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  • #407802
    Janus
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Happy October Anita wishing you a great month</p>
     

     

    #407801
    Janus
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Happy October Anita, wishing you a great month</p>

    #407797
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Sending healing and positive thoughts to the child identifying as a transmale. hoping that their parents will provide them support and kindness as they work on their journey in discovering themselves.  Having family support for transgender children can help them lower than anxiety and depression. Since transgender people experience bullying and hateful violence, having supportive family might allow them to build mental resilience and lower their traumatic experiences. Parents provide stable foundations for children to grow and learn skills as they prepare to go out into the world and having a supportive base might help boost a child’s self-esteem more to express themselves. Oftentimes if transgender people are in unsupportive homes and they are getting bullied in school, they may start to internalize feelings of trauma and develop high levels of anxiety and depression. Sadly, many parents don’t accept their child’s gender identity as transgender and this leads to transgender people having higher suicide rates 43% compared to other members of the lgbtq community. Although, parental support will not cause  transgender people to not develop anxiety or depression  it can go a long way in reducing the anxiety levels and feelings of internal trauma transgender people may face. Currently there have been parent support groups for parents who are working on understanding how their children feel as they are working on their gender identity. Parents may feel confused, isolated, in denial, angry or accepting. These differences are based on the parents’ main beliefs and values and some may be more accepting than others. Transgender people who feel comfortable talking with their parents develop better relationships with them and tend to be more self-confident when socially transitioning. When socially transitioning, the transgender person will ask to be identified by their preferred pronouns he/they for transmales, she/her for transfemales and they/them for nonbinary and other gendernonconforming individuals. Studies have shown that transgender people experience a significant improvement in their mental health when socially accepted and they have people use their preferred pronouns. During the time of social transitioning, the transgender person may start to live as their gender identity. this time they tend to have high gender dysphoria because they feel discomfort with their physical bodies that don’t match their gender identity. But during this time, counseling is very important for the parents and the person identifying as transgender to help them with their mental health. Sometimes during this socially transitioning process as they come out to friends, family and school and if they have a supportive environment they are likely to have lower suicide rates. However, transgender people still deal with discrimination since 20-40% of transgender youth often find themselves homeless due to lack of family support and being kicked out of their homes. That’s why some transgender people choose to stay in the closet and not tell their family but this can have long term negative effects on their mental health because they are not being able to express their feelings and they will later have higher risks of depression. this is why it’s important to support transgender people and be compassionate to them.

     

    Binders are made of nylon which can help bind and compress things. They help ease the gender dysphoria for transmales. But nylon traps heat so in the summer months it can be hot when wearing a binder. wearing a loose cotton shirt can help because the loose cotton shirt allows air to pass and helps the person feel cooler. most binders have a nylon layer for binding and a cotton layer for comfort. gc2b is a company that sells binders for transmales. wearing a binder can significantly improve mental health and alleviate gender dysphoria. Some transmales wear trans tape when they go swimming because it’s less restrictive but trans tape sometimes sticks to skin after long periods because of sweat so it can be hard to remove which is why having baby oil can help remove it. trans tape is mostly used by transmales who don’t have a large chest size whereas chest binders are used by all transmales and sometimes nonbinary identifying people to make their bodies appear not in a binary gender.

     

    Puberty blockers are used for transgender people who have not reached puberty yet. Many psychologists believe that the child starts to acknowledge their gender at age 5 which is the youngest someone can identify as transgender. When someone is younger than 18 and identifies as transgender, doctors may prescribe puberty blockers to stop or slow the onset of puberty so the person doesn’t develop the sexual differentiate characteristics at puberty for biological males or biological females. Puberty blockers allow the child to develop and consider whether they still want to continue with the transition as they get older. If they do, then doctors may refer them to a gender therapist who helps them work our mental health issues and a writes them a note to visit a nurse practitioner to get lab tests and blood work to see how much hormone levels are in the body and how much they should have. For biological males, they have about 70mg of testosterone in their bodies and when getting the lab done with blood work, a transmale will have their doctor prescribe hormone therapy with testosterone injections to raise their testosterone levels in their body to 70mg which is average for a biological male. Testosterone is a steroid hormone meaning it is lipid soluble and can cross cell membranes easily. Testosterone acts on target receptors in the cell and it gets carried throughout the body via the bloodstream. Testosterone can boost energy, help improve bone density, raise blood pressure (so people feel less cold which can be a good thing, but too much can cause feeling too hot in summer), and weight redistribution (meaning that it helps redistribute fat on hips to other parts of the body and helps tone things making it easier to build muscle),. Testosterone also results in a voice cracking as the voice becomes more deeper pitched, and it allows for secondary male sex characteristics such as facial hair. Most transgender males who get on testosterone feel improved mental health and are much happier.

