Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Decency

The watermarked site no longer exists, alas, but there
is a Facebook page that has collated all the problems.
They were surprisingly germane for the most part, not
exactly me, but many were close enough. This is one of
them.

At the moment it's Rawhide by Frankie Laine.
An eventful week back at work - mainly because I am ever-more snowed under with things to do and simply not doing them. Not like I'm being slow or anything, just not doing them. I got a fair amount done on the Tuesday and then went to my therapy session, so far so good, that overran.

I'll be honest, I have no idea how therapy is supposed to go, still less if it is actually helpful or positive. When my therapist said she was deliberately running over because we'd gone down a number of long tangents about home-education, feminism, word definitions and books, I thought that was just good manners. In the end, it was I who had to state the session was done because I needed to get home. An hour's session had lasted nearly two. Upon my return home Tilly was slightly perturbed and pointed out that such behaviour by my therapist was unprofessional. After all, she said, her therapist had always been very strict with time and it just wasn't right that a therapist was so easily side-tracked nor so keen to give extra time. I hadn't thought of it that way and, well, I don't know.


This blog stands as testament and monument to this little
number, does it not? Don't worry, I shan't have all the images
in this post be these little meme-lettes.
My therapist did say that most of the time I seemed to think issues through and come to conclusions, including strategies, before I raised anything with her. Furthermore, anything we did discuss I seemed to know what the issue was, have thought about it and the solutions, when suggested, were either already in motion or I reached them fractionally ahead of my therapist. I thought that was a compliment, it may not have been, but Tilly suggested it was more likely unprofessionalism because that shouldn't be the case, or I wasn't telling her all the salient points. She was... unhappy about my late arrival home. Which is fair enough, it had been a long day with the children and I was back late.

Well, I don't wear no bra. But, apart from that, there's an
element of truth to this.
The advice from my therapist regarding depression, by the way, was to 'yield' a bit. Like getting out of a seat, one has to sink back into the seat in order to stand up, so it was with depression, she said, one had to sink into it, control that sink, and then stand up out of it. On Wednesday morning I tried that with getting up, hitting snooze but knowing I was doing it. It... well, I got up late. Thankfully I had done the dishes and made lunch the night before, I dried the pots and went to work late. I then had a full day. A student had complained before the end of last year that I wasn't giving her credit when she knew more than me about the course so I had to meet with said student. She suggested that I was too defensive when she pointed out errors and that my notes on the textbook, my lessons, weren't entirely helpful as I followed the textbook differently to her. I did point out my notes came from wider reading than that but, as I am me, I didn't think to point out that she was being enormously arrogant (and the example of 'error' she pointed out was a case where she, in fact, was erroneous). So... that was fun. Bear in mind this meeting was held with my boss in attendance and he sort of let it continue so it wasn't like I could smack her down when she was being, well, so arrogant. That was fun. Anyway, after that it was a full day and then I did some training after school.


There's less a 'fantasy' vibe here than 'wish-fulfilment'.
And that is instructive, because it reaffirms the idea that these
are made not so much to be hopeful, but in recognition that
this sort of thing does not, cannot, happen in real life.
The training was bollocks, of course it was, and half-arsed. It took up time and that was... well, about it. Then my colleagues and I had a joint moan that was quite therapeutic actually. My Department and I get on quite well and are usually of one mind about things, so it was a bit comforting. It did mean another late night home and then I had to go and charge the car because there was no space outside the house to plug in. The Boy was also upset because he was missing me and wanting to play card games (he has been sucked into Pokemon as well as Magic now) but there wad nothing to be done. Tea, then baby wrangling, then car charging, then pots and lunches and bed.

Thursday was worse than Wednesday, I didn't even notice my alarms. I had intended to have a bath, but I was far too late to have one. I dried the pots and then went to work even later than the previous day. Most of the spare time in the day was spent running around trying to sort trip paperwork for later in the year. Then, after school, I did some tutoring. I can't complain, I get paid extra for that and use it to fund my therapy. It meant another late night home. This time I had to baby-wrangle again so that Tilly could get washed and do some work for her web stuff, but it meant another evening of the Boy getting upset that I couldn't play with him. I then had tea, at 9pm, and washed the pots and made lunches for the following day. I even dried the pots in the hope I could save enough time to have a bath in the morning.

I mean, as if.

Seriously, I cannot imagine any woman would do this out
of love. They may do it as revenge, maybe if they were
paid, maybe if they were forced. Maybe they may even do
it positively but reluctantly.

But no woman, I suspect, would behave like this in real life.

Which is why, of course, this is pure fantasy. And why it
is so compelling.
It was not to be. Friday began late again, somewhere between the times of Wednesday and Thursday, and the chinchilla got loose, which ate about ten minutes. I managed to wash my hair but not to have a bath. A colleague had an ill child and so I had to juggle their cover (as well as take some lessons) with my own teaching. Then Alice wanted to talk shit at the end of the day, enjoyable shit to be sure and needed for Alice because they were so whacked by the busy week - it's part of what I see as my duty as Head of Department - before Henry, of ill-childness, came in to grab some work and also to talk shit at the end of the day. A late finish again, not as late as other days, but still late. Home, baby-wrangling, anger that baby fell asleep on me (Tilly needed him to stay awake until bed so she could work, with him asleep he gets up in bed and removes all chance of Tilly doing anything), late tea, pots but some beer.



