My 100th post…

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This is my 100th post. I was hoping to make it a special one with a description of another outing as Valerie, in my new modern “blending” outfit. Unfortunately this post won’t be that, in fact it will end up being the exact opposite.

Over the last several months, I have had a close family member get diagnosed with a fatal condition, and I have been watching as this individual begins to deteriorate in front of our eyes. It is a truly devastating condition, and makes us all feel helpless as it progresses. Most of my time of late has been dedicated to dealing with the situation at hand. Along with a busy work schedule and family responsibilities, there has been been no real time for Valerie at all. To be honest, I have not even had much desire to dress, while dealing with such an unfortunate event.

So I never did finish my “blending” outfit and never did make another trip out into the world… and now I never will.

Full disclosure here. I got stupid. Even more than ever before. I put myself and my relationship with my wife at risk… Over the last few months, I started taking a breast enhancing supplement. I didn’t want to grow large boobs, but did want a little shape to work into cleavage as we cross-dressers do. Honestly, I didn’t take much, and according to what I read online not nearly a large enough dose or for long enough to have any real effect. But I still sought it out, bought it and did ingest some. That is a fact, regardless of the meaning anyone wants to attach to the action.

Long story short, my wife found the supplements and confronted me about them. What could I say? As I said above, I sought them out, bought them, and ingested some of it. Needless to say she was incredibly upset, and rightfully so. I may not have lied to her about them, but I wasn’t honest either. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and completely and immediately remorseful.

My wife was calm and actually composed her thoughts in written form to make sure it didn’t become an argument, so she would not lose her train of thought and ensured she could get her message across clearly.

However, the message is it all has to end now, or we are finished. Valerie has to cease to exist. I have always said my family… my wife and kids come first, so I agreed. So I have now made the ultimate purge… everything, and I feel horrible. For the first time in my life, I have nothing physical that represents Valerie. Just thoughts and feelings that will now go to a deeper level of the closet. A level that until now, I didn’t know existed. I can only hope I learn to live with this void.

So my 100th post is actually my goodbye to you all. I am teary eyed writing this, but I can’t lose my wife/family. I have no other options that I can see.

So goodbye to all of you that I have met, come to know, and have learned to love so much.

Ruth, Kirsty, Cynthia… you were all starting out blogging about the same time I started, and I have enjoyed the posts/talks we’ve had. You are all wonderfully inspirational girls! Michelle, you came along a bit later but instantly became a kindred spirit, and are equally as inspirational as the others.

Mimi,and Ms. Ed, we weren’t always talking gender issues, in fact more often not, but I enjoyed the witty posts you have always shared with the world.

Samantha, Linda, Pat, Sherri and Rose, you weren’t blogging but still had an immense impact on me and So Very Deep. I enjoyed the comments, chats and emails we shared.

I’ve left at least a 100 of you out, but please know I will also miss you all. In the interest of time, I have to cut it short. (I hear the music increasing in volume, like at the Oscars when they are kindly telling you to “shut the hell up, and get off the stage!”)

So this is post #100. Not at all how I anticipated it happening.

Farewell all!

-BobS

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Seems to me you don’t wanna talk about it… Seems to me you just turn your pretty head and walk away

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Yeah… it’s been a while. 120 days actually…

Being in the “off-season” has been very difficult for me to manage this year. For the first time in my life I feel what can only be described as dysphoria. I have always struggled with the return to male form each spring and summer, but this year is different.

This time around the dissatisfaction and discontent are almost like a constant irritation. The word that come to mind is “querulousness”. Seems like a totally appropriate word to me in my current state. In years past, the roles and responsibilities that come about in the warmer months have seemed to keep my mind occupied… well maybe “fooled” is a better way to look it. The problem appears to be the more I explore my obsession with feminine form and clothing, the more I grow, the more I keep my mind in Valerie’s world…. the harder the male months become.

I have gotten some wishes, and now it is very hard to get the Jeanie (intentional) back in the bottle.

Most of us have said this before… “I look in the mirror and what I see doesn’t match up with what I feel”. This happened to me the other day. I stopped and stared at myself in a mirror and I thought to myself… “who the hell are you?” I stared so long that my wife asked what I was doing. All I could say was “just looking”.

