An email to a therapist

30 Jul

This is what I’ve just written to Madeline H. Wyndzen at http://www.genderpsychology.org/identity/mail.html.

Perhaps it’ll help her with her research, perhaps she will write back & give her thoughts on my situation. Even if its none of those, I still feel better for writing it all. I seem to be able to commit my thoughts much more concisely when they are to a singular person, rather than if it’s for a blog or diary.

“I’m in a thoroughly confused state about which way I need to go to be happy & feel fulfilled. I’ve recently discovered that I am a crossdreamer (or autogynephiliac) and therefore have been since I was 14, which is when I first felt the need to crossdress, & since then pleasure has all largely centered around dressing up & increasingly wanting to feel like the female during sex. However, I’ve also recognised that I’ve felt an internal non-sexual connection to femininity that has persisted & grown within me since I was 11. This part of it manifested itself by my thinking I must have been female in a past-life, together with creating fictional female characters in my mind for books & short films I never ended up writing. Over the years I noticed that I was more sensitive than the average boy, if I fancied a girl I would by default feel the need to prettify myself & be flirty in a “conventionally” feminine way. I finally realised that this wasn’t how men attracted girls, so I learnt how to appear more masculine. In relationships that did work I’d often feel my male labido suddenly vanish and I’d feel that I should be the girl in the relationship. It used to feel as if I was a planet and my Poles suddenly shifted and became inverted. After a while, the Poles would reverse back and I’d feel totally happy being the male again.

I also felt a deep down inkling that I wanted to have a feminine face & hips. It just felt like it should be that way, though I didn’t think to myself “I feel i should look like a girl”, I just seemed to feel content if I looked soft or got mistaken for a girl. I mourned loosing my emotions as my 20’s progressed, & I felt myself becoming more male in temperament. I wondered if testosterone was to blame but my therapist at the time disuaded me from that line of reasoning. I decided to “kill” the femininity within me when I was 25 as I couldn’t get a girlfriend, people at uni and work seemed to think I was a sissy, and I began hating my sexual dressing-up sessions. So, I found a girlfriend, concentrated on appearing more authorativite & succeeded in purging my clothes & not crossdressing or crossdreaming for 7 months. However the urge became too great & it burst back into my life on a much stronger & emotional level than it had been before, the urge to dress became as much of an expression of creativity & what I wanted to wear as the sexual side was. It had a life of it’s own. It seemed to come from nowhere within me. A the same time I lost my emotions for my girlfriend and we ended up splitting up.

A year later, I discovered Japanese rock music. I found out that many musicians openly dressed as women out there, this was a monster revelation! I felt my heart skip a beat, & I felt that this discovery was a sort of “permission” for me to start dressing up as it meant I wasn’t a freak. I sort of felt like I didn’t need to just dress up for sexual purposes in order to express the femininity & creativity that I felt was hiding within. So I came out shortly afterwards to my friends as wanting to dress as female.

As soon as I started to explore this femininity, I began feeling more confident, more expressive, it was wonderful. And it continued. Long suppressed feelings of wanting to be seen as female by men rose to the surface. I began having increasingly stronger bisexual feelings. Dressing up became more normal & started to permeate into my every-day-wear. Finally I decided to have an obviously feminine haircut & I began wearing my hair in elegant up-do’s like the Edwardian women which I admired aesthetically. I was starting to do all the things that had been in the depths of mind and emotions since I was in my early teens. I still was primarily attracted to women however, but because of my obvious expressions of femininity I began to realise that the chances of dating straight women were becoming non-existent. I lost a few potential girlfriends around this time simply due to my displays of femininity even though they were subtle (apart from the hair) & I did act as manly as possible around them. A bi-sexual girl I almost had a fling with told me she didn’t know how to react to my advances as – though I was acting and presenting as male, I apparently approached sex like a cisfemale does & that combination confused her. I still don’t understand what she meant.  

Also at this point – November 2011 –  a great phyiscal change seemed to occur within me. In retrospect it feels like a second male puberty hit me. Within the space of a month or so, my skin got oiler, my hair began to receed and fall out, my face definitely developed more of a hardness that had not been there recently & my weight increased despite not putting any more fat. My face also thinned. I suddenly felt that the balance of masculinity and femininity within me had been toppled, and since then I’ve felt agitated, unsettled, confused, fearful & depressed. I feel that just as I had begun nurturing my feminine side & becoming  more rounded person as a result – my body had decided to really start hammering home my biological masculinity, and I feel this has created a massive dysphoria due to this dichotomy. I no longer feel “myself” and I feel adrift. Within the space of just a year, I feel much older, more hopeless and generally antagonised. I feel like a man now and to be honest I feel utterly repressed by it, both internally and by the outward physical manifestations.

I still am attracted to women, but that attraction is curdling into serious envy as feel I degrade and they remain how I feel I want to look. My attraction to women was complicated enough before as I tended to be attracted to women that I felt I would have liked to have been had I been a woman. Now, I just can’t bare to look at them sometimes, now I’ve become so masculine. I recently discovered that HRT therapy can potentially help one to look and feel like one feels they should, and that has intensified my dysphoria. I want to keep level-headed however and not make any rash decisions. This is getting much harder though as the NHS over here continues to postpone my therapy appointments, and I can’t afford private care. So, currently I spend my days mentally running in circles. I feel I’m trapped as male, but as I also want children – I also feel I cannot transition.

Plus, I’m also scared that I’m not a proper transexual and just a selfish effeminate male with a sexual fetish that somehow became a full-blown personality disorder who is running away from being a real man. I know that creatively and emotionally I would adore a full shift to femininity, I am sure of this. But to express all that, I would have to let me sexuality and male body die and that feels like murder. I am in a no-win situation, but I feel I have to choose. I feel that some part of me is shutting down inside and that I’m becomign a sort of 2D person, when before I was a 3D person. I feel my power source is dying. Yet, health wise I’m in excellent condition, apart from the hair & my thinning face. 

I feel I have to either take action or plough all my effort into embracing being a man, as I cannot pull-off being androgynous anymore. If one is in their teens and early twenties and is pretty enough, one can be succesfully androgynous and thus present as both male and female whenever. However at my age (27) my biology is clearly defining itself as male so I cannot pass as female without hormone (and surgical assistance). I cannot bear to become a typical balding middle-aged crossdresser with a “tolerating” wife, who lets me crossdress once a year in some hotel room in the middle of nowhere. That would be so humiliating, ultimately self-defeating & also tough on the wife. At the same ime though, I don’t think I’d make a passable women if I did transition. I could end up as a very feminine man on hormones but then I’d be neither a “real” man or an actual woman…which once again would be ultimately self-defeating & not very fulfilling. I’ve hit a brick wall. And there’s nowhere to go.

In an ideal world – I’d look fully female, I’d have a full range of expressive emotions, I’d wear feminine clothes whenever I felt like it so I could express myself, but I’d also have children and a wife who’d I’d strive to protect and provide for, I’d have a good steady job in my profession (cameraperson on outside broadcasts for television) & I’d design Victorian inspired dresses as one of my major hobbies. I’d be neither male nor female, I’d just be me. Functional, useful and if at all possible, beautiful in an elegant & gentle way. And I’d want to use my inner happiness to make other people happy. But alas, society and biology won’t let me fulfil what I feel could be my full potential. I hate gender. I feel cheated. Short-changed. Dis-enfranchised and lost. I feel like a cancer on this world as I don’t fit in and I feel that nature is trying to panel-beat me into submission to what it wants me to be.”

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