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Thread: Does the fear fade?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2016

    Does the fear fade?

    All of it. I?m at a point in my life where this part of me needs expressing. I am not myself, and the burden of my internal conflict is taking its toll on my family. Pretty sure my marriage is over, but the stated intention is to keep the family together somehow. I stayed in a hotel for the weekend hoping that ?scratching the itch? would help. I am struck by the paralyzing anxiety, how do people overcome being open with their loved ones, when the thought of being judged just walking through a lobby, by people you?ll likely not ever see again? This is WITH a mask!! How do you learn to silence the insecurities that crush progress? I?m floundering, utterly baffled that this thing that demands to be seen, will shutdown so easily. Aren?t I supposed to get myself together, and feel the weight lift from my spirit? Does the fact that it doesn?t mean I?m not who/what I think I am? I don?t know what to do. I?m craving community at the worst possible time, but I have to find some people who get it to be a part of my life. People to be around in whatever configuration happens to fit the day. All the avenues I?ve found seem to be centered around hook-up culture, and while that has its merits, it?s not what I really find myself in need of. These moments where I get to inhabit this skin are supposed to be restorative and rejuvenating, not a stark reminder of just how alone I feel in the world.

  2. #2
    Member Cassiek's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    SE Pennsylvania
    Eve, I was in same boat as you. Sad part is my wife ended up leaving me. While the dressing may have played a part I?m sure the boyfriend she had for at least 12 years had a bigger part. You are who you are. That will never change. The hard part is trying to blend both yous to live your life to the fullest every day. I?m finally starting to realize myself who cares what others think. Best of luck to you.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    May 2016
    North Carolina
    Eve, sounds like a therapist could help you a lot! They don't answer your questions but get you to answer them! It helped me a lot and I am still going to her! Best wishes on your journey! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  4. #4
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Orange County, Calif.
    I'm so sorry u r experiencing this now, Eve! There r normally all sorts T girl get togethers around the country. But, they've all been cancelled because of the novel virus!

    I've been to dozens of them. There's lots of hugs, drinking, and dancing. And, very little "hooking up"!

    As far as "getting easier"? I still have to take a deep breath whenever I leave my hotel room and just before the elevator door opens!
    Last edited by docrobbysherry; 09-06-2020 at 05:30 PM.
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  5. #5
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Midlands UK

    Ridding yourself of those little gremlins that sit whispering in your ear that nothing good is going to come of this is not an easy thing to do. The cure for many comes simply from practice. Taking that first step out and going somewhere safe, soaking in the relief that you've done it and then repeat and it gets easier. Very few can go from zero to hero, most of us "Learn on the job" over time.

    I remember my first shopping experience. I was convinced everyone would be staring at me, giggling. It didn't happen. Yes I was read by some but no adverse reactions and once that realisation dawns on you things can progress quiet quickly. Practice practice practice.
    Who dares wears Get in, get out without being noticed

  6. #6
    Girl about Town Jodie_Lynn's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Catskill, NY
    Sadly, the fear doesn't go away, but is replaced by other fears.

    My worst fear was realized when I fully came out to my wife ( now my ex-wife ) as transgender. She decided that she couldn't be happy, married to a woman. En Shallah, I cannot fault her for that, she married a "man" after all.

    Here is a piece I wrote for another site:

    What being Transgendered Means to Me

    For those who think that being Transgendered is a fad, a kink, a delusion, or a perversion, this is for you.

    For my Transgender brothers and sisters, feel free to add your insights.

    Pre- "OUT"

    Before accepting, and exposing yourself to the world, being Transgendered means:

    - living a lie, wearing a mask and facade to align with others expect of you

    - living in fear that the mask might slip, that people might think you aren't masculine ( or feminine ) enough. "maybe he's a fag/ maybe she's a lesbian"

    - denying everything that makes you feel complete, to appease others; sacrificing your peace of mind & happiness, so that others may enjoy theirs.

    - burying your true feelings, becoming hyper-masculine/feminine to 'prove' that you are what people see you as.

    - biting your tongue and feeling like a POS when family members talk disparaging about "those freaks". And each time it happens, your soul dies a little bit more


    Once you accept who you are, Transgender means:

    - Telling the one person you devoted your life to, the person you believed to be your one true love, and being rejected.

    - Starting your life over, from scratch, feeling like you are worth less than nothing.

    - Coming out to your family, and receiving positive reactions, but with 'caveats'. Like.... "We support you, but don't expose us to this"

    - being asked by someone you have known all your life, if their kids are "safe around you".

    - Realizing that only YOU can choose your life path and what is best for you. Deciding to live your life as the TRUE you.

