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Martyn

Am I alone in being this way ?

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Martyn

Hi All, I’m male aged 47 and I’ve only recently discovered I’m non binary. Just over two years ago after a lifetime of putting up with things I finally admitted to my wife that I have always hated body hair, what then followed was various stages of full body shaving , waxing and now laser treatment along with also taking anti-androgen meds to try and reduce / remove the body hair.
Along that journey I then started to question my gender and had gender counselling to help with understanding myself during this process.  It has become clear that I very strongly prefer the feminine type skin appearance along with preferring the more feminine type clothes, shirts specifically - I have been buying numerous men’s floral shirts along with a couple of female ones. My criteria for the female shirts are quite firm, they must be made in the same style as male shirts, have no frills ect and no feminine type fastenings anywhere, these criteria are self imposed and are where i feel comfortable.
My question is, are they many people like me or do most want to appear more feminine beyond my preference for smooth feminine type skin and wearing feminine shirts mixed with male clothing? 
Many thanks
Martyn

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Jani

Hi Martyn.  You've expressed a desire for feminine type clothing in the past and I certainly do not think you alone.  That you have criteria set out tells me you are focused on how you wish to present and be seen.  This is good and fine.  It means (to me at least) that you are in control and being rational about it.  I was somewhat of a paradox since I would dress conservatively at work for the most part, but could be totally androgynous when out and about.  I enjoyed bold colors and patterns.  I would tailor my own shirts and slacks to be fit and trim.  I disliked loose, baggy fitting clothes.   So, are there others similar to you?  Yes, I would say so.  Have fun!

Jani  

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VickySGV

You are far from alone, I belong to a group of almost 50 people who are about 50% gender queer with more binary MTFs at 30% and binary FtM people being the rest.   One nice thing about my singing friends is that none of us really looks at the style of the others, and I do occasionally go wearing more masculine wear and it is such a mixture that no one cares or judges unless someone asks to an opinion.  Another term for what you are describing in Metro Sexual appearance, although it really  is not a sexual orientation per se. It is not frilly or "girly" but is extremely well thought out wardrobing that has a colorfulness and is clean crisp and well fitting.  It does have a touch of gayness to it, but most men are heterosexual.  The ones I know do cause minor problems for their spouses since they will  dress a little more than their spouses in public. 

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Martyn
10 hours ago, Jani said:

That you have criteria set out tells me you are focused on how you wish to present and be seen.  This is good and fine.  It means (to me at least) that you are in control and being rational about it.  

Jani  

Hi Jani, yes control does feel important, I’m enjoying having fun trying things out within my limits but being mindful at the same time not to upset my family with the changes I desire and choose.

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Martyn
9 hours ago, VickySGV said:

You are far from alone, 

The ones I know do cause minor problems for their spouses since they will  dress a little more than their spouses in public. 

Thank you Vicky, yes on here there are those who seem to have similar outlooks, but it’s out in the real world that I’m feeling rather alone in my beliefs and outlook.

Trying hard to keep things balanced with home life so as not to upset my wife.

 

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Terry

To be honest I think it's an age thing. Amongst people our age (I'm just a few years younger than you) gender is still a fairly binary thing. It seems to be totally different for younger folks, 20 or younger.

 

Where it's different for me personally is in the asexual community. There seems to be some kind of connection between asexuality and being gender non-conforming, in particular on the non-binary / agender spectrum (just coincidence? nobody knows yet...) . I've met a lot of other asexuals in real life, and many of them don't fit into the gender binary, at least to some extent.

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Martyn

From my original post things have sadly taken a big turn for the worst. I had been slowly introducing a couple of female shirts into my wardrobe and wearing them alternating between those and male floral shirts, I thought I was gaining acceptance with my wife and son but sadly it all erupted and my wife gave an ultimatum either the shirts go or I do? My son has disowned me and the three of us have just fallen apart as a family.

through desperation I have thrown out the shirts and have had to mentally box my thoughts and feelings away regarding how I want to be in order to keep the family together. Of course I don’t want to loose my wife or son but I feel anger and grief that it has to be this way.

i have made an appointment to see my gender counsellor in the morning to try and help work though this.

