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ShawnaLeigh

Unknown but not not ok.

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ShawnaLeigh

So after reading a ton I find that I’m not not ok with where I am.  Like most I have no clue why I feel like I do and do I understand what I am. Neither physically mentally or sexually.   The community is so vast and has so many descriptors that it’s hard to pick just one you may fit in.  Just trying to understand them all is a chore.  
I have read of those who want to be a women. I do too.  Badly. If given enough money and time I have little doubt I would be there.  I know what I want but not what I am.  Why I am the way I am.  Feel sexuality towards a variety of women.  Sometimes men.  
I’ve read of those who question this being a fetish or a dysphoria    I too have questioned this.  I have had strong desires to be nothing but a women then after “release” I feel dirty ashamed.  I say this on cue from another forum member being brave enough to mention her attraction to certain porn.  I am too.  All sorts.  
I find myself extremely attracted to women and more so to trans women pre surgery.  I don’t feel gay still being in a male body living mostly as a male but sometimes I am more then curious.  
ive been labeled bisexual in the stupid little online tests.  Maybe I am.  I don’t know.  
I flip flop from day to day.  One day I’m ok with being a male.  Living as a husband and a man with all my male straight friends.   The next Day I cry all day not being the women I know I am.  I hate to say the women inside but I don’t know how else to say it.  It’s me either way.  
im lucky that I have not gone through depression or worse. Hurting myself.  I have always just dealt with it.  It is what it is attitude.  The deep desires still inside aching to get out but the fear keeping them in.The fear. It’s the worse.  
I will admit for the first time ever,to anyone, to self medicating HRT over the years.  Stopping and starting over and over.  Admittedly due to lack of money.  Secretly seeking doctors appointments, as a guy, but “checking” on my health and blood work for any signs of danger.  I know.  I know.  It’s not safe or right.  I’ve read so much on the dangers that I’m afraid to cross the street or eat sugar.   But it’s my only release to be myself.  I feel better knowing I am doing something,anything, for “her”.  Maybe subconsciously I hope to be caught or questioned. Having no choice but to admit my inner self is there.  I both dread and look forward to being given no choice.  Though I’m so careful to not screw up. 
I have small breasts, definitely an A but pushing a strong B in certain bras.  However easily hidden with compression tanks to look more like pecks then breast. Also luckily small genitalia so hiding my bit n pieces is very easy.  
My biggest depressor if I was to name just one is I just don’t see the women in the mirror.  
That is the one thing that hits me hard.  I can’t find myself when I stare into the mirror.  Cry?  Definitely.   However, just today I tried a fun little app that can convert a selfie to many things.  Older different hair etc.  Of coarse my goal was to see a gender conversion.  I was blown away.  I even tried it with several pics.  The amazing thing was I looked exactly like older versions of two of my natural daughters.  I’d post a pic of the app conversation but don’t know how yet.  
but these pics gave me a glimpse of the women inside.  She is beautiful and I look forward to her being out one day.  
ok. I’ve run on n on.  Sorry.  
im so gabby.  

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Jani

Hello Gabby!  (is that a new name?)  As you have read the recent thread concerning porn, etc. you can see that it is a diversion and "red herring" related to gender issues.   Also don't be drawn in by the "I like women or I like men" thing.  Gender and Sexuality are two different things.  Flip flopping is normal.  Our feelings on any given issue will change regularly given enough time involved in it.   

 

Ok you know self medicating is bad.  Even getting regular check ups is not enough as I don't imagine you know what to look for, and there can be complications from certain levels in your body that you don't understand.  Start to get clean!  See your doctor and tell them what is happening.  They won't bite.  Ask them to legally prescribe and monitor your lab work.  

 

As to not seeing the woman in the mirror?  This takes time.  I was two years into this journey before I consistently saw her.  There is certainly a mental element to this.  Once I started thinking like a woman it was easier to see me.  You are still on the outside looking in.  Faceapp and the like are fun but can drive you crazy. 

 

Jani 

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VickySGV

You are describing some serious depression in your post there.  My recommendation is that you immediately if not sooner find a licensed therapist in your state who deals with Gender Dysphoria, or at least one who can help you really discover source of the depression first, actually though, Gender Therapists have all started out as the garden variety therapist who learned to treat depression.

 

On a darker note, yes, there are people who become addicted to pornography as well, but the therapist I recommended above can also help people get that addiction onto the road to recovery.  Attraction to porn does not exclude the possibility that you are Trans also.  It will take a while in therapy to work all of that out, but  in my experience you have a good chance of getting your life under control, even if it requires going in to full Gender Transition. 

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Jackie C.

What Jani and Vicky said. It sounds like you really need to talk to a therapist. I've been where you are. It was a dark, unpleasant, no-good place. You don't have to be there. The first step is finding help. Your medical insurance might even cover it. Find a therapist and talk. They're paid to listen and help. It's very refreshing. I went with BetterHelp.com because they're cheap and I don't have to leave the house. I know that as a guy of a certain age you were trained with "guys don't need help" and the stigma of finding help for mental issues. Those are terrible, terrible lies. Find someone. It can get better.

 

Hugs!

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Steph1982

Hey there! 

 

I just read your post and can relate to some of it. I too wish I could see the girl inside but that would take much more time and steps in the right direction to get there. The porn thing I totally get too, and after doing a lot of reading and people's kind words on here it's really not as uncommon as I thought it would be. The reasons behind all of it though can vary which is why seeing a licensed therapist is so important and will likely be my next step as well. Maybe start there? 

 

Jackie, does better help have licensed gender therapists? It was my understanding that they had licensed counseling and some have experience with gender issues but they are not specifically a gender therapist? 

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Jackie C.
1 hour ago, Steph1982 said:

Jackie, does better help have licensed gender therapists? It was my understanding that they had licensed counseling and some have experience with gender issues but they are not specifically a gender therapist? 

 

Tragically no, but my therapist is working on it. That means she's experienced and active in the LGBT+ community, but none of her three degrees are specifically for gender therapy. I'm not actually sure where the distinction is. Both Deena (my regular therapist) and my gender therapist, Sara are LMSWs. That's Licensed Master Social Workers. 

 

For gender therapists I had to go outside BetterHelp.com to the UofM Health System. I love Sara but I wasn't up to driving that far every week to talk to her (I love my car, but she's an old girl. I try not to stress her too much.) Also, she's always super put together and it's a little intimidating. Deena and I have had (online) sessions where we were both in sweatpants.

 

So yeah, I went with Deena and BetterHelp for my regular therapy needs and went... well, go... to Sara at UofM for things that need that specific gender therapist seal of approval. She was the Letter of Recommendation I needed to get started on hormone therapy. For WPATH standards of care (If you're going for GRS anyway), you need two gender therapists from different programs, so I also saw... I'm blanking on her name now, but she's local to me so it doesn't matter at all for you. At least I don't THINK you want to come to Michigan for a therapist. Anyway, she was a full psychologist and wicked expensive. I liked talking to her and am forever grateful for her Letter of Recommendation but I'd go broke seeing her.

 

Hugs!

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ShawnaLeigh

Per the wise advice I have received here I have reached out to my company mental health benefits department  I work for a Medical University, UVM.  They are very pro transgender and serious about all sorts of tolerance.   They just forwarded me a couple numbers for counseling with a gender specialist.  I’m hoping from there I can be referred to a psychologist or equivalent. Maybe even get past all this fear.  

im just hoping my insurance covers this.  
(fingers crossed)

This is a major step for me.  Kinda scary admitting “things” to someone face to face.  
I suppose you have to start somewhere.

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Jackie C.

Honestly, therapists are really easy to talk to. Part of the job and all. You'll be amazed how much better you feel talking to someone.

 

SO jealous about the Medical University thing. I imagine that makes things ever so much easier. Most of what you need is just right there. Awesome news!

 

Hugs!

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ShawnaLeigh

It is a great job. The best I’ve ever had but availability is the same as anyone.  Sadly I do not work on the campus or medical center there.  I am a BioMed and work in four hospitals In Vermont and New Hampshire.  Being the only BioMed in each so I’m busy.  Though I do have access to a ton of info.  

it give me lots of commute time.  Time I hope to practice.  
 

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    • ShawnaLeigh
      Well I clearly have a lot more to work with my therapist to understand myself and what my life is and what it is turning into.  Unfortunately my life effects others which makes it difficult to just pick a "road" and travel down it at Mach2.  I do not want to throw anything away, especially if its worth saving.  But I'm at a point where I am questioning this.  I've been her before and have lived through very hard divorces.  I know once you cross a point your mind starts to make itself up before you are ready.  A defense mechanism of sorts.  However, coming to common ground with her does seem possible to me.  I am still not sure if it ever will be that way for her.  Yes she has changed a LOT since I came out to her and our original statements don't seem to be holding firm like they seemed that night.  I know this will all take time but she still remains firm about this one thing, "once I start presenting full female in public.  That is the point where our relationship will start on different paths".  She said this to me just last night after a wonderful weekend together. I understand her point of view and feelings on this.  I do.  She is who she is and she respects me for the same.  I truly believe this.  However it does give me that little bit of a pinch in my heart knowing she can have this limit to where she can discard me as a spouse and just start being my friend only.  I have a hard time wrapping me head and heart around this one point she keeps saying.  However nice she is being now, accepting, kind, and even using the proper pronoun's she still has this limit she will not cross.  That hurts.  It makes me want to pull away before it gets any further.  We are both not getting any younger.. But I am waiting to see what develops and see what my therapist has to say.   I'm in no hurry to move out by no means, ruin what seems to be "working" for now but I definitely do not want to keep her life on hold either. 
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    • ShawnaLeigh
      I thought about it all a lot last night.  Laying awake not able to let my brain shut down and let me sleep.  This has me up all night many nights running every little thing through my mind trying to figure out what to do or think.  I think maybe she is trying to see a new alternative to her original statement of  "if your going to be women, a lesbian, I can not stay married to you".  Perhaps.  I'm not sure yet.  I will just see how things go and take them day by day. My friend here NB Adult, gave me some tough love in Toni post. (sorry Toni for hijacking your thread).  Her advice to look at myself before blaming her is quite spot on.  I am getting caught up in what it is for me and loosing sight on how it effects her too.  What the entire marriage is to me now vs when we first starting living together.  Time definitely has changed the way I think and feel.  NB Adult is correct in saying the things she said to me in Toni's post.  I may even look at marriage is a convenience to being able to live like I want to.  To not being alone.  Security. Im not saying that I do not love my wife but I also have never been able to truly be my self and I don't know what that means still.  I don't know exactly what I want or don't want still.   Now I will say I do not post everything about myself and my marriage.  Like some may think.  There is a lot that happens, or had happened, behind closed doors in our marriage well beyond my current coming out to her that effects us both.  Effects how we both think and feel about our marriage.  I can say I was trying to get past the shock and awe early in my reveal of loosing her and everything in my life, at her request, and now it seems she may be having a change of heart.  Time will tell.
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      I totally get how confusing this can be. This may have been an attempt on her part to explore possibilities. As much as she says she won’t enter into a lesbian relationship, this could have been a trial run to see if indeed she could make it work.  It could also be many other things, maybe trying to tempt you to stay in the closet or maybe she was feeling very lonely and needed some comfort.   I can’t imagine the current times being any less confusing for her, than it is for you.  I would suggest continuing to talk with her, ask her about this and what it meant for her and you.    Maybe it will soon be time for couples therapy to help work through some of this together.    I wish I had some other advice, but I’m pretty much in the same boat and am just trying to let time soften some of the raw emotion. Not reading into everything that happens in the meantime is so hard.    *hugs*
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