I was actually surprised the forum didn't turn me back with my one-character name.
Hello, Susans.org community. I hereby appoint you all as my psychotherapists as you shall be unfairly used by me in the following weeks. You will be paid in air. Thank you for cooperating ; I'm sure the knife I hold has nothing to do with your approval.
I named myself A 'cause I'm kind of paranoid : I'm aiming for as much "stealth" (i.e. being "mistaken" for a biological female at all times) as possible in both online and real lives : I don't really want anyone to ever get a hint onto me from these messages... Even A. could be too much of a giveaway, actually. Another reason is that by staying anonymous that way, it's easier to say personal stuff I didn't even tell a therapist before having been seeing them for a year minimum. I wouldn't even subscribe here if anyone were to know who I am. As I like to tell myself, "I want to be a woman, not a transsexual."
On with the actual introduction. I'm the male-to-female kind (is it just me or is it also the most common ?) of trans, and I'm from that very underpopulated land we call Canada, more specifically Québec, the French-speaking area (meaning my English might be weird and contain mistakes, sorry). I'm nineteen, and sadly I'm just 4 months away from turning 20 (I'd kinda promised myself I wouldn't celebrate this birthday with a penis as a part of my organism, but unrealistic hopes are my specialty).
I'm currently NOT on any therapy (and it sure hurts) despite having spent more than a year seeing professionals in hopes of starting it. It hurts even more when I think that it's mainly my fault.
Why ? Well, it's a long story. To begin with, keep in mind that my greatest talent is to spend energy hindering myself in a wonderfully efficient way and that I'm too introverted for my own good.
Following is the semi-full story of my life and transsexualism-related problems. It probably won't interest or help you, but it might. Note that I'm mainly posting this for myself, so please don't question yourself for too long with the pertinence of any piece of info.
It will be written in many parts, updated frequently until it is complete. Posts will notify of updates.
Black : October 20th, 2010
Green : October 23rd, 2010
I think I've always known (not suspected, known) that I was female. Maybe I fabricated it, but I vaguely remember envying my sister's vulva at an age as young as 2, while I hardly remember anything else of my childhood. What's sure, though, is that later, at, like, 5, when I bathed with my female cousin, I actually told her "it looked cool to have one" (an euphemism of course). And when I bathed with my male friend, a few years later, I was kinda disappointed that all guys actually had one - my "problem" was "normal".
At this point, a very extraverted child would have gone with the classic "Mom, I need to be a girl". A child who is easy to influence would have denied the fact. I reacted something close to the second child : I noticed what comportments seemed to make my parents happy and adopted them. Pretending to have fun with little cars and looking excited after seeing a new super combat robot thingy ad became routine I've actually been acting for too big a portion of my life since the age of 3 or 4. But some things can't be acted : I never ever peed standing [did you really need to know that..?], I could never let go of my Polly Pockets and I always felt a strong uneasiness removing my shirt and getting my hair cut. But I'm so influenceable I still wore very short hair nearly forever.
The act got stronger when my father got really angry with my sister because she was making me try out girl's clothes and costumes. She was gonna make me a f'ing gay. And stronger again when school started.
I knew I was really a girl, but it was obvious that my body hadn't caught up on that data. Reality being too hard to face, before I even started school, I started to live inside my head. I was my imaginary characters. Then when I couldn't bring myself to believe that anymore, I started to believe that someday I would be magically transformed into a girl.
I hardly had any contacts with peers and I spent all my time thinking about school work and games and watching TV and playing the Nintendo.
At some point when I was, like, 9, I learned about the possibility of sex change and questioned my dad about it - he was a nurse. When he categorically answered that it always gave androgynous drag-queens, I put the idea out of my mind - nearly forever.
I was always kinda hairy, and when I masturbated for the first time, almost solely on the impulse of hormones, I nearly cried - it didn't feel good ; it hurt (and I don't think I've ever really "felt good" actually).
When I was 10 or 11, I made the biggest mistake I have ever made. Since I had rejected sex change categorically and was still hoping
(actually not hoping, believing) for some magical phenomenon to happen, pressure got heavier and heavier and I eventually fell in some kind of anxious depression. I hallucinated, threatened... I did everything. I ended up in a psychologist's office, to whom I said what she wanted to hear (that's when I started to purposedly look like I had XYZ problem to make my situation realistic) ; she concluded my parents' divorce was too much stress.
