Finally Getting to See a Gender Therapist

Finally Getting to See a Gender Therapist

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Hi, I'm Mandie! Welcome to my Blog Diary

The thoughts of a girl trapped in the wrong body's closet…

Finally Getting to See a Gender Therapist

An image of a woman in the dark, used as representation of someone hiding before coming out as transgender.

Finally Getting to See a Gender Therapist

 Hey everyone! I know it’s been a while, but this journey continues to take some crazy turns!

Not only have a started a new job with an amazing company, but I’m going on a trip to a work summit next week. My first one ever and I’ll be meeting everyone in person. I’m incredibly excited, but nervous..

I really wish I was meeting everyone as my true self however. But it looks as though that’s set to change. I’ve been struggling to find anyone to actually help me, especially considering I don’t have any kind of a semblance of potential support in my day to day life. I found an incredible non-profit that is going to help me with everything. They’ve actually already set me up with a gender therapist that I have an appointment with tomorrow. That’s so crazy and it happened so fast. But I am ridiculously nervous about the session.

To have someone I can finally openly talk to about everything regarding being transgender and getting the ball rolling, it’s exciting and scary. I have so many negative thoughts and questions because my experience with any other “therapists” have not gone well and have not tried to help me at all. They all kept just trying to prolong the time to get through the sessions. Now I’m worried, what if they tell me that everything I’ve felt and wanted for the majority of my life is all wrong, what if it’s not real. I don’t know how to process even the thought of that.

I’ve spent so much time doing my best to prepare myself to finally accept being happy and being me and preparing for all the loss that’s to come that I don’t know how I would cope with that. Hopefully I’m just doing my usual overthinking everything and it’s all going to be fine and my next post is about what’s coming next. Anyway, wish me luck, and I’ll talk to ya’ll soon!

 

Until next time..

 

X -Mandie- X

Written by Amanda Cook

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The thoughts of a girl trapped in the wrong body's closet…

Quick Life Update

An image of a woman in the dark, used as representation of someone hiding before coming out as transgender.

Life has been rough lately

So it’s been a minute hasn’t it? A lot has happened recently, so let’s get into this quick life update shall we?

Shortly after I posted the blog mentioning wanting to talk to my wife about things, that went to hell even before I could. My wife decided that she wanted to basically say that she hates our relationship, she regrets all of it, and she is miserable and unhappy…but unwilling to anything about it. We talked and I thought we were on the same page of her doing whatever it took for her to be happy, because that’s what i am trying to do as well. A few weeks past, things were uneasy but it seemed like the tension was fading.

Then Valentines Day weekend. Typically I love Valentine’s Day, I’m a romantic sap at heart, so I had gotten her a few gifts that I know she had wanted, we got a Valentine’s box with a bunch of goodies from a local bakery, I thought it was going to be good. Then we got our taxes done the weekend before, and her obsession with money caused her to blow up again and say basically the same stuff she had said weeks prior, but this time in a much more hurtful way. All because we would be losing some of the money from the return because I was without a job last year and couldn’t afford health insurance. The way she took that is that she earned more money so she’s losing money because of me. Because of things out of my control, yet she blamed me for losing my job and a lot of other things that happened because of the pandemic that caused her to make the decisions to spend more money. We were lucky enough that between money saved, the unemployment I collected, and things I stopped doing to save money, that we were still able to pay everything that needed to be paid and make everything work. We were much more fortunate than others through the worst of the pandemic.

Needless to say, she kept threatening to live with her mom, that she had already spoken to a divorce lawyer, basically she was calling for the end of us. To date, none of that has ever come to fruition. I just kind of keep waiting for it to happen and trying to prepare myself. Trying to find ways to save money to move out, and begin my transition. We did have a talk this past weekend about things that have been bothering us about each other and she finally admitted that her anger issues are a big problem and she needs to work on them. However, despite this talk it still feels like walking on egg shells around her. I love her but her obsession with only money and all things negative is incredibly draining and I don’t know how much longer I can handle that and the constant stress and fear of us ending and it being all my fault weighs on me heavily. So there’s that..

Add to that, in that same week we had that argument, my boss/trainer/mentor/friend left the company I had just started at because, honestly, she had to. She was overworked and deserved better. Unfortunately for me, that left me without someone to teach my how to do my job, so the stress of figuring that out on my own, while taking on a lot of her workload after she left has been a bit overwhelming. I think I have worked a plan out to get better though. It’s just been a lot happening at this job in the almost 6 months i’ve been here.

On to a more positive note, I have finally started seeing a therapist. She’s aware of everything going on with me and while we have only had a couple of sessions, after each one I feel great for a while after. So i’m really happy and lucky I found one that I can afford. I’m not sure how things are going to play out talking to her but it’s just really nice to actually have someone I can talk to and be open with about everything.

So, that’s been my life lately. Sorry i’ve been MIA, but as you can see, it’s been a lot to deal with. Hopefully I can keep up with at least a blog a week. I don’t wanna commit to that just yet with everything going on.

 

Until next time..

