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
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.