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Thread: Dysphoria question: I'm totally confused

  1. #1
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
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    Dysphoria question: I'm totally confused

    I'm really hoping somebody can help me out with this!

    Backstory:
    I consider myself to be a 7-8 on the trans spectrum, where I want to transition, find myself looking it up regularly etc, but cannot because I would lose the relationship with my parents, my wife and possibly my child. I'm also 6ft5, wide shouldered, long armed and frankly look ridiculous from a number of angles. I've accepted that I will always be male, and I have made a good life as a man.

    Now, for me, crossdressing occupies my mind in the same way that my eating disorder occupies it - I am restless, frustrated, and sometimes incapable of doing things until I "get my fix".

    These feelings hold so many similarities to me, it has me wondering why it's accepted that transgender is a legitimate thing, and it's not a disorder like binge eating, or any other compulsive activity.

    It's questions and failings to understand like this one that are holding me back from fully accepting myself. I think that if I can answer this question I would feel so much better about being transgender.

  2. #2
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    From what you have posted, I think you would do well to seek a mental health professional. Someone with experience in "gender issues".

    This is something you will have to resolve and it's difficult to do it by yourself.
    Krisi

  3. #3
    Aspiring Member Star01's Avatar
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    I have been concentrating on this same question in therapy for the past year. I told my therapist, I am a 69 year old man who has a great marriage and and family, why would some inner feeling that I should dress and conduct myself in a way contrary to society not be classified as a mental illness? His response has been to suggest I am transphobic and to help me be more accepting of myself. I am very open to different lifestyles but being a MIAD in my conservative small town poses many of its own problems.

    I understand the desire to be my true self but I also am very aware that I will never be accepted in my current world. From my DADT wife to my former football hero neighbor to my redneck son would all reject me. Then there is the cost and length of time to make changes.

    I truly believe that there is more to my dysphoria than crossdressing and I am more in touch with body image than over the top dressing episodes. If you find the answers let me know. When I went into therapy I had the opinion that this is a defect that has the potential to screw up my whole life and the message I get here is that I am powerless to resist but no, it?s not a mental illness. I am having trouble making sense of the whole thing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    An easy way for people to "rise up" in society is to "push down" people who are "different."

    A number of cultures do recognize 3rd genders. But, in our society, now that gays have become accepted, transgenders are now the "low hanging fruit" that is most easy to attack as "different."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%8...e%20at%20birth.
    Māhū were particularly respected as teachers, usually of hula dance and chant. In pre-contact times māhū performed the roles of goddesses in hula dances that took place in temples which were off-limits to women.
    Māhū were also valued as the keepers of cultural traditions, such as the passing down of genealogies. Traditionally parents would ask māhū to name their children.[3]

    Marion
    Last edited by Maid_Marion; 01-25-2021 at 09:36 AM.

  5. #5
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisi View Post
    From what you have posted, I think you would do well to seek a mental health professional. Someone with experience in "gender issues".

    This is something you will have to resolve and it's difficult to do it by yourself.
    Hi Krisi,

    I actually start with a therapist next month - i'm trying hard to understand myself and the world somewhat better.


    @Star01 - something that was posted on here has stuck in my mind, and that is that "The biggest transphobic person lives inside your head". I think your therapist was of a similar mindset.

  6. #6
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    Gender is a powerful mix of biology, sociology, and psyche. Let me see if I can make this completely abstract in order to avoid the morass of detail and controversy that surround each one of these.

    Think of the biology involved as an attracter in the physics sense. Culture not only creates the magnets which are drawn to it, but guides, controls, and gates them in a infinite number of ways, practically speaking. Psyche (which involves biology as well, of course) combines conditioning around those magnets but factors in complex individual variation that can weaken or strengthen the draw.

    Psyche gets all the attention! One reason, which goes directly to your question, is that there ARE disorders which may trigger gender issues. These run a range from mood, identity, and personality disorders all the way to outright psychoses. Modern medicine, however, is exploring an ever-increasing number of sexual development and genetic factors that complicate the picture. Those that involve the brain are the most interesting in several respects but still don't fundamentally answer your question! Why? Because even if you accept, as I do, that certain manifestations of gender issues have physical roots and are, therefore, intersex conditions, medicine nonetheless defines intersex conditions as disordered too!

    The history of people who are known to be physically intersex provides a lot of clarity because those whose sexual identities have been coerced virtually always align themselves to the appropriate sex regardless. Society accepts this with little qualm, the obvious physical issues providing the kind of explicatory cover you seek EVEN THOUGH the physical manifestation is defined as a disorder of sexual development.

    But what are we to make of intersex conditions that don't involve secondary physical characteristics? Are they "disorders of sexual development"? or are they "normal and expected" variations? I think the weight of human history tends to support the latter view, but BOTH views are actually correct, taken narrowly and from their own perspective.

    The bottom line is that physical, chemical, developmental, and genetic explanations will still never be enough for many to accept. And frankly, any personal knowledge of such notwithstanding, that changes nothing on the ground.

