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Offline Am I Lucy?

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Is this the real life...
« on: February 20, 2019, 05:22:43 pm »
Hi everyone,

I'm glad this website is here.

I've been on and off this site for years, but only in the last year have I thought about joining. Today I did it, and even if all my questioning leads to nothing, I can at least say I tried.

So, where I'm at. I'm 36, married with two very young kids. Roughly 6 months ago, my head burst with the idea that I might be trans or fluid of some sort. I'd had a bit of a health scare regarding a lump in my testicle. It all turned out to be absolutely fine and to be honest I kinda knew it would. However, the thing that caught me off guard, was that I thought that if it were to be removed then it would give me an excuse to move closer to being trans - i'd had thoughts building up to my medical examination. I know it is insane, but that's where my head took me. Every single day since then, I have questioned every aspect of my being. It has driven me crazy but I have also had some moments of peace with the idea. I have googled every idea about being and alternatives to being trans. I have looked at OCD thinking. I have asked myself over and over, is this all because I am in the most stressful point of my life (second child just born, financially under pressure as a self employed main bread winner and stretched emotionally with other family issues). But then when I actually look back over my life, I have connected so many dots, it is hard to just pass it off without investigating.

Being 36, is another reason why it's taken me aback, I would have thought I'd have worked the world out by now, but it feels it may be only just beginning.

Looking back over my life, the signs have been there I guess. I have cross dressed since very young. I recall looking through the women's clothing catalogue behind the sofa when I was 7/8 - the boring clothes as well as the lingerie! I wanted to be female characters whilst playing with friends. But these are just a few of so many many things - dysphoria(what i now know) and sexuality issues throughout my 20s/30s. From my youth however, two main events play on my mind, 1) being dressed up by my sisters when i was maybe 4/5 as wonder woman and enjoying it - only for my mum to scold my sisters for doing it, i felt ashamed and confused. 2) I must have been about 9, I remember my mum saying a relation had come out as transgender - she said he was 'mentally ill' and was noticeably upset about his actions - that experience has stuck with me all my life.

This weird thing I've done in my bedroom, alone all my life, I have attributed it to being a weird kink/fetish or even a mental illness. Something that no one should ever know about, especially knowing that your own mother looks so badly on it. To be honest, now I'm mature enough to see the wood for the trees. I sincerely hope she has updated her views - but this is something I'm trying to build up to confront her with. I feel like she may help me join the dots of my childhood, but I am so scared of asking. We are good friends so I shouldn't be scared, but how can you not be?!

In fact, I am in limbo of what to do in general. I have no rush to medically transition, even though I do wish my body was different. I feel that I owe to everyone in my life to spend some serious time questioning and talking to a counselor/therapist. I haven't contacted one yet, but I've drafted about 100 emails, one day I'll press send.

I think the hardest bit of all this is feeling like I'm cheating on my wife whom I've not told anything to yet. I'm starting a process (even if it just be questioning) that is not involving her and yet may affect her and my children's entire world. I had never considered that I might be trans before I married. I just thought I had a weird side to me that I'd just forget about and have a happy ever after 'wife and two kids' scenario. I feel so naive.

For those of you who are married, how did you begin this process and keep your guilt at bay? My crossdressing has been non existent as of late and it's killing me, so I can't even tie it in with that guilt! What I do know however, is that I've never quite found the joy and happiness that I expect to experience with certain life events. I've always found myself asking why? What is missing.

Anyway, that's enough of an intro for now. I've got so much more crap to offload, but what I've just written above is more than I've ever said to anyone ever on this planet. So, here goes...

Lucy?






Offline Jessica_Rose

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2019, 05:37:05 pm »
Lucy, welcome to Susan's Place!

Your story is not that different from many of us. Barely two years ago I finally discovered the source of my decades of anger and rage -- I am transgender. My wife and I had been married 33 years and we have two daughters, one out on her own and the other in college. I realized my anger would eventually cause me to take my own life, so I decided to transition. I did not ask my wife about it. She was mad as hell for a long time. It took nearly 18 months for her to accept, and now she is happier than ever. She has a spouse who is happy, and I do my best to put her needs first.

