I’m not sure if anyone is ever going to read this and I’m not sure if that fact even matters. I’ll start off by introducing myself a bit.

My name is Van, I live in Canada, and I am a transgender (ftm specifically). And my life has always been full of anxiety. Not that I always knew I suffered from an anxiety disorder, that diagnosis didn’t come until I was in my early 20s.

I had shown many signs as a child that I didn’t cope with or handle stress very well. I remember being the kid who was too afraid to speak up in class, I never liked expressing my opinions, and I would almost always burst into tears when criticized. And it only got worse the older I got. In high school I spent many nights unable to sleep, worrying about the next day or things I said the day before. I started pretending to be sick to get out of going to school, and that was on top of being legitimately sick a lot of the time as well.

And high school is when I started experiencing panic attacks. The worst part of it was that I thought the level of stress and anxiety I was experiencing was normal. That everyone was experiencing that same high level and making it through no problem, that I was just weak. I now know that isn’t true but at the time it only seemed logical.

The thing that compounded on all of the anxiety I experienced was the confusion about my gender identity and sexuality. I had no idea who I was at that time, all I knew was I hated myself and that my body made me uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to voice it or even explain it to myself let alone anyone else. I’ll expand on that journey in a later blog.

Graduating high school in that state felt like a miracle and I convinced myself that things would get better from that point. It really didn’t improve, however. it was impossible to get a job, I was to afraid to meet and talk to people. Going to college seemed out of reach. And things seemed pretty hopeless.

Things weren’t all bad though. I did manage to figure out my gender identity and at the very least understand my feelings about it. I’ve had a great family who has supported me none stop. And I’ve had a best friend who never gave up on me either.

Things are still very up and down. but I am learning and growing as a person. And I think that is one of the most important things in life.

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