Thanks for hanging in there ya’ll…

I’m sorry the last few days have been so distracting to me. Without going into the details, I’ve been very stressed out these past few days. Nothing huge or major, just personal. Since I prefer to keep this blog space as positive as I can, I decided to exclude the details.

Which sort of makes this article difficult to write. So let’s just call the problems what they are; stressors. My stressors had been a driving force for me all day, and I struggled to keep from sinking into a dark depressed place. But I felt I had done a good job. The problem was, I sounded sort of like Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh due to the mental exhaustion of worrying, and working all day. It also doesn’t help I get up at four in the morning and sleep on average four to five hours a night. Exhausted is a constant state of being for me.

So my GF refers to my Eeyore voice as me going into a “dark place,” which stresses her out. She feels obliged to help, and helpless when she seemingly can’t. So I had to figure out how to defuse that along with everything else.

Finally managed to put her at ease, found my laugh and my smile, and managed to put the stressors behind me. While we were brainstorming, she asked me what can I do to ease some of my stress. Thinking she knew that my dressing was my greatest stress reliever, I was aloof in saying, “it’s just not feasible right now.” I heard a sigh come from her, but she didn’t say anything.

So I dropped her off at work, and drove to school to get my books. On the way there I thought about it, and if the opportunity was available, I was gonna go out dressed Friday during the day. When I picked her up from work for me to go back to school for my class, I segued into mentioning my intentions. One, to let her know I wanted to address my stress, and two, because she recently mentioned taking some Friday’s off so we could spend some time together.

Later, despite knowing my intentions for Friday, she suggested that we go car shopping. So as badly as I was needing Caden time, I had to make that concession on car shopping. Because that was an unfortunate need as well.

I immediately felt like I wasn’t being true to myself or needs, while at the same time trying to address another need. I was truly conflicted, especially considering my recent article about getting out of my own way.

It just suddenly felt like she didn’t understand my dressing needs. Although in retrospect, she may not understand how my mind prioritizes it.

So today I messaged her and tried to clarify what I was thinking, what I was needing, why I said what I said, when I said it. My hope is, it will open up a fresh dialog. It seems like we talk about it sparingly at times. We might touch on a purchase or something, or comment about something we saw that might work. But we don’t seem to get in depth into how it fits into our relationship. As it turns out, she still wants to spend time with me Friday, so Caden gets Thursday. Although she promised a friend I would come troubleshoot his network Thursday evening. So now I have to make sure I’m de-Cadened and makeup free before I go over there.

I suppose my past relationships have me gun shy on trying to reach out too much or bringing it up too much. I know the past rejections have caused me a lot of pain, and left their mark in other ways. I’m still fearful I’ll mention it one too many times and she will be furious or make demands that I stop completely.

I try to remind myself she is more tolerant and understanding. I try to remind myself that she has at least tried to understand more about it. But in the end, I do not know what she doesn’t know about it. I don’t know if she knows how many times I’ve purged, and tried to stop. It always feels like there is so much to tell her, yet I never know what to tell her, or if I even should. Well I know I should, but it goes back to that worry of it driving her away, or hurting her.

The happiness she has brought me, not even counting her acceptance, help, or understanding, makes me never want to hurt her in any way or form. Her Love means too much.

I suppose next week when I go see my Psychologist, I should ask her what I should do.

Enough rambling for now…Off to bed. G’night all!

Ever & Always,

Caden Lane

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18 thoughts on “Thanks for hanging in there ya’ll…

  1. Sorry you have been having such a tough time. Hang in there, it will get better! Fwiw, I think relationships will always suffer more when we communicate less. In the short term communication may seem to bring about some unhappiness, but it allows us to resolve that unhappiness. By bottling things up you just create confusion, resentment and unhappiness. The more you talk the more open and honest you can be and your GF will know what is important to you and you can similarly know where her boundaries are and what her needs are. Good luck and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. For a long time, I felt we communicated very openly about it. But of late, I feel we talk about it less. I find myself worrying that she may not accept it as much as she used to. I hate that my previous relationships are always a subconscious litmus test or comparison for this relationship.

    I suppose the best thing to do since we approach everything rationally is to sit down with her and figure out the best way we can communicate about it, without driving her crazy with it. Thanks Daniella!

    Ever & Always,
    Caden Lane

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh man, I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t know enough about your girlfriend to know … but it could be possible that she just doesn’t realize getting a certain amount of time as Caden is important to your well being. Does your Caden time involve her? Would either of you be willing to try that? Sorry if that is too personal a question. But maybe uncompartmentalizing that part of your relationship a bit and placing it into context for her would help her to be more sympathetic?

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    • Hi Kit, I usually try to involve her, where and when she feels comfortable with being involved. But apparently she still has a lot of thoughts, which might be code for concerns. Our conversation at dinner tonight was emotional, and I still dont feel she understands it. She said I need to be honest with myself. There are certain things that I know wont change. I’m not gay nor Bi, but I believe thats one of her “thoughts.” But I think another of her concerns or “thoughts,” is that I may transition. However she does not seem able to verbalize it. But I asked her if we can make sure to keep communication about my dressing open. Unfortunately, she thinks we do a good job of keeping it open, while I’ve been concerned do not talk about it on a deeper level often enough. So I feel no better now than I did going into the conversation. All I can do is keep trying, without driving her crazy about it.

      One hurdle I ran into was when I told her I didn’t think I should have my Caden time tomorrow, it just wouldn’t be fiscally responsible. But she then reminded me that we are going out with friends and staying downtown Saturday night. I put my foot in my mouth and said, “It’s just not the same.” So she ended up feeling slighted. But after some explanation, I think she understood that comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges, and that it has nothing to do with her. But I think you are right, she just doesn’t understand how important it is to me, but she also doesn’t like that it seems like my only stress reliever.

      Heres to keeping the dialog open.

      Ever & Always,
      A Communicating Caden Lane

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is often hard enough for us to understand the whys and wherefores of our desires/needs/compulsions to dress. It is exponentially harder to explain to others the CD part of who we are. My wife does know that my dressing is part of who I am and that it does serve as a relief valve for the stress of working a high pressure job and the other myriad stresses of every day living BUT she also has her fears and concerns that friends of family will find out that the guy that has been by her side for all these years has a secret aspect to who he is and that it may make everything else about being who I am start to ring a bit shallow.
    Good luck and just take things one day at a time.

    Pat

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    • Shallow is merely a perception. By dressing, and expressing our inner feminine, we are being truer and authentic to whom we really are. We may hide behind closed doors, or four walls, or that dimly lit bistro we sneak to get out while dressed, but we do that out of the stigmas that society clings to like a Southerner clings to their guns.
      Society still insists on seeing gender as a binary, they still feel that to step outside of a societal norm is somehow wrong. Yet on the weekend, they attire themselves in Harley Davidson attire, and bike around town like they are a rebel without a cause. They pick and choose which norms are good and bad. Societies misperception of who you are cannot be your problem. Any misperception is due in part to their narrow, albeit shallow views, thereby forcing you to diminish your light, put on a facade, and live a sort of lie. I simply wonder what secrets or private matters they hide behind closed doors that they worry about being judged over. The façade they thrust on you is not your fault. It is based solely on their expectations they have. Does your dressing affect your parenting or you being a good husband? In most cases, no it does not. But yet we struggle against those perceptions and expectations that society feels are justified. Society seems to have this nagging ability to thrust its expectations on us, and call it right.
      I think most spouses or significant others worry about others people perceptions; what would the Garden Club or PTO think if they knew. Who can blame them from worrying, it is a mantel we carry on our broad shoulders, day in day out, for a majority of our lives. We have simply learned to live with it. Meanwhile our spouses or SOs have this side of us thrust upon them, and are told that a condition of loving us is; loving or tolerating our feminine aspect. But unlike us, they have the benefit of choosing to shoulder it. And they still do, for better or worse in some cases. In others it is a Don’t Ask/ Don’t Tell relationship with massive conditions placed upon us the dresser, and we are told to be thankful that they are making concessions, while we must again compromise who we are. And yet in other relationships, the spouse sets about simply trying to change the person they married into the image of the person they wanted to marry.
      All I’ve ever wanted from life has been to be happy. There are extravagant things that would make me happy, simple things that make me happy and feminine things which make me happy. I strive to find the balance of all things to find my happy place. That’s all any of us can do.

      Ever & Always,
      A much happier Caden Lane

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  5. So much of what you said here I can echo in my life. My wife and I have been together for a long time and she is absolutely my soulmate, yet sometimes I feel like I can’t tell exactly where her head is with my dressing. Sometimes we have wide open conversations and sometimes I feel as if I’m walking on eggshells. Many times I pull back not wanting to risk her acceptance and love, but I’m not really sure if it is at risk or if it’s all in my head.
    -ValS

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  6. I’m also married to a Crossdresser and I can say that dressing just isn’t, and likely never will, be as important to us as it is to you. My husband also often mentions he wishes we could talk more openly about it so he feels less worried/rejected or whatever. But we DO talk already and more than enough from my perspective. I’m luckily insightful enough to know that this need of his to ‘share’ his thoughts is more about him and his own issues than our relationship. Dressing is often a very shameful thing for so many of you, I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of needing constant reassurance, in the form or participation or conversation or whatever helps. But it’s a frustration for the partner as crossdressing really isn’t that interesting. Remember, we’re women and all this is very ho hum stuff to us.

    Anyway, I think Caden, that the best thing you can do is reassure your girlfriend that you’ve been dressing forever so you’re not about to transtion on her OR turn gay. Yes, it’s an important identity and tool in your ability to cope with life and while it might seem silly or frivolous to her, you understand this and were the shoe on the other foot you might feel the same, but you’d also like to think you’d support her in whatever made her life a little easier.

    I thought I’d also mention that giving her little comments that you’d rather be dressing as Caden than buying cars/seeing friends or whatever will seriously erode her joy of your company and she will eventually just stop asking if you want to participate in her life. Believe me, I’ve seen this happen MANY times, and not just to crossdressers. You’re going to have to find a way to be upfront about when you need Caden time without the little comments or obvious annoyance when it doesn’t work out, and the rest of the time you really need to put Caden away. It’s when crossdressing starts to permeate into all the little parts of your relationship together, be it shopping or outings or just watching a movie, when she senses your mind is elsewhere, that I can predict now things will only go south. Your girlfriend can learn to accept your Cadeb time, but you also need to accept that if you truly want to share your life with someone else, Caden can’t become all that you are and your crossdressing will need to be controled rather than the other way around. Remember, there are very few people on this planet who are doing whatever they desire every minute of the day. Life is a series of compromises, for ALL of us.

    Anyway, just some thoughts from the other side 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello LadyMuck, thank you for checking out my blog, your response and wonderful insight. I agree with what you said about needing to share it and talk about it. I know we need validation and reassurance. I’ve been in two previous marriages where I received neither, and where my dressing was frowned upon. Because of that I often find that I need to be reassured that we are okay despite it. I also need validation that it’s okay, that I look good, whatever. It feels weird being needy like that, but I chalk it up to that old emotional baggage from those preVious relationships. But I also chalk it up to being a crossdresser. But crossdressers also need to communicate our dressing with others, because it helps it feel real. That is another sort of validation, but it is important, because in many ways, for great swaths of our lives, our dressing, inner femme, whatever one chooses to call it exists solely in our minds. It’s like a writer taking an idea which has been in their head for years, and finally committing it to paper; it makes it real and tangible. It is no longer an ethereal concept or abstract idea.

      I also firmly believe that I am a little further up the spectrum from just being a Crossdresser, but I have no need to fully transition. I just feel more emotionally and intellectually invested in my dressing than someone who merely does it for love of the clothing. To me I really do feel as though I have an inner femme I need to be in touch with and express. Just not full time. Generally I feel I do a great job at balancing it all. Other times, I do find myself wanting in that department. Alas our human condition.

      It is not so much that I didn’t want to go car shopping or hang out with friends In the case of the car, I was minutely frustrated at my previously set aside day being Preempted, even for an important matter. But that wasn’t anything I communicated to her, I knew it was important, and was willing to make the sacrifice and concession. In the case of the night out; she had been attempting to console me when my alternate Caden day fell through as well. She was obviously frustrated with my initial wording, and I believe we found common ground on what I meant and what I needed. Although I’m still trying to find an analogy that may help her understand how’d I view one event I may attend en drab versus attending the same event en femme.

      The example I presently have is based on our mutual passion for SCUBA Diving. Essentially the idea is for her to imagine going to one of her most dreamed of dive locales, but being told she cannot dive there at all. Or she can dive there, but she can only see it in dark grays, no color, and cannot even taste the foods. Essentially, I can go to an event as my male self, and very well enjoy it. But were I to attend the same event as Caden, it has a certain energy, extra life, vibrancy and color. I feel more complete in one instance. It’s not that I would not enjoy the event as my male self, I would. But to me there is a fullness to doing things as Caden. To me, that is why it feels like comparing apples to oranges, and why I wasn’t trying to upset her by saying it wasn’t the same, thereby giving the impression I did not appreciate her thought about the night out, or even the night out itself.

      I understand that a lot of women, my girlfriend included, may feel that the dressing is sort of silly or unimportant in general. Ya’ll may feel ho hum about it; it has always amused me how women take for granted some of the very things that we dressers enjoy about their femininity, and how ya’ll get to express it. But it is important to us, and I do believe my girlfriend understands how important it is to me, generally speaking. I think I’m some cases she doesn’t see the context of how it fits in or why. I also think she knows I will support her no matter where she goes or what she does. We simply have that sort of relationship. We call ourselves, “that couple.” We finish each other’s thoughts, we are generally thinking the same thing, we even take pride in the interesting people we meet when we are out and about. The stories I could tell you about that. Lol

      But there is so much that enriches us as a couple, that I’d hate to think that my dressing alone could diminish all of that. But I’ve seen it happeN and it is. Legitimate worry. But because of our communication levels, I know she would communicate that to me well before it reached a crisis stage, thereby allowing me the opportunity to avert that disaster. She has assured me repeatedly, “I’m still here, I’m not going anywhere. If I was going to leave because of this, I’d be gone by now.” I sincerely believe her deep in my heart. But at the same time, I do have an aversion to giving her a reason to want to go. Which is why I wish to respect her limits and wishes. We see each other as equals, no matter what. Which is a fair shade better than my last marriage, let me tell you. Because of that equality, I think it makes these sort of issues easier to navigate. Having talked to her since that initial conversation, I think there were mixed answers and signals on both our parts. And my always present “baggage fears” from my earlier marriages leave me feeling concerned if her answers aren’t worded “just right.” Leading me to read too far into those answers; an ongoing battle I must fight. Along with making sure that I do not e en subconsciously get compared to the metric of my past relationships. Because she iS worlds apart from them. She knows it, and I know it. And I tell her and show her whenever opportunity arises.

      Ever & Always,
      A very gracious Caden Lane

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for responding Caden 🙂

    And I thought I’d better clarify that when I say it can seem a little ‘silly’, I guess I mean it can look like a very First World issue compared to so many others. But I also understand how strong this compulsion/identity/fetish can be (fetish for my husband so thought I’d better throw it in there) so I also understand it’s not a choice. Still, I’ll sometimes watch the doom and gloom of the global news and see how many millions are suffering poverty, hunger, displacement and terror and I wonder if my husband didn’t live in such a safe and privileged culture with plenty of free time to think, whether many of these conversations or issues we have would even come up? I doubt those in dire poverty think much about their gender or sexuality or whatever – they’re consumed with just surviving another day. This, I’ll admit, can make me a little resentful of my H’s crossdressing, but then I try to remember that most of us in first world countries are living fairly privileged, insular lives and perhaps if things were to change, the less essential issues in all our lives would take a backseat to survival. Let’s face it, my husband wouldn’t last long in a war if he was busy lugging breast forms and wigs around and applying make up! I’d have to ditch him for a Rambo type, lol.

    Anyway, it’s been good to ponder things again. It helps lift the little niggles and resentments that can brew in a relationship. I don’t feel a need to share my every annoyance with my husband as it would only hurt him for no real benefit. Sometimes we’re annoyed for no other reason than its raining outside and rain makes us melancholy. Or maybe it’s hormonal! 🙂

    So thanks for the medium to get these niggles off my chest.

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    • Hello Lady Muck, no clarification needed. Your point was clear, and respected. I do love to read well thought out responses, and hear other perspectives; especially the responses of spouses. Another blogger that I follow, Kit, posted a article recently where she recalled there are not a lot of spouses within our community. She and I discussed it a little bit, and we both seem to feel that the community a a whole really does need spouses who are exemplars of how this sort of thing can be handled. It is helpful if spouses know the best approaches to coming out to their spouse, when would be an appropriate time. It is most important to try and find ways to keep it from becoming resentment within a couple and a point of contention.

      For the most part, one might be able to assume that crossdressing is a first world issue. However there are instances within many third world countries where transgenderism/ Transsexualism/ or crossdressing are apparent. India would be a good example with the chamayavilakku, which they do for a 20 day festival for blessings from a goddess. While there are still cultures that suffer poverty, war, and inhuman treatment, we are lucky to exist within a culture where such things aren’t as prevalent. However a man’s inhumanity to man is never that far away, even here. While I do believe we should be socially responsible, and that we are all citizens of the world, I still find it difficult to resent my GF for buying a $300 purse because of poverty elsewhere. I can take steps to help others who are suffering, but at some point my responsibility, has to stop somewhere. I cannot feel guilty for living my life, and having my own struggles or suffering simply for the fact we live a privileged life. And as far as social responsibility, I feel we have a social responsibility to those here at home first; our own homeless population, our own Transgender population which suffers in the background. I’m certain by now you’ve read of Leelah Alcorn and her suicide at this point. Displacing resentment and frustration on your husband for things he cannot help across the world, because he does something he cannot help, really is not fair to him or you, and accomplishes very little.

      You are correct in that were things in America (or wherever you may live) to suddenly change, priorities would have to realign. I know of TG/TS/CD’s within the community that would probably not survive very well in a crisis. It has simply never been a focus of theirs. However, the same can be said for 95% of most Americans these days. But also do not forget that because a man has a fetish or identity that is feminine, he has not forgotten what he learned at his fathers or grandfathers knee. I was a police officer for fifteen years, I have not forgotten a single portion of my tactical training from my Narcotics days. I still shoot quite often. So I am still fully capable of protecting myself, my family, and my GF should the need arise. I also take measures to protect myself while out dressed.

      While putting on makeup, wig, and breast prosthesis might seem to effeminate a man, or someone looking in may feel it emasculates him, it is not entirely true. Appearances can be deceiving. But it is encouraging that these sorts of mental exercises help work out those little niggling details. Unfortunately, Loving a crossdresser creates a few extra details to ponder. It is also wise to not share every annoyance or concern. But what if there was a way to keep those communication lines open, and you might both be able to resolve the annoyance so it isn’t so much of an issue. Please do not think I’m presuming your relationship is broken or anything by me suggesting this. Because couples therapy can be applied to even a very healthy relationship. But it may help ya’ll find some common ground; it may help you understand his CDing aspect, find ways to communicate without hurting, or having anyone feel they cannot communicate and must suffer in silence. But no matter what, if you care to chat on any CD issues, I am at your service.

      Ever & Always,
      Caden Lane

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  8. Pingback: Ohhh, you’re my best friend… (from Pink Floyd to Queen, appropriately enough) | So Very Deep (In The Closet)

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