Discovering the power of writing

I have always enjoyed writing, be it a poem, song lyrics or a personal letter. I worked as a designer/artist and consultant for many years and had the privilege of writing text for brochures and promotional material for clients. I have also spent many hours searching, reading articles and books; anything that might help me to understand the way I have felt throughout my life and keeping those feelings suppressed for far too long.

One day, quite by chance, I stumbled upon a counseling website run by Gay Hendricks and his wife. He is a successful psychologist, writer and teacher in the field of personal growth, relationships, and body intelligence. I can’t remember exactly the title of the article, but it was along the lines of “Loving Yourself Completely.” For the first time in my life, I found something I could identify so strongly with. So much so, that it transformed my life and thinking from that day forward.

However, once I found the ability to accept and love myself, I discovered that I needed to deal with so many feelings and emotions, further heightened by the effects of hormone meds. I suddenly felt in need of support and/or a way of coping with the internal turmoil. I began to write about my life from the earliest memories as a child through to my life in France, where I now live.

I began writing about my life early in 2017, soon realising the power of scribing my thoughts onto paper. Reprocessing each line as I constantly scanned them, checking the flow while making sense of words, sentences, and memories as they appeared before me. As if I had turned on a light inside my mind allowing so much to be uncovered. So many things began to fall in place, like pieces of a jigsaw, creating understanding and many tears. The depth of emotion that I found was something that I embraced completely. I truly believe that the whole experience made me a better and more complete person.

In retrospect

Looking back on what I had begun, it felt like a self-healing process. At the time, all I knew was that it helped me to make sense of my life, the issues, difficulties, and sadness that had plagued me and affected those close to me. The later was something I thought I’d protected my family from by being secretive. My, oh my; how wrong I was?

I can’t quite recall why I chose to create a website shortly after the first few articles, in hindsight I consider that it was a good idea. In addition to describing events since my childhood that affected me, it provided a record of the changes and progress that I’ve made during recent years. At the time of creating the site, I didn’t know anyone like myself. I was in need of any form of support, reassurance or clarification of what I was doing. I had times of self-doubt and questioned my decision. It was hardly surprising after a lifetime of denial and trying to conform to living as a man.

I continued writing, analysing and learning more about myself while gaining confidence, too. In the spring of 2017, I sent a message to my daughter. I asked her to look at some photos that I had uploaded privately with a link to them—pictures of the new me. My heart pounded in my chest as I anxiously waited for her reply, hoping she would not react badly to the images. She replied quickly in a text message to my phone. It read, I still love you dad.”  I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was to read. I gave her the site address, which allowed her to learn more about me in her own time. Since then, the site has been very helpful in allowing my family and friends to gain some understanding of the events and decision made during my life. Albeit, they believed that they already did.

Power and effect

I wanted to illustrate the importance and effectiveness of writing as a process in helping, not only yourself through this journey, but with those you care about and who are connected to you. I am not suggesting that it will solve all of your problems, but it can assist in providing easy access, understanding, and enlightenment to others. Transition in the way that we comprehend it is a relatively new thing in the world. Most people have very little understanding of what drives us to this. What it is that compels us to take a path, which can result in rejection, loneliness, heartbreak, and more?

I have written this article to share an aspect of my own experiences and to encourage others to reflect on their own lives. Share your discoveries, courage, outcomes and key aspects in your own progress. Perhaps, consider writing parts of your own story. The essence is getting it to flow and read well, to feel satisfied and pleased with its completion and in yourself. Try to remember how you feel before and again after writing it. Being truthful can be more interesting than fiction and just as strong. It doesn’t have to be published online, but this is a good and safe place to give it a try

Accepting who you are can be a monumental accomplishment itself requiring a lot of strength and courage. Don’t be afraid to learn, question, and be courageous. And above all, be honest with yourself. We can learn new things about ourselves if we allow it and choose to seek it.

I wish you all the very best as you walk this road.
Hold your head high and learn to love yourself for who you are.

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Born in London, England and a life long journey incorporating two marriages and a long relationship that eventually brought me to France. My two children and all of my family are fine with my choice to finally be the person I have always been. I am a creative, artistic soul who loves good food,cooking and real friends. Will I ever fall in love, will someone fall in love with me and does it matter? I have the love of my family and some very good friends in my life

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Shannon
Member
Shannon (@limbo)
2 months ago

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this! The reply from your daughter was wonderful and sets my emotions into new light. Prior to journaling about my gender dysphoria and becoming truer to myself, I never put much value into journaling. However, my therapist suggested that I begin journaling about what affects me and how I feel about not just my gender identity and dysphoria, but everything in my life for connectedness. Now, I write in my journals (yes, multiple) several times a day. I can read back and find comfort, encouragement, and strength in my thoughts, dreams, and… Read more »

April King
Member
Active Member
April King (@april-king)
5 months ago

So glad to hear your voice again Sophie! I have missed you.

Hugs,
April

Annette Cross
Member
Annette Cross (@annettecross)
5 months ago

Thank you so much Sophie for sharing your experiences with all of us. I’m just started the long journey of find myself and, most important, accept myself. As you, I needed support to, so I was lucky enough to find a Gender Therapist in my city and one of the first things he ask me to do is writing my memories and a diary, he told me that write has therapeutic effects and it is one of the most useful things to discover ourselves. Your experience and your results gave me confidence in my future, I hope one day I… Read more »

Sharon Lewis
Member
Sharon Lewis (@sharon)
5 months ago

Some time ago, well before i found this site, i started to write a letter on my computer and not hidden about Sharon. What and when things had happened in my life that I had not really questioned but were indercators, to who i should have been.
It is a live document and it has made me reflect in some of the decisions i have made over my life.

As my computer is used for the financial and family photo’s and stories, when I pass on it can’t be ignored, so the letter may help those who follow on.

Sharon

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