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Thread: Facing the real world

  1. #1

    Default Facing the real world

    Hey everyone,

    So I've been going through my own stuff and I'm always dealing with another problem or just wanting to "get out there more" .

    As far as I can remember I have never progressed in a relationship much. The closest I've got to a person physically was this one guy which didn't really end well. I think he was some sort of DL? I don't know, it was very subtle but I was very insecure about myself at the to and to this day I don't think anything has changed. When ever I think of getting into a relationship I always I always think of the physical side and I become so insecure about the incontinence and just tune out. I honestly think that is possible that I'll be a virgin for the rest of my life.

    Even in college I've been so unresponsive to people's interest in taking to me or just getting to know me and I'm just dead scared of just conversing. I feel like I have no skills to socialize anymore and I'm finding it harder and harder to make any friends. Even though I know this I can't even try to do it because I always choke at the last moment and nothing happens.
    I don't know what I can do myself to get out of this but I just can't talk to people anymore. I want to avoid them even though I know it's not good for me. I know there's something wrong and I don't know if just talking about it or any of this therapy is working. The only close relationship I have is with my mother and even that isn't going to last when I transfer next semester. I'm just lost in everything. I don't even know what to do, where to go, but just move forward with whatever is going on.

    I use prosthetic's to get around and I think one part of me doesn't like the attention so much that I just naturally ignore people. Whenever someone uses the "disabled' term I always think why is it like this.

    I'm not depressed, this is different. But in the back of my mind I'm afraid that this might lead to me getting depressed again.

  2. #2

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    Socializing takes practice. Perhaps you need to take your practice laps in situations where there is no pressure or expectations of a relationship. Toastmasters leaps to mind... or maybe a book club at the local library.

    As for the disability end of it... My first serious relationship was with a girl who was disabled due to polio. Trust me, it wasn't any sort of pity party, I liked her and thought she was hot as well. We didn't do 'it'.... Until a couple years after breaking up. She showed up at my door at midnight, a couple days before college graduation. Apparently she'd decided I was unfinished business. Yes, that was my first.

    Edit: Yes, sadly for us introverts, a certain amount of socializing is necessary to get along in life.

    Edit2: While a certain level of social skills and social interaction are necessary to 'get along', that doesn't mean you are obliged to have a 'committed relationship' with anyone or have sex. Plenty of people happily go through life without either. There are others who do it because they think they have to, and all too often we see the results in divorce court... or on the evening news.
    Last edited by Maxx; 28-May-2017 at 22:45.

  3. #3

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    Ditto.

    I may have been a teacher, a director, an actress and even a person who has sung in public, but I am also actually an introvert. I'm a very good actress, allowing myself to put on personas that make doing those things possible when the thing I am most comfortable doing is sitting by myself reading or writing (or, heck, even watching TV). Due to the fact that I was TG and had some continence issues as well, I learned very early in life how to put up walls around myself that prevented people from ever getting too close (or close enough to figure me out). While my peers and my siblings were out socializing, I mostly kept to myself. I never had a "relationship" until college, when I forced myself to let down the walls in order to fit in because I had made the decision that I could never transition and I simply had to accept that or die. So I was determined, as a freshman, to do typical "guy" things as if I had a checklist: Join a fraternity. Get a girlfriend. √. Like that. Took me all year on the latter b/c I had no clue how to do it, and then it sort of...happened. Once it did, I just figured, OK, that's done: I'll just marry this girl eventually and that's that. Which I did. And she fortunately accepted my bedwetting and even some AB tendencies. But I never became any good at making friends, at really letting those walls down. Those tendencies toward introversion were simply too ingrained.

    As a result, I never go to parties. I rarely have close friends (or anyway more than one at a time). I don't ever start conversations with new people. I'm uncomfortable in crowds.

    I don't give a flying fig who knows I'm trans. Hell, I'm not altogether sure I give a flying fig who knows I'm IC: I'm kind of on a literary crusade to create fiction that is an attempt to normalize that within society and, should any of it ever sell, I fully intend to out myself to the world about that. So I have this weird cavalier streak for someone as introverted as I am, and I suppose it comes from the insanely split life I've led: the public vs. the interior personas I've had to handle for so many decades. But I've managed to have two successful marriages (one 20 years, this one 10 and counting) despite myself, so I think the lesson in all of that is something like: no matter how utterly screwed up you are, you can still find happiness.

