Author Topic: At a crossroads  (Read 3422 times)

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Offline Terra

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At a crossroads
« on: August 13, 2005, 08:23:39 am »
This is perhaps the first time i've ever publicly said this, but i think i may be a girl. This brings lots of problems i hope someone can help me with. As you may have guessed from my name i'm in the military, wich brings me to a crossroads.

If i stay as i am, i will have my friends, family, and a job i truly love, i could always put this away for later, but if i do that i'lll be 27 by the time i could even start the process. If i stay though i'll be guarennted a job, but always be unhappy.

If i decide to persue this, i'll be discarged medically, wich means i could still work. If i wait till i have served two years i'll get money for college, and hopfully have at least $14 thousand saved for the process. But i'll have to give up my job, possiblly my friends, and maybe even my family, who i've tried to tell over the years, but either have not wanted to or unable to accept my claim.

I really feel lost here, i truly feel i need to do this, but i'm afraid that i'll start and someone, like the shrink, won't believe me. Again I hope for some imput. Thank you.
"If you quit before you try, you don't deserve to dream." -grandmother

Cassandra

Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2005, 03:50:55 pm »
Hi again Sailorgurl,

Decisions, decisions, desicions. Seems life is always full of those, some easy some life changing. Have you ever thought about the eagle. Now there is an interesting bird. One thing they do is they mate for life not only that when two eagles do the deed they fly really really high up into the sky. Then they copulate, plummeting toward the ground as they mate. They must complete the act and then seperate before hitting the ground or both will die.

Another thing about the eagle is when they are young and begin molting they dash their beaks against the rocks in order to break the old beak off so the new one can take it's place. Do you see were I'm going with this?

The biological drive of the eagle to mate is so strong that they will risk everything including death to do so. As they transition from fledgling to full blown eagle they endure great pain and suffering to achieve it, and nothing will stop them from doing this.

For the transsexual person it is much the same deal, you must be willing to risk everything including death and endure great pain and hardship. It requires a high level of commitement and a, if you'll forgive the Farragut reference here, "damn the torpedoes full speed ahead" attitude.

You have decided or you "believe" you might be a girl. That is your starting point, you still have a ways to go just to begin to understand and to determine if you really are and if you really want it bad enough.

Take your time, don't make any rash decisions. Yes the clock is ticking and the longer you wait the harder transition becomes, but then you don't want to find out later you made a really big mistake. Find a good therapist who is knowledgeable about transexuals and will not make judgements but will be a confidant who will listen and give helpful advice.

Susan's is a great place for you to come and talk and learn from others. Your situation is not that different from everybody else here. We have all at one time or another had to decide now or later, to be or not to be, etc. We are here to help and guide. Explore, and try to have some fun along the way.

Good Journey,

Cassie

amberctm

Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2005, 04:26:18 pm »
Hello Sailorgurl,
I understand your difficult situation, because I was once there myself. I used to post in the old forum but have yet to in this one. So, to those that remember me, Hello and to those that are new, Hello, and I'll post an intro later.

Back to the topic. Before you consider talking to a military shrink, you MUST contact Soldiers Legal Defense Network or SLDN for short. It is IMPARITIVE you do this. They will advise you of your rights and help you make the right decision. They are a not for profit organization, so you don't have to pay them. They are great, they advised me of my rights had it come down to that. Luckily it did'nt.

It's a hard choice, but your chain of command has direct access to your medical records.

I hope you find this useful.

http://www.sldn.org/templates/index.html

Cut and paste it if you have to.

Amber

Offline Terra

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Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2005, 06:18:16 pm »
Thanks for the responses! It really means alot that people like all of you will listen! :D

I guess my first question is the most obvious one. How do I start? I'm guessing the shrink is the first stop but how can i get one and, more importantly, how do i tell him/her? How much money will this cost me? And who, if anyone, should i trust? I'm going to contact those legal guys Amber, but should i worry about it coming back somehow? Gah, i'm beggining to get more questions then i started!  ;D
"If you quit before you try, you don't deserve to dream." -grandmother

stephanie_craxford

Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2005, 06:35:09 pm »
Hello again sailorgurl.

