Showing posts with label self help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self help. Show all posts

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Therapy

 My experiences with therapy started years ago. So long ago I barely remember when. However I do remember I built up the courage to tell my first therapist (a man) that I liked to cross dress as a woman. I remember too he basically glossed over my admission and began to write me prescriptions for such mind altering medications of the day such as Prozac and Lithium.  I don't remember much about the

Jessie with Brutus Buckeye

side effects of Prozac but I know I didn't like or tolerate Lithium well at all. Through it all, the medications didn't have an affect one way or another on my cross dressing. Plus, I felt the doctor must have felt worse talking about it than I did, because he never brought it up again.

Around that time was when I picked up my small family and began to move to various places around the country trying desperately to out run my gender problems. Following a year and a half stay in the NYC Metro area, we bounced back to our native Ohio, to a largely rural area along the Ohio River.  Near that time was when I began to seriously explore the world as a cross dressing woman. My wife knew of my cross dressing desires but never approved of me going out from our house which happened to be in a very rural area. Of course, the more I snuck out the more I wanted to. Which led me to being on a collision course with being caught by her. Every time it happened a huge fight between us took place. One time after a particular nasty altercation, I volunteered to schedule an appointment with a therapist who specialized in gender difficulties or dysphoria, I believe I discovered her information in an issue of "Transvestia" magazine. To do it at all was quite a task because of where she was located an hours drive north of us in Columbus, Ohio. 

Ironically she was a successful trip for all the wrong reasons. Fairly early in our visits, she told me there was no way she could help me with being a cross dresser or transvestite as it was known back in those days but she could help me with the vicious mood swings I was going through. In other words, she was the first therapist to diagnose my Bi-Polar disorder. Through it all, every visit I managed to take, I was prolonging the inevitable next fight with my wife. So all in all, my experience with this therapist was a success. At least the next time I was caught out and about cross dressed by my wife I could say I was trying to do something about it.

My next experience with a therapist came years later when I began my care under the Veterans Administration health care system. One of the main reasons I sought out their help was because I was severely financially challenged and unable to purchase my Bi-Polar medications on my own. Of course in order to be prescribed through the VA I had to be seen by a therapist. This was near the same time my wife had passed away and I was considering starting hormone replacement therapy, so in essence invisible doors were beginning to open for me since this was all in the early days of the VA accepting HRT work also. 

I was really fortunate. The therapist I was assigned is still with me today. A near impossibility in the VA system as I know it. More importantly too, she was willing to listen to me and accept the fact my transgender issues were completely separate from my Bi-Polar issues. She kept me on the medications which had been a success for me in the past and approved me for HRT meds. Fairly quickly she became one of the most important people in my life.

I am aware I could be the exception to the rule when it comes to therapy and many transgender persons resent the idea they need therapy before they can start HRT.  I know also several trans persons who either had a difficult time finding a therapist who deals with gender issues or being able to feel comfortable doing it. 

Hopefully if you have sought out therapy you have been successful finding one who helps you with your gender dysphoria or any other issue you may have,   

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

What If?

 Why does it always seem there is a "what if" to every transgender question. Examples are many. Lets explore a few.

What if I had never went exploring in my Mom's underwear drawers and discovered the luxury of silky hose and panties. Would I have still had the same internal idea somehow I wanted to be a girl just because I wanted to wear feminine clothes. The answer was an easy one because very soon while I was still wearing the clothes of a girl I found the clothes were a stop-gap measure, I really was more interested in being the girl. Not just looking like one. In actuality proving to me I was a transgender woman not a cross dresser.

Then what if years later I had been completely recognized when I was surprised by my wife's boss in a store parking lot. Here was I dressed in a tight mini skirt, flats and wig feeling totally on my own in my chosen gender. I ended up throwing my shoulders back, standing up straight and walking past him without making any eye contact. I say I wasn't completely recognized because he made a point later of telling my wife of the large "red head" he saw in a store parking lot. Of course she made it a priority to tell me knowing full well I owned a redheaded wig and it was my favorite,

There was more "what if" to this experience. What if I had never decided to try to accomplish more day to day womanly tasks such as doing the grocery shopping. If I didn't I would have never

 
encountered a young grocery bagger who was totally flustered waiting on me. Of course it will be forever one of those endearing ego based mysteries. Was he flustered because of how I looked as a cross dresser or was it all because I was a cross dresser to start with. Either way, it was another lesson learned when a woman mentally over powers a man.

Perhaps my biggest "what if" has to with the night at the Fridays restaurant/bar when I decided enough was enough. What if I quit going out doing my best to "fool" the world into thinking I was a woman and see if I could actually exist as one in a feminine world. What if I had actually backed out of the idea after I had sat in my car positively panicked waiting for a half hour for just the right moment to go in. Of course now it is all ancient history what happened. I wasn't laughed out of the venue and ended up establishing myself as a regular for years to come. All as my authentic self.  

From there the dominoes began to fall as I began to explore the possibilities of living a feminine life I had barely dreamed of ever living. Leading me to a huge "what if" I had the determination and the perseverance to begin hormone replacement therapy. Again I made the commitment to "do the meds" and the rest is history as I love it.

In a transgender life there always seems to be more questions. I am nearly seventy three years of age and now it is time to look my final "what if" head on. My biggest fear continues to be what will happen to me if I ever have to go into an assisted living and/or nursing home situation. At this time in my life I keep telling myself not to worry about jumping off that bridge until I come to it. 

In the meantime I am setting my sights on being able to enjoy the up coming Cincinnati Pride Pub Crawl.   

Monday, May 16, 2022

Quiet Time

 This Monday morning Liz is off and since I am retired we took advantage of the cooler morning temperatures to take our walk. It was non eventful as always as we normally have to clean up after our dog who somehow needs to complete his morning "constitutional" in the neighbor's yard. The same neighbor who we saw this morning as she was leaving for work.

Photo by Hello Revival on Unsplash

We have lived beside her, her husband and daughter for years now and have never received a negative comment about a transgender neighbor. Whatever the occasion it is nice to be accepted. Following the walk, I returned to my morning coffee and to ponder what I could write about on such a quiet day.

Finally I decided to write about the rare pleasure (on my part) of having a quiet day. Given my mental makeup, I don't have many moments when I am able to set all my demons aside and just relax. I was fortunate when I found I was able to discuss my Bi-Polar anxieties with my therapist and not have them complicate further my life on the transgender interstate highway. I learned long ago my gender journey was far more than a path...it was more like an interstate. Always busy and rarely quiet. Much like I am. If I am relaxed I am sleeping. 

Throughout my life it has been difficult to separate my anxieties from my gender dysphoria. In fact for years I thought they were intertwined. I have read and/or heard from others when they completed their gender transition, they were able to discontinue using their anti depressant medications all together. No such luck with me. Even though I was able to begin a full time transgender experience in a feminine world, my depressions and anxiety stuck around with me.  Again I am fortunate in that I have been able tolerate my medications for years. Giving me a chance to appreciate the rare quiet morning.

It does give me the chance to thank all of you readers on my long time Google blog and my relatively much newer Medium writers format which is growing dramatically. I completely appreciate all of you who read all my experiences and especially those who take the time to comment. Your input makes my whole effort so worthwhile. 

Thanks to all of you again and I hope you can have your own "quiet" time away from all the pressures the world tries to burden us with. Adding gender to those pressures is similar to adding cruel and unusual punishment to your world.