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Friday, March 28, 2014

Getting Comfortable

There have been a lot of things in the past month or so that have been emotionally charged, but have been so wonderful for me and my marriage.  I have thought so much about what I love about the person I'm married to and what had slowly gone by the wayside over time that I missed.  I missed our long night conversations that we had in the beginning of our relationship.  I missed the "new car smell" of discovering someone else.  I missed learning about someone else's views on life.

I suppose that's the way most relationships go, losing the newness of it all.  I feel like we have that newness back again.  It's great, emotional, passionate, but also a bit scary.  Why is scary good?  I don't really know the answer to that, just that it's not stagnant like most relationships get over time.  Comfortable?  Predicable?  Why might that feel so boring?  I guess that the excitement of learning someone else's little idiosyncrasies, secrets or true feelings tend to fade away over time.  Why can't I be more comfortable with the predictable?  I'm not sure about that either.  Is anyone comfortable with that or is it just...numbness?

I feel like we get too set in our ways that we think we always know what our significant others (or anyone close to us) are thinking that we don't stop to consider that people can actually change.  We all change over time.  Not just in something like what me and my spouse are experiencing, but all of us.  People can change their beliefs, their opinions, their thought processes.  How do we convince others who have known us for a long period of time that we have grown?  That's a difficult thing to accept.  We have a pre-conceived notion about who a person is that maybe we sometimes stifle what they are becoming.

I'm actually quite excited to see this new side of my spouse.  It feels like a completely new relationship, even though we have been together so long.  Things are changing about how we communicate, how we relate to each other and even our compassion for each other.  It's hard to let go of past assumptions of feelings sometimes, but we are getting there.

Something has shifted in my mind.  I don't think of my spouse as "him" anymore.  When I talk about "him," I think "her" now.  When I think of the future, I think of us as a lesbian couple.  When I'm talking to people, I want to say the female name or use the prounoun "her."  I feel badly when I see "him" because I know that isn't the person who is really inside.  The male part now has become the costume instead of the female.  It's not that I can't handle seeing "him" or that I'm not comfortable, but I just know that it's frustrating for my spouse to live a dual life.

There have been so many significant moments lately where family and friends have become acquainted with her and seem to be more and more comfortable.  For me, the hardest thing is to see "him" walk through the door after work, knowing that "he" had to pretend all day not to be who she really is.  I am actually excited now for the moment when it becomes full-time, just so the duality ceases to be and we can just be ourselves both as individuals, and as this new couple.

There are so many new things on the horizion to look forward to that I feel a sense of renewal in my life.  I don't know where it might go, but I have hope that things will be much better for both of us.  I am gaining a new sense of myself, so is she.  I sure hope both of us feel after the full transition like we can walk this new path together, but I don't feel so afraid anymore if we had to each walk our own paths.  Maybe it's kind of like the saying, "If you love someone, set them free..."  and now I feel like we both have the freedom to be ourselves no matter what.  At this moment, I feel more in love than ever and so proud of how each of us have grown so far.  We are letting each other in to all of our true feelings and trying to let go of the past.  Just live in the moment, right? :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Letting go

We finally came out to everyone in our lives that matter the most to us.  All my immediate family, all her immediate family and close friends.  At this point, I don't really care anymore who knows or doesn't know about us.  For the most part, everyone has been really supportive even if they are confused or concerned.  Still it really is only her mother and one of her sisters who isn't being supportive yet.  I am so thankful that I have such an amazing family and that we have friends who are open enough to accept us as we are, no matter what.

It is such a liberating feeling knowing that we can really just be ourselves and not worry about who might find out.  A huge weight has been lifted from both of our shoulders.  For me, the burden is gone that I had been feeling of being the only one who my spouse could share her true self with.  There is another part of me that feels a loss of security because I had been the only one who knew.  I felt secure that my spouse would never leave because of that.  Now I'm forced to believe that this person does actually love me, not just the security I represent.  That's a wonderful thing.  In a way, there is a slight pang of regret that we couldn't face this sooner, but neither one of us would probably have been ready to deal with it earlier.  There is no point in regret anyway, the past is the past and you can't change it.

I discovered in the process of coming out to people that my husband is transgender that I also had to reveal parts about myself that people never knew.  I guess it didn't occur to me that it was important to reveal my sexual attraction towards women in order for people to understand that it was possible for our marriage to survive.  It never occurred to me to hide that fact either, but it just never seemed important if people knew or didn't know that part about me.  I was never ashamed of it, but it was never really a factor in my life.

