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Too Criticizing of Myself

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  • #320719
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I think that I care a lot about people like you who inspire me to become better so that is why I am always sending positive wishes your way. Sorry for overwhelming you with positivity. I just finished a phone conversation with the cancer genetic counselor and they were very helpful about explaining the tasks of a genetic counselor. They said that taking some psychology classes can be helpful because genetic counselors often work with people to provide advice about their risks for cancers and it can be emotional for a patient so it is important to learn about the mental aspects of how people feel and think because it can help facilitate communication skills as a genetic counselor. I found this advice helpful because sometimes in my scientific research I have trouble communicating to people in a simple way my research data and if I can understand how people perceive things and how they might think it may help me better understand how to communicate with them. They said that it might be helpful to work with a professor and possibly help them teach a laboratory research class to build up my scientific communication skills. In addition, they said that genetic counselors work some parts doing lab research in a laboratory and some parts with a patient helping them improve their health so it is interactive. Instead of just doing laboratory research, a person gets to see how the laboratory research can help people and make a difference in lives which is what’s most exciting. I am hoping to work with cancer patients and they recommended that I take some classes in cancer Biology or cancer genetics to help me build my knowledge. Since genetic counselors also do genetic testing for cancer risk in patients, they also said taking a Bioinformatics class is helpful because I will learn about gene sequencing and how to look for mutations that lead to cancer. It sounds exciting, but there is a lot of knowledge and I think that meditation will help me develop clarity so that I don’t feel overwhelmed and feel like I have to do this all at once. The cancer genetic counselor said that medical geneticists help research treatments for diseases and work with medical doctors, but genetic counselors just provide advice and do genetic testing for disease assessment. So depending on whether I want to go for genetic counseling which is just providing advice for patients or if I want to be working on treatments for patients then I would have to go to medical school and work as a medical geneticists. There are many possibilities for genetic counseling and research out there and I learned a lot and continue to learn and it’s fascinating.

    #320723
    Janus
    Participant

    A lot of the professors that I have contacted say that there may be job-shadowing or research opportunities Fall 2020 semester. I am hoping to find a job-shadowing opportunity this semester because it is part of the career project for my career class. The information from the cancer genetic counselor made me really understand what it’s like to be a genetic counselor and what research that they do and that helped provide insight about the career path. They don’t offer job-shadowing opportunities for non-students because they work at Rutgers University Medical Cancer Center and the students there are their main priority to get research opportunities and currently the research opportunities are full. But I am hoping for the best and will continue connecting with others to see if there are job-shadowing opportunities or internships. If I cannot find any, then I will let the professor know and he can help provide a backup assignment or give advice.

    #320727
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    All in moderation, including blessings!

    So interesting- medical geneticists are medical doctors, having to go through medical schools while genetic counselors don’t. Genetic counselors do lab work and educational/ counseling work, advising patients. Therefore, genetic counselors, like all kinds of counselors, need to take psychology so to learn how to best interact and communicate with people, specifically with people who are sick.(An Earth Angel sounds like just the right kind of person to interact with sick people who need a gentle, kind guidance).

    Congratulations on your second successful phone interview!

    anita

    #323429
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you for being the special person you are and for providing insightful advice that helps me better understand my life’s goals. The cancer genetic counselor that I spoke with on October 31st said that genetic counselors often volunteer at a crisis line or seek other volunteer opportunities to help people struggling in life because these volunteer opportunities can help genetic counselors learn how to communicate with empathy to people. Genetic counselors need to be able to communicate well with patients who have a high risk for developing cancers and they need to listen to their patient’s concerns and provide advice about how the patient can work on their health. By volunteering at a crisis line or with people struggling in life and listening to them helps people develop empathy and learn how to listen to the concerns people may have. It can be quite emotional for a person to discover that they have a high risk for cancer, and it is important that genetic counselors have the communication skills to help their patients feel more at ease and guide them in ways to better their health. This is why volunteering to help people who struggle in life may help genetic counselors build their skills and also learn how to connect with people by listening to them and understanding how they think which can help genetic counselors learn psychology as well. The cancer genetic counselor also mentioned that it is important to take time to rest because listening to patients health concerns can be stressful and that genetic counselors should strike a research/patient assessment balance where they spend some time doing laboratory research and some time with patients, as well as taking breaks to recharge. I learned a lot from reaching out to genetics counselors about the career path. I am thinking of looking for LGBTQ internships to build my communication skills, by helping LGBTQ people with their mental health I will also learn more about psychology and possibly gain more understanding about myself as a person because I am part of the LGBTQ community. In addition, I will be connecting with LGBTQ people and building my empathy skills when listening to them so I can work on building my skills for genetic research when I will communicate with patients.

