How I made the decision to transition?: April 16, 2008

I got a message today asking that very question of me. In many ways it was a hard question to answer but it also was an easy one to finally make, although it took my whole life to make the final decision. Let me give you brief history to put the answer into prospective. I always knew that I had these feeling deep down inside ( that I should have been a girl), but was way too afraid to ever let anyone ever know of these feelings. You see when I was young I got so many queues that I was a boy, at least that’s what my body told me, and my parents just reinforced that idea with the way they dressed me and the things that they would say. So even as a young child I spent all my effort to not let my parents down and did everything I could to make sure that no one would ever tell that I harbored these feelings. I locked it up behind bars and found myself in a self made prison. As a child I never expected it to affect me as it has as an adult so I went on with my life keeping the secret and finding little ways to break the anxiety.

As a child I found that when I was alone long enough, that I found joy and relief in my mother’s closet. I would spend as much time as I could dressing up and playing tea party games by myself in my mother’s walk in closet. It was a great place to hide and be myself for a while. It was a relief in those days but as I got older other feelings and emotions also started to take over, especially in my teen years. In my teens I found myself even more at odds with the way I felt and the body I had. Heck, everything in my heart and soul was telling me that I was not the person that I presented and as the girls in my school began to develop into their own, I found that my body just kept fighting with me. The testosterone became my worst nightmare. When I was younger I wished to be a girl, and now in my teens, those feeling grew even stronger as the “T” took over and began to change my body in ways I feared it would.

The fear and anxiety always kept me from moving forward. I felt like I was stuck in a time warp with no way out. The problem was that my body moved forward but my mind refused to except that this was the right path. I felt so conflicted. I spent my teen years depressed but I was always able to keep that smile on my face and keep that male mask on even though it killed me. As I got older I found the only way to deal with all these feelings was denial. After all, it went against everything I was taught. One of the first things you learn in school is how cruel the kids can be, so to survive I crammed all those feelings in a wad and just tried my best to conceal it from the world. This continued into adulthood where I dated girls and eventually married to a wonderful woman and we had two wonderful kids.

We were married for 10 years before the dysphoria got to a point I felt I could no longer keep it at bay. 10 years ago I came out to my wife and tried my best to tell her what I was feeling, but it didn’t go over well and one of my biggest fears that I harbored all my life was coming to pass. Rejection! Rejection of the person I actually was. I guess I had it coming because I tried for many years to reject it myself. I tried to deny the person I was and in place of the person I was I placed a shell of a person that remained unhappy and depressed. The rejection cut deep at the time when I so desperately needed acceptance and understanding, I was met with misunderstanding and bigotry. At that time I didn’t know how to handle it and I agonized over what to do next. For several months I found the conflict inside myself growing and the depression also growing. I finally made one of the hardest decisions in my life. I left my wife and kids to see if I could find some way to either rid myself of all this pain or a way to deal with it. At first suicide became a major struggle for me to beat as the depression grew. I finally was directed to seek counseling to help with the depression and it was the best thing I did during this time. I began to finally get a better understanding of why I was feeling this way and how to deal better with all that goes with being transsexual.

But still my decision to transition did not come easy. Now I had so many other things to consider, my wife, my kids, my age and how I could handle society in general. After close to 5 to 6 years of self examination and evolution I came to a point of acceptance of who I truly was. About a year ago I came to a point in my life where I felt I had to do something because I began to believe that there was only two chooses I had. To Live or Die. I really didn’t want to die because I loved my family to much and wanted to be around for them. I also found that just dressing was not breaking the anxiety as well as it used to and I found it harder to find ways to ease that anxiety. To live is the hardest of all to do at times, but I decided that the only way I could continue to live a happy life was to transition. I began the process a year ago and have to say at this point I could not be happier that I did. I’m not full time yet, but I’m slowly working toward that end because I’m trying to bring my wife and kids along this journey. I may be going slower than some, but this is a pace that will give me time to work out any kinks with my family and give them time to adjust. So in short, how I made the decision to transition? It came down to live or die. I choose to LIVE. I hope that everyone out there makes the chose to live and try to make their life as valuable as possible.

Hugs Michelle

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2 Responses

  1. Michelle,

    The strength you have to have gotten to this point in one piece should serve you well as you continue your very personal and wonderful journey of transition.

    Get busy livin’, or, get busy dyin’. It sounds so cut and dry, as far as the choice we are often faced with, but, it also rings true for so many out here.

    All the best,

    Karen

  2. Karen said what I wanted to, but she put it a better way. Nothing we do is easy, especially contemplating a decision to do this. But for the many of us, it’s transition or die. For me, it’s transition or bust.

    Blessings
    -Lori

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