In Search of Equilibrium

By Amanda J.

I have to confess that I was in two minds about submitting this post to Kandi.  I love the interaction I have with others here, particularly when my ramblings somehow seem to strike a chord.  It’s particularly rewarding when I post something, either here or on one of the other places I occasionally contribute to and someone says ‘that’s me!’ or ‘that really helped’.  But, on the other hand, I’m feeling like a bit of a fraud because one of the prerequisites of posting on a CD-themed blog or forum is that you should actually be a CDer and the truth is that, in the past seven months, I have indulged only once and I have no immediate plans to rectify that.  And it’s not a lack of opportunity that has stood in my way but a lack of will.

As I write this, I can imagine Kandi reading it, shaking her head and making a note to the effect that the next time she reorganises the ‘contributors’ page, I’ll need to be moved down to the ‘gone but not forgotten’ section (or even a new section called ‘gone and the quicker forgotten, the better’!).  But not so fast, Kandi, hold the front page!  ‘Amanda’ is still alive and kicking and there’s no better way to prove it than to include a gratuitous shot of me at my very best.

I’ve heard it all when I’ve posted photos – I was born to be a woman and I’m denying my true destiny by not transitioning.  I’ve received very nice compliments from other girls who appreciate what it takes to transform an unattractive sixty-something guy into a half-decent looking woman.  I’ve received very nice compliments from guys, some of whom were undoubtedly hoping for a relationship to develop (or were so desperate that they’d go after anything in high heels with a pulse).  And I’ve even been messaged by one guy offering to trade photos of his wife for photos of me.  I’ve been extremely flattered by all the interest in me (with the possible exception of the photo-trader) but, diverse though the interactions were, they all came from people with one thing in common.  And that’s that absolutely none of them know the real me and all of them have got the wrong end of the stick.

So am I saying that the person depicted on this photo isn’t the real me?  It would certainly be possible to draw that conclusion given that I’ve already said that I currently have a lack of will to bring my feminine side to life and suggested that those who think I was born to be a woman and am denying my true destiny are wrong.  Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.  As I went through my photos looking for one to include on this post, I was almost bursting with pride, firstly of the fact that the woman in this and every other photo is me – ME!!! – and secondly of the things I have achieved through her persona.

But, of course, those photos are contradictions.  At a fundamental level, there’s the obvious contradiction in that the subject is not the woman she appears to be but a guy.  Thanks to the amazing work of Cindy at BWBG in London, they depict someone who looks utterly at home in that persona and yet that depiction is a mere snapshot in a life which is otherwise the complete opposite.  The aforementioned guys who liked what they saw and contacted me would almost certainly run a mile in the opposite direction if they stopped to think about what lurks beneath the exterior.  And so on.

The reality is that that photo is the culmination of a struggle which has so far lasted over 45 years and continues unabated to this day.  A struggle to accept that I’m not like most other guys.  A struggle to figure out exactly where I stand.  A struggle to avoid this detonating a bomb (or in my case, another bomb) in the middle of my marriage.  A struggle to reconcile the need for honesty within a marriage with the knowledge that appeasing my conscience would just dump everything onto my wife.  And a struggle to live a normal life while trying to cope with the emotional highs and lows that accompany all of this.  In all honesty, I’d far rather not to have to contend with this in my life but, when all is said and done, it’s something I do have to contend with on a daily basis so I need to figure out how to make the best of it.

In previous posts, I’ve talked about purging which seemed like the obvious solution at the time (or, to be more precise, times as there were several) – by preventing indulgence, it deals with the marital deception and, as purging generally happens during a lull in the urges, it feels like a lasting cure.  But as I’ve also talked about before, nothing could be further from the truth because the simple fact is that purging does not deal with the reasons why we feel the need to CD in the first place and as such is doomed to failure.  And trust me, there’s nothing more soul destroying than returning to the clothes recycling container a few hours later to see if it was possible to retrieve the bags deposited there (it wasn’t).

