While I still have negative thoughts, I’ve been thinking with more clarity than I have for a very long time. I’m not sure why this is and km certainly not complaining. Perhaps it’s because my mind is no longer as consumed by my desire to fit in, make friends and find love. Perhaps my hormone levels have returned to where they should be after the crazy stuff that happened after the orchiectomy. I feel more at peace with myself and with the concept of being alone. It’s actually not so bad, as long a I can continue to find distractions and can focus on bettering myself from an education and skills standpoint, to make the eve that goal of returning to work easier, as I’ll be more employable. I am trying to focus on building some semblance of a life without people in it.
I have to let go of the idea of making friends or finding a romantic partner. While I’m lonely and I would love to have friends and a partner, my lack of social skills, my triggers and my anxiety make socializing almost impossible. I’m not going to find that ideal friend that is willing to help me in terms of helping me get out of my apartment and out of my own head.
I need to work on other things and let go of the idea of fitting in and having people in my life. If I felt safer here, that would go a long way. I want to get o the point where I can work and go to school. I don’t want to need people anymore and I’m tired of this endless battle with me wanting to fit in, but being completely unable to because of my appearance and lack of social skills.
As far as people in the outside world are concerned, I just want to be left alone and ignored. Attempting to socialize has caused me fat too much pain and has added trauma on top of the pile of trauma that I still need to work on. I’m not a complete introvert, but that’s how I’m going to have to exist. It is a choice between the constant pain of loneliness or the risks and the pain involved with attempting to end my loneliness. For now, loneliness is the lesser of two evils.
I want to be as functional as I can be, which includes going to school, working again and having friends. But I’ve no idea how to get to that point. I know there’s help, but I don’t know what kind of help would help me and I don’t know how to ask for it. But I can’t continue adrift and lost like this. It is a pointless and meaningless existence and I’m a burden. I feel like I’ve tried every medication there is and talking about it hasn’t got me anywhere.
It’s not that I don’t want to get better; I just don’t know how to.
I believe these are either all or most of the reasons why my anxiety has worsened significantly over the last few months:
- Living alone: I’ve noticed a pattern in my life that whenever I’ve had to live alone, I’ve become more detached from the world and more agoraphobic. For the vast majority of my life, I’ve lived with parents, friends, partners or roommates. Whenever I’ve had to live alone, it’s always ended badly. I need a friend-roommate type living arrangement.
- Drop in estrogen levels: For whatever reason, my estrogen levels have dropped to the 150’s since I’ve been here. My usual levels were in the 500-700 range. I am on the same dosage, but a different brand from the one I was taking in the UK. I’m wondering if the drop correlates with my anxiety getting worse.
- Orchiectomy: My last lab results showed higher than usual testosterone levels post-orchiectomy. Since starting HRT, my levels have been untraceable to 10-15. At the last count, it was 150-something. Apparently this is normal as it’s a “dump” of whatever testosterone was in my system, but the effect on my mental health has been drastic, plus my body just feels different (not in s good way).
- Bad experiences in Rochester: A lot of bad things have happened to me since I arrived here almost a year ago. This includes harassment, losing friends, money issues, social isolation and unwanted approaches and other intrusions. As a result, I am overly afraid of people here.
- Change in psych medication: There’s a possibility that the medication I’m on now versus a year ago is not only not helping me, but is actually making my symptoms worse. I need to get off Seroquel, because I know that it’s working against me, even though it puts me to sleep.
- Worsening dysphoria: the harassment, rejection, social isolation and comments from others has made matters worse as far as my dysphoria is concerned. And dysphoria is a catalyst for depression, self-hatred and the kind ld anxiety that makes me unable to leave my apartment.
Although I’ve been unable to break the cycle as far as pushing people away and sabotaging potential connections go, I’m aware that I do it. I do it because I find it so hard to trust and to let people in. CI’ve also done it to remove myself as a burden to that person. It is a common trait associated with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), which I have been diagnosed with in the past.
