Change Will Do You Good!

Change can be good. This is a statement that I have heard so much lately that it is starting to sound hackneyed and cliché.  No matter how true that statement is change is still often hard.

In less then ten days as of this post I will be starting a new and exciting chapter of my life. Nursing.  Not nursing school but actual patient care nursing.  I graduated nursing school in September of this year and passed the NCLEX in 75 questions in October.  In November I interviewed and accepted a position for a clinical float nurse for a local branch of a national nonprofit.  I will be covering the needs of their clinics within the state of Minnesota.

To say that I am excited would be an understatement.  While it still does not feel real to me yet I can not wait for my first day.  This is the thing that I have worked for two (well more then that really) years for.  This is the thing that I stressed, screamed, endured and fought for.  Shit is getting real!

If I did not talk about how this change is actually bittersweet I feel that I would be missing have the picture though.  As this door is opening, another is closing.  By taking this job I will be leaving the one that I have had for over eight years.  If I am being honest I think that it is time.

I loved my time as a tech, as a whole.  I met and worked with some amazing people.  I have helped some amazing patients.  I learned so much that I have not even going to go into that list.

These experiences are not without their cost though.  It is so true that nothing in life is free.  During my time as a tech I have seen things that will stay with me forever, and not in the good way.  During my time as a tech I have seen senseless deaths; been verbally, physically, and emotionally assaulted almost daily, and lived/worked with a near constant undercurrent of fear for my own life.  It was to the point that my family had an actual plan for what would happen WHEN I was killed on the job.  After eight years of this I was mentally worn down to the point that I ended up in the hospital after a failed suicide attempt. (see previous posts for the whole-ish story)

Please understand that this is not really commentary or rebuke of my soon to be former employer.  This is the state of hospital medicine in the US today.  The number of attacks on healthcare staff is not only appalling but is only rising. Staff are being assaulted every shift. Staff members are being killed on the job at rates that are mind blowing (sources upon request).  This needs to change.

This is one of the reasons why I decided to walk away from the hospital setting for now and focus specialty clinical nursing.  I want to become more of a specialist in an area(s) that I am truly passionate about. With this new job I will be doing just that.  I will be focusing on Reproductive Health and Rights, Mental health promotion and Transgender Healthcare.  These are the three of the four areas that I have the most calling for. To say that this is a dream job of mine would not be a lie.

I know that there are those who read this blog that are acute/hospital care nurses.  I am not saying anything against them.  There are those who that is where they are called to be. I love that.  I love that there is a place in nursing that everyone can fit. Maybe some day I will go back to the hospital side of nursing.  Right now it is not where I feel I can do the most good for the most people.

I will update everyone once I start on how the new gig is going.  Thank you all for your time and reading my blog.  I love you all!

As always, Be Good, Be Well and ALWAYS Be Kind!

Cheers

KJD

Trans Women Read as Crone

The image of the Crone holds many different connotations in our vast global history.  It is a character that is seen throughout most of the world lore.  Many times the Crone is depicted as a bitter old woman when is not conventionally attractive who prays on children and the gullible.  She is the old witch in the woods that deprecate people will seek out for the help of last resort.

In some pagan traditions, the Crone is seen as the Goddess in the later stages of life.  She is the woman who had past her childbearing years. The Crone is see and often revered as the wise woman of the tribe.  She is the healer and councilor.  She is the maker of medicines and potions.  She is the worker of magic of both pure and..not so pure.  She is the teacher of knowledge, both the mystical and practical.

As a trans woman, I feel that once I began transitioning I also started my own Croning process.  The fact that I waited till I was 38 and already had two teenage persons in my life to start may have contributed to those feelings.  This is not a bad thing mind you, just not something that I expected

The fact that I did not start living authentically until later in my life afforded me a very different outlook.  Walking in the world of to my miss-assigned gender for almost four decades allowed me to see “how the other half lived.”  It was enlightening.  I have seen the world from now two very different sides.

I have seen the privileges that masculine identified persons are afforded.  I have felt the stress of trying to be the “perfect” man, father, leader and/or spouse.  I have felt the bite of the phrase “Man the hell up!”

I have also begun to experience the world through the lens of feminine identified persons.  I have felt that pressure to alter my body to be beautiful enough, skinny enough and/or smart enough (but not to smart). I have felt the fear of personal injury, assault or even death as a group of men cross my path.  I have felt the idea that I need to be the perfect spouse, parent and worker without complaint or balk.

