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Jun 15 16 4:41 PM

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So tackling this issue of am I trans?Does it matter if I am?  If I am should I transition?  Will I regret it?  What if I do?  Will I lose everything?  Does that matter?  What am I so afraid of?Maybe I am just crazy?  Is being trans why I get so depressed, and have panic attacks.  Is it why I am so self destructive?  Am I just gay?  If I am why aren't I attracted to gay guys?  Is it because I was abused... because my mother hated me?  Maybe I am an addict because my parents and siblings are addicts, and not because I am trans?  How can I know?  Why don't I know!!?  Is not knowing a sign I really am not?  Why did I say I wish I was a girl instead of I am a girl?  Is it important?  If I really am in the wrong body why didn't I feel that way every single day?    Was it because I was too drunk to realize? Why does it come in seemingly random waves combined with depression? Am I just lying to myself?  WTF is wrong with me?  Do I just want attention?  Do I just want to be treated how I imagine a woman gets treated with no real regard for the realities of actually being one?  Is this all in my imagination?  Is this all a creation of media manipulation via wanting to be a princess,  A special snowflake.  (oh I am a special snowflake by the way).  Is being a woman about thinks so superficial as being pretty?  Conforming to some caricatured gender norm?  If I was really a woman wouldn't I cherish the power I currently possess to effect positive change in the world for others, and accept the realities of the now.  Would I focus on concepts of empathy and compassion and love and kindness?  Is that even what being a woman is cause I sure know a lot that are none of those things.  Is it worth the money?  Am I too old for it to work?  Will I lose my job, and be homeless?  Will I ever find true love? Am I just in some long fugue state?  How can I figure all this out?  What is the truth?  Does truth even exist?  Why am I asking so many question?  God I exhaust myself.
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#1 [url]

Jun 15 16 5:02 PM

Goodness, that is a lot of questions. I share many of them, and I also repeat them a lot. But then I run down an internal list of my history that I've reviewed with several including my therapist and a gender therapist. It always points to yes, I am transgender.

Like you, I wrestle with the "wish I was female" vs. "I am female." I don't have the answer for that. For myself I don't think I would really achieve happiness through transition. But that's just me. Kind of stuck in purgatory.

One way to think of this question is how my gender therapist explained it to me. She has over 35-40 years of experience in the field and is highly regarded, BTW. She says to think of it like getting on the Transgender Train. You take it to the next station, which might be dreaming, crossdressing. Get off and stay a while, see how it feels. If you want, get back on and go outside dressed at the next station. Take it a station at a time. Be patient with yourself. And if you want, get back on the train and go farther. Or not, stay a while in that locale. Or hey, it's perfectly okay to head back toward the start and see how that feels. I guess the last train on the station is Surgery Land, and that's a scary one. But if you can, step back and allow yourself to experience the moments. Like Mindfulness Meditation, don't focus on the future as much as the present. Allow yourself the time to feel it in your bones and get used to it.

Easy to say, hard to do, I know. But you are what you are, which certainly sounds transgender to me. I mean, why would a cisgender person even think of this stuff? And being transgender is absolutely normal. It's like being born with blond hair, blue eyes, or gay. Sure, the population of transgender people is small (maybe 0.3%) of the total, so we're a minority. Nothing bad or wrong about us. Just unusual. The trick (that I'm working on, honestly) is feeling pride in that. It is tough at times.

I hope you're seeing a therapist to talk this out with. I think that's incredibly important. I also recently started anti-depressant meds, which are helping me a lot. They told me that there are newer and better ones and I didn't believe them. Now, I do!

Emma

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#3 [url]

Jun 16 16 3:33 AM

There are no clear cut answers in life.  


We are all, in some way, lost and trying to find our way home.  But, the more lost we are, the more we learn about who we are and where to go from here.  To Quote Henry David Thoreau:

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Lost, this is my reality, my philosophy and my namesake.  As such, I do not know what guidance I can give you, but I will try my best and answer those questions in which I hope I can give you some direction.  For whatever the advice of a cis-conforming asexual crossdreamer is worth.

Olivia wrote:
"How can you know if you are trans?" 

