Now, just for once I’m going to get serious here. I know, I’ll soon get over that, but for better, or worse, thats what some people think will happen with this issue, and to some degree, they’re wrong. In fact to a large degree, but anyway… Oh, in case you were wondering, and I suspect that all readers outside the UK, and some inside the UK wouldnt know, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week.
I’d love to say that my first contact with a Mental Health unit was when I began transitioning, because back in 2004, when that happened, the only way you could start to transition was with a visit to such, and for want of a better term, be declared mentally ill, because you felt you had the body of the wrong gender. Yes, seriously, just 13 years ago! In truth, I have no idea if that rule still stands, and if not, when it was stopped, so please dont ask! Try Google, lol!
I think in hindsight, its not hard to see now, that the serious depression issues I had in the 90’s did relate to the whole transgender issue. No, I didnt know that was it back then, but after that, it hasnt been hard to put two and two together, and actually make four about it! And yes, its far to say that I was still battling depression all the way up until 2010, when I finally took the first real steps to transition, and lived life as I should have done for more than 50 years! I wouldnt say things are perfect, even now, though its pretty much so, all the same. A lot of stress doesnt help, so yes, the 15 months or so without a job didnt help, but I’ve fought back now, hopefully to a good point.
The thing is, for some people, when you talk about mental health issues, they think back to the asylums, and the ‘crazies’ that used to live in those places. For better, for worse, and I generally believe for worse, those places are pretty much gone now. Medications, and treatments are a lot better, but the opportunity for some to just get away from the cruel world, for a short time, or longer, well its fair to say some still need it.
But most issues nowadays come down to depression, stress, and other related illnesses brought on by modern life. Hopefully minor, but sadly some more serious, but yes, they definitely exist. For me, the worst is hopefully in the past, but for others, not so. And yes, I guess I’ve looked into it more than most, mainly since 2004, but I saw some of the other side of it before then. Anyway, one of the related things happening at work, is the instigation of more mental health first aiders at work, and yes, I will be applying for such a role. Its not as a medical position, more of being someone there to aid, and support those who need it, like I needed it in the past, when this sort of role didnt exist.
But let me just say, that trained or otherwise, if you see someone feeling really down, and its safe to do so, talk to them, try to help them if you can, or set them in the right direction to get help, just saying…
I have in the past, tried to bring videos of groups to peoples attention that you might have missed, and tonight is one of them. Not their greatest hit, by any stretch of the imagination, but its apt, in a sense, for tonight.
And yes, if you want an ugly wife, I am available lol! 😛
Apologies, I’m going to get all whiny, and moan a bit tonight, but its been a lousy fortnight or so, on the job hunting front. And yes, sadly, its getting worse, rather than better, though strictly, is it at least an improvement to know I’m not going to get a job, or be put forward for a job, rather than just hearing nothing? And yes, sadly, the phone has gone much quieter too, the last couple of weeks, doing nothing for my mood, or despair.
Oh, and on top of all that, when an agency did actually ring up yesterday re one of my applications, and heard my situation, and age, pretty much said that they wouldnt be interested in me in that case, and despite saying they would consider my application, I pretty well knew they werent going to do so. No shock, I havent heard back from them, as promised.
Today, I applied for a role at 9.20 this morning, with an agency, and not for the first time, by about 4.00, I had an email back telling me that they wouldnt be going forward with my application. At least in the past they’ve waited a day or two to do back, so I’m beginning to suspect I’m on an age related black list with them! No, I’m sure ‘officially’ I’m not, but in reality…
Oh fine, at the moment, I can survive, with the unemployment pay, and the rent benefit, I can just about get through. But in terms of a decent lifestyle, I wish! Next week, at the moment, I have got one recruitment open day related to a job application in Leeds, on Wednesday, but thats it!
Anyway, today, in a moment of depression, and craziness, I applied for a couple of jobs in betting industry call centers. I know, sounds perfectly good logic, but these jobs arent in the UK, they’re in Malta! I got a LinkedIn request re one,and thought, oh why not, given I’ll probably get my normal result on it, anyway, I decided to have a mad moment. And having done so, another, in the same place was suggested, so I went after that one too!
