The people I love in my life strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Science explains a ton of stuff. The sun seems like it rises and sets for the reason that the Earth is turning. That guy over there got his car smashed into that light pole and his face into the dash for the reason that he was stupid on his cell phone. I won't sit next to you or allow you in my house for the reason that you reek of cigarette smoke. Stuff like that.
I'm referring to stuff that happens which either directly or indirectly affect the course of events. Often, these happenings really suck at the time. They could be downright heartbreaking. Sometimes, they're not. Either way, these are causes that usually result in something better happening. As my faithful readers know, I'm not a believer in deities or invisible super-consciousnesses floating around. I do believe in a certain Universal Justice (thanks, Enigma, for planting that one in my head), the Force, Personal Karma. The "Eyes of Truth" that are always watching me are my own, and quite probably, my dad's mother who died when I was, like, eleven. I do believe that we tend to attract what we think we deserve and for most of us, it takes a tremendous amount of Will - that we usually forget we have - to make us think differently about ourselves. It's like when we say, "My girlfriend's a jerk. She takes advantage of me and I don't deserve that," but then eventually that relationship ends and we find another one just like it. Saying "I don't deserve this" doesn't mean we believe it.
So, because the Universe is so utterly vast and full of so much stuff that we mainly don't understand, the invisible connections between living things and the other energies in other things, stuff happens that can seem really bad at the time but then we look back at it and realize that if that hadn't happened, this other really awesome thing would not have happened.
It's like what happened this week. I was scheduled to have a partial cornea transplant on Thursday (yep, it happened again), but on Wednesday, when the surgery center FINALLY bothered to let me know that I'd have to show up with over $1100 or I couldn't use the facility, I decided to postpone it because we don't have that kind of money lying around. So, yesterday, which was Thursday, I brought our daughter to our Optometrist to pick up her new glasses (so very, very cute!) Two weeks earlier, during her annual eye exam, we discovered that her eye pressure was up quite high and our Optometrist wanted her to come back in a couple of weeks for a recheck. So, since we had nothing else to do, I asked if they had time to recheck her. And guess what? Her pressure in both eye were WAY HIGH. Like dangerously high! LIke Glaucoma high. Our awesome Optometrist called a specialist right there and he arranged to see her this morning. This morning, he checked her and he also checked her corneas. Turns out they are very thick, which is actually a good thing. The problem is that very thick corneas cause interocular pressure readings to register higher than they really are. Now, the girl does, indeed, have higher pressure than is normal, but we gave her our son's ocular hypertension (high eye pressure) drops last night and they did help. So, she's on eye drops for the foreseeable future. No Glaucoma risk, either, unless we stop the drops. In fact, as she continues to grow (she's only six), her eyes will grow, too, which probably will reduce the eye pressure.
So, if I hadn't cancelled my surgery, the girl would still have DANGEROUSLY HIGH eye pressure in both eyes. It only takes days to trigger Glaucoma at those levels. Everything happens for a reason.
Did I marry a transsexual for a reason? Yes. I fell in love with the man who then became the woman. If I hadn't married the man, we wouldn't have made our super awesome-o kids. I wouldn't have had those first seven years of mainly total awesomeness. If I hadn't married Natasha, she would have not been with someone who would be able to support her when her subconscious mind let it all go. Natasha's transition has taught me about who I am and how strong I really am. No, I'm not thankful all this happened. Don't be silly. But stuff happened and I learned some valuable things about myself that I can now pass on to my children. I live by example.
The fact about me is that I've been through a lot of... stuff. I'm not going to list it for you, but the bottom line is that as strong as I can be for other people, I generally didn't think much of myself. I didn't understand it when the man who was Natasha wanted to be with me... because let me tell you... that man was handsome! I never considered myself more than average in the looks department. I knew I was very smart, but I never figured that it helped me much because I made silly and stupid mistakes. The stuff I've been through was not so much traumatic as much as it was a lot. It's like, throughout my life, one thing after another would happen to me or around me. They would pile up and ultimately, those things that happened were things that only I could face. They were up to me, as much as my parents or friends would want to help. My motto was, "I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop." They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but the truth is that for lots of people, those things that don't kill them make them weaker. They get beaten down. For me, I didn't get beaten down for one simple reason: I believed that I had no choice but to press on through the mess. I felt this way because the other option was to get stuck in that mess like something sticky, smelly and heavy. Tar, maybe? I walked around, waiting for that other shoe to fall from the sky, so if I didn't get out of the current mess, that shoe would get stuck in the sticky, stinky, heavy tar and make it all that much heavier. Trust me: I tried that a few times. It's called "depression."
I can look back over my life and say that every crappy, inconvenient, heart-breaking wrench (or shoe) that came at me prepared me to be able to support Natasha through her transition. Quite possibly, I thought I deserved the shoes. I don't doubt that because I didn't think very highly of myself. But then, I also must have thought that if I could get out from the tar, the success would make me feel better about myself. It didn't. Until now.
The future of our marriage is still uncertain. But what in life is certain? If our son has anything to say about it, even death won't be certain! :-) What I know as a result of all this is that I am a very strong person who can roll with the punches and come out of it because I am capable. I also know that I am more than just a loyal friend. This goes beyond loyalty. Those who are in my heart know from these past four years that there is nothing I won't do for them. I might not like it. It might break my heart for a bit, but if it's the right thing to do, I will be there with all the strength I can muster for them.
I guess the bottom line for this post is, how do YOU come out the other side? How do you handle the shoes falling from the sky? What do you think you deserve and to what depth into your soul does it reach? Does the stuff that happens to you weigh you down or do you take it and find the right thing to do with it? Do you do things because you want others to see you as the martyr or because what you do is the right decision?
One last thing: The reason why I chose to write this particular post is because I've been thinking about a teenage transperson whose parents are not at all supportive of her desire to transition. What I've wondered, as a parent, is how do they sleep at night, knowing that the child they brought into the world, supposedly as a joint effort created by love, is hurting and alone and scared because of them? They are driving this young person away... out of STATE... for a reason. They will lose her as a child for a reason. It's not a reason borne from the right decisions, even if they, somehow, think they are. They probably didn't even subconsciously think they deserved a trans child, but again, that's science. They do, however, probably somehow think they don't deserve love from their god or something (they are very religious) and so they are doing whatever they can to win his love by shunning their unholy child who was clearly not made in "his" image. I've also been thinking about my own brother, who is a total jerk (I've written about him in the past). He thinks he deserves unconditional devotion in the face of immense fear. How his three sons (and forthcoming son or daughter) treat him when they are adults will be direct effects of their insulated upbringing.
I don't see a ton of happiness in my brother's future. Just more fear. And the thing here is that much of his world is highly orchestrated. Whereas for most of us the stuff that happens comes from our interactions with external forces, for my brother, his Personal Karma touches everything. As religious as he is, every single bit of stuff that happens to him is a direct effect of his own conscious choice. Every "reason" behind what happens to him, his wife, and his kids is him.