    #323431
    Janus
    Participant

    I am also thinking of reading more articles on genetic research, possibly trying to read one a week and write a small reflection on it that way I can work on improving my scientific knowledge and writing skills because genetic researchers tend to write a lot of lab reports for their experiments. Scientists are often writing scientific papers to discuss their findings with other scientists and attending conferences to connect with people. So I have been establishing some connections with scientific researchers in cancer genetics research on LinkedIn and am working on reading some scientific articles. I will likely  be doing small research into the genetics field such  as reading articles when I don’t have any other class assignments. I think that reading scientific articles will also help me with my stem cells class though because I can learn about different techniques that stem cells can be used in treatments for diseases and that can help me when I write papers for that class. In addition, if I work on writing small reflections for articles that I read, I can improve my writing skills for the stem cells class.

    On Friday, November 15th, I finished a reflection paper assignment for my stem cells class about using stem cells to treat declining vision in the elderly. I am glad that I have been keeping up with most of my class assignments. My stem cells class has a group presentation due December 6th and my group and I have a presentation outline to study stem cells in brain cancers. My group hopes to finish a few weeks before November 28th when students have Thanksgiving break that way we have time to practice the presentation. My career class professor assigned an alternate assignment for students who cannot job-shadow and since I have not been able to find job-shadowing opportunities for genetics research I may do the alternate assignment. For my career class, I have written and edited a cover letter for a laboratory technician that studies genetics and I will submit it soon. I spent Saturday and Sunday working on making the cover letter good. On Sunday, I also worked with group members to add details to the stem cell presentation. So it has been a busy weekend and the start of a busy week, but it is quite rewarding. I take breaks in between my research to read books, do yoga and also have a daily meditation routine that helps. Hope you have a good week ahead and blessings!

    #323441
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    You are welcome. Indeed, “it has been a busy weekend and the start of a busy week” for you. You are serious and dedicated about your education and career considerations, impressive!

    You are aware that you need to improve your scientific writing skills, such as laboratory reports and you are working on it. It is good that your career class professor assigned an alternative assignment for students who cannot job shadow. I can imagine it is difficult to find a job shadowing opportunities when the job is a genetic researcher. Much easier if the job is a coffee barista, for example.

    It is quite amazing and commendable that you find the time “to read books, do yoga and also have a daily meditation routine”, excellent.

    I am glad to read your most recent update. Thank you for wishing me well and I wish you the same. I will look forward to your next update/ post.

    anita

    #325045
    anita
    Participant

    Happy Thanksgiving Janus, Earth Angel and Poet!

    anita

    #325155
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Hope your Thanksgiving was great. I am on Thanksgiving break from November 28th-December 1st. I am taking this time to catch up on some assignments. I recently submitted the alternative job-shadowing assignment that my career class professor posted. I have been spending most of my time working on researching ways to improve my scientific writing skills and looking for online articles that provide advice. In addition, I have started a laboratory notebook for Organic Chemistry (I am taking that class in Spring 2020 semester) because I like to get a feel for the guidelines of a lab notebook and lab report writings so that I will feel more prepared when I take the class. The only thing that I cannot do is carry out the experiments because I don’t have the lab tools, but I can read about them and look at other scientists’ data to understand the experiments. Then I gather the knowledge of the other scientists’ data from lab experiments and I use them as sources to write a makeshift lab report. Although it is not quite as good as working on the lab experiments and collecting data myself to write the lab report, I don’t have the lab tools (because I am currently not in the Organic Chemistry class yet and don’t have access to the lab equipment), but I try to build my knowledge of what the experiments might be like by looking at other scientists’ data who have done the experiments before and I use that data as a source to work on lab reports. I hope that building up my knowledge will help me feel more prepared when I actually have to do the labs and write the lab reports with the data I collected when it comes to taking Organic Chemistry in the Spring semester. I am also working on two scientific presentations that are due on December 9th and I have both of them outlined. I just have to work on the grammar for them, and perhaps shorten the points on the PowerPoint slides. For one scientific presentation I am working with four other people in studying treatments for neuroblastoma which is a brain cancer that affects children five years or younger. I feel that some of the slides’ points are a bit lengthy and am working on shortening the details, but making sure that the information still makes sense and flows. For the other scientific presentation, I am describing how genetic research will help society, and also help me understand myself as a person and I find this assignment a bit easier, but it also takes time to contemplate about my inner self and what genetics research has to contribute to help improve society.

