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Thread: Dressing as a response to trauma

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018

    Dressing as a response to trauma

    I started dressing 10 or 12 years ago, just as a major 5 year crisis in my marriage was coming to an end. I was surprised when the idea and urge to came and then increased over the last decade or so. I have zero interest in being a woman, but I find a sense of self and a sense of peace when I can spend time in items from the other side of the aisle. I'm not sure I could ever be content with DADT and am fortunate that she has adapted reasonably well, with a few days of drama here and there.

    I'm wondering if anyone else can relate the urge to dress with a traumatic period in their lives.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Well I have the urge to dress, but stay in the house. I under dress 24/7, and that seems to take the place of going out fully dressed.
    My wife was K with y dressing, as Long as I stayed in the house. Now that she has passed, I still honer her wishes.
    No I do not want to be a girl; just dress as one makes me feel better that DAB. At age 74, I am quite content with the way I am going.
    As long you are good with yourself, you are good to go.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Western Washington
    In my youth I had dabbled with wearing my mother's clothing until the clothes did not fit anymore. As it has been said many times "it" does not go away, entirely. I experienced a number of traumatic events as an infantryman in Viet Nam. It may seem counterintuitive but there is a certain amount of euphoria to getting wounded and medevaced out of a war zone. The feeling with time dissipates and certain traumatic experiences will comes back to haunt. I found wearing women's clothing and ultimately emulating a woman was an escape mechanism. There is no need to psychoanalyze why, it just is. So, instead of hiding from the realities with drugs, alcohol and a string of broken marriages was and still is going "to the other side of the aisle" as you put it.

  4. #4
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    When I had cancer at 19, it actually killed that desire to dress. I dressed sporadically during this time.

  5. #5
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Orange County, Calif.
    I'm not sure what degree of "trauma" u mean, Bea?
    But, since I dress all the way or not at all, I find when I'm stressed I'm LESS likely to want to dress!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    That’s a good question. The problem is, of course, that its the rare and fortunate person who manages to get well into adulthood without experiencing some kind of traumatic event...and we know any two people are likely to respond to trauma in very different ways.

    Humans like easy answers to complex questions. We have a capacity to see pattern even where no pattern exists. And we have a propensity to find answers to puzzling questions in the patterns we’ve imagined.
    Last edited by kimdl93; 05-04-2021 at 09:46 AM.
    Our only truth is narrative truth

  7. #7
    Miss Conception Karren Hutton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    South Western PA
    In a way.... I started dressing when I was 7, right after the birth of my sister. Mom always said I was supposed to have been a girl and I guess the "trauma" of a girl entering our family caused me to start sneaking onto my mothers closet and trying on the clothing that was supposed to have been mine!!
    I reject your reality and substitute my own!:

  8. #8
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    Bea, what you describe is not an unusual pattern at all. It has been well studied.

    During a traumatic event, whether brief or prolonged as in Charlotte's case, trauma tends to divert our attention so strongly to other things, any gender variance processes are likely overwhelmed and seem to go into hibernation. They probably do not go into hibernation but are just not defined in a way that we become aware that they are there. Keep in mind that not much of what goes on in your brain even reaches our consciousness. That portion of the brain is designed to reason using information sent there from elsewhere in the brain where there is no consciousness.

    But what has been observed is that after the trauma has had its effect in our immediate world and is on the path to resolution, gender issues and concerns come back. It is not only in people like us but in everyone that this happens. It is just more apparent in us because of the configuration of our sense of self being a bit more strongly different than in others.

    After being engaged in fighting a war, the death of a parent, sibling, or mate, severe accidents and prolonged injury, or serious illness it is not unusual for the gender variant people to experience a big jump in their desire to express themselves and be the person they are completely. In some though, that huge uptick in behavior activity eventually falls back to a lower and more stable pattern that is comforting and affirming. It is not really an escape mechanism, but a stabilization of something that has been there all along but hidden behind dark clouds. Once again, you are only aware of the results of what occurs deeper in your brain, not the actual processes.

    Much of this pattern is covered well in the book "Psychobiology of Transexualism and Transgenderism" by Thomas Bevan. That is an excellent book all around that covers a lot of science behind that which we know so well. Not an inexpensive book but pretty readable. Although the subject matter is complex and can be challenging, the author explains things well. It is fairly recent work (2015) and based on a vast amount of research of literature all of which is listed in the list of references at the end of each chapter. Of course the book does not include some of the significant discoveries made since 2014-2015. But most of those discoveries complement what is in the book and expands on what was known or suspected to be true.
    Last edited by GretchenM; 05-04-2021 at 07:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    I appreciate the information. For me, I wouldn't call it transgenderism because I have no inclination to want to be a woman. I love my plumbing and I love being a husband, father and grandfather. I'm perfectly happy with my physique and beard. I find that women's clothes are actually more comfortable and, for me, emotionally soothing.

    My inclination to dress came about at the end of a period of some severe emotional abuse and suicidal ideation. Other information also arose that gave me an even greater need to distance myself from being a "typical" guy. I am in therapy for complex PTSD as a result of the abuse and it is slow going.

    One thing I would note is that my early inclinations stopped at panties until I began lurking here and my imagination opened up to other items, for better or worse. I find that I tend to push boundaries somewhat at home, and I'm sure that there is an underlying need to "force" acceptance. Certain past rejections seem to have caused me to need "proof" of acceptance. The dopamine rush of deciding what to wear for the day or from shopping just escalates the whole issue.

    Ultimately, things I took for granted for decades turned to dust and now I feel like my choices of clothes give me a a tiny bit of control over my own sense of self. It's there to accept or reject. I've been forced to accept things that I'd never have imagined. Such is life and I know I'm not a Lone Ranger in that respect.
    Last edited by Bea_; 05-04-2021 at 01:47 PM.

  10. #10
    Silver Member darla_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    terrapin station, you need to guess a little bit
    i had broken a hip after a bad ski accident a few years ago. i had zero interest in dressing during that time i was recovering

  11. #11
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    I can relate.

    All my urges to CD came about during periods of high stress.
    I had an abusive childhood and it was a relief during my lowest points.

    But I notice I have very little urge to CD when things are going great and I?m happy and productive.

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