Personal: Letters

Written by the butchelor

Topics: Personal

I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A. lately. I’ve had a busy week — erg, well, mentally busy anyway. I had my second appointment with Therapist 2.0 on Tuesday and now, as luck would have it, I ALSO have an appointment with a trans-friendly gynecologist (ugh, ugh, UGH!) this afternoon — BUT the good news is that I was referred to her by my therapist who will also be sending my recommendation letter so that I can begin HRT. (WOOT!)

I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions this week (and last week… and the week before that…) in anticipation of getting my letters. Ahhh, but as long as I keep things compartmentalized and not think about the hard parts and the parts that I’m afraid of (like coming out to my family) then I’m free to experience all of the excitement that I SHOULD be feeling right now! Unfortunately it’s always very short lived because I can’t ignore the fact that I’m scared shitless… Or the fact that, while I’ve finally reached the GOOD part of my transition, I’ve also reached the HARD part(s). I’m SO ready to finally face those hard parts so I can enjoy the good parts, but sadly I’m still faaaairly paralyzed by fear.

In all honesty, I DO feel more confident, ready and overall just… more… at peace with having this conversation with my family. I realize that a large part of my anxiety stems from the fact that I’m 34 years old, and I’ve ALWAYS compartmentalized. I’ve ALWAYS managed my relationship with my family. I’ve controlled what we could and couldn’t discuss regarding my personal life. I locked them out. I pushed them away — and unless it was an activity or conversation that worked within that predetermined, pre-approved “family” compartment, I refused participation. They’ve never been given the opportunity to reject me — or to accept me, for that matter. Our relationship has evolved into something that’s superficial and incomplete… and for the first time ever I’m extremely sad about that. I hate the fact that my mom doesn’t know me—at least, not entirely… It’s not fair — to either of us, and for better or worse, I’m ready to have a genuine relationship with her. With ALL of them.

I’m tired of the balancing act and hiding and managing the content of my life… it’s exhausting. Not to mention the fact that it’s seriously stalled my development as a responsible adult. I realize how important that little detail is, now, more than ever. I’m still running from childhood fears of losing my family, being judged and not having control of my life… Those fears were born during a time when I had no control (by default) because I was a child. I didn’t address it then because I was just trying to survive “being different”… eventually my life was consumed by those fears; the fears became bigger and more scary, but really, they’re still just the fears of an eight year old kid. Once I learned how to passive aggressively take control in other ways (by creating those damn compartments) – that’s what I did, and it never stopped. It might not be easy, but it became comfortable. Now it’s all I know.

I have no reason to believe that any of those fears are even justified at this point. In fact, my expectations SO incredibly low for my family that even the most likely reactions (disappointment, sadness, fear and/or even anger) will, most likely, FAR exceed the bar that I’ve set for them in my head. I decided that I would probably send a letter to my mom, and I’ve been working on it — as I’ve been able to – emotionally. Funny though how a year, or even 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have even CONSIDERED the possibility. Like a spoiled child, I pouted and objected and flat-out refused. It was NOT going to happen—no matter how necessary. I couldn’t even think about it, let alone PLAN for it or prepare myself. Now, for whatever reasons I’m finally ready to make those mental preparations. I’m thinking about it. I’ve been mentally composing my letter for weeks, and FINALLY this week, I started writing…

I don’t quite understand HOW progress like this happens, but I’m glad that it does. There are days/weeks where I feel like I just detach completely from the process, so I certainly don’t feel responsible for the progress that I’ve made emotionally… I mean, sure, I guess I’m doing my part – but, by and large, all that’s required is that I just show up.. I guess it really is half the battle.

For now, I’m trying to focus on the relief that I’ll feel when it’s all said and done. When my secret is out, the compartments are consolidated, when I’m free to be myself—completely and authentically, and I’ll finally just be able to… breathe… I can’t quite fathom what that will be like. When, after all these years, I find myself with the courage to face those childhood fears-turned-prison that have consumed me for so long. When “just showing up” will lead me to growing up—and ultimately, to my freedom.

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