Author Topic: Building Confidence  (Read 298 times)

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Offline FaithlessTheologian

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Building Confidence
« on: September 18, 2018, 08:27:53 pm »
For far too long now have I remained my own worst enemy. Everybody in my life currently accepts me for who I am, my parents, my friends, my coworkers. Yet there is one person, the most important, who cannot come to grips with me.

Fear, doubt and cynicism have made me intolerant.

It's not exactly an easy question to either ask or answer, but if anybody has any advice, any at all pertaining to building up self-trust, I am all ears.

I want to schedule another HRT appointment, and I want to keep it, but I know that devilish paranoia that I harbor will get in the way, so how can it be subverted?
~Faith

Offline silvertime

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 08:32:46 pm »
Faith, are you working with a therapist. If so bring this up to them. I’m sure they will help you work through it. If not that might be the next best step.

Keep your head up girl

Kaylee


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Offline FaithlessTheologian

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 08:50:43 pm »
I am presently working with a therapist whom I have been with for two years now, walking around in circles. Now I have this nasty problem, I'm awfully stubborn. If there is even the slightest chance I'm wrong about something, if something is not absolutely watertight, I question it. Not healthy I know.

The issue with getting this sort of advice from my therapist is I find there is a certain degree of separation between us. Not that she does not understand my case, for this is her specialty but rather it is the simple fact that she is not trans. She can simply be compassionate but not necessarily empathetic, and this thin margin breeds some nasty cynicism.

If I can pick up on even the slightest breadcrumb of advice from the good folks here, then it can go a long way to nourish and guide my disoriented spirit out of this nightmare.

Online Alaskan Danielle

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 09:02:41 pm »
I am presently working with a therapist whom I have been with for two years now, walking around in circles. Now I have this nasty problem, I'm awfully stubborn. If there is even the slightest chance I'm wrong about something, if something is not absolutely watertight, I question it. Not healthy I know.

The issue with getting this sort of advice from my therapist is I find there is a certain degree of separation between us. Not that she does not understand my case, for this is her specialty but rather it is the simple fact that she is not trans. She can simply be compassionate but not necessarily empathetic, and this thin margin breeds some nasty cynicism.

If I can pick up on even the slightest breadcrumb of advice from the good folks here, then it can go a long way to nourish and guide my disoriented spirit out of this nightmare.

@FaithlessTheologian
Dear Faith:
This is exactly why most of us go to a therapist...  a good therapist will/should weed out your thought process and your true desires regarding transition.... if after going to your therapist for a while longer if you are still having nightmare thoughts about being wrong I might suggest that you perhaps consider seeing another or an additional therapist that might break through your barrier...

A good "transgender" therapist does not have to be transgender but they do need to know the details of the transgender journey and the issues that may come up for their patients.

If you are still having doubts in the very near future I am thinking it may best if you seek other or additional therapy options.

Thanks for your posting, I am looking for more of your updates as you feel so led to post them.
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle
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Offline FaithlessTheologian

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 09:17:29 pm »
My therapist is wonderful, I fear the issue befalls on me.

I'm pretty defensive, so when an issue arises I go through the following process:
1. I state the problem
2. My brain answers the question with the "logical" conclusion
3. I answer my own question with an idea but never ask how to implement the idea.

Thing is I know the end point, but none of the stuff in between, I've always been awful when it comes for asking for help for fear of feeling inadequate. Ironically, the closer I come to someone, the more closed off I become for fear of pushing them away.

i suppose what I'm saying is, I don't know how I should ask for help solving that matter.

Offline HappyMoni

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 10:31:21 pm »
Hi Faithless,
   You kind of sound like you are afraid to commit or admit to something for fear of failure. Could this be your thinking? That kind of thought process can certainly paralyze you into inaction. Are you considering transition? If you are considering whether a course of action is right and you can't make up your mind, maybe the best thing to do is gather more evidence. In my process I got a great deal of information by going out in public as my desired gender and watching how I felt when people reacted to me as that gender. I learned that I just felt right being seen as female. Something else that helped clarify my thoughts on gender was to journal as two separate gender personalities. I made the arguments for my male and female selves. It soon became clear to me who was the real personality. Hint, Mr. X lost the debate to Ms. Moni. Can we ever be 100% sure, well, maybe, given time. To start with, I would say therapist, good!  Therapist with self introspection and actual real life experience even better. The worst thing you can do is continue to run from yourself. I know, I did it for 50 years. I am wishing you good luck.
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HRT June 11, 2015. (new birthday) - FFS in late June 2016. (Dr. _____=Ugh!) - Full time June 18, 2016 (Yeah! finally) - GCS June 27, 2017. (McGinn=Yeah!) - Under Eye repair from FFS 8/17/17 - Nose surgery-November 20, 2017 (Dr. Papel=Yeah) - Hair Transplant on June 21, 2018 (Dr. Cooley-yeah) - Breast Augmentation on July 10, 2018 (Dr. Basner in Baltimore) - Removed bad scarring from FFS surgery near ears and hairline in August, 2018 (Dr. Papel) -Sept. 2018, starting a skin regiment on face with Retin A

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Offline Carolina

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 10:53:01 pm »
Dear Faithless,

  I read your thread because I liked your name.

  Your issue is alien to me as I am a fairly content cd and do not feel a need to create myself into a new me.

  And the Sisterhood has given proper advice.  A good therapist is a wonderful thing.

  Of course, as my (former therapist) wife would says, "A good therapist is also an unusual thing and it often takes years to discovery that one is not good."

  Anyway, I am interested in something else.  Your name.  Specifically the modifier "Faithless".  And I am curious whether "faith" has played an important role in your life thus far (hence the base term "Theologian"?).  And whether your (discovery of? your no longer suppressing of?) your gender identity played any role in the choice of the modifier "Faithless".  And if so, why? 

  Well, I'm probably reading way too much into things.  If so please forgive me.

    With Best Wishes for your future.  Carolina   

   

Offline FaithlessTheologian

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2018, 11:09:27 am »
I believe the reason for my stagnation lay in my strategy for seeking answers. This topic has illuminated to me the fact that while I have been searching for the answer to whether or not I am trans, I have neglected to address the secondary issues orbiting about my life. This i believe, is why i am going around in circles. Instead of asking questions to my therapist I already know the answer to, whether I wish to accept them or not, I should be asking how to overcome my inhibitions.

I tend to avoid these questions out of fear of conflict, I suppose looking for an excuse to escape dissonance helps fuel my periods of numbness and personal neglect.

I appreciate the sounding board folks, it has been most enlightening.

Now Carolina, you seem to have read me like a book. My name is twofold, over the years I have become both troubled and fascinated by religion and personal conviction. I "Theologian" refers to the fact that i am aiming to be a professor of Religious Studies someday, and "faithless" refers both to my secularism, as well as my lack of confidence.

Online KathyLauren

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 11:35:34 am »
walking around in circles. Now I have this nasty problem, I'm awfully stubborn. If there is even the slightest chance I'm wrong about something, if something is not absolutely watertight, I question it.

I can definitely relate to running in circles asking the same question over and over again.  I did that for far too many decades.

Questioning something is fine, if you are willing to accept the answer that you get.  If you question something, but then refuse the accept the answer that comes up, then you end up going in circles.  It is easy to rationalize that as a need for certainty, but it smells like a rationalization to me.  If you keep asking the same question and getting the same answer, there is something else happening.  I think that you and your therapist need to investigate what that something else is.

I don't sense a lot of trust for your therapist.  It is important to trust your therapist.  If you do not feel that you have a good relationship with your therapist, you should find a new one.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline FaithlessTheologian

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2018, 11:55:01 am »
Quote
It is easy to rationalize that as a need for certainty, but it smells like a rationalization to me.

This piqued my interest, could you elaborate for me exactly what you mean?

Also, I don't blame my therapist's abilities at all, she's been great at handling my depression and anxiety as well as my dysphoria. I find that too often in my life my lack of progress is usually my own lack of willingness to help myself in order to preserve what little stability I have, leaving me vulnerable to bouts of anxiousness and dysphoria. It took me years to admit I was depressed and took me years to finally be comfortable going on medication for my anxiety. It didn't matter how many therapists I had (I've gone through a great many over the years, this one stuck the longest).

I need to forgive myself for not knowing everything. I need to let myself learn, and I need to forgive myself for the potential consequences. Life is messy, and perfection has no place within it.

Offline Gabrielle66

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 01:12:16 pm »
Faithless,

I am feeling some of the same things in my own decision to transition. I am in my early 50s and have lived as a male for my entire life. I have never really had an outlet for my feminine nature. I have been married for 18 years to the most wonderful woman I could ever dream to have met. BUT now I am faced with reality. I am trans. In your case you are not sure but I am now convinced that I am trans. I've begun working with my current therapist on this issue and I believe that she is going to refer me to a gender specific therapist. I see her this Friday.

