aidenonymous: (batman)
I've written a journal entry every day since New Year's Day in 2016.  But for the past month or so, I haven't been posting them online.  At first, it was because I was traveling and didn't have reliable internet access.  By the time I got back, I had a pretty scary backlog to go through, and I had a ton of things to do during the week I was back before I had to move across the country for the summer so punted it.  After another week of travel, the backlog became even more terrifying.  I didn't touch it during my first week here, but I'm starting to catch up today. 

I really had no excuse for continuing to make posts as text files when I wasn't traveling.  Sometimes I think it's a bit of an OCD thing, to do things consistently even if that means doing them wrong, an instance of all-or-nothing black-and-white thinking.  I feel especially badly about failing to make a post for my fourth anniversary of starting T.  I want to catch up on that soon, too.

Anyway, I guess this is just a post to say I'm still kickin' and to apologize for the radio silence, to old friends who got worried because I'd never fallen this far behind before and to the people I friended right before falling off the internet, after promising to be a regular poster.  If you want to get to know me, well, there'll be plenty of an archive soon enough. . .

Moving on

Oct. 6th, 2015 03:57 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
I want to make myself keep posting because I'm hoping it'll be good for my mental health.  (My new therapist isn't the sort to tell me what to do outside of therapy, and I'm glad the impulse to write is coming from me.)  I've been a mess for about two months now, and it didn't look like it was going to get any better until approximately two days ago in special-appointment-weekend therapy when I decided to stop blaming myself for what happened.  That is a big deal.

Anyone reading this is probably wondering what it is that happened that I was blaming myself for.  As seems to be a recurring theme in my life, something impossible and terrible happened to me.  And as of two days ago, I decided it wasn't my fault.  If it had been, I would also have the superpower of prescience because some things can't be anticipated because no one has the knowledge that they could ever occur in the first place.  I made progress by accepting that fact, and by not holding myself to an unreasonable standard of mistrusting others regardless of circumstances.  I've still got a bad case of the "why me?"s and persistently wish I could go back and do things differently, but letting go of the tremendous guilt has already made a big difference.

I guess I really just don't want to start at the beginning because of the degree to which it involves admitting I made a big (but possibly unavoidable) mistake, which is a shame because it's usually the best place to start a story if you want it to make sense to anyone else.  I don't know how much I care about getting feedback on this.  So far whenever I've tried it hasn't actually led to any relief of my feelings on the matter.  But a PM from a friend here made me feel a lot better than telling two IRL friends, so maybe it will help to talk with people here.

Overmorrow

Jun. 30th, 2015 07:01 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
This post is embarrassingly doubly backdated.  This first part is from last Monday, 6/22.

yesterday )

I started writing this yesterday, 6/29, but had friends over to distract me from my worrying so didn't finish until today.

thoughts )
aidenonymous: (gender)
Today, for the first time since the summer, I felt like I was actually approaching some sense of being "post-transition."  I had a pretty average day at work, aside from the part where I forgot my phone at home and actually chatted with my officemates during lunch time and after a talk we all attended.  I got this strong feeling like I belonged there, something I usually can't feel because I get hung up on how awkward it is that all my colleagues seem to know I'm trans (if they even acknowledge me as male at all).  While I do feel a little guilty that this sense of being normal was facilitated by the fact that I work in an overwhelmingly male-dominated field and literally did not interact with even one woman all day, I kinda just want to bask in the feeling of being one of the guys again, instead of the outsider I've felt like since I came out.
aidenonymous: (gender)
I booked my top surgery today.  I was pretty calm when I called, but I got the ol' stomach full of butterflies afterwards.  (Actually, I'd never felt the sensation that term describes before today, nor do I entirely recall the emotion associated with it.)  They're letting me reserve July 7 and are going to try to get my insurance to front the money so I don't have to.  It's nice that even if I do have to pay up front they're not going to make me wait to get in the queue just because of that.  Last Friday when I called, they said I wouldn't need another consult, but today they wanted to schedule one just to be safe, since I'm not going to go through with top surgery if they no longer recommend me for peri.  Realistically, I think I'd do it even if I knew I'd need a revision, but I kinda just want to hear that the recommendation hasn't changed.  So I have another consult on April 20.  It'll be a good excuse to visit friends near Baltimore anyway.  They started giving me all this info about when to show up on the day of surgery (8AM) and when to get surgical clearance from my primary care doctor (June 16-19), but then I reminded them they could give me that info in April in person.

