I spent most of my life knowing that I was not quite aligned in body and mind. From an early age I used to dream and wish that little boys evolved into adulthood as women, and the little girls grew up to be men. It was a recurring thought that was with me in my early teenage years. As time progressed then these feelings and thoughts developed and became more real. Of course my dreams didn’t come true, not matter how I much I wished it – I still evolved and developed into a man, my features and my voice changing forever.
I started to express myself when I could in a feminine way, always in secret and always furtive and ashamed. No one could find out, no one was to know, no one would understand, who could I talk to? There was no awareness, I had no point of reference or internet to help me understand, I was alone in this, I felt I was the only one in the world who felt this way, and behaved in this manner.
Fast forwarding to my late 40s and after 25 years of marriage, I finally told my wife about how I felt, how I was struggling, and how I needed to express my feminine side. I still didn’t identify as transgender, that description was still alien to me, I was crossdressing in my mind, and cross-dreaming at night to live out my life in an alternate universe to get some sense of comfort in who I was, I was still trying to figure myself out.
My wife was understanding, she accepted this side of me, I was able to live this double life provided I kept it under control, provided it didn’t leak out in to the real world. I was able to live my feminine side by her permission, on the end of a lead and would be put back in my cage. I was allowed to explore my hobby, as if I was playing golf or going fishing. If I indulged too much then my lead was yanked and I was put back in my cage, my hobby was never a family priority, it was always borrowed time, when working from home, or when working away.
This lead around my neck was choking me, the bars of my cage were becoming unbearably restrictive, I was rapidly becoming more and more frustrated, expressing myself was becoming something that wouldn’t just go back in the cage, it wasn’t going to be repressed.
I couldn’t keep living by permission and on the end of a lead
I needed to find my Safari Park, I needed freedom to roam, freedom to express myself. I would be happy with boundaries, happy with fences, happy with a safe and secure place to live out my life. I could live with the necessary compromise for my marriage relationship and that my family required. I could do what was necessary, provided that I could experience freedom without the restrictions of a lead around my neck or a cage to be forced into when I was told to conform.
I had considered the wild freedom of the African plains, living alone, roaming and fending for myself, abandoning my family and relationships, and risking everything. I decided that the Safari Park was where I wanted to be. Freedom to exist, some defined barriers of compromise, but with the safety and security of a home, and the love of my family.
Someone once told me that with compromise no one is truly happy. I have found that by building on a relationship with some partnership parameters then the fences are far apart, there are large open spaces to exist, the compromise can become invisible and unrestricted, it becomes workable. We have all managed to visualise our family Safari Park, we can all work within the boundaries without discovering the fence and feeling like we are getting frustrated.
Ok, It’s not perfect, sometimes we bump our noses on the fence, sometimes we smell the freedom beyond, sometimes we all need to express our frustrations, but we work on our goals to keep our lives together. We talk and communicate, we laugh and we enjoy each others company.
Our Safari Park works for us…