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Questioning and developing a plan of action


lsc512

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Hi 

So im in a bit of a predicament concerning my gender identity and I'm kind of looking to get some insights on what I am and should do. I've been questioning my gender since I was roughly 14, I've always had a general kind of unease with my body and appearance. I don't really know why but, I've always kind of felt that I was born into the wrong gender, but not really having a frame of reference to what being male vs. female  felt like has kind of clouded my feelings. When I was younger it was kind of easier to distract myself from the way I feel by convincing myself i wasn't not masculine enough, so I dived head first into sports and bodybuilding but, it never really made these feelings go away. In college I was still kind of able to suppress my feelings by burying myself in studying & work which I guess m dysphoria(I think that's the word I'm looking for) didn't go away but it was still manageable. After graduating I went into the Air Force thinking being in an environment that would force me to keep my feelings bolted down would eventually make them go away would work, but I eventually broke down and started crossdressing as an outlet.  Again its kind of hard for me to describe why crossdressing made me feel better, since clothes and makeup don't make a woman. I'm not really sure why but presenting myself as feminine felt right I guess. It got to a point where I think on some level I wanted to get caught but it got to a point where I was wearing female clothing more than male in my off time, and for whatever reason I thought no one would question why I started shaving my legs and arms which got called out and kind of made me a bit more careful about it.  Like an idiot I was to scared to go to mental health and start getting some help about this while I had the chance, but with 1 1/2 years left on my contract I'm trying to figure out what I should do.

Going to mental health in the military isn't really an option since I don't want to risk my g.i. bill this close to the finish line, but I need to deal with this so ive been considering trying to find a psychologist/counselor(im not really sure who to deal with about this) off base. I'm really not sure how I should go about this since I want to explore the idea of transitioning and im almost out of the air force and have no desire to remain in the state I'm stationed so I'm not sure if teletherapy or online is an option and how state licenses work.

Sorry for the rambling.

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  • Forum Moderator

Welcome!  Don't worry you're not rambling.  

 

Just now, lsc512 said:

Again its kind of hard for me to describe why crossdressing made me feel better, since clothes and makeup don't make a woman. I'm not really sure why but presenting myself as feminine felt right I guess.

This isn't uncommon so don't beat yourself up over it. 


Since you are so close to getting out of the Air Force I would strongly suggest you keep things under wraps. I know it will be hard but once you are out and any benefits are not at risk you can pursue your personal goals.  Its really the best thing to do from what I see.  

 

Please join in the conversation here to help ease your mind a bit.  There are lots of friendly folks here and we've been through all kinds of situations. I'm sure we can relate. 

 

Cheers, Jani 

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8 minutes ago, Jani said:

 

Keeping it to myself is certainly for the best, I think my main issue is trying to find some way to be productive about it in the meantime.

 

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  • Root Admin
Carolyn Marie

Video therapy is fairly common these days.  If your base is close to a medium or large city finding a gender therapist should also be fairly easy.  The first step is up to you.  We have lists of therapists by state on this site, here:  https://www.transgenderpulse.com/resource-locator/

 

BTW, welcome to Trans Pulse, and thank you for your intro post.  There are a great many of us here whose stories are similar to yours.  You are among friends here, and you're welcome to post any questions and participate as much or as little as you like.

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

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  • Forum Moderator

I'm lad you found us and can post here.  1 1/2 years may seem forever but it will pass quickly.  I think you would find video therapy would help if you can't see anyone F2F.  Some sites like Zoom are as good as face to face encounters.  Don't feel badly about waiting "too long".  I felt that when i went full time at 63 but today at 71 i'm happier than i've ever been.

Again Welcome.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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There are plenty of us on here who have delayed transitioning (medically/socially/etc) for any number of reasons. In your case, preserving your career until your contract is up so you can secure your benefits is definitely a smart choice. Try managing your dysphoria the best you can in the meantime. A year and a half will pass quickly. I'm working on a similar timeframe for my coming out goals, so I can relate to the delay. I'd encourage you to talk about your feelings and experiences on here, and read up on others'. It's always helpful to know you're not alone on your journey..

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Use the time productively.  It made me feel better to read up on everything involved to transition.  You may not decide that, but reading made me feel better.  Talking here is a nice little break as well since there's no reason to hide anything from anyone here.

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  • 1 month later...

So I think things are kind of looking up at the moment,  I finally went to a Therapist on the down low, and managed to get the words out that I'm questioning my gender. I didn't really get too in depth into the issue since it was my first session, but at least I was finally able to say the words out loud. Im not really sure what I should be doing now, but at least I managed to get some catharsis in the mean time.

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  • Forum Moderator

Thats great.  You've crossed a hurdle.  The next session will be easier.  Quite possibly your therapist will bring this up and you can go at your own pace.   Your uncertainty is normal.  Don't worry, as it will al come into focus soon enough.

 

Jani

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I can remember how nervous I was at my first therapy appointment. Palms sweaty, heart racing, and mouth dry. I am over a dozen appointments now and I still get nervous at times, but each appointment is better than the last. 
 

The one thing I’ve learned, the more honest and open I am about how I feel the better. It is hard at times to overcome the almost 40 years of male programming to shelve ones feelings, but I am also getting better at this with practice. 
 

Give it time and you should see all kinds of benefits. 
 

*hugs*
 

Sara

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  • 4 weeks later...

I too spent my entire teenage and young adult life dong things that would "Man me up".  I was a jock and quite good as I recall.  Was team captain and held school records in track.   Played Lacrosse and was a team captain in soccer too.  Everything I could do to be more masculine and not be found out.  Dated girls left and right.  I find women attractive, men not so much, so that was another part of my gender confusion as I didn't think people who felt like me should like women still.  I was ignorant and naïve. 

I went into the USAF as well for ten years.  Same story.

It never went away for me.  I am 52 now and married to a beautiful women who has no idea about me.  I feel terribly about not telling her.  Like I am lying to someone I truly love.  

I go to therapy this Friday for the first time and I am scared to death.

Good for you taking the steps I should of 20 years ago.  Don't live a life in hiding and fear.

It is so hard trust me.

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lauraincolumbia

I second that its great that you're taking care of the steps now.  Life is too short to live hiding in fear.

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  • Forum Moderator
1 hour ago, Nivegnal said:

...And by 20 years ago I really mean 35 years ago.  But what is age?  LOL

 

That's absolutely right. The only thing I regret about transitioning is that I waited so long. Sure, there were reasons... but it feels so good to be living authentically now.

 

Even so, all you can do is move forward towards being the person you want to be.

 

Hugs!

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1 hour ago, Jackie C. said:

 

That's absolutely right. The only thing I regret about transitioning is that I waited so long. Sure, there were reasons... but it feels so good to be living authentically now.

 

Even so, all you can do is move forward towards being the person you want to be.

 

Hugs!

I sadly feel this way too.  I wish I could of just been brave about it.  Now I feel I have lost so much of my real life.  Decades worth.  

Hoping my future is better.

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