March 24, 2012

A Young Crossdreamer's Tale

I got an email from an 18 year old crossdreamer a few days ago. I asked him for permission to publish it on this blog, as it describes how it may feel to be a crossdreamer in a clear and succinct way.

When we are alone with these feelings they may seem insurmountable. But the fact is that there are literally millions of men and women out there who have such feelings, and even more who fear being out of the norm. 

In fact, having studied gender and sexuality for quite some time now, I have come to the conclusion that most people are "abnormal" in one way or the other. Being rare is not rare and nature loves variation.

Note that this text contains some explicit language. To those of you who find that so offensive that you won't read it, I would say that you have lost the proper sense of perspective.

The life of Z

"Hello. My name is Z. I stumbled upon one of your blogs about a week ago. I read through articles and links for hours that day.

I can find no easy way to put this. I'm basically e-mailing you because you obviously understand the general situation I am experiencing. I thought typing this would be easier because I don't even know you AND we are from different countries but I find it almost impossible to even build up to say what I want to scream in my head.

I'm 18 and am trying to face my feelings. I'm in my last year of high school, I have an amazing fiancee, and some of the best friends I could ever ask for. I am estranged from most of my family but [has] the most supportive aunt. (...)

None of these things have any importance to you, I'm sure but they do help me come to what I want to say. 

Childhood dreams

"I have had these feelings as far back as being a small child, around 5 years old. I never cross-dressed (not until I after I met my beautiful fiance anyway), never had an interest in girly toys or anything like that. But I always thought about being a girl.

From early on I knew this was a taboo. Both my mother and step father taught me about sex and homosexuals and all that when I was still very small. They taught me being gay wasn't wrong and what mattered most was being happy. 

But my mother would always chime in that I would not be gay because I should like girls. So I identified anything not masculine as gay and my mother would not like that in my unceasing attempts to please her.

Well, at fifteen (and still today) I was comfortable with admitting openly that I was attracted to men as well, although there was always something about women that always seemed more alluring. I always said it was that men don't have tits. 

Suppressing the fantasies

"At this time I had also been able to push down all thoughts and fantasies as far in me as I could. But before long, I started to fantasize about it a little more each time. Me being the girl sometimes, breasts, vagina, and all.

I always hated myself after, but during I was in euphoria. After I was done I would always deny it, as it didn't fit in with my life (no surprise to this story so far I guess). I know that probably because of my up-bringing, I hated the idea that I somehow was attracted to being feminine, not just femininity. I thought I must be a freak, a fairy, someone who was destined to be one of those weird fat dudes that dressed like women and did bad things. 

Finding out about autogynephilia

"Anyway, I began looking online for mental illnesses or some condition that could explain how I felt. I looked at countless pages, until eventually a wikipedia article lead me to a theory about something called autogynephilia. When I learned what it meant, it made perfect sense, so logically I clicked out of it, cleared my recent history and pushed it out of my brain.

But eventually (last week to be exact) curiosity and my still returning urges convinced me to actually research some more it, specifically if there were anyone out there like myself. 

I thought it would give me relief. But now it seems like I opened fucking Pandora's Box. At this point, I feel like I don't even know who the hell I am anymore. It all just makes me want it more. I don't know how to bring this up to anyone.

Only my fiance (...), and friend (...) know about the cross-dressing habits, but they just think I'm a kinky guy. Well also later on I told them I stopped. And I did for a while, but I just couldn't stop myself. I feel like a slave to my desire and impulse and I'm not enjoying it at all. In terms of sexuality, I never gave a shit what people thought of me. But then I never considered that other side of me into the equation. 

Loving the roles of men and women

"Yeah I'm a big, strong guy and I like to fuck women. I like doing her like I own her and being the dominant guy. But I want to be fucked. Hard. To take it as a pretty girl with full breasts, shapely body, all of it. Giving oral too! It's really sexy and dirty.

It's gotten to the point where I even think of that during sex. I find myself wanting it so badly at times, and recently I feel increasingly uncomfortable about myself and who I am as a person. I'm usually a pretty confident guy.

My whole problem, and the reason why I ramble on about these things is I can find no other way to get it out off my chest. I can accept intellectually what my predicament is but emotionally, I can hardly tolerate it. It almost brings me to tears at times and I feel like, well a pussy.

I look in the mirror and most of the times I see me and sometimes instead I see what I lust to be me. And I like it. And I hate it. All this ambiguity is driving me up a wall. I thought maybe I'm schizo or something. 

What do do?

"But inside I know I'm completely sane and definitely competent to know that If I didn't do something soon, I'll go batshit. If I see a therapist (considering I can ever afford it) I fear that I might be driven down a road I can't turn back from.

If I come out to everyone, I'll just alienate myself. I'm trying to accept this about myself and live a normal life, but it's getting harder to do this.

I have many good things going for me right now, and this seems to be the only thing bringing me down.

I'm sorry this is so long and I hope it doesn't seem like I'm just dumping my problems on a random stranger. It's just for years I have kept this to myself, deep in me, but now it seems to want to burst out with full force. I thought the hardest thing about this would be typing it but now I'm procrastinating sending this. Perhaps one of my problems would be pride? Cause I feel like I've just about swallowed it by now. No pun intended. (...)"

My comment

I made the following preliminary response to Z:

"You are not wasting my time. I am in the exact same position like you, and know that we have to find a way to live with this. Actually, I know there is a way to live with this that does not entail changing your bodily sex. But there is no way around it: Being a crossdreamer is -- at times -- very hard.

You are not mad, by the way, and the fact that you can tell your own story in a clear and concise manner in the way you do, proves that. In fact, your email alone tells me that you have the resources needed to handle this. You are intelligent with the ability to love other people. That is a great basis for finding a way of handling all of this.

If I have learned one thing battling with this condition, it is this: Suppressing it, denying it or putting a lid on it won't work. I often use the term "inner woman" as a metaphor. There is some kind of psychological complex inside us that expresses itself as crossdreaming fantasies.

What that complex really is, we do not know, but it does exist. I believe it is transgender in one way or the other. Women are as sexual as men. To dream of having sex as a woman is transgender in my book, but as you correctly point out, it does not mean that you necessarily are a transsexual. (...)

Anyway: Since this "transgender complex" is an integrated part of your psyche, "she" will not be denied. I have come to the point now where I am beginning to accept "her", love "her" even, and at that point she becomes less intrusive and less obsessive.

It is too bad that you cannot afford therapy. Talking about this to an emphatic friend helps more than just writing about it, but discussing this online is much, much better than nothing. Besides, having compassionate and understanding friends makes a huge difference.

I wonder: Can I publish your email on my blog? I will be very careful anonymizing it, of course, but you may get some useful comments from other crossdreamers. Besides, there are many young crossdreamers out there who need to know that they are not alone."

From curse to asset

I would like to add one more observation in this post: 

Z is afraid that looking into this and going to a therapist will lead to some kind of avalanche of feelings that will make it impossible to return to normalcy.

A lot of crossdreamers fear this, and they do everything they can to keep the forbidden thoughts at bay. Among crossdressing this is known as "purging". Their despair leads them to gather up all their female clothing and throw it away. Then, after a while, when the "inner woman" reclaims her voice, they go out and buy a new attire.

The purging is caused by shame and the feeling that there is something wrong with your inner being. But this is the way Nature or God made us. I have so far found no sign of a cure for crossdreaming. But what I have found is that self acceptance and the acceptance of others make this much, much easier to bear. And when the guilt subsides, and the "other side" becomes an integrated part of your soul, crossdreaming may become an asset instead of a curse.

Advice for the young at heart

I wonder if I can ask my crossdreamer readers about some input regarding how to handle this firestorm of feelings. What have you done to cope with it all?

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!