Author Topic: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last  (Read 258 times)

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Offline RandyL

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Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« on: November 23, 2020, 12:49:02 am »
I’ve been posting on this site now for over three and a half years, but I never felt ready to start my own blog. I didn't have a sense of whether I was going anywhere with this, how long I'd be here, or if I could even come up with stuff to post regularly. Can't have Danielle stepping into the void, looking around hands on shapely hips, and saying, "Hey! Where are you!"  ;D

Well it looks like the time has come.

After over 40 years together, it became clear that my wife and I could not make this work. I moved out 5 weeks ago. We love each other, and get along really well when cooking, doing outdoor activities, traveling, etc.. Our sex life was satisfying. We are kindred souls…except this one thing. She only wants a man in her life and I’d been stressing her out. We will divorce. How did this happen?

I've worked with several therapists to try to sort myself out. I don't see any red flags looking back to childhood, adolescence or adulthood up until about 15 years ago, in my early 50's. Many of you "always knew" you were in the wrong gendered body. I didn't.

So starting 15 years ago, when my wife was away I’d sometimes wear her bras and fashion some “poor-man’s” breast forms. It started as a sexual thing, but eventually just became satisfying in a comforting, non-sexual way.

As these things so often develop, for Halloween in 2015, my wife dressed me as a witch in some of her black clothing including a skirt. We went to a neighborhood party. She still thinks I looked great as a witch.

The next year I proposed we both crossdress, me as female (seriously this time) and her as male. I found I could wear our daughter’s high school prom dress. This time we went to a public event at the local Fine Arts Center. It was fun for both of us. She enjoyed treating me like a woman, opening doors, etc. I was a striking figure at 6’2” in a white formal dress and got a lot of attention, although I did a horrible makeup job.

Shortly after this I came out to her, telling her I like to crossdress. She allowed me to dress from time to time and even helped me discover which of her dresses fit me. For her this was all in fun. For me it was quietly getting more and more serious.

First it was once or twice a week, usually for a workout — trail running or weights at the YMCA. Then 3 or 4 workouts a week. Then sometimes more. I tried to tamp it down, but I just couldn’t seem to control it. My wife wanted warning prior to my dressing femme, but due to a combination of shame and inconvenience I sometimes dressed anyway. This surprised her sometimes and she says she experienced PTSD from the shocking. She got more and more stressed, couldn’t sleep, digestive upset. We had several years of relationship counseling, particularly with a highly effective “Attachment” counselor. But finally this past August I shocked her one last time and it became clear we couldn’t continue.

Now that I’m in my own place, I dress as I feel, almost always femme. I’ve embarked upon full electrolysis. And I’ve begun HRT. It’s a new world, and although somewhat lonely (especially in the pandemic), it suits me. I’ll post more soon.

With thanks for the title of this blog to the late Jan Morris, from her 1974 memoir, Conundrum. More completely, the quote is:
"To myself I had been a woman all along, and I was not going to change the truth of me, only discard the falsity. But I was about to change my form and apparency...It is one of the most drastic of all human changes, unknown until our own times, and even now experienced by very few; but it seemed only natural to me, and I embarked upon it only with a sense of thankfulness, like a lost traveler finding the right road at last.”
Casting about for my best path forward...

My personal blog thread: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randy's HRT Journal


Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2020, 08:56:59 am »
@RandyL
Dear Randy:
Thank you for posting and sharing some of your personal details regarding your transition journey.

I am very saddened to read your report regarding the ending of your marriage relationship with your wife of 40 years.  I trust that both you and your wife can "move on" in a cordial manner.

As your new journal/blog followers digest the details that you wrote about in your first post you can expect more replies and comments as you continue to share.

I like how you referenced the (now late) Jan Morris and her book "Conundrum" and used that as the title for your new blog.
Very nicely done and definitely an appropriate title for your Blog.


I will be eagerly looking for your future posts and updates here on your new blog/journal and around the various threads around the forums.

