I am the Queen of disjointed thinking. I like your hat! :-D

Posts tagged ‘mental health’

Trans Women are REAL Women, Trans Men are REAL Men

I am writing this post because last night, someone on my Facebook that calls themself an “LGBT ally” posted which was incredibly disparaging of a trans woman and not only said there’s nothing brave about coming out as trans but also implied she is just a man in a dress.

Here’s the truth: all trans women are women, all trans men are men. Some people in the trans community are neither men nor women, some are both men and women. All of these identities (and others which I don’t feel I know enough about to post any comment) are real identities. These are real people and they are all so, so brave!

Some people are so afraid to come out, they are trapped by depression and anxiety. These people may never come out as trans. They’ve seen what happens to others. These trans people are still brave. They are brave when people say negative things about trans people and they hold back tears. They are brave when LGB”T” allies don’t seem to realise what the T stands for and they gently remind them without starting a fight. They are brave.

Some trans people come out and are so lost and frightened, so trapped by depression and anxiety which is fed by a lack of support from the people they love most, the people they thought loved them, too. Some of these people battle through the storm. These people are so very brave. Some of these people can’t go on, they die from depression. They’re brave too.

Some “allies” say they support post-op trans people, because they’re now “real” men and women. That is not support. What if a trans person doesn’t experience body dysmorphia? They should be forced to undergo surgery that will make them unhappy before you accept them? That is not support, and you are part of the problem.

Here’s a fact: You have no way of knowing how many trans people you know in real life or online. There is no way to tell by looking at a person if they are trans. It’s not ok to ask a person you think might be trans if they are. When you post cruel and insensitive things about trans people online, or say them in person, even if you’re “joking”, you are part of the problem. You are contributing to the depression and anxiety of trans people. Some of these people may be your friends, you may not know they are trans. There is a good chance you know at least one trans person. If you call yourself an ally, and trans people think they can feel safe around you, you probably know more.

Please think before you tell these people their struggles aren’t real. There is more than one kind of bravery.

Signed with love and hope,

The Pretty Kitty.

Kitten’s Anti-Anxiety Checklist

The following is a list of what I did to combat anxiety yesterday.  Yesterday was not a typical day (I had a medical appointment) so my anti-anxiety measures went into overdrive.   More about that later, if I remember.

  1. Wear superhero undies.
    Notes: obviously you will inherit the powers of your chosen hero.
  2. Leave home several hours before appointment time.
    Notes: walk as much of the journey as possible.  Walking calms my anxiety somewhat.  It’s very hot so it’s ok to get on a bus for most of it.  Buses make me anxious but it’s not peak hour so I should get a seat at the very front of the bus which is a bit ok.
  3. Listen to the same song (through headphones) on repeat infinite times.
    Notes: it’s alright to occasionally mouth words or accidentally sing a bit because YOLAMTARTON (You Only Live As Many Times As Required To Obtain Nirvana)
    Notes on notes: maybe choose something not by Lil’ Kim next time, if you’re going to mouth words and sing bits, which you will because songs are awesome.
  4. Draw a bumble bee.
    Notes: dot eyes inexpressive, add circles.  Now bee looks surprised, give her a smiley mouth.
    Notes on notes: now bee looks horny.
  5. Join the library.
    Notes: it will be difficult to repeat this in the future as one may only join the library once and have one library card.
  6. Drink lots of water
    Notes: doing this anyhow as I’m going to an ultrasound.  Normally would not drink this much water for anxiety.  Feel a bit full
  7. Always carry a dinosaur or dragon, especially a soft toy one.
    Notes: none.  This explains itself.
    Notes on notes: RAWR!  STOMP! *chews*

So this is what I did yesterday to combat my anxiety.  It worked (also they have me on anti-anxiety pills now, which contributes) right up until I was reading the consent form for my ultrasound when I freaked out a little, but fortunately I had my dinosaur on hand.
I hope you can use or adapt some of these to help you.

Love and laughs,
The Pretty Kitty

Women are people too, just so you know.

