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Where or how to find courage

Denise savulski

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Denise savulski

At 57 I'm tired of making everyone else happy and I'm miserable. I love my wife and daughter  but I can't find the courage or the nerve to tell my wife that I want to pursue  my heart.

My fear is losing everything  that its taken so long to build and at my age I'm scared crapless. And not only with my family but my job said they'll support my transition  but I've herd things like that before and as soon as I start down this future path that the rug will be pulled out from under my feet...

So where did others over 50 cope with immediate family issues

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Jackie C.

Well, I wasn't QUITE over 50. I was technically 47, but I turned 48 a month afterwards. I just did it though. I'd reached the point where I just couldn't keep pretending.


I talked to my therapist. She said that I should introduce things slowly. Under her plan, I'd come out as a cross-dresser first. That didn't sit well with me. I don't like the idea of lying to my wife. I mean I had been since 1990, but I was lying to myself too then so I gave myself a pass. I had to come out to her though as I was chasing my gender euphoria and I wanted to keep expressing as myself and I hated hiding from her. It was hard, but like every other hard thing I've done, it had to happen.


Once I came out to her, and she accepted me with some reservations, I had enough support to come out to everybody else. I started with another trans friend and it just grew outwards from there. I mean I had to tell people. Especially once I'd started HRT and gone full-time.


That's my general strategy though: Jump in with both feet and hope your chute opens. Your mileage may vary.



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Elizabeth Star

I started a month before I turned 46. I figured I had made so may bad choices in my life trying to be someone I wasn't how bad could it be to make the right decision and following my heart.  I had no friends to speak of and wasted tons of money I didn't have over the years trying to prove to myself I was a guy. I was also an emotional train-wreck. My biggest issue was always waiting for the other shoe to drop and when I found myself looking over the edge between life and death I realized what did I really have to lose at this point? Truth was nothing but I had everything to gain. My whole world has changed since then. There are still some trials and tribulations but in the big picture of life they're nothing more that speed bumps. Granted my band-aid method will not work for everyone but I'm still here and actually happy to be alive.

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Holly Elizabeth

@Denise savulski I started my transition at 52. I was miserable and even though I fad family all around me I felt all alone. For the last couple years I've had my dysphoria pushing me to want to dress how I felt on the inside. I kept putting it off until one day I told a close girlfriend that I liked wearing women's clothing. I was so scared what she would think of a man who liked to dress like a women. She said she supported me and that if the feelings were always there that I just might be transgender. She told me to talk to someone, and after a few months with a therapist, I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I was given the OK to start transitioning. At that point, I knew that I had to come clean to my family. I can attest that there is nothing that scares people more then to have their family reject them. I was kinda forced into slowly telling my family. I had to tell them three times that I was trans. The first two they laughed it off like I was telling them a funny joke, it wasn't funny to me. On the third time I had to almost yell it followed by the words, I'm not joking! I'm transgender and I fully intend on transitioning. I was scared to death and I thought I was about to lose my home and most importantly my family. My courage came from the fact that I had been miserable for the last 40 years and I was done living my life as others thought I should.


My therapist asked me after a month if I had told my family. I said no. She asked why, I said I was scared of what theymight think. Then she said something that made perfect sense, if I needed a surgery to save my life and my family wouldn't want me to get it, would I still get the surgery? Shes right, I was so afraid of what they thought that I was more than willing to be miserable for the rest of my life.


Remember, it's not what you know you can do that makes you a strong person. It's the things that you can do that you thought you couldn't do that is your real strength. You can't help what others think, you can only help yourself by making sure you take care of you first.

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I came out to my wife at the age of 63 and was full time shortly afterwards.  There has been times over in our 40 years of marriage when my issues came out only to be pushed away with a terrible reaction from her.  At the time i was dressing and going out as myself away from my family.  I realized i might loose everything i had worked for.   I decided that a room with a job bagging groceries was acceptable if i could simply live as myself.

Time, patience and gentle love got us through and in June we will celebrate 50 years of marriage.

Therapy certainly helped did my time here.

Each of us have our own paths but we don't have to be alone.





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Denise savulski

I told my wife 2 years ago and she said she's not going to be part of me or my transition. She said f^&k that.i still love her but me wanting  to transition as you say the want to be my female self(Denise) is becoming overwhelming. I'm even  looking at self medicating again (I started about 15 years ago). I've kept myself so preoccupied to not dwell on being Denise in the past I can't keep doing this...but I don't have the courage  to follow through  because of fear...I don't know 

Ps. I'm waiting to hear from my last therapist  shes only online right now

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Out to Mrs for 9 months (in my late 50s) and she's still not happy about it but hasn't kicked me out yet. Kids very supportive (at least to my face).  


Getting to the point where I felt like I had no choice made the decisions easier. 





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For me I was sick of living everyone else's life that they had planned for me, and me being miserable among many things. 


Covid happening was my start of my transition, and I didn't know it at the time, but I got to spend more time as my self. I was still working, but now I wasn't seeing my soon to be ex any more. Once the locks downs were lifted. I was going out, and enjoying my life for the first time, and made friends. With people that supported me. 


As for losing things. I had nothing to lose. No kids, no wife, a dead end job. Yes I know i have had easy, but im a lot happier now. 

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I'm under 50 but still wanted to comment if that is ok. You said you can't bring yourself to talk to your wife about it, what about your daughter? Can you confide in her, and even check in with her to see how the wife would take it? Sometimes getting confirmation from another person that it may work out OK could give you that boost of confidence to approach her about it.

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  • Forum Moderator

@Denise savulski Tenderless and love and honesty will win out. Find a way (perhaps a long heartfelt letter) with your wife and being you have been married a long time she will most likely be a bit shocked being it is new to her and so long a time for you to understand your need so be patient and loving and expect the stages of grieve. I told my wife (I'm 68) and she had a couple meltdowns and told me I'd lied all these years and I said if I'd lied it was to myself and little by little with my therapy and electrolysis and HRT changes she continues to see the person she married is still the person she married only a happier person. But you do have to take the step. I tried many psych's and treated depression and anxiety and it always came back. I finally decided I HAD TO COME OUT because I was miserable. It's not easy but the peace and relief has been immeaserable.

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