Been a while since I posted. Personal news. I changed therapists and ended the therapy relationship with the third of three good, helpful, effective therapists I've ever had in my life. The batting average per all therapists is about one in fifty so far, with local culture factors and the fact that it's a gender clinic raising the chance of another good one here in San Francisco. Many of the culture conflicts that made decent therapists bad ones for me have diminished or been eliminated.
No one in this clinic is ignorant about transgender. Most of them though, are focused on helping people through transition. I'm there beacuse it's the safe clinic to work through post-transition issues and the PTSD from a lifetime of historical horrors. The more political I get, the more I find out how many of my inner demons are outer demons and still there in the world, to varying degree by locality and culture and situation. I know a lot of transpeople had it worse than I did and had less resources to face it.
I know a lot of them are dead and I won't weigh my pain against anyone else's. I just know there are too many suicides and how close I came to being one in this life, how many times.
Julie is the second of three good therapists who let go of me because they stopped being therapists and worked on changing the system instead. There may be something about me or my situation that helps them come to the conclusion it's a good thing to do with their lives. Or in Roland's case, maybe he made too many waves and got bumped upstairs ala Peter Principle. I hope wherever he is that he is making the changes he hoped to. I know she is because I've got her email updates and I'm stunned at how big they are.
As of January, I'll be able to get phalloplasty covered by my state medical plan. The one surgery I just blow off and live without because, well, it costs too much and I have a whole long road to go before I'm up into minimum wage let alone working class let alone afford out of pocket surgeries for something that's not a matter of day to day survival. No, it's for quality of life things like oh, locker rooms. Risk of what would happen if I got busted at a protest.
I didn't go to Occupy because even with lots of other protestors swept in, I did not want to be the only man with a female organ in a men's jail. Not when rape culture, ha ha ha, is as thriving as it is in this decade. Civil disobedience is laudable, but I've always faced cruel and unusual punishment just as any transperson does. The choice of Shawshank Redemption or protection by solitary confinement is which torture's easier to face.
My former therapist was one of the activists who worked on making that phalloplasty decision happen. That is enormous. She's moving mountains.
I'm facing molehills that are mountains in relation to my physical abilities. I still don't have a case manager and need one, because fibromyalgia means I stop being articulate when I'm stressed. Add that to a real, subtle phenomenon: the person who's sick is not the one listened to. Important facts go unnoticed because it's the sick person saying it, not someone abled representing them. This is true in medical situations and also in bureaucracies.
I want out of the system. I can't just keep watching my income stay the same while the cost of living goes up every month, not just every year, by so much. I'm at subsistence level and right now it's stable. But anything can disrupt that fragile balance. The tobacco shop on the corner in walking distance closing might be the one thing that means I quit smoking or cut back dramatically and just to a pipe. Why? Because pipe tobacco's available in walking distance but the filters for rolling cigarettes are at the edge of my mobility limits. It was closed yesterday and it was closed on Monday when I went down on my routine to get the month's supplies.
I'd also need something to replace it. Seriously, something to manage stress that works that fast and matters that much emotionally. Not just physical action replacement, something that actually does, is a thing in my life that is not on the food-shelter level of survival. That tells me I am not yet so far down I will die of it. It matters symbolically. Tobacco is something that helps with the hunger and helps with focus, it does a lot of things for me as a drug, and it is also something I do for myself and reward myself with in small ways as needed. It is a self comforting mechanism and it is also the last grain of luxury in a life of subsistence want.
On the plus side, instead of the signs that say "I didn't survive HIV just to die oflung cancer" at the clinic, I could put up something like "I didn't put up with all the rest of that crud just to support big tobacco."
Quitting as political statement might be emotionally satisfying but I would need to replace it with something or things that serve all its functions, or I lose function and fall back and that pushes me too close to the cliff. It's too bad I can't get to know someone with an organic tobacco farm to trade quantity for quality and keep a very small amount of organic tobacco around as a treat. Go to the "Weekly" level instead of half pack.