The Matthews Sisters. That has a nice ring to it, don't you think? I grew up as an only child so I have never known what it is like to have sisters or brothers. Of course I am very fortunate to have all my trans sisters now. We are all a sisterhood of sorts and then there are other sisterhoods within the greater sisterhood; like the Vanity Club, The Sisterhood Facebook group and several more. Then there are the few close friends who are like my sisters and we consider each other sisters, such as my close sis Pam and Brenda that I shared time at the beach with this spring, my pen pal and friend Linda from Belgium, my big sister Karen from the VC and a few more.
So I have a nice set of honorary sisters, some of whom I am closer to than others, and many of whom I have never met offline because they live far away. They all form part of my support network and group of friends. They all important to me and I would not trade any of them for the world. Still, to have a real sister in my very small family would be great and I wish I had had that growing up. More than likely I would not have known a biological sister, as I am adopted, but my adopted family has been better than any other I could have been blessed with so I am more than ok with the idea of adopting a sister.
Since Joan and I separated last December we have been through a lot of changes and stages in redefining our relationship. The marriage never worked and was not right for us but yet we feel very close and have a need to be together on some level. Most of my extreme emotional stress over the last few months was related not only to the separation but my fear that she no longer felt this bond and that we would never be able to get it back. That hurt me very deeply and I did not know how to deal with it. Lately I have written about how we are becoming closer again and actually communicating in a way that perhaps we never have before. I want her, need her, to be an important part of my life and now I am sure she also wants me to be an important part of hers. We are not just friends but also family and we will always share a close bond, one that we never really had as a married couple. We have decided to be sisters.
Since we both share the same last name we are, in effect, the Matthews sisters. Joan was telling me yesterday how badly she felt for leaving us right before Christmas and she wished she had handled it a different way or at least waited until after Christmas to leave. She felt bad for me and the dogs, especially her beloved Jumper but she was being pressured by certain members of her family who live out of state and no longer seem to have the same level of influence on her. The sister that she went to live with in Raleigh has remained sort of neutral and now is saying that it is ok for me to come to her home to visit Joan. I have always loved Joan's daughter (from a previous marriage) but I never was comfortable in a "father" role even though she had already left home when we got married. We are talking now and I know that she has been my ally in supporting me and helping Joan reach a level of understanding that allows her and I to communicate again.
So as our separation rolls on into month 6 now of the required one year in order to divorce in this state, our relationship begins a new chapter. She was saying yesterday that maybe we shouldn't divorce and you may remember that I was having those feeling a couple of months ago. I brought up the fact that since we know we will not have a "real" or romantic marriage that it is best that we go through with the divorce. I am so glad that I got to this place in my head before she proposed us staying together because this winter I probably would have agreed to that. But being married is not what we need even though we do need to be together in some way. Being sisters is what I think will work for us and to my delight, Joan agrees totally.
We have less tension between us than I ever remember us having and I no longer lie to her about anything. Joan doesn't have any problem calling me Tammy now and if she slips up she corrects herself. She is good with my family and I am good with hers, at least any of her family that I might run into around here. The only thing is that she has not met Mitchell and I am not sure how that will go. She does support my new relationship and seems to like the fact that he and I are moving forward with our long term relationship. They have personalities that could clash in certain ways and I am sure it would not work with all of us living together in one house. Would it work with us living together in the two houses here on my property? I don't know. I think it might but they both seem to think there could be conflicts. We will just see how things work out but over time. One of the only constants in my life right now is change so all of this is subject to change but I feel they will meet eventually and at least come to some sort of understanding. She is my sister and he will have to respect her on that level at least and he is my boyfriend and she does seem to want what's best for me. After all, she is my sister. :)