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Katie: Pilgrim, destination undefined

Katie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
2,901
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Hi, my name is Katie. I am one of the co-founders of this site. I'll probably start a blog on here giving a lot more detail about my life and journey so far, but I'll provide a brief introduction.

My very first memory in life was experiencing gender dysphoria at the age of two years old. From the very earliest times of my life, I had a distinct feeling that something isn't right about my body. The parts that were "down there" seemed so foreign and bizarre. And, even though I didn't yet know the word vagina and hadn't even seen one yet, I knew exactly what should be there. I could feel its absence, and the feelings and sensations of what was there felt very wrong and foreign.

As a child, I was taught that I was a boy, and was strongly discouraged from engaging in any "girl" behavior. So, up to about puberty, I believed I was a boy, though I had the persistent feelings about my anatomy being wrong and weird. I also knew that my personality wasn't exactly normal for a boy. I liked a few normal boy things, like riding my bike and fishing, but was also very sensitive and deeply empathetic. I didn't like the way other boys played, the rough behavior, wrestling, aggression, etc. My father frequently berated me for being such a sissy. "Little Faggot" was the name I heard most frequently from him. Up until my adult years, I was a disappointment in his eyes. It was hard for him to accept. He had always wanted a son, and the pictures of him holding me when I was born he was just beaming with joy. My sister, born first, was a disappointment, and he never did show her much love. And when I began showing a mostly feminine personality, he was deeply disappointed.

It was around the age of 6 or maybe 7 that the internal struggle with conflicting anatomical feelings began to drive more overt outward behavior. I started exploring female clothing around that time in secret. My sister and I were roughly the same size. Whenever there was a pile of dirty clothes in the bathroom, I would stealthily try them on. I really don't know why, but it made me feel better. At least temporarily. I could never get away with it for more than a few minutes or somebody would wonder what I was up to in the bathroom. I didn't like seeing myself in the mirror when dressed like that, though. It was hard to see myself; I just looked ridiculous, like a boy in girls' clothing. So I always avoided the mirror. But for those few fleeting minutes, I got to have some sense of feeling like I was "me".

When puberty started, things turned really dark. My father was an ardent atheist, and my mother was agnostic, so I never had any formal religious values. As puberty began, the feelings, gender dysphoria as I would later come to know it, became life threateningly intense. This was the beginning of two things: an fiery hatred of God for making me some kind of monster, and a decades long battle with suicidal feelings and very deep depression and intense anger. The feelings of conflict between my anatomy and how I knew my body should be grew very strong, and I always felt this kind of baseline agitation that was always there. I could feel it constantly. That agitation would later vanish the very first day I was on HRT, but that was still decades away.

My teen years were a combination of anger, depression, and suicidal feelings. The only thing that probably saved me from succeeding at suicide was work. I got my first job at the age of 14 cleaning fire damage from the walls and ceilings of a factory. My friend Robert and I worked on a crew part time after work scrubbing soot off the walls and ceilings of a factory that had caught fire. We did this for maybe a week, and made a couple of hundred dollars. I loved both the work and the sense of accomplishment when I got my paycheck. After that, I got a job detasseling corn, which is a very common summer job for teens in Iowa. It was a hot, sweaty, dirty job and I only got paid minimum wage, but I enjoyed it. That job lasted three weeks. The same week I got my paycheck, my father lost his job. My entire paycheck went toward paying my parents' mortgage. It was a good taste of what was to come. I spent a lot of my money as a teenager keeping my parents afloat financially. I didn't really mind, I felt like I was doing the right thing.

When I was 15, my best friend's mother was released from prison. She had become a Christian while incarcerated. I frequently spent the weekends at my friend's dad's house, mostly to escape the hell I had at home. Their mother obtained weekend visitation rights, and started taking the kids to school on Sunday mornings. Since I was always there, I went along. I'll save the story for another time, but that was the beginning to my journey of becoming a Christian.

When I was sixteen I got a job at a grocery store. My job was to work in the can return room and bring in the shopping carts from the cart corrals. I did that for about six months. Then I followed a friend of mine to work as a long distance telephone operator, a job that paid $9/hr., which was a tremendous amount of money for a teenager in the late 90s. I worked at that job for almost a year until I got fired. My supervisor was conducting random call audits, and during my call I sympathized with an irate customer who wanted to leave our parent company's long distance plan. I figured I didn't have a dog in the fight, since my job was just an operator to connect long distance calls. I told them I sympathized with them and thought they should consider switching carriers. 10 minutes later I was led out the door.