HUGS and best wishes as you continue on in your journey. 
Danielle
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2020, 08:59:12 am »
@RandyL
Dear Randy:

I am so glad to see that you have started your very own Blog/Journal/Thread that is all about YOU, your journey, and your experiences !!!
Consider this your personal journal that you can share with your readers and followers here on the Forums.

I am very happy to read that you are now documenting your official transition journey with your very own personal Blog/Journal.
Yes indeed, I and the rest of your new followers to your new blog/thread here will want to see you post updates and even a few photos.

In addition to having several ongoing threads here I also keep and "old-school" pen&paper journal at home for my eyes only.  I include lots of venting and thoughts that I have and also include some colorful doodling and an occasional snap shot photo or two.  On a cold and rainy night in front of my fireplace I can find myself in my comfy chair reading my journal for hours, sometimes with tears of joy in my eyes and sometimes with tears of unhappiness. 
Your journals will be a very good form of therapy for yourself.   Keep them updated.

Having your very own personal journal thread here on the forums is very good therapy that allows you to not only safely vent about you disappointments and failures but also about your successes and your good experiences.

When you post good news, we are here to rejoice and be happy with you and when you report not-so-good news, we are here to listen and to lend our shoulder for you to lean on.
We are your biggest fans and are always rooting for your success and happiness.

Again, thank you for starting your very own thread, I will be eagerly looking for your updates and as you you feel so led to share them with us.

HUGS and best wishes,
Danielle
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline SarahEL

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2020, 10:00:39 am »
Congratulations Randy on the brave step of starting your blog.. (and living as you too!)...
I understand the heartache when for your relationship there is only one course of action and that is to separate..
But, never feel you are alone.. We are all here.. following your progress and cheering you on wherever you may go...
Sending hugs... Sarah xx
Oh, life is bigger,  It's bigger Than you and you are not me
The lengths that I will go to.  The distance in your eyes

R.E.M. - Losing My Religion

Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2020, 12:16:48 pm »
@RandyL

Randy-

Congratulations on starting your new blog- tempered with sadness on the news of your marriage...  One thing that I have learned this year is how much our lives are like doors- as the door to one part of your life closes you will find other doors opening, and your own path is on the other side.

Hugs!

Caela
My Blog Thread - The Chronicles of Caela

In a sky full of people, only some want to fly. Isn't that crazy? - Seal

Offline TSL_NB

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2020, 02:58:51 pm »
@RandyL

Hey Randy, your experiences sound very, very familiar.

I'm really sorry to hear about the impeding divorce.  There's nothing nice to say about that, it's just plain crummy all around.   

For me, my wife understands better, that this will keep me on this earth a lot longer, and I'll be here for our kids, so while we are sorting out the separation details, things are really going okay.   

I think I remember your saying you have kids as well; I hope and pray it works out well for you and the family as well.
It took over 40 years to realise, and believe, that what I am NOT, is a mistake.

(Yes, I'm a Canadian who served in the US Navy....)


Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2020, 03:32:07 pm »
Randy, you are consistently kind, thoughtful, and optimistic at this website, so I'm even sadder that your marriage has ended, but I'm happy that you're following your road.

Offline RandyL

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2020, 08:49:29 pm »
Thank you to @Northern Star Girl, @SarahEL, @CaelaNotKayla, @TSL_NB and @Oldandcreaky for your kind thoughts and for reading my blog.

I'm also on HRT now, and would like to post about that. I'll go over to the Hormone replacement therapy topic for this and will update my signature with a link. In short, I had my second injection today; the first was three weeks ago. The second one should have come at two weeks, but the office was closed due to a Covid-19 exposure last week. My regular nurse is still out. I'm excited to feel the effects, which I did briefly (for two days) after the first shot!

