I really want to be mad at today. I really do. But I’m learning to radically accept what is, and keep moving forward with love.

To recap:

1) I started my day with a less fruitful (than usual) bonus hour of Lyft, which I woke up early for after falling asleep super late (and I only had restless nightmares during sleep).

2) I then shipped over to my mom’s place to take care of her dog so the poor thing wouldn’t have to be in the crate all day. Except my mom didn’t clear a place at the table like she said she would. I was supposed to work at the house while watching the dog, but I couldn’t because I know from experience you DO NOT MOVE my mother’s things without her being present. The whole table was filled to the brim, just like every countertop in the house 🙃

So I pivot and focus on getting Bella a walk. But I can’t find her normal collar and harness anywhere. I call Mom, and she insists the bag with the things is somewhere around. Can’t find it. I get increasingly flustered and frustrated, all while the damn fire alarm’s dead battery keeps making it chirp at odd intervals.

I try taking the alarm down, but it won’t dislodge from the wall. So there’s noise and mess everywhere, I can’t find the dog’s things, and my body is having a hard time coping with being in the house for a multitude of reasons (yay trauma).

3) BAM meltdown. My body is frozen in the front hall, just standing there, wailing. High pitched wails come out of me that I can’t control, my eyes pouring out tears. It’s like I’m there, rattling inside my meatsuit just behind my eyes, witnessing my body do these things, and I have no attachment to them or ability to step into control. Bella is confused and sits with me and starts “crying” too. Which, thankfully, kind of shocks me into a new awareness and I am able to stop myself from wailing like that. Then she starts sitting closer to me so I can keep my hand on her head/back when she moves around. She didn’t understand, but she was such a sweetheart trying to figure out how to help.

We go for a walk which grounds me a little bit. (With the wrong lead and collar, but I needed to make do.)

4) I finally ship off to my friend’s place to work in his office. I’m taking a course by Kieran Rose (the “Inside Autism Series”), so I can be better educated on the identity I hold. And naturally the first “episode” is all about the history of Autism, which is pretty horrific. I make it about halfway through before I need to drive Lyft again. Feeling the pressure, as I only have until January 6th to catch up on the videos.

4.5) I’m gearing up for a trip to MI over NYE and into January for a few things. I feel the pressure of needing to have things done before I leave, so that’s just exacerbating all of this. And I still need to make rent.

5) I’m finally on time for the bonus hour for once, and get a ride. Instead of him adding a new destination into the app, he has me go to a gas station which adds 10 extra min, as I have a ride waiting in queue. (I’ve learned my lesson, as this has happened a few times now. I don’t care if they tip in cash after, it sucks and I’m done doing it. Especially since it’s a safety risk now that I think about it.)

As I’m going to reposition the app to drive this man to his destination finally, I accidentally swipe “drop off” and lose his trip entirely. It immediately shifts to the next ride, which I had to then cancel. And Lyft says we can go offline for up to 15 min during a bonus streak, but it LIED because when I came back on, I had to start over. The ride after that took me a good 25 min out of the city one way. All this to say, I once again was denied a full opportunity at bonus money. (I need that money because I can only drive so much each day, which is why I structure my schedule around those hours.) Then as I leave the gas station, some other driver decides to use the exit-only lane as an entrance and we almost have a collision.

And the last ride of my day? An older woman started asking me about kids, told me that “they say” (and she knows, because she’s written for John’s Hopkins before🙄) that part of the development of being fully female is when we have children and breastfeed. 🤢🤮 Like it’s somehow my duty, and the only way to be a “woman”. I didn’t bother telling her off, or about who I actually am. Something seemed off with her anyway. But like. WTF? AND she insisted that I tell her my deadname after I explained to her my name now is a recycled version of it.

Y’all I’m exhausted. And I started this post saying that I really want to be mad about all of this, but I can’t. All I can be is tired.

