Tale as old as time

Song as old as rhyme…

Is there a sweeter romance than that of the brave, intelligent young maiden who broke the curse by seeing past the Beast’s terrifying temper tantrums, his bad manners, his possessiveness to the beautiful soul buried within. Isn’t wonderful to think that by loving someone enough you can change them for the better. Love harder. Don’t give up.

Sure you may suffer a little along the way, he may lock you up, threaten to hurt you or the ones you love but its all par for the course in this narrative.

Ironically, I always found the beast more attractive than the prince he eventually became.

I couldn’t exactly tell you why though. My closest hunch is that the Beast is exciting in his danger, his complexity engages you but most of all… the Beast needs you. Princes don’t need you, they save you and I’ve never been fond of the idea of being a damsel in distress.

Out of all the princess stories I had growing up she was the one that did the saving, she saved him from himself. Now that is powerful and romantic. Also it feels so good to be needed doesn’t it?

I can tell you right now this is the perfect mentality to find yourself an abusive relationship. It is a recipe for toxicity. The Beast will cross your boundaries, the Beast will hurt your mind, your body, your soul and still you won’t leave because they need you, and they will get better… that’s how the story goes.

The thing is I still love the story of Beauty and the Beast, I still love Belle who is quirky, headstrong, intelligent, beautiful and ambitious. She’s also compassionate and caring and…. OH MY GOD I should be dating Belle!

Seriously though. If you meet a Beast, someone who is stormy, dangerous, exciting but makes you feel needed… don’t be a Belle. If someone has a tortured soul and anger issues then the only person who can save them is themselves… and a good therapist.

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Tinder doesn’t help

So if you read my blog you probably know that I have Borderline Personality Disorder – or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder as it’s now being called. I’m not a fan, personally. If you know anything about BPD you might know that one of the symptoms is feelings of loneliness/isolation and emptiness. Now I don’t know about the other BPD peeps but I like to have my episodes of crushing loneliness either when I’m at a social event or when I’m about to go to sleep (like right now). These episodes happen about 2-5 times a week on average. Usually the feeling only lasts for an hour or until I cry myself to sleep. In these moments I either further isolate myself from others in attempt to hide from them how pathetically needy I am or I seek out attention/affection/validation from others. In such a circumstance it would make sense to contact a close friend or a family member but I don’t because I am afraid of rejection (another BPD symptom) and when I say rejection you might imagine that I am afraid that someone I care about will tell me I’m awful and to go away… I mean I am afraid of that but it doesn’t take such an extreme response to trigger an emotional spiral.

Often I will find myself sobbing on my bed, holding my phone and staring at the screen, willing myself to reach out to someone… but what if they read the message and don’t respond? What if they tell me they’re busy? To me that counts as rejection because my brain translates I’m busy as: I’m too busy for your emotional drama and find you a drain on my will to live. Okay, so maybe that’s an exaggeration but only slightly. So in order to avoid the risk of any rejection, imaginary or real…

I go onto Tinder. Obviously.

I open the app to browse through all the other attention hungry individuals looking for love or an ego stroking… some may even be looking for a genuine connection.

I don’t know why I do this as Tinder is a graveyard of unanswered messages, but I do and I start swiping, mostly I’m looking for a bio that sounds like anything like mine does, anything that may suggest that we may be kindred spirits and then I swipe right and then, usually, we match and I feel excited and validated and then I send them an enthusiastic message for it to be left unread. Of course there are a few exceptions and those people deserve a doughnut, but it’s impossible to fill the void with Tinder matches no matter how equally quirky they may appear because in the end these people are strangers and they don’t know you. It may help a little, it may be a quick fix… but maybe, just maybe it might be better to reach out to someone you love and trust. I’ve only managed this a handful of times so far and it was terrifying. Yes it’s risky, the one time no one responded and I was a complete wreck for it, but when it works out it’s fucking magical. The love and support of my friends and family who reassured me that I wasn’t alone, or a burden or a chore or any of the things that my head convinces me I am was such a gift in those dark moments. I cannot even begin to express the amount of comfort those conversations brought me.

