February 13, 2013

Containment Failure

Six weeks into this whole crazy journey [Has it only been six weeks? Wow!] and I still haven’t found an equilibrium in my life. I thought I could ease gently into crossdressing, but it’s not working out that way. Instead, I’m starting to feel a little like I’m losing control of it.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I began by taking advantage of Sundays, the one day I’m alone in the house, to indulge in dressing. But very quickly, that wasn’t enough; and now I am actually spending the first hour of so of my day, while my wife and kids are still asleep, en femme. I wake up at 5am, and in the basement, in the dark, I’ve begun putting on my women’s clothes. I spend that first hour eating breakfast, catching up on the news, and ironing my work clothes … all partially or fully dressed, before I force myself to strip down for a quick shower and then off to work. It’s almost compulsory. I wake up, I go downstairs, and I slip into a skirt.

My wife knows about my dressing, but I’ve still kept it hidden from her; and I’ve been lucky so far, in that there’s been no early wake-ups, so no child or wife out of bed at 5:30 and catching me dressed. But I know that, by doing it when they’re in the house, I’m pushing my luck. There’s going to be an uncomfortable moment in the near future. But I can’t help it; it’s something I need when I wake up in the morning.

And then there’s my nails and my hair. I have not cut either since the day I decided to start this. My hair is shaggy but can be slicked back; on the other hand (or hands! <rimshot!>), my nails are now at about the outer extent of what would be considered socially acceptable for a man. I’ve been trying to keep them neatly filed, but they’re still something I can’t hide at work. At this length I might be looked at as a little eccentric, but I can work that into my professional persona. [The gloss nail hardener I’ve been keeping on them might be a little more of a stretch.] No one has said anything yet, and I don’t know how I will respond when they do. But I can’t bring myself to clip them. I like them this long. There’s a part of me that wants to let them keep growing!

Add to that my now mostly constant underdressing and my subtle addition of a few feminine items to my casual wardrobe, and I just don’t know what my new normal is anymore. It seems like dressing is slowly creeping into all the gaps in my life, all the moments I have to myself, all the nooks and crannies where I can do it without anyone noticing or commenting or judging. It’s insidious but invigorating; invasive yet necessary; both wonderful and terrible.

I’m seeing a therapist for the second time on Monday, and I’m hoping to bring this up with her. Because it’s really starting to feel uncontrollable. It’s straining at the very edges of the container I’ve been trying to keep it in, and it’s beginning to leak out into my real life. That puts me at risk of exposure … and that scares the Hell out of me.

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  • Just some thoughts, if I might. About your nails, I had someone make more than a few snide remarks about mine and I told her I my wife liked them that way. It’s great for back scratching! It hasn’t stopped her from commenting, but it makes her look like a whiner when she does. She also made some remarks about my hair, (I’ve let mine grow out too),asking when I was going to cut it. I told her when it reaches my ankles! Which made another coworker laugh out loud.

    You can defuse these situations with a little honesty wrapped in humor. It makes you seem like a good sport and the other person looks silly for making a big deal out of nothing.

    As for dressing… I think under dressing is a good idea, it gives you a real foundation to stand on when you can’t be full femme. Also, finding a few small items of jewelry you can slip under the radar is sure to help too. If someone says anything, just tell them you lost a bet with your wife. Happens all the time and most people will do little more than tease you about it.

    Best wishes,


  • Good luck with the therapy. I found it a waste of time as it was geared up for homosexuals and transgender and I am neither of them – so I hope you get more success. What I would suggest is trying some online game worlds like Second Life where you can be a female without letting others know, that may be enough to let you express that side of you and help you understand who you are inside. It worked well for me and I owe my Second Life avatar my life for she did quite literally save me and help me find myself. Klaire is and always be the sister who held my hand and showed me how to dress and be feminine without ever having to give up on being a man. She is key to the success I now have.

    • I’m putting my trust in this therapist for now. She seems open and competent, and she gives me someone I can talk to face-to-face about this stuff. I don’t have anyone else right now that’s not on the other end of a keyboard.

      Regarding Second Life: I joined the game maybe five years ago, did the whole “create a female avatar” thing. I enjoyed the initial creation, but quickly found the game difficult to navigate socially. I wasn’t able to log in regularly enough to maintain any friendships, and groups / islands / etc. seemed to disappear quickly. Plus, at the time I was in big denial mode so there was always this shame to going about pretending to be a woman.

  • I think I understand what’s going on. When you talk with the therapist, talk about the addiction aspect ~ she’ll understand that and probably be able to help you cope and maybe throttle back a bit.

    You’re coming off a diet. No, a fast. You’ve wanted some food for a long time and now that you can eat again you want it ALL. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but any time one is out of control it can be bad.

    And you really need to curtail your morning activity. You Will Be Caught. Imagine the conversation you’ll have to have when that happens. I think having conversations about dressing is important but it’s best to have it on your schedule, not on someone else’s.

    • As always, thanks for your insights, Meg. I suppose that “addicting” is one way to describe how I’ve been feeling lately. “Obsessive” might be another. I do think that part of it is simply that, even though I’ve “come out” to the wife, I’ve still not really “let it out.” It’s still confined to my time, myself, alone. I’ll definitely mention your take to the therapist when I see her.

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