Author Topic: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?  (Read 1872 times)

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Offline randim

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2019, 12:16:37 pm »
Hi Rey,

I understand some of what you're going through.  I'm going through some of it now even as I type. I too am struggling with my wife, and that is difficult.  I will say this.  I suppressed my feminine nature for decades, and at one point thought I had made peace with it and would take it to the grave.  It turns out that was *not* the case, and now I am struggling to find the right path forward for the remaining years of my life and my 36-year marriage. It will probably hurt your wife less to deal with this when you are both young rather than when you are both old, in my opinion, and it is not likely that your feelings will go away.  In my case, and many others, they were simply suppressed until they couldn't be any more.  They're inside you.  You can't run from that.  They will likely chase you and take you to ground at some point.  The good news is that some spouses do adjust and are supportive and content with their partner.  I can't say if your wife will be in that number or not.  But it is not your fault that you are trans, and there *is* a place for you in this world as a transwoman. If you decide you need to transition, you are simply surviving.  There is nothing for which you need to apologize. (Ah physician, heal thyself!) I know it is hard.  I hope your wife comes around and gives you the love you deserve.  I wish you the best moving forward.


Offline Listlesswanderer

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2019, 02:49:49 am »
I am sorry if this is repetitive, but I often do not have a lot of time to post and this has been an unusual time so I am trying to get things out there, but something I heard in therapy really helped me understand my wife's journey in this situation we are in.

The concept of a "wall of shame" that hits you when you do anything that society, or members or society may deem "other" as far as gender, sexuality or a combination thereof. And so what our wives have is the sudden exposure to us being transgender and them being judged for being associated with us romantically and the labels that end up foisted upon them.

My point is, your torment the guilt and the emotional roller coaster you are on (I got off mine a year ago it was just too much) is not even something that just originates with your wife, she is being pushed by societal pressure to be resistant to your acknowledging yourself and becoming "other" since it puts her and your family in a position that many members of society (wrongly of course) can take issue with.

Therefore it really isn't you or your wife's fault, it's the times we live in and the failure of society to really evolve much, except truly within the past 100 years--we feel that our times are modern, but consider that before the 1970's women (I have read this would have to research to 100% verify) could not sign a contract without a man also signing, and could not work evenings in most places. That is fifty-ish years ago, we have come far on human timelines, but on personal timelines? We are very much in the midst of a major cultural shift that is forcing our entire society to restructure.

Life is tough at the vanguard, I know your pain, stay strong. We will make it, we have to.
Life moves fast? I remember when I couldn't wait for the day at school to end, and now I count in years for my life to change.

Time is all we own, and it is preciously wasting.

--Josephine

If only I had someone to hold my hand...

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2019, 11:19:41 am »
Thank you for the last couple replies. And sorry for my silence. It had been a hard couple of weeks.

I did end up doing some research on buying women's underwear to find something relatively unobtrusive and found some full-coverage black ones that I felt weren't too obtrusive and were maybe a bit more affirming than what I had been wearing. Honestly the first day I wore them I was very self-conscious, and I guess it maybe me just kind of hyperaware of how things felt, which maybe wasn't great. But the second and third day I noticed less, and by now it's not something I think much about, but I appreciate wearing something more affirming.

It was one factor that I think set off another panic attack for my wife that I needed to help her with. Sometimes when I do open up to her later at night right before bed, and I'm a little more vulnerable in sharing how I'm feeling, it's just too much for her to handle. And I'm glad to be there and to be supportive. Although sometimes when she's hurting and sharing what's she's feeling, she shares her fears, and those fears are about me, and that's really hard to take, and to still be there in that moment, when my natural instinct is to just withdraw. I try though, because I love her and want to be there for her.

