Distress Tolerance and Dysphoria

So, I got into the DBT group room all ready to try one more time without my sunglasses and Charon just marches in and turns on the overhead lights and says “Okay, so The Sarcastic Autist has sensitivity problems and may need to wear sunglasses.”  I’m grateful, yeah, but seriously?  What the fuck.  I guess it’s because Charon could finally see that I was in a lot of pain in the group room.  Just.  Bloody hell.  I don’t understand why she was so adamant and then suddenly went “nah, whatever”.

I had a talk with Flapjack the other night about gender stuff.  She doesn’t seem to quite grasp the Nonbinary thing.  She kept asking how I feel and I tried to tell her but she doesn’t seem to understand.  I think it’s because she’s binary and thus doesn’t get that wearing a binder helps with the dysphoria and my main issue is that I look very girly and I want to look more androgynous.  The periods are what give me the most dysphoria.   When I said I think I could survive without HRT, I just wouldn’t be happy, she truly didn’t understand.  She said that most of the trans people she’s met need HRT or surgery or whatever or they are so depressed they would rather die.

I didn’t know how to describe it without sounding like an asshole, but suicide isn’t an option for me.  Not for anything.  I still get really depressed and suicidal once in the blue moon, but I don’t actually act upon the ‘kill myself now’ urge.  I focus on things that do make me happy or I calm myself down from that Red Alert feeling.

Yesterday morning, I felt really dysphoric about my body.  Nothing I put on made me feel androgynous, even with my binder on. I looked and felt I looked like an utterly feminine girl.  I teared up and almost cancelled going to group because of it.  Instead of allowing those feelings of worthlessness and wrongness and ugliness to overwhelm me and say “fuck it, I’m not going anywhere because I’m wrong and fat”, I took a deep breath in, held it, breathed out, and focused on putting on my makeup.  (I attempt to do makeup in such a way that makes me look more Androgynous.  I like to pretend it works.  It makes me feel better.)  After I calmed down, I went back to clothes.  I accepted that I’m not going to get as good a look as I want, so I did a look that made me feel as good as possible.

That’s Distress Tolerance.  Maybe a bit of Emotion Regulation, too.  I don’t know.  I do know that Distress Tolerance, calming down or distracting myself from an intense situation, is why I’m able to be so chill about my current transitioning status.  I don’t have to do HRT.  I can tolerate not doing it.  I just don’t want to have to continue to just tolerate my body.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and go “yeah, that’s who I am.”

I feel kind of proud that I am able to look back and go “look!  I actually have learned a thing from Charon and DBT and apply it in real life!”

Distress Tolerance is what we covered yesterday in group.  That’s why I’m able to describe why and how I can calm myself down and center and stuff.  Because we literally just went over it.  I have a hard time putting words onto things.  Describing is hard.  I like to go “it is a thing.”  I am not wrong, but I am also not entirely right and I know it is frustrating for people who work with me.  I sometimes (a lot of times) need a lot of guidance and to be told “yes, it is a thing, but it’s a thing because of XYZ and also because ABC so we should work on G.”  Which often leads to me being confused.  I’m a bit of an idiot sometimes.

I don’t know.  I was excited about being able to describe something.  I hope you are all well.

-The Sarcastic Autist

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Transitioning Thoughts and DBT Things

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about transitioning and what it means to me to be Nonbinary.  How I want to go forward with it.  I’ve decided to go ahead and take Testosterone paired with a DHT blocker and I’m going to be talking to the HRT lady next month about starting them.  If I get “ma’amed” or “missed” one more time I’m going to cry.

One of the things I have been iffy about the T with is the huge potential to get clitoral growth.  I’m going to be honest, the other day I had been trying to imagine myself with a bigger one and that’s what turned me on.  So I guess having a mini penis is something I’d like.

I’d been fighting a migraine (and losing miserably) the last few days because Charon is insistent that I not wear sunglasses in group.  I understand her reasoning.  I’m willing to try once more.  I’m planning on seeing if the stores in town have any coloured lenses I can try to use.  If we can’t reach a reasonable compromise, I’m going to have to quit group.  I can’t deal with the pain.  It was only through sheer force of will that I didn’t have a breakdown and start crying in group this last week.

