depression, self love, transgender

Consent to Nightmares

Often I find that when I am at my most self-loathing I am most unlikely to express it.  It is exactly the most important time to express it.  My brain calls me undeserving, unworthy.  Who wants to listen to all that negative crap?  Why should I burden anyone else with my difficulties?

It’s simple really, this is when my self-love is tested, my empathy to myself.  This is when I’m challenged to respect the ones I love and allow them to help me.  To allow those I love to help me is to allow them the chance to show their love for me.  It’s easy when things are going well, but more difficult in hard times, problem is, there is so much less to gain when things are going well compared to when things are bleakest.

When that voice tells me how much of a failure I am, how useless, how undeserving I am, it leads me to mistrust others, unwilling to seek their help, I cry invisibly for them to notice and lament alone for assistance I would reject anyway.  I automatically assume people are sick of listening to my crap, even though I don’t tell it to them.  They rarely ask, and when they do, I reject it.  I have a poor attitude.

I write a positive post and I am a fraud.  Do not take the word of someone who cannot apply lessons to themselves, those who say they know the path but do not lead along it.

What has been a month of brutal anxiety, anger and panic attacks has roiled over into a depression.  I may take that as a positive, depression I understand, how that part of the primal mind with nothing to hunt must make up reasons to feel inadequate.  Quite often the depressed state is wrong, ‘Ooooh, no-one cares about me’, and all of a sudden I realise someone does, then I cry, feel guilty and ashamed for being so silly and find a new way to be unhappy.  It’s a very difficult chain to break, especially when you know and expect it to return.

All of it boils down to one thing, self-love.  To think of the perception of how others perceive me is impossible and immensely damaging.  With self love, the perception of how I believe other people see me is irrelevant; with depression, it becomes auto-cannibalistic, because it is a deflection from the self.

A friend of mine told me about her relationship paranoia, and I said I believed it was because she also had a lack of self love.  I opined that a good, stable relationship must have four factors:  Your partner loves you, your partner loves themself, you love your partner, YOU LOVE YOURSELF.  Without all four, there is trouble.  Her response was along the lines of ‘Oh dear, so the relationship will be unworkable if I don’t love me?’ the only reply I could give was ‘You say it like just loving yourself isn’t a consideration.’

If only I treated myself like I treated the ones I love.  I love to help them, I love to give to them, and I love to spend time with them.  Instead I give my heart away, rather than giving what my heart is, and it can never be returned in as good a shape than if I cared for it myself. A lack of self-trust.  One person, one heart, full responsibility.

If only I believed they could think to treat me in the same way – Can it be so hard to believe?  That my loved ones love to help me, they love to give to me, and they love to spend time with me?  To believe anything else is either fear or arrogance, to prevent them from doing this is to deny their expressions of love.  Put simply, by not loving myself, I am being selfish in refusing help, in refusing to be vulnerable, I am being a bad friend in not allowing them to know me by not giving them that chance to grow mutual, irreplaceable love.

It is selfish to not allow good friends the opportunity to enhance our friendship through gaining trust in adversity, but in expecting their help when I refuse to help myself, I show a lack of self-respect for my own capabilities.  I feel that if I take help then I owe someone, it creates a heavy pressure and makes relationships transactional rather than human.  After all, why would someone help me unless they thought they were getting something from it?  Why would someone help me at all?  So stupid, it’s not just about me, sometimes people do get the same joy out of helping me that I do in helping them.  Self-loathing negates the value of this and takes so much away from relationships with others.

What a twist this puts the depressed mind in.  ‘…if I don’t love me’, how could I when my mind says I suck and don’t deserve it?  It becomes a spiral.  There is only one direction to look to find the answer I believe, inwards, lest everything else becomes a reflection to self-despair.

I am in the midst of some of the most difficult few months in my life in one of the most dejected mental states.  For well over a month now there has been no joy, just a continual grind to try and make my life better whilst embracing none of it.  How could I possibly expect to make my life better with success when success tastes like ash?  Yes, I do things because they need to be done, but ultimately, there is no point if it means nothing to me.

