Monday, April 4, 2011

Say Nothing, Act Casual ... pt. 2

(In which Holli brings "desperate" to a whole new level...)

With the decisive withdrawal of my two closest girl friends - Erica, my actual girlfriend, and Penny - and refusal to entertain the slightest positive thought regarding my cross-dressing, I seemingly at random picked a girl I knew to be my new confidant - name immaterial, for she was brilliant at listening, but contributed absolutely no thoughts to the process.  I began to lean on her for support, as it were, but she expressed no interest in being my enabler.  After almost an entire summer of being sidestepped, I went to her home and tried on some of her outfits without permission, out of some paltry form of revenge.  Her nigh-indifferent reaction to this made me realize I'd placed too much expectation on her shoulders.  We remained friends, but never so much as conversed as before.

I find it somewhat funny that at college I'd gone from total closet-case to practically unloading my needs on other people and expecting results.  Either my naivete was on a crash course with reality, or I believed altruistically in the dependability of human nature.  Maybe both.  Poor girl.  Poor me.

And then I met Angel.  Wise, warm, funny, and such a good friend I couldn't even know.  I confided in her.  Then something happened - she gave back.  A little too much, actually... rather, I didn't have the decency to stop asking. She shopped with me, helped me dress, did my nails (and I did hers), and every now and then my makeup.  She covered for me when I couldn't account for myself to others.  Angel even confided some of the bitter truths peering out from her own closet, feeling it was good for our bond if she added a little of herself to it too.  She devoted herself to understanding me and getting to know me better, unfortunately to the point where she developed a moderate crush on me.  This nonreciprocal love drove us apart for a short while.  Eventually she forgave me for being myopic and advantageous, and I toned down my desperation when we got together.

As it happened, eventually we both got married.  While I was willing to make time for our relationship as girlfriends, Angel knew that it would never work.  (Ever try explaining to one's newlywed husband about spending time with someone else's husband without tipping him off that the other husband is a cross-dresser?  Me neither, but I bet it's hard.)  We agreed that ours would have to remain a correspondent relationship.  Sadly, that has also fallen by the wayside and children have come into her life and there's just no way for her to counsel me any further.

Which brings us to NOW.

Despite that Erica knows what kind of a person I am and what I'm inclined to do when the girlie itch needs scratching, we have more secrets between us now than ever.  I accept half the blame for this.  I simply do not tell her things I don't think she enjoys hearing.  This blog, for instance.  My chat room activities.  My board posts.  Purchases.  Private wardrobe indulgences.  In fact, as far as far as she knows I'm just sitting on a great big mountain of repression and doing just fine.  So in reality I'm exacerbating the problem, based on my worried reluctance to set the hurtful truth free.  There have been so many unexpected "walk-ins" in our relationship, I sense how tired she is of them.  I just feel like I'm granting her fondest wish.  Some people do prefer ignorance.

Erica values secrecy.  She isn't just interested in keeping my closet door closed and barred, but she'd just as well forget her own alleged shortcomings.  Unfortunately, she married a person who's totally into disclosure.  If I had a complaint (haha... "if"... ) it would be that she doesn't know how to open up and explore, discuss, analyze, understand the things either of us say and do.  Of anybody I know - and tell me if I'm wrong, please - she ought to be the most interested in knowing everything she can about this irrepressible facet of my being.  Ought to be.  But isn't.  Much like I have to put up with her temper, but at least take time to understand why she's so angry and say how I feel about it.

I swear... Does anyone else get the impression that I'm the woman in this relationship?

I can tell the world my secrets.  Sure.  But the list of who I really give a damn about them knowing is pretty short, with her at the top.

That's all for now.  Erica's out and about for another half hour, and I've been girling it up all by my lonesome, spilling the beans to anyone who'll listen.  I think I'll go do the dishes.  And I don't care who knows it.  =P



  1. Thank you for spilling the beans Holli

    Your Erica sounds a lot like my Mary Ann. I was back over at CDL and re-read your intro. I too was attracted to women with natural authority and Mary Ann was one of those.

  2. Natural authority and a strong sense of self. It breaks my heart to say, but I would have chosen differently if I knew what knew now.

  3. I won't pretend that it hasn't also crossed my mind - "What if I'd held out a little longer for someone more interested in the kind of girl I am?" It's still a big "what if?" though. I told Erica a few months ago that, without her in my life, I believe I would've been on the verge of transition. I can't back that up without a copy of "A Novice Guide To Alternate Realities," but it was meant to reflect how much I felt I was giving up to build our lives on the same foundation.