There are a few people I’ve pushed away over the last few years that I truly regret pushing away. The most recent was a transgender woman named Paige. I also now regret pushing Holly and Stephanie away. They had no malicious intent towards me, they were just out of their depth as far as helping me was concerned. There are even people online who I regret pushing away or being rude to because I took something they said the wrong way.
I actually hope that some of the people I’ve pushed away get to read this. While they may not forgive me, I hope they’ll understand why. But there are some that I would give my right leg to have another chance with.
I suggest watching the video on this page if you push people away or simply want to understand why some people engage in such behavior:
While I can relate to the “why” part, I feel like fixing it is possibly beyond me, as it requires building of confidence and self-esteem. I’ve never had either confidence or positive self-esteem. But it is an issue I plan on raising with my therapist next time, if I remember that is.
I talked to my therapist about how I’m essentially “giving up” on attempts at socializing or dating here in Rochester. It is too much of a risk to my mental health and not worth the (unlikely) reward. I’m ever going to distance myself from E, because her ‘comment’ about my arm muscle has made it difficult for me to eat and has given me another reason to loathe my body.
I’m just going to have to pay for internet in my apartment now that Frontier are servicing the building. I’ll keep to my apartment once I’ve got wifi. I’ll only go out when I have to or when I feel well enough to, certainly not every day and I won’t need to go anywhere just for wifi. I know it’s an expense, but I’m not ready for the outside world and perhaps I never will be.
I also discussed the idea of eventually aiming to live in a big city such as NYC, Philadelphia or Seattle even. I feel more comfortable (or rather less uncomfortable) in big, busy, cosmopolitan cities. I know that people left me the fuck alone in London and that allowed me to travel a lot more freely. Rochester is a decent city, but I don’t think I have a future here, because I don’t fit in and people seem to have no filter and they make unwanted comments. I doubt I’d have much chance of finding a job here, when that day comes. I need to focus on getting better and going to school to make myself employable, wherever I move. I’m not interested in dating or making friends here anymore. It’s just not worth it. Pretty much everyone I’ve met here has hurt me, whether they meant to or not (excluding support workers and my therapist). I’m convinced that at least one of those people is still reading my blog and having a good laugh about it all.
I’ll return to being an online entity and I’ll only go out when I need to or when I feel up to it.
The one thing I’ll say is that despite my bad experiences with meeting people and despite my loneliness, the help that I’ve received here in New York in terms of my mental and physical health and my transition has been better than anywhere else I’ve lived. The same goes for the public assistance I’ve received and the dignity in which I’ve been treated. I am extremely grateful for all of it, because I wouldn’t have received the same level of care in the UK and certainly not in Florida.
The weather can be a pain in the ass and the winters are long and brutal, the people here don’t have a filter when it comes to comments and questions and Rochester isn’t the safest city on earth. However, it has become familiar to me and I’m slowly getting used to it. The fact that I’ve struggled to make friends is more to do with me and my problems than Rochester. There are a lot of shady, sketchy people here but there are also a lot of good people. It is blue collar, which I prefer. I’d have a better chance of making friends here than I had in South Florida or even the UK, where I felt like a foreigner. I’ve had opportunities to make friends (and more than friends), but I fucked up each time. I just wasn’t ready and I’m probably still not ready, despite how lonely I am.
I’m done with moving from place to place anyway. I finally have a sense of stability and I have a better chance of recovering here than I do anywhere else. Even though I ended up here almost accidentally, this corner of New York is my home now. Running away again wouldn’t solve anything. I’d struggle to make friends anywhere just because of who and what I am. Besides, when I get to the point that I’m as functional as I can be, I want to stay here and give something back, even if it’s just in the form of working and paying taxes and donating to the organizations that have helped me.
I know that most of what I write would be labeled as “negative”, but I do appreciate what I’ve got. Now that the name change process is almost over, I want to look towards going to school to prepare myself for eventually returning to work, better qualified and hopefully in a better state of mind. There is a lot of damage to be repaired though and some of it isn’t repairable.