So! I got bit on the neck by a spider the other day, and it got me thinking. This is not the first time this has happened. I seem to be getting one or two every 6 months or so. I think I got one in the previous 44 years of my life. I have lived the last 5 and 1/2 years in the basement of our house, because I don't have any of the "power" as it has been put, in our marriage. Getting to this point, where you hear the spider sounds, in a marriage is a long and slippery slope.
My wife and I met in Mansfield, Ohio in 1986. She had just come home from her 18 month LDS Mission to Southern Arizona. I had moved to Mansfield, from Bellingham, Washington in 1984, to marry my pen pal of 7 years, whom I had fallen in love with. I was 21, full of myself, and been rejected by my girlfriend of 18 months, whom I was engaged to (although the thing she loved the best about me was that I loved to wear women's clothes...she loved dressing me up, and it turned her on very much. We would often go out as a couple with me en-femme as Sally). I should have just told her, who I knew I was, a woman, for real, not just temporarily en-femme. So she spurned me, and I turned to my pen-pals. This was in a day when there really were no computers for regular people. WWU had a computer The Inter-Data 360-50, a humungouss behemoth that was as large as half a gymnasium, and with as much or lesser capacity than today's cell phone. Needless to say, computers never impressed me to the least (until now). So, I had been writing to dozens of pen-pals, all girls since I was 10 years old. At one point I had nearly 50 of them. Over the years, I got very close to 2 of them. One in Sylmar, California, and one in Mansfield , Ohio. I was writing both of them, every day, from 20-100 pages each letter. It took considerable time, but I did not date, neither did I play video games. I played Ice Hockey and worked at K-Mart and Burger King, and had pen pals. When I say every day, I literally mean every day. The mail usually took 4 days, sometimes 3, so there was always a delay. If one of us missed a day, we'd call to find out what's wrong. The letter carrier was my best friend. These were love letters, and gifts, oh were there gifts, of which my dad helped facilitate. He favored the brunette in Sylmar, whom I loved very much, but she started dating and found a boyfriend. My dad still wanted me to head down I-5 and show her I was better. I chose the safety of the one in Ohio, the blonde.
Turns out, my dad was right, I regret moving to Ohio, and should have chosen California. The first indication of trouble was when she picked me up at Cleveland Hopkins Airport and there was a little boy with her. I asked her who it was, and she replied,"this is my boyfriends little brother"...wt...?? You never wrote about having a boyfriend. She was writing me love letters and sealed them all with her lipstick kiss! But I was bound and determined to stay anyway. I had just one suitcase to my name. I was also inactive in the Church, and had been for the last 3 years since 1980. She took me to my Church that first Sunday, and I told several people, including the Bishop, that I had moved here, and needed a ride to Church.
I never heard back from anyone from the Church, and I was moved from my motel room to a small apartment behind a store called "Odd Lots". How appropriate, knowing how odd I am. I got visits from my pen-pal's father that were not only odd, but weird, and perverted. He actually came by and showed me (tried to, I refused to watch) porn. He would grab himself, and tell me in his thick German accent, "I want you to get a hard one! I want you to get a hard one so you can F___ my daughter!" WTH? I was mortified, stunned and amazed. This was just too dang weird. He kept saying he wanted me to have sex with his daughter, so she would fall in love with me instead of her boyfriend, but he used the "f" word. I never took his advice. I moved on with my life there, getting a job at a place called, Mom's. I made another girl friend who also worked at Mom's, but she broke up with me after a year, for not getting into bed with her.
After living in Ohio for over a year, I got a knock on my door, and it was my assigned Hometeacher! My Hometeacher was at my door, I had not been to Church in nearly 4 years, once in the past year here in Ohio. This was a surprise. He asked if he could come in. I said sure, because I had nothing against the Church, it just was no longer a habit to go to Church. He asked me if he could take me to Church, I said absolutely. He had been given my name in his new list of assigned members, and tracked me down, having to go to the post office to find change of address cards. I had moved 3 times since attending that first Sunday. I was so amazed that someone would go to all the effort to track me down, find me, and take me to Church, and be my friend. He re-activated me, and I have 95% attendance since (27 years). I also received a testimony of Hometeaching, and have at least a 95% rate of meeting with all my families for the past 27 years.
The Mansfield Ward liked me, they wanted to marry me off, so they gave me the calling of Young Singles Group Leader. My first assignment was to plan the homecoming of a certain young woman missionary. So, we had a couple VHS movies, junk food, popcorn, ice cream, and board games. We made it a long night. She was a reserved and kind young lady. I later found out that her impression of me was that I was "Obnoxious, loud, and a know-it-all". That's not me. (but I didn't know I was interviewing for the job of husband).