Proof, if twere needed, of what I said on the last image.
And so, to today: Tilly breaks after lunch and bemoans the fact that she feels lonely. She's felt lonely for ten years. She's not saying it's my fault, just the outcome of me being autistic. She can't talk about that or my cross-dressing with her friends because then we'd become the topic of conversation, the couple that makes others feel a bit smug that they're not us. And it's hard. She's so full of anger and resentment so she can't even support me when I'm depressed. She didn't mean to suggest that I should stop seeing my therapist, she is just angry and sad that we've ended up the way we are. I didn't change, she assured me, it just became clear after she moved in what I was really like and it was just very wearing living in a house where everyone was autistic. She was obviously the problem, she should just move out and we'd get along better. No, actually, we'd argue and hate one another but we'd be aspies together and she wouldn't have to deal with it. She just wanted to be able to fix everything.

I find it most intriguing that there are a few outlets for this
and that they resonate so very particularly with me, and that
it has taken me all this time to find them.

It suggests, once and for all, if I had any doubts, that I wish
for the impossible.
She wasn't taking back The Concession but she just found it hard and she knows it is her problem. But she can't deal with the fact that I am wearing knickers and it's not because of the watch (she'd noticed I was wearing the watch I have previously posted about) but it's just hard. Talking about this to other people would simply have them talking to their partners about it, adding to that smugness that they would feel, and she just wasn't able to deal with that. There were tears. No, she didn't want to talk about it any more. No, there was nothing I could do, nothing that she expected from me. She hates the fact that our children are a mess, that they will stay a mess, that they will never be normal, that I am such a mess, that I shall never be normal, that we shall never have a normal relationship. She doesn't have the emotional energy for solving it, no energy to have an affair or anything like that, she's just left with the bitter realisation that the cost of looking after our children has been, well, everything else.


Continuing the theme...
No, there was nothing I could say or do, she's happy that I'm getting the work done around the house - she assumed I was having baths and was upset when I said I wasn't, but only because it was an attempted compliment and I was essentially ruining it - and that is all that she wants from me. It's all that she can expect. I am an uncanny valley person - not close enough to normal to pass as NT but too close to normal to be as sympathetic as something like a pet or someone with more problematic ASD. I wasn't as much of a dick as some people you read about with AS, who literally don't give a shit about others, but I was unable to give a shit about others in a way that didn't make people uncomfortable. Like our children, there was always that air of "what's wrong with them?" And she can't fix that. She just wants everyone to be happy and no one was. Well, okay, maybe the children were (my suggestion) but at what cost?

Did you hear about the Duran Duran tribute band?

They're called Duran Duran Duran Duran. It's really sweet.

Their lead singer is called Simon le Bon Bon.

Indeed, so much fantasy here.

As if any man in this clothing would be able to carry off that
look. Of course it is impossible. And the text is not written by
a woman, it never would be.
It's now too late to work again. I mean, it probably isn't, but I really can't bring myself to try. Tilly has gone to bed. I tried to start the conversation again, to help with her loneliness, but I failed. She doesn't want to talk about it any more, she's going to continue to try and ignore it, as she has done for the last ten years or more (her words, not mine), so she's pretty adept at it (my words now).

Depression, said my therapist, is healthy inasmuch as it suggests that things need to change - it provides an impetus and will lift when the changes are made. Like a block of wood that is unyielding but is dead and rotting - it gives when the right pressure or shock is applied and everything is better for that change. Even dead wood, the dead weight, is changing. One may not move it but it may rot away under its own weight. So it was, she said, with depression.

And it is the unreality that makes these so compelling.

That allows them to encapsulate the yearning.
There is a site, this site, that is a fantasy caption site that I found over the holidays and have been regularly checking because of course I have. All the captions on this post are from there. I am struck by the fantasies, because they are fantasies. There is no attempt at realism in them, they are as much fantasies as magic captions. And they are fascinating to me. The very fact that this site, and others like it, exists suggests that the sort of relationship I would be happy with does not actually exist. Each caption is filled with illicit thrill and yearning, deep yearning, unrequited and raw. And it updates regularly.

I know what I would like to change, but I don't believe such change can, realistically, be made. I don't want to walk away from my family, I don't want to have to rent another place (financially that may be impossible, emotionally I think it would break our elder two and psychologically it would muck up our youngest somewhat!). I can't have an affair either - no one would have one with me. I cannot expect Tilly to change - she's made her stances totally clear, and my choice to accept The Concession puts paid to any opportunity to have sex (as well as conveniently making it my fault and my choice, of course). I know what I need to change, but I cannot see it changing.

Welcome to ASD!

Monday, 1 January 2018

New Year Listings

Tradition is important, you know?


