My name is Trudi, but at one time I was Tim. 

Nearly my first memory was of having my hair cut in a ladies salon. As I was still in a push chair, I imagine I was about three, I know that I was not yet at school. The girl cut off the halo of curls I had around my head, but I still had quite long hair. I demanded that they tie my hair with a ribbon and after I kicked up an awful fuss, they at last found one and tied it into my hair, much to my mother's discomfort. On leaving the shop, a woman passing by said that it was dreadful to put a ribbon in a boy's hair, and suddenly I felt so shamed that I pulled the ribbon from my locks and threw it on the ground.

It was about this time that I found an old silky dress of mother's in the rag bag and I dragged it out and wore it in my bedroom after mother had put me to bed. I just loved the feel of the silk against my skin. At this time too, I had a repeated dream that my mother's best friend had cut off my penis with her scissors. This was a very strange dream to have for two reasons, the first was that at that time I had no knowledge of the difference between boys and girls, and the second was that I was pleased she had performed the operation.

When I went to school I played mostly with the girls. I envied them their dresses and pigtails and loved their simple games, dressing up, acting out being mothers or nurses. I hated my grey shorts and shirt, looked at my clumsy shoes and compared them with the girls' neat attractive footwear.

I then moved to a boys school where there were many boys of Scottish descent who wore kilts. I wished I could also wear a kilt but I wanted also to wear a slip under it. Alas, I was not given the opportunity.

I was sent away to a boy's boarding school to toughen me up. Although I hated it, I endeavoured to fit in and played a part, but it was hard work. Even so, I would pluck an eyebrow, steal some makeup from Woolworth's and secretly experiment with it and managed to buy some girl's vests and panties from Woolworths, which I wore under my school wear when ever we did not have sport or physical training. I was attractive to a certain type of boy and although they became quite pests, I rejected them. It was not what I wanted. I knew by the age of twelve that I wanted to be a girl. I also managed to get some more grown up undies, a bra, a petticoat and a nightie, as well as a couple of pairs of lace trimmed panties, which I kept in a biscuit tin in a special hiding place.

I was thirteen when mother found these items and challenged me about it. I broke down in tears and told her how I felt, of my earliest memories and how I hated being a boy. It was also at this time that there was the case in the papers of Roberta, who had been a world war   II fighter pilot, but had now become a woman. To my surprise, mother was not cross, indeed she seemed sympathetic. I was taken to a child psychiatrist who's verdict was that I would if left alone, grow out of this affliction as puberty took control. Mother was skeptical.

Puberty came. It was awful. I actually had swelling in my breasts, but just as I was rejoicing at the pain of it and feeling the hard swelling behind the nipple, it subsided and disappeared as this female development was killed off by male hormones suddenly rushing through my body. I still wanted to be a girl and told my mother; I was sent to the GP. I sat there hoping for a miracle, but once again found no salvation. I was told bluntly, that I was male and always would be. It was like receiving a life sentence. I saw a psychiatrist in a London hospital who suggested group therapy. I could not see how that would help and declined.

Mother turned a blind eye to my experiments with her make-up and clothes. I did not dress up in front of the family, but often wore girls' undies underneath. Eventually mother found out and from that time on helped me buy girls' clothes. It was squirm making to go into a shop and select clothes and purchase them with the assistants knowing that I was a boy. Mother too felt the shame, and was bad tempered, not enjoying having a sissy son.

I eventually finished school and joined a bank in the city of London. I wore my underwear under my city suit. I was popular with the girls and the chaps I worked with, even playing rugger for the banks team. At the same time, my real feelings were tearing at me. Eventually, I was sent to Sierra Leone to work and did two tours of duty there, a total of 5 years with a six month leave in between. I enlarged my female wardrobe through mail order and spent my lonely evenings dress making, stitching whole outfits by hand in tiny stitches, working out the patterns and cuts in my head, with a deal of success.

On my leave, I became a girl, staying at a four star hotel in Cambridge and another in Torquay, going to the theatre in London and to Epsom races. I loved my days and hours as a girl, hated taking off the make-up and dressing as a man again. I was never challenged, but at that time I could have been arrested had I been discovered.