I am learning that we only have so much energy to dedicate to what’s important, and I choose today that what’s important is not being mad at the world for being rude to me (lol). Instead I’m looking at how I’ve managed to have a semi-productive day after a small meltdown (that’s a huge win), and I’m looking at how having older people in power (who are super removed from the world and how it works) is something we need to address as a society. If people want to be in power and serve their communities, they need to actually KNOW who they serve. Obviously this isn’t how things work, because most people in power are there for the power, not for the people. But goddammit can we start doing something about that???

Times are changing. The Future is Queer. We can no longer assume who people are just by looking at them, we can no longer assume that humanity neatly falls into binary categories of gender or neurotype. I’m so over how things are currently. All today’s experience can do is fuel my mission of changing the world, one connection at a time.

I sent that woman away with a smile because I knew I wouldn’t be able to change her way of thinking in a 4 minute drive to her house. I choose compassion over anger.

I choose love for others, even in their misguided knowledge. I choose love for myself, even with all my mistakes and anger. I choose love.

Life and everything in it represents–past the metaphorical–infinite possibilities. As humans, we get to BE those possibilities. If we are infinite possibilities, and we are, through what we focus our attention on, then I choose to shift my attention and seek the paths guided by curiosity, courage, and compassion.

That was a lot. Thanks for reading 💜🤘🌈

CW: mentions su*c*de

Caption for the image above: The many faces of Dissociation by @what.is.mental.illness; Derealization, feeling disconnected from the world around you; Identity Confusion, inner struggle about one’s sense of self/identity; Amnesia, memory loss often described as “losing time”; Depersonalization, feeling disconnected from your own body, mind or self; Identity alteration, sense of acting like a different person some of the time.

What do you do when your soul detaches from your body, and you lose touch with reality? The following is my interpretation of what I call “nihilism attacks,” and how I combat them.

To start, this is (for me) a form of dissociation. It is visceral at the base level, as in it’s impossible to stop once onset takes place, just like my autistic meltdowns. But because I continue to grasp meta awareness throughout, I can’t say it isn’t partly intellectual still.

It goes like this:

Wave after wave of information floods my consciousness to the point of overwhelm. In the case of my nihilism attacks, and not regular dissociation, this overwhelm is always brought on by compounding thoughts about world suffering on all levels—suffering in my own personal life, to suffering external to the identities I hold (this includes friends and strangers alike), to suffering the Earth is facing everyday as global warming increases. There is no order to it, but each thought compounds the others.

Then I will feel a shift in my chest and gut—that feeling when you just barely avoid a crash on the road—and my mind will take on a lucid dreaming effect. That’s really the only way I can describe it. It’s like lucid dreaming but while awake: The shift increases until at last my mind perceives my soul to be 6 inches out of my body. Or in these particular episodes, it’s 6 inches within, too condensed, watching my life play out as if I were at the movie theater taking in a feature film.

a gif of a white individual with long hair in a ponytail and circular glasses looks anxiously at the TV and drops the popcorn in their hand

I can make decisions and witness my body doing them, but it doesn’t feel like I’m the one calling the shots or experiencing the consequences. I can look at my hands and put pressure on different parts of my body, but they don’t look or feel like mine. I detach from my humanity and reality.

The attack that inspired this post consisted of me rocking back and forth, hugging my knees, and wailing without consent—all very common in this next step of an attack. Literally my body will need to shriek and wail and cry to relieve some of the stress it’s under, and it won’t let me say no. I’m learning that even though this kind of wailing does stress my body out physically, and I’ve gotten sick from it in the past, it is necessary to allow this energy to come up and out. This is where meta awareness comes in.

Before meta awareness is helpful, it harms me. This stage is the ugliest of all, even though I’m not a pretty crier. It’s within this stage of attack that my mind has a conversation with itself about the meaning of life, how everything leads to suffering because the world is suffering, and how I should just give up. It is in this stage where not only am I detached from my humanity because I’m detached from my body, but I genuinely feel like I’m in the wrong place/plane in time. I feel like I’m not human at all, only a consciousness held captive within a human avatar. In this awareness, I am very attached to the idea that the world is a simulation strictly designed to torture us until we die, just so we can come back in a different body and be tortured again.

