I’ll let you into a secret. I have a work in my drafts folder that talks about some secrets. It’s been there many months and it’s a perfect piece for this prompt. But you’re not going to see it until I’m ready or it eventually passes its sell by date 😜 It’s actually been touch and go as to whether I would brace myself and release it, which is a quite surprising indication of how far I’ve come over the years. It’s a secret that not a single soul has ever heard. And it will stay that way for the time being.
Which begs the question; what secrets am I writing about here ?
Regular readers will understand that since childhood I’ve had to compartmentalise aspects of me in such a way as to ensure that there was zero leakage between these facades presented to the world.
There’s a compartmentalisation that virtually every child manages to implement. The one that presents a sanitised facade to authority figures such as parents and teachers. There’s nothing inherently sinister in this, it’s the child learning about privacy and avoiding disapproval from authority figures. It reaches its apotheosis in the grumpy teenage years epitomised by “How was your day at school ?” … “fine”. That grunted one syllable response can hide both the best and worst days the teenager has had at school.
Those of us brought up in a different era would never let on we’d been in trouble at school. It would only earn extra punishment from parents, potentially painful physical punishment – extra incentive to learn to keep secrets; learning to dissemble in a way that’s not an outright lie. As a child we learn to keep stuff that can hurt or embarrass us a secret. One such being that any expression of non-maleness; an absolute taboo.
Some of my earliest memories are of me visualising and wanting to be in the female role. This was a secret that could never be revealed. The tight locks on this secret becoming stronger over the years.
There was a BBC documentary in 1979 called A Change of Sex. All the reactions I heard around me at school varied from disparaging to aggressive hatred. The subject matter fascinated me, despite the protagonist not being endearing. There was no way I could face those kind of reactions from everyone around me, so yet another padlock placed on the box containing that secret.
It’s eerie now to consider just how rigidly all my boxes were policed when there was no available outlet for any expression whatsoever of what is an innate component inside me. What’s left ? Work as a displacement activity.
A secret of that nature, unable to be shared, means isolation. Because to express it means being disowned, even persecuted.
And then – gradually some of the locks have been undone. The terrifying process of being discovered, revealed and left emotionally naked in front of another person. Learning how to share that which could destroy you. Experiencing the evolution of the power that such a secret has.
My former mistress was the first to really understand. From the place we first made contact she knew I cross-dressed. Yet she instinctively knew from the very beginning that it wasn’t roleplay, when I still assumed it was. She peered inside and with x-ray vision immediately knew the contents of that locked box. When I talk to her now she’s even more vehement that all she saw was female and always thought of me and treated me as such.
I used to think she was just playing, but I think of the times in front of other people, especially her mother that she’d catch herself in conversation from referring to me in feminine pronouns. She did the same in front of her kids, they’re grown up now and don’t care that she’ll refer to me as ‘she’ and ‘melody’.
And that’s often the problem with sharing secrets. How much do you trust another person with it ? How much do you trust those that that person shares it with ? When does it go out of control and every fear is at the mercy of complete strangers ?
You could say that she started the process of reducing the power of the hold that particular secret had on me. My current domme picked up the baton, another one able to use x-ray vision and see the female almost immediately and know it wasn’t roleplay. She held up a mirror such that I had to face down the fears attached to that secret and finally start to understand it and take away its power.
That secret still has some power, though much reduced. The secret me is no secret here. Apart from the odd twinge of terror in hitting the publish button there’s been very little negative experience in writing this blog. The social circle in which I’m only considered as melody is slightly larger than it was. And this year I faced up to the biggest fear of sharing when I came out as transgendered to my father.
The fear of sharing that secret me is much diminished. I feel it’s now more akin to the phase the US Army went through regarding being a (illegally) gay soldier – “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I’d rather not have the hassle of being exposed in the last compartmental bastion of the work environment but recognise that there’s virtually none of the destructive consequences that would have been present only a few years ago. Indeed, it would be a surprise given my work attire that no one has sussed. But then, the office is almost entirely male and gradual changes are rarely noticed by males.
I kind of have a vision that the secret and its power finally die when I give my leaving speech in dress and heels.