Thursday, January 3, 2013

Will the Real Mount Everest Please Stand Up?


2012 ended with a bang, not a whimper, in Tammy World.  My spouse left, I came out to my parents and started living as myself full time within a 5 day span.  Talk about mountains and roller coasters, this was the real deal! The Mt. Everest I had anticipated and dreaded climbing for so long crumbled right before my feet and I was able to stroll easily into the valley to begin my life as my true self.  On the day the world was to end (according to the ancient Mayan Calendar) my life as Tammy Ann Matthews began.  Don't be so quick to celebrate, as now in 2013 I find myself on the cliffs of another mountain hanging on for dear life.  Will the real Mount Everest please stand up?

Christmas in Tammy World

Christmas with Jumper
I spent 2 nights and 3 days at my parents' home for Christmas.  It was great being around them and being fully accepted as Tammy.  They do a pretty good job for old folks remembering to call me Tammy and using the right pronouns etc.  The dogs stayed there with us and they sleep downstairs with me.  The picture above is me with my spouse's 16 year old chow.  Jumper loves me but Chows are basically one person dogs and her person left when she left me. 

Some of the highlights of my Christmas with my parents were learning to cook pies with mom and fixing the turkey dinner (although we just warmed a pre cooked meal this year), a Daddy/daughter dance with my father that was a little weird but really cool.  The smiles on their faces said a Lot, they are really happy to have me as their daughter.  I think they are just so happy because (at times) I was happy and they finally know what is wrong with me.  I am truly blessed to have parents that accept me and love me unconditionally like they have proven to.  If I did not believe in Christmas miracles before, I do now. 

Here are a few pictures from Christmas Day.  I am adding them as a tribute to the incredible love and support that has been shown to me by my parents in the last couple of weeks and also as an inspiration to others who do not believe they will be accepted.  Never underestimate the power of love!

Christmas 2012

Will the real Mount Everest please stand up?

I have been so blessed by my parents' instant and total acceptance, and even embrace, of my transition.  It is unreal.  For years and years I knew I could never change myself because of my family.  When I began to let the female inside me out a few years ago, bit by bit, I feared it was something I could not control.  What I found is myself, and in time I knew I had to transition in order to go on living.  I simply could not go back and could not stand to keep myself bottled up anymore.  Then the real fear set in, how could I ever tell my family?  My family at this point was down to just my parents and they are getting along in age.  My only hope was that maybe with my adulthood and their being elderly I would have a better chance of them accepting me.  Besides, my Dad was retired and many of his friends had passed on so we were not the well known family we once were.  Still, I was looking at a feat I compared to climbing Mt. Everest when it came to coming out to them.  I had gone from not thinking I could do it to knowing I had to but it took every ounce of strength I had to muster up the courage and strength to tell them (not ask them) that I was going to transition from their son to their daughter. 

I wanted to tell them right after Christmas and my spouse knew this.  She left me 10 days before Christmas and forced my hand early.  The pain and shock of her leaving took all the fear away and I was able to easily come out to my parents and the rest is history in the making.  In the days that followed I was indeed filled by joy and most of all relief for having gotten that mountain out of my way.  I knew everything was going to be ok with them and that there was absolutely nothing holding me back from accomplishing my goals now.  Four days after telling them I abandoned all pretense of my former life and began my real life experience, living full time as Tammy Ann Matthews.  My mother had given me my middle name 3 days prior.  When I came out to her I told her I would be honored if she would give me a middle name and to my surprise and overwhelming joy she did.  And it was perfect.

My spouse and I had had been speaking of splitting up for a long time.  Reading back on my blog you can see this was a theme throughout most of our marriage, especially since my coming out to her 26 months ago.  She knew I was going to come out to my parents right after Christmas and then I hoped to go full time soon after if all went well.  We had both expressed desires to split up after the first of the year.  What I did not expect for her to leave before Christmas and just pack her things one afternoon when I was away and file for divorce with an attorney.  What I really did not expect was for her leaving to throw me deep into an emotional well that I saw no way out of.  While coming out to my parents had been so easy and gone so well, my breakup from my spouse had left me feeling broken and alone.  I felt something was very wrong and all the emotions were completely tearing me down at a time I should have been reveling in the joy of my new life and acceptance.  Coming out was supposed to be the hardest thing ever and ending an unhappy marriage was to be a big relief for us both.  In this dawn of a new era at the end of 2012, things were reversed and I had the feeling I was on the mountain hanging on for dear life and running out of oxygen fast.  Will the real Mount Everest please stand up?


