Social Construction


I haven’t been on hormones in a week and I want to die again. It’s amazing to me the difference in how my mind works. I was only using estrogen for a month. A low dose, 4mg per day and no blockers. I don’t think I want to use them, I’m not sure they’re good. But with only 4mg a day of estradiol all this pain I’ve carried around in my head for more than two decades, vanished.

This pain that completely disrupted my life. I had everything going for me as far as I could see. Good education, decent home. I’m bilingual, fairly intelligent, I should have been set. But my mind was torn apart by mental illness. I could never figure it out. I was a little boy and then right at puberty a light went out in my head. I fell into a terrible depression. A depression I never recovered from. I was suddenly living in the world through a plate of glass.

I tried hard to live my life. I put enormous effort into it. I never cared to be wildly successful, but I can’t even seem to get the basics. It’s like my emotional center has just been off. Everything is bad, ALL the time. Nothing seems real and I’m not even living in the world. I just sit by helplessly, watching everyone else live their lives. Unable to live my own. Struggling to just be IN the world. Eventually, despite my efforts it’s was like the gears of my life just ground to a halt. Nothing moved and I’ve been frozen in place. I haven’t been able to do anything despite every effort, effort upon effort, because of this immense pain I’ve been suffering from.

It’s just pain. Pure pain. It has no circumference and it’s center is everywhere. I lost the ability to feel emotions. I feel numb. And I’m looking around, at my life, seeing all of the advantages I’m supposed to have and wondering how things got so fucked up. And I’m looking around, at my life, seeing all of the advantages I’m supposed to have and wondering how things got so fucked up. Then eventually I stopped even caring to try. Eventually I realized that it’s OK, actually. I finally came to accept that I’m just broken.

I had great ambition to be a force for good in this world, to use my time here to help other people. There’s a lot of pain in this world. I had great ambition to be a force for good in this world, to use my time here to help other people. There’s a lot of pain in this world. In the end though, it turns out I couldn’t even help myself. Wha-whaaaaaaaaa

_____________

I got into a stupid argument online last weekend. The topic was male privilege and whether trans women experience it. Before they transition. There are undoubtedly trans women who will say they did. There are undoubtedly TW who actually did. And as similar as everyone’s experience seems to be sometimes, everyone has their own way of understanding this and their own interpretation.

I figured out a couple of years ago I was “probably trans.” I still have no real clue if I “am” or not. How could anyone know for sure? The science of the whole thing is still somewhat of a mystery. The shift for me though wasn’t 

“I am a man” >>> “I am a woman and I definitely need to transition for my sanity”

 It was more like 

“what is happening this sucks why can’t I just be a girl, please god can I just be a girl, why does everything hurt all the time, I can’t seem to be friends with guys and I don’t really want to anyway I wish I could just be included in the girls’ group, oh, here’s a cool girl maybe I could be friends with her, nope I guess not she thinks I’m trying to date her and she’s ghosting me now. (I’m not much of a guy) What’s up with my sexuality, why is it so weird, I’m not gay but I’m not straight either. I wish I could have a relationship with someone. I what’s up with my sexuality, why is it so weird, I’m not gay but I’m not straight either. (I don’t feel like a man) I wish I could have a relationship with someone. Why can’t I just be a man? When is this puberty thing going to hit me with a surge of masculinity and make me feel like a man? Why can’t I seem to interact with people at all anyway? Why does the world feel like it’s separated from me by a wall of glass? (I’m not a man) Oh, this girl makes me feel better maybe I should give up on abstinence, god will understand, maybe I just need a lot of sex then I’ll be OK. Abort! God most definitely does not understand! (I’m not a man) Why can’t I seem to feel anything during sex? Netscape: how do you change sex? Wow look at all these transition timelines. Huh, all my friends are gay men. They’re the only people I can seem to connect with. What is going on with me? (I’M NOT A MAN) Jesus this depression thing hurts so bad, why won’t it go away, everything is grey and I can’t seem to feel joy, or food about anything and I’ll never have a good relationship with anyone at this rate, I’m so isolated and alone I just want to die, I feel like I’m already dead, a walking corpse, etc.” >>> “Maybe I’m traaaaaans?”

It was never really an option before. It was a thing weird pple did. Sick pple. Compulsive sexually deviant crazy pple. Extremely gay pple. People who transitioned had to do sex work. Had to be in porn or be an escort. Basically had to sleep with men because there were no other options. You wouldn’t ever be able to live in society normally. You would always be rejected. I didn’t think I had it in me. I was actually fine with the idea, the personal cost, I just felt gross and impossible because I wasn’t attracted to men.

The narrative was all skewed. I thought if I transitioned I’d be cut off from female attention. I never considered lesbians even existed. Not entirely true. I knew they existed <<in theory>> but if they did they’d for sure never want a boy. No matter how feminized he was. I was 12. Ellen didn’t even come out for a few years. This was the dark ages of LGBT. I mean I HEARD about gay men. My first roommate was gay. Funny story, but not because of the gay part.  After that though slowly but surely it turned into all my friends are gay men, somehow, just organically. (“Hey this guy is cool,” “finally a normal human being,”) The first out gay boy I met was in high school though, a friend of a friend from another school. He was positive I was gay and just didn’t know it yet. He was not the last person to tell me that.

So, the privilege thing. There was a statement someone made online about how she thought the assertion that trans women experience male privilege before they transition was misguided. It was a misunderstanding of TW’s experience. I had already been through that in my own head. My thoughts being “it’s not a privilege to be a man when you’re not one.” Her thoughts resonated with mine and several others so I wrote as much. My experience wasn’t one of male privilege. I was a little boy, then I was living behind a wall of glass. I couldn’t be in society with everyone else if I tried. And I tried. The only time I was ever able to interact with people was when they came to me and invited me into theirs. I lived exclusively through other people. The person I presented on the outside a mere reflection of what I thought they expected to see. I was never really there. 

Any time “society” gave me acknowledgement as a man for any reason at all, it was an inexplicably painful experience. I didn’t understand it, and I still don’t. But that was a great source of stress for me. Stress that has eaten up my whole life. I am in pieces as a human being, ready to check out because of it. So this is why I thought that, and this is why I say that and it may be different for other people but from where I sat women were holding all the cards. That was just my perspective on the world and I understand other people don’t have that experience but it is mine and it is the only one I have. I don’t know what it’s like to be a man. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman either. I only know what it feels like to be “not a man,” and to be completely denied the ability to feel what it’s like to be a girl on every level, to be a “not a man” and a “not a woman.” I only know what it feels like not to exist. Apparently I’m not alone either though I expect other people will differ.

_______________

So then, an apparently white straight cis guy, high on leftist liberal talking points wanted to set me straight. And I was high on estradiol. Normally a conversation like that would have caused me to block him immediately lest I spiral out again. My emotional center is complete trash anymore. This time though, all that pain was gone and this guy was coming at me for something I said and have experienced firsthand  very deeply. And this guy’s whole premise was based on the idea that gender is a “social construct.” 

Gender is a social construct and you were always a woman but you used to be a man so therefore social male privilege. 

So, to me, gender is so absolutely not a social construct. It’s something I figured out a long time ago. The idea was tempting at first as a way to feel better about maybe transitioning one day. But I was also a teenager and it was a comforting thought in a sea of confusion. But it’s wrong. And in the current writings about the idea it seems far more concerned with clothing and cultural affectations and gender identity over any notions about gender. Somehow sexuality is gendered and people’s bodies are gendered but for some reason your actual feeling of gender is not. That part is formed and given to you by society. 

It took me a while to recognize it myself and it was with some reluctance that I have to accept that it is. That gender is real and that I may have a legitimate medical issue of a mismatch to resolve or I may not be able to live any more of my life. I am more than happy to find out I’m wrong. That’s there is some other way. That my nightmare of a life has only just been something else all along. But I’ve checked everything else as much as I can think of anyway. This is really my last ditch effort to resolve my pain and rejoin the world. Or, even join it in the first place. And I found out that estradiol is magic.

So now it seems very certain that my brain really is gendered, that all the gas lighting from society has been just that, and I’m being confronted by someone who holds conflicting views (both with mine and internally) and he’s set on lecturing me on something I’ve only been studying, watching, contemplating for more than 20 years. And now, high on estradiol and seeing him abuse all of the other TW in that space, a space that they came to to find each other and get a sense of community because part of the trans experience is often being completely isolated from other, I was like no… I don’t think I’m going to just take that from you. 

I was too harsh with him and we talked last each other for a bit as he just dismissed everything I tried to tell him, making the whole thing into an academic debate. I realized I put myself in a position where I was meant to justify my life to him while he got the privilege of judging my experience. It ended with him telling me he “didn’t believe me,” and calling me a “pretentious white trans woman,” and “fucking crazy.” He threw in something about me not accepting this whole privilege narrative and how that was so awful of me because an intersex person was beaten to death in Niceragua. I’m not sure how that connected but it was clear to me he has no context for what life has been like for me and what life is for a lot of trans people. He came into this group like a bull in a China shop and I know he’ll never quite understand where he was going wrong.

 So, whatever. That happened and I feel bad because I let my emotions get the better of me and I could have been nicer but he was so arrogant and so belligerent and dismissive and so, just… wrong about everything  he thought he knew, about me, about the topic… it became a painful conversation to have and I quit. He didn’t get it and he wouldn’t listen or I couldn’t explain it well enough. I’m sure it’s my fault in some way. His narrative is skewed though, because his premise is flawed. He thinks that I (and others) are boys and then decided to become women because we always were women and so we did have a time when we experienced life as a man. Im sure some people must have felt it that way but I didn’t. I was a boy who felt wrong and his life fell apart, I was a girl who wasn’t allowed to think of herself as girl, was shamed and guilted into accepting boyhood and watched in horror as her body masculinized and she was denied the Social position of girlhood and the privilege of living her own life. That’s the only privilege I see insofar as gender is concerned. And it’s cis privilege. And I would be shocked is a cis person was ever able to really understand and empathize with that.

Incidentally I’m not the only person to ever have thoughts like this:

 

And in addition to that post, and all the comments on it and all the people saying these things on Reddit and FB and Twitter and Tumblr there are blog posts like these as well:

What Trans Women Have Is Far More Complicated Than Gender

No, Trans Women Like Me Did Not Grow Up With Male Privilege

It’s not a controversial idea in these circles, and these people largely came upon this thinking organically and in isolation from each other. The thing about trans people is we don’t get to talk to each other and form communities like other groups. Were taught in various ways not to talk about it at all, even to yourself. It’s only a very recent phenomen that we can meet and share ideas with each other in social forums over the internet. The sometimes striking similarity of experience in that light is stunning to me sometimes. Imagine reading a novel by a total stranger and have her explain your entire life to including details you’ve ever shared with anyone. Its just evidence to me that something worth paying attention to is going on there and that it isn’t groupthink.

