I haven’t made a blog post for about a week and a half. Truth be told, I haven’t had the heart. I have spent most of that time in turmoil over a decision that I arrived at during my third counselling session, and that I have been trying to come to terms with. Namely, that I can’t transition. For all the strength of conviction that I am TS, and I do believe that very clearly now, for all I have an incessant ever burning urge to be the woman that I know I am, I can’t be any more than the part timer that I am already. So how did I arrive at this momentous decision so quickly? Well, it’s fairly simple I suppose.
My two daughters are the greatest things in my life. They take precedence over everything else, including my own wellbeing. And every time I play out the scenario in my head of what happens when I announce to the world that I am in fact a woman and will be living as such, every time they end up getting hurt. Daughter no 1 is now 12 years old, on the verge of becoming a young woman herself. She is such a daddy’s girl too, sometimes embarrassingly so. I am terrified by the prospect of her reacting badly to my revelation and losing my relationship with her. Even if she reacted well and was prepared to accept this new version of her father, her friends and their parents may not react so well. I can imagine kids who are friends now making fun, even bullying her for having a trans dad. Worse still, I can imagine parents of friends refusing to allow them to come round our house because they think I’m some sort of pervert.
Daughter no 2 will turn 5 next month. She is achingly precious, and delightfully innocent. To a certain extent I wonder that, given her age, if I told her “Daddy is going to be a girl from now on” would she reply “OK. Can I watch TV?” Of course that’s probably wishful thinking. She would probably just be baffled. But as time went on, the same fears that apply to the older one would apply to her too.
And then there’s my wife. Despite my frequent complaints and bitching, she has been way more supportive than anyone could reasonably expect. She lies for me, covers for me, helps me out, all so I can have the opportunity on at least a weekly basis to experience a few short hours of a female life. She is so scared of her world falling apart, of the family that she made ceasing to exist. Of our kids being traumatised. Of her husband no longer existing as a man. And she has made it very clear that she could never consider being in a relationship with another woman, even if that woman was me.
So other considerations – work, wider family circle, my friends (not that there are a huge number of them) – aren’t really major considerations for me. My employers have a strong diversity policy, my extended family I can deal with, and if friends don’t like the real me, they’re not friends. But the other three females in my life, my wife and two daughters, are such a concern that they override everything. It is of course possible that my fears of what might happen are unfounded, but if even a fraction of what I fear were to come to pass, then I really couldn’t live with myself. I would have put my own happiness before my kids, and I would be no sort of parent at all then.
I did say that I was going to give myself until the end of the year before making a final decision about transition, but I think the rationale for that was that I have been “out” (not that I’m particularly out, but I’m out and about at least) for such a relatively short time that I wanted to be able to rule out that these feelings were just short-term elation and that they weren’t just going to subside. In other words, it would be very foolish to set myself on the road to transition, with full disclosure to everyone, until enough time had elapsed that I could be sure this wasn’t going away. I mean, it doesn’t feel like it is ever going away, my yearning to be able to live a female life is frighteningly strong, but for what it’s worth that was my rationale. The thing is, this realisation that I can’t ever put my family through that means that if my feelings do subside, then it will make my decision easier, not harder, to live with. If they intensify, well that’s another matter, but the thought that they might ever be more intense than they are now is frightening but hard to believe.
So part time I must remain, and I hate it. I hate everything about this horrible maleness that I have to live with. It’s not me and I’m stuck with it.
Last week after being out at the Butterfly Club, I pulled up in my normal spot to quickly wipe off the makeup and stick on some Bob clothing. But I sat there, staring at my face in the mirror, seeing the woman that I should be all the time, and I couldn’t say goodbye. I sat for a full thirty minutes, unable to face the prospect that it was always going to be like this, that no matter what I do, where I go, how happy I am at any point, it is always going to end with the big comedown when I have to put the male mask back on again.
The only thing I can try to do is to think of ways to maximise the amount of time I get to spend as myself. I have my Wednesday nights, but that’s just not enough. Frankly, anything less than 24/7 isn’t going to be enough, but I have to live within the confines that I now realise I must stick to. So my plan is to come out to more people, people that I trust, in the hope that they will be open to the idea of socialising with Kirsty rather than with the Bob that they have known for some time. It will be a delicate process, but one that I am determined to at least try. My counsellor gave me a good piece of advice about this – don’t just think about who you’re going to tell, think about what you’re going to say. Definitely changed my perspective.
So I haven’t told anybody else yet, but in the coming months I hope that there will be a few new “friends of Kirsty”. Watch this space!