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Introduction & Mental Health

As the first blog post ever I thought I should give an introduction of sorts. I’m 21 years old and I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. I study computer science at the local university. I also volunteer as a youth leader at an organization here (this blog may get a bit inflammatory so I won’t name them here). I own 3 rats and annoy the family cat, Sonya, quite a bit. Am currently going through more than I can handle so this blog is intended to be cathartic. Hopefully venting a bit and seeing what others make of my problems will make everything a bit more manageable.

Unfortunately I can’t really talk about myself without mentioning my mental health- it seems to dictate everything I do at the moment. Struggling with what has been described as Depression with Psychotic Features and it has taken everything out of me. Coupled with gender issues (with the help of my partner I’ve finally acknowledged I’m trans) things feel pretty out of control most of the time. I’ve tried my fair share of medications and nothing so far has killed my depression. I’m seeing a psychiatrist next week but I’m not holding out much hope. 1mg of risperidone a night is keeping me from going too far off the rails but that’s not enough when I’ve got this much shit to sort out. I’ve absolutely had it with psychiatrists deciding how depressed I am so I’m lukewarm on trying another antidepressant- St John’s Wort is my substitute after escitalopram’s apathy turned out to be more that it’s pathetic mood improvement was worth.

I’m hoping I’ll get better at writing posts because it’s difficult not to appear self absorbed, but I’m hoping with my partner Mason’s support I can at least keep trying-
Thanks for reading

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Old Friends, New Life

Plenty has happened this last week. As usual I haven’t been too practical- no uni and most of my free time (and there’s been a lot) has been with Emily. At the same time some healing has happened- some things have been finally put to rest. The turmoil is ongoing but I feel like I’m making progress.

I’ve talked about some of the denial I went through. The last phase of this denial saw my rage and anger at myself directed towards society, which resulted in a friendship with the most politically divisive person I’ve met. When I found out he’d gone off his trolley and started harassing a group on campus; trying to bring them around to his very reactionary beliefs, I was almost certain he wouldn’t accept my gender issues. I felt like I was betraying all the wonderful times we’d spent together talking shit, taking various research chemicals and smoking cigars by dealing with my biggest issue. Even so, he sounded manic so I decided to put my cards on the table. I told him and too my shock he said he already suspected it and it was okay, and he continued with the ritalin-fueled stream-of-consciousness going on. The person who I thought would be the least accepting understands better than my parents, of all people. I feel like I not only made peace with him, but also the hostile, transphobic teenager I was only a couple of years ago. It’s a big step.

Onto some more fun stuff, me and Emily went to K-Mart and bought me a skirt and a girl’s t-shirt as well as make-up. This new outfit is way less dysphoria-inducing than the dress Emily gave me because it doesn’t show off my muscular back. I wore it in front of my brother today. He was a bit shocked because he’s never seen me crossdress before but we just talked about random shit like we always do and I think he’s okay with it. I’ll need him.  I think I’ll be able to wear this stuff in public someday which will be amazing.  I’m trying to sort out a benefit so I can move out of my parent’s house; things are way too awkward here. Mum and Dad really don’t understand and I’m not sure they ever will.

Sorry for the muddled post. That’s what happens if I write after taking my risperidone. Expect a picture of me crossdressing once I get used to using makeup. I’m attaching a picture of our beautiful cat, Sonya with her new collar. She hates it; she tries to stalk birds regardless but she hasn’t had any success yet..

 

Fading

Things have changed so much over the past few years. I’m a different person and it’s bitter-sweet. Everyone goes on a journey of self-discovery but I feel like through all the twists and turns I’ve come out a completely different person, and I’m not sure I like what I’ve become.

I used to run 80km every week carrying around almost 20 less kilograms. I used to study full-time. I didn’t need sertraline, risperidone, nicotine and caffeine to get through the day without flipping my shit. It looks like I’m going to have to give up on my degree for now and go back to polytech. I have no idea what to do with my life. Is all this part of the process of finding myself or am I just sinking further into chaos?

The way things are fading out, these feelings that coagulate and make life feel surreal and pointless; is my soul crumbling away to be reborn or are these the symptoms of a mental illness?

Uncertainty rules at the moment. I need support from everyone and I’m wondering if I’m going to get better at all. I’m scared this isn’t all the gender stuff. I’m scared I’m really sick. Every day I get the urge to hurt myself- to flail against the futility of it all; maybe that way I can shatter the broken reality I inhabit these days.

