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FEMININITY IN MS ---- YOUR JOKING RIGHT?

I thought i would share this maybe you can comment on how you feel now with femininity or even being a male and still making that effort etc.

I just wrote it as i was feeling a bit down in the dumps.

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I used to be a female at one time. Yep, tallish slimish, and well i cared about my appearance a lot. I spent a fortune on clothes and makeup and perfumes and lingerie. Well you never know when you might meet that one special guy in your life.

I met my hubby when I was 41 and still had IT lol. Slap on face, slim figure, looked good. He was 6 years older then me an engineer with salt and pepper hair but thick and blue eyes. He always smelt of oil a smell i got used too.

I stayed feminine as well it was just me I didn’t do too much by then well you know the saying goes once you have caught the fish…

We muddled along together, got married and WE had a great life. I spent a lot of money on nice things i must admit, but Mike my hubby was always going to be an engineer.

In 2000 we had a wonderful holiday together in Brazil and that was the start of the journey of deterioration for me.

Slowly as i got sicker my makeup went mouldy in its boxes, as i couldn’t’t bear the stuff near my eyes, no chance of wearing high heels, i wore men’s slippers as my feet were swollen and thick socks usually bed sox as they were more comfortable and not tight on my feet which seem always to be swollen.

My dresses well they stayed in the wardrobe to be replaced by baggy pants comfortable easy bliss.

My hair well that went as grey as hubbies.

Sadly i even lost my teeth because of some weird auto immune thing going on in my gums.

Hubby and I were like the classic Darby and Jones. We settled comfortably together. He retired at 70 and lived for weeks in long johns and a dressing gown lol. If anyone has ever watched Last of the Summer Wine he was my Compo.

Oh dear i was just so not feminine anymore i felt old and ugly and the pain of my MS showed in my face, but my old compo Mike would look at me and think i was the most beautiful women he had ever seen. We had 26 wonderful years together

I never thought a man could love me looking like i did, grey, no makeup, baggy tops and trousers, slippers with Velcro, the other me still hanging up in the wardrobe, the make up old and moldy as i couldn’t bear to throw it away.

Nope he would look at me and think i was the most wonderful women he had ever seen as he loved me for who i was, not what Avon could make me look like. He loved me because i got him. I never made him change we had a great relationship, he too was ill with COPD, so we kind of muddled along.

Being feminine faded away over the years, and comfortable companionship took its place, I never once felt ugly again when i realised i was being loved totally warts and all, i was being loved despite of my MS in actual fact i am convinced it brought us together even more.

No being feminine is not important when you have the love of your life so treasure them, hug them, adore them as one day it can all be over in seconds and you are just left sitting on your own in an old faded favourite jumper belonging to your husband and still wearing his old slippers and just trying to survive each day with the memories of the man who once looked at you lovingly and adoringly, bare faced, no teeth, grey hair, baggy trousers and floppy slippers and looked at you straight in the face and say GOSH I LOVE you how the hell do you put up with me he would say……………. as i looked at him in his old bathrobe and long johns and would hug him and say well just because your YOU.

Anyway want any high heels, expensive perfume, lovely dresses….i have a wardrobe full…….

Have you lost your femininity with your MS? (or masculine). How do you deal with being a women now or dont you care like me just wear things which are easy to get on and off and hide the incontinence pads, or do you have a regime you can share for us to at least perhaps feel a little like a female again… despite of our MS and its restrictions.

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I don’t know about make-up because I’ve never used it. I still use perfume because hubby likes it. Most of the time I slob around the house in jogging bottoms and t-shirt, but I like to wear something tidy when we go out for the day. I suppose that being in to steampunk is an advantage. It gives me the opportunity to dress up every month or so, sometimes for a whole weekend. As for lingerie, I like to buy matching sets. It’s not necessarily anything fancy, but I like to know that things match underneath.

Has MS affected my femininity? Not yet, but I might let myself go if I lost hubby. I hope that never happens.

hi crazy chick

my feminity was always played down as i’m an old rocker.

apart from lots of black around my eyes and vampire like red lippy that is.

that has had to go because if i get mascara anywhere near my face i poke my eye with it!

now loss of dignity there isn’t time now or on here because i could do a dissertation on it.

same difference because both are precious things to lose.

you had a wonderful marriage because you are loveable.

big yourself up because a bit of do-it-yourself is better than feeling worthless.

your husband was a special man and you matched because you are special too.

practise smiling because the smile muscles need using.

the very act of smiling (even if it’s a fake smile) reminds you what to do and makes you feel better.

it may sound like a load of twaddle but try it.

carole x

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I some times bring it back with make up but im normally just wearing jogging pants i some times put my contacts in it just depends on how i feel. I just got married a year and half then i got dx and my husband 18 years together married 16 years we are still fighting it together.

