zetasyanthis: (Default)
I don't know how to shine with joy.
I don't know how to weep.
I don't know how to holiday.
All joy at last seems cheap.

I don't know how to dance and laugh.
I don't know how to cry.
I don't know how to bear this pain,
and I fear that I'll die.

I don't know what family should mean
I don't know what joy lies
in arms of those that should love me
and in those bonds that tie.

My heart, you see, is broken now
as broken as it has been
and I do not know how to heal
the wounds that just won't mend.

I don't know how to fill the hole
or how to find the warmth
that in my distant mem'ry calls
when I still had self worth.

In those days I knew safety.
In those days I knew warmth.
In those days I knew fireplace
and tree beside the hearth.

I use to light that tree you see.
I use to light it all.
From tiny spiral deep within
to star above it all.

But somewhere along that long way
I lost something not found.
And mind, my mind, shattered at last
as though it fell to ground.

I don't know when the fear blew up
I don't know why I can't
seem to escape this curse of mine
with deepest heart-felt chant.

I found a Mawr, I found a wolf,
who turned out to be dragon.
And yet in my deep heart of hearts
my heart is rent by canyon.

I miss a fam'ly that I have,
but that I've never felt.
I miss that which I should have had
and that my fear they'd melt.

But I don't know how to advance
in face of pain I feel.
I just want my fam'ly at last
to really feel real. >.<
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Off the heels of that last positive journal, I'm afraid I've got to write a not so pleasant one.

In the last few weeks, I've spent a lot of time thinking about my family, primarily my mom and dad, trying to figure out exactly *what* I feel towards them at this point... I've had a hell of a time connecting with the primary emotion that I feel towards them at this point, and I guess I've figured out why.

That emotion, as you might have guessed by now, is fear... fear of judgment, of rage, and of not ever being what either would want me to be. Fear is what's keeping me from calling them, day after day. It's why I blocked their phone numbers, even as my birthday passed earlier this month. And it's why I can never go back to that place again. Far too much damage has been done, and no explanation I could ever offer would make them understand the pain they caused. There is nothing left there but sadness.

I loved them once. Trusted them, as a child does, to guide me and set me on a path that would hold beneath my feet, trusted them... to catch me if I faltered. I will not say they never did, only that I cannot remember it. I will not say they did not try, either. I have not forgotten those months spent searching in vain for a cure, none of us realizing they had likely caused it in the first place. For that is what I am realizing. My anxiety stems from them, and from the fear of discovery that destroyed me for longer than I have ever acknowledged.

I know they supported me as best they could, and that in the logical ways, the financial ways, they did. In those ways, I had much more than most. But they failed... badly. Emotionally, they destroyed me, without ever realizing what they were doing. And I was a kid. What did I know? I thought I was lucky to have them, and their love.

From this, I may have learned the greatest tragedy in the universe. Love doesn't mean that you aren't hurting someone. It doesn't mean that your judgment of what's right is right for them, or that they'd be happier if they gave in, even if you have to manipulate them to get them to go along. And it certainly doesn't mean bringing them up in a faith that teaches them they are broken from the outset, and can never be fully healed.

I wonder now what might have been, if I had given signs. Almost all the way through college, I never once strayed from the rails, or gave them cause to question. I do not know what they would have done had they known. The only reactions I can remember were those involving money, because that is apparently how my family speaks. Step out of line, and tuition is threatened, or removal from a will. Bonding moments, likewise, involve needlessly expensive trips and restaurants, gifts speaking where words ought to be.

And so I set my own path, away from that which has come before. I cannot bear to continue on my current one, because it is not safe. Grief, a keening that drowns the world and shakes the very foundation of life itself, is now upon me. But I can do no else. I cannot let them hurt me again.

One final word on religion, and on spirituality. I will never be Catholic, or Jewish, or any faith that now walks this earth. Judgment, shame, and control have no place in my heart, and they never will.

A very wise man once said that "Love is a vulnerability, but not a weakness."

I would be vulnerable again.
zetasyanthis: (Default)
I guess I'm writing a status update?

Basically, I don't know how to find peace with this, and I really, really need it.

Needs:

 1. I can't sit around like this forever not knowing what to do about it. I need closure.
 2. I need their presence in my life dramatically reduced, if not eliminated.

What are the options?

 1. Let it drift without doing anything.
   - See need 1 above.
 2. Just cut off communication, declare them effectively dead.
   - Likely to result in a flurry of contact attempts, and pissing off my sisters.
 3. Break of the relationship officially, but without a real explanation.
   - I don't trust my ability to not be pushed into explaining.
 4. Break of the relationship officially, with explanation.
   - I don't have the energy to properly communicate with them about this.
   - Could I try to summon it? What happened last time I did?
   - Don't be an idiot, self. Don't open and be vulnerable with them again. That ended really fucking badly last time.
 5. Talk to my sisters and explain the situation, ask for advice.
   - They may not understand. Even if they do, this is really heavy duty.