I have been saturated. I reached a point where every waking minute was consumed with some sort of thought or desire about being Valerie. This isn’t balanced anymore. This isn’t right, and it surely can’t be healthy.

I went from saturation to saturnine, and I wasn’t sure what to do. So I just walked away.

I took off my heels and walked away from everything Valerie. I didn’t purge, in fact I have never purged. I know I will be back in femme form soon enough and would regret it. I’m not disgusted with my trans-ness, I just think I needed a serious break. This last winter the pink fog somehow seemed to become a pink binding. I think what it really amounts to is that I am a little scared of where this is going. I am also afraid that I may pass (and may already have) certain “points of no return”.

I haven’t been blogging, chatting, emailing, reading, or even web/window shopping. I was hoping that shutting down everything related to Valerie would allow me to let the male side of me back into the driver’s seat for awhile, and re-institute the balance I have been able to maintain for so long.

It didn’t really work. I still seem to be consumed with thoughts and desires of a femme nature. Instead of 50/50, my current normal state is more like 80/20. I feel more femme now than I ever have in my life. Summer has long been a time of masculine pursuits, but not this year. Even a forced break didn’t ease the situation.

It’s possible my current state is related to some changes I have recently gone through with my medicines. Dosages were adjusted and a couple of changes to the basic mix of meds. It has had a positive effect on my condition, but there have been some side effects. This general state of gender blah may be one of them.

One thing I have noticed is that I have dreamed more in the last few months than I have in years. Vivid dreams, almost nightly. Previously, I had rarely dreamed at all, or could rarely remember having dreams. Some are Valerie related and some are not. For those that are related to my cross-dressing, I immediately took some notes in a notebook I am now keeping at my bedside. (Thanks for the suggestion Pat) Once I get them translated and my thoughts organized, I will describe some of these here.

For those that emailed me recently and expressed concern over “where I’ve been” or “if I am OK” , first of all let me say thank you. I appreciate your concern but I really am fine in the grand scheme of things. I am just simply trying to force balance and the cosmos is pushing back hard at me. The emails were nice, but I didn’t intend to create worry. If I did, I apologize.

Writing this entry has been difficult. I had been away for such an extended time, that I honestly didn’t know exactly how to get back in. I’ve never really been one to tell you what I have been up to, and prefer to just ramble on about the thoughts in my mind at the given moment. Organizing those thoughts has indeed been a challenge today.

So here is what I know (not much different than before):

Valerie is a huge part of who I am. Closet or not, she is me.

I still enjoy many aspects of being male. I just can’t force one side or the other at any given time.

I love my family and my role in my family life, that still takes precedence.

I don’t want to be a woman, but I would like to live as one.

I just love feminine and vintage things.

I still can ramble on about virtually nothing.

I have missed blogging and indulging in other blogs.

Fall/winter is coming and my femme desires may be more intense than ever.

I really don’t know where any of this will take me.

I love this aspect of my being, but it simultaneously scares the hell out of me.

-ValS

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I shouldn’t think like this… but I do

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There has long been a thought in my head that isn’t really pleasant to think about, but one that I frequently return to time and time again. That thought is…Why doesn’t my wife leave me? I often tell myself that it is paranoia that makes me think this way, but recently it was a few comments made to me in emails that brought it back to the forefront.

The first basically asked me why do I stay with my wife, when she doesn’t seem to want to fully embrace the cross-dressing aspect of my being. I stay with my wife because my wife and my family are my world. I don’t know if anything, including cross-dressing, can make me happy if I were to lose my family. Leaving my wife and children is just not a possibility from my perspective.

The second email wondered how they (also a married cross-dresser) would react if the tables were turned and my wife wanted to look and dress like a man. This is hard to really answer because I look at it through my own transgender perspective. If I were not transgender, I would probably not be as accepting as I am in this incarnation. If I were a straight, cisgender, tough-guy and my wife decided to let her body hair grow, cut her hair off, dress in men’s clothes, and possibly even try to promote chest and facial hair growth, etc… I can’t honestly say I would react as acceptingly as I know I would as a transgender person.