So next time you find yourself having an episode of soul crushing loneliness, be brave, tell a friend you trust how you feel… or you could always try Tinder.

Why Stef Sanjati is my Inspiration

I’ve never written fan mail. This feels weird so… bear with me.
Thanks. – My Self-esteem

Who is she?

If you don’t know who Stef Sanjati is: She is a Canadian transgendered woman who has documented her transition on Youtube and is now a year into her hormone treatment. She’s also an amazeballs make-up artist (like camel sized amazeballs).

I was lucky enough to come across her videos a year ago so I’ve had the privilege of following her on this journey. I have learnt so much from her, her attitude towards life and the ferocity of her spirit deserves to be admired.

Her videos definitely speak to more than just the transgendered community. My friends, the people who knew me where surprised when they find out about my strong advocacy for gender reassignment surgery. Why would a 26 year old cisgendered woman be so invested in this subject? Which often led to the question ” Is their something  you want to tell me?” (To be fair I did write a play on the subject.)

No. I’m not questioning my gender identity. I know my sexual identity is bisexual/pansexual. I do have an unstable sense of identity and do struggle with anxiety, depression and borderline personality disorder (BPD)*. Unstable emotions and identity are symptoms of BPD. I’ve really struggled this year because I didn’t know who I was supposed to be or what I was supposed to do with my life, this was topped with a depressive episode that led to a short stint in a Psychiatric hospital. I’m now attending  Dialectical Behavioural Therapy.

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Did I mention that she’s totally gorgeous as well? – @stefsanjati

 

So why is she my role model?

She taught me to chase after my happiness. She knows who she is, she’s learnt to accept herself for who she is and she has worked hard to do what makes her happy. I, on the other hand, am so concerned with what others think of me.  I have to be the person they want and not who I want to be. In Stef’s (a.k.a Bread Mom’s) videos she discusses her whole journey, and explains how and why she decided to fully transition. Often stating that her choice is what feels right for her but may not be the right choice for everyone and that’s okay. She share’s how her mental health has improved since being able to accept herself and work towards reducing her gender dysphoria. I struggle with my own kind of dysphoria. I often feel a disconnected from who I really am. I know who I am but often my anxiety and depression suppress my ability to be who I am. I hide behind mask,  my own fears and insecurities preventing me from working to be the person I know want to be. To do what I need to do to be at peace with myself.

Stef Sanjati very openly states that she know’s who she is. She always knew she was a girl, no matter how hard others insisted she was a boy. She knew who she was and she’s worked to do what will make her happy and not let society’s opinions suppress who she is. She knows she is worthy of love and acceptance despite the adversity she has faced.

To learn about her journey in her own words watch her video:
My Transition Timeline (so far!) | 1 year on Estrogen

 

So I have decided to take steps to reach my own happiness.

Step one….

Knowing what I want.

  • I want to accept myself as I am and do what makes me happy despite fearing rejection for my life choices.
  • I want to openly accept my sexuality without feeling like its something to be ashamed about.
  • I want to be healthy but I also want to love my body for the way it is. – I know society says I have to look a certain way in order to love myself but I am learning that I really don’t have to apologise for my body, for my opinions.
  • I want to learn to openly and honestly express myself and to not be afraid about communicating my needs to others
  • I want to live lovingly and to fight discrimination against anyone who falls outside the parameters of ‘normal’. 

All of this is a work in progress but I’m getting there.

Stef will be undergoing her FFS (facial feminisation surgery) very soon and I’m so excited for her in this next big step of her life. Do check out her channel on youtube, watch some of her videos. I promise you’ll have a laugh and learn something new.

I’m gonna end this now before this gets all Kathy Bates…

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*Endnote: I don’t believe that being trans or having gender dysphoria is a mental disorder. I believe that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and psychotherapy is the way to treat the condition.