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Thread: Push vs. Pull

  1. #1
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    Push vs. Pull

    I was recently accused by well-meaning and generally supportive people in my life of "running away" from my "issues", thinking transition would solve them through some sort of magical thinking. Harsh stuff, right? I've explained the concept of gender identity being determined and hard-wired in the womb and get an "Okay, I understand but. . ."

    I'll be honest, there may be some truth to the accusation. There are things in my life I'd just as soon put in a box marked "Dave" and bury it someplace in the woods. But the dysphoria is real and dealing with gender identity in a proactive manner with presentation, hormones and possible surgeries is as responsible and realistic as anything else in my life. While attempting to satisfy the needs of gender identity, there is baggage associated with my life to this point that may, or may not, go away as I transition. And even if those issues fail to go away, I think my improved mental health and self image might make me a little stronger and better able to deal with them. I also explain in many of the examples used are issues unrelated to my my gender identity or expression and are being handled already. That argument quickly becomes one about how society deals with Transgender people and not about me. Round and round it goes.

    So I'm back to data gathering. I'm making the effort to deal with what I see as misconceptions in the eyes of persons I care about and would prefer not to lose from my life. How much of your transition was the Pull of needing to be your target gender and how much was Push from all the stuff that had accumulated and seen to represent your gender assigned at birth? Was it even a consideration and if it was, might it represent reality or just their wish for us to feel guilty for something they could no longer control? I'm feeling like I'm allowing them to have too much influence on my life. Should I just understand the wisdom from "Field of Dreams", if I build it, they will come?

    What am I missing? How can I identify anything that may be valid in their argument?
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001872677630

  2. #2
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Honestly, my journey has been more Pull than Push! Almost everyone is fine with my gender ID and expression! I have one ex-co-worker who was appalled that I had on nail polish! She wanted to remove it right away! Basically she went off the deep end! I was not sure how to respond to her as the boss was sitting right there and I had not come out to the boss at that time! I blurted out that I still had my "male parts"! She kept saying, "You were such a good man when we worked together!" Looking back now, I probably should have said, "Yes, and I am still that same person!" Hind sight is always 20/20! She (so far!) is the only one I have had to contend with! It is interesting to note, she has had nothing to do with me since then but her daughter works in the Dietary Dept and she said her mother asked how I was doing? I avoid her and have no contact since the above episode! The daughter thinks I should be me! Just my $0.02! Hugs Lana Mae
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  3. #3
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    Since I moved down my path at my own speed, I think my trip as been one based on what I felt was the right next thing to do. Probably some type of pull. I loved my past life with all its roses and ugly warts. I was and still am human and always tried to do my best, so everything, for me, felt very natural. I hid everything until it was time to come out, and then I came out to everyone. They could take it or leave it and really all took it, some grudgingly though.

    I never felt and still do not feel, any guilt over my past, present nor future. I am so happy that I feel very balanced in all of that, which to me is a special blessing when compared to what others suffer through for so long.
    Last edited by AllieSF; 12-22-2019 at 08:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    None of it was "push", and frankly, I consider the very idea that any of us we choose this, as some kind of escape or avoidance mechanism, to be patently absurd. If we set aside the gender dysphoria, life for any of us, as a male, is/was better; male privilege and all that. But the GD simply can't be set aside, so we are forced, pulled in the direction of transition.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
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  5. #5
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Sarah,
    Sorry I don't get the "Running away from issues !" I've been on the receiving end of those comments , my simple reply was , " Try living with dysphoria !" Try living with the needs of others and the desparate need to deal with your own . We don't ask for this but we are dealt it , no one's fault but we should be given the space and time to come to terms with it .

    Only today I've been pushed and pulled , I'm sure Xmas is like that for many of us . I met up with my family to visit Santa and have a family meal and pictures were taken , the family group seated around Santa , my wife made sure I had a copy , I really can't live with a picture of me in male mode anymore .

    I have no problems with how society treats me as TG but I feel it would make little difference if I was TG or TS .
    Last edited by Teresa; 12-23-2019 at 01:54 PM.
    The real me ,no going back.

