Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

Captain Taru's Log: Out of the Fog


Hitaru
 Share

Recommended Posts

It's been an awful lot of time; every time I tried to come back I wrote some kind of preliminary text and then dropped it. I'm going to try the bullet form since there's a lot that's been going in my life and I was already under the impression I've been neglecting and leaving a lot of stuff uncovered since probably mid 2017, when my posts began to be more (intermittent?).

I mean, I have no obligation, but it's always comforting to look back. I also have a small handwritten diary. I write there from time to time: small pieces, usually in some sort of prose, and it helps me getting out of a funk when I go back to them. Feels like... sympathy (surprisingly) to the person who was struggling a month or two ago. The last half of the diary is already occupied by complimentary letters from the people I met during my youth exchanges (2016-2018). Under 'deadname' (old name) of course, but that gives it kind of its charm, doesn't it? Past life. Past memories.

So, let's see. Overally I've been struggling but there's been highs and lows:

- I met a girl in summer and we've been dating for 6 months now. It was my first polyam experience and the first girl I've dated as myself. It's been... amazing. I could talk all day about it. Maybe I will at some point.

[Trigger warning here, I'm about to talk about a potentially distressing situation about sickness, dementia and death.]

- My grandma began going downhill beyond the point of no recovery since the beginning of 2020. The regression to her childhood years and the anxiety attacks because she "had to return home so her parents would not worry" was by far the worst. We began sedating her progressively with the help of a physician, but ultimately and after a lot of back and forth reasoning and doubts, we resolved to transfer her to a nursing home. Only a month later and after great financial expenses, there was a Covid outbreak in the place. She died in January this year. Before the outbreak, there was already a preventive safety protocol implemented. We weren't allowed to visit her and she probably spent her last days confused, isolated and surrounded by masked strangers. The treatment we received from the nursing home's staff was less than ideal. They called my mom during the wake and told her my gran had slept soundly that night and she was just fine. I bet she did sleep well, we were with her to check and she didn't complain, even with her casket tightly shut with duct tape to avoid accidental virus spread.

I'm telling you this awful story because... there's several parts of my journal where I talk about magical thinking I had developed about her ("I feel she'll die when I start being somewhat independent") and, obviously it's a coincidence but it happened. Kinda feels like the closure of a chapter for both my mom and I. There's other things I'll write about after this one that reinforce that impression.

The other reason is because I have a notorious, and sometimes crippling fear of death. I've mentioned it tons of times, it's just part of who I am and probably ever be. My other grandparents either died when I was too young or I was kept from taking part in the funeral because my father's family is just that petty and miserable. So this was the first death I experienced as an adult woman. I don't have a defined image in my brain when the panic attacks kick in, but my grandma's illness, death, and even the management of the whole rite and process was particularly dreadful, perhaps everything I would ever fear that would happen to me in some of the worst scenarios (excluding the ones that involve violence).

I'm relieved she passed, considering the circumstances. It's just... 

I lost so much time. Mumbling alone in my room, scared to act, starting things and quitting abruptly. Gaming to cope and escape. Depressed. Moping and complaining. I live so passively even now and my youth will not last that long. Ideally I will have time to live quietly later on and even then nothing guarantees my 50s, 60s, 70s... will be healthy and self-aware.

It has fueled my already suffocating feeling of urgency. A downside of transitioning when you're in your mid 20s is, since social acceptance has begun quite recently (and it's currently going through setbacks and backwards reaction and legislation), I end up usually interacting (mostly online) with people younger than me, a whole new generation of queer folks living in a much more tolerant place than the one I grew up at. But. Even 5 years younger, 20, 21, feels like worlds apart to me. Worlds filled with lost opportunities. A person transitioning in their 30s or 40s would scoff at me, of course. It's a shared curse. Also capitalist cultural interpretation and idealization of youth etc, you know the drill. But it still hurts. I wish I had a clear direction in life.

- Changing the tone and since I mentioned transition, it's been a year and three months now. Taking estrogen has lost it's novelty and now it's just a daily chore, but it's been so worth it. I've never felt happier with myself. People who hate my existence are always trying to argue I'm some sort of leech, predating on everyone else's lifes -and political subjects. Man, screw that. It's all about my relationship with myself. And even despite the anxieties, the insecurities, the struggles in life, I've never felt more comfortable and ready to face whatever comes my way. Maybe I'll even share a picture sometime!

