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Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

Hi @SomeoneNADJS We hope the psychologist appointment was helpful yesterday Heart We will be here when you are ready to chat some more Heart

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Check out our community activities calendar for November 2019 here

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

[R@Jess1-RO Things got a little difficult for me.

 

Tuesday after the psychologist I talked to both Headspace and Kids Helpline, in which I got really distressed (suicidal) to the point where our Headspace counsellor called our mum. When I got to KHL, I was tired and I’d calmed down a bit after that.

 

Today I was mostly quiet about how I was feeling in the morning (almost as bad as the night before, but I didn’t show it because I felt I needed to go to school for revision for the exams), but I went to school anyway. Got through the first two lessons, but I was supposed to submit an essay plan for our English exam today, which I didn’t end up finishing because I was a mess yesterday night, so that stressed me out a bit more that I’m past the time for submission.

 

I hid in the boy’s bathrooms for all of recess (absolutely terrible place that I don’t really want to hide in, but I don’t have much other choice). I texted mum, and she let the school counsellor know what was happening. The counsellor tried for about two hours using various methods to calm me down, but in the end our mum had to pick me up at lunch.

 

One discussion the school counsellor and our mum had was asking whether or not I needed to do those exams, and that my/our safety was more important. I can still get a ROSA with what I’ve done already this year, so these exams won’t have much of an impact on my/our HSC in however many years (depending on whether we choose pathways or not). Idk what to do about them. They’re definitely not helping me rn, and they’re adding to the stress I already have with everything else.

 

Going to stay home tomorrow so I can relax a bit more, and depending on how I feel I may or may not go to school on Friday (although I really should be there for a PE assessment). As for exams, our mum has permission to pick me up when I don’t have exams to do something else as a distraction.

 

Also, after KHL last night, I had a bit of a panic after I was convinced by our Headspace counsellor to let our psychologist know about our plurality, but afterwards I regretted it (and hadn’t asked the rest of the system), so I requested he keep that quiet again.

 

Got to go to that social group again (the one I last went to about a month ago). That was nice. I talked with people and did some drawing. Although wearing clip-on earrings can be a bit painful after a while.

 

I feel disappointed in myself for getting to such low points that I’d feel that unsafe, especially when I’m responsible for everyone else’s safety too when I’m the only one up. Although, T (semi-reluctantly) agreed to switch in last night to stop me from doing anything, which didn’t end up happening because I was rushing to get onto KHL at around 10pm.

 

Another thing: now we have access to four rooms other than the toilets to hide in to text/call people or just relax.

 

The school counsellor also isn’t in on the whole trans thing. A little frustrating for me, but I was able to handle it (never said anything about well, but...)

 

I really want to come out. I want to be able to tell that to people. I hate hiding... I hate pretending to be someone who doesn’t exist anymore. Well, that statement’s not exactly literal, since now the body’s identity is who I used to “be”. I mean, sure, if we come out as trans, then there’s still pretending to be a singlet, but that shouldn’t be an issue.

 

We seriously need to get better at switching. Or maybe at least being able to have more than one person active at once for longer periods of time. I think the longest time that’s been has been a few hours without someone going inactive (for two at once). T also theorised the other day that our brain could only really handle three people awake and thinking without someone being drowned out and going inactive, but I think we tested it and we were able to handle four for a few minutes. Anyway, this sort of thing, if we keep developing the skills, could be quite helpful.

 

Still not having a great time about our body. Some of what the school counsellor suggested were grounding exercises, but to be honest I want to distance myself from our body as much as possible because I don’t like it. As long as it’s not hurting anyone, hopefully that should be alright.

 

And yet another thing in this ridiculously long post, I’ve decided it’s probably a good idea to bold the initials of our system members so that it’s clearer that we’re referring to one of us (and to avoid any potential confusion).

 

Anyway, tonight I’m doing alright. A’s a little upset with me over something else, but I think she’s settled down a bit from it.

 

Sorry for the long post, there’s probably stuff I forgot, like our mum emailing the principal to let him know what’s happening, but I’m tired and I need sleep now.

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Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

@SomeoneNADJS 

 

Hey R, 

 

I hope you're having a well deserved rest today at home. It sounds like this week has been exhausting for you. It also seems like you are doing so much every day to push through - seeing Headspace, talking to KHL and the school counsellor and still getting to school to prepare for assessments. You show up for yourself and your systemmates every day. Your determination to address what your going through is clear. 

