Nail Polish

My sense is that I am not at all alone in having oscillated over time between wanting to be Abby full-time to not wanting to be Abby for a while to everything in between.

My “career” as a transgender person started at age 3 in a summer bungalow colony when a boy, a couple of years older, suggested we polish our nails and I happily agreed. We did it stealthily and were happy as larks until we decided it was time to remove the polish. Despite our scrubbing our nails as hard as we could with soap and water, they would not respond- much to our terror. Finally, we meekly went to our mothers and asked them to please remove the polish. They all had a laugh (at our expense)  but they didn’t realize that we had been dead serious.

My early experiences were no different from thousands of others. I had an older sister who aided and abetted me and allowed me to put on makeup with her and her girlfriends. I discovered my mother’s clothing and indulged myself when my parents went out- almost getting caught numerous times.

Years passed as I gained more experience and discovered several support groups. I had told my wife about Abby after 10 years of marriage and 2 kids and she promptly went into total denial. After 15 more years, I re-told her and said I wouldn’t let her “forget” about Abby again.  She initially was helpful but soon settled into, at best, grudging and sarcastic tolerance. I was able to be Abby as long as I did it in “moderation” (by her definition). I also was able to go to transgender meetings and conventions.

The most memorable convention was at my initial First Event meeting in 2011. I met a friend who has stayed with me and who is now in the process of transitioning. I left there in a very dense pink fog fully intending to be Abby full time and entered  gender therapy with a very experienced gender therapist who was completely in favor of it.

I decided to wait until I went abroad to live for several months and see if wanting to be Abby remained as important to me. With the assistance of my oldest child- a son, who had been accepting of Abby, I came to the conclusion that I was not ready to permanently get rid of my male self, who had accomplished so much and had a full life. I decided then that I was bi-gendered or dual-gendered and that is how I still identify.

At times, I have had some months go by when I don’t think it is worth all the effort it takes to be Abby but that does not last too long before the “rush” to be Abby again is compelling. As of now, I live half my year abroad and have found a friend who allows me to change into Abby at her apartment with the consent of her partner. I go out at least once a week and feel wonderful.

I am wondering just how many others oscillate as well.

 

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25 Comments
  1. Steven D Paulin 3 years ago

    Great article! My wife has been somewhat supportive of my feminine side, but she has thus far refused to say her name, and she’s not keen on me going public. Still, I am grateful of her support, and I, too, am an oscillator. Most of the time, I just wear my undergarments beneath my ‘drab’ clothes, and some pairs of shoes that could pass for either gender. There are days that I want to dive head first into transitioning, but then I think of my biological family and how they may react. They accepted a long time ago that I was destined to go my own way, but this would blow everything I’ve done (that they know of) out of the water. Danielle Rose will always be a big part of who I am, but until I can find the courage to show her to the world, she’ll be a close-kept secret, shared only with a few understanding souls. I love you girls. You all give me hope! Muah!!

    • Abby Lauren 3 years ago

      I have shared Abby with lots (but definitely not ALL) of the world and find that things, so far, have gone fairly well. What has surprised me a lot is that my wife has, on occasion, given me items of clothing and makeup she no longer wants and that I’ve subsequently treasured because she has such great taste in clothes.
      The “take home” lesson is, by all means, please don’t give up hope.

  2. Mona. 3 years ago

    I can totally relate to your story although I started a bit late in my life. My wife is a wonderful woman who supports me and allows me to be Mona in Moderation that I fully respect. We went out as girl friends only once in Spain for a short walk… besides that, she is very concerned of social stigma around being a wife/family of a TG… so she advises me to stay closeted in our place.

    When I am Mona, my desire is to stay as mona only and changing back to my male self is painful and distressing. But this is what I have agreed to and accepted to cant complain. At my age now, transitioning seems out of question and hence, while I can still be mona, I do it and enjoy whatever little life I live as her.

    • Abby Lauren 3 years ago

      I won’t get into the wisdom of agreeing to permanently accept severe limits on your access to your other self. Each person (and couple) has to determine what she can live with. If it becomes too burdensome, you might be able to re-negotiate the terms later.
      Good luck.

