I woke up from a long and intense nightmare. My GP increased my dosage of Mirtapine on Friday to 30mg and it seems like the nightmares are increasing in intensity and duration. My depression and dysphoria have been bad, but I’ve managed to keep them hidden. I am very anxious about leaving and the long journey to Rochester New York, which was extremely stressful last time around.
The one “reality” I am having difficulty facing is the prospect of returning to a country where I am still legally “male” as I never got around to changing my gender or name, due to the cost and complicated procedures that I did not understand at all. Seeing that name again and hearing that name is going to cut through my spirit like a sword through butter. I couldn’t cope with it last time and ended up running away, but this time I have to deal with it, somehow. I hope that I’ll be able to get some help with it this time or that I can pursue US citizenship with my new name and gender. But none of that is going to happen before I face the prospect of job hunting again, so I am expecting damage to be done, with no idea how to even begin to cope with it. But just like losing the opportunity to get SRS done on the NHS here, it was part of a trade-off. After the UK voted to leave the European Union and after I was let down by the system due to an “administrative error” (Fifty shades of “fucked” – bad news), leaving became the only alternative to potentially ending my life.
But one thing I do know is that based on how it panned out last time around, I’ll most likely get more support, including weekly therapy and help getting back to work. Earning a living again is the key to several of my problems and with the right health insurance, I may end up only paying a percentage of the cost of SRS and other treatments, based on the current laws in the State of New York. Since I have no life and few friends, perhaps I could even work 2 jobs and just wear myself out, so there’s nothing left of me but exhaustion by the time I get home, meaning less time to be tortured by my thoughts.
I have to focus on other things now, rather than just transition. It doesn’t mean de-transition, but it means that I have to remove my focus from transition completely in order to focus on other things. I honestly don’t know how I will cope, but it is something I will bring up in therapy. But under no circumstances am I going back to presenting male; I just don’t know how to explain all this to potential employers who will see me presenting female, but with male name as far as legal identity goes. I honestly don’t want anyone knowing “that name” and would welcome any workaround in order to achieve the goal of employment, while keeping my identity intact until my name and gender can be changed for good.
Now that I’ve made this decision, I’ve been getting on better with my mother. The tension has lifted and I am relieved that I will not have to borrow money from her for the apartment, which would have eaten into her retirement savings, with no guarantee that I’d have been able to pay it back anytime soon. I informed the realtor that I would not be moving in; the only negative is that we have lost the £185 administration fee we had to pay to secure the place. But no leases were signed, which is why I had to decide long before that time would’ve come.
The journey to Rochester will be very long and very stressful. The flight is only 7 hours or so, but then I have to navigate myself across NYC with a case the size of a fridge-freezer and my hand luggage, in what looks like +90 degree heat (based on the current weather forecast). I am still undecided as to whether to take the Amtrak, Megabus or Greyhound. Amtrak is the devil I know, but it is significantly more expensive. I would have to kill 16 hours if I were to catch the first available train to Rochester, which would either mean the additional expense of staying in a hotel overnight, or waiting at the airport, bored out of my skull and unable to sleep. What worries me about Megabus and Greyhound is the lack of legroom (I’m tall) and having to wait for a bus in a potentially unsafe place. I don’t know NYC at all, so I don’t know if it’s a risk I want to take. I have never used Greyhound and I have only used Megabus twice here in the UK (though no complaints). Busses are panic / anxiety trigger points for me too, due to the claustrophobia caused by being in such close proximity to other people. There was a time when I used to enjoy travelling, but now I hate it. I wish I had the money to just rent a car and drive to Rochester, or I wish it were possible for someone to meet me in NYC.
Anyway, I thought that putting it all into words would help, but now I feel even more stressed out and worried…..