Change is good, and bad, and everything in between

Long weekends can make or break you sometimes. It’s nice to be able to completely check out for a few days and not worry about anything beyond your front door. It also can screw with a routine which sets you off your groove.

 

I thrive with routine and people always make comments about how I am so bad with change. It’s not change that I’m bad with, per say. Change is a difficult topic for me and I don’t know if there is anyone around me who can understand what change means to me. Apparently in effective parenting, when it’s time to end playing video games or whatever there should be a warning. Like, ‘Okay buddy you can play for twenty more minutes’ and when it gets closer to the time reminding them, ‘Hey buddy, you have five more minutes then you need to be done, so start wrapping up.’ Helping the kid to be able to visualize time constraints, knowing where the boundaries are before moving to the next thing and not just at twenty minutes turning off the console without warning. Some kids get the twenty minutes speech and then it’s just turned off on them at exactly twenty minutes. I didn’t even get the whole you have twenty minutes. I learned that things can change in an instant and the rug gets pulled out from under you. There was no warning of when I needed to be done, I just needed to be done whenever I was told so. There was no wriggle room.

 

I do not do well when the rug gets pulled out from under me. It really screws with  my head a lot, but people just make fun and poke jabs. They use it against me, when it just boils down to the fact that I excel when I know exactly what is expected of me. It’s somewhat of a control issue, because then I can do exactly what is needed/wanted. It’s also self-preservation on some levels. When I am not given what is wanted and things change left and right on me, I shut down because I am waiting for the hammer to fall.  It puts me constantly on edge and then every bit of my work suffers for it.

 

This was why I was able to excel while I was a high school student. They told me what they wanted in specific time frames and I could easily do it. I practically slept through high school academics, unless I enjoyed the class, because it was so damned structured. It was simple and straightforward for the most part. You could attempt to create wriggle room if you needed it, without this worry that you were going to have the hammer fall upon your head.  Academics were easy then, because they just were and I knew what was expected and wanted.

 

College academics were a little harder, because I had to learn to be able to work within less structured environments. The way people talked about college when I was a high school student, it would make one think that college was going to be this super structured place within the classrooms. It might be in some majors, but where I ended up it really wasn’t. There was a nice ebb and flow that was natural. It was hard for me at first because I felt like I was just floating out at sea. I slowly became more and more comfortable with the process of just being given the basic parameters and needing to create everything around that. Pick a topic of your own choosing and write a twenty page paper was murder for me at first. What if I picked wrong? What if they hated everything I did with it? There were too many variables, it was overwhelming. I learned how the flows went and I had some amazing professors who kicked me off the end of the dock but had the life preserver waiting.
So I was able to work within that sort of ebb and flow environment. It wasn’t easy, but it was not as hard as it used to be. Then the rugs were being pulled out from under me left and right. Now I’m cautious when there is change, because is it just change or are people grabbing the rug and getting ready to pull again. People don’t understand this. Instead they make jabs, tell me that I just don’t deal well with change, and tell me that I had better learn to deal with it better.

Don’t Rush In, but Move Forward

I made it through to Thursday… barely. So I completely unloaded three weeks worth of shit onto the old white dude and was like,”Okay here ya go, done.” He wanted to unpack the work event, I told him there wasn’t a lot to really unpack. I can’t unpack it the way I normally would, so I’m just accepting it and moving on. Nothing else I can really do at this point. It happened, it is over, and we just shoulder it and keep moving forward.

 

He asked where my grown-up was. I told him that I have no idea and told him to tell me. I know the teenager is in charge. I let him be in charge, because it was a lot easier than continuously fighting.  The fighting gets to be too exhausting over time. If I want to be able to focus on breathing and moving forward with my day.

 

I feel like I am an island here because I am not getting the intellectual stimulation that I need to give to the teenager, because then he calms down. If he is comfortable and feeling like he fits somewhere, he is calm and relaxes. I love when I am able to be passionate about things and encourage others in that… but it’s also really hard. I’m so introverted that I am afraid people will look at me oddly when I am suddenly expressive about subjects. I try to keep it all under wraps, because I don’t want to seem like I am too much for anyone to be around. So I hide it and people don’t realize the things I am completely and utterly interested in.

