Growing up in the 60s and 70s was a different realm than the more modern world of today. Access to such things as my mother’s clothing was simply a matter of walking into her room, opening the “treasure chests” known as her drawers containing the objects of my desire. The first time I slipped on those delicate, petite garments against my skin, I was hooked. I didn’t see a boy dressing up in the clothes he shouldn’t. My “en-femme” Gollum was shaped at that moment and the allure of “my precious” stirred deep down inside. If only I knew then what I know now?
I would have been around five when my mother came home and found me in the backyard parading around the clothesline wearing just her red bra and panties, an event she would recount every time she caught me from then on. My memory is hazy of that moment, and I do not know why I felt compelled at such an early age other than I loved the feeling of her silky petticoats, lace panties, nylons, and garter belts against my skin.
The euphoric sensation of that first time opening the drawers, slipping into the elegant garments, and then gazing into the mirror, was finding my Valhalla. I still do every time I dress. This desire has always been inside me. The terms crossdressers, drag queens, and even transvestites weren’t in my vocabulary, let alone did I know what they meant.
My mother struggled to understand her confused offspring; she always loved me despite her many berated lectures, which I came to realize later in life. Our family of four siblings included an older sister, my brother, “Moi” and a younger sister. Mom shared with me one day when we could have a conversation as adults, on this most taboo of subjects, that a visit to the local psychiatric clinic did little to satisfy her belief that her son was gay.
All I knew was an all-consuming desire to dress in her clothes, given any opportunity. Therapy was never discussed after the verdict of the clinician was that her child was acting out in his desire to be closer to his mother. (Where do we find these people?) Her summarization was that my father loved my big sister because she was the first-born, my big brother similarly the first son, my little sister was the baby, which left me as the black sheep grazing “in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.”
Our mothers are the cement that holds their family together because their love is unconditional. The upside… after all these years, I found CDH and the courage to share my thoughts with you. The proverbial cat has finally come out of the closet. Even though I always knew you were all out there somewhere, I now know that this is to be the first of many more moments I can share with like-minded sisters and a family I never knew I could have.
I have read a lot of the articles and stories you have all shared within, wishing I could find the time to do the same. These days, many people like myself have been left behind when it comes to embracing change, especially with technology. However, unlike the dinosaurs, I’ve realized that I either evolve or die, and I’m not prepared to let the latter happen.
My SO, who suffered from being bipolar, that it drove her to take her own life, passed some 13 years ago. My only child (my son) was raised by me after losing his mother at the tender age of 9. He’s since grown and no longer lives with his doting father. He is the one thing I believe to be normal in all the things I have achieved in my time, and I love him dearly. I pray every day I pass on before him, rather than succumb to another second of life knowing I lost the one thing in my life that is normal.
I do not know what my future holds, but right now I am taking control by sharing myself with you all of you, and it feels normal. I am free to be me and have begun my journey to resolving an issue that has haunted me for too long. I now have friends who are aware of my desire to dress up as the woman I affectionately refer to as “Gollum” and they are my blessing in disguise.
The person I live with now encourages me to be closer to that, which makes me happiest. When I lost my SO I didn’t believe I could raise a child on my own. I couldn’t even look after myself, let alone save my SO? That said, I have thankfully negotiated my way through that “mind-field” and if I have learned anything, it is this.
Mental illnesses are a disease that affects anyone, regardless! It doesn’t discriminate, be it race, religion, colour, or creed. Sexual orientation does not even make it into the top five. We allow ourselves to turn inwards in our thoughts and compound the confusion, thus making us doubt things even more.
It’s an enormous amount of pressure, and we have all done similar to ourselves. I have entered a new realm of modern thinking. I thank you all for letting me be a part of it. You have given me the strength and motivation to make it to this stage. I look forward to where we and I go from here. “Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to, weren’t never there, and where you are ain’t no good unless you can get away”