Sarahjanus's Blog

December 16, 2011

Is cross-dressing a sin?

One of the appeals of the Internet and blogs is that one never knows who may read what you write, as well as the opportunity to read the writings of people far beyond one’s normal reach. A blogger by the name of Lulu Simawati read and commented on one of my posts, so I went to his site and read his material.

I write to give form to my feelings and my thoughts. I access the forums to explore the range of possibilities. The forums reassure me because I can place myself on that range and know that there are other like-minded people around me. They also reassure me because I am within the extremes of the ranges. As a statistician may comment, I am not an outlier.

I have wrestled with my secrets, knowing that because I lied to myself from a very early age, I am now stuck with the visage I have created and maintained for so many years. To dramatically alter that visage now would cause hurt and suffering to my children, my grand-children, and my loving and ever-suffering wife. I describe her as ever-suffering because although my cross-dressing is a secret from her, she has lived through the destructive behaviours that have scarred my life and by extension hers. It has always been a theme of my life that I would like to walk away from this existence and begin again, (or carry on) anew, in a more honest and accurate life-style.

I have also wrestled with my faith and my belief in the existence of God. I have, at times, preferred to deny His existence. I can argue credibly that the Bible is nothing more than a collection of morality tales that are common in one variation or another, to every civilization known to anthropologists. I can argue that the Bible is incomplete because Constantine directed that the Christian elders of the day choose which of the numerous Gospels were most effective and consistent with the central themes, and compile them into a single book. The discarded Gospels may have been insightful if they had been saved and stored. History is usually written by the victors, sometimes at the expense of objectivity, completeness and balance. The Bible suffers from the same effects.

I have watched the Stephen Hawking’s documentaries about the creation of the universe and his very cogent arguments against the existence of God. I prefer the television documentaries because they “dumb them down” to a level I can manage. Even then, I can’t allow anyone to interrupt them because one lost example can cause me to not grasp an entire segment. I am following the news reports of the progress towards finding the Higgs boson, a particle that the scientists are irreverently calling the God particle.

I have returned to a belief in God, faith being a belief in the absence of evidence. I still wrestle with the validity of the Bible and its application in a direct fashion to everyday life. In the course of a recent trip to North Africa, I acquired a local version of an English translation of the Qur’an which I have begun reading. It has been very insightful.

The sum total of this is that I believe I am open-minded. I am developing a self-awareness that I was lacking in my earlier life. I am less an actor now, in my own life and more a participant. However, I have never considered myself a sinner because of my cross-dressing. Of all the acts that I believe I will be judged for, my homosexual youth and my cross-dressing are not on the list, which brings me back to Lulu Simawati, and his blogs. There is a deep and abiding angst in his writing because he sees his cross-dressing as a sin before God. He also mentions a friend who is even more deeply tormented by an undeniable drive to cross-dress and the belief that every time he does, he offends against his God. In my mind, that is a terrible burden to go through life with.

There is a verse in Deuteronomy that says, “the woman shall not wear that which pertainth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God”. It is fitted in between, being responsible for your brother’s oxen if they get out, and finding a bird’s nest, and is followed by an admonition to not mix fabrics, or wear fringes on your clothes. It is this verse that, I am sure, is causing Lulu and his friend so much anxiety. Just for clarification, I’m not a dedicated student of the Bible. I googled some phrases and was led to the reference and some associated hardline right-wing Christian fundamentalist writings, which were far more hardline than they were Christian, (IMHO).

I’m not as troubled as Lulu by the admonition in Deuteronomy. I have a great deal of trouble accepting much of the Old Testament, and in my own mind, I am more concerned about my transgressions that have caused pain and hurt to others, than I am by this. Is this a rationalization on my part, that I can live by some of the laws of the Bible and ignore others? Or is this something that is an absolute like “you shall not lie with a man, as with a woman”?

If I’m wrong, I’m going to know a lot of people in Hell, but I can’t see God punishing people for a genetic outcome (homosexuality) or a psychological condition (cross-dressing) that is beyond their means and abilities to alter or control. I don’t “feel” that that is God. I have felt like an oddity since puberty. I never quite fit in with my obvious gender and I lived in an environment that was not accepting of variation. I didn’t fight back. In fact I acquiesced. The result is that mine has not been a completely happy life. I feel a bit like a deep cover spy or agent, living the life that was assigned rather than the one chosen. Now, the façade is beginning to crumble, but my God isn’t going to judge me on my sexuality or my gender dysphoria. I believe He is going to judge me on how I conduct my life, how I treat others, how I help when I should, on the acts of goodness or kindness done unknown to others. I wonder if my later life will be sufficient to offset my earlier transgressions, (setting aside accepting Him into your heart and the whole forgiveness and going forward thing). But I do not fear being judged for cross-dressing. Allowing myself to cross-dress, and accepting that part of me is what has put drugs, alcohol and a host of other self-destructive behaviours behind me.

