First and foremost, I want to let all you of wonderful CDH ladies know that you inspire me in so many ways! I read every article on this site. Some of the articles are fun and humorous, others I find challenging and thought provoking. As the title of this article indicates, I’m on a journey to healing and I’d appreciate some help from our fabulous CDH community. Let me start by describing the journey through my healing process in hopes it might help others that visit this site. Then I’ll get to my request for help.
With regard to my healing process, a little about my background may give you some insight into the journey. In some ways, my story is not too different than many of those shared by you wonderful ladies. I was brought up in a good home by loving parents. Also, like many here, I started crossdressing early in puberty, but I didn’t understand what or why I was doing what I did when I put on women’s clothes then, or for many decades to come. The lack of self-awareness was probably a combination of upbringing, denial and naïveté.
My parents instilled religious values in me along with many other values that are considered the hallmark for being a good person. Values such as honesty, loyalty, faithfulness and kindness toward others. It was the religious values, however, that lead me to feel guilt, shame and self-loathing every time I put on an article of women’s clothing.
These values led to a decades long struggle within me. I kept telling myself this was a phase that would pass … when I got married, then when I had children, then when I turned 30, then 40, then 50 and so on. It felt like there was a pitched battle between good and evil for my very soul! After 45 long years, I believed the battle for my soul was lost. I realized I was a crossdresser and there was nothing I could do to change it. At that point it I felt like I had capitulated to evil. It didn’t matter to me what good things I had done with my life; my soul was lost!
A few very difficult and confusing years ensued before I decided to come out to my wife of 30+ years. I did a lot of research on how to have “the conversation”. This was undoubtedly the most difficult conversation of my life. Not much in this world scares me, but the thought of losing my wife or my children is unbearable. This difficult conversation, however, slowly led to my healing process.
My wife suggested I see a therapist, which I have been doing for over 3 years now. When I started therapy, my therapist and I talked a lot about my feelings of guilt, shame and self-loathing. I on the other hand, wanted my therapist to help me figure out what “caused” my crossdressing so we could “fix” it. Did I mention I’m an engineer? My therapist immediately dispelled the notion of a “cure” as well as the need for one. She tried to get me to focus on the fact that what I was doing wasn’t bad and wasn’t hurting anyone. Then, with the guidance of my wife and my therapist, I started to ask questions I could answer. Questions that started me down the path of healing and self-acceptance.
During the first 3 years of therapy, my internal conflict kept manifesting itself and my therapist kept asking me “what harm” is my crossdressing doing? In the conversations my wife and I had on the subject, she kept reminding me that I was fundamentally a good person. So yes ladies, in that regard I am very blessed (I would call mine, a supportive DADT relationship).
Between my therapist and my wife (and I must add, the very insightful women of CDH), I started to gradually move toward self-acceptance of my crossdressing. After years of journaling in an attempt to answer numerous questions forcing the self-examination espoused by Socrates, I began to forgive myself and ultimately to accept this part of me. I want to be clear, my progress was slow and anything but steady. Then the major breakthrough came during a conversation with my wife one evening after a therapy session. I mentioned the decades long battle I believed to be going on for my soul. My wife very thoughtfully replied “make this a prayer to God, not a fight with Satan.” So I did!
That seemingly simple suggestion turned around my internal strife. The change wasn’t instantaneous or immediate and I spent many months praying and contemplating after my wife made her suggestion. Then one day it happened! Out of nowhere and completely unprompted I thanked God for “the gift of crossdressing.”
When I mentioned my spontaneous prayer of thanks to my therapist, she asked me what l thought the gift of crossdressing means to me and why the gift is good. I’ve been pondering that for over a month and I’ve come up with a few things, but I feel the true answer is still eluding me. I believe my gift of crossdressing has given me greater empathy for those less fortunate. It has also helped me to understand the male privilege I have unknowingly benefitted from my entire life. Finally, I feel my crossdressing has helped me look at situations with more compassion and a more open mind in an effort to see all sides of the story.
Are these really the core gift? For example, are these characteristics inherent due to the fact I’m a crossdresser? Could it be they are a result of the wholeness I feel when crossdressing that carries over into the rest of my life allowing me to manifest these traits? Maybe it’s something else entirely.
Now to my request for your help. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to push my religious beliefs on anyone, nor am I suggesting that anyone pray who doesn’t believe in God. The help I seek is the tremendous insight so often displayed at CDH.
I still feel as though I haven’t gotten to the root of what the gift really is. So I am asking you wonderful ladies for your insight once again. Not to tell me what the gift of crossdressing means to me, but what it means to you! I know your wonderful reflections will continue to inspire me and help guide to the answers I seek. Thank you all and I hope this holiday season brings you all the joy you deserve!
With much love, Bobbi