BLOG 78 PART 4

Aside

Why do I recite a litany of my aches and complaints in this Part 4? I would like to believe it’s much more than that. Rather, the intention is to provide the experiences of one Cd while in the final chapters of his life; thereby offering possible situations that you may or may not encounter but, nevertheless, something you can chew on as you approach those golden (maybe) years. I hope not to bore the reader but to present an insight for your consideration of what has befallen one cross dresser who happens to live longer than “fourscore and ten”.

Getting really scared these days for my short term memory is going to hell. Not only do I forget what I was going to do next ꟷ stand without moving until I remember where I was supposed to go ꟷ but I read a paragraph in my blog trying to avoid duplication but within seconds I forget what I just read. So now you know my excuse if you read the same wording twice. God grant me the ability needed to convey the thoughts in my heart and allow me enough days on earth to complete this final blog.

My favorite cousin, very close for some ninety years and the reason I came to Florida in 2009 had been developing the signs of Alzheimer’s before I even became aware. Now she has passed leaving a hole in my heart but so many memories – mostly great but some bad. With her gone my loneliness is now sharply amplified. Hoping to fill some of the emptiness I reached out to a longtime boyhood buddy and, also, to another chap I had met in an Army Air Corps training facility in Texas  some seventy years ago. One still lives with his wife in a tiny town in the northern California mountains while the other, still a bachelor, is alone in his hill-top home in Vermont. Upon opening a phone conversation with the fellow in California I could hear his wife coaching him as to who I was and what shared memories I was talking about. I swiftly and cordially ended our conversation. Then called my closest buddy of almost eighty years. Finished quickly when it became apparent that he was repeating my words in a desperate attempt to understand them. Came as a shock to know that they were both in stages of dementia that shut me out of their memories! Sick at heart I stared at the wall of my apartment for hours. Dear God, will I end up the same way?

What if I were to slip unawares into dementia as one in three over eighty is wont to do? How does one prepare? Am I willing to share a room in a nursing home? Slowly shuffle down bleak corridors that lead me back to my bleak room? Assemble in a large room to watch TV along with others in wheelchairs or leaning on walkers ꟷ mutterings heard only by themselves. Probably sounds trivial to many though of great importance when in need but at home I make sure my bathroom is well stocked with rolls of toilet paper (due to GI problems I use three a day) as apposed to my frequent experiences in the VA and JFK Hospitals where it takes hours to find a willing CNA to open the maintenance room to fetch paper (Assuming that room isn’t locked for the night.). Laying in a narrow bed (As compared to my queen-sized bed at home.), no matter how I try, my heels painfully keep grinding into the end of the bed. Watching TV becomes my only distraction from discomfort. Is that how I want to fill my hours, my remaining days?

The fetish factor (Not evident in our prepubescent journey.), as is true for most heterosexual CDs, is a big factor in early teens and twenties when hormones are raging but start to slowly diminish as we get older. Of coarse there is a small group who are fetish dominated for their entire lives. I previously mentioned that in my eighties orgasms had become infrequent and by my early nineties very scarce and far between. Another important contributor to my limp member that I almost forgot to consider ꟷ I’m taking two medications, among many others, that are to mitigate spasms and to act as muscle relaxers. Need I describe more? As a result I often have a twinge of an arousal ─ have to settle with that! Must admit that the urge is, mentally, stronger than ever due to Autophylia ─ the pleasure/satisfaction, and arousal, when seeing one’s self in a mirror (My definition.). When one is in their nineties and the mirror reflects a seventy year-old woman thanks to globs of makeup ─ you can readily appreciate the added thrill of not only changing gender but considerably reducing one’s age as well. But I never foresaw the inability to achieve the arousal part. Recently even  the above thrill has gone. No longer even wish to look in a mirror other than apply make-up. No feeling, no reaction but still go through the motions of dressing as I have all these years. What happened to the fetish factor?

Tucked 24/7 I made every effort to be Julie ꟷ helped contribute to the mental self-image. Since I always go to bed wearing an all-in-one (found it the most comfortable as opposed to getting tangled in sleepwear) you can imagine efforts to stimulate, to pleasure myself, were fruitless even with a vibrator. On occasion I deliberately forgot the futility ꟷ dreaming that this time I can climax. Only results in a very raw penis. Now, for some reason, my testes no longer easily slide up the inguinal canals. Further, my scrotum now hangs down more than an inch; thereby leaving me with a painful groin as now I have difficulty tucking as well as I should.

As my birthdays count into the nineties, it has started to dawn on me that the clothes, lingerie and makeup accumulated in recent years are no longer being used as enthusiastically as I had expected. For example, within a few hours of getting out of bed in the morning my feet, ankles and legs begin to swell (Due to poor circulation). I am unable to use support stockings due to spasms so laying down becomes the only option (Also take “water pills”.). With all the chores of living independently laying down is an infrequent activity. As a result shoes have become a problem as I had collected so many – all colors and styles. Unless a shoe style comes in flats with Velcro straps they are useless! The rest will be going to Salvation Army. To this day I envy women I see on TV walking easily in stylish high heels.

A degenerative spinal condition (Mentioned ad nauseum previously.) didn’t hinder physical activities like rowing in college or playing scratch golf, although in 1957 a flight-surgeon did ground me while flying with the New York Air National Guard. But now this condition, with age, has worsened with a vengeance ─ causing a multitude of problems that force me to use three walkers (one in ealch room) while in my apartment and an electric wheelchair when venturing out.  Damn it all Julian, you walked from L.A. up the Pacific coast to Carmel, near Monterey (Fell asleep on the beach there.). As a caddy you often carried two heavy leather golf bags and walked eighteen holes before the two-wheelers and, more recently, the electric cart era. And now you lurch around an apartment grabbing onto walls and furniture to keep from falling!

So picture my dilemma (shared, similarly, by some readers) ꟷ living alone with closets and drawers full of Julie’s stuff and, I might add, still untouched boxes of online ordered makeup, but unable to sit or stand for more than a few minutes at a time. Limits mascara, liner and shadow to the days that my eyelids are not too inflamed ꟷ likely allergic to some of them. In addition, applying eye makeup is now doubly difficult due to my shaking hands. I’m sure you can imagine trying to draw a thin line on one’s lids while scared that at any second you might poke eyeliner into your eye ꟷ and do that frequently! Now the hand shaking is so bad that using lipstick requires two hands to be steady enough not to paint my teeth. What a come-down!

