A day in the life of a Trans guy

I had a weird experience on Saturday, I took the train into the next seaside town with my dogs and we spent the afternoon there. I was really nice, beautiful blue skies, the sun was shining and the dogs had fun playing on the beach with the other dogs.

We had a walk through the town as I wanted to go into my favourite Fossil shop. But as I was standing outside just putting my mask on a girl came up to me and asked me if I had gone to Ashdown (my secondary school) to which I replied yes. I could tell she was nervous as she was talking to me, she didn’t say who she was. It caught me totally off guard and I didn’t recognise her at all, no idea who she was.

I find this type of situation difficult because its embarrassing, awkward and kind of makes me feel vulnerable because I hated school and I didn’t really have many friends and also back then I was presenting in my birth gender. Which isn’t me, its never been who I am and yeah it makes me feel like oh well if I’m still recognisable by someone who’s not seen my in nearly 20 years I must still look like a fucking girl!

It just makes my head spin and makes me feel all kinds of shit! Because I don’t want to be seen as female, I don’t want to be reminded that I’m biologically female, I don’t want to be remembered as female! Because I am not and never was that person I was perceived as.

It’s something that’s been bugging me all week, mainly because I have no idea who this girl was, she wasn’t in my year, she was the year below me. But I don’t remember a lot from school, I don’t really remember people’s names, faces etc because it was such a shit time for me.

Most of the time now I’m stealth, I’ll still get called miss on the phone sometimes and very rarely when I’m out. I am a guy, always have been, so I’m happy I can be out in the world as male. But yeah situations like this don’t make me feel great about myself.

I mean I will never deny my past and my transition etc because its apart of my journey but I don’t want it to be my whole identity. I want to be seen as me, not just for the fact I happen to be trans.

Who I was back then wasn’t really me, I was trying to fit into a world that I just didn’t fit into and I didn’t understand why. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, I was just trying to do what everyone else was doing. But that wasn’t a true reflection of who I was.

I am more me now then I’ve ever been before, because I am more comfortable in my skin, I’m far more confident then I ever was. I mean yeah I am still on my journey of healing past trauma’s but I know who I am now, I used to feel lost like within myself if that makes sense, but I don’t feel like that anymore.

I know its inevitable I will come across situations like this but its something I hate dealing with, hopefully as time goes by it will stop happening and I can just pass as me and not as who I was before.

Peace out

Zak

Shining light

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote anything and I’m feeling less angry and frustrated then I was in my last blog.

I took the decision to up my trazadone again to help me sleep better and hopefully help me feel less depressed and so far I’m sleeping a better most nights and I’m starting to feel a little better too. I don’t feel so hopeless and so lost in the darkness, I still don’t feel great but I can see the shimmer of light at the end of the darkness, I’ve just got to keep reaching out for it.

I’ve been trying to make little changes to my daily life, that will help continue to make me feel a bit better and to prepare myself for the winter months. Each year I struggle with my mood during the winter and every year it really hits me, so I’ve been trying to prepare myself so its not going to be so much of a shock when it rolls around.

I have written up a rough plan of things to do day to day, some of these things are non negotiable, like take my meds in the morning and evening, getting to bed at a reasonable time things like that. But also to get outside for at least 30 mins each day, especially when the clocks change. As some days I like to just chill and I don’t get dressed until 4pm, which during the summer months is fine as I have loads of time still to enjoy the sunshine. But in the winter it gets dark by 4pm, so I’m going to make sure that no mater how I’m feeling I make sure I spend time outside, soak in that vitamin D from the sun. I love being outside in nature so it shouldn’t be too much of a drag. Even something as small as that I know will make a huge difference to how I feel from day to day.

I love my lists and I’ve been spending nearly every day just writing and writing. One list is of self care stuff, things like washing my face masks regularly as that’s a new thing I need to do better, or using my SAD light every day, listening to what my body wants and needs. Just simple things.

This winter is going to be a tough one as we’re heading into another lockdown and firs time around I found it so hard and winter on top of that is going to bring added stress. But I feel much more prepared this time, that’s why I’ve been writing lists down, mainly as a reminder of things I can be doing to make myself feel better and help me get through this next part a bit easier and I know what to expect now so its not going to be so much of a shock to the system.

