Kitrah

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the ocean or the beach

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so im at 7 months now. i feel great physical but emotional im depressed, lonely, sad. i been doing this transition without support network pretty much alone since i start. i am have a hard time wanting to or trying to integrate into society since job loss. things just keep getting more isolated for me. still dressing as a man in public but i standing out a lot more. my face and skin has soften, my anger is gone, i keep looking out for someone like me but dealing w unemployment and looking for friends who are living similar life to me just make me seem like baggage and problem. i dont know what i doing. i am pretty much go through female puberty now. so many changes to liste i cant even summarise where my mind at. i dont know whether im losing strength in the ocean or afraid to get in the water. i feel like my soul getting ripped in half because i cant give it what it needs. with all this going on im not suicidal, just scared im not going find a way to a meaningful life. having to fight a public perception is like swimming with sharks. i dont regret what im doing, wish i had done it sooner. its just going all the way and not getting stuck in the gender fluid ocean. maybe some are ok w that but it not what i want.


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Your description of going through female puberty is quite accurate. It is an exciting but awkward stage where you go through changes you can't quite understand, much like a teenage girl. Online support is great and can be very helpful, but you need people in real life too. I don't know where you're located, but I recommend you establish a support network as soon as you can. People to include in that network are supporting family members, friends and caring professionals. If you're near a city this should be easier than if you're in a rural area. You may have to travel. A few options for meeting people come to mind: transgender friendly nightclubs, social groups, LGBT community centers and support groups. If religious faith is a priority, there are supportive environments in some churches such as Unitarian Universalist and many others of various faiths. A quick Google search should reveal some options. Whatever you do, try not to go through this alone. The support of just a few good friends will make all the difference. Hugs to you and wishing the best for you on your journey. 

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Kitrah, I feel for you. I'm very fortunate to have a good support network and I agree completely with Lori: it's so important. In fact, when I started HRT in early September my doctor asked me to describe my support network. Its existence wasn't going to prevent her prescribing the hormones but she wanted assurance that I have people around for help.

I imagine you've looked for LGBT community centers and other resources in your area? There is no replacement for face-to-face human contact but indeed, web resources like TGGuide can help too.

I wish you the very best Kitrah, I really do.

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That is a good physician who takes the time to ensure you have an adequate support network. My physician did the same. 

Each situation is a little different. When I began to transition in the late 80s there weren't a lot of readily available resources so I really felt alone. I browsed personal ads in the newspapers, and later on dating sites -- for friends, not lovers. That may sound odd but it worked. I located a nearby transgender suppport group and made new friends there. I came out to a few cisgender people who became supportive allies. Due to the support group and new friends, I was able to locate qualified professionals including an endocrinologist, general physician, mental health therapist and an electrologist. It all took quite a bit of time but it was worth going through the steps. Those personal connections can help make a difference. 

Speaking of employment: I was educated and highly qualified, but in a field that wasn't very accepting of LGBT people. I left an established career to transition privately and re-emerge in stealth mode. Things got really tough but it was through my personal contacts that I located a great job that lasted about seven years, through and beyond my transition. 

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Kitrah,

I'm so sorry that you have to be going through this without a social support network - it is certainly still very possible, but I understand how much more difficult it can be. And being on a job search at the same time just makes it that much more difficult.

Perhaps you already have, but have you looked around for any support groups in your area?  They can be hard to find, even in NYC they are few and far between, but a good support group can be really helpful. In the meantime I hope you find some support on this site!

I'm also totally with you on the idea of being "gender fluid" - I fully identify, and am, female, nothing fluid about it :-)

xoxo

Chrissy

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Hi girls thank for the support i love you all. i did go to a group in my area but i felt out of place. much this ppl were younger than me, just different life experence and no hangups about who they area. i still feel like i fighting w myself over all this years and try be ok w myself. in some ways i coming out i just feel like it need be faster. this whole idenity thing a lot me deal with. its hard try to keep up with two idenities. i think when it finally start break to surface everthing start going wrong for me in life and i wasnt able just run away. so i will try find some sort support im just have difficulty connect w people. 

In term of support network i pretty much just loner for 10 year. Everyone change now so there not real support network for me. Im open for new friendships but i dont feel i have much to offer. it just a lot of pressure on top of trying transition. I thought put off for few years but i feel that if i did it wasn't going happen. The timing felt like now or never. so i just do it. i waited long enough time already. but yes, swim in the ocean alone is dangerous and sometime i just want some girlfriend to talk to. so for the internet, its given that. eventually u get tired of swimming and want to lay on beach.

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Thanks for writing this Kitrah. Sadness and depression often lead to withdrawal since it feels like we are taking care of ourselves, licking our wounds so to speak or, as you said, we are unhappy and being alone feels like it’s a protection against further hurt. What do you feel is driving you to withdrawing from others?

