How can people stand to look at themselves - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 08:19 PM
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I've struggled (still somewhat do) to look in the mirror.

I feel more confident than ever, that i will overcome through time. (Daily steps).

I have been turning my faith, to God. God's Mirror, and the reflections.... of me.

It goes deeper, than surface level. Way deeper. God, is showing me the way, the truth.
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post #22 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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That's great, @sweet_tooth87 . I hope you keep making progress.

I've tried God, but I don't think he's taking my calls. Probably the whole "Satanic witch" phase I went through when I was younger. Ftr, black magick doesn't work, either, so don't try that at home, kids.

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post #23 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 07:41 PM
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I just can't. I hate looking at my face, especially my mouth. And I hate being seen by other people cause I know they will think I'm ugly. There's just something really ugly about the corners of my mouth, they're kind of asymmetrical and one of them has a slight indentation. I'm neither good looking, nor do I look my age. I don't grow a proper beard either, it looks ridiculous if I grow out what little I have. Most 15 year olds probably have more facial hair than me. I just can't stand the way my face looks and it's preventing me from ever becoming confident with my outer appearance. If I could grow a beard I could at least hide a good part of my face beneath that, but at this point that's just wishful thinking. I'm 28 and if anything, my facial hair will become less from this point on.



On the other hand at least I'm not fat. My body looks fine to me, but I hate my face which I think is the most important part. I think I'd rather be fat but at least have a semi-attractive face.
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post #24 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-24-2020, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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@dinosaurparty My lips are asymmetrical, because my jaw is misaligned. Wouldn't be so bad if they were a nice shape, but they're not. I feel your pain.

I'm really almost comically ugly. Like a badly drawn cartoon character. I should probably stop Googling people's faces, because the more I do the more I realize how ugly I am, haha.

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post #25 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-24-2020, 04:30 AM
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corners of my mouth, they're kind of asymmetrical and one of them has a slight indentation.
That actually sounds rather good. I trust you when you say it isn't but I always thought that a slightly uneven mouth line looked appealing.

And to answer the thread question: I never had a really hard time looking at myself. Sometimes I look worse than I imagined, sometimes better. My face is rather average but I've largely let go of wishing it was different. I'm doing some therapy on video atm and it does make me uncomfortable but not enough to avoid it altogether.

I think what really helped me was when I realised that I needed to look at my face like it's a successful painting rather than an unsuccessful advertisement. It helped me with the way I perceive other people as well.

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post #26 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-24-2020, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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And to answer the thread question: I never had a really hard time looking at myself. Sometimes I look worse than I imagined, sometimes better. My face is rather average but I've largely let go of wishing it was different. I'm doing some therapy on video atm and it does make me uncomfortable but not enough to avoid it altogether.

I think what really helped me was when I realised that I needed to look at my face like it's a successful painting rather than an unsuccessful advertisement. It helped me with the way I perceive other people as well.
After describing my reaction to playing around with my webcam, my therapist has offered to try EMDR without video through some other modality. Audio or perhaps self-applied tapping or something. She's afraid it will be counterproductive otherwise. If I knew I had a video session coming up with my therapist I probably wouldn't sleep for a week beforehand.

My face may be a successful painting, but it's considered obscene by millions of people who'd like to kill it with fire throw it in the bonfire, lol. The problem is my appearance has symbolic meaning for other people in addition to being unattractive. And it's that symbolic meaning ("dangerous sexual deviant") which makes my life dangerous. Being ugly just makes my life lonely.

Being able to accept my appearance would be great, but how I regard my appearance is more or less irrelevant to other people and ignoring their reactions or pretending they don't have them would be reckless whether their reactions are justified or not. I'm not convinced body-acceptance will have any impact on my anxiety. And it's the anxiety that I hate and can't seem to do anything about.

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post #27 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-26-2020, 01:57 PM
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That actually sounds rather good. I trust you when you say it isn't but I always thought that a slightly uneven mouth line looked appealing.

And to answer the thread question: I never had a really hard time looking at myself. Sometimes I look worse than I imagined, sometimes better. My face is rather average but I've largely let go of wishing it was different. I'm doing some therapy on video atm and it does make me uncomfortable but not enough to avoid it altogether.

I think what really helped me was when I realised that I needed to look at my face like it's a successful painting rather than an unsuccessful advertisement. It helped me with the way I perceive other people as well.
Well, thanks for the reassurance. There are situations where I think my face looks "alright", as in average but it's only when I'm directly facing myself in the mirror or directly facing a camera. I hate having pictures taken of me and there are basically no pictures of me as an adult, but I think my ID photo looks alright. But that's because my mouth isn't moving and it's the best possible angle for me. But even there, I still look 10 years (or more) below my age. That face isn't going to get me anywhere with women.
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post #28 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 08:21 AM
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After describing my reaction to playing around with my webcam, my therapist has offered to try EMDR without video through some other modality. Audio or perhaps self-applied tapping or something. She's afraid it will be counterproductive otherwise. If I knew I had a video session coming up with my therapist I probably wouldn't sleep for a week beforehand.

