I don't remember ever being punished like that again and over time, it seemed forgotten. The effects remained though as I developed a severe inferiority complex. I stayed scared of almost everything and felt distrust when around people both children an adults alike. I always felt something was wrong with me because I couldn't seem to fit in.
That I was somehow different and lesser than everyone else. I was very shy around girls and fearful around boys. Being shorter than most boys my age didn't help matters either as I was often picked on and called sissy names, crying at the least ridicule. I despised how hateful boys were and of having to be labeled as one. I felt my persona was more like a girls because I felt more natural being passive and couldn't be aggressive like other boys.
I would often daydream of magically being turned into a
girl but could say nothing. It was the early fifties now and all the girls wore dresses to school. I became obsessed at how colorful and varied they were, so carefully detailed with such delicate trim. With the way the skirts would sway gracefully as they walked. I couldn't understand why girls were allowed to dress so pretty while boys had to wear dark, plain looking clothes.
On weekend visits to my mother's, I would ask her all kinds of gender questions about why boys and girls acted so differently. She said it was part of God's plan because we each have a different purpose in life and also to compliment each others needs. But when we'd watch a movie on TV, and a guy cheated on his wife, my mom would say what a bum he was.
However, when a woman cheated on her husband, she'd say what a bum he was for driving her to it.
Men were always the bad one and it had strong effects on how I felt about being a male. Women were always the victim and men were the evil ones. I grew to adore women and put them high on a pedestal. I vowed I would never be like other men. Sometimes, when she'd take me to the store and I saw a girl in a pretty dress, I would comment about how pretty it was.
She said she also loved how they looked and had wished for a little girl so she could have dressed her up like that. I must have shown some hurt at hearing that because she quickly said that it didn't mean she didn't love me as I was still her flesh and blood. Still, the damage was done and I felt I was a disappointment to her and so I didn't ask anymore questions.
Little by little, I grew more unhappy with my role as a boy. Being mostly on the side lines, I often studied how boys and girls differed. I watched as the boys were always fighting, always trying to prove something while girls seemed to be more sensitive and supportive to each others feelings. To me, girls seemed the chosen sex, being protected, adored and adorned. I grew more jealous of them with each passing day and more unhappy with myself.
I started wondering what it would feel like to have been a real girl but knew I could never find out. By the time I turned nine, I was so mixed up and confused about who I was and why I felt so different than other boys. Around the boys meant being made fun of and called a sissy or cry baby and when around girls, they acted like I was invading their sacred turf. I felt I didn't belong anywhere and grew ever more lonely and isolated.
Then one day, back at the boarding house, I saw the mother put one of her daughter's dresses away in a back room just off the parlor. It was a green plaid with a white bib and puffy sleeves. The sleeves were trimmed in white lace and the very full skirt had a sash that tied in the back. I watched attentively as she closed the drawer and went about her business. Images of the dress haunted me the rest of the day no matter how hard I tried not to think about it.
By bedtime, I was so obsessed with it, I couldn't sleep. My heart started to pound as I toyed with the idea of sneaking down and trying it on. I fought to stay awake, waiting until everyone was sound asleep. When I thought all was safe I quietly slipped out of bed and tip toed down the hall. I felt myself shaking from anticipation as I slowly descended the stairs, stopping with pounding heart whenever one occasionally squeaked under foot. I gave a sigh of relief when I reached the bottom and darted across the room in quest of my dream.
As I entered the back room, I was pleased to see the street light shinning through the window. Though it gave a haunting feeling to the room, it made my search easier as I quickly opened the dresser. I was so nervous as I rummaged through the layers of fabric for my prize. Finding it, I pulled it up to the light, my heart stopping for just a second as I felt my whole body tighten with anticipation.
Removing my T-shirt, I frantically struggled with the full skirt, trying to spread it over my head, feeling jubilance and yet fearful knowing I was doing something wrong. Then as the dress slipped down over my body, something truly magical happened. It was as if the dress not only fit me but I fit the dress. A calm swept over me no words could ever describe. I just stood there, drenching in the moment as though God had come down and made my whole world change into something wonderful.
