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All posts for the month August, 2015

Week 79 – Day 6 : Lifes on hold..

Published August 22, 2015 by Katier Scott

Or at least it feels like it…

This week has been pretty tough for me as frustration finally got the better of me resulting in a week that really could have been a lot better. In some ways it’s been a good week, so it’s not all bad, I finally got to my first HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session on Tuesday, going with one of my best friends and in doing so ticking off one of my little personal goals. It actually went really well but I think I’d want to go with people I know for a while before being completely comfortable going on my own. I’m doing HIIT because the big thing I feel I need to work on is overall fitness and improve my cardio and stamina – all things HIIT, especially sessions like Tuesday will definitely help with. The personal goal was to go to a public sports related activity, obviously Roller Derby has ticked part of that, but as part of a team, practicing in places where the hall is rented exclusively, it didn’t tick the ‘public’ box for me. I didn’t use the changing rooms, as it was simply easier for the two of us to go already changed.

Wednesdays Roller Derby session was also very good, and I got my first piece of merchandise with my name and number on it. They have both been registered for a while, but up till now hadn’t yet appeared anywhere visible. I love Wednesdays sessions, they push me hard and that’s what I really enjoy, however, at the end of the session I did around 4 minutes of almost constant skating and was exhausted. Ok it came at the end of a intense and very enjoyable session, but did feel I need to be in better shape!

Work however has start to really get me down, all week I have been moving books, which actually probably represents the best week of the year, but it’s been very hard work, and coupled with the physical side of HIIT and Roller Derby, I felt pretty down on Thursday – mixture of lots of aches and probably a come down from the high of two intense days.

Then what completely triggered my frustration was something absolutely stupid, but then there is a saying ‘the straw that broke the camels back’ and ultimately it’s a saying that proves itself right, time and again!

On Thursday I really fancied going out to a local open Mic, I’m in a socialising mood and enjoying going out, meeting people, enjoying friends company etc., but with my parents supporting me at the moment I decided to be ‘sensible’ and not go out. Unfortunately Facebook showed various friends out and about, and the fact I wanted to go but decided not to – even though I could have found some funds to go out – was the preverbial straw.

Currently a lot of my life feels on hold, nothing moving forward and unfortunately when everything happens it gets on top of you, sadly that’s what’s happened this week and resulted in ultimately a pretty crap week – but fortunately I think I have a plan.

The root of the problem is money, back in February when I ‘kicked out’ my flat mate, my plan – which my parents supported, and largely suggested – was for them to support me until my DBS came through and I could start a second job doing care at home. Unfortunately the DBS has hit delays including a spelling mistake and DBS simply loosing one application resulting in it taking nearly 6 months, and counting.

My other job, is a low level job in a University Library and was always intended to be a ‘get into’ job with the intention of developing a career within the Uni. It’s taught me a lot about myself and, more importantly, job applications – but ultimately the only ‘promotion’ I managed was a 4 month secondment in Admissions – from an experience point of view, excellent, from a career point of view, no help whatsoever! So it’s turned into a dead-end job, which in combination with the care job not starting yet has resulted in financial strain and massive frustration as I HATE being the age I am and relying on parents to get by. They can afford it, but it’s not fair on them.

I knew there was a chance of my degree course starting in September, something I could ‘cling’ to and even though I didn’t ‘try’ to ultimately I did, so when it was clear I would be starting in January that was something else to pile on this weeks increasing stress. Five more months of ‘nothing’ just wasn’t a nice prospect.

On top of that my second appointment for referral for surgery still is hasn’t arrived, putting more ‘on hold’ to my life and adding to uncertainty.

So add that little lot together and suddenly it all got on top of me this week, there’s nothing to look forward to in the near future, no new challenges and it just resulted in a lot of tears and thinking.

I managed a little step forward yesterday, I contacted Northampton Gender Clinic who are going to do my second surgery assessment, turned out while they had my referral letter, it actually missed out a lot of critical information – for example assessments and even general ‘hand over’ patient information. We had a chat and my GP should have/be sending the information as Porterbrook were slow responding to a request for information. I was quite impressed with Northampton, but until they get the information, it was only a tiny step as no date.

I also think I need to move away from sitting doing nothing job wise. I really want to be financially more secure, and while ultimately that can happen, it’s not something that will happen tomorrow and thus I think I need to look for a new, full time (or part time but much better paid/hr) job at a level that reflects my skills. This treading water is not doing me any good whatsover so I’m hoping some help from a very good friend will at least give me something positive to do career wise and hopefully get me out of the financial mire.

Ultimately I really do want to become a nurse, I think I’d be good at it, and it’s a career that while tough, is pretty stable and has prospects. However I need to balance that with my current situation and the face is being financially struggling, combined with entry level jobs, are not helping my mental state. Whether anything comes of it, is anyones guess, but I can but try! I stopped applying for jobs, having gone for around 30 at the Uni over the course of a couple of years, and failed to get any apart from the admissions role, back in January time when I got the degree place and the Home Care role. I really am beginning to think that was a mistake and I need to re-evaluate, for my own mental health.

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Week 78 – Day 7 : Oh dear.. oh dear..

Published August 16, 2015 by Katier Scott

This weeks blog was triggered by this photo that one of my friends shared on facebook. The photo can be found here and on the face of it looks innocent.. until you read the text. The photo was posted by a proud father who’s son, Beau, was born with a condition called Fibular Hemimelia which resulted in him having to have both his feet amputated.

Obviously that has caused Beau’s life to be not as straightforward as for anyone with feet, and he seems to face adversity strongly and with a brave face. But when you read a bit deeper you realise that Beau is facing many problems, all be it caused by a different problem, that anyone with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) faces.. so it was very unfortunate that Jason chose to blight what could have been a wonderful ‘I’m proud about my son’ post by roundly being critical about Caitlyn Jenner getting a reward for Courage.

