Living in another man's skin
It's morning time.
You wake up, brush your teeth, make your bed, eat breakfast. You need to leave your home to make it to work on time but that same nagging feeling paralyzes you. You are trapped. Trapped in a way that no one in your life could begin to understand. You wear your suit, shave your face, put on cologne. By all appearances you are a man. But appearances can be deceiving. You long to scream out to the world, "I am a woman!" You long to be rid of your suit, facial hair, and possibly your penis. You fantasize about long flowing hair, nail polish and mascara. You dream about curves all over your body and bras full of breasts. You can visualize yourself lost in a crowd, just another woman late for work. How unbelievable that women walk around all day in heels, complaining about their feet without ever once realizing how lucky they are to have the option of wearing those shoes.
Not just the physical, but the emotional and spiritual toll is taken every day.
The empty sensation that comes from denying your authentic self. The longing for truth and transparency. These leave you drained at the end of the day. The effort it takes to hide in plain sight is debilitating and makes it difficult to maintain close and true friendships. The fear of the unknown overshadows the possibility that things might be ok.
You are trapped in a body, in a role and in expectations that are imposed on you not only by the society and world around you, but by your own choice.
But you do have a choice.
There are role models everywhere you go. There are the men and women in the coffee shop, at church, at school. They are on TV and have captured the hearts of their audiences. There are allies who stand up with love and encouragement on your journey to self acceptance.
You are a transgender person.
Your body is one sex, but your gender is the other. You are not alone. There is hope, my dear friend. You can live the life you imagine. You can dress in the way that makes you feel free, you can take advantage of medical interventions that make your outside match your inside.
Start today. It won't be easy. There will be people who don't understand and people who hate. There is nothing we can do for those people except remember that they have their own insecurities that color their view of others. Yet more than those who cause you pain there will be many, many more who embrace you. Who call you friend, sister, daughter. There is a community out there, waiting to take you in.
You no longer need to live in fear and shame.
You are transgender, but you are also so much more. You love sports, music and animals. You have so much to offer the world but living inauthentically makes it difficult to reach your true potential.
If this post speaks to you, reach out. Start with a trusted confidant and go from there. If you don't have anyone you trust, reach out to organizations that can help you. Try www.transequality.org or www.transohio.org in Ohio.
If you live in the Central Ohio area and are looking for a therapist to help you on your journey, feel free to contact me to see how I can help. Call 614-500-3194 or visit my website www.silverliningspsychotherapy.com.