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!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

WTF?

I'll admit it came out of nowhere. Tilly wanted to clear up that she did not have am issue with the receipt yesterday. After all, as she pointed out, it's not like I was getting all in her face about it. She still feels that the guilt and the sneaking around means that the activity is wrong and would prefer it if I stopped and hates the people that say "I wouldn't mind if my husband did it" because they would but she wanted me to know that she wasn't getting at me. She is just worried you see, I bought the skirt when out with the Boy and, well, what if he noticed? What if he wondered why Daddy was buying a skirt? And, if I said it was for her, then the shop assistants might remember and ask Tilly about it and then, when she denied knowledge of any purchase, then the shop assistant would know. And the Boy would know. And it may embarrass me. And, you know, she was worried that, if I was buying clothes regularly from the same shop, then they would recognise me and know I was buying for myself. And when I went in with the Boy then he might get tarred with the same brush. And he could be hurt. You know?


Seriously. This is what she said.

She also said that she wanted to apologise for acting unreasonably back in July 2011 when I opened up to her fully about dressing. She was out of line but I made her feel stupid. I made her feel guilty. I made her feel lied to when I said I hadn't worn her clothes because I had, the ones that she threw out six months previous to my wearing them. She hates being made to feel stupid and guilty about things and reacts badly to that. She is quite prepared to talk academically about cross-dressing and, indeed, me cross-dressing. Before we moved, when she mentioned she knew what I had in my bag? She was fine with that, right? She just felt I should use my bag. And it's not like I dress when she's around and she really doesn't want to know any details, and if I was really trying to hide it then I would have thrown the receipt away. It's not anything at all to do with her.

It worries her that I might pass it on to the Boy because I don't remember my formative years and it's perfectly possible that something happened to make me a transvestite. Maybe I saw my father buying female clothes or maybe I saw him dressed up or maybe... Anyway, I have to be careful, or I'll pass it on to my Boy. And saying that it could be down to genetics is like a way of absolving any blame or guilt from what is, still, socially unacceptable behaviour. There can't be any reputable scientific studies done on it because everyone has an agenda and so I can't trust anything they propose to explain it. After all, any such study could only be done on people willing to come forward and, she reckons, most people would not. Oh, and women can't cross-dress because it's socially acceptable for women to wear trousers now.


This was all actually coming out of her mouth. Two separate conversations. From a woman who is adamant that she was born bisexual (genetic) and that she has stopped being bisexual (choice).

Well, at least we're talking about it. I, uh, didn't manage to call her on any of this. Like I say, I was unprepared. So....

Does anyone have any studies I can read? I have researched it a bit already, but you're likely to have avenues I haven't considered or at least articles I haven't seen. Why are some people cross-dressers? (As opposed to all, not why are some subsets of cross-dressers cross-dressers).

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your difficulties. While I can offer no meaningful help, your story was fascinating and helpful to me as a reader.

    I would tend to agree with your wife that because of agendas, "studies" would be of dubious value, but I can assure her that I never saw my father purchase any women's clothing or ever wear any. Not even in costume. I don't recall ever seeing my father purchase any feminine clothing either. So I didn't catch it from that!

    But why I dress is unknown to me. As I think I wrote in an earlier comment, I believe the reasons are different now than when I was younger. Or at least the expression I'm striving for is different, even if the root is the same. As quickly as possible: adolescent was sexual exploration and replacement for an actual female partner; young adult was exploring the idea of actually being a pretty girl (I was a rather pretty young man) and experiencing that sexual power; and now it seems more an expression of self-humiliation and confirmation of my "failure" as a man.

    The virulent episodes occurring during adulthood always manifest from bouts of depression. I think the childhood and young adult acts were too. I was a misfit for most of secondary school; young adult dressing usually happened toward the end of relationships (which conveniently made a girlfriend's wardrobe available); and the worst older adult instances were deaths of parents.

    Crossdressing for me therefore seems to be about striving to feel different--to feel something--anything! So far, it's less destructive than drinking or drugs. In fact, it seems hard to imagine how it could ever be as destructive as either of those except that it's less socially acceptable, and the damage to reputation and standing might actually be worse.

    JL

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    1. Hi Jamie,

      I'm sad to hear that most of your experiences, generally and not just in cross-dressing, have been so negative. As a fellow school misfit and someone who never even had a girlfriend until I was 18 I very much feel where you're coming from.

      And yes, I agree with you on the idea that cross-dressing ought to be seen for what it is when used as stress relief: a damn' sight less destructive (arguably even positive) way of dealing with some pretty negative experiences.

