This world is about more than me, something that I am reminded of daily. Trying to put me into perspective is hard, difficult to say the least and never easy at all. What, who, am I? Ask me again tomorrow and the answer will be different if not a complete reversal of how I feel today. Why am I morphing through varying feelings is the topic of the moment.
Betty and I wrote our most recent article, and I knew that it would be tough for many to read. About that… as much as we want to find our center, our peace, our direction, in many cases we must contend with our relationship to others and what we are willing to sacrifice. However, as Betty points out, there are more people than us who may be required to sacrifice a portion of themselves. We all want the best for one another, and we all want (deserve) to find some happiness.
When there are no easy answers, it can be expected that we shelter our emotions in avoidance. The additional stress becomes its own problematic issue. I find myself in a cycle that I’m not sure is healthy emotionally or physically. The more I stress, the more I need Brina time. The more Brina time, the more questions I have and the more the stress is layered on, and the more… you see the self-increasing pattern.
About that… I have obligations and luckily, I don’t have spousal issues (which is another topic) to complicate my soul searching. I took care of my mother until her death and now watch my father’s decline. We share a house, him upstairs and me down. He can’t navigate the stairs, so I could be dressed a majority of the time if I wanted, only donning my male masquerade for the times needed to check on him. Instead, I find that I continue to follow my secretive patterns, waking early 4-5am, dressing (sometimes in makeup) until 8-9am, and then turning back into a male pumpkin. Why? As in why don’t I dress more or change the pattern? He’s asleep by 9pm and I could become Cinderella then.
I have some thoughts. The biggest conclusion is fear. I’m safe from potential discovery in the wee hours of the morning, not so at night. Somebody might stop by unexpectedly, or my father might have an issue that I need to tend to. That’s fear one, fear two is that adding more or changing it up might mean that I’m deciding on what life could soon be like. And that… is very scary. When my scapegoat is gone, what will I do? Is Brina only my stress relief or is she the answer. Ask me at 6 am and I know how I would respond, ask again at 4 pm and I begin wavering.
Am I being me in the mornings or just using it as a means to qualm the stresses in my life. Does it matter? I think so. I am a combination, and my life experiences have both shown and confirmed it, although I wasn’t cognizant of it early on. It’s kind of like buying coffee at the same time each morning at the same place… then they unexpectedly close down and a tea shoppe opens instead. During the closure, stress builds as you try to find a new place (that isn’t the same even if they use the same coffee brand) and hope grows when you know your favorite place was bought and going to reopen… and then… you’re stuck between the old and the new because they don’t have coffee, but the surroundings are familiar. Me… I adapted to a new place for coffee and found out that I enjoyed tea in the afternoon.
About that… this is our relationship to ourselves and to our families. Learning to accept change and truth is hard. When our spouse takes some of the burdens away that we carried internally we tend to explode into “Me time.” Betty reminds us that while being understanding, forgiving, and compassionate, wanting us to be happy, there is their happiness to acknowledge as well. I wonder what the percentage of hidden to open crossdressers in committed relationships is. The most prevalent reason for not telling when we entered a serious relationship is because we thought it (the relationship) would fix us and when it didn’t… the lesser of two evils… don’t tell. I’m not an advocate for either. If I found someone today, I would tell them upfront, the sooner the better. I most likely (if still in a relationship) wouldn’t and endure the stress and face the fallout if outed. My only reason for doing so; they didn’t sign up for it, and I would deserve whatever happens because of my avoidance. (Which it did come to a head in my first marriage). That failure and my second attempt, that also ended, but not because of being a CD—having made it all 7 years without physically dressing; mentally, it was always a fight, taught me that I needed to figure me out before starting a new relationship. Ten years and counting…
About that… I hate to say it, but I think I have a relationship with myself. Brina is very much the woman I might chase after… only she’d be shorter and much prettier… This has been ten years in the making. All the money spent on clothes and makeup, shoes, and jewelry, was me trying to find out who I am and what might be in a perfect world, or even an unincumbered world. My biggest fear for the future is who would be willing to accept both of us and the strong possibility that one may become much more dominate. That’s not even in contemplation of where I find my purpose in the world at large. The business I was once dedicated to is no longer, and I have to deal with my own limitations… age and hearing. I’m too young to stop, and I feel just as much need to contribute in a positive way. Being your Managing Editor is one of those ways. Sharing my personal feelings and thoughts is another.
