Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Missing what he had


I haven’t blogged for a while, to be honest, because blogging requires two things from me.   Honesty and a semblance of self reflection.  Of late, facing up to either has been easier to avoid.  And I’m not finding it straight-forward right now, but I woke up this morning knowing that it was a blog day.

But its why I should blog more often, because the moment I do, crystal clear, stark answers stare back at me.  I started the first version of this blog thinking that I was confused about my gender and that things were all up in the air.  The latter part of that is true, but the reasons why I am unsettled are simple and are not to do with confusion.  I am intensely missing all the things I got to have when I was him.  And I’m teetering at the edge of our acquaintances and beyond finding out the true reason for the split.

Let’s consider the equation for a moment.  As him: married 16 years, enjoyment with the kids, people understand your situation and think well of you for it, good job, fantastic family holidays, meals out with someone you love, a familial support network when you are unhappy, solvency because you aren’t supporting two households, good standing in the local church (I know, I’ve never mentioned that one before, but there it stands), respectability, normality, easy life.

Then I contrast it with now.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have some (well a couple) of those things.  But I don’t have the things off that list that I really value.  Family holidays have firmly been taken off the list - ironically they were high on the list of things I valued about my old lifestyle.  Meals with a loved one.  Having some respectability.  I am grateful for the things I have now.  Sitting, writing this, in my fluffy pink dressing gown and my pretty nightdress, I am happy.  But Jekyll and Hyde that I am, I’m also insanely jealous of what he had and I miss it so much.  Even to the point where I wonder, not for the first time you’ll recall, whether I should go back.  I have to question what is important.  Forgive my French, but having made four other humans, I purport to love, so unhappy to get what I want is just a little bit shit and feels a lot selfish.  Why should I be happy at their expense?

But worse, and I’m going to be excruciatingly honest here.  I’m really not comfortable with the whole world knowing that I'm transgendered.  How’s that for out, loud and proud?

The progression is already happening.  As this is a separation, we have not publicised it, but all parents know that kids, by their very nature publicise everything.  We have not told them about why we’ve split up.  But over and over again, as people are, bit by bit finding out, the question they arrive at is why.  Why are, to all intents and purposes, a happy couple splitting up?  And how do you answer that?  Thanks to a wise friend, we have a script, “Mr A has some problems that he needs to resolve, there is no-one else involved, but we needed some time apart.”  It washes some of the time.  But the kids don’t buy it because its their whole world thrown into turmoil.  I know they don’t buy it because they are still asking why.   We are not telling them the real reason and they can tell.  Mrs A and I might get back together and once I’ve told them, it can’t be untold.  Life’s ‘undo’ button is greyed out on this one.  And the moment they know, everyone does.

I’m not sure if I’ve explained myself well at all here.  Or if anyone else even get’s what I mean.  Suffice to say, there are days I would trade being transgender.  Even if feeling pretty is the best feeling ever.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Rhiannon,
    I definitely get what you mean. So much of what you have written in this and your preceding blog resonates with me and I'm sure it will with others as well. Despite all the feelings of guilt and selfishness the ability to be finally me is so overwhelming that there is no going back - but it is a curse for sure.

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    1. @Rach - thank you! Your very quick reassurance made me realise I'm not completely mad! It is overwhelming sometimes, especially when I'm actually with my ex and kids. It heightens my acute awareness of loss.

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  2. Well, the cat is out of the bag, and the genie is out of the bottle. Neither will ever go back in. Anyone who hears that you have a deep personal issue, and particularly if they learn what it is, will forever feel differently about you. It's best to put aside regrets now, and plan for a future in which you may indeed lose many of the things you used to have.

    But a couple of thoughts here, which ought to cheer you up.

    First, the worst need not happen. I know a trans person who was devoted to her three teenage children, but her ex-wife poisoned their minds against her. She was excluded from them for two or three years. During this time she coped with money problems, and the difficulties of changing jobs more than once. She was heartbroken over her lost children. But as the children got older, as they matured a bit, they naturally wanted to know WHY they had to to think in the way their mother insisted, and, one by one, they reassessed their relationship with the person who had once been their father. They have now returned to the fold. I suppose they have found a way of accepting both parents, despite their separate and very different lives and values. And in thinking it out for themselves the children have discovered a much more realistic view of life and an insight into the infinite variety of human beings.

    As for the rest, transition should be embraced as a life-changing opportunity that few other people ever have. Forget the old regime. It was imposed upon you by parents, teachers, employers and all the others. You can now make your own world, on your own terms. You can't have it all at once, but just think of what you will eventually be able to do and achieve. And success generates admiration and acceptance.

