Everything is OK Here

November 15, 2023 4:14 PM

-- I Caught Myself by Paramore --

A Tale of Two Comings Out

Story 1 - I came out to my immediate family about 10 days ago and they were AMAZING about it. I wasn't at all worried that they wouldn't accept me, but I was fearing the idea of causing them grief or something like that. Honestly, they may have felt that after our conversation, but the way they reacted and have been since has been super great :D They took it all in stride, only worried about me being physically safe where I live, and have been great at checking in on me since. In fact, I felt almost a teeney bit "annoyed" that they didn't make a bigger deal out of it (kidding obviously). The same thing happened when I told my friend this last weekend. He took it all in without any issues and only had simple questions about names/pronouns/slang and was otherwise awesome about it.

In talking with my family about it, it hit me that I wasn't worried about the reactions of many people in my life because I've always chosen to surround myself with people who would be ok with something like this, whether I knew it or not. It seems obvious now that I think about it, but I wouldn't have someone in my life who wasn't ok with that sort of thing in general.

Story 2 - I also came out to my mom much sooner than I had expected. I had planned to tell her over Christmas when I would next go out to visit her (she's over 8 hours away), but I didn't want to wait anymore. She's definitely more conservative than my dad's side of the family, but she's a decent person at the end of the day and I honestly thought her reaction could go either way. I called her and she started telling me about the bad day she was having, which made me want to not tell her. However, she knew that I had news and wanted to pry it out of me anyway. She got pretty upset and starting swearing about being so surprised. She also seemed pretty concerned with the hormones I'm taking. She's been a nurse for most of her life so she knows how it all works, and it's how she processes health-related things, but I could tell she didn't like that I was already taking them. When I told her how depressed I had been feeling, she started yelling about how taking my own life isn't an option and that she loves me. I stressed that even though I've felt that way, I could never act on it as the finality of death terrifies me. She also asked me some innappropriate questions like "how's my sex life?" or "am I attracted to men?". I told her those were both irrelavant, but annoyingly answered anyway. AND when I told her I would eventually go by a different name, she immediately refused to ever address me differently.

My relationshp with my mom has been a rocky mess for years, with me really being the only one to put in an effort (which she likely disagrees about) so, feeling mad at her now isn't that unusual. I know that she does love me and care about me, but at this point, I'm not at all ready to fight about any of this. The effort just isn't worth it right now. I can be around the family that immediately accepted me for who I am, no questions asked, and I don't have to work on it like the project that is my relationship with my mom.

It honestly blows my mind that I exist as I can never understand how my parents would have a relationship together. They were only married for a few years of my life (likely because I was born), and ever since then, the idea of them being married has seemed so foreign to me. And this who coming out experience has only reinforced those thoughts. How can my dad be such an amazing person about it all while my mom is kind of a jerk about it? (Props to them both for reversing the typical gender-parent stereotypes with that one lol) My dad has even been checking in on me every few days and, today, he even sent me an "inspirational trans" video and said he thought of me! Meanwhile, I know I probably won't talk to my mom for weeks unless I initiate something, and even if I do, she would never bring up this subject herself.

Families are messy and complicated, and I know mine is no different. At then end of the day, I just need to appreciate the good things about them and that they are still around for me to talk to.

October 28, 2023 2:01 PM

-- BLINK WAVE by blink-182 --

Impostor Syndrome has been kicking my butt lately. Every time I feel dysphoric or think about the overwhelming amount of work involved in transitioning, I think more and more about how "I must pretending then" and how "I'm just a guy dressing like a woman." Those thoughts make me sick to my stomach. And each new step in transitioning carries a potential to trigger these thoughts. Like, I've ordered my first dress and I'm SO exicted to try it on, but I'm also nervous. What if it doesn't fit right? Or what if I just look like some dumb boy wearing something they "shouldn't." These thoughts aren't around all the time, but when they do come around, they like to fester and hang around me for too long. Thankfully, I know I wouldn't feel any of this unless I truly felt I was trans. There's no way I would feel sad about "just pretending" if I was really doing just that. Everything I read, and even my counselor explain that these feelings are normal to experience, but that doesn't make them suck any less.

