And then I explain that I'm not going to a job fair this morning because I noticed late last night that they wanted a resumé and cover letter, because I don't think the sort of cover letter I could write at one in the morning (or at seven in the morning) would be worth the paper on which I'd print it...
'Oh, just write one!'
'It'll take you five minutes.'
'Cover letters are easy! Just say why you want to work there!'
'Why don't you just write one?'
'Oh, well they've decided they don't want to go.'
No. I really did want to go. It seemed promising. I would probably be pretty good at a job that involves cleaning up little tubs of add-your-own condiments, making sure frozen yoghurt machines are still functioning, and pushing buttons on a touchscreen to charge people for their yoghurt tubs. Partly because a trained monkey or a sufficiently advanced Roomba could do that, and partly because hey - at least lots of cool-looking people walk through malls, and they play music that isn't the same three Christmas songs on repeat, so I'm pretty happy with that.
That's about all I've got.
But apparently writing brilliant cover letters that get the jobs rolling in like waves of a flood tide is nothing at all. Anyone could do it. No problem.
Please explain what that implies about me.
It's just so overwhelming and scary and I have to keep track of dates and times and people and papers and books and notes and that's without even thinking of the contents of the courses themselves.
I just want to not feel a rising swell of panic every time I open my calendar or my school website or my textbook or my notes or my student email, because I'm so sure that I've forgotten an assignment or missed a class or done the wrong reading or gone to the wrong room or... anything, really.
It doesn't even help to think that screwing up one assignment, second week of term, wouldn't be The End, because I have this crushing fear that having missed one assignment makes me a miserable failure, will turn my profs and TAs against me Forever and... well, in the past it mostly has led to me panicking, balking, and running away entirely. Skipping class. Skipping lab. Skipping tutorial. This summer I took two online courses, missed one deadline, and panicked so wildly I skipped out on two whole courses and put myself back on academic probation.
Sometimes I want to just drop out because it causes me so much anxiety, but I love learning in lectures and I need to be able to see my counselor and doctor at the school (because trusting doctors is hard and scary) and I can't even seem to find a minimum-wage, crappy-hours, no-benefits job to hire me, so I'm not sure what else I could do.
UGH university ugh courses ugh schedule ugh enrollment ugh self urgh.
I am a complete and utter shaky-skulled idiot dunce, and guess what? I managed to totally bork up enrolling myself for classes, so none of my choices were actually added, meaning they all filled up (most of them even the waitlist was full) and I have had to attempt to cobble together a whole new one. Which means I am now about to add a really piecemeal assortment of courses which are more difficult, take up more time, are worth fewer units, and probably contribute even less to any kind of meaningful degree.
Which I need to happen, because scholarship. And there is pretty much no other course I could cram into my schedule, and even if there was I doubt it would be one I would enjoy or even possibly PASS.
I'm just... really bad at this, I think. I get stressed, and I'm all 'LOL NOPE NOT GONNA DEAL WITH THIS' so I shut down my brain and refuse to think to avoid total swirling overwhelmed meltdown, but while that works as a stopgap measure and prevents me from getting shitfaced drunk and staying up all night crying or whatever, and is really really good for my high scores on Robot Unicorn Attack, it just leaves me freaking stagnating all over the place, leaving me - still! - without meaningful employment, a planned major, any idea what I want to do with myself, or more than one or two meaningful relationships in my life. (And of course that just feeds into me feeling inadequate, which feeds into me feeling jealous and self-pitying, which just leads into me feeling shitty and petty and childish about feeling like that, which... recursive fractal of emo whiny bullshit.)
I don't really know where I was going with this.
But I've added the courses, so let's just hope
Whiiiiiiiiinge. Whinge whinge whinge.
Also I have now seen X-Men: First Class twice. Yes, twice. Last movie I saw twice in theatres was... Iron Man? Dead Man's Chest? Anyway. I think I could listen to an entire movie of Michael Fassbender reading a multi-lingual ingredient label. And gratuitous as it was, I am not yet sick of the shot of Mystique during which one can pretty much hear the producer and all seven makeup artists shouting in chorus, "HERE'S OUR MAKEUP BUDGET, GUYS!"
Not sure I need to see it a third time, though. That high honour still belongs to PotO and PotO alone. xD
Also we didn't win the Stanley Cup or something but transit was interesting all afternoon/night.
Yeah. A waitlist. For group. What the hell? Um, okay, healthcare system. You have utterly convinced me of your efficacy and efficiency. (If they were as disorganised and unsuccessful with treatment for any other life-threatening ailment, would people care then? No? Maybe? I'm not sure which way is more disheartening.)
