The Silent Treatment

Last night marked 28 days/4 weeks since my roommate and I have spoken to each other. We live in a 400 sf single apartment. We sleep less than 5 feet from one another. To say it’s been challenging is a complete understatement.  I’m exhausted.

tl;dr (too long; didn’t read)
My roommate and I haven’t spoken in almost a month. Last night I initiated a conversation. We talked for over an hour. We’re sorted. I can move on. Continue to work through the issues this has bought up for me and he’s going to make more of an effort and possibly seek professional care. I’m proud of him. I’m proud of myself.  note: I also go off on a tangent about 3 times in the past where people I love have given me the silent treatment or cut off communication. 
***
The past month, this was me in survival mode:

4 pictures of dogs stuck in situations and smiling. Head stuck in a plastic chair, a doggie door a bush, a wooden gate.

current emotion: dogs who are stuck but pretending everything is fine

 

This is my roommate in survival mode:

Screenshot about mental health

When u stopped caring as a defense mechanism but now you can’t care or be passionate about anything so you just wake up every day and live life on auto pilot.

We were both operating from past trauma, which is really current trauma. For me, I knew that it wasn’t personal. We had a talk in late Spring when it had been 11 days since he’d spoken to me.

That first talk I didn’t speak up because I was feeling insecure and confused. I thought he didn’t like me, that he judged me for not being able to work and for being at the apartment a lot while I was healing from the car accident. I felt he didn’t care about me. That I didn’t matter.

I was at a point where I was in so much pain that I couldn’t go to the store to get water for myself. My other few friends in the city were busy but would help me from time to time when they could. But it was super embarrassing to reach out and ask. More than once people would ask, don’t you live with someone? Can’t you ask him?

I did a few times. I’d leave the water bottles with change by the front door. Sometimes he would. But mostly he was tired from work, or he’d forgotten. I stopped asking. When I could afford it, I bought a pitcher/water filter.

When we talked, he said it wasn’t personal, he just didn’t think about it. He needed to come home and just be to himself. He didn’t have the capacity to do anything more. He couldn’t do anything for anyone else. He told me he didn’t speak to anyone really. That he’s independent. He also told me he didn’t judge me. But he felt I was needy. I acknowledged that I like to be helpful. Being of service is my love language. I just want the people around me to have an easier time in life. If I can be a part of that I want to. We had a good talk.

I told him that we could have a much better life. We could be happier. I told him that with the world the way it is, the people we interact with day-to-day are where we could make a difference. Just like be decent to one another. We could play games, maybe cook together to save money. He said that he just wanted to come home and have his own little space in our space. To shut down and be in his own head. I said that seemed sad, that he seemed sad. He said I wasn’t responsible for his happiness. That was good for me to hear. I mean I knew that, but it was good to have him acknowledge it. I was like, but at the very least, just speak, say hi. Because I was feeling like I was a non-person. That I didn’t matter. That I wasn’t even worth interacting with. It felt gross. Inhumane. I was nearly crying when we talked that first time. After that, he put in a bit more effort. It was better/regular. We didn’t talk but it would be like, how was your day? Have a good shift. Basic stuff. He told me to not let things build up again and to just talk to him if I had any issues.

But then suddenly he stopped speaking to me.

What had happened was:

Sunday (10.27) early afternoon I messaged our mutual friend who was supposed to come pick up her cleats for a soccer game she was set to play that afternoon I had set an alarm so I’d be awake when she got here. She messaged me back to say she already had them. My roommate had dropped them off when he dropped his car off at her house on the way to the airport. He was on his way to Mexico! She’d forgotten he was going. I think he mentioned it in September but I didn’t remember either.

She said he missed his flight and I was like, Good! because I was mad.  The thing is, I was awake until maybe an hour before he left. I heard him moving around but I thought he was just getting ready for work.  If he’d have told me he was leaving I’d have set my alarm as a backup which I used to do with our other roommate. I can’t say he wouldn’t have missed his flight but he wouldn’t have overslept!

Text conversation from October 28, 2019. 3 texts.