    Post "OUT"

    Once you've decided to be true to yourself, being transgendered means:

    - having a panic attack every time that you need to use the restroom, wondering if you are going to be confronted by the ignorant, or the transphobic. "No Lady, I didn't spend 2+ hours getting pretty in order to assault your kids. I just need to pee!" Or am I going to encounter an overprotective Dad who wants to beat me up?

    - getting up 2 hours earlier for work, just to get ready. No longer the "Shyte, shower. shave", just washing the 'important parts', and throwing on yesterdays jeans and a clean t-shirt. Now it's shaving, from nose to toes, making sure the nails are presentable, styling the hair, moisturizing, powdering and smelling nice, and then picking out the clothes.

    - Being constantly 'on guard', wondering 'when' ( not 'if' ) the attack is going to happen. And how will I respond?

    Before I paint too grim of a picture of being a transwoman, let me say that I have had many positive encounters with what I refer to as 'muggles': people outside the LGBTQ+ community. A lot of people have questions, and I am happy to answer them to the best of my ability. I consider myself to be an Ambassador of the Transgendered community, although I cannot speak for everyone. But I do try to present a positive image to the world. As I have often said: "People fear what they do not understand. They destroy what they fear." Sooooo, I try to teach, to put a face on the issue. It's easier to hate when you have no contact with those you don't understand.

    Also, since I have embraced my true nature and have been living & working as a woman, I've noticed I am much, MUCH happier and less angry than I was as "him". And the women where I work have totally accepted me! I AM 'one of the girls"! I even get to hear and share all the gossip!
    Before you can love another, you must first like yourself

    I Aim To Misbehave

    Labels belong on BOXES, not PEOPLE!

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2010
    Western Washington
    Back in October 2016 you indicated your wife knows about Eve and had to some extent participated in Eve. You did ask if anyone could recommend a therapist in the area you live. If your wife has not charged out the door already, what do you have to lose by actually seeking counseling; singularly and jointly? She may have many unanswered questions and making false conjectures due to a lack of knowledge. I found periods during my life when I was totally stressed out. I have found when I cannot find some manner to express myself a lot of angst will build up. That can have an adverse impact on a marriage. It's not necessary for my wife to be openly supportive. It is enough she understands and is not judgemental. We have our boundaries; explicitly and implied. Perhaps your wife would be willing to converse with the wives who participate in this forum. I am sure your wife has nobody to talk to who is also experiencing the same thing.
    Last edited by Stephanie47; 09-07-2020 at 10:54 AM. Reason: grammer

  8. #8
    Aspiring Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    Eve, I think you are approaching a possible existential crisis in your life. Part of the difficulty may be that you are too self conscious which can lead to misinterpreting the looks people give you as negative rather than just curiosity. It happens when our thinking becomes a bit twisted by stress and we are throwing off the bonds of trying to conform to general standards when you are the kind of person who really can't comfortably conform to those standards. The standards can't apply to everyone because they are generalized and we are not manufactured in a factory. But I also sense something much deeper and more serious going on that is feeding the fire you are sensing and living.

    I think it is very important that you find a therapist with some experience with people who have gender identity difficulties. You will be amazed at how much that helps if you completely open yourself up to the therapist and don't hold back things thinking they will think you are seriously mentally ill or something like that. My daughter is a therapist and she has seen it all.

    You should start therapy and tell your wife that you are. Don't set expectations, but be positive about doing this FOR YOURSELF. Don't put it terms of doing it for someone else because that tends to be viewed that you are saying they are the problem rather than you. Admit that you are confused and unsure of what to do and you are seeking help from a therapist to help you get your thinking straightened out. Don't say that you are doing this to get rid of the behavior or to figure out how to be "normal" (whatever the hell that means).

    I also think you are very depressed because of all the strife. Clinical depression is a change in the brain chemistry and because the chemistry is all out of whack it is very difficult to pull yourself out of the deep hole you are in because, quite simply, your brain is not functioning the way it should. It can be a vicious circle that is potentially deadly. A therapist can help you to change your thinking so your needs and behaviors are aligned. It is a bit like getting a badly aligned car an alignment. Afterwards, you don't need to fight it to keep it on the road. Realigning your brain is an amazing process and it really works. Please seek some help because the way you are going it is not likely to get better all on its own.

  9. #9
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Does the fear fade? It depends. On what? Lots of variables.

    The are lots of factors that make being trans harder or easier for each of us. Number one being social concerns. If we have social support then everything is far easier. And social support can come from family, friends, or strangers within the larger community. With more social support, then obviously the more the fear will fade. As one can come out and find connection instead of rejection. As well who accepts and who rejects can influence everything, a spouse who accepts, a parent who accepts, but then a friend rejects, who cares, but flip it around and it becomes far more difficult.

