I agree that it is nice to hear our life’s stories as I am sure they are all very different how we got to where we are today.
To continue my story. I’m pretty sure I was six when I started therapy as I was in the 1st grade. Of course, at that age, I did not understand what was going on. I just went to these sessions as I did what my parents told me to do. I explained to the man that I liked wearing woman’s clothes. After several sessions the guy concluded it was probably just a phase I was going through and that ended that. But the desire to dress as a girl did not stop, it increased. My parents were aware of my desire to dress as a girl. My older brother (4 years older) thought I was a sissy, but my older sis kinda liked it just as long as I did not wear her favorite and better clothes. I think I was 7 when my parents decided that they wanted a second opinion on what was going on. They never made me feel like I was doing something bad, more like it was unusual and wanted to understand what was going on with me. So I started therapy again, this time with a young woman. I remember one day telling her I had this dream of going to sleep and waking up as a girl. That seemed to change what she thought was going on with me. And in anther session I said something about when I grew up I wanted to dress all the time as a girl. I had never heard of somebody being trans and at that young age may not have understood what it meant even if I had heard of it. But anyway my therapist had me see a therapist in Portland which was about an hour away. I had several weekly sessions there and even a couple times went to one in Seattle that meant me taking a day off from school to drive up there and back. When I was 9 or maybe 10 I remember that finally my therapist asked me if I had any more dreams or thoughts about wanting to wake up as a girl. I told her yes, I thought about that a lot. She told me that she and the other therapists thought I was trans. Since I didn’t understand what that meant, she explained it and there was actually a surgery where I would sleep through and when I woke up my “down there” would be like a girl rather than a boy. Actually it was a little more complicated than that as I eventually learned, but I guess she just wanted to keep her explanation simple for me to understand. I remember just sitting there and not really able to say anything. I guess I was kinda in shock. But obviously what she told me changed my thinking. She then set up an appointment for my parents so she could explain to them what she and the other therapists thought was going on. I think they were in as big a shock as I was, but they talked to the other therapists I had seen and eventually they came to accept that. They never made me feel as though I was bad and always told me they loved me and wanted the best for me. I don’t think I really understood or appreciated at the time how important that was for me and they could have had the opposite reaction.
Well I need to stop again so this seems like a good stopping place for now.