Over the course of the following 18 months we got to be friends, and then close friends. We went to all the regional young singles dances in Columbus and Akron. I would dance half the dances with her, and half with as many other girls as I could get the courage to ask. I set up dates with many of them, going to concerts, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Moody Blues, Yes, Pretenders, Devo, B-52's, just as I had done for a good 8 years now.None of them came to anything. This return missionary was my stalwart, my best friend, and I didn't even know it. We went everywhere, on day trips, all over Ohio. We always held hands, I didn't know the significance of that. I just thought it was something fun to do. I had no romantic feelings for her, and my life in Ohio was coming to a close. She was from the Akron area, but she came home to Mansfield because she was a nanny for a family before and after her mission. I took my roommate with me to her place, and she gave us a big basket of prepared meals for our cross country road trip. We said our goodbyes, and told each other we wanted to attend Ricks College sometime in the future. I last set foot in Ohio in her arms, and then she was gone.
I took the most fantastical road trip, taking the whole month of September criss-crossing the country in separate cars, he in his green Opal (from Germany), and me in my Gold 75 Plymouth Valiant, 225, slat 6, having only 20,000 miles on it. We finally arrived at my folks in Bellingham, October 1, 1987. My friend lived with us for a year, while he commuted to Renton, Washington, 90 minutes away, working at Boeing. I began work on a Natural Gas Pipeline, to save money for school.
That year went by super fast, but I enjoyed the opportunity to get super close to my little sisters and my Mom. We took trips all over the Northwest. I had excess money, and my Mom never had a car and couldn't drive. It was so rewarding to have her experience things she never otherwise would have had the chance. I was the prodigal son, returning home, and leading by example. I reactivated my whole family in the Church, my Mom had never gone inactive. My folks got themselves Temple worthy for the first time, and we went to the Seattle Temple, and got sealed together forever as a family. I interviewed for attending Ricks College, my life was exiting and I had so much love and wonderment for the undiscovered county. My Bishop told me I was A-O.K for School, but that my Farrah Fawcett long blonde curly hair has got to go. Keep in mind, I am going through severe dysphoria all this time. I accumulated huge women's wardrobes in Ohio, and now again in Bellingham. How I was reconciling all this with what I was doing is difficult to relate, because it is difficult for me to even understand. I just always prayed that God would make the changes for me, that somehow I would just wake up one day, and I would be my true self with complete Harmony, Continuity, and congruity of mind-body-heart-spirit-soul. That I would be a girl. Either that would happen or I would just grow out of it. Get married, be a father, and I wouldn't any longer feel a need for my truth to shine forth, that I could live this lie through the eternities. I just didn't know that this was the most guileful and delusional mind contortion in existence.
On my way to Rexburg, Idaho, I didn't tell anyone I was going to spend a week in Corvallis, visiting my best friend. I really wanted to do some backpacking in the Oregon Cascades, and Coast Range, before School. While driving to the trailhead, we ran into a patch of dense fog, right at the point for our turn off the mountain highway. He turned left, so slowly, the car hitting us lasted forever in my mind. I was a passenger in a 1969 Super Beatle Bug, with the windshield right in front of your face. I had no seatbelt. BANG-CRASH! So fast yet so slow. I was thrown with such velocity, the oncoming car, without headlight on, smashed 18 inches behind my seat at over 60mph, that I went clean-through the windshield and onto the pavement. I stood up, felt my head, which had become a fountain, and said,"Oh no, I'm ruining my shirt!" So I unbuttoned it, took it off, and put on a t-shirt, then sat down. An ambulance that just happened to be driving over the pass, attended to us, not 2 minuted after the accident. That chance may have saved my life. No one understood how I survived the crash. My friend fainted after seeing my skull exposed. So all this is gravy since August 15, 1988.
Jump to August 25, 1988, my first day in Rexburg, Idaho, where the campus of Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) is. It was the Centennial Celebration Year. Yellowstone Park was on fire, and they were looking for volunteers. I signed up, and the first day was the next day, so I went to the campus computers and what do you think the first thing I did was? That's right, I looked up that return missionary friend of mine. Sure enough, there she was. I wrote the address down and went right over there. There was lots of commotion, and coming and going at this young women's dorm apartment complex. Someone asked what I wanted, I told them the name of the person I was looking for, and she said she wasn't sure, she had just moved in. She invited me in to check out the rooms to see if I recognized anything. I said, okay. What was I thinking. Could I actually have any chance whatsoever at discerning what her stuff looked like? But there I was, with permission shuffling through girls things looking for who know what. After about 15 minutes of futility, a young woman tapped my shoulder and said, "I know (such and such). She was here for summer term, and has moved with her friend to Salinas, California. I was disappointed, but knew I would see her again, because I love traveling and road trips, and my Valiant only had 40,000 miles on it now.
The day was still young, so I took my roommate, whom I had just met, he was dressed only in a tee, shorts and flip flops, and we went for a drive. He thought we were going to drive around town to discover what was here. That was never my intention, and he complained the whole while we made it across the Snake River Plains. I was going to visit Craters of the Moon National Monument, where the astronauts trained for the first moon landings, because it most resembled the terrain, hence the name. We made it to a small town named Arco, and is the first Atomic powered city in the World. It is on the edge of Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), a Nuclear research facility. The monument is about 20 miles past Arco, so we stopped for gas at the Phillips 66 station on the left. We could have stayed on the right and gone to the Conoco station, but I didn't. I pumped my gas, and went inside for a mug refill. In those days we were all pop addicted, at a penny an ounce! We had 44 ounce refill mugs, and every station or store honored them without question. So, I hear this voice, "Bob, is that you?" from behind me. I turned around, and guess who? There she was, my return missionary! Calling to me, recognizing the back of my Willy Mays, San Francisco Giants baseball uniform. Yes, Oh Baby Yes...it most certainly was me. She hurried inside, she was at the window paying for gas from outside. She wanted to shake my hand, but I gave her the biggest hug I could. I had just been told I missed you and that you moved to Salinas, California. This was such a nice gift. My roommate was still complaining. I walked her to the car she came in. The guy was still sitting in the drivers seat. I asked her out to the Campus dance that night, and she wavered saying, "I have a boyfriend". The guy sitting in the car remarked,"oh no, you shouldn't go with him, go with this guy." Thanks bubba! You're a twit for making her pump the gas and pay, but you're a life saver to me. This guy actually changed my life. Had she not agreed to go to the dance with me, I would have married someone else. I already had one date set up, it was 2 to 1 girls.
I continued driving to the National Monument and paid the $2 entrance fee, the joker that was driving my RM around was too cheap to pay. Had he not been a cheapscate I again, would have missed her. So she got driven straight east back to the Campus 100 miles away. I went hiking on the Lava Buttes, and Ice Caves. My roommate had one heck of a time in his flip flops on those lava rocks. Having my fill of that we drove back to Rexburg and got ready for the dance. I took her to the dance, and saw her every day. Not in any of our classes, had we not met in Arco, we may never have met, since I no longer would have been looking for her. I had a backpacking class, and our big trip was 4 days in Yellowstone National Park, in mid October. We had been seeing each other for 7 weeks, and this time I caught on what holding hands really means...we were in love! And it was mutual. On that backpacking trip I had so much on my mind. I prayed intensely and earnestly for Heavenly father to give me an answer as to weather or not I should marry her. Over and over the answer was a resounding, YES!
We arrived back in town on October 17, 1988. I immediately took her to the Idaho Falls Temple, where we went for a walk around the grounds. I found an appropriate spot and got down on Both knees and proposed marriage to this Beautiful Young Woman, whom I was prepared to share the eternities with. She came back right away, with a resounding, YES! The date was set for 2 months later, December 17, at the Idaho Falls Temple. It was a whirlwind romance, and it was intense. We continued taking day trips and falling deeper in love. She was my everything. I remember on a hike east of Afton, ID into the Wyoming border, on a hike, it was before my Yellowstone hike. We had stopped at the top of a beautiful flowering meadow, like a scene from the Sound Of Music. We turned to each other and kissed. It was the most wonderful feeling I have ever had. It was at that moment she went from being me friend, to being my girlfriend. And now she was my fiance. I was the luckiest girl in the World, if I could just keep on pretending. She sees my silky pink blouse and my painted toes, my girly watch, what does she think?
On December 17, 1988, we got married, and were sealed for all time and eternity at the Idaho Falls Temple. On the drive to our first nights stay in Southern Utah, I told her I was a cross-dresser, and that I liked to wear women's clothing, and women's underwear full time. She was puzzled at first, but she said it was okay. Not another word about it was ever uttered, until 5 years later, when commenting on my 15 rough-tote plastic crates containing my wardrobe, she said it was disgusting. We continued our wirlwind honeymoon to Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, California Coast Highway, San Francisco, a reception with my family in Bellingham (neither of our families could be at our wedding)in our wedding clothes. We then went back to Rexburg and unloaded all our gifts, and drove to Akron, Ohio for a reception with her family in our wedding clothes (we had three weddings), meeting them for the first time.