It is the exact fact that I have see the world through both sets of eyes that makes me feel that I have entered the Crone phase of life.  I have knowledge that many people do not possess.  I am able to take this knowledge and use it to incite changes, to teach other and attempt to make the world better. As the old School House Rock cartoons always said, “Knowledge is Power!”

 

Be Good, Be Well, and Always Be Kind!

Cheers!

KJD

Manifestation Experiment 1

I have found myself listing to a lot of audio book that deal with making your live better.  I know that in the past self help books have gotten a bad wrap.  Much of the time, this has been a fair and honest assessment.  I was the first one to call “woo” and blow these styles of books. I have always thought that they were written for folks that had nothing better to do then try to find the quick fix and easy way to do life.  I think that this was te reason that I have fought for so long and hard to not give this genre very minimal, if any, space on both my actual and virtual shelves.  That had changed.

Now hold one a moment and hear me out.  I can almost hear the judgment and sarcasm that many of you all the way over here and through the distance of time and space.  Let me explain.

The self-help book of the past had far to much of the idea that if you just say, “I am wealthy”, “I am happy,” “I am successful,” enough these things will just happen.  I am not seeing that as much today.  Yes there are affirmation and using the power of positive thought, but they do not stop there.  Unlike the books of old, todays self-help books go one step further.  You do your affirmation like in the past, BUT then you get your ass to work!

I have found that the idea of “manifesting the change you want” do be a very heave theme these day. I think the best way I can sum this up is as follows.  If you send out positive energy you get positive energy.  Some people are more prone to this then others.  I am one of those people.  Here is a example.  Has anyone notice that you can be having a good day then you run into Ms. Debbie Downer? After only a few minuets in their presence you are in a bad mood. How did this happen?  Not 10 mins ago things were going well.  Now you feel like life is shit.  Energy.

In that same vain, it is safe to assume to you have heard the saying, “laughter is contagious.”  I know that most people have had this happen. Your day is not going great and then your friend says something that was funny-ish to your but a real knee slapper to them.  They are laughing so hard that you think that they are going to pass out from lack of breath. Before you know it, you are laughing too and almost as hard.  Then you realize that your mood has improved and now are doing better.  Their positive energy has rubbed off on you.  Today most self-help writers are calling these actions manifestation.

After seeing these examples and ideas in far too many places to count I thought I would give it a try for the next month.  For the next 30 days I am going to attempt to practices manifesting positive changes in my life. First I will speak good things into my life then be open to the work that is needed to make them happen.  After a month I will recap how it went and decided if I am going to keep doing it.

How about joining me on this experiment and journey?  See if these next 30 day are the best of your life or not.  Go to the Facebook groupand let everyone know how it is going and if you are going to keep going or stop.

Well that is enough for now. I hope you are well and know how much I lover every one of you!

 

As always:

Be Well, Be Good, and ALWAYS Be Kind!

Cheers

KJD

Minor Step are BIG Progress

As you may (or may not) know, I am currently on a medical leave of absence for reasons of mental health. I was originally ashamed of myself for having to take this time to work these issue.  I decided to own my story and be radically vulnerable and transparent (see Confessions of a Depressed Trans Woman for details).  Through treatment and self-reflection I have been able to make tiny strides in the right direction.  This was made clear this morning at about 330a.

If I go to be any time before midnight I will normally wake up around 2-3a.  This just the way it is.  Since I was asleep by 930pmy eyes popped open around 330.  I am addicted to my phone (mostly likely so are you so stop judging me 😉 ). When I am coherent enough, I grab the phone and turn it on. I have a voicemail from work and a few text messages.  All of these are on the same theme. I was back on the schedule and where was I?

Here is where I start to see my personal growth.  In the past I would have freaked the hell out.  I would have jumped out of bed, call work and lost my ever loving shit at the situation.  I also would have most likely taken it out on whichever poor soul answered the phone. Not good.  This morning was different.  I was able to take a breath and be ok with this minor mess up.

I call work and talked to them very calmly.  I explained that I was still on leave and that I would be for a bit longer.  The Nurse I talked to was very kind and understanding.  I told her that I would be contacting team member health in the morning to clear this issue up.  That was it. No frustration that was blown to the N-th degree.  No downward spiral in to the pit of despair.  Just a feeling of, “Well this kind of sucks because of this miscommunication.  I see that there is a way to fix it but not right now.  I will just fix it when I can.”

