Man In The Mirror: Lift Me Up

“Lift me up slowly, carry me boldly, show me you care.” -Will You Be There? -Michael Jackson

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways.” -Michael Jackson

It’s been an interesting couple days. Interesting in good ways. I am feeling better. Capable of dealing with my life and making changes that will bring about good things to my life.

Last night I went over to my gf’s house. I stayed over at hers on Tuesday night too. There were four of us hanging out and two of us stayed over. Her new friend put Voxer on my phone. It’s a cool little app. I’ve been using it a bit here and there for the last couple days. It’s sort of like texting but it’s voice messages. You can send texts and pictures too. It’s a little weird because..well I guess it’s because it’s new to me. It’s like talking but not because it’s not in real time. It’s a bit delayed and some messages sit because we aren’t getting notifications. If I am looking on my phone I can see that someone is talking but it doesn’t tell me if I missed a message. I have to check out the settings.

Any old way, last night I went over to the gf’s. We haven’t been alone together in a week. I was feeling tired and like I needed to sleep in a bed. I’ve been sleeping on the floor in my friend’s small bedroom for the past 5 days prior to going over to the gf’s house. So, I was feeling like I wanted/needed to write and I wanted to relax. I asked her if I could come over but told her I needed a friend not a lover. I didn’t want her to jump all over me when I walked through the door. I needed to get my thoughts together and down on paper. I needed to take my binder off and sit on something soft and be in a peaceful, familiar setting. She said I could come over. I wrote and listened to music (my Dixie Chick’s playlist on Spotify) and wrote and wrote. I felt good. I set my alarm for 2330, 0030 and 0130. I got there a little after 2200. I set the alarm for every hour just so I could keep track of time. I usually go to bed around 2am so I wanted to give myself time to wind down. She listened to music and facebooked while I wrote. She fell asleep. I stopped writing a little bit before 0100 and I felt good. It made a big difference. It’s hard to describe. I haven’t been handwriting my journals recently. I think I did a couple entries during Spring Break but there was a time in my life where I wrote every single day. So, I felt better and more clear. I showered and cleared off the bed. I woke her up, (she was on the couch) and guided her to the bed.

I slept well but slept little. When I woke up I wrote some more. I can see some changes that I can make. I want to focus on my diet and my breathing. I want to drink more water. I think drinking water is essential for me right now. I want to eat more fruit. Most importantly I want to let go of fear. I’ve been so scared and so uncertain about so many things. I’ve been down on myself because I am in the situation I am in and I’m about to be 34. I’ve been looking at myself differently. Like some kind of loser or like I should be further along in life. After all the writing I’ve done I’ve been able to look at myself in a new way. With a more friend-like perspective. I’ve made choices and the choices have led me to where I am. Not having my own place, my own room, my own bed is not good but there are still many good things.

I am thankful
for the awesome weather we had today. I am thankful for the blue blue sky.
I am thankful for the friend that I am staying with. He makes me feel welcome and even though it’s a small sleeping space, I’m comfortable and feel safe because he is welcoming and generous. He said I could stay as long as I needed. My financial aid is coming any day now so I’ll have the money to rent a room for May. I just have to find one.
I am thankful
for being able to meet and talk with a friend whose going through some issues regarding her recent breakup.
I am thankful for my Personal Growth class, Professor and classmates. Good discussions about Communication, disclosure and feedback. I wasn’t able to do my hw. I haven’t been able to really concentrate properly but I go to class and participate and he likes me. He said it was no problem for me to turn it in next week.
I am thankful
for the piano practice rooms and for being able to play music. Practice has been good this week. I’m working with a metronome which is different. I found a good app on my phone. For some reason I couldn’t find my metronome this week. It’s usually in my backback or locker. I am learning Set Fire To the Third Bar by Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright. She is one of my favorite singer/songwriter/performers and it’s one of my favorite songs.

I am thankful for the many people in my life. In one of the books for my Personal Growth class it was saying that life is relational. Good relationships make up a good life. I am fortunate to be surrounded by such good people. I also have made choices to surround myself with people who are supportive and uplifting and encouraging. Yay!