 

I try and feed the teenager with knowledge, because it gives him an outlet for a little while. If he calms down, then sometimes the grown-up is able to gain an upper hand. I haven’t even felt like doing that and I know it. It’s the same sort of reasoning as to why I’ve been shit with eating lately. I just don’t feel like it and then I forget all about it so I honestly don’t notice I haven’t eaten until like 6PM or so.

 

I am unsure how I am supposed to do my homework for the old white dude. I am supposed to be able to sit down with my partner and help them help me keep my grown up in control. I don’t even know where the teenager ends and the grown up begins right now. I just want to do all the destructive things that I can do and just don’t care about what happens afterwards. Old Dude told me to be good when I left his office… I told him no. I already knew what I was going to do and he didn’t need to know. Nothing was going to change my mind on that and I think that is something that scares me a little bit.
Now that I’m a legal adult, nobody thinks twice when you mention grabbing a drink or a cigarette. Simple things right? Nobody bats an eye at all really.  In some ways it is like walking to the end of a diving board and doing a front flip right into the water. You can do it, people know you can do it and then they just keep going about their day. I don’t know if they would notice I didn’t come up for air.

One in Front of the Other

I’m coming down the home stretch for this week. It’s Wednesday but the goal is Thursday. If I can make it through the first two days completely and I’m starting the third, I can make it to end of workday Thursday. I’m not even looking at Friday at all. In my mind, it isn’t existing.  At this point, since Friday is the 13th, maybe luck will bring me a bus to be hit by. Not really, but that’s where my mind shrugs off to.

 

I’m trying to keep my mind busy at work. I’m focusing on projects that I have going on and things that need to get done… And I already have the one assignment finished. At least it can’t be said that I wasn’t getting shit done. I know that I am all over the place at the moment. I am not about to try and deny that if it is called out. For the most part I am hiding just how out of control my mind is. That’s all I feel like I am able to do right now. Fake it and hope to god I make it.

 

My dysphoria has been awful. I think simple things like getting a haircut might give me a slight boost, but I don’t know. It’s like I can feel my hair growing and as it grows it curls. As those curls make their appearances, I hear sir a whole lot less. Which that frustrates me a lot because there are plenty of dudes with sweet curly hair.  I did get a trim last night, I kind of conned my spouse into doing it. It isn’t a magic fix, but it’s like a bandaid. Getting it trimmed down gives me a little room to breathe.  I also shaved my face this morning which just the act of doing that can calm me just a little, plus my stuff for that smells awesome. It’s not like I have awesome facial hair, but even without starting T, I do have a couple little dark whiskers and I like to encourage them.

 

I’m doing the best that I can to get myself through this. I have made it this far and I am so close to being back on schedule with my support system. Yes, I have a system in place without the old white dude, but there some things I can only talk about with him. I can’t talk about anything at work that happens with anyone but co-workers, because confidentiality. So I talk to the old white dude when I need an outsider’s point of view.  And I haven’t had that.. So it’s been a little more difficult than usual.
I am not sure how tomorrow is going to go. I just am going to try and put one foot in front of the other and hope to not fall over.

Leveling the Playing Field

I hate how there are some days where I go about my day and it appears fine, but really I’m straddling two worlds. Sure, I am here in the present and doing all the things I need to do. I am also though at times somewhere else completely. This is apparently the PTSD, because I’m somewhere else in time. I go through the motions of what present day me is supposed to do, but there’s this underlying current of wherever else I am at.

Right now, it’s tinged with the teenager. Other times, it’s tinged with the little man. It depends which age group is fighting for control. The teenager is the more difficult of the two because there are a lot more complex emotions involved. He is certainly making my days difficult at the moment.

The little one, while he can be annoying, he is more worried about being abandoned and not loved. He is very simplistic in his thinking and is trying to be a good kid. He’s trying to hide these odd feelings he cannot explain and he sure as hell can’t ask about. The little one is already seeing that there’s not something kosher about what he feels inside. He’s more confused than anything because when he tries to do things he likes, it comes with some form of disapproval.

Now the teenager, he’s angry most of the time. He’s internalized everything that the little one dealt with and now with puberty screwing everything up, he’s pissed all the time. He is mad at family, society, people in general, but most of all he’s looking that his body is failing him and he hates himself. His body isn’t right. It is doing things that make every single day uncomfortable and some even unbearable. It is getting bad enough that there are days that he doesn’t even care about waking up in the morning.