My face may be a successful painting, but it's considered obscene by millions of people who'd like to kill it with fire throw it in the bonfire, lol. The problem is my appearance has symbolic meaning for other people in addition to being unattractive. And it's that symbolic meaning ("dangerous sexual deviant") which makes my life dangerous. Being ugly just makes my life lonely.

Being able to accept my appearance would be great, but how I regard my appearance is more or less irrelevant to other people and ignoring their reactions or pretending they don't have them would be reckless whether their reactions are justified or not. I'm not convinced body-acceptance will have any impact on my anxiety. And it's the anxiety that I hate and can't seem to do anything about.
I hear you, your situation is different. I am in no way dishing out advice or easy fixes to a complex problem (you might have noticed the emphasis on 'I' in my reply - I was very careful to only talk about my own experiences). In both cases it's got to do with the way our society operates but the treatment you've been subjected to is on another level entirely. Something that puzzles me when I read your posts is why you have never moved away. There are bad people everywhere but in some places they're allowed less freedom to crap on everyone than in others.

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Well, thanks for the reassurance. There are situations where I think my face looks "alright", as in average but it's only when I'm directly facing myself in the mirror or directly facing a camera. I hate having pictures taken of me and there are basically no pictures of me as an adult, but I think my ID photo looks alright. But that's because my mouth isn't moving and it's the best possible angle for me. But even there, I still look 10 years (or more) below my age. That face isn't going to get me anywhere with women.
Haha, I'm the opposite - I don't generally like photos taken from the front. I've got a prominent jawline and when I'm not animated, the corners of my lips curl downwards. As a result, I look kind of genderless and angry/sad.

Ultimately, a face is just a face. Yes, it is important, but it's not a be-all and end-all. Attraction is a bit more complicated than that. It may not seem so in the world of online dating, phone filters and selfies, but I really believe it is.

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post #29 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 09:25 AM
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I've always had a very difficult time looking at myself in the mirror. For years I held one hand in from of my face when I dried my hair so just my hair was visible. I don't really know why I'm so horrified by looking at myself. I think I'm average looking but I have a vision of myself--of how I look that is close to how I actually do but it seems like when I look in the mirror the discrepancy between the two is unacceptable.

...you gotta keep the goal in mind, develop tunnel vision to a certain extent. it's hard, and it's not for everyone.

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post #30 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 10:42 AM
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I got my webcam today. Anxiety was pretty gut-wrenching, but I've been psyching myself up for over a week now and I forced myself to figure out how to use it. It's sort of funny because I know I'm ugly, so I expected to be hideous, but I didn't expect to be this hideous, lol. I'm actually quite a bit uglier than I thought I was. I guess because it's been a while since I've looked and people get uglier over time. I have some pretty notable facial asymmetry and did some Googling and, honestly, the only people I can find online who are uglier than I am are people with facial deformities from birth defects or injuries. I'm a meme waiting to happen. Especially if I start presenting more feminine. I'll need heroic levels of determination to be seen in public en femme. I'm basically every trans woman's worst nightmare realized. Yay me!

I'm not really sure what to think about it. On the one hand, if I were to make YT videos about being ugly, there would be an actual ugly person making videos, instead of average/attractive people with BDD who just think they're ugly, and maybe that would help someone feel less alone or better about themselves (I'm not sure how, though). On the other hand, I doubt I'd get more than 5 subscribers, so who'd ever see the videos? I'm also afraid that if I do make videos about trans issues anti-trans activists will use my image/videos for hate propaganda, since I'm basically the kind of person everyone is afraid of. ("Do you want this man going into a restroom with your daughter?" I can imagine it now...) I don't want to make things worse for trans people by putting my face out there. I'm almost a shoo-in for one of Blaire White's videos if she ever gets wind of me, lol.

What I really want to do is kill myself, but I don't think I can get assisted suicide for being ugly. But ... damn, I really should. We have to draw the line somewhere, lol.
your rant about how your situation falls away from what trans theme videos already demonstrate actually teased me and made me more hyped about seeing you make a video. It would be a huge favor from you, so not going to beg, but if you already want to, then I think SAS would make a good testing ground, when ever or if ever the day comes.

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post #31 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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I hear you, your situation is different. I am in no way dishing out advice or easy fixes to a complex problem (you might have noticed the emphasis on 'I' in my reply - I was very careful to only talk about my own experiences). In both cases it's got to do with the way our society operates but the treatment you've been subjected to is on another level entirely. Something that puzzles me when I read your posts is why you have never moved away. There are bad people everywhere but in some places they're allowed less freedom to crap on everyone than in others.
Oh no, I know you weren't doing that. I was just elaborating because I'm neurotically preoccupied with my appearance. I should have made that clearer, sorry.