- I'll need that energy and positivity cause last week I broke up with my boyfriend after 4 years of relationship. I'm currently in the process of looking for a new place to live, which is probably one of the things I hate to do the most. It fills me with radical maoist impulses. All my numerous fears related to facing living on my own are rapidly approaching physical realization and I'm terrified. You can't conceive how much. It's something I've been dragging since childhood.

However I saw it coming. I've been under some kind of mourning since last summer (quarantine was awful to my mental health), so it didn't come as a huge surprise when my now ex talked to me about how my emotional dependent obsessions were right and not actually guilt-tripping paranoia and we were truly feeding each other's insecurities and fight or flight responses. Insecurities that were there way before meeting each other.

Strange, right? It's so strange to live through the end of a relationship which didn't end with violence. Somehow I believed that was not a thing. We were just two folks trying our best and ultimately deciding we were hurting ourselves. Everything's going so healthily, in such a civilized way. We're talking, making plans to move, settling things. And yet I still want to scream and cry sometimes, like probably everyone else in the world has done in my situation. I'm just sad. But I'm ok with being sad right now. I've been accepting my sadness in a much more resolute way. I won't feel ashamed or guilty for being sad anymore. It almost makes me satisfied, it means I'm feeling something. Instead of the profound dullness from previous years and journal entries.

 

I'm getting sleepy and I know that means I will accidentally close the browser in a short amount of time. I'll just hit send and elaborate on some things later. It was nice to let out and connect back with the thing that kept me alive not that long ago. No promises, but I'll try to write more regularly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My studies are going awful this term and I'm considering returning to my hometown and spend a couple months rotting until I figure out what to do. The good side is, I could get some paperwork done and update my legal status (ID name, bank accounts, etc) and also get serious about getting some meds prescribed to keep my anxiety in check. There's also some medical tests I've been putting off. But I HAVE TO go and do the thing, it would be a real step back to just hide in my room and cope with games and unhealthy sleeping again. I can also do all these tasks in summer as well.

I feel so lost. Maintaining myself in my basic functions is such a strain. It shouldn't be that hard. I honestly don't see people struggling like me to do certain things. With University perhaps, it's a tough issue after all. But eating, showering, doing things they enjoy, not having panic attacks every night... It's been nearly two years that I'm living on my own two feet, two and half if I count the time I spent in Italy, and it hasn't become any easier. The burnout is killing me. I have this friend who keeps pointing me towards autistic and specially ADHD traits and there are many that overally resonate, but not strongly or convincingly enough to dare to self-diagnose. Having high IQ is a neurodivergence in its own right (I'm trying my best to refrain from self-harming by calling it a disability), and people I met who have it are certainly not like the average person, so maybe I'm having some kind of POV bias here.

Maybe I keep trying to do things in a way I cannot do? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kept reading and I'm almost certain I have ADD (not so sure about the H). That would give my experience with gaming addiction a new turn, a revealing but unpleasant one. Why strategy games precisely? Why pausable ones? Predictability. Security. Complex schemes. Making things work in my head and watch them unfold at a pace I can manage, with the ability to stop and re-think at will, unlike real time overstimulation. It makes so much sense that it makes me angry. For not noticing before I guess. For everyone else not noticing before. 

And not just games. Getting into studies and dropping them traumatically when I can't commit or keep up. Problems socializing, eating, showering, doing groceries. Doing reckless things when in crisis like applying to the armed forces, traveling to countries at risk or fleeing home randomly and finding theatre schools 'laying around'. All this god damned journal.

I hate the notion of being "not normal". I used to cringe at the thought of being "one of those tumblr snowflakes". Well, the irony. I had a 4chan phase so, I can't really blame that mindset. ADHD political sciences student bisexual trans woman? My, my, isn't that like the epitome of woke. I still can't draw anthropomorphized animals but having reached this point I may just begin to learn. 

This year's being honestly shit so far. But if it helps putting things in a new place, begin a new phase well, it's how it's meant to be. The new decade thing only makes it fancier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

May I ask if you're seeing a therapist? I forgot if you mentioned that. Congrats on dating this girl for 6 months. How is the experience vs dating your ex boyfriend? It's got to be strange or at least interesting? How is it impacting your life?

I could reply to a lot of stuff you posted but I'd be here too long and it wouldn't make an impact. I think you should come back to the forums more often and write smaller posts over time after you get everything out of your system. It seems like holding everything inside has really taken its toll on you and burned you out. It might help you deal with things better and you even mentioned the intermittent posting back in 2017.

