Medical Nightmare

The recurring theme in healthcare when it comes to being transgender is either lack of knowledge or outright discrimination, both of which I have experienced at the hands of doctors sworn to first do no harm according to the Hippocratic oath traditionally taken by doctors. The most recent case of discrimination I’ve experienced has been downright purposeful with the intent to damage my health and completely ignore my disabilities and reasonable requests of accommodation.
When I moved to New York State, I was under the impression that it was a decent to good place to live if you were transgender. The state Medicaid services cover transition related services if you are in a position like I am in an need or qualify for it. There were also protections for gender identity, supposedly in the healthcare field as well. I was lead to believe that the lax and often dangerous health care that I had been subjected to in the past was just that, the past. My wife and I were excited because this meant that I would be able to finally have chest reconstruction surgery which would greatly lower my level of anxiety and hopefully raise my self-esteem and self-image. What followed was nothing short of traumatic, depressing and put me on the edge of suicide. After waiting months then see a surgeon that accepted my insurance, I went in for a consultation. I never made it past the nurse, who told me I was too fat for them operate on, but did I want to see pictures of what great work they did. I wrote about that nearly three months ago in a post called Suicidal Idealations, that is the impact that first medical debacle caused. 

Shortly after the incident with the surgeon I was finally able to get into see my new PCP. The wait time for new patients is something akin to the stuff that nightmares are made from. During my first appointment I told my new PCP, Stephen Sipperly, that I needed a referral to an endocrinologist because I had undergone a complete hysterectomy, which included the removal of both of my ovaries. I told him I might have about another thirty days of my current medication left. 

On a side note, for those reading that don’t know, after undergoing a hysterectomy if the body does not have replacement hormones it can cause physical damage to the body. There have been many a transman that stopped taking their testosterone after having a hysterectomy and ending up with osteoporosis or a similar illness. It also means that after ceasing to have my testosterone I start what is called “Surgical Menopause” because I will have no hormones and will not be able to produce any of my own because of my hysterectomy. 

After over a month of waiting for the promised Endo appointment I had yet to hear anything back from the doctor, his nurses or the office staff about the appointment so I messaged the doctor’s office using their communication portal. The response that I received was less than encouraging, even though I told my doctor that I had been on testosterone for well over four years, and had given the information for my previous endocrinologist I was being treated as if I had never started transition and was going to have to start back at square one. 

Due to the fact that I needed to go to back to the office because of a different issue, a pain in my right leg that has been on-going for over a year now, I didn’t bother to write them back through the portal, instead I talked with the office staff when I went into see my doctor again. (That whole experience is another screw up all together.) After they finally took the time to review the files received from my previous PCP I was assured that they would fax the information to the endocrinologist I was supposed to be seeing and send me a message through the portal with the information for my appointment. 

That never happened.

I waited well over a week, and had received a letter in the postal mail about a different referral before I asked my wife to call to get the information for my endocrinologist appointment. Even though my wife is listed in my paperwork as someone that can have full access to my files, call to make appointments( which she had done every time before) and act on my behalf the office staff refused to give her the information about my supposed endo appointment. Even when she asked why the message with the information was never sent to my portal like they had promised. 

When I realized that these people were refusing to give me information about my own healthcare through the portal, even though I specifically asked for communication through the portal because I cannot speak over the phone, I started having a meltdown. My wife even explained to the woman on the phone that I autistic and this was causing me to meltdown and I couldn’t control myself, and they still refused to give or send any information about the endocrinologist appointment they claimed to have made. 

The woman on the phone with my wife decided that she didn’t want to listen to an autistic transgender man have a meltdown because of their refusal to disclose information about his endo appointment and hung up on my wife.

Several days later both my wife and I received letters from the medical group that our PCPs were with stating that we had been discharged as patients. Both of the letters were mailed to a physical address, and this was after I had previously refused to give the doctor’s office a physical address during the previous appointment and requested that all correspondences that need to be sent through US mail be sent to my postal office. Even though that promised that nothing would be sent to my physical address, this letter of dismissal came to my physical address. 

