zetasyanthis: (Default)
Man, it's been a year.

Early for retrospectives, I know, but *sheer sigh of exhaustion* holy moly. This hasn't been an easy one. It's been 20 months since I moved from Arizona and started this whole crazy adventure, and I'm pretty lucky to have done it when I did. I say that because I honestly don't think I have the strength to  do it again. If time reversed and I found myself back in Arizona with all the memories and knowledge I now have, but having to go back through all the hard times I've been through since, I'm pretty sure I'd kill myself. A lot of days I wonder how I never did. >.<

As much as I'm improving, and as much progress as I've made, this is still hard... every single day. Crushing pressure the likes of which not even the oceans can summon has given way to the kindling of a soul, but one who has been horribly mauled in the intervening years. Shards of self, like pieces of a broken crystal, have been slowly reassembled, but their glow still hurts to look at, the pain obvious in the broken light they cast.

I'm still here, and I'm still trying; but the body-blows have been devastating. I feel like one often does after a hard day of physical work: beaten, sore, and exhausted. Always, always tired. I know what this is, and I know I have to fight it, because I am improving, but there are days I'm still not sure if it's going to win. There are times (like now), where I would give anything to just stop hurting, to stop being afraid. All I want to do is shake myself apart, to scream and cry... but those tears still aren't coming. Some have, but there are many more to come. >.<

I didn't really mean for this journal to go in this direction, but I guess it had to be said. I'm still hurting, and I'm still hurting a lot. Maybe it's just that I can see it finally, but I'm a fucking mess at the moment and could really use some help. >.< I just want the pain to stop. >.<

(And yes, I am seeking medical help... just still feel like shit. >.<)

Hurting

Aug. 20th, 2016 05:43 pm
zetasyanthis: (Default)
I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to go with this one yet, but I feel compelled to write, if only to try and make sense of what I'm going through at the moment.

As a caution, I'm going to try and connect as deeply as I can while writing this, so this is liable to get pretty dark and upsetting. If you're in a bad head space yourself, this might not be the post for you. >.<

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

Anxiety has been killing me the last few days. >.< It's been orders of magnitude higher than... well, I want to say "ever", but that's probably not 100% accurate. This is terrifyingly reminiscent of what I went through in my sixth grade year, the memories of which I'm still pushing away. (Some, because it's subconscious, and some, because I apparently can't face them quite yet. >.<)

With that said, I'm going to continue discussing this as though it is the worst, because those seem to be the words I need to use to connect with this and validate my feelings...

The last two weeks have been the worst two weeks of my entire life. I've made so much progress, connected so much better than ever before, but there is always more pain. Visceral fear and terror, the likes of which should make me cry and shake until I feel better, if only the tears would come. But they will not, and it is killing me. >.<

I know I'm getting closer. I know I'm getting better, and that this is the dark before the dawn... but this darkness is so vast that I do not know how to navigate it, the pain so deep that I absolutely cannot cope. >.< I'm doing what I can to remain functional, to go to work and come home again, to do all those things that life demands of us, no matter our condition, but I feel like I'm failing. There is a hole in my heart, and all beauty seems to drown in it. >.<

My tremors have been getting worse. They encompass most of my upper body now, especially my neck and head, and I'm sorry, but I've been hiding them. >.< I'm as scared of them as I am of the things that are causing them, and the pain that will not cease. How much longer I can go without them being noticed at work, I'm not sure, but I'm in a pretty bad way.

I am still broken. >.<

I am healing, but it hurts. So much. >.<

This pain has always been here. But I pushed it away, hurting myself even worse in the process as I kept myself apart from whatever I have been. I am trying, desperately trying, to just be myself, but it is terrifying, and I hurt so much. >.<

*Her* pain (a fragment of myself, aged about four) to *my* pain is a *massive* breakthrough, even if it's killing me. >.<

I might yet end up in the hospital here, and the thing that scares me most is that *I have to be okay with that* in order to get through this. I'm not yet there, but I made it half an inch yesterday. >.<

*curls into a ball with her kitty* >.<
zetasyanthis: (Default)
This was originally going to be a Twitter rant, but I thought better of it. I have too much data and too many thoughts for that format. And I know this is considered a... sensitive topic, so I'm not sure exactly how to approach it, but I'm giving it my best shot.

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

Today, I want to talk about cash. Cold, hard cash. I want to talk rent, and medical expenses, and everything else. Fundamentally, I need to point out just how broken the Bay Area really is. And it's pretty broken, even if it has a lot of other things going for it (LGBT safety, among other things).

