Saturday, August 29, 2009

What is it like?

I was having a conversation with my TS friend the other day.
We spoke of a certain Prime Time News special about a family with a man transitioning m2f who had a wife and child.

A couple of things stood out:

1. There was a quote that went "when one person transitions, EVERYONE in the family transitions whether they want to or not"
This is the perfect statement about the situation.

2. The wife looked sad, flat and emotionless..Several times throughout the special she commented on things she said to her spouse. She said many of the same things that I've said to my spouse over her years of transition. I don't think my spouse remembers. Some of them related to sexuality. The wife expresses that the intimacy is gone from their relationship because "she's just not into that" If ya catch my drift..

In discussing the special a bit with my friend, I related that I felt some commonality with the wife, and that I perhaps saw what I look like when I look at her. This is because I sometimes feel asleep emotionally. She looked disconnected, and I often feel disconnected. My spouses response was "she's mourning".

The more I think about it, the more it bugs me. How dare she reduce what I'm going through to one measly word. "mourning" BAH! She would certainly not allow that about descriptions of anything she's going through. All TS's in transition seem to think that no one has it as bad as they do, no one truly understands what they are going through. goes both ways.

Mourning is a good start, but it's not enough. What we go through is so much more than a loss to be mourned. Yet how do I express it? For those of us who stick around - who continue to see, or be with our spouses - the loss is experienced every day again and again.

Let me try to put it in perspective...

There is a great movie called "Soldier's Girl" about a TS woman who looses her fiance in a very violent way. There is a particularly significant scene wherein she receives the news of his death. First she screams - almost an animal like sound, like her heart has been ripped from her body, then she collapses in sobs on the floor. It is an amazing scene.

This is like the hurt that we feel when our spouse tells us that they are not who we married, but are someone else entirely. They are ripped away from us, like a beating heart from a living body. After all, isn't a marriage a living thing? For those of us who stay around, every time we look at our spouses..somewhere inside of us..we experience the sharp pain of loss again and again and again. We look at them and long for the ones we married. We look in their eyes and hope for even a shadow of the one we thought we were going to spend our lives with.

But with the strength that women have, we become pros at disconnecting our emotions, after all we can't be collapsing in a heap every other minute, and we function. But somewhere, down deep and hidden our hearts rip again and again and again.

Those of us who have chosen to stay do not receive any relief. There is no healing. Over time there is a callous, some protection from the sharpness of the pain. But we are stunted emotionally. We have had the rug pulled out from under us. Kyrie..What about me? It is such emotional paradox. We work to keep our hearts soft. The wholeness of our partners is important to us. It is part of our love for them and our desire for their fulfillment as human beings is still what we wish for them in spite of their absolute selfishness. For this time for them is truly self centered.

"Mourning" is not even close to what we're going through. Sometimes I think that TS's want to keep it simple so that they don't have to bear the weight of their actions on us and the children if there are any. Who could bear the full weight of knowledge that they have torn a family apart, torn hearts apart.

But I wonder..if my wounds are permanent. I'm afraid they are. Someone once told me "Just because God is asking you to walk in a bitchin hard place, doesn't mean you have to be a hard bitch"
Such words..but how with such pain that does not go away do we stay soft and loving? How do we protect that part of us so damaged by this situation and not seal ourselves off completely?

I don't know the answers....I know I'm not miserable, I'm not unhappy, on the contrary, I feel very successful and reasonably fulfilled. But I know that I'm not feeling a complete range of emotions, my joys are not so joyful, my peace is not deep, rich and serene. But I can tell you my angrys are REALLY angry and my sadness is deeper than the deepest sea.

Sometimes I think that I keep people at a distance. It's not safe to get close. I bite!