My electrologist has been working her way down my face. We are focusing first on all the dark hairs, as the white ones are nearly invisible (although I can feel them). We're down nearly to the chin now. I'm glad to be largely done with the upper lip -- Zap! Ow! Pow! (with a nod to Batman). It actually felt kind of good last time as she worked down the side of my chin; a little bit like scratching an itch. She knows to give me a facial tissue so I can mop the tears out of my eyes before they run down my cheeks. This is with 800mg of Ibuprofen taken an hour before the appointment. But it's all worth it.
Casting about for my best path forward...

My personal blog thread: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randy's HRT Journal


Offline RandyL

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 12:15:49 am »
Over the past year, my wife and I came close to separation but didn't go through with it. In particular last December we thought we were finished and announced it to our (grown) children. But our therapist talked us off the ledge and we happily settled back into our life together. We spent the month of February traveling and camping around southern Arizona and had a good time together. While traveling with her I didn't really have an opportunity to present female. I brought a couple of tops (and I always wore female undies and jeans), but maybe with the distraction of camping I didn't really feel compelled to wear them. This made her very happy.

But back home, and locked down by the pandemic, I steadily increased my female presentation until I was doing it at some point nearly every day (often, as I've said before, for workouts). This caused more and more stress for her, to where she had a hard time sleeping and was suffering from anxiety.

On a camping trip in August, we hiked to a waterfall. As we parked at the trailhead and prepared, I donned my purple wide-brimmed sun hat, which is a pretty female-looking hat. My hair had been down all morning (she preferred it tied back in a ponytail). I thought she saw me, but apparently she didn't notice. We hiked to the waterfall which was down a steep path. One particularly slippery stretch of trail sloped down to rocks and the river. I went first and waited for her at the bottom. She started down, but slipped and began running uncontrollably down the slope. I stepped in front and stopped her before she landed in the rocks. At that moment she looked up at me and saw me in the hat and with my hair down, and freaked out. I didn't really understand how it impacted her, but she said the contrast between my strong male arm and my female head triggered her PTSD from all the times I'd shocked her by dressing female without warning. She decided this was the last straw, and we were done. We discussed it over the next few weeks and with the help of our therapist, but I could never "step into her shoes" and really understand how she felt. It had never seemed to me like that big a deal what I wore -- I always still felt like I was the same person. But somehow it just triggered a major reaction in her. She said this indicated I was incapable of empathy, which I think is an exaggeration.

We set a date for me to move out by the end of September. As a concession to her sanity I agreed to stay exclusively male until I moved out. This wasn't terribly difficult, perhaps because there was a fixed duration to it. In the past when I tried to bottle it all up I had become depressed and even suicidal. But now I could do it. She wondered why, and if I could be male now, why couldn't I always be male? I explained that it was one thing to do it for a finite amount of time. But I couldn't guarantee that I could stay this way for the rest of our lives together. I asked if she'd rather we break up now, or take a chance and stay together until at some unknown time in the future I might "fail" again and we'd have to break up then. She admitted that the certainty of facing it now was better. Maybe she'd have a chance at another relationship still, before she got too much older.

A friend of hers was (ironically) moving out of her condo to live with her boyfriend, so we arranged for me to rent her condo for six months. It couldn't happen until the middle of October, so my wife and I had six good weeks together. We still shared our bed, cuddled, cooked together, went for bike rides, kayaking and hiking together. But we both had tears at times. It was actually a pretty good way to grieve together. We pledged to remain good friends, and perhaps even travel together. We still own our house, and after 36 years in it, I still have a lot of junk to clear out. And certain maintenance tasks get left to me. We discussed having dinner together at one place or the other several times a week.

But less than a week after I moved out, my wife's sister's partner died from cancer. It happened faster than anybody had expected. My wife and this sister are very close, so my wife quickly arranged to fly to upstate New York to be with her sister. She booked a two week return flight and I drove her to the airport. We left our cat in her house because that's his home, and my landlord doesn't allow pets.