You see, I'm an engineer. I make a decent chunk of change, more than most folks in the US and elsewhere. Hell, I was doing really well making nearly 25% less than what I make now in Arizona... but here, nothing seems to be enough. Let's take some numbers from an apartment complex down the street, as an exemplar. These numbers are from Archstone, and are far cheaper than most areas in the Bay, especially down near Mountain View or north near San Francisco. They're modern units with washer/dryer, etc... but not really that special otherwise.

Here's some bullets with a price breakdown of what Archstone has on offer as of today. Listed are the min and max prices for each type of apartment with a basic 12 month lease (no pet rent):
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment
    • $2338/mo: 768 sqft
    • $2726/mo: 1050 sqft (including loft)
  • 2 Bedroom Apartment
    • $2831/mo: 1039 sqft
    • $2967/mo: 1184 sqft
  • 3 Bedroom Apartment
    • $3746/mo: 1421 sqft
    • $4227/mo: 1771 sqft (Exact price unavailable at time of writing, but generated from trend line...)
This is completely fucking insane.

We took a look at Archstone when we were looking to move out here, as well as several other places (10 total, I think) during a whirlwind housing trip, and these are indeed comparable pricing to most other options in the area. We actually lucked out in some ways compared to this, as we were able to snag a ~900 sqft place nearby with no A/C and some seriously electrical problems for only $2200/mo! What a steal!?! I mean, the single pane windows and lack of any serious insulation kick the electricity bill up to a nigh on $300 spike during the winter and you absolutely melt during the summer, but what's not to love? You never wanted a place of your own, did you? Never mind that most folks wished they made $2200/mo, let alone could spend it on rent! The whole mindset is nuts!

So here's the thing. CA is great. The Bay Area is great. I've made progress I could not have made anywhere else, and it probably saved my life in the process. But there is one thing here that is ruining so many other things, a cause of anxiety that I cannot make go away. I'm utterly financially stagnant. My net income for the last 12 months is a grand total of $400. I don't have enough in the bank to pay a single month of rent, let alone living expenses, and I'm not sure how I get there. I have to chose constantly between medical care and living expenses, and basically wouldn't be able to afford the former were it not for the salary bump I got switching from my last job.

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

How about those medical expenses? How can that possibly cost? What does insurance cover?

Well, here's a quick breakdown since the start of last year (2015).
  • Current costs:
    • Sperm storage prior to transition: $2,078.30
    • Visits to psychiatrist: $350.00 (7x $50 copay)
    • Visits to (out of network) therapist: $7,111.00 (Insurance covered maybe $400 of that.)
    • Visits to Palo Alto Medical Center (general and allergy care, some blood-work): $447.50
    • Dental visit for three fillings (copay): $109.80
    • Prescription drug copays: ~$120.00 so far.
  • Expected costs:
    • ~$1100 for start-of-HRT blood-work, since insurance is saying they won't cover anything under the Gender Identity Disorder diagnosis codes. (I'm appealing, but they're BCBS of Florida, so I may be screwed.)
    • Transvision copays: $100 + future visits
    • Future blood-work. (Hopefully cheaper.)
    • Future therapy, psychiatric visits, and medication. (Bonus points: My new insurance will pay a max of $50 for a max of one hour of therapy. It costs me $180 for 90 minutes.)
    • More dental work.
Just in already known direct medical costs, that's $11416.60. Holy fuck.

(In theory, I could even toss my "prescription" to Wicked Grounds in (Yes, my therapist actually assigned me to go journal there, and it's actually been pretty fucking vital.) for another $1188.62 while I'm at it... That'd push the total to $12605.22.)

And yeah, before anyone asks, I've been using my flexible spending accounts. I started the year with $2000 in my flexible spending account, and it was gone pretty much instantly...

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

So yeah. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. This gives me horrible fucking anxiety, and I really wish it would stop. I don't know how to help it, though. >.< I fucking have to get out of this hole, though. >.<

More than anything, I wish I saw a way to do it while still living here. >.<

Bonus: And oh yeah, my car needs a paint job, which was quoted at $2400 for the two parts that are actively peeling and $6000-8000 for the whole car by the dealership. I'm seeking additional quotes. At this point the car's only worth about $4,000, so I may be in new car territory too... I need to make a call before it starts to rust, which is only a matter of time. >.<

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Zeta Syanthis

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