trauma – Parts work

I posted last week I think about childhood trauma, but I missed a big chunk out. I didn’t come to mind at the time, but as I’ve mentioned before my memory has huge chunks missing and things that aren’t in order and that’s got much worse over the years and I think that’s mainly cuz I’ve been getting closer to the source of the trauma, maybe its ready to start healing. Finally.

So when I was about 7 years old I started getting ill (I’m not sure if that age is accurate, but I know I was in first school) I think it started with asthma like symptoms and in fact I ended up having a asthma attack as all my x-rays would come back clear and I have the same issue now, I can have a chest infection and doc’s can never really hear anything until I cough. So In was treated for asthma, I then started having nosebleeds that would last for what felt like hours at a time and because I was young and the shape of my nose wasn’t right they would never cauterise my nose to stop the bleed. It then progressed to joint pain and fatigue but as was young most doctors didn’t really know what was wrong with me.

By the time it came to the year 2000, which was the year after my parents divorce (I think) I was diagnosed with an auto immune disorder, for which I was given heavy medications and their side effects were just as brutal as my illness itself. I was given no support for my mental health, I was given no extra support at school even though I had to take a lot of time off. I was given this huge life changing condition and I just had to manage it myself and that wasn’t easy.

At school I was always different, always the outsider and dealing with a auto immune disorder, did me no favours. I was already struggling with my mental health and this only impacted on it. I thought my life was over, what I wanted to do with my life was taken away from me, well I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, but now everything seemed pointless. I’d already given up on my life at that point and to be honest I feel the same way, just a ghost going through the motions until I die. (PSA No I am not suicidal, just tired of existing, wanting this pain to end, not to be dead)

Childhood/teenage years are pivotal for the person you grown into as an adult and some who suffer trauma in those years can because stuck there, or parts of your inner system can become stuck in a certain mode as a way to protect that child.

I have been reading about ‘parts work’ or internal family systems model and holy shit did my protective child go crazy when I read about the protective child, why they are formed and how they can be changed to be more in balance. I felt physically weird reading that part, I definitely disassociated, felt itchy and uncomfortable and had to stop reading, so I could get up and move around. I ended up having to do something else as my protective child wasn’t ready to be reading that stuff, especially as its only been in the last week that I’ve verbalised to another human that yo this trauma is the source of this pain that isn’t shifting no matter what I do, I need to heal this pain first.

But I know that this protective child is protecting not just me but other deeply hidden pains and I know that this is going to take a while to work through and its not going to be easy or comfortable but I want to heal properly now, I think I’m finally ready to be vulnerable enough to dig through this pain and trauma that’s trapped within. I want to feel more balanced, I want to feel happy, I want to let this stuff go. I want to be able to fully accept myself and I want to self to take its place, I want to stop coming from a place of hurt and self preservation because that’s not helping me.

I want to stop hurting, because its getting to hard to keep carrying on my own. The load is too heavy now, I only end up bleeding on everyone, that’s why I can’t break into any friend circles, I don’t want to be alone anymore.

But for now at least I know that 95% of the time protective child fronts to protect me from the world because that’s what he’s had to do for so long. I wish I could hold that little kid and tell him its going to ok, those nights I would cry in bed at night, all alone. I’d never let myself be emotional or cry in front of anyone, I’d hold it in until I was alone. I do the same now, I could do with a hug now, someone to tell me I’m going to be ok.

I may not be where I want to be, or where I think I should be, but I’m finally starting to understand myself a little better. It’s never too late right?!

Peace out

Zak

Surviving self isolation

I’ve spent the last few days thinking about stuff, I think being forced into self/social isolation has a tendency to do that. Whilst I am used to social isolation, its something that is really bad for my mental health. So I’ve had to really think about how I am going to get through this, without spiralling into the darkness.

The first thing I decided was to start back on trazadone, I decided to stop taking it as I felt like I no longer needed it. Although having stopped it, I realised they were helping more then I thought they were. They helped me focus, stop disassociating as much as I am right now, took the edge off anxiety and depression, all which have come back but I’ve been able to keep on top of them a bit. Now we are in this self isolation and not being able to do everything I enjoy I know my mood, anxiety and disassociation will get worse, so I know I need to get on top of this. Not something I really wanted to do but I need to do.

I need to write down a list of things I need and see if I can try and get hold of them, I don’t need much just a few bits to get by. But as I’m vulnerable to this condition I need to try and be as prepared as possible.

I also need to write a list of things I can do inside, things I can do to keep the fur babies occupied as well. I can still take them for walks but with my chronic pain and fatigue I can’t always be outside with them.

I need to write out a rough routine that I can try and follow, I do better with a routine. Although I know I easily get bored of routine, so it won’t be something I will follow strictly just guidelines really so I don’t feel like I’m just floating around.

My asthma clinic appointment was cancelled as my doctors aren’t doing face to face appointments unless they are an emergencies, which I understand. I can still get my testosterone injection as that is something I need, so that is booked in for 14th April. I did ask if I can get paracetamol on prescription just for now, as I cannot find it anywhere and I don’t want to search the shops. I was told to ring back, but wasn’t able to get through, so I will try again tomorrow.