Another downer is what is now happening with the long curly silver hair that I often crowed about ꟷ with every swipe of my comb handfuls are leaving my scalp faster than growing in! And those painted lovely long nails that I was so proud to look at have split and shattered down to the nubs. I thought it was caused as a result of fastening bras and girdles but those activities only hasten the carnage.

Eating requires using up a half-dozen paper napkins and soiling a pretty apron too as I frequently black out for seconds with food in my mouth. Food goes out rather than down my throat. Gross! Three VA doctors in different specialties all agree that my spine is causing most of these problems. I apologize for the frequent references to spine trauma. Part 4’s purpose is to enumerate many of the maladies that may, very well, develop that might screw up a CD’s final days. It’s not likely that the reader will develop acute spine problems to add to that list, so just mark it down as one complaint, most likely, unique to Julie.

More frequently now I get terrified at the thought ꟷ I might be approaching a point when independent living as Julie is ending. No way that my last days will be spent staring at white squares in the ceiling. Panic?  Yes, but suicide can’t be an option as my insurance, including a bequest to a no-kill animal shelter I helped to found, would go down the tubes.

There is another serious problem, though covered to a degree in the “Four Doors” post, and that is: Will I be able to switch from Julie to Julian before I die? Will I have time to remove make-up and nail polish along with switching clothes to drab? Of course what’s left of my beyond-shoulder-length hair will probably cause a stare or two before they close the lid. Morbid, I know. At the moment, as I write this blog, there is nothing life-threatening wrong with my health according to the VA doctors, but being now 93 that health status will, for certain, change in minutes, hours or days. Does that mean I should don a drab shirt and pants and sit in my LazyBoy waiting for the grim reaper to arrive? Wouldn’t such a negative mind-set only hasten my demise?

There are some reading this post that are steadfast in their belief that they have no problem being buried en femme. Most, however, have determined that it would be too traumatic for their spouse, family and friends to be presented the way they would like. Some, sadly not many enough, have already made a pact with spouse or partner to re-dress their remains before others view it. I dread the thought that while living alone I die without warning in my sleep. Are any of us exempt from heart attacks. clots or stroke while sleeping? Brrrr. That’s assuming that the circumstances of my and your ending is at home ─ might not be.

The greatest fear, according to the statistics, is that of falling ꟷ having done so more than a dozen times in recent years. Until recently I’ve managed to get back on my feet though it often takes hours to do so. If I find that I’ve done damage I manage to wipe off nail polish and makeup before calling 911 to take me to the VA Medical Center. But what if I were to fall and break a hip, or whatever, and can’t walk? Would I still have the ability to change to drab? A week ago I couldn’t get up at all though nothing was broken. Fire and Rescue managed to find an unlatched window to crawl in. I was dressed as Julie but no comment was made to me other than by one fireman observing, while checking my ID with my driver’s license, “your hair is longer now”. My reply was that “It amuses me”. Within days I secured a “lock box” outside my front door. A code reveals my door key – if you live alone you may just want to consider it.

Having used VA medical services for years they not only have my medical records but also a living will and where to send my remains. Once I arrive back in Washington, a three thousand mile trip from Florida, representatives from the American Legion, DAV and VFW will, hopefully, be on hand for my burial along with a “missing plane” fly-over from the nearby Whidbey Naval Air Station. There is no point for a grave-side service for there is nobody left to attend. However I have asked that taps be played as its haunting melody still brings chills to my being. This brings up another topic that bothers me:

In addition to all the shame and guilt most CDs have to overcome while in teen-age years there is an additional influence that conflicts with totaling accepting my female persona one hundred percent of the time ꟷ my military years. I’ve only recently realized that to have a military funeral, as expected, there are so many recollections  that take wing against an en femme funeral presentation to be able to equate taps, being played every evening signaling lights out in our Bases throughout the world, to the life I lead as Julie. Among those memories: TV news channels often show a classic picture of a sailor kissing a girl while throngs of people around them celebrate VJ-Day in Times Square. On that day I was briefly stationed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with more than twenty-thousand others from the Eighth Air Force ꟷ back from England and planning to head to the Pacific to fend off the anticipated Russian take-over of the Northern Japanese Kuril islands (that dispute still rages.). With Japan’s surrender our High Command decided that military action was no longer needed. So I was among the many thousands that erupted from the Air Base to overwhelm the citizens in Sioux Falls once we learned that World War II was really over. Never forget a celebrating airman pulling the lever to allow the hose on a firetruck to unwind for a block before the driver became aware it was happening. Then there were videos of shot-up bombers spiraling to earth ꟷ can you imagine the thoughts of the airmen as they watched the earth coming up to meet them? When flying a napalm mission to burn out the remaining Germans still entrenched in Southern France the B-17 in front of us blew up ꟷ the napalm, petroleum thickened to jelly form and very unstable, ignited. We could only watch in horror. These and many other distant memories are hard to equate with my CD persona no matter how hard I try. Sure, readers will offer a dozen reasons why it shouldn’t bother me any longer but it does.

Admittedly, I have a clear conscience to not “cop out” (To not being buried en femme.) for my  memoire is in the public domain for anybody to learn more about me if so interested. The cover of that book, painted by former Father Nidorf, says it all. Even though a handful of VA staff know of my CDing, I’m betting that those involved in shipping my remains off to Washington will not have a clue. This last sentence needs to be updated as recently (March 2018) my VA “telephone medical assist” contact changed to another nurse. She called me for an initial talk to verify her records were accurate. At the end of answering her medical check-list she asked, “Should I call you Julie or Julian?” I had divulged my “habit” to the previous contact gal and now, obviously, it is in my records. I then crammed in ten minutes trying to explain the different hues of the TG spectrum to a curious lady.

And another way I have taken to ease my conscience in regard to coping-out is that my head-stone will have “Never Climbed His Mountain” etched in granite. True that very few might become curious and Google why those words are there. Only then will I, hopefully looking down from the great beyond, know I do have a legacy of sorts.