For those who do not live with anxiety this statement may seem benign.  For me it is anything but. In the not so distant past, this would have sent me into such a tailspin that I would be wrecked for the next few days to a week.  I would have ruminated on this like a cow on its cud.  My mind would have taken this small issue and taken it to places like, “They are doing this to me on purpose,” “They are doing this just to make me look bad,” or “I should just cut bait on the therapy and get back to work. I am not really sick anyway.”

As you can see, this is a far different reaction.  Now I have the mental tools (and yes medication) to deal with these issues.  I can not tell you how great that being able to see these changes feels.  It is validating as well as gives me hope that I will continue to get better.  I just need to stay the course.

I am not better yet. What I am is better then I was yesterday and tomorrow I will work to be better then today.  That is my goal and plan.  I know that there will be setbacks.  I know there will be hard times.  I also know that as long as I stay grounded, lean on those who are willing to help me when I need it and practice self-compassion I will get there.

Thanks you all for your amazing readership and coming along with me on this adventure into my future.

Admin note: There will be some changes that will be coming up in the near-ish future.  I will keep you all posted as that are about to happen.  I hope you enjoyed this and PLEASE feel free to share this blog with everyone you know. Love you all!!!!

 

Remember, Be Well, Be Good and ALWAYS Be Kind!

Cheers!

KJD

pgp: she/her/hers

Once More Into The Breach My Friends…

Sometimes you can not leave well enough alone. By you I really mean me. I have decided that I need to go back to school.  I can hear some of you already. “Karissa, you just got done with nursing school.  Why are you doing this to yourself again and so soon?” Well, baskets are not going to weave themselves underwater are they? Just kidding.  I am going back to get my Bachelors of Nursing Science (BSN) then my Masters in Nursing Education.

When I first start college back in 1997 (yes, I know that I am old), I wanted to teach.  I have had the joy of teaching my fellow classmates many things during my time in nursing school as well as many of my patients. There is a joy I have found in teaching. When the student gets it there is a light that goes off in their eyes.  This “ah-ha” moment is wonderful to see.

My end goal at this time is to teach in a clinical setting.  While I think that I could do actual classroom teaching, providing teaching at the bedside I feel will be more fulfilling. I am not saying that in time I will teach in the classroom, just not right away.  I say this as if I might have a choice.  Let’s be honest; I will teach where I am told as long as the check doesn’t bounce.

I have not given up my dream to work Labor and Delivery or Mental Health.  I can do both.  If I teach nursing clinical I can show my students in either of these departments how to turn the knowledge that they received from the classroom and actually us it with their patients.

I have found a school that will do the BSN completely online and is all essays based.  This means that I will not be doing any testing ever again. Yes I know that there will be tests for my certificates like BLS, ACLS, PALS etc. Let me have this one ok? I will not name the school here at this time.  I will however say that it is not Rasmussen.

I know from my family’s experiences that finding a teaching job that is full time can be rather hard. Many colleges and universities now are not giving tenure to anyone.  Why would they? Why keep a teacher/professor around forever when they can just hire adjunct teachers/professors as a fraction of the cost?  The college save’s money and is able to get rid of the instructor at any time.

I wish there was a way to show the mountain of sarcasm and distain for this practice that I am using right now.  That is one of the major downfalls if this style of communication.  I understand that the tenure system has been abused in the past.  I know that keeping an instructor indefinitely is not always the best thing. I also know that there are far to many good, scratch that, AMAZING instructors out there who are having to work several jobs to make ends meet and/or get medical insurance (I am looking at you Sis).  I digress.

I start this undertaking on January 1, 2019.  A new year, a new adventure!  If I am reading this correctly, I could be done in as little as 12 months.  This is because of the amount of credits that I am able to transfer in credits.  Wish me luck, my amazing readers.

 

Be Good, Be Well and Always Be Kind!

Cheers!

KJD

 

Ps: I wanted to take a quick second and say thank you to all of you reading these blogs.  This was a stupid project that I started one night because I was looking for a way to not do school work.  Over the last year I have found that this is something that I really love to do.  I love to see that people are connecting with my writing and thoughts.  While I would do this no matter how many people would read this, the fact you are out there reading helps.  OK IT IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD!!! Sorry for that.  I just had to get it out. Thank you all. Please keep checking back and always feel free to share the blog with anyone and everyone.  Please keep checking back because here is so stuff coming up that I feel is really cool.  Also, check out the Facebookpage for the blog.  Please share that too.

