When the Dress comes off

There is so much feeling put into the preparation of becoming the woman we envision. The excitement that builds as a certain time gets closer. It can be the world’s greatest distraction. The hands of the clock moving at a speed slower than snails on a glue trap… Many have the luxury to dress daily or frequently, while others must calculate, plan, adapt, and be ready for heartache when plans go awry for a special day.

So many have shared their stories, their personal excitement and successes. You can read about them in the article archives. I want to explore the feelings after the dress comes off, the makeup is removed, and our inner-woman is once again pushed down into the place we hide her.

My life is infinitely better for having my feminine side. Way back, it didn’t feel as such. The instant the dress came off, I might have tossed it, and the recently purchased shoes, into the trash. I would go through the shame, guilt, and futile promises of “never again.” It was as bi-polar as it could get. The buildup, the excitement, the living in the fog of the moment… and then… it ended. I’d hate myself, what I did, and what it meant to MY (perceived) life. It would take a while for the negativity to dissipate. And yet… I found myself better mentally after it did. I was happier and more settled, even focused on the tasks that I needed to do. But…

En Femme Style

It wouldn’t be long before that itch pricked my brain, and I would spend waking and sleeping thoughts on when the next time would be. The plotting and planning to buy that next pair of high heels and what to wear with them. This cycle would continue over most of my younger adult life. It never “clicked” for me; that it was the gaps afterward that were the problem. Shutting out a very important part of myself created the tension that needed to be satiate. It took a divorce and another failed relationship to see that I was the ultimate problem in the equation.

Taking off the dress and putting/ tossing it away was a momentary pause to the bigger issue not addressed. I have a feminine side that is never going away. It can’t be eradicated, destroyed, convinced, challenged, or ignored. I didn’t know or understand it, but she did. And she is very persistent. Eventually, I came to understand why she is so important and to recognize that together as one, we are a much better individual. I still have my anxiety about what the world will think of me if she is exposed. Although, that feeling continues to be less threatening to me.

Today, I appreciate the opportunity to put on the dress, and I take special care when it is taken off. Reverently, I set it aside for the next time. Oh yes, I know there will be a next time and another one after that. I’m blessed in that I start most of my mornings giving way to my feminine side. It’s not about becoming passable (I rarely do makeup) or living off the pent up excitement dressing once meant to me. It is instead the bringing together of my particular unison. The exploration and the completion of myself. I can honestly say now that having to take off the dress is more likely to make me sad as I feel a greater pull toward my femininity these days. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like my male side; I just find more comfort and connection with my feminine self. This blend, this union, whatever you wish to make of it, it has helped me to find more peace within.

I hang up the dress, stow away the nylons, shoes, and wig until tomorrow. It’s rare that it is longer than a couple of days (only because the male world had a hook in me) before I am me again. Yes, me is wearing the dress, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Typing with my acrylic nails (sometimes extra-long) always makes me smile. Brushing the wig-hair out of my eyes and seeing the lip-gloss stains on my coffee cup feels right. I’m not acting, playing a role, or even trying to pretend; I’m just being me. I’m also me when the pants and guy clothes go on so that I may blend into the world and what it expects of me. Little does it know that I’m no longer an either-or.

Not only has my mindset adjusted, so has my body. The maleness smartly hacked away to offer more in conjunction with the feminine perception. My morning ritual would be more acquainted to womanly than manly. I still shave, only now to keep my face more neutral and less huntsman. My normal scent is citrus (shampoo and body wash), I use a neutral cologne, deodorant, and body lotion and have long stopped worrying if others notice. (They don’t care, and neither do I!) My jeans are women’s (men’s don’t fit right—but is that my perception, my feminine perception, or just a reality?) Who cares? I like the fit better, but I miss the deep front pockets… My natural nails are longer, the hair on my arms trimmed and shaved back, torso as well. I wear women’s underwear (I do keep a few male pairs around for guy trips—fishing.) Why do men like boxers? I never did… but is that my femininity at play? I can’t help but wonder how many men would give up their standardized clothes once they started wearing women’s attire? It just fits and feels so much better. Women are always right.

My wish for all of you is simple. I hope you find your own peace. We have a life to live, and sometimes it demands a certain obedience. The consequences can be harsh for not following procedures. I get it, and so do your sisters in arms. My hope is that the next time you take off the dress, you’ll consider what it might really signify. Not the end of an experience, but rather the connecting bridge to becoming a more contented you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a feminine side, or in its expression. For me, that dress is a lifesaver. What is it for you when the dress comes off?

Be well, be happy, and be amazed by the little things that surround you…

Until next time,

 

Brina

More Articles by Sabrina MacTavish

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I've been on this path for nearly 50 years, beginning at age 7 when I wore my grandma's old dresses with my cousins. It felt natural. Later, I went through the fetish stage and fought with my insides. After my divorce 20 years ago, I let Brina out only to bury her away during another relationship. Now I accept that she is more who I really am and live my life in the hopes that my path will one of future happiness. Over the last 6 years, I've found out more about who I am, the path that I'm on, and what it means to be transgendered. I've also been much happier since I acknowledged and accepted myself for who I am. I'm still much in the closet as responsibilities take precedence. It doesn't help being an introvert by nature, but I will gracefully walk (mostly, ok, not so gracefully) this path as I become a better me.

