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!

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Confirmation

I love me a bit of battenburg.

Tilly is not a fan. She'd rather gouge out her eyes than eat it.
When I started this place in 2011 it was because I could not discuss things with Tilly. I wanted somewhere to explain what I was feeling, explore what I was doing and, if necessary find answers. The initial question, where does this leave masculinity and me, was added after reading other blogs and to try and give this place something to chew on. Indeed, my explorations have always been less about masculinity and femininity than they have been about what I enjoy and why. They have been an attempt to understand things better.

Earlier in the week, Tilly said that she had come to the decision that she didn't want to jack everything in, not yet. She didn't know if there was a chance of things getting better but the lack of desire to end everything was a positive, right? She bought me flowers and a battenburg cake yesterday just because and has initiated more hugs since then than I think she's done since we last had sex.

Mt Rainer, like many things, casts a long shadow in an
unexpected way.
But the conversation, the need for it, hung over everything. Tonight she said she was aware of this, unprompted (though I was going to raise it). She does not see how that conversation can have a positive outcome and admitted that she was scared of it all ending. She always had been. The long pauses, the fact that we keep going round in circles, she was just very good at avoiding things. She doesn't want to have the conversation. I can understand that, but I don't think it has been healthy. Unlike her, I do not see her avoidance of it for the last seven years as in any way healthy or helpful, nor something laudable or praiseworthy - she does. Most couples, she said, when one partner raises problems last no longer than a year before either solving it or ending. She, she said proudly, had managed far longer than that. There's wiggle-room, but I think the problems were the lack of physical connection and I think the partner referred to was me, I may be wrong.

And so I wait.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Crux

It seems as though, once again, Leslie was right.

 A series of difficult decisions now have to be made. The time has come, the crux of the matter is here, awooga awooga, this is not a drill etc etc. My marriage may well be at an end. We shall see.

Support has been sought, found, tested, and used. Discussions are taking place. Reality reversal is in full effect but we're moving, ish, toward resolutions.

I also took the time to re-read my first month of posts. Startlingly, for me, they set out very much what I still think. But more clearly and more eruditely than I have done for quite some time. They set out the very simple points at the heart of all of this. The most important were the first four - the ones written before I had a blog to post them to. The images may have changed, or have gone bad, but the text remains remarkably clear. I wish I could still write with that kind of clarity. Anyone reading this blog and wondering about my own take on gender should read them if they want to actually learn something about me and what makes me tick. Hell, I learned something.

And they accurately predict the last seven years of this blog, tellingly, as well as setting out what the topics of the discussions that Tilly and I are now having would be, along with some interesting points on how they would turn out. Not in so many words, but re-reading was illuminating for me, at least. It further proves that I am rather consistent, it is Tilly who is not.

My only direct comment is to share that Tilly told me that she was once more adventurous, before she met me, in the intimacy department. Even the early part of our relationship, but then there were my confusing responses and arguments. Now she's a middle-aged woman with three children. When I claimed on here that I made her boring it turns out that I was spot on. It was me that turned her off sex.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Who's not in bed?

I may have got this book because of my
interests, sure.
The most difficult book I think I've ever read I finished reading last night, whilst charging the car. I started it back in 2014, I think, but had to stop as it all got a bit much in the chapter (the first of two, as it happens) on childbirth. At the time I couldn't explain precisely why I felt the need to stop reading, in fact, I'm not sure I could do any better now, but recently I got kick-started into reading it again and was almost overwhelmed, in a good way, a number of times. I found myself mulling things over as I finished and that is the sign of a good book. It was, of course, How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran which is a fantastic book that is totally not a list of things to do to be a woman, despite its title. It is an autobiographical account of feminism and life, which is fine. Also a big tangent into things I did not know about Lady Gaga. Which is fine.

The reason I got back into reading it some four years after I stopped? Caitlin Moran set up a group on the Book of Faces where men could talk about things that bothered men. Like a safe space for men free from social conformity of, well, the patriarchy. It is... well, it has a lot of women in it and a goodly portion of men that don't fit the narrow stereotypes. It's a nice place. And it's not veered wildly into MRA territory, even though there was one man who, forgive me, NT-splained autism to me after using the term 'sexually autistic' to describe porn-addled youths sending unsolicited dick pics online. I queried and pointed out I was autistic and got told what autistic meant (which was incorrect) and how that definition worked in context (it didn't). I pointed out flaws and was told I was wrong, using more inappropriate terms (mild autism, lower end of the spectrum, high functioning). I have... walked away from that discussion. Apart from that, it's been a very nice place to hang around.

