Confusion about gender and sexuality, and the path going forward.

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Confusion about gender and sexuality, and the path going forward.

Unread postby lufia » 17 March 2020, 23:22

Hi everyone. This will be a long post, and I apologize, but I have along term issue, and I there is no way I can give enough background on this, and make it make any sense. I hope there is someone here who can give me some advice to proceed. First off, I'm 38 years old and still trying to figure out who and what I am. I have been essentially living two lives for most of my life, and I'm tired of it. This neverending stress has led me to abuse drugs on and off throughout my life, and has left me broke and living with my mother, despite a 145 IQ. I am currently 14 months sober, but I think being sober makes it more difficult to deal with. To start, I could never put a finger on it as a younger child, but I never quite fit in with the other boys. I always preferred girly things, but my parents were very overbearing, especially my mother. She had a very narrow view of what I should be, and would not accept anything else, so I have been on this trajectory that was out of my control for most of my life. As I became older and began hitting puberty, I was jealous of girls. I really wanted to wear and dress and be like them, though I didn't really understand it until much later. I finally stole some clothes from family members when I was about 13, and started wearing them whenever I had any private time. I also began shaving most of my body hair, and after a while it just felt normal. I was attracted only to women early on. When I was about 15, I was masturbating spontaneously started fingering myself. I had never even considered doing it before, but had the best orgasm of my life at that point. I continued on like this for several, never even considering that I wasn't straight. When I was about 18, I suddenly realized that I wanted more than a finger. I was very conflicted about it for a time, but I gradually began to accept it. As time wore on, I began to become more and more uncomfortable being a man in private while continuing to be masculine and completely straight in public. I moved out of the house when I was 18, and bought my first men's thong shortly thereafter. I felt weird at first, but after a while, I couldn't wear anything but a thong. As the internet became more ubiquitous, I started buying clothing online. I transitioned to wearing panties full time, and pretty much always wear dresses or skirts when I'm not around other people. They just make me feel good, and normal. I eventually bought a vibrator and began playing with it and fantasizing about being with men most of them time, while dating women and remaining firmly in the closet. I lost everything due to my drug habit, and was forced to move back in with my mom. I had a respectable 2nd wardrobe by the time I moved back in with her. I tried desperately to hide everything at first, but due to the occasional whale tail, my family discovered that I wore panties. After that, I stopped trying to hide the underwear as much, but kept everything else under wraps. I went out of town about a year ago and my mother went through my stuff and found and threw away my 2nd wardrobe, my underwear, and my vibrator. I think she knows I'm bi at this point, but we have never discussed it at all. I've only dated women to her knowledge, so she may think I'm just a freak. I don't know.I managed to date a guy for a little while, but neither of us had been with guy before, and we were both too nervous and in the closet, so nothing ever came of it. I have only been with women sexually to date.I have finally reached a crossroads with all of this. I feel like I am probably trans, but there is ZERO chance I could ever be passable, considering the fact that I am 6ft,3in tall and have a very masculine voice. Due to this, I could never have the self confidence to go out in public dressed, so I don't know where that leaves me. When it comes to sexuality, I'm all screwed up there too. Maybe it's because of the gender issue, but I'm not sure. I guess I consider myself bisexual. Physically, I am attracted mainly to women, though I do find guys I'm attracted to every once in while. My sexual attraction is the exact opposite. When it comes to sex, I am attracted to men. I can perform with women, but I have to imagine being with a man most of the time. I fantasize about men nearly exclusively.The urge to be with a man is getting stronger every day. Due to my living situation, I have to remain completely in the closet until I finish college and move out of the house again. I think my family would eventually accept it since I think already know anyway, but it would further strain relationships that are under enough stress already. I don't know who I am, or what to do. I'm sick of leading this double life. I'm hoping some of you have been through a similar situation or know someone who has. Being stuck in the closet, I don't have any gay or trans friends to talk to. Please help if you can.
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Re: Confusion about gender and sexuality, and the path going forward.

Unread postby PopTart » 18 March 2020, 00:35

Hey Lufia, welcome to GFO.

Sorry to hear you are having such a tough time.