It's kind of something I think about - treatment for GID and for eating disorders seems... opposed, somehow. The one says 'your mind is right and your body wrong; we need to change the body from its automatic settings so the brain accepts it' and the other says 'your mind is wrong and your body right; we need to change your head so it accepts the body's automatic config.' I know that the adage about never really recovering from an eating disorder is true as far as my anecdata can carry it. I know that GID is treated the way it is because this is the only way that seems to work. But then, I guess with gender dysphoria, the trans individual isn't also dealing with an addiction and obsessive-compulsion. There are probably those who would quite happily get behind the idea that gender dysphoria is rather a body dysmorphia, and all trans people delusional. Ugh. I don't even know.
I wish I wasn't so distrustful of the psychiatric establishment. Especially since I have no reason to feel as such, given a rather scant body of experience on which to base judgement. Maybe I'm burned out on psychologists and family doctors. Maybe I just need to ask, as my first question, why a psychiatrist reading the DSM and listening to my self-reported symptoms is so different from me reading the DSM and evaluating my self-felt symptoms.
I'm also grumpy because the way this lab course is being conducted (online assignments, rushed labs, minimal human teaching) is making me really aggravated, and kind of poisoning my love affair with chemistry. I feel like this isn't a challenging course - it's just Nintendo Hard. Sub out depth for shaky controls. Instant difficulty! Except not in the fun way. Argh.
Um. Feeling pretty terrible. Well. Up-and-down, I guess. *Right this second* I feel absolutely miserable, but that's just this moment, so ehhh...
It seems that for all my introversion and nervousness and eagerness to hop the bus home each day, my mental health is... well, I have to always be on. Doing something. It feels really weird to think that I was in a better headspace running on veins full of caffeine and a head empty of sleep, roaming the streets of Seattle at five in the morning, sleeping one hour a night, than I am sitting at home in a leisurely manner with time to relax and... well, do nothing.
So I have to be constantly distracted from any possibility of being left alone with myself. No - walking the empty streets of a predawn city is alone with myself. Sitting in the library reading a book on gender roles in 1800's Germany (...it was right in front of me and had a very dashing black and gold cover) is being alone with myself.
I guess it's just being in the comfort and safety of my own abode that drives me up the walls.
Maybe I really am a pirate tramp after all.
I've started class at SFU. I've actually added a biology class. Yay! I mean, finally. Don't ask me why I didn't get around to taking some kind of biology sooner. I mean, it's only been the one branch of the sciences in which I've consistently shown an interest since early childhood. I think it must have been grade nine science that scared me off - fucking mitosis/meiosis. I love penguins and planaria. I guess I don't absolutely adore the mechanics of their cell reproductions. Or something. But this chemistry class - any class that starts off with "What is life?" is fun.
I've also got a chemistry lab - my A-level apparently counts for two 100-level courses, the theory portions, but I don't have the lab portion. I don't know if I can just take the lab portion by itself, though. Well, I guess I'll find out tomorrow when I rock up to the lab tomorrow. Oh, man. The lab. It is bloody beautiful. It has big glass walls facing the hall, so I could see inside, and man. There are biohazard bags and warning signs and bottles the size of my head filled with candy-coloured solutions and and and ~ oh, so excited. Seriously. Biohazard bags. This is already great.
I've also had a doctor's appointment. Man. Bringing my father into the office as a meat shield actually worked wonders. She was, of all things, actually kind of sympathetic and helpful. Wow. She's going to push me through some urgent-access thingumajig to see a real live psychiatrist for a real live psych assessment (the last time anyone actually thought to be sure of exactly what mood disorder might be going on and which treatment was appropriate was when I was fourteen, and even aside from the fact that at that age pretty much the only thing a psychiatrist can do is diagnose depression and sling Prozac around, as the good doctor herself said 'a lot has happened since you were fourteen').
In the meantime, she's given me a prescription for some kind of anti-psychotic medication which is actually only really used for anxiety and sleeplessness. It has some grotty side effects (weight gain, boo) but there are some upsides (possible missed periods, woo). And to be honest, if it works and I can stop being so twitchy and neurotic for a bit, I'm happy. It won't mess with either depression or bipolar, which was kind of why I stopped taking fluoxetine in the first place. I mean, my mum had bipolar. My sister... I'm not privy to her diagnoses, but the last time she had a presscription filled, it was for lithium, which is a mood stabilizer, not an antidepressant. But I'm not going to start taking it just yet, because it can raise blood sugar, and I'm also getting eight hundred million blood tests done - well, I don't know the number of tests, but there's a lot of writing on the order sheet. I'm going tomorrow morning. So that should be a load of fun.
