Disclaimer: I've been trying to work out what I wanted to say, to ask, here, for a while now. At first, I was nervous, seeing as I was(and still am) a new poster here, and I didn't(and still don't, for the most part) know any of you. After reading so many of your posts, though, I've gotten a little more comfortable, so I've decided to just wing it and hope for the best.
Edit: I sorta lost myself, so I didn't realize how long this was until after I posted it, sorry about the length
I'm a really private person by nature. I've been shy around other people for as long as I can remember. It takes me a while to get comfortable in a new situation to the point where I can start talking to people. Sometimes it never happens, and I just sorta sit back in the corner and hide until it's over. I think a lot of this had to do with my feelings as a little kid. I've always known I was different from everyone else, but for a long time, I couldn't figure out why. School was really rough because of this. I didn't fit in with the other kids, and when you go to a private grade school, with the same tiny class every year, once you get labeled as something, it sticks. I don't know why, or when exactly, but some time during 3rd grade I was labeled the best kid to bully, and my peers proceeded to make my life a living hell for the next 5 years.
At first, I had always just been myself. I did things the way I knew to do them. Once the bullying started, I began to watch the people around me. I thought that maybe if I acted like them, instead of like myself, they would be nicer to me. That was the first time I put on a false identity to get me through. Sadly, I failed at it, not being able to hide my true nature since I was just a kid and didn't have any patience or self control.
Then, in the beginning of 6th grade, something happened. I don't really know what the spark of epiphany was, since I've blocked out the majority of my junior high years from my memory, but that was when it dawned on me. The reason I had always felt different wasn't just the way I acted, it was that my body felt wrong. Initially, it wasn't a cut and dry, "I'm a girl in a boys body," but more of a "I feel like a girl and a boy at the same time." I was attending a catholic school at the time, so the thought of this really blew my mind. That was what caused me to harden, that was the key that locked away my soul. I knew that thoughts like that would only make me more weird, more of a target for the incessant teasing I dealt with on a daily basis, so I locked it, my true self, away, in the deepest corners of my mind. Of course, now I realize how big of a mistake that was.
7th grade was, in all reality, hell. That was the year I snapped. There were days where I was honestly suicidal. Sometimes it was the other kids, sometimes it was my gender issues, but at that point, I had pulled myself deep inside my shell. I didn't open up to anyone. Eventually, I was diagnosed with Juvenile depression, and was put on Welbutron(in addition to the concerta I had just started to deal with my ADD) and entered into counseling. That helped me some, I could talk to my psychologist about lots of things, school, the other kids, my family. The only thing I could never tell her was the way I felt inside. I couldn't bring myself to put the thoughts into words. Instead, I fell back on secret, midnight trips to the bathroom where I would discretely try on my little sister's underwear and clothes(we're only a year apart, and weren't very different in size at the time) though I do look back on that now with a twinge of disgust. Not at my action of wearing women's clothing, more the thought of wearing my little sister's clothing.
I sank deeper, even then thinking of myself as disgusting. I couldn't control the compulsions to do it, and I couldn't tell anyone about it, because good catholic boys would never do such a thing. I didn't want to get in trouble, I've always been like that, going out of my way to not bring negative attention to myself. That year was awful, but it really changed my life forever.
I say but, because the end result of surviving that year was a new found control over myself. At some point, I realized that no all merciful, ever loving god would let me be treated with such hatred, and I lost my faith. Obviously, it was another secret I couldn't tell anyone. They could boot me out of the school for it, and it would just lead to more verbal and mental abuse. I had to harden myself, now knowing that no one was watching my back. This is when everything really started to turn around. I had developed a small spark of self-confidence, something that I had never had before.
I went into 8th grade thinking I was ready to face them head on. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite as ready as I hoped, still not dealing well with the others. I survived the year though, doing my best to make sure it wasn't as bad as the previous one. I feigned interest and belief in the nonsense they spouted in my religion class, thinking that if I let them know that I didn't believe their lies any more, they would make my life a living hell again. But I managed get through in one piece.
My parents and I decided that I needed to get away from the kids who had made my grade school life hell, so I was enrolled into the local public school. I started my freshman year with a demeanor much like I had in the past. I was cold, shy, and uncomfortable, like any freshman, but there was more too it, since I was the new kid in a class of 500 other freshman. I didn't open up to anyone, I didn't make any friends, I just did my work and passed my classes quietly.
I managed to make a few new friends(a few being something huge for me, considering I had only one friend all the way through grade school) towards the end of first semester, and they helped me to come out of my shell a little. Second semester came and went, and I slowly began to open up and talk to people. It was so foreign, people liked me, they wanted to be my friends. I didn't like it at first, since I really didn't know how to BE a friend with someone, since I had so little experience to begin with. There was also the matter that, deep down, I was still questioning my gender, and that started to eat away at me.
Sophomore year was a lot easier, I made more friends, and I began to hang out with them. Rather than being true to myself, like I was in grade school, I decided to act the way the other boys did, and that was what got my through. I became another one of the guys, on the outside, laughing and joking and throwing out your mother jokes like it was no body's business. On the inside, though, I was torn. I had started to realize that the me at school and the me in my mind were two separate people.
Outside, I was a big, nerdy guy who could brush off an insult or a joke with no feelings toward it, and counter with a swift, witty remark. Most people never guessed my age correctly, thinking I was a year or two older than I actually was, so I rarely got messed with.
