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Feb 01 2015

I’ll be in Bed, Thanks.

NOTE: This blog post is a kind of “live” self-therapy. It will be mostly unedited and may be hard to follow although I am going to try to clean it up in a way that it is readable; however, I am going to try to keep as much as I can alone so that the process in my mind is visible. My goal in this post is to be as transparent as possible in my introspection. I promise this post is what I thought as they occurred to me.

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As I try to reconnect to myself, my mind, my heart, my soul, after what amounts to a very emotional and difficult 6 months of revelations. I am starting to feel this underlying depression again. I am starting to feel happy with myself, and my husband, and my family. I thought fixing the gender issue and fixing my soul would help. Moreover, it did, but it is coming back.

When I was trying to hide who I was, I felt like I was in a fog. That is always the form my depression takes. I do not know how to explain the feeling it is kind of, as if you are not real. Everything you touch everything you grab just has this false quality about it. I was living life in a metaphorical bubble. The feeling has come and gone throughout my life. Each time I would try to burn it away and reconnect to whatever was missing, but I had to spend a very long time figuring out what that was. This is what, attempt #12 to solve this recurrent problem?

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It was probably at its height in high school then again in the first six months of 2014. Starting in July I started melting the fog away and started feeling more ‘real.’ When I came out as transgender to myself, it helped burn away quite a bit of fog. In November and early December, I felt amazing! It was as if I finally found out who I was. Since then the fog has been creeping back little by little. I do not think if I said anything, anyone (except my husband) would notice – yet. However, I learned recently that not expressing my heart and myself are the true problems. Jo is going to cry out for help sooner than Joe ever did.

Coming out at work, on Wednesday, was amazing. Nothing changed except for one thing: I was able finally able to lose boy-mode at work and since then the majority of time in my life I have been able to think of myself as a girl. It is probably like 51% or something but it is still progress. I find myself slipping back and forth both directions between boy-mode and girl-mode. Usually some external force pushes me to boy-mode and then I naturally slip back to girl-mode by following a path of mental connections. Both of these have begun happening without active thought to do it. It used to be a lot of work to get back to girl-mode I would have think and struggle to get back to girl mode. Now going back and forth is as natural as it used to be when I was a child. It is amazing how much a little change can improve lifestyle. Being a girl is not work anymore. So why is the fog coming back?

My body is still wrong. Without a doubt, that is a problem. Looking down at what I am physically gets me close to crying, so I try not to do it. Looking at myself in the mirror is difficult at best. Next week I have an appointment to start the process that will, I hope, resolve that issue. In some ways I have, I can start to see myself as a girl but if I wear girls clothes (which I have at home a little) I still can’t help but see myself as the “man in the dress.” It is too bad that it is socially acceptable for a woman to wear men’s clothes but the inverse is not acceptable at all…

I have heard a lot about a TV series called Transparent. Many people have recommended it to me after I came out as transgender. I do intend to watch it. However, I fear it will show not how I see my life but what normal society thinks of transgender people and the transgender issue. The first picture of this blog post is from that series and I think it shows a good example of the “man in the dress” problem. For that reason, I intend to refuse female clothing in public until I can see a woman looking back at me…. That is probably part of why I feel so intimidated by this transition. I feel like there is so much further to go. I am going to have to work so much harder to be seen as a girl that someone who was born a girl. The community calls a man trying to look like a woman “passing.” It is a real problem in the MtF (Male to Female) transgender community, whereas the FtM (Female to Male) transgender community does not have nearly as hard as a time… Why is it unacceptable for a man to be feminine, when a woman can be masculine?

Society has trained me to dislike seeing a man in woman’s clothing so I cannot look at myself in the mirror in the clothing I wish to wear. How is that fair? Yet to solve any style or image problems I have to look at pictures or mirrors. It is a Catch 22 where I need to look how I want to look in a mirror but at the same time; I need to look in a mirror to figure out how I want to look…. One of these things has to crack. I have to learn how to look in a mirror. I know I will eventually…

However, with all of that said I think the core problem is the hours I work/sleep right now.

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As much as the transgender revelation has changed me, so has third shift. One has been a positive the other a negative. I cannot tell you how much that meme is true. All I wanted was a burger and fries on my way home today for dinner… It was 8AM, what was every place in the area serving? Breakfast foods were on the menu of any place that was open… Most places were not even open. Fuck.

