Tuesday, December 05, 2017

It is time I shared my heart...my mind and a little bit of my soul

**update**This was written in the middle of the entire experience.  We are now settling into the changes but I wanted to share my emotions, my hurts and my thoughts so that people could have a better understanding of who I am.

Nobody has ever told me that life is easy.  We all face our own set of challenges.  Some big, some small.  This year (and longer) I have been facing a big one.  While it is a big one, it is odd that until it happened, it never once took up even a millisecond of my time.. but here I am living it - my husband is transgender.

Those are such confusing words for a wife to hear about her partner, her lover, her best friend and the father of her children.  What I will try to share with you may not necessarily apply to all trans people, nor to any other relationship but my own.  No one is inside anyones marriage no matter the level of nosey they might be.  You simply do not have context for the reasons I might say, do or act in a certain way.  So I wish to clear a few things up, explain many others and really let you see inside the mind and heart as I have navigated through the new, sometimes extremely choppy waters.

Remember, these are my own experiences only as a wife of a MTF (male to female) trans husband.

What I have come to understand through this process is that any transition is a huge challenge.   What I have already learnt is the realization that while my husband is going through a huge transition of her own, the spouses of trans people are most certainly equally in a challenging position.  I wish not though to exclude the children, parents, relatives, friends and in some cases even co-workers.
We must all go through a transition of our own, in our own way, and at our own pace.
I didn't sign up for my husband to become a woman.   I signed up to love my male husband and was so excited to have a "normal" life.  I had waited a long time to get married in the culture I grew up in being 29 was old to get married.  I had dreams.. we had dreams for our future... my marriage came with expectations.. as all marriages do. When this all started coming to light it wasn't an easy process for either of us.  We spent months navigating through what certain thoughts meant... certain desires... spending a lot of time talking, processing, and most always, and importantly trying to do this without judgment and anger.

First thing for me that happened, and happened hard was that I grieved a loss.  In many ways I am still grieving that loss.  Sure I am told the things I am gaining including a much better person because she will be more true to who she is (and while I may agree with her being a happier version of herself) I suffered a loss.   I lost my husband.  I should expect to, and did grieve that loss.  I didn't handle that loss well.. I hurt my husband by saying that I am grieving his death.  The words I used were wrong...the emotions were not, but how I understood it was.  But I did indeed suffer a loss.  Truthfully I even went through all the stages of grieving.
Denial - I didn't live in this place very long it wasn't necessary or productive for me.
Anger - the place where a lot of people get hung up.  YES of course I had/have moments of anger.  There are still days where it makes a small appearances.  I didn't have a lot of anger directed at my husband specifically, but more at the situation as a whole.
Bargaining -  I knew this was pointless as well but I did bargain with myself that maybe if I hadn't of done this.. or that... then we wouldn't be where we are...but that was foolish!
Depression - I do not want to believe I was ever here but...Truth be told I had many many many nights of tears and heart break and still had nights even a year later where I lay in bed and just let myself have a good cry.
Acceptance - letting go.. I had to let go that I couldn't control this situation and I learned to find a little bit more peace a day at a time... and that no matter how much I wished it away, this was my new reality. This I think is the hardest portion of this transition for me.

As with any loss, there are days when out of the blue one or more of these emotions creeps up on me and the doubt that I've fully figured out the grieving process... but I know the end result is that I have grieved the loss of my husband.   I sadly have grieved the death of a love in my life before... when I was in my early 20's so I know the grieving process and how hard it is for it to be final.  It is (and was) hard enough to grieve the loss when someone dies, but imagine for a minute a loss when the person you are grieving is still there to remind you every single day of what you have lost.  Looking at the ghost of the person for whom you are trying to have closure on the grief.  That is REALLY hard..

Let me present for you another challenge I faced..  It lays there within the grieving and it is trust... I imagine this is a huge stumbling block for many relationships...some experience the complete loss of trust... what happened when my husband came out to me is that the most basic detail of marriage (man and woman) turned out to just not be true.  It is a hard thing to continue a marriage, let alone any relationship without trust... While my husband didn't have any understanding and acknowledgment of being transgender when we were first married and through most of our marriage, it doesn't change the outcome of emotions. Logically I know that my husband wasn't trying to hide being a woman from me... unfortunately for me, emotions are not always logical.. I also do not only mean the lack of trust from her now, but also trusting myself with any other type of relationship.  Trusting my choices.  Of course my brain will churn through all of those "why didn't I see it" questions.

Up next... the decision... Do I stay or do I run screaming for the hills... Do I shut out my husband, or do I stay and try to cope with the changes.  First also let me explain that for my husband she had to make an awful decision... she had to make the decision to have the world think they are somebody other than who they truly are, or crush the world that they were already living a mostly good life in.  That isn't an easy decision for anyone to make... so when she threw off her yoke of hiding, it was done with equal parts of joy, pain and fear.  Of course my husband worried terribly about how this will affect the people around her...For me the decision of trying to figure out if I could be happy if I stay is done so unwillingly and with great regret and with a lot of pain.  My husband could and did face her fears and hurt willingly because she had a goal which was eventually going to bring her peace and joy.  Me if I choose to be the supporter.. My only goal was survival of my marriage and in all honesty, myself.  

The only way I can explain my mountain of every changing emotions is that life continues forward except right now it feels like I'm being not so  gently forced forward by a bulldozer.  I wish I could write this with a smile on my face that my husband and I have survived this journey... We haven't, because my husband hasn't survived the transition.  We ended our marriage as a man and wife and when I say trust me that I tried to love my husband as woman and wife I did.  I was willing to have the fears of having no idea how I was going to make it through the transition and what that transition even looked like.  The fears of watching my husband fade away slowly.  Hormones... Breasts.. soft skin... a new name.. pronouns...laser hair removal.. feminine underwear... new clothes... maybe wigs.. makeup.. surgery.. that husband fading away slowly, fading daily... I was willing to do those things because I was willing to fight for the person I loved.  

You do not need all the details of everything that entails, but when I say I put all my efforts into loving and treating her as a woman I did.  However much effort I put in, they were futile.  I was not able to give her everything she needed.  I am not attracted to women anymore than my MTF husband is to men.  (It confuses a lot of people that my husband doesn't want to be with men, but that is another post) So then here we are left as two people who have a deep love and respect for each other.  Two people who have created a life together with amazing children and depth of friendship most people could only ever hope to have even once in their lives.  Two people who are terribly incompatible.  It doesn't lessen the hurt of a loss of marriage.  We both had to mourn the loss of our marriage, our companion, our person.

One of the things I still struggle with a lot of days is watching the future I thought I once had planned for myself become a distant memory.  Confusion, frustration, anger, hurt, sadness, loneliness and acceptance. All emotions which flow through me. Some days it is only one of them.  Other days it is all of them at once and I find myself in a mess of ugly tears and curl up into a ball of hurt.  It is normal I have to tell myself... Some days I am mad at myself... why couldn't I be better at loving her as a women.  Why can't I just tap into another part of me and just love her as a person.  I wanted so badly to just wake up one morning and just have it all figured out but instead I feel broken, lost, confused and terrified.  I'm almost 40 and I am starting over again.  I want to throw a fit about how unfair it all is.. The WHY ME phrase.. Haven't I been through enough heart ache in my life?  Why me...why the kids?  They didn't ask for any of this.. none of us did.  If I am honest with myself, and there is no logic in this, but I felt a deep sense of personal inadequacy and failure as a woman at my husbands transgenderism. Clearly in this situation I have no responsibility for what happened, but I still feel through socialization and sadly cultural conditioning that the success of a marital relationship somehow rests on the shoulders of me as a wife.  The "if she had been a real woman he never would have done this".  It is terribly unfair and a burden I have thankfully let go of.   

Some people feel I should be living in a world of anger... or they question everything because they do not see my anger.  I had my anger... oh I was angry.  My husband might have only gotten little pieces of the anger when I couldn't cope but I was angry.  At her, but more at the situation.  What you end up with is two people who are both in desperately self-defensive positions.  Sometimes people (myself included) see the transition as being totally selfish - but the trans person has to be in a way selfish.  Transitioning is too big of a journey to be able to do it in an unselfish manner.  It might not make sense but I will never truly understand my husband and what she is going through.  The same as she will never know what it feels like for me.  It is sort of like us having twins.. you can say you understand but unless you are a twin mom  you really do not.  Can others be expected to understand?  No, but you can accept.  The concept is so alien to anyone who isn't trans, that it really just isn't possible to wrap your head around it.  Trans people shouldn't have to worry about people who do not understand.  My husband shouldn't have to worry about the people in our lives who do not understand.  I worry about those who refuse to accept and who pass judgment. I will sadly lose some friends and maybe even family in this process, but what saddens me more is that they give up the chance to get to know my husband as the female she always was, but just a freer happier version of herself.  Even though I have a high level of understanding and have been supportive as anyone can be through this.. I still have moments where I feel anger or a deep deep sadness.  When I look at our wedding photos... when I watch a romantic movie ... I feel duped sometimes.. stupid.. an idiot.. how did I NOT see it,  or figure it out earlier or any of the usual feelings one might have. Every couple I see holding hands I'm saddened and somehow jealous.   Sometimes I get so frustrated I just want to scream.  How could he do this to me.. to us..  Logically I know she didn't choose to hurt us, but still I am here hurt...Left holding the bag with the pieces of our life.  