The funny thing is, when I checked Malta for LGBT quality of life, one table puts it as the best nation in Europe! In my heart, I cant see me going there, at my age, but in truth, at the moment, anything reasonable, I’m going to look at, and think about. Yes, get an interest from that, I’ll have to vote to remain in Europe next month, lol!
Oh, tonight, I got send details of a job that would be ideal for me. Customer Service Rep, in a call center, perfect! Its even through Transtech, so they clearly would be happy with a Trans Woman too. Snag, yes, there had to be one, its in Chicago, and I’m pretty sure they want someone able to instantly work in the US, not an awkward case like me!
Right, the video. As so often, there is a clue in the blog title. And yes, fine, those showgirl outfits would be a lot of fun to wear, just saying…
OK, so time wise, I did think about leaving this until tomorrow, but I promised people some pretty depressing news, so pledge kept. Yes, I know, a week ago I thought I was hitting that high, but sadly it was just an illusion.
Yes, you guessed it, that job I thought I’d got, just a con. And yes, I was so desperate for a job, that despite the wage screaming at me, as being wrong, I jumped at it. And yes, the security check, and having to pay for it, sounded fair, so I went ahead and done it. I know, bigger fool me, but I need the job!
Anyway, having got to Thursday, when I was promised contact to arrange induction, and further details, and heard nothing, I sent off an email enquiring about this. Then Friday morning, guess what, I got an email from them! But no, not a reply to mine, but the identical email to the one I’d received a week earlier. Mind, given when I’d had no reply on Thursday (all replies previously answered very promptly), I feared the worst, but this just confirmed it. So yes, I took to Google, to try and discover more, and at that point, everything unraveled big time. To cut a long story short, I’d been conned, and fallen for it.
The worst thing, I’d turned down a couple of other assessments, and interviews, because I thought I’d found a job, and then finally discovered, I hadnt. Yes, I did for a while after that contemplate just saying “Oh, blow it”, and bringing an end to it all (Yes, tried it before, many years ago, when I first discovered the whole transgender thing), but I think I’ve got past that point now, but dont quote me on that! So yes, over the weekend, I’ve got back to sending off job applications, and trying to see if I can recover the ones I turned down, so lets hope something comes of it. Not exactly full of hope (understandably), but we will see.
But yes, the biggest snag I have now, is that the money I threw away, I really couldnt afford to lose. So now, instead of having 3 weeks rent that I could scrape together, with a little bit to spare, I now have 2, and a bit more to spare, but not enough for a weeks rent! Even less so, if I have to start paying out for fares to get to job interviews, but anyway…at least getting one, might get me out of a hole, though even then, by the time I get paid… Oh, and strictly, I need some cheap furniture for here too, assuming I’m going to be here long enough to make it matter!
So yes, I’m begging, anyone in a position to help? Money, simply to keep me going, or if you have a small wardrobe, or chest of drawers, that you can get to me, to save me buying one in a charity shop, shout! Its funny, when I asked if anyone would ‘rescue me’ if I needed it, I bet most thought I was just exaggerating things. See, you were wrong!
In a perfect world, I would love to just start all over again, somewhere in the US, and try and build myself a new life, and make this one work. But this world isnt perfect, and besides, I havent got enough for the air fare for most of the US, and thats before the next rent is due on Wednesday! After that…nope!
So yes, understandably, just at this moment, I’m still pretty low. Though as Elton John said, I’m still standing, but only just! And for how much longer? Help!
Right, so now you know, at least. The video, well, I did think about the Elton John one, but given that Bowie died recently, and its a brilliant video, and its apt…
Yes, I know, I missed one last night. Sorry, but health issues have got to me the last couple of days, and last night, about 8.15, I started to collapse with nervous exhaustion, so retired to bed. To be honest, it had all pretty much built up by Thursday evening, and I pretty much knew I’d had enough of the job. To say the company (I still refuse to divulge the name, though maybe I should, to stop others going to work there) dont believe in good customer service, would be a massive understatement. Yes, just the opposite seems the rule, in fact.
