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Vivienne Claire

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Vivienne Claire

Hi Everyone,

My new name is Vivienne and I am just beginning my transition.  I am starting late in the game at 60 years of age.

 

I apologize if the introduction below includes way too much detail.  I just found it very hard to summarize who I am and

how I came to be at this huge tipping point in my life so I thought what the heck so here it is:

 

I grew up in Perth Western Australia and still live here.  My story is very typical for a transgender woman of my generation.

I spent most of my life completely ignorant of the truth of what being transgender means.  Instead I was weighed down

with guilt and shame and was determined to make sure that my "problem" never saw the light of day.  I searched the

internet from time to time for a "cure" but avoided anything that encouraged transitioning.  I was convinced I was a

terrible person even though there wasn't a shred of evidence to support that conclusion.  I was driven to prove to

myself and everyone around me that I could be a good person.  I grew up in a working class environment where the

concept of going to university and seeking a professional career simply didn't exist.  At 20 years of age I quite literally

did not know what a university was for.  Years later I found myself going back and finishing high school and entering

university.  I was head hunted by two academics and talked into doing a PhD. I ended up teaching Computer Science

for 30 years.  In all that time I suffered horribly from Gender Dysphoria without realizing the cause.  I didn't know why
I felt humiliated and vulnerable every time I had to try on male clothes in a store.  Getting my hair cut in a barber shop was a

horrific experience for me to the point where I eventually could not make myself do it resorted to using a trimmer at home.

Looking in the mirror at my face was the worst.  Not understanding the cause I assumed it was because I was a terrible
person.  I mean why else did it hurt to look at myself in the mirror?  In my mid late 20's I met and fell in love with an amazing

woman.  I was convinced this would be the end of my "problem".  I still had no idea what I was dealing with.  Years of

suffering and the build up of completely unfounded guilt and shame took their toll.  As universities became corporatized, the

academic culture shifted from maintaining high standards to maximizing profit.  I found myself working in an environment

where you simply had to accept that you would win some battles and lose most of them.  Emotional survival as an academic

required a level of pragmatism and I was not able to be pragmatic.  More than ever I was driven by the need to prove my integrity

so I was incapable of compromising it.  Because of my integrity I was constantly asked to fix problems caused by others.

Finally this became too much and I hit the wall and had a complete breakdown and was no longer able to work.  I was told that

they replaced me with three academics as no single academic would take on all of my duties.

 

I was extremely fortunate to find a fantastic psychologist (I believe you would call her a therapist) however I kept  my transgender

secret from her for 4 years.  My wife was an extremely successful academic and  did not believe in therapy or psychology.  In her

mind I was simply weak.  To her credit she didn't resent me and she didn't abandon me but her love for me became much like the love

one might have for a crippled, blind, three legged pet dog.  The close and honest communication we had enjoyed in the past began

to break down as did any form of intimacy.

 

We had raised an exceptionally bright daughter who has just completed her medical degree.  However, when I had

my breakdown she was having a hard time in high school.  Apparently, during this time, my wife told my daughter

that she would have to fend for herself because my wife needed to look after me. My daughter developed a deep

and unrelenting resentment which was directed at me.  She holds me completely responsible for her negative high

school experiences and deeply resents me.

 

Along the way I developed crippling Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Some very good doctors scanned and probed me from

one end to the other.  Ultimately I was told my IBS was in the 5% of cases that cannot be explained and where the things

that normally help do not.  I spent days, weeks and months where I was in so much pain I could not move.  At the same

time I was also told my pain tolerance was unusually high.  Anyone who experiences chronic pain will tell you they reach

a point where death is welcome.  I feared the pain of dying and I dreaded the emotional impact on my wife and daughter

but I held no fear of death.  I wished for it every night when I tried to go to sleep.

 

Two things happened recently.  Firstly, after years of trying to restore my relationship with my wife, I realized it was never

going to happen.  The second thing was, in searching for a "cure", I stumbled upon a web site called the Gender bread person. 

From there I followed a link to a really excellent description of Gender, Gender Expression, Sexuality and Gender Dysphoria. 

Finally I began to realize the truth that there was nothing wrong with being transgender but there was everything wrong with

suppressing it and enduring the collateral damage caused by Gender Dysphoria.

 

I knew that coming out to my wife would end our marriage but I did it anyway.  After coming out to her I wrote two pages

explaining what it means to be transgender in the hope that it would help her understand.  Ten minutes after giving it to her

I heard her vomiting in our bathroom.  We agreed to separate and, to her credit, she has maintained a totally amicable attitude.

