3.10.2015

Breaking Up

So, this wasn't something I came to easily. For the longest time I was under the impression that the connection and emotional orbit the two of us had been in was substantial.

We had, in early January, broken up once already. Many tears were shared, I stayed home from work, I cried all night. It was said to be cold and void without me. We reconciled under the idea that maybe breaking up was a mistake.

Two months later, (two unsent break up letters later) and we realize not at all. Sadly, those two months were not spent equally, but with one of us agonizing and alone, and the other gallivanting and care free (or so it seemed to me).

For the longest time I blamed myself because it was easier to do so than to find fault with her. After all if I blamed myself it was something I could fix, something I could remedy to fix our relationship. If it was a fault in her, then things had to end. In the end, relationship having ended, you can guess how the coin landed.

She couldn't offer the emotional support I needed as a partner. I didn't ask why, it didn't matter. It was disguised in a "we work better as friends" sort of dynamic. As if, the fundamental underlying orbit of our two bodies was miraculously discovered to be better off further apart. I'm sorry, but no, you don't get to pretend we were never partners madly in love. The correct phrase is "Our partnership is in shambles, and it isn't fixable". That's honest, and accurate, and acceptable. Don't insult the relationship by pretending it didn't exist, didn't fail, and isn't irreparable, in your language.

Personal faults in us both aside, the grinding agony of attempting to fix a relationship, with someone who didn't want to fix it, is finally over. I feel amazingly lighter, more free, less stressed, and a good deal happier. This, is an amazing contrast to how I thought I would feel, and indeed how I predicted I'd feel up until about the day of. When around 2 hours ahead of time the anxiety gave way to excitement, because in the end, there was no way to leave that conversation without getting what I wanted. Either in ending the relationship, or in fixing it to a satisfactory level.

Take aways? Well, my inability to know when to end relationships. This, indeed, should have ended the moment I started to hit all the cues that it was in trouble. I've a list of things that usually signal the end (willingness to raise my voice, feeling unheard, persistent crying related to said relationship, feeling like I didn't matter, questioning whether the person still had feelings for me, not communicating because it feels pointless), but I didn't listen to them because of a vested interest. Similar to, but not quite the same, as the ideas that kept me pining after my previous ex-partner. Though, granted, this ended in a much easier, and closure inducing way. In this, it felt fixable. If only I did X Y or Z it would all be better. It's a typical and classic abuse victim mentality (not that I feel this was abusive). When in reality, there was nothing I could have really done.

There is a nice, calming, solidarity in being unpartnered. It isn't bad being alone, now that I'm supposed to be. The agony was in the discord of being partnered, yet alone. I can take being single, but feeling single, despite having the title, and supposed benefits of having a partner, is extremely unsettling for me.

All in all, this was probably one of the easiest break ups I've had. The build up was agonizing, filled with months of hysterical crying fits of being alone, of wanting to get back to something that was extinct, of endless trying to figure out motivations and understanding with friends, or nonstop exposition of the situation and how I might change or fix it. As many of those I relied on as support can attest to, I don't fall out of love easily. It comes with the romantic nature of me. I wore today, almost the exact same outfit and makeup I did when we first met, because that felt appropriate. Every beginning needs to mirror an end, and in this case, I wanted to echo back to that night because it felt magical for the both of us. It's sad to see it go, but I am no doubt better off having had it, and now, being away from it. The loneliness will hurt sometimes, as it always does, but, that's okay. For the first time, in a very long time, I feel good about things.

That said, my point of contention remains in all this. I've seen it brought up here as it has been elsewhere. I've seen people use depression as a crutch in their arguments of my faults, it is absurd. For example in this case, withdrawing emotional support leaves me feeling sad, overwhelmed and lonely, which leads me towards depression, which people then see as negativity or cynicism,, and point to it as a personality trait, which isn't really who I am or what I'm about.

I vent, a lot, to avoid internalizing grief and bullshit from other people. It is a very privileged and ignorant point of view to tell people to "get over it". I feel things very deeply, especially violations, slights, insults, and micro-aggressions. I'm an emotional being, and rather than deny them, or internalize it, I'll very easily vent that back out, and move on when I'm ready. To demand that I do so on your schedule, is exceedingly self-centered and unfeeling. Come walk 30 years in my shoes and then have someone with 1/2 the experience and none of the baggage tell you, you're over-reacting. It's dismissive, insulting, and unfair.

