October 7, 2019

My Heart of Darkness and Fairy Tale Endings

I’m not okay…

I just finished reading Felix Conrad’s Autogynephilia – Everyman’s Guide to Autogynephilia, Crossdreaming and Late Onset Transsexualism.

It started off very affirming and then took a hard left onto Tough Love St. It was there amidst the rain, cold and darkness that my car drove off the road into the ditch…

It is there I still lay…

I described my experience with gender dysphoria as, “This entire part of my life is upsetting, terrifying, confusing, surreal, arousing, amazing and wonderful all at once.”

Conrad’s book is amazingly insightful and is 100% applicable to my situation. He does an admirable job outlining some of the “phases” one may experience. I have experienced them all.

The immense sadness that I feel is the latest “phase”. I feel profound soul-crushing sadness. I can barely function.

I feel sadness at being alone (no hugs, nobody to cry with). I feel sad that the people closest to me don’t know me. I feel sad that the moments that I feel “correct” are so fleeting. I feel sad that there is no safe place for me to just “be”.

I feel sad that this fairly tale won’t have a happy ending. (A problem for which there is no solution.)

The first bit of “tough love” came as Conrad explained why I should not identify as a woman…simply because I am not one. Never will be.

I cried alone all weekend. He’s not wrong.

Conrad wrote, “It seems inherently tragic and almost cruel of nature to make an individual want something which nature cannot readily provide.”

Now I will fully disclose that throughout my entire life I have been prone to melancholy. Uncomfortable in my own skin since my earliest childhood memory, no stranger to seemingly unending sadness. Happy moments have been far too fleeting. Extinguished far too soon.

Now how am I to live?

Allow me to wax poetic – If nobody knows me, if I only exist alone in my private moments, do I exist at all?

Conrad suggests that it is imperative that the person experiencing gender dysphoria determine where on the scale they sit. Is their dysphoria moderate? Negligible? All consuming? This is to help determine a person’s appropriate course of action. As best I can tell I am stuck somewhere between moderate and all-consuming.

For those with all-consuming gender dysphoria it may be simpler. You MUST transition. Short of that there is a decision to be made. How now shall you live? A question that for many of us is far beyond our reach.

Objectively this seems ridiculous. I’m so very sad because I can never be me.

This morning as I got in the shower, I felt so anxious, so utterly full of soul-wrenching despair. Dizzy, I used an arm to prop myself up against the wall as the water ran down my back. I felt as if I may die that very moment and I welcomed it.

You see, this story has no fairy tale ending. I’ll never be that princess.

How now shall I live?



  • Alli, you mentioned Conrad to me in another place and I’ve looked him up. I think I’ll have to get that book on Autogynephilia although yours isn’t the only negative comment I’ve seen on it. I also want to put something at that other place on something the late psychotherapist Otto Rank wrote that means a lot to me and which I found very helpful.
    — lipgloss

    • I made a note to look at Otto Rank. Thank you. I like most of what Felix Conrad writes but as I mentioned I did have issue with some of how he answers the “How now do I live?” question. Way too simplistic and seemed like he was just speaking for himself. I’ll admit some of my reaction was emotional. I’m so very painfully aware that I am not a woman. I cried when I read that he wrote. Basically – You can’t pass so you need to accept some other unpalatable option to trick yourself into feeling somewhat whole. Ergo – if you don’t feel/look attractive you will be depressed and wish you never bothered to transition. Silliness. So much of this radiates from the inside. I’d be happy to be identified as a a (even obviously) trans woman. This all comes from the inside. I can’t expect the world to reflect back what I want to see – it has its own rules.

      I really do recommend that book though. Up until the second part, I saw myself so clearly.


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