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Right it’s now April let’s see how I’m getting on…

1. Still losing weight, not sure how much as my scales are in a box in the parents’ garage. I’ve lost some inches from around my waist, I can tell this from the fact I need a belt to keep my kilt in place now. My sister is also dragging my down to her gym to sign up next week. This should be interesting as I normally hate gyms because I am so self conscious.

2. Smoking cigars again…. Not good. I’ve been so stressed out that I caved and started again. Now to reduce the number all over again.

3. Still doing well on this one, even though I now have more money I barely drink.

4. Still at a dead end, just don’t have the courage to face up to a different GP and run through the gauntlet of questions again. Still no referral and I’m starting to thing they don’t give a shit about me. Might be time to move GP practice. It’s getting to the point where emotionally I think I would rather die than live without transitioning. It’s getting harder and harder to hide my true self behind the mask my mother wants to see. Hiding is slowly but surely killing me inside.

5. Still failing miserably, it’s starting to look like I might be going back to meditating and doing workings in the bath tub. No room for an altar not that I would dare set it up in my parents house.

6. I have no time to myself now. Try as I might I put time aside for me to be me I can’t have me time because everyone else demands my time. At least I am not wasting it web trawling.

Let’s see how things change in a month’s time.

More specifically I wonder why I even bother with this that and the other. Since moving back in with my parents it would seem that no matter what I do I can’t do anything right any more, not even make a damned cup of tea properly. Would also seem that every Sunday has been ear marked as the day of the week my mother goes out of her way to ridicule me, make my life a misery and remind me that I’m nothing more than a piece of crap on her shoe.

She begs and begs for me to move back home promises that life would be better for me and yet here I am so close to relapsing into cutting myself to shreds again. Something I was sure I had left dead and buried in my past over a decade ago. So shit why did I let myself believe that living at home would be better? Perhaps I’m too much of a sap and clung too tightly to the hope it would be true, that for once I would be treated with respect and not looked down on. I wanted to come home and help look after my dad, instead it would seem that my sole purpose is to be the person who takes the blame for bad stuff happening, even when I am not the one to blame.

Shit would my mother care if I actually cut again and bled out, sure as hell doesn’t feel like she would. She never cared first time around, not even when my form teacher pointed out the goddamned cuts and scars all over my wrists. I am starting to wonder if my little corner of the world would be better off without me and if it would even notice if I was gone. Yes my friends and partner would notice, but how long before I’m forgotten?

Here ends today’s angry rant.

On the 9th of February this year my life changed again and I still don’t know if the change is for better or for worse. With a heavy heart I had to watch my partner of nearly eight years catch a coach and leave me behind. We had to give up our flat, our home of four years, because we couldn’t afford to live there any more. My partner was fired, fired for being autistic and for having a contracted minimum hours, all other staff at his place were zero hour staff. What makes it worse, we can’t prove it and the company concerned would not pay for a formal assessment or his autism or wait for the NHS to sort it out. He had been working for his company for close on six years, his autism was never a problem and he had a list of customers that would only come to him for help and advice because he knows the products he sold inside out and back to front so to speak. Well it’s the company’s loss.

So I watched him leave and I haven’t been the same since. He’s moved back in this his parents for the time being and I’m back with mine. I can’t sleep at night I miss the feel of my partner against me and I can’t get used to a single bed. What’s worse is I am back in that tiny box bedroom where I’ve tried to end my life in the past. Many years have passed since then but the memories are still raw and painful, I’ve become very numb on the inside. Most of the time I am so numb but swing to extremes of anger and frustration to depression and dark thoughts of self harming again. I’m supposed to be made of stronger stuff than this, but I just feel so trapped with nowhere to go. Yes, I am here to help look after my father too. He has prostate cancer you see. I just can’t be strong all the time. I put on a brave face and pretend to be the daughter my parents want me to be, all the while the man behind the mask is crying out, begging to be recognised and acknowledged. See, I’m not out to my parents as trans and hiding myself away again after being free for so long is killing me on the inside.

I’m rambling now anyway, goes to show how much of a mess I am right now. I wish I could see the light at the end of this particular tunnel, I could really do with something to keep my spirits up. Yes I know I will be reunited with my partner in time but the wait is taking it’s toll. I’m lost without him, so very very lost.

Right so how am I getting on with the resolutions.

1. I’ve managed to loose a good five kilos, go me.

2. I’ve not picked up a cigar since New Years, that has to be a plus.

3. Been too broke to drink so this one is going well too.

4. Ah yes, hit a stumbling block with this one, the GP I was talking to about transition doesn’t work at my GP practice any more. She moved to Ealing Hospital, now to try and summon up the courage to talk to another doctor.

