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Open Thread for Personal Stuff: Very Belated May 2014 Edition

Le chien, so chic
Le chien, so chic

An open thread for personal stuff, continuing from here.

As usual for these threads: no trolls, no arguments.

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Ally S
6 years ago

You’re right. They would get upset at me and feel awful if they heard me say that I hate myself to the core. They should never hate themselves. They should never know the pain of feeling fundamentally worthless and unlovable. I should try to be a better example for them.

Ally S
6 years ago

What if I gave my brother the letter, and he had them read it for themselves? That would minimize the risk of parents finding out.

kittehserf
6 years ago

They’d need to be at his place (he’s not in the Parental Units’ place, is he?). I just don’t feel it’s safe for any of you to have that letter around at all. And truth be told, I’m not sure I trust your brother to get it right, going on the way he’s done stuff before. I might be wronging him but I just don’t think he quite knows how to do the Keep This Secret thing.

It’s not even about setting an example to your sisters, on the self-hating thing. It’s that it’s abusers’ talk, it’s a pattern they’ve imprinted on you, and it’s the sort of thing you rationally know is shit, and – this is the important bit – have refuted when you’re supporting other victims of abuse.

I know one can’t talk oneself intellectually out of deep-seated emotions and fears – if only it were that easy! – but I keep harping on this stuff to try to give you more ammunition for a cognitive battle, as it were. Fake it till you make it, almost. I know you know how wrong the self-hatred is: not wrong as in “Bad self-hater!” but as in “This fucked-up self image courtesy of Abusive Shits, P/L.” All of which is tl:dr for trying to stir up the same compassion, wit and knowledge you show people who need it, right here on this blog, and push the idea that you deserve all those things too.

Strewth I’m being long-winded tonight. I hope I’m not stepping over lines, Ally, and I really apologise if that’s so. I don’t know how to say these things without being more blunt about it.

Ally S
6 years ago

With this kind of thing, I can trust my brother (who, incidentally, lives at my dad’s house currently although he also often stays at my uncle’s house, and my uncle won’t be back for a week). He is good at keeping secrets for the most part, especially regarding my transness.

Anyway, I understand everything you’re saying regarding self-hatred. I’m just having a really rough time right now and I can’t think clearly at all. I can’t deal with this loss.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

Ally, I’ve never encountered your kinds of problems, so take this FWIW, but… I have felt a lot of self-contempt about my mental illness and things that’s happened in my life (and actually suffered depressive psychosis at one point when these completely spiralled out of control). What I’ve found out, personally, is that it does help a bit to rationally argue against these feelings, as Kitten have been doing in this thread. But you gotta repeat these arguments every time jerkybrain sticks its ugly head up (i.e. millions of repetitions in the end). Not just one rehearsal of “rational argument as to why I ought not to feel this way about myself”, and not just repeating short self-help memes like “I’m a good person, I love myself” over and over either, but repeating actual arguments over and over and over again.

As I said, take this piece of advice FWIW, since I have no experience with your kind of problems.

Also, sending all the cyberhugs. 🙁

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Ally S,

I finally called my dad today. He told me that my step mom really isn’t worth seeing because, as he described her words, she basically was explicitly transmisogynistic towards me. She “jokingly” said “If he [sic] is going to look that girly, then he [sic] might as well start having a girly strut in his [sic] walk, too!” while laughing at a picture of me with long hair (kind of like the one I shared earlier in this thread).

She also apparently calls me worthless, lazy, and helpless behind my back despite openly claiming to be caring towards me and saying that I should be grateful for all she has done for me. My dad said it bothered him only because he perceived it as an attempt to make him upset (although he didn’t express any indignation at her for actually expressing her eagerness to bully me – to him, all that seems to matter is how he felt). My youngest sister has heard those words as well. And apparently when she heard the transmisogynistic remarks, she became very distressed and almost started crying in response.

DO NOT BELIEVE THIS! DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR FATHER!

Sorry to shout but I’m desperate for you to see this. Do not believe your father when he tells you things that your step-mother supposedly said. This is exactly what an abuser does. He is almost certainly lying to drive a wedge between you and your step-mother because he cannot bear the idea that you might be allies against his abuse. I have just been reading about exactly this in Lundy Bancroft’s book.

Just step back, ignore jerkbrain for a minute and think about the two people in question. There is your father who you know tells lies, is abusive and is trying to get you back under his control. And there is your step-mother who has always been supportive and loving towards you. who is the kinder and more truthful, in your experience? Hint: it isn’t him!

I believe that your father is lying and that, probably, if anyone said those words and made your sister nearly cry, it was your father – don’t they sound much more like something he would say? He is putting his words into your step-mother’s mouth to remove her support of you and your support of her.

Look through his lies and his manipulations, and see that not only are you worthy and stronger than he knows, but that your step-mother has always thought so too.

