Healing inner parts

Recently I’ve been really focusing on things that make me feel good, make me feel happy, safe and comforted, especially as here in the UK we’re back in a National lockdown and I’m here on my own dealing with it on my own.

It’s not just lockdown that has made me feel like I need to feel safe and comforted but doing inner work and realising that I didn’t really get what I needed as a child, my parents were emotionally distant and often my emotional needs weren’t met. Food and meal times were often a stressful event as often I was force to eat things I didn’t like and forced to eat even if I wasn’t hungry and that has caused me so many issues over the years and also despite voicing the fact I didn’t feel like I was a girl, I was basically ignored and that led to feeling so much shame, I felt like something was wrong with me and I despised myself, which led to an unstable sense of self, low self esteem, no self worth and it’s been a really long hard road to get where I am now.

So now I am trying to reparent myself and look after my inner boy because he was totally ignored and was made to be hidden and forced to live life as someone he wasn’t. He’s very emotional, sad, angry, still holds some shame and he just wants/needs to few heard and to feel safe and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing and I’m feeling good. The inner boy or little dude as I call him is feeling better but there is still some work to do

Now some of the things little dude craves may seem childish but you know what he is a child! He’s not aware that as a whole person we’ve grown up, he’s still 15, sometimes there’s a much younger part a younger boy.

I remember a time when I was 12 nearly 13 and starting secondary school and mum shamed me into getting rid of a lot of the toys that I really still loved playing with because I was too old and no one else would be playing with toys and everyone would think I was a baby etc. I think it was because she thought I’d struggle to make friends but I did anyway..

Because I wasn’t getting my emotional needs met from my parents I was very connected to my toys and things because they made me feel safe and comforted. But they were taken away from me and I was forced to grow up when I wasn’t ready. I definitely think my emotional maturity was way behind my peers.

Now the things I find comfort, safety and that makes me feel happy are probably viewed as childish things to those who aren’t aware of my process and what I’m doing trying to heal myself but I don’t care, I feel no shame because these things are helping me heal such deep deep wounds and I love my inner child, he’s so much fun and he and I are loving everything I’m doing to feel safe and comforted.

At the moment I’m totally obsessed with squishmallows 😍 which are super soft and squishy plush toys. Also can’t get enough of kinetic sand, there’s something about it that I just can’t explain it’s just so nice to play with. I’ve also got a whole bunch of fidget toys and a chewigem necklace that I love chewing on often when I’m writing or concentrating on something.

All of these things are sensory things which living alone I don’t have much sensory input from another human, no one to hug or cuddle with and that lack of human connection is really hard so I think I’m trying to find that similar feelings from different things. But sensory things also help keep me calm, calms my anxiety down and helps me focus on whatever I’m doing.

I think often we get so wrapped up in what we should and shouldn’t be doing because of how old we are, which to me makes zero sense. But because I was trying to fit in and be the grown up or the perception of what a grown up is that I pushed little dude away and made him hide away again because I thought that all my stuff was childish and I had to grown up now and what a load of bullshit that is! I mean yes I’m 35 nearly 36 and I manage my own place, bills, pets etc but why should that mean I can’t love plush toys or cartoons, why do we have to stop liking those things and having those things just because we’re older? I don’t understand it.

I am no longer influenced by other people, I don’t care if people think it’s silly or I’m too old etc because I know I am healing myself and that’s all that matters. I will continue to buy myself whatever little dude craves to feel safe and loved and do things to keep him calm and relaxed because when he’s calm, I’m calm.

Connect with the inner parts of yourself, listen to them and what they have to say, you’ll be surprised when you start listening and helping them how much better you will feel.

In strange times like these where things are so uncertain, we all need to feel safe and that will look different for everyone. For me it’s being curled up either in bed or on my sofa with blankets, snacks, my squishy’s and fidget toys, hot water bottle, tv and my fur babies, when I’m here I feel so safe and comfortable, it’s definitely making each day easier to get through.

That’s all for now

Peace out

Zak

Christmas and New Year 2020 Round up

Wow what can I say about this year… It certainly has been a wild ride, I’ve had to learn how to adapt quickly to new situations and be ok with the things that are completely out of my control and I’ve had to learn how to be ok completely on my own, which has been incredibly hard but interesting.

