Any tips?

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Amanda F.
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Amanda F. » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:05 pm

Sky, since you mentioned that therapy is a couple of weeks away (yay for going soon!) and that reading the posts on Scarleteen can be a bit overwhelming, I want to suggest that you do a little journaling as you read some of the posts. Heather and many other staff/volunteers have taken lots of time to write articles and advice for just about everything you've brought up so far, and we'd love to see you use those posts for support and guidance, too.

What do you think about choosing one article per day, reading it, then writing some of your thoughts down? And if reading brings up more questions, you can write those down too. Spending some time processing your thoughts and feelings through writing can be really helpful when you're working through big things like orientation, sexuality, gender identity, and what you want in life.

I know journaling isn't everyone's thing, but even taking 5-10 minutes to write some things down can be surprisingly effective at helping you clear your mind and learn new things about yourself.

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:28 pm

I’ve read them all. And I’ve read others that you guys haven’t sent me. I just don’t really have anything to say to it other then, that is what I am (genderfluid) and I have a lot of growing with it to do.

I do like to journal, I actually write poetry about the things I’m going through. I’ve been in a writers block but I got a book that is random writing prompts to ease me back into one of my main comforts/safe thing. I will try and write about it more so that I’m not here.

One of the ones Heather shared really made me feel validated and it answered all my questions. Sorry I didn’t mention that I read them. I probably sounds like an ass. But I promise I don’t mean too, just a lot of stuff on my mind. I’m very thankful for this and all you. I come back to all these and read them often.

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:41 pm

And I’m so sorry. I definitely feel I’ve made you all or some of you mad.

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:04 pm

I just am thinking a lot about my gender and sex and sexuality. I’m very how I was when I first came into the boards. I’m craving intimacy, and I have/get it with myself but I want it with someone else. My skin longs/craves to be touched by someone else’s skin.

I also, want love, I’ve had “love” with people and when I did they wanted to sleep with me and I thought if I didn’t we wouldn’t love each other and we didn’t and we fell out of love. And I think I can get it, a love that will last if I have any kind of sex with them. I always say yes when I’m alone and texting them about it and then before I see them I say no because I’m scared and not ready.

I don’t think I need actual sex with anyone. I just don’t fully know. It’s emotional and mental I want someone to love me and care for me and know me and me know them. That’s all I really want in life. And I feel like it will never happen because I’m already old, I feel like I’m so old. I don’t even like to look for things anymore because I don’t theres any point when nothing lasts.

But at the same I just wanna have fun with someone, who won’t judge my scars. It’s so hard to be queer when I believe that I can be converted like every single man tells me. Or that I don’t look lesbian. Or that girls stop talking to me when I say I haven’t had experiences with another person.

I’ve journaled pages upon pages of this and that’s how I was able to come out when I was 18. It’s just, a LOT. Like me, I’m a lot. And I’m dealing with a lot. And it’s hard to think about anything serious when I feel like I owe like 3 men my bodies and when I dont like my name anymore. It’s a lot. People in my life just don’t get me or any of this. Which is why I’ve been a pain in the ass. And it makes me want to cry because I’ve been so much here and I feel so bad but like I don’t have anyone else to talk to because they just get mad at me.

Amanda F.
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Amanda F. » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:28 pm

Hey sky,

I would challenge you to ask yourself why you feel like anyone here is mad at you. I don't think that is reflected in the posts anyone has made (though if I've missed anything, please do point it out to me). Why do you think you are having this thought/feeling?

We have set boundaries by expressing what we can and cannot help you with, but that isn't the same thing as being mad - that's just us explaining what we have the time/space/capability for. This also applies to responses - while we try to give you a speedy reply, we're also working on other things for Scarleteen's mission, so we aren't always able to get back to you right away. Boundaries are an important part of mental and emotional health. What kinds of boundaries do you have for yourself, when it comes to other people or things?

I'm so sorry that everything you've written above is causing you stress and overwhelm. That does sound like a lot to go through. As we've said in the past: you know what is right for you (and what ISN'T right/what you aren't ready for), you don't owe anyone anything, and there are definitely LGBTQ communities online and offline that can offer you support regarding your sexuality that might be good places to explore so that you have additional folks to talk to in case we can't respond right away. <3

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:33 pm

Everyone gets mad at me so I just assume that I’ve made someone mad here too.

