sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 It's okay for me to have guilt right now; The feeling is deserved.

It's okay for me to feel sad right now; I've lost something important to me through my own actions.

It was not okay for me to lash out at people in my irritation; doing so only caused further problems.

I can regret my actions; I should not regret having a chronic illness.

It has been a crummy week, and I've felt generally crappy as a result of the meltdown. If there is some grand life lesson I can glean from this that I haven't already learned, I do not know what it is.  Perhaps it is a matter of asking other people to watch me for signs of things that I might not be aware of, but I don't think that's it.  I can glean that chronic conditions suck, people don't believe me, and I can still be a jerk even after the rational mind kicks in if I'm still angry about the situation.  Only the last one is particularly helpful in altering my behavior in the future.  

I should give myself some slack here. Whether it was through my own actions or not, I have lost something that is important me, and this will affect my mood for a while. I've weathered similar storms. I will get through this. Perhaps something else is waiting just around the corner.  I didn't want to pull back from the group because it's hard to meet new friends at my age, and overcoming a lot of my social anxiety disorder doesn't mean it's completely cured. Remnants remain.

What I have now is an opportunity to re-evaluate my situation and make a guess as to where my health is. If the cortisol test *does* come back low, I'll most likely know the cause of this episode, and will probably go through another battery of tests to see if I have another autoimmune disease. If my TSH was off, that will come with a Synthroid dose adjustment.  I must remember in the future that even treated cases of Hashimoto's Disease can result in wide mood swings. Asking my endocrinologist if it was possible to get the thyroid removed was tempting, but it's slightly increased size wasn't causing any medical issues.  (And well, it's wrong, but a part of me hopes the cortisol test comes back low because that provides an explanation of what happened when I broke my arm and might get me out of the tilt table test.)

For now, I am going to do my best to practice a little bit of self-care to get through this situation. I feel like I should do something nice for myself at some point, perhaps get a new haircut. 


sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 For now, I am just going to write down some thoughts that may or may not be at random. I seem to be unable to think of a single topic of this post, perhaps because I’m more focused on the dental appointment or if I come back to this later, dealing with the after effects. 

Now, I’ve somehow managed to get an interview.  I’m not sure how, nor am I sure I can do it. I know the job doesn’t involve standing all day long.  I really don’t have the clothes for it, nor am I sure that this is what I want. I am only doing it because some bureaucrat has told me that I need to do this to continue getting benefits.  (This experience will probably be filed under the “Indiana sucks” portion of my mind, even though it only deals with one part of the experience, and not the whole state.)

As annoying as the interview is, I’ve also been thinking about a recent conversation and how I react to such things. I’m not sure if it was simple fog or a communication gap, but I got the feeling I didn’t understand what the other person said entirely.  I think my attitude might have been part of the problem. I acknowledged I screwed up, eventually tried to stop defending my position, and made a note to change my behavior in the future. I’m not sure if it was fog or a stunning lack of empathy on my part. In any case, I know I still have a long way to go when it comes to overcoming culturally absorbed attitudes on many things, including disability. And I should have not have used the language I used, even if I were quoting someone else.  Now, if I can just make sure that I understand what the other person is trying to say, even if they have to get through some incredibly thick fibro fog. The other party has every right to be annoyed at me for doing this.

Since  I mentioned something with an emotional impact, and this is a case where I’m not sure I understood the emotions the other person was trying to convey, I might as well go on to the topic of physical hugs.   I let people do it because it is important to them. I’m not getting anything out of it, unless they manage to press on the wrong part of my skin.  If they do that, I’ll feel a physical sensation, and the expression of pain sometimes makes others feel guilty. (And I feel bad after these occasions)  I’ve gotten over my phobia over hugs, which I think came that being touched was a constant reminder that my body was wrong.

And the final thing on my mind, before I go to the dentist’s office are web site accessibility issues. I wonder if there were changes that could make them more easily accessible. It’s not a pressing issue right now.  I thought about having each article read aloud and making the audio accessible, but I’m not sure that would solve the problem. As for potential designs favoring left-handed users, such a thing would be unintentional, even if it existed.

Now, I’m off to the dentist. It’d have been nice to have my wisdom teeth pulled by now, but at least they’ve stopped hurting.  For some reason, the dental company doesn't think teeth extractions would be a necessary part of dental care.

sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 People who are socialized as male – whether they are male or not – are taught to keep most of their feelings to themselves. They are expected to display three feelings at most. Anger, joy and a null state of emotions are all society allows. Feminists decry this as one way the patriarchy harms men, but I am not going to use their language, even if I am using their arguments.  However, transition is in many ways a life-changing experience. While I would not give up what I have gained in the past few years, it is also important to note that I have lost things in the process as well.   Sometimes, however, transgender people do not take advantage of what they have gained, even though they should. Being able to display feelings more openly is one advantage of transition that does not take place easily.  Hormones do not change a lifetime of societally-enforced behavior. Even if someone can show their emotions more freely, it does not mean that they will. Crying might be one of the biggest examples of this.

Men are taught not to cry, or if they do, not to do it openly. Special circumstances, such as the death of a loved one, grant an exception.  Since starting HRT, I’ve found that tears come more easily, especially if it’s something that makes me sad, like hearing of the death of someone’s pet.  Last night, was one of those occasions.  Even though I can cry more freely and openly, I felt the need to hide my tears, because that is what I have always done.

HRT caused many changes, physical, social and emotional.  One of the more difficult ones I faced was experiencing a greater range of emotions at first. (Of course, there was also a childish glee at having breasts, something I wish would have subsided much sooner than it did.)  Even the way I felt anger changed.  It is not the expression of normally repressed emotions; it’s expressed because I have reasons to be angry.

And I must admit I’ve experienced a greater range of mixed emotions, although they are not necessarily contradictory. Perhaps the most recent example is finding out I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis.  While I’m not pleased about this, I was happy that it wasn’t what I feared. In fact, I felt like celebrating because the news was considerably less bad than I feared. (If German doesn’t have a word for this, it should. It’d probably be a variation of schadenfreude.)  I also have mixed feelings about being referred to a physical therapist. I’m afraid, excited, and filled with a desire to waste as much of Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shields funds as possible for all the crap that they’ve put me through when not covering my estradiol in the past. There’s also a desire to use as many of Indiana’s resources as possible because of their failure to provide adequate safety nets.  Experiencing an array of emotions over a situation is something I rarely experienced presenting as male. I might have once, but my peers, bullies and other quickly taught me that emotions were bad things to have.

As I go through the process of learning to be female, an experience I was denied, I find myself questioning whether I should be hiding this. People may state something if I become too emotionally charged, or view me as overly emotional, but they won’t openly ridicule me.  Women may do a lot of things behind the scenes that I do not understand or know about, and this, unfortunately, is also part of the learning process, and because it’s a social skill, I’m not sure I’ll ever learn it fully.  Maybe one day I’ll even be okay with openly crying rather than trying to hide it.  [Spoiler Alert!] At least for the moment, I’m glad no one saw me cry when Tris’s mother gave up her life for her in Divergent.

[Hmm... I wonder if I should post this on my Blogspot blog.]

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