It got to the point, where, to avoid us giving any useful information to our clients, they took the system away from us. We werent allowed to give customers any information from it, we had to simply take messages, and call them back. Like a few others, I was not using it to give information to anyone, but as a means of checking I had the right case, I kept the screen up. Clearly we were still being too efficient for their liking, as the next day, they switched off our computers! All we could literally do was hope we had the right details. Seriously, this is not great customer service. That was exacerbated by the fact that despite the fact we were promising customers a call back, within a maximum of 24 hours, it was clear this wasnt happening on a regular basis, and many tended not to believe us, seemingly quite rightly.
After a day of sheer frustration doing this on Thursday, I’d pretty much had enough, and wondered if I wanted to bother going in on Friday. Ironically, having decided that I’d battle through to the weekend, and then make my decision, my body decided to step in. Lets just say Thursday night involved a few visits to the bathroom, and leave it at that. Despite this, I got up Friday morning, at my normal time, but quickly realised that was going to be a step too far. Exhaustion, a still far from happy stomach, and everything else, I retired back to bed, and slept for about 3 hours, until about 10.00.
Yesterday, for a while at least, I felt better. Then as I say, mid evening, I crashed completely about 8.30, went to bed, and slept for 12 hours straight, barring 1 brief visit to the bathroom. And yes, I still felt tired when I got up, despite that.
Today, I’ve realised one thing, if I go back, I’m probably going to kill someone, possibly myself, as my sanity is beaten up beyond belief. So, I’ve done one thing, I’ve emailed their HR department, telling them I wont be going back, and please just arrange to pay me for the hours I’ve done, and leave it at that. Yes, I’d heard what a lousy group of companies they were to work for, but its been beyond even my belief just how bad they are.
Oh, and for information sake, 2 others from my group had walked out, even before I left!
Oh, and the crowning moment? Well, yes, obviously, if I’d chosen the other option, and done the trial, as I should have done, I’d never have been through all this. Double irony, because of my stress, and stomach issues, I cant do the trial starting a week tomorrow, as my issues might affect the results! That was going to be my money get out, but now… Yes, I rang them Friday, as I knew by then that I really didnt want to go back, and wanted to get things started. Even knowing that, I cant go on with them.
So yes, today, I’ve gone back to sending in job applications, and hoping for a lucky break. I know, it might not be the wisest move overall, but for the sake of my sanity, it was one I had to make. I think I’ve got past bend, and was reaching break, and thats not a good thing. So…If anyone has a few spare pounds lol…
I’m not saying its bad, but when I’m looking at jobs in a betting shop, it has to be bad!
And yes, just think, right now, I could be resting up in a clinic, as a guinea pig, and the most stressful thing I would be doing is having blood samples taken. Boy, can I really mess things up!
Right, the video. I’ve gone and done what was written for me, in my heart, that I knew I had to do, for better, or worse.
You know what, I’m prepared to admit it, all this job hunting lark has finally really got to me, just about, for now at least, reached breaking point, I guess? So far I’ve managed to resist the temptation of the one homeopathic anti depressant (St Johns Wort) tablet I’ve got up in my room, but thats more because of the length of time (as in years) that its been there, than anything else. And besides which, even if I thought it was safe to take (and I dont), I might need more than a one off, the way things are going at present.
And before anyone thinks I might do anything daft, I’m not planning on it, I guess I just need a bit of a sanity kick at present. And no, I’d rather not touch the pharmaceutical stuff, if I can help it. St Johns Wort worked fine all those years ago, and I’m sure it would be more than sufficient now, in all honesty. But…
Going back a couple of posts, I mentioned that if I got the job that started in November, I’d head off somewhere else for a month or so, just by myself, enjoy life, and all that? Hollywood probably, though as I say, a couple of other West Coast cities could tempt me. Boston, and Washington (area) also appeal, but sanity says that if I’m doing a 4 week trip, taking the long travel short blast out of the equation would be a shrewd move. Yes, Hollywood/ L.A will be strong favourite, regardless, but not yet committed yet, in more senses than one.
So yes, I’ve been calculating matters, given that if I’m going to do it, I need to start booking flights, and accommodation in the next couple of weeks or so, to make sure I get a reasonable deal. And given my personal questions to myself over my sanity re all this, I decided when I was walking up to draw my rent money today, that I’d set myself a date to have things at least to some degree sorted by, or I’d take that time out regardless. Given that my next visit to sign on, from that point would be the 21st (I have my quarterly review on Friday), it would mean I would have reached fait accompli by then, but I could probably get through. The next one after that, 4th September, I’d be beginning the process of signing off for my holiday anyway, so I suspect that wont be too intense an interrogation anyway. Besides, after that point, I couldnt job hunt too hard, wouldnt be here for calls, and interviews!
So guess what? I’ve got an interview in the morning! Only applied for it this morning, but I know this is fine in that sense, its British Gas! Mind, apart from the practice of getting through an interview with a job offer, as much as I can trace from their website, its a 6 week training period. 5 weeks tomorrow, the start of my holiday period, as I have to leave a couple of days beforehand to get the body, and hair in a decent state for the trip. So how that would play out (even assuming I get offered the job), no idea?
As for other things, no, I havent heard any more about the assessment on the 20th, but given thats still a fortnight away, I’m not chasing yet. There is one other thing I’m meant to be getting an interview for (supposedly plenty of jobs), I last heard on the 27th that they were interviewing at the beginning of August, but nothing has been emailed, or posted on their Facebook site yet. But that one, I suspect, wanting a sabbatical before starting, might not be out of the question! If they ever do it!
But yes, wouldnt it be irony, if just as I know I need, and am going to take a time out from the hunt, I get offered a job?
And so to the video. There is a distinct clue in the blog title, I might add
Well, I’ve had an idea for a blog for a while now, and yet again, you’re going to have to wait for it, because something has come along and trumped it. Honest, you will get it soon, possibly tomorrow, lets just wait and see what happens? Seriously, I wish I didnt have to be posting this today, but fate says I do, so…
I first came across Robin Williams a long time ago, seemingly back at the start of his TV career, Mork and Mindy. This slightly crazy young man, playing an alien from another planet, meeting up with a cute looking human girl. But enough about possible lesbian crushes, and…it was obvious this guy was going on to much bigger places.
And he did. Too many films to mention, many of them very good, though like everyone, the odd duff one thrown in from time to time. The ones that immediately stick with me, the one in the video, Dead Poets Society, Mrs Doubtfire and Bicentennial Man, all for different reasons. I cant mention them all, he made too many good ones for that. But anyway…
Besides all this, and all the time that took up, he still took his stand up comedian show on the road, on a regular basis. No, beyond the odd bit on TV, and on You Tube, I never got to see it.
But there is one thing that seems to go together with being a stand up comedian, and that’s depression. Dont get me wrong, I personally know how bad that state of mind can be. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and all that. And fine, it can get to the point where it makes you suicidal, believe me, again, I know. But I won, I’ve passed through that dark curtain, and come out the other side, and enjoying life again.
But for some, eventually it all gets too much, and there comes a day, when…Sadly for him, and for us, that day came yesterday for Robin Williams. All we can hope is that this will enable him to find the peace he needs, even if it leaves us with a lot of hurt, for a while.
Rest in peace, Robin Williams, thanks for all you gave us. I managed to find the most obvious piece of video for this moment on You Tube,
A great song, from a great musical, Carousel. Though the featured version here is the version I remember from the 1960’s, not actually from the musical, or film.
The thing is, for many transgender people, thats the opposite polarity to what they face in life, far too many are just left to fend for themselves as best they can. And lets face it, for far too many, it doesnt work. Its why suicide rates amongst transgender people are so high, its coping with being who you are in the world, where far too many people just want to take a blinkered attitiude to the problem.
