March 24, 2011

Isobelle's Story

One of the great things about the new crossdreamer discussion forum is that it helps crossdreamers understand that they are not alone. "There are others out there that fantasize about being the other sex!" That revelation can bring so much relief!

Even if I have published quite a few life stories here already, I am not going to make a habit out of republishing Cross Life stories at Crossdreamers.com. However, I had already made a deal with Isobelle on presenting her story before the launch of the forum.

Maybe it can serve as a gateway to Crossdream Life.

Jack

ISOBELLE'S STORY

Hello there. My name is Isobelle, well, at least that is the name I have chosen for my online female self. I was born male, still live day to day as one, but I have serious questions and concerns if that is what I’m supposed to be. I am transgendered and a crossdreamer as Jack so brilliantly puts it.

I also most likely fit the definition of a transsexual as well, in that I do wish to alter my body to that of the gender I feel I should be, but I’m not sure given circumstances and the current way of things in my life, if transitioning is in my future. But nonetheless, here is my story thus far.

Childhood

I don’t remember much of my childhood, only bits and pieces. I suppose you could classify it as an average boy’s childhood, but I know I was different from the start. I was born with a full head of dark curly hair, something that to this day my mother brags about. She loved it so much that I rarely got hair cuts as a kid. I never seemed to mind though. It even got long enough that people who did not know me seemed to mistake me for a girl quite often.

I remember one such instance, I was with my mom, I was little, maybe 4, and this woman approached her and told her what a pretty little girl she had and what lovely hair she had. My mother was quick to correct her, but both women agreed that I did have lovely hair. At that age you don’t quite yet understand differences between genders, so I never really thought much of it.

I kept the longer hair throughout most of my grade school days. It varied in length, never longer than shoulder length, but always longer than any of the other boys I went to school with. I think even at one point I had a mullet. Gimme a break, it was the 80’s, haha.

I do remember something that really sticks out to me. I don’t know how old I was, possibly 7 or 8, but I remember taking a shower and I saw my mom’s razor for shaving her legs in the shower. I had seen her use it before and got curious. I tried shaving my legs. Of course I didn’t hold the razor right and ended up cutting my leg pretty good. I was bleeding and had to call my mom. She rushed in and saw the blood and panicked, quickly soaking up the blood and cleaning my leg. It wasn’t that bad, more like a paper cut the length of one’s calf, but it bled pretty good.

She did ask me what happened and I did tell the truth. She didn’t seem too concerned that her son was caught shaving his legs. All I remember her telling me was that the razor was dangerous and very sharp and that I should not play with it. Again, something I never put much thought into, but it is there, part of my past.

I remember the most about 4th grade. It was when I realized I was different, that I was not like the other boys. The hair was one thing, but something in me said I was different. I still fit in though; I was among the popular kids and had made quite a few friends. 4th grade was like the peak of childhood in terms of happiness. I had friends, I was happy, and yet I was still different, but I was accepted even with that. However my life took a drastic change following my 4th grade year.

Pre-teen Years

Between 4th grade and 8th grade junior high I went to six different schools. My parents decided to move because the area we were living in was becoming not so desirable to raise a family in. Plus we needed a bigger house as our family was growing. However my parents experienced some hard times and we had to move quite a bit during that time.

Moving from school to school was hard for me. I’m slow to make friends, so everytime I start to make new ones, we would move again. I really began to realize I was not like the other boys, although I could not understand why. During this time I began to get bullied at the schools I went to. They picked on me because I was different. I tried and wanted to fit it, but I could not.

This is the time when puberty begins to happen. I felt so much on the outside, distanced from the other boys during this time. They would talk about things, say things, things about girls, things about glorifying their own male parts. All things I did not understand.
I tried making things up to get in on their conversations, but whatever I said always felt awkward to me, even if I was saying pretty much the same thing the other boys were saying. I knew I was lying to myself, saying those things, but I did it anyway.

I wanted friends. I felt I was supposed to be a boy so I sought out other boys to be friends with. I tried all that I knew to fit in. I even cut my hair, the shortest it has ever been. I had a boy’s haircut, I tried to talk like the other boys, tried as hard as I could to act like the other boys, but nothing worked. I was still vastly different. I didn’t know why either. But I got picked on for being different. It never got really violent, but I got called plenty of names. All your typical junior high names meant to emasculate and humiliate.

The worst one of all though, was the female version of my male name. That one hurt the most because I was trying so hard to be male, to be like the other boys, to be the gender I thought I was supposed to be. Being called [female variation of male name] destroyed my strength in myself. I could not understand why they would call me such when I thought I was like them.

They saw somebody who was like them and the reason I think they chose girl’s names was because no matter what I tried, it was just not in me, my very being does not know how to act like a male because it was not supposed to be one. I think that is why everything was so foreign to me, so hard to understand. That is the reason why I cannot just take my male name and use the female version of it for myself, there is just too much pain in that name, too many bad memories, too many tears.

Now during this time I did not really notice girls in a sexual attraction way. Which most likely added to my confusion because all of the other boys were into girls and I really showed no interest at all. I mean yeah, I did notice girls, but it was more of a difference in gender kind of notice.