Sam W
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:24 am

Hi Sky,

So, that tendency makes a lot of sense given what you've shared about your mental health and all the things you're dealing with in your day to day life. But, just because an unpleasant part of your brain tells you something does not mean that the thing it's telling you is true. As Amanda noted above us, or anyone, setting a boundary does not automatically mean that someone is angry or upset with you. It just means that we're making clear what we can and cannot help with.

What may be a helpful next step is bringing that tendency to assume everyone is angry with you to your therapist and asking for tools to help address and counteract those feelings when they come up.

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:04 am

Hi again.

I just wanted to pop in and say that today, I got clothing from the men’s section and cologne and I have found the basics on how to chest bind safely. I tried on the clothes and I can’t explain how happy I felt. Before I left to shop I was crying because my boobs were bigger then I hoped while trying to bind and then I went out of my room and my grandma told me how cute I looked and that every day I get more beautiful. It’s nice but it’s also, very gender specific I guess? I don’t really know how to explain that but you probably know what I mean.

Anyways, the reason I said this is because, I’ve struggled internally with this since I was about 18, and you all helped me figure it out and have been extremely patient and helpful. And today, even for a minute I felt a happiness I never have before and I couldn’t have had that without you all. I would still have it hidden inside me if this site didn’t exist.

I still don’t know a lot because it’s kinda confusing but I do know my preferred pronouns are they/them! Haha, it’s a little baby step but I’m so happy that all you humans I’ve talked to exist. You’re all incredible and you’ve made me feel like I’m able to just be a human being. You all have hearts of gold for doing this and I’m very thankful/filled with lots of gratitude :D <3

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6743
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
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Location: Desert

Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:59 am

Hi Sky,

I'm so glad that you're finding ways to feel even just a little bit more at home in your body! And I'm glad we've been able to help you out during that process in some way.

Heather
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Heather » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:11 am

Hey there, Sky. I haven't been around much on the boards because I've had a giant pile of other kinds of Scarleteen work to do that isn't letting up.

But I have noticed a pattern to your posting and such, as well as some things you've been brining up all along, that I thought I might mention to you, because I think an awareness of it -- if this is what's going on, and I think it might be -- might make a really big difference in your life.

The kind of patterns I'm talking about are:
• Expressing a level of gratitude to us here that just isn't necessary. It's nice and polite and we love a thank you, don't get me wrong! But this is also our job and what we're here to do. :)
• Feeling like people must be mad at you all the time, and doing a lot of circling around to try and check that they're not or reassure yourself around this.
• Feeling unseen, even when you are actively being seen.
• You've voiced that you feel a lack of control when unloading some things, or described it feeling like word vomit to you.
• What has sounded/looked like a good deal of codependence.
• Feeling like you owe people things you don't, or being willing to do things to please people -- or stop people from being unhappy with you -- that aren't in line with what you actually want or feel right about.

There's more, but the patterns I'm seeing all fall in line with one common kind of behaviour for people who have experienced any kind of trauma, called fawning. We (though less me, the next week holds even more work for me outside of direct services than the one before, g-d help me) can talk more with you about this, but I think this piece does a really great job of explaining it: https://letsqueerthingsup.com/2019/07/0 ... s-to-fawn/

Maybe you can have a read and see how you feel about it?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:31 am

I’ve never heard of that in my life and I don’t really understand.

I’m seeking approval for being grateful?

Yes I’ve dealt with a great deal of trauma like watching my grandparents home burn down in front of mine and my families eyes, my dad leaving me and my family when I was 3, being abused mentally and verbally from my mom and relationships, etc. not exactly sure what or how that plays any part in anything?

My gender or sexuality isn’t a trauma or a result of a trauma.

I feel like you’re trying to attack me in a sense? Which is a common feeling I have that’s not a part of my mental illness it’s literally people attack me and cut me down. It’s real. I’m not trying to be bitchy in anyway shape or form to you or the others if it seems so.

I just don’t get it? Why that has any relevance to me/my life?

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Heather » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:04 pm

I'm not attacking you. I'm just trying to offer some help, which, as always, you're welcome to take or leave.

