MYTHS, FALLACIES and MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

⇐ Just had 92nd birthday thanks to my mother’s genes.

Blog No 77 — Influence On Our Lives  (continued)

Early twenties: For reasons this writer can’t explain it would appear that cross dressers in those instances where joining a family business or profession isn’t a deciding influence usually tend to choose a career involving a mathematical bent such as engineering or architecture. The health field seems to be another prime attraction.  Becoming a top salesman in any field is unlikely. I do believe that it is very much related to the early tendencies to be introverted an aggressive A-type personality is not common for the majority of us so choosing a career-path is made accordingly. Apropos, a 2017 study by a group at Harvard delved into the causation possibilities as to why only 6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female. Aside from the “glass ceiling” and untold number of years of prejudice (After all, the right to vote in the U.S. is less than one hundred years new.) the degree or level of testosterone was offered as a major factor. Aggressiveness and risk-taking are usually necessary ingredients for success and this latest study equates that with the testosterone level.

I think the reader will agree that for the many of us who grew up shy we are usually passive sexually ─ perhaps not admitting to ourselves that we would prefer being submissive. As discussed above, being passive in a business atmosphere is not a key to success! Consequently, our climb up the business ladder takes a hit to a greater or lesser degree ─ either achieving our goals at a slower pace or not at all.  

It’s easy to understand that, adding shyness to the equation, more than half of CDers become late bloomers sexually. We all know that it is difficult to find a mate who either early on accepts or is supportive of our “habits”. For most, though, prior to looking for a partner we usually prolong the “rite of passage”. For me I lost my virginity in my early twenties to a widow ten years older than I who was also boarding in the same home in the college town. I did turn away earlier opportunities by offering ridiculous excuses that were merely covering up my unfounded fears. Well, not entirely. In 1943 my bomber was rained out of our home training base in Gulfport so we spent the night in Mobile. I actually picked up a young lady and checked into a hotel! No idea why the sudden, though temporary, shedding of so many self-imposed restrictions. Bottom line she was having her period – a subject I knew zilch about. She was still sleeping when, in early morning, I left a $10 bill on the dresser and quietly closed the door behind me. Nope, she never did ask me for money perhaps she was homeless and looking for a place to sleep never did inquire. I was still a virgin. 

As mentioned above, my personal reluctance isn’t echoed by that segment of teenage CDers who are, if anything, socially unfettered.

Sorry for wandering from the topic at hand: the effect of Cding on our life’s journey. Granted that most teenage hetero crossdressers are still heavily into the fetish stage during those early years. Further, the majority who will remain heterosexual, or Bi, for their entire journey have, as to be expected, an attraction to females usually found in our same classrooms be it high school or college. The answer, we know will vary from teen to teen, but  you should honestly ask yourself the question: “Aside from the diversion of the opposite sex from my school work, would I have expended more energies devoted to studying if it weren’t for the attraction of Cding?” I do believe that we tend to have a shorter attention span during our early years as not only is our testosterone peaking but so is the awakening of our attraction to female clothing. Resulting, of course, to the considerable time diverted from our school work — and grades  suffer accordingly. 

Now you have entered the workforce. For many of us “underdressing” takes over. That could mean only wearing panties to work or the whole nine yards from hosiery to a bra. Being single or having children might dictate the extent that you may be able to fully dress when the work day is over or to the time strictly limited by a DADT “compromise” dictated by a non-supportive partially accepting or not at all accepting spouse.

The question being asked in this blog includes to what extent, if any, does Cding affect the level of your performance business-wise? Does your personality and drive spill over to your peers or subordinates or is it stifled? Stifled within the façade you’re presenting to the outside world? For me underdressing was my self-imposed “iron maiden” (A medieval torture device). For when I wore what is now called “body shapers” — the more confined the better — I found that some things I should have felt more keenly such as a beautiful sunset, a stirring passage of music or even the kiss of a gorgeous girl were experienced with less emotion like I were a being outside my body viewing a detached event. A trade-off, if you will, for by enjoying CDing I was (and am) at the same time diminishing the sensibilities towards my surroundings.

Let me offer some examples of my own suppressed personality: For some years I was director of operations and VP for a chain of large discount stores in fourteen states. Once I had arrived at my destination city it would mean, typically, a brief dinner and then dressing, but remaining in my motel room. I overheard one of my district manager’s joke to his peers that “Gladstone always has more bags than anyone else”. Little did he know that two of those extra bags contained my female alter ego attire. Once checked in the same procedure would be followed daily upon finishing that day’s store inspection. Instead of visiting stores to see how the night crews were taking care of customers or might even be understaffed; or inviting a manager out to dinner along with his or her spouse, I would be ensconced in a hotel room preening Julie before a mirror. Did my behavior affect my effectiveness or the morale of the troops? Damn right it did. Was I leading by example? Nope.

