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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Jeremy’s mum and the very bad week

It now kind of ok to  talk about this.

I have written recently about my struggles.  I sat last night with a plan.  I knew how I could end my life quickly and with minimum mess.  I reached out to a couple of people but was too ashamed to tell those who I knew would drop everything and come and help because it was Saturday night and I knew they had plans and time to spend with family and loved ones while I sat alone.

Dramatic huh.  Didn’t feel dramatic at the time.  Intellectually I knew I wasn’t suicidal because I had done a check on myself that I have done countless of times with others:

  • Do I have a plan? yes
  • Do I want to end everything or just make the pain stop – the pain of being a failure is overwhelming and I can’t keep hurting the boys.

Such is the liar that is depression. It has told me that I am unlovabe, ugly, useless, it whispers to me that the boys would be better with their respective fathers with their stable relationships and double incomes. It guides my hands to track pants and baggy tops, it glues my head to the pillow, it hides my tooth brush and my hair brush.  Simple jobs need extensive mental planning and far more energy than I have.  It hit home the reassurance that I gave to Jeremy so many times that the price to pay for living with joy and exuberance is sometimes a general blue feeling, on occasion it is a slide into depression.  I know this about myself.

Intrinsically I know I am no more a failure to my sons that I am poor at what I do in my profession.  I am awesome at what I do professionally and will be back working soon, would probably be back working now if I could shake this liar out of my head.  I am a good mother, my boys have all that they need materially and emotionally and frankly nearly everything they could want as well.

Without making excuses I have to acknowledge that the many multiple factors that have led me to this current period of depression are just that – multiple.  There is no one single event that has triggered this. Moving, redundancy, my eldest son’s depression, Jeremy’s depression, Jeremy’s transition, the end of my marriage, the end of my last long term relationship and the loss of a dream attached to that and the residual effect of confronting a dark chapter in my childhood have not been fully acknowledged and should be.  In coping with these factors I have not fully finalised how I feel about any of them and I have the tools to do so.

Time heals, I know that.  Time will hep me, I know that too.  Last night and during the last week I have had so many signals that to move past this current depressive episode I should confront those things that I have identified and look into the dark recesses of my mind and make sure that there is nothing lurking in the background.  It will be exhausting and confronting but from past experience will help lay the negative emotions to rest, and hopefully help bring the sunshine back into my mind.  It is a trusted method that I have used before and it works, but the cloud in my mind has hidden the solution for a while.

Depression is not being sad.  I am lucky that I have a group of women around me who know this and can see through the lie that I put to the outside world every day.  I am not ok.  I will be.  That is the key, I know that I will see the sun come up tomorrow.

NOTE: my method for dealing with depression is one suggested to me by my psychologist.  I know that there are many who benefit from antidepressants and I would always recommend seeing a mental health professional.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

The fall and fall of the Duggars

Jeremy used to love the Duggar family.  He would watch episodes of “16 and Counting” and beg me to get the ingredients for “tater tot casserole”.  He was fascinated by their family life, their love of music, their chores, their devotion to God.  He watched them pack the converted campervan to go on holiday, he was fascinated by the volume of pickles, washing, musical instruments the family needed to get by.  He was a fan.

Sadly, the Duggar family were never a fan of Jeremy’s.  Last year Michelle Duggar spoke out against anti LGBTIQ ordinance in nearby Fayetteville. She said that the ordinance “would allow men – yes, I said men – to use women’s and girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only” and stated, “Males with past child predator convictions [could] claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls. I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space.” 

May those words haunt her, as at the time she was fully aware that her own son has traumatised a number of girls.  Her view has seen a crumbling media profile implode as parents of transgender children, the wider LGBTIQ community and frankly most sane people felt uncomfortable with the family’s extreme right wing views.

In 2002, when he was in his early teens, Michelle’s eldest son Josh sexually assaulted a number of younger females.  That it has taken 13 years for the news to be made public exposes shocking layers upon layers of lies, ineffective action and cover up by the Duggar family and those connected to them.  There has been no mention of what support was provided to his small victims.  The public comments from his supporters are vile in their ignorance of both the law and God’s love.

The Duggar family are fundamentalist Christians, adherents to the Quiverfull movement.  Quiverfull members see procreation and children as a blessing from God, eschewing all forms of birth control including natural family planning and sterilization.  Women are seen as subservient to their husbands, their positions are home makers, educators and bearers of children.

Is this why the Duggar family are so complacent in hiding and excusing the hideous behaviour of their eldest child because he is male?  Do they believe that somehow he has a right to take what he wants from females?

I am heartsick for the precious wee girl children he touched inappropriately.  They are victims in this scenario and are hidden from view.

May their faces be shining in the sun now that their story is being told.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Testosterone and other drugs

I had a certain arrogance after J’s first testosterone shot.  He coped so well, the side effects were minimal.  He jetted off to the Gold Coast for FurDu, working and partying for four days at this convention.  It was his first trip of this type, no safety net of relatives, or Lockie and I was anxious!  But he was fine, had a blast, made new friends and promoted the business for which he is a partner in training.  School is now sorted, not the way that I would like it to progress but he will finish Year 12.  Things seemed to be going swimmingly.

Can I just add that my boys made Mother’s Day very special.  I spent all day having cups of tea made for me and I watched weepy movies and they took me out for dinner.  All in all it was a pretty perfect day.

Then last Thursday was the second T shot.  I was kind of anxious because I wasn’t going to be at the hospital this time.  I went early and got the prescription filled and to make sure that it would be ready for his appointment.  J had a seminar that day and was going to be traveling to the hospital from Distance Ed.  Despite a phone with no battery power and therefore a sketchy memory of what trams and buses he needed to take he got to the hospital, collected his testosterone and got to the correct clinic desk about five minutes after he was due.  Post shot he met up with his brother and they came home together, ravenous and ready for roast chicken.

