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AnAnxiousMess

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AnAnxiousMess

CW: talk of anorexia, dysmorphia and dysphoria, questioning

So... yeah. Hi and hello.

 

My name is Andrea (not really, not legally, but perhaps one day). I've been lurking for a while, debating whether or not to stick my foot in this forum's door—if I belong and if there's a place for me here. In other words, probably (like with most things in my life) overthinking, well, everything. But it's time.

 

I *think* I belong here. I'm pretty sure I do. Like... 95% positive, but still experiencing flashes of doubt—of "why do I feel this way, am I really thinking of potentially blowing up parts of my life to follow this through," and the like. I'm sure many of you know how it is. I hope so, anyway, because being the only one to feel this way would, well, suck.

 

For reference: I'm a 38-year-old asexual, white, male-bodied writer/editor, and, well, trans. I'm also nonbinary, and while that best describes how I feel and identify on the inside, I -desperately- wish I had a feminine body. As in, it's almost all I think about some days. But I've long struggled with identifying outright as trans for a number of reasons, and I'm curious how many, if any, of you can relate. First, because of the nonbinary angle. I feel, deep in my guts, that were I to transition tomorrow, I would still want to ID as enby. It feels *right* in terms of where my brain and heart are and have always been, but then I wonder: If that's the case, is it enough to simply crave a feminine body to also ID as trans? I've heard the refrain on Twitter, "If you want to just be a girl (or guy) you can be a girl (or guy)," but there's a needling part of my brain that wants to know if the wanting is enough. Because, of course, there are gatekeepers everywhere, especially with respect to levels of dysphoria.

 

And for the record, I do have some measure of gender dysphoria. It started when I was only five and has popped up here and there, but was never anything extreme or debilitating. The only time in my youth that I had an extreme situation in that respect is when in twelfth grade I succumbed to pretty severe body dysmorphia and anorexia, and damn near killed myself (not via a suicide attempt but from dropping to a dangerously low weight). That was twenty years ago, and only just now have I started to really overcome the eating disorder's stranglehold. How? By starting to look at the body I have as *not* what I want or wish for. Because the things I'm most critical of in a male body, or at least in mine, are some of the things I appreciate most in a feminine body, and find myself even wishing I had. But I don't know if that sort of dysmorphia falls under gender dysphoria as well or if it's something different.

 

The uncertainty has popped up in other ways, too. I've struggled with adopting trans full-stop because, to be blunt, parts of my body have always felt wrong or alien, but not the whole. Like, I have spent a lifetime wishing for a different lower half, even going so far as to wish something horrible would happen to my genitalia to *force* doctors to have to just, you know, give me the opposite (I know, a silly fantasy, but still), but have never found myself wishing I had breasts beyond how much better they might fill out a dress or offset my wider-than-I'd-like shoulders.

 

But over the past six months or so, I've started to accept more and more that this is or might be enough—that I am, in fact, maybe, possibly, trans. And every bit of makeup, every bit of non-male-coded clothing I've brought into my life thus far (and yes, I fully know it's so, so much more than just what you put on) has felt just... right. Like, deep-in-the-core-of-me right. I've told a handful of trusted friends and chosen family, most of whom either saw something like this coming from a mile away and claim they were just waiting for the day (apparently I give off a lot of femme energy, which I'm not complaining about at all but is... interesting, when you've never been aware of it yourself), but some who, upon hearing, said they didn't see it coming per se but that it actually brings into focus a lot of disparate aspects of myself and how I move through the world.

 

And yet.

 

I still find myself asking: Is it enough? To be even more blunt about it, am I trans enough? Is there such a thing? Have I written far too much and lost most of you by this point? Is it enough to have spent a not-small portion of your childhood and early adulthood imagining how if your life went to hell and you had to leave it all behind, that you would disappear to some northern European nation where nobody knows you and simply start living as a woman? Is that compulsion enough, or do I have to have been coming apart at the seams, aching to be seen as I want to be, in a body not of my birth gender?

 

*sigh* Hopefully some of this makes sense. Thank you, anyone who's read this far. I'd love to get to know some of you, and hear from you.

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Carolyn Marie

Welcome to Trans Pulse, Andrea.  If you've been lurking for a while, I don't have to encourage you to look around; you've already done that.  What I will encourage you to do is post your thoughts and questions as often as you can, because that's the best way to learn, and also the best way to get to know us, and vice versa.

 

To answer a couple of your questions:  there is no litmus test for belonging, there is no bar to climb over or measure yourself against.  Everyone's journey is different, but it is a question we get a lot.  I knew what I wanted and who I wanted to be as far back as I can remember (which is pretty damn far).  Some folks don't have that realization until they're nearly an adult.  Most folks I know had terrible dysphoria, but I didn't.  That didn't mean I wasn't trans, but because I didn't I questioned my motives and my authenticity, just as you're doing.  So yes, it all makes sense to me.

 

As you'll hear often around here, what you probably need most is time with a gender therapist to help you sort through all those feelings, doubts, and experiences.  But that's for another day.  Today, just get a feel for this place, and know we'll be here to support you, and know we won't ever judge you.

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

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SaraAW

Welcome Andrea. I think we all have doubts and question our feelings at some point, I know I do. It comes and goes though.
 

As Carolyn mentioned, a therapist helps. I don’t have have major dysphoria either, and what dysphoria I do have didn’t really kick in until my mid 30’s, though I had some inklings something was up since I was a kid. We all awaken or “crack our egg” at different times. 
 

So continue to post and share, we’ll do the same and hopefully we will all continue to grow and find help and comfort among the TP family. 
 

*hugs*

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ShawnaLeigh

First I would like to welcome you and congratulate you for stepping forward here.  Like the others said. You stated you have lurked on and off and most likely have seen at least some ray of hope here to finally join and post.  It was not a mistake let me assure you.  This place has helped me so much I can not begin to explain it all.  

While reading your post I said to myself "I had very similar thoughts and feelings".  I can see that it is a huge mind twist for you at times, and others its not.  Like me.  I have the same fears of destroying a life I had built, a marriage, a home.  Looking towards an uncertain future both emotionally and financially.  I feel guilty for this most days as I feel "I am" doing this to everyone else. Me!  I'm making life hard for others. Then I realize I am doing this to simply be Me. Not doing anything to hurt others or destroy anything maliciously.  Just trying be me.  Which there is nothing wrong with being.  Everyone else CIS gets to be who they are naturally, and accepted fully without question, why not us?

As Carolyn had said.  There is no benchmark or line to cross to being trans or whatever term you wish to use.  There are many to describe us folks here but none of us truly like to be labeled so I try not to.  No guide lines for sure on how to fee,l and when to feel or what to do.  Its a feeling in your heart and soul that nags at your brain to get with the program.  Your brain knows all about you inside.  It just tries to protect and keep you on a path of least resistance.  Safety.  Survival.   For many it is finally survival that convinces us we have to make this change.  Regardless of the fall out.  Or we could literally die from it.  At least to me it was.  

It took me a good part of four decades to come to terms with it.  Even after coming out to some family and my wife I questioned if I was really a MTF candidate.  What the hell was I doing? If I could really be a women on the outside too?  I had so many confusing thoughts on who I was inside, I knew a big part was female but then again I knew male at some level too and always just covered it up on the outside.  Doing what was "safe and acceptable to others".  Always worried about "others" and what they though of me as a person.  Even while being fully male.  

My journey has been full of discovery.  As I am sure most could attest to.  Everyone is different in how they proceed, what they want, and will do and not do.  I have seen great strides in some folks here that came in just like you not knowing what the heck was going on.  Heck I have only been here a month or so. 

So read more and ask much.  Accept others and I know we will you.  Help where you can as it is therapeutically to be helpful while seeking your own answers.  None of us are therapist as far as I know but we ALL have been there, or ARE there, and going through the same things, just at different rates and times.  It's a family to me.

TransPulse is an accepting place for all of those people and more.  

 

 

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Charlize

Welcome Andrea. It took time for me to find a path to peace with my gender issues.  There is certaonly a place for you here!  You are much as i was, unsure and unable to make even the smallest step.  I found that my time here and therapy has helped me immensely.   Hope you find the same.

You are not alone.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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TammyAnne

Hello Andrea. Welcome. I got here going through a similar process of feelings, dysphoria, convincing myself that I was asexual, etc.

I'm kind of in the middle of where I'd like to be: accepting myself as female inside, understanding that nearly age 70 this body has had 60 years of testosterone that isn't going to go away easily, realizing that I can become more feminine but will still look like a football linebacker.

So I'm aiming to get to a happy place for me.

I'm sure you'll find friends, answers, questions and things to think about here.

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NB Adult

Hey Andrea, welcome to our universe!

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Jackie C.

Salutations!

 

I just wanted to welcome you to the fold and mention that, yes, I've had the "howling at the moon, wishing so hard you were female that you thought you might just burst" feelings too. I also had a similar experience with my friends. I came out to them and they basically said, "Well, duh," and we got back to what we were doing. They're good people.

 

So yeah, I've completely embraced my femininity and haven't looked back. It hasn't blown up a lot of my life, but there's no guarantee that parts of my life wouldn't have blown up anyway. I was pretty self-destructive, that did plenty of damage all by itself. There aren't any sure things in life, so you need to reach for whatever happiness you can.

 

I hope you have a lovely time here. Best wishes and welcome!

 

Hugs!

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AnAnxiousMess

Thank you, all, for the warm and kind responses, and for sharing a little of your own experiences. I'm sure I don't have to say it but I will anyway (because I'm nothing if not repetitive), but it's great to know that even in the minutiae of my experiences I'm not alone, and that there is so much commonality among us.

 

I already feel welcome here. And while it'll be a while before I can see a gender therapist specifically, I do have a therapist (mostly for anxiety and eating disorders) with whom I am able to discuss aspects of my gender ID and journey. It's not the most desired in that sense, I'm sure, but I will take kind and educated ears wherever I can get them.

 

Thank you again. I want to say more but am still processing so much. So I'll just express all the gratitude I can and say, sincerely, that I hope to get to know a great many of you as I continue to browse what this forum has to offer.

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Sandra6sandy9sand

Hi Andrea, welcome. After reading all the responses above, I can relate to something each person said that relates to me.  I’ve been on my journey for nearly 70 years and only within the past few years have accepted myself as transgender.

 

I’m pretty much out to my wife but not really to others around me. I feel feminine inside and have to present other wise on the outside. 

 

Give yourself time to sort things out.  This sight has helped me tremendously and I know you will feel the same soon as well.

 

For me, I have accepted who I am and am happy.

 

Take care and hugs.

 

Sandra

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JoniSteph

Welcome Andrea. As a fellow lurker for quite a while before posting and reading others posts on here, I came to realize finally who was in this 70 yr old male body. I am sure as you continue your journey and exploration of yourself that you will find who is within as well.

There is no rush to find out as time and searching within, will disclose that for you. So sit back, listen to your mind and body, ask questions, read, and you will find the new you.

 

Everyone here is a great source of experience and information, just take advantage of it, as we who came after have. :)

 

Welcome aboard.

 

Big Canadian Hug

JoniSteph

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