I’ll be honest; this transition has become a nightmare.  The more intense and real it gets, the more I pull away from myself, the more I try to go alone, the further I get from understanding and embracing my identity.  Exercise, healthy diet and so on are great tools, but tools are useless without confidence of the wielder.

Yesterday I signed the consent form for hormones, the most major medical decision I’ve ever made and in all likelihood, the forbearer to a stroke in an orange pill bottle.  In two days I put my only hope of genetic offspring into the hands of strangers with the risk of losing it all.  So so so so heavy.  This coming week I have laser, a voice lesson, and a pro make-up session which is a terror all of its own.

On top of this is the soul-destroying voice practice.  Morning, noon, evening and night, they remind me that there is no rest anymore, no relaxation, and for each shade of personal darkness I drop a semitone, compounding the difficulty.

I’m preparing to move house and town in just over two weeks, even though I am far from ready to being capable of employment, have limited funds and few friends.  The only time I see friends is when I make the effort to go to them, so I know they won’t make the effort, and I wish I could say that was only self-defeat, but it is recorded true from experience.

At a point the load becomes ever more difficult to bear, but like I quoted in my last post, it’s how I carry it.  Still, I feel utterly crushed, alone within myself.

Oh yeah, gender transition.  Woopy-do.  The therapy session yesterday was difficult.  We discussed potential changes on hormones and got caught up in a debate about breasts.  She asked why I don’t care about them and I explained about my dysphoria being a sub-conscious deal rather than conscious.  She argued that many/most transfolks feel their gender consciously, and transwomen want breasts and so on to feel their femininity.  She challenged that if I’m not that bothered about my body, then why should I even want hormones.

I don’t care about my gender, I care about dysphoria.  However on the way home I thought a lot about it.  Two words came up, bright and bold.  SHAME.  GUILT.

I’ve rarely felt through my life that I have deserved anything for myself, this is why I give away so much more of myself than I have to give, destroying myself and close relationships.  This is why I never took my dysphoria seriously.  It is why even now I feel that I don’t deserve to have the body, mind, soul of what my heart tells me I am.  I am ashamed to want any of this treatment for myself, the same as I am ashamed to present my true self because my negativity asserts that my true internal self isn’t worthy of expressing.  A lot of the time, I don’t feel I deserve to live, though what’s the alternative.

I feel guilty complaining about all the appointments that I go to, knowing that there are people who are incredibly physically sick, missing limbs and so on who must go through even more intense treatment programs, yet I am completely healthy and going to appointments which will ultimately destroy me whether I endure or not.  I feel guilty that I would get any treatment at all, when I could just keep trying to find a way of dealing with this even though I don’t think there is any other way.  I can’t think of a more bizarre medical treatment option for a situation.

Some of these feelings seem reasonably typical at this point in transition, when reality begins to take its’ toll, when the limits of endurance are pushed, when the determination of resolve is tested.  Dysphoria is the only constant.

I feel like I’ve totally screwed this up, that instead of a time for freedom, openness, expression, love and joy, it has become a nightmare of depression, anger, panic, loneliness, anxiety and self-loathing.  I still think too much and feel not enough.  No success is a victory for the self-loathing – for example, I will have quit all forms of smoking for a month tomorrow, I have such reason to be proud, yet I don’t care.

The only salve is to somehow love myself again, to make time for it beyond anything else, to make it more important than anything else.  It is not selfish, it is selfless.  It has been said since humans could speak, ‘Love thyself to love another.’

I cannot love outwards unless I love inwards first.  If I am hollow, my intentions outwards are loving in intent, but they are still hollow.  If I am full, the love I give is full.

The truth is, we are all equal, so when I disrespect myself, I disrespect others.  When I respect myself, I respect others.  Once again, it is arrogant to hold myself to a different standard than others’, it is unreasonable to expect myself to be so much more capable, and to be able to cope with more.  It is unreasonable to say I should receive special punishment for mistakes no-one is invulnerable from committing.  A counsellor one asked me, ‘What have you done that is so bad that you don’t deserve to be as happy as anyone else?’

