A Well Overdue Update

Life has been crazy leading to this long overdue update. I’ve had lots of amazing sex, I’ve forceably removed someone from my life, I’ve started taking medication for my mental health, I’ve met a bunch of good people, and I’ve really grown as a person.

Per-usual let’s start at the beginning: My relationship with Half Elegant. She was an frustrating person as I’m sure you’ve come to understand. She was really attracted to me and really boosted my self image. We also had amazing sex, consistently amazing and the first time I’ve had sex since coming to realize I was molested (a huge step). She also constantly harassed me for being honest about my feelings towards her, was quite controlling and very jealous.

We screamed, we yelled, we fought our fights happened over and over again without ever reaching resolution. She would always change the topic, always turn it on me when I tried to talk to her about anything she did. After we broke up the final time she wouldn’t stop harassing me and making me feel bad. I told her I needed space, mainly because I could tell she clearly wasn’t over me. The problem was she didn’t want to get over me. Instead she wanted me back and sent me harassing texts for days. I tried to explain myself but in the end I just had to tell her we would never even be friends. I had to go to the point of blocking her on both facebook messenger and texting.

One of the things that gave me strength in this time was I started being uplifted by medication I was taking. When I started medication I had a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings and started having a hard time going to work at all. I started leaning hard on Half Elegant trying to escape these horrible things. I would have panic attacks in the middle of the day and my only recourse was to hide and curl up on the ground.

My psychiatrist diagnosed me as having mild depression, PTSD, social anxiety, agoraphobia and panic attacks. I started taking sertraline (zoloft) for depression and gabapentin for anxiety. I have slowly increased these doses and and now taking 50mg of sertraline once daily and 300mg of gabapentin 3 times daily. They have helped a huge amount. I feel like a new person, I feel like myself. It’s an astounding feeling when I can just chat with strangers if I want, and get out of bed effortlessly almost every morning. The feeling is strange and freeing. I feel like one of the best versions of myself.

Having medication has really helped me grow a lot and enabled me to really tackle things in therapy instead of day to day stressors. I’ve become way better at staying grounded and present in the moment and now can ground myself in only minutes. I’ve also become able to sit with my anger instead of being scared with it and feel myself making huge steps at coming to terms with things in my life.

I’ve also moved forward in my personal life by making new friends and just being and feeling friendlier than normal. I’m growing a confidence and self respect I’ve never had, I am learning to stand up for myself and to realize how truly powerful I am. I don’t have to play along I can take charge I can run this show. I’m excited to see where the coming months will take me.

Finally I need to touch upon my new friend Clarity. I met her at work and bonded with her instantly. She opened my door at work and asked me where a coworker was. I explained to her where his office was and then she turned to me and asked if there was anything around she could eat. I held out my peanut butter jar she looked at it with anticipation and looked at me and then I laughed and said, “I was just eating out of it with my finger.” I became her ally at work helping her navigate things and have since become her friend and nanny. Talking to her is a breath of fresh air cause she just gets it she is super easy open up to and be real with. She’s also my role model for strong dyke knower who cuts through the bullshit and sees what is real. I can’t wait to learn more about how she navigates the world, and how to slay.

So all in all life is pretty amazing.

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Summer Love Playlist 2016.8

Here is my most recent playlist. While most of them focus upon a time in my life this one more seems to focus around a person in my life, Half Elegant (previously known as R). We were involved for 3 months, most of this time I wasn’t really into it. I was trying to find a balance between friends and lovers, we clearly weren’t friends and I didn’t feel like she was a lover. The balance was never reached. This is why the cd is being release now, it’s the end of an time period, the time period I call “Summer Love.” I can’t say this title isn’t ironically named, but I will confirm that “love” is a complicated thing with our without quotes around it.

1. Totally Confused – Beck

This is what I listened to at the end of Half Elegant and my relationship. Melancholy, raw, disorienting (other songs on the album highlight this). This is how I felt.

2. Skinny Love – Bon Iver

I first heard this in the Wire Tap episode Never Say I Love You. The episode has a segment about people in love, without their lover anymore. People holding on, struggling, feeling sad, and still feeling love. It is followed up by this song. I started to cry when I was biking home, I started to feel. Half Elegant made it hard for me to feel she just wanted too much. Now that we are apart I am able to feel what I wanted without holding back, finally. And I biked home listening to this on repeat while getting teary eyed and feeling love.