If you asked her why we were separating she would say it was because I had gone completely crazy and was obsessed

with becoming a fake woman.  If you asked me I would say the collateral damage from a life time under the cruel hammer

of Gender Dysphoria led to an emotional breakdown which my wife was unable to understand and judged as a weakness
on my part.  This lead to the breakdown of the emotional bond we shared all those years.  My coming out was the straw

that broke the camel's back but it was not the cause.

 

All of this occurred as Covid 19 rampaged its way around the world which only served to make my life seem even more surreal

than it already was.

 

I came out to my psychologist and my GP and moved out of my home.  That is when things started to get better.  My IBS quite

mysteriously began to diminish.  Its still an issue but the pain has reduced from crippling to annoying and discomforting.

 

In Australia, to begin Hormone Therapy, you have to gain the approval of a psychiatrist.  I did that and am about to attend the second

appointment with  my Endocrinologist (the first one was spent going over my medical history and being asked to do a bunch

of blood tests).  I dress as female inside my new home but, to the outside world, I still appear as male.  My parents have both

passed away and I have a brother and three sisters.  Only my youngest sister knows ans she has been amazing.  I doubt I

could have made it this far without her help.  My wife asked me not to inform my daughter until she had completed her medical

degree which she did a few weeks ago.  However my daughter's unwillingness to communicate is preventing me from coming out to her.

I held off telling my other siblings until I had told my daughter  but now I have decided that I will tell them.  I am fairly sure my

brother will be supportive.  I would like to think my other two sisters will as well but I actually have no idea how they will take it.

 

Along the way I found a Youtube channel owned by Jackie Rabbit.  I had found lots of other transgender youtube channels but

they were all by much younger transwomen.  I could identify with Jackie far more and her videos were way more relevant to me

and have have helped me enormously.

 

I am aiming to appear in front of my extended family as female over Christmas.  I am still struggling terribly with  my voice and

my 5 o'clock shadow.  Makeup is also a struggle to get a handle on  but I found a makeup lady who gives lessons to Transgender

women.  I have only had one but she was very helpful and extremely understanding and compassionate.  I plan to have more lessons

but I need to practice more first.

 

That is my life and where I am at this point.  My neighbors have no idea but are also the type that are not remotely interested

in their neighbors.  I am totally undecided as to whether to try to tell them or to simply let them puzzle why the guy next door

has disappeared and there is this funny looking woman there now.  In makeup I look so different to how I appear as male that

they may not connect we are the same person.

 

I hope this hasn't been too much in formation and perhaps there are some who can identify with my experiences.  Also much

thanks and appreciation to Jackie Rabbit.  Her videos have helped and she is how I found transgenderpulse.com for which I am

also very greatful.

Link to post
Vivienne Claire

Apologies for the crappy formatting of my post.  I began playing with computers in an age where word processors didn't exist and, to this day, I keep forgetting to let the software control the line breaks and word wrapping.

Link to post
  • Root Admin
Petra Jane

Hi Vivienne,

 

Welcome to the forums, don't worry about the crazy formatting, you'll get the hang of it! 😄

Link to post

Hi Vivienne, nice to meet you.

 

You'll find amazing ladies with experiences very similar to yours here.

Congrats on your coming out. Isn't it wonderful to have the chance of a new, wholesome life?

Link to post
Vivienne Claire

Yes!  Every step forward makes me feel so right.  I do something I have never done before in my life and yet it feels familiar.  I have to say the medical people I have dealt with so far have been fantastic.  That would not have been the case in the past so I am very grateful the world is becoming more enlightened.

Link to post

Hi Vivienne, pleased to meet you. I think it is amazing that our bodies find ways of dealing with stress we often don't know we are under. It is wonderful that you have some support, do not worry about the neighbours or anyone else at the moment, just keep working with your psychologist to get to the most comfortable version of you. Thank you for such a detailed introduction :)

Link to post
  • Forum Moderator

Welcome Vivienne.  Your introduction reminds me of my own journey.  I went full time at 63.  That was an amazing 9+ years ago.  My time here helped immensely in accepting and learning to love myself.  Instead of wanting to die with my "terrible" secret i'm happily living as myself facing life as myself.  It took time to get far enough into the journey to feel comfortable in all situations.  Try to enjoy this amazing journey to self expression and love.  We are here with you.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Vivienne Claire

DeeDee, as you say the most important thing is to keep moving forward and I plan to.  I don't think I could stop myself now even if I thought I had to.  I feel very foprtunste to have found my psychologist.  After I came pout to her I discovered she has a lot of experience with transgender patients.  One of the first thing she said to me after I told her was "It all makes so much more sense now.".