I think I mainly operate from my inner child, he’s in charge most of the time. Which is fine but at the moment he’s feeling scared, anxious and unsafe and that’s the main reason I’ve been trying to prepare myself for the winter months to ease the anxieties of my inner child and to make him feel safe. Which he is a bit more settled then he was but he’s still highly anxious and just wants everything in place to feel as safe as possible. Which I am currently working on and I’m not far off having everything ready but I’m not quite finished.

Trying to calm my inner child down has been difficult, but I’ve been trying to listen and trying to identify his needs and what he wants, but it’s tricky as he has complex needs from traumatic events in our life. Slowly I will heal us both, through counselling and lots of patience and self care. I’ve been trying to heal myself for the last 20 years but I’ve never even really scratched the surface until now, I think I’m finally ready to heal. I can’t keep bleeding, I can’t keep letting this little boy hurt, he deserves to feel better now. I want my life to be better now, I want things to be different, I want to break the patterns that I’ve been repeating for the last 35 years. I’m ready to be happy.

One of my self care/regular activities is to try and blog on a bit more of a regular basis. I love writing/blogging and my anxiety/procrastination stops me just getting on with it. I think sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed I can’t physically do anything so I don’t and then I feel annoyed because I haven’t done anything. So I am going to try and make more of a conscious effort to push through the anxiety and sit down and write. I always feel so much better for it, I just need to get over myself and do it! With any luck I’ll be here writing again soon and not with weeks or even months in between posts.

Now I’m sleeping much better at night, I’m getting between 7-9 hours a night, which is much better then the 4-6 hours I was getting, my appetite is a bit better as well. I’m not binge eating sugar because I’m tired. Hopefully I’ll loose a bit of weight now, as I’m not eating half as much as I was, I’m actually eating a proper breakfast every morning as well and I’m trying to eat dinner too, whether that be something I cook or a takeaway at least I’m eating meals rather then just shovelling chocolate into my face all day long.

Getting a good nights sleep for me is so important, it improves my mood, my appetite, I can manage my chronic fatigue better. It’s so easy to slip into bad habits when depressed but at the moment I’m really aware of what makes things worse for me and having all these lists of things will definitely help. Getting into a routine of going to bed at a reasonable time and having a slightly more structured day is slow going, it won’t ever be perfect but I’ve got a good start on it.

Well that’s all for now

Peace out

Zak

Living in the darkness

I haven’t written anything on here for just over 2 months now, the main reason is I just got swallowed up whole by my depression and I just haven’t had the energy or desire to do the basic life things let alone sit down to write.

The main cause of my depression has been lockdown unsurprisingly, as it has I’m sure effected every single person in one way or another. It’s been an incredibly hard time and I haven’t experienced this depth of the darkness and isolation in such a long time and its not a place I like to be in. But I’ve had zero control in getting myself out of it and making myself feel better and you know right now that’s ok. My brain is doing everything it can to protect me from further tramua.

I’ve had silly comments from people who’ve said well I survived through it, I live in a beautiful area etc, which is extremely dismissive of how I’ve been feeling and its a reason why no one really knows just how bad and how dark the places I’ve been in recently because I get sick of this toxic positivity bullshit! Yes I’ve survived lockdown so far, but only fucking just and I mean I was on the verge at a few points of ending it all because the loneliness and depression was just so loud and it was so intense that I just didn’t and couldn’t deal with it anymore. But I did keep pushing through and its still not something I can feel proud about because I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m still pretty depressed, I’m just a fucking master at hiding it.

A few weeks ago it was my 3 years on testosterone and 1 year post op top surgery and in July I had arranged to meet up with some friends to celebrate as the previous years I haven’t and its something that’s extremely important to me and I wanted to celebrate, but it was pretty much a fail because most people bailed! which hurt like fuck and still fucking does and I’m still so angry and upset that I’m not overly interested in talking with the people that bailed. I tried to be happy and grateful for the few that did turn up but I just couldn’t, I was already extremely depressed and this just topped it off. Next year I’m not going to fucking bother! I am so fucking done with people!

People are so fucking fake! Always promoting mental health, self care etc but fuck me right! I don’t actually matter! I’m so fucking angry with people, I’ve been let down by everyone over the years and I have not one single person who I can rely on. I hate everyone, I don’t deserve to be treated this way, I bend over backwards to help anyone but no one seems to be able to celebrate something that’s extremely important to me. I am fucking done with everyone! I’m just not interested anymore. They can talk the big talk but I don’t trust that shit anymore, when it comes down to it, no one actually shows up for me.

