Author Topic: Therapy Today  (Read 6296 times)

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Jessica

Therapy Today
« on: July 12, 2005, 03:12:06 pm »
I had my first GID Therapy Appointment with Christine, who was very nice.  She seemed very non-judgemental, but also very ... well... she wouldn't give advice.  I guess a therapist has to maintain, what would the word be... objective distance?

We spoke in terms of choices using doorways as a metaphor.
Some Doors have to remain shut (or she will have to lock me away) like Suicide.
Some Doors I have walked through and found that it led to more problems.
Some Doors I have been scared to look through as valid options.

We ... I?... I am not sure if it was we or I... came to the conclusion that I don't have many untried doors left and I am no longer happy not chosing any doors.  It actually left me feeling kinda ... strange, like I was never really in control of my life, just sort of the passenger.  Reacting all of these years instead of making decisions.  In physics we learned that most things take the path of least resistance.

Thats been me.  I have had one goal.  Hide at all costs.  Follow the Path of Least Resistance that leads to that end, and all of my decisions have been based on that principle, therefore all of my decisions have supported that end.  Thats a horrible feeling and leaves me empty -- my life has been nothing but reactions to social fear.

The short of it is a sinking feeling that my strings aren't being pulled by me, but the social expectations of those around me.  It leaves me really confused and angry.

Jessica

4years

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2005, 04:52:01 pm »
I believe the therapist is the guide, and it is ourselves who must make the discoveries. I am not so sure my thoughts on the subject mesh with anyone else’s though ;)

I think it is important to realize that some of the decisions that we have made may have ultimately been a hindrance to ourselves, but it is important to realize that we chose those decisions for reasons.

Still, it is never too late to change what we are doing and why we are doing it.

Hang in there Jessica, I have faith in you.

stephanie_craxford

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2005, 07:11:56 pm »
Hello Jessica,

Congratulations on taking back your life.  You and  Kimberly are both right.  Normally unless a therapist believes that an issue is life threatening, they will not advise you on a course of action.  They will ask you questions, talk about your issues in such a way that will present options for you and inevitably you will be the one who makes the choices.  It's all very subtle.  That's how it's mean't to be.  Don't get wrapped up at this point with being confused and angry, we all have been there, it's all part of finding out, and discovering things about yourself.

It seems that your first session has had a big impact, this is great, just remember this is a first step for you, and this is not a short easy journey, with a couple of stops on the way.  Remember that there are some who don't need therapy to to realise who they are and then there are those who do .  It doesn't matter, what matters is you and that you live your life as it was mean't to be, and this is one step you can take to ensure that happens.

Have patience (I can't believe I'm going to say this but) Rome wasn't built in a day.

Steph

Jessica

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 04:53:54 pm »
I have been in therapy for the past three months.
I have talked to my father, my therapist, and with my wife about these issues.

It hasn't helped at all.  Talking did for a little bit, but, overall, it doesn't matter.
I am in a holding patter (thats what my therapist calls it)

I am very unhappy.
It's not going to get any better.

I can't transition because:
I have built obligations to others
I would get fired
I am very susceptable to others feelings and perceptions of me.
That would make transitioning, for me, very difficult.
I can't shrug comments off that people would make, they would cut me deeply.
I care what others think of me, I can't just say, if you don't like me, I don't care.
Not to mention the costs, and since I would be jobless, how would I pay for it?
That and I would be ugly.
I would fail, I am a realist and I think that is a pretty realistic view of my attempt to transition.

Suicide, I am told, is not an acecptable option.  I have people that care about me and it would not be good for them.

I am miserable, I can't do anything about it, and I'm not allowed to suicide.
These are the conclusions my therapist and I came up with.

So, I am in a holding pattern.
This last Wednesday she said there really isn't anything more we can discuss, that we have been over pretty much everything and I agreed.  She brought to light nothing new to my situation that I have not thought about since I was old enough to think.  Although, admittedly, talking to her about these issues and verablizing them did help me.  We just reached no new possible conclusions.  So, she said to keep in touch and when I need to talk or I come out of my 'holding pattern' to call her.

This entire thing has me very confused.  I mean, if I was really gender dysphoric wouldn't I be willing to give up everything and start transitioning tomorrow?  I mean, I am very lucky in regards to the fact that my father and step mother care about me a great deal even though they know.  I remember reading somebody's post that said, I would rather be an ugly girl at the beach than not be at the beach.  And I thought, yeah, I can agree with that, as long as everyone at the beach just thought of me as a girl.  That fact is, I don't think I would ever get to that point.  And even if it was possible, I still have obligations to my wife.  I made her a promise until death parts us.  But, if I was really transgender wouldn't I drop everything and try and transition?  Maybe I am just suicidal and crazy?  I'm just not sure what I am doing, or where I am going?


stephanie_craxford

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 06:14:35 pm »
Hello Jessica,

It's really sad to read your post but then it's not the end of the world either.  I'm going to be a little blunt here so please forgive me for being so.

Quote
I can't transition because:
I have built obligations to others
I would get fired
I am very susceptable to others feelings and perceptions of me.
That would make transitioning, for me, very difficult.
I can't shrug comments off that people would make, they would cut me deeply.
I care what others think of me, I can't just say, if you don't like me, I don't care.
Not to mention the costs, and since I would be jobless, how would I pay for it?
That and I would be ugly.
I would fail, I am a realist and I think that is a pretty realistic view of my attempt to transition.

Suicide, I am told, is not an acecptable option.  I have people that care about me and it would not be good for them.

I can understand how you feel, but your whole post is so negative.  You've only mentioned and commented on those things that you CAN'T do.  So what about the things you CAN do.  Too be honest the reasons you have listed are very usual, and are faced by nearly every one who is <transgender> and in transition.  One of the exercises that I've had to go through in my past was the "So What" Exercise, and it's quite simple.  It goes like this:

I can't transition because:
  • I have built obligations to others - So What! - what CAN I do to about those obligations?
    I would get fired - So What! - what CAN I do to prevent that or what CAN I do if it happens?
    I am very susceptible to others feelings and perceptions of me - So What! - what CAN I do to over come this?

And so on...

The big thing is that you are being true to yourself, and not just using the negative to come to a decision you don't want to admit to.  If you are not trans, then big deal, it's not the end of the world.  If you are trans, again it's no big deal.  The big deal is to get past this negativity and start looking for the positive.

Maybe it's time to sit down and re-evaluate "why do you think you are trans".  Speaking from personal experience I faced the same questions you raised about why you can't transition as have many others here.  However, there are solutions to those hindrances, and you basically have two choices - go with the solution or maintain the status quo.  Either way there will be consequences, and you have to decide which consequences you can live with.  Which brings us back to your first post where you
Quote
Follow the Path of Least Resistance that leads to that end, and all of my decisions have been based on that principle, therefore all of my decisions have supported that end.

You can't dwell on this as it will end up tearing you apart, make your decision, be happy with it, and make it work.  Spending your life in a holding pattern is not the way to go.

I'm really sorry if this has sounded harsh and unfeeling but it's something I felt that needed to be said.  Don't quit, I'm only one voice here, and I'm in no way the only voice, I know that you will get other advise.  These are just my thoughts.

Take care,

Steph :)

Offline Sarah Louise

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Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 06:26:31 pm »
I agree with Stephanie, the decisions are up to you, no one else.  Not to say you can't get imput from family, spouse and yes even your therapist.  But, in the end it is you and only you who can decide your life path.

We all face the problems and questions you are facing.  Each of us has (or are in the process of) made our mind up about our own future.  It can't be done without a lot of soul searching and it usually comes with loses, but also gains.

Face it, not only you, but, everyone will have to live with whatever decision you come to.  Living in a "limbo" state will kill you, I've tried it and almost killed myself because of not moving one direction or the other.

Sarah
Nameless here for evermore!;  Merely this, and nothing more;
Tis the wind and nothing more!;  Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!!"