I have a lot of other stuff I want to write about, but I'm a little short on time and should sleep instead.  I swear I'm going to catch up on this thing soon.  I'm finally finding video games less compelling and can see a world beyond this obsession just around the bend.
aidenonymous: (gender)
I've had a roller coaster of a week and really didn't want to write this, but I'm hoping I'll feel better getting it out.  tl;dr I've once again blown an opportunity to have gender not be a big deal in every aspect of my life and am not happy about it.

cut for abusively negative self-talk )

I did a lot more self-care today though.  I cooked two (vegan) meals for myself with enough leftovers to get halfway through next week without spending too much money and eating things I said I wouldn't.  And I got a new binder that's a lot more comfortable for long days and looks like an undershirt so I don't need an extra layer under my grown-up clothes in the heat.  I'm going to go to work tomorrow because I know being a badass at science will make me feel better about myself.

EDIT: update )

Bias

May. 19th, 2014 06:18 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
Last year, I judged a science fair, and the experience made me doubt my own sanity.  I judged the same fair this year, and it to some extent restored my faith in humanity, or at least in middle school science teachers.  At the same time, it made me question my own misogyny.

The way this fair works is that all the students have qualified in a local fair so they all get a prize, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at this fair.  There's no limit on the number of students who can get each ranking, and they're not judged against each other; rather, they're judged by their adherence to objective standards.  They get 1st if they exceed the standards, 2nd if they met the standards but were no better than that, and 3rd if they really didn't meet the standards.  There were five girls and four boys in my morning session of 16-year-olds; the boys all got first, and the girls all got second.  There were five girls and five boys in my afternoon session of 13-year-olds; one boy and one girl got first, but the two who got third were both girls.  Small number statistics, I know, but something isn't right here, and I'm not comfortable with my role in it.  Also, not sure how relevant it is, but the two first place 13-year-olds were the only two in the bunch who clearly hadn't even dipped a toe into puberty.  I wonder if being a late bloomer contributed to being a science whiz because I wasn't distracted by sexuality.  That being said, I wasn't nearly as far behind my peers as those two were, just very small in general.

I had a nice chat over lunch with a graduating senior who wanted to be a middle school science teacher.  He thought I was another contestant but accepted me as male even after knowing my age.  I encouraged him and generally felt like a good person.

I expressed so much optimism in therapy.  I've been more outgoing at work since coming out.  I scheduled a meeting with a speaker to talk about science.  Career advice in my field often includes something about initiative, especially the suggestion of making appointments to chat with speakers as a way to be remembered as having come up with some ideas they'll take with them or possibly making a connection with a collaborator.  I never did it before because I was shy and felt that I didn't have anything to contribute or that my questions were stupid or because they might remember me as a girl.  I didn't let myself worry about that this time.  I scheduled the meeting and talked for half an hour back and forth about some crazy ideas for science that could be done with this guy's data, and potential problems with some applications of it, and how we could collaborate in the future.  He even told me some of my ideas were really good and that he hadn't heard them before, and I promised to send him the draft of the paper I'm working on when I submit it in a few weeks.  So, yeah, lowered inhibitions at work can be a good thing.
aidenonymous: (gender)
So I convinced myself that I was okay with shaving for the long and short term future and would teach myself after this week, when there's a break.  I planned to start T again on Friday. . . and then I didn't.  I got into the loop of "but I don't need it" and got stuck.  I miss feeling sure of myself.  I've been so swamped with work because I'm unable to set priorities and get anything done.  I can't seem to get out of it and don't like the idea that T will help.  On the other hand, I remember that feeling of calmness that I got when I first started T, like all the noise in my head of panicking over every little fucking thing was finally silenced.  (I can't even focus enough to write, here or in my paper journal.)  I've been feeling really terribly about my body for the past week, in part because I'm bleeding, although I like to think I usually handle it better than this.  I want that peace back, but I can't seem to make a decision about the cure for my indecisiveness!  If I'm not enjoying this break from T (and I definitely am not), why can't I just end it?  I'm gonna go hate myself offline now.

Fear

Feb. 15th, 2014 04:17 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
I've got far too many half-written posts to be starting another, but I guess this is kinda important.  I pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday-to-Thursday and forgot to apply my T the next day.  That was actually the first time I forgot to do it at all.  "No biggie," I told myself.  I got home late and decided to apply it at midnight and let that be the dose for Thursday and Friday.

Last night, I looked at my face in the mirror and saw dark hairs growing on my upper lip and got scared.  When I woke up this morning, the dark hairs were still evident in the mirror.  I didn't want to dose myself, so I didn't.  I haven't had T in my system for about 18 hours.  Since 7 May 2013, I haven't spent more than 12 hours without any added T in my body.

