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  1. #1
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And... while I hate to throw this one in... but now that you know about my transgender issues... does that help explain any of the anomalies that you might have noticed previously in my type?
    I've been watching for this, since gender bias is something I'm currently interested in... and I have to answer yes, it seems that it does have an influence. However, I believe it comes as a result of it not being "manly" to question sexuality in any way, including gender issues, rather than it being a direct influence. So in a strange way, I think that the N(T)s are able to understand it at a certain level, but our T nature is still socialized (this applies to the Ts more than the Fs, since the Fs have shown more direct support) a certain way, which is what causes the reaction.

    Sometimes critical is an euphanism for "hiding in what is familiar by pushing the unfamiliar away". If one can't deal with it directly, there is normally some level of seperation between themselves and what they are avoiding - I could see this manifesting itself as "But he can't be a T like me"... (I haven't been watching if its Ts or Fs that are saying the T/F divide, but instinct tells me it'll be nearly all Ts. If not, so much for that theory )

    FWIW, it seems like the support has been near universal... but I believe small changes in behaviour are out there. I was self analysing my own reaction to it and then looking for other similar behaviour... so projection may be an issue... I'd be fascinated to hear your side of how you think people changed and how personality seemed to influence it! Especially the smaller details, rather than the obvious ones, in RL or on the board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Sometimes critical is an euphanism for "hiding in what is familiar by pushing the unfamiliar away". If one can't deal with it directly, there is normally some level of seperation between themselves and what they are avoiding - I could see this manifesting itself as "But he can't be a T like me"... (I haven't been watching if its Ts or Fs that are saying the T/F divide, but instinct tells me it'll be nearly all Ts. If not, so much for that theory )
    I wasn't quite sure what you meant, so I am trying to paraphrase here: If the T is uncomfortable with expressing F values (i.e., the INTP is afraid of feeling expressions), then they have a temptation to relegate all expression of F function as the realm of an F-based person? [or something like that]

    In our culture at least, male T seems to fear showing the feminine F (considering it a sign of weakness/softness).

    it seems like the support has been near universal... but I believe small changes in behaviour are out there. I was self analysing my own reaction to it and then looking for other similar behaviour... so projection may be an issue... I'd be fascinated to hear your side of how you think people changed and how personality seemed to influence it! Especially the smaller details, rather than the obvious ones, in RL or on the board.
    Oh, well, I notice things not only in others but in me.

    1. I think I feel much "freer" to expressing a soft, feeling-oriented style. My posts as Fortunato have softened up too on INTPc. It's almost as if I am reacting to myself, in a sense. (I find this interesting and am really trying to monitor it in myself -- am I simply revealing things that were already in me, waiting to come out, or am I proactively creating myself by "trying on" different roles and behaviors that are now acceptable for me to express?)
    2. Women and men respond differently. In PMs especially, some of the men have seemed gentler with me [of course you don't, you pig ], while many of the women (NF types especially) seem to talk to me as one of them, a peer and not as a member of the "other group." I was friends with them but I always felt as if there was a barrier there, and now it is gone. We are having some wonderful conversations behind the scenes and I feel much happier and no longer excluded.
    3. It hasn't been long enough yet to see if I feel my ideas will be more discredited/ignored by males, simply because of my female name/image, or perhaps humored instead? I don't know.
    There's probably others, but I will have to think about them and report later. A benefit of being "out" is that i can finally discuss things like this with perceptive people who can also observe and monitor the ongoing interactions with me. (Hmmm, life is just one big social experiment, isn't it? I always put myself in as the lab rat.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #3
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I wasn't quite sure what you meant, so I am trying to paraphrase here: If the T is uncomfortable with expressing F values (i.e., the INTP is afraid of feeling expressions), then they have a temptation to relegate all expression of F function as the realm of an F-based person? [or something like that]

    In our culture at least, male T seems to fear showing the feminine F (considering it a sign of weakness/softness).
    Sure, that sounds like it makes sense Reading what I wrote didn't... I couldn't get the idea out of my head on onto digital paper...

    But I think there is another layer of seperation... T = Male = Strong, critical, logical... while F = Female = Weak, personal, emotional... I suspect that is what is playing out more than a more specific T/F divide. If you get down to it, we all have rules on how we are suppose to treat someone based on their gender. Offer my seat to a woman? Hold the door open? I don't do those different anymore, but I used to. I'm thinking that there must be some sort of dissonance for people who are aware of the change, but also a form of avoidance (not knowing what to do as well as distancing from the confusion).

    (I don't know if that makes any more sense!)



    [*]I think I feel much "freer" to expressing a soft, feeling-oriented style. My posts as Fortunato have softened up too on INTPc. It's almost as if I am reacting to myself, in a sense. (I find this interesting and am really trying to monitor it in myself -- am I simply revealing things that were already in me, waiting to come out, or am I proactively creating myself by "trying on" different roles and behaviors that are now acceptable for me to express?)
    I don't read INTPc, so I can't measure that... but that is *really* interesting!