Some people just brush that sort of thing off, because all bodies in puberty are a bitch. It seems that many adults forget what it was like to not have your head on straight and not always understand why. So it’s bad enough and it’s just brushed off as something you will learn to deal with. However, it’s a lot different when your body is doing the exact opposite of what you want it to you. You are waking up every morning and are hyper-aware of every change. Every tiny detail is an explosion against you, because it reminds you again that there is something wrong with you. Something isn’t right because you aren’t matching up with what you are given.  Depending on what you have learned up until now about how the people around you react to things like this, you are also hiding it within yourself. I spent years knowing but pretending that it didn’t exist. I spent years of my life hating everything about myself and believing that there was just this innate thing wrong with me. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t normal and that lead to the fear that nobody would want me if they knew the truth.

Which lands me where I am at right now. I am having such issues with my dysphoria that nothing is working right. When all of that is completely out of whack, everything else kind of flies to the wayside as well.  I’m not sure if when my grown-up lost the emotional control if the teenager brought this along with him or if it’s just me trying to ignore it right now.  I keep adjusting and policing my own movements to the point where it’s taking up too much of my focus.  I am unsure what to do with myself at the moment to not make me hate myself every time I glance in a mirror.

It is so tiring to try and bring a bit of a level playing field to this sort of fight.  There is a disconnect between what I have and what I imagine, and I try my best to try and adjust things where I can. Some days it works, others it makes me want to cry because it still isn’t right. Where are the magic wand or pills that could fix everything?

Could the Grown-up Please come to the front?

I’m not sure how I am making it the next six days. It makes me feel pathetic that I am having such an awful time between sessions. I’m used to it being every week, so I’m offset by a change in routine. However, I also need to remember this in between time included Christmas with family and then a high stress work event.  I am not letting myself have the time that I need to just recharge. I took a few days off work, which I am so thankful that I did, but they aren’t helping. It doesn’t feel like enough. I am wondering if I need a day or so just by myself for the majority of it where I can completely just decompress.

I know I have not been the nicest person to be around right now. I know this for a fact and I am doing my best to keep it under all the layers I can. It keeps finding little ways to vent out though.

Yesterday, I had court. Not a big deal. Go through the main doors where there are deputies watching the metal detector and all that jazz. I have a good relationship with most of them and I should because I have to work with them a lot. Trading morning pleasantries, just like we normally do, when one who I see a good bit apparently lost his brain and he referred to me as ma’am. That doesn’t fly with me and the majority of them know that. It’s not like I’m coming dressed for court as a femme, I dress as the masculine person I am. And this one knows better, he has watched me react to that before. So, I went off on him a bit. Told him he’s replaced another of the guys on my shit list, because that’s what I do. I give them a hard time for awhile, because that’s what we do with each other.

Well, the other guy with him… I don’t have much of a working relationship with. He’s annoying and difficult, and that’s coming from the ones I do have good relationships with. He just kind of looked at me and tried to give me the whole “we greet people with respect” talk, which I have heard before. I told him that I don’t mind that at all and I understand that. I told him if he has to choose sir or ma’am he can call me sir, because that’s what I prefer. You would have thought that I asked him to grow a second head.

So later I show up for different business at the courthouse and he goes “Oh, welcome guest.” Well that set me off for a second time. I don’t normally see him at the courthouse so thank the heavens for little miracles. I asked him why he had such an issue and the man just skirted around the whole thing. I know it’s all of my other frustrations coming out and finding a target to latch onto, but that pisses me off at any time.

I saw my favourite today and I told him about it. Which, now he’s annoyed at the other one. He said to me, “Some of them just don’t get it. They just haven’t opened their minds yet.”

This guy is my favourite and he just gets it, without me ever really needing to explain to him what’s going on. I’ve known him since I was 18, so I was thrilled when I found out I would get to see him in the course of this job. He’s a great guy and not close minded.  Sometimes we need reminded that there are people who just get us, without a lot of effort. He knows me, I know him, and we have a great mutual respect for one another.

I just need to find a better outlet for all these pent up issues at the moment. They are escaping into ways that are not helpful nor are they productive. It puts the teenager completely in control and I am trying to rein him back in. Sadly, he escaped like the pent up emotions. Now, he wants to cause all the havoc he can until I am able to get my grown-up back in control.
….oh I hope the old white dude is ready for all of this.

