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 did manage to go to the grocery store on the bus against last night. I took 3 of my anti-anxiety meds (3 is the maximum daily dose). Nothing bad happened to me and no one even looked at me. I was in an out of there by 10pm and managed to get the slightly earlier bus back. I was a little intimidated by the people waiting at the bus stop, so I kept my distance until the bus arrived. I am now semi-comfortable with grocery shopping at that time, even on weekends. It is a perfect time to shop in many respects. I walk home in darkness, so I’m invisible to the world anyway.
I’m absolutely staying in this weekend, now that I’ve got enough food to last me well into next week. I *may* try to go to a coffee shop I’ve never been to before called Java’s on Sunday morning. It’s only 20 minutes walk from here and I think I can do it. The nerve-racking thing will be having to ask for a coffee the first rime, with them never having seen me before or heard my awful male-sounding voice. But if they don’t misgender me and If the other patrons there seem generally harmless, it can hopefully become another safe place and another stretch where I feel at least semi-comfortable walking up and down. In fact; I’m going to come up with a list of places that I can try to go alone, so that I’m only asking for help for the places that I absolutely can’t go to alone (such as joining the local library).
My body seems to be returning to normal. My hair doesn’t feel as oily and my skin doesn’t feel as irritated, plus I’ve gained a little weight. I have a feeling that the final ‘dump’ of the body’s testosterone reserves after my orchiectomy cause the problems I’ve been experiencing. I have suggested that having lower than usual estrogen levels on the last 2 counts may be partly to blame for my worsening anxiety over the last 10 months or so. I am going to ask about switching to shots or to a different brand of estrogen pills, but maintain the same dosage and see what happens. My psychiatrist has switched me from Buspirone to Propranolol, which I’m sure I’ve tried before. None of these medications seem to do much for my anxiety, which is one of the reasons why I no longer wish to force myself to socialize.
The psychopath resistant living in the apartment below me is making a shit-ton of noise again, slamming doors and shouting. I’m not sure that complaining would do any good and it may cause me additional problems living here, which frankly, I don’t need. I don’t engage with anyone in this building except for some of the staff. I often wonder if I’d be better off in just a roommate type situation in a smaller building. I feel like my issue and needs are different to the other residents here and are unlikely to get met. For now, I’m just treating it as stable and affordable accommodation.
I do have to walk over to the pharmacy at the clinic to get my new meds and order the repeat prescriptions I need. I’m probably just go in my PJs as it’s unlikely there will be many people around. Then I’m going to come back here and just immerse myself in YouTube and tune out the world.
The situation at the apartment below me seems to be escalating into a full-blown argument. The guy keeps shouting at what must be his girlfriend, then I hear banging. It’s not even 5:30am, but if I feel concerned about her safety I will go downstairs and report it.
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.
I’ve been in a major funk since I woke up at 2am. I did manage to leave my apartment, albeit just to take out the trash. Where I differ from many other people who struggle work mental illness is that I have never had a problem maintaining cleanliness. Unfortunately that makes me look more functional, which works against me.
My dysphoria is as he as its ever been at any point in my life. I’ve been on a downward slide as far as dysphoria is concerned since the security guard harassed and misgendered me over 6 weeks ago. Also, I believe my hormone levels are still off post-orchiectomy. At my last count 2 weeks ago, my testosterone level was 150-something – higher than it’s been since I started blockers back in August 2013. The nurse practitioner said it’s perfectly normal after such a procedure and that it’ll disappear from my bloodstream. However, I feel disgusting. My hair feels greasy even though I wash it daily. I smell different and my depression is becoming quite the monster. I started taking the locker again, but my body isn’t producing testosterone, but why do I feel so nasty? How long is it supposed to take to pass through my system? This is stressing me out so badly and just adding to my dysphoria. My anxiety is severe and I’m hyper-sensitive to sound and light. I feel like it has to be that poison….testosterone.
I can’t fade going to the transgender group tomorrow – not in this frame of mind. I wish I knew what was going on with my body. I don’t feel well at all. I wish I had a friend here or just someone I could go to. But loneliness is a lesser worry right now.
I’m going to have to do what I haven’t done for over 14 years because there’s simply no other way. I don’t want to think or feel anymore.
I don’t know wheee to begin, so I’ll start by saying “I don’t know where to begin”….
I saw my therapist today and I expressed that I wanted to get everyone ok the same page as far as my needs are concerned. I need help getting out in the community, as I’m stagnant at the moment and if anything, I’m getting worse.