Alternatively I’d take a cuddle and a cry but neither of those seem forthcoming, and I’d refuse that too, I’d need someone to force me into their arms, to not let go as I crumple into teary anagnorisis.  I am afraid to be vulnerable, I am afraid of the rejection of experienced all too often, yet I know I have to keep trying to bare the open wounds to see who might sew them in positions that I cannot.

At this point I’m so lost that I don’t even really know much about my identity, I don’t know how other people could help me more, and I am really struggling to find a way to help myself.  For so much as I despise myself, the most despicable thing I can do is to not make time to confront who I am once again.

I feel like I am so busy that I can’t make time for this most singularly important need.  How ridiculous that I can fret over all matter of minutiae and neglect the core of being.

“I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”- Ghandi

Depression is a temporary state, just like any authoritarian regime the lies and oppression will come to an end when I demand my freedom.  The tyranny of despair will end when I fight for my happiness.  I don’t need to know how, I just need to know to never to give up, to expect and move past failures, to ask for help, to not know just that I can get there, but I that I will.

♣ Amy Xx ♥


How to Crash and Burn

Warnings – Depression, frank discussion of suicide.

Mind-states are such fickle, vulnerable things at times, a heart worn so visibly now and becoming threadbare.  Depression can break through great walls, razing years of intricate works in moments like the old Mongols.  Now back inside the dreaded depresso world of constant self-oppression I realise that the worst part about depression is not how awful it feels, but how it takes away the willingness to do anything about it.  The mind is saying ‘There’s a big problem in here, and you better be ready before coming in again.’  The healthy mind has no time or inclination for this crap.

I don’t know what happened, about three weeks ago I just fell into shards, the perceived injustices and betrayals to my heart festered and became a scar on my soul.  Like a broken poet, I just go over and over the same horror in my head.  ‘Why didn’t she love me?’,  ‘Who will ever love me now?’, ‘How come these people do horrible things, yet still receive romantic love and compassion whilst I’m left alone to deal with this?’, ‘I don’t know how I can ever get over this’ Blah blah blah!

When the symptoms start, everything becomes a nightmare.  I was supposed to be moving to the city with a friend but he’s got a few extra years now in a good place, so I’m stuck.  ‘I can’t move alone, I can’t afford it/I’ll never get a job/I’ll get killed’ Blah!

Such is the way a flawed thought process runs. I love outward then lose inward, when I should love inward then love outward, yet with brown-tinted glasses I stupidly see a presumed paradise for others from my presumed hell.  And it’s nothing to do with being trans, that’s just another facet, amplifying my problems with serious real life complications and pushing me over the edge.  Life threatening?

On a day last week, my growing suicidal idealation turned from silly thoughts into considerations about actual means.  I tried to talk to people whilst simultaneously pushing them away and being scarily vague, as is common.  But here’s the thing, when I got to the point of thinking it was a good idea and I should just go do it, I got in touch with a friend I could trust and said ‘Look, I’m going to kill myself.’ ‘I’m coming round’, he said.  If things ever get to that point call someone immediatelyPhone a friend, ring your national suicide hotline, do something! Never stop trying.

He came over and we chatted for many hours.  He told me again of a friend he had, she killed herself, she said nothing.  I don’t know her circumstances but I know the feeling, not from this incident, but from a long long time ago.  He is so cut up because he could have done for her what he did for me and saved both our lives.

I’m lucky, it’s not that true people come out of the woodwork, they are there, and they help when help is needed to be given.  I have really worried all the people closest to me, to see tears in their eyes breaks my heart as they see me meltdown into complete blackness unable to truly appreciate the love that I always complain about not feeling.  The mind says ‘Learn to appreciate the love that others give, especially when it is difficult to, and then you can come back in.’

Yet with all this I cut friends off because I literally can’t cope at all with the drama.  Being trans just overcrowds an already totally packed brain space. For two weeks I distanced myself from the girl who has supported me so well like a sister recently and it was horrible for both of us.  I saw her at the weekend and although we didn’t speak for a while she came and hugged me, and just talked to me like normal and that meant a lot.

But I have depression.  I calculate it as being two weeks symptomatic.  It has struck hard, the voice in my mind that is an automatic defence system of general contentment has retreated, waiting for orders for a counter attack!  For all the fighting talk though, it’s just words.  Ha, I don’t need oestrogen to be able to cry every day.  And so eyes roll.

I would say in order of intensity it feels like depression, gender dysphoria, loneliness.  Loneliness is the worst one, nothing to do with having anyone, but the feeling that eats you. The most brutal form of self-punishment, and the most unavoidable. The mind is literally saying ‘If you do not love yourself, then you will be less likely to find a partner who will.’ It’s all biology.

I found out today I’m going to be losing my job pretty soon, much earlier than I expected, making the work transition moot.  How it all seems to fall away, what a meltdown I had, trying to stay hydrated so I could keep crying and screaming because I believe I have nothing and I will never have anything or anyone again.  It wasn’t about it being embarrassing, I’m scaring people.  I’ve always been hung up on the ideas of a secure employment and relationship because it’s not something I’ve truly come across, I’ve pretty much lost both, and in transitioning these are the two things probably most affected, aside getting head smashed on bathroom lino/chopped up and placed under floorboards etc.

So things just became a lot harder.  I’m older now, so I have more tools to deal with this, it just took me by surprise.  Instead of thinking everything is over, it’s possible I could think of it as a clearing, everything is open to me now.  To be honest, I could probably do with a few months off to actually get on top of all the heavy stuff that has been going on.  It’s a bit of a spanner in the transitions works apparently, yet as Jim Carrey’s Dad said ‘You can fail just as easily at what you don’t want to do.’

I don’t think I’ll get a job or a relationship regardless of whether I’m trans or not.  I could say it has all fallen apart, but maybe my perfect partner is only there for the real me.  Maybe I can only find my true calling in transition, like I could find simplicity and pain in pretending to be a man.

Just because everything sucks doesn’t mean every thing sucks.  It’s an unhealthy state of mind and I know it.  With circumstantial depression such as this, that part which is awesome is merely dormant, and apparently depression is dormant when everything seems fine.

The only way awesome will let you in is to be awesome, not to a standard, but your own truly expressed, individual, unique awesomeness.  Hold it tight for you, content is a personal responsibility.

I can’t give up, I have to fight back.  I have to beat these repetitive self-sabotaging thoughts.  Dysphoria doesn’t want me dead at least, it just wants me to be a female so my brain can make sense of my biology in a clearer fashion…I hope.

I’m so grateful for the genuine human love I have received recently.  It’s scary sometimes trying to gauge what others think, we can never know, does everyone secretly hate us or everyone?  Is it a front?  What would they do for you?  You can’t know, and it’s not our business to know, that’s what trust is for, that when we ask we can believe the truth even if conflicts with our disillusionment.  I may be shaken, but I see that obviously people care.  I ought not to want, for it is the ire of content.

Depression is a zombie that just keeps coming back, so I’m gonna need a bigger spade.

Let’s all try to find one needlessly self-defeating thought today to smash to make room for one genuine self-affirming belief.  You are so worth it.

Amy Xx

gender, transgender

Intensifying Towards A Point.

*Disclaimer – This post contains a section on recreational drug use.

Being trans does not suck as much as life can be awesome.  Being trans is much more preferable to many other states regardless of how painful it can be.

Had another night out last week, I can only introduce myself as Amy now, with a male voice and beard shadow.  It is accepted, at times admired. It is simply too much emotional effort to deny it.  In trying to find the actual requirements for ‘Real Life Experience’, I have to wonder what that is.  If I’m called Amy socially and professionally, called by the appropriate pronoun, and I see myself as such, what is the problem?  Of course, the problem is that it’s not enough, for one’s sanity (and safety) the perception must be created.  It’s not enough to be known as female, it is unfortunately only enough to be so, for me anyway.