2.09.2015

Confirmation Bias

In a recent discussion with my therapist, the idea was putout that as children, we can adopt an idea into our beliefs that can be very hard to break from. These will stick with us, regardless of the idea, or its merits, for a long time.

It has been a unconscious habit of mine for a long time to reinforce negative ideas and thoughts about things I'm insecure about. For example with my previous relationship, in trying to move on from the final break up I'd often find myself thinking about what she was doing. This would usually happen while zoning out, or distracting my waking/cognitive mind with something easy/repetitive like games of  minesweeper, that I can do with my brain half turned off. The other half, is just sort of free to think and ponder about whatever comes to it.

The negative aspects, are what comes to it. They are images of things that upset me. At the time, I'd get images of my ex out having fantastic sex with someone else, or simply having an awesome time in spite of me. These images are all false, and reasonably/logically I can sit and say I know in all likelihood that they aren't real. I know this because no one's life is as perfect and hassle free or amazing as they are when I imagine them. I know it's a fantasy designed to torment me. 

Which brought out the question why do these images come up, why do I unconsciously bring these awful hurtful images up into my mind, and then refuse to let go of them as being a hurtful fantasy. It's like a terrible smell that you end up going to sample again and again.

I've been getting these more now, as of recent, though granted with my current relationship.

In looking at the root theme of these images/ideas, they all revolve around the idea that "I don't matter". They have awesome sex because my feelings "don't matter" to them, or, she's off having an amazing time and not thinking of me because "I don't matter", for example.

I know these things aren't true, but they flash in my head and in my eyes and are very difficult to remove.

But that's where we can start to dig a bit deeper. The images, are consistently throughout my life. With my previous relationship, and numerous other ones growing up. The root of it all has been "I don't matter". That is the source of my insecurity.

Searching for that, from the start, I find that it even existed in my childhood, with my parents. I never came out/attempted to talk to them about being trans because it was a non-issue. It never occurred to me to do so (that I can remember). Why would they have an opinion, "I don't matter" so what I want is irrelevant. I didn't feel important enough in their lives to warrant having them care about my problems.

That compounded when in later years the family fell apart as my father first left sporadically, then emotionally, and my mother coped into/with her depression and sleep. Neither of which helped ease my insecurity of being irrelevant, and neglected. 

I remember I used to fight with them over things, I'd argue my point over and over, until they finally gave in, and then I'd immediately reverse and say it was fine. I felt so guilty for it, that it wasn't worth whatever the argument was over. This is another way I learned that I didn't matter. When asking for something was met with guilt.

No wonder I never tried to talk to them.

It also explains why I struggle so badly in dealing with partners who aren't around, or are uncommunicative. I can tolerate physical absence, but when it gets coupled with a lack of communication I start to feel like "I don't matter", and it causes and exceedingly unpleasant reaction. My unconscious, then looks to go and reinforce that feeling, since it is what it expects.

It puts a new frame around just how much emotional neglect has fucked me up in the past.

Still, at least knowing that this unconscious bias to prove/reinforce the idea that "I don't matter" to myself exists, I can begin to work to understand and realize the effect it has on me, and how it might be influencing me.

1.25.2015

The Creeps

It's moments like this that are always the hardest. When I'm doing things, but not quite "busy" so to speak. I remind myself that self care is necessary for times like this, but it doesn't seem to help or at the least appeal to me. Even writing feels a bit forced, which may be why I start up my poetry again.

In poetry I can hide my meaning and be a bit more direct without being so actively confrontational.

The past few days have been emotionally draining and extremely trying for me. Not that, it hasn't been without rewards. I find myself looking for signs that things will get better, and keep not finding them. It's these times that the distractions start to creep in. I don't necessarily need to do anything specific, I just have to do something. My crutch of distraction and escapism is one that is trusty and reliable, but it is still a crutch.

