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Self Acceptance


Guest SuzanneF

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Guest Isobelle Fox

I think you DO know where to start : )

You are here on this forum, talking about these issues, and you refer to yourself in your gender selection as MtF.

You might not think thats a big deal, but take it from someone who expended tremendous, huge, cosmic amounts of energy denying her own nature for over 20 years, while fully aware of it for most of that time - just being able to say, even if its just on a forum with others facing the same things, that you know yourself to be transgendered/ transsexual is a major step in self acceptance. Thats how it seems to me anyway.

But I do understand what you mean, I think. Its not just that easy or that simple.

I remember the first time I talked to someone, last year, after finally deciding to stop flogging myself over being this way. I had been so incredibly happy, so wonderfully unburdened by my new sense of self acceptance- as if a 100 pounds had been taken off of my shoulders. I had a friend who expressed great curiosity about this big change in my personality, this exuberance and enthusiasm. She asked me what was going on that was so good. And I told her that I wasn't ready to talk about it.

Well, that precipitated two days of the most acute anxiety I had ever felt in my life up that point. I just realised that for all that I had spent 3 weeks or a month being so incredibly proud of myself for facing and accepting and trying to understand and express this part of me that I had been suffocating for so long, the fact that I couldn't tell a FRIEND, someone that I cared about and trusted, what it was I was going through just showed that I hadn't really gotten over it myself. I still had this negative prediction about how it would turn out if I said anything to anyone, because I was still ashamed of it myself.

So, just to get the anxiety to go away, I talked to her. And after that I spoke to several friends and to members of my family, and in every instance I found that they were very understanding and even somewhat relieved, because suddenly they _understood_ so many things that had never made sense to them before. And _I_ slowly came to understand that if these people, most of whom could not really be said to have a working understanding of my issues, were not upset or offended or ashamed of me, then it was stupid for me to feel so bad about myself.

But self acceptance is a tough issue, and its probably resolved differently for everyone. Its very important, perhaps the most important thing, because to fix anything else you must feel confident that you are worthy of the effort and the prize and that you can handle the work its going to take to make things right for you. That goes for everything in life though- work, love, everything.

I still have problems. My first therapist was really amazed at how hard I am on myself, what low self-esteem I have, how negative I could be about myself. Ironically, its a lot better now than its ever been before in my life, because I am finally looking at what I truly believe is the best part of me and trying very hard to give her a life and a place in the universe. I have regrets about my past and about how I have handled myself and my relationships. I have fears about how I will do in the future. But I also know now that there is something good about me, something worthy of the effort, worthy of other people's love- an image of who I CAN be, rather than who I have been.

I don't know what it is that is bothering you specifically, though. You should tell us more. Are you having trouble accepting yourself as a transsexual, feeling ashamed or confused about that? Is it something else?

If thats the main issue, its worth talking about.

Even if you've heard it a thousand times it bears repeating: you were born this way. It is not a crime against yourself, your loved ones, or God. It is not something that you have ever had any control over, and it is not something that you can change by beating yourself up or repressing it. It does not make you unworthy of love or happiness. It does not make you ugly, or dumb, or a bad person. It is not a sin. It does not make you defective in any way as a person. There is nothing about your gender identity, whether it matches your body or not, that makes you less of a person in any way whatsoever.

Though it may sometimes seem a curse, it can also be a blessing. You have been gifted in a strange way with a unique perspective. You have a wonderful opportunity in your life to make a new start, to get a second chance. Though there's no cure for transsexuality, there are treatments that can improve the quality of your life and help you to be happier and healthier. The road to that treatment begins, always, with just being able to accept and aknowledge that this is a part of your life. You are already at that point, so though its hard to imagine sometimes, you should try to understand that you are truly at the start of what could very well be a great improvement in your life.

Look at who you have been, who you are, and who you want to be. Look at her and find the best things, the things that you know are true, the things that others love about you, the things that make it possible for you to love others. All of these things are unique to you, special, worthwhile, and beautiful. Cherish them and use your struggle to become your TRUE self as a chance to give them, as a gift, to the world, to the people in it that mean the most to you. Use this second chance you are getting to bring out the best in your nature and show it to other people.

Also, if you aren't already seeing someone, look into getting a therapist. This state of mind is very confusing and often very painful. Its complicated and it will help you more than you can imagine if someone can work with you to unravel all of the shame and guilt and confusion you probably feel about things and show you that there is a path to something better.

And finally, look-

You come here and you talk to us - and all of us, just about every single person on these forums, is transgendered/ transsexual. I bet that when you talk to us, you do not feel that we are bad people because we're this way. You probably have no judgements for us at all, I bet. You don't think any less of us.

I went through something a couple of times in my life that I now look back on with amazement. I had a friend over ten years ago named Elizabeth. We talked on-line and in emails for the better part of a year before it finally came out that she was a transsexual. Well, at the time I knew this to be true of myself as well, but I HATED myself for it. When she finally told me the truth, though, I immediately accepted it. It was years before I thought about and realised that it was perfectly FINE for her to be that way. It didn't bother me at all. It just wasn't ok for ME to be that way. : P I did it again here in just the last couple of years too.

I have a friend who also has another transsexual friend. We talked about him and his troubles from time to time, and I felt great sympathy for him. Again, while hating myself for feeling the same exact way. I talked to this friend about these things for probably a year at least before I finally found the courage to tell her that I was in the same boat.

The thing is, if you can accept this about other people, then you should consider the possibility that its time to feel ok about yourself too.

Anyway, I might be totally off on everything I just said. It might not have anything to do with what you are thinking/ feeling. If not, I'm sorry. Even if I don't exactly know whats troubling you, I still sympathise, and thus all of my going on and on here.

Self acceptance is important, but its tough to find sometimes.

