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Too Criticizing of Myself

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  • #357917
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus (Post #3):

    My hope in posting these three long posts for you, posts that are almost entirely quotes from what you shared over the past 4.5 years, is that you will save these posts for your records and offer them to a medical professional who will be able to offer you the help that you need. Your posts on your thread of 4.5 years, starting Dec 2015, is a valuable source for a medical professional to have so to evaluate you and construct a treatment plan for you.

    Your posts in these 85 pages are often very long and include lots of accounts of books you read and academic studies. In my three posts to you, I am trying to present your words, quotes from what you shared, in a way that will be easier for you and for a professional to read and to learn from.

    In this post, I will further extract quotes from what you shared over time and at the end of this  post, I will offer you  my thoughts on your disordered eating and over-exercising only. I will not offer you my thoughts on your gender identity.

    On Feb 6, 2016, at 17 years old,  you posted a poem you wrote sometime earlier: “Looking into the Mirror.. looking at me, Sometimes I see a pretty reflection, sometimes I see myself worn by time, Looking into the mirror, I ask myself “Am I really me? Is this who I’m supposed to be?” .. looking at myself trying to find out who I really am, Is this the true me.. Or is it the me that’s been shaped by the world?.. Looking in the mirror, I try to see myself in the future, Sometimes my reflection looks haggard and ugly, at other times confident and self-assured, I don’t know what to believe.. The world shaping who I am”.

    You shared that your parents favored your brother, a boy, and communicated to you that you are worth less because you are a girl, saying to you that girls aren’t smart nor are they athletic, suggested therefore that you are inadequate. So, you tried hard to be these two things: smart and athletic. You studied hard and you exercised hard for many years, including the 4.5 years of you posting here on your thread.

    In 2016, at 17 going on 18, you viewed yourself as a an ambitious, reserved, serious, intelligent, determined, independent and strong girl, and a feminist. You were resolved to not accommodate societal gender roles and stereotypes: “I’m still the ambitious, reserved and serious girl that wants people to know her more as the intelligent and determined person. In that way I’m like the song ‘Miss Independent'” (July 7, 2016).   “Society should be celebrating the strong, independent women who can play sports, withstand injuries as a symbol of feminism.. Just b/c a girl wears shorts and cuts her hair short doesn’t mean she is trying to be a male, it means she is having her own terms of free expression.. Women in our society are not powerless and should be allowed to play sports, dress in shorts and wear their hair short…I don’t get along with my parents, they think women who play sports, wear shorts are too much like a guy” (Sept 11, 2016) “I hate gender roles that girls have to be princesses and damsels in distress or not sports types b/c I’m not like that” (Oct 22, 2016).

    From the beginning of your thread, you shared about your disordered eating (restricting on one hand, which you referred to as anorexia, and overeating on the other) and compulsive, over exercising (ex.: “Oftentimes whenever I am sitting, I want to be up and working out b/c I feel as if the calories are adding up”, June 13, 2016).

    In 2016, You identified yourself as a girl who is “the polar opposite of my mom who likes shopping for clothes, fashion, jewelry and flowers. I rather wear shorts and a t-shirt as opposed to a skirt and I enjoy keeping my hair short b/c when I do science labs long hair is a hazard” (Sept 2, 2016). You liked sports and science and preferred the company of boys over the company of girls: “I have a lot of guy friends from sports and I’m around guys a lot” (Oct 19, 2016).

    In March 4, 2016 you described an experience you had with a boy you liked: “We decided to race.. My hair had fallen loose while we had been running.. My hair was a bit messy blowing in the breeze and my sweatshirt was disheveled from running.. he said that I looked beautiful and the loose hair in the wind made me seem like a free spirit”.

    You chose to read about women because you identified yourself as a  woman: “I learned .. from Portia de Rossi’s book.. the true story of an actress who struggles with her body and ends up accepting herself..  Like Portia, I like acting” (Aug 27, 2016).