Driving over to the house every day (about a 15-minute drive each way) to care for the cat is not bad when it's for two weeks. But now we're up to five weeks and she doesn't have a return flight booked. I think she's using this as an opportunity to build distance from me. She also says that she can't imagine living alone in that house. She's never lived alone since college days -- was always in a relationship. I kind of wonder if she'll ever really return, or if she'll just buy a place near her sister.

It's kind of weird going over to the house that we built together and where we lived for 36 years. Where we raised our two children. But it's empty of life. No one (besides the cat) is living there. The cat reminds me of this problem in great detail every time I arrive. If things had happened in a little different sequence, I could have stayed in the house while she went to be with her sister. But now that I've moved out I don't want to move back. I'm building my own life too, and I like where it's taking me. And I still don't know when she'll return.

I think I'll do Thanksgiving in the house, because there is a better supply of cooking utensils, spices and condiments there. We'll have a family Zoom happy hour at 4pm. But it'll be a strange holiday.

How many of you will be alone for Thanksgiving? How do you feel about it? What will you eat?
Casting about for my best path forward...

My personal blog thread: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randy's HRT Journal


Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 12:56:04 am »
@RandyL

Randy-

Big hugs dear!  I know how hard it is to wake up one morning and see this part of your life that you've known for 36 years changed so drastically.  The house may seem empty, but you have opened the door to your new life- and you will have your new adventure too.  I'll be thinking of you over Thanksgiving.

Stay strong!  Hugs!

Caela
My Blog Thread - The Chronicles of Caela

In a sky full of people, only some want to fly. Isn't that crazy? - Seal

Offline barbie

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 09:22:24 am »
The support from my spouse was the most critical. Of course, she had a hard time understanding and accepting my behaviour. But, once she decided to accept me, my kids followed her. My colleagues and friends could not say against me as long as my family accepts me. Young students do not care about whatever I wear, as they are busy worrying about their own future. Now all people treat me as a kind of ordinary person. I am sometimes surprised that people are so much indifferent to my bold fashion, as I tend to wear more boldly than most young women here.

Probably this was all possible because I gave up HRT 10 years ago. I am still a dad to my children, and a husband to my spouse, whatever other people think or say about me.

barbie~~
Just do it.

Offline RandyL

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 09:25:52 pm »

Thank you @CaelaNotKayla and @barbie. Your support means a lot to me, especially when I don't have it from anybody else nearby (our children live far away). Our stories are each so different, and yet there are common threads.

And now, what you've all been waiting for -- the Halloween 2016 photo of the two of us, each crossdressed. I'm wearing our daughter's prom dress and pink flip flops because I didn't own any feminine footwear. The lighting is weird (spooky!) and makes it look like I have on awful makeup, but it wasn't quite that bad.



Sent from my dual-floppy Victor 9000 using Tapatalk

Casting about for my best path forward...

My personal blog thread: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randy's HRT Journal


Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 09:54:10 pm »
Thank you @CaelaNotKayla and @barbie. Your support means a lot to me, especially when I don't have it from anybody else nearby (our children live far away). Our stories are each so different, and yet there are common threads.

@RandyL
Dear Randy:
You are definitely on the right site.... Susan's Place and the Forums...  where you have found many like-minded members and friends.   

We all are offering our unlimited support, our ears to listen, and if needed, our shoulders for you to lean on.
We are your biggest fans and are always rooting for your success and happiness.

Thank you for being a part of the Susan's Place Forums family....
... we are all glad that you found us, and that we found you.

I and the rest of your followers will be eagerly looking for your future updates here on your Blog-Journal thread, your HRT thread and wherever else you choose to post your thoughts and updates.


HUGS, best wishes, Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you in your life.
Danielle.
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: Randy the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 10:06:03 pm »
@RandyL

Randy-

You rock that dress! With the flip-flops you have a very summer-y vibe in the picture!  And I'll echo @Northern Star Girl- We're all here to support and be here for each other!

Hugs!

Caela
My Blog Thread - The Chronicles of Caela

In a sky full of people, only some want to fly. Isn't that crazy? - Seal

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