I still don’t believe that the doctor’s office even made my endo appointment or had any intention of making one for me. This so-called doctor’s office blatantly ignored the detrimental issues to my health that they have, and are causing. Now I’m out of my medication, and no longer have a PCP to go to for care in the area. New patient appointments in this area are months away, and in order to see an endocrinologist I have to have a referral from a PCP. This doctor’s office has made sure that I won’t get my hormones for months now, because of their discriminatory actions. 

#albany-new-york, #asd, #autism, #autistic-triggers, #discrimination, #discrimination-in-healthcare, #ftm, #healthcare-2, #lgbt, #lgbt-discrimination, #lgbt-rights-2, #minority, #new-york, #new-york-state-healthcare, #tg, #trans, #transgender, #transgender-discrimination, #transmen, #transsexual

The Dirty Truth

I am truly at a loss of words, even if I could find the words the anger, betrayal and upset that I am feeling right now could never be described with something as trivial as a language. I feel that I must try to at least convey some semblance of how I am feeling because I refuse to be the blame of someone’s problems. I refuse to put back into the mindset that my parents forced upon me for far too many years, especially when I have only begun to break away from that trauma. Yet, at the same time I am scared, nearly terrified that I will come across sounding ungrateful because that is far from the case, but I cannot let someone else manipulate me for their own selfish purpose.

Towards the end of January, my family and I made the trek from Arkansas to New York, in a sense we were refugees, a family looking for a new start, needing a new start after facing the loss of our home in Virginia, and exile of a safe-space in Arkansas.

Simply put, we had nowhere to go and we were living out of our truck and a tent. We bounced from place to place in Arkansas on a sporadic basis trying to find a place that was safe to sleep for the night. It was stressful, terrifying, and with the prospect of winter headed our way getting colder by the day.

We were blessed in the form of a friend of my wife. This friend put us in touch with people in New York state that started a GoFundMe to pay for the trip from Arkansas to New York where we were promised a sanctuary. If I’m going to be honest, and I’ve found that honesty is the best policy in instances like this, I was skeptical. I didn’t really think much would come of the GoFundMe and that come winter, we would be faced with traveling to a warmer location, most likely south, in order to avoid the cold.

I have a lot of trouble putting my faith in people, especially so when the person is a stranger. My life has taught me that I can trust no one but myself, and expect nothing from anyone. People lie. They may not always mean to, and they may have good intentions, but people lie. But I digress.

It was a huge surprise when we were able to raise enough funds to actually make it to New York, even more so when our truck broke down and we had to go about looking for another vehicle to make the trip. For an instant, it seemed like fate was pushing us to New York.

We were offered a place to stay. It was just a room and a couple pallets on the floor for our boys, but it was supposed to be a safe space for my family and I. I was to reiterate, that I am grateful for the space that was offered, but in the aftermath of my time in this house, I have really begun to wonder was it worth making the trip?

Has all the stress been worth it? I’ll get to that later.

After being in the house for about two weeks, one of the homeowners treated our youngest, who has Autism, pretty poorly. While it upset me a lot, I tried to play it off as ignorance. I understand that not everyone knows how to handle someone with ASD, especially so when you’ve never had to deal with children that have autism. Then, it seemed like the passive hostility turned its attention to me.

Soon, nothing that I said around this person was ever correct. I was made to feel like I was a complete idiot and worthless as a human being. It was something that I hadn’t felt since the last time I was around my parents. It was nearly the same tactic that my birth family had used time and time again to chip away at my self-worth until I felt like suicide was the only option I had left.

It took me a few weeks to realize exactly what was going on. In the meantime, I began to withdraw, I stayed either in the room I was given or away from the house. I felt unsafe. I felt unwanted. I felt like I should just go kill myself. The depression that I’ve struggled so hard with for so long was worse than ever. There wasn’t a day that passed that I didn’t have to weigh the pros and cons of killing myself.