I had to force myself to return to my task as I reached around and tried to tie the sash behind me. I felt intoxicated and delighted as I looked down at the fabric radiating from my waist. I spun around, watching the skirt rise and spread further from my waist with fascination having never experienced it before. I remember sliding my hands down the pleats of the skirt, trying to store the memory of how wonderful it felt and of how pretty it made me feel.
My dream came to a sudden end, like so much angel dust, as I heard a loud click and the room flooded with blinding light. Frightened, I turned towards the door only to see my worst fear. There stood the woman, looking down at me with anger in her eyes. "What do you think you're doing in that dress?", she asked angrily. I was so scared I couldn't answer above a whisper. "I Just wanted to see what it felt like.", I cried while looking down at the floor, too afraid to look directly at her.
I felt her strong hands grab my shoulders and twirl me around while she asked me if I was a sissy boy. I said I wasn't, the best I could through my tears as I felt her untie the sash I'd just fastened moments before. I was really scared now as she scolded me for getting out of bed and sneaking around the house. I felt her hands slip under the skirts, wishing I'd never left the safety of my bed. Returning the dress to the drawer, she ordered me back up stairs as she followed behind. I was really scared now as I reached for my T-shirt. "You won't be needing that.", she said as she took it from my hand and tossed it on a nearby table.
Just as we got to the top, she told me to stand still until she
returned. I felt cold now as I waited nervously not knowing what to expect as I watched her enter her daughter's room. When she came back out, I could feel myself go weak as I saw she had some kind of clothing in her hand. "Little girls don't wear dresses to bed. This is what they wear.", she informed me as she lifted it over my head. I stepped back, pleading I was sorry and wouldn't do it again but she just warned me to be still as she continued.
The hem of the gown fell to my knees as my senses grew numb. Looking down at the gown, I noticed it had some ruffles along the neck and hem but otherwise seemed more like a night shirt. It wasn't until she ordered me back to bed that I really became frantic with fear of the other boys seeing me.
Pushing me into the darkness, she ordered me to get back into bed. Terrified, I darted over and jumped in, quickly retrieving my covers and pulling them to my neck. I laid there wishing over and over that I could turn the clock back and undo the mess I'd gotten myself into. The other boys stirred a little but never woke up as silence brought calm to my thoughts. I soon fell asleep with repeated images of the night playing over and over in my mind.
The next morning, I woke to giggles as I sat up and saw the boys had gathered around my bed. My covers were at my feet and the gown had risen to my thighs. I felt flush with embarrassment as they kept laughing and calling me Nancy. The oldest boy kept me from reclaiming my covers as I screamed for him to leave me alone. Just then the woman entered and ask what all the commotion was. Seeing the boys gathered around, she told them to settle down and get dressed for breakfast.
I started to get up too but she stopped me and told me to remain in bed until she returned. All kinds of alarms went off in my head as I could feel something bad was going to happen but I couldn't think what. I watched as the others dressed while glancing over at me and giggling. After they left the room, it seemed a long time passed as I waited nervously for the woman to return.
Just as I caught sight of her entering the doorway, I began to shake violently and burst into terrified tears for draped across her arms was a complete outfit of girls clothes. I now knew what she had in mind as I cried how sorry I was, begging her not to make me do this. Closing the door, she spread the clothes across my bed while telling me to get to my feet. I wanted to run but was trapped as she ordered me to remove the gown and my underpants.
My resistance met with a couple of hard swats across my bottom as she took over and finished undressing me. My tearful eyes followed her hands as she reclaimed a pair of white panties from the pile and handed them to me with orders to put them on. My head was spinning as I stumbled to step in and pull them up. A strange chill ran up my spine as they slipped into place and I saw the legs were trimmed in lace and a small bow was attached at the waist. Though my eyes were filled with tears, I stared hard at each piece of clothing as she pulled them from the pile.
Though I had often wished I could dress up like a girl, this didn't make me feel anything but shame and humiliation. I felt like a boy mannequin being sissified as I just stood still while she slipped a camisole over my head. It too had lace trimming and a little bow just below the neck. My heart started to pound as I watched her shake out a large billowing skirt of some sort and hold it out for me to step into. When she pulled it to my waist, a weird new feeling came over me as I saw the netting stick way out. It too was trimmed with lace and had satin ribbons running around in tiers. I felt both extremely embarrassed and yet intoxicated.
