The Lies I tell myself

By Brina MacTavish
I spend hours researching, dreaming, and shaping this life to be as full as it can. I still sneak around in shadows and fear being caught. Only now, I'm willing to deal with the aftermath, even welcome it should it happen. There are little signs all around me that inquisitive investigators might see and inquire about. I have face cream to use each day after shaving, fruity scented shampoo and body lotion on the shelf, not to mention all the items hidden in my drawers amongst my male clothes and the two large suitcases that should be empty, but are not.

What stops me is the relationship I have with my children, my parents, and the responsibilities I take seriously in the volunteer work I do. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up one, two, or all of them, even if it means future happiness and new opportunities and friends. Money is an issue too—when isn't it. Buying items necessary to calm my inner anxieties isn't cheap, and I have a fixation on wigs and high heels. It's fair to say that Brina spends all of our money on looking good or at least trying to.

"I'm never going to do it again." You know the old saying, "If I had a nickel for every time I said that." I've come to a point in my 56th year where I've accepted what I'm becoming, and yet…I still have doubts (both ways) and moments where I desperately want to be the false male imagine of myself that I've lived most of my life. The only difference today is when I feel that way the guilt that follows is for the panic I feel at almost purging everything that makes me, me and not for wanting to be more feminine.

If only I were 12 again with understanding parents and oodles of money, I'd take the hormone blockers and live my life more in tune with how I feel inside—female. But that's 56 year old me daydreaming of what might have been. My wish today would be to move to a new city, find an employer who wouldn't mind how I came dressed to work, and live in peace at being me. I can't, not yet, and maybe never. So now what?

Trying to be all male is never going to happen again. I gave it the old college try, been married and divorced, spent two years giving Brina a shot, purged it all and dove into another relationship, only to become single once more and finally accepting that I'm a mixed bag of ever-changing emotions and trepidations. I think those relationships didn't work out because of it and because of my lack of personal happiness. If I could meet a woman at a crossdressing convention who found me worthy--that would be sweet. I'm still not sure where I am on the spectrum of sexuality and gender. The biggest obstacle to my psyche was the feeling of not being a good person. The need to hide my heels from my spouse and to wear her clothes caused me to doubt the good I could be. It's sad, but society still looks at us negatively. Raise your hand and proclaim yourself transgendered and there is slightly more sympathy. I'm stuck in the middle somewhere.

This journey is mine alone. I have to make the decisions that I can live with—or live without. The best I can do is to be me. And that means all of what I am whether dressed in jeans and drinking a beer with the boys at the bowling alley or strutting around home in my 5 inch heels and fully ready for a night on the town as Brina (even though she doesn't go out she still dresses for the opportunity). Inside, I'm the compilation of each. I don't separate them the way I used to, which also reflects the little physical changes in my appearance; the neater eyebrows, the way I walk, the mannerisms I display (crossing my legs using my hands more when speaking), the colors and types of clothes I wear, and the conversations I'm willing to engage in. I've become less judgmental on myself and especially on others. I still have my bad days, but I'm learning to like me more every day and to worry less about what might happen as I try to move towards what I want to happen.

May your journey bring you peace, may your life be filled with promise, and may your hopes always outweigh your doubts.


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