Author Topic: Too afraid to reach out to a support group  (Read 460 times)

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Offline Observur

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Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« on: October 31, 2020, 02:17:54 pm »

hi everyone, im having a lot of problems regarding anxiety self trust and fear around support groups
can you shed some light on your first experience with trans specific support groups ? how ist like for the first time?
for some reason i have the feeling that i wont be trans enough to atend or somehow i feel like my transess would be tested  and or thhere is a specific standart to adhear to i feel like i might freak out because im not used to being vaulnrable  and i cant bring myself to facer a therapist so i wanted to take baby steps and maybe first stop being lonely and find support and a loving enviroment that i can feel safe in to experament freely as i cant do that much in my closet! idk why i have these thoughts about support groups so i though maybe if some of you can share their experiences it can help disolve the ice wall i guess thank you in advanced (apologies for bad english i am not a native speaker)

« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 07:38:05 pm by Rakel »

Offline Megan.

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Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 03:08:20 pm »
Wondering if you're trans or "trans enough" is very common. These groups can help you dig into those questions.

I've been to several in-person groups in the least few years. If there's one thing they have in common it's diversity. Members vary from a very binary trans identity and presentation to very a-gender, queer or non-binary.

My first time at a group, I went pre-anything and presenting in drab. I was welcomed and encouraged to ask questions.

Just think of it as going out to a new social group. The fact that others there may be trans is almost irrelevant.

Be brave. The only thing to fear is fear itself ;-)

X.

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« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 06:39:17 pm by Northern Star Girl »
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Offline AllieSF

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Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2020, 03:20:37 pm »
I have been to a few support group events.  They were held in places where you could meet others under the big Transgender umbrella that includes crossdressers to post op transsexuals.  They were social events, and many offered a place to change so that one could leave their house one way and then change at the venue into their preferred way.  They always welcomed newcomers.  Conversations were all over the place and if you ask, they will answer your questions.  Most groups allow you to come in your normal mode to check the event out.  My experiences are near San Francisco, California, a very, very accepting area for all of us.

If they have support groups where you are, even if they are a long drive away, they could be a great help to you.  You meet new people similar to yourself, you get out of your house, almost into the real world, you can network with others to maybe find someone close to you to become friends.  You are building courage and confidence with who you are and what you can accomplish.  To join a support group, you will need to contact them.  When you do ask them all the questions you have about how they operate, what are their rules, do they have a place to change clothes, can you go as your normal self the first time to check it all out, and any other questions that you have.

To find a support/social group just Google "Transgender (or "LGBT") support groups near (your city and country)".  Also, tell us where you live and there may be someone from your area that can also help you out.

I understand where you are and also think that your idea of joining a group may be helpful for you.  They can, because you will quickly see and meet other people like you and they are doing OK.  That means that you can eventually do the same things as they do and feel more confident in who you are and what you can do and how to do it.  I also like that you have considered or are considering therapy.  If you can find a therapist with transgender care experience, they can really help you understand who you are and how to feel more comfortable with that and live your life.

So, please do not be afraid of joining a group if you can find one.  Good luck,

Allie
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 06:39:33 pm by Northern Star Girl »
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Offline Observur

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Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2020, 03:36:21 pm »

To find a support/social group just Google "Transgender (or "LGBT") support groups near (your city and country)".  Also, tell us where you live and there may be someone from your area that can also help you out.


hi thank you for the advice i live in israel btw , i have been offered to go to groups by other trans people on <another forum> but for so long i just chickened out of it ! now days im just tired of hiding and pretending
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 06:39:50 pm by Northern Star Girl »

Offline Observur

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Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2020, 03:39:15 pm »
Wondering if you're trans or "trans enough" is very common. These groups can help you dig into those questions.

I've been to several in-person groups in the least few years. If there's one thing they have in common it's diversity. Members vary from a very binary trans identity and presentation to very a-gender, queer or non-binary.

My first time at a group, I went pre-anything and presenting in drab. I was welcomed and encouraged to ask questions.

Just think of it as going out to a new social group. The fact that others there may be trans is almost irrelevant.

Be brave. The only thing to fear is fear itself ;-)

X.