My ability to express and vent my emotions has been stunted. I can talk about them, and convey them to people, but they still feel inside me. There is no exorcism in conveying ideas. While there is a pleasantness is understanding the commonality of people and theirs in kind, there is no catharsis there. In the past, my coping mechanisms have been crying, and cutting, and just depression. I'm trying to divert from those into something more productive, along with a change in my overall outlook. The new zen/okay-ness with a lot of things has been a positive step I think. Keeping busy, and trying to make plans on the weekdays will also help. That link, between my emotions, and my art, has always been elusive, and existentially frustrating. I feel like if I could bring those two together I'd have both a positive/productive outlet for the intense negative emotions and a hobby that I can push into a more creative outlet.

It is of course, easier said than done.

I can hold off the negativity. It just becomes more troublesome in the lonely setting of being in my apartment alone. That, has always been my problem. Hence trying to keep busy and visiting folks as much as possible. It helps to ward off the depression, but, it always seems to come creeping back in, like an ugly carpet that you hate, but can't seem to get rid of. You might think you can cut it out, but it involves a great deal of damage to the overall sense of self.

That said, there is a core issue at play, and I feel like I'm stuck in limbo. I know how to move on from a relationship, and I know how to be a functioning member of a relationship, but I'm stuck in a seemingly half way point between the two. I'm not sure where I stand, and where the relationship stands. I have my secret fears about what is going on, but I feel like I can't communicate those. Even If I did, I don't feel like I'd get an honest answer either way.

I've been told, above all, to take things slow, and I am. I just keep telling myself that I have agency, and I have control over my life and who is in it, and how things happen. If things end, it won't be because I haven't tried hard enough (romanticism) or because we are fundamentally incompatible (fatalism, another trap), but because we simply had our time, and that time came to an end. I say that over and over, as I cry in the shower, and as I go to bed at night. It helps, but it doesn't change the fact that I sleep alone.

It isn't set in stone, and all things are liable to change. That said, I've always been one to prepare for the writing that I see on the wall.

1.20.2015

The Roots

As it stands, I should be asleep. Alas, some of the things will always need to be said and are best done so whilst in the moment of their origination.

A while back I said I was going to be unapologetic in change this year. That I'd be ripping things out by the roots to prune the garden of my life. Some of these things are going to be painful, and some, are going to be as easy as doing nothing.

As is, I'm done trying to beg and plead for people to be who I want them to be, rather than who they are. This is unfair to them, and to myself.

This has perhaps culminated in my separating (of sorts) from my partner. I'll once again be spending the majority of my home time alone, which has the effect of helping me feel not so taken advantage of (a problem I had felt, but not one based in reason), but is also helping me distance myself. Not that it is something I'm wanting, but more feels necessary given the larger context of our relationship. I'm always looking a few months down the road, and where I see this going isn't where I want to be.

Which, is fine, really. Not that it isn't upsetting or saddening, but that is just how life is. People come into your life, and then they leave, or they stay to a different degree. I did not, start this with the expectation that we would always be together or always be in the same style of relationship. That is, to an extent, one of the great joys of poly.

Assuming I can handle the loneliness, I've gone through worse. If my ex did nothing else she did at least ensure few if any breakups would be as bad. I digress though.

My first root is that I can no longer afford myself the ability to complain and bitch and moan whenever someone is too busy for me. If a person can't be bothered to make plans with me, I surely can't be bothered to feel bad about it. It's, disappointing, but, I can't do much of anything to change it so why bother. Forcing someone to make plans when they clearly don't want (or can't be bothered) to, only serves to make me feel like shit. It may grant some temporary reprieve from the idea that a relationship is waning, or that they aren't interested, but it is self defeating in the end.

This is, all, of course, easier said than done. Yet, while I start to think that my partner & I just may want different things in life, at this point. While we may be able to compliment that, and each other, I'm not sure we are the best answer for one another anymore. It's sad, but again, it's life.

All of this is part of a larger context of my turning thirty, and amongst this year of drastic change. I'd rather get this all out of the way now, rather than dragged out for another three years.

In that same style, it is time I looked at what I was spending my time and energy on, and where it was being directed and to what end and gain to my person. Investing 3000 hours into games only goes so far, and granted, it was mostly as a distraction from the horrors of my life, if I can fill that void with something more productive, then I should do so. I can no longer afford to grant myself cart blanch based on what I thought was true eight years ago.

It's time I started to act my age, and put away my childish behaviors. I should expect better from myself, and from those I surround myself with.

12.02.2014

More Sleep Deprivation

I'm not naive. It is not like I was expecting transition or surgery to fix my mind. I expected it to help my quality of life, and my daily depression. If nothing else I expected it to make things a bit easier, and less severe. By and large, that has been true. Yet even know I still, continuously, struggle over and over and exhaustingly over again with the same depression. Where before it was over being trans, now it's over the hollow and purposeless life feels. I fill it with stuff. I go to work, I tune out of my life for a few hours, I come home and repeat. Never at one point is my life engaging or enthralling in a new and fantastic way. I've not been challenged or entertained in years. I've been, at best, delayed and entertained. Any would be challenges are entirely arbitrary constructs from myself, or others. Climb a mountain? Sure but why? I don't need to, there's no purpose in it outside the idea of doing it. Why then should I bother?

The most, irritating, aspect of all this is that it never, ever, stops. The depression comes over and over and over again like bad inlaws that overstay their welcome and visit uninvited and oft-too often. I transitioned, moved, fell in/out of love, became polyamorous, tried S/M, and tried other BD aspects, group sex, marijuana, I tried having multiple partners at once. I tried monogamous relationships, I tried therapy (and still go), I tried different hobbies and environments, I tried vitamins and acceptance. Nothing alleviates, or dissuades the epic de-saturation of my life and my world.  Vibrant colors leave in great haste towards tepid levels of varying gray and any one purpose or enjoyment I saw in anything, leaves swiftly with it. Then, like the regular annoying ticking of your grand mothers clock, the suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, and helpless feelings come in, and my nervous/muscular twitches start as my mind starts to turn against me. The little voice becomes louder until it is the only thing i hear.

All of this, again, and again, and again again again. Then I sleep, wake up, and wonder if today's the lucky day I get hit by a bus and don't have to worry about it anymore.

I grow exhausted with this. The endless crying leading to tired mornings with swollen eyes. The endless despair and suicidal thou

9.26.2014

Beating the War Drums

These are tired drums. The old war between my body and mind is one fought for many, many years and for a while a decent armistice seemed to brew. Now though, tensions are starting back up. I could spend the hours trying to figure out the innevitable cause, but end the end it doesn't really matter. Be it stress, or hormonal fluctuations, or what have you, this existence is never one I will be at peace with. that thought, that I'll always be blaming and pointing at my trans identity as the root cause for all my personal, and interpersonal woes, is exceedingly exhausting. It would be reasonable if say, post surgery, I could just cast off the identity like so much baggage and proclaim myself cured, but that's not an option.

 

Speaking of, There's about 6 months until then, and I'm slowly coming to simply accept the fact that my parts will be ugly to me. At least then though their form will follow and match how they should. I can live with an ugly vagina, hell it matches the fucked up and ugly rest of me, so why should it stand out as being normal. I find myself asking why again, which I expect will start coming back up again as it draws closer.

I'm starting to feel numb again. My hunger and body signals are slowing down or becoming quiet, I don't know when I'm hungry or at least I never feel the urge to eat. I occasionally think about food if it comes up, but by and large its a thing I don't put thought into. This mirrors my thoughts on anything else, I'm bored and distracted easily, I find no real attraction or happiness from things. My sex drive or desire for affection has fallen off the face of the planet.

I don't want to do anything, and everything sounds like shit. I'm withdrawn, unsocial, and by and large simply depressed. In that though, It feels like disillusionment. Like there is no point or hope in trying to find the things I feel are missing from my life, the things that I feel are unsatisified. I base this, entirely off the few times that I can remember feeling as such, and trying to pursue the same avenues again (finding an D/S relationship for one). But even that I can't say was established in a firm ground of emotional health, wellbeing and secure/reassured reality. More, thrown into a full on NRE ecstacy filled abusive drug habbit with someone who seemed to get off on the idea. I remember being happy (or at least, the abuse led me to believe I was) and now I pursue that again because its one of the few times I remember not feeling partially empty inside.

