New Beginnings, Old Ghosts

Let me set the scene for you.

You finally have what you’ve been looking for the last two years. You have amazing friends, and a place to live with them. It’s a BEAUTIFUL apartment for what it’s worth. Needs some cleaning and additions for more space to do things, but it’s perfect and just what you all need. You’re super excited to get back and start your life for real again. With real family. With real friends.

But then the nervousness sets in. The fear, the anxiety, and the worry. All of it comes flooding back over your head within the waters you’ve been treading for so long. Wave after wave just knocks over your head, threatening you to be pulled under. When all you’re trying to do is wade a little longer, keep your head up a little higher to breathe, and finally swim to shore on that island that has been far away from your sight for too long.

That’s where I am right now.

I’m heading back upstate on June 16th. I’m going on a very much needed and fun road trip with my boyfriend, cat, and two of my best friends (not the ones I’m living with currently). It’s going to be amazing, and once I get back home, I will have a new place to live, with old friends. It couldn’t be more perfect and yes, I am so over the moon excited. But I’m terrified. And this . . . this should be expected.

See, in the last two years I’ve been couch hopping. I’ve had problems with my past three room-mates, all of which were so fucking stupid I can’t wrap my head around it all still. None of which was by any means of my own fault. But they’re all going to tell you that differently. My name’s been splattered, stepped on, stretched out, and tacked all over town as this Monster. This person nobody can trust or be a room-mate with. And that scares me more than anything.

While I know that the people I currently am housed with would hopefully never drop kick me like the last three, I still have that stupid ass lingering fear. Because of what happened. And that’s really sad, if you think about it. Three wonderful friends I love and trust with all my heart who I know would never hurt me. Who I couldn’t even imagine having any major issues with. Who I couldn’t even begin to think that I would have to leave so suddenly for some dumbass reason. But old wounds don’t heal so fast. Old ghosts don’t leave you alone so soon. It was around this time last year that I had my most recently removed room-mate. It was the same exact scenario. It was the same song and dance.

I had nowhere to go. I had someone willing to take me in. They were looking for me while out of state. They found something. I came home. I moved in. And it was June-July 2016. It is all. Coming. Back. And it fucking terrifies me.

Like I said, I know it’s not the exact same. These people have been nothing but kind to me. They are a part of my family that I’ve built. They care about me. They love me. They know about my past situations (oh do they ever know and understand). But you have to realize. When it all comes flooding back so fast and so familiar, it’s hard NOT to panic. It’s hard NOT to feel scared. It’s all normal (I think), and it’s all something that I hope they understand, as well as my boyfriend. It’s  . . . it’s just so great and so scary all at the same time. I hate walking on eggshells around people, but I have before and I won’t surprise myself if I do it again for the first few weeks or month. And this, I also hope, they understand.

I have such a problem with asking people for things. For rides, for grocery pick ups, for money if I need it . . . because of past issues with my boyfriend’s parents, my own ex-relatives, my ex-roomies, and so on. It’s something that I’m working on, but every time I get flung back and don’t open my mouth, it seems to be the cause of problems. Then again, whenever I do open my mouth, it causes issues anyway. So I never know what’s right and what’s wrong. So I usually wait for people to come to ME. To ask ME if I need anything. Most times I say no, of course, but. Asking people for / to do things is terrifying to me. And I know where it comes from, of course. But for this, I will be doing my very best to just . . . speak. To voice when something is wrong. To voice when I need something. To voice a concern. To voice . . . anything I should. And hope that it doesn’t blow up like a ticking time bomb in my face all over again.

I’m excited. I can’t wait to be home. I can’t wait to HAVE A HOME finally after two years. But it’s scary. Moving alone is anxiety ridden and scary. But I’m stacking this on top of so many other things. And it’s hard. It really is.

So, yes. Here’s to new beginnings. Here’s to everything I could have hoped for and wanted. Here’s to a fresh start to a 50-50 year so far. Here’s to what I hope to be, a stable home for at least another year or two. Here’s to just everything I have wanted for the last two years and struggled for. It’s new beginnings with old ghosts.

I just hope I can keep those old ghosts away.

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Dear Mother’s Day

I see you there with your cutesy ads on tv and you’re cozy feelings about mom loves you no matter what you are, who you become, or what you’ve done. I see you in loving gift giving, hugs, kisses, ‘I love you’s’ and all the things you’re supposed to see, do, and have on this day.

I see you, but more than anything. You don’t see us.