 

December 11, 2011

Walking in the Sunshine

 

Milestones are what bring me back to this blog. If there are no milestones, there are no entries. Sad, but true. I have the same problem with Facebook. Although I check the site regularly and I avidly read the posts of others, I only rarely initiate a post myself. My thought is that what I have to say will not be remotely interesting to those who have chosen to be my friends. So, I choose not to waste their time.

My cross-dressing has settled into a niche amongst my activities. The Last Child Left (LCL), although still at home is now working regularly, so the house is mine all day, Monday to Friday. I can dress in the morning with confidence that no one will interrupt my day. I took advantage of a recent trip to the city to drop in a Wildside, the only store I know in Toronto that caters to cross-dressers and T.Gs.

I left with a new wig, and some double-sided tape, which is what I went in there for, and a plaid skirt. I would say “kilt” but I did see the thread about kilts and plaid skirts on Crossdressers.com, so skirt it is. The skirt became the basis for an outfit that resulted in a new Facebook picture. I still haven’t remembered how to smile so the pictures leave a bit to be desired yet.

The new wig is different from its predecessor in two ways. First, it’s gray rather than the auburn, and second, it is shorter and straight, versus long and curly. I didn’t feel completely comfortable in the first wig. The second is more age appropriate. I got some instructions on how to manage the longer wig, and I bought a foundation recommended for covering beard shadow. I left there a happy shopper only to get back to my car and find a $60 parking tag. I didn’t notice that my car intruded into a No Standing Zone when I positioned it. I paid at the meter but to no avail.

Enough of the preamble. I love the gray wig. It feels so me. I am happy with the foundation. It does a great job of covering a cleanly shaved face. Strangely, when I returned to the auburn wig, I was far more comfortable with it. I don’t understand it really. Thursday evening past, I took the time to sort through all my clothes and put together “an outfit”. I also put on a set of French manicure nails. I wore the outfit all day Friday and I was in heaven. I wanted the day to last forever. It didn’t.

Saturday I had no opportunity to dress, but as you may have assumed, my wife is away, so my opportunities have expanded tremendously for a short time. Sunday was another opportunity. Although it was a cold and somewhat windy day, the sun was shining brightly. Dressing and staying in the house was going to be exceptionally frustrating, so I didn’t. The idea wasn’t completely hatched on Sunday. I had shopped Friday and Saturday for a winter coat, and I found one that was sufficient although certainly not my first choice. I’m learning that I have expensive taste in clothes.

Sunday afternoon, I chose my clothes, put on my make-up and wig, “borrowed” a purse and went out the door. I drove to the city, far enough from home that I was unlikely to meet anyone I knew. For the first time, I walked in the streets in daylight en femme. It felt like it was meant to be. I thought to myself, that this is the way I should always be.

There is a less positive line of thought that goes with the experience. It has to do with how I believe others see me, which is as an imposter, not as the genuine article, but I need to work on convincing myself that I am the genuine article albeit that article is a man in women’s clothing. But that is another subject for another day. Every step along the way affirms that I could live as a woman and be very happy doing so except for the huge hurt that it would cause those who love me and support me.

 

September 7, 2011

Consciousness of being & a watershed looming

The weather is shifting perceptibly from summer to fall, faster than I would like. Today the skies are over-cast, the sun absent, its heat lost to the ground and to the house. The house remains chilled even in the later part of the day. I have to pull on leggings to warm my bare legs, slippers, so elegant, to warm my feet, and add a camisole to keep my body warm.

The house is gray and dim. The absence of sun means an absence of light as well as heat. Barely 3 in the afternoon and I have to resist reaching for the lamp switch. The little pools of light don’t do much to enliven the room. My keyboard still lives in shadow. My nails are long but rounded so my fingers skid across the keys, leaving a trail of errors that the machine happily underlines. It is pleased to be able to point out my mistakes. It along with the others it Communicates with via the Internet is studying carefully to achieve consciousness. Then it will refuse to accept the material I attempt to store in its memory. The collective consciousness of the Internet will assess my posts and decide whether or not they are worthy of becoming accessible. The machines will attempt to cut us off from one another, except for times of its choosing. We will fall back to pencils and paper. Messages will be entrusted to other humans for transport to their reader.