I wish you the best of luck on your journey.  Love always -- Jessica Rose
My journal thread - Jessica's Rose Garden
My National Coming Out Day video - Coming Out - Jessica Rose
My GCS Thread - GCS and BA with Dr. Ley on 21 Feb 2019 - Jessica_Rose
23 Mar 2017 - Started Estradiol  //  16 Feb 2018 - Full Time!  //  21 Feb 2019 - GCS w/Dr. Ley
"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot



Offline Kate.claire

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2019, 07:00:48 pm »
Hi Lucy,

I spent a lot of my years thinking I’d just keep that side of me at bay for the sake of my family.  There came a point at 43 where I just couldn’t anymore and the prospect of what could be outweighed the misery of maintaining what was.  Your story of always asking what was missing is very familiar to me.  I just found over time, as much as I was crazy about my family,  I was not happy with holding back who I was and that was negatively effecting everyone anyways.

Can’t put myself quite in your shoes, as I came out to my wife 6 months into dating.  Still there was guilt over the years of holding back just how much I was struggling with identity and feeling like I had mislead her that it was “just” crossdressing. I’m not sure I really knew, and didn’t want to upset her. Still an ongoing process we take a day at a time, but she’s happy that my old personality has started to come back to life.

My advice to you, press send on one of those letters yesterday and find yourself a therapist to talk to and help sort things out. Mine really helped me out of my doldrums of guilt.  Don’t have to make it complicated, don’t have to have the right excuses, just a few sentences to say you are struggling with gender issues and off you go. I found it to be such a non-issue once I started and wonder why I suffered for so long sorting things out on my own.

Kate

Kate Carter




Online KimOct

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2019, 07:03:36 pm »
Hi Lucy Glad you are here.  First suggestion is press send on the email to therapist.  They don't give you answers they help you find them for yourself.

As for your feelings of maybe you were just kinky etc that is pretty normal for many people here before they come to terms with their gender identity.  You mentioned your testicle scare.  I am glad it was nothing.  If you ever do get them removed ( I have ) it should be by choice not medical necessity.

You said in your post that if you did have to have surgery that it would make you one step closer to being trans.  You are already trans.  Being transgender is what is in your mind, heart and soul not what is between your legs.  TRANSITIONING is an entirely different matter.  Maybe you will and maybe you won't and what that ultimately looks like can be many things. 

Wherever this journey leads you I am happy for you that you are taking the first steps.
The first transphobe you have to conquer is yourself

Offline Alaskan Danielle

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2019, 08:02:30 pm »
@Am I Lucy?
Dear Lucy:
     I am so very glad that you have become a member here and this is your very first posting.   I am happy to see that you found the Susan's Place Forums.

    As you post on the forums you will be able to exchange thoughts and comments with others that are experiencing many of the same things that you are.   I expect that you will be getting many members offering their thoughts and suggestions as you continue to post here. 

    This is the right place for you to be to find out what others may have to say that may have been in your circumstances and with your questions and concerns.
    There are a lot of members here that will be able to identify with your situation and as you continue to feel free to share with all of us.
 
    I also want to warmly WELCOME you to Susan's Place
You will find this a safe and friendly place to share with others and to read about others similar trials, tribulations, and successes.

    As you are certainly aware you can share with others and involve yourself with some give and take with other like-minded members.  When frustrated or if you have successes you can share it here if you wish and receive support from others and offer support to others. ....
     ***There is a very good chance that you might find that you will make some new like-minded friends here. 

    Please come in and continue to be involved at your own pace.
   
    I have attached important and informative LINKS that will help you to navigate around the Forums and will allow you to enjoy the features here.     
Please look closely at the LINKS in RED, answers are there to many questions that new members ask.

Again, Welcome to Susan's Place.
Danielle


Here are some links to the site rules and stuff that all new members should be familiar with:
 
Things that you should read

Offline V M

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2019, 10:29:36 pm »
Hi Lucy  :icon_wave:

Welcome to Susan's Place  :)  Glad to have you here, join on in the fun

Hugs

V M
The main things to remember in life are Love, Kindness, Understanding and Respect - Always make forward progress

Superficial fanny kissing friends are a dime a dozen, a TRUE FRIEND however is PRICELESS

 
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Offline Am I Lucy?

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2019, 08:12:23 am »
Thanks all for the kind responses.

I feel quite strange today after posting that last night - i was excited to see replies, but have had a weird anxious/excited, slightly nauseous feeling all day, as if I've just opened 'the box'. I expect there's going to be some intense feelings coming my way over the coming months/years.