I was feeling pretty low a week ago, honestly, very numb, really hopeless. But after therapy, I guess I just had the thought to go pick up some chocolates for my wife. So I found a place to get some special chocolates, and while I was doing so, she called me up to suggest we meet for coffee, as she was having a hard time working that day. So we met up, and we had a good mini-date. We kind of decided that since she was feeling this real sense of loss towards me, that she was feeling like the person she fell in love with was at best slipping away, that maybe what we needed to do was to start dating each other again. I mean we've been married for a long time now, nearly a decade and a half, but if she feels like she doesn't really know this version of me, then maybe that's something we can work on. So we arranged for grandparents to take our daughter on an overnight last weekend, and we went to a new restaurant for dinner. And we wanted to have some element of adventure and not planning everything out. So when we got done, we got tickets for a movie and had time in between, so we went to a coffee shop to hang out some more. And then enjoyed a movie together. It was a really nice evening. And we got back home and enjoyed watching a show together. It was a good way to reconnect.

That doesn't solve everything. I didn't feel all that great the rest of the weekend. I'm working on some mindfulness work and meditation. And I actually started working on that with my daughter too, who has been having some challenges. And that's been good for us.

I got a haircut yesterday. I have a regular person at a salon I've been going to for maybe nine months now, and what I've mostly talked to her about is growing my hair out. I was really tempted to talk to her explicitly about how I wanted to move away from a masculine look to a feminine hairstyle. But I didn't want to risk not being able to work with her, and I feel like I'm already mostly getting that help from her anyhow. I did talk with both her and my doctor at my physical about how I'm feeling bothered by my hair loss particularly at my temples and hairline. My doctor mentioned minoxidil (Rogaine) and Propecia/Proscar (Finasteride) which I already really knew were the things I could probably try. I'm thinking about it, because it does really concern me. But I kind of want to talk to my weight loss doctor, who I'll see next week, as I think both of them could have some potential for weight gain, which would work against my weight loss efforts, which are really important for me. And Finasteride in particular has a lot of more serious side effects, some of which might not be entirely undesirable. Although my understanding is that it could lead to extra facial hair growth, which is also something really hard for me with dysphoria.

I think in an ideal world I'd like to work on improving my hair and at some point think about something like laser hair removal. But when I mentioned the minoxidil and finasteride discussion to my wife last night, that was also a trigger for her. She has her own sensitivities due to some issues she has around her own hair. And she has a lot of reasonable concerns about our budget and costs. And so... I just don't know.

I guess I'm encouraged right now about our ideas to work on dating. And the mindfulness things I'm working on right now are positive and worth pursuing. I guess I'm tempted to at least try minoxidil with my hair. I get concerned about bringing this up with my weight loss doctor. She's the one who got me started on taking an anti-depressant, and I'm just really concerned about her putting two and two together, and asking the right question, and me getting in a situation where I don't want to outright lie, and then bam, my gender issues are in my medical record... forever.

I just get really concerned with the way world is now in the US. It's just scary how medical care can be denied. And maybe it's inevitable that I'll have to deal with that, and I'm hanging on to a privilege I don't really deserve. I guess I just really worry about immediately losing access to help with weight loss, because I worry that without that, I won't ever be able to deal with any of this.

I have therapy again today. I'm tentatively feeling better about where I'm at in life. Just still feeling unsure about things.

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2019, 01:39:04 pm »
One step forward, one step back.

On the way back from therapy, I was talking with my wife on the phone and mentioned that I was looking forward to trying this dating idea for a few months to see where it goes. The therapist gave me some couples therapists we could look into, and my wife wasn't feeling like we needed that right now, which is part of why I said let's see how this dating idea goes. And apparently she felt a lot of uncertainty based on that and asked me what I meant by that later. She said she had been looking forward to this as our new state of being, but now she was worried I was just using this as a test to see if her orientation would change.

She had to leave for school pickup then, and I went into a pretty dark place at that point. That hadn't been my intention, but it just felt like as all my hope kind of left me. I'm working on meditation, so I tried to do that and to center myself. It's just really hard. I guess I had this feeling that maybe she was giving it a chance to be with me as I am, and I wasn't hoping her whole orientation would change. But I was holding out some hope that we might find some path forward, that I could find some level of acceptance from her of what I am dealing with and I guess what that might mean for me.

