A day in the life of a trans guy

I’ve not written on here for a while, mainly because I’ve not really had anything much to say and partly because I’ve not had the concentration to be able to sit down and write, so I thought I would write a bit of an update regarding my transition.

On the 20th Feb was my 18 month post op top surgery! Which is so crazy, time has flow so quickly and I am still so pleased with the results of surgery, the scars look fab and its healed so well. I am beyond grateful and still just so happy with how my chest looks.

And on the 22nd of Feb was my 3 years and 6 months on testosterone which is just so crazy, can’t believe its been nearly 4 years already! Still trying to grow my beard in lol! but its getting there. Testosterone and surgery saved my life and I will be forever grateful for access to trans healthcare.

One thing I have been thinking about for a long while is my pronouns, I have been going by he/him which is cool that fits me fine but I’ve recently been thinking about going by they/them as well as he/him. Because I’m not out here trying to be a cis guy, I’m just trying to be me and for me I feel that he/him is just too restrictive and that in order to be he/him I have to be a certain way, which just isn’t me. I still identify as a trans masculine guy but I have a much softer, far more sensitive side and I don’t feel like who I am fits into the narrow view of what it is to be masculine and that’s totally fine with me, I definitely feel like they/them gives me more room to breathe and continue to explore myself, without such restrictions. It feels far more freeing already.

Being trans isn’t just hormones and surgery, its a constant journey of self discovery, for me it has been anyways and I think a lot of that is down to my growing confidence within myself and free from toxic/negative/gaslighting situations and free from others judgements so I’ve been able to really look at the things I really love and enjoy and not worry about what other people think about it because I AM happy and that’s all that matter and I am looking forward to continue to explore this part of my journey.

Always be yourself and if the people around you don’t like it or don’t respect you, get rid of them. If someone cannot respect you for who you are, they don’t deserve to have a place in your life. We all deserve to be treated with love and respect and we shouldn’t accept anything less.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – Gender Dysphoria

I’ve noticed recently that I go through periods of taking selfies and then long periods of not taking selfies and focusing more on taking pictures of stuff around me.

I love taking pictures so much, looking at life through a lens. It helps me remember what I’ve done and where I’ve been, I just love pictures.

Looking back through my pictures of Facebook, I have loads of pictures of myself, being ridiculous and making stupid faces and just generally being silly! lol.

But since starting testosterone I have less pictures of myself and I think a part of that is still not being happy with my reflection and still not having a connection to the person in the mirror. Which is weird, I would have thought that testosterone and top surgery would lesson that disconnection between myself and my reflection.

Maybe its something that will take time, I’m still learning about myself, who I am, where I fit etc so maybe it just takes time to fuse myself and my reflection.

I’ve spent so many years hating my body, hating how I look. It’s no wonder I don’t recognise/like my reflection. I’ve never felt connected with my reflection, I’ve never felt a connection with myself.

Maybe I need to spend a bit more time looking at myself, so I can learn to love the person looking back.

I think sometimes there’s a lot of expectations put on the physical transition side of things and I’ve just kinda hoped that testosterone and top surgery would just ‘fix’ the low self esteem and gender dysphoria.

Whilst it has definitely improved the dysphoria it hasn’t ‘cured’ it so to speak, I think that comes from learning to love myself and the body I have.

Like I mentioned I’ve spent so many years hating my body, ever since female puberty hit. I hated how my body changed and I hated feeling like I was the only one that didn’t like my body. It was a really lonely time, I felt so odd and just I don’t know its really hard to explain.

I think having a chronic illness has also impacted on the lack of love I have for my body. Because I’ve been ill from such a young age, I felt like I was robbed of the life I wanted and I resented my body for that. I have found peace with that to a degree but I do still struggle with it a bit.

I need to start celebrating my body more, after all it’s got me this far. My body is amazing, I need to start feeling more comfortable in my skin.

It won’t change overnight, but I think it is something I can change and I want to change.

I’m 6 months post op top surgery this week and it still hasn’t sunk in, I am that detached from myself, it’s almost like I know in my brain that I’ve had the surgery and I can see my scars. But I’m still not emotionally connected with it.

For the first few weeks after surgery I felt euphoric on and off but that soon disappeared. I want to feel that again, as that felt amazing.

I have so much self work to still do, so much to unpick and untangle. I’m slowly getting there and I think in the last year I’ve made more progress that I have done in the last 10 years. Which feels a bit overwhelming but also feels good.

I’ll get there eventually, I just need to stop rushing the process and thinking I should be further along that I am.

I am perfect and exactly where I am meant to be.

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

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

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

My own worst bully

Who else struggles with negative self talk?? Cuz I certainly do, I am my own worst bully, far worse then anything I ever faced from any real life person.