On a positive note, I've been feeling more comfortable going out closer to "me." Depending on where I'm going or who I'm with, I've been able to wear more feminine things like my boots, cardigans, and even makeup. It's been a freeing step and, thankfully, nobody has given me a hard time yet. To be fair though, I've been doing my best to go unnoticed when out like that. I hate the conflicted feelings of "NOBODY LOOK AT ME" and "Please notice me and tell me I'm a pretty girl." Like, I want people to see me, but only if they see me "correctly." It's all so exhausting, but I know steps like these are necessary to get to where I want to be.

I'm also starting to think I need another trans person that I can talk to about this stuff. Meeting new people is stressful and scary, but it would help to have someone I can bounce things off of. My wife and the friends I've told so far have been WONDERFUL and SUPER SUPPORTIVE, but it would help to have someone that gets a bit more of the #experience. Most of the larger trans communities like Reddit can be super cringey and I don't even know how to participate in spaces like that. My counselor recommended a local LGBT group that does some activities and such, but that sounds super intimidating. One of my friends who I'm out to is involved in a lot of Pride things in the area and he's been a great resource so far, but even he's not somebody that can relate to the trans "issues." I'm sure as I keep going through all of this, I'll meet tons of people just like me :D

I'm getting closer and closer to coming out to my parents too. I know they'll be accepting of me (at least I'm pretty sure), but I'm still super nervous about it. Just like when I told my wife, I keep feeling the guilt of possibly causing them pain. I know I can't control how they react, and it's definitely none of my resonsibilty, but I was raised so strongly to not hurt the feelings of others. The idea of causing my dad to feel grief at the "loss of a son" or to have him feel bad about not being able to help me with this sooner is making things difficult. Plus, they live 2 hours away and it's not easy to get time set aside to go visit them and do it "properly." I was even hoping to get it over with this weekend, but now it looks like that won't happen. I'm really aiming to tell them and my sister before Thanksgiving so that we could possibly spend the holidays with me presenting a little differently.

October 16, 2023 3:42 PM

-- Sincerely Me by New Found Glory --

These last few days have not been super great. I'm not sure if it's some sort of real acceptance of who I am or something to do with the hormones, but dysphoria has been kicking my butt extra hard. It's like now that I can finally see myself a certain way, the ways that make me not like that are even more noticable. I keep putting myself in spirals of anxiety that I'll never look good enough and that leads back to the old feelings of "Am I really trans? Am I just faking it?" and those super suck. Thankfully, I basically have "safeguards" in the way for those types of things now. Coming out to a couple friends of mine has helped add to the realisim of things (BTW I CAME OUT TO SOME FRIENDS WHO WERE AMAZING ABOUT IT :D ) and made it hard to "go back".

It also helps me to just sit and wonder what my life would be like if I had never made this decision and honestly, the "what if" keeps getting more and more scary, which only reaffirms my feelings. As I've been figuring things out, I keep using a "box" as a reference for my wife. Coming out and being myself is "taking things out of the box." Hating myself, not being happy with my appearance, feelings of impostor syndrome and wanting to forget it all is "putting it all back in the box." As I get further and further into this, I still have feelings of wanting to put it all back in the box, but when I think about doing just that, I only get horrible feelings. "If I'm not trans, then I don't know what else there is for me" is a really scary thing to think and it's relatively new for me and I don't like it. But, it does ensure me that this is the thing I need to do.

I've also found it helpful to see tons of stories from others in similar situations. Reading about these folks who have impostor syndrome and dysphoria, even after years of transitioning, reinforces for me that I'm on the right path. As frustrating as the whole experience has been so far, in a weird way, it's nice to see that it appears to be the unfortunate standard for most. It's a bit crazy to know that we're all in this for our own reasons and each of our paths is different, yet we have so many shared experiences and that tells me I'm doing something right. I know that changes will happen for me and I know I'll be happy in the end. I just don't have the patience right now and waiting is harrrrd.

