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What if I never pursue transition


Stephanie Possibly

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My life is pretty crap right now.  I knew I wanted to be a woman since I was 5 yo.  I have no doubt that I am trans, but I also know that I really can’t pursue it.  I want a woman’s body, and I hate looking in the mirror without clothes on, it freaks me out.  In my 40s now.  I am attracted to women, but while I wouldn’t admit it, I am sexually attracted to men as well, but I have never been with one, but I want to. It was really hard to say that last part.  I feel guilty every time I think about it, worry about it, or try to act on it.  I have never told anyone outside of forums about it though.  I will break down and put on my panties and bra, and womens deodorant and go to work with it under my clothes from time to time to feel more like a woman, but it would hurt too many people and I feel like it would hurt me to transition.  My guilt about it is eating me up.  I have prayed to not want it, but I always feel it.  I got online and sexted with a guy the other day, and while it was awesome, I feel so guilty, but it felt good for him to tell me I am pretty.  I want to get rid of this, but after 40 yes, I don’t think it will happen.  I just wonder how anxious I will be at 80 after pushing this down since I was 5.  It is weighing on me now.  I Used to think it was a really long phase, but now I know that I am transgender. I thought coming to accept it would allow some peace, but now I just want to transition.  How long can I hold this back.  I am shaking just typing this, due to the massive guilt.

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Welcome, Stephanie!! You'll find lots of information here that may help as well as people in all phases of the journey to determine and live their true selves. As you probably already know, gender identify and sexuality occupy wholly separate parts of the brain and are distinct aspects of our identities. Most of us, though, have felt the guilt, shame and depression as we struggle to understand and accept who we truly are. And, you'll find that "transition" comes in many forms and degrees. Have you considered working with a gender therapist?

 

Personally, I struggled for decades trying to bury the guilt and shame of the feelings I felt I should be a woman, that I hated my body and always felt perplexed when I looked in the mirror. That all led to deep depression. It wasn't until I reached out to a gender therapist that I was able to begin to understand the feelings, to not only accept who I was but to embrace it and to begin to develop a strategy to move ahead and define what "transition" would look like for me. It's all still very much a work in progress but my life has changed, my smile is back and I am enjoying the process of becoming who I was meant to be. I couldn't have done it on my own - my therapist helped me to sort it out.

 

I know how hard it is to try to find your way through all the emotion and thoughts. There are many people who will lend advice or just a shoulder to lean - or cry - on. I hope you find your happiness as I have.

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Stephanie,

 

This sounds like rampant gender dysphoria.  Many of us here can relate.  If I take your writing to be literal truth, it sounds like you are eventually going to transition.  And if that is true, do not delay further.  You mention your 40s like it is a bad thing.  You likely have half your life still ahead of you.  That is a good amount of time to live as your female self.

 

You do not mention if you are seeing a therapist.  It sounds like you desperately need therapy to work through these important questions and decisions.  There is no need to tackle this alone.

 

Louise

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7 hours ago, Louise B said:

You do not mention if you are seeing a therapist.  It sounds like you desperately need therapy to work through these important questions and decisions.  There is no need to tackle this alone.

I totally agree with this.  I also thought i would hurt myself and others if i ever revealed my "terrible" secret.  I went to therapy after being here for a bit.  Transition wasn't easy.  Some would certainly have hoped i would have kept this aspect of who i am hidden but time has healed hurts and life is better than my wildest dreams.  This isn't an easy path but it can bring some peace with time.

You are definitely not alone.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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17 hours ago, Stephanie Possibly said:

I just wonder how anxious I will be at 80 after pushing this down since I was 5.

