Well where do we start? With the Victorian father who was an out and out bully? With the time spent in childrens homes or with the closeness of a mothers love?
All of them are there but I prefer to look at the girl in me as a result of all this. A brief example of some of my experiences:
An 11 year old very confused boy who would play games of dressing up with his sister, feeling the sexual arousal of the feminine garments about me. Being found out by the elder sister (they were her clothes) and then going further into the closet. What a common answer this is to our situation.
The clothes in those days (the 1950s) were what I consider still to be the most feminine of clothse. I loved them then and still do. The stockings, the bra, the slip and those fabulous skirts! I was the kind of boy who had friends, who played boy games and enjoyed them (I still do) but at the end of the day found solitude, pleasure and excitement dressed as the beautiful princess waiting for her knight to rescue her from the dungeon of her life.
Unfortunately I still wait, my cries go unanswered. If he does not have a horse, a car would do or maybe I can sit on the handlebars of his bike (I wont be singing Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head – I cannot sing to save my life). But the dungeon is cold and bare. Where for art thou Romeo?
I remember getting to 15 and 16 and waiting for everyone to leave the house, claiming pressure of homework for not going with them, but as soon as they left transporting myself to that tower (attic which was my bedroom) in the castle. Mother would have bagged her and my sisters ‘out of season’ clothes and left them there.
I would rummage through them – my favourite being this delightful silk Chinese style dress. It had this pretty floral pattern and was knee length. I was so angry when mother got rid of it and I might add Stephanie I never saw one in any of your shops. I have loved asian (Indian and Chinese especially) clothes ever since.
I get to 30 and I’m still in that closet.
One day I have to go to London on business. I call in at the shop, have a swift look round and I run for it. What am I doing, perhaps a beer will help? It doesn’t, I stay at the bar. I have just come through a spell of drinking to get through life and it does not help the problem – there is still the next day.
The next time I go to London I call again and now start to talk to the girls there. Aren’t they sweet? I am enticed to try it and I flatly refuse to be beaten. The coffee, the look through the book, the decision, the climb up the stairs and here I am dressed up to the nines talking to women like me about normal everyday things. The only thing missing was that knight in shining armour.
I used to go back there often and those four hours take the pressure off, I can relax and be myself. I come out a new refreshed person ready for the new day.
One day I have to go to Newcastle and decide to visit the shop there. Horrors – around the corner is a womens boutique also with Transformations in the title and yes I go in and ask for my transformation. I am not sure who was more horrified. I never saw that shop again – perhaps they changed the name! I dont know. But here was the difference: I left, laughed and went on to the right place and had a ball with the girls.
This is me getting it off my chest. I now live abroad and I have gone back into my closet and at times get very frustrated. Shall I tell you about the time I walked out dressed and got caught by the next door neighbour? Or about the video camera I use to check my walk, my presentation, and to remind me of the good times. Perhaps, but that had better be saved for the next time…
All my love, Helen (New Zealand)