 Simply put, we can't ever know.  But, what we can do is be honest with our feelings and make the best guess possible from there.  It took me 2 decades to reach the point where I could be honest with my own feelings.  I deeply deeply wish I was a girl.  Does this make me trans?  I don't know, but from everything I have learned about the issue, and about myself I would have to say "yes, it does."  That is my own personal truth.  The direction I have chosen to find my way.

"Does it matter?"  

No it doesn't.  What matters is being true to yourself, true to your own person truth.  In the end, "trans" is just a label; and labels are just tools.  How much and what use they can be is up to the individual.  For me, my labels are a way to communicate my truth about who I am to the world.  Whether the world accepts it is not up to me.

"If I am should I transition?"

If your only reason to transition is because you, or someone else, put a label on you; then my answer is a resounding "no, you shouldn't."  Making a decision based upon what other people think is right, or making a decision just because they have put you in a box is destined to lead to heartache and ruin.  It is a giant sign post pointing to despair.

Rather, whether or not you should transition should be a decision based solely upon what YOU want to do.  I believe you should only transition if that is what you truly desire to do.  It is something that you need to be willing to sacrifice for.  It is something that you need to be willing to accept all the consequences that come along with it.  This is no easy question, and in the end it is something only you can decide.  But, however you decide, know that you are not alone, and know that you are not broken.  Though you may not see us, you will have sisters and brothers in dream who support you.


"Will I regret it?  What if I do?"

Regret is a part of life.  No matter which path out of the fog of life you choose you will have regrets.  Therefore, asking if you will have regrets is the wrong question.  The question you need to ask yourself is what will you regret more?  Taking a risk and failing; or, not having tried at all.  There is a Latin saying:

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Not even Jupiter (most powerful of all the Gods) can recapture an opportunity once it has passed.  This is your opportunity; will you let it pass you by?  For once it has passed you by, it may never come again.  Live as you are now or live as you truly want to be.  Your decision..

And when regret does come, you have two choices, to let it weigh you down so that you sink in the Swamp of Sadness, or accept it and let it pass through you so that you can move on.

 "Will I lose everything?  Does that matter?"

For everything that is lost, something else is gained.  Again, this is the wrong question.  Both directions lead to loss.  The question is what do you have now and what will you gain; and which is of more value?  The answers to these questions depend upon you and your own personal truths.  Do you have something in your life that is so valuable to you that it is worth continuing to live as you are now?  Or is losing the chance of being who you want to be worth what you have now?

For me, I have things I value too much to take that risk currently.  But, who knows what the future holds.


 "What am I so afraid of? "

I think you fear what we all do; that your decision may lead you away from happiness that you seek.  Not only that, but in such a way that you won't ever be able to return.  You fear the unknown consequences. And, to be sure,  I believe there are very real consequences to one's decision on this.  Rejection, isolation, persecution are all real things we could face.  It is not only natural, but wise to be afraid of these things.  Fear is not a vice, but a virtue.  

But courage is an even bigger virtue.  And by courage I don't mean idiotic male bravado.  I mean true courage, standing up or doing something because it is the right thing to do despite being scared to death of the consequences.


"Maybe I am just crazy?"

This is something I worry about constantly.  Yesterday, for example my mind was ablaze with transgender fantasies and the desire to be a girl.  A couple of times I had to fight off tears.  Then later that day, the feelings vanished and yet once again I was left wondering "what the F*** was I thinking."  It definitely feels like I am losing my mind at times.  But, if that is what is happening, there is nothing I can do about it.  I just have to accept these thoughts and feelings as they come to me.  If my personal truths about how I feel conflicts with that same personal truth two minutes from now, then so be it.  Because, no matter what else it was, it was true at that time.

Is being trans why I get so depressed, and have panic attacks.  Is it why I am so self destructive? 

I don't know. As far as I know that could be part of  the case. But one theme I have noted in all the transition stories I have heard, is that many transwomen expect transitioning to fix all their mental and emotional issues and it almost never does. Personally, I think what you describe is too complex to have just one root cause. Yes, being trans could have contributed, but many of those thing you mention tend to have other causes as well. Some of which are just inherent traits with which one has to deal with all their life.

