Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Ascending Mt. Everest
Something happened this morning that caused me to put aside the other topic I was working on for this week and talk a little bit about one of my upcoming goals for the summer, ascending Mt. Everest. I am trying not to write much about my goals here until I complete them, maybe I do speak of the broad general goals like transition but not so much the specific goals I am setting for myself each season this year. Maybe I don't want to jinx anything by listing my goals ahead of time, but I do plan to share my struggles as well as my accomplishments. It just so happens though that one of my goals for the summer season is climbing to the summit of Mount Everest and seeing what is on the other side. I will admit that I live in the coastal plain and a long way from any mountain and I am half a world away from the Himalayans so this is a figurative goal of course. My personal Mt. Everest is telling my parents that I am transsexual and transitioning and that I am going to become a woman. I do not look forward to that at all and its something I have been dealing with all my life with them, trying to conform to their image of how they want me to be instead of being myself. That has not worked out well for me at all and basically its ruined my life up until this point.
Maybe writing this blog is a form of therapy for me because in the course of writing that first paragraph I have come to the realization that I am right here and they are wrong. Suppressing my personality all these years has really been destructive to me. It has caused a lot of pain and led to a lot of self destructive behavior to hide from/escape from the pain. It has taken over 40 years for me to figure out that their way is not the right way, at least for me. You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole (or is it round peg into a square hole) and if you try long enough you destroy the peg. I am finally going to allow myself to be myself and they are just going to have to live with it.
So let's back up a little bit and I will tell you how my week has gone so far, leading up to the events of this morning. Jo Anne (legal wife) left to visit family out of town on Friday leaving me here to tend to my 3 dogs and this rambunctious "guest" dog we are keeping for the time being. I drove up to Raleigh Friday afternoon to get my hair trimmed like I am doing every 2 months or so now and also had it colored in the salon for the first time. It was a neat experience, expensive but worth it I believe and I was at the salon almost 2 hours. This was my second time going to this hairdresser and she is a very cool lesbian and a bit trans herself, she describes herself as gender fluid. I was wearing light makeup, basically casual femme without my wig and when I left her salon I went out to eat then stopped by to see my tg friend Beverly on my way home. It was a good day but I am trying not to stay out too long at the time with all these dogs here because I don't know who is going to tear up what or get out and cause trouble while I am gone.
Saturday and Sunday were awesome days and my boyfriend came down to visit me for over 24 hours. The really nice part of that is my wife now knows he comes over when she is gone and she is supportive of it but still does not yet want to meet him. Saturday I cooked dinner for him and the temperature here was like 107 degrees so I know he was glad I didn't ask him to work on anything outside for us. Sunday we slept in and ate a light breakfast here then got dressed and went to the mall here in my town then out to eat. It hardly seems like it but a year ago I was still timid when going out in my town. Some people would refer to this as "going out dressed" but honey I never go anywhere naked, I am always dressed. Some people would refer to this as "going out as Tammy" but I am always Tammy (even though I am not full time yet) so this doesn't make sense either. Let's just say I am going out as myself and not attempting to hide who I am or conform to society's expectations. So 2 years ago I would not have gone anywhere in this town as myself and one year ago I did but only alone and cautiously and now I am walking around the mall here holding my boyfriend's hand and feeling very good about it and very comfortable. That's progress and that makes me happy.
Monday I had to take my dad to the doctor and ate dinner with my parents so on those days I am not fully myself until I get home. I try to conform to what they expect from me but I am getting to be not so good at it as you will soon see. Tuesday was another good day. I got up at 7, walked the dogs and got ready for a day of shopping in Raleigh. I had been talking to a cd friend from my Yahoo group for months about going shopping in Raleigh (she lives in another city but is about the same distance from the mall there as I am) and she had off this week so we met at the big Crabtree mall at noon. We walked around a little bit and decided it was time for lunch and rather than eat at the food court like I usually do (for about 5 bucks) we decided to splurge and try a more expensive restaurant called the Cheesecake Factory. It was a very good meal though a tad expensive and of course we both finished the meal off with a slice of their signature cheesecake which I discovered was about 700 calories! Another friend from my trans group was in town to play tennis and see her doctor (she sees the same doctor I do for hormones) and she met us there when we were finishing dessert. She ordered a Bloody Mary which was tempting to me, but I don't drink liquor anymore and drinking anything that early in the day is not good for me. After lunch we did a lot of walking in the expansive mall, some looking, some serious shopping and a lot more walking. Maybe flip flops were not the best shoe choice for all that walking but it was 97 degrees outside and at least a third of the girls there were wearing flip flops and over half were wearing some form of sandals. Seven hours after arriving at the mall I was back in my car heading home. Fun day but quite tiring and I relaxed a bit at home after tending to the dogs, only drank one beer and was in bed by 11:30, an early time for me.
This brings us to this morning (Wednesday July 4th, 2012) and I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July. I slept in until 10 am, a couple hours later than usual, so yesterday must have worn me out more than I realized. I think all the walking did burn the calories from the cheesecake though, lol. I got up and let the dogs outside (all slept inside with me except the "guest" dog who finally stopped trying to break through the back door to get in with us right before I went to sleep) and as I shut the door I realized I had locked myself out of the house. Oops! I had slept in my boyfriend's tshirt last night and this morning I threw on the pinkish orange shorts I had on yesterday and pink athletic t shirt that is a little tight and my pink flip flops. I had no way to get in the house without breaking a window but I could get into my little guest house where one of my phones was charging overnight. The only way I could think to get in the house was to get my Mom or Dad to run me a key down or either walk the couple blocks to their house and get it. I didn't have any clothes I could get to that were more gender neutral and what I usually wear around them is female clothes (jeans, polo shirts and tennis shoes) that are in neutral colors and more androgynous looking. I would have to have to hide my painted toes and I did have an old pair of tennis shoes available I use to do yard work in. I had painted a couple of my fingernails at Sephora the day before just playing around waiting for my friend to check out but I did have polish remover available to me.
So I called my mother and she said she would come over and let me in. I am trying to postpone telling them about me until after my birthday in August but she has been noticing more and more things. Monday she asked me if I had a manicure and I was honest and said no but I did have some clear polish (hardener) on my fingernails and she did not comment further. This morning when she pulled up to give me the key she was still in her housecoat and didn't get out of the car when I used her key to go unlock my house. When I came back to the car she told me that I shouldn't appear so feminine and that I was starting to look too feminine. I don't know if she noticed my boobs showing through the tight shirt but she didn't mention them. She did mention the ear rings again and she reminded me that I told her when I got them pierced I would not always wear them. She also mentioned my hair and that I should keep it combed back like I usually do around them. In my mind I was like "Good Lord Mama are we back in high school again???" Also in my mind I am thinking "Why in the hell am I letting this woman run my life like she has for 40+ years?!" I am grown now, or should be at my age but truth is I have never fully grown up. I should have but I have let my parents, specifically my Mom, treat like a child my entire life. The time has finally come for me to take my life back but I am going to choose my battles and my battlefield and today was not the day. Tonight when I go visit them for supper I will have my hair combed back, wear more "acceptable" looking clothes and perhaps even take my ear rings out until I can come home and get more comfortable.
Now I am on the slopes of Mt. Everest, having travelled far from the base and preparing my assault on the summit. The winds are kicking my ass and the lack of oxygen is weakening me. I have to be strong even though a storm is building on the horizon. I did not come this far to turn back and I will reach the peak this summer. I will descend and spend the rest of my life on the other side of the mountain, as I have had quite enough of this side. There will be no turning back and no regrets!