On Being a Coward

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On Being a Coward

Postby FliegendeAdler » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:07 pm

How do you all find the courage to take any sort of steps towards transitioning, or even being out and proud? In theory I want to meet other LGBTQ+ people in my area, I want to be viewed as not being a girl, and I want to change my appearance, both medically and otherwise, to support this. I can even imagine myself walking in pride parades with a beautiful flag around my shoulders. I lay out plans with the best intentions, but then-- right when I get to the moment when they must be carried out, I chicken out. I freeze and can't force myself to do what I convinced myself is essential for my own happiness. Last night for example. Once a month in my city a certain bar hosts a queer get-together. I planned the entire day yesterday that I would go, I was even excited about it. But when I was actually standing in front of the bar that evening, I couldn't force myself for all the world to go in there. I was absolutely terrified. And then furious at myself for being such a f**king coward. It's the same with things like buying a binder, cutting my hair short, etc. Even buying clothing in the men's department of a store. I just get paralysed with fear and am unable to go into the damn place, unless someone is with me.
Does this happen to anyone else? Or am I alone in my cowardice?
-Max
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby MikiSJ » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:47 pm

Max

Take your time, do not rush into something you are not comfortable in doing - just do it.

Even the most self assured, the bravest, the most adventurous here stood at the door and said, at least once, what the fuck am I doing.
When writing the next chapter in your life, start with a pencil and eraser - my first page as Miki is full of eraser marks. Doodling is allowed. I have started a new chapter but will still use a pencil.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby nexyjo » Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:15 pm

MikiSJ wrote:...
Even the most self assured, the bravest, the most adventurous here stood at the door and said, at least once, what the fuck am I doing.


15 years later, I still sometimes ask myself, "what the hell have I done?" It does get easier with time.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby car_wheels » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:09 pm

People fake it till they make it. Also, getting friends who affirm your identity is really, really important.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby glitchedwitch » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:46 am

I'm not brave when it comes to this. I'm just so miserable as I am, that the fear is so minor. That's just how it is for me. And even still, I have two chest binders, but I only wear them at night. Like, I could have worn it while I was out today, but I didn't. I'm supposed to be asleep, to go to work at 8 am, but I'm awake to savor wearing it.

I think everyone just forces it until it's real - the comfort, I mean.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby FliegendeAdler » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:13 am

[quote="car_wheels"]Also, getting friends who affirm your identity is really, really important.[/quote]

I feel like that would really help me. My hetero- and cis- friends accept my identity, but they don't understand it entirely.
A good place to find such tolerant people would probably be at queer events in my city... if only I could pull together enough courage to attend them ^^ I was always the outgoing and confident kid, happy in my ignorance-- but it seems like now that I am learning who I really am and what the implications are, I have become cowardly and shy and retract into a shell for safety. I literally can't even recognise this new personality as being me.

Also, does anyone know why the Quote function doesn't seem to be working the same for me as it is working for everyone else? :?
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Ashley@Heart » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:41 am

First the easy part.. You can use bbcode after your fifth post. After that you can quote us all to death if you wish or send private mail.

Second give yourself a break I am just as scared as you. You don't need to go all the way to full guy mode. Why not just start adding more masculine things to your wardrobe whenever you can. Until they become what they are.. Just clothes. For the first time I wore skinny girl jeans to work with my regular shirt. Nobody said a thing. Though I was on edge the whole day. Honestly my growing hair is the most frequent topic of conversation. Since binding can cause problems in the long term maybe try a sports bra that helps a little as a first step if you have not yet.

Have you gone to any group therapy? That can be a safe place to start and make friends that way maybe on the next social event you will have a wingman.
-Carolyn

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.”
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby FliegendeAdler » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:05 am

The problem is that in my city, there aren't really any groups for transgender indivuals... I live in a quite conservative country and I suppose there isn't any call for that ^^ I'm hoping that if I can summon enough courage to go to the queer events that it will get easier and easier as I get to know the people. The hardest part is taking that first step, though.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Ashley@Heart » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:24 am

That is unfortunate, do you have a therapist? Sometimes they can find support through their colleagues.

Another option might be to find a friend to join you if you can.
-Carolyn

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.”
― e.e. commings
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby UnlikeARose » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:54 pm

hi The first step is moving; and the rest of it is easy similar to eating favorite foods without salt (Safari)
Die welt war nicht was ich davon getraumt; aber besser als die dunkelheit im traum.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Toku » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:33 pm

....I'm not out and proud. I don't think everyone needs to know what I am or to use trans as a prefix for who they are. I'm "stealth", I suppose. As few people as possible are going to be a party to info you can't unknow. Besides I'm 'proud' enough as it is, they tell me, and I should probably shut up more often :lol:

I also don't really see the need to be a part of "the community" IRL. I'm just a normal person behind the FTM birth defect, I want to get on with my life. If you want to that's great, at least you know they will be less hostile than the average person, they will at least understand some of the things you are going through in a queer event. I dunno, just go in thinking you never have to see these people again if it doesn't go well, no commitments etc, and it will probably go OK

Buy a binder/clothes online if you don't want to go to a store. I hate clothes shopping with a passion so it's not my fave waste of a couple hours. I've actually overcome my hostility to longer hair since transitioning and refuse to have it short as I've always preferred it long enough to do something with, but not long enough that it gets knots. New haircuts attract attention though, people comment on it and I never liked that aspect of it. That's why it's been a black mop for 15 years, lol. So that feeling of not wanting to deal with that, I get it.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby FliegendeAdler » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:53 am

@ ashley@heart: no I don't have a therapist, it is something I've been looking into though... and I'm afraid to ask my friends to accompany me to these events because I don't want them to feel awkward. My sister has offered several times, but I turn her down, tell her I'm fine by myself... I just don't want to drag anyone else into this, I guess.

@ UnlikeARose: I know that the first step is the hardest and that after that it will get easier- somehow that knowledge doesn't give me enough courage to take that first step though ^^

@ Toku: "the community" is, theoretically, also made up of "normal people". I was hoping to find like-minded individuals with some of the same struggles and challenges that I face. That's the idea. But I am always petrified of screwing up my reputation somehow, if someone sees me go to something like that. I just can't convince myself that the opinions of everyone around me are unimportant.
That's a great idea, though, I will definitely buy my binder online. I hate clothes shopping too xD
And you're right: I don't want to cut my hair for fear of the attention it might bring. I never thought of it in that way before...

Thank you all so much for your input, I really appreciate it!

-Max Jayceon (btw what do y'all think of the second name? I originally wanted to take it as a first name but I suspected it might cause some confusion--- "Max" was my second choice. Then I realised I could have both xD)
I travel Between Two Worlds... between here and there... between then and now.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Ashley@Heart » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:26 am

Max, your name sounds great to my ears.

If your sister knows you and where you are going why the concern? Perhaps a small drink before hand to calm down might help?
-Carolyn

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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Rheya » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:23 am

What you haven't mentioned or brought up is why you are scared or what you are scared of. I know that's not always easy to figure out but if you can pinpoint why you are afraid then it will be easier to deal with and can possibly even be approached in a practical way. Calling yourself a coward and saying you don't have enough courage does not seem to be helping you, perhaps it eventually will - some people do find the ability to overcome fear by berating themselves - but perhaps it might not be the best approach for you in overcoming your fear.

From your introduction thread it does strike me that there might be more going on here as to why you have trouble taking these first few steps. I don't know if you still live at home with your parents or if you've achieved financial independence - which is a hugely important step when living with oppressive and hateful parents. The ideas that they have inculcated are not likely to leave you without a struggle, that doesn't mean you yourself is homo- and transphobic but simply that their blind hate can have deeply affected your self-image and ability to assess your feelings and accept the legitimacy of those feelings. If you spend most of your life (so far) being told what is okay to feel and what is not then it is not uncommon to grow up emotionally stifled and with that comes a powerfully ingrained ability of self-repression.

I might be wrong about everything in that second paragraph since I don't really know you or how you feel or cope with life, or what your current situation is in life. So I apologize if any of it was terribly off.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Toku » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:10 pm

FliegendeAdler wrote:@ Toku: "the community" is, theoretically, also made up of "normal people". I was hoping to find like-minded individuals with some of the same struggles and challenges that I face. That's the idea. But I am always petrified of screwing up my reputation somehow, if someone sees me go to something like that. I just can't convince myself that the opinions of everyone around me are unimportant.
That's a great idea, though, I will definitely buy my binder online. I hate clothes shopping too xD
And you're right: I don't want to cut my hair for fear of the attention it might bring. I never thought of it in that way before...


Sure, I agree, they are normal, but for me going to a group would be out of the ordinary is what I meant. I don't feel or don't yet feel that other people would be able to help me. But you will probably get what you need from a trans meet/group for sure. I have never been to one but I imagine they are discreet to an extent? A bigger event with a wider focus might be harder to find people with the sort of struggles you're looking for reassurance with. But maybe not. What do I know, I've never been. . .