I wanted to talk about this fear of death you have. We all have it. I say this because I had a crippling fear of death also. I'd start to suffocate and grasp for air and then panic and then try to grab onto something so i knew I was alive still. I'd then freak out at the thought of it. I won't detail anything because I don't want to trigger your thoughts of it.

But I started taking prozac for major depressive disorder and anxiety induced depression. I no longer ruminate on things that don't matter. I only focus on stuff at the current moment. As a result I've been less stressed because I'm not focusing on anything. I'm on the lowest dosage of it and it has changed my life. I've got a girlfriend now, doing well at work, have friends, and am doing hobbies that are not games. I sleep better, watch porn only once a week tops, and eat less junk food. I think the fear of death gets amplified from rumination because we keep thinking back to it. Although i went to therapy for 5 years I needed that medication to get me on a level where I could deal with my thoughts properly. That's why I ask if you've seen a therapist or discussed medication with a primary care physician or psychiatrist. It has really helped me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Just wandering how you're doing. Hope you are safe and sound 🙂

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

@BooksandTrees Been a while friend! I'll reply to everything but first I must get something out of my chest:

It's been a lot since I was active here, and most probably I'll never be as active (and overall that's good news, I wasn't doing anything else in 2015-16). Most people I knew from back then left, and all the developments from the past two years kept me so busy that I forgot most details about practically everyone here. But I'll look back into our past interactions and check on you, right after I write this one. Glad to see you're doing well. I mean it.

On 5/12/2021 at 4:07 AM, BooksandTrees said:

I think the fear of death gets amplified from rumination

Totally agree. I'll reuse a metaphor I made yesterday with a long-distance friend: It's not even about death itself. It's the feeling of lack of control, the disappointment, being ultimately anxious and indecisive about the future that projects into the vague certainty that a time will arrive when there's 'no future' at all.

However.

If I could do everything I wanted whenever I wanted, I'd probably laze around for a while afterwards, watching some clouds and that kinda stuff, and then think "Well, I still don't want to die but, at least I'm ok-ish with it now, you gotta quit at some point". It's not the fear of death. It's fear, already inside you, that takes the form of death. It could be anything else. For some people it's fear of loneliness (for example). I'm not afraid of it because I'm somewhat confident I could fix it at any point, meet new people etc. But I can't fix death. And also, sometimes I fear I won't be able to fix my future. When the two things clash in my head, I have a panic attack (and other physical reactions much similar to yours, now we're siblings in arms bonded by hardship). But that says more about me than the things themselves. Death is cool, actually. Or at least not inherently nasty.

Still, dying is inconvenient. I have a right to be upset about it. You have it too. Imo, you should allow yourself to be sad or angry or melancholic from time to time, however you cope with it is fine. It's part of the process, and even if it's bothering me more than usual at this time, I'm much better now that I just let the emotions come and go instead of fighting them or believing I'm flawed or crazy.

---> I'm ALSO much better since I put some polite emotional distance between me and the people who, no matter how well-intentioned, insisted that I was being "too much", or trying to demean my feelings in any way. Totally recommended. Trust me. I mean they're just feelings man, I have to listen to a lot of boring conversations and patiently go through everyone's annoying quirks, well being introspective and sometimes morbid is mine, so deal with it world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/12/2021 at 4:07 AM, BooksandTrees said:

May I ask if you're seeing a therapist?

 Not at the moment but I was when I wrote the last entries. I'll look into it at some point, perhaps in September.

On 5/12/2021 at 4:07 AM, BooksandTrees said:

Congrats on dating this girl for 6 months. How is the experience vs dating your ex boyfriend? It's got to be strange or at least interesting? How is it impacting your life?

Bad news first: we broke up shortly after I wrote the original post. Nothing mean happened, but it happened. I'll elaborate at the end. 

I'll get a bit 'technical' here (AKA I'LL TELL YOU EVERYTHING TO AN EXCRUCIATING AMOUNT OF DETAIL), you don't have to read the whole of it, I'll be signalling the parts that are only about context:

Before I transitioned I was completely invisible to girls. I was aware something was not working with me, specially after I came out as bi and apparently had no issue with boys, like I wasn't the hottest shit in the block but I could manage. The issue was girls, then. Eventually I was able to be ok with this "impopularity" since bisexuality meant I could stick to boys and wouldn't be completely lonely. It helped (and hurt at the same time) seeing my ex-boyfriend dealing with the same problem. And he was life partner material, so it wasn't about me being an awful person......... Maybe?

