A Time of Firsts

I am so happy. I meant to make this post the other day, but got sidetracked. Anyway, I wanted to share with you all something that I have had on my mind for a long long time. As you all know, I have had a lot of issues with my gender and trying to figure everything out, trying to find out who I am. Now that I am on my own at college, I have a lot of doors open for me for free therapy on campus. However, I haven’t been able to find a therapist that deals with gender identity issues/LGBTQ+ issues. There was one that was recommended to me, but I couldn’t afford it. I started a GoFundMe to help raise money for the $120/hr tab for the therapist, and didn’t get far. But that did not stop me at all. I kept looking for therapists that were good at what they do, and took my insurance. Sure enough, while I was at my psychiatry appointment, telling my doctor about all of these things, how I was feeling, she recommended someone to me in her circle, and I have a gender therapy appointment set up for February 7th! 

This is what I’d say is a sign. I never thought I would be able to get in with someone, I never thought I would get this far. Everything seemed so bleak, but hell I got through it all. It may not seem like much, just getting an appointment. However, on my end, this is a milestone in my journey. Like I said before, most of you know my journey, you know what I have been going through and dealing with. But of course, there is something different when it is all in your head. And of all things, I appreciate this outlet so much to help me get what’s in my head out. I also appreciate all the people that take the time to read what I put out and support me to the best of your ability. It helps me more than you could ever know.

When it comes to therapy as a whole, I feel like it is so important, and it is very much overlooked as a healthy outlet. Sure, talking to friends about your mental health can help, and sometimes does, there is something much more helpful about seeing a professional. I know I still talk to my family and friends about my gender issues, but I knew that if I really wanted all this settled and figured out, I would have to see someone. There is no harm in that though. I hope one day we can break the stigma against people seeing therapists, and making it seem like a bad thing. I know people that wont see one because they don’t like people, or they don’t want to talk about their problems, or they don’ t think it will help, etc. Let me tell you, if I didn’t have my parents that made me go, I don’ t think I would be as mentally sound as I am today, compared to a few years ago. I remember my first therapist, and they were everything I could have wanted in a therapist. Because of them, I have a very high standard for the people I decide to work with. But I have real high hopes for this coming week, and what this new person has to offer. 

All in all, thank you to everyone for all your support over the past few months, and even over the past few years. Without all of you, I wouldn’t be where I am. I will keep everyone posted about how it goes!

#breakthestigma

Taking A Break…

For the past month at New College, we have this thing called an Independent Study Project (ISP). It is where we focus on a specific internship or project for a whole month to better ourselves through that specific task. My ISP is called NaNoWriMo, where I basically write a 40,000-50,000 word book in a month. Terrifying right? I have been trying to write as much as possible to be able to meet my word counts for the day. Everything seems to get more and more bleak as I continue. My hope for this project dwindles as we get closer to the end. It certainly is difficult trying to write everyday and not lose motivation.

My topic, specifically, is about mental health and my gender identity, and how it all meshes together. After all this time of writing, I am taking a break… To write more here. This journey of trying to write all these things has brought me to a point where I realize a lot of things, such as where I’ve been and how far I have come. When it is all in the moment, and you’re jotting down everything you have felt in the past seven years, it gets tough. You start to think, maybe I haven’t come that far at all. Maybe it is just another hole I am letting myself slip into. If you are a writer, and you focus mainly on mental health like I have, don’t fall into that hole. These past few weeks there have been days I haven’t slept, not only trying to get my word count in, but also trying to try and rationalize all my feelings that I have had developing inside me for all these years. It certainly is a great feeling to get it all out, but still. It’s all a work in progress. Life in general is… there I go! Rambling again…

Needless to say, it all gets better. I guess that is my main point in all the posts I make and all the things I try to elude to you all. It may seem tiring and upsetting right now, but it certainly does get better. I hope you all stay tuned with Miss Olivia, my new co-writer, and I, for all our future posts and endeavors!

I Deserve To Be Comfortable

Where do we draw the line between our own happiness and others opinions? I’ve been trying for the longest time to find that sweet spot. I realize I care too much about others opinions on subjects and how they view me, within my family, my social group, and even people I don’t even know.

Example A.
I shaved my head. Not completely bald, but I definitely look like Teenage Negasonic Warhead from the Deadpool movie. It makes me happy and comfortable with myself, so why should I care? The answer is… I shouldn’t. Easy right?

Could it be a side effect of low self esteem? Maybe. I feel as if my life choices somehow make others uncomfortable and therefore I hate the things that I do. Then *ding*! The lightbulb in my head goes off and I realize that:

  1. This is my life. I can’t live trying to make others happy,
  2. You can’t make 100% of people happy all the time,
  3. I love myself, and I should do what makes me happy.

Example B.
I have struggled with my gender for awhile. You all know this. The way I present myself changes on a day to day basis, sometimes multiple times a day depending on how I feel. I sometimes hold off on that switch because I feel that wearing more masculine clothing makes people around me look at me differently and not see me for… me. But recently I’ve been able to break through that barrier, finally. Realizing that if this makes me comfy, why should I hold back?

This college experience has taught me so much in recent months. I can’t believe I am becoming the person I wanted to be for the longest time.

Where do you draw that happiness/others opinions line?

Coming Out… Again?

I remember when I first came out to my mother, when I thought I was a lesbian. That night is still engrained in my mind, how she simply asked me if I liked girls or not, and for me to get her another glass of wine. Simple. Yes, today we will be talking about sexuality/gender.

I guess what I really want to get from this post is something I never actually came out and said, or even explored, until I got to college. At NCF, we are a very open, loving, accepting, liberal community. That being said, to respect everyone from the get go, we ask each other pronouns as a follow up question to “what’s your preferred name?” Once I got here I was able to express my preferred pronouns openly and wow did it feel so good.

Yes, instead of the ‘She/Her’ pronouns that I was blessed with at birth along with my genitalia, I ACTUALLY use ‘They/Them’ pronouns.

For those of you who don’t completely follow I will explain everything. Instead of saying, “She went to the store,” you would say, “They went to the store.” Simple. I remember when I told my grandmother this when she came to my dorm room one day, she said, “Thats weird.” And please, by all means, think it’s weird. Think it’s odd. But it really isn’t.

As a gender-fluid person, I feel like I embody traits and qualities that stereotypical males and females possess. There is, somehow, this idea that males are better at somethings than girls, or girls are stronger than males in this or that field. If by being better at something that typically is dominated by males makes me masculine, fine. If by dressing a certain way makes me more masculine/feminine, cool. If painting my nails makes me feminine, then awesome. I’ll paint the heck out of my nails (I am terrible at painting nails). I feel like using ‘They/Them’ gives me the opprotunity to embody my more masculine side when I feel such, my feminine side when I feel that way, and not feel uncomfortable by someone using different pronouns. Trust me, there are times that even I slip up and say girl/she/her, instead of person/they/them. It is a learning experience for me too, that even I am not quite used to yet.

I am sure a lot of people already know, but I wanted to clarify because this has been a wonderful feeling for me in the past month, being able to use different pronouns and be comfortable, and I wanted to share that. My gender has always been an uphill battle for me, and taking the steps I need to take to make myself happy is always a shining light.

What pronouns do you use?