ceri: (Default)
I get concerned pings from friends every few days lately, and I must say that it means a lot to me to know that folks out there are thinking about my well-being and concerned and seeing if there's anything wrong that maybe they could help fix. I appreciate it more than I can say. In years gone by it's been a literal life-saver more than once, and a comfort, blessing, and joy many, many times. Some of you I've known a long time, some of you I've only gotten to know and like this very year, but I appreciate everyone who writes stuff I like to read and leaves me comments that fill the plenum of fun, useful, interesting responses.

It's taken me this long to realize that boredom is a big part of my response to net discourse right now, along with the anger and unhappiness I'd already identified and embarked on measures to separate myself from. I guess it's not a huge surprise, exactly, but it's one thing to acknowledge a possibility intellectually and another to look at oneself and say, yes, this is actually for real part of my mind and soul right now. Sure enough: some of what I've been thinking of as maybe any of several other emotions is boredom. I've read (and written) so many words on some too-familiar topics, generally to little if any real use.

It's not all futile, of course. Many of you reading this have influenced me in big ways and small, and I know I've returned the favor in some cases. But even the productive stuff is still so much the same again...but it turns out, really, that what I'm bored with is the act of writing down my thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, as opposed to talking about them. I like talking again. I like anticipating times of talking, and reflecting on them after they've happened. Using my words typety-type style just feels like so much extra work and so much limited right now.

What will this evolve into in the long run? I don't have the foggiest idea, nor any concern about it. It'll do what it does. I feel that right now I'm doing as well as I ever have in listening to my impulses, thinking about them, and dealing constructively with them, and that's what matters. When they change, my responses will too.

And that's why I'm posting so little at this point.

ceri: (Default)
I've noticed that when I set myself a timetable to do anything, even something I like doing, on a regular schedule, I end up resenting the constriction even though I freely chose it and like the activity itself.

I think that part of it is how tightly associated that sort of "do X every day" schedule is, in my life so far, with medical stuff. Take my prescriptions, measure my glucose levels, clean the air filters, and so on. So part of my mind thinks "that's medical and I'm tired of it" given the fact of the scheduling.

But part of it is that I'm still in the midst of this general disengagement from external obligations that aren't in my primary interests. I've been reading some about memory and consciousness, among other topics that support the historical research for Project N,  and I find research support for an intuition of mine. I've long felt that I remember most clearly when I'm in physical or mental conditions similar to the ones in which events I'm trying to recall took place. And, it seems, memories can bring with them evocations of those interior states, more strongly for some people than others. I hazard the guess that I'm at the high end of susceptibility to this and that I have more and varied traumas to recall than many folks.

So it makes sense: this urge I have to drop out of things I've done in the past is in part a very sensible response to the realities of memory on a physical, electro-chemical level. I need to remember this, and think about how to set it up so that the next time I want to do a regular-reporting or regular-posting kind of thing it doesn't hit on the same recollections.


ceri: (Default)
I worked out why I kept coming up short on carbohydrate counts: I was preparing my meals with carb counts suitable for having three meals a day, and three snacks with a carb count adding up to the same as one of those meals. But in fact I have two real meals a day, and four-five snacks with a carb count that adds up to a meal's worth. So what I will try this coming week is adding some carbs to each meal, and a bit to my snacks, and I think that'll get me where I want to be. Math will resume on Monday.

I am having much greater difficulty than I'd like keeping away from political-type blogs I know would just leave me pointlessly angry and miserable. So far I've resisted the urge to go back and edit my /etc/hosts file again, and shame keeps me away from it, but damn is it hard. I need to be reading and writing more, I really do.

In part to support the above, I'm also culling down my music collection. Like a lot of people online a lot, I have way, way more music than I can ever actually listen to, and I simply don't need most of it. I'm giving things a chance to win my favor again, and if they don't, they get archived and/or nuked. I have the packrat habits formed in pre-Internet days, when if you passed up a chance to get a rare album you might literally never get another chance at any price you could afford. But that's no longer the case. As with my bookshelves, I'm aiming for a condition where every track is a wanted track, something that makes me glad to play it when I'm in the mood for that kind of tune, that has good associations, that is an active asset to me.

Now that I'm over the hump on medical crisis—stuff remains to do, but it's all incremental now, I think—I'm beginning to think and (more importantly, perhaps) feel about where to go with gender identity. I'm still pretty clueless, but it's a more comfortable sort of lack of clue right now. I have time to work on it with Cassie, my counselor, and to get advice from fine folks like readers like yourselves, and read, and think and ponder, and I'm confident that by the time my next birthday rolls around early in October, I'll be moving somewhere on it.