So flip this around again… as a cisgender woman, why does my wife stay with me?? Truly, I wonder just what is it that makes this woman stay with me knowing that I am seemingly less and less a man each time she takes a good look at me. She has told me with absolute certainty that she is convinced I am gay, even though I tell her I am not. When I asked her recently why then does she stay with me, she said it is because she loves me. That answer makes me happy and I do believe it’s true, but it still doesn’t answer the question fully.

I am not the kind of guy she dreamed of marrying when she was young. In fact, I have never heard of a young woman describing her dream partner saying he will be kind, sensitive, caring, and more feminine than most women would ever dream of being. He will want to be so much like a woman, that it will be like having a best girlfriend instead of a husband.

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When she was young and dreamed about how her wedding would be, I’m pretty sure she didn’t think about comparing notes with her husband-to-be about dresses, hair, etc. In fact she didn’t ask me a thing really and I didn’t ruin her day, but I had a lot of opinions and preferences that I just kept to myself. Fortunately most things were the way I would have liked them anyway. Point is, most girls dream about their weddings and assume the boys do not. But then there are boys like me…

Over time my wife has become less and less interested in my cross-dressing. In fact, she recently stated it was all for me and did absolutely nothing for her. Her personal interest level has seemingly dropped from 10% to 0%. I actually think that as she has grown older and a little more conservative, she probably dislikes it all together. I can only assume she tolerates it for my well-being and no other reason.

So again I wonder, why doesn’t she leave me and get rid of the hassle that comes along with being married to a cross-dresser. Instead of a “girlfriend” she could find a “real man” to make her happy. One that wouldn’t want to borrow her clothes or makeup or something else. One she wouldn’t think (falsely) would rather be with another man. So why does she put up with me?

Maybe we are just too far long in life for her to want to start over. Maybe a “girlfriend/roommate” is tolerable as long as the kids and outside world are unaware. If she knew 20 years ago where we would end up, maybe she would have bailed out on me then, and avoided what we have become.

Maybe it’s totally about the children. I don’t think either of us want to put them through the pain and ugliness of a divorce, so maybe that is why she stays with me. If we had not had kids and it was just us two, maybe she would give up and say “go be a woman…I’m outta here…”.

Maybe her justification is financial in nature. Maybe she doesn’t like the idea of splitting the income and managing on her own. Maybe the lifestyle we have is reason enough to stay in the relationship with the “gay sissy husband”.

I should state that all these phrases and terms I am spewing out don’t come from my wife, they come from my paranoid mind. She has never called me a “gay sissy” in a derogatory sense or said I was not a “real man”, but I do think it is highly possible she thinks it.

So again I wonder, why does she stay with me? It is entirely possible that she spoke the truth and she stays simply because she loves me. For better or worse, she is in it for the long haul because above all else we are life partners. I truly hope so!

So I periodically marvel at this woman that stays with me, and loves me even though I am engaged in activities she does not really approve of. Maybe I should just let it go and consider myself lucky to have what I do have in a “reluctantly accepting” wife. I know I waste a lot of time and energy thinking these negative things, and shouldn’t worry about them until I hear something directly from my wife. It’s just one of those nagging paranoid thoughts that sits on a shelf in my closet, right next to the box of insecurities and that fabulous pair of heels that are too damn small for me, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of.

-ValS

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Phantom femininity (for lack of a better description)

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I have noticed a strange phenomenon happening to me on multiple occasions, and it has happened for many years. It find it to be more intense each spring as I re-enter the dressing off-season. I am not exactly sure what to call it, but it is a similar sensation to what amputees call phantom limb syndrome.

Before I go any further, I want to say that I am not an amputee in any form, nor do I understand what they may go through… physically or mentally. It is a traumatic reality that I no way am trying to belittle or say “I know how you feel”. I mean no disrespect and I think most of you understand that. I simply don’t know of a more apt description of the sensations I am feeling.