A Little, A Lot

“Don’t be afraid that it won’t be perfect. The only thing to be afraid of is that it won’t be.”

 

A spoken line during the song “Being Alive” from ‘Company,’ which as I get older I realize is a song that really holds me together in some ways. Sure, I found my better half pretty young to most people’s standards. I had a one and done, and it wasn’t on purpose. This song though, holds my teenager together while giving a sly nod towards the grown-up on some days. It’s not completely happy and it’s not completely unhappy.

 

It helps me remember some days that I do have a spouse who loves me and will give me support for being alive. Together we can survive this whole being alive thing in this world. It might be hard and there are days that I just want to block everything out and be alone. But I know that my spouse is going to be there, because for some reason they love me utterly and completely. Even when I know that, there are days where I don’t believe I deserve to have someone who will crowd me with love or force me to care.

 

Growing up, I watched kids around me dating and finding their place in the small parts of the world we were inhabiting before we ran off into the bigger ocean. I didn’t do that. My plan was that I was going to always be alone, because I sure as hell didn’t deserve to be loved. It didn’t help that I was a queer kid getting all the messages that I was destined to be alone, disowned from everyone, die early, or any of the other things that were said over and over.
Some days I need to just take a moment and lose myself within something. It’s one of the only things that is keeping me together at the moment… and that’s barely.

Fake It, Then Make It

It’s been an interesting couple of days to start my week. I’m kind of here and kind of not. I’m currently trying to decide where I am at in my for lack of better term, “safety plan” until the old white dude is back.

 

Like, the work stuff is complicated and annoying. It’s causing a ripple effect that it seems only I can see. Parts of it others are finding, but I honestly feel like I am the only one seeing some of the effects from the event. It’s frustrating because it is a hella big, emotional upheaval. I’m not going to try and say that it isn’t. I’ve seen words I have written being put out for the world to read, minus my name, but I know it’s something I did. I know all the details that weren’t published. I can remember everything and it hurts me. It hurts me on so many levels. However, I don’t feel like I can express that at all. I feel like I need to put a stronger face on than I would normally. Add in the fact that I want to be seen as the male I feel I am, I feel the odd pressure to not have emotions even more than I already do.  It’s difficult and I wish it wasn’t so bad.

 

Here I am, just trying to get through til next week. I don’t want to appear weak and call for help. It’s frustrating as all can be for me, because I want to get help and I want to be better. On the other hand, here I am sitting and asking for help kicks in a whole different level of guilt and pain for me. I feel like I am wasting his time and everyone else’s time because why can’t I take care of myself. I mean, this stuff is simple and not emergency level, it’s not like life or death. It’s just… it’s there. I feel like I should just be able to take  a deep breath and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 

I realize though, it couldn’t have happened at a worst time for me personally though. Here I am, spending days fighting with my teenage self and trying to keep my grown-up in charge. I’ve lost grip on that, over and over, and it shows. It shows on a lot of levels. I know it and I think some people around me have also noticed, but I am doing my best to keep it hidden just like I used to.

 

——–

 

So I went half way with a phone call. I did not ask for my therapist to be called. I did speak with another person just a little. It helped at least reign in my anxiety enough that my meds could take over and do what they are supposed to do.  I am not entirely sure what rocketed me so high that my meds couldn’t do a damned thing. It was like my body was fighting not only me, but them as well.

 

I’m.. stable. I am stable for the moment. I honestly think part of it was that I needed to be able to unload just a little bit of the build-up to someone who has no idea about it, but who is covered in a way that screw it, I’m talking with. It’s not like I’m throwing details everywhere, but I was able to say why things bothered me. I was able to be almost honest, because I’m only 100% with my therapist and that’s just me, and just know that they weren’t going to come back with their own views on it. I think that’s what my brain needed just for ten minutes.
It is not like I am completely okay. I am going to fake it til I make it on this. There is no other option. I have no choices here. I have to just put the armor on and keep going. I might end up broken at the end, but as long as people don’t notice, then what difference does it make?

Documentaries Like Me

About a month or so ago I had been given a homework assignment. Pretty normal for me to get them and sometimes it is to watch a thing or read a book. This one was to watch a documentary, which I love watching documentaries anyway. So, I was supposed to watch one of HBO’s newer documentaries, “The Trans List.” Well, I don’t have HBO so I had been looking around for somewhere to watch it online or wait for a free HBO weekend via my parents cable.

