zetasyanthis: (Default)
 Hooooly Fuck.
20170810 7:11 PM
 
[CW: CREEPY MOTHERFUCKER, possible panic triggers!]
 
I just had THE CREEPIEST FUCKING THING happen to me. I was gassing up at a station near work, and had popped into the shop to grab a snack. On my way out, I noticed one of the employees (who was hanging out outside) look at me, and then start walking out towards the pumps. Gut reaction was "Oh shit. He's  following me?"
 
Got to the car, before I had a chance to double check, which was fine, and got halfway in before he tried to ask me a question. He, like most of the folks who work there, is either Indian, or from that general region, and doesn't speak English very well. I probably should have just shut the door and said "No thank you.", but I'm dumb and try to help a little to much sometimes.
 
First question out of his mouth, in fairly broken English. "Are you a she-male?"
 
Me (baffled, and more than a little freaked out): "Uh, no, and that's not a very nice thing to call people. I'm just trans." (At this point I'm starting to sit down.)
 
Him: (Ask-mumbles something about "sharing" in broken English.)
 
Me (still confused, but my 'be a good trans ambassador' side has now triggered): Umm, what?
 
Him: (Asks about "sharing" again.)
 
Me (suuuuper confused): Uh, I don't think I can help you?
 
Him (trying really hard to communicate, but failing): I am also interested in?
 
Me (suuuuuuuuuuuuuper confused, not sure if this is someone who's trying to find transition help now or what): ???
 
At that point, he asked for my number and I said, "Uh, no." I was just about to close the fucking thing when he said "Wait, but I have an 8 inch dick!" and I was like WTF!?!
 
He came running back just as I was pulling out with a tablet of some sort. I can only imagine what the fuck was on it (probably his cock), but I just put my hand up and drove off like hell. I'm pretty sure I'd have driven OVER him in my panic if he'd tried to stop me. D:
 
----------------------------------------------------------------
 
And yes, I *did not* protect myself anywhere near as much as I should have in that encounter, but holy FUCKING SHIT am I freaked out right now. Anything like that ever happens again, and I'm just fucking running. D:
 
D: D: D: D: D:
zetasyanthis: (Default)
While discussing time off requests (related to my name change) with my boss today, he kind of stared at me and asked if all of this was really worth it. I... didn't know how to answer him, how to truly communicate what it means or how important it is. And I know he didn't mean to injure me by asking, but I've been hurting pretty badly since he asked. Hopefully, this can help.
 
--------------------
 
Yes it really matters.
Yes, it hurts inside.
Yes, to all the fees and care
to heal my broken mind.
 
Yes, to doctor's visits.
Yes, to DMV.
Yes, to lines unending,
so at last I can be.
 
Yes, I say, or tell myself,
the one who hurts inside,
the tortured, wounded little girl
who's barely still alive.
 
Yes, to tears unending.
to terror, shaking, cold.
Yes, I'm terrified of this,
but my heartstrings must hold.
 
I don't know how, but I must try
to live with what I have
to give myself a chance at life
as I now truly am.
 
Mere weeks ago, a mem'ry came,
myself, at four years old.
My heart was broken even then,
I could not fit the mold.
 
I did not know for longest time
how to describe my pain
or even what transgender was
my hurt had not a name.
 
Anxiety, in spades, you see,
conspired me to grip
with daggers deep within my heart
and threat that they would rip.
 
And so it took a thousand days,
and even more besides,
before I trusted anyone
and let them see inside.
 
I trusted you; I trust you now;
I trust you with my life;
for though you may not understand,
others would my throat knife.
 
I know it's hard to understand.
I know it makes no sense.
But know the changes you see now
are just to match the rest.
 
The part of me that hides in fear
on almost every day,
now risks her heart to open
and to attempt to say,
 
"It's not that I'm becoming.
It's that I've always been.
And every step that helps affirm
helps my mind learn again."
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Hi there!

My name is Zeta Syanthis, and I just wanted to inquire about the status of HB 6073. I'm a transgender individual who was born in Chicago a number of years back and am in the process of updating all my documentation. (I even have my court date on February 17th!) I can update pretty much everything the way the laws are currently written, but despite being on hormone replacement therapy for nearly a year now (and in therapy for longer than that), the laws in Illinois say I need to have surgery to update my birth certificate.

Now, I'm thinking about that, but it's obviously a really big decision, and I'm really not sure right now. I know HB 6073 was introduced last year and has made it at least through the second reading, but I've not seen any progress beyond that. I know there's a lot of messy politics and stuff going on these days, but it'd really be a huge mental help if I could just get this done, forever. >.< Can you help me out and see what can be done?