This is the time period when I first began dressing. I loved the feelings I had when I wore the clothes. I don’t know what really made me try it though. It was like something I did out of nowhere, I just had to know what it felt like to wear women’s clothing. Something inside me drove me to try it, something that to this day I don’t know why. But I did it, it happened.

I loved every moment I was dressed, I took every opportunity I could get to dress. When I had the clothes on, something just felt right about it, but when I took the clothes off the feeling was different. I always had the after thoughts to what I did. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I never told my parents of any of my feelings or about dressing, I never told anybody. I had this fear that I would not be accepted, that they would tell me I’m wrong or that something is wrong with me. I did not want to face that pain, there was already enough in my life.

I also remember during these years that I this strange attraction to seeing men or male characters crossdressing. Things such as skits on comedy shows such as SNL or other TV shows, movies, and even cartoons. I liked seeing Bugs Bunny in drag. I also liked watching The 3 Stooges skits where Curley had to play a woman for some reason or another. I just remember liking those themes more than any other in those shows.

High School

Basically my high school years were a continuation and evolution from my past to this point. I was still picked on, made fun of, called names, and generally harassed by the bullies still. Although in high school I became a bit more bold. I would try to stand my own ground against them. It still never got all that violent, although on two occasions it almost did, but most of the time it was just an exchange of words.

Standing my ground was something I felt I had to do. I was sick of the name calling. I was sick of being picked on. I’m pretty sure though if any altercation had actually broke into a fight, I would have totally lost and been injured pretty good. But my standing up did prove effective. By the end of high school the bullying and name calling were pretty much gone. I was still different though and nowhere near fitted in with the popular crowd, but at least there was less pain and stress.

My dressing continued all throughout high school. I still kept it secret, never told a soul. I still had these feelings like I was doing something wrong in dressing. But from dressing, my feelings grew. During high school I remember having many day dreams about swapping bodies with the girls in my high school. I would fantasize about being in their skin, my body having female characteristics. I would fantasize often about having a female form.

In high school I began to develop an attraction to the female form. It was not a big attraction, say not as much as your typical high school guy who loved to brag about how many times he banged his girl over the weekend, but an attraction nonetheless.

I still remember my first dance with a girl. It was very special to me because I was attracted to her, although it was more of an attraction to who she was and not to her body. Sex was virtually never on my mind in high school. I can only remember on one occasion did I have a dream that got intimate. It was nothing very graphic, but I did dream about her topless and we were in the back seat of a car for some reason kissing and stuff. The actual sex part was never in the dream.

Around girls I was shy though. But then again I was shy around anybody. I never felt confident in myself. During this time I began to put on weight. But it was not all fat, as my body developed, I developed a good amount of muscle mass as well. Because of this I did end up becoming one of the stronger kids in my gym class as evidenced because we had to do weight lifting several times and our max out in bench press was taken a few times.

Despite my lack of physical appearance, I always managed to be in the same weight lifting group as the highest fit athletes. I felt a sort of acceptance because of this. Men do tend to pride themselves on physical strength. Although I would not say I had much pride in this, but I did like the little bit of acceptance.

There is one thing that happened during my high school years, actually happened very early, say freshman year, possibly even earlier, like 8th grade. I remember I had times where I would look at a man and look at his crotch area. I would look and try to picture his penis. Much like how a man would look at a woman’s breasts. I can remember times when I would just sit and stare, trying to picture in my mind what was hidden by his pants.

I tried so hard to suppress these thoughts. I was not gay, I did not think I was, and I did not want to be gay either. Although I do remember asking myself “Am I gay?” At the time I asked that question because I was looking at guys differently, particularly envisioning their penises, and combined with the dressing and fantasizing about having a woman’s body, it just seemed like the right question to ask myself. I always said no though.

Post High School/ College

Things changed greatly for me after high school. I think one of the biggest things for me was my discovery of online pornography. Given the attraction to the female form I had and combined with my wanting to have that form, I virtually became obsessed with looking at porn. I looked at it almost daily, however I didn’t always relieve myself to it. I was aroused by it, but I was more curious. I studied the female form, the clothing they wore, poses they made. It did not take long for me to find transgender erotica on the internet. I was fascinated by it. I had found something catering to the very thoughts I carried within me.

I became particularly fascinated by TG captions. I’m not much of a reader, so they were short and accompanied by an erotic image. I loved them. However, I still repressed all of this. I still thought that something was wrong with me for getting so aroused and attracted by this material.

During this time period I tried reinventing, or really trying to discover, the image of myself that I show the rest of the world. Instead of embracing the feminine things I enjoyed in private, I went the opposite direction and tried to present myself as masculine as possible. I had been listening and worshiping heavy metal for over 10 years at this point, so I looked to that style of masculinity as my starting point. I already had the long hair, past shoulder length at this point, but I felt I needed to do more.

