It’s strange how our past, though no longer clear, still affects us in such ways. I have had the urge to dress since I was just little. It began as curiosity and what it grew into was a place of protection. My father wasn’t abusive in a physical sense but he was very abusive verbally at times. Fits of rage that would start from nothing turned a peaceful, God filled atmosphere into a volatile and unstable one.
Jesus was there through that time, keeping me secure and safe in my place with Him. But V was there too, a room that I could shut myself away in when things got bad.
And things got bad… At ten my dad was diagnosed with stage four multiplemyeloma, a cancer of the blood and bone. After a brutal three year battle, he took his final breath. And I was left at the cusp of manhood knowing nothing about how to be a man. My father, for all of his best intentions, was simply too damaged from his abusive past to offer me a stable model of a father. When he wasn’t filled with anger, he was very insecure in who he was.
Something strange happens to a family when a father dies: it unspools, like the only important thread has been removed. And with it, God seems to go with him. My cries for comfort to my Savior, once answered with such ease, now seemed to fall on deaf ears. God was silent; V was present. Staring at a road of expectation, where ‘man’ was defined so strictly but never taught, I tripped my way through my teen years, V being a comfort to me at many times.
I approach this introduction to V as I have when fighting to put her down for good. I analyze the past and look through my history to see the need for her. And what I’ve concluded is that she brought me stability when everything was unstable, she brought me comfort when my cries were answered with silence, and now she is a part of me in ways I can’t explain.
I don’t ever see me fully changing over to V. I still identify as a man who just happens to put on a woman from time to time. I feel if i ever were to try to live as V fulltime that I would find I don’t fit. I am a man who, at times, puts on this woman.
Who would I be without V? I truly believe that my father’s doublesidedness, where at times a monster came out, caused me to create a side that wasn’t at all monstrous, a side that is soft and nurturing and vulnerable. Maybe V has always been in place as a splash of water to keep the fire at bay.
When I was fighting to kill V for so many years, I felt myself being wound tighter and tighter, the pressure changing me into someone I didn’t even recognize. Since deciding to give her a place in my life, my burden has lightened exponentially. This is only possible because of how amazing and supportive my wife has been through it all. By giving V a place it has given me back my place as a man as well.
I look forward to learning more about each and every one of you.
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