I've heard so many trans women say that only you know if you are trans and that if you are asking the question of yourself it's a pretty good indicator that you are. I'm starting to really buy into this thought process myself. My guess is that you fear the unknown. I can totally relate to that myself. For me, I fear that I will not be able to maintain my beautiful relationship with my wife. That my family will reject me completely, that my wife's family will reject me and at the same time her for having chosen me, that I will get killed by some crazy on the street if I ever try to present as female in public, but through all those fears and many others I just ask myself several other what ifs. What if I can look passable? What if I start feeling happy when I look in the mirror? What if the world ignores me and I can go about my merry way? What if my wife doesn't leave and we find a new happiness together? These what ifs give me hope. I have to give them a chance and without some form of transition those things are just what ifs.

Reality is am I unhappy trying to be male? Yes. Am I going to ever find true happiness if I continue to live as a male? No. Is it worth losing everything precious in my life to be truly happy as me Gabrielle? YES.

You have to do what is right for you Faithless but my advice is to give yourself a chance. The real you. If you believe you are trans then you are most likely just trying to convince yourself that you are not. It's OK to be trans. I'm starting to think that it's even a good thing. God made us and God does not make mistakes. You are a child of God and you are just as perfect as you need to be. Have faith, I know that I do. Love and faith.

Gabrielle

Offline Sephirah

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 03:08:20 pm »
Okay, after having read this thread, and your intro thread, a couple of things jump out at me, sweetie.

Firstly, I don't think this is as much your fault as you think it is. And you thinking that is contributing to the way you feel. I'll explain why in a sec, but I feel from everything you've said that you're being way too hard on yourself.

Secondly... sweetie, you talk about the depression and anxiety you've been dealing with for a large part of your life. I've been in that place. I know how depression feels. And I know how coming out of it feels. I get the feeling that you don't trust the way you feel. You don't trust your emotions. Your instincts. And I get the nagging feeling that perhaps a part of this is that depression has made you question yourself.

To illustrate what I mean, I'll go into a little of how I have felt in the past. About 6 years ago, something happened to me that sent me into a downward spiral of depression. Very bad. To the point of several suicide attempts. I was in a very bad place. The depression scrambled my brain and made me feel at times like I was not capable of doing anything... but at other times like I'd had a dose of Novocain dumped into my system. I felt completely apathetic. Very similar to how you describe. Like I could write off anything I was feeling and just not care. This alternated on and off. In cycles a lot like you describe. Sometimes I would feel every emotion, razor sharp, and then it would go away and I would feel numb.

But, when... stuff didn't happen, and I had to deal with that depression, I got treated for it, and realised that it was the condition which was making me feel some of the things I felt. It was not me. It was something affecting me. And only when I came to terms with that could I start to heal, and actually start to trust my own feelings.

But for a long time, I didn't trust my emotions. Just like you don't seem to. You seem to have the same outlook I had. That you have to know something, or there's always that element of doubt. When you have to rely on just the way you feel, and if something feels right, I would always feel like "Is this really how I feel? Or is this something in my mind making me feel this way?" It's hard to trust yourself when you've had to deal with conditions which, by their nature, fundamentally affect how you feel and give you NO control over that whatsoever. It's hard to have that self-trust that you speak of. I totally get that. And I do not for a second think it's your fault.

I do think that as you keep on top of your depression and anxiety, and learn to listen to yourself, that whisper of your inner self free from the scream of the depression you've been feeling, that you may well build up that self-trust gradually. When you start to feel that your feelings are your own, you can start to listen to them and act on them more.

If you ever saw the movie The Lord of the Rings, or read the book... Depression is like Grima Wormtongue. He whispers in your ear, keeping you down. Keeping you believing things that you don't feel. And you don't feel ever like you have any control. Any self-belief or free will.

Being able to get treatment for that, and being able to clear your mind of those dark clouds and false whispers allows you to focus on how you really do feel. But it's like waking up from a really bad dream. A dream you felt so sure was real. And now you're not sure if you're awake or dreaming.

That's the feeling I get from your posts, sweetie. That's the place you're in. You're not sure what's you and what isn't. If you don't know, you doubt. I get that. I know how that feels.

