As time has passed, specifically 3 years since I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, I have had a chance to work on myself. I’ve really dug deep into myself and torn myself apart. And as I’ve found out, it is an unending process.
Gender issues are not easy to deal with. They question your very existence, your physical structure and if you are capable of rational thought then they especially question the camaraderie between your physical body, the spiritual body and most importantly the mental body. I’ve heard arguments within myself to the tune of –
- Yes, my physical body doesn’t agree with my mental body. But my spiritual body is not prepared to take any sides. Yes, my masculinity and femininity are treated as sides within myself, 2 opposites, ones that are at war. But do they need to be at war? Why can’t they coexist?
- Yes, I have a penis. And yes, I feel I should have women parts. Do I feel inadequate with my man parts? Sometimes. Is this why I feel the need to embody something so unrelated to myself? No. There are ways with which the inadequacy can be addressed. Then why is there so much push and pull within me related to my gender? Am I fighting my dysphoria or am I prepared to accept it?
- There is a general need to experience the feminine/female in a very embodied way, to REALLY feel the feminine/female. But why? Is this a mere temptation? Or does this have some subconscious pervert designs behind it?
- Am I just obsessed with crossdressing as a fetish and taking things too far? Am I really pushing my boundaries that far? In that case aren’t I better normal?
I can continue with such arguments that are related to my condition for there is a lot going on within me and as you may have read above, the arguments can get very disturbing. None of them calm me. There seems to be a persistent flux and it drains my energy, tires me from within and often results in phases of extreme procrastination.
How have I been addressing my situation since I discovered it? It has been a painful, tearful, and yet strangely a very liberating journey. It has pushed me into asking questions that normal mere mortals won’t ask about themselves for gender is an absolute thing for most bodies that reside on Mother Earth.
Till I was growing up in my ultra-conservative family, I never once questioned my gender, EVER! It wasn’t required and I was taught that life is about obtaining things that would make life easier and better in the future, a future that I had never seen, never envisioned. And I did it. I ran after what I wanted or was taught to want and then run after it and get it and I got most of them. I live in a huge house now, alone, with everything that I need to fulfil me at my beck and call. Life in the material sense can’t be any better. I don’t seek much of material anymore. But this isn’t and can’t be the end of my life as I’ve been pushed into finding things about myself that certainly make me extremely uncomfortable with my body.
My mother and aunt have forever been teasing me about how I would run towards their dressing tables and start using lipsticks back when I was 3 or 4. It always amused them as in our family, having a laugh at someone’s boo-boo is quite commonplace. Nothing significant happened for a number of years after that. I was a growing boy who was excelling at school, was competitive and fulfilled most of my parents’ desire from my academia. Then something changed and I must have been 12 or 13 when I first felt the urge to wear women’s clothes and quite obviously as I had no other female around me apart from my mother, her clothes had to take most of the brunt. I didn’t know, as I wasn’t taught or told, what hormones were or that at my age then, things are and can be extremely helter-skelter in a growing body. Emotions and feelings can be extreme and if left unaddressed, they result in severe damage as I am now finding out. There was no pain or shame till my brother first saw me trying my mother’s bra. I saw the boiling disgust in his eyes. He turned around and left me in the room to figure out how I would process that situation. I wasn’t doing that for sexual release as I didn’t even know what that even was. I was a very simple boy. But that disgust shamed me. And as I understand now, I was never the same after that. I never looked at my brother the same way or my parents either.
I can only imagine the massive hit that that little boy’s self-esteem must have endured. But he moved on while his escapades into his mother’s clothes cabinet continued. He would find the most opportune moments to stay alone at home and check himself out in a variety of clothing and be happy about it. Over the next few years, this love led him onto her dressing table and as I now understand, he must have started developing a different and hidden life, something so secret that it couldn’t be revealed. He never understood his urges except that they needed to be addressed and he was able to address them this way. He also must have been terrified by the prospect of this secret life ever coming to the fore even by accident. And it never did. He was careful to always cover his tracks. An intelligent boy. A careful boy.
I then went to college and everything died down. For some reason, the urges dried up too. I can imagine the anxiety of the alien surroundings – new city, new friends and in a fight for survival, those desires must surely have taken a back seat. However, whenever I would return home into the safety of his room and city, the desires would pop up too. However, all these desires were left simmering as I just never had any chance. Maybe some but they were too far and few to be anything serious and mentionable. Also, I had grown into a man and the clothes at home never fit me. Luckily, I was dating women, breaking up, dating again and my sense of sexuality never popped up. I never understood why I broke so many times with women though. But guess this is a topic for another post.
College led me to being jobless and frantically hunting for one for I just could never stay at home. I had grown far beyond the confines of my home and that house just never had space enough for me. After a year and half of struggle, I finally landed a job, secured it and then there was no looking back. My multiple jobs before my marriage kept me away from all of my sexual and gender issues and I simply didn’t have any time for them. Although what I can’t remember and recall is if cross dressing was popping up in my area when I was staying alone or with friends, thru porn. Anyway, the first major waft of the cross-dressing smell reawakened my dead senses when I got married. I have a rather kinky side which makes my situation particularly more stressful but it did make it easier for me to broach the subject with my wife using this pretext, even though I did give it a fair consideration.
The first time I dressed up at home in her presence, she said and I’ll never forget these words – “You Look Happy!”. Something changed then. Either I had tripped or rather it was possibly time for me to stand up and face myself again. This was no ordinary case of flirting with ideas any more. It had gotten serious. But I never researched it. Never broached the subject. Things went along and she kept supporting me thru my rather unusual journey and requests. It continued while she did a fair bit of research about this scenario totally unbeknownst to me. I never took any of it seriously as we went thru our fair share of ups and downs and I just never found time for myself. Then time came for yet another relocation. Job changed, place changed, people changed, living conditions changed. Yet another acclimatization.
But this time, we gave each other ample time to be with ourselves. I had to find things about myself which suddenly were coming to haunt me from my childhood, some special gifts that needed urgent attention. She was on her way to finding things about herself and I was on mine. We stuttered. We fell. We got up, dusted ourselves and walked again, ever so wiser. This time we helped each other and not fight, a certain maturity that had come from having a rather strange set of people around us. We were asking questions that defined our present, answered our past and gave hope for the future.
But one fine day, while on a bus, I started crying. I don’t know why. A female voice inside yelled at me that I needed to become a woman! And she kept yelling for 4 days straight. And I couldn’t stop crying. For 4 days, never once were my eyes dry. It seemed like I had burst some dam of depression and the emotions were all rushing in so fast, being hard to handle would be an understatement. I had broken down. I couldn’t see, feel, speak, hear and all I wanted to do was die. My pride and my purpose were shattered. Pain knew no bounds. I had nowhere to run to, no one to talk to, engage with and so I ran to medical science. And they informed me of the harsh truth.
I won’t deny that not being able to accept my situation is one of my greatest failures so far. It’s been 3 years now since I came to know about it and it still feels alien. My fight against it is becoming a fight against myself resulting severe self-sabotage, depression, inebriation and countless sleepless nights. I am trying though.