Sarahjanus's Blog

May 12, 2010

A day without dressing is like..?

Filed under: sexual identity, transsexual, transvestite — Tags: , , , — Sarah Michelle @ 9:36 pm

It’s like bad weather, overcast on the day of your picnic, cold and windy on the day of your outdoor event. Its one of those days when things don’t work right, the pieces don’t go together the way they should, the nut cross-threads on the bolt, the battery is dead when you try to start the lawn mower. Its nothing spectacular and it certainly isn’t insurmountable. It is just a day that isn’t right.

I’ve had these alien days before but it is only recently that I have been able to accurately identify the causes. Today, for a couple of reasons, I had to deny myself the opportunity to dress in women’s business attire. My cross-dressing is a secret from every-one so there are days when the risk seems more real. These are the days when I argue with myself. Do I listen to the little inner voice that tells me how risky getting dressed in my own house is, or do I ignore it and take the chance?

I work in a corner of the house. There is no direct view of me from any window but there is not much warning if someone comes through the door. It is a mad dash to the stairs and the privacy of a bathroom or a closet until I can get the clothes off. Some days I can live with the risk, some days I’m not even aware of it and some days, like today, it is an overpowering voice telling me that I can’t be sure where everyone is, that someone could come walking through the door at any moment and totally upset the apple cart of my life.

I can argue that such an event will be a blessing in disguise because once my secret is out, my wife is free to make an informed choice. I would be in a position to make an either-or offer to her. But having the secret out, particularly in such a surprise also raises the possibility that she will “kick my sorry ass to the curb” and tell all and sundry why she did. She would be well within her rights to do so.

I have always felt the allure of women’s clothing and I have always wrestled with my sexual identity. My wife “hooked up” with the facade of a big tough guy. She was never given the chance to decide whether or not she wanted to live with a “big tough guy” facade that hid a crossdresser. I keep my secret because it wasn’t part of the original deal. Asking her to come to terms with my cross-dressing now would be like asking her to….? What, make the relationship an open one so that we could date others or have other sexual partners, or is it more like a secret alcoholic surfacing? Probably more like an alcoholic surfacing.  And like an alcoholic, all the flags have been there all along. A lot of little things that didn’t fit in would probably make sense to her.

This isn’t where I expected to go with this narrative when I started it. I was going to write about feeling out-of-sorts because I couldn’t wear women’s clothing today, about how wearing the clothing brings balance to my inner self and a more positive attitude to my day, about my fear of getting caught struggling all day with my drive to plunge into the closet and emerge properly clothed. I want to be able to take my en femme clothes out of the boxes that they live in every day and hang them properly in my closet with my male clothes so that on any given day I can dress in the clothes that suit me best.

I am detached from reality. I live with the fantasy that I can dress up like a woman, go out into the public eye and go about my business. But that’s just not going to happen for a long list of reasons. It took me many years of rolling ideas around in my head to get to the belief that I want to be a woman. What remains to be figured out is whether I want to be a woman because I am wired that way or if I am trying to escape from what I see as an unsuccessful male personality. At 50 plus years of age, it’s probably a bit too late to come to these conclusions. The sad realization that I have lied to myself for so many years because I was never introspective enough to understand myself and never brave enough to follow my own thoughts and beliefs is almost enough to make me cry.

I will continue to conform to my physical image because I lack the courage to do differently. I realized that while I was travelling. Out on the road I could be anything I wanted. There were no employers out there to judge me. There was no career out there to be negatively impacted by my choices. There was no wife, no children, no grand-children, no parents to be affected by what I chose to do. And yet, I struggled with the desire to put on women’s clothes and go about my business. I feared the scorn of the unknown people around me, people who I will never see again, people who don’t know me. I wasn’t going to “swish” about town. I was simply going to wear the clothes that fit my body. I wasn’ going to put on make-up, wear breast forms and a wig to try to pass as a woman.

I just wanted to wear the clothes that feel like they fit on my body, that feel like they belong on my body, and I allowed a bunch of unknown people to deny me the opportunity. Certainly I had my moments in Thunder Bay and in Kenora but I failed to exploit an opportunity that will be a long time returning.

Shame on me for being cowardly.

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May 10, 2010

Crossdressing is complex

Filed under: crossdresser, travel, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Sarah Michelle @ 6:17 pm

Now I understand why my wife packs three suitcases to my one.