When I say that I get it… I do, and so do a lot of us. The highs and lows of being who and what we are. The world looks at us through scrunched up faces and slit eyes, waving us away as if we are of little consequence. We are an exclusion to normality. They get (for the most part) being transgender and the allure of drag, us… not so much. We have been portrayed as deviant and comedic, although it is improving. They don’t buy into that women can wear what they want so why can’t we. Our challenge is to show kindness and bring others to an understanding of what it means to be a crossdresser, and that the term encompasses so much more than just wearing clothing of the opposite sex. The challenge is in getting them to see our humanity. I believe it starts within us. We have to accept and embrace ourselves first. Once we do, then we can begin to foster a better dynamic with others. What a future might look like when tolerance and respect is as easy as ordering off Amazon.
So… if any you have accepting wives with older sisters (or younger…) that are looking for someone uniquely special… send them my way…
Kidding… kind of…
About that… until next time. be kind to yourself and those you love, may the possibility of a beautiful spring be just around the corner… or in other parts of the world, may the winter be mellow and just as enchanting…
Awesome article Brina. I remember coming out way back and soon noticed that all of my time in the closet, was a waste of time. That being said I felt your dilemma of dressing whenever you can. I used to wonder why all don’t just “come out” and now I understand that some, simply wish to keep their lives and highlight it with their alter personality/ego-if you will. Thanks for the candid article Brina. As always it was great. Huggz Tia
Thank you for the kind sentiment! I’m not so sure that for me it is keeping my life as it is, not disrupting that life, and finding alternative ego moments. There is a difference. It might be fear, unknown, unsure, questioning, or a host of (equally important) reasons that one doesn’t take the next step regardless of what is at stake. I understand why those who have no doubts and have to can. I also feel for others who are “stuck” for lack of a better term. If you ask them if they would if the biggest hurdles were removed, most will say yes, I would. But the fact that we don’t isn’t always because we are unsure, sometimes it is simply putting the situation we find ourselves in ahead of self. You can circle back around it if you want and call it pure fear. That’s true, as it is in all decisions of consequence. There will always be a fear factor to weigh. It can be the singular reason or one of the reasons, and sometimes, not even the most important one.
Hey, Brina, I echo what Jane said. I am so, so sorry that your present circumstances don’t allow you to be your womanly self 24/7. Or at least do not allow you the peace of mind to believe you have a real choice on whether to be fully her right now or not. I hope that situation changes for you soon. We all deserve to be who we really are . . . well, excepting the Ted Bundy types, I guess. I know that I have never been happier than I have been since I came out and began transitioning. May you find the same happiness!
Thanks for your concern and compassion. It is much appreciated. Someday sooner than later maybe I’ll be able to acknowledge a similar happiness 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
While my circumstances, and perhaps my sense of who I am, is somewhat different than yours, I do wholeheartedly agree that the needs and feelings of others are a genuine and necessary consideration in determining how we live. I also understand the questioning and the roller coaster emotions; they are or have been at some point the reality for everyone like us. But I’ve read quite a few of your posts and feel that I have come to know you somewhat. I feel that you are “really” Brina and I hope that a day comes soon when you are able just be her as often and as completely as you wish. I’m not all the way there yet, but it is such a relief and such a happiness as that horizon opens. My best to you, and thank you for all you do and share here on TGH.
Thank you for the insights and compliments. I agree. I am more Brina than male, that much I know, and I doubt given the opportunity that I would miss the male side as much as my fear might believe. I’ll know sooner than later when that last roadblock (my father) is gone and thus any excuses. Thank you for the kindness… 🙂