She then held up the main item of my transformation. It was a beautiful yellow dress just covered with ruffles and lace with little bows on the sleeves and neck. My mind went wild as did my heart beats when she lifted it over my head and slipped it into place. The skirts stuck out much further than the dress last night and made me feel awkward as she turned me around and buttoned it up. I started to feel the same strange feeling of calm I'd felt the night before as she tied the sash behind me. I began to secretly enjoy the excitement of what was happening and yet also felt shame because I knew I was a boy. I must be sick or crazy for feeling this way, I thought as I starred down at the bright yellow skirt. I started to think maybe I really was a sissy boy for having these feelings.
My thoughts were interrupted as she ordered me to sit on the edge of the bed while she put some socks on my feet. I couldn't see what she was doing as I stared at the skirts almost hiding her from view. "You will have to wear your own shoes as I don't have any others to fit you.", she commented as I felt her slip them on me and tied them up. "Now stand up and let me look at you.", she ordered.
She tugged at the sleeves and hem until she seemed satisfied and then told me to follow her into the hallway. I again felt the rush of panic as I pleaded not to have the others see me. She warned me not to give her any trouble as she repeated her demand. It felt very strange to walk while feeling the skirts bumping against my legs. They made me feel clumsy as I went through the doorway.
Stopping me at the top of the stairs, she again went into her daughter's room. All I could think of was how everyone was going to laugh and make fun of me as I stood nervously waiting. When she returned, she started messing with my hair but I couldn't see what she was doing. "All right little sissy. Let's go show everyone what a pretty little girl you've become.", she said in a somewhat pleased tone.
I knew I couldn't resist her as I struggled to climb down the stairs, not being able to see where I was stepping. All the way down, I kept thinking of how I had never realized how difficult it was for girls to get around in such full skirts before. That these skirts restrict moving around as freely as pants do. I quickly returned to thinking about the other children as we stepped onto the floor and she guided me into the kitchen. I immediately dropped my head down as the roar of laughter filled the room.
All I wanted to do was turn and run but all I could do was stand and feel the rush of shame and humiliation spread through my every sense. I could feel my face get warm as I again felt tears roll down my cheeks. It seemed to last forever as I stared at the skirts and tried to shut out the sounds. It was at this moment I felt a strange sensation take over as though I was somewhere above the room looking down and seeing myself.
In my minds eye I looked just like a pretty little girl all dressed up in a beautiful yellow dress.. I felt as though I had magically been granted my wish and this was the price I must pay for it. That the laughter would soon pass and then I'd be a real girl from then on. I looked up at the others as though ready to pay the price to have my wish.
Things did settle down and I was directed to sit down for breakfast. Again I noticed the awkwardness of the skirts as I struggled to keep them down out of my way. I didn't care about the giggles anymore as I thought only of my now being dressed like a real girl. The boys kept teasing me about being a sissy but I didn't say a word. When everyone finished, they were ordered outside to play.
Being late to the table, I was only half done but it didn't seem to matter as I was told to leave the table and join the others. That's when I came back to who I really was and pleaded to stay inside. "You wanted to see what it felt like to be a girl and so you shall. Now get outside like the other children.", she repeated. Just as I stepped onto the back porch, I heard her add, "Now you be careful and don't get your dress dirty."
It felt strange to hear that addressed to me but also gave me a slight flutter of excitement. I looked out at the others as they stared back with big grins on their faces. I knew I was in for some more torments but also that I had no escape. I went to the edge of the porch and sat on the steps, hoping they would go about their playing but also knowing I was wishing the impossible.
They did chant sissy names for awhile but to my delight, they soon simmered down and just glanced over at me and grinned from time to time. I sat there feeling a bit restricted and disconnected as I watched them playing and running about. I again felt fearful as the oldest boy came over and asked if I wanted to come play hide and seek. I was shocked as he seemed to ignore how I was dressed and seemed like everything was normal again. "Come on, we won't make fun of you anymore.", he said as he waved me on. I was uneasy about the sudden change of heart but also spellbound that I was actually being accepted dressed as I was.
