One fluffy magical ball of fur.

Believe in miracles.

Losing the Fear
The reality of being full-time is that I can't present perfectly all the time, and it's ridiculous to try.

I just came back from the local convenience store, wearing no makeup.  I haven't shaved my arms in two days.  I'm eating a nice sandwich.

I doubt that I was passing at all.  I kept fluctuating between worrying about what people around me were thinking, and not really caring what they thought.  For moments at a time, I was wandering through the store, almost drunk on life, just being me.

I probably looked crazy to them.  Maybe I am crazy.  Well, whatever.

A nice man held the door open for me as I left, and smiled.  I smiled back at him.

Funny thing... while I was in there, I had briefly had a visual flash in my brain of someone who was passing behind me... stabbing me in the back with a knife.

I didn't let it bother me too much.

As I swayed easily back to my car, I remembered that I have PTSD.

I remember living as a man, a couple of years ago, being afraid of an office party.  Being unable to keep track of what all those people thought of me meant I would have no warning when one of them was about to attack.

And my PTSD flared up in the store again tonight, with a visual flash of a knife sunk into my back.  But it hardly even bothered me.

Driving back home, I realized something.

I'm so done with fear.  Fear is a stupid waste of my life.

I remembered that as a trans woman, I am sixteen times more likely to be murdered than the cis population.

And I didn't even care.  I'm fine with it.

I'm not even afraid.

I'd rather die being me, than live as someone else.  At least I'll die happy.  I'm good with it.

xainy, dirac
It has occurred to me that I've lost track of what's been going on in my life, it's all been a blur.  Here's a brief recap:

Dec 25, 2011: First episode of chest pains on the job.  Spent overnight in the hospital for a possible heart condition, was later cleared.

Summer 2012: Second episode of chest pains on the job.  Had to leave in the middle of an assignment and drove myself to the ER.

Fall 2012: Noticed that not as much work was being given to me at work, especially field assignments.  Fell into depression and avoidance patterns... especially roleplay.   Psych took me out of work for three weeks, two weeks of that was partial hospitalization.

February 2013: Big round of cutbacks and layoffs at the company.  I kept my job but was reduced to 30 hours.  About a week later I was taken out of work by my psych and sent to partial hospitalization, first for 2 weeks, then for another week.  Was feeling suicidal much of the time.  Was put on short-term disability for a couple of months after that, started feeling better and spent a lot of time socializing with friends.  Pretty much ignored future plans.

June 2013: Returned to work, started having constant anxiety about job security, made it difficult to sleep.  Made it to work for three weeks and one day, then was admitted to an inpatient hospital for one week for being suicidal.   Was frustrated at myself for letting myself get that bad and went back to work the day I was released from the hospital.

July 2, 2013: Continuing to work with difficulty.  Found that in addition to job security concerns, have serious financial problems I've been ignoring.  I'm in about $28k of debt, mostly credit cards, mostly having to do with home improvement.  Funds low, $502 in the bank, should have enough to pay the mortgage and utilities for the coming month but credit cards are another story.  Have combined stress of job insecurity and difficulty making ends meet even if I do keep my job.  Have been isolating myself both personally and at work, sinking deeply into depression.  Suicidal thoughts multiple times per day but keep trying to shake those off.  Trying to continue to do as good of a job as I can at work despite the distractions.  Also started some job hunting.  Trying to avoid going back to the hospital as that will only make the situation worse - more lost pay and more loss of job functions.

July 4, 2013: Managed to crawl out of bed and finish this post.  Went to credit counseling on the 2nd, looks like my only options are getting a second job and hoping that I can keep both, or declaring bankruptcy.  Declaring bankruptcy costs like $1500 though.  Have been going to work every day; left a bit early and avoided computers for a bit when I caught myself researching suicide methods online.

Fish Adoption
xainy, dirac
Sorry for not updating in forever, Livejournal. I'd just like to mention that I adopted a fish recently and made a video about it, which is here:

P.S. - I've forgotten how to embed video properly XD

Flying tonight
xainy, dirac
My father flat-lined last night but they brought him back.  Late last night my mother, my sister and I agreed to give the hospital instructions not to revive him if it happens again.

I'm flying out in a couple of hours, despite the expense.  I've planned two days of visiting my father followed by two days of sailing my troubles away.

I may regret spending the time and money but at least I'll get a mini-vacation as a consolation prize.  I might end up being a lot more sorry if I miss the opportunity to go.

There will be no funeral.  He'll be cremated in Florida and his ashes are to shipped to Delaware where he'll be placed in a veteran's cemetery.

Wish me luck.

"A Nurse's Heart Attack Experience"
xainy, dirac
I don't normally pass along chain letters I get, but I'll make an exception because this one actually seems worthwhile.