Thank you all so much and I love you all!!

KJD

A Meditation Through a Viewfinder

After my post yesterday, I decided to do some actual self-care.  I bought out my old camera and headed off to the Conservatory at Como Park. If you are not familiar with what the Conservatory is you really need to be.  Think of it as a year round beautiful garden.  It is by far one of my favorite places to go here when the weather starts to get cold here is the frozen north.  There are four basic gardens all with some of the most beautiful plants, flowers and fountains that I have seen here in Minnesota.

While I was walking around I was playing my yoga/meditation playlist in my ear buds as I shot.  It was serene.  If you talk to many people you may find that almost everyone has a hand full of “happy places.”  These are places that they will think of when things get rough in their lives.  The Conservatory is one of mine.

Of the four gardens, the one known as the “Sunken Garden” is by far my favorite.  If you ever see pictures of people getting married in the Conservatory, This is where it most often happens.  There is a long and shallow pond running down the center of the garden.  The pond is flanked by walkways and rows of seasonal plants and flowers.

As I walked around and viewed this world through the eyes of a very armature shutterbug, the other guests there seemed to just fade into the background until I felt like I was alone in this place.  In that space it was just my camera, all those beautiful creations and me.  This trancelike state was broken from time to time but either bumping into someone or others in a similar state bumping into me.  I would apologize to the ones I bumped into and the others would look up and we would both chuckle and ask how the other’s shoot was going.  We would show some of your favorite raw shots and go back into our own worlds.

In that space I did not think about anything but “what is the best angle/light/distance/lens for this shot?”  There was not thought of how cold it was outside of the walls. There was thought of how shitty the world is becoming.  There was only the moment that I was standing in and the world that was in my viewfinder.   It was mindfulness personified.

The last week in the program that I am in, we have been doing A LOT of work on the idea of mindfulness. The quick and dirty definition of mindfulness is being in the moment.  It is being in your body.  For me I have fought this concept for so long. The reason for this was mostly because I did not (and still do not) like the body that I am living in right now.  By practicing mindfulness, we are to learn that it is ok to be in the body and place we are in.  We are to use the practice to be present or in those moments as it unfolds.  Mindfulness is the opposite of disassociation.

I have included a few of my favorite picture from the shoot.  I hope you enjoy.  If you download the picture, please ask first (I promises to say yes, I just want to know who has them) and PLEASE give my the credit form them (saying you did them when you did not is a dick move).

Well, my amazing readers, this post makes number 4 in 4 days!  I think that all 600+ words a day thing is starting to be a good thing for me. If there is a topic that you would like to see me talk about or cover please let me know. You can reach me on the FacebookPage.  Just add a post and say, “HEY GIRL!!! I want you to talk about  XYZ on the blog!”

Ok Off to get this Sunday underway!

Love you all!

Be Good, Be Well and Always BE KIND!

Cheers

KJD

Winter is Coming!

Last night was the first legit snow here in Minnesota.  I love this time of year.  You I know that many of you will not and do not agree with me.  I am one of those odd people that loved winter.  I have said that I would rather be in the cold then in the heat.  As a bigger girl, I am not built for heat.  At least in the cold I can put more stuff on.  In the heat, eventually you are just naked, hot and miserable (and not in the fun, life affirming way either).

I have a lot of plans for this winter.  This is the first winter that I have not had to worry about school or the like in a few years.   I know that I need to have a plan out my time and projects or I will just put it off until I run out of time and just say fuck it all.  So, you might ask, what are all these things that I want to get done this winter?  Here is as short list.

  • Start seedlings
  • Write 4-6 short stories (2000-4000 words)
  • Loose 40 lbs.
  • Train for a 5K
  • Plan a trips to:
    • San Antonio TX
    • Raleigh NC,
    • Seattle WA
  • For a business Plan for Life Transitions Services
  • Work on and launch Media Project X
  • Go skiing

Theses are just a short list.  The good news is that there are things on this list that are time sensitive.  What I mean is this, my seedlings need to be started at a very certain time so that they are ready for spring but my 5K training is more of a long term thing.  My plan to go skiing is limited to the level of snow. I am going to see these barriers as a good way for me to plan out my winter.  I know how my mind works.  I would normally try to do all the things at once.  When I would inevitable fail, I would get frustrated and say fuck it all and quit.  Now I can break this down into more manageable chunks.