    Hope you are well and blessings to you in your life’s path!

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Janus.
    #325179
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    Thank you for your blessings. I hope you rest and enjoy some of the remaining two days of your break, that you catch up to your assignments and continue to work on improving your lab reporting skills. Taking organic chemistry in the Spring Semester reads exciting to me!

    anita

    #328489
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    The last day of the fall semester was yesterday December 17th and I am on winter break from December 18th-January 13th. I managed to finish both my Stem Cells and Society class as well as my career class with an A. The Spring class registration opened October 31st so I already picked the classes I need for the Spring semester which starts January 14th. The end of the fall semester was good with final presentations with my five group members about neuroblastoma (a brain cancer) for my Stem Cells class and a final reflection paper about what I learned in the class. The group presentation and final paper for my Stem Cells class went well and my final grades for that class is a 93 which is an A. For my career class, I presented a PowerPoint about how the class helped me along in my career path and I received a good grade on that presentation and my final grades for that class is 110. Since I only took eight credits for the fall semester and was part-time, I found that it was an easier course load with only two classes and it gave me time to get accustomed to Stockton University because I had recently transferred there from Ocean County Community College. Next semester which is Spring semester and starts January 14th I will be full-time with 14 credits and four main classes. I am taking a meditation class in the spring semester to help me find ways to relax and relieve stress because I have three science classes that I am taking which are Organic Chemistry, Genetics and Scientific Research Writing. I recently talked with a professional on December 12th over the phone about genetics research and I gained a lot of insight on laboratory methods for genetic research, the person gave me lots of interesting information about genetic editing techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9 to help create mutations in a person’s genome and CRISPR’s uses in helping improve health. I learned from the phone conversation about scientists using CRISPR-Cas9 to cut out genes that could cause diseases and then work on ways to insert a healthy gene in which I found interesting. Although the person I talked with used a lot of scientific language, I asked questions and was able to generally get the main points of their research in genetics. I am still building my scientific research skills and there’s a lot for me to learn, sometimes I doubt myself. I am quite self-conscious of people judging me so I always feel jumpy when there is a lot of people around me. I think that I worry that I am not smart enough in their eyes or am afraid that they will judge me. But I find that I enjoy working with other scientists and classmates in a laboratory doing research and I am okay with that. I just don’t feel comfortable when talking with people about daily tasks though because I just don’t know what to say most of the time and I feel insecure. I think that I have spent most of my time at school working with students and teachers talking about science because I really enjoy it that I have started to not be able to make small talk with other people. This has led me to feeling anxious when I am out in public and people are nearby laughing and talking because I am afraid that they will talk to me and I won’t know what to say. Another thing that contributes to my anxiety with talking in person with people is that I worry that they will contribute to my gender dysphoria if they ask me whether I am a he or she as it has happened before. I was talking to a person at my parents’ restaurant and they asked me whether I was a he or she and I responded with he. They said “Well you look like a guy, but your voice is still a bit high. Have you started transitioning?” I felt a bit called out when they asked this because it made me feel like I wasn’t fully valid as a guy unless I medically transitioned and took testosterone. Taking testosterone will cause a person’s voice to go deeper and cause other things like facial hair and if combined with working out an increase in muscle mass and bone density. I replied that I was saving money to transition and I had socially transitioned because I was living as a guy and using my preferred name at Stockton University. I think that people are just naturally curious or just inclined to ask questions that may seem personal to other people because most people don’t know much about transgender people and want to know more but these questions make me a bit jumpy though. There are some people who don’t mind my gender expression at my parents’ restaurant but there are others who still trigger my gender dysphoria and anxiety because they don’t acknowledge my gender expression. Since I am not sure if a person will question my gender expression and accept it or deny it, I have been mostly avoiding connecting with people at my parents’ restaurant in conversations because I just don’t feel comfortable. But I feel like the more I isolate myself and avoid talking with the people who come into my parents’ restaurant where I help at, the more I feel anxious in life and feel like I don’t have anyone outside of school to support me. The LGBTQ Pride group at Stockton University is very supportive and I appreciate having online resources to help express my feelings. Tinybuddha has helped me with myself and I am grateful to have you in my life Anita because you make it meaningful. I do wish that there were LGBTQ people closer though to my parents’ restaurant area in Brick, NJ because many of the LGBTQ people that I know live in farther places in NJ. I think that my social anxiety these days is mostly from being afraid of not being supported for my gender expression so I tend to avoid close connections with people who come into my parents’ restaurant. In addition since my parents don’t accept my gender identity it can be stressful at times especially when the gender dysphoria gets a bit overwhelming and my heart feels like it is going beat out of my chest in my anxiety and I have trouble focusing because I am worried that even though I have a chest binder on that the pounding of my heart might cause my chest to be elevated and there may be a slight bump that might make the chest not seem as masculine and that makes me more anxious. I feel like these days I often check my appearance in the mirror to see if my hips are narrow and if my chest binder binds okay because on some days I will feel more self-conscious than others. I am still working on healing from anorexia and have been eating regular meals but after eating I feel worried that I might gain weight that might make me have curves that don’t look masculine and then I will start working out a lot with the mindset of burning calories and making my body look more toned and masculine. Even though I have been eating regular meals, I have been doing intense workouts that leave me quite sore and shaky. There are times when I worry that my gender dysphoria will destroy me and then who will I be? I feel like I’m fighting myself constantly and am afraid of the slightest physical change or situation that would make not look physically masculine and it’s starting to feel emotionally straining and I feel sometimes that I’m not really living. I wish I could feel more confident and the gender dysphoria would ease a bit. Hope you are well and have a good rest of the week. Thank you for being the inspirational person you are and for your advice that helps me better understand myself.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by Janus.
    #328563
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    You are on winter break now till Jan 13, a three weeks break. Congrats for completing your Stem Cells and Society class and your career class with an A! And for picking up the classes you need for the Spring Semester (including Organic Chemistry, Genetics and Scientific Research classes), it will be a full-time with 14 credits and 4 main classes semester.

