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  • #456898
    Amelia Lawrence
    Participant
    Registered On: January 4, 2021
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 28
    Has thanked: 72 times
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    Hello again! Time for some more rambling and whatnot from me to you! Tonight, I had an interesting conversation with my wife on a variety of stresses, thoughts, feelings, etc that have been in both of our minds recently. We’ve both been though a lot of big changes in the last few months, with more on the horizon as we juggle the ever changing landscape of working in a pre-post-COVID world, while preparing for a move later this year while not being certain yet on the exact timetable, and at the same time continuing to work on fitting Amelia into our lives without letting her take over.

    Obviously I’m going to focus on the “Amelia paradox” part of our conversation, and I should point out that, at least in my opinion, we have made incredible strides in a short amount of time. I came out to my wife in November, and since then we’ve grown by leaps and bounds in terms of acceptance, understanding, and love. But, the road is still a bumpy one, as to be expected, and as we travel along and take new turns in our journey, we find new bumps to navigate.

    The latest; the confusing and sometimes blurry lines between my male and female self. On paper, it seems pretty straight forward. If I’m dressed enfemme, wearing a wig, etc, I’m Amelia. If I’m sporting jeans, t-shirt and my typical military style buzz-cut, I’m the man. This should be easy enough…pronouns to match the outward appearance, simple right? We needed some way to establish going forward exactly how I wanted to be addressed, and this rule, guideline, whatever you want to call it, served us reasonably well as a starting point.

    But, I also made sure to throw a self-sabotaging wrench into the plan early on, by telling my wife “I’m still me, regardless of what I’m wearing”. Is this true? Absolutely! Do my mannerisms change a bit when I am enfemme? I would say yes. As we’ve both grown more comfortable with Amelia being an open part of our relationship, has there been a bit of bleed through? Yes. You might be saying “wait wait wait, what the heck does that mean?” So, allow me to explain!

    In the pre-Amelia days of our relationship/marriage, I as the man had no outwardly expressed interest in fashion. When asked about how something looked on my wife, I gave the same default answers “you look great” or “I always think you’re beautiful”. Not wrong…as I do always think my wife is beautiful, but also not very helpful for someone who is trying to genuinely figure out what to wear. I also refused to participate in yoga, I do NOT dance, and forget about talking about feelings! All of this, I’m sure, was a subconsciously devised strategy to keep the yet-to-be-named Amelia locked as far back into that closet as possible. And then one day, as we know, she busted out.

    Amelia loves fashion, even if she is a bit clueless sometimes. Amelia is much more communicative in terms of her feelings. She also is much more likely to dance, smiles more, enjoys yoga…she’s not held back by that societal expectation of tough exterior that a man “should” present to the world. “Ok ok, get to the point!” I hear you saying…sorry!

    The problem arises now that some time has gone by. Whereas in the beginning stages of Amelia’s arrival into the world, there were clearly defined days, times and activities that she OR my male self occupied, but not both, we now slowly see a bit of merging of the two. I’m still not walking around the house in a dress while rocking a beard or anything like that, but I (the man version) regularly do yoga with my wife, and will happily discuss fashion/clothing/etc whenever the topic comes up. Amelia, at the same time, enjoys playing video games, and is also seen in the kitchen on occasion helping prepare meals where before only my wife and her husband shared time together. Throw the “icing on the cake” that is intimacy into the mix, and we’ve got quite a mess on our hands (no, not that kind of mess, get your mind out of the gutter)!

    From the inside, I don’t immediately recognize the blur. After all, I am me, regardless of what I am wearing. But for my wife, who wants to be as supportive and loving as she can, but also needs to be able to understand what’s going on inside my head, while also coming to terms with her own relationship and attraction to both versions of myself (which might be a whole other blog post topic entirely), it quickly gets confusing and frustrating.

    To be fair, I don’t consider myself to be suffering from gender dysphoria, at least not to any level which drives me to pursue a full gender transition, and being addressed by the wrong pronoun or name does not send waves of pain through my soul, but for many it is a very real situation and struggle. My wife, to her credit, is simply trying to be as respectful and understanding as possible. But, as the line between my male and female self is blurred in my own mind, it can be difficult to keep everything neat and organized. The ultimate fear, from my wife’s perspective, is an accidental “outing” wherein the wrong name slips out in the presence of someone who does not know about Amelia.

    That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone I love, and brings up many questions with regards to whether I should come out to the family at large, reducing the risk; double down on efforts to keep my two sides separated, or just give up Amelia entirely. None of these options are easy, and really the last one is impossible, that genie is out of the bottle now!

    So where do we go from here? Excellent question! Perhaps someday I’ll be at a point in my life where I can come back to this post and laugh at how clueless I was. But, until then, the journey continues! For those out there in similar situations, all I can offer is to keep communicating, keep learning, and keep trying! We’ve managed to overcome every obstacle so far, this one will be no different!

    With kindness, love and hope…

    Amelia

Viewing 11 reply threads
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    • #462925
      Diana Morgan
      Lady
      Registered On: February 22, 2021
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 571
      Has thanked: 4195 times
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      As always I am greatly impressed at the considered and thought provoking comment prevalent on CDH forum topics, thank you all for your contributions, it has helped this girl enormously in her quest to understand what is happening to her.

      Huge hugs

      Diana

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #462514
      Jessica Wilde
      Lady
      Registered On: October 5, 2020
      Topics: 34
      Replies: 147
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      Thank you for this post as it brings forward in my mind something that I believe may be a huge part of a stumbling block for my fiancé.

      After coming out back in October we have had some serious relationship issues associated with my dressing. We started therapy in December trying to get it all straightened out and have made progress through doing so.

      One of her big things is needing definitive male time which is hard because of the blurred line created by Jessica being such a huge part of who I am. There is a ton of bleed through due to the fact that Jessica is a very large part of my entire person. I’m the same person I’ve always been. I’ve just let it be known why I behave in certain ways and do certain things. Those behaviors and mannerisms were always the Jessica part of me. She just didn’t know it.

      I’m going to have to bring this up in conversation soon because I believe it may be helpful to the both of us.

      Thanks,

      Jessica

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #462918
        Amelia Lawrence
        Lady
        Registered On: January 4, 2021
        Topics: 3
        Replies: 28
        Has thanked: 72 times
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        You’re very welcome! I applaud you both for seeking help through therapy as well! I hope your relationship continues to build back up and that you are both able to flourish!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #460596
      Stefani
      Baroness
      Registered On: March 10, 2021
      Topics: 1
      Replies: 5
      Has thanked: 27 times
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      Thanks, Amelia, for this thoughtful writing. That helps me think through my own situation.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #457593
      Laura Lovett
      Lady
      Registered On: March 26, 2020
      Topics: 13
      Replies: 1090
      Has thanked: 3584 times
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      As someone with mainly an artistic background, I’m a big fan of chaos.

      Well I say “fan”, really it’s the strongest inclination I have, to just go with it, just do it, and to heck with the planning and organisation.

      To tell the truth, I am envious of people with an orderly way of life, to whom organisation is second nature.

      But I also think that being able to see things not as neat categories, but shades of everything else is a benefit. It actually helps in my role as IT consultant, because I have to jump onto an organisation’s network and figure my way around very quickly, with a whole range of potential components, services and configurations.

      It’s quite satisfying to muddle through at the start of an investigation, then pull out the solution like some kind of magic trick.

      Because I work in an entirely unstructured, unscripted way, I follow my instincts.

      And gender thus presents no issues to me.

      The actor in me sees another character, with the one big difference being that character actually is me – the bits I’ve suppressed because they didn’t tick the boxes labelled “Man”, and those boxes are hard to shake off, even when you understand biological sex to be founded on a number of things – even XX and XY have variations – and gender is just a construction on top of biological sex, so it’s not even a few ideas, but a whole range, probably as unique as a fingerprint.

      The main thing trapping me from unleashing Laura’s full potential is the people around me, mainly my wife, but also me, because I want to retain our marriage.

      It feels a bit like Stockholm Syndrome, but it’s where I currently am.

      I do allow aspects of Laura to come through, bit by bit, because she is so much that I wish I was – going out as her allows me to be the character in the costume and make up, and it always astonishes me how freely and sensitivity I can behave.

      Not dressing for a while brings out the more obstinate, sulky man – I forget what it feels like to be Laura, despite the underwear, which serves as my only reminder much of the time – and CDH, where I can feel her behind my eyes, and I don’t feel myself thinking, more allowing Laura control of the keyboard. It’s a peculiar but quite lovely feeling, knowing that she hasn’t gone away.

      I believe that my wife is enjoying the benefits of Laura, and probably realises that the past couple of years of me going out to dress up has had a powerful positive effect.

      Who knows, maybe one day she will accept.

      It is difficult though, as I feel that she can’t accept me for who I am, so I do wonder if I’m doing the right thing for everyone.

      Only time will tell – for now, I will just focus on the next Laura time.

      Mid May, if all goes well – watch out, Brighton!

      Love Laura

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #457591
      Clara Cross
      Lady
      Registered On: December 7, 2020
      Topics: 9
      Replies: 225
      Has thanked: 649 times
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      Great post Amelia. It really sounds like you and your wife’s heads are in a good place. Open, communicating and looking for balance in which you both can thrive.
      With all due respect to Polly, whose insights I really appreciate, I’m going to disagree this time. I don’t believe it’s inevitable that things progress to “full feminization”. Why? Because it’s true, you are you. Whether femme or drab, that’s still you.

      You needn’t read too many posts here to see the full spectrum of individuals expressing themselves as uniquely as their individual selves. In my humble opinion, I think we are all searching for a kind of equilibrium to get to the sweet spot of self acceptance and then acceptance from those we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to.

      I wish you well and am confident you, Amelia and your wife will find peace.

      My heartfelt two cents,
      Clara

    • #457585
      Eva Kelly
      Duchess
      Registered On: March 1, 2021
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 200
      Has thanked: 2048 times
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      Hi Amelia,

      I enjoyed reading your post. I agree with what Dawn wrote. I was thinking that there is not much of a line between my selves, but in reality I only have one self, and that is my female self. Looking back, my whole life has been like that. I am quiet, introverted and sensitive.

      Eva

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #457514
      Dawn Wyvern
      Managing Ambassador
      Registered On: February 23, 2019
      Topics: 6
      Replies: 289
      Has thanked: 249 times
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      Amelia

      lovely post and so well written. I have been down this road in the past and have come to the conclusion that I am me, no matter what I am wearing. I do everything I want to do no matter what clothes I happen to wear at the time.

      I don’t differentiate  between male or female roles or assignments, I just do them as and when required. This includes fixing the car, making the beds or doing the cooking or gardening. There are no real gender specific roles anymore so why worry about them.

      I am ‘Me’ full stop.

      Just my thoughts !

      hugs

      Dawn

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #457345
      Polly Stewart
      Lady
      Registered On: January 2, 2021
      Topics: 9
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      Amelia… you’ll never be clueless! You are just heading up the road to full feminisation! I may take days, it may, in fact, take years but the road continues is you stay the course.
      My wife and I face similar issues as Polly become more and more of me and my wife’s life only where does it stop? I don’t think anyone really knows how life will pan out.
      Today I had a ‘no-gender’ day! Neither Brian or Polly just some agent that was capable of thinking. Every now and then when faced with an improbable choice I revert to a neutral state!

      We’re all faced with the choices you have outlined and some of them are, for many here, impossible to give up! If I were to be faced with my marriage or my identity as Polly… I would have to ask the question… has my marriage deteriorated to such an extent that I ma asked to give ‘me, Polly’ up? Then I would have to conclude my marriage was over!

      I pray that day never comes but if it does I pray for the fortitude to remain loyal to who I am… Polly

      Love heaps Polly

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #457284
      Molly
      Duchess
      Registered On: October 22, 2018
      Topics: 2
      Replies: 280
      Has thanked: 1440 times
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      Amelia;

      I loved reading this, thank-you.  Your story is as delightful as it is familiar;  The comment about having put a lot of pressure your spouse especially resonates with me as I feel I have done so to the most wonderful woman I know.   The day I realized that she felt unable to get the outside discussions that she needed to cope with ‘the situation’ was the day that I realized that I should not allow that to continue as a problem and expressed that she could talk to/tell whoever she needed.    She has yet to do so.

      I wish I could offer some advice that would be useful, but I can’t.   What I can say is that I agree with everything you said, and want to say Thank-you to you for saying it.

      Hugs.

      – Molly

      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Molly.
      • #457379
        Amelia Lawrence
        Lady
        Registered On: January 4, 2021
        Topics: 3
        Replies: 28
        Has thanked: 72 times
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        Thanks Molly! I also made sure to let my wife know early on that the door was open to her discussing things with outside parties if needed (friends, sister, therapy), but she has yet to do so to my knowledge. But regardless, we’ve continued to grow and learn together, and keep the communication lines open. I have faith that we will continue to grow stronger and closer as time goes on!

