January 6, 2011

The spiritual life of a crossdreamer

Here's another crossdreamer email I would like to share with you. Anonymous 32 does in no way deny the difficulties with being a crossdreamer, but he also points to spiritual and religious side of having a strong inner woman.

I can relate to this. For me this journey of self discovery definitely has a religious side to it.

Jack

Anonymous 32 writes:

'Honestly I wish I didnt have this "autogynephiliac" deal, as it has wrecked my life, but also made it quite interesting. A double edge sword!!!!...

The "interesting" part is that I am more in tune and aware with myself and surroundings. Quite sensitive to everything going on. Its made me tap into art, meditation, music, painting, etc. To appreciate a beautiful day, to love, to be, to seek the inner worlds of meditations and to see if there really is Enlightenment and a God.

Its gotten me closer to the handful of women I have dated in the past and they always commented that I'm quite different from all the other guys.

The "wrecked" is that it became soooo bad it led to tons of cross dressing, secretly buying womens clothes and accessories, I've slept with men while "dressed", I've lusted and craved for men sexually, left a high school sweetheart because I felt I wasn't "right" mentally, have taken female hormones off and on for years and now have to "hide" a set of A cups when summer arrives.

From my Catholic and Christian up-bringing I've felt like I'm condemned to hell for what I've done, like a lost soul, a slave to these fantasies and lusts!!!! Some times for a week or two I plan out how to go through full time hormones, hair removal, and transition into living full time. Then when it fades away, I hate myself for it and feel perfectly fine to be a guy attracted to women and having a crush on Scarlett Johanson (the actress).

Through the decades (32 now), I've studied alot of psychology, philosophy, religion, Jung, Psychotherapy, ETC all in my free time. Hundreds of books!!!. Have even been told by a psychic that i have existed here before as a woman in a past life, a man before that, and have reversed roles for quite some time.

But what seems to me to be the case is that its as if there are 2 of me. The male part and the "want-to-be female" part. These 2 clash all the time. Its been my life-long warfare of me against myself. Because of this "condition" I have opted to live single for the past 8 years, trying my best to be celebate, and to resolve these two identities but the resolution seems like an impossible fantasy!

I would love to have a girlfriend, to be in love with her and her with me, to have a normal life and to not have this come up anymore. But it still does and all the psychologists and gender specialists in the world can't help me with this. But I guess this is what makes me unique, different from everyone else.

I understand men and women from the inside out and it is like I am both at the same time. However my deepest yearning is to just Be, to have peace from all this, to cease with this back-and-forth identity tug of war. Its taken up so much of my life, energy, health, relationships, and normality and is a daily struggle that I contend with.

I just wanted to give you my take on it. I seem to be an extreme case of this condition whereas many people just keep it to the realm of mental fantasy. For me it has transformed into such a big deal and huge life dilemma. The fantasy part is just the start, the gateway drug if you will.

Although I have crossdressed since I was 4-5, I can link it to a certain event. When I was 4 years old in the early eighties, my parents let my hair grow quite long as was the style back then. My father was an alcoholic and I remember one incident while drunk, where he grabbed me and forced french kissed me. I immediately fought against this with disgust by trying as hard as my 4 year old muscles would allow, to push away from him.

But by then the psychological damage was done. I was not aware at the time, but following that event, the curiosity into mommies clothes, pantyhose, maxi-pads, lipstick began. Finding my first porn mag by 7-8, I immediately found myself identifying with the females in the mag and their body parts.

Anyway, that just to say that while I have found a reason for me having this condition, it doesn't change the fact that I have it. I wish I didn't, but I do and the battle continues on.

On another note, I have gotten deep into the study of ego, eastern philosophy, Advaita Vedanta, and Dzogchen. It seems to be that the ego is an illusion, simply said its just the thought "I".

I have experienced this in meditations, that I am an Illusion in real what is left over is the Isness of all things at once.

Either way, I wonder if having thoughts/fanatasies while aroused with lust, doesn't in some sort of mystical way charge these fanatasies with sexual magnetism and therefore giving them more power over a person. Sexual energy is a huge topic in religion and philosophy and is said to be extremely powerful. Its just something I wondered about.

14 comments:

Jamiegottagun said...

"to resolve these two identities but the resolution seems like an impossible fantasy!"

There really isn't any resolution; just acceptance.

"I am both at the same time."