J learned from this experience that he can speak up, the second shot went in on the same side as his first and that has led to some increased pain in the leg on that side.  He has also had nausea disrupted digestion for the first few days afterwards – alternating between very hungry, not knowing what to eat and not wanting to eat at all.   He has been restless and then lethargic and achey.  We are at day four post shot and those side effects have settled down thank goodness, poor boy has been feeling miserable.

We are fully armed with all the information that we need to identify if the reactions are extreme, and at this stage they are all well documented side effects.  Small comfort to him though.

When I was giving him a cuddle the other day he got me to feel his “stubble”.  Even though he knows that facial hair will not come in for him until he has been on T for about six months, he is longing for this external manifestation of maleness. It will be here all too soon.

IMG_2473[1]IMG_2510[1]

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Who cares for the carer…. then along came Zeke

Zeke

I am really feeling sorry for myself at the moment – not positive for anyone but pulling out of this chasm is proving frightfully difficult.  Jeremy is struggling with school and needs a momma who can act and be positive, not continually bury her head in the sand.

I am lucky because about a year ago I started seeing a psychologist when the tricky balance between my work and home life was overwhelming me.  This gentle woman has helped me balance what is happening in my life and to see past the immediate problems and to move past the behaviors of those around me.

In my last session she asked me who I spoke to.  It may seem an odd question to many but I have not lived with a partner since I left Jeremy’s father over five years ago.  I am ok with that.  But there are times when, as one of my friends put it, a conversation with someone late at night as heads lie on pillows can be just as therapeutic as a session with my psych.  She’s right too, the thing that I miss about being married is that adult to adult conversation, productive or not.  It was like being part of a team where troubles could be halved and triumphs doubled. In theory anyway.

So her question got me to thinking, who do I talk to.  Here is where I realised that I have gathered around me a group of extraordinary people, some I have never met face to face, who offer the gift of their time or experience or even a hug. I have friends who will just sit with me when I need to, or let me cry, who are generous in their affirmations about how they see me.  They are all amazingly beautiful in their own ways and my life is all the richer for having their contact.  In the last 48 hours the collective lifeline has helped me turn a corner too.  For that I thank you.

In March, on impulse, I looked at the Lost Dogs Home website and saw Zeke.  This wee man reminded be of my beloved Ron dog with brown eyebrows and floppy ears.  He was smaller than my Ron dog too and at 8 years old I wondered if he would be adopted.  So I put in the call and the universe decided that Zeke, due to go to another home, would be my dog.  When I went to meet him he sat on his bed, just looking so lost, while all the other small dogs came bounding up to the front of their enclosures.  He was unsettled and anxious and the handler at the the Lost Dogs Home told me that he lost his kennel mate since his arrival and just wanted to be loved.  As we left the Lost Dogs Home he would only settle if cuddled, and in the car he sat next to me with his wee face on my arm.  The boys tell me that when I leave the house he sits next to the door and cries a little and is perfectly behaved but is happier when I am home.

Zeke isn’t a replacement for a partner, but I relish the warmth of a little body curled up next to me on the couch, I revel in the delight of his little face in the morning when I wake up and I have discovered again that the love of a dog is a precious thing.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Jeremy Dean is now eighteen

So the big day has come and gone three weeks ago and we started our new journey down the path of cross hormone treatment two and a half weeks ago and I have not had the strength to talk about it at all.

Because for me, I have had a daily battle with anxiety and depression since I was made redundant eight weeks ago.  This has meant that any energy has been focused on the J man and his journey.  I feel spent and the struggle to move forward has at times seemed impossible.  I have placed an enormous amount of trust in the hands of the universe that this has happened for a reason that will seem clear and positive; however there are days when I just can’t see the bigger picture.  My psychologist asked me why I get out of bed in the morning and the simple reason is that I can’t fail J and his brother.  They need me to get back on the horse and be their rock and provider, and as they have done in so many ways since their respective births I can see a light and I have a thread of courage and I will be OK.

Let’s talk medical stuff – we have had a fertility consultation and a final consult prior to J receiving his first dose of testosterone.  Big sigh of relief that J has years to make up his mind about babies.  He and I are pretty confident that the chance that he will change his mind is zero, but the knowledge that he does not need to really make a decision for years is reassuring.

Our final consult just prior to J receiving his testosterone confirmed for me yet again that the universe knew what it was doing when it led us to Melbourne in 2009.  The staff at the RCH are amazing and Dr Telfer has given J world class care.  She had an anxious momma and son in her office and she was just so supportive and wonderful I got sad all over again that we will have to move on from the RCH at the end of the year.  The actual injection was a non event apart from J’s mini panic attack just before the needle hit his butt.  The hunger that overwhelmed him afterwards however was very real and we had plenty of good food on hand to help him manage that side effect.  Apart from the attack of the om nom noms, his first injection has left him side effect free.  This is so good and a good sign for him and his studies.

His birthday was a series of fun events, such a contrast to the sad and lonely sixteenth birthday that he had.  Our family event was a lunch at the Princess Palace with close friends and the sleepovers from his eighteenth dinner event the night before.  I cooked enough food for about forty people so we feasted on leftovers for days afterwards – yay!!!!  The house was a vision of polka dot mayhem and the polka dot cake that looked like a present was quite a technical challenge for momma and son.

There were days in the last two years that I doubted that I could manage to get this precious bundle to his 18th birthday.  There were days when it all seemed too much for him and I feared that like so many transgender teens he would slip into depression or worse.  His strength and patience are a true lesson for many; for a child who is ruled by passion and impulse I am sure that the wait has been interminable.  But we got there kitten, and your momma bear couldn’t be prouder.

966 970

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2015 in Uncategorized