More to come. :)

 
ceri: (Default)
I've been really blah a lot lately, and want to write down my thoughts so far about what's up with it. Cut tag in place for those who just don't need the extra blah-talk.

Read more... )

ceri: (Default)
Upped my metformin dosage today and didn't start feeling my guts ripped again. Very welcome. I was able to sit and enjoy a lot of good World of Warcraft time and resume thinking seriously about Project N, and ponder some collateral research for it next week.

I'm also sitting here with a big goofy grin, having heard out of the blue from a net friend I lost track of back around 2001 or so.
 
ceri: Pale woman casting a spell (White Witch)
I'm very shy. I'm excruciatingly aware of my limited social experience and fearful of making trouble. But I had my counselor as well as real-life friends and some of you who read this journal all urging to me to give a try to some trans group time, and in particularly to the Ingersoll Center's weekly sessions. So tonight I worked up my courage and went.
 
Wow. Just wow. And then some more wow.

There were about 25 people there, with many quadrants of the gender galaxy represented: MTF and FTM transsexuals, some androgynes, a couple of two-spirited people with their own approaches to balance, at least one intersexed person with a different kind of balance in mind...I forget what all other identifications came up, but it was a lot. And in terms of experience, people ranged from having come to a decision about their desired gender identity later than I did to having done so decades ago. 

I think I posted about the very high level of courtesy I've encountered in the Seattle Counseling Service and Capitol Hill Medical offices. that prevailed here, too. This was by far the best-managed group therapy and support I've encountered, with fantastically careful and effective facilitators, but everyone there was trying on their end, too. There was respect and courtesy all around, even with strongly contrasting experiences and priorities. I felt safe and welcome.

It's also now the first place where I'm identified out loud from the get-go as Ceri, which I like very much, and special thanks to all of you who were encouraging a little while back on the subject of claiming a name.

This is going to become part of my routine, I'm thinking.

ceri: (Default)
This has been a glorious day on the medical front.

First, Seattle Counseling Service called back for scheduling I'll be seeing the woman who did my intake interview - whom I liked and trusted right off - with my first session on the 1st. That's faster than I was expecting, and I'm really happy about it.

But it doesn't begin to compare to what happened next. I called Capitol Hill Medical, a GLBT-oriented physicians practice that SCS recommended, and they can see me tomorrow for an initial appraisal. That's very much faster than I was expecting; I'm not used to service like that from doctors.

I have to fast tonight, but that's okay. I have time to prepare stuff I can take with me and enjoy snacking on right after tomorrow's appointment.

I am so bubbly tonight. It's been years and years since I had a good general physician. It's hard to start from scratch explaining my condition to someone new. But part of the advantage of dealing with people used to work with GLBT patients is precisely that I'm not - between AIDS, transitioning, and all the rest, they have a broad foundation in systemic health strangeness. So I'm getting my info in order and really, really looking forward to this.


ceri: (Default)
I haven't done much this week. But then there hasn't been a lot I had to do. Research for current work went on the back burner, I'm current with most chores (as long as I do laundry this weekend)...I've read Christie Golden's Arthas (highly recommended for World of Warcraft fans and a decent story of tragic pride for fantasy fans in general), and some of this and that, and rested a lot.

Delighted relief has been my keynote emotion for the week. Next week I have more steps to take, but this week, unkinking from stress-related worries and fears really has been work, both physically and emotionally. So much I've been dreading might happen (or, depending on the thing, might not). It hasn't been all that common for me to get a chance to just plain relax when it comes to my mental or physical health. But this week, I get to.


ceri: Pale woman casting a spell (White Witch)
Saturday I'm going to a party, assuming no health crisis or anything like that. First one I've been to in, hmm, must be about six years now, since I hadn't been to one for a while before descending into my long slump. I am such a bundle of nerves about it, on two different vectors.

There's my health concerns. For those of you I've only met recently, I've got a trashed immune system, and respond with sort of mega-allergic complications to all kinds of common environmental things—orris root (the base of most perfumes), dry cleaning chemicals, soil molds, you name it. So being out in a crowd means a day or more of prep work with extra immune-boosting supplements and stuff, and planning a day or more recovery time afterward, and also being prepared for an acute episode while out. Fortunately the hostess has known me for a good long while now, and is used to dealing with medical weirdos besides me. So the circumstances are about as good as they reasonably can be, with understanding hostess and people I'll be happy to visit with, many of whom also have experiencing dealing either specifically with my complications or with others like them.

It's still stressful, the waiting and wondering.

