There And Back Again

I hope that all of you, gentlemen, had nice holidays. I also believe the ongoing year will bring something new to everyone. Happiness is not a permanent condition, so novelties may be different or even unpleasant, but every piece of experience is helpful and encouraging. Christmas and New Year Day are family holidays, respectively. They become a real workout for some of us. Few days ago I talked with a young penpal, who asked: how do I keep calm when my relatives confront me because of transition - in subtle things or in common? I had to take a break. I didn't know what to say. Transition arguments or quarrels? What are those? I live in a full big family. Number of men and women of various characters & habbits can drive mad if they're put together (remember "Home Alone"). I love 'em. And I feel extremely lucky, considering that my path hasn't been strewn with flowers.
I was growing up with a smooth feeling that something is wrong. As a kid, I was a full-fledge black sheep, didn't have friends and kept my feelings bubbling deep inside. I remember being clumsy and overweight, so I had a lot of matters for confusion. I haven't deal with gender issues until high school, when I felt in love and permitted myself to behave and look like I wanted to. I should mention that Russia in 2000's was somehow similar to USA in 70's, when any information about transgender topics (procedure track, medical topics, success stories) was absent. Later Internet gave a huge impulse to community growing, but back in time it was a foggy kingdom. I wrote stories and escaped from reality. Writing and working with words still are the main things I'm fond of. Okay... let's get back to business. I think I changed significantly - cut my hair short and bought some baggy sport clothes. It was not directly masculine, because the worst thing I could imagine was to get my mom upset. But she was nervous, of course. Mom confronted my girlfriend, if we are lesbians. Since I didn't confess that I'm a man, poor lady had to say "yes". Domestic war has begun. As a teenager, I behaved myself dramatically. There were loud speeches about running away and living on my own. I broke off my endearing relationship, because I felt unhappy and miserable, couldn't control my emotions and jealosity. I was extremely angry with my parents who stood against my attraction to women and entire lifestyle. I didn't leave their house, but we hadn't spoken about anything personal for over a decade. Then life suddenly got into the mainstream. I spent few years denying my diagnosis, but strangely I knew what I'm going to do. I began collecting crumbs of knowledge. I watched "Boys don't cry" - the only accessible story that explained many things, and it was a matching point. Finding myself wasn't easy. Roughnecks bullied and followed me in early teens, so I felt alone and insecure. I entered the colledge, learned the sweets of life - drank, messed around, had affairs, but that was inadequate. My parents thought it's just a phase I'm going through, a kind of teenage rebellion. I prayed when they'd stop considering me "their unhealthy baby". We didn't discuss anything. After noticing the problem they pretended it doesn't exist. Later I recollected courage and went to the therapist. The procedure of psychiatric control isn't adjusted here, so it took couple of years and kilometres of nerves. I decided that I'll spend my own money for this purpose and took any casual work I could find - I was seasonal worker, courier, etc. By the time I was diagnosed with GID, life of local transgender community brightened up. There was online board for FtMs - I spent hundreds of hours chatting and sharing information. It's really important, when you realise you're not alone. I have beautiful friends and dozens of penpals, and I'm proud that I was & am a part of this movement. Life found it's way. I went on full-time, found a regular job, started taking T and raised funds for top surgery. I felt strong presence and support from my friends. There was time when I seeked for attention and intimacy like Tom Ripley did (see "Talented Mr. Ripley"), but that way led to failure. I was growing into a person, neither good or bad, but having a strong sense of justice, so I did't need everyone's likes. Why did I say that? I don't have many friends, but those who stay with me are precious. Within a year, perhaps, I had several important events at once: moved out, had top surgery and changed documents. Mom and dad were aware of first point. It seemed that they calmed down - I didn't drink heavily, neither was on drugs or was homeless. I moved not far away, so we saw each other frequently. Also I met love of my life and rethought future plans. I knew I couldn't stay stealth forever, but I expected anything but what happened next. Mom kept telling stories about "girl who didn't find herself" to anyone who was eager to listen. She supposed that someone was a bad influence on me. She's a nice, kind woman, but at that time she got lost and couldn't restore connection with me. At last mom found out everything. She didn't raise snakes. She just said a nursed phrase: "I want you to be happy - anyhow". I stayed shocked for a couple of months. Unfortunatelly dad held his grounds. Perhaps it's bizzare to use female pronouns for a guy. But I couldn't explain anything to a grown-up man who preferred to close his ears. Life became quite ordinary when the necessity of constant lookout dissapeared. I preferred literature an movies like I always did. For my family I became supportive kid. When other transmen noticed that I showed too much indulgence to someone who didn't recognize me for a long time, I objected. I still object. There is a great book, "Bridges of Madison county": instead of a touching love-story, it contains some wise words about relationships of parents and children. Mom and dad are not our average supporters. They're just people with their thoughts, norms and fears. Of course, some families may be destroyed by tyrannic and wicked deeds, but generally our relatives quieten when they see that transition is a releasing. The situation is rather contradictory from aside: parents gave birth to a girl, at least they were told so. They made plans. They got used to take care - for every moment of their life. And then something goes wrong, and they can't help, and they lose heads. They must have time to get over it.
I live on my own and haven't split up with my family. I'm coming up to thirties. When someone asks if I live in a perfect world now, I answer - no. Everyday life can't be extremely happy. There are bright moments that happen from time to time. Otherwise there are cares and problems. Uh, sure, the Big Pressure dissapeared. It's incredible, but I catch myself thinking that I forget about it. Recently I got ill; dad came around, chatted with doctors and admitted I'm his boy. Life is full of wonders!..
I'm fine, that's it. Take care of yourself.
Sorry for borrowing your attention :) Feel free to ask anything.
elmaria4i elmaria4i
31-35, M
1 Response Jan 8, 2013

finaly your dad accept you as his boy. and thats the really big thing. i hope one day it will happens to me you says "life is full of wonders".

It was a long way. But it doesn't matter. Things sometimes go unlike we want or even can imagine.
I was less unprotected when I was 16. I can't judge for others, but it was scary to recognize that I vary not only in my thoughts, but also in physiology.
I studied low, and dad got nervous about my future. Once I assumed that instead of being housewife or teacher I could succeed as a guy. Dad gave the ha-ha and said: world is rough, so man must be tough - and it's not about you. I was hurt by his disbelief, spent an evening crying over the online conference, and only later understood that he wanted to protect me. It's like shouting at the kid who puddles in dirt. Maybe he's going to become an archeologist, but noone can guess (yet).