    Your parents clearly expressed favoritism toward your brother, and you took in the belief that intelligence and athleticism are male characteristics: “both of my parents.. are very patriarchal and think that girls can’t be scientists or shouldn’t bench press or do pull-ups.. They criticize me and say I have no life skills and I’m nothing compared to my brother.” (Sept 2, 2016). “My parents.. they are very patriarchal and no matter how much I work out, do well in school, they focus more on my brother and praise him more” (Oct 10, 2016) . You were worried about not being athletic enough or smart enough because you were a girl: “Every time I see someone else who seems better than me athletically and intelligently, I wish I were them. Andrew seems so much smarter than I am. I feel so inadequate”(April 8, 2016), and “I worry about not being a good enough athlete since I’m a girl” (May 20, 2016).

    You were very motivated and tried very hard to be athletic and smart, to be fit and appear fit (ex.: “I also bench pressed to help my triceps and also did push-ups. I also tightened my abs”, Aug 19, 2016), spending lots of time exercising and studying: “there is still an inner bully within that keeps telling me to be the most perfect I can be, to be the most athletic, the smartest and then I maybe able to please even those who dislike me” (July 14, 2016), and “The inner bully creeps in and says ‘you will never be a good scientist as Andrew. why even try?'” (July 19, 2016).

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; cursor: text; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>Oct 19, 2016: “I’m more than just on the surface, that my soul is genderless, neither male or female. I feel as if I can connect to both sides.”</span>

    Nov 27, 2016:  “My inner bully will say “look at all these people, they are all saying you are worthless, you are weak as a girl. why don’t you change?”

    Jan 12, 2017:” I feel like I don’t want to be a girl if they see it as weak and only guys work out and play competitive sports, but I don’t want to be a guy either. I’ve lost my sense of gender.”

    Jan 17, 2017: “There are two sides of me warring with each other, one side that wants to follow the labels and another side that wants to break free and live as my soul”.

    A year after the above post, Jan 12, 2018 :”Lately, I’ve been feeling detached from myself and identifying as more masculine to give me strength and it feels like that part of me has taken over and I’m unsure of who my real self is anymore. How do I explain to my parents that I want to express myself the way I want even with their criticisms?.. The LGBT community is helping me be more confident with who I am”.

    March 31, 2018: “The LGBT community at my college plays a big role in my life and I feel like I’ve found acceptance there.. I have also begun to make peace with myself and have gone to a therapist who has helped me understand my gender identity.. I’ve been bringing home resources from the pride group at my college and the LGBT community and sharing them with my parents explaining to them how these things and people play a part in my life and have helped me in discovering who I am”.

    April 16, 2018: “Ocean Pride LGBT group has helped me better understand myself..my parents have expressed that they won’t support me financially if I transition… Also at my college, I have been using the name Janus because he is the Roman god of new beginnings and transitioning. His name lends to the month of January in which I was born. Socially transitioning and seeking therapy has been a new beginning for me and I feel like I’m closer to finding myself”.

    May 15, 2018: “I feel like controlling my body by being anorexic makes me more masculine and also hides the insecurities I have. One insecurity I have is that I am not strong enough to be a male and this results in me feeling anxious if I miss a day of exercise because I fear I’ll lose muscle mass”.

    June 1, 2018: “I’m not alive at times and I sometimes question if I truly exist in this world or I’m just an immaterial being of my thoughts. Sometimes I like this feeling because I feel like I can mold myself into the person I see myself as”.

    June 7, 2018: “There are days when I feel like things are moving too slowly and I become depressed. On those days, I go back to over-exercising and controlling my eating…I get depressed and wonder if I’ll ever build my confidence to achieve my goals. At those times of shaken confidence and doubts with whether I can be more true self, I feel intense gender dysphoria and find myself wishing I was gone from this world. My thoughts are foggy, my heart aches and I feel alone like I’ve just had all my hopes dashed when I entered a tunnel of no light”.

    June 13, 2018:  “Sometimes the bitterness in my mind brings a question that fuels my frustration with my parents and that question is ‘Is it that hard to accept me as I choose to identify?’ ..All I want is to transition to be a man. I don’t think I can live with myself anymore going daily floating through life not fully living.” Sometimes I feel like being anorexic will make me skinnier and make me look more masculine and I think about what it would be like to die from anorexia and silence my inner critic’s voice. I think ‘What if I made myself so skinny that my chest would be extremely flat? What if I died trying to be a man, would that make me happier than the life I’m living now?’ These thoughts often scare me and make me feel numb and at times I cry… The constant thoughts that pound in my head, the ache of my muscles as I over-exercise to escape the emotional pain and the constant feeling like I don’t exist in this world- like I’m just drifting make me wonder whether I’m really making progress in life. I do not want to lose myself and every time I feel like I’m losing myself I go to the edge”.

    More than a year later, Sept 19, 2019: “The summer months were emotionally exhausting since my parents did not accept my gender identity and did not think it necessary for me to visit the therapist. I felt alone with a raging inner critic and I would burst into tears at least twice every two weeks. I struggled with disordered eating, avoiding certain foods and at other times eating a lot because I didn’t feel full. Then I was filled with self-hatred because I felt I had lost control over my restriction with food and my body wouldn’t be masculine enough so I would work out to the extreme and eat little for days to burn off the calories…all I can think about is my gender identity and it consumes my mind…always the same obsessive thought that I’m trying to escape from. When I feel overwhelmed from all of it, it’s like my mental processes are sluggish and being controlled by this one loop that goes round and round and I go between different selves to placate the voice”.

    Oct 10, 2019: “I don’t know how to be that self of me when  it seems like there really isn’t much of a self out of the shell of stereotypes. And I find myself wondering about the depression and anorexia.. I wonder how much will be left as these shells seem to disintegrate leaving me feeling more confused about myself than I was before… I think about the people at college who embrace me for me and tell me I’m valid for who I choose to be. I don’t feel valid in my feelings when I’m around my parents because they have expectations of what men and women can do that make them masculine or feminine. I feel lost as to who I am as a person. I don’t want to live in the shell of stereotypes society casts for me, but I don’t know myself outside the box either… I just don’t know who I’d be without the box or whether I actually am alive”.

    Oct 31, 2019: “I am glad to have Ocean Pride LGBTQ club at my college which I have met some new friends who encourage me to be more positive each day. I know I can’t really think outside the box when I’m living with my parents, but I do try to reduce the anxiety by meditating, working on healthy eating habits (still combating anorexia, but it’s getting better)”.

    Nov 20, 2019: “Ever since I came out as transgender male, I’ve had people who adamantly don’t accept my gender identity and purposefully tell me that I have to prove to them that I’m transgender. Some say I’m not masculine enough and that I’m not a man yet because I haven’t had the medical transition. But the medical transition is quite expensive and I’m working my way to it by getting a good education so I can become a genetic engineer and work on saving up for it”.

    Dec 7, 2019: “Wearing a chest binder helps with the dysphoria, but putting it on sometimes makes me feel dysphoric because I feel like I’m just hiding my chest and the insecurity of possibly having the chest binder not making my chest flat enough sometimes contributes to dysphoria. I dislike the summer months the most because I feel more exposed without the layers covering my body. I have started to wear looser clothes in case my chest binder doesn’t hide the “bumps” of my chest. My chest causes me the most anxiety. Also I always feel tense when I feel like someone might misgender me, like an old acquaintance that doesn’t know my gender”.