Quote

(you can skip this) But he's fat, bit shy and doesn't bother to look "mature". Not in an "internet cringy" way, believe me, it's just that he takes a caregiver role, loves animation movies (me too) and fantasy stuff and has this cute kinda childish laugh? So probably cishet girls get a "stuffed animal" or "gay dad" vibe instead of an "attractive" vibe. Cultural conditioning, beauty standards, those sort of things. Their loss, more blue eyes to get lost in for myself. Really wish he finds someone good eventually. He's also bi and also had some success with boys, scratch me from the 'boy' list tho; hence the comparison. And yes I can be sappy about people I bed present or past in my own diary, hah. (/you can skip this)

Then I found out I was trans.

I did my best to try get used to 'be' this lanky, nerdy, awkward-but-socially-acceptable (that was the hardest part) boy. When that stopped working and couldn't handle it anymore, I took a leap of faith and gods was it worth, I was so at peace with myself, yadda yadda. The second best time of my life; for real. But how was other people going to see me?

Most people would at least not be overtly rude to me, a reasonable amount would respect me and I was becoming happier each passing day with the way I looked and felt. But would anyone (beside my then ongoing relationship) date me?

One of my first trans friends was a "veteran" straight girl who's had a good amount of horror stories with men. I became reluctant to go through the same, so my previous failsafe was gone. Also I wouldn't be able to date anyone exclusively attracted to masculinity anymore, it wasn't the same context (the new context is: chasers, and ugh). At the same time, I would be able -at some point- to begin to date people attracted to femininity or at least androgyny? That was mysterious to experience. To me, gender presentation is a nonissue and at core I'd still be the "same" person, right?

Right...?

Quote

 

(you can skip this)

Like, when do you cross the frontier between being attractive to gay guys and begin being attractive to lesbian girls, or the other way around? And then there's non-binary people who can be, like and be liked by whatever. You can have a cis boy, a trans boy, a butch girl (cis or trans) and a non-binary pal who look and dress identically the same, yet the label would mean they socialize in a completely different way.

Gender. What a concept.

(/you can skip this)

 

I haven't dared to flirt with a cis girl yet. I fear they'll lash out at me; it's internalized transphobia. In reality, sapphics (lesbians and bis) hold less prejudice about us than men. Also I was somewhat aware I would share a lot in common with a fellow trans girl and I met a lot of couples and polycules when I joined Twitter months before. But it had to happen if I was to believe it.

And then it happened.

Quote

(you can skip this) I met her in a discord group chat (I hear it's kind of a meme in the anglo sphere but I don't use it that much), shared some selfies with other people around, then some playful flirts, then I actually crushed a bit on her. At the time she was struggling with pre-transition breakup angst and I tried to box my feelings and be a cool friend. I managed fine, then in summer (last summer) we agreed to meet since we lived very close. While hanging out she asked if the flirts were serious. They kinda weren't when I threw them and genuinely saw her as a friend at that point but I got all flustered, told her it was too soon to know and later, she said goodbye with a kiss in my cheek and I couldn't do anything about it anymore. Lame, yeah ok, I'm a dumb romantic behind all the english-spanish macaronic sass. (/you can skip this)

With my ex-boyfriend it had been a slow, pleasant burn. He was kind, a detailist (that ended up biting me in the ass later on), always able to talk things instead of arguing. Overall it was a real nice going. He gave me security and comfort which then turned into dependency when we began living together and other things in my life became less stable. Turns out most of it was unchecked ADHD symptoms on my part, transitioning barely made an impact. That was huge, when things got bad I delayed "the talk" because I was afraid no one else would accept me like he did. Breaking up was rough but we ended in good terms so I can't really complain, just be melancholic about it from time to time. I miss the dork, even if we still share memes now and then.

With her, everything was new and emotional. I can't describe the bond. The shared intimacies about our troubled past in the closet, the first careful explorations of our changed bodies, the innocent plans that were a whole new thing because it was with a girl and we were now living as girls, it was like reparation for my past teenager self, how it was meant to be even if a decade later. We felt truly, unconditionally loved for who we were, with no previous attachments. Our communication was a bit less fluid but everything with her was exciting. She saved me a good couple of times.