So, Happy New Year 2018 to you all. After the events of the last two years I stand by what I said last year about letting lights shine and the importance of small lights in open expanses. I reiterate my own privilege in the fact that I can say that and not worry that my light might be snuffed out or that I might be attacked for it. I am relatively safe from that sort of threat and there are plenty that are not, we must (those of us with privilege) stand and shelter those lights so that they may shine their own brightness, boosting where we can but not getting in their way, only in the way of those that would seek to attack them. And even then, only when asked.

There's symbolism.
Last year I still had some hope regarding personal circumstances. I don't now. Tilly talked the other day, possibly two days ago, and gave me the answer I had asked for. She said that where our relationship was physically was where it was likely to stay. So... yeah. She added that she did not think we were just co-parents or flatmates because she complimented my job and my beers and flatmates wouldn't do that, they would tell me to fuck off with my beers. She's not sure what I want regarding compliments, because she tries and I still say that I'm not getting whatever it is that I am asking for and she doesn't know what that is. I did not point out that I had been pretty specific about personal compliments and given examples of what I meant, nor did I bother pointing out that complimenting beers or my job still wasn't complimenting me, which is what I had been driving at. Nor did I point out that most flat mates would be perfectly happy to encourage and join in with a hobby - especially as this was a hobby that Tilly herself had encouraged me to start back in 2010. I expected no different, I suppose, I had been hoping for something else, despite everything, because at the end of the day I am reluctant to let go of things.

Not my favourite caption from Dee this year, but it is a lovely
colour selection and fits nicely with my prose, so...
In other news, Leslie has continued to be a rock to me throughout the year, continuing her thankless but much appreciated task of keeping me sane. I can now bring in my good friend LMW who has managed to publish an actual short story that you can actually buy (see the links to the right of this post). If it is anything like the quality of the rest of their work then you would do well to read it. I read The Red Queen whilst driving down to my father's (I was charging) and it was amazing. I can also communicate that Rhi has had a pretty good year, in the end, and despite the cost has garnered much in the way of positives. Her story remains one that is full of hope and light despite the dark times and she remains someone who is uplifting and inspiring in equal measure. If you have not visited her blog then you are missing out! A shout out to Calvin, who no longer reads this blog, but who name-checked me the other day and that was nice to read.

Obviously the usual haunts apply here, you already know of Dee and Terri, of course you do. Check the links to the right to see their work and read their thoughts. Both brilliant people and Dee is probably some kind of famous person now, her captioning work is just unequalled and has few rivals despite the best efforts of Dawn, another staple.

This year has been mostly supported by watching gaming videos as it happens and not a lot pron wise. Get Dare played a large part in all of my dressing adventures in June and September, both of which were good times. I did not dress quite as much as I would have liked this year but at least I now have the ability and the freedom to dress in briefs full time, it is an amazing thing. I can highly recommend it to anyone who feels that they would like to. If that doesn't sound like something you would enjoy then, uh, don't do it.

Back to the blogging.

Today also brought confirmation of what The Concession would cost. I am now responsible for my own washing as well as everyone else's but mine won't be touched by any other member of the family. I am still expected to hang out the rest to dry and to collect and fold everyone else's washing but I should not expect anyone else to do anything with mine. Fine. I shall be doing mine once every fortnight, which will require me to buy a couple more packs of briefs, so that's a plus, I get to choose more of them. I guess I should inquire as to the possibility of washing my other things now too, they do need a wash and it's not like anyone else will be touching them. Fuck it, you know, I think I will.

Tilly did ask what she could do to support me and ensure I didn't get my usual grump on after the holidays. How best could she support my working and ensure that I still did what was required at home without her tearing her hair out? Heh, the language is pretty stark isn't it. I did the verbal equivalent of shrugging because, honestly, I don't know. Now that I have my answer regarding physical relations and, in that, the real answer about our actual relationship I'm no longer certain what to ask for.

We shall see. I rather suspect we shall be divorced by the end of 2020 in all but name if not actually. I am aiming, long term, to get the mortgage paid to a level where I can afford to rent a place, maybe a couple of rooms or a flat, and then moving there. That will probably be in place around 2030. By 2040 I fully intend to have moved out permanently. Stalin will have moved out by then too, so I'll visit on big family occasions and, for the rest of the time, bug out. I can do that.

Hmm, darker than intended.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Righteous Indignation

Initially the plan had been to rave about the week. I have been wearing naught but full briefs as underwear since this time last week and it has been truly uplifting and liberating. I didn't really expect it to make the difference that it has but it really has. Even my research into ASD had turned up helpful fruit for a change, allowing me to see that many of my failings are, well, not just my failings - they are recognised issues with ASD - which, in turn, allows me to be hopeful about accessing support for these issues and not just blame myself for being shit all the time. That's not to say that I am not shit with things, I am, bit it is to take some of the burden from my shoulders as something that can be helped and dealt with outside of me. So far so positive.