You don’t see the kids like me, (or even adults, let’s be real here) who don’t have today to celebrate. We don’t have a mother to celebrate, or even a motherly figure. Whether she’s parted long ago, been abusive to you, or just isn’t in your life for any reason at all. Mother’s Day is not for everyone and for kids like me, it’s a day we fear the most. It’s a day we rather not discuss. And it’s a day we really don’t want to acknowledge.

Sadly, some of you may have to acknowledge your mother on this day, even if you don’t want to. Maybe she’s gaslighting you. Maybe she’s making you because “you have to love me, I’m your mother” or “I’ve done everything for you, and you act like I’m the most horrible person in the world?” If this is the case, I am truly sorry and I hope you can get through the day as smoothly as possible. I’ve been there, believe me. I have been there time and time again. And I hope someday soon, you’ll be able to get out of it.

For many others, like myself, especially if you’re LGBTQ+, it’s hard as well. I’m unraveling years of abuse from Tracy and in recent light of events (despite CONSTANT “we would never disown you” in the last few years of me coming out as trans), suddenly I’m not even her child anymore (stated in more recent blogs). So for this reason, it’s bitter. I’m bitter. I’m angry. As much as I don’t give a fuck anymore about her and her fucking thoughts and views on who I am as a person, much less not even her fuckin’ child anymore, it still sucks on this day. Because while everyone else is posting long statuses with photos, and heartfelt comments and greetings to their mother, I’m left sitting here despising my own and wondering why the fuck she couldn’t just be an adult and love me anyway. And I’m wondering why I still fucking care so much when I shouldn’t. If this is the same case for you on this day, then know you’re not alone. Like myself, there’s so many of us who are hateful and bitter and hurting today. It’s okay. Don’t be ashamed of that. Today is not the day for your m*ther if she’s been as hurtful and abusive as Tracy.

Maybe your mother has passed on, whether recent or many many years ago. If this is the case for you, I am sorry for your loss. I hope today goes by smoothly for you, too, and that you can think about happy memories you’ve had with your mom and smile. While it may be hard, I hope that you can remember the good times, even some bad if it comes with a bit of good, and find a way to honor her on this day. May you find light and love this year, and every year that follows.

Dear Mother’s Day: today is not for everyone and I wish that more people understood that. Whether it is for the reasons above or even if you have two moms and of course the media doesn’t show that enough in their commercials. Take the time for YOU today, no matter what your reason is. Play a video game if you can, listen to some of your favorite music, watch some YouTube, watch some cartoons. Turn off the tv because all of the commercials are just . . . stifling. Do something for YOU today, either after you have loved your mother if she’s with you, you’ve been forced to interact with your mother if she’s abusive and negative, or you’ve honored your mother if she’s passed. Please take a few hours , if you can , for you today as well. Your mental and emotional health is just as important as celebrating this day. No matter what your standing is with your mom.

To everyone on this day who maybe isn’t having it the best: please don’t feel bad about today. Don’t feel guilty about hating the day. And please do remember to care for yourself. Everything you think or feel is human, especially on days surrounding relatives or parents. Don’t ever feel like you’re obligated to love someone just because they’re, well, “family”.

So no, I do not celebrate today  Will I ever one day with maybe a mother figure or something? Maybe, I don’t know. But for now, I rather not think about it too much if I can help it. Maybe the years will get better as they go by. Maybe it won’t bother me so much as I get older. Maybe it won’t even register that it’s a special holiday, just a normal weekday. At least, that is my hope for now.

In ending,

Dear Mother’s Day:

Please don’t forget about the rest of us.

 

The Marks We Make

Well this was supposed to be a totally different write-up but in light of, well, everything, it’s going to be somewhat the same. But then again, not completely so. I also want to apologize in advance for this one being shorter than my usual writings.

 

You own everything that happens to you. And you own everything that you say or do to a person and as a person yourself. Trying to cover it up or make excuses is shitty and toxic. It’s also abusive. It’s also gaslighting. But if you think you’re in the right and everyone else is against you or in the wrong or making you out to look bad, then you’re probably the problem. Especially if more than one person tends to agree with the other party or if more than one person sees the same issue repeating itself. That’s just common sense.

In any case, the whole ‘you are what you eat’ thing is true. And by that, I mean in the metaphorical sense of you are what you eat. You are what you put into your life and you are what you put out. You are how you treat one another. And you are how you see people around you and speak about them. I believe in all of these things and more. And it rings true in the case of a vast majority of my relatives. As I’ve stated several times.

But now the tides have gotten higher and the waters rougher. After expressing certain medical issues that have come up to people, it was met with such blandness and topic swapping that I couldn’t think fast enough to react properly. A few days later it came to my attention that certain members of the family were now spitting out that they were an only child and there were no siblings or no other children in the family. That the so-called-couldn’t-do-it-any-other-time party was plastered over my birthday on purpose. And when asked about it, nobody could look others in the eye, much less come up with an excuse. At this point, I’ve become faced with the decision much sooner than I had planned on for taking matters into my own hands. I won’t go into further detail since, by June, you’ll all be able to see for yourself. But things are changing, and I’m going to make damned sure that it’s for the better. At least, for me.

Yet . . . in the middle of all that and my frustrations and willingness to finally do what I have to do, I know what’s going to become of it on the other side. While I don’t have to engage in it or hear it directly, I know all too well what will happen and what will be painted in my image from them. And that brings me back to the ‘you are what you eat’ thing. You cannot say one thing, and mean ten others. You cannot say that I am family in the same breathe you claim that you only have one child. It doesn’t work that way. And if people think I’m not going to hear about it, well then they’re wrong. And if they think I’m not going to react, they’re wrong about that, too. And I don’t have to react positively, no no no. There’s no chance in hell I could ever react positively to this slandering. I am allowed to respond negatively, with as much politeness as I can stand with all the salt and let-me-make-this-as-clear-as-possible that I can throw in. Receipts, my friends, are your ticket to anything these days it seems.

You make what you break. And you make your own marks. Nobody can make you react, behave, or say what you do. You make your own decisions based on everyday life. You make your own choices based on personal beliefs whether religious or not. Nobody is holding a gun to your head when you make your life’s choices.

You are what you eat.

Oh . . . and one more thing?

Once again, I’m faced with the harsh blow to the head of trying to find a place to live. On top of the cancer, the slightly-secret-project-thing I’m writing, legal issues facing discrimination from my insurances based on my gender and name, and about twenty other things as usual.

But all of that?

Well, that’s for another writing.

A Ticking Bomb: An Open Letter

I firstly (well, mostly for this) want to apologize to everyone for my moods. This is the worst I have felt in a long time and I wish I could snap out of it. I really do. Because I know it’s irritating, it’s annoying, and it’s bitchy. And I absolutely do not mean to be any of those things.

 

I don’t know if it’s the fact of not being on T, the high levels of the prolactin, the depression, the stress, or everything at once. I don’t even know if I can blame anything anymore. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I am as nasty, irritable, bitchy, and negative as people have always pointed me out to be. Maybe I was just ignoring it.

 

Further, I’m sorry for messaging people often. I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t have to feel like I need to talk to someone about my shit all the time when they have their own. I shouldn’t expect people to be there for me. I shouldn’t have to ask people for help no matter which type it is. I shouldn’t have to. It gets annoying when someone comes to you too much. I understand that, and yet. I feel like I always have to press the messenger button. Most of the time, I don’t. Or I mean I think so . . . .

 

I’m usually not so aggravated, short tempered, irritated, down, upset, or bothered by people being around me. I usually love company. I usually love hanging out. But it’s been so bad lately that I haven’t wanted to do any of that, as much as at the SAME TIME, I do want to be surrounded by people and to be talked to, hung out with, or engaged in. But then it feels like I can only take so much without that burning, red hot irritation coming in strong. I’m not usually like that and I hate it. It hurts. And I have been doing so fucking well keeping my head on. I haven’t lashed out. I haven’t yelled. I haven’t cried. I haven’t snapped at people. And I’ve come so so so close to doing it. I’ve lost enough friends and support as it is. I can’t lose any more.

 

No matter how hard I try, no matter how far I run . . . it’s like picking up sand and trying to keep it in your hands while also trying to shove it in your pockets and you keep on running the shorelines. You’re not gaining much, but you’re losing some here and there. You might have a few moments of forgotten moods and stress of life, but then one little thing can make your rope thin and almost snap. I feel like a bomb. I feel like I’m close to someone cutting my red wire. Even if it’s myself. And I don’t want that to happen. I don’t NEED that to happen. I don’t need something to blow up. I can already feel it getting closer and closer to happening.

