I ended up swallowing my pride and apologizing to L (the approachable roommate) for what she perceived as me taking my shit out on her. We talked for a while and the conclusion we came to was that I need to find somewhere more suitable to live, because neither of us think this is fixable unless I can not be triggered by her and K (the extroverted roommate) just “living their lives” (as she put it), which includes bringing friends and boyfriends over. L had already determined that I’m clearly uncomfortable here and unhappy, which is not something I can deny. The conversation was civil and friendly at times, but I think she still feels that I was attacking her, rather than simply being frustrated with myself and living pain, made worse by seemingly constant reminders of what I’m not and what I’m missing out on.
The conversation ended up being extremely triggering though and because of my ‘delayed reaction’ processing, I’m only just starting to feel the effects of it now, several hours later and wide awake at 3:00am, having given up on sleep again. She told me a couple of ugly ‘truths’ that I cannot come to grips with, even if I know that she is right and I am wrong in this case. Firstly it’s the comment that “I’m not going to stop living my life because of you”, which implies that if I were to stay here, I’d have to be able to cope with both of them bringing friends and boyfriends over, without it triggering me. This is something that I simply cannot do because envy and loneliness have both consumed me. This is nothing new….I’ve always been envious of others, ever since my 2 younger half brothers were heavily favored by my mum and stepdad at the time and how I’ve had a lifetime of watching others pass me by and succeed, while I’m left behind to just ‘watch. It’s like being starving, while simultaneously being made to watch a bunch of people eat your favorite meals when you’re stuck behind a glass screen, tied to a chair with your eyelids forced open. The truth is that I cannot expect others to not live their lives because of me and I don’t even expect them to, but it hurts….it hurts a lot. In the hope that L would understand, I explained to her how I broke down in tears the night that I came home and overheard K and her boyfriend in the bathroom together just talking as ‘couples’ do because it reminded me of how I’d sometimes sit with my ex–wife as she showered and we’d just talk. I know that I cannot expect people not to do these things just because there’s a depressed, lonely loser sitting in the next room getting triggered. I tried to explain to L that when she was talking about rejecting 2 guys that she was dating and how her ‘man friend’ might be moving away, that also triggered me, because I cannot experience those things. While I realize that I’m the one with the problem, I don’t understand why someone would share this stuff with someone they know is struggling with extreme loneliness, which I made her aware of prior to her sharing this information with me, She said that she never ‘hangs out’ with K either, but I failed to explain that K isn’t struggling with depression and loneliness, and has a boyfriend and loads of friends, so that was a rather insensitive comparison to make. I just know that if the boot were on the other foot and I was living with a roommate who was struggling, I’d help them if I could…but hey, I guess this truly is a plastic and uncaring society where status and looks matter above all else.
Secondly, I don’t think she acknowledges me as a woman. She kept telling me that I’m a ‘good soul’ and a ‘good person’ but when people use gender neutral terms like that, it make me think that they don’t accept me as a woman. Why do people try to focus on the ‘inner’ when you’re struggling with the ‘outer’ more than anything else? It’s why I hate terms like ‘inner beauty’, because it validates my worst insecurities and leaves me with a sinking feeling that transition is basically hopeless. But as I said, the conclusion we both came to is that I need to find somewhere else to live and I accept that. I cannot go on living here….they’re not going to change and I cannot expect them to change. I cannot change the way I think and if anything, staying where I am will just make things worse and I’ll become increasingly bitter and self-destructive.
I told her that I’m going to return to the UK for 2-3 weeks, which is kind of the truth (I’m about to book a flight out). Obviously Rochester isn’t working out for me and as discussed in therapy, I need to go ‘home’ to at least see how I feel in terms of my level of anxiety and sense of alienation. I remember how completely and utterly fucking relieved I felt last time I went back (when I should have stayed), so much so that I could have literally kissed the ground at London’s Gatwick Airport. I’m sure it’ll feel like that again, at least at first. The UK didn’t feel like ‘home’ as such, but it’s somewhere I felt more at ease and more able to ‘be myself’ as far as my personality goes (nothing to do with my gender identity). I was able to make friends there and still have a couple of friends there, including someone who is a very good friend (and has been lately, especially). I just don’t feel that I fit in anywhere in American society and that American society judges me for my failings far more harshly than British society would, e.g. for not having a college degree, for being introverted and socially awkward and for not having achieved any goals at this stage of my life. I’ve even been subtly judged and questioned here for not having a car, for fuck’s sake. Now that I’m no longer shielded by being married to an American, I feel a fish out of water….or a round peg trying to fit into a square hole.
