The House of Doors

Recently I’ve been going through some really tough times.  My anxiety and depression have come back in full force for the last few weeks, and a couple of failed attempts at relationships have hit me hard, too.  And of course, it’s always difficult to describe what’s actually wrong at the time.  But after thinking it through a little bit, I think I’ve come up with a pretty good analogy.

Imagine a huge mansion full of rooms with doors into other rooms.  Each room is different in it’s own way, and no two rooms are exactly the same.  Each room also contains a box of keys which may or may not open the doors in the room.

Each door is different, too.  Some require keys and some don’t.  Some allow you to get a little peek into the next room.  Some are hidden.  Some have timers on them and are only available to open at certain times.  Some require multiple keys.  Some require someone on the other side of the door to unlock them, too.

There is, however, one door that’s in every room.  It leads to a room that holds the exit to the mansion, along with a few one-way doors.  Once you reach this room, you only have a little time in it before something forces you out, either through the exit or one of the one-way doors.

Life is the time it takes to pass through the mansion until you reach the exit, each door is a change in your life in some way or another, and each key is an action you or someone else must perform to make that change occur.

Your contentedness in life describes how much you like the room you’re currently in.  Sometimes you like the room and want to stay there until you’re forced out.  Sometimes you want to stay a bit, but the decor gets old and you want to move on.  Sometimes the roof leaks or there’s a bad draft, and you need to determine whether to move on or live with it.  Sometimes you enter the room to find you hate it, and you do everything you can to get out as soon as possible.

Fears and anxieties act as different hindrances to passing through rooms smoothly.  Phobias generally manifest themselves as extra locks on the doors.  Other fears and anxieties may manifest as discomfort with the room or difficulty finding doors.

For people with depression, we enter this mansion with a skeleton key in our back pocket.  This key unlocks the one door in every room, the direct way to the exit.  The key is always on our minds, and we always know where it is.  Depending on how much we like the room we’re currently in, using that key is more or less appealing than attempting to find another key/door combination or staying in that room until something or someone comes along and forces us out.

For people with anxiety, we have trouble finding a room we actually like.  There’s always something wrong with the room we’re in or the room we’re looking to go to.  Depending on how much we’re willing to put up with whatever is wrong will determine whether we move on or stay.

As for my current position in the mansion, I feel like I’ve been in the same room for a while now, and I’m ready to move to another.  But each time I find a door, there’s something in the way.

For romantic relationships, all the doors I’ve wanted to open have my keys in them, but the other side still has a lock on it.  For some, the person isn’t even paying attention to the door.  Others, I knocked and they told me they’re not interested in using that key.  A select few have cracked the door, but they still have chain locks on them, and they’ve always slammed the door shut and put more locks on.  All the other desirable doors are hidden or require me to move through a somewhat unrelated door to access.

Business relationships are the same way.  I’ve tried putting keys in doors, but most of them aren’t being paid attention to.  Others still have locks on my side that I need to open before I can even think about opening them.

Most the rest of the doors are either hidden or I can’t find the key.  Some I have the key, but the door leads to a room that’s worse than this one.  And then there’s always that skeleton key in my back pocket.  Right now I don’t want to use that key, but as time goes on I’m finding it harder and harder to stay in this room.  I’ve already made a serious effort at finding more doors and hunting through keys, and with every day I stay in this room it’s more difficult to ignore that key in my back pocket.

Belladonna and Christopher

“Alphonse’s death may have been painful, but at least it was private.”  Patches’ upper lip creased a bit, then went back to her standard soft look.  “Belladonna’s and Christopher’s were very much not, the greedy fools.  You’d think they would have learned after hearing about Alphonse, but no.  They had to go off and get themselves killed.”

“Hey, it’s your fault you told us that becoming patch mages would fulfill our wildest dreams.  Last time I checked my dreams never included literal hellfire and brimstone,” sneered the severely burned one.  Patches sighed.

“Belladonna and Christopher were probably the biggest mistakes I ever made.  I picked them up off the streets at an early age.  They were rough and unruly, but I could see they had talent and the spark to become patch mages.

“And so I trained them.  They picked up the trade rather quickly, and got their first patches within a couple weeks of starting training.  So I kept pushing them further and further.  But little Belladonna and Christopher had a penchant for getting in trouble, and I should have payed more attention to that than their aptitude.

“It wasn’t long before I was hearing stories of peculiar criminal acts.  Petty theft, vandalism, burglary.  They were all magical in nature, but no one could pin down who it was.  Of course, it wasn’t much longer after that that I found something they had stolen and accidentally left out.

“I confronted them, they admitted to going on a crime spree, I kicked them out.  The next night they decided to perform a really big heist.  In the process of trying to phase through a wall, the patches took their revenge.  Christopher was trapped in the wall, suffocating him.  Belladonna, in an attempt to help Christopher, tried melting the bricks around him, and the patches instead decided to immolate her.  By the time the fire died away, hardly any of either of them was recognizable.  And that’s how I lost my second two apprentices to the second tenet.”

The Great Hormonal Adventure: Month 5

It’s been a while since I posted, and I think enough has happened on the transition side to write about it again.  So, here goes!

This is my most recent picture.  This is sans makeup, and I know from previous experience that that makes a huge difference.  Changes that I’ve noticed since last time:

  • My skin is noticeably clearer and smoother
  • My face is rounding out pretty well
  • The curves are real
  • So are the breasts
  • Body hair keeps getting thinner and growing more slowly
  • Emotions are crazy again.  The hormones seem to be somewhat counteracting the antidepressants
  • Chocolate is manna from the gods
  • So is white milk
  • And basically everything.  I thought I was always hungry before.  Now it’s even worse.
  • My voice is getting easier to swing.  It’s actually pretty awesome.
  • My previous body scent is basically gone.  I don’t think I’ve ever smelled this good.

On the coming out side, I’m now presenting female full-time outside of work.  I seem to pass decently well considering I haven’t really noticed any weird looks or anything.  At work, I’m now out to a ton of people, including HR and my boss.  They both took it well.  Not sure what the next step is, though.

Presenting female has honestly been the best thing for me, though.  I feel so much better being able to present as myself and not as what everyone wants me to be.  And it can only get better from here.