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Author Topic: Dragon Tamers - A room for those of us with anxiety / depression / etc  (Read 47505 times)
Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #1525 on: February 27, 2017, 09:17:27 pm »

Dear Mme. Ratchet,
I am so, so sorry if you feel your sharing of your concerns were not received as you would wish. Please, if there is any help we could offer through discussion here then let us know in which direction you would like the conversation to progress. Alternatively, if you would prefer this to be a space where you can 'unload' with us here simply in 'listening' mode, then I for one will happily sit back and leave the space to yourself.

With sincerest best wishes,
Miranda.
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Mme. Ratchet
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #1526 on: February 27, 2017, 09:37:50 pm »

Just feels like everything I do is not up to snuff. Can't complain right, can't dress right, can't shop right, can't transition right, can't be creative right, can't do any of it right. And the list goes on. I have a hard time communicating through text-based means, so you will have to bear with me.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #1527 on: February 28, 2017, 12:17:01 am »

(snip)

...so you will have to bear with me.

We certainly can, and I am confident we will find along the way that there are many, many things that you are 'doing right'. Often our harshest critic is ourself, and who is to say just what is 'right' or 'wrong'? There are often many roads to any given goal, and the journey we take may not seem the correct one initially, but can surprise us in the end.

Yours,
Miranda.

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walking stick
Zeppelin Admiral
******
England England


« Reply #1528 on: February 28, 2017, 03:34:33 am »

Dear Mme. Ratchet.  You are doing things. Perfection is not nearly as important as doing.  I am all admiration that someone with so many things to consider isn't simply hibernating to avoid it all. Continue with your creativity, wardrobe adjustments, shopping and self realisation.  This is a space where you are free to vent your feelings.
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Moderator
Immortal
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United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #1529 on: February 28, 2017, 03:43:25 am »

Dear Mme Ratchet :

I'm sorry if I came across as judging your post. That was not my intention.  I meant to say that some things you mentioned may not need so much of your attention.

Perhaps it seems all we do comes out wrong, but you are not alone in feeling that way. My life has not been a joy ride, and I find myself wondering why I am in this predicament. Truth be told is that if you can complain about your life, then it means that you still have alternatives and hope to get better.

Seeing everything in terms of black and white is never a good idea. It will bring you down. If instead of tackling everything, you instead fix some things first, your success will cascade and you will start feeling better about yourself.

You just need to choose something to tackle first and set a goal to fix that first, and then take it step by step. That is what I meant when I wrote the  word "prioritize."

We can allow ourselves to be less than perfect in the meantime because we won't judge you at Brassgoggles.

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Mme. Ratchet
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #1530 on: March 01, 2017, 07:54:13 am »

Now that I've had a little bit to clear my head, let me explain a little further and reply individually to everything said.

Dear Mme Ratchet :

I'm sorry if I came across as judging your post. That was not my intention.  I meant to say that some things you mentioned may not need so much of your attention.

Perhaps it seems all we do comes out wrong, but you are not alone in feeling that way. My life has not been a joy ride, and I find myself wondering why I am in this predicament. Truth be told is that if you can complain about your life, then it means that you still have alternatives and hope to get better.

Seeing everything in terms of black and white is never a good idea. It will bring you down. If instead of tackling everything, you instead fix some things first, your success will cascade and you will start feeling better about yourself.

You just need to choose something to tackle first and set a goal to fix that first, and then take it step by step. That is what I meant when I wrote the  word "prioritize."

We can allow ourselves to be less than perfect in the meantime because we won't judge you at Brassgoggles.



It wasn't that you came across as judgey, just seems like I can't ever do anything good enough by any metric, either mine or someone else's. In my head, a lot of things get a lot more attention than others, I had just gone off the cuff and started listing things that were bothering me in no real particular order. I am not really wired in such a way to actively work within abstract thoughts. For example, instead of making a choice of cereal from 30 different boxes, I have to make that a choice between 2. To do so, I make the choice a yes or no question because it makes it easier. Do I want Lucky Charms? Yes or no. Do I want Frosted Flakes? Yes or no. etc. A big part of the problem isn't that I don't know what to fix. It's that I don't know how to fix it, because I don't actually know why it's broken, just that it is. I am not allowed to be anything less than perfect. If I am, then it isn't right. At least, in my head, that's how I see things.

Dear Mme. Ratchet.  You are doing things. Perfection is not nearly as important as doing.  I am all admiration that someone with so many things to consider isn't simply hibernating to avoid it all. Continue with your creativity, wardrobe adjustments, shopping and self realisation.  This is a space where you are free to vent your feelings.

I really don't think I'm doing anything at all, though, which is part of the problem. To be entirely honest, as much as possible I *do* hibernate to avoid it all. I stay in my apartment, day in and day out, for the most part. Very rarely am I able to muster enough energy to get myself to leave for anything other than work. Regarding the other things, I am frustrated with my inability to make ideas that I have manifest, whether that is a monetary inability or an inability to be creative enough to do it. I am frustrated with my inability to decide what sorts of clothes I even like because I never really wear anything other than my work uniform. I only know what I wore pre-transition as a boy/kid, and I am nervous to try and continue wearing those things even though I like them specifically because I don't want to look like a guy. I can't afford to go clothes shopping or anything else, and even if I could, getting there would be a trick, not to mention being around people and interacting and being able to like something enough to warrant paying money for it.

Dear Mme. Ratchet,
I agree with Admiral Wilhelm - keeping to the prescribed schedule for you hormone therapy is paramount, as varying from the set pattern could impact upon your health. I presume you are having regular check-ups as to your progress and general well being?