Hi, Stephanie! And welcome. I don't expect you'll believe this (I wouldn't have believed when I was 40), but, as someone who's only two years away from being 80, you'll be fine –– or you can be if you'll only spend a little time doing an inventory of the various things that you feel are necessary to be a bona fide female. If you think among the "musts" are surgery and an "F" on a driver's license (they're wonderful "musts," but not everyone can attain them), then you may find that you're still anxious at 80. But if you can reach the point where you realize that being a genuine woman (or man, for that matter) is far, far less than genitalia or drivers' licenses –– even less than the clothes you wear when you're out in public –– and more about the person you know yourself to be, you'll reach 80 (78, too!) and be totally at peace with yourself. I know this all sounds kind of New Agey (not that long ago, I would have thought so, too), but who you are is who you are, and nothing you can do to "fix" your outside self will never be the whole answer. A partial answer, maybe, and a crucial answer for some of us, certainly, but it's what you believe about yourself that ultimately matters. Trusting in that will help you reach 80 and be un-anxious. 🙂 ––Rianon  

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Hi, Stephanie.

 

I will echo what the other folks are saying: you would definitely benefit from talking to a gender therapist. 

 

You have several things going on at the same time, and it would be helpful to have someone help you unravel them.  You have some fear for your own safety or well-being.  You have the loyalty of not wanting to hurt those around you.  You have strong gender dysphoria.  And you have some sexual confusion.  That is a lot to deal with on your own.

 

Your age is not a barrier to transition.  Many of us felt much of the same confusion that you do and postponed transition until our 60s or later.  I finally admitted to myself that I was transgender at age 61, after decades of denial, and started my transition at age 62.

 

I hope you are able to figure out a path forward that works for you.

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15 hours ago, KathyLauren said:

I will echo what the other folks are saying: you would definitely benefit from talking to a gender therapist. 

Stephanie, I was wrong yesterday in not also suggesting to talk to a gender therapist. I'm afraid I went on and on about "looking with," my so-called New Agey thing. When I first met with a gender therapist it was the beginning of my figuring out what's what and learning how to be happy with myself. I will admit I was nervous driving over to our first meeting, but it was remarkable how that meeting went: for the first time in my life being able to open up about all these secrets I'd kept stuffed away for the most part since I was a kid –– and to be talking to a total stranger (she didn't remain a stranger for long) who was both understanding and supportive, not judging me but treating my "issues" with absolute respect. That was the first of our many meetings, but that meeting that day was one I will never forget. ––Rianon

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Hi @Stephanie Possibly - I connect with your story and history, and especially the feelings of Guilt.  I had similar feelings for many years and it wasn't until I started gender therapy that I finally came to a realization of replacing the Guilt (which I had no control over) with Self-Acceptance, which is my choice. 
I still have quite a ways to go on my journey but I realized I cannot define myself by somebody else's expectations (that even includes How Far I actually transition). 

You received some great encouragement here and I cannot say it any better than @Rianon but I will re-share her words...
 

On 4/22/2023 at 2:20 AM, Rianon said:

if you can reach the point where you realize that being a genuine woman (or man, for that matter) is far, far less than genitalia or drivers' licenses –– even less than the clothes you wear when you're out in public –– and more about the person you know yourself to be, you'll reach 80 (78, too!) and be totally at peace with yourself.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Thank u for all ur kind words.  I have been trying to not think about this for the last month or so, but I have to consciously bury my thoughts each day.  My heart starts racing if I let myself think about being a woman for even a minute.  Like I am so excited like a roller coaster.  I just wish I either didn’t have this, or could just transition.  I’m scared that if I see a gender therapist then I will definetly transition.  Someone commented that I had rampant gender disphoria and I think they may be right.  I want it so bad but have always thought u needed to give up everything to make others happy.  I know that’s weird, but that’s how I felt.i am going to try to schedule some therapy.  I just can’t stay miserable forever, acting like something I am not.

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18 minutes ago, Stephanie Possibly said:

Thank u for all ur kind words.  I have been trying to not think about this for the last month or so, but I have to consciously bury my thoughts each day.  My heart starts racing if I let myself think about being a woman for even a minute.  Like I am so excited like a roller coaster.  I just wish I either didn’t have this, or could just transition.  I’m scared that if I see a gender therapist then I will definetly transition.  Someone commented that I had rampant gender disphoria and I think they may be right.  I want it so bad but have always thought u needed to give up everything to make others happy.  I know that’s weird, but that’s how I felt.i am going to try to schedule some therapy.  I just can’t stay miserable forever, acting like something I am not.

Stephanie, all you have written is classic trans gender dysphoria, but also the very common fear of transition.it is no small deal to risk everything you hold dear in life to pursue an unknown outcome. But this is no something we get to decide as we are born with a trans brain, and it won't change. This means there is no running away from dysphoria, and if it is affecting your life, you need to face it and do something about it.

 

I was in your exact predicament, my dysphoria was unrelenting but I had a life I refused to put at risk, so I fought against my dysphoria for as long as I could. I knew if I saw a therapist, they would advise me to transition, so I refused to go. Unfortunately, the stress of this over many years took a toll on my health, and I became very sick. My doctor talked me into giving hormones a try, and to do this, I had to see a therapist. As expected the therapist referred me to an endocrinologist to start HRT, and within a week of starting estrogen therapy, I was cured. Soon, I thought "well, I am not sick anymore so maybe I can stop hormones" but within a week I was sick again. My doctor scolded me and said that if I died to protect my loved ones and they realised this, they would have to carry the guilt for the rest of their lives. I realised then that no matter what I did, it would affect my loved ones, but transitioning at least meant I would be around.

 

Coming out to everyone was nowhere near as bad as I thought, once I explained that trans is a medical condition we are born with. Transition was nowhere near as bad as I imagined, though I still wish I never had to do it! But I have come out of it alive and I still have family and friends in my life. Honestly, it sucks to be trans, but it is possible to find happiness. Get help, and realise this isn't going away, but usually gets stronger, so you need to treat it or face dire consequences at some stage.

 

I hope you can find peace!

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

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Thank u so much for that.  I am also experiencing some minor health issues due to this.  What u said really rang true with me.  I am starting to wonder if my ocd, anxiety, HBp, and low self esteem relate to this.  I wanted this since I was 5, but didn’t realize it was a real thing till much later in life.  I never really realized u could do it until I was in my 20s.  It feels good to talk about it.  I started thinking about all the semi happy times I have had, like first parts of relationships with women and all that, thinking maybe it went away then, but it doesn’t, I just repress it.  It still feels weird that I can finally admit that I am attracted to men as well.  I half way can’t believe that I told everyone on here that I sexted with a man.  I felt so guilty, but it felt so good.  For a while, I thought I might just be gay, but I definetly want to be a woman, I just think I would want to be a feminine woman with a man.  Saying that is relieving and scary.  I’m not sure I would know what to do if a man kissed me, but I think it would be amazing and scary all at once.  Thank you everyone, for talking this out with me.  It feels good to get this off my chest.  I think I will schedule a gender therapy appt next week.  Why is it so exciting and scary all at once?  I am sitting here right now, thinking about buying a wardrobe and men all at once and it is euphoria.  I just wish I had truly been honest with myself earlier.

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6 hours ago, Stephanie Possibly said:

Thank u so much for that.  I am also experiencing some minor health issues due to this.  What u said really rang true with me.  I am starting to wonder if my ocd, anxiety, HBp, and low self esteem relate to this.  I wanted this since I was 5, but didn’t realize it was a real thing till much later in life.  I never really realized u could do it until I was in my 20s.  It feels good to talk about it.  I started thinking about all the semi happy times I have had, like first parts of relationships with women and all that, thinking maybe it went away then, but it doesn’t, I just repress it.  It still feels weird that I can finally admit that I am attracted to men as well.  I half way can’t believe that I told everyone on here that I sexted with a man.  I felt so guilty, but it felt so good.  For a while, I thought I might just be gay, but I definetly want to be a woman, I just think I would want to be a feminine woman with a man.  Saying that is relieving and scary.  I’m not sure I would know what to do if a man kissed me, but I think it would be amazing and scary all at once.  Thank you everyone, for talking this out with me.  It feels good to get this off my chest.  I think I will schedule a gender therapy appt next week.  Why is it so exciting and scary all at once?  I am sitting here right now, thinking about buying a wardrobe and men all at once and it is euphoria.  I just wish I had truly been honest with myself earlier.

