*******************************BEWARE: SEVERE TRIGGERS AHEAD*************************************
Yesterday was an extremely tough day. And all it took was a less than flattering picture of my face.
I've known for quite some time that my vision was failing. I noticed that street signs were a little blurry when I was delivering pizzas at night. And I wore glasses when I was in the Navy. Back then, I worked in a dark room looking at a radar scope. But, I did notice that when I left the Navy, my vision improved. So, I chalked it up to eye fatigue. But, that didn't stop me from getting glasses back when I was working for Domino's Pizza. The guy who did my eye exam in the mall eye shop back in '02 said my vision wasn't bad at all (I don't remember the numbers). But, I still bought a pair of glasses. Those pair didn't last long. As they were crushed in the chest pocket of my jacket when I hugged my then girlfriend. Since my vision wasn't that bad, I never did get them replaced.
But, hanging out with two friends who have excellent vision definitely brings the issue to the forefront. Whether it's a late night walk or a sign off in the distance, I know I'm not going to see it first when one person is wearing glasses and the other has had Lasik.
Recently, I got the referral from my doctor for an eye exam at the VA. And I'm just now waiting for some paperwork before I can schedule that. So, while waiting, I've been doing some shopping for frames online. I'm not entirely comfortable shopping for anything that is gender specific in a store.FFF So, thankfully the internet offers those with social anxiety an out. And being the geek that I am, I found an app that offers a pretty amazing way of letting me see how the glasses will look on me.
The app is called glasses.com. Using the camera on your iOS device, it takes pictures of you and renders a 3D picture of your mug you can turn left and right with your finger. Then, you pick frames from their inventory by placeing fake frames on your fake 3D head. Pretty cool tech.
I've always had a very hard time with my looks. I don't like looking at pictures of myself. And at various times over my life, I would place towels over bathroom mirrors to avoid the occasional accidental glance. I became quite proficient at shaving my face and combing my hair without looking in the mirror. Well, at least I thought I was good at it. If you saw me with messy hair when I was younger, you might disagree with my assessment. I've also asked my mom to take down my boot camp picture from a wall in their living room.
Yesterday, when I was experimenting with this app, I suspect I was too enthralled with the tech to even consider what it would do to me. And honestly, the picture I took of myself was not at all the best I could do. I didn't even smile (Yes, I know I hardly ever smile). I was able to get through a couple pages of judging virtual glasses on my spooky and very manly looking dis-embodied head before just shutting it down.
“And to think I was living this whole summer as the woman I am without realizing I was this manly looking.” That was the thought running through my head. I did make it to school. But, not before changing into my guy clothes. I walked through the halls with my head down and even used a men's restroom. I didn't want anyone to see my ugly face. I sat in class wishing I had a bag I could put over my head. It was horrible.
Eating slightly improved my mood. But, it didn't shed the awful feeling of manliness in me. I had images of my awfully huge forehead and my huge nose seen on the screen in front of me stuck in my head like a bad visual earworm. I try not to talk much throughout the day. But, yesterday the sound of my voice was utterly humiliating. I felt like a fool for thinking I could be myself out in the real world. I was embarrassed.
By late afternoon, the suicidal thoughts I had suffered with throughout most of my life came flooding back like a Japanese tsunami (Too soon?). Severe images of razor blades cutting through my wrists and scissors placed against my male genitalia just like I did when I was a kid were constant images I was struggling with as the day wore on. During the transit home, I thought about placing my sad self in front of a train or simply walking in to the busy traffic on Broadway or Colfax. It's what I deserved for this awful plight of a life, right?
I was completely exhausted by the time I reached the front porch and unlocked the front door. I was barely able to lift the messenger bag over my head. I sank into the main level couch and did something I rarely do anymore. I reached for the television remote control. I needed escapism. I needed to safely get away before I did something stupid. Thankfully, one of my roommates arrived a few minutes later and asked if I wanted to finish watching Orphan Black. It's something we started last weekend. She's leaving soon for her own place. So, she wanted to finish watching it while she still had access to On Demand. I was the one who got her hooked on the show. So, it sounded like the perfect thing to keep me from my horrible existence.
So, that's what we did. We watched the last four episodes of this first season. Yep. We watched Orphan Black. A show about a young woman who comes to find clones of herself all around her. At least she is a beautiful young woman. And not an ugly man. And yes. The first time she sees one of these clones, it's when she's standing on a train platform. I don't think it's too much of a SPOILER to say she sees a clone walk off the platform just in time to get hit by a train. Thankfully, we had passed that horrible scene.
I'm feeling a little bit better today. But, not comfortable enough to go back to being myself. I didn't shave my face this morning. I'm wearing male shorts and a male t-shirt. I dug through my drawer and found one of my sports bras. I just need to feel safe. Even if it is from myself.
Also, I called my therapist at the VA and scheduled an appointment to see her. It's next week.