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Lower than a snakes belly

Discussion in 'Self Esteem/Self Worth' started by AudryLeigh, Oct 25, 2019.  |  Print Topic

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  1. AudryLeigh
    Malnourished

    AudryLeigh Transsexual Lesbian
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    Hi, it's Audry,

    I had been dealing with a bit of a low self esteem issue for a while, and had begun working my way through a good self-help book called Beat Low Self Esteem With CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Seems like a good book. I felt like I was getting somewhere, and then it started talking about how low self esteem comes about: abusive or hypercritical parents, being bullied at school, poor grades while in school, unsatisfying career, and the like and I realized that absolutely none of that applied to me. The best parents imaginable, popular in school -- no bullying, always excelled in school and extracurricular activities, a positively amazing career... Where were the roots of my low self esteem? My career had been as a contractor to the US government, and all the governments in the free world. My work was not only considered necessary, but absolutely crucial to the stability of the post cold war World. Everywhere I went I was a VIP and got the utmost respect from everyone. I could walk through any security gate in this country with a nod and a wink -- absolutely everyone in every agency that was connected with security, law enforcement, the State department, The Department of Defense, the upper echelons of the military, Intelligence agencies, etc., etc., etc., knew who I was. I would go on lecture/training tours doing 3 day sessions for up to 3,000 people at a time... I was truly a VIP, and a very highly valued one at that. Then one day, just like that, I couldn't do any of the things I'd been doing. I made medical textbooks for being the first person known to medical science to have overworked a part of my brain to the point where it overheated, and brain cells died. I could not do what I had been doing so successfully, ever again. There were a lot of other things I wasn't going to be able to do too, but that was never talked about. I lost my job instantly and was put on security blacklists. None of the people I had worked with could so much as say "Hi" to me on the street without losing their job (I had been doing highly classified work, and that community is like that -- you're either an insider or you're you're someone to be avoided). There was panic for a while because nobody else in the free world could do what I had been doing -- I was one of the top computer programmers in the World, plus I could teach and lecture with the best of them, and I could pass security muster. Anyway, overnight I went from being highly respected and valued by many of the most important and powerful people in the World, to just another old man trying to live on a disability income. That was the first time since I was 20 that I didn't have a [good] job. It did give me my first opportunity to take the time to think about myself, and it was then that I realized that I was and had always been female (at 59 years of age) -- a realization that lit me up like a shooting star, and made me the happiest girl in the world, and also with all the life changes and things involved in becoming female (including hormone therapy) I was so consumed that it was easy to be in denial about what that brain damage had really done to me. Some things I had to become aware of, because they were necessary for day to day living. I couldn't really deal with numbers any more, so anything to do with money was pretty much beyond me, I couldn't remember to eat, so I had to have someone around to make sure I ate and kept appointments and the like. And there were a few other things, but still I was able to remain in denial about just how badly damaged my mental abilities were. I could still sing, and like everything else I've ever done, I could do it very well -- so I became a Karaoke addict, going out and singing Karaoke 5 or 6 nights a week. I had a social life, and I'm very personable and made lots of friends and became very popular within the Karaoke community -- all things that made it easy for me to remain in denial about the truth of my mental condition. But while working through the book on self esteem, and wondering where my very low self esteem came from, it suddenly hit me -- going from a world class VIP to a nobody would be a crushing blow to anybody, and it had crushed me nearly into powder 20 years ago, but I had just then (about a week ago) finally allowed myself to think about what that really had meant. I cried all the rest of the day and all through the night, and I've been crying a good part of every day since. I had been seeing myself as who I used to be (except for the man part of it), but just realized that that was a total lie -- I'm not anything like that person any more. Unlike many transsexuals, I hadn't banished my former self -- I had accomplished a lot of very worthwhile things in my life, things of which I was extremely proud, so I had let the old me live on. Not as part of me but in people's memories, but that had allowed me to continue to see myself in a very unrealistic light. My lifelong, live-in, in-home caregiver suffered a stroke (or something) a few weeks back and had to leave me. So now here I am, all alone, driven into the ground by the knowledge that I'm really a non-trivially mentally handicapped person with no family left, and very few friends of the type who would put themselves out to help me, and none financially capable of doing so. The obvious thing to do would be to give up everything I have ever known and move into an assisted living facility, but every time I even think about doing that, I burst into tears (just mentioning it here has me sobbing). I'd rather be dead than live like that. I don't know what to do. I'm seriously mentally handicapped and have no support system. People don't understand how I can be so down, but then nobody can even begin to comprehend how far I fell. At 72 I'm still in excellent health. I'm popular, apparently quite attractive (people think I'm in my early 50s), have an active social life, lots of friends, many of whom are now worried about my mental health, but none of them in a position to help me with anything except kind words. I feel less than worthless. I can't even really take care of myself, and that's going to catch up with me very, very soon. I have gotten so many people here on this website through periods like this, but I can't help myself. Now I feel like I'm a waste of the air I breathe, the food I eat, and the space I take up. I tried to kill myself, but after I had started to pull the trigger, the intensity of it all caused me to have a seizure and the bullet ended up going through the floor -- I can't even kill myself without fucking it up. I still go to Karaoke once or twice a week, but whatever happened to my caregiver has left her mean and nasty -- not at all the person I had known and loved for so long, and someone who now frightens me, and she still goes to Karaoke regularly, so I mostly just stay away. I stay in my room, try to remember to eat, and somehow manage to still be of some value here on this website. I don't know why I even posted this -- I don't think there's anything anyone can do. I guess I just needed to get it out, though I don't really think I'm worth enough to burden people with my sob story. I'm just going to shut up and cry myself to sleep and hope I don't wake up -- like I've been doing every night for a week now.