     

    A gender-nonconformist is a person who has a creative gender expression not following set societal rules of binary female or male. instead of being pink or blue, they tend to be purple and enjoy being outside the box expressing their creativity.

     

    Books are quite fun to relax and read. I have been reading more books about herbs like chamomile, basil, peppermint, marigold, pennyroyal, queen annes  lace and other medicinal herbs. nature is filled with quite amazing things.

    Sometimes I still have memories that I repressed come back that haven’t healed and I find myself doubting myself again. But I take a breath and enjoy nature, study the environment and learn the cool geography and it helps me enjoy the little things. and i am starting to not beat myself up for things that i couldn’t control or didn’t do well. i’m starting to rebuild and work on learning ways to speak up for myself even though it’s still hard and sometimes i still feel like i am not the best at setting healthy boundaries. i do have some regrets about things but i realized that i didn’t really make the best decisions at the time because i was so lost and didn’t know myself. i tried to work through what i thought would be something that would be helpful for me but in the end i started realizing that i was chasing after things without really taking a step back to fully reflect on me and now i’m starting to enjoy nature, studying things along the way and rebuilding myself and healing.

     

     

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.643823/full

     

    https://transequality.org/issues/housing-homelessness

    #406370
    Janus
    Participant

    More to add:

    Studies show that transgender people are 15% more likely to develop eating disorders like anorexia or restrictive eating because of trauma from not being valued as their gender identity (eating disorders hope). Many transgender people develop eating disorders as unhealthy coping mechanisms as a way to control how their bodies look. Transmales might limit food intake, steadily avoiding certain foods until it becomes very restrictive and they become anorexic as they try to look more masculine whereas transfemales might eat more trying to look more feminine. Sometimes labeling the anxiety as gender dysphoria makes it more prominent and it’s often very difficult to cope with the feeling of not belonging in one’s body. The discomfort may be quite intense that labeling it just makes it worse. But having a label can be helpful because it allows people to better understand where to look for resources to help. People can identify as transgender at any age and some people might realize it at younger stages than others based on what access to information about gender knowledge they have. For some people who are questioning their gender identity, many gender therapists tell the person to work out internal trauma first so they have a better sense of self because internalized trauma can have negative effects on people’s health. Once people work through shadow work and heal with therapy, lgbtq support groups, reiki, yoga, or other things they start to reevaluate things. then the gender therapist talks about how they feel if they are more comfortable as another gender than the sex they were born as. Transgender people will often say they feel more comfortable as the opposite gender from their biological sex. The gender therapist might ask the person to join local trans groups and meet other trans people to hear their experiences and better understand things. The gender therapist might ask the person to present as their gender identity in a safe space over time like a year to see how they feel. In my case, I was very happy using he/him pronouns for a year at stockton university and being a guy while helping out at the farm. I learned a lot about toxic masculinity and how people sometimes fall into the trap and learned that men can be creative, they don’t have to be strong or muscular, they don’t have to look like a bodybuilder and they can be compassionate. My lgbtq friends at stockton university have been looking on gc2b a place that sells transgender binders to help bind the chest. The gc2b binders are designed for trans people and are good quality. They sometimes give free raffles for binders and they last quite long and are quite comfortable. Trans tape binds the chest too and is often used by transmales when going outside like swimming where a binder can be restrictive. Some trans tape varieties are much better than others but there’s always the potential of the trans tape getting stuck on skin so many trans people recommend using baby oil to help loosen the tape and then letting it dry to reuse. Most trans tapes can only be used for a week before they start fraying and need to be thrown out. Binders tend to last longer but the nylon for binding along with the cotton layer sometimes traps heat so it can be quite hot in summer months which is why “binder breaks” are recommended to let skin cool. Trans tape is more breathable and can be used during workouts but it’s advisable to remove binders when working out because sometimes  the binder will stretch and not bind as well.

    Many doctors will prescribe puberty blockers for people under 18 who feel like they don’t identify with the gender of their birth sex. Puberty blockers stop the onset of puberty so that the person won’t develop secondary sex characteristics like that of breasts for females or have facial hair like males. The effects aren’t permanent and they allow the person to grow up, learn more about things before making decisions.

