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Thread: I am no longer ruled by fear

  1. #1
    Member Abby Kae's Avatar
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    I am no longer ruled by fear

    Four months ago, I screwed up enough courage to start asking myself some hard questions about who I am.

    As I learned to be more and more honest with myself, I came to the realization that I've been afraid since I was 4 years old, and depressed since puberty.

    Fear had guided and directed my entire life. I avoided things that I liked because of it. I did things I didn't like because of it. Big things and small things, everything I did or didn't do was dictated by being massively afraid.

    I decided a month ago to stop letting the fear rule my life. It's not easy, and sometimes I still hold back because of it, but I'm learning and I'm getting better. Last night, I chose not to write this post because I was afraid. Today, I'm still afraid, but I'm doing it anyway. This is a small thing, practically inconsequential, but it's a step in learning to overcome the fear.

    I've been seeing a mental health professional, who specializes in gender identity. I've been officially diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and my therapist believes that medical intervention is necessary and beneficial. To address that, I got my first physical in 20 years on Monday - specifically to see if there might be other physical health issues that would prevent me from starting HRT. I'm a little fat, but otherwise healthy.

    My first endocrinology appointment is coming up on November 24th, with an endo that my GP verified as one who prescribes feminizing hormones to MTF transitioners.

    The timeline for progress that I've agreed to with my wife has me waiting to start HRT until December 17th. The week before Christmas. Our reasoning for this date is that she wants me to wait as long I can, and I want to try to align my mental state in time for the big holiday. I recognize that my mileage will vary, but the anecdotal data I've read says that it usually takes about a week to start feeling the effects, for those that will. If it takes longer, so be it.

    I'm out to my parents. I'm out to my friends. I'm not out to my brothers yet, because I'm convinced (and afraid) that one of them will try to "help" by outing me to someone who is farther down the timeline.

    I'm not out to anyone in my wife's family. The plan is to tell her sister and parents before Thanksgiving. Her extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, don't have a specific date for coming out, but we've agreed that it will be between January and April.

    My children (16, 4, & 2, and will be 17, 5, & 2 at my coming out), will be told at the end of this school year, in June. My oldest is being pushed back that long because of my history with his mother, who is not my wife. My other children are waiting, because my 4 year old attends a faith-based preschool, and she likes to tell everyone everything, so we're waiting until she's out of it, so we can try to avoid the potential religious backlash.

    I will be full time by mid June. And I am very afraid.

    The fear that I've carried with me my entire life hasn't gone away. It may never go away. What I'm doing now is just taking its ability dictate my actions. Yes, some of my plans are being influenced by it, and even slowing me down, but I'm moving forward regardless. I'm making progress. Tempered with caution.

    I'm not posting to get a hug, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't want one. I'm not posting to get validation that I cannot find elsewhere, because I am getting validation from many sources. I'm posting because this is what I'm going through, this is my experience, and I want to share it. And I'm posting because I'm afraid of posting, and I'm trying to tell my fear that it no longer has control over me. It may always be in my life, but it can't tell me what to do anymore.

    So make of this what you will, whether that's calling me a fake, or saying I'm not X enough to be here, or if my experience is something that resonates with you, something you share with me.

    I love being here and reading of your experiences. I love seeing my feelings being written by other people. I identify strongly with Donna's left-handed post, and with Melissa's tuxedo at the beach analogy, and Robin's being stuck in a man suit. I love to read about your successes, and I cry to read of your difficulties. I feel a kinship with my fellow posters, even if I disagree with some opinions, but that's life.

    There's a huge range of experience here that I can draw from to inform my conclusions about where I'm going in my life, but at the end of the day, it IS my life, and I'll do what I need to do to live it authentically, and hopefully someday, happily.

    And I hope that we can all get to that point: happy. Regardless of which or how many steps you take, or what you call yourself, or what other people have to say about it, I hope that you will be happy. And you, and you, and especially you.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Kaitlyn Michele's Avatar
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    Here's your hug!!!

    now that's out of the way!!!

    Fear is a long term thing...you are attacking it and that's how you beat it... you can fear doing a thing but do it anyway...and you can fear something go wrong, and still do it and it may even go wrong!!! but you still did it..

    It seems you are getting good support and one thing that strikes me is that you have clearly thought alot about how you are executing this and you are in touch with what's holding you back..
    i think you are underestimating your own courage and I know you are underestimating how much progress you are making against gender dysphoria..

    one huge thing i learned is that as you go forward, try to make sure that the people around you see the benefits of what you are doing....if you can keep the existential madness of gender dysphoria away from them and by your ACTIONS highlight that you are thriving and doing great as you figure out your new life, it will help them alot...if you think about it, if you are doing well, and somebody is against that, then who needs them...

    anyway...i'm glad you shared your thoughts and experience..

    you have alot in front of you and its going to be important to get great support
    I am real

  3. #3
    Member ErikaS's Avatar
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    Abby thank you, we I have fear it is something we have to work out through our own way and it's our strength that gets us there each day. Even being on HRT for almost two months it's been great but also fearful but we need to keep going so I say to you great job and keep overcoming that fear.

    Erika

  4. #4
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    I don't know what is a greater life changing thing to do then transition. The is a lot of fear involved, was for me.

    That why your going to get a lot of people telling you that you are so brave and courageous for it.

    I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

  5. #5
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    Abby, I will give you another.