Anyway, we covered the What and How skills this week.  What is Observe, Describe, Participate.  Observing is just ‘seeing’ or sensing without labels.  Describing is putting labels.  Participating is doing.

Because of my PTSD, I have amazing ‘Observe’ skills.  I notice tons of little things whenever I go into a room.  I notice exits, where people are, placement of objects, sounds, etc.  I don’t necessarily put labels on them.  Describing is more of a conscious effort.  “Oh, that is a chair.”  “There is an exit.”  “I am experiencing emotions.”  “I have a thought.”  That sort of thing.  Participating is when I throw (sometimes quite literally) myself into something.  When I am reading, I am fully participating in the book.  When I am working out, I am working out.  Participating is doing the thing and only doing the thing.  Not attempting to do the thing plus all the other things at the same time.  Get it?

The How skills are One-Mindfully, Non-Judgmentally, and Effectively.  One-Mindfully is focusing on one thing at a time.  Not multi-tasking.  Just the one thing.  Non-Judgmentally is not putting labels such as “awesome” or “stupid” on something.  It’s a dance.  Not a stupid dance.  Not a fun dance.  Just a dance.   Effectively is being aware of how we are doing something and doing the best to practice ‘effective’ skills.  AKA, using DBT skills.

When I am studying my Japanese, I am doing it One-Mindfully.  I focus solely on my studying.  I try to do it Non-Judgmentally.  I get on my case and call myself an idiot or worthless a lot.  I do my best to be Effective about it and keep on track.  I hope that all makes sense.

I wrote a bit the other day to give Charon a bit of insight into my dysphoria when it comes to periods and stuff.  It’s as follows:

I’ve been thinking of a way to describe the ‘wrongness’ of periods.  Like, how it feels unnatural and stuff.  I’m perfectly aware that it’s a normal ‘girl’ thing and that most women have to suffer through them.
But it’s like… Growing up, being told I had to have boyfriends and just assuming that that was all there was.  It felt weird and wrong somehow, but I knew that liking boys and being attracted to them was what I was supposed to be.  There was a certain wrongness about it.  Like it was a piece that didn’t feel right.  Kinda like a taste in my mouth like when I’m lying or something, although not quite.
And then I found out that I could like girls and everything just sort of clicks into place and that’s what feels right.  Being all “Yes, this is the thing.  This is what I like and how I am.”
Or when everyone thought I was borderline or something.  It didn’t quite fit right but it’s what I was supposed to be so I just sort of accepted it.  And then came the autism thing and that was what fit right.
It’s kinda like that.  Growing up and having boobs and periods and shit, knowing that that was how girls are and therefore I just need to deal, even though it makes me feel wrong.  Then getting an IUD that stopped my period for a few years and feeling so much better because that felt right.  Not bleeding.  Not worrying about it.  And then binding and going ‘yes, this is how I should look.  This is how I am supposed to be.’
It’s that.  Slipping into a more comfortable fit within my own body.  Sometimes I think I’d like male anatomy, but most other times, when I’m binding and not menstruating, I feel fine.  Like I’m finally right.
I don’t know if any of that makes sense.  I hope it helps explain it a bit though.
That’s all I got for today folks.  I hope to talk to you all again real soon.
-The Sarcastic Autist

 

LGBT HRT & DBT

I’m trying to set aside time in my schedule for doing my blog, especially now that DBT group has started again.  I really like how my blog helps me to process and understand things.  Also, it’s just nice to vent.

So, since it’s been a while, I feel I should update on the random crap.  I’ve gained weight over the past 6 months.  Not a whole lot, less than 10 lbs and I’m sure at least 1 lb of that is muscle weight.  I have pain when I work out so I hadn’t been doing it as much.  I figure, if I’m going to be in pain anyway, I might as well do some simple yoga and weight lifting.  Start walking a bit.  I feel better about myself when I move.  Something about the physical feedback of my activities helping me get better in tune with my body.

I saw the in-house HRT specialist at the gender therapy place I’ve been going to.  The lady had no chin.  She was also a half hour late, the nurse took my weight on a scale set directly on carpet, I had to wait longer while the room was cleaned from the last client, and she barely spoke to me and was insistent that I couldn’t have had a reaction from the Depot shot for Endometriosis and that those family of shots is the only way for me to stop my periods and I need to get over my weight gain issue.  The appointment was supposed to be an hour long.  It was not.  It was like, 20 minutes.

