Saturday, March 7, 2015

What happened to the community in the LGBT community??

So I have seen the my last post really wasn't that popular.  I can completely understand why.  Dysphoria is a difficult thing to write about and sometimes even harder to read about.  Even a small little blurb can trigger an dysphoric episode that could possibly ruin someone's life.  However, it is a very real part of any Transgender person's everyday life.  Many times it goes away, which I haven't actually met anyone who says it is gone completely, but most of the time it just dies down to a point inside the person who experiences it where they can manage it with little difficulty.  With that said, I was not extremely surprised by the low reader volume when I write about a very difficult subject.  I have been attempting to write about things that are not only near and dear to my heart but issues that people can identify with.  So what do I write about now?  I am not really sure.  I have talked a lot about Trans issues.  I have talked a lot about personal issues.  So what should I write about?  I really don't know.  Do I have writer's block or do I just need to find some new material that doesn't take hours, days, or weeks to research.  I know that I have tons of opinions, most of which are backed up by hard facts.  I hear about the bathroom bills going on and all the other political bologna we all hear about.  I really don't want to write about those issues.  So I think I will continue to write about personal issues.  One thing that I have had an especially hard time with is not really dysphoria, but it is in relation to it.  I really just want to talk about the way we should treat each other as human beings, not necessarily how we treat those whom we see as different from ourselves or from what we may or may not consider normal, but how we as people treat each other every day.

This will probably be one of the most challenging blog I write to date.  I am going to divulge some information about myself that I don't traditionally have the courage to share.  I don't just share stuff like this because it can be hard to deal with people knowing the details of what is going on in my life.  For those of you who do not know me very well, I am a 32 year old Trans-female.  I have 2 kids and a wonderful partner whom I love and care for deeply.  Our relationship has had many many pitfalls resulting in our periodic separation.  However, in the end, we usually try to make things work.  We love each other enough to put things in our rear view mirror.  Both my kids, as well as my partner, are extremely supportive of my transition.  The issue that we have had in the last few months had to do with the members of our community, specifically the Trans community, that were disrespectful towards my family and the fact that I even had a family.  I just wanted to be around people who had a common interest with me and would actually take up the quest of being a good friend.  In my times of need my online friends that are spread throughout the country and the world were there and my local "friends" were not really there for me.  There were few to no phone calls to check on me, emails of care were non-existent, and except for the occasional Facebook message, it felt like my local friends just bailed on me.  I was even more confused when these so called "friends" did everything to attempt to pull me away from my family so they had another person to call a wing woman in the bar.  Not really my scene.  Then, I found out that someone whom I considered a friend was attempting to hook me up with random people and advertising my ass out on dating sites without my knowledge, and she knew I was still married.  "I was just trying to help you move on," was her claim.  Maybe she was, but I know her better than that.  She wasn't a real friend and nurturing what I wanted.  She was just scheming to get what she wanted.  But I digress, everyone has "friend drama."  What it did though was make me question who was really my friend and who just wanted another person to fill a bar stool. 

In December of last year, 2014, I had a suicide attempt that was very nearly successful.  Had it not been for my 14 year old son and his girlfriend I would not be writing this blog today.  I overdosed on pain killers and muscle relaxers.  About a month later, I had a second attempt that landed me in the emergency room with several stitches in my leg.  I was living alone, super depressed daily, and had relapsed with my cutting.  I was the extremest when it comes to my cutting.  I have surgical precision, most of the time.  I have a kit.  It contains everything I will need to take care of myself before, during, and after an episode of cutting.  I had gauze, bandages, surgical glue, razors, tape, and at one point I even had local anesthetic.  Kinda strange that a cutter would use this last item but it was just to get me started.  I am a deep cutter.  I cut in the same place over and over and over in an effort to bleed the pain out of my body.  The problem is, even with experience and caution, I still was very close to death when I last visited the emergency room.  Most people would never guess from my normally bubbly and friendly composure that I have some very deep rooted self image problems.  No way, who would ever guess?  Note the hint of sarcasm?

You now have a little background on my life.  Very little.  Now we can talk about my opinion.  I think that, at least in my town, the idea of community within the LGBT community has all but disappeared unless you are into going out to the bar regularly and hooking up with random people for a one night stand.  Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing, if that is what you enjoy, fine.  I am not one to tell people what to do, how to act, or that their behavior is wrong.  All I am saying is that it isn't my cup of tea.  The issue I really have is this; I am a married woman.  Just because I am separated or getting divorced doesn't mean that I am ready an willing to just act like a teenager again and go out, get smashed, and fuck the first dick that gets hard.  Nor am I willing to open up the can of worms involved with cheating on my spouse.  Now, I do not believe that if a husband or wife finds a new partner during as long a process as a divorce can be as cheating on your spouse.  Especially if both parties know the relationship is totally over, but what about all the divorces that are filed every year where the parties separate, file divorce and then reconcile their differences?  In this case, my partner and I reconciled.  Had I done anything to jeopardize our relationship the chances of salvaging it would have been extremely difficult if not impossible.  The general gist of what I am saying is simply this, "Why would a true friend or group of true friends who say they believe in "community" do everything in the world to pull me away from my family because, "that's not really our mission.  We are reaching out to the Trans people without families."  This is so an oxymoron!!!!  So now I can't even be accepted into the Trans community/LGBT community in my own town because I have a family and don't think it is OK to go to the bar every night and sleep with every tom, dick and harry?  How is that community?  I struggle to be accepted in society as a whole every day and it is difficult for me just as it is for all transgender people.  My issue is that there is this clique type atmosphere within Missoula, Montana that accepts immature, irresponsible, and highly sexual behavior as normal and just fine.  If someone doesn't agree, they are shunned, all because they have their priorities straight and take care of and raise a family?  So now, my phone doesn't ring, I don't get asked out by friends, and nobody seems to give a shit.  And people wonder why I spend my nights in tears fighting the urge to tear my legs apart with razors.

