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Topic: conflicted

  1. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    20 April 2021

    Hi I am at a very difficult time in my life as I want start a discussion with wife about transitioning to a woman.

    I have always felt female and wanted to be female but in my generation this would never have been accepted or respected.

    I have been married to a wonderful woman for 39 years and I do love her and my children and grandchildren.

    I desperately don't want to hurt anyone but I am struggling more than ever with my identity and I don't know how much longer that I can keep my secret from everyone.

    Everyday I feel I am just lying to myself and I don't know how much longer I can do this for.

    Every time I see a woman of my age I just ask myself why couldn't it have been me that was born female and not trapped in my male body.

    I am very concerned about my current state of mind as I can only think about this issue and nothing else.

    I started to cross dress from a very early age and only ever felt a complete person when I was dressed in women's clothes.

    I am desperate to try and move on with my life but am terrified of the damage that I will cause to my family.

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5708 posts
    20 April 2021 in reply to Kara01
    Hi Kara01, 

    We are so sorry to hear that you are stuggling at the moment, it sounds like you are going through some really tough experiences with your relationships and identity. We want to thank you for coming and sharing your story on the forums, it is a really brave step to take. 

    We think it could be useful for you to talk to someone about how you are feeling and so we have a few great resources for you to check out below. There are phonelines + web chat services so you can choose what feels best for you. You can also have a look around the forums and join discussions with others if you feel comfortable. 

    Phonelines
    Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
    QLife 1800 184 527
    Lifeline 13 11 14

    Webchat 
    BeyondBlue (1pm - Midnight) https://online.beyondblue.org.au/Webmodules/chat/InitialInformation.aspx
    QLife (3pm - Midnight) 
    https://qlife.org.au/resources/chat
    Lifeline (7pm - Midnight)
    https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat/

    Thank you again Kara01 for coming to the forums for support. Please feel free to update us on how you are going if you feel comfortable - you are always welcome.

    Kind regards, 

    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    20 April 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thank you Sophie for your kind reassuring words I will look into these options the only issue I have at the moment is being able to make contact to discuss my situation as I don't won't my wife to find out just yet as I am terrified what it would do her as I don't think her or my family will be very understanding of how I have felt all of my life.

    I will just have to wait until an opportunity occurs to allow me the time to make contact when I am allow.

  4. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    1554 posts
    20 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi there

    I wonder whether you could also google how to have the conversation? I imagine there would be some resources out there. Just remember to delete your browser history. Also suggest there are probably some support groups you could connect with when the time comes.

    All the best, Katy

  5. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    20 April 2021 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel

    Thanks for the suggestion Katy I will definitely look at all options to try and minimise the pain that this will cause.

    She's a good person and i just want to try and make it as least painful as possible for her.

    I am thinking of starting a conversation with family doctor and see what happens from there.

  6. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5708 posts
    20 April 2021 in reply to Kara01
    Hi Kara01, 

    A discussion with your doctor is a wonderful place to begin as well. Congratulations on beginning this journey and thank you again for being brave enough to share this experience on the forums. Please remember to check back in with how you are going if you feel comfortable doing so.

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
  7. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    20 April 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Well I have made the appointment to see my family doctor in a couple of weeks so I have taken the first step on this journey but unfortunately my anxiety has now gone through the roof as I wait for the date to roll around.

    Trying to keep occupied to keep my mind off things but having a hard time to stay focused at work.

    I am trying keep stress levels down but every time a look at my wife I feel like I am about to betray her and destroy 39 years of marriage I feel I am being selfish with what I am doing but my mental health is damaged badly from years and years of denial and suppressing my true self I have always been Kara inside even if not on the outside.

    I have started looking at pictures on the internet of women my age just try to imagine how I would look after my transition.

    I have a female family member who I might reach out to after seeing my doctor as she has a bi-sexual daughter and talk to her as I need to find some support some where to talk this out before I proceed further.