I told Cybele about it and how I felt invalidated and like the lady just wasn’t listening to me.  Apparently, a lot of their Neurodiverse clients have had issues with Chinless.  So, Cybele emailed a friend of hers at the local LGBTQ+ friendly clinic and helped me get an appointment there.  I saw the people there this Tuesday and I was very pleased.  I was given a pamphlet/forms/informed consent information thingy  to look over for the next month.  I’m going to be talking to Charon and my gyno and Cybele about the pros and cons and risks and what exactly I can do to help cope with any hormonal emotion shit.  It’s for T (testosterone).

Now, I’d played with the idea of going on T before.  The hair loss and clitoral growth is generally what’s put me off of it.  There’s a class of medicine called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) that can be taken in addition to T to help prevent the stuff I don’t want.  I’ve decided I’m going to do this.  T and DHT (consulting with the HRT person now known as Ganesha here).  I’m going to do this.  It’s what feels right to me.

Onto DBT group.  I went through it at the old place and now I’m doing it at the new place.  Charon is leading it.  We went over Wise Mind, which is basically finding The Balance Within even if the world is fucking you up with all its chaotic bullshit.  I’ve got homework that I’ve looked at.  Haven’t done it yet.  I’m going to do some after I finish blogging and my Japanese.

I guess I don’t really have much else to put right now.  I’ll try to update regularly again.

-The Sarcastic Autist

Depression.

So, something Charon said in our session Monday really bothered me.  It’s still bothering me.  She said she wants to fix all my problems so I can ‘Build a Life Worth Living’.  As in, help me fix my problems so I can better deal with life and be able to actually fully participate in it.  I can get behind the sentiment.  I appreciate that she wants to help me.  It’s just that… A recurring theme with people seems to be to fix me.  Fix whatever problems I have so I can get better/do better/ whatever better.

The thing is: I’m not something or someone who needs fixing.  I’m not broken.  I’m not malfunctioning.  It’s more that I’m running on software (brain stuff) and hardware (body stuff) that are completely incompatible and 100% defective on a solitary basis besides.

I’ve been depressed.  Increasingly so, unfortunately.  I’m having pain when I just had fucking surgery to treat it.  I’ve gained weight.  I have no interest in reading (which is a huge red flag because that only happens when I’m really really depressed).  I had a consult with the in-house HRT specialist at the Gender clinic place I’ve been going to and it really was a disappointing appointment.  She was a half hour late getting me.  The appointment was supposed to be an hour and I only got the remaining half hour.  The nurse took my weight on a scale on carpet, which makes the number super inaccurate.  The fucking doctor kept saying that birth control was really my only option for stopping periods unless I wanted to take testosterone and I felt she wasn’t listening to me.  She also had no chin.  Mostly, I don’t want to go back to see her ever again.  I’m going to be talking to Cybele (the gender therapist I’ve been seeing) about it.

I’ve also been really not okay with how I look, weight aside.  The person in the mirror doesn’t reflect the person I see myself as.  I look girly.  Very feminine.  I feel more androgynous.  It’s very disconcerting and upsetting.  I’m upset because I’m fucking bleeding from my motherfucking crotch again.  I can’t seem to get a grasp on naming emotions yet.  I feel like it’s becoming more and more impossible and just what the fuck is the point in any of this any more?  Nothing is working and I don’t even know what I need help with.

I’m depressed.  I’m having nightmares and flashbacks and anxiety and I can’t breathe when I go outside because fucking allergies and I see a fat girl in the mirror and all I want is to be able to be me and do things and I’m not.  I’m some gross joke.  I don’t even feel like a person most of the time.  I feel like a defect that should have been aborted.

I’m just depressed.

-The Sarcastic Autist

Still Not Dead

One of my favourite bands is Icon for Hire.  They have a song called Here We Are that I love.  Give it a listen.

Something I try to make myself remember all the time is that I have survived this far.  I’ve had moments of True Living.  I’m not dead.   I’ve kept myself alive.  No matter how much shit I’ve had to sift through, I’ve managed to get here.  That’s no small feat, in my opinion.

