Aversion therapy

In 1991, I had aversion therapy.

I was presenting male, had no thought of transition, in fact self-identified as transvestite. I had not told anyone of this, and felt great shame. So I would buy women’s clothes compulsively and wear them, and I thought, well, I have a stressful job, if this is how I manage to relax, why not? It does no-one any harm. Then, after a week or so, I would throw them out, thinking, I am a man, this is unmanly and I do not want to be unmanly, so I will stop. Either of these positions seemed entirely sensible and acceptable to me. What I could not bear was oscillating madly between them. I lost count of the times I bought clothes and then threw them away.

So I saw my GP, who referred me to a psychiatrist, privately. The psychiatrist thought that I had transsexual tendencies, but nevertheless referred me to a psychologist who offered me the choice: we could work together to try and make me feel more comfortable with cross-dressing, or he could give aversion therapy. And I chose aversion therapy.

I stood in front of a huge mirror, in underwear then in a dress, while they sat behind me. One told me how ridiculous I looked, one told me how disgusted everyone- family, friends, colleagues, strangers- would be if they saw me, and how no-one could ever be attracted to me, looking like that. Then I dressed male again, left the clothes with them to dispose of, and did not dress again for six months.

After six months I saw the psychologist again, and he was impressed with how I had not lapsed in six months- and I took this, ridiculously, as permission to lapse.

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2 thoughts on “Aversion therapy

  1. if the psychiatrist whom you saw after your “aversion therapy” was congratulating you on not lapsing for six months, and all the while you felt female, your female self would rebel against his congratulations…after all, according to your Woman, you were being congratulated for being a fraud, and this might be something that any woman would find repellent. And so you rebelled. That hardly strikes me as ridiculous, more as a proclamation that, “Well, yes, you idiot, but now, I AM A WOMAN TRAPPED IN THE WRONG BODY and if you can’t reassure me on the point, then I shall take matters into my own hands. All strong and truthful people eventually stand up straight and assume their proper shape. And so you have done. Congratulations…

    Ann xx

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