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I don't know what to do and I'm scared

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by HiddenStripes, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. I'm 23, and I don't know why I suddenly now feel the way I do in regards to this extreme discomfort I have with myself. It just seemed to happen one day, me questioning my gender identity years ago, and it was something that I buried deep into my subconscious and tried to forget about. You see, I've got conservative parents with a rather regressive old school view on gender. I cannot afford to experiment around with my presentation for as long as I am living with them, nor can I be open with them about these sort of thoughts. They were really shocked when I told them I was into guys at the age of 18, and they're of the particular religious sort that think that sort of thing is a sin. This is just to give you a picture of my current situation.
    Now, I've had to come to the horrific realization that I hate being a guy and I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable, sad, and out of place with my presentation and body. I'd rather come out as bisexual to my parents all over again than have to go through with these feelings I have. Feelings that are getting worse as time goes on, and I'm scared, I'm scared because I don't know what to do.
     
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  2. QuietPeace

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    Welcome to EC.

    My family was also very conservative and religious (borderline cult, nearly Westboro Baptist type views). You are the age that I was when I first transitioned. For me, I had to move out of my parents in order to start my life. It certainly was not easy, my parents were never supportive of me. They only would associate with me if I pretended to be a guy. For some people their parents do surprise them and end up coming around and being at least a little accepting. The only way for you to be sure is for you to try. Since it is likely that you would be in danger of homelessness or even just transphobic treatment and language you should probably not come out until after you manage to get out on your own. In the meantime you can start to experiment with your true self online or privately with friends that you are fairly sure might be supportive. There is a thread here on EC where you can experiment with names and pronouns to see how that makes you feel.
     
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  3. Thank you! I've just been miserable all day today because I feel so trapped and repressed. But maybe waiting to move out and finding the right coping mechanisms in the meantime like you said is what I need to do.
    Not sure how much I'll be able to get away with from the closet while living at home though. I unfortunately don't really have much of a close friend-group for support. I go to a Christian college atm, but they do actually have a student lgbt support group, not sure what it's like there but it would be better than nothing.
     
  4. QuietPeace

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    I was able to get away with very little at home. I grew my hair long, had my ears pierced and painted my nails a subtle color but other than that I could only be me inside my head (and the internet did not exist then). I know from experience that waiting is difficult but it is not impossible. Checking out the support group at school sounds like a good idea. I had gone to a state university but was unable to finish more than one quarter. I did a private programming school and was then able to find a job hundreds of miles away from my parents and that is where I was able to first live as my true self.
     
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  5. Well I got scolded for shaving my legs years ago, so judging by that, I know my limits are pretty tight atm.
    But the U.S. is a big country, and with a graphic design degree, I know there's quiet a few cities far from here that I can go to that have a more supportive community. I love my parents, so if I really have to do that eventually, it's gonna be hard.
     
  6. chicodeoro

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    Hi Hidden Stripes, it must be difficult living with conservative parents who you know aren't going to support you. However, you're 23 - it really is not forever. You are not far away from the independent out life that you must be craving.

    Living for the future - that's what a hell of a lot of us trans folks end up doing. In some ways it is a good thing, because it allows you the mental space and time to think out exactly what you want to do and imagine the woman you want to be.

    That right there is your dictionary definition of dysphoria! Though not all trans people have it, a lot of us have. It can be horrible but what gets me through it is knowing that one day I will have the body that fits how I feel about myself. I just to be patient.

    Don't be scared. There are so many resources and people that will be able to help you. EC is one. You're living in or near to New York, one of the most open minded and best cities to live in if you're trans - there will be a support group close to where you are. There are help lines. You aren't alone. There are so many more of us than even 10 years ago. And the world (as a whole) is a much more open-minded place than it was a generation ago, despite the presence of those pesky TERFs!

    You're going to be ok, you really are.

    Beth x
     
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  7. I'm from western New York state, so not from the city part, sorry for the confusion. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
    But maybe I ought to consider moving down there if it's as open minded as you say!
    And thank you! I hope eventually and soon I can have a few supportive friends in my life.
     
  8. Xey

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    Hey, My name is Zoey. So I actually had a similar situation, And so maybe sharing some stuff about my process might help you.


    It was August 28th 2016, the first time I ever posted here. Leading up to that post was a long series of events, that had been making me ask questions, the answers leading to more and more questions.

    I got overwhelmed, and also my family like yours are christian conservatives, and I'm in a red state, I was 16 with no job, no real friends, no power, and everything to lose, like it was 2016 of all years.