After I spend a significant amount of time dressed, my head stays Valerie long after the clothes and the make up are removed. I still feel as if there will be breast there if I look down. I grab things as though I still have long nails. I walk on the balls of my feet as if I am in heels. I could go on and on with examples. I don’t intentionally do it, it just takes some time to regress away from the feminine euphoria I am in when dressed.

So now I am faced with a period of no real dressing opportunities for the next several months. My body is on the way there, but my mind has not let go of Valerie yet. I was walking down some stairs at work just yesterday and I could “feel” the skirt swishing around by bare stocking clad legs. I put my hand on my chest almost in disbelief that there were no feminine protrusions there. I really don’t how else to describe it except that it is femininity coursing through my veins.

If I sit down and close my eyes, I can easily imaging myself fully dressed, feeling the sensation of lipstick on my lips and mascara on my lashes. I feel the tightness of the undergarments, the pinch of the earrings, and can almost smell the perfume. I instantly relax and feel a sense of peace as my body responds to the phantom femininity.

I love to do this as almost a quick fantasy escape from reality, to touch for just a moment my other side. If I am stressed with work or life, it can be therapeutic and centering. Not much else matters when I feel Valerie.

I do have to be careful though, as walking around in public “feeling dressed” is not much safer than being dressed. Sashaying about on the balls of my feet with bent wrists and extended fingers doesn’t help my cause in trying to blend in as an average male in public. At home it will just add more fuel to my wife’s perception that I am gay, along with being a cross-dresser. After all, I am not dressed, so why would I act like that?

I also find it interesting that I sometimes have to put effort into “blending in” as a male. This should come somewhat natural, but I do have to make a conscious effort at times to “fool” the masses, especially when feeling phantom femininity. While the sensation of breasts or feeling a skirt move is phantom, the true feeling of constant femininity is not. It is real, it is pretty much constant, and it requires some effort to control at times.

Walking up the stairs at my house a few weeks back I must have been in full blown feminine mental form. I was just walking up the stairs and my wife was heading up right behind me. After I got to the top my wife said “women don’t walk like that, you know”. I looked at her and couldn’t speak a word. I thought about how I was moving and I had my arms/hands above my waist as I tend to do when Valerie, and my hips were probably swaying as I was on the balls of my feet. I was stunned because she was basically saying “nice try, but you failed”, but the truth is I wasn’t trying to consciously imitate anything.

So I get into these ultra-feminine moods, even when I am not dressing, and it effects my being. I have been less “on-guard” at home than I am at work or in the outside world and I think my wife sees it. I have to accept that is probably a big reason why she sees me as less than a straight male. So now I probably need to put a little more effort into being more masculine at home.

Where am I going with this? I don’t really know. I am pondering this as I lean back in my chair, taking a break from writing, and I reach back with both hands to sweep my hair into a ponytail. I can only shake my head and laugh, as there is no hair length there to gather up…. just my regular short male haircut.

Once it warms up and I can get outside and get a bit more active with my kids, the phantom feminine sensations will ease up. Until then, I will just enjoy the ever present feeling of Valerie coursing through my veins, just with a little more conscious thought of how I may look to the world. This closet life takes constant maintenance…

-ValS

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That “gray” time of year again, or… fragments are all I’ve got

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It is now mid-March and for my existence that means it is again that dreaded time when I begin to return to some semblance of male form, in preparation for the spring and summer seasons. I have talked about Valerie being a part-time winter girl on many occasions, and also discussed the general confusion I go through when my mind is still feminine but my body becomes more and more masculine. That is the state I currently find myself.

The body hair is the worst thing. There are few things as repulsive to me about my own body than the body hair coming back. But without it in the summer months I would simply reveal too much of my feminine lifestyle to effectively remain in the closet. While I think I have out-grown caring largely what others would think, it is my concern for my family and career that keep me in there.

I am now in that ugly “gray-fog” period again, and true-to-form it clogs my mind up. I am just in a totally “blah” mood, and had difficulty completing the post I started writing last week. It really isn’t coherent and is much worse than my normal rambling. When I reread part of it I thought “what am I trying to say here??” If I don’t know, then no readers would stand a chance. On top of that, I have been traveling a lot for work and unable to devote any real time to anything Valerie. So until I get my head and schedule sorted out again, I think it is already time for some more Valerie Fragments. They are quick and easy and don’t require too much thought (and unfortunately that is most of my material… 😉 ). So here we go with round two:

I’m the best option? Really?

