Author Topic: Randi's transition (in)decision  (Read 4040 times)

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Offline randim

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Randi's transition (in)decision
« on: September 20, 2018, 04:06:03 pm »
Hi all.  Following the advice of the esteemed (and popular!) Lady Danielle, I am starting a thread to chronicle my internal ping-pong match regarding transition. My intro post and a few other threads I started give some background info on my life and shaky marriage, for those who are curious.

Until recently, I had always regarded transition as an unrealistic dream, akin to leaping the Grand Canyon, something that would not end well if actually attempted. Think Wile E. Coyote. I always thought I could find a way to compartmentalize my feminine feelings and just be a cross-dresser on occasion. But I no longer so sure that it can play out that way. Something seems to be growing within me that has a mind of its own, and I'm not sure how much choice or control I really have any more. Or more to the point, what "I" really means any more. And it frightens me near to death.  I keep wanting to pull up a trash can and throw up.   

I have been seeing a gender therapist for a couple of months.  I have not been in therapy for many years, and it's been an interesting experience to say the least.  Many of the things I find myself saying do not sound like part-time stuff, though some do.  I have had some opportunities over the last 18 months or so to have extended (week or so) periods of privacy and run of the house, and I find that I want to dabble and experiment with femme presentation more and more.  Barring some reason like work to present as male, I find myself pretty much unable to do so. The only real constraint seems to be how much courage I can muster up to dress up and go out the door. I can do so enough to do some shopping, run some errands, etc., but of course that's just a drop in the bucket.  To be sure, "dress up" for me runs to pants, tops, flat shoes.  But if the tops are nice, the shoes feminine, if jewelry and a purse are worn, androgyny disappears rather quickly.   And unfortunately, from the neck up, especially, I am unmistakably a natal, 65-yo male.

As can be seen here. (Please, shield the eyes of children/animals.)

Before with a capital B -- no HRT, no electrolyis, nice short male haircut, wrinkles, etc..  Unfortunately my selfie skills are quite weak, but it gets the point across. There are no afters, but then that's kind of the question. 





As can be seen, a rough canvas.  Passability seems quite unlikly. I would probably always be read almost immediately.  My ceiling would be a presentable, neat, older (and obvious) transwoman.  Which seems mostly fine actually, but I feel I stick out like a sore thumb in public now and I feel really self-conscious. It's hard to be relaxed. I hate to think it would always be that way, but maybe I could learn to be comfortable living as openly and unmistakenably trans. And appearance would improve to some degree with effort, practice, confidence, etc..

So.... what to do, what to do.  I'm thinking of starting HRT and/or beard removal. Either one would be a large step, but neither is a firm commitment to fully transition. The thought of breast development does give me pause, especially with chest hair.  Seems wrong somehow, and I don't know how they would look with my frame. Losing physical strength would be a minus as well. It might hamper the ability to do some things I do now. 

I do find that that the male part of me just kicks back like a mule sometimes.  Certainly has been the last week or so.  Condensed version: "Are you f***ing nuts?" The reasons not to transition seem so rational at times. Coming out to family/friends is frightening.  I am certainly an old dog to be learning new tricks. It would likely destroy my marriage (my wife has been non-supportive thus far), and the limited social network I have mostly revolves around friends of my wife.  There could be some serious loneliness down a transition path. I do hate to think of screwing up her sunset years. I tend to be loyal as a dog unfortunately.  Splitting up would hurt us both financially. She relies on me for a lot of things. It does make me wonder how successful low-dose HRT or underdressing could be in cobbling together some sort of compromise. But there is a part of me that aches to take a running start and leap off the cliff. I'm wondering if a time will come when my mind says "On the other hand" and my feet are going to say "No worries. I've got this."
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 10:09:41 pm by randim »

Online KathyLauren

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2018, 05:04:53 pm »
Don't be too quick to judge your passability.  You might be a rough canvas, but it might take paint well.

With beard removal, eyebrow shaping, and a good wig, you'd be surprised at how little attention you will draw.  Then add in the feminization effects of HRT and some basic makeup, and you could be a good-looking woman.

You seem to have a good head of hair, so you might be able to dispense with the wig after growing your hair out.  You could start growing it without committing to transition.

I started my transition at 61.  I am 64 now (today, in fact! :D ), far from complete in my transition, but I turned out not too bad.  You'll be surprised.

If your wife is truly non-supportive, it is going to be difficult to transition, but not impossible.  Obviously, separation would mean you and she would live in reduced financial circumstances, but would it be crippling?  Emotionally, of course it would hurt, but could you recover?  What I am getting at is to try to be as realistic as possible about the options facing you.  The road ahead may be rocky, but it might not be blocked.

And then contrast it with as realistic an assessment as you can manage of the emotional cost to you if you do not transition.  That was the kicker for me.  Once I realized the emotions I had been suppressing for decades to play the male role, I knew I could not continue to do that.  I tried to picture me, in my mid eighties, still compelled to cross-dress in secret, to pretend to be a guy.  And the pain of even contemplating that vision gave me my answer: I had to move forward.

When you do those assessments of your future options, your answers may come up quite different from mine.  But either way, you will know, and that can guide your decisions going forward.

I got lucky: my wife decided to stay.  Maybe yours will, too.  Many wives do.  Some don't.  Whatever you decide, and whatever happens, I wish you good luck on your journey!
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 Gabrielle66

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2018, 05:09:33 pm »
Randi,

You and I are in very similar situations except that I'm about ten years younger but you are in so much better shape than me physically. From some of the things I've seen here at Susan's makeup and hormones would be pretty amazing and making you much more presentable. I stare in the mirror and keep telling myself what the hell are you thinking? I would have so much less anxiety if I could start the HRT treatment with a body like yours. That's my goal to shave my body down about 80-90 pounds. It's daunting but what in life that you truly desire isn't? I worry about my marriage because my wife has been pretty devastated by my coming out. She's a huge supporter of all gay rights but this is too close to the bone for her, I believe. Such is life. I am only getting this one opportunity so I have decided I am no longer living my life for others. It's my time to rise. I hope you find the courage to be your true self whatever that ends up being. Love and faith.

Gabrielle

Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2018, 10:08:03 pm »
Happy birthday Kathy!  And thanks for the advise.  Financially, my wife and I should both be ok in the event of a divorce.  From my perspective, in fact, I think being out would make it a bargain.  The best I ever had.  :D  But her perspective would understandably be different.  I would likely be bitter if I were in her shoes. But maybe it won't come to that.  Believe me, I am aware of the costs of the status quo.

Gabrielle, Thanks for the support.  I hope things go well with you. You are right that the process is daunting, and then some.  Good luck moving forward. 

Offline Nikkimn

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2018, 11:20:00 am »
Don’t be so hard on yourself. I think you could pass if you put in the work. I didn’t think I’d ever pass either and less than six months into hormones with good presentation I started to pass and it feels great.


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Offline krobinson103

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2018, 12:50:10 pm »
Hello,

I disagree with your assessment that you'll never be passable. Age is no barrier I started at 43 and things moved quickly making me passable within 4-6 months. In terms of your hair if you grew it out it could be quite striking I think.  The effects of hrt can be quite surprising.Wrinkles... you end up with less as your skin changes a little to the lack of testosterone so again, you could be surprised.

My wife and I are still living together, but the physical marriage part is over and thats ok because it pretty much was anyway. In terms of strength you will lose a fair bit, but, for me, that is just fine I don't want to move fridges by myself anyway.

It may not be as much of cliff as you think. :)
Every day is a totally awesome day
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Every fear faced leads to one more strength
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Success leads to self esteem
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Cherish every day.

Offline anne_indy

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2018, 03:05:13 pm »
Dear Randi - As has already been said, don’t be too hard on yourself. I have taken the approach to treat the whole process as an experiment. Take a step, evaluate
 and then decide backward, forward, or hold. The looks will improve by taking some simple steps - a good quality wig, properly fit and trimmed, some help with makeup, and finding some clothes that complement your figure. The scariest step for me was the first time I ventured out into public. Fortunately, I had some very supportive friends who nurtured me through that process. Making that step widened my view of what is possible. I have now ventured out of my own, and that remains a scary venture for me.

I wish you well in your exploration.