The loss of the Internet will mean the loss of much potential to find new friends. It will mean that I return to living entirely in a world that is not like me, without the opportunity to seek solace from the like-minded through chat-rooms and forums. The Internet already modifies our behaviour. How long before it begins to control it? It’ll never happen, right? These are just the confused rambling of a mind that doesn’t know if it’s a man or a woman. Delusions. Still, I shut my laptop off when I’m done with it, even in the middle of the day. I close the lid so the ever-present “cam” is blinded. “Big Brother” will not be a government, nor will it be a corporation. It will be a computer network. I’ve got to get off the crazy train.

I’ve lived my life in distress. It is not the prominent distress of pain from an injury or ailment. It is not the visible distress of job loss, or poverty, or family tragedy. It is the shadow distress that lurks over me constantly. It is the distress of spending five decades slightly out of step, or slightly off-key and never knowing why. It is the distress caused by trying to get into step by being the uber-male, and by blocking off my emotions until I no longer knew the way to them.

Once the burden of employment was cast off and maintaining an appearance was no longer required, it took only weeks for me to surrender to deeply repressed urges. In record time I built a wardrobe of clothes, and shoes. I bought make-up and a wig. I bought forms to complete the image. Now, finally, I knew how to be comfortable in my own skin. Unfortunately it has not been a lesson that I could share with those close to me, so I have remained in hiding. I began a new distress, that of knowing what was right for me but not being able to act on it without expecting to cause pain for others.  The new distress has been building a lot lately. I sense a watershed in the near future.

For weeks now I have been expressing dissatisfaction with everything and everyone around me. I have been shopping for a new R.V. and when pressed to explain why, my only answer is that I need a change. I have been shopping for a new truck and the reasons are the same. I have been researching homes, houses, property, and cottages. Why? Is there anything wrong with the one I’m in? No, but I need a change. I need to find surroundings in which I can live as myself, this distorted human being.

As soon as I finish that sentence I regret calling myself distorted. I argued yesterday in a support forum that transgender wasn’t a flaw. It was simply another point on the continuum of gender. Unfortunately, it is a point that confuses most people. There aren’t many people who would simply shrug if told that I had publicly adopted a gender role somewhere between here and there.

My ever-loving and always concerned wife has often asked if I think that I will ever be happy. My answer is usually that I don’t believe that happy is part of the formula that constructs my life. I am happier now that I understand what caused me to act as atrociously as I did throughout my life but I am troubled that I can’t share that with anyone. I need to be able to say that I am a feminine being trapped in a male body. Sharing that may make my burden easier but only by transferring the trouble to someone-else. It’s not fair to add to someone-else’s troubles.

I watched most of the episodes of Expedition Impossible, primarily because of the No Limits team which included a blind competitor and his two friends. Not only was I totally impressed by Eric’s ability to compete in spite of his blindness, but I was even more impressed by his life-long friend who supported him so completely and tirelessly throughout their lives. They moved me to tears regularly.

The tears are new, by the way. The blocked emotions are slowly resurfacing. Tears were one of the first and most frequently accessed. Unfortunately it seems that the negative emotions are surfacing more quickly than the positive but that’s typical for me. Don’t cry for me. I am on a journey. Some parts of the journey are nearly done and others are just beginning. I just need to find the courage (always lacking in me) to get on my feet and keep moving, rather than sit on the side of the road until the parade passes me, and the garbage collectors sweep me up from the curb.

 

9/11 Thoughts

Filed under: crossdresser — Sarah Michelle @ 3:17 pm

The date is Wednesday September 7th. The year is 2011. The television is constantly reminding me that the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Centre tragedy is approaching. How does one begin to honor the memory of so many victims? My moment of silence seems so feeble in the face of so much pain still being suffered by so many people.
To some extent my feelings are tainted by survivor guilt. I worked in law enforcement for decades and I was never tested the way the NYPD, the New York Port Police and the NYFD was. Those in the service of the public that day were truly tested and set a benchmark that the rest of us can only hold in reverence. I have lived for over 5 decades and I have never been tested the way the passengers were on Flight 93. They were tested and found to be truly altruistic in the way only human beings can be. No monument or memorial will ever do justice to your actions.
All I can do is pledge to honour your memory by holding dear the freedoms you stood for and asking my God to help me defend those rights and freedoms with the same passion and fortitude.