And now there's the trans matter on top of that. I'm out to a few folks who'll be there, but not to most, and I feel in such a horribly awkward limbo. Never mind passing, I couldn't even be a competent cross-dresser now. Nothing to wear, no experience wearing it, no clue about doing almost anything in my presentation. Right now trans is in my heart and not much of anywhere else. I feel like a fake going and coming, knowing I'm not what I seem, unable to seem what I am. I'm very grateful for all the friends, new and old, willing to believe me. The day when it won't have to be taken on faith seems so far off.


ceri: (Default)
There are a lot of things we manage to endure as long as we must, and then no longer. Whether we burned through inner resources, received some outward grace, or what have you, it's a common rhythm: when the moment of release comes, then we look back and wonder how we ever made it through, and how we could ever possibly do it again. Likewise, there are things we set aside because, well, there's nothing to be done about it and we have to live our lives if we're not going to choose suicide by calculation or neglect, and so they wait because they have to. But then there's the flip side of that relief from the endured, where now the passed-by things must be faced.

That's where I seem to be with physical appraisal at the moment. There's parts of my current condition that I've been aware of but not thinking about the implications of simply because there was nothing I could do about them. The good side of progress is, well, all the stuff I burble about here. I like being happy, and having reasons to be happy, and sharing happiness, just as I like hearing about others' successes and pleasures. The not so good side is the need for honest assessment, so that I can work out what I need to do and set priorities.

But damn is it a drag sometimes. So much wrong, such a complicated matrix of prerequisites and dependencies to fix. I mean, it beats not knowing and not making any progress, but...I haven't yet found the reservoirs I'll need to draw on to deal with all of this.

(And being sick today doesn't help.)

ceri: (Default)
Ahhh, I feel good tonight.

For several years now, a big chunk of my existing social web has felt basically sterile. Not worthless, insofar as it's given me pleasure and company, but also not going anywhere, and repeated looping back to gnaw at the same old topics has bugged me more as my interests have turned to new things both inside and out.

Well, identifying as trans and making new contacts in my new identity offers a way out of the ruts. And tonight I took some of that fresh energy and took a notional axe to the rosters of LiveJournal and Twitter contacts and RSS feeds kept in my birth name. I pruned heavily: about half my LJ friends, maybe two-thirds of my Twitter friends, about the same fraction of RSS feeds. Then I went through and refreshed displays, and it felt like such a relief.

This'll be a gift that keeps on giving, I think.


ceri: (Lucita)
There aren't all that many things that make me leap into an instant frothing rage, but giggling over messing with other people's emotions is one of them. This morning, someone I felt I had a reasonably good acquaintance with mentioned in an obviously pleased sort of way that he sometimes randomly un-friends people he likes. Why? "It reminds people that life is too short to worry about this 'stuff.' To be honest, I have no cares. I refuse to live my life in worry."

A few minutes later, he was off all the friends lists I'd had him on.

Now, someone could turn to me and say, "You're reacting this way in overcompensation because of your embarrassment at choosing to live so closeted." And there's some truth to that. I'm not going to claim absolutely pure motives here. Certainly a lot of this is my reaction to past experiences being stalked and manipulated by guys who'd singled me out as targets for their "experiments" - that's happened to me three times, and that's three times too many.

I don't think there's anything fundamentally more important than the integrity of self. We are entitled to choose our responses to the world, and society owes us the space in which to think and feel our own thoughts and feelings. (This is, for me, a measure of oppression: how far is your soul constrained to suit someone else's agenda?) And I think there are few things so gratuitously, contemptibly mean as pranking others' sense of the quality of their friendship with you in effort to teach them not to care. Friendships and acquaintances do matter - they help us define ourselves, they enrich our lives. Sometimes they save our lives, literally; I would not be here now writing this without the timely intervention of people who cared about me in moments of profound crisis. The idea that we should strive to think of all that as expendable appalls me.

So my circle of acquaintances is a little smaller today. But stronger for the removal. I'll have to find some cool new folks to get to know. In the meantime, I'll coax down the fear and rage I always feel at these moments; I've closed up the files for today's work and will get back to them later. This passes, I know, I just wish it were past already.
ceri: (Default)
I am tempted to write an alternate history in which all sufficiently white people of, hmm, maybe 1800-1850, or around World War I, are whisked off to a humanity-free world, and then deal with their society's collapse. I'd a MacGuffin of some kind to justify the piecemeal shifting. Purity-obsessed aliens liberating what they regard as the dominant society? The Taiping Emperor is right, and when Jesus returns to establish the new celestial kingdom, He's bored of white people? Maybe it doesn't need an immediate answer given well-defined effects.

I sort of feel in the mood to write a horror story about the death of a civilization, and what prospects there may be for better in its wake.

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Ceri B.

April 2010

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