Hi Katie! I'm so sorry to hear of your grandfather's passing. All my best wishes to you and yours.
Most of the issues I experienced were before I started transitioning. They were very much like Laurie's description with one exception. I'm afraid I crossed that spring threshold Laurie spoke of. I was not able to continue living as the person society told me I was supposed to be. Luckily, the item of choice for my demise turned out to be less dependable than I had previously experienced. This was the beginning of my transitioning. I knew I had to do this or I would not survive.
The loss of my health, house and then a divorce, although sounding bad, was the break I needed to transition without interference. Once I started HRT, I hit the ground running and haven't looked back. I've already had FFS but was denied a BA. It's a Kaiser thing. As Moni stated, I too fear from the possible unforeseen denial of my bottom surgery for whatever reason, which I fear would put me back in that dark time. I know most people see FFS as the most important surgery because it's what the public sees, but for me, it's GCS that simply must happen. But, having gone through FFS with flying colors, with the exception of the debridement, the fear of denial for GCS should not be real. I will seek a second opinion for a BA, or go out of pocket, after I recover from GCS.
As for the rest of the fears we all experience, carriers, family, loss of friends, for the most part, have all turned out to be a big non-events. People are a lot more excepting these days than they were in the past. I have only lost two people in my life, one, when I came out to him, who was somewhat of a bigot anyway, and the other was my ex, 2 years after the divorce. I could not be happier with my decision to transition. Sorry for the long winded babbling on. I think it's important to our health not to put too much stock in the nightmare fears from the yesteryears.