Out of the darkness

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…and just like that, it happened. Valerie walked out of the closet for a brief moment and saw the light of day with the help of the love of my life. Since that experience, I have been engulfed in a another type of emotional fog. This would have to be the rainbow fog for various reasons, but mostly because I think I have touched on every emotion (color) there possibly is. Let me step back and describe it best I can.

We decided to get it done sooner rather than later because we both have full schedules and the amount of available free time will be quite sparse. I also have to consider the season, and the farther out it is delayed, the longer into summer I will still need to conceal my feminine body traits. The downside to the decision to go quick is that I don’t really have a “blend in” wardrobe unless I would be attending an off Broadway production of Grease. I didn’t want to let the opportunity slip away so I decided I have some suitable things and could make do. We picked a location far from home and reserved a hotel room for a Saturday night stay. I was both intensely excited and literally scared to death at the thought of walking out the door into the world as Ms. Valerie South. Just thinking about it made me nervous.

Packing was a hell of a task for me, because Valerie never goes anywhere. I had to make a list in my mind and go through dry runs of getting ready to make sure I didn’t leave any essentials behind. My wife basically had an overnight bag and I had several. When I went to load them into the car she gave me a look of disbelief at the amount of literal baggage I had. I told her it takes a lot to build a girl like me.

With the kids taken care of, we headed out on Saturday morning heading for the hotel. The car ride was somewhat quiet. That was due to a couple of reasons… (1) my nerves and (2) my not wanting to go crazy talking about cross-dressing and turn her off of the whole adventure. I did tell her to search around and find any restaurant or place she would like to go that evening (with me in guy mode) and we would go. No restrictions, whatever she wanted. She spent some time searching around for what she would like and settled on a casual restaurant that specialized in unique beers. Again I told her that anything she selected would be fine with me.

Dinner was slow and gave us a chance to discuss a little bit about what was going to happen. I told her I just wanted to get 100% feminized (or as close as possible without SRS) and get out into the fresh air. That being said, I also told her I was scared and did not want to go around other people too much. Just going out for a drive and walk somewhere secluded would be fine with me. I asked her what she thought and she replied that this was all up to me. She wasn’t making any decisions regarding the dressing or going out, except to say she did not want to interact with others. That was too much for her to come to terms with at the moment.

I said to her that I didn’t feel like this was something she was comfortable doing, and she said very emphatically that it wasn’t. Just like the comment from a “GG” I referenced in a recent post, she stated this was all for me and it absolutely did not thrill her at all. She was doing it and somewhat helping, but this was all for me and she wanted as small a part as possible. I understand her perspective and also appreciate that just getting to this point was more than interaction with her than I have experienced in a long time.

I said to her that she knew that I was a cross-dresser before we were married and that I would still dress after we were married. She said “but I had no idea it would grow into something like this”. By this she meant all the items that Valerie wears, gear she utilizes, hair she removes, etc. etc. I am way beyond the cross-dresser I was when we last ventured outside. I can imagine this had grown into something way beyond her expectations. Even I have wondered where does this end? I stopped short of asking her if she had known it would be like this, would she have left me long ago or never even married me. To be totally honest, I was afraid to hear her answer to that question. Instead I just said “so why did you agree to do this?”. Her reply was pretty direct, she said, “Because I love you”. I could have cried then and there, but held it together. I excused myself and went to the bathroom for a brief reprieve.

Sensing what she was thinking, I said “You still think that I am gay don’t you?” Her reply was just as direct as the others…”Oh, I know you are. I just don’t believe you can let yourself accept it. You’re still in denial.”

There was not much I could say to make her believe me when I say I am not gay. I wish there was some test I could take to prove it to her. I don’t care if anyone else thinks I’m gay, but I don’t want my wife thinking that for obvious reasons. She still says she loves me and that’s how it is. I told her there are other wives or significant others out there if she wanted to talk to anyone else and she was very clear that she wanted absolutely no contact with anyone else. It was just between me and her. So be it.

