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A Chain of Broken Links - My Life in scattered fragments (beware the swears)

OzGirl

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Collie, you are such an amazing young person, but you are assuming responsibiities for things not of your making. I do this too, and it really can overload you. You just concentrate on getting your world great before you tackle the universe! You have a talent for expressing yourself, and even when your descriptions are horrific or gritty I can’t stop reading. I feel sad I can’t make your life wonderful like you deserve, but I can celebrate the talented and amazing person you are!

Big Hugs,

Allie
 

Madrhode

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Collie as a licensed minister. I would like to answer you in a more sincere message and not in front of the Er on my smart phone waiting for my sister to come out. So I will respond with just some encouraging words till I get home.
It is not unreasonable to have guilt. We are all human and that is a valid response either if by a higher power or personal sense of consciousness. The revelation is to realize that somethings are not for you to carry guilt. We can not always cover for our neighbors, we can not always carry the weight of our families and most of all society is not a single person responsibility. The one thing you can do is work on those you can, be the change. You may be unable to protest in Minnesota, but you stand up for you black coworker locally. You can go to a vigil and while maybe the 48th trans woman that passed away’s family may or may not see you. You remember her and you have moment of unity that the few people around you might change or be better for. Do not focus on society as a hole focus on a small piece and if we can get the small pieces together then the puzzle of society will get better and more complete. Just continue being you and focus on your obstacles and try to help others, but help yourself first as you are only as capable of holding someone’s burdens if your arms are free of some of yours. Be strong, be brave young padawan
 

TonyaJanelle

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So I've been reflecting this year (the first week of it anyways), and I realized something about 2020. When it ended, I felt this overwhelming shock and relief. Relief that it was over, obviously, but the shock of just how much had happened in that year.

I graduated high school, the first child to do so in 20 years out of a family of twelve.
I had convinced my older sister to leave dad's side of the family and their cultic ideals
I had changed jobs twice (one of them damaged my mental health so badly for the two weeks I had to quit)
I performed in two modest plays, winning second place comedic role in a 5 play competition.
I got my hair in a pixie cut, highlighted, and dyed for the first time in my life.
I survived increasing levels of sexual harassment and mild assault and got out of the situation before it escalated into rape
I started a youtube channel (one I have to work on this year!!!)
I got kicked out by my mom
I lost friends, family, my job, and my home


And of course the generic lived through a global pandemic in the same house with people who scoffed at its existence, watched as the BLM movement grew and struggled to navigate the triggering elements while trying to explain to household members the realities of racial injustice, and survived the mounting tension for the election of Joe Biden while living among rabid Trumpites. But that's stuff everybody on here has gone through in one manner or another.

My first thought of the new year was: "Holy shit, how did I even survive?"

I think that's a question we're all asking.
I don't think 2020 is done with us yet. There's still another 2 weeks before Biden's inauguration, and if reports are to be believed, Trumpites may have stormed the Capitol building and are rioting over the election of Senator Warnock, Georgia's first black senator. We'll see what the world looks like by February...


But I realized the biggest emotion I had carried with me throughout 2020...
...was guilt.

I had felt so much guilt over the situation in the world. The pandemic, the injustices, the riots, the killings, the unjust government we were dealing with; I felt responsible for them. Growing up, I had always been told that my prayers and sacrifices were integral to keeping the world in balance. If I ever left, then the quota of prayers and sufferings offered to God would be lacking, and destruction would fall upon the world. I was actively initiated into this before I was twelve years old, and had been following that script for years now.

So when I had left my dad's family less than a year before, and had left Catholicism barely 3 months before, as well as having convinced my sister to leave my dad at that same time, I had subconsciously taken a manner of responsibility for the shitshow 2020 was.

I felt guilty that I hadn't been there to bleed away the virus with fastings and hours-long prayer sessions. I felt guilty that I hadn't been able to blast away the presidential tensions with the white light of energies. And I felt guilty that I was white when all these people of color were being hurt just for who they were. I felt that my sufferings didn't matter, I didn't deserve love and attention, simply because I was white and therefore POCs deserved more attention. I felt that, no matter what I did, nothing would be good enough, nothing could ever fix the fact that I was white and had indelible privileges from that.

I felt guilty that I had to leave my little brother in the middle of a Sunday afternoon with little explanation while our renter screamed at us through the door. I struggled with guilt that I had put my foot down on staying away from the predatory renter (society really does condition us to feel responsible for men's problems...) I felt guilty that my productivity spiraled into nothingness for the last quarter of the year, spending hours staring blankly at my computer screen, playing videogames or laying restlessly in bed. I felt guilty that I had lost my job and couldn't get one due to the hilariously complicated affairs of my life.

