Transgender and Lonely

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I was born with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, O.C.D. and I am also transgendered. As a result, I was a very difficult child to raise. There was constant fighting between myself and my parents. At the age of ten, I was sent away to an institution for two years. While there, I was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. I couldn’t talk to anyone because I had no trust in adults. When I returned home, the same previous problems existed. I was sent away again at the age of seventeen. I felt no love whatsoever and would not until I was 25 years old.

I became involved in the Army during my teenage years to find a family that cared about me. Because of the child abuse that I had suffered, I never dated or learned people skills. Other than my involvement in the military and school, I had no social life. I was a loner with few friends. After college, while working in Australia, I met someone and felt love for the first time in my life. But because of my past and the ADHD, the relationship fell apart after about four weeks. I was devasted and suicidal. For the next fourteen years, I was in and out of hospitals and seeing doctors. I met another person when I was thirty-nine. Again, the same scenery occured.

I am now fifty-four years old, never been married, and extremely lonely. I have now transitioned to become a woman whcih is probably the only bright side of things. I don’t know how to find someone to love or even have a friendship with. I have matured a lot to the point where rejection doesn’t hurt as much as before but it still hurts. I have sought help from psychiatrists but they say that this is not the line of work. I don’t like being alone all the time but it is all I have ever known. I just don’t know what to do.

When Forrest Gump said that Life is like a box of chocolates, you never knoew what your’e going to get, I really identified with it. Except I feel like all I got was the empty box. I keep trying to think positive and I pray often but I just can’t seem to change my life around.

If you decide to respond to this letter, I would be very happy. Loneliness can be a very destructive and debilitating thing in a person’s life.

A: Thank you for writing. You have already done many courageous things. As difficult as it will be, you can also learn how to make friends and find love. You are lonely because you are so alone. Fortunately you live near a very helpful program. Please consider contacting them. I can’t vouch for the quality of services since I only know of them through their website but it seems like a good place to start.

I strongly suggest that you get involved with some group therapy if it is offered. In a group therapy setting, people try out new behaviors and then get feedback from others who are struggling with similar issues. Group members help each other learn how to be more approachable and how to interact with people more successfully. A trained therapist guides the group process so the situation is safe and supportive.

Putting energy into some self-improvement makes sense. You may well live another 40 years. With sincere effort I believe you will find a group of friends and a loving partner with whom to spend the rest of your life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Transgender and Lonely. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/10/transgender-and-lonely/

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