I can't afford to move. (I can elaborate on that if necessary.) Even if I did manage to sell my house (which wouldn't be easy) I wouldn't qualify for another mortgage, so I couldn't buy a new house. Most people wouldn't rent to me because I'd fail a credit check and I have no reliable income. Plus, LGBT acceptance tends to be correlated with population density (because strength in numbers), and I simply couldn't afford to live in a more expensive city. (I can't afford to live where I am now. I make less than the people on welfare here.) Plus, the whole process of moving is just intensely anxiety-inducing because I've had terrible neighbors, roommates, and landlords in the past (including people wielding axes and chainsaws). Plus, the only people I know IRL are the people in my family, who live around here, so as much as they drive me crazy, I'd lose what little support I do get from them.

And while it's true that some places are better than others, frequency of crapping has to do with a lot of variables. I'm poor, and most of my clothing is falling apart, so people discriminate for class reasons as well as gender nonconformity. And because I'm poor, no matter where I go I'd have to live in a low-income neighborhood. If I moved to a larger city with a larger LGBT population, I'd most likely be moving to a neighborhood with more crime, which might increase my risk. Especially because I can't drive and I can't afford public transportation, so I have to walk everywhere. On the whole, the risks and challenges seem very steep. It's the kind of thing that seems smart in principle, but much more difficult and risky in practice if you don't have any money.

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I've always had a very difficult time looking at myself in the mirror. For years I held one hand in from of my face when I dried my hair so just my hair was visible. I don't really know why I'm so horrified by looking at myself. I think I'm average looking but I have a vision of myself--of how I look that is close to how I actually do but it seems like when I look in the mirror the discrepancy between the two is unacceptable.
I think almost everyone experiences this discrepancy to some degree. The discrepancy is just much greater in my case, lol.

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your rant about how your situation falls away from what trans theme videos already demonstrate actually teased me and made me more hyped about seeing you make a video. It would be a huge favor from you, so not going to beg, but if you already want to, then I think SAS would make a good testing ground, when ever or if ever the day comes.
Yeah, not sure that's ever going to happen. I'm sure there are other people out there in situations similar to mine, but if there are, they're not making videos. The kind of problems that passing, or mostly passing, trans women have are simply not the kind of problems that I have. Most of the trans women that make videos are passing or mostly passing, so, for me, watching their videos isn't all that much more relatable than watching videos made by anyone else. And envy is a very big problem for me, because I can't stop thinking about how much I'd rather be them. And I'm sure most of them wouldn't consider me trans and might even find comparing myself to them offensive.

They talk mostly about things like medical and social transition, "passing", dating, cosmetics, transphobia, and politics/activism; they've usually ameliorated a good deal of their gender dysphoria and internalized transphobia. For the most part, they're treated like women. I spend most of my time dealing with suicidal ideation, complex PTSD/other mental health symptoms, poverty, loneliness, lack of social support, gender dysphoria, envy, and internalized transphobia. No one would treat me like a woman. They're fun to watch, I'd be the opposite of fun to watch. They get subscribers, I wouldn't.

I'm mostly interested in making a channel for people who are stuck like me; who can't afford to transition, or can't pass, or are otherwise forced to live a completely joyless existence as a social pariah/outcast because they hate being the gender they are but can't do anything about it. But I think most people in my situation are probably deeply closeted or kill themselves, so I might be playing to an empty room. And, honestly, I'm not sure why anyone who wasn't in my situation would find anything I have to say interesting. Most people are only interested in success stories, which isn't the kind of experience I can provide.

Sorry for being depressing and stuff, lol. I do appreciate the interest.

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post #32 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 04:59 AM
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I can't afford to move. (I can elaborate on that if necessary.) Even if I did manage to sell my house (which wouldn't be easy) I wouldn't qualify for another mortgage, so I couldn't buy a new house. Most people wouldn't rent to me because I'd fail a credit check and I have no reliable income. Plus, LGBT acceptance tends to be correlated with population density (because strength in numbers), and I simply couldn't afford to live in a more expensive city. (I can't afford to live where I am now. I make less than the people on welfare here.) Plus, the whole process of moving is just intensely anxiety-inducing because I've had terrible neighbors, roommates, and landlords in the past (including people wielding axes and chainsaws). Plus, the only people I know IRL are the people in my family, who live around here, so as much as they drive me crazy, I'd lose what little support I do get from them.

And while it's true that some places are better than others, frequency of crapping has to do with a lot of variables. I'm poor, and most of my clothing is falling apart, so people discriminate for class reasons as well as gender nonconformity. And because I'm poor, no matter where I go I'd have to live in a low-income neighborhood. If I moved to a larger city with a larger LGBT population, I'd most likely be moving to a neighborhood with more crime, which might increase my risk. Especially because I can't drive and I can't afford public transportation, so I have to walk everywhere. On the whole, the risks and challenges seem very steep. It's the kind of thing that seems smart in principle, but much more difficult and risky in practice if you don't have any money.
It's true, you don't get to sip frapuccino lattes in San Francisco unless you're selling your *** for reasonably big money. I don't know if you live in the U.S. and if you do, I know it's so completely different from where I live that a lot of my thinking just doesn't apply. Planning in the U.K. has been for mixed communities so even though things are changing, we still don't have such extreme segregation between the rich and the poor.

Things that stand out for me are:
1) Moving could go either way, increased or decreased quality of life.
2) Family is close so I assume you haven't tried moving in the past?
3) Some nutcase neighbours/flatmates with terrifying implements.
4) You have a great idea for a video series but it may not have an audience.

1) & 4) are change, the coin could flip either way. Making a step into the unknown is very hard if you have anxiety. There are no guarantees it would not increase risk/lower quality of life, just like the opposite could happen.

Nobody can tell you whether you should take the risk. It seems to me that most people will not change unless they have 'nothing to lose'. Which may very well be 'never'. There are good reasons for this and yours are excellent. But you're never trully, wholly stuck whilst you have the option to flip that coin. (also re: money. Money struggles are real. At the same time, you're both more intelligent and more educated than myself. If anxiety can be overcome, I believe that earning more is doable).

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post #33 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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It's true, you don't get to sip frapuccino lattes in San Francisco unless you're selling your *** for reasonably big money. I don't know if you live in the U.S. and if you do, I know it's so completely different from where I live that a lot of my thinking just doesn't apply. Planning in the U.K. has been for mixed communities so even though things are changing, we still don't have such extreme segregation between the rich and the poor.

Things that stand out for me are:
1) Moving could go either way, increased or decreased quality of life.
2) Family is close so I assume you haven't tried moving in the past?
3) Some nutcase neighbours/flatmates with terrifying implements.
4) You have a great idea for a video series but it may not have an audience.

1) & 4) are change, the coin could flip either way. Making a step into the unknown is very hard if you have anxiety. There are no guarantees it would not increase risk/lower quality of life, just like the opposite could happen.

Nobody can tell you whether you should take the risk. It seems to me that most people will not change unless they have 'nothing to lose'. Which may very well be 'never'. There are good reasons for this and yours are excellent. But you're never trully, wholly stuck whilst you have the option to flip that coin. (also re: money. Money struggles are real. At the same time, you're both more intelligent and more educated than myself. If anxiety can be overcome, I believe that earning more is doable).
Believe me, if I could sell my *** for big money I would, lol.

I live in Canada, which is like USA-lite. Tastes great, less filling. Idk what it's like in the States; I mean, I've never lived in a ghetto with drug dealers and gangs on every corner (to reinforce a stereotype), but we have some pretty rough neighborhoods here, too. I used to literally live two blocks from a Hell's Angels clubhouse. I lived in another place that was a couple blocks from a bar where people liked to get themselves stabbed and shot. I lived in another place where my roommate got gang-raped (allegedly, long story). And another where of my neighbor burgled me for complaining about the noise. The guy with a chainsaw was a Nazi skinhead who lived above me in a house and who didn't particularly like me. The guy with the ax was a landlord who literally started tearing down our walls (with said ax) while we were still living in the apartment. (He then threatened my gf with the ax; though, in all fairness, she threatened him first with a steak knife. What a day that was.) These are all things that happened because I've had to live in cheap apartments in low-income neighborhoods. It's just stuff that happens everywhere people are poor and intoxicated and slightly unhinged. The neighborhood I'm in right now isn't too bad, and I think I'd have to move to a much worse neighborhood if I moved to a larger city.

My parents kicked me out when I was 18. About a year later, I moved from my hometown to a city about an hour away. I moved to a different city (where I am now) about 20 years ago. I've moved 13 times since I left my parents', but I've never lived more than an hour from my family and I see them usually once or twice a month. You're right I've never been far away.

No, you're right, I'm not wholly stuck. But I have been doing everything I reasonably can to turn things around. I knew that working another minimum wage job would just trap me in a life I would find intolerable, so I took a big gamble on pursuing my writing instead. If I had been successful, I could have made much more money than I ever would have working in retail. I know plenty of self-published authors who make six or even seven figures. And I could have used that money to transition. But it didn't work out in my case. I also took a big gamble coming out of the closet when I have no realistic prospects of passing. In that case, though, it literally was a case of having nothing to lose. It was either come out or go to the big Closet In the Sky. I'm taking a big gamble by spending as much time as I do researching my book on gender identities, because I might be able to sell a lot of copies but it might (and probably will) just sink into the void. Many of the decisions I'm already making involve taking large risks because only a large win has any chance of turning things around at this point. I even went out and got a damn therapist.

