Just kidding. I have some stuff to say, my loyal readers.
I'm sorry I haven't kept up with this blog, but do you people really want to know each week that everything is pretty much the same as it has been?
Truthfully, though, it hasn't been... exactly... the same.
I really should have written something in September, but I was thinking more about what is happening at this very moment, even back then, so it didn't even occur to my foggy little brain to let you know what had been happening earlier this Autumn.
So, I'll tell you about that before I get to this very moment.
In September, Natasha has facial feminization surgery. It wasn't Caitlyn Jenner type, total reconstruction. She had some minor adjustments done to her forehead, eyebrows, and upper lip. That surgery wasn't a big deal on my end. I knew she wasn't going to look very different to me (although her lips are fuller. That's weird to me, but people do that lip-filling stuff anyway). She's still healing from it, but you can only tell at the hairline.
What was a big deal was the surgery itself and the early recovery. The surgery was almost eight hours long, and she had to stay overnight, which was a good decision because she was immensely groggy. So, yeah. Major surgery. And, by the way, after a several-month battle with our insurance, all this was paid for (minus co-pays and deductibles, of course). As I sit here in the waiting room for Tasha's current surgery, I'm at least satisfied that she'd already met the annual out-of-pocket maximum with the first surgery, so this one is "free."
Did I say "waiting room"? Yes. It's the procedure she's doing now that got me thinking a lot. She's having vocal feminization surgery now. Two little sutures will change her voice from baritone to alto and will take away some of that reverberation guys have (you really have to know what you're listening for, but essentially it's why so many transfolk get "clocked" on the phone. This is the big surgery for me, even though it's technically minor, outpatient surgery. Tasha's voice is the last thing I have of Jonathan, and I've already heard the last of it. I'll never again hear that voice except on videos or recordings.
Nothing new because, well, he's gone.
I'd been preparing for this surgery since she first wanted to get a consultation about it, which was last spring. I didn't think insurance would really cover it. But they did, and here we are.
The kids have expressed sadness and concern over the last few months, too. I don't know if they talked to Tasha about it, but she's going to read about it here (she's one of my biggest fans!). Their father's voice would be going away. They felt the same as me.
I've said before that it would have been easier if Tasha had done something bad and I/the kids could have hated her and moved on in whatever capacity that might have been. But we still love her a ton and want her to be happy with herself. This surgery is the icing on the cake. This is the one that means the most to her (besides the GRS, of course). She will no longer be misgendered under any circumstances. So, we support her.
On the plus side, she can't speak for about a month. So yay!
The facial surgery meant a lot to Tasha in the fact that people at stores stopped taking second glances at her. The vocal surgery means she can talk on the phone in a normal voice and be called "ma'am." I get that.
So? What does this mean for us? Well, nothing really. Not yet. I don't really know, but I suspect we will return to our new normal again and move on. Heck, we're still planning to move to Vermont ASAP. We'll be looking for one house to be in together with the kids. But I think she knows I'm only mostly joking when I threaten her with separate bedrooms. Still, the nature of our relationship is stable and good. She's been in therapy for a long time now, working on how she communicates with the kids. But that has nothing to do with being trans. That has to do with her upbringing. So she would likely be in therapy for this stuff anyway. All of our "problems" are just regular, non-trans-related problems.
But every once in a while, my problems also include feeling separated. I don't feel "married." I haven't for a long time. That's another story. One that you've heard from me before. But it's like my writing. I love to write. I have so many stories to tell. But I spend so much time making ends meet financially and all the other stuff that goes with having a family that when I get to think about it, a bunch of time has passed. I feel crappy for not having written, especially when I see Instagram posts of other writers I know who are doing their things, networking, entering contests, winning some of them, blah blah blah that I'm not doing, and I feel crappy for a bit. And then I have to leave for work.
That's what happens when I get down about my personal life.
It's a good thing I'm going for my MA in Marriage and Family Therapy. I didn't tell you that, did I? Yep. I'm doing it for me. Not so I can diagnose and treat myself. So I can get out of teaching and start helping people in a much broader sense. THAT will make me happy. So see? I AM doing things to make me happy. Moving to Vermont (ASAP, DAMMIT!). Going for a new and more fitting career. A little extra happiness can go a long way to making other things feel, and therefore become, more manageable. Stay tuned, my friends.
I have to leave for work soon. Tasha won't be out for another hour or two. Our friend is coming to relieve me from waiting room duty and she'll bring Tasha home. I will post again within a few weeks to give you an update about Tasha's recovery and my feelings about that.