What do I mean?  Well here is an example. My seeds need to be started in February-March so that can wait a bit.  I can break down the story writing into 1-2 stories a month. I can combine the loose weight and training for the 5K into one thing and plan it for small times each week.  I can use the trip planning as a break from the writing, almost like a reward for making my word count goals.  I can set the goal that my business plan will be done by Xmas so I can launch it after the first of the year.  I can do the same with Media Project X.  As for skiing, well Mother Nature and I need to have a girl-to-girl talk about setting this up.

So, my hear readers, this is what my plan for this winter.  What is yours?  Please share what you are doing on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/transkarissarn/. This way we can all help keep each other accountable.  So let’s make this winter the best it can.

Thanks for reading and be well!

Cheers!

KJD

Confessions of a Depressed Trans Woman

As you many of you know, I have been struggling with mental health for much of my adult life, mainly severe depression, anxiety and PTSD.   In that time I have attempted to kill myself several times over the years. I am not sharing this for sympathy or anything of the like.  I am simply stating this because I am being transparent.  Over the last few months my mental illness has gotten extremely bad. I originally thought that it was due to the stress of nursing school and the like but when it only got worse after nursing school I knew something else was going on.

I have always prided myself being able to hold everything together no matter how much shit hit the fan or how horrible things got.  I have also been able to keep a smile on my face and joy in my voice regardless of whatever personal hell that I maybe going through.  In the last few weeks, this ability has fallen apart.  It was to the point that friends started to see through my facade.  Things got so bad that I once again attempted to end my life.  Not many people know this. It is not something that I am proud of but it is the truth.

I checked myself into the ED and was transferred to an inpatient psych unit.  I spent 5 days there and was discharged.  This was on 10/30.  I am currently beginning a partial inpatient program on the 11/7. This is a day program at the same location that I have an inpatient at.  This will be a 10-day program then I will transition into a Intensive Outpatient Program.

I am currently on medical leave from my job.  While I am well enough to not need inpatient treatment, I am far from well enough to go back to work.  If I were to go back to work right now I know that I will end up back in inpatient before Thanksgiving.  This fact makes me feel not only broken but also worthless.  I know that this is my shit and I am determined to own my shit.

So now that I have told you all this, I will answer the question that must be burning in your mind. Why did I not call/tell many of you? The answer is simple.  I had to do this on my own.  While I was in the hospital, I asked that no one come to visit me. I asked that no one call the unit asking for me.  I did talked to a few people but only briefly.  This was a road that I needed to walk alone.  This is because I needed to show myself that I was strong enough to do this for me.

Ok now that I have bore my soul to you all now what?  Well, I have made a few decisions.  First, I will be posting more frequently here but the format may change a bit, mostly in topic and content (yes I know that this may be the same-ish kind of thing but work with me here).  I will be focusing on things like mental health, some political stuff as it pops up, reviews of food, respices and media that I come across and other things I find interesting.  I will also be starting new media project once I find my new job (Oh I for got to share this, I PASS THE NCLEX!!  I am a real nurse now but more on that in a future post) and get my mental health stabilized even more.  I am not going to share where or what this is or will be right now but I will keep you informed.  I will also be kicking off a new GoFundMe and Patreon account to help with some expenses of this new project.  Who knows, maybe someday I will have a great media empire, book deals and more.  Hey, a girl can dream;)!

Ok my dear and amazing, Stay tuned and thank you for sticking in there with me.

Cheers!

KJD

Genetic Soup

On my to study for just another Saturday morning in my local coffee place, I was listening to a podcast (as I am tend to do) about transgender topics, news, science, etc. On this podcast they reported that they, the world of geneticists and other since kind of people, found genetic marks that show that being transgender is as genetically linked as being red haired or tall or short.  My first reaction was “Wow! That is great!  I can prove once and for all that I am really who I am!”  This was quickly followed by a few other thoughts that were not as joyous.  The first was me wonder who these people were that I felt that I needed to prove myself and my identity too.  The second was even worse.  What if I get my genetics tested and found that these newly discovered markers are absent? What would that mean?  Would that mean that I am not really trans?  Would that mean that I am just so dude in a dress that much of the Cis world see me and my other trans siblings as already? What if I am just trying to hide for something so that is why I have decided that this is the path that I am to walk?  (Oh hello existential dread!  WELCOME and come sit by me!)

