Holidays

   As most people get all excited with the holidays upon us, I generally get very depressed. I am aware that holiday depression is quite common, but I have dealt with depression throughout my life since I was a child. Unfortunately I am allergic to most anti-depressants so I have my own ways of dealing with this.

Aside from my personal religious beliefs I don’t exactly believe in Christmas as I was hardly, if ever, included in family holiday gatherings. I remember sitting in a corner by myself watching my relatives opening all their presents and being happy and loving to each other, all the while I wouldn’t get anything but negative remarks and abuse. The family I was born into lavished themselves and neglected me which led to a huge disassociation with them. My father did what he could to try to make a Christmas for me and my brother. I appreciate him for trying his best as a single father.

          I know I am in a better place without them, but the holidays still hurt me deeply. All I have are the memories of not being a part of things. I wasn’t a bad child, I was just very unhappy for reasons that took me many years of therapy and self discovery to realize. I always wished that my family would see me with the same love and respect they had for everyone else in the family. To this day it still hasn’t happened, except for a spare few who have accepted me for me.

              As an adult and in a very loving relationship I have learned to appreciate that presents don’t compare to presence. I have my husband and my dog who love me deeply. My father is a part of my life as best as he can be. I love them for that, since I grew up not truly knowing LOVE. I am reminded every day that I am loved. It doesn’t matter anymore if my family accepts me or not because I have my own loving family who are always there for me no matter what.

              I continue to struggle with holiday depression on top of my every day flux of emotions. It is not an easy task to simply relax and be happy, although I am quite content with my surroundings and close friends. I have many ways of redirecting my depression into something positive and creating things for me to be proud of.

              Regardless of my depression I am not one to be a Scrooge during the holidays. I wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday season regardless of their personal Holiday beliefs.

With Love and Light I wish you all the happiest of tidings.

 Blessed Be!

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Thanksgiving for Me.

  Thanksgiving is not just a holiday to me, but an every day thing. There is really so much to be thankful for that I can’t imagine reserving it all for just one day. There are many people who celebrate this day with family and loved ones. For someone like me, though, I have spent many holidays completely alone and that can really set a person back. I have always been grateful and thankful for whomever was in my life to see my struggle and be there for me when no one else was.  I am so thankful to have a stable place to live in and call home.

For most of my life I have been fighting several diseases that will never go away. I am on way too many medications for my afflictions, but I do not take medications for my Bi polar disorder or ADHD.  I have had many allergic reactions that have nearly cost me my life several times. I am, in fact,  so very lucky to be alive. I am thankful every day for the doctors who helped me get to where I am at today.

For the past seven years I have been extremely thankful for my husband. It is with his love and support that I have pulled through not just physical collapse due to liver failure, but emotional break downs and my entire transition as well. He is most definitely my rock. Without him I would have died back in 2008, as no one else was truly and entirely there for me when my health was at it’s worst. I would have died on the streets. There are not enough ways to express my gratitude and love for this man! Every day is a blessing and with him I find a reason to continue fighting the good fight, so to say.

I am also thankful for my father. He has had an impact on my life in many different ways, but it is within the past several years that I am most grateful for him. When I hit some of my lowest of lows he has helped me in numerous ways and to the best of his ability. It was with his help that I managed to survive through some very trying times. His support of my transition has truly touched my heart and that in itself is something I am extremely grateful for. His acceptance is something that I will never find an equal to. As I have written before, I have lived an estranged life from my family. Mostly due to my sexuality and non-conformist attitude that simply wasn’t something my family could accept.

There are so many people I hold close to my heart and I am truly thankful for, but one person in particular has been my confidant and closest friend for the past couple of years. My “Trans Sister”, Jessica! Within her I have found a kindred spirit who will keep me on my toes. We talk nearly every day if even just to say, “Hi! I love you!”. I think it is important to have someone in your life you can relate to. Specifically on the Transgender level. I am truly grateful for everything she has done to help me succeed and survive!

I must say that I am thankful for everyone who has shown support and acceptance of me and my life. I have had many friends throughout the years  and even tho life takes us away from each other I will always be thankful for your friendships and love. I am also thankful that I have managed to kick the negative people to the curb without hesitation. I have no time for other people’s manipulations. I only allow for Love and Light in my life.

All in all I count my blessings every day. I wish for you all to look at what you are truly thankful for and cherish who and what you have in your lives. You never know when the candle will flicker out, but hopefully you will live your life knowing that each day there is someone or something to be thankful for.

I wish you all the best and hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.  With Love and Light I thank you all for following my posts, even tho I have been out of the loop for a while due to medical problems. I will do my best to at least write once a month.

Relationships

Throughout our lives we build up relationships with people and sometimes we lose them. Family is a term that most people only refer to as their blood, but that is not always the case. I consider the friends I have in my life to be more “Family” than the real thing. As with a friendship “Family” a familial relationship should be one of caring, understanding, support and love.  Not neglect, contempt, rejection and hate. For most people who are Transgender it is usually the latter.

Sadly, we find ourselves having to go through life alone. Without the love and support of the people who should be there for us the relationship ends once  you are put out on the streets.  I can not say that every family is a perfect one, my family and many others are proof of that.