And it's not only anxiety that holds me back from taking other risks. I have to manage, on a daily basis, my suicidal ideation, my OCD, my migraines, my vertigo, my exhaustion, and sometimes other health concerns. I have to deal with phone calls from my crazy sister or flooding (and toads) in my basement. Being anxious about taking a risk is one thing, but when you sometimes can't even get out of bed or stand up or have to literally sit on your hands to keep yourself from cutting your wrists it gets exponentially harder. Getting through the day can sometimes be a big challenge for me. This is what I mean about having more problems than one person can realistically solve. I am already working at about the limit of my capacity most of the time. (But maybe I'm just a wimp, haha.)

And really, I'm flattered, but I'm not sure about the last bit. I only have a high school education. What little I do know is in a restricted little area. The only kind of work I'm qualified to do is retail and flipping burgers. And the robot overlords are automating all of that.

Thanks for the replies, btw. I know it seems like I'm just shooting down everything you say like every other super-depressed pessimist who's ever lived (and I probably am, haha), but I'm always open to feedback and suggestions and I appreciate yours.

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post #34 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-15-2020, 08:23 AM
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Believe me, if I could sell my *** for big money I would, lol.

I live in Canada, which is like USA-lite. Tastes great, less filling. Idk what it's like in the States; I mean, I've never lived in a ghetto with drug dealers and gangs on every corner (to reinforce a stereotype), but we have some pretty rough neighborhoods here, too. I used to literally live two blocks from a Hell's Angels clubhouse. I lived in another place that was a couple blocks from a bar where people liked to get themselves stabbed and shot. I lived in another place where my roommate got gang-raped (allegedly, long story). And another where of my neighbor burgled me for complaining about the noise. The guy with a chainsaw was a Nazi skinhead who lived above me in a house and who didn't particularly like me. The guy with the ax was a landlord who literally started tearing down our walls (with said ax) while we were still living in the apartment. (He then threatened my gf with the ax; though, in all fairness, she threatened him first with a steak knife. What a day that was.) These are all things that happened because I've had to live in cheap apartments in low-income neighborhoods. It's just stuff that happens everywhere people are poor and intoxicated and slightly unhinged. The neighborhood I'm in right now isn't too bad, and I think I'd have to move to a much worse neighborhood if I moved to a larger city.

My parents kicked me out when I was 18. About a year later, I moved from my hometown to a city about an hour away. I moved to a different city (where I am now) about 20 years ago. I've moved 13 times since I left my parents', but I've never lived more than an hour from my family and I see them usually once or twice a month. You're right I've never been far away.

No, you're right, I'm not wholly stuck. But I have been doing everything I reasonably can to turn things around. I knew that working another minimum wage job would just trap me in a life I would find intolerable, so I took a big gamble on pursuing my writing instead. If I had been successful, I could have made much more money than I ever would have working in retail. I know plenty of self-published authors who make six or even seven figures. And I could have used that money to transition. But it didn't work out in my case. I also took a big gamble coming out of the closet when I have no realistic prospects of passing. In that case, though, it literally was a case of having nothing to lose. It was either come out or go to the big Closet In the Sky. I'm taking a big gamble by spending as much time as I do researching my book on gender identities, because I might be able to sell a lot of copies but it might (and probably will) just sink into the void. Many of the decisions I'm already making involve taking large risks because only a large win has any chance of turning things around at this point. I even went out and got a damn therapist.

And it's not only anxiety that holds me back from taking other risks. I have to manage, on a daily basis, my suicidal ideation, my OCD, my migraines, my vertigo, my exhaustion, and sometimes other health concerns. I have to deal with phone calls from my crazy sister or flooding (and toads) in my basement. Being anxious about taking a risk is one thing, but when you sometimes can't even get out of bed or stand up or have to literally sit on your hands to keep yourself from cutting your wrists it gets exponentially harder. Getting through the day can sometimes be a big challenge for me. This is what I mean about having more problems than one person can realistically solve. I am already working at about the limit of my capacity most of the time. (But maybe I'm just a wimp, haha.)

And really, I'm flattered, but I'm not sure about the last bit. I only have a high school education. What little I do know is in a restricted little area. The only kind of work I'm qualified to do is retail and flipping burgers. And the robot overlords are automating all of that.

Thanks for the replies, btw. I know it seems like I'm just shooting down everything you say like every other super-depressed pessimist who's ever lived (and I probably am, haha), but I'm always open to feedback and suggestions and I appreciate yours.
I completely agree re minimum wage job. Even a better paid job can be a trap rather than a way out. I don't think either is a good option for you. As I said, you come across as very bright. Not all education is school education and I wasn't talking myself down with the comparison - after all, you're quite a few years ahead of me. I don't know what it is you should do and it's quite hard to start something by yourself, but I think you have it in you to find (hell, carve out of rock) a source of funds. You've already broken into a field that's hard to break into. It's not very profitable but it probably isn't generally. Just because some writers make big bucks it doesn't mean that you fail by not doing so. Writing is not a job that pays the bills and you've got it to pay some bills. That's big.