    Audry
     
  2. Corvus
    Chatty

    Corvus I'm just me ^_^
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    Hi Audry, let me start by giving you a big, big hug. I'm still new here and aside from the few posts I've read from you I don't know you very well but I can tell you I understand how scary and terribly frustrating it is to lose parts of your mental capabilities while retaining enough to realise how far from "normal" you fell. It happened to me as well (although not in the same way as you) to the point where I always felt unsure and unsafe with myself.
    You seem to have a strong personality and from what you say still a vibrant social life so I can imagine how thinking about going into an assisted living facility can be a no-win prospect and since I don't know where you live I can't really know if any of what I'm going to say applies to you but here goes.

    Over here there are assisted care facilities that feel more like extended room service than anything else. They keep an eye on you when you're there, help you with your morning routine if you can't do it on your own, keep track of your medication and appointments and then, as long as you're still mentally fit enough to go about your life you are free to do so and whenever you return they'll be there to give you a hand if you need it.

    If it still sounds like too much there are also communities of regular houses and apartments that function a bit like a village; people help each other out by offering their services...some people babysit the community kids, others give legal advice, others help taking care of people who need special care...basically whatever your skills are, you put at the service of the community. The important thing here is, there are always a few houses reserved for people with physical or mental problems and the community helps them living a normal life without the need of "professional help". Instead of being surrounded by nurses and in a facility your neighbours with come by a few times a day, help you clean the house, bring you groceries or dinner, and ask if you'd like to go for a walk with them. Of course the more independent you are the less will be done for you. The idea is to help you be as independent and active as possible, not to steal that away from you. I find that quite a pleasant alternative.

    In any case, I know it's easy to feel worthless and give in to depression and hardship but please don't. We still need you and you still need you. Fight for yourself...we will. :) 
     
  3. AudryLeigh
    Malnourished

    AudryLeigh Transsexual Lesbian
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    Thanks Corvus,

