I never expected to use this as a personal blog, but I wanted to share a bit on why I write what I do. As well as express how angry I am, despite trying to make this a place of positivity. Included below are personal discussions of bipolar disorder, identity politics, sex, relationships, and how I’m managing to navigate it all.
I’ve been called intimidating more than a few times in my life. When people first meet me, I’m often guarded and quiet. People describe me as intense. The fact that I stand 6’3″ and wear a lot of blacks, violets, reds, and clean lines doesn’t help. When I’m working on something I don’t stop until the job is done, even when working with other people. One time I was having lunch with someone and they kept saying there was something different about me, but couldn’t figure out what. Eventually they figured it out, they had never seen me smile before.
Part of this is very much your classic defense mechanism. I have some serious trust issues due to past relationships. I used to be more open, more vulnerable. As much as I wish this weren’t the case, the world will hurt you if you are so. I learned this the hard way. I know that it’s possible I’ve had shitty luck in relationships, in fact that’s probably it. I had been with people, fucked them, had a relationship with one of my therapists, but never really dated in a healthy stable relationship until a few months ago. I’m twenty-seven years old.
However, I’m also a very angry person. If you’ve read this blog at all, you probably didn’t pick up on that. Or maybe you’re an INFJ and figured that the phoenix, l’Cie brand, and marque symbolize destruction and slavery, as much as they represent rebirth and agency.
I’m angry about a great deal many things. I’m angry that I was born a transsexual, and if given the chance at another life where I was born female bodied I’d take it. In an instant. I’m angry of my shitty relationship luck with people who have hurt me, or engaged in extremely unhealthy dynamics. My envy of my sister who is so much my opposite, female bodied, heterosexual, decently smart, etc. lives life on easy mode. That in the genetic mixing of our parents, I got the family history of mental illnesses while she came out unscathed. Naturally that can piss someone off when you’re twenty-seven and can’t seem to build any life for yourself while your younger sister goes to law school, after building a successful career.
Hell, I’m even angry at some less obvious things. I hate the word ‘privilege’, or the phrase ‘check your privilege’. I’m angry at the zealous application of ‘trigger warnings’, or always reading things in a radical feminist lens. I’m angry that I rarely, if ever, meet someone who I get along really well with who is a political moderate like myself.
Most of all, I’m angry that I’m bipolar. Bipolar II, so periods of hypomania punctuated by long stretches of unimaginable depression. I’m angry that I don’t have a doctor because medical professionals aren’t exempt from prejudice, and when they see “MtF transsexual” they assume that the bipolar disorder is secondary to that. That I’ll see psychologists explicitly looking for help with being bipolar, where at the end they’ll ask me if I want to join a transgender support group. I’ve been post-op for six years, it’s not an issue. Mentally. Physically it still is, you still need blood tests and hormones and well… Do you have any idea how hard it is to find medical and psychiatric treatment with these conditions? I’m scared to death right now because I don’t have anyone I can go to short of an ER right now more even basic medical needs.
The thing is that, while anger can be very constructive (and it often is, especially during periods of hypomania when I feel like I can firebend), it gets to you. It impacts you. And when I slip into depression, that anger just makes me feel so… I can’t do anything with it. It’s an impotent rage that makes me feel like I’m no good, or an awful person, or that I’m useless or lazy because “look at other people, they’re doing just fine!” It really gets to you.
I think then, that I’m trying to understand this anger. To recognize the constructive aspects from the destructive ones. To an extent, I know why I’m angry at some things. I’m angry at the hard-leftist identity politics not because I don’t think they have some good points (they do), but that they go overboard. I took a social work degree at a very, very left wing university (and for universities, that’s saying something). Four years of “privilege”, “social location”, “intersectionality”, and where most of my essays had a section where we were asked to relate our “social location” (your race, class, oritentation, gender, etc.) to the topic at hand. This led to something I see online all the time, the “Oppression Olympics”, where colleagues attempt to find all the ways they’re disadvantage (really reaching sometimes, like “my grandfather was Jewish during the holocaust”. Which is terrible, for him…). While I can see the importance of being self aware, it was too much. If you’re subjected to an ideology long enough, you’re either going to accept it, or violently reject it. I just never drank the cool-aid. As such, I’m trying to balance my critiques of identity politics, with acknowledging the value in being conscious of these things… But seriously, it became impossible to relate to anyone as a human being because all identity politics does is separate people while holding up the disadvantaged as more authoritative or credible.
I know why I’m angry at being a transsexual, being bipolar. Wouldn’t you be? Here’s a fun fact, I can’t feel sexual pleasure. None. And no one knows why. I haven’t orgasmed since 2008, I haven’t even been able to feel it when I had sex or masturbated since that time too. That part of my brain is gone, and it’s terrifying because no professional of any kind knows what’s wrong… I mean, I’ve been given a lot in my life, don’t take this for me being ungrateful… But those are shitty hole cards to be dealt. My peers, childhood friends, sister, we all shared the community cards of an upper-class existence… But yeah, you can still make a hand of community cards, but the ones in the hole are dragging me down. I like poker. On that note, I’ve had someone tell me, “You play the cards you’re dealt.” I agreed that this is true, but then added, “But you can fold any time.”
Also there is no excuse for medical professionals stigmatizing patients, and there is no excuse that it takes months upon months of searching to find the help you need… Help that I have yet to find, outside of my current therapist who has been a huge help.
>>> Why are you telling me this?