    Dec 9, 2019: “I have such dysphoria that makes it hard to concentrate on tasks some days as I wish my chest would be flatter. I know testosterone will help redistribute the fat in my body and help build more muscle so my chest will look flatter. I will also have a lower, deeper voice and grow facial hair that will make me feel more masculine. I know that testosterone will make me feel less stressed about my body as it changes it to be more masculine and I won’t feel so dysphoric at times that I have to work out to the extreme to escape my emotional turmoil. Mastectomy (top surgery to remove the chest) usually requires a transgender person to be on testosterone for six months or more and sometimes you have to live a year as a male before top surgery. The recovery for top surgery is six months at the quickest and it is painful as I’ve met transgender males who are in the process of top surgery and their chest bandages are quite tight and they have to use dialysis bags to help regulate blood flow… I wasn’t sure about myself at first but being in college and meeting other LGBTQA students has allowed me to realize how my experiences mirror their experiences. Some of my transgender friends that have transitioned are happier with their lives”.

    Jan 25, 2020: “My gender dysphoria seems to have been getting more prominent because the more I know about it, the more I seem aware of it and the more I think about transitioning the more I want it to happen”.

    May 8, 2020:  “Lately I’ve been having some panic attacks where I’m just crying and shaking because I just don’t know where I’m going.. 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”.

    June 1, 2020: “I just feel lost in gender dysphoria and anxiety.. I still enjoy exploring science sometimes I wonder if science is just a way I chose to try to understand the world and myself and work on building myself up to transitioning and that almost makes it seem like I never really had anything that fit me I was only going after something that would help me transition because I yearn for that with every ounce of my being that I’m starting to question other things in life”.

    Your most recent post was on June 3, 2020: “I have been having muscles aches and pains and sometimes just really tired due to anxiety so sometimes I will feel shaky and off balance, starting to sway a little.. 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 it think  hat 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 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”.

    The last part of this post includes my thoughts:  from the very beginning of your posts, Dec 2015, you shared about your disordered eating, which you referred to later as anorexia, sharing about restricting food on one hand and overeating on the other, as well as over exercising to the extreme. You shared how it hurts your body, leaving you light headed and dizzy and sometimes you faint. Seems to me that your ongoing anxiety,  low blood sugar (caused by restricting food) and exhaustion (over-exercising) is your major and earliest struggle from the time you started this thread all the way to the present. Seems to me that this struggle negatively affected your performance in school: “getting an F in physics.. may have a negative impact when other colleges see it” (June 24, 2019). “I withdrew from Organic Chemistry” (Sept 19, 2019), and “I withdrew from my classes on March 8th due to intense anxiety that made it difficult to focus” (March17, 2020).

    I have suffered from years of restricting, overeating, binge eating and over-exercising. I too hurt my body and otherwise suffered a lot  of anxiety in regard to eating and gaining weight. This anxiety is not completely gone, but I have made significant progress and I am still progressing. It is very, very important that you receive professional treatment for this issue.

    This is all I have for you, Janus. Post again anytime.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #357919
    anita
    Participant

    * Re-submitting (without the extra print):

    Dear Janus (Post #3):

    My hope in posting these three long posts for you, posts that are almost entirely quotes from what you shared over the past 4.5 years, is that you will save these posts for your records and offer them to a medical professional who will be able to offer you the help that you need. Your posts on your thread of 4.5 years, starting Dec 2015, is a valuable source for a medical professional to have so to evaluate you and construct a treatment plan for you.

    Your posts in these 85 pages are often very long and include lots of accounts of books you read and academic studies. In my three posts to you, I am trying to present your words, quotes from what you shared, in a way that will be easier for you and for a professional to read and to learn from.

    In this post, I will further extract quotes from what you shared over time and at the end of this  post, I will offer you  my thoughts on your disordered eating and over-exercising only. I will not offer you my thoughts on your gender identity.

    On Feb 6, 2016, at 17 years old,  you posted a poem you wrote sometime earlier: “Looking into the Mirror.. looking at me, Sometimes I see a pretty reflection, sometimes I see myself worn by time, Looking into the mirror, I ask myself “Am I really me? Is this who I’m supposed to be?” .. looking at myself trying to find out who I really am, Is this the true me.. Or is it the me that’s been shaped by the world?.. Looking in the mirror, I try to see myself in the future, Sometimes my reflection looks haggard and ugly, at other times confident and self-assured, I don’t know what to believe.. The world shaping who I am”.

