Reply To: Struggling with loneliness

Melanie Penson


Hi Vair

I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, though my transition is in the other direction. We are all people in the end, human beings with thoughts and feelings.

I have known for most of my life that I didn’t fit in being male, yet I wasn’t “girly enough” for the girls either so I am painfilly aware of loneliness, not having anyone to relate to. I thought I was the only one who felt this way, trying and failing to understand this world. I certainly couldn’t talk to my parents; it was a strictly binary world where I grew up. My mother had had a terrible childhood and still is not good at expressing love and affection. I felt totally and completely alone growing up. I remember sitting in my mother’s chair just after she’d left for work, holding her still warm coffee cup in both hands and wondering if this was the only warmth I’d ever receive from her. I would usually be in floods of tears. I would wear her clothes too, loving the feel of tights and silky slips and it felt so right to wear skirts and blouses or dresses too.

I had been forced to supress who I really am for over 40 years, just so that others can feel comfortable being around me and so that I conform to my parents’ and society’s expectations of my birth gender. I do believe this dysphoria has been behind most of my anxiety and depression, and most suicide attempts too ( some have been work-induced).

In Feb 2017, I had a third massive breakdown in as many years and, whilst recovering, i decided “too hell with expectations and to hell with hiding in the dark, I’m going to do what I feel is right for me”. I began living as Melanie, the woman I have always known I am inside.

Things have happened that I wouldn’t have believed possible years ago. I now have a wonderful circle of ( mostly female) friends who totally accept me as “one of the girls”, I was socialising, before lockdown, as a woman, dressed in skirts, blouses, lingerie and hosiery. It felt amazing and still does. Everyone has noticed the positive differences in me since I “came out”, though my mum is having a hard time accepting the “loss” of her son (that happened in 1977).

There is hope out there, and a lot of supportive, accepting people who are willing to guide, advise and comfort you; all you have to do is reach out, to me or anyone else here. Life WILL get better, but it won’t happen overnight. I see my journey as a walk up a mountain from the dark valley below. I am.probably only a quarter of my way up, but I can see the bright, flowery and most of all sun-lit meadows of womanhood ahead and that is what keeps me going.

Take heart Vair, love and hugs from Melanie xxxx

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