I tried to go backwards

Lately I’ve been trying to deny what I have come to understand about my gender. Trying to fit myself back into that woman-shaped box, trying to say that is who I am, who I can be but it’s not and I can’t.

I got to the point where I got scared, things started to get really tough. People started seeing me differently. I retreated. I’ve been trying to dress how people want me to dress. I’ve stopped talking to people about my gender confusion. I’ve been calling myself she sometimes, even.

It’s making me miserable. Even more so this week because I’m menstruating. I feel betrayed by my body as always at this time of the month.

I always feel betrayed by my body. For not matching how I feel about my gender inside. For being unable to fight back when I was abused and raped.

I’m sorry if this is awkward reading. I hope it communicates the intense discomfort I feel with myself. I’m trying to get through the days again. I’m trying to steer gently back closer to feeling more comfortable with myself. I don’t know who I am and it’s a constant game of ‘warmer, colder, freezing’.*

*This is a game our parents used to play with my sister and I when we would be searching for something. They’d say warmer or colder depending on if we were closer or further away from finding something, such as an Easter Egg.

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I’m still here!

I’m sorry I didn’t write a post last week, things got on top of me a bit because I had group therapy and no one-to-one because my therapist is on leave.

I was scared that if I tried to write about it it would all get out of hand and I wouldn’t be able to control my feelings and get through the time until I get support again.

I’ve got a phonecall from the cmht scheduled for tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll be okay.

Group last week was very intense. I opened up more about my feelings of responsibility for the way my dad treated me. I felt like the therapist was saying that it was partly my fault what happened and I tried to ask him if this was what he meant. I know my feelings about it might cloud what I hear. I didn’t get a clarification from him. It was upsetting.

This week there is no group and no one-to-one either. I’ll be seeing my social worker on Wednesday though.

Individual MBT Week 13

Today was a big getting things off my chest session. I think I feel somewhat lighter because of it, but also have the jitters about having let this stuff out. I’m feeling nervous because my therapist is now away for three weeks.

I talked about the group and that I managed to state how hard it is for me to speak in the group, and that I think everyone’s working really hard. I didn’t feel like the person took full responsibility for what they said last week, but I want to be able to accept that I have said my piece and move on. Easier said than done, I know.

I told my therapist about my weekend away at a convention, and how I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I think a lot of this was due to gender stuff. I was trying out dressing more masculine and using a more gender ambiguous name. This in itself felt good, but at times I felt rejected by groups I have always felt accepted into, and that was devastating.

I know I went along with a real need to feel I belonged somewhere and to get help in knowing who I am. I think if I hadn’t gone along with such a great need I would have found the weekend easier. As it was I ended up escaping to my room in tears too many times.

This has brought up more complicated questions for me about my gender. It is not just about how I feel inside and how I feel about my body, but also for me about politics, my sense of community and where I fit in/how I get acceptance.

I also admitted to her that I like to dress as a little kid and go to events where I act like a little kid. This started as a kink thing with one of my partners but it is non sexual when I go along to these events by myself. It is a way to act little, have fun and let go of responsibility for a day. I’m going along to one such event this Saturday.

I mentioned this to my therapist because last time I went I found that it made me start remembering details of my childhood. Not bad things necessarily, I always remember those, but stuff like foods we ate, TV shows we watched. The memories of how I felt when I was a kid come back when I remember these things, and I’m realising the feelings I had aren’t the ones a kid ought to have. I felt so ashamed and afraid.

Now I am preparing myself for the task of going three weeks without individual therapy. Group is still on for the next two weeks and I think it’ll be tough having things come up and not having anywhere to take them. At the moment my occupational therapist and social worker are away too, although there should be times over the next three weeks when I can get support from them.

Nightmares

I keep waking up from panicky dreams I don’t remember.

Yesterday I tried to socialise and I managed okay. I think I convinced everyone I’m alright. It was nice to see people again.

I forced myself to go out because I know isolating myself is bad for me in the long term. It has already been four weeks since I was in hospital.