Amberctm's advice is right is right on the money, do that before you make any decisions to reveal any of this to your chain of command.  I am a 30 year veteran, a retired paratrooper from the Canadian Armed Forces.  I served with the Canadian Airborne Regt, and did tours with your own 82nd Airborne, and 101st Airborne.

Here in Canadian Forces it is quite legal to be gay, bi, trans, or lesbian.  However having said that, there was now way that I was about to reveal to anyone that I was trans.  I had to supress it for years, it almost did me in, but not as fast as if I had told anyone in the military, even with the so called safe guards and laws that would have protected me, the only person who knew was my wife.

I don't think that you have the same protections in the US Forces, so it is imperative that you carefully consider your options, the pro's and cons of each before you decide on a course of action.  Of course you must be sure that this is who you are, as you don't sound too certain at the moment.  While transitioning when you are young is preferrable for the most part, it is not the only way, you can wait.  Get yourself a private therapist, not one involved in the military, and see what transpires, before going forward.  Hopefully an retired vet from the US Forces may be here who can better advise on this than me.

How about Amberctm??????

Hope this helps to get you started Sailor.  :)

Take care.

Steph

Chaunte

Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2005, 11:26:13 pm »
Sailorgurl,

I just took a look at the SLDN website Amber recommended.  It is a Godsend of information!

Just looking at the other posts here shows that you are not alone!  Amber and Steph were in.  I am 17 years in the USAF Aux. plus my TDY is through the Chaplain corp!  (Talk about "don't ask don't tell!")   How many others are out there not wanting to say they are military and <transgender>?

No matter what path you chose, your sisters and brothers here are with you.

Chaunte

amberctm

Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2005, 01:51:51 pm »
Sailorgurl,
Contacting SLDN will not come back to huant you. I do advise you not to use DOD computers to access websites such as this one. The dod is "witch hunting" again, and you may run a risk of being found out. Just use off post/ off base computers. There is accually an artical about this on the SLDN web site.

JUst look tho the future. If you finish your enlistment you get the college money. in that regaurd, all your extra money can go to transition. If you chapter out, you run the risk of loosing you GI bill and college money, and if you got a bonus, you be paying that back to.
So just a little food for thought.

You need to do what is right for you. Its been said before but I'll say it again, everyone is diffrent, if you fell you need imidiate help seek it right away, don't do anything drastic.

Good luck, and cheers to your decision!
Amber

Plix

Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2005, 02:48:21 pm »
Often times I too wonder whether transition is right for me. I feel that I identify as female most of the time, but I have already learned some of what I will lose if I choose transition. Most of my family does not support me and it is likely I will lose them if I transition, if only by my own choice.

I am not married and do not have children and therefore am not in the position many TSs are, and for this I have to admit I am glad. I would not want to imagine how difficult things would be if I had a partner or children. I will never marry as a man and can never have biological children, so neither of those I will ever have to worry about.

You do need lots of money transition, as I am well learning. I'm making the mistake of trying to transition as a full-time student with no job, and it's probably not something that would usually be successful.

You also want to be absolutely sure transition is for you. This is something I still face at times, as I occasionally wonder whether I may be something other than TS. But it is clear I am not male, and I have come to accept female as my identity because that is the only other option in society.

I just got here, but I can already see Susan's is a great place for people like you and me to find support. I think you'll find plenty of it here :)
 

Shelley

Re: At a crossroads
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2005, 04:14:16 am »
i think i may be a girl

For me the I think says it all. You are unsure and thats fine. This is a place where you can express how you feel and compare it to the experiences of others. Some will match, some will be quite different and it is this process of comparison that will help you understand what it is you feel.

I personally am a CD and have been so for nearly fourty years. My experiences are quite different to others here but that doesn't matter I feel comfortable here and can relax and enjoy the experience.

My advice is don't be too hasty to figure it out just take your time.

Shelley

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