And we talked later after I got the kid in bed. The kid and I did some meditation too about dealing with hard feelings. And that helped a bit. But it just really hurt. I was able to talk to my wife about more of what I meant. And she reiterated that she is basically a 0 on the Kinsey scale. That she just cannot picture herself with a woman, that even the idea of seeing women kiss in a show makes her a bit ill. And I find those words honestly really disappointing and hard to get out of my head. She sort of wanted to me to acknowledge that she may need to be with a man. And I acknowledged that this may not work out. I didn't want to just give up on us either. And she said she could probably be thrilled with me as I am right now, even if it's not what she initially signed up for. It's just physical changes beyond where I'm at may well be too much.

She reiterated she wanted to continue trying to stay in the moment, we both enjoyed the date we had and want to do more of those.

I just felt like I needed some level of hope that there was a possibility for me to actually deal with my dysphoria in more concrete ways and still have the possibility of things working out. And I just don't know if that's possible. So I don't know how I can do things like work more on self-acceptance when that's likely to just make the disconnect between my body and my mind even more disjointed, particularly if addressing that means the potential end of a stable home life and the family that I love.

It's really really hard to focus and be productive when it feels like I'm just standing in a really really really really dark room and the match I was trying to use to light a torch just went out, and I don't know if I have another.

Offline Listlesswanderer

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2019, 05:36:52 pm »
One step forward, one step back.

It's really really hard to focus and be productive when it feels like I'm just standing in a really really really really dark room and the match I was trying to use to light a torch just went out, and I don't know if I have another.

I really understand what you are feeling, the idea of disintegrating your family versus being true to yourself is the epitome of being between a rock and a hard place, and there really is not a great way forward that I have found other than therapy (individual often does seem like our only option--my wife refuses to go to couples therapy, and when we have gone she would often feel out-numbered and overwhelmed).

There are various platitudes to consider which help provide us with empathy for our spouses situations (in my case I erroneously thought heterosexual marriage would somehow "fix" my otherness, naively and desperately--and ultimately inaccurately) such as (1) we as transfolk have had a lifetime to evaluate ourselves, but our spouses are just learning of this now (of course assuming this is your case) and it is unreasonable for us to expect them to adjust quickly given how long it has taken us, and (2) our spouses married us (again assuming this to be the case in your situation, which may not be accurate) expecting that we would forever be cis-gender males, and that if they had known we were not strictly this that they may have not married us (my wife as outwardly said this is true in her case).

In reality these are cold comforts because we are not looking to objectively evaluation our situations, we want to resolve them, and to do this I have come to feel pain, mutual pain in the marriage is unavoidable. I was able to put the brakes on things in my case, but I have lost a year of my life giving my wife time to tentatively start talking about gender with me again. I was bombarding her everyday trying to convince her and she just shut down and started grieving; while now I don't get the full spectrum of what I need it is livable and we are working towards something, even if I have no idea of what it is, and I have to have faith we will end up where we are meant to be, somehow, eventually.

Regardless of anything, it sounds like you genuinely care and love your spouse and family and that you are doing everything you can to try and make things work.
Life moves fast? I remember when I couldn't wait for the day at school to end, and now I count in years for my life to change.

Time is all we own, and it is preciously wasting.

--Josephine

If only I had someone to hold my hand...

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2019, 01:57:27 am »
It's definitely true that even a year is not a lot of time to process all of this. I was heavily compartmentalized for a really long time, but I've had at least five or six years of fully conscious thought about this now, and I'm honestly still having a difficult time.

And yes, my wife has said exactly the same thing, that if she knew then what she knows now, as much as she loves me, she probably wouldn't have gone down this path. And that's hard.

We've talked a lot about her grieving her loss of a husband, her loss of the self she knew, and while I don't totally love that concept, I can understand where it comes from. There's this concept of ambiguous grief where a person is there but also not there, which is really hard to process. And I've dealt with that myself with grandparents with Alzheimer's. It's so hard. So I can have a lot of empathy for how that feels.

