Thursday was a very long day. Not only did I walk out to the doctors appointment, I had to go to class and then to group on Thursday night.
Class went well. I think the Spanish I learned in high school is slowly coming back. I’ll never be fluent though.
I didn’t want to walk or take the bus to group, so after class I rode back home to get the locks. I then rode back toward downtown.
There were only 5 people at group. And this is typically the week where more people show up. I guess most people were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Somehow, the question was asked to two mtf women who live full time how they got started going part time. They both mentioned that they started going to gay bars. Now, this is a sensitive subject for a couple of reasons. And by the time the meeting ended, I got triggered into something not quite a panic attack. I don’t really go into bars. I don’t have anything against drinking. It’s just not my thing. So, I really don’t see the appeal. And I haven’t worn female clothing since I got beat up at the age of 19. Although, I want to transition from male to female, it’s really not something I’m looking forward too. For one, I’m really not into dressing up. I don’t get any kind of special thrill or turn on from dressing. And I don’t like drawing attention to myself. Even after transition, i don’t see my casual style changing much. And two, I think the fact that I got beat up has something to do why I won’t. I fear death, ridicule and harassment. It’s something I don’t need. I know I don’t pass. So, until I do start getting mis-gendered, I am perfectly comfortable living in the shadows, not drawing attention to myself. Sure, it isn’t fun being seen as male. But, it sure is better than dying. A lesser of two evils, I guess.
Anyway, back to the group meeting. Here I was sitting opposite three people who had successfully transitioned and pass very well. And their telling me I should at least try it on occasion. One of them could tell that I wasn’t doing very well. He (an FTM) asked me if I had ever talked to a counselor. I said yes. And I knew that my private practice counselor had wanted to do something called EMDR to help me through this difficulty.
At the end of the meeting, the moderator offered to give me a ride home. I initially accepted. But, as I was unlocking the bike, my hands started shaking. I thanked her for her offer, but told her I probably just needed to get on the bike go for a nice relaxing ride away from The Center.
I rode a little aimlessly for a little while. I didn’t want to go home. But, I didn’t have anyone to hang out with. And I hadn’t yet relaxed. I rode by a couple of places I have eaten before. But, they were all to crowded with people pretending to be Irish. I ended up going to Hamburger Mary’s. Mary’s is a restaurant that caters to gay people. Its the closest I’ve ever gotten to outing myself around here. Although, many straight people go there too. They have great food.
On the way home on the bus, I reflected on what had happened at group. I clearly need to do something about this. The word PTSD had been thrown out at the meeting. I’ve hesitated accepting that, since I never got real close to combat when I was in the navy, the closest I ever saw combat was the night the united nations withdrew from Somalia. We were about 100 yards off the coast pointing our guns at the beach just in case something bad happened. The tracer fire that night never was pointed at us or the hover craft evacuating people from the airport. But, still being so close, was a bit scary. But, nothing compared to what troops in Iraq or Afghanistan are seeing. But, when I got home, I looked up the definition. It doesn’t necessarily need to be applied to someone who experienced something bad in a combat situation. It could be anything really traumatic. Being beaten up certainly qualifies, I guess. And it might be a reason i have such bad social anxiety. So, the next time I see my counselor, I have something to talk about.