All is does is make me feel like a really fucking shitty person! I feel like the worse person in the world cuz I’m 35 and still have no friends and I still don’t understand where I’m going wrong like wtf!? am I this fucking dumb?! I know I am far from fucking perfect, I know I’m an annoying dick head but I’m not a bad person. Yet shit like this makes me feel like the worst person in the world.

I see everyone else with their friends, having fun, doing stuff etc and there’s just me here on my own, like when’s it my turn?! When is it my turn to have friends and be happy? I fear my life will always be like this. I can’t seem the change the patterns no matter what I try, I try be like everyone else, I try and be myself, nothing works. So must be me right?

I’ve always felt like such an outsider, I feel like I’m from a different planet cuz I just don’t fit in socially, its too hard. But I don’t understand why I’m so different, I hate feeling like this. I don’t understand why people don’t like me or why people just can’t be bothered to put the effort in with me. I can’t change what I don’t understand.

I’m so fed up of writing about the same shit and crying about the same shit. I don’t think people understand the depths of my isolation really is. I have no emotional connections with anyone, certainly not my family and no friends. I’ve become so shut down emotionally so I can deal with this depression and loneliness, I can barely feel anything other then sadness and anger. I spend 99% of my time alone, there’s only 2 people who regularly message me and to be honest the last few months they’ve really helped get me through. But its still not the same as social interactions, I get so much from social interactions and I just haven’t had any for so long, its beyond difficult.

I’m back at counselling now, I begrudgingly went back. I enjoy going and I enjoy talking about stuff and its at least some social interaction for the week. But I’ve been in counselling for the last 20 years on and off, I’m starting to feel I’m too broken to ever be fixed and this is just my life forever now. My life has been hard and its still hard, with a few moments of happiness but they seem to be few and far between. The darkness is just so strong, its hard to climb out of it. Most days, I just let the darkness take over and I just sit and completely disassociate so I can just get through the day. I’m barely functioning most days, I have my non negotiable things I do each day, like take my meds, do my sinus rinse and take the dogs out, but the energy it takes just to do those small things is immense. I’m barely getting through each day and its exhausting. I want so much to be happy, to be loved, to have friends, to have adventures with my friends, but seems like that’s a lot to ask for. It’s all I’ve ever wanted from life. But damaged people don’t get a happy ending right? I just feel like I’ll be living in this darkness forever, its the only constant in my life over the years. I can’t remember when the darkness and I first met but I think I was quite young.

I do think my diagnosis of Bipolar is wrong, I reckon I have complex PTSD, autism spectrum disorder and ADHD as all 3 of these have symptoms that are the same or similar to bipolar and all 3 have overlapping symptoms with each other. I don’t have the energy to speak to my GP about any of this as I know I’ll get sent to my psychiatrist who doesn’t believe in adult ADHD, which is ridiculous and I just hate talking to him, I find it hard to get everything out as I feel like he’s sat there judging me, I always feel like he thinks that I’m just an attention seeker. So yeah I hate talking to him and I can’t ask for someone else as he’ll block that because he’s a prick! But hopefully through counselling I can figure some stuff out and maybe gather some evidence for a potential re diagnosis.

So yeah that’s me, writing out my heart and soul of darkness!

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy

Well I haven’t been writing for a long while, although the notes on my phone are crazy long lol. I just haven’t had the motivation or concentration to sit down and write, so I have lots to catch up on. That’s if I can make sense of some of the things I’ve noted down.

Yesterday marked 10 months since having had top surgery, it has gone crazy fast. I can barely keep up with myself. My scars are looking great and I’m just so happy with the results, areas of my chest still feel a bit numb but its slowly regaining sensation. I still have the occasional nipple twinge where I’m assuming the nerve endings are still growing, that is a super weird feeling.

I still feel quite self conscious when I’m out and about, I still feel like I need a hoody so I can hide my chest. I still feel like people are staring at me, that I don’t ‘pass’ well enough etc and I know that’s just my insecurities and gender dysphoria. I also think its down to the ridiculously high standard that is set for trans men to look a certain way and I certainly do not meet the criteria. The expectation is that all trans men are super buff, work out, have muscles and are super handsome. I am non of those things, I’m short with a chubby body and I don’t work out or have muscles. I am currently in the process of loosing a bit of weight to help with my self esteem, body image and my general physical wellbeing, but I will never be a gym bunny.

