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Amy P

Hello - confused & need to talk

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VickySGV

Gender therapists started out as what I call "garden variety" Behavioral Health therapists and counselors, so as long as it leads to your principal concern about your Assigned Gender vs. the gender you feel that you are, anything is fair game on your first visit.  The therapist will not decide whether you have Gender Dysphoria, because if the idea of a mix-up is in your life already and it is causing you to seek counseling to help you live your life there is no question that you have GD.  What you will discuss are fears and feelings that you think you cannot discuss with any other person at this time without getting a trainload of their emotional baggage thrown back at you.  The therapist is not there to prevent or even gate-keep you from knowing who you are and how you see yourself.  The issue the two of you will have to find agreement on is that you understand what you are doing and what each step you take will do.  Hormone therapy is one step, but even it has to be part of the whole life experience you have so don't lock yourself into only one goal from the therapist.  Good luck on your journey.

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StephanieVikingGirl

Hi Amy,

Lots of good info and advice has already been given.  I will just re-iterate that you are not alone.  My GD got to me when I was 55 years old back in 2014.  I haven't had much money since 2011, so I used the California health care system to cover my needs (Medi-Cal).  I was allowed to start HRT using the informed consent laws here in California.  I have been provided with therapy, and hormones.  Most importantly, I get blood tested and monitored.  I like being safe!  2014 was an eventful year for me,  I transitioned on the job as a wine tour guide in the Napa Valley, and I am extremely lucky to have not lost my friends when coming out (kinda a liberal bunch, mostly Pagan).  I just wanted to give a little of my story since I am only three years older than you, and grew up in the turbulent sixties as well

hugs,

Stephanie 

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Clara84

Don't worry. I was also scared when I had my first appointment with the therapist.

You found a therapist who seemed to be well informed about gender issues, so you won't have any problem. Just tell her what you feel and she will understand. Her job is helping people like us. 

To answer your questions, I am 32. I felt some "problems" with my gender identity since I was a little kid. After 30 years in that "jail" I began to came out of the closet. I came out to my wife (9 years together, 4 years marriage) just 6 weeks ago, I saw a therapist and began to transition. Next week I will have my blood test done for starting HRT. 

My wife was shocked but is still very supportive. I am lucky. Feel free to ask if you have more questions.

Love

Clara

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Amy P

Thank you all - it's so reassuring to get such quick and supportive messages.  It won't stop me worrying but at least you have put some of my fears into perspective. I think my anxiety is that I both want, and don't want, something at the same time and I'm not sure how to resolve this - but know I have to make a decision at some point (I'm terrible at making decisions and usually chronically over-analyse). I think the 'don't want' is the altruistic side of my nature (I don't want to hurt anyone), but If this crisis in my life has taught me anything, it is that I have never extended that curtesy to myself.

Thx x

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Amy P

Hi Everyone

Just a quick update since I had my first meeting with a therapist this evening (spoiler alert - It went about as well as could be expected :) ). I was really nervous on the way but really determined to see it through as I know I need help. Having read what others had said about therapy sessions I went prepared with a bullet point potted biog of all the key events in my life. (BTW By the time I had written this I was quite shocked at what I mess I have been and this really focussed my mind). But I recon this probably gave us a two session head start on all the fact finding and background information etc.  I didn't hold anything back with all the usual breakups and addictions and signs of GD through my life.  She worked through it point by point asking pretty probing questions as she went but I had covered just about all her questions in my text. As well as being a therapist she has been a nurse and is a specialist in psychosexual therapy which was useful in my case. By the time we were through this she said that it was clear that I was suffering from primary and longstanding GD and it was a really matter of what I wanted to do about it.

