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balanceing act? how to make this work??


lost_and_confused
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Ok so after 3 months left mostly on my own to cope, I got to talk to my therapist today on the phone. I was looking for something that would allow me to go back to coping with my current situation instead of just surviving it. If it didn't change then I would expect to collapse in the near future based on past experiences.

What has me confused now though is that I currently feel worse than I did before I talk to him. Don't get me wrong, I feel better in some respects but worse in others. I think I said too much at one time, but it was necessary to put everything out before us, so he could understand what's going on right now. So how does one balance placing all the necessary facts on the table and yet not saying too much at once?

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Is the act of talking about it itself bringing up the pain? You have so little support in the current situation (OK, none), and you've been barely surviving. Talking to your therapist may have opened the floodgates.

We are here for you. These things are enormous to deal with. I am so glad the summer situation will be over soon.:). Things will bet better when you can leave. May you never have to be in this situation again.:(

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I was expecting talking to him to help more than it did. About the best way to describe what I'm feeling is like a blob. I really didn't get what I was looking for. I wanted a way to do more than survive the last week. More or less what I got was that all I can do is survive and nothing more. Hearing that is disheartning. What I can do to fix this, I'm not sure.

I knew that I would be able to survive the week. Though the effects of only surviving would be that when things change I will collapse because what got me through the summer will not be necessary. Or at least that has been what has happened in the past. Which is why I wanted to do more than just survive, If I could go back to even somewhat coping with the situation it could either prevent the pendining collapse or lessen its effects.

In order for him to get a better idea of what I could do to do more than survive, I had to explain what has been happening this summer (transgender problems, suicidial thoughts, self-harm thoughts and a few moments of actions, flashbacks and what triggered some of them, homocidial thoughts, and dissociation). So we talked somewhat about each of them (what I did to cope with each and how each turned out).

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Lost and Confused,

After the phone call, did it leave you with the feelings, of "what do I do now?" + After talking about everything that was going on , and then listening to what the therapsit said, and not hearing or feeling enough support from a telephone conversation, left you high and dry or as you put it a "blob" ? perhaps not cared about? Can you explain more to how you are feeling after the telephone call? How soon do you go back to college?

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I return Wednesday of next week and have an appt with my therapist that afternoon too.

As for what else I was feeling, a lot of exhausted (from the emotions) yet relieved (because I could talk to someone who knew me and how I react to things), confusion, yes the where do I go from here, and overwhelmed because it was the first time this summer I actually admitted a lot of things to myself. No I didn't feel like I wasn't cared about, only once did I get that feeling from him and that was because of a comment he made (go back into the closet and pretend that you are a girl...), that is one of his favorite to tell queer students when there is a queer problem; but no that wasn't the case this time.

It's hard to know what to do when you are told that there isn't anything else you can do that you aren't already doing.

I don't know if it was just too much too quick or what; but I did what was necessary.:)

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I'd say you could use a lot more support than that, lost and confused!:(:( You could use a friend, a hug, and to get the heck out of there!!!!

Here's a picture to look at if you like. Google Images has great things to look at that cheer my spirits sometimes.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xpCs3FgK308/STgK-la0w-I/AAAAAAAABEk/aTRY2lQFSwk/s1600/hugging_kittens.jpg

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Guest ASchwartz

Dear Lost and Confused,

I am having the same reaction as David. I do not understand what is going on. I have gone back and read everything you wrote but I realized that there was little detail there. For example, you refer to having PTSD. What happened to cause it? You report that your vision is limited. Why and how bad and how do you manage at school? Why is being home so bad? Do you live on a farm? You mention something about being "transgendered." What do you mean and what is happening? Someone told you to "go back into the closet and pretend you are a girl." Who said this to you and why?

Can you clarify and explain? I, for one, am very confused and unclear.

Allan :confused:

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Dear Lost and Confused,

I am having the same reaction as David. I do not understand what is going on. I have gone back and read everything you wrote but I realized that there was little detail there. For example, you refer to having PTSD. What happened to cause it? You report that your vision is limited. Why and how bad and how do you manage at school? Why is being home so bad? Do you live on a farm? You mention something about being "transgendered." What do you mean and what is happening? Someone told you to "go back into the closet and pretend you are a girl." Who said this to you and why?

Can you clarify and explain? I, for one, am very confused and unclear.

