Sarahjanus's Blog

March 11, 2015

Stream-of-consciousness

Filed under: crossdresser — Sarah Michelle @ 12:28 pm

I am a stream-of-consciousness writer, or if that is being presumptuous, simply a stream-of-consciousness person. I live in the moment and can only adequately describe it as it unfolds.  That is part of the reason that I write. These narratives, some of which become blogs become my vivid recollection of the moments of my secret life.  I have other people around me who serve the same purpose for all other memories and events.

I do not remember things well. I can often sketch the larger things but if my memory were a drawing, it would be a simple pencil sketch of the event. Lines would define the house but the details of the walls would not be there and you would be unlikely to be able to see anything through the windows. The surrounding context would tell you where you were but not much more.  I spoke to a therapist and then a psychologist for about a year, maybe more. This lack of memory was troubling to them. They each had theories about why I didn’t or couldn’t save things but neither one of them were able to unlock the why of it. They believed that I had learned not to remember, rather than simply not having a memory or not having a deeply functioning memory. Actually, they believed that I had experienced events that I actively chose not to remember and in doing so, was not able to restrict not remembering to the traumatic events.

This ramble serves to introduce this blog because I bought a new dress yesterday and I am wearing it today. I also bought a new dress three weeks ago but I wasn’t able to get to a computer in a timely fashion so that moment is more or less lost. It is a shame that it is lost because I was very excited about the first new dress. It is colorful. It is a good fit and the appropriate length for my age and to be comfortable to wear.

Yesterday’s new dress, on the other hand, is a $20 “thing” from Walmart. It has small horizontal stripes, cap sleeved and ¾ length. When I put it on yesterday, after arriving home, I believed it to be the most comfortable garment I have ever worn. The fit is excellent, the belt fits properly and sits at the right place, the looseness at the hem is enough for me to feel it along the length of my legs but not enough to impede my step or stride.  Yesterday I had only a moment to try it on before I ran out of safe time. This morning I rushed through my morning activities so that I could spend most of the day in the dress with all the appropriate accoutrements. I feel lovely.

I know that I have written before about how “dressing” makes me feel complete, whole and at peace with myself. I won’t repeat that lengthy narrative, suffice to say that the feeling hasn’t changed or diminished. I will, however, have to check to see if I have ever called any other garment “the most comfortable I’ve ever worn”. I wish I had the courage to live like this all the time and outside the safety of this house.

Today I have my “wedge-style” shoes on. I am on balance with them. With the other new dress I wore a pair of more traditional heels and for some reason I had difficulty keeping the heel under my foot. It was like I was walking on the inside of the shoe. Practice may be the answer and practice I shall. Friday I will have an opportunity to dress again so I will probably wear the other new dress. Perhaps the excitement will return and I will have more to say. The stream certainly does seem to run dry quickly.

Advertisements

February 6, 2015

My muse is Watson!

Filed under: crossdresser — Sarah Michelle @ 4:44 pm

My muse is Watson.

I have written before about the style that I think is mine. It is conservative. It is in keeping with my primary personality. I am not loud and I do not want to be the center of attention. I do want to be noticed and I do want to believe that I am attractive and to a certain extent, intriguing.  My current wardrobe which includes a number of party dresses that have never seen the outside of this house would still be considered conservative. They are colorful but to the knee in length. I had a few dresses from Le Chateau which were extremely fitted. Regretfully they went out in one of my purges because they were too “fitted” for my comfort. Now that I have lost 12 pounds (and kept it off for over a year) on my way to a goal still 10 pounds away, those dresses would not be quite so fitted and therefore, possibly, more acceptable. One of them was heavy denim, belted with zippers everywhere and a mini in length. I had to exhale to get it on. I thought it had a “rocker-look” when I bought and I loved the attitude it created but I made the mistake of taking a set of pictures with it on. I looked like a too-tightly-bound sausage, all rolls and bulges. I was so dismayed, so disappointed. What a reality check.

On the other hand, they were also short, as Le Chateau dresses tend to be so they may have gone out to the Sally Ann in any case. I did like the way I felt in them though, sexy and alive. There you have a view of my inner battles. If I were able to throw off the restraints that I have encumbered myself with, who knows how I may end up dressed.

