Monday, December 9, 2013

I Dreamed a Dream in Times Gone By...

This past week has been especially difficult because of the second coming out of 'Marcy' Michael's female alter gender identity. My strife is entirely internal. She is not dressing more, she has not come out at work (yet), she is not asking our son to call her mommy (yet), she hasn't even restarted hormones (yet). She just made a declaration of intention and my weary soul is numb with grief again. 

Grief. My old nemesis. We meet again. Last time I went through this I didn't make it. Grief is hard. I felt as though the pain would never end. I felt no one could ever understand the loss and pain I suffered. It was slow loss like terminal illness but without the kind words from friends and family. I suffered without people stopping by to hold my hand or bring me food, without the time off from work, or school. The very special grief feels very private and shameful.

 People understand grief over death. But I hear time and again of quiet suffering of people who endure loss of a different kind like fertility, independence, ability, or even their homes. These losses are misunderstood and seem like less, because everyone is still alive. 'You can always adopt.' 'At least you have someone to take care of you.' 'Plenty of people get by using a wheelchair.' 'You can build a new home somewhere else.' We are foolish when it comes to someone else's loss and pain. We can't know their desolation. We shouldn't compair it. Don't tell me it could be worse he could be dead, that is insult to injury. My life is changed for ever. My grief is not self indulgent whining's. My pain is real, and hot, and crushing.

 There is someone in your life who is celebrating this change. I used to say it all the time. She is joyfully attending Marcy's birthday and I can't stop crying because I am at Michael's funeral. I am happy for her, because I love to see her happy. But that can not lessen my grief because it is mine and not hers.

Last time I recall it being very hard to let go of the title. This is my husband. I am Michael's wife. I am Mrs. Reynolds. It seems like a silly thing to cling to. I didn't realize the status it had attached until I lost it. I have a partner now. My partner and I have a child. My partner. In polite conversation who knows what that means. We may have been together for a month, we may be gay, we may be starting a business, I may be the breadwinner, they may be stay at home with the kids. It was hard. That has gotten easier. 

I feel I may never have children with my partner again. I always imagined a large family. Marcy told me that she looked into sperm banking already and that it was not expensive. Do I really want to inseminated sometime down the line? I think she should bank before restarting testosterone blockers, to preserve her fertility. But I am not comfortable with the idea of having her babies. Which is funny. I have had baby fever the last few months. I probably just sensed this was coming. 

I think what it is is the change in family status is still uncomfortable for me. We are not a perfect traditional couple with a beautiful boy. We are morphing into a new mosaic family with more than one mom,  and an unusual history. Like adoption, step families, foster families, gay families, poly families, and friends who raise children together. I have always thought that there was no lesser family structure as long as everyone loved and protected the children. But this wasn't my dream. 

That what we have to grieve. The dream. The future that will never be. Like those who suffer infertility. I have to let go my desire to have my family the way I want to and surrender to having a family.

If you are not familiar with the stages of grief or you just want to laugh at this delightfully short and funny educational cartoon visit ;

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
  "Hope" is the thing with feathers - (314)
By Emily Dickinson

So the poem. My favorite poem. I chant it to myself sometimes to remind myself to listen to the song. I am here to grow. I hope for better understanding, acceptance, and serenity. The times of hope are small in comparison of the times of sadness and anger. I go to church, I pray, I light a candle and I fill my cup with hope. I carry that cup of light and its song with me through-out my week to stave off the darkness of despair. 

I don't know if I am more prepared to handle the changes then last time. But I know that I must grieve, I know that I must hope, and that I must grow.

How do you handle your grief?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sexual Satisfactions

It came to my attention lately that few wives and gender variant partners talk about the specifics of their sexual relations. I understand the trepidation. I have danced around the subject many times. My sex-capades are my own and I really want them to be judged by my neighbors, friends, or coworkers. That being said the changes in my relationship touch every aspect of my life. Sex is no exception. I think that everyone has to negotiate the changes in this area their own way. I do wish more people were willing to talk about their sex life struggles as it might be helpful to see that individually we stand together in the insistence that, whatever they are, we have sexual needs that may be difficult to meet with the change. 

I discovered recently that some of my own sexual behavior could be considered fetishistic. I have a phallic fetish, on men. It sounds a little absurd, as most men are born with there very own phallus, and purportedly heterosexual and bisexual women are attracted to men; it doesn't seem like a stretch that I would be attracted to dick. I think I enjoy dick more than the average women (well, androphile, you know what I am getting at). One of the greatest things about becoming sexually active was being allowed to play with penis (and testis). I am so grateful that my first partner didn't make fun of me. I didn't know that my penis fetish was unusual. I figured my friends were just tight lipped about how much they love, touching, gazing, exciting, kissing...their partners genitals. I had male friends who talk about loving to do cunnilingus; certainly I was not the only female who need not to be cajoled into giving head? Well I have enjoyed several partners now. Each and everyone of them commented on my adoration of their genitalia. ::shrug:: So I decided to call it a penis fetish. When someone says what so important about dick (as has happened since I entered the gender variant community) I want to gasp and cover my mouth scandalized. I just can't understand. That is not my experience. I also enjoy gay male porn. (Which is more common than you think).