If there's any additional information I can provide, or anything I can do to help the effort to pass this, please, please let me know what I can do. I don't think I can possibly communicate how much it means, but I'm pretty sure if I could, you'd be crying for a week. >.<

Thank you,
Zeta Syanthis
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Progress, and Coming Out

This Thursday marked 10 weeks since I started HRT. It's been a little rocky (my anxiety in particular increasing with all the rest of my emotional content), but overall, it's been a shocking improvement. Even my therapist has been surprised, and that's to say nothing for the what the additional connection as allowed me to accomplish *in* therapy itself.

I'm going to talk about that more at some point here, maybe even in the next few days, but for now, I'm out. Speaking quietly to a coworker on Tuesday, I was met with such a depth of empathy and trust that I can still barely believe it happened. He was sad, though, as he was retiring Friday, and didn't expect to meet the actual me before he left. So... I changed that. I wasn't really planning it, didn't really think it through as much as I could have, but I took the leap. I'm Zeta now, really. The paperwork hasn't caught up yet, but it will in time, and that's what matters.

As for the rest, I leave you with some trimmed tweets from the last few weeks, including some from my private feed. I love you all, and I could never have done this without you. <3

Jun 11:

Found something tonight. Something wonderful... and something terrible.

I may have just felt (and recognized) love directed at me for the first time.

I... don't have words for that.

June 16:

I know I may just be growing breasts, but it feels like I'm growing wings.

July 20:

I swear... I probably have the best chance I've ever had of becoming a safe, functioning human being. HRT is doing *so much* towards that.

And I'm not even talking physically right now, just emotionally. This is unbelievable beyond even my best hopes. >.<

So much love. <3

Thank you. For everything. <3
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Dear members of the Blue Cross Blue Shield appeals committee,

I have been trying to write this letter for about six weeks now, but I was unsure how to approach writing you. In those six weeks, though, I've learned a lot about myself, and about why I need the care I now seek from you. And so, I will not tell you how I struggle every month to pay rent, even though I could. I will not quote statistics or legalisms in an effort to compel you to make a decision. I will, however, ask for your compassion. (Should those items prove of more interest to the committee, however, I have provided relevant documentation in this appeals packet.)

I am hereby appealing the denial of coverage of necessary blood tests (including risk factor testing) as prescribed by my provider, Bessa Makoni, NP, for the purposes of hormone replacement therapy, something I desperately need. <number> and <number2> are the affected claim numbers.

Today marks the completion of my tenth week on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which I am on, not as a precursor to any kind of surgery, but entirely for mental health reasons, something that is covered by the Jabil Circuit BCBS plan. The blood tests detailed in the denied claims cover my initial risk-factor testing, as well as the ongoing monitoring of my hormone levels, which is vitally necessary in order for my treatments to be safe and effective.

I do not know if I can possibly explain to you the difference HRT has made in my life, even in these short weeks, but if I could, you would weep as I have. I have never in my life felt as I do now. I have never had this much hope, and I am terrified at what would happen if I was unable to continue down this path.

In my short 29 years on this planet, I have lived as a terribly broken creature. My mind, from as early as I can remember, has been filled with fear and anger, terror and rage that no child should ever feel. But even more so, it has been filled with darkness, depression so deep that I could not even recognize the depths of what I was missing. I felt shattered, so broken that even tears were impossible, no weight or action sufficient to make things right.

And so, I ask for your compassion as I make my case to you. HRT has changed my life, but I cannot long afford it without the assistance that heath insurance provides. Already, I have had to cancel dozens of therapy sessions for want of funds, just so I could still cover this while meeting rent.

I do not know if any of you have ever met someone who is transgender. I do not know if you support trans rights in your own communities. I know not if you regard us with disgust, or pity, or do not think of us at all. I know only that I, like you, am a living, breathing person, and I badly need your help.

If there is anything I can do to provide further information, or even if a member of the committee would just like to speak to me, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time of day.

Thank you,
Zeta Syanthis
zetasyanthis: (Default)
It's been a week. Boy, has it been a week. Anxiety about my appointment on Thursday wrecked the hell out of me pretty much all of it (and I probably underestimated its impact the previous week in Memphis...), but I'm here now.

I'm really here.

I started hormones on Thursday.

I still can't believe it.

I can't believe it's real.

But it is. And I have never been so happy.

I don't know how long it takes to have a significant impact on mental state, but I have had two amazing days since then. I know it's probably a combination of placebo effect and relief from finally getting what I desperately need, but I don't care. I just cry for happiness.