    Testosterone will make a person’s voice deeper. The average make has 70mg of testosterone so when transmales decide to go on testosterone they do bloodwork to determine how much testosterone they need and that will be safe for them because excess testosterone can sometimes be converted to estrogen. Likewise, transmales will be more likely to have temperature fluctuations because of more blood cells and more likelihood of building muscle mass so they might feel hotter especially in the summer months. With careful moderation of testosterone there won’t be much of risks for heart attacks or strokes, also eating a balanced diet helps. Testosterone might make a person feel hungrier so it’s important to plan meals ahead of time because if cooking while hungry then people eat more leading to more belly fat. Some changes that are permanent include infertility and vaginal dryness because the testosterone interferes with the ovaries ability to produce estrogen. Some doctors ask transmales if they want to preserve their eggs before going on testosterone because they won’t be able to have kids after about six weeks on testosterone. But freezing their eggs can give transmales more gender dysphoria because they have to take more estrogen to allow their bodies to release the eggs to be collected and since most transmales don’t really plan to have kids they don’t go with this option. Furthermore, testosterone does boost energy and libido which can make a person happier but it won’t have deep side effects like change your personality so much. For example a shy person might feel more upbeat at meeting new people but they won’t automatically become an extrovert. And testosterone has been shown to cause mood swings which is why gender therapists often have transmales check in every now and then to check things. However, most of the time transmales are happy when they start testosterone because it makes them feel like they are starting to have their bodies match their gender identity. Most transmales starting testosterone will experience a boost in self-esteem because they feel better about themselves.

    I feel that you are a gender-nonconformist. Since you don’t hate being female but you enjoy being with the guys more than the females. I feel that everyone has a degree of gender polarity since gender is a spectrum and people tend to have different views sometimes leaning more towards one gender than the other.

    Sadly my mom wasn’t really appreciated by her grandmother because she was born in fuzhou, china in the 1960s and they valued men more.

    The lgbtq community isn’t really talked about much in asian cultures but it exists. mulan has been a great inspiration for the trans community and there are some stories believing mulan might be transgender. My parents haven’t been the best teachers, often getting impatient with not learning things the first time. They aren’t very emotionally supportive probably because in asian cultures mental health isn’t really talked about as much, it’s still quite has a stigma. Which is why there are often repressed feelings in asian families that carry on to their children and they carry the hurt. My gender therapist gave me a book titled “healing the shame that binds you” and it talks about how shame can be passed down and entrenched in generations of family members and how children can work on healing and breaking the cycle. I love to learn about reiki, meditation and enjoying nature, medicinal plants and feel like i’m working on healing things. I’ve let go of some of the shame from being hurt and things and forgave myself. In my trauma making not the best of decisions, repressing emotions, dissociating from the world not really acknowledging emotions because i was taught to repress them and now healing uncovering things.

    Hugs Anita. Thanks for all your insights

    #406358
    Janus
    Participant

     

     

    Dear Anita

     

     

    Transgender people have faced the stigma of identifying as transgender as being a mental illness since 1994 when the DSM-III (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders) listed  it as a “gender identity disorder.” (Washington post). The term disorder in mental health tends to lead some people to believe that a person doesn’t fit into the normal order of things and cannot function as a normal person thinks; which has lead to much negative views on how people view of transgender people. However, many transgender activists have fought for trans rights saying that identifying as transgender isn’t a mental illness that impacts a person’s cognitive abilities. Many transgender people once they have transitioned into the gender they identify as feel gender euphoria which is the feeling of a sense of elatedness finally connecting with their body. Being transgender just means that the person’s mind feels that they are a gender identity other than the sex they are born as. Trans is latin meaning “opposite ” so transgender means a person who identifies as a gender opposite of their birth sex. Sex is the biological traits people are born as with females and males. Females produce eggs, can have children, and have wider hips than males who have sperm and cannot have children and grow facial hair as secondary sex characteristics because of testosterone rise in puberty while females develop breasts and start menstruation at puberty. Sex is determined by chromosomes while gender is how people identify. If a person born biological sexed girl identifies as a girl in her gender identity then she is cisgender meaning her gender identity matches her birth sex. Cis is latin for “same” so cisgender refers to people whose gender identity matches their birth sex.

     

    If a person identifies as male in gender identity but biologically sexed female then they are a transmale.

     

    Similarly if a person identifies as female but biologically born male, they are a transmale.

     

    In 2013, the DSM was revised and now the version DSM-IV no longer has transgender in as a mental illness, instead the intense anxiety and discomfort transgender people feel over their bodies called “gender dysphoria ” is now in the manual. Because many transgender people function well in society after they transition, being transgender is no longer seen as a mental illness but rather as a way people identify. The DSM-IV classifies gender dysphoria as a feeling of discomfort varying in intensity between people who identify as transgender. Some transgender people might experience extreme gender dysphoria over parts of their body that they feel don’t correspond to their gender identity. Such as a transmale will experience gender dysphoria over their breasts, hips, thighs because they don’t look masculine enough. One step in expressing their gender identity is social transitioning when they ask friends, schoolmates, or family to call them by a chosen name that better reflects their gender identity. During the social transitioning process, the transgender person might ask others to use different pronouns to indicate their gender identity. A transmale may start asking people to use he/him pronouns while a transfemale may ask a people to use she/her pronouns.