I thought about moving because I seem to recall you saying that you were afraid to go out of the house (different thread, different time). That's a really rough way to live and not the norm. There are places where you don't have to worry about that, even in a poor neighbourhood. If it is that rough, I'd class it under 'bad enough to take a gamble and move'. But maybe I misunderstood and the area isn't that bad.

The rest seems to be a question of spoons. And I agree, you can't spend more spoons than you've got and of course I cannot imagine the sort of obstacles this creates for you. All I can say is I'm sorry that you have been going through that, it sucks beyond belief. It makes me very angry (with what? people? the powers that be? it really is pointless) and arrrrgh I just hope you get to see some positive change soon. Because it's way overdue.

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post #35 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-16-2020, 02:21 AM
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Just to add to what rabidfoxes is saying. I think you paint cheap apartments with too broad a brush. And I know you think urban inner city people are more accepting of trans people, but they sure don't sound safe from your experiences, so I think you should consider suburbs where the density is less severe and thus the odds favor less monstrous people within x meters of you. If there's thousands of people in your neighborhood there are going to be a few bad apples, and if you stand out in a crowd they'll find you.

Living my last 12 years in a couple of subsidized low income apartments, I've yet to have a conversation with a neighbor or learn one of their names, let alone have a confrontation with one. People mind their own business. Never seen any crime, never felt unsafe walking the neighborhood. Certainly never had anywhere near as many problems as your condo has. I'm pretty sure I make less money than you do, but poverty doesn't have to mean desperation or despair.

The bad landlord problem can happen when you rent from a private individual. Big complexes managed by corporations usually provide a safe consistent level of mediocrity, and if you don't like the manager they'll probably be gone in a year anyway.

The only places I've lived where people didn't mind their own business and made me uncomfortable, and where I've seen police with guns drawn and other crime, were much more expensive middle class neighborhoods.

Frankly, from reading your posts over the years, getting away from your family's regular impositions and self-sabotage seems like it'd be bound to help.

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post #36 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-16-2020, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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I completely agree re minimum wage job. Even a better paid job can be a trap rather than a way out. I don't think either is a good option for you. As I said, you come across as very bright. Not all education is school education and I wasn't talking myself down with the comparison - after all, you're quite a few years ahead of me. I don't know what it is you should do and it's quite hard to start something by yourself, but I think you have it in you to find (hell, carve out of rock) a source of funds. You've already broken into a field that's hard to break into. It's not very profitable but it probably isn't generally. Just because some writers make big bucks it doesn't mean that you fail by not doing so. Writing is not a job that pays the bills and you've got it to pay some bills. That's big.

I thought about moving because I seem to recall you saying that you were afraid to go out of the house (different thread, different time). That's a really rough way to live and not the norm. There are places where you don't have to worry about that, even in a poor neighbourhood. If it is that rough, I'd class it under 'bad enough to take a gamble and move'. But maybe I misunderstood and the area isn't that bad.

The rest seems to be a question of spoons. And I agree, you can't spend more spoons than you've got and of course I cannot imagine the sort of obstacles this creates for you. All I can say is I'm sorry that you have been going through that, it sucks beyond belief. It makes me very angry (with what? people? the powers that be? it really is pointless) and arrrrgh I just hope you get to see some positive change soon. Because it's way overdue.
I feel like I need to clear something up. I live in an objectively safe neighborhood now. I'm afraid to leave my house because I have violence-related OCD and PTSD. My PTSD means that I'm easily startled and hypervigilant. When I am startled, or when someone explicitly attracts my attention (by unexpectedly turning and talking to me, for example) my OCD is frequently triggered and I get intrusive thoughts of violence, usually that I'm about to be attacked, or occasionally an urge to attack the person who startles me. These episodes are very disturbing; like having a panic attack combined with a feeling like you're going crazy plus physical nausea. So when I leave the house, I'm afraid of meeting anyone a lot of the time because I'm afraid of having one of these episodes. Now, with that in mind, were I to leave the house presenting as a woman, I would be visibly gender nonconforming/freakish. Which means that I would draw a lot of attention to myself. This creates a sort of feedback loop where not being able to pass magnifies the discomfort I experience from my OCD and PTSD. If I move to a worse neighborhood, that problem is just going to get worse. This is why I complain about my appearance; because not passing makes my life literally intolerable because of my other disorders. If I passed, I would be invisible, but I would be invisible living my life the way I want to live it, and my quality of life would be much higher. Being in the closet isn't an option because a life like that isn't worth living. I came out to avoid suicide.

