Alone

I would like a partner. A wife. I am so lonely. But I don’t know how to signal interest without coming off as a creeper, or to recognize when others are interested in me. I don’t know how to flirt, or recognize flirting. I feel like these are skills that people pick up in adolescence and I didn’t and now I’m scared I will never be able to. When I’m alone at night, I get scared because I think that this is another day in a wasted year, twenty eight years old and still without a romantic history to speak of. I don’t know how these things work, I don’t how how to get them to work, I don’t know what I’m doing. People say “just get out there and meet folks” and I try, I really do, but I have crippling social anxiety, and it may be getting worse as I get older. I was supposed to go to an event today, I walked in the door, turned around and walked right out and that’s not the first time. The fear chokes me, smothers me, buries me in cold mud and I have to leave, have to escape. I don’t know what to do and I am just so unutterably alone.

I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Winter Update

Holy crap has it been four months?

Well. I suppose I have catching up to do.

The day after my last post, I was fired. My manager will swear up and down that he fired one of his best agents because I wasn’t living up to standards, but that’s bullshit. I was fired because I was trans. I’ve been limping along ever since. Had a few scary episodes, but my sister helped me through them. I’d rather put it all behind me, so I’m not going into much detail. Suffice to say, there were some very black moments where I thought it was all going to happen again.

But it won’t. I’m stronger than I was before. And, if worst truly comes to worst, my sister owns a house now. I don’t really have to worry about having nowhere to go. But I don’t want to leave Portland, if I can avoid it. I don’t want to admit defeat.

There’s an amazing program offered by Oregon State University to do a 1-year program that comes with a BS in Computer Science at the end. It’s for people, like me, who have a Bachelor’s that’s not doing anything for them. It’s pricey, though. I’m doing a scholarship trawl to try and defray the cost before I resort to loans.

Learned helplessness is a horrid, toxic thing. It’s something I fight every day. The first time I tried to sit down and look at scholarships–this happened about a month ago–I got sick to my stomach. The nausea disappeared the moment I closed the scholarship book. I’d become scared to take responsibility for my life, to make big plans and big decisions. Historically, my big decisions haven’t worked out well for me. One can only hope I’ve taken enough lumps and learned enough hard lessons that I’ll do better this time.

I investigated the possibility of doing a similar program at PSU rather than the one through OSU. It’s not looking like it will be an option, though. A bright note, however: for some reason, I’m no longer feeling ill when I look at a scholarship book. I’ve been searching through this book all night, and have seen several interesting opportunities. My goal–to apply for $100,000 worth of scholarships in hope of getting the $30,000 I need to pay for school–is wildly ambitious, but it’s not like I’ve got a huge list of things demanding my time these days.

I just finished up a temp job, which I suppose means I must find another job soon. I hate job hunting. All the more reason to return to school, at least for a year, I suppose.

I am officially estranged from my father now. Good riddance.

I finished my book. I don’t know if I said that before. Yes, I finished it. Finally. I’ve shopped it around to some agents. One seemed interested until a senior agent at his agency stepped on it, and said it was too dark to sell. Another agent requested the full manuscript, but I haven’t heard from her in six weeks. That’s not hugely worrisome or unheard of in the publishing industry, though. Angry Robot Books is doing an open call for submissions until the end of the year. If I’ve not heard back from the second agent by mid-December, I’m going to submit it on my own to Angry Robot.

The sequel is proving to be very difficult. I’ve decided to put off work on it until I get an actual bite from someone in publishing. In the meantime, I’ve begun work on a YA book about a transgender superhero. The idea is to write the book I wish I’d been able to read when I was 15.

I think I’m going to try to keep this blog more up to date going forward. It’s really soothing, and helps keep the black despair at bay.

Progress at last

Those last entries, I hope, will be the end of worrying that I cannot transition successfully. Over the past few days I’ve realized, in a very short period of time, that I am getting correctly gendered much more frequently than I had thought. If I wear the right clothes and put a little effort into it, I can be gendered correctly enough to notice that it’s happening. This lasts for as long as it takes me to open my mouth, and so now I finally am getting around to doing my voice.

A friend on Twitter has taken an interest and is helping me with this. I think something is different this time because before I always had excuses to put this part off. Thinking about trying to improve my voice scared me, scared me in a way that’s difficult to describe. Every few months I’d get over my fear and try to do it for maybe an hour or two at a time. Then I’d scurry away, terrified and ashamed, and let the matter drop for a while longer.┬áBut now I can’t wait to get off work so I can go home and work on my voice.

The plan is to sing, and use that to strengthen my throat. I’m also going to be experimenting with recording myself–note to self, find hand-recorder–to hear the difference in what I’m trying to do. There’s a whole subreddit dedicated to this stuff that I’ll go through as well, I think.

I’m still scared, but now I’m excited, too.

Summer Update

I suppose I should start blogging again.

Let’s see, where did I leave off…

Ah.

Well. For a brief bit of time there, I had heard of a career opportunity that sounded perfect for me. I learned everything I could about it, and more and more it was the right choice. Then I learned that being on antidepressants disqualifies me for it. For the six weeks or so where I thought I had a plan for the rest of my life, a strange feeling came over me. One of calm, and happiness. No matter what was going on in my life right now, things were going to be okay. I had a plan. I was moving forward. Then I learned the plan wouldn’t happen and all those six weeks of anxiety and fear caught up with me at once. I was rigid in bed, cold with terror. Not a recommended experience.

I’ve got a new plan now. It’s harder, and riskier, and with less sense of purpose and meaning, but if all goes well I should be able to buy a house in a few years. I’m going to become a coder or a database administrator. Something along those lines. Hopefully that will be enough to buy me a house and stock away some money for retirement. My sister just bought a house down in the Bay that she’s agreed to let me stay at for a little while, so that helps immensely.

A few weeks ago, I was awarded a scholarship to the Cascade Writer’s conference, and I’m really looking forward to that. The conference, and my mother’s visit in early August, are the only things keeping me here. Once those are done, I’ll be packing up to move fairly quickly. It’s been a long time coming. It took me 2 years to recover enough to be able to make decisions on the basis of what I wanted rather than what I needed to do to survive, and I’m excited to be able to make that kind of choice again.