Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Go Away May

This is the month that I can't wait to see the back of. As moaned about in previous blog entries, my life right now has some good points, but there is a frustration born with feeling stuck in the middle of almost everything right now.

It's coming into subject of waiting for this or waiting for that, or just as I feel I have found a way out of one stressful situation then there is another one waiting to commence. It's as if it is forming an orderly queue and one by one it's taking a turn.

There are a few things I am not putting in my blog as they concern other people but all I will say is that I am sad that certain things have ended up the way they are presently. I understand that things change but I do miss how certain things were when things were good.

I'm also gutted for my partner right now who has been screwed over by UK Immigration.  Her passport went missing following us sending her documents to get British Citizenship. With the crazy systems that her country has for missing passports it's been stressful for her and it's been frustrating for me as there hasn't been much I have felt I could do. Other than try not to say things that state the obvious too much or that will inflame an already upsetting situation.

In short what has happened is unjust and unfair x 1000000000.

I'm moving house next week and I am finding it a lot more stressful than I originally thought but this is down to having stupid sentimental feelings that have just surfaced.  I try and tell myself that people move all the time and this is no big deal but I will miss my flat.  I have lived here for 4 years.

Luckily the house I am moving into has lovely people and I have been visiting for the last 15 months so it's nothing that is too unfamiliar.  It will be a bit strange living somewhere with people versus living alone.  But then with living alone it sometimes gets lonely.  So really I just have to do it and adjust and this inbetweeny feeling will shift.

Right now I don't feel that I live anywhere because I am waiting to leave my place in 9 days and I am not quite living there yet either so all in all its just slightly a case of flux. It will change but in the meanwhile there is still flux.

My next wait is for the 2nd of June. I have a dental appointment whereby I will have all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed and three teeth will be refilled and slightly rebuilt. I am feeling quite nervous about this, especially given that I haven't had a tooth removed before but there is a silver lining in that I will be knocked out. I have also kept away from reading anything about toothache, dental pain or wisdom teeth stories as I don't think that is wise nor helpful.

I also have an appointment at some distant point with Charing Cross but to be fair I have blocked that one out.  August is a little bit of time away and I think once I have some other funds I will be seeing Dr Curtis privately. I feel like its a slight cop out but at the same time I am reaching the stage where I am feeling confused and in some ways I am becoming slightly desperate.  I need to speak with someone specifically about a few things as well as find out what my options are regarding getting authorisation for getting a new passport, surgery and all that stuff, especially as I don't want to take hormones. It would also be good to have some sort of discussion about hormones too so that I have more info about it.

I'm feeling ready to take this next step as right now I am hanging. My wallet still has two different identities in it and my relationship to both the male and female parts of me is hurting my head and my heart.

I feel disconnected from everything inside of me and it's hard to put it into words but the only thing I can say right now is that I am hurting.  I am also aware that I did this to myself. I don't regret deciding to change my gender but I am struggling with how lonely it feels and what it is like to live in what feels like a permanent headfuck situation.

I feel lonely as I don't know what I am or who I am a lot of the time.  I have done a lot of reading around ways in which people have made better relationships and connections within themselves and also read a few horror stories too.

There have been many accounts surrounding suicide attempts.  Although I must make clear that I am not in any danger to myself or want to actively harm myself in any way, there is a part of me that can see why people have made attempts on their lives.

Feeling cut off, and disconnected from the self and everything else is a scary place to be. Sometimes when in groups of people I find myself thinking that I am just there watching and observing people living.  There is a part of me that is feeling somewhat dead inside.

I hate it. It's a silent torture. There is also protocol to observe too. You can't exactly (when perhaps feeling overwhelmed by a social situation) to turn to people and say that you wish they knew the person that is trying to emerge rather than the awkward person stood in front of them.

People hug me, show me they care or tell me they love me and I feel guilty that I struggle to sometimes feel and accept that love and warmth. I then start blaming myself and before I know it my face is streaked with tears and I can't stop thinking that I did this all to myself and that I just have to suck it up.

My partner is very affectionate and lovely and sometimes I feel like a failure that I can't give her what I feel I should. I sometimes wish I could have just been a lesbian drag king then we wouldn't have to deal with these other gender things. Yet I know she does love me and care for me being the person I am as when she met me I was already male identified. 

This is definitely my hang up.  But sometimes it isn't easy knowing that the dual gender thing can impact on someone else and can bring a load of shit their way too.

I hate feeling that I am weird and that my life will never be as simple as I would like it to be.  Yet at the same time I can't live identifying as female when that isn't who I am nor who I ever was. It's also a shame that in society we are categorised by having to be either male or female. Why can't a man have a vagina and a woman have a cock? Why is it deemed so strange?

I say this as I think I know plenty of female bodied people that are probably more blokey than bio men that I have met.  This is the thing about gender, it is a fluid thing in some cases.  The debates and classifications regarding sex and gender have been in place for centuries. As people we can't always be defined as being 'one or the other'. Being in the middle is another story altogether.

I do find it difficult to sometimes get my head around the fact that I am now comfortable having a vagina now I identify as a man. Questions have come up such as "Is it because I am now slimmer?" "Is it because I am more comfortable with myself?" But the actual truth of the matter is I don't know. All I know is that I am not female. By not being female it means I feel less trapped inside of my body.  Yet I do feel that having breasts or still having a female identity where my passport is concerned unnerves me as that isn't who I am.

Yet I know I am not a biological male or feel that I am 100% in that camp either.

Ever since I was little I never felt I was 'one of the girls' more a case of being a boy amongst a group of girls. Now I am trying to live as honest a life as I can that is true to myself. Yet I still feel set apart from a lot of things.

I don't need to feel that I fit in but I do feel lonely feeling that I stand out or that I am not matching on the outside what I feel I am on the inside.

I wish I didn't have to bind or forget to modulate my voice in certain circles. But I can't go back to living in a female role, wearing a bra and having to wear larger tops because of the size of my chest.  It makes me feel sick.

I also can't handle the mental image that it conjures up inside me.  That isn't who I am. Nor who I want to present to the world.

Just because I want to have relationships with women doesn't make me straight either, but I am not as gay as I used to be either.  Again, I am in the middle where that is concerned as well. This can make me feel a bit confused as to where I want to hang out as I don't want to be seen as straight but sometimes feel that I am offending same sex couples in certain spaces.

The fighter in me reminds me that this is most likely something that others have felt, or are in the process of going through.  Collective feelings and sentiment is always going to be around us even if the journey and path we take is different for each individual.

It's about patience.

I also remember how far I've come and the hard work I have put into making changes in my life. I'm 3 stone lighter, I eat better, I exercise I try and maintain a focus not just on myself but also with some of the work I have been doing too.

When I do a photo shoot I want someone to feel they are being represented in a way that is accurate and I love it when I create images with someone where they feel happy or recognise how beautiful they are or can feel empowered or sexy.  I feel satisfied when I have made images like this.

I also love interacting with people whereby we reach a good level of communication and collaboration and am excited about a few things I currently have in the pipeline.

I do remind myself that there is a bigger picture, there is a life waiting for me to live, be happy and to feel warm.

I do remember to laugh and smile. I also know that this isn't an easy time but I won't be defeated either. One thing is for sure, if life is hurting or feeling difficult then it's time to put your boots on and wade through whatever you have to wade through in order for things to make sense again or to feel safe and happy once again.

Monday, 9 May 2011

It's been a while...

There has been quite a few events happening since I last blogged. Some feelings I have are still the same and certain things inside me have changed a little but other confusions have grown.

I am also going to move house in just over 2 weeks and I am excited but I am also aware that a lot of things are going to change in my life, quite radically. It also signifies a new chapter of my life to which I am happy about but am still feeling nervous about at the same time.

Change is good but it is also freaking me out slightly.  I have become used to living alone and now I am moving to a houseshare, my gf's houseshare to be precise but luckily we are having a room each so it will be taking baby steps in terms of living with a partner. I say this as I don't want to fall into the same traps I have done before in my past of having a living situation occur far too quickly. Then it lasting a couple of years and then it all going to pot and ending badly.  The two ex-partners I don't speak with are ones I have lived with. They were also the same star sign.  Luckily E isn't the same star sign as me and is nothing like anyone I have ever been with before and is very loving so that is a good step.

But, this time around things are slightly different. I think after being together for 15 months this has given us ample time to consider whether or not this would be feasible. We have also done a considerable amount of travel together in the time we have had, so again I have some confidence and positivity that this is a nice progression.  But for some reason when things go up a gear there is a part of me that sometimes panics. I don't want things to go wrong or find that I will feel devastated if our love goes for one another. These things can happen but I don't want to feel mangled by my own heart.

May sound a bit stupid but that is how I feel. Love is something that intrigues me yet frightens me. Especially as I don't fall in love very easily nor will find myself with a desire to be in a relationship with someone at the drop of a hat.  I have preferred to have multiple flings versus having a string of 'lovers' as even a lover is something more than just a fling, and is a relationship in some respects. If I don't feel that way, I avoid such connections. I prefer to deal with what is rather than what could be, especially if I know the feelings aren't there in the first part.

Given how allergic I used to feel I was to relationships, perhaps this is some remnant of that. Still at the same time what I want in life and in it's design is simple. I want to love someone and have them love me for the person I am.  I want to feel that I am respected by the person I am with as well as being equal to them.  I don't think I would want to entertain a relationship whereby someone is under my thumb or where I am under theirs. No matter how many assumptions people make I'm not the weedy, weak, easily bossed around fellow they might think me to be.

I have a voice, my own ways and opinions and to be entirely honest certain assumptions that sometimes fly around base on the fact my partner has a strong personality can be a little boring sometimes. Yes she has a strong energy but it doesn't mean that I am weak or the one that crawls around on his knees throughout the relationship.

Quite to the contrary but at the same time I don't see that I have to 'prove' who I am.  I am just not as aggressive as most people that is all.  This doesn't make me a pushover though, as in most circumstances I can see what behaviour people would love others to display and I refuse to be manipulated in that way. It's too easy to give people what they want.