Even though this is a scary thought, and it does compel me to consider unaliving myself for a moment, it’s also my saving grace. Because if this nihilistic attack is going to make me consider that all of everything is pointless, that this is all just a simulation that repeats itself, then I might as well continue forward with that knowledge and make this reality one I can be proud of. If there is so much suffering, then why not become a conduit to less suffering while I’m here, to the best of my abilities?

Over time, with practice, my meta awareness has allowed me to:

  • hold space for the wailing, but also give soothing reminders to my system that I need to stop or it will hurt me more
  • understand that even if it’s all “fake,” I have autonomy and get to decide how I show up as who I am to any circumstance (i.e. I no longer solely exist in a reactionary state)
  • understand that who I am is love, compassion, gentleness, gratitude, joy, truth, and a whole list of qualities such as these (I believe everyone has the potential to see themselves and others in this way)
  • embolden my compassion and empathy, to use as a foundational tool to continue forward

All is not lost, because WE decide it so.

To be vulnerable is to allow the winds of life to blow freely over your soul.

Maria nemeth

Now this isn’t to say that depression isn’t real, or that people who do unalive themselves are selfish, weak, cowards, failures, etc. No. In my life coach training, we use this particular definition of vulnerability: “To be vulnerable is to allow the winds of life to blow freely over your soul.” And sometimes people get swept up in those winds, and lose themselves. How can we fault them for wanting an out? We can’t. Period. The whole point is that they decided for themselves what the next best step was for them, in the time/circumstances they found themselves in. It is not selfish to be so consumed by circumstances and brain chemistry that you find a way to quiet the winds permanently. Maybe if we had better healthcare and a more compassionate, understanding, and accommodating society, less people would unalive themselves. But right now these are the circumstances we have, and I refuse to blame anyone for doing what they thought best for themselves. (And I am speaking out of my own grief of losing friends this way, as well as from my own dark places where I’ve considered unaliving myself more than a few times.) Blame the failing infrastructure? Yes. Blame the individual? No.

However, it’s important to note the end of the quote I just used: “To be vulnerable is to allow the winds of life to blow freely over your soul. To let life in, on life’s own terms. To be vulnerable means you realize there is nothing to protect.” This is what encourages me to push forward. If there’s nothing to protect, why not give life your all and say yes to the future while you’re already here? I choose to flip that nihilism on its head. I don’t always get it right, but practicing the notion of reverse nihilism truly does inspire me to continue living. I choose to continue the work I’ve set out to do while I’m a physical part of this timeline, even if the physical form I have can be a living hell day to day.

Quick aside: I say reverse nihilism instead of optimism because I don’t approach this concept from an optimistic perspective; optimism is merely a side effect of flipping nihilism on its head. I am not optimistic because my attitude reflects “a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favorable, and desirable” (Wiki). Rather my attitude simply reflects a commitment to seeing things through, whether perceived to be good or bad, in spite of my nihilism.

Welcome Back!

So how do I come back to Earth? My attacks can last anywhere from 3 minutes, to 3 hours or longer. There’s really no way to tell how long they’ll be, which is why practicing grounding techniques outside of crisis moments is so vital. You have to be prepared.

The attack that elicited this article from me lasted only 20-ish minutes, which is pretty damn good for me. Normally they’re much longer (I think I’ve only had 3-5 min attacks twice out of many). For this one, my defense strategy was this:

  • let my body wail a bit, but hold onto meta awareness
  • push out thoughts of suffering by redirecting my attention to what’s around me; things I can hear, see, smell, and touch (I save tasting for the end)
  • GET OUTSIDE and BREATHE; focusing on breath is HUGE (highly recommend reading You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Zen monk, author, and meditation master, Thich Nhat Hanh)
  • squish grass between my toes and move my body to dance with the wind
  • pet the dog, play fetch with her
  • stay hydrated and eat something comforting (avocado toast for me that day)
  • gentle aftercare (cartoons and stuffy cuddles with a weighted blanket)

By the time I was consuming avocado toast (yes I am a millennial, and no, $2.50 for a comforting meal is not why I’m in poverty), I had reconnected to my body enough to actually enjoy what I was tasting. The taste is what cements me back into my body completely—the final push.