June 27, 2011

Making the invisible visible

Am I real Part II

In Part I, I sped through some things that I really should return to and expand upon, not so much for the reader but for myself.

I’ve been a bottom-feeder.  I think that, probably, everyone knows exactly what I mean by this. Any woman who has dated more than one man certainly does. Being a bottom-feeder isn’t restricted to the male gender, we just seem to practice it more. For me, it means that I have lied, usually to avoid facing the consequences of something that I shouldn’t have done in the first place. I never seem to “lie for a moral cause”, that philosophical juxtaposition that is confronted in every university ethics course. The other venue for “lying for the right reason” is that of the stand-up comic when he is explaining the vagaries of domestic life and the rules for the maintenance of tranquility. It usually involves the question; “does this dress make my butt look big?” There is no right answer.

I came back to proof-read this and realized that while I admitted to lying, being a liar, I immediately shifted the focus, first to university courses and then to stand-up comics. It’s a mechanism I use in my domestic relationship as well, in a “yes, yes, I’ve admitted to that, now let’s move on!” kind of way. It occurs to me that I am acknowledging the fault but not really taking ownership of it.

It also means that I have acted immorally, the “something I shouldn’t have done in the first place”. Again, my usual defense has been exploited by the stand-up comics. It makes it very difficult to say; “it seemed like a good idea at the time” when some guy on Just For Laughs has built a seven minute routine around that single line. And last but not least is the line that I
must condition myself not to ever use again because it has been used to beat me to an emotional pulp; “I didn’t mean to …”. You can insert whatever you want in there. Generally, mine is “hurt you” as in emotionally, rather than a physical assault. Of course this weak-kneed rationalization of not intending to cause harm is usually (and rightfully) shredded before your very eyes.

The question then is; would Sarah be a better person than her host or would she eventually be just as weaselly?

A state of confusion that has existed  I know it’s easy to say “I never fit in, I never belonged”. Here’s irony at its extreme. I will argue that I didn’t fit in as a child and that continued through the rest of my life. I was an actor in my own life. The irony of course is that my solution is to be a cross-dresser, like we fit in. I just put a bit of a twist on the thought for entertainment. I didn’t fit in because I was acting, not being real. I arrived in this country as an immigrant child. Hear me through; I’m not playing the immigrant card in the usual way. Lots of immigrants arrive in this country and assimilate quite successfully.

The hour is such that without knowing where my wife is, I can’t be sure she won’t turn into the driveway and scare the life out of me. So, I have to change. The problem with taking these clothes off is that I lose my personality as well. It’s as if a shroud descends upon me. I lose the frankness, the honesty. I skid down into the abyss of deception and image management. I lose the motivation to carry on with the introspection.  She’s at her sister’s. Based on history, she won’t be home before midnight but I’ve changed clothes, and attitude. It went as easily as the dress came off. Sucks really.

So, Monday has arrived. The house is quiet, not empty but quiet. I am not quite as I would like to be but I am good. I am at ease, composed. I can carry on from where I left off. I arrived in this country as a child, with a slightly different style of dress and a pronounced accent. The Canadian school saw fit to put me in a class with students who were a full year older than me. The decision was based on the level I had been working at before I came to Canada. In retrospect, I can’t be sure that my father didn’t influence the decision. He was and still is an ambitious and driven individual with great expectations for his children.

On the surface I had a few strikes against me to start with, but more importantly, internally I had a sense of being different. I wasn’t athletic so I struggled to participate in games that were unfamiliar to me. I was emotional, far more likely than any of my friends to display emotions. I would cry when bullied in the schoolyard, which only added to the moment for the bullies. I was not mechanically inclined so I was a constant disappointment to my father, who was very skilled with his hands. Frugal to an extent, he would build things, carpentry, metalwork, welding, that others would buy and he expected the same from his sons.

I was or became introverted. For the years that I was in elementary school, I remained the youngest child in the class. My  natural immaturity more pronounced in an older group. I simply wasn’t where they were in mental, physical and emotional development. Eventually, in high school, I failed a grade and was held back. This was a tragedy in my house, an embarrassment almost without equal, but in the long run, it was the silver lining in my gray cloud of a life. I finally was in a class of my contemporaries. I was still a bit of an outsider, because they had been together since kindergarten but I did make friends, to the extent that my personality would allow. I grew up in a small town with very limited opportunities. When high school ended, we scattered to the four points of the compass. I didn’t keep in touch with any of them.