How do I feel about them?

 1. Brother
   - Not safe to have a relationship with. Can be distant (indirect) contact as he is now, but that's about it.
 2. Dad
   - Very depressed just thinking about him. Nothing I can do to help.
     - Am I even willing to try at this point? No. I HAVE to self-protect here. Realistically, I can't help, and even trying will hurt me whether I want to help or not. (Note: I'm enmeshed, and so part of me really wants to even though it would destroy me. Boundaries... ouch.)
   - Therapy is a per-requisite to having any kind of relationship.
 3. Mom
   - I'm very angry with her. That toxicity growing up really fucking wrecked me, and I don't know how to explain that. Trying will only cause more harm on both sides.
   - Reminder to self: She doesn't want to understand and won't put in the effort! She won't! You've tried for 10 fucking years!

Decision Timelines

 1. Communication
   - My birthday
   - Their birthdays and holidays. (They won't forgive me missing them.)
 3. HRT start and effects
 4. Name change

Do I feel safe doing X?

 1. Sharing my new name and identity? No. I wish I hadn't given her my new first name. (See boundary issues!)
 2. Traveling home and staying in the house. No.
 3. Traveling home and being in conversation for any significant duration. No.
 4. Traveling home and seeing for lunch. I don't really want to. Not sure if it's safety though. I just don't want to see them.
 5. Talking on the phone. Not really?
 6. Inviting to a therapy session in San Jose. I could force myself, but I would be messed up the entire time either of them was in CA.

I guess that means we're done? :S

Why can't I close the door then? :S
zetasyanthis: (Default)
As usual, expect this journal to be a bit rough. Discussions of abuse are contained within. (Note that I have not yet internalized a lot of what I'm writing about, but *am* trying to come to terms with it. And yeah, I'll reach out when things get bad, because I have a feeling they're going to...)

---------------------

Today, I need to talk about abuse. I don't want to, desperately do not want to, but I have to, whether I like it or not. Today... I have to acknowledge a lifetime of abuse. And even as I type this, I have to acknowledge that I keep trying to sugar-coat it, to some way or somehow make those who are responsible somehow not at fault, but... we know where that path leads.

Today, I need to talk about two forms of abuse.

--------------------

If you're reading this, there's a chance you've heard me reference my father's anger issues. There's a good chance you've also heard me dismiss them, often with words like "but he never struck me" or "I can understand why...". It's hard not to think like that, when you grow up in a randomly hostile household, but those are classic responses by victims of abuse.

It doesn't matter why someone abused you, what limits they set on that abuse, or even if they fought with themselves and hated themselves for doing it. It doesn't matter that your other parent defended you over and over whenever they were there to see it, or that they had heated arguments "outside your hearing" as a child about these things. It doesn't matter, because the consequences don't care about any of that and are just as devastating. They could be even more devastating, because those rays of hope kept you coming back to experience it over and over rather than finally breaking fully away.

[Editor's note: I've read a lot about these behaviors, but sure as hell never expected to be writing these kind of words about myself. >.<]

My earliest memories of my father are not happy ones. I don't remember a lot of what growing up was like. But I do remember some things. I remember, way back in early grade school, my homework assignments being torn apart in front of me because I failed to sign my name at the top. (I had to redo them completely.) I remember my father so angry he chased me around the family room of our house. (This happened multiple times.) I remember the night he got so angry he left me idling in the car, driver's side door wide open, sitting in the passenger seat as he walked towards home. These are not normal memories. And these are not things that should ever happen to a child.

My father may hate himself thoroughly for a lifetime of choices he wish he could undo, but there was no excuse for treating me in such a manner. I was innocent, and did not understand why these things were happening to me. I could not understand why someone who loved me could suddenly flip from Jekyl to Hyde, and so, I lived in fear.

I guess it's no wonder that I tried to build myself into a weapon... Fortress walls are awfully comforting when there is a real monster on the loose. And though you might yell "Fuck you!" or other such things from the top of those walls, you're still just as vulnerable if you step outside them. It's no wonder that I locked those doors. :S

I don't know what else to say about this for the moment, so I'm going to leave it here and switch tacks to my mother, and the environment in which I grew up...

--------------------

I am not precisely sure how to describe what's wrong with this, but I need to try. I guess I'll start with my mom being Catholic, and very, very conservative. I've been trying to make peace with that world-view for about 29 years now, but I have failed, and this is why...