______________

Surprisingly though, the estradiol really did help. It seems like it normalized my brain function and allowed me to process that conversation, a usually very stressful conversation that’s so bad I avoid at all costs, and just have it. 
Then I went off E for various reasons and the pain is back now and my emotions are all erratic again and life seems hopeless once more and I’m ready to die all over again and this stupid conversation won’t leave me alone. This is why it’s better just not to engaged I guess. This is why I should just leave people to their opinions even when it seems like they are coming at me full on seeking to delegitimize my life. Because now, my brain can’t process the emotional response and I have this voice in my head telling me how pretentious I really am and how maybe it is really just in my head, maybe it’s not this medical necessity after all and maybe transition is impossible and I just need to quit while I’m ahead and check out of life because if it’s not possible then I’m out of ideas and this life, the one I’m living now is just not for me. There’s just nothing here for me and everyone would be better off without the burden of having me around just burning reaources, leeching, and contributing nothing.

It appears that Hormones are fucking powerful. I can’t even imagine what it was like to feel normal anymore. I’ve been smoking weed again lately just to deal with the pain. Estradiol, and now the lack of it completely changed my perception of everything, and to such a degree that it’s shocking and a little bit frightening. It gets down to a level so deep it effects the signals my mind give me in an unconscious level. I feel like this is a big part of why suicides happen and it needs to be discussed more. Denying people HRT, even and maybe especially teenagers, is exceptionally cruel. My life would have been substantially different if I even just had a small supplement of E as I started the awful process of transitioning into a man.

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Wall

 

I’ve hit a wall with all this. I was on estradiol for about 2 weeks and felt amazing. I felt normal for the first time in my life. It was empowering really. I saw a way out, a pathway to continue this contest and bother with this game the world wants me to play. But I hit a couple snags. My energy started to go down hill and I started to lose touch again.

I over did it on sunday two and a half weeks in; I went surfing in the morning and a road trip to sequoia right after. I finally found my way back home, barely staying concious, at 1AM. Since then my energy had been in the toilet. It bottomed out again and I both could not get enough sleep and but I was tired all the time with the same fatigue. There was one important difference though, I wasn’t in pain. In a lot of ways that made it easier to relax, to shut off and unwind.

I was so sure i needed to transition and that that was going to be impossible so I woudln’t mind if I just checked out completely. Then I tried E, finally after 20 years of wishing I could do that and I felt amazing, suddenly and out of nowhere. Then I felt worse again but it was different, not painful, simply annoying and incapable. THEN I realized I was also drinking a daily magnesuim supplement and that was knocking me out and dehydrating me, compounding my fatigue.

I have to have some really difficult, potentially life changing and destabilizing conversations right now. I have to bank my sperm. I have to do these things and figure out how far I want to need to take this whole thing. I’m pretty sure my acting career is dead either way. It is so uncomfortable to be me that I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to present consistently. I’m pretty sure there is no future for me as a girl, even a trans girl. I don’t think think there is a future in Hollywood or anywhere else for that matter. I don’t think I was made to live this life and I’m so sorry to everyone because I feel like I want to leave. There’s just nothing for me here and I don’t have any will left to live anymore.

At this point, I think its important to recognize that I havent taken any dose of E for the past day and a half… OK that’s two really days of doses then. Partly I need to catch up because I gave away 3 days worth to a genderqueer friend who I thought might need to feel that again and partly because I gave myself a double dose one morning to see how I felt (and I got high… like euphoric with a really strong body high) so that’s 7 pills down. Then partly because I need to bank sperm and I need my levels to be high so I can have it ready to bank. And partly because I think on some level it’s necessary for me to feel this pain one last time to confirm it really was what it was and really was related to what it was related to, that being a lack of proper hormones in my body. I’ve had such a rollercoaster ride of chemical experiences in the last year I need to know what’s what with as much precision as possible. So, anyway… I havent taken it for the last 4 doses and I feel the sickness returning.

It’s OK though, I think. IDK. I don’t know if this is right for me or if anything is right for me. I just want everything to stop at this point. I want to get off.

 

Nashville Thingamajig

Donald Trump’s advisers just signed a christian manifesto which calls homosexuality sinful

I’d be more concerned if being his “advisors” seemed to anything more than a token commitment or carried any weight at all. On the other hand though, this is the one perspective he seems to listen to at all.

They’re talking about this Nashville Statement that’s been “issued” like it’s supposed to “mean something” to Americans, or the world or whatever. Mostly it’s a just a reaffirmation that people who are in this world, or touches this world are so terribly… what’s a polite synonym for mind fucked? This is really awful for anyone who is affected by it and their personhood is opposed to it. You will twist yourself up in knots to overcome your own self to fit in. 

This is a response to the Statement on twitter  by @maggsvisags that pretty much sums up what I experienced growing up in the Catholic Church. Oddly, I also thought to join the clergy (but for the abstinence thing) and I also though a lot about stepping off the curb and walking into traffic.


