Here be dragons… This post is a bit of a vent about the bad place we are stuck in; I promise some fun pictures to lighten it somewhat and I’m going to write a blog immediately after with some fun femm content, but I need to put this down in a post to hopefully cheer myself and others up a little.
So, it looks like we might, may, possibly, potentially be approaching some kind of end of this rather unpleasant period of recent history. At least on this side of the pond; having been locked away since mid-December there’s a promise of relaxation of the legal lockdown, a return to somewhat normalcy and all that that entails.
Yet I feel bloody awful. There’s no reason why I should feel so down; I’m lucky enough to have been vaccinated (the first jab at least, which was a huge surprise to me. According to the National Health I’m in a high risk group; 50+ cross-dresser asthmatic with a history of daftness resulting in hospital stays must be a group I didn’t catch, but hey), I’ve already pencilled in some dates, after the re-opening, to let Sarah out again. I’m currently healthy, I’ve lost no-one close in the pandemic, I’m employed.
Yet I feel down in a way I haven’t for a long time. There’s been something soul-destroying about the last lockdown, combined with the time of year, the uncertainty of the situation and, most importantly, that feeling that life is accelerating by without letting us enjoy or even experience the things that make life worth living.
And it occurred to me that a lot of us feel this way; t-associates and not. There’s something else going on in the collective zeitgeist that is really unpleasant to live through, and I thought I’d write a blog to say that, again, it’s alright to feel bloody awful.
See, a lot of us t-types, even though we are different, share some deep-rooted character attributes that mean we are not well equipped for this kind of bleak existence. I can talk over and over about how I have accepted my dual-existence but underneath I still have those doubts about my relevance and my worth, and living through a time where we are told that we have to do things or feel guilty just magnifies a lot of the inner angst.
For example, I feel seriously guilty about missing the ability to cross-dress. In the big picture it seems like a terrible first-world problem; people are dying from Covid, people are going mad from loneliness and a lack of basic human content, yet I feel down and not myself because I can’t travel into London and spend a day wearing a dress.
And that highlights the problem. All of our personal needs are important, regardless of what others think. We have sacrificed mental health as part of this collective lockdown; people don’t realise how devastating the effect of negative mental health can have on every aspect of your daily life.
I’ve been a good girl/boy. I’ve obeyed the lockdown, I’ve done everything I was told to do. Yet I still feel terribly guilty about feeling bad about having to be drab for a long period of time. It’s insane, but that’s the way the mind works, and it is OK to feel that way.
The main problem a lot of us have is we feel guilty about our urges. The culture that told us, in previous decades, that wanting to embrace a more feminine side was a moral and character flaw has made us feel less worth in ourselves because of things we didn’t choose to have. I didn’t wake up one morning and say ‘hey, I feel like wearing women’s clothing from now on’. It is an integral part of *me*. Yet, even in pre-pandemic times, I had a huge amount of shame and guilt.
And now those feelings have been muddied together with all the worries and anxieties of living through a pandemic. Not only do I feel a touch of guilt for ‘not being a man’, which is utter crap because I live a good life in terms of being supportive for others, I now feel guilt for coming through the pandemic unscathed and being down because I can’t dress.
It’s indicative of a much wider problem that is going to have repercussions for a long while. This level of low but constant anxiety for more than a year is playing hell with people’s moods; personally I’ve found myself getting enraged over the last couple of weeks at the most pointless and trivial of things, loud noises, clumsiness, even forgetting a word or two has made me insanely angry.
So what can we do?
Firstly, it’s fine and completely normal to feel this bloody awful. We’ve all had too much time to think and too long dealing with a loss of civil liberties and an undefined endpoint. These circumstances exacerbate stress.
Secondly, don’t attribute the bad feelings you have to, if you have it, the fetishes or urges around cross-dressing. What we are feeling is a mild but prevalent version of survivors guilt combined with previous deep-rooted guilt.
Thirdly, don’t do anything rash. We’re close to the end of this; I’ve found a lot of t-friends have talked about whether it’s time to hang up the heels, the ‘Covid has opened my eyes’ statement. This is just another facet of the old classic ‘binge and purge’ cycle we get. However you feel right now, it will get better. Remember that before this, when things were different, your perception was different. Having way too much time to think makes us all too introspective, and the situation we are in is not normal. In order to get through this we’ve all adjusted and the mind always thinks that this adjustment is permanent. It isn’t, life and opportunities will get better.
Fourth, remember you’re not alone. The reason for me to write this blogpost is to share the way I feel, and hopefully you’ll see something of yourself in these words; there are a lot of us, a lot more than you think, who have these kind of urges and these kind of problems right now. If you’re like me you feel lonely, isolated and very much alone. You’re not.
And if you can, think of the positives. When the Spanish Flu subsided after the first world war society bounced back and people were way more open to have fun; surviving a pandemic makes you realise how short life is and how now is the time to embrace it. We’re near the end of this, hopefully.
I’m going to write another blogpost tonight as a counter to this one, something a bit fun, tongue in cheek an definitely femm-tastic. But I needed to write this, if only to make myself feel a little better.
Stay beautiful, stay strong and remember that everyone is in this.