I’ll jump back to Christmas before continuing with the round up of the year. I thankfully was able to spend Christmas and Boxing Day with my friend, which was good fun. I got some great presents, I cooked a delicious roast dinner, we went for a walk, watched movies, ate and played games. I really had a good time, it was very much needed after such a crazy year.

Yesterday it was announced that we are now in Tier 4 which means sadly my friend can’t come over for New Years.. but thank god for technology! We’ll still be able to chat which won’t be the same but it’s the safest way.

Oh on the 19th Dec disability benefits decided to send me assessment forms! Absolute assholes! They’ve got to be back for 13th Jan, which just isn’t long enough. So I rang up for a time extension.. although its not much better and I booked myself in for a form filling service because I’m not doing it myself, its just too stressful. So all I really need to do now it gather evidence to send off with my assessments. I really don’t understand why they’re assessing me every 2 years, its not like I’m suddenly going to be healed! But whatever… they’ve extended my money until Oct 2021 so hopefully non of my payments will stop which will take a lot of stress out of the situation… But yeah URGH! they suck!

Speaking of my health, this year it has definitely got worse. I not only have Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, but I have high blood pressure and borderline under active thyroid… and my fatigue has been so bad that my whole body sometimes feels like jelly and I feel so shaky and sick. My fatigue hasn’t been this bad in years and its just so awful, whatever I do I have to have a sit down and rest afterwards, which is really frustrating. I can’t even really explain how bad my fatigue is some days, but I really hate it so much.

Other then all of that I’m actually mentally feeling alright, I’m getting used to being on my own for very long periods of time, not being able to just go out and do anything. It doesn’t really bother me now, earlier on in the year the lockdown and all the change that came with it was extremely stressful because I wasn’t really sure what was happening, what I was/wasn’t allowed to do. But now I feel like I’m more settled, I’m used to not doing the things I would usually do and being home more. I mean in the winter I’m home more then I would be in the summer anyway, so its not so bad. Although there doesn’t really seem to be an end of this in sight just yet, but I’m sure at some point in the new year life can slowly start getting back to normal.

It’s not easy everyday though, some days I’m still finding thigs really difficult. Even simple things like making breakfast feels like a mammoth task, but I do what I always do and just push through. However I am trying to sit more and try and really concentrate on connecting with how I’m feeling because pushing through regardless is easy but doesn’t always acknowledge what you really need/want and can make how I’m feeling worse. So I do try and connect with myself to see how I’m feeling and what I need in that moment. Most of the time what I need is a nap lol! which is easy enough and its actually a good way to have a little break from everything.

I think overall this year has been a good one, despite the strange circumstances that we’ve all found ourselves in this year.

I like a lot of people have experienced loss this year, I lost a friend to Covid-19 and my stepdad also passed away this year, which I don’t think the grief for either has entirely hit me yet, but I think that’s been my brains way of protecting me in order to get through these times safely. I think the sadness and grief has come out when I’ve watched a movie that’s made me cry, which happens quite often as I’m a sensitive soul but that’s ok.

I’ve made huge progress through counselling which I am so proud of! I feel like I can tackle any friendship/relationship and relationship with myself in a much more healthy way and finally healing those deep routed trauma’s, which feels good.

I feel like I’ve changed so much in just 12 months, I am unapologetically myself and I am confident in who I am now and that feels good. For the first time ever I know myself, I listen to myself, I know what I want and need and I know what I won’t put up with and I don’t feel guilty for asking to be treated better. I don’t feel embarrassed to be seen or even to exist, I feel solid.

So 2021, I have no idea what this year will bring and I’m not going into the new year with any resolutions. But I am going to continue to heal and continue on this journey with myself.

That’s it really, see ya all in the New Year.

Stay safe

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

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

LOCKDOWN SUCKS

I’ve not written anything for a while because there is SO much in my head, so much to write it feels too overwhelming to even begin to think through and process.

Things keep popping up that I thought I was done dealing with, one thing/person in particular and it sucks! Sometimes I really hate being so sensitive as things seem to take forever to stop hurting over and over about the same thing, people, situations etc. I wish so much was different, I wish I was different but there’s little I can do to change any of that now.

I was searching through paperwork on Monday and found a few receipts and a letter that stirred up a lot of emotions. I don’t know what to do with this letter, keeping it isn’t good but I’m not ready to let go. I’m not ready to let go of this person, I still feel as raw as when we broke up, that was 19 months ago. I know healing isn’t linear but I feel like some of my wounds never fully heal, despite the work I put in, despite not wanting to be hurting anymore.