Meanwhile something very unusual is happening. For decades whenever I had the opportunity to go MTF I did so. In recent years, as mentioned, ad nauseum, countless times, Julie is who I am almost always. During these last several years it might be three weeks up to two months without a VA appointment. That allows me, with great eagerness, the opportunity to become Julie. Then, almost on cue, a new or an old but intensified malady pops up. Usually I try to delay calling an ambulance to take me to the VA’s ER with the belief that it might just be in my head ꟷ psychosomatic as it were.  Why else am I unable to happily transform myself for even a week without my body rebelling in some fashion? I do know that when watching some emotional scene on TV I well-up in tears.  No reasoning, no control! I asked a psychologist at the VA about these episodes that occur with increased frequency. She said it wasn’t unusual and happens more often as one ages. Perhaps these emotional disconnects cause me to imagine new ailments. Could be. The thought that this latest ailment is the one that will do me in is unsettling. Needless I know.

Nevertheless, when another malady, real or imaginary, surfaces ꟷ I switch the money and cards from my purse back to my wallet. I don’t paint my nails because removing gel takes longer than makeup. In those down moments I find myself skipping shaving the stubble on my face ꟷ that I normally shave off daily ꟷ to every few days. Consequently, the only makeup on those days consists of eyebrow pencil and lipstick even though I still dress. As opposed to what I usually take = the two hours or longer for the full nine yards. Then, when feeling better and a positive attitude returns (Albeit, kidding myself for time is, actuarially, running out.),  I switch my things back to a purse and paint my nails. Never believed that with almost total freedom to CD there would come a time when I would abstain for a day or longer. Then again I rationalize in the thought that it’s quite normal for women to come home from work, or wherever, and kick off their heels, toss their foundation garments and bra and don sweats, in effect, to become drab for a time. So I should too without qualms or disgust at my knee-jerk reactions.

Need to add another frightening development: Now, when I dress for the day I only bother to look in the mirror to apply “schmear”. No longer find satisfaction looking at my reflection. Turning back the clock and changing genders is no longer an enticement that brings mental or physical arousal. No emotion remains, it’s just what I do.

So there you have it – a sampling of what you might expect.

Time for me to shut-up.

Extracting words from Dr. King’s last speech two days before he was assassinated: “And he (God) allowed me to go to the mountain …. I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you ….”. I would like to believe that those of us under the TG umbrella will, someday, find that Land. I, for one, Never Climbed His Mountain much less descended the other side.

With what I trust is an appropriate closing I will borrow from a Sinatra song:

“I face the final curtain but I did it my way”.

 

Julie.

Due to technical difficulties pictures will follow – need a 14-year-old to help!

 

FOR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS:

Go to juliegaum@outlook.com

PLEASE Type “RE:” and mark which Blog you are referring to (otherwise your mail will probably end up in junk pile by the filter).

Thank you

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CROSS DRESSING – Myths, Fallacies and Most Therapists Without a Clue Part 3

Blog 78 Part 3 of 4

Really sorry it has taken so long to complete Parts 3 and 4 but time spent in a hospital and rehab helped to set me back big time.

While Part 1 covered “so much more” and Part 2 summarizes experiences with my cousin in Florida, this Part (#3) narrates the transformation of Julie to almost a full time gal.

So, where was I heading with my brother and relatives all passed (A euphemism easier to use than “died”.)? Now I was  really alone ꟷ  after fifty-two years of DADT marriage and three with my cousin during which time the external Julie was emerging, the perceived restraints from family and friends lifted. Boom! I went on a mindless spree ꟷ like pushing the start button on a robot ꟷ filling my closets with dresses, skirts and tops. Probably accumulated some forty bras, and an equal number of panties and girdles.

About this time while wallowing in self-pity my life took a positive turn, for a change. As recounted in a previous Blog I was corresponding online with a fellow who was working a few hours’ drive north of my home while his wife and teen-age daughter lived two hours south here in Florida. Best known as “Rog”, I met him for dinner on his way through Lake Worth ꟷ where I live. A few inches taller than my present stooped posture he was nicely dressed and accessorized but evidently made no attempt to “pass”. That is, didn’t try to modify his voice or walk ꟷ drew stares when entering and leaving a restaurant. Nevertheless he appeared confident in his own skin. He lived with his family as a female and his employees knew that he CDd. Further he was active in local LGBT communities. I met him for dinner the first time in drab but, upon parting, he urged that when we meet next I should be dressed. Upon deliberating I decided ‘Why not?”. Nothing to lose. And so a new chapter in my life began.

Monthly, and sometimes more frequently, I now proceeded to have my nails done before heading to a Beauty Shoppe for a wash, cut and style. The first time, to be sure, was a traumatic event (Described in greater detail in a previous Blog.), but what the hell, Julie, you have faced danger and death before. Amazingly, I never lost my composure ꟷ like it was something I had done all my life! Looking into a mirror after having my hair washed and not quite dry I was shocked to see an ugly, made-up, woman staring back!  At this stage of my life, in my mid-eighties, I thought I was using too much makeup. However, in 20I8 Cover Girl advertised a new makeup for older women ꟷ  so I guess I don’t use too much; although, in my opinion, the female in that ad portrays a mask-like visage, At a nail shop, while wearing a pencil skirt, without a second thought I hopped on a high bed to have my eyebrows plucked.

I believe it’s true that in later years women often develop some male features and visa-versa probably due to changes in the testosterone level. I’m sure you have seen some old women with hair growth on their chins. Currently my hair curls below my shoulders, eyebrows are trimmed and my breasts have developed to a 38-B. Nipples are now tender and often hard though no longer associated with an arousal. Regularly wearing a bra for so many years probably helped shape them ─ really. They aren’t just flab filling a bra but appear female without a bra ꟷ in other words shaped and drooping. Recall long ago, sixty years past, while still a bachelor, I bought “Queen Honey Bee” ointment in the hopes of enlarging them ─ waste of time. Then tried a pump along with a nursing bra ꟷ wishful thinking. Now, weight is down to 148 which is lower than my military and college rowing weight. One catch though, what was muscle is now flab. A VA doctor told me that it is not unusual to keep losing weight as one ages ꟷ sure as hell isn’t due to exercising though my stationary bike mocks me every day. Reminds me of the set of weights I had in college when the only time I lifted them was to move to another dorm room. I am, in fact, as close to female as I can ever hope to be without adding hormones and possibly transitioning ꟷ a move I have never considered. I do believe that most old men, like myself, are having hormone changes entirely due to age. The trigger was pulled some eighty-eight years ago and now, living alone, the urge to CD is stronger than ever even though the fetish factor has all but vanished. The irony of it all!