As to frustrations at being unable to change aspects of your life, well, sometimes in life we all seem to hit a point where we feel unable to move forwards, stuck in the same old place. Might it be an idea to focus on one specific thing to make a change? It could be a new hairstyle, one new outfit of clothes, a new coat of paint for for the walls, whatever - and once that's successfully done, it might feel easier to move other aspects forward too.

Yours,
Miranda.

I've gotten better about taking my hormone therapy. It's just frustrating because I should be able to remember things like that and don't or can't. I don't really know what to focus on or how to change a lot of aspects that I'm frustrated with. I'm moving back in with my parents in May, so the apartment will be less of a concern for the time being. I never have the time or energy to do my hair and/or make-up, can't afford new clothes and even if I could, don't really know what I would buy because, as said above, I don't know what I like, just what I liked as a guy. So it becomes an issue of not being able to change anything because I don't know where to start or how than anything.

I've been frustrated with my inability to be creative, my inability to change aspects of myself that I don't like (like my weight, for instance), my inability to communicate effectively through text, my failure to remember to take medications for my hormone therapy, which leads to frustration with the progress my hormone therapy has made because I forget to take my medications, my inability to break from the rigid concept of being period correct even within a steampunk context, and I hate my apartment and my wardrobe/general appearance, and am frustrated with my inability to change either.

:/

Mme Ratchet :

If I may be cavalier about it, it seems to me that the list you wrote above should be prioritized. I don't see the point of maintaining period correctness within a Steampunk gathering when you have the more serious issue of maintaining your transformation process. Which is more important?

We're not going to be terribly worried over here about an imperfect Steampunk character. We are not only Steampunks here, but also Dieselpunks, Clockpunks, Cyberpunks, Goths, and all manner of permutations thereof.

I'd say pay attention to your personal development first. Don't mind if you're period incorrect in a meeting or something.

Maintaining a medication schedule could be as easy as using a multi alarm clock or watch. But aside from that, let me ask you, are you alone on a daily basis? Is there any one who can be a minder for you? Do you have a transgender support group around you? Honestly what  I'd do if I was alone, and going through such a heavy change is look for an LGBQT social group using a website such as Meetup.com.

Loneliness is a terrible oppressor, and can easily lead to depression which can explain other issues such as procrastination and an inability to maintain a daily routine.


With respect to period correctness, it's more in the vein of "this is steampunk, not re-enacting, it's okay if you want to drill in British uniforms and equipment using American drill techniques and a French rifle, all the while speaking German". And while that may be okay for steampunk, it's not okay in my head, so trying to get myself to feel like I fit in a steampunk community versus a re-enacting one is difficult for me. I feel like if I showed up to a steampunk event wearing a correct British khaki uniform and pith helmet with Slade Wallace equipment and a P1888 MkI Magazine Lee-Metford, parading about using the techniques exactly as written by the numbers according to the School of Musketry, I would be out of place. But bringing myself to take that look and adopt traditional steampunk fare (goggles and the like), that it'd be out of place because it's not period correct for the late 1880s-early 1890s.

My situation with hormones is improving, but slowly. I just simply don't remember when to take my medications. So they are taken inconsistently or missed altogether.

While you lot may not be bothered by an "imperfect" steampunk character, I certainly am, which is the problem. Because it's that historical imperfection that makes it so steamy, and I can't seem to handle being historically imperfect.

To answer your questions, I am regularly alone. Everyone I have tried asking for help is great about it for a week or two, a month at most, and then they forget about me. :/ There is a local support group, I helped found it, but it has become something entirely different from what I care to attend, and I generally don't get along with the trans community at large. I am diagnosed as having clinical depression, by the way. Which really doesn't help, just a tidbit.
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Moderator
Immortal
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #1531 on: March 01, 2017, 08:11:19 am »

Dear Mme. Ratchet:

The Major Depressive Disorder you mention at the end could be a significant factor, and neurologically speaking is closely related to most of what you have described vis-a-vis, apathy, indecision, and  perfectionism. Are you seeing a psychologist for support during you transition?
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Mme. Ratchet
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #1532 on: March 01, 2017, 09:41:37 am »

I was, but had to stop. I can't afford it.
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J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #1533 on: March 01, 2017, 10:21:43 am »

I was, but had to stop. I can't afford it.

Will moving back to your parent's help your situation? Do you have support from them? Even if just moral support, that can be a very important thing.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #1534 on: March 01, 2017, 07:45:40 pm »

Now that I've had a little bit to clear my head, let me explain a little further and reply individually to everything said.

(snip)

I've gotten better about taking my hormone therapy. It's just frustrating because I should be able to remember things like that and don't or can't. I don't really know what to focus on or how to change a lot of aspects that I'm frustrated with. I'm moving back in with my parents in May, so the apartment will be less of a concern for the time being. I never have the time or energy to do my hair and/or make-up, can't afford new clothes and even if I could, don't really know what I would buy because, as said above, I don't know what I like, just what I liked as a guy. So it becomes an issue of not being able to change anything because I don't know where to start or how than anything.

(snip)

I'm glad to hear you are finding a pattern that works for you for the hormone therapy. I know how you feel - I'm terrible at forgetting things; it takes me quite a while to build up anything I need to do regularly into a habit. I guess you know that some of the feelings you are currently having, such as the lack of energy, could be a by-product of the therapy; it may take a little time for your body and mind to fully adjust to it.

