The older I get, the less I believe I’m still starting anything. There may be that rare moment when I partake on something completely new and different, but this journey that I’ve been on for nearly 50 years isn’t one of them. Every little goal that I achieve, I find myself saying, “Well, it’s a start.” The me, full of lifelong lessons and maturity responds, “Or is it?”

I think this is so because I don’t know what the ending is. I can look back over my life and point out the wayward signs that led me to this place; the multiple starts at becoming… what exactly. This is my unanswered question. Just what am I trying to become. The possibilities vary with the changing of the seasons. One day, I’m ready to jump all in, the next day I want to pull back. I can only see the haphazardly walked path forward by looking back at where I began and where I am today. Like a chart tracking years of returns on an investment, my journey has been up and down, but it seems to always and to eventually keep climbing higher.

Nearly a year ago, I began helping others put their thoughts into words, helping them to share their stories as I agreed to become the resident editor on both sites. I’ve seen similarities between all of us, been amazed, heartbroken, angry, and joyful in my empathy with those who share their lives with the rest of us. We all need to see it; I need to see it. I am far from alone, and my path is my path, no matter how long it takes or whether or not I can point to a definitive end.

I’m pushing 60, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Does it matter; did it ever? I have the tendency to be introverted and filled by anxieties. My mind never shuts down—it’s why I write novels. It’s also why I over-think every detail that I see. My vision and comprehension of a particular scene is fairly vast. I notice the obvious and the not so obvious. I’ve also had to adjust my life around my diminished hearing–a result of several years working in a pressroom at a newspaper. I can become easily frustrated by other’s lack of awareness at the world around them. This isn’t a reflection on them, but on me. I see the shadows lurking and wonder what’s hiding. Most, contently walk by in happy oblivion and enjoy the sun.

This has been hard to overcome and no amount of yoga and meditation makes it easier for me. The daily stress in my shoulders causes them to sit well above the top of my head…figuratively speaking. When you add in my uncertainty about who (what) I am, there are times that my mind simply has to retreat; I’m compelled to take a nap…to reboot my system. When I’ve gotten to that point, no amount of coffee could keep me awake.

I was once a typical, cocky male with an ego, who had a fetish for high heels and lingerie. Now, I’m more feminine than male (inside); I’m kinder, more afraid, questionably uncertain, still hopeful, persistently doubtful, highly empathetic, magically wishful, and… still searching for an ending. I’ve come to the decision—though I’ve said this before, written it down on my checklist and never completed it, that it’s time to meet with a professional and potentially take the next step. I have to. My anxiety is winning out over contentment with my life–not that I have much in that regard. 

I spend too much time analyzing reasons for the thoughts and desires that I have. In the past, it was always to find some method to eradicate them. Somewhere along the way, the inward looking became more of a search for understanding and acceptance, and recently an acknowledgement that I’m neither male nor female, and I don’t know which one I want to be. I’m not sure if I would find the elusive contentment by undergoing physical and chemical alterations—would they just shift my perspectives—and anxieties? There are some stronger feelings that indicate a need to step over some lines and at least blur the two sides in shared compromise. It also means a day of reckoning with friends and family is on the horizon. My shoulders will never relax until that happens; that moment when all the fears are faced and all that’s left for me to do is to move forward. I know I can handle it…

I’m ready for a nap…

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25 Comments
  1. Sidney Silver 1 week ago

    Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us all. The power of it is not lost on me, nor is its intent. It’s powerful stuff when we reckon with our true self.

    I feel purposely allowing ourselves to be vulnerable brings us closer to our intentioned selves. When I do so I believe it signals to myself and others I have nothing to hide. When I smile while vulnerable (dressed in crowded public) it invites others in and makes them feel safe, and suddenly— we are treating each other kindly, and with respect.

    Be as good to yourself as you can during the in-between times we all face and deal with. You’re beautiful inside and out. That’s what is visible and manifest. What other beautiful things might lurk inside? 🙂

    Best,
    -Sid

  2. Scarlett398 1 week ago

    Brina, I love your astute command of the English language and your ability to express yourself through the use of your words!

    I love this article. I’m a bit past your age and ever since I retired two years ago and started collecting the social security money that I paid into for 45 years, my anxiety has almost gone completely away. I have my civil service retirement coming in, my social security, and on top of that rather large sum of money, my wife now makes over six figures a year!

    Forty five years ago, I was living in a car, working as a brick mason’s laborer, and stealing lunch meat out of a local grocery store to survive. After joining the Air Force and putting in four years of service for my country, it wasn’t until I finished my first of three college degrees and landed the big job that the high powered stress and anxiety you talk about in your article really began to set in. And trying to raise a wife and two young boys didn’t help my anxiety levels to be lowered either. The more graduate schooling work and two masters degrees later is when the highest levels of anxiety set in.

    I never was anxious of figuring out whether I was to be a boy or girl. Since I was 9 years old, I always was a boy who just loved to wear women’s sexy underwear. Then years later, I wanted to be a boy or guy who could, with the right makeup, clothing, hair, silicone breasts, and shape wear, make myself into a 100% passable cute, pretty, sexy, and classy looking lady. According to the girls on this site and one other side to remain nameless, I’ve achieved my goal. I’m apparently in the small minority of cross dressers who can make the total transition from “Handsome Husband” to a 100% passable girl.

    My anxieties with cross dressing all came from hiding it from my wife and kids for many years and always worrying about something I may have left out that would give my secret of dressing up like a pretty cute girl away. My anxieties away from cross dressing came from the lack of money to live a comfortable life and from working high profile and high stress jobs and the more education I put myself through the higher profile job I obtained and along with that job came a higher level of stress. When I look back on life, I think my life would have been so much less stressful had I just skipped all of that education and became a damn good brick layer or plumber or electrician or something like that!

