Sunday, July 26, 2009

oh wow

There's been an incredible flurry of activity this month that I ought to blog about. I'm not sure how far I get in this post, but I'll try.

I came home from vacation at the beginning of the month. (My wife and I often take separate vacations in addition to shared ones.) Literally right away after I came into the house, my wife sat me down to talk. I was obviously quite taken aback. Here's what she said:

She said that there were two big issues that were bothering her. The first was that she had decided that she wanted a kid, and that I didn't want any. The second issue was my transgender identity crisis. Over the next few days, I learned that she was worried that no matter what happened about my trans feelings, that they would resurface later. I stated that I'd be willing to flex on the child issue, but that obviously I couldn't promise anything about the other one. She has since said that she could flex on the child issue.

So I'm convinced that the trans thing is the big deal. I cannot blame any spouse for thinking that it's a deal breaker. When you marry, it certainly isn't anything you imagine when you vow "in sickness and in health." It would be unreasonable for anyone to think that staying with a trans partner is equal to something like staying with a partner through cancer, or recovery after a stroke. I can't fault her for deciding that it's a deal breaker.

This is what I done since this crisis started:
1. moved to a different room of the house
2. the next day I made an appointment for therapy
3. told my sister, parents, and a married couple that I've been friends with for ages
4. started therapy
5. prepared to move out

These are all big things. It feels like this is happening too fast. But I can't stay in this house. My marriage is over and I can't pretend that it isn't. This has been a "wake-up call" to start therapy, something I should have done a year ago. This is hard evidence that trying to ignore my trans feelings is impossible. Trying to ignore hasn't worked. I'd been thinking about it every day, and so had my wife. She reached a decision, and I doubt I could have done something that would have altered it.

Why did I tell people? The two reasons were that my wife had told her parents and a couple friends, and that I had to explain why my marriage is ending. I supposed I felt like I had to, but I don't see it as a negative that people other than my wife know. I wouldn't want acquaintances or co-workers to know, but I think it's good that the people in life I'm closest to know. I have people I can talk to now if I need to.

I told my younger sister first. I'm relatively close to her, and I wanted to tell her first to get somebody's reaction to help me judge how others might react. Then I told my parents. Surprisingly, there were no overt tears.(I was able to hold mine back!) They did not appear emotional; in fact, they took the news well. One thing that made it easier to tell them was the fact that I had an appointment for therapy booked. They were, however, suspicious that a therapist with experience in gender identity would have a bias. I attempted to assuage their suspicions, but I clearly failed. My mom approached me a two weeks later and suggested seeing somebody else. She suggested some therapy chain called "Trinity" something or other, which was enough for me to dismiss it right away due to the clearly Christian name. Then she suggested a local psychologist who was "probably Christian, but you wouldn't know it." Obviously, I said again that it's best to see a specialist. They probably fear that a specialist has some sort of agenda in making more transsexuals or something.

Finally, I told two of my friends (a married couple) that I've known since high school. My dad had recommended not telling many people since society isn't very tolerant of "sexual differences." I was surprised at how insightful he was. ( I didn't want to keep correcting him when he said "sex" instead of "gender") It was good to tell my friends, just so they know what I'm going through.

So how was therapy? Well, I have no basis for comparison, since I haven't had any kind of therapy before. I think it went well. I found my therapist by googling. She's in downtown Vancouver. I really dislike driving into Vancouver, but that's where the specialists are going to be, due to a much larger population. (I live "in the Valley") Anyways, one appointment isn't enough to get through everything (I have another one scheduled for early August), but I think we got through the basics. She noted that suddenly being confronted by gender issues(as opposed to feeling them when a child) isn't unheard. Hearing that made me happy. I do read other blogs and websites, and many transpeople say that they had trans feelings at a very young age. She suggested two blogs to visit, both of which were already in my blogroll!!!

Apparently I am not in touch with my feelings.(I already knew that) I stated that while growing up, I wasn't encouraged to share them. I don't mean that I was actively discouraged, (for example, I don't remember my dad telling me to "man up" when I cried) but I simply wasn't encouraged. Expressing and being aware of my emotions is something that I need to work on.(any advice, anyone?) Another thing she suggested was trying out Second Life. I never had tried it.

One embarrassing thing happened on the way out. I'm from a smaller town, so I'm not used to big buildings. The door leading to the street was locked when I came down from my appointment. So I was pretty confused. There was a button near the door labelled "exit", so I pressed it, expecting the door to pop open automatically. Nothing happened, so I pressed it a couple more times, pulling and pushing on both doors. After literally 60 seconds, a Vancouver Police Department cruiser showed up. Apparently the trick was to press the button, then immediately push open one of the doors. The two officers were there because of an alarm(was it from me trying to get out?), so they wanted to see my identification. Luckily, I also had the therapist's business card.

So that pretty much sums up July so far. Here's what's is going to happen in the near future:

-I'm going to move out of this house as soon as I can. I'll be moving in with my sister, in my parents' old house, in my old room.
-I will continue with therapy.
-I'll hope to get in to the teaching program at SFU for January. My chances are much improved since I improved my mark on a particular test I had to take.
-I'm going to be more active in the TG world. I'll try to blog a couple times a week. I'll start posting on MHB. I would also like to meet some TG people, just to talk to.

One more thing:

Since I figured out my marriage is over, my suicidal thoughts literally disappeared. At the same time, I was anxious to begin therapy. I don't wish to say that being married was making me have suicidal thoughts. But perhaps at some level I am beginning to see "the light at the end of the tunnel." I think I am discovering hope.


Marie Soleil said...

Sorry this got so long. It's a good thing I have a limited readership!

VĂ©ronique said...

But you do have readership. I took this blog off my RSS feeds, but not off my blogroll. Talk to you soon, I hope.