It is really tricky knowing how to dress when coming to it 'fresh', so to speak. You see teenage RGs experimenting with all sorts of styles and looks and seeing how they work for them, and that works dine because they are young and society pretty much expects it. Rather more tricky if you are coming at it from a trans direction. It took me a long, long time to find what (I hope!) works for me, with a lot of mistakes along the way (I think some of the abominations I tried along the way are still lurking at the back of the wardrobe...)

I can see it's really tough to find what you want on a strictly limited budget. I was going to say 'trying on' is free (hit the shops, grab a few outfits and head to the changing room and make good use of their mirrors) but then a though struck me - can trans people use the changing rooms of their chosen gender in the US? Charity shops (thrift stores) are a great place to pick up cheap items, and, if if it's not the kind of place you're used to going into, you might be surprised at the quality of the things some people donate. In terms of crystallizing ideas about what you might want to wear, is it worth putting together a mood board of fabrics and styles?

Hair and makeup... I'd really recommend finding a bit of free time (a weekend say), get a good night's sleep to replenish the energy levels and then treat yourself to a pamper/experiment with the 'slap' day.
It's amazing what a boost it can be to just grant yourself some time to indulge.

For your Steampunk persona, you talked about military uniforms, and I can see the passion in you for exacting re-enactment; your attention to detail sounds phenomenal! But, as you mentioned, re-enactment is different to Steampunk, and it is those anachronisms and flights of fancy that set it apart. One thing that struck me, though - have you given much though to developing a more femme Steampunk persona? You may feel differently about how you dress for that than the more military based look.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Mme. Ratchet
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #1535 on: March 01, 2017, 09:48:24 pm »

I was, but had to stop. I can't afford it.

Will moving back to your parent's help your situation? Do you have support from them? Even if just moral support, that can be a very important thing.

Yes, and yes.

Now that I've had a little bit to clear my head, let me explain a little further and reply individually to everything said.

(snip)

I've gotten better about taking my hormone therapy. It's just frustrating because I should be able to remember things like that and don't or can't. I don't really know what to focus on or how to change a lot of aspects that I'm frustrated with. I'm moving back in with my parents in May, so the apartment will be less of a concern for the time being. I never have the time or energy to do my hair and/or make-up, can't afford new clothes and even if I could, don't really know what I would buy because, as said above, I don't know what I like, just what I liked as a guy. So it becomes an issue of not being able to change anything because I don't know where to start or how than anything.

(snip)

I'm glad to hear you are finding a pattern that works for you for the hormone therapy. I know how you feel - I'm terrible at forgetting things; it takes me quite a while to build up anything I need to do regularly into a habit. I guess you know that some of the feelings you are currently having, such as the lack of energy, could be a by-product of the therapy; it may take a little time for your body and mind to fully adjust to it.

It is really tricky knowing how to dress when coming to it 'fresh', so to speak. You see teenage RGs experimenting with all sorts of styles and looks and seeing how they work for them, and that works dine because they are young and society pretty much expects it. Rather more tricky if you are coming at it from a trans direction. It took me a long, long time to find what (I hope!) works for me, with a lot of mistakes along the way (I think some of the abominations I tried along the way are still lurking at the back of the wardrobe...)

I can see it's really tough to find what you want on a strictly limited budget. I was going to say 'trying on' is free (hit the shops, grab a few outfits and head to the changing room and make good use of their mirrors) but then a though struck me - can trans people use the changing rooms of their chosen gender in the US? Charity shops (thrift stores) are a great place to pick up cheap items, and, if if it's not the kind of place you're used to going into, you might be surprised at the quality of the things some people donate. In terms of crystallizing ideas about what you might want to wear, is it worth putting together a mood board of fabrics and styles?

Hair and makeup... I'd really recommend finding a bit of free time (a weekend say), get a good night's sleep to replenish the energy levels and then treat yourself to a pamper/experiment with the 'slap' day.
It's amazing what a boost it can be to just grant yourself some time to indulge.

For your Steampunk persona, you talked about military uniforms, and I can see the passion in you for exacting re-enactment; your attention to detail sounds phenomenal! But, as you mentioned, re-enactment is different to Steampunk, and it is those anachronisms and flights of fancy that set it apart. One thing that struck me, though - have you given much though to developing a more femme Steampunk persona? You may feel differently about how you dress for that than the more military based look.

Yours,
Miranda.


As far as I know there are no federal laws preventing trans people from using the right changing room, nor are there any in my state. I've been to thrift stores before. The trouble is usually just getting to them, because I don't have a functioning car at the moment. Most are too far to realistically walk to in a reasonable amount of time. What's a mood board? I have no idea what that even is.

I haven't had a good night's sleep in a loooong time. I am not sure I would even be able to do something like what you suggest, though experimenting isn't super necessary for me, I don't think. I know how and what to do. Just never have much time or the energy to do it.

As far as steampunk-related things go, I have been a long time re-enactor and have always prided myself on my research and detail in things. What is most likely keeping me from embellishing what I already know is an inability to be creative, I think. Overly feminine things have never been my preference or interest, and when I think of "Femme" steampunk, I immediately start thinking "Skirts, dresses, corsets, etc.", all of which is an immediate turn-off. The last time I wore a corset I got hurt, dresses and skirts are often too revealing or make me feel uncomfortable, and I usually have to shave to make those work, which burns up way too many razors. I like the military look but just don't quiet know how to make it my own, and even if I did, I probably couldn't do so.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #1536 on: March 02, 2017, 12:13:57 am »


As far as I know there are no federal laws preventing trans people from using the right changing room, nor are there any in my state. I've been to thrift stores before. The trouble is usually just getting to them, because I don't have a functioning car at the moment. Most are too far to realistically walk to in a reasonable amount of time. What's a mood board? I have no idea what that even is.