    First, don't ever think you aren't able to share your thoughts. That is why we are all here. When I transitioned, I wrote steps and put logical dates to them. It sounds like you are doing the same with your timing. As long as you are doing things in the order and timing that you are thinking are best, then you will be well served. There are no guarantees in life on anything, but you can lean it in your favor. Keep us posted!
    Last edited by PretzelGirl; 10-16-2015 at 06:51 PM.

  6. #6
    I've made it and love it Jennifer-GWN's Avatar
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    I think fear is our biggest demon. Over coming that and moving on with a plan puts you in a great position particularly when you have the support around you. Let the this freedom carry you with a positive attitude forward.

    Agree with sue, there'll always be challenges. Keep that drama to yourself and a close select set of friends who understand us and our uniqueness vs. the wider public who just can't or will struggle to understand it.

    A positive go forward attitude helps build the confidence. you'll be surprised how far you'll go and don't look back.

    You go girl.

    Cheers... Jennifer
    I am who I am... I'm happy...I mean truly to the bone happy...and at peace with myself for the first time ever. I'm confident and content as the woman I am.

  7. #7
    Formerly Deborah Whitney
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    You are pushing past your fear, and that's a good thing. Pain is fear leaving the body, after all ... pushing can be painful, but can also eradicate fear, or at least relegate it to its proper place.

  8. #8
    Member Contessa's Avatar
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    Hi

    I am about to speak about something that I need to hear about and wish that you had spoke about it. The other side of fear and that is I believe is Love. You must love yourself. Every one of us must understand that we need to love our selves. Or no one else will love us. I feel proud of what I have put together.

    There is something that I lack, even though I love myself and my new close friends. I lack love from a female friend. A companion, to share the rest of my life with. I trust and hope that you have that, love I mean cause it can bring about fear again once you have gotten over it. Congrats if your post warrants it. Good luck in your future I hope we can be and stay friends through whatever it is that you about to go through.

    Contessa
    [COLOR="blue"]Contessa Marie D

    I'm TG. A fem-male so I look male sometimes.

    Dressing is necessary, the type of clothes you wear not so much.

    This above all to thy own self be true!

  9. #9
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    Good luck and happy trails in the future. Giving you a hug anyway. But yes you must love yourself

  10. #10
    Gone to live my life
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    Hi Abby,

    Fear can be a crippler for certain but it can also be the push you need to break free of its grasp and that is what you have done by taking the steps you wrote about. I am so glad to read you are taking steps to be the person you need to be and having the support of your family and friends should help mitigate some of that fear. I am sure it will creep back in as you take more steps forward but always remember that fear can be your enemy or it can be your ally . . . the trick is embrace it, accept it and integrate it into your life to move past those hurdles.

    Cheers

    Marcelle

  11. #11
    Senior Member Eringirl's Avatar
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    Hi Abby....very GLAD you submitted this post. Well done. Yes, fear can be crippling, but can be used to motivate if one turns that energy into action. I would be more concerned if you didn't have any fear through any of this. It's good to be afraid of all this....it is some serious sh!t. But as you face each fear and drive through them you get stronger. There will be fear in much of your path for sometime to come. But you have proved to yourself that you can overcome it. Build on that. Wishing you every success!!! Keep us posted... I, for one, would like to hear how you progress.

    Ciao for now,

    Erin
    Seize the day. Life is short, and you're dead a long time...just sayin' ...

  12. #12
    Member Abby Kae's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

    Contessa, I like the point you brought up about love. While the fear is strong, my love is stronger. In fact, that's why I'm committed to this path for myself. I love me, and I deserve to be happy in my own skin. But I could get better about losing the negative self talk; "I'll never be accepted as a woman. I'll always look like a dude, no matter how I'm dressed or even if I grow my own breasts. I'm fooling myself with this."

    I'm trying to ignore myself as I progress, and it's mostly working. Little things help, like passing a few bucks to a homeless woman at a stoplight and getting a, "Thank you, ma'am." Or being out to dinner with friends and being handed the only diet drink - even though I'm not the one who ordered it. Those may seem like little things, but I think they're pretty big. At least, they help.

    On further conversation with my wife, the timeline for telling the in-laws has changed slightly. We're waiting until after the holidays now. The point I hadn't considered before was from my wife, "I know you'll be stressed that people still won't be seeing the real you, but telling them before will increase their stress. And if you're presenting male anyway, telling early will cause more stress than it will alleviate."

    It's a good point, and I can relate. In this instance, my plan would have caused more harm than good, so I'm fine, really, with delaying another month or two. There's a definite difference between wanting to tell people and needing to tell people, and right now I don't need them to know. Especially since I'm doing one last round of Thanksgiving/Christmas events as my male persona.

    So the fear is still being told to sit down and shut up. And I can see the strength that I have, buried under years of denial, carrying me through.

  13. #13
    Gold Member Kaitlyn Michele's Avatar
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    it is a HUGE thing ...

    NEED to know vs WANT to know....

    Stay focused on NEED to know...and stay focused on building up with the people you hope will be your best supporters... get them on board so that when the behind the back discussions happen there is a better chance of people truly supporting you.
    I am real

  14. #14
    Formerly Deborah Whitney
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    Timing is everything when coming out. I told my family pre-HRT and regretted it pretty quickly. I began getting objections and everyone was trying to convince me to wait for HRT until I could be "saved", for instance. I was clear that I had already made the decision to move forward, but everyone got so immediately upset that I was making my own decisions that it just added to my stress level.

    Telling them after a couple weeks (or more) of HRT would, I think, have made it less stressful for me. I could have honestly said to them that since I'd been on HRT, I was more certain than ever that this was the right path for me.

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