Sunday, December 11, 2011

Status Quo

October 3rd, eh? That means for the past two months, things have been "status quo" for us. This means two things: first, the issues we've been having are still on-going and second, the happiness we share is still on-going. Good and could-be-better. But really, we've settled into something of a good place.

Natasha still has those moments of dysphoria that make me crazy. They don't make me angry or anything: just frustrated. I can't do anything to stop them and I can do anything to prevent them. Just last night, for example, I put my foot on her lap. It came to rest at the wrong place, between her right thigh and her left, and she got quietly upset for a moment. It wasn't anybody's fault, but it happens. Even more so, she still has these moments when nobody's touching her or saying anything either. Something triggers a thought and then POOF, there's the bad moment.

More importantly, for me at least, is that in my status quo I was able to return to an issue I had even before Natahs became Natasha, and that was her relationship with her family. It's a really crappy relationship, to put it mildly, and with the predicted tragedy of her father and step-mother's last visit (Natasha asked for their financial help with the surgery and, despite their immense wealth, they said no) she finally came to the conclusion that she needed to distance herself from them. Instead of this realization being a relief, which naturally it wouldn't be, her dead over seeing them again worsened. I didn't think that was possible! The problem at that point was that I was becoming less and less able to handle her depressive moments. I think I've become a little raw over the last two years, not just because of the transition but also because I've overburdened myself with responsibilities. Before the transition, her anxiety over seeing her family was beginning to bother me. I sort of put that on hold for a couple of years, and with the new status quo and then with the transition-fueled exacerbation of the issues Natasha has had with her father since childhood, I was finally forced to voice to her that she needed to see somebody about these issues or I would go nuts in a very bad way.

Sometimes I find myself looking at something in our house and it occurs to me that nothing's really fundamentally changed between Natasha and myself. I know I've said that before, but lately it's seemed even more apparent. That's why I say I'm happy in my status quo. Something interesting happened the other day. I have a picture of Natasha on the day she... as a he... asked me to marry her. It was, even to her admission, the best picture of her in existence. It's on my laptop as a desktop picture. It's been there through two laptops over about ten years. The other day, maybe two or three days ago, I was looking at it and it felt like she looked too different for me to have that picture as my desktop anymore. Maybe it's that her hair is longer or that, if I took that same picture of her today, wearing the same clothes (which she could: the sweat shirt is still in her possession), there'd be boobs pushing at the front of that shirt. But the fact would also be that we would have the same great time now that we had on that day... except maybe for the sex part.

Is it that her gender doesn't matter to me in that I've become something of a lesbian? Nope. Never will be because of that. It's that she is somewhat different in personality, considering that she's a girl and not a boy, but her inherent personality... those things about her that make her my best friend... are still there. In fact, I believe that after her transition is complete and after she can get through dealing with her relationship with her father and step-mother, we might even be better off than when we started. Many of the parenting choices she makes and I don't exactly agree with are right from her childhood. She is by no means a bad parent. It's quite the opposite. However, she projects her own fears and anxieties onto our son especially. He is very similar to her in many ways, but we are not her father and mother and, although she knows this, I can see apprehension in some of her decisions.

Some time ago, I said that I can see a future where she will develop an urge to move on and explore her feminine body as a heterosexual. I can still see that. But I can also see a future where we just kinda grow old together. As I said in the last post, though, I don't look into the future if I can help it. Those futures may very well be out there and some version of myself may experience one of them or both, but I choose to have a happy life with Natasha and the only way I can do that is to be as happy as today will let me. Today, I'm a bit tired and dreading going back to work tomorrow after our super-successful day selling our cookies at the farmers' market yesterday, and I really want to go out to dinner but we can't afford it. Our house needs a good cleaning, too. Other than that, I have no plans to rethink the course of my life in relation to Natasha. I think I'll maintain this status quo for a while. :-)

Happy Holidays!!


Cynthia Jane said...

It is good to hear from you again, and that things are pretty much the same as they were.

It is so sad that Natasha's parents are the way they are. There's no accounting for some behaviors.

About all I wish to say at this point is, have a Merry Christmas/ Chanukkah, and I will continue to pray for you and Natasha as I always have.

Hugs, Blessings, and Prayers,

Cynthia XX

Kathryn Dumke said...

Marni, it is so good to hear beyond the short snappers of other media. So much of what you speak is very familiar for Elizabeth and I. What really warmed my heart is your perspective of a future where you grow old together. Being so much further along in this process of aging this is our most joyful outlook.

Thanks you


Calie said...

I must echo the comments of Cynthia and Kathryn.

If you two can grow old together, that would be a beautiful thing.

I continue to fight it, although I know my wife would stay with me if I did transition, albeit unhappy. She married a male and I did not disclose my situation when we first met. I agreed to a contract (marriage) for life and will continue to try to comply with the terms of the agreement. I work with lawyers daily, so just look at this as an analogy. Marriage, I thought, would fix my gender issues. it didn't.

I am one who, I suppose, has immense will power and will continue to fight it as long as I can. Nevertheless, Marni, I do support my sisters who feel that they must absolutely transition to maintain their sanity or even their life.

I wish you both Happy Holidays and happiness in 2012.


Marni said...

@Cynthia Jane - Thanks very much, and we wish you a happy holiday season, too! :-)

Neither of us were surprised at Dick's decision... yes, that's his name... to be unsupportive. I'm thinking of setting up one of those IndieGoGo accounts to try to raise money via donation. We don't know many people with extra money lying around, but it's worth a shot, right? :-)

Natasha no longer writes on her blog, but I think that I will continue. I have less to say about what's happening with us, but if I can offer advice or just point out the occasional relevant event and it helps somebody, then why not!

@Kathryn - I think at this point the only reason why I might kick her out is if she doesn't start poop-scooping the back yard more often like she said she would! :-D

@Calie - You are a loving and thoughtful person to be willing to keep your "true" self locked away for the happiness of your wife. I have to say that if Natasha had told me that she was conscious of her situation when we met and didn't tell me at that moment, I would probably not be with her anymore. I would have felt betrayed: lied to. You know this, clearly, which is why, I assume, that you remain out of transition. You probably feel immensely guilty. I'm sure, if she does love you, your wife knows this. Are you two happy together, even with the knowledge that you are closeting yourself for her sake, or is there strain because of it?

I am not asking because I want to urge you to push the issue. It is your life and your choice. You are strong to be able to resist. I am asking because, if you two are not really that happy because of your guilt and her distrust, then you might consider that making the change would make things better, if she is willing to go through the change... slowly... with you.

I have heard of several TS who never transitioned, stayed married for life, and died never having realized that transition fully. I learned recently that my uncle's wife's great uncle was a TS and cross-dressed in secret until her wife found out. They stayed married until the wife died, but it was anguish on the TS until that death. Can you imagine how awful that might have been for her? Her wife's death was both terrible and a relief. Talk about guilt!

All I hope for you is that you and your spouse are happy and that you either find that happiness together or apart, whichever is best for your family. Sometimes the road to happiness is very hard and often seems impossible, but your instincts, if you will listen, will guide you and your spouse's instincts, if she will listen, will guide her.

Just promise me that you won't let your guilt drive you into the darkness.

Oh, I forgot to say that Natasha has great will power. She did not take any steps toward transition without my approval. I saw someone that I loved suffering and allowed myself to face the possibility of the journey ending not where I wanted it to, but rather where it needed to.

I wish you and your family the best future possible! :-D