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Too Criticizing of Myself

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  • #354108
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    There was a seagull in the parking lot of restaurant where I help my parents out at this morning and it was eating bread. I waved at it and the seagull started walking a few paces toward me and with its swaying gait it looked like it was dancing and it made me laugh. I have been wondering if it would be better if I chose a career path that allowed me to be more in nature because I love connecting with nature, I always feel like I find myself again after feeling stressed being out in nature and I love feeling the wind blowing through me like it’s blowing away my sorrows. But I have been studying Biochemistry for three years and I just feel lost because I just don’t know if I have a definite career path for me. The anxiety and gender dysphoria makes me feel like I’m constantly trying to let go of myself and not really here at times which makes it hard to focus on things. Lately I’ve been having some panick attacks where I’m just crying and shaking because I just don’t know where I’m going even though I know that I love nature, wicca, and creative sciences but it just seems like other than that I just don’t have anything. And then I find myself lost in my thoughts of anxiety being afraid of myself and to escape those thoughts I start to work out a lot until I start to see shadows in my vision (I like to work out in the dark because it makes me feel less self-conscious) and sometimes the shadows seem like dark entities that will pull me under and I will pass away so I work out more until the shadows fade and I feel lightheaded and there are times when I pass out. After I wake, I look around the room and it seems like I see lights flickering in my vision and I tend to think that I am going into the light dissolving. And I find myself looking at memories of myself flash through my mind like a life review and I find myself feeling like it would just be better to just let go and just fade away.

    #354114
    Janus
    Participant

    I think that the song that describes how I’m feeling currently is “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls.

    The song says “I’ll give up forever to touch you… you’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be… and I don’t want to go home tonight.”

    I feel like those lyrics resonates with me because I feel like I am unconsciously giving up my health and giving up living a long life just to ease the gender dysphoria and those moments of working out help me feel like I am doing something to shape my body and I don’t want to be at home where my parents are, I just want the moments to be myself working out.

     

    The lines “When everything’s meant to be broken, I just want you to know who I am” are repeated verses in the song. I feel like my relationship with my parents has become more strained and it seems like things are breaking more at times but I just want them to acknowledge who I am.

     

    It gives me a lot of anxiety going out in the world not having my parents support feeling like I am alone learning the things that I need to. And the lines “And I don’t want the world to see me, cause I don’t think that they’d understand” seems to fit because sometimes I just feel like hiding myself because I don’t think that people would like me and I hope that I’m not a burden on them at times.

     

    The lines saying “And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
    Or the moment of truth in your lies
    When everything feels like the movies
    Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive” seem to resonate with me because sometimes I hide my emotions until I start crying and I feel like I’m watching my lufe through a haze and I work out a lot just to feel the physical pain that makes me feel like I’m alive like I’m in control. And I cry at times because I know there’s a truth under the surface that my parents don’t really acknowledge and that’s why I feel lost at times.

     

    When I’m studying at school I feel better but there’s still some dysphoria. I like to meditate and it helps but it seems like after a while the emotional turmoil sets in again and I feel like I’m missing myself again which is why “And all I can taste is this moment
    And all I can breathe is your life
    And sooner or later it’s over
    I just don’t wanna miss you tonight” resonates with me since I feel like the anxiety and gender dysphoria has taken over my life and meditation breathes life into me but sooner or later it fades again and I find myself being afraid that I’m missing myself again.

    #354166
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    “I have been wondering if it would be better if I chose a career path that allowed me to be more in nature”- absolutely, you’ve been expressing your love for nature in your thread again, and again, ever since Dec 2015, so yes, better nature be a huge consideration for you. You don’t feel judged in nature, so way better for you in nature.

    “But I have been studying Biochemistry for three years”- how about combining the two and working in agricultural sciences. Wikipedia on the topic reads: “Agricultural sciences include research and development on: Plant breeding and genetics, Plant pathology, Horticulture, Soil science” (and more). Notice the words genetics and pathology, two items you’ve been interested in for a long, long time. And soil science- I can see you in my mind’s eye collecting samples of soil, a solitary endeavor outdoors.

    “The anxiety and gender dysphoria.. Lately I’ve been having some panic attacks.. I work out in the dark because it makes me feel less self-conscious… I find myself feeling like it would just be better to just let go and just fade away.. I feel like I am unconsciously giving up my health and giving up living a long life just to ease my gender dysphoria”.

    I do not have any problem with you identifying as male, and respect that you do. Gender dysphoria though goes beyond gender identity- it is a mental illness, and it is categorized a disorder/ disease in the current U.S DSM-5 and in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), which is a “globally used diagnostic tool”, maintained by WHO.