  8. Helarctus
    Helarctus avatar
    116 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hello Kara01,

    It sounds like you have already given your approach to your family a lot of thought, you have already described how you have always felt, that you love and appreciate your spouse and all your family. That this isn't about trying to hurt anyone else, this is something that is true about who you are and you feel you are finally ready in yourself to accept and become physically that person.

    Your friends and family are exactly that, it has taken you a while to get your head and heart around who you are. When you talk with them let them take some time to process and understand that the person isn't changing, just the shell, like changing from a pair of jeans to a skirt.

    Establishing some connections within the support communities and your doctor will also help as there will be other people with very similar stories about their life experiences.

    You can be concerned about the your family, that is part of loving them, but they love you as well and staying in your current form is damaging you.

    I hope this has helped.

    Helarctus.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Helarctus

    Thank you Helarctus for your kind words of support this has been a very troubling time for me and hearing other voices of support make me feel much better. I know that this journey won't be an easy one as there will be many bumps along the way and hopefully with the right people around me to provide support and help me get through this so I can come out the other side who I have always felt I was inside.

    I hope I don't loose too many people from my life but I know there some who won't support my decision and that will be their loss not mine.

    I think of this like being in a car crash and being physically scared no one would stop loving because of how I look but there will be those who can't accept the physical change, but who I am in essence remains unchanged.

    It's just another layer of who I am and of who I need to be.

  10. Helarctus
    Helarctus avatar
    116 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hello Kara01,

    You are right, if some people are not able to process the change and they choose to separate themselves that will be their loss as you move on to become a happier and healthier you.

    Regards,

    Helarctus

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    691 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi Kara , it is a huge move just to post let alone bare your soul . Welcome . Everyone here cares and although we have different journeys there are many parallels . Have a double appointment with your doctor and be quite honest to . You need to feel comfortable for this appointment . By reading on the forums as much as you can find what appears relevant for you there will be many bits you can join together that will help .

    I hope this helps , it feels like it but you are not alone.

    Jo W

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Thanks Jo, it was a beginning to start to post here as I have never shared my inner thoughts with anyone before I have booked a double appointment with my doctor so I don't feel rushed I am going to be open and honest with her as I a need to talk face to face with someone in a non threatening environment.

    I am hoping that this will get my journey to true happiness underway. I know that it's not going to be easy but I have to start somewhere.

    I am not ready just yet to reach out to any support groups as my concerns are about what affect this is going to have on my relationship with my wife.

    I am sure that there is going to be a lot of anger towards me and a lot of hurtful things will be said once the discussion has been had.

    I just don't know how to start the conversation and whats the best way to approach it.

    I don't know if it would be wrong to reach out to a female member of my family first before I speak with her as she may feel betrayed by this person as they have a long association.

    I think one of biggest issues will be with my children as I don't think that they will be very understanding of how I have felt all of my life.

    I think they will be very supportive of their mother and stand with her no matter what happens.

    I also have a elderly mother who I will need to have the conversation with and I am not very sure what her reaction will be but if she doesn't support me or understand my mental health issues I don't know what I will do.

  13. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    691 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi Kara , I was terrified when Jo was born ( a huge event , took a whole day ) I live alone with a little dog so that part was easy . Had Gender dysphoria since first memories . Am quite old now . Struggled all my life with mental health due to dysphoria and other things .

    Although there are many differences in our journeys , I found reactions of people around me were very different from what I expected . Specially in the medical field .

    I was absolutely terrified for the first appointment and it went so well . At that stage I was all old me .

    This has been my experience though but the true self is the important one here and I guess that you know that anyway .

    Take care and time . You can track some of my journey in chats I have in the transcendent rainbow cafe .

    Jo W

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    21 April 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Thanks Jo for your kind words, I had always known that I was different as from an early age I always want to play with dolls and do dress ups which later became crossdressing.

    I only found out recently what Gender dysphoria was and it cleared up so many unanswered questions and also created a lot more.

    I have managed to suppress my inner self for so long until the other day and it just hit me that I have been living a lie for most of my life.