    Don't throw away anything that you can keep from your past. It won't necessarily be ruined or broken forever. Some of it may be relevant in your new life. A favourite hobby or interest, even if not especially 'girlie' can keep you sane and happy while in the limbo of transition.

    Your character, your main interests, your innate abilities are all still there. Even if the old life has to be completely left behind, you can make another and confound your critics by doing so. And you will undoubtedly make a host of new friends, and not only trans friends. Finding love and a deeper purpose is something else. But then that's true for every person on the planet, isn't it?

    Lucy

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    1. Thank you for your anecdote, you are right, being in this situation means at some point it'll come out. I just hoped that I would be able to control it really. But once kids know, they, certainly not maliciously, can't help but talk about it. Its work that worries me the most to be honest. I have the kind of role where transition would be tough. My timeline for that is a few years away. There isn't an emergency plan in place at the moment, maybe there needs to be. I really appreciate your continuing example that there is life after people knowing and that it is a positive experience. :o)

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  3. I think that many in our position do or have wished they weren't transgendered at one point or another. Maybe it's time, maybe circumstances but at some point, for me anyway, I had to let that thought go. I guess it's called acceptance - acceptance that however much I wished I can't change who I am, just how I choose to feel about myself. I don't deny that my family circumstances helped the acceptance but it still wasn't easy - and I still carry such guilt that I am causing pain to someone who has been everything to me since we met. The thought that I might still lose her is painful in the extreme but there is an understanding that unless I resolve my gender confusion I will never be content - and this itself may put my relationship at risk in the future if I do nothing

    There is no easy answer just pain for all involved, one way or another. You have been here before and only you know the right answer for you. I just hope that you can find peace with yourself with whatever choice you make.

    Take care of yourself because whatever you decide your children will always need you.


    We both send you our love

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    1. As always, a view that makes me see things slightly differently. I know you share my pain and that its as real an issue for you too right now. Oh for a world where gender was no issue to anyone. In the mean time, we push on I guess.

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  4. Forgive me, I am new to your blog still and a virtual stranger.

    I am also with children. Two. And I get your turmoil.

    You already know that there are no easy answers and you already know what the impact has been. I come from a set of parents who split, but for very different reasons. My mother played games, some I knew were games at the time and some I did not work out until much later. But I played games too. I didn't realise how much they hurt my father until much later. He played games too, but I mostly caught those.

    He's happier now. She's happier now. I'm married, with children. My brother is also married with children. Rapprochement was reached between our families and my father's. It was a hard road.

    No advice, no parallels drawn. Just that. I hope it is of some use. If it is not, I apologise!

    God bless you.

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    1. Welcome and thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and to respond. I'm so naive around this stuff that I try to be straightforward and honest when people are playing games or doing whatever they do. Its probably the best way to lose the fight I guess. But I feel bad enough not being honest with the kids about what the real problem is, so I just try to shut the conversation down. It is reassuring to know that there are kids out there who have survived their parents mad proclivities, games and behaviour. I just feel so guilty about what they'll potentially have to go through when they had no choice about it. My wife agreed to marry me knowing my issues.

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  5. Firstly, <<>> :-)

    Selfish? Well, maybe not. There's been a few times I've read in parenting magazines that if you don't take care of yourself, no one will. Sure, there's a balance to be had, but let's look at it another way: if your wife won't compromise / accept, where does that leave you?

    Haven't you said in the past that you tried to bottle it all up and pretty much cracked under the pressure? I take my hat off to anyone who can do that. They have far more resolve than I.

    To miss your family is human and I think it shows that you're not a sh** (to stick with the French theme). All I can say is.... keep on hanging on.

    L x

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    1. There is a balance but my personality is such that I try to take responsibility for everything and blame myself for anything that isn't perfect. I try to be the answer and can't get my head around why I can't change myself so that everyone is happy. The frustration that this thing is so deep rooted in my that despite my best efforts, is enormous. We share a similar level of resolve. I used to believe it was surmountable, but now I realise it just isn't.

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  6. It's very very tough, I had two friends who killed themselves because they couldn't bear the loss of their family. Perhaps the question you need to ask yourself is do i have do to this as a matter of life and death or is their another way ? It's not easy and only you know the path your life is yet to lead We have corresponded btw K xx

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    1. That is so so sad, but I can completely see why they would do that. Like many people in this community, its an option I have in the past considered, but fortunately rejected. Instead, I've spent the last two years trying to find another way and trying them. I'm struggling to see an alternative that works because my wife has literally no willingness to compromise. It is nothing or its over. I tried nothing for 3 months last year and nearly cracked under it. I hid it too, but that couldn't last, she constantly comes back to it. I've run out of ideas, but believe me, I genuinely keep seeking and hoping.

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