I'm at such a different point right now than I was a few months ago.  I am feeling more and more like everything in my life has happened for a reason.  Being married to a person who is transgender helped me discover my own honesty.  Not that I am not an honest person, I am, but I always shoved all my needs and feelings aside, believing it made me weak to feel...well, anything for myself.

My sister, the one who is closest to me, took me to see the movie "Frozen" a few weeks ago.  It had been an emotional time for me in the first place because it was the night after we went out for the first time in public.  We had a great time, so I wasn't emotional in a bad way, just...raw.  My sister is an emotional creature and always has been.  I was always the cautious and worried one.   So, when we watched the movie, I bawled pretty much the whole time.  Again, not in a bad way, just finally letting myself feel my own emotions...which is what the whole movie is basically about.  The characters in the movie were so close to what my sister and I were when we were younger and it just fit the situation I'm in so perfectly.  I couldn't be more grateful to have someone in my life who understands me to my inner core.  ***Spoiler alert for the movie***  The best part of the whole movie for me was that the act of true love that saves the life in jeapordy was not the love of a man, it was the love of a sister.  No matter what I have been through in my life, my sisters have been the ones I have never doubted for a second.  We may argue, get angry, disagree with each others' decisions, but we will be there for each other no matter what.  I have never trusted any other relationship like that.

I'm starting to trust people again.  Maybe it isn't so much trusting others as trusting myself.  Trusting that it's okay to feel, it's okay to need other people and it's okay to face the loss of people.  I am realizing that it is more important to live in the moment and not be so hung up on all the things that might happen, because that is all unknown.  I've lived a lot of my life trying to prepare for any scenario when in reality, I couldn't predict anything anyway.  I just have to trust that I can handle whatever comes my way.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Letting more people in

The past few weeks have been emotionally draining, but also wonderful.  Coming out to my spouse's family that my husband is transgendered was good, bad, but also has lead to other things to move the transition forward.

Most of the family was amazingly supportive and I feel such a tremendous relief that no matter what happens with our marriage, she will have family to be there.  I guess there was a part of me that felt a bit of a burden that I was the only one who really knew and could be there for my spouse in the emotions of this secret.  I am so grateful for the genuine outpouring of love and feel like this is going to create a really strong bond among all of us.

The negative reactions weren't real surprising.  Her mother of course, is quite confused and isn't handling it very well.  I didn't expect her to be supportive but frankly, don't really care if she's upset.  She has never been emotionally supportive of any of her children and maybe it is a good thing that she has to face what kind of person she has been.  It's the same thing with one of the sisters.  She too has not been emotionally supportive of anyone but herself and she might have to take a look in the mirror.

Today is another day of telling some people who are really important in our lives.  As nervous as I am about telling the people who are really close friends of "his", I am also relieved.  We won't have to pretend anymore.  I am sad for them that they are going to have to face losing one of the people who have been really important in their lives, but hopeful that they might be able to accept the change.

We still have to tell most of my family.  It's not that I haven't been ready to do that, but the timing hasn't worked out quite yet.  Each one of these talks is incredibly emotional, whether it's positive or negative.  It's exposing your emotions to others and that has been draining for both of us.  It's also a lot of work because people do want to continue to talk and we haven't been this social in a very long time.

We have made some important steps and she has been so brave.  I'm so proud of her that she is becoming the person she has always felt on the inside.  We went to a wig shop together, we went out on the town together and she even went to the last therapy session en femme.  I am amazed at the amount of courage she has and am so proud to be married to someone with that kind of inner strength.  I'm actually finding the strength within myself too.  I have found that to be strong, you also need to be vulnerable.  Being closed off and putting up emotional barriers isn't the kind of strength I thought it was.

I had an epiphany last night.  The feminine side of this person is the one I actually fell in love with in the first place.  When we first met, the personality was more like the one I am seeing right now.  It didn't really occur to me that over time things had changed with the personality until I started seeing it again.  I could never really put my finger on what was changing, but now I see that it was just a gradual withdrawal from each other.  I'm so happy that we have started going back to what we were in the beginning of our relationship.  Like the Wizard of Oz said...the answer was in front of us all along.