You get the idea.
Intriguingly, for me, there are a vast number of men bemoaning that they'd never been bought flowers, a sizable minority who have been and liked it (and extol the virtues) and roughly even amounts of women amazed that this could be a thing and women who have used it and found it yielded fantastic results with their partners. So far as I can tell, sexless people are not in any great numbers there. I mean, there are plenty single men on the place, which is par for the course, and single women but those with partners report thriving sex lives augmented with things like flowers for men and romantic gestures on both sides. Regardless of age people report loving relationships. It's good to see.

I tried talking to Tilly about it, I did not get far. I said that there were loads of men who liked the idea of flowers and- she cut me off with "and I've bought you flowers." Of course. We can't discuss the fact that something I thought made me more feminine and that Tilly thought was borderline sex reassignment surgery turns out to be a modern masculine trait and what that might mean for other things in my life and between us. To be honest, I don't know how to actually talk about it anyway, or even if it's worth trying, so I can't blame Tilly for that.

I can relate.
Since the family holiday things have been... well, they've been. I cocked up the first night they were back by waiting too long to go to bed and finding Tilly asleep. She had spent a good four hours regaling me with what happened on the trip after I got back from work, a hodge-podge of anecdotes about people I had been told about before, people I had heard nothing about and some aspects involving people she may have mentioned in the past. I performed poorly, did not make the right number of comments nor the right worded ones, but mostly this was ignored in favour of blasting me with stuff that had happened. The second night was similar, but punctuated with childcare so that Tilly could work again and she finally asked what I'd got up to on the weekend. Before the weekend took over and I barely saw her or the children. Not helped by parent's evening, after school training and multiple classes for the eldest. This last week Tilly's mother was round and, again, I barely saw her or Tilly or the children. I went out to get take outs, shopping, charging the car, that sort of thing.

It's half term now. Maybe I can get back to updating this place. Maybe not.

I find that, when I pack away myself after a time of being me, I put more of me in the box. It is unmarked, it gathers dust on top of the wardrobe. It now includes all my camisoles and my feminine watch. It includes any feminine deodorant. The only things not in there are my knickers. Which I haven't worn since the family returned. Too risky now, what with smaller windows to wash my stuff and dry it as winter rolls in. Especially since Tilly pointed out how angry she was getting seeing me hide the knickers (or not, she had no way of knowing one way or the other) that I was using. When that box is closed and placed in its hole I place myself in there too. It's safer there for my identity than anywhere else. It's certainly not safe at work. And my home life, family life, is scrutinised and controlled so that I am not me. I am what it is acceptable to Tilly for me to be.

Agh, I was hoping to write something else, but this happened instead.

Well, hello, I am man.
Psst, skateboards.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Obviation



This ranks up there with 'Try It' in 2013
as one of the photos of me I can stand!
In the film Tron: Legacy Qora, the ISO, discusses with Flynn's son the nature of Flynn's opposition to CLU and how it is based upon the game of Go and some vaguely Eastern inspired philosophies based, in turn, upon the portrayal of Flynn as electro-hippy in the original 1980s movie - along with all the fudges and vagaries that it implied. It's a remarkably clear and honest summing up of the scant regard paid to context whilst also being generally workable as a set of rules for living. She takes about the art of denial of the ego, removing oneself from the equation.

I recently signed up to look at my pension pot, because that's what is happening now and all our details on on leaky online portals controlled by private companies who harvest the data for profit. My 'gold-plated' pension, which kicks in when I'm 68 at the moment (with warnings that it will more likely be north of 70), is currently at £4k a year. However, it will pay that now plus a one time death in service payment of £102k if I were to die whilst in employment. Add to that the life-insurance would pay off the remainder of the mortgage (and no more) on death and the fact that the pension to dependents cuts out after 12 years and you get a reasonably good idea of what my death would be worth.

It would allow Tilly and the children to live relatively comfortably, as they do now with a bit extra on top, for 15 years. Now, as there are 12 years of payments, all Tilly would have to do is raise around £3.2k per year after that point to pay for bills. She can already do £1.5k a year on articles. 12 years of that and she has enough for another four years or so of keeping the house. So, 15 years in all. By that point our youngest would be 16 years of age and the two eldest would likely have flown the coop. So, assuming the youngest needs less input, the last four years would allow Tilly to earn more than £1.5k per year. She could easily earn enough to keep the family home going with bills and insurance until the youngest has hit 21 and likely to be past University (assuming that is their wish).