I miss hospital sometimes. I hated it, but I miss the lack of responsibility and the safety. I miss not being solely responsible for trying to keep myself going. I am feeling so hopeless.

I laid awake for ages, going over and over the conversations I had with people. Wondering if I acted weird, if I offended anyone, how do I feel about people? Could they tell how I felt? Did I look odd?

Of course falling asleep through sheer exhaustion leads to nightmares. I crept along the hall into my partner’s bed in the middle of the night. “I’m scared”, I said, “I’m having nightmares”. And he gave me a cuddle, and eventually I managed to go back to sleep.

I had more bad dreams. I was confused when I was woken up this morning by his alarm, not mine.

I don’t have as much support at the moment as my social worker and occupational therapist are on annual leave. From next week my individual therapist will be away for three weeks. It’s daunting.

MBT Group Week 13

Today I was honest in my response to comments someone made last week. This might sound a normal thing to do, but for me it is a massive big deal, because I am so afraid of being honest in that way.

It feels like a confrontation. It feels like I am exposing myself by showing my feelings. It feels like I will get a massive backlash of anger and potentially violence, rejection.

I suppose this is because of how I was treated in my family. My dad responded to my objections about how he treated me very immediately with verbal or physical abuse. The response from my mum and my sister (and my grandmother, when she was alive) was more complicated.

They’d reject my version of events. They’d write over it with their truth that was agreed on somehow. That our family was normal. That dad just is the way he is and that I was the one causing trouble by not shutting up and keeping my head down. Because I refused to behave well in response to violence. I didn’t want to reward his bad behaviour.

My mum and my sister made me feel rejected and alone for speaking out and responding to bad treatment. They told me the unhappiness in the family was caused by me and my ‘bad behaviour’ (what I am now beginning to see clearly as rebelling again ill treatment) because otherwise dad would have had no one to fight with, there would have been peace.

Clearly this is bullshit. What would have happened? He’d have ruled over our household with no opposition. A tyrant. He pretty much did anyway, my objections probably served no purpose other than to preserve that little flame in me. The flame that now comes out in anger. Anger that I turn on myself, that makes me hate myself for being like him. I’m so scared of becoming him, or becoming walked over like my mother was for so long.

I’m sorry if this is somewhat rambly. It shows the mess that is my head at the moment. And meanwhile I’m supposed to go places, see friends, talk to people, keep appointments. It all feels like too much but I don’t want to let people down. I’m worried they won’t like me. That I’ll end up alone like I feel.

Individual MBT Week 12

Today’s session was mostly taken up by me talking about my fear of coming out as non monogamous and gender questioning in the group.

I also brought up the issues from group this week. I talked about how the person saying that some people weren’t working as hard matched up with my own worries about what people were thinking of me, as well as my own worries that I’m not working hard enough in the group.

I don’t say much but it is hard work for me to be there and it is hard work to say the things that I do manage to say. I guess everyone is at their own stages with that.

My individual therapist encouraged me to share these thoughts with the person in next week’s group. I’ll see what I can do.

MBT Group Week 12

I left group feeling really angry this week. I felt livid that someone would suggest that any of us weren’t putting 100% effort into the group or that we’re not there for the right reasons.

There wasn’t much chance to discuss this but I imagine there will be next week.

I also came out as bisexual, sort of. I mentioned a date with a woman, and they know I’ve had a non female partner recently move out – although I often say partner and rarely use pronouns so perhaps they just assume I am a lesbian, since they perceive me as a woman.

People kept saying “friend” and then I said something that implied she’s more than a friend and I don’t know if it sank in or not. Having to “come out” as stuff in therapy is such bullshit. Especially things that I know will need explaining to people, like non monogamy.

I came away feeling upset and agitated. I went from one thing to the next all afternoon, ranting and latching onto things to worry about. I had two phonecalls from my social worker attempting to calm me down. I’m seeing her today in a prearranged appointment, so hopefully that will help.