    I just couldn't go on any longer lying to everyone and most all lying to myself.

    I am hopeful that my appointment with my doctor will help me to start my journey as it's getting harder everyday to pretend that everything is okay at home and at work and I just need another voice and set of ears to hear how much pain I have been in for most of my life.

    The support I have received has been wonderful and appreciate all of the kind words and advice I have received here.

    I have never had an opportunity to discuss my issues as there hasn't been anyone in my life that I felt I could trust with my deepest secrets.

  15. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    691 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi Kara , Jo's birth ( not quite right terminology but it will do ) was early December 20 . I am quite old . I was lucky as it was an event of magnitude that could not be overlooked or mistrusted . I had one regret though , that it didn't happen many decades earlier . As it turns out ( for me ) the reason was I simply was not quite ready . I had a permanent struggle like you . It sounds like there are many parallels in our journeys . Rather than living a lie I view it as doing my apprenticeship . It seems to, that things progress to slowly at times ( frustrating ) but I have learned now to let the journey work that out ( seems to work for me ). Since December 20 I have not had to swim against the current for one minute . There have been so many surprises ( all good so far ).

    Take care and I do hope so very much that between you and your doctor you can keep your wife by your side and thoroughly enjoy this together .

    Jo W

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Thanks for sharing some of yourself I just feel a little bit better each time that I speak to someone here.

    We do seem to have some things in common as I am in my early 60's so a lot of water has gone under the bridge between the two of us.

    I am hoping that after the anger has subsided that maybe my relationship with my wife can continue though it be a different one.

    I am fortunate that I don't need to be concerned about intimacy issue as my wife lost interest a long time ago at first I thought it was me so I quit smoking and lost weight hoping that this make a difference but it didn't so we are more companions and friends.

  17. CalmCat
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CalmCat avatar
    354 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi Kara01,

    I've just read all of this forums messages, you sound like one brave and courageous person.

    I'm so happy to hear after all your personal growth and change that you and your wife are still companions and friends.

    There are so many support groups out there, especially on the app MeetUp and some facebook groups where you can connect with people in the same boat as you.

    All the best, you sounds like such an amazing warrior!

    Regards,

    CC

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to CalmCat

    Hi CC thanks for your lovely words of support.

    I hope that I haven't mislead you with my last post regarding the relationship with my wife.

    Unfortunately we haven't had the conversation yet about my transitioning to a woman as my first appointment to discuss this with my family doctor isn't until the 1st pf May.

    I terrified about what her reaction will be as my expectation is that there will be a lot of hurt and anger towards me.

    My biggest fear is that she might ask me to leave I am trying to put together a emergency back up plan if this does happen.

    I am praying that this doesn't happen as I still love her but I am just going to have try to understand her side as much as she needs to understand the amount of pain that I have been in for most of my life.

    The other issue that concerns me is how this affect work situation as it's a very blokey work environment.

    I guess I will test out their HR policies around bullying and discrimination in the work place as my physical appearance will have nothing to do with my ability to do my job.

    Stay well and hopefully we can chat again in the future.

  19. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Hi Jo I hope all is well in your world this morning.

    I was wondering that maybe in the future we would keep in contact as read some of your threads at the rainbow cafe and I hopeful that when I start my treatment and begin my journey that you might be able to give my some insight about the physical and emotional changes that you went through.

    I had a bit of a breakdown at work yesterday as I was reading through our HR policies about discrimination to see if they had covered my up coming situation.

    When I read that it did I just broke down crying and had to go outside as I thought I was going to faint as I just felt so overwhelmed with emotion and maybe a sense of relief that they had covered gender identity.

    I will understand that if this information is to personnel share as we all need to feel safe when sharing intimate information about ourselves.

    Hope you have a great weekend as I am off to Tasmania tomorrow morning for the AFL game in Launceston on Anzac Day.

  20. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    691 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Couldra , firstly your very welcome to join in on the TRC thread . You will need an empathetic ear for this first bit of the journey . We are here for that .

