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#2509477 05/15/11 05:05 PM
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Cypress Offline OP
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Marriage Builders forums have become important to me because of the wisdom of the veteran posters. I'd like to continue learning from them, and maybe I can impart a few things I have learned along the way.

Well here goes..

After my divorce in 2000 I did a lot of soul searching. I had been through two marriages that ended with my WW's infidelity. I began to realize that I was never fully participating in either marriage. I was always a renter.

No 2x4s please, this is hard to write...

All of my life, from as young as I can remember, I was jealous of women. As I grew older I was both jealous and physically attracted. When I slept with a woman I was not really present, I had to imagine I was her, to consummate the act. I knew what this was, but could not come to grips with it. I wanted to fit in as a man, but something in my soul was telling me different. My parent knew I was transgendered, my Mom would talk about it, my Dad was never spoke about it. He saw me as his failure.

I wanted to make things right with them, and bury who I really was. So, I joined the Marine Corps and became a helicopter pilot. When I finished at Pensacola, my Dad finally smiled at me and told me he was as proud of me as if I had just graduated from Harvard.

So I went though 6 years of the most macho experiences anyone could imagine. It did not change me a bit. I was always angry and emotionally closed off. This persona worked for an officer in the Marines. I went through one marriage, and I did not change at all. Nothing seemed to work. I felt as if I was living a lie, hurting myself and others in the process. My only plan was to shoot myself if anyone found out. But, there is no way they could have as I never acted in a feminine manner during all those years.

My second marriage started after I left the Marines. My heart was not really in it. She probably sensed that at some level. I loved her too, but the marriage was also a way I could not deal with my reality. That marriage ended as the first, in WW's infidelity.

I finally had to come to grips with it all. I took a figurative leap off the cliff, hoping god would be there for me. And he was. When I told my family. most were shocked. My closest sister was not surprised. She said she knew there had always been something going on with me. The woman I sat next to at work cried when I told her. My employer was not supportive, but legally required to not discriminate.

I went through male to female transition between 2000 and 2002. It's a long involved process with councilors and doctors. I had gender reassignment surgery in Montreal in August of 2002. To my surprise, one of my neighbors was going through the same thing. She had m/f grs the day before I did.

Its been almost 10 years since transition. What I have to offer the MB forums is what it is like to have relationships as both a man and a woman. I know what both men and women expect in relationships. I hope this knowledge can be helpful in some way.

I am still a devout Christian. I go to a UCC church almost every Sunday. The minister and moderator know my story, but no one else. For a long time I prayed for God's forgiveness. One day the minister said I was following the path God had laid out for me. She said I only need to ask forgiveness for those I hurt along the way.

I posted earlier as PhrogDriver, because that is who I was when I was dealing with my WW's infidelity. I've changed my screen to Cypress

Last edited by Cypress; 05/16/11 07:48 AM.

Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
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Cypress, thank you for this post. I have seen your recent posts on SaA and I have thought them very helpful.

I wonder, though, why you have talked about this only now. Why didn't you tell the board about your identity when you first registered, and for all this time you have been posting?


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My experience as a BS occurred when I was a man. It occurred two years after my last divorce. I didn't think it was relevant. But thinking back on it, I should have discussed it.

I should have written the transition thread before I posted again. But frankly, I was afraid to. I'm not very open about my transition to people. Friends and family know. But no one at my new workplace knows. When dating, I don't mention it on the first date either. That's another can of worms I have to deal with. I don't mention my military background to anyone. I had second thoughts about posting my picture and removed it.

Last edited by Cypress; 05/16/11 08:09 AM.

Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,431
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The first date issue is a difficult one. I think that many of us would not want to discuss our sexual histories on a first date, but after reading Dr Harley's advice on "historical honesty", we realise that we need to be honest early on in a relationship. People have the right to know enough about you to make a decision about whether they wish to continue seeing you.

It is hard to know how early is "early on", when the events cover things ranging from pregnancy, adoption, abortion and other things that we would really rather not talk about until we are in a serious relationship.