I haven't had a good night's sleep in a loooong time. I am not sure I would even be able to do something like what you suggest, though experimenting isn't super necessary for me, I don't think. I know how and what to do. Just never have much time or the energy to do it.

As far as steampunk-related things go, I have been a long time re-enactor and have always prided myself on my research and detail in things. What is most likely keeping me from embellishing what I already know is an inability to be creative, I think. Overly feminine things have never been my preference or interest, and when I think of "Femme" steampunk, I immediately start thinking "Skirts, dresses, corsets, etc.", all of which is an immediate turn-off. The last time I wore a corset I got hurt, dresses and skirts are often too revealing or make me feel uncomfortable, and I usually have to shave to make those work, which burns up way too many razors. I like the military look but just don't quiet know how to make it my own, and even if I did, I probably couldn't do so.

It is a pain not having transport; however, with moving back to your parents, could they help you get to the shops? Do you think your Mum would come along on a shopping trip (it's always good to get someone else's opinion)? If there's no issue with using the changing rooms, then like I said, trying on is free so you could hit the shops and try out a whole range of 'looks' without spending a cent.

Sorry to hear about the sleep disruption; I suppose you've tried the usual things to help (cup of hot chocolate or green tea before bed, avoiding blue light from flat-screen displays for a hour or so before bedtime, etc.)? Lack of sleep is so draining, and I find it kills creative thought stone dead. Maybe if a good sleep pattern could be established some of the other concerns might recede? Easier said than done, I know...

In terms of period dressing and being covered up, an authentic Victorian dress could do just that, from a high collar to floor-length skirts. If corsets don't appeal, well, they are not compulsory and you could always move on a few years to the Edwardian era where the corset started to be thrown out in favour of a more natural look. But, as an alternative, what about a lady explorer? I'm thinking jodhpurs, safari jacket and pith helmet.

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Moderator
Immortal
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United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #1537 on: March 02, 2017, 12:49:49 am »

Quote
I can see it's really tough to find what you want on a strictly limited budget. I was going to say 'trying on' is free (hit the shops, grab a few outfits and head to the changing room and make good use of their mirrors) but then a though struck me - can trans people use the changing rooms of their chosen gender in the US? Charity shops (thrift stores) are a great place to pick up cheap items, and, if if it's not the kind of place you're used to going into, you might be surprised at the quality of the things some people donate. In terms of crystallizing ideas about what you might want to wear, is it worth putting together a mood board of fabrics and styles?


As far as "bathroom laws" in the US, it is exclusively a state by state phenomenon, not a nationide phenomenon, and it is a deeply political phenomenon, so I'll just describe it here once, hoping not to start a political debate. The spoiler below has a very full explanation of these controversial laws, including a specific example with the legal document for one state which is presumably about to pass such laws this year. You can tell what my position is on the issue, but I'll explain is a neutrally as I can without breaking into a curse-ridden hysterical fit.

[mod hat] Open spoiler at your own risk if you are politically sensitive and with a warning not to continue a political discussion which will be shut down as soon as I see it develop into something nasty - this post is for information purposes only [/mod hat]

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 10:50:38 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #1538 on: March 02, 2017, 06:47:09 pm »

Dear Mme Ratchet

I haven't really got any advice for you but just wanted you to know I am thinking of you.

Best wishes

Cora
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You have to tread a fine line between avant-garde surrealism and getting yourself sectioned...
Mme. Ratchet
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #1539 on: March 02, 2017, 10:26:21 pm »


As far as I know there are no federal laws preventing trans people from using the right changing room, nor are there any in my state. I've been to thrift stores before. The trouble is usually just getting to them, because I don't have a functioning car at the moment. Most are too far to realistically walk to in a reasonable amount of time. What's a mood board? I have no idea what that even is.

I haven't had a good night's sleep in a loooong time. I am not sure I would even be able to do something like what you suggest, though experimenting isn't super necessary for me, I don't think. I know how and what to do. Just never have much time or the energy to do it.

As far as steampunk-related things go, I have been a long time re-enactor and have always prided myself on my research and detail in things. What is most likely keeping me from embellishing what I already know is an inability to be creative, I think. Overly feminine things have never been my preference or interest, and when I think of "Femme" steampunk, I immediately start thinking "Skirts, dresses, corsets, etc.", all of which is an immediate turn-off. The last time I wore a corset I got hurt, dresses and skirts are often too revealing or make me feel uncomfortable, and I usually have to shave to make those work, which burns up way too many razors. I like the military look but just don't quiet know how to make it my own, and even if I did, I probably couldn't do so.

It is a pain not having transport; however, with moving back to your parents, could they help you get to the shops? Do you think your Mum would come along on a shopping trip (it's always good to get someone else's opinion)? If there's no issue with using the changing rooms, then like I said, trying on is free so you could hit the shops and try out a whole range of 'looks' without spending a cent.

Sorry to hear about the sleep disruption; I suppose you've tried the usual things to help (cup of hot chocolate or green tea before bed, avoiding blue light from flat-screen displays for a hour or so before bedtime, etc.)? Lack of sleep is so draining, and I find it kills creative thought stone dead. Maybe if a good sleep pattern could be established some of the other concerns might recede? Easier said than done, I know...

In terms of period dressing and being covered up, an authentic Victorian dress could do just that, from a high collar to floor-length skirts. If corsets don't appeal, well, they are not compulsory and you could always move on a few years to the Edwardian era where the corset started to be thrown out in favour of a more natural look. But, as an alternative, what about a lady explorer? I'm thinking jodhpurs, safari jacket and pith helmet.

Yours,
Miranda.