Finally, it got to a point where I couldn’t make myself go back into that house, but at the same time I was scared to leave my wife and two boys alone with this person. If they treated me like this, what were they going to do to them if I was away. I felt torn. I was so stressed that every little noise put me on edge, I couldn’t sleep, I was afraid to sleep. I was trapped. There was no way that I could just load everyone up in my vehicle and leave to find somewhere else. We weren’t even prepared for the massive amounts of snow that upstate New York was getting.

The answer came in the form of a new friendship. Just when I was at the point of having a total breakdown which may have ended in a horrible outcome, we were able to get a camper and place it on a property of another friend away from the city. I cried when we were able to move the camper to a place that I truly felt safe at, and move into it. I thought the hostility towards me had come to an end, and that my family could really start rebuilding our lives, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be the case now.

I now feel like my family and I are being blamed for this person suddenly not being able to do everything that they want to do. When my wife first got her job at one of the local colleges, she offered to pay this person for the space we were using and to help with bills. My wife was told no, it was better to save that money so that we could get a place of our own. Now the tune has changed. We stayed in this house for about three months, and our ex-host is professing that it was six months, not three. It’s now May, in order for us to have been in that house for six months we would have to have moved towards the end of last year.

Call me crazy, but I remember spending Christmas Eve last year sleeping in our truck, and the early part of January was spent frantic trying to figure out what we were going to do. We didn’t even sign the papers for our new vehicle until January 14th of this year. So, it’s impossible that we’ve spent six months in New York, let alone one location.

Now once again I feel like everything that has started to settle down has been thrown into the fray once again, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if we should stay in this area, or New York or move somewhere else. I’m at a loss. It’s being insinuated that my family and I ruined this person’s social life, and they can’t do anything and are now in a bad place.

Just when I thought we were safe…

#friendship, #homelessness, #new-york, #passive-aggressive-behavior, #safe-space

Thirty-Three

At precisely 12:10pm I will have been born for thirty-three years, looking back it’s been one struggle after another. There are so many chances I wish I would have had that were afforded to others that made their lives considerably easier, but then I realize that if I hadn’t gone through what I have over the past thirty-three years, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

Each and every obstacle that I have had to overcome has shaped me in some way. While it seems that every day brings more than I can handle right now, I’m still making progress. I’m fighting my anxiety and depression by making myself get out of bed in the morning. Granted, I have people that depend on my ability to drag myself from bed, put clothing on and take them to work, or school if they miss the bus, it’s still a chore I have to make myself do.

There is a small prospect of me returning to college this fall, and that both excites me and terrifies me. Living where I do now, I can return to school and not have the outrageous amount of debt that going to school nearly anywhere else in the nation would result in. I’m also looking at attending a fairly large college. I’ve been working myself up to that aspect by spending time on campus. That’s actually where I’m writing this post from right now.

It’s a fairly quiet day today, and I don’t need my earphones, which is a huge improvement from the first time I tried to come to campus by myself and ended up having a panic attack and hiding behind a stairwell crying until my wife was able to find me then walk me back to our car.

Step by step I’ve been making progress in conquering my anxiety without the help of a “professional” because let’s face it, most professionals don’t give a damn about their patients unless they are self-pay with cash. Here in the United States that’s a dangerous line to walk especially with recent developments, or maybe I should say the lack thereof, in healthcare programs trying to be forced through the government. When those in power would rather let people without a six-figure salary die, something is going to give and it won’t be pretty, but I digress.

I have managed to make some really good friends over the last few months, and I’m actually looking forward to the birthday party my wife has planned for me with friends tomorrow. This too is a huge improvement over last year, over the last several years honestly. My birthday isn’t something that I’ve come to loathe anymore. Currently, it’s more of an indifference that I feel towards it, but that’s changing.

