Monday, December 29, 2014

How Music Can Heal...or Harm.

These days seem to be a whirlwind.  I have had little time to post due to the busy holiday.  I have always attempted to keep myself busy in order to deal with the onslaught of emotions and feelings that have enveloped my life.  I have never been very good with these parts of my thoughts.  However, I have had to learn to deal with them none the less.  I swear I have tried everything to get a good grip on the waves of highs and lows I feel on an almost daily basis.  Only one thing has ever been able to bring me joy.  It has brought me to some of my lowest points of depression too.  This "thing" of which I speak, is music. 

I am an industrial metal fan myself.  I do enjoy many other forms of music though.  I have interests from pop culture to country, piano music to oldies.  I have always been able to find the deeper meaning in the music I listen to.  Many say I am eclectic, some say diverse.  I say, just me.  I have mood music.  I have music that influences my mood, and music that my mood influences.  My choice in listening from day to day varies.  The only constant I am able to find in all the madness of the music industry is that lyrics mean so much to those who listen to them.  There is so much horrible music out there that doesn't tell a story.  Well, in my opinion it doesn't.  I believe, that music in its truest form, speaks of the heart of the songwriter as much as it does of the performer of the music.  However, reaching the listener on a level that will create an almost intimate experience can be a challenge to even the most experienced songwriter/artist.  I have found these emotional experiences throughout every genre of music.  I am always on the lookout for music that will speak to my soul.  Happy music, sad music, real music, soul music, heart music.  You know, the stuff that makes your heart hurt, or laugh, or cry, or love. 

You are all probably wondering why I am writing about music when lately I have been talking about stuff like Trans* issues and personal experience.  Well, I feel this is important.  Everyone needs a coping mechanism.  I have found mine in music.  I am sharing this in the hopes that maybe someone who reads it will find some peace via the airwaves that are rampant with the melodies of the world.  My ex and I always found peace in our hectic relationship through music.  We did not like the same kinds, but we could always come together and share our love of music in general in order to grow closer and have a few moments of intimacy in the middle of the insanity that was our relationship.  I may have difficulty finding the happy moments in our tumultuous relationship, but the one thing that will always remain the same is the fact that music was a happy part of our relationship.  Not only did it, and does it continue to, help me cope with my dysphoric moments, but it helped me connect with a loved one.  In those times when you feel hopeless, look to your favorite tunes, melodies, chants, and other forms of music and lets the healing begin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Emotions Aplenty

So here I am again.  I have spent so many hours as of late just thinking about the future and what it will bring.  Mind you I am a very spiritual person and have been practicing Wicca for 14 years so my belief system is one of faith, hope and renewal.  It is very hard to see the forest through the trees when there are so many trees to see through.  I feel I have come to a turning point in my life that has a simple choice to make.  I have a fork in the road.  All I have to do is choose a direction.  However, I usually have some form of an indication of the path I am supposed to take.  This time there are no road signs, no lights, no nothing.  I stand looking at two paths that are seemingly identical if it were not for the simple distinguishing fact that they obviously go in different directions.  However, they could merge into one at some point in the future.  How can I know the outcome or where the path will lead me?  I never can, I can only glimpse into the future.  Which road will take me to what I have seen I have no idea.  I can only hope that I make the right decision.  I don't know if I can do that.  Fear rules so many parts of my life.  I give so many people hope but cannot seem to find wisdom in my own words for my own life.  I sit here and write to anyone who reads, in the hopes that it will help me make sense of the insanity I see in the world around me.  I cry like I have never cried before and nothing gets solved.  I learned that I cannot be good for anyone else if I am not OK with myself first.  I was OK with myself at one point in my life.  Now, I second guess myself and question everything I have done.

I suppose now it is time to shift gears and get to the nuts and bolts of what I am talking about.  The major point I am getting at is how one deal's with losing someone that you love.  It has been said that if you love someone that you love them enough to let them go.  As cliche as that sounds I do find it to hold very true.  I have lost someone who was my whole world.  We had a very difficult relationship riddled with some of the hardest experiences any couple would have to go through.  What relationship doesn't have issues.  However, dealing with those problems is what really defines that relationship and makes the both of you better people for yourselves, each other, children (if there are any), and both people's friends.  My ex and I overcame amazing things in our 6 years together and reflecting on the past makes me smile.  Strangely, those smiles are not always smiles of joy.  It was very difficult.  The burning question I have is "how does one move on with their life when such a large piece of their heart is no longer there?"  I say to you, whoever you are, if you have an answer to this question outside of what the "norm" would be, something that is a guarantee, please share and then patent it.  You will be a millionaire.

This time of the year is difficult for all of us who don't have a family to spend it with.  It is a horrible time of the year to be enduring any type of emotional distress.  I speak from personal experience here and what I live through every day.  I have found comfort in just not allowing myself to be alone for too many hours of the day.  I do not advocate for going to bars and being irresponsible, however, at this emotional time of year, community is something that makes all the bad thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions at bay.  Even if it is only for a few hours.  Find people, be with them, find something to be joyful about even if you are in the pits of despair.  Doing so may mean the difference between life and death or night and day. 

