Saturday, March 17, 2007

Background - Part Four (coming out)


In coming out to my friend J*, I had to come up with a way that allowed me to approach the subject that fit with the way I'm known.

One of the things that most people have always noticed about me is that I am not gay. I am decidedly heterosexual, and while inwardly I may not enjoy sex with a woman, if that's what I've got, that's what I'll do. That's "right" to me, in exactly the same way that in my personal secret space, when I have sex in my fantasies it is with a man -- but I am always a woman. Although I do have some questions and yes, even a few doubts, these are not great questions or great doubts. That is, I know the answer, but I tend to second guess myself just to be sure a lot.

However, at the same time, most people with whom I have established a friendship have always noticed -- and commented on -- the fact that I am not "right".  That is, I'm not exactly "masculine" in the same way that most men are.

Aside from the physical issues (which I've come to notice more and more strongly and have been taking more and more faint hope from), there are behavioral clues, I suppose.  Like the "tells" that I've always known I was giving or my idiotic urge to write down what was going on in my mind those years ago when I knew Wife was snooping around on my computer. There's always been something that wasn't quite "the same", or that didn't meet the subconscious criteria.

It had nothing to do with my passion or my intelligence or my wit or my humor. IT was just... something.

When I spoke to J*, that was how I approached it. I asked him a leading question, of course, and he was already aware that this was about something that deeply troubled me, and so he was set up to some extent to provide the correct response, but still.

I said "you know how I'm not gay but that there's always been something a little off or wrong about me?"

He said yes, of course.  That was what allowed me to step forward, although I no longer recall more of the specifics of the conversation. (although the meaning of it, to me at least, is retained).

J* has known me for a very long time. Since 1989, when I first took over management of the restaurant where he was a cook, we've had a very comfortable and very laid back relationship where we are friends who don't fuck with each other.  He is, in a lot of ways, my brother -- more than my other brothers have ever been, despite my deep connection to J1.

We helped each other through several tribulations, and we have both struggled hard in our lives without much of what most people would think of as success, but we've had more happiness in doing what we love than most people will ever find.

Coming out to J* was the most important step in this process I've taken, save perhaps for that brief establishment of an appointment with M*.

Even though I came out to B*, and she is important to my short term success, it is J* who I know will be there for me when I tell Wife.  It is Jim who will be there for me when I talk to C*.

And it is J* who will be there for me when I have my birthday party in Vegas in 2012.  He just better not make a pass at me, lol.

