A lot has gone on since the last update. I have decided to change from identifying as gender variant to gender queer, as I learn more about the community and more about what terms mean I learn more where I fit. Since my sexuality is no where near heterosexual and is shifting with my gender identity as well as still staying somewhat on the asexual spectrum, I decided to go with gender queer. I talked to the therapist yesterday AGAIN about being referred to the gender specialist and I think it’s finally going to happen! At least she thinks I’m stable enough. I’m not going to mention the last bout with the voices to the therapist or my case manager for a couple weeks, just in case.
I plan on getting my hair cut to look more masculine and also because it gets super hot here in California in the summer, and it’s already starting to warm up. My roommates don’t keep the apartment as cool as my parents kept the house and next year it will be harder as we will be paying utilities. I know people will have a problem with my hair cut, but I hope they will adjust.
I got accepted to go to T-Camp which is a retreat for people under the Trans umbrella at colleges in northern California; it’s two days and coming up next weekend. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m excited I got accepted.
I’m also starting NAMI’s Peer to Peer class in mid April and I’ve been trying to get into that for like 2 years. It’s either been in the wrong county or interfered with my school schedule. It’s 10 sessions, twice a week.
So lots of exciting things coming up!
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.
The transphobic narrative from practically everywhere and the voices are teaming up, even though at this point I am coherent enough to know this it doesn’t help much. Hearing voices in your head saying your baby nephew is going to die because of how you identify and the changes you are making in your life. I’m not sure how far the psychosis will go, if I can bargain with it, even if I want to. I took an extra half of my anti-psychotic so hopefully that helps and a Valium because the words were so upsetting.
I don’t know if I want to bring this up in counseling tomorrow, because I don’t want another reason for them to cross contaminate the gender identity with my legitimate mental illnesses and screw up my process and progress for transitioning. I also don’t want to end up in the hospital before my last midterm, which is next Tuesday. If the voices are still there in the am, I’m going to take another extra 1/2 of my anti-psychotic in addition to my regular dose I am still taking.
I wish I could get my studying done that needs to be done for tomorrow mornings midterm. I wish I had someone to talk to. All I can do now is wait and I have my ear phones in blasting music, blocking the voices till hopefully the meds kick in. Then I can study, they don’t even have to go away completely, just I need to be calm enough to study and not as loud and distracting voices.
I saw the therapist yesterday and my case manager today. The therapist asked me the beginning of some ASD evaluation questions and had me fill out two questionnaires. A lot of the answers I did not know because they had to do with childhood, my mom’s pregnancy, or family history. 20 somethings friend asked how it went, I said I think I passed because she said the next part was a referral and it might be a couple months out. Some of the questions were complicated. Some didn’t surprise me considering I know some about autism and aspergers. When I met with my case manager today she asked me why I did tell the therapist a few specific things I had told her, I told her number 1 she didn’t ask and 2 they were strange and she said that’s exactly why I needed to tell her. I said I didn’t want her judging me and it’s okay because you just joke I’m part cat, but she won’t be like that. So I’m suppose to make a list of the more stranger aka embarrassing things; I’m already to 1/2 page. I realized today I will go to UC Davis, the voices were right along with everyone else I’m just not ready or stable enough to start over in a new city 10 hours away with no one I know. With all my new realizations I’m not sure I’ll be able to live on campus; I’ll take it slow. And I don’t want to take advantage of services I don’t need. I’m sad about not going to SDSU, I cried a little even in front of my mom and went to ice cream. I’m trying to just focus on the accomplishment of getting in, that 9% that got accepted. I talked about my mini hypomanic/psychotic episode, the dreams that had my case manager in them, a few articles I had read on FB that resonated with me, and the appointment with the therapist; it was non stop talk with my case manager today. I’ll bring my list of strange stuff to my case manager next week and see if it’s things I should tell the therapist or not.
The voices had been pretty relentless for a few days about how I wasn’t a good person, daughter, friend, etc…. They were criticizing practically everything about me and sometimes when it’s just you and them you sort of start to believe them. But guess what, they were wrong. I am a good friend and sister and probably that continues to person and daughter. People think it’s just so easy to see that and ignore the voices but me sometimes I need to see it late. Either way they were wrong I am good.