In closing I suppose these are parts of life that we all face and how we deal with them is our own.  We all face tribulations throughout our journey in this vessel that make or break us.  Many times we have that "sink or swim" experience that seems like their is no way we can survive.  How can one survive if they don't know how to swim?  I suppose the best way for me is to not panic.  Emotions come and go like the wind and dealing with them is never easy.  However, a strong person once told me that emotions are what we are made of and ignoring them makes us cold and bitter to the world around us.  I have ignored mine for so long that now dealing with them and just feeling them seems taboo.  I may not be able to see the correct path in front of my.  I may not be willing to take the risk of just choosing one and seeing where it goes.  I do know this.  I will die someday, it may be tomorrow.  It may be 50 years from now.  Until that day comes, as difficult as it may be, I have to keep fighting.  I have to find positive ways to deal with the onslaught of depression and emotions that drive me to physically hurt myself and mentally/emotionally hurt those around me.  How do I stop my pain from creating pain in the lives of others?  That is a question I do not know the answer too.  When I figure that out, all of you will be the first to know.  I love all of my readers and followers and hope and wish you all the best.  Until next time. Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Tribulations of a Transwoman

It has been a few days since my last blog.  Goddess give me the strength to get through this post.  I find myself in a very dark place in my life.  I have experienced and episode of discrimination that I never thought possible from a person in a "Professional" capacity.  I has an experience with Missoula City Police recently that has left me shaken, broken, and depressed.  I was almost arrested for lying to the Police about who I am and what my name is.  I was asked by an officer what my name was and I responded with the obvious.  The officer then looked at my companion and said, "What is his name?"  She replied with my name, "Jame."  They refuse to acknowledge my court order changing my name and gender.  They referred to me with improper pronouns and used Mr. Wallack.  For those of you who don't know, I am on probation, however, I am out to my p.o. and he is supportive.  However, they refuse to classify me as my legal name and have it listed as an A.K.A.  The officers were rude and the use of "Sir" was completely uncalled for.  The whole situation was a misunderstanding and it has since been resolved.  What I don't understand is that if I have an order signed by a judge, why is it so difficult for the rest of the system to not follow protocol and change it in their records.  I have come to the conclusion that the only solution is to sue the Department of Corrections and request to be let off probation, or go back to a male jail and hope I don't die or get raped too often.  I have been told it is the policy of the Department of Corrections that they do not acknowledge a name change of a Trans person.  I have to do random urine tests, in front of a MALE probation officer.  Do you know how strange it is to sit down and pee in a little cup in front of a guy?  That too is policy.  If the person is preoperative, then they are treated as the biological sex, regardless of identity or expression.

I have a hard time understanding where people get these ideas.  How is this even morally correct.  The state of montana is obviously so LGBT-phobic that they cannot see past the end of their own noses to see that we are people too and deserve to be treated with the same respect as everyone else.  How can they even think about putting a Trans-female in a male populated jail?  Do they not see the risks?  I have realized that the "good-ol-boys" of this state are so binary oriented that there may be no hope for the state of Montana being Trans inclusive in every area.  I believe that I am very much in need of a place out of state to move to.  I can no longer live through the discrimination that I experience from so many areas of my life. 

I have also experienced a ton of discrimination in my own home.  I am currently going through the nastiest divorce of my life.  I wish it would just be a nice civil ending of a marriage, but alas it is not.  My ex-partner has and is continuing to do everything in her power to place me in jail simply because I filed for divorce because I am Transgender and we no longer see life the same.  We have moved on and evolved as people, as people do.  I understand the pain and hurt associated with losing a long term relationship.  I feel it every day.  However, that is not an excuse to go out of ones way to attempt to "help" by putting someone in jail for not committing a crime.  Revenge is an ugly beast that once let loose is an amazingly difficult escapee to wrangle. 

This post is more of just some random rants and raves in an attempt to make some sense of all the madness in my life at this juncture.  I feel like my head may explode.  I just want all the insanity to stop before I end up in the ground or in the looney bin.  I feel like this whole transition may have been more of a mistake and I would have been better off as an alcoholic male who let his spouse control every aspect of his life.  I don't really know any more.  I am sure some of this banter will concern most, anger a few, and upset others.  I do apologize for any triggers I inadvertently placed in this rant.  Until the next time, adieu.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Intimate Partner Violence

I find it so amazing how people have so many issues revolving around abuse and neglect. Now I will not jump out there and say that I am a saint. I have had my fair share of hardships. I have yelled, screamed, thrown shoes and cell phones, made verbal threats in a fit of rage. I am not an innocent victim. I know my wrongs, I have to live with them and I am working to right those wrongs in my own self. What I would like to talk about is the thought process of other people and how my experience is similar to many Trans* people out in the world.

According to a report done in 2012 by the ncavp transgender people are 2.0 times more likely to experience intimate relationship violence and neglect due to their transgender status. They are 1.8 times likely to experience harassment in those same relationships. Many times the partner of a Transgender person doesn't even realize that they are being abusive or neglectful. Many times they completely believe they are just trying to be helpful.

“Transgender people face increased risk of violence because of their gender identity and transphobia within intimate partnerships,” said Aaron Eckhardt, Training and Technical Assistance Director at Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) in Columbus. “To really address the needs of transgender survivors, we need to address transphobic laws, policies and institutions while also providing supportive programs that address transgender people explicitly and that engage transgender survivors in preventing this violence.”

The unfortunate fact of life for many Transgender and gender diverse individuals is that due to the identity difficulties and the lack of education of family members, many attempts by partners of Transgender people resort to physical, mental, emotional violence and neglect. Many times it is due to their fear of loss, or the fear of what they don't understand. This creates a hostile living environment for both parties. Many times there is fault on both sides that create this. "In 2012, only 16.5% of all survivors reported information about interacting with the police, an increase from 2011 (10.7%). Of those who did interact, 54.3% of survivors reported the IPV incidents to police, an increase from 2011 (45.7%). However, in nearly 1/3 of the LGBTQ-specific IPV cases reported to the police (28.4%), the survivor was arrested instead of the abusive partner. Further, transgender
survivors were over four times (4.4) more likely to face police violence and discrimination within the context of an IPV incident than people who did not identify as transgender." Due to the fear involved with harassment and misconceptions, many Transgender IPV survivors never report the abuse until it is too late.

Now its time for my opinion. It is simply that, nothing more, nothing less. Take it or leave it. I think that the abuse and neglect gets to a point where the Transgender individual can no longer take the neglect of feelings and emotions. Not having resources affects their thoughts as well. However, transitioning is a very selfish and complex experience. Attempting to find a healthy balance between meeting ones own needs and meeting the needs of confused family members, friends or intimate partners is not easy. It almost always leads to abuse and neglect towards the Transgender individual, whether intended or not, which in turn creates abuse and neglect by the Transgender individual. This "revolving door" situation make for a proverbial powder keg waiting to explode. What can be done to repair damage and gain acceptance. An equal give and take on both sides of the party. In order to be understood, we must understand. This can be a very intimidating idea when Transgender people can be so sensitive about their emotions and feeling and rightly so. However, the people who don't understand the Trans* experience have to wait, be supportive of every emotion and feeling regardless of how much they don't understand it. They have to realize, especially early in transition, that they are dealing with a very sensitive person. Many times this point is neglected. In the long run, I see why most relationships that have a Transgender come out during them fail, this needs to change. How can we do that and stop the abuse and neglect and the hate? Make laws to protect the Trans community and create programs for family members. AA is for the drunk, AL-ANON is for the family members of the drunk. It works for them, why can't it work for us. Like I always say, many of the best ways to handle an issue are right here in the world around us. Somebody has always gone through something similar to someone Else's situation. Help each other, we are all people and we all deserve respect regardless of our choices and situations.


Greetings to all,

My name is Jame Lyn.  I am starting this blog because due to traumatic events in my life I have decided to take advantage of the writing skills I have and attempt to get my thoughts and feelings out.  I will probably cover everything from personal issues and how I deal with them to current events on politics, medicine, crime, gender diversity and orientation, etc.  Everything that will be posted will have information to back up my claims such as resources.  However, I will include my opinions.  I hope that the public will enjoy the sporadic rants and raves of a Trans-woman in transition.  This is a very hard life I live and finding avenues to positively deal with my issues can be a challenge.  I encourage everyone who reads or follows to give their opinion, providing it is done in a respectful manner. 

I have come to the realization that the world is an empty place, even though there are billions of people inhabiting this planet.  My dream is to not get everyone to live in some fantastical idea euphoria, but in a harmony that includes mutual respect and assistance to all.  I see so many bad things going on in our government, home lives, work lives, and abroad that it is hard to see where the future will take humankind.  However, I do believe that the essence of the human spirit is to help each other regardless of color, creed, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, sex, age, and all those other stereotypical labels that we tend to put on one another.  I wish and hope that someone who reads any or even one of these entries will be enlightened and that the information and opinions posted will give them insight and guidance in whatever area or level of life experience they may be in.

Many call me an activist.  I guess, if you need to put a label on my then yes I am.  However, my ultimate goal is not necessarily to show people how to live their lives.  More, helpful hints that have come from my own personal experience and any advice on how I would handle a situation.  I hope that this will be as rewarding an experience for the reader as it will be for myself as the author.  I will attempt to post as often as I can, however, due to time constraints, I will not be posting daily at first.  I am hoping for three times a week.  This is my first post as you can see and it will be followed by a post I placed on Facebook a few days ago, just to get the ball rolling.  Hope you all enjoy.  Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.

Jame Lyn