 

It really hit home for me when you said "I feel disappointed in myself for getting to such low points that I’d feel that unsafe". That's a really tough thing to sit with. You're holding down the fort for yourself and your systemmates and that is hard work. When those feelings of disappointment come up sometimes it helps to show yourself some compassion and even say out loud "I am only human and I am doing my best with the current tools I have". We're our own worst critic and I know this advice is a lot easier said than done Heart 

 

It's good to hear you went back to that group and got a chance to talk to some people and do some drawings. Do you think you'll continue going to the group? It sounds like having the chance to connect with some nice people is a helpful distraction. 

 

As a member of the queer community I can relate to the pain of hiding who you truly are. Coming out can feel really scary and intimidating. When I was running a support group for queer youth we used to talk a lot about "Inviting In" rather than "Coming Out". Choosing some safe people to invite in can help to lift the weight of hiding. Little by little it will be easier to talk about Heart Do you have any trans role models or trans people in your life? 

 

Sending you all lots of comfort and strength Heart 

 

 

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

@SomeoneNADJS That sucks...

 

 

Your safety and well-being, both individually and as a group, are so much more important than exams, and there are almost always other pathways you can take. 

Also, what's the point of a great exam mark if you barely survive getting it?

Basically, if you need to miss that PE assessment you can tell it to get stuffed. You're more important.

 

I hope that you can come to an agreement regarding telling your psychologist.

Is there any way you could sort of broach the subject to see how they react?

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the social group! 

Ouch.. I tried clip on earrings once. My ears did not appreciate it...

I've heard that ear cuffs can be a bit more comfortable if that's something you'd like to try.

 

It's important to remember that it's not your fault. Mental health issues or suicidal thoughts can't just be strength-ed away.

You're doing really well. The effort you've put into staying safe already shows a lot of strength.

 

I know what you mean about wanting to distance yourself.. part of the reason it took me so long to work out my gender was that instead of "classic" dysphoria mine often appears as dissociation/ feeling disconnected from my body.

Would maybe a different 'style' of grounding work where you focus on something outside your body?

A good example can be a piece of jewelry. If it's something heavy like a stone pendant, the weight can help with grounding. If it's stone or metal you could focus on its weight and temperature. Amber and wood would feel lighter and warmer, if you'd prefer that. There are also multiple essential-oil diffuser pendants.

Plus jewelry doubles as self expression and might help with a bit of dysphoria.

 

I hope everything's alright between you (R) and A.. If either of you need support we're here for you.

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

[R@Bre-RO Yeah, today’s mostly been a rest day. I was going to get some work done, but I’ve been heavily distracted over stress and the heat of this house. Thank you, I’ll try but I still feel guilty about things to the point where sometimes I feel things might work out better if someone else was doing everything on the outside rather than me.

 

I’m going to continue going. I know one trans girl (who I’ve mentioned before in this thread under the fake name Genevieve), and last year at her birthday party I met a friend of hers who turned out to be a trans guy who I haven’t seen since that one occasion, which when A was about two weeks old.

 

Thank you again for your kind words Smiley Happy

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

[R@Tiny_leaf Good news from today, I/we am/are only going to be doing four out of the planned nine exams to keep the stress to a minimum (our mum had a meeting with the principal today, who is only aware that I’m suicidal at this point). I’m missing school again tomorrow, and the PE teacher knows this, so that’s fine.

 

I’m not exactly sure how to go about that in a non-suspicious manner. The group was nice. I’ve used clip-on earrings before, and I managed to last for about an hour and a half. That might be something we might have to look into.

 

Thanks. That sort of grounding exercise could be useful, thank you for that too. I think everything’s alright now, I just made a dumb mistake again and A wasn’t happy about it. I’ll try to avoid that again moving forward.

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

[R] Also wanted to bring up something else that’s been bothering me recently. Our mum has been trying to convince me I have Asperger’s for a while. I don’t believe it, and I feel like she could be using it in a way to potentially de-legitimise me as trans.

 

Her main examples are these:

 

1) My so-called “black and white thinking” about gender. She told me this not long after I came out, and still brings it up every now and then. I consider myself non-binary, which by definition means I’m not thinking in black and white. Also, in our brain, what we consider masculine or feminine differs between us significantly, but of course I can’t explain that to her.

