At What Point?

At what point does someone say, “I’m ready” or “I never will be.” More importantly, does there even need to be a declaration?

I have been graciously blessed to be part of this community, first as a member on CDH and then on this site, and now as both sites’ Managing Editor. I admit that I am more than a crossdresser and I have no real idea how far I may go. I love the fantastical idea of a magic potion that instantly transforms me into the beautiful alter ego that I envision myself to be. (I think they call it FaceApp… lol.) I’ll save that subject for another editorial…

In the beginning, I was hesitant to join this site. I felt unworthy and worried that I might say the wrong things or come off as being realistically “out of touch” with the true struggles of those who identify as transgendered. I joined because I wanted to learn what my “MORE” feelings meant. I needed to read and learn what the journey could entail — both positive and negative, to learn from those who have gone before, and to help me shuffle the continual anxieties and questions pounding inside my head into a reasonable answer of who I might be or strive to become.

As the Managing Editor, I have the privilege of reading every submission to the article section — I wish we had many more as we need to hear from everyone as they move through their own journeys. There is safety in numbers, and for everyone who shares a piece of their personal story countless others are reading it and finding inspiration and answers to their own questions. I thank each of you that has contributed, and I hope you will continue to do so. I invite all of you to share. Our editors will work with you to help you put your thoughts into articles that you can be proud of.

Towards my feminine side

So… at what point do I personally flip the switch and turn off the vision of either my male or female persona and choose to be one or the other…or is it okay to take the third choice and be a blended combination of both. Mentally, I know that I am continually moving more towards my feminine side. There is so much that I can look back on and see for what it really was and how much I fought and denied that aspect within me. I’m also a believer in responsibility and accountability. I do what I must at my own detriment because choosing otherwise would cost more. I know that I am not living my whole truth… heck, I don’t even share my truth; I live my programed life and seek moments of refuge in the shadows.

I have spent immeasurable hours researching every facet of what I might expect should I take the next steps. I’ve always been somewhat analytical, although creative with words, but I hate psychology with a passion. It might be because that was my older sister’s profession, but I think it has more to do with a knack that I have at seeing the bigger picture — much like writing my novels. I don’t like the grey areas and yet, that’s exactly where I am. It has filled me with anxiety and put stress on my health. I also take care of my two aging parents, one who is in stage 2 of dementia. Time for me…hardly. Please, just give me the magic pill that lets me be my heart’s desire and allow the world to change without knowing to accommodate the real me.

This aversion to psychology is what keeps me from going to see a therapist — I relented this last December and planned out to go…but for some reason my female side relinquished her hold and gave the male me a reprieve. I went nearly 7 months, grew a beard, and then went through some of the worst health issues I’d ever had and with which I am currently still recovering from. Maybe subconsciously I knew… she knew that I would need to tackle these in my male world. I avoided having to share my truth… for now; there will come a day. One thing was different; I never felt as if I was trying to be only male, only appearing physically as such.

What am I afraid of?

The list is as large as I wish it to be. What I gain is purely personal, and at my age now I realize that it would hurt some much less, but still hurt them. I’m not at ease in doing so. Those costs, whether imagined or real hold me back. I depend on this maleness to navigate financially. I’m an introvert by nature so I keep only a few close friends. If I were suddenly thrust out into the open it would be different. If I could move to a new area it would be different. If I could… (I can’t or maybe it’s I won’t) because I can’t shake my sense of responsibility and accountability any easier than I can find that magic pill. I’ve been on this slow, one step forward for seven years. After my last relationship I made a commitment to myself, to be more me—whatever that was. I have found more personal happiness than I have ever known by doing so. Acceptance of what I am and forgiving myself for those feelings was an important step in finding that small, inner peace. I don’t hate me anymore.

At what point would I be totally happy being only male — never, female — I don’t know, but dream that I would be totally happy, or being a blend—depends on what that might be. How far do I go, especially coming up on 60 next year. I know the answer… bite the bullet and go seek the help of professionals. The constant and building anxiety isn’t going to go away until I step over the line and test “At What Point.”

