Prior to my self-acceptance, as I now look back, there were three definite triggers that fueled my CD desires. There are no longer triggers, per se. These is nothing to “trigger”, this has become part of my life (except under unusual circumstances. like we have all recently experienced). There are days I am 100% male, days I spend a great deal of time dressed and some in-between. Portions of my female wardrobe is interspersed with my regular wardrobe. But this is a little trip down memory lane and what it used to be.
First let me explain, all of my life CDing was an impulse, nothing joyful or happy. It was never at all satisfying. I hated it and I hated myself when I succumbed. It was never, ever complete. It could be simply wearing a bra. It might have been getting completely dressed, covered with my then voluminous body hair, and dressed only from the neck down. I looked ridiculous and felt the same. Shame and guilt, always. I have now experienced more joy and happiness in one day dressed then I had in the previous, almost 50 years doing so. Literally. I cannot recall one single time that I did it and felt great during or afterward. Never.
There were three separate triggers. First, opportunity. Being alone for some period of time as well as having access to some article or articles of women’s clothing. That might have been a sick day when I was young or simply access to my wife’s lingerie drawer on a then rare afternoon home alone. When any extended period of time became available to me (not very often), I might purchase a few items. This was always done like a shoplifter, moving quickly from item to item and looking for just the right cashier and the shortest line for the check out (in the days prior to self checkout). There was a bit of an adrenaline rush doing this, but it soon faded and turn to guilt. The purchased items became toxic to me, like nuclear waste.
A second trigger was an idle mind. When my mind is engaged in whatever, life, my career, the children, friends, sports, etc., the thought never entered. When the kids were small and I was building my career, I could go months and months without even a single CD thought. As I grew older and my career deteriorated (another story), the kids became more self-sufficient, the mind wasn’t spinning 24/7. CDing always rushed in when there was mental downtime. You can read about it in the “About” section, but eventually my mindless job, and frequently idle mind, was the breaking point. That was where the possibility of Kandi started to germinate.
Finally, intense stress really fueled the fire. I went through a business failure earlier in this century and it created significant collateral damage to my life, ripples still being felt today and will do so beyond the grave. Work days felt like a daily trudge to the electric chair and I often would have preferred the chair during those very dark times. My morning generally begin with a quick vomit before I got into my car and ended with more than a few stiff drinks. Every moment of every day was torture. During this period, buying various items or articles of clothing, wearing them usually briefly and the headache-inducing guilt afterward at least distracted me from the misery I was living. Buy, wear, purge, sometimes that same afternoon. Hell on earth. I rationalized the purchases as distractions, I certainly wasn’t a crossdresser! Yeah, right……
So we fast forward to that day of self-acceptance referenced above and there is a convergence of all three triggers. The nest is empty, the girls grown and gone. My absolutely mindless job has my mind as idle as it has ever been and idle for days. My wife’s work schedule varies, which means I was home alone quite a bit. I ate and drank too much. I’d run through a bottle of whiskey in a few days. I thought about these wretched urges all the time. Trapped inside my own head for hours at a time, I finally broke. I finally accepted who and what I am and the rest is history. Everything from that moment forward was a step in a positive direction, a step toward happiness. Go and look at my blog posts on days out. Look at those smiles. You cannot fake those. Those smiles come from the heart and they come from someone who stopped the fight and is blessed beyond words to have such a great family. Can you do it? I sure hope so and am happy to at least offer my support along that difficult path. Reach out through the “Contact” section as I am a very good listener. God bless anyone going through gender identity issues. They are very real and even more misunderstood, even by many going through them.
Quick story: On my birthday, I get in the car, turn on the radio and on comes Neil Young’s “Old Man”. Fitting, right? A few hours later, we’re strolling through the Rock Hall and on the speakers comes, you guessed it, “Old Man”. Now I can assure I hadn’t heard that song twice in one day, maybe ever. You think someone is trying to tell me something?