5. Failed…. still neglecting my religious and spiritual side at the moment. I am going to turn this around.

6. Actually I am doing rather well, maybe because I’ve been packing in preparation to move house.

 

I’m doing better at keeping resolutions this year than I did last year, lets see if I can keep this up.

Well this is going to be my new project for the year. A means of getting back in touch with my spiritual side,  which to be perfectly honest, has been neglected for the past two years and I am worse off as a result of that. My aim over the coming year is dedicated one day off to each rune of the Elder Futhark and see what each rune has to teach me. Also to see just how well I learn those lessons. I am probably going to spend a lot of time meditating, a huge challenge in itself for a caffeine addicted fidget like me.

Wish me luck and let us discover what the runes have to say to me.

The first of January rolls around again, and I am quite happy to say that I am glad to see the back of 2013, it was a bad year for me. A really bad year.

Here’s a summary of the bad points.

Sexual assault, sexual harassment, failed examinations, doped up on meds as a result of prior trauma in my life rearing it’s ugly head, stuck in a relationship I can’t get out of, being in love with someone I know I can never be with, failing my exams, my partner loosing his job and me picking up the slack. All my savings being used to pay my other half’s short fall on bills. Transition has been delayed again, lymphodemia is getting worse, developed lipodemia as well. I started smoking due to all the stress, I have no privacy left any more, no personal space. Utterly neglected my spiritual side, don’t socialize with friends any more due to an overly possessive partner. My partner still treats me as a female not as the man I am supposed to me. Still refuses to address me by my chosen name or use male pronouns, way to exacerbate the self hatred the dysphoria already causes. Finally, my dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I think the latter is the worst as I look up to my dad, he’s my go to for all my problems near enough. He has weathered so many things and was a prime example of a stalwart cockney, and now that image has been shattered because of a stupid disease that’s leaving him as a shell of the man he used to be.

So what are the pluses?

I came out to some of my friends this year, one of my oldest and dearest friends told me ‘It’s about bloody time!’ so you can’t imagine how good that made me feel. Some of my other friends have started referring to me by my chosen name, again that’s something that does so much for one’s self confidence and sense of self worth. The ball has started rolling for full transition but as with all things NHS it’s going to take time, however it’s started. These are only small things but it’s these little things that build up to bigger things in the long run. The arsehole that assaulted me at work got fired, my old boss is now my boss again. He came back to be our manager once more, and hell work is so much more enjoyable with him at the helm. It’s almost like the good old days are back, we’re just missing a few people but work is a fun place to be again, not a place that fills me with dread when I wake up in the mornings. I hope that this coming year will be filled with more ups than downs.

The obligatory resolutions

1. Loose weight, if I don’t I’ll be dead by the time I’m 40.

2. Smoke less cigars – I’ll never be able to completely quit but I can decrease the number I smoke.

2. Drink less – yea an entire bottle of mead/wine in a night is not good for you.

4. Get further down the road to full transition.

5. Don’t neglect my spiritual/religous side.

6. Make time of me, no more spending hours trawling the web for lack of anything else to do.

Lets see how many of these I can keep this year.

Where Have I Been?

For those of you who follow me you might have noticed that I’ve not actually written anything here in a very long time, and trust me there is good reason for that. I have had a pretty shitty year to put it bluntly many things happened and I’ve been dealing with the fallout/side affects what ever you want to call them.

It all started going pear shaped for me back in March of this year. My former manager (yes they finally sacked the bastard) groped me. Now most people would get pissed off, file a complaint and carry on. Not the case with me unfortunately. See when I was 15 I was almost raped by my then boyfriend, never reported it, too ashamed to tell anyone, didn’t think anyone would believe me so I kept the trauma bottled up and pushed to the back of my mind. The incident at work triggered the suppressed memories and took my mind back to the sate of the frightened 15 year old I was back then. Naturally I reported the incident, but the arsehole denied everything, even though it was caught on the shop’s CCTV. An investigation was done and because the CCTV was not clear enough he was allowed back to work, mediation failed and the bastard continued to harass me. Now I love my job and I’ve been there a good five years or so now, this bastard made me despise my job, it would be a challenge to force myself into work every day. I live a five minute walk from my place of work, it would take me an hour to force myself to walk from my front door to work. When I came home at night I would be a nervous and emotional wreck . It got to the point where I tried to self harm again, thankfully I was sent to a counselor and was helped out a great deal. My partner being the loving and caring chap he is used to pop into work to keep an eye on me when he wasn’t working, just to make sure I was okay while at work. The ex manager decided to try and ban him from the store…didn’t work though thankfully. More mediation meetings happened ground rules were laid down by the area manager but my manager refused to follow them, the last straw was him not paying the entire staff properly. He was sacked in October, so it only took them six months thereabouts to get rid of the bastard. It’s a burden off my back and work is far more pleasant again. So if anyone does read this, if you come across a man who goes by the name of Steve Digby and hails from Harefield, avoid the bastard.