 I am very much feeling alone in my wanting to be the way I feel inside, it’s been the most emotional time ever lately, can’t do this much more.

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Susan R

Hi Martin.  I can relate to this situation in a somewhat limited sort of way.  I don't believe you are the only one having to box your freedom of expression through dressing in mixed feminine clothing.  I have a wife who I love dearly and as hard as it is to admit, I would likely give up everything including my transition, HRT, and my freedom of expression in order to keep her as my wife if push came to shove.  I tell myself the opposite but it's such a high cost either way.  I just hope I'm not on the other end of an ultimatum but the odds are not good.

 

So far she has not constricted me in any way except laughing quietly at me about my long shaped nails when my visiting son-in-law noticed them.  She's not especially supportive of me transitioning or being on HRT.  I sometimes wear my few unisex shirts (ladies tees with feminine necklines) and always wear my unisex undies (ladies white/black cotton Jockeys or my Genius unisex spandex boy shorts with no front opening). That much seems to be ok with her and always has during our 21 years together.  My wife is also in the dark to a degree as to how deep this transitional rabbit hole might go...or maybe I'm just be fooling myself...who knows?  

 

I avoid the subject for the most part and restrict my overt crossdressing to when she isn't around.  It hasn't interested her and I hate to stir the pot.  Recently, however, I've been doing more girly things with her like coloring her hair, going ladies clothes shopping (for her, of course) and going with her to the beauty salon for a haircut.  She has enjoyed me doing these with her but I doubt she would like doing these things if I was the focus.  It's a small start in the right direction but I'm taking it very slow.

 

Susan R🌷

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Martyn

Thank you Susan, it seems though that to save my marriage I need to slow down a great deal, if I’m honest I want it all now like most on here I’m sure, but keeping my marriage intact must come first however much that may frustrate me.

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MaryMary

for my marriage at some point some kind of switch turned in her head and afterward everything I was doing was "too feminine" (although it didn't change) and was getting on her nerves. If you want to save your marriage be very careful because the image someone's drawing in their head of someone else is always changing and you have to be careful of what you are doing. I found it incredibly difficult when I was where you are. We separated before it became too toxic and now we are best of friends. I don't have anything really positive to say on the topic except just to say I'm sending you positive energy and really really wish you'll succeed where I miserably failed ;) :P

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Martyn

Thank you Mary, yes times are very difficult, 19 years of marriage is at stake and I’m scared sh*tless, life is crumbling in front of me because of my selfishness, it’s hard now, very hard

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jae bear
6 minutes ago, Martyn said:

because of my selfishness,

 Martyn,  please don’t think this way, this is untruthful as you’re only trying to live authentically. The idea that people never change is a falsehood, people are constantly changing, they get older, they get skinnier, they get fatter, they lose hair, they buy wigs and hairpieces, etc. etc. 

 There is nothing wrong with simply adjusting the way that you dress, but others may be having problems with the perception in public and with family that they have to face, and the problems that they see for themselves whether they are real or imagined.  The reality here is that they are being selfish, not the other way around. I hate to say this, but your family members are not thinking of you Or your well-being, they are thinking of themselves and their own image that might be in jeopardy of it’s  “unchangingness”  in the eyes of others. This is not something you’re forcing upon them, you are not forcing family disintegration or spousal non-support, but you may have brought forward something important they have to think about, it’s actually just a choice. You’re asking them to change their opinion of you, a choice that is theirs to make, but you’re not forcing upon them anything else, they simply need to decide whether or not they will accept you, and if they will not accept you as yourself there is another side to being married and the traditional nuclear family.

