Author Topic: Chapter 5: I am Emma  (Read 15369 times)

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Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #300 on: January 21, 2021, 08:47:31 am »
Dorit I know that you are absolutely right.  I aspire, some day, to reach the zen of transgender understanding.  I need to stop hurting.

Until then I need to finally accept that I am transitioning whether I want to or not.  Yes I am still stupidly fighting it, but with less energy.  Separately I feel an extreme anger at the ignorance that society still has regarding gender dysphoria and being transgender.

I have not yet publicly come out and I truly hope that the negative reactions that I expect don't actually materialize but my writing is for myself and others.  I am up to 63 published articles on Medium, most of which I have shared here.  At the end of every article I include a note:

"Writers note: If you have read any of my writings on Medium you will have noticed a definite theme: the incredible pain of gender dysphoria and all the difficult aspects of just being transgender.

My writing has three specific goals:

1. Writing is my therapy. I have a very limited outlet for my thoughts so I write to find a way to process the most profound experience in my life. I need to understand and I need to accept myself to move forward.

2. Being transgender, for me, is a very lonely existence and if I can share some of the things that I feel and think as I go through the process of transitioning with others who are transgender and, in some way, lessen their pain and sense of loneliness, then all of this public exposure of my personal thoughts is not a waste.

3. I write to help cisgender people understand that all trans people want is to be simply understood, accepted and treated as a normal person. We are."



Everyone here has helped me and I feel an obligation to do what I can to take away the massive ignorance that surrounds us for being transgender.

Thank you again Dorit for keeping me on the right path and guiding the way.

Hugs,

Emma
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #301 on: January 21, 2021, 09:47:21 am »
Some cisgender people can empathize with us, but no cisgender person will ever sympathize with us.  The distinction I am making is, they can try to understand what you describe or any other Transgender person describes, they can be open and accepting of what you express, but they will never know how you really feel.  They will never actually understand.  Cismen don’t understand ciswomen, and vise verse.  They try, but they never really understand the other sex.  If they can’t understand each other, what is the hope that they will understand a rare and confounding thing like this?

I appreciate that what you truly want is them to be open and accepting and to stop denying your experience.  It seems they all should be able to do that.  But, some never will.  And, we have to be “ok” in spite of that.

Ultimately, We struggle to understand each other.  Words are a clumsy way to express what is happening inside us. I am not sure that you had no choice but to transition, but I have no reason to doubt you.  I feel a strong drive to do it also, but so far I haven’t.  Then again, you may just be now where I am going eventually.  But, I do understand that NOT transitioning has a big price.  And, I might suffer less in the long run if I did transition now.  I can imagine the price of not transitioning becoming so high that you just can’t beat it, regardless of the consequences.  I hope I don’t get there, but I am humble enough to understand that I may very well arrive at the same place.

I wish you the best Emma.  You are like a big sister to me.  We seem so much alike.  But, like any little sister, I see you doing things and experiencing things I am not ready for.  And, I can see the pain you are dealing with as you go through it.  I wish I could give you a hug and tell you that things will be alright.  But, we are miles away, and I don’t know you other than here.  So, I can only say, I am here for you if you want to talk. 

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #302 on: January 21, 2021, 02:27:48 pm »
Rachel thank you for your thoughts.  Fortunately for you, I may be the "older" sister but there are so many "older" and wiser sisters on this site.

Each of us has to decide what they can live with.  At 65 I don't have the luxury of hoping it will go away.  The pandemic and my professional commitment to my son have slowed my process down and that additional delay has just given me more time to have fear and doubts.

As I said earlier, no one can truly know exactly what I am going through.  I just want them to understand it is not a choice but a medical need and that given the three choices: suicide, living with it and transitioning, transitioning is the most powerful driver for me.

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #303 on: January 21, 2021, 05:32:38 pm »
I said “Big”, “older” was your edit.  :) But, I concede that you are older, and probably wiser.  :D. But, no one else here’s experience resonates with me quite as spot on what I am going through as yours.  And, you have chosen the other path.  So, I am watching you to see how you feel going through it, and what happens on the other side.  I hope that your life opens up exponentially and you experience peace you have never known.  That would inspire hope.

I am certainly glad that we have both ruled out suicide.  I spent enough years contemplating that, that I am now confident I have thoroughly analyzed it and found it unacceptable.  It is no longer on the table as far as I am concerned.  Not going to happen. 

So, that leaves the two other possibilities as the only currently available solutions.  Transitioning is an all or nothing thing in my book.  Doing just a little would cost everything I don’t want to lose, so before I start down that path I need to be confident I can see it through.  That thought process is why what Rakel said about HRT concerned me so.  I need the option to transition to make me feel some sense of control.  I would have a hard time if so thought my healthcare provider might deem it too risky.  The idea of losing everything to transition and then not being able to transition is the absolute worst of both worlds for me.

So, in a way I see you as me in a parallel universe, a version of me that did transition.  I hope it works out great for you.  But, I am conscious of the fact that the happier you are, the more internal pressure I will feel to follow.  As I told my mother when she asked whether I would jump off a cliff if my friends did.  “If they did it, and they said it was great, and nothing bad happened to them; yeah.  Probably so.”  You have jumped off the proverbial cliff.  I am waiting with great anticipation to see what happens next. 

Here’s to good luck to both of us.

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #304 on: January 21, 2021, 08:41:16 pm »
Oh Rachel I can’t stop crying. I haven’t a clue what the answer is. I am so outside my reality right now.

I so know I am my avatar but I just can’t get there. God I feel so lost, so much in pain. I am the last person on earth to give anyone guidance.

You need to find someone else. I am the worst person in the world to help you. I am a total wreck.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Confused1

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #305 on: January 21, 2021, 10:48:44 pm »
Emma,

Don't sell yourself short. You don't have all the answers, but none of us do. Just know that you helped me immensely to start understanding who I was and what I needed to do!

Even though having my hormones shut down was for a recurrence of the cancer, it almost completely shut down the background noise in my head. I didn't even realize how much it was affecting me until it was gone. Even if I was not getting GCS, I would never want it in me again.

Hugs,
Mike

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #306 on: January 22, 2021, 06:46:06 am »
Mike thank you for what you said.  It means a lot to know my emotional insanity has some value in the universe.  It gives me hope.

Hugs,

Emma
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Pammie

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #307 on: January 22, 2021, 08:44:39 am »
Mike thank you for what you said.  It means a lot to know my emotional insanity has some value in the universe.  It gives me hope.

Hugs,

Emma
Emma, your challenges, trials, dilemmas and choice-free anguish are a) insightful and informative, b) massively engaging and c) worthy of hugs, support and engagement. You would have every right to be insane but you actually manage somehow to retain an unbelievable emotional insight and sanity that is so endearing #teamEmma as always! Xxx


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Offline Susan R

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #308 on: January 22, 2021, 12:03:09 pm »
Oh Rachel I can’t stop crying. I haven’t a clue what the answer is. I am so outside my reality right now.

I so know I am my avatar but I just can’t get there. God I feel so lost, so much in pain. I am the last person on earth to give anyone guidance.

You need to find someone else. I am the worst person in the world to help you. I am a total wreck.
Emma, we’ve all been where you are when you wrote what was quoted above. I have read several of your posts and I have found all of them to be very helpful, on point, and very much worthwhile. I especially like your TG Manifesto for it’s truths. You have more value than you know. I appreciate you sharing your insights and there are countless others who do also.

*HUGS*
Susan R🌷
Sept. 25, 2018:       Began HRT
May 19, 2019:         Out to All/Full time
June 12, 2019:        Name/Gender Marker on all ID's/Legal Docs completed
July 2, 2020:           GRS & BA Consult - Dr. Stiller
January 5, 2021:      GRS Surgery [Stage 1]
January 15, 2021:    BA
June 2021 [TBD]:     GRS Surgery [Stage 2]

Online Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #309 on: January 22, 2021, 07:29:38 pm »
I am not necessarily looking for advice (though obviously sometimes I am).  But, in large party, I will be encouraged if you find happiness after the pain.  Because, my biggest fear is losing everything to transition, and then still being dysphoric plus lonely, and without cis privilege.

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #310 on: January 23, 2021, 10:32:42 am »
"my biggest fear is losing everything to transition, and then still being dysphoric plus lonely, and without cis privilege."

I believe that my doubt will never disappear but my hope is that it diminishes sufficiently to allow me to have more peace and joy in my life.  Other than being driven by the pain of gender dysphoria, there are two thoughts that drive my forward.  The first, outside of my friends here on Susan's Place, the therapy professionals and rare friends who have seen me as male, in addition to my own personal observation, agree that they see a smile of special happiness on my face in every photo I have taken as Emma. 

The second, is the answer to the question "In the last 15 seconds of my life, will I have any regrets?"  I believe that my greater regret would be if I didn't transition. 

Stealing from the Bible:  "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?"  My greatest loss would be my wife.  Tragically, we may divorce but we will never stop loving each other.  I am willing to lose everything else, privilege and possessions, to finally have my soul free to breath. 

Loneliness would be my fault.  There is a world that exists that would like to meet me.


