Be forewarned - Today's post may be an uncomfortable read.
FACT: There is nothing immoral, unsavory, or illegal about the need to cross-dress or being transgender (trans-feminine). It is about fashion and personal expression. There is nothing about being a transgender person that prevents you from being a good husband, partner, father, friend, neighbor, citizen, etc... However...
I lived a double life for many years and that fact is my least proud admission. I damaged my family relationship and took time away to be the "other person". Time I or my family will never retrieve. I am so sorry. "I was the the other woman".
Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; self-inflicted. If you are still hiding, please think seriously about the process and immense effort required to continue a subterfuge.
Let's consider two unpleasant scenarios:
You suddenly die or in a situation where you are unable to dispose of clean out your literal second closet. (You were warned that this was going to get uncomfortable.) Not only is your reputation called into question but the foundation that you built your standing upon, is now suspect. "If he hid this / lied, what else was there?" Interesting read - "Charles Kuralt's life Scandal".
Face the reality that everything comes out in the end. The fact that you are not there to defend yourself / explain, adds to the betrayal. Reference - first paragraph. Also note that the second stage of grief is, "anger"; no need to add fuel for that fire.
In Palm Beach, I helped a good friend clean out his stash of transgender magazines. He also had thousands of dollars of designer gowns (Bob Mackie) hidden in a secret, custom-built closet. Near the end he told me he was not going to be able to clean it all out. I helped get some to Goodwill but there were many more I am sure that his family found. His philanthropic giving and political savvy was legendary. He was an advisor to world leaders and many attended his memorial.
We are detail-driven by necessity. As a budding cross-dresser, I could retrieve my mother's favorite dress (my favorite too) from the closet noting where it was placed and how it was hung on the hanger. This was so I could place it back and not be caught. The process continues as we make detailed plans for our every escapes as to still, "not be caught".
Shift happens. I was caught many years later when I bought a long-line bra on a Sears credit card; a rookie mistake. Face the fact that over time we all will make small mistakes that accumulate. We leave on traces of nail polish and eyeliner, or create credit card transactions we cannot explain.
Like the proverbial house of cards the damage can escalate. First, you explain cross dressing and then need to explain why you hide it. "If there is nothing wrong with being transgender, then why did you hide it?" I know of divorces that have ensued.Here is a poignant "true-life" example communicated to me. It is a daughter's recollection of her father, now deceased:
xxx was a fraud! I am his daughter. You know nothing of the pain he inflicted on his family while living a secret double life. He was married and "dating"?! All those trips he took were "business trips" to his family, who he neglected, while still married.... He hid behind a false persona of a man's man, hunting, fishing, etc to fake everyone. Lied to 2 wives and 5 children...
Now is the time to be honest before it is to late. Reconcile broken relationships and fix estrangements while you can. How, do you want to be remembered?