    I am very aware of the energy you will use in the next few months and beyond that to I guess . Monitor your energy closely . Some degree of exhaustion will be present and that is not helpful . ( I burst into tears a lot , however I always have ). I have BB help number in phone book . Not had to use it but have come close .

    Am 69 in September , and as you know from cafe live in a remote area . Also work as contractor in a very blokey industry . Interestingly I had pruned my customers down to 3 . One is local and I have worked through covid with him and all is good there but I have to tell him now ( been to wet to work for a while . Ground still wet underneath . To soft for D 10's ) as I have changed presentation . ie : lesbian haircut ear studs etc . Have been stressing over going back to work and out of the blue one of the three customers rang last Saturday and we had a chat about working again ( told all customers at end of 19 was having a nervous breakdown and would call when and if I was over it ) then near the end of that chat I told him about Jo . He said is that all , my grand daughter is trans , he immediately addressed me as Jo and we had a lovely chat . Blew me away .

    I have a 3 point plan for transition on the phone and a picture of a trans lady I once met ( at a meeting ) and when I started seeing doctors I could pull the phone out and show them . The picture is the benchmark . ( to old to be that beautiful , but sure I can be very elegant though ).

    Ask doctor if you can see a psychologist to . I have been since early 2020 . That needs to be very comfortable so as I have heard you may have to shop around .

    I feel your anxiety . Am with you . When I get up at stupido'clock every morning I look straight into a mirror ( glued to wall ) and always there is a grin and I say morning Jo . mmm

    Could never do that before . Totally different look to pre Jo . Maybe I might achieve beautiful ? Psyche thinks so . We will see .

    Was going to do stealth . Celebrate not hide for me . Plan is live in the middle of the spectrum .

    You tube , Luka "The Gender Code"

    ABC " Call Me Care "

    Lol and hugs if needed from the never never .

    Jo W

  21. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Thanks Jo for be understanding of how I am feeling right now.

    I guess I have never been someone who focuses on looks to much I suffer from male pattern baldness so addressing that going forward will be another issue and also hair removal due to being quite hairy.

    All I am looking for is to the best me that I can be so I have many physical and mental issues to deal with going forward.

    I don't think at the moment that I can't over come any of these with help and support from the people that I hope will support me going forward.

    After I speak with my doctor next week I am planning on getting one of sisters whom I am very close to, to come around so I can talk face to face with her.

    I am also going to speak with my cousin and speak about the issues that she faced with her bi-sexual daughter.

    I know I am going over the same ground but next Saturday can't come soon enough as I am desperate to speak with someone so I can at least gauge what sort reactions that I will encounter.

    My biggest issue is going to be trust, who I can and can't I trust, I have to make sure that any of these people won't ever let my wife know that they new before she did.

    All the best have a great weekend and thanks for the support greatly appreciated.

    Kara

  22. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    691 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi Kara , apologies for the predictive text adjustment to your name on last post .

    Just back and unpacked shopping . 90 km round trip to nearest shop , 260 round trip for a supermarket .

    Was thinking , something I didn't know for a while and it might help to know and work on confidence. The true self has given me buckets of confidence . It will make things much easier .

    I have 3+1 kids from first 2 marriages and none ( genetically ) from third . They are all good with Jo .

    I think talk to doctor first before anyone else . ( then you never have to look over your shoulder or trust anyone . ) Do with that what you want , or not , that's just me . x

    Often a day can seem like an eternity to . take care .

    Lol from the never never . Stay warm .

    Jo W

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Thanks as always for keeping me grounded.

    I will definitely be spending my time with my doctor week wisely and depending on how the discussion goes will then possibly move onto my family or sit down with my wife and try explain all of this to her.

    I have three children and 3 grandchildren, was lucky enough to walk my only daughter down the isle last year when got married to terrific man so at least she won't have missed out on that experience.

    Hope to talk again real soon most probably not until next week as I am in Tasmania on Saturday and Sunday.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    25 April 2021

    Well back from Tasmania after a quick overnight stay.