 

My complaining , it needs to stop. I need to shut my mouth most days. I need to stop being so negative, all the time. I need to stop thinking I have it worse than everyone else (though I can say that for some). I’m sick of the “I have it worse” competitions. I’m sick of the “OH I HAVE THAT TOO!” and the “Nobody does shit for me” and the “I don’t know why I have so much wrong, I’m a good person. Nobody has it worse than me”. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of hearing it. I know you have it bad, but please. You don’t know. At least you can ask for money every week and get it when you need it. At least you have better health than I do right now, though yeah, it’s not the best. It’s better than me. At least you have parents who love you, talk to you, and are there for you the moment you come up and start yelling.

 

I need to stop asking people for this or that, and I just . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so . . . horrible. I’m sorry for the things that have happened over the last year and previous to those I have met recently, the last three or more years. I’m a ball of nasty stress, problems piled on top of other problems, bad moods, depression, and so much more bad. And I feel like it’s gotten worse. I don’t know who or what to blame for that anymore. All I know is that I have so much going on and it seems to just be adding onto the intense mood feelings.

 

There are days where I just want to chuck my tumor meds away. That I shouldn’t even be granted the luck I had in catching something and being able to fuckin’ treat it. Though not true (I hope), I feel like the most unwanted bitch ever. I’m looked at badly in the eyes of so many people already and from there, it just feels ten fold. I love that my mind lies to me (I hope), and that I can just . . . pick myself apart and see each little wrong thing I’ve done and know where I’ve bothered people, where my eruptions have almost happened, and what lines I’ve almost completely wiped clean.

 

It’s like all of my colors are running together. The brights of my friends and boyfriend and the dulls of myself. They’re dripping and blending into each other faster than I can repaint. It turns into a mess of oil slick colors in nature. So then it becomes clear to me that I’m bringing everyone down with me. Everyone’s in my drama, my emotions, my problems . . . whether or not they want to, it’s happened. And I can’t paint over it for the better fast than it’s all blending together.

 

Anyone who has known me in the last year or more know that I’m not that bad. I mean, I should hope so. I’m never this bitchy. I’m never this snappy. I’m never this hot-blooded. I’ve become annoyed and aggravated with so many lately, unwillingly. Those I call my friends. Those I call my family. I hate feeling like it’s a 50/50 day. I can look at someone with brightness one moment, the next it feels like my eyes are just nothing but burning red staring at everyone with utter annoyance and anger. And not just people, but sounds. Sometimes the cats. And I’m never like that with any pet. Any little thing can just be . . . red. It’s the only way I can explain it.

 

And for that, to everyone, I am so so sorry. I wish I could make it stop. And I wish I knew why it was like this. Like I said, I don’t even know if I can blame anything medical anymore. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just that bad of a person without realizing it. Maybe I’m just starting to see myself the way everyone else has been seeing me for the last year or so. Hah. Maybe I am just a red-blooded, cold-hearted bitch. Maybe I am just . . . made of everything that’s bad. There’s more words for it, but. I can’t think.

 

I can’t focus on anything much. Nothing distracts me much anymore. Nothing really makes me happy. I’ve been trying to watch my favorite YouTubers or shows. But I can’t pay attention enough to enjoy it. I try to take in distractions from people to do things or watch things, etc. but I just don’t want to. I don’t feel like it, when I do at the same time. Everything feels messy. Nothing feels enjoyable. Nothing feels happy. Nothing looks good.

 

Life itself feels so . . . messy. It’s like an atomic bomb went off in my head and everything around me is destroyed but at the same time, it’s still put together. It’s a mess that you’re trying to put back together and sort though. The hated erasure from Them, the tumor, the legal bullshit, not being on testosterone, money paranoia every single month, worrying about where I’m living and how to make it look more homey, having somewhere to live period . . . wanting to just feel like I belong. Wanting material things just so it FEELS better for me. I know that things don’t matter but god. It hurts when I can look around houses and people’s apartments or bedrooms and just. It feels like they have what I don’t. It feels home. It feels . . . amazing.

 

I’m jealous of a lot of things lately and for that, I am also sorry. Jealous of homes, rooms, people who have their lives together, have jobs, have money they can spend on friends and themselves, people who can drive and have cars without worry, people who can just live our their dreams and lives and be able to do so, people who seem to get looked at and supported more than I do (even though I know that’s not true, please don’t get mad at me for that. I’m trying to be as honest with this as I can and not sound even WORSE) . . . the jealousy is overwhelming. But not as much as the moods and redness. It’s just a small drawer in my mind. It’s there, but it’s not the biggest drawer of the bunch.

