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.

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Grief’s aftermath.

What’s the point in being in good health when it doesn’t mean shit in the end?

Everything feels so futile right now.

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.

A small amendment.

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After listening to Toby contact call every bird she hears, whether it’s an actual bird or one she hears through my speakers, I’ve decided she will not be my only bird. Birds are social creatures, and, as much as she’s bonded with me, I’m not another bird. She’s lonely for her own kind, and I can’t do that to her for the rest of her life.

The bird store I get my supplies from happens to have two linnies, a male and female that used to be a breeding pair but are now kept separately. Linnies are semi-flock birds, i.e. they get along better in smaller numbers, and only with their own kind; trying to get them to flock with different kinds of birds usually results in a dead bird, regardless of what “the Internet” says.

So, come next cheque, Toby will have a lovely green girlfriend. I’m not sure how old she is — I think I was told around 2 or 3 years old when I was there last — but the site now says all their linnies are seniors, and some company for a while is better than none. If nothing else, it’ll give me time to work on getting another from Toby’s breeder, if I can.

I try not to be so sunk into my own bloody misery that I drag innocent things down into the mire with me. I try.

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.

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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.

Decisions.

As much as Toby’s been helping — and she still is — there are some things she can’t help with.

My pain levels are increasing, and with them comes increased sleep. My cats are suffering for it because I’m not awake to feed them. No matter how much I love them, I can’t deny they deserve better than this, and yet I doubt someone else will be able to take care of them half as well.

I’ve decided they will be my last cats. Toby will be my only bird.

After being unable to sleep normally thanks to pain, drugging myself to sleep through it, then waking 16 hours later in even more pain, I sit here in tears at the prospect that this is all I have to look forward to for the rest of my life. Another 50 years of this? No.

No.

I’ve known for a long time that one of the souls I have comes from Japan. He was not a nice person — he was an exceptionally terrible excuse for a human, actually — and was put into a female body so he’d personally know what he inflicted upon the women of his time. He’s the primary reason I identify the way I do and experience so much body dysphoria.

I’ve decided I will take him home. In ten or so years, when I have no more animal companions to keep me here, I will go to Japan and let him go. He belongs at home with his people. He’s not happy here. He never has been. He will be happy again there.

The other soul I have is female and somewhat indeterminate. She’s prevalent mostly in dreams, where I tend to dream of being female and experience a nightmarish mishmash of the scarring things I’ve gone through, usually involving school and my abusive ex-husband. Now, I cry every time I watch Moana, and I’ve figured out why: the way the essences of life and death are represented in it are so pure and beautiful to me, and that’s what sets me off. The movie’s writers took great pains to ensure the people’s way of life was respectfully and accurately depicted, and it resonated so strongly with my female soul that I think that general area is where she’s from. I read this article about Polynesian death culture and kept saying, “Yes! Yes!” to each point I read because everything felt true.

I’ve decided I will take her there after I’ve brought the male soul home. I will reunite her with her ocean mother.

The third soul will go home to the star mother. Back to the beginning to start anew. Maybe this time it’ll get a pair that works. The shell will simply turn back into dirt: it borrowed a shape, and, when the souls are safely home, it’ll be time to give it back.

Now, there is a plan. Now, I must work to see it through. Now, I must make sure I leave nothing behind that will inconvenience others to dispose of.