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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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