Author Topic: Wish to run away and leave my life behind  (Read 928 times)

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Offline Deb Roz

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Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« on: September 10, 2020, 10:45:51 am »
Hi All,

I recently listened to a lovely book called 'Long Black Veil" by a trans author, featuring a prominent trans character.  This character chose to fake their own death in order to leave their old life as a man behind, and start their new one.  This is a point of conflict for this character, as this choice has repercussions for her life both internally and externally.  She does this in the mid 80s, when things were much different than they are today. 

A little about me:  I’ve been questioning my gender in earnest for a few years now.  It ebbs and it flows, but I never seriously thought about it until a few years ago.  I’m going to be forty in a few months, and the ‘too old’ excuse has never gone away. 

The reason I’m talking about this is because I really related to her choice to abandon her old life an start a new one fresh.  This sensation has haunted me for many years, into my mid-twenties.  Back then it was in a more vague, non-specific way, like I hadn’t lived all I should live, and I felt like I couldn’t start a new life because my old one, family, friends, represented baggage that I couldn’t let go of.  This experience of wanting to escape was especially pronounced when I would visit a new city. 

Lately this sense of leaving my old life behind is where I go when I think about my gender.  Like, “only if I leave it all behind, can I move forward.”  Which, honestly, sounds like an excuse I’ve created to keep myself from doing anything at all.  Sigh, oh well, shrug. 

Just wondering though, has anyone else felt this way?  Is this a common trans experience, being haunted by the sensation of wanting to leave your old life and start an entirely new one, completely free? 
Mid 30s, assigned male at birth, seriously questioning my gender for the first time.

Offline SarahEL

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 11:21:34 am »
I think wanting to start over - without any history dragging you down as extra baggage is something a lot of trans-folk think about... and a lot have done.
I can certainly see the appeal in it - At the moment, I am planning on moving house before going full-time - to actually time the name change and FT with the day we move - so I leave the old 'him' behind...
Further to that, I have plans to leave to a different country, start a new life with a new love and build a brand new life together... only mentioning my history if there is a distinct need to..
I guess that when you make the decision that this is your life now - you do not want anyone to question why or how you got here... and just accept you for you. It might even be driven by more societal expectations that internal need?
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Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 01:09:04 pm »
Deb-

I had those feelings before I realized I was trans.  Like you it was a vague sense, almost like "this is not the life I want, so can I go start one that I do".  It was a passive thought, as if just the act of moving away would change everything- and I'd forget that I'd actually be bringing myself and my internal baggage along.

For me, those thoughts mostly went away after my realization-  I started acting on my own feelings and I realized that I can make my life what I want.  I don't necessarily feel anymore that I have to move somewhere else to start a new life, because I kinda have already started tiptoeing towards a new life here.  And wherever I end up, it will be an active choice. 

But your choice has to fit your situation.  I'm a widow, with an elderly mom and two kids shortly off to college.  I live in a area that is relatively accepting of transitioning folk.  A higher percentage of my friends are active in the LGBTQ community than the national average.  My situation lends itself to shifting myself rather than a hard break with my past.

And I can always get in the car and drive away if it doesn't work out.

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Offline IamKatrina

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 01:49:24 pm »
  I have tried to move to start my life over but neither worked for me. I have always ended up moving back to my hometown. I am only speaking for myself when I say that if I can't be myself in my hometown, I can't be myself anywhere. Every time I tried to relocate the same issues I struggled with in my hometown seemed to follow me so 15 years ago me and my wife moved back here and I started trying to work on all the baggage I was carrying with me from place to place. It has been a slow process for me but I am finally coming to that place of self recognition and a place of acceptance of who I am. So the best advice I can give anyone is to make sure you are ok with you before trying to start over. And be sure of your reasons as to why you feel the need to start over someplace else. Is it simply for a change and something new or could it be you are running from something as I was?

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Offline Nadine Spirit

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2020, 06:31:39 am »
I've heard of many trans people leaving their old life behind literally by quitting their jobs and moving to an entirely new area and starting over.  It for sure has appeal.  Especially when I consider that in my small town, until I retire 15 years from now, I will most likely forever be known as the transgender teacher.  Yippee! 

As well, apparently I pass just fine, and never get misgendered.  Unless we are talking about my friends, family, and coworkers, then I get misgendered all of the time.  So, only people who knew me pre-transition misgender me, again yippee!!!

However, there is also a certain amount of warmth and beauty from being able to stay in my community and slowly, ever so slowly, gain acceptance and actually begin to change people's perceptions of what it means to be trans.  Sadly for most people I interact with, I am the only trans person they have ever spoken to.  There is vast amounts of ignorance out there and I truly believe the only way to combat that is through education.  How are we going to do that if we always run away? 