 

2) My brain is “getting stuck” on suicidal thoughts and gender dysphoria all the time. My explanation is that I’m constantly being thrown into situations and being made self-aware of our body that doesn’t match who I am.

3) Noise sensitivity that I used to have in my ears. This is not necessarily an indication of Asperger’s, but I think she thinks this is still an issue because I prefer using disabled bathrooms. It’s no longer because I have issues with the noises of the hand dryers, it’s because I haven’t felt comfortable in a men’s bathroom for the past few years.

 

4) My “obsession” with our pet dogs (which I never knew about until today).

 

5) Me always being “precise”. I’m doing this in a joking manner because our mum used to keep telling me I had this.

 

6) The way I act sometimes, which doesn’t actually reflect what I want to do at all a lot of the time. If I wasn’t “facading” to fit in with what people expected because I thought this was a normal thing, I would’ve done things very differently. I’ve regretted several things I didn’t end up doing too because I tried to stay within what it meant to be “male”.

 

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having Asperger’s, but I don’t have a diagnosis, don’t believe that a lot of these arguments still apply to me anymore, and I can’t tell whether it was actually me or I was just perceived that way from the facading. It’s not really helpful that she keeps bringing this up though.

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

@SomeoneNADJS 

 

Hey R, 

 

Good to hear you were able to rest yesterday and that your school is considering your mental health during exam period Heart 

 

Guilt is really difficult to work through and practising that self compassion takes a lot of practise. All these difficult experiences and emotions make it hard to see just how much we are doing to keep ourselves safe and on track. 

 

I hope you're having a good day today Heart 

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

@SomeoneNADJS oof... people definitely can use stuff like that to delegitimise trans people who're also neurodivergent... it's happened to me a couple of times. But I mean... I'm definitely and actually autistic...? 

I had never heard of an allistic person having that used against them until now, but that could be a really valid concern depending on your mum..

 

If your mum's convinced you're autistic it might be hard to change her mind. It might be easier, at least short term, to convince her that even if you were autistic/ had Aspergers, your gender would be exactly as legitimate and real as it would be otherwise.

Anyway, a few points you could make if you want to do that:

 

•Studies have suggested that autistic people are more likely to identify as trans/ NB, but

•Not all trans or non-binary people are autistic.

•Not all autistic people are trans or NB.

•Someone having (or not having) autism does not make their gender any less valid.

•Actually someone having any disability, or illness, does not make their gender any less valid because gender is a deeply personal thing that we all have our own unique relationships to.

 

But yeah there are a lot of other possible explanations for your mum's points...

 

1) Cis people can be weird when it comes to gender, probably because most of them have never had to question theirs. Sometimes they'll interpret stuff like "I'm not male." as overly black-and-white in trans and NB people, but totally normal in cis girls.

Idk why, it just seems to be a thing that happens.

 

2) If brains didn't get "stuck" on stuff like that... would they actually be a problem for anyone who isn't autistic? If allistic people could just shrug that sort of stuff off then mental illness would only ever be an autistic thing, if that makes sense. Getting stuck on stuff like that just seems to be the nature of mental health issues.

 

3) To be fair hand dryers are terrifying.

But yeah noise sensitivity can be from a million different things, including individual differences. 

 

4) I mean, they're dogs. Isn't it normal to be obsessed by them?

Also in my personal experience autistic special interests tend to be a bit wider-ranging than just the individual pets you have.

Like I love and obsess over my cats as much as any self-respecting crazy cat person. The unusual part for me is the amount of time I spend learning (and thinking honestly) about animals (especially cats they are very good)

 

6) It's possible that the facade you've been putting up looks superficially similar to autistic "masking". We have to hide a lot of autistic behaviors to stay safe and not bullied/ looked down on. If you're having to socially mask your gender and plurality, it might look similar to someone else masking their autism.

 

 

The only thing I should mention though is that the "traditional" view on autism and especially Aspergers is based on cis males.

Autism can often look, or be seen as,  a bit different in anyone who isn't the "classic" cis male.

So if in doubt, it would be worth reading about the symptoms from an autistic person's point of view, especially a non-binary person's.

Re: TW Trans/Non-Binary and Plural Stuff

[R@Bre-RO Thanks. Today's been better, and yesterday did get bad at a few points, but today I've been alright.