Bea

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Femininity is in your head, by that I mean its how you perceive yourself. I was never a fashion plate, and never size 8 or whatever.

But you can find comfy AND good looking (talking about the clothes!). Takes a bloody search, I’ll admit. And my question is not “does my bum look big in this” now but…“how will it be sitting in the wheelchair”.

Never did do a lot of make up - bad eyesight and shaky hands! But my carers love all the potions and lotions. Body shop mostly. Because your worth it haha. and I feel splashing money on a hairdo and chiropodist is money well spent.

As for the blokes…well you were lucky and had a great bloke. Obviously a lot of love there. I feel blessed that I have a partner now who loves me for who I am. We met as mature adults, both with serious health problems - me MS, him kidney failure. We both have scars, inside and out.

We’re co-carers and life partners. Drive each other nuts sometimes. But hey that part of being a couple ain’t it?

you can’t see in the profile pic, but the wheelie is bright pink! Gotta make a statement where you can!

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The charity shop were delighted with the shoes and matching bags, that son didn’t sell on that well known site! I like to imagine it made someone’s day…as long as they were size 3/4. Still have the lovely perfume bottles,not necessarily the contents,makes a nice display with a couple of pairs of shoes that have special significance (my biscuit shoes…same colours as those iced party rings,just love them! and a Versace copy, they were selling the real thing in the hotel shop at a vastly over inflated price, gorgeous they are, just diamante straps, which are surprisingly strong! a work of art for feet!..oh yes and my Baldaninis, I remember exactly where,when and what we were doing, in fact hubby just gave up and went and sat down in the respective shops as soon as he spotted them! so he would never want me to get rid of them, all good memories) I also still have cocktail and evening dresses, bought for specific events,all in a suitcase up the loft, all stll fit too I know hubby loves one of the cocktail dresses, had to buy for the mess when he was promoted,so not going anywhere! too many memories of places ,people (some of whom aren’t here any more) and good times, I can get rid of jogging bottoms etc…not allowed any more jackets! I quite enjoy what’s still in the wardrobe, gets lent out occasionally still (niece and nehew’s wives) it’s all vintage now! lol

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I read this yesterday and was going to comment with my own thoughts.

Then I woke up this morning, was getting dressed in my winter staples of jeans, long sleeved tshirt and fleece (ultra feminine), when I was struck by the thought that while it’s hard to feel ‘feminine’ when disabled, it must be at least equally difficult to be ‘masculine’.

Femininity is something that we can still often manage by dint of the odd scarf, a bit of make up, or perfume. Or a nice handbag.

But men are taught that to be a man is to be masculine. Many men feel the loss of their masculinity at least as badly as women feel the loss of femininity.

To become disabled is somehow something which takes away from ‘personhood’, from sexuality and from gender difference equally for both men and women, I feel.

Perhaps some of this ought not to be relevant in today’s world. Growing up as a feminist, I wasn’t taught that as a person I needed to be strongly feminine. It didn’t stop me from liking nice clothes, wearing make up or from feeling female.

But what has perhaps changed me is that in becoming disabled, I have lost a lot of choice in what I wear, how I dress, how I appear to the world. Rather than remove my femininity, it’s desexualised me and taken something of my outward individuality and made me less of a person in the eyes of the world.

We may have moved on from the days of ‘does he take sugar?’ But people still address my husband rather than me when we’re out, and I can’t help but feel that has something to do with my being in a wheelchair.

(I am also fed up with being told to ‘take a seat’ when arriving for an appointment. It’s as if reception staff fail to notice that I’m already sitting down.)

And yes, I would like to be able to wear nice clothes. Shoes that don’t do up with Velcro or zips. Clothes that make me feel as though I am an attractive woman. Rather than just a body in a wheelchair. Who needs extra layers when out because I can’t move to keep warm.

Sue

(Having said all this, I can still hear your grief at the loss of your ‘Compo’, CC. I too would be lost without my beloved husband. You have my sincere sympathy for your missing other half.)

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