Apparently I really, really don't want to shave my upper lip.  I know there are women, plenty of them, with more substantial mustaches than what I've got, and some of them shave, too.  That's not what this is about though.  I don't care if other people see my facial hair and make assessments of my gender that are in any way influenced by that.  I love having sideburns, but I'm somehow deeply afraid of both shaving my upper lip and having a tween's 'stache.  This is one of those internal dysphoria things that's independent of what anyone else thinks, and I'm more comfortable heeding those feelings than those I know are responses to something external, like how people interact with me.

What does this mean?  I don't know if I'm taking a break or stopping or what, although I suspect I'll cave and apply a dose for Saturday and Sunday at midnight tonight.  I'm sorta glad my partner's out of town right now because I don't think talking to him would clarify anything for me.  While I think it's important to leave evidence of my doubts where I can't deny them, I don't think this is something for which I should make myself accountable to others, especially those who are invested in my choice.

How does it feel?  I haven't been really self-conscious about my voice or unable to interact with people socially.  I don't think I can go a week without T, not now anyway, because I'm starting to feel anxious about all the stuff I have to do this week.  I have some public speaking lined up, among other things, and just feel like I need T in order to face the world.  But I'm going to need to get over my fear of shaving my upper lip first.  I don't know who to ask for help.  I really wish I had a big brother right now, preferably a non-binary one.

Violence

Oct. 12th, 2013 11:20 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
Today I committed an act of violence.  I went to work today and didn't realize I'd left my bike lights at home until the sun started to set.  I threw on my helmet and completely forgot that there had been a football game today and that I might have trouble getting back.  I was approaching the steepest incline of my commute when three bros on the sidewalk attempted to get in front of me to block my way.  One of them shouted something about getting my ass.  The smaller one who'd threatened me attempted to use his body to keep me from moving forward, so I plowed right into him, getting him right in the 'nads because he was positioned to straddle my front wheel.  I was destabilized from the impact and did have to get my feet on the ground for a moment, but I just got back on my bike and sprinted the rest of the way home.  I heard him yell in pain as I made it up the hill and thanked the ether that his two larger friends were too stunned to run after me.  I did not report the incident to the campus police; arguably, I was in the wrong for inflicting bodily harm on others for simply being verbally threatened.  In retrospect, I believe they weren't trying to threaten me with violence.  I think it's more likely that they thought I was a woman and were attempting to sexually harass me.  They probably got the idea from my helmet, which hides my hair and is also pink.*  That the provocation was based in misogyny makes me even more proud of having hurt someone, however, I'm also left scared that I'm going to need to work harder to assimilate as binary if I don't want to become a victim of something beyond a verbal threat.  Perhaps it's time to get a new helmet.

*Why a pink helmet? )
aidenonymous: (gender)
It's no secret that I am having roommate problems.  Yesterday I figured out one thing contributing to the problem that is definitely my fault.  T has made me a bit more impulsive.  It's also made me more confident and sure of myself.  I used to be so cautious when I said things that if they were challenged, I would immediately back down and bring it up again later only after agonizing over whether I was actually wrong and determining otherwise.  Now, when I say something, I'm willing to defend it a bit, and this happens before I evaluate whether the criticism has merit.  I don't think I'm wrong less or more often than I was pre-T, but I am slower to admit it when I am.  It's not necessarily a matter of pride as much as there being an extra step in me evaluating the validity of things I say, like I take one round to defend before retreating the next round rather than immediately retreating and ending the conflict in one round.  I have made an ass out of myself a few times already, but now that I know it's going on I'm more self-conscious and will hopefully come off as a bit more graceful about being wrong.

Blur

Jul. 1st, 2013 12:03 am
aidenonymous: (gender)
I rudely walked out of playing games with people today because I couldn't handle them referring to me by my birth name (there are exactly three people in this town who do that, due to meeting them before I decided to go to school here) and making jokes about me not having a dick.  I am in a weird place right now where I'm wallowing in isolation, but taking every action to isolate myself further.  I've been having recurring dreams about my dead friends.  Why are so many people I cared about dead?  I'm sleeping a lot but not really aware of feeling depressed.  I feel a lot of pressure related to my research and a lot of fear of having to teach again, but I can't identify other sources of stress in my life right now.  I'm just more interested in escaping real world problems than facing them head on.  It's like the better I feel about my body, the worse I feel about everything else.  I got drunk two nights ago, for the first time ever, just to see what it was like -- a balance between fun and uncomfortable -- and am glad no one but my partner was there to see it happen.  That was the day after I made the conscious decision to indulge irresponsibility and flake out on a commitment without reason or warning; no one called me out on not cleaning the kitchen on my assigned night at the house, but I apologized today nonetheless.