I originally wrote this post on a blog I no longer use.  It was written on the 31st of October 2009, and I was probably crying,hugging a cup of tea and wearing nothing but my fluffy dressing gown when I wrote it, because that’s how I used to write.  I have not edited this text in any way except to fix one typo.  So now I take a deep breath and publish for the second time something I wrote which is laced with meaning and hope.

~~~

OK, I’m gonna start with a story and then launch into random but related crap:
The first time I tried to kill myself I was only ten years old. Not a joke. I tried to hang myself with a skipping rope (that part is a little funny…) but knots were not my strong point, a fact that saved my life. I had two skinned knees to explain to my mother, but I was alive to explain. Now I’m glad, back then I just got pushed into a deeper depression; I’d found something else I’m no good at…
was very good at creative writing, very good at craft, at art, at singing, at maths, at science and at computer studies. None of those things mattered. They were barely ever encouraged. All that mattered to my teachers was that I had bad handwriting, and didn’t like sport. All that mattered to my peers was that I was bad at sport, spent a lot of time with the year one kids, and had no friends my own age. Children my age had been calling me “ugly” the entire time I was at school, even at preschool, and before that at childcare when I was three. I’d always had no friends my own age and been called ugly. I look at pictures now which were taken at the time, and that isnot an ugly little girl! But when you hear something so often, how can you help but think it’s true? I related this situation to fairy tales. The evil witch is always ugly, scary and mean. Good fairies, good witches and princesses are always beautiful. I “knew” in my heart that if I was ugly, I would live my life hated, because, after all, it’s not like I’m a man and my looks don’t matter… I even thought that maybe I was evil, which is why I’d turned out ugly. I “knew” nobody would ever love me, I’d never get married or have a family, men only want to marry the princess, not the warty old witch! It certainly didn’t help that for almost two years at this point I’d been getting the occasional pimple. I equated them with the witches’ warts and arrived at the conclusion that I was hideous and unlovable. Thank God for bad knots! I stood up, went inside and had a cry. About an hour later my mum made me a cup of tea and brought me a cupcake. I was glad I had my mum, but I didn’t feel any better for years.

I was twelve when a girl in my class at school said to me, “You’ll never get a boyfriend if you don’t act how boys want you to act!” I asked this eleven year old girl what that meant, and she said, “You need to wear shorter skirts, unbutton your skirt, stick your boobs out when you walk and wear lots of make up, like me.” I looked at her, saw Barbie, and felt sick in case it was true. I interrupt this post to bring you my list of things I see/hear about little girls doing that makes me sick:

  1. Wearing string bikinis (outside of dress-ups)
  2. Wearing high heel shoes (outside of dress-ups)
  3. Talking about kissing boys and making their friends who haven’t been kissed feel inferior (have seen this in four-year-olds)
  4. Calling each other ugly
  5. Calling each other sluts (have seen this with year two kids!)
  6. Using “bitch” as a term of endearment.
  7. Teasing friends who aren’t allowed to wear make-up

Anyway, I’m basically bothered in a big way by anything that makes out that girls and women aren’t allowed to be smart else nobody will love them, or if they’re pretty they must be stupid, or if they enjoy playing or watching sport they’re obviously gay. Other things which irritate me include the phrase “women and children”, indicating that women are somehow below men and need to be sheltered and protected, when people say “men and girls” when they mean “men and women” and being addressed as “bitch”EVER.

Also, I don’t like being asked, especially by men, why I don’t wear make-up. To those men I say, “You first!”I shouldn’t have to remove every hair below my eyebrows, and some from my eyebrows, cover my face in goo and force my body into all kinds of painful contraptions because I was born with a vagina! Yes, I said “vagina”. I have one of those and a brain at the same time.

I was thirteen and really wanted to get a job as a trolley collector at Coles (please don’t laugh. I just really like shopping trolleys). I told my dad and he said, “I’ve noticed something about all the trolley girls in Maryborough; they’re all boys.” I then stopped talking to him completely for two weeks while mum and I looked around for trolley girls. We found several, I then spoke to dad to point this out to him and he said, without ever meeting those girls, “Yes, but they’re not smart! Most girls aren’t smart like you! You can get a nice inside job behind a cash register!” So, that’s what intelligent women have to aspire to, eh dad? Checkout chick. Great. Alert the Nobel people.