    "It's complicated."
    Lea

  7. #7
    Aspiring Member Star01's Avatar
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    CharlotteCD, you are correct, the voices in my head keep telling me that I'm crazy for letting gender questioning dominate my thinking and interfere in day to day life. I'm just trying to sort it all out and part of that for me is letting go of the guilt and shame that I have carried since the late 50's. At 69 on the one hand the stress of having this double life can still be overwhelming but if I had freedom to pursue it how far do I take this at my age? I think my wife would much prefer me spending our investments on vacations and shared activities than me spending it on things like beard removal and surgeries. Not only do I not know where this path would take me but it's also one of the most expensive "toll roads" a person could travel when factoring in everything. If you find those elusive answers please share as I am still searching for them.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Charlotte,
    Any form of dysphoria has to be treated if it disrupts our everyday life . If GD affects your life then you have to find ways to deal with and make some difficult decisions . Others especially in this section will tell you physical size and appearance had nothing to do with it .

    I had to accept divorce again like many others to come to terms with dysphoria after I had counselling , living full time has finally given me a balance in my life . Many of the fears were illfounded I have lost less than I expected and gained so much more .

    Sometimes lack of understanding masks denial , perhaps you choose not to understand it because you fear what the outcome might be so you deny your feelings , giving yourself numbers on a scale proves that point , you are either trans or you're not and I would say you are when you describe your feelings .

    It will occupy your mind until you are free to find a balance .
    Last edited by Teresa; 01-25-2021 at 03:19 PM.
    The real me , no going back.

  9. #9
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
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    Thank you for your responses - quite in depth LeaP! I think that I would err on the side of agreeing that the are expected and normal variations - the creation of a human being (or any animal) is a stunning thing in itself, so to have a female mindset within a male body really doesn't seem unusual in that narrow viewpoint. I guess it is society pushing back on me.

    Teresa, thanks for your post, but also for your other posts on here - you're regularly one of the posters whose views I really appreciate. Please continue to share and provide input here!

    Yes, you are correct that it will occupy my mind until I find a balance. I am currently trying to work out where that balance lies, and hopefully some therapy will assist me.

  10. #10
    The Anima Corrupt Wen4cd's Avatar
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    Yeah, 6-3 here and I know ALLLL about the 'angles"
    But I also know that after I've dressed or affirmed myself, I am much more likely to remember to do simple self-care things like bathe and brush my teeth.
    Otherwise I just don't care.

    Most of my self-care and hygeine is done to service the female part of me that actually has enough self love to be human, and wants to be social, and that says something to me.

    The male role is good for nothing but making a paycheck doing labor, and I am strongly considering this year to be the 'bad bitch at the steelyard.' I think my co-workers respect and like me enough that they will treat me no different. We're usually covered in PPE at work anyway, so they will see little difference until I start slowly training my voice, but I plan to do that imperceptibly slowly and sort of boil the frog until they're used to it.

  11. #11
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    Gender Dysphoria can be a crippling thing if not treated. If you don't think it cripples your life, well you may choose to do nothing. If it does though, it could be the only right way out to face your gender identity disorder (sticking with medical terms for a sec).

    Another angle to look at this - would you feel sorry for yourself for not exploring your gender further when you're on your death bed? At the end of the day, we only have one chance and time left is our most precious resource!

    Hugs,
    Katya

  12. #12
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    there are tall woman, who can also look broad and long-armed - basketball and swimmer types often for example. from my experience, it may be that hormones do the trick of removing the dysphoric feeling and allowing you to live both lives.
    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.

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

  13. #13
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteCD View Post
    Hi Krisi,

    I actually start with a therapist next month - i'm trying hard to understand myself and the world somewhat better.
    .
    That's good. The sooner the better. And if you don't get what you need from the therapist, try another.

    Best wishes!
    Krisi

  14. #14
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    A therapist/counselor can help you find the answers! They won't answer for you but will get you to find them instead! They are very good at this! Best wishes on your journey! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  15. #15
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    I can't add much to the good advice already given here, but I will add two things.

    First, good on you for seeking counseling. If you approach it earnestly, you will eventually hear, from yourself, what you want know. As Lana Mae says, the therapist won't give you answers, but he/she/they will help you find them.

    Second, do not feel like you must transition. It may be that it truly is a must, but without putting in the work, it's hard to know. You understand how transition would (probably) impact your life. Until you know that that impact is worth what you get in exchange, make do.

    We're here for you while you do the work.