     

    Lately they/them pronouns have been added to merriam websters dictionary to refer to a singular person as well as a group. For some transgender people who have unsupportive family members they may ask their friends to use they/them pronouns as a safe guard. They/them pronouns are used by transgender people and nonbinary people. transgender people encompasses nonbinary people and gender-nonconforming people in the community because transgender is a wide term to describe a person whose gender identity doesn’t match society expectations or the sex they were born as. So in essence, transgender is a catch-all for everyone who doesn’t fit into the binary box of female and male. There are many different gender identities.

     

    Some include:

     

    -Transgender (a catch-all term for people whose gender identity doesn’t match their biological sex)

     

    -Neutrois (a french term meaning gender-neutral for someone who doesn’t identify as masculine or feminine)

     

    – gender-noncomforming (a person who doesn’t follow societal expectations of gender)

     

    -agender (a person who doesn’t identify as any gender)

     

    – gender fluid (a person who exhibits both masculine and feminine traits and can change depending on how they feel)

     

    -gender-neutral (a person who likes dressing as neither gender and enjoys the benefits of both)

     

    -Nonbinary (a person who doesn’t follow gender roles in society, sometimes people questioning their gender identity will identify as this until they explore more)

     

     

    Also in the gender identity community are intersex people who were born with extra or missing  sex chromosomes and have characteristics of both male and female sex. an intersex person might have both ovaries and testes for instance. Intersex is fairly rare, about 1.7 % of the population and most individuals are sterile (american progress).

     

     

    Sadly society tends to think that people who don’t fit into the gender identity of society sometimes have a disorder but with more awareness things have changed. Transgender rights is becoming more common with people like Elliot Page, Laverne Cox, and Chaz Bono helping promote activism. Many transgender people seek to medically transition to alleviate their gender dysphoria and it can significantly improve their self-esteem. The transgender community has high risks of suicide compared to other people in the lgbtq community at 43%. Transgender  people have been around in history; sumerian and akkadian texts from 4500 years ago document priests who were likely to be transgender (Wikipedia).

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #405990
    Janus
    Participant

    Also I discovered through spending time with support groups it helped me better understand myself.. I had long held toxic masculinity beliefs that I had to be strong, athletic to be a guy. I didn’t really like myself because I was taught with some of the people who bullied me that guys were strong and athletic. I enjoyed playing sports and still do. But it took me lots of time to realize that trying to be a version of masculinity and trying to fit into a box wasn’t healthy. I was very dysphoric about the curves on my body and thought that if I worked out hard enough, spent more time with the guys bodybuilding it would make me more masculine. I still bind my chest with a chest binder from gc2b which sells binders for trans people and they are very comfortable. I feel less dysphoria with my chest binder on. It took me lots of time to realize how I fell for an idealized version of what it feels like to be a guy. Now I’m growing being grateful for what my body can do, I love working on yoga for relieving stress. I believe that the soul doesn’t have a gender and people are souls living in bodies. But some people as they are incarnates on the earth living might have some polarities towards masculine or feminine and I definitely feel more masculine. But I realize that guys don’t have to be muscular or strong, they can cry, they can be creative. And that trying to throw my health away to fit into what I felt was toxic masculinity wasn’t great.

    Been trans is about living in myself, being authentic, challenging societal boxes that don’t fit my gender identity. I feel like I’ve come quite a long way towards growing and understanding myself and learning to embrace things.

     

    #405989
    Janus
    Participant

     

     

    Dear Anita

     

     