I am thankful for the netbook my Aunt gave me. I’ve been using it more and more.
I am thankful for water.
I am thankful for money.
I am thankful for making different choices in my life.
I am thankful for my Self.
I am thankful for music. I am listening to my Alicia Keys playlist now. That’s How Strong My Love Is.
I am thankful for Michael Jackson and his music and all the love he put in it. It’s full of goodness. Earlier I was listening to Michael Jackson. Will You Be There?, Man In the Mirror, Heal The World, and young Michael from back in the Jackson 5 days. He is such an original. When I hear others try to sing his stuff it always makes me want to go back to The Source and here it for real, for real ;D

Another Place

A friend picked me up from school tonight, a little after 10p. We drove to my gf’s place to pick up my stuff. My stuff: a small canvas backpack, a small tote bag mostly filled with dirty clothes from this week, a small duffel bag full of my school books, and a larger duffel bag filled with my clothes and grooming stuff. My friend has a room in a 6 bedroom house. It’s a nice house in a nice neighborhood. I’m staying in his room tonight.I’m sleeping on a comfy duvet. He’ll introduce me to the woman who owns the house tomorrow and maybe I’ll be able to sleep on the couch for the duration of my stay here. Which may be just a couple nights. He’s trying to find another place for me that has more space and privacy. By next weekend or the week after I should have my financial aid and I’ll be able to rent a room for May and maybe June and if I get the deposit back from my old place I’ll be able to rent a room for June and maybe July.

Yesterday, I went to my old clinic and asked to be put on the waiting list for a therapist. I decided that I want to talk to a therapist and get an official diagnosis for gender identity disorder. I started my medical transition at a clinic that allows a person to start without a therapist letter. It’s an informed consent clinic. There are clinics in Los Angeles and San Francisco too and I’m sure New York and other major cities. Informed consent is saying that I’m an adult and I understand what I’m doing with my body. I chose the informed consent route because I didn’t want anyone therapist acting as a gatekeeper to such an important, personal, completely life altering/affirming decision. To start my transition at the clinic, I had to have an interview and a full physical work up, blood work, papsmear. They want to make sure you’re healthy enough to take the hormones and also establish a baseline so they can monitor what’s going on in future. During this time, I found out I had a heart murmur. To get the prescription I had to write a 5 year life plan. I got the script a couple months after I had started going to the clinic and I started injecting testosterone on June 3rd 2009.

Last fall when I was going through a hard time it was all transition related. I am estranged from my parents. My only sibling and I are just recently starting to reconnect, I’ve been dealing with poverty. If I can’t afford the dentist, clothes, eye exams, food, an apartment, how can I even think about surgery (chest reconstructive surgery)? I’m just so absolutely over wearing a binder. A binder is what I used to flatten my chest so it appears male looking. It restricts my breathing and cuts off blood flow to my arms and fingers. I’m out all day usually and last fall I didn’t want to go to school or leave the house really because I didn’t want to put on the binder. Recently I’ve been bringing a baggy sweat shirt and a button down shirt and taking off the binder when the sun goes down. Most people are gone and the people who are still on campus are not paying any attention to me. I mostly stay in the computer lab until the library closes or in the piano practice rooms.

I’ve really gone off on a tangent here. Back to the Gender Identity Disorder diagnosis. My being a transsexaul and my transition is affecting my physical and mental health. My self esteem and confidence are affected. My main worries before starting transition were whether or not anyone would ever love me and if I could support myself through transition. That’s one of the reasons I went back to school. So as to get an education with the hopes that I’d be able to find work in a field of interest that fills a social need and I’d be able to financially take care of myself. If I hadn’t transitioned I wouldn’t be alive today. Period. I had done all I could to try to live the life I lived before and I just couldn’t anymore. Even with the mess that goes along with being trans and queer in this society, it’s been worth it because ever since I started T..well it feels like bonus life. But last fall, especially last fall, and sometimes now, I find myself thinking, “I can’t afford to live.” I can’t afford life. It’s a false thought. Obviously false. Because I’m here, Dear ___ I’m here. I have learned to live off of so little. It’s truly amazing. But I want to live better. I want to be healthier. I’ve gained 20 pounds in the last 4 months. Stress eating. Junk eating. Late night eating. Wanting to have something to hold me here. Hold me down. Wanting to be solid and heavy and here and present. But my nature, my inner nature is light and spacey and free, and joy filled. I don’t want to be afraid like I’ve been afraid this week. I don’t want to be afraid anymore.

