|That's as may be, but it's not terribly helpful.|
|Yes, both cross-dressing and alcoholism|
lead to broken homes and domestic abuse.
Then Tilly moved onto the fact that she felt weary having to keep the children away from the drawer where I keep most of my wardrobe and dreaded having to explain it. I countered this. Why, I asked, would she need to explain anything? If our children are in one of our drawers or the wardrobe then I feel no urge to explain the clothes they discover, only tell them they shouldn't be in there. If they ask about the clothes I am happy to tell them what they are but I never explain the purpose of them or whose they are - it's not what the children are asking. In other words, there is no need to explain anything that we don't wish to explain. I also pointed out that the drawer has been nigh inaccessible for the best part of a year due to piled boxes and various other things. Tilly conceded that this, and all previous points, were all very reasonable and made her sound unreasonable with her anger. I said I was not challenging her anger so much, merely expressing why I found it difficult to understand it even after the explanation she had offered. I pointed out that I had told her about my cross-dressing when we met, when we were in Oxford and that I had written it before we were wed.
|Oh I wish. Just a drawer and my rucksack.|
|Area 51, practically the epitome of plausible deniability.|
Tilly asked why I couldn't just throw out the clothes and not get more. I explained that I couldn't really go into that unless she wanted a full discussion on my cross-dressing, she confirmed she didn't, and so I stuck with my hoarding attitude and my miserly nature. I paid money for the clothes and so that was a reason not to throw them out. Also I have a hard time parting with anything material and that was the other reason. I haven't thrown out a tape or CD since we met, I pointed out, and the only clothes I have discarded were socks with holes in and a few shirts that Tilly threw out for being threadbare. With that history I was, I argued, unlikely to be able to bring myself to chuck out my female wardrobe. I also alluded to 'purging' behaviour and the psychology of it all, using music as an example, and how it would likely not end the habit at all. Tilly remained perturbed by the aspect of all of this in which I seemed controlled by the habit, citing her giving up caffeine and drink as examples. I repeated my discomfort at using those analogies and pointed out that the clothes were a societal construct (we're both historians, we know what we mean) and therefore the clothes couldn't control me, rather it was the urge to wear feminine items - even the material was relatively unimportant. I later, this morning, realised that I was hinted at cross-dressing being more like OCD behaviour, compulsive, than an addiction. Well, for me at least. Yes, I shared that too.
|I am a hoarder and I have nuts. Clearly I'm a squirrel.|
We both agreed that the conversation had been a positive one. We both agreed that Tilly will likely be angry still after the conversation has faded and that she didn't want to understand. We both agreed that I will likely die waiting to explain it all fully to her.
All in all, it was bittersweet.
There is a whole wealth of things that we did not discuss, I know that, but I think I went as far as I could at present. Bondage, masculinity, femdom, captions, liberation - all of that I think remained beyond the remit. I know what triggers the urges but I still don't truly know what brings the urges. Why women's clothes, of all things?