For some reason, DHS decided to deactivate the new EBT card that they only just sent me last week and are sending a new one. The problem is I’m now unable to use my food stamps and I’m going to struggle until the new card arrives. I’m not eating much at the moment anyway and this is essentially giving me an excuse to sink into full blown anorexia.
I’m supposed to be meeting someone tomorrow who replied to my (desperate) ad I placed in the Craigslist personals “missed connections” section. He isn’t a missed connection, just someone that replied and wants to meet me. I’m sure he won’t like me in person, just like everyone else. I look uglier in person than I do in pictures and my nasty male sounding voice would be enough to put anyone off. I realize it’s a massive risk, but my self-esteem is so non-existent anyway that there’s little left to break.
I don’t think I can go any further with the complaint I filed with the New York Division of Human Rights against the security guard that harassed me, twice. It’s the landlord of the building that I’ve filed a complaint against and their rebuttals are hurting me as far as my gender identity is concerned and they clearly have legal representation. I didn’t even read the letter I received from them today, because I know it would trigger me to do so. They claim they had no way of knowing my “preferred pronouns” and that I wasn’t presenting female, which is a lie. They also claim that the security guard had not spoken to me before the second time he harassed me for “loitering” which is also a lie (first incident of harassment). It’s too much for me to deal with right now and I’m not strong enough to risk being hit by the tidal wave of dysphoria that pursuing the complaint will most likely subject me to. I’m extremely upset that others have witnessed this particular guard harassing other people and have told me he’s an asshole, but no one is willing to put their name to it in the form of a statement that might help my cause greatly. I hate the fact that being transgender gives people a deadly weapon against me and has robbed me of my ability to fight.
I feel so disgusting and ugly, even more so than usual. I’m paranoid that my testosterone count is still higher than it should be, or that my body is somehow still producing it despite having an orchiectomy and despite having prior counts done that were either extremely low or untraceable as far as the poison is concerned.
I weighed myself at the clinic and I’m still at 161lbs. I was hoping that I’d stopped a few more pounds,,but being the fat ugly giant freak that I am, I’ve gained instead. Since I’m unable to boy any any food, I should lose quite a few pounds over the next few days. My arms are still fucking ugly and I still see muscle that should not be there.
I’m sure M (my missed connection from last summer) has had second thoughts about meeting me in person. I haven’t heard from her and I don’t expect to. Maybe she just pitied me, which is what people do to me a lot. She’s far too intelligent and far too attractive to lower herself to associate with someone as pathetic and as ugly as me. I enjoyed the online interaction with her and I’m glad that I at least got the chance to apologize to her for being so fucking socially awkward when she approached me at the Wegmans supermarket last summer. She’s too good for me, either as a friend or a potential girlfriend.
I cleaned my apartment this evening mainly out of boredom and just in case the guy I’m meeting tomorrow doesn’t hate me in person and wants to see my place.
I’m tired of being a prisoner. I can only go certain places at certain times. I wish there was support and solace in the transgender community, but every time I reach out to it, it just causes me too much pain and dysphoria. I felt like the ugliest person at the transgender group I went to on Monday. The support worker who took me is eager for me to go back next Monday. I would only go for the sake of making a friend, but I doubt anyone there would want to be friends with me and I’d just embarrass myself if I tried to reach out.
More rejection to come tomorrow….it’s so great to be me!
I’m rather worried about my last count. For some reason, my testosterone level was high (150-something) even though I had an orchiectomy done back at the beginning of May, so I shouldn’t be producing any testosterone (or no more than a cisgender woman or post-op transgender woman). The nurse said it was perfectly normal and that eventually I’ll return to almost untraceable levels of testosterone that I had before, when I was still taking blockers.
But I’m worried. I don’t like the notion of having that much testosterone in my bloodstream. I feel extra-dysphoric and have started taking blockers again because now I’m paranoid that my body has a secret source of testosterone or is somehow still able to produce it. It also explains why my libido has been slightly higher than usual.
I’m trying to be strong in facing the very real prospect that I may lose my healthcare, but it isn’t working. I had to take 5 Seroquel just to fall asleep. I had a dream in which I was in Paris and trying to find S, because she was in trouble. I woke up in tears.
Trump’s healthcare bill probably won’t pass the Senate, but knowing my (awful) luck, it will. When I lose my health insurance then my healthcare, the only prescription I’ll be able to pay for is my estrogen. Having just had an orchiectomy, I don’t need to take blockers anymore and I can live without progesterone. I’ll cut down from 8mg a day to 4mg a day of estrogen, which I should be able to pay for out of pocket, though I won’t be able to afford internet access at home. Because I’ve had the orchiectomy done and I’ve got the court order to change my name, Trump can’t ruin my transition unless I’m forced to use my old name and tied down and forced to take testosterone shots.
