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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Gender uncertainty all of a sudden

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Author Topic: Gender uncertainty all of a sudden
SheepySeahorse
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Figuring out my identity once seemed so simple. I've always seen myself as a girl but...

"gender curious." I've seen myself as a girl forever with long hair, many dresses,etc. , but then I've thinking about what it would be like to not so much be a boy, but have a penis, maybe wear more emasculate clothes. But I've always liked not having hair on my legs or on my neck, upper lip, chin and cheeks and liked having breasts, even wishing I was a bit curvier from time to time. I have never had any qualms about being called, "she" or "her." I'm attracted to girls, but that doesn't really have anything to do with it. The idea of being male is fascinating, but does that really make me trans* especially since I've known and felt I've been a girl, all my life?

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SheepySeahorse
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And I stuffed my pants a few minutes ago...it felt interesting, and this curiosity just started bubbling a couple of days ago.

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Cricket
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You don't have to put a label on yourself around these feelings unless you want to - gender curious or gender questioning might be nice phrasing to sit with while you explore your feelings.
Scarleteen has a really good article about gender identity that you might want to take a look at: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/genderpalooza_a_sex_gender_primer
You can also check out http://genderfork.com/ which is full of text and photography made by people who are exploring, questioning, defining, and celebrating their varied genders.
The other thing to remember is that there is no test you have to pass to be "truly" trans* - you are the only one who gets to define your gender.

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SheepySeahorse
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Hey, I haven't been on the cite for a while. My mental health is probably at an all time low. The thought of being trans* is literally all that I think about 24/7. Stuff about my body has faded away, but now I don't enjoy anything anymore, I feel guilty all the time and I'm trying to talk to others and psychologists/therapists. I can't see my way above, below or around my obsessive thinking and its extremely stressful. Concentrating in school was very hard this past semester and I don't have much faith for the next one. I cry a lot and sometimes I'll start doing something like clapping, fidgeting or rocking. My dreams have been crazy and I've had one nearly every single night. I'm horny, but already being socially awkward and having this crisis there's no way I can have a relationship or a real career or anything. I may go on OCD meds (please don't judge me, it's not the ideal for me either but I am miserable) and I literally don't know what this means for the rest of my life. Life would have been so much better if the thoughts hadn't started to begin with. I know this sounds really offensive and dismissive or whatever, but it's true. When I mean all this started all of a sudden that's what I mean, but now it's the only thing I think about. It's not this lalala skip in the park experience. It's bigger then me and it's controlling every single aspect of my life. I feel disconnected when I'm referred to as female, but what would being male me it doesn't really feel like me. I know that all these terms are subjective but that makes things a lot more complicated. This past year has been an emotional roller coaster ride of unravelling. I feel like a disgrace to queer people and others but above all myself for struggling to have the life that I want to.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hey, Sheepy, I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling this way.

Have you done some good reading my other trans* and genderqueer people? If not, I can think of a couple books that might help get you through this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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SheepySeahorse
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Honestly, at this point I feel it would upset me even more. The main issue for me is that it's the only thing I can think about. There were literally no hints of it until I read a short story with a trans character and a random post or two. It all started as a little thought "maybe I'm trans" and then it was a thought that never went away. It's exceedingly overwhelming. I don't have interests anymore. I've read some posts of people going through similar situations. But, the main issue for me is that this is all I think about every single moment of every single day and every single night. I don't want to take meds because I'm in denial of myself or something like that-- it's because I don't feel whole and I can't function. I am looking at this from a psychological standpoint. I've been talking to a close friend of mine who's a transman who's fighting his own battles of various sorts. I can't relax. If I'm physically alone (like I've been for most of break, I crumble). I know someone reading this must think I'm an awful person for wanting to become bigger than these thoughts and look at them, but I am suffering. It feels like everything's so fucked up, like the universe hates me.

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Robin Lee
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Do you feel like you're getting the psychological support you need to work with this? Do you have a doctor you're comfortable with with whom you can discuss your reservations about meds?

It sounds like something needs to give, and that may mean taking meds for a while so you're able to think more clearly and broadly and work through some of this without the obsessiveness creeping in.

What I'm hearing from this is that the obsessiveness is bigger than the gender concerns right now, but I could be not understanding you correctly. What are your thoughts on that?

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Robin

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Oh Sheepy,

I have had my share of depression at university. Those feelings like the universe hating you, and like bouts of circular anxious thinking come from nowhere are all to familiar. For me it hasn't had the same gender dimension as your experiences have held.

I have really benefited from face-to-face academic and strategic mental-health support from my university and I'm seeking more therapy. It's helped me but not in the sense that I'm some how cured, but I have a sense of where I'm going to. If your college has anyone who can offer this help it's so worth seeking it if it might help.

