Tuesday, November 27, 2012


In the last few months I've not had much to report. Mostly, things are status quo on the transition front, mainly because the transition is over and we are trying to get back to life in general. Mostly, we're still having financial problems, now due to the company I work for that decided to take me off of teaching duty and keep me on for other stuff while they take care of some company issues.

Having had about six months to think about other things than my spouse becoming a woman, I've been able to look more closely at myself. I'm typically someone who doesn't do that too often, since I don't like much and I easily find gaping flaws. Still, being at a point where Natasha can explore her sexuality more gave me cause to dig deeper, since I really do want to make all this work out in the end.

We haven't done anything yet. Mainly, I think it's because of me. We've discussed our situation several times and came to the conclusion that, as it was before, sex isn't the most important thing in our relationship. We've got some toys. We used them in the past... long before when we were just a regular, heterosexual couple... we're just not really using them together. Not surprising to many readers, I'm sure. I can hear some of you saying, "Ummm hmmmm. I saw this coming and I told you so." Well, it's not so bad as you might think. Like I said, this does not cause a divorce, at least for me.

Natasha told me a while ago that she tried to put herself in my position. She considered how she would probably have felt had I been the one to transition. She admitted that she would not have been able to stay with me as a spouse. As a woman, the thought of even snuggling with a man grosses her out. I can't imagine that being different had she remained a man. She said she wouldn't blame me if I find one day that I can't stay married to her. This is what got me thinking. You see, I'm in my early 40s and although my sex drive dropped to zero after I got pregnant the first time, it's been ramping up. Some days it matters and that's when the toy comes out. I had to admit to myself that I am who I am. I happen to be a very open-minded person, but my physiology says that I'm heterosexual. It's just that way. I love Natasha to death. She is one of my soul mates. She is my best friend. But I really am not attracted to girls. Nothing I can do about that.

But again, I have no need to get divorced because of it.

I do have a worry, though, and this is why I called this entry "Perspective." In a previous post, I said that I've thought of Natasha's transition like a person who has become a paraplegic. Same person inside but unable to do things, like have sex. For the most part my analogy holds water. However, there is something in my... instincts?... that tells me that it's about more than sex. It's about bonding and pairing. This is what I'm currently struggling with (not actively, mind you. I'm quite content in the relationship department, thanks). Something within me says that I'm not paired with a male and that's not "right" for me. Had she been in an accident that left her paralyzed, she'd still be a man, and, sadly, I think that does matter in a way.

Remember that even though Natasha has been presenting female, it's barely been about 18 months. I'm 41, which makes 18 months not a long time at all. In actuality, I'm still getting used to this. I've come a very long way since all this started in June 2009. At first there was no way I would accept my spouse as fully female. I was ready to say no to that in a heartbeat. Now, I'm happy living with a female spouse. No, I'm not blissful, but happy is pretty darn good! It implies that it is reasonable to think that some day what feels "right" may change.

It might not change. At that point, we'll have to deal with it. When might that point be? I suspect if I EVER meet a guy who is a soul mate is totally awesome, it might become an issue. I'm not looking for him, so don't hold your breath.

If you look over previous posts and many of the comments made, you'll see that I was strongly not in favor of those partners who turned and ran at first mention of GID. I'm still standing my ground here. Yes, I totally understand it if a person views sex as a central part of a relationship and has no inclination towards the same gender. If that person wants to turn away, that's fine. Our decisions and actions define us. But if sex is not central to a relationship (sure, it can still be important, but not the be-all, end-all), then I still say that it is vital to be willing to support those you love and try your very, very hardest to adjust. I'm still adjusting, and even if some day I find that I cannot adjust any more, at least I will be able to shift my life with Natasha into something else just as meaningful, without anger, without feeling like I could have done something else or should have done something more. When you are in a relationship that means the world to you, you give everything to keep it. You don't just turn away.

In spite of the fact that I still have worries, I will not diminish the value of my relationship with Natasha by quitting. We are both suffering because of something neither of us chose. Even with my present perspective, I still cannot see either of us going it alone. I will not be responsible for adding grief where it isn't necessary. Happiness is a big accomplishment, and I have it within my family.

