Table of Contents
1. My struggle with gender identity disorder during my early years
Although I was born female, from a very early age I felt as though I was male. I played with toys meant for boys and wanted my body to be more muscular and male. I didn’t like the way I looked and felt depressed. I was sent to an all girls’ school where, as I grew older, I felt increasingly depressed and isolated. By the time I was in grade 7, I was generally ostracised because I could not relate to any of my peers.
By the time I reached my teens, I felt very isolated and frustrated. My depression deepened and I also began to lose my temper at home. I felt that I was trapped in the wrong kind of body. I wondered if I was gay. I acted and dressed just as a male would.
By my mid-twenties, I heard of the term ‘transgender’ and ‘gender identity disorder’ and immediately identified with it. I began to live my life as a male. I began to pull further away from my family, as most of them could not accept the way I was living. In this state found it difficult to find jobs and lived near the poverty line. I began to develop very high anxiety levels as I was afraid that people would find out that my body was female.
2. My initial contact with the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF)
When I was visiting Goa for a holiday, a family member took me to visit SSRF’s Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram in Goa, India. It was the first time I had visited an ashram and I could perceive the high levels of positivity in the environment. Later I learned that this positivity was due to the high levels of Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) present in the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram. When I came to the Spiritual Research Centre I was dressed as a boy and insisted that I was treated as a male. As I was taking some hormonal medicines I had facial hair and easily passed off as a male. At the Spiritual Research Centre everyone was very welcoming and they were not judging me. I was allowed to stay there as I expressed the desire to grow spiritually.
During my stay I took part in all the regular activities in the Spiritual Research Center. I also participated in a number of spiritual research experiments on the ashram premises along with experiments using biofeedback instruments. For example, I participated in one experiment where the effect of people speaking to each other was tested. I was asked to speak to a person, but it was only later that I was told that He was a Saint. However, just by speaking to Him the DDFAO biofeedback machine showed a healing effect on my chakras. I too with my subtle-perception felt healing taking place.
Over the next few weeks in the Spiritual Research Centre, I began to notice a number of strange things happening to me, which I had never experienced before. For example, I could not put my hands together to pray before starting a meal. I would want to get up and leave the table instead of eating the food being served in the Spiritual Research Centre dining hall. My thinking and thought processes would be all fogged up and I was unable to comprehend simple things or put something that was told into practice. I could not understand why these things were happening. Slowly over time, it was gently revealed to me that there was a negative energy possessing me. As it was not able to tolerate the spiritual positivity in the Spiritual Research Centre premises, it was creating all these obstacles in my life.
At first I could not make out the difference in my thoughts; whether they were due to the negative energy or my own thoughts. However as I continued my spiritual practice, bit by bit I was able to decipher two identities in me – one was a person who could not bear any spiritually positive stimulus and the other was a seeker who felt so relieved and happy to be with other seekers.
Over a period of time it was revealed to me that I had been possessed by a male subtle sorcerer (māntrik) from the 4th Region of Hell. I learned that it was his male orientated thoughts right from my childhood that were responsible for creating the gender identity disorder in my mind. This was the reason I felt like a male trapped in a female’s body. I realised that his presence in me had grown more and more over the years as he made my life his. He had been acting out his desires through me, and hence created trouble between my family and me.
3. Guidance for overcoming a gender identity disorder and spiritual practice
I was initially guided to chant the name of Shrī Gurudev Datta, and later, Om Namo Bhagavatē Vāsudēvāya . Due to the severity of the possession, I was advised chant for 4 hours a day along with other spiritual healing remedies. The spiritual remedies that I performed daily included the salt water remedy and chanting with nyās. I would also spiritually purify the home with SSRF incense sticks and gomūtra (an Indian cow’s urine). I also was shown how to participate in satsangs (company of the Absolute Truth) via Skype. Here I learned to keep a journal of the mistakes I would make and ego manifestations that I noticed in myself. I would also note all the things I learned and observations of the spiritual progress that I was making. I was advised to pray before all activities such as eating, bathing, riding my bicycle to work, working at my job and meeting with friends. The prayer was on the lines that the possessing entity could not use any of these activities to increase his presence.
4. The beginnings of change
After some months, the anxiety attacks that would plague me reduced and so did the anger subside. I began to come out of my shell and wear more expressive clothing. My physical movements became less stiff and my voice became more feminine. I noticed that the gender identity disorder was becoming less in me.
One day, I realised I was feeling a new feeling of buoyancy and lightness and there was a smile on my face and a calmness. This was the feeling of superlative happiness, or Bliss (Ānand)! I felt more detached about the things around me and it did not bother me as much. Inside, I began to feel decreasingly self-conscious about my appearance. I was less afraid of what people would perceive me as, gender-wise, and less concerned about what they would think of me. Instead of thinking of my needs and my concerns my thoughts were more attuned to what other people’s needs were and how to serve them or brighten their day. I was also able to focus more inwardly on God’s presence.
After about 6 months, I found the courage to ask my parents if they would accept me to live in their home as part of their family again, and they said, “Yes.” Later they informed me that when they went to their place of worship earlier on the same day that I had asked, the priest had remarked to my dad, “Your daughter will return home.” This was a spiritual experience for them.
5. Current State
Life at home with parents has become very calm and I am able to wear feminine clothing at home. A new stepping-stone in this journey was, 5 years after beginning this course of spiritual practice with SSRF, last week for the first time I was able to wear formal clothes of a more feminine nature to a job interview and felt completely comfortable. My gender identity disorder has practically gone. I am beginning to feel so happy and relaxed in my new found identity as a woman as I find I truly enjoy being a woman.
I now feel more honest and open now that I am living life as my true self. I say this with a feeling of relief and gratitude to God. It is with gratitude to SSRF that I now feel comfortable in this female body and can concentrate my efforts on my spiritual journey. I chose to share my story just to encourage others to start or continue spiritual practice. I truly believe regular spiritual practice can help anyone overcome their gender identity crisis and find a permanent cure to such kind of problems.
I end by expressing gratitude to God for giving me the solutions to overcome my gender identity disorder and increase my spiritual practice.
– Miss Irene Rogers, USA (Alias name to protect the privacy of the seeker)