3. Betty’s Bomb Shell – Group Love

Earlier in the day (months ago) I felt awful, I tried to cut myself with my work keys, they weren’t sharp enough. I went back to work and when I finally left work I felt the same way. I looked incessantly at the ground looking for a piece of broken glass. When I finally found one I found out just how dull glass from the side of the road is, so I kept biking. I stopped in Arsenal Park and sat on the ground. I thought about what I should cut myself with while listening to this song. I played it over and over again and finally I found a pepsi can. First using the tab, then using a small piece of the side of the can I repeatedly cut small cuts horizontally on my arm. This is the biggest cut on my arm and it happened whilst listening to this song.

4. Signs of Love – Moby

I can’t remember when I listened to this song, but it is one of my favorites. It reminds me of staring at the sky and smiling while listening to another Moby song, it reminds me of biking along the river in Philly and crying to Moby. It’s happy, it’s sad, it’s melancholy, it’s real.

“I fly so high,Then fall so low”

5. It’s Only (feat. Zyra) – Odesza

I am long boarding on Ellsworth near Oakland. I am singing this song so loud. I’m singing this song to Trish, to Kelly. I’m singing this song loud and proud and I feel good, I feel sad.

I’m again on my longboard, it’s 2am and I’m back at it again, I’m in Oakland singing and carving.

6. Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) – Crystal Castles

Half Elegant gave me this song. She listened to it after we broke up the first time after “dating” for a few days. We listened to it under 40th st Bridge and Half Elegant banged her head all around. She jammed to it when she was drunk and I came over. We were in the hallway of her house where there is a built in shelf that holds records and the music player. The lights were mostly out and she danced like a maniac. This is our song.

7. Sorry – Beyoncé

There are countless memories around singing this song. The one that is most recently and strong in my memory is with Half Elegant. It was the day we hung out with Jesse and tried to go to the pool. She was an ass. We were driving her home to drop her off and this song. I felt this song. I felt pissed at Half Elegant. As I drove my arms were out stretched leaning on the steering wheel with my middle fingers up.

“Middle fingers up, put them hands high, Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye”

8. No Role Modelz – J. Cole

“Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.”

This is the lyric I heard when I felt Half Elegant trying to save me. This is why I started listening to this song. That isn’t exactly what Half Elegant was trying to say, but I’m still singing I don’t wanna be saved.

9. For Free (feat. Drake) -DJ Khaled

The beat caught me on this song, while driving around Fight for Fifteen workers to go to their conference. The song also constantly reminds me of Half Elegant. I must admit sex with her was the best sex I’ve ever had by a long shot. So good I thought I should pay her, especially cause she had no income for a while.

10. Panda – Desiigner

The beats of this song are great, the fact that he keeps saying Panda is hilarious. I first listened to this song because a Pittsburgh activist and USASer posted this on a Penn State USASer’s wall with the description, “I broke my bed while listening to this song.” That’s what I think of every time.

11. FUCKMYLIFE666 – Against Me!

I was getting gas on the Northside and I looked hot. Grey tank top, maroon tube skirt, brown knee high boots with grey leg warmers sticking out. This guy walked about 20 feet from me looked over at me and turned around. It puzzled me, but it made sense when he and his friends walked by and yelled, “that’s a dude.” I was mortified and eventually just put on my middle finger and stewed over it. The person next to me muttered, “She doesn’t have a choice.” which felt nice to hear.

I got in the car pissed and I put on Against Me! and started screaming along to them. As I was about to turn them off and then this song came on from their live album. The beginning of the song just caught me and I couldn’t stop listening.

The song also reminded me of an important fact, I had been trying my damnedest to “pass” as a woman for about 2 years. I’ve been slowly realizing I am a woman. But Against Me! reminds that I am a gender warrior. I am a woman and a man. I am here to fuck with your concept of gender. I am a trans-tomboy. As the shirt that Laura Jane Grace wears states, “Gender is over (if you want it)”

12. The Writings On The Wall – OK Go

Half Elegant gave me this song. I feel this song, this song often feels like our relationship.

“It seems like forever since we’ve had a good day, the writings on the wall
But I just wanna get you high tonight, I just wanna see some see some pleasure in your eyes”

I would listen to it most when I was sad. Because OK Go was staying to me, that it’s horrible, yes it is, but “I just wanna get you high tonight.”

My most recent memory and the one besides watching drunk Half Elegant dancing to this song is as follows. Half Elegant biked off in an agitated hurry to go no where and I stopped. I couldn’t handle the frustration she was expressing towards me so I stopped biking. Instead I listened to this song. I felt sad I was having a hard day and I just wanted to get high tonight, to feel some pleasure. Half Elegant came back and said in a accusatory tone, “Why are you listening to that song? Are you trying to say something? You know that’s a break up song.” The next day we broke up for the second time.

13. I Hate Hate – Reagan Youth

This song is amazing to sing along to. I song along to this endlessly along the bike path. I remember biking up past Millvale on the bike path, I remember biking down to the northside on the bike path, all the while I would sing this song for the haters. Because I hate HAAAAATE!

“I as in M, E, Fucking Me, Hate as in H, A, T, E, Hate… HAAAAAATE!

Winter Solstice Card 2015

57 solstice

Dear Friends/Family,

This past year has been an amazing and challenging year. I started hormones on January 9th and legally changed my name on May 6th. I’ve been meditating for over a year and 6 months of it has been at a Shambhala Buddhist meditation center where I have learned a great deal. I started working again as an organizer, field director and currently doing data entry and just about everything else at SEIU.

During this past year I’ve also struggled with depression and anxiety. A week after my name change occurred I realized I was molested as a child. But from these experiences I opened up and finally asked for help. I have had tons of support from all I have told and found a strong bond with friends new and old. I have accepted and learned so much about myself and am appreciative of everyday I have. My life is so much more wonderful than a year ago, than a month ago. I’ve grown a huge amount in that time and looking back is a truly humbling experience. Thank you for being in my life and if I don’t regularly I hope to see you in the next year.

Love,
Jenny

This is the solstice card I sent out to family and friends and that I extend to y’all. This year has been an amazing year. One that has been terrific, horrible, freeing, paralyzing but despite all of the things that have happened this is the happiest I’ve ever been. Looking back on every other time of good feelings I can see that they are filled with feelings of despair, depression, and suicidal thoughts. These haven’t gone away but I’ve accepted them and started to address them. Knowing it has gotten so much better is relieving, because day to day I often only recognize problems that arrive.

Currently I’ve been struggling with how to relate to friends and what I want from them. But I am struggling with this because I am not just being what other people want from me I am figuring out what I want from other people and figuring out how I want to interact with them. Essentially I’m struggling a lot because a lot of what that I’ve “figured out” is wrong. I figured out how to serve and please other people now I’m figuring out what pleases me. I’m taking missteps every step I take but I’m learning so much from them.

I’m trying to be me. I’m focusing on me and it’s not always in a good way. I’m more selfish, impulsive, self-centered but like how a pendulum swings back and forth before reaching it’s center point. At least I imagine that is what I’m doing. It’s hard to explain it’s hard to understand I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing but this is how I conceptualize my current missteps. I am over being hard on myself, I’m over hyper-analyzing myself. Instead I’m letting myself do whatever I want and I dealing with the response in the moment, I’m relearning why I act the way I do. Is it for others? is it for me? Am I doing this to please people? or to please myself?

I don’t feel completely like myself but I feel like I’m becoming free. I feel my sense of obligation diminishing and my sense of commitment to being who I see myself as fading. I’m Jenny and that person knows who she is. I needn’t incessantly analyze myself I just need to do what feels right, and that what I’m doing. And all the while I’m trying to work on communications so I express why I’m doing what I am and how I feel. I’m just trying really hard to be me and it is a confusing disorienting journey. I will slight you on the way but don’t hold it against me, I’m pretty sure you won’t.

Who am I? I’m Jenny. What does that mean? Fuck if I know.

Falling Up

About every 3 to 4 months for the past couple of years I’ve made music CDs that catalogue what I’ve been through and what songs took me there. I’m posting this one online to share it with y’all the music that’s been in my head and to give you tidbits about what these songs have meant to me in the past few months. Songs to me are time markers, they are pages from my diary that I cannot erase.

1. She Don’t Use Jelly – The Flaming Lips
This song has been stuck in my head for months. I don’t know the words beyond the first verse but I’ve liked it for a long time. I honestly think part of the reason I like this song is just because I like saying she in reference to myself. Either way this has overlapped Let Me Go by Cake as my song to sing absent mindedly.

2. Mozart’s House – Clean Bandit
When I was running I listened to this song a lot. I almost went to Toronto to see them with some good friends. “So you think electronic music is boring. You think it’s stupid. You think it’s repetitive… well it is repetitive.”

3. FuckMyLife666 – Against Me!
Laura Jane Grace has been a hero of since she came out as a transwoman. This song helped remind me that “All things meant to be destroyed, all moments meant to pass.” I was grasping for relationships and moments to stay forever. That never happens. In this song Laura is singing about her marriage – they seemed to be staying together at first, but her wife couldn’t do it, seeing her transition was too much. It hurt me to know that, now it is a important lesson to appreciate these moments when they are there.