    Wikipedia defines Gender dysphoria as “the distress a person feels due to a mismatch between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth”. Notice the definition is not “a mismatch between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth”, but the distress over that mismatch.

    It lists complications of this mental illness as “Eating disorders, suicide, depression, anxiety, social isolation”,  which apply to you. Part of your eating disorder is your over-exercising to the point of fainting: “I work out more until.. I feel lightheaded and there are times when I pass  out.. I work out a lot just to feel the physical pain that makes me feel like I’m alive like I’m in control”.

    You need more help in terms of counseling and perhaps psychiatric medications to help you with managing and lessening the distress involved in this mental illness, so that you stop damaging your health  by over-exercising and unhealthy eating habits. I suggest that you consider seeing a psychiatrist for medications.

    I also suggest that you remove your emphasis from being on the gender identity element of your gender dysphoria,  and focus on mental illness part of gender dysphoria. In other words, look for help primarily in the mental health realm, not in the political activism realm.

    “I feel like my relationship with my parents has become more strained.. I just want them to acknowledge who I am.. It gives me a lot of anxiety going out in the world not having my parents support.”- I am so sorry that you have the parents that you do. I wish they never yelled at you, I wish they approved of you just the way you are, and that they provided you with a home that feels safe and accepting.

    anita

     

    #355436
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Janus?

    anita

    #355630
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I enjoy looking at different plants that are edible like dandelions and thistles, I like to brew herbal teas with them. I think that agricultural sciences sounds very interesting because it would be great to collect plant samples and analyze how to use them in medicines. I have made some good friends online with the LGBTQ community and I love writing poetry about nature and spirituality so I have been uplifting the LGBTQ community and they have been uplifting me as well. I still feel a bit lost in myself because I feel like there’s so much to learn and I feel like I’m teaching myself because my parents aren’t really good teachers. My parents don’t really explain things much and sometimes when I ask them to clarify something when I am learning, they laugh at me for not understanding what they think is obvious. Also, it takes me time (two-three times doing the task) before I learn it well and sometimes when I help my dad with fixing the  car and forget where a part goes, he yells at me saying that I didn’t learn anything and that I should have learned all of it the first time. I would love to learn about life skills like car repairs and managing finances but my parents aren’t the best teachers. My mom often yells at me when I ask her to explain how to calculate some things, because she thinks that it’s obvious. She often yells at me saying that I don’t know anything about how to budget money and that I don’t learn. It can be difficult to focus when struggling with anxiety and gender dysphoria and it takes time to learn things, but I wish they didn’t yell at me so much and were more open-minded and compassionate. I think that after the quarantine is over, I’m going to reconnect with my gender therapist and work on some emotional turmoil.

    #355632
    Janus
    Participant

    My mom never likes to admit that she is wrong and she often blames others for mistakes. My dad doesn’t really acknowledge that there are mental health issues in the world, he thinks that people who struggle with mental health issues just choose to be that way which is sad. But I think that mental health is important and people don’t choose to be sad. If I could feel like I’m alive and not fighting myself, I would. My parents have said that they won’t support me in my transitioning which is sad because I’m going to have to work on building myself up to live on my own when I transition. I recently had an accountant help me with understanding tax forms and they allowed me to use my preferred name, but my parents disapproved of it. Since I still live with them, the letter from the accountant got sent to the house with my preferred name and they yelled at me. They think that my preferred name is just for fun and they don’t really understand how much my birth name gives me dysphoria.

    #355636
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    It is amazing how critical and impatient your parents are. If only they didn’t yell at you, if only they were positive in their interactions with you, instead of negative- you wouldn’t be “too criticizing of (yourself)”. You would have peace within you instead of war. I wish they understood how badly they have been affecting you all these years, and change their ways!

    Good to read from you, Janus. I do hope you will be able to see your gender therapist soon.