And I felt guilty that I was struggling with suicide, self-harm, and questions regarding my gender identity.

Coming to the New Year, I realized just how much I had survived. I had lived through that crushing weight of guilt, uncertainty, pain and overall chaos, and I had survived. Sometimes, I think I might even be a little less depressed, or at least more self-aware.

However small, I have made steps. I have made connections. I need to focus, not on how badly I need to update my channel output, but on the fact that I took the step and started a fucking channel.

I have met people, even if I struggle to keep in touch with them. I have fallen in love online and learned when to leave that love and to recognize it as short term. Even if I feel more battered and broken than ever, I have gotten stronger in some way.

Sometimes seeing the finish line drains you of all energy. I had the nastiest depressive episode yesterday and wanted to end it all. I'm moving into my apartment, the next chapter of my life, in less than ten days. I think I'm terrified of it a little bit. I'm not ready to be in a space where I'm in control. At least I'm not used to it. All I'm used to seeing are the responsibilities of being in charge, not the autonomy and liberty that comes with it.

I will post pictures of the new place when I move in.

I've made it to fucking 20 years old. My first suicide plan being before my 15th birthday, I never dreamed I would make it out of teenagehood. My next goal is to 23 because when I was 18 I told a friend I couldn't see myself alive in five years.

For once, I need to prove myself wrong.


(Jesus that went all over the place! if you made it to here, thanks for reading and know you're fucking gorgeous, okay?)
Holy moly that's enough 💩 to go through for a lifetime. But you did it. You're here. That should prove that you can keep going.

Easy enough to say you have nothing to feel guilty about (you don't) but hard to make yourself believe it. Wish I had magic words to help.
 

Monica

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Collie, already everybody around here loves you and thinks highly of you. I hope you will seek help in the darker times. Talking things out, here or to a friend or a therapist is so important. People can be a sounding board to make things clearer. I hope you are hearing what we are saying that you do not deserve blame for these things you listed. It might be that you have to hear it a few times before it sinks in. You don't have responsibility for the horrible things going on in the world. I see you as a very good person! Hey, I'm a good judge of character!
 

Madrhode

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Dear, Collie,
Congratulations on succeeding in High school that is a major mile stone and a victory and you should be very proud of that.
Helping your sister is also an amazing accomplishment, just as big.
Changing jobs is always stress full, but leaving them and finding better is a plus and for your health is always a great improvement. Even leaving for a great job will still have the stress of uncertainty and no sense of stability at the start.
A round of applause for the plays, that is great to hear, I would love to see you perform. I did some open mikes when I thought I would be a comedian and I would still like too, but I needed a more stable job then McDonalds, so I got my CDL which did not allow me to continue my comedy as I had a wild schedule.
I am so proud of you for escaping from the harassments and assault, please reach out to someone even me if you would like to possibly talk about this, It may need to be worked through on a deeper level. As for being a youtube star. Best of luck and please mail me an autograph photo so I can have it for when you become a superstar. :) I apologize for your mom's actions and I disagree whole-heartedly about this, I wish you were here just because I'd love to hug you and give some more warmth in . If you lost everything do to being authentic then you did not need the negativity. A home needs to exist in your heart first before it exist elsewhere and that is hard to do. Make that shelter first while actively seeking real life shelter. You need both.
This pandemic sucks big time and being there with ignorance does not help. I mean look at what happened in DC. You can not change all the disrespect toward BLM , but you acknowledging is already a great accomplishment. Despite yesterday, I still hold faith in our Democracy and it's value. I believe we will emerge a better place. You know a illness can lie below the surface with only small symptoms that we pay no mind like a headache or muscle aches, but until a rash or fever appears we do not accept that it is present. The radical hate, intolerance and horridness has been an underlying illness in this country, but now that it has showed its major symptom, we can start the process of recovery and eradication. I am believing that this is our rash and maybe we will begin a process to be stronger.
This will probably be a shock to you when I say prayer with out action is as useless as a horse cart with square wheels. I know oh my, Goodness! What a concept. Prayer does lead to good thing, it can have a profound release, but so can a journal or blog, so can talking to a therapist, so can talking to friends. I will probably explain my minister journey in my blog post for today, but that is later. The power that be is not with out giving us the tools we need. Science, a record of history of our mistakes, and our hearts. If we do not use all these these tools with prayer or a release then we are not fighting a full battle.
The Virus is here and I wish prayer was all that was needed but we have science that was gifted to us to help combat this and it will work.
Your skin color is not something to feel guilty about. Does it give you an advantage yes, but being a member of the alphabet mafia takes this away too. We all deserve love and attention on that account we are all equal and we are all human, realizing this is a step. Then realizing this is not always available for POC is another step. You are just as valid as them. We are all one race, and that is human my youngest adoptive niece is mixed race and I tell you she will be president one day and I treat her no different, she has a heart of gold. She is going places and I understand she will have challenges, what I can do is help her and try my best to make the world free of racist rhetoric and the barriers the world has for her before she fully tackles it.
I can not give solace in your brother. I believe you made a decision and while I can not say leaving was right or not right, it was your decision and is he at least healthy. In that way no harm, long term may have issue, but brace for that. Try to get away from the landlord but I think you are working on that. There are times in our way we sometimes flee into a period of no productivity, I have it and orders have done it, but it is great you at least found an apartment, so you are not still as low on the sad spot in your year.
Suicide, is a tough bull to handle. I hope this does not cross your mind again, but I also realize it might. You are already stronger. It is easy to do it. It takes courage and fearlessness to not do it.
Do not feel guilty about gender. Just do your thing. be you
"You did it! You made it! You are here and surviving, you are an astonishing person and never forget that. You have found love even if brief and that speaks a lot. You have made so many peoples days brighter. You will always be a grat light in your endeavors. The higher powers that be will never let you face something that you can not navigate. I can not wait for your new apartment and I hope it allows you another moment of growth both personal and maturity. You can make your goal to 23 but first just make it your goal for the next five minutes. Keep that in your mind. you can make five minutes then you can make ten, then twenty minutes and eventually hours, which turns into days, which become with week, which become months and then you will live a full lifetime as your courageous self. You have already prove yourself wrong because you shared your thoughts. I expect a change to the world and you will help it change.
Love you Maddy
 

