Repressed memories really do take some time to surface I am finding. I have only in the past 6 months come to realize so much about myself from childhood that I never thought I even remembered and this was before I started to research this.
The past came at me with a single remembrance
one evening recently that struck me and opened doors into
my memory that I never knew existed.
Working back through the memories, I pulled out many photo albums which contained pictures taken during my childhood.
I looked at each one carefully. Facial expressions, poses for the
camera - all were examined. I asked my spouse to look through these as
well and to independently come up with her assessment of what she saw.
It was the poses, the way I stood, the way I looked, the way I had my
hands on my hips. The looks of sadness or that look of being a million
miles off in space when the picture was taken.
Some of the pictures from the teenage years, she said, showed a deep depression. She was right.
It was all of these things put together.
She said she saw, in all of these pictures, an unhappy little girl.
We both realized at that point what we would talk about next.
All of those years that I had professed to myself - had professed to
HER that I was simply a cross dresser and enjoyed the clothes - was
simply not an accurate representation of the whole of what I am. I am
The stories came next.... stories of growing up
and sitting with the girls in class. Avoiding the boys. Watching the
girls grow and then leaving me alone without friends in a playground at
recess - no longer part of their community.
The little girl
next door, who, until age 12, would come over my house where we would
play pretend games - some days it was playing cosmetologist and we would
concoct cosmetics and face creams from items already in the house.
But she came over one day to say that it was no longer a good idea for
us to be as close friends as we were and I was lost again.
was the doll house that I found of my sister's that I played with for a
few weeks at about age 8. It was my father who took it without warning
one day and when I asked, said that it was not alright for me to play
with doll houses.
It was the books and hobbies I immersed
myself in to console myself in my own world. It was stories of fantasy,
science fiction and the escapes they allowed me. I was given
encyclopedias for children which I read cover to cover - ALL of them. By
Junior High, I was already versed in every science book in the library
from grammar school and many from the local library. I realized in
college taking some of these courses for credit, that I had obtained by
that early age, a first college semester's knowledge of astronomy,
geology, meteorology, electronics, environmental science and physics. I
was building my own telescopes, building radios and soldering together
other circuits on perf boards from parts at Radio Shack, developing my
own B&W photos. I was writing stories and poetry. I had immersed
myself in everything I could to avoid the one thing I could not learn
and understand - ME.
It was the music I listened to. The bands, groups, lyrics. The general themes of each.
It was revealing to put the pieces together - no - it was a revelation...
I fully realized that evening that I was never just a cross dresser and
that I had been showing all the traits of a small girl growing up.
I was transgender.
I cried for hours that evening and in waves for days after. It was all in relief in finally understanding myself that I cried.
But this revelation left me feeling empty
Why did it take this long up to this point for me to realize all of
this? How well I hid this from myself. I had all of the pieces to put
this all together but I did not. No... I WOULD not. I had believed that
any problem - ANY problem could be broken down into small enough finite
components such that any person could comprehend the solution. I
realized then that I had kept the secret of myself FROM myself. I had
all of the pieces but I had failed to put them back together to form a
I didn't need a therapist to help me learn
this about myself. I finally have learned the one thing I could not
figure out and it was myself.
Now the road is paved to a better understanding as I walk this road of life.