I know this is a frightening thought, that every fiber in your being fights against it, that the fear you have of losing your family and your spouse is so great you can hardly function once the idea enters your head.  Believe me when I tell you I’ve been there, and I moved through it, it was not easy, but I am fast approaching a place where my exwife and I are friends, and I’m working diligently to rebuild a better relationship with my child. As time passes things get better, but for me personally I do know if I could not accept myself and move forward they were going to lose me either way, You may need to consider and carefully weigh the consequences to yourself if you don’t allow authenticity...  their actions are on them not you, what you think might be the end is not, just a different pathway, one that might be greener if you allow yourself to be authentic. Granted it will be rocky at first, but finding a pathway that fulfills you personally and allows you to be authentic is going to take one big shift to find the path You previously ignored.

 It is not a marital cardinal Sin to be honest with your spouse, however your spouse make commit a cardinal sin by turning her back up on you, is this the right kind of spouse for you? I had to answer this question myself, my answer was no, a spouse who would turn her back will no longer be my spouse, but a downgrade to friend might be OK.

 Hugs, 

Jackie

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MaryMary
2 minutes ago, Martyn said:

Thank you Mary, yes times are very difficult, 19 years of marriage is at stake and I’m scared sh*tless, life is crumbling in front of me because of my selfishness, it’s hard now, very hard

 

Wanting to be ourselves is normal. It's true that sometimes it's hard to align ourselves to other's expectations. Exploring to find ourselves or trying to change things in our life to match who we are should not be considered "selfishness". On the other hand if someone have a sexual orientation and preferences we should not put pressure on them to like us (aka : I should not pressure my ex to like me as a trans of she don't like girls). I think that for things to work both sides need to understand those basic "rules". I wish that you can navigate this very difficult landscape with your significant other. :)

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Martyn
Just now, jae bear said:

You’re asking them to change their opinion of you, a choice that is there is to make, but you’re not forcing upon them anything else, they simply need to decide whether or not they will accept you

Thank you Jackie, from my son’s and wife’s perspective they are disgusted by the way I am, also knowing I want top surgery to remove my breast tissue completely before I start taking ‘E’ to avoid breast growth they totally disagree with my thought process and think it’s selfish of me to put them through all that, and then start taking ‘E’ for the effects that I hope to achieve. they don’t understand nor want too.

 

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Martyn
Just now, MaryMary said:

Exploring to find ourselves or trying to change things in our life to match who we are should not be considered "selfishness". On the other hand if someone have a sexual orientation and preferences we should not put pressure on them to like us 

Thank you Mary, yes I agree, though the issue that my wife keeps bringing up is she doesn’t want to go to bed with a female, I have tried so many times to reassure her that I don’t want to transition, I’ll still be physically male, but she doesn’t see it that way at all.

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jae bear

 I completely understand, I have been there too. You probably won’t need to worry too much about that breast tissue, it often doesn’t grow as much as you might think. Until you have breast tissue to remove I don’t think you would want to do anything about it. And I’m not certain, but even If you remove a lot of breast tissue in advance I don’t believe it will stop new tissue from growing...  again, don’t worry about this too much, you’re on a pathway that may not be perfectly clear at the moment, you may decide somewhere down the road that modest breast tissue that only you know about suits you just fine. Then again any sports bra will flatten that straight out No matter how much breast tissue you get. I was very happy to receive a relatively good amount of breast tissue personally, some of my friends are quite envious, but I can tell you a Non-padded sports bra Put on backwards negates all of it in five seconds.

 Hugs, 

Jackie

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MaryMary
Just now, Martyn said:

Thank you Mary, yes I agree, though the issue that my wife keeps bringing up is she doesn’t want to go to bed with a female, I have tried so many times to reassure her that I don’t want to transition, I’ll still be physically male, but she doesn’t see it that way at all.

yeah, you seem to be engaged on a path similar to mine. It's really hard to put it back in a box after coming out. At the end my ex was seeing "Mary" as a competitor and was very bitchy with her even though she's never like that usually. Things were getting strange and fast.

