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This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

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Friday, 20 July 2012

My addiction and my wife pt3

Almost the anniversary of the events that brought me to therapy and to posting this blog.  And what do you know, quite by accident, Tilly and I ended up having a discussion about my cross-dressing and things surrounding it.

That's as may be, but it's not terribly helpful.
My whinging and bitching on here led me to state a few things to her and this developed into a holding forth from me about my lack of comprehension of the anger that she has shown toward my habit since I brought it up.  I tried to explain why I did not understand her angry response.  I didnb't want to go into things too much as I respected her decision not to talk about it but, at the same time, I explained my bafflement with the questions that she asked to which she already knew the answer and wanted me to state it but was uninterested in my continuing.  Tilly explained that she felt that my usual lie, for it was a lie, was rather convincing so that she ended up doubting what she was seeing or finding.  She explained that she was worried about that ability of mine.  I pointed out that this was down to my own respecting of her decision to not know or want to know about my cross-dressing or anything associated with it.  Tilly then explained that if she did anything that elicited the amount of anger and incomprehension that my cross-dressing did in her then she would give it up.  She used the example of her drinking.

It's-a me-a.
I then pontificated a little.  When we started going out there was an argument after going to a club in which I challenged some of her more stupid angry assertions with some angry ones of my own.  It was this event that prompted her to give up drinking to excess, over time.  I said that I had made a mistake in that exchange and that now, if there was something like that, I would first trry to understand why she did it.  To be honest I miss that part of her, it was irritating at times but it waspart of who she was when I met her and I fell in love with her faults as much as her strengths.  I wasn't quite so eloquent with it when talking, but I made the point that if there was something she was doing that I didn't like then I would first seek to ask her why she did it.  Partly because I love her and want to learn more about her and partly because I'm a nosey-parker.  I then explained that this was the reason why I did not follow her angry reaction: I had been as open as I could manage with her and had been waiting for her to talk about it.  Last July we had started to talk about it and so I was a little taken aback when she entered angry mode and the conversations stopped.

Yes, both cross-dressing and alcoholism
lead to broken homes and domestic abuse.
Heavy sarcasm.
Tilly then explained that she thought my cross-dressing was a historical activity, something I had done in the past and then given up.  I spoke of it in the past tense - I agreed and pointed out that unless I was actually dressed then, yes, all examples would be past tense - and she assumed that meant it was not going on.  She felt I had been keeping it from her and if I was capable of that then I was capable of really hurting her.  She likening cross-dressing to alcoholism or smoking.  I pointed out that the analogy was flawed - alcoholism and smoking are both objectively deterimental to health both mental and physical and directly affect people other than the one afflicted with the addiction.  As far as I know cross-dressing is neither directly harmful to the person who practices it nor does it directly affect those who know the person carrying out - all the moreso if it were done in private and in secret.

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.
At this Tilly was visibly shocked.  She said that she probably deliberately misinterpreted what I said as she didn't want to hear it or understand it.  She did not remember it being written down - I pointed out that I had discussed it with her at the time and then had not mentioned it since as she said she didn't want to talk about it.  I also reminded her of the time she had been to her own therapist about it, asked what she had learned and when told she couldn't really remember reminded her that she had asked for space before discussing my cross-dressing again.  I was still giving her that space and respecting her want to not know - that meant my first port of call was to avoid direct answers to questions connected to my cross-dressing.  Tilly accepted this.  I pointed out that I would still wait, that I did want to share it all with her.  She remains one of five people, including my mother, who have been specifically told about my cross-dressing by me and only one of three who have been told without me having plausible deniability later on.  One of the others was Toby and the other was Catherine.  I also said that I would probably be waiting until I died, I understood that, but I would still wait.
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?

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