    You shared that your parents favored your brother, a boy, and communicated to you that you are worth less because you are a girl, saying to you that girls aren’t smart nor are they athletic, suggested therefore that you are inadequate. So, you tried hard to be these two things: smart and athletic. You studied hard and you exercised hard for many years, including the 4.5 years of you posting here on your thread.

    In 2016, at 17 going on 18, you viewed yourself as a an ambitious, reserved, serious, intelligent, determined, independent and strong girl, and a feminist. You were resolved to not accommodate societal gender roles and stereotypes: “I’m still the ambitious, reserved and serious girl that wants people to know her more as the intelligent and determined person. In that way I’m like the song ‘Miss Independent’” (July 7, 2016).   “Society should be celebrating the strong, independent women who can play sports, withstand injuries as a symbol of feminism.. Just b/c a girl wears shorts and cuts her hair short doesn’t mean she is trying to be a male, it means she is having her own terms of free expression.. Women in our society are not powerless and should be allowed to play sports, dress in shorts and wear their hair short…I don’t get along with my parents, they think women who play sports, wear shorts are too much like a guy” (Sept 11, 2016) “I hate gender roles that girls have to be princesses and damsels in distress or not sports types b/c I’m not like that” (Oct 22, 2016).

    From the beginning of your thread, you shared about your disordered eating (restricting on one hand, which you referred to as anorexia, and overeating on the other) and compulsive, over exercising (ex.: “Oftentimes whenever I am sitting, I want to be up and working out b/c I feel as if the calories are adding up”, June 13, 2016).

    In 2016, You identified yourself as a girl who is “the polar opposite of my mom who likes shopping for clothes, fashion, jewelry and flowers. I rather wear shorts and a t-shirt as opposed to a skirt and I enjoy keeping my hair short b/c when I do science labs long hair is a hazard” (Sept 2, 2016). You liked sports and science and preferred the company of boys over the company of girls: “I have a lot of guy friends from sports and I’m around guys a lot” (Oct 19, 2016).

    In March 4, 2016 you described an experience you had with a boy you liked: “We decided to race.. My hair had fallen loose while we had been running.. My hair was a bit messy blowing in the breeze and my sweatshirt was disheveled from running.. he said that I looked beautiful and the loose hair in the wind made me seem like a free spirit”.

    You chose to read about women because you identified yourself as a  woman: “I learned .. from Portia de Rossi’s book.. the true story of an actress who struggles with her body and ends up accepting herself..  Like Portia, I like acting” (Aug 27, 2016).

    Your parents clearly expressed favoritism toward your brother, and you took in the belief that intelligence and athleticism are male characteristics: “both of my parents.. are very patriarchal and think that girls can’t be scientists or shouldn’t bench press or do pull-ups.. They criticize me and say I have no life skills and I’m nothing compared to my brother.” (Sept 2, 2016). “My parents.. they are very patriarchal and no matter how much I work out, do well in school, they focus more on my brother and praise him more” (Oct 10, 2016) . You were worried about not being athletic enough or smart enough because you were a girl: “Every time I see someone else who seems better than me athletically and intelligently, I wish I were them. Andrew seems so much smarter than I am. I feel so inadequate”(April 8, 2016), and “I worry about not being a good enough athlete since I’m a girl” (May 20, 2016).

    You were very motivated and tried very hard to be athletic and smart, to be fit and appear fit (ex.: “I also bench pressed to help my triceps and also did push-ups. I also tightened my abs”, Aug 19, 2016), spending lots of time exercising and studying: “there is still an inner bully within that keeps telling me to be the most perfect I can be, to be the most athletic, the smartest and then I maybe able to please even those who dislike me” (July 14, 2016), and “The inner bully creeps in and says ‘you will never be a good scientist as Andrew. why even try?’” (July 19, 2016).

    Oct 19, 2016: “I’m more than just on the surface, that my soul is genderless, neither male or female. I feel as if I can connect to both sides.”