    Hugs,

    Kelly
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
    -- John Lennon

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  16. #16
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    Best wishes and luck to all interested in this subject. I would caution Charlotte CD that from my years of being gender variant -turn 74 tomorrow and looking back realize I was already 'identifying female' around age 4! --it could be a tragic situation to come out to your family. Wives sure seem to have a terrible time coping with being married to a transgendered spouse--only room for one squaw in the wigwam!--and anything that might threaten their own sense of femininity (and that is a topic that could go on endlessly) is unacceptable. Plus, they can't talk to their friends out of embarrassment (and I think that women need to have confidants about virtually every phase of their existence) and that can be very wearing on them. I have been married (more like housemates) for over 38 years and I feel bad that I haven't been the person my wife thought she was marrying. I am sorry about this, but can't do much now. We are getting along pretty well and having a wonderful puppy seems to bond us! But back to CharlotteCD...don't do anything to risk your fatherhood. Clearly you can't be a mother and I feel the only two good things about being male is being a father and being able to pee standing up! The rest stinks, but you have to carry on the illusion of being a male for your child's sake, to the best of your ability.

    I hear others speak of the specialness of being 'two spirited' or similar term, but it isn't easy to live a dual existence. There are many cases of well intended transwomen who want to be honest with family, but I am not sure it has ever truly been successful. Sorry to be negative, but I have learned much over the past decades from hearing the plights of others. Good luck to all of us! Harley

  17. #17
    Silver Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    I noticed that many fear the future as it is written and say my wife will desert me, my kids, the society, etc but the reality is nobody knows exactly what's going to happen.

    In my case I keep happily married to the se woman of theast 42 years now.
    I have three kids, all married men and none of the has left me down, more than that they support me.to the point last Christmas all gift were femenine related stuff.

    What's the trick? I was slowly doing changes. It people slowly adapt to the new me. Human beings are animal of habits,. Now my wife doesn't notice the difference between 3 years ago if she doesn't see a puc. I know because she still concerned about the same people I'm not out yet but she's no worried that they see me now because she has not realized how much I had changed. Not sure if I was ear in the last.

    To resume, if your need of being happy, honest, real is enough to bite bullet of the risk, donit slowly and wisely, everybody will adapt to you but if your gender dysphoria is real, everyday will be worse and you won't adapt to it.

    As several said, therapist won't give you answers but strategies to move forward in your life as your real one.

    One thing that is really corrosive tonthe mind and spirit is to live a fake life...

    Mho.

    Devi
    Last edited by Devi SM; 01-27-2021 at 12:32 PM.
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  18. #18
    Member Dorit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devi SM View Post
    I noticed that many fear the future as it is written and say my wife will desert me, my kids, the society, etc but the reality is nobody knows exactly what's going to happen.

    In my case I keep happily married to the se woman of theast 42 years now.
    I have three kids, all married men and none of the has left me down, more than that they support me.to the point last Christmas all gift were femenine related stuff.

    What's the trick? I was slowly doing changes. It people slowly adapt to the new me. Human beings are animal of habits,. Now my wife doesn't notice the difference between 3 years ago if she doesn't see a puc. I know because she still concerned about the same people I'm not out yet but she's no worried that they see me now because she has not realized how much I had changed. Not sure if I was ear in the last.

    To resume, if your need of being happy, honest, real is enough to bite bullet of the risk, donit slowly and wisely, everybody will adapt to you but if your gender dysphoria is real, everyday will be worse and you won't adapt to it.

    As several said, therapist won't give you answers but strategies to move forward in your life as your real one.

    One thing that is really corrosive tonthe mind and spirit is to live a fake life...

    Mho.

    Devi
    I transitioned at 70, and like Devi, have the acceptance and support of my wife of 50 years and all five of my children. Devi, I think you and I are exceptions. I know older trans women that lost most of their family in transition. I do not think the pace of change has a lot to do with it. I think it is the nature and quality of relationships we have had over many years. Apparently as spouses and parents you and I encouraged an atmosphere of love, openness, and acceptance in our family that was deep and real and has survived the radical change that we have made. Good for us!

  19. #19
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Dorit,
    It's so good to read that comment but the assumption is the feelings flow both ways , some of us discover we possibly married the wrong person or the realtionship changes and people drift apart . Obviously this is partly irrelevant to gender issues but at times it's the staw that breaks the camel's back . I will add divorce doen't make the sitaution irretrievable , I have a better relationship now with my ex-wife because she no longer has the pressure of my situation , we are both happier . We chat for some hours recalling good moments from our past marriage , all is not lost !
    The real me , no going back.

  20. #20
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    I can say that in my case I would not lose my children. They support me and I'm out to them; I've even gone out with my daughter as a woman.

    But I would lose my wife of 30+ years, whom I met and started dating 40+ years ago. That's a tough pill to swallow and why I'm taking transition VERY slowly. My daughter encourages me to leave, she says "why would you want to live with someone who doesn't accept you?". She has a valid point... just one of those things I cannot answer.

  21. #21
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Jean,
    That can turn into a tricky situation , I've also been out many times with my daughter and granddaughter but my ex-wife had some very heated words with my daughter over this . My daughter wouldn't back off saying as an adult she was capable of making her own decisions which were none of her business . I suggested she backed off as she was becoming " Piggy in the middle " at the end of the day my wife backed off . I'm so grateful and proud of my daughter she has opened up my gradual acceptance with the rest of my family .
    The real me , no going back.

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