You're a Wizard Harry

I'm an aunt now. Which, is weird. It's one of the strange aspects of my existence that isolates me from my family. Depression and mental illness I share with my brother. Femininity I share with my mom, Transsexualism I share with my cousin (who may yet also join me in sterility), but at the moment, I'm the only one incapable of reproducing.

The affect this has on me is...profound. But that seems to escape the glee of my mother, who insists on sending me photos of my niece, seemingly unconscious of how triggering it can be to see the child of my brother. It isn't, that I haven't had time to think about it. I've mourned and grieved over my lost children before, as I do now, but it's different to see it in your email and text messages. To be asked to congratulate people, without a second thought as to why you might be distant.

Normally I might handle this in my typical graceful tolerance, but at the moment I struggle with a new existential crises, and a flair of the dramatic.

I find myself losing entire days to depression, I get caught up in my lack of schedule and lack of plans. I eliminate possibilities of action because they have no purpose.

Go to a coffee shop? Okay sure, but why? What will I do there? Nothing? Then why bother?

With no underlining purpose, I have a hard to finding the motivation to do anything. That includes life in general. Being unemployed puts a financial strain on all of my decisions, so that I can't just go out and enjoy my time by say, going to a movie, or going for ice cream. No, it's ramen and mac and cheese every day sadly.

Which, leads one to feel a bit like a rat in a cage. I exhaust my games quickly, and blow through books like no other while waiting ages for something to do, or an excuse to go back to a coffee shop for a few hours to do, essentially what I do at home.

I've offered to help my ex of a few years ago around her business/studio, which, should if nothing else, get me out of the house and a bit more structure in my schedule. How and whether that devolves or develops into something else is a matter for a different entry. In discussing it with my therapist, she was described as stirring up shit for me, which can be a source of growth. Which, if you know, you know is my thing. I can't stand stagnating. I feel almost entirely like I am now, and it drives me to awful and familiar thoughts of self harm.


Move Along, Nothing to See Here

I haven't updated in nearly two months. I wish I could say it was due to amazing circumstances.

True to form, the last big obstacle left for me to change this year was my job, and about a month after my last post I was laid off. At least, they did it for me this time. I don't mind really, it's an inconvenience, but I have unemployment and a number of good options in case things fall through.

It has also given me plenty of time to do some things I hadn't been able to before. I've taken up a daily yoga practice, which seems to have some nice effects so far. More importantly though I've been drafting out a comic that rehashes some of the themes/events of my previous relationship (not the most recent, but the prior one that I've often labeled emotionally abusive). In drafting all of that out, it brought back a lot of memories. Mostly unpleasing in their vividness. Not in that the memories themselves are bad. I find them enjoyable and at times erotic, but a large part of me hates that. After all the bullshit I went through, there's no reason I should long for those memories. Enjoy them, think about them, sure, but not long for them.

I had an opportunity to re-read some of our old messages from three and a half years ago, it was...upsetting. The verbiage and wording made me incredibly anxious and unnerved. I couldn't tell if I wanted to cry or throw up. Hell I still can't tell.

My hope was that in writing the comic/story of that, it would help excise it from me, much in the way writing here helps pull the emotions out of me. So far that's yet to be seen, though there is a nice sense of fulfillment, along side the uncomfortable turned on/near tears emotions that haunt me at coffee shops while I write.

I'm not sure if I simply underestimated, or forgot, just how much that whole event fucked with my head.

I feel more and more isolated, purposefully. I find myself cutting connections (or wanting to) from people I don't feel I have a thriving relationship with anymore. I can't tell if I feel closed off from people out of a need to issue reaffirmation tests, or if I honestly don't value that relationship anymore. In reality it's likely a combination of the two.

These are not new warning signs, the isolation and depression, the withdrawal, they're all pretty familiar things that I've learned to watch out for. I mean, well, let me put it this way. I can remember doing this same thing, typing into the soft glow of a computer, to music, while I deal with depression and tears, fifteen years ago. The fact that I feel like so little has changed doesn't bode well.

Instances likes these make me wonder how anyone gets through life alive. I can look at some folks, who seem to have their shit figured out, and they don't seem to have any fundamental advantage over me (at least not anymore). Yet they seem to consistently get the best possible dice rolls. You'd expect eventually the numbers would play out and something would come my way, yet it never seems to work out that way. Hell even my good rolls apparently end up fucked in the end.

With the return of the old baggage comes the old devils. While they've yet to manifest, I can smell their chummed waters already. And as with any addiction, it's not if, but when.


A long time coming

I've been meaning to write this for a while, but haven't managed to find the time in my normal pre-sleep time. A few weeks ago I managed to have my first orgasm post surgery. The mechanics aside, it was a an intense experience.

Outside the muscle and pleasurable aspects. While I was cleaning up and showering, I started to laugh, and cry, as this wave of mirth and contentment washed over me. There was just this ocean of warmth and relaxation that came in getting that weight and worry off me. I had been really anxious about not being able to orgasm since my previous attempts had been unfruitful. I'd started to think I was just broken, and doomed to a life of unfulfilled sex, and unfulfilled relationships. Sex, is, and was, a huge part of my life. It's always been the catalyst for the emotional intimacy that I crave. It's when I'm my most open and vulnerable, and sharing that mental space, with someone who is just as vulnerable, and connected with me, is, well, it's like no other feeling I have.