However we look at the inner woman and whatever tactics we try to suppress her, in the end she will always defeat us – she’d be a lesser woman if she didn’t!!  It was a hard lesson (and with all of the purges, an expensive lesson) to learn but, thankfully, I did learn it in the end  The real solution, I realised, was to allow nature to take its course and look for equilibrium between the various facets of my life.

The first realisation was to stop worrying about it.  So I’ve got these trans tendencies?  So what!  It’s a part of who I am and I don’t necessarily have to look like an ‘Amanda’ to be an ‘Amanda’.  Having that persona permits me to exhibit certain elements of my personality that would be deemed weird or acceptable in my normal guise and also seems to ‘unlock’ a side of me that is normally hidden from public view.  I love the idea of being able to interact with women – both genetic and trans – in a way that does not have an implied sexual undercurrent and my ‘Amanda’ persona enables me to do that, regardless of how I happen to be dressed at the time, even if only in the online world.

The second realisation was that I needed to think counterintuitively.  I run a business and when we moved into our current premises, spent several thousand pounds on something I never intend to use – a fire detection & alarm system.  Having it means that everyone who works in the business or comes as a customer can do so without the anxieties of wondering whether they’re realise in time if the unthinkable happened.  In the same way, I am fiercely protecting all of my feminine clothes and accessories and they’re going nowhere.  At this moment in time, I have no need for them but, equally, I have none of the anxieties about what will happen when the inevitable happens and the urges return with a vengeance (and I know from experience that they will return).  Ironically, knowing that everything I need to transform myself is ready and waiting has reduced the immediate need to do exactly that.

The third realisation took a leaf out of Sir Isaac Newton’s book – his third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  By around nine months ago, things had got out of control; I had almost unlimited opportunities to dress and was going the full nine yards with makeup several times a week.  I was starting to plan outings and looking forward to being out in society as a woman and doing all of the things women do.  The highs of getting ready and then looking in the mirror and seeing a familiar face that I loved smiling back were unbelievable and reading all the amazing accounts of Kandi and the other contributors here being out and about had convinced me that I had absolutely nothing to fear.  But like Sir Isaac’s actions, those activities and thoughts came with a cost.  The lows at other times were emotionally crushing and whilst they were fueling the urges to deal with them by dressing once more, the constant fear of discovery was intensifying.  Of course, some will undoubtedly argue that emotional highs when presenting as a female and crushing lows at other times mean only one thing and the obvious way forward was staring me in the face.  But this is only a part of me and only a part of my life, other elements of which I’m completely happy with, so it’s not that easy.  In the end, as I wrote in my last few posts, I realised that I had to break the cycle so that my activities were no longer fueled solely by the feeling of deflation after the last session – in Newton’s world, take away the action and the reaction disappears too.

So has Amanda gone for good?  Far from it and all of the facets of my life are as alive and kicking as they always were.  But life is full of compromises.  I love my feminine indulgences – rolling on hosiery, stepping into dresses and the slight struggle to do up the rear zip, sliding my feet into a gorgeous pair of heels, applying makeup and then standing mesmerised in front of the mirror as the worries & anxieties of life seem to evaporate and a warm feeling engulfs me.  But I also love being a husband & father, not having to care too much about how I present myself to the world and getting enjoyment from traditionally guy activities.  Wishing that one had been born female is not the same as wanting to take steps to become one.  I am incredibly proud that the woman in the photo at the top of this post is me and I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved in the limited circumstances when I can fully embrace her persona.  But, equally, ‘he’ hasn’t done too badly in life either.  He may not be quite as fabulous as his female alter ego but he contributes as much to who she is as she does to him.

And that’s the whole point – life has to be balanced but, in an imperfect world, that balance can be precarious.  Sir Isaac had it well sussed out, not that I think that he had crossdressing in mind when he formulated his laws of motion (although, with his long hair and 17th century clothes that, in this day and age would be deemed a little feminine, maybe….).  For me, the wishes that I didn’t have to contend with all of this are currently balanced by the desires to indulge once more and, as a result, both are little more than a rumble in my mind.  But how long things will remain in equilibrium is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll look at my photos and feel an uncontrollable desire to see ‘her’ in the mirror once more.  Maybe next week I’ll see a cute looking woman in the street and want to put an outfit like hers together.  Or maybe next month I’ll be asked a direct question and have to tell the truth bringing everything crashing down around me once more.