 

I guess I’m going to stop there. I don’t know what more I can put. I’ve said everything, honestly. I wanted to say all this and that I’m sorry to everyone. Please know that I am not usually so bad. Not so bitchy. Not so horrible. Not so bad. I mean I hope I’m not. I don’t think I am. God I hope I’m not. I just feel so much more worse in my head. In my emotions. In everything. I feel so fucking horrible. And I wish it could stop before I end up snapping like a twig at the wrong person. I can’t handle that right now. And I fear it’s going to happen at some point. I don’t know when, but it feels so thin.

 

So to everyone reading this and made it this far, I’m sorry. And thank you for reading. I appreciate so many of you and I feel like in the last few weeks, I’ve been nothing but rude and hot-blooded. And I wish I could stress enough how fucking horrible I feel about that and how unusual that is for me to be. Sure I have my bouts of extreme stress, depressive episodes, and over-stimulation. But nothing at all like I have been in the last almost four weeks.

 

So many of you mean a lot to me and have helped me in ways that I couldn’t thank enough. I wouldn’t have dreamed of. Those who have housed me, spent money on me for medications, who talked to me, took me out to hang out, bought me food . . . thank you. I love you guys so much, please know that. Please know that I love each of my friends for being there in general. Please know that I love my boyfriend who, at this point, I am baffled as to how he’s handling my intense shithead fuckery. Please know that I am sorry and I really hope that in time, all of this will settle again and my moods will be back to normal.

 

That hopefully soon, I can feel like myself again.

 

I’m sorry. And I truly hope that you know I mean it.

 

What Break?

And here I thought my reign of terror from 2016 was over. How wrong I was.

On April 20th, 2017 I found out that I had a mass (aka: tumor for all purposes) after getting an MRI done and finding out that a particular level in my blood work was 172. Normal was 10-14. Now I am off testosterone until further notice and on a pill that makes me nothing but weak, sick to my stomach, and unable to cope appropriately. I can barely eat a full meal, I’m always tired, traveling two days ago was hell, I can’t do any normal household chores without having problems, I can’t really do anything. And that fucking sucks more than anything. Because I always am on the move and I’m always finishing up projects, chores, writing, taking care of my cats, and everything else in between. Now I can barely pick up a coffee cup without feeling like I’m going to pass out or vomit.

The thing about cancer is . . . yeah, it sneaks up on you. You never thought it would be you. And after the first few days, you laugh it off. You just shrug at all your friends and your boyfriend and are like ‘yeah it happened I’ll be fine. We’ll get it figured out when we go back in June for a blood test again.’ But then everything gets to be too much for you. Everything starts to blur together. And being off T makes it worse. You’re more agitated, angry, frustrated, upset, and irritable. I think that’s worse. Because I look and act a bitch, when really I’m not trying to be. I don’t mean to be annoyed with everything I see or hear or think. I don’t mean to snap. I don’t mean to slam things. I don’t mean to be this way. But everything is so terribly out of balance and out of whack right now. I can’t function properly.

Everything is heightened and anchored down all at once. It’s a horrible feeling, it’s a shitty place to be. You don’t want everyone else to feel just as bad as you do, so you’re trying to fake your emotions but fuck it’s hard. Add all of this medical stuff on top of everything else I’m dealing with. I feel like a ticking bomb. I’m going to explode at some point.

Yeah, that’s right. There’s like 10 other things piled on top of this whole tumor situation. Medicaid shutting me out because of “gender mismatch” that i know have to try and get the birth certificate and letters done while out of state. Isn’t that just so fucking great? After having top surgery and everything, too. The legal system still wants to fuck with me. So now I have to deal with that too? How is that fair? Not to mention trying to get back home in time for a bullshit disability hearing . . . that I shouldn’t even have to do. Again. When the legal and healthcare system doesn’t believe you’re really disabled. So you have to go to court. On top of the 5 other things you’re dealing with.

Also fuck my “family”. They don’t exist anymore. I have no “family” by blood. They’ve erased me completely. Having planted my “sister’s” graduation party on my birthday on purpose. Telling everyone my “sister” is their only child and she says she’s the only child herself. It’s disgusting. It’s sickening. They’re all fucked up. They don’t know what “family” is. They have a very distorted and skewed version of that word. I know who my true family is. I know who loves me for me and will be there for me and has been in the last two years. When your child (or rather, not anymore) tells you they have a tumor or cancer, your fucking answer as a mother shouldn’t be so bland, blaming and “K”. That’s revolting.