While I still had a car and no longer even worried that I might be “made” – going grocery shopping, visiting a department store, or eating dinner alone at a nice restaurant became the norm. I was at a place in life where, not being able to prophesy what the future might hold in store, I should have been able to gloat on my good fortune. But you know what? I had never thought about it much. It was like having good health ─ one doesn’t think about it at all until maladies start to take over.

The reader will probably say a CD never passes. Ten years ago I would have certainly agreed that my facial features weren’t feminine, but now with long silver hair, puffy bags under watery red eyes, deep wrinkles above mouth and jowls nicely hiding an Adam’s apple, an observer’s first impression is “crippled old lady” as I was using a cane at that time. Nowadays, the features I envy the most when noticing young ladies (and young CDs) are the whiteness around the pupils (I believe it’s called the cornea) and secondly, as previously mentioned, shapely legs in high heels.

I must interject a story that has no bearing on this blog other than warn to be careful what one wishes for as one day it might bite you on  your ass. At age twelve I was sent by train to visit my mother convalescing at the Will Rodgers Nursing Home in Saranac Lake in upper New York. In those days TB was treated by country air and the smell of cow dung. Really! I slowly walked by my mother’s side along the many bed-occupied balconies ꟷ she never stopped crying the whole time. I swore to myself that I would never marry a crippled woman. And yet I was destined to have a crippled wife (Surgeries on heart, both knees and hips.) and then I became a cripple too. Taught a lesson that serves no future application.

In 2014 I had turned in my leased car during the period I was over-medicated and fainting almost daily. I was a hazard on the road and, likely, would kill other people along with myself. Using taxis as Julie I found a husband and wife team that used unmarked cars and charged flat rates to each destination ─ in other words no meter. After a few trips as Julie I divulged to the gal driver my alter ego. After quickly getting over her initial shock she had no problem accepting me and so did her husband and fifteen-year-old son. In fact two years later I was invited to their Thanksgiving dinner with a half dozen other guests who never treated me differently than the way I presented, nor were they ever given a heads-up on Julie’s gender. They were fascinated by my true tale about the very first Thanksgiving dinner. Succeeded in keeping my voice soft.

Occasionally visited a female non-VA doctor (as Julie) when I wanted a second opinion from the VA’s. On one such visit my lady taxi driver agreed with that doctor that Julie presented better than Julian! Not only did that make my day but at any time thereafter when feeling apprehensive about going out as Julie I would bolster my confidence by recalling their unsolicited comments. Oh yes, there was never an occasion, when visiting that doctor, that my testicles were examined though she had to use a stethoscope to listen to my heart through my bra. I use “had to” as I think doctors must pledge before leaving medical school that they are duty-bound to use that instrument on every patient, needed or not. That in the face of a recent article from the AMA that a mere 17% are able to decipher stethoscope’s sounds correctly!  I surmise that a stethoscope hanging over a white coat completes the required look as “doctor”. Sorry, I digressed again.

Admittedly, before I had a State-funded part-time aide, paying others for transportation considerably limited my ability and desire to go out. To go grocery shopping cost me an additional $40 and to enjoy a restaurant or mall visit was $50. However I did get a kick out of shopping for lingerie accompanied by my gal taxi driver. On one such occasion she selected bras for me to buy or reject; but the need to enter a department store’s fitting-room never arose. I’m sure that having a companion GG along dispelled any doubts that an on-looker might have as to my gender.

Then through my VA social worker it was arranged via a Florida agency that I would have a gal (for free) three hours a week to grocery shop or keep my apartment clean. Had another boost to my ego one day. On the grocery list that I prepare on my computer Word program I listed Centrum Silver (Vitamin supplement for over age 50). She came back with that item alright but it was marked “for women”. I must have arrived! Many months have gone by and she still addresses me as “ma’am”.

Soon thereafter on another occasion before my gal came to pick up my shopping list I  experimented to find out how little makeup I needed to pass her fleeting glances. As mentioned it’s almost a two hour chore for me to put on my shmear (Though I thoroughly enjoy it when I have the time.) and removing the gook is a half-hour project. So I applied moisturizer and foundation only (not using three different concealers, eye shadow and liner either) but did line my eye-brows and applied mascara and lippy. Of course I shaved and my garb was still female ꟷ skirt and top and some jewelry too. When she did pick up my grocery list and two hours later returned to help put the groceries away ꟷ she never looked at me “sideways”. On this same day of the week I also mount my electric wheelchair for a two-block trip to the mail box. I greet local residents with a wave. They hardly glance a second time at this little old lady ꟷ other than cordially greeting me.

That settles it ꟷ from now on when not expecting an occasion where others would have an opportunity to glance at me for more than a nanosecond ꟷ I could get by with a minimal amount of cosmetics. Some of those reading this dissertation are young and handsome men so my comments would be puzzling as they likely use makeup sparingly to get by. For those of us that are endowed with much less ꟷ some “shmear”, as my mother would say, is a necessity.

In the 1950s sanitary napkins didn’t have sticky backs to adhere to panties; instead one donned a thin band with two snaps to which the pad was attached front and back ꟷ kept one’s panties dry. During that time I was underdressing while building the largest wholesale hardware business in Canada. About ten years later I tried wearing a Tampon when I went to dinner at the DuPont Hotel in Wilmington, Delaware (As operating director of a large chain of discount stores I was visiting two stores that we had in Delaware.). I’ve read that plugging is used by some to keep their partners behaving. Anal sex toys are also displayed in Adult Stores. For me it isn’t a sexual thing but rather an emotional add-on to help complete my gender identity. Now, in my nineties, for a few days every month I again use either Tampons or the Playtex kind which I prefer. I give no more thought than using pads every day ꟷ it’s become a normal part of my being. Might mention that for 24/7 I tuck. Feeling a nylon-clad thigh rubbing against the other means it’s a proper tuck and adds additional satisfaction to my persona.