    The bottom line is: there are tons of things to be scared of in the real world, and, yes, relationships are among them. But the truth is that there are people out there for everyone. You're only 20 and your childhood was way harder than most. You can certainly be forgiven for thinking it won't be in the cards for you. But seriously, Mia, I don't believe that for a second. From what I know about you from all of the conversations we've had, you are the kind of girl who can build a future for herself despite the limitations the world has set on her. And if you are patient, someone will come along who can see you​ instead of those limitations, and that's when you'll know you've got someone you need to keep.

  4. #4

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    I'm wondering if there are people you swim with at the pool whom you can talk to? Sometimes being in an activity with others helps with finding things to talk about. Meeting and talking to people is like writing a story. You'll stare at the computer screen until you get the first, opening sentence. But once you have that first sentence, paragraphs follow. You need that first sentence.

  5. #5

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    I just don't know where to begin. What to say, what to do. The advice is sound but I haven't figured out how it fits yet.

    My father is leaving the country for his job for some time and I might not see him for a while. Anyway he had a party for his colleges who he's worked with and the next day for our family (cousin's, aunt's, uncle's). And whenever people saw me I known that look they give. Their scared to approach me, scared to say anything. My cousin's who are still pretty small are the only ones who seem comfortable talking to me. I can see that look of pity on people's faces when I have to greet them. And I just hated it all. The moment some people come I just go "oh no, people, better get out of here". Eventually I spent most of my time just looking down whenever I had to go past anyone. I don't know why but that's all I felt comfortable doing and I feel like it's going to be like this throughout and I hate that.




    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I'm wondering if there are people you swim with at the pool whom you can talk to? Sometimes being in an activity with others helps with finding things to talk about. Meeting and talking to people is like writing a story. You'll stare at the computer screen until you get the first, opening sentence. But once you have that first sentence, paragraphs follow. You need that first sentence.
    This is actually probably where I've opened up to people the most. I get a little nervous at first because I hardly ever take off the prosthetic's in front of people, I myself avoid looking at my stumps in front of people for some wierd insecure reason. I'm rarely not in my prosthetic's and I hate when it is like that..... Why do I hate so many things.......

    I'm probably the most active in that swimming group for the moment so it sort of gives me attention which I actually like which might sound bad but that's how it feels. It's so different when an outsider says it because again I feel like there's a tone of "I'm sorry it's like this for you" somewhere in there. I don't know ..... It's just all emotional crap which I shouldn't be caring about but I do.

    If I have an accident while swimming recently a nurse was there to help me change so that I don't spend too long changing. After a few weeks she's the only person I got close to properly despite the awkward circumstance. Either way I just suck at trying to fit into any kind of social situation. I've never been able to get past that initial place......
    Last edited by miapeters; 29-May-2017 at 08:24.

  6. #6

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    "Why do I hate so many things?" you ask.

    Simple: you hate that which serves as a clear reminder that you are outside of the norm. We all do. We've all grown up with the feeling that, somehow, we just don't quite fit. For some of us, it's easy enough to state the reason for that feeling: I need diapers. I use a wheelchair. I wear prosthetics. I am disfigured. I am autistic. I am bipolar. Etc. For others, the reasons are more difficult to pinpoint. But it really doesn't matter: the feeling is the same, and it's valid in the same way.

    There is a psychological step that needs to happen before you can get past "I just don't quite fit," and it's this: as hard as it seems, you need to own your disability.

    I'm serious. It's not as if you're going to be leaving it behind one of these days, right? Nope: it's a part of you and always will be. And the thing that causes "I just don't quite fit" is the feeling that somehow we are imposing our disabilities on others, and that we should feel kind of sorry for this. Well, screw that. We/you live in this world, and we/you deserve all of the joy and happiness it has to offer. No, you can't just throw a lever and alter your basic personality type, but you can teach yourself that you have as much of a right as anyone else, and that your disability is just a thing, nothing more. Is it an awkward as hell thing sometimes? Sure, but whatever. Own it. Don't let it own you.

    I don't pretend to understand what your life is like, Mia, and I'm not saying it would be easy. Surely, with the issues you deal with, owning them would be a heck of a lot harder than it is for me to own mine, or for most of us to do so, for that matter. But the "weird insecure reason" you don't like to have your stumps showing in front of others, as if it is your responsibility to make them comfortable instead of their responsibility to learn that life isn't all roses, is part of the problem. Your desire to avoid facing the inevitable "I'm sorry it's like this for you" instead of having a ready comeback like a simple "I'm used to it by now" or a snarky "It's no big deal; you should see what happened to the other guy," or whatever, creates the "emotional crap."

