Sunday, 30 December 2012

A to Z: Confidence

This was delayed somewhat by Christmas, but also a copy paste, auto save failure which ended up deleting my draft, so this is actually the second version of this post but there we go.
For the letter C, I'm going to be talking about confidence.

In general I'm not a wonderfully confident person, and that's without the crossdressing muddying the water as it were. I'm not entirely sure where my general lack of self confidence comes from, school teachers thought it had something to do with being dyslexic but I'm not really convinced by that. I quietly suspect it's linked in to my crossdressing and general identity issues in a fun cycle.

Leaving the house dressed up is rather intimidating, and frankly that's kinda unsurprising; there are several things to be intimidated by when doing so. Mostly I worry that someone is going to causes a scene; for instance being bared from entering a bar or club of some description because of what I'm wearing, or being "found out" and someone being disgusted by me.

The threat of physical attack is always present leaving the house, however I assess and consider each time, and if I think that's it's even remotely likely anything like that will happen I won't dress up. There is a bit of fear regarding transport while dressed up. I don't mean going for a long train journey and the like; but the getting from my house to the place I'm going that night. Taxi's tend to be good, if expensive, busses are concerning  due to proximity with the general public, and walking has the issue of both heels, and the general public.
Dressing up at home however should not be intimidating at all. There tends to be no one but Izzy around and I'm not likely to invite anyone who is going to cause an issue to my house if I intend to dress up.  Even if I'm on my own I find it hard to dress up, part of it is effort, part of it is feeling uncomfortable (physically) dressed up and a big part of it seems to be the intimidation of being found / walking into the room.

As much as the cliché of being found by the wife wearing her clothes is inaccurate (both in my case and in general, at least from my experience) I still get massively embarrassed when being "found out", which is one of the reasons I don't really like dressing up alone, unless I know I'm going to be reliably alone for a decent amount of time (for example if Izzy is away or similar). I know that Izzy won't care, and in fact will be supportive and likely say nice things, which almost worries me more.

It's the same issue I have when entering a room full of people when dressed up (at a party for example). As said before I avoid situations where I fear anything happening, and thus people tend to respond in a positive, if surprised manner (likely because I don't announce my intentions, I tend to just kind of disappear then reappear later), generally complementing my appearance and choice of outfit. All this leads me to become extremely embarrassed.
Don't get me wrong being complemented is lovely and does make me feel more confident (seriously, who doesn't like receiving compliments about things they are self concious about), the issue is that the response is normally at complete odds to how I'm feeling, matched with the embarrassment immediately makes me think that they must just be being kind, making more of it than they really feel, or even flat out lying. I'm not implying that my friends are dishonest, or malicious; in fact I know they're not. However the juxtaposition with how I'm feeling is difficult to deal with, and  hence it makes me not want to dress up. Which is stupid. 

Another big source of worry is that I feel that the number of events I get to dress up at is steadily decreeing, and I'm getting older. I worry that I'm missing out on that part of my life because I can't encourage myself into dressing up for things. I've said before that I wanted to get married in a dress and how that didn't happen, and that kind of sums up my feeling behind it. It's another event, another chance I've missed that will never come back. I worry about feeling bad because I've gone dressed up, and feeling bad because I haven't, and then worrying about if I made people uncomfortable, or regretting that I didn't dress up. All of which is kind of stupid because I should be confident enough to dress up if I want to, or not if I don't instead of spending my time constantly worrying about every little aspect of it.
Some people have said they think I'm brave by dressing up (more out of the house than otherwise); again it's a compliment so I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, however I'm not sure if I agree. I'd say it takes a decent amount of self confidence and determination, but I think of it as brave as wanting to wear a particularly low cut dress, or ... not sure there is a male equivalent really. The only issue I see in mens clothing is if judging if you are under, or over dressed; In both cases it leads to a kind of mild embarrassment. I'd much rather think that it's not so much being brave, as much as it's just being myself ... or at least some kind of version of myself, which should be enough in of itself really.