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(@shannyn)
Active Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Joined: 6 years ago
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It’s funny; I write a blog a few times per month and having done so for a couple of years. Deciding to submit an article here makes me feel a bit nervous. In my other writings, I have a feel for the audience. It’s very small and rarely interacts back. I wish they did. Here, I don’t know what to expect. I’ll just write in my usual manner, and we shall see what happens. I hope this is of some use to someone who reads it or passes it on to someone who might need it.

As a manner of quick introduction, my name is, Shannyn. I’m 45 years old and live just south of Atlanta, GA, although I was brought up in Canada. I am married to a cis woman, and we have two teenage kids. I was a life-long crossdresser; after my life got flipped upside down a couple of times the past 5 years due to job loss and a nervous breakdown, I've come to realize I am transgendered.

Given my family situation where I’m the sole breadwinner and not supported emotionally, I live daily as a male on the outside—mostly.  The true me bleeds through, a little or a lot, depending on one’s perspective. I have been on HRT for 16 months, and the last couple of years, I've incorporated feminine elements into my appearance.

I take the effort when I write to make it more than about just me; I look outward when I can. I’ll share my current situation, for a few reasons:

1) I’m trans and that seems to be what we do (I’m generalizing, I know.)

2) I am hoping to find support on this site and from wherever it may come (I often just chat, and that is limited in how one can express their situation.)

3) A few of the feelings I’m working on, maybe you are, too. As many people have told me, you aren’t alone if you hit a wall occasionally—or often. So, I hope to convey that to those who might need to hear it.

I’ve had a tough day, mostly self-inflicted. I feel like there is still hope. I’ve known myself long enough (practically my whole life!) to realize my mood today won’t last, and my journey will continue. I’m a fighter. Anyone who is trans is a fighter, whether you feel it or not. Bucking society’s norms is not for the faint of heart, and the Lord knows that I’ve hardly done anything compared to so many amazing folks here and elsewhere.

I want to share with you about my sister-in-law. Through her this week, I recognized that I need to be better. I need to change my approach. You see, I play the victim game. Everything that happens to me feels as if it only happens to me and no one else. When I face adversity, I feel like the world is out to get me; it’s dumping life’s crap on my head.  Intellectually, cognitively I know it isn't true; most of the dumping is done by me to me. Anyone else do that? Yeah, most of us do.

My sister-in-law, Debbie died this past week. She was 52, on the way to another birthday (on the same day as mine.) I don't want to have my own birthday this year. Sadly, my family relations are often strained so I never expect much anymore. The point is; I don’t want my birthday as a reason to bring up the loss with my wife’s family. That’s not the lesson I learned by her passing.

At the funeral home, her childhood youth minister conducted the service. He tied things together spiritually. In so doing, he highlighted that for 52 years, Debbie did not complain about her lot in life. And believe me; she had a LOT that she could have complained about. It left me thinking about all the stuff I complain about. Not to mention all the blessings I fail to recognize every day.

I know myself, and while I hope this had an impact on me, I’m not certain that it will, not in any permanent way. I so wish that wasn’t the case, and I sincerely hope this time is different. Already today, a mere two days later, I’m wallowing. I FEEL as if I have a reason, but really, I don’t.

As mentioned, I've been on HRT for awhile. I stopped taking Spiro the past few weeks because of an issue with my kidneys; I’m seriously spooked. My wife all but begged me to stop after she looked it all up. The issue really had more to do with the interaction between Spiro and my BP med (which I’d been switched off of), but the fear remains.

And in stopping it, I'm already not feeling like myself. I feel the demons coming back, the testosterone poisoning as it did when I was that GUY. I am afraid the past year-plus of feeling correct on the inside is getting reversed. I feel the anger and frustration returning. I feel more selfish. I can FEEL the hair growing faster on my face. I FEEL the stubble on my legs a few days after shaving, where I had been able to go two weeks not very long ago. It’s all just gross and upsetting.

I have to overcome it. I have to find a way through until I'm able to see a new endocrinologist next month. I have to keep the testosterone-driven demons at bay until a new plan comes to fruition. I know I will get through it; I always do. I know that others have it much worse in the way of obstacles put in their path.

I really feel like TGH is the place for me. I need to interact with more of you. I need to learn, to share, and to grow. This site is amazing and a tremendous tool in moving forward. I have dreams, we all do. Maybe through the friends and allies made here, some dreams will start coming true. Let’s talk. We’re in this together.

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Posts: 196
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(@vanessa)
Reputable Member     United States of America, Washington, Seattle
Joined: 6 years ago

Shannyn, your honest writing shares such a depth of pain and possibility in your life. I was moved when I read your account, and am so sorry about your sister in law dear.

I had to stop spiro as well when I began my transition. If I recall (and it was a long time ago 😁), estradiol helps to suppress testosterone as well, and my doc quickly moved me onto that.