    Having some body issues right now and have decided that if I want to be the best me I need to change how I live my life.

    I have always been active but unfortunately very poor diet which has caused me to carry extra weight so I have made a number of changes in the last 7 days to help me feel better about myself and where I am heading.

    I am counting down the days to my appointment with my doctor to start planning my transition, I am both excited and terrified at the same time.

    I am having a lot of good thoughts right now about where I am but I also have been trying to plan how I can best tell my wife and family about my decision.

    I know that this will be difficult for everyone I am planning on telling but I have some very strong female friends and family who I will hopefully be able to get support from.

    I think trying explain how I have felt for the last 50 years will be difficult but if I am open and honest with them about things that I have kept hidden may help them to understand why I must do this now as my mental health can only take so much more.

    I will be speaking on Saturday night with one of closest female friends who is a psychologist and she is going to help me to find some counseling services to help me a long the way.

    I also found out that I do have access to these services through my work place and they are completely confidential.

    Hope everyone is happy and well and looking forward to more conversations.

    I can't live any regrets about not taking action sooner about this problem.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    691 posts
    28 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Well done Kara , that sounds like a great path , I am very happy for you .

    Am in Brisbane at present and totally exhausted . Been a happy but busy time of much learning.

    Take care , from Brisvagas , Jo W

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    28 April 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Nice to hear from you again hope you have a wonderful time in Brisbane.

    I will hopefully post an update on the weekend of how my appointment went and what is the next part of my journey.

    Regards, Kara01

  27. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    28 April 2021

    Hi Jo just wondering if you might have any advice for me as to when I should start the conversation with my wife about my transition.

    The only reason I am asking is that I think there will be a lot of medical appointments I won't be able to hide from her any longer and would rather be up front with her so I can move forward hopefully with her support.

    I was thinking that maybe after have my appointment on Saturday and talked with friend the phycologist that I could sit down with her on Sunday and open up about my mental health and gender issues.

    Would appreciate any suggestions if you feel comfortable offering advice on this very sensitive subject.

    As always happy for any suggestions that might ease the pain that this will cause for her and for me.

    Kara

  28. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    691 posts
    29 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi Kara , I think it would be very wise to listen to whatever your psychologist has to offer .

    For me I always think honesty is best . Timing is up to you . I trust my feelings .

    Be true to yourself . Every journey is unique and I imagine there are plusses and minuses in all .

    Jo

    1 person found this helpful
  29. CalmCat
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CalmCat avatar
    354 posts
    29 April 2021 in reply to Kara01

    Hi Kara,

    Thanks for letting us know the lovely updates on your current situations with your wife regarding your life changes.

    I think talking to her Sunday would be a great idea. But do what feels best for you, go with your heart and let the journey unfold naturally, I'm sure everything will be fine as she sounds like such a loving and caring person.

    To make the experiences softer, maybe take her to your mental health professional and have a couples session. If you have mental health on your health insurance you can claim therapy as a couple, make the most of your cover if you have it. I'm sure the Medicare session would allow for couple therapy also.

    Let us know your thoughts.

    Regards,

    CC

    2 people found this helpful
  30. Kara01
    Kara01 avatar
    99 posts
    29 April 2021 in reply to CalmCat

    Hi CC as I have said many times before that I don't want to hurt my wife with what I am planning on doing but I know that there will be some pain for both of us once we have the discussion.

    I will do anything everything in my power to try and minimize the amount of hurt that this will cause.

    I am hoping that having been together for so long that the bond we have is strong enough to survive.

    I won't be able judge where we stand until we have the conversation, as I can't hold this in much longer as it hurts to much mentally and physically and feel I need to be honest with her as deserves that from me.

    I am scared and excited about what may or may happen this weekend.

    Kara

    Your advise as always is appreciated as I don't know what I would have done if I didn't discover this forum full of caring, wonderful and sensitive people who let me share the beginning of my long awaited journey.

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