I also didn't presume to know what trauma you may have had in your life besides what you've already shared, but I presumed you have had some since you've already told us about some of it (and now you've shared even more), and trauma is something the majority of us tend to have experienced by the time we're your age.

We are all well aware that a person's gender or sexual identity isn't trauma. When I or others here talk about trauma we are talking about emotional responses to deeply distressing or disturbing events or ongoing patterns of things like any kind of abuse -- including harassment or emotional abuse -- harm or injury, extreme hardship or loss, natural disasters, etc.

I believe what I mentioned and the page on it I linked you to has relevance to you because in my experience so far with you, I have observed you engaging in various kinds of fawning/codependence often, and, like I mentioned above some of what you've shared in your posts here have also involved what look like these kinds of behaviors and ways of thinking. You've voiced a desire to change the dynamics of certain things in your life, and have also voiced unhappiness with certain ways of thinking, ways of thinking.

It's really, really hard to change the things we can change (not everything is in our control, obviously, but I mean for the things that are) if we can't first identify what's going on. I think this is some of what's going on, and if it is, learning more about it and gaining an increasing awareness of how it's something you do could help you.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:33 pm

I’m sorry I got defensive.

I’ve read it a couple times. Still not fully understanding. But thanks? You among others I guess just see me as a “cry for help” like I’ve been told that’s all I am.

So cool, maybe I can change it.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8224
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
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Location: Chicago

Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Heather » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:14 pm

I don't ever appreciate being told how I think, so I'd ask you to please try to stop doing that with me. Telling me how I think or feel about is not only rarely going to be accurate, I also find it very disrespectful. I will ask that moving forward, with our response to me (and others), instead of posting something(s) you later feel the need to apologize for, that you take some extra time to process your feelings and then compose your responses so that they're not a kind you'd feel the need to do that about, but instead are responses you feel good about.

I do see that you have come here asking for help -- that is what this service is generally for, so you have that in common with most everyone else who used it -- of various kinds, which I and others have been doing our best to try and provide. That one thing is not a way I see you or anyone else as a whole person. Our response of help to you is based on help you have been asking us for expressly. Like I said, if you don't want it, that is absolutely fine, you're under no obligation here to accept it. But if it's bothering you to have us offer it, then you obviously might want to reconsider the way you're posting here, okay?

If you don't understand that piece, I'm sure next time someone's around, they'd be happy to talk more with you about it. I'm afraid I'm not available to do any more direct service work the rest of the weekend, myself, but I know that everyone else we have who will be available could all talk it through with you as well. :)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:21 pm

I’m open to it.

I didn’t mean to tell you how you think, that wasn’t my intention.

I’m happy to talk about it with anyone here

Alice M.
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Alice M. » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:12 pm

Can you start this discussion by letting us know what you did get out of the article that Heather posted? They listed some concrete things that we've noticed from you. Can you relate to or identify with any of those points (Heather's and/or the article)? You could start with one.

I am also someone who has experienced trauma and ongoing mental illness and I found myself relating to some parts of the anxiety examples in the article (for instance, feeling guilty when a friend has trouble parking near a coffee shop that I chose). I see you stating that your trauma has nothing to do with anything else, and I can empathize with that thinking. Many people do not want their trauma to impact them in big or small ways, but it does (quite unfortunately sometimes). There is a lot of evidence that it does and I encourage you to reread this and really think about it for a bit.

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:18 pm

I literally relate to every single one of them.

That’s why I got defensive.

Amanda F.
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Amanda F. » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:06 pm

Hey sky,

That's really interesting, that the article hit home. More self-awareness is generally a good thing - that's how we can make the changes in our lives and about ourselves that we want.

In terms of relating to the various points/behaviors, how do you think that might be influencing some of your actions and/or words, both here and off-line? Do you notice anything that you want to change in service to yourself, and how do you think you might go about doing that?

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:26 pm

Well the I don’t feel seen is a huge one, every moment of my life. And I always feel responsible for others actions.

I don’t really know how to change it. But there’s a lot about me I want to change. I don’t really get how heather sees that from just talking to me? That makes me very sad, that’s something I wanna change a lot but I don’t know exactly when they even mean so like how can I change it

Alice M.
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Alice M. » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:56 pm

It’s great that you can identify that. It’s a helpful first step.