I plan on writing more, whether that is a blog or just scribbling down in my notebooks. I’ve felt so disconnected from myself I’ve struggled to write anything that I felt connected with.

Once I have some stuff written down about how to get through this self isolation, I will share it on here and hopefully as a community we can come together and help each other get through this.

Peace out

Zak

Birthday Boy!

As I said in my blog the other day, I’ve been struggling to sit down and concentrate and a lot of that is because I’ve had a case of ‘I can’t be bothered’ been feeling a bit low, stressed and tense. I’ve withdrawn myself from life a bit, withdrawn from people and from doing anything at all. It’s been a huge struggle to get up and do the most basic of things.

I’ve been a bit depressed and a bit lazy but I am going to try my best to get out and do stuff.

Anyway, last week 2nd March, was my 35th Birthday! Which is insane! 5 years until I’m 40! WTF LOL!

I had a really great week, on my actual birthday I had two friends over and we had pizza and cake! Which was awesome. Thursday my friend and I went to Brighton for the day which was so much fun, we went to the aquarium and wow I loved it there! I love Brighton so much. On the Saturday my two friends came down for the weekend, we ate loads, drank, watched movies and chilled.

It was a really great birthday week, I am so grateful for all the people I shared my birthday with. I was a bit worried about this birthday as its the first without the 2 big friendships I’ve had over the years, so I was worried that I wouldn’t have anyone to do anything with.

I thought I’d share some pictures of my birthday week

Safe to say I took a billion pictures at the aquarium lol!

I was in such a different place when I turned 30, I’d just come out as trans, I was surrounded by different people, good and bad friendships. I’m now 2 1/2 years on testosterone, nearly 7 months post op top surgery, I have a very different friend circle. Things are not perfect, I’m still figuring stuff out but I am slowly becoming the person I want to be and I will continue to change and grow.

That’s all for now, as I am struggling to feel connected to what I’m writing so it doesn’t feel quite right. So I’m going to stop.

Peace out

Zak

Counselling sessions

After 14 sessions, 14 hours I have finished my counselling sessions, with the lovely Scania Price.

I’m glad I was encouraged to find a private counsellor, I’m so pleased I found Scania as I got a lot out of my 14 sessions. It was different from what I have experienced before and its exactly what I needed at this time and I will definitely go back to her if I need to (probably will need too at some point) I have totally accepted now that its cool to need extra help, at whatever age, for whatever issue. Life is hard and sometimes I just find it so exhausting and so overwhelming, I just can’t do it on my own, I need a safe place to talk stuff through and work through stuff.

Before I started counselling, I had gotten myself to a certain point but there was still stuff I needed to untangle and I felt a bit stuck. I couldn’t move myself forward and I didn’t really have many people to sit and talk stuff through with and I struggle to talk about really deep personal stuff with people, as I struggle to trust others fully to reveal the true me. It takes someone special to get me to open up. I am the master of holding back and only saying snippets of things and not really digging much deeper then what I am willing to share.

I think that’s what’s hindered me in many ways, I think a lot of time I resist how I feel, I don’t just feel things, I fight it. I’m not truthful and honest with myself let alone other people. I struggle to always connect with myself, so often don’t check in with myself and how I’m feeling. But I am trying my best to check in with how I feel, speak my truth, say how I feel. I know I need to start trusting people, I need to try and accept that getting hurt is apart of being human and apart of having friends and family. I think I really avoid getting hurt, so I just withdraw from everything, but by trying to avoid the bad I’m also not letting the good in.

Counselling helped me untangle myself from a previous relationship that I was still getting over and untangle myself from friendships I was no longer in and these things were the main things I was really struggling with. I’d lost myself over the years in these friendships, I’d been chipped away at, I had no boundaries with people, I let people walk over me, I felt weak, I felt silenced, I felt used, I felt lonely, I felt unlovable.. the list goes on. I have started creating boundaries, I know what I will and wont tolerate, I feel stronger, I know I have a voice that I need to use more often. I feel less lonely, I just feel better. I know where I stand.

I feel like in my sessions I was able to be raw and honest and dig deeper then I’ve done before. I feel like I understand myself a bit better, I know I’m still in the process of rediscovering myself but that’s cool.

Even though I’m still feeling a little depressed although its not everyday, it comes in waves. Some days it will be a big wave and it will swipe me off my feet, but other days its a small wave and I’m still standing. I just think that’s the nature of having chronic depression and a chronic illness, as they both have a knock on effect on one another. I am in a much better place then I was in November.

It’s been 2 weeks since my last counselling session and it does feel a bit weird, it has been a bit overwhelming. I liked the routine of having a set time to get all the stuff out I needed too. I’ve been a bit all over the place, but I think I had a bit of the birthday blues, which threw me off. I’m just starting to get myself back together lol.

If anyone is thinking about seeking help, whether that be through the NHS, or privately please do it. Talking does help, no matter how old you are, what the problem is. If you’re feeling shitty, feeling suck and need a little help there is absolutely no shame in seeking what you need. It does not make you weak or less then. It makes you stronger because you are getting your needs met, you are looking after yourself.

