When I started getting involved here, I almost never wrote down anything vis-a-vis my feelings and the like. I have found writing to be a satisfying experience in general. Also, I have found that while spoken words are fleeting, the printed word lives on, often to come back and haunt you.
I have read everything posted and emailed to me since yesterday and can not express enough my gratitude to everyone who took the time to respond. While the intent of my somewhat manic post was more to vent than anything else, I none the less appreciate the support everyone has given.
As to being haunted, I went back and re-read my post several times and feel that I may have come off a bit whacked. Lest anyone fear, I'm not going to run off and do something rash. I'm far to analytical (sometimes to a fault) to do that. I have lived with myself for this long, a while longer won't kill me (no pun intended!)
I am not usually given to emotional rambling, but that's what came out yesterday. It doesn't mean that's not how I feel, just that it could have been spun better. Suffice to say that I feel that I've experienced a moment of lucidity unlike any other in the past. So much of my life's experiences clicked into place all at once and it was overwhelming.
In a nutshell, I feel that I have been less that honest with myself as to who I really am. Am I 'trapped' in a body of the wrong anatomical configuration? I don't know. It all comes back to this ambiguous notion of gender. Ask me my sex and I answer 'male' (no real option on this one). Ask me my gender (or more appropriately the gender with which I identify most) and my answer is 'female'. Perhaps part of this is due to the fact that I don't consider my 'maleness' as anything of paramount importance to me. It hasn't played any major role in the interests I've had over the years.
It's difficult to describe this feeling; kind of like trying to describe the color blue or something. At any given point in time, if there were a 'gender pulse' one could check, mine would come up female. It makes no difference what I'm doing at the time, nothing I do ever 'feels' more male than female. This goes back to the whole idea that CDing is a state of mind for me. I now ask myself, how is CDing a state of mind? CDing is a manifestation of a state of mind, not the state itself. My desire to dress comes and goes. Sometimes its stronger than others, sometimes I don't feel feel much urge at all. Maybe this is because I am, to some extent, 'dressed' every day (I'm updating my bio regarding this.) Regardless of this, my sense of self stays firmly to one side.
My immediate difficulty is the resolution of the conflict this produces with my life as it now. While not mutually exclusive, my Self, and the self that has been married for ten years now are now somewhat at odds; both with different wants. The married self has a wife, kids and overall not too shabby life. The other Self has these too, but lacks one crucial thing, happiness. A friend of mine said "You can't make others happy until you yourself are happy." I've been trying to do just the opposite; if I can make those around me happy, I'll be happy. Well, it just ain't doin' the trick.
So, I can either say "Screw it!" and do what I'd like, or find some middle ground.
As tempting as the former is, it's not my style. I love my wife and kids too much to be that callous. That leaves the latter. I feel that the road to this middle ground will be a long and difficult one to traverse. I don't even know what I'd like this middle ground to be at the moment, I need to figure out just what this should be.
This is already longer than I wanted (sometime I whine too much!) so once again, thanks for listening.
Donna (a bit worse for wear, but reasonably intact)