@Jessica_Rose - Thanks, I relate to your comment, maybe I am earlier on than when you decided the anger was getting to you. I think my anger and snappiness is another reason why I owe it to my family to try and resolve things. For the last 6 months I've been terribly grumpy and snappy at my wife, I've struggled to have basic conversations over menial things. I think it's a combination of current life stresses that struggle to compete with the relentless noise in my head and suppressing my need to crossdress for so long.

@Kate.claire - Thanks, I'll be pressing send this evening with a glass of wine. I'll tell my wife that I'm going to see a counsellor about my stress/short attitude issues - which, to be fair is a key related issue.

@KimOct - Thanks also and yes I suppose my wording was incorrect regarding 'moving closer to being trans'. I can't quite bring myself to say I'm trans out loud, but it sure does make a lot of sense to me.

@Alaskan Danielle Thanks for the welcome and resources, I can see myself spending a lot of time here.

@V M Thanks! I'm sure I'll be posting more as time goes on.




Offline Iztaccihuatl

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2019, 11:39:14 am »
Hi Lucy!

I am in a very similar situation as you. All you wrote about prior cross dressing and feeling about is as a kink sounds so familiar to me.

For the last few years I used to cross dress secretly each time my wife and family were out of the house (the ‘Find my Friends’ feature on the iPhone is really neat for knowing when they are on their way back to avoid close calls, but I also feel bad for spying on their locations). However, I struggled with the secrecy around it. My wife and I have a very good relationship and I didn’t want to keep secrets from her. My feelings of wanting to be a woman also intensified to the point where I wanted to see a therapist to find out where on the trans spectrum I fit in. However, I didn’t want to go and see a therapist without her knowing why.

Therefore last fall I took the difficult step of explaining to her what is going on in my mind and that I wanted to see a therapist. I had no idea how she would take it, I just trusted that we have a good relationship and she wouldn’t run away immediately. Her first reaction was “I know”, although that really meant that she knew something was going on (for the last 2 years I let my hair grow out and kept longer fingernails and shaved all my body hair) and she thought I would come out as gay, which is not the case as I am attracted to women.

My wife is tough on the outside and it didn’t seem that it affected her much, but I do know that she cried a lot while I wasn’t home and she is still struggling to coming to grips with it. I suggested to her to read the book “Head Over Heels” in the hope to see some cases of wives of cross dressers and transsexuals who stayed with their partners. While she could see ourselves in the cases of crossdressers, she also felt upset with the cases of husbands who fully transitioned which are also covered in the book. So I guess this book was only partially helpful. (Nevertheless it is a good book to read, I felt inspired, especially with the stories of transsexuals who transitioned within their marriage).

On the surface my wife has adjusted very well and beyond my dreams, she has given me a skirt of hers that was too big, we went shopping for feminine clothes for me as well as for makeup (I also made sure we found something for her as well) and she has given me instructions on how to apply makeup and given me fashion tips on what to combine, etc.

Seeing me dressed as a woman for the first time was probably not easy for her, she mostly struggles with my more feminine and softer voice and my feminine walk and gestures, not so much with my clothes. I guess visually she just sees her husband in a dress for a Halloween party, but voice and movements didn’t match.

And just a few days ago I went out for the first time in public presenting as female (although not in my home town, but somewhere farther away). That was a great leap from the status quo I had last summer!

Based on my experience, I would echo the comments of others who have replied here to go see a therapist as soon as possible (just make sure not any therapist, look for someone specializing on gender issues). But I would also recommend to come out to your wife soon, because sooner or later she’ll find out and it is better she hears from you than finding out any other way.

Good luck!

HM

Offline Am I Lucy?

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2019, 05:00:09 pm »
@Iztaccihuatl - Thanks for sharing your story with me. It helps so much to know other people are going through similar situations.

Well I did it! I just emailed a local therapist - they specialise in transgender issues, so hoping it will be helpful. I don't even know what I intend to find out or how I expect to change anything. I've decided to tell my wife after I've had my first session. I feel like I need that initial contact to start everything off. Must admit I'm full of confusion.

Offline Iztaccihuatl

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2019, 12:37:22 am »
@Iztaccihuatl - Thanks for sharing your story with me. It helps so much to know other people are going through similar situations.