I will never look like a lot of trans activists out there, who all work hard and look amazing. But there’s not a lot of representation out there for different body types within the trans masc community and I am no where near brave enough to show my chubby body in all its chubby glory on social media, as I am not strong enough to handle any negative criticism, even though I know it may help others feel seen, right now its not something I can do. But hey maybe one day.

I also think the expectation that once you have surgery that the dysphoria will disappear, I think I was under the illusion that it wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I’ve spent so long not feeling comfortable in my skin, that its going to take a whole lot of self love to even being to love this body of mine. I am so grateful for my body, it keeps me alive but I still don’t love my body enough and I don’t even really know what that looks like, as I’ve spent so long neglecting my mind and body that true self love and acceptance is not something I’ve experienced before and not sure how it looks or how it feels. I feel like I’m only just starting to scratch the surface of this self love stuff, I’ve got so much I need to heal first but I’m still trying.

The 12 weekly testosterone shots are going well, I’m 2 years and 10 months on T now which again has gone crazy fast. Only feels like yesterday that I would have done anything to be on testosterone and now here I am nearly 3 years down the line. There where times where I thought I can’t wait, its taking too long, once I knew who I was finally, waiting for everything was absolute agony it was almost like a physical pain, it was unbearable. I am so glad I held on, things get better eventually.

I much prefer the 12 weekly shot to the 3 weekly as my hormones are more settled and I feel less chaotic, then on the 3 weekly shots. My next one is due on a couple of weeks and I’ve got to get my levels checked to see how my body is reacting to the longer lasting testosterone. My sex drive has only just settled down since my last injection lol, it sucks being single and stuck in lockdown by myself. The first few weeks after my shot I’m super hungry and just want to eat everything and I’m horny as hell too, which is so weird. Before testosterone I had very little sex drive, mainly due to being on the medications I’m on, but now its a different story lol! But unlike the crazy appetite which settles down, the high sex drive seems to last a good 9-10 weeks! But self pleasure is a good pain relief, which I can say is true as I’ve barely had to take any of my usual pain meds recently so its not just an old wives tale.

I recently joined a dating website, which feels so embarrassing to even say… that I just want the ground to swallow me up right now lol! Its called OkCupid, which is a LGBT friendly dating site and that was the main reason for joining that specific one. I decided to join as I’ve on dated one person in the last 7 years and that relationship was exactly long, it lasted all of 6 months and it was my first relationship out as a trans guy.

There’s a few downsides to the website, one being that I am shit and describing myself and bigging myself up or even making myself sound in the slightest bit interesting…so I’ve not had any likes yet lol and I’m too scared to message anyone first as I feel awkward as fuck and I’m so shit and inserting myself into other people’s orbit, as I feel like I’m being instantly annoying.. Shit if I could be invisible but still be seen that would be the best lol. So yeah I don’t think my profile is really anything special, it doesn’t really stand out from anyone else’s.

The second downside is that I keep being matched with lesbians… like WTF! Lesbians want to be with lesbians, they do not want to be with trans men, I mean that would make them bi/straight. So that’s pretty annoying, trying to sift through all these hot lesbians and I feel bad for swiping no, although I don’t think it tells you who rejects you which is good.

So yeah I’m trying to get myself out there but its so fucking hard when all I want to do is disappear because I don’t feel worthy enough to be taking up space on this earth. I’m desperate to be seen and heard but I also want to disappear which is such a confusing paradox. But a lot of it is I have no self worth, self love etc and like I said I wouldn’t even know what that feels like, looks like. I’m so used to feeling like this for most of my life, its hard to imagine ever feeling any different. Maybe one day. I’ve got a lot of trauma to work through.

I know I am a bit late but HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Always live your truth, no matter how hard your light will eventually shine and you can be a beacon of hope for others out there.

Peace out

Zak

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

trauma

This lockdown has been kinda good for one thing its allowed old wounds and pains to surface and its made me face the reality of the route cause of this pain that’s been there forever.

I’ve had counselling and different therapies since I was 15 years old on and off over the years and I’ve always skirted around this issue, cuz its painful and embarrassing to admit and as I’ve gotten older its got harder.

I find it super hard to be vulnerable and honest with myself let alone anyone else. But today I was able to verbalise it, which was very uncomfortable.

