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Being My Authentic Self


Tessa

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Tessa

I have recently decided to come out to my job a second time. Last time I tried and went back but now I’m trying again. My company is so supportive of me. I’m in collections and I call customers so I asked if I could use my trans name Tessa. They said it would be fine. So now all management knows. I’m trying my best to work my voice into a feminine tone but it isn’t always believable.
 

The biggest hurdle I have is thinking I have to look completely female. I’m a perfectionist and in order to convince myself I have to fit perfectly. The minute I see myself as not pretty I begin to doubt that I really feel like woman. I get an amazing feeling when someone calls me Tessa or says I’m pretty. I guess I’m constantly looking for assurance. I’m trying to love myself but it’s so hard. 
 

Tessa. 

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ToniTone

I hear you Tessa, it's hard. But keep being you and trying to improve yourself, and you can get to somewhere you're content. ?

 

~Toni

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Tessa
40 minutes ago, ToniTone said:

I hear you Tessa, it's hard. But keep being you and trying to improve yourself, and you can get to somewhere you're content. ?

 

~Toni

Thank you. I really appreciate that. 
 

Tessa?‍?

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BrandiBri
3 hours ago, Tessa said:

The biggest hurdle I have is thinking I have to look completely female.

I'v been there, done that! I think that as you gain confidence in yourself you will find that being perfect is not quite as important. As long as you are confident and comfortable with yourself people will pick up on that., but yo  I used to think that I had to wear a wig, try to have perfect makeup (never happened, ugh) and have all the shape wear to "fit" in. I realize you need to look professional but you don't have to be perfect. Remember not even cis gender women are perfect.

 

3 hours ago, Tessa said:

. I’m trying to love myself but it’s so hard.

I think that we all go through thoughts like that. We, after all, are our own worst critics. Here again as you settle into your new life, things will get easier.

 

Hugs from my fortress in Lincoln,

Brandi

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TammyAnne

Hey Tessa!

Trying to love myself is one of the hardest things i know of. It's difficult especially when we know all of our own faults so well, even if those are only perceived to be faults.

I go look in the mirror, trying to be as kind to myself as I would be to a stranger or a friend. But then I think of my laundry list of problems and it all just goes to pieces.

Being a friend to yourself is so hard. Some little things that seem to help...

Kindness to yourself.

Forgiveness to yourself.

Encouragement...

Hope...

Determination...

《《《 hug 》》》

TA

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Tessa

Thank you Babes! I really get encouragement from talking to you. I’m beginning to see that the past relationship I was in was completely toxic for me. There was no love there for me. My ex shamed my body and tore my very foundation down. She would tell me I was nothing and didn’t matter. She mattered only. My feelings weren’t valid. She said to me that she didn’t need sex from me anymore. Was my sex not good enough for her? She made me strip for her and at the time I did it for her but now I see how degrading this was. She told me I couldn’t touch her or even look at her naked. This is not love. I would write cards to her and letters and she would trash them. We use to hold hands and I loved putting my arm around her but she told me this was embarrassing. She made excuses to stop all affection. She said she wasn’t a cuddled, hand holder, kisser, and sex was only for children. Nothing more. She would slap my hand if I touched her and turn her body so I couldn’t hug her. I am a very physical and emotional person. When I am starved of these things what was I to do? I once sat on a railroad track hoping a train would come but that train never came. I worked 2 jobs and took care of all the children so she could graduate as a nurse. I gave her the world. Trips, new vehicles, new furniture, clothes, but it wasn’t enough. I would secretly dress in her clothes while she was gone and pretend I was a woman. I think she found out about this but she never told me to my face. I was afraid if I told her what she would do. When she got mad it was very scary! She once pushed me to the edge of the stairs. I turned before she pushed me down. This was over an argument that I wanted to sleep with her without a kid in our bed. It’s been years now that I haven’t been able to be with someone romantically. I love woman but I have to find one that will be able to love me back. I’m just a girl trying to make it out here and to weather all the pain and rejection I have gone through. I stayed in this marriage for 13 years. Been divorced since 2014. I’m hurting so deeply for connection and to be loved the right way. I was only 25 when I married her. My Dad said not to but I didn’t listen. He died of cancer in 2004. My Mom told me I was to be the girl. She knows of my feminine persona but I know I’m my heart she could never accept me fully as a woman. My older brother he came against my trans daughter. Carter is having so many problems with mom. She will not accept him. Plus one day the kids found my wig. I don’t have it anymore. Mom told my son if I ever dress up in front of them they are to call the police and she will come pick them up. I have 1 friend who I have dressed up as Tessa but he still doesn’t get it! He wants me to be one of the guys and I just can’t do that. I need to let all this out! I’m screaming inside for a glimpse of hope that I can still have a good life and that someone will see the beauty that is Tessa. 
 