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #456923
      LisaT
      Lady
      Registered On: January 31, 2021
      Topics: 41
      Replies: 468
      Has thanked: 356 times
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      Amelia it’s so good to have perspectives from further down the road, coming out to the one you love is such an uncertain process, so thank you.
      I don’t think pronouns are going to be an issue for us as Carol will always think of me as male. Indeed at first she was unhappy even to use the name Lisa in discussions about my feelings and behaviours. Indeed even now if I’m being a big obtuse she just says put your woman head on.
      Currently only 5 weeks in I’m still thinking about this a great deal but it seems that my ideal is a single united me with many highly developed feminine traits, still primarily defined by my biological sex but dressing and behaving at the very least androgynously if not exactly as a woman would.

    • #456922
      Jane Don
      Lady
      Registered On: March 4, 2020
      Topics: 3
      Replies: 48
      Has thanked: 13 times
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      Yes–The lines Do Blur/change- But, that’s life–Everything changes with time–Dating & As newly weds–We (probably me more than her) could’nt keep our hands off each other–(anywhere & everywhere including inappropriate places & times) Then kids come along—that changed our lives–Work becomes more Important–we don’t have the same energy–The kids grow up & go off to school & out on their own–Empty nesters after all that time–more Freedom but what to do with it? You certainly don’t have the same energy or thought processes–Male/Female or in between makes little difference Change happens & if you care about one an other you adapt–I mean–If your wife/husband/child ect gets hurt or sick–you handle it (hopefully as a couple) the same as winning a lottery–Working as a team–your way more successful — With Love/Consideration & teamwork life is good- The part I have’nt got figured out is after a partner dies–My wife suddenly& unexpectedly Died about a yr&1/2 ago– & on my own–I (Jane or Don) don’t know what to do– Live Life to the fullest & help your significant other do the same as nothing lasts forever-

    • #456910
      Sandy Jayson
      Duchess
      Registered On: September 29, 2019
      Topics: 20
      Replies: 451
      Has thanked: 919 times
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      | Amelia, you are so right! As I started my current journey down the CD road the last 2 years I find myself checking out a lot of GG’s. I am looking to see what they are wearing and wondering how those shoes or that top would look on me. I am also observing how they carry themselves so that I can emulate their motions. It becomes a balancing act so as not to appear as creepy when looking at most GG’s. I also have found myself becoming more emotional at different times. I’ve been watching a lot of old John Wayne movies and find myself tearing up at different spots which the male me would never have done. Sometimes even in male mode I cross my legs in a feminine manner.
      | As for telling others/family, This may not turn out as bad as you fear. All you can do is prepare yourself for the worst and be happy with a positive outcome. For me I have told 3 of my 4 brother, all so far with positive or nutrual results.
      | Good luck on your journey, Amelia, and keep the communication with your wife open. For many of us it is hard to see when we are pushing our desires to far to fast.
      | sanbdy

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #457381
        Amelia Lawrence
        Lady
        Registered On: January 4, 2021
        Topics: 3
        Replies: 28
        Has thanked: 72 times
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        Thanks Sandy! I will say that the biggest concern with regards to telling others is not so much how my family would react (as I’d expect most would be supportive), but in the issue of word spreading beyond who I initially tell. You pretty much have to assume that if you tell someone something, eventually it will be retold to someone else. In my case, I DO NOT want this information getting back to anyone in my work-life (I’m military) as that’s just not a can of worms I want to deal with.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #457570
          Sandy Jayson
          Duchess
          Registered On: September 29, 2019
          Topics: 20
          Replies: 451
          Has thanked: 919 times
          Been thanked: 2008 times

          | Anelia, the military I have no experiance with, But no mater what the current rules and ‘protections’ in the military for any of us is shaky, considering those who will have to work with. For me in my job and my age of 66 ( yes I probably should retire) I feel secure in my job – on some level my union will protect my job even if some individuals are reluctant to. Still I am not in a rush to come out to my co-workers.
          | Sandy

          3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #457428
          Jane Don
          Lady
          Registered On: March 4, 2020
          Topics: 3
          Replies: 48
          Has thanked: 13 times
          Been thanked: 135 times

          Yup–Your right on the money–I believe I can handle anyone else–But I need to work to have Luxuries like Food & shelter–

          2 users thanked author for this post.
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