Also (from the article above):

submitting to her husband is a quality worth cultivating in a wife

  • Ew. I know what passage this comes from. This is Ephesians. I used to listen to this every year. It came right after my mom nudging me when they said “children obey your parents.” I started to lose my connection with a friend of mine who decided to become a fundamentalist Christian when he got married and decided to “live biblically” and this is what he meant.
  • Also some other passages from Ephesians:
  •  E5:3 As God’s people, you should not even talk about wrong living, any kind of wrong sex or wanting things you cannot have.
  • E5:5 You know this. There are people who use sex wrongly, and who are always wanting what others have. No such a person has any place in the kingdom of Christ and of God. He is worshipping an idol.
  • E5:6-7 6 Do not let anyone fool you by their empty talk. It is because people do these wrong things that God is very angry. He is angry with the people who do not obey him. 7 So then, have nothing to do with them.
  • E5:18 Do not get drunk with wine. That is living in a wrong way. But be filled with the Spirit.
  • E5:22-24 22 Wives, obey your husbands as you obey the Lord. 23 The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church people. The church is his body and he saved it. 24 Wives should obey their husbands in everything, just as the church people obey Christ.
  • This whole thing is really only addressed to men, women are secondary. E5:33 However, each one of you should love his wife as he loves himself. And the wife should respect her husband.
  • This could be explained away as having a “more modern context now” like your job or something: E6:4 4 Servants, obey your boss. Respect him with all your heart and try to please him as you would Christ.
  • But “servant?” Let’s read a little further: E6:7 You know that the Lord will pay every man for the good things he does. It does not matter if he is a servant or a free man. 
  • Just in case you were mistaken that these were real people the Nashville thingy was warning us all about, and in case you didn’t know how to respond: E6:11 We are not fighting against people of flesh and blood. But we are fighting against rulers and powers whom we cannot see. We are fighting against those who control the darkness of this world, and against bad spirits who have power in the air.
  • E4:17-19 17 Here then is what the Lord has told me to say. You must not live like the people who do not believe in God. They do not think clearly. 18 Their minds are dark. They are far away from God’s life because they do not know the truth. They have no love in their hearts. 19 Nothing makes them ashamed anymore. They live a very bad life. They do every kind of wrong thing. And they always want to do it more.
  • Basically the fundamentalist Christian worldview: E6:19 I am in prison with chains on because I speak the good news about Jesus Christ. Ask God to help me to tell the good news without fear as I should tell it.
  • E2:3-5 3 At one time we too all lived like them. We lived to please ourselves. We did what our bodies and our minds wanted us to do. We were people with whom God was angry, just like other people. 4 But God was very, very kind. He loved us very, very much. 5 We were dead because of the wrong things we had done. He has made us alive with Christ. You have been saved by his love and kindness.

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

  • The Council on Biblical Slave/Master Relationships
  • The Council on Biblical Demon Defense
  • The Council on Biblical Judicial Systems
  • The Council on Biblical Medicine

as a “Christian manifesto” on human sexuality, it speaks with forthright clarity, biblical conviction, gospel compassion, cultural relevance, and practical helpfulness. It will prove to be, I believe, enormously helpful for thousands of pastors and leaders hoping to give wise, biblical, and gracious guidance to their people.

  • Practical helpfulness. Helpfulness. Practical. Clarity. …Gracious. Wise.

Going into week 4:

D28C6870-3254-49A6-A013-FE19A1D2FF87.png

I TAUGHT MYSELF SOME HTML

Or,
This is what going into week 4 looks like

I’m tired today. And I’m feeling burnt out, and I want to talk to someone but I don’t have anyone to talk to so I’m going to shout into the void for a bit. I had a whole passage here about how I hate everything but I deleted it because I don’t want to write about that anymore. I have journals upon journals full of it and if you really want to read that I’ll link you to them.

I’m probably just tired because I spend every waking minute recording or editing audio, searching through real estate listings, or now, studying coding. I learned basic HTML this week, and the basics for Swift, the language for coding OSX and iOS apps. I’m just having trouble managing my energy and I stayed up too late last night. 

Simpson’s Vapor Wave really gets me lately:

So, this is where I am right now: 

THE GOOD

  • I meditated this morning like a stone.
    I’ve never felt my mind so calm before. It was astounding. Really. I sat there and I could just be with norhing pressing me to do this or that, no extraneous thoughts bogging me down, no emotional stress twisting me to do something or else. I could really just sit with myself and experience nowness and peace. And it was so nice to have that for a change.

  • My body is so much more relaxed and has a way better capacity to heal and recover

    I’ve been battling tension (I realize now) for my whole life. I can tell the difference when I exercise and when I speak. I used ro have “good days” and “bad days” with little to no explanation why I would be fine one day and then so totally disconnected from my body that I could barely move on others. I can feel a major difference when I play Kendo, or Capoeria, or when I speak.I’m just way more in tune with my body. It’s not as stiff, it’s more fluid, I’m practicing skills I’ve spent a lot of time trying to develop and I’m doing them betterand with less effort.My voice is more active. I’ve spent years with a dull and inflexible voice, trying to work around it for performing. I got quite good at faking it but there was always something holding me back. Something like 80-90% of acting is vocality. Let’s say 80% on stage and 90% on camera, and of course 100% when it’s only audio. I spent 2 years doing audio work, building my voice back from nothing and while I made a lot of progress, I haven’t had anything like the strength and flexibility I’ve been able to access on such a consistent basis this month.

  • I’m not angry or sad or nearly as emotional
    For the last 25 years or so I’ve carried around a huge emotional weight that I just couldn’t shake. It is, or seems to be completely gone. I haven’t been completely happy or euphoric this past month but, I haven’t been numb. When I’ve been sad, I’ve been legitimately sad. When I’ve been angry I’ve been legitimately angry. None of this vague dissociative pain and anguish I’ve been living with for years. Real valid emotions that come and go naturally.

  • My head is so much clearer
    To go with the calmness, the lack of stress, the proper processing of my emotions is this open clarity that has started to come back into my mind. I started to process long held plans from the back corners of my mind. I started to learn how to code again, I learned the basic HTML that I used to style this entry. I can just basically get more done in a day, not because I’m on some super cognition enhancing drug but because I’m not in nearly the pain I used to be.

