The Need for Support

As I go through my day-to-day struggles, I find that I have to deal with my issues primarily by myself.  I think that makes life even more difficult.  My lack of a support circle worries my therapist.  It worries me.  I have always been a strong person, but am I strong enough to go through transition solo?  I really don’t know.

As I have mentioned, I am married.  I have children.  My wife is not on board with this at all.  As she says, this is not “what she signed up for.”  Any mention of transition can get her worked up, and she is subject to fly off the handle.  She doesn’t get physical, but her words can be downright offensive.  I know she is hurt, and any happiness I might find in the transition process is a dagger to her heart and our marriage.  I just wish we could work together to work through these issues.  I keep my femme clothes from her.  I don’t wear panties to bed, even though I wear them all day long under my regular clothes.  I don’t want to rock her world anymore than it has already been rocked.  But still, as I much as I try to shield her and give her small doses of my thoughts and feelings, those glimpses into my transition scare the hell out of her.  I get that.  It makes sense.  I just doesn’t translate into a support structure.

My children are very young and impressionable.  I don’t present female in front of them.  It’s not that I am scared of their reactions.  In fact, even my son has called me “pretty” when he has seen me in female Halloween costumes.  It’s just that they are super social and storytellers.  I am not ready to be full-time.  Presenting in front of them means spreading what is still largely a secret to the general world.

My family is fractured and small.  What was once a large family has been divided by the deaths of the elders and the moving away of my immediate family.  My mom dies a few years ago; my dad lives hours away.  My brother is a little wary of talking to me in the wake of me sharing my issues with him.  Otherwise, everyone else is too distant to care.  Even the people I considered my closest friends don’t make concerted efforts to reach out to me, and generally speaking, they have all moved across the country.  I don’t have a lot of close friends.

In the end, that leave me few and far between moments to explore my femininity, and very few people to share my experiences with.  Maybe that’s why I decided to start this blog.  Just to share my thoughts and feelings with whoever may care to listen, and if nothing else, just to bear my soul to myself.

I do value my therapist’s opinions, but I only get to see her once a week. I also have come to value my transgender support group and its regular attendees.  But really, I need a larger support circle.  I cannot rationalize and logically project how transition will ultimately affect me.  I don’t want to predict my life.  I want to live my life, and while I couldn’t care less as to what the general population thinks about me, I do miss having close friends and family who I can talk to.  My need for support is great (especially as I look ahead to starting HRT), and I don’t know how to expand my circle without somehow further widening the divide at home.  I’m open to suggestions.

Thanks for listening.

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4 thoughts on “The Need for Support

  1. Maybe get outside of your support network by volunteering somewhere? That’s always been my pattern of behavior — when I get a little bored of my current status or when I feel like I need to push myself out in the world … I try to find an organization or a cause that needs me.

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    • I actually do volunteer a lot of my time in the spring and summer months. Unfortunately, the time constraints on the family make it difficult to get away sometimes. I do appreciate the insight, though. A change of scenery can be a good thing.

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  2. Yeah I understand completely. And even in the best circumstances, this gender stuff can be kinda isolating by nature. Even the most well intentioned friends and family can be hard to engage meaningfully about it.

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  3. True. I don’t have many members of my immediate family left. I lost my mom a few years ago, and she was always my closest confidante. My dad has been 100% supportive (which is great), but he also doesn’t necessarily reach out to see how I’m doing. Then there is my stepbrother. While he hasn’t shunned me, I think I weirded him out a little. And of course, there is my wife. She wants no part of a transition. I’m lucky she hasn’t walked yet. I’ll take whatever friends I can find who are willing to offer love and support.

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