A day in the life of a Trans guy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak

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

*Insert*Title*Here*

I don’t usually write in between my weekly posts but I just needed to write tonight to get everything out of my spinning brain. I struggle admitting how I feel because I don’t like to feel so raw and vulnerable but I suppose in order to move forward the first step is actually admitting that you’re struggling and that you need extra support, so yeah this post will be the raw, vulnerable version of me.

My mood is so low that I have the constant feeling of dread in my chest, I almost just want to collapse into myself and just disappear and not exist anymore, though its a different feeling from being suicidal, I don’t want to die, I just want to disappear. Its hard to explain how its different.

Everything just feels overwhelming and just doing small things takes huge effort and energy in order to just complete small tasks, say like brushing my teeth. Even just thinking about it feels too much and feels its just impossible, even though rationally I know its just a simple every day thing.

I feel almost paralysed by the depression, I have to will myself to move to do anything and its exhausting.  I just want to curl up and stop existing to end this pain that I feel inside, its almost like a physical pain that I just can’t get rid of, nothing works, nothing helps. I can’t even explain this pain, I don’t know what it is, it just hurts, so much. I can feel it coursing through all of me and its so uncomfortable.

Sometimes I feel like I’m watching over myself doing things, I’m not really here grounded in reality, just floating around in a endless void. Looking at things that I know I should recognise but I just don’t. I just don’t feel like I’m here, like any of this is real, which impacts the depression because everything seems pointless.

Overwhelming urges to self harm just to get rid of this pain inside, I don’t want to do it and I know the release will be short, but right now any release would be welcomed. But my rational mind knows its not the best thing to do.

I don’t know what to do to help myself.

I know this will pass, it has too.

I know that having to make a new claim for PIP was the tipping point for all this, last time it was such a traumatic experience and it was only a year ago that it was all finally over. I’ve only just recovered from the experience of it all and the thought of doing it all over again, makes me just not want to be here because I just can’t do all that again.

My whole existence is about to come under intense scrutiny again, I’ll be talked to like I’m lying, I’ll be treated as though I’ve committed a crime. This is how the UK government are treating those of us who are most vulnerable.

I already carry so much guilt for my life being the way it is, I feel guilty for being ill with a chronic illness, I feel guilty for having a mental health problem, I feel guilty for being transgender, I feel guilty for not being able to work, most of the time I just feel guilty for even being alive. But that’s made worse by the benefits system, even though I know I am ill and not fit for employment, I still feel like I should be trying more.. I don’t now. I wish I wasn’t ill, I hate it.

I think I spilled my guts out enough for tonight. Usually writing helps me feel a bit better but not tonight. It’s just good to get it all out though I suppose.

Peace out

Dyllan

Food Dairy – Week 4

I am pretty proud that I am 4 weeks in and I am still trying new foods, 5 years ago I wouldn’t/couldn’t have done something like this. I definitely want to continue and I want to try new meals and new places to eat out at.

Earlier today I popped to Asda and decided to pick up a new fruit to try and I got some plumbs as they were 6 for 50p which is cheap, loads cheaper then everything I’ve tried so far.

I got home around half 3-4 pm and I was a bit hungry, so I decided why not try a plumb. As usual I looked up to see if the dogs can try a bit too. Dogs are allowed the fleshy bit but the stone is dangerous and can poison them. I enjoyed the plumb so much the pups didn’t get a look in, they were so nice, juicy, a bit sharp but I was like why have I never eaten this before lol! So yay another fruit I can snack on.

I’ve been trying to think back to when I was a kid as to whether I have eaten a plumb before and I couldn’t remember. which is why I chose it, its a possibility that I have tried it as a kid but didn’t like it but I don’t remember. There’s a LOT of my past that I have little or no memory of because its traumatic. Wow just disassociated for a moment, just writing about my past triggers disassociation.

