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70 years old and still in the closet

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by SRO, May 28, 2018.

  1. SRO

    SRO
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    Ok, I'm out to a few people. But living as a cisgender male and identify as transfemale. I'm tired and exhausted. I know I'm not supposed to get political but I like Mike Pence and all he stands for more than I like myself. I read these posts and understand that many of us hate ourselves. I get that. I'm there. I'm nauseated if I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I know that many of my sisters and brothers on this site this think the same. I have no hope. My therapist says I have to challenge my cognitive distortions. My Buddhist friends say I have to stop wanting. My good friends say it's not too late. My wife says I'd better not bail out on the family and leave her to deal with the ongoing crises we face at home every day. And my trans friends, the ones who haven't committed suicide, say I'm nothing but an aging wanna be and to get the hell out of their lives. All I want right now is a cup of Draino and to finish off my bottle of klonipin. I won't, I know, any more than I'll show up at my grandson's wedding next month in a new dress. I can't hurt the family, you know. Which is why I won't off myself, won't leave my family and begin my authentic life, and won't mess up the wedding. And why I'm 70 and still in the closet. I'm tried and don't have any hope. And not a lot of private time so if anyone has any comments here, it might be a while before I can log on again. Sorry. And sorry for whining. And sorry for being me.
    Susan
     
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  2. quebec

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    Susan.....I pretty much felt like you do when, at 64, I finally accepted that I am and always was gay. I felt trapped, I thought that coming out would destroy my family, alienate my friends, get me kicked out of my church and just generally destroy my life and do nothing but hurt everybody around me. With a lot of help from people here on empty closets and an incredible therapist, none of that happened. I’m not out to the world, only to a few close friends, my wife and oldest son. I thought they would reject me, but they didn’t. Perhaps you could find a way to be yourself to just a few people who you know are accepting. When I came out to the first person it was like the weight of the world had dropped away because my “secret” wasn’t a secret anymore. I did come out to a few more people, but I think that I would have been fine if I never told another person. For me it wasn’t how many people I told, it was more that I had told someone and destroyed the secret. That could work for you too. Just knowing that someone else knew who I really was made a huge difference for me....it could for you too. Please keep us updated...we do care and want to help!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  3. Ethan2001

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    I really hope you're feeling better Susan and I bet you'll look amazing wearing that dress. I wish you the best.
     
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  4. SRO

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    Thank you for your note. I know there are plenty of us out there. Secrets are the things killing us all. I'm not sure if I'm writing just to you or to everyone who reads my original post but did want to acknowledge you first. I'll try to post a general update, too. Thanks.Susan
     
  5. SRO

    SRO
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    And to you, too, Ethan. Thank you for your note. Wearing that dress... sigh. Susan
     
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  6. SRO

    SRO
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    Hi, all.

    Ok, It's me, Susan. Things aren't a lot better with my mood but I'll get by. Thanks for thoughts and well wishes. Here's more of my situation... living my life as a cisgender male but always questioned. For so many years I thought I must be gay because I wanted to dress as and be a girl. It didn't dawn on me for a long time that I never had a crush on a guy or any interest in being with one. I've always had crushes/loves/romances on girls and, later, women. I identify as a woman so am assuming that I'm a lesbian. I told that to the pastor of my church over 30 years ago. She was shocked but accepting. I'm married to my wife of 40 years (second marriage for both of us) and between us we have three adult children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. We're both retired. We worked in the mental health world, my wife as a Behavior Analyst, me as a teacher. When my therapist tries to explain cognitive behavioral therapy to me I have to remind her that I used to teach it, at least the educational components of it. I had my own patients, teaching how to identify thinking errors, cognitive distortions. I'm not so good at applying it to myself, however. A therapist one time reminded me how toxic secrets are and to find someone I could trust so I wouldn't be so alone with the horrible secret of being trans. I told a co-worker, a friend, a licensed clinical therapist. He violated my trust and told others on the clinical team, outing me at work. Not everyone knew, but enough. I've told my wife, some family members, some friends. I'm not totally alone. But I feel totally alone. Since most of my social friends are therapists, they avoid, for professional reasons, responding to my talk about my problems. They always refer me back to my own therapist. That's totally appropriate but it leaves me feeling pretty lonely. I can't talk to my wife; she's too angry. I went through treatment at the transgender program at a major university. I was approved for hormones and reassignment surgery. I had a comfortable and satisfying female identity. But only on Wednesdays, the day for my group. My family, like many families, has issues. Alcoholic adult children, bi-polar issues, suicide attempts, bankruptcies. Lots of chaos. My wife tries to control everything to keep people safe. Al Anon says we really can't save anyone but she tries anyway. My wife doesn't want to be married to a woman (I don't blame her) and I can't leave her because my job is to help her save the family that can't be saved. So I'm stuck. How many times a day does one think of suicide before one should start to worry? Still, I won't do it. My wife has had patients suicide on her. It's not good. I'm also a writer. I think I'm a good one. I've had lots of stuff published in poetry journals and have one poetry book out and do reading (in my male mode) and book signings. Here's one that was published in an LGBT-themed journal.

    House Bill 2, North Carolina

    I practiced for years

    in my sister's shoes

    in porcelain rooms

    behind locked doors.


    Once, when

    the house was empty

    and my sister had gotten

    those new high heels,

    the red pretty ones

    with the scalloped vamp,


    I tried walking down stairs

    for the first time.

    I almost fell but that

    was the closest

    I ever came to falling

    except for once at Target.


    A two hour drive for an hour of therapy.

    I had too much coffee on the way

    and needed to pull over. I never used

    the women's restroom, ever,

    at any place but at the university;

    I was afraid to go anyplace else.

    I didn't have the transition letter.

    I'd be spotted, I'd get caught,

    I'd go to jail. I'd be beaten.


    It was winter. I was wearing

    my green dress, the one

    with the slit along the side,

    and my boots with the heels

    with my black topcoat open

    and Isotoner gloves, purse

    over my shoulder. I stopped short

    just as I walked up to the ladies's room.


    The uniform, the badge,

    the security guard standing

    right in front of the door.

    My blood went cold.

    My stomach knotted.

    My back stiffened.


    There was snow on my boots.

    I slipped, turned my ankle,

    almost fell.

    The guard reached out, grabbed

    my arm, steadied me,


    are you all right, ma'am?

    yes, thank you.


    I kept walking, past

    the women's room,

    into housewares, pretended

    to look at something on a shelf.


    When my heart

    stopped pounding,

    I turned around,

    went back to my car.

    I still had to pee

    but not there,

    not with the guard

    right there.


    I got to the the university,

    bladder painfully full,

    raced for the one place

    where I thought

    I could be safe.


    Even then, my hands

    were still shaking

    as I rinsed my fingers,

    touched up my lipstick.



    Anyway, that's one of my poems. Thanks for indulging me.

    Susan
     
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  7. Peterpangirl

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    Got my own problems and dilemmas tonight...but I feel less alone in my own little world for reading your poem Susan. You write beautifully. Thank you for sharing.
     
    #7 Peterpangirl, May 29, 2018
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  8. Ethan2001

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    I'm really sorry you're in this situation but I really admire how strong you are Susan. I hope your wife understands you someday and that you'll be able to be comfortable in your skin as well as in the female restrooms. It's a really beautiful poem by the way and I'd love to read more of your work. Again nothing but the best wishes.
     
  9. Sundara

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    Susan,
    Thank you for great poem. I like it even though I categorized my self as gay not trans. I can catch the meaning your poem and I know, respect to you and I feel it like myself who are not straight.
    Greeting from Indonesia.
    Silas