    You learned important information from your Dec 12 phone interview by asking questions (excellent that you asked questions!) Regarding you being “self conscious of people judging me so I always feel jumpy when there is a lot of people around me”- that is a combination of your real life experience with your parents judging you, then a few people as well and then.. the big judger, that inner critic “Too Criticizing of Myself”, as says your title. So it is that inner critic aka the inner bully that does the criticism when you are in class, and you only imagine it is other people who do.

    The meditation class next semester is an excellent choice, the calmer you are, the more often as you can experience calm, the better you will be able to detach yourself from that inner critic. When the inner critic tells you that you are not smart, correct that thought and say to it: I am smarter than you think I am, that’s for sure! And then, be as smart as you can be.

    Regarding being asked if you are a he or a she, practice answering this question in front of the mirror and then practice it if and when asked, so it becomes a routine, in your mind: here’s the question; here’s the answer. Your answer should be short of course, and it can be something like: it’s a he, thank you for asking.

    What happened in your parents’ restaurant, I think their question was not rude in intent, doesn’t read like it to me, and you answered it well. You can practice answering all kinds of questions and then deliver the practiced answer, that will lower your discomfort. Better not withdraw and isolate from people, fearing they will ask you questions. Instead, predict a series of questions on the issue and practice answering them.

    “There are times when I worry that my gender dysphoria will destroy me.. it’s starting to feel emotionally straining and I feel sometimes that I’m not really living”-

    – my input today on the matter of your gender dysphoria, gender identity, social transitioning, physical transitioning and anorexia:

    Anorexia and the rest of the items are two separate issues: there are lots of people who suffer from anorexia who have no gender issues whatsoever, they eat, worry about gaining weight and over exercise. I bet there are people whose gender identity is different from their biological sex who are overweight and they don’t worry about it much (am I correct?)

    I wish there was a way for you to separate these two issues in the context of counseling with a professional who is very familiar with issues of gender dysphoria and the before and after of physical transitioning.

    anita

    #329489
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you so much for your advice. I hope that you have a great Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.