I cannot speak for Heather. My interpretation of how they’re able to break it down for you like that includes these reasons:

- You’ve posted here a lot in a short time, so there’s a lot to draw from and I don’t mean that in a judgmental way — it’s just a fact.

- Heather has been doing this for a long time (20+ years of Scarleteen!) and they are extremely good at what they do.

That’s why we’ve been pushing for you to utilize mental health resources such as therapy. We’re able to identify these patterns here, but we are not equipped or the appropriate place to really help you with the long-term process. That process includes a lot commitment, time and hard work, likely with someone such as a good therapist.

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:16 pm

Alice, I have a question.

Are you staying that because you and I have mental illness and traumas that’s why we act like this?

Honestly I think it’s amazing that like ~strangers~ can know this about me.

I’ve struggled with mental illness since I was about 5 and I have been actively suicidal since the 4th grade, that changes a person. It really does.

I don’t know how to like change what a life of shit has done to me, everyone’s a certain way because of life, why is the way I am, needing to change? I really don’t have anyone that’s why I come to this like I did.

I’m not trying to be rude or passive aggressive or anything if it seems like that

Alice M.
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Alice M. » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Yes, I know this for a few reasons. One being that I have experienced these things myself. I also know people who have experienced them and I've also read fairly extensively about it. Trauma has a huge impact people and their development and behavior. It isn't the *only* factor that affects people (and their feelings, behavior, etc), however, it's a big one.

I'd challenge you to not use the word "change" here quite so much -- because no, we cannot change what has happened in our lives. Not to mention, the idea of entirely changing anything can feel quite daunting.

I would focus more on growth, building skills to cope and also to shift your feelings and/or behavior that isn't comfortable for you or others. Does that makes any sense?

sky
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:01 pm

It makes me very sad, but yes it makes sense

Edited to add: it’s a tough pill to swallow. I just want to be okay. Like with everything. And I know I need therapy but all she wants is to get me with someone to get meds. I don’t need meds. You all might think I do. But I don’t, Like if I’m not suicidal, I don’t feel anything really because that’s the biggest feeling I’ve ever had. When I’m not, I feel somewhat empty.

Yes I do and say things I shouldn’t but everyone does. I’m young-ish and I only know what I’ve been shown and I only know what little bit I know about myself. So much is happening in my life and this is tough to add on.

Any of that make sense?

Amanda F.
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:16 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I love to go rock climbing outside!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Queer
Location: Los Angeles, USA

Re: Any tips?

Unread postby Amanda F. » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:34 am

Hey sky,

Yeah, that does make sense. It CAN be hard to acknowledge trauma and its effects on us - that's part of why trauma is so sneaky. And it's also why seeing a professional can help. They're trained to help you work through trauma, in a way that we at Scarleteen aren't, and in a kind of fully private environment we can't provide.

About medications - You get to decide whether you want to take them. Your body, your decision; you can tell that to the therapist, too. But I would add them as a potential option to help you heal, especially as you say you've been suicidal for a very long time. They certainly don't have to be the only thing you try (they shouldn't be! they aren't an answer on their own), but they can help. Many people who have had thoughts of harming themselves say that antidepressants were helpful for allowing them to actually do the work to get to a better place. So considering how difficult everything feels right now, they might actually be helpful for a period of time.

You're at a great age (no matter how old you are) to examine your life and decide what you want it to become. We all have that capability. And then it's up to you to make it happen, one baby step at a time. And although this may be a bummer to hear, I do have to say that yes, this will be work on your part. Unfortunately, no one else can do it for you - not your therapist, not your friends, not us. Even though none of the trauma was your fault, you are the only one who can work through it. I really like this piece called Trauma Is Not Your Fault, But Healing Is Your Responsibility. It puts in perspective how even though it sucks to have to do the healing after something hurt us unfairly, in the end, it's the only way to have a life we're happy about.

I know this is all overwhelming, and you don't have to do anything about it at this moment. Take some time to absorb it all. And then, tell your therapist all about it, and together you can decide how you want to move forward: which areas you want to work on first, how you think you could be happier in the short and long term. There is absolutely hope for you and it WILL get better. It might just be a little slower than you want - but it will happen, little by little.

sky
not a newbie
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:15 am
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Re: Any tips?

Unread postby sky » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:51 pm

Thank you for saying that, and being nice, Amanda. :D :)


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