It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman who also happens to have bipolar disorder. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that myself and others like me, face every day.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Job Hunting

It's been a little while since I last posted, so I guess it's time for an update. Things have been going pretty well for Stef and I since we moved in a few weeks ago. It's kind of scary officially being on my own, but at the same time it does feel good. I guess I'm getting used to it. There really hasn't been too much to talk about going on, just getting by day to day and such.

I've been working on doing some job hunting the past couple of weeks too. Thankfully there's no shortage of places to apply up here. I've mostly been sticking to art supply stores, and drug stores so far, but I came across a couple of photography studios that were hiring over the weekend. They sound pretty promising. I'm hoping that my experience from before will help me out with getting one. It's kind of scary, because I know I'll probably have to be behind the camera at some point with either one. I have confidence that I'll be able to do a good job, I'm just nervous because I've never been the one doing the shooting professionally before. I just hope that I get a bit of guidance on it, which I'm sure I will. If I screw up a shot on my own it's no big deal, I just redo it. If I screw one up in the studio my job could be on the line.

I'm hopeful that one or the other will work out. I'm not looking forward to the fact that I'll probably have to work with kids, but I guess I'll just have to get used to it. I'm not sure if I'll get either one, but I'm going to hope so.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Moved In

We finally moved into the new place last weekend. So Stef and I are officially living together now, and have been for a few days. I'm playing housewife until I can find a job, but it works out in a way. I can stay home and organize stuff and move things around and unpack while she's at work. So in a way it helps get things done faster. We got screwed over by the company we were going to rent a small moving truck from and try to do everything in one day. Never rent from Budget, we reserved a truck a week in advance, called and confirmed it with them the day before, and that morning when we got there they didn't have one in the size we reserved. All they had were a few huge trucks that they wouldn't even let use anyway, and told us to go next door to Uhaul instead. It really threw things off with moving and because Uhaul is prohibitively expensive for the trip we needed to make we ended up having to make quite a few trips with the truck and Stef's mom to help move stuff with her truck too.

Everything got done thankfully, there are a few things that will have to be moved later, but for the most part we're all moved in. It feels good, but I'm scared too. I found out earlier today that I didn't get money on my food stamps card for this month, so that means I need to make a phone call or two and see what I have to do about renewing them. Luckily we have enough food to last a week or so, hopefully in that time I can get things squared away and fixed. I'm scared that I may not be able to renew them, but I have to try and hope for the best.

Otherwise things are doing pretty well, the people we're renting from are really nice and rather nerdy like the two of us. They're people I'd want to be friends with even if we weren't renting from them, so it works out for the best. I'm hoping that this turns out to be a good move for the both of us. It's something we've both needed for quite a while to get us away from our families. It's a lot of pressure on both of us, but we're trying our best to make it work.

The best part is only my grandparents know the address or exactly where I'm at. Certain family members are now dead to me, and I want nothing to do with them ever again. It is to them that I dedicate this poem.

The Beast
one dark and stormy night I sat quietly within my room,
minding no one but myself.
suddenly there came a rapping at my door.
hearing a friendly voice, the door was opened.
little did I know that a beast was entering.
shyly it first approached, But suddenly animosity and rage poured forth
with such ferocity that I became quite frightened.
the beast attacked, wounding me quite horribly.
a state of shock set in so terrible that I could do little to defend myself.
the best attacked again and again,
forcing me from the place I called home.
it all happened so fast that I could do nothing to stop it.
thankfully there was for me a savior,
one who would rescue me from the clutches of the beast.
to her I shall forever be indebted,
for had she not intervened I would not be here today.

Good riddance to those who shall remain unforgiven.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Here Goes Nothing

Well, this is it, I’m finally moving. Stef and I found a place, so as of this weekend I should officially be moved into the new place. I’m happy, although at the same time it’s rather bitter sweet. This wouldn’t be happening in the first place if not for recent events. We never wanted to move in together this soon in our relationship, but it has been forced on us by the circumstances. My options are either move to the area where Stef lives, or live in the middle of nowhere with my grandparents until one or both of them eventually die. That’s not the incentive I want to get out on my own.