The point? Tilly has stated that the only reason she is maintaining the relationship we have, such as it is, is to maintain the current situation of where we live and the room it affords along with the contacts and transport links. If I don't want to jeopardise this it would follow the solution is not to leave but to die.

Which brings me back to the beginning and the removal of self from the equation.

Don't know how clear it is, but that is a
size 14 dress that comes to just lower
than my knees. It feels lovely and
comfortingly tight around the under-bust
area, with an inner slip that was just
divine.

The only real issue is that it is just a tad
too tight to sit down in comfortably. So,
obviously I stand, crouch or kneel instead.

Why wouldn't I wear it more?

Oh, and that top is from Poundland!

I love it.
At work, my card is marked. Again. It appears I have approximately five years in the tank in any given place until it is noted that I am something of a loose cannon and my escapades stop being amusing and become detrimental to learning. To whit, I have been told that making the joke "ask me any question, except the one about where babies come from; because we all know that's Sweden. They arrive by stork" is inappropriate to be said in Secondary School and just 'odd' of the kind of eyebrow raising quality one associates with sexual innuendo. I'm not interpreting this, I was told it directly by my Head and a Deputy Head in an unannounced meeting about a fortnight ago. A meeting with my Union rep confirmed my suspicion that they can proceed on pointless crap like this because of parental complaint - it was raised by a parent and not staff - so I don't have much of a legal leg to stand on to get it overturned. They can't force me out, but they can make it next to impossible to operate as my last place did. And here I thought exam results would get me first.

The stupid thing is that my ego, and my issues, mean that I tend to double down. It's like I can't help it. So I've been busting out all of my Dad jokes and silly remarks, silly voices and ridiculous comparisons. My most entertaining RadFem articles and debates on Domestic Violence with allusions to the Kavanaugh debacle in Sixth Form, daft jokes in all year groups and so on. I ran the Politics Taster session with deliberately inflammatory ideas about Feminism and the State of the World with parents. I've gone full activist and taken down my genderbread person infographic, prompting students to get upset about me removing it. This was calculated. I suspect there will be more, not less, conversations about gender (the source of another parental complaint) around the school now. I'm not above shitty tactics.

It's not impostor syndrome if one is actually something of an impostor. This week, for ten days, the rest of the family is on holiday in Bournemouth. I think I may have mentioned this as being in the works. And so you would think I am being efficient. But I'm not. I'm worse than ever. Dressing and being shit online. Of course. I now know why I'm like this, which is good to know, but it doesn't help with me not being like it. It's also hard because, well, I am alone. I mean: cool: I get to dress and read interesting shit and not have to do the pots and lunches every morning. I get to have lights off and the heating turned off and stuff. I get to have a shower every morning and dress in front of a mirror to do my tie and have music playing if I like. I get to eat when and what I like. I get to keep a room tidy and keep track of things. It's not all bad. But it's a bloody poor do when the excitement of doing that, and it is excitement, renders me incapable of working effectively.

And so I'm lonely. Feeling pretty crap, despite dressing and having some reasonably good photos of my new ensemble (£8 the lot), and looking at self immolation as usual.

Same top, different ensemble. Skirt (from Toby)
a size 10 from Next. Vest top rescued from the
bin and ex-owned by Tilly. I blogged about it
before. I "lawyered" about not wearing her
clothes. Frankly, she can do one.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Matching

Between 17 and 20 August I was alone at home whilst the family were on holiday in Portsmouth. I know, this is becoming a feature, but I can't complain too much, my experience of holidays (as evidenced here) is that they don't work well for me. This arrangement works for Tilly as other adults who aren't me get to distract the children and she gets some time to, well, have a holiday. When I'm in tow I guess she doesn't?

And here it is! Seriously, I love it. Now my
favourite item.
All irrelevant. I was alone. Obviously I indulged. At first I was just stupid about it all. I took dares, did some of them and obviously made use of my new purchase for the dropping off of the family and immediately afterward. However, the biggest thing was buying a simple pink t-shirt from Aldi that had sleeves that tied above the arm and holes over the shoulders. It was a revelation. Combined with my knee-length denim skirt and a stuffed bra it was... It may be the most comfortable I have been since 2013's dress photo. So comfortable in fact that I didn't even feel the need to take a selfie. It was lovely and I spent most of my time at home in the get up. I felt like me. Even the new purchase, although used, failed to match the feeling I got from a t-shirt for £2. I tried on most of my wardrobe for very short periods of time but I kept coming back to that t-shirt and skirt combo. I paired it with my wedges and my heeled boots and both were just lovely. The boots work better generally as my feet are not really something I want to see.