On top of the insight and advice given in this thread, I would say to give it some time, to get your head clear of the dark, twisting thoughts that come with depression, and see which instincts linger. Which don't go away. Which you can feel outside of that environment. That in itself may give you impetus to act.

In any case, I'd just like to offer a big *hug*. I think you know more than you think you know, you just don't quite know that you know yet. If that makes sense. :)
Natura nihil frustra facit.

Online KathyLauren

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2018, 03:38:34 pm »
This piqued my interest, could you elaborate for me exactly what you mean?
Well, you say that, if you are not certain about something, you question it.  But what is happening is that, having questioned it, you are not accepting the answer.  If you were, you wouldn't be going in circles.

If your questioning gives you the answer "yes (you are trans)", you keep questioning until the answer is "no", which hasn't happened yet.  If your questioning is giving you the answer "no", you aren't accepting it because that is probably not the right answer.

I was in the latter position.  When I was younger and wondering why I was such a misfit, I asked myself two similar questions: "Am I gay?" and "Am I trans?"  Both questions came up with "no" as the answer.  In the one case, I never had to ask the question again.  In the other case, I kept on going in circles for decades, asking the question over and over again.

The difference?  In the first question, "no" was the right answer.  In the second case, "no" was the wrong answer.  The going in circles thing was my subconscious rebelling against the wrong answer.

The fact that you are going in circles is telling you that there is a flaw in your decision process.

[EDIT]  Re-reading this, it sounds like I am in your head and telling you what you think.  I am not, and I apologize if it sounds that way.  Those are only my guesses as to what may be happening for you.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 05:14:45 pm by KathyLauren »
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline FaithlessTheologian

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2018, 09:15:57 pm »
Quote
I could write off anything I was feeling and just not care.

Yeah, its easy for me to push all of my dysphoria aside and blame it on something else. When i was at the lowest in my depression, I blamed my dysphoria on that, citing it was some weird coping mechanism or excuse to start over. Then, when I was fighting my anxiety, before medication, I blamed my dysphoria on wanting to hide from past mistakes or projecting my fears into an alternate personality. Yet the dysphoria still comes, and I'm fresh out of scapegoats.

Quote
In the first question, "no" was the right answer.  In the second case, "no" was the wrong answer.

Now I found this explanation quite enlightening, the idea of not being satisfied with an initial answer is indicative of other subconscious motives. When I am dysphoric, I can easily say I am trans and act on it, yet as soon as it fades I question myself into submission until all i hear are reasons I am potentially not trans. Yet it keeps coming back because I never address it properly. Each round I come closer and closer to doing something, sticking my toe in the water if you will. I get the feeling that I already know how this needs to end, but finding the courage to challenge my own preconceptions is difficult when i'm the only one I allow to have a dialogue about it.

Quote
it sounds like I am in your head and telling you what you think.  I am not, and I apologize if it sounds that way.

I don't mind people getting in my head, just pay rent.

Offline Carolina

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Re: Building Confidence
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2018, 09:27:37 am »
Dear Faithless,

  We share some femalarities (spelling pun enjoyed). I grew up in a (non-evangelical, non authoritarian) deeply protestant home and my seeking a "vocation" would have not been a surprise.  (As it turned out, I spent a life doing secular things that served as a "vocation" in the sense of providing help to others in need.) 

  And I, too, have struggled with "faith" and its relation to the "secular world".  Ultimately I slowly came to realize that "faith" infuses the "secular world" with meaning, that "church specialists" err when they try to compartmentalize faith as a "thing apart from" the secular world. 

  I suppose that is because I slowly gained certainty in the "holy spirit" as a part of each individual -- whether that individual is aware of that part or not.  An analogy may be the cd within me.  Although I am male, I have a female inner-dwelling spirit which is completely infused within me.  Although it has taken time to become aware of, and ultimately accepting of, this woman who dwells within, I cannot deny her existence.  The same is true of the "holy spirit" which I find has provided me with the confidence to do the things which I felt called upon to do.

  So Dearest Faithless, I don't want to turn this thread into one on "belief" so if you want to talk more on "faith", feel free to private message me and we won't bother the other girls.  I see that you now have 10 posts and it takes 15? 16? to move up to "newby" status where private messaging is permitted.  And PMing is a simple process and you can find me in the members section by doing a "search for members".

  In any case remember that the struggle with "faith" is the thing that leads to "greater faith".

      Love,  Caroline     

   

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