    I think that my social anxiety stems from my fear of people judging me because I have been judged harshly by my parents and I worry about what others think of me many times. I sometimes worry that I am not good enough for the world because I don’t know all the life skills that I need and sometimes I wonder if I can make it out into the world and be an independent individual. I know that I want to go into the scientific research field because I feel I have always been a scientist at heart who loves to analyze and question the world around me and look and research things, so pursuing science is a passion for me. It’s like I can see the big picture of my life, but I’m not sure of how to fit the little pieces of the puzzle to help me build the person I want to be. There are times when I feel like I am missing in life and I feel scared, these are the times when I feel the most gender dysphoria and I feel like my life will end before it has a chance to begin and I feel like I’m a hallow person who is not real but just existing in the world and it makes me scared that if I pass away that I won’t leave anything significant behind. I feel like I want to transition to become a guy and be a scientist, but sometimes I’m not sure how the pieces will fit together and then I’m afraid that my anxiety with how my body looks will cause me to lose myself and make my life meaningless. I want to live a life where I feel like I am living and not just going through the motions each day, a life where I can truly feel alive. I just feel like although I know what I want in life- to study science and transition- I am still working on the pieces and since they are pieces I am working on building up, I feel like I’m missing myself as a person. It’s like I can dream of the person I want to be and in my dreams I feel whole , but in reality I feel like I am missing because I don’t know how the pieces fit. As I work on finding myself, meditation helps me work with my emotions. I hope to heal from anorexia because it is straining consistently checking my weight worrying whether I look masculine enough. There are some people with gender dysphoria who feel uncomfortable with their bodies but they do not have eating disorders and there are some that do. Eating disorders such as anorexia are common in the transgender community especially with transgender men who want to make themselves look more masculine and reduce their curves. But there are some transgender men who don’t have eating disorders and sometimes I wish I could be more comfortable and not let gender dysphoria be so overwhelming. I think that the reason why it is so overwhelming is that my parents don’t let me express my gender identity and say that I don’t know enough about how I feel and it makes the gender dysphoria worse because I feel like I’m not living when the place I currently reside makes me not able to express myself as I want. At school where Stockton University is very LGBTQ friendly I am accepted and the anxiety eases a bit, but when I am home on break from school then there is more anxiety because I worry about myself and feel strained trying to survive as myself and express myself as best as I can even though I feel like I’m being suppressed and that makes me feel like I’m fading away. That may be a reason why I became anorexic because I felt like I was fading away trying to hold onto my self-identify of who I am, but since it was very difficult and I felt like I was losing the fight and fading away and who I wanted to be didn’t exist there was a way for me to make me feel like I existed by putting stress on my physical body by trying to shape it into a more toned body that looked more masculine without any curves and the physical pain made me feel like there was something real that I could control in my life because I felt like I was losing control of myself. Hope this helps and makes sense! Thank you for being here and listening!

    #329493
    Janus
    Participant

    Here is a poem I wrote:

    I dreamed that I was missing, the pieces of myself scattered as I tried to find myself and feel whole again

    I wondered if at the end of my life, I couldn’t find myself what then

    So I spent time in quiet reflection and I let my life flash as pictures through my mind

    Trying to understand how to live again and figure out how to get myself out of the negative binds

    I dreamed about cutting the the ties with my former selves and letting go of the world’s expectations so I could find my own relevations

    Yet it was hard and I lost myself along the way trying to figure out how to begin again in life

    I felt caught in the currents of strife

    And I felt scared that if I were to pass away, what significance my life would be

    So in my fears, I decided to work on living a life true to me

    I am not a perfect person and I may have caused hurt to some people with my actions

    But I hope to grow and change each day, hoping to gain traction

    As I go towards my goals, I feel like I’m missing and fading away at times, but I have a purpose and will continue to strive

    Hoping to work on finding out how to feel alive

    Within myself I work on healing and sometimes I fall, but I am working on standing tall

    I may be a mess trying to work myself out, but soon I can will be able to express myself and what I’m about

    I am not a perfect person, but I want to make a difference in the world and find myself and achieve my goals before life takes it’s toll

    The unfulfilled life fills me with fear because I am afraid that I won’t leave behind anything significant when I’m done here

    So I want you to know that you are a special person who has helped me in life, and I hope that I can work on building myself up and help others through strife

    Thank you for uplifting me up in the stressful times, and giving me a sense of self when I feel lost

    I still feel lost at times and sometimes I feel like I’m fading away but friends like you help me believe things will be okay

    Thank you for being the special soul you are and for helping me along the way.

    #329613
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    As to your first post, you wrote: “It’s like I can see the big picture of my life, but I’m not sure of how to fit the little pieces of the puzzle to help me build the person I want to be”-

    -I don’t know of anyone at any age who has all the little pieces put together perfectly in an identity-picture, as in: this is who I am and everything about me and my life makes sense and fits perfectly. We have to be okay with missing pieces. Each one of us is not, after all, a picture: four corners, four lines, a rectangle. We are three dimensional, changing animals, our parts (atoms) always moving, always in motion.