Natasha will read this and feel sad, I'm sure. She still blames herself for what she's "done to our family." But she will also recognize that I love her so much that I am still walking beside her. She is still my Woobie. Things happen and change. Strong people don't give up: they go on. That's why I thought I should post an update for you. Things are better. I've been able to concentrate more on myself lately, and that's a great thing! We weathered the storm together, right? Heck, I've even decided to renew the pursuit of the one career I have passion for other than writing, and if things go the way I want them to, it's going to totally uproot my family and turn the next two years or so into a busy, stressful, amazing transition for us all. Maybe it was Natasha's transition that got my mind wondering about changing my own life into something more akin to what I dreamed about but had to give up. If she can become the person she needs to be, so can I - only not quite as drastic.

In short - yeah, right - I'm still saying "don't give up!" I won't.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If You Didn't Know, You Wouldn't Know

The other day, as Natasha was "doing her thing," as we have officially dubbed her dialating routine, I came in to talk to her about something. Whenever I do this, I always glance down at her nether regions to see how the swelling has gone down. All I really see is the mons (that mound of flesh in front of everything else), but on this particular day, i asked if I could look at the rest of it. Yeah, I know what a vagina looks like. I've seen a few, even besides my own and our daughter's, but not my spouse's.

What are you supposed to expect when you look at a doctor-constructed vagina, anyway? I expected to see scars. I've got scars from C sections and breast reduction (a whole other story). She's got the little scars on the mons, but you wouldn't see them if you didn't know to look for them.

So, she let me look.

Holy crap!

If you didn't know she was a post-op trans, you would never have guessed it. Seriously. Dr. Brassard is a frickin' genius!

What did I say to this? "Wow. That's a vagina. You have a vagina."

Like I didn't know that already.

I think one of the character traits I have that has helped me through Natasha's transition is my sense of humor, and I'm not kidding about that. I happen to be fascinated by the human body and the things people do to it, but more so I find humor in strange situations. I can say for certain that, even after three years, this is still a strange situation for me. Pointing out the obvious... that she has a vagina... is funny to me and to her, especially when I say "vagiiiiiiiina," instead of "vagina." I never expected to discuss my spouse's vagina. Ever. So that in itself is funny.

In reality, I have serious moments when I think about the approaching time when she is ready to explore her sexuality. I want to WANT to be a part of that, but I'm unsure of just how liberal I am. Yet, because sex just isn't the big deal for what defines the success of our marriage, I find humor in everything else that she's going through. Even the voice lessons she's started. I happen to be a trained classical vocalist (quite out of shape, but I used to be pretty darn good). When she was using those stupid vocal CDs that said every woman must speak at, like, the G above middle C, I wanted to "accidentally" smash them under the tires of our minivan. This guy she's seeing has put her at a much more reasonable F below middle C (which I think is still a touch too high), but when she practices she also over enunciates and she sounds like one of those awful, scripted webinar people who have no acting skills. It's really funny!

Anyway, back to her vagina.

I have so many memories of Jonathan and I know that they will fade over time. I have absolutely no desire to remove Jonathan from my memory, or from our children's memories. I have, nevertheless, reached the point where I'm no longer uncomfortable telling strangers that my spouse is a woman. Until recently, I would get this twisting feeling in my gut when I knew I had to say something about that. The fact is that either I could care less about what the particular person thinks of me or I actually like the person which means that that person wouldn't have a hang-up about me having a woman spouse.

You just can't tell anymore that Natasha was Jonathan if you didn't ever know her as a man.

I know that there are a lot of trans folk out there who are afraid that they are just too "manly" or "feminine" to ever pass as the other gender. Natasha was lucky in that regard because of her facial structure. But she still has the height and build. Yet, she totally passes.

If you are reading this and are just starting out, or you've been on the road for some time but know you have a ways to go, just keep going. Be open to criticism so that you will be open to change. Accept advice about clothes, makeup, voice, behavior... especially from someone who'se been doing it for a lifetime. Most importantly, learn to be happy with what you have (or save your money to make some alterations). If you FEEL like you're in the right body (at least mostly), then allow yourself to find some happiness in that. Try not to focus on the future because things might not turn out the way you want them to. Find small accomplishments and celebrate them instead of diminishing them against the grand dreams of the future. You'll just make yourself and others around you very miserable.

And hopefully, some day, people won't know what they didn't need to know. You know?

More to come...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Natasha is going back to work tomorrow, which is both good and bad. It's good because we need her income and she enjoys her job. It's bad because she'll be out of the house a lot. I'm happy to say that I've felt this summer like I have every summer before, which is that I love it when she's home but I also look forward to a quiet house when everybody goes back to school.

Natasha is most recovered from her GRS, meaning that she's no longer in any significant pain and that she can go back to doing the things she did around the house. She fixed a broken drawer in the kitchen the other night. As much as she never would admit it, she's always been handy. She promised me that once she recovered she'd be more handy around the house. Trust me that I'll hold her to it. :-)

I'm recovering too. This is mostly good. It's only not all good because my mind can now consider the rest of our lives. It's still a bit concerning for me because she is starting to explore how much she can feel down there and although she insists now that she is truly 100% lesbian, neither of us can be completely sure that it won't change. She's also taking Progesterone to fill out her breasts. It's supposed to increase the sex drive, too.

For me, I'm not really nervous about experimenting with her. The closer it gets to happening, the less I feel like it's going to be... yucky. I mean, to be honest, I'm still not "sexually attracted" to her. But I do still love her as much as I ever did and I want to participate in the fun aspect of sex. What's happening to me, though, is that now that my mind is more settled, I'm finding my thoughts stray to male actors or past relationships (including that with my husband). No, I'm not tempted to stray, but I am definitely feeling my primal self. I know that I'll never have those experiences again and that does, in a small and occasional way, sadden me. I'm not just sitting there, pining for a male sexual partner. I don't even think about it much at all... but I do think about it occasionally, and that's the "not all good" part.

Other than that, it is good. I feel like my best friend is coming out of a dark, self-consuming cloud. My spouse has always had something of an ego that often leads to thinking about herself and turning conversations back toward herself, but our friends and I have also always teased her about it because it's not really a big deal. When she was going through transition, it got pretty bad. Now, though, she's back to "normal," which makes me happy. She's more silly, too. She used to be very silly. In short, my Woobie is returning, but as a much happier version. I think the kids see it, too. She vowed to be more playful with them. So far, she's a work in progress. But then, she's always been a work in progress. :-)

So, in summary, now that Natasha has come through the other side of her transition, I am free to worry about everything else. :-D

This adventure is far from over, folks, so I'll be back with more updates. For now, I'm working on my book about being a partner to a transsexual. I hope to finish it in the next month or so. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Natasha got home a week ago Friday and she is slowly recovering. Life in our home is, also slowly, getting back to normal. Normal? I've been asked about that a few times. How can life get back to "normal"? You were married to a man and now you're married to a woman. How is that "normal" for you?

1. We're celebrating Father's Day today. True, the kids got their father a pair of earrings, but otherwise, we're going to my folks' house for hamburgers and hot dogs later, just like we've done every year. My spouse gets to eat a bunch of crap food today, just like every year. It's still Father's Day.

2. My spouse still snores and gets grumpy with lack of sleep.

3. My spouse still spends a lot of time on the computer in the designated "Sunny's spot" on the sofa, only it was called "Daddy's spot."

4. My spouse still complains about her weight, just like she did when she was a he.

5. My spouse still likes my cooking.

6, My spouse still thinks I'm the best writer ever (besides her, of course!).

7. We're going to celebrate our tenth anniversary at the place where we had our ceremony, and hopefully both our Bride's Maid and Best Man will be able to make it. Only this time we'll also have our two kids!

8. My dad still pushes my spouse's buttons.

9. Our kids are still two of the most well-adjusted kids on the planet (and we're not the only ones who think so).

10. Every night, our collie still gets on our bed and goes to my spouse for scratchies before we go to sleep.

I could go on, but you get the point.

Now, I know there are some of you out there who are saying, "That's all well and good, but what about sex?"

What about it? We're not doing that right now due to the recovering vagina issue. We haven't done that for a couple of years because of stress and, oh, I don't know...  GD!

"Okay, but what about when everything's healed and stuff?"

Lemme put it to you this way...

11. We already had toys. :-D

Maybe I'm being optimistic. However, there's always number 12, which is:

12. I married my soul mate, whom I fell in love with before we had sex and will love forever if we never have it again.

So, Happy Father's Day to all you readers who have kids and were once sperm donors and are now proud parents. Whether or not you have a partner who can or will say it to you, may this Father's Day be as happy as the others simply because you are still who you were. :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rain on Me

It is just before six in the morning here in Montreal, Canada, where I sit alone in my hotel room across town from Natasha. She is probably asleep at the moment, obliviously sedated from the heavy thunderstorm that woke me about 45 minutes ago. It's a wonderful sound, the thunder. I can hear the rain tapping metal on the roof, too, and it reminds me that rain is cleansing. Unlike in Phoenix, where the accuracy of the weather reporters only extends to if it will be hot or hotter, the Vermont news guy two days ago said it would be storming in this area today and he was right. So, we knew it was coming and that it was coming on Natasha's surgery date. How appropriate, right?

I am accepting this storm as cleansing for me as well. These last few days have been difficult on many levels. For one thing, I'm alone in an unfamiliar place. Although I spent the majority of my adult life navigating big cities alone, I had no interest to do so again. But I am riding the subway and bus, finding my meals, lying in bed by myself. Thank goodness for Skype! It's not that I feel particularly stressed about the being alone part; it's that I'm essentially isolated during a time when I really wish I had someone to stop me from worrying about the last step in this transition.

Our very wonderful friends, who live in New Hampshire, drove us up here on Sunday. I broke down in front of Jack while Natasha was registering in the recovery house. I wasn't worried about the surgery. I have complete confidence in Dr. Brassard, who by the way is a handsome guy despite his age, and his staff at both the hospital and recovery house. I have no doubts that Natasha will come out of this a healthy and whole person. No, I am worried about two things. First, I worry that Natasha will still not be happy. I worry that there is still something more that makes her sad and that healing from this procedure will allow her subconscious to push out yet another issue. Frankly, having to keep our house in order essentially on my own is wearing on me, and I don't know how much more I can stand. Again, it's not that Natasha is changing. It's that the change has occupied her for so very long that she has retreated somewhat from the other obligations in her life. I want her back, you know?

The other thing is that in the next few months, she should be ready and able to be sexually active. I worry that I will not find happiness there, or enough pleasure to have the ability to give her pleasure. This will not end our marriage if it happens, but I will be very sad because I am not ready for that part of my life to come to a close. No, I will not go outside of the marriage. I don't go for that. Neither would she. I think that I'm worrying about this more than I need to, but I can't help what goes on in my head. There is a lot riding on the next few months of her recovery. It's like I've been dreaming of a day when the sun will break through dark clouds and shine into our house and everybody will he happy and joyful... in slow motion. It's a cheesy image. I'm expecting a cure-all. I'm probably projecting a lot onto the sexual intimacy of our marriage when, in fact, there is so much more to intimacy than sex. That's what our friends reminded me about on Sunday when I broke down. Our friends know a lot more about sex than most people, due to their careers. What I realized because of them is that Natasha and I have not been intimate at all in about two years because of GID. Every time her male appendage would react to something, she'd get very upset. So, we didn't do anything. Anything. What I realized was that my worry about sex was my worry about intimacy. We don't ever have to have sex again, but we need to be intimate. I need to be able to be intimate with her and if I can't be, that will be painful.

I spent the last couple of days examining this issue. I concluded that I would not be able to be intimate with her as long as she was wearing makeup and had her wig on. Without these, she still looks enough like the person I married that the rest of her curves and bumps don't matter. She had moobs before, anyway, and those never bothered me. I told her this and she thought it was reasonable. I hate lipstick anyway. :-)

I'm having to remind myself about what I've said before, and that is to take every day as it comes. I've been projecting into the future again and that's what's gotten me so stressed.

So, I'm going to get dressed now and head across town to where my Woobie is preparing to get a new vagina. I'll write about that soon. It's actually quite funny, that surgery center. Anyway, I'm anxious for this all to be over and for us to be back home with our wonderful children, whom I miss terribly.

More to come...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unexpected Support

Yes, by the title of this post I'm sure many of you were thinking, "Did Natasha's father change his selfish ways?" The answer is no, but that's not surprising, right?

A couple of months ago, the president of the school I work for called everyone in individually to get to know us better. She actually already knew me a bit, considering that my father-in-law's one rather giving moment (with selfish motivation) to me was putting me in touch with her for a job a year and a half ago. So, upon sitting down, she asked how everyone was. I asked her if she knew about Natasha, which she didn't. I asked if she knew about Jonathan, and she said, "What about him? Is he okay?" I told her what was going on. I told her about the lack of support from Natasha's parents (all three of them). She set out on a quest to help us out.

I think I mentioned a while ago about the donation page I set up at my boss's request, but I haven't pushed it on anyone because, frankly, I don't know anyone with any money. But after these couple of months, my boss got angry.

I spoke with her briefly yesterday when she explained that many of her "friends" surprised her with a lack of interest in helping. This, you must know, is a woman who has never asked for help. She is not a rich woman, but she is successful and she cares deeply about many causes. But she's never asked for personal favors to help. For me, she did. For Natasha, she did. Because she did and did not get the responses she expected, she told me that she has reconsidered many of those friendships.

Yesterday, after this meeting, she sent out another email to her friends and many co-workers of mine. She made phone calls and she cashed in on many favors. For me. For Natasha. Suddenly, several people (some of whom I know) made small donations. Every little bit helps. She emailed me at work today telling me to expect more. Heck, even her husband made a separate donation!

I never expected this kind of generosity of spirit from my boss. I'd love to share her name, but it's not my call. Yes, my parents have agreed to loan us the money for the surgery, and that is generous in itself. But they know us. My boss, for all intents and purposes, does not. Never in my life have I been selflessly helped by a stranger. Never in my life have I been given unconditional kindness from a stranger. Sure, I know her a bit, but you know where I'm coming from.

I just wanted to share this information because my boss has reminded me that there are truly good people in the world and that good surprises can come from just about anywhere... except for my father-in-law. :-D

Friday, March 30, 2012

On Second Thought...

I'm not sure what's happening to me, but I've been having the strangest feeling in my gut about my involvement in the TS community as a spouse. I mentioned in my previous post that Tasha and I will be writing a memoir about her transition.

I'm having second thoughts.

A friend of ours wrote a beautiful note on FB about her appreciation for her spouse remaining by her side. It got me thinking back on several occasions when Tasha expressed gratitude to me for not abandoning her and for letting her pursue her cure. A thought hit me that felt very... smug... which made me then feel a bit uncomfortable, as I don't generally feel smug about anything (except how smart my kids are :-D). I didn't really feel smug, but the thought sounded like a smug thought, you know? I thought, "The reason Tasha is having an `easier' transition than most married TS folk is because of me."

That's the honest truth, and married TS folk who are having an easier time of it will say the same thing: if her spouse were not allowing this to happen and/or making a stink about it, her situation would be immensely bad. In fact, I think that most TS folk whose spouse did not stay will say the same thing. The wife (or husband) made the situation either better or worse than they already were... given the circumstances, that is.

Sounds smug to me. Unfortunately, it's true. Looking back over the last two plus years, I could finally see clearly that it was, in fact, that I "gave her permission" to transition. I remember when I wrote that here that somebody got all bothered by this concept, but too bad. That's the position Tasha put me in. She said that she would not do ANYTHING without my permission to do so. Had I not agreed to go along, she would have remained a man... and miserable. Boy, wonderful for the kids, right? Drugged into happiness? Not any better. What kind of a life is that? She had no death wish, so that would have been out of the question.  Sorry folks, but Tasha's happiness solely rested on my shoulders and THAT was what was killing me. I didn't want her to transition. No way! But look at my choices. Similar to the choices of any TS... to transition or not to transition... what a lousy question! I had but one decision because I loved her. And thus, I was miserable.

Poor me, right? Yes, and no. I made the decision to let her go ahead with it, not her. My decision, my bed to lie in. I don't regret it. It was the RIGHT decision.

Some people might say that Tasha put the ball in my court to take the blame off of herself. I don't see it that way. If she did not let me make the decisions, then she would have been acting selfishly. Sure, she might have decided on her own not to transition, but she would have decided for all of us to have a husband and father who was immensely miserable, not real and medicated. Again, good for the kids? Good for me? Nope. It is my opinion that those who made this statement above are people who have possibly never really experienced being married to their best friend: true partners. She told me what she wanted to do and then deferred to me to make final decisions.

So what am I getting at?

This feeling I've been having is something like anger. Whenever I hear about a wife who has left because of the TS situation, I get angry. What the hell? I start thinking, "What was it about your marriage that was screwed up before this that you never tried to fix and are now using this new event as a last straw?" What wife (or husband) who TRULY loves her husband would leave because of this? "Oh, I'm sorry dear, but I really love you beyond all measure... except that you're not going to have a penis anymore and, you know, that's more important to my happiness." Dude! Really?

I feel like there needs to be a voice in this community... a loud one... who is talking to the wives. I don't think a lot of wives really think this through enough, or they don't know where to start or how to start thinking through it. There is limited support for us. We can't turn to our husbands for support. Most of the world doesn't really even GET what TS is so information is often dodgy. It's up to us to help our spouses through this, and yes, we have to be strong. Most of us are not bisexual or closet lesbians (sad, I know, right?). Are there therapists out there who are experts in dealing with the spouse's side of transition? I haven't seen one. I think it's a shame that so many marriages end because of this. I have no sympathy for spouses who leave because of this (unless there is deliberate deceit involved) and I think that there needs to be someone who's been there and done that do get up and say, "You'd better not walk out that door until you know FOR SURE that's the right decision, or you'll be damaging more lives than you realize and it will be too late. And don't be stupid!"

I'm angry.

So, instead of writing the memoir, I'm going to write a book for the spouses. Maybe a guide. Something strictly for spouses of TS folk: not for cross-dressing. No offense, but it's different.

I could have said that and just left the rest out, but I had to vent. Thanks for reading, even if you disagree. :-D

Thursday, March 29, 2012

In the News

Natasha and I decided several months ago that we would write a dual memoir about her transition. We thought it would be helpful to both TS and partners of TS. We plan to start it in the next couple of months, after I finish a screenplay I will enter into the Nichol Fellowship competition. It's also generally about a couple who are dealing with transition. Who knows...

About two weeks ago, I was contacted via email by a PA on the Dr. Oz show. They wanted to do an episode about MTFs and their wives. I must have spent an hour or so with the PA, and I explained a lot about the condition that she was not aware of. I also warned her about the pitfalls of sensationalizing it... like showing before and after photos. She also spoke with Natasha and both of us refused to have our kids on the show. Lo and behold, today the episode aired. It was sensationalized... complete with TS folk to offer up their before and after pictures and older children who were willing to express their shock and dismay.

I'm a bit frustrated with this community. On the one hand, nobody wants to feel like a freak. They don't want to be stared at. They don't want to be mistaken for the wrong gender. Yet, some sell-outs got themselves some spotlight time at the expense of those same fears. You know what people who watched that show will see if they see those TS folk on the street? The BEFORE picture. Plus, now the spouses have a permanent reminder of the sensationalist view of their marriage. I don't have much hope for those couples.  Some, but not much.

So then, as a member of a tiny, closed FB group, someone posted this article: "Thematic Analysis of the Experiences of Wives Who Stay with Husbands who Transition Male-to-Female." Fantastic review of a study about this, based on a previously written book about it. Generally, I found that I could identify with what the wives in the study/book revealed, but not everything. It's a bit dry, I warn you, as it is a scholarly paper, but it's worth the read for both parties. It proves that this difficult and tumultuous road can be survived, and that a smoother road can be found ahead... provided that the wife truly, utterly loves the husband for "his/her" person.

Did Dr. Oz present that?... What do you think?

Is that important?...

It is to TS folk who are in relationships they do not want to end. That's not what the Oz show was about, though. He missed the mark... a quite dramatic mark, if I may say. He would have had his ratings, much like Oprah might have had if she had handled it... maybe... but not with sensationalist perspectives. Those TS folk who were on the show... well, I hope it was the editing that did the most damage. But they were the ones who offered up those photos: items that should be kept for one's own memories and not for prying eyes. So was it the spotlight that got them there? Were the spouses thinking clearly before deciding to tag along? Was it about love? Information? Support?

Not from my perspective.

Read the article. It's great!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Changing of the Guards

Yesterday, Natasha received her SRS packet. It's official... assuming we can get all of the money together... she will become a full female in about three months.

I feel mixed about this because she feels mixed about it. On the one hand, having SRS will finally make her body and mind synchronize. On the other hand, she never wanted to be a female.

It is a time such as this when people who think that being Transsexual is "just a phase" or "some kind of sexual turn-on," or some other nonsensical uninformed claim about it. It is a time such as this when spouses should be able to see clearly the pain that this medical condition causes the recipient, if that is ever in question. To think that one could be "cured" by electrodes and hypnotherapy and whatever other wacko things they do at those re-orientation camps just has his or her head up their (mainly religiously fanatic) butts!

Imagine, my non-TS readers, a day when you wake up and you realize that the body you've had all your life really belongs to someone else and you have to give it up. Well, you don't HAVE to, but if you don't, your consciousness will have to take a back seat to the real owner. none of your friends or family will know it's happened. You will be able to hear yourself scream, hear yourself want to reach out to someone to tell him or her that you're still there, but you won't be able to. Rather than give up the body you know and love, you choose to live the rest of your life in the quiet backstage, as much as it kills you to do so (and you couldn't actually kill yourself if you wanted to because you had no control over your body and you couldn't just leave once you committed to staying) But then, one day, a doctor comes to see you... YOU! He looks into the eyes of your former body and says, "I can get you out and put you into a new body. Nobody else is in it and it's a lot like your own, but different. Your friends and family will know it's you. What do you say?

This isn't the same as what a TS goes through, but asking a non-TS to imagine what it might be like to realize that you feel like your own body is the wrong one is near impossible. The resulting mixed feelings, I think, are similar, though, in my scenario. To stay and suffer in silence or to move and learn a new happiness. What a horrible decision to have to make!

I wish so much that I had some kind of magic that would alter Tasha's mind to one that is happy being male. That would solve so many problems for all of us (except the remaining boobs. We'd have to deal with those). But I can't and so her only cure is SRS. I am happy for her that it is coming soon, but I feel her pain that she is finally saying good-bye to that part of her that made children with me, that asked me to marry him, that is Daddy, Husband, Father. She doesn't mind when she is called these things. I can see why.

For her, I hope these next few months go quickly and that we make this thing happen. We all need to move on to the next phase.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shameless Plugs and Interesting Debates

Okay, everyone. I'm not used to asking for help, nor do I ever expect anyone to actually respond when I do, but as it is only somewhat for me and very much for Natasha and for my children, I am herein posting a link to a donation page on which I am trying to raise money for Natasha's surgery this summer (well, late spring). Here's the link.

Interestingly, there are a few conversations going on, both on the donation site and on Facebook, about whether it is best to plan a surgery that will otherwise put us further into debt or to wait until we have the money saved up. As I mentioned on the donation page, I see this surgery as necessary as much for Natasha's mental well-being as it is for the mental well-being of our children and myself. I would much rather continue to deal with financial stresses - that I already have - than to continue dealing with Natasha's frequent depressing and unpredictable mood swings. Yes, she's got other emotional issues (read bad parents), but you all know that when you pile that stuff onto GID, it's just that much worse. Eliminating one major source of depression certainly helps.