    [*]Women and men respond differently. In PMs especially, some of the men have seemed gentler with me [ while many of the women (NF types especially) seem to talk to me as one of them, a peer and not as a member of the "other group." I was friends with them but I always felt as if there was a barrier there, and now it is gone. We are having some wonderful conversations behind the scenes and I feel much happier and no longer excluded.
    Hmmm... do you feel any (all? most?) of this is due to projection? (How much changed because of the *change* and how much changed because you acted differently?)

    [*]It hasn't been long enough yet to see if I feel my ideas will be more discredited/ignored by males, simply because of my female name/image, or perhaps humored instead? I don't know.[/LIST]
    That would bother me... but I don't think it would be too common.

    There's probably others, but I will have to think about them and report later. A benefit of being "out" is that i can finally discuss things like this with perceptive people who can also observe and monitor the ongoing interactions with me. (Hmmm, life is just one big social experiment, isn't it? I always put myself in as the lab rat.)
    Heh, I'd do it out of curiousity but don't have any real inclination. I have been "female" on boards before for that reason... but there is no way for me to emulate what you are going through. That's what makes it so interesting on so many different levels.

    /me pokes Jennifer with a stick. How does that feel?
    /me pokes Jennifer with a stick. How does that feel?
    /me pokes Jennifer with a stick. How does that feel?

    [of course you don't, you pig ],
    If your gender didn't matter before, why should it now? (I tend to operate blind on the forums, meaning I often don't even know who I'm answering... I try to reflect styles and content, not individuals... I like to think that I have little personal bias in my posts!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I suspect that is what is playing out more than a more specific T/F divide. If you get down to it, we all have rules on how we are suppose to treat someone based on their gender. Offer my seat to a woman? Hold the door open? I don't do those different anymore, but I used to. I'm thinking that there must be some sort of dissonance for people who are aware of the change, but also a form of avoidance (not knowing what to do as well as distancing from the confusion).
    Some people leaped right in with open arms.

    A few people did seem to avoid things for awhile, and I presumed that they didn't know how to interact yet and needed to absorb and contemplate.

    A few people have read my blog but didn't comment at all yet. Either it was just interesting to them but they didn't really have anything to say about it, or they had some personal opinion about it they didn't want to voice at this time, but I can't speak for them either way.

    What's funny is that they are not the only ones still learning and figuring things out. I learn too. What can I expect? What should I expect? There is learning occurring on both ends.

    I don't read INTPc, so I can't measure that... but that is *really* interesting!
    I thought you'd appreciate that.

    Hmmm... do you feel any (all? most?) of this is due to projection? (How much changed because of the *change* and how much changed because you acted differently?)
    Hmm, that is a good point. I don't know. How much did I change? I did write my blog and communications in a more natural style, so I did change somewhat and that might have affected how others responded -- but there were those who reacted very quickly in positive ways, so it seemed less about "my changing" and simply a change on their part in how to perceive me.

    Heh, I'd do it out of curiousity but don't have any real inclination. I have been "female" on boards before for that reason... but there is no way for me to emulate what you are going through. That's what makes it so interesting on so many different levels.
    Yes, this isn't really just being female on a board, since I was known "beforehand" -- it's much more like "coming out" in real life, except you only are dealing with the "virtual me" and not my physical presence (and the obvious large dichotomy between my virtual image and my physical image).

    /me pokes Jennifer with a stick. How does that feel?
    Hey!

    /me pokes Jennifer with a stick. How does that feel?
    HEY!

    /me pokes Jennifer with a stick. How does that feel?
    Grrrrrrrrrr!!! <looks through wood shavings for concealed taser>


    If your gender didn't matter before, why should it now? (I tend to operate blind on the forums, meaning I often don't even know who I'm answering... I try to reflect styles and content, not individuals... I like to think that I have little personal bias in my posts!)
    You do. you've definitely always been one of the generally "unbiased" ones.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Some people leaped right in with open arms.
    Meaning, offering support and all that? Or to comment in general? (Was this reflected in RL at all, or is it a board persona thing?)

    A few people have read my blog but didn't comment at all yet. Either it was just interesting to them but they didn't really have anything to say about it, or they had some personal opinion about it they didn't want to voice at this time, but I can't speak for them either way.
    Heh, that was my reaction. I was a bit confused at first, since it wasn't something I had anticipated. But after the reaction passed, I realised I had nothing to say anyway! It's not exactly like I'm the supportive type in the first place, but how can I offer any sense of support when I have no clue what you are going through! True to type there, I suppose. The reactions are probably a mix of uncertainty more than anything else.

    What's funny is that they are not the only ones still learning and figuring things out. I learn too. What can I expect? What should I expect? There is learning occurring on both ends.
    Learning is good! Although I am more interested in how other people react, others will be more interested in what you go through... And you get to do what you wanted to do as well as follow your (?) nature and explain/teach others. Seems pretty good to me

    Hmm, that is a good point. I don't know. How much did I change? I did write my blog and communications in a more natural style, so I did change somewhat and that might have affected how others responded -- but there were those who reacted very quickly in positive ways, so it seemed less about "my changing" and simply a change on their part in how to perceive me.
    To put it in context, I had to read your blog twice before I could figure out exactly what was going on. Your writing was far more stylized and I couldn't skim over it like I normally read posts. So yes, huge difference! I just wasn't sure how much it changed in your PMs or other posts (I didn't notice a huge difference)...