Allan :confused:

The PTSD was caused by my childhood, I was abused to the point that I should have had medical attention but never recieved it, I was also neglected, many days I was not allowed food or even allowed to go to the bathroom, and I was also brainwashed; all at the hands of my father while my mother just sat back and did nothing. I was locked in a room for months at a time, the only time I was allowed out was to go to school. The school reported that I appeared to be abused and neglected. There was an investagation into it; when I was questioned by the school psychologist I told the story that my parents told me to tell (basicly that everything was picture perfect) because I thought they could do no wrong. As I grew older, I understoond that it was wrong. During my parents divorce, I was required to be present at a cusdoy hearing, I explained to the judge what was going on and he told me that I only got what I should have recieved. He sent me to therapy for the first time to see if there was something wrong with me; the theraptis never believed a word that I said. I had no chioce in the matter, I had to attend the weekly sesions and be subjected to her verbal abuse. Eventualy after years of hearings the custody situation was resolved, I resided with my mother and never saw my father. To add to the fule then a few years afterwards, my mother died and left me as and orphan at the age of 12 to take care of my 8 year old brother. Luckly my grandparents adopted us so I had a place to say. Though things didn't improve much there either. No longer subjected to physical abuse, I still had the verbal abuse whenever I didn't do as well as they thought I should have with something (hence my unrealistic expectations of myself and others). And then my senior year in high school, after track practice (the day after my birthday) my grandfather and I went to visit my aunt, while there my grandfather fell over dead sitting next to me.

So I've be abused, lost all of those close to me, and watched healthy people die in front of me.

As for my minimual vision, it happens to be genetic or at least it appears to be. Everyone in my family has vision problems, mine just happen to be the worst (though it gets worse each generation). As for managing in school, no I can't see the board even if I sit in the front row (I need to be within 1 foot of something to read it). I actualy do almost all of my work on the computer, that way I can minuplate items so I can see them or I ask for copies. When taking notes I don't try to read I write from listening. Profs always talk about what they are writting and if its something that I need off of the board then I copy it from someone else's notes. All of that can be achieved because Susquehanna is a small private university that everyone knows everyone and even if you don't know the person they will bend over backwards to help you. Also by this point (I start my senior year in just over a week) everyone knows who I am and that I have problems seeing anything.

Being home for me is more stressful than the worst final week you can think of. I always the subject of everything and anything good or bad. For a few examples of what they bitch about: one day I may get up at 10am, that day it's too late so the next day I may get up at 9am, now I'm up too early. (There is no reason why I need to be up at a given time.) Regardless what I do it can't please them. They are aware that I'm transgender FtM (yes, it is formally dignoised) and yet there isn't a day that dosen't go by that they don't expect me to ware a dress or be a girl. Those are just two examples of what I'm put through here on a daily basis, there are many many more. I could write books on the verbal abuse they put me through.

Yes, I do live on a farm, it's 100 acres. We don't farm it anymore but one of the neighbooring farmers dose.

As for the comment that I should go back in to the closet and act like a girl. That actually came from my therapist at one point last year. I was getting read to start my Jr. year and not only myself but the entire university happened to be worried about my housing for that year. I had special permision from the department of residence life to live on an all male floor in the dorm. There had been a number of incidents against the queer community at that point and I basicly painted a giant target on my back. My therapist made the susgestion that I would act like a girl and pretent that I was placed on the male floor because the female floor was filled already. (He also likes that susgestion for queer students because it is one that he and his partner needed to use at one point when in college themselves; so he knows it can work. We did talk about it afterwards and I explained what was wrong with it. The reason I mentioned that comment was in response to mscats question if I didn't feel like I was cared about. The time that the comment was made was the only time I got the feeling from my therapist that he didn't care.) For me it's almost impossible to do so even at school because I have been given the nickname "the face of transgender." I happen to be very active and outspoken, actually to the point that I convinced the board of trustees to change university policy to protect transgender students and employees. So everyone already knows that I'm transgender.

Also, with transgender problems; I have recently (this summer) moved from accepting of myself to hating myself for being transgender. Which is a cause for the suicide thoughts and self-harm thoughts and actions. I'm not really sure why I made that switch; the only thing I can guess is that it's from the stress and being told that I'm a girl not a guy.

So there is I think all of the revelant background information I left out. None of them are stories I like to tell or even admit that they happened (yes, I know that needs to change).

Yes, the flashbacks go with the PTSD; I commonly rewatch my mothers death, times I was abused by my father and my mom just sat by and did nothing, the time that my father tried to kidnap me, and a few other less painful memories. I've learned that I have no control over them most of the time, something outside of me triggers the first one which then just triggers more flashbacks until my body completly colapses, both physically and mentally. Which looks like me in a ball, crying, and unaware of who I am or where I am.