Perhaps too much. 

When I broke up with my ex bf I had serious trouble keeping myself going. I mean eating, sleeping, even drinking water. I got very sick a couple of times.

Quote

[caution here: death mention, you can skip] The worst of them was collapsing during a friend's birthday party. I got very nauseous and queasy (I was sober the whole time), the hosts allowed me to lie in their bed and for a while I thought I was dying for real.

It may sound strange but it was an interesting experience now that I have survived it: I had predicted (somewhere in the journal) that, when the time arrived and if I could be aware of it, I wouldn't suffer emotionally as much as I do while anticipating, and in this moment it was exactly like that. I was scared, but a sort of quiet fear. There were 3 thoughts in my mind: 1. I didn't want to be alone, 2. I didn't want to be lying completely on my back and 3. The light was too dark. So if I manage to make it, ideally I'll die around someone, while sitting and with lights on, or windows open. Gotta write those down.

The next morning I was able to get up, throw up with nothing in my stomach and some friends nursed me for a couple days. So back for another round, still alive and kicking. [/caution here: death mention]

When I found a new place I slowly began to live by myself again, but I'd still have nervous breakdowns over the slightest thing. Again ADHD, it showed up fully the moment no one was around. I would rely on her, call her to keep me company while doing chores, replace long-distance date plans with crying sessions. It happened I couple of times and I couldn't stand it anymore. I knew I needed time for myself, to heal at my own pace.

Quote

(you can skip this) So after a particularly bad call the night before, I wrote her I couldn't keep going. I didn't want to end things. Wishful thinking, wasn't it. When I told her how I felt, she came to the conclusion I was being too radical but we should still split, and after that there was no point in backing down and trying to deescalate. I talked as if I was hoping I could just disappear for months then reappear and carry on as if nothing had happened. There was nothing wrong between us and I'm a romantic, right? I can name people in my life who could pull that on me. But it wasn't to be. The vast majority of the world doesn't work like that. Can't blame them. She told me "I can't wait for this something you're expecting to arrive yet you don't know when" and also that "We could still be together while I got better but I didn't want to trust it." (/you can skip this)

I knew I couldn't provide. I really, really felt I couldn't take care of anyone, let alone myself, and still can't right now. I know being with someone is going through bad stuff together, but it's been too many times already. Everyone has said that. At first. Then it comes the "I feel I can't say what's wrong because it will upset you" and eventually, little by little they come to resent me. I need to hold myself accountable.

I don't lash out, I'm not a violent person, but it seems I'm "too much". Too emotional, too melancholic, too unstable. Always been. I'm really sorry, I don't mean to. I am not a victim, I sure as hell don't want pity. It's just a disability. I need to get my ADHD checked and be able to eat and keep a life going (developing strategies and perhaps with the help of meds) before I can share it with anyone else. Anything else would mean acting selfishly and constantly lean on someone else. I don't want to burden anyone like that, there's no need. I can do this. I want to. I'm a transgender woman in her late 20s with no university studies, no job experience, an aging mother and no close family. My path is being self-sufficient, or perish.

The ironic twist: while I was trying to focus on my studies, a friend whom I was one-sidedly in love with (and knew about it) became my neighbor after I moved. She was also struggling with her Master's (degree), we hanged out more than before to lick our emotional wounds and she ended up wanting to escalate things. We kept each other's company for a month and it was pretty great, then we returned to our hometowns and she visited mine last week. She left just in time to reach the point of "not wanting to say what's wrong because it will upset you" and other deeply embarrassing experiences for me, so even if I had a decent summer so far and we're in a sort of long-distance 'undefined', I'm more convinced than ever that I need time and space for myself. It's been 5 years talking about sorting out this sorting out that. About damn time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I reached 27 years being alive outside of any other human. Yay me 😃

My sleep's been terrible lately, lots of anxiety and death dread. I went to my dentist appointments tho, and also managed to attend the ADD test the clinic I called last month arranged for me (waiting for the results now); so I'm somewhat hanging. I'm supposed to go back to my study place in a couple days, I'm absolutely not ready for it but it'll have to happen, even if it turns out a disaster. Been gaming and quitting in short, intense streaks and it's hurting my health a lot, but I'll keep trying. I read less lately but I'm still able to do it and couldn't be happier about it.

 

I'm not sure if I'm improving but I'm surviving so maybe I should stop to appreciate and be grateful for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share