On Monday, I wore jeans to work as usual.

On Tuesday, I thought sod it: the weather's nice and sunny, I'm a woman and there's no reason why I shouldn't wear a skirt to work. I somehow took a step back in my confidence a few years ago when I went from almost exclusively wearing skirts to almost exclusively wearing trousers. So I wore one of my ankle-length skirts. This wasn't a particularly good idea considering how much harder it made it to walk up the hill where I live, on top of me being slightly nervous and paranoid that I looked too masculine to pull it off.

So on Wednesday and Thursday, I wore one of my denim miniskirts instead. I could walk properly, and it showed off my knee-high wedge boots much better. (If the opinion of a co-worker from a previous job was any indication, apparently my legs were worth showing off, too.) Whenever I looked in the mirror, I thought I looked attractive. Sexy, even. I think I was worried about whether it was too short more than about whether people realised I was a woman. It wasn't too short, anyway. I could only just touch my black opaque tights with my fingertips if I put my arms at my sides.

I think this week was the first time I'd ever worn a skirt to my current job, and I've been working there for over two years now. After so long feeling jealous of other women who were more confident than I had become, I finally just did it and decided to look nice; attractive; desirable. I felt confident and liked how I looked. Maybe I am an attractive young woman after all. I didn't appear to be getting any strange looks from passers by, at least. For the first time in years, I was smiling to strangers not out of politeness, but because I was genuinely happy. Some even smiled back. I vividly remember a woman with platted pigtails giving me a lovely, warm smile as I left the train on the commute back home.

On Friday, I wore jeans again, for variety. I'm sure I'll wear skirts much more often from now on though, if not quite exclusively this time. While walking to the station, the woman who returned my smile on the train the previous day pulled up in her car and offered me a lift. I wouldn't normally accept a lift from a stranger, but she had such an honest face and such a warm smile that I accepted her offer. We got talking and I gave her my e-mail address. By the end of the day we'd sent a few e-mails back and forth. It turns out she's a vegan too, which is a pretty amazing coincidence. I appear to have made a new friend just by being confident and happy.

On Saturday, I went shopping for some more clothes, including another short skirt. After all these years, I'm still not entirely used to the freedom of being able to wear clothes that suit me without being hassled. Every time I shop for clothes, though, I get slightly less nervous about seeming out of place. I'm finally even starting to enjoy the experience, like I ought to.

Sometimes cisgendered people ask transsexuals how they knew their journey had finally come to an end, when they had finally fully transitioned. It's been years since I had the main surgery. I'll let you know if I ever stop being nervous because of my past.

Honolulu, for the tenth time

That was today, we were in Honolulu for my tenth time. This means ten weeks down, ten more to go.

I've come a long way. After four weeks, I was set on jumping ship. Now I think I'll probably end up doing another tour. I may even extend; I have the sweetest shift on the ship, and the Princess Bed. None of that shit will be waiting for me if and when I come back.

Still, just today I was thinking it would be all I could do to get through this rotation, then tonight I'm loving Hawaii again. Ship life fucks with me like that.

I'm not a waiter, I should probably switch departments before I do another rotation. And then maybe I don't want to come back, so what do i do at home? I have no idea where to make nearly as much money....plus all those extra living expenses you have on land. But I've never been about money, so I dont like that I'm even considering it now. Well, I have a z-card, that would enable me to join the hardcore merchant marine and see even more of the world. Maybe that would be better. Maybe I wouldn't like it a bit.

Basically, there is a lot on my mind, and I don't know what to do.

Fuck it, I have a plan for the next ten weeks anyway.

When darkness turns to light, it ends tonight, it ends tonight...
What am I, but a mere observer in my own body. Watching the moments pass by without a care in the world or any ability to hold onto a single second, as it is ripped from the present. Being sucked forward, away from a place I wish not to return, into a place that is supposed to be all the better.

It's all slipping away without a care in the world to what is happening as it slips. I can wake up each morning, see the sun coming up outside the window and have so much hope for the coming day. And even in a time of happiness, I can be as sad as I am now. Music is too powerful, it's a drug and it sucks you in and you can't stop listening to it. I'm a slave to the music and I can't be anything but that. It's the driving force within me, It's what makes me becomes my best and it's what sucks me right back down the next day. How can something so powerful be both a motivator and a discouragement at the same time?

I'll tell you why. Because I'm such a fucked up person that can't make up his own mind about anything without a whole spiel into every single possibility. And when I do, it's a fucked up one any ways. I'm motivated enough to do what I need to until I reach a point where I don't have to go further. And when I realize I'm not going to go any further, that I'm such a lazy ass to have pulled the weight that far, that I can't push through the pain and make it to the fucking finish line.

In response to some of K9's musings from yesterday's day log, and in attempt to put off a long due research paper, E2 is a place for writers of all types to feel at home. A place to let their talent roam free. I came here to read, read as much as I possibly could, which at the start I did. I've stayed here because I've found a place to actually have a purpose/reason to write, instead of just putting it off. And yet now I always seem to pull a day log I've written away from being actually submitted, because I feel stupid about it. Like it's something to be ashamed of and that no one in their right mind would care to listen to my ramblings. So what really is it that I'm suppose to put up here? A couple of ramblings about how my day went, afterthoughts about decisions I make?

