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

Birthday Boy!

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 I’ve withdrawn myself from life a bit, withdrawn from people and from doing anything at all.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak

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

Pushing through the dark

I woke up today just not wanting to participate in life at all, just wanted to hide. But I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t settle on doing any one thing and Scrappy kept looking at me with his big puppy dog eyes.

With much effort and a lot of complaining and swearing lol, I got myself up and ready. Every step to get ready felt so difficult and almost impossible to do, but I stuck with it and finally was showered and dressed.

I got ready to take the dogs out, I was undecided as to where I was going to take them. But as soon as we stepped outside it started raining, only a little shower at first, so I kept walking and then it rained heavily for about 5 minutes. We’d just gone to the green across the road, as they needed to go pee anyway. The rain stopped and the sun came out, it was pretty windy, so it was moving the clouds out the way.

As we were already soaked, I decided to go to Baiter for a walk, Foxy wasn’t overly happy with being soaked but we all soon dried off in the sunshine.

There weren’t many people down there, which was perfect. It was good to be outside, despite the struggle it took to force myself out, I’m always happy to be out.

I took some nice pictures, the dogs had a blast which makes me so happy, watching them playing and having so much fun.

I feel like I can breathe when I’m outside in nature, I feel free. I’m glad we got out in between the rain and storms, we’ve got more headed our way this weekend.

Here are all the pictures I took this afternoon

I’m feeling a bit more relaxed now, then I was this morning. It’s amazing what a bit of fresh air can do to help lift your mood a bit.

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoy this blog and my pictures.

Peace out

Zak

Grumpy boy

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle, I’ve been feeling so agitated, grumpy, achy and exhausted. A lot of it has to do with having stopped taking trazadone, which is slowly working its way out of my system.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything as well. I’ve taken a bit of a step back from life, by not answering messages straight away, as it feels too much and I just need that time and space and also taken a step back from people, some days the thought of having other people near me, especially a lot of people almost feels like a physical pain, which is really hard to explain Even just going to the shops to get food is difficult and I put it off until I really have to go. I also feel like I need a protective bubble around myself as I’m always nervous about people being near me, touching me etc, especially random people I don’t know.

Being just on my own is so much easier, as I don’t have to explain myself, or feel like I have to perform, or be happy or whatever. I can just be grumpy and irritable, without upsetting anyone by accident.

Its just much less pressure and feels freeing. 1:1 with someone isn’t as daunting, I think my social anxiety has really been kicking in due to coming off my meds. But I’m sure with a little time and patience I’ll be alright again. Just need to give myself some space to breathe.

I get so frustrated with myself for feeling grumpy and irritable and I know its usually because I’m trying to stop myself from feeling low, as if I let myself feel low, its a hard work to make myself feel better again. So I fight against just allowing myself to feel how I feel, which just makes the whole process longer, then if I just let myself feel sad in the first place!

I’ve also come to realise that I’m an introvert, I also used the think I was a bit of an extrovert. But I don’t think I am at all. I’m still really quite shy, which has something that has never really changed since I was small. I need my own space to be and recover from social interactions, I prefer my own company, being around lots of people is exhausting.

I think because I am quite good at coming across who is someone who is fairly confident but I’ve spent my life being my own advocate to get what I need from services, mainly hospitals/doctors etc.

But yeah I’m a pretty shy, anxiety filled human lol.

Hopefully in the next few weeks when the trazadone has come out of my system fully, I’ll start to feel a bit better again.

I got a SAD lamp, which I’ve been using most days. Haven’t noticed a difference just yet, but I’ll keep with it and maybe use it in the morning rather then the evening.

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

Left behind

I always feel like I’m being left behind, left out, like I’m still a little kid just still struggling to figure out what’s happening.

I feel like I’m missing out and being missed out of things.

I feel like no one really knows me or even wants to invest that time into me.

I feel that because I’m sensitive and emotional, it just puts people off.

I’m just a small person with big feelings and I know I’m weird and childlike but life is far too short to be serious.

I’ll never fit in anywhere properly, my life seems like it will be me and my animals and just temporary people.

That’s not what I want though, I want to find my tribe, people who truly accept me for me and truly mean it.

I find it hard to trust others now because I’ve always been let down and disappointed by people.

I’m tired of feeling lonely and being alone.

I won’t change who I am to fit in with who anyone wants me to be. I’ll meet you where you’re at if you’ll do the same for me.

The path I’ve been walking for the last few years have been incredibly lonely, with brief times of sunshine and happiness but never lasting long.

I want someone to take my hand and show me how proper love and friendship is meant to be.

I’m tired of the darkness, I want to see the sunshine again

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – Top Surgery

I’ve not posted anything in a while, I always think I have to be ‘in the right mood’ in order to be able to write a good post, but I realised that was just me being lazy and procrastinating. I decided I just need to get over myself and WRITE! I enjoy writing, it always makes me feel better, so I’m not sure why I stop myself.

A lot has happened in the last 2 months, since my last post. The main big news is that I’ve finally had top surgery! I had it 5 weeks ago 20th August! Everything went really well, my scars and new nipples look amazing! I am beyond happy! I’m still having to wear a compression binder..Urgh! But hopefully another week longer and I’ll be free!

I have a check up on Thursday, as I have a clot of blood sat on my right side of the chest, that they just need to drain and hopefully after that I won’t need to go back again. Wearing the compression binder has been pretty brutal, as I’ve been wearing it for nearly 5 weeks straight. I’ve had a few days where I’ve taken it off and given my chest a break. My skin is a bit sore where the binder has been rubbing on my skin and my ribs on the left are a bit swollen and this is exactly why I didn’t wear a binder in the first place, because its just too painful, uncomfortable and hot.

I have had a handful of good friends who’ve been so great during this time, I was so grateful to have people take me to the hospital before my op, bring me home, friends looking after my fur babies and friends taking me back and forth for check up apps and a couple of people coming over. It was one of the things I was worried about but I got there and back and my fur babies were look after, those were the most important things. So that made things easier.

Recovery has been a bit more difficult, its been pretty lonely and boring. I think week 3 of recovery was when I went out on my own, as I was so bored and I just needed to get out and then I also took the dogs out for the day which was great but man did that put me on my ass for the next few days. I’ve been trying to walk and get out as much as I can to start building myself up again, but still gotta take it easy and there’s still things I’ve got to be careful doing. I can’t reach my arms over my head yet and I can’t lift anything heavy still either.

Just been trying to occupy my time with different things, reading, meditation, gaming, playing inside with the dogs, napping, Netflix, colouring in. I keep I suppose its disassociating and just sitting staring and hours pass by and I haven’t moved or done anything. I also keep getting bouts of really bad anxiety, like anxiety I’ve not experienced before, it’s been so bad that I can’t move, I can’t tolerate noise, I’m just frozen and I felt so exhausted. Some days I was able to push through and make myself get out of the house, even just to walk to dogs, but even that was a massive effort. So things haven’t all been great just because I’ve had surgery, like it doesn’t solve all the issues, that I previously was struggling with. I think loneliness and isolation has really made it worse, as usual. It sucks not being able to volunteer and not having the energy to be out as much as I would like to be. It has had a huge emotional toll and I still haven’t really processed it and I think that’s another reason I’ve put off writing, because it means I don’t have to empty my guts out onto a page and examine what the fucks going on in that crazy brain of mine. I suppose this could be the start of the process but who knows.

So yeah its not been all flowers and rainbows, its been hard. I think the first 2 weeks after surgery, I kept having moments of feeling so blissed out, which was incredible. But then like I said the issues I had already before surgery reared their ugly heads again. But I mean I’m ok, I’m just frustrated, I miss not being in a routine and just doing things, I miss volunteering and seeing people. Kinda feels like a bit of a step back with the isolation… but I mean yeah.. I’m sure that will get better once I can do stuff again.

Above are pictures of my hospital room, me before and after surgery. I’m pretty impressed with how incredibly well my body has healed so far. The body is an amazing thing! I’m so blessed not to have had any major complications and everything has gone relatively well.

Just before surgery I had to have a ultrasound scan of my womb, as I was coming up to two years on testosterone, so its something they do. Results came back to say the lining of my womb is still thick and it shouldn’t be, so gotta go to gynaecologist in Dec, not overly looking forward to that, but its good they are looking into what might be happening.

2 days after surgery was my 2 years on testosterone anniversary 22nd August! I can’t believe it! It’s gone so quickly! I look so different too! In spite of all the mental health stuff I have going on, I do feel better on a more spiritual level, I feel more me, I just feel right now, well getting there, but I do feel more comfortable being me. I’m sure as more time passes the better that will get. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I still have a way to go, but I’m finally on the road I want to be.

Well that’s all for now, I hope whoever read this, enjoys it.

Peace out,

Zak

The light at the end of the darkness

I feel happy again and I can say that now and actually mean it.

Just a few months ago I was in the darkness, struggling to get through a day. At times I felt so tired, I just didn’t want to keep going.

I recognised that it’s not that I wanted to die, I just needed the pain to end.

At that time if you had told me to just hold on because you’ll soon be surrounded by some amazing people and you’ll soon be having top surgery, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

My world was so dark, I just couldn’t see that there would ever be light and happiness again in my life.

But sat here now late at night, I feel happy, I feel content, I feel understood, I feel connected, I feel loved, I feel like I’m wanted. And it’s the most amazing feeling ever because I don’t feel I’ve ever really experienced it, I’ve never been around a group of friends who encourage each other, genuinely care about each other, have different passions and talents, who build each other up, help each other without question.

Most of my past friendships have come with conditions and they were about what I could offer, non of those friendships have endured and non of them really helped me grow, but they opened my eyes to the fact my kind nature attracts damaged souls and can easily be taken advantage of.

But now it feels different and for that I am eternally grateful, I let myself be vulnerable and open, which was scary but it’s paid off.

I know these people won’t all be in my life permanently and I’m ok with that, I know we were brought together to help each to continue to grow through our each individual journeys, by coming together as a collective, who’s knows where this will take us in 6 months/ a years time.

Its already helped me and started to heal some of the hurt I was carrying inside, I feel happy, I want to live, I’m actually excited about life now, I want to start looking to the future and what that will bring.

The only changes I made was I let myself be open and vulnerable and fuck that was scary but it’s something I’m going to continue to do, so I can keep experiencing life and hopefully new friendships and opportunities will arise.

You know who you are and I’m so grateful 💜

And to everyone in my life, know I love you, I appreciate you and I support you 💜

Peace out

Zak

Psych app!

So a few months ago I asked my GP to refer me to the my psychiatrist and I was meant to have an appointment last month, but I had to to reschedule.

Anyway I had my appointment first thing this morning. 9am… why do they book such early appointments lol!

I felt fairly awake this morning though, so it wasn’t too much of a struggle and I had enough energy for to get the bus up there.

I didn’t have to wait too long before I got seen.

I knew what I wanted to say and what I wanted from the appointment. I think that always helps, to have an idea of what you need/want etc.

So I told him everything that’s been going on recently and what I’ve been struggling with. About the anxiety, depression etc.

I said I would like to maybe do DBT again, maybe not the main therapy group but maybe the group people do whilst waiting for the main therapy.

I also said that it’s been 6 years since I finished DBT and then there’s no follow up. And he thankfully agreed that it would be a good idea, he also gave me Trazodone to help me sleep better and hopefully it will help with my anxiety too.

My next appointment is in 3 months and then I’ll have an appointment with Deirdre, she heads up the DBT group.

I last saw my psychiatrist January 2018 and I wasn’t open, I didn’t know what I wanted or needed and I didn’t want to be there. So nothing happened as a result, but I don’t think I was ready.

This appointment was different from most appointments I’ve had there, because I wanted to be there, I know things need to change and I know I can’t do it alone. I’m ready for the extra support and I need the extra support.

I’m glad I have things put in place for now and after my surgery in August. Feeling pretty proud of myself 🙂

Peace out

Zak