CrackDown29

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God I didn't realize how long its been sorry I've been MIA on here. I'll try to catch up with replies, thanks so much for all the input on here!

Meanwhile its slow going cuz I'm crashing after getting the apartment. I am soo not used to the idea of having my own space and being safe, free from someone barging in unannounced.... So I'm exhausted lmao. But I will get to work on replying! <3
 

CrackDown29

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Collie, you are such an amazing young person, but you are assuming responsibiities for things not of your making. I do this too, and it really can overload you. You just concentrate on getting your world great before you tackle the universe! You have a talent for expressing yourself, and even when your descriptions are horrific or gritty I can’t stop reading. I feel sad I can’t make your life wonderful like you deserve, but I can celebrate the talented and amazing person you are!

Big Hugs,

Allie
Aw that's really kind of you :). I know I need to focus on taking care of myself and my space, instead of feeling responsible for all the mistakes in the world like I was raised to. I swear I have a literal terror of designing my own space and figuring out who I am!

Haha I'm glad my reads are so compelling, I had a ton of English and grammar classes growing up, and literally everybody in my family makes up stories xD. It's in the blood I guess.
 

CrackDown29

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Holy moly that's enough 💩 to go through for a lifetime. But you did it. You're here. That should prove that you can keep going.

Easy enough to say you have nothing to feel guilty about (you don't) but hard to make yourself believe it. Wish I had magic words to help.
If only my pessimistic mind didn't insist that things would get worse xD. But I guess 2020 is quite an evolutionary determinant. Survival of the fittest, if I got through that then I'm allowed to get into round 2 - the rest of my life xD

For real though, thanks for the support and sympathy. Means a lot :) Hope you're doing well too.
 

CrackDown29

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@Madrhode Thank you so much for the in-depth response, your words were really motivating and encouraging.

I tend to forget and wipe out just how much I've done because it's easier to ignore it than to believe I have talent and skill. That's really scary to me because of so many negative connotations (parents ranting at me or claiming the skills for themselves and screaming that "talents means responsibilities and pain don't look at the benefits it'll cloud your mind"). When you're called worthless and a burden it gets to you after a while lmao.

You're right that action is important to actuating change. I myself am more distant from religion due to the spiritual abuse that I went through, but the default mechanism to blame myself for world events is still there. Just something I need to chip away at, for years I felt more useful if I was in pain or agony over a situation in the world. It made me feel like I wasn't just trapped at home doing nothing. So it takes a while to get over, especially since covid put me right back in isolation again haha.

It's definitely hard for me to see that everybody deserves love and equal rights. My mind simply resorts to that people of lesser status need it so F-off the people that are stable. But i know that isn't right either and it's tough to find a balance. One day, hopefully.

Yeah suicide is really tough. Even now it's been coming up strong, which while frustrating is not surprising. I've been on a rollercoaster of emotions and responses and my default is to numb out. I'll be talking to my therapist on Thursday and hopefully, I'll sort some stuff out. Imma have to tell her soon about the possible/probable GD I have...


