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This Is No Good

January 24th, 2013


Ashley visited her parents at the beginning of winter. Over her previous visit for Thanksgiving, she had heaps of support from visiting relatives, but this time Ashley had fewer allies — mostly just her brother, who gets her name and pronouns right all the time.

Her parents still use the wrong pronouns, and Ashley thought it might be because they didn’t know how much it hurts her. Wanting to remove any doubt, she braced for confrontation and told them how deeply hurt she feels when someone refers to her with male pronouns. She was shocked when her parents reacted with indifference.

In addition to the pronoun problem, Ashley’s parents have switched to using a childhood nickname for her instead of the name she chose. She was okay with that for a while, but she’s come to realize that her parents still use her birth name when she’s not around.

Ashley wonders whether writing a letter would work better than her attempt to ask them person, although a similar letter last spring didn’t seem to have much effect.

Ashley laments that L’Oreal’s Double Extend Mascara with Beauty Tubes tend to irritate her contact lenses, so she went to look for an alternative. She got a recommendation from her hair stylist for Smashbox’s Full Exposure Mascara, and discovered that it worked well for her without irritating her contacts in the same way that L’Oreal’s mascara did.

Ashley also offers a positive review for Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, which you can spray onto your face after you apply your makeup — but before applying any mascara — to help your makeup last throughout the day. Ashley mentions that Urban Decay’s Makeup Setting Spray makes a difference on those days where her makeup really has to last.

(Ashley’s nail polish in this episode is Aruba Blue from Essie. We aren’t being paid to say this — just thought maybe you’d like to know.)

How do I stop these fleeting thoughts of suicide?

January 20th, 2013


Trigger Warning: Suicide
[What is a trigger warning?]

Over the last few months, I’ve had fleeting thoughts about suicide every two or three days. (I suspect a large part is from my parents’ lack of acceptance.) But each time such a thought enters my head, it may be around for no more than a second or two before I swat it away, not unlike a gnat in my mind.

I don’t mean to be flippant, but it’s almost as if one corner of my brain is saying, “Maybe all this would be easier if I was dead,” but with the rest of my brain soon chiming in with, “No, that would be a really bad idea.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve come to realize I have depression (which I recognize from having had in the past). I haven’t yet sought medication for that, but might that be something that could help dispel these thoughts?

(I took Lexapro the last time I had depression and it seemed to work okay, but if you have depression and if there’s a particular medication that’s worked well for you, I’d like to hear about it.)

Either way, I have a psychotherapist who I can talk to about this kind of thing, and I plan on setting up an appointment with them soon.

P.S. To reiterate, I have no plans on killing myself, and I want to be around for a long time. I just have these thoughts that keep creeping in my head about this.

— Ashley

Updated Jan. 21: I have an appointment on Thursday.

Updated Jan. 24: I had a really good conversation with my psychotherapist and I have another appointment with them on Thursday.

Updated Jan. 25: My doc has given me a prescription for lithium to start.