Jessica

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2005, 12:30:54 pm »
I found a really interesting webpage: http://members.aol.com/rebecaauge/Conflict.html


My Past:
14) I can get married to a straight woman (or man) and let that take care of the problem.
Already Done

15) I can get married and have children ... then I'll have to be a mother (or father) and I won't have time for gender conflict.
We were never able to concieve

17) I can get used to almost anything, even an emotional straitjacket. I need to work on this a little harder.
Ongoing for years

23) Everything changes. This gender conflict won't last forever. I will eventually get over it.
I have been telling myself this for years

51) I can grow a beard, get tattooed, join the military, play ice hockey or football, become a rock climber, race motorcycles or cars ... etc.
Military School at the 9th Grade, Joined the Military out of High School




Where I am now:
25) If I changed sex, I'd be really weird, a freak ... a super social reject. I won't do it because I'd end up worse off than I am now.

27) If I change my sex it will ruin the way my parents, spouse, children, and other important people in my life feel about me. They'll go crazy with grief, anger, etc. So, I'll stay the way I am. For them.

31) Changing sex will take too much work, time, and money. I can find some other solution to this problem.

34) I can hang around with people who abuse me ... or perhaps find new and creative ways to abuse myself. I can be hostile, angry, and critical toward my self. I can develop skills at negative self-talk.

37) I can envy certain men (or women) and wish again and again I was as fortunate. God, what a pitiful case I am.

44) I feel bitter and angry because I'm <transgender>. I didn't ask for this! Why did God make me this way? I hate all <transgender> people (including myself)!

47) I can spend lots of time blaming nature, my parents, and society for making me the way I am.

54) I'm not a very good physical prospect for sex change. My hair is terrible, or gone ... in the wrong places. I'm not good looking enough. I'm too short or tall. My nose is too big or small. My hips are too big or not big enough. I'm too muscular or not muscular enough, etc.

57) I can continue to live my life as I have been doing for years, in my present gender role, and not seek help or work on changing to build a more satisfying life. I can grow progressively more unhappy, miserable, and regretful as I grow older, while clearly knowing what the problem is, but fail to take the necessary steps to change and improve my life.

61) I'm too old. Change isn't possible at my age.
I ran across a website that says if your older than 30 Hormones, basically, are ineffective.

69) I can try for a new world record in deep depression.

73) I've got too much free time to think about these things. I need more diversions, compulsions, escapes, hobbies.

The Bold Statements are those off this page that I feel apply to me pretty directly.  Some of the statements are not bolded because I don't feel that way with regards to that statement.

The Italics are my comments.

I think that sums my thoughts up pretty well.

Steph I understand what you mean, I am pretty negative when it comes to my outlook especially when it comes to self-analysis.  But, at the same time, it is a pretty realistic picture of where I am, and where I am going.  I try really hard not to have any illusions / delusions about myself and the way I am.


Shelley

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2005, 04:43:20 pm »
Hi Jessica,

I agree with Sarah Louise that the decision is yours but the factors affecting your decision making process are also yours. If these factors didn't exist I would probably transition. To transition is a major life changing experience with a number of costs both emotional and financial. I am not prepared to pay that cost to allow Shelley to live fulltime.

I personally have found a position in life that I am happy with. I am a CD and live content to be Shelley outwardly only occasionally and inwardly she is with me all the time. For me this works.

To transition and not be fully committed to the process would be disastrous. If you look at the stories of those here who have or are in transition they are not stories of indecisive people. These are focused people who truly believe in the decisions they have made. These are inspiring individuals who also have had the strength to share with us here their experiences.

Why is it important that those who have transitioned share their experience? Because there are those of us here that are not sure whether to travel down that path. We are helped by being able to look at their experiences and see if we to can survive their experiences and pay the costs that they have paid. As Steph said there are benefits to the process as well and positive ways to look at this.

If you cannot bring yourself to pay the costs and judge the benefits to outweigh your costs then transitioning is not for you. This is not the end of the world. In our lives we make decisions based on a cost/benefit analysis. You need to weigh up your situation. As Steph pointed out however you have not looked at the benefits and without looking at both sides you cannot see the forest for the trees.