    Erica is indeed very authoritative. What's funny is I'm SO not the roll-over-and-do-it variety of spouse. We tend to mix it up a lot. Once she asked, "I thought you WANTED a woman to tell you what to do? Why are you so stubborn?" Me: "Honey, the way you do it isn't even CLOSE to sexy." We could both have it so nice if only she could clear that one, simple mile-high hurdle. =)

  4. Holli,

    I would have transitioned in my 20s if it were not for my relationship for Mary Ann. I'm not sure if you read my introduction over at CDL but there I talked about my big fat purge and how the dam "broke" as it were when I started DJing the dance night catering to trans people (TransRevolution it was called).

    The night was started by two young trans women named Elle and Vanna. Elle committed suicide in November of 2009. Shortly thereafter I was introduced to Vanna by my friend MJ who wanted to help her with keeping the dance night going.

    Jump back to the day after Elle committed suicide. I did not know her at all, but when I learned of her death it was like a switch flipped inside me. The thought was "wow, that could have been me if I would have...broken up with Mary Ann when she rejected this side of me the first time."

    It's taken me a while to come to terms with all of those feelings and their significance, but I know that when I sat down to meet with Vanna, I saw the truth of my existence sitting in front of me.

  5. I did read it, Christine, although having come to know you a little better I thought I'd reread it so that I could appreciate the context.

    Not only have I rarely been out of the house (w/ people who knew I was trans) but I've also never met another t-girl in person. At least none that I knew were t-girls. ;) I have always been reluctant to do so. I wonder what I'm afraid would happen.

  6. well shoot...I had a whole response typed out and then got asked to re-authenticate. That failed and I lost my original text so I guess I'll start over.

    I was reluctant to be around other "women like myself" as it were because I was attracted to them. I would be lying for example, if I said I didn't find both Vanna and Elle attractive in addition to seeing them as someone like me.

    However, now that I've been going out and have been around many many ladies, it's hard to fathom what the attraction was to begin with. I think because tgirls were "verboten" to me for so long, they took on an erotic quality.

    I've also had it suggested to me that my male self has been trying to control my female presentation -- by turning "her" into a sex object. No one would ever take "her" seriously that way and so "he" would never have to deal with her existence in a meaningful way. It also sheds new light on the whole bondage/submission motif -- by keeping her tied and gagged, she could never express to the world that she was anything BUT a sex object.

    Metaphorically speaking of course...

  7. I do believe there is *a kernel of truth* to the last part. I feel by embarking on HRT, I have taken "him" out of the picture for the most part. What "he" has come to represent is all of the erotic baggage associated with my female presentation because of the presence of testosterone in my system.

  8. All of the symbolism you allude to sounds right on the money. I've always suspected that a lot of the things we t-girls find attractive about being a woman are the very things we as "men" find attractive about women in general. It's reflected in the way we glam up, why we choose such provocative styles, and ultimately why we're so turned on by the mere act and by what we see in the mirror.

    I definitely see the line that divides me from my male & female self, but I don't see them as mutually exclusive. Whereas you saw fit to eliminate "his" power over your happiness, I feel that my "he" and "she" are two sides of the same coin. I wouldn't be complete without either. Oddly, though, I can never be both at the same time (and yet in a way I AM). [cue Twilight Zone theme]

    I do begin to wonder, since we're discussing it, what shape I would take if I removed "him." But I'm not too keen on experimenting. It sounds like a one-way ticket, and I hate not having the option to renegotiate terms.

  9. BTW, Christine - I keep telling myself to browse your site and read your entries, which I'm sure are wonderful, but I'm so easily distracted. Expect to see a few comments from me in the near future! =)

  10. Holli

    I don't see my two halves as mutually exclusive either; I believe myself to be (spiritually and physically) a brother and sister in the same body. See my post on Chimeras for more on that.

    {queue ominous music} A lot of people find the concept of chimeras "creepy"; hopefully you are not one of those, but I wanted to warn you up front. Also, many trannsexuals and intersexed folk don't like it either. The TS folk feel guilty at some level for having killed off their brother and the intersexed folk are pissed because the commonness of chimeras means they are not so rare either.

    Anyway to continue; I think brother Chris' hormones were causing his relationship with sister Christine (and her relationship to the outside world as well) to run amok. This has been an experiment to determine the extent to which testosterone is the culprit and what life might be like on oestrogen.

    an experiment in which Chris is a willing participant...