If we stay strong and work to educate society now it will only work to help the future.  Maybe things are not perfect for us, but maybe they can be for the next generation. 

Offline TSL_NB

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2020, 04:55:25 pm »
I think we all want that feeling of being truly, completely free, which is in part, what brought all of us together here.

I guess for me, though, especially with being a parent, I didn't feel the urge to run off, but in some ways, quite the contrary, where I felt like I had to insist on staying put, and setting the expectation that I have a right to be here, too.

That's just been my experience on it.
It took over 40 years to realise, and believe, that what I am NOT, is a mistake.

(Yes, I'm a Canadian who served in the US Navy....)


Offline CarlyMcx

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2020, 02:56:41 am »
I didn’t run away from my old life—I walked away.  I put a few years of hard work into my transition in order to make sure my appearance matched my true personality.  I worked on my presentation and personal style.  I let myself stop being him.

Most important, anyone who acted like I was still him only with long hair and women’s clothing got booted out of the airlock.

My wife and I are still together.  I have a lot of new, close friends.  Life is good.

You do not need to run away from your old self.  You just need the confidence to walk away.

Offline ChrissyRyan

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2020, 07:26:22 am »
I didn’t run away from my old life—I walked away.  I put a few years of hard work into my transition in order to make sure my appearance matched my true personality.  I worked on my presentation and personal style.  I let myself stop being him.

Most important, anyone who acted like I was still him only with long hair and women’s clothing got booted out of the airlock.

My wife and I are still together.  I have a lot of new, close friends.  Life is good.

You do not need to run away from your old self.  You just need the confidence to walk away.


Thanks for sharing.  I have not let myself “completely stop being him.”   I keep thinking of reasons why it is not yet the right time to do so. 

However, I do know that it will be the right time to do so at some point in time.  When that happens, I will leave him behind in terms of all aspects of daily living.  I have come close to doing so and backed off but there will come a time that I will not back off. 

Chrissy
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Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

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Offline Pammie

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2020, 04:30:59 pm »

Thanks for sharing.  I have not let myself “completely stop being him.”   I keep thinking of reasons why it is not yet the right time to do so. 

However, I do know that it will be the right time to do so at some point in time.  When that happens, I will leave him behind in terms of all aspects of daily living.  I have come close to doing so and backed off but there will come a time that I will not back off. 

Chrissy
I doubt I will ever again experience the sheer joy I felt throwing away the last Male clothes on full time day - just sheer exhilaration!
“He” had been such a small part of me for months - I felt like I was in drag every working day until that wonderful day xxx


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Offline EZ Linus

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2020, 07:07:22 pm »
My girlfriend and I moved 100 miles away from our city and I'll admit, it was easier for her to be herself and to come out all the way. She just recently started being herself. A year before that, she lost her office job, where she was the boss as "him," and that also made it easier for her since she no longer had a work environment to deal with and now works from home remotely. Now that we are in a new town, it seems easier to reinvent ourselves, but through social media, everyone is starting to catch word of the changes happening. Some people are supportive and some people are just silent or turning away from us. In town, sometimes we get looks, and sometimes, it's no big deal. I think it would have been the same if we stayed--as far as the acceptance goes, but outside/environmental changes are sometimes a good incentive to make inner changes as well.

Offline ChelseaAnn

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 04:00:04 pm »
I've been there. I even contemplated (at a very low point) finding a guy who would basically take me in and provide for me as long as I married him. Again, at a very low point in my coming out stage.
I think we all hope for an easier way out. The current state of the US doesn't really help. So, don't worry too much about it. I think we've all been there

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Offline JoJoWolfe

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2020, 10:39:10 am »
I don’t see it as ‘leaving your life behind’, I see it as taking a new path on your life’s journey. People very rarely stay in one house, one job and the same relationship status for for life, each time you change job, form a new relationship, end one, or move you are making a huge leap in faith and shifting the direction your life will take,

I thought about that ten years ago when I was going through my divorce, this was before I had my gender identity crisis. It has an appeal, a complete putting aside what has happened up until now  and stepping off in a new direction.  If I knew then what I knew now I definitely would have done it, my life would have set off in a new direction without a doubt. As it happens I am so happy with where I am now but endured a few years of hell because of my lack of courage, but hey the universe is finally unfolding and revealing her plan for me.