There's a long road to go, but I've finally started walking it. And I could not have done it without the support of so many. >.< Dakota, Solei, M, Kori, Metonymy, Kawaburd, Resolute, Zanz, Moonstar, Occam, Monophylos, OftheWilds, Alice, more... So many I can't even remember. And artists too, from the furries who first got me to wonder about my gender, to the stories and webcomics that broke my heart... You have all mattered. And you have saved a life, whether you know it, or whether you don't.

There are not enough thanks in the universe for the support you have given me, no treasure in brilliant sun large enough to repay the debt I owe. All I can do is honor you... by moving forward and becoming who I was meant to be. I hope I make you proud.

Yesterday, M told me, "Welcome to the sisterhood." *I* have never been so proud. <3

IMG_20160515_133615
My flag. <3
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Just tossing up a few links I've been reading lately, as well as some thoughts on both.

First off is Venus Envy.  This is a comic about a transsexual girl just trying to make it through high school in one piece.  The damned thing hits like a sledgehammer, but it's well worth the read.  The way I put it to a friend was that it's not so much a "I hope you like it!" comic.  It's much more a "I hope this means something to you / resonates with your struggle too" comic.

(NSFW link warning) Second, Sunstone is a *stunning* lesbian BDSM friendship/romance comic.  (That link only goes to the first chapter, but you can find the rest via shiniez main gallery.)  The friendship, positivity, and affection shown in it is beautiful, just like the art.  We need more like this to remind us that alternate lifestyles are not necessarily bad.
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Starter PSA.  This is no longer my main platform for interaction with the furry community.  Please follow me on SoFurry if you want regular (non-journal) content.  (Journals are cross-posted here since I know not all of you have an account over there at this point.)

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

I've had a rough couple months, and though I plan to journal about that at some stage, that's not the focus for today.  Today, I need to talk, vent, and (maybe) cry about what we do to ourselves in the name of normality.  I can't speak for everyone, but I'm going to try to frame out what I've done (to myself) and what it's cost.  I'm a little scared to find out how much it's hurt me, and even more scared about what I can and can't do to fix that, but I guess we'll see as this moves forward.  (Stream of consciousness writing, activate!)

I'm terrified of putting my pictures online.  I'm terrified of someone linking my real name to my furry identity (Zeta Syanthis).  I'm terrified of someone linking my furry identity to the secondary accounts I use for adult material.  I'm terrified of an employer finding those links and deciding that maybe I'm a liability rather than an asset and firing me or maybe just hiring the next engineer instead.  I'm scared that I don't know what my body is doing some days, and terrified that I'll never be able to be sexually happy, because my brain demands things I physically cannot do.  I'm terrified of society's judgment in all of this, and of the harm many would visit upon me simply for being something they choose to fear rather than understand.  I'm scared of the monsters in the dark, my own destructive kinks that even I don't understand or want, and some days I hate myself for them, because they're just as wrong as all the rest of me. 

Every day, I struggle with the judgment of other people, and even worse, with my own internal judgment of myself.  The cost of this on my own mental health is staggering.  "What if they don't think I'm working hard enough?", "What if they hate me for being who I am?", and "What if my parents fully disown me when I legally change my name?"  This is stuff that is utterly caustic, and has been a leaking vat of toxic waste in my heart for years now.  I'm working with a (fantastic) therapist on this, but it feels like a lot of this stuff is coming to a head recently, and I'm a bit overwhelmed.  (Background:  I've set a deadline for myself to finally start HRT by the end of October for my own sake, and it's forcing me to deal with some of these issues as intended.)

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

So... let's talk about identity.  My name is Zeta.  It's what my friends call me, what Dakota calls me, and what I identify with in a way that "Mark" will never be.  The name itself was an outgrowth of a several things, and just like me, it changed from its initial forms to what it is today.  It's traveled the journey with me, and I can't just pick another one.  That's not how this works.  :P  However, it also has a problem...  It was originally intended as an internet pseudonym.  There's a lot of things associated with it that would instantly become more-or-less public due to Google if I were to change my name.  (Zeta Syanthis is crazy unique and 100% googleable!)

Even if I was okay with all that information becoming public (and I'm not sure that I am - some folks would really squick at the fact that my 'sona is a hermaphrodite), there's the consideration of my secondary furry identities.  Before I joined the fandom proper and actually started going to meets, I was a lurker for more than 12 years, and active in various role-play chats on and off during that time.  There are secondary accounts spread around various sites that aren't immediately linked back to this identity (I've been somewhat careful), but it's inevitable that there are enough that someone could find them if they were really looking.  (Given how trans folk are targeted online, I *have* to assume I may be at some point in the future.)