Thanks again for the loving words, you've given me a lot to think about :) <3
 

CrackDown29

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Collie, already everybody around here loves you and thinks highly of you. I hope you will seek help in the darker times. Talking things out, here or to a friend or a therapist is so important. People can be a sounding board to make things clearer. I hope you are hearing what we are saying that you do not deserve blame for these things you listed. It might be that you have to hear it a few times before it sinks in. You don't have responsibility for the horrible things going on in the world. I see you as a very good person! Hey, I'm a good judge of character!
Okay Imma have a moment of truth here. Moni, you wouldn't believe how many times I'm waiting to let people down. When people say they see me as a good, kind, etc. person, all I can feel is that I'm somehow being a fake. What is this good person people are talking about? I can't see it, because I don't feel like I'm a good person. All I see are all the times I'm depressed and don't get stuff done, the times I lay in bed instead of working out, the times I feel moody and waspish, help the times I grab an extra cookie instead of an apple xD. And I get into this mode of waiting for people to get mad at mad or disappointed in me because sooner or later that ungood, unpleasant person I feel so keenly has to show, right?

Sorry, that was a very long way of saying that yeah it probably will be a few times of hearing it before it gets into my thick skull :ROFLMAO:. I'm grateful beyond words for the support and understanding on here, even if I am bad at taking advantage of it. Hopefully I'll get better on that (without talking anyone's arm off of course xD)
 

Monica

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Okay Imma have a moment of truth here. Moni, you wouldn't believe how many times I'm waiting to let people down. When people say they see me as a good, kind, etc. person, all I can feel is that I'm somehow being a fake. What is this good person people are talking about? I can't see it, because I don't feel like I'm a good person. All I see are all the times I'm depressed and don't get stuff done, the times I lay in bed instead of working out, the times I feel moody and waspish, help the times I grab an extra cookie instead of an apple xD. And I get into this mode of waiting for people to get mad at mad or disappointed in me because sooner or later that ungood, unpleasant person I feel so keenly has to show, right?

Sorry, that was a very long way of saying that yeah it probably will be a few times of hearing it before it gets into my thick skull :ROFLMAO:. I'm grateful beyond words for the support and understanding on here, even if I am bad at taking advantage of it. Hopefully I'll get better on that (without talking anyone's arm off of course xD)
None of the things you listed hurt anyone but yourself Collie. Give yourself the okay to be human. Humans make mistakes. Being a good person doesn't mean making no mistakes. In this past year, I have tried to help Nicole realize she has to learn self love. She has made tremendous progress (because she was open to seeing the need to do so and fought for it). I believe you can and will learn this lesson as well. It is something others can make you conscious of, but it must come from you. It's okay if it doesn't happen over night. Hugs!
 

CrackDown29

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So I find lately I've been listening to songs and reinterpreting them into self-identity/gender dysphoria songs.

Show Yourself - Frozen 2 (don't judge me xD), I used to hate the song but now it makes me think of discovering your identity, in my case gender identity. You go deep into yourself and the voice you thought was someone else's to help you ended up being your different identity inside. Literally almost every lyric (except the musical bridge chorus) can relate to the journey we go through as members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially as trans people. Lyrics in the video here.

"You Know Who You Are" from Moana is also an easy choice. "They have stolen the heart from inside you/But this does not define you/This is not who you are/ You know who you are." It's a powerful song for any sort of discovering yourself and recovering from any trauma, but it's painfully relatable for me in trying to figure out my identity on so many levels (Also it's Lin Manuel Miranda who did the music so who wouldn't want that??)


A darker one but just as powerful, I Can't Fix You (CG5 remix of Tombstone FnaF song). Lately I've relating to it so hard as trying to cope with dysphoria, struggling forward in the assigned gender until you can't take it. "Is it because I can't be her? Made your mistakes and made me hurt? I can't fix you!" A neat touch: the whole song is sang in a feminine voice/character until the final part, where a masculine character screams back "I can't fix you, I can't FIX YOU!!!"

Last but not least, "The Other Side" from the 2018 musical film, The Greatest Showman. "Dont you wanna get away from the same old part you gotta play?"

The following is for sure a debate between my internal self and my terrified AFAB ass xD:
"Is this really how you want to spend your days? Whiskey and misery, and parties and plays?"
"If I were mixed up with you, I'd be the talk of the town. DIsgraced and disowned, another one of the clowns."
"But you could finally live a little, finally laugh a little, it would give you the freedom to dream a little,[...] take your walls and start 'em breaking. Now that's a deal that seems worth taking! But I guess I'll leave that up to you... "

Lots of other lyrics in that song are really applicable to members of the LGBT community.