Am I just gay?  If I am why aren't I attracted to gay guys?  Is it because I was abused... because my mother hated me? 

Anything is possible, but I can't possibly answer these questions for you.  What I can say with a degree of certainty, is that feelings like these are ambiguous and hard to understand even for those of us who were not abused.  I spent years trying to fit myself into a cis-heterosexual mold and no matter what I tried, my piece of the puzzle just never fit.  I would suggest that if it doesn't feel right; then just admit that and move on.  Just because you don't have the name for it today doesn't mean you won't discover the right term tomorrow.

 
Maybe I am an addict because my parents and siblings are addicts, and not because I am trans?  How can I know?  Why don't I know!!?
I believe addiction is a disease.  But, I also believe that being trans is not.  That said, I don't think there is any way to know anything 100% for certain.  Again this is just the way the world works.  Our minds, our bodies, are limited in what they can do, in what they can know.  We are stuck trying to figure out if we got all our pieces in the right place to a picture puzzle to which we will never have all the pieces.

I feel we are ultimately just beings who exist in a world without rhyme or reason and that the only meaning our very existence has is that to which we make ourselves.  This is our existential reality.

 Is not knowing a sign I really am not?  Why did I say I wish I was a girl instead of I am a girl?  Is it important?  If I really am in the wrong body why didn't I feel that way every single day? 
I don't think it is a sign of you not being trans.  I personally believe that some people have a stronger sense of internal gender and that most of the rest of us do not.  It is like being able to see or hear.  Some of us have more acute senses than others.  I also believe that those transpeople who say they "are a girl" or "were born in the wrong body" have a stronger sense of internal gender than you or I do.  Thus, while they can be certain of their feelings we are left out in the woods trying to simply make north from south of our feelings based upon the most nebulous of signs like our crossdreaming and unhappiness.

For cis-people this acuity of internal gender is not important.  It might cause feelings of "manliness" or for a lady to say "man I feel like a woman."  But for most, I bet they are only cis-by-default.  They just believe they are a certain gender because that is what the mirror and society tells them.  It is not based upon any real feelings.

Was it because I was too drunk to realize? Why does it come in seemingly random waves combined with depression? Am I just lying to myself?  WTF is wrong with me?

I don't think there is anything wrong with either of us.  Could your alcoholism have caused you to miss the signs?  Maybe, but then how do you explain people like me who feel the exact same way but have never been drunk.  

Once more I don't know the answers but I suspect the waves we feel are the result of coping mechanisms we employ.  When we were younger they were stronger and more robust.  Now, however, they can't keep up with the progression of our dysphoria and are starting to break down.  I believe this causes the wave feelings we all experience.

And I think the depression isn't because of us being trans, it because our bodies and the expectations of the world are at odds with our minds.

Do I just want attention?  Do I just want to be treated how I imagine a woman gets treated with no real regard for the realities of actually being one?  Is this all in my imagination?  Is this all a creation of media manipulation via wanting to be a princess,  A special snowflake. 

I hear these type of thoughts and accusations all the time as an asexual.  People trying to tell me I am not real and just wanting to be a special snowflake.

My opinion is that these thoughts are just society's ways of trying to make you invalidate yourself.  You hear these types of allegations all the times from bigots and the over privileged in an effort to gaslight you and convince yourself to contribute  to your own erasure.  Your feelings are real; you should know that better than anyone.  If one wanted attention or to be a special snowflake, there are better ways of doing it that doesn't cause all this anguish and self-doubt.

For instance, I write in cyan/teal.  This allows me to distinguish myself and show my own special personality in a way of my own choosing that empowers me.  There are myriad ways of doing this that doesn't put one at risk of losing family and friend, that makes one a target of derision and rejection.  Why would anyone choose to do that to themselves?  

Be true to yourself, to your feelings, to what you believe and then these type of thoughts will vanish.  

 Is being a woman about thinks so superficial as being pretty?  Conforming to some caricatured gender norm?  If I was really a woman wouldn't I cherish the power I currently possess to effect positive change in the world for others, and accept the realities of the now.  Would I focus on concepts of empathy and compassion and love and kindness?  Is that even what being a woman is cause I sure know a lot that are none of those things. 