From today I am eating less, I’ve been indulging too much, too many takeaways, too much Pepsi, eating too many packets of crisps as an easy snack. So today I’ve eat less then I have been and actually feel a bit better for it. I am so so addicted to sugar and I really want to give up Pepsi completely but I’m addicted and I drink it for emotional reasons. It’s a comfort thing, that’s probably really weird. It actually makes me anxious to even think about not drinking Pepsi everyday…this definitely isn’t normal but this is the same thought process as an addict. I can say this with confidence as that’s how I felt when I thought about not self harming every day back when I used to cut loads every day. I have only self harmed twice in the last 3 and a bit years. But yeah Pepsi doesn’t even taste of anything any more because I drink it so much, I’m totally powerless over this addiction. I do want to quit but I don’t, I’m not quite there yet.

That’s all for now

Peace out

Batman

Waiting is the worst part

It’s only been 5 days since I last posted but it feels much longer as I’ve been quite busy, mainly getting my PIP stuff sorted but I’ve also been doing nice things too, to break up the monotony of the PIP stuff.

I’ll follow on from my last post,

Mr Scrappy doodles continues to be in good health and he turns 2 next week, which has gone so fast. Foxy, Marley and Harley are also doing great and Harley has a birthday next week as well and she will be 1 years old. Its gone insanely fast.

Medical stuff – My whole knee is swollen, so is my ankle and my hip feels like its swollen too, so yeah my whole leg. The naproxen didn’t help at all, it just caused me a huge bruise on the back of my thigh. So I booked another appointment to see my GP and its this Friday…really early in the morning :/ But whatever my leg is really hurting and nothing is helping.

I have my CT scan next week which is cool but my follow up app with my ENT isn’t until July.. So I may try and see if I can bring it forward.

Disability Benefits stuff – With the help of a good friend to get stuff all printed out and another person who checked over my appeal. It all finally came together, yesterday I checked it over like 3 times to make sure everything wasn’t missing and it was all in order. I posted it special delivery which cost £7.10 but it ensured its safety to get there and they cannot say they didn’t receive it in time.

I’m glad its all done but now I’ve got to wait, which is almost as stressful. I so hope they re-think the tribunal, I can’t go through that, I just don’t have the energy for it. This process alone has taken everything from me, I have nothing left.

I’m feeling a bit lost at the moment because the process of writing my appeal has brought up so many feelings, the main feeling being anger and the fact that I’ve not dealt with the PTSD caused by my physical health illness and I don’t know where to start. It’s all been very traumatic and something no one should have to go through.

How do I feel right now? I don’t know, I think I feel sad, I suppose you could say depressed. I just don’t feel connected with myself, I’m not grounded, I’m just exhausted in every sense of the word. Tonight I will meditate, I will try and relax a bit more.

I’ll end this now as my brain has switched itself off.

Peace out

Batman

I am still a work in process – update on life.

WOW so it has been a long old few weeks since I last posted and a lot has happened.

First of all I would like to say that I cannot believe I have kept my shit together, despite all the trials and tribulations I have been through recently. If this was to happen to me say 4-5 years ago then I would have lost my shit ages ago and I would have self harmed A LOT! But I have kept as calm as I could and I’ve not self harmed at all, which proves to me that I’ve grown and that I do not fit the BPD diagnosis any longer.

Um so where to start….

So Scrappy had another trip to the vets last week as he was still poorly but not as bad as his first trip to the vets, so he was given something to balance all the good bacteria in his stomach and it worked really well and he was back to his usual self in no time at all. The vet suggested he be muzzled when he’s out to prevent him from eating shit he’s not meant too. My friend took us to get him a muzzle and it will be ok for now but he can get it off but hopefully he’ll get used to it. All my other fur babies are absolutely fine 🙂

Medical stuff – I saw my new ENT doc and he was ok, he has ordered me a CT scan of my sinuses to see where we go from there and antibiotics until we know what the next step is. He also did me a letter for my PIP.

I also saw my GP and he is doing my referral to Dr Edwards in Southampton hospital! woohoo! FINALLY! He also gave me some naproxen for me knees as they keep swelling up and are really painful.