4. Take Me to Church – Sinead O’Connor
This song is so powerful. The video of her famous song playing over top of it is so powerful. “I am the only one that I should adore.” Lessons I hope to live by.

5. Habits – Tove Lo
I originally didn’t want to have this song on this list. I don’t like what it says, but I feel what it says. I listened to this song on repeat for days. Sometimes it is hard to keep people off your mind, they just become habits.

6. The View – Modest Mouse
I like this song years before, but it began to ring true recently. “As life gets longer awful feels softer. Well it feels pretty soft to me. And if it takes shit to make bliss, then I feel pretty blissfully.”

7. Paralytic States – Against Me!
I feel the lyrics of this song. I feel her dysphoria. I am not quite the woman I wanted to be.

8. Dust Clears – Clean Bandit
When I first listened to this song I imagined that certain parts of my life weren’t true. One of those parts was that Big S wasn’t real, that I was making her all up in my mind. Interestingly I have come to realize that is somewhat true. I mistakenly made her into more than she was and succeeded in messing up that friendship and messing with my own head for months.
The song also reminds me and makes me happy when it says, “It may get harder, cause you’ve just restarted.” Because I felt that, I am changing my sex and how I view myself. It was harder, but I am just restarting.

9. Sky is Broken – Moby
This song is epic. I listened to Moby over and over again when arriving to visit Philly for the solstice. This song makes me think of the x-files (this song plays in it) and reminds me of Moustache. Moustache and I love Moby and would listen to him as we both got somber while working on bikes in Philly.

10. Cow Cud is A Twin – Aphex Twin
Aphex Twin is very calming and I listened to him to take a break. This song is especially head nod friendly. This album was on repeat for a relaxing few weeks.

11. Reflektor – Arcade Fire
Reflections, that is all things are in this world, reflections of reflections of reflections. We don’t see what is really happening, only a reflection of ourselves. We see in others what we have in ourselves.
Not to mention, “Thought you were praying to the resurrected, turns out it was just a reflektor.”

12. #1 – Moon Hooch
I listened to Moon Hooch on and off during this time period. I decided to finish the play list very happy, because that is what is happening. As days go forward I feel myself shedding layers of baggage and smiling more and more.

What do you want yeti?

Yesterday I went on a long walk and asked myself that question. I cried. I hadn’t wondered that for too long. For the past 5 months I have been trapped in relationship world. Big S mattered more and more in my life until I started wondering what to do between times we hung out, what’s the point? Finally after some tough conversations I’m on my own and I’m asking myself, what do I want?

Big S and I had a relationship that quickly escalated and then slowly devolved from relationship to some weird mix of friend and relationship. A thin fishing line pulled me along since the beginning. But don’t think just because I was being drug along that I wasn’t complicit, I was beyond complicit I encouraged it. I couldn’t see what was going on and tried my best to be honest with myself and with Big S, I wanted to be in relationship world and I was going to do everything to make it work with Big S and I. Big S was just caught up in a wake of my love thinking it was one of the best things. She lied to herself and trudged alone confused and unsure what to do about my cries for her honesty. Both of us refused to acknowledge that the first week of our relationship controlled the remaining 5 months.

A picture from that first week.

A picture from that first week.

I progressively started asking myself harder and harder questions and realized that this wasn’t good and it wasn’t going to work out. I latched onto her in a large part because she loved me. I wanted that love and that vision of me as a woman when I felt nothing like one. She saw me so clearly as me that I might as well have never been a man before, even when I had 3 days of stubble. But not having that love for myself and not developing that view independently of Big S made me need her around to be okay with who I was.

Finally I started to understand what was going on. I understood the hopelessness in our relationship and my disinterest in being with Big S romantically. Big S heard what I said and agreed. She admitted to stringing me along and questioned herself and her actions a lot (rightfully so). She got frustrated and I cried. There was good in this relationship, real good. But it dragged so much that it began hard to see where the good started and the dragging ended.

That’s when I went on my walk. That’s when I asked a question I should have a long time ago: What do you want yeti?

After I wiped away the tears I said out loud, “I want to be a woman.”

That’s all I want right now, I want to be a woman. I want to meditate to be mindful, fun and present. I want to be my true self I want to escape ignorance and be happy with me, not with or because of Big S or anyone else. I want to be happy alone, with my lovely and wonderful friends. I want to be free. I want to be me. And I’m going to do just that, and she is gong to be a wonderful person that everyone will want to know, in fact she already is.