  3. Sharelee Cartson 3 years ago

    Fantastic story. I have had this same battle every day since I was 15. I am now 58 and wish I could be Sharelee full time. It would destroy my family and me, so why do I desperately need to be her? I wish the world would just say ‘ok just be her and no one will mind! ‘ Thanks Abby! X

    • Abby Lauren 3 years ago

      I think we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out the “why” of how we are. I spent 15 1/2 years in intensive therapy, read every article and book on the subject and still had (and have) no definitive clue as to why we are the way we are. I have concluded that such a search would be futile and it is just better all around for me to just accept that this is an integral part of me that will be with me (In varying degrees) all my life.
      I am much happier this way.

      • Leonara 3 years ago

        Abby, thank you so much for putting that question in print “why”. When my wife walked in on one of my Leonara times, she asked the same question. I stammered an blurted out it’s just a feeling and helps me get through my forced retirement about 8 years ago. Two things we discussed 1) don’t do it in public and 2) not in front of her. As you mentioned in your article, my alter ego (for a better explanation) is “an integral part of me” andi get Leonora time when the opportunity presents itself…
        A footnote…my wife and I have shared shopping together and she picked out my panties, cami, and stockings… And we had a manicure together… Thank you all for listening and maybe it just may help someone. Thank you Abby for putting “why” in perspective.
        Leonara

  4. Jeri Dee 3 years ago

    I really appreciate your story — especially right now. I have had some of the same wavering back and forth. I’ve also gone from just a pair of panties beneath my pants, to serious consideration of hormone treatment, etc., etc. Even though my wife is very supportive, I just recently went through about 6 months where I didn’t dress up at all. It’s funny — several times in my life, I’ve wished that I didn’t have the compulsion, but I have really MISSED not having it, now. I’m getting back into it now, though, so I guess things will be back to “normal” soon.

  5. Lorrie Kaye 3 years ago

    First, let me say I envy you, Abby! I have vacillated from being “just a guy” to at one point transitioning to Lorrie. I had crossdressing impulses since I was about 3, putting on mother’s makeup, her clothes, etc. I went through buy and purge so often, my head began to spin. I thought I was alone. Then, a number of years ago, I found the internet and realized there are many people like me. I was married for about 20 years, not sharing Lorrie at all. I started buying clothes and makeup and when I had alone time, I would dress and it was *wonderful*! In 1995, my wife opened a credit card bill and found a charge to Victoria’s Secret for a bra, panties and high heels. She immediately accused me of having an affair and buying these things for my “girlfriend.” As I had always been faithful, I confessed they were my items. She went ballistic, calling me gay and other slurs, and after a long and bitter fight, we divorced. After divorcing, I went totally crazy, buying breast forms, wigs, dresses, underwear, makeup, everything! This *wonderful* “Girl Time” (alone, of course, I am NOT passable) lasted maybe 4 months, when I met a terrific lady and we married. She does not know about Lorrie and I am very uncomfortable in telling her. We have a great life together and I do not want to lose her. So Lorrie stays in the closet and only pops out when wife is out. I still love the feeling of silky clothing (she and I are bout the same size) and use her makeup.

  6. terri m 3 years ago

    Abby, your situation is very similar to mine. For years I kept asking why and finally came to the realization that if I did find out it wouldn’t change anything. I think I would love to live as a woman, but it would destroy my family. As I get older I enjoy being Terri more than ever. I dream of my past experiences and dream of future ones. I think of my past trips to Provincetown and the fun I had. I remember that lobster dinner we had and all the great people I have met over the years. Life is a balancing act and I have been doing ok so far.
    Terri

  7. Deb 3 years ago

    Hi,
    I do understand. Am 55. Dressing since 5 or so. Many purges, not always for good reasons if there are… I got married with a lovely woman. I purged a way before, may be for too long. I thought CD was a thing of the past. I have CDed back. I discussed with my wife, spoon feeding the discussions. She accepts +-. I still love her much so I do not want to push too hard. I have to do or wear something feminine every day to keep me “stabilized”, could be a little something, even 2 minutes but I have to take care of my femme side and I love that!!!

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