With her permission, I have “written” an Amanda post from recent comments you may have missed.
By Amanda J.
3/14/23 – Lucky?
Having lived for nearly nine years under the threat of the marriage ending if I broke my promise to quit and slipped back into CDing, it’s not an easy position to be in by any means. The frustrations mount and when they do finally boil over we’re plunged into the murky world of deception and the guilt that comes with that. My story had a happy ending following my accidental ‘outing’ and my wife telling me that she’d known what I was up to because, as she rightly said, ‘it never goes away’ and agreeing that I could do what I needed to as long as it didn’t involve her in any shape or form.
But that obviously begs the question as to what changed between May 2014, when the ultimatum was issued, and January 2023 when things were finally resolved.
Well, for starters, we were both nine years older and perhaps more tolerant of each other’s foibles. But I think that my wife also came to realise that this could be kept separate from the marriage and yet had a large impact on it insomuch as the way that it impacted my personality and state of mind. For my part, I just tried to be the best husband I could be and uphold the marriage vows I made as best I could.
Do I regret the way I handled this? Absolutely. I concocted all sorts of ‘reasons’ (i.e. excuses) as to why I couldn’t discuss this with my wife and allowed it to become a subject not to be discussed. And this drove a wedge between us as I withdrew, terrified that I’d give the game away at any moment. But the biggest tragedy was that I underestimated my wife, not just over the CDing issue but in terms of her commitment to the marriage as a whole.
Can I now say that my wife is tolerant or supportive? Well, because she has agreed to a DADT arrangement she is giving her blessing for me to do what I need to do but, equally, the fact that it is DADT indicates that having a CDing husband is not high on her wish list. There’s no sure fire formula for integrating this into a marriage because it’s 100% dependent on how the wife feels and the extent to which she can modify any inherently negative views of it. It’s a tough thing for the vast majority of wives to accept but if I’ve learned anything over the last nine years, it’s firstly not to try to rush things and secondly to never lose hope.
3/4/23 – Protests and Apps
When I started this particular phase of my ‘journey’ back in 2019, it was only because of FaceApp that I had the confidence to stick my head above the parapet on Flickr. I still remember the feeling of joy the first time I took a selfie, gender changed it in FaceApp and then marvelled at the results – recognisable enough for me to know it was me but different enough for me not to have any concerns about posting it on a public forum so I did and gathered some rather nice comments in the process. But then I stepped onto the slippery slope – photos I took of myself during dressing sessions never looked good enough so I’d ‘post-process’ them in FaceApp before posting with even more nice comments. I always disclosed the use of the app on any doctored photos I posted.
But as time went on, some girls would leave a comment along the lines of ‘very nice but the unprocessed original is always better’ and I started feeling a little bit of a fraud; were the compliments for me or for the programmers who wrote the app? The final straw came when I got a comment on one photo along the lines of ‘I’ll never be as pretty as you’. I then stopped posting ‘apped’ photos and uninstalled FaceApp soon afterwards.
Looking back, I see FaceApp and similar apps as an important part of our evolution – a bit like stabilisers when we’re learning to ride a 2 wheeled bike. But, in the same way that the stabilisers come off when we have the confidence and balance to ride the bike without them, there comes a point when we need to stop doctoring photos and work at improving our look the hard way. Although I have now deleted my Flickr account and am no longer active there, I used to find it particularly frustrating when girls would attempt to pass off obviously doctored photos as the real deal but, equally, in the end it’s their photostream and they can post whatever they want in it. I just can’t help thinking that they had far more to offer the community than a collection of AI enhanced images.
2/17/23 – Finding My Truth Within
A couple of things particularly jumped out. Firstly, isn’t it sad that there is an element of this community (mercifully a minority but a vocal one even so) that finds it difficult to accept those who are ‘less trans’ than they are when they themselves crave, or even demand, acceptance themselves?
Second, was your distinction between the dysphoric group 1 and crossdressing group 2. As a start point, that’s a very good comparison but what I’ve noticed in the past is how it can be difficult to know where one sits. I used to be active on susans.org and, from time to time, someone would pop up believing that full medical transition was the answer to all of their issues and yet, even to the casual observer, it was obvious that the feelings of dysphoria they were experiencing were consequences of other, unrelated, issues in their life and transition would have quite possibly catastrophic in their case, not that I think that any of them got even close to being faced with that particular decision. And if I’m honest, I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past but I’ve dealt with it by reminding myself that wishing I was female is not the same thing as wanting to take steps to become one. For some, transition is the right answer but for the rest of us, we just need to unconditionally love who we are and pity those poor souls who have never slipped on a pair of heels, fumbled with the rear fastenings & reverse buttons or just looked in the mirror and thought ‘yessss!’!