Chrissy, the “why” of how you came to feel like this is still the subject of medical research. If you have questions, well, join the club. Just understand that what you feel doesn’t make you “sick” or perverted in any way; you’re just different. “Different” from what “most” other people consider “normal” – but good luck getting any solid definition of just what “normal” is! (Prisons are full of people who would basically meet any basic social definition of “normal.”) I’d suggest that, if you are in a position to afford it, that you seek out a therapist with specific experience in (trans)gender issues. He/she can help you explore your feelings and help you come to a firmer conclusion about where you fit into the gender kaleidoscope. That said . . .
You wrote: “I am attracted to women but I also find myself wanting to be them.” Holy s**t! That describes me to a “t”! As a teenager, I had to endure the total mind-f**k of not only “wanting” a particularly attractive girl, but also simultaneously wanting to BE her, or at least like her. Whew! Tough gig for a hormonal teen male! My response to this was (ta da!) denial. Played football, joined the Army, got married, had kids, did other “guy” stuff to “convince” myself that I was a real, normal (whatever that is) guy. Yeah . . .
Well, here I am today, writing this note here on TGH, living 24/7 as a woman, out to all my family and friends, on HRT, and floating in a sort of daily low-level euphoria. The first surgery (tracheal shave) of likely several is on the near horizon. Truth is, I lived in that denial a LONG time, trying to “bribe” myself with occasional crossdressing binges, and only recently chucked it to accept the truth about myself. Long story there.
Good luck on your journey! There are many here on the TGH site ready to help you with whatever reasonable advice and guidance they have to offer. – Dana