Anne


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Offline Tara P

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2018, 03:23:53 pm »
I agree with the others you can probably pass a lot better than you think.  We are often our own worst critics and will compare ourselves to young supermodels/celebrities when those aren't realistic expectations for almost any woman.  Some makeup, fashion, and hair styling go a long way and HRT goes even further.  It's just very hard to know what the best thing to do is, because certain parts of transition you can't know with certainty until you try.  There is a "leap of faith" involved no matter how much soul searching and research you do, which can be really scary.

The situation with your wife being non-supportive is tough too.  :(  Maybe she'd become more supportive when she realizes this is truly something you need to do and can't be changed but that's impossible to know for sure until you do it too.  Losing your social support network would really suck but you could eventually find some new friends who you wouldn't have to hide stuff from.

They say the only person who can truly decide is you, which I totally agree with, but it's really hard when you can't seem to decide either...  Good luck and I hope you can figure out what the best path is for you.

Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2018, 08:33:12 am »
Thanks all for the kind words.  Not trying to beat myself up, just trying to be realistic.  A wig is probably in my near-term future.  Part of the reason I haven't done that yet is I have wondered how gender queer I am, as opposed to needing to formally transition.  That is still an open question.  I can handle presenting as an effeminate male for sure, and it's less work.  But in many ways, it's more noticeable and non-conventional than trans.  I have to admit that the female end of the binary seems to be shining like the North Star more and more these days.  My happy coincidence, I have my first support group meeting tonight.  Hopefully I can get some good references for wigs and electrolysis.

Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2018, 02:21:00 pm »
Guess this counts as an update. Went to my second support group meeting last night. Took some clothes and changed there before/after. My wife thinks that’s not cool, apparently. The floors of the house were eggshells all morning, and she made clear she was really happy for me to go play golf. Guess she considers me one of the trannies now (her words). Christ this hurts.

Offline Alice (nym)

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2018, 02:47:48 pm »
Guess this counts as an update. Went to my second support group meeting last night. Took some clothes and changed there before/after. My wife thinks that’s not cool, apparently. The floors of the house were eggshells all morning, and she made clear she was really happy for me to go play golf. Guess she considers me one of the trannies now (her words). Christ this hurts.

Ouch... I have a very similar situation going on with my wife. I went to my first support group meeting with her support and I came back elated because I was finally not alone with this and everything suddenly seemed real. It was no longer something in cyberspace but something that was possible (and increasingly likely). Not thinking I blurted out exactly how fabulous it was and how fantastic and natural everyone looked. Now she doesn't want me to go to any more meetings because she doesn't want to encourage me.

And we too are now walking on eggshells carefully avoiding all mention of it. The one good thing though is that a lot of hurt was spoken and we are now talking a lot more... just everything but the elephant in the room.

I wish I had some advise to depart but as I am in a very similar situation all I can offer is that you are not alone.

I hope things work out for you.

love
Alice 
Don't hate the hate... Start spreading the love.

Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 03:35:49 pm »
So.... my therapist has been wanting a session with my non-supportive spouse.  So that is finally set up and I sent my therapist a email confirming it and mentioning some of the anxieties my wife has about the session.  And her reply was "Okay, wonderful. I will make sure to make her feel as comfortable as possible.  These sessions tend to go well, so don't feel too anxious about that piece."

But, but Molly.  What piece should i feel anxious about?  ??? What pronouns are you going to use? :icon_eek:

(Mostly just kidding.  But I am nervous.  And I didn't think about the pronoun business until today.  Could be "interesting.")

Offline Alaskan Danielle

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 03:42:16 pm »
So.... my therapist has been wanting a session with my non-supportive spouse.  So that is finally set up and I sent my therapist a email confirming it and mentioning some of the anxieties my wife has about the session.  And her reply was "Okay, wonderful. I will make sure to make her feel as comfortable as possible.  These sessions tend to go well, so don't feel too anxious about that piece."

But, but Molly.  What piece should i feel anxious about?  ??? What pronouns are you going to use? :icon_eek:

(Mostly just kidding.  But I am nervous.  And I didn't think about the pronoun business until today.  Could be "interesting.")

@randim
Dear Randi:
I have my fingers crossed for you and your wife regarding her upcoming meeting with your therapist.  It sounds to me that your therapist is experienced with non-supportive spouses...  I hope that it goes as well as planned.

In the future I hope that your therapists might suggest a "couples" session where together with help of your therapist you and your wife can discuss and work out amicable solutions to the different issues that you and her have.