I love to write, draw, color, listen to people, help people, encourage, comfort, and love so deeply. 
 

Whoever wants me gets a warm heart to cuddle up to and a person who will listen to you and cry and be real with you. I will make you laugh and you have to know I love to be touched and told I love you. I need assurance it’s just who I am. I will by your side no matter what and won’t judge you. I’m like a big puffy pillow you can rest your heart on. One thing you have to remind me of is that I don’t have to buy your love. I think I have to earn it and please don’t take advantage of my kindness. Many have. I’m just a girl looking for acceptance and love. I will be there for you on your hardest days. I am a sweet treat waiting for you to hold and love but don’t break me. I’m fragile because the pain is so deep. I’m not asking for you to take away my pain because you pain to but what I am asking is that you respect it and know that to love Tessa is to love a very fragile woman who cries a lot but that’s ok. I’m crying writing this because the pain is so deep. Sorry for writing so long I just had to get this out. I’m waiting for that special heart to take me and love me. I’m a romantic heart. 
 

thank you for listening to me. Your reading my tears of thought. 
 

Love 

 

Tessa❤️?‍?

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ToniTone

I'm sorry you went through all that hun, I'm glad you are out of that abusive relationship ?

 

~Toni

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TammyAnne
5 hours ago, Tessa said:

Thank you Babes! I really get encouragement from talking to you. I’m beginning to see that the past relationship I was in was completely toxic for me. There was no love there for me. My ex shamed my body and tore my very foundation down. She would tell me I was nothing and didn’t matter. She mattered only. My feelings weren’t valid. She said to me that she didn’t need sex from me anymore. Was my sex not good enough for her? She made me strip for her and at the time I did it for her but now I see how degrading this was. She told me I couldn’t touch her or even look at her naked. This is not love. I would write cards to her and letters and she would trash them. We use to hold hands and I loved putting my arm around her but she told me this was embarrassing. She made excuses to stop all affection. She said she wasn’t a cuddled, hand holder, kisser, and sex was only for children. Nothing more. She would slap my hand if I touched her and turn her body so I couldn’t hug her. I am a very physical and emotional person. When I am starved of these things what was I to do? I once sat on a railroad track hoping a train would come but that train never came. I worked 2 jobs and took care of all the children so she could graduate as a nurse. I gave her the world. Trips, new vehicles, new furniture, clothes, but it wasn’t enough. I would secretly dress in her clothes while she was gone and pretend I was a woman. I think she found out about this but she never told me to my face. I was afraid if I told her what she would do. When she got mad it was very scary! She once pushed me to the edge of the stairs. I turned before she pushed me down. This was over an argument that I wanted to sleep with her without a kid in our bed. It’s been years now that I haven’t been able to be with someone romantically. I love woman but I have to find one that will be able to love me back. I’m just a girl trying to make it out here and to weather all the pain and rejection I have gone through. I stayed in this marriage for 13 years. Been divorced since 2014. I’m hurting so deeply for connection and to be loved the right way. I was only 25 when I married her. My Dad said not to but I didn’t listen. He died of cancer in 2004. My Mom told me I was to be the girl. She knows of my feminine persona but I know I’m my heart she could never accept me fully as a woman. My older brother he came against my trans daughter. Carter is having so many problems with mom. She will not accept him. Plus one day the kids found my wig. I don’t have it anymore. Mom told my son if I ever dress up in front of them they are to call the police and she will come pick them up. I have 1 friend who I have dressed up as Tessa but he still doesn’t get it! He wants me to be one of the guys and I just can’t do that. I need to let all this out! I’m screaming inside for a glimpse of hope that I can still have a good life and that someone will see the beauty that is Tessa. 
 

I love to write, draw, color, listen to people, help people, encourage, comfort, and love so deeply. 
 

Whoever wants me gets a warm heart to cuddle up to and a person who will listen to you and cry and be real with you. I will make you laugh and you have to know I love to be touched and told I love you. I need assurance it’s just who I am. I will by your side no matter what and won’t judge you. I’m like a big puffy pillow you can rest your heart on. One thing you have to remind me of is that I don’t have to buy your love. I think I have to earn it and please don’t take advantage of my kindness. Many have. I’m just a girl looking for acceptance and love. I will be there for you on your hardest days. I am a sweet treat waiting for you to hold and love but don’t break me. I’m fragile because the pain is so deep. I’m not asking for you to take away my pain because you pain to but what I am asking is that you respect it and know that to love Tessa is to love a very fragile woman who cries a lot but that’s ok. I’m crying writing this because the pain is so deep. Sorry for writing so long I just had to get this out. I’m waiting for that special heart to take me and love me. I’m a romantic heart. 
 

thank you for listening to me. Your reading my tears of thought. 
 

