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

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

New York – I am in you!

It’s been a while since my last post, even though I told myself that I’d write more this year. This past month has been a total whirlwind in my life; some of it good, some of it stressful, but I’m dealing with it the best that I can. 

First bit of good news, we were able to get another vehicle, a very nice 2010 Mazda which makes me beyond happy. I’m a huge Mazda fan.  With said new Mazda we were able to make the trip halfway across the United States to our new home in New York. While we are staying with friends, this place still feels like home, a feeling that I don’t ever recall having before. When we got here we weren’t told, welcome to New York, we were told welcome home. 

Home.

It might not seem like a lot to some people,  but for someone like me who has always felt alone or left out…those four letters mean a lot. We are working on getting our own place, but I have this feeling the New York is going to be my home for a long time.   

Last night we had a get together for my family to meet the wonderful community here that helped us get out of Arkansas, and leave the crap we faced there behind. I had a hard time to start with, because of my inability to ‘people well’ I was sitting with my wife a bit away from everyone. I felt really bad because my social anxiety was starting to kick in and I was feeling overwhelmed. That mean little voice of self-doubt was laughing at me in the back of my mind. These wonderful people had done so much for my family and me and I couldn’t even interact with them. 

Then the strangest thing happened, a total first for me, people actually came to me a few at a time and I was able to fight past my anxiety ultimately and even spend time with a fairly large group of people. We played a music game, laughed, talked, and even sang together. 

I felt welcomed.

I felt loved.

 I felt like I belonged. 

I felt like I was part of a community. 

It was wonderful.

#community, #family-2, #new-york, #social-anxiety