  • My body sometimes feels like I’m stoned
    This can be good or bad I guess, depending on when it happens. Mostly it’s subtle and i need to really get quiet for it to become apparent. But if I do its reminiscent of being stoned and having a body high. I’m just so relaxed and connected into my body and how it feels. And it feels really wonderful.
  • I have a much larger capacity to be social
    I’ve always had this wall around me, like a thick layer of glass separating me from reality. Things I wanted to say or express were always caught up in my throat, unable to come out and manifest in the world in real time. This alone has been enough to drive the suicidal ideation I’ve been experiencing for quite some time. It’s made it very difficult to keep and maintain relationships and develop a career where it only matters who knows you. Beyond that it’s just lonely not being able to connect with people. That has started to lift a great deal.
  • I’m hungry now
    I started havinf trouble digesting while in college. By the end of a semester I’d barely have eaten anything for at least a month. Later I tried to force myself to eat anyway only to see everything get thrown back up immediately after. I’ve been functionally anorexic and bullemic for my entire adult life. This was the entire reason I even explored a vegan diet and then shortly after fruitarian. Eating a diet mostly from fruit has been life saving for me. I didn’t have the energy to even call a psychologist until then. But even with that I wasn’t really getting enough food most of the time. Throughout I’d have terrible binges on just the worst junkiest foods I could find, just to get some calories in me, and then of course feeling even more sick afterwards. It seems like all of that was stress related. I had constantly elevated cortisol levels for absolutely no reason. It feels like their down to abnormal level now. My stress isn’t out of control anymore. That was an immediate night and day difference.

THE BAD

  • Not everything is “fixed”
    It’s been a hard life for me, admittedly for no reason whatsoever. I could never figure it out but for now it seems like a large part of it is and has been a simple lack of estrogen in my system. If I had had this when I was growing up everything, literally everything would be different. But, I didn’t and now I havew every problem an adult would have, plus I still have almost all of my issues from childhood unresolved. I need income, I need self susstianability, I have relationships that need repair, I have others that need to be dismissed, and I still have a big black hole in my life that I don’t fully understand yet. Nothing is good right now to be honest.It would be very easy for me to go off on a laundry list of things I want or need or think I ought to have… The point is that I don’t have anything really and I still lack a sense of being a Self, a discrete entity in the world that matters and who has needs. There is so much wrong that when I let myself dwell on the abyss I threw myself into where that proverbial net should have appeared, I start grasping around for something to hold on to. “At least I have this” or “at least I have that,” a house, a family, a child, a bank account, a career, something to let me know my time here wasn’t and doesn’t continue to be completely wasted. Something to remind me that I matter in some way, some extrinsic quality to let me know that any of this is even real.So, no that hasn’t resolved. Everything still sucks. I don’t have the same level of mysterious and crippling pain crushing me into the dirt now though.
  • I think I’m depressed.
    Like legitimately actually really depressed. Or I don’t know what but, I was depressed in high school and then spent the rest of my life trying to get rid of it, eventually reaching a point where I just wasn’t depressed anymore as far as I could tell. My body still expresses signs of depression, my mind too, but I had carved out a space of sanity inside me that was totally unable to feel anything. I ignored the hell out of it always focusing on other things, hoping it would go away. It feel like it’s getting reacquainted with me now.
  • I am still very much dissociated.
    As much as I feel in the world again, I also have to admit that I’m really not here fully. I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t think gender is even all of the reason for that. I’m not sure of anything anymore. Nothing feels real and I don’t feel like I really exist. I am so stuck in my life and I don’t see a way out. I constantly fight the urge to just walk away from everything and never talk to anyone again. No one I know, but also maybe not any other human beings. What’s the worst that could happen?

                           THE UGLY

So maybe this is where you want to get off this train because fair warning, from here I’m going to talk about the more personal, intimate, and physical aspects of this.

  • OK, so they weren’t lying when they said your libido would dip.
    And frankly, thank god it did. I was constantly being attacked all the time by a libido that was just out of control and had no where to go. I have trouble with sex but that’s another journal entry. The short version is I’d have to frequently take care of myself and it was never if hardly ever fun and never ever worth the pitiful orgasm at the end. It was just another chore I had to do. Another boring compulsion to take care of like sleeping or eating, only this was dysfunctional in the entirely opposite direction.Not only has my libido dipped, but following that so have my erections. I was always walking around half cocked, as it were, and it got to be uncomfortable at times. I couldn’t even look at a girl without being consumed with thoughts of what sex would be like with her. Whether or not I even wanted to think or feel those things. It was awful. Really. Now tough, quite the opposite. It’s hardly active, and when it is it’s only halfway active. My strongest erections right now are just functional enough. There is also this mass of tubing that connects to my testicles in the scrotum that was always full to bursting. Now it hardly feels like anything is there and my testes themselves are slightly smaller. It was kind of a scary change actually. Part of the deal with this is it could leave you sterile. Mostly trans women who want to conceive will stop HRT, wait for their T to come back and make sperm for them. A few of those people may find they’ve become sterile. It’s stupid, but the change was so fast and so profound it had me worried like, but what if it never works again???

    At minimum, it’s been amazing to have my mind back and not obsessing about sex all the time. It’s still been there when I’ve asked it to be but it’s nicely absent for when I don’t. There was always this feeling there that’s just gone now.

    Oh, the other thing that got me was stories of the whole thing shrinking from lack of use and then being painful when they had erections again.