    Nov 27, 2016:  “My inner bully will say “look at all these people, they are all saying you are worthless, you are weak as a girl. why don’t you change?”

    Jan 12, 2017:” I feel like I don’t want to be a girl if they see it as weak and only guys work out and play competitive sports, but I don’t want to be a guy either. I’ve lost my sense of gender.”

    Jan 17, 2017: “There are two sides of me warring with each other, one side that wants to follow the labels and another side that wants to break free and live as my soul”.

    A year after the above post, Jan 12, 2018 :”Lately, I’ve been feeling detached from myself and identifying as more masculine to give me strength and it feels like that part of me has taken over and I’m unsure of who my real self is anymore. How do I explain to my parents that I want to express myself the way I want even with their criticisms?.. The LGBT community is helping me be more confident with who I am”.

    March 31, 2018: “The LGBT community at my college plays a big role in my life and I feel like I’ve found acceptance there.. I have also begun to make peace with myself and have gone to a therapist who has helped me understand my gender identity.. I’ve been bringing home resources from the pride group at my college and the LGBT community and sharing them with my parents explaining to them how these things and people play a part in my life and have helped me in discovering who I am”.

    April 16, 2018: “Ocean Pride LGBT group has helped me better understand myself..my parents have expressed that they won’t support me financially if I transition… Also at my college, I have been using the name Janus because he is the Roman god of new beginnings and transitioning. His name lends to the month of January in which I was born. Socially transitioning and seeking therapy has been a new beginning for me and I feel like I’m closer to finding myself”.

    May 15, 2018: “I feel like controlling my body by being anorexic makes me more masculine and also hides the insecurities I have. One insecurity I have is that I am not strong enough to be a male and this results in me feeling anxious if I miss a day of exercise because I fear I’ll lose muscle mass”.

    June 1, 2018: “I’m not alive at times and I sometimes question if I truly exist in this world or I’m just an immaterial being of my thoughts. Sometimes I like this feeling because I feel like I can mold myself into the person I see myself as”.

    June 7, 2018: “There are days when I feel like things are moving too slowly and I become depressed. On those days, I go back to over-exercising and controlling my eating…I get depressed and wonder if I’ll ever build my confidence to achieve my goals. At those times of shaken confidence and doubts with whether I can be more true self, I feel intense gender dysphoria and find myself wishing I was gone from this world. My thoughts are foggy, my heart aches and I feel alone like I’ve just had all my hopes dashed when I entered a tunnel of no light”.

    June 13, 2018:  “Sometimes the bitterness in my mind brings a question that fuels my frustration with my parents and that question is ‘Is it that hard to accept me as I choose to identify?’ ..All I want is to transition to be a man. I don’t think I can live with myself anymore going daily floating through life not fully living.” Sometimes I feel like being anorexic will make me skinnier and make me look more masculine and I think about what it would be like to die from anorexia and silence my inner critic’s voice. I think ‘What if I made myself so skinny that my chest would be extremely flat? What if I died trying to be a man, would that make me happier than the life I’m living now?’ These thoughts often scare me and make me feel numb and at times I cry… The constant thoughts that pound in my head, the ache of my muscles as I over-exercise to escape the emotional pain and the constant feeling like I don’t exist in this world- like I’m just drifting make me wonder whether I’m really making progress in life. I do not want to lose myself and every time I feel like I’m losing myself I go to the edge”.

    More than a year later, Sept 19, 2019: “The summer months were emotionally exhausting since my parents did not accept my gender identity and did not think it necessary for me to visit the therapist. I felt alone with a raging inner critic and I would burst into tears at least twice every two weeks. I struggled with disordered eating, avoiding certain foods and at other times eating a lot because I didn’t feel full. Then I was filled with self-hatred because I felt I had lost control over my restriction with food and my body wouldn’t be masculine enough so I would work out to the extreme and eat little for days to burn off the calories…all I can think about is my gender identity and it consumes my mind…always the same obsessive thought that I’m trying to escape from. When I feel overwhelmed from all of it, it’s like my mental processes are sluggish and being controlled by this one loop that goes round and round and I go between different selves to placate the voice”.