In the past, that love has always had a sideline of shame, of incongruence, dissonance, and disharmony. Sex was always like a musical chord with one note slightly out of tune. You got most of what you wanted to hear, but it wasn't right. It was that slight drizzle when you wanted pouring rain, the inch of snow when you wanted three to close down schools. I always got the sense that what I felt was..close enough to what it should be. But it never felt whole.

In that orgasm, I left behind all the surgery baggage. I've no regrets or worries about it anymore.

But also, in that orgasm, I left behind all the negative body shame and baggage that I've felt in every previous orgasm. That emotional self-disparaging wave of shame that always followed like the bad comic that always seems to open for your favorite act. Experiencing the bliss of an intense body orgasm, with no negative emotional baggage of shame or the normal self-loathing that I'd contained, and quartered, and carted off into their own little mental spaces, was..well..enough for me to cry tears of joy for the first time in my life. It was mind-shattering, and world shaping.

It's such a strange place to be in. I promised myself I'd rip open every ugly root of my experience that I didn't like. So far, so good.

The evening that followed said experience, was filled with good friends, and a party, that involved a good fifty people cheering, celebrating, and toasting, to my orgasm. It's a surreal moment that I don't think I'll ever forget. It was, fantastic, and awe inspiring.

It feels, weird to be happy again. Which, in itself is a sad statement. I'm glad to be where I am, not that I'm satisfied however.


Not even my final form.

It feels weird to be trans now. That might seem, like an odd statement, so let me explain.

For a long time I've distanced myself from the trans community because I felt ashamed of being trans. That, largely from terrible people teaching me it was something to be ashamed of, meant that being in the trans community meant facing my trans status. I acknowledged it, and dealt with it, but it was never celebrated. It was too painful to celebrate. I'm sure there's a post here from years ago where I can't imagine how or why anyone would celebrate or take pride in being trans. It felt like taking pride in being disfigured or injured, sure you can celebrate surviving it, but no one celebrates the fact that you are it.

That..feels different now. I know this is, sort of shitty of me to admit, but it feels much more acceptable for me to label myself trans, now that I don't have to deal with the worst aspect of it. Being post-op, I gain a great deal of privilege that most trans folk don't have to deal with. I no longer have to have "that conversation" with people about my genitals. I no longer have to stress out about if a person I'm into, is going to abandon me because my parts don't match what they're expecting.

I have this routine every time I shower. I get out, I dry off, and while I dry off my legs, I lean over and try to touch my toes. It feels nice as a stretch, and also, coincidentally puts me eye level at my parts. For years..YEARS this moment was filled with some combination of animosity, hatred, shame, loathing, or at best ambivalence. This routine continues now, but it's never filled with any of those feelings.

I look in the mirror, and think, is this the body I always wanted (mostly), is this how I wanted to look? This all seems like shit I should have thought about in Thailand, but to be honest so much of that time is spent in a hazy clusterfuck of healing and therapy and crazyness that you never get much downtime to just sit, and stare, and think about how insane it is to have something, you've dreamed about for the last 19 years. I get teary eyed if I stare at it, and this weird smirk, it's sad to me, that being comfortable in my body, in how it moves, and how it looks at different angles feels so foreign. I'm glad, but also sad that it took this long just to feel normal.

I feel like a trans ally now, rather than a member of the community. Do I have any right to carry that flag now that I don't have to deal with as many of the negative aspects of it? I suspect I do, but I'm not sure.

The other side of this, is I have this strange confidence and assuredness in expressing my sexuality that I never had before. It feels very strange, and okay to post nude photos without feeling disgust or shame. I find myself flirting more, and being a lot more open and expressive with my body and sexuality. I was always a very sexually drive person, I love that connection and intimacy that I have with people, but so much of it was bottled and restrained (really should be a bondage pun here) by dealing with the trans shame that it came out in (heh) small, isolated spurts. It was always a restrained confidence, one of first acts only, one I couldn't pursue in front of people, or at my own whim. It had to always be carefully planned and organized as to avoid being seen.

Now though, well, I'm no longer bound by that shame. I'm as light as the wind, as strong as the sea, and I won't be bound by any such small thing again.


A Eulogy for a Relationship

Fights come and go, as do partners. She came and got her stuff, without issue. The goodbye was a bit awkward and, for me, a bit sadly nonchalant. Though I'm the hopeless romantic of our pairing (and most to be honest). The week since has been mostly trouble free. A few down moments that get combined into messy balls of depression, but overall more just peaceful, calm, sadness, rather than outright heart ache or grieving loss that it used to be.

I think about her on occasion, which, is going to happen. I'm not beating myself up for that, as I did with prior relationships. There are times where I'm longing for something, and unsure what it is, that I think she becomes a focal point for a lot of things, simply out of familiarity. It's a longing for a relationship (I think), and that intimacy and connection that is no longer there. Not necessarily a longing for her, specifically.

