There was this guy who had a lot going for him.  Handsome, funny, intelligent... never had much of a problem dating anyone he wanted.  Concertmaster of the orchestra in high school, lots of friends, starting point guard on the basketball team, got mostly A's with a few B's. Got the highest GRE scores in the history of his college, then a Masters' degree.  Performed very well at work... both there and at school, was always considered one of the "stars."  He earned well into the 6 figures as a technology consultant.  Married an intelligent, beautiful woman, bought a house in the burbs, had two children.  He got into triathlon and made a large group of friends there.  Clearly, here was someone who had it all.

Although... his humor could get a little sarcastic and biting at times. Too biting.  Come to think of it, he performed well enough at work when it came to sitting in front of a computer, but he could never quite get that whole "people" thing down.  And furthermore, it's true that he did have friends, but whenever he moved on in life, be it from a school, or a job, or a situation, that was the end of those friendships.  He just let them go.  Friends and family noted a simmering anger about him; they'd sometimes remark that he was hard to get to know, a bit of an enigma. Maybe there was more here than meets the eye.

Keep peeling back layers, and things got worse.  Once or twice a week, he'd leave work, stop at the local convenience store, get a 12-pack, polish off 10 of them by 9 PM, and pass out.  He'd wake up in the middle of the night and aimlessly drive around wearing some article of clothing that he dared not be seen in come daylight.  Fall back asleep for maybe an hour, and come into work bleary-eyed and exhausted. He ran up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, buying and throwing away clothes, repeating the cycle, each time swearing never to do it again. He has a 2-inch scar on his hip from cutting himself, and multiple scars on his stomach and worse places from burning himself with cigarettes, almost 20 years ago. He used to catch himself in a good mood, and think, "Why are you in a good mood? You have nothing to be in a good mood about. Stop it." He realized that he had little self-worth, but never understood why. Clearly, here was someone who had very little.

If you had told him that someday he'd be describing this in a forum that his real-life friends and many others read, he'd have told you that you were crazy.  He would have been right.  He would never have written this.

*I* am, though.

Why?  Why on earth would I make public these intensely private things, which I went to great lengths to hide for years?  It's a virtual certainty that there is someone out there reading this, going through similar angst as I did.  This is for you. I know, it seems pretty hopeless at times.  Looking in the mirror and finding it impossible to see anything remotely feminine or masculine about one's self. Hiding a secret that is far too embarrassing to confide to anyone. Get some help.  There are more resources available to help you than ever. More and more of us are emerging out of shameful closets and into society's consciousness. You can do this.  Just one short year ago, living the rest of my life as my true self was an unreachable pipe dream.  The unreachable pipe dream is now my reality. It can be yours as well.

I'm going to work tomorrow, for the first time.  I don't think it is going to be anything spectacular.  It's merely the first day of many to follow, where I live my life as the person I've always wanted to be... myself, nothing more.  Life will be much better as myself. That said, I am not one of those transitioners who hates the person she used to be, ceremoniously burning old photos, yearbooks, clothes and such.  I've learned a lot from that guy.  He had many good qualities.  I've read about the experiences of others who have gone before me, expressing sentiments such as the old them is dying, etc. I do feel a little solemn, but I don't feel like any part of me is dying, or dead. The experiences of the past 39 years have forged the person I am today, and I've learned a ton from them. I'll carry forward the good stuff and never forget the bad.

Often I read that the first year of transition is the most stressful.  I dunno.  I'm adding in going to work. Life will be as stressful as I allow it to be.  I'm sure at times it will be a bit of a whirlwind. There will be days when I am exhausted, and there will be low points where I will feel like giving up (on transition, not life).  In those moments, I will remember that guy.  I will remember the dysphoria, and life will go on.  I will turn 40, then 50, then 60, and then be a "little old lady."  What will *that* be like?  Will I be happy?  Will I be alone?  Maybe, but it's pointless to wring my hands about such things now.  One step at a time. I'm taking a big one tomorrow morning.

Bye, Tim. <3


awwwwwww a very heartfelt post. And wow a very good way of going about it, IMHO. I wish I'd thought about doing something like that.

I do actually remember a twinge of sadness when I changed my name, realizing that I was still fond of the old name because it had been with me for so long.

As for work, it can be as stressful as you and/or your coworkers make it so I hope it goes very well!!!!!!!

I hope today went well for you and better than you hoped. Having got to know you over the last year or so via P.E., I want to thank you for always sharing and responding to me. And for inspiring the rest of us. : )

Good luck with everything and always know that you have plenty of good vibes from cyberspace.

BTW, I don't see you as a "little old cat lady"... maybe a COUGAR though! ; )

IMHO you're just now passing the most stressful part. Welcome to the rest of your life. :-)

You did it! You are an inspiration! Anything more is just me groveling for words. I haven't met you but you's sincere and thank you for all you have done!

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