    Okay, so some other factors that can play important roles, passing ability - sucks but it is reality that the easier one passes the easier their experience can be, not always but it can help. One's employer - it is now federally not legal to fire someone for being trans, but not all employers will embrace the changes and can make things very difficult. Finances - transition is expensive, heck even cross dressing was expensive for me, but nothing comes close to the more than 20k I have spent on electro for my face alone.

    So.... much of what I have mentioned has only really occurred during my transition, which is a different experience than simply being trans and only going so far as to crossdress. Over my cross dressing "years" yes the fear got slowly easier and easier to handle. That only happened though by me first being willing to feel the fear and do it anyways. I proved my fears to be wrong.

  10. #10
    Silver Member Rogina B's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Ft Lauderdale Fl
    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine Spirit View Post
    Does the fear fade? I proved my fears to be wrong.
    I will add this..."Street time" is everything. It is the only way to build confidence in your right to be you.
    It SURE is my hair ! I have the receipt and the box it came in !

  11. #11
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    You're still stuck with the situation where you expect the worse to happen , I'm afraid it will continue like that while you're in a DADT situation with wife and family .

    It's very hard if not impossible to move forward and build confidence when you don't feel free to be Eve , I agree being a Cder /TG is a lonely existence at times . All I can suggest is find a social group that doesn't do dating .

    To answer your question the fear does eventually fade but it may come at a price .

    Jodie Lynn,
    You do paint a very glum and depressing picture of " Post Out " . Ok I've made the point before but the UK appears to be far safer and more accepting than the US . I never go out with the fear of being attacked either verbally or physically , it's over two years now since I came totally out and I haven't had one bad moment and nothing is off limits .
    Last edited by Teresa; 09-07-2020 at 10:09 AM.
    The real me , no going back.

  12. #12
    Silver Member Kandi Robbins's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    I cannot speak to your relationship with your family. But with regard to simply going out, I am the least "passable" girl here. Been out well over 500 times, in thousands of different places, in front of tens of thousands of people, never one single negative experience. Yes, the fear of going out should fade. It's all about how you present yourself to the world. be smart, be appropriate, be confident and you should have no problems.
    Pictures and stories of every time out:

    Google "Kandi's Land" and visit my blog for positive and uplifting posts!

  13. #13
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Southern California
    In my experience, yes, the fear fades and it becomes easier, but it never goes away completely. This doesn’t make you any less. It sounds like you have a lot of ideas about how you’re “supposed” to feel, and I wonder where that coming from? Is it that you used to feel like that and don’t anymore, or are you basing this on what you know about other people’s experience? Everyone’s journey is different, and everyone’s relationship to their dressing is different.

    I know this post was intended to express how you feel, but interestingly, it actually reveals more about why you want. You seem to be expressing two distinct desires. First, a sort of edification and confidence from you dressing, and second, a feeling of “community”. In my experience that feeling of need for community really boils down to a need for validation. You want someone to see you and accept you for who you are. It’s in that validation of your identity that you’ll find that new sense of self.

    Now how do you get over the fear? Well there’s no one answer. Everyone is different. For me, really committing myself to learning the craft helped. Being able to do hair and makeup and clothing to a point where you feel satisfied with your own presentation is a big step. But it takes time and money to get there. You have to learn makeup and hair and padding skills. This is really the only thing that’s going to help you get that first foot out the door.

    Other than that, it’s mostly just like anything else, practice practice practice. You have to realize that every time you step out your door you’re being judged by somebody, even if you’re in your guy clothes. Think about it this way: people of color have to worry about strangers judging them, thinking they’re bad or up to something, making derogatory comments, or even committing violence for no other reason than the color of their skin, the texture of their hair, or the way they speak. So you can either cower in your house like a hermit, or you can acknowledge that sometimes bad things will happen and you’ll just have to deal with them.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2006
    OMG, yes, the fear fades. Every time you gather up a bit of courage and go out, you find that nothing bad happens and it gives you the confidence to go a bit further. In a short time, confidence destroys the fear

    For me, it began with my very real confidence that I know how to put together a very presentable outfit that works with my body shape. I got that from several sessions in a dress shop that was staffed by some VERY knowledgeable, generous ladies who took a liking to me and took pride in how well they could dress me. These ladies are now very dear friends.

    This is how I try to encourage all the members of this forum. Find a dress shop where you feel comfortable and become a regular customer. And by that, I don't mean the women's section of a department store. I mean a dedicated dress shop where the sales staff are experienced professionals. I believe with all my heart that, not only do they accept crossdressers , they ENJOY helping us break free of our fears so we can be our authentic selves. Soon they will understand what your tastes are and will even be pulling out specific pieces just because they "wanted to see how you look in it"

    I understand that all this sounds too good to be true, and that many members may be prevented by their circumstances to test my assertions, but it really is that simple. Remember, the world is not as hostile to the nonconforming as it once was, and stores don't judge. Your money is as good as anyone else's and they welcome the chance to gain a customer. I hope you will take a chance and start down the road to gender freedom.