But I will say one thing with confidence, other people's opinions are not worth suffering for.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby FliegendeAdler » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:11 am

@ Rheya: Your second paragraph couldn't have been more accurate. I do still live at home with my father and I struggle everyday with what I'm feeling and the hate that I have been taught... I very much wish I could move out, but my sister has already been kicked out of the house and if I were to go as well than that would mean the end of the family. A lot rests on me not pissing my parents off... which results of course in me being a very unhappy and scared individual, I suppose.

@ Toku: yeah the group is pretty discreet, they hang flyers for example at the universities but no one pays any attention to them if they themselves aren't queer. I mean they do have parades occasionally but those who are afraid of the rest ofthe world knowing who they really are don't attend those events, of course.
I know that other people's opinions aren't worth suffering for... but the problem is that I have always lived my life by doing things that make other people happy. I become happy by seeing other people happy. This is the first time that I have become extremely unhappy because of what I am doing for the good of my parents, etc. I promised myself that 2017 would be the year for me to start being "selfish", but I can't put that into practice... I just can't seem to live any other way.

@ Ashley@Heart: I'm glad my name sounds good to your ears :) I wanted it to be something different but nothing noticeably strange.

Thank you all again for your replies and input.
-Max Jayceon
I travel Between Two Worlds... between here and there... between then and now.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Rheya » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:18 am

Why is it a bad thing that your family falls apart? It doesn't seem to be worth maintaining. Your sister seems like she's on your side and there for you, so why bother about your parents when they are such awful human beings?

I know what it is like to always want to please people and what it is like to find it shameful or just plain wrong to do anything for yourself. I did not really grow up in a family or with any parents. My parent had children but did not want them, only really had them because that's what you are supposed to do. Since I was a child I was taught not to speak to my parents, to not cause a fuss, not ask for anything (including food or doctor visits), to be seen as little as possible and to be on call to do chores at any time that they wished. I was pretty much a house elf, but without the magic.

I've spent a lot of time trying to undo the damage of my upbringing. Living for others is not a good, sensible or healthy way to live. You do not have to abandon your whole self in order to make other people happy or to care about the people you love; the two are not mutually exclusive and if all you do is serve and enslave yourself to others then you actually become worse at being there for people, you become worse at making other people happy - indeed, you become completely useless at it. Anyone who expects these things to be mutually exclusive is not a person worth caring about, anyone who expects you to live by their will and command does not love you or care about you. Some people chose to drown and they often want some company while they drown and will grab a hold of anyone they can pull down with them.

My parents were terrible people, one was an alcoholic the other a sociopath and I had broken contact with both of them by the time I was twenty. I wish I had a family that I could rely on but I never actually did and I do not regret breaking contact with these horrible people and moving on with my life. I do not think I could have had the good and lovely life I have now had I not escaped the clutches of my parents who were both, in a way, psychologically abusive. Do not make excuses for horrid and evil behavior no matter the person and no matter your connection to them. If someone wants to make life a living hell then leave them to it and let them live alone in that precious hell of theirs.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby SteffiCan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:40 am

Max it is the first step that is the most difficult. That is, confirming who your true self is. You have already done this and begun your journey. Now comes the confidence in yourself to fight for what you want. It's your life, nobody should be controlling how we live it. It seems your sister has discovered this. Is she happier now? It sounds like she is wants to help and see that you are happy too.

Follow your heart and not your father's wishes if they are unreasonable. You are not a coward, just confused. It is truly exciting to finally be free to be your true self. In hindsight, I waited too long to go full time for various reasons. I found that those people who care about you, will be your ally. And those you thought cared may not become an ally. You won't know till you take more steps on your journey. Have confidence and believe in yourself.
Free to be me since July 2016 as Stefanie.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Toku » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:41 am

How long do they expect you to stay in their house? At some point they would expect you to leave and start your own life surely?
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Toku » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:42 pm

I should add the difference between cowardice and bravery isn't being scared and not being scared. It's being scared but doing what you have to do anyway, in the face of opposition and fear. :thumb:
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Lucy-chan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:08 am

I am the biggest coward going. I've been browbeaten by my family. And being timid is my natural state, it seems.

I still present in public. Just not as much as i like. The secret is baby steps.

What i do is find LGBT events away from my home town. And sneak away for the odd weekend. Of course planning is crucial. Making sure the area is 'friendly' and the hotel is very near the venue.
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
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Re: On Being a Coward

Postby Roberta Starr » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:29 pm

Oh, I took the cowards way out when I came out. I was married for years and it just got to the point where I just couldn't keep it in any longer. But I didn't have the courage to tell her how I wanted to live the rest of my life; that I really wanted to be female. So, one night I went out, never said a word and just never went back. It was by far, the worst thing I had ever done to anyone.
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