Me: Jess told me that you’re out of town. What time will you get back on Thursday? DP: I’m in Mexico I’ll be back on Wednesday. Me: Ok

The other thing is that if she hadn’t told me he was gone I would’ve been up that night worried that he hadn’t come home! So I was hot. The next day I sent him a text:

A couple days later I texted him to ask what time he was getting back on Wednesday. No response. So I just was like, ok. I guess he’s not talking to me. I couldn’t be the one to initiate anything. First off I was too mad. I had already told him how I felt months ago and it was like again bringing up feelings of invisibility and that I didn’t matter. That my existence in this space meant nothing. A week into all this I got super lucky and got a call that I was next on the waiting list for a therapist at the local LGBT center. It had been about 4 or 5 months! But it was perfect timing to get that call.

***

My therapist helped me realize that this was echoing trauma from past relationships. I made the connection of when I was 16, the first girl I fell in love with, who’d been my friend for like 9 months, stopped talking with me for a few months after I told her I liked her.

And last week I made the connection that my last girlfriend (we broke up in 2014), also stopped speaking to me completely when our post-breakup friendship ended. We lived within 2 blocks of each other, went to the same school, would see other on the street, usually when she was with her friends. I’d speak, her friends would speak to me and she’d not even look at me. Sometimes she’d keep walking. And the thing about that is, she’s friend’s with her exes! We’d all hang out together at her house. I thought that was really cool of her. Our mutual friend said she started ignoring me to protect herself. She realized we would not be getting back together. She was hurt. I think she did it to hurt me because she knew it would. Obviously, it’s probably both. That experience was so painful that I totally didn’t think about it until last week. YIKES!

But the real kick to the head and guts, is that I have been steady playing back an incident from 2016 right after Trump was elected. With Thanksgiving coming up, it echoes something I experienced with my cousin and her now husband who voted for him.

We were at a rest-stop when we were traveling to Moreno Valley from Sacramento for Thanksgiving week. I was riding with my friend/cousin (The Trump voter’s brother) and we stopped at McDonald’s to use the bathroom and get gas. My cousin and her now-husband have 2 small children. The kids were 4 and 2 I think. Both under 5 for sure. When they saw me they came running up to me all excited. During the past year or so I saw them often because I lived with their grandmother, my Aunt. She’d babysit. They were my little buddies.

When I said hi to my cousin and her now-husband, they didn’t speak to me. They didn’t really acknowledge me. They looked away or straight ahead. Not a word. Not a nod. Nothing.

A few hours later when we got to Moreno Valley we had a family meeting and the now-husband said if I thought they were the epitome of all evil because they had voted for Trump that they didn’t want me around their kids.

I never said they were the epitome of all evil. I said that they had done a disservice to humanity by voting for him. When the now-husband made that threat, my Aunt said, in the smallest voice I ever heard from her, “How is that going to work?” I knew that it wouldn’t, so I said whatever I could to maintain the peace. They were the 4th set of people in my family who had said they didn’t want me around their kids.

1.  My nephew’s mom wouldn’t let me see my nephew if I didn’t talk to my brother about how he spoke to her/treated her. I didn’t see him for over 3 years because I refuse to be emotionally blackmailed. So gross.
2. My mom and dad now have grandparent’s rights, my brother has no rights, and they told him if he took my nephew to see me, they’d not let him see my nephew the next time they had him for a visit. They went as far as to take him home a day early when they found out my brother, cousin, and I were taking him to see Blaçk Panther with us. My dad decided to take him while my brother was at work. Me and my brother ages 39 and 36 were crying/sobbing in the parking lot at his job. That was one of the worst days of my entire life.
3. My older cousin, the bully who’s physically attacked me twice for being queer/trans, told my other Aunt (who hosts Thanksgiving every year) that his son, her grandson, couldn’t be at her house or visit if I was there. Even though I had spent 3 summers and 3 holiday seasons with him before that.

I’ll say this now. When a person is cut off from the next generation of their family, it just feels awful. There’s just no place for me with them right now.

So yeh, trauma.

