Thursday, May 17

Defining Moments

Ever have a moment define your life? One second in time that changes how you view the world and how the world responds to you? For most of us it happens when we first become parents. I remember how my world shifted when I found out I was pregnant with Elroy, and again with the girls.

My world has shifted again. Just before Easter my husband of almost 8 years told me he had been keeping something from me.

He fearfully told me how much he loved me, our children and couldn’t bear to hurt us or be without us.

And went on to tell me that he had been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder. That he had always felt that something was wrong, off somehow. That he was really a woman on the inside. I was stunned for a moment. And thought ‘he didn’t cheat, this isn’t the end of my world, I can deal with this’. 

He reassured me that I was the only one he wanted, that he was still attracted to women, to me. He showed me the backpack of clothing he had been keeping in his car, and at my request tried some of it on for me.

He had been seeing a therapist and a psychologist for months with little result. A couple of days earlier he had been to a specialist. The only therapist specializing in gender in our state. And in doing so, had found the strength to reveal the woman inside.

I had seen the darkness creeping closer and watched him struggle to find a way through it, and had encouraged him in finding someone to talk to. Sadly, the initial treatment was only of the symptoms (depression, anxiety, addictive tendencies) and not the root cause of his discomfort. I was so relieved to feel that black cloud he had been lost in lift and dissipate once he told me. It was the first time in over a year he had really smiled.

We spent that whole first day cuddled in each others’ arms (my mom was able to watch the kids for me), reaffirming our love of (and our attraction to) each other. We talked on the phone with his therapist (who was thrilled at the progress made and spoke to both of us in person the next day), and he shaved (and Nair-ed) his legs.

In the weeks since, life has changed in our house. My Hunny now goes by a female name (and pronouns). I’m training the kids to call her Mommy, not Daddy. We spend more time together as a family (she has discovered a love of shopping that she never expected) and her online gaming has dropped to practically nothing.

But the biggest change of all has been how much happier she is now that the darkness is gone. How much easier she is to love, to live with. She was so much less involved in the everyday tasks. I often felt like a single parent, responsible for so much of the burden of keeping things going, even with my spouse in the other room. Now I have a partner.

So begins this new phase in our relationship, in our marriage, in our lives.
We can handle this . . . together.

A quick word about comments:

From now on I will be screening comments before they are posted. I will try to answer respectful questions to the best of my ability. I don’t mind spirited discussion, and I understand that there will be people who disagree with the choices I (and my family) have made. Personal attacks and hateful or discriminatory remarks will not be allowed.