    I expect a certain amount of the support was personal - women especially tend to have a bond with those they related to, such that any change in that person (even if it makes the relationship impossible) tends to be ignored. So I'd be curious about how different each gender did react to you.

    I also suspect that you got support because you were friends already, and you needed support... IMO, that probably played a bigger role than any understanding change (which I think would be more gradual). Empathy goes a huge way in relationships... and in relationship bonds! I don't believe you will get it to the same degree going forward (with new people).

    Yes, this isn't really just being female on a board, since I was known "beforehand" -- it's much more like "coming out" in real life, except you only are dealing with the "virtual me" and not my physical presence (and the obvious large dichotomy between my virtual image and my physical image).
    I find that interesting as well... I already have a good idea of what to expect in your RL, but very little online. (Reason for this is that I've read a fair bit about gender psychology, which includes stories from those that underwent sex changes or similar). A second 'dataset' will help understand our own reactions that much better... how environments change us without us even being aware of it.

    You do. you've definitely always been one of the generally "unbiased" ones.
    Oh, I love the " " in there

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Meaning, offering support and all that? Or to comment in general? (Was this reflected in RL at all, or is it a board persona thing?)
    Well, I meant offering support -- I got a lot of PMs from people I haven't really talked to very much yet.

    And yes, it's a board persona thing. I haven't really "come out" in real life, except with a few close friends, and obviously my wife and I discuss this a great deal.

    But it has definitely impacted me in RL. I noticed that I was conveying some of the freedom I felt online into my behavior and speech offline... just how I say things, what inflections I use, how comfortable I feel, etc. And I gained some confidence -- maybe not everyone will reject me when I reveal what I've been dealing with, even if right now I'm not sure how they will respond.

    Heh, that was my reaction. I was a bit confused at first, since it wasn't something I had anticipated. But after the reaction passed, I realised I had nothing to say anyway! It's not exactly like I'm the supportive type in the first place, but how can I offer any sense of support when I have no clue what you are going through! True to type there, I suppose. The reactions are probably a mix of uncertainty more than anything else.
    it's good to have that affirmation from you as to what probably occurred. I'm happy since, ten years ago, I would have probably taken silence as "personal rejection" (I was extremely hypersensitive and my imagination always pictured the worst interpretation). Nowadays, I know enough to just not read much into it.

    Learning is good! Although I am more interested in how other people react, others will be more interested in what you go through... And you get to do what you wanted to do as well as follow your (?) nature and explain/teach others. Seems pretty good to me
    My introversion is doing a nice number on me, though, and whole T/F thing. The experience is so personal and "dramatic," but if I live there too long, I sort of "burn myself out." I also suffer from wanting to share my experiences but hating being the center of attention too long. It's crazy, internally, to swing back and forth.

    Overall, it is a good deal. I am glad I did it. I wish I would have done it sooner, but I don't think I was ready nor maybe anyone else.

    To put it in context, I had to read your blog twice before I could figure out exactly what was going on. Your writing was far more stylized and I couldn't skim over it like I normally read posts. So yes, huge difference! I just wasn't sure how much it changed in your PMs or other posts (I didn't notice a huge difference)...
    The blogs are definitely more stylized than PMs and posts. I just feel I'm far less worried about "rigorous construction" of my posts and much more colloquial and relaxed, and not afraid to seem personal and casual anymore.

    I expect a certain amount of the support was personal - women especially tend to have a bond with those they related to, such that any change in that person (even if it makes the relationship impossible) tends to be ignored. So I'd be curious about how different each gender did react to you.
    Possibly. The NF women were the most immediate and overt in their support. The NT women were more reserved and impersonal (as expected), and respected the choice seemingly but it's hard to tell if there were intellectual opinions going on underneath.

    Men... not a lot of men, and most didn't care to say a ton (besides Carebear and a few others). Then again, most of the men have never been on personal terms with me, just impersonal discussion in the forums... so nothing has really changed.

    I also suspect that you got support because you were friends already, and you needed support... IMO, that probably played a bigger role than any understanding change (which I think would be more gradual). Empathy goes a huge way in relationships... and in relationship bonds! I don't believe you will get it to the same degree going forward (with new people).
    That's possible. I will watch for that.

    I find that interesting as well... I already have a good idea of what to expect in your RL, but very little online. (Reason for this is that I've read a fair bit about gender psychology, which includes stories from those that underwent sex changes or similar). A second 'dataset' will help understand our own reactions that much better... how environments change us without us even being aware of it.
    It figures that you would have already looked into this a great deal -- we always did have a lot in common. (well... except for the specifics of THIS.)

    It would be interesting to talk more about this in the future. I've read a lot, but there's still a great deal out there.

    Oh, I love the " " in there
    Old habits die hard.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    And yes, it's a board persona thing. I haven't really "come out" in real life, except with a few close friends, and obviously my wife and I discuss this a great deal.
    Your wife is ISFJ, right? Obviously this is getting personal now (now? you say?), but I am curious how the close relationship played out, type wise. ISFJ are supportive of mates, but also tend to dislike social deviancy... did you see much of that being played out?

    But it has definitely impacted me in RL. I noticed that I was conveying some of the freedom I felt online into my behavior and speech offline... just how I say things, what inflections I use, how comfortable I feel, etc. And I gained some confidence -- maybe not everyone will reject me when I reveal what I've been dealing with, even if right now I'm not sure how they will respond.
    That's really great to hear!

    it's good to have that affirmation from you as to what probably occurred. I'm happy since, ten years ago, I would have probably taken silence as "personal rejection" (I was extremely hypersensitive and my imagination always pictured the worst interpretation). Nowadays, I know enough to just not read much into it.
    Oh yes, it is far more a flaw with myself than with you. I realise that if I have no issue with it and if it is something you struggled with, why would I not offer my two bits of support? Therefore I must have a problem with it, right? But at the same time, I can't handle my GF crying to me about something either... so really, it has to do with the support part far more than the situation.

    As you say, it's easy to read too much into action/inaction, but most of the time it has to do with others not being capable of acting how they should. (That's not to say that everyone is supportive, but the middle ground will probably be a silent majority, so to speak, on both sides of the fence.)

    Overall, it is a good deal. I am glad I did it. I wish I would have done it sooner, but I don't think I was ready nor maybe anyone else.
    It's only too late if you don't start now A good reminder that the past is fixed but we control the present.

    The blogs are definitely more stylized than PMs and posts. I just feel I'm far less worried about "rigorous construction" of my posts and much more colloquial and relaxed, and not afraid to seem personal and casual anymore.
    That suggests a tendency to have been role-playing the INTP stereotype, no? I guess it could also be transference, since you (?) feel like you were role playing before.

    That's also really good to hear. Anything that removes that kind of "mask" is good for soul.

    Possibly. The NF women were the most immediate and overt in their support. The NT women were more reserved and impersonal (as expected), and respected the choice seemingly but it's hard to tell if there were intellectual opinions going on underneath.

    Men... not a lot of men, and most didn't care to say a ton (besides Carebear and a few others). Then again, most of the men have never been on personal terms with me, just impersonal discussion in the forums... so nothing has really changed.
    The big question... how many Ss? Under represented on the board, so that's a factor... but was the open/closed N/S divide obvious?

    Heh, yes... it did seem like you related to women better than men. I picked up on it but never considered it all that significant... interesting. I'd think that you made more effort towards women than it being a style difference, however. Perhaps trying to be "part of the group"?

    It figures that you would have already looked into this a great deal -- we always did have a lot in common. (well... except for the specifics of THIS.)
    I wouldn't say a "great" deal, relative to what else I've read about... but yah, I'm very curious. And to me, this is a once in a lifetime chance to really get to understand it, if that makes sense. I didn't ask until you posted the list because it felt wrong... (that's my empathy saying - give him space, not support... )

    It would be interesting to talk more about this in the future. I've read a lot, but there's still a great deal out there.
    You'll probably understand it in a way I never could... that always bothers me... but I certainly welcome any insights you gain as you go through it!

    (And of course, if anything I say prys too much, or isn't comfortable to answer, just don't answer or yell at me in a PM I'm genuinely curious, but curiosity can go out of bounds sometimes!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Your wife is ISFJ, right? Obviously this is getting personal now (now? you say?), but I am curious how the close relationship played out, type wise. ISFJ are supportive of mates, but also tend to dislike social deviancy... did you see much of that being played out?
    I could spend a few pages on this one question alone. I will try to keep it short.

    1. When I first came out to her, she was all right for Day #1. (This was in 1995.)

    2. Day #2 came and she suddenly realized that I was confused about how to proceed and hadn't immediately written off transition. She was livid. She had not imagined that this problem might actually lead me to consider divorce.

    [This seems pretty typical ISFJ female reaction with people they love -- sympathy and love if at least the person is trying, sudden fear and anger and betrayal if their entire world suddenly seems cast in doubt. After all, I had made her a promise to always be married to her!]

    3. Two years of terrible depression for me, suicidal depression, and I was exploring my possibilities and talking to lots of transgendered people. She hated every moment of it but did not know how to stop me. I was trying very hard to be sensitive to her, but I was also dying inside and couldn't just do what she wanted. Meanwhile, she was depressed and furious with me and wanted to hurt me just to get me to do what she wanted.

    4. She actually was planning to leave once without telling me, but our unborn child had health problems so she then couldn't go. So often in those years, she just wanted to give me an ultimatum and force me to make a big commitment, for or against, right away. She really desired control, and she also was very mad because she felt that any choice besides staying married was a big sin on my part. She found it hard not to badmouth me.

    5. We both had some religious experiences of our own, and i ended up being content for awhile where I was -- at least for the moment, I felt that I needed to stay with her and try to make things work. So i did.

    6. We both changed and grew a lot for the next number of years. we adopted our daughter (so that was good!) But things got hard for me again, eventually... it took a number of years, but I just got worn down and could not deal anymore.

    7. This time, it is different. She is spiritual (Christian) and has had a real big change in heart for her over the last two months. I was getting more and more depressed, battling with constant thoughts of suicide (it really didn't help that it was overlapping with all the fun and commotion at INTPc ), and finally one weekend when the kids were gone, she finally "got it" while we were talking.

    She had thought I was upset with her and was shocked to hear how awful I was feeling, about my issues unrelated to her (she had been personalizing it all... ISFJ). Then she felt just awful.

    The next day, we talked about it more, and about just how trapped and miserable I felt.. as I was not even really alive, and my whole life was about doing what everyone else expected of me and keeping them happy, and I just couldn't do it anymore... and she told me I was free to do whatever I needed to do to keep myself alive. She told me she'd be crushed if I ended the marriage or went all the way with transition, but she realized she couldn't ask me to do this anymore -- that I needed to find out whatever I needed to learn, so that I could finally make real choices and feel like my life was my own and that I wanted to be where I was.... wherever that might be.

    That was a HUGE load lifted off of me. Things changed for me that day. And they changed for her as well.

    Where are we now? She has still stuck with that promise and believes that God will take care of her regardless of what I do. She has a very strong faith. This will seem like ISFJ stubbornness to some -- "God must be real because i need him to be, therefore God will care for me no matter what I experience that tells me otherwise" -- but i will say that her demeanor is calm, and she understands what she could lose, and she truly is committed to what she promised (not out of duty but out of love), and I think she is a very beautiful person. it's not "ISFJ in denial" -- I have seen that one with her far too many times -- it is something far deeper than that.

    And while she was not excited about me starting hair removal, she told me that I needed someone on my side, and she isn't going to turn on me. She's protecting me as best as she can right now, and plans to even if eventually her parents or the church or whomever gets involved with this. She isn't going to abandon me, and we will always be the parents of our children, regardless, and connected.

    please query about confusing parts.

    Oh yes, it is far more a flaw with myself than with you. I realise that if I have no issue with it and if it is something you struggled with, why would I not offer my two bits of support? Therefore I must have a problem with it, right? But at the same time, I can't handle my GF crying to me about something either... so really, it has to do with the support part far more than the situation.
    Yes, don't think too much, you'll just confuse yourself! You're talking to me now, so that's all that matters.

    As you say, it's easy to read too much into action/inaction, but most of the time it has to do with others not being capable of acting how they should. (That's not to say that everyone is supportive, but the middle ground will probably be a silent majority, so to speak, on both sides of the fence.)
    Yes, usually only the extremists get vocal at the beginning.


    It's only too late if you don't start now A good reminder that the past is fixed but we control the present.
    Sigh. Do you know how many times I just looked at myself and thought about how much time I had let go, and just wanted to give up? Because I had already lost so much time and possibilities and I cannot get them back? There is such a temptation to give up completely... The only way to keep going is to keep telling myself what you've said here.

    That suggests a tendency to have been role-playing the INTP stereotype, no? I guess it could also be transference, since you (?) feel like you were role playing before. That's also really good to hear. Anything that removes that kind of "mask" is good for soul.
    You don't miss anything, do you?

    I definitely felt pressure to conform -- to "look" the part in order to justify myself to others and impress them with my validity. I tried to minimize it, but it was still there. Now I do not care. If someone doesn't think I'm an INTP, it doesn't matter -- why should it? I am figuring out who I am, I already know someone who I am, and their opinion doesn't change me at all.

    (Wow! Did I just say that???)

    The big question... how many Ss? Under represented on the board, so that's a factor... but was the open/closed N/S divide obvious?
    I do not think I have heard from any S's. N's seem to understand the whole thing much more intuitively. (well.... duh! )

    Heh, yes... it did seem like you related to women better than men. I picked up on it but never considered it all that significant... interesting. I'd think that you made more effort towards women than it being a style difference, however. Perhaps trying to be "part of the group"?
    Oh, STOP! Stop being RIGHT all the time! <roll eyes>

    It could be both. Definitely. I can't separate the two, they are all muddied together.

    but yah, I'm very curious. And to me, this is a once in a lifetime chance to really get to understand it, if that makes sense.
    If you want to go along for the ride, hop in.

    I didn't ask until you posted the list because it felt wrong... (that's my empathy saying - give him space, not support... )
    Honestly, feel free to smother me. This is the hardest thing I've done... and I am so solitary and hate being a bother to people that it is very hard for me to ask them to listen.

    Blogging is one thing -- I am just writing, if someone else wants to read it with no strings attached, then I am totally fine with that, I don't feel like I am obligating them to anything -- but my emotions are all over the place. Yesterday I felt good. Last night and this morning I felt completely hopeless. Now I'm in the middle. And it will change again later. I hate not feeling stable. It throws my Ti out of whack and I can't get my head clear. I often want someone just to say it's okay and I'm not out of my mind, or else to give me some clarity, but I don't like to feel like I'm begging for attention... so I usually just suffer silently.

    (And of course, if anything I say prys too much, or isn't comfortable to answer, just don't answer or yell at me in a PM I'm genuinely curious, but curiosity can go out of bounds sometimes!)
    I appreciate your sensitivity, buuuuuuuuuuut.........
    Did you know what I think about boxes? "There is no box."