So tack that on to the list. Thank fuck I have a wonderful therapist that I’m working with to move forward from their disgusting , toxic , and unhealthy life. I think that was the straw breaker I needed to push away from them for good.

I just wish I could get breaks. I’m already sick 24/7 all the time and can barely do the minimum. Now it’s worse. With medical stacked on top of personal, stacked on top of legal. It’s like I’m looking at a pile of manila folders that just keep getting more paperwork added to them when I’ve barely finished the first two papers. More just keeps on coming.

It’s not a far cry to say that what I’m feeling is normal, but I wish I couldn’t. Because I know it bothers everyone around me. And I know it annoys people when I message them 50 times a day or post stupid shit on Facebook or just generally act like a fucking dick. I wish I could stop it, like a flip of the switch. Instead the switch stays down and things just keep feeling and getting worse.

I honestly wish I didn’t have to take my meds. I wouldn’t if I had the choice. Because I hate the way it makes me feel and I hate how it doesn’t let me do a fucking thing. But I want to get back on my T. I don’t even care about anything else. It could kill me for all I care. That’s how far I’ve sunken. But again, that’s normal. That’s what cancer feels like. That’s what it sounds like. And that’s what it feels like. I didn’t think I could reach lower than rock bottom with my depression alone. Boy was I fucking wrong.

I’m grateful for my family. For Alex, for Dev, for Bobby, for Beta, for Sarah, for Rhi, and for literally everyone else at the Q whom I love and have been there for me more than anyone else in the last two years. But I feel like . . . I’m always too much. There’s always something with me and I’ve only known a handful of these people for a year (come June) and in that year alone so much up and down has happened. So much of the same shit. So many problems. So many annoyances. And this always happens. And then I always lose everyone. Because I’m too much to handle. I love everyone so much, but I’m afraid I’m going to be too much for them.

I won’t lie. I wish I could just throw away the meds and say “oops oh well guess I’ll get worse who cares?” but I can’t. Because I know that’s bad. I know we have to fix this. I know I’ll never get better or be able to get back on T if I don’t. And I know that pisses people off when I say that and say I don’t care and would rather just . . . be gone. But I want people to understand that it’s going to be my normal way of thinking right now.

There’s so much going on. I’m overwhelmed. And the fact that I have to keep up with shit while I’m out of state is so stressful. I don’t WANT to sit here and make 40 phone calls a day to figure out all this legal bull. It’s draining. And I can’t focus for more than five minutes on what’s going on and I can’t handle more manila folders stacking up. But I can’t wait until June to get anything done.

I just . . . . more than anything want people to understand why I’m feeling so fucked up and low. I know I can’t make them, but I want them to try at least. Or see what I’m saying and be like “Oh! That makes sense. I’m sorry.”
I just want to shut my brain off. For at least a day. But I can’t even have that. The only peace of mind I get is when I’m sleeping. You don’t think when you’re sleeping. You don’t see all your folders.

That is, not until you come back to the office the next day. And then you look at your stack of folders that just keeps growing.

Then you think to yourself: “Is it really worth it?”

The Egg Or The Cross?

I grew up not believing in the Easter Bunny. I grew up not believing in Santa. I grew up not believing in any of the things kids then and now to this day grow up having. That was just how it was.

Easter was about Jesus. Christmas was about Jesus. October 31st was “Satan’s Birthday” and I wasn’t allowed to participate in Halloween (my first Halloween was literally at 21). These are things I grew up ‘believing’ for lack of a better term. Not a holiday went by in my household that wasn’t about Jesus or the so-called Christian faith.

Easter growing up was always church first, then come home and do your gifts, dinner at whoever’s house, and that was it. You dressed up twenty times more than usual if that was even humanly possible, and you sat through the same exact Easter Sunday lesson as last year’s. And the year before that and the year before that and the year . . .

Every year, I think that holidays will be easier. I have a wonderful boyfriend with a family who does like me, amazing friends that I have made in the last year that have become my family, and so on. I don’t have the perfect life, but it’s good enough for me, no matter how badly I want to turn around and run. It doesn’t matter how big or small the holiday is. Each year when holidays come around, I hope that it’ll get just a little bit easier each time. Suffice to say that it has been, most years, but there’s still always that little . . . flicker. It’s like a light switch in the back of my brain. Sometimes it goes up. Sometimes it stays down. Sometimes it rapidly changes throughout the day.