I am on the mend and getting over the situation, hopefully you will see me writing more in the future.

The following four questions were posed to a group of us on a forum. The idea here stemmed from the original poster in the forum reading a book called The Faery Teachings by Orion Foxwood and an episode of Babylon 5 where Dalen is interrogated. Where each time she is asked who she is, she begins with the simple answer “I am Dalen.” and each time she she punished for giving the “wrong” answer. We were challenged to answer these questions without using “I am…” or “I don’t know” answers.

Over a year has passed since I originally posted  my replies. A year on are my answers still the same or have they changed as I have changed? Time to answer the questions again.

1: Who am I?

At my core I am a sentient being that is  constructed of a number of parts which on their own posses a lesser value than the assembled whole, that describes the what, but how to describe the who.  I am a constantly fluctuating and evolving being in an ever changing world, the who is not a constant, so who I am at this moment is different to who I was yesterday or who I will be tomorrow.

2: What is it (God, creator, force, ect)?

To me all deities, regardless of what name you know them by are all facets of the same divine energy. My concept of where divinity came from starts with the coming together of the fires of Muspellheim and the ice of Niflheim in Ginnungagap, the primordial void. From the melt waters came Ymir, the frost giant and Buri the first god. From Ymir’s form came the first frost giants, from Buri, the gods.

So yes I hold the Norse creation myth close to my heart, to me it makes sense, and I realise that to others it will not make sense, to be fair the beliefs of others baffle me at times, but I have my beliefs and they have theirs. Why can’t we all accept the differences and get along?

I also have a scientific mind and to me it is fine for science and my beliefs to walk hand in hand. I follow the Norse pantheon, though I most certainly revere Loki the most, he is the one I go two when I have problems. Loki is a shape shifting deity, and that strikes a chord in my heart and I can relate to that. I am transitioning from one gender to the other. However holding Loki closest to my heart doesn’t mean that I do not recognize and respect other deities. At the end of the day I see all gods and goddesses as individual facets of the gleaming gem that is divinity.

3: Why am I here/Why do I exist?

I live to learn. I am a book magnet, I love books, I love reading, I love learning. I exist because this is the vessel my soul decided to inhabit for the duration of this lifetime. I am here to expand my knowledge, to live a full life and do my bit to make this world a better place even if it’s something small. This body my soul inhabits is unfortunately a mismatch to the identity of my soul, but there are things that can be done to easy the dysphoria. I am here because of the act that brings all new life forth into the world. Without that none of us would be here.

4: What happens when we die?

I still don’t know, I don’t dwell to much on thoughts of life after death these days, I have been in situations where my realisation of my own mortallity hurts, and I realise just how very fragile life is. I’m spending more time on living life than thinking on what lies beyond the embrace of death.  Whatever will be, will be, though I am pretty damned sure that my body will be reduced down to it’s constituent chemicals over time.

How “Pure” is “Pure”?

This is a bit of a preemptive answer, more so than a question. It’s a question many likely consider and think about, but aren’t sure if they should even ask.

The question basically boils down to asking if you’re stereotypically one gender enough to be trans.

For example, “Are you sure you’re male? You don’t act super excessively like a ridiculously stereotypical male.” kind of situation.

This occurs both from outside sources (cis-peoples who view it as black and white, and if you’re going to be a different gender, in their mind, you have to be a “pure” specimen of that gender), and from internal sources as well (I’m quite certain I’m not alone in wondering from time to time if I’m really as feminine in mindset as I think I am).

The thing I’ve personally come to a conclusion on, however, can actually be stolen from a mangled Babylon 5 quote of all things, as it sums up the concept better than I myself can.

“How pure were they? There’s no such thing as pure. Too tall, too short, too dark, too light. All are impure.”

The quote’s not quite accurate, as I had issues finding it, but the point still stands.

For a long time I wondered about myself, as some of the things I liked were moderately feminine, such as manicuring my nails, I look after every part of myself and making sure my nails don’t chip and split is part if that. I also put a great deal into maintaining my hair as it’s taken me so long to grow it to it’s current length.  Did that somehow make me “not male enough” to ‘really’ be transgendered?

It’s a strange thing to think back on it now, but I’d suddenly kind of came to a bit of a revelation at some point, a few years ago. There were men out there (and women, though this applies less to my personal situation) who don’t fit perfectly into what’s considered to be “normal” for their gender, and yet, they aren’t accused of being liars.

