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ShawnaLeigh

Do you feel like you have to apologize?

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ShawnaLeigh

I keep having this overwhelming feeling that I need to apologize to everyone about hiding myself for so long.   Like I was purposely lying and deceiving everyone to save myself shame, neglect, negativity, or whatever all my life.  I feel like no one will trust me ever again when I tell them anything about me now.  My feelings or what hurts or anything.  I feel that they act like they understand and sympathize but down deep its a "yea right..." feeling they are having.  

I know this is not a healthy way to look at what I had to go through for over 40 years but I just feel I have to apologize to everyone over and over.  I realize this is more in my own head then an actual thing for everyone else.  I do plan to discuss this feeling with my therapist but wanted to see if others felt this way too.

I just don't understand why I feel like this for just wanting to be me.  

 

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A. Dillon

For me, I get this feeling more when it comes to my depression/anxiety because of how my family has to go through now that I stopped hiding it, like all of the therapy and psychiatrist bills. I feel ashamed and guilty that I didn't tell them all of this, partially because of the damage it has caused but also because of not being truthful with them. Of course, I didn't know either, but it is till there. They missed out on raising their son right, and that has got to hurt deep down. All you can do is remember that if anyone has to apologize, it is the androgens that messed up in the first place. You aren't at fault. 

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KathyLauren

I get where this guilt comes from.  We buy into the public narrative that we were "hiding" our true identities, and in that narrative, we were being untruthful.

 

I don't think that narrative is accurate.  At least it does not tell the whole story, my story.  Obviously, I can really only know my own narrative.   My narrative is that I was in denial.  I kind of knew that there was something trans-ish going on, but I was convinced that that couldn't be true.  And that was not something that I could safely share with others at the time.

 

Clearly, that denial was my own mental health issue, and I take responsibility for it.  I have worked through it and come out the other side happy.  I will explain it to anyone who asks, but I don't feel that I owe anyone an apology for my mental health.

 

I understand that someone who doesn't believe my narrative is going to have trust issues with me.  That is their issue, not mine.

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ShawnaLeigh

I don't really feel I need to apologize for my mental health or being transgender.  Just for the fact that I was deceiving everyone my entire life of who I really was.  

I too have years and years of denial and hating this within myself.  I tried so hard to fight it.

When I finally could do so any longer I came out. 

I suppose saying I feel guilt of hiding as a better description then lying about it.  There was times I did not know what it was at all and times I had a hint but was to naïve to know anything about it.  Sometimes these feel like an excuses though.  I knew I was not like other males.  

I just didn't want to accept it for myself.

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KymmieL

Shawna, You didn't  lie. You just didn't revel the truth about who you really where. Like me you didn't know. How can you lie about something you didn't really know about.

 

For myself I just never realized who I really was until I was 53.

 

Kymmie

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Suzanne1

Well, it seems to me that one can only disclose that which one is reasonably certain.  With regards to disclosure, one must weigh the costs & consequences.

 

With regards to deception, I have no issues if it is done for any number of reasons that I can justify (e.g., my safety/well-being & that of my spouse).

 

I'm also inclined to suspect that it's unrealistic to think that associates, close friends, or even family members are totally honest with one another.  We all have our secrets, and all of us are entitled to our privacy (even if one doesn't choose to exercise it).

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Sally Stone

It has taken me most of my existence to finally understand who I am and where I really want to go.  Yes, denial, a lack of understanding, fear of being scorned, all of those things probably prolonged my journey, but the point is, we can't really be deceptive if in our heart of hearts we aren't sure who we are.  Shawna, I know it's hard, but you should try to let go of the guilt that's making you apologize.  Actually, I think apologies are important, but once it's done, we aren't obligated to continue doing it.  Instead, we should focus on what comes next, and start moving on.  I hope you find peace with this, and I trust you will.

 

Hugs,

 

Sally 

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Jackie C.

Sure, you were lying about your identity, but you'd been trained to lie about your identity by society since you were very small. You're not that much older than I am, and I remember an endless litany of, "Boys don't..." and "Only girls..." from my formative years. Way back in the 60's and 70's the very idea that there was something else or that what your parents were doing was wrong was just so alien to the culture. As a kid, you rationalize. "Maybe everybody feels like this," or "Maybe everybody needs to be trained to..." and then you throw your little heart and soul into being as close to the "perfect" man or woman as you can to make your parents happy.

Or in my case, to get your parents to stop yelling at you. As I've mentioned before, I have terrible parents.

 

So yeah, maybe a little guilt is the right response? You should feel bad about lying to people, but it's not like you had a choice. You feel bad. You forgive yourself. Then you heal.

 

On the plus side, I don't think most people feel "betrayed" by this particular omission. Obviously your wife does, but that's a very different and much deeper relationship than you have with most of your peers. Most people understand that coming out from under the lie took a lot of courage. You could just as easily have taken it to your (early) grave.

 

Hugs!