Halloween used to be the worst. It’s my favorite holiday now because I am 100% gothy punk rock. Halloween is just my absolute aesthetic and I love everything about it. Up until I got with my boyfriend, I loved it subtly. After being with him for so long and seeing just how not-fucking-horrible Halloween was, I’m proud enough to say how much it’s become a favorite. But each year as it comes around, there’s still issues with my light switch. It’s gotten better as time went on but. It’s hard to keep it facing down most times.

Easter and Christmas are by no means any different. Seeing as how both of these holidays are centered around Jesus and Christianity. Of any branch. But the branch I grew up with and in is just . . . . so toxic. It’s so bad that it’s going to take me probably the rest of my life or at the very least ten to twenty years to repair. I may have a working light switch on one side of my brain, but on the other it’s totally smashed to pieces. You know that video of Chris Pratt goofing up on the set of Parks & Rec where he throws the briefcase over a desk and at a light? Then it smashes and everything turns off? That’s the other side of my brain when it comes to Their “religion” and certain holidays.

This Easter is no different with that. However, it is different in setting and it’s a setting I could not be happier with. My current roommates are all out with their families. And while at first I had that tiny, burning pang of jealousy in my chest, (because heck, they actually have parents and relatives who fucking love them and give a shit about them. ) it soon went away when I realized what a better Easter I would have with just me and my boyfriend. Me, him, my cat Dylan, and my one roommate’s kitties. Sure, I could sit here and wonder all day about Them and Their plans and Their dinner. But it’s not going to help me at all. And it’s not going to fix the one light switch or turn off or on the other.

By all means, I do not mean to judge harshly on those who do celebrate Easter with a religion. But you have to understand my way about it, too. I was holed up in the house as a child because of it. I went to church every single frickin’ Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday nights. I was told what to do. What not to do. Who I talked to was either wrong or right. Only certain holidays were allowed. Santa, the Easter Bunny, all those childhood things were just not things I grew up with. I never went out on Halloween, but instead sat in a dark house with the TVs on low and do not answer the doors or make a sound. Make sure it seems like we aren’t home. Either that, or we (again) went to church for the “alternative” to Halloween (aka: Harvest Parties). I did not have the childhood everyone else did, both being a child of religious upbringing (toxic, mind you), and being hospitalized almost every week.

If you celebrate Easter with faith, then by all means. That’s perfectly okay!!! But don’t forget that there are people out here who are adults now who may have not had the joys of Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc in their childhoods. And if you celebrate Easter or Christmas with a religion AND the cute fantasy tales, then my god! That’s so cool! Because in my life, it was one or the other. I would hear constantly in services that “Yeah the Easter Bunny (or) Santa is fun for the kids and all that but it’s not about that! It’s about Jesus/God. That’s what it really is.” It was like . . . like you weren’t allowed to have fun with the amazing fantasy fun idea of the holidays that come around. You had to pick.

The egg or the cross?

The nativity or the reindeer?

The dark house or the church harvest parties?

Maybe I didn’t have a terrible childhood/upbringing. But it sure as fuck has been damaging. The more I think back on it and the older I get. The more disdain I get for being transgender and an active LGBTQ community member. The more hurt I get, the more mouth I hear . . . the more it comes around from not only my own head, but from experiencing and hearing it from people around me who still are around Them. It’s more than enough to say the upbringing was toxic and mentally abusive, if not also emotionally. And not just for the sake of holidays/religion. In so many more ways than one.

But for holidays especially, for me, it’s a project. I’m grateful enough to be away from That and have my boyfriend here this year in a house that I feel safe and 100% loved in. Where I don’t have to question what I’m going to be called today. Where I know what my pronouns are and I will hear them. Where I know people truly do care for me, about me, and love me for every single piece of me. No matter how I dress, how I speak, what I talk about, where I go, and so on.

It’s going to take me a while to sift through all the drama and heartache from Them. Holidays, especially. Most days I wish I could keep the light switch facing down, or attempt to tape up the busted Chris Pratt one. But I know it’s going to take time and I’m grateful for having a wonderful therapist so far.

As you celebrate this Easter Sunday, please remember. It’s okay for others to feel and be hurt. It’s okay if they don’t want to go to dinner for whatever reason. It’s okay if they don’t feel safe. It’s okay if they completely hate the idea of Easter altogether. Whatever their reasons, please do respect and love them. It may not be what you think, and you may just need to talk about it or seek alternatives. Remember some of us who had a toxic religious upbringing who may either despise certain holidays, or chose to go about it in a different way in order to feel relief.