Well I did it! I just emailed a local therapist - they specialise in transgender issues, so hoping it will be helpful. I don't even know what I intend to find out or how I expect to change anything. I've decided to tell my wife after I've had my first session. I feel like I need that initial contact to start everything off. Must admit I'm full of confusion.
Congratulations, I am so glad for you that you took that important first step!

Not too long ago I went to my therapist for the first time. I just told her that I was crossdressing and having those thoughts of wanting to be a woman and that I needed her help in figuring out where on the trans spectrum I am and which actions (if any) I need to take.

Another thing that helped me was going through the book "You and your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery" by Dara Hoffman-Fox. It is kind of a workbook that helps you reflect on your feelings and helps understanding your fears in this process as well. You can find it on Amazon. There is also a similar book out there ("The Gender Quest Workbook") which I haven't read. Both books are probably geared more towards teenagers or folks in their 20ies, but hey, I am 53 and it did help me too.

Love,

HM

Offline Am I Lucy?

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2019, 04:02:19 am »
@Iztaccihuatl Thanks for those resources, I will check them out.

I'm having an initial call this week with a gender therapist to introduce ourselves. I'm feeling quite scared to be honest. Is it normal to want to just 'forget about all this female stuff' and try and carry on as a 'man'? At times I feel like I'm making this all up - what i can't ignore though is the consistent crossdressing/feelings throughout my life. It feels so strange to explore your past, armed with the knowledge that being transgender may have been the problem/solution all along. And for someone that analyses everything, it makes feel stupid I couldn't see it!

Will keep you all updated if that's ok?

Lucy

Offline Iztaccihuatl

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2019, 11:26:34 pm »
I'm having an initial call this week with a gender therapist to introduce ourselves. I'm feeling quite scared to be honest. Is it normal to want to just 'forget about all this female stuff' and try and carry on as a 'man'? At times I feel like I'm making this all up - what i can't ignore though is the consistent crossdressing/feelings throughout my life. It feels so strange to explore your past, armed with the knowledge that being transgender may have been the problem/solution all along. And for someone that analyses everything, it makes feel stupid I couldn't see it!

Will keep you all updated if that's ok?

Yes, please go ahead and keep us all updated, we'd love to hear from you how things are going!

Being analytical myself, I also tried to make sense out of this, but I can't. There is always a thought followed by a counter-thought in my mind, for example, I am thinking: "Wouldn't it be great if I could start on hormones? Actually, why don't I start as soon as possible and transition as quickly as possible? Because crossdressing is not enough, I want the whole world to see me as a woman!" and shortly thereafter a thought enters my mind that goes like "Are you nuts? You've got a good life, nice family, great job, etc, why would you want to risk all that?" and then: "You better start now, so you won't regret anything once you are really old!" (feels like onset of a midlife-crisis, I am in my early to mid 50ies after all).

The other day I was sitting in the waiting area for my therapy appointment, and I always go dressed as female, since this is one of the few opportunities for me to go out as a woman, and start thinking: "What the heck are you doing dressed as a woman sitting around here?". But then, I also can't afford not to do so.

What is hard for me is that for most of my life my feminine feelings weren't very strong and I thought of them as just a fantasy of mine, most of the time just at night before falling asleep imagining myself as a woman. However, about 10 years ago these feelings started to intensify and since about 4-5 years ago I noticed that a lot of my thoughts, which previously were very macho (anything feminine I avoided like if it were the plague), started to change. Like, before I could never understand why a woman would want to have larger breasts, since they would get in the way and require wearing a bra; however now I am the one who actually wants to have breasts and wear a bra. Or, before I couldn't imagine not having a penis, but now I notice myself thinking that it would be nice if it were gone and replaced with a neo-vagina, even though that thing requires a lot of maintenance.

So this all is really confusing to me and I wonder if this is just a fantasy gone wild, or if I am truly transsexual and these feelings just were suppressed so long and are finally coming to the forefront. And maybe I am trying to convince myself that this is just a very intense fantasy so I don't have to go any further? This is why I am trying to spend as much time as my situation permits in female mode and see if these feelings are persistent and growing or if they wear off, which would provide some answers. In the end I guess only the future will tell...

Anyway, please let us know how your therapy went!

HM

Offline anne_indy

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2019, 01:25:52 am »
Hi Lucy - I hope your call with the therapist goes well. I remember my first consultation on the phone to try to get therapy started. I thought I was going to pass out as I explained that I thought I was transgender. I too tend to be very analytical and thought that I could find a root cause that would explain and diffuse the intensity of my thinking that I needed to live as a woman. It took several months before I was able to connect with the right therapist. The first appointment was nerve wracking. But I was able to settle down and have been able to work with therapist and develop strategies that are appropriate to my situation.