I’m feeling tired right now and struggling to remember stuff and concentrate so this feels like its really disconnected and disjointed as I write this. I think its all I have to say, I can’t express enough about how much this round of counselling has helped me. I’m still dealing with stuff but who isn’t, that’s life right.

I was going to write another blog, but I need to sleep and come back tomorrow.

Peace out

Zak

A quick catch up

Just looking at when I last wrote and it was nearly 3 weeks ago, which feels like forever. I’ve struggled to sit down and concentrate mainly because I’ve been so exhausted but I’ve also been really struggling with disassociation, sometimes when I sit down I just feel frozen in place and I just cannot move, its so weird. It’s like part of my brain has just switched off but a tiny voice is still aware and awake, screaming at me but its too quiet to wake the rest of my brain up. It’s really frustrating as I have no control, so I try not to sit down to much so I’m not loosing chunks of time. But its not realistic, as much as its frustrating and makes me feel a big agitated I’m just letting it happen because it makes it worse if I fight against it. My brain is clearly just trying to protect me from something, I’m sure I’ll figure it out what.

That’s kinda where I’m at right now, still a bit depressed I think, which I have a real time accepting. Which makes the depression worse, I bully myself so much and I think as it was my birthday last week that exacerbated how I was already feeling as birthdays bring up so much stuff, which I’ll go more into in another post. Just writing this first to get the brain working and fired up lol!

It’s been really hard work to get myself organised and get stuff done as my brain is so foggy and so forgetful. Thoughts and stuff aren’t quite clear and sometimes don’t really make sense and aren’t in any order, which is making organising myself and my life pretty tricky. That plus my fatigue has been crappy as well, most days I’m not getting up and out till way past 12 pm but I’m trying not to be so hard on myself about it and just go with it. Although I do feel there’s a fine line between being lazy and resting and I’m not sure where that line even is at the moment.

I’m sure things will be less hazy soon, I kinda feel like I’m traipsing through thick, sticky mud and every task, every thought, just everything feels so heavy and so difficult. But I keep pushing through this mud, keep trying to find the beauty in every day, keep trying to smile and laugh every day. Its super hard, but I’ve been through this before, I know it passes, I know I will feel better eventually.

I’m still doing the weird breath holding thing, some days are worse then others. It’s starting to get frustrating as I can’t fix it. I think maybe its because I have things inside that have been left unsaid and I need to get them out. I need to write out some stuff out, not to post but to either pass on to the people I need to get stuff out too or just to get stuff out as a way of releasing it. I know its probably anxiety as well but deep routed as I don’t feel anxious. It probably doesn’t make sense but doesn’t make much sense to me lol.

I think I lost myself a little bit, I am changing and growing faster then can keep up with. But its been cool exploring new stuff, what sparks joy and passion and what doesn’t and who sparks joy and who doesn’t too. I do know I want to explore more, have more adventures, my confidence has grown so much and I am way more capable then I gave my self credit for. But I think that has a lot to do with leaving behind friendships where it was probably a bit codependent and just ended up being no good for anyone, not just me. I feel more free now, I don’t feel like life is on hold.

That’s all for this post but I have WAY more stuff to ramble on about lol! But I shall break it all down into different blogs.

Peace out

Zak

Breaking very old patterns

As I mentioned in my last post, I had written 2 long posts early hours of this morning, but I knew I would need to proof read the spelling and if they made sense or not before posting as they were both written pretty quickly, as I didn’t want to forget anything and wanted to get everything out.

So here goes…

Stuck in patterns especially with friendships and relationships. Experiencing the same same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

I didn’t just need to step out of these friendships, I also needed to look at myself and where I was going wrong and why these patterns kept repeating.

A lot of it was because I let it happen and let those patterns continue as I wasn’t in tune, I wasn’t learning, changing or moving forward.

I also thought it’s all I deserved and because shitty friendships and relationships kept happening, so must be me right? I must have been the reason I was being treated in the ways that I was. That’s a little bit true in the fact I left my behaviour unchecked and unchallenged but I also didn’t challenge others about what they said and the way they treated me, I didn’t express how I felt when someone did or said something. I just shut up and accepted that’s all I deserved.

I’ve always struggled to maintain friendships and relationships. I know I’m not an easy person, I’m overly sensitive and I take things to heart. I used to view these as bad qualities because I was told constantly I’m too emotional, I’m too much to handle etc.

But my sensitivity is what makes me special, it’s what makes me different, it’s what makes me me!

I think these people just didn’t have the same emotional capacity, emotional intelligence as me, so it was easier to make out that I’m the bat shit crazy one and I’ll be the first to admit that I am absolutely bat shit crazy but I’m absolutely cool with that.

I wasn’t built for this cookie cutter society, I was built to stand out and shine bright. But all my life I’ve been surrounded by people who’ve slowly helped to dim that light until I was completely lost in the darkness, just serving others and not looking after myself because myself was completely lost.

I felt invisible like I was only here to serve the needs of others, regardless of the cost to myself. It’s what I deserved, after all I was only a shadow.

The last two years have been the most brutally beautiful and eye opening. It’s like my light has been switched on again and is starting to flicker and with every passing day it gets a little bit brighter.

