Awkward in-between Ugly Duckling Phase

Hey everyone,

Like I stated before in my previous post, I wanted to touch base so I can keep writing in this blog a bit more consistently.

I started my new job and I kind of enjoy it.  I still need to get certifications of various things (cpr/first aid, medication certification, etc) but so far it’s a very well-paying job(14/hr, most I’ve ever made, after certification I will most likely get a raise too) helping people with addiction and mental health issues in a group-home type setting.  I’m not like a counselor or anything, just basically the person who ensures everyone’s safety in the home.  I’m very laid back for the most part, and the clients respond better to me than most other staff because I treat them with respect and like adults. I’m also closer to their ages too. It also helps that I have an awareness and understanding of mental health issues because of personal experience. I’ve been where they are so I understand.  I don’t nag them if they don’t do what they are supposed to do, instead, I prompt them no more than 3 times and on the 3rd time I say that it’s their choice if they don’t do their assigned chore but that means I have to mark it down and there will be consequences later. I’ve only had to do that once to one client.  Ever since I’ve not had much of a problem.  I filled in a shift for someone tonight and for supper I made salmon, sweet potatoes, and rice.  I put together a smokey, sweet, and spicy rub and glaze on the fish, and the clients loved it. There wasn’t any salmon left. Even the clients that dislike fish said it was really good.  I felt happy to make a very nutritious meal and it turning out well.

I joined a gym again, this time it’s a different one.  The one I was at previously had a change in policy in that I had to pay for a 100$ assessment fee before I could re-enroll. No thanks.  This new one I joined is decent, but it certainly has a very different kind of crowd and feel. It’s a little more of an aggressive space.   I picked right back up where I was, working out 5 days a week, starting last week.  I’m already feeling stronger and my  sleep patterns have improved. I’m finally sleeping through the night and feeling rested.  Exercise has also helped my mood and my ability to focus more.  Looking forward to reaching my goals.


The reason for the title of my post has to do with my acne problem.  The oral medication and topical medication I’m on can take up to 2 months to actually start working.  Again, I never dealt with this as a teenager, and this was something I was completely not expecting to be this bad. I know Testosterone can cause acne, but so much of what I read said that there is a lot of genetics involved in whether or not it’ll be so bad. Since I’m adopted it’s hard to know, but now I do. Ugh.

First collage this week, 2nd collage last week

It’s all about patience, watching what I eat, managing stress, and hygiene.  The thing is, acne is painful. It is so, so painful. It feels like there are dull needles under my skin just poking up but not enough to break the skin. It’s irritating and excruciating.  This has caused a bit of dysphoria in me in that this just isn’t me, I never had troublesome skin like this, this isn’t what I look like. I can’t recognize myself anymore because of how swollen, and irritated my face is.  But this is my reality right now and so I need to cope with it as best I can.  I do feel hopeful that my skin will clear up by spring.  I feel as though I’m in this in-between phase of transition.  I’m right in the thick middle of it, not quite where I want to be yet.  Patience, young Skywalker.  I already don’t look my age enough as it is, and so acne makes me look even younger than what I am.  Another issue this acne has brought on is that my lymph nodes in my neck have been constantly swollen.  They’ve been like this for over a month. I did get a blood test to check it out and it came back normal.  I am assuming that my lymph nodes are working on combating the infection. So not only does the acne on my face hurt, my lymphatic system all over my body is inflamed causing pain.  Exercise has been helping drain the lymphes as have my epsom salt baths.  I just have to remember that this is temporary, it’s part of 2nd puberty, and that it’s not as bad as I think it is. It could be worse.

I’m seriously considering cutting my hair to shorter than chin length, because I think that  having my hair out of my face will help speed up healing.  My hair can grow back fast.  We will see.

I finally made an appointment to the Twin Cities so I can finally get a T levels check and follow-up with what’s been happening in my transition.  I’m going after I get paid and plan to spend a couple days in Minneapolis, then a couple days in Moorhead, MN to visit some friends.  It’ll be like a nice short vacation.


I also got published again by FTM Magazine:

I really enjoy writing and feel pretty good about my written portfolio.  I’m considering doing more freelancing.  I’ve also been thinking about graduate school again. We will see.

I’ll write again in the next week or two,

Ravn Thor


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2 Responses to Awkward in-between Ugly Duckling Phase

  1. Junie says:

    Hi, Ravn
    I don’t know where you live, but I know of an excellent dermatologist in La Verne, California. My son had severe acne when he was fifteen (he’s now 27, with smooth skin). Dr. Amarpaul Sidhu, M.D. and his aesthetician, Denise, did wonders for him without the use of drugs such as Accutane. As Dr. Sidhu said, “There is no cure for acne, but with treatments, my patients don’t look like they have acne.” Within two months my son’s skin looked beautiful. Dr.Sidhu’s practice is called Foothill Dermatology in La Verne. (855) 494-3400. If you live outside of CA, perhaps you can call their office and see if they can refer you to a doctor near you. I know what a struggle acne can be. I see you left your message a year ago, and hope things are going well.

    • Ravn Thor says:

      Hi Junie,
      Thanks for the comment! I live in the upper Midwest—North Dakota. My face has been clearing up a lot this week thankfully. I’m not certain that a dermatologist is covered by my insurance. I decided against taking Accutane because a relative of mine said it caused some hair loss. I had also read that it can have some unpleasant side effects such as depression. Since Accutane is a hormonal driven kind of drug, and I am taking a hormone drug (Testosterone), I really don’t want to muddy up anything that could interfere with my transition. At the moment, I am taking the antibiotic Doxycycline (2x a day) and the topical Tretinoin. So I’m on my 2nd month so far and I’m hopeful that things will improve. Since my skin is more of an olive tone, hyperpigmentation occurs after a pimple heals, leaving an annoying dark spot for months to even up to a year. I’m looking into acne scar healing creams. If you have any OTC suggestions regarding scars, please let me know!

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