mjperry96 wrote:While I am older than you (34) I do feel like I am part of the younger contigent here.
In the short time that I've been a part of the forum, I've noticed that many members tend to be older. With that in mind, I'm curoius how other people around my age are expressing their gender variance. I'm 20 going on 21 this August and lately it feels like I'm constantly on the verge of going over the preverbial "edge". I keep on trying to hold back my feminine feelings and sexual attractions since I'm in the closet, but the toll it's taking on me seems to only be getting worse every day. A part of me just wants to say screw it and do whatever comes to mind, but the way that I express myself right now, from the clothes that I wear to the people that my family thinks I'm attracted to, is so masculine that I probably wouldn't be taken seriously. My father's extremely conservative and bashes the LGBTQ+ community constantly on social media, so walking hand in hand with a guy I find attractive or wearing feminine clothing is probably going to result in an interesting conversation.
I could experiment in private, but even then I'm scared of losing the respect that I've worked so hard to build not just between me and my father, but my family in general. I'm scared that If I do end up having a sexual experience with a guy or try on feminine clothing that I'll go completely overboard femme and lose sight of who I am, or rather what I'm expected to be. And if I can't be what they want me to be, then I'm just another dissapointment. I'm a waste of their time, effort and money. A means to an end is the general expression that comes up between me and my therapist. Do good in elementary school to do good in middle school to do good in high school to do good in college to get a good job making good money to support a family to raise kids who'll do the same thing to make my dad happy or at the very least prove that I could be a better parent than he could ever be. But the reality of the situation is that none of that is making me happy.
I wake up every day for the sole purpose of serving no purpose. I'm not happy with the person that I am and the way that I'm expressing myself, but if I change who that person is then my parents probably won't be happy with the person I become. I know that I ultimately have to do what makes me happy, but I'm so disgusted with myself and what I want that I'm stuck in limbo. I can't get past the idea that I'm messed up and need to be fixed, so I bury the broken parts of me, the parts that I don't like, and keep on walking. I walk knowing that I'm going nowhere and I walk alone. Depressive rant asside though, I'm genuinely interested in how everybody else is handling this. Right now, the only way that I've ever handled these feelings has been through porn and sexual release, but it's not enough to tame my feelings anymore. I want this to just dissapear, but given the fact that this has been my life since childhood, I doubt that'll happen.
For most of my twenties I was what Jack calls a "dark crossdreamer." This means I was deeply in denial about the part of me that wanted to be a girl. I viewed my crossdreaming as nothing more than a fetish, my deep dark guilty pleasure. Despite this, I believe my crossdreaming side still had a deep affect upon me. I obessively sought out transgender material to use as fuel for my fantasies. I became addict to the online role playing game for a while. Despite several efforts to create a male character I almost always ended up choosing female characters and trying my best to convince people I really was female.
From the way you are talking that sounds alot like what you are already doing. But, burying myself in my crappy drawing ability, poetry, story writing, and video games has been my release. Especially, video games with character creators.
If you are thinking of secretly experimenting with crossdressing and/or dating men, but are worried about losing yourself; maybe what you should do is sit down and write some rules for yourself while you mind is "guy mode" as much as possible. Rules for how far you want to go as well as rules to help protect your privacy. For instance, maybe you could start off slowly and restrict your dress to "tomboy" clothes or have a rule like never leave your computer alone with TG material displayed on it.
As for your lack of direction in life, there is not much I can say other than to warn you that if you force yourself to do something you dislike so much you will probably not put in all the effort required and could end up failing anyway. If the choice is to disappoint your family by pursuing something that makes you happy or disappoint your family pursuing something that makes you unhappy and you pick the latter, then all you are doing is hurting yourself.
But I do understand that the situation you are in is a difficult one. You don't want to disappoint your family, especially your father, but you are unhappy keeping these feelings bottled up. I would love to give the Disney answer of follow your heart, but we live in the real world and sometimes that is just not possible. In the end you will probably have to chose between two bad choices: either to continue enduring by keeping this all bottled up or to come out.
Both have their negatives, but don't forget that every cloud has a silver lining. If you do choice to come out, for example, and live the life you want you might be rejected, but there will inevitably be those who stick with you or come round later on. You can know that those people are your true friends and family. And you never know; sometimes the people who stay with you are the ones who seem like they would never come around. It has happened before:
That said, if you ever need an ear we are more than willing to listen.
Knowing that there are others out there going through this exact same thing sometimes helps. That said, I wish I could be of more help, but this is all I can think of at the moment.