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...