On E2, I've heard the occasional "he doesn't know when to keep the clicker off the submit button," or something to that tune. I want to be rational when it comes to my w/u's, but does that mean I shouldn't put something up that is really out there? E2 is about taking chances and putting out content that means something to you. It's about going off the deep end if that's what you have to do to get your point across. Don't be ashamed of your writing! You put the time in to write about something that matters to you, and if it matters to someone, then it must matter to at least one other person out there. Make the connection with that person sifting through node after node, in a search for something eluding them. Day log every thought that crosses your mind, if it's well written, someone is bound to take a look.

Rebuilding a mystery...

In the last few weeks I have not been present on the site as often as I have in the past. I actually just sign on, check my messages, see if there is anything I need to immediately deal with, maybe read an interesting new writeup or two and leave. Some have asked me about this and about my current mental and emotional state, which actually plays into this in a big way. So, I'm going to spill it out like a few chewed up pieces of sharkflesh.

Things in my life have gone from bad to worse since this year began. Actually, it all started to go into a downward spiral on December 30th of last year. I could give you a laundry list of things that have happened, but almost anything you could think of would be on it... as well as some things you would never think of. I has become clear to me that my mind is very seriously clouded by the culmination of events and my normally coping and functioning mechanisms are retarded in the present tense. Things I could normally deal with without thinking twice and not be affected by now throw me into a tailspin. A simple snafu in the schedule at work drove me into a panic attack a week ago.

I've become a lot like my pre-1994 self, which is not that strange considering that my therapist (yes, things have reached the point where I am actively seeking help to regain my balance) believes I am suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on by going through events that were extremely similar to the events that led to my suicide in 1994. There was a point, well, actually a period of two weeks, where I was fantasizing about suicide back in January. This did not make sense to me at the time, as such things are no longer part of my catalog, but my therapist believes these feelings and the deep depression that accompanied them was brought on by the PTSD. In effect, by reliving and feeling trapped within events that were extremely similar to those events that were the antecedents to my suicide in 1994, I was brought back to that time frame of my life mentally and emotionally.

Normally I am very capable of dealing with a great deal of chaos and things others would consider stresses in my life, but at present I can deal with very little. I have been trying to regain control of my environment and my life over the past month, since I moved into my own place, took care of things I could take care of, and attempted to balance myself and return myself to a safe and secure position. Yet, it seems, every time I think things are starting to balance and I am returning to normal, something else comes flying out of left field and smacks me in the face. I had a plan set, things were in motion and I felt strongly that I was in full recovery mode... well, that was last week, and this week another giant baseball came out of left field and hit me square in the mouth. It appears that on top of everything else, false allegations are being made against me at my job that I am having trouble proving to be false, in part because I do not have the strength and resolve I am accustomed to having.

I had to admit to myself yesterday that I have lost myself, that I have been in many ways pretending to still be who I was before I returned north from Florida. I had to admit that I have lost faith, that I have lost my way, that I am confused and wandering in the weeds and that it has been months since I have heard the voice of my angel, who used to speak to me on a regular basis, especially when I was in doubt. I've had to accept that my ability to see "200 moves in advance" when it came to any decision has been cut down to two, maybe three moves again. I've pretended for some time that none of these things were happening, that nothing had changed and that I merely needed time and a bit of normalcy to right my ship and continue my journey.

We must, as I have always insisted, focus on the positives, and in this case one of the positives I am starting to focus on is how I often lamented being unable to truly remember or understand my pre-suicide self, and now I understand and remember all too well, re-experiencing most of the same emotions and traumas, and having memories return of things I was unable to remember before, most of them having to do with things I did or was involved in that were far from good in nature. Most of the blocks of time that felt like they were "erased" in my memory and have been remembered now were times in which I lied, deceived, manipulated and stole in panicked efforts to get something I felt I deserved. I understand now that my suicide did not have so much to do with being a victim of betrayal and manipulations as with having long been an active player in the same games and losing badly in the end. I was involved with and surrounded by people for whom this was their approach to life, so I accepted that and came to believe this was all there was. Some of this I understood in theory before, but now I see it stone cold in memories that have erupted to the surface and reminded me of how important it really was to go where there is no snow. And now, maybe, once I find my way out of the weeds, I will be better equipped to understand the troubles and traumas of others who I all too often tried to help but could only really understand in a very distant and removed way.

This will be the hardest thing you ever do.

I knew that in returning to New England in the early spring of 2005. I knew this would not be easy, no matter how it looked on the surface, with a seemingly triumphant return to my old stomping grounds, being united with the woman I long considered my muse and the great love of my life, and doing so while feeling I had done what I had to do to satisfy the quest. It began to unravel soon after it began, and I soon lost control, and focus, and my energy, and my confidence... and so much more, as I watched someone I deeply loved slowly but surely drag herself down into complete self-destruction while feeling, and as I now realize, being completely unable to affect the result of her destruction... a person who truly and deeply hates themselves cannot possibly love or allow another to truly love them. I've never known anyone who truly hated themselves as much as did The Former Muse, a person who was in such great inner pain that the only way she could truly empower herself was in bringing others to her pain... never truly trying to get out of it, always trying to bring others to it... this is important if you understand it.

