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Thread: Seeing a Gender Therapist is a Matter of Survival, or at least Joy

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    Nov 2011

    Seeing a Gender Therapist is a Matter of Survival, or at least Joy

    Hello ladies,

    I apologize if this gets long...but it's big, pretty much everything, to me.

    Today is the day I wept in my gender therapist's office. We've been meeting every week for six months, and today I broke down in joy, and I'm about to do it again just remembering.

    I was scared to see a "real" gender specialist during my many previous years of trans awareness. I though they were "advocates" and "cheerleaders," and my wife threatened to leave if I dared cross the line and see someone like that. (When I did actually Skype with one, i rejected her advice; guess I just wasn't ready.) so I got a lot of advice, much of it stupid and/or shaky, from probably 8-10 non specialist therapists over the years.

    But last winter a series of events, especially some insights from my local therapist who is not a specialist, led me to agree to attend just "one little teensy appointment" with a gender specialist. And then there was another and another and another and I realized at some point that I had entered into something so profound that it bordered on sacred. I was changing, opening up to a new life of possibility, a little at a time.

    She insisted today when I told her that for all my bluster about transition and living my authentic life, deep down i knew I had always been too scared and that she alone had totally made this possible. She said no, e.a., you had this all planned, you knew exactly what you wanted and needed, all I did was agree and try to help you clear the obstacles that you were allowing to hold you back.

    She's modest, but accurate. She didn't force me to do it, tell me to do it, ever say anything big she thought I should do. She just kept asking questions, drilling deeper, making me understand myself better and never letting me off easy. Sometimes I would leave there exhausted and stunned and just wander around a store aimlessly for hours before I could drive again.

    So two weeks ago my whole life started to become unhinged - I got demoted at work, things got worse at home, and two days ago I went home from session and my wife said, angrily: what did your therapist tell you to do this time? This one time, I answered that she had nothing to say! Somehow I found the courage to tell my wife that I, not the therapist, had always been driving this bus of transition, and that I was now fully aware that it came from deep within me, and that I was going to live as a woman as soon as possible, regardless of what that means to us as a couple.

    So I'm living alone now, and not sad about it. This had to happen. I need to be elizabethamy, and I have needed this for a very long time, and I would NEVER have gotten here without my gender therapist -- and I've had REALLY GREAT non-specialist therapists who've literally kept me from killing myself over the years.

    But only an expert has the authority and the wisdom to take you where you truly need to go. In our second session, there was a long pause as I anguished over how trans am I and how much will it damage me in the community and hurt my family and all that, then she said:

    The only way out is through.

    She went on: I've seen hundreds of trans women struggling like you, e.a., and all I can tell you is that though they all have different individual outcomes, what they have in common is that they can't save themselves unless they just walk right into the fire.

    No one else could have said this with enough credibility so that I would believe it. And now I have gone through (at least for the most part), and how and when I come out publicly and live full time as a woman is no longer anything but a set of fairly straightforward details.

    Obviously all our stories vary, but please please please put yourself in the hands - in person, Skype, whatever (I go 50 miles each way every week to see this person); just get the help that will help you enable you to be the beautiful, happy person you deserve to be.

    I have this other friend who is always telling me I should celebrate my womanhood, especially by dancing, and I think of myself as someone who has basically never danced, and no that is not me, yet today, after the appointment, I'm walking in the mall in my dress and pink sneakers (those are for Kaitlyn Michele!) and I suddenly realized that I felt like dancing - for possibly the first time ever. My body just wanted to move! This is the new girl me, taking over from the old guy, who would have been gone a long time ago, had I only had the courage and the knowledge.

    I have been a writer all my life and I cannot begin to describe the deep, deep joy I feel right now. Please come with me! Live in this joy! (Or find out that you don't need to do all of it, okay, but to know that, too, you have to walk the path of "the only way out is through.")

    The number of people on this forum, many of whom no longer post or read here, who have helped me over the years is literally in the dozens if not hundreds. Lots of you don't have any idea of the impact you have in helping scared women who at first only suspect that they are women and worry that they might just be nuts -- you help them (me) at their most vulnerable and fragile moments. This community has its ups and downs, but we save lives, our own and each other's. We all do this together. Thank you!
    Now go call a gender specialist!


  2. #2
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    San Francisco Area
    Thanks for such a heart felt story of you finding and accepting you. A story that all should read. Congratulations and good luck moving forward.

  3. #3
    Member GracieRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Southwest Ohio
    Thanks for baring your soul to this forum.
    I'm so sorry for the difficulties that you have gone through recently.
    I wish you peace and good fortune as you move forward.
    "I hope you dance"

  4. #4
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    North Carolina
    Dance, dance, dance! May you have joy unbounded on your journey! ("gender specialists" are great!) I know mine is! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  5. #5
    Member Dorit's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Thank you Elizabethamy! One year ago I found my gender therapist, like you it has been life changing and liberating. I too have had to walk into the fire. Everything you wrote is so true.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Again, thank you for sharing your story with us. Take care of yourself, walk tall and proud, and let happiness fill the void left by the sadness!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    SE PA

    Many thanks for sharing your journey and new found self. May you dance and dance.

    I agree with Allie, your OP is a must read. Although I have not connected with a gender therapist yet, I can relate to your experiences.

    I wish you lots of happiness!

  8. #8
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    SW England
    lovely to see and hear your emergence ElizabethAmy.

    xx Pam
    I used to believe this, now I'm in the company of many tiggers. A tigger does not wonder why she is a tigger, she just is a tigger.

    thanks to krististeph: tigger = TG'er .. T-I-GG-er

  9. #9
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Utah, north of West Jordan, south of North Salt Lake & west of South Salt Lake
    I have seen so many posts here that ring true for me as well, so thank you for this post. I wish the very best as you move through the next challenges that will face you. But facing them with joy will bring much better results than facing them with dread. The only way out is through, indeed.
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Kansas City
    Working for a gender therapist I can attest to what Elizabeth said. The therapist's job is not to tell you what you are, but to help you discover that yourself. Nobody said that is an easy job for the person that is discovering themselves, lots of tears for many. I am thankful that I can have a small part in helping people find the path that will make them blossom.


  11. #11
    Member Mirya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    I was always pretty skeptical of therapists in general, until, out of options, I finally decided to see a gender therapist myself. He played a major role in the early stages of my transition, and I'm very grateful for his help. By the way, I think I'm one of the few MtF transgender women who insisted on seeing a male gender therapist (everyone I've ever talked to or heard wanted a female therapist).

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