One evening at 10 PM my New Orleans apartment phone rang (Had so many stores in that area that I kept an apartment there.) the new senior VP called to say that he would be arriving from Newark by 2 AM would I meet him at the nearby airport? Then for two hours I briefed him on the performance of the local stores’ management teams. Sure it wasn’t the most efficient method for him to get the low-down on personnel but he exuded energy and confidence an ideal way to introduce one’s self to a new company’s management. Would I have done the same? Hardly.

Often hear the objection among our CD community that crossdressing is more gender driven than by the sexuality factor. Nevertheless, sexuality is one of the major keys in shaping our lives, in determining our path through life. Upon making the big “reveal” to a potential marriage candidate how often are we rejected because no amount of protesting that we aren’t gay can convince that girlfriend. That same reaction often applies when opening up to a wife after one year or maybe twenty years. A delayed confession often adds the element of “having kept a secret” that can strain a relationship even further. Though divorce is the most common result there are those all too few girlfriends and wives who do become supportive while a greater number only “accept” or DADT a compromise that usually heads towards disastrous consequences. “For the sake of the children” is merely a self-serving excuse ꟷ offered by either mate to postpone the inevitable. At the very least, to fully share our inner most feelings with our partner will never be achieved. Some will take exception by protesting that they are very happy with their present “compromise”. I’m not being dismissive in saying that I’m happy for them as long as they are truly content with themselves. The point is that crossdressing — stamped since birth — is more than merely the desire to wear clothes of the opposite sex. No, that “habit” will sculpture our entire life. 

For some by middle-age there is an unforeseen turn of events ꟷ voiced by the spouse who first questioned whether we were gay at the time of our initial revelation that we were CDs (but denied at that time). For a few the desire, over the years, to improve our feminine look, to “pass” often takes an unexpected direction ─ for five to ten percent of those who had declared themselves as heterosexual while fantasizing that “being with a man” is required to complete their female persona ─ reveal to themselves what they have always been in reality ─ bisexual. They may not have accepted that fact until, perhaps, in mid-life but it has, actually, been submerged by the time of birth. That “fantasy” becomes a goal to be pursued. Then realization by wives and, eventually, to children usually tears a family apart. There are exceptions, certainly, but not the general outcome which is bleak. This writer has read posts by a few considering later transitioning who proclaim that the reasoning why it happened to them was due to environmental influences. Very wrong! The fact is that they were born that way ─ wired by genetics or, what has also been offered, a chemical unbalance. Nothing could have been done about it other than, usually unknowingly, hide the inevitable.

Having a supportive partner may also have a downside whether such a liaison is created in the twenties or, as frequently happens, with a second or third marriage. Becoming a “sister” to one’s spouse may be a dream come true even if only part time. However, in reality, time is taken away from honing work-place skills that could earn us greater income. Yes, there are two sides to this point of view. A couple ─ as is sometimes the case ꟷ might be able to balance that lifestyle with growing a family, creating a new business venture or succeeding in a career. Can’t ask for more than that! On the flip side: for some that supportive life-style can very well result in the abrupt halt to achieving other pursuits such as financial success, raising a family, etc. Will that couple who are over-joyed with that “sister” relationship consider the long-run consequences — assuming there will be that possibility? Understandably it’s not likely.

Consider the consequences of another fantasy that a few crossdressers recount much to the fascination and, often, arousal by the readers. A typical scenario: Growing up with sisters and, perhaps, a mother who encourage a feminine lifestyle from teenage years and beyond. Likely that these individuals will enter the workforce 24/7 as females, but what happens then? Will they acquire an education needed in today’s world? Will they succeed financially ?Only a few will be able to afford a physical transition — assuming they wish for one. Of course they can live the rest of their lives in that identity even without the help of hormones or surgery. This writer can only wonder what materializes to them as they age. Family? Friends? Health will surely decline so what then? The reader “assumes” (This writer included.) that the dream individual had been born gay as, despite views to the contrary, environmental influence won’t do it. So what if, say ten years later, that person develops serious doubts as to their gender identity? What happens then? Nevertheless, their early years does make great reading. {This writer admits to a large gap in his knowledge of the later years experienced by such individuals. So if you were one of those that, by close family influence, grew up living as a female — and now are in your mid fifties or older I would very much appreciate that you contact me at juliegaum@msn.com to share your story. I, in turn, will be able to fill in the blanks and update this blog. Be sure when emailing me that you write “Blog 77” as the subject for otherwise it will end up in junk pile.

To put these experiences into perspective please keep in mind that just as the majority of males never react to the “trigger effect” (See my earlier blogs.) when being exposed to the many variations of trying on panties prior to puberty ─ or similar episodes ꟷ the same applies to the influence of sisters or, perhaps, a mother who really had wanted a girl baby. To reiterate ─ the great majority of genetic males will not be influenced at all ꟷ that trigger is never pulled ─ they aren’t the ones recounting ꟷ and enjoying ─ being feminized at an early age.