I’m so bad for constantly picking myself apart and flogging myself to the point of depression. It’s such a bad habit of mine and I think as I move closer to turning 35, it’s gotten worse. I have a habit of comparing my life to others and feel like I am so behind everyone and where I feel I should be.

I have to remind myself that there is no set timeline, I am where I am meant to be and we all have our own paths. It’s still so hard though, not to feel like a complete failure.

I haven’t had the easiest of lives, I live every day with a autoimmune disorder, which effects my health on a daily basis, poor mental health and being trans as well, hasn’t been an easy path. I have a lot of unresolved trauma, which is buried deep inside, that I can’t really remember, or put into order, but I am slowly trying to work through these things. I’m grateful to still be here, living my life and I know that some day my path will help others, I hope anyway,

I always feel like I SHOULD be doing more, I SHOULD have achieved more by now, I SHOULD be better then I am. Those should’s suck! I put so much pressure on myself and for what? All those should’s just make me feel like shit and it kinda ends up being a self fulfilling prophecy and I end up doing nothing.

The way I talk to myself is so mean, I wouldn’t dare talk to another human like that. So why do we do it to ourselves? Why are we so mean? I know for me a lot of it comes down to low self esteem and feeling unworthy and I am trying to be kinder to myself, changing that inner monologue from such negative, bullying, horrible stuff to being more kinder and more compassionate to myself.

It’s really hard changing how you talk to yourself, some days are worse then others. But I am trying my best to be as kind and compassionate to myself as I am to others. It will always be a work in progress and that’s cool, things don’t change over night.

To anyone struggling with negative self talk, YOU ARE WORTHY! YOU MATTER! YOU’VE GOT THIS!

Peace out

Zak

Dear friends,

Dear friends, old and new. To those who I’ve known for 20 years and to those who I’ve known for 2 months. I wanted to write this to catch everyone up on where I am and where I’ve been.

In January, I was in a really dark place, which is somewhere I haven’t been for a long time and I feel like I’m only just coming out of the other side of it, but I still have a way to go.

As a result of this darkness I removed everyone from my Facebook for a good 3/4 months. I was angry, frustrated, isolated, depressed and struggling to survive.

But in that time I did a lot of soul searching, I know such a cliche, but I did.

I realised that over the years I’ve been quick to shut people out of my life, I’ve been quick to give up on friendships. I was trying to cut out “bad energies, drama” etc but in doing that I closed myself off to the good energies and good stuff.

I think I became so closed off because I’m so willing to help everyone, that sometimes I get burned. That’s not necessarily down to people themselves but due to my lack of boundaries and respect for myself. I thought if I made other people happy then I’d be happy but it doesn’t work like that.

Then about 5 years ago I started exploring my gender and came out as trans and I began my journey. Which again I was really open about but I was also wary of being people’s token trans friend and I was just anxious about not being accepted or whatever. So again I made my friend circle smaller.

In making my world smaller, I’ve missed out on living. I’ve missed out on friendships with some really great people. I gave in to the negative inner voices and the darkness, I allowed myself to become isolated and alone, the anger and frustration grew within.

January was my breaking point but in the weeks and months after I spent most of time alone, thinking, reflecting and meditating.

I started to allow myself to be open, slowly I began to add people back on FB, I began to reach out to friends. I started to ignore the negative inner voice and the darkness and walked towards the light.

It’s by no means perfect, I still struggle with anxiety and depression but I’m finding it a bit easier to deal with.

I often felt my expectations of people were too high, but I realised I rarely expressed my expectations in my friendships, I can’t have expectations if people don’t know what they are.

My voluntary work has helped me so much, it’s helped me with not being so isolated, I’ve made some incredible new friends who’s friendships I am so incredibly grateful for and hopefully in 20 years plus we’ll still be friends, still having adventures and experiencing this life together.

For those who I’ve not spoken to in a long time, who I’ve recently added back, I hope you’re well and forgive me for being so distant, I had to go off in order to grow into a better version of myself and I hope to hear from you soon, much love to you.

For everyone else, know that I appreciate you, I may not say it as often as I should or even show it but I do very much appreciate every friendship I have. You’ve kept me going even when I didn’t want too. I will continue to try and be open with you about everything, it’s something I’m still working one. But I’ll get there.

Thank you to everyone for your patience, love, support and sheer awesomeness!

I love and appreciate you all!

In 6 weeks time I will embark on the next stage of my journey, my physical transition, my spiritual journey.

I’m excited, I’m a bit scared, I’m nervous but I am so ready for it, I know it’s going to be a challenge but I’m ready to face it head on.

I know I will have my friends by my side helping me through and I’m so excited to have you guys with me! I can’t wait for this next adventure!

Peace out

Zak 💜

Toxicity purge – Update

I thought I’d do an update with how things have been going since I decided to change things, cut people out of my life etc.

First thing I want to say is that is has been incredibly difficult part of my journey but its been really freeing and I’ve learnt so much about myself. I feel this part of my journey has been really important.