Of the dresses I kept, the key influence is conservative, business-appropriate or leaning towards a “Betty Bop” look. I do love and admire that style (Betty Bop) but I am most comfortable in conservative, which brings us to the next inner conflict. I was watching the American version of Sherlock Holmes, Elementary with Jonny Lee Miller and, most relevantly, Lucy Liu as Watson. Her other roles and her personal life aside, it is her portrayal of the Watson character that I am so charmed by. I won’t digress to put the characters in context. You either know them if you watch the program or you don’t. I’ll focus on my own epiphany.

I’ve watched many actresses in many roles over the course of my life. I have been star-struck by Michelle Pfeiffer since the first time I saw her. I have been a Cher fan but not a fanatic. I have been amused by some, and lusted for others. I think Angeline Jolie as Lara Croft was as lusty a woman as one could ever hope to be.

I’ve been streaming Season 2 of Elementary to catch up. I had missed most of the season because of the channel it plays on and the conflicts it created when it was scheduled. In the last 3 episodes that I have watched I have realized how drawn to the Watson character I am. She is not perfect in her appearance, nor is she perfect in her life, past or present. But when I watch her walk through a scene, watch her establish a presence in a room without being loud, I am full of want. That is the woman I want to be, casual but classy, under-stated but note-worthy, her own sense of fashion and appropriately, Sherlock’s peer, not just a companion and certainly not simply a foil.

I have no idea what Lucy Liu is like as a person, nor do I care. I don’t believe it is relevant to this adoption of her character as my inspiration. I am inspired by the character Watson. I am not even troubled by the fact that Watson is simply a character, a figment of some writer’s imagination. What is a dream but a figment of one’s imagination? So I dream of being a dream. My imagination is tweaked by someone-else’s imagination. I sense a circle building.

I love her clothes and the way she puts things together. I like that she wears skirts rather than jeans or trousers.  I love that she is conservative in the way she dresses but it doesn’t detract one iota from her presence as a woman and a sexual being. In retrospect I was pleased that they created Sherlock’s brother character so that there was an outlet for Watson to display a sexual being that might have otherwise been a distraction to the main threads of the series.

I had to articulate this for the sole purpose of making it real. It was an interesting sensation to realize that I was moved by the character Watson, that I held a deep admiration for the woman that character displayed. If I could be a woman, that’s the woman I would aspire to be.

January 19, 2015

First gay dream

Filed under: crossdresser — Tags: , , , — Sarah Michelle @ 12:37 pm

On my drab side the world has been anything but drab for the past week. A family occasion of significant solemnity was reduced to a weekend long farce. As interesting as that may be to write about, this is not the venue for that exploration.

What I am interested in recording is the occurrence of my first ever homosexual dream. Sex does not happen often in my household. We are well below the national and provincial average for frequency, if the respondents to the surveys aren’t lying, as they may in the locker-room.

And as an aside; I must learn how to effectively pin this hair back. I’m not a touch typist so I have to look at the keyboard, which means this bob cut wig is constantly falling across my face. I am not yet conditioned to “look through” the distraction even though it really doesn’t impair my vision. It is simply a distraction. Today is, among other things, a house-keeping day which means vacuuming and laundry, activities that require bending over and falling hair. I can’t sit or stand all day in “model” pose to keep my hair where I want it. I can appreciate now why so many women tie it back whether it’s a good look for them or not.

Back to the dream, even at my age, which is mature, I still have sex dreams occasionally. They are not frequent and they usually happen in the sleep limbo time as I am coming out of a deep sleep, heading towards wakefulness. Only rarely do they happen deep in the night, or perhaps, only rarely do they disturb my sleep deep in the night. The break-of-dawn dreams can be quite intense. They occasionally involve women I know but generally the participants are faceless and nameless. The dreams never end with a climax for me. I always wake up before that point. Sometimes it is only a heartbeat or two from that point. I can’t remember the last time I woke up after a dream climax. It must be decades ago.