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #311 on: January 23, 2021, 11:21:48 am »
Susan R thank you so much for everything you said.  We all feel the painful loneliness of gender dysphoria.  To hear honest warmth is so special and truly appreciated.

Pammie you always make me make me smile, particularly when I feel like I am drowning. 

Warm hugs to you both,

Emma

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Sephirah

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #312 on: January 23, 2021, 02:00:07 pm »
Oh Rachel I can’t stop crying. I haven’t a clue what the answer is. I am so outside my reality right now.

I so know I am my avatar but I just can’t get there. God I feel so lost, so much in pain. I am the last person on earth to give anyone guidance.

You need to find someone else. I am the worst person in the world to help you. I am a total wreck.

The best guides in this life are those who don't believe they know everything.

*huggles*

You're an inspiration to more people than you know. Not always through what you say, but through the power of your heart.

You're getting there every day, sweetie. You just don't know where "there" is yet. That's okay.

I believe in you. <3

L.

Offline Pammie

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #313 on: January 23, 2021, 03:46:35 pm »
Susan R thank you so much for everything you said.  We all feel the painful loneliness of gender dysphoria.  To hear honest warmth is so special and truly appreciated.

Pammie you always make me make me smile, particularly when I feel like I am drowning. 

Warm hugs to you both,

Emma
Emma, I have learned so much here at Susan’s - perhaps more than anything I’ve learned humility. I thought my life had been challenging but I see now that others face and beat much greater challenges. Your battles, insight and openness are truly humbling. Xxx


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Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #314 on: January 23, 2021, 05:57:20 pm »
Sephirah this is such an adversarial experience.  I sometimes worry about my strength.  I hate the drama and I hate the wait.  At least I have my three letters for GCS. :)

Thank you again Pammie for your warm thoughts.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline EllenW

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #315 on: January 23, 2021, 06:00:51 pm »


 My greatest loss would be my wife.  Tragically, we may divorce but we will never stop loving each other.  I am willing to lose everything else, privilege and possessions, to finally have my soul free to breath. 

Loneliness would be my fault.  There is a world that exists that would like to meet me.

Emma,

I fully understand your fear of loosing your wife. I know that fear kept me from living my life as my true self for decades. But you need to stay hopeful. As I slowly transitioned I was able to convince her that I would always love her and take care of her. She slowly began to accept me as my true self. She even selected my name.

I honestly believe that society is more accepting that we fear. I have not experienced any negativity from neighbors, friends and relatives. In fact they all have been very positive about my transition. I was considering canceling my GCS after my wife died early this month. But everyone said I should go though with the surgery this coming week. Her niece said it best when she said her Aunt would want me to be happy.

Hang in there Emma

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 February 2018
Legal name and gender change January 2019
GCS - January 2021

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #316 on: January 23, 2021, 11:09:44 pm »
Ellen I am so so sorry for your loss. I hope that the strength of the love you had for each other continues to help you be the person she loved and supported. You need to be happy for her.

With all my heart,

Emma
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #317 on: January 23, 2021, 11:44:26 pm »

I honestly believe that society is more accepting that we fear. I have not experienced any negativity from neighbors, friends and relatives. In fact they all have been very positive about my transition.

Ellen
What part of the country do you live in?  My friends and family were anguished over Biden’s nomination for HHS (because she is trans).  Nasty things were said about how awful we are, and how we shouldn’t be able to get a job.  I think things are different here.

Offline RandyL

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #318 on: January 24, 2021, 01:22:25 am »
What part of the country do you live in?  My friends and family were anguished over Biden’s nomination for HHS (because she is trans).  Nasty things were said about how awful we are, and how we shouldn’t be able to get a job.  I think things are different here.
Rachel, I'm sorry you have to live with friends and family members like that. I have one cousin who has some issues -- I think she is trying to control what I do, which she can't accomplish. But otherwise I've been fortunate that nobody has said anything negative. Family of engineers, so there's not much "saying" either way, but they appear to be accepting. I do have a neighbor who thought/thinks I am suffering from lead poisoning from fillings, which undoubtedly accounts for all my problems. Maybe that's as good an explanation as any  ???
Casting about for my best path forward...

My personal blog thread: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randy's HRT Journal


Offline ChrissyRyan

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #319 on: January 24, 2021, 06:15:10 am »
Emma,

I have been keeping you in my thoughts as you go through all of this, the good, the struggle, and all.

Keep up your writings and posts.  You have friends here.

Have a great Sunday!

Has NYC opened up any more yet towards going back to “normal”?

Chrissy
Be a good example of good behavior.  Always be kinder than needed.  Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that your speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.  Serve others.

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

It is not usually about how fast you transition, it is about how well you transition.  

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