When I say that I don't want to work in retail, it's because I'm trying to avoid what would basically be a state of constant panic, nausea, and violent ideation while I'm at work, and perpetual dread when I'm not at work (while I wait for my next shift to start) and all the migraines, insomnia, nightmares, etc., that go along with that. It would almost certainly also trigger my colitis. I know how this goes, because that's what my last job was like. I felt sure I was going to die of a heart attack every day I went to work because my anxiety was always astronomical. If I did somehow manage to get a job, that will just be worse if I'm openly trans. If I can't make working from home work for me, and I lose my house, I'll probably just kill myself, because if I have to live like that again, my life is literally not worth living. It might have been worth living if I had some reason to exist outside of work, but the "job satisfaction" I get from the thinking/reading/writing I currently do is the only satisfaction I have access to. If I have to get a "real" job just to pay my bills I'll lose the only source of satisfaction I have. There's just no point living. But it's hard to understand how anyone could feel the way I feel unless you understand what all my problems are and how they interact. The whole thing feels like a carefully designed trap by an evil god.

And I don't expect other people to support me financially. These are obviously my problems and they're my responsibility to solve. It would just be nice if someone took them seriously so I could get assisted s****** when I get to that point. But everyone seems to think I can solve these problems myself. Well, I've been trying for over 30 years and I haven't made any progress yet.

Anyway, that's just more pathetic whinging. You don't have to reply to that. Thanks for the kind words.

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Just to add to what rabidfoxes is saying. I think you paint cheap apartments with too broad a brush. And I know you think urban inner city people are more accepting of trans people, but they sure don't sound safe from your experiences, so I think you should consider suburbs where the density is less severe and thus the odds favor less monstrous people within x meters of you. If there's thousands of people in your neighborhood there are going to be a few bad apples, and if you stand out in a crowd they'll find you.

Living my last 12 years in a couple of subsidized low income apartments, I've yet to have a conversation with a neighbor or learn one of their names, let alone have a confrontation with one. People mind their own business. Never seen any crime, never felt unsafe walking the neighborhood. Certainly never had anywhere near as many problems as your condo has. I'm pretty sure I make less money than you do, but poverty doesn't have to mean desperation or despair.

The bad landlord problem can happen when you rent from a private individual. Big complexes managed by corporations usually provide a safe consistent level of mediocrity, and if you don't like the manager they'll probably be gone in a year anyway.

The only places I've lived where people didn't mind their own business and made me uncomfortable, and where I've seen police with guns drawn and other crime, were much more expensive middle class neighborhoods.

Frankly, from reading your posts over the years, getting away from your family's regular impositions and self-sabotage seems like it'd be bound to help.
Well, I probably wouldn't be accepted for an apartment owned by a corporation like that because they do credit checks. I've been turned down for all kinds of apartments.

I doubt you make less money, but I obviously don't know. From my writing, I only make a couple hundred dollars a month. People on welfare make a lot more than I do from my writing. So if you make less than that, you have my condolences, lol. Most of my income comes from my brother's rent money, which I would lose if I moved. So moving would mean the loss of the majority of my income. It's literally not possible for me to move unless I also get a regular job (or multiple jobs) first, and if I could get a job, I wouldn't be in this situation. The only reason I still have a house is because I never spent anything when I was working and I'm living on the last of my savings. When that's gone, I'm gone, for all the reasons above.

Maybe poverty by itself doesn't have to mean desperation and despair. Maybe you don't need healthcare or heat in winter to be happy, idk. But if you pile enough problems on top of one another at some point you can't expect people to be content about it. I'm extremely poor, I'm transgender, I don't pass, I'm old, I'm ugly, I'm mentally ill, I can't date, I have no friends IRL. How many problems do I need before I have the right to start feeling desperation and despair? Considering the statistics for people like me, the most amazing thing about me is that I'm still alive at all. A lot of people in my shoes wouldn't be.

I do appreciate the reply, even if my response comes across as really negative.

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post #37 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-16-2020, 10:22 AM
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I just don't understand how Canada can have no government services when the reputation is the opposite. My health care is fully covered by the government because of my income, and there are no requirements on that that other than income below ~$17,000/yr. There's a HEAP program that'll fully pay the heating and other utility bills of anyone making less than ~$25,000 a year (although I haven't applied for it because I don't need it). Anyone under ~$27,000/yr can get free phone service. Anyone under $44,000/yr can quality for subsidized housing (granted for some forms of it there's also a minimum, but not all). The poor can get section 8 housing assistance, where the government gives you a certain amount that you can shop around with. And these are all national programs, not California liberalism -- the only benefit I get from being Californian is my dental coverage. And that's without considering any options from the actual welfare department.

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The only reason I still have a house is because I never spent anything when I was working and I'm living on the last of my savings.
I understand that way of living, I've been drawing down savings for quite a while. But since I was switched (without asking) from a normal rent to a percentage of income rent, the leak is basically plugged now despite my income being similar to your writing income this year.

Not saying you don't have lots of other reasons to despair, but it's hard to understand how things like health care and heat and housing don't get taken care of in Canada -- so I hope you make completely sure there aren't programs you've been overlooking. Worth asking a social worker to double check.

