Author Topic: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma  (Read 5911 times)

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Offline Emma1017

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Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« on: July 26, 2020, 03:22:53 am »
Wow I think this chapter in my trans life scares me the most.  It is irreversible that I am Emma and now I want to permanently physically change to be me.

There are a lot of things I need to resolve, most specifically my relationship with my wife, before I proceed.  There is even a chance that I may not go through with this, for medical reasons for example.  But even if I can't, I know that I am Emma in my heart and soul.  It took a long, painful journey to get here.

Thank you to all of you for your endless support and wonderful love.

I can summarize the three prior chapters as "Do I have gender dysphoria?", "Am  I transgender?", and "What am I transitioning to?"

Here are the links:

Chapter 1 Which Hurts Less? https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,240370.0.html

Chapter 2 So I am Trans, Now What?  https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,248609.0.html

Chapter 3 Great so I am Transitioning, Now What?  https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,252749.0.html



Massive hug to all,

Emma


[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Northern Star Girl

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2020, 03:45:13 am »
@Emma1017
Dear Emma:
I am eagerly looking forward to reading and following your
new Chapter 4 of your journey...  Becoming Emma

Rest assured that I and the rest of your followers are your biggest fans, always ready to offer support and encouragement.  We are always rooting for your success and happiness. 
We have our ears ready to listen and our shoulders for you to lean on when you experiencing disappointments and discouragement.

HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle


Wow I think this chapter in my trans life scares me the most.  It is irreversible that I am Emma and now I want to permanently physically change to be me.

There are a lot of things I need to resolve, most specifically my relationship with my wife, before I proceed.  There is even a chance that I may not go through with this, for medical reasons for example.  But even if I can't, I know that I am Emma in my heart and soul.  It took a long, painful journey to get here.

Thank you to all of you for your endless support and wonderful love.

I can summarize the three prior chapters as "Do I have gender dysphoria?", "Am  I transgender?", and "What am I transitioning to?"

Here are the links:

Chapter 1 Which Hurts Less? https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,240370.0.html

Chapter 2 So I am Trans, Now What?  https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,248609.0.html

Chapter 3 Great so I am Transitioning, Now What?  https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,252749.0.html



Massive hug to all,

Emma
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2020, 10:25:43 am »
OK to officially launch this new thread off, below is an article I just wrote for MEDIUM that I thought I would share here.  I hope it's useful.

                                                          Gender Impostor

I am over 18 months into hormone therapy (HRT) on the cusp of the most profound decision of my life:  Do I physically transition and finally live the rest of my life as a woman I have been denying all my life or live with the extraordinary pain of gender dysphoria every day for the rest of my life being someone else to please the world?

I have desperately battled over this decision for the last three years since gender dysphoria exploded into my life.  It accompanied, for the first time of my life, thoughts of suicide.  It has been a desperately emotional battle and I have come to understand that gender dysphoria was only an important warning sign of a medical condition that I have spent a lifetime denying, I was transgender. 

So my struggle continues. 

After years of therapy, deep research and scathing self-analysis, I still find it hard to believe that I am truly am transgender.  Yet, irrefutably, I am.  I am constantly challenged, emotionally, to simply accept the facts.

I keep asking why I continue to battle my reality.  It is crucial that I know the answer because the next, very public step, affects every aspect of my life.

If I physically transition, I must come out publicly.

I found a You Tube presentation that seemed to resonate with me.  It discussed something called the Impostor syndrome.  It is a psychological pattern in which one doubts the reality of one's accomplishments or true sense of self and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".  It generates feelings of severe inadequacy and self-doubt that can leave people fearing that they will be exposed as a “fraud”.

Impostor syndrome can affect anyone.  In fact, it turns out that it is normal and common in society.  The only ones that seem to be immune are narcissists and the militantly arrogant.
 
So my impostor syndrome centers around the internal fear that I am not woman enough or am I really a woman?  64 years of looking in the mirror and seeing a man look back in addition to everyone in my life seeing the same image is a massively difficult sense of reality to overcome.  It creates huge doubt of who you truly are.  It shreds any confidence you have of the true “you” that you know you are.
 
An internal part of me doesn’t accept that I am really are transgender.  I
just can’t seem to fully accept it as my fact.  I can’t accept that it ok to transition and that it is OK to be who I am.

I feel like an impostor.
 
Society has set the rules that judge me.  I feel like I am trespassing in an area that I shouldn’t be.

Fortunately I have not blazed this path first.  I find myself on a path traveled by thousands of transgender individuals before me.  Most have described the same alien sensation, the same feeling like being an impostor.  Again, fortunately for me, they found that it is merely a very unpleasant growing pain to finally be your true self, sort of like a gender adolescence.

