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Some of you online know me as MichelleAu or MichelleMn, I am writing this because I have been silent far too long now. First let me tell you a little about myself, I am now 23 years old and came from a violent alcoholic family. I remember very little about my earliest years because my mind has seen to protect me from some of the more horrible memories. My life like so many others has been one of confusion and bitterness because I have been forced to accept a life with an affliction known as gender dysphoria.
My earliest recollections of crossdressing were at a house next to my grandparents. I had an aunt who at the time would babysit the girls that lived there. During these times she would also help them practice ballet and being the only boy she would try to get me to practice along with them, I remember very little about these times save for the tights and leotard I was talked into wearing. I also learned the intricacies of ballet, which I have long since forgotten. I remember that I was treated just as the girls were, and though I felt that this was wrong I still felt shivers of excitement at the feel of these strange and feminine clothes on my body. This went on for months until my aunt moved away to go to nursing school.
I imagine that at the time she saw this as merely innocent play, but it was to have a very profound and confusing effect on my life. As time went on I started to search for other clothes with which I could live out my girlish fantasies in. I also had another aunt who was the others sister, and I found her styles were quite a turn on for me to wear. I also started to search out more items in my own home as well as my grandparents house, and within months I was building a collection so large it was nearly impossible to hide away. This went on for some time until, one day I was caught by my mother upstairs in the room I stayed in at Grams. The look on her face was one of shock and horror, and she had no idea what to do with me.
I was terribly ashamed and felt that something was very wrong with me, and there was no one that I could ask to explain this to me. It was during this time that I began to act out on the surface, but went ever deeper into myself. I became secretive about what I was doing and talked very little to anyone. I was very confused about why I felt how I did, and had no idea what was wrong with me. I felt compelled to wear women's clothing, and at the time of my first sexual awareness my fantasies revolved around me being a girl. I could talk to know one, and with the fact that my parents often came into talk to me in my room I was probably caught a hundred times, each one with the same look of disgust and lack of understanding.
It was when I was thirteen that I had gotten in so much trouble that I was sent to a treatment center, my family was falling apart and I was torn apart inside with my own very personal conflict. During the time I was in treatment my parents thought they would bring this issue up with the counselor, and they put me under a microscope. I have never been more embarrassed in my life since that two hour session. I was asked all types of questions, yet no one had any answers for me and I was very mad at being cornered like this. I came home a few months later and for a time things were fine, but again I felt the feminine side of me pull me back to where I had hidden my collection.
With great alarm I found it was gone, and I went searching that night for my dresses and lingerie. I found them in the basement of our shop, in my fathers hobby room where he built scale models of cars. And it was this night I got the greatest shock of all. It had never occurred to me that the lingerie was far too small for my mother who was heavyset, and I began to get suspicious finding male pornography mixed into the chest where the clothing was stored, along with catalogs and breast prosthesis and a pair of latex underwear with a vagina fashioned into the front of it. It was then that I realized who I had been borrowing clothes from all this time, my own father. About a year later I finally felt comfortable enough to bring all of this up to my mother about my dad, and also about myself. It was from this time on that I had found my protector.
She swore me to secrecy about him and explained that she had been dealing with this for years with him, and my interest only made it worse. She did promise not to just walk in on me and something of acceptance was finally found at last. It was because of this bond that I developed such a close relationship to my mother and after all these years I can finally talk to her about parts of this subject. There are parts of this she has no knowledge of save for hints made at various times. I continued on in the years that followed and always felt out of place when the guys in high school would talk about women the way they do. I always felt out of place because of my dark secret. I still fantasized about being a girl, and would daydream about it often, becoming distracted in school. I would watch the other girls to see how they acted and carried themselves and when I was alone I would try to imitate it.
As I reached the age of sixteen I had as many female clothes as any girl my age had and I was always trying to conceal what I was doing and most nights I would sleep in something feminine as soon as I felt I was alone for the night. I also lost my virginity that year and the whole time the only thought in my head was that I wanted to be Jessica, the girl I was with. I didn't enjoy it very much and I resolved that I would try to become as masculine as I possibly could, thinking I could escape this double life I was living. We broke up shortly thereafter and I was single for six months. During that summer I met Melissa, who later became my wife.
I felt that joining the Army would help me to straighten this out so eighteen days after graduation I was in Basic Training. I was still living totally in the closet save for 3 family members knowing, and now I was a soldier. Upon completion of Advanced Individual Training, I was sent on a hardship tour to Korea for a year, and the whole time I felt very conscious of my body in the barracks. I also didn't feel like I fit in with the guys so I began to drink and party with them downrange, (our term for the villages). I tried to play the single man bit and became a motorpool stud. Unbeknownst to them on one of my overnights with a girl, we had sex and said she would be back in an hour. When she didn't return to the hooch, I began to go through her clothes, and in no time I was wearing her outfits and putting on her makeup, while up front in the bar my buddies were drinking and whoring it up. She never came back that night till I was sound asleep, but I was very happy indeed because I had gotten to do what I had missed for so long.
After the tour ended I got married to Melissa. During the entire ceremony I remember feeling jealous of her getting to be the bride. After a short honeymoon we moved to Ft Hood Texas, where I was assigned to the Cavalry. It was during this time that being in good shape helped me in another way. I was a full head taller than my wife but very thin, and when she would visit her friends I would go through the drawers and closets and put on the clothes she had that I could fit. That was most surprising because she was a petite 5'0" and I am 5'9" and still could wear some of her clothing.