Link to post
Vivienne Claire

Charlize, its both wonderful and encouraging to hear from someone who transitioned close to my age.  The biggest change in my life since deciding to transition is that, before I spent each day just trying to survive it and after, I spend each day living it.  Its lonely, scary and difficult but its also a wonderful feeling to have hope and to know that I am on a path to be who I was always supposed to be.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Vivienne Claire said:

"It all makes so much more sense now.".

😂 Sometimes I think we are the last to know. Despite ourselves and the pains we go to to conform we just cannot hide that part of ouselves as well as we think we do - I was realising something similar in my own journey very recenly when a friend I came out to said almost exactly the same thing to me.

Link to post

Hi Vivienne, and welcome.

You'll find that there are a lot of us older girls here.

Back in the day, it was something that we just tried to cover up the best we could.  But it doesn't go away.  It's very freeing to finally be able to see ourselves as who we are.

Link to post
Sandra6sandy9sand

Hi Vivienne and welcome. So glad you are here. I’m 76 and felt that I had to keep my secret girl hidden for many years. I did everything possible to make her go away but like everyone else, she just kept pushing harder to be free.

 

I’m pretty much out with my wife of 40 years but that’s it. I still live in fear that I will loose my family. Hopefully I can be more open in 2021.

 

Take small steps to become more comfortable. Take care of yourself and know that you are loved and have value. Enjoy your summer.

 

Hugs

 

Sandra

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10 hours ago, Vivienne Claire said:

Apologies for the crappy formatting of my post.  I began playing with computers in an age where word processors didn't exist and, to this day, I keep forgetting to let the software control the line breaks and word wrapping.

Gooday @Vivienne Clairefrom the middle of the USA. Indianapolis, Indiana to be more specific. Don't worry about your formatting in your posts, believe it or not most people read it just fine, and this isn't an English Literature Class or a Computer Program Workshop. Welcome to TranPulseFourums, you're among like minded people here.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

Link to post
Vivienne Claire
14 hours ago, DeeDee said:

😂 Sometimes I think we are the last to know. Despite ourselves and the pains we go to to conform we just cannot hide that part of ouselves as well as we think we do - I was realising something similar in my own journey very recenly when a friend I came out to said almost exactly the same thing to me.

That is what happened with my sister.  I didn't so much tell her as she figured it out. 

 

Link to post
Vivienne Claire
14 hours ago, Jandi said:

Hi Vivienne, and welcome.

You'll find that there are a lot of us older girls here.

Back in the day, it was something that we just tried to cover up the best we could.  But it doesn't go away.  It's very freeing to finally be able to see ourselves as who we are.

Its good to know there are others my age.  Those were totally different times when intolerance was not just accepted it was the rule.  We still have a long way to go but the world has also come a very long way and I am grateful for that.  As I take each new step it feels like a weight coming off my shoulders.  So many years of hiding who I really am.

Link to post
Vivienne Claire
11 hours ago, Sandra6sandy9sand said:

Hi Vivienne and welcome. So glad you are here. I’m 76 and felt that I had to keep my secret girl hidden for many years. I did everything possible to make her go away but like everyone else, she just kept pushing harder to be free.

 

I’m pretty much out with my wife of 40 years but that’s it. I still live in fear that I will loose my family. Hopefully I can be more open in 2021.

 

Take small steps to become more comfortable. Take care of yourself and know that you are loved and have value. Enjoy your summer.

 

Hugs

 

Sandra

I thought hiding and suppressing would get easier with age but instead got just got harder.  I wish I had come to understand things much earlier in life but I suppose we all do.  I hope things work out with your family.  I am about to take on the task of informing my other two sisters and my brother and I am mildly terrified.  My youngest sister keep reassuring me they will be fine with it.  Logically I agree with her but emotionally I can't help but be nervous. 

Link to post
Vivienne Claire
10 hours ago, Mmindy said:

Gooday @Vivienne Clairefrom the middle of the USA. Indianapolis, Indiana to be more specific. Don't worry about your formatting in your posts, believe it or not most people read it just fine, and this isn't an English Literature Class or a Computer Program Workshop. Welcome to TranPulseFourums, you're among like minded people here.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

Thanks for the reassurance.  I guess I am a bit of a picture straightener so its hard for me to ignore.  Communicating with like minded people is a fantastic thing because I feel totally isolated at the moment.  I am hoping that side of things becomes easier when I am able to go female full time.  Driving home from my makeup lesson and knowing that everyone else on the road was seeing me as a lady driving her little red Honda was a fantastic experience.

Link to post

Welcome @Vivienne Claire
I'm only a youngster at 56 .. well in my mind anyhow. This forum is a wealth of information and stories different and still the same.

 

Hugs

Robin

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On 11/22/2020 at 6:39 PM, Vivienne Claire said:

I hope this hasn't been too much in formation and perhaps there are some who can identify with my experiences. 

Hi Vivienne Claire!  nice to meet you, and Welcome! 
Thank you for sharing your story.  I found it simultaneously beautiful and painful ... just like Life

I connected with many aspects of your story, as I am sure many others here on the Forum will have also.  We all have unique but also shared experiences.

Happy you have found us, found a great therapist, and that your Life is moving forward❣️

Deep breaths ... one step at a time

Link to post
  • Forum Moderator
Timber Wolf

Hi Vivienne,

Welcome to Transpulse. I'm glad you're here!

 

Lots of love and a big welcome hug,

Timber Wolf🐾

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Vivienne Claire
2 hours ago, Timber Wolf said:

Hi Vivienne,

Welcome to Transpulse. I'm glad you're here!

 

Lots of love and a big welcome hug,

Timber Wolf🐾

Thank you and right back at you!

Link to post
Vivienne Claire
3 hours ago, KayC said:

Hi Vivienne Claire!  nice to meet you, and Welcome! 
Thank you for sharing your story.  I found it simultaneously beautiful and painful ... just like Life

I connected with many aspects of your story, as I am sure many others here on the Forum will have also.  We all have unique but also shared experiences.

Happy you have found us, found a great therapist, and that your Life is moving forward❣️

Deep breaths ... one step at a time

Thank you an I am glad you got something from my post.  Like you say, each of our journeys are different but similar at the same time.  I agree about one step at a time.  I try to just focus on the next step.

Link to post
Vivienne Claire
4 hours ago, Robin.C said:

Welcome @Vivienne Claire
I'm only a youngster at 56 .. well in my mind anyhow. This forum is a wealth of information and stories different and still the same.

 

Hugs

Robin

Completely agree and hugs back.

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  • Forum Moderator

Greetings Vivienne Claire.  I'm another late bloomer who started at 61, five years ago.  Its been a wild ride at times but I am happier with my new life and I trust you will be too.  Hang in there and keep moving forward.  You'll ride out the bumpy days and be stronger.

 

Cheers, Jani

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  • Forum Moderator

Hello @Vivienne Claire, Wonderful to meet you and welcome to the forum.

 

I started medical transition a few years ago at 56, so I consider myself a late bloomer also. We share many commonalities in our journey thus far. The manifestations from suppression and denial are similar although the symptoms are a bit different. In either case, the damaging effects were devastating and debilitating in some regards to having a ‘normal’ life.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 1:39 AM, Vivienne Claire said:

In my mid late 20's I met and fell in love with an amazing

woman.  I was convinced this would be the end of my "problem".  I still had no idea what I was dealing with.

This was me...except it didn’t happen to me until my early 30’s. Like you, I thought I could control my little ‘problem’ with sheer willpower and a some full time accountability. Now we both know the truth. But back then, we didn’t understand the damage it would cause in our lives.  In my case, there was no time before that time where I had gone for more than 3 months of total suppression and denial. After living and burying the issues for 22 years, I was at the end of my rope. I knew I had to change something.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 1:39 AM, Vivienne Claire said:

My parents have both passed away and I have a brother and three sisters.  Only my youngest sister knows ans she has been amazing.  I doubt I could have made it this far without her help.

I am so glad you have established at least one family member that supports you in this life change. It would be so difficult without one. I have 3 sisters who are completely on board with my transition and it means the world to me.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 1:39 AM, Vivienne Claire said:

I held off telling my other siblings until I had told my daughter  but now I have decided that I will tell them.  I am fairly sure my

brother will be supportive.  I would like to think my other two sisters will as well but I actually have no idea how they will take it.

I hope that you’ll eventually have successful outcomes with your other siblings too. It’s difficult but patience helps because sometimes it can take others a little time to adjust to the news but it helps if they can see you’re still ‘you’ at the core.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 1:39 AM, Vivienne Claire said:

Makeup is also a struggle to get a handle on but I found a makeup lady who gives lessons to Transgender women.  I have only had one but she was very helpful and extremely understanding and compassionate.  I plan to have more lessons but I need to practice more first.

I’m very confident that very soon this will not be an issue for you. Your avatar image looks very nice and it’s really just a case of putting in the time and effort to learn. The importance of presenting how you want to be seen and how you feel inside is such a motivator. Who knows...you may be giving those lessons to others yourself someday!

 

It was a pleasure to read about your journey and appreciate how well written it was too. I look forward to more material from you. Thank you for sharing.

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R🌷

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      Hi Vivienne, it was an interseting video documentary, if a bit dated for me, Aiden and Michelle were at very different stages of their journey's. I am glad you found something that helped you to talk and connect to your siblings. This is wonderful!  
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    • Vivienne Claire
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