Not only did Jason question the award, but he refused to refer to Jenner as anything other than Male and using her former name. In doing so he instantly showed by Jenner’s award was so deserved,  by choosing to be so public with her transition Jenner immediately opened herself to criticism, transphobia (as displayed by Jason) and bullying.

All people who are born with disorders, or who develop them in life, which cause them to be different from the ‘crowd’ face very similar adversity, including acceptance, discrimination, bullying, harassment, fear and just the general struggle to try to broadly fit into the crowd. In that respect Beau is no different to Caitlyn, or as Beau is a child, any of the many children and young people struggling with conditions, be it GID,  Fibular Hemimelia, Deafness or any other condition.

Both this blog, and the work Caitlyn is doing through being so public in her transition is simply trying to educate, and sadly it’s not an easy job. As Jason proves, you’d think someone who’s son is facing so much adversity might actually empathise with someone who has GID, but I guess because it’s not a physical ‘disorder’ then he doesn’t belive it exists.. so I’ll leave a few thoughts.

ADHD? Epilepsy? ASD?

Yep all exist, but are ‘invisible’ conditions and so does GID.. but there’s a way of flipping round GID and realising it ‘can’ exist and that is the fact there is a ‘physical’ problem that can easily result in Gender Dysphoria (which is when GID is actually causing mental problems as the person really isn’t comfortable with their body), that condition is ‘Intersexed’.

Intersexed is when the physical genitals of a person are of BOTH genders, the chances are the brain, however, is of one or the other gender, and worse, often surgery is performed early on to make the baby a single gender.. get it wrong and that child instantly has in effect Gender Identity Disorder and almost certainly will be Dysphoric..

So if things can go wrong obviously with the physical make-up of a body, and we know the brain must be gendered in some way, otherwise you wouldn’t have female and male characteristics in the way people act, and we know Mental Health conditions exist – there is absolutely no reason what-so-ever why Gender Identity Disorder can’t exist!

The fact of the matter is, of course, that is does exist – but because it’s totally invisible it’s easy to dismiss it at something it isn’t – however it’s a proven medical condition and researchers even are pretty sure how it happens.

For those who are still with me, when you are developing in the womb everyone starts off female. It’s actually chemical/hormonal triggers that cause a female body to change gender to male, at the same time, other chemicals will trigger the gender change in the brain to whatever it should be. So for a female, the only chemical trigger is to ‘set’ the brain, in a male two triggers go off, one for the body, one of the brain. If any of those triggers, for whatever reason, don’t go off properly, that’s how Gender Identity Disorder happens.

Now I should add, that I have absolutely no issue with the concept that some people have that gender is just a fluid, natural, flexible entity. The point I’m making above, however, is the strict medical definition, however if you see gender variance as natural that’s absolutely fine. But when educating, or informing, working on something tangible such as above, should make it a whole lot easier to understand.

Week 77 – Day 3 : Ooops I did it again…

Published August 5, 2015 by Katier Scott

Missed a week that is!!

My excuse is I was very busy and I’m sticking to it!!

I’ve actually got on and done things, it’s amazing really how much better I feel. Stress crept up on me without me knowing, but the fact a lot of the time I’d just mess on the computer and wouldn’t really feel inspired to do anything was a symptom I didn’t notice until the last week or two.

Whereas the only ‘going out’ thing I was really wanting to do was Roller Derby (and even then I sometimes only went because I ‘had to’) now I am enjoying going out again. I’ve got Roller Derby practice tonight and can’t wait, I went out to the local pub last night just because I wanted to and have actually, to use the fun phrase some people use on social media. ‘Adulted’ – Got on and done so much recently from cooking, to tidying, going out and meeting friends and just generally being very busy. Even most of my clothes have been put away!!

I really do feel like I’m a lot more back to normal than I probably have been all year.. but what’s really bizarre is I actually see 2015 as a pretty damned good year! January and February were tough because of issues with my former flat mate but I carried on making friends and once he left and I started Roller Derby things looked up.

Despite the stress I have still managed to do two Empires, done better than I expected in Roller Derby, taken part in my first OCR and really the only thing that dropped off a bit was my Music. I think that’s the biggest symptom I completely missed, while I would go out occasionally to open mics I’m not sure I was entirely myself – I sang occasionally but stopped listening to music so much and completely stopped playing guitar for about 3 months!

Suddenly I’m listening to music again and practising guitar again. Heck I feel I’m even starting to make a bit of progress with G-C chord transitions.. as one of my best friends would say ‘Whoop’ – essentially August seems to be the month where goals I set 2 months ago might actually start to materialise.

Surgery is also making progress, I had an appointment 2 weeks ago which confirmed Sheffield have ok’d their referral and last week received a letter confirming they’d sent a letter to Northampton GIC for my second referal. The two GIC’s have talked and apparently 4 months is approximately when I can expect an appointment, so should have all the Referrals done this year. Surgery will be tricky as I’ll have started Uni, but not insurmountable, but nice to be making progress.

Another thing I hope to do in August is start at a Gym, while I’m pretty fit and have decent Cardio, I love Roller Derby and would like to be in the best shape possible for when I start actually playing the game. It’s also a bit of a ‘box tick’ for me as even 5 years down the line I have boxes that women do ‘normally’ I’d like to tick – Sunbathing in a bikini and swimming are two others! I’ll be looking at doing classes such as HIIT as I think they’ll benefit me most and I’ve done Circuit Training before and enjoyed it – so something I feel I’ll enjoy, especially as I’ll go with friends :).