As we left the restaurant, we looked across the parking lot to a shopping mall full of stores. The store directly in front of us was a huge sporting goods chain called Dick’s Sporting Goods. My wife being athletically inclined said “I love Dicks”, to which I replied “So do I”… Then she smiled and looked at me and said, “See, I knew you did”. You would think I would have seen that coming, but no… I walked right into the gay joke. Serves me right! So we headed back to the hotel so that her straight husband could shave his body and paint his toenails…

The next morning I got up and took a shower. I then did my makeup and got dressed. I wore a beautiful dress with a longer, full skirt (I am Valerie South you know) and my favorite pair of heels. After I put my wig on I woke up my wife so she could get ready. Whilst she did, I put on my jewelry and did my finger nails. When we were both done, she asked are you ready? I said I think so.

Out the door and heading to the car I was walking a bit briskly but something strange happened. That entire sense of uneasiness and panic that I had been experiencing since she said yes just disappeared. I felt fine and didn’t feel out of place at all, although I know I probably was. We got in the car and drove to a quiet area where there were several offices, shops and buildings on a huge campus. Being Sunday morning and reasonably early, there were few people about which made it an easy adjustment. I commented that if someone came up to us that I would need her to do the talking and she looked at me and said “if someone approaches us hunny, you’re on your own”. I hoped she was joking, but I kinda think she wasn’t.

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Only one person came reasonably close and they looked directly at me for a brief second and then continued on their way with no further concern. That made me fell even better and we just walked around for quite awhile. Again, I wasn’t nervous and it really did feel exhilarating! It was a little cold outside and after a bit we headed back to the car. We then drove around for a time and just enjoyed being out. As the hotel check-out time was approaching, we headed back to the hotel. I walked back to the room and exhaled like I had been holding my breath for 20 years. My smile must have been ridiculous, as a matter of fact, I’m still smiling. At this point I sighed and began to deconstruct Valerie.

Now, many of you are probably saying “That’s it? That’s all they did??”. Well there may have been a bit more, but I’ll save that for later. For me this was monumental. I am an extreme closet dweller who until about a week ago never thought I would ever venture outside dressed again. For the rest of the day we did anything my wife wanted. Whatever she said was fine with me. Nothing mattered as I was filled with a sense of joy I haven’t experienced for a long, long time. I was content.

So it was a brutal dose of reality to hear that my wife still doesn’t really want anything to do with my cross-dressing. She puts up with it and will do what I ask (within reason) simply because she loves me. She also is absolutely sure I am gay, and I can’t seem to convince her otherwise. Doesn’t matter to her I guess, because she loves me. And as long as we love each other we continue down this road as a couple.

One side note: this little adventure has solved my problem about what to do about my next doctor visit. I am hairless and my toes are again bright red, and they are staying that way for awhile. My follow up appointment is just days away and it is Que Sera, Sera! I am so not concerned at the moment. I am just still smiling.

It will take some time for me to sort through the emotions and honest talk me and my wife shared during the weekend. I am still “So Very Deep” in the closet and I guess that is where I will remain for the time being. Only difference is that I have a huge smile on my face and know I have a wife who will help me be myself even though it just isn’t her thing. I guess in the end, not much has really changed.

Did I mention that I have a huge smile on my face?

-ValS

Ohhh, you’re my best friend… (from Pink Floyd to Queen, appropriately enough)

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I have always categorized my wife as “reluctantly accepting” about my cross-dressing. That is she loves me and accepts me (to a point) but doesn’t really like that I cross-dress and mostly would like to be left out of it.

In my last post I lamented that because of a minor divulgance of my CD lifestyle to my doctor, my head was back into the gray fog that typically accompanies the return to summer and simultaneous departure from the primary dressing season. I also stated that I had not told my wife about the episode for fear that it could be detrimental to the oh so fragile acceptance she has.

Several of you left supportive comments and other bits of insight, which I am very appreciative of. To be honest, I contemplated deleting the post because upon further reflection it seems more like a panic attack than a beneficial post. To a degree it is a bit embarrassing in hindsight. The only reason I didn’t delete it is because Samantha K. noted that if my blog was intended to document my thoughts and emotions regarding being Valerie South, then that post is as relevant (if not more relevant) to the whole as any post I have made. I really didn’t have any counter argument to that statement, so I decided it would stay. Good, bad or ugly, it is where my head was at that moment.

