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Josie Beth

Coping with self harm

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Josie Beth

I used to be soooo depressed at times in my life that I would hurt myself in various ways. I’d get drunk and burn myself, sometimes cut myself, and even attempted band castration but backed out after a day. I never saw a therapist for it, didn’t know who to talk to, and eventually I distracted myself with other busy things in life until one day I decided to look at myself truthfully and not judge myself as badly. The feelings passed and I realized that if I continued to harm myself and hate myself, I would probably not live to see what was on the other side of my struggle. This didn’t happen overnight or even immediately. It took years of up and down roller coaster emotional episodes to cope. Was I always alone in those times? No, sometimes I would latch onto people just as broken as myself. That just became an unhealthy method of deflection and projection. When I finally got it, I was stripped of everything and everyone and had to face myself. Maybe it was partially due to an external threat that made me want to live, or maybe I was just distracted again by going through a rough spot that I needed to climb out of. I’m not sure really. What I do know now is I made it to the other side of self hate, and those feelings passed for the most part. Now that I know what the underlying issue is, and I know what I have to do to make it right, which is transition, I want to live to see myself become who I always knew I was. That drives me more than anything superficial or external. I don’t recommend not seeking help if you need it because I consider myself fortunate. I just hope that my story can help someone who is going through a similar experience. It’s not over as long as you are alive, and you can learn and grow past the difficult things in life. There’s always a light in the distance, and you can reach it even if it seems like you can’t. It may not be the last tunnel, and won’t be the last glimmer of hope either. It’s not about finally arriving, it’s about working to get there and enjoying the golden nuggets we discover instead of dwelling on the negative things. It works if you work it, so work it girl! 

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What a great attitude, Josie! Self acceptance and self love is so important and yet so difficult for us at times. ❤️

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Josie Beth

I’m very hard on myself more often than not. It’s taken a while to just accept that the life other people wanted to stuff me into was not me at all, and even now I’m feeling fake as I get ready for work, but some day I will be able to look back and be amazed at how far I’ve gotten. That’s why I wake up and go through the charade, because it’s part of getting to where I want to be. Are there still issues? Yeah, I’m a basket case sometimes, but I’m also someone full of love and charm who wants to give and receive that. I believe that’s why I’m still breathing, so I can share that part of myself with no masks. 

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Jennifer Paige

Bravo, Josie!


It's always that balance between saying, "That's it, I'm out of here," and "Thank you, this was a good day."  I never thought I'd see all of my gender stuff as being a Gift, but I've taken it as one.  Since I started doing that, the "Thank you's" have increased even if the self-loathing is still there.  (I'm working on that.)  We take back our lives one little step, one little event, one little word at a time.  When we look back, the book we've written, the life we've lived, is the record of all of those little actions.


While I'm not a particular fan of Oprah, there's a quote attributed to her:  "Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do."


You're not fake living your life today, even if it isn't what you want.  It's food, clothing, and shelter.  It's how you enable the other things you want.  I'm sitting at a desk, in between writing programs to process data, taking a quick break.  I'm in jeans and a button down oxford.  I'd rather be in a skirt and blouse; that's not gonna happen.  What will happen is that I'll work on setting up my next fashion shoot where I can be my girly self while working with a beautiful young woman.  Is it perfect?  It's what I can do.  While everyone else sees photos showing I've spent time working with hot women, what I've really done is work with nice, pretty, bright young women playing dress up with pretty clothes and makeup, either on the street or in the studio.


Here's a closing thought.  There's a book called "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It's a great book!  In it she talks about the life of the trickster versus the martyr.  Below is a link to an essay from her on the topic.  Because of her, I've changed my life outlook to that of the trickster.  I'm tired of hating myself because I like pretty, girly clothes.  They're just clothes!!!  And yes, I'd love to be a girl clear down to the genes!  But this is what I've got, this is what I am, this is my situation, this is the hand I've been dealt.  Now what can I do with it?  I'm given a lemon, and I return with a lemon print sun dress.  :D


Be good to yourself, Josie!



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Josie Beth

Thanks Jennifer. I’m finding my way. It’s far from perfect but I realized today how much people like me. I decided to flirt on a particular app earlier and yes some of it was banal, but it was fun and one of the guys was actually quite gentlemanly. I realize it’s somewhat superficial and of course a -excited- man will say anything, but there was some sincerity there that took me off guard. Especially when I revealed I don’t pass yet and he was still interested. Sure there were some awkward questions, which I answered as gracefully as possible, but none of my answers were met with objections or any attempt to change my mind. That’s refreshing. Most men want to use a battering ram to make me do what they want. This guy is perfectly content drawing the seduction game out to increase the attraction. I can’t say that it’s going to definitely work out that we meet or even hook up but I’m having fun in the meantime. Maybe in a month or so I can dip my toes in the water. He’s surprisingly mature for a guy 20 years younger than me. So maybe he’ll be a boy toy, maybe not. 


Anyway, with all the ups and downs lately that was a nice change of pace. 


I decided that tomorrow I’m going to try to visit the local Glo Center and find out what they have to offer. I’m not expecting much but maybe they can help point me in some meaningful directions. I really can’t wait for 3 more weeks to get informed about what services are available around here. Plus they probably have a better idea about what businesses support trans people and how to go about navigating some of the more difficult steps I have to take. 

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