Perhaps one day you will transition perhaps not. You need to fnd what is right for you and part of what is right for you includes how it will affect those around you and how you feel about that. I don't believe that non acceptance doesn't hurt those who transition but I do believe it is part of their cost/benefit equation.

Which ever way you choose to travel Jessica I wish you well and remember that not all are at one end of the spectrum and that many of us are happy at our various points along the TG continuum and that you too can be happy when you find your personal place along the continuum.

Hugs Shelley

Offline Terra

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Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2005, 09:01:25 pm »
Hi Jessica,

Well i'm going to be blunt, get off your duff and DO something! In the end it is YOU that has to live with YOU. If you always fear the unknown you will never experince life, and this comes from a proffesional worrywort.

One of the things I keep hearing from you is that you are being told that suicide is not an option. Stop that! You should NOT HAVE to be told that! I know what kind of stress this must be causing you, most of us here do, but suicide should not even be a footnote in your thinking process.

You are worried about your job, well their must be someone else who would hire you, transexual or no. I personally would never work for such a close minded orginization, which is why i'm setting in motion my exit route. You should do the same, ask around discretly, make contacts. Treat this aspect the same as if you heard a solid rumor of a big layoff.

Your wife, well, honestly i've never been that far. But if I remember the vows correctly, isn't their a part about standing beside each other no matter what happens? The best advice i can give is drop subtle hints and gauge her reaction. I'll leave this to you and others to discuss as in ways to do so.

Friends? I just told my ultra-christian friend, the fire and brimestone kind. Her reaction? She is still my friend and is even trying to go out of her way to understand what i'm going through. The point? You really don't have a clue as to how people will react. If you KNOW they would abandon you, then are they worthwile friends? Even if at first they don't understand and ask for space, give them a chance to wrap their brains around the concept, if they are anyone worhthwile they will come around. If you think that they would be violent, than don't even bother with them anymore, afterall, people move on.


I know this seems like i'm generalizing your problems, i'm not. But you must understand one thing, this is a very, very, long term project. The one thing that helps is to take things slow and steady. Do what you can when you can. As for the therapist, think of them as the devils advocate. They are there to make sure that each step of the way you know what you are doing, not to tell you what the next step is.

So once again, slow down, take a deep breath, and try to take another look at your situation. Never has their been a point where no trail leads to where you wish to be in life.
"If you quit before you try, you don't deserve to dream." -grandmother

Cassandra

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2005, 11:28:13 pm »
Hi Jess,

I'm still working up to a reply to your last PM. There are some points I'd like to bring up but since we have been discussing those privately I'll just focus on a couple of items in your post.

Quote
I'm not a very good physical prospect for sex change. My hair is terrible, or gone ... in the wrong places. I'm not good looking enough. I'm too short or tall. My nose is too big or small. My hips are too big or not big enough. I'm too muscular or not muscular enough, etc.

Hah! You should see me without my wig. Hips to big too small too short to tall. Lots of GG's have those problems most more than not. Sounds to me like you'd fit right in.

As to points 14 - 51. Been there done that too. Except for the tattoos. Almost once or twice but just not my style.

Quote
61) I'm too old. Change isn't possible at my age.
I ran across a website that says if your older than 30 Hormones, basically, are ineffective.

People have transitioned in their 60's and 70's and the effects have been quite good with HRT. In fact I have read that if you are over 55 than the effects are just as good as if you were 20. So conflicting data on the too old part.

Your spouse we'll talk about later in a PM.

Just an offhand observation here. You seem to have gotten quite good at coming up with reasons why there is only one course of action for you. You've even found a web page article to agree with you. How about trying to come up with some reasons not too. I don't mean sit there and contemplate the why's and why nots of suicide. Just concentrate on reasons for living. Reasons for growing. reasons for reaching for happiness instead of embracing this darkness. Or has it become such a comforting blanket to you that you can no longer let go of it?

There is another thread running in another forum. It is you who paints your sky blue. Or do you see a red door and want it painted black?

