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Dealing with fear


Sofie

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I’m a trained, board certified psychiatrist with 45 years of experience and years of treating transgender patients, both medically and psychiatrically. Yet, here I am trying to start my own transition and feeling totally overwhelmed. At night all I do is run the lyrics of the song “Alone again, naturally “ in head over and over again. Fear is a bitch. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I only have one main fear and that is the use of restrooms. I have been on HRT for a little over a year and yes I have some noticeable breast growth and according to one of the ramp supervisors ( I work for a gse dept for an airlines ) told me I shouldn't have a problem using the ladies room although I still get a little scared that someone will feel they have to say something. I have been given permission to use the ladies room by HR. How do I overcome that fear?

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@Sofie as a board certified psychiatrist I would think your use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT as developed by Dr. Steven Hayes and the wonderful book The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris) would help you deal with fear.  It has helped me.  Either way - it's good to know I'm not alone in my journey.  Fear not young lady.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sofie,

 

I can empathize. I have been an RN for a long time and now I am a nurse practitioner. I have put off transition for a number of decades. Something just broke inside of me and I have to do this. I figured if I do not do it, I will keep wasting time loathing myself. No more. Over the past 6 weeks I have committed myself to an intermittent fasting diet, lost 35 pounds, bought a new wardrobe, stopped wearing all men's clothing except my scrubs for work. I have Naired my body, shaved what I could, bought an IPL device, had my first mani/pedi ever, took a picture of the toes and sent them to one of my oldest and dearest friends. She is supportive. Sometimes you just have to put one step in front of the other. Make no mistake about it, there will be haters, and there will be supporters.

 

I am not out at work, but I think someone saw the edge of my panties the other day. He came up to me the other day and unexpectedly starting massaging and scratching my back. He asked me if it felt good. It seemed strange that a guy would do that to another guy, but it melted the female in me. It felt divine, although, I wonder what he would have done if he had felt a cami or a bra strap. Sooner or later someone will figure out my coat has changed and my tops have the buttons on the female side. I figure they will also note my various vanilla and rose scents. It will be fascinating to see the lightbulb go off in a few months.

 

Sofie, just talk it out and take it one step at a time. Being transgender now is better than in the 1990s. I do not know if you have told a trusted friend, but it made it easier for me. She was enlightened. It made it easier when I went to my pedicure. I chickened out at the first shop I went to, and then as I was driving away, I told myself that I had to do this. I pulled into another salon and met a very kind Vietnamese woman who did not bat an eye or laugh when I told her I wanted polish on my nails. She pulled out the sample stick and I made my pick. She did a fantastic job as well. I never knew my toenails could be this great!

 

Good luck with everything.

Sincerely

Katie

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, a month later...

 

I have started my counseling. I had already talked to one of my oldest friends who was very supportive. Several nights ago I came out to my remaining relatives on my dad's side of the family. My dad is deceased. They were all very supportive. In the past 48 hours I also came out to some really good friends and several associates from some national organizations that I belong to. Again, very supportive. I sent an email to two cousins on my mom's side of the family. I am hearing crickets, but if they out me to the others, or make derogatory remarks, so be it. I am tired of hiding me. I finally love me as me. I do not have to pretend anymore. I go to bed as Katie and I wake up as Katie. If someone knocks on my door, I do not have to run and hide. I do not have to make up some stupid explanation that will be seen as a lie anyway. My dad once told me that there will be some people who just like you for no particular reason and there will be people who hate you for no particular reason. That resonates between my ears. I also emailed my boss. I have not heard a reply, but heck, tomorrow I am going to work. Someone is likely to notice my new mango colored sneakers, my rose scented deodorant, and clear nail polish. So what? Can they shoot me for that? Probably not. Some may not like it, but oh well. That is their problem. 

 

I am tired of hiding and I am tired of being less than genuine to everybody including me.

-

Katie

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  • Forum Moderator

Katie I am proud of you. With your confidence growing by the day you finally get the rewards of being YOU.

Hugs

Heather

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On 10/13/2021 at 1:53 PM, Mia Marie said:

I only have one main fear and that is the use of restrooms. I have been on HRT for a little over a year and yes I have some noticeable breast growth and according to one of the ramp supervisors ( I work for a gse dept for an airlines ) told me I shouldn't have a problem using the ladies room although I still get a little scared that someone will feel they have to say something. I have been given permission to use the ladies room by HR. How do I overcome that fear?

It helps to have cis female allies that can go with you to the ladies room. It’s scary at first but it does get easier. I’m still a little nervous when I’m in new places but most people are too caught up in themselves to really pay attention to you. 

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9 hours ago, Erica Gabriel said:

It helps to have cis female allies that can go with you to the ladies room.

When working on the ramp there isn't any cis allies around. It is something I need to overcome on my own. It wouldn't be so problematic if I presented closer to being female than I do. Presenting is not so easy working as a form of a mechanic. You tend to get really messy really quick. I can say I am more confident than I used to be but still have a bit of nervousness when it comes to the ladies room. I will eventually overcome and conquer that fear.

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I am very fortunate to have selected my friends well. Most of my family has been terrific, except on my mother's side. They all think I am going to run down to the church and pray this away. Well, you can't win everybody over. I had even greater luck when the daughter of one of my cousins called me up today. She is graduating nursing school. She actually did a paper on the care of the transgender patient. I had the most amazing conversation with her. She is going into OR nursing. She offered to help me recover with the various surgeries. 

 

As for the safety part, for the last two months I have been wearing female attire pretty much everywhere. It is fairly androgynous. I have been traveling by plane for the past 2 months. Nobody said a word at the TSA. I guess I have been lucky. When I go to the airport, I use the Delta or American Airlines lounges. I also have noted that the bathrooms at some of the airports have doors on the stalls that have fewer gaps in the olden days. I also use the family rooms when I can.

I figure at some point, someone, somewhere is going to give me a hard time. I am not too worried right now as I am not that far along, but after I lose my muscle mass, things will be significantly scarier. All we can do is be vigilant. I believe most folks are good, but there are always exceptions.

 

Sincerely

Katie

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