    Please do-no-harm-to-yourself; be kind and gentle with yourself instead.

    anita

    #355680
    Tommy
    Participant

    You sound like a high level person with a ton of ambition, Janus. That’s a great thing, especially for someone still in high school. You seem to have the kind of personality that will drive you far in life. You hold yourself to a high standard, hence the AP classes and the desire to take on a bunch of new hobbies. All of this is fantastic, and please know that you’re operating a far higher level than a LOT of high schoolers, at least the ones I knew back in the day.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Janus. But just like you work hard on your studies, hobbies, and ambitions, maybe you should try to work on your self esteem too. And I mean to really work on it with the same daily consistency as you would any other project. Treat it like a sport, except the rewards will take you further than any trophy ever could. For what its worth, writing down positive affirmations and reading them to myself worked wonders for my own mentality, and a lot of successful people say the same thing. Just write 10 ideal beliefs about yourself, stated in the present tense, and read it for 5 minutes a day. It doesn’t cost anything, and if anyone sees you doing it, it looks like you’re just studying your notebook 🙂

    Bruce Lee said “The maintenance of self-esteem is a continuous task which taxes all of the individual’s power and inner resources.” So even he had to work on it. Then again, maybe that’s where his ultra confident screen presence and self belief came from! (I believe it did).

    Keep kicking butt, Janus.

    #356092
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Tommy

    Thank you so much for your advice. I have some rainbow flashcards that I often write quotes on and when I feel anxious I look at the quotes repeating them to myself and imagining the words as light that helps heal my body. I still feel very self-conscious around people but I’m working on facing some of my fears. Some of the fears like fear of the dark are easier to work on while having social anxiety is more difficult. Lately I’ve been listening to positive affirmations music on YouTube and dancing to the music and it’s a lot of fun. I want to take a ballet class in the fall semester when school starts because I think it will be fun. I feel like by connecting more with people and my inner self, I am starting to heal. There will always still be some anxiety, but I find that I am starting to be able to focus on things a bit. There are some days when I feel lost and have trouble believing in myself. That’s why I have been using music to connect with my emotions and release some of the tension because I tend to hide it inside because my parents aren’t really emotionally/mentally supportive so currently I turn on the music and allow the music to help me release the tension in me. I know that I love nature, Buddhist Wicca, want to study reiki healing and astral projection and those are interests that I have held for quite a while. I love analyzing things and writing poetry from the things I analyze and hope that my poetry encourages people to enjoy life. I tend to be my own worst critic but I love helping out others who are struggling. But I have started to work on myself as well because sometimes I drain myself helping others and that’s why I’m working on building myself up. I am grateful to have people like you in life to encourage me. Since I enjoy using science to help me understand my health, I think that I will study different diseases and ways to keep healthy. I might combine reiki healing learning with scientific research on health because healing comes from within in the mind as well as working on the outside as well. There’s just so much out there in the world and I have so many interests that I don’t really know a direct career path for me but as long as I can be creative, work on mental and physical health, have a good healthcare, be in nature (thinking of living in a house close to nature), and helping out the LGBTQ community I’ll be okay. What scares me the most is living an unfulfilled life which is why I want to push myself to enjoy each thing, I push myself too hard sometimes though. Some subjects may be more difficult for me to learn and I will beat myself up for not understanding it so I have to remind myself to keep breathing and take it one step at a time. Wishing you well and thanks for your encouragement.

    #356096
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I agree that my inner critic stems from the criticism of my parents. Since I don’t really have an outlet for my emotions at home I am grateful to have online forums to talk with people who encourages me to keep going in my life. I have some good LGBTQ friends who study nature and health and it’s nice having them around to learn new things. I still need to work on not hiding my emotions so much that I have a panick attack. Sometimes I hold my emotions so much because I don’t want to burden others by talking about them until they bottle up and the wave crashes over me and I’m crying and shaking. This is why I’m learning to work on expressing my emotions a bit and letting them flow. I still have anxiety and feel lightheaded at times and a rumble in my stomach as well as tightness in my chest (which really doesn’t help the dysphoria much) but I feel like I’m healing a little. The anxiety makes it difficult to focus on things but there are some days when I feel more clarity then others and I know that there will still be anxiety but I think that I am working on being able to not let it be so overwhelming. I want to reconnect with my gender therapist and work on transitioning. I know my parents won’t support me in any part of the transitioning process and that I won’t be able to live with them anymore if I transition. I feel a bit anxious about that because there’s still a lot that I am working on learning but I am grateful to have friends who help me when I feel doubtful of the knowledge I have. I think that I listen to both my heart and mind because there are things that feel right in my heart like transitioning even though my mind is still working on building myself up but I feel like I’m finding myself in my heart and it’s this inner knowing that makes me realize that that’s one thing that is right for me. My career path will likely be in health sciences or biochemistry so I’ll be working on studying mental health and be working in a hospital or clinic that may be good. I’ll probably get a house close to nature. I think I know what I want in life, it’s just that the road may be rocky at times and sometimes I question whether I will make it in life. But every time I start worrying about something and feel like ending it, there’s always something that gives me hope again and I think that I can live again. I love reaching out to the people who are struggling with themselves and feel like life is meaningless because I know how it feels so I often help them and in my dark times they help me and I feel appreciative of the people I know in my life currently. The people around me that I have met during the quarantine by branching out online (I’m better at writing then talking in person) are helping me build myself up. I still feel like I’m drifting in life from time to time but I’m grateful to have people who help me steer the boat in the rough waters so I can look at the sun in the horizon and have hope to go towards my goals.