  6. #6
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    they do make a valid question, which any of us would be wise to consider, or to have considered. Our culture is full of "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence", "once i do this then i can have that" types of belief systems. And, a square peg does not like round holes, and a misfit may still be a misfit after transitioning, and it is good to realise nothing changes except how we feel about ourself, and even that might not change in some cases.

    i don't know if we will ever have general working strategies to explain or gain acceptance, but for me, once I owned it myself, truly and completely, I just don't get challenged myself, by anyone.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg
    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.

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    In my case, there is really nothing in my male past that I wanted to push away. Sure, gender dysphoria was growing over the years. The purpose of transitioning and coming out was to push it away. These days, I feel I am being pulled more and more to live authentically as NB/female.

  8. #8
    Aspiring Member OCCarly's Avatar
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    I’m sorry, but walking away from being Charles is a big part of my transition, and in some ways the best part. There were a lot of people who did not treat me well when I lived as Charles. I get the feeling that they could sense that I was living life with one hand tied behind my back and they liked it that way.

    This is why I have no guilt about transitioning. Those who loved me love me more because I am me. And that is all that really matters.

    Hugs, Carly
    Carries a spray bottle of "pink fog" around with her in her purse at all times.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Charles View Post
    I'll be honest, there may be some truth to the accusation. There are things in my life I'd just as soon put in a box marked "Dave" and bury it someplace in the woods.

    I'm feeling like I'm allowing them to have too much influence on my life. Should I just understand the wisdom from "Field of Dreams", if I build it, they will come?

    What am I missing? How can I identify anything that may be valid in their argument?
    We are all different. We have different needs, situations, opportunities and resources.

    In my case transition was inevitable. I refused to believe that for way too long and held out as long as I could. When I did transition, it was like finally reaching the surface and getting a breath of life saving air.

    I have only one friend and my only Sister left from my former life. Hundreds of former acquaintances, dozens of friends and my family do not accept me. I expect that they do think that I am selfish but I have no control over what other people think.

    I have not become anything. I am now and forever what I have always been but kept hidden from the world. I am now the real me, a much better person than the one I tried to be, the one everyone expected me to be.

    Leaving my past behind was simply concluding the story that I was writing. Now I am writing a new story. The first one was about a very successful guy, well educated, successful in every endeavor, with property, possessions, status. The new story is about a woman making her way in a new world.

    Trying to be what you think other people expect you to be can drive you crazy.
    Last edited by Jeri Ann; 12-25-2019 at 09:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Silver Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    I cannot agree more with Jeri Ann. When I read your post Sarah I was think on how my experience was and then read almost all others and Jeri said it perfect.
    But I'd like to add my own words, I didn't push or pull. I resist so long to accept myself and I just made a full of me but this person was growing on and every day getting more control and showing me my path. When I finally arrive to the conclusion I'm trans, after reading so bad experiences from mothers here, I told myself that consequences would be catastrophic to be ready for the worse. I'd never had to explain to others who I am and just let them know the new me. Just with wife discuss some possibilities on my transition but no promises for any side. Just one day at time and so far, things go great.
    I dont expect people can understand. You can give tons of facts and they will keep believing what they want and others will no need explanation at all.
    So finally, Sarah, do not push or pull justice your life because so far I know, is just one and you don't have to regret for arguing with people that desert you...
    Mho.

    Devi
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  11. #11
    Aspiring Member Eemz's Avatar
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    It’s about priorities. You can’t tackle everything in your life at the same time so Sarah is focusing on the most important ones and that focus means that some other bits get less attention, but that’s not ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist. It’s simply prioritisation at work.

    With regard to other people I would just say - you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

    That’s not quite the same as “if you build it they will come”. It’s saying you will have to be satisfied with leading people to the water as well as you can, and then they make their own choice. Hopefully they will choose to stay. Almost everyone in my life has stayed. But that’s not always the case as Jeri notes.

  12. #12
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I will continue to answer their honest questions and attempt to explain that what I'm leaving behind is the anxiety and constant questioning that kept me from being happy on a regular basis. My best example is reminding them I laugh more often and more deeply now than I have in years. It's amazing to see their faces when the truth of that registers.

