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Dearhart

Therapy Support Group

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Dearhart

So, the therapist I've been seeing since February about my gender identity and other stuff has finally worked with and around the system (and current social distancing requirements) to organize a telemedicine trans support group. So, that's really nice. 

 

It was pretty much what you'd expect from a first-day meeting with most people listening and being super reticent to respond or interact, feeling out the format and all. But it was just nice to have faces and voices to go with the same kind of messages and sharing of experiences that I've seen here in these forums. 

 

One thing i could do with some thoughts and advice on, though, is how to bring up the concern i have between my transition/presentation and the principal of the school i teach at. I just get twisted up on my own tongue and nervous stutter that it's hard to articulate to anyone, much less the group. 

 

The lady who is running the group also works as a counselor in my school district, so that's may compound things or it could give her a helpful insight. 

 

Should i bring the subject up in the group or should i keep it private between me and her for extra Confidentiality?

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The Viv Element

I know exactly what you're going through, I was born deaf but had a surgery for a cochlear implant, so the stuttering and not forming sentences properly was normal for me, even though i can do it just fine in sign language or text chats. I was a great speaker after 9 or 10 years of practicing until i took a break from everything and everyone and hardly ever talked, that's when i was back to square 1, and now i don't have a tutor, i have to find a way to do it myself (i could probably get the help if i asked for it but i think i have enough going on in my life atm lol) so lately I've just been practicing by talking to myself or my cat whenever i see him to bring that speech back. And i've been getting much, MUCH better, still not perfect but people can understand clearly now, Most times lol. So i would say, if you told the group about your struggles, they would open their arms wide and making sure you feel like at home, if they didn't... Then it's not really a support group is it? haha however if you don't feel comfortable sharing that with them, you can always keep it confidential with her and practice like the way i do. Sorry for the rambling, I hope this somewhat helps. Let me know if there's anything else i can do!

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VickySGV

Groups are supposed to be Safe Haven which means "what is said here stays here" in the group.  It may take a time or two to develop trust though and people will be slow to give input.  I have led groups and only once out of however many times have I had anyone break the  confidentiality and that had been an excited utterance done by accident, with no real harm done.  As mouthy as I can be when I am nervous, I have only had a few people ever snap back at me, mostly it has been "Vicky could you clarify that one for (us) me".  When you do let stuff out it does seem like you have said too much, and there may be silence from the group, but after a couple of minutes someone, comes back with an "OMG you are <positive things> I don't know if I could take it if it was me!!"  The best response is "thank you for sharing that and trusting us to hear it".   Letting them know makes you human to them and may help them to dig deep and let go.  Stuttering and voice catches will happen even from those that do not have speech or hearing problems.  As I said, its a matter of trust in each other in a group.

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The Viv Element

Yes!! ^^^ What Vicky said! They may or may not help you directly but they will always listen and the more you struggle, the more they'll understand. Weird how that works eh?

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Dearhart

Thank you, each of you, for the reassurance. It's just so frightening to put myself out there and be vulnerable. I've been kind of a hermit most my life, except for when i lived on campus at college. And i think I've forgotten how to communicate and interact with people without the prefabricated social structure of campus life. Living in the boonies with few neighbors certainly doesn't help, either. But I'll keep trucking on until i can be comfortable trusting myself and others the way i know i can. 

"I know I can, i know i can, i know i can."

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The Viv Element

Anytime ❤️ another great suggestion if you read books would be to just find an openwide park and sit alone and read out loud! it's not the same but it will simulate the muscles in your mouth/tongue making it easier to speak more clearly. The mental part is something you'll have to learn over time as you build your confidence like you said :) Goodluck!! "YOU CAN DO IT".

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