I have booked a follow up in a weeks time when we are going to analyse the pros and cons of different strategies.  In the mean time she is going to use her connections at the nearest GIC (she does work with GD adolescents) to try and get a recommendation for a local trans friendly GP as I don't think mine will be that receptive. She also said that with my solid medical history she didn't think there would be any harm in continuing to self-medicate a low dosages (because of the emotional benefits) whilst waiting to see the GP or GIC. She also confirmed that the waiting time to get things started would otherwise be a horrific 12 to 18 months! Probably the nicest thing she said that I was still young and was an attractive man (at 56) - which I took in the best possible way to mean that there is still something to work with.

Sorry that was the short version - but I'm still buzzing with the possibilities which has temporally removed my worries, doubts and fears over family and relationship issues.

TBC - with hugs x

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VickySGV

:applause::goodjob::welldone:

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Guest

Ohh Amy, that's wonderful!!  You, Ma'am, are on your way...... :) 

-Fi

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Timber Wolf

:applause:That's wonderful!

 

Lots of love,

Timber Wolf?????

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Jani423

Amy, yours is an uplifting story.  Thanks and congratulations.

Jani

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Rachael

That sounds like the best news possible. I read your story and it gives me hope for the future. Thanks for sharing. 

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Amy P

Ok, everything I have read has said that this journey is a roller-coaster - and today things took a bit of a downturn.... In a reply to my first ever post Devin suggested I speak to a family lawyer - which struck me as a sensible suggestion - so I had an initial meeting with one today. Strangely I had no problem explaining my situation, and transgenderism, with the partner's PA when making the appointment (odd - but good). Fortunately the lawyers advice was free for the initial consultation which was a relief as his hourly rate was unbelievable! (he had experience of two other clients going through the same thing - one good, one very bad). Anyway, the gist of it is that I'm screwed whichever way if we separate/divorce. Because of our daughter (my wife would get custody) I would most likely have to leave the family home (my only financial asset representing a life of working drudgery and my father's inheritance - and to which my wife has contributed next to nothing) and find and pay for somewhere else to live. If we had to sell she would get the lions share, and if she decided to stay I would have to wait until she either moved, met someone else, or our daughter turned 18 (12 years to go) - at which point I might get 50%. Consequently I face an impoverished future which has made me feel despondent for the progress of my transition (hair removal etc.). Just to add insult to injury I would have to pay child support whilst she would get financial support from the state and even if she worked  only16 hours a week would have an income greater than my full-time salary - makes me want to cry. I know this will be of my own instigation but it seems a high price to pay, and as much as I try and think positively of it as just being part of the transfer of my assets down to my daughter it still hurts...

Sorry for the Friday night downer I'm hoping my next meeting with the GT next Tuesday will help.

Hugs, Amy P xx

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Amy P

...........oops - apologies I meant Ravin's reply to my post...... got my names in a twist - credit where it's due :) 

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Jani423

Amy that sounds like a worse case scenario so while I wouldn't discount it, I wouldn't grant it top billing either.  In many cases things have a way of working themselves out.  I am older than you and have been married for 41 years.  My wife has been supportive of my identity but had issues with being married to a woman.  I can certainly understand that.  But things have worked for us.  She sees I'm happier and nicer to be around.  Our friendship has gotten better.  

That's good that you spoke with a solicitor for some background information on possible outcomes in the event things go upside down.  Now you need to work with your therapist, and eventually your wife to determine a plan forward that you both can live with.  Keep the lines of communication open.  That's important!

Jani

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DenimAndLace
On 04/30/2017 at 4:58 AM, Amy P said:

...I'm worried that they'll say 'oh your just a mixed up cross dresser - get on with it'  - and if they did I think I'd bust into tears or...

I do this too!  It's called "scripting" - you're scripting the future.  All you can do is GO, you can't fret about the future.

Even if you get the response you fear, can't you ask for or go to a different therapist?  There has been so much good advice already given but I'll add this (at least for those of us in the USA), you don't have to stick with the first therapist you go to and they are not all the same.  Keep looking until you find one that understands and is helpful.

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Amy P

Hi Everyone

Thanks again for your help and support.