  15. #15
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2016
    Orange County, California
    Eve, go back and reread GretchenM's suggestion. She is spot on!

  16. #16
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    It's really refreshing to hear people say that the fear fades. My first time was filled with so much fear, right from the moment that I stepped outside and a man was 20 foot away and was staring at me - I had thought I was stepping outside into an empty street!

  17. #17
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2016
    Thank you all for your responses. I am speaking with a therapist, although a new job led to a lapse at what turned out to be the worst possible time(thanks Mr. Murphy) Between the nature of these issues(the gender ones) and the stupid Coronavirus, I am feeling very isolated, thanks for being here.


  18. #18
    New Member JIJI Xx's Avatar
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    Aug 2020
    Pacific coast, 100k S-E of Tōkyō
    well, this will be of no use to you Eve, but for myself, I never had any struggle. but.... unlike most, I came to this late in life. never an inkling till I was 67 or 68 (though I hadn't dressed conventionally male for decades, and led a lifestyle that allowed for that). now I'm.... well, I own no male clothes. don't regard myself as a woman, just as me, it's how I live. as mentioned on another thread, my partner of 10 years bailed out a couple of years back, but, what could I do? can't not be me..... JIJI

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jean 103's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Central Coast, CA
    WOW, that's a lot.

    Sorry about your family. I know how hard it can be.

    Yes the fear does go away. Or it has for me as it is not something I do, it is something I am.

    Also going from an occasional outing to this is my life, changes everything. Like a complete new life, new friends that know you as the new you.

    I've been there, and the timing , well not good, like there could ever be a good time.

    What I'm referring to is socializing, making friends. Everyone and place is different, try looking to see if there is an active TG support group near you.

    And a LGBTQ..... Center they can provide referrals if you need.

    Hope things get better for you,

  20. #20
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Washington, DC
    Eve, Yes and no. Every time I go out and hear the door snap shut behind me, I get momentary butterflies. But it subsides and I go on about my business.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  21. #21
    Senior Member NancySue's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
    Southern Illinois
    I?m in the yes, no, depends category. We live in a small, conservative town, maybe 40,000 and are both very active in the community. Getting caught is my/our biggest would not be good. Having said that, I, at times, desperately need to go out and I do...but my trepidations are always there. After I?m out, the anxiety fades a little, even though I remain alert for police, a flat tire, accident, etc. When I get home, I am relieved nothing happened. My going out is the only thing my otherwise supportive wife worries about.

  22. #22
    Life is more fun in heels Genifer Teal's Avatar
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    May 2005
    I think it will definitely fade unless you're hiding it from someone. I don't think that fear will ever go away until you're honest with them. What probably helped me most was in the beginning when I started going out I had friends to meet up with in the city. Even if I might have gotten scared I had to get to my friends so I pushed myself to go because I wanted to see them. Also it was safer to be with them. That's how I got by in the beginning. As Life Goes On we care less and less what others think and just do our thing. Do what makes you happy. the fears will go away. I can't say how long it will take. it does get easier each time. Start with something safe and work up your confidence from there.

  23. #23
    Member Joyce Swindell's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Orlando, Fl
    Eve.... I've not read any of the responses but gathered that you are looking for others who have been in your position from your post.
    Knowing what part of the world you are located in might help you find a support group in your area.
    I'm in Orlando, FL and am really comfortable out except for family that don't know this part of me.
    So pretty much everyone in my free time out can have an issue or not...pretty much up to them how they react.

  24. #24
    Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    Jul 2018
    New England
    When I go out in a neighboring city or town, I feel no fear anymore. 100% confidence. The few times that I have gone out shopping or dining in my city I am in fear of being outed by a loved one. That's my fault for not being honest with them about who I am.

  25. #25
    New Member Stephanie205's Avatar
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    May 2020
    Halifax Nova Scotia Canada
    Hi Ev my two penny worth from my experience it does fade not over time but the more you go out. As other girls have said dress appropriately hold you head up and have confidence. Take baby steps on going out to build that confidence and gradually it will disappear. Once you accept yourself for who you are the fear goes away and you enjoy being who you are. I started about 2 years ago going out as Stephanie at first would pick times that I thought people would not be out in the halls of the condo building check the peep hole in the door have the keys ready to lock the door and dash to the car in my heels. Now 2 years on I open the door calmly lock the door walk to the car and if I see someone say hi to them. I am now so confident I do not think of me as a man in a dress I am Stephanie enjoying life to the point went camping the last 2 weeks and never thought about it but ended up having breakfast outside the trailer in my nightgown. We can all go out dressed and be comfortable about it it takes time and that first step over the threshold is scary but worth it.

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