Monday, May 19, 2014

When Denial Makes You Bleed

Hello, my awesome, amazing, (I need another "a" word)... apt?... antidisestablishmentarianist?... I can't prove that, so... adeciduate (look it up) readers!

I hope you found that salutation at least a little funny because the rest of this post is quite serious. I was actually going to write about something else, not quite as serious, but I read something earlier on Facebook today that was posted by a transwoman that really, really upset me and I thought I should share it with you. If you are trans, then you might want to take this post to heart in terms of what you think you are willing to do to make your partner happy. If you are the partner, you should consider this post a warning about being aware of your wishes versus reality.

This person who wrote the post today has since removed it because some of her FB friends advised she do it if she decides to make what happened a legal matter. She posted a close-up picture of her face with a long scratch down the side, a picture of the person's fingers (the one who allegedly scratched her, and another of her full face. Apparently, her wife was the offender, and according to the transwoman, the wife was displaying anti-trans behavior. She called her wife, basically, a monster. Her wife hated her and called her names and just, pretty much, blew up.

This was the story she posted. I happen to have known the transwoman's story (her blog, a few emails/FB messages, and the press) since at least 2012, and it goes way beyond, way deeper, than the story posted today.

Here are the facts as I understand them:

The transwoman is a public figure. She transitioned on the job and transitioned back and, it seems, transitioned again.

Her wife was supposed to contact me when this all started, but she didn't take it well, I guess. The transwoman reached out to me, and to Natasha, for advice. We offered it where we could. I told her to be honest with her wife. Always. We also advised that to try to deny her "true" self for the sake of her family might come back to bite her in the butt.

Apparently, the transwoman doubted her transness because of some medication she took as a youth, but for a long time, she worked to be a woman, even though her wife was having trouble with it. Her wife even left, I think, but the TW convinced the wife to stay because the TW swore to remain a "he" at home. For a long time, the TW wrote and proclaimed how well things were going. More recently, she publicly proclaimed she... or, he... had "transient global amnesia," and wasn't trans. It was a cruel joke played by his wife.

So then today, having transitioned back to being a woman not too long ago, announced that her wife scratched her in a burst of anger.

Now, you know I'm not an advocate of violence in any way...

...but I kind of understand losing it enough to follow through.

Do you?

I guess I've been lucky. Natasha basically put me in the driver's seat with her transition. Yes, she did try to remain a man. She even promised that she would make it all go away. But really, that was during the first six months, and she really, really tried. She wrote letters to her female self. She read them to me. She read what her female self wrote back. And when she was reaching the end of her rope, I was the one who told her to move forward. I saw the depression getting worse, as hard as she tried to remain "Jonathan." Since then, she has been honest with me about her feelings as far as how each step of her transition effected her. Like before she had the SRS, she so hated her man-parts that it depressed her to even pee. She tried anti-depressants. She tried to "live with it." But if you're even the remotest sensitive person (you know what I'm trying to say), you can see when someone you love is really not doing well and you want to help, even if it hurts.

For Natasha, being honest with me about how much more she could or could not take meant the possibility of losing me, but she told me anyway, believing that somehow we would find our way through it together. No matter what our future together looks like, at the very least she knows that she will always have a soul mate and best friend who loves her unconditionally, rather than a bitter ex-wife who vehemently blames her for ruining everyone's life.

So in a nutshell, this person was getting suggestions from FB friends to file a restraining order against her wife because her wife finally couldn't take the manipulation anymore. She lost her self-control and lashed out at her once-again-woman spouse. Of course I don't think that was the right thing to do, but again, the wife was really tossed about in a very turbulent sea of indecision that very infrequently really considered the consequences. And this is why this should be a cautionary tale to all of you readers.

Transfolk: I totally applaud you for not wanting to rock your partner's boat any more than you have just by wanting to change your gender, but be realistic about what you can and can't do about it. You MUST find out if you are truly, and I mean TRULY trans. Are you bi-polar? Are you projecting a hatred of a gender because of something that happened to you in the past? Or, did you know when you were a wee one that you were in the wrong body and feel "wrong" deep down in your soul? If you aren't sure, FIND OUT!! And once you find out, be honest with your partner. TOTALLY honest. Be willing to try to deal with it, I guess, but understand that if you really are transsexual, you will need to transition, even if you can't afford SRS. Understand that pretending to be happy in a body you aren't happy in is a lie and that you will, eventually, have to do something about it. But don't, and I mean DON'T, walk up to your partner and say that X must happen whether you like it or not, unless of course, you really could give a crap about your partner, in which case why are you still together anyway? But DO express your desires to your partner, no matter how afraid you are. Either the partner will or will not stay for the ride. You cannot not do it just because you don't want to lose the partner. And, now here's the point of all this, DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND if you are, indeed, transsexual. Live with your Truth. Deal with it. Trust that your partner, whom you believe is your best friend and soul mate, will process everything, one thing at a time, and conclude that she or he still loves you enough to see it through with you. If your partner is neither your best friend nor your soul mate, well, don't be surprised if she or he doesn't stick around. But just as you didn't lie to your partner when you first met (RIGHT?!), don't do it now.

If you keep waffling back and forth, and someone is there with you, you are making that person go back and forth with you. It's entirely unfair. You know what happens when you shake a soda bottle? A lot?

Partners: Do your homework. Read about transsexualism. Don't read about transgender. It doesn't quite cover it. Ask your transpartner questions. Be honest with him or her about your own concerns. Ask yourself if this is your best friend and soul mate. If so, ask yourself if this person did anything to you on purpose... something the person chose (which being trans is NOT). Understand what will probably happen and what, generally speaking, needs to happen in order for a real transsexual to feel whole and happy within his/her own body. DON'T PUT UP WITH MANIPULATION, but do have the guts to call your partner on it (because sometimes it does happen subconsciously. We're human, after all). Demand to be part of the decision-making process, and seriously reconsider your relationship if your partner doesn't suggest it before you do. Walk away before you lash out. Remember that if your partner has been honest with you all along, no one is to blame. Remember that your partner, if he or she truly loves you, is TERRIFIED of losing you... but you need to be honest with yourself, too, and take what you can take and not take what you can't. Find a therapist (your friends and family are biased, you know). Face reality, no matter how painful it is. You can't hide from it.


So, I did contact this person privately and suggested that maybe she not make this a legal matter, considering that opening that can o' worms would probably end up being a media field day of reposting her past blogs wherein she waffled and strung her wife along being a he and then a she and then a he and then a she again. Who knows if she'll respond.

You know I know how hard this is for everyone. This is why I decided to share the story.

I wish you all the very best in life. I wish you all everything you truly want and deserve. Just make sure what you deserve is something good, okay?

Don't make me have to slap you!