Tuesday 21 November 2017

Ask Majella: Majella O'Donnell solves your problems

Majella O'Donnell
Majella O'Donnell

Majella O'Donnell

This week there are questions from a person who believes they are transgender and a woman who has met a man who now doesn't have time to see her.

Dear Majella

I have suffered all my life with who I am and what I have become, which is a total nervous wreck. I was never happy being me.

I have believed from a young age that I was transgender, born in the wrong body. I am now on the wrong side of 50, having lived my whole life not able to confide in anyone about wanting to become a girl. Back in the 1960s and 1970s if I had told anyone this, I would have been sent to a mental hospital.

I have suffered with depression all my life still have a lot of dark days in my life over this issue. I just wanted to be a normal person. I kept a lot to myself with no friends. In later years, I used to drink a lot to try and forget. I would see beautiful women and say to myself "if only that were me 35 years ago". I would go to bed hoping to wake up as a girl in the morning. I have no answers as to why I have such feelings.

I never had much luck with girls as all along I wanted to become one. I know that I am not gay as I just adore and love women. I live in an isolated part of the country. I sent to England for female clothes on a couple of occasions but I never got them.

Everything seems to backfire on me. It's as if God is angry with me in what I have become. I used to be angry with God but none of this was his fault. He is a good man.

I could never have enough money for treatment for this to happen. There were times I thought about leaving this world but I did not want to cause any hurt to anyone. Life is too short anyway.

I know that I need help badly, Majella, but I don't know who to turn to. If I don't express my true feelings I won't be able to move forward as no one knows the turmoil inside of me.

All I ever wanted out of life was for me to be happy in being the real me, born female.


Majella replies...

Dear J

Thank you for your very touching letter, and your kind comments regarding my health in the longer version. I cannot begin to imagine how you must feel having lived a life where you never felt you were truly yourself. How heartbreaking that must be. I have to admit that I know very little about transgender people but I do know that everyone deserves to be happy, which is something that you obviously don't feel. It is such a shame that you have waited so long to talk about this.

There are a few transgender support groups around Ireland which I would advise you to contact. You will find details on the internet. You will be able to talk to other people in the same situation as you and see that you're certainly not alone. Like-minded people are the only other people that can truly understand how you are feeling and the everyday problems that you face. Although you may feel that you are the only person in the country that has these struggles you will see that others are going through the same thing.

I can't pretend to know how to deal with this situation because I really don't have any experience but I know that meeting and talking to other people would be of great benefit to you. Support groups would also have reliable information on gender reassignment surgery and if you could get financial support to do anything. For now though, the most important thing to do is reach out to others like you. You need to start feeling good about yourself. The way you were born is the way you are and you should never have to apologise for that. I wish you peace for your future.

Dear Majella

I met a wonderful guy recently and things were going really well until he started to go cold. He became distant and stopped messaging me as much. I'm really upset as we had so much in common and had such fun together and initially he seemed to be crazy about me. Plus he seemed really genuine and honest. I suggested we meet up recently but he said he was just too busy at the moment with other commitments so I asked him straight out if there was any other reason, to which he responded that he does really like me but that, at the moment, he can't find time for meeting me. I'm not sure what to think, what should I do?

Aisling, Carlow

Majella replies....

Dear Aisling

I'm sorry that you feel so upset about this guy. It's such a shame when you meet someone that you are really keen on but it turns out that it doesn't seem like the feeling is mutual. It can really be a blow to your self-confidence.

You say that you only met him recently which makes me think that you really didn't know what his thoughts or feelings were about you. Some men, in fact most men, find it very hard to be honest and open with someone they have just met.

Of course at the beginning things will seems to be perfect. That is usually how relationships start but then things either develop further or they fizzle out.

I know that you thought that things were going really well but maybe he saw it differently but he doesn't want to hurt you by saying so.

It's always easier to say "It's not you that's the problem, it's me"! I firmly believe that if a guy wants to be with you he will make the effort to do so. If he says he can't find the time then I think you need to move on and let it be.

There really is nothing you can do. You deserve more than a guy who can't find the time to see you.

If you leave him alone he may well come back and ask you out again but if you keep asking him questions or putting pressure on him, you will dive him away.

By all means stay friends but leave it like that for now. If he doesn't respond or ask you out again then I'm afraid that you are wasting your time. Find someone who is interested in making time for you.

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