EDIT: I can't honestly claim I was drunk, just drunker than I've ever been before.
aidenonymous: (gender)
I feel guilty that I haven't been posting recently.  I've been tyring to let work take over again but I keep getting sucked into mindless web browsing (mostly Reddit).  I'm feeling really unmotivated even though I'm consciously excited about my work.  I've also been dealing with my best friend outing me and trying to repair the damage to our relationship and my relationship with his parents.  That's really a matter for a separate post.

I also filed my passport application yesterday, although things hardly went as planned.  The postmaster didn't even notice that I'd checked the M box and never asked for my letter.  He also didn't notice all my ID was expired and made sure to comment on how "pretty" I am and address me as "miss" at least once per sentence.  I called the State Dept. afterwards and they said they'd contact me if anything was missing, and I'm worried that it will delay my passport application by enough that I can't go.  The silver lining is that I was approved for funding for the trip.  /-:

The past week or so has been awful for dysphoria.  I've been down on myself about my body -- I'm not gaining weight, but I am gaining body fat due to not getting out and doing anything. The rate of misgendering has skyrocketed, although that could be due to a combination of office drama (and horrible officemates who love reminding me that they think I'm female), the process of changing documentation (and interacting with godawful bureaucrats who don't even notice the sex marker I select because I'm so obviously female to them), and a general loss of confidence (which has led to a feedback loop).

I'm sure it's not helped by the fact that I haven't even had the spoons to bind regularly -- I'm small enough at this point that it can't be the biggest reason why I'm not passing, but it must contribute -- and have been going home early just to get out of having anything more than an undershirt on.  Just having anything on my chest is making me think about it too much to focus on anything else, and as long as I'm alone and not moving, I don't even notice that anything's wrong with it unbound.

On top of everything else, it's been really hot here for the past week, to the point that I'm arriving at work drenched in sweat.  If AndroGel can't be washed off for 5 hours after application in order to be fully absorbed, I'm pretty sure my effective dose has decreased.  This could explain my voice plateauing higher than its lowest so far (although definitely lower than when I started), something that's been bothering me a lot and contributing to the problems of the previous paragraph.

I ran the idea of doubling my dose by my partner, and he was really not happy about it.  He thinks I've had more emotional issues since starting T.  I was afraid he meant anger or mood swings, but he clarified that he meant my ADHD has worsened and I've been practicing more avoidance of responsibilities.  I talked with him about it and he was reasonably understanding, mostly because double my current dose is the same as the dose I was actually prescribed, but he still wanted me to wait until I talked to my therapist.

However, today was especially difficult due to having to interact with my peers in my home department, and the dysphoria was keeping me from getting any work done.  So, starting today, my 51st day on T, I'm taking the full 2.5 g.  Since today is also my 9 year anniversary of dating my partner (yeah, we got together really young, definitely not expecting this relationship to last so long), I wanted to talk with him first and make sure he could handle me doing this now (and he said he'd be okay), so the doses are about 8 hours apart.  Until it cools down enough that my sweat won't immediately wash off a decent fraction of it, I'll be applying two pumps in the morning. 

Ranty rant

May. 1st, 2012 05:36 pm
aidenonymous: (Default)
Blah, my knee is fucked, and I'm not handling it well because I haven't been working out, which is generally how I keep my head level.  Plus there was a lot of irritating misgendering at the doctor's office, and I felt really powerless to stop it.  I have Kaiser, which means every part of the system knows everything every other part does.  Every time I went to a different office (primary care physician, minor injury clinic, radiology, etc.), they'd print out a sheet saying whether I was up-to-date on various tests/immunizations and who my doctors are.  First, it reminds me how fucking pissed I am that they wouldn't let me opt out of being assigned a gyno., as it lists one so I can't forget that my insurance wants to be all up in some dumb organs I don't want in the first place no matter what I say.  Second, it says that I've refused to get a Pap, so every single doctor, when looking at my chart, asked me about it before even inquiring as to why I was there.  I sought medical attention for a knee injury, not because I was suddenly interested in having someone inspect my goddamn crotch; if I'd wanted that, I would have made an appointment with the gyno. they fucking randomly assigned me against my will, not with the minor injury clinic with a note explicitly stating I had a knee injury for fuck's sake.  I hate that they reduced me down to a jar containing some precious reproductive organs and didn't care that one of the jar's essential joints wasn't working right.  Oh, and after all that, there's nothing they can do, because the next available appointment for an MRI, the test that will actually determine the degree to which I tore the damn ligament they aren't even fucking sure I tore, is after I move across the country.  So I'm going to have to move with a worthless knee and then immediately start this whole process from scratch again, but in an even less faimilar place.
aidenonymous: (chekhov)
I've been meaning to check up on my body fat percentage since I outgrew two binders from upper body muscle gains, and I finally got around to it today while playing hooky.  The Internet tells me pretty consistently that I'm at about 20% body fat right now (which is considered "athletic" for a female but only "acceptable" for a male).  In December, I estimated it was about 25% ("acceptable" for either sex), so I feel pretty accomplished; I'm about half way to my six-month goal in under four months.  I was feeling badly about losing weight while trying to gain weight, but even though I'm underweight for the second time since I turned 18, I have something to be proud of.  (EDIT: Upon further research, it looks like gaining 10lbs in six months was rather unrealistic to begin with.  Given my female hormonal situation, it should take me twice that long to gain that much weight, and that's if I pay a lot more attention to what and how much I eat.)