Lockdown has stirred up so much stuff within me and its hard being lockdown on my own. Lockdown has stripped me of any kind of intimacy, there’s loads of different ways to be intimate, social, emotional, intellectual, physical etc. And this part of lockdown is starting to become increasingly difficult to deal with. I didn’t realise how much I miss intimacy, how much I need it. I definitely miss it so much in a more romantic way, fuck I miss that so much, but I miss that person so much too.

This disconnection from humans is brutal and unnatural, we’re not built to be alone, we’re not built for this much with no physical contact. It’s not good for anyone’s mental health and it feels like I’m being pulled and dragged back into a place I worked so hard to get out of, 1 step forward 1000 back. I feel disconnect but at the same time I feel overwhelmed and feel everything.

I am getting used to the new routine, letting go and trying to focus on the day to day rather then looking into the future. That part is easy to deal with now, it was really hard at the start because I struggle with changes, especially big changes and changes in routine. But kinda feels nice to be relaxing more and being outside more with the dogs, I like that most places I walk feels calmer, I don’t miss the busyness of town and the noise of the people doing food shopping.

Some days are better then others but everyday the swirling mess of feelings is stuck inside my brain.

I’ve always felt quite lonely for as long as I can remember, never felt like I quite belonged and these feelings kinda come and go. But lockdown has stirred all that up again and it kinda feels like I’m gonna be alone forever.

Going over the same old thoughts, same old circles round and round. Feel like I’ll always be stuck here. I’m always being told that working on yourself comes from within, only you can change yourself etc. But I try so hard and it doesn’t seem to be good enough, it never changes, not really. Maybe I just can’t do it alone, but also meant to be alone. Feel like I’m gonna be stuck with this internal pain forever.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 6 months post top surgery.

Time is flying by faster then I can keep up with, it’s just crazy. But today marks 6 months since I had top surgery.

I’m slowly starting to connect with my chest and slowly starting to realise that I’ve finally had this life changing, life saving surgery that I’ve been wanting since puberty.

Still struggling a bit with the gender dysphoria and recognising myself but I think its a natural part of being trans.

I don’t think I look at my chest enough, I don’t look at myself and appreciate my new body. I think I was focused on recovering from surgery and it going well without any complications that I wasn’t really present and I was pretty lonely during recovery as well, so I didn’t have anyone around to be excited about surgery with and to share it with.

Looking back at leading up to surgery and after surgery I was kinda disconnected from it and as I’m used to being in hospitals and I’ve had lots of minor surgeries before, I just kinda treated it like any other procedure I’ve had to go through. I was really excited on the day of surgery and just after but it didn’t last very long. I just came at it like something I had to go through and I do feel sad now that I was that disconnected, I feel sad that I didn’t have anyone close to share the excitement with, I feel sad that I had no support during the recovery period, I felt quite let down.

I’ve felt quite lonely during my transition, despite friends being supportive and being happy for me. Apart from 1 appointment last year and the friends who took me to appointments before surgery, who took me there, took me home and took me to follow up appointments, I’ve spent the last 4 years going to appointments alone. It’s something that still makes me feel really sad, more then I think people know. As its not something I really express as it can’t be changed now.

But moving forward, I know I need to try and spend more time looking at my chest and touching my chest, so my brain starts making that connection with my new body. I think when it starts getting warmer and I spend more time walking around the flat topless, that will also help as well.

I’m still really happy with the results and how well my scars look and I’m super grateful to have been able to have this surgery done. I do feel better for having it done, just its such a huge emotional experience and as I am a super sensitive person, I’m sure its something that will take me a while to process.

Here are pictures from today.

Peace out

Zak

Crystal healing

I’m just off to bed, feeling pretty tense after writing out earlier blogs.

I was drawn to pick some crystal to put under my pillow while I sleep tonight, apparently I need 15 of them lol!

Hopefully their powerful energies will help me feel refreshed and relaxed when I wake up tomorrow

I already feel my muscles relaxing a bit, it feels nice

Peace out

Zak

Self care – Honouring your emotions

Honouring my emotions is not something that comes easily to me, mainly because its so uncomfortable. I really hate sitting with how I feel, I’m always trying to make myself feel better, but I’ve realised in doing so I’ve been making the situation worse.

Lately I’ve been doing so much to distract myself, that I’ve ended up running away from how I actually feel inside and I’ve been ignoring how my body feels and its been shouting at me.