I think that the debate over when to have surgery vs risk to financial security is not an uncommon one in this community. I suspect that when couples have stayed together long enough for this subject to even come up, this is a point of contention and yet another stumbling block for the relationship. Perhaps a year ago, when I thought about Natasha having SRS, I would think about our financial situation first. We've never been solidly in the black in spite of having two good jobs between us, but we've always managed to get the necessary bills paid, the kids and pets fed, and the cars in good working order. So the thought of going further into debt for something that, at the time, I felt was not entirely necessary made me feel a bit like Natasha was being selfish. I'm sure this happens a lot. But here's the thing: if I had said, "No way. We need to save every penny for an emergency fund first and then we would consider the surgery," she would have accepted it. And what would have happened? Much like any point where a TS is asked to choose between keeping the family and following the gut, there would have been far more depression and silent suffering. Plus, there has never been a point where an emergency would have taken a back seat to raising money for her surgery. Neither of us are stupid. Both of us put our children first.

Making the decision to go into debt for her SRS, to me, was like deciding that there is no good financial time to have kids. Really. Nobody WANTS to struggle to support a family, but if everybody waited until they were wealthy enough to handle the expenses of babies, toddlers, kids, the population would be extremely small. You have kids, hopefully, when you have the health and energy to keep up with them, when you are young enough to expect to be around when they get married and don't need you anymore (but choose to need you anyway), when you have the love in your heart to want to put someone else before you. We probably won't be able to afford to have kids until the kids are out of college. So it is with SRS. The need arises and you wait as long as you can, but a point in time comes, as a partner at least, when you can't stand to see your partner suffer anymore and you are willing to scrounge and scramble a little more every month for a few years.

Or, you ask for help. :-D

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Alternate Scenario #2

Here's the next scenario:

Let's say that Natasha, as Jonathan, came to me nearly three years ago and said, "Honey, I love you so much. You are my soul mate and I would never ever do anything to hurt you, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am a Transsexual and I have to transition to become a woman as fast as i can. It's literally killing me inside and every moment I try to resist it, I feel like it's tearing me apart. I know you married a man and you're not a lesbian, but I really have to do this and I'm so sorry if it hurts you. It's not what I want."

Wow! What a doozie! I would have been in a state of shock, you know? I mean, I was a little shocked, although after I thought about it, I really wasn't that surprised. It's like when you know something is going to happen but when it actually happens, you're not quite prepared for it.

And then, I would think about what my husband said to me. Here's what I would have heard: "Honey, I love you, but what I need is far more important than what you need and if you find that you can't go on this journey with me then, while it makes me very sad, it is what it is."

I said this before... Really?

I would be thinking that I was immensely mistaken when I thought this guy was my soul mate.

But then, I would also think that everything was really pretty perfect except for this. So, how could it be that we aren't really soul mates? How stupid am I to have been that blind? But I still love him. I can't just turn that off. Yes, he has broken my heart into sharp, shredded fragments, but I can't just turn off what I've felt for the last (at that time) seven years.

As Jonathan's best friend, I would want to see him become a her and to be happy, even though he clearly did not care as much about my own happiness. And, with the kids being there and all, I wouldn't want to fight about the selfishness he was exhibiting. I would be so very, utterly torn.

I probably would be looking into the future and planning for that time when we would no longer be together and, living in the future as I really did for a time (see my earlier posts), I would have shut myself off from the present. I would be biding my time until he would become a she and we could separate.

In our situation, that would have been a big problem because together, we make a decent but barely sufficient wage. Separately, neither of us would make it. We would have been forced to stay together for, probably, several years. Now, I could have gone to my parents' house to live with the kids, but Natasha would have been pretty bad off. Considering this scenario, I probably wouldn't have cared that much, but she would not have been able to provide much in the way of child support. Oy!!! The things I would have had to consider!

Just think: If Natasha had been that selfish, that would have rubbed off on the kids. In our real situation, when I started to shut down, I realized that the kids were being affected. They were not seeing their mommy try. I wasn't trying. And if Natasha had been this selfish to progress without consideration of us, the kids would have had me not trying and their daddy becoming a girl without concern for them. Talk about bad signals! It was because of the kids, mainly, that I forced myself to look at the situation objectively enough to see how I was behaving. If Natasha had followed this Scenario #2, I don't know that I would have been brave enough to look into reality that way.

I don't like this scenario at all. I'm done with it.