This most recent dream also happened on the cusp of wakefulness. It was also quite intense and it also ended before it concluded. Anyone who reads this can have fun with the analysis. I’m not big on dream interpretation beyond the obvious. I’ve been diagnosed with a degree of PTSD and I’ve reviewed all my nightmares with my therapist so I don’t believe in going too deep to find a hidden meaning. Besides, I think this one is obvious. The analysis is probably more of wishful thinking than anything-else. I look forward to any comments and I hope they are entertaining.

The dream took place in a vague environment of tilted abstract rooms. This is common in my dreams, good and bad. My floors are never level. My walls are never straight and my doors are often partway up a wall, similar to a window. Moving from room to room is always a struggle and within a room I am never on balance. As I said before, it is classic PTSD.

I had an audience. The audience was all females. I believe they knew me and I knew them but I didn’t recognize any of them. The other participant was a man who was fondling me while I struggled to find his penis. He was arousing me and I believe I was having the same effect on him but I wasn’t certain. As soon as I felt I had his erection in my hand the dream would shift and I would lose the certainty and have to grope again. It wasn’t that he was moving away or withdrawing. It was that the dream would refocus the whole scene and leave me groping again.

That went on for a while with a measure of confidence that we were both enjoying the moment until I changed my approach. I began trying to get my mouth to his erection with the same limited success as I had with the masturbation. No sooner would I have him in my mouth, sucking lustily than the dream would refocus and I would have to begin the approach again. Remember this is in a room with no firm walls or floors, so moving about is incredibly difficult.

If this were a short porn story I would go into great detail about each of the activities but it isn’t (yet). So I’ll just cover the big picture. Eventually my oral ministrations were successful enough that we both were ready to move to the finale. In the dream I was fully aroused, fully engaged, passionate and wanting him to take me lustily and with equal passion until he climaxed with vigor and a roar.

No matter how I struggled, I couldn’t position him for that finale, neither could he position himself. With these break-of-dawn dreams I usually realize partway through that they are dreams. The same consciousness occurred here. I knew it was dream but I tried to stay in it and keep it in focus. For the oral copulation, I knew what was happening. I was participating actively, enthusiastically, wantonly. I rarely had a clear focused detailed image of his erection in my mind but I had all the other sensations working for me. I could feel it, in my hand and in my mouth. I could hear him. I could sense the physical closeness of his body, the texture of his pubic hair, trimmed but not short. I was aware of the presence of the others, their movement as they shifted to watch, their muted conversations which were sounds without words.

But for the finale, I couldn’t bring the actions into focus. I couldn’t position him. I was on my back, reaching for him but he faded every time he tried to get close. I struggled for what seemed like an eternity before the dream finally broke and I slipped, frustrated into darkness before finally returning to wakefulness and disappointment. I was amused by having had a homosexual dream. I was disappointed by the incomplete act. In my heterosexual dreams, bringing my partner to climax is an integral part of the dream, even if, as I said I don’t get there. I am intrigued by the observation that this didn’t happen in this instance.

January 16, 2015

This is me!

Filed under: crossdresser — Sarah Michelle @ 12:37 pm

This author writes of indirect gender dysphoria. The description is the closest I’ve found yet to what I feel. It reinforces (for me) the concept that my gender conflict is somewhere on a continuum rather than an either/or proposition. I’m not a techie and I don’t know how to smoothly and efficiently post links so I’m doing this the old-fashioned cut and paste method; http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2013/09/that-was-dysphoria-8-signs-and-symptoms-of-indirect-gender-dysphoria/

January 13, 2015

Breaking the ice, the absence

Filed under: crossdresser — Sarah Michelle @ 11:21 am

This morning I break the ice of a two year absence. Sites like Crossdressers.com prepared me for the ebb and flow that being a closet crossdresser can bring. I returned to this blog because it is the only safe and secret place that I have to be totally honest with myself. Entries into computer files and diaries can be found and read. This is arm’s length enough that I feel safe.

I am also humbled when I return here and see the vastly more serious entries of those that I follow.  I truly believe that the world is embarking upon World War III but unlike the previous two, this will be a war on the doorsteps of us all.. The deaths of so many non-combatants at the hands of those who have hijacked an otherwise peaceful religion is a tragedy beyond description. Who am I to write about the stress of being a closet crossdresser when so many in the world live in fear for their lives?

