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Thread: Early Days of Dressing

  1. #1
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    Early Days of Dressing

    I always had mostly girls as friends in high school as I enjoyed being around them more than guys. I had my one or two close guy friends to do things with (fishing, four wheeling, etc.), but outside of that, it was girls. No one ever knew I dressed, and I only dressed a few times per month or so.

    I started dressing in high school, I don't remember the exact age or year. I didn't fully dress until well into my late 20s or so. I started with panties and those silky anti-static slips. I just loved the soft fabrics against my skin. I felt a calm, soothing feeling in these clothes. It was not so much a sexual thing for me, but rather a coping mechanism I believe.

    I was talking with my therapist this week which is why I mentioned the coping above. My therapist asked me if there was anything traumatic during the time i started dressing. Absolutely yes. I grew up in a household where there was constant fighting between everyone in my family, culminating with my parents divorcing between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. My father always told me that I was no dammmm good throughout my childhood.

    All that being said, I believe I found dressing as an escape from the life stresses I was dealing with. It was in those brief moments where I was dressed, that I could mentally check out/forget about everything else going on. The fabrics were soothing against my skin, caiming came over me, and I felt so safe and secure in those moments.

    I can't wait to see where therapy takes me, what my relationship with my SO grows into, and how I can learn to be a better me for her and us.
    Last edited by char GG; 11-16-2019 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Sending pm

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    Silver Member Crissy 107's Avatar
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    Sasha, Welcome aboard with us! Too bad on the rough time growing up but very good on how cross dressing has helped you.
    Crissy

  3. #3
    Aspiring Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. You will likely learn a great deal here. And it may complement your therapy sessions.

    My early days were much like yours. I played with boys, but I definitely gravitated more toward girls - still do. That is a continuous theme in my life and I am 74. I often imagined I was one of them, but they didn't see it that way. Nevertheless, I was welcomed into their groups most of the time. Of course they were young too. I suspect they detected something different and more welcoming about me in comparison to other boys.

    I too had trauma in my early life. My father abandoned us before I was even 1 year old and they fought all the time. My mother told me that I cried almost constantly during my first year, a common reaction for babies in a stressful environment. I didn't find myself with a father again until I was about 7 and even that took about 3 years before I was able to fully trust him. I was raised during the formative years mostly by women relatives. It was when I was 8 that I told my mother I wanted to be a girl, an honest reason to explain why she had caught me playing with her clothes. That was 1953. Request denied. That drove me into the closet. Dressing was not common at all, but the feelings that I was more a girl never left me. It all went on hold when I got married and had young kids. But it came back intermittently after I was about 35 until 2012 when the dam burst and I came out.

    I am pleased that you are in therapy. So many of us try to go it alone and mess things up. Sometimes it comes out fine; sometimes not. But it is a much larger issue than most of us imagine when we start to fit it into our normal lives. A lot of pieces just don't fit and shoehorning it in really doesn't work for long. Yet some manage that transition admirably and, accordingly, I admire them for their ability to work it out.

    I went to therapy, my wife went to a different gender therapist to get educated in how to deal with this new revelation about her husband of 40+ years. What really helped me was attending group therapy. It allowed me to see more clearly what the nature of my identity is really like and where it fits in this vast and diverse world of the transgender folks. Today I mostly dress in bits and pieces and rarely go all the way. Full dressing really doesn't fit my profile. That said, internally I am more a woman than a man. I guess I am a blender - gender fluid. I love it because it is the real me.

    Your story and mine are very different in many ways, but we started at a similar place and after many years of following very different pathways we are more or less following parallel paths. Not unusual, according to the literature. Many of us, sooner or later, end up on the same continent after years of wandering around a strange and sometimes frightening world. It goes to show, this is not imaginary. Our identities are very real and have a lot in common, but this pattern of development often indicates a condition that is in common to all of us but is extremely complex.

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    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    I feel like this is a chicken/egg situation. Are you a dresser because of that coping method, or did you choose that coping method because you are a dresser?

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    Member Soriya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micki_Finn View Post
    I feel like this is a chicken/egg situation. Are you a dresser because of that coping method, or did you choose that coping method because you are a dresser?
    Excellent question Micki and I believe for a lot of us that is a very important question to figure out. It certainly was for me.

    Sasha, It's great you are seeing a therapist and talking through it all. I wish I had done so earlier then I did, I could have saved myself from a lot of extra years of anxiety. Like you, my clearest memories of when I started dressing were in my early teens and during that time I was bullied severely in and out of school. There was no escape from it except when I was home. Like most of us it was very confusing to me why I was doing it back then and add in what is perhaps the most traumatic event of my life when my mother caught me just made how I thought about myself worse overall. After that dressing came in segments over the years and each time further confused me as to why I was drawn to it. Of course the main question I always wondered was if I am supposed to be a girl.

    10 years ago I chose to dress again to try and understand where it came from and what it is to me. By doing so and looking back on my entire history I realized that the times I dressed through my life were always during darker, extremely lonely times. I also learned how the negative effects of the bullying affected me in all phases of my life through the years. The ultimate question for myself was "Does dressing make me happy because I'm supposed to be a woman or does it make me happy because my life as a man has been largely filled with negative experiences and it offered me an escape?"

    Seeing a therapist helped me understand that there was a coping mechanism to it but we are still working on why it's what I used to cope. In my case I have uncovered strong evidence I possibly have a biological/genetic disposition to it. It's not likely I will get that answer for sure but today I'm in a much better place and understand more about myself then I ever thought possible.

    Keep doing what you are doing and it's even better that you have a supportive SO at your side. Therapy will only help no matter what.

  6. #6
    Member Star01's Avatar
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    I had a difficult childhood as well losing my mother at 10, a step mother and two day old step brother a few years later and lastly my father making me an orphan at 14 1/2. That was in the early 60's and since then I have dealt with a lot of other stressful situations without ever seeing a therapist as that's how it was in the mid 1960's in flyover country. You were expected to just suck it up and carry on which is what I did joining the military, raising a family and working to retirement. All that early trauma coincided with puberty, finding my father's girly magazines that showed women in garters and stockings and not long after that finding my late step mother's garters, stockings, slips and bras in the attic. The rest has been a long progression with purges and full dressing during that time. I really do think trauma along with age and other influences that find their way to us at just the right time could have sent some of us down this path. Trauma and a combination of other contributing circumstances does seem to be a common theme in some of our early lives but those things are also common in society.

    Nobody knows but it's fun to read the comments on these kinds of thought provoking questions.

  7. #7
    Gold Member Alice Torn's Avatar
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    Sasha, Thanks very much for sharing this thread.!! i can relate , and with Soriya, much. I was baby of a stressful family, and beaten up in the crib, when i got home from the hospital, by my 4 yr older twin brothers. My dad did not want me, and fought with my mom much. They never separated and fought all their lives. My only sister is the oldest,and was utterly spoiled, treated like a princess. I was severely bullied by my older twin brothers and bullied severely all my school years, too, and on jobs. i hated myself. Hated being a male with no confidence, and rejected by girls and women. I was afraid to talk to girls much, especially if i had a crush on them. I scared them with my nervousness, and lack of confidence. At about age 13, i tried on my mother and sisters' things. It was not easy, because if my brothers found out, I would be in living hell even more! I quit out of fear, and guilt and shame. I wet the bed until almost 21 yrs ole, too. My brothers really bullied me hard for that too. I joined the military at 21, and never wet the bed thankfully again. I prayed every night in boot camp, that i would not wet the bed. That would have been a living hell nightmare!!!! I had many hard, frustrating physical jobs for decades and sometimes bought pantyhose from mil order catalogs, but would ruin them soon, as they were too small. At age 48 or so, the urges to dress came on super strong, and at 51, i finally bought a dress at a thrift store, then PH, bra, girdle, and ordered high heels size 17 on Snaz75.com, then wig at a thrift store. I had gone through rejections from ladies a lot too, in life, though i did date some mostly in my 30's and 40's platonic dating, and went to singles dances a lot. I went to a VA woman therapist and told her most all, and now will be seeing a new one soon. i nearly ended my life quite a few times. It is totally against the society i grew up in , in farm country midwest, and certain bible standards, but is my one big weakness. And i actually have met four admirers, but have the boundry i set of no penetration sex nor tongue kissing for health concerns and morals. When dolled up, i sometimes want to model in front of admirer. Instead of ending my life, and beating myself up, i have had to accept this part of myself, and work to find a balance, and also not let it take over my whole life... I finally am learning to accept my male self, and not hate him. I need my guy side for many things, and survival. I do not dress each time i feel like it now. I can say no, to it. It is also lots of time and work, and often now, I am just too tired. At 65, the desire seems to be stronger, though. I would rather have not ever had this powerful desire. I do think much of it is an escape from painful male life and not ever having a SO, but also from all the bullying, and trauma of life. And my dad not wanting me, and a smothering mother. I actually helped care for may dad the final six yrs of his life, and felt there was some acceptance and peace between us in the final months. We had been in bitter war for many decades! I actually am having some healing of war with my brothers too now, in older age some. My sister is set in her spoiled brat ways, and despises me, and most men, and i thought about coming out to her once, but glad i did not now!! I am glad i never came out to any of my toxic family. I just though i would share my story, here, as you hit on things close. Thank you again for this thread!
    Last edited by Alice Torn; 11-16-2019 at 07:26 PM.
    IT TAKES A REAL DRESS TO WEAR A MAN. See my photos and videos on FLICKR - Alice Longstems.

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    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SashaHeat View Post
    My therapist asked me if there was anything traumatic during the time i started dressing. Absolutely yes. I grew up in a household where there was constant fighting between everyone in my family, culminating with my parents divorcing between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. My father always told me that I was no dammmm good throughout my childhood.
    I'd like to give a small warning here. It's easy to look for and find some "cause" for our dressing, but it just might not really be what did it.
    And - trying to find a "cause" tends to suggest that there might be a way to "fix" or "cure" it.
    Not too likely.


    To show you what I'm talking about, take what happened with me:

    Like you, I had a father that thought I was no good. He even frequently told me I would never amount to anything.
    I remember swearing that when I grew up, I'd be NOTHING like him.
    How easy would it be to say that I extended that to mean that I even rejected my own male-ness, or at least masculinity?

    BUT

    I can remember that I always wanted to be a girl - even before all this started.
    And since I can't blame the effect on a cause that hadn't happened yet, I had to think about things again.

    Nowadays, I think his hostility toward me was BECAUSE of my 'girly-ness', not the other way around.
    I wasn't the rough-and-tumble "chip off the block" he was looking for. I was too soft, too sensitive, too much "like my mother" - and I now believe that he couldn't (or wouldn't) deal with it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaraLin View Post
    I'd like to give a small warning here. It's easy to look for and find some "cause" for our dressing, but it just might not really be what did it.
    And - trying to find a "cause" tends to suggest that there might be a way to "fix" or "cure" it.
    Not too likely.


    To show you what I'm talking about, take what happened with me:

    Like you, I had a father that thought I was no good. He even frequently told me I would never amount to anything.
    I remember swearing that when I grew up, I'd be NOTHING like him.
    How easy would it be to say that I extended that to mean that I even rejected my own male-ness, or at least masculinity?

    BUT

    I can remember that I always wanted to be a girl - even before all this started.
    And since I can't blame the effect on a cause that hadn't happened yet, I had to think about things again.

    Nowadays, I think his hostility toward me was BECAUSE of my 'girly-ness', not the other way around.
    I wasn't the rough-and-tumble "chip off the block" he was looking for. I was too soft, too sensitive, too much "like my mother" - and I now believe that he couldn't (or wouldn't) deal with it.
    I see your point and thank you. I guess I'm not really looking for a reason, it was just something my therapist had asked me. I was always the boys boy, playing in the mud, playing sports, doing the rough and tumble you speak of. I don't know why I took a liking to the feminine, soft clothes, but they are very soothing for me nonetheless. Ive never wanted to be a girl, I just always thought girls clothes are far superior to mens clothes in every way (fabrics, styles, colors, etc).

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