I am sitting here at 1:17am and thinking oh it is lunchtime… Sleeping 10a – 6p means that social lunches and get together are out of the question. In addition, assuming it takes me an hour to get up, ready, and out of the house the earliest I can be somewhere for a “dinner” is 7pm… that is assuming its right around the corner but speaking of sleep. Yet everyone expects me to break my sleep schedule…

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I think those about say it all… I went and spent a weekend two weeks ago with my biological family. It was so easy to flip my sleep schedule back to a normal person’s during that weekend… It has since taken me two terrible weeks to switch back. Maybe seeing people and being social just is not worth it.

Then there is the issue of working across two days… For me I report to work Friday night work though until Saturday morning go to bed. THAT IS FRIDAY. For my husband he reports to work Friday night works through Saturday morning and goes to bed… THAT IS SATURDAY. We see them as different days because my job has me put my hours in all on “Friday” and his makes his put them all in for “Saturday.”

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Then… there is always daylight savings time to talk about…

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In the spring, an extra hour of work appears from nowhere! In the fall, an hour oddly vanishes of work… (EDIT: After having written this entire post and rereading it before hitting the “Publish” button I realized it’s the OTHER WAY. Spring looses and hour of work fall gains an hour of work.) No extra hour of sleep to help, adjust to the change in time. Without resetting alarms and going to bed when your body is not ready. You just “deal with it.”

I feel disconnected from life. Do not get me wrong. Third shift is great for work. We are the shift that gets the projects done because nobody is there to bother us with random requests for stuff. We are the shift that is like a fellowship because we are all in it together. There is something about the people of third shift. You are more than coworkers are; you share a deep bond of having no life. I am lucky to get out once a week. Even that is a challenge. We play D&D at 7pm and when they offer me a beer, I am like… uh, what?

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Jeez, there are so many meme’s about third shift. Yet, we work very hard. We work hard to keep ourselves awake. We work hard because we have not slept well. We work hard to get the projects done that are impossible during the interruptions of the day. Yet, it has disconnected me from all my friends; it has disconnected me from those I love. It has rebuilt my fog…

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I know this has been kind of a gripe driven post. I just feel so down about my lack of having a life at the moment. I finally have a new life and no way to share it with anyone. I’ve just traded one problem for another. I may be happier, but there is a long way to go before I’m happy.

It’s 2:03AM… I should be sitting down to eat lunch then stay up till 10. However, I’m going to do completely the WRONG thing and go to bed because I feel tired and crappy. And in doing that my sleep schedule is about to be broken for another two weeks.

Good night.

About the author

Josie

I’ve never been good at writing about myself. I’ve never been good at ‘talking up my strengths’ but at least I should try…

I am a 30 year old (gasp), woman. To me, it is just that simple. My life is slowly coming together into a form where I can be proud to call it my life.

Who am I? I’m a strong, loving woman that was assigned male at birth and is finally correcting that egregious error by biology. For most women if they have an urge like wearing a sundress, they just do it. For my first 29 years on this planet, that wasn’t a possibility.

I write to heal, then publish to inform. I hope my journey can make the journeys of people that come after me just a little less painful.

I also have a ‘day job’ as a Data Center Technician. I do an incredibly physical job lifting fixing and moving servers. I daily, walk into and then maintain ‘the cloud.’ Servers are still quite a bit larger and heavier than your desktop at home. So much so that I am the only woman on my team of 20 and one of 5 in the entire building of about 75. Technology is without a doubt a male dominated industry. Which makes me quite sad.

I wish I could better express who I am. I don’t feel like I’ve done justice to my history, my life, and my story, but for now, this will have to do. To me the most beautiful thing in the world is understanding and empathy. If we can have only one thing for each other person on this planet, I choose empathy.

2 comments

  1. Dorothy Browning

    Jo,
    There is so much I could say having dealt with depression but instead, I’m going to do what I do for everyone else in my family: I believe strongly in prayer and for you I am praying for the strength to get through this, the wisdom to find the answers which you need, and comfort of knowing you are not alone in this journey.
    Love you,
    Grandma Browning

  2. Dorothy Browning

    meant to say “I’m going to do what I do FOR….”

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