I like to travel. I love Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa as well as North America. There is so much history and culture and the people I have encountered so far have been welcoming. It will be a sad reality if my looking around me now is because of the threat of harm rather than the innocent wide-eyed wonder at the world’s beauty. I will continue to travel.

Two years ago I weaned myself off two prescription drugs. One was an anti-depressant and the other for the treatment of adult ADD. In the months that followed I lost all interest in dressing. I attributed that loss to the absence of the drugs. I couldn’t bring myself to throw out all my clothes though. I love my femme clothes. My drab clothes have only a minimalist social purpose. I have what I need to dress in drab for the occasions that I encounter, two aging suits, jeans for the motorcycle, and extremely casual clothes for all other moments. My femme clothes have style and colour. I threw out some of what I had. I kept my favorite clothes and materials as well as shoes and jewelry.

Occasionally I would pull the box out of the closet and sort through everything, handling it with fondness and a sense of loss and want. It has been long established that I am a coward and I will never step out of the shadows to proclaim who I truly am, but in the last month the drives and needs have returned.

The drugs haven’t, didn’t, so I don’t know what the trigger was. I only know I have to dress again to be comfortable in myself during my day. I have dressed for three days in the last month and as with many addictions or obsessions, the more I dress the more I want to.  I’m a bit like an alcoholic in that respect. I have to deny myself completely in order to avoid relapses and even then, apparently, I can fall off the wagon.

We’ll see how long this motivated state lasts. I know that not only am I dressing during the day but I am shopping again, looking for new clothes, new dresses. I am shopping a bit more carefully. I have a better idea of what I like and what doesn’t fit me, but I am shopping.  I haven’t thought much about what I’m doing and why so this is a short entry. It simply records, for me, the fact that I am back where I was two years ago. Now I have to see if it is same place, same person or if either have evolved.

September 6, 2012

The End of Summer; A New Beginning

Filed under: crossdresser — Sarah Michelle @ 9:49 am

It is September 6th, 2012, a Thursday, the third day after the long weekend that makes Ontario return to school. It is the first week that I have had the house to myself since early in this year. It is the first day that I have been able to wear a skirt and top in months. I am in a very contained way, reveling in the moment.

I have a lot to do today, some of which will take me out of the house and by extension out of this role that I have so longed for these many months. However, the last dependent child has moved out and off to college. So I am anticipating many calm quiet mornings when I can dress as I wish, work attentively at learning to apply make-up effectively, and practice the different ways to style my wigs. In short, I hope to practice my craft until I am comfortable with the external projection of my inner being.

This is a short blog entry. I have discovered that, previously, I would settle into the computer in the morning, with my coffee and after saying “good morning” to various people on Facebook, I would begin a blog. Usually, at about a thousand words or so, I would look up with shock to discover that the morning had left me and I was staring at noon, with none of the household chores done. It is even worse when I am working and I discover the morning has passed with no billable hours. So it is my intention to say “good morning” as early as I can and then return to my required duties, completing them first before blogging.

Sarah breathes again and that is a wonderful feeling. It is like coming up from the cold dark bottom of a lake, breaking through the surface of the water, feeling the light on my face, and the air rushing into my lungs. I’m still in the water. Solid ground is not in sight but I’m floating, not sinking. I’m breathing and I expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

February 24, 2012

Borderline Personality

I tried a few of the online tests and quizzes for Borderline Personality Disorder this morning. I’ve been diagnosed as having this Disorder. The diagnosis was part of a battery of tests run when “we” were trying to figure out what my problems were. My therapist and I came to the conclusion that I had insulated myself from some traumatic childhood event(s) but we were unable to release the emotions and eventually the therapy fizzled out.

The first quiz I tried returned a score of 27, which on their scale put me in the 24 to 32 category and made it “likely” that I had the disorder. The next category was 32 and up which made the disorder “severe”. That’s a bit of a jump if you ask me, all the way from “likely” to “severe” with the difference being how you answered a couple of questions.

The second quiz was longer and it returned a table of results;

Paranoid: moderate                Schizoid: high              Schizotypal: very high

Antisocial: high                       Borderline: moderate             Histrionic: moderate

Narcissistic: very high             Avoidant: high             Dependent: moderate

Obsessive-Compulsive: moderate

At least now I have something to do for the rest of the day, look up schizoid, and schizotypal. To tell the truth, there is nothing new or unknown in these results. I was finishing a degree two years ago and one of the credits was a course that required a series of introspective papers. The course was predominantly about Organizational Behaviour, but anyone who has completed one of these credits knows the over-arching concept; you cannot understand others until you understand yourself.

The two “very high” ratings are not positive areas of anyone’s personality. As you can imagine, I wasn’t too happy to get the ratings back. In the early event, the quizzes were supplied as part of the program and somewhat endorsed by the instructor. The caveat was that quizzes are only quizzes and the outcomes can be impacted by many factors. Anyone who has completed a university credit in research can list the factors so I won’t go into great detail here. Suffice it to say that being quizzed is enough to influence the outcome.

One of the most significant issues for me is the either/or answers. My example is; do you avoid social situations because they make you feel uncomfortable, yes or no? Well, I sometimes avoid social situations because I feel uncomfortable. There are other times when my confidence is sound and I have no problem in a roomful of friends, acquaintances and strangers. There are times when I enter a setting feeling confident but I quickly begin to feel as if I don’t belong so I begin to withdraw mentally and soon after, I will withdraw physically and leave.

Another question asks if I trust people upon introduction and will share personal information with them. That’s a poor paraphrasing of the question, but I hope you get the drift.

Do I trust people upon meeting them? No. I trust no-one. Eventually every-one will give you up. It is the way of the world. But, will I share details and confidences with acquaintances instead of with my friends and intimates? Yes, but I do it because I care less about what acquaintances think of me. When I meet some-one I can be honest and straight-forward with them. I don’t begin to lie to people until they become part of my life and then, I worry about what they think of me so I begin to control what I say so as to always appear in the best light.

Do I engage in risky and destructive behaviours? Yes. There has been a history of binge drinking, drug use, extra-marital affairs. I have ridden and continue to ride motorcycles. I’ve driven recklessly and crashed cars. I like parachuting, and flying ultra-lights. I’ve ridden bulls for the rodeo. The question becomes; did I do these things because of a personality disorder, or because I repressed the urge to cross-dress, ignored the latent homosexuality and refused to consider the very real possibility that I might live more comfortably as a woman?

Consider this, all of those behaviours began to gather dust and fade into my troubled past as I surrendered more and more to the cross-dressing drive. Allow me the opportunity to cross-dress for a few hours at least one day a week, and I become a very calm and at-peace individual. Even in times when I can’t dress, give me a few hours shopping for women’s clothing and the tensions will ease. So is the cross-dressing the answer or is it just another behaviour on the continuum of risky and destructive activities. The consequences of getting discovered and “outed” are pretty significant. I don’t know the answer to the question.

I have also been told by my unsuccessful therapist that I predictably engage in behaviours that are likely to destroy or at least disrupt my primary relationship and consequently my existing happiness. Again, the same question can be asked. Do I cross-dress because it is a true personality facet or is it just another way of ensuring that I will never be happy?

I have compiled my blogs into a volume to which I now add diary entries. Even here there are things that I can write to myself about without being ready to share them with the anonymous world. Is that the epitome of narcissism, not sharing personality quirks that might cause unknown and anonymous readers to think less of me?

February 17, 2012

What I could have been.

It must be part of the evolution of becoming someone different. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. Or, is it part of becoming myself after being someone-else forever? I don’t know.

I’m a late bloomer, so to speak. I didn’t begin to seriously cross-dress until I was in my fifties. I had some “moments” earlier in my life but like so many other things, I suppressed them and carried on being what I was expected to be. Sometimes I wonder if I am overly vague in what I write, so I will try to be a bit more specific here.

I had a youth that was tarnished by a constant but not over-whelming sense of “not belonging”. I was a boy but not one of the boys. I had my male friends but they were my friends in a way that was never influenced by gender. I had few friends that were girls because I was socially awkward and felt inept. I was an emotional child and never particularly athletic. I was also the first-born for my parents, so I carry the scars of the first child, the hopes and expectations that didn’t materialize. I am now estranged from my parents. I am told by my S.O. that, since my parents are in their 80’s, they will pass without me correcting the relationship and I will live with the regret of not correcting before then.