    Thus I did as I had always done, just a bit more, more aware. Bottle it up, Hide it, Compensate.

    It's been exactly 1,742 days, or close to 5 years, 5 painful years, years spent in fear and denial, living as an imposter who got more fake every day, Joy was fleeting and I tried not to think too hard on the fact things would never change, I could never be happy like that.


    But, I realized eventually, 2020 to be exact, Just how pointless it all was. And I struggled against the reality of it, in vain, before I reached the next big ultimatum of my life...

    Is I knew I had 2 options, I had known for years, but it took years to accept it. Option 1. Finally stop fighting it, Face my fears one by one, and maybe start living my life for the first time. Option 2. Keep the charade up indefinitely, Dying as no one with no one ever knowing who I was or the agony behind my stupid fake smile and fake laugh.


    I chose to risk it, I had a job at least so there was that. And so in secret I started seeing my therapist, I paid out of pocket so my parents couldn't find out. And a few months later I was ready to start the slow slow process of coming out, Starting hrt, laser, etc, finding some way of affording it. Etc etc.

    When it comes to my parents, I don't know if I've ever been as terrified of a conversation in my life, Chickened out several times before actually doing it. If your parents are anything like mine I would say coming out can lead to some drama unfortunately, but how much and for how long I couldn't tell you, half a year later and my situation is still very much a WIP with family.

    But regardless, I guess the question you're really asking, and the question I'm attempting to answer, "is it worth it?" And rephrased "Is it worth the time, the money it will cost, The drama it will cause and the people you might lose?"

    To which no one here can give you a yes or no, so I won't answer it with yes or no, instead with a question, a question I pondered before coming out. "Would I rather die than live the way I have for the rest of my life?" And for me the answer was Yes, and so it was decided.

    I'm 3 months HRT currently, and 3 sessions into laser hair removal, and I'm waiting for my court date to have my name changed legally. And despite a lot of very difficult situations for me it was worth it, and I could never go back to the way things were. And meeting new people, making real friends, Its nice.

    Don't do anything to make yourself unsafe, If you believe they could respond aggressively in any way that should factor into how to go about talking to them about this. And having a place to stay couldn't hurt.
     
    #8 Xey, Jun 5, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  9. This I can already relate to this. It's been a cycle of denial and relapse over the years, and at first it was easy to bottle it up and forget about, but now it's virtually impossible. I can't even stare at the more masculine parts of my body in the mirror anymore without getting really uncomfortable.

    I could probably do something like this, and I might. There are gender therapists in my local area. My only fear is having my parents find out whilst I'm living with them. Once I do move out and am fully independent, the prospect of them finding out at all becomes allot less scary.

    Oh, there will be tears when my parents do find out, I know it. There was tears when they found I was bisexual.
    Make no mistake, my parents are very transphobic, and my biggest fear is that they'll be so shocked by the reality of what I'm going through, that they'll do something irrational that could make life harder for me. And that's as I'm living with them.

    If you were to ask me that question years ago, I'd say no, but now it's definite and clear yes. I know I'm going to die if I don't help myself and get help eventually, and that hasn't been something I've been willing to admit to myself up until recently.

    I hope your that goes well for you, and thank you so much for sharing your story with me!
    I'll be careful as I can be for the time being, and I'm hoping for a bright future!
     
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  10. clockworkfox

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    If that ain't the truth...and thank you, Beth, for your positive spin on the experience.

    I'm 30, and I'm still struggling to make a connection with my parents regarding my gender. It's difficult living with people who should love you unconditionally, and having them shut down rather than connect with you on certain topics. You want to tell them that what you've discovered about yourself is a GOOD thing, you're not helpless against the awful things you've been feeling anymore, and all they want to do is "carry on". It's like every new board you try adding to the bridge between you and them gets disregarded, because you're not building the bridge they envisioned, and they don't like the looks of it, and they're too afraid to cross it.

    If they're calm enough for now, and if you're really concerned about their reaction, you might be best off waiting just a little longer to take any serious steps in affirming your identity. And Beth is right - as painful as it's been for me every time I've taken two steps back, I know what I need now better than ever. Try and find ways to make the standstill you're in healing for yourself. And even though it can feel intimidating - especially now, with the current state of things - stay social. Most of the friends I have currently I met as an out trans person, and I have more of them now than I ever did, and they all know me. I know how hard dysphoria can hit, and I know how helpful a few solid friends can be when it happens. It's harder to fixate on your gender woes when you're surrounded by people who effortlessly gender you correctly.
     
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