How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome, According To Psychologists

How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome, According To Psychologists:

The term imposter syndrome dates back as far as the 1970s. One of its early introductions was in a 1978 article titled, “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention,” by psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Dr. Suzanne A. Imes. “Impostor syndrome is a set of beliefs that leave you feeling doubtful of your skills, ability, and whether you deserve to be at the table, and that you will inevitably be exposed as a fraud,” says Dr. Ayanna Abrams, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of Ascension Behavioral Health in Atlanta, GA.


Spoke with my therapist this past Wednesday. Although I had some difficulty explaining what’s been going on, she understood well enough to have a suggestion,

Just try to make it through the week until my next appointment and concentrate on not hitting bottom.


Went to therapy this morning (after three weeks). I probably should have tried harder to get in sooner but better late than never, right? In any case, the session went well with us catching up and then getting me thinking in a better direction. 

As for that, she made an interesting comparison, being trans is like having diabetes. I can pretend I don’t have it or admit I do but ignore it. Either way I will still be diabetic and I might even be fine for a little while but eventually it’s going to reach a point where it begins to have adverse effects.

It’s the same being trans.

No matter what I do, I will still be trans… always have been, always will be.


On a similar note, I now have my appointment with the psychartrist. It won’t be until October, but I have it. 

Undeserving Of Redemption

This isnt what I was going to post but as usual I began to overthink things…

There are many things I have to work on besides being trans. What I know, deep down is it won’t matter one bit if I woke up tomorrow as a biological woman, these things will continue to cause me serious issues.

I hope you won’t mind if I share some of them here, maybe putting them into words will help me put things into perspective…

Even beyond my spotty memory, I know deep down my mother made sure I understood how little she thought of me, of how much I complicated her life and how unhappy she was to be reminded daily of the man she felt made a fool of her. I can’t point to too many instances in which she made this clear, though there were several, I do know she conveyed her feelings with a look or tone of voice. 

One thing is sure, I had no doubt I was worthless in her eyes. That anything which made her unhappy was somehow my fault simply by existing. If anything went wrong, I must have had something to do with it. I think this was reinforced by my aunt and later by one of my cousins, not yo mention her friends who I am sure she spoke to at length about how much of a troublesome burden I was… 

Speaking to my therapist I realized how much this affected me, still affects me to this  day.

I still feel as if I am the source for any unhappiness those around me may experience. I am sure if anything goes wrong, it is my fault… as if the emotions of everyone is my responsibility. Far too many times I find myself thinking their lives would be so much better if I wasn’t here… or if I had never been born in the first place…

It isn’t sensible, it isn’t even understandable much of the time, but I cannot shake the feeling it my own selfishness which has lead to so much. If I had been thinking of those around me, instead of my own desires, how many things would I have not done? How much would have been left unsaid? How many people would have never have been hurt? 

My therapist believes everyone has an inherent worth and maybe she’s right… for everyone except me of course, because no matter how logical, I am certain I am worthless and undeserving of redemption.

Staying the Course, Bloody Though It Be

I had a therapy session today which thankfully went well with us being able to clear up a number of misunderstandings.

We talked about what I had written the past several days and I think we can work forward on a number of issues which while not being directly tied to my transition are things which are holding me back in this and many other areas of my life.

It’s amazing and terrifying how things from a lifetime ago can still hold such power over us in ways we might not be aware of. For me there were years of abuse on multiple levels, many of them on a daily even hourly basis. Emotional, phycological, spiritual, and physical which culminated in me trying to do the impossible… to take responsibility for others happiness. It also lead directly to my identity issues, my feelings of failure, of never being good enough or being worthy of happiness. These are the things which aren’t going to disappear even if I was able to fully transition this very moment. If I want to move beyond simple survival to truly living the life I know deep down I deserve, I must overcome them. 

This isn’t going to be simple, quick, or painless, none the less it is something which I must to do and I’m going to need someone who has gained an understanding of my background, who has seen and heard the way I think and the ways I deal with crisis, which is why I feel it best to stay with Jodi instead of having to start over again with someone new. 


I realized today it had been four weeks since my last therapy session… Sitting there I wondered where the time went.

Honestly, I had considered cancelling. The thought of facing J when I had no idea what I was going to say… Not having any words to explain the way I have been feeling, the things I have been thinking, caused me to have almost crippling anxiety… It was just one more thing which has turned my life upside down… the anxiety, the depression… feeling as if everything is hopeless to the point it isn’t worth the effort to even try and breathe.

This session was a wondering, pointless mess of broken thoughts and long silences. I know she tried, but sometimes there isn’t anything to say…

It was pointed out she heard in my voice a hopelessness and I cannot deny it.

I reminder her of the promise I made to myself when I first began this journey… I would live long enough to see my youngest graduate high school… 

Where Do I Go From Here?

I had therapy today, I’m only going every other week now and my therapist was on vacation so it seems forever since our last session. All things considered I think things were ok for me… Yes, I still have my issues to deal with but at least they didn’t drag me down into a deep dark hole. 

I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to say, I have so much which seems just out of reach for the moment…

Let’s begin with this…

I have set much of my own concerns to the side for the moment. There is simply too much happening with my Father-in-law and I feel there are more important considerations. I know this is causing me issues… I guess it is more important for me to be worrying about those around me than myself… Still, at some point I am going to have to focus on myself and where I am going with transitioning. This was the main topic for therapy and I’ll admit it has me at a loss…

I have already done so much, come so much further than I ever imagined… Going out is just another day, not some major production and at one point I stopped and realized I don’t feel anything exceptional, I’m simply me and wondering what anyone else sees or thinks never crosses my mind. 

All the same, I am at a point where I know there really isn’t turning around and even though I understand HRT is simply a step, and not even the most important, I cannot help but see that taking concrete steps forward is a milestone I cannot ignore forever. Toward this Jodi wants me to begin mapping out my plans from this point forward, in writing. Maybe to make it real to me? I’m not sure but just thinking about doing this small thing has me on the verge of tears and I can’t explain why.

There was a time when the thought of hormones scared me to death; not any more, not in the same way… I suppose it’s more about stepping into the unknown, even more so than I ever have.

Trying to wrap my head around this has my thoughts scattering in a million different directions and I don’t even know where to start anymore.

More Than Ten Minutes Long

This has proven to be a difficult post to write. I’m not even sure where to start… goodness knows I rewritten this too many times already and I’m not including all of the starts and stops which remained in my head. Even now I am fighting the urge to begin gain. Editing gone mad.

I recently saw a writing prompt which was to sit down and write for ten minutes. No stopping, no editing, just write. I suppose I need to do something similar here. To simply begin putting words on the page and let the chips fall where they may.


So often we speak of strength. The strength we think we see in others. The strength to do what should be, can be, must be done. Looking from a distance we marvel at what they accomplish, but if we take a moment and look closer we would see the fear, uncertainty, the doubt.

More than once someone has described me as brave, courageous, strong… I wish it was true. I’m just one person trying to survive any way I can, and honestly there are times like now when I find the strength to fight even one more moment. Times when it hurts too much to wake up, to think, to breathe.

Last week I did something I’m not proud of, I went to Costco and priced single dose sleeping pills… $7 for 192. I can take you right now and show you where they are if your interested.

No, I didn’t buy them, but I wanted to. God I wanted to so much. 

I wasn’t going to say anything to A about this, I thought it would just make her mad, but as so often happens I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and I told her anyway. She told me it was doubtful they would kill me… maybe mess up my kidneys or liver, but odds are I would survive…

You know how this made me feel? Like I was stupid, a fool… that if modern day pills wouldn’t have done what I hoped for then odds are it was the same all those years ago when I did, in fact, take as many pills as I could get my hands on… When I made my “deal” with God… a deal He knew was pointless since I wasn’t going to die regardless… So I find myself wondering just why am I still here? I had told myself God must have something in mind to keep me around and now I know He just couldn’t be bothered with a fool like me…

What started this train wreck was seeing myself at a standstill. It doesn’t matter that I understand the why of it. It doesn’t matter I made the decision to wait until after the holidays to begin the next steps. All I could think of is “what if this is as far as I go?” What if there is nothing more to be done physically? 

Putting on an outfit, with padding made of foam and silicone… To wear a wig. These things leave me feeling like a fake. Like a crossdresser with delusions of grander. I’m just exchanging one costume for another… one lie for another.

This body has become a weight I would give anything to shed… to simply leave it behind and let my spirit move on the whatever comes next, even if it’s Hell.

Of course, I also have a deep seated belief the world in general and the people around me specifically, would be better off if I were not in it. That I useless and a burden…. Not worthy of the very air I breath.

Yes, I spoke to Jodi about all of this today and I’m not sure just what she thinks.

She did say we need to get to the bottom these feelings. She also suggested, not for the first time, I should look into becoming an advocate in some form or other as a way to give myself a sense of purpose outside of my own transition. Easier said than done around here. There isn’t a support structure, and to be honest I don’t think anyone even cares. 


Beginnings and Endings

Another Saturday come and gone, though as I write this it is on 3 in the afternoon. Naturally this means I had therapy today. It is something I look forward to which is a pleasant surprise when I look back at how ambivalent I was toward it in the beginning.

Ah yes, the beginning. It was something which caused me to think today while speaking to Jodi. This holiday season will mark three years since I took those first hesitant steps toward who I am today. Thinking back I realized all I have of those first weeks and months is a hazy recollection at best. Mostly images and the afterglow of emotions which twisted and turned with every thought. When speaking of then I say it was when I broke… truthfully I was broken long before, I just didn’t understand what it meant. 

I’ve been going through my music recently, at first it was to try to fire my imagination and lead to a story or poem to write but then my focus changed and I thought of “A Playlist for Life.” A music collection which I could let play in the background without any expectations. Strangely enough I ended up putting together just over 9 hours of music, which promises a full work night without hearing the same song twice. {smile}

 I found a few songs which really seemed to speak to so much of my experiences, not just these past few years by those lost decades. The first is “Sleepwalking” by Photek from their album “Aviator.” One line is “You’ve been sleepwalking through it all to get back home.” This describes my life so well, sleepwalking. Just moving from one day to the next without any real thought, not living, just going through the motions. I see now I literally lost years and decades of my life. Little remains except blurred impressions. 

I think sometimes it was all a waste, then I realized I had to walk through all of the empty miles to reach a point where I was ready to find myself again.

I told Jodi I am amazed at how far I have come, not only in the last three years, which has been remarkable on its own, but just the past several months. I’m living my life my way, as I always dreamed of… longed for, feared… As I told her and have said here, change only comes when it hurts more to stay where you are than to move on and I have had enough pain for one lifetime.

Look at me; speaking of not only walking out the door as me, but coming out at work, things which seemed impossible not so long ago and now I cannot imagine doing anything else. I think of these things not with fear or trepidation but with anticipation. 

I have had my first Thanksgiving as myself and I’m looking forward to a Christmas celebrated as my authentic self, who would have thought it possible?

I know I didn’t.