My parents divorced when I was 15 and my memories from around that time are patchy. It was a pretty traumatic experience and the years running up to that weren’t that great either and again memories are patchy.

For some that may not be seen as a traumatic event but for me it was and my mental health wasn’t great before it happened as I started self harming when I was around 9/10 years old. I can’t explain why I started self harming as again memories are fractured, not in order or missing completely.

I was an extremely anxious and extremely shy as a little kid, I struggled to make friends, I always felt left out and I still feel the same now at the age of 35 years old.

I think as you get older you tend to romanticise what your childhood was like, with me I don’t remember much at all. But I remember what it made me feel, what I felt then is what I feel now. No matter how hard I try to heal, to move forward. I am always dragged back to how I felt at the age of 15 years old.

I still feel like a little kid standing in a room full of adults trying to be seen and heard, I feel like I don’t exist, I feel alone, intense loneliness, I feel so sad, I’m in so much pain, I feel lost, I feel scared, I feel numb, I feel unloved and unlovable, I feel unwanted.

I can’t keep bleeding over the same thing, hurting over the same thing. It’s just too hard, too painful.

I feel so left out, everyone has their circle of friends and I’m standing way on the sidelines, waiting to be seen and heard, waiting for the scraps, waiting to have my existence remembered. I can’t do it anymore.

I’ve not hit any expected adult mile stones, I’ve never been in a long term relationships, I’ve never lived with anyone, I’ve never been engaged, married, I don’t have kids, never had a long term employment (mainly due to my physical health) 1 long term friendship which I no longer have. I don’t have kids, don’t own my place and never have. Never travelled anywhere, never done anything.

I feel like I’ve missed out on so much because of this trauma that hides inside me and seems to have such a strong hold over me. I end up bleeding on everyone around me and no one wants to deal with that. But I don’t mean too, I try so hard but doesn’t seem to be working. But I’m just a traumatise kid inside.

I’m so exhausted, so tired of trying, tired of feeling this pain, tired of fighting to be seen and heard, tired of existing. I’m tired of looking after myself, tired of acting like I’m a grown up when really I maybe 35 but emotionally, socially etc I’m still just a 15 year old kid inside. It exhausting trying to pretend I’m ok when I’m not.

This is hard

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.

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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

Counselling – Asking for help isn’t shameful

I went back to counselling sessions about 3/4 months ago now and I’ve found it to be really beneficial and has really helped me to process things I’ve been dealing with and has helped me unpick some real deep routed/ingrained stuff that I hadn’t really realised I had issues with.

I was a bit hesitant to go back into therapy/counselling, for many reasons. But some of these reason had actually come from what others had told me in the past that had become apart of my negative self talk.

One reason I was hesitant was that over my life I have seen a lot of counsellors, therapists etc I’ve done CBT and DBT and at what point is it enough? I kept telling myself, well I’m an adult now, nearly 35 I should be able to manage life on my own, I’ve had lots of therapy, I should have the skills and ability to deal with life… and the list goes on. Lots of I SHOULD’s which are the fucking worst!

Also in the past I’ve had friends people in my life, telling me I’m not trying hard enough, I’m not doing enough to change my life and the situations I find myself in etc and if you’re told that enough times, especially if you have low self esteem like I do, you believe those people and those statements and they become apart of your inner monologue, which you the use to bully yourself with.

I viewed counselling as an adult as a sign that I am failing, have failed at managing myself and my own life. Because of those negative statements I felt a lot of shame about needing counselling again, which is bullshit, the best thing for me at this time was to go back to counselling to help myself.

Things you say to people even if you mean well can be so damaging, especially if that person is like me and is particularly sensitive to other people’s words. Obviously you can’t know what words will hurt people, but its just having an awareness of what you do say may have a bigger impact on a person, whether you meant it or not.

The words we say are hugely powerful and can have a massive impact on the rest of someone’s life, not to be dramatic. But a lot of the things in my inner monologue are from negative things or perceived negative things that have been said to me.

It’s really hard for me to not take things to heart, I often don’t seem like I’m effected by things in the moment but I am very much someone who will repeat something over and over and over a million times and look at it from every different angle imaginable. By doing so I make myself feel so upset or angry by something and often my internal reaction often doesn’t match the actual event and is usually an overreaction.

It is something I have been working on for years as I am very aware I can be seen as overly emotional, but I can also go the other way and have no reaction at all, no response.

