A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Archive for January, 2013

I’m tired, and kind of sad.

It’s always a good idea to write a blog when you’re in a good mood and have a positive outlook on the world.  You’re putting good energy and advice out there, and probably writing something that might actually be a pleasant experience to read.

It rarely happens.

When you’re in a good mood, you just ride the waves of your current awesome events and experience life.  You don’t necessarily feel the need to sit in a darkened room with your fingers alternately resting on the keys and on your temples, pointing your examination inwards and pontificating on page what exactly went wrong.  I find it’s only a depression that makes me slow down and take stock.  Necessarily, that makes the majority of my writing dark, negative, boring and awful.

That’s not to say that I’m a dark, negative, boring and awful person.  I spend a lot of my time on the upper end of the scale, going around doing positive things for my community and fun things with my friends.  Just last night, I went out with a couple of friends, wore some seriously anachronistic hats, chemically altered my perception just a smidgen, and had a rousing time on the town.  How can a pirate and a repressed englishman from the 1890’s not delight?

But you don’t write about these things, you just do them.  Well, unless you’re that irritating facebook sort that feels the need to update whenever you’ve successfully completed laundry, or made it out of the DMV in one piece*, or woken up, or are going to bed, or stumbled across a particularly impressive bowl of onion soup.  (*There are some allowances for the DMV thing, as making it out alive is sometimes an impressive accomplishment, and also there are some fertile joke breeding grounds there if you don’t mind your humor a little warmed over from the 90’s.)

The point here is, I’m sorry.  I have a lot of guilt and shame attached to dumping out my negative shit on the internet because there is already so much of it here, and I just don’t like adding to the landfill.  Furthermore, I’m an adult now.  My prefrontal lobe has developed, and now, it’s easy enough to distinguish the difference between

1) an emotional/spiritual apocalypse of doom and depression and angst, and

2) my brain chemistry being kind of temporarily fucked due in part to my hormone levels and in part because my meds are being adjusted.

Like, I get it.  Logic is engaged.  I know in my brainmeats that this isn’t an eternal state of ugly feels, despite the fact that the depression is inherently just engineered to feel like it’s going to stretch out for an eternity and there’s no hope of ever recovering.  That’s why it’s called a depression, that’s why it’s so effective at being the horrible thing that it is.  If I could see the light at the end of the tunnel from where I’m standing, it wouldn’t be a depression.

As far as facts and figures are concerned, I get that I’m feeling icky, due to physiological factors beyond my control, and it will pass.  I understand that this isn’t the end of the world and eventually I’ll swing right back on up to feeling like that superman who can handle eighteen thousand things at once (for better or worse).  I understand that, until that happens, for the meantime, the best I can do is ride it out, hope it’s not my meds doing this to me but some other factor (so I don’t have to switch my meds AGAIN) and try to not to anything destructive.

But fuck it’s hard to keep some perspective when I’m like this.

It’s like being in a house of mirrors.  The state I’m in means that my energy is very, very low.  That doesn’t translate to “I’m feeling lazy”. What it translates to is, “I don’t have the capacity to process very much without getting immediately burnt out and ragged.”  What it translates to is “it does not take very much to overwhelm me right now, and overwhelm is very very bad for a mind that is teetering dangerously close to suicidal and self-harm kind of thinking.”  What it translates to is “too much stimulation and input very easily leads to panic attacks and uncontrollable lashing out.”  What it translates to is that I need to be very gentle with myself and take a lot of things off my plate.

That kind of self care is very, very difficult for a Type A personality. You get crippled by the shame.  People like myself constantly have a tittering demon on our shoulders telling us that we could be using our time more effectively.  That’s good on most days, because it means a lot gets accomplished.  On the (rare) depressive days, that leads to panic, guilt, shame, anxiety, frustration, and suicidal thinking.  If you had an overbearing schoolmarm breathing down your neck 24-7 telling you what a useless lazy sack of sludge you were, and if one day you got exhausted enough to slow down enough that you felt like the words she was saying might actually carry a grain of truth, you might lose your will to carry on a little too.

I think that’s the word I’m scared of more than anything.  Laziness.  Just about that second that I realized how fast life goes by,  I realized that I had such a limited amount of time in this life to actually accomplish the things I want to do.  On the days when I have the energy to go out and make things happen, that’s a motivating kind of thought.  On the days where finding my shoes is a task that crumples my resolve like tin foil, it’s a sucker punch to the gut that sucks any and all life, positivity, motivation and enjoyment out of anything that I could be doing at any given moment.  It’s a mind-shattering realization, one that makes you feel futility in any endeavor, from going back to school to drawing your next breath.

So, my conclusion here is that manic depression is a really dangerous disease for Type-A sorts to have, because the downtime days are just so much more devastating to handle for someone who is so driven that absolutely almost nothing can stop you.  When something as simple as your own brain chemistry trips you up, and there is nothing you can do to fight it that doesn’t put your mental health in serious danger, it’s a real kick to your self-esteem, and that deepens your depression further.  It’s an exponentially folding, billowing well of tarry black darkness and shame that encompasses everything, chokes your air supply, snakes down your nostrils, tangles your limbs, and commands every sensory input until the only escape is sleep.  (Hey check out the imagery in that last sentence, I’m a depressed 17 year old with a livejournal.)

I think what I’m saying is, if I could relax for five minutes, maybe this whole depression thing wouldn’t be so fucked.

I’m NOT O-****ing-KAY (a retrospective contrasted against my second puberty)

It is 2003.  I am 14.  I’ve never been rebellious.

The first (wrong) hormones are thrashing my body and literally bleeding me out.

The puberty connects with me in all the wrong ways.

I don’t strike out at my dad, start wearing ridiculous spiky clothes, experiment with drugs or run with the wrong crowd.  None of the expected things.

I continue to dress like a confused Amish child, struggle to get good grades, and am estranged by my peers.  What’s worse is that I can barely be bothered to care.

Bigger fish to fry.

The hormones wreak havok on my inner mind, playing hell with my gender identity, tripping over the Bouncing Betties of dissociative identity and PTSD left strewn about by the mother who waged war on my mind for so many years.

It is a private battle, and an ugly one.  How I came out in functional pieces on the other end I’ll never know.

It is 2003.  I am starting my freshman year soon. 9/11 is still a fresh wound in the collective mind.

My Chemical Romance is just about to release Headfirst for Halos, which goes completely unnoticed by me for the ensuing years.

I don’t care about music.  I’m just trying to survive the battlefield of my mind.

I have a baby face that follows me around for years, and I hate it.  Little do I know that one day it will be a blessing.

~*~*~*~

Flash forward ten years.

~*~*~*~

It is 2013.  I am 24.  For the first time, the dormant strings of rebellion are stirring up in me.

The right hormones are flooding my system for the first time, and the only blood I see is where I stab it into my leg every week.

The puberty is connecting with me in all the right ways this time, and the reoccurring thought on this roller coaster ride is, “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

I am angry at the establishment, wearing clothes that, for the first time, I actually care about (and will probably laugh at uncomfortably in 4 years), making friends with dangerous hobos and taking up recreations that most grown adults would shake their bony fingers at.  I don’t care.

I continue to try to build my career, pursue my dreams, get independent, and there are some people who call it a pipe dream, who think I’m “doing too much”.  Best thing is, I can’t be bothered to care.

Bigger fish to fry.

The hormones rip me through a hurricane of aggressiveness, independence, territorialism, and that special kind of selfish apathy that only teenage punks can properly exude.  They inflame the inset manic depression passed down genetically by my dad, but at least this time, there’s medication for it.

The Lithium tremors make my battle a public one.  How I’ll maintain my dignity through all this I’ll never know.

It is 2013.  I’m starting my non-profit soon.  There are people who are still dazed that the world is still here after last December, and I suspect they have some explaining to do.

I just discovered my old friend’s collection of My Chemical Romance tracks on my computer.  I listened to them in a fit of nostalgia.  As shameful, ironic, uncomfortable, laughable, or whatever it may be, this old music has just caught up to me and somehow it’s the soundtrack of my year.  It’s making me want to hear more and more and more music and for the first time, I’m actually trying to hear things that aren’t 40+ years past their prime.

For the first time, I truly care about music.

And for the first time, I am very, very glad that my face makes me look like a teenager.

~*~*~*~

This isn’t just my second puberty.  This is my second chance to experience the childhood/teenage years that were ripped away from me by a shitty life.  I intend to live it to the fullest, embarrassing music choices and all.

Won’t you come with me to 2003?

[insert obligatory myspace angle pic] 😉

“Genderless Freaks-” another rant.