    I am open to discussing anything, I think -- at least in PM, if not publicly. So ask away!
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    1. When I first came out to her, she was all right for Day #1. (This was in 1995.)
    Clearly this wasn't an impulsive decision... when was the first point that you remember not feeling 'right' in your role? I mean, going back 12 years would make you... roughly 26/27? Was there any indication of over-playing the male role or alternatively underplaying it?

    (This is more in your mind than anything else... I'm curious to know how it progressed and if it was social confines that kept you there, including marriage... In the sense that you sorta knew but didn't deal with it, or denial, or you knew but couldn't face it... that sort of stuff).

    2. Day #2 came and she suddenly realized that I was confused about how to proceed and hadn't immediately written off transition. She was livid. She had not imagined that this problem might actually lead me to consider divorce.
    Ah! This is interesting... I've also noticed something about Ss (and SFs in particular) - they don't seem to understand the ramifications of things right away, as if they already know the effect (and that effect is always in their worldview). Do you think that applies here?

    And did she feel like it was a betrayal? (Was it personal to her or more generalised "what will our friends think"?)

    5. We both had some religious experiences of our own, and i ended up being content for awhile where I was -- at least for the moment, I felt that I needed to stay with her and try to make things work. So i did.
    Obviously religion is always something I need to poke at, since it doesn't help me understand... but I think that after a dozen of answers on religion, it'll still come down to the same question - are you skeptical that it was a religious reason, or were there other factors? (Namely guilt, in that you didn't want to let her down, or your child (?Didn't specify if you had one during this period, but I'm assuming you did)).

    She had thought I was upset with her and was shocked to hear how awful I was feeling, about my issues unrelated to her (she had been personalizing it all... ISFJ). Then she felt just awful.
    Her transformation was complete before this, right? How much do you think her "new" response (the underlined part) was a result of her changing support for how you felt? Was she just unable to understand before?

    The next day, we talked about it more, and about just how trapped and miserable I felt.. as I was not even really alive, and my whole life was about doing what everyone else expected of me and keeping them happy, and I just couldn't do it anymore... and she told me I was free to do whatever I needed to do to keep myself alive. She told me she'd be crushed if I ended the marriage or went all the way with transition, but she realized she couldn't ask me to do this anymore -- that I needed to find out whatever I needed to learn, so that I could finally make real choices and feel like my life was my own and that I wanted to be where I was.... wherever that might be.
    This reminds me of something I've read about inflicting spousal costs... It said that a significant amount of spousal costs come from the inability to compromise on some issue, small or large... and the costs escalate despite ups and downs in the relationship. To that point, it seems accurate (I can't imagine very many larger compromises!!). What is also said is that at a certain point, one person will dramatically change in order to adapt a new dynamic, or the relationship will break. What is unusual in your case is the time period... So the question is... do you think this reflects what happened? And do you think it would of happened without religion in the picture?

    (It is also interesting to note that SJs (O- C+) inflict high spousal costs in general. I'd be curious to know if any other smaller costs are inflicted, or if they significantly drop off... but that'd be hard to measure at this point. Curious, because it would indicate that having a broken "S" (ie: turned open) would change some of the default S tendencies...)

    Where are we now? She has still stuck with that promise and believes that God will take care of her regardless of what I do. She has a very strong faith. This will seem like ISFJ stubbornness to some -- "God must be real because i need him to be, therefore God will care for me no matter what I experience that tells me otherwise" -- but i will say that her demeanor is calm, and she understands what she could lose, and she truly is committed to what she promised (not out of duty but out of love), and I think she is a very beautiful person. it's not "ISFJ in denial" -- I have seen that one with her far too many times -- it is something far deeper than that.
    If I had to comment, I'd say that she was looking for guidance and it manifested where it could. However, it's not a judgment on religion - I look for guidance in different places, but I still look! What matters is that she changed for the (?) better, least in my opinion. I use this in a generic sense, in that she and you will likely be happier than if she/you had left.


    Yes, don't think too much, you'll just confuse yourself! You're talking to me now, so that's all that matters.
    Heh, just measuring my own response. It's only fair that if I do it to others, I also do it to myself. I don't feel bad not saying anything - it's not in my nature, I would of done a crappy job and it would of felt weird to you... *shrug*

    Sigh. Do you know how many times I just looked at myself and thought about how much time I had let go, and just wanted to give up? Because I had already lost so much time and possibilities and I cannot get them back? There is such a temptation to give up completely... The only way to keep going is to keep telling myself what you've said here.
    It's easy to fall into that trap, but you are really measure inadequacies in your own life, not the event. If you could of done it earlier, you would of... so why regret it? The only thing that rips one apart is the lack of certainty in the actions they are taking (and therefore have taken). Make your best choice at the time, be aware of the costs, and don't regret it!

    /INTJ

    You don't miss anything, do you?
    Hah hah... I miss lots, I'm just picking out things that will help me understand

    I definitely felt pressure to conform -- to "look" the part in order to justify myself to others and impress them with my validity. I tried to minimize it, but it was still there. Now I do not care. If someone doesn't think I'm an INTP, it doesn't matter -- why should it? I am figuring out who I am, I already know someone who I am, and their opinion doesn't change me at all.
    Do you think this is directly related? Or indirectly?