I use to use dissociation as my only coping method for everything, but over time I learned that it really didn't help but made things worse. So I learned to control it and only use it when I thought was necessary. Which is how I started the summer. I really have grown to dislike dissociation so I don't use is lightly at all. Well at a certain point (I'm not sure when) my body/mind decided that I was working against myself and automatically went back to using dissociation all of the time for everything. I've tried to fight it and control it but that has failed me completly. I've tried meditation to help and other grounding tecnhiques, all have failed; I have also tried the medication that I have to combat it, it works but not like it should, in order for it to work, I need to take enough to put me to sleep. And then I'm okay for a period of time when I wake up but not that long. At this point I have no control over it at all.

The homicidial thoughts, are and were directed at the family. Which came from the stress and constant arguments that they put me through. (Walking away dosen't work. They take the argument to me.) I knew enough that I couldn't act on the thoughts so I forced myself to stay in a room all by myself until I could contol myself. It was the only thing I could think of. So, the thoughts never were truly delt with just pushed to the side.

Having thoughs of suicde actually dosen't scare me any more. There isn't a day that dosen't go by that I don't think of suicide. So I have learned that unless there is more there than just thoughts, I let it go. In this case my therapist and I were talking about why they are present (transgender and stress from the family) and what the chances are that I would do something to prevent myself from returning to campus in a few days at this point (5 days). At most there may be a 5% chance that I would kill myself before I go back but I have no intention of doing so, at least not at this moment. It's not like I'm making any plans or anything else, It's just the desire to end my suffering. So with that also comes in the thoughts and the few previous thoughts/attempts of self-harm. At this point I would rather harm myself than kill myself. I know that self-harm isn't a positive coping method but it's better than suicide so I'm not too worried at this point.

I think I got everything here; thought if something is unclear ask and I will do my best to clarify. Sorry for the confusion.

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lost_and_confused, I want to thank you for writing all that, but I also want to know if writing that was triggering for you???:(:(. Are you OK?

I am not at all confused about your situation: you have been through way too much!!!!

Dear lost_and_confused, these are terrible things, and you need much more of the other side of life to balance out all this crap. It sounds like the college is a haven. It sounds like learning and finding your strengths can happen there. Many more things are possible for you too, once these things stabilize in you.

You just cannot expect yourself to do well in the situation at home. I hope you never have to go back there. Or at least not for long stretches. Please do not think you are weak. You are incredibly strong to have survived. Now let's get through the next few days and get you out and on to the rest of your life.:o

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It was and wasn't a trigger for me to write that last post. By not giving the rest of the detail of the events it saved it from being much worse than it could have been. By mentioning them it puts me into a dissociative state and I can talk/write about the events but not be bothered by it unless I go in depth. The details that make it worse are like what I was waring, who was where, what everyone was doing, mainly what most people would consider the little things. those aren't details that I can give to someone and not have someone present to support me then. I know I can't do it, so I didn't give you the details of the events or describe the flashbacks. I just named the events with a descriptive title for all of you.

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You do not need to give us details. You do not need to hurt yourself any further. You have plain and simple been through way, way too much.

Does it help to be here and write to others? Sometimes it helps me. If I can be compassionate with another person, I can learn to be compassionate with myself.

Some of us get very silly in the blog section. That can help to feel better too. You are welcome to blog with us if you like!

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At times it can help me to write here or elsewhere but I need to be careful that I don't write to much (which varies in quantity by times) at one time. Or how I word things. I'm not sure why but compassion is something that I can give to others but it's something that I never have been able to apply to myself. No offense to you or anyone else, but I don't think blogs that are slightly silly will help me. It's just not my thing. I agree with you that I have been through too much, but apparently the Goddess doesn't agree with us on that one and keeps putting me through more.

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Cool avatar!! You have not offended me, l_&_c, silly fun is not everyone's taste:p. Having fun at all probably feels like a stretch from the place you are in. In my life, friendship and fun have gone a long way to offset the "mere survival" mode I was in for so long, so that's why I mentioned it. Right now that may not be possible for you, but it could be in your future :(. Compassion for you could be in your future too. Meanwhile, we are here for you!

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Hi Lost-and-Confused,

I am still lost and confused. :(

Why is it that you do not write more about yourself?

Allan :o

Allan,

I'm not sure what you mean. I thought I was writing about myself. Are you questioning why I talk about myself in relation to others at times? If so that is because I honestly believe that we are no one by ourselves, we can only be known by our relationship to other people and other external forces. I write about my experiences. We are defined by our experiences. You have me confused now. I'm sorry that I don't understand what you are asking.

