12 October 2014

Behind the dark path

I've had several people comment or message me about yesterday's post. To all of you, thank you. I'd like to particularly thank the one person who actually offered to help me with hair and makeup.

I think that perhaps the only way to explain where I'm at is to explain where I'm at and why I'm so stuck.

My wife and I met in 1998, and married in 1999. She always came across as slightly distant or aloof, but claimed that it was a trait of her Gemini star sign.

After our son was born in 2003, her behaviour changed for the worse in subtle ways. I thought that she was suffering from post natal depression, and repeatedly urged her to seek treatment. She refused, apparently believing that she didn't have a problem.

Over the years, I've probably expressed concern about her apparent depression and suggested that she seek professional help at least every six months, because in spite of (or possibly because of) how badly I suffer with depression, I can see that her problem is far worse than mine.

Recently, a relative of my wife's had her son diagnosed as very mildly autistic. Upon learning that Autism Spectrum Disorders are genetic, and that it is common for the carrier parent to be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome shortly after their child is diagnosed Austistic, she began reading up on Asperger's and realised that while she has some traits in that general direction, the symptoms fitted my wife far better than they fitted her.

She sent me the link to this web page, which has a section titled "Issues for partners of people with Asperger syndrome or ASD". It accurately describes the behavioural changes that I saw in my wife after our son was born, that I had been interpreting for all these years as depression.

When I read an article about a book about Girls and women who have Asperger's Syndrome, I was distressed to realise just how well it fits my wife's behaviour.

So I tried to discuss the fact that she may have Asperger's or a similar disorder on the autism spectrum with my wife. She has basically refused to even get a referral to a psychologist because she doesn't want to be labelled.

One person I know has been telling me for years that I should separate from her, and I already know that in spite of how biased towards giving mothers custody the family services system is, because of her behaviour and her relationship with our son, I would get custody. Our son struggles with her behaviour, and is more relaxed when they are apart. Aside from not wanting to be seen with me when I am crossdressed, my son prefers to be with me rather than with his mother.

The problem is that I still love her, and I've always seen marriage as a lifetime commitment.

Over the years, I've tried to make small changes in my work and around the house to try to make it possible for me to cope, many of which I've mentioned here in various blog posts. With my wife's refusal to seek diagnosis, I've tried to work out how to make changes that will help all three of us, and failed miserably, to the point that I've come to realise that my son and I would most likely cope better without her unless things change soon.

So, faced with the choice between going against my core beliefs and separating, and continuing to try to get the family to function again, I've continued to try. The problem is that crossdressing is an important part of who I am, and it is something that I have to do occasionally. While I struggle to keep everything else together, having my plans consistently ruined at short notice has put me onto that dark path. Even just one successful outing would probably be enough for me to cope far better with everything else for a few weeks.

11 October 2014

heading inexorably down a dark path

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I don't know how long I can hang on by my fingertips. Today, I came to the sad realisation that my life as it is now is leading me inexorably down the dark path towards suicide. I'm not talking days or weeks, but I can't honestly say that I will still be around in 6 or 12 months time.

Fundamentally, I am struggling with depression, exacerbated by comfort eating and severe sleep deprivation. How badly I struggle varies from day to day. One of the consequences of my depression is an inability to concentrate on paperwork. Unfortunately, paperwork is very much the core of my work, and falling behind means that time that I should be spending doing other things becomes time spent, usually very unproductively, trying to catch up on that paperwork.

Add in the fact that so many people seem to have no concept of personal space and time, and insist on contacting me via every available mechanism at all times of day and night, seven days a week, and the interaction between my work, over eating, sleep deprivation and depression is a downward spiral that I struggle vainly to escape from.

Surprisingly, my work is not the source of my depression problem. It just exacerbates it. The root cause is a relationship problem that I cannot fix, and cannot escape. Worse, I've recently come to the realisation that even if I could fix or escape that problem, there's no point in doing so as I no longer believe that I can fix the other problems that have come about as a consequence of the relationship problem and the long term depression.

So, for example, rather than getting up early and going to Sydney to a free hair and makeup event at Beauty Heaven a few weeks ago, where I would have got to catch up with several friends who I haven't seen in years, I surrendered to my depression, slept in and stayed home. Reading about the event from some of those who did attend made me even more depressed, knowing what I had missed out on.

To try to overcome a growing feeling that I'm no longer able to go out en femme, I planned to go to my nail appointment last Wednesday en femme. After planning it for a fortnight including doing the usual preparations such as epilation, I was informed the night before that I was expected to go, in boy mode, to a 5pm information session for a selective high school that we might want to try to get our son into. The option of going to my nail appointment en femme was taken away from me, reinforcing the feeling that I'm no longer allowed to go out en femme.

So, for now, all I can do is continue to plan and attempt to go out, realising that every time I plan to go out and am prevented is another step down that dark path, but making the decision not to try would be a one-way trip right to the end.