ORIGINALLY POSTED 1st JULY 2016
Future me here *waves* this diary entry was wrote over four years ago now, but still the old me tries its best to sabotage my efforts for self growth. Change is a long process. When writing this diary entry I would say anxiety was about 80%, now it’s about 30%. I also no longer call it ‘My Anxiety‘, as this makes you attach to it, by dropping the word my, the anxiety starts to lose a lot of it’s power over you, as you realise it is not part of who you are.
*end of future me*
Going backwards on the train. I hate going backwards, packed on like sardines today as well, but I made it. Rushed home from work, showered, ate my dinner and got to the train station all within 90 minutes. Dark clouds overhead. It’s going to pee down I think! Today I expect to talk to my gender therapist about anxiety.
Since the Last Visit, I’ve been focusing on my mind and my anxieties. I didn’t realise until I started seeing a hypnotherapist a few months back, but since 1993, when I was 13 and started developing hairs on my body, I’ve suffered from body dysmorphic disorder. This disorder has manifested itself all over my body over the years, leading me to think it was just part of my overall anxiety, but since 1993 I’ve always hid my hairy body, as it never felt right.
A lot of my anxieties, which always seemed unrelated, I’m beginning to realise stem from back then. I’ve been meditating a lot. I can feel myself becoming the person I want to be, but I’m also aware that the old me is still there, trying its best to sabotage me … so it’s a case of taking each day as it comes. Asking myself each night, How did I do?
Some days I do good :)
Some days, I do not so good :(
I’ve noticed that patience, perseverance, and being honest with myself when I fall into old habits are key to progress, as is daily meditation. So that’s where I’m at. Time to see what today brings.
IT’S YOUR JOURNEY
That’s what my gender therapist said to me today :) This is odd, because two weeks ago, when I told a girl I work with that I’m transitioning, I remember her saying, “Just enjoy the journey!” :) It made me look at the difficult times differently. Seeing them as part of the journey, somehow makes them positive, almost special.
Today though, we spoke about meditating, anxiety, a tiny bit about hormones and about talking with other trans girls online or via local groups. I said I want to focus on my mind at the moment, but I have been aware that I need some friends who are going though this too to talk with. It’s just difficult to know where to start. My goal for this month though, is to join a transgender support forum :)
It was a funny session. Firstly, my gender therapist looked so cool. Her hair was all fluffy – I loved it! She also had these really cute little brown platform shoes on, she had such a nice style about her today. She mentioned my long nails, of which one has broken :( asking if I paint them. You know what… I’m going to try my hardest to paint my nails next time I see her :) I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but it’s scary. Maybe next visit I will be ready to try it.
I said how I’m feeling more at ease with myself, yet paradoxically, my anxiety has increased. She said maybe it’s because you’ve always believed you’re not allowed to be yourself but now you’re challenging this belief. She said it will take time. I said I wish I could click my fingers and be over the anxiety, but I guess it is part of the journey :) Time and Patience! I said I know with certainty I’m on the right path now, I can feel it, but while I think I know my destination, I may be wrong. It doesn’t matter though, all that matters is that I find myself, and become myself. .. and that is happening, I can feel it.
MINDFULNESS IS POWERFUL
She said that the anxiety is most likely linked to the events of my childhood. She knows everything that happened to me as a child. I tend not to dwell on the past, but I did have events in my childhood that were pretty messed up. I’ve never wrote about them before, but along with Mum and Dad issues, at the age of 13 I was actually strangled by my Mums boyfriend. I remember being in the kitchen, trying to protect my Mum from her boyfriend, when he grabbed me and strangled me. I fell to the floor. I remember looking up and seeing my Mum, instead of checking I was ok, run out the front door after him, leaving me alone on the kitchen floor.
It’s pretty messed up when I think about, no wonder I’ve had trust issues lol This was just as I was hitting puberty, so my body was changing into a male when I felt female, I had to move schools, move in with my Dad, who, no disrespect, but was very judgmental and against anything that wasn’t ‘normal’. All of this at the same time, I guess it was a recipe for disaster.