Essentially, I lost my family that Thanksgiving 2016.  My home. My safe place. I don’t feel I can attend any family gathering without detrimental emotional repercussions. I felt I was/am expected to be silent and get along. I tried for about 8 months after that but ultimately started getting sick in my body and mind.  Then I left for a two-week vacation and haven’t been back for over 2 years with the exception of 6 days when I came to get a few things in October 2017.  Essentially, I’ve been dealing with homelessness since and feeling there’s no safe place to be. I’m so thankful, my friend is letting me stay here in her apartment, allowing me to heal and improve my life. But yeh, my time is up here. I need to move on. As soon as I’m able to I will. I’m ready.

***
This situation with my roommate was just bringing up stuff and making me feel not good about myself and embarrassed about being in this situation at all. Not physically being able to get around and dealing with my mental health has been a thing. LUCKILY, everything in my life is getting better. The past two weeks, the past 2 days, have been INCREDIBLE.  So much so, that I was feeling sick to my stomach when I came back to the apartment yesterday, so I just had to talk with my roommate.

I didn’t talk to him before last night because I was too angry and hurt. I started pretending like I was living in a monastery. A silent retreat. To cope. The thing is, I knew it wasn’t personal against me because my roommate is generally very considerate about being quiet at night, lights low, headphones in. We both like our space and quiet time. He also very gently closes the door when he goes to work if I’m sleeping. We do really well to be in such a small space together. He’s a good guy but just my needs aren’t his priority. He said for him, it’s enough that I’m here. That’s company enough for him. He just felt no need to speak. He’s been  doing what he needs to take care of himself.

I also coudn’t start a conversation with him before now because I want/need reciprocity in my relationships. Harmony. Mutual respect. I don’t want to engage with people who don’t want to engage with me. It’s taken a lot of energy from me, emotionally and mentally but I’ve learned a lot. This experience has given me gifts. I know my value. I know I can write, make art, do my physical therapy exercises, meditate (I’m at 56 consecutive days) and generally take care of myself the best I can, in the midst of not goodness.

***
I want to share this. The song lyrics that best represent the emotional mind-set that I have had over the last several weeks:

“Cause I can’t make you love me when you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel something that it won’t.”
-from Adele’s Live Version

I’m not sure how I’m feeling besides exhausted. I don’t feel relieved or lighter. Stronger maybe. Proud yes.

I’ve promised myself that I won’t live with someone who doesn’t love, appreciate me, and care for my well being.
I’m so happy that this part of my life is nearing its end.  Like, so happy.

To all who have made it through this jumble of words/thoughts, cheers to you. I can’t re-read/edit now. I’m spent.

Thank you for reading/witnessing this time in my life of discovery, dealing with challenging personal isssus, and healing.
Know that I appreciate you.

Gratitude-August (5)

Gratitude:

-I woke up this morning
-Still catching up with messages/emails. Making progress.
-For being able to chat with my cousin and a couple of friends
-My monster rage. I have been livid on and off for the past couple of hours. I’ve calmed down somewhat but it’s made me really tap into why I am/was so angry. Being around someone who lacks empathy has been taking a toll. I know the reasons why. It doesn’t make me any less upset. And yes, I deserve better. I wouldn’t even wish him on him.
-Knowing I can choose a different vibration.  At any time I can be in a new vibe.
-For looking in a mirror and smiling because while it is that deep, it’s also not at all.
-A roof over my head
-Beans in my belly.
-Telling my truth to others despite judgment from myself and the perceived and/or potential judgment of others.
-For practice. Guitar and Drawing.
-For you. Thanks for reading.

 

Survival, Existence, and Wellness

Every day is a challenge and I try every day to get through the day. And so far I’ve survived every day, and that is amazing!

I endure. I persist.

I can imagine but I honestly don’t know for sure/(barely) care at all, what people think of me, as far as what I do or don’t do. What I should do. If I work. How I work.

Their perceptions belong to them.
My life is mine. I do what I can with what I have. I do what I can with what has been gifted. I do what I can. What I think I can. What I feel I can. Which are all the same thing to me.

Does a healthy brain think this way?,

And if it doesn’t, which I’m honestly not sure, why hassle someone whose brain doesn’t process the same way?

Chronic homelessness. Chronic mental illness. Sometimes they go hand in hand. Without help from family members and/or friends, how do people with chronic mental illness live? How do we survive? How do we exist? Is survival worth it? Is existence enough? I think without our friends, family, and/or public assistance, most of us would be dead. Most of us wouldn’t survive. Most of us wouldn’t exist.

And most of the people we know want us here. Sometimes more than we do. At least they say they do. And I don’t know why it’s this way. I don’t know why.

Does a healthy brain think this way? Probably not. So why expect me to understand or think they way you do, or do the things you would do? I fucking can’t.

Things are getting better for me for sure all around. Financially especially. Which is a relief. Over the past 4-5 months, I’ve had stability as far as a place to live goes. This is the longest I’ve stayed every night anywhere since 2009. That was true at 3.5 months really. And obviously it hasn’t been without judgments and frustrations but still, it’s been beneficial. It’s enabled me a space in order to think, plan, and willfully implement healthy/healthier habits/changes for myself/my life. It’s given me a foundation to create from.

I endure. I persist.

Slowly but surely. Every day. It’s everyday work. I don’t get paid for all I do (yet) but I pay for it in ways that may not seem to cost but do. I’m sure you can imagine. And if you can’t, maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe.

***
A successful day for me is not the same as it is for others and I don’t think people who don’t have mental health issues can ever understand. Those that will take any job to survive and pay for things, pay to live, don’t seem to understand that sometimes, with some jobs, we end up paying more than they pay us. We end up paying with our health, our mental health, our physical health, spiritual health, energy. We end up paying with our lives. I don’t know what the answers are. I don’t know even how to end this.

I don’t think a mentally healthy brain thinks this way.

Does it?

Today I recognize that stability, a home, is a necessity. I will work from home. I will have my own business. The dream. The plan. First things first: Shelter, food, clothing. Basic needs. Then build from there. Wish me well. Thanks for reading.

Gratitude-November (16)

Gratitude:

-This public gratitude journal. The last 6 or so weeks I’ve been doing this has changed my life and way of looking at life. It’s challenging sometimes to like do it every single day but inevitably I feel better after I do it.

-My confidence level. Which directly attributes to my happiness and eagerness to push forward and try new things.

-Surprise gifts! Thanks, to my friend J for her gift this morning.

-Danny for buying me some sour gummy bears.

-My Baby Taylor. I finally started playing again tonight.

-Emotional support, lifting up, encouragement from Moon. As well as a place to be, grow, and gather myself. I couldn’t be as far along as I am without her.

-Living somewhere for 4 months. This is important. It was a record at 3 months! Prior to that and this, I hadn’t been in one place since late 2008/early 2009. That’s wild to think about. I started social transition in August 2008. I started medical transition in early June 2009. Is it a coincidence that I haven’t had a stable home life since? Causation? Correlation? Regardless, I’m part of those statistics about transpeople. Suicidal ideation, hospitalization, chronic homelessness, spotty employment history.
BUT I’ve earned 2 degrees and was 4 classes short of another. I’ve been privileged as far as friendships (old and new). I’ve met so many good people. I have mentors now. I am a part of many relationships that are about supporting one another (mainly emotionally, psychologically) through life. My heart is open in a way I couldn’t have imagined. I’m secure, grounded, eager, passionate, creative, excited about the future.
I am looking forward to when I have a place of my own. At least a room of my own! Until then every day that I have a roof over my head, a warm place to sleep, in the city I feel I’m supposed to be in (of Angels), I know I am fortunate.

-Experience. Experience as a teacher. Experience to grow on.

-A solid pervading sense of self-worth.

-Opportunities to walk those beautiful lines of knowingness, courage, humility, sincerity, compassion.

