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I thought I was past this!


Berni

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My question for this evening is : will I ever stop questioning?

 

I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow and it's what I plan to discuss, but some insight from people here would be very welcome.

 

So, I had a good day turn bad day a few days back.  Most of the day I felt really confident. Makeup good. Hair great. It was warm (30C), so I was in my favorite shorts and sandals  and beneath the tshirt my A cup breasts were pretty obvious and kind of perky.

 

I was walking through a shopping centre and a couple, walking hand in hand, came towards me. I could immediately tell the woman clocked me and I thought I heard her stifle a laugh.

 

Stupidly, I turned to check and noticed her whisper into her boyfriend/husband's ear. They both turned, looked at me and laughed.

 

At the time, I brushed it off and forgot about it. Or so I thought.

 

Late that night, and  again the following evening, I had such an anxiety attack. "What am I doing!?!" I kept asking myself. Each attack ended after a while  and I returned to normal .. but my confidence was really shaken

 

I thought I was past this!

 

Does this ever go away?

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ElizabethStar

This happens to me too.  Earlier on when I was more clock-able I built up a pretty thick skin towards these things. But as I progress and pass more often (thank you face mask) I get clocked far less often, I relax more, let my guard down more, enjoy life more. Still all it takes is the one person out of a hundred to give me a second look to shake me to my core. I try to remember the good things that have happened: the cashier that called me young lady, the soccer-mom that gave me a smile as she walked by, the guy who held the door for me, the times I didn't get clocked using the rest room,.....

I still find myself replaying events in my head late into the nights trying to understand what it was that happened. Truth is I'll never know. Maybe the wind messed my hair right before I walked in the door, maybe I rubbed my eye without realizing and look like a raccoon, Maybe their lives are so horrible they have to exploit flaws in everyone else whenever they can to validate their own existence.

 

I think we are all emotional stronger then we give ourselves credit for.

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@Berni I think everyone experiences doubts and I gave them a lot but there are a lot of people like you met out there and always will be. You got to keep working on not letting their ignorance affect you. You own you feelings and you can remind yourself that and not let others allow you to be hurt. Yes I think it will always be there but the more you are aware of it the?less it will give you anxiety. When you identify the problem you can disarm it.

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Sally Stone

Berni,

 

Let me offer you a different narrative.  You assumed the couple was laughing at you, but what the woman was whispering in the man's ear was this instead: "see, that woman can be herself, so, there's no reason for you to hide in the closet."  Then they both chuckled at the man's timidness.  

 

Stay positive girl!  It does get easier.

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@Sally Stone wonderful point. We humans tend to interpret if other best or worst case. @Berni you interpreted worst case Sally interpreted best case and usually it actually is neither... But I do prefer Sally's interpret. It's your choice Berni don't let others effect your feelings. You own your feelings. Love yourself and don't let the negative in.

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4 hours ago, Berni said:

Does this ever go away?

Just think about some those recent events you told us about that were Affirming for you.

 

We all think you're a beautiful woman @Berni❣️

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  • Forum Moderator

Well, you look fine to me.

 

From experience, it's a process. I used to think EVERY whisper or laugh was directed at me. Every. Single. One.

 

Now, I'm just me. I go out. I interact with people as myself. I act as myself. I dress like myself. Everyone treats me like me. Are they clocking me? Honestly, it doesn't matter. That confidence.... hey, I developed confidence at some point, look at that... didn't happen overnight. It just takes practice going out and being yourself until you don't think about it anymore. You're just you and that's fine.

 

As a footnote, I should probably mention that I have Alopecia Universalis. So you don't have to look it up, my immune system decided that all my hair follicles are the enemy. I am naked mole rat levels of bald to paint a picture. I go to the gym five days a week. Now, some of the other patrons know me and know that I'm trans. Some don't. I'm dressed in gym-wear and a head-scarf. Nobody has called me "sir" since before I took a break to have surgery. It's glorious.

 

Hugs!

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By the way @Berni you are MUCH prettier than I'll ever be and so far I haven't had the clocking problem because I still look TOO male and being in ultra "45" country I dress conservative lady - jeans and neutral colored top. My hair is starting to grow somewhat and I use light make up but at least I'm not getting beat up. YOU ARE SO PRETTY and I am envious of that. Just be yourself and don't try solving those others problems (if that is what indeed happened as you said)

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  • Forum Moderator

@Berni I am sorry to hear you have experienced this but as our friends have said, don't think the worse.  Maintain a positive attitude and remain confident in yourself.  Women come in all shapes and sizes and are one of them.  Confidence is very powerful, wear yours with pride.  You are beautiful! 

Hugs, 

Jani 

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Hi @Berni,

 

There are two bad habits to learn to resist at all costs (and in which I myself indulge far too frequently):

  1. Jumping to conclusions about why others are behaving a certain way.
  2. Taking responsibility or blaming yourself for the way others behave (their behavior is the product of their upbringing and life experience -- how can you possibly take ownership of that?).

If your profile picture is accurate, I have a hard time believing that you would be 'clocked'.  Your hair is lovely (and perfect for you), your brows are just right, your make-up is subtle and does exactly what it should . . . you look pretty and extremely feminine.  At any rate, the only healthy thing to do in this life is be your true self.

 

You could do what one transitioning YouTube blogger suggested when they were active over eight years ago:  if somebody reacts to you in a very rude and negative way, just give them the finger!  (Um, maybe you'd better get your therapist's opinion before you take that advice.)

 

Hugs,

Jacqui

 

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DragonflyGirl

I'm sorry, Bernie. I felt exactly the same yesterday.

 

A snarky young male shop assistant in Sainsbury sirred me and sniggered. It didn't really hit until I got home, even though I'd seethed all the way back.

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8 hours ago, ElizabethStar said:

Maybe their lives are so horrible they have to exploit flaws in everyone else whenever they can to validate their own existence

I think that is so right on. Being judgmental is as addictive as any drug, I believe. "If I can point out their flaws, I must be superior, because I can see it and judge it negatively." Rush of dopamine, "Ooh, that feels so gooood. Let's do it again." With such behavior, they are broadcasting their own sense of inadequacy and inferiority, but like the addict, they deny this to themselves. 

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Oh my goodness! I posted before going to bed and woke to such beautiful words and wonderful support! 

 

I haven't got time right now to reply individually (my wife and I are going clothes shopping together!) ... but I appreciate so much every word.

 

Thankyou all

 

@ElizabethStar @DragonflyGirl @Lee H @Jacqui @Jani @Shay @Jackie C. @KayC @Sally Stone

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I always feel like I learned growing up to be always on guard and on the lookout for these kinds of thing. It happens to me once every couple of weeks or so (hey, with COVID I'm too much at home anyway :P) I agree with the others that it's often our own brain that play tricks on us. I have CPTSD and it's one of the thing I have to work on. I have this voice in my head that is always abusing towards me and that works very hard to see those situations, every. one. of. them. lollll At a point in my life I was looking at everyone and analysing their reaction and trying to understand beforehand if they are laughing at me to eventually be able to flee before they beat me up. Of course, when you are 40 and programming computer software and your brain is still working like it's 1990 and you are in the schoolyard you need a psychologist, lol My situation is a lot, I know... but it just goes to show what the brain can do. So yeah, I'm not saying everyone have this voice and everything but just be on the lookout for that kind of thing, be your best friend. We have to be on the lookout for when this voice is doing its thing. There's a ton of things the woman could have said to her husband, I can make a ton of scenarios that are quite positive around this scenario. I have this little video I like about this very subject :

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGuZVuUBeiQ

 

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@MaryMary That was a good video.  Thanks for posting it.  

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That seemed like a very insecure thing for that lady to do.  I do agree though with others about rewriting her intensions inside your head.  

 

I used to carry sunglasses and headphones with me everywhere, for these situations.  Loud music can really help sometimes drown out that noise.  Especially if you start singing along.

 

The brain is an amazing organ and can only really focus on one thing at a time.  If its ruminating, give it something else to do.  This is where self care can be great.

 

You got this!!!

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On 9/18/2020 at 3:08 PM, Jani said:

MaryMary That was a good video.  Thanks for posting it.

I second that motion.

I call the negative critic inside my head, "Growler." That's it's voice, and it's ready instantly if something goes wrong. Somewhere along the line, I learned a technique to shut it off. "STFU, Growler." I shout it down in my head. It works fairly often.

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Emily michelle

You are beautiful the way you are Berni!

I have the same problem I get clocked or someone makes a comment and I’m right back to square one. It’s hard but I’m slowly getting over it and learning to appreciate myself for who I am. 

 

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Nearly 12 years from my coming out and beginning of Transition, the question is no longer "What am I doing" with fear and shock in it , but now "What have I done!?" with some really mixed up feelings and some time spent making and keeping the inventory up to date.  By and large all of it is good with the major bad times being ones when I could have been more helpful and kind to other people.  By now I am just ME and often volunteering the fact I am Trans to people who need help in understanding us.  I have been in several documentaries and a couple of TV series as a background person.  Sure I have heard some trash talk, but it does not negate who I am to the huge majority of people I have met and helped. In time your uncertainty will disappear as you get to know YOU better and shine out boldly. 

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Thankyou all, again, for replying to my question. I, usually, make a point of replying individually to each person who writes, however, I've had a really tough time with my wife this weekend and I was offline.

 

I wont go into the details, but, somehow tough conversations that Don't include raised voices and crying seem far more scary that the emotional ones.

 

It seems, the further I move through this transission, the more difficult it becomes for her ... and its breaking my heart because i feel that, as I get to know myself better because of the changes, the greater my feelings of love for her (and our children) become. It feels, to me, like I'm falling in love with her all over again ... and it kills me to see her slipping away and in so much pain.

 

I first met her 35 years ago and have been with her, almost every single day, since. Married 29 years.

 

Yeah, I'm really hurting inside today.

 

@VickySGV @Emily Michele

 

@ElizabethStar @DragonflyGirl @Lee H @Jacqui @Jani @Shay @Jackie C. @KayC @Sally Stone

 

 

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My heart goes out to you and ache with you. I' be been married almost 28 years and I don't know if mine will survive. Neither of us can give up hope. Keep planting good seeds and tell her how much you love her with your actions.

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  • Forum Moderator

Oh @Berni...

 

I'm sorry you and your wife are having problems. I hope the two of you can find common ground and continue as a couple.

 

Hugs!

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Thankyou @Shay . She was silent about things for so long, out of respect for me, that I assumed tacit approval. The depth of her unhappiness really shook me.

 

I guess my own euphoria made it hard for me to see things from her perspective.

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1 hour ago, Jackie C. said:

Oh @Berni...

 

I'm sorry you and your wife are having problems. I hope the two of you can find common ground and continue as a couple.

 

Hugs!

Thankyou for your kind support @Jackie C.. It's hard because, after so many years, I feel like we have so much common ground.

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      Yes, loved that too. I was waking up at night to feed the babies because I liked holding them skin to skin and singing beatles songs like let it be to them (hey, my name is mary so it's my lullaby song lol) I also went to those meetings moms have with my ex and talked with the girls (mostly listen and sometimes talk). I also took the courses for breastfeeding with my ex and knew everything there is to know about that, lol I also created a Mary profile back then and was on a couple of mom facebook groups. I did everything there was to do back then and still my brain is pretty much always thinking about them, how to best do my job of raising them.   I did everything I could, I was loving having children and still love them more then anything.   The male front to me was just that, a front. One thing I realized at the birth of my son is that the male front was not adapted to do the job of father at all. In fact, the real me, Mary is still 100% better at parenting and being the father then the male front could ever be. The birth of my son was the event that basically made it impossible for the male front to keep his dominent possition in my brain. That was the beginning of the end for him. From the birth of my son and since then it'S been Mary all the way and the male front took less and less place until I came out and it died.   Since I took the breastfeeding courses and all I know full well how though and not as instinctive it is for many woman. We think of breastfeeding as something that's natural and automatic but it's far from the case. Many cis woman are not able to do it at all because they lack the education to do it properly or they just can't for other reasons. That's way back in the days there was such a think as womans that were professionnal breastfeeders. There was also a need for woman to get together and actually learn how to do it from older, more experienced woman.   I'm proud when I look back at how it went for me that I was able to help my ex a lot in being able to do it properly. She breastfed the two and it went very well. Also, it's a good think to be skin to skin with a baby and there's no shame in the baby being close to you and your breast. My ex was collecting her milk when she was not able to breastfeed and I was giving the bottle to them and was very close. It happened once that the baby caught a bit of skin and they are sucking hard lol No wonder some woman find it painfull.   The funny thing is to see a newborn baby try to feed and to see just how bad they are at it in the beginning. It becomes easier with the mother learning but also the baby learning 🤣
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