Just a quick update following my second meeting with my gender therapist. I felt much more comfortable second time around but still went prepared as she had said we would explore the possible options going forward. By the end of the session we had agreed that I would make contact with a local trans group and take their advice on trans friendly GPs, and failing that, approach my surgery but to ask for a female (or trainee) GP [not my family GP] and to ask for a referral to the local GIC.  We had discussed that I intend to come out to my mother this weekend as I will be visiting with my daughter for the weekend and she said this was a good thing (she already knows that I cross dress) and will be able to provide a base should I have to relocate in the future (my employer has an office nearby). There were lots of questions around my relationship with my wife (it was our wedding anniversary on this day! - writing a card to her was slightly surreal knowing what I was going to be discussing a few hours later) - and the therapist suggested that it would be beneficial to get things out in the open soon after the GIC referral has been made - ughh...

I did get to chat with a couple ladies from the trans support group who were both fun and very helpful (it was good to feel a sense of humour in what's been an intense process so far) - but they didn't know any trans friendly GPs near me so I now have an appointment tomorrow to see a woman GP who I haven't seen before - armed with the latest GMC protocols for referral and bridging prescriptions.

I went out for an anniversary dinner with my wife yesterday evening and ended up having a heart to heart about our communication struggles - which was surprisingly positive - this gives me hope that she is still invested in our relationship and perhaps there is a chance that we could find a way to work through this together??

Fingers crossed

xx Amy

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SarahMarieSFC

 

Hi Amy,

This is the first time I’ve signed up for any forms as well. I’m in my 40’s, straight and happy to be here. There are a lot of points that resonate with me here. Thank you for being so open.  

Your story, you, have been on my mind since I read this. You are so strong for everything you are working through. Amazing and Powerful is what comes to mind when I look at your journey.

One thing I’ve definitely learned in the short time I’ve been here is I need to take it really, really slow. That’s OK. I’m a rather slow person anyway!

I don’t have anything really to add but just wanted to say, "Hello", and that I’m listening.

Sarah

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Amy P
On ‎26‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 10:16 PM, SarahMarieSFC said:

 

 

Hi Amy,

This is the first time I’ve signed up for any forms as well. I’m in my 40’s, straight and happy to be here. There are a lot of points that resonate with me here. Thank you for being so open.  

Your story, you, have been on my mind since I read this. You are so strong for everything you are working through. Amazing and Powerful is what comes to mind when I look at your journey.

One thing I’ve definitely learned in the short time I’ve been here is I need to take it really, really slow. That’s OK. I’m a rather slow person anyway!

I don’t have anything really to add but just wanted to say, "Hello", and that I’m listening.

Sarah

Hi Sarah

Thanks for your kind words - I wish I felt as confident as I come across! I am naturally a glacially slow person for whom change doesn't come easily, but having said that things seems to be pushing on and developing their own momentum now that I have set the wheels in motion - but It's nice to know that my words can help other people... Everyone here has been incredibly supportive and I've received some sound advice - I hope you find the answers and support that you need - please feel free to ask me anything specific - I'm learning to open up and to be less introverted!

Just to get everyone up to speed - The meeting with the GP was completely painless - I had barely finished explaining why I was there before she was agreeing that she should write the referral letter to the GIC asap.  She had to check some background information as it was pertinent to the letter that she had to write.  She personally wasn't happy that I was self medicating but did suggest registering with one of the other GPs who has handled the majority of trans patients at the practice.

I had the day off work on Friday and spent the morning experimenting with some outfits (my wife was working in the morning) and in the afternoon I experienced  a real 'gender euphoria' moment.  I am fortunate to live in Cornwall in the UK where we are blessed with glorious sandy beaches and wild cliffs - I decided to walk along one long beach in a summer dress - which I did and it was truly AMAZING - it was perfect weather (hardly anyone else around) and I couldn't have felt more at one with the world (albeit for a brief moment).. The only problem is that I now have a glorious set of strap-marks on my shoulders which I haven't yet thought of a satisfactory explanation for.... so this may well be the precursor to the inevitable conversation to come with my wife...