So that being said. What happens if my partner no longer wants theirs? It is their penis. I can't claim it. But it is the only one I have to play with. I would have a need that is unfulfilled if it became less than functional or was removed. This is just theoretical at the moment, as my partner rarely talks about SRS. She only thinks it would be a reality if we were no longer having sex with each other. Which may very well happen.

I am not attracted to her as a female. Long hair, painted fingernails, lipstick, a fashionable scarf, matching bra and panties. She is a cutie. I think she is adorable but not sexy. I have to close my eyes and picture my husband with his army haircut, in jeans and a Star Wars t-shirt to get in the mood. Sex while she is en femme is very difficult for me. It involves lots of imagination and often results in less than orgasmic results. Also I feel like I am lying when we have sex when she is presenting female. Even pegging is less satisfactory because well that fantasy has to do with 2 phallus toting men.

This is problematic. My penis fetish remains. Part of me is certain that we will be fine so long as I can get her naked and worship the bits of her that don't match the high heeled shoes, and lovely earrings. Part of me believes that sex will disappear. It is not really that simple so much goes into sexual attraction.

A sexual relationship with my partner will be a very hard thing for me to let go of.

I am not sure how to conclude this entry except to point out that my partner as sexual need that are less than fully fulfilled by me. I know she likes the idea of being with a man as a women. I know that she wants to have sex as a women, and enjoys being more passive. These are things that are difficult (or physically impossible) for me to give her.

I am not opening my sex life up for comment, I am sure we will find a way to make it work or give it up. I just want you to know as a reader that these are very real issue to do with transition that are universal to spouses, regardless of that actual nuts and bolts of the conflict. Feel free to share here, if you are comfortable. We have to talk about these things. If we can't talk about them to each other who can we share them with?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On Rage

I recall, I felt my life was like a child's beloved macaroni art work, in which, pieces were falling off, during last transition. I couldn't stop them: No matter how hard I tried I couldn't make them glue back in place.

I described myself as crazy. I wasn't: that word is used too often. I was sad. I mourned the loss of things I was not sure I had lost. I was afraid of things to come. Of things I didn't yet have a plan for. I did not ever identify my feelings as futility or anger. I think women are taught not the should not feel anger. If a women expresses anger she is labeled bitchy, hormonal, or out of control.

In Fluidity I spoke about my coming out. How I was received and perceived as the wife of a Cross Dresser (or more accurately transgender). How unpleasant it was. The post was selfish, the feelings are self absorbed. It feels good to be selfish about this and to acknowledge my own pain. My discomfort over my new sensationalized relationship did not push me to feeling unglued. It made me feel enraged.

I don't know how other people live with bigotry, discrimination, or ignorance. I don't know how people can calmly live there lives when someone hates them enough to kill without ever having met. I witnessed a hate crime during this period of anger. I was on duty. I assisted man beaten for holding hands with his boyfriend. I cried, privately. I wanted the perpetrator to die, for his ignorance, for his hate. I doubt the victim pressed charges because it would have been a hardship on them, but it really shook me. These things happen.

My spouse would tell me how people reacted when she went out alone. She told me about the woman who reported a Tranny in the locker room to the gym management. When asked by management what inappropriateness had been witness she said that my spouse had been fully clothed, and had wash washed its hands. Management told my spouse that she could not use the communal bathrooms of either gender. I was angry for weeks, at the management. People say and do stupid things all the time. You don't have any right or responsibility to enforce stupid.

My workplace fired my spouse after she came out on Facebook. I wanted to walked around with a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to kick peoples faces in. The ones who took double takes, the ones who used terms like He-She, or It. I wanted to calmly retort to inappropriate questions about genitalia and surgeries with equally inappropriate questions like; how is your wife's infertility? What are the dimensions of your penis? Have you ever had homosexual sex? That was the plan in my head, but I couldn't calm my rage enough. I cried in anger, quietly when I was alone.

My friends, our friends had just as hard of time with the whole gender change thing as I did. Well, I should say almost, because really I lived with 14 year old girl version of my husband, while they saw her occasionally. Much more occasionally than before too. We were uninvited to a picnic because there would be children present. Another time I was invited to a friends birthday but told not to bring my spouse because the birthday girl's new boyfriend was christian and they were not sure if he would be comfortable with a trans-women sharing cake and wine with him. It was just simpler not to see him. I hated them. I saw red.

What do people say about those who stick with you when your ship is sinking...they are worth it and those who abandon you are not. Well they weren't abandonning me, just him. They made that perfectly clear. I hated them. I wanted to shout at them, I wanted them to feel ashamed.

Shame is all anyone should feel when they are confronted by there own bigotry.

I yelled at some. I estranged my parents, my best friend, my co-workers. But mostly, and quite confusingly I understood. Even my biggest champions were not ready to endanger their reputations for his gender presentation, their place in the church, in there family. Would you risk losing visitation of your children by having your crazy ex-wife meet an excentric friend in a dress? How about your job? How about your spouse? I hated understanding them, it interfered with my loathing and did nothing to lessen the pain or betrayl.

I was not angry at my husband. I am still not. The anger is back though. I fear that she will come out again without my knowledge or input as before. That I will be drafted into a war I never volunteered fore.That is the place I don't want to be in again.