Hi Allie! Welcome to the site! Reading through your post it sounds like a mirror image of my life!
I’m 64 and I’m tired of hiding anymore! I just want to be the woman I always wanted to be. Like you, I never really wanted to hurt those near and dear to me, but, if I have to remain the way I currently am and take it to my grave….well, it will be an early grave.
If those near and dear to you truly love you for who you are on the inside ( a woman), then they will still love you as you become your true self. You are not changing on the inside, you have in various ways let your true self shine thru. It’s only the outside that changes so that it will match what’s on the inside. Those around you may find as you continue your journey that you will be more understanding, thoughtful, kind, and compassionate because the barriers your subconscious has put in place to protect you are being broken down.
As Danae previously mentioned (we are friends!) we have similar issues just like you. We are in this altogether and I feel we are here to love and support one another. If you need someone to talk with please reach out to me (I’m sure Danae feels the same way!).