I wouldn't be honest though if I didn't share that our marriage wasn't perfect.  Perhaps to the outside world we had a great marriage and in most ways we really did.  There is something that happens though when you are trying to love a man when she is actually a woman.  You fail - you fail miserably and you blame yourself.  I certainly have my own shortcomings as does my husband.  Those together were not a recipe for success.  The extremely short and simplified version is that I was left feeling inadequate most of my marriage and my husband was left feeling unloved.  Though neither of those things are true, to the other person they were.   Our energies do not jive together as companions and we fought against that without understanding of what that meant for years. It wears a couple down... a marriage down...it wears the individuals down.  It all makes sense now but the lack of understanding and knowledge broke us both in ways that allows us to truly look at the other person and even though there is hurt, there is a depth of understanding that exists between us now.  We are not meant to be together.. Those words hurt because they sound like failure.  To me they sound like there is something so deeply wrong with me that I will fail in the next relationship... My husband quickly reminds me that next time I won't be trying to fill the needs of a woman.  I'm scared... All my dreams and images of my future are dashed and I'm scared of what my life looks like going forward, but that is what it is now.. Moving forward.  One day at a time and even in some of those days one hour at a time.

Now what right??

The decision that Ada and I have made to continue to live together is a decision we did not make lightly, but rather a decision that was easily made.  We all regardless of what type of relationship we are in envision our lives as a straight path (no pun intended), but in reality, the path has many twists and turns.  This is one of those sharp turns and Ada and I could crash and burn into that turn or choose to figure out a way that works for everyone.  Will us living together work forever... most certainly not, but we are doing what we feel is best for all of us right now, especially the children.  I know that this journey for Ada and I is not over.. The journey for Ada is really just beginning but we are in each others corner...  I am no longer afraid to face the future.  Transgenderism hasn't destroyed my life, but it has changed my life.  The bulldozer is slowing down and I know the sun will rise tomorrow and I will be OK.

Update - Ada and I am the kids are doing OK.  The children know the entire situation and we are making it work.  The kids are rolling with the changes and seem to be doing well.
Life is moving forward for all of us.  I am slowly finding my footing in life again. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

June 25, 2010

I was cleaning out my Scentsy room the other day, and came across buried under some of my books a journal I started when I had the twins.  Of course the cleaning stopped and I sat down to read some of the entries. I have not shared a lot of my thoughts with the twins but I thought I would share a particular entry as it reminded me so much why I love being a mother. 

June 25, 2010

Adam is away to Moncton in charge of a bachelor party.  Greg and Karen are getting married in about one month.  Oh how fondly I remember my wedding.  Though it was not a perfect wedding, it was the day I married the man perfect for me.

Today I am overwhelmed with the love I have for my family.  I still struggle with attachment with my stepdaughter Jazzy, but I am hopeful it will come.

I look at Ruby and Charlotte and if I ask for a hug or kiss they will walk (yes girls you have started walking this past week and it is so cute.  Not just trying to walk, but rather walking everywhere) over and give me a big hug and kiss.  They are so affectionate and I am so easily affectionate toward them.  I was scared of that.  I was scared because I have a hard time letting people it, letting myself be loved and I was scared I would be the same way with my own precious children.

Tears run down my cheeks right now thinking how very blessed we were in how healthy and happy our little miracles are.  How one tiny little thing could have changed the outcome.  My heart aches for other moms of MoMo twins who had to endure the loss of one or both knowing there was nothing they could have done.  I look at my two beautiful little angels and it pains me to think of one of them not being with us, or only one of them surviving the NICU or how different my life would be.  Even on days where I a stretched so thin that I think I might snap in two, it is worth it because it is real, it is all happening, is is all beautiful and it is all my life.