When the historical detail is about one's sex at birth, however, I think it is probably better - in the sense of causing less upset - to be honest BEFORE the date. You cannot do that, though, if you are not being honest about your gender reassignment in ordinary relationships.

Why are you "not open" about your transition? Wouldn't it be better - easier - to be honest about your past and not have to pretend or lie, even if that means that some people shun you?

I speak from a position of no expertise whatsoever, and I am well aware that I might be talking nonsense. It won't be the first time, if so!


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Wow, Cypress... I can certainly understand why you would have trouble divulging this. I, personally, have trouble divulging my sexual past and its nowhere near as dramatic as yours. I wish I had some advice for you, but I just dont know what to tell you. Whats done is done. Am I reading it right that while it sounds like you are mostly happy with your decision the expected lack of acceptance from general society kinda taints this?

I will go back and ready your thread, but in the meantime how are you when it comes to truly loving and accepting yourself?


"If you will stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you" -Joyce Meyer
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Sugar Cane,

Discrimination is a fact of life for transwomen. I transitioned at my last job, after working there for 6 years. Despite being a professional and hard working employee I was put on a 90 day 'improvement plan'. When I received the plan, it only had my name on it. The rest of the plan was blank. I was laid off 90 days later.

Mean comments were a problem there, too. One employee showing a friend around the building, walked by my cubical saying 'and there is the company tranny'.

Personal safety is also an issue. The incidence of assault and murder are much higher for transwomen than for the general population. When I dated I always insisted the first two were in a public place, like a Starbucks. On the first date I wanted them to know me as a person. I also tried to determine if they were safe. At the beginning of the second date I would tell them my background.

My longest relationship lasted 6 months. His family really liked me too. Against my pleading, he decided to tell them my background. I got the 'lets just be friends' talk a few days later. I haven't dated in a few years, now. So I guess the point is mute.

My biggest struggle is about my daughters. I feel a lot of guilt by taking 'dad' away from them. Prior to transition I was angry and closed off. I'm a much better parent now. They seem okay with the whole thing these days. But, I still feel a pang of guilt at times.

Last edited by Cypress; 05/16/11 10:09 AM.

Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 158
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Daisy,

I do love and accept myself. I've even done some public speaking about it in front of hundreds at the Univ. of Washington. But transition has made relationships rather difficult.

Last edited by Cypress; 05/16/11 09:58 AM.

Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 412
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Hi Cypress... I referenced you in a reply to my "You CAN Develop Sexual Attraction" thread, and it inspired me to come over here and check on you to see how you are doing.

The question I asked was "when it comes to sexuality outside the norm, how honest do you be and when?"

What do you think about that? Being transgendered (is that the right term) I suspect you'd be comfortable with all sorts of revelations in that realm, but most people aren't.


"If you will stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you" -Joyce Meyer
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I replied on your thread. But I'll add more info here:

I don't usually use the term transgendered or transsexual to describe myself to others. I don't talk about my medical history to people unless I know them well, or I plan to date them.

After the transition process we are just called women. My passport says female. I have an 'f' on my drivers license. My medical records state that I am female. I have annual mammograms, too. (ouch)

I have never had anyone get upset when I told them. Mostly I just get a surprised look and 'OMG your kidding!'. I've given up trying to guess what others think of me. People are so wrapped up in their own drama, they really can't give much time to thinking about me.

I've noticed that people who are on the very periphery of my social circle are more likely to be callus. I'm a very friendly and personable person. So, as soon as they get know me, I don't have any more problems.

I'm a pretty conservative person socially. I don't hang out with people I consider way out there, like drag queens, or cross dressers. I do have several gay acquaintances, however.

I am very familiar with the transition process. I consider people who have been through it as part of my 'tribe'. I am not familiar with gay culture or consider them part of my 'tribe'. I don't usually hang out with 'trans' women. I know of some in my area. They are just like any other women. There is no reason to seek them out.

