Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Christmas Verdict

Had a really nice Christmas.  Clearly the children didn't know, but everyone else round the Christmas table knew that this may well be the last of these.  Despite that sombre knowledge, there were smiles, laughs and even a little bit of fun.

In just a few short weeks the world is going to change and I'm not sure it'll ever be the same again.  How is it that you can love someone so much to the point where you catch your breath at the sight of them?  But that this is not enough to keep you together?

At the risk of this being a depressing blog, I am sad to the core of my whole being at the moment.  But I guess breaking up from the person you have loved for 19 years is difficult to get chirpy about.

Behind the scenes, I am gearing up for departure: new accommodation found and things that need to be bought are being bought.

In the centre of the relationship, we still pretend like it isn't going to happen.  We both look at each other and hope that one of us will flinch.  She hopes that I will stop feeling like a girl and I hope that she'll forgive me for it and let me stay.  I hope that she'll just let me hide it from her again and that we can both pretend it isn't there.  She's known and lived with this for our whole 16 years of marriage, so why not?   But the elephant in the room (the other elephant cheeky) is just too big and upsets her too much for it to stay there.  The elephant and I are both being evicted.

I'm becoming resigned to my future 'freedom' and I know lots of people (including lots who read this) will have been there, done it and worn the t-shirt.  But even knowing that, it is horrible when it happens to you.  When it is your marriage that is the one finishing.  I wish it could be different.  There is part of me that wishes I could wave a magic wand and be different.  To be the man they need me to be.  But I can't.  I have tried to fight against this for years.  Made myself unhappy for years.  Hated myself for longer than I can remember.  They want me to just do one more thing to try to stop: give it one last try.  But I'm spent.  There is no more energy left to fight it.  The girl inside me has won and she is getting her prize.

You know, the saddest thing is that I'm just consumed by guilt about all of this.  I know that it isn't my fault.  I know that I didn't choose this.  I know other people could have made a decision to support me rather than kick me into touch.  But when I look at the faces of my kids and know that I'm about to uproot their world, a piece of me breaks.  And I know the reality is that they may end up happier and in a better place etc.  But I feel like I'm fundamentally making a very very selfish decision and that they should be more important to me than how I dress.  Why should they be exposed to potential bullying, to an issue they can't yet understand, to a sad mother who's husband left her because he lost the battle of self control?  I'm being harsh on myself, I know.  But that's because we understand how hard this fight is - they don't and can't.  They just experience the aftermath of a storm they never saw coming.

But with everything within me, I'm going to try to not let this affect them in the way that it could.  I'm crying as I type because I love them so much.  I just want them to happy and want to find every possible way to help them continue to be so.  Part of being a parent is surely signing away the right to selfishly live your life.  I've never really done that for them before, but 2013 is a different landscape and I need to be a different person to cope with it.

It is all so raw at the moment and I'm not sure I've articulated myself well, or whether I'll even agree with what I've just written in the future.  But I desperately wanted to capture this moment for the people out there who I know care about me - and to remind myself of it before the world changes.


  1. I really feel for you. I was there about four years ago, about to permanently retreat to another place to live half an hour away. Your case is worse, because at least I had no children to consider.

    This is where friends can help so much. I hope you have enough of them, and that they really understand. I found blogging a very good way of chronicling events and my reactions to them, and striving to tell it without emotional excess kept me clear-thinking and focussed as my world turned upside down. So it might be a good idea to write as much as possible!

    Even if you don't step up your posts, do keep a personal diary, for your eyes only, of all the fleeting impressions and happenings. It will help later on, to get things in perspective and identify the beginnings of an unimaginable life to come.


    1. Lucy - thank you so much for the advice. Its so nice to hear from someone who has already been though this type of thing. Its going to be a really hard time and day-by-day I'm trying to keep the humour level up and the sadness down. It works sometimes. I'm definitely going to blog my way through this, but journaling sounds like a good idea too.

  2. We are both very sad to read this.

    You have tried so very hard to be someone that you are not - do you think that if you gave it another six months, another year, another five years you could change? Do you not owe yourself a debt to be yourself - surely a happier you can be a better a parent in the future?

    I have no answers, different lives, similar but different struggles. I just wish i had more wisdom

    We are here for you and will do all we can to support.


    1. Thank you so much B. I really do appreciate the support I get from Mrs B and you. Over the last couple of years I have reverted into a shell around the kids - and I'm not sure why really. I don't given them the best of my time etc. But I'm hoping that I can start to change that around. I'm determined to make 2013 fantastic and to keep their spirits up.

  3. Made myself unhappy for years. Hated myself for longer than I can remember...

    You are a good person, not a selfish one. There said it. <<>>

    In this day and age (cue Symphony for a New World here) I think there is a very strong message about the importance of not being selfish. However... (scratch the record off here), I'll wheel this line out: If you don't take care of yourself, who will?

    I think the latter is an awkward, and possibly even horrible, truth. You do have to put your needs first. You can't live for someone else and I think you know that. If it's any help, I slipped into that role, trying to be many things for many people, but it doesn't work and that way, dark times and madness lies.

    Will it affect your children? Yes. Will it be better for them to see you *both* happy, than at each other's throats? I think, it will. Yes, it will be tough. Yes, there will be tears, but long term, I hope it will work out for all of you. If I may add, it's not like you've not given things a damned good try over the years. You are this way and I feel you can no more switch this 'trans element' off, than you can stop breathing. It is that core to your being.

    I'll send you some good luck for 2013 and if you need to talk, you know where I am.


  4. Lynn, thank you so much. I was really touched by your message - I know that I need to focus on me too, but I'm not really used to doing that - my focus is always external. I need to remember that short term whilst the pain is going to be horrible, the long term benefit is probably worth it.

    I'm very up and down at the moment. I assume that is normal - one minute I'm sad and upset, the next ok. I'm hoping it settles down - I'm not good at being a wreck for prolonged periods.

    Rhi x