I saw another GP, told him of my problems and he arranged a consultation with another psychiatrist. This man told me that marriage would make a man of me and that I could accommodate my cross dressing tendencies by taking up amateur dramatics. He said there would never be any prospect of my becoming a woman, so to buck up and get on with my life. I left him severely depressed, considered suicide, thought about driving my car under a truck or into a brick wall. I sat by the cold grey sea, listened to the crashing waves and rocked on the seat as passers by stared. The cold eventually seeped into my consciousness and I got back in the car. I knew not which way to go. The future as a man was vile, being female, impossible. I determined to try to put the love of all things female away and do as the psychiatrist had instructed.

I met a girl at a horse riding school. She had a certain cheeky charm and her boss engineered a date for us. I liked her company and she seemed to like mine. Eventually, we became engaged and married a year later. Although I loved her, sex was extremely difficult for me, and I received precious little encouragement from her, but our infrequent love making resulted in two children.

All seemed well for two or three years, then I was hit by a terrible hopelessness. As much as I loved them all and enjoyed my life mostly, behind this outward facade was a black mood of depression as I saw my life stretching ahead, forever male, hating my body, envying women their figures, hair and clothes, their conversation and outlook on life. I was trapped, not only wondering what would become of me, but what would become of them without my support.

Eventually, 'she' found some of my clothes. Neither of us could talk about it. She and her mother were horrified, and I was so filled with a sense of failure and shame that any discussion was impossible.

I saw the GP again. He stated in Biblical terms, that 'this devil needed to be rooted out.'   

I was sent to the consultant in London, who was at that time the foremost expert on sexual deviation. It was this man's theory that aversion therapy could cure most things, including alcoholism, smoking and sexual deviancy. I was instructed to supply photos of myself in various forms of female attire, I would then be given electric shocks when these were later displayed by the consultant. I spent an evening, self photographing myself and dispatched them. I received a letter back demanding photos of myself as male. This made me reconsider the whole matter. What did I want? The compulsion, even with the pressure of family was that I needed to be female. I declined the treatment. The GP then said that they could take me into the local mental hospital, put me to sleep for some three months, then see how I was on awakening. If that failed, electric shock therapy could be applied.

The marriage staggered on, with me gradually succumbing more and more to my need to feminise myself. Astonishingly, I continued to work, and even won a prize for the greatest increase in turnover amongst over one hundred and twenty sales people.  Even so, she decided to divorce me and took the family home I had paid for. The Social Services decided that I was not a fit person to see my children. They were unenlightened times and I lived in an unenlightened area.

Alone and bereft of family, I demanded to get the treatment I desired.

My GP sent me back to London, to the same consultant who had wanted to use aversion therapy. He was now an expert in transsexualism. He lambasted me for failing to take his treatment five years before, to which I replied that it would not have worked anyway. The student doctors surrounding us during this conversation were amused. He was not, nor was I. He agreed to treat me as a transsexual. The conditions were that in exchange for hormones, I had to live and work as a female and if I survived, after four years I would receive reassignment therapy. I resigned from my work and started living as a female full time.

Finding work was an ordeal, but eventually I saw an advert recruiting civil servants. I applied, told them frankly of my predicament and after another three months was offered a position as a lowly clerical assistant. I grabbed the chance. It was a time of supreme fear but also one of euphoria. At last I could appear as a female, legally, paint my nails, crimp my hair, wear clothes I liked, be what my inner self told me to be. There were times of humiliation, when my true identity was exposed, but generally I was happier than I had ever been. The problems all seemed solvable, the rewards worth any sacrifice. After two years I was promoted and in another two years promoted again. Then came surgery. My breasts had emerged to become a B size, my male appendages had to go by surgery at Charing Cross. At 41 years old I was as near as I could get to being the person I always knew I was.

Although life is not perfect, perfection would have been rebirth as a natal female baby, I was and am still, happy, enjoying being a girl or rather, a woman.

The fantasies on Petticoat Pond may disguise the secret yearnings of some of your correspondents to actually be female, or they may simply be a relief of feelings they have to be humiliated or just to enjoy cross-dressing. Sex and sexuality is a continuum, from rampant hetero sexual masculinity on one side to extreme femininity on the other, sandwiching gayness and lesbianism and all the other syndromes in between. No one should be regarded as a deviant, but rather as a human being. I wish all your correspondents well and hope they are happy. I am.


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