She had a thought today that took that up a notch, though, where she was listening to some song lyrics, and it triggered a thought that when a loved one dies, you can at least find comfort that when you die you may see them in heaven. But if I transition, she felt like she would never see that person she loved again. And that kind of is a thought to mess with your head. I certainly would hope my ghost would not be like the Hayden Christenson version of Darth Vader. That would really stink. But again, I can see how that would be really hard.

We have a lot of back and forth. Last weekend after a rough patch I tried to make things better by setting up an in-home date night. I brought home flowers and chocolates and wine so I could cook up a nice dinner and we could spend a nice evening together watching some things. And that was really nice. It felt very loving, and we felt very connected.

Then the next day I read a book she had brought home from the library, "Getting to Ellen," which was a really good memoir about a trans woman's journey. And honestly I kind of read it in one sitting, all 315 pages. I've read a number of memoirs now, and I guess just the place I'm at in life, this one kind of hit me hard, and I read until about 4 a.m. And I kind of had a bit of a panic attack afterwards when I went to bed. My wife comforted me, which was good. She tries to be as supportive as possible given the circumstances, and we have a very loving relationship.

I guess what really hit home for me in that memoir was that while Ellen's journey didn't exactly line up with mine, I could really relate to how she had worked really hard to keep moving past the feelings she was having, to keep her family together, to keep her relationship intact. And in the end it just wasn't possible. And I know all of that intellectually, that this isn't something I can escape dealing with. It just really brought that home.

The memoir also brought home that while Ellen did find peace from her transition, she also lost a lot in the process. And I certainly got the feeling that she felt it was worth it. And from all of the things I've read from so many people, I have found very few people who regret what they've done. I am just honestly really scared and sad about what could happen, about what I could lose. What I likely will lose.

And yet, it's not really a choice. It's a choice of whether to survive or not. My mental state has been getting worse. And my health is suffering too. I don't think I can just put all of this off forever.

But it's really daunting. The idea of relearning how to live my life. I do enough reading and work on gender inequity that I have a fairly good idea of the privileges I'd be giving up and the sort of harassment I'd be likely to face. I don't think it's ever possible to really know. But it's scary. Particularly in this day and age. And I just feel like I know so very little, that I missed out on all the socialization that most women go through, so it's just... daunting.

People figure this out. And I'm good at figuring things out. I know I could do it. I'm just scared.

So in the wake of all this, my wife had another deep conversation. She has been pretty open with me about how she feels about what would happen if I were to transition. But I have not been very clear about what exactly I would like, because I have just been really terrified that by being clear, it would lead to the immediate end of everything, rather than giving us the possibility of making things work with time. I don't mean that I want to manipulate her or mislead her. It's just that there's a lot of things I don't really feel like are even possible for me for a long time, and so why ruin things now based on future possibilities?

But I've been reading Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, as I work on meditation and mindfulness, and one idea in there (and elsewhere) that also struck with me this weekend is that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. And suffering comes from resisting pain, from not accepting the messages and truths that pain is telling you, but instead trying to resist. So it has just been feeling like I should just accept more my reality, that what I am going through is real, I didn't choose this, I have a responsibility to continue to exist, and that probably means making choices about moving forward with some sort of transition. That may have consequences that I don't want to face. But denying that reality is not helping me.

I talked to her about some of my immediate concerns, which is working on my hair, with minoxidil and/or finasteride, to help with my receding hairline/temples, and maybe talking to my weight loss doctor about that. In a perfect world I'd like to work on facial hair removal, maybe with laser. One of my therapists had told me that a gender center in the area has had some success getting that covered through insurance. I've been scared to look into that because it would my gender issues on my medical record permanently. And if I manage to work through the tremendous amount of weight loss I still have to work on, which could take a couple years, then I might want to look at starting HRT. Beyond that is unclear for me.

The hair issues are sensitive for my wife, because she has some of her own concerns with that. But she was okay with me looking into that, particularly the minoxidil. I'm honestly a little more unsure about finasteride because of the potential side effects. And she was even maybe okay with facial hair removal, although she said she found the scratchiness of my face from five o'clock shadow comforting. It would be a loss, but she could maybe deal with it. And that honestly surprised me based on some previous comments.

I think HRT is a much bigger concern for her, because that would make it much harder for her to continue to do mental gymnastics to continue to see me in the way she needs to see me in order to feel romantic attraction. At least she feels that is the case. The future is hard to predict. But I want to respect her feelings about her orientation and how that impacts her identity. What she really wanted to know though is what this meant for me in terms of whether I would still be effectively in the closet or if it would change how I would be publicly living. And that's so hard, because I don't want to lose us. But if I could push a button so I could live my life as a woman, if most everything else was the same, I would. It's losing my family that makes this nearly impossible.

So this doesn't decide anything right now. We can still continue to have date nights and try to enjoy life together, to make the most of our time. Who knows what time will do. I don't want to try to force her to change her opinion. If it were to do so, and somehow we found a way to make things work, even I were to more fully transition, I mean that would make life as complete as it could be for me.

It was a good conversation to have. It felt like it took some of the pressure off of me to try to be the person she needs, to maybe stop this cycle where I crawl back into my shell at least once a week, where I try to hide how I'm feeling or what I'm thinking.

But... I just honestly feel really empty about all of this. I wish I could feel like, huzzah, I guess I can try to live my life. But... I just feel like in order to survive I may need to do some really hard things, and that may ultimately lead to both my wife and I end up alone and hurting and in bad financial straits. That does not bring me any sort of joy. It's just sad and tragic.

I just also don't feel like I can continue to go on existing as I have been. Certainly not for another decade, much less multiple decades. I just don't see how I can go that distance. And I guess I feel like a bit of a failure, like I'm not strong enough to hold out.

To further complicate things, this week I met with my weight loss doctor, and I was really nervous about asking about how the hair loss treatments might affect weight loss. Because I was worried that somehow that would trigger a discussion about my gender issues, and then that would get into my permanent medical record. Well apparently the stress about all that triggered extra high blood pressure for me. And then in our discussion, she was asking questions about how I was doing, and because of the blood pressure I was going to at least temporarily lose access to some medications, and I wanted her to know that this was probably a temporary blood pressure spike. And then in explaining that... I ended up telling her about being transgender.

It felt so impossible to tell her, but she was really good about it, and she said she could keep it out of my medical records for now, since it didn't affect my treatment with her. She told me about how her daughter's friend was a transgender girl, how the girl's mom was a nurse and had helped her to get help. And so I guess it felt really good knowing she has personal experience with someone in her life. She tried to tell me that others in the medical community would be supportive, and I guess I hope that would be true. I just have a lot of worries.

And then I ended up having a lot of worries about my blood pressure. I got it retested today, and it was a bit better. We'll try a new med to help with that. But I have just been feeling really down and out of it. I'm not in a great place.

To top it all off, I decided in my wisdom to talk to my mom briefly tonight about the blood pressure meds, and the conversation with my doc came up, and she immediately started in on me, about how her and my dad just couldn't understand all of this about me, since I didn't like feminine things as a kid. I got frustrated and tried to set some boundaries with her and just ask for them to provide some support and love. That I understood this was all difficult, but they needed to work on that on their own time.

I don't know, I know I'm rambling.

The tl;dr is that I feel like I've come to the conclusion that I do need to find ways to accept that I will need to find ways to work on transition, even if that is slow and takes quite a while. I am scared about how difficult that will be and what the consequences will be for my family. And even though it feels like that should bring me some joy and peace, I feel sad in many ways. Maybe resigned is the best word. And that doesn't feel great. But I don't feel like I can continue on like I have been.

I'm really not feeling very well. Maybe it's a change in meds, maybe it's being under the weather. But I'm not doing great. I'm going to be okay. Hopefully things will get better. I have therapy coming up, that usually helps. One day at a time.

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2019, 02:02:09 am »
Oh, and I started using minoxidil foam today. I know I won't see results if any for months. But I guess it is a step.

Offline BrightWindow

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2019, 06:33:39 am »
Personally, my view is that every transperson should transition and that it's just a matter of trying to help other people accept that.

When I was 14 and a few months I was tormented by gender dysphoria, because I had my first romantic affection earlier that year and although in the end she did not want to start a relationship with me, I had one of the first insights in my life to the world of women (although I did have an older sister and always attended co-ed schools, I was still very much socially divided from girls before then) and I knew that that I wanted to live that way but at the same time felt I could not because everyone was telling me I was a boy I was given the false impression that gender = genitals. Thank heavens a PSHE lesson came along and saved my life by telling me that gender identity is distinct from sex and as such, I am a woman. I did some research about it and before long I was completely open about it. I have now transitioned coming into sixth form college and feel a great deal happier.

It is one of my greatest regrets, if not my single greatest regret, that I did not come out earlier. Though I suppose that with the way I was raised this was never truly my mistake.

Sure I have heard my family say some things like "I'm not ready to let go of [insert my deadname here] yet" or "I've lost a son" but I know that I have always been a woman and that I can't deny that to myself or to anyone else anymore. I know how much harder my life will be than if I could have accepted my life as a man. But I can't so I have to transition. I don't know about transitioning causing divorce but I can say that my family has come a long way to understand and support my transition and that I am glad that I did not suppress my identity forever as I would only have spend my whole life regretting that I never had the courage to present to the world the woman I have always known I am.
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Offline barbie

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2019, 11:42:52 am »
Quote
Can I live the rest of my life without transition?

Yes!

The most important concerns of my spouse, parents, friends and colleagues were whether I will be able to sustain my family economically without interrupting my career. When I was at the early 40s, the future was uncertain. Their concerns were not just confined to a single factor. Marriage, family, kids and significant others are all connected. Education of my kids, family finances, and pension are more important than what I look like.

It has been not easy at all. A lot of misunderstandings, trials, and errors. As my family, especially my spouse, got assured that I can sustain them without any problem, nobody can meddle in our family affair. The support from my spouse has been critical. As long as my spouse is OK, then my kids also follow her. Also, my performance in the workplace has been important.

As I want to remain the dad to my children, I was never on HRT, although I once tried to get a prescription. The single hurdle in my passing as a woman is my low and soft voice, but I do not have any plan for feminization voice surgery, because my kids like and are comforted by my current soft voice. Whatever I look, I am their dad.

I am satisfied with the present status. I teach in a university while wearing a miniskirt for teenagers. Here, in a conservative society, even female professors do not dare to wear a miniskirt in the campus.

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Offline Sarah-Red

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2019, 12:04:18 pm »
I haven't read all of the posts, but just on the question of if it's possible to not transition at all, I think that it is, but it depends on the person.

Not transitioning doesn't mean you can't be more of yourself (especially in how you feel about yourself and maybe even behave). Someone can either take it slow or find whatever ways and outlets they can to feel more like themselves.

Maybe over time others around will understand more, and it'll be easier to think about transitioning.
It really depends how you feel and what you're willing to try facing and at what pace. My take on it, anyway :)

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2019, 01:09:59 am »
I just want to be clear that I'm not really asking is it possible for some people to live without transitioning. Everybody's life is different, everybody's feelings are different. What I've been trying to do is to work through my feelings and thoughts and process how I feel about this for me.

For those who are able to make changes that ease dysphoria while still keeping your life largely intact, I'm glad if that is working for you, and that is what you want. For those who have found transition more necessary and that has worked for you, I am glad for you too. And there are always mixes as well, and things don't always work out, at least not in ideal ways.

I guess in thinking through this for myself, I am coming more to the conclusion that for myself, the answer is that no, I cannot live the rest of my life without transition. I just honestly don't think I have it in me to do that. So at some point I will probably start a new thread.

What's hard for me is to figure out what that still means for me. For my own mental health, it does feel to me like I will need some form of transition. And I don't know that I can honestly wait until I finish two years of weight loss to start addressing this more fully. But I don't know what that means then.

I know that I feel like some things like HRT will probably need to wait until I get down into a more healthy weight range, and I am probably at least 100 pounds away from that, despite my progress over the last year, which has been significant.