My mom's branch of conservatism is the one everyone commonly associated with Fox News. When I say that, I mean it pretty literally, as that channel was on in the kitchen, and in the upstairs TV room pretty much every hour my mom was awake. (She'd leave it on high volume so she could just walk through the house listening. When the TV wasn't on, Rush Limbaugh was, the radio in the kitchen blasting his broadcasts loud enough to be heard through a closed door. Now, I'm not going to sugar-coat this one. That stuff... *all of it*... is extremely toxic. Without even touching on the political content, which has its own problems, the way things are framed to create constant anger and feelings of victimization create an /extremely negative/ environment, 100% of the time. The simple lack of any real source of inspiration in that media is /itself/ astonishing to consider.

Bluntly, my mom is anti-gay marriage, anti-transgender rights, and quietly racist to boot. Some of that is theoretically because she is Catholic, but like many conservatives, that's not really the underlying reason. She is uncomfortable with anything that violates tradition, and uses her religion as an excuse to disparage anything outside the sphere of what she deems acceptable behavior. (See prior journals re: shame and passive-aggressive behavior for context there.)

So... Is this abuse? I'm asking honestly, because I don't know how to think about this stuff. Is it abuse to bring your child up in a house where there is a constant influx of anger and hate? What if your kid is (as I was) a member of one of the groups that is being attacked? What if you don't know?

Just to give an idea of where things are currently at, I need to share my mom's words to me when I told her I was transgender. No words of anger were spoken, but words of devastation were. "I wish I had died not knowing."

Those words have not changed since.

--------------------

At this point, I'm seriously considering cutting off all contact with my parents, permanently. I'd be willing to revisit that in a few years, provided some serious on-going therapy work, but I don't know that they have that many years left. (They're older than most folks assume.) If I cut contact for 5-10 years (the kind of time period we're talking about), it's pretty likely that one or both won't be alive at that point.

Basically, I'm still processing all this, but I sure as hell don't know what to do. Input is welcome. >.<

--------------------

Links:
 - https://drsharongalor.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/why-do-trauma-survivors-blame-themselves/
zetasyanthis: (Default)
This isn't the final entry in the touchy-feely saga, but it may be a holding point for now.  We'll get to why, and to what in a bit, but I just want to say thank you to anyone who played a part in this.  A lot of you may not think you did much of anything, but it turns out that simply being there can help more than you can know at times.  We've a couple of big news items to go through, so let's begin...

As those who have been reading this blog know, I've had a bit of a rough year.  What some of you may not know is exactly how stressful it was.  Between work stress, family stress, and especially mental gymnastics related to my transgender issues, I've only narrowly avoided a full nervous breakdown close to half-a-dozen times, something I do not care to repeat for quite a while.  Thankfully, this year is now past, and I am in a much better place than I have been, probably ever in my life.  This journal, and the ones that have come before, documents the path I have taken, and though it might ramble and get off track a bit at times, it only did so because my journey did so as well.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On to the bombshells...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yesterday I came out as having transgender issues to my mom, and she accepted me for them.  That conversation was probably the single most dreaded collection of words I had ever imagined, and I had no idea how it was going to go.  Before this year, she'd never heard of furries, never imagined her son might be bisexual, and certainly hardly knew anything about transgender issues to begin with.  Hell, before the last 24 or so months, I hadn't sorted enough of this mess out to be able to talk about it in the first place, let alone have the words to explain it to someone for whom these words were almost alien concepts.  I've fought and dealt and hidden this for the best part of 14 years now, and to have it in the open and be able to be comfortable talking about it is nothing short of amazing.  Why did I tell her?...

... because she needed to know.  My mom and I had grown apart due to a trust breakdown, created by differing religious, political, and societal views.  None of them really matter in a healthy relationship, but when you have the triple furry/bi/trans bombs to drop, being on the opposite side of someone's conservative viewpoints makes it really hard to talk about.  And so the trust breakdown began.  Last year it came to a head a few times, with my passing on a *fully paid* trip to Italy and almost leaving early last Christmas.  Neither of those times were intended to shield me, but rather my mom from my own differences.  Somehow, though, we've worked past a few things this year, sometimes aided by the 1700 mile distance between us when we couldn't handle much more for a while.

For a long time, she had a view of me that was basically as I grew up, a view where I was essentially the golden kid in the family, never getting into trouble or straying too far from the path that was expected of me.  I have myself to blame on a lot of that, because I was never comfortable talking about it until now.  It's at this point I have to once again point at :icondakotawolf: as having helped, giving me guidance and support even yesterday, when I wasn't sure if I could do it.  I wish I'd been ready years ago, but sometimes things take a while, and this one certainly did.  I'm happy to say that my mom is okay with it, as long as I'm healthy and stable, and pending my making damned sure I have support if any when I need it.  Because of the awesomeness of every last one of you, and especially the aforementioned wolf-butt, I don't think she, or I have any need to worry on that front.  :)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now...  On to Dakotawolf!  This one's a bit of a story too, but it's certainly easier to tell than the one I already have.  A lot brighter and happier too.  ^^