    Own it. Get yourself to a place where you can let yourself joke about it. Let people know you're cool with it and you'll meet more people because they won't be reticent to approach you. The "oh no, people, better get out of here" thing sounds VERY familiar to me, but honestly it doesn't do you much good. Fight it. Help yourself to help yourself. Who else will?
    Last edited by kerry; 30-May-2017 at 18:55.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by miapeters View Post
    I'm probably the most active in that swimming group for the moment so it sort of gives me attention which I actually like which might sound bad but that's how it feels. It's so different when an outsider says it because again I feel like there's a tone of "I'm sorry it's like this for you" somewhere in there. I don't know ..... It's just all emotional crap which I shouldn't be caring about but I do.

    If I have an accident while swimming recently a nurse was there to help me change so that I don't spend too long changing. After a few weeks she's the only person I got close to properly despite the awkward circumstance. Either way I just suck at trying to fit into any kind of social situation. I've never been able to get past that initial place......
    I missed the swimming part from earlier posts. That's really good thing IMO and a good place to start because everything is "out on the table". Anyone you socialize with there already knows. There may still be weirdness lurking in their heads but probably less than you think. With most people, I'd bet more curiousity than pity. At least its not a situation where you get to a point in a relationship and turn into a frog at the critical moment.

    Yeah, OK, I'm biased. I have a soft spot for swimming pools. Dad taught me to swim before age 2, teenage summers spent lifeguarding and teaching swimming. Junior and Mrs. Junior met when they were lifeguards. I've seen stumps before in pools... and swim diapers. Not that common, but not that unusual either. Makes perfect sense as a way to get some exercise. Taking gravity out of the picture changes things. Speaking for my own state of mind, mostly I'm thinking 'man, that's got to really mess up your stroke mechanics' and wondering how they would get around the muscle imbalances.

    Edit: No, I never taught disable swimming classes. I'm pretty sure there's an additional subset of knowledge required that I don't have.

    Editorial rant on the word 'weird': Why the hell is it spelled that way?!!! Every damn time I type the word, the rules in my head say 'i before e except before c', so I get it wrong, the spell correction reminds me, and I have to backspace. There needs to be a law!!! Change the spelling and save everyone a whole bunch of edit time!
    Last edited by Maxx; 29-May-2017 at 12:45.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    I missed the swimming part from earlier posts. That's really good thing IMO and a good place to start because everything is "out on the table". Anyone you socialize with there already knows. There may still be weirdness lurking in their heads but probably less than you think. With most people, I'd bet more curiousity than pity. At least its not a situation where you get to a point in a relationship and turn into a frog at the critical moment.

    Yeah, OK, I'm biased. I have a soft spot for swimming pools. Dad taught me to swim before age 2, teenage summers spent lifeguarding and teaching swimming. Junior and Mrs. Junior met when they were lifeguards. I've seen stumps before in pools... and swim diapers. Not that common, but not that unusual either.

    Editorial rant on the word 'weird': Why the hell is it spelled that way?!!! Every damn time I type the word, the rules in my head say 'i before e except before c', so I get it wrong, the spell correction reminds me, and I have to backspace. There needs to be a law!!! Change the spelling and save everyone a whole bunch of edit time!
    Since last year I've been swimming a lot. Being an above knee amputee, a double amputee at that limits me a lot more than I'd like to admit, I guess that's what I'm doing now. Swimming is the only thing I've been able to do considering everything. Briefs don't do well with sweat and in the pool with swim diapers it's a different story. Plus I don't need any other equipment or anything. The swimming times at the pool I go to is specifically for differently abled people and they allow swim diapers though as far as I know I'm the only one using them, not that I'm paying much attention anyway. But at the moment I'm the only amputee there, so I do get stares from time to time. Unlike the amputees you see on magazine I have a lot of scars from previous surgeries which again I'm a little insecure about but most of it is covered by the swimsuit.

    But actually I'm really thankful for swimming because I've gained a lot of strength and stamina and walking long distances became that much easier. Another thing is staying fit is so damn hard. Because we can't be active as a normal person.... Up to now I've managed to keep a really good figure, a healthy weight and can do things without tiring.... So that's something I'm really really proud of, but I just hope I can keep up and stay active.

    Of coarse there are times when I don't feel like getting out of the house or just talking to anyone, this is mainly when I'm having really bad more frequent than usual bowel accidents and those days just drive me insane. I can't even get myself to go swimming to change two even the times, to be carried out of the water to be changed.... It's just so demotivating when it happens more than once.

