Stuck in Limbo

The key to life is maintaining balance and to keep moving forward.

We don’t have to constantly strut towards something, however. It’s essential to take a break and pause and rest when we need to. God knows I need to listen to myself.

As we continue our journey we aren’t always aware of where we, or more specifically, where *this* is all going. That can be terrifying or liberating (or both). We are guided by our heart and what feels (and what fits) right. We will consider different paths and in the end choose the destination that is best for us. We will stumble, we will make mistakes, we will rest, we will turn around and venture into a new direction.

Like walking in four inch heels, we rely on forward momentum and balance and confidence, even if we tremble with each stride.

For decades this side of me was mostly about lingerie. I would wear a pretty nightie to bed, I would wear a cute matching bra and panty under my boy clothes. When I made the “official” leap into real clothes, makeup, and femme presentation it was… exhilarating. There was always a new makeup technique to try, a new outfit to add to my wardrobe, and new aspect of my gender identity to unlock.

I felt like the possibilities were endless.

Although I didn’t know where I was going, I’ve known from the start (allll the way back from when I was very young) what didn’t feel right. I knew that transitioning wasn’t right. As much as I loved pretty clothes and amazing makeup and gorgeous stilettos, I don’t, and have never felt uncomfortable in boy mode. My journey would not take me to HRT or living full-time.

I knew where I wasn’t going, but I didn’t know where I would end up.

For a long time I felt like my journey was completed. And in terms of my presentation it is. I don’t think I can look any more femme than I do. I think this is the best I can do with what I have. And I love how I look. Dysphoria or feeling I look too masculine happens less and less often.

But I still want to do NEW things. April’s MN T-Girl yoga class is a good example of that. I still want to fly pretty. I still want to be a bridesmaid, lol. Although discovering WHO I am is settled, there’s still so much to do.

And I feel I can do what feels right. My confidence and feeling at peace allows me to have the courage (and hubris if I am being honest) to do the things I want to do.

I talk to a lot of other t-girls who are on their own journey. There are a lot of similarities in our lives and how we started and how we feel, but our destinations could be very different. A lot of us feel how I feel, that gender identity can be more than one option. A lot of us feel that transitioning is the right path.

Again, I don’t feel that living full time or HRT is right for me. I have never had a conversation with a therapist or a doctor about estrogen or anything like that. I have NO experience in what those talks or steps look like so please understand that when I talk about transitioning my perspective is one that is likely very naïve, very wrong, and very simplistic.

That being said (and pleeeeeeease educate me in the comments) it SEEMS that transitioning has, well, an end point in some regard. There’s the legal aspect of changing your gender, the emotional aspect, the social aspect of coming out to everyone in your world, the medical aspect (if indeed one does HRT or gender-affirming surgery)… the list goes on.

But to me it seems like eventually everything will be crossed off the list as the legal and the medical parts of transitioning will one day be complete. Of course, transitioning is an enormously emotional step and will likely impact one’s feeling and thoughts for a very long, and the social aspect can be difficult as the people in our lives adapt from “him” to “her”.

Please understand I don’t mean to minimize or simplify anyone’s journey.

What I am trying to say is that from my perspective is that sometimes the big parts of someone’s gender identity journey can end. Mine did.

Lately I have been thinking about those who are, well, stuck. Perhaps they aren’t sure what their next step is. They may know what doesn’t feel right but they aren’t sure where to go from here. They know their gender identity isn’t at peace yet, but feel conflicted about what to do, what to wear, and who to talk to.

This can create a lot of anxiety.

There are also others that don’t have the freedom to continue their journey at the moment. This can be a few different things. When I was a teenager I couldn’t wear what I wanted to whenever I felt like it. I couldn’t wear panties all the time because of the fear of my family looking through my dresser drawers. I didn’t always feel like I could look through my sisters’ closets lest they return home sooner than I had hoped.

But I knew that as soon as I moved out I would be off and running when it came to what I wore and what was in my closet. I just had to bide my time.

I felt something similar in a previous relationship. Long story short I came out to her, she wasn’t accepting (and I hold no ill will towards her), but as the end of our relationship loomed I looked forward to moving out and once again being able to wear what I wanted. It was a small comfort during a very difficult time.

But that’s how this side of my life has always worked. Crossdressing would always be there for me.

My life today is… unbelievable compared to the life I thought I would have. I have a job that I (mostly) enjoy, I have a few close friends, family I like, a comfortable home, and the perfect spouse for me.

On a superficial level I also have more dresses and heels than I thought I would ever have.

Not a day goes by where I take anything in my world for granted. I have been lonely, frustrated, broke, angry, depressed, heartbroken, and aimless at many points in my life. I remember those days, those years. To not feel them is a blessing.

I am reminded every day of how fortunate I am. These reminders can come from listening to friends who are going through relationship changes, family members suffering financial hardships, and people I don’t know struggling through major challenges.

I am reminded when I get emails from girls like myself who feel lonely, lost, and confused about who they are. The frustration they feel because they can’t continue their journey for a number of reasons.

They are, for lack of a better word, stuck in limbo.

They may not know the next step, or perhaps they do but are unable to move in that direction at the moment.

I cannot imagine the frustration and sadness and the hopelessness that feeling stuck, for whatever reason, that some of us might be feeling.

Just remember that you are not alone. I understand this may be of small comfort but if I could offer more I would.

If this is where you are, how do you cope? What advice would you give to others in your heels?

Love, Hannah

One thought on “Stuck in Limbo

  1. I suppose I fall into the stuck category. Or at least I feel I am among the unresolved, still want and enjoying the experience of shedding a male facade and applying a somewhat female alternative, while at the same time still questioning my motives, judgement and sanity. I cope by allowing myself a few moments of frustration, but only a few,. Then I seek a constructive diversion. It mostly seems to work.


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