Follow me, if you will, in the frequent morning ritual performed in the waning days of an old CD. Breakfast is over and washing finished. Along with a close shave goes the last remnants of L’Oréal’s Age Perfect night crème. Then a Summer’s Eve douche before inserting a KY ultragel lubricated Playtex Sport tampon. Now the black Bali Lacy Skamp brief is lined with an Always Maxi pad or, perhaps, the thinner Flex Foam. A black Glamorise Magic Lift bra is best for me for I fill it out nicely without padding. Meanwhile a charcoal-clay mask works for five minutes before removing to make way for Olay Eye before a moisturizer over which comes Clinique’s Super Primer. A brow liner followed by a brow brush are allowed to dry while applying mascara. Then eye liner pen or powder before four shades of shadow ꟷ from white to black ꟷ goes on. A dab of eye concealer under the eyes highlights them nicely. Using “line concealer” with Clinique’s “Redness Solutions” hides blemishes ꟷ especially above upper lip and nostril veins. Dots of slightly darker concealer spread on and above lips is a tip from pros. Time now for foundation first spread by fingertips before finishing with a cosmetic sponge. Three shades of blush contours the cheeks.   Time now for Aveeno moisturizer on legs and arms. Silk Reflections Jet thigh highs anchor a Rago open-bottom black/white high-waist girdle. Chanel No. 5 in cleavage and on wrists concludes the task.

Don a closely-fitting beige knit top, black pencil skirt with costume jewelry to match. Only then goes loose powder to set the look with a lighter pressed powder used along the ridge of nose. Lip liner and lipstick applied with brush and then gloss finishing it. Finally, Emory board, clear and color gel nail polish to cover long curved nails.

Now I look at the reflection, at the finished product creating a much younger woman ꟷ makes the whole effort very rewarding to say the least. But why do I do it, why do I spend all this effort on a fruitless quest? To a lesser or greater degree it’s what we do.

 

Part 3 portrayed the peak few years for Julie while Part 4 follows her downward spiral. Keep in mind that a CD’s final chapter could be far different ꟷ you might, based on the actuarial factor, die much earlier in life brought on, perhaps, by ill health or an accident;  or you could live to a ripe old age enjoying, as long as is ordained, every minute of your gift.

 

 

Continued in Blog 78 Part 4 of 4

 

[JG1]

Part 3 portrayed the peak few years for Julie while Part 4 follows her downward spiral. Keep in mind that a CD’s final chapter could be far different ꟷ you might, based on the actuarial factor, die much earlier in life brought on, perhaps, by ill health or an accident;  or you could live to a ripe old age enjoying, as long as is ordained, every minute of your gift.

 

CROSS DRESSING – Myths, Fallacies And Most Therapists Without A Clue BLOG 78 PART 1

Blog Number 78 Part 1         {Photo coming soon}

I must begin this final Blog with a very recent (in 2018) and unsolicited post by Rhonda Jean ─ a twelve-year member of the Crossdressers.com Forum. True that it does boost my ego but her missive also reflects a hope. A hope that I will have left a resource useful for years to come in correcting rampant misinformation not only out there but some, unfortunately, blindly believed within our TG community:

“I just spent the past half hour or so scanning through bits of Julie’s blog. I’ll read every word of it as time allows. This is a treasure! A fascinating, unique, and unabridged perspective that you just can’t get anywhere else on the planet. Julie is lovely in every sense of the word. Do not miss this!”

Though I’m preordained to lead this life as a heterosexual crossdresser ꟷ other hues of the transgender spectrum may find that some of these blogs apply to their own journey on this spinning orb.

Transgendered (Blog 78 does not address those very few who are sure they are in “the wrong body” at a very early age.) MTF individuals will, typically, recount an incident ꟷ usually it’s merely curiosity ꟷ to try on a mother’s or sister’s lingerie during their prepubescent years. Actually, millions of young males are briefly attracted but that “trigger” is, unknowingly, tripped by only a few. They will become one of perhaps five percent of the male population that become hooked. A small percentage will also be encouraged or even supported by a family member to dress. The “why” do we respond to that trigger is explored at length in many of these seventy plus Blogs. By early teenage years comes the realization that what they are doing can be described as “crossdressing” with all the preconceived guilts that come with it.

These inclinations may continue to strengthen by the twenties or may remain in a cocoon state for decades. Eventually, the majority will marry though too many, regrettably, attempt to hide their “secret” until revealed under usually traumatic circumstances. Then lives twist and turn ꟷ taking family members along for the ride. Readers of these personal tales recounted on the Internet will find a commonality in the stories told.

This writer suddenly awakened to that prevailing omission: what and where was the rest of the story? What else had they accomplished in life? Did they rear a loving family? Successful kids? Perhaps reached the heights in the financial world? In art? In education?

At least once in our lives we have  tried to explain away to family or friends our CDing by saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. A lot of people out there think we are weird after seeing our cover; so what is the content between the covers? Are you presently creating your life’s story?

It’s well worth repeating, as it’s so apropos, words extracted from a letter to me from Patrick X (Pax) Nidorf, former Augustinian priest and prolific nationally acclaimed artist:

“God created you as a cross dresser ─ To accept yourself as a beautiful human being, just the way you are, just the way God made you.  Not that easy to accept if you believe society thinks you are weird beyond belief. It seems to have become an all pervasive element {True for me, I had lost sight, for a time, of other objectives.} in your life when it doesn’t define you at all ꟷ any more than playing golf {I was once a scratch golfer.} defines you as a golfer. You may be a golfer but that is not who you are.  I don’t think it is a problem if you delight in and are proud of being a cross dresser any more than I like to be considered an artist. I would certainly like to think that I’m a hell of a lot more than this ─ as you are a hell of a lot more than a cross dresser ꟷ so much more.” Thank you Pax, I could have never expressed it as well.

To encourage you, the reader, to consider and, I recommend, actually listing what else you have accomplished, or hope to accomplish, beyond crossdressing before you have finished your stay on this earth. The following Amazon Review ꟷ extracted from my 534 page awards-winning memoir ─ is offered as an illustration. It is not to boast or flaunt but to bring my final days as a cross dresser into a clearer perspective ꟷ to define the “so much more” part of my journey.

Once I have presented my own saga, as a so much more example, then I will resume recounting the final chapters of my life

Excerpts from an Amazon Review:

Emerson wrote: “How shall a man escape from his ancestors, or draw off from his veins the black drop which he drew from his father’s or his mother’s life?” And so the journey begins with the far greater influence than I have ever admitted — a mother, an immigrant toiling in a sweatshop before attaining prominence, and fortune, in the fashion world (The first couturier dress shop on Madison Avenue in New York City and on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida.) and a father, an attorney, who amasses and squanders fortunes before disbarment. Looking back, what made it even more remarkable ꟷ their financial successes were attained during the Great Depression.  Whether being born to two dominant parents – anything but close to Julian in his formative years – helped bring about his transvestism is conjecture, but this reviewer notes early on in this memoir the thread of guilt and misgivings — baggage that gnaws his conscience throughout his life. And his turmoil results in a protective veneer that shields him from reciprocating to those who love him. Julian’s frequent self-examinations are especially critical, so he might be excused for being equally harsh towards his wife’s weaknesses.

Julian entered the retail field by happenstance (as do most retailers) and progressed from specialty stores to so-called “conventional” retailing and on to the discount industry as that concept became accepted. He became a top executive for several national chains. His venture into the catalog showroom business provides an interesting view of a form of retailing now completely extinct. The cameo meetings with Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, offers insight not previously disclosed of this individual. Other encounters — with  Sam Bromfman, founder of Seagram’s, Andrew Higgins, creator of the landing craft vital to America’s success in World War II; and with Pedro Armendariz, once the matinee idol of Spanish-speaking countries, are only a few of the many fascinating personages the reader will meet.

Reflecting on his search in a “white no-man’s land” for the leaders of the Cleveland race riots in the ‘60s, and an armed midnight meeting with a group of rifle-bearing dissidents, Julian realizes how innocent he was venturing into a world utterly foreign to him.

I found his musings especially poignant when pondering crass commercialism while walking down Fifth Avenue on Christmas Eve; while attending High Mass at the Quebec cathedral and similar reflections at an Easter sunrise service in the Hollywood Bowl; and during his Wharton graduation ceremony — thoughts that go straight to one’s soul.

The writer’s peek into the fantasyland of motion pictures is fascinating as he rubs shoulders with the stars of post-war Hollywood. {As a side note not included in this review: Sex being traded for a part in a forthcoming movie was a very much alive and thriving activity sixty-seven years before social media was around to titillate the masses. In fact girls were converging in droves to the Hollywood area from all over the country to be waitresses, secretaries, etc., hoping to be spotted by talent scouts. Finding a job within the walls of one of the studios was ideal. One can imagine how many “scouts” were pimps looking for a lay and a recruit.}

The relating of his fumbling while preparing for and participating in his first bomber raid over Germany provides a personal touch not usually found in narratives of wartime action. A trip back to England forty years later to revisit memories of World War II finds Julian in an obscure chapel adjoining the weed-covered runway where his Group was once stationed. There he gazes, with tear-filled eyes, at the inscribed names of fallen airmen — one memorial amidst hundreds on British soil going back over a thousand years — brings home the futility of such conflicts.

Experiences now very recognizable to the many “downsized” from the work force due (never admitted) to age, but still possessed of vigor and ambition, dawns the realization that companies that do hire them are not interested in training them again for executive positions — poor investment. This acceptance is hard to swallow and often takes additional job changes before the reality becomes apparent. Julian’s selected diaries of job interviews that initially are promising and then become dead ends without employer explanations that make any sense will also be familiar to many.”

My definition of the word “Legacy” is ꟷ what contributions have we made to the welfare, the betterment of others during our brief stay on earth ꟷ what might be considered as good works deemed worthy to hand down to future generations. I would guess that most of the lives I have touched and improved have already preceded me back to dust. Nevertheless, I would like to believe that their families’, their loved ones’ lot improved, albeit indirectly, as a result of our encounters.

For this reason I would like to add two events that took place after my memoir’s timeline was completed in 1995 ─ had to stop somewhere or my writings would never be published. I’m hopeful that these episodes might be considered as part of that legacy:

After being fired from Home Depot (My memoir has the details.), we downsized to a less expensive home on Camano Island (roughly seventy miles north of Seattle). Here I set up a retailing consultant business with clients gathered from the Northwestern states.

First event: While attending the annual meeting of a Camano Island company that provides water to the Island’s homes something seemed fishy in the presented financial report. With my Wharton training and more than sixty years in business my gut rebelled. A well-known local CPA joined me to investigate. Sure enough the Secretary-Treasurer had been embezzling for years. Rather than sending her to jail that CPA, Terry Greer, and I thought it would be a greater benefit to the water company in the long run if the embezzler made restitution of several hundred thousands of dollars. The State agreed to allow residents to set up local control which they have done successfully ever since.

My second involvement: The manager of a local animal shelter, or “pound”, refused to euthanize, kind word for murder, pets that were not adopted within a short time-frame so Island County withdrew their funding. To make a long story shorter ─ I was able to prevail on the branch of a local bank to give them a mortgage on seventeen virgin acres. Then, fortuitously, a ship builder provided over a million dollars to build the largest no-kill shelter in the Northwest. Sure, I can point with pride at these accomplishments but should they, will they be worthy enough to be added to the final chapter of my life? When I pass then so will the memories of those two events as I doubt there are historical records to mark them. I’m not the one to decide which events described in my memoir, in my lifetime, will be deemed as part of my legacy ─ if any. No, only the test of time will make that determination.

Now that I’ve done my best to place into context the “so much more” chapters of my life the final (following) eight years recount those fibers that complete the whole cloth of my being.

 

Continued on Blog 78 ꟷ Part 2

 

 

MYTHS, MISCONCEPTIONS AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE BLOG 78 PART 2

Blog No. 78 Part 2 of 4

NOTE: Part 2 briefly relates the three years when I lived with my cousin in Florida; never dreaming that an almost full time Julie would evolve as a result. Robbie Burns, the Scotch poet, wrote around 1780: “The best laid schemes o` mice an` men gang aft a-gley”. And so my plans to rewrite my memoir and live happily ever after takes an unexpected turn.