I began working out, developing muscle tone. I decided to grow a beard, a big one, because to me that was an ultimate sign of a man who’s truly a man. My fashion sense changed as well. I dressed to fit the part of a male metalhead. My attitude and even personality changed. I tried harder than ever before to act like a dude, one of the guys.

It was actually working to my surprise. I began gaining more friends than ever before. And while it felt good to be accepted, I was not entirely happy. I was dressing more often than before. I began obsessing over having a woman’s body. I would take images of women, typically pornographic in nature, and photoshop my head or face onto their body. I would then relieve myself while looking at this image, imagining myself as her.

The more masculine that I tried making my outer appearance and the more masculine I tried acting and thinking, the more I would find myself obsessing over having a woman’s body. I was even having sexual fantasies about being a woman. Whenever I would look at or watch porn, I always pictured myself as the woman.

Realizations

There came a point where I finally broke down. This came around the time I dropped out of college. Everything in my life just seemed to be falling apart. I really sat down and started thinking about who I was, who I was becoming, and for the first time really questioning why I had such an attraction in seeing myself as a woman. I didn’t have the courage to talk to anybody about this, so to the internet I went. I didn’t dive head first in, I took it slow. Slowly I began to realize things. I began to feel less and less shame and the feeling of wrongness when I would think of myself as a woman or when I would dress.

I think the biggest part at this stage of my journey was in early 2009 I began opening myself up to the internet world. I started making TG captions of my own because I wanted to experiment and see what exactly was in my head. I wanted to see if I liked what was there. I didn’t restrict myself and I explored many things through making captions. I learned what drove me sexually the most. And that is being a woman and being sexual with a man.

But I wanted to know more. I was intrigued at what I was finding. I began learning a lot about transgenderism, transexuality, and autogynephilia. I think the most important thing was I kept my mind and heart open to everything I was learning. The more I read into this stuff, the more I realized this describes the things I have experienced in my life. My attitude and personality began to change again as I made these discoveries.

I didn’t care about being masculine and that it was actually causing me pain to go at it in the degree I was pursuing it. I stopped working out, although I continued to lose weight, and I shaved off that beard. I realized I was changing because I would get people who had not seen me in some time tell me that I seemed like a different person.

To the Present

Through my personal online research, much much thinking, and talking to others online I came to the conclusion that I am indeed transgender. I know there is much more than a sexual aspect to me wanting to be a woman too. I have a jealousy towards women, of the clothes they wear, the way they walk, the way they can wear their hair, the bodies they have. I have pains looking in the mirror and seeing a male. I’ll often try moving my body in a feminine manner in front of the mirror and I better like what I see.

I have stopped restricting my thoughts of being a woman to only times where I knew I was alone or when I dress. I have in a sense, freed my inner woman. I no longer have any shame at all when I dress or have the thoughts that I do. The shame is long gone, replaced by this wondrous happy feeling. All in all I am a much happier person now that I am in greater touch with my core identity that has been hidden away for so very long.

Don’t get me wrong though, I still get depressed and down. The fact that I know my inside is not in congruence with my outside really hits me hard sometimes. It was in these down times that I came to the conclusion that I really do wish I were a woman, and not just for sexual reasons. I began looking back at my past and seeing all of what I just wrote. My whole life I’ve been trying to be a boy, be a man, be male, but it never works because I don’t know how to be that. I try acting feminine or thinking that way and it just seems natural. It makes me happy too.

So that brings to me to “What does my future hold?” Well to be quite honest, I have no clue. I do plan on seeing a therapist when I can afford it. I have been on the career path looking for a better form of employment. I cannot do much of anything on my current income. But I want to see a therapist to get sort of a professional guidance as to what I can do and where I can go from here.

I don’t know yet if transitioning is something on my path for certain. I know in my heart I want to but I’m also trying to keep the big picture of life in mind too. There are many variables in that decision. That is some of the reason too for wanting to see a therapist, so I can talk with a professional and perhaps better organize my thoughts and feelings so that the answer becomes more clear to me.

The photo is from photos.com. It does not depict Isobelle and is only included for illustrative purposes.

3 comments:

Isobelle Nichole said...

I thank you for posting it Jack. I originally wrote that for this, but I also felt it was a good introduction to myself to be used at Crossdream Life.

Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

From reading the forum we can see that many people tell that they have mental troubles = borderline, schizophrenia, Asperger...

These troubles can not come from rejection linked to AG, can't they ?

Jack Molay said...

To anonymous.

There are three options, I guess:

1. Some of these mental problems can be caused by (or strengthened by) social isolation and repression. There is much disagreement as regards to what extent borderline or asperger can be caused by social pressure or if they are purely biological.

2. The said mental illnesses can cause gender dysphoria. This is very unlikely, as most crossdreamers are not schizophrenic, borderline or have asperger.

3. There is some kind of genenetic or hormonal correlation between crossdreaming and the said mental illnesses. For instance, a genetic or hormonal combination that causes transgender conditions are also -- statistically speaking -- more likely to cause these mental illnesses.

The fact is that we do not know. What we do know is that our condition cannot be reduced to these mental illnesses. There is too much variation among transgender and crossdreamers for that to be true.

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