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Advice on where to start/ get help

An open discussion on trans gender.

Advice on where to start/ get help

Postby Alissa Kane » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:55 pm

I will start by apologising if this isn’t well written and seems long but I don’t really know what to say and I feel like I need to get some things off my chest. As a quick background I am a standard male, relatively large and broad in build. I would say fairly confidently that to others I appear rather masculine on the outside, but for many years of my life, I have privately wished that was not the case. At my current state I cannot say if I’m trans, have GID or whatever, I don’t know, and have never seemed out professional help. I could say fairly confidently to myself that I would want to transition, but am unable to bring this up or act on it for the fear of the consequences that could occur and this has caused me many issues over years.

In July of 2016 I posted here talking about this stuff, asking for help on what to do when no one suspects a thing, effectively how to come out, and eventually said how I told my mum, which I did. What I didn’t say was a few days later I backed out, try to explain it away and told her to forget about it. I don’t know if she has fully but it’s never been mentioned again. I backed out as I felt like I was being a burden and didn’t know how to answer her questions. I felt ashamed and I didn’t say this in the previous post, but also don’t want to say as I can see 1,300+ ppl have viewed it and I hope it has at least helped someone else.

Anyway, fast forward to now and my feelings are much the same but I’ve done a year of living by myself, had more time to think and not looked after my body very well as I would say I hate it, which needs to stop, but unfortunately I’m very good at hiding it from family and friends. Ive gotten new friends, which are a lot more diverse (Bi, gays, met some trans people where as all my previous friends were straight). A few of them know I self harm (and some of them do too) but I’m never able talk about my issues as I can’t bring myself to talk about it or make them worry. Anyway, that’s the situation I’m currently in.

Now to the question. I understand that I should get help before it gets worse and have someone to talk this through with, but want to keep my family out of it for now. For trans people who also wanted to get help by themselves what did you do? I’ve thought about therapy, which is probably the best way but my financial support is just living expenses sent from home for living at uni (no maintenance loan taken out for uni, just tuition loan) which is not particularly large and I understand therapy can be expensive. Was there anything else helpful you found, such as support groups or similar? Any suggestions would be appreciated as currently I’m just lost on what to do.
Thanks and sorry again for what is probably a post that is way to long and poorly explained.
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Re: Advice on where to start/ get help

Postby Snaga » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:58 pm

Have you thought about seeking out any help at Uni? Surely they have counselors? And for that matter, some LGBTQ groups on campus that could provide some peer support? And maybe a Uni counselor or LGBTQ group could glom you onto some low-cost/free counseling services off-campus, too?

You don't know if you're trans, maybe, but you certainly sound something. You're clearly not happy in the skin you're in, it seems. I know it would be hard coming out about that to family, and I understand. But I do also think that putting that off, if you've had no change in your feelings about your body, just makes it harder when you do decide to pull that trigger. Or, more tragically, the idea of you going thru your whole life never addressing that feeling inside you. And never feeling happy. Better to explore this, talk to whomever you can get hold of/afford, and doing something about it, if you decide that's what you need to do, to feel 'you', than winding up in a situation where more and more people would be hurt and bewildered: future spouse, children, etc. Being young, I think it'd be a lot easier, than when you're much older.

Just my two cents. I'm not much of one for transitioning without lots and lots of thought, but you seem to have some gender dysphoria, or some kind of core dissatisfaction with what you are. Some people go to therapy and figure out it's other issues that they mistake for needing to transition. Some people find a way to live in their own skin. Some people know they'll be happier with transitioning. You won't know unless you start trying to find out. And I think the best way to start is by talking to a counselor if it's offered at your school.
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Re: Advice on where to start/ get help

Postby Alissa Kane » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:36 am

Thanks, I hadn’t really conspired Uni stuff too much as it seemed too public to me. I’ve made contact w/ the society at my Uni via email. Got invited to a small talk group that the society does. Not sure what to expect or how it will go but still very nervous/ uncomfortable and it’s better than doing nothing again.
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Re: Advice on where to start/ get help

Postby Snaga » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:13 am

Unless it's a very conservative institution of learning, I really can't think of a better place than Uni, if you have to make use of free resources.