So, if you find yourself having a similar attack, or dissociating in general, know that 1) you are not alone and 2) there are ways you can help yourself find your way back. Here’s a great list of more grounding and soothing techniques, as well as some tips to get the most out of them. And here is a quick article about dissociation if you’re looking for more information.


If you (or someone you know) are in crisis and need help, please call a hotline to talk with someone.

Trans Lifeline

National Su*c*de Prevention Hotline – LGBTQ+

Support Hotlines List (including more LGBTQIA+ specific ones)

Stay well, stay safe 💜🌈💜


Looking for someone to talk with about hard subjects? I’m a great listener and can help you sort out your thoughts. Now offering peer support sessions on a sliding scale, just click here.

CW: transphobia, deadnaming, sexism, mention of sex acts, su*c*de

It’s funny to me (read: ironic and awful) how cis people can change their names all the time without so much as a second glance, and yet when trans people do it, suddenly their identity is up for debate and relationships are at stake.

“It’s not just about you, it’s about everyone around you. Calling it your deadname makes me feel like our relationship is dead because I gave you that name and cherished picking it for you.”

– paraphrasing my mom; it was not so kind the first time

Calling a deadname a deadname is NOT reflective of a trans individual’s relationship with others, but with themselves. It is selfish and entitled to make someone else’s identity about yourself.

“She’s not dead! She is a part of you!”

– Mom

Actually, no. It’s the other way around, and I really wish cis people would wake up to that truth. We’re not talking about the inner child being a part of the adult here. We’re talking about how I have always been Jaesic, just with the wrong casing and outer/inner perception. As a child, I was not a “she.” I was forced to believe that I was though.

I had to construct a box around me that was “girl” to keep who I actually was, safe. And what a bunch of crap the notion of “safety” was and is to be a girl in this world. #fuckthepatriarchy

I remember in preschool a boy was picking on me pretty harshly, and I was told that that’s because he liked me.

That’s two boards nailed together: girls take abuse from boys because that’s them showing affection.

When I was 6 years old, I started going to our Assembly of God’s youth program: Missionettes. I had zero interest in Bible readings, and learning how to be a sweet, demure female. All we did was study, and learn house keeping. I’m not kidding. The boys, however, got to learn survival skills in Rangers (it was the church’s version of Boy Scouts). I desperately wanted to be a Ranger. Not only did I get along with boys better, but my dad was one of the leaders, and I wanted to be closer to him. And how cool would it have been to learn survival things! I loved nature, and I loved camping (still do, and my dad is still very passionate about camping).

“Girls can’t be in Rangers! Enough!’ – Dad. I thought because my dad was one of the leaders, that they could make an exception, but no. I cried for days.

Plank nailed in: the house is the female’s domain, and even when you’re passionate about something, you can be denied access due to your gender.

I was 7 years old playing outside in a dress that I didn’t want to wear, and fell to the ground after spinning around some (apparently spinning around all the time was a way to stim). My legs were bent as I was lying there and my mother screeched at me to keep my legs together and keep them down.

Another plank nailed in: girls cannot be carefree and must be aware of how they present their bottom half at all times.

I was in 4th grade, and they separated the boys and girls into different rooms to teach about sex organs and bodily changes.

Another plank: girls and boys are different, and it’s taboo/shameful to talk about those differences together.

In 5th grade my grandparents took the family on a Christmas cruise. Mom forced me again to wear a dress I did not want to wear. It was too much for my senses: bright red, too tight on my torso, and had poufy short sleeves. I felt hideous on top of wanting to puke and cry from sensory overload. I was in a foul mood all night and was severely reprimanded.

Plank: good girls do what they’re told without protest; comfort is in pleasing others and nothing else.

In 6th grade, I was on the bus after staying at school late, and a high school boy started harassing me about sex acts, including fisting, which I had no conceptualization for. I just sat their mute, awkwardly nodding and smiling out of nervous habit. I was unable to get away because we were the only two on the bus and he wasn’t letting up. Instead of interrupting the conversation as he was hearing it, the bus driver (my favorite bus driver at the time) waited until I was walking down the steps to my driveway to then scold me with, “I heard what you were talking about back there. What would your mother say should I tell her?” Every bus ride thereafter was a hell of anxiety.