I think a lot of it comes down to money. Many people feel trapped by job insecurity and the cost of moving. In the U.K. healthcare isn’t a problem neither should discrimination as its against the law but I can see in the US that healthcare is very much tied to a job and from what we hear over the pond, protection from discrimination is patchy to absolutely hostile depending on location.

By moving will you lose a supportive network or will you be moving from a hostile environment? If hostility is coming from family then move. This nonsense about ‘ family being everything’ tends to be one way when it’s thrown in your face. Being alone is better than living in the middle of hostility. Start to sound out support networks before you move, get those established, likewise with employment, healthcare and accommodation.

When you move, you present yourself as you are, people will accept that or not. Those that accept you at the start of transition and become friends are keepers. Say you move, you start living as who you are meant to be whether you start transition or not, you grow in confidence, at some time you may want to visit family, neutral territory say a restaurant, but this time you are seeing them on your terms, they accept you and want to be part of your life or not. In which case, carry on with your life

Your move may be permanent or you may plan on it being temporary. If you really like where you are living now you could leave as ‘Bob’ and after two years travelling or just a break in a new place, come back as ‘Roberta’ and depending on people’s memories and how much you have changed you will be free to resume living in your home town- depending on size and population of course.

If you decide to stay then it will be difficult, you will face difficulties whether you leave or stay. If you stay, you set the terms, set up a new private footprint on social media that you control and do not allow anyone access from the past, use an innocuous profile name, picture and avatar that you cannot be ice fire from. Maintain your old one, if only to gauge what the atmospherics are like, but don’t be active or at least be so bland and mention absolutely nothing about your developing identity/transition, no posting selfies, change your profile pictures/avatars to something innocuous, pets are always a good idea. Quietly and over time block and unfriend people. Set up a different email address and have two mobile phones, that way it eliminates ‘leakage’. Be aware Facebook will suggest your new profile to people on your old profile if you use the same IP address! Do what I’ve done, create a new profile, an innocuous profile picture and avatar, set my home town as being 150 miles away and my job as something completely different.

Whatever you do, plan long term and have an exit strategy.

Good luck.

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2020, 01:51:38 pm »
Based on my own experience, pulling up stakes, quitting my worthwhile executive employment, going full-time and relocating to a brand new area over 1000 miles away can be a risky endeavor... on the negative side, leaving behind familiar surroundings, employment, friends, family, and any support that was available.... and on the positive side, leaving behind any hostilities and non-acceptance.

Fortunately, as a CPA with a MBA, it gave me a good opportunity to start my new woman owned small accounting and financial business... and personal opportunities to make brand new friends and explore brand new romantic interests.   
Early on, as the new girl in my new small town there was more interest in me than I was prepared for....  a new resident, with a new business in a small town is not going to be unnoticed. 
I was the new blue-eyed blonde young woman that piqued the interest of most of the townspeople.

My first blog/journal (I have 3 now)  I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles   from the year 2018 goes over in detail things like the following):
    > Starting HRT in March of 2015
    > Coming out full-time in December 2016
    > Quitting my executive male-mode job
    > Relocating to an Alaskan small town
    > Getting accustomed to long and bitter cold winters
    > Dealing with almost constant daylight in Summer and constant darkness in winter
    > Starting my new woman owned small business and new clients
    > Getting involved in civic events which endeared me to local businesses
    > Involvement with Book Club, Gym-Gals Group, and hosting social events
    > Going through the gauntlet of the women's locker room at the gym
    > Overnight shopping trips and sharing hotel rooms with cis-women
    > As a woman, navigating the dating scene and romantic interests
    > etc, etc....


I certainly realized that many members here can not just leave relationships, family, jobs and do not have the ability to easily and in a positive way start over.   We are all different with different situations, different skills, and all of us may have liabilities and responsibilities that can not be easily left behind.   Personally, I am still dealing with parents and extended family and old friends back home that I am not on the best of terms with.  I am making slow but sure progress in healing those relationships.

HUGS and best wishes to all as you continue in your life-long journey.
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Offline Rachel

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2020, 08:03:04 pm »
I thought about it at one time. I listed positives and negative to keep the score. I had too many negatives. maybe I really did not want to move and threw up road blocks. Either way, I chose not to move.

One thing that caused me to do a lot of thought was hoping my relationship with my daughter and ex would improve. Also, it took me a lot in time and effort to blend in. I am there now but not when I was serious of moving. Now my relationship with my daughter and ex is ok.
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Offline Froodah

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Re: Wish to run away and leave my life behind
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2020, 06:23:01 am »
I really liked the story you quoted!

I want a new life too! Earth is a hole.

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