I am now in Devon with my daughter staying with my mother for the bank holiday weekend - who I came out to tonight.... her comment was that 'she had been expecting this moment since my father died' and was more surprised that it had taken 10 years to arrive.  I have her unconditional support and she has even urged me to come out to my brother as she thinks that if he sees the nerve it has taken for me to come out as trans, it will spur him into to action to sort his own relationship problems out..!

So far I couldn't have wished for better outcomes, but it is the next step that I face with an absolute sense of dread. I wish you all the best in your journey - and if I could only give one piece of advice it would be don't hesitate/delay/procrastinate to do something that you know to be true (whatever the consequences) otherwise you could be like me, decades on, and mourning the time you let slip by...

Hugs

Amy xx

 

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Amy P

Hi Everyone

So much has been going on I haven't been able to keep up but I just wanted to let you know that a lot of good stuff has happened since I last wrote..

I came out to my wife two weeks ago...... I was a bag of nerves when I told her about the journey I had embarked on and asked for her support - she didn't go mental - just asked a few questions about where I'd got too and what it all meant. A few days later she asked for some more information (having done loads of her own research in the interim) and since then she has taken me clothes shopping and bought me makeup as a 'fathers' day present. I couldn't be more surprised and delighted at the way things are going (I think I've held off writing in case it didn't last) and I think things are on a solid foundation going forward. We are having a joint meeting with my therapist on Tuesday to talk through our emotions but it looks like all my worst fears and worries were unfounded and I am so happy everything is now out in the open. I now longer have to hide clothes and underwear and I'm writing this in a borrowed pair of cropped trousers and a new lilac t-shirt!

If anything I want to let anyone who is worrying about coming out (to whoever) - it's a conversation you're going to have to have at some point, so do your preparation (share a large glass of wine) -  it may not as bad as you have imagined - and you might be pleasantly surprised :) 

Hugs

Amy xx

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SugarMagnolia

What nice news to read, Amy. I'm so happy for you! ?

It sounds like you're both handling this well and going at your own speed. I hope you'll continue keep us up to date a sit always boosts spirits to hear about successes. 

Hugs, 

Julie

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Amy P

Hi everyone

 

Apologies for not posting - I can't believe how fast time has flown - it's like I spent loads of time researching and worrying pre-coming out  and now that's over with I've been so busy dealing with the consequences. I want to let you all know that my wife and family are still together and still trying to work things out (we've been having joint and individual therapy) and things are still pretty tense as we simply do not know what the dynamics of the relationship will end up being - and if that will be acceptable to both partners? I've fallen on my feet as I have found a UK GP who is trans-friendly and experienced in dealing with the local GIC,  He has done all the blood work that the GIC will eventually get round to doing after a 12-18 month wait - I have been prescribed bridging hormones - Estrogen for the last two months, and the GP then consulted with the GIC regarding AA protocols and I have just completed my first month on Decapeptyl (without any side effects!).  This was both unexpected and completely amazing. I spend most of my time socially transitioned although I make no effort to pass ( and the more time goes on the less I care - I'll eventually get around to mastering makeup/voice/clothes/posture etc.)-  and it's only that I'm not out at work that I wear any man clothes at all. I just wanted to let everyone know that despite all my initial uncertainties, nerves and lack of knowledge things have been moving forward quite nicely and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to my posts and helped my through the dark days of coming to terms with coming out to myself and the rest of the world.

 

Hugs , Amy

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Charlize

It is lovely to read that you and your family are doing well on this journey.  It is never easy but at least for me it has been so worth the effort.  Hopefully you will continue to find the same.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Jani423

Hello Amy.  Things certainly sound like they are heading in the right direction for you.  Your GP sounds great too.

 

Jani

 

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tracy_j

That's lovely to hear Amy :) x

 

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