Last edited by Cypress; 05/26/11 11:26 PM.

Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
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now I know. Hope I didn't offend you by using "transgendered" it's hard for me to keep all of that straight, but I will do my best ;-)


"If you will stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you" -Joyce Meyer
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Not a problem smile

There is a constantly changing lexicon for trans folks. Its hard keep up with sometimes. crazy


Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
Joined: Oct 2008
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You said in your OP that you were physically attracted to women. Now you date men? Are you attracted to men? Were you attracted to men before the surgery?

I get the whole gender thing...I don't quite grasp the 'attracted to' thing.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
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Cypress Offline OP
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Well... that's a very interesting question.

Transition is about identity, not sexuality. There is a very visceral, physical component to transition that is hard to explain. The first time my doctor gave me an estrogen injection it was like breathing oxygen for the first time.

My sexual preference evolved over time. I'm okay now with either men or women. Its all about love for me, not the plumbing.

I was brought up in a very strict Catholic family. I went to Catholic schools from kindergarten through College. So I was taught that only man + woman + marriage was acceptable. I then spent many years in the Marines. Being the least bit effeminate could get you in a lot of trouble there.

I only thought of having sex with women prior to transition. It felt really incredible, and I was told I was pretty good at it. I never seriously thought of having sex with a guy. It just seemed really gross. I fully expected to live my life as a lesbian after transition.

After all the hormones, surgery and electrolysis. I turned out quite beautiful. I looked about 10 years younger than my actual age. (This is not uncommon in transition.) I got a lot of attention from men that I was not expecting.



It was pretty uncomfortable at first, the old Catholic upbringing kept rearing its head. But,it was very validating to have heads turning when I entered a room. Transition is a one way trip, so I knew I had better get used to it. I decided to let go and have the right brain take over most of the time. I'm still not comfortable wearing really feminine clothing. I don't own a dress, I have only a few skirts.

I liked the affection and security men wanted to give me. I liked being courted. I could hold hands with a guy in public, whereas it felt uncomfortable to holds hands with a woman. If I started dating lesbians I felt like I would be jumping out of one closet and into another.

I eventually met a nice guy who showered me with affection. Sleeping with a guy the first time was different than I expected. It was not the incredible rush of being a man and having intercourse with a woman. The sexual rush was less intense, but there was a bonding with him I did not expect. I was disappointed that after he met his needs, he forgot about the bonding. But, I was living in the world of women, and I felt I had better get used to it. Grrrrr.

I'll admit that while I was a man I did once feel an attraction to a man. I never spoke of it, nor showed any hint of it. He was very handsome, (I mean very!), and CO of my unit. His wife was a newscaster in a major city. There was no freaking way I would have ever acted on it. He was very conservative. His wife made a run for a local republican office on a family values (read anti-gay) platform. Fortunately, she lost big time.

My longest relationship since transition was with a man. It lasted about 6 months. I've never been promiscuous, I needed love before I was sexually interested in anyone.

I eventually discovered that women made good partners too. They were much better then men at giving affection. Something, I really began to crave. I became good at reading inflections and physical cues to tell what they were thinking. I love to chat about feelings, relationships and romance, I never did that as a guy. Men tend to get glassy-eyed when I talk to much like that.

The whole experience has been like taking a one way train trip to a foreign country. I did not learn the language or customs of my new home until long after arrival.

I hope I answered your question.



Last edited by Cypress; 05/26/11 11:59 PM.

Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.
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Thanks for your candor. Very interesting stuff, thank you for talking about it.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
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The perspective on differences between sexual experiences of men and women is especially enlightening.


"If you will stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you" -Joyce Meyer
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There is a lot more I have to share on that, but it was too far off topic. I been a guest speaker at several colleges around Seattle. So I'm familiar with the questions and comfortable answering them.


Me DH 39
WW 45 EA/PA LTR
DD2 6 yrs old
Divorced 2000

Cypress


I believe God challenges us with every crisis. Its more than just choosing good over evil, we have to learn and grow along the way.

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