She would ask for help, she would call out for help, almost always indirectly until she reached the level of another suicide attempt, and then the call would be direct. It would be, as she would say, in other words, pathetic of me to actually ask for help until I reach the end. She was so empty and so unable to find or even understand what she needed to not feel so empty and in pain that she was driven to desire all manner of things that she felt would bring her happiness, her dogs, her giant pet pig, her horse, a boyfriend who would love her unconditionally, a girlfriend who would love her unconditionally, a boyfriend and a girlfriend who would willingly share her while being one hundred percent devoted to her and her alone... and the list goes on and on and on...

The exiled queen formerly known as The Muse has left my life, gone to another state where her parents and sister can look after her, as she has run out of other options and must drain all her resources before, as I have come to believe, she will make a real suicide attempt. All her attempts have fallen short and while they landed her in the emergency room each time, she hesitated and was unable to take enough pills or cut herself deeply enough or avoid calling 911 long enough to truly succeed - her suicide attempts to this point have been attention seeking - they started only after my arrival. It all adds into my emotional equation. If you are going to be desperately attention seeking and looking to bring a recovering suicide into an emotional abyss, suicide attempts where you can try to hold them in some way accountable are pretty effective. She twice stated claims along the lines of, "I'm just trying to be like you." Not in killing herself as I had, but in somehow being miraculously changed by a direct experience with death. Hey, sometimes it takes someone who is very close to you just a little bit of time to figure out your greatest weakness. In my case it was, and probably still is, my fear that someone would read about my experience and how it changed me and try to do the same... and if that person was someone I deeply loved and cared about... lights out. Welcome to a mindfuck guilt trip. I haven't functioned very well... the first time she did it I was able to settle it out... but the second and third time, she made sure it really sunk in.

I will be okay, eventually, and I will recover. It just hasn't been easy, and after I had left The Former Muse in January, she fought to bring me back, coming clean about her self-mutilation and her abuse of alcohol mixed with prescription pills with the manager at our job and taking a leave of absence in order to admit herself into a psychiatric hospital. And from there she convinced me she was truly devoted to overcoming her demons and starting a new life, but that she needed my help in order to do so... Tricks of the trade, I should know them better by now.

After convincing me she was ending her affair with a young woman we both knew, was going to be truly devoted to me, but that I needed to do the same and prove to her that I was completely devoted to her I reinvested myself against my own best advice and all that I knew and believed in order to be drawn deeper and deeper into the abyss... and then, as if on cue, the winter went from mild to severe, the engine inexplicably seized in my car (oddly enough inexplicable engine seizing always seems to accompany my worst times), The Former Muse quit her job with a disparaging letter to the program manager (who had allowed her to come back and work in an environment with troubled teen girls even after her revelations, provided she brought a letter from a psychiatrist stating she was able to work), was left with little income from a part-time second job and put us in serious jeopardy with our landlord and living arrangements... and well... then she took off on a ten day vacation, planned long ago, where her brother took her somewhere to ostensibly babysit his son, her nephew, while he and his wife enjoyed their vacation... and where did they go on vacation, leaving me to either take care of all the pets or punish them for what was going on? They went to... drum roll... you guessed it... Orlando, Florida while I was trapped in below zero weather without a car in a place I didn't want to be... okay, look, you can't make this shit up...

Anyway, I am now trying to figure out a way to answer allegations that I have been acting improperly at work and undermining other staff by "allying myself with teenage girls" against the staff and the program where I work... and I really, really, really need a drink. Oh, and my computer completely crashed and blew up on me last week and I'm using a really old backup system and having people I know try to extract something from the old computer... what is it I really, really need from the dead computer? Drum roll... the nearly final draft of my novel Beauty Atrophies... but nothing seems to work, and both of the disks I saved it to will not open on any other computer as it claims the files are corrupt and damaged... which I imagine is all somehow connected to a really nasty virus somehow connected to the evil that is "Cool Web Search" I picked up a few years ago and thought was taken care of. So, only about three years of work lost there, although I do have access to several different versions of the original draft and one copy of the first major revision. Seems there will be a need to Start Again... strangely enough each version I have access to is the novel prior to revisions made after I moved to New Hampshire, so it seems, with the exception of my reunion with my lovely daughter, the past two years is at best a tax writeoff.

So yeah, for those who asked how I'm doing and where I've been at... and for whom I've only given out short answers... this was the long form.

Please sir, may I have another?


Anastasia's response to the final line above is, "This is the one you asked for, it was not part of the path put before you, it was your choice, and you were warned countless times."

No wonder I lost contact with her for so long after continuing to blame her for not pulling my fat out of the fire, eh Diablo?

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