You are probably about to despair of me, so I give you fair warning. If you are the kind that slaps your forehead at others' bizarre antics, a treat is in-store for you.
Do you ever think that your life is a mess? Realise you are not really sure how it happened? And find yourself seeing no obvious way out - at least, not without negative consequences in all directions? If so, welcome, pull a chair up. I want to enjoy a wine spritzer with you, through a straw.
As you know, my wife and I separated in January. I moved out and have had a very mixed time. Sometimes it's been fab, other times have been some of the lowest I've ever experienced. During August, we put up the flags in a kind of marital entente cordial to try to spend two weeks giving the kids a fab holiday. Mrs A's attendance was touch and go, but eventually she signed up and off we went. We had a very good time, lovely location, relaxed. Twin beds. Like old friends together.
Sounds perfect? It was. Except. It made my sadness complete. I realised in a major major way what I am giving up. Since the holiday, screaming loudly away in the back on my mind has been an ever greater realisation of my unhappiness that I have to sacrifice family for my inability to stop thinking I'm really a girl. I know we all know its unfair. But for fe*k sake, sometimes it bares repeating.
So with this screaming going on, I opened up dialogue. Is the position the same as before? 95% yes, but a glimmer of 5% appeared and opened up an opportunity for discussion. The despair point is that the 5% didn't mean she was now a born again trans lover, but it gave some wiggle room. Namely that she is adamant I stop. No negotiations on that front. But that as long as I'm moving forward to stop, then if sometimes I find it hard and dress up, it won't result in an immediate divorce, but that there is an expectation that this would happen less and less often. What would you do?
When I look into the eyes of my children, the answer is almost obvious. The sensible thing is to make the sacrifice. When I realise the heartbreak of separation, it is obvious. So I sorta, kinda agreed to try.
We began breaking the news that there is the possibility of reconciliation and I hadn't realised how unhappy our separation had made the people around us. The delight of family and friends was overwhelming. Everyone sure that I had done the right thing, that I'm brave for trying and that it is for the best for the kids. Etc, etc, etc. Plans began for us to be together again and are still pushing towards it.
So why the dilemma? Yesterday really is the answer. Do you ever get caught up in thinking you are ok and then you remember that you aren't? I was, for the best of purposes going along with this. I was thinking that I could do what everyone is hoping and find my way though things.
On Saturday, I went to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical. Not everyone's cup of tea. And not normally mine, but actually it was really good. There were two tracks within the story. One that is glitz and glamour and drag queens. And another, darker one which is about societal rejection of and violence towards trans people, the way that we are stereotyped and more importantly to me, the possibility of familial rejection when kids find out who you really are. I actually went twice on the same day which wasn't my choice, but actually was fantastic in the end. And after the first one I was very conflicted. So for the second, I took my brain out and just enjoyed it much more. Go figure.
Anyway, that started a train of thinking and events. The transsexual character in the musical is Bernadette and subconsciously I challenged my own decisions as I watched her. Since then my brain has been gnawing away at the issue. Pondering it, even more than usual. The heightened thinking has led to greater sadness as I ache for what I'm about to give up. And yesterday, it led to a day in Rhiannon mode in the office. Do you ever just sink down with relaxed happiness and sigh. It's like you are in a desert and you get offered a tea spoon of water. On one level you are happier. But in reality, it makes you thirstier.
And that's where I am now and why things have taken a turn for the worse. There are a lot of people, including my family who are delighted that I'm trying again. And I'm not sure I can.