This is going to be an long post. I’ve never had much of a support group of other trans people up until last year and a few things about my past have been weighing heavy on my mind lately. They may seem trivial but my mind doesnt seem to want to move on and I need some perspective. I medically transitioned MtF when I was 15. Before this I was dressing feminine as early as 12. Even though coming out and being me gave me freedom to be Ella, it crippled me socially bc of all the backlash I faced for being so feminine. I’m 26 now so this was many years ago. Things improved in high school but I developed CPTSD, social anxiety, and shame around my sexual orientation. It took me until about 8 mo ago to fully come to terms with my transness in terms of not fitting the traditional “cis” body norm (aka what’s expected to be in between your legs). This was especially difficult to deal with as I passed female and was attracted to men. I believed for years the only way a man would want me is if I was post op. I could never afford bottom surgery when I was younger and in a way I’m glad I didn’t get it bc now it’s not something I feel comfortable pursuing as my surgical options dont seem great. I also realized I didnt want to go through the maintenance and downtime either. Fortunately I changed my thinking and came to realize I could love myself completely but I made so many mistakes along the way, and sometimes I beat myself up for it. It was hard trying to navigate being a frontrunner, dealing with doctors who were clueless to HRT, and not really having anyone to look up to or feel a sense of belonging with until now. I tried to find support when I was 18 but it was difficult to relate bc the people in the group had vastly different experiences and were hardly out themselves. I use to unfairly “compare” myself to cis women and cis standards mainly bc I just blended in and didn’t have any friends who were trans themselves. It was especially hard being a teenager doing this, I know most people transition as adults, but being stuck with shitty parents and being in a less than accepting hometown really sucked. It’s a weird double edge sword and sometimes I look back on my life and think of all the ways I squandered being lucky enough to be young and trans with being so self conscious. I wish I hadn’t and my anxiety likes to remind me of my failures every day. It’s hard fighting a battle in my mind when I constantly have to justify whether I’m good enough or if I permanently screwed my life up wasting it on people that didn’t matter or toxic family that I wish I had cut out sooner. I sometimes mourn for my teenage years bc I spend most of it in hiding bc I was so afraid of being assaulted just from leaving my house. It sucks that I let fear get the best of me. My dating life and relationships suffered the most from this. I really think about how my sexual shame really did a number on my confidence, and the ripple effects of had on how I conducted myself around men. I even failed college trying to stay home and be the “good daughter” for my parents who were toxic with 7 kids. They were accepting enough to allow me to transition (which I was grateful for) but they basically kept me as their nanny bc it was convenient and became increasingly controlling. Then I left home, became a workaholic to keep myself occupied, and strived for “the surgery” bc I believed would fix all my problems. In the meantime I kept trying to impress my parents and help fix their problems until I realized they didn’t really accept me and I would never be good enough for them. Now I look back and see all the time I spent pursuing social approval and thinking of how I could have spent more of it actually living instead of working myself to death or caring what other people think. Sometimes it can feel lonely being so unique in my experiences, and I usually dont talk about my “stuff”. I’ve always felt like I just had to suck it up. Especially with quarantine, it makes me wonder sometimes if can get better or if there will come a time when I no longer feel like I lost invaluable experiences to a past mindset. I was just hoping to find some advice in dealing with these thoughts. Thanks

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