For the first time since I was a small child, I have friends! People that truly care about me and enjoy me being in their life. How strange this is, to have people to talk to or text when there’s something exciting happening in my life. I’m beginning to have a community, something that I never thought that I would have.

It gives me hope, that these are the last of the truly desolate obstacles that I will face feeling alone and lost.

Suicidal Idealations

I want to die.

I’m so tired of struggling, so tired of fighting, so tired of it being insinuated that my life is meaningless because I’m not good enough at being a minority. 

Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. It was supposed to be the beginning of the process to start my chest reconstruction surgery. Instead it ended with me wanting to wrap my car around a tree at 140 mph, and quite frankly the only reason I didn’t was because I wasn’t alone in the car on the five hour trip back home. Killing myself is one thing, taking someone else out with me is totally different, and no matter how depressed I get, or how suicidal I am it’s not something I could ever do. 

I drove over 200 miles, one way, just to have some lackey of the surgeon I was supposed to have a consultation with tell me I was too fat for them to operate on. Then she kept asking if I wanted to see pictures of their results…The surgeon couldn’t even be bothered to see me, even after these people knew I was driving from near Albany, NY to Rochester, NY. 

In 2007 I injured my back, I hurt it while I was working at Fred’s in Piggott, AR but since I didn’t realize it until the following day, the company basically told me to go fuck myself. I ended up going to the ER, where I was given multiple shots in my back and told to get some rest. I haven’t been out of pain since that day. 

When I first tried to see a medical professional about the severe pain in my lower back, I was told it was because I was overweight. None of the doctors that I saw in Arkansas wanted to even listen to the fact that I had been injured, it was all because I was overweight. 

Then I moved to Virginia, where I was told that I had nerve damage in my lower back and I was given a referral to a pain management specialist. When I went to see the pain management specialist I was then told that I would live every day for the rest of my life in pain, but because I was so young (25 years old) there was nothing that they (the pain management specialists) were going to do. I was too young to be taking pain killers. So I was sent on my way with the knowledge that each and every day I was alive from then until I died I would be hurting. 

Since then, I’ve tried to see doctors about losing weight, but now that I present as male I’ve been repeatedly told “just exercise” or “you’re just building muscle”. The latter is every doctor’s excuse for the weight gain I’ve had despite exercising to the point where I feel like I’m about to pass out and eating about a quarter of what I ate before my initial back injury some ten years ago. None of the doctors want to run any tests to find out why I’m gaining weight, it just must be all that muscle gain…

No one wants to help, or even listen and do their job. They just want me out of their office so they don’t have to deal with me anymore. This isn’t just one or two doctors though, is this nearly every doctor I’ve been to in the past five years. I stopped drinking soda, and rather than loosing weight which what one doctor proclaimed would happen, I gained weight. 

I’m not rich, in fact quiet the opposite is true. The only reason I’m living in a house right now is because a really great couple took my family in when we had no where else to go and were living in a tent. I’m not skinny, I’m damaged goods and I’m male. All of which equate to my life isn’t worth the paper my birth certificate was printed on. 

Why should I even bother to fight anymore?

I’m constantly in pain. The one thing that I was stupid enough to get my hopes up for has just been taken away because of issues that no doctor wants to deal with…my quality of life is so low it’s not even funny.

I can’t even function in society.

I’m so tired.

#depression, #discrimination-in-healthcare, #doctors, #ftm, #ftm-surgery, #shoddy-healthcare, #suicide, #transgender

Resolution: Thanks for the Memories T-Mobile

I have a new phone, and a new carrier. 

After spending several days engaged with T-Mobile’s customer support ( though I hardly think they qualify as support), several Twitter nudgings trying to get them to actually answer my messages, and a metric fuck ton of annoyance I thought we had reached some sort of resolution to the clusterfuck that T-Mobile had caused. 