It’s been a pretty dark time, where at times I’ve really struggled to keep going and I’ve just wanted to give up but somehow I’m still going, still trying my best.

About 4 weeks ago I removed everyone off Facebook and only been using FB for the group I run. I originally planned to post stuff to my timeline so I can use it as a diary but I’ve not done that as much as I thought I would. I can honestly say its the best decision I’ve made. I can’t really explain why, I suppose I don’t have that pressure of being watched and judged by people. I feel more free, I can just be me.

I wrote a public post saying what I was doing and people know how to get hold of me and unsurprisingly no one contacted me and this is precisely the reason I did it. I was fed up with all the fakeness of it all and the fact that every friendship I have I was the one keeping it afloat, I was the one to always message first and arrange stuff. I refuse to do it anymore, it has to be equal or I’m not interested anymore. I don’t think I’m setting standards to high I am just beginning to value and respect myself enough to say I deserve better from friendships and relationships in my life.

Some people don’t want you to change and realise your value because it makes them look at their own poor behaviour. I think that’s what happened with the people that blocked me. I still haven’t heard anything, but that’s ok. I’ve forgiven them not for them but for me, being angry won’t hurt the other person, it only poisons yourself. I don’t hold any hate towards anyone who’s hurt me or hasn’t put in equal effort into friendships, because everyone is dealing with their own journey and everyone is at different places in their journey. I think I’ve out grown a lot of people in my life, last year has shown me exactly what I want and now that’s what I’m aiming for. I just wont settle for less anymore.

It’s been a pretty lonely time, cutting out people isn’t easy but I’ve learned to love my own company, I thought I was already comfortable in my own company but clearly not as much as I thought.

I’ve spent a lot of time walking the dogs, when the weather has been nice, listening to podcasts, reading, teaching scrappy new tricks, volunteering at the cat cafe and going to the cinema.

There has been a few people I’ve met up with over the last 4 weeks which has been nice, so I’m not totally isolated and friendless, I do still have a handful of friends that I appreciate and aren’t one sided friendships.

Overall I’m doing pretty well right now, I’m feeling pretty good. Its not easy but I’m just trying to trust the process and enjoy the ride and looking forward to what this road brings in the next few months.

Peace out

Zak

Continuing my gender identity journey

Oooh so I haven’t written about this for a while.

So after looking after a toddler for a week…I think I have decided that I don’t want a child. Thinking about it properly and yeah being a bit selfish about it. I don’t think I’d cope emotionally or physically. Maybe…Maybe if I was in a stable relationship..but even then I think I would struggle. Kids change your entire life, change it right around. By the end of the week of looking after a 16 month old, I was feeling really emotional, exhausted and I felt ill. I feel like this anyway without a child in tow, but it was exaggerated. I was glad to give that boy back. I just don’t think its an option for me. Also the age thing, I’m nearly 30 and still single. If I find the person I want to marry say in 6 months, I’d want to be with them for at least 2 years before marriage, then the tricky business of children..that’s if she wants one too…I’ll be about 35 by then and I don’t want to be an older mother because of my physical illness and it will/could get worse as I get older. It’s going to kill me! Fact. Also if I physically gave birth to a child and then decided to transition along with all my other illness’s well that just aint fair on the kid. That kid could have my health issues etc.

I’ve done a LOT of thinking about the baby situation. Although my whole being craved for a child ever since I could remember, thinking about everything logically and rationally I don’t think that it could/should be something I do. It would be unfair on the child in many aspects. Especially if I couldn’t care for it, I’d hate that. I always knew there was a possibility that I couldn’t have children because of my physical health, but yeah I think I have come to the certain conclusion that yeah its not a responsible thing for me to do. Personally I think people are in love with the idea of having a baby, but aren’t prepared for the reality of it. They just jump in and have loads lol and yeah we need to procreate. But kids will change your entire life! They need you 24/7 and will not appreciate you until they are adults lol. Yeah good luck guys! I always say never say never….but I think I will be hard pushed to change my mind about this.

This brings me not so swiftly lol onto my gender identity journey. My few friends that know are slowly adjusting to calling me he and using the right pronouns and whatever, which is really cool. I know its a massive change, so when they mess up I don’t get upset about it. Sometimes I correct them, depends how I am feeling on the day. But yeah I’m pretty relaxed about it. An old guy the other day referred to me a he, which was a funny situation…he just started chatting to me about random stuff. Then he said to me friend “oh do you believe him” My friend said yes and we all laughed lol. It was random, but it felt good.

I’ve been thinking more being HE and yeah it just seems to fit.

Been dressing a bit differently lately, as well as my usual style. Just been mixing it up a bit. And when wearing the new style I’ve been gendered more as a guy which has been really good.