I had gender therapy yesterday.  Totally went on a tirade about that time my mum basically said it’s my fault that I have endometriosis and all these other issues because I didn’t stay in the church.  I hadn’t realized it still bothered me.  So there’s that.

I don’t know.  I just wanted to give an update saying I’m still not dead.

-The Sarcastic Autist

DBT again

I’m going to be starting a DBT group again next month.  Seeing as I was suicidal last week and, while I’m not suicidal anymore, I’m still not done being depressed.  I would describe what I’m feeling as the same as the months after my rape, the shame and feeling of unworthiness and knowing that somehow, someway, I deserved it.  I deserve to be punished and this is the punishment.  That I don’t deserve good things because I’m not a good person.

I don’t think I’m a good person.  I try to be kind and compassionate and caring.  I try to show loving-kindness to everyone I meet.  I’ll do random acts of kindness.  Nothing I do or say can really be interpreted as me being a bad person.  Yet, I believe I’m not worthy of love.  I’m not worthy to be happy.  I’m not even sure why.

I feel like I failed.  I’m not even sure what I failed at, just that I failed.

I don’t really think I want to be seen as awesome or amazing or adorable or anything.  Sometimes, I just want to be good enough, to be seen as good enough and for someone to look at me and say “hey, I see you and I believe you.”

I overheard my mum talking about a woman she used to go to school with.  This woman apparently married a child molester, not only a child molester, but the guy who molested her daughter.  My mum said that she would never marry someone like that and that at least my da wasn’t like that.  She’s also adamant that there was never any abuse and that the house we grew up in was shitty because of me.  Because everything is my fault.

I don’t know.  I’m afraid of everything and my anxiety has skyrocketed and I’m finding myself trying to stave off panic attacks again.  I’m so sick and tired of all of this shit.  I’m at the end of my rope here.  I need a hug and someone to cry on without expecting me to talk.

I’m just sad, I guess.

-The Sarcastic Autist

The Cat and the Flashbacks

So I have a cat.  She’s currently staring at me.  She stares at me a lot.  She wakes me up when I’m having nightmares (or when her food dish is empty).  When I’m depressed or anxious or overwhelmed and I’m hiding under my blankets, she comes and meows at me until I snuggle with her (at which time she promptly turns around so I snuggle her butt instead of her head).  She warns me when I’m going to have a seizure or a really bad twitch.  Which, my seizures aren’t real seizures, they’re psychogenic, although they give my head that same weird electric feeling I get when I’m having twitches/spasms or when I prevent myself from spazzing/stimming.  She has special meows for when she poops, when it’s med time, when I haven’t eaten in a while… She even whines when I’ve been gone all day.  Or when I’ve left for five seconds to get mail.

All in all, she’s a pretty awesome cat.  I can’t remember where I was going with that, but there you are.

She also helps calm me when I get stuck in flashbacks, be they the full blown ones or the ones that involve just a single sense or the ones that are fleeting.  Which I’ve been getting more of again recently.  Is it possible to have flashbacks of flashbacks?  Because I am afraid that I’m going to get stuck in this awful cycle like I was a few years, more than a few years, back where everything I did ended up with me dissociating a bit (or a lot a bit) because everything was triggering me.  It was about the time I was beginning to really grow into my sexual identity and wonder about my gender identity.  ANd by that sort of thing, I mean the gay thing and the “what the fuck am I even” thing.

I’m not sure what I should be doing about that and I don’t want to bother anyone until I get the thoughts fully formed…

-The Sarcastic Autist (and 99% not written by the cat, probably)

Reality and Lies of Depression

I’ve been depressed.  I’ve been more depressed than I have been in years.  By that, I mean I’ve been suicidally depressed.  I have no plans to actually kill myself and I don’t want to kill myself.  I enjoy being alive for the most part.  I just hate myself and wish I was dead so I wouldn’t have to deal with the shit stain that is my life.

I started going to that gender therapist a few weeks back.  The first thing I noticed was the vulva pillow.  More on that later.  I’ve been trying to be more accepting of myself as I am, Enby and all.  It’s not been working.  I hate it.  I hate being gay and I hate not being a cisgendered person.  I have no problem with other gay or trans people, just me.  Internalized homophobia and trans-phobia, probably.  Honestly, I don’t even know what I’m doing half the time.

