I wonder if I’m alone in my musings and suffering. A woman passes me in the hall at work and smiles and all I can think of is how incredible it would be to change places with her if even for a moment. By the time I get back to my desk I’m still agonizing over her smell and the coppery tone to her long hair. My heart is fluttering and my mind becomes a useless pile of mush. I stare at my screen unable to move on with my work for minutes, and sometimes hours. “What I would give… what I would give…”
The truth is I’d give almost anything to become that which I’ll never be. If magic existed and I was offered a chance at a new life as a woman, I’d take it. Merely writing those words compounds the massive guilt I already feel within me. The damage of magically becoming a woman would be catastrophic. My family, friends, wife of nearly thirty years, and son in his early twenties would never understand.
If my wife knew the fantasies I must dream in order for us to make love it would devastate her. My secret rips at the very center of my own identity and hinders my relationships with others. I’ll die with my torrid torment having never uttered a word verbally that I’m irrevocably female inside a male body. So great is the secret and with nothing that can be done that I suffer unable to share my innermost being with those I love the most.
I realized something was wrong with me ever since I was twelve years old when in my dreams I started to be female. This didn’t happen every night, but once or twice a week and has continued my entire life. I began to hate who I was and looked upon other males with contempt. Back then, things were manageable. I played soccer and sports and was good in school and I was able to distract myself for days and sometimes weeks at a time. However, over time, my inward battle became intense, to the point now in my mid-fifties, the pressure is relentless.
I’ve often wondered if my thoughts were of my own creation; that somehow, through the growing up years of bullying brutes and first sexual encounters, that my brain latched onto the concept that being female would be preferable. And yet, a number of years ago I learned that my mother had taken Diethylstilbestrol (DES) while I was forming in her womb. This estrogen booster was prescribed by her doctor to reduce complications with pregnancy. I’ve discovered that many men whose mothers took DES struggle with identity disorders. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to know that perhaps I wasn’t making any of this up; that portions of my brain developed female in a bath of supplemented estrogen. Finding this information caused me palpable excitement followed by a “so what” moment. No matter what the cause, I still must live the way I am and with my secret closely guarded.
I know there are things that can be done, but at six-two and two hundred twenty-five pounds the frightful reality is I’d make an ugly woman that is unable to pass in society. I’ve been told that estrogen supplements, even a minor dosage, helps alleviate the symptoms but to what gain? I’m sure some psychologist out there might be reading this and thinking this guy is a mess. Maybe I am, but I’m also a realist. Any external thing I do to help reduce my condition would prove detrimental to my family and I won’t put them through the pain for my limited gain. My only therapy has been writing and sometimes I wonder if that isn’t helping me.
I write stories about men becoming women to release my brain from its unending quest to fix me. For brief moments as I write, I’m that new woman in my story, lost in the wonder of what many women might take for granted. I muse about what it would be like to be removed from the everyday stereotypes of being a man. To be smaller and more agile. To have long hair and wear beautiful clothing. To be free to be me. I ponder if I’d be more social and caring or what I would do with twenty hours a day with my brain not screaming at me.
Every time I see a woman, which is a lot since I’m married to one and live in a city with women all around, my mind starts churning afresh and I contemplate my future. I both fear and look forward to death, which is probably a healthy balance. I fear death in that I would leave behind the foundational loving relationships that keep me grounded, my family. The idea that when I die I might be what I am now forever scares the hell out of me. I’m afraid to ponder that death might bring relief in that I might finally be who I should be after death as then I’ll look forward to it too much.
Am I alone in all of this?