So, this is who I am:
Someone who has caused a marriage of 15 years to disintegrate and challenged a 25-year friendship built on trust and affection. Now both lay in ruins, all because I exist.
I didn’t ask for this, nor does it make me happy. But if I am ignored and stifled, there’s no guarantee I won’t make everyone miserable all over again.
I demand to be dealt with, and fairly. I deserve attention and more than that, I would like to be loved, or at least cared for. I cannot help but be me. And hating me just for being me doesn’t make me go away.
As evening comes, the conciliatory language fades and combative dialogue commences. Words are exchanged like cannonfire. Broken hearts are trampled anew and tears flow beyond the point I thought anyone had the capability of crying.
There are no winners, all losers. Even me.
A sacrifice to live with me is spurned, a sacrifice to ignore me is rejected, and so everyone on all sides is sad, beaten-down, depressed and anxious about what comes next.
7 thoughts on “With or Without Me”
I know how you feel. After 21 years of marriage and 23 years of friendship, I know that my marriage is dissolving because of being me. The friendship is still there, and it is strong, but I see my wife mourning the loss of her husband, and my daughter, the loss of her dad.
I am about to start seeing a therapist, which I hope will get me through my own sorrows at the loss of what we have. My wife has always known this time would come, but it arrived a little sooner than anticipated. She thought it would be after our daughter graduated college within the next few years.
I know my wife is angry at times, but the good times are there and even out those rough patches. We laugh and cry. She comments on other guys (on television) and tells me I will find someone when the time comes. What she isn’t grasping is that I love her. I have never looked at another woman (or man) in any manner of emotional intimacy. I cannot fault my wife for leaving when the time comes. I may become a lesbian, but she isn’t attracted to women. I think I will have strong friendships the rest of my life, but never have anyone to replace (or even come in 2nd place) the love of my life.
Part of my family knows, and when I tell my parents (which scares me to death), I will begin living full time. Currently it is about 90% or so.
Not that good thoughts can help, but know that I am thinking of you and all of m thoughts are with you. I hope my positivity reaches you.
Jennifer – we are very much alike! I’ll be thinking of you and pray for both of us! Keep in touch. I’m on facebook ( Dawn McGovern )
Your story–and Jennifer’s are so alike–and so like the stories of other transgender women–it makes me weep. If we were who we are by choice, perhaps these losses would make more sense, but the only choice (at least for me) was either to embrace who I was or die–metaphorically at first, then eventually literally when the despair became so overwhelming I seriously considered suicide. My heart goes out to you. This time in your life is so hard…and it’s not going to get easier any time soon. But please know…it can, and it does…eventually. Many have gone before us. We can do this too. Sending you light…Karen.
Thank you, Karen!
I know that it is the hardest to come out to your wife, the person you promised to love for the rest of your life. She didn’t sign up for what you are about to tell her but there will be in a normal marriage a lot of changes. In my case this was a hell of a change for her. It wasn’t for me as I knew who I was, long before we started dating. I know I kept a secret and if I would have revealed the secret, we wouldn’t be married. Oh, the times I wanted to say something but I was too ashamed, this was in 1968 and I was only 19 at the time. I loved her and she loved me. What is the problem, if some one loves another. Does it really come down to body parts? I asked myself over and over, does it come down to the thing between my legs? It does. I kept my mouth shut and thought I could over come this or grow out of my thoughts and pains. We had two children and I had to make the payments so there was work. Back in the 70’s no one understood what I was going through. I really thought that I was some kind of pervert. I had only heard of a couple of people who have gone through what I was feeling. Society deemed them odd balls, sick and non hireable. I kept it a secret. My children got through school and I could see retirement in about 10-15 years. I had a good job and it was the 90’s. I got my first computer then and instantly checked out Transvestite(the term that I only knew). I found some really bad stuff, no I was not like that. No that wasn’t me. Depression set in. I looked up other terms that I found and suddenly there were others like me. I was thrilled that I wasn’t the only one. So, I tested the waters and rejection set in. I got into another depression again and my job was suffering. I almost got fired so I went out into the hills where i hunted deer. There I had some whiskey and sleeping pills. I needed to take care of business. Somehow somewhere, I felt my grandmother. She talked me out of it. I went down and talked to my wife to say I needed some help. I talked to a therapist and over the year and half I came out to my wife and told her that if she wants to leave, that is fine, I understand but I do love you and I really want to make this work. We had 30 years of marriage. We had some long talks and we also talked to the therapist and we stayed together, It was hard but she has been my biggest supporter. We buy clothes together and we are still married. One of my kids didn’t like what I did and haven’t talked to him since but the other has got my back. We are going on 48 years of marriage and we will hit til death do us part.
Thank you, Gari. Sadly my beloved died last year. But I am living true, and will continue to do so, and fortunately with the blessing of our children.
My name is Sheila Coats and the name Gari, which is my first name came up. I’m so sorry for your loss and you have hung in there. Your children need you to be strong. Love the blog.