2018 was the year I fell in love after being on my own for 5 years. Even though it lasted only 7 months I fell hard but it was hard not too as she’s an incredible human, it was the first relationship since starting my transition and as short as it was the longest relationship I’ve had.

I was completely broken when it ended but we remained friends which was really painful to begin with and I think it’s only been really recently that I can say that I’m over her. I still adore her and I’m glad we’re still friends but she was definitely sent to teach me a huge life lesson.

After we broke up my world went from sunshine to perpetual darkness, it was devastating. I withdrew from everyone, withdrew from life, I was so angry, so sad I would spend days crying, which felt like the tears would never stop.

But it gave me the opportunity to analyse what happened, where I went wrong and what I could improve on in the future. Now this isn’t something I’ve ever done before, usually I just get depressed and eventually get over it without learning any lessons so ultimately end up repeating the same shit over again.

It wasn’t a nice process looking at what a needy, emotional, childish diva I was. How intense I was and it’s proper cringeworthy stuff, so bad that I wished I just didn’t exist, that didn’t happen and no one remembered 😂

I mean fair play to her for surviving with me as long as she did.

Even though I did have some awareness of my behaviours and how needy I can be, I tried my hardest to act like a grown up and whatever but those not so great qualities of mine snuck in and soon took over and I couldn’t control myself.

I was overly needy, paranoid, super insecure.. the list goes on.

I’ve been able to step back and take a look at myself and it’s been hard. Especially admitting my flaws but I mean it’s been an essential part of me growing and changing.

It’s taken a lot of work to process the pain and move on from that dark place but I’m doing better now and I hope that if/when a new relationship arises that I’ll be better equipped to deal with myself and have a healthy relationship.

This all led to me taking a step back from important friendships in my life.

Often with long term friendships we don’t tend to take a step back and look at it and see the toxicity that’s slowly crept in along with the complacency.

Whilst this particular person was the one who actually took the plunge and said we need to take a step back from each other, it was something that I was already contemplating and thinking over. They just got to it quicker then I did. But I wanted to take my time look at everything, process everything before I made a decision but my hand was forced and this person did the ending off.

Which as time has gone on has been more of a relief then I imagined.

I won’t go into the ins and outs but toxic behaviour on both sides, a difference in needs/wants/expectations of the friendship which ultimately for me led to feeling disappointed and let down a lot.

I did though put in an important boundary for myself and blocked this person from all my social media as I feel like I wasn’t supported as much as I needed/wanted/expected, so they don’t get to know/see the next parts of my life. Plus a clean break from a bad environment is always good.

The other friendship, well I dunno just things had changed, I had changed and it was just too much of an effort and I just couldn’t be bothered anymore, we’d outgrown each other.

The other friendship, well I was sick to death of hearing the same old depressing shit over and over again and giving my advice and practical help but nothing changed. I walked away for my own sanity.

These decisions weren’t taken lightly as it left me extremely lonely as these people were the only ones that were the closest to me.

I feel like I’m no longer being strangled by others expectations and need. Which has been really freeing.

I’ve spent the last 6 months with huge chunks of time just on my own and it’s been amazing.

The friendships/people I still talk to now is such a different set up. No expectations of anything, we talk as and when, I meet-up with people as and when I feel up to it. I can say no and mean it, without feeling guilty about it. I can put in boundaries without feeling guilty. Proper grown up stuff lol!

I feel like a weight has been lifted, my light is shining bright, my confidence and self esteem is slowly building. I’m becoming the person I’m actually proud of.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Holy shit who is this person that wrote this deep stuff?! like wow! ahaha. Its amazing what flows out at 4am.

Again another hugely raw and vulnerable post but its good to get this stuff out. I feel good, I am good.

Peace out

Zak

Inner monologue

I wrote this early hours of this morning and thought I’d share the sort of stuff that runs through my brain.

Inner monologue

Body needs to rest but my brain needs that’s physical stimulation which is maybe where/when/why I get so agitated and frustrated as I’m not physically working moving enough and my brain needs that stimulation/sensation in order to be able to focus and function better

But obviously having a chronic illness rest time is hugely important and essential to keep my body well.

My brain is also easily overstimulated which can either leave me feeling drained and overwhelmed or hyper and unable to sleep or settle down.

It’s been such a great journey learning more about myself and how my brain is working and connecting those dots.

Pretty much everything I write isn’t based in science, just my own personal experience, discovery and exploration of myself and how I work and function, which is fascinating.

I’m heading towards 35 and I’m finally figuring myself out, in a way I’ve never really looked at before.

When I have counselling before it’s was always based around dealing with the situations I was currently dealing with like self harm and depression. I never really delved into my past and never really spoke about the why, why I am the I am, what’s making me tick.

This round of counselling, I mean yeah I was struggling big time with anxiety and depression. But I feel like I’ve been way more open with my current counsellor, I’ve delved deeper than just surface stuff and I’ve been given the space and opportunity to look at things completely differently and it’s been super fascinating and now when I’ll just get random thoughts much like how this post started from a light bulb moment I suppose and I’ve just been writing and writing and a lot of my scribbles don’t make it into a blog but I’ve got so many notes all over the place I will type them up and turn them into some kind of order as I think it’s such an important part of the process and journey of rediscovering who I am outside of friendships and relationships and outside of my transition.