My spouse and I wanted to watch ‘The Intern’ the other night and it was streaming on Amazon, through HBO. Hrm, damn. However, we had not used our free month trial of HBO via Amazon yet. Looks like I’m spending most of January watching HBO things.  We got to watch our movie  and then we watched ‘The Trans List.’ I was falling asleep a little during the end because I am an old man, but I can see why the old white dude wanted me to watch it.

He wanted me to see more people who have experienced what I experience. I think part of that is because where I am, I don’t get to see people like me. There are people like me at the college that I went to, which is local and liberal, but that’s about it. I don’t have people really nearby who I can look at and go, “Oh, they understand this.”  Sometimes that makes things really difficult because I feel like I’m going all alone in this little boat on a giant ocean.

Later on we watched ‘Suited’ which was about this super awesome company that makes tailored suits. The dude had started with like, people from Wall St. until he got a client that wasn’t like the others. They ended up getting apprenticed to him and from there the business took off with a whole slew of LGBTQ clients. So we’re watching this, and of course there’s a bunch of super sweet, super attractive transfolk… and most of them have supportive families. I swear, can you like buy a supportive family? Do you get them in a cereal box? Seriously, can someone tell me the secret to a supportive family because I would love to know.

Hell at this point I would love just to be able to breathe and not feel so damned policed. I want to be able to see more people like me. Yea, there’s the internet and it is something that has connected me to others like me for years…

But I really just want to be able to see people like me. Like grab a cup of coffee and just breathe kind of see people. And I hate people for the most part because socializing takes a lot out of me.
I just want to see others like me and maybe feel like I am normal.  Maybe if I would see more like me walking down the street in town I wouldn’t feel so pressured to either live in one space or the other. I’m straddling two worlds at minimum and I’m feeling my legs giving out.

Some Strain on the Shoulders

A new year, a new beginning… and the end of the year made sure to dump some last minute things on my plate. Work related this time. An event happened that is going to make my first week of the new year potentially difficult. As it was unfolding, people realized that since I started, we haven’t had an event like this. So I heard “If you need anything, I’m here,” a bit. I have a job where I can’t come home and talk about it with my spouse. Just co-workers. So it wraps itself up in my head and lives there.

 

Most days it isn’t bad, I can get in and get out without it lingering. At one point it was asked around how X, Y, and Z happen. What I do is drop as much stuff at the office door as I can and just roll with it. I do this both coming in and leaving for the day. I was told it was impossible to do this and basically that I was full of it. But if I don’t do those things, everything that happens would live in my mind and never leave. I love my job because I am good at what I do, but sometimes the needing to bite my tongue because I can’t publically speak out gets tiring. That’s why I have to disengage almost entirely at the end of day. I honest to God cannot come home and even really tell my spouse how my day was. I can say it was good or bad, but beyond that I can’t say a word. I understand why and that makes perfect sense to me. Some days though, I really just want to talk something through with my spouse, not my coworkers. They don’t need bullets to shoot me with if they don’t like or understand my thought process.

 

I end up retreating into my head quite a bit, especially when I feel as though some people are thinking that we shouldn’t be ranting and venting to one another. Who else can we even talk to? There’s pretty much nobody. Yea, I talk with my therapist sometimes about specifics because nobody is ever going to tell me what I can and cannot talk with my therapist about. I will not lie to him, so if it’s something at work he’s going to know.

 

I take it all on and I make sure I keep the brave, happy face on. I don’t let people see what’s actually going on in my head. It’s not okay to let people know what is going on. It’s never been okay to let people see how things are actually affecting me. I grew up learning that we don’t tell people what’s going on. I’ve carried that well into my physical adulthood.  In some ways it has made me better suited for what I do, because it makes it easier to just ignore it and let it slip past. However, my work isn’t sunshine and roses so there are times when it’s actually worse that I keep it all in. My mask though has been made from years of practice and while it has many different shades, I don’t bring it down for people. My spouse gets to see what’s underneath and I willingly brought it down for my old white dude. Everyone else gets some version of my mask. Some get a more transparent one while others are looking at an iron mask.

 

Some days you have to make others think that there isn’t a mask between you and them. Those days are rough, because those are the days where it feels like you need a whole wall not just a mask.

 

Balancing what was already going on in my head and this added strain is going to make the next 11 or so days interesting.