Tonight was the third week in a row I’ve left the support group immediately without saying anything to anyone. So, I decided to do sit myself down in front of the computer to figure out what’s going on exactly.
Tonight, I was a little more talkative and engaging than I have been. Which is great. I’m clearly comfortable around these people. I’ve known many of them for almost a year. And I’ve hung out with some of them many times. There was a new person tonight who everyone knew but me. I’ve heard her name around. But, we had never met. I didn’t introduce myself. But, we did end up sitting next to each other inside. It wasn’t like we ignored each other. I remember saying one or two things to her. There was a little bit of playing around throwing paper balls at each other amongst the group members before the meeting started. She even joked with me about throwing a stick of lipgloss from her purse. I was comfortable around her and she seems like a nice person. So, I don’t think its her.
Now that I sit down and think about it, I think I may know what is really going on. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that I don’t really fit in. No, I know I just mentioned that I know many of them and consider several of them good friends. That’s not what I meant. I mean that when I look around the table, I’m the only one still presenting male (edit: One transman was present tonight). And I have been every week since walking in that first night. One of the semi regulars even mentioned that she is now full time. Good for her. I’m proud of her. I’m not jealous. Well, ok. I might be a little bit. But, is that really what’s bothering me? I don’t know.
I feel stuck. I don’t know where to go from here. I think that if I had brought this up with any of the women in that room tonight, they would first say, you need to go at your own pace. But, they would also say that I should just go for it. That most people you’ll interact with don’t care if they can tell that your trans. Sure. I have some PTSD issues to work through. But, I think it goes deeper than that. Next week, I’lll be back at the VA to pick an avenue for PTSD treatment. Once I start, I’ll be working on that for approximately 12 weeks. I’m ready for it. I need it. Dare I say, I’m actually kinda looking forward to it. It’s time to purge those ghosts.
But, I fear that once I’m done with that, I think I may still be right where I am now. There are certain things in my life, whether they be life situations or habits, that have kept me kind of sitting in one place. The issues keeping me here feel like trying to unwrap a present while having all of your fingers in Chinese finger puzzles while being dragged behind a speeding hovercraft without water skis while having your toes nipped at by great white sharks.
Or was that an exxageration?
Right now, that’s what it feels like. Whether or not working through PTSD helps with kicking some of my fears to the curb, it won’t change the fact that I don’t look even remotely female. I have never practiced my female voice. I don’t even know where to begin. Although I’m on the bike every day, I have horrible eating habits that are there mostly because I have no idea how to cook. So, I haven’t really lost much weight. And to be honest with you, I’ve stopped stepping on the scale. Oh. And did I mention that I’m not even out to my roommate. When I say things like “I don’t dare step outside in female clothes”, don’t think that I do inside the house. No, that would be a mistake.
I’m good when there is routine in my life. I don’t do so good with the normally routine things when I get sidetracked. I need to start a new routine in my life that involves learning how to cook for myself. I need to ween myself off soda (yet again). I need to figure out how to exercise without gaining muscle. But, at the same time, lose fat. I have no idea. If I can find that road, I would hope that I could lose weight and save money. Outside of PTSD, those are my big goals for this year.
It’s way to stressful to think about going full time at this moment. Not right now. But, if I can find a way to lose weight and work through the PTSD, I hope that then I can work on whether it’s possible to go part time or even full time. Right now, that hill is too high to climb. My mind gets tied in knots trying to understand how I can present as female when I look in the mirror. I need a lot of money for facial surgery ($40,000). And I need to try to understand how I can change my voice and eventually find a roommate who would be comfortable with me being around.
It seems so far off. Until I check off more of these boxes, I suspect I’ll continue hiding from social occasions, be anxious and quiet when I have no choice. I’ll still be correcting people in the know about my name out in public. And generally be sitting on the sidelines of life.
Toward the end of tonight’s meeting, I had a suicidal thought. An image of me putting a gun in my mouth. This shit’s never going to end.