"From my Catholic and Christian up-bringing I've felt like I'm condemned to hell for what I've done, like a lost soul, a slave to these fantasies and lusts"

You are both at the same time. Unfortunately, that kind of religious background, which accepts no such thing, leaves you no room to be who you are.

32 is still very young. Even with out this, you are just on the verge of discovering WHO you are. With time, as the illusions that society has planted in your head begin to fade away and be replaced with actual experience, it will get easier.

It does get easier. If you allow yourself to be yourself, and quit JUDGING yourself according to the standards the rest of the world wants to PRETEND apply to everyone.

Catholicism is such a poisonous philosophy for anyone who varies from the norm. It took me almost 40-years to get over my own being a Cathoholic.

Hang in there. Keep an open mind. Remember, as much as it seems that everyone else is "normal," you have no idea what demons they are battling with.

Everyone has demons. Some are much worse than ours.

I'm using "demons" in the philosophical sense, not the literal one.

It can be a "gift" too. It just depends on your viewpoint. And while you can't change the world, one can always change their viewpoint.

James said...

"Anyway, that just to say that while I have found a reason for me having this condition, it doesn't change the fact that I have it. I wish I didn't, but I do and the battle continues on."

I seriously don't think that this single event could have made you identify with the feminine so strongly. Lots of totally masculine men may also do drag or do crossdressing only for a bit of fun without feeling way feminine and wanting to take hormones.
If you do have a feminine or androgynous gender inside, this is bound to happen regardless of whether you really ever had long hair or not.

Sean said...

Well first the fact is that you do have two identities it shouldn't be a fight against the two but they should work together. You pointed out that it makes you different from other guys because you have a more feminine side and that helps you get in touch with Women better.

You really just have to learn balance, how to be a women and a man. It might be good to have a girlfriend or at least someone who could help you with your fantasizes that you trust.

As for the spiritual side i think that looking it too that side is great because it allows you to explore more of yourself. And don't allow your beliefs to overwhelm you in Catholicism if you are different your doomed and people aren't always textbook cases. Made your own beliefs and follow them.

Sarah Murphy said...

I shared with a good friend of mine who I've known for years my recent "discoveries". I said, "There are really 2 ways I can handle this, I can either despise it or deal with it." His response while unexpected seemed to fit rather well.

"This is something you should embrace."

There are some really good responses to this. A common thread I see (and I will echo) is that these two sides can coexist in harmony with each other.

Speaking from personal experience, I fought many of these "demons", both internally and dogmatically. For years I tortured myself mercilessly. Eventually I realized that this was something I was born with and wasn't going away. Once that happened I began to find an inner peace I was hoping to find where this was concerned. It didn't happen all at once but it happened.

In dealing with the "religious" aspect of this, I think I can share some of what I found to be helpful in my faith journey. Like most, I come from a Christian based background. As I studied further I quickly noticed there is often times a big chasm between those who claim the religion and the person whose name is the basis of that religion. Many a condemnation begins with the phrase, "If they were a good Christian...", I'll let you fill it in from there.

You mention your studies of various faiths in search of answers that you hope will make sense to you. Any good theologian will tell you that many of these faiths all worship the same God, they just give him different names. With that in mind, I have found a very simple theology to wrap up the faith part of this.

God knew full well what he was doing when he made us, and he loves us unconditionally.

There are a lot of guys out there that have a feminine side to them. The very rare of us have a female side. This is a wonderful gift to be cultivated and cherished. You will be a great friend and companion to a really lucky gal someday. I am sure you already have a great sense of style. You seem intelligent and well read.
You are not the only one in this big wide world that feels like this, though you may have felt this way before finding your way here.

There are many many things I could think of that are much worse than what we deal with. This is a variation on a purely natural desire. Just because it's a variation doesn't make it a bad thing. It's time you stopped beating yourself up.

Sarah

Cheryl Sussex said...

Very good posting. If the person who submitted this is reading the comments, I'd like to know the following:

What causes the AGP to fade away? Is it the use of hormones which then lower the T levels or is it the obsession just exhausts you and you simply give up?

What is the trigger for the AGP obsession to start up again? Is it simply seeing a pretty well dressed women?

What is the frequency of the starting and stopping? Are the times when it fades away getting shorter with age?

joe said...

May God Bless and keep you! And Jack, same to you, because this blog of yours is great, and is and has been a great help.