As a child I played with an equal mix of “boy” things and “girl” things; my Barbie really loved her monster truck. My dad drew the line, though, when I had my heart set on a skate board. He said they were only for boys and lesbians. He actually told his seven-year-old she couldn’t have a skateboard because he didn’t want her to turn gay. Yes dad. That’s what’ll do it. A skateboard.
I’ve still to this day never ridden a skateboard.

If anyone has similar stories to anything outlined above, I’d love to hear from you!

Signed with so much love,

The Pretty Kitty.

Telephone.

Here’s the very long story of why if I call you on the phone, it means I think very highly of you.

When I was 17, my boyfriend lived with my family.  He was very depressed, by which I mean diagnosed with clinical depression.  He was prescribed antidepressants, but he wouldn’t take them.  He said they made him feel tired and that was it.  Tiredness in the first few weeks taking antidepressants is normal, but he wouldn’t believe anyone who told him that.  He wouldn’t believe anything anyone told him.
I find that’s how you spot a liar.  A liar will never believe you, will always think you are lying to them.

While boyfriend was living with my family, he was arrested for armed robbery.
He was granted bail, and his registered address was mine, so every night, that’s where he had to be.
I didn’t understand why he’d done it.  I was confused, but, due to reasons I won’t go into at this stage, I felt responsible for him.  I had to stay with him.
He told me he was sick of Maryborough.  He told me he’d wanted the money to go to Brisbane.  He said when he was settled he was going to send for me, but I don’t believe him.

The morning of one of his court appearances, he wouldn’t talk to me.  He wouldn’t touch me.  He wouldn’t look at me.  In the courtroom, without warning, he changed his address back to his mother’s.  I gasped and was chastised by a female police officer for making noise in the court, but this was news to me; this is how I found out my boyfriend was moving out.

Living at home, his depression got worse.  His doctors all agreed he should never be left alone.  His mother and sister, his only family in town, decided this would be a great time to go to Sydney, leaving him alone for a week.  A whole week.  This woman’s son is depressed and suicidal, and she says, “Hey, let’s go to Sydney!” I can’t even!

The first day I spent with him in town, the second day I spent with him at his home.  When I was leaving to go home that evening, he held me very close.  He kissed me.  He told me he would always love me, even into the next life.  He told me he couldn’t go on anymore, and I probably wouldn’t see him again.

I told mum what he’d said, and she told me to call him as soon as I got home.  I did.  The phone rang out.  I tried again in half an hour.  The phone rang out.  I called back in the morning.  Rang out.  Every two hours, the phone rang out.  I went to his house and knocked on the door.  Nothing.  I called from my mobile, I listened to the phone ringing inside the house.

I wanted to contact the police or something, but mum said they couldn’t do anything without proof.
So I called.  The phone rang out.
I learned that a fixed line phone rings 32 times if you call it from another fixed line, but only 17 if you call it from a mobile.

I called every half hour.  Every half hour I heard the phone ring out.  I was certain he’d killed himself and I wouldn’t find out until his mother got home.

He was fine.  His mother came home and he called me.  He gave me a detailed account of what he was doing every time I’d called, and when I came to the door.  He’d made a list.

Every time I call someone, even for business, while the phone is ringing before they answer I’m taken back to that time.  I feel my stomach tie in knots more and more with every ring.

But if you mean a lot to me, I will still call you.  As my heartbeat races and my stomach churns I will hold on until you answer.  I count each ring and feel myself begin to sweat, but I’ll do it.

 

To clarify, if someone calls me, I don’t have the same reaction.  When someone calls me, I only have to deal with the constant confusion of not knowing what they are talking about or how they are meaning what they say, as I can’t piece together verbal and body language and I become very overwhelmed.
If I know someone well in person, that’s not a problem.  If I’ve spoken to someone in person enough times, I can see them in my mind.  I can see their face, I can see how they are moving and I understand what they are saying to me.

This is what is on my mind, so I thought I’d share it, as that’s what over-sharey personal blogs are for.  Also, you can all feel free to use the word “over-sharey”.  Actually, use it a lot.  I AM THE NEXT DICKENS!

Love you, people in my computer.

The Pretty Kitty.

Cut.

That word means so many things.  Cut.  That’s how I feel today, right now.  To me, cut is more than depressed.  I’m used to depression.  Even when I’m happy, I’m still depressed.  As a child, I was called “unhappy”.  I wasn’t unhappy as a child, often I was very happy, but I was quiet, and quiet children are unusual.  I wasn’t quiet because I was depressed, I was depressed because I was quiet.  That’s very simplistic, I shall try to explain: I was only three years old, I was then, as I am now, very sensitive to other people’s moods, but very simplistically, either the person feels positively or negatively about a situation, no depth, I can’t feel the depth, just a yes or no.  So when I was three years old and quiet, and my family kept asking me what was wrong, my kindergarten teachers kept asking me what was wrong, older children kept asking me what was wrong, I felt their concern for me as negative, and I wondered why I was in trouble for being quiet.  I wondered why quiet was bad, and what was wrong with me that I was so quiet.  I over-analysed (yes, even then) what was being said, I drove myself to breaking point.
I tried to be less quiet.  I tried to talk to people, my teachers, other children.  I couldn’t do it.  I went back to sit where I could just watch, and be quiet, having failed at being an acceptable child.
So that’s what I mean by depressed because I was quiet.
Here I could go on at length about the next twenty-two years, and how I was depressed that whole time too, but it’s not very interesting, just much of the same.  I was officially diagnosed with clinical depression at thirteen, and surprised my psychologist by saying that while I remember vividly being two years old, I don’t remember ever not feeling like this.
I just have depression, and that’s ok.  It’s not the same as “sad”.  I feel there’s two key differences between depressed and sad, which are if you are feeling sad and something funny happens, you have a big laugh and feel better.  If you are feeling depressed and something funny happens, you still have a big laugh, but then you go back to feeling low.
The other difference is that something sad has happened to make you feel sad, depression doesn’t care if everything is rainbows, you are still depressed, there is no reason.
That second point is what makes people so cruel about depression.  They are not trying to be cruel, they are often trying to be helpful, but they say the most hurtful words you can hear: “What do you have to be depressed about?” often followed by them telling you all the reasons your life is great.  Thanks mate, now I’m depressed and I feel guilt about my depression.  Thanks a bunch.
Depression is my “normal”, it’s just how my brain is wired.  I still get happy, I still feel joy, I still have moments of bliss, but my baseline is “depressed”.  You’re wondering why I don’t take anti-depressants?  It’s because they utterly suck the life out of me.  I won’t explain and please don’t ask me to.  People who understand that statement will understand it, and people who don’t probably can’t.
Since depression is my normal, I function quite well depressed.  Some days I forget to eat or shower, some days I don’t even bother getting out of bed, but if I have a commitment I will honour it, and I will honour it clean and fed.
But I’m not normal at the moment.  I’m not depressed.  I’m cut.
Cut, to me, is when the pain is so deep, I can feel my soul bleeding, I can hear my soul screaming.  When I have felt cut before, I used to actually cut myself.  I’ve been told that’s weak, I’ve been told that’s stupid, but let me tell you this:
Nobody can see the pain inside your soul.  Nobody can see that your mind is on fire.  Nobody can hear the screaming inside your own head.  Sometimes you can’t even hear your mind screaming yourself.
It’s not a cry for attention.
It’s not exactly a cry for help.
It’s not a sign of giving up, or an attempted suicide of anything else people make up to show their better than people who scream silently in mental anguish until they don’t know what else to do.
It’s a way for the pain to escape.
It’s a new, real kind of pain.
Nobody can tell you it doesn’t hurt.  Nobody can tell you that you aren’t allowed to feel that pain, because they can see it.
Friends with their heart in the right place may well say, “What have you got to be depressed about?” but they can never look at a deep cut in soft flesh and say, “What have you got to bleed about?”
That’s how I feel now.  I feel cut, and I feel like I need to let that pain escape.

I’m absolutely not going to physically harm myself in any way.

I thought this time I would try something different, and here you read it.  Here you see me cut and bare, allowing the pain to escape swiftly through talented fingers whom I sometimes think know more than I hold in my head.
Here I bleed words onto an electronic page, so clever as it can be everywhere at once, rather than spill one drop of my blood when I know it doesn’t achieve anything.  I never once felt better after I cut myself, I only ever felt guilt, which just made the cut inside me even deeper.

I know I am loved.

I know I have love to give.

I know I will be ok.

For now I’m crying a lot, with no real reason to be “sad”.  For now I’m writing.  For now I’m ignoring my cat when she climbs on my lap, because I feel like I can’t give her the love she needs.  For now I feel a little broken, but cuts heal, and normal returns, and everything is ok.

Signed with love,
The Pretty Kitty.