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jae bear

 I have heard your spouses words echoed from my own, “no girls in my bed” sounds awfully familiar. Again, people change, it doesn’t sound to me like there really will be a girl in her bed next to her, but that’s one large ultimatum for her to make in my estimation, personally I wouldn’t do that to my own spouse... She may be saying these things out of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of loss, and with time she may find those fears are unfounded.

 Hugs, 

Jackie

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ChickenLittle

Hey Martyn-- I don't have a lot to add that hasn't already been said. But I want you to know that you are not being selfish. It's unfair and unrealistic for anybody to expect a person to look the same forever. I'm sorry your family is reacting this way and saying such hurtful things to you. And to speak to the question you asked in the original post-- you're definitely not the only one. In fact, the way you describe your clothing and grooming preferences, you sound so much like my best friend who has been slowly working their way through their thoughts on gender. I wish I could give you a big hug. Keep on reaching out for support, we're here for you! ❤️ 

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Martyn
3 hours ago, ChickenLittle said:

 the way you describe your clothing and grooming preferences, you sound so much like my best friend who has been slowly working their way through their thoughts on gender. I wish I could give you a big hug. Keep on reaching out for support, we're here for you! ❤️ 

Thank you ChickenLittle, its been a slowly does it approach with exception to the past few months when I have wanted to experiment more and accelerate things, in hindsight I can see it’s become too much too soon for my wife and son, I hope by slowing down a lot I might be able to recover things? It’s very apparent though I’ve gone too far too soon which has been disastrous for our relationships at home - hugs always very welcome thank you :0)

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Martyn
4 hours ago, jae bear said:

She may be saying these things out of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of loss, and with time she may find those fears are unfounded.

 Hugs, 

Jackie

Thank you Jackie, yes I do hope that’s true, I guess the fear of the unknown and possible loss are at the core of her thinking, but like you say with time those thoughts may be unfounded.

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Martyn
4 hours ago, MaryMary said:

yeah, you seem to be engaged on a path similar to mine. It's really hard to put it back in a box after coming out. At the end my ex was seeing "Mary" as a competitor and was very bitchy with her even though she's never like that usually. Things were getting strange and fast.

Thank you Mary, yes the thought of having to conceal my inner feelings is not plesant at all, I’ve been so enjoying the new me, I’ve been feeling happier and more content inside although it’s been very difficult to visually express my feelings due to my wife and son not approving.

my wife said yesterday that she felt she’s lost me to my non binary female - I wish I could put her mind at rest over all this but we seem to be at logger heads at the moment :0(

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Martyn
4 hours ago, jae bear said:

You probably won’t need to worry too much about that breast tissue, it often doesn’t grow as much as you might think.

Thank you again Jackie, if I’m honest though it’s me that’s most frightened of developing breast growth, although I’m very comfortable with the other side effects it’s the breast growth that would upset me most, hence my suggestion of removing all the breast tissue before starting ‘E’.

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jae bear

 Personally I would not engage in such an invasive surgical procedure without needing it first, and just for reference I have been through more than dozens of surgeries through my lifetime, everything from life-saving events to reconstruction, until there’s tissue growth to remove, there’s nothing to remove, you cannot remove your pectoral muscles nor would you know what  tissue to remove until it developed into breast tissue once you are on estrogen, and if you do develop tissue you could address that with surgery once it existed but I don’t believe the surgeon will do anything prior to that. Have you discussed this with your doctors yet? I’m very curious how things work for your medical needs where you are, I know it’s quite different than it is here...

 Hugs, 

Jackie

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Charlize
On 9/21/2018 at 8:46 AM, Martyn said:

but it’s out in the real world that I’m feeling rather alone in my beliefs and outlook.

Trying hard to keep things balanced with home life so as not to upset my wife.