And it's shit like this that makes me conflicted about T!  If I can work hard and see results, and the process of doing so makes me feel good about my body, do I really need T?  When I look in the mirror, I don't see a woman/girl/female anymore, and, in spite of very real and fairly regular bouts of dysphoria, I'm satisfied with that.  I realize others don't see me the way I do, especially once I open my mouth, and I'm not sure if I'll handle that better when I'm on a college campus again, or if it will only worsen as I continue to age out of androgyny.  But I don't even know why I'm trying to find reasons to delay T in the first place when I know it can help me become more than just satisfied with myself.  The letter is right in front of me, but I can't bring myself to grab it!  And I'm afraid to discuss my uncertainty with my therapist in case he decides he can't give me the letter because I'm not 100% sure I want it right now.
aidenonymous: (Default)
Woah, okay, I am owing this thing a huge update.  I've been getting my fair share of good news from grad schools, and I got a second job in addition to the one I just started last week.  I've also started seeing a health coach, mostly because it's half the price of therapy, and I found free therapy instead, so I'm still spending half what I'd saved up for mental health stuff anyway and hopefully I'll be eating better and continuing to exercise sufficiently.  Right, and then today I just heard back from the free therapy, which, did I mention, is free, and they apologized for technical issues that made it take so long to get back to me.  So, I've got lots of stuff to do all the time which is quite different from my usual problem of having nothing to do but wallow in self pity and give advice on tumblr.  Anyway, I will probably make a more detailed, friends-locked elaboration on this update some time soon.
aidenonymous: (Default)
Yesterday was the first meeting (over the phone) with the health coach.  I think this is something I'm going to go through with.  He got me to promise to feed myself a sensible dinner and e-mail my doctor (who dismissed my concerns as usual, thanks Kaiser).  I'm willing to spend the money and think I (and my partner) will get a lot out of it, even if the program is very focused on eating and less on exercise.  I wish I had a better sense of whether the health coach would be okay talking about trans-related things, because they're a big part of my mental health, but I don't know if that's a sensitive topic for him, being FTM himself.  I also wish fewer of the meetings would be over the phone, because my ADD makes it very hard to pay attention to someone talking if I can't see them.  I'm going to bring this up before paying for the first month, but I'm not sure what the solution could be.

I also had a minor meltdown about my hormonal situation. 
"What situation?" you might ask. . . )
aidenonymous: (chekhov)
I swear I'm trying to do something to get myself out of this rut.  I was supposed to go to the psychiatrist I wasn't crazy about today, but her receptionist canceled the appointment because she's apparently sick.  They rescheduled me for just before New Year's.  That's a long time from now!  I've been sleeping all day every day for weeks, and I can't seem to stop.  I don't know how much longer I can wait.  Although that's not really related to the shrink, as I wasn't keen on talking to her about any actual problems anyway.  I thought about it last night and couldn't decide whether to try to come out to her or to just try to keep things focused on the stuff I'm being medicated for.  Trust issues much?  Yeah, I'd say I'm working on it, but that'd be a lie. 

Anyway, I haven't really felt like posting lately.  I have things to say, but I don't feel like they're worth writing down.  I can't seem to get any work done, but I don't want to engage in my normal time-wasters either.  I may take an official hiatus when I go back home, even though that's when things will probably get better and I'll have lots to say.  I might just save it up elsewhere and post it all at once when I get back.  And, yeah, first thing when I get back after my trip home, there will be therapy, oh yes, lots of it.  I'm going to liquify myself if I keep trying to hold it all in.

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