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post #38 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-16-2020, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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I just don't understand how Canada can have no government services when the reputation is the opposite. My health care is fully covered by the government because of my income, and there are no requirements on that that other than income below ~$17,000/yr. There's a HEAP program that'll fully pay the heating and other utility bills of anyone making less than ~$25,000 a year (although I haven't applied for it because I don't need it). Anyone under ~$27,000/yr can get free phone service. Anyone under $44,000/yr can quality for subsidized housing (granted for some forms of it there's also a minimum, but not all). The poor can get section 8 housing assistance, where the government gives you a certain amount that you can shop around with. And these are all national programs, not California liberalism -- the only benefit I get from being Californian is my dental coverage. And that's without considering any options from the actual welfare department.

I understand that way of living, I've been drawing down savings for quite a while. But since I was switched (without asking) from a normal rent to a percentage of income rent, the leak is basically plugged now despite my income being similar to your writing income this year.

Not saying you don't have lots of other reasons to despair, but it's hard to understand how things like health care and heat and housing don't get taken care of in Canada -- so I hope you make completely sure there aren't programs you've been overlooking. Worth asking a social worker to double check.
Well, the problem is with the requirements here. I've just managed to fall through the cracks. I can't get disability, because it's extremely hard to get here for MH conditions. What I'm supposed to do is apply for welfare. The problem is, they'll deduct my brother's rent and my earnings from my writing and at best I might see $100 a month or so. That extra $100 is not going to stop me from being homeless, because it's still hundreds of dollars short of my monthly expenses, and for that $100 I'd have to be applying for 60 jobs a month and showing up at the temp agency twice a week and going to job skills training classes and everything else that you have to do on welfare. (I'm not sure what they're doing now with COVID-19, but that's what it was like when I was on welfare many years ago.)

Since being on welfare is basically as stressful as having a regular job, and it wouldn't significantly impact my income, there's really no point in me going on welfare. The stress would destroy my ability to be productive with my writing just like a regular job would because I'd have to be psyching myself up for job interviews or dealing with complete strangers all the time doing temp work. (And again, I'm not expecting anyone to support me. I'm fine with removing myself from the surplus population. I just don't understand why they make it so difficult for people like me to solve the problem in the only way that makes any sense.) The way the system is set up now, everyone who doesn't qualify for disability, and who is too dysfunctional for welfare (which is just a govt job you can be fired from), ends up homeless. There are tens of thousands of people like that in Canada. They're not all rugged individualists spurning the system; the system literally doesn't (and isn't designed to) support them.

We have "universal healthcare" here, but what that means is that ER visits and doctor's visits are free. And that's great and all, but it doesn't cover prescription medication, so I can be diagnosed with something and get a prescription, but I can't afford to buy the pills (or hormones). It also doesn't cover dental (and I have serious problems with my teeth) or eyecare (and I've needed a new pair of glasses for like 20 years) or dermatologists (and I have skin conditions) or most other kinds of specialists (like therapists). I lucked out with the therapy because my therapist has a certain number of "free slots" she can use and she gave me one of them. If she hadn't, I wouldn't be able to afford therapy.

Those programs sound nice. I've looked over all the assistance programs here and I don't qualify for any of them, because of the way they're tied into other programs or their other requirements. Like, they have some "extra assistance" stuff, but you have to already be on welfare or pension or disability to qualify. And like I said, most people do qualify for one of those programs, so it's only a few oddballs like me who can't access them. I'm self-employed, but not a business owner, which is a weird position to be in here. What I'm supposed to do is get a regular job, and if I can't, I'm supposed to go on welfare, and if I don't do either of those, or I get kicked off welfare, it's my own damn fault if I can't afford to pay my bills (and I'm not saying that's wrong). I've explained everything in this thread to my therapist and she doesn't have any suggestions either. We're just trying to help me overcome my anxiety so that I can maybe find some kind of employment before it's too late. I'm not optimistic, but I don't see any alternatives.

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post #39 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-16-2020, 10:48 PM
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@truant Sad to hear things work that way up there. I'll be sure to never again tell anyone I want Canadian-style health care. Good luck.

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post #40 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-20-2020, 06:58 AM
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Okay, that makes sense.

I agree that there should be some kind of a support net but if there isn't, I guess all you've got is:
1) Doing nothing.
2) Finding loopholes that allow you in on the support that does exist but that you are excluded from. Not always an option and admittedly hard even when it's an option. Might be done by lying or harrassing caseworkers/not-for-profits/schemes that could do the fighting for you. There's some risk.
3) Making some money and throwing it at the problem. Difficulty level 3! I wasn't really talking about getting employed as such, I was talking about starting some kind of a business or side hustle. Ideally online, where there is no need to meet people and you can get away with no initial investment. Hard to crack but if you give up on 1) and 2), you've got time to throw some **** at the wall and see what sticks.

I've done all three of these options and with some luck, things start to move along. I did, however, have fewer obstacles than you do, and there are never any guarantees and life can suck in general in some very creative ways.

I can't offer advice but I hear you.

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