My cousin is gay. As a youth he carried himself with an effeminate manner which caused my parents to believe him to be gay even as a teenager. We were only a year apart in age. I knew he was gay because I was intimate with him as a teenager, pretty much every chance we got. We lived a long distance apart so time together tended to be family vacations or holidays. Creating time together out of sight of the other family members was difficult when everybody was staying in the same house, but we usually managed something. There was only one time when we returned from a disappearance, having been gone too long for the cover story, that I thought our parents were wondering just what we had been up to.

This rather lengthy recounting is to establish a context. My father despised/despises homosexuals. He only tolerated my cousin because, like my aunt, he never had to deal with it directly and his nephew was family. He could turn a blind eye to it. I was always certain that I could never reveal any of my youthful escapades to him without getting a beating. I never did reveal them. I got smacked around for being late and I got smacked for doing simple everyday things wrong. I wasn’t about to broach any significant matters with him, sexual or otherwise. I learned that the path of least conflict was conformation, and so my life-course was set.

I conformed to expectations. I remained clearly hetero-sexual in spite of the pattern of less-than-stellar hetero-relationships. I didn’t ever let anyone get close to me emotionally, and I acted out.

Here I am today, sitting at a keyboard, dressed as a woman, feeling a level of comfort in my own skin that has eluded me for all of my life, which brings me back to my thoughts on evolution.

Suppressing my personality and conforming denied me the opportunity to go as the person I might have been. It also means that my dressing has had to go through a huge set of phases and stages quickly, to catch up with the mental and physical person. I began with shoes, added nylons, and then outer clothes before returning to under-garments, then make-up, wigs and forms. I had a stylized idea of how I should dress, which nearly always meant skirts or dresses.

My “conforming” personality is quite conservative, although it often screams out to be noticed. This life-long style is influencing how I dress as a woman, but that influence is waning. I now consciously move away from the drab colors, searching out the bright colors that I truly want. I made a pact with myself to not buy anything grey, black or blue unless I am absolutely certain that it is appropriate.

I have always been aware of the images of cross-dressers as middle-aged men dressed in ill-fitting lingerie. I knew that wasn’t me, but I have come to realize that lingerie is an important part of my attire and something I wish to acquire. I have a lot to learn about lingerie, what I should wear when etc. but it is now an accepted and sought-after part of my wardrobe. When I put on my outer clothes, I want to know that my under-garments are attractive, and matched. This is not like my drab under-wear, wearing whatever is in the drawer simply because it is convenient. Now, as I dress in the morning, I expect to see bright colors, fitted properly and coordinated top and bottom.

Since the beginning of this year, and it being winter in Canada, when I dress, I dress for comfort. I wear jeans, leggings or yoga pants. If I wear short-sleeved tops, I wear a sweater. Last summer I tried to wear a skirt every-day that I could, regardless of what I was doing.

Now, I have evolved. I dress as femininely as I can but as comfortably as I can for whatever it is I have to do. Jeans and flats in the house are the way. I would be ever so happy if I could go to the shops dressed as I am.

This is the evolution that I am wondering about, rocketing through the phases because I started so late in life. I have to wonder how I would have evolved if I had acknowledged this segment of my personality much earlier in my life. Would I have evolved to the same conservative styles? Or, would the greater length of time and the earlier start have allowed me to break out of the conservative mold and be more flamboyant. I know the women that appeal to me, and I mean in terms of attracting my attention, rather than sexually stimulating. They are the ones who would be described as well-dressed, or as having an under-stated class. They are not flashy, not overtly sexual in their style.

I am not longing to have my life back to do over. I am just wondering what path it might have taken if I had been more honest with myself and others far earlier.

I’ve written before that I am a coward. I still avoid confrontation, not as much as I once did but certainly more than my own ego is happy with. I’m not stating that my domineering father is responsible for that portion of my personality but he certainly was an influence. He might well have been the stressor that caused a pre-existing flaw to flourish rather than wither. In fairness, although I don’t believe it but I have to say it, perhaps he was a good man and I am just a flawed child who grew up to be a flawed adult.

