Terrifying to even read your tale! I have some whoppers myself and can relate. My wife walked out on me after our kids were grown and, even though we had agreed not to tell them, she felt all bets were off. So I quickly arranged visits to my 4 kids, one by one. I expected the worst, but they already had gotten hints that I was doing something perverted, so by comparison what I had to say was a relief for them. I invited my kids to include their spouses if they wished, gave them a fairly brief accounting of my feminine inclinations and some of the positive things I had learned about myself and others, and time to ask any questions they wanted. Expecting shock and time to process, I offered to visit them the next day to let them ask anything they failed to ask earlier. It went amazingly well. No one had any further questions when I returned the next day. I was disappointed, because I wanted to open up further, but I realize it was best not to tell them more than they wanted to know.
The first spouse commended me on my bravery. My second daughter was a psychologist, so she seemed to be ok with it, just curious to see a photo and amazed I could do such a good job with makeup. She had never seen me as a liberal, accepting person, so was, I think, pleased to see I was more accepting of others than she imagined.
I had a perfect opportunity to talk to my youngest daughter when she invited me to visit her in San Francisco. She is a hippie at heart with an eccentric lifestyle and shunned by many in the family. I told her I would do anything she wanted if it was not illegal or unhealthy. She tested all my limits, as I constantly muttered to myself “Is this unhealthy?… illegal?” I was not always sure. After she invited me to a hot springs, announcing it was bathing suit optional and she had no suit, I revealed my own secret, at which point she suggested we return to the city so she could have me made up and take me to a drag show.
I saved my God-fearing son for last, feeling I would totally destroy his good image of me. But he shocked me by immediately saying “It’s not a sin”, and seemed to shrug it off. His spouse chose not to participate and seems very dismissive of me now, as does my psychologist daughter’s husband, who is very judgmental. You can’t win them all, but in retrospect I think I did it the right way and found more support than criticism. My daughter even invited me to speak to a psychology group she mentors… first time she saw me dressed was when I entered her classroom to educate the psych group on crossdressing. There were faculty present as well as her classmates and students. She asked if she should introduce me as her father. I said what she did was her call. I was proud of the fact that she risked her own reputation by revealing me to be her Dad. We had many subsequent classroom visits, inviting anyone in her school to attend and had SRO audiences anxious to learn all they could about crossdressers.
You can make lemonade out of lemons, but definitely need to open discussions and state your truths. You likely will find compassion and understanding that will better bond you AND reduce worry about being caught again. It might be a good time to discuss boundaries. Does he need/want you to confine your appearances/activities to the privacy of your room? Let him know you are willing to honor his desires and ask what they are.
A tip: Don’t answer more than you are asked. Your son may not want to hear as much as you want to tell. Honor his boundaries and don’t presume to know what they are. Don’t offer pictures, share your crossdressing experiences, or anything else unless asked. he will ask if he wants to know. My experience is that my children are not especially curious to know as much as I would have thought or was prepared to tell. But they know they are free to ask and I will answer honestly. I have been out in public, met for church functions, marched in a pride parade, and gone to symphony with a couple of my daughters. One daughter has invited me to visit her when dressed and we have shared some incredible experiences. She even took me shopping for and getting fitted for bras. That led to a memorable experience when the saleslady asked her son if he wanted to come into the dressing room with his Mama. He blurted out, for all in the store to hear, “That’s not my Mama… that’s my Papa!” Generally, though, don’t presume that any would want to see or be with you when dressed unless they give clear indications they would like to do so.
Accept that if you open the subject you may be met with silence, indifference, or lack of curiosity to know more. Even so, you open an important door by revealing your willingness to bare your soul and, if he chooses, to help him understand you are normal and still a loving Dad. He may feel more inclined to open up to you in turn if/when he feels a need to do so.
Best of luck! Hopefully, this “mistake” could turn out to be a big blessing for you!