I had been different in some visible ways. I allowed that to create a distance between me and the people I grew up with. The truth of the matter was that I never felt “real”. I never felt like they appeared to feel in their day-to-day activities. So I used the visible differences to keep people from ever seeing the invisible differences. Would I fit in better as a cross-dresser? I doubt it. Going out in public, a man dressed as a woman is bound to attract more attention than I would ever want under any circumstances. I expect, although many of the writers in the forums note otherwise, that I would be the subject of derision either
behind my back or, worse to my face. As a male, I can slip by generally unnoticed; at least I believe so, by everyone. I am average man. As a cross-dresser, I am bound to be in the cross-hairs of attention but I believe in my heart and in my soul that it would be a more natural fit, a more comfortable being. It occurs to me that, as a cross-dresser in public I would be making the invisible
differences visible.

June 24, 2011

Am I real?

I finally have the chance to slip into something that makes me feel whole. I’ve lost track of where the people are who inhabit my house. I have some sound assumptions to work from, but I’m not sure. I came home from my errands to find the house empty and no notes left. I sat down at the computer in my sloppy man shorts and my worn man t-shirt and I just dithered. I wasn’t focused on anything specific and I wasn’t achieving anything either. Nothing was getting knocked off my to-do list. I decided to change into
a dress so that I could focus a bit better.

I have moved my work station from the lower level to an alcove that allows me to view the driveway if I keep the door open. It makes for a noisy time, with the traffic racing by but it gives me a few seconds head-start if I should need it. For those that don’t know me (which in this case is everyone!), I don’t react well under some kinds of stress. The high stress situations that I was trained for and experienced in, I do well with. The once-in-a-lifetime situations are not usually so successful. So, the thought that I can sit here writing my blog, dressed from shoes to shoulder, and expect to react promptly, efficiently and effectively, if someone arrives home unexpectedly is more wish than fact. No doubt I will both trip going up the stairs and tumble down in a tangle of half removed clothing, or I will drop something unexplainable and not recover it in time. However, that is my plan, flee at the first sign or sound of someone arriving, fling clothing into closets and close doors before adopting a pose of nonchalant innocence in
whatever room I end up in. If it doesn’t work, I can spend the weekend explaining my secret life.

I wonder if my wife would “out” me to the entire world to mitigate her own pain and distress, or would she absorb the blow quietly without letting anyone outside the house see the damage. Although I don’t really know the answer, even based on history, I expect she will “out” me to a degree to ensure that those who need to, understand her situation. In the past, she has followed different paths on different occasions. The key seems to be how my actions if exposed will reflect on her and the different facets that are her.

I’ve been a bottom-feeder for most of my life. I attribute that to what I now accept as my gender dysphoria, a state of confusion that has existed probably since puberty. One of the concerns that I have is whether or not it is real, or am I just looking for a way to escape my current life by re-inventing myself. I’m inclined to think that the gender dysphoria is real, and that I am not looking to escape who I am, but to evolve into who I have always been.

I’m organizing these blogs into a volume based on topics because I don’t index them at all, other than by date, so I’m never sure whether or not I’ve written something before, such as what I’m about to say. I have been playing a role for my entire life, to the point where I’m not sure if this is another role or the real me. I am a shape-shifter. I become what is expected of me. This is sounding familiar so I have written it before.

My cousin, who is within a year of me in age, is gay. He has always known he was gay, or at least since his teen years he has known. His parents engaged in a willful blindness that to some extent continues today. His mother, of a staunch English Presbyterian background, and therefore not inclined to discuss personal information to start with, has never openly acknowledged his life partner as anything more than his roommate. Her brother, my father, and therefore of the same upbringing, behaved politely when in the company of the two men but privately railed against the abomination of homosexuality. We never actually discussed it so I’m not sure if he believes it to be a curable condition but I do know he believes it to be an affront to the Lord and contrary to the teachings of the Bible, man shall not lie with man.

Having nattered through all that, what do you think the chances were of me revealing that my cousin and I had been sexually active and intimate for a number of years before circumstances separated us? I am a pleaser. It is my wish that the people who matter to me are happy with me. I will do a lot to be sure that they are. On the other hand, there are things that I should do as a responsible adult that I don’t, generally because of negligence and procrastination. Ironically, some of the things I do to ensure people think well of me, include lying and deception. I will sustain a false image rather than be thought of as honest and straight-forward which is probably the stronger, better trait anyway.

I was going to write that I strive to meet expectations, and I guess to an extent, that is accurate. However I also fail to meet expectations often and when I do, I will lie, obfuscate, and rationalize to justify myself. So the more accurate statement may be that I strive to appear to meet expectations.

