Thursday, 17 October 2013

A long time coming...

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.


  1. Hi Rhiannon. I am new to your blog and stumbled upon it through Lucy's blog. How difficult it must be for you to decide what to do. Obviously only you can make the decision one way or the other. I fully understand how you must be feeling as I have been down that road myself and it wasn't easy though I have to admit that my situation was probably not exactly the same as yours is now. I transitioned late in life and it was therefore more difficult I feel. My children were in their late teens and my wife had lost interest in our marriage. It's all in my blog. One thing I have to say is that your feelings about your gender identity will never go away but you may find the strength to surpress them and live a happy life with your family. And that is what your situation hinges upon, whether you have that strength and determination to make it succeed. I wish you the best in whatever happens in any case.

    Shirley Anne x

    1. Shirley Anne, thank you for your comments - and you blog. I had a sneaky read yesterday. I know Southport very well and it was great to hear your story. I think my debate is whether I can in reality muster the strength to stop. Initially I was bowled over by people's joy at the thought that I would try, but in the cold light of day, knowing how being Rhiannon makes me feel, I'm not so sure.

  2. > Namely that she is adamant I stop.

    I'm not sure what to say, Rhi. Just.... look after yourself and good luck.


    1. :o( Thanks Lynn. Its all just too difficult really - and stopping feels like the epitome of not looking after myself. Really unsure of where to go next...

    2. I imagine it is, rather difficult. I think deep down, you know what you need to do and where you need to go. Getting it done, however, that's another story.

      Whatever you decide to do, I'm hear to listen <3 You've got my email.

      L x

  3. I can't possibly offer anything to this.

    My parents split (for completely different reasons) when I was a teenager. I blamed my father and was as horrible as a teenaged boy could be to him. My anger faded over time, but my father carried my anger to him for ten years after I got over it.

    Point? Don't stay together for the children. They will eventually deal - you will remain their father, whatever your GID, and I mean that in a positive way so please excuse any inadvertantly poor language choices. If you stay with your wife do it for you. If you don't, do it for you. Doing it for anyone else, however noble, will lead to you resenting them for any regrets.

    I am aware that you know this and that you didn't post for answers and that I am a random stranger on the internet. I am autistic enough (without BEING autistic) to try and offer solutions.

    Know this: as a random stranger on the internet I consider you my neighbour. Whatever happens, for whatever reason, I hope I speak for all such strangers when I say I care about you and I hope that this, even in a small way, offers some support and comfort. We, I, am listening.

    Peace, Rhiannon, know peace. Good luck.

    1. Hardly random Joanna, I read your blog regularly!

      I think you are right, but having done 10 months of not being with them and then tasting what it was like again, I really missed it. But the price is very very high to pay.

      Thank you for your support - it really is appreciated.

  4. If you are truly transsexual your brain and body really do not match and from my experience life before transition was third rate...

    Sacrificing yourself for those who care so little for you and so much for themselves strikes me as a poor option. I regret the countless years I held back so as not to inconvenience the cosy life of those around me. I was stupid to do so and those who stuck with me can finally see the better person than the depressed one they had before.

    Research moves on in ways we could never have imagined and our very thoughts can be seen in action in an MRI scanner. Your condition is a real one, which other serious condition would you start to treat then stop so as to not upset others prejudiced lives?

    Nobody can honestly say the treatment is easy but the rewards are beyond measure...

  5. I really feel for you, Rhiannon. The only way for marriages like ours to survive is for both partners to act our of love for the other. The saddest line you wrote is "... she is adamant I stop. No negotiations on that front." That means no acknowledgement of the deep feelings that are tearing you apart - feelings that will simply not go away. I'm honestly left wondering whether that's a good basis for any marriage, even without the trans issues.

    My wife and I have come to an understanding - that, for my own mental stability, Angie cannot be suppressed. But, like you, I love my wife and family, and don't want to lose them. So we compromise. My wife gets 'Mike time' when she needs it. Because she loves me, she doesn't ask too often; and because I love her, I do all I can to make those times special. It's not ideal, but the alternatives are all so much worse.