That's all rehash though. Closing the book on that chapter does my heart good, for all the loss it brings. I promised myself I'd be ruthless this year in changing what I was unhappy with. I almost have to force myself to be selfish in doing what is right for me, rather than thinking of other people's needs and wants first. That is what ends up keeping me in places where I'm taken advantage of, or throwing away good emotional energy at a lost cause.

A few things did come up in processing all this though. On some level, a part of me is exceedingly angry that I put up with people who treat me like shit, or who refuse to take my feelings into consideration. I'm not quite sure why it is that I stick myself to people and give them chance after chance after chance to prove me wrong, when I know they only continue to disappoint me with their selfishness.

I should have ended things when she wouldn't compromise with me on our relationship boundaries. When it became a dictatorship, with only her needs being considered by her, it was over. Yet I stayed for another six months, watching it slowly deteriorate and rot from the inside thinking I could somehow save it. When really, neither one of us had the strength to just end things then and there.

I blame that on myself. For all my emotional strength, I fall into a trap of romance. I talk myself into doing emotionally irrational actions. I tell myself "but what if this is the last time I see her" or "what if I just needed to do this one thing to fix this". Despite the fact I know people don't change. It is just a part of me. The source of my sweetness and compassion is also the source of my idiocy and unperceptive stupor. Love blind in a true sense.

At this point, I deal with the loss, and the stray thoughts, and I move on with my life. As I've done with so many other relationships. There are many other opportunities for change I need to breach, and new folks to meet that are hopefully a bit more compatible. I have an idea of where I want my life to go, it's just a matter of getting there. And hopefully, managing to not destroy myself on the way.


Preempting a fight

So, I don't like surprising people with conversations. Likewise, if I know there's potential for an awkward conversation, I'll bring it up ahead of time to avoid that, and avoid any awkward complications.

In this case, it was the closing out of long overdue emotional balance. Meaning, removing all traces of my ex from my apartment. She's had her stuff here for months, and it's time to go. The awkwardness came in the chest beating and silly childish shit in arranging times. I wanted to bring up the fact that I had moved on, and that it wasn't a big deal to see her, for me. Which, in my mind, felt nonthreatening and matter of fact. I even said as much. However I got nothing in response but pissed off chest beating about how it wasn't about me.

Uhh, great kid, you work on those anger issues. Enjoy your life. I've bigger fish to fry than a Napoleon complex right now.

But what annoys me, is the hypocritical nature of the emotional manipulation towards the end of the conversation. In my attempts to be civil I said she'd get her stuff, and we'd not have to communicate anymore. To which I get a frowny face.

No, you don't get to claim that talking to me pisses you off, and then put up a sad face at the same idea of not talking to me. You don't get it both ways. You can be friend, or you can not. I left that door open, to which I was told it wasn't about me. Somewhere along the ways people started confusing openness with desire. Truly, do what you want, if you want it to involve me, you have to let me know, you can't purposefully drive me away, and then post a sad face when I'm gone. That dog don't hunt.


Shutting doors like wiggling ears, the involuntary reflex

In discussing my situation with my therapist, I came across a metaphor. If my emotional vulnerable self is my apartment, then it follows that people are allowed to be in different places. Some folks might be able to get in the building, others onto my floor, some into my hallway, and maybe one or two people inside my apartment. We all have levels of emotional intimacy that we share with people.

In my current situation, it feels like I had one person in my apartment/bedroom, and now that person is leaving. I wrote a bit about that in my last post, which makes a lot of common sense with why I feel so isolated and alone. I have some folks in my hallway, outside my apartment, but it isn't as simple as inviting them inside.

My worry, is that in opening the door to have my friend leave (for whatever her reasons are), once she's out there, she's stuck out there, and it'll take another two years to move her back into a place of comfortable emotional intimacy, if ever.

So now, I feel torn at the door, feeling the pain of that loss, and the emptiness of my apartment being solely occupied by me.

The suggestion put forward though, is that the power to open or close that door, feels absent from me. It just seems like a thing that happens outside my control. As if it were less a door, and more a gooey-cell membrane that one got through via osmosis. A process that takes a long time, and one I'd rather have control over.

If she opts to exit, I know there's only a brief period in time before that barrier/door hardens over again. I don't want that, but it just seems inevitable as people grow apart. That loss, feels substantial, and I dislike having to grieve for it. The pain of doing so only seems to make it harder to let people inside, in the first place.

I realize that opening that path, is an exercise of muscles I can't feel, like wiggling your ears. I've seen other people do it, I know, in theory, I should have the muscles to do it, but I have no idea how to access those muscles, or what they feel like. Keeping people at a distance is so, involuntarily ingrained into who I am, that it seems obligatory.

I wonder if that is the reason my physical attraction to people is so muted. If at some point I just turned off in order to keep people at bay, or if it just never developed fully since. That's a different subject though.

I do think it would be easier to see her go, if she wasn't the only one in my apartment, and I've been looking, but there just doesn't seem to be anyone knocking, or, at least provoking a response from me to get me off the couch.