Talk to us more, tell us what it is you are having trouble accepting.

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Guest Donna Jean

SuzanneF.....

Well, girl....you have hit on one of the all time biggies...accepting and loving yourself. It can be very difficult only due to our own doubts and perception of the thing that consumes you. As long as you see yourself as you fear others see you and perceive you with all of the bigotry and loathing....you are part of their game....

You must cut loose and learn to see yourself as wonderful and beautiful as you truly are. Lots of the time self acceptance can be difficult and you may need some help...see a therapist ..trust me, it will help a lot!

Dear, its hard to love others when you don't love yourself. No magic pill here..it takes work.

But, you must learn to accept and like yourself..its a big step in this plan. You can do it. Give yourself a hug. Also many here will be happy to talk and try to help.

Accepting yourself is a huge step forward....

Put your best foot out......

Peace

Donna Jean

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My friends here have already told you a lot of information, some of us spend a lot of time in denial. Isabelle spent 20 years, I have her beaten by an additional 30 plus - That is not a good thing. :( The longer you try to deny your feelings the worse you feel about yourself.

Coming here is a good step, we can't make you embrace yourself and learn to love being who you are, no one can but you. You are in the right place for support, opinions and advice - use the resources and enjoy the friendships. Learn to love yourself and you will be much happier - I spent a lifetime hiding who I really was and developing huge self-esteem issues. I may have lost a wife and along the way a number of friends (I haven't come out to everybody yet) but I gained something that is a prize of such magnitude that no price can be put on it - MYSELF! :D

Love yourself and you will always be loved!

Welcome to the playground,

Sally

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Guest Christine-Louise

As has been said the acceptance of oneself is the biggest obstacle you have to face, I knew what I was at the age of four, but as with many others I waited and waited trying to convince Myself that I was a man, I took very male jobs, then did nine years in the army, after that I married and had a family then sadly My Wife died after 27 years together, a few months on and aged 56 My female side took control and I had no option but to go with the flow so to speak, and now at the age of 66 I live the most wonderful life I could imagine, and now I regret all that waiting.

You need to accept just what you are and move forward into the future, My advice is just to be very sure first, research the site there is a massive amount of info here for you to read up on, good luck with your search.

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Guest Karen-1954

You have entered a truely tough part of life but at least now you can let go and start learning just who you really are instead of what others want you to be. I think you will find some truely wonderful and beautiful traits inside you that you have hid from the world as well as yourself. As you start out on your journey you are going to find some really wonderful people here that understand what you are going through. Good luck on your journey to the person you really are. Remember, we are here for you if you need help.

Hugs,

Karen

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Guest SuzanneF

thanks for all the insight and advice. I am stuck now as part of me is still in denial. the other part of me wants Suzanne to win. I am in therapy and hopefully there will be peace at some point so that Suzanne can start her life for real.

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I know that part of you is in denial and part of you wants to charge ahead at ful speed! From my own experience I believe that Suzanne will win, but it may be a longer slower process than you first thought - you have to find your own speed. The therapist is a great start - take things slowly and be sure that you like the way you are headed (I can't imagine that you wouldn't - very few people reach this stage to suddenly awake one morning saying that they don't want to be a woman anymore. Don't try to do anything too quickly. It is worth waiting for and a little more time on the path won't hurt you - speeding through transition can leave your emotions and your physical body out of sync and that's the problem that your trying to fix.

Give yourself permission to love Suzanne. That should be your first step, once you realize that she's wonderful you won't feel like becoming her is wrong (that is our major barrier after all).

Love ya,

Sally

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Guest Elizabeth K

:huh: Darn - I am older than Sally and she gives good advice - me? I was in denial forever!!! I went to a therapist - she said, yep you're transsexual. I thought I might be horrified, BUT imagine my surprise when I started grinning ear to ear! When I got home my wife said I haven't seen you smile like that in years!

Why did I react like that - I don't have a clue.

All I know was for the first time in my life I knew my true self - and what I fought, mainly sadness-sadness-sadness all my life, that was gone. Acceptance- perhaps I am a strange one (understatement) but I EMBRACE my transsexuallity now.

Perhaps it is so much better to know I am transsexual than it is to suspect I might be.

Does that make any sense to anyone??? :P

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Guest Isobelle Fox
thanks for all the insight and advice. I am stuck now as part of me is still in denial. the other part of me wants Suzanne to win. I am in therapy and hopefully there will be peace at some point so that Suzanne can start her life for real.

Yup- went through that too. Ah, the days of regarding my persistent feminine inclination as almost kind of a different person with her own villianous agenda. She was trying to take over my life! ::laughs::

I also remember that the happiest I have ever been in my entire life was when I stopped personifying my own nature as the "enemy" and just let MYself be. Its quite literally like having the most huge and crippling burden taken off of your shoulders; its like going from being half or less of a person to be being almost completely whole.

I sometimes wish I could go back and have a talk with myself when I was, say, 13-15 years old, when I was really starting to develop this negative image of myself and really starting to try to supress Isobelle.

I wish I could go back and tell myself:

You don't have to let her "win." You have to not let YOURSELF lose.

I've talked about this with two therapists now, and this is what I have learned and truly believe: I was Isobelle when I was born, whether anyone else knew it or not. Its not until, around the age of 4 or 5, when we start truly socializing and acclimating (or not for some people) to our "roles," usually as defined by other people's expectations, that we cease to be complete people. At that point we start cutting ourselves off from our own instincts and personalities. To me, the real battle of the transsexual is not to work at inventing or developing or becoming this "other" person, but to RETURN TO BEING who we were when we came into this world. It used to be a goal for me, but I have come very much to feel like its my duty. I owe it to myself and even to God to be the person I was born to be.

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