Reluctantly I said O.K. but that he'd better keep his word. They said I was 'IT' since I had just joined. Though still feeling uneasy, I leaned against the house and started to count as everyone scurried to hide. My mind was reeling with disbelief at how everyone was accepting my being dressed as a girl. It just seemed hard to believe and yet wonderfully dream like.
Just as I finished counting, I turned to start the hunt, taking a quick look all around the yard. I didn't see anyone and so I walked to the back edge of the house and peeked around the corner. Slowly, I slipped between the bushes and house, looking for any sign of the others. Suddenly, two of the boys jumped out from the bushes just beside me and pushed me against the house.
I started to scream as they quickly covered my mouth and pinned me tightly against the wall. The other boy returned and grabbed one of my arms as the oldest one slid his hand under my skirts. "We just want to see if sissy boy is wearing panties.", he laughed as I struggled to get free. I couldn't break their hold as I felt his hand lift the skirts and petticoats up to my face.
All of a sudden I heard one of them yell out, "He IS wearing panties! Look! He's really wearing girl's panties." My face went red hot as I wanted to die from shame as they burst into laughter while chanting their discovery over and over. In a desperate move, I ducked down, slipping from their hold on my neck. Darting for the porch, I cried out of control to be left alone. Jumping up the steps, I ran for the door and banged on it begging to be let in. The woman opened the door and sharply asked, "What's the matter? Don't you like being a girl any more?" All I could do was plead to be let inside.
"Well, all right. But if you come inside, you'll have to help me in the kitchen.", she reported. I didn't care as I quickly agreed, flying through the door for safety. I glanced back outside just before she closed it but didn't see anyone. I guess they were scared I'd tell what happened though I was too scared to say anything. "Come with me.", she said as she led me into the pantry. "You can dry the dishes as I wash them.", she directed as I grabbed the towel she handed me. She then put an apron on me while telling me I needed to protect my pretty dress.
My head was still spinning from my experience as she draped the apron over my head and tied it behind me. My whole world seemed surreal and unbalanced as I tried to sort what was real anymore. "Didn't you like playing with the other children? I thought you wanted to see what it felt like to be a girl.", she tormented as though she knew what had happened. After I finished drying the dishes, she said I could go play in the other room until lunch. I had calmed down now and was glad I could get to stay inside away from further torments. As I entered the living room, I spotted her daughter sitting on the couch reading something. I went to the far chair by the corner trying to keep my distance in fear of her also teasing me.
It wasn't long before she came over and asked if I'd like to play with her. I said no though surprised at how nicely she was acting. "Come on. I won't pick on you. We can play some board games in my room so the boys won't bother you." She was so gentle and calm, I felt strangely at ease and the thought of being away from the boys sounded good too so I finally agreed.
As we walked across the room, I became focused on the full skirts again as they bounced and brushed against my legs. I had some trouble climbing the stairs until she showed me how to lift the skirts. A strange feeling started to flow through my body as I got to her room. A feeling something like I'd felt last night when the plaid dress first slipped down over me. Everything started to take on a magical quality again as I began to again enjoy feeling like a girl. When I entered the room, I was struck by wonder at all the toys she had.
There were stuffed animals on every shelf and even a little black cast iron stove. I was fascinated by it because it had little burners that lifted out and a wood burning door that opened just like a real stove. We boys were never allowed in her room and this made me feel even more that I was being accepted as a real girl. She brought out a Sorry game and we sat at a small table by the window. While I tried to concentrate on the game, I also kept reflecting at how I was dressed and how wonderful it made me feel.
It was as if I'd been plucked from a horrible life I didn't want and transplanted into this heavenly dream world of pretty pastels and softness all around. A little later, we played restaurant, setting some dolls up at the table and serving them food. I loved playing a waitress and a couple of times I became acutely aware I was actually acting like I was a real girl. Quite often, I would look down at how I was dressed only to feel a tingling excitement. I felt the pangs of wanting this to last forever but sadly knew it would eventually have to come to an end.
