I have been thinking of a topic to write about for this last day of 2010 and nothing of profound note came to mind. But something has been going on that I thought I should share anyway, so here goes...
We all have those days when those things that seem okay most of the time do not feel so okay. I am one of those people who tries to remain conscious of the causes of my feelings, so when these days happen, I search for reasons. Today is one of them.
We live in the Phoenix area (AZ) and yesterday it snowed. We had nothing more than a dusting, but the fact that snow fell from the sky over the Surface of the Sun is not normal by any means. I take these changes in weather three ways: first, I love snow so it was awesome; second, even awesome snow is proof that negative climatic changes are happening and that's bad; third, my life is about to undergo a major shift... again. I forget how much weather changes frighten me until they happen. I fear for my children's futures most of all. I could delve deeper into this subject, but I have no interest in starting an eco-political conversation here. My point is that the snow clearly altered my mood and I started to think negatively about a lot of things having nothing to do with the weather.
One of the main thoughts scuttling around my mind today was how much Natasha is in her forums and on her boards. She converses with her transfolk community at least as much as she interacts with her kids. Sometimes, it seems as if she is more interactive with the community than she is with me. I'm not exactly complaining. Yes, I obviously am feeling this way, but I also understand how important she has become to many people who need her. I understand that she needs these people, too. I can only so understanding and then I can go no further, having no personal experience with what she is going through. Rationally, I don't blame her for her commitment. Emotionally, when I'm having one of these days, I'd rather she be more present.
This brings me to the main point of this entry. I know that there are lots of transfolk who become very involved in their new lives and their partners start to feel like the third wheel. Natasha's "thing" isn't nearly as obtrusive as behaviors reported by others, but the issue is similar enough that I think I can address it.
To the transfolk: we (most of us partners, I hope) totally understand that you have entered a "new" world and that you are excited about exploring it. Perhaps you have begun going to meetings or developed friendships or you are really just going all gang-busters with your transition and being as much woman (or man) as you can be. Perhaps we, your partners, have given you the go-ahead and have chosen to stay and be supportive, but sometimes, you might stop to consider how quickly or how blatantly you are going ahead. How are we acting around you? Have we become withdrawn? Do we not hold your hand as much as we used to? Do we look you in the eyes as much? When we opened that door for you to go through, did you barge right in or did you step through with caution?
Partners, we will have days when what we have signed up for seems too much to handle, but it's just a day among many that are just fine. When your trans partner is going overboard... at least, to you... do you say something or do you keep it to yourself? Are you not saying anything because you are afraid that your trans partner's feelings will be hurt? Aren't YOUR feelings being hurt? They key to making it through the transition together is communication. Tell him or her that the behavior is making you feel excluded or is simply freaking you out. Ask him or her to take a step back and listen as you calmly explain how you feel. If you both talk about what both of you need, you can start to make these bad days less bad and less frequent.
So today, I mentioned to Natasha that her frequent blogging/forumming was bugging me a little. I also told her that I recognize that today, in particular, I am feeling totally off about a lot of things and I am working hard to feel better. I don't want to ring in 2011 with a bad mood.
The weather says that things are changing. I like snow, so perhaps this change will be good for all of us. 2010 was, over all, a very good year. We had some seriously bad downs, but we made it through them. Maybe a little snow is the gentle cleansing of the air that we all need.
I don't know if this post made any real sense. I hope someone gets something out of it. Basically, I hope everyone has a wonderful 2011. I hope that we all take each day as it comes and that we continue to work together... all of us... so that everything works out for the best.
Happy New Year!