From that moment on, I was hit with panic attacks that stayed with me well into my mid twenties. In fact, after I was strangled, I moved in with my Nan for a while. I remember going on trips with her and the neighbours next door, this was the last time I can remember proper laughing and having fun outside with people. I was so young at the time, and Nan died while I was at Uni, so I never got to thank her for helping me, which upsets me so much. I remember she even said I woke her up one night as I was laughing in my sleep :) I was so happy, I was laughing in dreamland :) That was the last time I was truly happy, didn’t care about anyone or anything … I was just content to be myself. Nan had the power to make you feel like that!
Anyways, that’s the past. I’ve realised almost all of my anxiety is linked to fear, and worrying. My gender therapist asked, “Does it matter to find out where it goes back to?” The worrying? It’s the same thing my hypnotherapist said a few weeks back. I’m trying to make sense in my own mind if knowing why I worry about everything is important … or can I just let it go without knowing why I worry about everything.
I have made so much progress, I no longer worry about parts of my body I used to obsess over, I’m starting to do things that old me would never have been able to, little things like wearing sunglasses. In fact, I told this story to my gender therapist. I think there’s a very important lesson here. Since a teenager I’ve always been self-conscious of everything. Wearing sunglasses has never been something I felt comfortable doing, as I didn’t like the thought of people looking at me. As I’m genuinely starting to not care what people think of me, I’ve given myself little games to test myself. Such as wearing these big bright pink sunglasses lol They were actually my nieces from years ago, which we all wore at my Sisters wedding.
So, I’ve started wearing them outside. At first it was really uncomfortable. I almost couldn’t do it, but, I meditated on it and imagined myself wearing them, and I said to myself, If I want to be who I am in the future you need to wear these sunglasses lol This made it much easier. So, last week I was riding my bike, and as I rode past these workmen, I saw one of them look at me and start talking to his mate, I got the vibe he was thinking, “Look at that nob.” I didn’t care, in fact, I kind of liked it. It felt empowering to know I was just being myself. So I got home, and thought about it that night. The old me, I know, would have put the sunglasses in the drawer and never worn them again after that, in fact he wouldn’t even have worn them in the first place.
The next day, it was another sunny one, so I popped on the bright pink sunglasses and as I was getting off my bike to get some shopping, this photographer came up to me and said, “Can I take a photo of you? Those sunglasses are amazing!” I posed for him :) and than thought, wow, imagine if I had let those workmen put me off wearing those glasses, I would never have had that nice experience. It made me feel like if you are true to yourself, no matter what people say or do, the world will respond and feel your energy.
“It’s empowering to know being yourself is ok!”
So it was a nice session, if a little odd. It sort of had nothing to do with gender this week, but as I’ve said before, this is more than my gender now. I’m more than my gender :) It’s about becoming whole. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I actually rolled up my top and showed my gender therapist my bare arms. I would Never. Ever. Have been able to do this until now. In the past, I couldn’t even look at my arms, let alone show someone else them.
It’s odd feeling both empowered and anxious at the same time. I believe this may just be part of being in the river of change. A bit like when you’re doing something out of your comfort zone, you’re both excited and scared at the same time. It feels like the anxiety is old me trying to stop me from evolving. However, I just tell myself, Sophie, my future self, is fearless. As I am Sophie, I am fearless :)
I feel like I’m in the middle of a battle, old self (creating anxiety) vs. my new self (creating joy and inspiration). Writing this diary entry, I’ve realised my old self has been living in fear for years. All my habitual actions where based on fear. Sadly that old self is still very much lingering inside, so everyday I make sure I do something that is in sync with my future fearless self. No matter how small, or what my old self does. In time I will find myself.
Visit ten took place on 18th August 2016 and was the ‘let’s see what happens‘ visit