Yes, they can, but that's months off. Mom would probably be interested in coming along, for sure.

I can't sleep without my computer close at hand and a movie or something on. I get really anxious, otherwise. A good sleep pattern would probably help a lot of things, but probably not my creativity. My creativity issues are a whole other mess.

I find dresses in general uncomfortable. The ones I don't find uncomfortable are too revealing. Same for skirts and the like. The only reason I haven't jumped on top of something like that is because it feels so overdone and I want to do something different. That and I'd have to completely re-write my backstory, which was hard enough to do as-is...

Regarding my creativity issues, I have difficulty with more abstract things. I can totally sit down with a kit or pattern and make away. But if I went in to a wood shop and just said "I want to make a box" I wouldn't actually know what to do or how to do it. If I was decorating a pre-made box, without a pre-selected assortment of decorations to put on it, I wouldn't know what to put on it. Then there are some things that I just outright can't do without a lot of anxiety, stress, or frustration, like drawing.
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rovingjack
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States



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« Reply #1540 on: March 05, 2017, 07:02:04 am »

Mme. Ratchet,

If I might be so bold as to make a suggestion that may help. get a pad of paper, open a text document, or a memo on your phone, or something like that.

and for a day, every time you find yourself thinking that you are no good at this, or no good at that, or just no good. I want you to make a little / mark. Think of it like catching mosquitoes who keep biting you.

we'll start by catching them in the act and getting them out where we can see them rather than buzzing our ears and around us in places we can't see.

So lets just catch them as they fly around you and catch them to bring them out where we can see them.

It should also help you know that you are making an effort and making progress in working through things. It can feel good knowing you're doing something about the things that bather you.

If you give this a try, I have a couple of follow up step to this exercise, and a few other tricks you could tuck up your sleeves if you'd like.
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J. Wilhelm
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Moderator
Immortal
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United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #1541 on: March 05, 2017, 12:18:49 pm »

Mme. Ratchet

What Rovingjack wrote is a good idea. You need to begin tackling the [Edit : self esteem] problem bit by bit.



*snip*

 Overly feminine things have never been my preference or interest, and when I think of "Femme" steampunk, I immediately start thinking "Skirts, dresses, corsets, etc.", all of which is an immediate turn-off. The last time I wore a corset I got hurt, dresses and skirts are often too revealing or make me feel uncomfortable, and I usually have to shave to make those work, which burns up way too many razors. I like the military look but just don't quiet know how to make it my own, and even if I did, I probably couldn't do so.

Also, my situation is different to yours, but the similarities as far as lack of transport is something that I can relate to. I was struck by what you wrote about skirts, and dresses being too much of a turn off.

You know? You get to gage your degree of femininity. You don't have to be all "frilly." A lot of women are not.

Now * Disclaimer*  I'm not telling you to do what I did, because every one of us is different. Your motivation is different to mine. My goals are different to yours, and my gender and sex (eventually) are also different to yours. However, dealing with the balance between masculinity and femininity is something I've dealt with for a long time, because I have never tried to "cross" the gender, strictly speaking. I don’t have Gender Dysphoria and I've always been OK with being a guy... So I made a decision on how far I'd take it, and I've had to learn what looks good on my body and have created a style of my own (which reminds me there isn't a single picture of me in my "daily attire," oh well, maybe later.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So without being super-explicit, and without really cross-dressing "all-out," with no lacy skirts, or dresses, I have made some waves in my community and achieved my purpose. I think the absolute girlie-est outerwear items I own are the Chinese Cheongsam shirt with red-plum brocade, and the very short grey woollen mini-skorts which I hardly ever wear (!) Most else is pretty much masculine style women's ware. It just works. I'm really happy with the results. Hurray for women's lib effect on clothes' gender!!  Cheesy

My target is now to make that look work with more formal business attire. I would not go over the top top with red, white or any bright colours - too feminine, and in fact, I'd stick with the manlier scheme of female business attire, such as Ann Taylor pin stripe navy, brown or black suit, Size 12 pants and matching blazer. I *want* all stuff Ann Taylor / LOFT  Cheesy Dress shirt and laser-red paisley tie. Sharpest Louise Brooke's shingle bob. Killer eyes...

~ ~ ~

Eat your heart out Marlene Dietrich, women and men don't eat from the palm of your hand like they do mine!  Ha ha ha ha!
Cheesy  Grin  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Grin

Original character design by Renji "Range" Murata

JW
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 07:51:36 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Mme. Ratchet
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« Reply #1542 on: March 06, 2017, 10:22:08 am »

Mme. Ratchet,

If I might be so bold as to make a suggestion that may help. get a pad of paper, open a text document, or a memo on your phone, or something like that.

and for a day, every time you find yourself thinking that you are no good at this, or no good at that, or just no good. I want you to make a little / mark. Think of it like catching mosquitoes who keep biting you.

we'll start by catching them in the act and getting them out where we can see them rather than buzzing our ears and around us in places we can't see.

So lets just catch them as they fly around you and catch them to bring them out where we can see them.

It should also help you know that you are making an effort and making progress in working through things. It can feel good knowing you're doing something about the things that bather you.

If you give this a try, I have a couple of follow up step to this exercise, and a few other tricks you could tuck up your sleeves if you'd like.


That is an intriguing idea, but I have no idea how it's supposed to help. Could you expound on that a bit for me?


J. Wilhelm,

I really don't have a self-esteem problem, to be honest. It sometimes appears that way, but it's a lot more complicated than that. And hard to enumerate via a text-based medium.

Moving on...

