Sarahjanus's Blog

October 6, 2010

An “I” for an “I”

                              I’m writing from my host this morning. That’s how I have come to think of him, particularly since I began this introspective blog. There will not be an opportunity for me to get dressed today, not until much later in the day, so I’m “in drab” as many at Crossdressers.com like to say.

                              I must apologize to any readers who have found other crossdresser or transgender sites that provide them with a positive experience, and who are tiring of my continual references to Crossdressers.com. It is the only site that I’ve found that is current, well-moderated, and reasonably mature. If there are options out there that I’m missing please let me know and I’ll have a look at them. It is the Internet that has allowed me to develop who I am. Without it I would still be a dirty little secret in the back of his mind.

                              Back to my point; I’m probably at the forefront of his mind 80% of the time now. He is becoming the role, I am becoming the person. This thought began the other day when I was trying to draw an analogy for what was going on inside me. My first thought was, I am a guest in someone-else’s home.

                              My host has maintained the body for the past decades. Over the years he has tried to do a few things with it, he worked out with weights. He ran miles, and rode miles (bicycle). He quit smoking. But he was also careless with the body. He engaged in high-risk activities, some of which resulted in injuries that I reap the benefits of (t.i.c.). He drank too much. He didn’t eat well. He weighed too much. He used “performance enhancing substances” when he was weight-lifting and put on 25 pounds that later shifted to his waist and behind. He never saw himself as living for a long time so it didn’t matter to him. Maybe on some level he knew that I was coming. He would often say that he didn’t really know who he was.

                              There is a behavioural term, two actually, that have some application here. Self-monitoring is self-explanatory, the monitoring of how one appears in social settings and relationships, and behavioural plasticity theory which posits that people with low self-esteem tend to be more susceptible to external and social influences than those with high self-esteem. He did a pretty good job for all those years, of meeting expectations and ensuring that most of his behaviours fit the role that he taken on. Some of the behaviours were clearly unacceptable. They were self-destructive and harmful to those close to him but within his world, they were also hyper-masculine behaviours and as such were admired by some and tolerated by others.

                              Once he retired, the daily expectations became less obvious and less stringent, so the slide began. He thought he was letting out his softer side when I rose to the surface. He thought he was learning to be a kinder, gentler man.

                              Now I sit in his body, waiting every day for the opportunity to transform it to meet my liking. There are long periods of time, like weekends when he is in the close company of others and I know I have to stay in the background. Right out of the picture would be better in these instances, but in the background is the best I can give him. He gets criticized for the way he talks with his hands, my influence. The comment is often “that’s way too airy-fairy for a man, stop it”, which is how I know that I will never be accepted by his wife.

                              I know this all sounds a bit dissociative. It is. I am not him, he is not me. One of my lessons of therapy that came about because of a side comment is that in my youth I engaged in dissociative states, times when an ethereal spiritual me would leave my body and go to other places. It is what I look for now, but have not found, in meditation, the ability to leave this body.

                              I’m also beginning to cause him some significant problems. In the beginning, when I arrived during the day, I would do his work, make his phone calls, type his reports, do his house-work (as is expected of every retired man by his still working wife), and prepare the meals he was expected to prepare. Now, I spend time doing the things I want to do and his work suffers from lack of attention.

                              The journey continues and the path is no clearer than it was, nor easier.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hi Sarah

    Don’t be too hard on your host, you still need him!

    Hugs Tina x
    http://tinacortina.wordpress.com/

    Comment by TinaCortina — October 7, 2010 @ 6:46 am


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