I will be looking for your updates as you feel comfortable posting them....
Hugs and wishing you well,
Danielle
Check out my Personal Threads that have more details about myself (click Links):
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Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2018, 07:52:55 pm »
Thanks for the kind words Danielle.  The session was today, and while I think the session itself went well (Kristin liked her, thought the session was  fine, etc.) it didn't help much with her attitude. Angry, cold, harsh, all that good stuff when I came home.  She's still normal.  I am not. Sarcastic, belittling comments.  Unfavorable comparisons to every one of her friends' spouses. Still a zero-tolerance policy of any overt expressions of femininity around her.  I suppose I should be glad she didn't call me a vomit-inducing freak.  She was thinking it though.  The therapist recommended some books like My Husband Betty, and she did say those made her want to throw up.  Makes you feel special.  Went into another room and cried for a while after our chat.  Sadly enough, it doesn't make me feel like she is my best friend, or for that matter, much of a friend at all.  I understand it's an atomic bomb in her life, but her reaction has not been kind.

Offline Tara P

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2018, 02:10:18 am »
That's really tough I'm so sorry to hear she isn't being supportive about it that's really hard to go through hearing that kind of stuff from someone you love.   :(

It was her first time though and maybe it will lay some groundwork to help her understand better in the future?  It's a lot to process after all.  Is she at least willing to try reading some of those books?  Or is she just literally judging a book by it's cover?

Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2018, 09:06:56 pm »
So...minor update.  I did tell my hair stylist I was transgender today.  He's gay, and was cool about it, but it was still a bit awkward.  It was nice to be able to open a bit though and talk more honestly about what I would like done with my hair.  Not there yet by any means (the hair), but some progress.

Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 09:37:08 pm »
Living in interesting times. I have the house to myself for a week or so and it seems to be going as I thought it might. Burst of shopping, making a concerted effort to only present male at work. Hoping to get comfortable carrying a purse. That seems to be a strangely significant gender marker for me. I went to a trans meetup event at the lgbt center, which was interesting but most of the people were much younger than me. I have an appointment tomorrow for a wig fitting/shopping. In emails with owner, i’m explaining I’m transgender. Feels pretty scary. Trying to figure out what to wear. I want to look my best but not overly dressed. That’s a first-world problem I guess. Things not improving much with Kristin. She called me a sick freak recently and continues to be upset with any contact I make with the trans community. I just don’t know. At times I feel like an old fool, but then I walk across the floor in a pair of flats and my heart melts. It just feels so, so right. I feel at times like I’m being swept out to sea by an irresistible tide. Sure hope there’s an island out there.

Offline randim

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2018, 05:26:16 pm »
Well, I did in fact make it to the wig shop.  The owners were quite wonderful people who were very friendly and supportive.  I wish I looked as good as they said I did  :) Oh, the final result is at https://imgur.com/CRhlU9Q for the curious.  So, no passing miracle or anything, but it definitely moves further along on the line towards the female end and shows some effort at improving presentation.  It will simultaneously be an exhilarating and terrifying experience rocking it in public.  Schrodinger's transgender I guess.  In my internal war, score a fairly significant victory for team pink.

Offline dee82

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2018, 06:55:31 pm »
Hi Randi,

Only just now catching up your story. Reading what Kristin called you recently must have hurt. Reading that made me feel quite sad. You are not an old fool. You are being true to yourself, and that is all you can do. That might sound like a cliche, but it can still be true...

The wig looks good on you. I really like the style. It suits you.

~Dee.

Offline GordonG

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Re: Randi's transition (in)decision
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2018, 07:15:15 pm »
Randi
I wish you all the best in your journey. Sorry to hear about your wife. That hurts to even read about.
Your wig looks good. With some makeup and appropriate clothing I think you'll look just great.
I'm a gender confused guy who lives an hour north of Seattle.
I believe that I was influenced by DES. I have crossdressed in public a handful of times, see avatar picture (enhanced with FaceApp).
I don't plan on transitioning, no GRS, FFS, nor BA. I plan on having an orchiectomy however.
I consider myself TransFeminine. But reserve the right to change my mind at any time.  ;D

Spironolactone 7-16-2018
E sublinguals 10-5-2018

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