My therapist (who had transitioned herself) gave me the best thought ever – being trans is a gift. And it is. But dealing with it or any gift is complicated by everything…

I am 50, married for 23 years and a father of four. We are close to our wider families, and I have a business that I have worked hard at for about twenty three years. We live close to where both my wife and I grew up, and we have kept in touch with many friends and acquaintances since we were little.

And I have struggled with this gift, through years and years.

I could blame my struggles on being tg. But that elevates tg-ism to an outside status in my life…it is only one of the characteristics of me, a fully complete human, and my other characteristics complete the picture.

Losing ego as the eastern religions (grouping them loosely) hold, according to my understanding, is precisely the opposite philosophy I believe we should have. God calls on us not to submerge ego in his One-Ness—but rather to live as fully and completely within us as humans and with the holder of all the dignity and individuality that God has given us – He has created us in His Image and with forethought – “before you were in the womb, I Knew you.”

My advice to you – and I can guess at your back-story, full of tragedy and tears – is not to elevate trasgenderism to any sort of outsized importance. I create many problems for myself based on many issues I may have had and have, but to put all them down to the fact that I stole my mom’s clothes when I was young, or my brother may have abused me when young, or I had many vicious experiences, isn’t quite right – at some point, I chose to change my thinking from “why I am this way and it is torturing me” to “Dear Lord, you have given me this gift for a reason – like good hair or eyesight – how can I use it?” BE-ing tg is one of my full and complete human gifts.

So now, at the age of fifty, and for the past seven years, I have worked at reconciling my tg-ism – my gift – with my life. It gets a little easier as one ages I think for biological and other reasons –the experience and perspective an older person gets is important. And I have worked hard to sustain and grow our marriage, our kids, our wider family and my business which has been hard and difficult but is above all an accomplishment – and I have taken comfort in that accomplishment too – because it is a good one.

I can’t personally transition now – too many disruptions. But I recently started on hormones (if only for a little while, a kind of “Flowers for Algernon” scenario, because I can’t have permanent breasts, but it is fun fun fun!) I also dress more gender neutral – which, since we live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, almost becomes a soccer mom look. I make jokes with just about anyone about my softer nature -- and becoming a soccer mom type now.

My entire appearance may transmit tg – or maybe as the kids say today gender queer – or maybe something entirely different (like this guy looks f’ed up.) But too bad for them – and there are enough people around me that I don’t really worry about the random thoughts from others.

One practical note -- I think Jack and others are onto something big when they say that appearance – the odd feeling of looking in a mirror and being disrupted by what you see – leads to many issues, consciously or unconsciously - for the tg’d person. So I changed my appearance to the soccer mom approach (even shaved my body hair – and joking about it to others – “because all the kids today do it”) to minimize that disruption as much as I can. And with today’s styles it’s not to hard to have some comfort level with your appearance all the time.

joe said...

May God Bless and keep you! And Jack, same to you, because this blog of yours is great, and is and has been a great help.

My therapist (who had transitioned herself) gave me the best thought ever – being trans is a gift. And it is. But dealing with it or any gift is complicated by everything…

I am 50, married for 23 years and a father of four. We are close to our wider families, and I have a business that I have worked hard at for about twenty three years. We live close to where both my wife and I grew up, and we have kept in touch with many friends and acquaintances since we were little.

And I have struggled with this gift, through years and years.

I could blame my struggles on being tg. But that elevates tg-ism to an outside status in my life…it is only one of the characteristics of me, a fully complete human, and my other characteristics complete the picture.

Losing ego as the eastern religions (grouping them loosely) hold, according to my understanding, is precisely the opposite philosophy I believe we should have. God calls on us not to submerge ego in his One-Ness—but rather to live as fully and completely within us as humans and with the holder of all the dignity and individuality that God has given us – He has created us in His Image and with forethought – “before you were in the womb, I Knew you.”

My advice to you – and I can guess at your back-story, full of tragedy and tears – is not to elevate trasgenderism to any sort of outsized importance. I create many problems for myself based on many issues I may have had and have, but to put all them down to the fact that I stole my mom’s clothes when I was young, or my brother may have abused me when young, or I had many vicious experiences, isn’t quite right – at some point, I chose to change my thinking from “why I am this way and it is torturing me” to “Dear Lord, you have given me this gift for a reason – like good hair or eyesight – how can I use it?” BE-ing tg is one of my full and complete human gifts.
...

joe said...

Sorry for the partial double post -- the last partial post is continued below -- ignore the first one because that too is a partial post -- I got so excited that I lost track of characters...

joe said...

