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[personal profile] fhionnuisce
This has been one of the most amazing days of my life. Seriously, you guys.


For some background, I am physically disabled (most of you knew that) and live in supported living. What this means is, my housing is federally funded because in MA the only housing you can be absolutely sure will be wheelchair accessible is federally funded buildings. The other thing it means is that I have a case manager who comes in once a week and helps me with legalese, medicalese, and the stuff in between. I used to handle much of this by myself, but when I got involved with a really abusive guy (G.), he took over in order to "take care of me," a line he was fed by some of our roommates. I went with it because I was deeply, deeply ill at the time, and by the time I was better it was too late.

So I stopped knowing, or never learned, how to handle some stuff. Add to that that I have the chronic pain and fatigue and ultimately my brain just doesn't operate like it used to. So I have this person who comes in. Gratitude for that! There are states with no such programs where I might have been stuck in the state hospital after what happened to me. Go Massachusetts.

Anyway, I had a pretty ineffectual case manager for a while who just messed a bunch of stuff up. Lost paperwork, lost rent, bad scene. She did do some good stuff, but a lot of what she did wasn't okay. One of the things was that she started to ignore my case (stopped talking to me full stop). I dunno what that was about, because she got fired over the lost paperwork/money.

So now I have this guy. At first I was extremely dubious because I'm distrustful of men after my assault. Not proud of that, but it's true. Anyway, I explained to him about my PTSD and that he had to be careful or we would not build a rapport. I gave him certain guidelines and he HONORED them, which hadn't happened to me in years.

Today he took all that one step further.

Some weeks ago I started to look back in to therapy because my mood had been very low. I eventually decided to bite the bullet and start being seen at Fenway Community Health, a GLBT center here. I've been turned away before I could get in the door because of a wait list before. So this was a big deal to decide and try. Case manager tried to recommend I do other things which might get me a therapist sooner and I stuck to my guns: I'm back on the Q (questioning) in GLBTQ. I can't keep doing this. I need to talk to someone about my gender identity, and not just someone who's going to wiki gender issues and come in and try to learn it along with me. No. If I can, I need to talk to someone who already has clue. And bottom line, I can. At the Fenway.

So that was my plan, but when I called about behavioral health, I was told I needed to change my PCP over to them. Okay. I LIKE my current PCP. But, again, if I were to come out to her, she'd probably just google/wiki my issues and come back to me with no real clue, if she didn't freak out. I REALLY NEED to talk to people who know their shit. So I decided, after discussion with case manager man, to go ahead and do this.

We discussed it for a good long while, and I told him this was my third time coming out, and it needs to stop, I need to KNOW WHO I AM, not just as a label, but internally. He asked me why I wasn't sure people outside of the Fenway couldn't support my GLBT-ness, and, well, the fact is that there are other factors like the KINK factor which I know won't be supported elsewhere. But HE pointed out that if I was having gender issues they were huge, and HE started to use the word trans, unprompted. Now, in the past I've been weirded out when this happens, because it feels weird for other people to know me better than I know myself. But in this case I was just so relieved. Apparently what my friends have told me is true. I ooze queer, and I guess now I ooze Not!Girl. LOL. I don't honestly know if that means I'm a boy, or WHAT it means, but I need to explore it.

This is a far, far, far, far cry from the people in the last program I was in, who seemed to think my primary job as a resident was to "make the PCAs happy." And who gave me a "therapist" who came for 5-15 minutes once a week and didn't KNOW, when I terminated, that we didn't have a rapport. O.o The shit therapists that get foisted off on PWDs...Ugh.

So, point one is I managed to come out to my case manager.

Point two is I called Fenway. I've been turned away before because of their wait list. Today I called and they took my information. From the moment she asked, "What is your gender?" and I said, "...Female? Right now," and she said, "And that's TOTALLY OKAY," I was hooked. Then she asked me, "What pronoun do you prefer?" Right now, it's still she. Pronouns are hard and I don't want any confusion. But just the fact that she asked was AMAZING and That Is What They Do. It's so AWESOME, you guys. Then she said, APOLOGETICALLY, "I can't get you in to see someone TODAY. But is tomorrow okay?"

...TOMORROW.

So at this point? About 13 hours from now I'll be leaving my house.

The wait for therapy still might be months and months (Case manager was quoted 3), but it might not. The wait list is open, and I PROBABLY could have called back that very day to be like, "Look, I made the appointment." But I'm not that desperate. I have meditation, and a new course to keep me busy, and writing to do. I'll be able to REALLY deal with this now, and know who the hell I really am. I'm not afraid of being judged by them (as not queer enough) anymore. They are good people. And I am going to be okay.

When I got off the phone with them (Oh, BTW, also, like, 4 phone calls today! This phone phobe kicked ass!) Desmond said he was happy and PROUD because I looked so happy. :D

BUT EVEN AFTER THAT THERE WAS MORE.

I have talked endlessly about Robert, but I don't remember a lot about him. It was all suppressed until he got very sick. I really know next to nothing. So I've wanted to talk to his friends, but whether it's the result of AIDS or just my family having been closed off I really only know one. His name is Brendan Fay and he's full-blooded Irish, and one of the warmest people I've met. I love him. But I was also not ready to talk to him about Robert for a long time. Turned it over and over in my head for years. I felt too disconnected being away from home, and like I hadn't "earned" enough to talk intelligently with him about the GLBT community and movement. Well... I still have some of those anxieties... but my friends started to recommend I write him a paper letter. Since that would have been an awkward phone conversation with my grandfather to get his address (and I hate phones!!!), I was putting it off. I eventually found this man on Facebook and shot him a quick message, then regretted that it was not the letter. I decided to forget I'd bothered to do this, because he literally has like a thousand FB friends because of his work, and that I would write him a letter when I had spoons.

Well.

Today. Of all days. He wrote me back. Very short and sweet, but REAL and THERE and inviting of further discussion.

.....Holy shit.

I said thank you to Robert for this day. I don't know if he had anything to do with it, but in my mind the timing is so beyond amazing that I imagine him whispering in people's ears for me.

Grateful doesn't even begin to express how I feel.

So much peace.

Life is so good. It's so good to be here. And I am going to be okay.

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samidha

July 2017

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