Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Today's Battles

I've just gotten back from a 2-day trip to Melbourne, in connection with my PhD. The first day was a "show and tell", where those who control the money at the AutoCRC get a look at what the PhD candidates they're so generously funding are doing. Basically, they've been acting on faith that we know what we're doing. This was our opportunity to show them that their faith was justified.

The second day was a workshop on "assertiveness", as the Ultimate Nerds, grad students, tend to be rather self-effacing - until they discuss their work.

The teacher decided that I was already assertive enough... funny that. I think part of it is hormonal. Right now I'm taking vast quantities of hormones to stop re-masculinisation, and the quiet, shy Zoe I became at the start of transition is long gone. Whatever the hormone is that's trying to masculinise me - and it isn't testosterone, my levels there are in a low female range - it appears to affect neurology too, to some degree.

And part of it is Darwinian. I'm assertive because in my struggles with the APO, I had to be. Not aggressive, quite conciliatory and trying to see their viewpoint, trying to get a "win win" and save the embarrassment. But in the end, their aggression was met with firm and implacable resistance. I couldn't be passive because I had nothing to lose.

Anyway, back from the flight, time to look at the 400+ e-mails in my in-box. That's not including spam, which is filtered out adequately, maybe a dozen, not more.

And some of the posts alerted me that Someone Is Wrong On The Internet again. So today's battles are over at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Right Side News.

Anyone who sees this mix as contradictory really hasn't grokked the surreal nature of the situation.


Helen G said...

hello Zoe

Just to say that both the links in your last paragraph go to the SFBG site.

And the commenter called Marc isn't one of the most empathic people I've ever come across. It's always infuriating to be talked at by people who Know What's Best For Trans People.


Time to crawl back under my rock until the lecture's over...

Zoe Brain said...

Link Fixed! Thanks for that, I guess I was more tired last night than I thought.

Battybattybats said...

Regarding your current re-masculinisation.

Just pondering along the wild-and-crazy lines a little.

Have you compared your activities to your changes?

I was talking with a friend about psycho-somatic phenomena and wondered if perhaps your body could be reacting in line with aspects of your mind.

That if you are involved in things that your mind considers more feminine or masculine that it may then correspondingly make physiological changes?

Either to masculinise you when your being more masculine or perhaps instead more feminine, depending on if your body is attempting to conform with your mind or instead create a balance.

Sure it's a really out-there proposal, allegedly psychosomatic phenomenon are really in the fringes but as it came up in a conversation on parapsychology and fringe ideas I thought of your situation and thought it worth mentioning just on the off-chance.

Zoe Brain said...

Let's put it this way... I'm fighting it with everything I can. So far, the HRT regime is reversing it.

I really don't want this to be a "Flowers for Algernon" scenario.

I wouldn't rather die: but the thought had occurred. Briefly.

Right now, I'm concentrating on ways to undo the damage done, so I can fit into some of my clothes again.

Battybattybats said...

Oh Zoe!

I wish I could send comforting hugs through the screen to you and if there is any validity to telepathy you should be feeling waves of comfort wending your way.

As bad as it must be there's always hope! Your true self is inside and as horrible as the outside changing on you can be as long as you have the you inside and the hope of changing the outside one way or another then you will still be you.

I know what it's like to go from being fit and healthy to almost bed-bound for weeks, to become weak and fragile, to have your body betray you. I've had the same from my mind too finding it become unreliable, unpredictable. I've lived a little bit of Flowers For Algernon myself in a way, my life, my body and my mind failing me just as I was nearing the end of high school. I know what it's like to feel the inner sense of self feel like it's falling apart as well as the sense of self that connects with the body. Believe me as long as your inner self is intact thats the most vital and as bad as these changes are there is always the hope that they can be reversed one way or another.

There will be an answer for you, it's just going to be a matter of the finding it and of adjusting to the unexpected turns in the road along the way. Your far too wonderful a person for the world to lose. No-one is.

But those willing to speak out, those with the intelligence to make sense of the complex things in the world and the skill to pass that understanding on to others less gifted are some of the most important, most valuable people.

If you were just another stranger in the crowd you'd be too valuable to lose, all life is precious, but you being who you are magnifies that. Every piece of wood in a boat is precious and important but the mast and the rudder are moreso.

If things get bad and you need someone to talk to as everyone does from time to time you have lots of friends you've made that you can turn to. Including me.