Even the day had gone well. Rather a lot of random extra trips to the shops to pick up missed items or unlisted items, which is a minor annoyance, but then a trip to see The Last Jedi with the Boy that went really rather well, even allowing me to wear my new watch and make use of the ladies leather gloves I got (my old pair have a hole in them). No one can tell I wear ladies' gloves, by the way, but I can and that's all I ask for really. Also, two nights spent wrapping presents has cleared that job with plenty of time to spare. An announcement on the Book of Faces this morning regarding ASD was, I think, well-received and thus somewhat unexpectedly uplifting.

Tilly had raised couples' therapy again, though admittedly through the means of telling me that a forum she had found for partners of ASD people had warned her to ensure the therapist was supportive of partners as well as ASD trained. No siding with the ASD partner because they couldn't change and no bashing ASD either. This forum is shielded and she had only just found it, but it seemed to be something she could find support on as they shared the frustrations and it was a safe place. That was positive but my comments were returned with assertions that those relationships that survived did so through being redefined (one example was that a marriage was based on a shared enjoyment of puns). I did not challenge this with the standard narrative that it is the ASD partner who tends to withdraw from sex and physical displays of affection. Nor did I point out the fact that such redefinitions generally assume that the NT partner is the one matching the ASD lack of input and physical interest. The fact that we are opposite to that narrative would probably not have been welcome.

On returning from the cinema Tilly was putting on the washing. She revealed that it was just off-putting to put on my washing as well (one pair, by the way, we've done multiple washes this week, and it's been mainly me doing it). Why? She couldn't tell our underwear apart and she didn't want to end up wearing mine. I pointed out that I had cut the labels from mine already. Yes, she'd seen the labels when they'd fallen out of the bin-bag during an operation to deal with a smashed plate, her tone sounded less than impressed, but that didn't help.

When The Concession was made we had agreed that the children, should they help with washing, would place my underwear in Tilly's piles and she would recognise that they weren't hers. However, apparently this cannot be done. She doesn't want to have to check and missing labels is not good enough. She recognises that the problem, such as it is, lies with her but I must understand that it's all just a little weird and strange. She's not going to revoke The Concession, she assured me, but we're going to have to find a way around this if it is to continue. Yes, language noted, and, yes, I rather suspect that I shall be doing the way around. I also rather suspect that it will become convoluted and time-consuming so that I shan't be able to wear only full briefs as underwear in the future - maybe not consciously but deliberately nevertheless.

I should have seen this coming with the discussion about them not being 'embarrassing' - either the underwear would have been 'too different' to be allowed or it would be 'too similar', I suspect that there is no such thing as a happy medium. With the correct application of conditions and convolution in getting them washed I think it's a safe bet on Tilly's part that I shall simply give up. It's what I usually do when faced with this sort of path and, frankly, I would offer to do it. But even with the occasional steps forward and the apparent moves by Tilly to return goodbye kisses and initiate hugs I'm not terribly convinced that this is worth that sort of step backwards.

In the ashes of a burned relationship I am going to cling to the ability to wear what I fucking want under my trousers. I don't give a shit that she finds it strange or needs to 'adjust' to it. She's been 'adjusting' to me, actively according to her, since 2010. She's been 'adjusting' longer than we were together before the 'adjusting' began. I feel like I've waited long enough. We're probably never going to get physical again, a combination of the latest health problems (this time scar tissue from the internal issues caused by the latest exiting at speed) and the fact that she has what she set out to get (three children) means that I cannot foresee a time when she will be willing and ready. Since sometime around the beginning of this year I have also consciously decided to pursue it no longer, there's no point and it's just tiring.

So, yeah, she can try, but I shan't be giving up this hard-fought privilege for her sensibilities and, if that means that we can't continue as a couple, then so be it. Because it's a small sodding thing that affects nothing and if we can't deal with that then this is not a relationship that is worth saving. I've been nothing but honest and upfront about my dressing and, had I known I was ASD, I would have shared that too.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Time

How rustic and C17th.
Parents, eh, who'd 'ave 'em? Well, it turns out, me. My mother and her husband were up on the Sunday and we went out for a meal before seeing our eldest in her nativity. I say we... I went out with my mother and her husband taking the two eldest, Tilly opted to stay at home as having a meal wold have been a bridge too far for the smallest. Then, when we got back, Tilly took the eldest off to the last rehearsal. When we rejoined Tilly to view the nativity, she took herself and the smallest off elsewhere rather than try to sit with us. After that, she shooed us off home whilst she got the last bits with the eldest, to return home just as my mother and her husband were leaving. Then it was straight to bed.

Add an extra child. Minus sunshine. Add fog and biting
cold. Make the smallest scream and piss and moan.
Take away any kind of hope of happiness and a pleasant
journey but add in the fear of the alternative.

Then... maybe.
Monday was the day we had set aside to see my father and his wife. Tilly had arranged to travel down by train as the smallest cries until he is sick in the car at the moment, and that's no good for anyone's nerves. However, she still wanted the car in case we had to leave for any reason. This meant I was home an hour longer than the rest of the family - time to sort out some washing and change the bed-sheets - and then drove down alone to meet them at the station closest to my father's. The meal went well, I was in the kitchen mostly helping my father cook and then wash up whilst Tilly was with the smallest and my father's wife. Then I dropped them off at the station and headed home. I arrived earlier than them, did some basic maintenance and then they got back and went to bed.