Photo credit to Andrej Pejic,Source of photo: http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com

Photo credit to Andrej Pejic,
Source of photo: http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com

 

I’m not big on fashion, but I’m celebrating someone who dares to do what he wants- beauty standards, acceptance of gender expression, misogyny in the industry, and all other points be damned.  Andrej Pejic is on the cover of Elle Magazine, Serbia, and he defies traditionally accepted gender norms by posing for men’s AND women’s lines of clothing (beautifully, I might add.)

read about it here>>>:

 

It’s all over the web, and opinions on what his exposure to the press is doing for the non-normative acceptance movements are varied and heated.  But once again, someone posted a response to all this that hit my rage button just right.  It’s the source that shocked me this time.

Posted by some freaked out trans girl:

I suppose this can be thought of as positive if you want people to see us as genderless freaks inhabiting some midway point as third genders. Personally I dont want anyone to think I am anything like this person who is a cartoon. Publicity is only good if it portrays us in an accurate fasion. I dont like being lampooned.

In four short sentences, I was floored.  It hit me, hard.  There are people out there, people in the trans community, who think like this.  If you see nothing wrong with the above statement, maybe my response below will clear things up a bit.

I love how, in this hypothetical situation you’ve dreamed up, you draw this circle (I’m assuming people you consider to be “respectably transgender”) and call it [Us], put Pejic on this representative pedestal, and posit that his gender expression is going to be responsible for casting a bad image on yourself and everyone else [in your trans circle].

I love how you then go on to:

– make a specific point of letting us know how NOT like him you are (which I would have assumed anyway based on your stifling binary presentation),
– belittle and marginalize his gender expression to [Cartoon] when there are plenty of cis-hetero-normative folk who wouldn’t think twice about saying the same thing of you,
– assume that he’s out there, looking for publicity specifically to highlight what it’s like to be [You and/or Anyone Else in your Trans Circle],
– and finally, assume that he’s out there with the intention of representing or “lampooning ANYONE.

He’s not there to represent anyone but himself, and/or those who might consider themselves like him (which I would assume are few and far between; Pejic is one of a kind.) Just like I’m not here to represent you, or trans men, or genderqueer folk, or any other number of marginalized, generally considered “distasteful” folk. I’m here to be myself, live my life, follow my dreams, not be invisible, and represent MYSELF, genderflawed though I may be. If you decide to make me your representative, that’s fine with me, but it’s not my responsibility, I don’t want, and I assume Pejic doesn’t, either. He just wants to do what he likes, and why should he stifle his dream because ….someone he doesn’t know might get embarrassed?

You have a lot of self-education to do on the broadness of the gender spectrum and the basic human right to represent oneself as one sees fit. There ARE some people who consider themselves genderless, as inhabiting a midway point, AND as a third (or other) gender, and what gives you the unmitigated gall to say that those gender expressions are less valid than yours when yours isn’t even orthodox?

You can’t just take one or two steps outside of the binary, make your own cute little parody box mimicking the limitations you you and so many others have worked so hard to escape, draw a line that says “I’ve gone far enough! Anyone past this point is a FREEAK!”, and assume that ANYONE, cis, trans, or otherwise, will take YOUR gender expression seriously, or even pay you a shred of respect.

I didn’t want to get mean, but I have to say it- trans people like you, trying to hold back the tides of change in acceptance of gender expression variance, are more dangerous to the movement than the bigoted cispeople we’re struggling against, OR the Pejics of the world that you fear, and you know why? Because your cowardice is infectious. It’s coming from a source on the “inside” of the gender-non-normative community, and young/new GQ people just shaping their worldviews might be looking up to you for guidance, and what you have to say, as ignorant as it may be, just might sound okay and trustworthy to an impressionable mind.

It horrifies me that there are so many people who still say “I may be ___ but at least I’m not one of those despicable ____’s”, because somehow you fail to see that people right now at this very moment saying that about YOU, and it’s making you squirm in your skin, you just can’t STAND it, but you’re doing it to someone else just to feel better about yourself, and it DISGUSTS me. It’s people drawing circles of exclusion like THAT who are enforcing hatred, bigotry, and ignorance. You’re leading the way for people to take three big steps back, and I say, for SHAME.

It’s official.  The kid gloves are off.  Maybe I’m mean, but I can’t hold back anymore.  I’ve been trying to sit back and watch people give their opinions peacefully and with respect, knowing for the most part it doesn’t do any good to to yell back at people, but you know what?  I’m entitled to my opinion too, I have a keyboard, and that’s what the comment section is for.   It may be ugly and it may be pointless, but god knows it’s therapeutic.  So these are the sorts of things I’m shooting all over the internet, and if you don’t want to end up on the wrong end of my raging wall’o’texts, educate yourself before opening your mouth.

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