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)
I failed to actually post this last week when I should have, but here it is anyway.

boring )

Beep boop

Jun. 2nd, 2015 06:47 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
And I meant to post this one yesterday but fell asleep before finishing it. . .

things )
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 )
aidenonymous: (genderqueer)
I kinda fell off the internet again.  I was really burnt out and barely made it to Spring Break.  I restarted T the week before break because I was a nervous wreck.  By then, I'd been having negative effects from stopping for about two weeks, and I couldn't cope anymore.  I'm going to make a T update kind of post about the whole thing, but the short version was that it was not pretty.  I basically got to the same point I was at when I started, unable to function without it.  I'll admit though, the first ten days or so were a valuable and hardly excruciating experience (that I have no plans to repeat any time soon).

I slept through most of the break and basically got nothing done but felt somewhat refreshed at the end.  I'm pretty much abandoning the project I've been working on for the past six months, which puts me at risk of not being able to take my comprehensive exam at the end of the summer, but I don't feel like I have much of an option.  Right before break, I made an appointment to talk to the head of the grad program and explained the problem.  It's not that I don't have time for research.  It's that I have only a few hours each day of peak mental productivity, and I can hardly get anything done like that, at lest not on something so abstract.  At our meeting, he told me that my advisor had just contacted him asking if I was alright, and he'd told her to go easy on me.  It's not what I want, but it may be what I need.  I don't know if this is awkward or expected given how I came out to him, but we have not said a word about it IRL and barely a reference has been made in e-mails.  Related: I need to write a coming out letter to my advisor and have been putting it off for almost two weeks. . . another thing I need but don't want, apparently.

words about my chest )

Anyway, I don't want to go into this unless I'm confident I won't regret it, even if my regular doctor, endo, and therapist are falling over themselves to write me a letter.  I don't know what I'm going to say to the surgeon when we meet, but I have six weeks to figure it out.  Maybe the surgeon will turn out to be a really good salesperson and totally win me over.  In the meantime, I should do that work I was doing before it occurred to me that I'd think better after getting this out.  I'm hoping I'll have enough spoons to catch up with folks here a bit this weekend.

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.
aidenonymous: (genderqueer)
Last night, I went recreational grocery shopping with my partner during the one day he was home between two long business trips.  It was about half past midnight, and the only other shoppers were these two older dudes (maybe forties?) who fit the stereotype of flaming gay men to a T.  The one carrying all the groceries with a limp wrist wore a neon orange, skin tight T shirt.  The other had an unusual haircut (like a Chelsea, only less hair everywhere), rainbow plastic rimmed glasses, and some really interesting ear jewelery.  Given that the one with the flashy accessories must be used to it, what was strange about this encounter was not that I stared at them. It was that they stared at me.

[posted without further comment]

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. 
aidenonymous: (Default)
It's been five days since I got here, and I have to say, I'm a lot happier than I expected to be.  I love love love the house and the people in it.  I had really high expectations, and they've pretty much all been met.  The other folks like me, too, and they're working on finding a way for me to continue living here next year. . . but I'm still not sure what's going on with my partner, whether he'll want to move here at all if he can't live in an apartment with me.

I know the town is different in the summer when no one's around, compared to during the year when it's swarming with drunk undergrads, but I've found a lot to like.  There are lots of locally-owned coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores, and the downtown actually feels like a real downtown in terms of density.

Work is another story.  After dealing with a bunch of administrative bullshit (which I believe is normal for a school this size, no hard feelings, really), I'm finally starting to run into problems with my name on departmental stuff.  I'm okay with the government, doctors, and banks knowing me by my legal name, and I thought I'd be okay with my department being in that category, too, but I was wrong; in essence, this place is too small for me to isolate work from everything else, and I don't want to have to cave and give up being myself the rest of the time.

There are still a couple social issues I need to work out at home, namely that everyone seems to have made up their mind to use feminine pronouns for me, and I'm going to have to make some kind of announcement to get them to stop.  Aah, I knew there were drawbacks to not having an unambiguously male name!  Anyway, the name itself is somewhat of an issue because two people who work in my department also hang out at the house, and I've been failing at having an actual conversation with them for a couple days.  What I want to do is ask them to call me Ilan in the house and by my birth name at work, should it come up.  The real answer, I think, is to just be open about things at work, letting the faculty and other students know that I'd prefer to be called Ilan or that I may go by either name depending on the situation. . . so I'm going to talk to the director of the Pride Club here and ask for advice tomorrow.
aidenonymous: (freddie mercury)
I just wrapped up a session with my health coach, and since we talked about gender things a lot, I wanted to write something here before I forgot everything (though I did take notes, as always).  Obviously things are a lot more complicated than what I said in our brief phone conversation, but it was more than I'd gotten to say with my therapist over the last month, and I feel like it was a good start in the sense that I can now tell my therapist, "Hey, I got help from a health coach in these ways, and here's how it was useful, can we talk like that, too?"