We were again visiting her family during our Christmas break, the following year. She was pregnant with our first, and hadn't been to any lamaz classes or anything. Christmas night her water broke, but she didn't know what that was, she just thought she peed herself, as I was in the bathroom, and she was mad at me for taking to long. She thought she peed going up the stairs. We were all stuffed and tired. She woke me up at 1 am saying, "I think we're going to have the baby tonight", I replied,"no you're not, your not due for 3 months, besides, there's a blizzard out, and our car heater stopped working". Again, at 2 am she woke me up saying, we're going to have the baby tonight." I got up and said "okay, lets do this". I called her sister to come and get us, and she came over saying "you're ruining my vacation", words that I thankfully never heard again until Hurricane Katrina, and we had an uncaring occupier of the White House. Our firstborn daughter was born December 17, 1989, nearly 3 months early. She had to go into an isolet, she was so small. School started back up on January 4, and come mid January I was getting nervous about missing so much class. I left my wife and daughter behind, with the sure knowledge they would both be okay. I went full time en-femme from the moment I left Akron, and for the month I was alone at school. I attended classes with male clothing worn over my pretty things. It was dead winter, so no one could tell. It was quite a relief to be able to be my true self uninhibited for so long. It was the only way I could cope with being without my family. My dad purchased them a plane ticket in mid February, and they returned home.
And so we were three. We continued doing everything we had done before. Backpacking, hiking, camping, sightseeing, dances, concerts and the like. Her Mom came to live with us, so she could continue to go to school. We continued in blissful happiness and contentment, graduating in June, 1990. I was in ROTC, so I drove the family to stay with her mom in Akron, while I went to Ft. Knox, Camp Challenge. Graduating from that, we went to my transfer school, Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon. The next year we were pregnant again, and my Mom came to live with us to help out. Our second daughter came right on time, well maybe 1 week early. Things were progressing beautifully. We were truly happy. I was a rising star in Oregon Politics, my studies were coming along fine, and I had great positions in the State Legislature in Salem, with the Governor. There was no limit to the possibilities. Then, my whole world collapsed.
I got a call from my parents' Bishop, who informed me my sister had been shot. Which totally misdirected me into thinking someone tried to murder her. He then said she was found in her room. I asked him, was it a driveby, is there a bullet hole in the window. I could not comprehend this. He then said, no, she did this to herself. I became hysterical and denied that she could ever commit suicide. I asked him was it (sister B)? He said, No, it was (sister A). This was hell on Earth for me, this just can't be happening. I've spoken about this on previous posts, so I wont dwell on this too much here. Suffice to say, My life was changed forever as my favorite sister was dead from bullicide, a sister that was more like Mother/Daughter, than a sibling relationship. I was a dysphoric person already, now throw this into the equation, and go years without therapy or treatment, and your life is going to spiral into a hellish situation like I have now.
You lose all sense of time. It's been 20 tears since that nightmare phone call. Thaose 20 years have basically gone by in vain. I was deeply depressed. We got conned out of over $100,000 which was our life up to that point. The Church offered me nothing, My In-Laws not only abandon me, they ostracized me. The last 20 years have been little more than a cruel joke. I have no power in our marriage, which is basically only on paper. Read my other posts, and you'll discover how we lost our intimacy and we never got it back. We never even sit close at Sacrament. Our girls are always between us. When they are not there, the gaping space is extremely uncomfortable. We don't share food or meals, and I dwell here in our basement as I have for the last 5 and 1/2 years.
I still love and adore my wife. I have never looked upon another woman with ever the slightest bit of improper feelings. I have always been faithful, and have honored our Temple Covenants, as I take them seriously. But my situation is untenable. This situation cannot be abided for much longer. I can only take so many more spider bites, so many more sore throats and bronchial infections from mold and dampness, down in this dark, dank depressing basement. My "girl-cave" is very pretty, and very uplifting, happy, and energetic. I have enjoyed living virtually full-time en-femme down here. They never come down to disturb me. I have free reign down here and they want me to have free reign. My middle daughter puts the TV on pause every time I come upstairs, like I am putting her life on pause, like I'm an intruder.
I came out to my oldest sister, finally, last night. She told me that she loved me, and she accepts me, and that she only wants me to be happy. She said we don't have a marriage anymore, and haven't had one for 16 years (the length of banishment from the bedroom). She says I need to recognize her cruelty for what it is. I need to start a new life. This, all my siblings have been saying for 14-15 years. Why have I not listened to them. I've wasted so much of both our lives. I lover her way too much to waste much more.
I hear spider sounds in my deafening silence, loneliness, and dysphoria. The sounds of spiders coming to bite me. No, I am not crazy, for I have awakened for the first time in two decades. I am perfectly sane, and these spider sounds are going to save my life. So thank you spider that bit me three days ago, thank you for this bump on my neck....you have awakened a sleeping Giant...a Giant who is a wonderful person, a beautiful GIRL....and to you spider, I'm the only girl in the world. So go on with your sounds and your webs and your waiting, I hear ya baby, and I'm transcending this situation before you bite me again!
Life is good, life is great! Things are getting better every day.
For my Sisters and Brother,