I won’t attempt to exhume the many bad memories of my marriage ─ we tend to hide the bad and only remember the good times ꟷ but, nevertheless, after fifty-two years together I do admit to moments of nostalgia. Neither divorce attorneys had their hearts in their work and so the proceedings weren’t contentious. I mention my marital status as during this time, in early 2009, I was corresponding by e-mail with my closest friend of more than eighty years, my first-cousin living in Florida. She had been widowed for some seven years. Her husband died while doing what he most enjoyed ─ suffered a massive heart attack at the instant he drove his ball off the first tee of a private golf course. In the years that I lived on the East Coast we, my wife and I, and she and husband – would spend one evening a week together for dinner or sometimes take a golfing visit to Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head. When her husband went into the army in World War II, and I hadn’t yet left for service, I would take her to the Glen Island Casino near New Rochelle, New York, to dance to the “Big Bands” of that era ─ trying to take her mind away from being a new bride with a husband off to war. In other words we had always been very close.

Our mail became progressively more intense as she was lonely and I was driven by a desire to rewrite my memoir and, optimistically, to lead a happier life than I had in recent years.

From reading the first edition of my memoir, published seven years previously, she knew of my cross dressing but I still made a point to remind her that I had the need to continue the “Habit” as it was the nature of the beast (Wasn’t the time to explain in further detail.). Her reply was “No problem, I love you so much.” Sure I was very fond of her but could I reciprocate her love? The closest I had ever come to that emotion was many years ago when I thought I was in love with Helene, my French-Canadian gal. If I really were in love at that time I would have married her despite the fact that I had yet to attain a college degree much less have a job. I guess it was an infatuation stoked by four years of periodic meetings in Quebec City or in New York. Understandably, she gave up waiting. Yes, I have no doubt that my CD veneer shielded me from such emotions as love.

This new chapter of my life began without hesitation on either of our parts ─ she had set up one of the three bedrooms for me to use as a work/writing space and two dresser drawers in her bedroom had been emptied for my things which included lingerie. Her comment at the time was “you have more sexy things than I”. In retrospect, she had accepted and supported my Cding without a verbal statement but by her actions ─ really the better way.

The last six years before her husband’s demise had been strained. In fact, the large box of condoms found in his belongings certainly confirmed that he had been cheating ꟷ as years before she had a hysterectomy so condoms weren’t needed.  Husbands straying is not that uncommon for many males in their later years suffer from male menopause. That’s not quite true ─ a misconception on my part. Men often suffer from midlife crisis ꟷ a quest for identity ─ questioning whether one has fulfilled personal expectations. Many females who have selected career paths usually reach that crisis earlier when the gender glass ceiling might be encountered. Point being that often menopause arrives after that mid-life crisis, if faced at all.

Sorry, digressing. Perhaps her yearning for affection, lost some years before, would explain one reason that being now exposed to crossdressing for the first time didn’t appear to be the least bit traumatic for her ─ perhaps a trade-off. An assumption on my part.

We mutually agreed that six hours during the day would be set aside for me to work on my book and the rest of the time would be shared.  From the get go we both dressed in our large, mutual, bedroom. I would, daily, fully dress in bra, panties, hosiery and a girdle. She was amazed that I would wear so much lingerie but I dismissed that comment with “That’s what I’ve been wearing for years ꟷ it makes me happy.” I really couldn’t even explain to myself the rationale. I knew it was more complicated than a mere fetish action.  Nevertheless, my response was awfully cold and certainly was no help towards her understanding.

To this day I kick myself for turning down her offer to help hook my bra. I believe at the time my reasoning was that I didn’t want my dressing to appear to be a recent “thing” ─ that it was no more than routine. Upon reflection ─ her helping me dress would have been a turn-on. Stupid me!

Within weeks my cousin presented me with some of her skirts and tops along with a nice two-piece evening gown. I hadn’t requested them but gladly accepted. Her clothes came with one caveat: not allowed to wear them out of the house. Wasn’t surprised. Could wear very light makeup (I only possessed foundation and powder at that time.) but not when we planned to go to her very classy golf club for a weekly dinner. We ate out every night at the finest restaurants so I would always wear a sports jacket which nicely covered my bra. Those arrangements were fine with me as it’s understandable for a CD’s partner to fear discovery by her friends. Should mention, to ease my own conscience, that since I wasn’t paying towards my lodging I covered all the restaurant expenses.

Sex life with my former wife had ended at least eight years before our divorce ─ exact circumstances not now recalled. Ability for an erection probably waned not long thereafter ꟷ hazy memory of just when. And at 84, when intercourse was called for ꟷ I couldn’t achieve an erection lasting more than a few seconds and certainly penetration wasn’t possible. I felt guilty that I could still, with my cousin’s stimulation, climax possibly twice a week but so one sided! She assured me that she felt a thrill each time I came, but convincing myself of that was, to my way of thinking, self-serving. Upon returning from dining out, very frequently, seated on her living room couch she would delight in opening my shirt and lowering my bra enough to kiss my breasts. Then she would teasingly complain that she had to pull down my pantyhose and girdle to reach my penis ꟷ “so much clothes”. Now, thinking back over those few years, it was a fantastic time. What heterosexual CD would not have been in heaven to be fondled while fully underdressed?

My own feeble efforts to bring her to an orgasm were just that “feeble”. Come to think about it ꟷ seldom, if ever, have I even tried to bring a gal to climax other than through intercourse. What a selfish SOB have I always been!

I eagerly attended the V.A. Medical Center’s bi-weekly ED meeting ꟷ probably fifty men representing both younger and older vets were there. Of interest were the kits they handed out consisting of a plastic pump-like device and instructions, of coarse. The idea was to exercise the penis. It didn’t achieve its objective ─ discouraging for both of us.

For the following two years I could say that my sex life was more than just satisfying. My former wife had never suggested or requested that we indulge in less conservative versions of sex play. She grew up at a Hudson Bay fur trading post in the far north. Her dad was Scotch and her mother a Cree. If anything I would say that she was taught to be stoic in her emotions.but now I had a willing pupil! It seems ludicrous but I was actually reluctant to share what deviations I had experienced as a bachelor ꟷ “shy” for want of a better explanation.