    But it's time to invest less energy in them and more in myself and my journey. They can come along and I'd love their company. But I do enough already to slow myself down and don't appreciate them attempting to apply the brakes to my momentum so they can better understand. I'll leave a trail of bread crumbs for them to follow if they want.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001872677630

  13. #13
    Senior Member KellyJameson's Avatar
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    If you are not using your imagination as "fantasy" of what you will "become" by transitioning you are somewhat protected from harming yourself. A therapist should be giving you "reality checks". Separate from that of course transitioning is an escape. It is an escape from the consequences of "Not transitioning"

  14. #14
    Member ClaudineD's Avatar
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    Have been away from this forum for many years.....came back as I have been helping my "niece" deal with her own "push/pull" issues as she copes with affirmative changes.....direction on any issue needs inner conviction coupled with good counselling....counseling comes in many forms but the reaching out and facing issues is very...very..necessary depending on your conviction to pursue your needs......my niece started slowly and has overcome many obstacles.....for her it has been a strong magnetic pull to the lovely girl she is now....At 19 she is on her way........with a little push from her Aunt......lol

  15. #15
    . Aprilrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Charles View Post
    I was recently accused by well-meaning and generally supportive people in my life of "running away" from my "issues", thinking transition would solve them through some sort of magical thinking.
    The single most unhelpful and quite possibly the dumbest thing in the entire universe a person could do to "run away" from their "issues" is to transition. There does not exist a single aspect of transition that doesn't add layers of complexity and stress to everyone who experiences it. To suggest that transition is some kind of escape is mind bogglingly dismissive. The mere suggestion is the worst kind of reductive thinking and reveals quite a lot about the lazy mind who is repeating some dribble they kinda heard somewhere one time.

  16. #16
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    That's an apt observation, that so many still view transition as "a choice". If there was one thing that we could do to advance understanding of our condition, it might be to put an end to that view.

  17. #17
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Kelly View Post
    That's an apt observation, that so many still view transition as "a choice". If there was one thing that we could do to advance understanding of our condition, it might be to put an end to that view.
    Or at least make it clear that if it is a choice, the alternative is living in misery just to make them comfortable.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001872677630

  18. #18
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    I decided to transition. I was not forced to transition. I probably had a need to transition, but never felt that I had no choice whether or not to do so. I wanted to and am happy I did. We seem to be arguing these "Being a Choice" words a lot recently, very similar to the transgender umbrella term discussions. Just about everything that we do is a choice, including committing suicide, pulling the trigger to shoot a dangerous intruder to our homes, and including whether we transition or not. Yes, for some it is either transition or suicide, and that to me is a choice. No one is forcing us to transition except ourselves, our need to be us.

    So for me it was maybe very little push and a lot of pull.

  19. #19
    Member Becoming Brianna's Avatar
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    I did not choose to be transgender. I did however choose to do something about it after years of fighting myself and society and yet sometimes I still fight myself even as I'm in the somewhat early social stages of what is a slow methodical transition as I figure out what I need on this journey. So there was a little of both for me I guess. Therapy is helping and I'm developing a plan to define myself and get to where I need to be. What I'm mostly deciding on is the necessity of medical procedures.

  20. #20
    To shy shy... Alicew's Avatar
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    When i first told my mother (the only one who knows so far) bout my problems i was faced with the same questions and statements but over time she's become much more understanding and even supports my choice of finally doing some thing about it,even if she insists i'll always be her little boy and wont ever use my chosen name , some thing to work on obviously small steps.
    On one hand i can clearly see yes it looks like running away from some problems by transitioning,but if im honest i think its the only way to deal with certain baggage of living a life that makes you miserable,and is going to lead to a whole lot more problems down the line but i can face them when i'm finally happy in my own skin.

  21. #21
    Aspiring Member Eemz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Charles View Post
    if it is a choice, the alternative is living in misery just to make them comfortable.
    That's a very important insight Sarah. I think that people don't see the asymmetry in what they're asking.

    "It makes me uncomfortable if you dress this way". Well it makes me miserable if I don't, and my needs are just as valid as yours, so that's unfortunate but it's not reasonable to ask me to be miserable so that you don't have to experience this discomfort or get used to a change.
    Last edited by Eemz; 01-09-2020 at 06:36 PM.

  22. #22
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Well said, Eemz. Being TG is not choice, but what we do about it is. I stand corrected.

  23. #23
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Allie,
    I was going to make the point about those two options , I had the choice to end my life or not and now I have the choice whether transition is what I need to do in my life , the important point is they are MY choices and not influenced by anyone else , some deal with those external influences better than others .
    Last edited by Teresa; 01-10-2020 at 11:06 AM.
    The real me ,no going back.

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