I can say that I have seen some very close knit and loving families out there and that I would be lying if I said I did not wish that for myself and for those out there who have been ostracized from their own families just for being “different”.

Being Transgender is not an easy path to walk. It is even harder when our own families will have nothing to do with us just for not fitting in to what they want or expect from us. It is something we must figure out and fight for individually just to make sense of who we are ourselves. Not for anyone else to figure out for us. I have heard so many people in the same situation say that they were cast out, like I was, just because their families did not accept or understand them. I may be crazy to think this, but a relationship with a real family should put no pressure on their own relatives to be anything other than themselves.

They should show their support even if they may not understand. To be rejected by the very people who are supposed to raise you is one of the hardest things to deal with. Especially when you have a hard time trying to figure things out for yourself in the first place. I have found that throughout my life the closest people to me were in fact people I have met along the way and I have grown close with. Friendships that grew to be a family of sorts, as they did not judge or condemn me for being myself. They took me as I came. Relationships between people can come and go in a heartbeat, but the truest of relationships stick through it with you with all the good and all the bad. I have lost quite a few people I once considered friends to one thing or another and honestly the family that pushed me away was lost way before I even came into the picture.

It hurts when you find out that people you care for have no where near the same feelings for you as you do for them.  Throughout my life and especially so these past few weeks I have learned some very valuable lessons. I can’t rely on many people. I find it very hard to believe when someone tells me they will be there for me since once I do then suddenly they are gone without even a good bye or even an explanation. They continuously let me down. Family who have said they will be there for me, although it took quite a long time for it to get to that, have almost all but turned me away once again.

I believe in second chances though. I have allowed certain people to come back into my life, regardless of how horrible they were to me before, and without fail they turn on me in such a short period of time that I can’t say that I didn’t expect it and yet I am still in a state of shock! I feel I brought it upon myself just for allowing them to be in my life again.  I should know better, but that is a problem of mine… holding onto something I think should be when in reality it is quite the opposite. I hardly ever ask for help from people ,unless I am in a very desperate position, as I have learned growing up that I wouldn’t get what I asked for anyway and I was given very little from the start. When it comes to being offered the help I might need, I turn it down respectively until I reluctantly agree as I have always known that most people do not keep their word. It would seem that when I do allow for receiving help then out of the blue I get hit with a harsh reality of either that help being taken away, of me getting nothing anyway or given a hard time about it, with a few possible exceptions of course. You know who you are! 😉

All in all, the relationships we have with people can be quite tricky. There are good ones, great ones, bad ones and terrible ones. It is up to us to decide for ourselves who we hold closest to our hearts and to allow for those people to show it in return. We have struggles in our lives that seem unbearable if it were not for the ones we love who are there for us. For those of us who have to go it alone, the feeling is quite disheartening and the sense of no one ever caring presses on the back of our minds. There is no other choice but to deal with things as best as we can, however, it is extremely hard when you look at your life and can count on one hand how many people are truly there for you, love you and support you in your life.  Family is a word that means so little to so many, yet somehow those people who stress the importance of it the most are the ones who show it the least. I am a loner. I have very few people in my life I consider to be my “Family”.

I am quite used to being outside of things and I am okay with that. I don’t like it, but I am okay with it. I don’t expect people to wake up and change who they are, unless they truly feel they should, just as I should not have to do the same. I find it really disconcerting to see when the people who were not part of my life for so long by their own doing use one way of being there for me knowing I need them then suddenly change their tune and even though they do not say the words, their actions tell me quite openly that they don’t want to be there for me. I have lived a crazy life full of heartbreak, disappointment and betrayal, as well as some love and respect, yet I still somehow manage to get up every day and do my best to make things better for myself.

I always hope for the best and to do what I can to prepare for the worst. A hard feat in itself being that I am disabled and quite limited to what I am capable of doing to better my situation. I fortunately have some help from certain people, even if I didn’t ask for it and with the turn of the coin unfortunately I find it will not last longer than I truly do need it to.  A situation I find harder now than not having that person in my life in the first place as I am quite accustomed to not being a part of the family. Doing things alone most of the time can really wear you down emotionally, but it helps when you have the meaningful relationships you need to get you through the hard times. For those of us out there who have experienced the rejection and isolation from our families know this all too well.

We hold onto real friendships as best as we can and find a way to allow people into our lives that will not judge us or push us away because we are not just like them. Not always an easy task to filter the good from the bad of course, but at least we have a deeper understanding of what to expect from most people. It saddens me to see that I have more friends than family who are there for me without expectations or judgement even tho I feel I have very few real and true friends. It is hard to believe in people when they give you nothing to believe in them!

My life has taught me that there will always be ups and downs. Being Bi-Polar is proof of that in itself, but with all the bad that happens to me personally it is very difficult to not be depressed. I wake up with the intention of finding the good in people and in things and I try keeping a positive outlook on life and way of thinking, but as all the bad things that happen pile up the depression hits me harder and harder. Even when the good things happen, I get hit with depression as I know that all good things come to an end. I’m not saying that I don’t count my blessings and cherish the good people in my life or the good things to have happened to me. It is all just so frustrating to deal with, but in reality I do my best to get through it.