Is that what it means to you?  Cause the type of woman you would be is completely up to you.  As it is with everyone woman.  Everything else you list is malleable and changing.  

In fact most of what you listed wouldn't even apply to me.   Cause, the part of me that wants to be a woman is not something I can change.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot even imagine myself as anything but a woman erotically.  To even begin to feel those emotions I have to turn control of myself over to the girl inside.

And even when I am not trying to turn control over to her, she takes control of me sometimes.  Regardless of if I want her to or not.  The fantasies and the dreams.  The longing and the despair.  I can't control them.  It is not about "what does being a woman mean?"  It is about the fact that my brain sees it self as female.  At least it does  in part.  And that part is a very vital and important part of me; and most importantly a part I can't change no matter what.


  Is it worth the money?  Am I too old for it to work?  Will I lose my job, and be homeless?  Will I ever find true love? 
Whether it is worth the money only you can decide.  How much is it worth to you.  

What does age have to do with anything?  Some people transition in their teens and find happiness.  Some in their twilight years.  

I won't lie and say your job is safe.  I don't know where you live, but in many parts of the US there are no protections for being trans.  To figure that out you need to know the people who you work for or work under.

Finding true love?  Is there even such a thing?  If there is true love, what does that make all other love?  What is the difference?  Is love ephemeral?  Or is it eternal?

Sorry, but you are asking someone who questions what romantic feelings and love even are, who struggles to differentiate friendship from romantic feelings, and someone who doesn't even know if they have the capacity for that kind of feeling. I am probably the last person to ask this kind of question.

But I do know this:  There are trans people who claim have found this romantic love thing and live with their beloved until they die..  There are cis-people who never find a person like that no matter how hard they search. There is no knowing unless you try and find it on your own.




Last Edited By: Lost247365 Jun 16 16 8:16 PM. Edited 7 times.

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#6 [url]

Jun 16 16 7:54 AM

Olivia wrote:
Wow thanks for that response. It really helped

I am glad.  You are lost, and I am Lost, but we don't have to be lost alone.  Let us be lost together.  

Sisters-in-dream trying to find our way.


Emmasweet wrote:
Wow, Lost, that was a fantastic gift you gave to all of us. Thank you. I deeply appreciate your writing.

Emma

Thank you!  

This last few days have been bad for me.  However, bottling up such feelings does help bring a bit of introspection.

And on a lighter note: It apparently does nothing to help with ones grammar.  Especially when writing up a long reply and then heading immediately to bed.  I am seeing at least a million and two typoes, run-on sentences, and redundancies.  

I will have to fix those later Tongue

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#7 [url]

Jun 16 16 8:58 AM

There are a lot of questions here. Many those have overlapped with my own. But most of them have no definitive or objective answer one way or the other. Much of this involves an exercise in introspection. And it will never end, even if you decide to transition. Probably about once a week, I have a moment where I think about abandoning my transition. That on average lasts for about 10 minutes. Then it passes when I realize how much richer my life seems to me in the last few years. I have not only become female., I have become a rather different person. I'm much for much more free and expressive. I am having vastly more fun this way, than I have ever had in my previous adult life. Yes, I have lost much. The financial costs have been immense, and my career is much more limited. Part of my family treats me like I am dead or crazy. But on a whole I am a happier person because I no long feel invisible or in a box. I can't say that my path is right for any others, and I certainly can't answer your own questions. We all have to find our own individual comfort zones in our own way. But I also know that great beauty comes at the price of great risk. Look inside yourself;.I would highly recommend getting a therapist to help you along in that effort. Treat it as great adventure, because it is a voyage to find your own soul.

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#8 [url]

Jun 16 16 11:20 AM

April wrote:
There are a lot of questions here. Many those have overlapped with my own. But most of them have no definitive or objective answer one way or the other. Much of this involves an exercise in introspection. And it will never end, even if you decide to transition. Probably about once a week, I have a moment where I think about abandoning my transition. That on average lasts for about 10 minutes. Then it passes when I realize how much richer my life seems to me in the last few years. I have not only become female., I have become a rather different person. I'm much for much more free and expressive. I am having vastly more fun this way, than I have ever had in my previous adult life. Yes, I have lost much. The financial costs have been immense, and my career is much more limited. Part of my family treats me like I am dead or crazy. But on a whole I am a happier person because I no long feel invisible or in a box. I can't say that my path is right for any others, and I certainly can't answer your own questions. We all have to find our own individual comfort zones in our own way. But I also know that great beauty comes at the price of great risk. Look inside yourself;.I would highly recommend getting a therapist to help you along in that effort. Treat it as great adventure, because it is a voyage to find your own soul.