And it's better than nothing, for sure. Keep us updated and vent anytime you need to.

I forgot to ask about the self harm. Are you still prone to do that? Don't forget we have a cutting and self injury forum, if you need some support there. In addition to starting a thread, we have a couple stickies, a How Are You Feeling? thread, and a crisis thread for people who are really struggling with urges, or have badly self-harmed.

When people with gender dysphoria start talking about self harm I get super worried, I won't lie- especially if the harm is aimed at resented body parts... I'm like, I want to hold their hands and remind them they might need those bits later for reassignment surgery- or if a person turns out to not be trans, don't want to have done something bad to the body they decide to keep.... and tell them please please don't do damage they might regret, there is a long view to take into account- current circumstances do not have to last forever.... take advantage of the self injury forum if you need to, sweetie.
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Re: Advice on where to start/ get help

Postby Alissa Kane » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:08 am

Unfortunately self harm is an issue still, however not in those areas. To avoid giving any detail I’ll just say this time round it was accidentally worse than normal so partly why I decided to do something before I do serious damage. As an update met with some trans people on campus. I hardly said anything but it was nice to just listen as they’re the first I’ve ever really had any proper contact with. Thanks for your concern.
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Re: Advice on where to start/ get help

Postby Snaga » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:58 am

Cool! It's good to be with people who can sympathize. And I'm glad your not hurting yourself in any sensitive places. Try to stay safe.
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Update

Postby Alissa Kane » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:34 am

So doing an update of my situation in the hope that it may help anyone in need who is viewing this thread, especially as National Coming Out day was so recent and it may be at the forefront of some people’s mind. If this should be in a new thread or not done just let me know.

My Unis LGBT+ society seems to be pretty good and understanding and I’m especially grateful to the trans rep as she has made herself available for a lot of things, even a 1 on 1 meeting that I requested to talk. Over the past 2 weeks I’ve done a lot of thinking, research and been attending some of the society’s meeting and I’m gradually building up confidence (still very early on and way too soon for me to come out to anyone outside of the LGBT+ Society).

Furthermore two days ago I went and saw a GP at the Uni to talk about my gender dysphoria and associated depression as well as a referral to a GIC (doing this now as waiting lists are abysmal on the NHS, but at least I have that option). It was incredibly nerve wracking but honestly not too bad. He was incredibly calm and helpful about the matter. He asked for a quick synopsis from me to send off with the referral and gave me some info to read and how to get some counciling if I want it at the Uni.

So far my advice for anyone who is questioning or needs some help, try and utilise any resources you have available for free as they are most definitely confidential and even just talking it through can help immensely. Once again I hope this can help someone and I wish you the best of luck.
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Re: Advice on where to start/ get help

Postby Snaga » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:12 pm

Sounds great, Alissa! Sound advice, I should think. If there are any resources available, no matter how thin they seem to be, it beats doing nothing and having a guarantee that nothing will change, and that a person will remain miserable.

To me, things sound as if they will be looking up for you- it may move glacially slow, but at least you're doing something. You're not the first here to be dealing with the NHS, but once the ball gets rolling, it seems to roll well.

There's another user on here, a FtM, who was... just in a bad home situation, work situation. He despaired for so long, but things change. He held on, life circumstances changed, and now he's into his HRT and feeling so much better. It was just heart breaking, before things finally began moving, but now that they are, it's a joy to hear from him on how he's doing, so far it seems as if everything is looking up, and it's so great to see success stories. He's still got a long way to go, but he's getting there, he feels good about his situation, good about himself, and you can't really ask for more than that.

Looking forward to hearing good things about the direction you go with your life, whether it be continuing down this path, or choosing another one.
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Tell someone you love them today, for Life is short. But scream it at them in Klingon, for Life is also terrifying and confusing.

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