    You live in what I perceive to be one of the most socially enlightened and progressive countries in the world. We have things like you described here, but like so many things in America they're pretty much for the rich. My last job had left me very well to do, but not realizing how much my ability to deal with money had been damaged, I pretty much pissed it away -- $300,000 dollars just gone. I had lost most of the rest to a nasty divorce. My daughter (not blood related) had become homeless nso with the wife out of the picture, she moved in with me and took care of the things I couldn't. After she had been here a few years, she had a daughter -- I had my daughter and my granddaughter living with me. Those were absolutely the ten best years of my life. My granddaughter was born right about the time I realized I was female, and I started living the life of a woman. She was fine with it. We coined a few phrases like "Daddymom," and my granddaughter called me Grampa Audry. It worked fine. Then I started hormone therapy. Since I was "retired," I spent many hours every day with my granddaughter every day (which was good because my daughter had come from a shattered, dysfunctional home and had absolutely no clue how to be a mother). Since my granddaughter spent so much time with me, she was the first (besides me) to notice my budding breasts. Thinking it was a perfectly innocuous term, I called them "boobies." My daughter went through the roof, and rather quickly developed a Fundamentalist Christian attitude towards transsexuals. She began battering me with all kinds of transphobic shit until I was on the verge of suicide. I called Adult and Disabled Protective Services, and a lady came out and interviewed me. She told me that as harsh as it was, my daughter was going to drive me to suicide, and I had to get her out of my house -- with a restraining order. I was shattered, I knew that would be the death knell for that entire part of my life -- that I'd never see my daughter or granddaughter again (maybe see my granddaughter when she turned 18 -- she was 7 at the time). But it really was life or death for me, so I had to do it. It tore me up so badly that I was unable to testify in court because I was crying so hard I couldn't talk. The judge read the situation accurately anyway, and granted the restraining order. My daughter was devastated. I was the only real parent she'd ever had, and had been providing the only real security she had ever known, but she caused the entire thing (and she's not even really a Christian). The judge kept trying to give her a chance to create some middle ground -- agree to some family therapy or something, but she referred to me as "he" for the entire hearing, which the judge warned her about several times. She used the pronoun "he" one too many times. The judge became furious, charged my daughter with contempt of court, granted the restraining order, and brought her gavel down like she was trying to shatter that little puck the gavel lands on, and just like that, my family was gone, just as quickly and surely as had been my government position. I don't know why I'm relating all of this, except nobody has ever heard the full story before and maye I feel I need to tell it. Maybe I need to hear t myself to get a handle on just how much I have been in denial for the past 20 years. It's tearing my apart to tell it. I've been getting hit with anxiety attacks so severe that the chest pain is disabling and I have to lay down and just breathe for a while before I can type more. I think I've already said too much -- it's just a personal sob story anyway, and the chest pains are getting too bad to continue. Thank you for putting up with me, and for your suggestions. I'll have to see if there are any such facilities here that are subsidized or something, so that people of meager means can afford them, but with our current administration, I doubt it.

    Thanks again,
    Audry
     
  4. zacknewman78
    Insomnious

    zacknewman78 FTM, learning to love myself the right way
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    Hello Audry,

    I don't know how this words of mine can help.
    But please hang on. Even if it's just for one day at a time.

    It might be hard to open your eyes first thing in the morning and realize you are still alive.

    But just hold on a bit longer, hopefully good things will catch up with you.

    When its too hard to walk, just stay still. If it's too hard to stand, sit for a bit.

    I can only imagine how hard it is. Take a deep breath, gather your strength, and try to move. Bit by bit, till you get to where you need to.

    I'm sure it's out there. Don't give up yet maybe you just a week away or even a day away to be where you can finally can open your eyes one morning, and be happy of who you are, where you are and looking forward to the things you want to do for the rest of your life.

    It's hard to see when it's dark but the light will come. Eventually
     
  5. Corvus
    Chatty

    Corvus I'm just me ^_^
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    AudryLeigh Yes, in terms of laws and (theoretical) government protection against discrimination the Netherlands is up there in the ranks but sadly the overall acceptance has been going down...I still suffer abuse for being a foreigner ("thankfully" I pass as straight cis male so no extra problem with that) and my son has been physically and verbally assaulted for being genderfluid. There is still a lot of work to be done.

    It pained me immensely to hear about your daughter and I understand the pain (emotional and physical) that writing about it causes you. There were things done to me by family members that I need to get off my chest but every time I try to write them here my hands start shaking and I promise myself "I'll do it tomorrow". I know these words sound empty but I think you're really brave opening up like that.

    There is a solution, there has to be. Just stay with us until we can figure it out.
     
  6. AudryLeigh
    Malnourished

    AudryLeigh Transsexual Lesbian
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    Hey Zack and Corvus,

    Thank you for the kind words,
    Audry
     

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