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Simone’s Story: Part 2 - A Survivor's Guide to Autogynephiles (AGP). A Woman's Perspective

I am writing to document that it is possible to recover from a relationship with an Autogynephile and that women who are in these relationships, transwidows, are here for you. I do have a degree now, in behavioural science, I have learned how to unpack the power dynamics during years of counselling and address my PTSD. While I am frequently on Twitter throwing bombs and making comments, I am, like most transwidows, anonymous, because we have no choice. Our rights and experiences as women who have endured domestic abuse at the hands of Autogynephilic men, are ignored, by many parts of the gender critical community. I identify as a 2nd wave feminist. Germaine Greer is and will always be a hero to me.


It has been 20 years since I left the worst relationship I had ever been in. 11 years with a narcissistic man who had a cross dressing fetish. I moved from living in a house with a narcissistic mother and enabler father, so I had no boundaries or understanding of what a normal relationship looked like, into a house with a covert narcissist. What I understood from all the counselling I have done over the last 5 years is that I simply walked into this relationship and was ripe for the plucking. I wasn’t equipped to say no, I did not have the self-esteem I needed to value myself before anyone else. There’s plenty of blame to apportion, but at the end of the day, the decisions I made as a naïve 20 year girl, are the decisions I made and I accept that. The aim here is to discuss what is normal behaviour vs abnormal from the point of view of a childhood trauma survivor that has processed abuse, acknowledges it happened and has grown from the experience.


I wrote Simone’s story when I was in the middle of a mental health crisis, 5 years ago. I was reliving my trauma in graphic detail. Self-flagellation here, I'm embarrassed by how poorly it is written, but, it is my truth, warts and all. Flashbacks are weird. For me, I had memories that I knew existed but had attached no value to, because I had dissociated from that experience. So, during the crisis, the fear, the shame, the regret flooded me. These memories were not just from the abusive relationship I had been in with an Autogynephile trans identifying man, but also childhood trauma and it was difficult to unpick. However, a really good trauma psychologist is worth their weight in gold, providing you can find one that is not enmeshed with the gender ideology.


A Survivor's Guide to Autogynephiles (AGP)

Survivor Rule Number 1: Do not do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Every emotion you feel, is valid, there is no need to reframe the negative thoughts spiralling in your head. Cognitive Behavioural therapy is not useful if you have experienced domestic violence or abuse, it comes across as gas lighting your lived experience. If you are a typical GenX/Millennial woman, brought up by narcissist boomers who tell you their abuse is to help you grow as a person and their emotional, medical and physical neglect will help you become independent, you need a trauma therapist. You need to vet any therapist you see, I saw one therapist through University who told me that the feelings I had about my ex needed to be reframed as I had to be positive about their experiences of transitioning from male to female. I found out later that this therapist was a gender affirmation specialist – guess that’s why he/they were a Uni Psychologist, perhaps touting for business.

 

When you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you do not necessarily know it. Now there has been plenty of information out there on the internet about how narcissists pick their targets, but as someone who was ripe for the taking, how do people like us realise we’re being sucked in. Short answer is we don’t. Not until we’ve experienced it because until you know and understand that this happened to you, denial and self-doubt is your constant companion. However there are signs that something isn’t right.


Survivor Rule Number 2: It is not normal to be blamed for everything in a relationship or in an argument or for someone to control your money, your access to the outside world.

These are the three things that are targeted the most and this is where the cognitive dissonance rings true. If you are being questioned about where you go, what you do, what you spend your money on, this is the trifecta of all red flags

I’ve written a few paragraphs so far and I haven’t really touched on the cross dressing aspect of a relationship with a man. Now, when I was younger, I grew up in a relatively progressive, left learning liberal family and was taught that we should accept people as they are. That whatever they like to do things behind closed doors that is harmless and most importantly, none of your business.


Survivor Rule Number 3: Cross dressing is a fetish.

It is a gateway to a narcissist who believes that they can dress like a woman to have fun at home. Then it becomes a means to engage in sex while dressed as a woman, and here you’ll be shamed for feeling bad or participating in sexual activity. Here is the issue with consent, you may say yes, but you’re not really consenting, but we’ll discuss that in a hot minute. Then there’s the idea that the person wants to be like you, dress like you, take over your interests, takes your make up, buys you lingerie in the wrong size and “oops” forgets to return it. Then the shaving of the armpits and legs “it’s hot in summer” growing of the hair “I love yours”, then it becomes, "I like being dressed as a woman, what do you think, do you think I will pass?" (I didn’t get to that stage, I left before that point, but we did get to the point where he told me:



So the cross roads are approaching, you’re seeing the signs, but you don’t read too much into it because that’s not your spouse. You find the clothes that aren’t yours and it’s explained away as “so and so asked me to take it home for washing as their machine was broken” or “I forgot to throw out your old make up/lingerie”. You’re getting blamed for their depression, every mood swing feels unpredictable. You’re being gas lit every time you have a period and if you have PMS or PCOS or Endometriosis, your pain is minimised. Then questions are asked about your own sexual preferences. Who would be your celebrity hall pass of the same sex? Any answer you provide will be used against you, to question your own sexuality. Believe it.