I keep my mind on the good people and things in my life. From my loving husband who supports me in everything to my happy little dog who has nothing but love for me to the real friends in my life that I actually speak with on a day to day basis. I am truly grateful and blessed to have them in my life. These are the relationships I hold closest to my heart.  I also look forward to being able to allow for future relationships with new people. I will always have the ability to give people a chance to be a part of my life just as long as they are willing to put in as much as I do. To all of you out there reading this I wish that you have the life and relationships that you deserve. I send to you all Love and Light.

Discovery

 As far back as I can remember I always knew I was different. I wasn’t as happy as the other kids, nor was I as outgoing. Growing up I felt this disconnection with people. The sense of not fitting in or belonging had a grip on me so tightly I found it easier to be alone than to deal with other people. I knew I was attracted to boys even if I didn’t know why. My family treated me as if I was an abomination. From early in my life I was sent to see several different doctors  because of it. I suppose it was evident that I had something else that effected me in such a way that my family thought I had to see a doctor.

It was revealed to me that I was Bi-polar/ Manic Depressive. For many years I was in and out of therapy and put on so many different types of medications to “help me”  and to “correct my behavior” that I felt I would never be a “Normal” person, for whatever that means. I tried to make sense of things on my own and came out as Bi-sexual when I was 15, for fear of the rejection of being Gay. I thought it would be easier for others to accept. Shortly after I was put out on the streets when I was 16. I moved around and lived with so many different family members, all the while I felt ashamed and horrible for being me.

I shut everyone out. I felt even less of a connection with people. The depression had it’s grip on me even harder now. I let all that had happened to me, all the rejection, all the pain and all the fear attack my self esteem, which was already practically non-existent. Ultimately I ended up in the hospital for numerous suicide attempts. I would eventually find myself living with my Aunt and her lover. A situation that had lit a fire in me so to say. I felt like I may actually fit in somewhere and relate to someone finally. It was a new beginning. I felt happiness for once in my life. I developed a sense of personal strength and pride. I even started to make friends! Of course nothing ever stays the same. I would eventually move on and continue the path I was meant to follow. For the last time my family had rejected me and tossed me out on the streets. I was 18 and this time I made my own way. On my own I put myself through college and found myself married (something for discussion at a later date)! I held many different prominent job titles, worked in many bars and clubs. I found myself being quite popular for being myself! I accepted being an outcast and owned being different. I felt I found happiness in another light, however, I still was very depressed.

I still had a wall up and I was locked inside.  I felt I would always be alone, even when around others. I would have to say that my self image is what I was most unhappy with. I couldn’t truly be happy with what and who I saw in the mirror. I made myself as outstanding and extreme as possible as a self defense mechanism. It was easier for me when others’ had something to say about how I looked rather than pin point my sexuality. Or so I thought then.

       As the years went on I felt that there was a part of me that was still unresolved. There was something that didn’t complete me.  Something that would take me over 30 years to figure out. I had to figure it out! Through my life experiences, self discovery and countless hours spent in doctors’ offices I would come to realize that I am a Transgender Woman. It took me many years to completely accept that I was. As things started to make sense to me I would look deep within to find that strength that kept me going all these years and harness that and go forward. I find it easier to be “happy” now that I own myself completely.

Being Manic depressive is not an easy battle. Combined with being Transgender I knew I had a really rough road ahead of me. It took me all these years to discover that knowing yourself allows you to grow stronger as a person.    I will never be free of depression. I don’t even take anti-depressants! I found out the hard way that I was allergic to most of them. Something else that I will write about in time. Aside from the depression, my doctors would diagnose me with many other disorders and such, but the most impacting to me is being diagnosed Agoraphobic! Something I knew to be right, yet somehow found contradictory to my being! A conundrum! I can be a very social person , but since I spent the majority of my life alone I find solace in solitude. It makes sense to me completely now that I look back at my life and see the Hows and Whys. Topics for future posts.  I don’t expect life to be a peach. I accept the ups and downs. My life has taught me to accept the harsh realities. As hard as I may get hit by my emotions I always look out from within and see the positive possibilities that can help me out of the rut. I do what I can to try not to get depressed, but anyone who suffers from depression will relate that it is not so easy to just suddenly be happy. I know that in 35 years I have always been this way and I know I always will be. I am not alone. I have an amazing support system. My husband and true friends love and accept me for Me!

I even found that coming out Transgender has brought so many other great and amazing people into my life. I find very little resistance from others. To be completely honest, I have had very little to no negative reactions from people. Amazingly I see myself being the person I felt was trapped inside all these years!  I wish to express to my readers that without the inner strength to live my life for myself I would continue to feel incomplete. I truly hope that through sharing my experiences  that I am able to help others realize that we are not alone in this battle and to help you find your own inner strength. I have connected to support groups not only for depression, but for being Transgender as well. Not always an easy thing to accept joining a group and sharing your life with strangers, but it is an outlet. A place to express yourself without judgement.  I extend my love and light to all of you. May you find yourself and an understanding here.

We are One voice.