Because I derive little joy out of my life, so when I do I want to celebrate it. That’s why I started this site. Resonance Frequency was in part inspired by my love of media, as well as trying to be accepting of the things I love. I keep a lot hidden away, or obscured with symbolism that not many people get. I think, it’s stories and characters and themes and symbolism which speak to me. They’re what get me talking, and to open up. And while I forget that people often don’t see this, I view the stuff I love here as obvious clues to who I am. I guess that’s why I’m confused when people say that I’m very guarded. I often don’t understand that the tattoos/ symbols I wear and admissions to things I like will not be interpreted as me telling someone about who I am. Strangely… If that makes sense. Apparently most people don’t think in metaphor. And that’s fine, it’s just… weird.
So here I get to go into why I love the stuff that I love, in a huge amount of detail! And no one can stop me from writing tens of thousands of words on something that I love! Hell, it doesn’t cost you anything to read this. This site costs me money. I have no ads, do minimal (read: unobtrusive) tagging and promotion, and I sure as hell don’t get any sort of money for doing this. In my mind, that means I can go on and on if I want to. Hopefully it’s interesting, though. Because if you are reading this, I like you. As much as I joke that no one reads this website… I really wish people would read this website, because it’s my chance to share with the world in a way I can’t do otherwise.
The awesome thing is that this stuff really gets me going. When I’m in a hypomanic state, the stuff I write about here is just throwing gasoline on that fire. Also fire in general becomes a major symbol, it’s kinda interesting. I just realized every metaphor I have for hypomania involves fire, and eruptions, and phoenixes rising up, and me talking forever to a few very, very patient friends who made the mistake of going, “Yeah, I’m free to listen, what’s up?” before being bombarded with everything from existentialist stream of consciousness, to a detailed exploration of a minor character in my novel.
I’ve written articles for this site on days that I wasn’t able to leave my apartment. In a way, this is my way of communicating. Even if it’s small. And honestly, I rarely think that anyone wants to hear what I have to say, so I keep it quiet. Partially this is because I’m a writer, and even when getting paid to write I’m still convinced that all of my stuff is shit and that the pay is just someone’s charity… Even when it’s a professional full-time job.
The point is that, this site helps me communicate the joy that I feel and helps me hold onto and spend time with it. Right now, I know that Jacqueline Carey is still writing novels, and that Doctor Who is coming back, and both of those things are awesome because I love that stuff! But weirdly, I’ve had to realize that Final Fantasy XIII is done. At least the canon material. Seriously, I think I’m grieving. I think this epic three-part series that has gone on for fourteen-thousand words (and counting) is my way of getting closure. Even if the fandom is still cool. I recently saw a Fangrai Forever prompt (No. 304, possible Lightning Returns spoilers) that inspired me, and am working on something for that.
I do this to help come to terms with my anger. Both the elements which are useful and helpful, and the ones that I need to keep in check. I’m a cold hearted bitch sometimes, but I’m really working to fix that. I just know that when I’m in a certain mental place, I can become the most cutting and cruel person you’ve ever known… I can also be someone who will sit in a hospital with you for hours on end because you didn’t want to go there alone.
Whenever I think of what my self-portrait might look like, I always imagine two people in it. I’m coming to understand this might be the bipolar thing talking, and how my hypomanic and depressive selves are so different. Or the duality of symbols being both constructive and destructive… Asymmetry is something I like a lot. I’m convinced that’s why I love stuff like FFXIII because of Fang and Vanille, even Lightning and Claire.
I not only need to celebrate the joy in my life, but also just acknowledge it. To focus on it, and try to see the elements in my life which improve it. I am not someone to take something lying down. I do not give up. I will not fail twice. Despite how I chastise myself for being lazy and weak because I struggle to build something in my life, I know that I’m strong. I need to know that. Hell, the fact that I can end the day, look back over an article I posted here and go, “I wrote that. I spent hours working on that. I contributed something.” has been really something. Even if no one reads it. In fact, the only article that people do read is the one on lesbian porn. And that is pretty cool, I mean people responded to that one and it made my week. I like that, makes me smile. Especially since I was a professional erotica/ smut writer for a while. It’s nice to know your talents are appreciated.
>>> Could we wrap this up, please?
I sat down and wrote this tonight because I have been feeling angry. I have been depressed. Today was a shitty day. I think that, well it feels good to articulate things. I’m better at articulating through text than any other medium (it’s why I do essays and not video, at least for the time being). I think that, because this is such a positive space, and will continue to be so… I want to acknowledge that the person writing these words struggles with anger. Not anger issues, mind you. I do not, and will not, lash out at someone in anger. I am not a monster. But, you know, it’s sorting the good constructive energy from the destructive forces which often end up ruining my life rather than someone else’s.
I’m also feeling lonely tonight. My right ear is blocked, and I can’t unclog it (I’ve tried everything), but I can’t get a doctor to do it because, I don’t have one. I’m also feeling depressed, and it’s times like these when I feel that my mind is my antagonist. To put this out into the void, helps. This is me feeling that wave about to hit me again, and trying to dig my heels in the sand and steel myself.
So, this is why this site exists. Because I need a place where I can go while suffering from mental illness, and this is a space where I can engage the world while doing self-care.
Resonance Frequency still has’t found its voice. I’m still not sure where I want to take this project. But I figure, with everything, the more you read/ experience and the more you write and the more revisions and attempts you make, eventually something will click. At the very least I like that I can try and be entertaining while getting to be that little kid who bounces up and down going “Look at this! This is awesome!”.
I’m still angry though. Being bipolar sucks, having no sexual feeling sucks. But I don’t think I need to let go of that anger. At least it keeps me searching for help, at least I’ll never lie down and take it.