This went on for a year and a half, and our marriage was getting very bad for both of us. During this time I felt that I had to tell her what was happening to me. I had gone to Desert Storm and returned to do the very same things, and I finished up my time in service and we returned home to Minnesota. Our marriage was shaky already and we had separated twice by this time. Shortly before the birth of our son, I shared the details of this condition to her. The night I told I fear I made a mistake, because I dressed up and got back into bed. I was rubbing myself against her and she flew out of bed enraged by what I was doing. She had been shocked by what I had told her and now she felt I had gone too far. I had asked her that when I was dressed especially that I wanted to be treated as a woman, she hadn't known how to take it at all. It was during this time that I gave my feminine persona a name, which was Michelle, a name I had always liked a great deal. The following day in openness I asked her if I could finally start my own collection of clothing again, and grudgingly she consented. I was in seventh heaven and giddy with excitement. I was finally going to be allowed to live the only way I felt right about doing.
This was a new era in my life and of course I was anxious for my first order to arrive. I admit that part of my rationale for telling her about this was because catalogs were starting to gather at home and I may not beat her to getting the packages from the apartment managers office. My first order was over $400 and I was impatient for it to arrive. The greatest pleasure had been to openly go shopping through the catalogs at the kitchen table for hours on end carefully planning out my new wardrobe. Several events were to shock me greatly over the next few weeks. First of all, my order came in and I went into our soon to be born sons bedroom for an hour glorying in the feel of my clothes on my body. When she came in I was very embarrassed at first, but too happy to let it stop me now, I was on my way. When she jumped on me and we made love passionately it was my turn to be shocked.
This was a whole new dimension to our marriage, and in my eyes opened doors I had never even thought of. I insisted on her calling me Michelle when I was dressed and I imagine that it was my newfound freedom breaking loose with a bang. She was very against that part, but she did treat me in a very feminine manner and that was a fair compromise for the moment. I asked her for one other favor and that was to pick me up some things in town, including makeup, and she said she had no idea what I liked so I would have to come along too.
This was the experience of a lifetime, and to the clerks it must have been obvious who they were for, due to our difference in size. This was extremely exciting to me and I enjoyed it immensely. Who ever would have imagined the degree of support she was giving me. This was not to last long however, as weeks past she started to attempt to forget this so I went back to being independent with it again. Our marriage was also having more and more problems now, so things were on the rocks in every other way now.
During the next several months we had two more separations, one for a week and one for three months, and after getting back together again, two and a half months later it was over for good. We had finally destroyed everything else in our marriage and on November 11th, 1992, we separated for the last time, this time with me leaving. My whole life was shattered and I wanted the end of it to come. I was living with family, with only this, school, and a few of my closest friends to help me get through. By Summer of 93, I was back on my feet in my own place and I met a girl. I really couldn't stand her but I was dressed most of the time around her when alone at home and she accepted this easily. I found that the only reason I could tolerate her at all, but I continued this for months because I now had my freedom to be myself with another human being again. She bought me many presents and I felt like roles had started to reverse. All the gifts were feminine, including makeup, and clothes. The only problem with it were our different tastes, and I often kidded her that if she listened to my advice she would be one of the best dressed women in the whole town. I was starting to find some humor in the anguish now, and even really enjoying the freedom I had living alone. I had started to accept that this wasn't something I was going to grow out of and occasionally I felt that I wanted to go the rest of the way as well, but at this time I had very little knowledge about transsexuality at all.
It was during this time that I found my hero, a transsexual by the name of Tula, of which most people are very aware of. I found her to be both beautiful and witty, a striking combination. The most important part of it was that for the first time I had some information to understand what was going on inside of myself. I had gone through marriage counseling alone before this woman had entered my life, and they had taken a personality test. Some of the questions asked about whether I had ever wanted to be a girl, and related questions. I gleefully answered yes to all, hoping that it would stand out in the results and later I would be questioned about it. I was depressed when nothing of the sort got mentioned, because it would have been my chance to attempt to resolve the conflict going on inside me.
After some months I could no longer handle the woman, in spite of the shared interest in my feminine side and I sought to have solitude from her and others. For months I just enjoyed living alone and having my son every other week, so I was still in seventh heaven that way, even though so much was yet to be done. Then I had a real godsend, AOL, which has changed my life forever.
It was here that I met someone I fell in love with, found out a wealth of information on gender issues, and also started to use my feminine persona more actively online. I met others like me, and most of these people know of my distaste of labels and stereotypes, but it at least gave me a new language to learn to describe my condition in a way that others can stand. I recently have decided that I need to begin counseling to deal with this issue, because I know I am no longer a cross dresser. I never get sexual excitement out of being in a feminine role, but rather feel that I am acting in a way I need to be. The woman I am with is incredible, but God only knows now what twists and turns are up ahead as I finally unravel the pieces of the puzzle that is my life.
One thing's for sure now, I am definitely on my way, no matter which way this leads I can now see it out to completion. I love the woman I am with, but recently had started to actually say good-bye to her. She works in the insurance business, handling claims, and she has dealt with transsexuals before, paying their bills, but never thought she would deal with the issue with someone she is in love with. I can now only trust to God, and support of friends as the answer gets closer each day. I am proud of who I am, I have no reason to feel shame, and I have found that helping others get to my point of acceptance with this is a very fulfilling way to return the support I have had for so long now. I recently started the TS Support Room on AOL, as a forum to discuss these very issues and I hope from it will come the answers so many of us desperately need to get ourselves in the right direction.
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