On October the fourth 1961 Charley was born in eastern Canada.

In the living room of the family home sat a playpen; a four-foot by four-foot cage with two-foot-high sides. 

The adults would keep a baby in a playpen during the first year or so of its life to keep the child relatively safe. I depended on my adults to protect me and keep me safe during this early stage of my expansion.

I lived in this tiny cage until I was able to climb over the wall and escape

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Then, my playpen became the main floor of the house. Stairs had gates installed and doors were locked to protect me from dangers I could not yet navigate on my own, but the playpen was larger. From 4×4 foot to the whole main floor! WOW!

Soon, gates were removed, and doors were left unlocked; I could navigate stairs and was becoming a little less dependent on the adults to keep me safe, so my playpen became the backyard. Also fenced in of course, but so much more room than the main floor or the 4×4 cage; my playpen had again expanded.

You get the idea here I think; soon, the playpen became the street we lived on, then the neighborhood, the town, the province, country and beyond.

Becoming Char has been very much like this metaphor of the playpen for me

1999, the year I landed at small town Saskatchewan, would find me sitting motionless on the side of my bed, lights off, silently waiting for the knocking on the door to subside and the sound of a vehicle driving away before I would leave the little room.

The sound of my stilettos on the main floor hardwood

would have given me away to the unwitting visitor.

Dark curtains covered windows and frosting obscured the main door window so no peering inside was possible, this provided some time to hide Char, then called Charlene, who was still very dependent on adult me to provide safety and respite from the shame.


Charlene’s first goal of playpen expansion was to answer the door and stop hiding behind dark curtains.

Then one day, it happened!

The decision was made and without hesitation I grabbed the handle and flung open the door.

I stuck my head around it to see who was there. The main part of my body was still hidden behind the door, but I wore plenty of badly applied, experimental make up on my face, deep red lipstick, huge earrings, and enough perfume to gag a mule. But the door was opened, and my playpen had expanded.

Next goal, the property.

Owning an entire block is a big piece of land and walking out there was accompanied by almost immobilizing fear. I practiced in my mind for weeks, then one day, there I was, cutting the grass in a two-piece aqua bikini! Of course, I was spotted by a group of people who later became owners of the property across the alley.

Next, I imagined walking to the post office; I could throw a stone from my deck and hit the post office. But my vision was to walk there and back, during business hours on a weekday in full daylight.

In each stage of playpen expansion, I followed a simple strategy.

First, I clearly decided the step I wanted to make. I imagined doing it in my mind over and over, sometimes for weeks in advance. I would fantasize and grow my inner confidence to the point of generating the feeling, “maybe I can”, then I would venture out in expansion, and triumph saying, “I did it!”

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The post office, a walk to a friend’s home who had met Char, then to the next town, the big city, at work and living freely dressed how I love to dress. My playpen now has no sides; I wear my high heel leather boots, leggings, a cute jacket and carry a purse with all my favorite make up in it. I am free!

I take care of my Self by not taking me to places I know might be dangerous.

I am open to any question’s genuine seekers of understanding wish to ask, but I do not engage in conversations with those who just wish to disparage or challenge me as a person.

I have discovered that the sides of the playpen for Char, pronounced Shar, were more of an inside thing then an external set of limits. The greater I grew my ability to create trust and safety of self-care within me, the easier it was in becoming Char.

In truth, Char has been trying to emerge since October 4, 1961, I simply had to remove the layers of self judgement, shame, guilt, and fear that I had accepted as my reality and over time. A pine tree seed can only, ever, become a pine tree after all. I have created a brand-new playpen. This one, has no sides; I am free! So is everyone reading this article.

The limits and walls we feel so caged by,

are mostly created by our own thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Allowing the feelings of shame, guilt, and immobilizing fear to prevent me from expressing my authentic self, has caused me so much suffering; choosing to allow the emergence of what has been trying to “Be”, has been the single most empowering and liberating experience on this adventure called life.

I now live in a playpen without sides, and you can as well,

when you decide; when you too, have had enough suffering.

Thankyou for reading Your Weekly Reset and thank you for being exactly who you are!




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Dropping out of high school I began touring in the Canadian country music scene at age 17; clubs and soft seat venues, drummer/vocalist for 22 years. After 4 suicide attempts and heavy cocaine etc addiction issues, i decided to learn Self-Acceptance as apposed to self-hatred. I became a student of the Universe and an Instructor of Life Skills at a local College while operating a Private Coaching Practice. Currently, I am rebuilding the Life Coaching practice after a couple years of more personal work well under way. I am also creating online opportunities that will serve our world community…and our world in understanding how the learned life skills of Intentionally and Consciously Creating an Amazing Life have filled my life with Passion, Purpose and Prosperity and they can for you as well... Namaste'

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skippy1965 Cynthia
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I wrote the below nearly five years ago with a similar theme For fifty years, the flower hid unseen by any eyes; Her petals folded neath herself as others passed her by. She longed to open up but could not overcome her fears And so remained in darkness, her roots watered by her tears. It seemed she might be destined to traverse this life alone, With no one to appreciate her as the years went on. But then the curtains parted-and the tiniest beam of light Reached through the darkened room and on that flower did alight. The warmth and… Read more »

Amy Myers
Noble Member
3 years ago

Thanks for an inspiring article, Char. I too, lived in fear of myself for many years, fortunately I broke free a few years ago, with in part help from CDH and the girls here. I wish that more people could read those words of yours, and those of Cyn’s too. My only regret is that I missed so many years where I could have been femme, though it would have complicated my life a bit more 10 or 20 years ago than it does now, but at least I am where I am now, with Amy freed of her cage.… Read more »

Active Member
3 years ago

This was fantastic Char I really enjoyed reading what you posted here. I’m glad for you that the baby steps have gotten you to a new height and where Char is now. Keep on keeping on. Fun huh! 

Active Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Char

I can’t be no one else Char, than you though. You rock girl! 

Celeste Starre
Celeste Starre
3 years ago

That’s great. Just be aware of the surroundings. As stated that little playpen you started with was designed to keep you safe. 350 trans folk have been murdered for who they are with 44 just in 2020. No idea how many have been assaulted.

skippy1965 Cynthia
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Char

I am lu my that the bar I play pool in (which has its share of rednecks and hip-hoppers) has a wonderful owner who has told me to just be myself and if anyone has an issue with that then they can come see him! (I had always been a LITTLE more open about myself to some individuals there but had been worried whether he would be ok with Cyn; he passed behind me while I was showing a pic of Cyn to a friend and said “who’s they babe?…oh that’s you LOL” and told me I was one of… Read more »

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