Hi I’m Harry! I need help navigating parent’s lack understanding

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  • #100026
    Harry Cain
    Participant

    Hi all! I used to have a friend I shared this stuff with but she’s ditched me (yay!). So here I am.

    I told my folks I was transgender in the middle of year 9 (2016), but had been going over and over it in my mind from about middle of grade 7 onwards. As a kid I was as feminine as you can get. I loved pink, dress ups, dolls, fairies, you name it. But when I saw other girls hitting puberty in grade 6 (I was a late bloomer), it freaked me out. I remember it being very clear in my mind that I couldn’t grow breasts. The thought of that horrified me. And from there, when I finally hit puberty, it hit me like a truck. I felt wrong and disgusting and trapped.

    So when it all got too much, I told my circle of friends at the time. They were all very supportive but it didn’t give me a whole lot of satisfaction… My parents were my main concern. I’ve grown up in a conservative, religious household, which doesnt bother me, however it has complicated things slightly…

    When I came out to my mum, she automatically went to researching all the “Christian forums” and basically all the anti-trans stuff as well as detransitioners stories.

    Every time I tried to talk to her, I A) couldn’t get the words out or I B) upset her, and watching her cry was way too painful to bear. My shame and guilt for being this way led me to self harm, which I am not proud of. It was certainly an unhealthy coping mechanism.  In the meantime I had the undying support of my best friend and in the middle of 2017, I finally got a shoulder length haircut which was a reluctant compromise…

    That alone gave me a happiness/confidence boost. Up until the end of year 9 my mum had forced me to wear the skirt to school (My school had a uniform) so things were slowly getting better. I still couldn’t talk to either of my parents though, and found myself feeling progressively more depressed. I tried to bury myself in distractions. I was heavily involved in music at my school and poured everything into raising the standard of the rather degraded music faculty at the time.  Looking back, I really don’t know how I got through it but I did. Year 12 was by far my worst year.  So much of my mind was consumed constantly with thoughts about my gender. It left little room for much else… I was hopelessly forgetful, absent minded and anxious. I missed a lot of school and didn’t have the motivation or the ability to concentrate on my studies. Somehow I passed that year and even received a state wide merit for music which I couldn’t believe!

     

    Leaving high school was a huge weight off my shoulders. It felt so good to be free! Beyond the “prison” that was high school, I pursued my dream of studying the flute at my city’s consevatorium of music. I passed the audition and enrolled for 2020… And we all know 2020 was a write off. For such a practical course it didn’t transfer onto the online platform very well… I soon lost motivation and my intense flute lessons were sucking the joy out of music. I got extremely stressed and realised on my first day back in semester 2 that I couldn’t continue. I felt run down, unmotivated and didn’t practice my flute for 6 months following that. I realised I couldn’t sit around and do nothing. I had my part time job working at my local supermarket (which I hate to this day), but I knew i could achieve so much more. I decided to apply plan B: working with animals. I’m a huge animal lover and absolutely adore dogs, so o started studying to be a vet nurse. I began an internship which was nothing like I thought it would be. I was set to work cleaning for my entire time there, and wasn’t progressing with my actual studies.  I felt bitterly disappointed but I still had my boyfriend and my friend, both from high school. I would soon lose both of them.

    I realised my boyfriend and I were incompatible and the arguments and differences we shared were getting too much, so I broke off that relationship. I felt relieved.

    Over the course of the year my friend was finding who she was. She was experimenting with things I didn’t imagine she would try, she suffered an rating disorder of sorts, and underwent a massive personality transplant. She became selfish, vain, self absorbed and disrespectful of my values which she had usually honoured until then.

    It broke my heart. She stopped contacting me for no apparent reason. She gave me no closure. But she had a boyfriend now, and I figured that, well, she didnt need me any longer. It wasn’t the first time she’s cast me aside. Perhaps that’s what I get for being hopelessly loyal. For a wjile it didnt set in… but i realise now that I’ve been going through a whole grieving process. She may not be dead, but she’s not in my life anymore, and that realisation hit me only recently. And it hit hard. This overwhelming, agonising sense of loneliness came along and sat on me like a big black storm cloud.

    A couple weeks ago I started seeing a therapist for the first time, and I’ve told her all of this. But it hasn’t been easy. Its been painful, and it’s made it virtually impossible to ignore. I’ve been suppressing my gender dysphoria for the past few years now, and I’ve coped well in my humble opinion. At times I’ve even been able to pretend that those feelings arent there and it’s given me a temporary sense of peace, but in doing so, the pain and frustration just gets bottled up until I explode.

    These last few weeks I exploded again. I wrote my parents a 12 page letter outlining why they’re wrong and have no idea how it feels to live every day with gender dysphoria. I forget what I wrote now but I was so angry and frustrated. I just had to let it out somehow and since i couldnt verbalise it, I did the next best thing. My parents read that letter, my mum thanked me for writing it and then put it away in her drawer.  I assured her that i wouldnt medically transition, but that isn’t true. I want to more than anything. But I know it would devastate them, as well as my other close relatives and my brother. I don’t think I could handle the guilt and shame of putting them through that. My therapist tells me to put my happiness first, but how can i be happy when I have to watch my parents suffer for my sake?

    I’m now left feeling depressed and hopeless. I cant sleep, i have no appetite and i feel like nothing in my life is giving me any happiness or contentment. I figure if I was content in myself then it wouldn’t matter if the external things in my life weren’t going so great.  I just feel overhelmed, ignored, lost and alone. I don’t mean to turn this into a pity party. That’s just how I’ve been feeling lately.

    My therapist suggested I come out to someone I’m close to and can trust. She thinks it would alleviate some of the loneliness I’m feeling. But I can’t think who to tell. Everyone I can think of I just keep predicting that their reactions will be negative, or that they’ll try to convince me I’m just confused or something.

    Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Sorry this is so long! I’m just putting my story out there. I’d love to hear from you, and I figure out of all the people I could come out to, you people are going to relate the most.

    Best wishes,

    Harry

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    • #100378

      Hi Harry I’m Loki. I went through the same thing. I understand that feeling and the sense of abandonment when someone you trust leaves. If you need a person who understands message me. I would love to be friends with you.

      Sincerely,

      Loki Jonas Smith

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #100099
      Michelle Larsen
      AMBASSADOR

      Harry, wow, that is a lot to take in and digest. The best part is that you are seeing a therapist, as they can help you in more ways that we can. We do have our collective life experience to draw from, but a therapist has much more. Look under Places -> Local Places, you can search for all sorts of things that may be near you. Or in Social -> Member Directory, where you can search for other people that may be near by. I wouldn’t say you are confused, but you may be not fully knowledgeable…. There is a big difference in those two things…. It may just take some time. Michelle

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