The offending articles. I have this very
set.
I asked for clarification on the conversation we had had on Friday. And it was clarified. The 'Concession' (Tilly's euphemism for my being able to wear what underwear I liked) precludes any hope of ever returning to the physical. She is concerned that she will lose what we do have - the ability to keep a family, for her to talk to me about interesting things and have someone to whom to pass childcare on occasion - but beyond that there is nothing that she wants. Issues from the birth of the smallest mean that physical concerns of a sexual nature are far beyond her at the moment and likely to remain relatively unimportant. She lacks the headspace for anything like that and, frankly, always has. Tilly revealed that the only reason we did anything remotely sexual was because of me.

And I was right. Yes, things had been set up with no 'win' condition for me regarding relationship and sex because she was basically screaming at the Aspie part of me - railing against the difficulty of doing, well, anything with me of a relationship manner. Children, and a fear of the unknown, was all that really remained between us and I shouldn't expect anything more. I'd essentially lost that opportunity long ago, no particular point, but sometime between us getting together and it becoming clear that I had ASD. Tilly kept returning to the idea that things shouldn't be as hard as they are between us and that I shouldn't expect things to ever improve. I pressed for a decision because, you know what, I still want to make this work.

Well I never.
From the beginning I have tried to be honest, I have tried to respond to what Tilly wanted. Of course I have. I have always assumed that is what love is. My very limited relationship history was full of enough failure that I was blown away by Tilly in the beginning. For all my ranting and railing on here, I still held out, perhaps even hold out, the hope that things will improve. That, somehow, I can do enough to actually get something from a relationship that allows me to feel some fulfillment or, whisper it quietly, gratification. As an ageing cross-dresser with ASD I do not see much, if any, chance of achieving any of this elsewhere and, to be blunt, I don't really want to have sex with anyone else - I kinda thought I'd made my choice on that score and I thought I'd not only done due diligence but was prepared, am still prepared, to work at it.

I can relate.

But, you see, life should not be as hard as it is with me.
Tilly would not be drawn. The 'open relationship' model was scary to her, and she was unlikely to avail herself of it because of the health issues following the birth of the smallest, but more likely than aspiring to what her cousin has, for example. That would be a relatively healthy sex-life with some actual lovey-dovey-ness wrapped in a no-nonsense approach to being a married couple. She views sex as an end-point, not as something to be worked on but something that will occur naturally when all other things are more or less in place. She, further, does not believe that we can ever actually have all other things, or even most other things, more or less in place. Conversations were supposed to be easy and they are not with me.

Completely unnecessary.

Also, I tend to respond badly to them by denying that
they apply to me. So, that means none also.

Also, remember that image of the articles?

It's offensive.
I had asked about compliments. She did not accept I gave her any, nor did she accept that they were necessary. I was, she opined, trying to use a checklist from a teenage magazine approach to relationships. No, she did not compliment my appearance because there was no point, I didn't like my appearance and thus any compliment was unnecessary and unhelpful. I tried to explain that it made me think I wasn't attractive to her. I was told that was irrelevant and further evidence of how hard it is to live with me because that isn't how most relationships work. Besides, The Concession made it hard to think of me like that anyway.

Pretty much Tilly.

Pretty much the whole time.

Just been reading this site you see.
Moving on, I asked if it were time for me to "cry and attempt to move on" given all that she had said or whether there was still hope. Tilly said she'd been crying and attempting to move on for a decade already. Yes, sharp-eyed reader, that does date it from before we got married. We agreed that couples therapy would be worthwhile, if only to try and get an answer about where we go from here. However, she was careful to point out that we needed someone who was versed in ASD people too lest it end up being all about her being unreasonable. Now that my diagnosis was official she could finally put a name to the scream that she had been screaming all that time as "AAAAAAA ASPIE!" Like she said, she did not sign up for this (one wonders what she did sign up for), and I had to be prepared to find out that what she needs is just someone to do occasional child-care, wash the toilet and bath now and again, make lunches in a morning and ensure that the pots are done. That's really all she can see as far as her needs go.

Lovely shoes though, right?
Realising that I was getting nowhere by being subtle I pointed out that I had needs too. She knew but that wasn't her concern., I had asked about her needs. The unspoken part was, of course, that she had not asked about mine and The Concession was about my needs. She had previously offered hand-jobs and then they had stopped. In her mind this was because I had stopped caring and stopped trying, we both ran out of consistency. I'll admit that I recall it simply being that she got busy with her book and then was asleep when I got to bed or we ran out of evening and she warned me 'not tonight' enough that I stopped asking, but perceptions are a fool's game - I know that much. Also, being ASD, one cannot really trust nor use my perceptions. Then we went to bed.

The drive to and from my father's was really one of my lowest points. It was similar, though not as bad, as the drive to work the day after Toby finally pulled the trigger on our relationship. On that drive I had played You Choose by the Pet Shop Boys by accident and had to pull over because I blubbing too hard to actually drive safely. I didn't blub yesterday, but I got pretty close. Luckily, I don't have that song on mp3. Relationships, repeated Tilly this morning, shouldn't have to be this difficult and the fact that ours is stands as testament to the idea that it isn't working and is unlikely to work in the future.