    The basics of who we are as humans are the same for all of us; therefore, you can depend on those basics to be part of your picture as well. You want to be accepted (we all do), that’s part of your picture. You want to feel good, content and alive, that’s another part of your picture.

    And then, there are parts special to you, parts that are not true for everyone else: you like meditation and it helped you many, many times. Your interest in science- these are two parts of the picture.

    The connection you explained to me between gender dysphoria (particularly wanting to appear masculine, so being afraid of curves and any fat on the body)  and eating disorders reads logical to me, I see the connection. I can also see the anxiety involved. After all, I was diagnosed with anorexia myself, later in life. So  I understand the great distress involved.

    As to  your second post- a beautiful poem. I like the sound of  it, for example: “I am not a perfect person and I may have caused hurt to some people with my actions/ But I hope to grow and change each day, hoping to gain traction“- there is a good sound and a good soul to it.

    And thank you for  having me in your poem!

    You wrote in your poem: “The unfulfilled life fills me with fear because I am afraid that I won’t leave behind anything significant when I’m done here”- you already touched people in your life and you did make a difference, right here in your thread, the longest thread in the history of tiny buddha, Dec 2015.. wait, it is soon to be four whole years!

    Thing is, there are thousands of people with entries in Wikipedia, for example, thousands of people who left something significant enough behind (books, songs, scientific achievements, fame and whatnot), but so what? What I mean by it, is who has the time and desire to read about all the thousands of people on Wikipedia? And, having an entry in Wikipedia, hasn’t kept a single person alive and hasn’t brought anyone back from the dead. We all end up dead whether we end up on Wikipedia or not.

    What I am saying is, don’t look to earn an entry on Wikipedia and don’t anxiously wait for a time when all the pieces fit together.  Relax into parts of the picture where pieces do fit quite nicely, because those parts do exist for you!

    I wish you too a Happy New Year. I hope the new semester at Stockton starts soon enough because you do feel much better there than at home.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #330007
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I think that I worry that I won’t achieve what I want when my life is over and I don’t want to feel like I lived a life without purpose. The pieces that I have don’t seem to fit together well, but I hope that I can shed light on them to help me heal from the doubts and fears that I have that make me feel down in life at times. I think that people have broken pieces so that they can work on shining the light into their inner selves because it is through the cracks of the broken pieces that the light can come in. Sometimes I worry that my gender dysphoria and anxiety with how others may perceive me makes me wonder if I am living life at times because I always seem to be a bit nervous. The thing is that I know that I feel comfortable as a male, but I am still working on understanding who I am as a guy which can be difficult because society tends to attribute certain traits as “masculine” so I feel like I’m being made to fit into a box so that I can be seen as male, but I find that the box of traits doesn’t really fit me well and sometimes I feel stressed because I don’t know who I am as a guy outside the box of expectations and sometimes I worry that if I don’t express the expectations of “masculinity” I might not be seen as a guy by society and that causes me much anxiety. Lately it seems like I’ve been trying to work on myself and being a guy even though it’s difficult and my family isn’t very accepting of it and I feel like the anxiety with trying to work on expressing myself is straining me that I am losing myself in trying to look more like a guy and not fully living because I am always anxious and wondering about myself and since my parents aren’t accepting of it (I still live with them as they help me with the college tuition and other financial things)   it can be difficult for me as I always feel like I’m not being enough in the world. I feel like I have become quite attached to looking the most like a guy as possible because I want to be a guy and it’s making me lose sight of other things in life and I feel stressed about that. The stress and anxiety has lead me to working out intensely and following a strict diet and being anorexic because I want to look more like a guy and not have any curves on my body and I worry about myself. I think my main focus of living a fulfilled life is working my way to transitioning and working on scientific research. I don’t need to be famous or have great titles, but I just want to feel alive within myself and feel comfortable with myself in the world and I think that would be a fulfilled life for me. I want to be able to enjoy each moment in life without having to worry if my body doesn’t look masculine enough or not as well as work on scientific research that helps advance medical treatments for diseases and I feel like if I can do that then I have a purpose in life. I think my fear is that my gender dysphoria may cause me to lose myself that I lose my way to my goals and if my life ends from gender dysphoria and anorexia I will feel sad that I didn’t live fully. Hope this makes sense! Thank you so much for all your support!

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