But something else was brewing with my cousin. It wasn’t until about the third year of my stay in Florida before the signs crystalized. An old cliché, “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” might apply. Soon after my arrival I noticed a bottle of vodka in the refrigerator.  Didn’t think anything unusual until after two or so weeks went by and she asked me to buy another bottle. When asked, she shrugged it off by commenting, “It must be the cleaning lady taking a nip.” Strange since that lady only came in once a week. So that very night I decided to put a small ink mark at the remaining liquor level in the bottle. Sure enough it had gone down during the night.

Early one morning I awoke to the sound of crashing glass. Investigating, I found my cousin standing in the kitchen and glass everywhere including imbedded in her bare feet. Took an hour to bandage her up and clean up the mess. Yet not a word of explanation or apology. Embarrassed, I suppose.

I wasn’t her husband nor was it my house so couldn’t very well order her to stop. Hardly adequate but the best I could do was to make her promise not to have more than two drinks during the day. She never appeared drunk or slurred her words so it was difficult to ascertain whether she kept her promise or not. At least there were no hidden bottles I could find.

Drinking in excess turned out to be only one aspect of odd behavior that became more and more frequent. During my lifetime I had encountered alcoholics but never anybody developing dementia, so I admit to not recognizing the early symptoms. For example, I noticed that, on occasion, when paying her monthly bills she would write a check paying a statement (not an invoice) or use a deposit slip as though it were a check. When pointing out her errors ꟷ she did correct but never tried to explain. This was getting serious. Ironically, in recent years she had, monthly, flown down to Miami (From New Jersey) to do her aging mother’s bills … and now?

Often she would walk into my work space and start verbally attacking me with imaginary grievances. Learned not to react nor did she seem to be seeking a response. An hour later no sign of being upset ꟷ like it never happened. Some of the other events come to mind: We were deplaning at W. Palm Beach International from a trip to New Jersey to visit with her family when flight attendants requested we remain in our seats until an ill passenger was first taken off ꟷ cousin tried to get out of her seat ─ I gently held her down. Once deplaned she flagged a porter to pick up her bags and, boarding an electric cart, headed for the exit without me. Fortunately, the driver of the limo I had arranged to pick us up waited for me to catch up.

When driving a few hours down to the Miami area to attend a wedding or a graduation; both of which entailed staying overnight ꟷ she went directly to bed and stayed there until half the festivities were over. Like a little girl pouting with no reason given. Took her to the ER of a local hospital when she complained of rectal bleeding. Admitted to hospital to run usual tests. Few hours later, early in morning, I was called back. They tried to give her a colonoscopy and she scratched one nurse and punched another. The following day, after she returned home, her doctor sent a nurse to do a proctoscopy. She would have none of it. I could think of a number of possible reasons for her reaction ꟷ will never know.

More than once she ordered me to get out, leave. Even progressed so far that I went to pick up pamphlets listing nearby apartments. Hours later the possible reasons were completely forgotten whatever they were. Contrast that behavior with her insistence that we should go to sleep holding hands (Difficult for me as I normally sleep on my side – tossing and turning all night.).

Problem was that these bouts of strange conuct were becoming more frequent coupled with increased use of alcohol. My speculation was that she realized in her own way that she was losing her reasoning powers (once considerable) and the drinking was an attempt to stifle her frustrations. It’s common, myself included, that with advancing age we start projects only to begin another without completing the first one; or put things away in odd places. It is scary as we become concerned that our minds are deserting us. The big difference between her and myself was that she never seemed to realize her forgetfulness.

Her youngest son, who was her executor, also noticed the weird actions during the few times he visited. He arranged for two doctors to come to her home a few hours apart. Should mention that she had hearing aids she refused to use despite me buying smaller ones for her. I suspected it was a vanity issue. So when these doctors visited she guessed (mostly incorrectly) what questions were being asked. Neither doctor picked up on her deafness. I watched while she was being steam rolled out of her financial assets. I already suspected that dementia or even Alzheimer’s had taken hold so what would be the point of intervening? I still believe her son was hurrying her departure as many times she voiced her desire to finish her life at home. A 24-hour aide coverage would have been a fraction of what her assets ended up paying. Of course, if she had stayed, her son would not have been able to sell her home and contents here in Florida.

I was instructed by her son to be out of her home before she returned from a detox center. I only had a week to find an apartment (Found a nice one twenty minutes away.) and buy furniture for it. I left, easily, forty thousand dollars’ worth of antiques and collectables (my half from marriage) at her house figuring I would pick them up after I was settled ─ wrong! Son immediately found a buyer for house and all my stuff disappeared. But that’s another story of greed gone unpunished that to fill in details would take too long to narrate here (also agonizing for me to think about that and other episodes by this son – the youngest one.). Will mention that he was strongly opposed to my living with his mother. My cousin told him more than once that “If we have a child it would be named after you.” (Not physically possible for either of us.). Really rubbed a raw spot with him. I think a psychologist could easily find the root of his attitude.

My cousin was frantic when not finding me upon returning to her home from detox. It became an excruciating experience for both of us – receiving eight phone calls a day were the norm. Did visit her a few times a week before she left Florida. How to tell her, each time, that I had to leave after a few hours’ visit took imagination on my part. To avoid a tantrum and a physical confrontation I would give an excuse why I was leaving the room (like going to bathroom). The nurse assigned to her 24/7 would then have to quiet her down for the required few minutes before she forgot I had left ─ not easy.

Within a month my cousin was on her way to New Jersey on the pretext of a family visit. Not difficult to make her go as a number of times while I was still living with her she would suggest that “we go visit my two sons and their families for a few hours”. She thought they were a few blocks away and not some eighteen hundred miles.

To make a very sad story a bit longer: Going North less than two years later to attend my only brother’s funeral, her eldest son and I went to visit his mother in a very nice, and expensive, facility in New Jersey. She showed no sign of recognizing either of us! Most upsetting were her eyes ꟷ they looked right through me ─ so blank!  Can’t think of another malady that is so gut wrenching to families while the patient is blissfully unaware.

Events had moved so swiftly! An analogy might be falling into a lake. One’s instinct would be to swim to shore, to survive and not to ponder what had just transpired. What now?

 

Continued in Blog 78 Part 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

CROSS DRESSING: 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.

 

 

 

CROSS DRESSING: 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

 

 

CROSSDRESSING: 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 did Gandhi and Mother Teresa achieve 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.

CROSS DRESSING: 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.

CROSS DRESSING: 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

CROSS DRESSING: 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.