It is my hope to announce my ASD officially at some point to people that know me (my friend who reads this excepted, as they already know) so that I can create a book of dates with people's birthdays and anniversaries in it, I hope to up my game in that regard. And, you know, being able to wear knickers has been rather nice these last few days, can't say I haven't enjoyed it.


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Entitlement

Confirmation arrived on Friday and was read not long into the evening: I am officially someone with ASD (Asperger's in old money). The report was there, you see, and quantifies the fact that I am High Functioning but Autistic. Now, apart from not being a complete dick (one of my concerns), there's not much for me to take away from the report - mostly it is my own words (with some misquotes and misunderstandings) written down and turned into diagnostic criteria for ASD - including that damnable Mind in the Eyes piece of shit, but I shan't go too far down that rabbit-hole. Suffice to say, it is pretty much what I said and this translates into being ASD.

The interesting part isn't so much the confirmation so much as what transpired afterwards. First of all, Tilly asked to read it (but in a convoluted manner - she asked if I wanted her to read it first), and read it she did. Then we eventually had a sit down chat (I know, first since... oooh, September?) and shared a beer, sort of. Very nice, by the bye, it was the Autumn rooting around series from Wild Beer. I digress. Anyway, Tilly started trying to have an argument. At least, that is my interpretation of what happened. I sort of held the line then, after a couple of cheap shots ("It's hard to keep everything I need to do with you in my head." "I never know what to do to make you happy.") I shot back. At first she went into full anger mode: "I was about to open up and now you've gone and ruined it." Yes, of course, because that's how opening up works.

However, by force of will or something I took a deep breath and just let her chunter. Eventually she did start talking. We agreed that there is little chance, if any, of having anything like a proper relationship. We are different brains, explained Tilly, and so she will never have the NT relationship she wants and I shall never have the relationship I want. This, my being ASD, was not what she signed up for and she is happy to gain emotional support from her friends. She does, however, love me and there would be too much guilt for her to take up my offer to find someone else with whom to have a fuller, emotional, relationship. I pointed out that there ought to be no guilt. She accepted that the right relationship was probably "out there" for her. I shared that I did not think the same for me, she agreed. She shared that she felt frustrated that we would never be anything other than co-parenting and co-habiting. I suggested that this lay with her as much as me. There was some verbal rough and tumble for me to get her to admit that she had made a choice, a choice, not to engage with anything I said I wanted and then hides behind the smokescreen of 'not knowing' what I have said I want from a relationship.

Tilly finds my compartmentalisation of things hard. As an example, she couldn't understand why, when I was spitting angry with her over the shopping one time, I was also perfectly happy to get her food and be in the same space as her, even carrying on normal conversations. I pointed out that I have learned to adapt and that, over time, it had become apparent that there was nothing to be gained by being angry at her. She said it was just strange and she didn't like it, but that the report explains this more. She didn't sign up for this.

I brought up cross-dressing and used it to show that her offer of space and time was meaningless given the extra rules she had laid down (no knowledge for her, no chance of the children finding out) as they precluded washing etc. She, eventually, agreed. Initially she tried the whole "it will take time for me to adjust to the person you are being different to the one I thought you were" but I cut that short by pointing out the written record of my sharing it with her and the time she threatened to tell her mother about my cross-dressing. Wearily, and with much reluctance, Tilly admitted that, yes, she had known from the beginning but had rather hoped she could just ignore it. Bollocks to her having to adjust to a new situation then. Okay, I asked, what is the real issue? She felt that it would lead to greater ridicule of me. My friends and family are often dismissive, she said, of me and if they were to take on board my cross-dressing they would be moreso. I pointed out my parents both know and ignore it. I also pointed out that most of my friends kinda know in one sense or another. Well, then, what about our friends here? What about my work?

Would our friends really care? I asked.

No.

Okay, and if my work had an issue, I would point out that wearing stuff in my own time is none of their business and fight any moves in court. Next question.

Thus we got to the nub of the issue. Tilly worries that people will look badly on her and finds the whole thing rather threatening. I told her the story of my coming to terms with my cross-dressing, I asked what she found threatening about it. She had no real answer. In fact, she said, it didn't sound threatening at all. So, upshot, in return for putting on a load of washing of a morning and not leaving the pots undone I can under-dress and my knickers will be washed. As long as they are not too embarrassing. Our children cannot know however.

Embarrassing?

Yeah, she doesn't want any 'look at my big tits' knickers or that sort of thing. I looked confused, and assured her that such things probably don't exist and that I preferred full briefs, high-legs and minis to anything... embarrassing.

Then we went to bed.

Overall? No physical aspect to our relationship - it would be like putting a steeple up before building the church walls, Tilly said - and no real hope of that ever coming back (after all, what are the church walls? Tilly couldn't explain). Which is fine, as I told Tilly: I don't really see it happening any more anyway. No point in divorce, we agreed that, and no point either of us moving out. But, and this is my take away, at least I get to wear what I fucking want for underwear after eleven years.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Balance

It's not like I broke the bank. Still, £5 is £5 and that is
rather more than I really ought to be spending solely
on myself in secret before a Christmas.