It's not that skirts and dresses are to frilly or that they expose too much, necessarily. I know a lot of women aren't. Specifically, wearing skirts and dresses makes me uncomfortable in general. It is a rare occasion indeed that I am ever wearing dresses or skirts. I dislike wearing dresses because they don't feel to fit the occasion of whatever I'm wearing them for. I've always felt dresses were a very formal piece of clothing, even though I know they aren't inherently formal-wear, they feel like it to me (which is funny, because I never had a problem wearing suits every day of the week when I was in school...)

To be entirely honest, I wouldn't begin to know how to start with anything that you have under the "spoiler" tag, though admittedly I got lost about 4 times trying to read it. It's quite dense text...

When I was in school, as a guy, most often, I was wearing either a suit and tie with the occasional fedora, or jeans with a tank top or t-shirt and a button-up shirt. I have a picture to share of it, too

Guy mode picture follows, 11th grade, roughly 2011-2012:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I occasionally wore a standalone printed T-shirt, but that was... rare, and usually because my suits were being cleaned and my other clothes were in the laundry. Or I was doing something that day that necessitated it. Or comfy clothes. That was about it.

Both of those can totally be made to work for me as a female, I just am afraid to try because what if I look like a guy?

I also was, and am, a huge fan of camo stuff, both real and "fashion" camos. I think I have like 36 different camo patterns in my collection right now? I wear about half of them because they are common and in good enough shape to do so.

You say I have other strengths. What do you mean?

I did find *one* skirt I really like, but I can't find one anywhere that fits me to save my life, which makes me sad. Sad

In other news, I did this: http://imgur.com/a/FsB9L
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #1543 on: March 06, 2017, 11:36:10 pm »

(snip)

In other news, I did this: http://imgur.com/a/FsB9L


Very nice; I do like the 'shading' technique used. Am I correct in saying the medium is leather?

(snip)

Both of those can totally be made to work for me as a female, I just am afraid to try because what if I look like a guy?

(snip)


Suits can most definitely be feminine - it's all down to the cut, of course. A quick Google for 'Chanel trouser suit' images gives plenty of examples (not that I'm advocating going out and buying Chanel - just maybe using those images for inspiration).

Yours,
Miranda.
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Mme. Ratchet
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« Reply #1544 on: March 06, 2017, 11:52:51 pm »

In the US that'd be a pantsuit lol

And yes, it is leather.
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rovingjack
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« Reply #1545 on: March 07, 2017, 04:54:38 am »


That is an intriguing idea, but I have no idea how it's supposed to help. Could you expound on that a bit for me?


The basic premise usually works best if you can't anticipate the final part. It's sort of a realization after the fact thing but it doesn't really hurt to give it a go while knowing where you're going.

So basically when struggling through moments in our lives where it seems like nothing we do goes right, we tend to look at a day as being ruined or terrible because we feel a certain way about it as a whole. But the truth often comes out when you keep a tally of what you really felt bad about. The odds are you didn't feel useless or terrible about putting your shoes on, or going how you held the packages you got out of the mailbox. You aren't upset with how well you held the tooth brush this morning, are a million other little things that make up the day. They may not have been great things but they were moments of life without the weight that we often apply to the whole day looking back from the end of it or the next day.

It lends perspective that on the whole our lives are at least simple and unloaded, that should we chose to take pleasure in a cup of tea it changes a mundane and none negative morning meal into a happiness ritual. Because during the day the negative things are a finite number of distinct events and not a nebulous feeling that permeates a whole day.

and while effective in it's own right at helping find places of happiness and contentment in our lives it also heterodynes with other things we can do:

Like then instead of just making tally marks when you have these thoughts and feelings, make a note about what you were doing and where you were at the time you had the thought/feeling. Do it for a day or even a week, and you can continue to do it afterwards when it comes up with a new situation, and it can be very rewarding to notice that you will find fewer and fewer times it happens as you pay attention for the signs and patterns in the future.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

and after that is an exercise where you write out what it is you are saying to yourself for a day or even a week.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The best part of these things is that they are not just one time exercises. These are tools you can use anytime. Once you are back on your feet and building yourself a happy life, and you are suddenly confronted by a string of events that feel like you've started freefalling... you have these things that will work for you again and again. They are tool that enable you to recognize trouble when you encounter it, and get out of it faster and stay out of it longer because you learned from your previous times through.

It's not that skirts and dresses are to frilly or that they expose too much, necessarily. I know a lot of women aren't. Specifically, wearing skirts and dresses makes me uncomfortable in general. It is a rare occasion indeed that I am ever wearing dresses or skirts. I dislike wearing dresses because they don't feel to fit the occasion of whatever I'm wearing them for. I've always felt dresses were a very formal piece of clothing, even though I know they aren't inherently formal-wear, they feel like it to me (which is funny, because I never had a problem wearing suits every day of the week when I was in school...)

When I was in school, as a guy, most often, I was wearing either a suit and tie with the occasional fedora, or jeans with a tank top or t-shirt and a button-up shirt. I have a picture to share of it, too

I also was, and am, a huge fan of camo stuff, both real and "fashion" camos. I think I have like 36 different camo patterns in my collection right now? I wear about half of them because they are common and in good enough shape to do so.

You say I have other strengths. What do you mean?

