This morning I listed the recurring debits on my credit card, with a view to shifting them to a debit card, and avoiding interest charges. This afternoon I purchased a food processor for K while her and B were in their craft session at Grenville Hub. Walking from Prince George Plaza to the mall I found myself wondering what the hell I was doing here in Elizabeth, SA, let alone being a ratepayer of Playford Council. I miss Sydney but the life we are beginning here could not have been otherwise. Had lunch at the food court, curry chicken and honey chicken. Quite yummy. Good to have a clear idea of the regular debits in the budget. Going to shift monthly payments for various items to annual payments (in cash, not credit), now that the budget is more stable. This should enable the credit card balance to be reduced. The ongoing problem of course, in common with every household no doubt, is how much can I spend on me.
This morning I did a sustained study session for this diploma of counselling. And enjoyed it! Looking at the contents list for Unit 4 felt like seeing a list of old friends. Seems life has turned a corner. Although the upbeat tone in B's voice when she noticed I was studying did not thrill me. Counselling is not Julie. Julie is other things (that B either generally ignores, criticises, or co-opts). Counselling happens to be a potentially enjoyable and useful way of connecting with the world. A connecting that is fraught and mandated. I continue to rebuild with the shattered and lost remnants of my world. And look for this path forward. This new wearer of clothes.
Had a meltdown this morning. Although I put the brakes on. Two or three days of not achieving personal goals, partly due to pleasing others, left me ragged. An extra, last minute scheduling by Dr Teo, was too much. I told By I couldn't go with her and K, bugger the consequences. The nurse at VMC, and Dr Teo, told B no problem since I was having a bad day. And, with my okay, the nurse (Kate, I think) phoned instead, this afternoon, to do the scheduled care plan via phone. I was touched by the expression of care from the nurse and doctor. B cares but this had a different quality to it that I felt. During the phone call, going through things to place in the plan, the nurse asked me about pap tests, and I updated her regarding my trans status and male genitalia. Expressed my appreciation at being asked. Really felt good to be seen as female and discussing the intimate detail of my trans body in a professional setting
1st Dec 2020: These past months have brought dreams of walking away. Middle of the night, over the front fence shared with No.24, the only boundary fence easily scaled over. The front gate being too noisy and impossible to shut behind me. Walking away without ID, cards, or phone, and letting life fall where it may. Toward the coast, through the salt pans, somewhere. Without razors I'd grow body hair and my few feminine features would be disguised. My body would be a John Doe and perhaps not connected with Julie McDonald. This afternoon though I went for a walk to the supermarket by myself, with B's okay. Felt so strange. But for the first time ever I felt roots begin to stir within me. I walked this land knowing I owned part of it. Also felt B and I were hammering out healthier boundaries. Autonomy and choosing to be together.
26th July 2020: Sitting on the back porch on a chilly late winter's night in the northern Adelaide plains. Beginning to feel my roots take hold in this red soil plain. Bridge has been working like a mad woman on the front and back yards, and they are really taking shape. With the second vege garden frame going in today. However I didn't want this garden. No, it's not a garden yet; it's a construction site. In sixty years someone will be cursing this work as they seek to remodel No.26. However, it really is good work. Bridge has an eye for design, as I've seen in various online platforms. No space in No.26 really feels my own yet and I'm out here on the porch because it is furthest from Bridge and Kim, neither of whom do evenings well. My space is online, in clouded folders such as “Newtown Terrace”. With a growing online library. Real life is mixed feelings with my own receiving scant support. I'm drawing on CBT in setting realistic goals and negotiating their achievement. That does actually work but doesn't get me what I really want. I miss my sessions with Julie. Narrative gave me a voice in a way no other therapy has. No one else has “got me” although Dr Chanter managed to sum up my situation quite accurately. However, both Julie and Dr Chanter are largely disregarded by Bridge.
23rd July 2020: Wearing Tena brand briefs this morning. One of my earliest internet searches was “adult babies”; adults who wear nappies and/or other accoutrements of babyhood. For me, it's about nappies. Current books link this to regression. I'm reminded of Freud's psychosexual development stages and wonder whether I'm stuck in an early stage. I still find comfort in touching my nappy, pad, padded knickers, or crotch. In a world where some of my behaviour is called nonsense, my interests crap, my narratives are torn apart, my emotions are disregarded, and comfort is little, is it any wonder I look for comfort in an “infantile” way.
12th July 2020 Recalling memories is painful, with even the good memories tainted by their context and future. This is the path of healing however. EMDR is centred on this. Narrative therapy uses memories as its raw materials. Psychodynamic therapy excavates the unconscious for these. Even CBT pays them attention, while trying to modify how we view them. Many of the characters populating my memories are now dead. Whatever their role, they have no further part. I can no longer hurt them or vice-versa. My actions now have no further impact on them. Whether love or hate, their views of me are now frozen in time. They have no more thought of or response to my actions. Those still living I have mostly lost contact with and the same observations apply. In summary, the pain of memory centres on the actors, and their roles have generally finished. I have nothing to fear by revisiting my past. And I am the storyteller.
11th July 2020 Torn between two stories - hopelessness and hope. Hopelessness where my shadow and light are both crushed. Hope where both are respected and cherished. Now that I consider it, these words are from hope. The narrative of my strengths. Hopelessness extinguishes my will to write. Hope births words. Made a saucepan of rice cream tonight. Yummy self soothing.