The Thoughts of Youth

Today I’ve had a down day and felt inspired to write a little. I put on the movie “In the Bedroom”, Todd Field’s beautiful and painful portrait of a couple dealing with the loss of their son. In one scene, a friend of the protagonist (played by the wonderful Tom Wilkinson) compassionately quotes a stanza from the poem “My Lost Youth” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to momentarily soften the anguish of the loss of his friend:

“There are things of which I may not speak;
      There are dreams that cannot die;
There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak,
And bring a pallor into the cheek,
      And a mist before the eye.
            And the words of that fatal song
            Come over me like a chill:
      “A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

These words struck me as being both tender and painful. Surely these two feelings (among many others) are what Longfellow intended his poem to provoke. But perhaps for reasons he hadn’t imagined.

Time and circumstance prevented me from the realization of my true nature. Cultural hardening and social inactivity kept me on this path of non-enlightenment until very recently.

As a “late-bloomer” cross dresser and the gender-fluid trans person I’m discovering myself to be, I’ve discovered linked to this realization of whom I’ve become is a process of detailed and rigorous recollection and a type of revisionist history making. I’ve often imagined what my life would have been like had I known truly who and what I was earlier in life.

Time and again, reading what other girls here on this site have shared, I’ve been struck by the bravery and the sorrow so often experienced by these girls. I imagined how painful it would be to live in a world that rejects (in my case absolutely would have rejected) their core being. How alone and hurtful it must have felt. How daunting the prospect of finding happiness in one’s self must have been.

None of you know this but I am a stutterer. From my earliest recollections, I remember stuttering. As a child and indeed most of my life I’ve felt emotions ranging from sorrowful realism to seething anger at the fact of being a stutterer. Having moved a lot as a child didn’t help my situation either. I found children can be cruel. The first few days at a new school was like gladiator academy. Many times, my lips got split as my knuckles got bloody. I often had to fight for my dignity and for my place in this world as well. Most often I gained grudging respect as one who wouldn’t take anyone’s crap for long.

I understand being spurned and relegated to freak status for reasons unrelated to one’s true nature. In addition to my stuttering, I was also a victim of both physical and sexual abuse by family members. As a result, it becomes understandable why I may have been closed off to anything outside the norm that would further risk my already fragile social acceptance. And if I’m truly honest, a large part of me is glad I didn’t know exactly what I was earlier in life. I fear that the addition of the realization would have been simply too much to bear. And I know for a fact I would not be here today among you beautiful souls.

Things happen when they do for reasons we can’t always know, or see, or understand. Our role here on this earth is to be as kind as we can be to others, to feel as good as we can, and to love ourselves through it all. Sure, I would have loved to have dressed when I was tall, tan, young and lovely. But it certainly would have come at great cost and perhaps the ultimate price.

So I feel sorry for myself for a short time and then raise my head, toss my hair back, check my makeup, and get on with the rest of my life, making sure that whatever time I do have left is time best lived for myself, and for those I love.

Please be as good to yourselves as you can. You all are worth it.

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”
P.S. Are any of you girls out there late cross dressing bloomers yourselves and wish you would have started your thrill of cross dressing much sooner in life? If so, please feel free to share your story with me.
Sincerely, Sydney Silver

 

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6 Comments
  1. *skippy1965(Cynthia) 2 months ago

    Sidney-what an eloquent and heart-rending article! I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting both you and your lovely wife Grace at Esprit in May. Yes-I did notice your initial reticence -both because of the stutter(though it was not as much as you probably felt it was) and the fact that this was your first time at a conference; BUT WOW-you got over that in a heartbeat and lived life to the fullest for the entire glorious week ! It is SO exciting to see others go through the same phases I did three years ago-the mix of emotions we experience-fear, joy, curiosity, happiness. You blossomed so beautifully as your comfort level grew. And you were blessed to share it with your wife-a wonderful beautiful woman who is supporting you in your journey of exploring who you really are. I’m still exploring my own journey, but don’t know where it will lead.(You’ve read my story in my articles and forum posts). Thank you so much for becoming my friend, Sidney! I am truly lucky to know you!
    Cyn

  2. fiona moss 2 months ago

    Awwww sidney, what a lovely, very well put together article. It is so true that we all have our own little stories to tell, no matter how good or bad they are and its so nice to be able to share our experiences, help others, who are at rock bottom or just simply lost. People can be so transparent, not seeing beyond your stutter, to see a beautiful person inside. Society has a lot to answer for. Thank god we are here so we can share our lives and futures together and talk to like minded, non judgemental individuals, who know exactly what we are all going through. Beautiful article from a very beautiful person, thankyou so much just for being here and sharing with us 🙂

    Fiona xxxx

  3. Karen B 2 months ago

    Sidney,
    As already stated by Cynthia and Fiona what a lovely, well thought out article you have written.
    I also am a (very) late bloomer. I had been dressing in secret since I was 12, now 59, and only came out last year. I believe I am a two spirit, and love both my male and female sides. But as you touched upon in your article, it had caused a lot of internal conflict for me growing up.
    It is because of the many wonderful people I have met in person and online, since coming out, that has made me feel so much better and more comfortable with myself. I wish to thank all that have made this happen.
    Hugs to all, Karen

  4. Emily 2 months ago

    Such a heart felt story. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for having the courage to share it.

  5. Michelle Stephens 2 months ago

    Well written Sidney! I too am a late bloomer to cross dressing. I was able to do it in my teens, but then marriage and life got in the way and I purged all my clothes and lived the life others expected a man to live. As I become stronger as the woman I am I feel freer and happier than I believe I have ever been. My friend Mary is my inspiration and greatest supporter. I too look back and wonder how things may have been had I been my true female self earlier in life. No marriage/ no children etc. etc. As you say though sometimes we just have to wait for things to happen when they do! In this way I feel we are getting the most out of our true selves. What joy in having to decide which outfit to wear to the next Pride meeting! Things are changing and some day all of us girls will walk down the street and be accepted for who we really are!! Michelle

  6. Author
    Sidney Silver 2 months ago

    Thank you all for the lovely comments and compliments. I find it strengthens me to know others resonate with my experiences, and feel how I feel. It makes this journey, and these discoveries feel natural and not quite so daunting. When I share and I find lots of us have very similar experiences and thoughts, access to empathy and compassion for myself (and others) fills me up. It helps me get closer to myself, and all of you. The more I dress and live as Sidney, the more authentic I behave. The closer I get to being the type of energetic person I want to be, and finally am discovering I truly am. And this effect crosses every boundary in me. No matter if I’m in Sidney mode or drab mode, I am a better HUMAN BEING through it all. Thank you all.

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