The remaining years of a cross dresser’s life run their course ─ happily shared by a supportive partner or a spouse for a fortunate few and, perhaps, a lonely time for the rest of us either as accepted, in a DADT relationship, as a widower or still unmarried. I, for one, am able to say that my long life as a sometimes ꟷ and finally almost a full time cross dresser ─ has filled these last years with unexpected joy. More about that in my next blog.

A blog will be, hopefully (if blessed to live long enough.), forthcoming in this series dealing with the final lap of our, or at least, of my journey.

{In the event you gained access to this blog without first linking to my awards- winning memoir, Never Climbed His Mountain – Second Edition, kindly go to my website, www.neverclimbedhismountain.com and click on “Blogs” in order to view the other 76 blogs.

 

 

 

Myths, Fallacies and Most Therapists Without A Clue

(Yep, at 92 my own hair – longest ever.)

 

Blog Post 76 – Influence On Our Lives

Sometime in our journeys as cross dressers I’m sure most of us have wondered if this strange yearning to wear female clothes has caused harm, been detrimental in pursuing our careers, in our scholastic achievements or in our search for a spouse along with a family. Sure, there is a small percent who knew something was wrong with their gender orientation before puberty. If they were lucky, parents paid for their transitioning though in most cases early compromising without parental support was most daunting. Nevertheless, those “born in the wrong body” are not included in this discussion for their desired path is already evident. Obviously, a teenager taking hormones and then going through a physical transition is facing a “game changer” head-on that will drastically alter their social, scholastic and career paths so there is no point including that group in this post. True that for reasons influenced by family, church or society their real persona may remain hidden even to mid-life. They will probably transition ꟷ physically or just psychologically ─ eventually. Whether putting off decision making intentionally or subconsciously they will, early on, have similar experiences to what the rest of us have or will face.
First, let’s consider our experiences from pre-puberty through the teen-age years: A poll discussed in an earlier blog revealed that roughly half of early-on heterosexual cross dressers are shy and introverted youngsters ꟷ characteristics usually carried forward into later years. I, being among them, wish to share a few of my own experiences in the hope that they will nudge you to remember similar events in your own early youth. I recall distancing myself from parties given by school-mates. Girls were like butterflies – okay to look at but not to touch. “Spin the bottle” was a popular game in those years but to kiss a girl on the lips was a real challenge for me. I recall a young lady well beyond me in enjoying the arts, theater, and academically ꟷ far more mature though we were of same age. Both sixteen, we would talk for hours in my family’s car returning from a dance but I never touched her. Assuming she was “normal” I’m sure that’s not what she had in mind. More than likely I was probably wearing a girdle swiped from my mother while on that date. In fact after the war ended I met her dad at a golf driving range. He told me that she was happily married with three children ─ wisely didn’t wait around for me to “grow up”.
Underdressing while going roller skating at a local arena (popular sport in the 1940s) was not unusual for me. Thinking back it’s amazing to realize that I didn’t seem concerned that I may have been injured and my secret revealed ─ today a consideration paramount when venturing out.
I did have several crushes during high school. For several years, for one gal in particular, I would leave a Christmas present on her doorstep without even signing a card. Certainly I would call that behavior as shy!
It was more than just the crossdressing factor on my part that made me reticent in pursuing a relationship. Then, after military, at age twenty, I still believed that I needed an education and a decent job before considering a family. True that many teenagers fall in love and get married despite the anticipated or not foreseen hurdles. I do believe that for me and for many of the readers of this blog, our cding feelings adds a degree of uncertainty to life’s decision making.

Of the poll alluded to we have seen that about twenty-five percent of us were not timid at all but blended in socially with our non-CD friends ꟷ no apparent problems. Another quarter were actually aggressive dealing with the opposite sex. Interestingly, in all three groups a number of responses mentioned that they were keenly aware that their genitals were smaller than those of their friends. The reactions in that physically concerned group would evidently conclude that they were likely more feminine in their bodily attributes; while in the more aggressive segment the genital-challenged segment recounted that they were attracting the girls through their penchant for oral sex to make up for their feelings of inadequacy. Should add to this paragraph that within the majority segment of heterosexual cross dressers that try over the years to perfect their feminine appearance to the greatest extent feasible there is an advantage of having less “junk” than others in order to tuck effectively.

In addition the desirability and attraction towards athleticism are diminished. Few young CDers become “jocks”. Not likely that too many early cross dressers become letter men at college. Recent publicity involving Bruce Jenner (an Olympic gold medal winner) and also a former Navy Seal who wrote a memoir are not exceptions to the above since they would be included in those groups that are already gay or bi-sexual at birth.

Obviously then, our cross dressing inclinations do effect the paths we might take towards our future development. Scholastically, Cding affects most of us grade-wise. As an example, I was in the bottom third of my high school classes for during that earlier period studying was shared by my time fixating on Cding. Of course the reader might cite exceptions but for the majority of us our social and scholastic progress were greatly influenced in the years before high school graduation by a hand we are unknowingly dealt by the time of our berth. For those who go on to college cding remains a diversion ꟷ influencing our grades to the same greater or lesser degree as it did previously.

As initially stated a small percent transitioned (Either mentally, physically or both) early on in life and are not included in this discussion.  However, this writer should add that those who transitioned in later years probably were subjected to, in the first part of their lives, similar diversions to those described above.

 

Posting soon: “Influence On The Later Part Of Our Lives” as Blog 77

 

 

Myths, Fallacies and Most Therapists Without a Clue

space-galaxy-stars-wallpaper-high-resolution
Post No. 75

As my rather eventful life’s journey draws to a close two things keep bugging me and perhaps many of you too. The first: Have I contributed to this world I leave? Have I left a legacy? You might say, rightly, I’ve been brooding on this subject.
I will be quoting from letters received from a dear friend and a nationally acclaimed artist, who painted the cover of my memoir, Never Climbed His Mountain – Second Edition. Patrick X. Nidorf, or “Pax”, is a former catholic priest in the Augustinian monastic order, a psychotherapist and founder of Dignity ─ a catholic gender support group with over fifty chapters. His comments seem to resonate for me.  When I reached out to him for his thoughts on this subject his first comment was right on ꟷ “you are having the blues, the dark night of the soul”. So indeed I do.
My musings may seem disjointed but putting them all together you might see where I’m headed: There are over seven billion people on this planet with two eyes, two ears, one mouth and one nose and yet we all appear to look different from each other! Consider that each of our brains have more than a billion neurotransmitters wired in combinations unique to each of us. So I go on the assumption that I was put on this earth – brain wired in its exclusive way – for a special purpose. Will I have served that purpose before I leave? Will I have left a mark that will remain through the ages?
More than two hundred years ago two men before they were fifty, Napoleon and Beethoven, did that. So too Gandhi and Mother Teresa achieved that goal. John D. Rockefeller and Tom Edison and, very recently, Bill Gates accomplished that goal also at an early age ꟷ all memorialized for the ages.  But, like the billions born and died in our brief past history, and the billions coming tomorrow, as said in the chess community: “at the end of the game the King and the Pawn are put away in the same box”. We all return to dust into the planet called earth, this planet, one of a few planets bound by gravitation to whirl in black matter, we call space, around our sun, our solar system ─ one of billions comprising our galaxy and one of billions of galaxies in this cosmos  ꟷ rapidly fleeing, expanding away from each other. Making me feel even more insignificant was a recent findings in 2016 AD of the discovery of nine galaxies, gravitationally united, some eleven plus billion light years away ─ or long before the Big Bang created our universe! Point: Even those who, without question, stand out within these past few hundred years, they are still hardly a blip in our planet’s journey. So don’t I have audacity to even consider what indelible mark I could possibly make on mankind?
Still searching to find some meaning to my existence, to my relation to the grand scheme of things, I’ve been fascinated by bugs. Yes, bugs the size of a pin’s point. When I hover over one ꟷ size-wise I’m a Mt. Everest relating to a seed in a valley at its base ─ that bug in some unimaginable way senses the danger and tries to flee! What brain? What sensory apparatus is contained in that minuscule living thing? I’m at a loss of understanding and yet I see an analogy likening that microscopic speck ꟷ that bug ─ and me – that huge object hovering above. Let’s consider that, instead, that I’m that speck and the towering being above is really that grand designer of all, that omniscient being, who most of us call God for want of a better description.
I must turn to Pax to put my ramblings into perspective: “It’s certainly nice to believe that the world is a better place because we have been through it, and surely the good we do can’t possibly be measured; the ripples touch how many people (?). So we do our best and let God do the rest.” Then his comments reiterate my thoughts: “In the total scope of things, we are such little specks and our lives infinitesimally short, that it is beyond calculation. The one great gift we have is HOPE. At our creaky old age, we can rest in the belief that we weren’t and don’t have to have been perfect; that our basic goodness goes a long way to help off balance the evil in the world”. That passage hits a chord for I often wonder whether any of those literally – yes, literally ꟷ thousands of people to whom I was their boss, employer, co-worker or just friend and affected their lives in a meaningful and helpful way, remembered me? To Pax and to my readers – I hope so too. That’s all I have left ─ memories and that hope. As far as a legacy? All gone in a nanosecond, no matter.
The second issue of concern ꟷ how much did the predisposition for cross dressing affect my total life experience ─ will, due to the length of Blog Post 75, have to wait for the following blog.

Myths, Fallacies and Most Therapists Without a Clue

On the day of Post 74

On the day of Post 74

Post 74

The thrust of Post 73 is so wrong! The word “Perhaps” is BS! Of all people I should have known better than to write that word (“Perhaps”). True, my libido is greatly diminished at 91 ꟷ almost but not quite gone. And, true, we are  all aware that the fetish factor ꟷ to a greater degree in some or to a lesser degree in others ꟷ greatly influences our cross dressing. But libido is a human instinct and for us ꟷ maybe 5% of the population ꟷ one of those instincts instilled in us is the desire to cross dress. We have explored with the great help of fellow CDs the chapter “Myths, Fallacies and Most Therapists Without a Clue” in my memoir along with the expanded knowledge revealed in these last 70 plus blogs. There is no doubt that what we have found is not an addiction, not something we can choose to turn on or off. So for me to have the audacity to imply that “perhaps” in later years I can turn off is way off base.

My apologies to the CD community and to those wives and relatives who had found false hope in my ill-chosen words.

MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

Post 73

EPILOGUE

Quite possibly, Julie no more. For your consideration:
A number of past blogs discussed the subject of “Fetish”. By the way, this particular discussion does not include those who become transsexuals as fetish is not an issue for them. We found it not unusual for a CD to begin their journey pre-puberty when, seemingly, the sexual factor was not present. Teenage and young adult CDs appear to be the group most strongly into the fetish influence during this period when hormones are raging. Then, for most, fetish remains a force and for a very few the major influence during their life time.
I followed a similar route as curiosity, or whatever, triggered my inclinations at age five and by 15 I was strongly into the fetish stage with my mother’s clothes. At college, when I finally could leave the dorms for my own apartment ─ a pattern developed whereby I had active sexual activities with the opposite sex but continued purchasing and wearing female attire in the privacy of my home. As detailed in my memoir, while still a bachelor and particularly in Montreal where four orgasms a night with a Hungarian gal was not uncommon ─ my CD desires remained unabated.Hard to explain what happens to the fetish factor under this and similar circumstances when one’s sex drive has found a strong second outlet.

Where am I heading? Well for the following, roughly, 65 years including 52 years of marriage, my CD interests never diminished during my hetero life. Then, by 89 my brother and cousins had left this world and I was all alone with no one viewing my activities. Boom! Spent thousands of dollars on clothes, makeup and costume jewelry. Had my nails and hair done monthly and, evidently, this old lady passed! Added advantage — old ladies seldom receive a second glance. Fine restaurants, best stores ─ you name it ─ no problems. Other than occasional doctor visits to the VA I was 24/7 as close to being female as my physical appearance would allow. In fact, as testosterone diminished, my overall body features were changing including a now normal B-cup. Something else was occurring that I read would happen but, still, never anticipated to me ─ with lower testosterone came low libido. Whatever fetish syndrome was left that fueled my cross dressing no longer had an outlet. Simply put – few or no orgasms were possible. So now I had attained, deliberately or not, almost all the outward manifestations of a female but felt let down. Remembered words from a Sinatra song “Is that all there is?” There was no thrill, no rush any longer being Julie. The only attraction was that wearing female attire (without girdles) was far more comfortable. Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee feeling this way!

As I write this while in drab my thoughts are conflicting. Though I’m not aware of any immediate life-threatening health issues, my body is certainly wearing out at 91. Can I still depend on the Lord giving me ample warning or, instead, will I die in my sleep? In any eventuality should I be found as Julie or Julian for the long trip back to a Washington cemetery? Just perhaps Julie should remain only in my writings. Perhaps.

Family Pictures

.So Much More ………..                                                                                                       [After reading my 540 page memoir, the former Catholic priest who had painted its cover, Pax Nidorf, exclaimed: “Sure you’re a cross dresser but, Julian, you are more than that, so much more!”] Are you so much more?

Kindly right click www.neverclimbedhismountain.com for further information on Julian and Julie.

Big Mistake! Go to Post 74

MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE 72

My Very Own Hair With New Hairdo! Love it!
Picture 4Post 72

{Amazingly not obvious to me at the time — physical and mental damage continued undiminished ─ I was drowning in so many non-life threatening ailments that I was overwhelmed, mentally numb. Why were all these events happening to me? I still had a loaded revolver, from my Gaylord days, in my night stand and yet never considered using it ─ shows how oblivious I was to what was occurring or I would have ended my distress at some point during this period.}

Then a series of events turned on a light bulb in my head: I was laying in a hospital bed staring, mindlessly, at the off-white ceiling tiles when in walked the V.A.’s chief residence doctor followed by a gaggle of familiar-faced floor docs ─ each with note-pad in hand. He looked at the chart hanging from the end of my bed for all of two minutes before announcing “Over medicated”. Off they went to the next bed. Maybe, I thought, maybe they would take action to help me. But no changes were made in my medications in ensuring days, none. So what were those floor docs dutifully scribbling on their pads?

First chance, after I came home, was to make an appointment with my primary care doc two weeks later. “Look, Julian, she said, you have seen half a dozen specialists. There is nothing more I can do. After all you’re 90”. No way, not acceptable I thought, I’d switch primaries.

Soon after I received a letter from the VA ─ had an appointment scheduled for an EED. What the hell was that? Turned out that it was a procedure attaching wires to the scalp to measure impulses or something. Report came back: “Over medicated”. A confirmation! Damn, why hasn’t someone reacted to the residence doctor’s diagnosis? Back to the new primary doc to find out how to cut back. “No idea” she said.” Thought back to a PhD of something or other who was on the Board of the Delta Society with me years ago (Delta is the group that brought animals like dogs, horses and dolphins into the mental health cure arena; service dogs to those in need of help and so much more.). Though we had veterinarians and other professionals on the Board too, she often referred to doctors disparaging as “MDiems” An old cliche: What do you call a person who graduates at the bottom of their class at the worst rated medical school in the Country? “Doctor”, of course. Excuse me but at that time in my life I had a low opinion of practicing doctors.

Okay, I decided, will do it myself. Cut dosage of some from three times a day to two, once daily to one-half. After two weeks I reduced more. For those meds that were already down to small amounts with no discernible changes in my health I then cut out completely. My symptoms, like fainting, didn’t get worse ─ but vastly improved! Within two months hallucinations and blackouts were gone! Still was only sleeping couple hours at night as the VA docs insisted on giving me anti-depressants (Require less paperwork than narcotics.). So what about the patient’s needs? A local non-VA doc ordered sedative-hypnotics, that’s sleeping pills, for me. Oh joy. Now getting sleep in spurts of two to three hours at a time but added up to at least six by end of night. First time in years! Could I get addicted to them? At my age – so what?

So, by being proactive medication-wise I had wiped out many of the symptoms and just maybe the actual ailments that had made me so miserable!  I’m sure that I’m confusing the reader at this point. The various pains and discomfort from the further degenerating of the neck and spine were still with me as were the occasional flair up in my GI track. But I was clearing up the rest of my complaints, as enumerated above, that were evidently caused by over medication.  Don’t want to give an impression that one can cut their medications haphazardly. I read the literature that comes with each prescription, looking especially for directions that indicate that said medication should only be used for limited days or weeks whereas I was put on them for an indefinite period. Those were the first ones I began to cut back to zero. I didn’t cut out a full dose regimen to nothing over night; but, rather, gradually reduce intervals and dosage. I found a few required reversing — particular ailments started to flair up again. For those I increased amounts back to almost the original dose and then reduced at a later date ─ may have to do with interaction with other pills that needed to be eliminated first. Pharmacists are supposed to police one’s dosage but unless you specifically ask, I think they rely on patients reading the, usually, three-page fine-print descriptions.  Not giving advice but only recounting my own experience ─ you’re on your own. True, my actions could have ended in total disaster, but it could have, would have but didn’t.

The above long narrative was not written to denigrate doctors ─ other than warn the reader to question doctors if not comfortable with a diagnosis, even get a second opinion. Also good idea to read the literature that comes with medication to verify that the side effects are worth the risk. A recent example: After eye surgery for cataracts a “non-VA care” doctor with a great reputation prescribed a medication that arrived as a pill rather than the expected eye drops. Reading the literature accompanying it warned of possible serious, life-threatening side effects. WOW! Found out it was the doctor’s error! Further, as mentioned above, were they meant to be used for only a limited time? One caveat: if you have a life-threatening malady don’t try to be your own doctor ─ get a second or third opinion first.

No, the point of the above long but true account was, from my own experience, to illustrate how quickly one’s health can deteriorate ─ out of control ─ often without realizing that that your life just might be ending. That “heads-up” a cross dresser so badly needs may not be forthcoming! I urge that you create a game plan now to anticipate all the scenarios, the available options before you have to enter one of the doors described above.

Now, am I following my own advice? Have I eliminated all evidence of cross dressing ─ clothes, makeup, boudoir table, perfume, “personal products” and anything else of a feminine nature? After all at 91 and living alone wouldn’t that be the smart thing to do? Nope. Betting on physically being able to do all those things before my remains take that long journey back to Washington. Doesn’t make any sense but you CDs understand why I’m procrastinating even if I won’t admit it to myself..

Good luck. God Bless!

See developing revelations in the next post – Epilogue.

MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

MY OWN HAIR STYLED FOR FIRST TIME!

MY OWN HAIR STYLED FOR FIRST TIME!

 

Post 71

Continuing the saga of this past year’s horrible experiences:

Along with fainting came something new and strangely exciting ─ hallucinations while wide awake. Examples: blank surfaces like hospital walls or sides of kitchen counters became blackboards covered with intricate mathematic formulas in white chalk, or black and white sketches of a seated woman or a female face (Nope, didn’t recognize her.), trees with perched birds; half of flooring in my vision became part of the walls. By the way complex mathematical formulas are totally foreign to me so why did they appear? Yes, I also became a rooster ─ saw myself walking aimlessly down an empty corridor with feathers covering my body. Asked by two nurses where I was going and replied most seriously that I was a rooster going to bathroom. Obviously, it never really happened.

Another event, to this day I’m not sure that it ever took place: Taken to a wing on the sixth floor of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center and wheeled into a dimly lit room. Near the door sat a man next to a table ─ he was reading a newspaper. About a dozen men lay in cots ─ I joined them.  Then the attendant with urinal in hand made the rounds, hourly waking each one up, if need be, to pee. It seems that each of these patients had been wetting their beds while in their assigned rooms and by making them urinate on demand it saved the hospital staff the need to keep changing their sheets. Seemed a logical reason. No idea how long I stayed in that room or even whether it ever existed.

I also kept believing that that the presence of a woman I could not describe or recognize was in my apartment for hours while I was there. I was always wide awake during these episodes.Then, perhaps at bedtime or when having diner I felt she was gone! Many times I would actually check the front door to verify it was locked ─ no way could she have put the latch on from the outside! My former wife had died three years ago and Renee was in a nursing home so whom was she supposed to be? In fact I often hesitated turning on the bedroom light for fear of disturbing this person who isn’t there. Even at times, when I reminded myself that she was a figment of my imagination and proceeded to turn the light on, I would still furtively glance back to confirm that there is no one lying on the bed. My mind is going to hell along with my body!

Amazingly not obvious to me at the time — physical and mental damage continued undiminished ─ I was drowning in so many non-life threatening ailments that I was overwhelmed, mentally numb. Why were all these events happening to me? I still had a loaded revolver, from my Gaylord days, in my night stand and yet never considered using it ─ shows how oblivious I was to what was happening or I would have ended my distress at some point during this period.

Continued on Post 72

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYTHS,FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

162103

Post 69

[This realization was brought home to me around November of 2014 when, looking back on the events it was like an unexpected water slide — helpless to change the course of my demise because, simply put, I didn’t really know what was happening or its significance as related to my final days on earth.]

My situation at that time: Now all alone, I had three burial locations from which to choose (Lucky me.): The family plot in Flushing, New York still had room left in it. Now contains my grandparents, mother, father, uncles Jack and Lester and brother Mort along with memorial inscriptions for cousins Stanley and Jerry (All included in my memoir). Since first visiting eighty years ago, Long Island’s jammed highways and a multitude of cemeteries now congest the Queen’s landscape and no longer allow what was once a rural environment of birds, small animals and trees. I often visualized the inhabitants must be buried standing up in order to have room for so many. Smog now obliterates the distant skyline of Manhattan. Yes, I would be with family members but I felt crowded just visiting. Foolish I know.

The second location was in New Jersey at the plot that now interred my two aunts, their spouses and Howard, cousin Renee’s departed husband. Recently I had placed a reserve order on two of the remaining sites. In this manner, after agreeing to grow old together, Renee and I, this would be the spot for us to take the eternal ride in each other’s company. Of course that wasn’t to be with Renee developing Alzheimer’s and her youngest son drowned in insatiable greed., I decided to transfer my reserved site at Renee’s family cemetery to the eldest son for, after all, his father and grandparents were buried there and with Renee in a nursing facility it was no longer feasible for me to keep it. As fate would have it within months of my transferring the plot to the eldest son he died at 68 of cancer.

So, my location of choice were the two plots, maintained by Lutherans no less, that I had bought in an untrammeled  landscape on the mainland opposite my last home in Washington state, Camano Island. Vera had wished that, despite our divorce, she still wanted to be buried here, the spot we had both picked out. Instead her nieces decided to cremate their mother, Mary, aunt Grace and Vera together in an unofficial Cree ceremony of their own making. They then pocketed the proceeds of her insurance and half of what we collected in 52 years of wandering. So now I have an empty space next to mine in an untrodden countryside ─ with mountains looming behind my head and the Pacific Ocean at my feet. Oh yes, the stars I sorely missed. Since moving to Florida, the moon, an occasional planet and maybe Orion, just after a thunder storm had scoured the sky clear enough of humidity, were all I could see of God’s heavens. Silly perhaps but the day’s scenery and the night’s blanket of billions of stars would be mine to cherish as God’s gift to me.

The dilemma: with a military funeral and, hopefully, a “missing plane” flyby overhead, I would feel silly dressed in an evening gown. After all I wouldn’t be around to explain my antics to the Veterans Administration doctors or the funeral home in Washington receiving my remains. Just accepting the fact, sadly, that there are still too many lacking knowledge and acceptance of  the TG community.