When they asked me what I wanted, I broke down my requirements line by line and gave them a reason for each one. In the end all I asked for was $100 off my bill, and for them to change my plan to the correct plan to correct their screw ups that had jumped by, wait for it… $100. Simply put, I only asked for them to let me pay my normal bill amount. After all, I had been with T-Mobile for eight months and always made my payments either on time, or ahead of time. I had my eye on a new iPad Pro in May or June when I was able to finance without paying 3/4 of the sales price down. It was a nice dream. 

At first, the customer support ignored my message after asking me what I wanted, this went on for over a day which annoyed me to say the least. Finally when they answered, they were willing to “comp” me $75, this was after they had passed me off on no less than five different people. They refused to change my plan until the next billing period, and ignored everything else that I had taken the time to thoughtfully address in my response to their question. 

One thing I hate above all else is to be ignored, especially so when I’ve taken the time to sit down and write out a detailed response to a question asked of me. That shows me that whoever asked me the question in the first place doesn’t value nor want an answer from me, so why bother to waste my time by asking in the first place by asking. 

I realized at this point T-Mobile has perhaps the worst attempt at customer retention known to modern consumer looking to purchase and keep cellular service. Even Verizon Wireless, who ran background data constantly on my phones to up the amount I used and throw me into overages every month had better resolution policies in place when it came to addressing a customer grievance.

Once more I was passed off to another “agent” who was now so graciously going to credit my account an extra$25.00. So they were trying to make me feel like they were going above and beyond by first refusing what I asked of them and then giving in a little more to still fall short of meeting my requests. While this was highly annoying, and insulting it wasn’t the end of the issue. 

While I had been trying to work out this billing issue and the plan change, my wife had been speaking with someone within T-Mobile about being charged for Google Play purchases through T-Mobile, when they had been already paid for via credit card. Even the staff at Google confirmed this and she was told that she would be refunded the amount already paid. This never happened, and still has not happened. 

To make matters worse, the morning following the so-called resolution my wife started having an issue with her phone not  having data. Any time that she would attempt to access the internet she would receive an error message from T-Mobile stating that our plan didn’t have data. We thought maybe it was her phone, so we rest her phone. The issue was still not resolved and when I checked data service on my new iPhone, I had the same issue. So we went into a local store.

What we found out was like the icing on the cake, but rather bitter instead of sweet. The data on all of the lines on my account had been turned off until March 20th, which would have left me paying for data service for an entire month without receiving it. 

When I tried to talk to the representative in the store I was told “Well at least you can come to this store and fix your problems.” 

Really?

I went next door to Sprint and now have three lines with unlimited text, talk and data for about half of what I was paying at T-Mobile. I can’t say that I didn’t warn them, T-Mobile just simply didn’t care or value me as someone that pays their paychecks. 

So the next time someone tries to convince me to “go Magenta,” I’ll pass. I’m a lot happier with better service and a lower phone bill. 

#bad-cell-providers, #bad-customer-service, #cell-phone, #cell-phone-providers, #cell-provider, #sprint, #t-mobile

The Clusterfuck that is T-Mobile

“Go Magenta.” 

This is one of the tags lines I heard from the T-Mobile crew in Richmond, VA a few years back at VA Pride. At the time my cellular carrier was Verizon Wireless, and while I wasn’t really happy with their service, they had yet to screw over my bill and service to such a degree that I was ready to change carriers. 

It really wasn’t too long before that happened. Verizon Wireless was billing me for “background data” that I was unable to turn off and was told it was just something that happened because I wasn’t connected to wifi or some other form of internet all the time. 

So I switched to T-Mobile. 

I put a down-payment on two phones that were supposed to be “free”, but because I didn’t qualify for their free phones I had to pay upfront and they would “reimburse” me. Yeah, right. Some of the time I get the credits to my account like I’m supposed to and some of the time I don’t. It’s like a game of Russian roulette, except instead instead of a bullet I just got an elevated phone bill. The difference was only about $20 and while it was pretty annoying, it really wasn’t that bad of an issues. 

Then I had to spend some time in Arkansas. 