I noticed you've half-apologised a couple of times about how you're feeling and your decisions:

quote:
I may go on OCD meds (please don't judge me,
quote:
Life would have been so much better if the thoughts hadn't started to begin with. I know this sounds really offensive and dismissive or whatever, but it's true.
quote:
I know someone reading this must think I'm an awful person
I strongly feel you're not an awful person. Your no disgrace to queer people including me. You're working on yourself which is something all of us who have struggled with being queer have needed to do. These are your feelings about what this is like for you, and about what will be best for you. You've a right to receive zero judgement about these things. Having your own very specific feelings which intersect both mental health issues and a sense of trans* potential identities or gender dysphoria, doesn't invalidate anybody else's.

I think it shows a lot of strength that your working on this... you're facing it, questioning it and considering options that you evidently have conflicted feelings about like medication, that isn't easy. Furthermore you've talked about not feeling like a relationship is something you can do right now. In hindsight I'm so glad that that I wasn't in a relationship at the times when I thought I wanted one, given what I was going through emotionally, it wouldn't have been a good idea. Your knowing that about yourself is helpful... but I don't attach the same permanence to it as you do.

What you're dealing with right now is not a career, or a relationship, or even a universe pitched against you... (honestly there is no such conspiracy). But there are present issues your facing and feelings that are really hurting you. The long term aspects of how you might like to eventually identify as and how you might deal with other changes in your life are things which can slowly become clear for you, with the hard work that comes with that. If you work on it you can do it, it just takes time and things really will get better.

It feels like given all your facing now it would be worth focusing on the immediate things that are dictating your life now, with a therapist (who is trans/queer positive!) if you have access to one, like the shame you're attaching to even having problems(there's no shame in having problems), like finding mental time away from thoughts about being trans*, like exploring the possibilities of medication and whatever else might be useful to you and like and like needing people around you. Your gender identity is not something that you have an obligation to resolve... "I don't know and nothing fits" is as good an answer as any... even if it's not what you want in the long run.

I have a lot of faith and belief that you can do this, there's nothing you've written that makes me think otherwise. Do you think you have what you need to continue with that?

By the way, it's your body, your mind and if you think medication will help you, you should definitely seek it out, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. So often for my friends who've started meds, it's not a last resort but just one step in a changing process, and one which can always be adjusted.

I hope I've been able to help. My best wishes, Sheepy!

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SheepySeahorse
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Thanks for your responses. I've talked to a few different people, and I hope to talk to more specialists, etc (who have worked with LGBT people). And yes, I think it's best to focus on the obsessiveness/depression/sluggishness right now more then exploring whatever. So I do think that meds are, at this point, the best choice for me, especially since I've talked about my issue again and again and it's the same thing, again and again. I'm going to study abroad for at least a semester. I hope I have the capacity for that.
For more of a background, I guess look at the posts I've made over the course of this emotionally debilitating year. I had just started to get used to my lesbian/queer femme female identity for a couple of months when this all started. I'd gained self-confidence in my body, look and personality before it all started. Now I just feel fake no matter what. This whole depression thing requires a lot of support for me. I really don't know what it all means. I feel like I'm wasting all of my parents' money with all the expenses this means. And what about the things that made me so happy and alive? Now I'm dealing with a label with no depth or history to it, but certainly persistence. It seems like happiness is a delusion and misery is truth. I didn't expect to have to work for happiness and have relaxation be an effort-- but that's how my life goes.
I know that a relationship is not a good idea and trust me, it's not the sort of thing that happens naturally to me anyway (in relation to the universe thing, the one guy I briefly dated recently started dating a transman who's new to campus-- not hung up or anything, just what are the odds)
Well I'm going to a relaxing, nice but not super helpful hypnotherapy session tonight (trying to feel bigger than my thoughts it's not some "pray the gay away" type thing). Hopefully I can at least to begin to get up from what is literally the most depressing period of my life (I thought 19 was going to be the best age ever, so much for self-confidence).

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SheepySeahorse
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Is there anyway to message or e-mail me to talk about this one on one?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hey, Sheepy: I'm afraid that due to a whole bunch of limitations, including financial and staff-based limits, as well as issues around things like legalities and such, Scarleteen can't offer advice/conversation services to our users via email or private messaging.

But if being able to talk privately one-on-one is what you feel you need right now, we probably can help you find counseling/therapy services in your area where you can do that, with people who do have that ability.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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SheepySeahorse
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Ok, that's understood. I wondered why the PM thing wasn't working. I go back to school in a couple of days, and will be talking to people/having therapy so we'll see how things go.

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