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the extent of the damage

To understand a person like me you would need to know that my entire life has been about doing what I was told was the right thing and being disciplined. Growing up in a loving but deeply religious family and being the oldest meant there was no room for disent. I dutifully complied but suffered quietly and in the process built up enormous self discipline and an attitude that things I undertook could not fail. I didn't drink, smoke or have sex before marriage.

Therefore I saw my dysphoria as something of my own making and as an inherent weakness in my character to be defeated at all costs. I unwittingly allowed the pressure to build until everything imploded in my early 40's when I could no longer manage to keep it all together.

I don't wish that on anyone else which is one reason I write this blog; the other is that I now enjoy it after years of having it be my personal therapy.

I am not certain going to a gender therapist would have been a better substitute to writing down my thoughts and ideas. Having someone listen and tell me to accept myself and be happy was only the first part of the equation at the gender clinic. The second was to look inside all the crevices of the published data much like Jack Molay has done so well in his blog because that is what my brain required.

But then something magical happened along the way and, when I least expected it, my damaged psyche (which was far worse off than I had first imagined) began to repair itself.

But I don't fool myself even now because having gender dysphoria is going to require life long management. The difference now is that I am aware that it is best done when you accept that you have it and deal with it head on.

Comments

  1. Well said. The first paragraph reminds tells us that we are all living in world of other people's expectations that are sometimes impossible to meet.

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  2. Amazing how much we are alike, Joanna. Another post I could have written. Oh, and I too have read everthing I can find on "the subject".

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  3. WOW, a very close parallel to my life.

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  4. I often wonder whether gender dysphoria is indeed "manageable." How does one manage something that seems unmanageable? It's like herding cats.

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  5. it feels like that very often Kati...

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Misinterpreted religion is a big culprit in all this. These negative images of yourself came from reinforcement of stereotypes by ignorant people interpreting what is right and moral by their own barometer. You simply ingested the message and bought it as the gospel truth. Self confidence and critical thinking is the way out of your dilemma. It can…