Acceptance

May. 15th, 2016 12:23 am
zetasyanthis: (Default)
It's been a long few weeks since my last journal, and long past time for an update. Yeah, I'm up a bit later than I should be (an itchy leg from shaving early today woke me back up), and yeah, I could probably take some Melatonin and go back to sleep, but I find myself in a writing mood this evening, so that's what I'm going to do.

So... it's been a few weeks. That last journal on April 14th was a rough one, and it didn't really due credit to what that day meant in the end. And so I'm going to try and do it credit now.

April 14th, 2016 was the first time I ever presented as myself with coworkers. Not only that, it was the first time I did it twice. It was the first time I was finally able to describe anxiety in the way that fully communicated how I feel, and it was also the first day I was accepted by those coworkers, with absolutely zero hesitation. The journal that came out that night was actually in between lunch and dinner, the former with a previous co-worker, the latter with two current ones. And you know what? I'm lucky to have all three of them. I was scared as hell and collapsed in between (I almost canceled the dinner.), but crying into that journal made me able to go, and to be truly accepted for who I was for the first time among coworkers. It was also the same night the word *coworker* morphed into *friend*, so much so that one hugged me before running off to his flight, and the other offered to back me up any way I needed when I finally came out publicly.

There is literally no way for me to express how much that meant, but I can surely tell you *why*. *I* *was* *scared*. I was scared of losing my job, of never being able to get another one if I lost this one, of every horror story you see from folks who've had life shit on them over and over again, just for being themselves. I was terrified, even with people I felt safe around (and had previously told!), and just couldn't stop my heart from pounding. And I guess I know I can trust them now, even if everything else still scares the shit out of me. >.<

April 14th was also the first day I ever purchased a bra and panties on my own.

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

The week after that was amazing. I could have floated away I was so happy, and so planned numerous further steps, including talking to HR the following week, which I finally did on the 26th. I won't say I wasn't anxious. I sure as hell was... but I did it anyway, and the lady I talked to (the head of HR for the San Jose branch of my company) was very understanding. Her first reaction was actually to go "Huh, I don't know if our benefits cover a lot of that! Let me find out for you!" It was also kind of hilarious to watch the HR diversity training gears engage in her brain as the conversation went on. XD

The 28th was another really good day. The day before, a coworker of mine had heard me chatting about anxiety to someone else and stopped me to talk about it a little later in the day. Turns out he's got a decent whack of it too, and talking about it with me helped a little. We'd planned to go to lunch on the 28th, but he ended up spiraling into a panic attack. (His particular way of doing that is slamming through his work at an alarming pace.) I wasn't sure what to do and had to grab some lunch either way, but remembered a trick that sometimes helps Dakota and I. I popped by Safeway on the way back and grabbed a bag of Dove chocolates for him, which kind of stunned him, I guess. O.o; Part of his attack was worrying I'd be mad with him for canceling, and he was able to see that that wasn't true at all. One of these days I'll tell him my secret, now that he's told me his, and I know I'll have yet another ally there. <3

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

On a more personal note, there's been progress too, of the self-acceptance kind. From appointments leading to (hopefully) a prescription for HRT later this week to my first purchase of a trans flag, it's been a few weeks of solid progress. I even bought the bubblegum pink Shibari rope I've been eying for some time. ^^;;; I've never had anything like that before, and I'm really excited, though still scared of what it means. >.< That one requires a stupid amount of trust I can't handle most days. >.<

Oh, and I guess I was in Memphis this previous week, too. Kind of a last minute work thing... I'll probably write about that in another journal though, as that was a bit rough. I want to keep this one as happy as I can.

I love you all. Thank you for reading this. >.
zetasyanthis: (Default)
There are days that change lives.  Some changes are for the better, others are for the worse. I'll be damned if I'm going to let the latter happen on my watch.

I saw a friend break tonight. I saw a friend break, and by the time I saw it, it was too late to do anything about it. I don't even know what to describe what I'm feeling right now, the mix of grief and disbelief pulling my own self down, desperate to find a way to cling to the cliff edge, to throw a lifeline down and do anything I can. This journal is for him.

There are times in a person's life where they are not at their best.  That goes for all of us, and *especially* those of us who are by nature a little bit different. Sometimes it's just a bit of frustration at work. Other days it can be a news story that sets us on edge, making us a little more likely to lash out, and a little more likely to reinforce our armor against the world that hurts so badly to look at. On worse days still, we fall down, and hate our world, our leaders, and even ourselves for failing as miserably as we do on a regular basis. On those days, our armor seems to desert us, leaving us open to all manner of pain we thought ourselves safe from. On those days, we can be mortally wounded.

Here's a secret: We. All. Fail.

I saw a friend break tonight because someone else couldn't see past their armor. Funny, people seem to forget that armor comes with a visor that restricts your ability to see. When you can't see, you can't understand, and when you can't understand, you can hurt someone with words that you expect to bounce right off their armor. After all, yours protects you, right? No. Not nearly.

Their armor may not protect them from the same things yours does. Your armor may not protect *you* from the things theirs protects them from. Yet both of yours blind you from seeing the particular problems you've shielded yourself from. You have no problem with anxiety because you've fortified yourself? That means you can't see the gaping hole in their armor that you just gut-punched without meaning to. The hole in your armor that makes you weep for days? They didn't mean to stomp on that either. They just didn't see it. They couldn't.

So here's the thing... That armor you're wearing? You need to start losing it. A bit a time, here and there, you need to drop the plating, the greaves, the goofy headdress with far too many I-won-an-argument-see-how-smart-I-am feathers. That's not how you have a functional relationship with people. It's certainly not how you connect with them, on a level of friendship, or anything else.

When they're reaching out for help, from any quarter, it is *NOT THE TIME* for your arguments to continue. It is *NOT THE TIME* to make pedantic points and "win" your chess match with a beaten opponent you hardly understand. You have to rip the fucking blinders off and LISTEN to the other person. Listen to WHY they're saying what they're saying. Listen to *what brought them to this moment*, before you jump down their throat.

If these thoughts, or the pain behind this scares the everliving hell out of you, it should.  We are human fucking beings, and we'd better start acting like it.  Your fucking move.

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Zeta Syanthis

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