On a brighter note --- Hi, my name is Courtney <3 =)

October 10, 2023 4:12 PM

Things have been going kind of well recently? I started HRT about 5 days ago and, while it's a very small dose and just monotherapy, I think I'm starting to feel a small emotional improvement. I've now gone two days without the "feeling like I'm about to cry" sensation in my face and that's the longest it's been in months. I'm starting to think there might be something to this whole thing :P

My appointment for the HRT was a bit crazy. I had to drive to a different town for it as there's no specialists in my immediate location and the clinic/hospital there was PACKED. It was very overwhelming. Thankfully, my actual appointment went a lot smoother. The doctor asked my why I was there along with what I wanted from HRT. When explaining how I know I'm trans, she gave me a huge validation by saying that "I had said all the right things." It really made me feel like I couldn't possibly be faking this, which has long been a thought in the back of my mind. I was able to get a prescription easily and now it's just time to play the long waiting game.

As part of the appointment, the doctor mentioned multiple times that I should come out to some people other than my wife. I definitely agree and I usually get really excited at the idea of coming out to friends and some family, but lately I've been feeling the fears of that process more. I know it's to be expected, but it's definitely scary to put it all out there for someone, especially with the idea that there's no "putting the toothpaste back in the tube." I'm confident that a lot of my people will happily accept me, it just feels like it has more of that "no going back now" vibe to it and I'm annoyed that I care about that.

I think most of these fears just come from the dread of the amount of work this will take. Just thinking about going through the laser/electrolysis treatments along with voice training of any kind is a daunting task. I've long been someone who sees a long or difficult task and will decide to just quit or move on to something else. Obviously, with this being my identity, I can't really do that. And, honestly, I don't want to. It's just giving myself the push and motivation to get it all done that's taking longer than I'd like.

I went to a wedding this weekend and there was another trans girl there who was much farther along in her transition and she looked amazing 0_0 Just seeing her look so natural and confident was hugely inspiring. It really reinforced things for me in the way of knowing what I want and what I'm aiming for. I just want to be me. The same person I've always been, just with a different exterior. I feel like I can achieve that goal and, while it's going to take an immense amount of hard work, I can't wait to finally get where I'm going

September 30, 2023 7:01 PM

So I finally got to see a therapist and I've been back a few times over the last couple months. It's been an interesting experience to say the least. Her style is different from what I'm used to in that she doesn't ask me too many questions. Each session has been me just word-vomiting for an undisclosed amount of time followed by her saying "Anything else?" I don't feel like she's doing anything wrong, I just feel like I need to be prompted with questions. She is also very comfortable just sitting in silence until I say something more and it definitely works, but I don't always like it.

Aside from some quirks with her style, my therapist has been a huge help in allowing me to work through my feelings. She's validated everything I'm experiencing and has never questioned me on the authenticity of my feelings. As we have more sessions, she's been able to provide me with resources like reading material, doctors, and even social groups in the area that I could attend if I was ever brave enough. Her style may not be my favorite, but she's been an immense help.

As far as my gender identity experience has been going, it's become clearer and clearer nearly every day. I am trans. My pronouns are she/they. I'm not out to anyone IRL except for my spouse and my therapist. Speaking of being out to my wife...

Telling her was the scariest thing I ever had to do. I initially spent some time telling her about my gender identity issues which was suggested by my therapist. My spouse was apprehensive, but supportive. She bought me makeup and showed me how to use it and she asked me a ton of great questions. As the weeks went on, and I started to figure myself out, I had to come out to her again, but more definitively. I had never been so scared. Even if she accepted me and was fully supportive, I couldn't (and still haven't) get over the idea that I was hurting her, even if it wasn't intentional. She took it really hard, but has still been incredibly supportive. Our biggest fears were of the other person leaving. If we're both so afraid of that, then doesn't it mean that we both want to stay? We've had a ton of talks and we'll have a ton more, but as of now, I feel like this is realistically the best outcome I could have gotten.