Taking things to heart is something I still struggle with a bit, I’m still learning. I am much better at controlling my emotions and reactions to things.

Counselling has been eyeopening and it has helped me process things that I was struggling with on my own. I feel like I have dealt with past hurts from a relationship that ended just over a year ago, that was the main thing I was still really struggling with. It still felt so raw and painful, but that pain and hurt has been worked through, unpicked and it just feels good to have had someone outside the situation to talk to about it.

It has also helped me unpick past friendships and why patterns kept repeating over and over. I lack boundaries with people and because of my kindness and low self esteem I let people walk all over me, I let toxic behaviour to continue unchallenged, I was way too much of a people pleaser, I often didn’t even realise I was being emotionally abused because it was so subtle, but over the years it wore me down.

Before I started counselling I was starting to realise that a lot of my main friendships I had were so toxic and just weren’t good for me. In on particular one I felt like I was constantly being put down, in such subtle ways but now I’m not involved in that situation I can’t believe the fact I let it go on for as long as it did, without even saying anything. I just accepted it because that’s what I thought I deserved.

I didn’t think I deserved to be treated better then I was, I didn’t think I was worthy enough. But since stepping back from these friendships and since unpicking this pattern of negative friendships, I realise I am worthy and I do deserve to be treated better then I have been.

Unpicking life, unlearning behaviours and patterns isn’t something that happens overnight and isn’t something that ever stops. I think its good to continue to keep stepping back and looking at different aspects of life to continue to move forward and to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of and helps you identify toxic negative behaviours, either from yourself or that you are allowing from other people.

Counselling also helped me unpick and look at the problems I have with disassociation and how its your brains way of protecting you and the different effects it can have. IE it can stop medications being effective as there is such a separation being brain and body. Which so so fascinating.

We also talked about my gender dysphoria and the fact that I feel still disconnected to my chest despite having had top surgery, nearly 6 months ago now.

This disconnection/disassociation from my brain and body is something I think I’ve always struggled with ever since I was small. Due to traumatic events, those events being my parents divorce which was extremely messy and painful and then being quite ill from a very young age and finally having a diagnosis as a teenager of a life changing, lifelong illness. Also being brought up in an environment that wasn’t great for anyone’s mental health, let alone a child’s

I have very little recollection of my parent’s divorce and the bits I do remember, aren’t great but the rest I’ve blocked out. I may never fully remember those events, I may have something that one day will trigger those memories. And that’s ok because my brain is doing whatever it needs to do to continue to protect me and keep me safe, which is amazing.

Maybe one day with more inner work and the further down the line I go with my transition I will close that gap between my brain and body and that disconnection won’t be so great. But as with anything these deep routed things take time to heal and takes time to change.

I think because I am a pretty sensitive person that I will need top up counselling sessions every now and then throughout my life, just to keep me going, keep me safe and keep me happy and I’m ok with that now.

You take your car for an MOT, you go to the hospital if you break a leg, you eat food in order to fuel your body to keep going, so why wouldn’t you put in the same effort for your mental health?

Mental health is such an important aspect and even now in 2020 it still feels as though going to counselling is a negative thing. But it really isn’t, it’s such an important part of life, especially if mental health is something you have struggles with.

There is no shame in needing help, there is no shame in needing medication, there is no shame in needing counselling/therapy as and when you need it and for however long you need it. There is NO shame in looking after your mental health.

Shame is such a powerful emotion, it’s one I really struggle with. Sometimes I just feel so full of shame about even being alive and taking up space that I do wonder why I am still here. But again often that shame isn’t mine, its come from words other people have said to me, opinions from others etc.

I am slowly learning how to build boundaries with other, which in turn is helping my self esteem. I’m slowly learning to like myself and who I am as a person, I am slowly learning to change that negative self talk to a more positive self talk. I am slowly learning.

Not everyone’s paths and journeys look the same, there is no time scale that anyone should be doing anything by. Some people learn huge lessons at a young age, some people take longer, some people never learn and change and that’s ok. We are all different, we all experience life differently and we’re all walking different paths to different destinations and that’s ok.

If you think you need some extra help, please access it. See your GP or psychiatrist, look up a privet counsellor (most of which will do a concession charge) talk to a friend, partner, family member. Needing extra help, isn’t shameful, isn’t a sign of failure. In fact asking for help takes such strength and bravery, it is the opposite of failure.