Huh. Here is the skirt! H&M.

In combo with the t-shirt... I loved
them.

I know I'm not fashionable. Never have
been, but they felt divine.
As the days went I even let myself shave the bottom half of my legs where baldness or something has denuded the outside of them of hair. I didn't give a shit about hiding it. It felt... nice. I'm not saying I can't not do it, I'm not saying I yearn for smooth legs all the time, but I am saying it's not been tried since 2005 and I welcomed the feeling again. I do also want to try doing that with my armpits too. A brief foray and test with small areas yielded interesting results and felt very nice indeed earlier in the year so that's something for me to consider.

When I went out to do shopping or go to the pub (I went to the pub) I went out with my choice of underwear - knickers and bra - and it was wonderful. If I thought I could have escaped notice I woudl have stuffed the bra. Why? I liked the feeling. I really did. Stuff (ha) how it looked, it looked stupid, it felt nice. Like the t-shirt. The other reason there's no selfie is that I looked a complete berk. But I felt light and airy. Free. Held. Safe. Me. I felt like me again. I didn't even wear the wig much. I mean, I did at first and I love having the feeling of long hair and it falling across my eyes. I love looking through it. I love the weight of it. But I hate how it looks. I hate the fact that it's not real hair. And, well, you know, it just can't be, well, real hair. So I dropped the wig. Oh, and I wore pop-socks (like small tights that are sock sized) when I was out. I under-dressed. Fully. And it was beautiful. I have no words to adequately describe it.

I was invincible. Unstoppable. Happy. I was happy. It was electric.

It was cold and sunny. Bright but chilly. I had split with Toby
for the first time. I was regretting it and thinking things
through. So I fasted to concentrate the mind and aid prayer.

It was helpful. It worked. I got clarity. Too late to repair the
damage my wobble caused. A metaphor for my life.
On the last day I packed it all away. The regret was palpable. Pangs. Like fasting and then walking past a butcher's five days in on a day out in Skipton in 2005 late in March. Proper hunger, not the kind people mean when they declare themselves starving, famished or hungry before lunch. Those kinds of pangs of regret, I nearly cried. But away it was packed. I prepared the house and ensured there was no evidence of anything in the house.

Of course, wearing my new purchase overnight and in heat did leave some issues. The ring left a welt on my ball sack. A skin nodule I have grew and got a bit painful as a consequence. I know this, leave it alone and it goes. Took a couple of days. Worth it, totally worth it. But I shall have to be more careful with the fitting next time, go back to the bigger ring.

The funny thing? I was actually looking forward to Tilly being home. I had genuinely missed her and the children. I was looking forward to the conversation, a hug maybe. I got some hugs. I got some conversation. But, as detailed here, I was also disappointed. She had not, it transpires, missed me much. Nor had the children really. I mean, don't get me wrong, they were glad to see me and regale me with their adventures, but they missed the holiday more than they missed me whilst they were on holiday. A tinge of gall there, but what can one do? Perhaps it's for the best.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Persona

This is not a proper post on here, sorry, it's just a quick one. So much has happened.

The main thing is that I pushed a conversation again. And, records, because: records. Anyway, yes, the upshots were as follows:
1. The cheating thing is how Tilly feels and no, it is not fair. But it is how she feels.
2. She fell in love with my teacher persona. I was listening more then. Or, rather, she felt I listened more then. Can't argue with feelings.
2a - No, she can't imagine being physical with me because of my dressing. She knows I'm still doing it and that just makes her angry.
3. She can't change her reaction to my dressing any more than I can not dress.
3a - It's either as we are or we split.
4. Being a cross-dresser and actually dressing are two different things. It is the latter she has an issue with. My choice (that word again) to dress is the issue. She wouldn't be married to a gay person so, no, the comparison doesn't work.
5. All of this is unlikely to change, but she really doesn't want to ruin everything for the children and each other by ending things. She's heard how my parents acted after they split up. She'd scared she would be the same.
6. Why should she have to change and make it all alright to dress, why can't I be the one to change? But, no, if she could make herself okay with it, of course she would.