Yes, there are those who think that everyone should follow stereotypical roles, but the point of the matter is… if some random person were to walk up to me and tell me that I’m “not masculine enough” to be male, or that I’m not allowed to do anything even remotely considered feminine, at all, ever, then I’d have to ask them if their lofty standards would apply to their mother, their wife, or other cis-people they know or are related to.

Is anyone truly “pure” enough?

After having dwelled on such for a long enough time now, I think I can safely state that it’s not that simple. We’re each individuals, each with our own quirks and variations, differences and so on. We’re not just two carbon copies, where every single man and woman is identical to every other, with no variation of any kind in between.

To that end, I would state that, if you are pondering this question, and wondering if you’re somehow “pure enough”, and if this is being used as some qualifier to tell if you’re “really” trans, or just making it up or something, then the question itself is unanswerable, as there is no such thing as “pure enough”.

You are who you are. You aren’t a cardboard cut out, and the idea of being held to unrealistic expectations of “purity of gender”, is absurd.

So How Do We Define Gender?

This is to try to figure out what actually is different between one gender or the other, if anything at all.

So, this gets me wondering… is there even such a true thing as gender differences in the first place? Is it all just a social construct with people being trained to think and act a certain way, or to assume that due to acting a certain way that you are a particular gender? Or is there some underlying aspects which truly differ in the vast majority of the population?

Really, the question is quite simple, but the answer seems to be remarkably complex, and almost guaranteed not to be answerable with the limited understanding we have due to so little research being put into this question which seems to be bluntly obvious on the surface.

Perhaps that’s the problem… we assume gender is so blatantly obvious of an answer, that we don’t even bother asking ourselves what really is the difference between male and female, or any other variations which may exist.

And so… I suppose I present it by breaking the question down into various subsections, along with some reminders:

1: Are there physical differences beyond the blatantly obvious ones of genitals and that which are affected by hormonal balance issues? This means that things like bone density, breasts, penises, etc, aren’t applicable, as these can be altered just with a simple hormone shift. Things like the brain’s structure, or other things which may be physically different from one gender to another, however, would apply here.

2: Are there any emotional differences? Clearly, each individual is different from each other, and we’re taught early on that “big boys don’t cry” among other things, where certain ways of coping with emotions are changed, but that doesn’t really change that the emotions themselves are any different necessarily, just how they’re displayed. Are there really significant differences between how a male and female would feel in various situations, or is it just how they present themselves to the world?

3: Are there any mental differences? Things like methods of reasoning, ways of processing information, or how one thinks in general. There’s enough evidence to denote that male brains seem a bit better at processing 3D rotation of objects, but really, how much difference is there in reality?

4: Are there any differences in preferences of what one enjoys to do? One of the things that bugged me most was the previous post I’d mentioned where a few examples flat out said only men enjoy solving puzzles or fixing things, whereas this makes no sense as the most common reason for a female to be in an abusive relationship is the belief they can “fix” their partner somehow, or to try to fix social issues, and it completely tosses out the idea of a female “nerd” or “geek” of sorts, despite that these individuals can be very clearly feminine in all other ways short of enjoying technical things like engineering or programming.

In any case, these questions are mostly to figure out if we can even come to a vague consensus towards what it is to be one gender or the other. It’s awfully difficult to state “I am male” or “I am female” without even knowing what the words mean in the first place.

This is not to say that everyone will be able to put such into words, nor does it mean that this is any sort of official, finalized definition by any means. What it is, is to attempt to explore that which makes us who we are, at our very core, before it’s tainted by outside influences.

Who are we when we’re not being told who we are? What makes us ourselves?

As stated, it seems like such an easy question, but to simply answer “I’m male because I know I am” is circular reasoning, and really doesn’t fix much of anything, though often it’s the only answer we can form into words, so this is, I suppose, my attempt to try to organize my own thoughts on the matter as well.

I dunno, I guess I just found myself wondering, if we strip away social constructs, biased opinions, traditional roles, hormonal differences, and so on… what’s really left?

Personally, I’m not really sure any longer. The more I think about it, the more I draw a blank. Virtually anything I can use to define myself, I realize isn’t really honestly gendered, outside of “it’s more common for one gender than the other”, and even those cases are sketchy at best, due to such likely being due to self fulfilling prophecies of sorts.

Still, if there’s any group on this planet who can figure out an answer, it’d likely be those who are trans, like me. After all, the concept of gender is something we’re far more likely to consider in depth than many others, as is it that we get the unique perspective of getting a little taste of both worlds to some degree.

As such, please aide me in my quest to try to figure this out, (if you want to leave comments with your input) because it’s really bugging me and the more I think about it the more frustrated I become.