Although I find little pleasure or joy in putting Charlotte back in her wagon screaming because we have to leave the playground, having her curl into my arms later on at home and hug me while saying her own version of "mama" erases and part of her tantrums.  Our sweet mostly gentle Ruby who just looks at Charlotte and then to me as if to ask "What is her problem" makes me wonder if it is any indication of the future personalities we will enjoy. 

Ruby you give the best kisses and make the cutest "pig" sounds and you melt my heart even more with your kind eyes and warm snuggles.  Charlotte my little trouble maker already I love your own word for book which sounds like duck-a-duck.  I love how much you love having us read you a story, and I am in awe of your strong spirit and determination already.

You girls and your father are the reason I breathe, you are my air and my light and I love you and though I look forward to when you can communicate what you want easier, please stop growing up so fast because Mommy loves her little girls.

Friday, November 04, 2011

FAMILY PHOTOS

We had a friend of our we are lucky to have take some family photos the other day.  Honestly I did not have a lot of expectations.  Not because of his ability but with three young children you just never know what you are going to get.  We knew we wanted to be outside and thankfully the weather cooperated with us considering it was the beginning of November in Eastern Canada!

Here are a few unedited shots until we decide what we love the most!



It was tough getting a family shot where we all were looking even OK.. though I do like this one

One of many great ones of Charlotte

Ruby oh my sweet gentle Ruby

Jazzy was a bit harder to get a natural shot she is such a poser!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Last Days of Summer




I wish my brain was in writing mode and full of wondering, nurturing, and thought provoking words.  The type of post which would make you want to grab a cup of coffee (if you drank it) and put your feet up and nod your head with understanding about how life is with children and a husband and being a Stay At Home Mom (with a home based Scentsy Business)... But it is not.. 
Instead however, it will be a recap of what I have been doing this summer with the said children and wonderful husband.  I seem to have many strengths and many weaknesses.. One of those weaknesses I have come to realize is my inability to keep my blog updated even for my family and truly for myself.
I think of all the cute things the kids have done this summer and said this summer and wonder if I can remember half of them and how terrible of a mother I am for not writing things down right after the moment of cuteness.... or moment of sincere love, but alas, once again I have not.  I will say though that this summer has been amazing!  Not only amazing in the amount of traveling and "camping" and day tripping we have managed to do either as a family and sometimes even alone, it has been amazing because of how much the girls have grown and how much fun they are at this stage.

So here are some summer fun photos... 
Please keep in mind these are all from an IPhone

The twins LOVING the Newly ReOpened Renovated Aquarium in St Andrews!

Both Girls REALLY wanted to touch the Giant Fish as they called them!

This the reaction each of the girls got after touching one of the Skates (look like Sting Rays) Charlotte Left was crazy excited and Ruby was seriously not sure what to think!

Adam and I get away alone twice a year normally for 2 nights each.. This year we went down to Old Orchard Beach and took in the sites and did some shopping for Adam and played some golf!  It was WONDERFUL!  What was not great about it - I did not take enough photos!

Adam got a good kick out of how much I do NOT like Ferris Wheels.. Seriously do not like them !  Somehow I still go on them!  Not quite romance in the air when I was nearly shaking!

Need I explain the sheer enjoyment?

Back to School Shopping (or in their case helping mommy get Scentsy organizing supplies!

Who doesn't enjoy lunch outside with friends?

Sometimes they like to pet ponies! 
Or Feed Lamas 
Charlotte has taken to sleeping in the closet - Though the last couple of mornings/naps they have been on the floor laying together with their faces almost touching!

They have mad climbing skills!
Jazzy is growing up fast! These are Adam's friends Kids from our cabin trip to Cap Pele!  It was sooo cute!

Cap Pele - 6 hours a day on the beach.. happy children.. no melt downs.. no naps it really was wonderful!


RUBY


CHARLOTTE

Irving Nature Park Walks

Trying out their new helmets!  I know not a clear photo but I love it!

Last but not least!  Who doesn't love washing Gnomes at Nanny and Gramps house with toothbrushes!




Saturday, July 30, 2011

So, We Went CAMPING

There are many things I thought about wanting to do with my family long before I even had a family.  I knew I wanted to make memories doing things together as a family and regardless of how much work and how much stress it could possibly be, I still wanted to do them.  Camping of course was on that list.  Do not get me wrong, I LOVE CAMPING!  I love the smell of a campfire, and the sound of the zipper from the tent zipping and unzipping!  I love the sticky mess marshmellows can make and the ice cold water you would use to try to get the sticky mess off.  Above all, I love the freedom children can have to run around without a care in the world, getting dirty, getting wet, but most of all having fun!

We went camping in Mactaquac and I must say that the camp ground was very children friendly and their facilities were excellent for someone in a tent.  Our disturbingly loud and foul neighbours were not a welcomed addition to the first night but honestly it poured buckets on us the first night so I am not sure if I would have gotten many more hours of sleep worrying if I was going to wake up with the children soaked.
We decided that even though the twins are in their big girl beds they would still sleep in their playpens inside the tent which was the best decision we could have made.

The trip was certainly not all it planned out to be.  My in Laws were along for the ride and my Brother who is home for two week break from the OneAsia Professional Golf tour, along with my mother came up for supper and the night with hopes of us all golfing in the morning.  The Heavens which just continued to open on us sent my mother and brother packing home at 730 in the morning and the rest of us to the mall in Fredericton to run the three girls around until the rain hopefully stopped.  Thankfully it did and we were able to enjoy a lovely afternoon and evening around the camp fire!

We made memories - the twins had a great time chasing after Jazzy and learning to throw a frisbee with minimal damage to the local trees and foreheads!  Was it the best camping trip I have ever been on?  Perhaps not, but it was the first one with my wee ones and even if they won't remember stinking up the tent with their farting all night from the mixture of marshmellows and camping food,  the rest of us will and I am thankful for even just the one day of sunshine as it allowed us to create a lifetime of little memories!

The twins getting set to partake of some camping food! Charlotte (L) Ruby (R)

I REALLY wish I could have known what they were talking about.. Ruby on the left!

PIGGY and ELEPHANT just HAD to experience camping along with the twins!  They sleep with these little Scentsy Buddies and we were NOT leaving them home!

Throwing Rocks in the River is a favourite of my children - I think of any children!

Just because I think it is a cute photo of the twins!  I could not begin to tell you which one is which.

Charlotte digging for better rocks

Ruby wondering why Mommy has the camera in her face while trying to pick up rocks

Jazzy is extremely hard to get a good photo of!  If she knows you have the camera it is the ultimate cheese crazy person smile with the hand on the hip.  I surprised her with this one and it is the best I have!

The long walk back from the river to the playground and camp site.  Next time we go we would for sure stay closer to the playground and water.  We had a beautiful site with a cute brook running right along it, but too far from the river for my little ones!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

OH CHARLOTTE

Because I plan to become more consistent with my blog posts I really wanted to make sure to blog about the cute and fun and unique things my children do as a way to record for my blog book later on.

So today was a great one in my books.  Adam and I are thankfully on the same page when it comes to parenting and Time Outs have become a useful tool for us with the twins.  However, today I think it lost a little bit of its effectiveness this is how it went down.

Mommy sitting putting in a Scentsy Order
Charlotte and Ruby eating popcorn and watching Tangled
Charlotte comes over to Mommy
"Mommy, I needs a time out"

Mommy "Why Charlotte"

Charlotte "I going hit Ruby"

Mommy "thank you for telling me"

Charlotte then proceeds to put herself in a time out in the time out chair for thinking about hitting Ruby and not actually hitting her.  I tried to explain to her that she did not need to go in a time out for something she did not do, and thanked her for being honest about wanting to hit Ruby.

Inside I was dying of laughter but the moment was too precious to ruin with a laugh!

Oh the fun things our children do at the young age of 2

Monday, July 18, 2011

HARRY POTTER

Saturday night Adam and I went to see how it all ends (at least in Movie form) of Harry Potter.  I can only say it was amazing and heart felt and my favourite part of the book was done so absolutely beautiful that I was crying plenty of tears!  There were a couple change ups that perhaps as a HUGE fan of the books I was not a huge fan of them onscreen but after much discussion on the way home with my husband we both agreed that it really would have been difficult to pull off exactly how it happens in the book - on screen.  I won't say what they are for those who have not read the books or seen the final movie yet.
If you are going - bring kleenex for sure!

In other Harry Potter related news because I am sure I'm the only one who has not shared this.. but well um at least he is not a teenager so I can say is anyone else's mind blown away by this!  Neville LongBottom you have come a long way in the books and in real life!! (Matthew Lewis is the actors name)