When she went to her closet for some coloring books, I noticed she had several pretty dresses at one end and wished it was my closet. We were coloring when her mother call us down for lunch. I hated the thought of leaving that room and having to face the hateful boys again. Entering the kitchen, I was surprised when the daughter changed seats and sat beside me. The boys grinned but didn't say a word. I just ignored them and tried to hurry and finish eating. I disliked them and that only made me feel even more like a girl. Almost as if I'd drawn a line in the sand and had picked which gender team I was now on.
After we'd all finished, the woman sent the boys back outside, and told us girls to run along back to what we were doing. Calling us 'girls' gave me a thrilling feeling I can't begin to describe. I no longer felt ashamed at being a sissy or fairy as the boys had called me. I felt accepted and had a girl to share my dream with. We played all afternoon in her room and by supper time, we had grown quite good friends.
We never shared anything together before let alone be close enough to call each other friends. Supper was a repeat of lunch with little hassle from the boys. After supper, the woman called me over and asked me how I liked being a girl. I of course lied and said I didn't like it. "Well, lets go and get those clothes off . I think you've had enough time to learn your lesson.", she remarked as she led me back up stairs to change.
I secretly felt saddened at having to return to boyhood but I knew I had to keep that to myself. As we climbed the stairs, my knowingly holding my skirts up seemed to surprise her as she gave a little chuckle. I tried to relish the last moments of my magical day. A day I knew I would remember for the rest of my life. For the next few weeks, I had a lot of harassment and name calling from the other boys but I didn't mind it as much as before. It was as though it kept the reality of my magical day fresh in my mind.
They soon tired of it as time pushed it further from thought. But for me the memories and feelings of that day have never faded. Things returned to normal and the daughter gradually withdrew from our special friendship. Fortunately, the boys never spread the word around school of what happened. I suspect they were warned by the woman for silence which none of us ever dared challenge.
I only had one last event while still living at that house. I can't remember exactly when it happened but I think I was in the third grade. One morning on the way to school, I spotted a bottle of red nail polish on the side of the road. My heart started to flutter as I picked it up and looking around, slipped it in my pocket. I kept taking a peek at it all morning in class as my excitement grew.
By recess I could hold back no longer. I had convinced myself there was no reason a boy couldn't color his nails too. We should have just as much right to adorn our fingers as girls do, I thought, trying to justify my compulsion. Slipping off by myself to a corner of the school yard, I withdrew the bottle and
started to paint my nails. My heart grew with excitement at how pretty the bright red color made my nails look.
When I finished the last one, I waved them around trying to get them dry. Not once did I give any thought as to what reaction might happen because of what I'd done. All I thought of from the moment I found the bottle was of wanting to have pretty fingers like a girl.
Anyway, I was waving my hands when a couple of boys saw me and came running over. You can imagine the laughing and name calling I got. Before long, the whole school yard had gathered around laughing so loud it drew the Principal's attention. I was kind of dazed at why everyone was making such a big deal out of a little color. My mind became somewhat numb and yet excited at all the attention but I felt no fear. Just then the crowd made a path as the principal approached and seemed angry.
Everyone became silent as he asked me what possessed me to paint my nails. I said I didn't know. That something inside told me to do it. He returned, "Well, if someone told you to dig a hole and bury yourself in it, would you do it?" I quickly said no though confused at the comparison to what I had done. He then took me inside and called my teacher into his office.
"I want you to move his desk onto the girls side of the room for the next week. Lets see how he likes being with the girls since he seems to want to look like one." He then added I was to also spend my recesses on the girls side of the school yard. I was more upset by the anger and fuss everyone was showing than having to move into the girls assigned areas. For the rest of the week, I sat with the girls in class as the boys giggled and called me sissy names.
Whenever the teacher ask for someone to answer a question and I raised my hand, she would ignore me as if I didn't exist. In the school yard, the girls wouldn't have anything to do with me either. I felt extremely isolated and unwanted as though I had a plague. I was actually relieved when the week ended and I returned to the boys side. Strangely, most of the boys didn't continue to make fun of me. In fact a few of them ask me what it was like to be around all the girls. I just said it was all right and didn't comment on how lonely it felt. I just now realize something. I don't remember any repercussions at the hands of the woman at the boarding house. I can't believe the boys didn't tell her what had happened. Strange, don't you think?