That being said, I hope that everyone has a safe and happy Easter. Whether you believe in the Easter Bunny, in Jesus and his resurrection, or maybe even both, I hope that you have a day filled with good food, fun, and surrounded by people who love and care about you.

The egg or the cross?

Neither. I chose love.

 

Don’t Be Scared. It’s Normal.

I made a post on here a few weeks ago, announcing my top surgery day and how I felt surrounding it. It’s been almost a little over two weeks since said surgery day has happened and there’s still a lot of feeling around the whole thing.

Let me start off by saying that I read an article last night browsing on my Facebook from FTM Magazine that touched a bit on post surgery depression. Before surgery, I was experiencing pre surgery depression and anxiety. Of which were completely normal after speaking with a few brothers and friends about how I felt. I figured as much, honestly. Secondly let me state that the article in question (which I will link below this write-up) was totally accurate. It was a total  nail hit on the head , I won’t lie. It completely explained why I have been feeling so exhausted and bleh. I have also been super irritable feeling towards everyone (ie. housemates, friends, the cats, my boyfriend and so on . . .) and everything as of late. The constant on and off sleeping (it is 3:30am as I began writing this. I went to bed at 9PM and only slept up until about midnight.) Plus being under house arrest for the latter of the two weeks after March 9th makes a person want to yank their hair out. I’m not much for being a homebody most of the time. I like to go out and have my walks and socializing.

The thing with major surgery is that it takes a lot of of you, and I should know from experience. It is a huge tolling experience for a quite a while. Your body has to have time to heal from trauma, and with that comes a lot of other physical and also mental exhaustion. Add on the stress of life and things going on with me personally right now, pain medications, and not being able to sleep properly or comfortably. Well, you get my drift. It makes for a wonderful Misery Soup.

I’m happy I got my surgery, do not get me wrong. It’s something I worked very hard to get and took a lot of struggle for me to get here. I’m so glad it happened. I’m so glad for the people who helped me get here. I’m so happy with my loving support the day it came. True be it that I can’t show a lot of emotion right now for it what with between exhaustion, pain pills every six hours, and lots of stress and little to no sleep, I am very happy and thrilled to have gotten to this point in my journey of life.

When you read the article, it explained how this person felt the day before, of, and after their top surgery. All of which were 100% valid and 100% accurate with me as well. People came to me asking me if I was excited or I must be vibrating with happiness and honestly? I wasn’t. And that sounds so shitty to say, but it was a normal feeling. A lot of transfolks who come to with their surgery, even hours before it happens (like the article stated) feel the same exact way. I wasn’t alone and suddenly I didn’t feel like such a bad person for not exuberating pure rainbows and sparkles for this big event in my life. I almost felt like a hypocrite. After all the fight and tears and struggle, I should have been nothing but a shining example of excitement. But I wasn’t. Not until the IV went into my arm did I feel some small semblance of happiness and excitement along with anxiety and nerves. I’ve had 33 surgeries throughout my 25 years of life. And they all felt the same. Top surgery was no exception.

I know that after another two to three weeks of annoyance, I’ll start really feeling good. It’ll sink in more and more every time I look at myself and each time I see more healing throughout the rest of this year. But for right now, it’s okay. I can feel these things. I can feel nothing, in fact. I can be annoyed with the process and life. I can feel a little agitated and stir crazy. I can sleep for five hours, stay up the rest of the day and repeat the cycle for the time being. I can take my meds, I can cry, I can be irritable, I can just be for now. I try not to be, honestly, however. I don’t want to be in a bad mood, but it’s understandable I should hope. In 25 years having 33 surgeries and being in and out of hospitals and bad health problems, I know for a fact this is okay. It’s totally normal. Your body doesn’t know how to handle or process extreme trauma and life changes that comes with surgery and medical ordeals. It’s a lot to handle and process. It’s a lot for your body to rejuvenate.

So if you’re a transgender identifying person looking to get their surgery and are worried or scared about the post or even pre surgery depression/anxiety: it’s okay. It’s totally normal, it’s completely valid, and you are not a bad person for thinking or feeling the way that you are. Take it from someone who knows from several experiences with surgery and most recently, yes, with top surgery. Take it from several of other transfolks who had their surgery and went through the same thing.

It’s 100% normal. It’s 100% okay. And I’m proud of you for being you.

 

Article: https://ftmmagazine.com/post-op-depression/