I’ve been emailing my mum back and forth about coming back and the only issue is that I’d only be able to stay with her for 2-3 nights because they basically don’t like having guests for too long. So going for 3 weeks is going to be pretty expensive as I’ll have to stay in Airbnb’s for the majority of the time, but I have to do it….I’ve committed now.
The other dilemma I have is that I’m not sure that I’ll receive my ugliness compensation money before I leave. This means that I’ll almost certainly have to come back, even if I just to wait for that check to arrive and deposit it. But I suppose this ‘trip’ will give me an idea as to whether I’l feel any differently about sticking around for a little longer, or not. I don’t really expect that it will force me to change my mind about suicide, but at the very least it might give me a few weeks (or months) of relief and a chance to be the person that I am for a while, before throwing in the towel. So why is the money important (I hear you ask)? Even if I don’t use the money myself, I would like to make sure that it goes to a good cause and I want to donate some of it regardless of what happens to me. As long as it’s in my bank, I can send the money anywhere or to anyone at the click of a button, but if I don’t ever deposit that money, it goes to waste. So it may be that I go to the UK for 3 weeks, if only to get a respite from Rochester and Rochester winter, be my fucking stupid but still very ‘British’ self, experiencing some Scottish Highland scenery and spend time with family and friends. I would most likely have to return here anyway if only to close things out properly before leaving again for good. I’ve essentially sealed my fate anyway by telling L that regardless of whether I choose to return to the UK permanently or not, I will move out of this house. I got the impression that she was pretty relieved when I told her that I’d leave and we joked about how only Priscilla (her cat) and my insurance company would actually miss me (this is actually true).
Anyway, I have to book the outbound flight,but just in case anything goes wrong as it did last time, I’m only going to pay for the outbound flight and outbound train ticket now, to avoid the risk of losing significant money again. I have a credit from WestJet anyway from the last cancelled flight, so if I fly with them again from Toronto it’s only going to cost me $100 or so to London, so if my anxiety gets the better of me again, I’ll only stand to lose $200 or so, rather than almost $1,000 as I did last time. I’ll have to figure out some sort of itinerary over the next week or so once I’ve spoken to my mum to establish when I’d be able to stay with her. I want to go to Scotland first and ride on the West Highland Line, because I feel like the 4 1/2 hour train journey and spending some time truly alone in the Scottish Highlands will ‘cleanse’ me of some of the toxicity of the last 19 months spent here in Rochester. The ‘unknown’ is how realistic these plans are based on my anxiety, but I’ll be sure to get a refill of Lorazepam before I leave which will certainly help with that and I’m hoping that I;ll feel differently when I’m back in the UK.
I spoke to one of my British friends on the phone last night and she actually helped me a lot, by reinforcing my belief that it’s not therapists, pills and care managers that I need, but real friends who accept me for the person that I am (again, little or nothing to do with gender, but rather my personality). Talking to her brings me out of my shell and reminds me that I was a human being once, not a ‘patient’ or a ‘client’ or a ‘pity case’. I was able to at least connect with a few people when I lived in the UK last time and the conversations flowed, with far less awkwardness and me feeling like I’m some sort of leper and lowlife piece of shit, which is how I feel here.
Sorry for the long and ramble-y blog entry. It’s just that I’m dealing with a lot of shit and I’m trying hard not to let the earlier conversation with L affect me, hence I’m trying to keep my mind busy by writing, planning, plotting and booking (and I should book my outbound flight now, before the prices go up). Please know that I’m not giving life a chance and this changes nothing as far as anything long-term, but I’m losing my mind here in Rochester and I need to GTFO before the situation gets any worse and I end up hospitalized against my will again.