Where I am now

Over the past couple of months my life has been a roller coaster. My posts have been filled with colorful titles and very impassioned words about how things are supposed to or are going to be, not to mention the number of new starts I’ve had. Well I’ve finished my new starts and have begun actually moving forward from those fresh starts.

I realized over the past years how much I’ve neglected myself. I made my life about Smiles and she did the same about me. We made our life about us as a unit not about ourselves. We didn’t grow as people, just the opposite. Now that we are over for good I feel myself returning to where I was before dating Smiles. I’m the cool exciting guy who is trying to find himself and overcome barriers that society erects.

While at times I feel as though I didn’t move forward over the past 3+ years I realized I have in some ways and haven’t in others. I’ve experienced and learned a lot, and know much more about respecting myself – which is key to respecting anyone else. The ways I did fail to grow in are routes I’m currently travelling and the growing will come soon.

The one thing that unknowingly helped me the most was nihilism. I was a nihilists for well over a year. During this period I became increasingly filled with despair and disgust for most things. I lost my meaning in life and didn’t think you could truly have any meaning in life. This process was very very destructive. I destroyed many things in my life – many things that needed to be destroyed. For you can only erect new structures once you destroy the old ones polluting the landscape.

Smiles and my breakup shattered me and my understanding further and left me on my own to recreate myself. Finally I was allowed to be myself and nothing else – the only guidance was from my friend and family – the people who knew me best. I visited many of them and remembered and leaned upon them so I could begin growing once more. I have since reconstructed who I am and gotten far beyond Smiles. I am striving now to do and be what I want and won’t let much of anyone get in my way.

I look back on Smiles (who I haven’t and won’t talk to for months to come) and feel bad for her. I see the path she is going – a path where she sucks the love out of all those she cares for and all who care for her. Her lack of love or respect for herself disallows her from treating others with real love and respect. This is why Smiles treated me the way she did and stole so much from me. She didn’t have any of what she stole from me. This is what makes me sad – these are things I would have and did freely give to her. But you can’t fix problems like these for someone else only they can.

Instead all I can do and all I should do is move on and focus on myself. Continue to grow and start living again. That is what life is truly about – living. Something much harder than any of us realize as we float through it existing.

As a roommate put it, “Dying is accessible to everyone.” But living is a little big harder to grab onto.

Rebirth

I have been reborn. The taro reading told me I was going to be reborn but I didn’t realize it would be as intense as this. I feel like a new person. I spent this past weekend in State College and the experience was exactly what I needed. I started it being miserable but I ended it being a entirely new person.

The experience began with me crying in the car driving up to State College Saturday night. I wasn’t having a bad time I was having a earth shattering time. All I new was crumbling and I was rejecting the person I had become. I realized how many mistakes I had made, so many mistakes so many mistakes. I listened to Chicago by Sufjan Stevens over and over again.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve made a lot of mistakes

But during the drive I promised to make right on those mistakes and I did just that. I apologized to both my parents and Smiles, sincere apologies. The conversation with my mom was amazing. I told her all I had hidden all that had gone on in my life I was finally honest with myself and with her. I explained why Smiles had left me and accepted that burden on myself – not on Smiles for leaving but for me pushing her away. For being the horrible person I had. This conversation broke down the barrier I had with my parents and now they are what they are supposed to be loved ones who just have a hard time showing their feelings.

Smiles is currently seeing someone and I’m happy for that. I hope he makes her as happy as I should have. But I must say that I am amazingly better and that I am not going to let her go. I’m going to fight for her, I’m going to show her that I deserve her. I’m going to show her that she wants to be with me. I’m going to show her I’m even better than the person she first met so many years ago – not the person I’ve been since then. and need to let go of the thoughts of being with her. I have since realized that this is true. That she is over me and I must be over her for us ever having a chance, a chance, of anything in the future.

My rebirth has been as a new age hippie of sorts. I have finally excepted what my rigid principles didn’t allow me. I let things happen, let people be who they are and I believe whatever I want to believe. It’s going to take a bit to make it completely true. But it’ll be a fun trip along the way.

My weekend simply felt like a spiritual awakening. I feel like a whole new person. I am happy and simply high on life. I spent all day at work yesterday feeling as though I was actually high. I’m so much more optimistic and high spirited. I’m an enjoyable person to be around and talk to. To say it simply I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long long time.

It’s all such a strange feeling. The feeling of returning home and feeling like I haven’t been there for months. Like I haven’t seen people for months. Like everything is completely new and fresh and awesome.

I’m going to leave this blog post with a word from a friend. He posted the following on facebook. Something I’m going to consciously live by:

“How you spend you day is, of course, how you spend your life.”