    Oct 10, 2019: “I don’t know how to be that self of me when  it seems like there really isn’t much of a self out of the shell of stereotypes. And I find myself wondering about the depression and anorexia.. I wonder how much will be left as these shells seem to disintegrate leaving me feeling more confused about myself than I was before… I think about the people at college who embrace me for me and tell me I’m valid for who I choose to be. I don’t feel valid in my feelings when I’m around my parents because they have expectations of what men and women can do that make them masculine or feminine. I feel lost as to who I am as a person. I don’t want to live in the shell of stereotypes society casts for me, but I don’t know myself outside the box either… I just don’t know who I’d be without the box or whether I actually am alive”.

    Oct 31, 2019: “I am glad to have Ocean Pride LGBTQ club at my college which I have met some new friends who encourage me to be more positive each day. I know I can’t really think outside the box when I’m living with my parents, but I do try to reduce the anxiety by meditating, working on healthy eating habits (still combating anorexia, but it’s getting better)”.

    Nov 20, 2019: “Ever since I came out as transgender male, I’ve had people who adamantly don’t accept my gender identity and purposefully tell me that I have to prove to them that I’m transgender. Some say I’m not masculine enough and that I’m not a man yet because I haven’t had the medical transition. But the medical transition is quite expensive and I’m working my way to it by getting a good education so I can become a genetic engineer and work on saving up for it”.

    Dec 7, 2019: “Wearing a chest binder helps with the dysphoria, but putting it on sometimes makes me feel dysphoric because I feel like I’m just hiding my chest and the insecurity of possibly having the chest binder not making my chest flat enough sometimes contributes to dysphoria. I dislike the summer months the most because I feel more exposed without the layers covering my body. I have started to wear looser clothes in case my chest binder doesn’t hide the “bumps” of my chest. My chest causes me the most anxiety. Also I always feel tense when I feel like someone might misgender me, like an old acquaintance that doesn’t know my gender”.

    Dec 9, 2019: “I have such dysphoria that makes it hard to concentrate on tasks some days as I wish my chest would be flatter. I know testosterone will help redistribute the fat in my body and help build more muscle so my chest will look flatter. I will also have a lower, deeper voice and grow facial hair that will make me feel more masculine. I know that testosterone will make me feel less stressed about my body as it changes it to be more masculine and I won’t feel so dysphoric at times that I have to work out to the extreme to escape my emotional turmoil. Mastectomy (top surgery to remove the chest) usually requires a transgender person to be on testosterone for six months or more and sometimes you have to live a year as a male before top surgery. The recovery for top surgery is six months at the quickest and it is painful as I’ve met transgender males who are in the process of top surgery and their chest bandages are quite tight and they have to use dialysis bags to help regulate blood flow… I wasn’t sure about myself at first but being in college and meeting other LGBTQA students has allowed me to realize how my experiences mirror their experiences. Some of my transgender friends that have transitioned are happier with their lives”.

    Jan 25, 2020: “My gender dysphoria seems to have been getting more prominent because the more I know about it, the more I seem aware of it and the more I think about transitioning the more I want it to happen”.

    May 8, 2020:  “Lately I’ve been having some panic attacks where I’m just crying and shaking because I just don’t know where I’m going.. 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”.

    June 1, 2020: “I just feel lost in gender dysphoria and anxiety.. I still enjoy exploring science sometimes I wonder if science is just a way I chose to try to understand the world and myself and work on building myself up to transitioning and that almost makes it seem like I never really had anything that fit me I was only going after something that would help me transition because I yearn for that with every ounce of my being that I’m starting to question other things in life”.

    Your most recent post was on June 3, 2020: “I have been having muscles aches and pains and sometimes just really tired due to anxiety so sometimes I will feel shaky and off balance, starting to sway a little.. 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 it think  hat 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 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”.