I did find *one* skirt I really like, but I can't find one anywhere that fits me to save my life, which makes me sad. Sad


sounds a lot like "a Dapper" https://fiftyshadesofdapper.wordpress.com/ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/fashion/a-masculine-silhouette-tailored-for-her.html

rest assured there are many straight men, and all manner of queer folks who think the look can be quite nice for women.

this is also a decent read: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/05/not-your-good-trans-woman/
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« Reply #1546 on: March 07, 2017, 09:45:55 am »


*snip*

J. Wilhelm,

*snip*

It's not that skirts and dresses are to frilly or that they expose too much, necessarily. I know a lot of women aren't. Specifically, wearing skirts and dresses makes me uncomfortable in general. It is a rare occasion indeed that I am ever wearing dresses or skirts. I dislike wearing dresses because they don't feel to fit the occasion of whatever I'm wearing them for. I've always felt dresses were a very formal piece of clothing, even though I know they aren't inherently formal-wear, they feel like it to me (which is funny, because I never had a problem wearing suits every day of the week when I was in school...)

When I was in school, as a guy, most often, I was wearing either a suit and tie with the occasional fedora, or jeans with a tank top or t-shirt and a button-up shirt. I have a picture to share of it, too

I occasionally wore a standalone printed T-shirt, but that was... rare, and usually because my suits were being cleaned and my other clothes were in the laundry. Or I was doing something that day that necessitated it. Or comfy clothes. That was about it.

Both of those can totally be made to work for me as a female, I just am afraid to try because what if I look like a guy?

I also was, and am, a huge fan of camo stuff, both real and "fashion" camos. I think I have like 36 different camo patterns in my collection right now? I wear about half of them because they are common and in good enough shape to do so.


As far as "dresses being too formal." I guess depending on your culture, you'll have different notions about dresses being conservative. Ask an Orthodox Jewish woman or an Amish woman whether a dress is considered "formal" or "conservative" and hear her answer  Cheesy That is a very subjective opinion. What I would tell you is that dresses are like men's pants. Men have shorts, jeans, khakis, slacks, dress pants and tuxedo pants. They're all pants, but you don't wear tuxedo pants to the football stadium. Dresses can't be just "formal" all the time.

Again, look at pictures on the Internet, see women in different situations of life. Women at the park. Women in the office. Women in a class reunion. Women dating... What do you see? Women actually have an infinite gradation of dresses. You have party dresses, medium length dresses for work, short dresses for dating or attracting the opposite sex, cocktail dresses for informal parties, long formal gowns for more serious social events, wedding dresses, etc. You'll have to learn how to wear them at some point. They're all over the map when it comes to formality!

To give you an example of your "other gifts": Looking at your male picture as a kid, you have a light complexion and round face.  A lot of women have very round faces. But you are not the only one staring at the mirror and asking "what do I do with this round face? Women have already solved that problem for you, because they adapt their clothing and makeup to their body. That's the value of reading fashion magazines and online fashion related media - to basically get ideas and pointers on arranging your appearance. Women have throughout history experimented, and found looks that go well with their bodies.

It seems to me that with the pantsuit and camouflage discussion we go back to the subject of a gender presentation between the binary genders. And the reason I used my self as an example as being somewhere in between.

Normally, I'm an enemy of the alphabet soup of nomenclature used in the LGBQT universe, because often they're just terms that are just thrown around, and confused. I don't like to pidgeon-hole people with names - like trying to define who is Steampunk and who is not. However in this case I think we need to make a distinction between Gender (Gender Identity) and Gender Presentation (Gender Expression); Keep in mind this chart below for reference (right click to zoom in):

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I hope my questions are not too personal, but I'm curious though, Mme Ratchet. Before I expound on the use of "dapper" in the feminine context of pant suits, was the male suit and tie worn at school by your choice - or was it worn because of a school uniform requirement?

If the suit is not a uniform, what was your motivation for wearing a suit and Fedora? How did you relate to your peers at school (how did you see yourself relative to them)? Was that a unique style? What did it mean to you?

And on the camouflage, I also have very little information to work with. It a can be a stylistic device, and certainly used in a feminine way as well, but camo is just a pattern on clothing to me (like saying stripes, floral patterns, plaid, or polka-dots).

Example: If instead of camo I was talking about plaid,  I imagine I could in theory tell you "I want to look like a lumberjack in the Pacific Northwest if I wear boots, cargo pants and plaid shirts."

But in your case, why the penchant for camouflage? What does the camo mean to you? Is a female soldier a type of image you have of yourself?


~ ~ ~

The way I see it, women at various stages of history have tried to incorporate masculine devices into their clothing. Why? Because the contrast between male and female can be very enticing to the cisgender male. Nothing sexier than a woman willing to tag along with the boys.

A woman's figure and beauty still shows through male clothing, and it has the odd effect of "amplifying femininity" when observed by men -as long as the right cues are used (body proportions, apparel fit and body curves -specifically).

For example:


(Right click to amplify)

The first cover of George magazine - a very famous- yet short lived magazine founded by the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Michael J. Berman.
1980s supermodel Cindy Crawford is posing for the inaugural cover of George Magazine. Obviously a reference to Colonial American Independence. What do you see here? Masculine or feminine? Is the military style working to enhance the girl's femininity here? This is an exercise in contrasts. But note it will not work if there isn't a sufficient contrast between the male and female.




And you can see different military periods in designs by some late European couture-house designs, which are commonly copycatted by Chinese clothesmakers (in AliExpress market)


« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 10:05:43 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Mme. Ratchet
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« Reply #1547 on: March 07, 2017, 11:00:21 am »


That is an intriguing idea, but I have no idea how it's supposed to help. Could you expound on that a bit for me?


The basic premise usually works best if you can't anticipate the final part. It's sort of a realization after the fact thing but it doesn't really hurt to give it a go while knowing where you're going.