Ally S
6 years ago

I wrote a draft of a letter that I want to send to them: http://mellowness.dreamwidth.org/35621.html

It’s probably a terrible letter, but whatever…I just mostly want to vent I guess.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Ally, I get it. It’s hard enough to think clearly about things that are under the stressful banner, let alone under the godawful traumatic one, when they’re chewing holes in your heart. That’s why I want this written for you to come back to, whenever you’re up to it, just as reinforcement. It’s exactly what Dvarg said: keep chipping away. Bloody hard work, even more so when you’re exhausted from all this shit, but you (general you) have to argue jerkbrain down all the time. This is me dredging up stuff from a coupla years of cognitive behavioural therapy, if you hadn’t already guessed.

I’m glad I was wrong about your brother! I might have been muddling up, thinking he’d told the parental unit something he shouldn’t have, before. Sorry about that!

Ally S
6 years ago

@titianblue

I understand what you’re saying, but I have hard evidence that my step-mom is abusive and transmisogynistic and talks shit about me behind my back. I’ve caught her many times mocking me and telling me I’m worthless. That’s why I believe my father. My little sisters have also told me that they hear hurtful things from their mother all the time.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Oh, Ally. I am sorry.

Ally S
6 years ago

I often do find him lying, but this is a rare situation in which I can trust him. Believe me, he sees no threat in me “teaming up” with my step-mom against him. He knows that my step-mom hates me and terrifies me constantly.

Ally S
6 years ago

@titianblue

It’s okay! No need to apologize. I should have clarified earlier.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Ally, that’s not a terrible letter, it’s a beautiful letter! It says everything very clearly.

The only thing I’m a wee bit worried about is saying your sisters can call you their sister, and so on. I can see the parental units throwing a shitfit if they did. In fact that makes me wonder what would happen just from sending the letter: wouldn’t your sisters want to ask Mummy or Daddy about it, and just get into trouble themselves?

It’s not the quality of the letter at all: you’re a fine writer. It’s just the possible effects on your sisters’ safety I’m worried about.

Ally S
6 years ago

You’re right. Perhaps having to hide their knowledge of my situation will be too burdensome for them. I can edit it so as to emphasize that they can call me a sister but not in front of angry parents and other angry people. But maybe even that’s not enough.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m being selfish. I just desperately want to be out to them. I feel so horrible not being out to them.

Ally S
6 years ago

I’m going to sleep now. Tomorrow I’ll check out the clinic that provides HRT for poor trans youth. I’m in a lot of pain and I need to rest.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Being out to them isn’t something you’re witholding, so you have no reason to feel horrible about it; you’re not doing them a wrong. None of you is safe, now; this just has to wait.

Good luck with the clinic tomorrow!

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

So, I got to the health centre for some follow-up and routine gyne stuff tonight. I drop my pants, hop up and spread my legs. Doc pops in a speculum, begins cranking it open and WHAM! I bleed on them. Total surprise. Isn’t that funny? If this irregular bleeding persists, we’ll be investigating the cause. What fun.

Anyways, I’m angrypants today. I’m very social but introverted and, when my mood is shitty, have very little patience in social situations. My shrink told me I could self-refer to the organisation through whom I’m getting therapy or that I could wait until he and I get me stable on meds, then be referred to them through him. I self-referred to speed up the process. Not sure how long it’s going to take to get an appointment so may as well get a leg up, right? I got a call back from someone at mental health services today. Terrific. I was looking forward to hearing from them and they got back to me pretty promptly, which is awesome seen as I’m getting the care through public health. I was getting in my car to head to the hospital but had a pretty good buffer so I told them it was a good time to speak. They needed access to my medical records and I needed an appointment once they got those.

We establish that I self-referred. The person on the line asks “Why”. I told them my shrink had suggested I do so. They ask who my shrink is how long I’ve been seeing them, etc. Then they ask “What does he want us to do? Why did he tell you to contact us?” Um, I would hope you would contact him about that and not rely on a patient to relay a physician’s information to you. I don’t believe it’s too much to ask one’s therapist and psychiatrist to work together, is it? I was quite perturbed. I’m a big fan of helping others help you but this person was no fucking help at all. They were just discouraging. I’d already been told two TOTALLY different things by two different shrinks (disagreed on meds AND the therapy required) and a third mental health professional was now telling me to tell them what I need. I don’t fucking know. If I knew what I needed I would have sought it ages ago. I’m in a shitty place. I am asking for help. That means I need someone who knows what they’re talking about to tell me what I need and help me get it. This person was putting all the responsibility on me. I was fucking discouraged. Finally, they said they’d reach out to my psychiatrist to determine what course of therapy he thought ideal. Great, I thought. Let’s book an appointment for some time after they’ve received and reviewed my medical records.

