Hi my name is Sasha I am 49. Recently my third marriage was on the brink of total collapse with conflict so destructive, stress and anxiety off the scale: For the past 4 years I had been feeling angry and alone and previous behaviour of self harming and suicidal thoughts were once again surfacing in my mind. Outwardly I had everything and had no reason to be feeling like this but things were just not right and getting worse. Following 30 years of very serious drug and alcohol abuse and many years of counselling for those problems, I realise now that I had spent 30 years numbing my feelings and hiding from everything, especially how I felt. After 500 days of being drug free, every day was becoming absolutely crazy! Immense rage, loneliness, confusion, stress, panic attacks, terrible fights with my partner. Everything was spiraling out of control so in an attempt to save our relationship we sought marriage guidance counselling. After just 2 ,2 hour sessions it became clear how dysfunctional the relationship had become and that it was damaging both of us to the point that the counsellor suggested we consider parting. This was a wake up call as we truly felt that we loved each other but just couldn’t understand why things were so badly wrong. What followed over the next few days was at first incredible but straight away felt right and bits of a 35 year old puzzle came together so easily that i cannot believe the years of denial I put myself through. My inability to behave like a man throughout my life has been excruciatingly painful. I always felt so out of place around men and so comfortable and at ease around women. After the second session of our marriage guidance counselling, sat on the sofa that night something came out of my mouth that i had no idea was in my head and i had no idea that I was about to say it. I asked my wife to help me find a skirt and in a moment everything in my world shifted and clicked into place. The next day we went shopping for women’s clothes and had the best weekend together for many years. We talked and talked and feelings came pouring our of me. Things long buried surfaced and little bits of a puzzle finally began to make sense to me. Its not all been easy and at the beginning I was constantly questioning whether this was real or not but with understanding and self acceptance came such a feeling of relief and ” rightness” that I know this is real. I have been living as a female since this happened in June ( months ) and have never been so happy and at ease with myself in my entire life! The next time we attended marriage guidance I arrived wearing a dress !! she said im not at all surprised !and she commented on how relaxed and happy I looked. Once I realised what had been wrong all of my life I began counselling and researching transition. I realised I could become my real self. Unfortunately I began to find major obstacles in my path. I am English but moved to France 8 years ago. Assistance for transgender people in France seems to be seriously lacking and even finding information was a huge struggle. I was getting more and more anxious and when eventually I found the team in France that is responsible for looking after Transgender people, I was horrified to be told that the earliest initial appointment would be in 3 years time !! I felt so depressed. After so many years of unhappiness and not knowing what was wrong with me, to finally understand and realise that something could be done to help me, to then be told I would have to wait 3 years was crucifying. I knew I couldn’t wait 3 years so I began to look for alternatives. I felt pretty desperate and even considered moving countries ! I found Dr Webberley’s service whilst searching the internet for help. I made contact, explained my situation and found all the help I needed. I can’t begin to explain the utter relief I felt. Accessing and using the service couldn’t be easier. Even though I am in another country I can access Dr Webberley and Katie quickly and efficiently and any questions or worries I have are addressed straight away. I feel very supported and it is not a problem at all that I live in a different country. I began gender therapy with Avril, and after looking at a detailed history and blood test results Dr Webberley prescribed hormones for me . I have now been on Hormones for 10 weeks and wow what a difference. The unhappy, frustrated, angry, dysfunctional person seems to have gone. Its like the fog has lifted and I am seeing and thinking so much more clearly. I am really feeling like I am becoming the woman I should have always been. For the very first time in my life I am liking myself. After years of self hatred I like what I see when I look in the mirror and more importantly perhaps I am liking the person that I am. My wife was initially shocked, although she was aware of my troubled past and had said before that she felt something was ” not right”. She had never imagined that her body building, tattooed husband was actually a woman. Although there are challenges, she is adjusting to having a woman as a partner, and although she fell in love with me as a man she loves the person I am first and sees gender as secondary to that. She tells me that she prefers “Happy Sasha” to the unhappy man that I was. Truthfully I think if I had tried to stay living as the Man she thought I was our relationship and possible me couldn’t have survived. Now although the path is different and sometimes difficult we both feel that the future is going to be good.
You can’t help but be moved by a story like this – thank you so much for sharing your story Sasha, it’s been my pleasure to help you on your way – Dr Webberley