    #356112
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    It is wise for you to express your emotions before the following happens to your emotions: “they bottle up and the wave crashes over me and I’m crying and shaking”. Pay attention to how you feel at different times of the day and focus on the air going into through your nose, to your expanding, and do it repeatedly. Continue to reach to other people  online, do these things that calm you again and again.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.
    #356470
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    The quarantine has me stuck with my parents who are straining sometimes because they don’t accept my gender identity as a guy and I just felt like there wasn’t any reason to live anymore. I didn’t want to let anyone know because I didn’t want to be weak or burden anyone and while I was fading in and out of consciousness I was warring with myself about whether to talk with anyone, I eventually reached out to my college friend and they helped me along with some other LGBTQ people online and they helped me be more alive again. I currently have stomach cramps and chills, and still feeling dizzy. I had thought that this would be the end and I was prepared to go, taking one last look at the world, but I’m grateful that I had strength to reach out because if I hadn’t I might have fallen asleep and not have woken up. Thank you  for listening and Blessings to you!

    #356504
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    “I didn’t want to be weak or burden anyone and while I was fading in and out of consciousness… I currently have stomach cramps and chills”- I don’t understand: did you get sick because of something you ate or did you make yourself sick on purpose, ingesting something so to hurt yourself???

    anita

    #356961
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    On Friday May 22nd after taking ten nyquil  sleeping pills and debating whether I should reach out to someone because I was struggling so much I just wanted to fade away, I decided to reach out to my college friend and other people online and they helped, here’s what I wrote when I reached out to my college friend:

    “I’m sorry for stressing you currently, but I’m just really struggling currently and think it’s too late. It feels like I’m dying. I took some sleeping pills because I was having nightmares and trouble sleeping and I was just drifting in this haze in my mind like I wasn’t real and I saw the world as if I was seeing it for the last time and I felt this surreal numbness like there wasn’t a reason to live anymore and I think that I miscalculated the sleeping pills and took more than I should. I didn’t want to tell you because I was afraid and I felt sorry about burdening you. I’m sorry for not being a perfect person. I want another chance to live again but it just seems hopeless and I find myself fading away.

     

    I feel like an idiot. My body’s shaking and my muscles are going numb, ny eyes hurt and I just feel like there’s so much pain but part of me wants to feel something because I’m tired of feeling numb and it’s hard to type coherently (takes time as I’m shaking) and feeling dizzy

    The words blur on the page and I’m struggling with staying conscious. Thr. Keyboard letters are moving.

    After I took them I felt this wave of calm wash and some energy over me and I decided to work out a bit (not the best idea though) because I was feeling lightheaded. After a few dumbbell lifts though I started feeling really shaky and quesy so I went to the bathroom and started throwing up. Currently feeling really tired and pale. “

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Janus.
    #356977
    Jan
    Participant

    Dear Janus

    The first thing I must say to you is this: at 5′ 5″ height, 120lbs is by no means overweight and you should NOT be trying to reduce your weight further. Some guy calling you fat does not mean you’re fat. That’s just some guy getting off on making you feel bad, for reasons that exist in his head and have nothing to do with you or your weight. Ignore him, please. Otherwise, you could easily spiral downwards into anorexia.

    You are entitled to your views on wicca, or on anything else come to that. Kids will pick on anyone who isn’t exactly like them (many adults are like this, too, sadly) and I would guess that they were kids that hardly had an idea or opinion or belief in their heads about anything and were jealous that you were more intellectually and spiritually developed than they were (or probably ever will be).

    You sound overwhelmed, not least because of your demanding parents. It’s difficult, especially at your age, to not be beaten down by your parents’ requirements of you, I know, but try to tune them out a bit. You sound like an intelligent person with a bright future. You have many interests and some good friends. You have a whole lifetime to learn about all the things that you want to master, give yourself a break and don’t expect everything to happen right now (some things won’t happen at all, and that’s fine, you’ll lose interest in some of them anyway). And drop the idea of ‘perfection’, it doesn’t exist and the pursuit of it will exhaust and depress you. Don’t do that to yourself!

    Hope this helps.

    Jan

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