I hate feeling depressed and anxious, so I’ve been distracting myself. All this has done is magnify the depression and anxiety and made it worse.

This weekend I decided that I need to just sit and be and feel my emotions. Which has been difficult and uncomfortable and I can feel the sadness and darkness slowly creeping in, I feel vulnerable and emotional, I feel on the verge of tears but haven’t been able to let myself cry. I also somehow feel a bit more relaxed, less tight and intense. I feel a bit calmer then I have done.

Just sitting with how I feel seems to be helping, I’m going to try my best to continue to sit with how I feel and observe and notice when I am trying to hard to run from how I feel.

Sometimes self care isn’t about doing, sometimes its about doing nothing and just sitting and feeling the emotions, no matter how difficult it is.

I hate sitting with the darkness because I know it can be stronger then I feel. It makes me feel so weak and worthless, I know the depths of the darkness, I’ve been there before.

Obviously going to counselling is stirring lots of things up for me, helping me deal with stuff that happened last year with friendships, relationship and older stuff. It feels different to counselling I’ve had before, I feel more open, laid bare. I feel like this will really help with meaningful healing.

I surrender, I cannot control my emotions, I cannot control the darkness, I trust that in my surrendering the universe will provide me with healing and continue to guide me to my inner light.

Peace out

Zak

Counselling Revelation

We talked about this breath holding thing today and I think it stemmed from last year when I felt my blog was being watched and what I said was being monitored and as a result I then stopped blogging and when I did I was extremely careful about what I said, so I wasn’t my usual truthful self. I held myself back, which then resulted in this weird breath holding behaviour.

I’ve started blogging a bit more regularly and back to my truthful, authentic self. I’m not holding myself back as I’m no longer in the situation I was last year so I have no reason to hold myself back.

But I think all that emotion and stuff is still held inside, which is why I still keep doing this weird breath holding. I’m hoping the more I write and think about this situation, the more I can tap into and unlock it and stop this breath holding for good.

It’s such a weird thing and is usually done by children as a response to intense emotions. So I definitely know it’s an emotional thing, I also think it’s because I’ve not truly been living authentically and I’ve been what I think others needed of me. I’ve been holding myself in too much, I’m slowly starting to get back to myself, I just need to be patient, be gentle with myself and keep loving myself and heal those parts of me that are still bleeding.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 10 weeks post op

This Tuesday was my 10 weeks post op, it still seems surreal but it feels so right. Its so hard to explain how it feels to finally have had top surgery, after having spent so many years feeling so uncomfortable with my body, I no longer feel as self conscious about my chest area when I’m out.

I’m still occasionally getting misgendered when I’m out and every time it happens it just feels like another chunk taken from my already low self confidence. I don’t know if its because I’m only 5ft 3 or if its my voice or what, but its soul destroying. Very occasionally I’ll correct someone, but most of the time it just knocks my confidence I just don’t say anything.

Healing side of things is going well, the scars are looking good. I haven’t been covering them with the micropore tape, I am meant to be covering them 4 days a week, just to help them heal and keep them strong. I think I’ve just been enjoying not having to wear a binder, I didn’t really want to wear the tape but I put it over my scars today and I will try and remember to put the micropore tape on my scars at least a few days a week.

The puffiness on the right side is going down slowly, its not as puffy as it was. I still have loads of areas around my chest which are still numb and I’ve been trying to touch those areas every day to wake it up. My skin isn’t as hypersensitive as it was, still sensitive but I can touch my skin without it making me feel weird lol.

I’m still struggling with post surgery blues and anxiety. Everyday is different, some days I feel ok and I’m doing fine but other days all I want to do it just hide away in my flat. Tomorrow morning I meet my (hopefully) new counsellor, just to see if we gel and talk about what I want from the sessions etc. I feel like I’m going to get more from private counselling then the mental health team.

I’m doing my best to take responsibility of my journey and moving forward and just my life. Its super hard and exhausting and I’m trying not to beat myself up too much about not being where I think I should be in life and just trying to remember I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

^ 10 week post op pics

I’m still struggling with my fatigue, this week I’ve slept in the afternoon a few times and have gone to bed pretty early a few evenings because I’ve been so exhausted. The weather has been pretty grey which I don’t think has helped a whole lot. But again its a case of self care/self love and just trying my best to listen to what my body wants/needs.

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak