An Epiphany

I experienced probably the most important epiphany in my life a few nights back. I’d spent all day running around on a hot, 90+ degree day, running errands, and checking in on a couple of sick friends. When I got home, it was late; I was beat, tired, and hurting.

There is a full-length mirror in my living room, and as I happened to notice myself in the mirror, I saw an old lady in a short leather skirt, a top that had gotten stained, whose hair was an absolute mess, and was obviously tired because she was slumped over instead of in her usual straight, shoulders back posture.

I smiled and then became happy and elated. I could have been the poster girl for swamp witch of the Month. It didn’t matter, because what I saw in the mirror and felt inside was that of a tired old lady, not a poorly dressed, crossdressing dude. I know who and what I am. I am thrilled and secure in my belief in myself. It was the first time in 70 years I’ve ever looked at myself in a mirror and liked of what I saw. The fact that I have a mirror in my house for the first time (ignoring the one that is always in the bathroom) says a lot about my mindset just by its presence.

EnFemme

It has taken me literally decades to get here. I’ve known that I differed from all the other little boys as far back as 1st grade, which was 1959. Thirty-plus years of confusion, along with failed relationships, and another four in therapy, plus four more just doing research on my own has convinced me I didn’t belong in a male body.

I’ve been a gamer most of my life and always prefer to play a female character when I have the choice, which should have told me something had I been paying more attention. I eventually came out to myself and started buying women’s clothes and wearing them at home. After almost a decade, I started getting brave enough to wear women’s jeans and the occasional V-neck “girly” colored t-shirts in public. I spent 45 years in Colorado and moved to Indiana two years ago, coming out completely when I got there.

It’s scary sometimes without the support I would have had from my friends back in Boulder but having served as a vet and been a firefighter for 20 years, I’m used to dealing with scary. It’s being alone that is tough. I am so thankful for groups like ours where I can feel safe.

While I know I still have a long way to go, the simple fact is that I could look at myself in the mirror and love who I saw for the first time ever. It still elates me after all this time!

EnFemme

 

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    Elli Snow

    I knew I was different by the time I was 6. Spent almost 5 decades playing a role I was not suited for, One failed marriage and a couple other failed relationships because I was never comfortable trying to fit into society's male mode. It just never felt right. Essentially came out to myself at about 50 and started incorporating more and more women's clothes into my wardrobe. By 65 I was completely wearing women's tops and pants, and even though I wasn't officially out, most of my female friends had already figured it out. By this time I was so happy and comfortable with myself, I stopped eating to feed my depression and dysphoria, and in the next 3 years dropped 85 pounds from 225 to 140 and never once had to deliberately think about dieting.

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    Michelle Lawson
    Member
    Active Member
    Michelle Lawson(@michellelarsen1)
    5 months ago

    Ellie, I have read this several times. And each time I keep coming back with the same one word – power. The power one has when they have that epiphany of who they are, and where they fit withing the grand scheme of life. The sheer power one has once they reach that point is immeasurable. Regardless of any other aspect in one’s life, having that power is something few ever attain. A power to be cherished, and nurtured, and be honored. Hugs, Michelle

    Stacia Ranville
    Stacia Ranville
    7 months ago

    At 74 I came out to my wife about a year ago and I am now in a period of arrested transition, hoping to save our 55 year marriage. No dressing, no make up, etc. I do wear lipstick and a little jewelry to my therapists office. But the inner transition continues apace; I look in the mirror at my improving complexion and longer hair, compose myself and see myself as who and what I am. My therapist, a man of very long experience with people like us assures me that once I was out, the psychological and spiritual process… Read more »

    Stephanie Y
    Stephanie Y(@stephaniey)
    7 months ago

    Eli, Nice post! I relate totally. I wish we met (maybe we did) in Boulder. I was there ’85 to ’90. Currently I am reading your post at a bar in small-town Central MN by myself … which is common. There are the days I go home and pass a mirror and say to myself…"Jesus what were you thinking going out looking like that?" Then I shrug my shoulders knowing no one pointed me out or said anything (that I heard) and the staff treated me very respectfully. Therefore….a success! I am like many of us where as soon as… Read more »

    Stephanie Y
    Stephanie Y(@stephaniey)
    7 months ago
    Reply to  Elli Snow

    Eli, Strangely similar backgrounds!! I lived near Boulder Brewery but did not really care for their flavors. I had a friend in Longmont and we would drive up to Nederland every now and then just to go to the Assays Office bar and have a couple Paulaner dark lagers and maybe catch a decent musician. I worked at a high tech computer company until I found a job at NIST. I was there for most of my 5 years in Boulder. Prior to that, I was at CU. Within my study groups, I ended up being the proofreader/editor for everyone’s… Read more »

    Rebecca Lay
    Member
    Rebecca Lay(@twisterphoto)
    7 months ago

    Oh my goodness. I felt like I was reading my own story. I especially get the mirror issue. I have hated looking in mirrors for so long. The person I would see was not me. Now, though, when I am in makeup and my favorite outfit, I see whom I have always thought myself to be when I look in the mirror. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Toni Floria
    Active Member
    Toni Floria(@mustangtoni)
    8 months ago

    Thank you for the wise words sometimes I question why I’m on this road. But I didn’t choose it. It chose me

    Toni Floria
    Active Member
    Toni Floria(@mustangtoni)
    8 months ago

    Thank you for the wise words sometimes I question why am I on this road but I didn’t choose it it chose me

    Charlene K
    Active Member
    Charlene K(@charlenev)
    8 months ago

    Elli, I love your personal story, because I can so relate. At this point in my life (68) I still cannot present en femme regularly because of life obligations I entered into long ago; long before I understood myself as I do today. I will not violate those vows nor take away from so many the man that need me to be for them. So I silently endure the inner pain. Yet, in the midst of that, which no doubt many of us are so familiar with, I had my own epiphany one day in front of a mirror. I… Read more »

    Toni Floria
    Active Member
    Toni Floria(@mustangtoni)
    8 months ago

    Love your story I’m trying to get where you’re at

    Kim Dahlenbergen
    Active Member
    Kim Dahlenbergen(@kdahlenbergen)
    8 months ago

    Interesting perspective. There is something oddly satisfying about seeing oneself as a woman, albeit an older woman. I’m so glad that you have reached this point. I had seen glimpses of the woman in me over the years. Early one, I was frightened by her…not because she was hideous, but because I was afraid that if I embraced the young woman in the mirror, I might not be able to let her go. I was afraid of becoming the woman I felt lurking inside me. Now, all these decades later when I see the (much) more mature woman in the… Read more »

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