Confused and frustrated

I feel like I need to write in my journal but instead I’ve decided to share some of what’s in my head on here.  There’s a lot swirling around in my noggin these days.  I realized a while back that the thing holding me back from transitioning was not my partner or society or my doctors but ME.  And fear.  Oh, and that in doing so I may very well have to start a new life on my own without a support system.  Why can I never be the person who’s family rallies behind them and cheers them on and jumps on the band wagon of their causes?  I guess most of us don’t get that kind of support but when I see a parent or a spouse who is supportive I sure get a dichotomy of emotions inside me.  I’m happy for the person they’re supporting but I also feel that twinge inside of wishing it was me getting the support I so desperately desire….as do we all out here in the land of “other”.

So I know that if I just decided to do it I could probably have my transition well under way by the end of the summer and at least be scheduled for top surgery if not have it completed.  Money is a bit of an issue but not a complete obstacle.  I could up my dose of T and start looking more masculine very soon.  But while I am tempted to stomp on the accelerator I still have my foot on the break.  That’s frustrating.

The other thing I ruminate about a lot these days is my name.  I really want to use the name my dad picked for me if I’d been born a boy but it’s actually kind of a girl’s name and I just can’t get totally excited about it.  I think about using the masculine name of my birth name and I don’t hate it but, again, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right.  I’ve picked names that I like but others tell me they think they don’t fit or remind them of someone they don’t like.  I just don’t know what to do about a name.  I wish I was one of those people who’ve always had a name that they loved and just use that.  I haven’t.  There are names that I like and some that I really don’t like but nothing has jumped out as MY name yet.  How many baby name websites do I need to go through to find the right name?  I get frustrated and think that I should just use the name dad picked for me.  He’s long ago deceased as is my mother so there’s no asking them for suggestions.

I think about coming out to certain members of the family and certain close friends but I worry that without the name chosen I’m just wasting my time.  I want to be able to tell them this is my new identity and I want you to start calling me ___________.  So I wait.

And then there is my partner.  She is still adamant that she will not stay with me if I transition.  Unlike in my early life, losing my partner of 17 years is not just about losing the relationship.  We’ve built a life together, I love her family, we have a home together that I cherish and pets that I adore.  I will lose most if not all of that if I transition.  She wants me to make the sacrifice for the relationship to stay together.  I want her to support me no matter what I choose to do even if that means we can’t make the relationship work in the end.  I need her support.  She’s my best friend.  I love her and want her beside me as I traverse this new territory.  I’m so conflicted about all of it.  And scared.

But inside me there is a storm brewing.  I can feel the wind picking up and the thunder is getting closer every day.  I wonder how much longer until the eye  of this storm is upon us and there will be no more hiding and denying.  I have moments in many of my days when I feel hopeless and worry that I can’t continue like this.   I don’t want this to get to a life or death situation but I fear that it is going to come to that.  I just wish I could pick a damned name out and stick with it.


13 thoughts on “Confused and frustrated

  1. Wish I could offer advice, but I know what it looks like to be angry to stay and terrified to go. I was lucky that after 6 months of baby name books I got my name, and Donna could make her peace with that while she “waits for the other shoe to drop”. She still is angry with me for “putting her through this”, but we are trying to keep it together by each giving in a little and working from there.
    On the other hand (bad metaphor) you don’t need a name or T for top surgery, so you might want to concentrate there instead). Good luck!


    • Thanks Jamey. I know that we’re in similar situations with our partners. It’s not a pleasant place. I think top surgery might have to wait a while as life keeps getting in the way of it. But if I can at least get a consult I might feel better. Being nameless right now is really bothering me the most though. I want that part behind me and I thought it would be the easiest. It’s proving to be a real struggle. Hope you’re enjoying your holiday in Italy.


  2. My heart goes out to you brother. You are in a really tough position.

    A few ideas on the name thing… Like Jamie said, you could move forward with transition and wait for the name to catch up. You could just pick something and start going by it–tell everyone it’s a trial period and see how it feels. You could pick one of the most common names for the year you were born (I have an unusual name and have occasionally wished I’d thought of this!). You could ask someone to name you, like a trans mentor, an aunt or uncle or sibling, an old friend, a religious or spiritual leader. You could surrender yourself to chaos and pick a name at random.

    If it comes to life or death, please choose life. We need you here.


    • Great suggestions! I asked some of my friends today what they thought of my choices. I have about 5 names I’m toying with. I feel nameless right now and that’s really getting to me. I want to get this settled so I can move on. Unfortunately some life stuff is getting in the way of chest surgery for the time being…maybe through August…ugh. Don’t worry, I will choose life. I’m just not used to feeling this much angst and sometimes feel like it’s never going to get better. But I know it will somehow. Thank you for your advice and support.


  3. On the name thing: where does the ‘Don’ in your blog’s title come from? Is this not a suitable name?


    • Kris, you’re right that Don is an option. When I started the blog I chose this title from a friend’s comment that they would still love me whether I was Dawn or Don. I hadn’t considered picking Don as my name at that point but really liked the simplicity of the name switch. It seemed like a good title whether I chose that name or not. I don’t love the name but I do like the easy change it would be for friends to make. I’m still considering it.


  4. I just found your blog by clicking around. My 21 year old son is transgender. When you find the right name, you will feel it. I have found out through this experience that it really opens your eyes to who is really “with” you and who isn’t. Listen to your heart. When the time is right, you know it. 🙂


  5. My heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine the struggle of worrying about losing a partner of so many years. As far as the name goes, I struggled with that for a while, but a name sort of just found me. Yours will find you too, I’m sure of it.


  6. Be careful about upping your T dose. Too much T forces your body to convert it into estrogen, and you start losing those T effects.


    • I’ve been checking with a few of my trans brothers about their doses and it looks like I’m at just a slightly lower dose than they are so I don’t think that’s a concern. Besides, I don’t change anything without talking to my doc first. That’s a good point and definitely something to be aware of.


      • One of the main reasons why I am losing all this weight now. I don’t want the doctor to accidentally overdose or overestimate how much I need, and thus underscoring the effectiveness of my shots. Being a lean 130 will give the doc a much better idea of much to give me, than if I were still at 180 (or at my worse, 215). Lots of medicines are just flat our based on your weight, without taking into account fat-vs-muscle ratio, and for certain meds that can severely affect its effectiveness!


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