 

I'm out in the "real world" and it sounds like you are also living in that same world.  One of the hardest things about having gender issues is finding self acceptance.  It sounds as if your wife also finds your issues to be real.  I would suggest that you get some therapy.  I found my time with a therapist helped me find myself and once i did that i was better able to honestly face the world including my family.  Our therapists often can explain thing to our family as well.

Please don't consider surgery of any kind at this point.  The first thing for me was to simply find a path to openness  with my self and family.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize 

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What piece of the crap pile do I start working on first?  I feel like "I just want to be normal", but it sometimes feels easier riding the wreck currently in progress. However, I want to be a real person again. Whatever that is. I want to have friends and do things. I want to not be in the outside watching the happy people go by. "I want to go home" so to speak. Even though, I've never really had a home or place I felt safe in. But it's a nice thought. One day.   You see I wasn't raised with any freedom to be different. On the contrary there has been a lot of work done on me to suppress and deny my identity for the ease of those around me. Not to dwell on the trauma, but for an idea of what I was put though, things like kneeling on rocks in a hidden room under the stairs with no lights to learn that "ADD is just in my head", or "Youth Groups" at church that focused on "shaming the gay" out of us were common in my life.  Honestly, I ate it up. Mostly because of the biggest catalyst to this cause, my mother and her favorite saying, "You'll never understand a mother's love. I could love you through anything... AS LONG AS YOU'RE NOT GAY." Well poop. I didn't want to lose my mother's love, so from an early age I became a master of macho and over compensation. Me gay? No. NO. I LIKE BOOBS. Ya, and trucks and guns, etc. You know the jig. Copy, paste, repeat, here I am on the edge of tomorrow and the mask doesn't fit anymore.  It's just so bloody hard to stop the knee jerk reaction of "being the man" and putting the mask back on. I've buried over my feminine instincts, beaten them down, beaten myself down and when that wasn't good enough, I've given the world at large a pliable floor mat to trod on. It's driving me bonkers. I'm sorry but I've carried a lot of pain and frustration making straight people feel comfortable. What about my comfort? When will, "You're so gay!" not sound like, "I found one, get him!" Will I ever stop feeling like God hates me because I was to weak to stay straight? If this is going to disqualify me from Heaven then why should I care about any law or rule? By my nature, beyond my control, if I'm so repulsive to everyone else, what am I supposed to do all alone? It's nice to wax poetic and romanticize about living cottage life single, but every day, for the rest of my life??? Where can I go that a six foot five, two hundred and thirty pound chunk of mountain man can go around wearing a nice sundress and do a little spin because in his heart he's just a little girl? I have no one to "just be me with". Or even find out who that is.  The last thing my mom said to me was, "Well if you're gonna be gay then just go find a man and love him." The common theme in all our confrontations is "go". No matter what the fight has been over the years, "go" has been the underlying message. I never heard it until recently. I never heard the silent, "and don't come back." Once was all it took. Now, it all makes sense. It broke my heart and stole the wind from my sails. At least "faking it for Mom" gave me a cause. Now, what can I make of what's survived. I wish it were that easy. Sounds simple, "Just go find a man and love him." LoL I wish she knew there is more than "Straight and Gay". I mean, like, what do I do on the days that I feel like a woman who likes women that have man parts too?  I'm assuming you can relate to the rabbit holes of thought that can arise here. Bottom line, I don't have to fake it for Mom anymore. She just plain don't want me in her life if I'm going to be me. I don't care what she thinks anymore, or anyone else for that matter. Or, maybe I still care but I'm ready to carry the pain and go forward. Regardless, as soon as I meet any one new, I'm well down the road of lies and cover stories, trying to present the "just a normal guy" routine before I even notice.  Sometimes it's not from lack of desire to be myself. Often it's just because it is so much work "being a normal queer". At home, I don't have to explain me to me. If I'm girly, I'm girly, if I'm macho, I'm macho. It's all a part of me.  