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16 Comments
  1. https://transgenderheaven.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/woman-b14-2.jpg
    Melissa Kelleher 3 weeks ago

    Hi Sabrina ,

    I can totally emphasize with you. I would start by stop calling your feminine side your alter ego . After all it’s you and you don’t suffer from multiple personalities. That has always been important for me anyway. I think its important to speak to Gender Therapist, and its important to give it as much time and thought as possible , as it’s a huge decision . You have nothing to loose by speaking to a therapist, they will help you to figure everything out , and put you on the right track . Gender therapist are different to Psychologists as they are more understanding and less judgemental than speaking to psychologists. So take the first step and make that appointment.

  2. Charee 1 month ago

    Brina you beautiful amazing soul. I turned 59 a week or so ago; anxiety, depression, self critical judgements 24/7 around dressing this way.

    Mom had dementia Dad altimeters; I found out after dad passed away the he would dress now and then, and his brother, my uncle would stretch his wife’s shoes regularly until she bought him his own.

    The hardest thing I have found to do is get the heck outta my own way! To “own it”.
    To do this, I reeeeally payed attention to every nuance of thought, feeling and action I would use during my most relaxed and enjoyable dressing times. Noticing when I feel the most joyful, free, calm and at peace inside.

    I remember at around 12 or 14 years old saying out loud I want to be riiiight down the middle!
    I find the closer I get to “that point” the more calm, courageous, at peace “being” free I feel inside.
    I started openly dressing in tiny tiny bits many years ago now and have observed every little and large step closer to feeling that inner peace.

    Thanks so much for sharing and by the way, Dahling, youuuuuu loook marvelous!!

    Namaste’ Brina an big huggles always dear
    Char

  3. Kim Dahlenbergen 2 months ago

    I have for years faced the same internal conflict and engage in the same internal dialogue. The sense of responsibility to others is definitely a deterrent to what I view as forward progress. But I’ll also acknowledge a pesky combination of internalized transphobia and cowardice about facing my reality and fully expressing my preferred gender identity. I suppose there is also the matter of not wanting or daring to totally redefine myself and abandon the male privilege in those circumstances where it seems advantageous.

    So, I’m riding the fence. I am out to some of my former work colleagues, to a few people I know in the community where I’ve chosen to retire, and open to a few discrete family members. I live day to day as a woman…at least most days…and for the moment at least…that works ok for me. Perhaps this is as good as it gets. Perhaps a year from now I will decide to come out completely. I doubt I will ever fully or permanently retreat into a male persona.

    • Author
      Sabrina MacTavish 2 months ago

      I sure do understand… Thanks for adding your input, Kim! I think it boils down to finding that right point where we can do more than just survive. It has to be where we are relatively happy and content. I’m still surviving, but I will admit that over the last few years I’ve found ways to be happier than I have in forever. I wish you the best!

  4. Michelle Larsen 2 months ago

    “At what point does someone say, “I’m ready””. OMG, never; I hope. Life is one big transition; full of little transitions along the way. I’ve just always thought of it as growing; or maturing. So, for me, I will never be ‘ready’, or ‘done’. There will always be something else to do, to tweak, even if it is as simple as brushing away a hair that has fallen across my eye. Hugs, Michelle

    • Author
      Sabrina MacTavish 2 months ago

      True, Michelle! There won’t ever come a point (at least mentally) where feelings stop and contentment rules. I’m looking forward to the day when the hair I brush out of my eyes is my own…