Cassie

beth

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2005, 11:45:36 pm »
 Jessica,

                 If you are transsexual and you live long enough, all the reasons you cite will not matter anymore, your only thought will be why you didn't do it when you were younger.



beth

Offline Sarah Louise

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Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2005, 09:37:13 am »
Well, I'll be 61 in November, so your not too old.  I know of women who have had their surgeries in their late 60's and even a couple I heard of that were 70.

I can tell you the hormones have worked on me, my skin is softer, my emotions have changed, and I have grown breasts.

                       So, again, Your Not Too Old.

Sarah
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Tis the wind and nothing more!;  Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!!"

Offline Sarah Louise

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Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2005, 02:12:45 pm »
I had my first session with my therapist today.  That is really a big step for me, since I don't trust therapists having had bad experiences in the past.

It was decent and she does seem to be a good and caring person with no personal agenda.  I guess I will see how things go, the next appointment is in two weeks, gives me time to try to get some money together to pay for the time.

Sarah
Nameless here for evermore!;  Merely this, and nothing more;
Tis the wind and nothing more!;  Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!!"

stephanie_craxford

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2005, 05:56:29 pm »
I had my first session with my therapist today.  That is really a big step for me, since I don't trust therapists having had bad experiences in the past.

It was decent and she does seem to be a good and caring person with no personal agenda.  I guess I will see how things go, the next appointment is in two weeks, gives me time to try to get some money together to pay for the time.

Sarah

Hello Sarah,

That's really good news.  Hopefully you will both click and this therapist will be better than your last.  It's very hard to find one who is experienced with trans issues.  But just discovering one who is open to trans issues is a plus.  I hope it goes well for you, and keep us posted on how you feel.

Chat later

Steph

amberctm

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2005, 09:55:19 pm »
Hello ladies and gents!
 Just thought I would share a my thoughts. I have been I therapy for over a year now. I must say there were times when I felt I was slipping to the proverbial dark side. Since then I really have seemed to figure out what things are most important to me. The kicker to all this is, is that the only way to acheive my goals and get what I feel is important, is to be who I am. I know it's been said before, but the saying  is true, that sometimes you have to give up a little to gain alot. Whether it be a friend who does not support you, or some cash for elecro. I finnally made up my mind to start hormoans and my therapist said I met all the SOF care to do so. So in Jan I see the endo and I'll see where it goes from there.  I've told my family and although is hard for them, they support me. I know when I come out to my wifes family, the reaction could be alot diffrent. I'm prepared eaither way, and although it will be tough if they dis own me, I I now its not my fault.
I guess my real point is, that its a struggle to to keep a positive mindset in such a negitive world. I guess I try to find the good in everything. A good book to read is the http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1878424319/102-1010048-7164931?v=glance
FOUR AGREEMENTS. I read and it helped alot with my own daily stuggles.
Well thats all for now, sorry if this all sound like a random rant. I'm really tired.
Good night,
Amber

Kimberly

Re: Therapy Today
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2005, 12:09:39 am »
Jessica, for contrast here is how I answer.

4) I can develop an androgynous life style that will work for me, a gender role that is a personal mix of masculine and feminine characteristics. I can give myself an androgynous first name.
I let my hair grow long quite young. I wore it in whatever style I felt like at the time. I’ve worn jewelry when I’ve felt like it.

14) I can get married to a straight woman (or man) and let that take care of the problem.
Tried. Tried so very hard. I wonder what it would have been like.

17) I can get used to almost anything, even an emotional straitjacket. I need to work on this a little harder.
But there is a point where life is no longer worth living.

23) Everything changes. This gender conflict won't last forever. I will eventually get over it.
True. I’ll eventually be dead. Problem solved.

27) If I change my sex it will ruin the way my parents, spouse, children, and other important people in my life feel about me. They'll go crazy with grief, anger, etc. So, I'll stay the way I am. For them.
I tried so very hard, but there is a point when it no longer matters. Robbing them of myself is worse, and that still holds true.

32) I can develop a close relationship with my personal computer and never spend much time outside of my house. I can stay at home and stay where I am.
*looks guilty*

37) I can envy certain men (or women) and wish again and again I was as fortunate. God, what a pitiful case I am.
Not overly productive. Regardless, next life will be better.