Self shame is another reason, and I know this one very well. Shame derives from feeling “I am bad” and I felt that way because of my gender dysphoria. 

But withdrawal doesn’t really help, does it. As Brene Brown says, shame loves the darkness and can’t live in the light of awareness and exposure. It’s scary but it truly helps to allow other people into our lives. 

Do you have the resources to see a therapist? I highly recommend doing that if you can.

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I recall that during transition, when I needed new friends, I had a theory that worked out pretty well. If I met just one new friend, they would usually lead me to additional friends.  There were plenty of people I didn't feel I had anything in common with or just didn't care to have as friends, so I was still pretty selective about friends. But every now and then I'd make a new friend and that usually opened to door to additional social experiences and friendships with their circle of friends. By the time I had completed transition I had a circle of trusted friends. 

Another random memory just popped in my mind. I didn't come out to everyone. I more or less just moved on, but I did tell a few closest friends and family of my transition. One thing that stood out was that it was often very surprising who would drift away after I told them and who would emerge as a new solid friend. Sometimes the closest friends from before transition couldn't handle it so they drifted away. Other, more casual friends, would sometimes step up to become a strong part of the support network. 

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Looking back i still rememer looking in the mirror in my early 20s. I knew it then. I chose to deny it because of all the stress i was under and conditioning. so sometime u cant just seem to take that step. and then a lot of time passes and in my case tramatic events happen that force this all to surface to deal with. early in my therapy i just rememer saying a lot, if i dont do this now, its going end up being another 10 year before i have curage to try again. i rememer looking back and wishing it was then and not now. how different thing would be but then i remmer what would it be like to wait another 10. the time for this all was worst time for me. no friends no support no family no job. o need to do this for myself or is was going be the next step in self destruction. am i going make it another 10 years or 5 years? 

i had tests done and they were showing no tetosterone and high levels of estrogen and progesteron. so i just got tired of keeping deny what evidence was showing me and what others were perceiving as being a lie. but i real tried with tetosterone, i did for 3 mo. and i knew it wasnt going complete me but take me further into downard spiral of depression and self hate. it strange how much this ideas and programing had just been conditioned in me to avoid and continue lying to fit into this male mold. 

i can feel this surface cracking and this force within me continue to grow. i started look back through my timeline, how is this possible for me to block out and deny reality to point where i was going to bankrupt myself to cover up a truth. how long was i going to pay this emotional self blackmail? why was i going to do it for. i couldnt. when i committed to hormones i knew i was commiting to future girl. that who i was then was not going to be who i would become. thing will continue to change until this essence or spirit i am was allow to mirror in body. i think because my belief set, it allow me to accept some things as means to move beyond.

with my own meta morposis i can see the link to butterfly. it leave one stage of life and enter another. it never thinking as butterfly as was caterpillar, only it maybe rememer srange tie when it move into darkness and all this changes happen as is body rewrite then it come out different creature entire. it is so profound this that looking at it no longer can see was before. only those then know what it was. so nature do have this ability and much magics.

my current shame in this is having to go thru this process. having to give up one gender for another. its much to process. its much to relearn. and some people will say they will offer support to the trangender community at a distance because it make them feel special to help the less fortunate when i think what we really want is just equality and fair tratement. Is easy when u have this things given to u to supress certain groups because u cannot unerstand them. i am so often classified into category that arent even who i am. like i have to be this freak when i have done what i can over years to blend into society. im not going continue punish myself for who i am. its gone on for to long and that one of the rason why im so distance from people. im scare of people really. 

i have continue see my therapist since the beginning of this. ive been lucky for that. maybe talking about this more help me in some way. its help me to unerstand a lot about myself and where im wanting to be and what i want to expect but theres so much i didnt expect before i started.

 

 

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my current shame in this is having to go thru this process. having to give up one gender for another. its much to process. its much to relearn. ...

​I don't find it so much as shameful but transition is a lot of work that can be daunting at times. Like in a half hour I'm headed to the electrologist to start removing the hair above my upper lip. I'm told that hurts a lot so first I will see a dentist (next door) who's going to inject novocaine into the area. I have also been told that this will all take many visits. 

But the effort seems reduced sometimes, like these days I don't experience much reluctance to just go out and about presenting as my authentic self. Psychologists once ran an experiment where they had people look up from the base of a hill to guess how hard it would be to hike up it. For one group they had them wear a 40-pound load on their back, and the other had no extra load. The 40-pounders assumed that the hill would be much harder to climb than those without the weight. I think I am finding that the load of my transition is lightening with each step I take. 

 

i have continue see my therapist since the beginning of this. ive been lucky for that. maybe talking about this more help me in some way. its help me to unerstand a lot about myself and where im wanting to be and what i want to expect but theres so much i didnt expect before i started.

​I'm very glad to hear that you have a therapist. You are lucky to have one. And indeed, there is always so much that we don't expect. That's why they call life a journey and not a destination! We learn as we go... :-)

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