In late September of 2016, we moved to Arkansas and in December we found ourselves in Springdale, Arkansas. While staying in Springdale we noticed that when we were not connected to Wi-Fi both my phone and my wife’s phone had absolutely no data service. We had full bars of 4G LTE signal according to both of our phones and we could make calls and text without an issues, just absolutely no data. Around December 21st after having dealt with this for over two weeks my wife called T-Mobile customer service and asked for tech support. In the end tech support diagnosed the issue as  problem with the cell tower near Springdale that our phones were using for service. We were told that the issue would be resolved within 72 hours and we would receive a callback when it was completed as well as be compensated for the fact that we were paying for data service and not receiving it. 

Neither the call back, nor compensation ever happened. 

In fact, when we left Arkansas for New York in the end of January, a month after placing the call, we still had no data service when our phones were connected to the Springdale tower. This was a month that we were billed for data when half the time we had to have our phones connected to wi-fi in order to access the internet. 

After moving to New York, I wanted to change to an iPhone because I was honestly at my wits end with my Samsung phone, and we needed to change our phone numbers to a local number. We were told the it would cost $15.00 per line to change our numbers, even though “Pay in Advance” customers aren’t charged this fee. This of course was a lie. It ended up costing us over $17.00 per line to change to a local phone number. While two or three dollars per line isn’t that much, it’s not the price that makes me angry, it’s the fact that I was blatantly lied to. Even on T-Mobile’s website it states the fee for changing your phone number is $15.00 not $15.00 plus tax. 

To make things worse about the store visit, the customer service representative that “helped” us, bullied me into changing my phone plan to a ‘business’ plan and refused to do anything on the account until I did so even though I don’t have a business but rather was thinking about starting a courier business. It took hours to change the account and update the two phone lines before I was allowed to add two new lines. I added an iPhone SE and just a SIM card that I could send to my mother-in-law so that her phone bill would be less each month and she could have unlimited data. I left the store, went home and hooked my iPhone up to the wifi there. It wasn’t until I left to run errands the following day that I found an issue with my data service. 

I took my phone into a different T-Mobile store and found out that the data service for my phone and for the SIM card that I had purchased had never been activated. So once more, I was being charged for data service when I wasn’t receiving it. The representative at the store activated the data on at least my line. I can’t speak for the line that was just the SIM card because my mother-in-law has yet to pick up a phone.  I left the store a bit miffed because of the whole ordeal with T-Mobile from the previous day, after spending hours in the store there were still issues with my account that caused me to have to return to a T-Mobile store. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t where the trouble with my account ended. 

A couple days after adding the iPhone I was checking my account online and noticed that the insurance coverage that was supposed to be added to my account for my iPhone SE was not there AND suddenly one of my phone lines were reported as missing/stolen. I thought the latter was really odd considering I could see all three phones and knew the SIM card for the fourth line was on it’s way to Virginia. My wife called customer service once again to added handset insurance on my phone and to find out what was going on with the “missing/stolen” phone. No one has been able to explain why one of my lines was marked as missing/stolen. We did find out it was the fourth line, but to this day there is no explaination as to WHY  IT IS STILL MARKED AS MISSING/STOLEN. 

We explained to this representative what had happened in-store and was told that she would change the account back to the personal account like it was supposed to be and ship my mother-in-law a new SIM card in case the other one didn’t work. We gave the representative my mother-in-law’s name and address so that the SIM card could be mailed to her. When the SIM card arrived in Virginia, it was sent to me with my name badly misspelled. The sweet 80-year-old woman that my mother-in-law lives with received the package from UPS and had no idea who it belonged to because of this. 

Then today my wife called T-Mobile once again with the hope of resolving two issues, the first issue was with an application not functioning properly, the second issues was the fact that our phone bill is now suddenly almost $300 when it’s been between $130 and $170 since we started our account with T-Mobile. 