It’s an easy choice to make, but hard at the same time. Since moving back to my grandparents I have come to appreciate them and my dad’s family more than ever. They could have easily turned me away, but instead they gave me a home again. If it wasn’t for them I would have never had a decent home in the first place. They may not be my parents, but they have treated me as if they were far more than my own parents. For this I can never thank them enough.

They have never fully agreed with my choice to transition, but they have tried harder than I have ever seen them before this last month to accept me. They never have, and I’m sure never will, agree with my choice of religion either. That is one thing I have gotten more than my fair share of criticism from them about, but right now I don’t care. I haven’t always showed it, and I know that at times things can be rough between us, but they have always been there for me when it counted. We have our differences, and at times fought and argued over those, but in the grand scheme of things that doesn’t matter. They are my closest and most supportive family, and I regret so many of the things I have said to them in the past. I apologized for those many times lately, and have done more to help them out while I have been here than ever. I have so many regrets about the way I treated them over the years, and if I could go back and change things I would.

Having this time has given me a chance to leave here on much better terms than before, and leave things in better order. I had to move out rather quickly before, and only had limited time and opportunities to come back for stuff over the 6 months that I was gone. The last month has given me the chance to go through what was left behind and sort it and pack things away that need to be. I have thrown out many things, and separated quite a bit to be sold or donated to goodwill. I’m hoping to leave anything left here for now packed away neatly so as not to be in their way. I’m hoping after I move out this time that I won’t have to come back for anything but to visit, which I plan to do as often as possible. I’m honestly sad to leave, because in the last month I have grown closer to my grandparents than I have been in years.

I have found out quite a bit more about my family history from them that I couldn’t possibly learn online. I come from a long line of farmers, carpenters, soldiers, shipyard workers and a doctor or two. There isn’t a single member of my dad’s family that hasn’t worked long and hard for what they have, which has never been a great deal. A few years ago I may have looked at this as something to be ashamed of, but it is quite the opposite. I am proud of my heritage and the fact that my ancestors may never have had much, but they were proud, honest, hard working people. If I can do half as much with my life as most of them were able to do with theirs, I will be happy.

My family have been in this country since well before the American Revolution, and likely took part it in it in some way or another. They never had a lot, but gave a great deal by risking their lives in defense of their homes and country in the Civil War, and WWII. If not for my grandparents I may never have appreciated this fact as I now do. From here on I dedicate this blog to my grandparents, because without the sacrifices they have and still make for me, this blog would have never been possible. I can never thank them enough for all that they have done, and I can only hope that this move will give me the chance to do something to make them proud of me.

I can never fully make up for the regrets I have with them, but I can from now on treat them the way they deserved to be treated all along. I broke down the day I left and told my grandma that I was scared, and how much I was going to miss them after I left. I apologized for more things than I can remember, and for the first time in many years I sat next to my grandma and cried while she held me telling me that everything would be ok. Everyone cried, and I think they finally know without a doubt that I love them.

I am still scared, I’m fucking terrified, because I don’t know what’s going to happen in these next few months. Neither Stef nor I have ever done something like this before, and it’s a huge risk for us both. We risk our money, property, and relationship to start a life together. Until now the longest we have lived together was about 10 days. It’s scary to think that I could potentially move everything I own up here only to not be able to find a job in a decent amount of time and have to move back to my grandparents again. If that were to happen I know it would put a huge strain on our relationship, even worse than the last month has been on it. I hope and pray that we manage to make things work out, because as much as I love the place I grew up and my grandparents, I don’t want that to be all there is in this world for me.

If I am even half as scared as my great uncle was before landing at Normandy on D Day then I have no clue how he managed to put on foot in front of the other and go forward. I guess this my D Day in a way, it’s put up or shut up time, and failure is not an option. I came back to my grandparents broken and defeated, persecuted by those who had sworn to help me. When, not if, I succeed in my life, I give credit to no one but myself, Stef, and the gods and goddesses I pray to. I may have lost the battle, but the war isn’t over. My war is with myself, and I will win it or die trying. I was never an army ranger as I at one time aspired to be, but the phrase from their creed has stuck with me all these years thanks to a friend of mine, “one hundred percent and then some”. That is what I will give to make this happen for us.