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LadyRougeheart
Member
Member
LadyRougeheart(@ladyrougeheart)
1 month ago

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, your story warmed my hart and personally affected me in many ways, from the shared anxiety, to the failed relationships to the warm embrace of self. I am only half out at the moment, I no longer try to hide it and find every possible excuse to put on the dress and flaunt my femininity as you came to do. I long for the day that I wake up and the reflection in the mirror is the person I dream of being. I use to collect women’s clothing and my ex wife… Read more »

LadyRougeheart
Member
Member
LadyRougeheart(@ladyrougeheart)
1 month ago

I’m considering it, I’ve already done so on crossdressheaven.com which is this page’s sister forum, just got to make time to post my story for your reading pleasure, it’s just a little hard to free up the time with college and job hunting and the daily struggle to maintain my health, finances and a healthy mental state in which I feel beautiful and capable, being a girl with disabilities, mental health issues, and completely self powered due to the lack of a support group, but I will do my best, can’t give you an exact time frame all things considered… Read more »

LadyRougeheart
Member
Member
LadyRougeheart(@ladyrougeheart)
1 month ago
Reply to  LadyRougeheart

….there are any girls on here in the Bellevue/Omaha/pavilion area of Nebraska, or the Des Moines/Suix City/Counsil Bluffs area of Iowa needing a friend in the area don’t be afraid to hit me up. I can use the outing time…lol.

Hope Roberts
Member
Member
Hope Roberts(@hr2021)
1 month ago

Brina, Thanks for sharing such details. I also can relate as I started dressing around the age of 13. I didn’t know what to make of it during those years. After college I got serious about dressing and came out to my wife in our first year of marriage. I would feel guilty and purge but always came back to replenish my wardrobe and makeup. The guilty feelings persisted over the years. I actually was able to purge and not dress for nine years back in 2011. Try gee we desires were always there still, especially when I took a… Read more »

Tonya
Tonya
1 month ago

Sooo gorgeous 😍

Lucinda Hawkins
Active Member
Lucinda Hawkins(@lucinda)
2 months ago

love you post you look sensational and love the wood work behind you, very feminine looking legs and you have a feminine figure

Andrea Moss
Member
Andrea Moss(@andreajs)
2 months ago

An excellent article, thank you. How many of us have had this very same personal internal struggle, believing we are alone. So much of what you said echoes my feelings, and I would imagine many of us here.
These articles are so important in helping TG women like myself, just getting to grips with the new persona that is emerging, and accepting it as being a Good Thing.
You really made me smile, thank you.
And you are right about ladies clothing, it feels so much nicer!

JaiymeLynne Rogers
Member
Member
JaiymeLynne Rogers(@jaiymelynne)
2 months ago

Thank you for your insightful article; it touched me to the core. Our paths have been so similar. I accept myself now as JaimeLynne and also wonder how she will fully integrate into my/our/this life. Baby steps to overcome fears. And the support of everyone here is immeasurable. Peace and love, JaiymeLynn

Last edited 2 months ago by JaiymeLynne Rogers
Joanne Davies
Member
Joanne Davies(@jojo2022)
2 months ago

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I too used to feel guilt and feel ashamed of myself. As a teenager I went through cycles of trying to suppress my true self and on a couple of occasions I would purge my collection of clothes and shoes. However, the more I tried to hide my true self, the more depressed I became and it really affected me. My mental health was shattered and it was in my mid 20’s that I started to have suicidal thoughts. It was at that point that I finally started transition and accepted myself… Read more »

JAKe Hatmacher
Member
JAKe Hatmacher(@middleground)
2 months ago

Brina, Dressing in feminine attire and using makeup seems comforting and natural, natural in that it is what was right for me from the very beginning of my life. It fills me up with emotional good stuff. I’m now not inhibited to dress femininely whenever I wish, but there are times, like now, when I have loose male jeans and shirt on and I don’t care. They are just lounging clothes, clothes that ciswomen often wear without ridicule. So, I feel comfortable in anything I wear, but I do admit the makeup and fem clothing complete my spirit and make… Read more »

JAKe Hatmacher
Member
JAKe Hatmacher(@middleground)
2 months ago

Oh, I enjoy wearing pretty things and have fun picking out what I will wear. I craved putting all the nice stuff on and trying to look very feminine. I still wish to look my very prettiest but I’m now at a place in my journey where I’m okay with chilling out, knowing I’m well along to getting where I should have been all along.. As I try to understand all which I’ve felt and acted on, I partially feel that I’m trying to make up for lost time. All though I’m 67, I feel I missed out on much,… Read more »

Jessica Alexandria
Member
Jessica Alexandria(@jessica037)
2 months ago

Wow. The only way I relate to this is the hiding and the release of the pent up … almost rage … of having to pretend to be a boy, when I’d get my dress time. And sometimes I’d have a good enough hiding spot so I could keep my favorite pieces of clothing, but other times I’d be startled, almost caught and throw them out. Sometimes people would find it. Never in MY things mind you, but I’d lose them. And always guilt? I hated that part almost as much as I hated my body. I don’t have a… Read more »

Ricky Ceridwen
Member
Ricky Ceridwen(@emerginggoddess)
2 months ago

Thank you for writing and sharing this wonderful piece.

Tia Tracy
Member
Active Member
Tia Tracy(@tia4751)
2 months ago

Very well put Brina. This brought me back to my earlier days of finding myself and said what I could not say. The buying of clothes and tossing them as to not leave any trace of who I really am. So many times I wrote off my earlier days of experimentation as normal. “All kids do this” I kept telling myself. That if I was female I would’ve been born female. Well we all know how that turned out.. Thanks for such a candid view of the feminine side of us all. Huggz Tia

Shiloh
Member
Shiloh(@farmgurl)
2 months ago

Thank you for your thoughts. You put so much into your post.It causes me to think and draw deep into my life and how I act and react. Much reflection.
Shiloh

Lauren Mugnaia
Member
Member
Lauren Mugnaia(@reallylauren)
2 months ago

Thank you Brina for a very heartfelt and thoughtful article. 

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