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The Power of Guilt

Carolyn Marie

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magical realism

Thank you for posting this,Ive been going through similar issues with my family. I just didnt realize it was guilt. I was always and kind of still am afraid of what might happen if i appear to them one day as the person i really am. My father especially,hes a conservative legally blind tejano kinda guy, machismo plays a big part in his self worth. He hasnt been very stable as hes gotten older, (hes in his 70s) and hes still gets down on himself a lot. I get really worried sometimes if he found out suddenly that his son is actually his daughter, he might break down and never come back, or just disown me entirely, or both. Its still something im working on, but im trying my best to get past it. Little steps.

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On 8/28/2012 at 6:43 PM, Carolyn Marie said:

"Guilt: punishing yourself before God doesn't."

Alan Cohen


This is not a pleasant subject, but it is an important one, because way too many of us suffer from it. Guilt is one of the most powerful of all emotions. Those of us who are older and have spouses or families suffer from it, because of what we are doing, or believe we are doing, to our loved ones. But it isn't limited to just those folks. Young people can suffer from it too, because of how they believe they are effecting their parents or other family members, or even friends.




Guilt is a terrible thing. It's effects can include:








Changes in personality




Inability to concentrate




Stopping us from moving forward with transition, if that is our goal.




Suicide, or attempted suicide.




During my early weeks of therapy, I spent more time, and more tears, conquering my guilt, than any other issue I dealt with. It took many months, and the acceptance of my family, before I left my guilt behind.




I am not a psychologist, and I urge those of you who have a therapist, or who plan on seeing one at some point, to discuss this issue, if you think it is at all an issue for you.




There are resources available to you if you don't have access to a therapist. Here are just a couple:













If you need immediate help with a crisis caused by guilt, please talk to a parent, a friend, a Moderator, or log into Chat and talk with a crisis Mod.




Please remember that none of us asked to be transgender, and the guilt you may feel can be overcome. No matter how guilty you feel, you can conquer it, and survive it, and learn from it. It doesn't need to rule your life.








Carolyn Marie




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  • 2 weeks later...

guilt.... what a topic.... I feel a combination of guilt and shame. my wife is my world to me... but she is denying the fact that i want to feminize. She expects me to be the "Alpha male" the manly man I have always pretended to be.... she treats the issue by ignoring it. To the point I haven't even told her I'm going on HRT.... I feel guilty for not telling her... but i don't want to upset her anymore at this stage? I want to be open and honest... but everytime I start, she throws up a wall!?!?!?! I feel my only option is to start the hormones, and see how i feel.... I wish she would walk with me on my journey,but she's in denial... I can't help but feel the shame and guilt of disappointment and deception.... but I truely long to feel softer, more emotional, but the guilt is eating me alive!!! What's a wannabe girl supposed to do?!?!?  Any and all input is welcome!!! 

Thanks, Luv Shawn

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Carolyn Marie

Shawnster, I totally understand how you feel.  There is no easy answer.  The harder answer is that neither you nor she asked for this, it is just who you are, and no amount of pretending otherwise will change that.  She may, like many of our spouses, come to accept it over time, and perhaps even embrace it once she sees how happy you are.  But then again, she may not, and that is just the reality.


Do you have a therapist, a G.T?  If not, I strongly urge you to find one, both to help you deal with the guilt, and also to help prepare you for all the changes to come in your life.  It helped me a great deal.  Good luck!




Carolyn Marie

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I agree with Carolyn. If you haven't seen a gender therapist, you would benefit from talking with one. I will PM you.




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Hi @Shawnster.  I know exactly where you are coming from.
From the time I came out to my wife as transfeminine (about a year ago) it has been a similar denial and avoidance on her part.  Other than that our daily relationship is a good one, but its on her terms for what I am allowed to do (or more what I am not allowed to do .. ).
That means the underlying tension always resurfaces at some point and then there is a meltdown on her part.  I had asked her before to attend therapy with me but she always told me she did not feel the need (I guess she saw it as "my problem" not hers).  But after the last meltdown she finally offered to attend (last week).
One session did not solve everything between us but I came out of that with the feeling she had definitely moved in the right direction of "understanding" even if its not quite acceptance yet.

Bottom line is, IF your wife loves you (and I have no doubt you love her as you declared), couples therapy (and possible individual therapy for both of you) may be your best chance at both of you being happy ... together.

One other thing .. I have not started HRT yet.  But (for me) I feel I would need my wife's blessing before I started.  (For me again) Starting without her knowing/accepting would be a betrayal of her trust in me.

Deep breaths ... one step at a time.

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1 hour ago, KayC said:

One session did not solve everything between us but I came out of that with the feeling she had definitely moved in the right direction of "understanding" even if its not quite acceptance yet


That is definitely good news Kay. As you said, one step at a time! There were several times in the last year I didn't know if my marriage could survive, but my wife has moved a lot. It wasn't easy to get here. Praying yours does as well.




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I do have a therapist, and I'm quite happy with her, I don't know if HRT is right for me, but I'm willing to give it a shot, I'm just waiting for my endocronologist to perscribe.... I feel I should try them, and if i decide to continue.... involve my wife, I don't want to fire her up, if it turns out to be not for me..... I just feel it will be an unneeded fight, until I'm sure... Does that make sense?

Thank you all for your input!!! it really means a lot!!!

Luv, Shawn

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23 hours ago, Confused1 said:

my wife has moved a lot. It wasn't easy to get here. Praying yours does as well.

Thank you for that encouragement, Mike 🙏❤️

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18 hours ago, Shawnster said:

I just feel it will be an unneeded fight, until I'm sure... Does that make sense?

I definitely understand your reasoning, and I know how hard it is to avoid "rocking the boat" when the waves of anxiety in a relationship are so big.  Either way its not an easy path.

Your therapist can probably help you through this process, and I assume you have already discussed with her. 

Wishing you the best @Shawnster❣️

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  • Forum Moderator

Fear and guilt were totally linked as i struggled to find my path.  I spent a good bit of time moving around in the world as myself and was virtually full time when i wasn't at home.  The back and forth was extremely stressful as i was still hiding.  Then i found this site and others who were living as themselves.  At that time many folks believed one had to live as oneself for a year prior to starting HRT simply to discover if it was right for you.  When i fully came out to my wife she said that maybe she could accept me as me at home sometimes.  I was honest and said home was the only place where i wasn't out.  I knew at the time that it would be hard on her and i was also scared that our relationship might end.  I decided that if necessary i would leave and go back to work at 63 to take care of her.  I felt responsible and guilty but fortunately after tears and pain we stayed together.  I feel we are closer than ever and i am blessed with honesty.  Guilt still comes up when she mentions wishing he was still here. That does hurt but she is honest as well and can see i'm peaceful and happy as myself.





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