Well Shit!  Now that I have opened this Pandora’s box of shit, lets at least try to unpack it a bit.  So, what is “being trans” really?  Is it something that we choose or something that we have chose for us through genetics?  Is it something that can me over come or something that just needs to be processed and accepted by those who experience it?    If there is a genetic component to it all, is this something that can be screened for at an early age or even in the womb?  If so what dose that mean for those who “pop positive” for being trans? Will this open up a whole new world of bioengineering and gene manipulation to “correct the problem?” Is it enough to just say that you are trans because the infinite reasons you fell it without the accompany science that may now come with it?

Deep breathe in, and out! I am going to jump around a bit for this part.  I will go slowly in order to not loose anyone.  There is a think that is called imposter syndrome.  If you have ever been in a new job, with new people or in a new situation that felt that would have no idea what is going on and if anyone else finds our how you actually are clueless at what the heck is going on, they will see you as the fraud that you feel that you are.  This is a very simple explanation of the Imposter syndrome. These feeling will usually pass as you become more comfortable and accustomed to the new situations that you are in.  These feelings are very common in the trans community.  I know that I deal with them on not a daily basis but hourly, and often, even minuet by minute.

It is because of these feelings that the idea of being able to test our genetics for being trans both excites and terrifies me.  I am constantly rattled with thoughts that I am just a fraud and not even trans (or trans enough) so much that it is often like the hum of distant highways. Anywhere in our country, save a VERY few places, there is no place you can be without hearing a high way or road. Try it sometime.  Go to a place that you feel is secluded and extremely far out and jus listen.  You will hear the road.

As for the screening portion of the question rant, I know that with science, it can be either used for good or evil.  No matter what is done to prevent it, people will use the science to back whatever position they have.  All we, as people, can do is try to work to see that the most people are protected.

So, now let us look at the biggest question of the group.  What is it to be trans?  What does it mean to be trans?  I am sorry, my dear reader, I can not (and will not) answer that question.  I know it kind of feels like a bullshit answer or response.  The thing is that it is the most honest one that I can give.  If you ask 100 trans people what it means to be trans you will get 101 different answers.  I can tell you what it means TO ME to me trans but I will not be able to tell you what it means for a very close trans sister of mine to me trans.  Sure there may be a few very roughly linked themes but never 100% the same.  For me, it is finally being able to feel that I am right in my own head.  It is feeling that I am coming into my own as the person I should have been and should be, even when I did not know that person even existed for the better part of 30 years.  I am not the kind of trans person that knew for sure when they were 3 years old that they were trans.  I just knew that I never felt that I really fit.  It was not until my late teens and early 20’s that I would even think that being trans MIGHT be a thing.  Back then I came across a MtF IRC (internet relay chat) channel that I started talking in and thought, “I can not be this because I am to large and would not be real woman.”  So I pushed it out of my head.  That is where I first got the idea that there were words that might explain these feeling I felt.

Even this response opens up other question and “truths” Like, Why should I feel like I need to fit the Western standers of (unrealistic) beauty? I could not have to. I should not have to be seen as a cis female to feel valid.  I should not have to wear an hours worth of makeup to be seen as the person I know I am. I should not have to get surgery to been viewed as the person I know that I am.  I should not be missgendered worse when I wear my jeans then I do when I dress high fem.  Of course I should not have to do any of those things, but here in this world I kind of do. Yes is not fair.  Yes it is wrong.  Yes I know that I should not “have” to pass to be valid, but I know that I do.  In this world we all have to live with those things that we should have to do but still do until there is a paradigm shift. People of Color should not have to worry that they will be gunned down for speeding, but they do.  Woman should not have to worry that the person behind her on her walk home might attack her and killer her or worse, but she does.  A child should not have to worry that they might not get to eat during a weekend because they only get food from the free lunch program at school during the week, but some still do.  I am just a realist.  I know that the world should change and that it is changing, albeit slowly.