Being out to my spouse has been the BIGGEST relief though. I'm able to wear my girl clothes and makeup around her at home and she's given me more tips to avoid looking like a cartoon character. Getting to be me in my safe space without feeling like I'm hiding anything has been one of the best feelings and I recommend it to anyone in a similar situation. The pain of feeling like I was hiding something from her outweighed the fear of the consequences of sharing it with her.

For the most recent exciting new, I have my HRT appointment this coming Thursday (Oct 5th) and I can't be looking forward to it more than I am! The dysphoria has been kicking my butt the last few and days I want to get started on the physical transition as soon as I can. I also lucked out in that it's with a doctor who specializes in this sort of thing so they're an expert that I can trust to take care of me. It's so exicting and I'm incredibly impatient to get started.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for now. I'm setting a goal for myself to post share more of my thoughts through these longform posts (trans-related or otherwise) both for my own journaling, but maybe also in hopes that they could help someone in a similar situation. I definitely don't have all the answers, if any at all, but I'd like to think people can take something from my experience, even if it's learning what not to do :P

August 1, 2023 3:33 PM

I'm so frustratingly sad and confused. I hate it. Why do I feel this way? Why do I have these feelings /now/? Do I feel this way because I'm depressed? Or am I depressed because these feelings are finally reaching some sort of climax? I'm almost too afraid to act on anything because I don't want to go down a path I might regret later. What that "wrong path" even is, I'm not sure.

A couple weeks ago, I told my doctor I needed help dealing with all these feelings. She did her part and referred me to the neuropsychology people for an evaluation. They sent me a form with questions that I filled out and sent back to them right away. The form included a letter saying that scheduling was super backed-up. Makes sense, everyone is trying to address their mental health these days, which is a good thing. I figured this meant I would hear back soon, but would be scheduled for way far out. After 10 days of not hearing anything, I called the doctor's office. The person who answered was very cold and seemed annoyed that I had called to see if things could move faster. She said their notes say that they'll call me in /October/ to schedule an appointment for /November/, which kinda seems ridiculous??? I know they're swamped and the staff are working their hardest, but they couldn't even get me on a schedule?? Needless to say, I was more than a bit disappointed.

After giving things a few days, my feelings have only gotten worse. I'm still sad, confused, frustrated, and scared. I'm already running out of patience so I searched for therapists around me that can help. I found someone who I hope I'll feel comfortable with and reached out to them. Hopefully, they can help me. I just need an impartial professional to ask me the right questions so I can process everything correctly. I don't even need a push one direction or the other. I just need someone to mentally hold my hand while I figure it out myself.

July 28, 2023 9:34 PM

I got my ears pierced today. It was something I had considered years ago, but didn't come up again until recently. I've been addressing my gender identity more aggressively lately and found myself wanting to be "pretty". I shaved, painted my nails, and immediately wanted to go for my ears next as I desperately want to look more feminine in some way.

I have just as much body dysmorphia as the average person, I think. I hate my stomach, my full face, my nose, etc. and am just getting the motivation to change it. And I feel that motivation is coming from my thoughts about my gender. For years, I had resigned myself to looking how I always have, but now, I feel a desire to look different and I want to do something about it, starting with the things in my control.

The piercing process was way easier than I imagined. I still felt out of place in the shop, but the piercer was very comforting. As soon as it was done, I got in my car and looked in the rearview mirror. At first, all I could see was the things I didn't like about myself. My cheeks were too big, my neck was too full, and my facial hair was already coming back. I was irritated with myself. I had done this sorta big thing and I could only focus on the usual negatives. When I got home, I immediately went to the bathroom mirror for another look and I saw myself at a different angle. For just a moment, I started to see the person I was aiming to be. I only saw the pretty earrings on the side of my face and the way they blended together with my hair. For that one moment, I felt the euphoria I see talked about. I need to keep doing more to chase that feeling again.