    I think this *might* one of the things which prevents me from socializing, I don't know when I night have to cut everything short to make a long visit to the toilet. At least if it's a handicap toilet I can clean up and change within a few 10 or 15 minutes but if it's one of those small cubical toilets that's the end whatever I was doing.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by miapeters View Post
    Since last year I've been swimming a lot. Being an above knee amputee, a double amputee at that limits me a lot more than I'd like to admit, I guess that's what I'm doing now.
    Swim buoy, if you're not already using one. Competitive swimmers use them for stroke only sets, so they can focus on stroke without thinking about kick. I bet there's a pile of them in the closet at the pool with the kickboards and lane markers.

    https://www.kiefer.com/pull-buoys-pages-235.php

    Keeping your body parallel to the water surface is key to reducing drag. Very common problem for a lot of swimmers is butt and legs drifting lower in the water if they forget to kick, or have a less than effective kick like me.



    I think this *might* one of the things which prevents me from socializing, I don't know when I night have to cut everything short to make a long visit to the toilet. At least if it's a handicap toilet I can clean up and change within a few 10 or 15 minutes but if it's one of those small cubical toilets that's the end whatever I was doing.
    Yeah, I hear that. No clue what to do about it other than as Kerry says "own it".

    Annoying though. On a much bigger scale than my state of mind going for a winter ride on my bike. All that clothing to put on... inevitably after you're all strapped, laced, and zipped up, you get an itch in the least accessible place. Or suddenly have to pee. Its hard getting psyched up for the workout when setup and breakdown take longer than the session itself.

    I guess it comes down to we all know the things we should be doing. The hard part is sucking it up and doing it.

    Edit: With any place or group, if you do it enough, you see the same people over and over. Your problems become an accepted part of the familiar 'furniture', just as you do. Miss a few days, people are thinking 'Hey, haven't seen no legs diaper girl in a while, vacation?' If you've been doing it often enough that it's affecting fitness and physique, I would bet there are others at that session that have observed a whole bunch more about your problems than you think. Perhaps not that much ice to be broken.

    Edit2: It's even possible that one of them might think 'Damn. I thought she was kinda cute. Hope she didn't move away before I worked up the nerve to say Hi'
    Last edited by Maxx; 29-May-2017 at 13:46.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    Swim buoy, if you're not already using one. Competitive swimmers use them for stroke only sets, so they can focus on stroke without thinking about kick. I bet there's a pile of them in the closet at the pool with the kickboards and lane markers.

    https://www.kiefer.com/pull-buoys-pages-235.php

    Keeping your body parallel to the water surface is key to reducing drag. Very common problem for a lot of swimmers is butt and legs drifting lower in the water if they forget to kick, or have a less than effective kick like me.



    Yeah, I hear that. No clue what to do about it other than as Kerry says "own it".

    Annoying though. On a much bigger scale than my state of mind going for a winter ride on my bike. All that clothing to put on... inevitably after you're all strapped, laced, and zipped up, you get an itch in the least accessible place. Or suddenly have to pee. Its hard getting psyched up for the workout when setup and breakdown take longer than the session itself.

    I guess it comes down to we all know the things we should be doing. The hard part is sucking it up and doing it.
    I've used these before, I can still somewhat effectively keep my body parallel up to a certain extent but not completely.

    For some reason my bowel and sometimes bladder incontinence seems to be at the center of a lot of my problems. Even the doctors admit it is an extreme case which really isn't the most helpful thing to say.
    It got me really bad once when I was at physiotherapy, I had a bowel accident and hadn't realized it yet but I was told by a nurse which was so dam embarrassing. And that whole day I was having so many accidents I couldn't really get into a good head space.

    I don't know of anyone knows the feeling of pure helplessness. I kept filling up my diapers without being able to do anything about it and couldn't complete any of the exercises properly. I wasn't okay with it until the next day when my stomach was feeling a little better.
    At least I had the energy to deal with it myself mostly but the constant messes just put me down so much.
    I've been going in and out of the hospital because I've been having problems with my wrists and i might have to have a surgery or wear braces full time, it's not too serious but it's kind of a big deal for me, but even that doesn't get to me as much as the incontinence problems.

    Maybe I'm being too emotional right now. Mornings are emotional anyway.........

    But thanks for everybody's support, I'm trying to be okay myself and hopefully things will change when I stay uni, I'll meet people, I'll make new friends, I need a change.

    But I have to say as time goes I hope to find a better way of dealing with the incontinence. I'm not fond of surgery but at least a innovation on protective briefs or just something.........

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