Just what I needed in my 60's, another round of pubescent insecurities…

Does the impostor syndrome disappear?  Sadly no, but that is OK because that just means you are normal and it is not caused by simply being transgender.  I like knowing that I have a normal neurosis like everyone else. 

It means I am not an impostor after but just another human being trying to get through life.

I like that.




« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 03:10:47 pm by Emma1017 »
[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online EllenW

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2020, 11:48:45 am »
Emma,

I also found a you tube on gender imposture. I found it very interesting and to be very true at the start of my journey. Like you my transition started later in life, although I knew from a much earlier age that is I was an imposter. A women pretending to be a  man just because I was assigned male at birth. I was afraid to change as I was afraid of losing my income and my wife.

After a lot of work, life could not be better.  In two weeks my wife and I celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. She has come to accept me as the woman I am and has been supportive. she even picked by first name Ellen. :). I truly believe if you love your wife and she loves you. You will be able to work through your physical transaction.

I am now 66 and alomst three years after transition at work, I could not be happier at work. My boss even invited me to join the company's Womens Networking group on teams.

I no longer fell like an impostor and I think with time you will no longer have those same feels. Please hang in there and remember you have a great group of followers that are here to support you.

Ellen

Known all my life I was different
Started to live part time as my true self in 2010
HRT January 2018
Full time at work Febuary 2018
Legal name and gender change January 2019

Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2020, 04:18:09 pm »
Hello and I look forward to supporting you in your Chapter 4!

I just have one thing to say about imposter syndrome: I don't think it has anything to do with gender transition.

I have imposter syndrome from time to time because I often doubt my abilities as a software engineer even though if I look at the facts, my skills are actually pretty good; not necessarily the best, but still good!

I'm not sure gender transition is the sort of accomplishment that applies here.
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: "kind of" started 15 Jul 2020
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
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Offline Sephirah

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 04:31:24 pm »
Want know the thing which helped me with this?

I am never going to be a conventional woman in my wildest dreams. Never. I can't physically transition, and fit into the boxes people try and put other people into. It's never going to happen. Passing isn't even on my radar.

What helps me with this is trying to come to terms with the idea that being a woman means what you want it to mean. That you have to ditch this notion that you have to be woman "enough". That you have to prove yourself in the eyes of the world.

Being an imposter, as you put it, assumes that you have to fit certain criteria to be genuine. And I do not believe that in the slightest. It's not only an insult to trans people, it's an insult to non-trans people as well. It's basically saying "You have to be like us or you don't count."

Tell that to all the women who don't fit the stereotypical "female" criteria. Tell that to all the women who dare to encroach on things typically deemed as a guy preserve. To like and enjoy things, to want to be around stuff that it's not "normal" for women to want to be involved with.

I detest putting people in boxes like that, and I think it's supremely limiting to both how, and who you are. Being your own woman means what you want it to mean. This is the thing. You aren't female because you want to live a certain life, and be a certain way. You're female because that's who you are. It's the canvas upon which the rest of your life is painted. It's a default state. Not something you have to try and prove.

Be your own woman, don't be everywoman. Because that never works.

Love you, Auntie Em. :D

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2020, 04:58:17 pm »
Thank you Ellen for your warm thoughts and good wishes.

Ellie and Sephirah I think you both are approaching the concept of impostor syndrome from the same angle, self confidence.  I don't have it yet.  Impostor syndrome is not usually a permanent state and in my case I believe that to be true.  That is why I pose it as a transitory passage to self-acceptance. 

As you both know from pages of my own testimony on my thread, I am suffering from an acute case of insecurity.  Something that I have never known in my life.  I clearly have over-responded to this entire experience.  It has required me to reject most of my preconceived motions of myself, my gender and my life.  That is a lot to absorbed.  You all have been incredibly patient has I journeyed this path...but it is not over.

Impostor syndrome generates feelings of severe inadequacy and self-doubt.  That describes me exactly right now but clearly doesn't describe either of you and that is excellent.  I think my description of it as a "gender puberty" captures my concept exactly.  It will pass with time as I see "me" emerge from this male shell I have been walking around in for 64 years.

My ego is still a "Doubting Thomas" that needs more proof to feel the confidence I need to move forward.  My ego has taken a bunch of painful hits over the last three years and definitely needs to heal a little bit to go forward.  The impostor syndrome is just some of the bruising that needs to heal as well.