I have three skirts, five tops, three dresses and three pairs of shoes. They are all in the black/blue/grey family. Even “en femme” I still dress drab. My business suits in my working life were all the same, black/blue/grey. I am not yet flamboyant en femme, although given the opportunity I probably would be. I do have one very bright multi-colored summer dress with a flounce to the skirt. It makes me feel pretty when I wear it, but that’s another line of thought for another day

Since I’m a closet dresser and don’t go out, I don’t have coats, hats or sweaters. I can dress in the house in one of the basic outfits and be comfortable all day. Any item goes with any other item so decisions are easy. While I was on my journey, I bought a casual skirt. It’s a stretchy but not tight khaki coloured knee-length skirt. Great for driving in which is where I wore it. A lot of my male clothes are also khaki, so I could match t-shirts to the skirt and not feel that it was a glaring mis-match. Where I ran into problems was with everything-else, shoes, socks, tights, purse.

And that was my epiphany; no wonder she has to pack so much. As a male I pack white underwear, a couple of pairs of pants, one black or dark, one beige or khaki, or perhaps brown, two belts, one black one brown and a selection of t-shirts, golf shirts and socks.  This can easily be a weeks clothing, two weeks if it needs to be because there is always a laundromat or a laundry service available somewhere along the road.

The addition of a khaki casual skirt [which by the way is the most comfortable thing I have ever worn, I would live in these if I could], focused attention on the fact that I had nothing at all to go with it. I needed some casual tops in the same color family. My other blouses and tops are dressier, suitable for an office environment which is what I have always dressed to before, so none of them would work or match. Even if the colors worked, the business look over casual didn’t.  My nylons and tights are all dark-colored, usually as dark as I can get them because I can’t shave my legs. My wife would notice and there is no reasonable explanation for that. Besides, casual skirts call for bare legs, preferably tanned legs.  My shoes are all black, varying styles and heels but clearly black and clearly business or party style. I could dress for an evening out but not for the day.

My man shoes are too clearly man shoes to combine properly. I needed something less bulky, finer, lighter. So there I am, in my new skirt, bare legs one day and dark tights the next, wearing my gender neutral black and white runners and a gender neutral golf-shirt. I had decided to brave the public in a series of towns far from home, and I did. I got some disapproving looks but no one said anything directly to me. I mused after each foray; were the disapproving looks because I was out in public in a skirt [probably] or because I was so poorly dressed. Weird is weird, whether well-dressed or not, so it was probably seeing a middle-aged man in a skirt that triggered the glares.

I need a new purse as well, and I haven’t even considered jewellery yet.  Now I also know that given the opportunity I would dress to the hilt. I know exactly how the progression would unfold. In the two days that I wore a skirt, I became braver and more comfortable getting in and out of the truck and travelling short distances on foot. I would add a top the next time, and shoes after that, until I was clearly and unambiguously dressed like a woman. In that progression, cosmetics would be added, touches at first, bit by bit until my face was fully done. I watch the exercise every morning and I am amazed at the difference. I’ve played around with it at home and could master it fairly easily I think.

Given the opportunity; I would travel with a make-up bag, a suitcase full of shoes and belts, and a suitcase full of clothes that could be combined in a variety of ways to allow for casual dress on warm days, casual dress on cool days, and a classier level of clothing for events, places, restaurants. Yes, as a man I travel light but that is because I don’t care what I look like as a man. Dressed as a woman, I want to look like a competent, well-dressed individual, clean, neat and tidy, well-presented. This is also how I know that my male side is not the same as my female persona. One couldn’t put clothes together to save his life and the other is quite good at it. Given the chance to shop with my wife for my wife, I can find what looks good on her and find all the pieces that need to go together. I can do the same when I shop as Sarah.

Now I face the greatest problem known to modern man [versus women]; I need to do my “en femme” laundry.

May 8, 2010

Crossdresser cross-country

Filed under: crossdresser, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Sarah Michelle @ 3:14 am

I have always wondered exactly who I am. Today I took one step closer to understanding myself. Unfortunately it wasn’t an improvement. In the Crossdressers.com forum, I have read the posts and threads of the various personalities as they have written about themselves and I wondered who I wouldbe if I were unfettered by the opinions of others.

This cross-country journey that I am on has given me a lot of time for thought uninterrupted by the normal daily influences and fears.When I dress at home I always have to worry about someone coming to the door, or a child coming home unexpectedly from school or the worst of all situations; my wife arriving home early and unannounced. It is unlikely to the point of probably never happening but it is a possibility so I have to plan for it. These possibilities limit what I can do with clothes, hair and make-up.

I’ve never been really sure how far I would go if  I knew I couldn’t be tripped up by family, friends or acquaintances. Today I stepped out slightly different than normal. I braved the looks of the disapproving and I heard not a word from anyone. Today I bought a casual skirt from a retailer, one that would fit with the shirts and runners that I was wearing while driving, and I wore it for the rest of the day, even while getting gas, and getting in and out of the truck on a number of occasions.

I am to a certain extent a coward. I rarely honestly communicate with those near and dear, and I rarely do exactly what I want to do even when surrounded by strangers, fearing their unspoken criticism. I don’t know if others fear the same things but I fear that if I do something exceptional someone will challenge me. As in; if I dress in women’s clothing without trying to pass, no make-up, no wig, no shoes, just a skirt and a top, a man in women’s clothing, I fear that someone, another man, somewhere will see me and ridicule me. I don’t what the realistic potential for such an encounter is and I think that many of the writers in the forum are overly optimistic about the general acceptance for cross-dressing.

I dress in women’s clothing because it calms me. I become a different person. I feel lighter and less burdened. I would put more effort into the choice of clothes for every day if I could wear women’s clothing constantly but I can’t. My chhoices of men’s clothing, made to meet social expectations are usually low-grade and less-than-attractive. I can;t or don’t coordinate the tops and pants. I don’t care if the clothes are wrinkled or worn. I can’t bebothered to go shoppig for new men’s clothes but I certainly can shop endlessly and relentlessly for the women’s clothes that I buy.

So today I spent the day in a golf shirt and a casual skirt. Those that noticed didn’t comment although I didn’t hang around anywhere to see if they did or to give them anything more than a passing opportunity. Tomorrow, I will wear a dress [safari dress] that I brought with me for the day and see if I can’t force the coward in me to broaden the places I go into…….

May 6, 2010

Conflicted thoughts of a crossdresser

Filed under: crossdresser, Uncategorized — Sarah Michelle @ 2:58 am

“Forgive me, Father, it has been whatever number of days since my last confession.” Forgive me, Catholics, I’m not one of you but I have heard the preamble often enough on television to think that I can get it right. I’m just using it as the preamble to this blog; forgive me readers, it has been many days since I last wrote. I haven’t gone away.

Like most crossdressers, I spend more time not being this part of me than I do being Sarah. Even when I can’t dress as I would choose to, I can usually get an hour or so at the computer to update my blog. The past 10 days I have been on the road in fairly remote areas. The cell phone coverage has been spotty, never mind any kind of consistent internet link. I know it may seem strange for those that live in urban areas but there still are large masses of the Canadian country-side that are not served [well] by either internet or cellular coverage. As i have been driving though these areas I wonder what it must be like for a trapped soul [like me] to live in these areas. A person certainly couldn’t expect the anonymity that one has in the big city. There wouldn’t be the opportunity to go walking in the evening in your female persona for fear one of your neighbours saw you. That would probably be news for the local paper for that week. I know that I’m harmless but somehow I don’t expect others will see it that way.

Crossdressers.com forum is one of my favorite sites for a number of reasons. One of the key reasons is, it is a world-wide forum of like-minded people who I wouldn’t get to talk with or listen to without the internet. This has been a double-edged sword. Instead of living in a house in which I sometimes dress in women’s clothing and long for the opportunity to go out in public, I can dress like a woman and log into the web-site to interact with similar people. This is the up-side, not feeling so completely alone with my eccentricity. The “other edge” is that finding like-minded people has given the eccentricity a measure of commonality that it didn’t have when I was alone. Like many on the site I have begun to feel empowered and entitled, ready to take on the world for the right to dress the way I want without being judged. Prior to finding Crossdressers.com, I believed that I had a dirty little secret that I had to keep. Now I know I am eccentric, I mean no one any harm. I have no threatening tendencies.

There is at least one study done in the United Kingdom, which examined the two personalities of self-declared crossdressers. The subjects were men who had a fairly developed female persona, [versus those who didn’t have the female personality or those who dressed for sexual excitement]. The object of the study was to examine the psychological state of the man compared to the same state of the female personality. The outcome was interesting in that the men scored higher in terms of psychoses and neuroses than their female personalities did. When “dressed” the same individual scored healthier than the male did.  I’ve completed enough psychology/sociology courses to identify all of the grounds for attacking the study; has it been replicated, was the sample random, was the sample representative, etcetera. But i can identify with the subjects of the study; I am calmer when I am dressed, I am more relaxed in women’s clothing even if I don’t morph into a complete Sarah. I can be very edgy as my male personality, always tense, always struggling with expectations. I can let go of a lot of that when I take on Sarah.

So, what is it? Gender dysphoria or escaping from the expectations of a male role that we can’t cope with. This is one of the most commonly repeated threads in the forum. Why do we dress? Do we dress because we want to be women? Do we dress because we don’t want to be men? Or is it just an activity that is out on the fringe of acceptable, just like dirt-biking or atv riding? Who knows? Apparently no one does.

Sarah M.., [letting you shame me into hiding]

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