Asking for extra help means you respect yourself enough to know that you deserve help.

I decided last month to end my sessions at the end of this month and I know that I am welcome to go back whenever I need to and for however long I need too and it feels nice to know that whenever I need a little help to get unstuck from life, I have someone I can go to and work things through with.

I am looking forward to this next part of my life, with a new healthier view on friendships and relationships and the confidence to build and maintain boundaries. Even though at the moment my mood isn’t amazing, I feel stronger and I feel more capable of dealing with life in general.

That’s all for now,

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

How do I move forward?

I just wrote a whole fucking post that didn’t save! because my internet went down! I am so pissed! I poured my soul out and now its fucking gone! Hopefully I can rewrite it, as I need to get this shit out.

Even stupid shit like what just happened makes me so angry and frustrated and my reaction is probably an over reaction, but when nothing feels like it ever goes right, every small thing that goes wrong feels like a massive failure. It feels like such a childish reaction, there’s so much sadness, anger and frustration bubbling under the surface.

I feel like the last 2/3 years I’ve been stuck and I’ve tried so hard to move forward and keep going but nothing I do seems to work, or seems to be enough. I’m still stuck in the same place, I’ve been left behind by life and everyone in it.

I feel like once I fulfilled my role/need in someones life, then I am no longer needed/wanted. Not all cases are the same, some will just continue to use me for their own gains, but I’ve wised up to that and I will remove myself from those friendships. But that seems to be the only thing that’s changed. No one seems to stay around too long, no one seems to remember me unless I put myself out there. This is just the story of my life, I’ve always struggled to make friends, I’m so tired of trying and failing, so tired of being lonely. Tired of trying my best to break this cycle and it never being good enough.

I feel like I’ve lost myself, I’ve tried my best to fit in, I’ve changed my style in order to try and look my age, rather then looking like a kid. Although I still feel like a lost little kid inside. I’ve tried to be what others have wanted me to be, but I’ve seem to have totally lost myself in the process. In trying to fit in I’ve just made myself invisible, lost who I am along the way, how do you even find who you are? I’m no longer being my authentic self, but I don’t know who that is anymore.

I think being in a relationship last year with someone a little older then me didn’t help, I wanted so much for it to work, I wanted so much to be loved, that I just tried too hard, I lost myself in trying to make someone else happy, I tried so hard to be what they needed me to be, it still wasn’t enough. I felt like I had lost everything, I’d lost the relationship and I’d lost myself, although I think I was already loosing my sense of self beforehand. It’s been a year and I’m still struggling with this, I’m still not over it. Stupid right? I’m 34 and never been in a relationship longer then 7 months. I can’t even keep someone for a whole year. I feel like such a loser! although I can’t even keep friends, so I’m never going to be able to keep a relationship.

Will it always be this way? Will I always feel like this? It is time to just stop trying? I just feel so sad all the time, but I still smile because lets face it, who wants to be around someone who’s always so sad all the time? I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t feel this intense sadness that I hold inside, not even when I was young, not teenage years, not my 20’s nor my 30’s. I’ve tried so hard to pretend to be happy, to just get on with trying to live, but I always end up just trying to survive.

When is my time to shine? when is it my time to be happy? When will I have friends? When will I be loved? So much self pity, victim shit! Urgh even I hate myself and my thought processes. So much wallowing is self pity, I’m drowning in it, this whole post reeks of it. But its unfortunately where I’m at right in this moment.

I’m totally stuck, I have no idea how to move forward, how to get myself out of this cycle. I went back to the mental health team and I saw my psychiatrist this week and it didn’t really fill me with hope, it just felt like a step back. I don’t feel like its the place that’s going to help me. I mean I’ve been under them for over 10 years and they’ve only helped so much. It didn’t quite feel right being there, I feel like I’m not going to get what I need from there. Although I’m not sure exactly what it is I need, I just feel its not going to be found in that particular system.

There’s so much I hold inside, good and bad, I can’t seem to let any of it go, let any of it out. I’ve been through so much pain and trauma in my life and its all trapped inside, every hurt, every bad word said, every embarrassing moment, every trauma, stuck inside causing this deep sadness and pain. Causing me to stand in my own way, stopping myself from moving forward.

Maybe one day it will be better, maybe one day I can let all the past pains go, maybe one day I can move forward. Maybe one day it will be my time.

Peace out

Zak