[Philosophy] French-Tips for Surviving Surviving

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.

Pictured – plus, you know, pretty clothes as well….

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.

Pictured – inner angst singing the blues….

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.

Pictured – yeah, I miss the feel of a tight faux-leather rocker dress. Unsurprisingly.

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.

Pictured – nothing to do with my state of unhappiness, just a gorgeous Chinese silk 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.

Pictured – right, time to write an archive-dip blogpost to cheer myself up….

6 thoughts on “[Philosophy] French-Tips for Surviving Surviving

  1. As always nice to read your thoughts but sad that you feel that way. Even those of us nonT and revelling in the not very interesting title of admirer feel bad. Like you still employed, have contact with the public every day and with a wonderful support bubble however I miss that smile from a lovely girl, that light touch on the arm from a hand with perfect nails meaning nothing or everything. Life will restart but I wish it would hurry up. Stay strong your pictures are helping me stay sane, Andrew 😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guilt and shame seem to be one of the uniting factors for the wider T community. I think it takes a lot for a person to be able to accept themselves and leave negative feelings behind. It is achievable, though. Talking to others, trying to leave the purge/relapse cycle behind for just pausing, and telling yourself it’s okay to be who you are. F*** society and conforming to a standard that doesn’t fit you and so many others.

    Here’s hoping that the ride out of lockdown goes well for you and there will be happier times soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, Sarah, your comments are spot on and your feelings of guilt and shame and “wow-what-a-first-world-problem-what-am-I-thinking” are common to so many of us.

    I think this whole pandemic thing has been a time of huge self-reflection and introspection for many many people, whether straight, gay, cis, trans, non-binary, just-a-little-bit-weird or any other combination.

    We have been SO lucky in this part of the world (Australia), with shorter and way-less-frequent lockdowns, but even so opportunities for our alter-egos to come out and play have been hugely limited.

    But those feelings of anger, sadness, depression, frustration, loss, etc are in part a reflection of being forced to suppress this side of us who wander along that gender-fluid spectrum.

    For me, being able to bring Marci out reasonably often in the past few months (once we got past our big lockdown just on a year ago) has made me realise what a huge contribution to my self-care she makes.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Stay safe, well and sane.

    Marci

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry, I meant to add, I hope Sarah can get back out very very soon, looking even more fabulous and gorgeous, so she can share more of her adventures with us. XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have very mixed feelings about the graduated relaxing of the restrictions. ☹️
    I want to be able to meet my friend’s again and visit Cindy and feel feminine but I’m also even now, wondering how to deal with those interactions and travelling through areas that may be *full* of people! And none of this is doing my mental state much good either. Is it wrong to admit that I’m more than a bit scared of it all? But also scarf that I may never get to visit London and see friends or be Rochelle? I have to say that as things go on, for me my imagination is running away with itself and that very scary prospect.
    I really hope that you are able to get to London and enjoy some time to yourself.
    Take care my dear friend.

    Fi-Fi
    XXXX

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so what I am sure we (Ts) feel so clearly, sorry you are troubled, hopefully we have all behaved, despite the temptations and yes there is this terrible balance of guilt to self-indulgence. To me it’s become a bit like a desperate last throw of the dice – would we ever meet our fellow T-travellers either in private or in public maybe at weekend gatherings or social events as we used too?
    If that seems unlikely it sets a thought running in my head saying I might as well get as much out of being fem at home,(I know many are unable), even though rules prevent one going out. At the same time I recognize that the “Hang up the Heels” is just below the surface. Start clearing the wardrobe, but then the adrenalin kicks in and I end up buying new dresses “just because there may be a do etc” – more of the Ts split personality showing itself?
    Then as others have said there is the extra fear of going out when we are able, even when the whole population is vaccinated.
    Sarah you are so on the money with this blog, because having avoided the defeatist attitude you have always given us superb pictures. It’s inevitable once one starts that the draw of a dress, stockings underwear make up etc will reel us in. Part of our slightly split personality eggs us on, – who wants to do housework, cook in a pretty apron without the dress and make up?
    We need to keep the mental release of being as perfect females as possible even if the looks are overshadowed by the our true voice.
    Thank you for expressing everything and the subsequent blog is so cheering ….xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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