    (ie: did you associate INTP with being male and thus were attempting to remain "male", like in RL? Did the change in RL allow you to stop caring about your type indirectly? Was it the order of magnitude - did it just cease to matter because of larger concerns?)

    Oh, STOP! Stop being RIGHT all the time! <roll eyes> It could be both. Definitely. I can't separate the two, they are all muddied together.
    Was I right though? /me digs through PMs. Looking at what I said, I didn't distinctly say there was a lack of connection, only that there was a sort of shield. Originally I had assumed it had to do only with INTPc.

    I guess I'm asking - am I correct in assuming that you had the tendency to prefer women or men before? (Is there objective evidence of such, such as number of back and forths, total amount initiated by you... etc)?

    Honestly, feel free to smother me. This is the hardest thing I've done... and I am so solitary and hate being a bother to people that it is very hard for me to ask them to listen.
    Fair enough, and I understand that. Talking does help and sometimes Is really need someone to ask them so they can spill it all out.

    Blogging is one thing -- I am just writing, if someone else wants to read it with no strings attached, then I am totally fine with that, I don't feel like I am obligating them to anything -- but my emotions are all over the place. Yesterday I felt good. Last night and this morning I felt completely hopeless. Now I'm in the middle. And it will change again later. I hate not feeling stable. It throws my Ti out of whack and I can't get my head clear. I often want someone just to say it's okay and I'm not out of my mind, or else to give me some clarity, but I don't like to feel like I'm begging for attention... so I usually just suffer silently.
    That's assuming you are INTP to start with, right? But if you don't care what you are, you can look at it from a different view - your emotions are running high and low and you are plagued with self-doubt. That's easier to understand and cope with than nebulous type. I'd recommend sticking with not caring about type - abnormal psychology trumps type every single time, and while you are significantly abnormal, I wouldn't lock yourself into a system. You'll help yourself far more just dealing with what is

    I appreciate your sensitivity, buuuuuuuuuuut.........
    Did you know what I think about boxes? "There is no box."
    Heh heh. And I also think you know that I wasn't being all that sensitive.

  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Clearly this wasn't an impulsive decision... when was the first point that you remember not feeling 'right' in your role? I mean, going back 12 years would make you... roughly 26/27? Was there any indication of over-playing the male role or alternatively underplaying it?
    It predates that back to my earliest memories.

    I was (at the most) eight when I first remember playing dressup, when no one was home, but it probably goes back further than that. I don't have a lot of memory of the earliest parts of my childhood.

    What I feel like happened is that my life was so emotionally oppressive was that I introverted the whole female thing -- I spent a lot of time being happy inside myself, and then simply going along in the 'real world' with whatever had to be done to survive and make people happy. I managed to make that work for a long time. I did not have much choice -- my mother would cry (off by herself) if I said the wrong thing (she was oversensitive) and my alcoholic dad would just cut me down if I said anything that he thought was dumb or wrong, he loved arguing. I couldn't externalize anything real. So they got the fake compliant things. I had my own little world inside.

    Of course, I was very lonely and isolated.At that time, I both desired to know women as well as BE them. Our early marriage was really rocky, and we fought a lot. Meanwhile, I was still living a lot in my head -- keeping my real life going and fulfilling my roles, while internally being "female."

    Finally, in 1995, I reached a point where I just couldn't do it anymore and I was completely wiped out. Everything went out of control. I think it was partly because I was being forced to come out of my internal world (as part of being married)... and that came with me.

    Ah! This is interesting... I've also noticed something about Ss (and SFs in particular) - they don't seem to understand the ramifications of things right away, as if they already know the effect (and that effect is always in their worldview). Do you think that applies here?
    Lol. Of course it does. That is my wife's modus operandi, we joke about it all the time. I used to be SO frustrated because I would just look at a situation and see exactly all the implications and probable results, in one glance... and I would have to spell it all out for her.

    That night, she was just thinking about that night, while I was taking it as "helping me through the whole mess." The next day she realized what was going on and just lost it.

    And did she feel like it was a betrayal? (Was it personal to her or more generalised "what will our friends think"?)
    Basic three:
    1. Divorce AND/OR gender confusion is immoral because the Bible says so, so he just CAN'T.
    2. He married me, so he can't leave.
    3. I will be so embarrassed / Everyone will think poorly of me.


    are you skeptical that it was a religious reason, or were there other factors? (Namely guilt, in that you didn't want to let her down, or your child (?Didn't specify if you had one during this period, but I'm assuming you did)).
    I'm tired and do not want to tell the story right now, but in a nutshell...

    1. At that point in my life, I was very "intellectual/INTP'ish" -- no emotional expression, everything was "logical and objective" and had to be verifiable.

    2. I was studying the Bible and trying to "find the right answer" that would reconcile my feelings, my desires, verses in the Bible, and my life. i wanted to be able to justify my choice to everyone else as well as myself, so they could not argue with me and/or look down on me.

    3. I became very depressed, exhausted, whatnot, and felt like my marriage was over and no longer had any answers. My intellect had failed me.