    I believe both brother and sister have a right to exist and that I would not be complete with either of them absent. It would be wrong on so many levels to kill off Chris by fully transitioning into Christine.

    But they do need to learn how share this body....

    I think if more of conceived of ourselves as two halves of the same coin, there would be a lot less transitioning going on...or perhaps not.

    Holli, I am really enjoying our correspondence and look forward to your reply xoxo

  11. I'm ALSO enjoying our conversation! In fact, I suddenly discovered a revelation in between the lines of our discussion here and your posts over at Crossdream Life. Earlier I wrote, "I don't know what I want," in response to Erica's frustrated query, which is still true inasmuch as I seem to change my mind about things as fast as I declare them. But I think I finally know how to answer that: I need someone to be WITH Holli, not just someone who'll share living space. Maybe I even need to be Holli FOR someone, to feel I'm needed in this regard. I might have said all this out loud before, but I feel like it makes sense in a whole new way now. It bears meditation...

    Secondly, Christine, I'm in LOVE with mythology and storytelling. (Some people say my faith in God is indicative of this, but that's nothing I care to debate. Discuss, but not debate.) If nothing else, the allusion to chimera is fantastic! It's a terrific symbol, and it matters. No insult should be taken from thoughtful, considerate, well-intentioned analogies.

    Look at my "Alice in Wonderland" comparison. Would I get bent out of shape b/c someone calls me an immature, deluded little girl? Right. More likely, I'd be flattered to be thought of as a youthful, imaginative explorer. (And I like Mary Janes... bonus!)

    I'm going to try to read your chimera entry before the night is out. Cheers, C! ~HCP~

  12. Oh. OH! I just read your "chimera" post. Not mythology... as in FOR REAL! Wow! More fodder for thought... woooo. =)

  13. Awesome, my first post got erased due to the error of not being signed in to google reader. So this post will be more happy and to the point.

    We're all pretty desperate it seems and eventually we're going to have to do something about the major tensions of who we are known as and who we are. Its going to be hell, but it just has to be done. As a serial avoider of pain, let me advise you to come towards something because it seems that either way, you're going to lose something you love. And if you're like me at all, this is causing you lots of anguish. I'd love to see these things resolved, but I don't feel like I can be optimistic about such things.

    Anyway, I wish I could hug you because my words suck and they don't express the emotions of reading/writing/coming to terms with all that has been said, thought of and such from you and myself.
    -bailey (I changed my 'name', fyi)

  14. I'm positive that everything I'm going through is surmountable, Bailey, precisely b/c of the words and ideas flowing so freely between all of us. Just the fact that I'm engaging in pertinent dialogue again after such a long, dry spell. The words mean a lot to me. They get me thinking, show me doors I didn't even know were THERE much less required the right kind of key! Also, I'm very stubborn in that if someone tells me that square pegs don't go in round holes I enjoy proving it. (Or DISproving it, if I have the proper tools... [wink])

    I'm only now to the point where I know I can't rely on Erica to grow a set of tolerance glands - and furthermore, I don't blame her; if I am who I am, then she is who she is - BUT she will have to eventually acknowledge that I can't navigate alone and I'm not willing to cancel the trip. Hopefully soon she'll realize the same thing I do, that we're in this together and whatever one does affects the other, i.e. the reason I'M so hesitant to make hasty decisions where only I benefit. Shouldn't this be a reciprocal issue, where if she makes me hide Holli then only SHE benefits?

    See!? Saying it this way didn't occur to me til just now. This IS a place of wisdom!! =D

  15. Yes, chimeras are real! If Dr Boklage is correct, they are a common variant in the development process. So a great many of us singletons may have began life as two people.

    The problem is there is no good way to know for sure. The technology isn't there yet.

    That why I was careful to say "spiritually" true. I've been somewhat of a rabid empiricist most of my life, but I am learning to believe things in my heart, which allows me to believe in things that I cannot see and touch.

    In my heart of hearts, the idea that I began life as a brother and sister rings true. I feel Schopenhauer's "heaving bosom", the bellows of divinity, conviction, or whatever when I think about it.

    So I don't give a fig if I cannot prove I am a chimera with medical science...

    I need someone to be WITH Holli, not just someone who'll share living space. Maybe I even need to be Holli FOR someone, to feel I'm needed in this regard. I might have said all this out loud before, but I feel like it makes sense in a whole new way now. It bears meditation...

    Oh this is perfect Holli, you nailed it dear. I desire someone who actually *wants* to be with me when I present as Christine -- not as a roommate or some sort of living sex toy -- but someone who enjoys her on deeper levels. That would certainly make *all of me* feel needed.

  16. It's taken me a while to come to terms with all of those feelings and their significance, but I know that when I sat down to meet with Vanna, I saw the truth of my existence sitting in front of me.

    Well I'll be damned...

    I just got in touch with Vanna after having been out of touch for several months. First she told me:

    "i flipped out a couple weeks ago
    decided to start living as a boy"

    Then she said:

    "for the last week or so i've been binding my boobs down and not wearing makeup
    and not one person has called me sir... they all think i'm a woman. So now i'm so confused"

    "i sorta realize i am stuck as a woman
    and i don't know how i feel about that"

    "i don't want to be a boy, i dont want to be a girl
    i don't want to be trans... "

    "i know i'm more feminine than masculine... i look and more more like a girl than a boy, so that seems to be where I fall in the spectrum
    but i miss my life as a boy
    i want to do guy things
    I want to be just one of the guys again..."

    "i may just keep taking hormones and live as a guy"

    So Vanna wishes to be one of the guys again and my 40 year old lesbian is now straight -- two people who I have just gotten back in touch with whose lives have completely changed course. I think the universe is trying to tell me something...

  17. It occurs to me now that I HAVE heard this theory before, except it didn't mention anything about Chimeras. In a medical journal? News article? Haha, sadly NO. There was this humor column over at entitled "6 Shockingly Evil Things Babies Are Capable Of." This was one of the things:

    "For a long time scientists had a theory that left handed people might have started out as twins in the womb. Their rationale was that in a set of twins one tends to be right handed and one left handed. Genetic and nurturing factors can also affect handedness, but they can't explain it completely in many cases. Maybe all lefties were the result of only one twin surviving the cage fight that is fetal development.

    "It wasn't until ultrasounds, and fearless cameras capable of surviving the uterus, that scientists discovered their hunch was right. Sort of. They were right in the fact that most lefties were once twins but they didn't go far enough. Scientists now think that a ridiculous one in eight people started out as two peas in a pod. Of course, only about one in 70 people actually is a twin. So what happened to your twin? You killed it and then absorbed it into your body. Yeah, those stories of adults finding teeth in their shoulder? Not urban legends.

    (Why Did I Do That?!)

    "Because you're evil.

    "Not really. Chances are you were just the healthier fetus. Or you hogged all the blood if you shared a placenta. Or you grew faster and literally left your sibling no womb at the inn. If multiple pregnancies are really as common as they now seem, we evolved to be this way for a reason. Trying out two fetuses to see which one is more likely to survive is a pretty good plan evolutionarily. Unfortunately, carrying twins is very dangerous for the mother, meaning that our best bet as a species was to let one twin kill off the other early on in development. Just another reason lefties are a sinister, sinister group of people."

    All jokes aside, here's a link it cited:

    Not so screwy after all!

  18. If the universe is trying to tell you anything, it's that change is constant, and often things aren't everything they seem. Just when you feel you have it all figured out, BAM. Left turn. Curve ball. This kind of irregularity has made me an over-thinker. I take a long to to make big decisions, which really irritates a lot of people (not the least of whom is Erica.) =D

  19. I hadn't read that one yet, but that is hilarious!

    They do misstate the facts though because the developing embryos do not fight it out for dominance. Chimerism occurs at 8-10 weeks when the embryos are somewhere between a cell mass and brain primordia. Even at that stage, either a male or female instruction set is present in each. Before they are born as twins, most of them merge together. So what I'm saying is the boy-girl pairs merging together might produce a single human that begins to exhibit gender variant behavior when they get out into the world.

    Perhaps I should start a "don't kill yr brother" movement amongst trans folk based on the theory. Help them to realize they are at once male and female?

  20. If the universe is trying to tell you anything, it's that change is constant, and often things aren't everything they seem. Just when you feel you have it all figured out, BAM. Left turn. Curve ball

    I could not have said it better =) xoxo

  21. Oh and after that terrible Thursday last week with my wife, we've had two really incredible days where I've felt really close to her as a mate. This is like that rollercoaster of life like the movie Parenthood

  22. An utter coincidence, the clouds seem to have been lifting on our end as well. I plan on writing my next entry on it soon. I've been thinking much about how Erica's plight and mine have been fairly symbiotic in misery. We seem to be the source of each other's irritation, her the intolerant one and I the stubborn one. =)