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Warning: Full on bitch rant is about to begin! Any and All advice would be appreciated! But please do NOT feel obligated to respond! 

Hey guys, it's TomBoyAB here. I just wanted to get this out of my system somehow. As stated in the title, I'm more frustrated than depressed. I just needed to vent and no one that's physically near me would know how help. Sorry if I'm posting it in the wrong place, but I just don't know where else to put it because I did not see a forum just for venting. So , without further ado, here goes:

Let me start by saying that the PERSON I'm about to complain about is family to me. We've been through thick and thin and I'm not about to end a friendship over something as silly as my ignorance or frustration. My best friend that I've known for almost 8 years now has come out as being Transgendered and is currently in the process of transitioning (M to F). I love her all the same, but she is having a HELL of a time dealing with it. She is going through what she says is "gender dysphoria" (I'm honestly not sure what this term means,even after she has tried to explain it to me more than once :( ). Her family doesn't understand and are confused as well. They seem like they are on her side 1 minute, but the next minute, they seem against her. Now every time I see her and we hang out, all I hear is negativity. Every other sentence is an insult to herself and if I try to butt in with something along the lines of "that's not true", she just nods and goes on to her next insult for herself. I hate to say it, but it's almost as if she is blatantly fishing for compliments at this point. She keeps saying that I don't understand what she's going through because I'm comfortable with the sex I was assigned with at birth and she is right. I HAVE NO CLUE what she must be going through. And I'm not trying to lead anyone on thinking that I do! I'll be the first to admit that I'm COMPLETELY CLUELESS on how nerve wracking this must be for her. It just gets so frustrating when all you want to do in order to escape the drama and bs going on in what is SUPPOSED to be your own home, you go out with a friend and it never fails that you have another emotionally exhausting situation to deal with.Because of my own anxiety and depression issues, I think what is happening here is we are 2 emotionally exhausted individuals trying to lend each other emotional support. And it's obviously not working very well. I'm not about to leave a friend in their time of need, but I'm just about at my wits end at this point. I can't just walk up to her and say " stop bitching, it's not that bad". Because frankly I have no right to. Needless to say, it's also INCREDIBLY INSENSITIVE!

Ok, I think I'm done... Sorry about all that! Again, any and all advice would be appreciated but please don't feel obligated! 

Have a great one, guys!  :3

 

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I've never dealt with anything like that. And I'm not the most... socially tactful person. So take this with a grain of salt. It could either help or destroy your friendship. 

There is one area I can help with: she claims that, because you aren't trans, you cannot POSSIBLY understand what she's going through. This is a logical fallacy. A doctor doesn't need to be lobotomized before he can preform brain surgery. What your friend is feeling, when broken down to its base components, are things that we've all felt at some point in our lives: pain, rejection, fear, anger, condemnation, self-hatred, and other horrible feelings. And although she may be feeling them because of something you've never experienced, you can still empathize with what she's going through. Which means you CAN understand what she's going through at least to a degree.

Everybody feels, at some point in their lives, that nobody can understand what we're going through. That nobody in the history of human kind has felt the way we do. But this simply isn't true. As the great philosopher Voltaire once said, "Flies are born to be eaten by spiders, and man to be devoured by sorrow." We all have our crosses to bare, but to assert that ours is somehoe heavier or harder to carry than anyone else's is prideful, egotistical, and quite frankly dangerous to one's self.

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I can understand the frustrations with both of you. It sounds to me like she's started HRT (hormones) and isn't yet used to handling the strength of emotions that brings. Those raised as girls have time to get used to dealing with strong emotions while someone jumping into this later in life doesn't. And if she previously repressed emotions as a way to cope, the impact will be even bigger. Been there done that and I can honestly say that you cannot imagine how different that can be without having gone there yourself. HRT is like a 3X magnifier of the usual emotions and a 100X magnifier of the strong ones. It takes time to learn how to handle this for it's something you cannot control. Even what were once small things can become overwhelming until you get the feelings sorted out somehow. Life as a girl is full of bumps in the road that few guys can see, much less understand. And the reverse holds true as well :rolleyes: She's the same person inside, just seeing and dealing with life much differently now :drive1:

I'm proud of you for being the kind who sees past the skin and into the hearts of people. That's a rare and valuable thing :) But you have to take care of yourself too, and it's clear that you're going to have to find a way to deal with this PDQ. I'd start with trying to change the conversation topic to something more pleasant. If she steers it back you might say "Yes, I know, you already mentioned that" as a gently way of saying "I don't want to hear so much of this" ;)  Or you might have to be clearer with that. Just be sure she really knows that you really care but that you too have limits of what you can deal with. And that you kind of miss how your conversations used to be less like you being used as a punching bag. Do take the time to listen and care- she really needs that, especially right now, but don't let that reach the point where it ruins your day or the relationship. And if you're comfortable with it, a caring hug speaks volumes to someone who lives on their emotions. That can ease her stress more than you might think. It not only says "I care" but shows it too.

