Still plodding along.

Probably goes without saying that I didn’t manage NaNoWriMo. Brain health tanked two days in, and the concept was kind of shit, anyway.

HRT dose increased again. Haven’t noticed much difference from before. Dysphoria’s still bad and I wonder how much longer I actually have to wait for top surgery. I’m drinking as much as my wallet will allow.

Wonder of wonders: I scored some plastic money. Used most of it to buy a special kind of pop-up tent via this Indiegogo campaign. The ease of assembly and breakdown should be kind to my crappy physical health, which generally puts the kibosh on outdoor activity as it is. So why this fancy tent? It’s because I’m preparing for homelessness. No, nothing’s happened to endanger my current living situation: I’m being practical and preparing for nasty curveballs. Also, the plan for the end of my life is still in effect, and this will help with the necessary travel when I get to that point.

Speaking of travel, a trip to Europe is in the works for the end of June. Dad wants to go back to his home country, and, given his advanced age and ailing health, it’ll probably be his last visit. The logistics for three are a little crazy-making and a lot expensive, mostly because I plan on going from here to there for a week (parents are going for two weeks), then flying to visit godsibling for a week — we’ve known each other something like 20 years and never got to meet — then going home. It means three separate one-way tickets for me, which, somewhat hilariously, add up to be cheaper than plotting a multi-city route on a single ticket. I hope the tent arrives before I leave so I can bring it with me, as I anticipate using it for cover from the sun while we tourist about in Dad’s home country. More importantly, I hope my health holds out for the duration.

Most importantly, I hope I actually survive his country. Things there are significantly less than ideal for someone like me, and by “significantly less than ideal” I mean “shit there is fucking terrifying”. As much as I want to see where part of my blood comes from, I almost would rather not, and if I didn’t know it’d be Dad’s last trip, I’d have declined my parents’ request to accompany them. I can only really, really hope no one with the power to fuck up lives notices me. It’s been a long time since I actively had to hide, and I’m going to be afraid for my life while hating myself even more for every second of it.

Oddly, a good thing has happened: an indoor gardening setup with full-spectrum growlights I ordered several months ago finally arrived, and my health finally managed to stay together long enough for me to assemble it. Using a 2:1 ratio of veggie/herb soil mix and compost, I planted blue mallow, chamomile, rosemary, oregano, spinach, spearmint, lettuce, green and yellow onions, tarragon and tomatoes. That happened on March 20, which I, in my perpetually brainfogged state, didn’t realise was the first day of spring. The lettuce, green onion and tomato sprouted exactly six days later, and the lettuce and tomato are already growing true leaves. Tiny oregano sprouts are also coming up. Another few weeks and I might actually have food; at the very least, I’ll have tomatoes, because I certainly didn’t expect all six seeds to sprout.

My life feels like a constant fall down a gravel hill.


Two stumbling steps forward.

HRT dosage increased last week. I find I itch more, especially my back, and continue to be grateful for the $6 investment in a back scratcher. I just wish I didn’t have to keep using it so bloody often. Clogged pores worsening and sleep increasing. I continue to have one linnie due to said sleep making me miss the shop hours where the owner is in attendance.

Next week, I see a surgeon to consult with about top surgery. The timing is good, for the chest-related dysphoria is very, very bad. I find I really can’t look at myself anymore, not even to continue saying goodbye to that part of my life.

Attempting NaNoWriMo this year. Not sure why, as I don’t have any stories I burn to tell, let alone the idea of one. Somehow, I still made my daily word count. This confuses me.

Today’s depressive episode is very bad and the urge to withdraw from certain social circles because I no longer feel like I belong in them — if I ever did — is strong. A glass of scotch sings me to sleep tonight.

I think a reread of Seanan McGuire’s Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day is in order.

Three-ish months later.

The days have gone by in an amorphous haze. Every one is a blob filed under “existing.”

I’ve kept up with the testosterone shots in a timely fashion; my next one is later this week. Some of the physical changes were noticeable within the first week, particularly clitoral growth and sensitivity — that was interesting (read: uncomfortable) for a while — and existing body hair in a few places has gotten longer, but not thicker. Body weight distribution is beginning to shift to encompass more of my midsection. Some breast sensitivity showed up a week ago. My voice is beginning to crack at the higher registers and deepen at the lower ones, if inconsistently. Most notable and annoying is my skin drying out, my scalp being the worst spot, and a sudden abundance of small pimples on my face along my hairlines. I find I have to shower more often.

Psychologically, well. The airheadedness faded, thank fuck, and I’ve had several bouts of impostor syndrome while struggling to figure out more of my personal identity. Executive dysfunction has worsened. The worst things right now are the anhedonia and complete blankness of inner emotion. There’s just nothing there. I’d be worried about it if I could be. I’ll tell my psychiatrist about it when I see her next week.

The body dysphoria waxes and wanes, and I no longer leave the house without wearing a binder. Assuming I wake in time, tomorrow I’ll call the trans doc to get on the top surgery list for the surgeon I’ve chosen. I’ve been spending a lot of time saying goodbye to my breasts, looking at them in the mirror and remembering how much I wanted them when I still identified as female and hadn’t hit puberty yet. Now, they’re in the way, inconvenient and distressing to see, yet they’ve been such a fixture of my body over the last 30 years that I know I’m going to miss them for a while.