So yeah, I guess I randomly decided to post that on here xD. Maybe this is my version of writing transition stories? Listening to songs that express my dysphoria and gender identity journey. It's always been hard to write about myself in a fictitious manner, so maybe this is the next best thing.
 

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Also from the Greatest Showman I like
It's not strictly transgender, but I really like it.
Cheers,
-Kenna
 

CrackDown29

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Also from the Greatest Showman I like
It's not strictly transgender, but I really like it.
Cheers,
-Kenna
Oh my goodness yes! I love this song so much!!! It's so beautiful ^_^
 

NicoleT

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@CrackDown29 ...... I just wanted to check on you. I’ve had such a extremely busy last couple of weeks with everything going on I haven’t had much time to catch up with you. I hope everything is going well. I haven’t heard much about the job you were getting in a while..... did you get one?

I know what you did was quite scary breaking away and such. Honestly anytime that you’re on your own away from home for the first time it’s scary. In your case you were actually breaking away so it has a whole bunch of other factors going on there. As you know we’re all here for you. I hope you found counseling to help you with your dysphoria. Only you know exactly how bad that is. Always happy to chat, look forward to seeing you soon.

Hugs
Nicole
 

CrackDown29

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Gah, it's getting dusty in here. Haven't been on this for a while.

First off, @NicoleT thanks for asking. Yes, I've been applying for jobs. No I haven't gotten one yet. Have to keep reminding myself that over 13,000 women have been pushed out of the workforce due to covid, in America alone I think. I have a little bit of competition to work against there. Sis and I both got compensation this last month for working during the first quarantine, so it'll help tide things over. Thank god I've been working and saving since 15.

I'm just tired. Really, really tired. I get like this sometimes, but sometimes it's just worse. I feel like I have to contribute to a project, something, anything that other people can see, just so I know I'm not alone, not pointless for existing.

My sis says I have a problem with believing anything I do will be a failure, which is why I have so much trouble committing to any project or assignment. She could be onto something, I do have a tendency to feel like my contribution to a group is kind of now-or-never, all or nothing, and I never know if it'll make the cut.

Trauma has been coming back a lot, that might have something to do with this sudden snap. Repressed memories from 9 years old being forced to sleep with my mom as a "punishment", a treatment that happened up until I was 12 and 13. I don't think anything fucked up happened, but having no control over where I slept or who I slept with was extremely invasive and I didn't think it would hurt as much it does. Why did she want me to sleep with her when after 2 weeks she acted like I wasn't there and just went to sleep without talking to me? It made me feel so old.

Also been dealing with a lot of how to face world issues nowadays. Some of it is soo triggering in the way it's handled, it throws me right back to days of being in my dad's cult. Maybe that's why I've been falling into a spiral of blaming myself, reflex reaction from hearing things like the way dad talked. "us v them," "support but don't drown out voices," "you have to do x,y,z before you can call yourself supportive or an ally" "you'll never understand because you're *insert term* but you need to support us because of that" All of these are classic tactics used by high-control abusive groups and relationships, trying to separate from the causes is extremely hard.

And then there's the dysphoria. Now that I've acknowledged its existence with my therapist, I don't really know where to go. Mostly because we've been talking about so many other issues I don't have the time to talk about this. It's small, but insistent. I downright hate how I look, but I don't know where to pinpoint it. Something is *off* but I don't know if it's just dysphoria. Maybe I've been doing too much research, people giving dire warnings that transmasc comes from internalized misogyny. I look at men and I feel an ache. Is it attraction or wanting to be like them?? There are physical sensations that differ, right? that coiled knot deep in the pit of your stomach, something tied up and cold but warm and longing, that's a desire to be similar, right? It doesn't help when you're bisexual, unless it helps with identifying attraction, since I can feel that towards women?

It's really tempting to just throw in the chips and live with regret for the rest of my life. I'm tired of interacting with people irl, or making long connections. I know 20 years from now I would hate myself for isolating so hard, but I hate myself already, what the difference, right? My brain uses almost everything it can to attack myself. Trying to be productive? It tells me I'm not doing enough, or right, or I get exhausted and worn out. Playing videogames to distract? It tells me I should be recording it, or doing something else, because I'm otherwise wasting time.

It's so hard fighting against self-sabotaging thoughts. Walking along, living my life, and then the thought "So is this what would be at your funeral? Would these be your last impressions, cuz, you know... dying by the s-word and all that."


Anyway, sorry it's been so long. I have a tendency to start projects and not finish, but I'll try to get back to this as I can.
 
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