I'm not sure quite what to say, but I'll give this a go...
So, I'm 29, non-binary (they/them) and I'm pansexual. I'm currently living in a heterosexual marriage (to the outside world), a relationship which was formed before I was able to be honest with myself. Although I've been open to my side of the family about my gender identity, they generally refuse to accept or respect this. I'm still treated as female and I find that really difficult to deal with.
My sexuality is something that I was never able to be honest about to myself until last year, and last year was a HUGE relief and turning point for me... and although I was honest with my partner at that time, to keep going as we are, this part of me has had to be hidden back away. I'm constantly living a pretend life, which I don't cope with in healthy ways a lot of the time.
I hang onto the relief and positives here that I finally understand and accept who I am, but I'm also struggling living like this, because I can't be my true self, sometimes it feels suffocating. I'm constantly in fear of what's around the corner? And I guess why I'm here is because I need a space to be me and to feel accepted and to have a place where I don't have to pretend anymore.
Hi Butterfly. I am sorry you feel this way and your situation is so much less that you would wish. My label set - gay man with chronic fatigue and autism. I hope you find your way through this situation to a happier place somehow. The admin on here are usually the best to reply but they can take a while to pick up your message so be patient - the times are hard for all I guess. I am sure you will be directed to the best places for help.
My only advice I may like to share is don't worry about fitting into any boxes. Labels are useful only if you find them useful. As autistic I find labels very helpful but I am well aware that not everyone's brains are wired like mine. I have seen so many people over the years happily just being themselves with their own personal sets of likes and dislikes and not seeking or needing any label. What I am saying is, it's fine not to fit in but you are not alone in that and you will be loved and accepted no matter what. The only rules for all humankind is to be kind and be fair. Best wishes. Simon.
I'm grateful for you taking the time to reply to my post. Thank you so much... and somehow I think just joining this community forum, taking that one small step, was me moving slightly closer to a happier place.
Times definitely are very tough for everybody right now. I think maybe having all of this time in isolation has contributed to really needing to find an outlet and an increased sense of pressure in my situation. There's so much time confined in one space and time to think and worry, I can't distract myself with enough to pretend I'm okay with how life is.
I'm grateful for the advice about fitting into boxes as I can relate to having tried to do that myself for a lot of my life, which hasn't been helpful at all. I guess really what matters is just finding a way, not necessarily defining a set of labels (I agree that maybe for some this helps, some it doesn't), to express your identity, even if that means not fitting in? Although, I'm also autistic and find that labels are helpful too. I feel I've done with fitting in, I'm exhausted. And I guess the words/labels I use are more about me trying to navigate this journey, rather than fitting in and being accepted. I hope that makes sense.
No problem. I am glad you found what I said to be useful and pleased you are able to identify as autistic. Not everyone feels comfortable with that. My diagnosis was only relatively recent although I have suspected it ever since I had first learned of the condition many years ago. For me, it brought together under one umbrella all the neurological and brain function peculiarities that I had been diagnosed with over the years. One of the things we do as we grow up is to develop a mask and behave as we are expected to behave. It is a drama, however, and exhausting. Being honest is vital to your health, mental or otherwise.
Like you, I was in a heterosexual relationship - it was a marriage which only lasted 12 years and nearly killed me. It was only after my health had deteriorated so much and I started to self-harm, did my wife decided enough was enough. I think I would have carried on until I died because I don't like change and I am a completer finisher. Looking back it was important to stop but at the time I was very mixed in my feelings struggling so much to comprehend.
I hope you manage to talk with your partner about it eventually - at least to start the dialogue. But only you can take responsibility for that step and only YOU know if that is that is the wisest thing to do in your situation. Certainly, talking to others and exploring will help as I have already said. I did nothing quickly.
I had a lot of help from talking to my GP's. After my breakdown in 2000 and self harming he always gave me double appointments. I also got a number of series of counselling sessions over the years. I guess I will always need help but at least I will get that now I am on the books as having ASD. Best wishes Simon.
I too am married to a beautiful wife and have been for more than 20 years now. I am trans female and until 5/6 years ago did not really realise it. You see I have dressing in womens clothes since I was 3 years, I am now 46 years. Until 5/6 years ago did not realise what I was doing just dressed in womens clothes knew that it had to be a secret well needed to keep it a secret. My wife she has made it clear that she doesnt understand Trans and how would a man know they want to be a women if they have never been one, is what she say's'. So secret it is then ? Until 5/6 years ago I finally went to my doctor to seek some help with these feelings. Off to a GI clinic I went after a two year wait. Still unsure of the plan discussed my feelings with my wife, she still didnt understand and didnt want anyone to try and confince her.
So after that little journey and lots of disruption and more secrecy. I realise it was female me or my wife. I chose my wife so discussed with my doctor if I could investigate possibility of hormone issues, 'that might be the problem ?' which I found that I had low testosterone levels, ahh so this is why I feel like a women?
Now two years of Testosterone HRT, more of a male body, still experiencing these feelings. I have a suitcase full of female forms and silicone mask as this doesnt leave any make up marks on my skin that my wife might see or any other telling signs that I have once again explored my female side. I have only done this twice over the two years and found that difficult to do as I know I am being dishonest to my wife by not telling her. I have recently tried to explore digital female me in the form of an avatar but, the digital world is scary and I really doesnt tick the boxes.
My head is spining and feel... well not too sure what I feel ? Just want to be me I guess... But dont worry I dont feel suicidal. Thank you for reading. Charlie x
Thanks for sharing your story too, Charlie. Just shows that there are not clear pathways to follow but everyone of us has to way up all pros and cons for ourselves. I am glad you found your doctor helpful as I also did.
If there had been a way to stay with my wife I would have taken it but my health and autism made the situation so difficult for us all. Things are so much better now but it has taken time to feel comfortable with it all. I am so happy that folk on here have different paths and circumstances but we all understand the basic challenges. Being honest, acceptance, and evolution to a better life. Simon. x