About:

It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman, and everyday life in general. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that transgender people face every day.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Family Stuff

For once I can say the family stuff I'm writing about isn't something bad. I recently decided to sign up for a free 2 week trial on ancestry.com, mostly just to look into one specific person I heard about from older family members when I was younger. I wasn't sure if I'd actually find anything, I didn't know the name of the person. All I knew was that a great aunt of mine that died a couple of years ago told me when I younger that I had an ancestor that was a confederate soldier in the Civil War, and that she had seen a picture when she was younger of him in his uniform. For anyone that doesn't know, I'm a huge history nerd. So to know people in my family could have been involved with something as significant in US history as that intrigues me, to say the least. I just searched my last name for the county I lived in before I came here, found 3 sets of families with that name. I just went by census records, tracking them each up in years until I got to some names I recognized. I found my great aunt, and several of her sisters listed together and realized I'd found the right family. Not only that but the Civil War veteran would have been her grandfather, my 2nd great grandfather. I even found his parents names and traced that side of my family back to the early 1800s in that area. I even found pictures of handwritten documents that prove his military service. I did the same with my grandmothers family too and got back about just as far.

I got some information from my mom and aunt and started tracking down people in my grandmothers family on her side. I was in for a shock there. I unexpectedly found another Civil War veteran, once again in the confederate army. I found that along with more documents to prove the validity as well as revealed that he had been taken prisoner within the first year of the war. Amazingly both survived, but the real kicker with my mothers family is just how far back in time I got with my research. I discovered that they had originally come to the US in the 1650s from England. It keeps going and I find ancestors all over England, Wales, and Ireland. So I'm predominantly of English, Welsh, and Irish ancestry. In other words I'm celtic stew. It got back into the 1300s before I lost the trail, but not after coming across a welsh knight. Anything before the 1600s is a good bit of speculation, but the hints I got matched stuff my grandmother had once told my aunt about the family. So I think I'm on the right trail.

I'm just amazed with how much information I got going back so far. I failed to mention that I also found the location of my 2nd great grandfathers grave, along with a picture of it, and it's at a church that I know exactly where it is. It's not far from where I grew up, and one day Stef and I plan on taking a trip there for her to meet my dad's family. So we may make an extra stop so I can see his grave. This is big stuff to me, I have a huge interest in history, like I said. The Civil War being something of a specialty of mine, dare I call myself a bit of a historian on the subject. I even go so far as to collect artifacts of it, so to know my family was involved in it is sort of the crown jewel of that collection in a way now. I am such a nerd, but it's fun to me.

On another note, jesus people, I was just venting in my last post. Way to kick me while I'm down, I was frustrated by the way things are going with my SSI case and needed to vent a bit. I didn't ask for opinions about whether or not I deserve it or if I can work. I can work, I just have trouble with getting to that point and need some help. I'm taking 2 separate routes to remedy that, one case gets me disability until I can find a job, the other gets me a job though makes thing difficult with getting to said job for a while. My need for disability is for the SSA to decide, if they ever get around to doing their fucking jobs. So chill out, I'm taking advice from people that I trust on the matter. What happens will happen.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ugh!

I hadn't gotten a call from social security yet, so earlier today/yesterday my aunt took me to county office. After waiting forever to talk to someone I got some extremely infuriating news. That phone appointment that I was supposed to have back in January was actually scheduled in the system as in office appointment. I brought the letter with me and apparently whoever was supposed to send it out to me got the type of appointment wrong. So they lied to me that day when I called and they said someone had tried to call me. No one called because I was supposed to be in the damn office! They completely fucked my case up from day one apparently. The person I talked to didn't have the authority to set an appointment for me. Apparently someone should be calling me in the next week or so to set up an in office appointment for me and get it all expedited. Right now I'm almost ashamed to say I was born in this country with the way federal employees have been handling this. I'm more pissed off than ever now. I just hope everything gets straightened out and I actually hear from someone this time. So far all they've done is fuck up my case and lie to me about it. I really hope I get this after all the headaches I'm going through just trying to get an evaluation out of them. That's what sucks about this, I could finally get the evaluation and then get denied and all the hard work have been for nothing.

I just want to get it over with, which could have been the case by now if they hadn't screwed everything up so badly. I'm giving the waiting for a phone call approach one last try. If a week goes by and I hear nothing I'm going back to that office and will sit and wait as long as it takes to get the fucking manager out there to see me and make an appointment right then and there. I'm tired of this bullshit! I've heard people say different quite a few times, but I don't care. With the treatment I've gotten from the SSA lately, I feel like they don't care about me at all. I feel like I'm just a number to them. What little faith I had in my government is slowly eroding away. Sorry don't fucking cut it when their mistake is only consequential to me. I'll just be glad when the whole thing is over with, whether I get it or not.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Changing Therapists

I saw my psychologist last week and talked to her about the SSI stuff. The conversation left me less than pleased with the way she handled things. I brought up the fact that my anxiety could possibly be bad enough to have been preventing me from working. All she really told me was that she would write a recommendation whenever they asked for records. Then later on in the conversation she goes on about how she doesn't think I'm disabled that the situations I've lived in were disabling to me. She pretty much told me don't count on getting on SSI. That pisses me off. She dismissed my concerns that I've been bringing up ever since starting to see her in July of 09. It's like she doesn't even stop to think that possibly living in conditions that were disabling to me could have left me with some issues that are potentially disabling themselves. I can't help it that I grew up with a family that sheltered me too much and didn't push me to better myself more. I can't help it that I inherited my anxiety problems from my mother. She didn't even stop to consider that my entire life up until I left that godforsaken town was disabling to me. It's left me quite a ways behind most other people my age.