-Betrayal. I know that may seem an odd thing to be grateful for. The word keeps coming up in my mind. How I may have felt betrayed and how others have perhaps felt betrayed by me. It’s been But it really is about recognition, perception, and with that perception, surviving it, acknowledging the feelings, working through them, forgiving if/when necessary.

I am grateful today for the series of losses I’ve had this year. Most specifically with certain family members and (former) friends. I am better for it. I can see how fear, miscommunication, and confusion are at the roots of each encounter. There are so many sides to each of the stories. I know that we all do the best we can with what we know. The best that has come from each situation for me is that I am no longer in relationships, surroundings, or situations that aren’t in resonance with my soul vibration/highest good.

I’ve been thinking the last few days or so that I feel like Buffy at the end of S2. I completed me 20th solar cycle between the airings of Becoming (Part 1) and Becoming (Part 2). Now, 20 years and 6 months later I recognize the completion of a major soul lifecycle. I will do what needs doing. Play my part to the best of my abilities.
This is a New Beginning. A new type of Becoming. Phoenix-like. Forged through Fire. Ready to burn bright and true. Light. Warm soft blaze. Steady flame.

-For 180 consecutive days of meditation. Which is an all-time record! Dang proud of myself for this accomplishment.

Cheers

Feel free to share anything you’re grateful for in the comments below 🙂

Ta

Gratitude-October (9)

Gratitude:
-For food. Open Nature chicken sausage, spinach with red pepper, avocado, cucumbers, warm green tea, toasted Coconut Cookie thins (yum), red and green seedless grapes.
-Roof over my head.
-Tumblr Dash/Messenger
-Myself for getting down to the county office to check my mail.

DPSS_Classic_10.09.18

-Los Angeles public transit
*Special thanks to the bus driver who let me ride for free because I got on the wrong bus. He got to his last stop and I was like..uh..when it was time to go I went to put a token in and he waved me on 🙂 So YAY!

Me_Drep_10.09.18

Thankful for all the love in my life.
T. for her sweetness, generosity, and for lightening my load.

Feel free to share anything you’re grateful for in the comments below 🙂

Ta

Gratitude-October (7)

Gratitude:
-Successful fast.
-The talk with Moon. I am thankful that she’s given me a place to live while I work toward creating my life in this city of Angels Spirit moved me to be.
Creator, lead me to a place and means to afford this place I’ll live in and create in. I’m ready to prosper.
Amen-So Be It.

-Mindfulness
-Clarity
-Affirmations
-Meditation (140 consecutive days!)
-Myself for doing the work
-T. for kinship
Kinship
-Love. Love of self and others. Love in expanse.

And now THE WORK.
To focus on the things that I need to focus on to transform my life to the Happiest, Healthiest, most Helpful version.

Thankful for all who are following this journey.