Regardless, where I am now is not where I ever expected to be. My career was successful. I conformed well and advanced well. I achieved the goals I had set for myself and I am happy with the outcomes. I always knew the drive to cross-dress lived in me. I knew it never erupted before because my fears of being found out out-weighed the drive. In the end, the drive overcame the fears of being found out. I do not yet have the strength of personality to crawl out of the deep recesses of the closet I live in. I will probably never have that strength.

It is worth noting though, that I am a much happier person in all the segments of my life since I acknowledged the drive to cross-dress and began to explore the possibility that I might have lived a better life as a woman.

January 3, 2012

Happy New Year & Stereotypes

Happy New Year, these are hollow words that haunt me every year. I don’t expect it to be a happy year. There will be inter-personal conflicts that I cannot resolve without causing greater upset to some in a way that they never asked for, and aren’t prepared for. On the other hand perhaps I am being pessimistic. Perhaps, if I am able to dress in the manner that my inner being wishes, and if in doing so, I am able to grow, even a little bit as a person, it may be a happy year. Perhaps I am confusing happy with joyful. Perhaps I need to tailor my expectations to my reality.

Last night a fight broke out between my wife and me. It happened late in the evening and as she pointed out, my anger was out of proportion to the situation. She quizzed me as to the true cause of the anger and I gave her nothing. I had a cause in mind. I wanted the anger to be the result of the behaviour of the Last Child Standing. I didn’t offer that up as a possibility for a host of reasons. The fight carried over to this morning and she went off to work just as hostile as I was, remaining at home.

My morning processes brought me to the computer, through my e-mail and Facebook, to the blog. I had dressed very simply in a galabeya, catering to the need to dress without really dressing. However, the need was not met and I had to re-dress. The anger, it seems, was based in the frustration of not being able to dress for a couple of weeks through the holidays.

Clareflourish (clareflourish.wordpress.com) responded to one of my blogs, pointing out that many TG people have very narrow stereotyped ideals for the genders. Her point was that (in this case) I need to relax a bit and be more accepting of myself. I accept her point but I also think I need to expand a little on what I was thinking when I originally wrote the blog. My transvestism has been a journey, and it has been a long and slow journey because I don’t really know myself and as an individual I still lack the courage to be myself. A big part of that journey has been finding my own style and manner of dress. I came to this place very late in life so I lost the opportunity to be young and match my outer self to the inner self. I regret that. Part of the regret is for the opportunity lost and part of the regret is for the clothes I can no longer wear. I have skirts and dresses that are not “age-appropriate” simply because they are beautiful pieces of clothing, which when on me, make me feel beautiful. I have said before; if I lived in a house without mirrors I would be a beautiful woman.

So, the irrationality of my thinking begins to appear. I can be a man dressed in women’s clothing, and I can accept myself thusly. But I worry about whether or not the outfits I wear are age-appropriate, appropriate for the circumstances that I imagine myself in, and appropriate for the body that I am putting into them. As a being, I am conservative, quiet, unassuming, generally wishing to not be noticed. That “being” is genderless, so my clothes must match my personality if I am to be comfortable on the outside as well as the inside.

If I were to present to the world as a woman, I would wish to present as a slim (height to weight) middle-aged being with the resources to dress well and the taste and style to choose the right clothes and accessories. For example, I bought a new dress at Le Chateau after Christmas and today is the first day I’ve had the chance to wear it and accessorize it. It is snug through the waist so it emphasizes that I have regained a few of the pounds lost, and I need to lose them again. It is further above the knee than I am comfortable with, but I can imagine it with my boots, so I can live with the (lack of) length. It is snug through the bosom, so that zipped; it gives me an obvious cleavage which I am absolutely thrilled with. Given the right weather or place, would I wear it in public? I probably would not, because it would attract more attention than I would be comfortable with. My dressing is not about “look at me”. It is about; if you look at me you should see a well-dressed person who is comfortable in themselves and in their environment.

Do I have a narrow stereotype of what a woman should look like? I don’t believe so. I have a narrower range of what is acceptable for me to look like dressed as a woman. My standards for being dressed in public as a woman are different than the standards I have for being dressed as a man because when dressed as a man, I was simply meeting the social conventions for being dressed in public. Being well-dressed as a man didn’t make me feel better about myself, so I dressed to a lower more common standard. Being dressed as a woman does make me feel better about myself, so I do aspire to dress to a higher standard. This is not to meet a stereotype but more, to be the best I can be with what I have to work with.