Sent from my MI 9 using Tapatalk

just thinnking about it makes me nervous  and thats me just being the odd ball of social awkwardness and anxiety thank you though i realize on my own i can only go so far and on a rough journy like this having some friends wouldnt be soo bad to push each other and support one an other is just a heart warming thought :)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 06:40:07 pm by Northern Star Girl »

Offline Rachel

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Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2020, 04:11:42 pm »
Hi,

I was extremely apprehensive going to a trans support group. What I found was a lot of people struggling with their gender identity, just like me. I loved support and would go to two different groups. I eventually presented at trans conferences with friends I gained by going to group.

I think the best thing about the different groups I went to was they were tailored to the people's needs. There are groups for young, trans men, trans woman,  combined trans gender groups (including male, female and they), street worker trans groups, HIV trans groups and all inclusive trans groups.

There are a lot of  <trans people>  in Philadelphia.

Fear is normal, everyone is nervous the first few times. Everyone there is trans. I made so many friends at group and did social things with them too.

If you take the word group out of he equation and think of it as a groups of people getting together to share information and find out where and how to do things that they have in common it is a lot less scary. Yup you are trans and they are too, so what.

I had a lot of friends in groups and we did things outside of group. I was on a Skype call last week for William Way in Philadelphia for a work employee engagement group and the trans group co-facilitator at William Way is someone I knew from group years ago.

I was afraid of going to group at first. I went and loved it. I learned so much about myself. I learned how lucky I am. I learned there are a lot of people that are trans and there are a lot of potential friends. I am still in contact with a person from group.

I outgrew group and joined a LGBT BDSM sex club which is now closed due to covid. I made a lot a friends there too and I miss the club. Since then I go to a cis lifestyles party (not for 6 weeks and not for an additional 6 weeks as I am healing from femlar).

I gained confidence by going to group. There are a lot of people that are trans. I made a lot of friends. Some of those friends died, too many. I went to a BDSM sex club and like it. We had classes and the peeps were all very low key and accepting. About half of the club were non binary and a lot of trans. Almost everyone was poly. That closed due to covid. Now when I am healed I will return to a cis lifestyles clubs.

In group I found a lot of people that are just like me. I found Mazzoni which helped me an incredible amount. I outgrew group and went to a BDSM LGBT dungeon (there were 5 in philly). Now I go to lifestyles parties and have a lot of fun. I think of it as stepping stones along a path.

On my journey I found a lot of people like me. I found I am 100% kinky female. I found I am accepted in an almost exclusive black ( I mention that as it can be difficult to be accepted in that venue, I am totally accepted) cis male lifestyles play space.

In the lifestyles place I go there is alcohol and THC. I keep away from that. All sex is with condoms and there are certain things that are off limits. The house has strict rules and infractions are not tolerated. There is some very light BDSM there but very light compared to what I have experienced in the past.

I am a female 100%. I like guys. I like having sex with guys. I like having fun with guys. This is what I learned about myself and it all started with group.

I have to be vulnerable and take a chance. I was not allowed to go to group for 6 months when I started gender therapy. I was not stable and there are a lot of things that can trigger you there like a friend that dies or gets raped or beaten and robbed or OD's. New people can tend to be very emotional as a lot of things are happening that they put off for a very long time and their living conditions can be fluid.  I am so lucky and I am glad I went to the two groups. I am glad I went to the BDSM sex club(met a lot of friends).  I am glad I have gone and will go to lifestyle parties.

It started with me getting help at Mazzoni, going to gender therapy, going to groups, going to a BDSM sex club and now going to lifestyles parties.

My journey will be different than yours. Give yourself an opportunity to experience different things  (not be stuck thinking about them) and be you.

Best,
Rachel
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 12:34:35 am by Northern Star Girl »
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Offline TheWomanWithinMe

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Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2020, 05:09:11 pm »
The dynamics of a group are likely to change over time as new people join and others stop attending.  If you reach out to the group leader and let them know of your concerns for "fitting" in they will likely be able to give you some advice on how to best navigate the first couple of meetings.  Not all meetings are likely to follow the same format so I would recommend asking what the agendas will look like for the next several meetings.  Knowing what to expect ahead of time should lessen your anxiety level.

It is quite likely that many of the other group members are equally uncomfortable attending meetings and talking to counselors.  You've got this... This is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it a good one and every one that follows.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 06:40:42 pm by Northern Star Girl »

Offline AllieSF

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2020, 09:34:19 pm »
Observur,

You may want to contact Dorit on this site.  She lives in Israel (many years) and has completely transitioned in the last few years.  She is a wonderful woman and I would guess that she would help you as best possible.

Allie
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Offline SoCal_Holly

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2020, 09:50:52 pm »
I feel the same way. I’m very non-confident and a little more than afraid. Wouldn’t know what to say or do. I’m not used to sharing these things. Heck it took me awhile to warm up to my therapist. Being put on the spot in a group setting - ultimate nightmare !

I’ll get there eventually, I think, just not nearly ready for it now.

Fearful Holly

Offline Observur

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2020, 01:19:16 am »
Hi,

I was extremely apprehensive going to a trans support group. What I found was a lot of people struggling with their gender identity, just like me. I loved support and would go to two different groups. I eventually presented at trans conferences with friends I gained by going to group.

I think the best thing about the different groups I went to was they were tailored to the people's needs. There are groups for young, trans men, trans woman,  combined trans gender groups (including male, female and they), street worker trans groups, HIV trans groups and all inclusive trans groups.

There are a lot of  <trans people>  in Philadelphia.

Fear is normal, everyone is nervous the first few times. Everyone there is trans. I made so many friends at group and did social things with them too.

If you take the word group out of he equation and think of it as a groups of people getting together to share information and find out where and how to do things that they have in common it is a lot less scary. Yup you are trans and they are too, so what.

I had a lot of friends in groups and we did things outside of group. I was on a Skype call last week for William Way in Philadelphia for a work employee engagement group and the trans group co-facilitator at William Way is someone I knew from group years ago.

I was afraid of going to group at first. I went and loved it. I learned so much about myself. I learned how lucky I am. I learned there are a lot of people that are trans and there are a lot of potential friends. I am still in contact with a person from group.

I outgrew group and joined a LGBT BDSM sex club which is now closed due to covid. I made a lot a friends there too and I miss the club. Since then I go to a cis lifestyles party (not for 6 weeks and not for an additional 6 weeks as I am healing from femlar).

I gained confidence by going to group. There are a lot of people that are trans. I made a lot of friends. Some of those friends died, too many. I went to a BDSM sex club and like it. We had classes and the peeps were all very low key and accepting. About half of the club were non binary and a lot of trans. Almost everyone was poly. That closed due to covid. Now when I am healed I will return to a cis lifestyles clubs.

In group I found a lot of people that are just like me. I found Mazzoni which helped me an incredible amount. I outgrew group and went to a BDSM LGBT dungeon (there were 5 in philly). Now I go to lifestyles parties and have a lot of fun. I think of it as stepping stones along a path.

On my journey I found a lot of people like me. I found I am 100% kinky female. I found I am accepted in an almost exclusive black ( I mention that as it can be difficult to be accepted in that venue, I am totally accepted) cis male lifestyles play space.

In the lifestyles place I go there is alcohol and THC. I keep away from that. All sex is with condoms and there are certain things that are off limits. The house has strict rules and infractions are not tolerated. There is some very light BDSM there but very light compared to what I have experienced in the past.

I am a female 100%. I like guys. I like having sex with guys. I like having fun with guys. This is what I learned about myself and it all started with group.

I have to be vulnerable and take a chance. I was not allowed to go to group for 6 months when I started gender therapy. I was not stable and there are a lot of things that can trigger you there like a friend that dies or gets raped or beaten and robbed or OD's. New people can tend to be very emotional as a lot of things are happening that they put off for a very long time and their living conditions can be fluid.  I am so lucky and I am glad I went to the two groups. I am glad I went to the BDSM sex club(met a lot of friends).  I am glad I have gone and will go to lifestyle parties.

It started with me getting help at Mazzoni, going to gender therapy, going to groups, going to a BDSM sex club and now going to lifestyles parties.

My journey will be different than yours. Give yourself an opportunity to experience different things  (not be stuck thinking about them) and be you.

Best,
Rachel

Hello rachel thank you so much  for sharing im a bit more at ease now although i still feel anxious just thinking about it and im starting to wonder if im so anxious like this maybe the first step should be with a therapist cause  i have lots of mental stress and stuff i beed to work theough i feel like it would be unfair to go to a group only to bring the mood down , ill have to take time to think about it i imagine a therapist should be the first option as now i dont even havr the tooles to cope XD hi but thank you so much for sharing

Offline Observur

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2020, 01:22:24 am »
Observur,

You may want to contact Dorit on this site.  She lives in Israel (many years) and has completely transitioned in the last few years.  She is a wonderful woman and I would guess that she would help you as best possible.