I can continue to work on growing out my hair, which has been helpful with my dysphoria. I started using minoxidil, and if that were to be at all helpful with my hairline, that would really help a lot with dysphoria. Finasteride would likely have a higher chance of helping. I just need to decide if I'm willing to risk some of the side effects for that. Maybe I should, as that would feel like I'm doing something more active towards transition.

I've switched most of my clothing over to women's clothes, although not entirely, and most of the choices are not entirely obvious, sort of on the feminine side of androgynous. And since I don't think I can really come out publicly anytime soon, I think I need to continue on that path. it's also complicated because with weight loss I will probably need to go through several rounds of purchasing clothes, which can be expensive. I can maybe try to sell off clothes as I grow out of them to recoup some of the costs.

Ideally at some point I'd like to start working on facial hair removal. Cost is a big concern there. I mentioned there is a gender care center where I might be able to get some insurance coverage for facial hair removal, which would be a big help. I might also be able to join a support group there, which I'm not entirely sure about doing, because I feel like I'm so early in doing anything. But maybe. Going to that center puts all of this in my medical record, which feels daunting, particularly if I have a long time ahead of me where I will still not be out about this.

And I guess that's what's also hard. I had a really good therapy session today where I talked about all of this. And my therapist was very affirming. She has said we can talk about ways for me to work on self-acceptance. I just have a hard time squaring that with knowing how hard this is for my wife, who is still really firm about needing to not see me identify as a woman, to not change my pronouns or name. And it feels really difficult for me to conceptualize how to work on self-acceptance without working on some of those things at least for myself. I don't necessarily need her to make any changes for how she thinks about me or refers to me, but I feel like even acknowledging that I need to work on that internally is a bridge too far for her. And I just don't want us to end things before we have a chance to try to make things work.

Because I'd like to still give us a chance to enjoy our relationship, to enjoy our family time together, to do more traveling. We may need to plan for what happens if things don't work out. But I'd like us to make the most of our time, for me to feel more alive and to get our house in better order.

It just feels really hard to do that when I keep getting pulled back with these feelings that my identity ultimately will lead to the destruction of the family that I cherish so much. I just don't know how to mentally square that, to be okay with accepting that I have to go forward despite those consequences.

And it's just also hard to feel like there are some things I can do but there is a lot that feels like it's beyond the realm of possibility for at least a couple years. That is a long time to try to stay mentally stable. I can keep working on meditation and mindfulness to try to stay on track. But I feel like I'm at the point where I have already probably opened up to too many people, where I can't guarantee that I keep this under wraps. And I just really dislike keeping something so important from a number of people that are important to me. But if I continue to tell people, I might as well be out, because inevitably this will become a rumor that will circle around as gossip.

Yet it doesn't feel like being out is an option either, because I'm not going to be able to really transition with things like HRT for a while and to be fully out without having something like HRT to help feels really difficult and awkward.

So... I don't know. I feel like there are some things I can do. I don't know how that is going to feel mentally. I don't know how that is going to feel in our relationship. And I still worry about all of this. All I ever wanted was a family I loved, a relationship I loved. It just feels so unfair that because of this condition I have, a condition which I don't feel like I can escape or avoid much longer if at all, that all of that is now at risk of falling apart. That's life I guess.

Oof. Thanks for listening.

Offline Sarah-Red

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2019, 09:39:44 am »
That's really good. It feels like you've really make some headway for how you feel about it and where you're heading. No you don't know the future but your approach is pretty good now, and if you can appreciate how you're going about this, it can help to know that you are trying, you're doing what you can considering the situation.

It's tough because you care about your relationships too. It's just something that has to change one way or another over time. Enjoy what there is to enjoy, and don't forget that being more of yourself is a positive too, not just something that would get in the way of other stuff. Finding the line you want to balance and walk on might be a small challenge, but If you can be a little patient and keep at it, I'm sure it'll make even more sense with time how you want to go about it. Feels to me like you're on the way.

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Can I live the rest of my life without transition?
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2019, 05:41:55 pm »
I decided it was probably best for me to continue my thoughts on this in a new thread, on Figuring Out a Slow Transition. https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,250401.0.html

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