While I am truly honored, I find this to be ironically humorous and one of those things cosmic forces seem to hit me with on a regular basis… I was asked to be the Best Man at someone’s wedding. I wanted to say that I’m don’t think I really qualify, or that if I am the “best” man available, then the world is really in trouble. I did say yes and thank you for the honor, but what I really wanted to say was could I possibly be a bridesmaid instead?? Alas it is not meant to be, and such is life when you live two lives. Maybe I should start saying “such is lives” going forward.

Searching for something, and found something else:

My recent posts about about music topics have lead some unsuspecting visitors to So Very Deep over the last few weeks. That’s fine with me as I welcome any and all. It made me wonder what some other people were searching for when they found me, so I dug into the stats a little bit… No surprise that the most common search terms were “Valerie South”, “ValS”, “So Very Deep” etc. Those are the people who come looking for the blog. Also at the top of the list of search terms were the generic “cross-dresser”, “1950 cross-dress”, “cross-dresser in petticoats” or many variations of those.

What did surprise me were the number of search terms that were centered around the “forced feminization” or “sissy” themes. I get it that there are many persons searching for those topics, but I am surprised they found me since I am not in that genre. Although it does explain some of the comments and emails I have received. To those people I say sorry you didn’t find what you are looking for (or maybe you did). On a more positive note, I was also surprised by the number of searches for “Grace Kelly” that found me. I love that this led people here, but again… probably not what they were looking for (I am no Grace Kelly!).

More of my cosmic iPod:

I continue to randomly pop up songs on my iPod that seem so fitting that I am sure some cosmic force is driving it. First of all, Boston’s “A Man I’ll Never Be” finally played (I blame this on Ruth for her mentioning it). Not long after came Def Leppard’s “Make Love Like A Man”. I keep feeling like the the universe is trying to influence me somehow, but I am not giving in. I’m pretty sure that if I had (which I absolutely don’t) The Village People’s “Macho Man” on my iPod, then that would have been up next. But instead, then the cosmos tried to piss me off by playing Kiss’ “Beth”. If you read my last post, you’ll know whey that one has significance. So it was then that I decided I should just switch to the radio. Again, I know there is nothing more than coincidence and my mind making the connection, but it sure feels like there is some kind of influence there.

Can you picture this?:

Many of you transgender bloggers, and even more of the bloggers of other genres, are comfortable enough with yourselves to display your pictures on your blogs. I have always really stayed away from that as I thought it conflicted with my “closet dwelling” needs. Instead I post a lot of vintage 1950s era fashion related photos that represent Valerie’s personality. Lately I have had several emails asking about photos of Valerie, such as do I have a Flickr account or will I ever post any of myself on the blog. Well, I don’t have a Flickr account, nor a Facebook account for Valerie, but I will give you this… I am one of the pictures already posted in So Very Deep. So if you have read my posts, you have met Valerie… sort of… well not really… But see, I am loosening up a little.

A tale of two titles:

I have also been asked on more than one occasion why I sometimes title my posts with two different titles, such as “The nagging void of why, or just simply the end of the line” or “Lost in trans-lation… or, what a long strange trip it’s been”. One asked me if I did it to “represent the duality of my personalities (or something like that). While that seems like it could be a creative reason, the truth is much less clever… It is actually a nod to the classic cartoon “Rocky and Bullwinkle”, which used to split the episodes into halves and at the end of the first would say… “tune in for the next exciting episode” and then then give a title and then an alternate (or very bad pun). A good example would be in a Christmas themed airing where they said “tune in for the next exciting episode: Claus and Effect; or Yule Be Sorry”. I always found it funny when they did this, but no one seems to remember that detail but me. Must be another one of those vintage Valerie eccentricities.

