Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

Vivian319

A tough situation

Recommended Posts

Vivian319

To start things off, I am not a typical person who has known since they were born that they were different. It was about 12 years ago when I started to question my identity, and that would put me at 18 years old. Sure, from time to time I would imagine what life would be like if I were born a woman and would often daydream/fantasize about it, but I always maintained a strong masculine persona and didn’t question those thoughts until then. I always tried to maintain a “normal” life and just tried to ignore the impulses to actively explore my gender identity. But as the years have passed, my curiosity and desire to explore my identity has only grown stronger. About six months ago, I actually started to cross dress in private and even got a makeover when I had time away from family. It has felt exhilarating to finally express myself.

 

Now fast forward to present day.

 

I am married with children. I am in a position to where physical transition is not possible at this point in time due to my line of work. My spouse has no idea of these feelings I’m having. I fear I have so much to lose. I don’t want to ruin any relationships/career ambitions but I also want to be happy for myself. I feel as if I am living my life as to appease others I love and not be my true self. I don’t love myself for who I am as long as I am unable to express myself without fear of reprisal. I seem to always I feel so trapped. I feel helpless. I don’t know how to process these feelings other than to act out on them. Right now I’m limited to cross dressing in private whenever I get a chance away from family, which is often not much time. This isn’t enough. I’m not being true to myself and it’s not fostering a very fulfilling lifestyle for me.

 

Im making this post to see if anyone can relate to me and maybe if anyone can share to me how they overcame the external pressures (family, career, society, etc) to come out and express themselves publicly. I’m also open to any advice from anyone on here. I find that I have no outlet to my emotions these days (other than an occasional talk with a therapist) and I feel that I could benefit from experiences of others. Thanks!

 

-Vivian

Share this post


Link to post
SaraAW

Hi Vivian, your story sounds familiar. I’m 39, I have had no real dysphoria until the last couple of years, still mild in comparison to many. I did have inklings over the years, but I had suppressed them and “manned up”. I started dressing in secret whenever I could. I came out to my GP, got a referral to an endo and then sought out a gender therapist as my first actions. That was about a year ago. Getting a GT is probably the best thing I have ever done. 
 

I came out to my wife a little while ago. It hasn’t gone great, we’re still together but she is still in the denial stage and doesn’t want me to express myself at all. No kids in the mix, so I can’t help there. I’m also not ready to come out at work any time soon. I’d like to work on getting my wife to accept the real me and allow me to present at home. 
 

You say you have no outlet, well, you’ve found one now. The folks here are amazing and this place, along with my therapist are truly saving my life. I’d be lost without either. So for my initial advice, read stories here, ask questions, share and look into getting a therapist. 
 

Second bit of advice that is helping me, find little ways to express yourself. I’ve started growing my hair out, I’m keeping the style pretty masculine right now, but it helps. I trim my body hair, I was shaving but my wife asked/told me to stop, so I have for now. I’ve just recently started using a little mascara, no one has even noticed.  I wear a wire free bra and boy shorts under my clothes. I subtly shape my brows, more just keep them cleaned up. 
 

Hope some of this helps. *hugs*

Share this post


Link to post
TammyAnne

Vivian, I can certainly relate, although I kept my feelings stuffed down for most of my nearly 70 years on earth. I'm still trying to sift through things, spent the last year of therapy waffling about whether to proceed with HRT or not.

Manning up or toughing it out just kicks the can down the road. For me at least.

Still, one has to consider very carefully the environment around them in choosing to reveal their inner self.

I am only out to a select few. Most circumstances I feel like I wear a suit of armor to keep people from accessing the real me.

Share this post


Link to post
ShawnaLeigh

You are not alone in how you feel.  Desire to be who you are can be over powering but you still don’t let yourself due to all your fears.  Real fear. 
Losing a whole life that you built is hard to risk.  Marriages survive this but some don’t.  Mine will not.  So I know how you feel. A lot of us here do.  
I have sought out encouragement early in my coming out to my wife.  So many hopeful and happy stories from so many.  Just as many who have lost it all and survived.  Many going through that right now as I write this. 
Transitining to be who you are comes at so many levels.  Some just cant go on living as is.  Many go back into hiding to maintain everything they have built with a spouse. Some have no choice after they have come out.  Every ones journey is different.  But in so many ways we share the same path.  
You are the only one who can decide for you.  
Good luck to you in this.  
 

