I was up early this past Sunday morning. I haven't been sleeping all that well through most nights, my mind racing with so many thoughts, emotions and fears. The sun was shining brightly on this early September Morning, and with the passage during the night of a strong cold front, fall was now unofficially here. I ambled over to the kitchen and soon found myself standing over the sink as I washed and scoured the dishes, pots and pans that lay there from the night's dinner before.
As I stood in silence, with the only other sound being that of the water running from the faucet, a vision of my mom in that moment arose. There were many times that, as a child, I would awaken early on a weekend to find her in the kitchen doing the same thing as I was doing now. I would ask her, "Why are you up so early doing dishes?".
Her response to me was always the same. "This is my time to myself."
I understood, in the moment I was in now, just what she meant when she said it then.
So many changes have been happening recently that it has been hard to process the now seemingly fathomless depths of water which I find myself swimming upon. My initial intention was not to transition fully. The idea was that I would find myself able to balance my male and female lives as two separate entities and to successfully manage my own 23 year relationship with my spouse. I was wrong on all accounts.
Without hormonal or surgical intervention, I found that in allowing the person I was inside to have freedom, that she quickly became the dominant. There was no "guy" to be lost. He was never there. From the earliest age, as early as 5 years old, I recall my feelings of being more aligned as a girl. It was more than feelings. It was everything from socialization, to emotive responses, to conversational mannerisms and topics. I had only served to repress that inner spirit for four and half decades in a trivial and Swiss-Cheese like fashion where the holes were always there that others would question my"manliness" against. I was like one of those towns you see in the old western movies. You know, the ones where the buildings are all just facades made to look like whole buildings but which have no structure behind their two dimensional cardboard like cut-out appearance.
My spouse has realized this. She has realized in observing the years that she spent with me that I have always acted, behaved and emoted as a woman. I just happened to be a woman who appeared (only semi-convincingly and usually with a raised eyebrow from many) as a man. She started watching other men and how they related, treated, talked and loved their spouses. I was more like a 23 year long girlfriend in contrast. I was her best friend but I was never a husband in the traditional sense. I didn't even realize for all these years that I wasn't anything but a husband, and she felt the same way. She didn't date much before marrying me and I didn't either so we really had no reference points. We just knew we loved (and still love) each other very much and that we quickly became each others best friends. That was enough to get married and we thought nothing more of it.
While we still love each other very much, this is very much not a marriage in any traditional sense. It never really was, as much as we both thought for years that it was. The realization and the self-awareness of this fact has left us both in a quandary as to what we both want and what we both need out of it. It set into motion, the string of dominoes which have now started tumbling, one by one as each action brings a responding reaction upon the next, in a sequence which really now cannot be stopped. Truth be told, the sequence of events was set into place from the earliest years of my life, having only been placed into a stasis of treading water for so many personally stressful decades. Truth be told, I am only just now beginning to find a personal sense of internal happiness, but it is coming with a price of the unraveling of a life built around a facade.
I do not know how this game will play out, nor do either of us, but I do know that with the changes that are ensuing around me, it makes very little sense to try to salvage "the male" who never existed. We both now know him as a facade and neither of us can continue to pretend for any longer. Staying in this middle ground is not an option. Maintaining what always has been a poor excuse of a male image is not an option. Living in the middle trying to balance a male and female image is not an option because there is no male other than the facade and the stress of trying to bounce between two separate lives has become too much to bear. I have only one other place to go......
I am very comfortable as a woman and others around me in my life affirm this in ways I have never ever found as a so-called man. I can't say that the station of a woman is a glamorous or wonderful thing, no matter what others may think. A woman has many more challenges to face in this world, both socially and economically, than does a man. This is not something I do for the fun of it. This is not a whimsical choice. This is a choice for my own survival to live authentically as myself for whatever years I have remaining on this Earth. The dominoes are falling one by one as my life steers a course whose chart had laid hidden in a vault for so many years.