    I never really felt that I belonged in the gender binary. When I was growing up, I didn’t really care whether the actions I did were masculine or feminine as society tried to place on them. When I was in elementary school, I was a brownie girlscout (first level of girlscouts) and the troop often raised funds by selling cookies to go camping. The girls in my troop often teased me because I would enjoy coed games and often play with the boys. I felt more comfortable playing with the guys. My parents came from fuzhou, a place close to southeastern china and I was born in the United States. My family coming from Asia didn’t really have access to much information about gender and for quite some time I wasn’t really sure why I never really seemed to fit in with the girls. On the camping trips with the girlscout troop, I would go out and climb trees and catch frogs with the boys. When I got to middle school, my gym class would always play girls against boys and I felt more welcomed by the boys so I played with them. In sixth grade, I got called a “tomboy” but I didn’t really like that label because I felt that I was equal to the guys. I also felt more comfortable going into the boy’s bathroom than the girls and some people used to make fun of me for it. It was during the summer before starting seventh grade when I had my hair cut short and a mailman called me “sir” I felt elated like something fell into place, it made me laugh. It was second semester of seventh grade when I was sexually assaulted by a guy. I became quite depressed and lost my self-esteem,  I  didn’t really trust guys as much and was very confused about things. I couldn’t believe a guy would try to coerce me into showing my chest to him and he showed me his genitals. It made me deeply hurt. I was grateful to have met griffin a few weeks later who helped me learn to love and trust again. griffin made me laugh with his jokes and we would play soccer or field hockey together. I was grateful for griffin who helped me defend myself when that guy tried to hurt me again. I made friends with all of griffin’s friends and they made me feel better about myself. There was a gay-straight alliance at my middle school and they had allies for lgbtq people and I decided to join the group. But the group members weren’t really accepting of me. They made fun of me for the way I dressed because I liked dark colors and looser clothing to help hide my body. There was one person in the group that I liked, their name was bec leo. people called them a tomboy but I felt they didn’t like it much. We became good friends after I thought they (using they because bec leo identifies with he/they ) were a boy and told them they were handsome. They said that they always felt like they were a boy but was born a girl. At that instant hearing bec leo say that, it was as if something clicked. I told them that I admired them and felt the same way but wasn’t really sure how to express it. in eighth grade, I had a friend named elisha who i liked but she turned out not to be a good person. she would sometimes tell my secrets to other people and would put me down. i did tell her that i didn’t like my body and connected with the guys more and elisha embraced it and said “that’s great, you do you.” I also told her not to tell anyone because I was still trying to figure out why I felt happier with the guys and being a guy. But she told griffin and griffin was quite shocked to hear about it and we took time off our friendship/relationship. But after sometime griffin said he was proud of me for being myself and we renewed our friendship/relationship. I became very depressed in high school in junior and senior year. I liked my high school lgbtq group more because the counselor named diane was very supportive and helped me with my anxiety. she had a self-help book and i started doing more research on gender identity and discovered susan’s palace where i could talk with people about me not being sure about my gender and not really fitting with the girls. susan’s palace for transgender people was the first place i started gathering resources about people who felt they didn’t belong in the gender binary. I found the term transgender and it meant someone who identifies as a gender outside of societal masculine and feminine roles. Also, transgender is a common term used for people whose gender identity doesn’t match their birth (biological) sex. I felt that I had found something that fit and made me feel more aware about myself. At first, exploring on the site I felt I might be nonbinary (nonbinary is also a branch of the transgender community) just not really identifying as feminine but not really sure about masculine either. I tried presenting as nonbinary for a time not really caring for societal expectations of gender. I didn’t really feel like I was nonbinary though because I identified more with the guys. So I left susan’s palace and tried finding more resources. I was curious about whether people who weren’t comfortable with their bodies would undergo surgery. So I spent time looking at sex reassignment surgery and that was when I started learning about gender dysphoria and how some people have anxiety over parts of their bodies and some change it with surgery. I felt that gender dysphoria fit because I was struggling with my body a lot at the time especially my chest. When I started reading more into it, I discovered that sex reassignment surgery is an outdated term and has been replaced with gender affirming surgery. People who identify as transgender often seek gender affirming surgery to help with their gender dysphoria. Gender affirming surgery requires a therapist note and for the individual to have lived a year as their gender identity along with the hormones that they were prescribed for their transition. So the person would have to be on hormones (either testosterone for trans guys or estrogen for trans females) and live as their gender identity for a year before undergoing gender affirming surgery.

     

    when I started community college, the lgbtq community was amazing and they had a trans guy as their president. I spent some time with him and he helped me a lot. I struggled with anorexia from junior year of high school to my community college years because I had so much gender dysphoria over my body. Many trans guys do develop eating disorders, it’s not quite uncommon for trans guys to become anorexic to look more masculine and try to build muscle. It was very difficult struggling with anorexia and the feeling that I wasn’t really masculine enough. I graduated community college and went on to stockton. I had a gender therapist who was very helpful and joined the transcendence group at stockton which helped me work on things. My therapist and the support groups helped me heal from anorexia. I also discovered the facebook group binder boys and made friends with the trans people there. I met liam in binder boys who helped me through the depression and believe in myself. also, ashley has been an amazing friend since community college and is still helping encourage me. at community college and stockton, I was able to express myself more and I lived as a guy and found it made me happier. I still struggled because my parents weren’t ever emotionally supportive and I didn’t really have healthy ways to cope with my emotions. But being at stockton is great because i have found friends who help me work through things. Liam and ashley helped me work through things and we had therapy together. Now at stockton, helping out at the farm with my friends christine and nicola i realize i love nature. learning about sustainability which is about a system that can go on without depleting the resources it’s going off on is fascinating. I love learning about the earth and wildlife which is why I decided to pursue biology and environmental science. christine and nicola have further helped me learn to channel my emotions and i love painting with them and going on nature hikes with them. I have accepted myself as trans and worked through lots of toxic beliefs and although I struggle with anxiety at times I feel more connected with myself and I love working in nature. The trans support group at stockton and living as a guy for a year made me feel happy and I felt like I found a place of belonging. Also, working on the farm is awesome helping with planting vegetables and fruits

     

     

     

     

     

    #405240
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

     

    Glad to hear from you.

    when i was really struggling and not really sure where to go in life, liam encouraged me to talk about my gender dysphoria with him and it was helpful working through things. he made me laugh and believe in myself again when i felt like gender dysphoria was eating me away. ashley helped encourage me to go outside more and spend time in nature. I am glad that she encouraged me to go try the sustainable agriculture class. I am still healing from some things but thinking that I am building more clarity in life.