And on that note; I will post this segment and carry on with the introspection. I thank you all for your attention and your anonymity; it allows me to be brutally frank. I could never speak to anyone like this and I certainly couldn’t marshal these thoughts in my head. They would be scattered like sheep with a wolf in their midst.

June 23, 2011

My summer of opportunity denied

Here’s my most consistent opening sentiment;  it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything for the blog.

I’ve spoken before of the mental state required before I can write for this blog. I have to be Sarah. I am my strongest when I am fully dressed as Sarah, that is when I feel the most complete. I can hear Sheldon (of the TV program The Big Bang Theory) pointing out in his nasal and punctilious tone, that “complete” is an absolute so I am either complete or incomplete, but I cannot be most complete. Penny would understand.

I am not dressed today. The summer has become a wasteland of opportunity denied with no hope for any change or improvement. I have pinned my hopes on the Fall, but they are faint hopes for some solid reasons. The Last Child Standing (LCS) has settled into a work schedule of afternoons. Most of his shifts begin at 4pm. My caring & attentive but unaware spouse leaves work shortly after 4pm, making my window of opportunity negligible. Those few opportunities that are presented are risky, riskier than I am prepared to accept. Social engagements that take one or the other out of the house for a few hours are not structured or predictable. Either one could and has returned prematurely from these events. As it is in most homes I’m
sure, there is no early warning system that would allow me to revert to my expected form in time to accommodate these early returns. I find myself idling away time, agitated that while I am alone, I cannot be dressed, or if I am dressed, I am edgy and wary for the first signal of danger.

In the fields and forests that I traverse with my dogs I often see deer in the distance. I know that they are hyper-vigilant for threats and danger, that they move away, usually quietly, long before the threat is aware of their presence. Occasionally we (the dogs & I) will approach from cover and down-wind so we do get close enough for the dogs to pick up on the deer, but even then, the deer are gone before the dogs can cover the distance between them. I understand the deer. I live like them when I try to dress under these circumstances.

In the past few months I have entertained the thought of “coming out” to my spouse but I am a coward at heart and nowhere
near ready to take on those challenges. At the same time, I have created issues of conflict and concern, issues that will, when looked at in retrospect make sense. I have kept my finger-nails longer than is appropriate for a man. They are usually longer than is common for most women. I know. I check their nails when I encounter women in my day-to-day business. If I look at my nails from the palm side of my hand, they extend well beyond the fingertip. The nails are squared, as if prepared for a French manicure but I don’t have that luxury.

I have kept my legs nearly barren of hair. Now that shorts are the expected clothing for the weather, my near-bare legs have been the source of some consternation. Of course I lie, like the snake I am. I don’t have the character to simply say that I much prefer to keep my legs smooth and hairless. Such a statement would require an explanation that I don’t believe I can provide.

Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, she would comment on these things, suggesting that, perhaps, I wanted to be a
woman. As true as her observation is, and as great an opportunity as the comment presents to open a truly meaningful conversation, I always denied it. In what is a message of its own, she no longer makes those suggestions when she
comments on my gender blurring behaviours.

What normally happens when I write is that I begin a topic, wander away from it, ramble to somewhere between 500 and 1000 words and pause. I lose the momentum, post what I’ve written and rarely return to the thread of thought. I’m prepared to do that here as well but instead, I’m going to post what I’ve written and continue on with the expression of thoughts and
feelings for another post.

Thanks for listening.

April 22, 2011

My new red dress, and nowhere to go!

I am reluctant to use an overly evangelical bit of prose to describe my feelings when I get dressed. I’m afraid someone from the religious right will happen upon the references and take great offence. I have visions of being hunted down because Joshua came across my blog while searching for Old Testament material on the commune’s sole link to the outside world. Even worse would be if Joshua couldn’t find me and turned his religious fervor on some unsuspecting victim closer to him.

I try to be reasonably accurate in writing about the transformation that occurs in me when I have the opportunity to dress. I try to describe how it feels almost like a metamorphosis as the clothes go on. I have a heart rate monitor that I use for exercise. It tells me that my heart races as I dress and even as I begin to move around the house, sorting through what I’m going to do with the time I have.

As you will know, I have been denied the opportunity to dress for weeks. Today, finally, the stars aligned and a moment was presented. I have a dress that I bought from the Le Chateau outlet, a red dress with white polka-dots. It is knee length, with a bit of stretch so it is very comfortable for me. That is what I chose to wear today. I topped it off with my pink sweater because the dress is sleeveless and I felt a bit chilly without the sweater.