Just be careful with your thoughts about being attracted to men. Many trans women think they are attracted to men, but when they actually go with a man, it doesn't feel right. This is because they weren't really attracted to the man, but wanted the affirmation of being a woman that being with a man can bring. Sometimes it's good to just take some time to make sure your feelings are genuine before you find yourself in a situation you don't want.

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

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6 hours ago, AllieJ said:

...realise this isn't going away, but usually gets stronger, so you need to treat it or face dire consequences at some stage.

My jaw just dropped.

 

I'm adamant that I'm NOT dysphoric, but what you said makes so much sense! 

 

The shared experiences of folk who have actually gone ahead and transitioned are sooo valuable for folk like me who just don't know exactly where they are on the rainbow.

 

Thank you, @AllieJ, THANK YOU! ❤️

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Hi Stephanie,

 

I hope that you do go ahead and schedule an appointment with a therapist (with trans/gender patient experience if there is one available in your area), to help you sort through all this. And just because you see a therapist does not necessarily mean that you will transition. Or transition completely. Gender is a spectrum we find ourselves on and what is the right approach for one person, might not be for another. 

 

My own transition was taking cautious & slow baby steps, with small changes and reevaluations along the way and that went on for a few years. This was after cycling through two different therapists first as it turned out they were inexperienced in gender issues, biased and ultimately unprofessional (one of them got arrested and lost her state certification as a result).

 

The counselor I finally wound up with was another trans person (FtM) and when it came time for hormones, he referred me to a prescribing physician (an MD) that was also a trans person (MtF). I happened to be extremely fortunate to have connected with these professionals that truly understood what I was going through, because they had also lived it themselves. And I never would have met them in the first place, and I would never have been helped, had I never tried. So trying is worth it. And your own self-care is so worth it. Your sanity and health are so worth it.  

 

About men... what AllieJ wrote earlier today (a few posts before this one) is absolutely right. She wrote:

 

Many trans women think they are attracted to men, but when they actually go with a man, it doesn't feel right. This is because they weren't really attracted to the man, but wanted the affirmation of being a woman that being with a man can bring.

 

In my own case, many years ago I had sex with men (just some experimentation among friends) but found that I really liked it the best when I was on the bottom, as a woman would generally be. I loved that! Really gave me some food for thought, because being trans at that point (I had never even heard of it then) was not occupying my thoughts 24/7. Although I did know I was different by about age 4, but being isolated and without any guidance did not know what to even make of it all as I grew up. Very confusing to be socialized as a male, and bombarded with testosterone beginning with puberty, while having a conflicting female gender inside the whole time!

 

I would like to try being with men again but as it was so long ago, I don't really know how I will feel about it now until I try it. No harm in trying though! ☺️

 

I think I'm bisexual because I have also been with women and was also married to a woman for years (while I was in deep denial over being trans) but that sex was all great, too - and not just because of any affirmation of being male while I was in denial. Because my focus is far, far more on my partner than myself.

 

I hope everything works out in the best way that it can for you. Please do not let fear stop you from finding happiness.

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/23/2023 at 11:38 PM, Stephanie Possibly said:

Why is it so exciting and scary all at once?

I get this so so much. I'm so glad you've started feeling better about all of this stuff. I know many people have responded and these posts are somewhat older by now, but I just want to say some stuff.

You don't need to feel guilty for being attracted to men at all. You're not ruining, or taking anything away from, anyone else by transitioning. And please don't feel guilty for not having done it yet. It is a terrifying thing, and I know for me as well, something that feels like it should be pushed down & like you can't talk about / learn about / look into transitioning or it will happen. And I get how bad that can feel. But it makes me so happy to read you say you'll book that appointment.

I hope it has all gone well for you ❤️

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