Strength — integrate and differentiate (Pt. 2)

Early this year I wrote of how my old self (Him) has taken his place in my life, no longer active or visible, but highly influential and critical to my life.  In short, I explained how my life before transition brought me the point of plunging into my change headfirst with confidence, ease, and so many skills and attributes that he left for me to use for the rest of my life.  He is so important to my life that I would never have arrived without him.  He is my big brother who protected me and nurtured me for 66 years.

In the weeks since that article appeared, I have read other articles and dozens of forum notes and befriended many more beautiful souls here.  I am grateful for all who grace this site and give us all such a safe haven to explore our lives.  I, for one, am convinced that being here with you all has blessed my life beyond measure.  I am also stricken by those of us going through difficult times with family, friends, dysphoria, anxiety, and other obstacles to transition.  This has prompted me to think of my own obstacles prior to starting my transition, and until two years ago, they effectively prevented any effort I made to be my true self.  You know the story… secrecy, shame, lies, disgust, broken relationships, addiction, self-harm… not uncommon in our community.

But, I Survived, And Now I Blossom!


I’ve wondered how and why this happened. How did I get here at this innocent and tender age?  I’ve drawn the conclusion that my survival is due to a hidden strength, powerful and steadfast, but unrecognized until now.  You see, it’s like this.  In my 68 years of breathing, my life has been a dichotomy.  I have been here all along.  So has he.  He was dominant for most of the breaths I have taken while I was present but invisible, hidden deeply away and rarely allowed to be present.  But even though I was very far behind the scenes, I gave something very important back:  STRENGTH!. 

I know that I am a strong woman with unbelievable endurance and determination.  This gift of strength is what got me here.  This is what keeps me going.  My strength is what sustained him, my big brother, during his times of crisis and hardship. My strength helped him cope with a deceitful, anxious, and shameful life, and to be able to continue functioning in the world.   My strength got him through a dangerous addiction, kept his head up when he thought of ending it all, and pushed him onward when he didn’t think he could go on.

Some of you may think, ‘That’s just crazy.  You’ve always had this because you shared the same body.’   I don’t think this meshes well with the universe.   There is a yin and yang, a male and female energy in our world.  The male brings the spark of life.  The female actually grows and develops the life, something the male cannot do.  Giving that spark is almost a casual romp for the male.  Growing that life is a never-ending endeavor for the female.  And that takes a strength that males can not possess.   And, I have that Strength! 

And so do you, my sisters and brothers.  SO DO YOU!  For me, this is evident in your very presence here at TGH or CDH.  You are here for a reason, not by accident.  You demonstrated that strength when you join us here.  You show that Strength when you take part in chat, and make friends, and post pictures.  You use that strength to create, explore, and enjoy your life in the fashion that best suits you.  You have the endurance to see the adventure through to the end.  If you are a FTM member, you were born with it, and have used it lifelong to get here.  Now, it is time to let him provide the spark for a new life.  If you are a FTM member, it is time to acknowledge your own strength and grow that life in you and around you. All of us here have these gifts, free for the using.  No matter who you are or what your situation, you have what you need to have the life you need, that you desire, that you deserve.   I am convinced that you have nothing to lose, and the whole world to gain.  I believe that we need only to recognize and accept that Strength into our lives.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have the utmost respect, love and caring for you all.  We are all on a grand adventure that most people will never, ever experience.  The adventure is with dangers, heart aches, and perils that can’t be imagined.  Only the strongest can even begin this journey, and unless they have started their own adventure, nobody can even begin to ‘walk a mile in your shoes’.  To conclude, you are something so special, so unique, so magnificently strong that we are changing the world.  And knowingly or not, you are a crucial part of that change.

I want to thank each and all of you for just being yourself.  And, for taking the time to read these articles.  Just by being on the site, you have influenced and set an example for others.  I hope that these ramblings make a difference for someone.  But above all, by the time you read these words, I hope you know that you are loved.

Peace and love to you all in abundance

Carly Ellen


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TIME TO UPDATE MY PROFILE: It's hard to believe I've been onsite for 2 years. And 3 years since I began my transition. I freely admit that transitioning turned my world all helter-skelter, but it has been more than worth it. I've made some amazing friends, and had adventures that still blow my mind. Above all, it is the best decision I have ever made. I feel very confident, strong and content. All those old fears about "What if..." have proven to be illusion, creations of my own imagination and insecurities. The process has been amazingly easy to manage. Now, I live as my true self. TGH, as well as my treatment team and family, have been instrumental in allowing me to get this far. I may not be eligible for many surgical procedures due to health issues, but that will not stop me from enjoying life to the fullest. I wish the best to each and every person that begins this marvelous is more than worth it. You can find me in the chat room most mornings and oftennduring the day. My goals are to be a support to others in their journey, and to be a proud representative for all of us. So, ladies and gents. I encourage you..."dare to dream...dare to make your dreams a are stronger than you know." Peace and love. Carly

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3 years ago

Carly, what an encouraging insight, that I needed my male past and my female self got me through. You have changed my outlook. I’m less inclined to regret my late transition – I needed all that time to become fully me.
Love you girl.


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