Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My parents DID get me a Christmas present

DISCLAIMER: Transition is NOT all about roses and perfume. There are always hardships that come with the joy. My main hardship has been the lack of acceptance from my parents. On my blog and video logs, I talk a lot about the good things but the following post is an example of a more negative aspect.


Yesterday, I received a package from my parents. It was addressed to J***** of course and I have to admit I approached opening it with hesitance. Inside was some homemade chocolate fudge my mom made, a Tully's gift card for $25, as well as a letter from my mother. In the letter, my mom addressed a few key points.

She mentioned that she had watched a couple of my Autotransography videos but that when she came across the part where I talk about playing with barbies and being given a Ken doll, she said she stopped watching because she didn't remember that at all. On one hand, I'm happy that she does keep up tabs with my blog once in a while but on the other hand, I'm rather sad that she gave up watching those videos after she came across only one contradiction based simply on not remembering something that I did.

She also mentioned that she hated being called my "biological mom" because it made it sound like I was adopted and never knew my real parents. She also vented a little about me "replacing her" with my adopted mom. I guess what she said makes a little sense. She and Dad did after all raise me and were in my life up until I turned 28, when they chose to abandon me unless I continued living a facade. And as much as I love my new mother, she is in no way a "replacement" for my biological mother. Several months after they decided that they couldn't handle my change so much that they did not want me in their lives anymore, I did meet a lovely women who happened to be around the same age as my parents and we did end up in a mother-daughter relationship that I am more than grateful for. That relationship was created out of pure need...the need a daughter has (esp one that's going through puberty) for her mother. And if she only knew that my adopted mother respects both of my parents and praises them constantly for how they raised me because so much of it has made me the person I am today.

She did also address the fact that I'm having surgery and her words were actually "in a few months you won't be our son anymore". That statement kind of struck me in a few different ways.

1. She is making a distinction that she will think of me differently (not her son? not male?) after surgery.
2. It also shows a little ignorance in another way and my impulse is to educate. Surgery doesn't make me a woman, I am a woman already.

Lastly, she addressed my complaints about "her only making me fudge for Christmas" and how I was acting like a total brat. She said that it was hard to buy things for me and that she knew only Grandma and I really liked her fudge so she had the idea to make it for me. I actually was very touched at reading this portion of the letter and it definitely made me feel guilty. I had been a brat about it. I guess it had seemed to me the way she offhandedly said it, that it was a last second thing or something.

I read this letter and cried and cried and cried. It opened old wounds in my heart that never really healed. When I say that the hardest thing about transition has been the loss of my parents, I really mean it. It's so hard.

My first reaction was to write her back an email defending myself across all of these points but I realized that would only begin more arguing. She really has these views and I have my views and we both have people that agree with us, I suppose. Most of these things we had already argued about over and over and there was no seeing eye to eye.

So instead, I wrote an email that simply thanked her for the fudge and gift card and apologized for being a brat. It was a true, heartfelt apology. I really was grateful that she thought of me.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tootsie-Pop Processes

A lot has been on my mind and heart lately. I've begun to notice some major changes in how my brain works in the last month when it comes to processing things going on in my life. After Christmas, I blogged about a long list of events and emotions that were attached. I guess I was trying to get them all out of my head so I could look at them and try to process them.

Tonight, I found myself in my bed trying to think about what I should discuss with my therapist tomorrow and I ended up creating a long list of events, relationships, social groups, and emotions involved with all of those things and I just thought to myself, "Wow, I have a lot going on."

To summarize, I have an upcoming life-changing surgery and I'm wondering if I'm too excited about it, or expecting too much from it, and just plain trying to imagine what it will be like. I'm feeling a little left out of a certain group of friends right now and with another group of friends I have mixed feelings of joy and wonder. I'm also juggling continuing family drama with my ex-spouse and biological parents who still have no desire to claim their daughter, let alone know her, and yet I have a wonderful mother who is also my peer in some ways, which has its own complications. Then there's the ongoing tangent of my faith and what I believe and whether I really want to spend the rest of my life writing software or go back to school and study Psychology. And there's still a million more things going on in my head, I swear.

Yet for some reason in the last year, I deemed it necessary to add "dating" to the mix. Wow. I guess I can kind of see now why people have been saying that I have a lot on my plate and that I should just wait to date.

Tonight I tried to think back to before my transition. Did I have all kinds of things like this going on all at once before? I feel like I used to think in a very tunnel-vision sort of way, one thought, one goal at a time. And now I feel like I'm juggling many many thoughts and emotions at once and it's definitely a new experience.

But is the difference that I'm having to learn how to process more things at once and with more emotions attached? Or is it actually that since I've become more social and have more going on in my life, there are just plain more things to process?

Just as how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie-pop, the world may never know. =)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Summary

Many people are born with birth defects. Some are realized and treated at birth while others are not so obvious. They can be hidden for so many years that they require enormous amounts of strength and pain to finally overcome and begin treatment. Mine was as such. I believe I was born with the heart and mind of a baby girl inside the body of a baby boy. Growing up, I began to realize this little by little but the more I realized, the more I knew I had to try harder to be who my parents needed me to be. It wasn't what they said to me so much as their actions, emotions, relationships, and their beliefs.

I adapted well enough. I lived what most would call a full life. I graduated high school, went to college, and got married. But something wasn't right and there came a point where I couldn't ignore it anymore. I call this my awakening. It began by finding solace in crossdressing. It was peaceful. It felt right. And the more time I spent that way, the more I felt real, the more I felt like myself and by proxy, the less I wanted to go back to living as a man.

There was struggle. There were hurdles. Christian upbringing, biblical counselors, heterosexual wife, disowning parents. I did not make it through without scars. But I am still here today, able to stand before you as myself finally, a woman. And life has never been so good.

There are still hurdles to overcome. Some of them are out of my control while some are within mine and my generation's grasp. I hope someday that nobody will have to live trying to be somebody else, for fear of societal pressures or religious bigotry.

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