In other news, this is Sofia.


She’s a Salvi Mia harp, and something of a mixed blessing because, in a nutshell (non-nutshell version here on Pillowfort, a site I hope will replace Tumblr soon), she represents a bribe from my parents (mostly my dad) for my affection after I stopped accepting anything from them over the last year due to their emotional abuse. She’s also about 20 years too late, since that was the last time I played a harp with any regularity, and my situation at that point in my life effectively killed any passion I had for creating anything related to fine arts. My pain levels and deteriorating brainmeats are now the biggest obstacles to just sitting and playing.

And so my existence plods along on its alcohol crutches.

One small step.

On 2 June 2017 at 5:19 pm, I received my first testosterone shot.

Thus far, all I’ve noticed is a sudden airheadedness: I managed to forget pasta on the stove until it burnt four times in a row. I hope it eases.

I am very, very thankful for my doctors.

By the fingernails.

The calendar recently flipped years for me. I spent it playing video games with long-distance friends, drinking amaretto, eating the lemon meringue pie I’d chosen for the occasion, and vaping on a new mod I bought myself as a gift. Yay, I guess.

I originally bought a small, pen-shaped device to begin vaping with, mostly in the hopes of keeping my hands busy and drinking less. It’s sort of worked.

On the other hand, the bigass bottle of amaretto I got is now half empty as of two days later, and the craving for it didn’t go away with the vaping mods. I guess this means I’m an alcoholic, and I don’t care. My gender/body dysphoria has gotten worse, as has the passive suicidal tendency, and damn but my tinnitus is loud when I’m tired. My sleep pattern hasn’t really changed since the last time I wrote on it.

Still no word on the disability application. Not so yay.

I don’t know what to do anymore.

Time, time, time, see what’s become of me.

It felt like May would never end, and yet it has.

I noticed what looked like bug bites on my arm a few weeks ago, coinciding with work on the now-empty suite across the hall. I thought at first a mosquito had gotten in, as I’d left the window open for a night or two, but found it odd since I no longer smell like food to them. One morning, as I sat up reading in bed, a very distinctive insect scuttled across the sheets.

Bedbugs. Again. You little fuckers.

The end result: several loads of boiled, roasted, bagged laundry; said bags and bins loaded with bedroom detritus piled between kitchen and living room; disassembled bed; two pest control visits two weeks apart; and me sleeping on the couch, now with a paranoid itch reflex and scars from the bites. Had to throw out all my pillows and the Devil May Cry 3 standee I’d kept from my EB Games days — I really liked that souvenir, you little shits! I’ve since put the bed back together, but nothing more. Energy, what is it.

The insomnia-hypersomnia cycles have returned in force. Last week, I spent two full (non-consecutive) days asleep, lost in vivid, exciting dreams I didn’t want to wake from. I woke only to feed the cats, but didn’t bother feeding myself before passing out again. I’m so tired, and yet. And yet.

The disability forms finally arrived. I visit one doctor tomorrow for bloodwork results and to fill them out, the other doctor on Tuesday to fill out a second copy. I also made copies of existing diagnosis letters to send along with them. Here’s hoping it’ll be enough.

If nothing else, the desperate panic I felt when I couldn’t find my binder as a result of the packing confirmed I’m on the right track for something.

Starting to hallucinate now. That means it’s time to sleep.

I slept 25 hours.

My head hurts.

Depression and dysphoria.

I’ve had an unpleasant relationship with my body for a long, long time. It started when I was very young — think single digits — and had something to do with TV. I’d look at the screen and see women I thought were lovely, and think (I shit you not, this is verbatim), “I believe I have her face.” Oh, how deeply the hooks sank in.

I don’t know how old I was when I actually dared to look in a mirror, but when I did — and I chickened out several times before I finally managed it — I experienced a profound sense of disappointment. My age was still within single digits, and I was never consciously aware of being taught to be unhappy with how I looked, but that’s the way advertising works, isn’t it? It’s fucking insidious that way.

It wasn’t until my 20s that I more or less came to terms with my appearance. I reasoned that I was stuck with what I had, and I might as well get used to it or be miserable forever. Being miserable sucks, so I opted to try for the former, and largely succeeded — or so I thought.

Two decades later, the tables have flipped, and not in a way I ever conceived they would.

It wasn’t until I tried on my first (too small) binder that I realised just how much I hated my chest. Really, really hated. I was relieved to see it gone. I also hate the way the rest of my bits look, even more than my chest, but there’s nothing short of drastic surgery I can do about that except not look at them, and, well, that doesn’t really help.

The other night, I altered my face with a makeup pencil, and for a moment I saw myself differently: for the first time, I was utterly thrilled at what I saw in the mirror. I looked Really Good to me, and it was an extremely odd feeling to have. If nothing else, it strengthened the tentative thoughts I’ve been having about myself the last few months, and confirmed that a certain doctor’s waiting list is where I should be.

To paraphrase my gyno: I’m 41 years old. If I’m going to live another 30 years, I might as well be happy for them.