    Sustainable agriculture is fascinating helping with soil health. A lot of the conventional agriculture uses tilling that destroys top soil and limits ability to regrow crops as it removes soil nutrients. No-till is part of sustainable agriculture where the land isn’t plowed but a tarp is used to kill the grass then the dead matter (grass and other weeds) is allowed to go into the soil using a tilther to move the dead, grass loosening the soil. Then the soil is loosened and a tractor is used (the sustainable farm at stockton has an electric tractor) to make the fields ready for planting. My favorite part is collecting compost in wheelbarrows to lay over the fields as nutrients for plants, it makes me feel grounded, connected with the earth. Sustainable agriculture also helps with providing and managing resources well so that they are still available for future generations use. The stockton sustainable farm collects rainwater to help water the plants. I feel that sustainability is important since the earth is a beautiful planet that needs to have resources protected. If conventional farmers used many pesticides that harmed other wildlife and might pose risk to human health then it would be quite sad. Also using less pesticides reduces costs that go into buying the pesticides and those costs could be saved for other things. I love being outdoors in the stockton farm learning how to grow squash, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, garlic, and helping with the greenhouses. I feel I have learned a lot about nutrition and the value of quality of food. Also I have learned about the dust bowl in my sustainable agriculture class and how farmers plowed their lands and the wind blew the soil around because there was no topsoil covering. Sustainable agriculture and ecology have been my two favorite classes at stockton. I loved learning about the wildlife interactions in the environment and how human interactions can harm or help nature.

    I thought I had to chase money and go into genetic engineering or medical field to be able to support myself. I was very afraid that if I dropped biochemistry to pursue biology for a time that I wouldn’t be able to go learn about medicinal herbs because one school that I wanted to apply to after stockton required biochemistry degree. But after more searching I found some other ways to learn about plants and human health. The stockton farm decided to plant hemp to make bracelets to sell to fundraise for cancer one time and it was awesome. I realized that I could still help contribute to plants research for human health and preserve the environment being a biology major. Also, biology degree had many more options working outside like the ecology class that I took and explored how trees help the earth. There were some sustainable things like nature reserves volunteer opportunities that were open to environmental science people so I decided to add environmental science too. The two degrees biology and environmental science are very versatile, I can learn about the living things in the environment and also environmental science provides me tools to go outside and explore.

    I feel much better pursuing something that sparks joy in my heart and even though it might not earn as much as genetics or medicine it’s still lots of fun.

     

     

    #405239
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Hope that you had a good rest for Tuesday night. I was quite restless Tuesday night and stayed up late. My parents restaurant that I helped out with was very busy and rushing to fill orders was a bit stressful. I found myself thinking about memories and people and you came into my mind. It is helpful posting on tinybuddha writing things out to help release some tension.

    #405230
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

     

    I was just thinking about you 🙂 hope that you had a good new year. hope that you are well.

    I struggled so much spring 2020 going back to school studies after spending time at home and had to withdraw from my classes to take a mental health break. I spent time with a trans support group and made some great friends that helped me. It was quite tough because I felt like I wanted to give up at that time but my friend ashley and another trans friend liam helped me by talking with me about my gender dysphoria. I spent time in nature, enjoying the trails and decided to take a sustainability farm class in fall 2021 and it was lots of fun. I have continued to work on the farm helping plant vegetables and fruit trees. I realize that I love nature and being outside. I decided to do double degrees: biology (less stressful then biochemistry with less labwork) and environmental science. The two degrees work quite well together and I enjoy the internship opportunities for them especially since there’s many opportunities to work outdoors. however, it’s still a bit hard for me at times because the memories i held back are coming back and working through them. i repressed them for quite long working on just surviving so now i’m acknowledging many memories letting go, forgiving things. i still struggle with trying to understand myself at times because of many years hiding emotions from emotionally unsupporting parents but working on reconnecting with myself. It’s hard for me to learn things sometimes because i’ve been protecting myself for so long so sometimes I shake when learning new things and i feel a bit distressed because sometimes other people understand the things that i’m still working on. what i really want to work on, and am struggling with is communicating my emotions because i feel like even though i can talk about them i’m not sure i am expressing them adequately. i still feel like whenever i talk with authority figures like my academic advisors about things even though i do communicate things with them sometimes they aren’t understanding things and it makes me sad. Maybe it’s because I’m not really sure if I’m getting my point across to them. I don’t know how to explain to my academic advisors that I spent so much time chasing things that I had interests in but later realized didn’t make me happy on the inside so now I’m taking extra school time to plan things out and rebuild things growing plants, enjoying nature following my heart. Although they just see it as me taking more time in school dawdling i feel like i’m taking the classes that i should have taken long ago had i known that this was what i wanted. i love studying living things in nature and helping preserve it so biology and environmental science fit well together. it is a bit stressful doing two degrees though. but i find that the environmental classes are lots of fun. I just wish that I could work on communicating things better with my advisors about things but it is a bit hard.