So, That was 1200 words of random thought.  Thank you, my amazing reader, for making it this far.  On to more light hearted topics.  I am going to be restarting my go-fund-me in the next few weeks.  This will be open-ended and no real upper limit or goal in mind.  I will be using the funds raised by it to help with costs of transition that are not covered by my medical insurance.  These will include cosmetic procedures link FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and possibly Vocal Reconstruction Surgery.  I will be setting up a Google Doc that will show how every penny is spent so that you will know that I am not just taking your hard earned $$ and running. Please do not feel forced into donating if you are not able to.  That is not my goal.  If you are not able to help with $$$, please tell people about this blog.  The more readers I have, the more people can read my ramblings and maybe feel the call to help out with their $$.

So I will say THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE BY READING THESE POSTS!!!  I love you all and will keep trying to post more often.

Cheers!!!

KJD

Asking For Help: Strength not Weakness

Growing up I was socialized as a male.  I do not blame anyone for this.  It was a different time.  I know that I sound like some old woman saying that. “Back in my day…” It was this socialization that instilled many of the traits that allowed to make me the person I was, and if I am being completely honest still very much am. The good, bad and the ugly.  Many of the traits that I still fall back on are helpful.  These include the love of family, the willingness to sacrifice for those who you love and the servant’s heart.  These traits I see as non-gendered as they are seen as good traits regardless if you are AMAB or AFAB.  (For those who do not know, AMAB means assigned male at birth and AFAB means assigned female at birth.)   The only difference I can see in those traits is how we are taught to manifest them. In AMAB folks, these are to been shown with stoic and almost cold silence.  In those who were AFAB, these are to be expressed with warmth and caring.  Even as I write this I am seeing how this indoctrination affects the langue that I have using.  Like how when I describe AMAB I use a word like “manifests” that feels more as a clinical diagnoses then a way of feeling, and with AFAB I used “warmth are caring” which feels softer and more gentle.

There were other traits that I was taught as well.  These were not as beneficial to me I am finding out.  In the world and society that we live in AMAB people are taught at a very young that they are to be strong, resilient and unfeeling. Yes I know I am speaking in very broad generalizations here and not all AMAB’s are taught this (#notallAMAB).  I was taught that I was to go my way and repress my feeling because feeling were “for the women and the weak” and “a man was hard and unbreakable.”  This also meant that I was expected that I should be able to everything that I set out to and on my own as much, and often more then as much, then I could.  To ask for help was left for those who were failures and incompetent.  Both of those things were seen as detestable and unacceptable. I was to be the one that helps all while need no one.

As I transition I am seeing just how wrong I was.  Well more to the point, how wrong this message was and still is. I see how so many of my darkest moments could have been so much easier if I had reached out and asked for a hand up. If I am going to be honest with you, and myself I still struggle with this.  Asking for help when you need it is not a sign of weakness but one of ultimate strength and humility.  We are all finite people, regardless how you were assigned at birth.  There are times that we have where it is not only difficult to go alone but that you really should not go alone.  It is not wise or safe.

It is no secret that I suffer from depression, and anxiety.  I think that I have been very open about it here and in my real life.  Some days it ranges from a wispier on the wind to soul crushing and debilitating.  For almost 40 years I have turned into my own head when things got to it worst. This has caused me to shutout and/or pushes away those who have cared about me most.  I was so worried that I would become a burden to them that I felt that it was better for me to silently suffer.  All this was often done with a smile and the best attempt to have a smile in my voice.  When it got to the point that I could not fake it anymore I would just tell people that it was because I was tired and/or was worried about someone else.  I felt that it was of to be showing concern for others publicly but not myself.  I was not lying to everyone out of malice or the like.  Well not deliberately but a lie of omission is still a lie.  So to everyone I know and have dealt with in real life I want to say, for these sins, I am sorry.

So, good reader, why am I writing this rambling post, other than putting off studying for a final?  It is because I have been blessed with some very good friends that have pushed me and almost unrelentingly been working on me to be open and honestly seek help from them when I need it.  I have been told and educated that I am not a burden or a bother.  I have been so strong for so long that I need to allow others to be strong for me.  To these people in my life I cannot thank you enough.  I know that it has not been easy to be my friend at many of times, so thanks you for sticking with me.

I am not there yet, my amazing readers.  I am still working on it.  I know that four decades of programing cannot be wiped out overnight by some mythical personality magnet to the hard drive of my history.  I will get there.  I have faith not necessarily in who I am not but who I will become.  I know she is waiting for me on the other side and she is cheering me on.  My message to her is this.  Thank you love,  I will not let you down.

Cheers!

Karissa