Sephirah have you apologized to your aunt yet for insulting her? ;D


Hugs,

Emma
[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Sephirah

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 05:09:19 pm »
Wait, what?

How did I insult you? I am very confused.

Whatever I said or did, I am very, very sorry. I love you sweetie. Insulting you would be the last thing I would ever want to do.

Sincerely.

Also... hon, it's not about self confidence. It's about acceptance. The vast majority of women don't have much self confidence either. Why do you think the makeup and beauty companies make so much money. It's not about being confident in yourself, it's just about accepting yourself and who you are. That doesn't make you suddenly have no problems, or feel like you're untouchable. It just makes you be you.

People attach all this baggage to being someone. Be that male, female, or non-binary. They dump all these criteria onto them which people have to somehow strive to reach. In order to be seen as legitimate.

Babies born into this world have none of that. You don't tell a baby girl she has to like makeup, or barbie dolls, or wearing pink clothes, or whatever else. Not till she's much older. She just is who she is, you know?

You are no different. The world has just told you different things and you've had a lot longer to assume they are the only way things can be. In essence, you're still just a baby girl, sweetie. You are who you are. The imposter is actually the person the world has made you be. Not who you actually are. Confidence has nothing to do with that. It's just about accepting it. :)

Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2020, 05:22:52 pm »
Want know the thing which helped me with this?

I am never going to be a conventional woman in my wildest dreams. Never. I can't physically transition, and fit into the boxes people try and put other people into. It's never going to happen. Passing isn't even on my radar.

What helps me with this is trying to come to terms with the idea that being a woman means what you want it to mean. That you have to ditch this notion that you have to be woman "enough". That you have to prove yourself in the eyes of the world.

Being an imposter, as you put it, assumes that you have to fit certain criteria to be genuine. And I do not believe that in the slightest. It's not only an insult to trans people, it's an insult to non-trans people as well. It's basically saying "You have to be like us or you don't count."

Tell that to all the women who don't fit the stereotypical "female" criteria. Tell that to all the women who dare to encroach on things typically deemed as a guy preserve. To like and enjoy things, to want to be around stuff that it's not "normal" for women to want to be involved with.

I detest putting people in boxes like that, and I think it's supremely limiting to both how, and who you are. Being your own woman means what you want it to mean. This is the thing. You aren't female because you want to live a certain life, and be a certain way. You're female because that's who you are. It's the canvas upon which the rest of your life is painted. It's a default state. Not something you have to try and prove.

This. ALL THIS!

This is the expanded version of one of my sayings. "It's not about being a woman, it's about being me."

I sometimes wear makeup and I do get compliments from doing so, but I don't do that every day. I sometimes, but not always, wear a wig when I go out.

I have A-cup boobs and there are women that have smaller boobs than that who are cisgender. I fit into a size 10 UK dress and my understanding is there are loads of women that would love to have that ability. I have a good figure. And it is wonderful not having to conform to the expectations of society.

That post needs a +1 for its insight.
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: "kind of" started 15 Jul 2020
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
Twitch streamer MusicEllie

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2020, 05:24:50 pm »
Holy Mackerel Sephirah you can never insult me, ever.  I was teasing you about insulting your aunt for saying she looked like me!!! :o ;D ;D ;D

Regarding impostor syndrome, we are both describing the same thing with different words, accepting myself and having confidence in myself.  They are both elements that I am developing but haven't achieved....yet.

I absolutely trust confidence and acceptance will come...with time, but they will come.  It is all part of the process of putting my pieces together after three years of very painful, personal dissection.

Ellie we are also in agreement, I am simply trying to be me not some ideal woman.

Hugs,

Emma

[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Sephirah

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2020, 05:47:12 pm »
Holy Mackerel Sephirah you can never insult me, ever.  I was teasing you about insulting your aunt for saying she looked like me!!! :o ;D ;D ;D

Aha I see. Well truthfully, she's quite beautiful. As are you. Back in the day she was a maneater, I guess you'd call it. Before she grew out of that kind of thing. ;D I kind of think you are cuter though, but the physical resemblance is there.

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2020, 05:56:02 pm »
Great Sephirah go ahead and make me blush again.... ;)
[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

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Offline Alice

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2020, 08:33:22 pm »
Emma,

I know how hard it is to struggle with being Trans. I had a massive struggle accepting I needed to transition and all of the depression that came as a result.

I look forward to reading your articles when I have time.

Alice

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2020, 09:39:40 pm »
Thank you for your thoughts Alice. It is definitely a very tough experience. Thankfully I am not the first one!
[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Jenny_Oh

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2020, 10:03:32 pm »
Ouch, yes!

my impostor syndrome centers around the internal fear that I am not woman enough or am I really a woman?
.