      In solidarity,

      Joanna

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  2. Joanna, I've read this and your previous post several times and they've given me so many swirling contradictory thoughts that I found it hard to form any type of cohesive reply. I still don't think I can get all of my thoughts out, but one keeps ringing true and I just have to share it....

    While I applaud you wanting to have an academic discussion where facts are always sourced and backed up by research, but it seems that at some point you just have to take things at face value. You cross dress. Your cross dressing makes you happy and not doing so would make you un-happy. Your cross dressing doesn't hurt anybody that isn't trying to throw their own belief structure over you. Your son has a loving father and it shouldn't matter one bit how you dress around him. SHE may be embarrassed by your actions but that problem is fully her own and has no relationship to what you are doing or what your child is experiencing.

    What would happen if your son witnessed you shopping and/or dressing? The only thing I can come up with is that he would have an example of a kind, loving, and respectable person living their life as they see fit, even when that goes outside the lines of what many in society think is 'proper'. You know who else thinks outside of the lines? Artists. Engineers. Teachers. Successful Business people. Almost anybody who has had continued success in life has had to think outside of the lines.

    So again... what would your son think? Maybe he'd think that being bound by someone else's definition of 'normal' isn't something that he needs to conform to. And if the world had more people like that then I believe that we could all celebrate that bright wonderful future.

    /rant

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    1. I... agree...?

      Except that, as Tilly puts it, my cross-dressing is not something she can ever be 'okay'; with. It is something, as she says, I "won't stop" (note the phrasing) and "won't give up" or "change for [her]". Hence the studies angle. My own lack of memory of life before 4 means that I am unable to refute the suggestion that my own cross-dressing is, well, down to me. It could have come from my father (who had a few perverted habits if my mother is to be believed) or my mother (unknown) or my upbringing (dead younger sister - it has legs).

      If any of these are the case then what I do is a behaviour than can be modified, removed or given up. Also, my actions may actually affect my son.

      Hence, as I say, the need for a more academic discussion.

      I wish I could show my cross-dressing more. I am coming more and more to the conclusion that it is a big part, mayhap fundamental, of who I am. Tilly remains very much exorcised by the worry of having to explain anything like this to our children.

      I... I don't know any more.

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    2. I know this isn't completely black and white (hence discussing it in an academic way), but I keep thinking of a very extreme version of this; What if the issue wasn't her nonacceptance of your dressing, but her nonacceptance of someone's race or religion? Say she (and I am in NO WAY inferring she thinks this at all... this is just a thought exercise) doesn't like people of the Islamic faith. She thinks it's wrong to be that way, and since religion is a choice they are purposefully doing something to upset other people?

      In that example is the problem with the people of Islamic faith? Or is the problem with her? Many people would argue that your religious choice isn't a 'choice' at all, but I doubt there are many academic papers to back it up.

      As for how your actions may or may not affect your son... I think that only warrants serious discussion if you look upon cross dressing as bad. Sure, society certainly look upon it as a bad thing, but that doesn't make it so. I think even participating in that type of discussion is ceding that dressing in any way other than 'normal' is a bad thing.

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    3. Agreed. I know that merely having the discussion automatically legitimises Tilly's views on many things. And I realise that the discussions are happening on her turf, to her timetable (even though I have to push) rather than mine.

      Religion is an interesting one (and one fraught with chances to be specific and vague alike). Mayhap belief? Hmm.

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  3. Late to this one, Jo. Quite distressing, as I heard so many of these statements from my wife during the darker hours of the last few years. Tilly is being willfully ignorant, and I am certain that she would refuse any reading put before her.

    When I went down this road, I printed a bunch of things from the internet that I thought explained my feelings better than I could. A day later, they were returned to me, with highlighted passages. She had cherry-picked every negative mention, every instance of admitted selfishness, but bent not a whit in her views. A wasted exercise. Things are better now, of course, but it is six years (and several brushes with divorce) down the road,

    I can't think of anything that might change Tilly's mind. I am finally reading Helen Boyd's My Husband Betty, and I highly recommend it for you. She understands our mindset very well, without sacrificing the crucial natal woman viewpoint.

    Hang in there, girlfriend, and realize that Tilly will not allow you to sway her at this time. It just won't happen. She will put a negative spin on anything you volunteer, and say that it is all about protecting the Boy, not about her narrow-mindedness. There will be no fair fight.

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    1. I know you're right. So is Calvin.

      This is not a discussion. It is a litany. I know that. But me reading may help me phrase things better. I have heard of the book, I will look into it.

      I have just finished a book: The Wake. And it is brilliant. Totally unconnected, but brilliant.

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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!