Inside was a different story. My mind was that of a shy, emotional girl who, while still nerdy, didn't enjoy the insult contests her outerself lavished in. I learned to watch people, and pick up on their mannerisms, so that I could fool the world, and myself, into thinking that I was just another guy.
Sophomore year ended, and summer began. I grew up a lot that summer. Even though I had friends now, I was still really pretty shy, and spent most of that summer at home on my own(socially, not literally). This time alone was both a blessing and a curse. I spent that summer really looking at myself. My inner and outerselves began to mesh together, the outer me becoming less of an individual side of me, and more of an act put on by the inner me. I learned a lot about myself that summer, and I'm glad I did, it was one of those times that really changes a person.
I entered this year, my junior year as a new person, really. I was cold, jaded, and emotionless on the outside. I acted in the way I knew people would expect me too, acting in a way that people would be able to live with. I had been different once, and I refused to relive that. I had friends now, and they knew me as my old, outside personality, so that's what they got. I was different though. I was a lot more of a thinker than I had ever been before. I would often day dream about what life would be like if I could just be myself, knowing that it could never happen. Not then, anyway.
The year progressed on at an agonizingly slow rate. I began to out grow my ADD meds, and my grades took a serious hit, as I couldn't focus my attention away from my own issues and on to my work and my classes. I wouldn't change this year for anything though. I spent so much time self-analyzing, learning about myself, I really came into my own as a person. I was no longer the angry little boy I had been. To the world, I became the mature, emotionless, logical thinker. I decided that it was the perfect way to let myself free, while still hiding the truth. Inside, I grew into a caring, empathic person.
Unfortunately, this was where my current problem really took off. My caring, empathic nature began to become over shadowed and overwhelmed by the act I put on for everyone else. I slowly stopped feeling any strong emotions, I don't get sad, or angry any more. I don't get happy either. Logic dictates my thoughts, and took over my natural empathy. I'm still able to understand how people feel, but it's a colder understanding, seeing their reasons for that emotion, rather than seeing them and just knowing how they were feeling like I used to.
While all this was going on, I some how managed to at least reign in my gender issues, and bring them under some control. I've realized that I'm not really a combination, as I really do feel like a woman. My body feels wrong, foreign. I don't see myself when I look in a mirror, I see some teenage guy. I'm fairly sure that I'm MtF, and I know for certain that I am not a heteronormative male.
You see, in the last week before school let out, a few things happened to me that really shook the foundation of my mind. I had accepted that I was becoming a cold, logic driven person, and I was fine with that. I know lots of girls and women who have similar personalities. During the last week, I had realized that most of the people who I spoke too on a day to day basis that year were girls. I had some guys I talked to, but in general, I was hanging out with, and talking to, girls at school. This messed with me, because I had put so much effort into becoming "one of the guys" to fit in, but I still surrounded myself with female friends and didn't even realize it.
Another earth shaker, was the first day I wore a ponytail to school. I had been growing my hair out for the entire year, as I find long hair much more comfortable than short hair. I came to school that day with a cleanly shaven face(I had a thick, curly beard for most of the year) and my hair put back in a low ponytail like you would expect on a guy. A lot of my friends that day said I looked like a girl at first, some trying to goad me, some just being honest, though thinking they might offend me. Knowing that no normal guy would let the comments slide, I played them off, acting offended, but in reality I warmly took each one as a wonderful complement. This messed with me too, as I had never felt the way I did when they said that to me. I was, honestly, giddy, at the concept.
The last event, was after school let out. I finished taking the ADD meds that were no longer very effective. I then spent the next two weeks drowning in a sea of my thoughts. I had discovered this forum just prior, so I spent a lot of time lurking and reading the threads. My world really was blown apart by some of the things I began to feel when I was, in essence, out of control of my own thoughts.
So now, I'm sitting here, having started a new ADD med that seems to help a lot. I've managed to focus my thoughts and bring them together, but I'm now in a rather awkward position. My whole self image has, essentially, been destroyed, by my new found emotions, things I haven't felt in nearly a year, and I can't figure out what to make of it.
Thank you for reading my sob story, and I apologize if it it's to much of a ramble to make sense of. I guess I don't really know what I'm asking. I do feel a lot better having gotten all of that off my chest though, since I said some things I haven't been able to really say before. I guess what I want to know is, when you had earth shattering realizations about yourself, how did you handle it? I don't even know what to do.
There is another thing I'm wondering about, on a somewhat unrelated note, that I would also like advice on. Due to the fact that I'm taking a new medicine for my ADD, I'm currently seeing a psychologist. Every time I speak to her, I just want to let go of my inhibitions and tell her everything, but I can't bring myself to do it. I don't know much about her beliefs, as we've never even come close to the subject in any of our sessions, so there's no telling how she would react if I told her. There's also the matter of not wanting my mom to know yet. I don't worry about whether she'll accept me, I know she will, but she has so much on her plate as it is, that I can't bring myself to add more to her worries by outing myself as transexual. The only person that knows is my grandmother. I talk to her about so many personal things that I felt she was the best person to talk to about this. I was right, as she is understanding on the matter, as best as she can be, though it's still incredibly weird for me to talk about.
Sorry, I strayed off from my question a bit. Do you think I should tell my psychologist? I've been trying to think about the possible effects of outing myself to her, but I can't think of anything but worst case scenario negative reactions that stem more from my negative personality than my interactions with her.
Again, thank you for reading this, I know it was a lot, and it basically turned into a tirade, but just posting it makes me feel a little better.