     

    Thanks for checking up on me. Hugs

    #362072
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    The court case was moved to June 24th and it went okay, the prosecutor helped me work on things and discuss it with the judge. I have been actively involved with the LGBTQ community online and found many good friends. The month of June went by quite quickly with good weather that wasn’t too hot but July is quite warm. The thunderstorms in July are helpful in keeping the weather cool though. I often go outside in nature to relax a bit and I talk with friends. I still feel anxious about things at times and sometimes I just need a break but I think that I’m managing. Thank you so much for all your encouragement. Lately I’ve been debating about my career path because I love nature and it would be fun to go into environmental science but I feel like I’ve been studying Biochemistry for three years and have some resumes and things set up already and I think Biochemistry makes more money and I will be able to save up money for good healthcare and transitioning. The quarantine has helped me be out in nature collecting plants and using them as nutritional herbal teas and I find that I enjoy being out in nature more than being in a lab. I love hearing the birds singing and the quiet peaceful atmosphere of the woods. That’s why I love the atmosphere at Stockton with the woods near by and I have been thinking that if I decide to work in a lab or hospital I want a place with lots of nature. I am currently feeling conflicted about how to have both science studies and nature as part of my career. I thought maybe of studying environmental biology and learning about the environment and plants and that sounds like fun. But I also want to work on building plants for medicine and I think that Biochemistry is more helpful. So I’m just wondering if there’s a way to be able to find a good career with nature and medicine which will help me become financially independent. Thank you and hope you have a good week ahead.

    #358594
    Janus
    Participant

    I wrote a poem:

     

    Friendship Lights the Way Home poem:

    Home is where friends are in the heart

    Staring out into the night, the vast darkness seems to engulf me in fear and I find myself lost again

    Then I see the stars shining bright illuminating my way and I feel the warmth of friendship lighting my way

    Stretching my arms out into the heavens, I give my friends the biggest hug as they help me embrace the flaws within me, helping me heal and feel whole

    I’ve not always been the best person but the miles with friends make life beautiful and I learn to forgive myself for my mistakes

    Friends give me a reason to live and feel like I’m home in the world when I lose my place

    Looking at the stars twinkling, I am guided again by light to shine upon my negative thoughts and heal

    I stretch my arms out and learn to dance and laugh with life’s beat all because of friends like you who uplift my soul

    And the pains of anxiety that can be hard to bear at times seem to fall away as I’m with friends who help me me with each step

    Whatever road I take I know I’ll be okay because I have friends to help me along the way

    And I find myself learning to forgive my fragmented parts and embrace the light with your encouragement

    You’re a great friend who makes life beautiful

    And I find myself no matter what road traveling on, I have peace because friends are like home in the heart giving peace and making me feel like I belong

    And when I feel like I’m not enough, your positivity keeps me going and I find my wings again to fly towards my dreams

    I’m making my way back home to follow my heart’s dreams with your encouragement and I am blessed to have a friend like you.

    May your heart beat on the path towards your life’s purpose friend and may you shine like a star during the dark nights

    May anything that burdens you physically, emotionally or mentally be lifted and you fly away light upon the winds to touch the warmth of the sun and let it dissolve any stubborn negative blocks in your heart

    May you be healed and always know that you are special and may the places you go be filled with positivity

    There is no fear in the spirit that loves and I love you friend, thanks for being who you are

    Dance to the beat of your soul and keep striving along the roads of life and believe that you are going home.

    #358586
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Hope you are well. I have a virtual (online) court case for a ticket I received on February 24th (coronavirus has pushed court dates back) Wednesday. I wrote a statement explaining what happened so that I would be able to testify in court. I know that I am guilty and will say that in court and pay the fines, the reason I want to testify and make a statement is so that I won’t have points on my driving record. I want to make a plea bargain of paying more cost so that I won’t have points on my license or if the judge rules that I will get points on my license because the ticket I received on February 24th was for careless driving I want to suggest that I take a driving course to improve my driving skills and maybe that will soften the sentence. I looked at the violations and careless driving is usually 2-3 points and I’m hoping to not incur points on my license because I drive a lot to places like school on my own since my parents work, I have to work on driving on my own and I try to avoid getting traffic violations as much as I can. I am a pretty safe driver but occasionally my anxiety gets to me when I see a road closed off and sometimes I make mistakes but I always learn from them.