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Susan R
5 hours ago, ShawnaLeigh said:

I keep having this overwhelming feeling that I need to apologize to everyone about hiding myself for so long.   Like I was purposely lying and deceiving everyone to save myself shame, neglect, negativity, or whatever all my life.

@ShawnaLeigh  I wouldn’t punish yourself any longer with the guilt.  Your therapist may tell you... it was a defense mechanism of self preservation you were forced to use because you had no one to turn to in your time of need.

 

Revealing your true self could’ve made your situation much worse and you had to make the choice based on your options at that time. The further you go back in time, the understanding of your situation and resources available to us were extremely limited.  And depending on where you lived there were none to be had. Many of us here, including yours truly, used this same technique of deception and/or denial to get by in an unaccepting and uneducated environment.

 

Susan R🌷

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TammyAnne

Aside from adding "me too" about being deep in denial most of my life, everyone has stated their points eloquently such that there's little I can add.

But there is that "me too!"

TA

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MetaLicious

I feel like I owe myself an apology.  I knew I wanted to transition half my life ago, but when I fell on hard, times, I doubled down on self-medication instead of self-liberation.  Rather than become who I was meant to be, I buried my true self in the deepest hole I could.  I have spent way too much time hiding from myself, but I am so done with that.  I do not think I have become more courageous in the last two-and-a-half decades, but I have learned not to care so much about what the world thinks of me.  More importantly, I have learned to care more about what I think of myself.

 

I never tried to hide myself from others, because I did too good a job of hiding myself from me.  I needed to be open and honest with myself first, and only once I did that could I be honest with others.  I owe nobody an apology because I never lied to anyone else -I'm actually pretty terrible at it. 

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Belle
9 hours ago, KathyLauren said:

I don't think that narrative is accurate.  At least it does not tell the whole story, my story.  Obviously, I can really only know my own narrative.   My narrative is that I was in denial.  I kind of knew that there was something trans-ish going on, but I was convinced that that couldn't be true.  And that was not something that I could safely share with others at the time.

Ditto! Everyone has said the exact same things I would say about it.

 

But I wonder if this may not actually be the reason you feel the need too apologize? Since you are smart and already know it's not really your fault, you might consider asking yourself if it's actually rooted deeper.

 

For instance, I often apologize for saying something in fear that I offended them without realizing it. I may read into their face, reaction, demeanor, lack of communication, etc. thinking that I did something to offend them or cause them to not like me. What I am really looking for is affirmation that their current change in interaction with me is not something I fear more, like they think I'm being dishonest, etc. Or that they think I'm a weirdo and don't want to be around me. Or a pervert, or a nutcase, etc. When in reality it's just because they have gas.

 

Anyways, my 2 cents. 

 

Belle ❤

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secondlook

I think my family owes me an apology, actually. They lied to me about who I was, taught me the lie and taught me to lie to myself. I don't expect they're going to handle the truth very well, but ultimately that's going to be their problem.

 

I do feel bad that there's going to be hurt, but it's not hurt that I chose. God, if there was any way I could avoid the hurt, I certainly would.

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ShawnaLeigh

For me it’s not so much my family all my life but the four families I ruined threw hiding and getting married over and over to try to be a man.  
So much hurt and pain watching four marriages fall apart.  Losing my kids to time and distance. 
I have three I haven’t seen since they were toddlers.  They all have there own kids now.  That I have never held or seen face to face.  
 

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Belle
54 minutes ago, ShawnaLeigh said:

For me it’s not so much my family all my life but the four families I ruined threw hiding and getting married over and over to try to be a man.  
So much hurt and pain watching four marriages fall apart.  Losing my kids to time and distance. 
I have three I haven’t seen since they were toddlers.  They all have there own kids now.  That I have never held or seen face to face.  

Oh that hurts my heart! I feel so much deep sadness for you Shawna 😥 This is one of my biggest fears, losing relationship with my children. But for me it is the opposite, pursuing my true identity I risk it.

 

The most important thing is how you are dealing with it now. And it sounds like you're doing all the right things.

 

Belle ❤

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MetaLicious
4 hours ago, ShawnaLeigh said:

For me it’s not so much my family all my life but the four families I ruined threw hiding and getting married over and over to try to be a man.  
So much hurt and pain watching four marriages fall apart.  Losing my kids to time and distance. 
I have three I haven’t seen since they were toddlers.  They all have there own kids now.  That I have never held or seen face to face.  
 

I am with Belle - my heart aches for you. I can only begin to imagine that kind of pain. Still, you cannot take all the blame.  Our society insists that men be a certain way, and that's devastating to those of us who are women, but merely born male (and vice-versa: I don't want to leave out our trans-brothers).  Nobody should have to pretend to be what they are not just to meet the expectations of other people.

 

Shawna, I want to offer you hugs and sisterly love. You have been through much, and deserve both. I cannot say I know exactly how you feel, but I think that if the world were just, you would not have to feel that way.

 

By the way, can I say that I love your new profile pic?

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