I've known Dakota for a bit over a year at this point, originally meeting her through :icondopr5:.  We can't remember exactly which came first, whether it was a Tucson camping meet, or a group of us crashing at her place after trying to drive from Denver to Tucson in a single night (haha, bad idea!).  Whatever the case, she was awesome, is awesome, and apparently, stole my heart somewhere along the way.  :)

I'm not going to rehash all my prior journals, but I will make a note of how all this started here.  From my realization of loneliniess to searching out and finding new friends, this has been a transformative 18 months or so, and though Dakota wasn't the first I encountered, she never feared to ask me questions of myself.  Even when I was hella-uncomfortable, I encouraged her to do so, and she did.  Sometimes she didn't get an answer right away "It's complicated" being a favorite dodge/"I don't know yet" response of mine, but those questions (and those of others) did set the wheels turning on the journey I have now undertaken.  I didn't always have the words to put to my thoughts on a lot of this, in some cases simply not knowing the vocabulary that would allow myself to think along the right lines, but now I do.

Dakota, like myself, has had a pretty rough year at times.  (Quick note: I mention these things only to set context.  Dakota may or may not speak to them on her own if and when she's ready to do so.)  From a breakup that threatened to turn nasty (confined living conditions can be a pressure cooker >.<), to losing a job and being unable to fully support herself, and finally, to almost moving back to family in California earlier this year, it's been fairly brutal for her as well.  I'm sad to say that I wasn't able to be there for all of it, but I did manage to be there for some of it, including the Tuesday before her move-out deadline, when a few friends came together to wish her farewell.  I drove up from Tucson that night after work, booking it up and back to say goodbye, and feeling a bit awkward the entire time for a reason I couldn't quite put my finger on.  On the way home, it hit me like a ton of bricks, almost forcing me to pull of the highway.  I cared for her, and a hell of a lot more than I'd admitted that night, to either myself, or to her.  As I drove home that night, I knew I had lost someone truly special, and I wasn't sure what the hell to do.  Thoughts raced of making it to FC early next year and trying to build up something, but I made it home, sort of collapsing under the weight of emotional exhaustion.

From that day on, I resolved to be a better friend, one who would be there when she needed me.  I knew she didn't need any more pressure at the time, so I just tried to be present, a supporting force to catch her a bit when she stumbled.  And stumble she did, more than a few times before the year was out...  Stress led to pain and urgent care visits, luckily resulting in nothing major in the end, but life never quite let up.  Even when I finally admitted to having feelings for her, it was tough, her job and financial stresses bringing her to the brink of tears more often than not.  And though I live in Tucson, I'm still lucky enough to have a job where I can drop things once in a while and make the run up.  During those trips, and that support, I realized something I'd known all along.

Though the support was helpful, she *was* strong enough to do it on her own.  She doesn't realize it all the time, but she is.  There's a reason I fell in love with you, :icondakotawolf:.  You're amazing, and just thinking about you can make me cry for joy.
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Not sure what I'm writing here, but we'll see where it goes...

First off, I want to wish a happy holiday to everyone out there!  Whatever you celebrate, and for whatever reason, everyone can use a dose of joy once in a while.

Second, and the more complicated topic...  Crazy Family Drama! (tm)

"Captain's Log, Stardate... Oh fuck it..."

Basically, I've been home all of two days and everyone besides me has gotten into a yelling match at each other at least twice that I know of...  Between my mom and dad not being able to take (each others') jokes, my brother basically being his normal (kinda asshole-ish) self, and the holiday stress, things are already near exploding.

Luckily, I managed to break the furry convention news with my parents before the seams started coming unglued, but neither of them are yet aware of the adult side of the fandom.  Not sure what to do about that, but knowing my mom at least, she'll probably mention it to someone at some point and then be stunned when they ask her if she knows about it...  I should probably pre-empt that, but I can't say I have the slightest idea how to do it, especially when things are already near critical mass.  One thing's for sure...  I wouldn't want to try and explain it not in-person, so I don't have a lot of options.  That, and it's not exactly as though any of the family mess is getting better over time (the opposite, actually).  Everyone always wonders how I'm so chill...  With this kind of family, you pretty much have to be, or you'll go totally nuts!  O.o

As many of you are aware, I've been working through gender identity issues for a while now and am finally pretty much happy with where I'm at...  If not, suffice to say that that one deserves its own journal, but the tags on my uploads will give you at least a clue.  I've not even started talking about gender dysphoria or anything related to that with my parents, since I've never really had a good opportunity, but I'd better do that too before they start wandering about the internets lookin'.  Ditto my brother, who's messed up enough that he'd probably drop it on them as a bomb just to make watch them twist.

Profile

zetasyanthis: (Default)
Zeta Syanthis

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 03:18 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios