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Thread: The Journey Home / Farewell to Lauren

  1. #1
    Fember Lauren Richards's Avatar
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    The Journey Home / Farewell to Lauren

    I have been a crossdresser for over 60 years. Starting at an early age with finding delight in my mother's soft underwear and the transformative look of her one-piece bathing suit complete with breast enhancement forms, I progressed to buying my own clothing and becoming very adept at hiding both the clothing and my crossdressing from my former wife and children. After the end of our marriage, which had little to do with crossdressing and more with my unresolved longing to be with someone else, and likely more basically to be someone else, I was fortunate to have a supportive SO who encouraged me to express myself via crossdressing after I shared with her a dream I had about dressing as a woman. This relationship also ended, and in retrospect it was again my being someone else in trying to please her rather than being open and honest about what I wanted and who I was that lead to the parting.

    I have enjoyed being a crossdresser, and have learned much about myself while expressing my feminine nature via crossdressing. As a crossdresser off and on for over 60 years, I became very comfortable with being in public as Lauren. I have flown as Lauren (see my recent post if you wish), shopped for groceries, gone to casinos, and lived as fully as Lauren as possible for long periods.

    In my most recent relationship, I told her about Lauren the second time we were together. It was important for me to be up-front about this, and it was never a major issue. I was not active while we were together, and this was by choice. I did not purge, and although I significantly reduced the number of items I kept, there were still several boxes in a storage unit with a tag which read "LR".

    I have stepped away from crossdressing for long periods, and have generally gravitated back when both opportunity and stress lead me in that direction.
    I have enjoyed crossdressing, and have explored the why's as well as the how's as they relate to me over the years. This forum has allowed me to express some of those explorations, as well as share experiences for over fifteen years. It has been a blessing in my life. I hope you who are still reading this have similar experiences.

    Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Las Vegas celebrating a very special woman in my life. Lauren Richards. It was not only a celebration of the woman within who I have over much of my lifetime expressed and experiences externally as Lauren, it was also a going-away party celebrating the end of the external expression of the feminine nature within me and the embracing of the integration of all that I have learned into one true expression of self.

    I wished to say "thank you and farewell" to Lauren in a manner befitting a long and loving relationship. I planned a weekend in Las Vegas, and spent several weeks preparing. I bought inexpensive feminine luggage. I booked the weekend with my timeshare company, and when they asked if I would attend a sales presentation, I let them know that I would be "Lauren" for the weekend. They were happy to oblige (recent post in photo section for more details on this) and I was called Lauren by everyone for the weekend. I fully immersed myself as Lauren, and had a wonderful weekend. I when to a Van Morrison concert, and had lunch at The Eiffel Tower restaurant. I had open and sharing conversations with people I met. The Lauren in me had a weekend of a lifetime. It was a fond and satisfying farewell.

    Why?? What?? Wait!! Farewell??

    Yes. Farewell. I have been on this journey all my life, and my journey now continues in a different manner.

    There was a critical moment in the minutes approaching midnight on December 31, 2019, where I was broken open by a simple statement made by the woman I love and admire. As we sat discussing our thoughts of the changes we would like to make in the new year, she told me that she could no longer continue our relationship due to the hidden nature of my crossdressing. It was not the crossdressing which had pushed her to this decision, but rather the secretive nature of my crossdressing. I had not actively been crossdressing for over six months, so this came as a complete surprise to me. It should not have been.

    In truth, my crossdressing was only a symptom of a larger issue, which was trust and honesty. Not only trust and honesty between us, more fundamentally trust and honesty with myself. Although I had thought I had been honest, ultimately, I had not. I broke open in those moments.

    My willingness to put the perceived needs of others ahead of my own in a futile effort to "take care of others", suppressing rather than nurturing my core, and erecting shields to prevent others from knowing me fully, and in doing so not allowing me to fully know myself.. .. these were the issues which came flooding through the breaks. Not crossdressing.

    I realized in those moments, and in the days which followed, that I had been living a life where I had coasted rather than engaged the larger issues of my life. For example, I have spoken for years of wanting to be "Healthy at 100", yet continued to eat only mostly well and exercise periodically rather than eating and exercising with purpose. There is a difference. I had allowed myself to take the easy path, the path where procrastination and "I'll get to that tomorrow" were more common than fully committing to my stated goals. It is said that "Talk is cheap." How true. I failed to follow up the talk with action, essentially lying to myself about what life I wished to live.

    The blessing of an honestly stated thought, shared in a loving manner, has changed me.

    This year I am a different man. Crossdressing has been a part of my life, and that is the part I am primarily sharing with you. It is only a part. There is a much larger shift occurring within me, and I am feeling a freedom and attachment to life which I had only previously glimpsed at from a distance through a clouded lens. I am blessed to have been able to have lived and learned. Doors have opened, and I am walking through with both anticipation and confidence.

    Lauren has been like a very caring and thoughtful girlfriend to me. I found that I could no longer carry on this relationship and be truthful in my relationship with the woman I love and the man that I am. The extra woman in these relationships is not healthy for me, nor for us. This is a decision I make for me, not for the woman I love. If I were to do this for her, it would once again be me putting others needs in front of my own, and suppressing my true self. Oh, the false hero I have applauded myself for being. No more.

    It is out of respect and admiration and affection for myself, as well as the Lauren in me, that I have ended our relationship. A new relationship is developing. I am in the process of integrating her where she truly matters, where she belongs; into the core of my being, into the fully authentic individual I am becoming. In saying "goodbye", I am also saying "hello." No regrets.

    I leave you with a few final photos of Lauren: After the Van Morrison concert (it was everything I could have hoped it to be), walking about Las Vegas after a wonderful lunch "In Paris", getting ready board the flight home, and the last photo of Lauren Richards, happy to be heading home, in every sense of the word.

    Blessings to you all. May your journey be one of discovery and joy.

    Formerly Lauren.
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    Last edited by Lauren Richards; 02-23-2020 at 11:56 PM.

  2. #2
    The 100th sheep GaleWarning's Avatar
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    I wish you and your new love all the very best for the future, formerly Lauren.
    Gale

  3. #3
    Seasoned Member Rhonda Darling's Avatar
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    Lauren, I wish you the best. I’m sure that you’ve given this decision much thought — nevertheless, I urge you to again consider not purging all of the external clothing, etc., that is Was Lauren, but rather to pack and store. There are too many instances of purge regret when the desire resurfaces. Many, if not most will agree that the desire won’t go away.

    I hope you find peace in your decision and make it to a healthy 100.

    Kind regards,
    Rhonda
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Be all the woman that you can be!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    . . . and now, On With The Show!

  4. #4
    Aspiring Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Lauren, Such an eloquent and beautiful statement. I wish you all the best in the shift of your life path. Unification of our sense of self can do exactly what has led you down this new road. I am also unified in my sense of self and I have found it to be a wonderful feeling, yet achieving what you have achieved does not seem to be in the hand of cards that I hold. There has certainly been a shift over the last few years, but a complete merge has never occurred.

    We are all different and the dynamics in all of us is different. We are always shifting around and nothing seems to be permanent. We are all beautiful people, irrespective of how we identify or express. It is not a club you join. It is real life in its most fundamental and raw form. An adventure on the grandest scale within an unknown and largely uncontrollable future. We make our choices and we follow them where they lead which is usually to more choices that open some doors and close others. All bests to you in your new self. Just remember. You will always have friends here and how you identify is not as important as who you are in the complete person.

  5. #5
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Lauren, I wish you the best on your journey with your lady. I am a romantic and do love a good love story. While I have my doubts any of us can successfully stop dressing, if you feel that is what you must do, best of luck.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  6. #6
    Silver Member Crissy 107's Avatar
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    Lauren, I wish you happiness in wherever life takes you and always know you have friends here should you like to stop by to say hello.
    Crissy

  7. #7
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    Well written, well thought out. Logical, even. I'm cheering for you, Lauren!

    We've probably all though that maybe some day all the stars would align and we'd just be able to walk away from it. I think it happens more than these pages would represent, unless you consider that some of our long-lost friends from here may have done exactly that. It sometimes becomes a silent competetion. More = winning, less = losing. For me, I've sometimes continued or accelerated for fear of losing ground. When I was married I would not retreat. Even when I needed a break, I'd continue onward and upward. Logic is out the window. I hope that if the stars ever align for me as they have for you that I have the courage to do just as you have.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Glenda58's Avatar
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    I wish you the best Lauren. I to have been thinking of having Glenda going away after 70 years of dressing and hiding.
    GLENDA
    I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN

  9. #9
    Aspiring Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting! This is what most women are concerned about. The trust issue and hiding. I never had an issue because my wife always knew what I was up to. Stuff would arrive in the mail and I'd try it on that evening. And we'd talk about it.

  10. #10
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    A very eloquent good bye to a part of you that has accompanied you for over sixty years. I hope it works out for you. It read like a New Year's resolution.

    My cross dressing is secretive because my wife wants no part of that part of who I am. So be it! If my wife or lover were to tell me she could not longer go on in the relationship because of the "secretive" nature of my cross dressing, I would ask if it were possible she would accept a less secretive and open relationship as relates to my cross dressing? Why was it secretive to begin with? Why wasn't it open? Me? There have been periods in my life which lasted for years when I truly had no thoughts of cross dressing. Other times when my desires were minimal. When I look back many times when I "chose" to suppress those desires it was because my "needs" became secondary to someone else's needs. I still wonder when my "needs" will become primary.

  11. #11
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Lauren,

    I admire your devotion to your wife and the steps you're taking. That said I'm afraid I have to ask a question based on your writings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Richards View Post

    There was a critical moment in the minutes approaching midnight on December 31, 2019, where I was broken open by a simple statement made by the woman I love and admire. As we sat discussing our thoughts of the changes we would like to make in the new year, she told me that she could no longer continue our relationship due to the hidden nature of my crossdressing. It was not the crossdressing which had pushed her to this decision, but rather the secretive nature of my crossdressing.
    So why was the act of dressing secretive? Was she in fact disapproving of the act of dressing which is why you kept it hidden?

    One thing I will say is if you proceed with this change you need to make sure she knows exactly what it means to you and the sacrifice you're making for her. There's a counter argument that says she should be willing to be forgiving of your actions if you mean as much to her.
    Who dares wears Get in, get out without being noticed

  12. #12
    Silver Member franlee's Avatar
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    I hope you the best. I don't know what I would have done in your situation. I just hope I am never put in such. I know it will be trying but you can do what ever your heart is set on. Good Luck in your new life.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Fran
    It's worth something just being around to Fuss!

  13. #13
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    An open letter to lauren... Dear one. I now more fully understand and sincerely hope it works out for you. About four years ago, you became my mentor and led me through the dark, fearful passages of coming out and just being my femme self. You told me to "own it", and I did as, totally enfemme, we had coffee together, went supermarket shopping and had a wonderful dinner with Docrobbysherry and herfriend, Cindi, and, later, by ourselves .
    Those were wonderful days my friend, and I knew they'd never end. And, they haven't! Thanks to you and your ongoing encouragement, I've been out many times by myself and in the company of others. In my lifetime I'd never b able to thank you enough for leading me on. I will always love you for that!
    You previous relationships have not bode well for you, but I pray this one is everything you hope for. Bon Chance, Dear one.
    Jenny

  14. #14
    Fember Lauren Richards's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your support and questions. And so.. a few additional notes:

    Purging.

    Although this may be only my view on the basic concept of purging, I see purging as something which is done quickly to remove something toxic or dangerous from your system. Vomiting is a system purge, and there are "purge valves" for various mechanical systems which are critical to proper system operations. But I digress...

    I am in the last phase of discarding, selling and giving away all of Lauren's possessions. Goodwill and Salvation Army have received large quantities of clothing and shoes, eBay has been a way of selling forms, some of the nicer clothes, and other somewhat valuable items, and just today I took a large plastic bag full of jewelry to a store which was collecting jewelry for a local women's shelter.

    I am not purging. I no longer have need for these items, and it feels right to pass them along as best I can to others who may benefit. I am focused on what I need, and what I truly want for myself. Like the pioneers on their westward journey, things which seemed essential when leaving St. Louis were found to have less value as they weighed down the wagon and made the passage more difficult. I have lightened my load, not purged.

    If you intend to eat a healthy, balanced diet, it is unlikely that you will be keeping a box of Twinkies in the cupboard. I saw a donut at the grocery store last week, and for the first time I can recall, did not have the urge to purchase and consume. I did not feel deprived in the slightest. Same with items related to cross dressing; the women's clothing and all the accessories and accoutrements which go along with a lifetime of crossdressing. I no longer have the craving, nor do I feel deprived. I feel free.
    For the record, I am keeping two sets of ear rings I have worn on special occasions, as well as a necklace I purchased in Paris about six years ago. Yes, Lauren visited Paris and had a wonderful time!! Memories, yes, keeping those, too.

    The Gravitational Pull of Crossdressing

    Like gravity, it appears that the pull of crossdressing will eventually pull you back into its orbit. This is commonly accepted as "fact", and likely for many/most, it is true. I have been a crossdresser for over sixty years, and have stepped in and out of the circle many times.

    A bit over ten years ago I explored stepping away from crossdressing. You may find some familiar thoughts in my post: https://www.crossdressers.com/forums...ute&highlight=

    It is interesting to me to examine my path, and to appreciate how I came to this point in my life. I see in many of my threads a celebration of the ordinary, a full and open embracing my crossdresser self, and of being comfortable with myself both in private and in public. I do not deny nor regret the experiences nor the comfort and joy found in letting the woman within have free reign.

    It is with full knowledge of my past that I have confidence in my future. Knowing myself better than anyone else, I have an awareness of both my limitations and capabilities. I am now on new ground, and this ground feels firm.

    I am taking this change within me seriously. This is not a whim, nor lightly considered. It goes to who I am, and who I wish to become. I know that the easiest part of a resolution is the making of the decision, and the hardest part is following through. Ask anyone with an unused health club card in June what they were thinking in January?
    I know it is not will power alone which makes for successful change. I believe much of success is based on putting a program in place and asking for help in achieving that which you wish to achieve. Sustained success, one step and one day at a time.

    I am not a statistic. I am someone who has had an awakening to a new reality, and am taking steps to provide myself with the greatest degree of success possible. I am seeing a therapist, engaging in daily meditation and practices of mind/body connection. I am eating differently and exercising, and embracing the totality of my being, this unique expression of life which I have been privileged to experience.

    Fundamentally, I have found that crossdressing no longer serves my best self. This is a personal decision, and one which I believe is true to my inner core. To deny this would be equivalent to denying my past. I live in the now, and now, I do not think of crossdressing as a part of my life.

    Trust and the secretive nature of my crossdressing

    I had told the woman I love of my crossdressing very early in our relationship. She never wished to see me en femme, and I was fine with that. While we were together, I left Lauren?s boxes in storage. I had stepped away from crossdressing for long periods previously, and this was not a hardship for me. The "other woman" in our relationship was like an elephant in the room. I allowed this to occur, thinking that perhaps she would soften to the notion in time.

    My crossdressing has always been very private, and with few exceptions in the past ten years, a solo endeavor. Throughout most of my life as a crossdresser I developed ways to hide my crossdressing from those closest to me. This is called deception. It is called lying. It is called being good at hiding your true self. These are the fundamental issues which she shined a light on during our conversation on New Years Eve. She would have been fine if I had openly embraced crossdressing, openly stating "this is who I am and I enjoy crossdressing." I was uncomfortable presenting this side of myself to family and friends, and this fundamental issue of not being honest had devastating consequences.

    My lack of honestly regarding crossdressing was only a symptom of a larger issue. I was very good at keeping secrets. There is a difference between secrets and privacy, and secrets kept from someone who you love are not the foundation of a healthy relationship. Ask me. I know this to be true. Although I consider myself an honest man with a high level of integrity, the little secrets I kept from her, the small lies, these are really the big things.

    I am embarrassed by my lack of trust in myself to share the fullness of my being with this wonderful human being I have had the privilege to know and love. I jeopardized my future and hers as well by not being fully open and honest. This, and not the open secret between us about crossdressing, led to her sharing with me her feelings about continuing our relationship. This is where I am focusing my energies, and where I believe there is the most room for fundamental change within me.

    Making a sacrifice

    I have written about being "broken open." There is a difference between being "broken open" and "broken down." When the full realization of what I had been doing hit me, I broke open. There was an awareness of how I had lived my life, and a clarity of how I wished to live. The stone of my being was flipped over and the ugly underside of deceptions small and large laid exposed to the light. I made a choice to change, and as my crossdressing had a large component of deception within and had been contributing to a divided self, it was an easy decision to move forward differently.

    Being broken open, there are now openings within me through which the richness of this life can flow freely. I am grateful for the opportunity to explore this new world which has opened up for me.

    I am not sacrificing the crossdressing side of me for the woman I love. I am feeding the best in me and starving the least in me as I move forward. It is not a sacrifice to give up a donut to live a more healthy and integrated life, mentally, physically and spiritually, any more than it is a sacrifice to live my life free of deception and lies.

    Jenny22

    It was an honor to be able to nudge you toward a greater awareness of your own capabilities and witness the emergence from the shadows of the beautiful being which had been trapped within you for so much of your life. You did it. I am so proud of you as you continue your journey of discovery and sharing with those you love the fullness of a life released, a life fully lived. Own it. Yes, you do.

    Relationship

    My relationship with the woman I love is currently in a state of flux. We are both working on fundamental issues separately. I do not know what the future will bring, whether a stronger union or an irreparable broken bond. I work at becoming a better man each day. This is all I know.


    Blessings to all.
    Last edited by Lauren Richards; 02-25-2020 at 02:26 AM.

  15. #15
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
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    Lauren I can understand what you are saying. The hiding and lying about the cross dressing is frustrating. My wife has been aware of my CDing for about has long as I have known her, 40 something years. She says she accepts but doesn't want to see it or Sallee. She has in the past when she thought it was a novelty, but that was a long time ago. I hide it from her and I think I like that situation but I don't believe it is healthy. It certainly keeps Sallee in the closet more than she would like to be. I believe I "pass" well. I have been out in general population a lot from Costco to casinos and lots of places in between. Never had a problem, Sure I have been read I am sure, but really no one cares. So whats next for Sallee? Maybe its the long good by as it is for you Lauren.
    I also have been doing this on and off for 60+ yrs and it is fun but I would venture to say not real It just the fantasy world I can live in as I look at my reflection in the department store mirror. I don't plan on stopping I just want to keep it in perspective with the rest of my life and sometimes that can be difficult
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sallee

  16. #16
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    Thanks for posting this in such depth, Lauren. Stopping is given little credence. We we say often enough and forcefully enough that it's impossible to stop then that becomes doctrine. I believe that with the proper motivation you can stop. Very, very few of us actually want to, so it usually fits our objectives to cut all that discussion off by saying we can't stop and, that it's not something withing our control. I hope you are successful.

  17. #17
    Silver Member Debra Russell's Avatar
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    Good luck and best wishes...…………………………...Debra

  18. #18
    Aspiring Shopaholic BTWimRobin's Avatar
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    Hi Lauren,

    I stumbled across your Tumblr and OMG, you look amazing.

    I want to wish you much happiness with your new partner.
    - Robin


    Because life is too short not to.

  19. #19
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    So you do all this to prove what exactly that you can change?
    You are capitulating to someone else in hopes that her trust issues with you will be satisfied?
    Good luck with that.
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  20. #20
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Lauren,
    I can't say if I think your decision is right or wrong , you have possibly paid a bigger price than me by having several relationships fail . My one reservation is you are stepping back from dressing and retiring Lauren to make your relationship work , may I just ask what will your choice be if the new lady in your life decides the damage was done and she still can't continue because she can't find the trust in you ?

    Can I honestly say I could never do this ? Possibly not but after 45 years of marriage and battling with being TG if I do get into a new relationship Teresa will be at the forefront not hidden away , no deciet , no hiding and hopefully no repercussions .

    I truly hope this decision works out for you , I would never say , " I told you so !" but I do know what a powerful force it is we are dealing with . No matter how you feel about another person you must also think of yourself .
    The real me ,no going back.

  21. #21
    Silver Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    Lauren I wish you success in your desicion. Btw you're a good writer, may be a book of those 60 years crossdressing g will give you some rewards after all the money you lost giving away Lauren's stuff.
    If you, as many here discover that this is not a hobby or an entertainment but an expression of who we really are but the distortion that society and education makes in our minds as men without possibility to express openly the femenine side that in some is stronger than just a side, don't feel bad of come back and tell us how life was in the desert.
    Devi
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  22. #22
    Gold Member Alice Torn's Avatar
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    Lauren, I applaud you very much for the soulful posting here. You did a lot of courageous, deep deep soul searching, and made your decision, and it was right for you . One day at time . Don't beat yourself up, if the desire comes back strong. Everything in this life is a risk. It always will, but it sounds like you are balanced and aware. Best wishes.
    Last edited by Alice Torn; 02-26-2020 at 05:36 PM.
    IT TAKES A REAL DRESS TO WEAR A MAN.

  23. #23
    Member Katherine L.'s Avatar
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    Wonderful post! Also, thank you for breaking into smaller paragraphs, as it is so much easier to read that way. Sincere best wishes on the road ahead!
    Last edited by Katherine L.; 02-26-2020 at 05:57 PM.

  24. #24
    Gold Member Alice Torn's Avatar
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    Lauren, I like your take on "purging". Over 2 yrs ago, i decided to stop Cding, and to give away all my wonderful dresses, shoes, skirts, tops, and jewelry to a rescue mission store, so others could enjoy them, as they were excellent things, and also to help the mission. Purging is a negative word. Giving others an opportunity to enjoy those lovely dresses and other items is better rendering. I sure miss those dresses and shoes and wigs now, though, as i still occasionally dress up, and o photo and video sessions, but as i age, and am tired and have a few health problems and see the end of this life approaching, i am getting priorities different, but the pink fog hits very hard at times.
    IT TAKES A REAL DRESS TO WEAR A MAN.

  25. #25
    Accepting GG Dutchess's Avatar
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    Hi Lauren ,
    I actually DO get you also and I applaud you for having the strength to do your own thing , no matter how unpopular that may be to the Tg/CD crowd . After having been involved with 2 different Cd/Tg'ers for alot of years I know how hard the peer pressure can be to be / do things when sometimes you just don't want to - for any reason . I understood exactly about your sudden awakening and think more folks should do the same kind of soul searching .
    I have 5 -FIVE -good friends , 2 I first knew here who over the last decade had the same kind of awakening as you , except they'd been completely through transition ,surgeries everything . Five people , three different countries . One is extremely bitter , 3 vanished after going back to their masculine side and 1 spends most of his time now trying to stay employed so he can try to survive so we never talk .
    There is nothing wrong with wearing certain types of clothes but yes I have seen it get extremely unhealthy in many different ways .
    Don't turn away, what are you lookin' at?
    He was so happy on the day that he met her
    Say, what are you lookin' at?
    I was a superman but looks are deceiving
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    I'd pay the ransom note to stop it from steaming
    Hey, what are you lookin' at?

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The crossdressing community is one that needs to stick together and continue to be there for each other for whatever one needs.
We are always trying to improve the forum to better serve the crossdresser in all of us.

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