I'm in a place now where if it were an environmental issue it would have resolved itself by now. I've been here since September and I'm making extremely slow progress at best. She doesn't seem to get that it's not as simple as walking down the street and filling out an application anymore to get work. Near the end of the visit we talked about trying to find a new therapist that was closer to where I'm at now. I'm thinking I may try to do that, although I do plan to go back at least one or two more times. I just think I've gotten all I can from her. I hate having to stop seeing her, but it's too far to go for the minimal amount of help I'm getting from her right now. I saw that the free clinic offers mental health services, so I'm going to look into what exactly that entails at some point. If there's a way I can go see someone there once a month as opposed to going an hour away and having to pay I'll take it.

I haven't heard a damn thing out of social security yet, and I'm at the point where I think it's probably a lost cause. My psychologist doesn't seem to want to be that helpful with me getting it, so if I don't have her on my side then there's no point. Voc rehab is my best hope at this point, which isn't saying much. My next move is do it the old fashion way and ask if places are hiring and look online and just put applications in until I get something or run out of places to apply to.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Been a Rough Week Pt.2

So here's part 2 of Tuesday night/ the rest of the week up until now. I was already feeling pretty shitty by the time I got home and was sitting here talking to Stef about what happened. She was trying to reassure me and cheer me up, and it was starting to work. I had calmed down after venting some and was just happy to be home so I could lay down and relax a bit. My aunt brings the mail in and I had something from social security. I thought it was my time for my new appointment and everything, so I wasn't too nervous. I open it and those fucking bastards say they're denying me because they were unable to get in touch with me on the 25th for my phone appointment.

There's a lot more to this. They also said I had never filed an application for SSI, which I did, and that I had also told them that I didn't want it anymore. They're fucking lying and putting words in my mouth now! I called that office the same day as that appointment was supposed to be. I sat by my phone waiting for that call for an hour and a half. I called and talked to someone and was told that my appointment would be rescheduled and that I should get something in the mail telling me when it was. I swear, they all must be idiots over there or something. They forget to make a new appointment for me, then they lie about what I have and haven't done.

I called the office back yesterday to try and get some answers and possibly get an appointment. It took me an hour and a half worth of redialing over and over again and being on hold to actually get a person on the like to talk to me for 15 minutes. I got her name this time, and I wrote down the time that she picked up to talk to me. I explained my situation and the best she could tell me was the manager would call me in the next few weeks to talk to me about making an appointment to come in and talk to someone. So I get the don't call us we'll call you treatment from them. If I don't hear from anyone within a week or two I'm calling and asking to speak directly to the manager. This all is fucking bullshit that I've got to put up with such incompetence from these people. I'm giving being patient and understanding one more try before I go into bitch mode and start complaining in an angrier way. I just can't win this week it seems.

It's Been a Rough Week

This week started out ok, up until Tuesday night. I went to my doctors appointment at the clinic, and I even ran into a friend in the waiting room who I hadn't seen in a long time. So I was pretty happy by the time they called me back to see the doctor, which was my first time seeing the new one too. Just my luck my blood pressure and pulse rate were up a little again, but I was honest and said that I've been forgetting to take my heart meds both times a day lately. I even attributed a little bit of it to the fact that I had gotten my lip pierced just 2 days before and it's still healing. Everything was fine though, my doctor told me she wanted to get labs on me, and that she wants them done every 3 months now, which means at every appointment for me.

I had just had labs done at my last visit in November and my old doctor only did them every 6 months, so I wasn't expecting it that night. I had only eaten one small microwave meal for lunch and a little cup of pretzel bites that I had gotten at the mall a few hours before. I thought I'd be ok, wouldn't be the first time I'd had blood taken on an almost empty stomach. The girl that did it this time took twice as long as it usually does to get my blood and was afraid she might have to stick me again. She had me squeezing some little ball thing to make more blood come out, and she filled up 3 vials instead of the usual 2. By the time I was sitting there holding the piece of gauze on my arm I was feeling light headed. I thought nothing of it until my vision started getting all weird and felt like I was starting to black out. My ears were ringing and everything sounded kind of muffled and I started to feel sick by the time I got it across to them that I thought I might puke. I sat there until they asked me if I wanted to go to the bathroom, so I said yes and they helped me up and held on to my arm all the way to the bathroom and gave me a cup of water to drink. I coughed over the toilet a few times, never puked and felt fine within a few minutes.

They held me about 15 minutes longer and checked me out before they let me leave, but everything was ok after that. I attribute it to not eating enough beforehand and them taking a bit more than usual that pushed it that far. I've been fine ever since, I think I probably scared them more than it all scared me. It was a rough experience, but I managed to shake it off pretty quickly. My aunt had brought me that night and was a little worried about me after that, so we decided to stop by Kroger on the way home and pick up some food and I was going to get some candy to get my blood sugar back up pretty quickly.

We stopped and got everything without incident. My aunt wanted to get some Mike's hard lemonade to see how she liked it since I said I'd take it if she didn't. We go to check out and the cashier cards me too since I was with her. She makes the comment of my name being unusual, but I didn't really think anything of it. She gets her stuff, I pay for mine, and as she's handing me the receipt she says have a good night sir. Cue finger nails on the chalkboard in my head, and I said nothing and just walked away rather stunned. I wasn't sure whether to be depressed or angry, I was kind of both at the same time. Depressed that I'd just been outed by my ID to a cashier at a store I go to frequently, and angry at the state of VA for making it so I can't change the gender marker on my ID without proof of surgery. That one word proved my fears of showing my ID that I've had all along true, people will see the big fucking M. I can't be angry at her, it was obvious she wasn't doing it to be mean. She probably noticed the M and said it for sake of thinking she was being polite. It's still so disheartening to have something like that happen after I've been at this for so long now. I'm writing a second post, as there's just too much from this one day to fit in one post.