Now they ALL know about Christen.....
It has been a while since I posted but then again, it has been a rough time of late as well with the passing of my mom and the health issues with my dad. Things are starting to get back to a relative level of normalcy both physically and mentally which has been a positive uplift for me and for my spouse as well.
The biggest news has been Christen's debut to the her spouse's family. It had started with my spouse telling her mother. To my surprise, her mother was absolutely fine and very understanding of my situation and felt empathy and concern for the struggles which being transgender has brought to me in my life. We had her come up to visit us and was thrilled to be able to go out to dinner with her newest daughter-in-law. It went so well that we had her up a second time to redo the adventure again, this time at our favorite Italian Restaurant on the shores of the "big lake".
My mother-in-law told my spouse's oldest sister about me and, although she had a difficult time initially understanding how it was that I could feel I was a woman inside yet not want to be with a man seemed to perplex her to no end. It seemed that her major issue was in differentiating between "sexual identity" and "gender identity". I tried as best as I could to differentiate between the two but her logic could not really grasp the "why would you want to be a woman then" concept. I then impressed upon her that I had been receiving psychoanalysis from a therapist and that it was simply more comfortable for me socially to exist in the world as female and to relate and be related to as female than as male. I explained the variances between the typical natal male and natal female in how each relates to the world around them and how each socializes differently. I then offered as to where I believed that I felt I fit in best within that continuum. I think I made some progress and she seems now, after several visits with her, to be asking more questions and thinking about this more, little by little. To me, that is great progress.
The biggest news was that my mother-in-law decided, on her own, to tell my spouse's middle sister about me. I was always afraid of her finding out about me. She has enough going on in her life with stress and emotional overload that I really did not want to burden her with my issues. I didn't really know what she would think if she were told about me and frankly, I really was very, very worried of the possible outcomes.
As it turned out, she was very understanding and did not shun me at all. Perhaps it was all the years that she knew me, but more-so, I believe her acceptance to be hinged on the very core of her being, which is a compassionate, loving and very emotionally endearing human being. Of course, since she knew, her son (my spouse's nephew) now knew as well. I was concerned of all of this because he would come and spend time with us for a week at a time in the summer and I didn't want this to be considered a reason for him to no longer be able to visit with us.
It all turned out well however, and my spouse's nephew and I had a long talk on the phone together. He really did understand what it meant to be transgender and it didn't change his opinion of me one bit. I was ecstatic inside to know that and relieved too! My mother-in-law, who is staying with them both right now, offered that I come down with my spouse some time to visit with them and we could all go have a special Girl's Night Out!
I'm just so relieved to finally have these secrets which I have had to bury for so long and to suffer with inside with for so long, out in the open. It really has been quite a Godsend for me to release this inner struggle which I have dealt with for so many decades of my life. Now I'm starting to wonder why I ever waited so long to tell everyone. Perhaps, in hindsight, the issue was more with me NOT accepting my own self at first and having to come to terms to accept myself before I could ask others to accept me.
As for Dad, he got to SEE Christen for the first time in person on Wednesday evening. He had asked, before I showed up, whether or not I would be wearing a dress and heels. For some reason, he could only see me as a guy in a dress in his mind. I told him I would not be wearing a dress nor heels but simply dressing as I normally do when going out as I was that evening prior to my arrival. A sense of relief washed over him just then as he felt he would just be seeing his son dressed perhaps a bit more femininely. What he saw, when I walked in the door to his house, completely floored him. I think he could not handle the sensory overload he faced in those moments and his demeanor became abrupt and irritated. My calmness in the moment and Joanne's complete nonchalance provided the anti-thesis to his irritation, confusion and shock. I was very much enjoying the moment and in seeing the tables turned, finally, within my life and to enjoy the upper hand for once.
I'll just say that it was payback time... My dad either would have put me in McCleans or had me psycho-analyzed as a child had I come forward as transgender. He still thinks that a shot of T would certainly fix me and I'm sure would have allowed doctors to pump me full of the stuff as a child. Now he has to live with the idea that everyone else in the family is perfectly fine with me and that they are willing to be a part of my life so it puts him in the *hit category. I am totally empowered at this point in my life and he can love it or leave it.... and because others love me for me. If he is ashamed, then I'm fully letting him know that he is alone in his thoughts as I continue to impress that upon him. I'm fully having a wonderful time in my life, finally seeing the playing field put on my side. What control my father had in isolating us as a family and ruling our lives is gone. I also look back at the years my mother lived in fear of him as she mediated to hold the family together for our sake (God rest her soul in peace now) which has now evaporated into a kingdom of only one and with no one to rule. The tyranny and time of abuse; physical, emotional and verbal have been washed away and have left him alone in his kingdom of one.
I'll never forget some of the last words my mom spoke. When Joanne reiterated to my mom, who was suffering in the final stages of dementia, that I felt as I wanted to live my life as a woman, her surmisal to that embodied her own memories of the life path she had lived through and suffered with and she responded with, "I know he wants to be a woman, but why? Women are the ones who always have to suffer".
My dad always treated women as second class citizens and for me to show up as his only son, fully dressed enfemme and appearing as the woman I know I am inside was completely priceless as he and I know that I am the only link left in the chain and his only family relation left that will have anything to do with him. No, this is absolutely a fantastic time and Joanne backs me 100%. Payback can, and in this case is, a really hot bitch!