Share this post


Link to post
Jackie C.

Your story isn't all that uncommon Vivian. Some of us build up masculine shells when we're younger because that's what our parents tell us to do. I'm guessing a frequent refrain when you were small was, "You do that like a girl," or maybe, "Boys don't do that?" Roughly half of the trans-women I know served in the armed forces. About half of those were marines. Others include truck drivers, shop foremen, etc... A lot of us gravitate towards very masculine careers and hobbies to "prove" that we're manly men.

Personally, I was rubbish at it from the start, but plenty of others have had some success before it all came crashing down.

 

I can only counsel honesty. For me, the pressure built up like a boil. I did things that took a little pressure off. For example; I have no use for a video game if I can't play as a female avatar. It helped for a little while, but in the end it wasn't enough. The boil popped. I won't lie. Once the pressure was gone, it felt so very, very good.

Once I committed to coming out, I did some online research about what I'd need to do. First, I found a therapist. She counseled me to come out to my wife slowly. I started with, "I'm in therapy," with this prepared speech as to why. That was pointless. I said, "I'm seeing a therapist." Susan said, "OK." Then the conversation was done. Honestly I felt a little cheated.

After talking to my therapist a while longer, she suggested I come out slowly. Maybe I could start with saying I enjoyed cross-dressing, but it was a purely sexual thing. I didn't do that. I just sat down with my wife and told her. It was tense. Probably the most terrifying few minutes of my life. At the end she said, "OK. I can deal with that. Just give me a little while before I have to see you dressed." I agreed and asked that she give me a "heads up" call on her way home from work. We did that for about a month before she relented and said that she was ready to see me as myself.

Friends were next. That was a total non-event. I was nervous. I came out anyway. They said, "Well, duh," and we were done. I warned them later as I rolled out my dress and speech. I made sure to give them plenty of time to back out. Nobody did.

Then it was family. I came out to my egg donor early in the process. We spent an afternoon together working on one of her projects. I came out to her towards the end. She expressed disbelief at first which turned into outright rejection six months later. While my egg donor's hate was still percolating, I came out to my father. He was completely supportive. That was the opposite of how I thought it would go, so you never can tell how someone is going to react. Well, I could. I was thinking about things I'd heard my egg-donor say while I was growing up and, in retrospect I should have seen her reaction coming. I suppose nobody wants to believe the person who brought them into the world could reject them like that.

 

So yeah, my egg-donor rejected me. We haven't spoken since. I'm OK with that. I was angry at first, but it's faded. I still don't like her very much, but any bad blood between us is completely on her. Even so, most of the people in my life are either supportive or at least neutral about the whole thing. People can surprise you.

 

I hope some of that was helpful to you. Have a blessed day!

 

Hugs!

Share this post


Link to post
Vivian319

Thank you all for the advice. It’s good to hear that I’m not alone in my situation. I often question the practicality of my feelings, but I’m finding out now that hiding them (especially in my own home) is overall making me very unhappy. I tell myself I could “survive” and just suppress these feelings. I can imagine that throughout history there has been many people like me who felt forced by society to keep their personal feelings “in check” but fortunately in these times, society seems to be a lot more accommodating to the trans community. At least, I like to think so. I think I would be happier if I were more open about myself. I’m weighing in my options and am strongly considering talking to my wife about these feelings I’ve been having. I just need to find the right time and think through how I will approach her (and gather enough strength to actually break the ice). This is a hot topic during therapy sessions these days. At least then I won’t feel like I need to completely hide my emotions or desires at home...as long as she accepts me. Maybe then I can advance on my transition and be happy?

Share this post


Link to post
Jackie C.

Mostly in what we think of as modern Western society. There are a lot of other cultures that accept more than two genders and make places for them to thrive. The point being that there are plenty of people like you and me who are pushing down their desire to live authentically right now. You're right that it isn't strictly a modern phenomena.

 

I'd talk to my wife. Well, I did talk to my wife, but you should talk to your wife. Do it when you're ready of course, but she deserves to know. My wife and I are still together. Unfortunately, many others aren't. I can say that keeping it from her was more painful than just letting her know. Pro tip: Don't open with a joke. I tried that. It was a terrible idea.

Other than that. When you do come out, discuss it like adults. Don't let it become an argument. Than talk about what you need and what she can accept. Marriage is a partnership and it's better for everyone if you're both happy. Best of luck!

 

Hugs!

Share this post


Link to post
Alice K

I don't have a lot to offer on the subject of wives and kids (my own marriage crashed and burned long before I realized I was trans, and my ex does a fabulous job making sure I never see my daughter as it is). But I hear you about some of the other things. I myself didn't really have childhood dysphoria, although looking back at my adolescence I can point at some things and go, well, that makes sense now. I came face to face with it in 2012, got scared and buried it hard, and didn't look back until recently. And now I'm slowly coming through and finding myself in a position of, well, no, this isn't weird, this is me, and I need to stop hiding and be me.

 

I know that, as much as I've seen the childhood dysphoria narrative pop up when looking into this, it's a relief to me every time I see someone else say that they haven't experienced it. So hopefully it helps you a little bit hearing it from me. You're not alone.

 

~Alice.

Share this post


Link to post
ShawnaLeigh
3 hours ago, Vivian319 said:

I tell myself I could “survive” and just suppress these feelings. I can imagine that throughout history there has been many people like me who felt forced by society to keep their personal feelings “in check

I thought that all my life.  40 some odd years.  I was intent on just hiding it till I died.  Went into every marriage thinking this way. I’m a male and will live as one.  Then three or four weeks ago I had a sever mental break over it.  I thought I was going crazy having two personalities at war within me.  I broke down and it caused me to seek answers.  I came here and from here it was suggested to seek therapy and shortly after that, I came out to a few female family members.  
I learned in therapy how unhealthy it was to do what I did.  How potentially deadly it could of been.  
im in a scary place still but feel a calm and weight lifted off me.  I can focus on day to day now.  

Share this post


Link to post
Vivian319

I definitely am setting a short term goal to confront my wife about this. That’s going to be a tough conversation! I keep running thoughts through my head about how it will go. It seems that the only time I feel comfortable with myself is when I am alone, so I have to open up soon. I can’t keep living like this. I have to be able to live on my terms at home. At least when I have opened up to my wife, I will be able to hopefully be more open about my identity in my home. Then it will only come down to the path forward as far as my career is concerned. Strange thing is, I’m not so sure that my career is the most important thing on my mind right now, given my internal struggles. Sounds a bit irrational to me on the practical end, but I can only be human, right?

Share this post


Link to post
TammyAnne

You can't successfully pretend to be someone you're not forever.

I find it helpful to "rehearse" things I'm trying to say out loud in the car while commuting, rather than just letting the little mouse wheels in my head run at high speed. It helps sometimes to hear the sound of what I'm trying to convey.

Once upon a time, the job/career people did was who they are. I don't think that's so true in modern civilization. I think you can "be" something dramatically different from what you "do" even though what you do will make an impact on who you are. Make sense?

TA

Share this post


Link to post
ShawnaLeigh
6 hours ago, Vivian319 said:

a short term goal to confront my wife about this.

Maybe look at it as "discuss" this with your wife.  Anything confrontational could be perceived as just that.  You laying down the law.  TELLING her the way it is.  Its been my experience no one likes this man or women.

Clean adult conversation is best, but lets face it.  This is a highly emotional topic and coming out is very scary.  So much unknown.  On both sides, just be aware of this.  We tend to look at this as "my" issue.  Its happening to "me".  "I" have to figure it out.  Well being married turns that into a "both" issue.  "We" not me.

She will have to deal with it on her own side.  By herself and in her own mind too.  Her heart may be breaking at the appearance of loss.  Understand, we have had time to think about it.  To try and process it, even over years.  You HAVE to give her time too.  I absorb it.  To consider.  Be understanding that it is not just about you but the both of you.  

Just my 2 cents but going into it as a plea for help with as much information as you can to help explain things and understanding for her and her feelings is better then just telling her, or anyone, and expecting either a nuclear explosion or complete acceptance.  The latter is not a reality I am afraid. Yes you may have those that do accept you right up front.  Make you feel better instantly, to support for you no matter what, but they will still process it after the fact and may have questions and even changes of heart in a slight way.  This was my sister for me.  My mother in her first line written back to me too then she proceeded to try and tell me how it was going to go and how best to hide it from others.   I was shocked.  One thing I knew was how to hide this but she would not listen.  We haven't spoken since after she said she did not want me to visit during the holidays for fear I would show up as a women.  It hurt.

Every one is different.

Prepare for this too.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   10 Members, 0 Anonymous, 310 Guests (See full list)

    • ToniTone
    • LacrimalDuality
    • Jani
    • lauraincolumbia
    • Violet_R
    • KathyLauren
    • Cyndee
    • MaryEllen
    • Jackie C.
    • Krisvm
  • Topics With Zero Replies

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      69,785
    • Total Posts
      630,729
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      6,135
    • Most Online
      8,356

    Kendal01
    Newest Member
    Kendal01
    Joined
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Beverly
      Beverly
  • Posts

    • Krisvm
      And just to update, managed to catch up and had a great session. Really enjoying working on it.
    • LacrimalDuality
      Thanks, Kris and Jackie. Your messages help me feel a little better. I'm really happy I decided to come here. I have alot to learn now that I'm not trying to shoulder all of it on my own. Coming here was an important step to helping me come to terms with my truth. 
    • KathyLauren
      Welcome, Priya!  I'm a new member here, too, but already, I like the place.  I am 65 and live in Nova Scotia.
    • KathyLauren
      I totally relate to this.  There is a group of us in the general area that get together from time to time just to socialize.  Typically, we meet at a restaurant for dinner, though we have done other events too.  It is great to meet up with others who understand our journey, even if it is not in a "support" capacity.
    • Kate Carter
      I don’t even want to think how much I’ve blown on wigs over the years,  definitely know what DOESN’T work for me after all that.     Fit is everything,  I’ve gotten some horrible headaches and scalp/forehead blisters from poorly fit wigs worn for days in end. Definitely worse than suffering a few hours for cute shoes!
    • A. Dillon
      Oh my god, exactly! I wanted to join the navy, just like my dad and my grandpa did, as I felt that it was my duty as the only son (in my mind, I often called myself his son because being his daughter just felt wrong, like a word you just can't pronounce right.)   Also, yes it makes me feel way better. It feels less like a just me problem when I can hear your perspectives. It is sometimes hard for me to understand how someone could be born in a body and be comfortable with it, or just ever be happy in their body ever. However, interacting with post- op trans people gives me hope that I could get there someday.  
    • Aidan5
      I actually recently met a trans military man and I just couldn't stop being amazed, you seriously couldn't tell he was trans and I wouldn't have known if he didn't talk to me. I am kinda jealous because I wanted to join the Navy when I was little, just like my dad.    I was so glad I had that experience because he was so cool, I feel like a child now haha    I have had nothing but good times with fellow trans folks
    • Aidan5
      Pfft I loved watching Avatar growing up!! I might just have to re-watch it. Still remember Sokka because he was my favorite charater at the time
    • Aidan5
      Of course I did! I am very grateful for everything she does for me, we just have a bumpy relationship. Also thank you!   Family is important to me and I want them to know I am still the same person, just a few words changed
    • MetaLicious
      I intended to post this very thought.  What really unites everyone under the LGBTQ+ umbrella is simply not being cis-het.
    • Krisvm
      Thank you all these are lovely to hear. I don't really know any Trans people in real life (only a former therapist) so I just get this joy from doing it online.   Hopefully can find a way to meet more trans people locally. The nearest support group is 20 miles away and I don't drive and keep looking out for events but haven't found any yet that aren't for people under 21.
    • Astrid
      One of my most favorite experiences was working on a campaign for trans rights over six months, surrounded and supported by so many other trans people. It was so affirming!
    • ToniTone
      Thank you hun, I will 💕 
    • Susan R
      Good point, Vicky.  Compared to entertaining guests or having family over, being among fellow trans folk is very peaceful.  It feels very much like just another family.
    • VickySGV
      Getting immersed in a large group of Trans people like yourself for a while, like you can do at a convention, can really give you a shock when you get back into Cis people areas.   I have a "chosen family" group of Trans people that I meet with at least once a week and as hectic and active as the meet ups go while they are going on they are a place I can totally let my guard down, and I end up feeling rested and much more real even being transitioned as long as I have. 
  • Upcoming Events

×
×
  • Create New...