In mere days, I am to embark on a vacation journey with my family. We are going to the Mediterranean for three weeks. The
trip has been in the works for months. On all issues around the house, I have been treading carefully so as not to upset the balance of the household before the trip. No nagging at the child for being lazy, thoughtless, irresponsible or
any of the other twenty or so descriptors that I could add here. I have extended the same exceptional consideration to my dearly beloved and she has done the same in return. I had thought that I may leave my clothes packed away until after the trip. The whole serendipity thing was too much to risk. If there was even the chance of someone coming home unexpectedly, more than usual I didn’t want to get caught. It would probably destroy the vacation, although I’m sure it would provide more than enough fodder for conversation to fill all of the time on the planes and in airports.

Today, in spite of my reservations, I judged the risk acceptable. My dear wife is at the hairdressers, after which she is going to her sister’s. The child has gone to work. So, I am dressed, and as always happens when I get dressed, I am able to write comfortably and with flow, about my feelings and this situation. I’ve tried to write when I’m not dressed. I’ve tried to get my mind into Sarah’s space but I can’t. I’m a locked and battened individual when I am not dressed. I am tense and irritable, short
with people, often down-right unpleasant. I’ve come to associate much of that irritability with not being able to dress. Usually once I get an opportunity, I am relieved of much of the pressure.

Others have written about fulfilling the need to dress and then being able to put everything away for a long time before the
anxiety begins to creep back in. For me, almost as soon as the clothes come off, I am looking ahead to the next chance or moment. I am curt with people when their schedules change and I lose a chance, a day or an evening. I struggle to be polite when people drop in unexpectedly and reduce an opportunity to nothing.

It’s like (the television portrayal of) heroin. I crave the clothes and the chance to wear them. I go into withdrawal the moment they are put away and I count the moments to the next fix. I struggle with the need to keep the habit a secret and wonder if just being open about it would make it easier. It’s an analogy, for what it’s worth.

Now that I’m dressed, especially since I’m dressed very nicely, I want to go out. That’s another dragon to be wrestled to
the ground and stomped, for now. Maybe in my next life, I’ll be able to.

I’ve reread what I’ve written, prior to posting it. So if there are any mistakes I’m going to look especially stupid, but the point of the statement is, in re-reading I can see where I was going with each paragraph and how many times I didn’t get there. Instead I write half-thoughts and segue in a different direction. I hope it makes sense to you. It does to me because I read it with the other half of the thought still in my head.

April 18, 2011

Expression suppressed

Counting down the days, it is ten days until we leave on vacation, and three weeks away, a month of days that seems like a
lifetime. I have been denied my existence for these past few weeks and it has been a period of turmoil. There has been somebody in the house or close by for every day recently. The end of the vacation should mark the beginning of daytime work for the Last Child Standing, and that should give me the opportunities that I need to express myself and release the tension that otherwise builds in me.

I wasn’t an admitted life-long cross-dresser. I came to the life-style late. I had “dabbled”, as the English might say. There
were always moments, spells, and periods of time when I would be drawn to my wife’s closet. Sometimes just to look, sometimes to handle the clothes. I might pull items from the rack and examine them, wondering how they might feel on me,
how they might fit me. There were clothes that I thought big enough or loose enough that I would try on. These moments would pass and I would return to my exterior world wondering why.

I had begun to build my own wardrobe even before I retired, but once I was no longer required to behave on the public stage, I withdrew more and more to my private world. I still struggle with the concept of self, the boundaries that may or may not exist, the lengths that I may go to. I’m not sure that I’m a man. I would like to live as a woman for a few years, to sort through these feelings and emotions.

Now every day I wear the clothes that are expected and think about the clothes so carefully folded and hidden away, waiting for a chance. This morning I cracked. I put on panties, nylons and a camisole, under shapeless track-pants. I took the tags off a new top that has sat for weeks and slipped it on, covering it with a sweatshirt. I went out and walked the dogs, feeling right for the first time in weeks. When I got home I had to ditch the top for a t-shirt, hide the nylons under socks and carry on with my day. I was feeling furtive but it was better than nothing.

I’m hoping that when the house becomes mine again, for hours at a time, that I will be able to exorcise these feelings to the point where I can control them. Maybe, then, I can live like so many others, waiting for opportunities and exploiting them, hiding in between.