So the question I pose to the masses is this:  How can we continue to fight for acceptance of the LGBT community as a whole when there are issues with us accepting each other within the community itself?  Another question that I have posed to cis-gender friends regularly is "Why would people say they will accept me but not be willing to accept my partner and my kids?"  What makes me different from any other Trans person in the world?  Somehow having a loving partner and loving children makes me unpopular?  Isn't equality what we are fighting for all around?  What I find so disturbing is that my cis-gender friends are more accepting of me than my trans and LGBT friends are.  I really just don't believe that you can accept me as a transfemale, without being willing to accept my partner and children at the same time.  Part of that is if my partner has problems understanding what I am going through and needs or wants to talk to someone else in an effort to ask questions and understand this beast called transition, why should she be shunned for asking questions and having a genuine interest in helping and understanding.  Hell, I don't understand this beast all the time, neither does she.  However, isn't asking questions from other people going through the same experience the way we learn how to cope?  Isn't that what therapy is all about?  Just one person helping another.  So again, I pose the question, what happened to the community in LGBT community?

Monday, March 2, 2015

That Dysphoric Feeling

I want to begin this blog with one thing in mind.  The safety of my readers.  Therefore I will be stating a disclaimer before I even begin.  I am going to talk about the feeling all transgender individuals experience known as dysphoria.  I in no way intend to trigger anyone or lead anyone to believe that my fight has been any more difficult than anyone else's battle.  However, I intend to talk about stuff that could trigger you, the reader, if caution is not taken.  I will do my very best to convey to my readers that I am only relaying my experience and the experience's of my family and friends.  Names are purposefully omitted to protect parties involved.  I hold no responsibility towards any individuals who may be triggered by reading, but in all kindness, I warned you.

So here we go.  I am about to analyze one of, in my opinion, the strangest phenomena I have had to experience in my life.  Facing my Gender Dysphoria.  That feeling that there is something not right about my body looks, feels, smells, etc in some very specific areas of my body.  I catch myself asking myself questions like "Why do I hate my penis so much?", "What about my physical body is wrong?", "Why can I not be secure in being a woman and not give little notice to what is between my legs?", and "If I have my bottom surgery will it go away or will it just shift to another part of my body?"  I have yet to come up with any solid answers to these and several other nagging questions that I am sure we of the Trans community can all identify with.  However, I feel the main point of this blog should revolve around not why we feel the way we do, but how to manage those feelings and thoughts when they happen.  These two aspects of how we feel and how we think controlling our behavior seem to go hand in hand half the time and work against each other the next.  So in the grand scheme of things, what does one do when they have a dyphoric attack, as I have quite often, that is so strong that the idea of just going to the bathroom or taking a shower is appalling?

This is something that I deal with almost daily.  I hate my body.  My aversion to my physical genitalia and seemingly insignificant breast size has always been strong.  However, over the last several months this dysphoric feeling every time I have to get in the shower and bathe consumes me.  I trudge through it only because showering seems to be an extremely necessary part of a hygienic person's day.  I am anal retentive about hygiene.  In lieu of this need, every time its time to shower this overwhelming feeling of disgust, ill-will, hate, and discontent takes me.  I cannot even wash my own genitals.  I have cried so hard in the shower, weft on the floor of the bathtub.  All because of something that seemed to be so trivial now controls my emotional state of mind.

I am hoping that other transgender people out there can identify with some of what I have talked about so far.  I really need to attempt to explain what might just be unexplainable.  Why do I feel that way?  Short answer; no idea.  Long answer; I can analyze it and maybe understand it.  So lets analyze.  Modern medicine has taught us what happens in the womb of someone who suffers for Gender Dysphoria as I do.  I basically have the body of a male and the mind and mental makeup of a female.  Obviously, a woman trapped in a man's body would have its issues no matter who you might be.  Some would be positive, depending on the female.  She might enjoy the experience.  However, I have had a far different experience.  The most difficult when it come to bedroom activities with my life partner.  I hate the fact that the one thing in this world that I want just as much as to be seen as a woman by everyone I meet, is a vagina.  I am not quite there yet.  Getting close.  I have the issue that I cannot make love to my partner the way my mind tells me is correct. 

So how do I deal with it.  Lately, its been a lot of crying and mountains of social anxiety coupled with not dealing with it at all.  Ignoring seems like a good idea at first and then it catches up with you.  So here I am dealing with it.  Why can't I seem to be able to be OK with my body?  Answer:  Cause its the wrong one!!  Can I learn to be comfortable with it?  Nope.  Would I ever actually perform self surgery to get rid of it? Nope on that too.  I may want to, but...ow.  So what do I do?  I cry.  Inside.  Every day.  All day.  I learn to live with the mental and emotional pain just as I learned to live with the physical pain I have from my back problems.  I am, as they say is psychology, conditioning myself.  Is conditioning actually dealing with the problem?  Not really.  It works though.  I don't suggest it as a positive behavior, but it is what I do. 

What can others do?  Find something about your body that you do like every day and put a lot of emphasis on it.  I love my butt and my legs and my eyes.  So I add emphasis to those areas every day in an attempt to draw attention away from the bulge in my pants or the itty bitty titties I have.  Complimenting yourself every day helps too.  I like to tell myself "You can do this" in the mirror.  In reality, what someone does is really there business and I really don't wanna tell anyone how to handle there problems.  I probably didn't help anyone with this rant I have gone on.  Maybe I did.  Who knows.  If I did, I would love to know.  There is another peek at me.  Peace, Love, Unity, Respect