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Since my "limited coming out" at age 48 in 2005, I've lamented the loss of time more than I ever have. Additionally, it feels like time is flying by, mocking me. I've come to despise "father time" with every fiber of my being. I had big plans back then. Had the beginning of my rightful place in this life all mapped out. Then I discovered that the hellhole I live in doesn't have a gender therapist. There isn't one within a 4 hour drive of me. And my current situation wouldn't exactly support me disappearing a whole day every couple weeks or once a month...whenever appointments would be. Then I lost the support of my mum. After that, it seems like hope took a nose-dive.

Recently, I think I've come to a realization why as an adult I've nostalgically looked back on my younger years. Yes, to some degree I believe...as probably many generations do...life was better "back then." people were more trusting of each other. We didn't live in a dog-eat-dog world. People were more social, and friends and co-workers watched your back almost like family. And in most places, the poor guy on the corner with a sign looking for help (only as a last resort) was truly destitute and needing help...and not some damn scam artist.

I often enjoy watching old cartoons...as it takes me back to my childhood. I like the old shows like the Andy Griffith Show, The Twilight Zone, and westerns like Rawhide, Wagontrain and Laredo. Of course, some of those shows (like the latter ones in that list) I liked because I wished I was the guys in those shows.

I look back both fondly and sadly on those days. Sadly...because of all the things I missed out on. All the things the average boy gets to experience. Back then...while I did play basketball and fast-pitch softball (I prefer to say I played baseball)...I couldn't play them as a boy, I couldn't play on a boys team - that kinda thing just didn't go over back then.

While I had several serious crushes on various girls from late elementary clear through high school, I never acted on those feelings - I knew I wasn't gay and I didn't want to be seen as gay. And of course, I knew they weren't gay...so it wouldn't have mattered either way. Missed out on asking a girl to the prom. And since I couldn't do that, naturally...I didn't get to get all decked out in a tux, and pick her up armed with a corsage for her.

Didn't get to fall in love with the woman of my dreams and ask her to marry me. Mighta been willing to have kids had I been born with all the right body parts. Mighta been willing to adopt kids if I could have let someone in on my big secret back then and had been able to transition when I was young... back then. Yeah...woulda been nice, I think. Now at 51... I sometimes think to myself, it would be nice to hear someone call me "dad."

Now...there is a woman in my life. A woman I want very badly to make my wife. Got a few things in my current life that I need to take care of first, though. But it seems like time is leaving me behind. Sometimes I sit here thinking time is gonna take her away from me before we can even start a life together...or me away from her. Or just not leave me enough time to spend with her once we are together. Sadder yet is the fact that I can't even tell anyone about her since no one knows about the real me.

Despite having a woman I love, and who loves me, I still find myself quite often cursing time and age...because I couldn't enjoy life and a wife as a young man. I couldn't be the fiancé instead of the fiancée. I couldn't enjoy all those firsts and all the memories that remain afterward... as a man, with his wife. No first apartment, then first house. No celebrating anniversaries and job promotions. No kids and playing Santa. No enjoying our golden years together, properly aged with a lifetime of cherished moments. No sharing those memories with grandkids.

We lose all that never was or could have been. We walk through this life as stoically as we can, keeping our pain to ourselves until we can't take it anymore. When the over-whelming need to be ourselves finally forces us to step forward, those around us wanna give us grief for it. Then, after having lost a lifetime of things missed, some of us lose family, friends, jobs. So then, loneliness can be added to the pain. Thankfully...I don't have to worry about losing a job. Unfortunately...I am fairly sure I will lose all family except my brother. Friends...I can't say I care one way or the other. Over time, they've not turned out to be all that great anyway.

I look back nostalgically because it was a time of innocense. There was not the intense pressure yet to play some role. And before puberty...this gender identity thing wasn't quite kickin' my ass the way it did and continued to do afterward. I wish that I could do it all over again. Get another chance to "do it right." I wish I could take what I know now, back in time, do it all over again...and come out as a kid. Or at least much sooner than I finally did, or perhaps not try so hard to fill that damned assigned gender role. I think things might have been a little easier for me if I just had been myself no matter what. And of course, NOT do some of the things I did... like play the part of the "fiancée" and freakin' get married.

If it wasn't for the fact that the woman I love, loves me so much, and it would hurt her so badly, and I DO want to be with her... I'd end it...


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I can relate so deeply to so much of what you say. It seems to me it was a different time when we were growing up. It wasn't so easy to find resources or support. In my case, conservative adults in my life would have likely made my life intolerable if I had come out. I was so confused I didn't know what I was anyway.

So much of life, I believe, is about self-acceptance and being able to enjoy the things you do have, and those things in turn create the hope that carries you into tomorrow. I'm glad you have someone to share love, and hope.

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Try to remember that the "good old days" weren't good. Although transgendered people weren't publicly reviled, they were privately reviled. They were sinners and absolutely everyone knew it. They were left alone because no "ordinary" person would admit they could happen in the "perfect" world.

Those persons couldn't ever be out even though they already were. They never had the chance we "modern" folks have. Now, there are some conclaves we can resort to. Then, they had nowhere else to be. They were the "black sheep" and the "skeletons in the closet." Frankly, I wish every family would admit to one. Then perhaps the children would realize we aren't so abnormal after all.

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Michael,

Reading this I feel we were on parallel universes. I think we're the same age (vintage?). I also watched TV dreaming of being its star. Shows like The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., That Girl, Batgirl, and embarrassed to admit it, The Flying Nun. And let's not forget Emma Peale in The Avengers! I watched these shows, wondering, wishing, and of course no one knew what was going on in my head...

I also at times wish I'd been more brave or committed to coming out to myself so many years ago, accepting and loving myself. I think I did the best I could, navigating my feelings, playing the cards I was dealt. There are so many resources available today that simply were not around back then. In those days I worried I was more in the "sick" camp, as I new I was hetero and considerations of following in Christine Jorgenson's shoes didn't appeal to me although I thought a lot about it.

So I did what any "normal" person would do: I hid it, buried it, purged, and built a box for me and my secret. And my depression deepened. For some crazy reason I didn't understand why!

But that's the bad news. These days the road of my journey still has potholes and I don't know where it's headed. But at least I'm moving in a more positive direction.

Emma

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