I also saw a pedopsychiatrist who investigated further. She eventually questioned me directly about transsexualism (do you feel like you'd prefer to be a girl and all that). That's where the mistake came. I lied. Totally. I led her to conclude I was just one of those boys who liked traditionally feminine stuff more.
Nothing was settled, yet the problem kept hurting more each day, so upon entering secondary school [where people around here go from 12 to 17], I found something to let some pressure out : fleeing reality. From then on, I spent 30% of my energy on class work and 60% on living online. I created myself, through online games and forums, a second life where I lived only as a girl. When playing and talking didn't suffice anymore, I moved on to private server creation, text writing and correcting, player management, role playing, etc. I even neglected homework for "online work" sometimes. I stayed up until 2 in the morning, until I felt I had "made up" for my day as a male - which was obviously never really the case.
And anyone would guess someone who's always lived in one's head and computer's self-confidence can't be that high. And anyone couldn't guess so well. It's no chance I'm more influenceable than most people. Until the age of 19 I hardly ever accepted any compliment and always lowered myself. I never liked much getting attention. And considering my transsexualism made me unconsciously seek attention in hopes that someone would notice the problem and free me of it, I always felt uneasy... of an uneasiness I myself brought upon me.
But a virtual life can never replace a real one, and real life cannot be fully escaped. So I have always fought (I'm glad I did) my voice break and worked to keep a good voice as much as possible, sometimes with pain and blood - there's a limit to how clear a throat can get. I also worked on my handwriting and ways of moving. I even ended up in a physiotherapist's office because of how I walked - I kinda exaggerated when conditioning myself to walk in a feminine way, and I told them it was natural and I never did anything about it. And I'm so dumb I continued exercises for like a year.
When I started needing to shave, it was hard. Actually, it still is. It's nearly a traumatism to shave even now - nothing makes you feel your masculine hair more. And not shaving makes you feel it more anyway. Very unpleasant. It was also quite an effort not to take care of my - (yay) abundant - body hair - my mother convinced me (thanks mom --'). I could never, however, bear to be seen without a shirt with chest/belly/back hair, and, later, could never bear to be seen without a shirt, hair or not. Now, it's been more than two years since I haven't swum, and swimming is my favourite sportive activity. But now I just can't bear it. Removing my shirt with people to see me is too hard. And what's more, didn't you ever notice how it feels weird to have your... parts... floating and touching the swimsuit ? Even worse than normal contact. And what if my hormones I love so much give me an erection in such a situation ? I don't think I'd be able to resist the temptation to just cut it off this time.
I've also been growing my hair since I was 12. The problem is, my mother is not a good influence, and I'm easy to influence. She always managed to get me to cut my hair, and she even got me to join the Cadets (some kind of lame military organisation for teenagers which, obviously, gets boys to shave their hair short). At the summer camp I found it unbearable and I cried for the staff to send me home - which they obviously didn't do - after less than a week. I would've never imagined it would be so impossible to be surrounded with boys all the time.
To keep hope in the future, I kept believing in magical explanations and the perspective of salvation : a magic ritual would help me trade bodies with a FTM, I had two souls, I had the wrong soul, June 6th, 2006 would settle it all, December 21st, 2012 would settle it all, I'd wake up from the nightmare, etc. [It's surprising how I could get to 17 making myself believe stuff like that].
At some point, I came to regard all masculinity as evil. Boys were all worthless. I despised FTMs because they were "purposely destroying their so-saint body". I thought "not-so-feminine" girls were wasting their gift of nature. I thought they HAD to be kidding whenever they complained about their periods or the perspective of ever getting pregnant.
I developed an attention deficit problem pretty soon (you know, the one that makes some kids hyperactive) - it was psychologically so hard to just live that I became unable to concentrate on anything. As such, everything has always took me at least twice as much time as it should to do (I'm not kidding ; a 20-minute shower is the maximum speed I can attain with much willpower AND not being that clean in the end). And if I weren't one of those people for whom school is easy, I'm pretty sure I'd have flunked everything - just look at how I nearly never completed an exam within the given time and how I never ever did anything more than the homework to be handed in (too often late).
Well, I say I wasn't able to concentrate on anything, but I could still work for a game server or read a book - all stuff that helps me flee realty - for hours and hours.
