March 21, 2017
Something changed this month. Something changed within me and I can’t put a finger on it. ( I feel like Elphaba, “something has changed within me, something is not the same.”) I have not self harmed in 18 days. 18 sunsets have cast their shadows on the trees on my block since I have taken a knife to my delicate skin. Since I started cutting consistently on December 8, the longest I have been able to go was 7 days and on the 8th day I would always cut. I stopped smoking cigarettes and I stopped drinking like a fish. In the 21 days of march I have only drank 5 times, and each time I drank, it was to enjoy- not out of necessity. I no longer want to get drunk, or even feel buzzed anymore. It bores me and I don’t want to put fourt the effort or money it takes me to actually get drunk. It’s like I grew up suddenly.
I was put on a new med for a week until my face broke out into a horrendous rash. The first time since December specifically I feel like the pieces of me are starting to come together. I am starting to slowly feel stronger and more whole.
Two really exciting things have happened this month so far. After a 8 year hiatus I took my first singing lesson with a trusted friend. I spent a long therapy session at the beginning of the month saying how lost I felt with my singing voice and how I’ve lost a huge part of myself since starting T. My once almost 4 octave range has now reduced to maybe an octave and a half? My singing teacher, Charles is so sweet and loving and supportive. He understands that this is a hard transition for me to go from singing glitter and be gay form candide to barely squeaking out an E. He made me proud of myself for literally just jumping headfirst into to lessons after so long. We walked into the room and began vocalizing right away. Within 2 minutes of the lessons the validation that I so desperately craved was given to me and made me feel at ease. My biggest fear was that I was going to open my mouth and it would sound so bad that he wouldn’t believe that I went to one of the Midwest’s most recognized musical theatre schools. But a few simple words, “there’s some meat there” slipped out of his mouth and I felt at home. I don’t have a job because I’m still not in the place yet where I can hold a job, but I am going to scrounge up all of my pennies to continue taking singing lessons as long as I can because whether or not I ever make it to broadway, singing needs to be in my life. I hope I can at least be in musicals in the future because singing is what makes me feel most whole and like my old, younger, innocent self.
The next big thing that has happened so far this march is I got my first NYC acting job and my first job off of backstage.com! 3 days after creating an account and paying my $134 subscription fee I received a message from a young film student at NYU who saw my resume and reel that I submitted for the role she was casting (a young transgender male.) The message simply said, “I saw your work on your profile and would love to offer you the role, I look forward to the possibility of working with you -N” to say the least I started freaking out and crying because literally only 2 hours passed since I posted a status on Facebook bitching and moaning that nobody had hired me yet.
I’ve never been in a film before or been the lead of anything ever. Of course I am still filled with self doubt and think maybe the only reason I got the role is because I’m trans and I’m really not talented or good. I feel guilty for the 84 people that liked my Facebook status and are supporting me, I feel like a liar and a fraud because this wasn’t a ‘feature’ film. My teacher who morphed into my mother figure told me to “SHUT. IT. DOWN” and that there are no accidents. Clearly I need to work on my self confidence and know that I, Rilen AM ENOUGH. My skill set, my look, my training– all of that is enough. I need to become my ally and not enemy.
Now if I am completely honest, my biggest fear is that I will look obese on film. I am proud of the work that I did in this black and white silent film. I rose to the occasion and was unfiltered and messy. But I am so scared I will be so utterly disgusted with my body that I won’t want to put it on my reel, let alone show my friends and family. My eating disorder is an ever present pest and always lurking in the corners of my brain, waiting to pop out at any moment. I am constantly using the following words to describe myself and my body ” disgusting, fat, ugly, gross.” I am ashamed and embarrassed that people have to look at my fat face when they talk to me. These words hurt me, they don’t help me. I know that my body is not where I want it to be in any means. I want to lose at least 60 pounds to feel healthy. The thing is, I know that my eating disorder runs so deep that even at a healthy weight, I will still hate myself as much as I do now, which is why I have given up. I don’t see the point of busting my ass when I know no matter what I will still hate what I see. Nevertheless, I intend on cutting back on sugary drinks and trying to get back into running. Now that I am starting to peruse acting in a professional manner now, I need to think of my body as a temple and my first impression I give to casting directors. The roles I want to play are not accessible to me right now with the way I look now (or so I say!) so I need to change.
And lastly one final update, I am beginning to uncover my psychic abilities. Now, just typing that makes me want to cringe and throw up everything I have ever eaten but, it’s true! I have always been very sensitive to other people’s emotions and energies. I have had many paranormal experiences, one of which happened a couple of weeks ago when a hand gently touched my back as I was sleeping. I have a friend who makes a living as a psychic and we played some games last night to work on my intuition. I believe I am an empath, I am more comfortable using that works instead of “psychic.”
I gave my first reading to a stranger on a chat website (omegle) last night. I could feel ( and I don’t know how the fuck I knew this) that this young man I was speaking with had many secrets. I knew what it was right away and I later built up the courage free reading him and him affirming that what I said was true and making him cry to confront him and ask him about the eating disorder he has been hiding. He hasn’t told anyone about his struggles and when I finally asked him about it he simply typed “h o w” And my answer at this point is bitch I don’t know!!
So the magical, majestic month of march is upon me. My future is full of promise and I am starting at feel like the old me again that has been lost for quite some time. I’m not fixed, but I am becoming more complete everyday and every moment that passes.