Okay, here I am a few months from 91 with my annual VA medical check-ups still indicating no obvious symptoms of impending demise and an apartment full of mostly female clothes. What to do? If I ditch everything now I could look forward to months or years feeling miserable and frustrated that I can no longer be Julie having my hair or nails done, shopping at department stores for lingerie or mingling at the supermarket. With my brother and cousins all passed, this past year has been mine to do what I knowingly or subconsciously wished for. Do I dump everything now or hope that I will be blessed with a heads-up warning from my Maker? Sounds familiar? Further thoughts on my personal dilemma in post 73.

Continued with Post 70

 

 

 

MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE

Ready For Bed

Picture 3Must I, a CD, Make a Final Purge Before I Die? Must I? Would I Know When?

 

The following posts, starting with No. 68 – are a year late in posting. They should, in their own way, explain the tardiness of this author, Julie. The fact that I’m able to write means that I have avoided entering one of death’s doors — at least for now. Being a CD in one of the many variations that it manifests itself during 91 years of living makes this subject very relevant – morbid yes, but inescapable.

Before recounting my personal experience when, surprisingly, I wasn’t really aware that I might be entering one of these doors that would end my mortal journey, let’s review the “end game”.Two VA ER nurses contributed their experiences on this subject:

Instant death, the most obvious exit door. Here we have no say at all. An 18-wheeler falls off a bridge onto our car; a stray bullet meant for another; we happened to select a commercial airline where on this one day the copilot decides to end his life — you get the idea. Well maybe we do have some say if, for example we are en fem on that day, on that trip. Whoa, not so fast. “When I’m dead I no longer care”— heard that one more than once and maybe it is your honest opinion, maybe IF you are single with no close family. Or is that comment just an excuse for delaying, for vacillating? Do you have close or distant family and business associates that might attend your funeral, none of whom know of your CD inclinations? Don’t care? Really? For those who live a secret life wouldn’t that mean that our CD proclivities are presently confined to that one room or apartment? Revelations do affect those close to us. Does it matter? You know that as well as I. So yes, we don’t know whether this will be our destined doorway — and if it is — how old will we be? At that time will I have a family just growing up or having already left the nest? Obviously we can’t answer any of those questions but when is the decision time to plan or ignore? The planning options are very limited — confine your inclinations within restricted locations and time and still there are no assurances that the grim reaper doesn’t find your secret places. If you have a spouse or partner should you not prepare for an abrupt departure? Decide now what the arrangements should be regarding a funeral home and burial ─ how should that still living person dress your remains? Dispose of your clothing? Talk about it now and plan your final departure. “I don’t want to talk about it” isn’t facing up to the inevitable.

The impending doom door — your doctor summons up his most serious demeanor to announce you have a terminal condition. You have only weeks to live, give or take two years or so — doctors have predicted wrong before. If there is a spouse or partner on the scene you may arrange for clothing to be donated to a charity and the rest dumped. If single at this critical time the chances are that your appointed executor hasn’t the slightest clue what you are all about — time to tell them? Hopefully you are physically able to dispose of your years’ collecting precious belongings while there is still time. Or perhaps you have arranged with supportive family members to bury you dressed drab or en fem. If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. CDs often request a closed casket from the get go if they opt to leave this earth dressed in their finest regalia. Burial preparations differ with various religions so consideration and instructions are required to follow or ignore. Each situation is unique. Take comfort that this door at least allows you time to act ─ God’s Will has made up your mind for you, no stalling

For all practical purposes the last two doors can be combined for they only differ in urgency. In the first part of this group you have, say, a heart ailment or some other malady that will likely do you in down the road a bit, could be years, but in the meantime life is good. Children have left the nest and your SO is in fairly good health. She also allows you to indulge in CDing either in an acceptance mode or supportive. Still there is no guarantee that new health issues don’t change the forecast. So the same decisions must be determined as previously discussed, i.e., who knows? Who should know? What will be the burial arrangements?

The final door, or second in this illustration, finds you in good health with no hint of when you will leave this world. So you have the best excuse to put off thinking about a subject that you MUST eventually face. Point? Since we don’t know which door will open and when  — should we not now have a game plan before one of these doors does open?

Two other events are often encountered: Wife, rightly, believes that there is no longer a need for a large house and senior communities would be less work and, often, cheaper. Sure , but you would probably lose that little secret that you and spouse have shared all these years. Another scenario — you are alone and doctor suggests assisted living or whatever else you call it. Are you willing to trade a nice apartment or home for a bedroom and shared bathroom? Do you know how close to that exit door you really are? Frightening only if you put off determining a future course of action.

This realization was brought home to me around November of 2014 when, looking back on the events, it was like an unexpected water slide — helpless to change the course of my demise because, simply put, I didn’t really know what was happening or its significance as related to my final days on earth.

Continued with Post 69