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Thread: A tipping point

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member Angela1954's Avatar
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    A tipping point

    Last week I posted on another thread about how at ease I felt with myself when I went out. I was out for a short while today and the feeling was the same. I know over the past year or so I have felt my feminine qualities becoming stronger. I didn't know if it was just another pink fog episode or something deeper. The intensity of the feelings seems much stronger now. Last winter I had an appointment to see a counselor who specializes in gender dysphoria. That became, like everything else, a victim of covid. Hopefully they will resume in person sessions after the new year. I am really anxious to talk this through with a professional. At age 66 i'm not going to transition; but I would like an objective appraisal of my situation. I'm sure many of you have been in the same situation so any comments are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    I am in a similar situation, although I probably have been teetering at the tipping point for a good deal longer. I have always felt attracted to dressing and living as a woman, going back to early childhood. I spent much of my life repressing that attraction. Then in my early to mid 50s, I began to feel the need to openly express it. A bit more than a decade ago, I finally dressed completely as a woman. Complete in my mind included all the accoutrements needed to present a feminine appearance. It seems like that was one tipping point. Tipping from under dresser to openly presenting as a woman...part time.

    But over the years, those experiences of being out and often spending days and sometimes weeks as a woman seemed to push me towards the tipping point you’re alluding to...whether to take it all the way and live full time. I’ve come close to that point several times and since retirement, I went beyond that point to social transition. I now live as a woman for most of my life...at home, in the community where I live, and to many of my professional colleagues, friends and family.

    I don’t anticipate medically transitioning at this time. I’m not convinced its in my best interests from the benefit/cost perspective...certainly not in terms of health.
    Last edited by kimdl93; 10-06-2020 at 04:49 PM.

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

  3. #3
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    Have you contacted the therapist to find out if he/she does Facetime sessions. I have done several with different doctors and they have worked out fine. Just pick out a nice spot in your house where the lighting flatters you and the background is non-interfering. That way you can work on it until you can meet face to face. You could even do one session in a park or somewhere if you or the therapist wants to see each other up close but at least 6 feet away. I would keep trying to see them. You want and need it and they can charge you the same and work from home if they want!

  4. #4
    Aspiring Member Joni T's Avatar
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    Not trying to start some thing, just curious. Why do some think seeing a "shrink" is so important? We're all mature adults (for the most part any way) and should be able to make our own choices. Why do you need some complete stranger to tell you how to live your life?
    Again, just curious. I know I don't need one.
    Jon

  5. #5
    Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    Why do some think seeing a "shrink" is so important?

    I'll bite on this one, Joni T, since I've "been there"

    If you're doing OK with your life - then you don't.

    If there are problems that you can't quite get past, or you have questions that you can't answer (and they're really bugging you), or things are falling apart in your life - then maybe having an impartial, trained professional is a good idea.

    A good therapist won't find any answers for you, but will ask you questions you didn't think to ask yourself - and won't swallow BS for an answer.

    A good therapist isn't there to judge, nor to be your cheerleader. They are there to guide you to self awareness, and point out the self deceptions and emotional traps you're laid for yourself.
    This person is not an enemy, or an ally. He/she is a sometimes-needed tool in a person's emotional maintenance kit. Used properly, wonders happen.

    I was fortunate. When I went in for counselling (gender issues, near-suicidal depression, NO self esteem), I found a man I could work with, and he pretty much saved me - all without ever really telling me what to do, think OR feel. I don't know how he did it, but he was a miracle worker!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    What SaraLin said.

    And what AllieSF said.

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

  7. #7
    Aspiring Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    A good therapist will not tell you what to do; they will help you to discover what to do. No recipes are handed out. You create your own dish out of the resources you naturally have.

    It is well recognized in gender science that as we get older our sense of self can change dramatically and take different pathways from what was "appropriate" when we were younger. For those who have the crossdressing behavior pattern, it is common for it to get more intense with age because of all kinds of reasons, both psychological and physiological, especially in males with a decline in testicular testosterone and therefore a relative increase in female hormones produced by the pituitary gland. It happens in women as well - they become a bit more masculine because pituitary testosterone is proportionally more influential. Your stated lack of interest in actually transitioning indicates the drivers of you particular blend of a multitude of factors are shifting a bit. It is normal, but in us it is expressed in a different way with more interest in crossdressing resulting from an increased intensity of the female-like feelings.