  • I really am fucking depressed.
    This is buried at the end here because I’m hoping no one will get this far to read it.

    I think the depression was never gone, I had just dissociated from myself to such a degree that I couldn’t feel anything anymore. Everything just feels utterly hopeless and I don’t like anything about my life. I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to play this game. There’s nothing for me here. The only thing that keeps me around, I think is th’undiscovered country from whose born no travel or returns, puzzles the will and makes us rather bear those ill we have than fly to others we know not of. There’s nothing for me there either. And I feel like there’s also probably no outrunning the things that drag you down. You have the choice to deal with them or not, and nothing not even death, will ever let you escape them.

    I don’t want to live anymore, truly. I’m really finally feeling this thing. I am so disconnected from reality at this point, I don’t see a path to get back. My life is completely backwards, economically, socially, romantically, personally… there is nothing for me here in this entire world and I’m just done looking for it or waiting patiently for it to come to me. No one even knows who I am because no one wants to go that deep. No one can, probably. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. I have no motivation anymore to do anything. I’m just not a fit. I’m sucking energy out of people and giving nothing back, because I have nothing to give back. My debt only increases, my personal financial debt, my wider social debt, my energetic debt. I’m tired of putting out energy, putting all my energy into things, having faith, putting trust in the universe or god or whatever and having nothing come back. Only more and more debt. I have nothing left. It’s only a matter of time before all of this falls apart. It’s completely unsustainable and it’s going to implode. Mayumi needs to leave me. She should have left me a long time ago. She’s holding on to a hope that will never manifest. She needs to save herself. I’m not the child my parents think I am. I can’t be. I’m not the person any of my friends thought me to be. I can’t wrap my mind around being this person. I’m ready to let everything go. I just need an opportunity. I need a way out. I’m not even really here, anyway. I’m writing this all down because I have no one else to talk to about this. Not even the few psychologists or psychiatrists I’ve been to are equipped to handle me. I always felt like I was falling through the cracks of the system. I guess it wasn’t just a feeling. I’m the only one who can save me. For that matter the only one that can save anyone in the end is themselves. I don’t think I care enough about me or even the concept of me anymore to even try. 

    I feel like my life is in ruins, I feel like I’m living at the end of my life, and I can’t seem figure out how not to feel that way. I’m writing this down so there’s a record of it.

3 Weeks

Wow, so three weeks went by fast. I took my first dose of 2mg on tuesday night exactly three weeks ago today. I’ve been on 4mg a day since then and well, things have been different…

For the first week I wasn’t sure if it was just excitement or nerves or wanting so badly for something to finally make sense but I was in a perpetual state of near euphoria. …Maybe. It’s hard to gauge what is normal and what is euphoria when you never ever get to feel anything except numbness and pain. I’d lived in that state for more than 25 years.. (A quarter of a century man! How long you been in the mailroom? “25 years…” )  so I was really eager to find some solution to that first and foremost. Like really eager. Like I couldn’t even feel eagerness but I still managed to feel eager about that.

I  had finally made peace with my life, and made peace with my fate. I had big ambitions for my life and I put a lot of energy into it. Like a lot a lot. I overplayed my hand, expended all my reserves in a feverish attempt to make sense of my life and set myself up with some kind of income. Now I feel spent. I need rest and a vacation from my life to recuperate but I don’t have to resources to do anything. I’m in debt, both financially and energetically, and I’ve still not even started my life yet.

I was always held back by something mysterious. Something just hasn’t been right from the beginning. And, well shit long boring story short, it ruined my life and I was fully ready to just check out. No one could help me and no one who mattered to me seemed to care. I was blamed for my life choices, for being lazy, for anything and everything except I was never taken seriously. No one ever stopped to question why I was suddenly so obsessed with the “proper” water to drink or why I went on a crazy fruit diet (which I’m still on because it actually is pretty awesome, it turns out.) I felt ignored and in some cases, betrayed. Whatever happened, no one ever really got to know me and I never got to live my own life because I was always in this pernicious and ultimately devastating pain. My brain just didn’t work right. I could feel it, I just couldnt describe it well enough to ever get a proper diagnosis or a friendly ear to listen to me and help me figure it out or understand it.

So, yes the first week was like a breath of fresh air coursing through an old dilapedated house, the doors flung open and sunlight streaming in and clearing out all the cobwebs. I started to see a future again. I was fully ready to wander over to the ocean leaving everything and everyone behind and just sit and meditate in open awareness until I either died of starvation or I felt miraculously better like the Buddha. A sudden unlocking of the mind into an infinite awareness that either healed me and brought me back into the world or took me, finally into the next.

Now I’m hearing my mom tell me how she only didn’t ever believe me because I was always so dramatic. (The irony of her telling me that is not lost on me.) The thing I’d love it if someone could understand though, is that I have never ever been dramatic. Not overly dramatic, not even just dramatic. Not anything except purely rational and focused on understanding myself and the world around me. It just so happened that I also had a broken mind and an out of control emotional center that eventualy pushed me to dissociate from both. Now I’m going off the rails again. I only want to emphasize that this is the situation I’m in going into week two.

Then Sunday came and I overdid it. I went surfing in the morning and then drove 4 hours one way to go see a cave in Sequoia National Park and back right after. One O’clock in the morning I finally made it back, nodding off along the way. Nodding of… Oh, yeah I can sleep now. Sort of. I haven’t been but I can. Oh, and I can eat too. My appetite is so strong and I don’t feel sick like usual. The next week was a shit show.