Imposter syndrome is very real and a brutal part of transitioning and seems to be experienced by a lot of us who go through transition, no matter how old or young we are or how we look. The physical and emotional reality is, transition takes time, even though you know your a woman, you can't just flip a switch and wake up the next day physically and emotionally transformed. So during our transition, we experience doubt and one of those manifestations is akin to imposter syndrome as you say. I got it hard about 3 months after coming out to my wife, parents and several colleagues.

My solution after a month of talking about this with my therapist, was to acknowledge and accept the reality. Yes, I know I am a woman and I feel like a woman inside. But physically and emotionally, I am transitioning. So everything isn't perfect or how I want it. And that's okay. For now I deal with the feelings of being an imposter by owning the label, transgender. I am a transgender woman, and I'm good with that. For now.
    

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2020, 06:54:50 am »

Jenny thank you for sharing. 

I think going for complete  physical transition creates this situation because you have in your minds eye a vision of how you see yourself.   The challenge is to accept  the limitations of what you are trying to achieve before you have surgeries.  Anyone who  goes  for plastic surgery needs to have reasonable expectations.


[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Jessica_Rose

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2020, 07:42:44 am »
I admit to having rather low expectations, when I started my journey I was certain that I was going to make one ugly woman. Maybe that is why I am so happy today, because I never expected to look like I do now.

In some ways I also feel like an imposter, because my life experiences will never be the same as those of a cis female. That doesn't make me an imposter though, it just means that my life experiences are different from most other females -- it doesn't invalidate who I am now. There are many things we must endure and overcome in our journeys, and possibly the biggest of all are the obstacles we have created in our own minds.

Love always -- Jessica Rose
Journal thread - Jessica's Rose Garden
National Coming Out Day video - Coming Out - Jessica Rose
GCS Thread - GCS and BA with Dr. Ley on 21 Feb 2019 - Jessica_Rose
GCS II and FFS Thread - GCS II and FFS with Dr. Ley on 26 July 2019 - Jessica_Rose
23Mar2017 Started Estradiol / 16Feb2018 Full Time! / 21Feb2019 GCS Dr. Ley / 26July2019 GCS II & FFS Dr. Ley

Don't let others tell you who you are. Be yourself, the world will adjust. -- Jessica Rose

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2020, 05:28:07 pm »
Jessica Rose you are right, it really is a mental journey.  As I have been told by more than a few people here it is a matter of accepting who you are, not who you have been told you are.  There is a lot to overcome and unravel.  It is so amazing complex.

I have said this before, it is amazingly humbling.   
[img[/img]The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline KimOct

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2020, 06:27:51 pm »
  But even if I can't, I know that I am Emma in my heart and soul.  It took a long, painful journey to get here.

Massive hug to all,

Emma

Emma I know I lean on you pretty hard but I also believe that you know it is out of love.  The above quote is the best thing I have read from you in a long time.  Regardless of the path you take you are indeed transgender and whether you transition or not it does not change who you are.  I think you have arrived at that and knowing who we are is a powerful thing.
The first transphobe you have to conquer is yourself

Offline Alice

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Re: Chapter 4: Becoming Emma
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2020, 07:37:42 pm »

I have desperately battled over this decision for the last three years since gender dysphoria exploded into my life.  It accompanied, for the first time of my life, thoughts of suicide.  It has been a desperately emotional battle and I have come to understand that gender dysphoria was only an important warning sign of a medical condition that I have spent a lifetime denying, I was transgender. 

So my struggle continues. 

After years of therapy, deep research and scathing self-analysis, I still find it hard to believe that I am truly am transgender.  Yet, irrefutably, I am.  I am constantly challenged, emotionally, to simply accept the facts.

I keep asking why I continue to battle my reality.  It is crucial that I know the answer because the next, very public step, affects every aspect of my life.

Jessica Rose you are right, it really is a mental journey.  As I have been told by more than a few people here it is a matter of accepting who you are, not who you have been told you are.  There is a lot to overcome and unravel.  It is so amazing complex

I have said this before, it is amazingly humbling.   

Emma,

I was wondering if the last quote could be improved to

As I have been told by more than a few people here it is a matter of understanding and accepting who you are, not who you have been told you are.

Like yourself I battled this for all it is worth. All of my old entries within Susans was about fighting my dysphoria. I did my own research in my early 30s when gender dysphoria was affecting everything with my life. Having an understanding of what I was facing is so critical to a positive outcome.

Alice
 

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