So saying something like, "I'm gay" or "I'm transgender" feels as weird as saying I'm straight or binary. I'm just Claire (the name I chose for the "Her" in me.) If anyone took the time to get to know Claire or Claybourne (my given boy name) they'd know that my sexual identity is only a piece of me. Like how I'm a hiker, or a cook or like to knit. I don't run around saying, "I'm a hiker." I say, Hi, I'm Claybourne. If the conversation goes near the outdoors I might pop in, "I like hiking, I'm a hiker." Whether the other person likes hiking or not isn't a deal breaker to the conversation. Yet it seems like until someone knows your gender and sexual preference they reserve the right to consider your presence in their life. Why is the label such a thing? Why do people with static gender identities not understand how incredibly biased the world is for their benefit. Like, do straight people have to explain, "Well, I have a penis and only like sex in a vagina?" No. Why do I have to have a "briefing session" with everyone to explain concepts that aren't really that complex? Really, it's no one's business. But then, "Oh did you hear Claybourne came out?"  I think the whole coming out thing is a slap in the face to gender diversity. The fact that I had to declare to people, that the boy who was scared to go in to men's bathrooms, who watched more fashion television than a Trekkie binge watching Deep Space Nine on Netflix, who tucked his penis and sat to pee, who was an entirely flamboyant individual HAS GENDER IDENTITY ISSUES. Like, these people obviously knew. They saw in me things they did not like, they literally forced me to be different than my nature and now they want me to walk back in to their lives with a giant sign out for their convenience.  Argh, okay, by now if you're still reading you can see the layers and layers of stuff I have to go through. This whole new movement of freedom for people like me has me feeling I might have a chance. I see queer kids younger than me that have family and friends. I'm jealous. I was taught that we were going to burn in hell and that the mission was to exterminate the deviation known as queer. Here I am, hiding in the middle of no where, trying to limit the offence of my presence on my local world while I see so many queer people with so much in their life. I see queer people on TV crying about how hard their transition is, yet they're holding their mothers hand and their friends are saying spring things.  Did any of them have to serve their captors supper after climbing out of their shame boxes? Why did people I love do this to me? Why did they teach me I'm bad? So I'm done hiding. I came out.  Now it's just me.  Normally I have a never failing positive attitude. Since learning that my mom would rather I just stay gone, my bottom fell out. I always thought there was a reason for me hiding for her. I thought that if I made it easy on her at some point she'd get me back. Like, I could come home and have a family again.  It's not going to happen like that. She chose her man. She loves him. He hates queers. So ya.  I'm not sure what I'm really trying to say here.  Mostly it's another lonely sleepless night here in the middle of nowhere. I know things need to change because I think I'm just waiting to die now. Not that I'm suicidal. I just can't start the circle of faking it again and I have no resources to make a new start. I wanted to be a singer and a dancer. Or a fashion designer or a chef. I ended up doing hard labor jobs like working on oil rigs, digging trenches and making cellphone towers. I've lived on the streets or conditions that would be classified as homeless often. My body is beaten and my Soul is low. I used so much of my being trying to make a man my mother could accept. Between time left and body capabilities, what could I really do? Reading back I see the biggest thing I need are people and a place that I can feel safe as a gender confused person. Living in the middle of an oil patch, in the heart of Redneck Alberta, Canada is not a queer friendly place. The local counselors look at me like I'm the jackpot of cases. That say things like, "you'll be my first transgender client. I've been doing lots of reading and hope I can help." It's like some kind of badge on their resume. Five minutes in to a session I'm consulting them in the small but mysterious bits of queer culture I do have. Like, really? Is there any where I can go that has a history of working with gender issues? Yes, I have addictions issues too. I just feel I've fought the symptom long enough. I need to address the core.  Any help? Please. By the way, this was supposed to be an introduction post, so "Hi. I'm Claire" and Claybourne. I guess. This is my start.  See you soon. 😘
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