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Guest ASchwartz

Lost and Confused,

At times it can help me to write here or elsewhere but I need to be careful that I don't write to much (which varies in quantity by times) at one time.

I was referring to this quote. Why do you need to be careful?

Also, why did you refer to "transgender" issues and why were you accused of "pretending to be a girl?"

Perhpaps I missed some information along the way and that is totally possible. In any case, could you explain for me? I am asking just so I can better understand you which I need if I can be of any real assistance. Be patient with me, please: It is me, not you!!! :)

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I need to be careful of writing because at times if I write too much or for too long it actually makes things worse. At times I can go from being confused about something to wanting to kill myself because of the situation, just because I wrote too long or too much. When writing my brain gets ahead of my emotions and I become unstable.

I wasn't actually accused of "pretending to be a girl" but it was suggested that I do pretend to be a girl. I'm not sure what you mean by

why did you refer to "transgender" issues;
this is something is something that I'm struggling with now, more so than I did before. My freshman year in college I came to the conclusion that I was transgender and accepted the fact and was relieved that there was a term for this and that there were others like me. Between then and the beginning of the summer the problems I've had about being transgender was minimal (mostly about how others treat me because of it); but now this summer when I was under constant scrutiny about being transgender I moved to a point that I no longer accept myself for being transgender, instead I despise myself for being transgender.

I have no problem explaining what I'm talking about. Don't think I was angry or even losing my patients; I wasn't. I was just trying to better understand what you were asking Allan.:)

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Well even though I can't know what the transgender struggles are like, I know what oppression is like. You need to get out of that environment before you can feel for sure what is best for you. Also, everyone has both a masculine and a feminine component to them, I believe, and that would include someone who is transgender. So I hope it isn't the appearance of feminine traits in you that is disturbing, because even the toughest guy has that, if he were to be honest, and I would say thank goodness he has that too! Same goes for the most feminine woman... she has a masculine component too. How are things going for you? Are your suitcases packed yet?:)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Lost-and-confused,

I never thought you were angry. Gee, I hope you know that. Human communication is difficult and E. Mail is something that makes it harder. I just wanted to better understand you so we could all help.

For example, how do you know you are a transgender person? I am not suggesting that you are wrong but you must have some reasons for coming to this idea.

By the way, how do you like school?

Allan:)

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Allen,

I didn't know what to think.

Well for the first 4 years of my life I was raised as a guy. At that point my brother was born and I was expected to be the girl I was born as. So I did the best I could. At first I did well, but as I got older it got harder and harder for me to be a girl. I would do anything I could think of to try and convince myself I was a girl, including but not limited to, sleeping around with any guy that would have me, wearing overly feminine clothing that I couldn't stand, etc. I always considered myself to be one of the guys; I was never comfortable around a group of girls. I started looking for ways that would allow me to appear more like the guy I felt like but still not have problems because of the other students in school. I discovered sports at that point; my thinking was that athletes were expected to be muscular and more masculine that anyone else, so why not chose the social accepted way of appearing like I felt more comfortable as. Most of the time I had no problem with that arrangement, except when we as a team dressed up for an event were expected to look like pretty little girls, even in high school. When I started my freshman year in college, the queer community there was starting a revolution because anyone who was transgender/transexual/transvestite/or blurred the lines of gender would be better off not being on the campus at that time. At that time transgender was a new term to me and after many conversations of what transgender is and a lot of research I felt like I finally found myself. I knew that wanting to be a guy wasn't typical female behavior/thoughts but never knew or understood what was going on. I had already accepted that I was different from everyone else but didn't really understand why I was different. Through the research and conversations I gained the understanding that I was lacking and at that point the pieces just feel together. I had periods in time that would make someone question their identity but I never did. Not even a full year after I came to accept myself, I had a prof that was going to fail me just because I'm transgender; he wasn't even going to look at my work, just throw it away. So, no it hasn't be easy to stay true to myself but I always could because the problems could be dealt with. This is the first time that I have even questioned my identity; the constant statements that I'm a girl and that I should act like the one I am, this time around there is nothing I can do about it. I don't question that there is a point at which I will be secure in my identity again but it will take time.

School... all I can say is that I love it. It has become my true home, the one place I can be me. I like it in high school but once I got to college, school became my calling. There isn't a place I would rather be than in a classroom either as the teacher or as the student.

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