  5. Dennis Herdina 2 months ago

    I just read your article/comment. I AM 72. i know what you arefacing…in your changing. I DID AND STILL DO. i.personally, think i have more fully accepted and relish(if you will) being my female. I rarely ever appear public as make now. That has stopped much of the various problems you mentioned. I T HAS GIVEN ME A SENSE OF CALM NOW (and a lot of happiness). I think part of the problems i was facing at one point came from the fact i was trying to be both male and female but yet neither. My way out came when i made the decision to be who i always knew i was, female. From that point I ended my career of 26 years in military. I met my life partner almost immediately thereafter. I think in trying to transition younger might well be harder because we are trying to establish careers and self at same time.. I think being at end of my career and going into retirement made things easier for me. It marked a*easier point for me* My income being assured gave me certain freedoms and in turn gave me chances to start over and explore new patterns of thinking and being. Being older as we are might well be the boost we need to accomplish ourselves. Sure we still have carry over problems and always will but in the long run i think we profit in being older and changing to whatever extent. Most want the physical changing, which is the goal..but many more forget the emotional and mental changes that are needed. I discovered that immediately at retirement. I think it first struck me after my retirement ceremony was concluded. The impact of a simple question *WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW* AND WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST DO? Almost instantly I knew where i was going and how i was going there. The answers to the uncomfortable questions were always there My career had blocked them..when that was gone my ultimate decisions had been made for me by me. Many things are decided for us at far deeper levels than we realize. It might well be the answers to the questions you posed are there waiting. You constantly keep up providing information and changes to them and over time they will change. But those answers are always there waiting….sort of blinding flash of light on your road to wherever* I wish you the joy of discovery.

    • Author
      Sabrina MacTavish 2 months ago

      Dennis,

      Very well put. I like the comment about the answers were always there, but the career blocked them. I can relate, and I believe most others do. I applaud those who have stepped past their barriers (work-family-other) to find their personal calm…as you state. I never had that kind of strength to begin that process…I may never. What I will do is to continue reaching for the answers that help me to navigate towards the possibilities and prepare for the next steps should they be taken.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Larry Macgregor 2 months ago

    i knew a long time ago, and now hiding in the house, cant continue, it just cant……..

    • Melanie Penson 2 months ago

      It has taken me most of my life (so far) in deciding to be who and where I am now. Starting in 1977 when I was 5 yrs old and first became aware of Boys and Girls and the differences between them; both in appearance and expected behaviour. I knew something was wrong, that I didn’t feel happy amongst boys and didn’t want to behave the way they were expected, still less wear boys’ clothes. I preferred the softness of women’s clothing so began wearing my mum’s regularly, especially her knickers and tights.
      It was a lovely world to retreat into whenever I felt sad and alone. This was pretty much ALL the time growing up and being bullied relentlessly for being “gay” all through school when Aids was in the news with media hype.
      No-one spoke about being Trans then, it was one or the other and I hated myself for my male body. I would cry myself to sleep most nights, wishing I could wake up as a girl, magically transformed.
      Now I know it CAN happen though it takes a bit longer than overnight! I am well along the pathway to being as female as I can ever be; some things I’m glad I missed like periods but I feel so much better as Melanie Jane.

      • Author
        Sabrina MacTavish 2 months ago

        thank you for commenting, Melanie! I do wish you the best as you move forward. I think you speak to many of us. We’ve all had those moments–more so the older we get and look back in hindsight–when we understand that who we are isn’t tied to other’s perceptions of specific roles and rules, but instead the need for mental and sometimes physical wellbeing. We endure the pressures of society, family, and even ourselves trying to figure this whole thing out. Sites like this one, and the sharing of our personal journeys is a blessing and a hope for all of us.

  7. Author
    Sabrina MacTavish 2 months ago

    JaiymeLynne,

    Thanks for the comments! Sometimes the best we can do is find a measure of balance to our current life. Life is tough enough, and for those of us struggling with what our true nature might be…it’s even harder. Throw in all the Covid related issues and finding moments of peace become priceless. I wish you the best. I know I’ll keep doing what I can to keep moving forward.

    Be kind to yourself 🙂

    Brina

  8. JaiymeLynne Rogers 2 months ago

    Sabrina,
    thanks for your words here. Wow. Exactly what I’ve been feeling lately. I haven’t been on the journey for as long as you now, (only about a year and a half), but always knew the female in me would express herself someway. I share all your fears, while also caring for an aging parent. So time is not always my own. But I guess we continue to learn and move a long one day at a time (cliche as that is), it seems to be the truth.
    JaiymeLynne

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