Anyway, the idea that my wife would not be thrilled with my slight outing was a huge driver in my so-called “panic attack”. As I ran around declaring the pink sky is falling, Caden Lane posted a entry on her blog detailing a recent situation and exchange between herself and her girlfriend which really started my mind going in different (and much needed) direction. I commented that much of what she said is very applicable to my own relationship, and sometimes I felt that I was “walking on eggshells” when talking with my wife about cross-dressing. Caden then pointed me towards another conversation on a discussion forum, and specifically to comment from a GG (genuine/genetic girl). The link was beneficial and much appreciated.

However, it was a different comment left on Caden’s post that really got to me. It was from LadyMuck who is also married to a cross-dresser. Her wisdom hit me straight between the eyes! I will summarize, but encourage you all to go read the entire post and comments on Caden’s blog!

  1. Dressing isn’t as exciting to GG’s as it is to us.

  2. She and her husband do talk about CD’ing, and it’s plenty. However,…

  3. She understands the “trap” of shame and needing constant reassurance.

  4. It can be frustrating to GG’s because it isn’t that interesting to her, and really it’s “very ho hum stuff…”

  5. Don’t make comments or show annoyance when dressing things don’t work out, as that will erode the relationship… not the actual cross-dressing.

  6. The cross-dressing needs to be controlled and yes, sometimes put away.

  7. Few people get to do what they want to do every minute of every day… compromises are for all of us.

I totally get what it is she is saying. It is my desire, not my wife’s. We have a relationship that needs attention above and beyond my cross-dressing. I need to keep Valerie under control. This is exactly how I try to proceed with my marriage, but will admit I feel an almost constant need for reassurance. I don’t want to drive her crazy, but having someone to truly talk with and to help you is unbelievably precious. I try so hard not to let the pink fog envelope me, but I know at times I fail. Then I worry that I have pushed my wife away, and then need that reassurance again.

Long story short, I came away thinking I don’t give my wife enough credit for the acceptance she has shown me. I thought she could have written the very same comment that LadyMuck did, and I need to quit blowing my cross-dressing insecurities out of proportion and associating them with her mind-set.

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So, rather than walking on these perceived eggshells I decided to ask my wife if she would help me to go out as Valerie to do some things. I walked up to her and in a rare moment of confidence, told her I wanted to go out as Valerie and I wanted her to come with me. She looked me straight in the eye and said “OK”. I was instantly the happiest I have been in years. She said yes!

So I tried to keep my enthusiasm in check and said something to the effect of “great and thank you”. Truth is I could have cried I was SO thrilled by her response. I really did think she would put up some resistance and throw some concerns/excuses out, but that didn’t happen. It is possible that the whole “walking on eggshells” and “reluctantly accepting” perception is indeed all in my head. I’m not saying she doesn’t want my dressing kept in check and still wants limits, but the closet door just opened up a bit with her blessing. I am now experiencing that whole feeling of excitement when I am anticipating a dressing session X 50. I’m really not sure how I am keeping myself from prancing around proclaiming I am going to be going out as Valerie! So I am trying like hell to keep this positive occurrence from turning into a huge pink fog explosion. I keep telling myself, keep it under control Val, keep your head on straight! We’ll see how well this goes!

In the end, my wife just made me fall in love with her all over again. She is still that supportive angel I met many moons ago and truly is my best friend. I really feel the need to do something special for her, but I don’t know what yet. I’ll come up with something for my best girlfriend, wife, and soul-mate!

-ValS

P.S. I wrote this over the course of a few days. I deleted it and started over twice, and have gone back and edited it more times than I can count. A week ago I was at an all-time low and wondering what the future might hold. Today I am at an all-time high with excitement and anticipation. The mental catapult from the bottom to the top has left me a bit dizzy, and I apologize if this post is any more erratic than usual. I will eventually level off and return to the incessant ramblings to which you have all become accustomed. 😉

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Premature graying, or Pink Val’s “The Closet”

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I am in a bit of a funk right now, and it will probably stick with me for awhile. I am experiencing what I can only describe as a premature return to the “gray fog”. My issues with my recent visit to my doctor have had a negative effect on me, silly as it probably sounds to most of you. In my mind, my closet has been infiltrated and it’s still bothering me.

It probably also doesn’t help that I have been listening to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” a lot recently. I find much common ground in the lyrics between Pink’s wall and my closet. That in itself isn’t comforting because we know Pink eventually loses control. This could be another several thousands of dollars in potential earnings for a psychiatrist…

Is there anybody out there?

I feel I have mentally retreated back into my closet even, though up until recently I felt I was loosening up a bit. I hate to say it, but I think about that visit to the doctor’s office way too much. I know it’s silly, but it’s still there. I know she couldn’t care less. I know she’s not going to tell anyone. I know, I know. But she knows, and that’s enough.

I haven’t told my wife about the occurrence, even though it’s no secret to her that I shave my legs, paint my toenails and frequently wear panties. I am not sure how she would react to the issue. Maybe she would laugh at the whole thing. It is silly. Maybe she would say “who cares”. But then again, maybe she would be upset. We have an agreement that Valerie can be Valerie as long as it is just between me and her. She may take this slip as me pushing the envelope (subconsciously) and she may not be too happy that happened. Really not sure, and I am not interested in causing strife with the Mrs. for fear I would lose some freedoms. There is a reason I refer to her as “reluctantly accepting”. So this gets put in a chest in my closet, and kept to myself.

You would not understand… this is not how I am…

I am generally a very positive person, both in my male life and as Valerie. I don’t like this mindset I am in right now. It effects me in all aspects of my life. If I am going to be honest, this isn’t an issue of being outed to any degree. This is an issue of shame. This may be a phenomenon limited to cross-dressers vs. true transsexuals. I am not a woman, I just have a desire to look, dress, and sometimes act like a woman. But I also know I am a genetic male and I still do have some male tendencies (although they seem to become lesser all the time).

This in itself is a bit hard to get my head around. I feel shame because I am a guy and someone who is not my wife saw me wearing panties etc. I think I am now feeling shame and embarrassment, but I’m really not sure.

I had been under the recent delusion that as I got older, I care less about who might know and what someone might see. This has obviously proven my theory worthless. So last week I tried a bit of an experiment. Since it is winter, my drive home from work each day is in the dark. I put on a pair of earrings and applied some lipstick for the ride home, and decided to leave it on until I got close to my hometown, which is about a 45 minute drive away. I failed in a matter of minutes…

As soon as another car got close to me, I instinctively pressed my lips tight and put my hand against my ear to cover the earring. I did it at least 10 times before I gave up in disgust.

I also had thought that since the doctor is someone I know, I was reacting different than I would with complete strangers. That shame and embarrassment wouldn’t come into play with people who don’t know me and likely would never see me again. That theory is out the window also. I couldn’t even see some of the drivers I reacted to in the dark, and I’m sure they probably didn’t see me either, but I still reacted defensively.

So no matter what I say about the upcoming doctor visit, it’s all talk… no action. Since that day I have not shaved/removed any body hair and it is a premature return to the summer Valerie, when I experience the gray fog. Defensively I am trying to minimize the further exposure (embarrassment) of the rapidly approaching follow up doctor visit.

…I got a strong urge to fly… but I’ve got… no place… to fly to…

Many of you say don’t worry about it, and just go back as Valerie. I have responded that I might just do that! But that response is what I want to believe, and how I would like to handle it. My recent drive home experiment along with the fact that I haven’t actually kept the body hair in check makes me believe at the moment of no return, I will not follow through. Never-say-never I suppose but I’m doubting it.

I’m living up to my basket-case reputation today. I may have to get myself a drink and… become comfortably numb.

-ValS

Time certainly flies, thank you all

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So as of today, So Very Deep (In the Closet) is officially one year old! I signed up for the blog over a year ago, but January 6th of 2014 was my very first post. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I started this blog but it has easily been one of the most enjoyable things I have done in a long time.