Fuck it though, this is a pretty watch.

Combined with the body spray and the deodorant...
anyone would think I was specifically changing up
my feminine wardrobe on the quiet.
On Saturday I got me a pretty new watch. I got it because it was pretty, no other reason. After all, I spent a long time choosing and buying my last watch and it still didn't quite tick the box of 'pretty' and so, naturally, when I saw this watch I had to buy it and own it and wear it. So I did, and I did, and I have been doing. Surreptitious like, obviously, but I have been wearing it. Even to bed because it is just such a lovely pretty little thing. I wore it today to work even because I felt that I kind of should do so and so I took the chance and did it. It was on sale in a charity stall and I bought it with a book when I thought I had a spare ten minutes. Tilly arrived mid-purchase, I had just two minutes. Given what I spend my time and money on when I have some spare time perhaps it is as well that I do not have longer. Truth be told, I kinda thought on first glance that this was flowery. However, I shall take the splash of colour, massive watch face and simple strap for what it is: pretty.

Alas I remember the compromise that brought us the pet in
the first place and how I counselled for a less long-lived
pet. How I was reassured that pet-duty would be equitable
or even slanted more toward Tilly. And how it was all used
as a punishment and revenge when PND hit in 2010.

And how much I didn't know until 2012.
There was no other real time on the weekend. I got some marking done whilst Tilly shepherded the children in a watch of a film. No... wait... I cleaned out the cage of the chinchilla whilst that was happening, helped cook tea and then went and got take out for Tilly and I because she didn't want to wait for cooking. Then I got some marking done until about midnight and went to sleep because this is my life now and that is how it goes. I shall not complain. Tilly does do her best to give me time through the week to make up for this and does work hard to allow me to do things. She tries really hard to not only accommodate but also enable my drinking of ale, my collection of difficult-to-find ales and visiting people to drink the ale in company. I cannot complain about her toleration of my Magic the Gathering card binge or even the playing of it with the Boy.

Ah. Twould appear that I am the passive
aggressive one in our... whatever the
Hell we have.

That's why Tilly complains about my passive
aggression. Not for the first time, Tilly appears
to be correct.
I mean, she did bring it up when I was worried about time a few weeks back by saying that she had grown as a person and wouldn't bring up the amount of time and money that I was wasting on Magic the Gathering cards rather than doing what I needed to do for work. Nor, she added, would she add in the fact that I was spending less time doing things around the house that needed doing nor the amount of time that she was having to spend on basic housework whilst I did nothing to help. She would not raise these things, she said, because she did not want an argument and she was a bigger person than that. The irony of her using the opportunity to bring up these things without allowing me to respond was either lost on her or else fully intended to do the work of ten arguments. It's hard to tell, especially as I'm not really hot on this prediction or understanding thing.

Stalin is ill today, so I was summoned home. Again, in fairness, I must point out that Tilly does not often demand me back home as early as possible and does work hard to minimise the times when she would do so. If I get a text asking me to get back home I know that things are serious.

They are visiting Tilly's oldest friend and his partner, soon
to be husband, so it's rather nice that I don't have to be
involved. Of course, me being me, I can't just appreciate
the fact that I am being left out and must, instead, feel angry
at being left out. Despite the fact that this is easily the
better option for me.
This time next week the family are away in London and are stopping overnight. I am eagerly planning to have some time to dress, of course I am, because each part of my life is pretty much reduced to planning when I shall next get time to indulge in that part of me that I have spent so long trying to deny and destroy only to consistently fail. I am good at waiting, I can wait a long time. Not that I have waited all that long since the beginning of September when I last indulged for a weekend or the time before that in June when the family went to Nottingham for a couple of nights. Okay, this is just one night, but you won't find me complaining about that. At least, not too much and not too loudly.

Is this too much for my father to ask? My reading of stuff on
these here internets suggests that... no. It is not too much to
ask. Such things are the minimum expected norms of
familial responsibility around the festive time of year. And,
frankly, beyond.

Fuck you, festive time of year.
We visit my father for a meal after that. I am not looking forward to it. He has created a menu that would not look out of place at some posh gourmet restaurant as only an aspirant Upper Class person can. It has matched drinks for each course and is, apparently, designed to be eaten with two autistic children, a smaller person and a breastfeeding mother who is averse to most of the items as well as the alcohol. Factor in the fact that I am driving down and one does begin to really question what was going through my father's mind when he created the menu and thought of inviting the families of his sons. The first issue is that we couldn't make the original date as our eldest has a play to take a role in and so we shan't be there the same time as my brother's perfectly behaved family. I say perfectly behaved because both of his children are trained for this sort of do. They shall sit at the table, eat what they are told to eat and do so with the sort of 'hush up and shut up' reflex that children are supposed to have. Our family does not run like this, of course not, we are over-protective as parents and I am under-respectful of authority and manners and smartness and rules and social niceties. Each time we go through this iteration I get less so too. I am not entirely sure what my father expects to get out of this every year. He wants sons that dress up, have families that can fade into the background with the women heading off out of the drawing room? I don't know. I don't really care. I know I should, given all that my father has done, does do, for me and how much he has helped financially in the past and continues to do so - he views his financial help as affording him the ability to make one or two suggestions that ought to be followed with his children. Helping to fund my brother's suit at my wedding came attached with the suggestion that he get "a proper job" and quit the job he had at the time. Back then my brother and I were more allies. Now we are combatants again.