Info about female heart attacksCollapse )

Replenished by wilderness
xainy, dirac
I just got finished watching the first segment of the PBS program The National Parks: America's Best Idea. It's a fantastic and beautiful documentary of the the formation and early history of the U.S. National Park system. Watching it really got me thinking about how, while I do work as an environmental consultant, I've fallen out of touch with nature somewhat with nature in these past few years. I need to go back to the wilderness, I realize, and in a very bad way. I've been trying to buy a house lately, but a house is only ephemeral. The wilderness is the only place that I'll ever truly feel at home.

I highly recommend the series. At first I thought that I was in just for pretty scenery, but it turned out to be a lot more educational and thought-provoking than I'd imagined. I actually cried in parts. I'm not ashamed; is there anything more worth crying for?

What is Money?
xainy, dirac
Last night, I came across a really eye-opening video called "Money as Debt" in five parts. I don't think I've ever said this before, but seriously, EVERYONE needs to know what's in this video. Hardly anyone does. It explains how the monetary system in practically the entire world is inherently corrupt and unsustainable. Okay, I know this is probably not a huge shock to you, but this video explains HOW it works. It also explains why the system must, sooner or later, damage society, ravage the environment, and sooner or later, come crashing down on itself.

Seriously, it's pretty heavy stuff, but watch it. Very few people know this stuff, and you need to know.

Watching the waves
xainy, dirac
Tonight I sat on the sand at Rehoboth Beach, watching the waves roll in, feeling uncomfortably out of sync with my companions of the day. The ocean spoke to me, though, and mended my vexed mind.

I am spending this entire week by the beach, playing my part in a wetland restoration monitoring project. It does feel good to be part of it, at least when I'm convinced that I'm actually doing something good for our beautiful planet. I am pleased with the work that we accomplished today. But what happened tonight led me to doubts.

After work, the four of us checked into our hotel, got changed, and went out for dinner. I was the only vegetarian there, and the only one not drinking alcohol (I rarely drink.) It was a touch awkward, especially because my coworker Becky got drunk and teased me about not joining in the imbibement. I was relieved to find that we all agreed to visit the Rehoboth boardwark afterwards. I had visions of enjoying skeeball and putt-putt and riding the ferris wheel. To my dismay, however, the other three found a bar almost immediately, and decided to continue drinking. Having had enough of that already, I politely told them that I would go off to do my own thing and meet up with them again at a later time.

In my wandering, I found skeeball, putt-putt, and the rides already closed for the night. The video games had little pull with me. I wandered onto the darkened beach, sat down on the sand, and watched the frothy waves pour in. At first, I found it difficult to concentrate, and the water did little to ease my sense of alienation. But eventually, the ocean began to speak to me in the way that it always has, and gradually, I began to feel at home again.

Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that the others have the deep sense of connection to nature that I often feel. Perhaps they find other ways of expressing it, or they keep it secret. Perhaps I just hold too much prejudice against people who drink. But I hope that they feel it, at least sometimes. I admit that I also don't connect to raw nature as often as I feel I should. There are a lot of things I don't know. But I do know that the ocean spoke to me tonight, and I'm strangely glad that the events of the evening drove me to commune with the sea on my own. This evening had a little spot of time in it that was magical to me. It won't be soon forgotten.

My next boat...
xainy, dirac
I have gotten soo into sailing, hooked really.  I'm currently shopping for a house so It's gonna be a little while before I can afford to move up to a bigger sailboat, but I've already done a lot of looking to see what I'd like.  My requirements are as follows:

* Two sails (no 'catboats')
* Seats 4-5
* Has a cabin
* Has a porta-potty
* Trailerable with a compact car (1500 lbs is the rated tow capacity of a new Toyota Matrix.  I'm thinking Matrix, Scion xB, or a small SUV like RAV4 / Escape for my next car)
* Set up and launch within 45 minutes max
* Sleeps 2
* Can sit up inside comfortably
* Decent performance (at least average)
* Able to add a boom tent for additional space on overnights
* Should not be UGLY

I did a lot of searching and have whittled the list down to 5:

O'day Mariner (19 ft, 1400 lbs incl. trailer):

Macgregor Venture 21 (21', ~1175 lbs + trailer)

Precision 18 (18', 1500lbs incl. trailer):

Montgomery 17 (17', 1600 lbs incl. trailer):

O'day 20 (20', 1600lbs incl trailer):

These are my favorites after many hours of whittling down lists.  I'm not buying a new boat anytime real soon, this is mostly a bookmark for future reference.  Someday a boat like this will be mine.  ^.^  

I am George Washington
xainy, dirac
I took Nessie and crossed the Delaware River by myself yesterday - and back again!  The trip was about 2 miles each way... more like 3 on the outward leg cause of all the zigzagging.  It was a rough, gusty day too, but I made it okay and only took on about 20 gallons of water in the process *snickers*.    Hooray, I am getting better at sailing!    I put in at Pennsville, NJ and beached up in Battery Park in New Castle.  I had a crowd of onlookers staring in disbelief as I set back off from the park, and received several comments of  "That's crazy!" and "I couldn't do that."  I'm very comfortable around water, though, always have been, and my skills are definitely improving.


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