    Since this is my first court case and it’s online, I have been reading some things on njcourts.gov, but  I still feel a bit nervous. If you have some advice it would be greatly appreciated. For reference here is the statement that I wrote: “Sorry, I live in Brick and just started school at Stockton University. On February 24th, I was driving home from college on County Road 539 and I saw the cones and road work sign. At first, I followed the cones to drive until the roadwork area almost passed and I saw a black car on the opposite lane and since the sun was very bright off my glasses that I wear to drive, I didn’t see clearly and thought the car was moving. I was afraid that I would hit the car and decided to swerve into the cones and wait until the car passed and then drive back out. ”

     

    Thank you and have a good week ahead!

    #358332
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you for organizing all the words over the years in the forum, reading over them helps me feel a sense of where I am in life because I had been feeling lost within myself. Chloe’s book about working on training the mind through meditation seems interesting, I have been meditating mornings and nights and it is helpful. I still feel anxious about things and feel lightheaded and have upset stomachs at times, but I find myself being able to read some books when before I was too anxious to focus on reading now I can read some books. I find myself whenever I feel really lost in life and not sure if I’m going in the right direction or even if what I’m going for fits me it’s helpful to post on the forum and also find funny memes on Facebook that make me laugh. The quarantine has given me time to spring clean around the house and I’ve been donating things as well as selling some things, I hope to save some more money for therapist appointments when the quarantine is over and I can meet my gender therapist in person. This forum is helpful for me because sometimes when I’m lost in anxiety and trying to hide my emotions I feel like I’m losing myself and I am grateful to be able to talk about my emotions and put them in words so that I have them before the panic attack comes and things aren’t clear. These days with my LGBTQ friends (one of them is great at working through panic attacks) and they have been helping me work on not fighting the panick attacks but acknowledging them and then taking time to rest. There are  times when the panick attacks are more like memories that I thought I had forgotten but really are just repressed come up and I find myself becoming lost in them. I am working on not getting lost in the memories and being able to take the lessons that they teach, I think there’s a lot for me to heal on the inside. I still think that the scars won’t fully heal until I’m financially independent and out of my parents house. These days I feel like I’m going within to work on myself through meditation because I’m still feeling really annoyed and anxious about my body on the outside and that’s what’s causing me distress. I want to work on building myself up within and help myself be more confident in myself because of my parents criticisms I tend to doubt many things about myself. I still feel the need to hide my true self around my parents and the online community helps me work on myself and understand who I am when I feel numb or lost. These days there are some times when I feel lost and wonder about the meaning of life and sometimes I just wish for a day without anxiety but I think that there will always be anxiety and some scars are harder to heal than others. I find that reiki healing helps me with my disordered eating and just listening to my body, it’s still really difficult at times though and sometimes even though I know that Ive ate healthy or had enough exercise I still feel anxious. The main thing I’ve been working on is trying to manage my anxiety and gender dysphoria so that I don’t feel like it’s quicksand pulling me down deeper each day so that I can work on finding ways to save money for therapist appointments. My parents don’t really understand mental health and I don’t think that they really care much to acknowledge it so sometimes I feel alone working on mental health. Most of my anxiety comes from my parents not accepting of me but at times when it is safe I still do what makes me feel better. Another thing for my anxiety is that I feel like I have to learn all the life skills myself because my parents aren’t patient teachers and it just seems overwhelming at times. Thank you so much for your time and hope things are well.

    #357574
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I have been having muscle aches and pains and sometimes feeling just really tired due to the anxiety so sometimes I will feel shaky and off balance starting to sway a little. I think that my parents do notice the physical symptoms at times especially sometimes when I have a sharp jabbing ache in my hip bone and I call out, but they haven’t really cared much about seeing a medical doctor. I tend to run a lot because it helps with the anxiety and sometimes I think that the stiffness in my hips is the soreness from running. Other times I think that the sharp jabs of pain every now and then in my hips is from my full binder that I use to bind my chest and hips to make them look more masculine because the binder is a bit tight at times. I was feeling really dysphoric yesterday and I used trans tape to bind my chest and also wore a binder over it. The trans tape felt great and it significantly  improved my dysphoria that I felt happy for once, but I think that I might have wrapped it on too tight because after a while I could feel it digging into my sides and when I went to remove the trans tape, I had some cuts and my chest was feeling sore. So today, I currently have soreness on my chest and the sides from trans tape that is still healing. I think that I would like to be healthy but my anxiety and gender dysphoria is making it difficult. I wish that my parents would think about checking me in with a doctor but they don’t seem to think that I really need one and they think that it would be too much money.

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