    I was 67 when I came out because the feelings had reached such a height that it was come out or go crazy. I'm 75 now and what has happened since then is amazing. You have a wonderful journey ahead of you, but it will be your unique journey. Don't overthink it and let the changes occur at their own rate. No forcing this or that. That can mess up the natural flow of the change and create severe dysphoria. You will be fine.

  8. #8
    Silver Member CynthiaD's Avatar
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    I understand tipping points. After living a lifetime as a male, it’s hard to give up the familiar and venture into the unknown. But if it’s the right thing to do, that realization will come to us gradually. As we make these gradual changes, we reach significant milestones. One significant milestone for me was the realization that I was intensely proud of my female presentation and I wanted other people to see it. Another happened one day after getting dressed completely en femme. I thought to myself, “I can go anywhere I want dressed like this!” And along with that thought came the realization that this was, and is, exactly what I wanted to do.

  9. #9
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joni T View Post
    Not trying to start some thing, just curious. Why do some think seeing a "shrink" is so important? We're all mature adults (for the most part any way) and should be able to make our own choices. Why do you need some complete stranger to tell you how to live your life?
    Again, just curious. I know I don't need one.
    Jon
    As SaraLin puts it, "If you're doing OK with your life...", seeking counseling would be mostly pointless. Some of those professionals refer to those who do that as "the worried well". If, on the other hand, something is not quite right, or worse, the assistance of a professional can be indispensable, even for "mature adults". Perhaps nowhere is this more true when dealing with gender identity issues.
    Three years ago, I would have told you I was "making my own decisions". Two and a half years ago, I realized that that I needed more information, more understanding, before I could make some "decisions". The decisions have still been all mine, but the understanding I gained about myself could not have come without the learned guidance of my counselor.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
    -- John Lennon

    https://groups.io/g/gno-houston

  10. #10
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    No one is an island. Whether it is an elder, priest, pastor, therapist, or support group, sometimes we all need an objective persons guidance. Angela, thanks for sharing your milestones. I hope you continue to grow into the person you want to be.

  11. #11
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    When I reflect on working with the therapists I've engaged with I think the thing that mattered most was their willingness to go with me to places in myself that elicited shame and/or confusion. The first person with whom I made a serious commitment was willing to go to those places, but it took me many years to really believe in her good will, her caring. At the end of our six years together I finally accepted that in listening to my struggles over and over again she was demonstrating more than good clinical skills... it was an act of love and I sorely needed that. I've worked with three other therapists over the years I've been unpacking the sexual trauma that underlies all my sexual acting out as a boy and adult and they each helped me to a level of acceptance I needed to move forward. None of them told me what to do, but all supported me in looking honestly at what I'd experienced in the past and what I was doing in the present as a result. I don't feel the need to talk with a gender therapist, perhaps in part because the trauma based work I've done had led to comfort in being who I am, exactly as I am... a man who from time to time wears women's lingerie. To the extent confusion remains talking with a therapist seems a sensible thing to do. But no one has a magic wand. Ultimately we will need to find peace within ourselves. No doubt unpacking these questions on a website like this can be helpful. We need our brothers and sisters who know this territory from first hand experience.
    We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time...
    T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

  12. #12
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Angela, we all have had issues. But, I'm confused about your yours? U describe your situation as a "tipping point, stronger, deeper feelings, etc." And, follow with the statement u r not going to transition.

    If that's not a possibility, then what else r u considering? If u r able to dress and even go out, what's causing your dysphoria?
    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!

  13. #13
    Aspiring Member Angela1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrobbysherry View Post
    Angela, we all have had issues. But, I'm confused about your yours? U describe your situation as a "tipping point, stronger, deeper feelings, etc." And, follow with the statement u r not going to transition.

    If that's not a possibility, then what else r u considering? If u r able to dress and even go out, what's causing your dysphoria?
    I just want a deeper understanding from an objective professional.

  14. #14
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    A deep understanding of WHAT? That's what I don't understand?

    If you're not considering transition, what other options do u have that you're not able to do now?
    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!

  15. #15
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GretchenM View Post
    ...I was 67 when I came out because the feelings had reached such a height that it was come out or go crazy. I'm 75 now and what has happened since then is amazing. You have a wonderful journey ahead of you, but it will be your unique journey. Don't overthink it and let the changes occur at their own rate. No forcing this or that. That can mess up the natural flow of the change and create severe dysphoria. You will be fine.
    I can attest to the changing feelings as I have grown older. Being attracted to the idea of living full time as a woman is not new (to me), but I seem increasingly amenable to the idea of actually doing so. Though not quite there yet, I am taking very deliberate steps towards that end. Its not nearly as impossible as it once seemed!

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

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