I’m glad you’re here hon! We have a wonderful community and I know that you will find friendship and encouragement.

I look forward to reading more of your journey. You have a gift for writing!

Hugs,
Vanessa

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(@shannyn)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Posts: 6

Gosh Vanessa...I should have named my blog that, "Pain and Possibility". I really try to not dwell on the pain, although it's therapy to not keep this stuff inside. I hope my articles here, and my blog are of a help to others. So many of us are in the same boat, so to speak.

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Posts: 1
(@harlow)
New Member     United States of America, Texas, College Station
Joined: 4 years ago

Shannyn,
You are much further along in your journey than I am. I was in an academic career at a very conservative school and it would have been career suicide if my being transgender had ever come out. Thus I never came out to my wife, who has since passed, nor my daughters now in their 50's.
In reading through your blog I notice you had a bad experience with spironolactone. I too had a very rough time with it when I started HRT but switched over to finesteride and it worked well,
For my part I am now retired, living alone and beginning my journey in earnest. I am seeing a counselor, working with a doctor and having electrolysis and felling wonderful and happier than I have been in a lifetime. Hope we can stay in touch.
Harlow

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(@shannyn)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Posts: 6

Thanks for your reply, Harlow. It's great to connect with you. You have confirmed I think I need to see about finasteride again. I took it before HRT for hair growth, and stopped when it didn't seem to help with that. Now maybe it will. I am glad you are taking strides to be more congruent with your heart. The past doesn't matter once it's passed, and I definitely understand your reasons. The future is what we make it. Best of luck and hugs!

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Posts: 21
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(@SophieFR)
Eminent Member
Joined: 6 years ago

Hi Shannyn,
You clearly have discovered the power of getting much of your issues out of your head and into your writing. That in itself is a powerful action and I hpoe you are realising how it is helping you, most certainly is here. You have a nice writing style too which drew me into your sad story. Adversity does bring chnage in the natural balance of life. Fighting change is what we can often do, resisting it for our own reasons or form external pressures. WIthin your family siituation it doesn't make it simple at all, but I understand what you are going through to a large extent. I had two marriages and a child from each, trying to live the live of the life of the male that I was born. It took me until very late in life before I managed to understand that being Transgender was really something I 'needed to do'. I will not suggest it was easy or straightforward, but sincerely hope that you may find happiness in yourself and your life, at a stage where you can still live how you wish and enjoy it.
Stay strong, have confidence in yourself and know that you are among friends here

Sending you love and hugs from France
Sophie xx

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(@shannyn)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Posts: 6

Yay, France! So good to hear from you. I truly appreciate your words. I belong here, I know I do. Every day, I fight the good fight. I've rebounded even in the past 4-5 days since I wrote the article. Ebb and flow...that's how I go. Again, thanks so much for reaching out.

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Posts: 219
Silver
(@charee)
Reputable Member     Canada, Hawarden, SK, Canada
Joined: 5 years ago

Hey Shannyn, thank you for your contribution dear; how we have all turned our darkest emotions inward from time to time.

The anger, the frustration the whole thing is so all-consuming and mind bending; been there.

One thing I have learned to practice along my 60 years of earth life,lol, is that what I choose to spend the majority of my time and energy focusing on, is pretty much what shows up in my life.

Sometimes, things have to fall, or be taken completely, (or nearly completely) apart before they can be built up in a way that serves self and others in the best possible manner.

In those moments when I feel all victimy and like I'm getting my ass kicked hard by life, I remind myself that although it may feel and appear to be so very awful in the moment, in the bigger picture of my life, it has always turned out to be an absolutely necessary "thing" to have happen, in order to move me into the next phase of my natural emergence...

My favorite story is of Mandella sitting in prison, which needed to happen to make the rest of his story come to fruition.

Thank you for sharing this dear; I wish you everything wonderful you can imagine Shannyn

Namaste'
n huggles dear
Char

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(@patriciamarie)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Oregon, Hillsboro
Posts: 17

You wrote, "what I choose to spend the majority of my time and energy focusing on, is pretty much what shows up in my life."

That reminds me of the story of a native American grandfather who told his grandson that he often feels like there were two wolves fighting inside of him; one was evil and wanted to do evil and destroy things and the other good and wanted to do good things and protect. The grandson inquired as to which one won. The grandfather explained the one he fed won.

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Silver
(@charee)
Joined: 5 years ago

Reputable Member     Canada, Hawarden, SK, Canada
Posts: 219

Oh yes Patricia, I was sharing that same story just today in conversation with a dear soul, the one that wins is the one we feed the most. The story of to wolves as told by the Cherokee grandfather is a wonderful story but more so, a wonderful truth. . .

Thankyou Pat, you are appreciated dear

Namaste'
n huggles dear
Char

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Posts: 17
(@patriciamarie)
Active Member     United States of America, Oregon, Hillsboro
Joined: 6 years ago

Hi Shannyn,
 
I can see that you need some encouragement. I frequent a couple of sites that offer me that same encouragement. This site is one of the best. You indeed are not alone.
 
I had a similar problem with spiro. My doctor first prescribed spiro in a relatively low dose. But my baseline T level was very near the top of the scale (well over 700). She kept increasing the dosage trying to get the level down. When my kidneys acted up, my endo switched me to Finasteride. It blocks DTH. Its primary use is to treat BPH, and is also the main ingredient in Proscar and Propecia. It discourages male pattern baldness. For us trans folks, that's a double win. While my T levels are still higher than I'd like, the rest of the effects are all positive. The hair on my had has started growing again. I'd not had a haircut 1992 and three years ago when I started HRT at age 72, my hair had topped out at shoulder length and refused to grow longer. In the past three years, it's added 3 or 4 inches and is now past my bra strap and seems to be a bit thicker.
 
I find it interesting that you used the phrase "testosterone poisoning". I've used that phrase for a couple of decades now in reference the development of secondary male sexual characteristics, such as facial hair, body hair, vocal base notes and muscle mass. I feel like testosterone hasn't ever done me any favors. Though I'm more fortunate than a lot of our sisters in the trans community, in that I don't have a lot of body hair or a dark beard. One of my wife's friends once remarked that I didn't have 5 o'clock shadow -- that was in thirties, however now, I do have a bit of a shadow, much to my dismay. --
 
I told my endo that my primary interest in starting HRT was giving my body chemistry a little push toward the feminine. In that I've be successful. My secondary interest was in developing breasts. I'd really love to go braless and still have a noticeable bust. Not so much luck there. I have developed some breast tissue; enough so that when I'm topless in the bathroom, I'm more comfortable with my reflection. But I remind myself of the old limerick that a friend of mine was fond of;
 
There once was girl name Liza
Who had breasts of two different sizes
One was small
And nothing at all
The other was huge and won prizes
 
My left breast is a B cup, and my right is barely an A. On my frame, to be noticed, I should have a solid C. .
 
Like you, I have to concern myself with other’s perception of me.  I’m totally out to my wife and don’t really have and men’s clothes anymore so I wear women’s clothes 24/7 But about 1/3 of my wardrobe is butch enough that those who need to see me as a typical male, they can do so. 
 
Sometimes, I walk a fine line in my presentation. Like today, I retired from being truck driver three years ago, but after a year, I got bored so I started driving school bus. My DOT physical was due, so I dressed in some knee length shorts and a twin set with a pair of flat sandals. The shorts have strings hanging at the hem. I tie those in a small bow and leave the tails hang down. To me, my sandals are obviously feminine, but without other markers to tip the scales, people don’t seem to notice. When I went for my physical, I buttoned the shirt since my driver’s license has the dreaded “M” on it and they saw me as male. But when I went grocery shopping immediately after, I unbuttoned it revealing my matching tank top and pendant necklace so the folks at the grocery store who are used to seeing me as feminine saw me that way. 
 
I'll leave you with the comment that my pastor has done a sermon on. "Bad things can happen to good people."
 

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Subscriber
(@shannyn)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Posts: 6

Thank you Patricia. I love reading other's experiences, even when they might be painful as well. The more we share, the more we grow, I think. I never expected to get such great response to my article. I've been blogging for over 2 years and the comments are few. I guess it truly depends on the audience and visibility. All the best to you.

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Posts: 4
Member
(@wandas)
New Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Joined: 5 years ago

Hi Shannyn,

Let me start by saying I live in North Georgia. I always knew there was something wrong with me (at least I thought there was). I have come accept the person that God made me to be. I am in my early 60’s. I came out to my wife a few years ago and started seeing a therapist about 4 years ago. I haven’t started HRT yet but that will becoming soon.

I am lucky that I have been working from home and will continue to do so(hopefully until I retire in a couple of years).

Just know that you have us in the community to reach out to. Good luck with your journey!

Love,

Wanda

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Subscriber
(@shannyn)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Posts: 6

Wanda, great to hear from you. Always nice to meet someone new from the same state. I'm not sure how far north you are, but maybe someday our paths may cross. Take care and thanks for the support.

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Posts: 1
Member
(@zena62)
New Member     United States of America, Alabama, wilmer
Joined: 4 years ago

i to went through simler thing as reg male or guy but was secretey finding out my inner self eventhough i knew was meant be male image i plundered through my mom's bra's an pantyhose knowing her panties would never fit me also going through her cologne putting just little daps on my face n neck so it wouldn't be strong or too loud my oldest sister once dressed me up as little girl either make pfun of me or wishing she had another little sister i making like didn't like it or want do it but on inside was enjoying it after that i kinda hit n missed bout doing it then 1 time was camping out with friends down street they happen notice i was some pantyhose they kinda made joke's bout it but knew it was keeping me warm on very cold night after that nothing else was said bout me wearing pantyhose anyway my story goes on an on}zena

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