The school year had just ended, and my father had a friend who worked at a local factory that made car wash equipment. I was hired as summer help. It was my first manufacturing job, and laid a foundation for a career. Even though the company was known for car wash equipment, they also made misting fans or "swamp coolers". I was hired into the Aqua Breeze assembly department. I learned how to do everything that was needed to assemble one. I had to crimp connectors and terminals onto the wires of the fan motor, drill holes in the fan shroud for the water line, wire the controller to the fan, assembly the column covers, etc. I later got to work in the machine shop and learned to run lathes and mills and got the fundamentals of machining and dimensional quality control.

High school was a very tough time for me. Puberty was doing its thing, and it caused me a lot of distress. The worst part of it all was male libido. It felt so strange and unwelcome to be aroused so easily and frequently, sometimes just randomly for no discernible reason at all. And the sensation of erections was awful, it felt so incredibly wrong and alien. The stupid male libido was constantly trying to make my body do things that I hated, and I felt like my own body was my enemy. It was always betraying me and trying to force me into what I hated.

I never dated anyone in high school or college. I felt super awkward about the whole thing. Even though I could find girls attractive, I mostly just wanted to be accepted as one of them, and felt like an outsider looking in. My feelings about dating were mostly confusion. Am I a lesbian? Am I suppose to be a straight guy? I really don't feel like a guy, and hate everything about my male anatomy. So, I just avoided it. That's not to say I didn't feel pressure to have relationships with girls. My father frequently accused me of being gay, since I never dated girls. He seemed to miss the fact that I also was definitely not attracted to boys. But, somehow, in his mind, not dating girls had to mean you're gay.

What happened with high school is a long story, but to sum it up, I didn't graduate. Not on time anyway. I went all four years, finished with more credits than was required, and my diploma was withheld because I was missing a required math credit. My high school shop teacher helped me get a job at a local machine shop making hydraulic manifolds and I went to a local community college to study machining. This was the period during which I began trying really hard to make a masculine image for myself. I was utterly convinced that the way to overcome gender dysphoria was to just be super macho. My plan was to get through community college, get a decent job, get married, have kids, and be a happy man everly afterly. There must be something to this man thing that I'm just missing and if I could just find it, it would make me feel okay about not being able to live as a woman. It took me another decade and a half to finally realize I was just chasing a fantasy.

In May of 2002, I was two weeks away from graduating with my Associate Degree in applied science. I contacted my old high school, and they agreed to count my college math courses toward my missing high school math credit and I got my diploma. Two weeks later, I received my Associate Degree diploma.

In November of 2005, I was hired by a wind turbine startup. They were starting a manufacturing facility in my hometown. I was hired to help get the place up and running. I was the third employee. The headquarters was all the way out in California, and my boss was located there. I was a 24 year old kid, and they had hired me to basically make their boat anchor fly. And it flew magnificently...for a while. Of the three initial employees, two of us were hired to create their Quality Management System. My coworker was a former Quality Manager from Boeing. We split the duties up. He covered internal manufacturing related quality, and I covered things like supplier quality management and getting the factory ISO certified.

From 2005 to 2008, the business went from startup to having a billion dollars in orders on the books. It was an unbelievable experience, like nothing I ever expected. I made some incredible friends along the way, sharing births, deaths, cancer, divorces, everything with my friends. We were a close bunch. And that never went away, I still have contact with most of them. In November of 2008, I married my wife, and on our wedding night she got pregnant (I'll probably be writing about that in my blog, quite a story). At the same time, the credit market collapsed and the utility companies that were ordering our wind turbines all began cancelling their orders. We went from a billion dollars worth of orders on the books to zero in a matter of weeks.