Feel free to share anything you’re grateful for in the comments below 🙂

Ta

Recent Past and Present Good Stuff

Time for good news sharing:
Inspired by my awesome new therapist. Reminding me to maintain healthy boundaries, to concentrate on my health in every way, which means providing for my basic needs: food and shelter, while I continue to move forward in my chosen career path. This seems maybe simple or obvious to people about the food/shelter part but it hasn’t been easy or simple for me for many reasons that I’ll one day be able to convey. Sorting through stuff now.
I am so damn grateful for the mental health services and social services here in San Diego. That I was able to see a psychiatrist, get a therapist, see my primary, and get a case manager (social worker) to help me find transitional housing (I’m hoping) and employment, is just incredible. All this in less than 2 weeks. Fortunate. Totally.
****
I have an incredible ability to focus/concentrate but not on multiple things at once. Tunnel vision is a great thing sometimes, detrimental at others. Perseverance is my special gift. So I know I can do what needs to be done to change my situation. Wouldn’t be able to do it without social support and the mental health and social services in place.
I’ve made choices. I choose what I feel I can do that gives me life. That doesn’t drag me down or feel soul-crushing. School had been the focus for so many years (I love learning) and now legitimately wholeheartedly creating LGBTQ content is the focus because I love us so fucking much and I know it saves people’s lives. Queer content has saved me. Media, ex. movies, tv, music, books, have gotten me through hard times over my life span and added to the overall beauty that is existence. Now at the same time, I am working on caring for myself financially because that is part of self-love too. And as my therapist shared with me, it’s hard to be mentally healthy if you don’t have a safe, stable, place to live. So on I go.
***
The past 8 months have been full of incredible learning experiences and so many opportunities. Applying for programs, workshops, attending conventions, etc. Making “Forward” Making beginner’s mistakes with “Forward” and dealing with issues unforeseen. *side note* We’re reshooting in 2 months. If you know of a soccer field we can use for two 9 hour days, get in touch please!
While all these awesome things have been happening, I’ve been cash poor (I grew up in poverty so this is something I’m used to that maybe now I’m thinking I shouldn’t be used to?) but I’ve been lucky enough to mostly every night have a place to crash during this transition from student to being out in the world living the dreams.
****
I want to thank my film people from LA and my film people from Sacramento area. Whenever I’ve needed help for film-related stuff, everyone I’ve contacted from Sac State’s film program, professors, alumni, current students, have been there for me, with advice, feedback, and help with Forward’s production. Infinite thanks and appreciation to you all. You know who you be 😉
And I want to thank my friends and family who’ve helped me out financially in the last few months. Especially recently when I’ve needed a bus pass to get around and as bad as this is, personal hygiene items. Yeh, I pretty much hit rock bottom in late May 😦 40 is a trip. It’s a life changing time. I’m up for it. It’s on!
****
This past year or so I’ve met so many people. New forever friends (I hope), people trying to make it, people making it, and people who have been making it for years. I will share that I have a mentor in the industry now. I was part of a small crew that interviewed him in April (my last paid gig *sigh*) and am now in a position of confidant and writing that probably won’t ever see the light of day. It’s super cool. Learning a lot about television and I feel really fucking fortunate and thankful for him.
I’m on a first name, hugs, beer giving, basis with the showrunner of Wynonna Earp (which you should totally watch because it’s fucking fantastic), and I get to see her in a few weeks (I hope) if I can get my shit together. She’s inspiring and supportive in so many ways. Her motto: Do No Harm But Take No Shit. One day I’ll be able to totally share about all that she’s done for and meant to our production team.
****

Earlier this month I met and attended a workshop at Youtube Space LA. Many people who are doing all kinds of LGBTQ media were in attendance. There were people just starting out, those of us who are in the middle of projects, and those who have completed things that I’ve seen on the air.

 

We were able to meet the man responsible for Netflix’s One Day At A Time. He took the (remake)show from idea to reality. He was incredibly generous with his time and sharing his career experiences. I’ll be at a live taping of a S3 episode later this summer.
At the same two day event, I was fortunate enough to have meals with and joke around with a showrunner/writer/producer of a show no longer on the air but which meant a lot to me when I was in my early 20s. Super cool to be able to talk with her and tell her in person what it meant to me, what a difference it made in my life. She’s funny, charming, generous, and has offered to read “1 thing” and give notes. So when it’s ready I’ll be sending my “1 thing” off to her. I’ll see her next April at a convention for LGBTQ women and allies. Psyched about it. Something to look forward to.
****
I want to be clear and say, even with meeting all these people, I still gotta do my work. Sometimes things fall into place but there’s always the work behind it. Oprah said years ago that success is opportunity plus preparedness. It may look someday to some people like I’m an overnight success story. That I popped up out of nowhere. That I’m a diversity hire possibly or what not. But some of you all will know what’s up. Some of you all have known me since age 16 when I first started writing and directing one-act plays. And one of you has known me since we were 13 when I first shared this dream out loud. (Love you, J!)
****
I’m currently wanting to get back to LA as soon as possible. It’s only been like 3 weeks but I’m missing it. I’ve decided to make it home for a while. I feel it’s where I need to be. Send good thoughts my way about this move if you will. Money is a thing.
****
Any old way, I’m just wanting to share some good-ish stuff with you all.
What’s a cool thing or a good thing that’s happened or is happening with you?
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