I don’t think I’ve ever really known who I am and where I fit. But I’m slowly learning and discovering more about myself and it’s exciting.

I’m starting to like me and who I am, what I represent and what I can contribute to this life.

I’ve always felt like a lost soul, just kinda floating around, not really fitting in or not even really needed.

I’m started to feel more grounded in my body, in my mind and in my soul, the essence of who I am and why I’m here. Feels super weird but also pretty cool.

My sessions end this month and I’m feeling pretty confident that I can continue this journey myself. Just gotta keep writing out all these thoughts in my head and continue to listen to myself and the different aspects that make up me and make sure all needs are met where possible so I can continue to be the best version of me.

I did write another note of stuff I was thinking about last night but I will post that separately as its pretty long.

Also reading this back I have little recollection of writing this, I knew I wrote it but I was so in the moment and everything was just flowing, which I think the real me is able to come into power and be at my most raw and vulnerable.

Peace out

Zak

My Journey from the L to T in LGBT

I saw today on my memories thing that 11 years ago today, I told my mum I was a lesbian. Which now seems hilarious as I feel like such a late bloomer in everything. As a at the time I would have been 23 very nearly 24! and now I’m still figuring out who I am, although I feel like that journey never really ends.

My memory is so rubbish and I just don’t remember these things that should be memorable moments and things I should be able to remember easily but my brain just doesn’t work that way. So Facebook is super helpful, in helping me remember important moments and obviously the not so great ones lol!

So after I saw this particular memory, it got me thinking about my journey over the last 12 years and how far I’ve come. I think its so easy to forget what my life was back then and what it is now and the huge journey and work that’s happened in between and I think the journey I’ve been through hasn’t always been visible or noticeable to those around me.

I hide a lot of things I’m going through, I always have ever since I was small. I was a toxic trait that was learned behaviour from my family. Mainly my from my mum, but again that stuff is passed down through parents. So not necessarily her fault, it’s what she knew and grew up with and she’s still like it a bit now.

I am getting better at expressing myself to those around me, but I still keep a lot to myself. I’m trying my best to live my life authentically and that means being apologetically myself! Even if people think I’m weird, I no longer really care, I know I don’t really fit in and I’m cool with that. I was never meant to fit in anywhere, I was meant to stand out and standing out is hard, because I’ve always tried to fit in, blend in and tried to disappear. But I’m still learning how I am, learning how to stand in my truth, to stand in my power and to shine. It’s a bit scary but I’m kinda starting to like myself for the first time in my life.

From at a fairly young age, I think knew I liked girls but I just always thought of maybe I was looking for a mother figure, as my relationship with my mum was always never close and I always kinda felt not apart of the family I was born in. Always felt like I was the odd one out, so maybe when I was young I was hoping I’d be cute enough and someone would come and take me into their family.

Even as a young teen I was so naive that I only thought men could be gay, I mean sounds so stupid saying that now, but I didn’t grow up with access to the internet and it wasn’t something that was talked about in my family. I just thought being called a lesbian was an insult, didn’t really realise it was an option! LOL! how wrong I was.

I grew up thinking I had to get a boyfriend/husband and that was how it was meant to be, that’s all I grew up seeing. I had like a 2/3 boyfriends, I’ve only had 2 sexual experiences with males and I really didn’t understand why my girl friends were so hyped about sex with guys, cuz I fucking hated it! I thought there was something wrong with me.

As I got older and met different people and experienced life more, I realised there was this whole community of people and my mind was blown! I felt like maybe this is where I fitted in.

It still took a little while for me to actually say I am GAY! I like woman. That was 12 years ago, that I finally was like, nope I’m not going to keep trying to fit in with what I was taught is expected of me. That felt great, it felt like I was being me and not hiding anymore.

It was 8/2/2009 that I finally told my mum, that I had a girlfriend and I don’t think she was shocked and she accepted it. I vividly remember telling my dad and he was like yeah I knew! lol, I remember saying why didn’t you tell me! Would have made things a bit easier! But its the journey I had to go through I suppose.

It took until around Sept 2014 to start questioning my gender and I don’t remember what triggered that particular process. At that point I had 2/3 people that I was friends with, knew of who’d starting transitioning from female to male, which me being the naive person I am again never knew that was a possibility or something that was obtainable to like anyone.

This is why representation in the media whether it be tv, film, music, books etc is SO important! Not only does it help educate people, it helps people feel less like a freak and an outcast.

During this time I wrote a lot, I talked a lot within the LGBT mental health group I attended, I talked with close friends at the time. I went to a Trans group and it didn’t really take long for things to slot in place and for me to realise that I am not and never was a female and that’s why I’ve always hated my body with a passion, why I’ve never felt comfortable within myself and just explained so many other things.

At the time only close friends knew about this part of my life, as I wanted time to figure myself out. I didn’t want to rush such an important life changing decision.

But the day after my 30th birthday in 2015, I messaged everyone on my FB list to explain that I am transgender and I will now be going my male pronouns. I had such an out pouring of love and support, I was honestly taken aback. I was really shocked and I’ve always had that support from people around me, yes sure it took people some time getting used to pronouns and stuff and I had every weird questioned asked under the sun but ultimately everyone just wanted me to be happy.