Things stabilized for a while and I stayed around until 2011, when I was finally let go. During the first few years of my marriage, I never crossdressed, never did anything. But in 2011 our second child was born. A few months after she was born, I was losing the battle with gender dysphoria. One night, when I was housesitting for my inlaws, I went out to their garage and got a hammer. I wanted my stupid male bits gone. I literally couldn't take it any more. I knew that I would probably bleed to death if I cut them off, so I had the stupid idea that if I damaged them badly enough they would have to be surgically removed. So, I started swinging the hammer. After a few hard blows, I was on the floor vomiting. The pain was so intense I couldn't do anything but lay there vomiting. Brilliant. It was my first and only experience with self harm, and it scared me very badly.

I continued to struggle for the next several years. My wife discovered the bruising from the hammer incident and I confessed to her about wanting to castrate myself. I blamed it on high libido, that I wanted relief from it, but never told her it was because I knew my body was supposed to be that of a girl. She had a sense that I continued to struggle after that, but never knew the truth until years later. I would sometimes put rubber bands around the parts very tightly, trying to make it numb, until I discovered that is incredibly dangerous and can lead to embolisms or even necrosis and gangrene if the tissue dies. So I stopped that, too. Even though I frequently felt suicidal, I didn't want to die that way. I'm not really sure why how I died mattered, but for some reason I wanted a dignified death, whatever that means.

By November of 2015, I was really struggling badly. The battle against gender dysphoria was really taking its toll. I feared my own body, with its ability to make me feel a need for sex, which was one of the worst triggers for gender dysphoria. Having sex with my wife nearly drove me to insanity. It was the absolute worst thing. We hardly ever had sex, maybe 2-3 times per year, and still somehow managed to have 6 kids in ten years. I think we may have set some kind of world record for fertility. Anyway, 2015 was our 7th Anniversary and my wife and I went on our first overnight trip away from the kids. It was a horrible experience, during which she accused me of taking her on the trip just to have sex with her. She didn't just kick me when I was down, she knocked me down and then unloaded a full clip into my face from a machine gun. That was really the beginning of the end of my efforts to keep the male thing going. I lost all interest in it during that trip.

Sometime around May of 2018, I was heading east on I-94 leaving Jamestown, ND. I was driving a Ford Expedition with the twin turbo 3.5 v6. It had a ton of power. There was a bridge up ahead and I decided I was going to get that thing going as fast as it would go and slam into the bridge. I wanted the the battle to be over. The speedometer topped out at 120 mph, and I held it to the floor. Just as I was about to hit the bridge, in a flash I was on the opposite side driving away from it. I happened to look at the clock. More than an hour had elapsed. Somehow I was driving away from the bridge at 80 mph. It's a mystery I can only ascribe to divine intervention.

When I got home from that trip, I decided my days of hiding everything were over. I came out to my wife. She was shocked, but said she always knew there something very bad bothering me. She tried to blame it on a bunch of things, like childhood abuse and such, but none of that was true.

I began reaching out to online groups for transgender people. I made some friends. The first that I met in real life was Linde (one of the founding members). I also met many friends, such as Dena, online.

In the fall of 2019, a common need for purpose built discussion forum for transgender people brought us together to form this site.

And that is the very, very short version of my story.

So here I am, your friendly transgender evangelical Christian administrator. Have fun getting to know everyone and contributing to the forum!
 

Katie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
2,901
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Margrit said:
Hi Katie

Nice to meet you.

Thanks, Margrit! It's quite the journey. As long as that post was, it is the super condensed version!
 

MaryT

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
50
Hi Katie, its nice to learn more about you.  You've had a difficult life but still have achievements of which you can be proud, and I hope that things go well for you in the future.
 

Katie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
2,901
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Thanks, [member=48]MaryT[/member] . I only shared the hyper-condensed version. My life has been remarkably unusual in just about every way possible. But, as my colleagues in Quebec would say, c'est la vie! I'll start a blog thread eventually and write out the full version of my story. They say truth is stranger than fiction, and on several occasions my life has proven that to be true.
 

Lexxi

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,211
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Hi Katie,

Welcome to the site. I think it will be nice getting to know you...oh wait a minute...I know you already. Thank you for welcoming me to the site.  ;D

I've heard a lot of your story in the past, but that's the first time I heard so much of it at one time. It's remarkable really. I'm so glad that you were finally able to begin the transition into your true self. I know how good it feels to be able to do that. HRT is truly a lifesaver in more ways than one.

I look forward to learning more about you and being able to continue our friendship.  :)

xoxo
Lexxi
 
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