Therapy has been going really slowly, and I find that immensely frustrating.  I initially said that what I wanted to get out of gender therapy was a decision about what aspects of transition were right for me, but upon taking that apart a bit, I think what I really want is more certainty about what parts I've pretty much already decided to pursue in the nebulous, distant future.  I think I already know what I want, but I want to be confident that I'm doing what I need to, not just indulging something optional or something that I could regret.  And I feel like I really need to decide soon, so that it's easier to just be Ilan, not Ilan who used to be [birth name] when ey registered here, when I head off to grad school in June.

We talked about what changes I want from T.  I really, really want my voice to be lower and for my face to look more masculine.  I'd also like the changes to face, body, and head hair (though I worry I might regret those later on).  Ease of gaining muscle and body fat redistribution would be fantastic, but I'm not sure if I'm even thinking about being on T long enough for that.  And we talked about changes I'm less enthusiastic about, too.  I don't know if I want downstairs growth.  What if I can't ignore things as well then and spend more time being dysphoric about my crotch?  I'm also concerned about my hormonal acne worsening. 

I got to talk a little about why I've waited so long to get started on medical transition.  I felt so comfortable at school where everyone important knew I was genderqueer that the issue wasn't really forced.  Dysphoria regarding my crotch was mostly isolated to one week a month, and as long as I didn't have to wear a bra, my chest didn't bother me because I rarely left campus.  I talked about wanting facial hair and a deeper voice, but I didn't feel like I couldn't live without it. . . now that I'm not surrounded by supportive people who will take my word for it regarding my gender, I feel like I can't be perceived the way I should be without changes from T.  The health coach asked if I wanted to pass, and I said I wasn't sure, because it just seems so impossible and far away.  If I really wanted to pass, I should have already done a bunch of things like cutting my hair, right?  It was another one of those things that just wasn't an issue when I was in college and has been painful on a daily basis since I graduated and moved away, but I haven't done anything to fix it yet.

I also opened up about questioning my motives for transition -- am I just a misogynist? am I doing this for me or for other people? -- and its effect on my health given my other problems.  I'm concerned about being on T for the rest of my life.  I don't like being on medications, and I'm on several that will probably be life-long commitments due to chronic illnesses.  It seems counterproductive to sign up for more of that if less is an option.  But I can't see myself continuing to let my body be dominated by regularly fluctuating female hormones for much longer, and there doesn't seem to be an option to not have sex hormones.  I really don't know if starting T soon will help me resolve this.

I got some useful medical-type information, too.  Though genes control a lot of the hair distribution type stuff (face, head, and body), apparently voice isn't quite like that, because I won't be getting voice changes like a cisguy would during puberty, which makse sense because I know my voice has "matured" in some ways since I hit puberty the first time around.  This means that while I can probably count on not being able to grow a beard, my voice is not doomed to be the same as my father's bizzarely high voice.  It's also possible that my hormonal acne could improve on T, that I might have problems because my hormone levels are currently between the femle and male ranges, and my skin might stop rebelling if given the correct dose for either sex.  Obviously some testing is in order, but it's an option I wasn't really aware of before.

However, there was a lot that I didn't talk about that I would want to discuss further with a counselor.  One of the changes I'd really like from T is an end to the monthly reminder that I have female reproductive organs.  I feel bad about this because there are other ways to stop it that are perceived as "less drastic,"  and I've never pursued any of those for what seem like weak reasons, plus I might want to be on a low dose that only makes things wonkier.  I'd also be overjoyed to see my chest shrink further, so maybe I could get surgery by a method that's less likely to result in loss of sensation.  (EDIT: I just spent the afternoon looking at Transbucket, and I think I've got a real shot at peri if I ended up going for surgery at all, moreso if I get just a bit more shrinkage.)  One of my unsaid fears about starting T is that the changes will make my long-term partner stop being attracted to me.  He's not making any promises, but knowing that he's trying not to have to break a promise that our feelings will never change doesn't make me feel any more confident in possibly putting our relationship at risk. 

I also didn't go into my non-binary identity at all, which is a bigger deal than I generally let on.  I want people close to me to see me as Ilan, who isn't a woman or a man, but I want those not close to me to just see another guy, because if I have to choose, and I very much feel that I do, I need to be perceived as not-female, which means transitioning to male, at least on the surface.  I guess I didn't mention it explicitly to the health coach because I see him as being part of the not-close category, and I guess that makes sense since we've only met once and talked on the phone three times, but I feel like this is something I should be able to talk about more in counseling.  And because we didn't go into my non-binary identity, we didn't talk about my alternatives to T, namely more exercise, voice coaching, and other things I can do to be read as male and feel more comfortable with my body.

Anyway, we talked a bit about what I can do about getting T if therapy moves too slowly and I end up having to move before starting T.  I think that was really important to consider and not something that would have come up with my therapist.  I'm going to be making an appointment for shortly before I move with one of the sliding-scale informed consent clinics here in the Bay Area. If I get a "T letter" (probably just a referral to an endocrinologist?) before the appointment, I'll cancel and someone with an emergency will get my slot.  But if therapy never gets off the ground and I feel like I need to get going before introducing myself to my new department, I can still make it happen. (EDIT: I called the Lyon-Martin Clinic but got lost in a maze of automated voicemail subroutines.  I'll try again tomorrow with a script for what my message will say and a stimulant to back me up when it comes to following the instructions.) 
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: (Default)
Comment with "Come at me, bro"
• I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better.
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.

Questions from [livejournal.com profile] alkahestapeiron 

1. How're things, overall?
Things are good, I think.  I just moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and haven't been around much due to not having Internet set up until recently.  It's the first time I've ever not had schoolwork hanging over my head, and I'm just getting used to that feeling.  I'm unusually optimistic about the future.  (-:

2. What does falling in love mean to you?
I wish I could remember!  I've been in the same monogamous relationship for seven years and don't even know anymore, cliche as that sounds.  I know the comfort of being in love, to the point that I forget to appreciate it, but falling into it, in this case, was a gradual process by which I slowly noticed the relationship changing character. 

3. What's your favourite food EVER?
Sushi, probably.  I like simple foods with extremely limited processing, and it doesn't get much less processed than raw, plus fish has been one of my most reliable sources of protein, getting me through seven otherwise vegetarian years during which I ended up suffering from malnutrition. 

4. How about favourite drink?
Lemonade!  Or maybe limeade. . . I have a serious love affair with sour things.  I'm told it's a symptom of a vitamin deficiency.  Sometimes, I just drink lemon or lime juice, or I eat the fruit as is.  Dentists have always said it's my one vice.

5. If you could do anything (ANYTHING) with your hair, what would you do?
If I could do anything, really anything, I'd buzz it all off (all 3 feet of it) and start over.  I wanted to do it for graduation, but my mom was around, and then I lost momentum and had time to get self-conscious about it.  I should really just get it over with.
aidenonymous: (Default)
Damn, it's that time of the year again.  This is the first year I've remembered in a long time, mostly because my mom and two old friends reminded me yesterday.  Birthdays were never a big thing for me or my family, so I tend to ignore them.  But today I'm really feeling as old as (or older than) I am.  

I'm 23.
I just moved in with my partner of 7 years.
I'm still in college but am graduating in 4 months.
And then, I don't know what I'm doing, besides applying to grad. schools next year.

Life's weird.  I can't believe I've made it this far.  I remember when I was utterly shocked that I survived to 18.  I hate that I still don't really know what I'm doing, but at least I have some idea of what I'd eventually like to be.  For one, I'm sick of my old name, and seeing it on every "happy birthday" I've gotten on Facebook is making my brain itch.  I'm rambling.  Over and out.
aidenonymous: (Default)
No, I'm not really that much of a humbug.  I wanted to write a summary of this year, because it's been a rough one for me.  But, some parts were so bad I couldn't write much about them.  Stupid emotions!  So, here's the short version. . .
lightning-speed summary of 2010 )

Anyway, the start and end of the school year is a much better delineation between years for me, so I can pretend it's not that big of a deal that I can't get my shit together about last year.  More seriously, that's actually the reason why I'm not making many New Year's resolutions, because I've already planned a bunch of big changes for when I have less on my plate during my gap year, after I graduate this spring.  I only have one resolution, and that's to get into gender therapy, because I'm a mess right now and need some outside help.  It doesn't sound like much, but with my insurance and history with therapists, it could take most of the year. . . wish me luck!

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aidenonymous: (Default)
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