Anyway, the last year was kind of hard, but I eventually finished secondary school. When Cégep [first non-mandatory school level ; first school level where you can specialize in something ; lasts 2 to 3 years] came, I felt I shouldn't specialize right away (understand : I felt I couldn't possibly choose a career I'd do as a man) : for the first time (kinda late, but living in one's head causes one to be late in some fields) I realized that magical or miraculous events weren't realistic and just weren't going to happen. That was too much to bear.
I chose the Sciences, Letters and Arts program, which pretty much covers everything. I ended the first session [period of study that lasts about 4 months ; there are 2 a year, exclusive of the summer one that is used for resit] with much difficulty - I passed my maths with 59% and begging the teacher for the extra point. Then I started the second one. I lasted, uh, less than two months. I litterally broke down. I was lying to myself so much that I wasn't quite sure that was it, but living as a man was too hard. That was the first time I seriously thought of suicide. I actually tried to jump down the bus (as if I could really die from that), but the window wouldn't open wide enough. I had just turned 18 [that's when you're legally an adult here]. Being a boy was hard enough. But being a man. You know, a man. Just no friggin' way in hell.
That night, I told my mother I thought I was in a depression and couldn't take it and didn't go back to school. I spend about a month in the basement, living all the time on my computer.
I saw my physician and we concluded - my lies to myself and to her helping - it was because of an untreated attention deficit trouble. she medicated me and requested a psychiatric evaluation.
It's been a while until I saw the requested professional, but I was unlucky on that shot. I saw a psychiatrist in a wheelchair who told me plainly I was a spoiled child and that I should be kicked out of home for complaining for so little and refused to make me do any test whatsoever. Of course, his answer might have been different had I told him about the actual problem, but still, I hate that man.
When I saw my physician again, she requested an evaluation with a different psychiatric, but that was going to take quite a while.
Then my mother couldn't take me being so useless, so she forced me to distribute newspapers. You know, THE classical young guy's job. No job seriously ever made me angrier. Oh, I didn't hate it because it was a boy's thing. The idea didn't even cross my mind. But I guess there are things some people are just not compatible with.
At that point, I had already realized that I wasn't some esoterical being with a feminine soul or something. I was just a plain old classic transsexual who'd been lying to herself. But I was still afraid of a painful and awfully incomplete transition (which is true, minus the awfully, as some results have proved surprising). I had refused the transition and that's what made me feel so awful. Even though some of the tests she made me do seemed to reveal it and she had mentioned it to me a couple of times, I always denied the whole thing and had never told the psychologist I had been seeing
After that, I got a job as a tourism guide. I wasn't good enough to be a real one ; they just gave me an interview when one quit. So I didn't get the formation. I gave partly invented info to tourists all summer long. It's always been like that for jobs. Would you hire someone who has as much self-confidence as a goldfish AND acts girlier than any gay ? Well, maybe you would because you've been through at least part of it, but you get the idea. A total of 250 résumés got me a great total of 6 or 7 calls, 4 of which were from employers not having met me in person.
Anyway, during that summer I appeared to get better - a simple effect of being freed from the newspapers job. Actually I didn't get any better, but I still thought I was okay. So I started school again in the autumn 2009. It went relatively well until I fell lower than I had before.
One morning I arrived late at school (I often did, and I now know that it was because I was too afraid to go). I stood in front of the classroom and I felt I just wasn't able to come in. Then I got pretty impressive psychosomatic symptoms. I got so dizzy I couldn't walk. I went to the nurse's office, and he told me to go to the hospital, which I did. They could obviously find nothing that could explain it, so they sent me home. I still could hardly walk.
When the perspective of having to go back to school hit me, I must have felt like I had to be sicker, because I started hallucinating. Being created by me, the hallucinations were still discernable from reality, but it got me hospitalized. I was almost happy.
I spent 2 weeks at the hospital and when the tests revealed nothing, they conclued it was all caused by an overdose of Concerta, a medication for concentration I'd been taking and the dose of which had been increased a bit fast - nothing that would normally be dangerous.
I now know it was purely psychological, but at the time I just didn't believe them and qualified the incident as unexplained.
While in the hospital, I had taken my decision : I was going to transition, and I was going to do it now. As soon as I got out, I told my psychologist, who recommended I told my physician. She required I told my mother before starting anything, which I did after about a month.
After getting out of the hospital, I returned to school again. I lasted even shorter than the first time. I quit again, this time because I had developed a new symptom : I had started obsessively switching around words' letters in my head, all the time and for every word I heard (psychiatrist -> syphatristi, etc.) and I was unable to control it.
