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Thread: Shattered Confidence

  1. #1
    Member Becoming Brianna's Avatar
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    Shattered Confidence

    Recently, owing largely to my father's apprehensive and negative reactions to my increasingly feminine presentation and his fear that it may negatively impact my future (which is real and legitimate), I have lost confidence in myself and the sense of security in my identity that I was developing. I haven't been out dressed alone in about a week and the thought of doing so gives me intense anxiety especially when I think about his reaction if he ever found out. I don't go downtown anymore. I have stuck to trips with my mom with few or no people around and have greatly muted the clothing that I wear (I rarely even wear a floral pattern anymore). Thankfully, my mom doesn't care and tells me to present how I want no matter what, but that advice is hard to follow when I see my father's anxiety whenever I even suggest the idea of going out presenting female. It's making me doubt myself and even my identity because the strength confidence ambition and happiness I got from my gender identity exploration are all evaporating. I feel fake and invalid because I feel like if I were truly transgender I would persevere no matter what. I don't know what to do. My confidence is totally shattered. Has this ever happened to you and if so how did you get your confidence back (assuming you ever did)?

  2. #2
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    There is no way to be fake if you are being you so don't let that enter your head.
    Your Dad has his way of thinking and you have yours so don't let him control you like that.
    He is just trying to protect you I see that but sometimes you need to break the chains and do things on your own.
    If you fail then you will learn from that and not repeat the mistake.
    I was out on my own at 17 because I didn't like being controlled and yes I made mistakes but I also learned what to do and what not to do.
    Maybe your Dad needs to let you explore and make a few mistakes. Just my thinking on the subject so don't get all upset if you don't agree.
    I think you are trying too hard to come to grips with things and you need to slow down and let things happen at a slower pace.
    You have nothing to prove and all the time in the world to figure things out.
    Last edited by Tracii G; 06-07-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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  3. #3
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    Brianna, we’ve had this discussion before. I would like to again advise that you place first things firs...which means focus on your health and fitness, your education and attaining economic independence. You have acknowledged that your father’s apprehensions are directed towards your long term interests...in those three areas. As long as you haven’t achieved real, full independence, he’ll naturally fear for your future.

    Meet that challenge first. Then worry about how you want to dress. You may find you have more confidence in all areas of life to pursue your preferences when you have shown yourself you can make it on your own.

    At present, you are dependent upon others, and it seems also depend upon their opinion and support. Since some people will feel one way, and others another, you’re subjecting yourself to a see-saw of emotions.

    I’ve heard it advised before - don’t take too much pride in success and don’t take too much shame/guilt for failure. Don’t mistake that warm fuzzy feeling of acceptance for confidence.

    Easy come, easy go;
    Easy left me long ago...

  4. #4
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Very good advice Kim.
    Brianna I know you want things now but some things take years to achieve but you will achieve them.
    Heck I am 66 and still achieving things and figuring out myself on a daily basis.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Majella St Gerard's Avatar
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    Family therapy might be in order.

  6. #6
    Member Becoming Brianna's Avatar
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    As much as that sounds like the answer, it won't happen. Neither parent is interested in going to my future therapy sessions but that is especially true of my father. He was reluctant to have anyone in his family seek mental health counseling because he doesn't want people to be labeled because he thinks a label would be debilitating. Sure they can be but it's not true in all cases. Sometimes it's empowering like for a trans person to actually hear from a therapist that what they're going through really is valid and that they aren't just having crazy thoughts. He has since moved off that stance for others but not for himself. I think it will be a cold day in the dark regions where the devil dwells before he ever darkens the door of a therapist's office, family session or individual.

  7. #7
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    There is no shame in seeking help for whatever reason.
    Medically ,spiritually,mentally etc.
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  8. #8
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Your father's "stance" is unlikely to change. It seems clear that he is boxed in by fear and ignorance. I don't mean that in an unkind way at all, but until he can get past at least one of those barriers, he can't change. It also seems clear that he loves you and is worried about your well-being. At least part of that fear is valid, which makes it an attractive rationale for holding onto the other stuff.

    This is your reality, being torn between family and identity. It is all too common for trans folk. Talk to your therapist. Sort out your issues (like what you need, and when) and start working on a plan.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
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  9. #9
    Silver Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Brianna,

    Time to take stock and regroup. So things aren't ideal at the moment but time is on your side. Take a few deep breaths, pause, and if education, training, career are big things in your immediate future then concentrate on those.

    There are lots here who have to temper their dressing due to work/family/friends. Folks get by. Your learn to adapt, to reset aspirations. Once the "biggies" are dealt with then you can return to figuring out your longer term gender issues.

    Nothing causes as much heartache as not having any money. It's the grease that makes life's machinery run. Trying to trans on zero budget isn't going to be very successful.

    So stay calm, plan for your future and know that given time you can work this out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Majella St Gerard's Avatar
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    Live your life on your terms not other people's.
    Yes, easier said than done. But nothing gets done by just wishing for it.
    Life is hard, get used to it.
    Do you want a particular outcome from this, make it happen.
    I gained confidence when I stopped giving a shit what other people thought, and I was 50 when that happened, but I'm from a different generation, don't wait till your 50.
    To quote Jean-Luc Picard "Make it so"

  11. #11
    Goddess-In-Training Macey's Avatar
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    Brianna, I've been struggling with this one. There is sound advice here about getting your finances and living situation together. It is good advice and should be the top priority, however, there's no use being miserable along the way. Dress as you can, when you can. Work on the health issues. Get ye into therapy. No, your parents may not ever go and you can't control another person. But you CAN control how you act and react, and you can pay heed to your feelings and remember that they are your own. You deserve to be happy, and sometimes that will take great patience and great effort to get to goals that you need. You may even need to reassess priorities, redirect, and plan again along the way.

    The whole thing is a balancing act and oft times a delicate one. I don't envy your situation, but I am rooting for you and I know you can 'get there' wherever 'there' is if you shoulder into it all.

    There will be time to work hard in one area and lay back in another. There will be time when those choices switch for a while. There will be time to put great effort into all things at once, and time to retreat, regroup, and recharge.

    You can not depend on anyone else for confidence, you can only take comfort from those that support you and find your own way.

  12. #12
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Sure you can wish for things to change and be miserable all the while if thats what you want.
    If you want change its up to you to make that happen.
    If Dad is trying to run your life tell him you are an adult and you can run your own life.
    Last edited by Tracii G; 06-08-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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