Eh, I'm doing that thing again, the main point of this was my pretty watch. It is a very pretty one and I, of course, love it.

And now my photos are upside-down.
Ask me if I care.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Sight

Oh I wish I looked this good.
Dark and cold, late in the evening, it was time to meet the counsellor. I, of course, arrived significantly early - which resulted in me standing in the cold for a good half hour before gaining access. A dog, removal of shoes, much trepidation, and Tuesday evening was a go. Long conversation on the situation, mainly surrounding the long and torrid history of cross-dressing. The therapist was hard of hearing, had an aid, and I'd had a couple of coffees so I was talking rather more quickly than I usually do. She also made some howlers on ASD and how "we're all on the spectrum" which... *sigh* Anyway, yes, she also applauded, as in literally, the points where I got me a wardrobe and where I attempted to let Tilly know about that part of me when we were getting together. She inquired if I understood her expressions, I did, but I shall be honest, I thought explaining was more important that reacting - I guess I came across as a tad cold.

One pertinent point in the session was when the therapist said that my relationship with Tilly must be pretty strong because the combination of autism and cross-dressing was hard to manage. I said my reading had suggested that such a combination was the "kiss of death" to any relationship. The therapist agreed. I thought a moment, no, our relationship is not strong. It has survived because we choose to have no relationship. The therapist agreed. It was a throwaway moment, fleeting and barely noticed, but nevertheless there and, on reflection, entirely accurate.

Upshot? How long does one give a therapist? How does one know if it works? I mean, it was nice to ramble and be listened to and I'm not knocking the fact that I was applauded over cross-dressing a few times. She even wrote down a few of the more feminist quotes I deployed (especially the one about hormones and males) which was... well, different. Clever strategy or genuine? Probably the former, I am under no illusions that I actually have anything she hasn't heard a million times before. The session overran, by just short of an hour, and then I forgot to pay on the way out. Still, that was rectified within ten minutes so that was fine. I have another appointment in two weeks. She would have preferred weekly (and at £60 an hour/session, I can see why) but I can't quite justify that kind of outgoing on such as therapy. I know that I have barely scratched the surface and, in some areas, I clearly wasn't clear enough (she thought having a forum was great, but I was referring to a discussion back in 2005 on a forum that is now defunct) but... Well, I have another appointment, we shall see.

Yeah, something like this.

Bloody busy evening that.
Frustrations with my family being rubbish at using gift lists leading to issues where both parents buy their grandchild the same sodding thing (agh) and thus I have to act as go-between because neither of them will talk directly to Tilly who keeps the gift lists (and who sent them the lists in the first place and who has chased to find out what they bought so she could keep those lists up to date, no, both of my parents must go through me. By the way, I have no idea what is on the gift-lists for the children, I am not privy to that, they wrote them with Tilly). It's a recipe for disaster. Couple it with my usual inability to organise or follow through on things and, well.

Yeah, getting up at 7.35am was a bit of a rude shock.

I managed to get in to work on time but...

Yeah.
Parents' Evening on Wednesday. Late night. Slept in on Thursday, a day when the family were out trying a new route to do stuff and getting someone in to sort out the fireplace in the dining room. Obviously not having pots done on that day of all days was shit. Tilly had to stay back and wash up and dry up before going out on the time-sensitive day, which changed plans and resulted in much ruction, even if the day passed off without too much incident. Factor in the lack of lunches made (eldest did the do by making sandwiches for the children, but nothing for Tilly) meaning that Tilly had not eaten by the time I returned that night meant a grumpy Tilly and then a friend came round. It was good, I guess, for Tilly but I did rather feel like shit about it. Tilly was careful not to assign blame to her credit.

Today has just been very long. I have finished with a beer.

Oh, and yes, my mother has informed me that her husband's chemo has failed. His tumours are larger than before, last ditch effort will complete in the new year after they have a potential last holiday in Cardiff. This came after the snafu earlier in the week where my stress peaked and I ranted with plenty of choice swear-words at both parents over the phone about how shit they are and their insistence on going through me, the weak link. Basically, my self-loathing boiled over into familial loathing ("are you having a go at your family?" asked my father in what he assumed was a threateningly quiet tone, "Yes, Yes, I think I fucking am" I returned with a matter-of-fact voice, "unless it's all my fault, and, as you both go through me and I know this but I let Tilly tell you guys the lists anyway I guess it is my fucking fault. So, you know, no, I'm having a fucking go at me.") and that was... fun. Now this and... yeah, I'm really good at my timing.