Over the course of half a day my wife and I have been given four completely different stories as to why our phone bill is so expensive this month. Each time we correct the issue, we’re given some other excuse. First, we were told that our phone bill was so high because I didn’t pay for activation and set up fees for my iPhone nor did I pay all of the deposit on my phone. When the representative was told that was false and that we had paid in cash and still had the receipt, the story suddenly changed. Then we were told that it was because we were being billed for two months instead of one. When my wife pointed out that if this was the case the phone bill would have been more expensive based on the amount of our previous bill, the reason changed yet again. This time it was because of charges that were made to the account and misc fees, charges that don’t add up because a credit card was used to pay for them, not T-Mobile billing, even the Google tech department agrees with this, and we have the payment receipts for the purchases as well as the bank statements to prove this. 

The T-Mobile staff even went as far as to insinuate that my wife was a liar, and drug Google into the disagreement trying to prove that T-Mobile was right and my wife was wrong. This really is the exact opposite of how a company should treat their customers. Then when I was contacted through Twitter by T-Mobile’s “billing specialist” I was given a completely different story altogether. Big surprise, huh? When I questioned them, rather than answer my questions they simply stopped responding to the conversation.

Between my wife and I, we spent over half of our day wasted with T-Mobile, a company that is refusing to tell us why our bill suddenly jumped by $100. A company that refused to uphold what they promise to do, and even go as far as insult their customers. 

I’m paying off my phones and leaving T-Mobile, and I suggest that anyone else that has an account with them do the same.  They try to claim they are the Un-Carrier and are a great company to do business with, but it’s a lie. If they are UN anything, it’s UN-caring. 

#bad-businesses, #business-that-abuse-their-customers, #businesses-that-lie, #cell, #cell-phone, #cell-phone-carrier, #phones, #poor-customer-service, #t-mobile, #tmobile, #un-carrier

A New Kind of Normal

I’ve never really had anything close to a social life, even when I was in high school. Even though I’m an extrovert I’ve spent most of my life in a reclusive state. Part of this is the fact that I am transgender, and the discrimination that I’ve faced because of it, part of it is because of my sensory issues, and part of it is the fact that I was never really allowed to socialize outside of the halls of my middle and high school. Growing up I was never allowed to have friends over nor was I allowed to leave home to go meet with anyone that could be considered a friend outside of school related activities. 

Since moving to New York, and beginning to emerge myself in the world of the SCA, I’ve found something akin to a social life. There are people around me that understand, or at least accept my eccentricities and it doesn’t seem to bother them in the least. I’ve found something that I never thought that I would have, and that’s a community. I feel like I’ve finally found a place where I can belong not hide away from society as life passes me by like I’ve been doing for the past twenty years. 

It’s past time for me to let go of what happened to me in the past and start working towards the future that I want for myself and for my family. 

For the first time in my life I’ve joined a gym so that I can get into shape. I’ve started attending rapier practice within the SCA, and archery as well. While there has been a few bumps in the road, I am actually starting to look forward to the future with excitement rather than disdain or upset. Things are still rough, I’m still fighting for SSI because of my autism, in July of this year it will be two years since I’ve applied. I went into my final appeal in November of last year and that can take up to 15 months. 

I’ve scheduled an appointment for the 22nd of March for the consultation for my chest reconstruction surgery, and my insurance here will cover it and all other SRS surgeries that I need. I can’t believe this year I’ll finally be able to take that step closer to being whole. 

My depression was really bad for a while, but it’s a bit better now. I don’t wake up every morning wanting to die. I hope that this is a permanent change, but I know that there is the possibility that it isn’t. It’s just something that I will have to deal with as it comes along. I know I’m going to have to find a therapist and stick with them, but for once I have a few clear goals in my life that aren’t just ideas. 

I have an idea of where I want to be headed by the end of this year, I’m not completely lost to the chaos anymore. 

#depression, #letting-go-of-the-past, #lgbt, #mental-health-2, #mental-illness, #moving-on, #new-york, #srs, #trans, #transgender