address with the therapist and I’m not that comfortable with her. Also I only see her once a month and I’m not sure about containing the dysphoria in-between appointments. I also worry working on it will destabilize me and cause me to have to quit UC Davis.
Gender identity has still been swirling round in my head and it won’t slow down. I even went to look at our local Gender a health Center’s website today. Thinking about setting up an appointment to talk to a counselor there. You may ask “Marci, Why would you do that? You already have a case manager and a therapist!” Yes, I do and I saw the therapist yesterday and I didn’t bring it up much because I didn’t think we had enough time to talk and I knew it’d just leave a big puzzle till next month. I’ve brought it up a little with my case manager and I think she thinks it’s me who doesn’t want to talk about it. I just think she doesn’t have any knowledge in it. That’s why I was looking at the gender health center. I guess I’ll ask her tomorrow at our appointment.
Anyways. There were some intake forms so I printed them out and began to fill them out. I also talked a little bit to my trans blogger friend. I don’t think I’m cisgender but I don’t think I’m transgender either. I guess that leaves gender queer which I don’t like the term. I really want my breasts gone or reduced but then what happens if people start referring to me as male? I’m already not that girly. I thought I’d be okay with it, until the person on Facebook used the male possessive pronoun (his) based only off looking at a picture of me.
Filling out the forms I’ve also realized this is something that has gone back to puberty, which is 15+ years. People say I have time and I understand that. And I deinetly don’t want to make rash decisions. But this isn’t something new that just came up. And now that I’ll be living out on my own I feel like I have more sovereignty over my body so I can make more decisions or at least explore what I’d like to do.
I’m also not clear on my sexuality and as I’m getting older I think I need to be clear where I stand if it’s true that I don’t need a partner than that’s fine but if it’s just some stage right now. I’m going to be pissed when I’m 40 and trying to find someone to settle down with. It’s true I’m happy how I am right now for the most part, I feel satisfied. It just seems strange. Like is this really a thing?