Firstly, I dont think your alone, but I cant say I can relate to the trans side of your experience, but that doesn't mean I cant offer some thoughts that might be, at the least, worth some consideration.

Now, it's worth acknowledging, that many of your life issues, by all accounts, come from your struggle to understand and live your truth, if you will.

In living a double life as you have, trying to live upto other peoples expectations, you have been unable to explore your own desires and urges sufficiently, as to be able to fully identify and thus, have perhaps found other, less helpful coping mechanism.

Recognising that those other mechanisms are not helpful, or constructive atleast, is an important step. You say not drinking, is making it harder, probably as that was a means of relieving the stress and strain that was born of not confronting and finding resolution for the pretty big, stress inducing crisis of identity you have been having most of your life.

It's going to be hard met, without that coping mechanism and it may be worth find other, less disruptive, more manageable means of letting off steam as you try to cope and come to terms with who and what you are. It's okay to acknowledge that, in itself, is a big challenge and as an undertaking, is one that, should you succeed, would speak very highly of you and should be something to take away as to be proud of. Work on that if you can.

Living back at home, with one of the main people for whom, you have hidden your potentially true identity, is likely not helping and may be what has brought this situation to a head. Is there anyway in which you might regain independence from you mum? Doing so, I suspect will give you some breathing room, that right now you dont have. If not, is there anyway you can realistically impress upon your mother, that, even though you ate dependant upon her right now, you are of an age that you need a degree of privacy and independence and she must respect that. She has no right to throw out your stuff, no matter how much she doesnt approve, you are an adult and she should not invade your privacy in such a fashion. Its disrespectful.

As to you actual desires. It's nearly impossible for me to say, if you are transgender, bi or homosexual, or simply into cross dressing, or a combination of all of those things, only you can answer such questions and you are likely only going to be able to do so, by allowing yourself to truly explore these aspects of your identity, without an outside force looking in (like society or your family) making you feel self conscious or ashamed.

It could be worth seeking to hook up with a guy or two (safely) to explore if the sexual side of things is purely fantastical or psychological, or if there is a genuine physical attraction going on here.

This will help you to ide tidy if you are actually attracted to men and women or if the desire you feel towards men, is stemming from a desire to take on the role of a woman in any aspect of your life even if its sexually, inspire of having no real sexual attraction to men.

As to the cross dressing and trans tendencies, there are likely many online and a growing number of trans communities out there. Try to reach out to them if you feel upto it. They could help you figure things out, just remember to listen to your own heart and if something feels right, then go for it, of not, then dont.

You have to start dealing with the question and uncertainty you have, I think you have spent long enough avoiding the question out of concern for what others might say.

Edit: I apologise for any random words, I'm on my phone and its midnight here, so, autocorrect and typos might slip through.
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Re: Confusion about gender and sexuality, and the path going forward.