I met my ex-girlfriend last week to clear the air, it has become a vacuum.  She told me she screwed the guy I knew was making moves on her the day we broke up and is with him now.  Of course that is painful, but I get a great chuckle when I realise that I have been more of a man in my life than most other men could ever hope to be.  Now just to be gone with the jealous male sexual urge as masculinity continues to drain.

Being a good woman is the same as being a good man. It’s called being a good person.

She said she would have broken up with me for coming out as trans anyway, because she’s not attracted to women.  She would go out with a transman, but only after completing transition, so that says all you need to know about her.  It’s ok to miss the memories but not the person; it feels good to be over it, though sore over lack of companionship.

She’s not the only girl not attracted to other females.  In being a lesbian transwoman, the pool of available Romantic love is cut short by BILLIONS.  Not only is it a case of meeting a nice lesbian girl, but also one that can accept a transwoman, and even further, one that would want to spend time together.  That’s a scary prospect, but what are the alternatives?  Gonna have to hit up some gay bars :/

That being said, I have my own prejudice to overcome.  Let’s talk about this whole ‘lesbian with a penis’ thing.  The question is, would I get together with a pre-whatever transwoman?  I’m not attracted to the male body, but I could of course be attracted to the feminine mind.  How does one get past these body issues?  I have to be careful of my hypocrisy, because if I wouldn’t go out with a T-girl, then who would go out with me?  It’s therefore very important to try and get past the whole bio-aesthetic hormone fluxation.

Weirdly, I would prefer to be straight.  In my fantasies, generally it is straight, with a man, and faceless.  Yet in the waking world there’s never been a man I’ve had a physical attraction to.  I don’t compute how it could be comparable to gaze upon a man when there are lovely soft ladies.  As such, the self-worth issues grow when I can be successful as neither.  That feeling of being undesirable is compounded, and it is very difficult.

The first and most vital step is self-content.

This weekend, I decided to keep the party ball rolling, and took a whole bunch of magic mushrooms, an experiment to see what my mind would say when psychedelically uninhibited.  The trip was mild, plenty of colourful kaleidoscopic mosaics, thoughts travelling at their own accord, filled with universal affection.  I forced myself to write at one point, because I knew the drugs wouldn’t change or diminish my transsexuality.  I wrote simply:

‘I am a girl, I don’t need to write it a hundred times to convince myself it’s true.

I don’t need to think about it all the time, but I do.

I want it to be real…

Why is it so important?

Because this is who I am.’

Damn it.

This weekend, another ‘experiment’, this time to the cattle markets, where men and women come to pair off in drunken states to foment morning regret.  I’m going to dress up and pretend to be a MAN.  I’ve never been good at picking up girls, because I’ve never tried, it’s not my game, simply not interested in short-term hook-ups, but I’m going to give it a try.  What can I say, I want to rebound.  I’ll fail, but I’ll show myself that I can fail just as easily doing what I don’t want to do as I can doing what I want.

There’s a question that has been bothering me – ‘If you could wake up tomorrow and either be a woman, or be rid of transgender feelings to live as a man, which would you choose?’  I find the question moot.  I want to be rid of transgender feelings regardless of what gender I happened to be, however I’m a transgender female, so I want the feelings to go away and just be female.  If you were to take away these feelings, I would simply be a man and it wouldn’t matter anymore.

I write this so openly and personally as an attempt to empathize, that every journey is different, yet we still share all that makes us human. I will try to make it more generally relevant in the future, but I’m not experienced enough to offer any kind of authority.

My aim is to be a focused, pragmatic voice as an individual who just happens to be transsexual, to be a positive influence in my random style progression. I’m generally unburdened by social anxieties, depression and shame, and filled with empathy, affection and the joy of life. I want to share these good feelings, and assure you that you will be at the very least content with who you are, in time. Most people never sort themselves out, but if you are on the transitional path, you’re taking a step further in life that many would ever dare!

Congratulate yourselves, beautiful people!

Ready? Amy. Fire!