I feel like leaning too far forward to catch hold of something just out of reach.
I'm just a mess of panic attacks at decisions and revulsion at the touch of my own skin.
Fuck. You can tell I haven't slept.
Oh, and while I'm whining: I had a midterm today, and completely fucked up using quadratic equations. You know that giant square root sign? That really glaringly obvious one, written right in the equation that I copied out multiple times in each question that used it? How the hell did I miss that?! What the hell-arse-balls, self?
This is wrong. This is somebody else's life. One of these days I'll just drop down dead and wake up in another world. This can't be my life. This waste, this uselessness, this stupidity, this ugliness. I can't believe this is real.
I'm so heartbroken. It's funny. I've never felt like I had anything to lose.
I'm out of my depth.
I need help. Nothing I've ever done before has done any good. Nothing, ever. It always hurts. Anything else is only forgetting, anything else is a distraction to make it hurt more when I remember. It always hurts. Always.
Sometimes hope is really fucking hard.
I have work tomorrow.
In other news, I have everyone at work calling me by the right name, and it feels awesome. Plus, I've noticed that within hours of the first time I anyone had actually called me by the name out loud, my response to it had become totally automatic. Gives me a good dose of confidence that I've got the right name. I mean, other than already having been sure enough of it to use it with new acquaintances. :P
Say what you like about Jennifer Diane Reitz, she hit the nail on the head with this:
"A transsexual is raised as a gender opposite to their inner gender. The cultural training, and reinforcement of gender specific behaviors, confuses and torments them. By the time they have the opportunity to change their physical sex to agree with their true gender, they are faced with a triple cultural problem. The transsexual must not only unlearn a lifetime of enforced gender role behavior, make up almost overnight for the loss of a lifetime of gender role training culturally appropriate to their true inner gender, but must also find a way to comfortably express their unique personality honestly through that new gender role."
I know a lot of people think she's a crackpot, and some even go so far as to shoot off at the mouth about how she's not a 'real' transsexual. Fuck that. I know she writes some interestingly unfounded statements, but when she's writing about the unquantifiable aspects of human experience; everything personal, everything individual and thus frustratingly intangible... something about what she says is just right.
I found out, to my surprise and dismay, that in order for any form of SRS to be covered by the MSP, I'd need two years of RLE. Because the relatively tolerable two years of being - of being, well, me, followed by the soul-crushing despair of the two years that followed, in which I was forced back into all the biting and snapping little boxes from which it had taken so much triple-distilled Essence of Brass Ones to extricate myself? Those don't count. The years of knowing, but not quite knowing what? Well, of course those don't count. You don't get an employer to write you a note for those, silly. The Year of The Starveling - you know, the one where an electrocardiogram told me to my face I ought to be dead, and all because I was trying to be what I thought I ought to be? That doesn't count, and neither does the brief reprise that followed, when I was surrounded by tights and skirts and gendered bathrooms and people who called me demeaning things like 'Miss.'
No, I have to wait until all those years of adolescence, of growing up and learning how to be a human being, have passed me by. Even if I start clawing my way up out of the abyss right this second, I'll still be drinking in California before I'll be getting Michael Brownstein to perform surgery on me there. I will have spent ten fucking years railing against a body that pulled my earth out from under my feet. Hiding behind a persona I constructed to take the flak while I tried and failed to find a foothold on a frothing swell. Lying to everyone I knew and everyone I loved, because I didn't know what else I could possibly do. I'm a fossilized schoolboy, only the war that frosted over my soul was one that took place without anyone else ever really knowing.
And then those same people, the ones who love me so much it makes them stupid and careless and insensitive - they have the gall to tell me that two years isn't that long, as if they know some trick that eludes me, some magic or drug that makes 75686400 beats of a broken heart pass quickly. Seventy five million, six hundred eighty-six thousand four hundred heartbeats, and each one of them an exercise in despair.
Addendum: And while I'm perfectly aware that drinking won't make the two years RLE go away, it's starting to feel like it might make it pass at a slightly more tolerable pace.
Second Addendum: Fuck this noise, it's probably faster to just sell myself on the streets and pay for surgery out of pocket. WHO NEEDS POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION ANYWAY, RIGHT.