This third week, I was so tired I could barely do anthing and I was worried that my intial euphoria had worn off. I was so sad and despondent yesterday I reconsidered just joining a monastery or something. “Nothing has worked out in my life, nothing will work out in my life, my continued presence here is meaningless and only hurting people, I am nothing, I have nothing, I want nothing, I am nothing. Maybe you’re just tired, did you think of that, genius? Why don’t you try getting some sleep and not be on twitter all the time reading people’s petty hate ‘debates’ and watching Trump destroy his own presidency?”

…So I did, and I feel marginally better. Sleeping and eating properly really helps. I spent my entire life trying to be on track with that and failing constantly. But, even through that, while last week harkened back to my experience of life before 3 weeks ago, the one thing missing was the underlying pain of it all. I have problems. Adult problems, built up over years of neglecting my own life for lack of capacity to live it. Those aren’t going away sp quickly. But what wasn’t part of last week was the usual pain, the total numbness to everything.


I don’t know what’s true and what’s made up in my mind, and what’s made up in other people’s minds. I don’t know if I’m being gaslighted and I don’t know if I’m falling into someone else’s deluision. I don’t know anything at all and at this point I’m extremely sensitive all of that. The second week I started to feel things, like sadness, that I haven’t been able to feel for a very long time. One morning I woke up and I was in the shower, beaming. Just beaming. I had no reason for it but I didn’t question it, grateful for the rare experience. I had to lay down and just let the waves of euphoria wash over me. A little sun had turned on inside my head and I was high off my ass on nothing at all.  Well, obviously I was on estradiol but, nothing that would have directly contributed to that.

My life is conflict. It always has been and is even more so right now. The only thing I know is that estradiol seems to be working to heal my mind. The other side of that though, the implications of staying on it are intimidating. I really just don’t think I have it in me to transition, and I don’t think I know how to be a transwoman pursuing acting, and I don’t really understand why that’s important to me, why I can’t let that go. The rest of it is also intimidating to be sure, even just living in the world as a kind of half-gender isn’t an exciting prospect to say the least. The acting thing is really the highest thing on my list, followed by I don’t want to lose my athletic ability, followed by having to manage human relationships, including the ones that I’m currently in as someone who is transitioning. And, in the end? I don’t even know why any of this is so important to me. But I can’t, no matter how hard I try, seem to make it stop.

Why do I have to care? Why is gender even all that important? I can only say that part of it seems entirely chemical. I just might need the hormones to have a normal mind. The rest? All I can say is that for my entire life after I started to change from puberty I haven’t been right at all with the world. I can’t explain it and I can’t describe it. I wish it weren’t true, and not a day has goen by since I finally decided to stop hiding from this 3 YEARS ago, that I haven’t wished, or tried to just live as a man and be done with it.

So, Ok… wow.


So, Ok… wow. I meant everything I said in the last entry but, man. I just realize I actually felt my emotions on that one. Really felt them. I was sad but, really actually sad.

Mostly I’ll feel emotions in my body, but they’ll have no connection whatsoever to anything in my thoughts or the situation I’m currently in. I won’t have any relationship with them. They’ll be expressing themselves opposite me, while we share the same body. But they aren’t my thoughts, they aren’t my feelings, they aren’t my life.

I have a lot to be sad about in my life. Other people though, have way more. I have a lot I should have been grateful for too. But, I’ve been so inundated with a misfiring emotional center that I haven’t been able to enjoy any of it for what it was when it was even here. For the sad parts, I haven’t been able to really feel those either. It’s like my emotional being has been divided and separated from my intellectual being like a split-brain patient. I’d be experiencing the emotions of another person while wondering just how long is this going to last, because I’d really rather not be tied up with this nonsense. It’s like my body and mind are in pain and I’ll even be sobbing, or angry, or even (sometimes, gasp) happy, but I won’t really be feeling it. I’ll jut feel the physical manifestation of it.

I just realized that this afternoon… what I was feeling was real sadness. I was really legitimately sad and I really legitimately felt it. Deeply felt it, like I’ve not been able to for so many years. And as much as I hate to be sad it was such an amazing realization to notice I actually got to experience something like that directly. I felt it, it lived inside of me for a few hours, I expressed it, and now it’s gone. I moved on and I wasn’t stuck with the pain of it anymore afterwards.

I’m not going to lie, as much as I hated it at the time, part of me wants to go do it again right now.

Weddings Birthdays Children

This thing, (this hormonal thing?)  Has just absolutely ruined my life. The world spins too fast for me. In a lot of ways I’m basically still a child. I was 12 years old and then I was suddenly 36 and I have no idea how I got here or who’s life this is I’m meant to be living. I look out and see everyone else going through their own lives, only they are really living theirs. Everything is just endless weddings, birthdays, and children, punctuated by the occasional rough patch that these people inevitably have and inevitably find their way out of. They grow as human beings and it’s really quite endearing to watch. I see their tears and their heartache, and I see them inevitably overcome these difficulties and rise up better than they were. 

But it’s all I seem to be able to do, is watch. I’ve been legitimately partially brain dead for most of my life and that takes its toll. It’s felt as if I have no power at all in my life, no ability to make proper decisions, and no way to grow. I’ve been stuck in place while the rest of the world moves around me, and lately has just moved right past me altogether. It legitimately feels like I don’t even exist at all, like I experience the world but I’m not an active participant. I’m in the world, but not of it. The whole thing feels alien to me.

Sitting here in tears, actual tears because I just found out a friend of mine… well, friend? Probably not, right? Is pregnant and was probably pregnant the last time I spoke with her on the phone and was most likely pregnant when I saw her in December and she never even told me. 