40) The medical risks are too great. Hormones and / or surgery would probably kill me.
Then good riddance to life.

43) I don't need a relationship with anyone. I'll live alone and cross dress and masturbate until I go blind. Then I'll go on disability and cross dress and masturbate some more.
*laugh* … so far so good.

44) I feel bitter and angry because I'm <transgender>. I didn't ask for this! Why did (I) God make me this way? I hate all <transgender> people (including myself)!
But of course I know the answer.

48) I can get involved in the creative arts, acting, writing, film, dance, music, comedy, painting, design, etc. That will help me be someone or something else, and escape from who I am, or maybe help me express myself.
I have to wonder if I have missed the point (of life) sometime.

52) I could never be satisfied being anything other than a genetic man (or woman). Gender role change, hormones and surgery won't work for me. I'm a perfectionist. That's just the way I am.
Well, as I wrote elsewhere. I broke.


53) I can have a 1000 hours of electrolysis and cross dress until there's no more hose and I've depleted the world's supply of mascara or, I can get into leathers and chains, act super macho and aggressive and let the world know what a real man is like.
.. well, to leave me the fark alone I think mostly. Aggression was seen as a male acceptable way to project that thought.

54) I'm not a very good physical prospect for sex change. My hair is terrible, or gone ... in the wrong places. I'm not good looking enough. I'm too short or tall. My nose is too big or small. My hips are too big or not big enough. I'm too muscular or not muscular enough, etc.
I’ve problems but in ways I’m not bad off. Typical. In theory wonders can be done. We shall see. …. and if it (I) turn out like **** then I can always pull the plug.

57) I can continue to live my life as I have been doing for years, in my present gender role, and not seek help or work on changing to build a more satisfying life. I can grow progressively more unhappy, miserable, and regretful as I grow older, while clearly knowing what the problem is, but fail to take the necessary steps to change and improve my life.
Or I can say enough is enough and do something about it. For me, I’ve said ENOUGH!

59) I can work at getting to know who I am and what I want. I can learn to take good care of myself. I'm the only person I'll always be with and who I'll never lose or who will never leave me.
When means I trump all other needs at some point.

62) I can gradually, step by step, work at making the outside of me match the inside and not do anything irreversible unless I'm sure it's right for me. I'll work with professionals in the gender area to make sure the steps I take will help and not hurt me.
Baby steps… Every so popular baby steps.

64) To hell with society! I'll just live my life, MY Way! I'll do whatever I want, by myself! I don't need other people! I don't want to be around them! I'll read metaphysics or study the occult, mental telepathy, and stuff.
Erm, did and do that.

65) I can be a "mental cross dresser" or maybe a "mental transsexual." I'll fantasize about sex change, all the time, as much as I want.
Not optimal, but sort of functional.

70) I can double-up on my efforts at hiding who I am from myself and others and in the process get in shape for trying for a new record in repression and denial.
I considered this option before I said enough was enough. I decided I’ve had enough self induced suffering. If the world (and everyone in it) can’t deal with me, then it has a problem.

75) I'm willing to wait until medical science develops penis (or vagina) transplants. Maybe some kind of gene therapy can help me. I'll bet it's not far off!
I was waiting for clone bodies, but as previously mentioned. I broke.

78) I can educate others about transgender issues and, hopefully, help generate a measure of acceptance and tolerance.
Not that I am the greatest teacher…

79) I can accept that gender identity is forever.
Inaccuracy. Forever != when alive. One does not have life problems when not alive.

81) Although at times my gender problems seem immense I know things could be much worse. It's possible to find solutions that will work for me, but it won't happen unless I work on it. This may mean I need to talk with important people in my life about who I am, define my issues, and experiment with solutions to my problems.
Something like that.



Perhaps of some help, at least I hope





Jessica,

                 If you are transsexual and you live long enough, all the reasons you cite will not matter anymore, your only thought will be why you didn't do it when you were younger.



beth
Wise words.

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