Becoming a man, or not?

After returning home, my father went into hospital for treatment. About two to three weeks later he was allowed to come home. The whole thing was still quite strange as neither myself or my mother really understood what he was going through. Whilst the medication suppressed much of his problem, he was still very clearly troubled by it all and was continuing to do odd things like unplug the tv ariel for no apparent reason amongst a range of other things. I think this unsettling period had affected me in ways I had not realised and my dressing had diminished around this time. But not for long, I reinstated my secret acts of dressing before very long.

The time had come for me to leave school and I chose an Art course that would last fours years until I was 21. However, I was still quite reserved and lacking in confidence. I had started drinking alcohol before the age of 16 and going to college was not a deterrent, on the contrary.

Discovery of sex with woman…

At the age of 16 I left secondary school and enrolled into Art College as this really was the one thing I actually enjoyed. The first year was a Foundation year in which I had to choose an area to specialise in for the following three years and I chose Graphic Design. I enjoyed the whole experience although I have never kept in touch with anyone from school or college. This period was from ′69 to ′73 and an era when buying satin and velvet trousers, silky shirts etc was quite acceptable and I did. I also had shoulder length wavy hair. My liking for drinking alcohol had developed around this time and my friends outside of college were a little geeky. Perhaps we had a commonality that made us friends but I am not certain. I could probably send you to sleep with stories of drinking but I will spare you most of it. However I did manage make myself so ill that I couldn’t get out of bed for a week. When finally able to drag myself to the doctor I discovered that I had alcoholic poisoning.  I still enjoy a drink but I am very much more controlled and cannot recover so easily now.

So, one weekend at a party I met a girl. We dated and eventually had sex which was very good to say the least. We were both Scorpio, for those of you who follow astrology may raise their eyebrows here. Getting down to the point, she became pregnant, not surprisingly I guess. We got married and I became a father at the age of 21. For some really odd reason that I still do not understand, I naively thought I was incapable of fathering a child. So you can imagine my surprise at this point in my life. I don’t think I was ready or father material at the time, being so young inexperienced in life. We lived in a sort of bed sit flat with a kitchen and bathroom. Our bed was a sofa bed and was well used by us. Somewhere in the early part of this marriage I had told my wife that I had been cold at night and would like a nightshirt sort of thing. I wish I could recall the exact details, but I had managed to steer the conversation around to her buying me a nightdress which she kindly bought for me. I wore this in bed with her at night and we had great sex, well for me it was quite extraordinary. This was and has been the one and only time I revealed myself within a relationship, but not in the real sense of course. But that didn’t progress any further. During this marriage, which lasted 11 years, I continued to dress in secret but not in the first few years. She eventually had an affair and didn’t come home one night. No, she had not discovered my secret. After a great deal of thinking and reflection I realised that I been behaving like my father which was one of the most disturbing realities I have ever had. He was a troubled man. My parents would have an argument, usually about money I think, and he would slip into a silence that could last for days on end. As a child I never understood this, but knew that I never managed to please him with things that I did. We didn’t have a great relationship from my point of view. The silence from my father was something I grew to dislike greatly as I felt I was being punished for something that I had no part of. And what did I do in my marriage without realising? Yes, I shut away my thoughts always and did not discuss problems and dished out the devastating cruel silent treatment myself!
My 13 year old son was very close to his mother and totally shattered by his mothers unannounced disappearance, his little heart was broken into pieces and I cried for him.
I was 35 at this time and still very sexual active, so finding myself alone did not feel good.

Moving to another level

In hindsight I did get involved with another woman far too soon, my pattern of life continued. But on the whole I don’t have regrets about my life. That would be far too negative an outlook for me.
She moved in with me and my son and life was good again. We both enjoyed drinking and our nightlife was good. However, although she had been in a fairly long marriage and she explained that she had been unable to have children. After 6 months of us living together she fell pregnant. I had been working freelance for about 8 years and had and decided to find an office as the spare bedroom no longer was an option due to space and my growing amount of work and need for computing equipment. Apart from the need for a bedroom for our daughter.
Within a year or less I entered another phase of dressing. I began to buy myself beautiful lingerie and keep it at my office where I spent the rare free time I had, making myself feeling good. We moved house a couple of times and certainly by the second move I had been buying my wife lovely clothes, underwear, nightdress, blouses, a coat, for birthdays or Christmas. Always things I liked myself, but things she would also like. I never wore these out of respect. Because we had moved house so far away from my office, I had to relocate my business to somewhere nearer. Luckily very close to a shopping centre. My dressing have moved into a different level of indulgence. I began to buy nice dresses, shoes, makeup etc and made the occasional trip to the shopping centre. I bought an electric epilator and removed the hair on my legs and arms and some chest hair. Oddly my wife did not notice this and there were no issues at home that I am aware of. She would have spoken is she knew something, as she is a direct kind of person. I envied that about her. There were many days I would arrive at work, do my legs, get dressed and put makeup on and then work as usual. If anyone arrived, I would simply ignore them as if not in my office, so as not to be interrupted. The dressing was at times an experience that aroused me, but has since become an aspect of no relevance now. Things were all going well and I got very close to becoming involved in a group for like-minded individuals in the area.

One of the many evenings I worked late, I took the opportunity to get myself dressed and applied make up. My office was equipped with a microwave, but I decided to order myself some tandoori chicken from a nearby takeaway. This was in the days when you had to collect it yourself. So, off I went with handbag, purse etc. Took the money out of the purse with my painted nails, paid and returned to my office. As I walked towards my office I realised that one of my clients had decided that as he as passing nearby, he would stop and say hello. He was standing at the entrance and close to my car. My heart started beating quite fast. But realising that he wouldn’t recognise me with long flowing hair, lipstick, heels and stockings I could walk straight past him and down a side alley by the building. I waited for a few minutes by which time he left and I was free to enter the building unnoticed.

This was also another time when I became overcome by feelings of guilt, feeling that I was a sad person who had to do these things to find pleasure. All the usual bad things that enter your head when you do something naughty and unacceptable socially. As a consequence, I threw everything away and my dressing came to an abrupt end.

This marriage wasn’t to last either. Eventually after another 11 years it began to fall apart. I had periods of depression and sought counseling, things between my wife and myself were fraught with tension and bickering. The counseling never took off. I was asked to request that my wife joined me in the counseling. Often if only one of the couple participates, they move forward and other does not. She did not agree and it stopped there. I moved into my office not quite knowing what I was going to do. I spent a night at a friend’s house and then back to the office. After a week or two a cousin of mine offered her house to me, saying that she would go and stay with my mother for a while to give me time to sort my head out. I am so indebted to her and her unconditional love.
I think I stayed there for a month and then found a house to rent for myself about 15 minutes from work. My work continued to keep me busy and I had a little bit of money in my bank, so life was comfortable.

I wish to end this chapter by saying that, being married and having two children was something in my life that added richness and love to it which I am eternally grateful. I have always loved both my children, but being a parent is always difficult. I always tried to do my best but sure it wasn’t always seen as that at times.

to be continued …

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