    Now that I have a ton of money coming in and very little of it going out and no job and coworkers to contend with along with half crazy bosses, I have little or no anxiety at all! My sexy redheaded wife is now on board with her acceptance of my cross dressing into a pretty, cute, sexy, and classy girl named Scarlett with only one limitation and that is that I make that transition as long as it’s not in her presence which is just fine with me! I no longer have to hide any part of Scarlett’s wardrobe anymore. I don’t ever have to worry about leaving anything out like a pair of earrings or some skirt that just sort of blended in with the bed or couch I laid it over! I have no desire to become a full time woman because I’m allergic to pain so I couldn’t go through with the massive surgery it would take to make the total transition. I wouldn’t want to lose my wife or the ability to make love to my wife in a totally different way than I make love to her now. Although at least half or even more than half of the love making session could be completed completely by me if I was a woman.

    So I’m good to go in the anxiety department or lack there of right now. All is good and the only real concern at age 64 is the toll that gravity is taking on my face, neck, and body which seems to be making the transition of 100% from guy to girl as far as the looks are concerned a bit more challenging as each and every year passes by.

    I don’t ever want to be dressing my age. Hell, if I did that now I would be looking like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies! So when it comes to the point where I can’t pull off the 100% passable thing as a girl, I’m not sure how interested I’m going to be in full up cross dressing.

    That’s it for now, Brina. I loved your article and please don’t grade this paper for spelling or grammar because it’s 2:30 am and I’m not going back over this response for a review for that sort of thing because it’s very late and I’m exhausted!

    XOXO Scarlett

    • Author

      Scarlett…What can I say…( I think you used up all my words…lol). I’m with you on that darn gravity…the older I get, the less I eat, the more I gain… pretty soon, I’ll be eating rice cakes… or cardboard…they taste the same.

      As always…thanks for commenting and sharing about yourself. Some days, I’d be perfectly happy just to have pierced ears and wear all those spectacular earrings. Other days…give me the natural ability to fill out my pretty bras and show off the cleavage in a low-cut top. And there are times that I want to jump head first into the rabbit hole and become the face my mind sees in the mirror…

      • Scarlett398 1 week ago

        Yep, that gravity is a bitch! Us guys get thick through the middle and the girls get big in the but and thighs!

        You’re gorgeous and don’t worry about that gravity! It looks fabulous on you!

    • Alexis Moon 1 week ago

      Scarlett – that is an awesome post. I feel like you just summed me up! I’m married, 47 years old, and feeling like I’m the same place you are – at least as far as the anxieties go! That fear of, “oh crap, did I leave a bra out?” Or, what if one of the kids looks back in the closet?” Right? That part sucks. My wife knows about the crossdressing, and is generally ok with it, but I still feel like she doesn’t really want to know about it, so I try to disguise my tracks as much as possible. But I agree that I don’t want to change anything about the way I’m able to love her and be her husband, and it’s so good to see an example of someone that has achieved that balance! I also like what you say about the total transformation – to me, that’s the best part. Seeing my normal, schlubby, middle-aged self completely transform is the best part, and being a woman full time would remove that element.

      Brina – I can’t recommend therapy enough. I’ve been on and off for the last three years, and it was helped immensely with my anxiety, and helped my figure out who I am (which is a lot like Scarlett!). Before that, I felt as confused as you do. Good luck on your journey, and thanks for starting such as insightful conversation.

      Alexis

      • Author

        I have a creative side and an analytical side, though my creativity could fall under the latter…I write, which has some similarities (fitting parts together to make a whole.) My issue isn’t necessarily not wanting to go, but in dealing with the grey areas that my puzzle-putting together side says needs to fit.

        Towards the end of my marriage, the ex (unbeknownst to me) had been talking to a therapist and set up an appointment for both of us. I was being set up for an ambush, and it most certainly started out that way. Prior to going, I informed my ex that she wouldn’t like the outcome. “We’ll see about that!” was her reply…I shall never forget. Our meeting wasn’t because of crossdressing…I’d been hiding it well for 20 years.

        By the time the hour was over, the female therapist excused me and asked my ex to stay so they could discuss medication for her. The ex never went back and our eventual end was set in place. This is that awareness knack that I have, and that deterrent that makes me over-analyze things. I just need to find that right therapist, and I know it will help me. I just need to get off the couch… and go…

        Thanks for the comments!

      • Scarlett398 1 week ago

        Hi Alexis and thanks for another reply. Tonight another milestone was reached by the further acceptance my sexy redhead has in regards to my thrill of cross dressing! For the very first time ever, we were out shopping at TJ Maxx and she actually picked out a very sexy white top with navy blue piping around the edges of he flutter sleeves of the top. I didn’t even know she bought it for me until we got home and laid all she purchased out on the dinning room table to put on hangers and put away in her closet. She left the white and navy sexy top on the table and I said, “Baby, you forgot this top that’s still on the table.” She said, “Oh, that sexy one is your’s, I bought it for you!”

        Alexis, I almost fell out on the floor! I went over and gave her a kiss and told her how much I loved her and then took that sexy top and put it in my closet for Scarlett’s next photo shoot this week. You’re gonna love the outfit I put together with that sexy top she bought me tonight. I didn’t think I would ever see this night coming. Next up is my girl on girl dream date with her as her sexy redheaded self and me as cute sexy Scarlett when we are way out of town on vacation in another city where no one knows us. We go out to a really nice restaurant and enjoy a couple of drinks with a nice special dinner and then maybe a late movie followed by a quick trip back to the hotel, light a couple of candles, and enjoy some of the best love making ever working around the clothes we wore out on the date!

        Look forward to hearing more from you girl friend!

        Have a wonderful week, Alexis! XOXOXO Scarlett

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