It's a tough time for you both and you need to find your way through it together as friends. If you can do that the friendship will be even stronger later on. If you don't find a way to handle this somebody is going to be deeply hurt and nobody wants that to happen. We're all human and we all have limits in what we can handle so don't beat yourself up over this, just try to understand and above all care and let the caring show, and somehow find a way forward that works for both of you B)

I hope my thoughts are of some use to you and can help you both, for true friends are few in life and are worth the effort it takes to keep them.

Bettypooh

 

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Thank you both for the great advice! I can definitely see both of your points of view:

WannaTripbaby:

I have DEFINITELY felt these emotions myself before. And I wish I could convey that to her somehow. But last time I tried to tell her I understood how she felt, she got pretty upset. My friend has always thought rationally, along with SOME emotion. But now it would seem she is mentally running off of pure emotions when it comes to her thought process. As Bettypooh said in her post, it's gonna take some time for her to get used to incorporating her emotions into her life overall. I mean, just last week, she cried on my shoulder for like 30 minutes.(well, crying for a few minutes and wouldn't move from my shoulder for about 30 minutes in total). But she said that she hadn't cried like that in years and it was cathartic for her.So this will take some getting used to for the BOTH of us.

Bettypooh:

I appreciate your input. Hearing it from someone that has actually been through this process DEFINITELY sheds some light on the situation. However, I do NOT BELIEVE she has been put on HRT as of yet. She has found an endocrinologist and a therapist/specialist that was supposed to discuss her feelings and the situation overall. And after her appointment with the specialist, she said (and I quote):

"Yep. I was diagnosed with GIRL"  X3

And I'm glad she's at least happy about that :3 But she also seems to be trying too hard. Like when she laughs, you can tell she's holding back. She used to have a laugh that was LOUD, but genuine. Nowadays, it's this girly giggle that you can tell she's forcing it to sound like. All I can think when I hear that is that back when I wasn't comfortable with who I was (personality wise, that is), I made my voice sound like her new laugh does:

Higher pitched, more feminine and over all forced. 

I can understand wanting to change yourself, but it just seems she is COMPLETELY UNSATISFIED with any and all progress she is making so far. It's like, if she hears her male/deeper voice even once, she goes back to square 1 emotionally. I hate seeing her go through this and not being able to help her...Whenever I feel determined to help her feel better, I get cautious. Whenever I try to help with her emotional matters, I feel like I'm walking on thin ice that is littered with eggshells :/ . It's not her fault though. Ironically enough, as someone who was born as )and is comfortable with remaining) a girl, one would think that I'd be better at helping with the whole emotional aspect of this process. But I was raised as one of the boys. I'm not so good at this...:/ Not yet, anyway.

 

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Yeah, there's a disconnect there but the whole world is like that so it can be accommodated. Part of the problem of being Trans is that many or most TS's want to fully 'pass' as another gender which means changing the outward to better fit in there. This was me too and I learned to do quite well at it without losing who I was in the process. No more sitting with legs wide apart and farting loudly- ladies don't do that. But I sat comfortably and passed gas somewhere in a manner I felt more appropriate to who I was being seen as ;) For those who wish to pass there are a lot of changes to be made in your outward behavior and appearance if you are to do it well. It's a change of how you express things and do things- not necessarily a change of what you express and do. It's not easy to pass well- in fact I've never done anything tougher. It took me two years of constant harsh self-criticism and learning before that 'second glance' and questioning looks at me went from almost always to once or twice a week. So much is so different on the 'other side' that it can hardly be done any faster and many never quite get there. Of course it's not necessary to 'pass' to be whoever you are but the closer you get to it the easier your life usually is. If it's your goal to 'pass' you have to be very self-critical because the failures hurt. You beat yourself up over everything you think you're doing wrong until you get it right :( With me I was able to keep that to myself but not everyone is this way. 

What I think she needs from you right now is the steadfast honest friend she's always known. Be honest with her but be gentle too- the early part of most transitions is a daily hell of getting the worst from almost everybody you see. If she asks for your thoughts then share them but try not to be too blunt. If you see something you think may help her mention it but don't harp on it. She needs those 'other eyes' to help her see things she isn't seeing for herself. Compliment her when she does well or is doing better with whatever her pursuits are. Do your best to help but let her decide where she's going to go and how she's going to get there. And try to understand that inside she's the same person as before- only being expressed differently because that's what the world makes you do when your goal is to pass. Most of all try to be patient- it's going to take time before she has gone as far as she can in her journey and becomes comfortable with herself being at that point. If you can hold on till then I think you'll find the effort worthwhile in seeing how much better a person can be when they find their true self and learn to express that confidently. You may be losing a 'brother' but you're gaining an even better 'sister'- try to remember that when things get rough :D

Bettypooh

 

 

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