I’m energized. Two great things happened:
1) I went to DC to talk science policy and rub shoulders with other policy wonks. I was the overeager young grad student, but I met a lot of great people and networked effectively for the first time. Still no job prospects, but lots of potentially useful contacts, and I have a year to get jobbing. The meeting highlighted the grim outlook for federally-funded science; but, at the very least, I’m inspired careerwise.
2) My girlfriend and I broke up. We are still living together, but we will save money and are getting along better than we have in a while. It’ll get complicated no doubt if/when we date other people, but thus far it has been a huge relief. I have places to stay too so I’m not here every night.
3) Financially I’ll be okay, thanks to a small bailout from my parents. Apparently not enough of my taxes are being withheld, leaving me in the position of owing over $1000 and I’m not sure why because I’m at 0 allowances. I hope never to need a bailout again, but feel really fortunate that they were there for me.
The sun is out; this will all end up just fine.
On gender and sexuality
I thought dating women would fix everything. I felt pain and numbness and I never want to touch a man again. I grew weary of the costume and the fakery and not knowing my attractions. I think I blamed myself for a long time for not knowing my own attractions, for not being in touch with my sexuality. And then the bubble burst when I felt for women. And I thought I’d replace the detachment men exude with something deeper and more meaningful. I thought I’d experience connection for the first time. I didn’t think about the trauma inherent in womanhood and how difficult it is to have two people broken in the same way in a relationship. That balance can be hard to come by.
And I certainly didn’t think I’d ever experience emotional trauma again. I’m just so broken right now. I detach a lot from stuff going on around me, and probably have been for a long time. And as a result I hurt others and I can’t process my own pain. My life is not my own and I just detach to deal with that.
Dont get me wrong. Transition is absolutely the right choice for many. I need that disclaimer before I say I t would not be for me. I’ve gone back and forth about gender and overall don’t identify strongly with femalehood even stripped of its stereotypes. But it would be a mistake for me not to realize that I do desperately want to escape my lot in life, that getting a new stronger body is incredibly tempting. It would be a mistake for me to fail to realize that my self would follow me to wherever I transition to, that I can’t divorce this body from this mind no matter what I do to it. That muscle will not protect my tender spots. That changing myself will be a lot harder than that. I want to run from it but it would be a mistake.
It would be a mistake of me not to take ownership for my own situation. I can’t face my therapist because I’m ashamed of my current situation. I keep wanting to show that I am doing better, but I can’t when my life is not my own, and when I’m too embarrassed to explain myself.
That’s it. I’m tired. I’m trying to pull through and get out whatever way I can… we’ll just have to see what way that will be.
Im on my way to a science and tech policy meeting right now and I am hoping to death I love it and meet people and make steps in my career; otherwise I’m not sure if I will keep this grad school charade going much longer. So much is riding on this… keeping my fingers crossed for a bright future.