So that’s it for now, more general mental ramblings from my head to the to the inter-web. Que Sera Sera and “such is lives”… that’s all I have at the moment. I will be back when I get over myself a little more. Until then… “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat… oops, wrong hat” (sorry, another bad Rocky and Bullwinkle quote… 😉 )

ValS

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Some gray fog; and a possible second time around

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It is now mid-May, and I am officially in to the “off-season”. This is the time of year when Valerie takes the summer off, as she is a definitely a “winter girl”.

The summer can be a depressing time for this closeted cross-dresser… my body is hairy, I can’t wear toe nail polish, and I generally can’t hide my feminized self underneath the accommodating winter clothing. However, even though the desire to dress and look like a woman is still present to a degree, it is greatly reduced. I can’t truly explain why, it just doesn’t occupy my mind as much as it has, and will again this fall/winter. This mental, as well as physical break from non-stop feminine obsession gives me time to step back and take a more objective look at my self. It is this time of year that the “pink fog” lifts as much as it ever will.

So now I have what can be best described as a gray fog. When the pink lifts, it doesn’t just bestow upon me a clear masculine mindset, it more-or-less leaves me in a bit of a state of confusion. Not quite either gender. It hit me hard the last few weeks. I sat down to write a blog post at least 10 times and just couldn’t get my head around the topics well enough to meet my personal standards. So I kept writing gibberish, and then I deleted it. Each time I got a little more depressed and decided to try again later.

One thought that became very apparent to me over the last month is that while I am very similar to many of the other CDs I have come to know here on WordPress and other websites, I am clearly different also. I love to look feminine, but I don’t need to dress 24/7. I also can (and will) go for several months without dressing as a woman. I don’t feel I am as close to the transsexual side of the spectrum as many are. Wherever we all happen to be on the spectrum is fine. I am not judging, just coming to terms with my femme being in comparison to others. To need to be a woman all the time is not something I experience, although I can completely understand those that do have that constant desire.

I will still do a lot of femme reading, shopping, and exploring in guy mode, but I won’t get to express my femme self by transforming much for the next several months. I will have some “bad days” when I have more of a desire that usual, but mostly Valerie is gone for awhile. Hopefully the initial gray fog will clear enough for me to keep up the blogging at a reasonable pace. It was a desire to fill the summer break with some feminine release that led me to this in the first place. It seems to be a bit easier after the initial gray meltdown.

One thing that did accommodate my femme persona a bit was that I spent several hours at a huge antique show this weekend. Many of you know I am a time-warped CD, and looking at some of the things from the 40’s and 50’s was wonderful. I had my whole family with me, so I didn’t get to really dig through the clothes, aprons, and costume jewelry like I would have liked to, but it was still very enjoyable and almost relaxing. Truth is I would love to quit my job and just own antique store. Doing that dressed up as Valerie would be incredible! But I’m sure I would go broke as I would buy, buy, buy, and have trouble selling most things.

The antique show experience got me thinking again of the “reincarnation/cross-dressing” theory again. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a general idea that attempts to explain cross-dressing or transgender desires as a result of cross-gender reincarnation. That is, I WAS a woman in a previous life and that it why I have some tendencies or preferences for feminine things. For me, it also helps explain why I am so drawn to things from the 1950’s. Maybe I possibly was a 1950’s housewife???

I was strangely drawn to two particular items… A 1950’s style girls bicycle, complete with a cute basket, and also to an oddly shaped umbrella (orange for God’s sake) with a Bakelite handle. I kept thinking that these items aren’t clothes, so why do I feel such an attraction to them? Cross-dressing alone doesn’t explain it. (Damn I should have bought the bicycle and umbrella, LOL)

Honestly, I don’t tend to believe much in reincarnation, but I haven’t yet had a more compelling theory as to my 1950’s cross-dressing desires. I mean, obviously we are proof that conventional wisdom and rationale don’t hold up when trying to explain ourselves, so who’s to say reincarnation isn’t a possibility? Never say never!

So if you think this post was some directionless rambling, it’s bound to get worse over the next few months. Bear with me until Valerie has an opportunity to come back in full force. I am counting the days… well sometimes I am… I think… Damn gray fog!

-ValS