I expect mental health professionals to maintain composure and work effectively when they hear someone experiences suicidal ideation. How is anyone supposed to seek help for the issue if they can’t trust the people who are supposed to be capable of assisting them with it to respond reasonably? Instead of just leaving it at “We’ll get in touch with your psychiatrist and then get back to you” or “Let’s book an appointment for late next week, after we’ve seen your medical records” this person starts a mental health assessment. They asked what I struggled with. I told them suicidal ideation. They flew off the handle. It became my job to defuse them. I told them it had been a week since I’d experienced any such thoughts so there was no imminent danger. They already knew I was seeing a psychiatrist. I was no longer feeling acutely inclined to harm myself and had pursued help. I wasn’t good but I wasn’t in danger. I just wanted them to get in touch with my psychiatrist and, once they’d determined together what I needed, give me a hand. Instead they start asking for specifics. I began to get annoyed. I begrudgingly explained. At this point they’re asking if I currently feel suicidal. No. I’ve already told you, a million times no. They ask “Do you have numbers to call if you do?” I tell them yes, I got them from the RCMP and the psych nurse and psychiatrist I saw in emerge AND the psychiatrist whose care I was passed off into. What they asked next was baffling: “What numbers do you have?” I don’t fucking know. They’re various phone numbers for emergency mental health services. I don’t have them fucking memorised. They’re on a card in my wallet. I barked at them that I had the numbers and, even if I didn’t, would go to emerge if I experienced any further suicidal ideation just like I had last time so could they please stop pressing me to recite the fucking phone numbers for them? I am not a surly woman. I was astounded by my annoyance and abruptness.

By now we’ve established I’m not in immediate harm and even if I were I have a history of seeking help so there’s nothing to worry about. I just want some therapy and to determine exactly what the appropriate course of action is, I need them to work with my psychiatrist. Unless we’re booking an appointment, there’s nothing left to say. Not so! Next this woman wants to know what meds I’m on and in what dosages. Can you say “SPEAK TO MY PHSYCHIATRIST”? I begrudgingly told them but, just to make me a little crankier, this woman’s phone is cutting out so I have to repeat myself several times extremely slowly. I don’t want to be having this discussion at all much less several times. I am seething. Every time her phone cuts out, though, she becomes markedly more panicked, as if my survival and her job depend on this phone call continuing. I’m not benefitting from this phone call. I’m just trying to defuse this person who clearly can’t keep their shit together when confronted with the issue of suicidal ideation. My agitation was likely very apparent. Next they asked if I could come in to see them. “Why?” I just spat it out. I don’t know who you are, only the organisation you’re calling from. I’ve told you ten million times to please communicate with my psychiatrist in order to establish an appropriate course of therapy. You’re still trying to move forward with something without communicating with my doctor and that’s pissing me off. They tell me “So I can figure out what I need to do to help you”. Oh. My. God. TALK TO MY PSYCHIATRIST. They ask me to come see them RIGHT NOW. I say “No”. They ask “Why?” BECAUSE I HAVE TO GO! “Where are you going?” HOLY SHIT, FUCK OFF! I told them I have to go to an appointment. “I have to go” does not mean “I have to go kill myself”. I need them to chill out. We’ve been over this ten millions times, I’m safe. To placate them, I tell them I’ll come see them tomorrow. They ask if morning is good for me. Yep, morning please. “Does noon work for you?” NOON IS NOT EVEN MORNING. We agreed on 11am and I drove off VERY annoyed.

When I got home this evening I left them a voicemail saying I won’t be coming in tomorrow because I’m not comfortable pursuing therapy until they’ve been in contact with my psychiatrist so I’ll wait for him to refer me.

When the person seeking help has to fucking spoon-feed the person who is supposed to be helping them, it’s unlikely that person will ever be inclined to seek help for that issue again. Thanks a lot!

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

I second the rest, Ally, it’s a beautiful letter. Very well put.

AL3H
AL3H
6 years ago

@Ally_S

My honest opinion is that you are a genuinely nice woman who has had a really really tough time. The fact that you had to deal with crap (and are currently dealing with crap) doesn’t mean you aren’t a good person. You are a good person.

(in case you would like hugs).

Also, I really like you in your photo. I see what you mean about looking femme and I literally went “Naaawwwww :)” when I saw it.

Maybe it’s because I really am that horrible deep down inside. I don’t know.

In terms of you being “horrible”, I can’t see you being horrible at any level. Nice? Yes. Brave? Yes. Kind? Yes. Horrible? No. Also, I have been told things like that … and yeah, when it happened, it didn’t have anything to do with me or anything I did, but had everything to do with people trying to keep me under control. In addition, I support what everyone else is saying about this situation.

Finally: You. Are. A. Good. Person.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

@Ally: if your sisters have US passports, that will assist them if they need US consulate help overseas. 🙂

@marinerachel: I’m wondering if the person you spoke to was an administrator or receptionist rather than a therapist. I have no idea why they started such a mental health assessment over the phone – they may have had a script to follow. It seems really sucky that you might feel better had the psychiatrist referred in the first place.

Hugs to both of you if you want them. And cat fur, always cat fur.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

I have some good news from today, I passed my PhD confirmation so I am now a full PhD student, rather than a provisional candidate. Hooray.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Thanks, David, a new thread’s a great idea. 🙂

Pallygirl, whoot!

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Oh, David – I’m Canadian! We take things sloooooow and insist everyone else go ahead of us in line! I might be able to see a therapist in their private practice more quickly but I’m not in a great position to be paying for therapy.

I can speak to my psychiatrist and the therapist he works with who liaises between my shrink and the mental health organisation that will provide my therapy. The referral will be submitted as soon as my psychiatrist is satisfied with the meds and dosages he’s got me on (warning, TMI: hoooooooooooly, am I ever horny on these) and is confident in his assessment of what therapy I need to pursue. I’m OK in the meantime. I was a lot better BEFORE that person called me. I was more inclined to hurt them (which I would never do) than myself though.

I’m stuck between the concern I was being an impatient asshole with someone who was just trying to help me and I’m being too nice for not reporting the incident. I have no desire to get anyone in shit but “Hey guys, this is what happened and it discouraged me from pursuing therapy in general, with this person in particular” might provide some insight and opportunity for learning. I hate criticising people though. I’m already racked with guilt for having been as abrupt and aggressive as I was with that woman.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Ally s

My father is the same way, He’ll try to break you down emotionally making it that’s it all your fault so it’s easier to control you. ITS NOT YOUR FAULT! Don’t let him win and be there for your sisters so they wont let him win either. He’ll do whatever it takes to gain control over you.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Marinerachel — idk if you saw my complaints about meds psych from hell, and my lack of desire to report her, but I got a certified letter not long ago about her not being with the clinic. On one hand, w00t! On the other…other people must’ve filed complaints right? Would mine have made it happen faster? Point here is fuck the person being an ass, if you’re gonna worry, worry about the other the people they could hurt, not them.

And that is really ass. The only part of that that makes sense is ensuring that suicidal ideation =/= in danger. And that doesn’t require an inquisition!

Argh! Hopefully you can find somewhere less populated by assholes!

Ally — they probably aren’t going to be able to keep sister/brother she/he etc straight, and when one slip is all it takes, I really wouldn’t risk it. I don’t say this to discourage you, but because even pecunium uses the wrong pronouns for me on occasion, and he’s a grown ass adult. It’s one thing in his living room when an eye roll is the result, in front of your father though? And that’s with me consistently using ze, only person who’s successfully used ze with me personally, and gendered pronouns in front of my parents is LBT — who’s got a lot more practice than your sisters.

I wish you had sensible parents and your sisters could be all “we love our big sister!” and you could be all “I love you too! Who wants candy?” (Spoil ’em rotten and send ’em home, that’s my motto!)

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@Ally

it made sense, Ally. And it sounds like you’ve been a good sister to your younger sisters.

I wish they could be in my care somehow. But I know I can’t possibly support anyone else right now, let alone provide them basic amenities and essentials. I’m so worried about them. I’m afraid of never hearing from them again. They are such sweet, adorable sisters. I can’t stand this.

::offering hugs, if wanted:: I don’t have any advice though 🙁

What if I gave my brother the letter, and he had them read it for themselves? That would minimize the risk of parents finding out.

As far as I can tell it work? But I’m not very knowledgeable here.

It looked like a good letter to me, Ally :3

I don’t know. Maybe I’m being selfish. I just desperately want to be out to them. I feel so horrible not being out to them

It’s not selfish to want to be out to them.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@marinerachel

I expect mental health professionals to maintain composure and work effectively when they hear someone experiences suicidal ideation. How is anyone supposed to seek help for the issue if they can’t trust the people who are supposed to be capable of assisting them with it to respond reasonably

Jedi hugs from me, if wanted. Sadly, there are way too many shitty mental health professionals out there.

They asked what I struggled with. I told them suicidal ideation. They flew off the handle. It became my job to defuse them.

Okay, taht person sounds super fucking shitty 🙁

I’m stuck between the concern I was being an impatient asshole with someone who was just trying to help me and I’m being too nice for not reporting the incident.

I don’t think you were being an impatient asshole. YOu can report the incident if you want (I definetly dont think it would be uncalled for). But I don’t think you need to if you don’t want to or it’d make you stressed.

But rambles. It took me a long time to learn that just because I tell someone I”m depressed doesn’t mean I want to have an hour long conversation about it. People should be able to mention that shit, especially when you’re just trying to schedule an appointment and someone asks without a long conversatoin about it.

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