This has been the hardest subject to write about since starting this blog.  I simply have not been able to put into words the pain and emptiness I have experienced over the last 16 days and have not have the strength or will to attempt to describe it.  I have had some very happy moments over the Holidays this year but they have been punctuated or shared by fits of extreme sadness. Christmas with my parents was awesome and Mitchell has visited me several times, spending as much time as he possibly could with me during this difficult period.  He was here for 2 nights this week for New Year's Eve and having him here at least allowed me sleep.  Even some of the nights I spent at my parents home I have not been able to sleep or even lie still in the dark. I have shed more tears over these couple of weeks than I have in whole life it feels like.  The panic and loneliness have been overwhelming and I have been filled with a deep sense of dread as if there is something very, very wrong that will never be right.  My therapist had no answers other than give it time and go back to taking my mild tranquilizer in order to rest.  I had given up that pill when I started hormones.  The chronic dark feeling and panic I had for most of my life had roared back in a very acute and intense way.  Something was very wrong and it felt like there was a disturbance in the force.  Oddly, this feeling had set into me in Virginia on December 16th, the day she left.  I did not realize she had left me until the next day but I felt it inside me as it was happening.  Dealing with this crisis of emotions had become the Mt. Everest I had foreseen in my dreams.

After spending New Year's Eve and New Year's Day here, Mitchell left on the morning of the 2nd.  The night before I had again been crying when out with him and he had a talk with me in the rainy parking lot of a Japanese restaurant.  He assured me, as he had been doing the whole time, that I needed to focus on the positives and I had a Lot of positives in my life now to focus on.  That was almost 2 days ago and since then I have teared up a few times over this but not really cried.  The feeling of dread has lifted quite a bit and the intense feeling of wrong has been replaced with a feeling that everything is going to be ok.  I am still sort of melancholy but my sense of well being has come back and I know that things will work out alright.  I have realized from day 1 that this whole series of events leading up to my going full time would not have gone so smoothly if my spouse was still here.  She would have surely put a damper on things at the very least and in the greater sense of fate, the timing of her departure was perfect.  Just like everything about 2012 had seemingly been guided by the hand of fate leading me toward transition at a time of destiny, this too was meant to be. 

I think time has healed much of my pain as well as the fact that I have been communicating with her more and more in the last week or so.  At first it seemed like she had left without warning and we would never be friends again.  Now she is talking about moving back to town soon so she can still be active in our dogs life and we can have a friendship.  A great sign has been that in the last week I have brought her dog to see her twice and she actually went to lunch with me.  In the past she would not go anywhere with me presenting female and with me being full time now, that is how I am all the time.  I do miss her here very badly.  Though we didn't often get along, I miss the little things and her childlike smile she would exhibit from time to time.  We have been together in some form or another for 25 years and I do feel that she is a part of me.  Maybe we should have never gotten married and the time had definitely come to move on from this marriage.  I now think and hope that our relationship will survive to manifest itself in another form and that we will always be bonded together in a special way.  The path we have taken is best for us both, I believe, as I now have the freedom to pursue my dreams and the life I need and deserve.  Hopefully she can grow also, become more independent and maybe build a life of her own as well.  As long as I can be a part of it I will be very happy for her and I hope that she will be happy for me.

Tammy World 2013

New Year's Eve 2012: 10 days full time, 7.5 months hormones, one year of hair growth

2012 was off the charts incredible.  I entered the year intending to begin my transition and see how far it would take me.  At one point this summer in therapy, I set a range of going full time from December 31, 2012 to August 18, 2013.  I really thought that goal would be achieved closer to the later date but my therapist said why not shoot for December 31 as the goal.  You don't always hit your goal but you usually come closer to it by setting the bar higher.  A new year and new me was the idea. 

My dreams had been restless for months leading up to the end of December.  I had a deep sense of dread about climbing what I saw as Mt. Everest.  I now believe I am on the other side of the mountain even though the real mountain was not what I first believed it to be.  Like almost everything else in the phenomenal year of 2012, I beat my goal and started my new life at the dawn of a new era.  The Mayans had foreseen my destiny or either my fate had lined up with the prophesy of the ancients.  I began a new calendar in my life on December 21, 2012, that much is for sure.  What does 2013 have in store for me?  The sky is the limit so stay tuned to Tammy World 2013 and find out.

1 comment:

  1. HI Tammy,

    The not so good stuff: You seemed to accept a while back that the breakup of your marriage was inevitable and yet it has hit you a lot harder than you thought. Time is the healer as you have been told, although I am a bit (ok a lot) disappointed that your therapist suggested reaching for the pill bottle. I wont tell you again that you are welcome to email me...

    The better stuff: Your few days with your parents sounds like they were very important to you. However, what you write is nothing compared to the photo's. I am more interested in word than pictures but those few pictures of your parents speak volumes. Their smiles say it all. They don't look at all uncomfortable, in fact the one that looks out of place is you! You almost look like a rabbit in the headlights but I suspect that is because things have gone far better than you expected and are adjusting to it all. I especially like the part about your mother choosing your middle name and it is such a nice name.

    Well done with everything on the transitioning front. I hope things start to fit into place now like they did with me.

    All my love,

    Lucy x