...
So now, at the age of fifty, and for the past seven years, I have worked at reconciling my tg-ism – my gift – with my life. It gets a little easier as one ages I think for biological and other reasons –the experience and perspective an older person gets is important. And I have worked hard to sustain and grow our marriage, our kids, our wider family and my business which has been hard and difficult but is above all an accomplishment – and I have taken comfort in that accomplishment too – because it is a good one.

I can’t personally transition now – too many disruptions. But I recently started on hormones (if only for a little while, a kind of “Flowers for Algernon” scenario, because I can’t have permanent breasts, but it is fun fun fun!) I also dress more gender neutral – which, since we live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, almost becomes a soccer mom look. I make jokes with just about anyone about my softer nature -- and becoming a soccer mom type now.

My entire appearance may transmit tg – or maybe as the kids say today gender queer – or maybe something entirely different (like this guy looks f’ed up.) But too bad for them – and there are enough people around me that I don’t really worry about the random thoughts from others.

One practical note -- I think Jack and others are onto something big when they say that appearance – the odd feeling of looking in a mirror and being disrupted by what you see – leads to many issues, consciously or unconsciously - for the tg’d person. So I changed my appearance to the soccer mom approach (even shaved my body hair – and joking about it to others – “because all the kids today do it”) to minimize that disruption as much as I can. And with today’s styles it’s not to hard to have some comfort level with your appearance all the time.

I’ve lost concerns about where I fall on the spectrum. I am who I am – and created in the image of Him who declared that HE IS WHO IS to Moses. I am BE-ing. The concerns and tears that blocked me before have gone away. If some people look at me funny…well some people always do and did anyway. Now I am less sensitive to their concerns – just busy doing my thing, which the Good Lord has granted me. (And oddly enough it often turns out that what I see as their reaction to me has nothing to do with me – they may simply have been done in by bad food that day or some other event.)

Let’s face it. Despite all the tears and tragedies and wounds, some self inflicted, some not, we live better than 99.9999999% of the people that EVER lived. Why has God created you at this time – knowing everything about you? Not to gaze in a mirror. But to serve each of the others – and being tg allows you to do that in a unique and substantial way once you understand you need to control and balance it – just like any other gift you have been given.

Kallis said...

An englightening link:
http://anti-man-science.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

It is culture and conditioning of western world that actually causes one who is weak at heart to feel that they are opposite gender.

Being soft spoken is feminine? Not really. Stereo typing someone based on behavior as one gender or the other is foolish. I could be nurturing and caring on one day and less so on other days and battling for one-upping other guys on certain other days.

What more, assigning genders to colors is even more foolish and forcing(conditioning) someone (kids/adolescents) with a plain slate to THINK and BELIEVE they are not normal is a collective societal problem in the west. And poor individuals have so much hard time figuring out which "gender" they belong to and to "FIT in" is peril this country need to learn and come out of.

It is even more weird to write books and do psychoanalysis on those not conforming to society standards. It could be argued that doing psychoanalysis on the societal ways itself may be really the solution.

A mad guy will cease to be mad as soon as he finds strength in numbers of similar type.

King of anonymous said...

I have the same problem.

Now, at 36 years, I am in front of a dilema :

1) Relationship and love life with a girl and a more or less boring and eventually frustrating sex life with her

or

2) No relationship and no love and exciting, pleasant and sexual tension soothing sexual life with men I barely know and about whom I don't care

I like kissing, touching, smelling, caressing a girl's skin.

But I my fantasy is to see me as a sexy woman fucked by a hairy dick and I prefer receptive anal sex to any other form of sex.

The problem is that girls have no dick and that next to them I don't feel like a woman !

Iain Quicksilver said...

I have read that there is only one gender, the female. Maleness is a trope, a variation on the female designed to promote genetic diversity. Building on this in the light of my own autogynephilia, I hypothesize that there is a drive in males to return to the source, to be reabsorbed in their original femininity. This drive is usually suppressed by cultural conditioning, but circumstances can bring awareness of it to the surface in some males. We are of that number. That is my spiritual take on autogynephilia.

Jack Molay said...

@Iain,

This could definitely be an idea worth exploring. Many biologists argue that we all start out with a female biological blueprint.

The problem with this approach is that you will find it hard to explain the female to male crossdressers, crossdreamers and trans men. They are as real as the male to female ones are.