I don’t know what I am to her, I don’t know how she viewed me, but that’s a punch in the gut if there ever was one. I saw her go through a messy, awful divorce, I saw her life fall apart and I saw her put her life back together… I saw her withdraw from me because(?) I didn’t hide anything about my life. I was open about the mess that’s inside my head and like always, the people I open up to (because they ask me to) eventually shut me out for one reason or another and leave me behind. 

It’s a dilemma. I can continue to hold everything back, or I can admit I have significant problems with life that go far beyond anything a self-help book can resolve. My problems are not philosophical, they are not about feelings, they can’t be solved with affirmations and happy thoughts. They are existential and most probably chemical on a basic level. Hormonal to be exact. There is no amount of positive thinking that will ever resolve a deficiency. You either have it or you don’t.

If I hold back, the people I relate with can sense it. If I actually reveal what I’m going through, the frustration and inability to understand why I can’t “just…” gets to be too much and they withdraw. So, once again I’m left with nothing and I have to make the decision, once again to cut someone out of my life. To stop trying to even be in theirs in any capacity because I’ve been ignored to the point where this isn’t me just making things up in my head, again. To stop trying because they just so obviously landed in California and went to an event with another person I’d best forget exists and didn’t even send me a text. Oh, well. 

When your brain just isn’t working on a fundamental level, when your emotions are just all over the place, when you can’t even be sure what the point of being alive is, it’s hard to have relationships with other people. It’s doubly hard when it’s this actual lack of relationships that makes you feel like you’re floating in space with the world swirling around you. They’re like footholds that keep you anchored in the storm. Without them you might fly off into the Void and never return, but without the context of that even mattering at all. You learn that you can’t trust your own mind to tell you what’s right and wrong, what’s good and bad about the world around you.

I am fucked up. I don’t know how or why I got to be so far gone, but it doesn’t matter. The world moves too fast for me. I get to see everyone else living their lives but I don’t get to live one of my own. Every time I touch base with someone, every time they reach into my world for just a second and bring some sunlight into my grey and colorless world, I’m reminded of just how far gone I really am. These people around me are some kind of different creature. I haven’t spoken with anyone, friend, family, or professional that has any idea what it really all looks like to me. And when I try to explain it, I’m inevitably told on some way that I’m doing it wrong.

But here’s the thing. I have no motivation to live my life. None. Zero. I look online and everyone is yelling about racism this or sexism that. They’re mad about gay people taking too much power, or not having enough. They either want more money or more equity. They’re living their lives. I on the other hand, I don’t get to have a life. I don’t get to have feelings or a family or friends or sex or money or any of the things that make any of that stuff relevant. 

I’m sitting right now outside of an office where I “work,” trying to make some kind of money selling promissory notes to rich investors. If I did this right and the market conditions were favorable, I could make six figures working part time. But right now I’m not making anything and right now I don’t think I can bring myself to care. If I had money coming in, what then? I have no use for it really. I’d probably invest it and turn it into more money, but what’s the point of any of it? I still won’t have any real connection to people. I still won’t have relationships or a sex life, I still won’t have any reason to be here at all.

 On some level I think it’s funny how much people care about sex, specifically the sex of other people. All this screaming for or against LGBT rights and I’m sitting here wondering where are all these people having sex with each other anyway? They legitimately have relationships with each other?  Is that really something people do? What’s that like? Does no one else suppress their own sexuality to the point where it’s just an afterthought? Do people really care about gender so much that they want to police how other people exist? Do other people really get to exist as a gender and aren’t just wading through a sea of bland, gross mucosal gelatin trying to figure out why they exist at all?

So, I don’t know what my answer is. I don’t know if it even makes sense to think there might be an “answer.” Maybe this is just the way I was born. Maybe I missed my opportunity to live my life, I should have died a long time ago and I’m really just only here as a ghost, an empty shell. Maybe I missed my destiny by not joining the army when I graduated school, my life’s purpose now vanished… if you believe in gobbledegook like that. All I know is, my brain scans showed signs of brain damage. A closer look suggests that I’m a victim of sustained emotional abuse. I have terrible dissociation and depersonalization that seems to be correlated with my gender weirdness. I took some estradiol and now my brain feels like it’s been turned on for the first time in my life, at least since puberty began.

When puberty began it was like a light went off inside my head and nothing I have done or have tried to do since then has made any sense. Over the years I put up with a abuse from every side; my mother and others in my family, my “friends,” the other random kids around me, my teachers, later my bosses in whatever job I managed to find myself in. And I put up with all of it. I felt like I deserved it on some level. I can say right now that I have never had a real relationship. I have never had a real, deep relationship with anyone. It’s been a lonely life and I don’t want to live it anymore. 

Lately I tried estradiol and it’s like that light however dimly, started to come back on. It’s like I was starved for oxygen and now I can breath again. So, now I’m awake. Or at least more awake than I’ve ever been. But… it’s too late. It’s too late to live my life correctly, it’s too late to live as the person I wanted or needed to be. It’s too late because even though I have the mental fog clearing up, and I’m not fading out of life as badly, even though the clock has slowed down substantially and I can actually function in the day… I can now see my life clearly too. 

Everything is wrong. Everything is upside down. I don’t see a clear path out of this trauma raddled brain, I don’t see a purpose to being here at all, I don’t see what the point of life is in any capacity.

This isn’t depression. It may have been at one point but not anymore. I just feel like I’m breaking up with myself.