Not only is it an outlet for a lot of confined Valerie energy, but through So Very Deep I have also made some really good friends. Some of you also blog and some of you made contact in other ways, but the result is the same. Good conversation, camaraderie, understanding, and some much appreciated support. The pool is also made up of both TG persons and just everyday people. The interactions with all have been a blessing and the best thing about my blogging experience.

I am totally blown away by how many views, comments, and emails I have received. I never expected it to amount to much more than a personal outlet, but it has turned out to be so much more.

My original plan was to try this blogging thing out for at least a year and then I would see where this would go. I didn’t want it to be just another cross-dresser with a blog, but to have an approach that is different enough to stand out, but similar enough to have common ground with others. Hopefully I achieved that goal. I guess I will just have to keep on rambling on about all the nonsense that comes out of Valerie’s mind. I am not 100% sure where it will go from here, but I hope it is as entertaining and/or helpful to you as it is for me.

So with that, I just want to say thank you to you all. I am not sure I would have stuck with it without the support many of you have shown me. Please keep up the interactions, pro or con… it is a large part of what drives me.

Thank you again!

Warmest regards,

Ms. Valerie South, aka Val and/or -ValS

Not all vintage things are glamorous and each new year we (hopefully) get better

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It’s no secret that this cross-dresser has a predilection for things both feminine and vintage, especially from the 1950’s era. From clothes to make-up I love the look from that time and it has a big influence on all things Valerie.

In a recent conversation with a wife of a cross-dresser I have known for quite awhile, she commented that there was very little she found appealing about the era and was genuinely glad she wasn’t born into it. Her main issue was the general repression women were subjected to, and the extreme lack of opportunity.

Honestly I agree whole-heartedly with her assessment of the era for women. I love the idea of being a 1950’s housewife, but that is purely my choice. I might feel differently if it was automatically forced upon me solely because of my gender. I guess it’s similar (to a degree) to how much I hate the idea that I can’t wear the dresses and make-up I would like to because I was born a male. Gender shouldn’t limit any of us or force anyone into a predetermined role… then, now or in the future.

Many cross-dressers feel they have an insight into the world of women that the average guy will never ever have. I am one of those CDs. I understand why women do some of the things they do and like some of the things they like, while many of my guy friends shake their heads and complain that women are just crazy and unpredictable.

So with that insight or just enlightened feminine awareness, I am frequently reminded of the less than ideal situation many women found themselves in during my beloved 1950’s. I spend quite a bit of time exploring the era through archives and images, and some of the things I find are not so pleasant. Nowhere is it more evident than in some of the advertising from that period. So after that recent conversation and since we are now ushering in another new year (i.e. moving forward and making progress), I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of those images I have come across. These are not necessarily all from the 1950’s, but you will get the idea:

That'll teach her!!

That’ll teach her!!

Yes, we know they're all stupid, but it is still illegal.

Yes, we know they’re all stupid, but it is still illegal.

So that's why the beautiful ones always smell so bad.

So that’s why the beautiful ones always smell so bad.

Good thing he's able to figure this out for her!

Good thing he’s able to figure this out for her!

Don't do it for yourself, do it for your husband!

Don’t do it for yourself, do it for your husband!

Well, she does project well but...

Well, she does project well but…

"...I'm bound to bungle up the budget." That attitude would make me feel a bit "punk" also.

“…I’m bound to bungle up the budget.” That attitude would make me feel a bit “punk” also.

Yes! A wife is always to blame!

Yes! A wife is always to blame!

"You seem to thrive on cooking, cleaning, and dusting..." LOL!

“You seem to thrive on cooking, cleaning, and dusting…” LOL!

"Gran Prix Enterprises" Coincidence? I don't think so. And why is the men's version a dollar more??

“Gran Prix Enterprises” Coincidence? I don’t think so. And why is the men’s version a dollar more??

Damn right she should question herself!

Damn right she should question herself!

If these don't show her it's a man's world I just don't know what will.

If these don’t show her it’s a man’s world, I just don’t know what will.

So... that's what wives are for... Love that smile!

So… that’s what wives are for… Love that smile!

So there are a few things from yesteryear that I am not a fan of, this attitude and advertising being a big one…

So anyway, Happy New Year to you! I, for one, am looking forward to this new year and all the potential it brings!

-ValS