Disability benefits stuff – So I have been working really hard on writing my appeal as the Personal Independent Payment people have refused my mandatory reconsideration, I feel I was penalised because it was in late, which was not in my control as I had a charity helping me and it was their responsibility, I have since had an apology from the charity but I am still planning on making a official complaint about it. But anyway the appeal has been written and amended by someone who knows what the requirements are etc and its absolutely spot on. It’s all slowly coming together and I will be able to post it on Monday.

Sorting this out has had a huge impact on my physical and mental health and my ability to do anything. I’ve missed a lot of my groups and counselling, I’ve been quite isolated and lonely. I’ve struggled just to do day to day tasks because I have been so tired, in so much pain and feeling far too overwhelmed, even taking a shower feels too much. It has certainly taken a massive toll on me and this whole process has been a huge trigger for the deep routed anger that is inside me.

This whole process has brought up a lot of stuff and has bought up a load of thoughts about all the times I’ve been let down by nearly everyone in my life, at every crucial moment in my life. My core memories aren’t all happy, great memories, they are mostly negative with a bit of trauma thrown in. I am feeling a lot of anger and I don’t know how to get rid of it in a normal healthy way, I know I am on the right path because I know I need to do something about this anger in a healthy way and my behaviour hasn’t been destructive at all, which is a vast improvement since I completed DBT. I just need to work out how to process it, where to start, what do I do?! I will meditate on it, look up ways to process deep routed anger and see where we go from here. I think though I need to stop fighting and rest, my fight, flight or freeze is stuck in fight mode just to get me through all this but, I need to stop for a bit, stop fighting and just be, that will be easier said then done, as I have spent a lot of time in fight mode recently just to get through each day!

How do I feel right now? I feel emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. I need to rest and I will, I need to tend to all my needs and listen to my inner child and what he needs, this reminds me I want to learn more about this and re-parenting my inner child etc.

Just writing this has helped a bit but now I need to eat something and sleep 🙂

But just before I go, here are a few pictures of me and my babies ❤

^^ Marley Moo

^^ Harley playing with her new toys that my lovely friend made 🙂

^^ My beautiful Foxy girl

^^ My photography

^^ Scrappy doodles love swimming in the sea 🙂

^^ Me, I actually quite like this picture of me.

Peace out

Batman

Mental health courses

Only going to write a quick one tonight, as it’s late and I need to get some sleep.

I slept well last night, I was up at 8:30 am but I did fall back to sleep on the sofa until 11 am, which I needed as I was still a bit tired.

When I finally got my butt up off the sofa, I did my housework, laundry and took the pups out for a walk. Chilled out for a bit and had some lunch. Love it when the place looks organized, makes me feel better.

This afternoon I met with a woman from the Recovery Education Centre and we talked about some courses that are available. I was initially only going to do one course at a time…..But I couldn’t pick between the two I was really interested in and they only over lap for 2 weeks, so I would have 2 courses in those two weeks. That’s manageable I reckon, even if it means dropping going to one of my groups for those two weeks. So really looking forward to starting them in two weeks, one is called Recovery Narrative and that’s about learning how to share your story of recovery, the other course it called Mindful Living 🙂 Can’t wait to start.

After I sorted that out I chilled out at home with the pups for a bit and I decided to take them up to Flirt cafe for the trans* group social tonight as my arm is getting a bit stronger so I am able to control them a bit better now. Even though I left at the same time I usually do there was like no traffic, so we got to flirt half an hour early lol! so weird, I was starving as I had realised that I’d not eaten since 8:30 am… did wonder why I felt a bit funny lol! So I had dinner there, which was really nice and killed some time waiting for others to arrive.

Group social itself was really good, was nice to catch up with everyone 🙂 I won’t be there next week because I will need to rest as I’ll be travelling to London the next day.

I’ve spoken to my counsellor today and he’s read my post about my past trauma’s so we are going to look at that at tomorrow’s session, which will be rough but it needs looking at.

Feeling ok tonight, just tired as I’ve done quite a lot.

Well I’m going to get to bed and do a bit of colouring before sleep 🙂 I haven’t done any all day and I’m getting itchy fingers and withdrawal from it lol.

 Foxy’s cute new pjs 🙂

 My gorgeous foxy girl in her new coat 🙂 hehe Thug life! She’s one spoilt pup! She’s got 8 coats that she wears and 2 fleece coats that she wears to get her dry after a bath or when she’s been in the rain.

Peace out

Batman

Wrapping up another week..

Sat on the sofa with the balcony door open just listening to the rain, there’s something relaxing about listening to the rain when I’m sat inside nice and dry.

I’m still feeling the effects of getting my head around everything I wrote in yesterdays post about past traumas because well it’s pretty heavy stuff. But it needs to come out and it needs to be worked through, unpicked and sorted into a bit of a neater pile then its in right now. Because right now it’s in a massive great big mess in my head but the more I write about it, the more I talk about it, the more I can make sense of it all.

I haven’t done much today, I’ve just slept lots, coloured in a few pictures as well, took the pups across the road a few times for a run, cooked myself a sausage and bean casserole in the slow cooker as well. It’s been a good day, just been trying not to reflect on things too much because that can bring my mood down.

I forgot to mention something on yesterdays post, I made some cakes yesterday evening and I’ve not made any for a long while, in fact it’s the first time this YEAR I made cakes, which is unusual for me. But in between breaking bones I’ve just not had the energy to stand and bake cakes. Anyway last night I made some yummy lil cakes as its something I enjoy, plus I enjoy eating them too 🙂 I used my perching stool and wow it does make such a difference to me, I could bake and not been exhausted and in agony afterwards. But with the stool, I wasn’t in too much pain or extra pain and I wasn’t too tired either 🙂 So chuffed with it but I suppose it’s bitter sweet because it sucks that I’m 30 and need this to help me. But yeah whatever..

Tomorrow I am meeting someone from the Recovery Education Centre to talk about doing some courses with them. All their courses are around dealing with mental health, all the courses look amazing and I want to do them all lol. Usually people do 3 courses at a time but I think with the groups I do I’m only going to do one course at a time, as I think that will be enough for me to take on right now. I am really looking forward to getting my teeth into something new 🙂 It should be fun and if it aids my continuing recovery then it can only be a good thing.

I have my gender identity counselling again Tuesday, so looking forward to that. Thursday I have my LGBT mental health group Mind out and that’s all I really have planned this week. In between all of this I need to rest, as I have London a week on Tuesday, so I need to be fairly well in every way to cope with such a long day.

I still don’t really know what this workshop is but I am excited to go up and see where to gender clinic is and just get a feel of things 🙂 Plus I get to see my best friend too! I am mega excited to see him again!

The weather has been loads cooler again today and I was able to go out in jeans, hoodie and baseball cap and not feel hot! FINALLY! I feel and look much more like a boy too 🙂 which makes me very very happy!

Just looked over at my pets 🙂 I have 3 of them next to me, Harley is right next to me, stretched right out fast asleep and foxy and scrappy are on the other side of the sofa snuggled up together 🙂 so so sweet, I love how close they are. Miss Marley moo is sat up on her post having a bit of peace and quiet away from them us all lol. I love them so so much, I just look at them and beam with pride and they make me feel so emotional because I love them unconditionally, with every ounce of my heart and soul and I would do anything to make sure they are happy, healthy and have their needs met. I’m fiercely protective of them too ❤ Scrappy did paw today, finally after trying to teach him all summer, he’s finally got it 🙂 lol! Practice make perfect I suppose, bless him my lil dude.

I’m just trying to figure out where my head is right now and I’m not really sure where it’s at… I think I’m just numb right now, to be honest I think that’s the best, as it probably has to potential to bring my mood down.

I better get myself and my beautiful pups into bed very soon, so I’m going to finish off now. I’m really tired tonight so I know I’ll sleep well.

Peace out

Batman