Now, though I have no adult art of Zeta right now even on those accounts, I'd really like to be able to get some of it and have it online.  I certainly have enough favorites that are viewable on those to be damning as is.  I really, really want to be free and open with my sexuality, but I work in very professional circles, and it might also mean I become unemployed (or even unemployable).  (On top of that, I really wish I could journal about some NSFW things that I am not handling all that well, and that just adds to the pressure.)

Basically, ideal me has my own name and identity, is proud of who and what I am, and secure in my own sexuality and kinks...  Easy, right?  (Cue alarmingly hysterical giggling and crying.)  I know it's going to be a hell of a fight to get there, so much so that I've been paralyzed into indecision for a while now.  Meanwhile, my anxiety has been skyrocketing, and I've been falling apart under the pressure.  That can't continue, and so I'm going to have to start working on this.  I'm working with a therapist, but I need all the support and advice you guys can muster to get through this.

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

So, let's talk about costs...

(I have to be real about this.  There are going to be costs here, and ones that I have to acknowledge and accept rather than just fear all the time.)

1. My Parents

I haven't talked to my parents in 3 months.  The last time we spoke over the phone was on Mother's day, and my mom said some very hurtful things to me.  Our relationship had been going downhill for a while despite my attempts to repair it, but I finally realized that the level of negativity coming back in every conversation (not just about furry / transgender issues) was actively harming me the more I exposed myself to it.  I (peaceably) broke contact for a while that day, which hurt a lot, but I think it's given me some space to heal... ... but...

I don't exactly want them out of my life, and they honestly haven't done anything so horrible as to be excluded from it.  They didn't take my coming out of the closet re: transgender very well, though, and have basically refused to acknowledge it.  My mom has explicitly told me that I am not to wear female clothing if I travel home for holidays, however, and she refuses to not use the term 'cross-dresser' at this point, which is not exactly helpful.  They are both older and fairly conservative, though.  I didn't realistically expect them to be happy or supportive about this day one and knew it'd take a while for them to come around.

That said, when (because if I'm honest, this isn't an if) I go for a name change, I think I'll lose them ... probably permanently.  Both are older, and I don't know that their health will last the years it'll take for them to come around, especially if I change my middle and last names (which I do not like) too. 

1b. My Brother

I've not written a lot about my brother here, but he could have his own series of journals.  Honestly, I could be doing better in supporting him, but I don't even know how at this point.  (He has some serious mental health issues that are not being treated right now as far as I know.)  Going to have to let this one lie until I figure out some of the other ones, I think.

1c. My Sisters

My sisters are both about 20 years older than I am.  They're very close to my mom, but really really understanding.  I'm not in regular communication with them like I should be, but I *think* they'll be supportive.  The close link to my mom may cause some issues though.

1d. Extended Family

I'm not very close to my extended family either right now, but that's due to some of the emotional shut-in-ness I've had over the past few years.  I think that if I reach out to some of them, I may get some support, but that's going to take a few years.  Some might be really upset that I hurt my parents with all this though, so I honestly don't know.

2. Employment / Co-workers

I'm still really shaken up by my first firing a few weeks ago.  That said, my new manager (as well as a few others in the management chain) are aware of my plans to transition, because I brought it up in the interviews.  (At the time, I wasn't sure I wanted the job, so I was pretty open/aggressive in my questioning of them too.)  My transitioning isn't a problem for them, and they've actually gone out of their way to be supportive, but we'll find out how well my co-workers handle it once they become aware.  Obviously, that could go just about any way, depending on their own viewpoints.  The good news is that I'm edging on desperately needed in my role right now, so my employment is reasonably secure regardless of much of anything else at the moment.

Back to the naming / Google issue.  Ideally, I would combine my multiple accounts (forcing the separation is both time-consuming and really reinforces my insecurities about it), but I'm not sure how to handle the fact that you could Google me and find adult material relatively easily.  (Requiring FA/SoFurry logins helps, but won't really stop anyone who's curious.)  Whether it's art of my 'sona (I already have one tasteful nude), favorites with kinks, or even a discussion of mental instability / sexuality like this post, it's a problem.  In theory, folks wouldn't really care, but I'm sure some will.  Any future employers doing background checks certainly will, and I have no idea what to do about that.

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

Basically, I have a really fractured identity right now that's seriously messing me up, and I have *got* to start working on that.  Only problem is that I don't know what to do.  Name change is probably a year away at least, but that's the biggest hurdle as far as I am concerned right now.  I can't go on HRT and be "Mark", and I can't just change the name I've gone by for that many years.  What does do?
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.

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Zeta Syanthis

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