Not having a place is scary. Being dependent on other people’s kindness/charity is too. I’m trying to find the lesson in this so as not to repeat myself. It’s hard to think properly though because I’m in it and life keeps on happening. I’ve made it through the week. Almost. I’ve gone to all my classes. I didn’t turn in a paper in one of them but my teacher said I could turn it in late. I have a test tomorrow in Astronomy. It’s the 2nd of 3 tests for the semester. There’s a lot of material. I’m about 60% prepared for it. But it’s not for another 11 hours. If I get a couple more hours in I’ll be fine. I can pull off a B at least. I’m hoping. For the first test I missed 3 and I set the curve so I have 100% in the class. All my homework I’ve gotten A’s and attendance is 12% of our grade and I haven’t missed a class.

School is my lifeline right now. If ever I am a teacher, I’ll be more than aware that sometimes for some students, school is the safest, most caring, place they know and my awareness will dictate my behavior. One of the things that comes out of hardships is the compassion that is developed for others and one’s Self.

Gratitude:
School.
My friend for picking me up and letting me stay in his room with him and offering to help me find a place for next week.
My gf for having let me stay at her place for the past 6 days and her friend who said I could stay at her and her mom’s place if I need to.
The netbook that I’m typing on that my Aunt gave me. I don’t know if I mentioned this but my cousin bought my Aunt a new laptop and she gave me her old netbook which she didn’t like. It’s been sitting in her closet for almost 5 months and now it’s mine. I’m really digging it. My computer is 8 years old and has been chilling in my friend’s shed along with my printer since April 1st.
I am thankful for the blue sky and being able to lay on the grass this afternoon and study and nap for 35 minutes.
I am thankful for the good times my gf and I share, especially the conversation we had this morning and early afternoon on a wide range of topics.
I am thankful for our physical chemistry/relationship too.
I am thankful to the actors and creators of Switched At Birth. I watched one and a half episodes tonight while taking two online quizzes for my music class. It’s a great show and really comforting. I’ve been signing more! because of it. I have 2 and half more episodes of Season 1 and then I’ll be scouring the earth or waiting very patiently for the Season 2 DVD release.
I am thankful for my class tonight. We were talking about communication and how to be an effective communicator. Our professor let us out an hour and a half early because he needed to catch a train to go to a conference tomorrow. Being let out of class early is what enabled me to watch/listen to Switched At Birth tonight.
I am grateful for MTS (bus/trolley system) for getting me around.
I am grateful for my inner resilience.
I am grateful for Spotify and my Glee playlist.
I am thankful for my relationship with a friend who lives near “where Dorothy left on her way to Oz” and or mutual love for Dr. Who *hugs*
I am thankful for the internet and the connections that are made through it.

Gratitude

I am grateful for the food I ate today, for communication and getting through a tough conversation with my gf, for a good friend and her understanding and unconditional love and support (thank you Doe), for coffee shops that are open to 2am even on Easter Sunday. I am grateful for the writing I did today. I am grateful for the hw I did for my music class. I almost understand intervals and I’m sure with the lecture tomorrow I’ll understand it even better, so I am thankful in advance for school starting back up this week. I am grateful for all the walking I did. For the time I’ve had to think and reminisce today. I am grateful for another friend who is going through his own hard times but picked up the phone to listen and talk with me when I called him this morning. I am thankful for the beauty I encounter every day in nature. I love Spring, I love the colors of all the blooming plants and flowers. I am grateful for the weather and the beautiful blue sky in Sunny San Diego.