So basically when struggling through moments in our lives where it seems like nothing we do goes right, we tend to look at a day as being ruined or terrible because we feel a certain way about it as a whole. But the truth often comes out when you keep a tally of what you really felt bad about. The odds are you didn't feel useless or terrible about putting your shoes on, or going how you held the packages you got out of the mailbox. You aren't upset with how well you held the tooth brush this morning, are a million other little things that make up the day. They may not have been great things but they were moments of life without the weight that we often apply to the whole day looking back from the end of it or the next day.

It lends perspective that on the whole our lives are at least simple and unloaded, that should we chose to take pleasure in a cup of tea it changes a mundane and none negative morning meal into a happiness ritual. Because during the day the negative things are a finite number of distinct events and not a nebulous feeling that permeates a whole day.

and while effective in it's own right at helping find places of happiness and contentment in our lives it also heterodynes with other things we can do:

Like then instead of just making tally marks when you have these thoughts and feelings, make a note about what you were doing and where you were at the time you had the thought/feeling. Do it for a day or even a week, and you can continue to do it afterwards when it comes up with a new situation, and it can be very rewarding to notice that you will find fewer and fewer times it happens as you pay attention for the signs and patterns in the future.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

and after that is an exercise where you write out what it is you are saying to yourself for a day or even a week.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The best part of these things is that they are not just one time exercises. These are tools you can use anytime. Once you are back on your feet and building yourself a happy life, and you are suddenly confronted by a string of events that feel like you've started freefalling... you have these things that will work for you again and again. They are tool that enable you to recognize trouble when you encounter it, and get out of it faster and stay out of it longer because you learned from your previous times through.

It's not that skirts and dresses are to frilly or that they expose too much, necessarily. I know a lot of women aren't. Specifically, wearing skirts and dresses makes me uncomfortable in general. It is a rare occasion indeed that I am ever wearing dresses or skirts. I dislike wearing dresses because they don't feel to fit the occasion of whatever I'm wearing them for. I've always felt dresses were a very formal piece of clothing, even though I know they aren't inherently formal-wear, they feel like it to me (which is funny, because I never had a problem wearing suits every day of the week when I was in school...)

When I was in school, as a guy, most often, I was wearing either a suit and tie with the occasional fedora, or jeans with a tank top or t-shirt and a button-up shirt. I have a picture to share of it, too

I also was, and am, a huge fan of camo stuff, both real and "fashion" camos. I think I have like 36 different camo patterns in my collection right now? I wear about half of them because they are common and in good enough shape to do so.

You say I have other strengths. What do you mean?

I did find *one* skirt I really like, but I can't find one anywhere that fits me to save my life, which makes me sad. Sad


sounds a lot like "a Dapper" https://fiftyshadesofdapper.wordpress.com/ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/fashion/a-masculine-silhouette-tailored-for-her.html

rest assured there are many straight men, and all manner of queer folks who think the look can be quite nice for women.

this is also a decent read: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/05/not-your-good-trans-woman/


That is a fascinating idea that may be worth a try, I think...

I have no idea what "A dapper" is and the links provided to not inspire confidence in what I am wanting as far as a personal appearance goes... The last link was quite good, though, despite the source.
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Mme. Ratchet
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« Reply #1548 on: March 07, 2017, 11:14:37 am »

*snip*

I hope my questions are not too personal, but I'm curious though, Mme Ratchet. Before I expound on the use of "dapper" in the feminine context of pant suits, was the male suit and tie worn at school by your choice - or was it worn because of a school uniform requirement?

If the suit is not a uniform, what was your motivation for wearing a suit and Fedora? How did you relate to your peers at school (how did you see yourself relative to them)? Was that a unique style? What did it mean to you?

And on the camouflage, I also have very little information to work with. It a can be a stylistic device, and certainly used in a feminine way as well, but camo is just a pattern on clothing to me (like saying stripes, floral patterns, plaid, or polka-dots).

Example: If instead of camo I was talking about plaid,  I imagine I could in theory tell you "I want to look like a lumberjack in the Pacific Northwest if I wear boots, cargo pants and plaid shirts."

But in your case, why the penchant for camouflage? What does the camo mean to you? Is a female soldier a type of image you have of yourself?

*snip*

Yes, I chose to wear the suit, tie, and fedora. I was an outcast amongst most of my peers, so I rarely saw myself as anything compared to them. If by "unique style" you mean was anyone else doing it, no. I was the only person that I am aware of who ever wore that. I don't remember why I wore it, or why, just that I did.

When I say camouflage, I specifically am referring to military clothing in general. Old fatigues, jackets, etc. I don't remember it meaning anything to me. I just like it. I am not comfortable answering your last question openly, but would be glad to speak privately on that matter.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #1549 on: March 07, 2017, 12:37:34 pm »

I am not comfortable answering your last question openly, but would be glad to speak privately on that matter.

I don't  mean to make you uncomfortable with the questions. But I feel that defining your motivations in early life is important for you to decide how to move forward in your adult life.

You don't have to give me those answers - they are more useful to you, than me, really. The curiosity on my part was trying to understand what it is that you want to get out of yourself. You are  on a journey - so there has to be a goal. Obviously you are in this thread vent about your inability to get that something. That something is still a bit nebulous in my mind.

I'm not saying it has to be this way for everyone, but generally, our formative years are instrumental in defining what we want, and how we decide to express ourselves in our adult life.

For me, it all started at age 16 months with the onset of anxiety disorder, and the gender fluidity started expressing itself at age 11-13 during the onset of puberty. These two things have defined my entire life. And that is not an exaggeration.

As an aside, being an outcast in school is not that unusual. I myself was one. It is not a sin to be an outcast. That is just the plate that life serves on your table. The sin lies in not doing anything about it.

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