    The last part of this post includes my thoughts:  from the very beginning of your posts, Dec 2015, you shared about your disordered eating, which you referred to later as anorexia, sharing about restricting food on one hand and overeating on the other, as well as over exercising to the extreme. You shared how it hurts your body, leaving you light headed and dizzy and sometimes you faint. Seems to me that your ongoing anxiety,  low blood sugar (caused by restricting food) and exhaustion (over-exercising) is your major and earliest struggle from the time you started this thread all the way to the present. Seems to me that this struggle negatively affected your performance in school: “getting an F in physics.. may have a negative impact when other colleges see it” (June 24, 2019). “I withdrew from Organic Chemistry” (Sept 19, 2019), and “I withdrew from my classes on March 8th due to intense anxiety that made it difficult to focus” (March17, 2020).

    I have suffered from years of restricting, overeating, binge eating and over-exercising. I too hurt my body and otherwise suffered a lot  of anxiety in regard to eating and gaining weight. This anxiety is not completely gone, but I have made significant progress and I am still progressing. It is very, very important that you receive professional treatment for this issue.

    This is all I have for you, Janus. Post again anytime.

    anita

    #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.

    #358340
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    You are very welcome and good to read from you this Friday morning. I read your post thoroughly and again, it is good to read from you. I understand how organizing your words and typing them into the screen, then submitting them and having them in front of you promotes mental clarity and calm. I hope you have a good Friday and weekend.

    anita

    #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!

    #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.

    #358600
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    You received a careless driving citation in New Jersey on Feb 24 this year. From a NJ attorney’s website I looked at, it says that the careless driving statute (NJSA 39: 4-97) exact language reads: “A person who drives a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of careless driving”.

    On Feb 21 this year, three days before you received the citation, you wrote in your thread: “I have to drive an hour and a half to get to Stockton campus I had to wake at 5:45 am to prepare… I found myself quite tired throughout the week… My gender dysphoria has been getting more intense lately and it’s difficult to focus on things and I find myself always feeling anxious about myself. I feel shaky, my throat hurts and my heart races most of the time.. I’m anxious a lot.. the anxiety is quite intense and I always feel like I’m unsafe like there is someone who will hurt or criticize me”.

    Notice the following:

    1. You were driving a lot at that time, an hour and a half from home to school, that’s a long drive. You woke up too early to make that drive and the tiredness day after day intensified your anxiety.

    2. Your gender dysphoria is an ongoing source of anxiety for you,  and it makes it unsafe for you and for other drivers on the road because you are operating heavy machinery aka your car while so very anxious, and that heavy machinery is a dangerous weapon that can maim or kill people.

    This is why I suggested and am suggesting again that you seek medical/ mental health help as soon as possible. I am also suggesting that you don’t drive before you receive effective professional help. It is irresponsible for any person to be driving while experiencing what you experienced at the time: “difficult to focus… always feeling anxious… shaky.. throat hurt.. heart races most of the time.. anxious a lot.. anxiety quite intense”.

    The NJ attorney website I looked at says that if you are convicted of careless driving you will get 2 points on your record, be fined $85, and that rarely convicted people serve up to 15 days in jail. And it says that a conviction will result in an astronomical insurance hike.

    Taking care of this citation is taking care of one of the many consequences of your anxiety. It is most important that you take care of the anxiety itself with professional help ASAP, and not drive before you do that.

    anita

     

    #358905
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    I just noticed you posted a poem. I was typing my most recent post to you while you were typing your poem, so when I submitted my post to you I didn’t realize you posted the poem. Thank you for your poem, and for wishing good things for me. I wish you good things as well!

    anita

    #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.

    #362077
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    You are welcome and I am glad to read that you are managing your anxiety well. I hope you resolve your career path conflict, perhaps following input by people who are currently working in the professions/ jobs that you are considering. Thank you for wishing me a good week ahead, and I wish you the same.

    anita

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