She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to…Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
I need help letting go of pain.
I've spent six years of my life homeless. In that time, I've been abused, raped, and hurt.
I am non-binary, born female, in a relationship with a trans male, born female, no operation.
Sometimes, his desire to be male terrifies me, despite knowing who he is, and that not all men are misogynists or rapists, or abusive. Having borderline and histrionic disorders also makes me question my reality, and perception of that reality.
Is there a reason for me to be afraid? What can I do to keep my fear from tearing us down?
Okay, deep breath. There is a lot going on here.
It must feel so scary to question your reality. And our past traumas can trigger emotions and sensations that make us do just that.
You’ve been through a lot. PTSD can affect our lives in perpetuity, and it’s completely understandable that what you’ve been through is continuing to wreak havoc in your personal life and in your relationships. Borderline and histrionic disorders are often associated with people suffering from PTSD.
This is where we need to start — with your mental health issues.
You didn’t mention whether or not you’ve had counseling and/or psychiatric intervention. I think it’s necessary to both examine your fears and to process the traumas you’ve experienced. Maybe medication is another avenue to explore, if you haven’t already done so.
There are LGBTQIA resources across the country. Center Link has a wealth of information, with region-specific resources. I can also point you in the direction of local help in your area, if you contact me again to let me know what city you’re in.
To answer your specific questions:
I don’t believe there is a reason for you to be afraid of your partner. Unless he has given you a reason to be concerned, trust in who you know he is.
So, what can you do about this fear? Talk to your partner. Let him know that you’re struggling with this. More importantly, get some outside support. Many LGBTQIA centers have support groups. The Pride Institute offers LGBT mental health services, as well as a a list of additional resources where you can find support.
Don’t hold this stuff inside.
Seek help, ask for help. Speak with your friends, your partner, and LGBTQIA+ professionals. And please, reach out to me again if you need more specific resources where you live.
If you have a question for me about love, sex, relationships, breakups, what I’m reading, Moonstone, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo