Saturday, August 1, 2009

Testimony

It should be noted that this was written when I had "suppression" in mind. So the ending is very much not the way things turned out =)

I was going to explain to someone what I was going thru and I ended up writing a novel. The following is what I wrote.

This is my story.


In March of this year, I began reading an online web comic in which part of the plot involved a guy accidentally getting transformed into a girl. Reading about this ignited something inside of me that I didn't know existed. Not long after that, I went to a Men's retreat with my father and father-inlaw. During the whole men's retreat I was frustrated as I usually am at those kinds of retreats because most of the guys just wanted to play sports and I had no desire. To top that off, my dad doesn't play board games and my father-inlaw does...in the same way my dad was interested in playing Frisbee golf with me but my father-inlaw had just gone thru a battle with cancer and could not throw a Frisbee w/o hurting his arm really bad. It was really hard to spend time with both of them on this retreat. =/ I look back on that weekend now and remember that my mind was preoccupied with something else.

I got home from the retreat, it was a Sunday. And I finally was able to let out what had been occupying my mind throughout the whole men's retreat (and days before). I asked my wife what she thought of dressing me up in a dress and makeup and us hanging around the house as 2 girls for the day. She smiled and thought it was kind of funny but said ok. So we went shopping, she said she didn't want me using her makeup so she bought some cheap makeup for me. We went home and she did my makeup for me and showed me how and dressed me up in one of her very few dresses. I remember looking into the mirror at that point and having a huge wash of emotion fill me at the girl I saw in my reflection. Butterflies fluttered through my stomach crazily, my heart raced, and pleasure-centers all over my brain were going off. Right then and there, a part of me I had buried deep inside me throughout the years was partially released.

My wife sat me down and said "Ok, what should your name be?" and she started listing off names. The second name she said was Savanna and for some reason I just picked that one. It sounded like a pretty name and I liked it. Well we ended up having sex not long after as married couples will do. At this point, I suppose the whole thing wouldn't have been a big deal if I had just gone back to wearing guy clothes once the sex was done. But I didn't. I knew it wasn't about sex but what I didn't know was that my wife thought it had been and if she'd realized that it wasn't just about that, she wouldn't have encouraged me or helped me in any way.

A side note, in our 4 and a half years of marriage, there were actually a couple times before in which I expressed this desire to dress up as a woman, or be "forced" to by her as a role-play thing during sex. Because of this, I did already have a pair of red high heel pumps in my size.

The next couple days, when I got the chance, after work, around the house, I'd dress up in her clothes, dresses, makeup, lingerie, etc. During the time I spent "dressed up", I began browsing the internet for other people that seemed to have this desire. I found an online forum that was geared towards crossdressers but also towards transgendered or even transsexual people. I remember cringing when hearing any of those 3 words. I had always made fun of people with those problems in the past because I didn't understand.

Anyway, I got involved with this forum. Introduced myself as Savanna and also kind of just went over the facts that had led me to that day. I knew I wasn't gay, I was in no way attracted to other men but I was very attracted to women and femininity. When my wife and I got married I began to realize this because I constantly bought her lingerie to wear and later on high heels and makeup. I loved seeing beautiful women all dolled up, nails done, earrings, jewelry, etc. My wife was kind of tomboyish though. She owned probably a total of 3 real dresses and didn't ever wear a lot of makeup (if any) before we got married. She's never really been into jewelry much either. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming my desires on her at all, just describing the fact that I desired to see these things and maybe to be a part of them too.

After reading a few people's stories on the forum, I kind of felt like an outcast, even in that community because they had all started when they were young. They had somehow started wearing their mom's pantyhose in secret or their sister's dress, etc. I had never done that. As I started exploring my past in my mind, I began to see other parts of myself that I had buried though. I had always hated sports, I wrote poetry, I was a very good crocheter (learned when I was young from my Grandma), I was a very sensitive and empathic boy growing up, etc. Physically, I had always been worried about being mistaken for a girl. I never had much hair on my legs and I knew girls that had much more hair on their arms than I did. I remembered my mother always making me cut my hair short, never letting it get long, and she at one point or another had said, "You don't want to look like a girl" or "Get your hair cut, you look like a girl!"

When I got married, without realizing it, I buried all of those things that I thought were too feminine about me. I needed to be a strong man for my wife, I guess. I no longer cried at movies, held back the tears, stopped crocheting and writing poetry, just in general tried to be more of a "macho" man. Because of this, there was a sadness, a longing inside of me that I was simply denying, denying that it even existed.

I also realized and acknowledged that I had never felt attractive as a man. In high school, I was this skinny, gaunt kid with humongous glasses. Before I started wearing contacts, I used to not wear my glasses in the halls at school. I would memorize my friends' shirts that they wore every day so if I met one of them in the hall I'd be able to recognize them because their face would always be blurry. That's how bad I didn't want to wear my glasses. Other things also happened when I was younger. I had a huge overbite and was called "buckteeth" by many. Then I had braces to try to fix that and I got called "Brace-face". So "four-eyes" was not the only nickname I knew. Don't get me wrong, I never thought I was ugly but I did think I was very plain, definitely not handsome. And I was proved this over and over as girl after girl rejected me throughout my childhood. Then when the one girl actually responded to my advances in college, she ended up making my world even more unstable by telling her friends that I wasn't good looking but that I treated her like a queen so that’s why she stayed with me.

By the time I married my wife, how I felt about my looks was (and still is) broken. She constantly affirms me all the time and I really do believe that she means it. But somehow that's not enough for me to believe it about myself. Dressing up as a woman gave me the opportunity to add things to myself that could make me look better; things that guys never get to touch, such as makeup, jewelry, painted nails, colorful clothing, etc. It also allowed me to open up that part of myself that I had buried for so long because I considered it to be too feminine.

I reached these conclusions through reading the forums and reading a couple books. It was good to realize them because before that I had wondered if I was just some pervert. As I said before, it's not like this was something I had done since I was young. It wasn't ingrained in me because of that.

Back to the story, a couple days after this whole thing started, I could tell my wife was nervous. She often had an anxious look on her face, especially when I was dressed up. I knew something was wrong. I can't remember whether it was her or me that brought it up but she told me that she was very uncomfortable with the whole situation. She married a MAN, she was not interested in women and had merely been appeasing me, thinking it was just like the other couple times she had dressed me up for bedroom purposes. I was heartbroken. Over the few days that had passed, I had discovered a part of me that I had buried and was now trying to express it. It was very exciting and also very comforting. Yet now my wife changed her mind and wanted me to suppress it!

I suddenly felt very ugly and vulnerable. I wanted to rip off all the clothes and makeup and throw them all out and go back to hiding this part of myself all over again but I knew that now that I knew about it I just couldn't do that anymore. It was agony to think about going back to that now that this side of me had been discovered.

She also convicted me because she knew that I didn't feel like I could tell anyone about my new desires. She convicted me about keeping a secret and that if I had to hide it then I shouldn't be doing it. She made it clear that this was such a serious issue that she wanted us to talk to someone. I was shocked because I had wanted us to see a marriage counselor off and on over the past year because of different kinds of issues we've had in our marriage but she was the one that never wanted to do so. I decided to text a good pastor friend of mine, for the sake of saving space, let's call him Steve. I texted him and asked him if he had ever done marriage counseling and he texted back and said yes. I texted him again and said we were having some problems and it was solely from something I was bringing to the table and I mentioned that it had to do with crossdressing. I of course felt very embarrassed and waited anxiously for his response. He texted back and said "Don’t worry about it. I appreciate you being honest with me." I was relieved.

We set aside some time for the week after for talking to Steve about this issue I was going through and how it was affecting our marriage. Well that was a whole week away. In the meantime, I was still very much in what crossdressers call "The Pink Fog". It's essentially a cloud of emotion that surrounds you, excitement, thrill, wonder, pleasure and if you're not careful it can affect things you do, such as: tell people about it or wonder if you were supposed to be a girl. Lots of different things can happen. In my case, my stomach was in a constant state of butterfly excitement. I was spending some time on the forums chatting to the other "girls" about everything from dressing, to makeup, to false lashes, etc. To help my wife, I told her I would not dress until after the meeting with my friend Steve the next week.

But in the meantime, I had ordered a cheap auburn brown wig, some silky, lacy women's underwear, and a pair of black high heel platform sandals in my size in women’s (12). That week seemed to drag on forever. I tried to see if Steve could possibly meet before our scheduled time but he just didn't have the time and I didn't dare tell anyone else about this. I did email him a summary of what was going on and why I felt the way I did. I did this because I figured it would give him time to prepare his thoughts about it and also because I thought it would be a lot harder to explain it in person. When it finally came time to meet with him, we were both nervous but it was a good experience. He didn't quote from the Bible, he didn't say that what I was doing was wrong in fact he said that he understood a guy having problems with how they look. What he did say was that I should love my wife like Christ loved the church. That of course meant putting her above all except God himself, her above myself and my own needs.

I came away from that meeting feeling relieved but still not convicted. The Bible didn't really say anything about crossdressing. Some people quote a verse in Deuteronomy but I had read many arguments on both sides having to do with it and seemed like a stretch to me. The real point to why it should've been wrong to me is that God had made me a man and He doesn't make mistakes and also the fact that my wife didn't like it and I needed to love her. These points however just weren't enough to convict me that this new experience of mine was wrong. Emotions stormed my heart. How could letting this side of me out, be wrong? I saw the opposite, burying it would be wrong.


My wife and I talked right away and worked through a negotiation compromise. I am hesitant to talk about it in detail because it involved money and because of that it seemed wrong to begin with. I had just received a big yearly bonus from the company I worked for and had been planning to spend a good chunk of it on what I owed on my truck loan. She of course wanted to spend the money on infertility treatments because we had been trying to conceive for close to a year and a half. Our negotiation went something like this:

Her: Why can't you just dress up once a year on Halloween or something?
Me: Once a year? Are you kidding? What about once a week? And you can spend XX of the bonus money on what you want.
Her: What about once every 3 months and I get to spend XX of the bonus money.
Me: 3 months? That's crazy talk. What about once every 2 weeks and you don’t get to spend any of it.
Her: What about once a month and I can spend XX of it.
Me: Fine how about once a month but I can still wear women's underwear anytime I want and a silk nightie to bed once a week AND you can spend all of the money on whatever.
Her: Okay.

It didn't go exactly like that but pretty darn close. The outcome was the same though.

That weekend, we went to Kohl's. We'd both never been there before. We started looking at all the sales and our eyes glazed over and we went crazy. I found so many dresses for so cheap it was amazing. And she seemed to enjoy shopping with me even though it was for girl stuff. We also got makeup and we tried a bunch of different perfumes until we settled on one that we both liked. I felt very loved by her. I knew she didn't like what I was doing but she was still trying to love me while I was going through it. In fact, that night, she let me try on all of the dresses and we did have to take some back but later that night she started asking me about breast forms. I had read about them online so I was of course ready to give her all the information I knew about them. We looked at some silicone breast forms from the BreastFormStore online and purchased a pair for me. In case you don't know, these are silicone filled objects that look and feel like breasts and are used to fill out a brassiere. They are also used for women who because of breast cancer have had to have one or both breasts removed. After purchasing those online, my wife also proposed buying 3 new wigs, a purple one, black one, and a blonde one. She even threw in a pink maid's costume. I was ecstatic and so excited that night. I just felt so loved that I wanted to love her however I could. I think now I realize that she only did these things because she loves me and also because she loved to see the light in my eyes, the excitement in my heart reverberating through my soul, even if she ended up denying her true feelings about it in the process.

Well our original agreement caused problems because she saw and knew that I was wearing women's underwear every other day. Even though I wasn't dressing up fully as a woman every day (still just once a month) she felt like it was too much. We agreed to modify the agreement such that I could dress up once a week but I wouldn't dress up in any way at all any other day of the week.

We went for a couple weeks and I slowly added on things to our agreement as she'd let me, such as working out in a sports bra and shorts or dressing up while cleaning the house when she wasn't home. I had previously always had a problem with how messy our house was but I wanted her to pull her weight as well. We split chores up and we tried doing them together too but no matter what, she never wanted to keep it up. So I tried to do all of it. It was a compromise to me...I could enjoy dressing up while cleaning the house for her because then when she came home, she could spend time with me instead of doing chores. And I'd of course be back in guy clothes before she got home. I always left toenail polish on though. I tried all kinds and colors from pink to purple to blue to red to of course, dark green. I just figured I could get away with wearing socks and it was always a huge pain to take off nail polish and I usually wasn't fully successful in getting it out of the creases of my nails. For this reason I most often wore clear nail polish on my finger nails constantly. Only one person at work seemed to notice that and I just pawned it off as it strengthening my nails. Guys nowadays can get manicures anyway and they use clear polish for them.

I ended up telling my father. We went on our usual weekly walk and had a growler (or 2) of some good microbrew porter. The walk was almost over and I finally just came out and told him about it. My dad is like my best friend so it wasn't that hard to tell him, especially with some drink in me. He was very nonchalant about it and didn't see me any differently. He's always been a loving and caring father and has always affirmed me and recognized me. He told me about some issues that he had gone through (not at all related to mine) and we bonded greatly through that experience. My wife was simply shocked that I actually told my father and would later say that she never should've told me to tell people about it because I'm a very open person and don't really like to keep secrets.

Things lulled for a while and there wasn't a lot of conflict involving my dressing. I kept on reading the forums and interacting with people there. Lots of them talked about their adventures in going out dressed up and it excited me to think about going out and shopping, getting my nails done, legs waxed, makeovers, etc. To be seen as a woman. To be acknowledged as ma'am instead of sir. To be complimented. To feel beautiful and pretty. It felt like there could be so much freedom in that and I had a huge longing that was building momentum. Even being complimented by men was something. There still wasn't any attraction but just being recognized was something I deeply desired.

Well there came the day when I told myself I was going to get the mail dressed up as Savanna. I was planning it in my mind all day while I worked. I went home and I noticed that my neighbor (let's call him Joe) was out working on his car as he usually was but he also had some teenagers over. I remember thinking to myself "I hope they are gone by the time I'm ready". I pulled in and did my usual routine involving shaving my legs, doing my makeup including beard cover, clip-on earrings, auburn brown wig, lingerie, green polka dot dress, painted nails, and black heels. Ah yes and the perfume of course. I stepped out of the house and was very relieved to see that both neighbors who were usually out and about, garages open, were nowhere to be seen. I began walking down the street to the mailboxes. I was so nervous, almost shaking and my ability to walk in heels was not as good as I thought it was. It felt awkward, shaky. It must be the difference between walking in heels on carpet versus on blacktop. Or maybe it was purely a confidence issue. As I walked by Joe's house, I saw that he was still out but the teenagers that had been there were gone. That was a relief. I was walking closer to the mailbox and Joe finally noticed me, I could only see out of the corner of my eye. Or maybe I just heard him stop working. Anyway, I was too chicken to look. I kept walking and pretended like I was looking at something interesting in the opposite direction of where Joe was. I got to the mailbox and Joe got in his car and zoomed off, but he was heading towards the dead end so I knew he'd be turning around. Well he did and when he got to the mailbox where I was, he stopped the car for a good 10 or 20 seconds. I tried not to panic but I did fumble a few times trying to get the mail out of the mailbox. He finally drove off completely and I sighed visibly. I got the rest of the mail and locked the box and walked back to the house without event. Despite what happened and what could've gone better or worse, I was hyped! I told all the girls on the forum about what happened and they all encouraged me. I felt like I was making progress towards some goal that I was longing for. It was a very uplifting experience. Until my wife got home.

I had been honest with my wife about everything up to this point so of course I had to tell her what I had done even though I knew that she would not like it. She was very very upset. She was scared. Scared that the neighbors would recognize me and what they would think of me and of course by proxy, what they'd think of her. Well she convinced me to talk to a couple guys from our church community group that I was pretty close with. We both believed that they would not judge me but that they would speak God's truth to me. So I met with them one Sunday after church in private. It was much harder to explain to them than anyone else. I had explained to Steve via email first and my dad after drinking beer. But I did it. They were very understanding as much as they could be. They understood that they couldn't come close to understanding what I was going through and suggested that I see a counselor that they knew had helped both of them. I had heard of the guy they were recommending and he was an elder at our church as well but I didn't know him personally. They said they would try to introduce me, etc. They prayed for me and told me not to worry; they wouldn't treat me any differently.

I went away from it feeling ok. All I knew was that I had this longing, this need and I wasn't allowed to fulfill it. How could I be convicted about that? Counseling would of course allow me to explore myself and find out why I was like this so I was never against it. I waited a few days, maybe it was even a week, to see if my friends would introduce me to the counselor/elder, let's call him Bob. Well they didn't. Maybe they forgot, maybe they got wrapped up in other things. Whatever it was, I took initiative an emailed him. He knew of me because I was on the worship team. We setup a time to get to know each other and he told me up front of his fees. My wife was ok with the fees even though we were trying to save for infertility again (having blown the bonus money at Kohl’s) because she said I needed to get through this. After I met with Bob the first time, I felt like I could continue dressing while counseling was going on. In fact I set a date to do so the very next day. The house was a mess anyway so I would get it cleaned up while dressing up again. Maybe I could go back to just dressing around the house again.

That night, my wife was laid off from her job. It totally stressed me out. Now not only were we once again going to have a hard time making the mortgage payment but also wouldn't be able to afford counseling. I was pretty devastated. I took a bath and shaved my legs, armpits, chest, and stomach in preparation for dressing the next day. Then when I was looking in the closet, I decided to put on a bra and underwear randomly. That somehow relieved some stress. So I put on a dress; that felt better too. So then I put on the wig and some minor makeup. Before you knew it, I was all dressed up and in an instant I felt so relieved and comforted, it was amazing. I went downstairs and my wife called me again and talked to me, I knew she wouldn't like that I was dressed up again because it had been almost 2 weeks so she probably thought I was combating it hard. I tried to drop hints over the phone about it and she didn't get them. She ended up saying something like "No! Don't dress!" and I was so upset I threw the cell phone across the room. I ran upstairs, ripped off the clothes, used makeup remover real fast on the makeup and got some shorts and a shirt on and left and locked the house. I went on a brisk walk full of anger, frustration, and trepidation. It's funny because I knew I could walk a route that she would never drive by but I chose to walk down the route that I knew she'd be driving past to get home. Sure enough, she drove by and saw me walking the other way and she yelled my name out the window. I kept walking and she turned around and followed me and tried to convince me to get in the car but I didn't want to. But finally, after much coaxing on her part, I got in the car. We drove for a while and talked. She re-iterated that she just didn't understand why I needed to do this and that she just thought it was purely vanity. I tried to explain to her the other parts of it and I think that helped some. We drove home after stopping at Dairy Queen. As for counseling, Bob still kept seeing me out of the goodness of his heart. He told us that he didn't think this was something to leave on the backburner.

I started to grow out my hair. Before, the reason I cut my hair was the fear of being mistaken for a girl as I've said before. Now I was quite turned around in that I'd love to be mistaken for a girl, even fully dressed in man's clothes. My mom complained and so did my sister but I just told them straight up "too bad". It's my hair, after all. My mom didn't bug me much after that except for slight remarks once in a while.

I saw Bob once a week. We talked a lot about my childhood and my family. I was of course very reluctant to blame my childhood for anything, I mean I had a great childhood and was never abused physically or verbally. I felt guilty for even thinking the root of this could lay there. Those that posted on the forum I was still active on were all convinced that this desire to crossdress or be seen as a woman was merely a gene built-in to our DNA. That it happened at stages in fetal development. I read about it in books as well, how the fetus is a female fetus and the Y chromosome contains the information that tells when to send waves of testosterone into the fetus to help it develop into the male sex instead of the estrogen involved for the female sex. I found myself believing this, wanting to believe it. The problem is, there's no proof. All of these theories have lots of studies and statistics involved but not a single shred of proof. I once posted on the forum asking about FACTS. I did not receive but one post and it wasn't factual.

Through talking with Bob and my dad, I came to realize that my mother was a very anxious mother. She was in post-partum for 6 months after I was born. I had some other problems that had to be worked out in the hospital as well and that freaked her out even more. How I understand it is that she couldn't console me. Bob explained that in the early stages of a baby's development, the senses and emotions are the only way things are remembered, not actual pictures or memories. But how a mother is feeling when she's holding her baby has a deep effect on a baby. Often babies who are touched by an anxious mother might act out or sometimes they might try to pretend that everything is alright. I believe that when I was a baby and my mother was holding me with her anxious, worried touch that I came to a point where I didn't want her to be anxious so much that I had to try to convince her that I didn't need her; to convince her that I was fine. And that kind of feeling still happens now. I was the child that didn't rebel much, mostly did what I was told, and was very independent. Such that my mom seriously thinks that I didn't (and still don't) need her when in fact it's so far from the truth, it's ridiculous. Every baby needs their mother. I don't think that she withheld her love for me but I guess it's like she gave me a taste and I wasn't satisfied. I had to not be satisfied so that I could be the strong one and make her think that I was ok. I don't mean this as a baby logically thinking it through but as a baby's pure reactions to her touch.

I think this manifested itself in me in lots of ways throughout my childhood. I sought after love and companionship with women since I was in kindergarten. I can name all the girls I sought after since then and I remember them all vividly and how they rejected me. In 3rd grade, I remember telling the girl I liked at the time that I wished I was a girl. I don't remember why, I have no emotions attached to that memory so not sure what I was thinking. Maybe it was something from inside that was shown for a small moment. Another time in high school, a good friend of mine, let’s call her Mary, painted my nails. I wore them to school the next day...loved it...but I had to fawn it off on the fact that "Mary made me do it". That night I made her take the paint off and never did it again because I knew as a guy it "wasn't allowed". Another time, Mary dressed up a good friend of mine in a dress and makeup. I remember vividly being jealous of him. I never told anyone that though of course. I think I even hid it from myself, another thing buried.

Counseling continued, my dressing continued during counseling. I'd still dress up about once a week and once in a while my wife would take pictures of me so I could post them to the private forum and get complimented by the other girls on the forum. It was like a substitute for going outside as that was my true desire still. I had even convinced myself that I didn't necessarily need to "come out" to everyone but that maybe I could survive going to some shopping mall where nobody knew me and spending a day dressed up there once in a while. It could still be a secret for most people who I knew would not understand anyway. My wife joined the forum in the GG (Genetic Girl) section. She did this at my urging because I felt like she needed to talk to somebody because throughout this whole time period, I did not want her to tell anybody about it. The GGs on the forum were girls that were wives of other crossdressers on the forum. They consoled her and they understood her pain but they were very accepting of their husbands. Not because they wanted to be but because they had to be and they loved them deeply. Also they believed that it was truly genetic and couldn't be helped. I think it somewhat helped her to have somebody to talk to that was going thru or already had gone through this experience.

During one counseling session, Bob made an off-hand remark that I would only be affirmed in a "gay bar" so what kind of affirmation was that good for? I really don't believe he meant it to hurt but it deeply hurt me. I felt like he was saying I was so ugly I would only ever be complimented by gay guys. It also meant I would never pass as a woman, always be just an ugly guy in a dress. He also told me that when my wife tells me that she thinks I'm "pretty" when I'm dressed up that it's a LIE. It's a lie because in reality she'd rather I not be dressed up at all. This hit me hard one day. I was utterly depressed and my wife couldn't console me. I told her that what she was saying was a lie and that I was ugly and that I'd only be complimented in a gay bar. She felt so bad for me and just wanted to see the light in my eyes once again that she decided to do a fancy photo shoot for me. I could dress up and she'd help me and take a bunch of photos that we could post to the forum. Once again, I felt very loved throughout that whole experience. I ended up hating most of those photos in the end (as I hated a lot of my photos) but my heart was overflowing with love because my wife was willing to do that. She however was empty. It took so much effort for her to do that that she had nothing left.

The day after, I decided that I needed to show her I loved her. I bought her a white rose (her favorite) and brought it to her work. I went home from work and dressed up to do a bunch of cleaning and make her spaghetti dinner, which I completely hate. We never have spaghetti for that reason and she never makes it because she knows I hate it. So I figured making it for her would be amazing. When she got home, I ran upstairs and got back dressed into guy clothes and took my makeup off, all that. She didn't seem too excited and it was somehow communicated that I did all this dressed up and she was very sad. I was expecting such a good reaction and I got a very bad reaction. She said that she just expected me to not have to dress up to do all of those things even if I was back to being dressed in guy clothes when she got home. It was a sad day.

More weeks went by and I dressed off and on but not as often as before. I told a friend of mine that I only knew through an online game about the whole thing I was going through. He was very accepting and said he'd pray for me. I also ended up telling another good friend, Sally. I only knew her from an online game as well. She was very understanding and enlightened my heart by filling it with ideas of going out shopping with her and getting our nails done, etc. The butterflies were back, needless to say. She also gave me lots of makeup tips after I showed her a couple of my pictures. She told me what I needed to do to look more natural and also suggested I try false eyelashes. I of course ate up all her advice eagerly.

Summer was upon us and I needed new sandals. I went with my wife to Wal-Mart to pick out some sandals. I knew I was going to want the women's flip-flops but I looked at the men's and was sorely disappointed anyway. I ended up picking out some cute green ones with white shadows of palm trees on them. They could definitely pass for unisex or even guys sandals in my opinion. While we were there though, I found some deep dark green women's sandals that I loved. But they had a slight wedge to them. My wife would not let me get them. I was like come on; it's just a slight wedge. Things like that drive me nuts. Who ever made up the rule that guys sandals can't have a wedge of any kind??

Also during this period of time, a realization came to me that as much as I wanted to be mistaken for a woman, I did NOT want to be mistaken for being a homosexual or anything else. I didn't really want to be androgynous. When I was dressed up as a woman I wanted to be seen as a woman but when I was at work or wherever else in guy clothes, I of course wanted to be seen as a man because I knew anything else would be unacceptable to others. Because of this, I decided to get my hair cut and rely on my wigs when dressing. I also resigned that I would try to even take off my toenail polish and use clear polish there as well when in guy clothes.

But then I fell into deep depression again. The weight of how my wife felt about dressing, a deep part of me....just hit me hard. How could I continue to dress up when I knew my wife hated it completely even though she tried to hide it. She'd have that sort of helpless look on her face and it'd kill me. At this time I did as many of the girls on the forum suggested and tried to imagine that she was the one with the issues. That she wanted to dress like a man, not just pants and shirt but also fake beard, tape up her boobs, etc. Then I tried imagining her wanting to go "out" and me being with her during that. I was horrified to think about it. I would not be attracted to her doing that in any way and I would worry what people would think about her if she went out like that or what they'd think of me too. It was through this that I could kind of see how she felt. But it didn't stop my desires, my longing. It just made it harder. It was a huge Clash of desires. Desires to keep my wife happy and yet strong emotional desires to continue dressing.

My heart was in turmoil. I didn't want to dress because of my wife but I did still want to, even NEED to; paradox at its worst. I felt like I was in the middle of this huge scale. On one end was me NOT having these desires. God could just take them all away. On the other side was me becoming a woman where it would be acceptable for me to dress and to be this part of myself I couldn't be as a guy. God could technically make me a woman if He wanted to. He can do anything but He hasn't done either of those things, even today. I felt like in one case, my wife would be happy because I wouldn't have the desires anymore and in the other she'd have to deal with it because I would BE a woman. It would no longer be pretending or somewhere in between.

It was around this time that my wife asked me if she could tell her mother about what I was going through. Her mother has always been very loving towards me and I told her with much reluctance that she could but only if it was in person. I didn't want it to be communicated on the phone or via text. She immediately drove down to visit her mother that day and told her. Her mother told her father and they have both been praying for me, for us...ever since. They have not treated me any differently either. I have been very thankful for that.

The day that she told her mom, my wife had dropped off a bouquet of flowers at my work for me and I was thankful for that amidst my turmoil. Not 5 minutes after she left, did a coworker come in and the conversation went like this:

Him: Who's flowers?
Me: Mine, my wife brought them in for me.
Him: If I didn't like you I'd say that's pretty gay.
Me: *made some comment to try to laugh it off*

I remember hating myself at that moment and feeling like "See??? Do you see why I can't be myself as a man???". I went to the bathroom and just sat in the stall. I was hurting so bad that I would've cried if I had it in me. My man-instincts I had trained for so many years kicked in and forced my tears to not come. Later on, my wife called me while she was still at her mom's house and the first thing out of her mouth was "Mom says she doesn't want to see Savanna". I was angry and hurt right away. Not because her mom didn't want to see me dressed up. I expected that. It was the fact that the first thing out of my wife's mouth was that her mom was on her side about this whole thing and she was like rubbing it in my face. Also the tone in her voice and the nervous laughing tone she said it in, did not help. Also, I never expected her parents to want to see me dressed up. Nobody has seen me dressed up except my wife and a few people online. So her saying that in front of her mother on the phone to me just made me feel stupid and it all piled up onto my existing turmoil.

I remember driving home that day feeling totally suicidal. I had told my wife that she'd be happier without me many times before because I caused her so much grief with what I was going through. But this was different. I had such pain, such sorrow in my heart that for an instant I really thought about it. After thinking about it, I started bawling all the way home. I was saying "Sorry Mom and Dad" out loud as I was crying my eyes out. I felt like I was apologizing for being who I was and then not being able to live with it. I got home and sulked around the house and talked to friends online about my grief. Needless to say I got over it for the day and I planned to dress the next day. I had gone out and bought the new makeup that would give me the more natural look Sally had suggested to me. I was going to put everything aside and just do it.

The next day I did just that. On the way home from work, I bought false lashes at the drugstore. This was exciting a new thing to try. I shaved my legs and my body once again. I shaved my face then began to do my makeup. The instructions for the lashes said to put your makeup on first. I thought that was kind of weird but I went along with it. I also painted my toenails and fingernails with my newest shade of bright pink. Finally, hours later, armed with my new false eyelashes I was pleasantly surprised how different I looked from the other times I dressed up and yet the lashes didn't look fake at all so it wasn't over the top. I took some quick pictures and posted them on the forum and received some good compliments. I also got some good compliments from Sally and a few others I was talking to over Instant Messenger / chat. I felt so uplifted. I kept looking in the mirror and liking what I saw for once in my life. All other days of dressing up were nothing compared to this. One girl, bless her heart, had this conversation when she saw my picture:

Her: Do you want the truth?
Me: Yes, be brutally honest. Don't sugar coat it.
Her: You are gorgeous! Omg so amazing! (not her exact words but close enough)

My heart was racing. And yet when I was taking pictures I hated them. The camera was lying! I never understood when women said that the camera lies. But it DOES! It's crazy. Even the mirror’s reflection looked good but the camera did not, no matter how I tried. But I had a heartfelt day and even though thoughts of my wife and what she was thinking were still on my mind, I didn't let them bother me. This day, my desire to go out in public increased exponentially. I didn't know how or when but I just HAD to get out and be seen. I think it was the fact that the camera didn't do it anymore yet the mirror did. That night, I very reluctantly took off all of the makeup and nail polish and of course the eyelashes before going to bed. I had work the next day so there was no possibility of extending it all.

The next day, I found myself in a chat room talking to some other crossdressers. A new person came into the chat room and didn't know me and asked me if I was a crossdresser or a transsexual (If you don't know the difference, it's essentially whether you dress up as a woman yet live as a man most of the time or live as a woman full time and may or may not be transitioning to the opposite sex). I of course answered that I was a crossdresser and someone else spoke up and said "Well, aren't we all until we transition?" It was meant as a kind of joke but the truth it just hit me like a slap in the face. Here I was trying to live like a woman in secret but wanting to get out. What if I ever did get out? Would that ever be enough? Or would I end up wanting to do it more often? And then what? Wouldn't I eventually want to not have to dress in guy's clothes to go to work? Around family? If I got that far and was actually living as a woman full time anyway, what's to stop me from finally transitioning to be an actual anatomical woman?

You could say this was a big revelation for me. I had been afraid of thoughts of transitioning and yet I saw it as a clear path of my future if I continued to dress. There would be no satisfaction found in it. There would be amazing destruction though. Did you know that when you change your sex, your marriage is automatically annulled/voided? And that's assuming my wife would've stayed with me up to that point. Not to mention my family and all my friends. I even thought to myself, if I wasn't married, would I still want to go through with such a path? And the answer was no, there's still so much to lose even if I wasn't married. In fact, what I had to lose the most was: myself. If I continued down this path of destruction, I would lose myself in it. Now, most crossdressers that I've talked to will tell you they would never transition whether it be because of their wives or just that they don’t feel the need. They are content with just dressing sometimes and being a man most of the time. I however, knew I could not do this; I could only either go all the way in or all the way out.

This revelation, after many hours of mourning, prompted me to give up dressing for good. It's what the community calls "purging". You essentially get rid of any clothes, makeup, shoes, etc. Some throw them out, some sell them. When I told my wife, she wasn't sure. She asked wouldn't I rather box them up and put them away in case it ever came back? She'd rather not have me buying new things and spending more money if it did. I told her no. She needed to sell the stuff on eBay. The fact of the matter was, I still had the desires and I knew it but I was finally going to start fighting back. I did not want to fall down the path of destruction that I foresaw. I was finally realizing why I couldn't crossdress.

The night of the revelation, I met up with a couple guys from my community group. One of them knew I was seeing a counselor and going through something but didn't know the details. Well, I ended up breaking down, crying, and telling him what it was all about and I also told them both about my revelation. They were very supportive and said that I should call them anytime I needed support in getting through this.

I walked with my dad that weekend like always and I told him about my revelation. We also talked more about mom and one phrase he said struck me, "Your mom always wanted a girl." I mean sure I had often thought about how my life would've been different if I had been born a girl but I don’t think I really put 2 and 2 together that my mom might not have wanted a boy. I mean sure she loved me but maybe there beneath her hard exterior where she doesn't let anyone past except my dad, she really wanted a girl and was disappointed that I had been born a boy. And maybe, just maybe, her true feelings came out in her anxiousness. Maybe she was unable to console me because she had wanted me to be a girl. Maybe her past experiences with men (other than my father) caused her to not be able to interact properly with me, a little baby boy.

Bob helped me come to this conclusion. He really and truly believes that if it's true that my mother really wanted a girl and maybe in some part of her heart was disappointed that I had been born a boy, that could very well be the root cause of these desires of longing I still have today. After that counseling session, we went down to visit my in-laws again. We watched a movie called "Faith like Potatoes". I cried some during the movie. It reminded me that God can do anything. It coupled with the realization that my mom would never be able to love me like I long for her to, made me realize that God really and truly is the only way to true satisfaction. He's the only one that can really heal me and quench my thirst, my longing for love. I went to bed that night and bawled my eyes out. When had I lost my faith? When had I lost my joy? I felt like such a child crying out to his father for love. In this, realization also came. The world is a broken world. Look at how easy it was for this to happen to me. What would then happen to my kids? How are we all so affected by the tiniest little remark or even touch? And it became so clear to me that God is the only way to heal those wounds that we all will feel just by living in this broken world.

And over the past few days, I've come to recognize that my need to dress has now become a mere "want" to dress now. It's still a definite desire in my heart, especially when I think about the last time I dressed up with lashes and how joyous I felt. But now it's not something I feel like I need to do, it doesn't trump everything, it's not pouring from the depths of my soul. It's more like how my eyes tend to gravitate towards a beautiful woman walking down the street. Should I really be looking at her? No. But the pleasure that my mind experiences when I do causes me to WANT to do so. I believe this is a big step in God's healing process. In the end He can heal all wounds but it's also a daily battle and probably will be for the rest of my life.


1 comments:

Jessica De Leon said...

Well, I read the whole thing. Took a while, but it was worth it. Thanks for sharing your story, I can definitely relate. I wish you all the best in your journey.

Jessica

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