And that's it. Take-away, for me, is point 2. Felt like a punch in the gut. I did point out that, if anything, I was more open when we met than I am now but that's not how it feels to her. And feelings are not logical nor open to logic. For normal non-ASD people that is.

Tilly has also tried talking to others about my gender identity issues and the one she spoke to laughed in her face and said, of my musings on using Mx, that I was "just being a man about it". She, and I, have no idea what that means. It does, however, mean that she can't find anyone to talk to about these things and she can't talk to me because I'm the one about whom she is angry.

And that's it.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

To save me from the Hell I'm in

I forced a conversation again. Please excuse the double posting of the song below (as in my last post) I have been finding it very helpful to focus work and not being depressed.


This is more for my records (and sanity) rather than anything else, so bear with me. Yesterday Tilly was 'joking' around in increasingly nasty commentary about what I was doing. I pointed this out. Initially she got shirty and angry about me attacking her, how it was all just a joke and how I was no judge of what counted as nasty or not. Then she tried to say it was hard to adjust from me being depressed and attacking myself. Finally, about three hours after the event, she apologised for being out of order.

Interesting.

Tonight, as I was searching for needle and thread (fruitlessly it turns out) I happened across a DVD, The Prestige. No idea where it's form, nor why it was crushed between screws and such emptied out from an old cupboard back in 2014 or 2015. Anyway, in the course of the back and forth on the DVD and where it came from, Tilly announced that my reaction was the same as with "that parcel" and explained that this is why she finds it hard to trust me, as I could be hiding anything and there was no way of knowing. I quibbled and she changed her statement (whilst not admitting that was what she was doing) to why she sometimes found it hard to trust me.

I pushed on this door. We got into cross-dressing. She has been loving me not dressing (oops, I stopped not doing it with my last entry, she wasn't given a memo) because it stops her hating me. She shared that simply knowing I was dressing at any point was enough to make her hate me, viscerally, and there was nothing that could be done about it apart from me obviously never doing it again. She could cope with me being a cross-dresser provided that I wasn't actually cross-dressing.

I pointed out that she had said, a lot, in the past that this was her issue and not mine, but that she was framing it very carefully about my decisions and my choices. Initially she refuted it, but slowly and grudgingly acknowledged that I could be allowed to feel that if I wanted. I note now and noted then the careful phrasing.

Again I pushed. I said we needed to talk over it again then. She expressed frustration, I would only be repeating myself and this was a primal reaction, an irrational one, and there was no unpacking it. Well, I countered, we need to train this part of her to not fear it so much through repetition or else end it all. Those are our options as I see them, and if we're trying to get better then we have to face it.

Tilly very reluctantly accepted this. She wasn't up for any conversation now though. I carefully pointed out that this would always be the case. The children could hear, she protested. They will be fine, I pointed out, like I was with my Grandpa's homosexuality.

Ah, she said, but that was fine because homosexuality is fine and she is fine with homosexuality. I gave a look. Okay, she accepted, fine.

We had the conversation. The ins and outs are not that relevant.  The main issues are this:
1. She maintains that she never knew about my cross-dressing and that finding out about it felt like a betrayal.
2. She does not like my gender expression. Why can't I be binary like everyone else? Okay, other people can be non-binary, but not the man she married, he has to wear man clothes (her emphasis). Simply thinking about me cross-dressing is enough to make her violently hate me and this has diminished since I'd said I'd stopped doing it. (No, I did not reveal my, ahem, gigantic 'fuck you' to her controlling demands).
3. I told her what was in "that parcel". She was unsurprised, "I don't see what else it could have been." I said that was an interesting response, she said she wasn't prepared to talk any further on that. "Fair enough," said I.
4. Her bisexuality ended when we married, she had a wobble (did I know that? - uh, yes, it was kind of a big deal, Tilly - and I repeated my position on it to her again. For reference: she can be attracted to women, do anything she likes with women and the only boundary is the one she sets for 'cheating'; I would respect her boundary and not judge) and then it was done. Why can't I do the same with my cross-dressing?

On point 4, I pointed out that the parallel was unfair. Her 'bisexuality' and 'monogamy' had been a little conflated there. She was still bisexual (she agreed) but married. Her sexuality was unchanged (she agreed). So she was talking about not cheating, my cross-dressing was not cheating. This caused the final epiphany of the evening for Tilly: it was to her. She would need to think this over and mull on it before I could offer anything. I accepted this, pointed out that I felt it was an unfair comparison to make but respected the fact that anything I said right now would just be noise.

We finished with a long hug, then she went to bed.