 

Survivor Rule Number 4: Coercion, coercive control:

At some point in your relationship requests for sex which is outside the norm start. Will you have sex with your spouse dressed as a woman, will you use tools / items to penetrate them, will you please go on top and squeeze my bra covered fake boobs. Like NO. This is not normal. You do not have to say yes, if at all you feel bad, it makes you feel sick, weird, off, or you’re made to feel guilt. This is sexual assault. Plain as day, you can say “rape”.  It took me 2 years to use that word in context of my experiences when talking with my counsellor. If you say yes, because you feared saying no, feared the consequence of saying no, felt emotionally pressured or blackmailed to say yes, this is not consent. Everyone should look at the cup of tea video about consent and the analysis of coercion which is deconstructing the tea video, and provides further context.


At this point I am going look at key point in this essay on how to survive an abusive Autogynephilic relationship with a positive affirmation that all people (because yes, there are gay / lesbian men and women going through this too) should reinforce.



None of it. Women (more so than men) are socialised to be nice, accept differences and say nothing. I’m going to use Foucault, one of the founders of the bullshit gender theories about power. Someone with power, wields it over someone who does not have power, and this is regressive. Narcissists get in early and create a power difference where you are disempowered and become the oppressed. Weirdly enough, it was this lecture at the time at Uni that triggered my mental health crisis as the lecturer, seemingly disembowelled me in front of the class and described my abuse to me. I went from being “woke” in the new liberal sense of the word, to having my entire world blown up in my face and realise that trans women were men. Because even though it had been at that time 15 years since I left the relationship, the relationship had not left me (apparently). While my degree had been lovingly crafted as an homage to Foucault (or should I say FouCult, because Gender ideology is a cult ideology) and discourse theories, what it did was make me understand who had power and who didn’t.


Ladies: WE DO NOT HAVE STRUCTURAL POWER.


We’re low on the pecking order in the oppression Olympics – because most woke people will tell you, and for good reason, that women are NOT oppressed. Look, I guess we will, like all victims of our abusers, love them, live with them, agree with them in return for protection, for our children, for food and shelter. However, there is a disproportionate amount of middle aged white men are indeed, Autogynephilic, and there’s the elephant right there in the room with us. The oppressed middle aged man.

 

Survivor Rule Number 5: Make a plan, long term, about 2 yrs. to deprogram yourself and create a way out.

You can be inventive, you can use X to reach out to transwidows around the world and we’ll have half a dozen ideas on how to get out, based on our failed / successful attempts and what we would have done better. Deprogramming is harder. You have to emotionally divorce yourself from the relationship. Every night I would whisper to myself three times “I don’t love you”. Because it wasn’t love I was feeling, it was fear of abandonment, insecurity. My ex handled all of my finances and got me into debt, so expect that to happen. I took an entry level customer service job after not working for 4 years (he didn’t want me out of the house). I haven’t stopped working since – aside from study – but I just took the job. Change your phone number, email address, delete your existing social media as he’ll have people spy on you for him, open new bank accounts before you leave (I just changed my banking password).

Expect to lose friends when you leave. It will be ok, just google transwidows and find a whole community out there who will provide you with unconditional support, shoulders to cry on, empathy, we are your pack.


Survivor Rule Number 6: Do everything the opposite of what you did with him /her.

If you start dating, find someone emotionally stable, that doesn’t worship the ground you walk on and love bomb you, that isn’t normal behaviour. That is how I broke out of the cycle. My marriage counsellor was horrified at my story and asked me how I broke the cycle, I did the exact opposite that I did before. If you have normal friends (i.e. people who will still support you after you have left the ex) ask them what is normal for men’s behaviour. When I started seeing my husband, he would remember details, small conversations, be polite, be kind, and be stoic and silent. I pestered my newly made best friend with questions about normal behaviour for blokes who date.


My relationship nearly broke down because I never addressed my trauma. I still had behaviours where it seemed like I was reacting to abuse when there was nothing at all to react to, because, I had not dealt with the trauma. My doctor and psychologist believe I had PTSD. It’s not on my medical files. Because they supported me, I was put on SSRIs for 3 years while in counselling and I’ve been off them now for 18 months. I have normal reactions most of the time now to behaviour where my husband is tired, not angry at me. If you want a future forward, deal with the trauma of your past and leave it behind.


There is no goo good Autogynephile. No man, who gets turned on by the thought of himself being a woman, is a good man. He will destroy your mental health and that of your family. There’s many women who haven’t been able to break off these relationships, and who might regard women like me, as inconvenient, or an enemy. There are many “academics” who completely disregard transwidows and our collective experience and knowledge. We have firm boundaries in place.

This leads on to


Survivor Rule Number 6: You are worth your boundaries

This was said to me by my very wise and patient husband, and I hold it true. Set your boundaries and maintain them. Say no to anything or anyone who makes you uncomfortable or invalidates your experience. Walk away from those who pay homage to the Autogynephilic men out there, I hope they read this.


Autogynephiles, you are destroyers of women and families. You should feel shame. There is no forgiveness until you stop cosplaying women. Atonement might be a concept we should bring back into society because what Autogynephiles have done to women, the LGB movement will take decades to recover.

 

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