 

X -Mandie- X

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Hi, I'm Mandie! Welcome to my Blog Diary

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Coping Mechanisms I’ve Used Throughout My Life

An image of a woman in the dark, used as representation of someone hiding before coming out as transgender.

Coping with my secret in plain sight.

Recently I was listening to a podcast called Girlish hosted by Gage Adkins and Olivia Noel, two amazing trans women themselves. In one of their episodes they are discussing their coping mechanisms growing up of how they dealt with being transgender and expressing it their own way. As I listened to the podcast, I started realizing how many of those things I did as well. How much everything they were saying was little hidden things I did to make myself feel better about the hell I was living in and the world I wished I was living in. So, I thought It would be interesting to share some of those things I used to do. Maybe in the future, I will do part two of some things I still do.

A lot of these things revolve around video games. The reason for that is because I love video games. I find comfort in being able to disappear into a world where I can be as close to the real me as possible. To start, I know nearly every one of us has played The Sims. It’s a very addicting game to get sucked into. However, for me, I would literally always play the game as a woman and live and build my life in the game vicariously through that character to resemble the life I wish I’d had. I would spend so much time trying to make her look as close to me as possible, had I been born a woman.

The next coping mechanism was playing Pokemon. Especially when they introduced the Boy/Girl function. I would always choose the girl and I would always try and unlock all of the clothes to try and look as cute as possible in-game. Whenever anyone would ask me why I’m playing as a girl I would always make up some excuse like, ” I alright beat it with the boy so I’m doing a play-through as the girl now”. I always hated having to lie, or even answer that question.

When it comes to video game escapism and expression, I still do this. Whenever there is a game where I can play as the female character I always choose the one that looks closest to me and play as her. It’s the closest I can get to being happy, in this other world.

There is also the excuse I used to use when it came to shows or movies that would have been considered more “girly”, as my family would put it. Or more aimed at teenage and younger girls, like 7th Heaven, Buffy, Dawson’s Creek, Roswell, even cartoons like Powerpuff Girls. All shows I loved, but would constantly have to make up an excuse and defend myself for watching them. I always hated that. Always hated saying that I was just watching it cause I thought such and such girl was hot, or cause I thought the bad guy was funny. When in reality, I can’t explain it but they all meant so much more to me than just something superficial like that.

I know that there are so many more coping mechanisms I have done to deal with and express myself as I was younger. But, If I were to write all of them out then this blog post would be all over the place. I truly wish I had been able to enjoy these “coping mechanisms” when I was younger without having to feel like I had to keep it hidden as to why I enjoyed them. 

I’m curious to know of others’ coping mechanisms when they were younger. It’s something that is so common within the transgender community but it’s rarely spoken about unless it’s asked point-blank. I really wanna know, to anyone reading this. What were, or are, some of your coping mechanisms?

Until next time..

 

X -Mandie- X

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An image of a woman in the dark, used as representation of someone hiding before coming out as transgender.

Coming Out as Transgender and the Roadblocks…

 It’s hard enough living with the fact that your physical body, the thing you have to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, doesn’t match the you inside your head and inside your heart. It’s even more difficult to come to grips with the idea that you have to come out to others in order to live your truth. But, coming out as transgender to everyone closest to you, knowing full well that it could be the end of a lot of relationships. It’s not something anyone wants to voluntarily go through.

 For every single one of us that decides that its time, that coming out as transgender to our friends and family is the first step on our very long road of being ourselves, and being happy in our bodies. Their are others that don’t get that opportunity. They don’t have the support and guidance. Often times they either end up living a miserable life of regret, or they don’t live for very long. It’s a very sad, common occurrence because our society is not very understanding and supportive of not just the trans community, but the lgbtqi community as a whole.

Unfortunately, for me, coming out as transgender has been something I always seem to be on the cusp of. Finally getting to be me. Finally smiling after seeing ME in the mirror looking back at me. Finally getting to be happy. It seems that I or something in my life constantly stops that from happening.  I’m at the point in my life though that I have no more options. I can’t do it anymore. I either need to welcome my happiness in…or snuff it out..

Right now my biggest roadblock that are holding me back are that the pandemic hit me hard. I lost a really good job and it took me almost two years to find another. I’m 100% alone in this that I don’t have to many friends anymore, through whatever circumstances lives moved on and people fell apart. My living situation isn’t ideal. I have my brother living with myself and my wife. The big thing, my wife. We’ve been trying so hard to make our relationship stronger and grow and build on what we have, but I don’t know if she would be able to handle this. I think it would be the end of us. She’s been doing a wonderful job taking care of her own mental health, that this is one burden that has been stopping me for so long from dropping on her.

All my roadblocks seem insurmountable when I really think about them and the domino effect they could have. Regardless, I have made some progress, I have to. I’ve been doing a lot more research into every single step I need to take. I’ve reached out to therapists to begin my own mental health journey. I’ve made a few friends who have already begun their own transition journey and received  so much advice from them. I finally got an incredible job that I love and that will be offering me insurance once I pass probation soon. I just hope it will help with everything I need. Financially I will figure it out. But, those relationships around me. I’m positive I will lose about 80% of them. I’m just hoping that the one I can keep is my wife, I will understand. But It’s a lot to ask someone to change their whole life around to make someone else happy. So I have to be prepared for everything. 

