Really, I must be. Why else would you spend a lifetime doing everything possible to “fix yourself” and fail? My life is in its later stages so maybe there will be something of use here for others to learn from. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Let me explain. It is a lot about mental health, and I look forward to your replies.

As a youngster, I remember being very anxious inside. It even caused very red rashes on the inside middle of my arm and on the back of my neck. My stomach was always in knots. So, I have to ask the question; “Which came first?” Was it the anxiety passed down to me through genetics or did my crossdressing game create that anxiety? Ahhh, yes, the game that so many of us know.

I was surrounded by women and girls. My mother, gramma, an older sister, and all of her girlfriends. They all made me into the little sister. I Loved It! Why? Because it was the only time I felt good and happy inside. Otherwise, it was Mom pointing her finger in my face and saying, “Bad Boy!” I’m not sure if addiction is possible, in that way, at that age.

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Every item they dressed me in felt wonderful. The scent of their perfume was intoxicating. So many of us have that first memory of slipping into a dress! My dad was working two full-time jobs so there was no one to say no. By age 11 the game stopped.

The thing that probably saved my life was sports. I loved them and was also good enough to make the teams. Interestingly, I don’t remember any dressing from age 11 until I returned home from the Navy at 21. During those years I dated and didn’t crossdress. I was normal; right? I fell in love at age 17 and had other normal relationships with girls.

In the Navy, I learned the terms transvestite and crossdresser. And I saw them! It could be done! How thrilling I thought. I started fantasizing at night. but it introduced me to a dark enemy–depression. I found myself looking for places to hide on the ship to just cry.

I came home from the Navy with a little anxiety and more depression. I believed that I just needed to settle down. I got married and then found myself trying on her clothes—hating myself for it. Then the BOMB dropped. I had a full-fledged panic attack in front of 15 people during a church lesson. It was complete with hyperventilating, sweating, trembling, and stuttering in front of them, and nowhere to hide. This continued for seven years in public places. Even while at work as a hairstylist. Wonder why I got so anxious when I had a particular “pretty woman” in my chair? Hmmmm.

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I went to my first psychologist, and he prescribed Xanax. First time I had felt calm in years. I continued to have anxiety and depression problems, so I absorbed myself in self-help books and more therapists. Crossdressing all the time of course. Nothing like “Slipping on A Dress” for some comfort. The main problem is still there—hiding and keeping secrets. The feeling that I wasn’t man enough to overcome it. I became a Christian and am a believer and pray daily. I think God has blessed me in so many ways since then.  

 I remain remarried to a wonderful woman, 32 years now, who knows everything about me and still loves me. So, let’s get to the acceptance part. I really could use your input here. Let’s also look back for a moment. Anxiety, depression, deep shame, my lifetime memories of failing in front of others with panic attacks were akin to soul murder.  I was classified with mental illness DSM 3 whatever that is. I hated being me most of my life. But I still love slipping on that dress! Call me Crazy!

 

 

 

 

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Bettylou Cox
Duchess
Active Member
17 days ago

Hi Ellin, My thoughts, for what they’re worth: You have been put through a lot of grief, and you survived; good for you! It appears that your mom wanted a girl, and resented you for not being one…that’s hard on any child. Probably a major cause for the lack of self-confidence which leads to the panic attacks. (My medical background is mostly with trauma, not mental health, so I may be wrong; but I also have panic attacks, caused by a social anxiety disorder, so I can relate). NO, you are not “crazy”; You (and I) are just more sensitive… Read more »

Bettylou Cox
Duchess
Active Member
16 days ago
Reply to  Ellin

No, I am not familiar with CPTSD, but as a survivor of a broken home at a time when it was rare, I can understand. And please, don’t give up on finding your true self. Finding and embracing Bettylou has freed me from my panic attacks. (It does involve keeping my drab time to a few hours per week).
Hugs,
Bettylou

Rei Durden
Baroness
Active Member
17 days ago

There’s so much in your story and all the comments that I can relate to, thank you for sharing this and starting this most important conversation. I had repressed my feelings and needs for ages but throughout my darkest suicidal early teens to mid 20’s and the black hole of addiction and coping mechanisms from my 20’s-mid 40’s it was always there try as hard as I might to deny it. When I finally admitted to myself that Rei was a necessary, a valid and an important piece of my identity I have experienced peace and contentment as I’ve never… Read more »

Rei Durden
Baroness
Active Member
16 days ago
Reply to  Ellin

Absolutely! I’ll send off a friend request.

Tigerlilley
Duchess
Member
16 days ago

Sence of guilt i have I am still working on my stress. But with me I want peace with my X and family. I will still try my hardest intel I dye to make peace and l .love her very much She did not ask for this eather .Anyways good article some of parts in Article is what I went through and still am.

Melissa
Member
12 days ago

Great article, thanks for sharing.

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