People love to feel that they have something figured out or like to assume.  I think this in part is what tires me with humankind sometimes. There is a constant tune that we are dancing to.  It's always about reputation, status, social standing and position.

In all honesty I don't really know who I am anymore. Sometimes its exciting but at times (like now) I just feel empty inside. I might not be too sure as to who I am but I know what I am not.  I just wish I could be left alone sometimes and not feel so much pressure around me to be so many different things or feel that I have to fit in somewhere. Or feel that I have to battle with others because of assumptions being placed upon me.

That's the sad thing.  It is often claimed that none of us have to 'fit' in but in fact people do in some way shape or form.  It's just that some people are better at doing it than others.  I haven't quite got the hang of that one yet.  In some circles I am considered quiet, in others I am considered to be quite a perverted mix of energy that is often over sexed and hyped up. 

Then there are other circles where they have already been there and done it and moved on to the next level.

But in some cases as I have been finding out lately and through my new load of counselling, it seems I fit bang in the middle of pretty much everything.  So by default it seems I am slightly outside before I even begin.

For the most part have moments where I enjoy it, but in other areas it's starting to confuse me and living with what I feel is a female and a male that I an not comfortable with is turning into a biological headfuck.

Right now I am waiting for a period to come, it's late and I know I am awash with female hormones right now.  I don't want it, I feel like shit and I hate feeling that the female part inside of me is overriding the embryonic man inside of me.

I've realised that it's at these stages of the month in which my mood seriously crashes. The actual bleeding and period isn't such a bind but just the emotional feelings are. As is the hypersensitiviy that follows. I become nearly convinced that no one loves me, my relationship will be doomed.  my life is turning to shit and I sometimes start waking up wishing I hadn't.  All because of hormones.

When I have these feelings I really wouldn't care if a bus did come and put me out of my misery. Being that is the mood of that moment.  Then I find something else will happen, one of those lovely moments where you'll receive a nice message, an invitation to something or something sent out by fate to remind the miserable part of my brain that I was wrong.

Well, that happens sometimes - the rest of the time I will remind myself that this is just down to how I feel now and to try not to let it bother me. Or the situation will pass. It does but then like the tide it returns sometimes washing more things back to my feet with each movement.

Then I look to the male side of me or what I feel is more of a fantasy I want to live and see.  I have elements that are there and elements that are not there. Wearing a binder shields me from the world a little, it reminds me that there can be the possibility in life not to appear to have breasts.

I wish there were more men that were happy and comfortable with having a vagina, it would make those who do feel less like some sort of exotic species. Because I am a male that likes females it doesn't make me straight, yet I know I am not a part of the lesbian camp nor identity any longer. I'm a queer creature of sorts.

The sad truth is I hate my chest and feel imprisoned by it.  I also know there are health implications when you bind long term.  I also look at surgery options and ideally I want something that will leave me not feeling too disfigured either.

At the same time I know I can't go back to wearing a bra, I sometimes find taking my binders off at night scary.  The reminder that I don't have the chest I wish I had is there.  As is my feeling that I have been lying about my identity.  My bank and tax details indicate I am now a 'Mr' my passport still has my old legal name and biological gender imprinted there.

My body and wallet is feeling like a headfuck. I am apprehensive about taking hormones.  The side effects concern me and also there is a part of me that is unsure if hormones will do anything to enhance my life other than help me tick a few more boxes in what satisfies medical and psychiatric services into proving that I am male. A male that complies. If I craved testosterone I think some of my feelings would be a little simpler and there wouldn't be such a tension inside of me.

I don't want to take steps back but I am unsure how I go about moving forwards.  Making my money go further will be my first step in taking some control. I need to save to pay a private psychiatrist so I can see about sorting out my passport a bit quicker than how long it is taking Charing Cross.  I can see someone privately when I am paying less in rent and living expenses. I can also start saving towards surgery as well.  This is something that I know I definitely want, but I do want to try and get the best surgery that I can but for that I need to live cheaper so that I can start saving.  The thousands of pounds required aren't going to come from no where and I need to do this. Especially if it means that I am then the man that I want to become.

I need to find my way.  I am desperate for clarity and an idea of what to do next.  The inner unrest is painful and I don't want to feel like this anymore.  One thing I have found about confusion is that its really lonely to feel like this and it can make you start doubting everything and everyone around you.

In this situation there are two options...either face it or cut away from everything.  I am a believer in facing life's difficulties whilst maintaining a code of honour and respect to those close.  Running away may feel like an easy option but it won't solve anything.  Like the tide it will only come back and bite me.

At the same time I feel like a freak and that I don't deserve to have people that care around me nor see much worth in who I am.  Seriously what is so special about me...there are many others who are similar who just get on with their lives and are happy. Right now I am not. But I refuse to always feel like this.

I need to find my peace with myself. Especially as I am now a person of two parts, two genders and finding that I am not comfortable with either. I wish I didn't feel so odd but I know I will find a safe space once again, and an inner security which right now I don't have. But I am looking for it and know I will find a space inside my head and heart where I am not feeling so disconnected.

Until then it's almost like uttering words you would tell a soldier: Courage Man, shall take you to Victory...or some crap like that.