But, as always, to finish on a positive, if any of those scenarios do happen, they’re going to form the basis of a great post on Kandi’s Land!

Merry Christmas everyone!

The fake human being (according to Facebook) was published again!

8 thoughts on “In Search of Equilibrium”

  1. Amanda – you have done it again! You have written an article that I can relate to so easily, and from which I can learn. Although I am a late in life beginner (age 69 before beginning to crossdress actively) I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I’ve experienced none of the guilt and shame that plagues so many and often brings on the purges – I have never had any desire to do that. I still revel in the euphoria of transformation, and actually enjoy the duplicity of having a female and male persona. It’s sometimes hard to achieve the balance desired when the pull to dress can be so pervasive, but if kept under control and remaining with my hands firmly on the wheel of my psychological bus I can enjoy the ride, even if I do not or cannot dress for a time. There are many CD related activities – like reading articles and connecting with others of a like mind – that keep this experience so fresh. Perhaps all of this is just because I am so new and all of it is still very much a joyful journey of discovery, but I am very much the better person for it. Best of all, even my wife agrees!

    1. Kris, thank you for your kind words!

      What you refer to as ‘the euphoria of transformation’ is, to my view, our reward in life. I would go as far as to say that ‘normal’ people (whatever normal really is) could not possibly understand what it really means because if you’ve never experienced any form of discomfort with the fundamentals of who you are, how can you have any comprehension of the feelings when the planets align? But it can have very similar effects to drugs when the euphoria becomes the reason for doing it rather than a by-product – downtimes become intolerable and other priorities get sidelined.

      There’s a strong argument that says ‘why suppress something if it makes you feel good’ and several who know me online have asked that question. But I don’t consider what I’m doing as suppression, just getting a grip to make sure that my life didn’t get any more out of whack than it already was. In the end, we’re all different and it’s important that those struggling for answers see as many facets of the world we inhabit as possible and not just one. Your story is amazing and, I’m sure, will; provide inspiration to those who’ve read what I wrote and not felt they could identify with it.

  2. Amanda,
    Thank you for another great read, and for telling the world about your deepest thoughts. And thanks for the fabulous picture of a beautiful woman.

    You are a transgender person, and proud to be so.

    There can never be any picture, or situation, or statement that shows the “real” you. The real you is a combination of everything you have done and every way that you physically look.

    The beautiful woman in a dress, makeup and heels is you. And so is the person in jeans, sneakers and scruffy face.

    I could also argue about your Sir Issac view. Maybe the drab you is the action and the reaction is the beautiful woman.

    I am so happy you have found your equilibrium, and consequently some contentment in your life. Be everything you want to be, in whatever form that takes.

    Merry Christmas to you and to all of Kandi’s Land readers.

    Jocelyn (on the transgender spectrum)

    1. Jocelyn, thanks for your kind words and, as always, you have been far too generous with your compliments!!

      Your point – ‘There can never be any picture, or situation, or statement that shows the “real” you’ is an interesting one. Why do I feel so comfortable with a depiction of, in round terms, 1% of my life but not with the other 99%. In many respects, it should ‘freak me out’ as it’s the complete antithesis of everything I should be and yet I have nothing but positive thoughts about that image, even when I don’t feel the need to live it in real time.

      And your development of Isaac’s musings in another interesting angle! Perhaps your assessment is correct or maybe the ‘rent a scruff’ look is actually the reaction here – a reaction to those standards of dress to which society expects me to conform! Who knows?!!

      Mercifully, we’re all different and the majority of people in my position don’t have a burning urge to overthink everything as I do! There again, Kandi’s Land would be one contributor down if I didn’t so maybe it’s a vocation!

      Anyway, thank you again for your comments and friendship! Merry Christmas!

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