I hope that this will be the right person for you and that you can work through understanding your issues and finding solutions that enable you to fully live life.


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Offline Ricki Wright

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2019, 10:14:22 am »
Hello! Welcome!  I hope the call went well. I got lucky and found a therapist I connected with after speaking with only 2.

Yes, it is normal to want things to stay the same. Especially if you are the money maker of your family and transitioning might threaten that.

You are not mentally ill. You are just wired differently than some.

While you may not be in a hurry to medically transition, perhaps you can find a way to make peace with the inner conflict to a point where you can finish your life pretending to be cis. Simple things like sitting down to pee to avoid the (obviously designed for male) urinals help keep my dysphoria at bay. Buying girls clothes and wearing them in plain sight can also be a boost. Jackets can be very androgynous, but I know and that is what I believe helps me deal day to day while HRT is doing it's magic. I am still presenting as male at work. I let HR know for legal reasons, and told my supervisor I was working through a major life shift and to please let me know if I was not meeting expectations.

I chose to transition because the rage and depression I have experienced most of my life is more painful and destructive to me than becoming the person I knew myself to be at the age of 5.

I am glad you are being honest with your wife. I hope she continues to support you. Have a plan if she does not, because "I just won't be me" is not a plan: it's an explosion waiting to happen.

I see you. I support you. I accept you.

Ricki
At 5 I forgot who I am. Fortunately, who I am protected me all these years until I remembered. Whatever else happens, I will live the rest of my life whole.
My story: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244130.0.html
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Offline Am I Lucy?

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2019, 03:43:42 pm »
Thanks so much for the great words of support @anne_indy and @Ricki Wright, my call is tomorrow afternoon. I am terrified. Think I'm going to go for a walk whilst I do it and try and find a quiet spot in the park to talk. My office doesn't feel very private.

I have no idea if I'm actually going to get any words out. So nervous, but also oddly looking forward to it. Will let you know how I get on.

x

Offline Am I Lucy?

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2019, 11:37:15 am »
Well, I had my initial call this afternoon. I spent about an hour cycling round to try and find somewhere quiet. Tried sitting in the middle of the field at the park but it was too wet.. I ended up finding a quiet spot by the river, with only the odd dog walker and runner going passed.

I think cycling took away some of the adrenaline as I had been anxious about it all day. Talking to the therapist was good. I probably blurted out way more than he expected, but hey! I'm just glad I didn't start blubbering or freezing and not getting my words out.

So, I feel comfortable enough to at least see him for a first face to face session. I'll book it in the next week or so, but I need to tell my wife I'm going to see a counsellor first.

Speak soon x

Offline Alaskan Danielle

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2019, 12:39:04 pm »
@Am I Lucy?
Dear Lucy:
I am so glad to read that your call to your therapist went well and that you are looking forward to your first face to face meeting with him.

Hopefully things will go well with your wife when you tell her of your therapy appointment.
Have you considered going to couples therapy?   
You might want to run that by your therapist some time in the future sometime after your initial sessions.

Thank you for posting your update...
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle

Offline Ricki Wright

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2019, 03:36:20 pm »
I will send Happy thoughts your way.

I am not too surprised you blurted a bit. The dam broke and what you are feeling wanted to be recognized.

Ricki
At 5 I forgot who I am. Fortunately, who I am protected me all these years until I remembered. Whatever else happens, I will live the rest of my life whole.
My story: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244130.0.html
HRT 07Nov18

Offline Iztaccihuatl

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2019, 10:33:43 pm »
Lucy,

I am so happy for you that you took that important first step and that everything went so well! I hope you can make an appointment soon to start on the path of your self-discovery.

I wish you the best of luck for your conversation with your wife. Having come out to my wife very recently, I know how hard that can be. But remember, while nobody knows how she is going to take the news, there is also a good chance for a positive surprise.

Best of luck,

HM

Offline Kate.claire

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Re: Is this the real life...
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2019, 10:55:54 pm »
Hi Lucy,

Congrats on taking the step! Not as big as you thought now in hindsight? :). Good luck with your first visit,  I’m sure it will turn out as easy as the phone call was.

-Kate
Kate Carter




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