8 Days.
I retract everything I've ever said about living one's life by facing one's fears.
If you do it too long -- if you become an experience junkie, bent on learning at costs you can't conceive of until its too late -- it becomes ingrained, a part of you outside your nominal control, that rips the heart out of you when you aren't looking.
There are three things you gotta do: you gotta die, you gotta pay taxes, and you gotta deal with the consequences of your actions.
Consequences are the only danger.
9 days ago, I was unhappy, vaguely aware of why, alone, missing my wife and my son, plodding along with a mission to make something of the company I started as a woman online.
My wife barged into my bedroom this morning around 10:30, 11:00am. I'm a deep sleeper -- alarms are effective for me only until I learn to turn them off or a month -- which ever comes first.
I sleep in the day, work at night (fewer interruptions)
Waking me is physically hazardous at times when I don't expect it - she knows, though, lol.  After 11 years, she knows how to wake me better than anyone alive.
I leaped out of bed, heart racing, awareness struggling to return. IT was not good. Panic flooded me as I talked to her: what were the visible links on the computers I had left on? How long had she been here? What had she snooped around in so far?
We needed to go to the records department today to get a death cert for my mother so that her brother, to whom I had unwilling sold my car years a few years back, could get it registered. blah blah blah blah
We haven't seen each other in private for several weeks. She was proud of me for finally going in to therapy. She looked up at me with a face that I hadn't seen in ages, one that spoke of the love she hadn't uttered or demonstrated in over two years. My heart hurt.
I dug around for my birth certificate, found it, half chewed, icky, nasty
We left, to go and eat breakfast first. Small talk as we moved around, talk about things we needed to do, talk turned to the divorce paperwork.
She's never planned on asking for support. She knows me too well, knows how I feel about my son and about my responsibilities there. With the exceptions of a couple very large items of mine in storage, we've already divided the property. We hadn't moved forward because I wasn't ready. I am now -- she noticed I have a new found ease with myself, I'm relaxed, I smile a lot more, I don't seem so withdrawn.
she tells me the status of her parents. Her mom is still in the hospital, still dying, the hospital is screwing with them, the cardiologist who just removed the infected leads of her pacemaker is saying discharge her to a hospice, they've had her on morphine which she can't take -- it s a mess.
Her dad has cancer. He's a manly man -- and Hispanic with every macho fiber of being dedicated to his wife. After getting to know him, I tried to emulate many of his qualities to improve my "appearance", score points with the wife. The therapy for this cancer is estrogen. Yes, he has prostate cancer, and he's on HRT before I am. I stifled a laugh.
I gave advice, suggested a few courses of action. Breakfast arrived. I've eaten terribly for days -- I have irritable bowel syndrome, and it has kicked in like mad (yes, that IBS, a girl illness). I picked at my food but drank the OJ like it was going out of style.
I don't remember how, now, but I talked of how therapy was going to be interesting for me. How what could happen would destroy everything about me, take away everyone I love.
She looked at me and smiled that way she does when for once she's got something on me, lol. "You mean how you are a woman?"
I barely caught the glass that was knocked over by the force of my chin hitting the tabletop.
She's known about my online being out. I'd told her. Used a few choice excuses. Thought she'd bought them. She laughed, and never had -- she'd known. There's always been that "something" about me. I'm not gay, but something.
11 years, 2 months. Today. We both forgot our anniversary this year, and both rushed to make up for it. We've talked in the past about how after the older boy has grown and moved out and she's gotten the oldest girl to finally start living in the world and out of her little cave how we would move back in again.
The divorce hasn't been about not loving each other. Its been about not being able to live with each other because of all the crap that lies between me and my step children.
She said she's always loved me. She said it. It's been three and a half years since she's used the word. She said she understood, had always watched all my little tells, named several that I'd thought I was ever so sly about.
I remembered why I loved her so much. We're opposites when you look at us and when you come to know us as individuals. A strange little odd couple. But our inner views and core beliefs and way of looking at the world is soo much alike.
I've lived through her. I've been jealous of her. I've resented her when she was pregnant with Jacob and when she breast fed at night.
We wanted more than Son. I still do. But in a way that I can never achieve, no matter what I try. Science isn't there yet, and I don't think is likely to ever go there. She miscarried three times -- and the last was the worst. It dented us, we both blamed ourselves when we should have blamed the damned doctors who killed the baby during surgery.
Doctors aren't bad, mind you. Just I've not had lots of good experiences. They are human, prone to errors and judgments and all the little things all of us are. At times, I think too much is expected of them.
And at other times I know that if they botch me up I'll sue them into oblivion. This is why I'm not a doctor.
I told her there pretty much only two ways to deal with Gender Dysphoria. Oversimplification, yes, but it was the point and it was within her reach.
I could simply try and go on with my life as it was now. Trapped and miserable but more comforted knowing that I had a *reason* for why I felt this way. Or I could "fix" it.
And then the light started to dawn.
She slid off right away, it's stupid, why mess with what god did, unless you are saying God made a mistake.
God doesn't make mistakes. He has his reasons for everything. Half of our job is to figure them out.
We both teared up, held it in, held it back. She does know me. Knows how I am. Knows who I am.
She's all I have. Her and Son. One friend who I see once a month. A neighbor who I've come out to. And then my online life, but that's built on a fiction, except for here. I'm stealth online, with elaborate covers and multiple layers of displacement and protection and cover.
She's who I'd like to be when I "grow up". Strong and yet still very much a woman. Comfortable with herself. She's not my soul mate, never has been, but she was never "second best".
We could never have sex again, and she wouldn't care. She loves me.
And I so love her. So much.
She wants my son to have what I never did. A good, strong Role Model. Someone to be his father.
Not a second mommy.
I want the same thing. But I can't be it and be true to myself, be honest with myself, be comfortable with myself now. Not now.
Oh god, not now.
I smiled, slid back into my slimy suit. "well, lets get the divorce taken care of, and let me finish therapy. 3 months or so. Won't have to make any decisions about what I'm going to do until then."
I beamed it, turned "on" for that fraction, teased her about how if she knew all this time she never told me. I never crossdressed. I thought I was always careful.
We held hands. Jabbered. Got up to leave, our comfortable roles around us like the habits we've had forever.
In the car, we talked about how we're both very conservative in our views. How neither of us are homosexual. She was unable to separate gender from sexuality. For her, if I were to change, It would mean I was gay. She said that no "real" man would ever even consider being a "girl", even for a moment, in the way that I had, but she still knew I wasn't gay.
She had committed to me, she said. And she knew I was committed to her. Its a fundamental part of my being -- I don't do things lightly, but once I do, I commit wholly, and with all my being.
I once waffled for three months over a design consideration for when we built our dream house before our world fell apart. I looked into every single aspect of it. Had to be sure it was the best choice possible.
I'm a control freak. Knowledge is my lever for that. I learn fast, learn deep, and constantly reexamine. Sometimes I have enough already, sometimes I have to take a little deeper look.
She saw me, saw into me, in that way that we can as spouses who love each other do.
She said she couldn't handle it if I died right now. Not now. Not with everything else going on. And If I changed, I'd be dead, because it wouldn't be me. And if I dated she's never find it in her to be at peace, and I she did, I'd better be able to let her.
If I change, and I can't be a father to my son, she can't let me see him and be comfortable with that.
I said nothing, just comforted her.
She looked at me. I said I'd see in 3 months, once everything was cleared up so I could be free of all of it and take a good look at things.
I lied.
I lied to her.
oh god, how could I do that? I've never lied to her about anything important. Maybe about not taking out the trash or smoking in the back room of the house some stupid errand that I was still going to do but hadn't yet and she was pushin and I couldn't disappoint.
I am ashamed of myself.
But I don't regret it, and I can't take it back, and I wouldn't if I could.
But she knows. She knows I will change.
She doesn't understand it yet, doesn't know the process yet. Doesn't realize that I won't change all that much.
I'll still be Vyxyn. I'll still be me. I won't be a second mommy. I'll just be a bit different, and a lot happier.
and now I know Just how sad I'll be, too.
yeah, facing your fears and being honest is just great.
yeah, just freaking wonderful.
8 days.
2, 273 to go.
To the powers that be: please don't let them be as painful as today.

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