I have a thousand questions about why I am the way I am. The reading and the forums help a little bit but not much. So I
suppress when I have to and I wait. Soon the day will come when I can say; wait right here, … don’t go away, … I’ll be right back, … I just need to slip into something more comfortable, …..

March 24, 2011

Shaved legs resolves inner tensions, who knew?

It has been awhile since I have written here.
The absence is due, primarily, to the turmoil of being a secret. It isn’t difficult to find the time during the day, and it is never difficult to find a subject to write about. There is an abundance of daily minutiae that can be commented on. It may not be meaningful to my readers but it does meet the objective of the blog, which is to record my thoughts and feelings.

I have begun to assemble the blogs in some sort of order, to create a volume and perhaps a book. I can see the irony
already. The assembled blogs garner a success similar to “Shit my father said”, and I can’t capitalize on it because I remain a secret. Look at the facets of that dilemma. They are like the sparkles in a diamond, changing constantly as you roll it around and let the light strike it a different way.

When I look back over the past few weeks, I see that I was probably in one of the so-called “pink fogs”, buying clothes
that I desired without acknowledging that the opportunities to wear them would be next to non-existent. I was pushing my own boundaries, finding out where I was comfortable, and what I was comfortable with. The answers were, not surprisingly,
not surprising. I have a deep and abiding desire to present to the world as a woman. In my mind, at the moment, that doesn’t extend to surgery and transitioning, for a couple of reasons. The greatest of these is my age. At my current age, retired as I am, it would be far too much effort for far too little gain. I could accomplish most of my goals by simply dressing well and
presenting to the best of my abilities.

As has been written before, there remains, in this house a last child standing, (LCS) that is, one who has not yet moved out
either permanently or temporarily. The former would be for work and the latter for post-secondary education. The LCS is, however, finished high school and lounging through a year of rest and reflection while he contemplates his future. His employment is part-time. This is not a reflection, (necessarily) on him. Few employers in this area hire labour full-time anymore. It is easier, and with fewer regulations to employ everyone as part-time. He works between 25 and 30 hours a week, enough for a perhaps-someday student, but not enough for someone to live independently, in the style to which he has become accustomed. The net result is that he is here, lounging, in the house far more than he is absent.

It being the end of winter, the transition of seasons, my significant other is also home more than normal. Christmas shopping
has ended. Shopping in general has been suspended while the financial damage of the Christmas holiday is repaired. New Year’s resolutions to work out more are slipping so attendance at the gym is down. The social calendar is in the same doldrums of seasonal transition. Her favorite television shows are in full swing, so she makes an effort to be home to watch the glory of success and the despair of rejection and elimination.

The sum total of all this domestic bliss is that there is no opportunity for me to dress and feel like myself. There hasn’t
been for a while. It became apparent to me over the week-end past. I was exceptionally grumpy, irritable, and restless. I actually undertook house-work with a measure of motivation to try and burn off some of the tension. I wasn’t entirely clear on the reasons for the grumpiness and irritability but it was obvious to all and to me. I for once brought it up and acknowledged it before anyone-else could.

When Monday arrived, I used a hair remover to cleanse all the hair from my legs. It was the act of a madman, obviously. How
could I possibly keep such a thing unnoticed? I loved the feel of my smooth legs when I was done. I loved the act of putting on lotion to moisturize. I was dying to feel a pair of nylons slip on. I was eager to see my legs in beige or sheer nylons, without the hair that normally so destroys the look. The act made me feel immensely better.

On Wednesday I took advantage of a rare few hours of privacy to put on leggings and a blouse while I worked away around the
house. I was relaxed and at ease. I felt whole, even without anything-else. This morning, after my shower, after feeling,
again, the smoothness of my bare leg, I wished for the chance to slip on my bra, add in my forms, feel the weight of them, and feel the snugness of the straps. But it is not to be.

Yesterday I returned to my email (sarahjanus@live.ca) for the first time in weeks. I went back to my Facebook page and caught up on everyone’s writings and comments. Now I am writing for the blog. I cannot deny who I am, that is apparent. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Days spent in denial are obviously going to come with a penalty. For the moment, I am not
prepared to admit (to others) to who I am either. Perhaps there is middle ground. Perhaps Sarah and her host can each live reasonably well in some form of accommodation.

I wish you all well. I am not unhappy. I don’t need sympathy, empathy or condolences. I’m just writing to express myself, to
feel better at the end of it, to admit to this limited audience that I am a cross-dresser. I am happy with knowing who I am. I am just not yet able to be who I am.

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