5.14.2015

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.

5.10.2015

Writing

Throughout my life I've always had trouble letting go of people. I horde my relationships with people, and guard them as explicit treasure. I can't even really break up with someone without wanting to still be around the person, or needing to stay in contact in some way.

I think, part of that reason is to due with how involved I tend to intertwine my life with others. Sure I can keep things divorced, but even my hobbies and activities, become the things I used to do while the other person was around.

The isolation is what gets to me, it sucks away at my soul. Where before I could talk to someone, it now feels like I'm in an empty room (which, I largely literally am, but that's aside the point). It feels like I'm alone all the time.

One of the reasons I write these is because writing in a journal doesn't relieve any emotional weight. If these are online, I know someone, anyone, at least one person might read and hear me. That, takes away a lot of the pain. It's why writing is such a cathartic experience for me. Being heard, and understood, is something I've always struggled with.

My life, now, feels like I'm writing in a journal again. It's, unviewed and unexpressed. I do things, and it's all just written down and hidden away, there is no understanding or connection to anyone else emotionally anymore. It feels asphyxiating.

5.07.2015

Modern Day Problems

It's funny how one can go through a major event, like I've just done, return, and then immediately get swept up in the sea of change. I don't know if that is psychosomatic, or perhaps just the interdependence of events.

In returning, I face the very real possibility of being out of work for the first time in years. Not that, I've any real motivation to stay at that company, it's more I've a motivation to have income. Food, rent, and the like will do that to you. It's funny that this type of slavery just seems to be socially acceptable because you get your choice of chains.

Outside that, and the incredible stress of that challenge, I face the recovery process, and the rehabilitation schedule. Not that I see either of those being made easier by my employment situation.

In all of this, it seems in gaining one of my life goals, it's cost me a relationship (sorta), and a job (likely). Not that, these things aren't replaceable, or that somehow it wasn't worth it. I just wish the consequences (real or imagined) would be a bit more spread out.

There is chaos brewing, and it is not the fun world shaping kind.

In that, I find myself projecting things, and idealizing old hopes of romance. Looking for those long lost loves that might come back around because suddenly everything is different. I realize how naive that is, but somehow I get swept up in the permanence of it all. There is strength in the law of fatalistic romance. Or, perhaps, it's just a buoy in the ocean of chaotic change I'm facing.

4.21.2015

My life part 10,878: Voldemorte Returns

I really dislike losing friends. A while back I had asked for my ex to be excluded from an event that I considered to be our anniversary. I wouldn't be able to go, and having recently split up, the idea of her there with her other partner, felt violating to me. Any other day/event I'd have been fine with, but not that one.

There are a few problems with that idea. For one, it isn't my place to dictate where a person can't go because I have an emotional attachment. It's my baggage to deal with, and I shouldn't be hoisting it onto to other people. Two, it's an abuse of my connection to a host of events, I can't imagine he would exclude someone based on a different person's request, but he did here largely because of his feelings towards me. Third, I should have talked to my ex about it directly, rather than going around her to achieve my desires, though granted, I can't imagine a scenario where she accepts the request (likely one reason I opted not to go through her).

In all of these, I'm in the wrong. My friends, who've talked to me about it, have all largely agreed in that. I don't claim to defend any of the above, but just explain it.

I've hurt her because of that said action, and hence apologized as that wasn't my intent. I wasn't trying to punish anyone, just protect what to me, felt like a vulnerability. Again, exposition.

What, turns that into the ending of a friendship/relationship (I left for Thailand on fuzzie terms), is the point where the communication breaks down. Lashing out in an attempt to drive me away is a shitty form of saying "I need some space". I tried and offered to help in anyway possible, from giving space, to the inverse, to never seeing her again if that was desired. Those aren't my preferred outcomes, but I'll accept them. I do however need them verbalized clearly though, that isn't asking much. 

I don't have the time or energy to deal with that. Tell me what you want me to do, and I'll do it. What I did was wrong, and if that breaks that friendship for you, okay, I'll accept that, but you have to tell me directly.

As is, I remain open to reconnecting, though I don't see that happening anytime soon. It's disappointing, and sad, and a little petty. Anyone who's read this knows repeatedly the slights and hurts I've dealt with over the past two years, this, seems rather pale in comparison yet there it is.

4.05.2015

Post Op Frustrations

I'm less than two weeks out of my surgery. It feels like years, I feel like years ago that I was dealing with the withdraw from morphine and caffeine and shitty hospital food. There is this mood of frustration and anger and depression and unmotivation. A lot of the rage is based in, and found around my trans status, having a vagina now, makes me face a lot of the maintenance hassle of having to deal with something now, for the rest of my life. It is an amazing thing to do, but also an amazing hassle that I now have to deal with, when I shouldn't have to.

It's the same anger at cisgender privilege and ease of life that has always frustrated me.

I know this will pass, and that this will get easier, but it's just hard to stay out of the here and now, when you're forced to deal with it at least twice a day.

Less than two weeks, and it will get better. I have to believe this. I can let myself feel these emotions, but I should not try to get bogged down in them, they will pass as my health and my new organ heals and gets better.

There, is just a lot of isolation and loneliness here. Being across the planet leads to a lot of time problems as my friends and loved ones are nearly exactly opposite of my time. I really want to communicate and talk to them, and hug and have this dialogue, but it just isn't there. I understand they are busy and have their own lives, and I have a bias telling me that I don't matter, but it still hurts, and feels lonely here.

I keep looking to my ex and wanting that emotional connection, but I know it isn't where I should be turning, and it isn't going to be there anyway, but still, old habits die hard.

3.23.2015

Surgery Night Blues

What to say really.

This whole time, really, has felt nonchalant. Even now, there have been little specters of emotional turbulence, but it just feels okay.

It feels "crazy" and I find myself saying "this is so crazy" and "what am I doing". In a sort of astonishment that this is where my life is.

I'm 7500 miles from home. In a place, where I know one person, and he's just as, if not more, clueless than I am.

This would all be fine if we were here to just hang out, but in, just over 12 hours, I have a huge, 5 hour long, surgery that changes my life. It's something I've been dreaming of since I was twelve years old.

I wanted so so badly to be perfect, and I still deal with that grief. The additional burden I have to deal with in being trans that other people don't have to.

It's, shitty, and I shouldn't have to go through this, yet my life is and will be infinitely better having done so. I know this, which is likely why I just feel fine with everything. I've done my homework, I researched and found the person I was the most comfortable with.

It hasn't been quite what I expected, but then how can you really expect anything so, monumentally different as this.

Still, I feel very alone at the moment. Even having my dad here, he doesn't know what this is like, no one really does outside trans folks, who are all damaged goods in our own sort of way.

All along this trip, I've expected tonight to be a roller coaster of emotions, and, it's just not. I don't feel much of anything outside, "well, yah, okay". Maybe that's a sign of just acceptance with everything. It worries me, because not feeling anything typically has been a depression signaler rather than one of acceptance.

Some tears later, it's the loneliness and the grieving that gets to me, as they always do. Imaginings hugs from ex partners and friends triggers me to finally release. I'm scared and anxious and worried and frustrated at it all, but it is what I have to do so.

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.