It will be a happy new year, if, through these blogs and the comments they generate, and the forums and support groups, I learn more about myself and grow as a person. For years of my life, I never looked inwardly because the darkness of the unknown made me fearful. I have overcome the fear and begun to turn on the lights. I have caused myself no small measure of distress with what I have discovered about myself, but my acceptance of self is growing. The last huge step is to share my awareness of self with others close to me. Unfortunately I have not yet figured out whether or not the end justifies the means.

Happy New Year to all.

December 21, 2011

New boots and “on being me”

Filed under: crossdresser, shopping — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Michelle @ 5:37 pm

Finally, after what feels like months of searching, I finally found a pair of season appropriate boots. The boots don’t really qualify as “winter” boots for a Canadian winter. They are not lined and they do have a significant heel. The lack of lining means the boots will be worn from the car to the mall and not much further, although I will be able to wear them in the city as long as it isn’t too cold. The heel means they will be treacherous in slippery conditions, especially if the ground is “broken” or uneven. However, the boots fit, and they fit properly. I have been in and out of dozens of shoe stores looking for just the right boot, tall, tight to the leg, and a wide size which is unfortunately rare. Going up a size to get the width has proven to be the wrong choice too many times in the past. The shoes often fail to stay on my feet when I’m actually walking, as compared to just moving about the house.

I’ve written previously about being out during the day. It was a recent milestone and one that can only be described as “casting off a burden”. My spirit was lighter, brighter and consistently happier since that experience. Today I had to do my Christmas shopping and I had a bona fide reason to travel a distance from my home. A specialty item was only available in one store, and once there I remained in the area to do the rest of my shopping. I was making some returns, before the gifts were even given. The items were discovered to be wrong for one reason or another. I also had to do the “liquor run”. We don’t drink much in our house, so when we play host to a couple of dozen people, there is always a healthy list of staples, and curiosities that need to be acquired. All of the guests like to be able to make their “drink of the moment” for the gathering.

Back to the theme; being away from my hometown allowed me an opportunity to blur the lines again. I dressed in women’s jeans, and a top that wasn’t outrageously feminine but wasn’t male attire either. I took a man purse (shoulder bag) and wore a pair of shoes with flat square toes and blatantly obvious heels. What were absent were the breast forms, the wig and the make-up.

My first stop was a Winners/HomeSense megastore, where I had to return and replace an item with one of the proper size. It being just before Christmas, the parking lot was full and chaotic. I had to park far further from the store than I would have preferred. Doing so was a double edged event. It meant that I had an opportunity to adjust to the shoes and heels before I entered the store. I have learned not to assume that all heels are the same when walking. On the other hand, it meant I was clearly visible to cars and pedestrians coming and going, which is somewhat intimidating.

The feeling of being observed turned out to be an irrelevant issue. I’ve written before about the sense of “completeness” that I feel when dressed in a feminine manner. I wrestle with the proper terms to use and I struggle to find a better description than “completeness” so bear with me. I don’t want to say that I feel like a woman when I’m dressed as such because I don’t truly know what a woman feels. But I do feel very different when dressed “en femme” or in clearly female clothing. I feel natural and complete.

Once I was out of the car and had straightened my jeans, shouldered my purse, and taken the first few steps, I was not concerned about the stares of others. I felt “right” and because of that, I was able to disregard the stares. I went into the shop, accomplished my goals, walked the aisles, stood in the impossibly long check-out line and knew that I was the subject of looks and whispered comments. I am so much stronger now, more confident. The looks didn’t make me nervous. I didn’t cringe. I didn’t flush or blush. I simply was and wished that I could continue to be.

I went from that store to a liquor outlet and a major mall and from there to Costco and Wal-Mart. I loved my being for the entire time. It felt so good to be completely natural in my presentation and behaviour. I started this blog on Monday, added to it Tuesday, and here we are on Wednesday and I have no opportunity to complete it properly. So, it will be posted as is. Merry Christmas to those who are Christian, Happy Hanukah to those of the Jewish faith, Happy Holidays to everyone-else.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.