I went full time 4 months ago and I wouldn't change it for the world. I had another interview today. I think I got it too. Yay a job as me.
 

 

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#9 [url]

Dec 30 16 10:43 AM

I just want to say that I really love and appreciate the responses here to Olivia's post. Olivia, if you are still around on this forum, I too share many of your questions. And Vaydra, I'm tempted to print out that response an pin it to the wall :)

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#12 [url]

Mar 23 17 1:34 AM

Oh that was me about 10 years back..... so many doubts and questions and fears. In the end you try it and if you feel better then it is right for you. A common path that I and many others did was the slow transition. Occasional part time, then going out as a woman with groups, then you become a what I call a '90 percenter' basically your entire  non working life is as a woman.. Usually by that stage you are thinking or even starting  all the other issues a bit at a time, maybe electrolysis, checking out your employers trans  polices, going to gender therapist, maybe even starting HRT. Even things like preparing friends and family.
If at each stage you feel better in yourself then you move to the next stage. If not then you might ‘level off’ where you are at.

Then, if you want, you transition to full time and other things like gender affirming surgery and the rest.

And only you can know. I did it that way and in fact was full time for a month before realising it (I was a 90 percenter for a good while). Sometimes the only way to know is just trying it. But a good gender therapist can really help a lot in this.
But HRT does make such a difference and in a sense it is the real litmus test. If you start that and within a few months (usually 2-3) you feel a LOT better in yourself …then transition is for you.

I took about a year to go through those stages of transition (I had been part time before that for a few years) before I went full time.

And all the other issues will work themselves out one way or another. Good planning really helps a lot here. And things have changed, I know couples that stay together, I know people that keep their jobs and all the rest. It is not as dark and bleak as before.

And one tip, whatever 'type' of 'look' of woman you think you might be happy as ...you will probably be different from that. when you become one  In my part time days I dressed very smartly all the time, never was into the 'sexy look' or the 'too young' look, I was smart and presentable. .Now I blob aorund in jeans and daggy tops...lol, well except when I glam up to go out that is. 

The other tip: the greatest 'regret' is always "I wish I had transioned sooner'. I really thought about it around 2000 and my fears stopped me and I wasted over 10 ytears because of that.

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#13 [url]

Apr 27 17 4:02 AM

Thank you Olivia for
posting all of these mind bugging questions. I am asking some of these questions myself at different times over and over again as well. I like how you just added them like a burst. That's how they come up for me too sometimes. There are times when the wave of these questions is linked to the wave of dysphoria. The worse the dysphoria wave the more intense the questioning. The more the questioning the more the dissatisfaction with the current situation and the bigger the fear about the unknown. Sometimes I am able to handle the waves better, e.g. able to just focus on what I do have. I find that gratitude for what I do have helps me get back into the moment. For example, after a long struggle for months, I am now able to wear panties and my wife is ok with it. The panties are a way for me to give voice to that inner girl while being relatively safe as they are not visible to the outside world. That's my personal compromise for now. When I can feel the softness of the fabric Asta can feel acknowledged and I can feel a moment of gratitude. (Btw not in a sexual way). Sometimes my mind shifts to other areas where I try to achieve peace. However it does not work all the time. Then I just want more. At times I can sit with the pain and sadness and it does subside again. At other times I feel very impulsive because the pain becomes too intense to deal with at the moment. That's when I just want to come out to the whole world. So far I did not act on this impulse but who knows what will happen at some point. 

And thank you Lost for all the wonderfully detailed responses that feel like they come from your heart and experience. Many of your answers help me a lot.  I feel this Q&A might deserve a special highlight on the forum. 

Thank you both deeply from my heart.

Asta

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