CaptainWildRose wrote:Unfortunately due to certain circumstances in my life moving away might take a extra year or two before i can be myself.
The reason for this is because i need to be able to support myself first and then when i get the chance I'd move in by myself so i wouldn't have to hide, but for now I'm stuck here.
rubyted wrote:I think internalizing and hearing that the way you are is sinful, wrong, or perverted over time can definitely be serious! Is there anything you feel like you're learning about self-love or self-compassion through this situation?
There are definitely ways to move out of the house that don't involve college! And in terms of manifesting/imagining your future - that sounds like a beautiful way to live, and it's so important to keep your mind trained on that or at least allowing the possibility of that future even if it feels far away. You deserve that. <3
al wrote:Hi Thea,
I just wanted to pop in real quick and say that I'm really, really glad that you're here.
Scarleteen is a space that was really important to me as a young person, back before I was even engaging with my sexuality or gender identity. I grew up in a small rural town where most people had very conservative beliefs and I didn't know a single person who was part of the LGBT community. I didn't even realize that I could be queer, because I was so focused on surviving and fitting in in that environment. But Scarleteen felt like a safe space and a home for everyone, especially if they've been told that who they are or how they feel is wrong, and it helped me hold on while I sought out other people and places and things that allowed for more queerness, more weirdness, and more of me being myself, exactly as I am.
I hope that, in the meantime, we can be that for you too. <3
Sam W wrote:Hi Thea,
I'm so, so glad that reaching out here and other safe places has been helpful to you. You deserve all the support you can get. If there are any topics you want to talk about, or questions you want to ask, we're always happy to help.
Those feelings of envy make a lot of sense, especially given how restricted your options are for expressing your gender at home. Even if you know intellectually that other people aren't wearing those clothes AT you, it can still poke the button of "darn it, I could be doing that too if only things were different."
With manifesting and imagining your future, can you tell me a bit more about what the future you want looks like to you? Aside from living in your own space (or, at least, a safe space), what things would that future include?
With having compassion for yourself, and learning to push back against the messages you've internalized, something that can be really helpful is giving yourself permission to take your time. Sometimes people talk about self-love like it's this switch you can flip, where one day you have a hard time even liking yourself and the next you love yourself without any trouble. But the reality is more that it's a very non-linear process, and one that can take some time. I think you're actually already taking a big step in that process by seeking out spaces like Scarleteen where you can get messages that encourage compassion for yourself rather than shame.
Amanda F. wrote:Hi Thea,
That sounds like a beautiful future, and I just know it is 100% possible for you to have it! Right now it might seem far away, but trust that you will have space to make that future come true soon. There are a great many people who will see you for who you really are and love you for it. I'm sorry that your family isn't giving you the support you deserve - but there are definitely others who will. You are at one point in your journey, and bringing up that vision of your dream life can help you get through some of the muddier parts.
I'm curious to know what kinds of positive messages you might give yourself (and would be happy to brainstorm with you if that would help). For example, sometimes I close my eyes and think to myself, "You're doing your best, and I admire that." Or "This is a good body and I'm proud of all the amazing things it does." Are there similar things you could say to yourself each day, like a little positive loving mantra? You deserve those loving and warm thoughts, and you can give them to yourself for starters. <3
Your question isn't weird at all! Dysphoria can ebb and flow, and you may notice that these shifts happen during different activities, including pleasuring yourself. It might also change depending on what you're wearing, who you are with, what else is going on in life, other changes taking place in your body as you grow and develop, etc. It's important to know that you don't need to feel dysphoria 100% of the time in order to be trans. Trans Summer School: Am I Trans Enough? has some more advice on that. Basically, you are in charge of your gender, and you know yourself better than anyone else. If you feel that you are trans, or non-binary, or whatever feels right to you...than that's what you are.
When our brains and bodies are aroused, that can put us in a different state of mind, and that can affect your dysphoria. Can I ask how that temporary shift in dysphoria makes you feel?
Sam W wrote:With saying positive things to yourself, if your body image if something you struggle with, are there other places you could start those affirmations? For instance, are there things you like about your personality, or skills you have that you're proud off? They don't even have to be big things at first, just things that give you a moment of going, "huh, I guess I am pretty neat."
Describing dysphoria as an ocean is a actually a helpful way of thinking about it, because it lets you acknowledge the fact that it isn't always at the same intensity. Too, as you get into a place in your life where you have more freedom to be out safely, you'll likely find that you get to do things (whether that's wearing certain clothes, starting hormones, etc) that do help lessen that dysphoria. But just because it lessens doesn't mean it was, or is, any less real.
Looking at LGBT friendly places to live sounds like some excellent future planning. Sacramento does have a pretty solid LGBT scene in my experience (I went to college nearby there), and if it's a closer location to where you are now, that could make it easier to get to once you're ready to move out (moving counties is less costly than moving states too). That being said, I can certainly see why getting as far away from your birth family as you can feels like a safe option. When you're looking at those other LGBT friendly places it can also help to think about what kind of work you'd like to do in the future, or if you have educational goals, or other things that might make one place a more obvious fit.
If you're looking for ways to stealthily explore your gender, there are a few in this article that you might be able to do: Trans Summer School: Gender Expression Gear. That can give you ways of feeling more like yourself that don't involve other people's stuff. Do you see any things in that article you might be able to get away with?
I'm creative and kind, and can be very empathetic but I'm not sure what to say to myself with these things.
Jacob wrote:Hi Thea!I'm creative and kind, and can be very empathetic but I'm not sure what to say to myself with these things.
You just did! I wanted to drop by and say how great it is you're able to talk about your qualities. I think something that has helped me is when I remind myself of those qualities, and remind myself of how those qualities can help me survive and face difficult feelings and situations.
Kindness is a really powerful trait to feel you have and it can be helpful to pivot your natural kindness towards yourself when you need it.
It could be as simple as making and decorating a poster that says "I am kind" (I was advised to do something similar once and it was very helpful) so when you are feeling shame and dysphoria, you can look at it and remember spending time making it and say "I am kind" not only to recognise one of your qualities, but also to think about what being kind to yourself in that moment could mean.
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