Friday, March 8, 2013

Meet the Parents


When I came out to my parents in December, it took them mere minutes to fully accept me as their daughter.  It was like they knew all along but were just waiting for me to tell them.  I don't think that was quite the case, but my personal Mt. Everest proved to be a much easier mountain to climb than I ever imagined.  If I had only known I would never waited so long, but oh well, one cannot change the past, only go forward and make the most of the current situation.

Even more surprising was how quickly they accepted the notion of me having a boyfriend.  The first time my parents saw me presenting as my true self, 2 days after I came out them, my dad expressed a desire to meet my boyfriend.  Momma didn't seem as eager to meet him, but did seem willing and left the timing of that introduction up to me.  I was going through sort of an emotional roller coaster (I still am but to a much lesser degree) over my spouse leaving and making the major adjustment to full time life in this little bible belt city. 

Christmas went by and as the new year rolled along, my dad expressed several more times how much he would like to meet this Mitchell guy I had been speaking so highly of.  I think they both could tell he was helping me through a really rough emotional time and they could probably tell that I was in love with him.  He has done much more than help me through this one crisis, but I think above all they could see the spark in my eyes when I spoke of him.  I don't see that spark myself (I do feel it in my heart) but I have heard this from other people so I believe it is true. 

The main reason I continued to put off a meeting between my parents and my boyfriend was that I was trying to give my father more time to adjust to calling me by new name, Tammy.  He has no trouble seeing me as Tammy and recognizing me as his daughter, but getting the name and pronouns right has been a real challenge for him. The same is true for my mother but to a lesser degree.  He is well into his eighties and is experiencing increasing difficulties with his memory, probably some form of senility.  After a couple more months I realized that him calling me Tammy was not getting better and overall he was getting worse.  Mitchell was ready to meet them anytime, so I thought we should just go for it and not put it off anymore.


Eating out with Mitchell the night after he met my parents.  I didn't want to turn their meeting into a photo op, so we did not take any pictures on his first night at their house.

Last Friday night, with fairly short notice, we decided to set up the meeting between my boyfriend and my parents.  He was coming to town on Friday afternoon and staying until Sunday evening.  I thought we would do something easy and simple, so we told my parents we would pick up a pizza and meet them at the house for dinner.  Always the most perfect of gentlemen, Mitchell showed up with a dozen red roses for me and another dozen pretty flowers for my mom.  I knew the flowers would be a huge hit with her and they were!  Flowers notwithstanding, he made a great impression on both of them, so dinner went really well and we stayed and talked until after 10 pm.  Actually I had to practically drag him back to my house, they were taking so much, as I had to finish washing all the bedsheets and did want a little time alone with my man that evening. 

In a moment of clarity, my dad mentioned to me that he has felt this cloud coming over his mind for the last 6-10 months and I think that is an accurate time frame.  I wish Mitch had met him a year ago, but even though his thinking is not that clear now Dad did honestly have a good time talking to him. However he did call me by my old name at least as often as he called me Tammy. As we were leaving, Dad looked at me and whispered "good choice".   

Mom was much better on my name but made a few pronoun mistakes.  She is usually a little better than that and I can possibly attribute some of that to nerves.  Luckily, my man is very understanding and he was so happy to have the opportunity to meet my parents that he not only understood but overlooked any missteps on their part.  I am just so thankful and thrilled to have them accept me that the fact that they are trying very hard is enough to fill me with joy.

The next day (Saturday) we did a little shopping and went out to a nice steak dinner, just the two of us.  I had left my flowers and a couple of other things at my mom's house, so we stopped by on the way home to pick them up.  We had a short visit but I could tell they were very happy to see Both of us.  Sunday, we had a late lunch and did a little more shopping before Mitchell had to head back north for the work week.  The weekend flew by even quicker than most seem to, but things went even better than I thought they would.  We will have to make visiting with my parents more of a regular thing and I do look forward to having him celebrate some holidays at their home.  I just hope my dad can hold on to his mental faculties and be able to appreciate and enjoy me as I progress on my journey.  I do love all three of these people very much!

Shopping on Sunday for things to redecorate my little house.  Mitchell bought me the wall sign I am holding in my left hand.  Now he has to buy all those shoes..:)

  
This Week's Update: 3/8/2013

In typical fashion, this week has flown by, but my parents did take several opportunities to tell me how much they think of Mitchell.  That makes me feel really good and I can tell you that they have never been nearly this impressed with anyone I have brought home before.  Of course that does seem like another lifetime now (it actually was) and it has been 25 years since I brought a partner home to meet them.  That would have been my spouse and it took them awhile to really wrap themselves around liking and appreciating her.  In all these years I Know they never had as great of an impression of her as they do my new love.  Things are Much better than they used to be, in every aspect of my life!

Speaking of my spouse (I should call her my ex now even though the divorce is not yet final); we met this week so that she could see her dog and walk her in a park.  We also went to lunch and did a little grocery shopping.  She surprised me by calling me by calling me Tammy one time while in the grocery store. I asked her about it when we left and she said she was trying, it was just hard for her after knowing me by another name for so many years.  I was not aware that she was making an effort but I do appreciate it if she is really sincere and I do understand how hard it is to change how you refer to someone.  I think it is a small step towards progress but I am happy that she goes out to lunch and to some stores with me now.  The first couple of times we were out she seemed to trip on how everyone called me ma'am, but I think she realizes that is just the new normal now.

Jumper, the dog she came to visit, has taken a turn for the worse.  This is the dog shown with me at Christmas in the blog's intro picture above.  She has almost stopped eating and is getting very weak and sort of disoriented.  The fluid is building up even more and with her not eating I cannot get her to take her pills.  The veterinarian gave me a few preloaded shots of one of her diuretics and today I gave her a shot of it.  It was the first time I have put a needle in anything and it was much easier than I thought it would be.  With her not eating food though, she will not get better, so the vet has one more thing he can try.  Tomorrow morning I take her in so that he can give her a type of cortisone shot.  This injection has a chance of making her better but it could also make her worse.  If it does not make her better, I feel we will lose her very soon. I told Mitchell not to come this weekend so that I can devote all my attention to taking care of her.  I could really use him here this weekend and I will miss him a lot but this is something I need to do.

I am hoping my spouse will come by Sunday to visit with her and she says she will if she is not too "tired" or too "busy".  We need to give her a bath as I want her to be clean and well groomed for perhaps the last time.  This situation has given me something else to cry about this week and I do love and cherish her so much.  Let's say a little prayer for Jumper tonight and hope this shot will make her better.  I have had my share of miracles lately and I am really hoping for one more.