Love 

 

Tessa❤️?‍?

We share a love of color, drawing, and sometimes I write, although I'm guarded with what I write because I had kept years and years of journals which my ex found and read, using what I'd written against me.

Hang in there dear. The quarantine won't last forever.

《《《 big warm hug》》》

TA

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Tessa

Today I did 3 hrs overtime. When I was on the phone I went with Tessa and almost ever person believed me. When I am in my right form there is this peace about me that I haven’t felt before. I use to have to watch movies on low while I talk to customers. Since I’ve come out it is easier for me to be calm. 
 

Today I had a visit with the kids. I love them so much! They brought their dog with them. We watched a movie, some episodes of Waverly Place , had pop and popcorn and ended up at Sonic. I only get limited hours to be with my kids. 
 

I felt peace today. I know my kids accept me. They love me. I’m beginning to see that I need to let things progress as they want to and not rush things. 

 

I bought a Sundress today. A little shopping is good for me. 

Tessa. 
 

 

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Astrid
48 minutes ago, Tessa said:

I felt peace today. I know my kids accept me. They love me. I’m beginning to see that I need to let things progress as they want to and not rush things.

 

It's so nice to have these kinds of days -- we all need them.

 

49 minutes ago, Tessa said:

A little shopping is good for me. 

 

Me, too!  Reminds me of a sign I have: "Shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist" ?

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ToniTone

I'm glad you had a peaceful day hun ? here's to many more

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Tessa

The ex actually let me have an extra hour but I ended up taking about an hour and a half. She wasn’t home when I dropped them off around 8:30 PM. Funny story? I took them to Sonic and we had Riker their adorable French bulldog with us and he accidentally with his claws ripped hole in Carter’s slushy! So we went and they gave me a new one. Caden’s favorite drink is a Dr Pepper with no ice. Carter likes a grape slushy and mozzarella sticks. I do love Riker but I’m a little allergic to his coat and will break out. However, I don’t deny my kids the joy of bringing their beloved dog to my place. Riker nestled next to me wanting some female love! Feels weird saying that but I’m beginning to see myself this way and it’s ok. I pet him behind his ears and was careful. I guess mom doesn’t give the guy attention and he needed some tlc from Tessa. I decided to let my hair down. A little strain to bring out a female look. Carter was sweet and said, “Dad you do you boo” She is my trans daughter and I love him so much! Our time is never enough for him. He asks if we can go to the park. It’s almost 9:00 PM. I would but I told him I was tired. His birthday is today! Well May 8th. But we have to celebrate today because I won’t see them next weekend. He wants some gamer headset. I can do this. Grandma is bringing over a cake to my place around 4 and will have a little party! I don’t know if mom even cares. ☹️ 
 

I fought for my babies and even had to go through supervised visits and pay 150 dollars for an hour. This is when she got me on a false protection order. She used normal things that happened in the house and twisted them to make me look like I was a bad person. After one order was lifted and normal unsupervised visits were happening she did it a second time. Caden was young at the time and he wet his pants 10 min before she picked them up. This is when she would pick the kids up. I once found her stocking me but I never said a thing. Anyway she used this and more lies to get another protection order on me and once again I was banned from their lives. My Lawyer used this as a sure sign of retaliation and was able to get it dropped but not before she tried such an evil thing. I was still on the order and she had a friend drop kids off. I had to refuse to see them or she would have rights to throw me into jail. Who does this to anyone? I called my mom and she came and told the friend I could not see kids today. They were devastated to say the least! My ex got no charge on her for what she did. In fact she was rewarded in the divorce with full custody and child support. I could be bitter but instead I take every moment with my babies and spend it like it’s our last. I will never reject them. 
 

Carter is going to be 16. I don’t have much money but I’m going to decorate a little bit. 
He knows I love him! 
 

I’m laying in a hot bath but it’s getting colder. I need to wash my hair and get ready for my day! 
I love that I can share on this app! I think of you all as friends. Love yourself and love others deeply and don’t let one moment slip by thinking your not worth anything because to someone, and you are someone! Your worth the world to! 
 

Love and kisses

 

 Beautiful Tessa signing off. 
 

Here is the adorable Riker! 

 

1B1C6476-4281-42FF-A557-422E6E10CE43.jpeg

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  • Forum Moderator
Jackie C.

Glad you had a good day Tessa. You need to work on Carter's pronouns though. I get that it's hard, but at this point I'm not sure if she's MtF or he's FtM. I'm personally hopeless at gender-neutral pronouns, but I'm trying and people seem to appreciate that.

 

I do not get your ex-wife at all. It doesn't sound like she really cares about the kids, she just wants to keep them away from you. All I can really think of is that she thinks money equals love. It also sounds like she and the BF have way more green than you do so I'm baffled as to why you're paying child support. It sounds like the primary custody couple has plenty of money with or without your contribution to raise the kids. I call shenanagins.

 

Still. Happy birthday Carter!

 

Hugs!

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Tessa

Carter is f+m. Carter has another dog named Nova that was staying at my ex’s boyfriends house because she had puppies. I guess Nova came down with an ear infection. He told me that mom wasn’t paying attention and it got worse. They got the dog on antibiotics and she is doing better. The boyfriend lives in another county. He wanted to stay with his dog. So I traded with my ex for Saturday. I got his gift but will have the party this Coming Saturday. It felt good to go shopping. I bought some panties and a light brown silk nightgown. I asked my mom to put the name Carter on the phone but she refused. I know my mom loves me but she could never accept me fully as a woman I fear. For now where being fully clothed will be in the secret of my own home. The world will get to see Tessa through bright colors I wear and my cute styles. I do my nails and recently have put out some bangs in my hair. It makes me feel feminine to have some bangs out. I wear my rings and of course my voice and actions are feminine but I do and have got confused with being gay. It doesn’t matter to be authentic I believe is showing off the qualities you do have. I have beautiful eyes. They are blue with a tint of green, I’m skinny so I can pull off tight jeans, lots of hair to style how I want to, and I have a lot of cute shoes that are guys but still cute. People naturally want to help me when I go places. Holding doors for me and other things. I put off positive girl vibes. I’ve had girls and guys attracted to me. It’s weird. At first I thought it was just people being nice but it seems the law of attraction follows me. I love the attention but it’s weird. Anyway. Today I will be alone but that’s ok. 
 

Tessa. 

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BrandiBri

The little things like nails and changing hair styles are so much fun! I remember when I got my first mani and pedi as Brandi, the little Asian gal asked if I wanted "color." I said no since I had to go to work on Monday, this was on a Saturday and I really didn't want to only have it on for two days. She did put a clear top coat on. Made me feel like a lady, giggle!

It's great when people see and treat you like a woman,  I'm happy for you.

 

Hugs from my fortress in Lincoln,

Brandi

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Tessa

I had a heart to heart with my mom today. She knows about me wearing woman’s clothes and my female persona. I told her I don’t think I would ever need to change my whole body just a few things to express my female side. She told me I was suppose to be the girl and she did reject me at first knowing I turned out being a boy. She has asked me to forgive if this and I have. I love my mom she has always been there for me. She told me she will not judge me and she sees the beauty that is Tessa. I revealed my name to her for the first time. We sat outside on her picnic table just talking. She tells me even as a child I was soft spoken and also I have always had a high voice. As the visit closed she said if you ever would completely change you would still be my son! Amazing acceptance! I can be myself around her. She told me she really enjoys our talks and it’s like I’m the daughter she always wanted! I think me being Tessa around her will be ok but she still said she wants to call me by my name. What my mom has done for me I have done for my f+m trans daughter. Will I ever change completely thats left to see but I know now that with my mom I’m going to be ok. I told her though I won’t wear a dress or skirt around her. This is out of respect and love. She knows now and has known I do wear dresses and woman’s clothes at home. She told me it might be harder to find someone to love me this way but I feel whoever gets Tessa is getting an authentic lovely woman and a little man. Two of the best combinations which make for a beautiful relationship. The journey to find myself continues. 

 

Love 

 

Tessa?‍?❤️

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Lexi C

Hey Tessa. I TOTALLY feel your pain when it comes to being a 100 % on point. I feel like a loser if my make up is not right, I am constantly wearing wigs and they make me feel fake..but I working on it went to beach for the 1st time today wearing a bikini and it felt AWESOME.

As for your deal with your wife and kids.  You need to get yourself a better lawyer and fight her. She sounds like a horrible person and I personally fear for your kids well bein.

Be safe, BE Proud and KICK ASS

FYI

Riker soooo cute

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Tessa
47 minutes ago, Alex C said:

Hey Tessa. I TOTALLY feel your pain when it comes to being a 100 % on point. I feel like a loser if my make up is not right, I am constantly wearing wigs and they make me feel fake..but I working on it went to beach for the 1st time today wearing a bikini and it felt AWESOME.

As for your deal with your wife and kids.  You need to get yourself a better lawyer and fight her. She sounds like a horrible person and I personally fear for your kids well bein.

Be safe, BE Proud and KICK ASS

FYI

Riker soooo cute

So happy that you got to go to the beach. The sad thing is the world has an idea what beauty is because people have been conditioned to look at the physical body. If people could wear their skin inside their body and we only saw people’s heart and true soul we would see how vulnerable and fragile we all are. However, we live in a plastic world we’re people are molded and shaped by society and what they see and hear. We are all beautiful and I’m sure you looked stunning not because of your skin but because you went there as your true self. How many of the people on the beach could say that Babe. 
 

Tessa?‍?❤️

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Lexi C

thanks Tessa...that so true that really made me proud off myself...Much lv

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Tessa

I’ve decided to take advantage of my companies free counseling service. I want to explore more into this and get a person’s professional opinion on it. I have my days I go up and down but when I sink the only thing that can get me out of it is being Tessa. My male part will go right into depression, blame, and self denial. Not letting my mind free to explore. It’s the pain I think. One person calls me male over the phone and my confidence goes down to zero. I’m trying to find out who I really am and counseling will help to see. I don’t think counseling will change my mind because Tessa really is who I want to be. It’s just sometimes she’s not believable and that is when I feel the pain of rejection. I tried my hair a little different. Trying to make it look cute. Here is a pic. 

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Tessa

The lines for me I blurred between the male and female part of my brain. The male side says that it’s all about passing and I will never pass but I already have over the phone many times. The male part says that I will never find true love feeling this way and I need to go back. If I go back it will cycle back again. I know it! Throwing away the clothes, cutting my nails down, and doing a more make hair cut. What won’t stop are the feelings. I will still feel like a woman regardless of what I put on. It’s not like you can shed your personality? It’s such a struggle but really it’s only my struggle. No one can struggle with me. I am on my own private island. I’m not getting good sleep. It will be good to have counseling. I love Tessa and would hate to rid her if she is truly me. But if she’s only here for a season that’s fine to. But that’s going to take counseling to find that out. You guys with me? Share your experiences and how you feel. 
 

Love 

 

Tessa?‍?

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BrandiBri

You are right, the feelings will not go away. I struggled with denial for probably 56 or 57 years and thought I had the feelings pretty much under control. However the last year or so before my wife died, I found myself saying 5, 6 or even 7 times a day that I want to be a girl. Brandi kept pushing the cork on the bottle I was keeping her in until the middle of July, 2017. On November 1, 2017 I went full time as Brandi and have never looked back.

I'm glad that you are going to see a counselor, he/she will be able to help you sort your feelings out. You are right in that your struggle is unique to you, but a good counselor can help you find the right path for yourself.

Nice hair style, btw.

 

Hugs from my fortress in Lincoln,

Brandi 

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Tessa
2 hours ago, BrandiBri said:

You are right, the feelings will not go away. I struggled with denial for probably 56 or 57 years and thought I had the feelings pretty much under control. However the last year or so before my wife died, I found myself saying 5, 6 or even 7 times a day that I want to be a girl. Brandi kept pushing the cork on the bottle I was keeping her in until the middle of July, 2017. On November 1, 2017 I went full time as Brandi and have never looked back.

I'm glad that you are going to see a counselor, he/she will be able to help you sort your feelings out. You are right in that your struggle is unique to you, but a good counselor can help you find the right path for yourself.

Nice hair style, btw.

 

Hugs from my fortress in Lincoln,

Brandi 

Thank you Brandi. I am having quite the day here struggling with customers yelling at me. I work collections for a bank. I was feeling so frustrated which is a feeling I mostly get from my male side. I took a short break. Put on a dress and feel now I’m in control. Tessa likes dresses! I feel her in a dress more than jeans. I don’t know why but I do. I also notice when I get frustrated my voice goes lower. Tessa is much more in control than my male side. I got till 6. I’ll make it. This to shall pass. This day. I don’t like wigs so I will keep styling my own hair. Thanks 

 

Tessa❤️

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Hi everyone, 

 

Today I’m taking big steps in my independence as a woman. Our world is full of critics and judgements but the one that judges the most is ourself. I went and bought 3 mini skirts and currently I am outside on my patio dressed in my striped cute one. I have on my Marilyn Monroe pink shirt with a white sweater and woman’s sandals.  My legs are shaved and looking so good! They might be a little on the skinny side. I am outside enjoying the rays. I never show my skinny legs but today I am. I’m not ready to walk out on public yet like this but sitting outside is a big step! I even ate my lunch out here. The wind is a little chilly on my bare legs but it assured me I’m alive. 
 

If I could feel this way all the time my life would change. My family may not accept me but that’s the price you pay I guess for wanting to be your authentic self. My mom knows about Tessa but my brothers don’t. Can you imagine me dressed up and going to a family function looking like Tessa! It would be a total shocker! 
 

Half the time people aren’t even paying attention to you. Why do we keep ourselves locked in chains just because we fear what a total stranger would say? Say you spill ketchup on your white shirt and you have no extra shirt. People will see the stain. However, this could happen to any of us right? So someone laughs at you for dressing like your esthetic self doesn’t that tell you a little bit about them? If they can’t accept you then do they accept themself? Why let some stranger tell you your worth. It’s like letting someone strip you of all your clothes leaving you naked and exposed. No ones going to do that. However, we let them do it to us in our minds.

 

Once you get out of your negative mind you can begin to see things more clearly and accept others more freely. If you can’t accept yourself how are you going to accept others? 
 

I know inside I’m a woman. I’ve just ignored it or tried to push it away for years. My ex told me in our marriage I was a woman. She told me I was to emotional. She was right. But instead of her embracing my differences she pulled away and this lead to our demise. Now she will do anything to hurt me. The thing is she can’t hurt me anymore. She can’t throw my clothes away because she didn’t like the color, she can’t make me go on shakes that taste terrible to try to change my body, she can’t tell me not to be emotional and make me hold back my feelings, ect...

 

I have her this power but no more does she have it. I am Tessa! A beautiful girl inside that loves people with compassion, loves her children, loves to draw,color,write, take pics, and loves style. Once you get to know me you’ll have a friend for life! The next lucky person to find me will get someone so beautiful and charming! Full of life and all it can offer! 
 

So much liberation and revelation here! 
 

Love you all! 
 

Tessa❤️

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    2. OhJay
      OhJay
  • Posts

    • JillPilled
      How's it going y'all? Hope everyone is doing well. I'm Jillian, a transwoman, 26, and mainly looking to discuss experiences here, and find a better way to network and get a wider breadth to really hear and talk about experiences in all the dimensions socially you can think of to participate in a community--particularly amidst the pandemic! COVID-19 displaced me from my ability to attend my in-person counseling for mental-health associated with feminizing, before I transferred into a separate online tele-health component that's been working efficiently with me for Planned Parenthood-- so this forum complimentary to that really seems from what I've been browsing just very early on to be essential :D!   Just to preface, I've known my identity for about 10 years now, and only recently without the past year began actualizing my transition (besides coming out to my dad/step mom about being trans-fem) with HRT/frequent blood tests and visits/later tele-health visits to my doctor. I live with my dad, step-mom, at the moment, and my father and mother are separated--there's a long-history there that is quite depressing that is way too much for an introduction, but long and short is it was a really strained and short-term (6 year-marriage) relationship. Unfortunately, and nothing looking back that I feel hatred for now but then it was largely unknown to me--but my mom has some issues with bipolar-depressive disorder which have been left unmedicated/treated for some time--likely over 20 years, close to my age. Additionally she holds some sharp views about gender, sexual orientation, and unfortunately even relationships concerning interracial couples (she's... quite bigoted honestly, and not one I would pick to be a representative of an actual good-person to my mind/Christian which she reinforced but held these practices which seemed contradictory and harsh views). Though, I'm agnostic so I'm not the best judge on that matter. Anyhow, currently, it bears noting I am also very much estranged from my mom, for those reasons since December 2014--and hence why I had to repress so much regarding my transition and depression while with her and facing abuse for not being sufficiently in the gender-category she wanted me to be--and saw me as lacking or 'a failure' in that part.  It was enough emotional-trauma/stress to not want to speak or see her ever again--alongside of trying to place me in Catholic related schools, institutions which personally I never felt content/happy with that decision made for me.   I was stuck in isolation in the middle of nowhere in central-Virginia for some time--I want to say 4-5 years, without a high-school curriculum (I was not enrolled, nor attended high-school... or was enrolled in any accredited outside course that could be considered academic--virtually stuck within our home with the resources I could find off the internet via an ancient laptop my dad was kind enough to buy me), and did not actually thrive in any capacity until managing to leave. And I'll just say I haven't found a way to fill a lot of the vacant parts of my brain wanting for explanation of that time in all the spheres, or let go of those really lonely times/experiences--stuck with being the only one to know who I actually was identity wise. Mainly, along the lines of 'why do I perceive myself as not right or unnatural when presenting myself in public' or putting on a personality that I KNOW is drastically more feminine and lovely in my view than this forced and fake male one that makes me feel as if I'm lying to everyone and me too. I see no meaning in it. Every time with relatives it was absolute pain--as with people I didn't know, and after quite some time I gave up on all that just within this past year.   Takes you a while to realize sometimes there's not a greater meaning to abuse or trauma in some contexts, and that just constantly me dwelling on it was ratcheting it into something way deeper and worsening my mental-state as I couldn't leave those times (PTSD). It's slow but realized change to reject there being a meaning to some cases, and to try to overcome with new ones/forget as best you can. Actually, funny enough, when I escaped that situation for the past 6-ish years it's been a massive hurdle to even tell someone trusted such as my dad/stepmom, as well as my boyfriend (while we were still just bestfriends) and a couple other good friends of mine that I'm trans--and while I had the answer it was something I held back for so long because of these prior experiences, and I did not too much besides academically 'catch up' during these times until I came out fully. Sure this is far more common than, once, my perception held towards thinking how entrapped, lonely that feeling was--rather, a kinda selfish thought of that surely no one else could know but that was DEFINITELY a case of 16-year old to 18 year old me thinking in a much younger and isolated lens, haha.   Are there any experiences recently that you feel like, personally, you've done well in creating for yourself or were positive in outlook--in the same capacity, perhaps, good ways to seek to move on from those that were negative to you--because I feel as if that's equally of valid or concerning in transitioning? Sorry, if that's a bit personal for just an intro., but! I do love talking with others about mental-health as well as identity, it can be nice to vent some about it to somebody--I've done more than my share to my boyfriend when he visits out of Toronto over here in Virginia, and over Discord calls we have together as of COVID. Love to meet and talk with y'all about yours, it's good to share or listen really in equal measure--I enjoy it a lot with all sorts of matters! Thank you so much for reading, and have a good day (I drafted this quite late, so not sure I will be up for a little while--night owl that I am but hope to catch up on other forum posts soon as well :>)
    • Noah A
      Hi @DonkeySocks. Thank you so much for your welcome. You are so right. That's what I've done with one of my best friends. She has been supportive, if a bit skeptical. She leans towards believing that this probably has other explanations, or at least making totally sure that is not the case. Can't blame her, she has know me only in my overfeminine phase.     Thank you for that. It's interesting that, no matter how much I know that is the case, I still doubt them. So it is a huge support to hear those words.       Hi @DeeDee. You have no idea (except you probably do) how reasuring it is that you share this experience in this way (not always knowing) and yet it is totally real and you've come this far. And yes, being honest with myself and self-acceptance and self-love are the goals. Each question and each answer may scare me, but they also set me free, and when I allow myself to think "I am not a woman and I do not need to be a woman" everything inside of me relaxes. It scares me, but I'm not letting go of that feeling!     Hi @Susan R. Yes! I have one. There was none in my area but I found them in Barcelona. I'm only two session into therapy but it has made a world of difference, in terms of being able to talk about this with an informed, neutral and non judgemental person. I actually am in this forum because I could put aside my previous "I am not trans enough" fear, and that's thanks to therapy. The awareness and ability to legitimize my feelings and reality has no price.   Thank you all for your welcome. It is felt and deeply appreciated. I'll do my best to be here for you as much as you are here for me.
    • Noah A
      Hi @sparky I can't talk from experience about coming out to a significant other, because I don't have it. What I can say is that, from my point of view, you've given yourself and your wive the gift of an open and honest relationship, the possibility of being your true selves with one another. I have no clue how it can turn out, but now it has the chance of being real and profound.  
    • RhondaS
      Struggled with that a long time too, besides all the other struggles. But at some point I thought I'd rather live the rest of my life as an ugly woman than any kind of man. And HRT helped me mentally almost right away, well before any physical changes. Yes, I still don't like what I see in the mirror, but feel significantly better than I used to (and it's only 5 weeks in). 
    • RhondaS
      Does anyone ever misgender back? I'd be tempted to do that, at least on the way out. "Thanks, sir!"
    • RhondaS
      Do you have a link for that quote from Harris saying she'll invoke the 25th? Google's not helping, and you'd think that statement would have made enough news to be found somewhere other than on this forum.   The only things google showed was Trump saying that Pelosi would do it to replace Biden with Harris.     
    • Susan R
      Hello @Noah A. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. You are among friends here and are here to help you any way we can.   As @DonkeySocks pointed out...we’re all here trying to find ourselves. It’s a forum filled with real people with at least one aim of self-discovery. It’s a process that takes patience and time. You’ve recognized the fact that something needs attention or that an issue does exist...that’s why you’re here. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it never goes away completely. I can tell you first hand that denial, suppression and compartmentalizing your life does not work for long. Knowing the truth about yourself and accepting who you are, whatever that might be, is half the battle. The rest of the pieces eventually fall into place with good help whether it be professional or through resources that you stumble upon in you research.   You’ll here it often on this forum but it’s very true...you owe it to yourself to find a good therapist with a good understanding of gender identity issues. I don’t know how abundant those type of resources are in Spain but there are online services available and in some places right now online is the only method of service available due to covid.   I believe one can traverse these gender issues without a therapist but the more resources and support you have at your disposal, the better, imho. I think this to a great place to get started and hope to read more about you and your journey. I trust with a little effort, you’ll eventually get there.   Warmest Regards, Susan R🌷
    • Mia Marie
      Everybody is entitled to vote for who you want but I will not vote for someone, and I don't care what party they are from, and end up living in a socialist country with no rights at all to speak of. And if Biden wins Harris has already said at some point she will envoke the 25th amendment to take over the Presidency from Biden. You don't want her in full charge.
    • Robin.C
      This is something I struggled with for a long time and reading other stories, many have as well. There is a mindset in our beginning which is part of the dysphoria. We don't feel we are the person we believe we are and often any visual image we see hits that button time and time again. The best advice I have been given was that I want to be the best female version of myself that I can be. The same height, skin and body shape (although hormones will and do change some of our appearance) but the female version of me. Transitioning is as much about the emotional and mental changes that occur along with some physical changes. A therapist is a must to help us comes to terms of how we progress towards our goal of being our true self. This is a great place to begin as the advice and real world experiences are and have been invaluable to me. We as people come in all shapes and sizes and nobody is ever 100% happy with how they look, we all get by though. You didn't say if you have a therapist, if you don't you should get one as they can be so much help now and in the future.   Hugs Robin
    • gina-nicole-t
      Welcome @Bobbi Jo
    • Susan R
      Thank God you’re OK, Kylie. Septic is a monster. My father passed from an abdominal infection that went septic. It’s scary stuff. I will be sure to drink more water myself. I drink about 48-64 oz or water a day but also drink a lot of diuretic liquids...mainly coffee and tea. I used to be a strict 96oz. of water per day up until a year ago. I think I need to increase it again. I don’t want to get a UTI after reading your account.   Thanks for sharing this important news. It has brought to light the importance of water every day. It’s so easy to let it slide.   My Best, Susan R🌷
    • Susan R
      Hi @Lain, nice to meet you. Welcome. Good subject you’ve started.   Jackie stated something above that I agree with all the way. In the earliest stages of confronting gender dysphoria or gender incongruence of any sort, the focus is generally more on the physical aspects of transition. I don’t want to downplay any of that because it is still important for me today...almost as much as it was early in my transition. It has changed as my focus and understanding about what it is to be a woman has changed. Of course as you medically transition, changes will occur with your physical body that help considerably with your gender dysphoria but there will always be improvements you may desire.  Jackie mentioned several that she might like changed. I have a similar list..lol. Some aspects will improve while others may not. That part of transition is always a crapshoot. Your new look can help you eventually become more comfortable with yourself. Your perspectives during transition will change greatly over time. With proper professional assistance, it can even change faster in many cases. But eventually your issues with your physical self will decrease as you start to see your life through a different lens. If you ask anyone who has started transitioning, many, perhaps most will tell you they the changes were internal as well as external. Of those that have seen changes, I bet most would say that their self acceptance with their physical body has improved. There may even be a time in your future when these issues you now perceive to be a liability become irrelevant to your happiness or in rare cases, an asset.   My Best, Susan R🌷
    • Susan R
      @sparky Try to stay positive. That is a great initial reaction from your wife. Very few if any spouse is going to react much better than that after hearing this kind of news. It’s life altering in many cases. I would look at it as a very good first step toward becoming even closer to her than you are now.   My wife and I have a MUCH better relationship now than ever (and it was good prior to transition..her words) and I have to say it’s because now we can talk about anything under the sun without worry of judgement. I’ve learned more about my wife and vice versa in the last 2 years of our marriage than I did the first twenty. Think of it more as an opportunity for renewal with the whole person and not what you want her and the rest of the world to think so that you conform to their expectations. As @ElizabethStar mentioned...be honest with her and make sure the line of communication is always open between you two. That can be difficult when a spouse feels they have lost something important. Reassure her that they haven’t lost the important part of their relationship—the intellectual, compassionate and loving part of yourself.   My Best, Susan R🌷
    • Susan R
      Actually, I am happy to report that the text +/- works perfectly on both 2017 & 2019 iPads running iOS 14.1. The buttons only affect the text size within the post on each thread and has no effect on the text size on right side panel showing the previews of those posts. I’m not sure if it works that way on a desktop or not but that’s something I’ll likely check dow the road unless someone else uses a desktop for this forum and wants to comment. I rarely if ever use TP forums on a desktop.   It’s a very nice added feature, Petra Jane. I’m at that age where I use reading glasses after about an hour on my iPad. This may curtail that another half hour..lol.😁    Thank you! Susan R🌷
    • ElizabethStar
      It can be hard but your being honest with yourself and your wife. If she's being supportive that's a good start, keep talking with her. Don't be like me. I went the other way and hid almost everything until I couldn't. I almost lost my best friend and destroyed my marriage.
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