I don’t remember when I told my mum but I do remember she didn’t really have a lot to say about it and even now, 5 years down the road its not something she openly talks about to me, doesn’t ask me questions. So I still really don’t know how she feels about it all, which is sad because I want to know how she feels, I mean I know she loves me in her own way because she’s my mum but I don’t know if she’s proud of me. It’s not like I haven’t tried but she’s really hard to communicate with because if she doesn’t want to talk about something she just doesn’t respond, so end of conversation. I can’t have a conversation with someone who just won’t reply, just shuts that shit down straight away.

I think that hurts more because my dad is no longer here and I can’t ask him about what he thinks, does he still love me, is proud of me etc. I think we all need that approval from our families, from our parents no matter how old we get. Even though I don’t really know what she thinks about my transition, its never stopped me. Because I am an adult (I think, in age only! lol) But deep inside I do just wish she would express her feelings to me about my transition, mainly so I can have that connection with her. But also so I know she approves too.

But as I mentioned feelings, thoughts and emotions were something that just wasn’t talked about in our house and to be honest nothing really was. Looking back now it’s probably a big part of why I felt so disconnected from my family as love and emotions weren’t expressed. It’s almost like it was a business arrangement that these 4 humans were living together, aliens from another planet who didn’t know what regular human emotions were. Maybe it’s why I’ve always struggled to connect with myself.

Now I just try and meet my mum where she is, I don’t mention my transition as its pointless. She’ll never be what I want her to be and that’s hard to accept as I maybe nearly 35 but I still need my mum and I still want her to be the mother I need her to be. But that’s not who she is and I’ll never get that out of her and she hasn’t unlearnt her learnt behaviours picked up from her parents, she doesn’t yet have that awareness and maybe she never will and that’s cool. We all have our journeys and everyone’s path is different and everyone does things at different times and in different ways and that’s completely fine. So instead of trying to hold them up to the standard you want them to be at, you have to meet them where they are.

Our relationship is less stressful now because I don’t have these expectations of her, I just accept her how she is and its been so much better. I even enjoy hanging out with her now. I maybe see her once every couple of months and that’s cool with me. She’s the only parent I have left, I wanted her in my life, so I had to change how I viewed our relationship in order to have a better one.

Coming out as trans and starting my physical transition has been one of the best things I have ever done, my only regret is that I didn’t realise sooner but its all part of the journey and it happened when it was meant too.

I have learned so much about myself in the last 5 years, that its hard to express. Even though I still feel shy and have low self esteem, I feel confident in that fact I finally know who I am as a person, I feel less disconnected and I feel confident in the fact I am finally standing in my truth.

I’m still learning about who I am and where I fit in this life, I don’t think that ever really stops, as life is always changing and if it isn’t then it means your stuck.

Recently I have been questioning my sexuality a bit, again I think this is a natural part of the process. I think its because testosterone makes you feel like a horny teenage boy! But also, I used to look at guys and wished I was them and now I’m nearer the journey of having lower surgery in the next maybe 2 years, I’m starting to think a lot more about sex and having a penis and what that would look like, feel like etc cuz I’ve been 35 years without one, only ever touched 2 in my life and so its something that’s been on my mind.

Like recently when I watch porn (shocking I know!) I’ve found myself more focused on the guy and what he’s doing with his dick, which got me thinking and questioning, does this mean I want to have sex with men, do I like men? what does this all mean! and I’ve come to the conclusion that no I do not like men in that way, I don’t want to have sex with men, I’m just fascinated and excited for when I get to have sex with woman when I get my penis, which btw is 35 years late! lol and I suppose when I’m watching these videos, that I want to be that guy that’s having sex.

I still look at other guys and think wow they look so manly and fit that’s what I want to look like. But my ass over here is 5ft 3″ a bit chubby from christmas, I hate the gym and working out cuz it’s boring and exhausting. I try and remind myself that no one else looks like me, no one else can be me, I am who I am meant to be no matter what that looks like, as I don’t want to look like everyone else I was born to stand out, born to be me.

I was a bit nervous about writing about watching porn, as you know still can be a bit of a taboo and not something I really discuss with anyone. But fuck it, I’m talking about my journey and my truth and this is me, laid bare.

I don’t know where I’m headed next in life, but I’m going to keep writing, keep being me and hopefully, I’ll be me with a penis before I’m 40!

All I can do it keep standing in my truth, keep talking about my journey and hopefully helping others to stand in their truth and hopefully educating those naive people who don’t know much about the LGBT community.

Peace out

Zak

Disassociation and other stuff

I’m not sure this post will make much sense, or even have a point lol. But I just need to write things out and hopefully help sort through the mass of thoughts that race through my brain every second of every day.

I’m going to try and make sense of everything, by sorting through things bit by bit.

I’ll start with an update about my weird breath holding thing… basically I’m still doing it and its still frustrating. Nothing works so I’m just trying to ignore it as trying to fix it makes it worse.

I do it the most when I’m feeling tense, which at the moment seems like a lot. I find myself sat on the sofa scrunched up, my whole body is tense and I’m just unable to move, unable to get out of my head. I can sit like that for hours, which I know is disassociation but in a different form then what I’ve experienced before.