As for depression rates, well, you really dont want to know how bad they are, though its not hard to work out why, is it? And unfortunately, it sometimes leads to the fact mentioned above. And yes, I suffered from depression for far too long, ironically without really knowing why, beyond the fact that something was wrong with me, but what, I hadnt a clue. But no, not any more, well not because of transgenderism at least. And yes, what I’ve got at the moment is more annoyance with certain people, than depression, though they are making me wonder why I bother at times. And no, as far as I know, no one reading this, or related to anyone reading this is the target of my venom either.
Thankfully, I dont have to walk alone, got a number of good friends who support me through this, and a few others who seemingly admire me for what I do, and have done. But many others dont have it so easy, and even for people like me, there are still a number who dont like what they see, and try to make life hard, but I’m doing my best to ignore them, but a few are in a position where thats easier said than done, but even so…
On a lighter note, there will be one (or technically two) walks alone that will be interesting on Saturday, the ones through security at the airports, while wearing my enhancers. I’m told everything should be fine, but I’m planning to use an old pair all the same, just in case and all that! They are probably right, I’ll suddenly realise I’m through, and laugh, but…its more the TSA at Chicago that worries me in that sense, you hear so many tales, but they’ve told me it will be fine, so…
Hopefully there will be one more post before I go, Friday, when I’m certain of my freedom from somewhere lol, I’m sure. I promise, that will be more cheery than this one, though it might be cheesy as well. I will post from Seattle when possible, for those who want to know, and to let you know what security was like, I guess.
The song, well I’ve given it away already, I would say? So just enjoy (in black and white)
Hey, what an opportunity I’m giving you, two sets of comments for the price of one, plus a brilliant and thought provoking video.
Alright, lets get the trivial stuff out the way first, a rant about an incompetent train company called Trans Pennine Express, some poor Brit’s might know them only too well? I’ve made my general feelings known about them before, so I’ll keep this brief. Just to say that its at least 10 days since I got home on time on one of their trains, and still counting. I’d love to say tonights being 9 minutes late was exceptional, but it isnt. Train fares will go up again soon, but service quality certainly wont! Aargh!
Right, now to the serious stuff. It must be, I’m going to discuss the video, and not keep you waiting to guess. Its Runaway Train (blog title gives that away anyway) by Soul Asylum, and at the end you’ll find one of the video versions of the song, there were 3 in the US, plus international ones as well, if anyone wanted to know.
The one thing we will never know, is what made these people runaway in the first place? Principally because even from this version, many are still missing nearly 20 years on, and others are now known to be dead. A terrible fact when you think about it, or at least I hope it is? Abuse, depression, something else, we will surely never know?
Me, the one I’ve suffered with is depression. Really badly at one point a long while back, but thankfully I did recover, though I’ve had a few lesser bouts since then, but nothing St Johns Wort and the like couldnt cure in time. But at one point, no, you dont want to know. In hindsight its not hard to work out what was screwing me up back then, something I’ve put right in the years since then, and thankfully now all niggling concerns seem gone, thanks to hypnosis as much as anything else. So dont worry about me now, I’m fine at long last, just a shame it took me 50 years to get there!
I suppose the other thing that amazes me about these children (and they were teens when they disappeared) is how easy it is to just disappear off the radar like that. Well assuming they arent just dead or something of course, but…And some clearly werent, because they did reappear due to the videos some years later! I suspect life is very hard, and I cant imagine how awful it must be. Even in my lowest points, I never felt like getting on a ‘runaway train’, but I guess it was tempting at times. And lets face it, the suicide rate amongst young transexuals is agonisingly high, as they struggle, and sometimes fail to be able to live with the body given them. Its not hard for me to understand that, but thankfully I’m now past that point.
So, I proudly present the only Soul Asylum song I really know, and only hope that even now, someone might read this and say, I think I know where ….. is, wouldnt that be great?