Unread postby lufia » 19 March 2020, 20:06

Thank you. Unfortunately I am unable to live independently right now. I suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis, and it severely limits my ability to work. I have returned to college to get a degree in a field that will allow me to make a living. I should be done in about a year, but I'm stuck with my mom until then, as I have no way to earn enough money to live on my own. This has been a crazy journey, and you seem to have a very good understanding of it. It is so confusing. I guess I was simply a crossdresser in the beginning, but I don't feel that way now. I stopped gaining any kind of sexual gratification from it a long time ago. It feels normal to me now. I feel out of place in men's clothing. I often wonder whether my attraction to women is more out of envy than sexual desire. I only really call myself bi because I've never been with a man sexually, and I don't feel that issue will be settled until then. Despite my attempts to hide it, my most recent girlfriend figured it out. She actually asked me if I was gay. I lied, but we were celibate for the final year of our relationship. I cared about her and she cared about me, but we were more roommates than anything.We didn't even sleep in the same room, though we spent a lot of time together. My other long term relationship followed a similar trajectory.I love women, but I don't think I really desire them sexually.I guess I am attracted to a really specific type of guy. I guess I'm attracted to guys more like me. I have a cousin who is out of the closet, and my family accepts him to his face, but makes fun of him behind his back. Basically, I come from a family full of people who have are considered to be lower class. Due to my IQ, my family once looked at me to be the one to carry the torch for the family and make something of myself. I originally received a full academic scholarship, and was well on my way to achieving that before my drug issues got the better of me. I have been to jail, been homeless for nearly a year of my life, and have struggled for the rest of it. I am basically being given a final chance to get it together at this point. I have disappointed my family in many ways, and it has severely strained our relationships. This would be yet another disappointment to them, and I don't know if we could withstand it, but I am ready to be out. I want to find someone, and start to live some semblance of a happy and normal life, but I don't know what their reaction would be right now and I don't have the financial capability to make it on my own right now. Like I said, I have become so tired of hiding it that I don't make much of an effort anymore. Obviously, I am somewhat feminine in my mannerisms, and I have stopped hiding for the most part around my family. I think they know, but they don't have to face it as long as I don't say it. How can I come out without necessarily having to tell them? I don't want to just show up with a boyfriend out of the blue, but I don't want to keep on like this forever. It is necessary to remove this stress from my life if I am going to remain sober, but I am afraid that coming out will just create new stresses. My mother would certainly never allow me to dress the way I want to while I'm living with her. My younger brother also lives with us, and I don't know how either of them would react if I brought a guy home. I'm not the hookup type. I have always been about the connection thing when it comes to sex, and I just don't think I could have sex with someone I don't know. I also take immunosuppressors to treat my illness, so I can't take any unnecessary risks when it comes to sex. I hope I've given you enough info to really help, but obviously I'm a basketcase, so I don't know if any of this makes any sense. I appreciate your advice, and I hope you have a little more to give. It is nice to talk about this, as I have never had anyone that I could talk to, and have been all alone in dealing with this.
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Re: Confusion about gender and sexuality, and the path going forward.

Unread postby PopTart » 19 March 2020, 20:36

Sorry for the delay in reply, but I did want to say, as a place holder for a full response, that while you may want to come out and feel the need to, the fact you are so beholden to your family right now, makes it a dicey prospect.

Perhaps it's worth using the desire to come out, as incentive, to excel and achieve the independence you need, in order to do so. That way, perhaps you can delay the sense of living a lie and turn that energy into something productive, as opposed to feeling low and turning to drink or drugs to cope.

It's a small distinction, but the manner in which we think has a massive impact. You can see this situation as something to lament and be sad about, or you could see it as an opportunity to set a clearly defined goal, with purpose behind it and reason to demonstrate, for yourself, resilience, courage and determination.

If you can hang in there, there is a world of possibility and freedom. Its just a little bit of hard work and enduring until then.

There is no hurry to answer those other questions until then, you will have time and space to explore them. Try not to let the pressure of not knowing get you down too.
Last edited by PopTart on 19 March 2020, 20:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Confusion about gender and sexuality, and the path going forward.

Unread postby lufia » 19 March 2020, 20:38

As for my mother, she suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as do many of the adults from her side of the family. She controls nearly every aspect of my life, and constantly holds my dependence on her over my head. I had grown my hair long, as it made me more comfortable. She makes me cut it as a condition of living with her. She regularly goes through my belongings and throws away things that she does not want me to have. It is an extremely unhealthy relationship for me, and I honestly plan to cut all ties once I am able to live independently, but I am not able to right now. There are just so many aspects to my issues, and I just wish there was a way to simplify it somehow.
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Re: Confusion about gender and sexuality, and the path going forward.

Unread postby PopTart » 19 March 2020, 20:45

You have the measure of your mother, you could fight her, let her get to you with her little annoyances, which likely seem huge and incredibly invasive, but if each time she does something or makes some demand of you, you know what it is and where its coming from, bide your time, each time you acquiesce, can become a form of rebellion in itself. Let her think she is winning. You know better. The length you wear your hair, the things you keep, they dont define you, dont let her define you by depriving you of them.

If she has narcissistic personality disorder, chances are, your never going to have a positive mutually nourishing relationship, better to regard it as something to be survived. So survive. Dont let her get to you and no matter how hard she tries, she isnt really getting what she wants.

People only win, if you let them.
Rise above it.
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