Practically I’m getting very little done. I could’ve been an engineer, a software developer and a nurse at various stages of my adult life, but all those hopes have been uprooted one way or another. Will I be dead weight forever? I don’t know. Maybe if I knew the worst it wouldn’t be so hard.

-sorry bit of a scattered post. It’s 11pm here

The Elephant in the Room

M0re than anything else, it’s absolutely destroyed my sense of self. Any of the quiet calm I used to have is now completely overwrought and my old life has decayed away as a result. My girlfriend and I and going through similar things; the gender dysphoria, the self hate, the body image issues and the overwhelming uncertainty of what our lives will become. A long time ago we coined the term ‘gendershit’ to describe these feelings and it’s stuck with us- we use it to explain each other’s terrible moods and emotions, our self harm and suicidality, our inability to function how we should.

I’ve known I wanted to be a woman since puberty hit back in 2006. I could write a whole post on the various ways I’ve denied it and tried to cope. I spent a long time trying to be as masculine as possible in an attempt to stop the pain. Eventually the rot set into me and I became angry, homophobic/transphobic and angry, and I filled my life with people who hated the world. Eventually I broke and descended into depression and then psychosis as I crumbled. I felt like I deserved to die, the voices told me I’d rot in hell and that everyone would prefer me dead. I had to dig deep because the only alternative was to kill myself. I dug up all the daydreams I used to have back when I was still happy. The elephant in the room was there but I focused on my sexuality because it would be so much easier if I was just gay. I started religiously listening to David Bowie last September (only months before his death), told a few friends I wasn’t straight, and embarked on a long journey of self-discovery. I’m not going to pretend I was any better; the self harm got worse and I had to spend a week in the local psych ward, Hillmorton Hospital, so they could calm me down. My life was still crumbling apart and my head was chaos.

In April I met Emily on a dating site. We got on really well and she kept visiting me while I was in the psych ward and when I was released we hung out pretty much every day. Early on I realised she was trans too but after a protracted meltdown she came out, and we’re all gonna have to call him Mason soon. A couple of months later we got into a relationship and the intimacy made the gender issues start hitting me again. She helped me start cross-dressing and I felt amazing, even though my body felt even more disgusting as a result. I came out to my parents and close friends and that very briefly leads me to where I am now.

I don’t crossdress in public. I only do it around Emily. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to dress up in public with the way my body is now. A two-year stint with bodybuilding I used to cope with my gender issues in high school has left me far too muscular, and there’s things I can’t change like my voice. I need to get on hormones if I’m ever going to make this work but I have no idea if I meet the threshold and I can’t get answers from everywhere. If the gender psychologist says I need to dress differently in public to have anything done I don’t think I could cope- I just can’t cope with the attention and I’m worried I’ll drive myself over the edge. I have no idea what the future holds right now, and the elephant in the room feels like something I can barely even talk about, let alone overcome.

A Few More Weeks In

At counseling this morning I managed to talk myself into writing some more so here we go after a long few weeks!

I was in hell for another week after my last post. It culminated with a couple of ED visits and eventually they got me another psychiatrist appointment much earlier than planned. Much of this was down to coming out to my parents about my gender issues properly and explicitly saying I wanted to transition. I managed to drive them up the wall and a couple of days later they said some very hurtful things which drove me to run to a deserted wetland nearby and slice up my arms a bit. What scares me is it could have got so much worse if I wasn’t doped out of my skull on risperidone.

I can’t handle my emotions. I’m understanding this more and more; they just scold me so badly whenever I get to thinking. How I’m selfish and evil, a burden who should just rot. They get bad very quickly. Eventually the continuous trips to ED and calls to the psychiatric emergency line got me another appointment to a psychiatrist. She said that I might not have the litany of illnesses I’ve been diagnosed with at all- borderline personality disorder might actually be what I’m dealing with. How do I interpret it? Am I just a troublesome patient that’s too self destructive for them to help or do I really have this condition? I seem to tick all the boxes except for the unstable relationships but the stigma against BPD is worse than most psychiatric illnesses and what it says about me is scary.

There’s lots of stuff I’m glossing over but that’s about the end of my attention span for now; hopefully there’ll be more posts to come. The picture is of me and the girlfriend after her appendix surgery