I spent New Years' Eve at a friend's house miles away from home. Jerry was a school friend of mine and remains a good friend, though there have been uneven bits, foir example I didn't have him as a Best Man. In retrospect that was probably a mistake but at the time I felt that I couldn't trust him to be sensible given how I know he behaved as a mutual friend's Best Man. Like I say, I was wrong, but remained good friends. He re-met the woman who was to become his wife as she was disentangling herself from a failed engagement, they had previously gone out at school and University, and he confided in me about it. There's why I made a mistake, as usual, I did not realise the depth or power of the friendship between us. A bit like the time another friend of mine asked me to be godparent to their child, again, I was completely surprised as I had not realised that we were that close as friends. This seems like a digression, but I think it's relevant.
|Lovely image, but hardly conducive to chatting with friends|
late into the evening. Especially if you co-sleep.
Anyway, I drove up to Jerry's alone, Tilly had given me specific permission to leave her with the children if I wanted and had advised that I needed the time to have some fun where I wasn't being "weighed down" by the family. Our parenting style choices do mean that if we go somewhere overnight most of the evening is spent getting the children down to sleep. Tilly then spends a few hours sleeping with them, I have to keep half an ear out in case she needs help and then one of two things happen: 1. Tilly comes down to join the conversation about 10pm and then we both disappear an hour later or 2. Tilly brings down one or the other of the children and the evening disappears in a welter of trying to keep them entertained. In both scenarios I can't really relax and there's always the undercurrent that Tilly is not socialising while I am. Given my guilt issues this means I don't socialise properly either and do my best to give Tilly the space she needs to have a relax and a chat. Inevitably I feel bad and a bit crap afterwards and Tilly feels that I didn't do anything to help her. So I took the opportunity.
I arrived to find Jerry and another friend, Andrew, playing Warhammer, of all things, and so I reverted back to our Sixth Form friendship roles. They played, we chatted and I watched the game. Sometimes I asked clarification, sometimes we discussed tactics and other times we just stood and chewed the fat. The important thing with all of this is the fact that I do not get involved in the game and no conversation really gets very far or very deep. We're not that kind of friendship group and Jerry, being in the Navy, is a bit of a proper bloke. Any feely stuff is left for confidential conversations, the rest of the time he's a brash typical bloke. Andrew is the same, ex-rugby player and pretty typical - sleeps on the sofa, he and his girlfriend often have mock-arguments about the fact that he hasn't proposed and she often mock-complains that she will never be married. Like I say, pretty typical. I am the geek of the group (I know, they play Warhammer and I don't) and thus get the 'hanger on' status and role.
So it was that when Jerry's wife, Rachel, got back from a shopping run I ended up talking shop with her in the kitchen. This was actually quite pleasant. We discussed parenting styles, birth and feminism - in a general way. We put the world to rights as she sorted out the meal for the evening, refusing help from me, and I checked in on Jerry and Andrew from time to time. When Andrew's girlfriend, Iris, arrived she and Rachel got into conversation and I joined them. We shared some champagne, with Jerry and Andrew as well, and once again I ended up in the 'girls' conversation. I also spent a good deal of time checking out Iris's boots, that were divine and lovely and probably very expensive. Not much a heel, but I did find myself keep looking at them.
|See, this is a conversation that I'd like to join in with. I rather|
like talking about birth and parenthood in these modern
times, but it's a more 'feminine' thing to do methinks.
I was hyper-aware of all of this, I suppose, because I was there alone, because I was in therapy and because I was trying hard not to beat myself up over mistakes that I kept making and not feeling guilty over being there alone in the first place. I introspect as a means of comforting myself and avoiding social discomfort. And what I found was that I was much more at home talking feminisism, birth and comfort with women than I was talking Warhammer (I know, it's not even sport, how ridiculous) with my best mate from Sixth Form and a mutual friend.
|Why does this look so desireable and comfortable to me?|
I mean, think how hard it would be to avoid tripping!
So, what is the reason for the cross-dressing? A previous post already explains that the desire has been there as long as I can remember and certainly pre-dates any sexual urges that may now accompany it at times, so it's unlikely to be an entirely situational response or sexual practice. What if this particular kink is genetic? I know that my brother shares some of my predilictions, I know this by accident, and that he used to indulge these in a much more developed way than I. The point is that he developed these kinks independently of any of my behaviour. So, is it down to the fact that we had similar upbringings? Or is it that we had the same parents?
If the latter, then I am beginning to wonder about my son. What if he develops the same way? How can I make sure that he feels able to share anything like that with me? I don't want him developing the way I did: believing it to be entirely based on himself and entirely unnatural. I don't want him to feel the guilt I did in my teen years, as puberty came, and I began to realise that not everyone shared my predilictions. More to the point I don't want him feeling as isolated and alone as I did, and do, with this addiction that I've picked up. Unable to practice it as often as I'd like and also unwilling to accept it as a part of myself, even here where I'm free to say whatever I want in anonymity. If it's genetic then shouldn't I man up and come out to my children? "Sometimes Daddy just likes to wear clothes like Mummy wears and this is perfectly normal." But, well, is it?