This disassociation feels more like an internal struggle, I’d much rather feel all floaty and out of my body, as I feel weightless. But this is so intense and physically hurts my whole body and I feel like I have no control.

When I become aware of how I’m so tense and scrunched up, I try my best to relax my body but I feel so achy after, its hard to get away from this internal struggle.

I also keep getting stuck endlessly and mindlessly scrolling through social media, again feeling really tense and again with chunks of time passing by.

It feels like apart of my brain has just switched off and gone to sleep, which is a simple way to describe what disassociation is. It’s your brains way of protecting you, which in itself in super interesting. But I feel that there is still a small part of my brain that’s awake and shouting to wake the rest of my brain up, which is causing this internal struggle. Because even though I’ve disassociated, my brain hasn’t entirely shut off, so I have an awareness but I’m unable to do anything. I feel like I’m trapped inside my body, its really weird.

I can be sat down, all scrunched up know I need to get up and move because I have stuff to do and but I just cannot move, I’m glued in place. The small voice just isn’t loud enough to wake my brain up, but I can still hear it shouting at me. Which makes me feel even more tense and frustrated because I’m not in control, I cannot make myself move until my brain wakes up again.

I don’t really know if this will change, maybe it means I’m slowing healing the parts of me that needed to disassociate, maybe it doesn’t, I’m not sure.

Hopefully in time, this will improve or at least I’ll go back to fully disassociating.

I’m feeling more tense this week for a few reasons, I’ve come off trazadone, as I felt I no longer needed it, I’m sleeping better and despite everything I’ve just described I’m feeling better too. But the withdrawals of trazadone can make you feel more agitated and I think that’s really hit me this week. Also two weeks ago I had a pretty big hit of testosterone, due to switching over from Sustanon to Nebido and the loading process means having both shots at once! So I think again such a big dose of hormones has really hit this week. I’m sure in time these will both wear off and I’ll start feeling a bit more relaxed.

I’m still struggling to feel connected to myself, which goes back to the disassociation, but also apart of the gender dysphoria as well.

I think when I took a step back from people in my life and took stock of everything, I took a step back from myself and forgot to step back in again.

I feel a bit out of place, a bit out of sorts and just a bit weird. I’m slowly working towards getting back to myself. But I think I’ve always had this disconnect with myself, the gap feels bigger then before.

Talking about this subject in counselling is helping me understand it a bit more, which has been helpful. This week I learnt that my high tolerance to medications could be linked to the disassociation which is really interesting. Even CBD oil, does nothing for me, natural remedies don’t work for me and I’m really resistant to most medications. When I started taking tramadol, I don’t ever remember it making me feel high, like how it makes most people feel. This is definitely something I want to look more into, as its fascinating and I want to be able to react to meds like everyone else does. I also know a high tolerance to medications is also linked to hypermobility as well, which I have. I just want to try and understand my brain better and why it does what it does and if I can help myself in anyway.

I always knew my brain was wired differently to most, but never knew why. I’m still really non the wiser about why I disassociate, as its usually a result of trauma. I’ve not experienced your usual traumatic events like sexual abuse, violence etc. But then my life hasn’t been simple easy, I became ill when I was 6/7 years old, family life wasn’t always easy, my parents divorce was pretty messy but these are the only things I really remember.

My memories aren’t in order and there are huge chunks missing, which again a sign of traumatic event. Maybe it was just a culmination of events throughout my early childhood/teenage years rather then 1 significant event. Sometimes not being able to remember things is frustrating but I know its my brains way of protecting me from bad things.

This week my memory has been awful, its much worse when I’m feeling stressed/tense. It effects my short term memory, I can forget when happened a few hours ago, which is super annoying. If I’m feeling more calm and relaxed my short term memory is better, I have much better recall.

I struggle with routine, I have non negotiable things I do every day, like take my meds, housework, eating, taking the dogs out. Things I need to do to get by. But beyond that I have no interest in the 9-5pm life. Partly because my body doesn’t work that way, my brain certainly doesn’t either. I cannot stand early mornings, I need quiet time to wake up and adjust to the day. My brain certainly takes its time to wake up, its much more active in the evening, early hours of the morning. I like my freedom to do what I need/want to do in order to feel good and take care of my mental and physical health.

I know I have a lot to give this world yet, but I’m not sure what that looks like. Maybe as the year goes on, that will become clearer to me.

I need to keep writing, I keep saying this but I always hold myself back.. Don’t know why I do it.

I can feel myself switching off, running out of focus. So I shall sign off for now.

Hopefully this sheds some light on well me and how I function, which could be useful for those in my life and help them understand me more and maybe it rings a bell with whoever else is reading this.

Peace out

Zak

Laid bare

I’ve been mia for a while, I’ve not been posting regularly like I was, for a number of reasons, which I’ll explain as I write this.

I’m feeling pretty vulnerable at the moment, so this is going to be hard and uncomfortable. But it’s something I need to do, I need to get it out and be brave and open myself up.

I’ve been really shut down for the last 8 months, which was around when I spilt up with the person I was dating last year.

I opened myself up and ended up getting hurt, so I did what I always do when I’m hurt, I just shut down, shut everyone out. But I’ve learnt all that does it hurt me more and other people cuz I’m often a absolute dick to people, which I hate but it feels safer then being vulnerable with people.

I’m still good friends with the person I was with last year, which I love but at the moment it’s really hard to not be super needy and just need them and want them to be here and make everything better.. which is ironically where I went wrong in the relationship. I put her on a pedestal and hoped being with her would fix everything and that’s a lot to expect from one person let alone a relationship. That’s not how they work and that’s where I seem to always go wrong. My feelings always just get too intense and I get too much, I expect too much and actually this time I crossed major privacy boundaries and went through her phone, which I regret and still feel so guilty about. I behaved like a jealous child. But it was like an impulse I just couldn’t control. I still give myself a hard time about it, I’ve not forgiven myself yet.

Ultimately the breakup was mutual although she initiated it. It wasn’t meant to work out.

I need to be with someone who’s not embarrassed to be with me, who won’t hide the fact their with me, I deserve that much I know.

From there my mental health has just spiralled down. I think I’ve disconnected with anything mental health related because I didn’t want to have it anymore, I just wanted to be fixed and move on and just have a good life, like everybody else. But I realise I’ll never be like everyone else, maybe I was always meant to stand out and be different which I hate because I’ve tried so hard my whole life to fit in but I never have. Maybe this is it, maybe I’ll always have to work harder then everyone else just to be where I want to be.

Everyone shines, they know who they are, where they’re going in life. I still at 34 have no idea who I am, what I want. I don’t try because I’m so scared to fail but I’m also scared to succeed. I hate being centre of attention. I have no self esteem anymore, I don’t think I ever did. The last few months I’ve just been listening to the negative words running through my head every second of every day, mentally bashing myself. I’m so horrible to myself but I can’t stop.

I doubt this will make much sense because I’m really struggling to organise my brain and thoughts, everything is just all over the place. My brain is just all jumbled up at the moment and it takes so much energy to just get myself organised enough to get out of the flat.

I’ve been trying really hard to fake it till I make it, but I really can’t do it anymore, it’s too hard and it’s not working. I got myself a voluntary job, I started a social group etc I thought it would help and for the most part when I’m out doing stuff it helps, but as soon as I’m on my own again it’s like a switch gets flicked off and my brain is just done.

I’ve really been struggling with depression, anxiety, insomnia, disassociation, gender dysphoria and it’s all just overwhelming and too much for me to deal with alone anymore. So I made an appointment with my GP, I’m going to ask him to refer me back to the community mental health team, I need meds upped and probably need some therapy or something. But this time I need to be super honest and not hold everything in like I can just handle it all, because well no one can do that, not forever anyway.

I think recently I’ve felt worse, for a few reasons, I’m just emotionally exhausted from trying to hold everything together on my own, I’ve stopped doing things that I know help, I’ve been spending too much time on social media, wishing my life was different, knowing full well social media creates a fake reality, it still effects me. I’ve just had zero motivation to do anything, I have to push myself from the moment I get up, some days I can do stuff other days I fail and the furthest I get is from my bed to the sofa and back, with 2 15 mins walks for my dogs.

I don’t feel anything either, just numb all the time.

Everyday I wake up and pretend everything is ok and just fake my way through what I have to do. But inside all I want to do is just be at home where I feel safe. I’m a pretty good actor, some days in front of certain friends I can’t hide it and the darkness seeps out but to most people they see me smiling and happy and it couldn’t be more opposite.

It’s getting harder to just pretend, it’s getting harder to keep it together, it’s getting harder to keep everything inside.

I feel so small, so worthless and that’s another reason I’ve not sought help sooner is because I am trans and have physical health issues, I feel like I don’t deserve help because I already have so many issues. I’m just a drain on society so why waste more money on me.

I know it’s completely self loathing and probably comes across like I’m playing the victim or something (something I’ve recently been told I was doing and tbh hands up I probably was because I was angry and I couldn’t be the rational adult I know I can be) but it’s genuinely how I feel like a lot, all this negative mass of self loathing words swirling around my head daily, I try and say nice things to myself but I just don’t connect with them so I just can’t believe them.

I need help, I need support, whether that be meds’ and therapy or whatever but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact I just can’t do this on my own anymore. My GP is ringing me tomorrow and hopefully I can say everything I need too and maybe get referred back to the community mental health team.

I don’t want to feel like this forever, I want to feel better and I want to feel better about myself and stop destroying myself. I want to try and fail and try again until I succeed at something.

I want help with dealing with disassociation, I’ve just been doing things myself on a trial and error basis to help my dissociative moments. I don’t know if it’s the right thing or not and what I try and do to help myself doesn’t always work. I want to feel more connected with myself, at the moment myself, my brain and body just seems to be fragments floating around bumping into each other but never connecting. It’s really weird, I want to feel like a whole person.

I’m just so emotionally exhausted, I just want some relief. I feel like I’m wading through mud with no end in sight, I’ve ran out of ideas and steam, I can’t help myself anymore on my own. I wake up just as exhausted as when I went to sleep.

So yeah this is me laid bare, heart on the table.

Peace out

Zak