I’d be curious to know everyone else’s stories of what it was like for them coming out as transgender and how that affected everything and everyone around them. And any advice is more than welcome! I will absorb every bit of it.

Until next time..

 

X -Mandie- X

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The Beginnings of My Struggle With Being Transgender

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Representing the loneliness felt quite often for a transgender person, a girl sits alone on the middle of the woods.

The full acceptance of being transgender brings a lot of struggles…but I constantly ask lately..Where do I begin?…

Well, first of all, you can call me Mandie and I am a male to female transgender woman. 

Woo! That’s the first time I’ve actually written that out, and honestly…it feels incredible.

Since I was as young as I can remember I’ve always known something was off, and when I say as young as I can remember I mean, young, like I barely have many memories, but I remember feelings. Those have stuck with me. 

Throughout my childhood, I always had questions and confusion. Especially when my younger sister was born and I realized the difference and felt even more confused..even jealous..which didn’t make sense at the time to little me. Even then I knew I was transgender, I just didn’t know that word even existed.

I remember even asking my mom about it and all she would say is “well, you were supposed to be born a girl” which always confused me even more. Especially when she’d get mad at me and chastise me for doing feminine things. But again, I was confused about it all. Because at the same time she kept telling me I had to be the man of the house and had to behave a certain way, simply because there were no father figures around, or that would stay around anyway. 

So I began building up this front, to be this ultra-masculine, take care of everything, persona because my family and others needed it. Keep in mind, this really began for more around 10-11 years old and only grew stronger every year. While deep down I grew more and more miserable and full of hate for myself every year, knowing this wasn’t me. But for those around me, I had to and have still had to be this way for them. It’s been an incredibly draining internal struggle for so many years.

To say it’s an exhausting life to live is an understatement, especially when masculine things do not come naturally to you and you constantly have to struggle and give others the perception that they do…It wasn’t until I was about 13 when I actually learned what being transgender is, and it changed my world. It explained so much to me and made me think that possibly I had a chance at having a happy life. I just didn’t know how to go about it and didn’t know what to even do. 

You see, my family isn’t very open-minded at all, and because the weight of being the one they all count on always weighed me down to be a certain way for them, I spent all my teenage years with this secret struggling to just get by every single day with the hope that things will change when I get older…Coming out as transgender was not a fathomable option then.

Finally after a very difficult childhood and teenage years, for a multitude of reasons, and after moving back to California and having a little more freedom I started exploring myself and the lgbtqi+ community more. I began really getting involved more online and when I’d go out, and making friends and just trying to build something for myself to be happy. It wasn’t easy because I still lived with my family at the time, but I had more freedom being over 18 and she had a new husband now so a lot of the pressure was off of me, despite still having to keep many things a secret from them.

Finally, when I was 19 I met this woman while I was working. I somehow was convinced to pursue her by coworkers, and being the young dumb idiot I was, I did. While our relationship was a horrible idea. She was 19 years older than me and already had 4 kids, one of whom was almost my age. And she had some pretty severe mental issues. She did open me up to the lgbtqi+ world even more and she was in fact the first person I told in person that I have been dealing with possibly being transgender. She didn’t make me feel bad about it at all. She encouraged me to explore it…however..she only encouraged me to explore it on her terms…and when she did encourage me to explore it, she’d turn it into a sexual thing for her..I absolutely hated that…so I decided to just stop entirely and hide myself away again. 

It’s hard to explain but I hated the feeling of the real side of me being taken advantage of like that. So I just stopped and figured that that’s how it was going to be with everyone and in a way accepted that this is my life. I’d have to hide this side of me forever and live life like an actor and put on this masculine facade for everyone…

Needless to say, it’s been a major factor in a lot of decisions in my life. It’s also affected my mental health tremendously and has been the sole factor of why I’ve attempted or nearly attempted to unlife myself 6 times. I say only 6 times but that’s just in my adult life that I’ve actually been on the cusp of doing it or nearly succeeding. That’s probably the darkest side of my story, but it’s one of the most real sides that everyone of us that is transgender struggles with more frequently than others know. I have gotten better at dealing with it and not going that route again because, well to be honest I focus on my pets and them needing me and despite being miserable and hating every ounce of my current physical being, they love me for me and need me and rely on me and I can’t let them down. They are the light in my tunnel that keeps me going. I’ve learned, and been told, that most people in my life are just fine with or without me in it, and I’ve accepted that because no human should need another human to exist. But for me and the struggle, I deal with…having that extra motivation with my pets truly helps. And possibly has helped encourage me to finally try and be ME. I want to be as happy with myself as they are with me.

So, I know this blog is all over the place, but it’s the beginning of my story I guess. There’s a lot more to it and that’s why I decided to start writing this out. I don’t know where this is going to go, but it’s already helping to share in my story. Thank you for reading and hopefully, you’ll continue to come back and share in my story.

 

X -Mandie- X

Written by Amanda Cook

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Copyright © 2024 Hiding In Me