    4. I had a spiritual experience where what I took to be God "spoke in my mind" and gave me a conviction that, at least for then, I needed to stay with my wife and try to make things work. I was on a real high for a month, and for some years after, I struggled forward with a lot of personal growth -- not necessary "maleness," but just growing up and becoming emotionally healthier in many ways.

    Once I finished that growth process, then... everything started to weigh down on me slowly again. It had always been a struggle back and forth, I never really got past it, but now things were just getting worse and worse again.

    Her transformation was complete before this, right? How much do you think her "new" response (the underlined part) was a result of her changing support for how you felt? Was she just unable to understand before?
    Remember what you asked above? About her S?

    If I looked okay on the outside, she assumed I was okay on the inside. I internalize a lot of my depression. I can feel horrible... totally awful... and still laugh at things on the surface momentarily, if I find them funny... and then go right back to the depression.

    Since I internalized much of it, even if I *told* her about it, she just did not really understand how BAD it was... until I finally really told her. Told her how I had been struggling not to just swallow all my pills, or start cutting myself, or run my car impulsively into a bridge wall, all of those stupid horrible things we do to ourselves when we feel so crappy we don't care whether we live or die anymore. It shocked her.

    This reminds me of something I've read about inflicting spousal costs... It said that a significant amount of spousal costs come from the inability to compromise on some issue, small or large... and the costs escalate despite ups and downs in the relationship. To that point, it seems accurate (I can't imagine very many larger compromises!!).
    That is sort of how she has talked about this. She just said the other day (and the day also that she made her decision to free me) that I have spent all of my life trying to take care of everyone else and worry about what they needed, and trying to make them happy, and slowly getting worse and worse because I was giving up so much of myself... and now it was time to let other people take care of me.

    What is also said is that at a certain point, one person will dramatically change in order to adapt a new dynamic, or the relationship will break. What is unusual in your case is the time period... So the question is... do you think this reflects what happened? And do you think it would of happened without religion in the picture?
    Without faith in the picture, we would have divorced either before 1995, or within a few months after my revelation. We would have also divorced numerous times since 1997 up to the present day. Faith beliefs were the only thing that kept us together this long.

    Funny, now... Our faiths are no longer the same (so that no longer can hold together our marriage), but we are together because we really care about each other. I don't care whether our marriage works or not, I will always care about her and she for me -- we're like best friends, and I'd do whatever I could to care for her. Part of this is what she has just done for me; I know how much it cost her to make that decision, and I knew how much she cared about me when she did.

    (It is also interesting to note that SJs (O- C+) inflict high spousal costs in general. I'd be curious to know if any other smaller costs are inflicted, or if they significantly drop off... but that'd be hard to measure at this point. Curious, because it would indicate that having a broken "S" (ie: turned open) would change some of the default S tendencies...)
    I don't know.. I'm getting mentally tired and that was a little vague, maybe you can clarify for tomorrow.

    If I had to comment, I'd say that she was looking for guidance and it manifested where it could. However, it's not a judgment on religion - I look for guidance in different places, but I still look! What matters is that she changed for the (?) better, least in my opinion. I use this in a generic sense, in that she and you will likely be happier than if she/you had left.
    I think so too. If one had left, we couldn't effectively care for our kids and we would always be wounded. Now, no matter what happens, we know we are always each other's protectors and I do not see any parental arguments happening... we are on the same team.

    (ie: did you associate INTP with being male and thus were attempting to remain "male", like in RL? Did the change in RL allow you to stop caring about your type indirectly? Was it the order of magnitude - did it just cease to matter because of larger concerns?)
    Umm.... dizzy.... too much thinking... not enough coffee...

    I guess if you want to refer to it that way... maybe. I don't know anymore. I know the RL change did impact my concerns about type... and the whole non-INTP vs INTP battle had a lot to do with it too. I finally made some decisions about what I was willing to give up (reputation-wise) to do what I believed was right, and committed to a course of action. Normally I play diffuse or indefinite; I guess that I just grew up and finally staked myself on something.

    I guess I'm asking - am I correct in assuming that you had the tendency to prefer women or men before? (Is there objective evidence of such, such as number of back and forths, total amount initiated by you... etc)?
    Hmmm. The huge majority of my PMs are with women -- and with AMDG (lol) -- and I just don't find men very interesting... not in the sense of "men." (like, where "men hang out because they are men.")

    I mean, you are a man, and I love talking to you... but it's not because you're a man, it's because of your mind. In general, if I am forced to choose between a "man's group" and a "woman's group" I will always pick the woman's group. I also find it much easier to talk to women than to men, unless the right topic comes up. Part of that is because women are generally better conversationaliss, but it is also because I have an easier rapport with them.

    That's assuming you are INTP to start with, right?


    But if you don't care what you are, you can look at it from a different view - your emotions are running high and low and you are plagued with self-doubt. That's easier to understand and cope with than nebulous type. I'd recommend sticking with not caring about type - abnormal psychology trumps type every single time, and while you are significantly abnormal, I wouldn't lock yourself into a system. You'll help yourself far more just dealing with what is
    Good advice, thank you.

    Heh heh. And I also think you know that I wasn't being all that sensitive.
    Well, *I* was being generous.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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