But even though my transition is relatively safe, I’m still in big trouble…
I take 4 different psych meds, 2 of which I know have been having positive effects. I would most likely have to go cold turkey on all of them. I see a therapist once a week and I’d imagine that won’t be possible anymore. I will lose all of the help and advocacy I get through care management too, because that is also currently covered by Medicaid. I may even lose the limited support that I get at my treatment housing.
What terrifies me is that I’m going to be completely “on my own”. I have no family or friends in this city or even in this state. I can barely do anything on my own in the outside world here beyond what I’m doing now (and even that is often too much). I will have to go to so many potentially triggering and even unsafe places on my own and I don’t see how that will even be possible. I’ve had too many bad experiences in this city as it is, even when here have been people literally holding my hand to support me. I will be reliant on the bus system here, which I’ve barely been able to use, except for one route and only at certain times.
A friend online told me I should “prepare for the worst” and contact my family in the UK to help me make plans to leave, if the healthcare bill passes. In the past, my online friends had been urging me to stay despite the election result, but now the same friends are completely silent. I stopped talking to my mum last month, because she wouldn’t help me return to the UK before when it looked unlikely that I’d be able to change my legal name. I certainty can’t ask her, because I already know the answer. As for my dad, he thinks that I only contact him when I need money, so I can’t contact him either. I’m sure both of my parents are aware of what’s happening in the news here in the US and they must know that the healthcare bill will be devastating for me and countless others like me, if it becomes law. I have no other family in the UK. I have a friend that said she’s willing to let me stay with her and her husband. However, I don’t have enough money to pay for the cost of getting there or supporting myself for long enough until I can find a job that I can do or be eligible for public assistance, which I’d have to wait 3 months for due to ‘habitual residency’ rules. I’m in deep shit this time though and it isn’t just me ‘over thinking’. This could become law and it could happen very quickly. I can almost hear my family say “Well, you chose to go back to America“. If they’re even thinking about it having seen the news, I’m pretty sure that’s what they’d still say to me, but I already know that I fucked up and that it was a terrible decision on my part. Because despite the help I’ve received, I’ve had so many bad experiences since I arrived last July, including losing the friend that encouraged me to come back to Rochester in the first place. I didn’t think that it would all turn to shit less than a year later. The only major ‘positive’ is that I got the orchiectomy and I got my name changed. I’d never have got an orchiectomy on the British NHS. I would’ve had to wait 2-3 years for SRS before my body would no longer be producing testosterone. I still want full SRS, but there is no longer any urgency.
Even if I could return to the UK tomorrow, it would be heartbreaking, given the fact that I’ve gone through so much and have finally got a court order to change my name and begin my life. I had even started to consider this city and this state as my home, despite not having any friends or family here. But I don’t see how I’d be able to stay if the rug gets pulled from underneath me. I recall writing something a few weeks ago along the lines of “If you were to remove all of the care that I receive, I’d be completely and utterly alone”. Now that seems like a very real and very terrifying prospect, in a city where I’ve had many bad experiences and no friends or acquaintances. Let’s be honest, I won’t last 2 seconds. If I had an idea of when the axe will fall on my healthcare and care, perhaps I could work with my care manager and therapist to “prepare”, if there was enough time (months rather than weeks). I want to find a job that I can do and work, but who is going to hire me and how will I get to and cope with interviews? If I had family or friends here, this wouldn’t be quite as scary, but I don’t. I will become completely socially isolated and unable to cope with the loneliness and absence of support.
Even if the healthcare bill doesn’t pass the Senate, they’ll tinker with it enough for it to become law next time around, which is what happened with Obamacare. It may be less ‘brutal’ when it gets watered down, but I’m pretty sure it will still hurt transgender people. I don’t understand why the most vulnerable people are being targeted at all, but it’s almost sadistic and it’s totally unnecessary.
But just as before, I’m willing to take my own life, if it comes to that. I already have a plan – the same plan that I’ve had in my head for the last few months. I’m far more afraid of continuing life than I am of death. Perhaps it’s time; it’s not as if I’m happy with my life or body and it’s not as if I have anything or anyone to lose. My prospects don’t look good, even if I don’t lose my healthcare. Not only am I hated by society and marginalized from it, but those in power want to destroy me and countless others like me who are part of the LGBT community and / or mentally ill. I wish they’d just put a bullet in my head and put me out of my misery, rather than subject me to more pain, which will force me to take my own life. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one willing to die over this. I wish those people would let me know that they exist, rather than people who either blindly tell me to carry on or those who are enjoying watching me suffer.