Today I went to the cinema on my own. Which I love doing, I saw Woman In Black 2 – Angel of Death. Ah I loved it! So good, I jumped a few times. After the film I had to go pee….Now this threw up a load of complications….Why everywhere can’t just have unisex toilets I don’t know. But yeah it was a bit of a mind field and not something I’d really thought about before. But today despite having these stupid womanly monthlys…I feel really male and I was in my batman jogging bottoms, batman hoodie and baseball cap, so yeah I looked like a teenage boy. I was thinking of going into the men’s for a pee, but it was early evening and it was starting to get busy so I chickened out and went into the woman’s and that in itself I hated because I got stared at for being in there because the woman probably think I’m a boy…even though I’m not binding yet. When I’m all in black my chest looks smaller. So yeah I felt uncomfortable at being in the woman’s toilets and felt uncomfortable at the thought of going into the men’s…Ahhh so where do I pee…I don’t fit into the stereotype MALE FEMALE toilets. GAH! So that was a real head fuck today. I’m going to see another film on Fri earlier in the day, so hopefully it won’t be so busy and if I need to pee and I feel brave, I might go into the men’s toilets…That is my goal for this week. So scary but a big step.

So yeah that’s me gender journey as it stands at the moment 🙂

Peace out

Batman

Happy New Year 2015 <3

Wow its 31st of December 2014. This year has gone so so fast.

Just a quick catch up and a short summary of 2014.

So yesterday my poor baby boy scrappy, had a really bad reaction to his worming tablet. He was so so sick for about 2 hours, I was so upset. It was so horrible my poor thing. But he did stop being sick, I managed to give him little bits of water that he kept down and later in the evening he kept down a little food. He had a good nights sleep and is back to his cheeky self today thankfully.

This morning, I cleaned the flat as it was a complete tip! Felt loads better for doing it. Don’t have to worry about it now.

Just chilled out this afternoon. Went into town and posted something that I’d bought in the sales for my friend. I hope he likes it.

I met my auntie and little cousin Layla, we looked in a few shops, then went to Starbucks for a drink. I gave Layla her Christmas present and she gave me mine. I got socks, a picture of Layla and £10. Layla loved her present, I got her a big chocolate coin and a frozen bracelet. We had a look round some more shops. I bought Scrappy a new lead, its so cute, red with stars. I bought myself a new top with the money my auntie gave me. I also bought some BIG sparklers for tonight. So yeah pretty much my day. It’s been good so far and I’m feeling positive.

So 2014…It’s been a hell of a year. I’ve met some amazing people, I’ve done some pretty awesome things, like camping, I got Mr scrappy home, I went to see Dolly Parton, I’ve had some amazing times with my wonderful friends. This August marked a whole year since I last self harmed. It’s been a LONG hard journey, but I continue to be self harm free 16 months on. I am so proud of myself as I know at one point I thought I would never stop. So yeah self harm recovery is possible.

I think I’ve really grown as a person this year. I feel like I’ve changed for the better. I feel more stable, more settled sense of self, calmer, more able to maintain relationships, more confident in everything, in myself, my actions. I feel like a better person. I hope that others would agree.

Mental health wise I’ve had my highs and my lows, but I’ve always got through it.

My physical health hasn’t been the greatest this year. My methotrexate tablets made me very sick for about a year, but now I am on injections and doing so much better. I have my aches and pains, coughs and colds. But I am so blessed not to have been too ill this past year. I have great doctors that always take good care of me. I’m blessed to be under there care. I am also very grateful to have the NHS.

So yeah 2014 has left a big mark on my life. I’ve had good times, bad times. But overall its been great.

I am blessed to have Miss Marley moo cat, Foxy girl and Scrappy do. I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I can honestly say that they have enriched my life no end. They are the reason I get up every day, they are the reason for still being. They make me get out and meet other dogs and people, when we go for walks. They help keep me motivated. I love them will every fibre of my being.

I am also blessed to have such amazing friends too. They have been so kind, so generous, thoughtful, supportive. Just totally amazing. To think back over this year and all the things my friends have done for me, the things we did etc. Is just overwhelming. I am so lucky to have such lovely people in my life. I am truly blessed.

Another year gone by without my dad. He is always in my heart. I miss you dad and I love you so much more. I wish you were here to share this life with me. But I know you are watching over me. I hope I’ve made you proud this year. R.I.P The most amazing man I’ve ever met ❤ Love you dad ❤

I hope you all keep safe tonight and have a great time 🙂

Happy New Year, I hope you’ve all had a great year and I hope there are many more to come 🙂

2015 onwards and upwards baby!

 This is my jar FULL of every single good thing I did this year. From big things like seeing Dolly Parton, so just hanging out with friends. Tomorrow I am going to look all through them. Remember all the amazing times. Such a great thing to do 🙂

Peace out

Batman

See you in 2015! ❤ ❤ ❤