I told my physician about it and that I had told my mother about my transsexualism, and she didn't see the link. Well, I didn't either, actually. She considered the most urgent problems had to be dealt with first. That was equivalent to treating the headaches caused by a brain cancer but not the cancer. Anyway, i told the psychiatrist about both problems, and he had the same reasoning. He gave me an antidepressant with a good anti-obsessive effect, which surprisingly (or not) had little effect.
Meanwhile, I was spending 95% of my time in the basement hypnotising myself in front of a screen. Oh, reminds me. My mother had always seen the computer as the cause and not the consequence of any problem there was. So she very, very frequently punished me by removing its power cord for extended periods. What did I do when stripped of my main means of escape ? Of course, I read, watched TV and played video games ! And what about when she removed those too ? I... Stared at the wall for hours, thinking about nothing. Or played with a pencil. Or spent hours cuddling my dog.
And I had completely abandoned real life, so I began eating even more than I was eating, which was already way too much. I took 50 pounds in two months.
In a day, I slept for 18 hours, ate for 2 hours and spent the rest in front of the computer. At that point I could spend 60+ hours a week working on game servers. Not playing, no. I had lost the ability to have fun for a while. Just working, writing 2000-word texts, scripting quests, making player events, etc.
Then my mother forced me (well, she couldn't legally force me, but she... psychologically forced me) to undergo a 8-week 20-hour-per-week therapy. It was a group therapy. Was I gonna tell 15 strangers in face about it ? Certainly not. So I only worked on surface problems - you know, self-esteem, perfectionnism, concentration, obsessive troubles, all things caused by the only one thing worth working on.
In that therapy, they gave me heavy doses of antidepressants and Strattera, a medication for concentration which can cause or amplify depressive symptoms. Guess what that did. A big unhealthy mix of side effects. Well, except the fact hunger completely disappeared, making me lose all of the gained weight in two months.
Anyway, that therapy helped me see how clearly all of my life's problems came from transsexualism and how much of a fool I've been for working only on those. Before it I thought all the problems I had added to transsexualism. Now I know they are caused by it.
Shortly after ending the therapy, in September 2010, I fell lower than I had been before it when I realized the problem had one, not five or six, causes, and that most of the work I'd done until now was for naugh. I felt I would be unable to ever see anyone again as a man. Adding to this were the medication I was still taking's side effects. Eventually the extreme constipation from one of the antidepressants became too much so I stopped it. That must've kinda gotten an obstacle out of Strattera's way, because as feces began exiting my body, so did the will to live. And to add to it, my mother told me I had to be out of the house by January
I eventually ended up on a toilet bowl with my testes and penis between scissor blades. The only reason I didn't cut was because it would damage tissues for vaginoplasty. That worried me, so I ended up at the hospital again. They hospitalized me at the "psychiatric prison" floor of the hospital, where shoe laces and pens are prohibited. After 4 days of not taking my medication (the emergency department had forgotten to give my pills to me the first night and I had felt better immediately, so I refused taking them thereafter) I was feeling better, so the psychiatrist sent me home, telling me that the first step for beginning a treatment for my transsexualism was calling the RAMQ [the government organism that pays for health care for everyone here] - it's been covering treatment for some time now, but only in about 25% of the cases - to ensure coverage.
Another problem popped up - my mother had underestimated her tiredness of me, and wasn't too far from joining me in my depression. So she said she didn't want me back home. Uh-oh.
Thank whatever divinity you want, my parents are divorced and my father is rich, thus he pays about 800$ a month as a maintenance for me. So I wasn't in the street. I found an apartment in 2 days only - and I was lucky enough to have a girl I knew from secondary school as a co-tenant. So I moved fast and I've been here for about a week and a half. I still have no job, but I feel able to get one now. I'm going back to school with more conviction in January. The future appears brighter than the past now, even though I can't stop myself from regretting 19 years of lost time. But hey, at least I didn't get to 40 in such a state, or commit suicide.
I've contacted the RAMQ a while ago, which told me the first step was my physician. Problem is, my physician had told me the first step was the psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist had told me the first step was the RAMQ. I'm seeing both again in November. They're so gonna explain this to me properly. I mean, while I stumble around asking everyone everywhere, I'm not even on a waiting list for getting anything...
That's about it. Feel free to give me feedback, questions or apple pie recipes !