Allie

Im still kind of getting used to the websites layout , how do i contact people on here ?

Offline Observur

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2020, 01:27:46 am »
I feel the same way. I’m very non-confident and a little more than afraid. Wouldn’t know what to say or do. I’m not used to sharing these things. Heck it took me awhile to warm up to my therapist. Being put on the spot in a group setting - ultimate nightmare !

I’ll get there eventually, I think, just not nearly ready for it now.

Fearful Holly


Yeah im starting to think im going about this the wrong way, first i should seek out therapist, then maybe progress to a group setting, atleast with a therapist i can work on my anxieties and coping skills befor i go having a mental break down within a group, also cool profile photo

Offline Megan.

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2020, 01:50:50 am »

Yeah im starting to think im going about this the wrong way, first i should seek out therapist, then maybe progress to a group setting, atleast with a therapist i can work on my anxieties and coping skills befor i go having a mental break down within a group, also cool profile photo
A therapist was my first stop. I wanted to figure out what I might be, before opening up to others. X

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2020, 02:23:47 am »

Im still kind of getting used to the websites layout , how do i contact people on here ?

If you read through the welcome links that Jessica gave you in your introduction, you'll find the answer to that and other important information. The short answer is that you don't have enough posts to send messages yet.

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Offline Ryuichi13

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2020, 11:18:00 am »
Sorry if I repete what someone else may have said.  I did not read anyone else's answer because I wanted to give you a answer from my heart.

There is no such thing as "not trans enough."  It is something that transphobes invented to make us feel bad.

My first time, I was pre-everything.  I dressed androgynously, like I had been doing since at least the late 1980s.  I was nervous more because there were a few men there, and I thought "why are these men here?"  Turns out, they were transmen further along their way than little old me!  I looked to them as future goals that I myself wanted to attain.

Because I was new, the group let me vent after I introduced myself.  It felt so good to be able to talk about how much I hated being thought of as female, and how badly I wanted to be a man!  Everyone listened, then showed me the donated clothes room, where I was able to find some shirts for myself.  I think I also may have found my first suit jacket there, which I still have.

I was afraid for no reason.  Everyone understood how I felt, they were kind and listened.  The ladies were all sweet and the men were helpful with advice.  It felt wonderful to be with people that understood my struggle.

Go to the support group.  Be with others that understand your struggle and can help you.  That will listen to you and not think you are crazy/weird/wrong.  People like yourself. 

Transgender people.

Ryuichi

P.S. I am now a co-facilitator for the same group.

Ryu


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Offline Katie76

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Re: Too afraid to reach out to a support group
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2020, 02:00:23 pm »
All of what Allie said below is true. Since most of the world has limited contact because of COVID-19, reaching out to online support groups could be a way to overcome fears of meeting in-person.

Wishing you the best,
Katie76
__________

I have been to a few support group events.  They were held in places where you could meet others under the big Transgender umbrella that includes crossdressers to post op transsexuals.  They were social events, and many offered a place to change so that one could leave their house one way and then change at the venue into their preferred way.  They always welcomed newcomers.  Conversations were all over the place and if you ask, they will answer your questions.  Most groups allow you to come in your normal mode to check the event out.  My experiences are near San Francisco, California, a very, very accepting area for all of us.

If they have support groups where you are, even if they are a long drive away, they could be a great help to you.  You meet new people similar to yourself, you get out of your house, almost into the real world, you can network with others to maybe find someone close to you to become friends.  You are building courage and confidence with who you are and what you can accomplish.  To join a support group, you will need to contact them.  When you do ask them all the questions you have about how they operate, what are their rules, do they have a place to change clothes, can you go as your normal self the first time to check it all out, and any other questions that you have.

To find a support/social group just Google "Transgender (or "LGBT") support groups near (your city and country)".  Also, tell us where you live and there may be someone from your area that can also help you out.

I understand where you are and also think that your idea of joining a group may be helpful for you.  They can, because you will quickly see and meet other people like you and they are doing OK.  That means that you can eventually do the same things as they do and feel more confident in who you are and what you can do and how to do it.  I also like that you have considered or are considering therapy.  If you can find a therapist with transgender care experience, they can really help you understand who you are and how to feel more comfortable with that and live your life.

So, please do not be afraid of joining a group if you can find one.  Good luck,

Allie

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