Plank: there is shame in being harassed, and girls have to take full accountability for others’ actions.

In 7th grade I was told I could no longer play tag football in gym with the boys.

Plank: girls can’t and shouldn’t keep up with the boys, especially in sport. We’re inferior.

8th grade: I was caught sexting an older high school boy. Instead of talking to me about sexuality and asking me if I was okay, my parents “prayed the devil out of me” and grounded me for a year. Fun fact, I was not okay. I was constantly uncomfortable with what was happening, but didn’t have the ability to make boundaries and uphold them. I thought all girls wanted this attention from boys, and I only kept up with it because I thought I was “chosen.” I hated talking like that and barely even knew what I was saying or being told. All of it felt wrong.

Plank: my body and sexuality are a sin.

9th grade: Freshman year, my boyfriend touched my genitals under a blanket at the after prom party (he was a senior). I wasn’t coerced, but I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about it. At the time I was bound to Purity Culture, so I was not sexually active, and was not really interested in *touching* things yet. I asked my boyfriend later on why he needed to touch it when he knows we won’t be having sex. He replied, “I don’t know.”

Plank: Sex acts are for others’ pleasure and boundaries are negotiable.

I “wasn’t like other girls.” I liked playing in nature for hours and getting sapped by the trees, hated playing with dolls, despised skirts and stockings and anything “frilly,” got along better with “the guys,” the purple/pink combo nauseated me (still does)…

I could go on and on, but I don’t want to detract from the main message of this article. Bottom line is, the more I learned to be a “girl” against my will and understanding, the longer I stayed naïve, and the more abuse I endured—and not just abuse from “men,” but from all people around me. Because after building this box around me, and adding layer after layer, I lost sight of who I was, and I lost my voice. When you don’t know who you are, you’re susceptible to being swayed one way or another a lot of the time (at least in my experience).

Add in a lot of neurodivergence, and the masks I kept having to wear to “fit in,” then got nailed onto my box and became who I was. There was no light getting through the cracks anymore for me to witness my true self. Chronic pain only muddled things further. I had next to no tools for communicating effectively, or for emotional regulation, or for loving my mind and body. I had no tools to take the nails out of my “self-made” coffin…I wanted to die.

Since I could no longer access Jaesic, I couldn’t see me getting older. I didn’t WANT to see me getting older. Even on my happiest days, I still wanted to die. I didn’t and couldn’t feel like ME. Coming out as nonbinary two years ago, and discovering my autism since, has been a painful yet liberating process of me finding the light within and bursting out of the coffin the world insisted that I build.

“Well it seems to me that your trauma is why you reject your gender.”

Oh honey, no. Now I’m not saying trauma can’t play a role in forming identity. It absolutely can and does, as us humans do not exist in a vacuum. The point is though, even IF trauma forces that “choice,” then that individual has always had the capacity to be more than their prescribed gender, or sexuality, or job, or literally anything. Again, us humans are pretty damn complex. So instead on focusing what lived experience may have contributed to a person’s new (to you) identity, let’s just see the person for who they are in the present moment and respect how they want to be addressed. If we can do that for cis people (when they get married, go by a new nickname, change jobs, attain higher education) then we absolutely can do the same for transgender people too.

I have always been ME. It just took me longer to figure that out because I was traumatized into being a girl for the first 25 years of my life. And that right there folks is why we need to support trans youth. Trans youth are under attack for just wanting (needing) to be who they are! And they are at greater risk for depression, considering suicide, and attempting suicide than their peers when they do not have the support they need. Learn what you can do to fight against unjust legislation in the U.S. There are many organizations that have resources available to you.

The simplest thing you can do for trans people, though? LISTEN, BELIEVE, and LET LIVE.


Exploring gender or sexuality? Remember, everything is at your own pace. And I can help! If you’d like to talk with someone about what you’re going through, I offer consulting services on a sliding scale. Please don’t hesitate to reach out through the contact tab on the main menu.  🥰

And soon I will be offering life coaching! Stay tuned!