Charon wanted me to call about getting a case worker/social worker last week so I did.  Something you guys should know about the county I live in is that it sucks hardcore, especially for adults with special needs.  This is the same  county that, when I finally opened up about my mum being abusive, told me that there’s nothing they could do for me.  Nothing to help me.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  Such fucking bullshit.  Anyway, they told me what I expected.  There was nothing they could help me with except maybe pawning me off on someone else.  Assholes.

It’s just… I’m at the end of my rope here.  My mum  used to wake up an hour later and so I would plan my day around having time to myself in the mornings and now her alarm goes off at 7:20ish instead of 8:30 and it’s frustrating for me because she’s always home and I hate that I don’t get alone time.  Ever.  Because she’s always here.

I don’t like that I feel like I’m fat all the time.  I look in the mirror and I see this fucked up fat chick when I don’t even want to be a chick.  Nothing about me is right.  I hate myself.  I don’t even have the smallest iota of self-respect half the time.

Kuma-chan told me the other day that when I told her that it’s okay if she doesn’t get my pronouns right because no one does, she got really sad.  And her telling me that made me realize that if I don’t respect myself, no one will respect me.  And you don’t have to like someone to respect them.  (I think that will be a huge help as I struggle to do so).  So I’m trying to be more assertive and firm about it when talking to people, especially my mum because she is the worst offender.

I have a lot of “If I wasn’t so…” statements running through my head.  “If I wasn’t so fat…”  “If I wasn’t so autistic…”  “If I wasn’t so fucked up in the gender department…”  “If I wasn’t so stupid…” And so on and so forth.  The endings are variable.  “People would love me.”  “I’d be more attractive.”  “My parents would be more accepting of me.”  “I would be able to live a normal, happy life that was worth living.”

Mind, I’m perfectly aware that these are all Drop Bear Statements, completely false thoughts fueled by my depression and lack of self-worth.  And I just don’t think I care.

I do want to say that I don’t want to kill myself and I don’t want to die.  I had known I’d been depressed for a few weeks, it was just the other day when I was staring at one of my medicine bottles and had the sudden urge to overdose that I went “oh, well that’s not good.”  I’m at a loss of what to do.  I see my psychiatrist in a couple weeks so I don’t want to bump up my appointment because that seems silly to me.  I don’t want to bother Charon since I see her on Monday anyway and I’m not at an actual risk of trying anything.

I guess the biggest thing for me right now isn’t the suicidal thoughts and feelings, it’s the urge and need to cut or purge or do something harmful/painful to myself because I need physical feedback that I’m alive and my pain is real.  I don’t know if it’s autism that makes me need that or if I’m just fucking crazy.  Whenever my emotions get too big, be it happiness or sadness or anxiety or inspiration, I have a need to do something physical to/with my body.  Happiness I tend to jump up and down and do that happy clapping or arm movement.  Sadness I want to cut or hit my head against things.  Anxiety I tap on my collar bone.  Inspiration I write and rub my wrists on things.  I rub my wrists on things or bang them on things when I have negative emotions too, just more rubbing when I’m inspired.

I guess it’s also the feeling of being completely alone that bothers me.  The feeling that this is how it is and this is how it will always be and no one can help me.  No one wants to help me.

Telling myself that depression lies only gets me so far.  Depression lies.  Depression lies.  Depression lies.  Except, I also know that most lies have some kernel of truth.  What is the lie and what is the truth?  Where is the reality?

True Reality is based on facts and can be affirmed by other people.

My reality right now is that depression lies, but it whispers small truths within them.

I need help and I don’t know how to ask for it.

I don’t even know if I’m worth it anymore.

-The Sarcastic Autist

Gay Pagan Enby

One of my goals is to write more posts here.  Writing really helps me process and it makes me feel better.  It helps even more knowing that so many of you care and follow my progress and regress and all that.  You are all lovely little sparkles.  Keep shining.

I had my first appointment yesterday with the Gender Therapist and we discussed what I want.  I said ‘I don’t know’ a lot.  Which is, unsurprisingly, what I always end up saying when it comes to goal setting.  My verbal emotional communication is… Well, it barely exists.  Mostly, I rely on small anecdotes and similes and metaphors to try and convey.  It’s more about how things taste, since I experience emotions as flavours most of the time.  Or as music.  It’s sort of odd.

She helped me set up an appointment with their in-house clinician to discuss hormone options.  I’m not wanting a whole lot, mostly just to make sure my fucking ovaries stop ovulating and making cysts and my fucking uterus to stop bleeding.  I have an IUD.  None of that is supposed to happen.  She also set me up with an online survey/quiz thing to help me figure out what I need or what sort of thing I’m looking for.  I learned the difference between a scrotum and testes taking that.  At least it was a learning experience.

And she had a stuffed vulva/vagina.

I stared at it most of the session.

I also haven’t eaten more than 1,000 calories since Monday.  I finally reached out and emailed Charon yesterday.  I tried calling her at the new place and I got disconnected and was too chicken shit to try again.  So I emailed her because I’m too ashamed to talk to Kuma-chan or Flapjack about it.

At the same time, the shame of not controlling this like I could with drugs or anything makes me feel like cutting, which I haven’t done in forever and a half.  I haven’t cut, I don’t want to and I have no plans to.  I just feel bad.  Because I don’t want to stop calorie counting and keeping track of my weight.

And I really hate the eating disorder clinic I went to.  It was too fucking loud for the Autism.

In other news, I’ve been really sad and depressed and abandoned because I wish I could be loved by everyone as I am, a gay pagan enby.  I just know I’ll lose friends if I came out more openly, just like I did when I first came out as gay.  And that makes me feel sad and like crying.

I’m going to go play WoW.

-The Sarcastic Autist

Fear of Fat

It is Fuck o’clock in the morning and I can’t sleep.  My brain won’t turn off and I feel sick to my stomach.    I had my first meeting with my therapist in the new place and, even though I don’t like change, I like this new place better.  I feel more comfortable and at ease .  I don’t want to tell her that yet because I’m going to milk the groaning about change for a bit yet.  ^_^  All in good fun, of course.

The real reason I’m on is that I’ve decided I needed to lose weight.  I gained some in the last few months from not being able to move and also probably inflammation and water retention.  So I decided to download My Fitness Pal again and work on losing weight and keeping track of my calories.  I figured that if I can manage to not do drugs, I can get my sorry ass in gear about disordered eating bullshit.

I was wrong.  I already started obsessing yesterday, the first day of keeping track.  Today, I felt bad for eating more than 1,000 calories.  I realized that I would rather die than be fat.  And that is one of the most fucked up things I’ve ever thought.  And it’s true.

The thought of being fat again makes me want to cut.  I haven’t done that in forever.  I do not want to do that.  On the other hand, I do not want to be fat.  I don’t want to cut, so I can’t be fat.  I can’t think that way or I get stuck listening to the Eating Disorder Drop Bear.  The one that says I’m not good enough if I’m overweight, that no one will ever love me.  That I will die old and alone and fat and useless.  That I’m ugly and a worthless piece of shit.

When I was with Exacerbating Ex, I weighed nearly 300 lbs.  That’s a lot.  I weigh about half that now.  Some of her last words to me was about how I would die old and alone and fat just like my mum.  Which was what Bitch Face had told me before.  And several other people.

Exacerbating Ex wouldn’t allow me to eat less.  She hated when I ate food, yet she got mad when I tried to cut back.  If I mentioned wanting to lose weight, she would get mad and tell me that I was trying to trigger her eating disorder and that I was copying her and all this other bullshit.  She would hit me a lot.

Anyway.  The point of this post was that I thought I could overcome this Eating Disorder thing just like I did drugs and smoking and losing weight and when I decided I was going to learn Japanese.  I woke up one day and decided I was going to do so.  I hoped I could do it with this.

I cannot.  I feel stuck because I can figure out what to do now.  And that frustrates me and makes me sad and makes me feel worthless and hopeless and like I don’t deserve nice things.  It makes me feel like I deserve to be treated like shit.

And that worries me.

Yet, I don’t want to stop for fear of fat.

-The Sarcastic Autist