Not to cast out the efforts and strides of my partner, who genuinly is wonderful. That relationship however, just isn't, and can't be the entirety of my desires. I hate that I continue to look for that missing piece, and I hate that I never find, and that I feel like I never will, and that there is no point in searching. It feels like I just have to accept the fact that I'll feel partially empty and hollow for the rest of my life, living a pale, shallow existence devoid of anything resembling meaning or passion. People say do what you love, or do what you want to do with your time. I have no idea what that is, and no idea where to even begin looking

8.27.2014

The Great Intolerable Fear of the Unknown.

Apologies for the lack of updates. I've been struggling for topics to write about and mostly been delving in escapism as my mechanism. However writing is really the best form for this. The big news is that the plans for my surgery are underway. Deposit money is being moved and the real make or break point is approaching. Which really brings out a lot of other emotions and fear around this. I'm afraid of this and I'm afraid of what is coming. This is something I feel I should do, the discomfort I've had with my lady bits has been well known. I've referred to it as a cancer before, as a deformity. There is no love lost there. Yet, in the past year or two it's become less of the epitome of symbolism for all of my struggle in being trans. Before, when I first started this, there was an unspeakable amount of rage and anger, frustration, and disgust at being trans. The grief and anger over why I have this injustice and others do not. There was no greater symbol of that than the bits themselves.

It was a constant reminder. It IS a constant reminder. But lately as my relationship with my partner has bloomed, it's become less of a harsh reality, and less on the forefront of my mind. I don't face that rejection from it as often, or as harshly as I did when I was single. This makes me question my desires, and my relationship with my body.

I'm trying to be objective in my decisions, and at least remove as much doubt and emotional instability as possible. Being partnered, and having function left (many trans folk don't) means I've gotten to enjoy an aspect of my body that previously has been uncomfortable (and still is at times). Now that the time has come to decide what to do with it, how do I value that?

I have to learn how to have sex with my partner again, something that we've both been comfortable/compatible with. Meaning this will put strain on our relationship as we both relearn how my body works. And there is risk that if we aren't sexually compatible, that things might have to change for the worse.

I worry that once this is done I won't be satisfied. I worry that I won't be able to feel anything, that it will be ugly or unrecognizable. I worry about something happening. I worry that I'll regret it and that I'll regret not being able to penetrate my partner in the way I used to be able to. I worry about it being a waste of money, and I worry that I don't want it badly enough.

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a lesbian. Why then am I having such doubt over this change? So then, the better questions is why then am I still going through with it? For one, I doubt my peace with myself. If my partner and I were to split up I can easily see this becoming the symbol and anguish generating source it once was. My current state of acceptance I believe has less to do with my lack of desire to see it removed, than my being distracted from it. As in, if my partner wasn't in the picture, I would have a huge desire to see this through. Just because I may not have he utmost of hatred and loathing for it now (now that I've another use for it) that doesn't mean said sentiment is gone.

In talking to my friend who's had the procedure done before, her opinion was such that any result was better than what she currently had. That, was my same sentiment in starting this transition. When looking at this now, are my bits objectively worth keeping over the potential for a bad result? Further more, in the laundry list of situations, feelings, emotions, placements, and minute uncomfortabilities that enumerate my experience, is the sum of said things greater, than the enjoyment and pleasure I get out of penetrating my partner.

Looking further into that, is it the act of penetration, or the closeness and emotional connection that the act brings that I enjoy. Assuming that pleasurable sex and orgasms will be had either way, why the reluctance to give up something I have for something that is slightly different given ceteris paribus? Which brings me back to the fear of the unknown. Not knowing what the results will be is of grave portent in regards to my comfort and sexuality.

Looking at this through the lenses of my education it's easy to see my bias in overvaluing what I have now. Still, this risk and discomfort associated with not knowing is proving to be significant. At least, more than I thought I would have at this point. I will muddle along however, under the idea that objectively, it is the right choice even if I'm terrified of taking the risk.