thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
posted by [personal profile] thefairymelusine at 01:54pm on 10/04/2016 under , ,
I've been thinking about how, as I edge closer to thirty than twenty, even with my own relatively loose schedule it gets harder to see my friends. The category of "people I adore and to whom I am genuinely close, but see at best once every six, if not every 18 months" covers more people. As indeed does the category of "people I quite like but with whom I have just lost touch, not for important reasons but because we lose touch with people over time"

I've just had two weeks off university, during which I had to admit that I was *not* going to catch up with everyone I wanted to see, because I needed to spend quite a lot of time Doing Very Little plus trying to catch up on some work. I did actually manage an uncharacteristic level of Being Sociable- I went to a friend's birthday party. I hung out with my friends C and H who did a lot of looking after me when we were all in London in 2011-2015, and whom I do actually still see more than most other people, but hadn't seen without us all being terribly busy since the summer, really. I saw the one friend with whom I am in touch from school for dinner and drinks, and a friend whom I've known since 2009 and to whom I am very close, but managed to not see for 5 years because we were both in different sorts of appalling health from late 2011 to January.

I feel like this is one of the parts of adulthood for which I'm unprepared: it's not that I was excellent at having friends as a small human, I was very lonely and badly bullied and didn't really master the "person I talk to most days" level of friendship til my late teens (with a friend whom I'm seeing for coffee sometime next month, to whom I don't talk as much now because we're just busier, but who hasn't ceased to matter). But it is an odd thing to which to get used, and one of the things that I think is especially difficult to navigate when single, because I lack a default person or people with whom to make plans.

I've got five weeks left of term, if we include exams, and then I've got the summer and I'm a bit scared of it. It hit me when I got back the other week that I don't really have a social support network in London any more, other than parents, because people have moved away or are busy. And that is probably normal for a 27 year old living in his hometown who moved away for a bit, but it still feels a bit jarring.
location: Belle Ombre
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
posted by [personal profile] thefairymelusine at 05:40pm on 09/05/2014 under , , , ,
1. It turns out that if you have major Mental Health Issues and specific learning difficulties, seeing student support and getting Additional Learning Support sessions is  a good idea, as the issues with your grades mightn't solely be that you are a terrible person and no good at anything and just faking being clever, but rooted in the dyspraxia and Mental health problems. (Have been having ALS for about six weeks now, grades have improved)

2. One of my texts for contains a Massive Trigger, BUT I have a tutor whose response to being told this (and me asking if I could excuse myself from classes during Triggery bits) was "Don't put yourself through that and risk making yourself more stressed about being vulnerable in front of people, just skip the classes where we're doing readthroughs, I know you've read the play" which is really good. (It also helps that I have a classmate who on seeing me massively triggered took me for coffee and told me that yes, I should raise this issue with the tutor, putting myself in that situation and trying to pretend it was fine was stupid. (The text is "The History Boys" by Alan Bennett, btw)

3. I went dancing on Saturday, this is a good thing in itself

4. I went dancing on Saturday, ran into my ex (who was there with current partners) and did not run away or die or have a massive panic attack, but instead had a small panic attack, did Things to Cope (had a smoke, texted Friend I Talk To Most Days to panic at him, went back in and focused on dancing) and managed to make small talk at the bar later in the evening with my ex, during which I also Did Not Die.

5. I got a Distinction on both my most recent modules in Literature, which is good.

6. I've accepted university offers and applied for Student Finance.

7. I have a date/datelike thing with a cute boy tomorrow. 


thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (knight)
Okay, this is personal and trying to stop projecting/egotism.

In secondary school, from my mid teens onwards, I was very queer. I did what I would term "quasi cross dressing" (wearing masculine womens clothes i.e. shirt, tie, mannish suit- i.e. Annie Hall) or cravats or having mad spinster hair because I had long hair. It wasn't much, but it helped with identity, and was healthier than some of the other ways in which I was lesbian identified (I was for a while a woman hating feminist lesbian. I am still deeply ashamed to say this- i.e. I appropriated a lot of unthinking popular straight male attitudes to women, and was very bitter. All of this got tangled up with mental health issues, and I am over that now.) I never used the female pronoun with reference to myself when writing in the third person, and disliked other people using it, preferring they, and my friends thought this was silly, because apart from the clothes, I looked femme.

Then I started a relationship with a man. I was still queer identified, self-defining as a lesbian-with-a-boyfriend. And over time I stopped dressing in a faux butch way, because of silly comments my parents and boyfriend made, which probably (almost certainly in his case) weren't meant. Over time I dropped the they from blog posts and internet comments, because I was sick of friends telling me it was silly. I became more comfortable with the idea of being/appearing conventionally female, partially because I had bigger things to worry about, partially the teenage misogyny wearing off, and because people thought it was odd. And then people stopped remembering I was queer, which is fair enough really as I was/am in a relationship with a man, and know that I'm priviledged in that respect and that I don't have to deal with prejudice regarding my sexuality every day, or get shouted at in the street for reasons other than having green hair. And because of this it seemed churlish or odd to append to a mention of my boyfriend that I identified as lesbian/queer (given as my identity became more queer) given that the response often was anything from "surely you mean bisexual" to that it was a teenage phase. And these came from many sources, an unaware teenager, my parents, my psychologist, the many doctors I saw over those two years.

And recently, as I got sick of this, and more aware, I started to want to present as queer more, both in being politically out again (or still but being louder) and in terms of playing with presentation, especially gender presentation. I miss the fun I got out of it, the confidence of going out looking like yourself but yourself being able to constantly change. And my partner and I are a lot more open now, and better at discussing things, and it turns out he didn't have a problem with it, and I'm no longer at home and that helps.

But alongside this there is the fact that this came after our relationship was established, and we'd become negotiated poly, and knew each other a lot better and around the time that I had my first successful sexual-romantic relationship with a woman. 

So the question is, and I am genuinely very interested in the answers, how have your sexual-romantic relationships and their presentation and your sexuality affected your gender presentation? Have they at all? And what else has? (n.b. anonymous comments are on, comments are screened unless you ask me to unscreen it)

Major thanks to [personal profile] garlicandsapphires, (amagiclantern over at LJ), and the fine LJ folk james_is_sorry and secondterminal for listening to the draft stages of this when it was much more vague, and secondterminal especially for telling me to post.

And please do reply, this was originally just going to be a survey

EDIT: Widened to include how your mental health/societal pressures have affected gender presentation. This is hideously vague, sorry.

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