Monday, October 13, 2014

10-13-2014 Entry: The Grief of a Spouse


So a bit after my last entry my wife and I sort of got into a tiff when our dog decided to puke on one of the blankets sitting on our couch. On the surface we were in conflict about what to do with the victimized blanket (she was doing laundry and there was a queue of sheets waiting to go into the wash already) but underneath the confrontation was a much more poignant issue. As I mentioned before I’ve noticed my wife harboring some levels of anger and resentment towards me for this transgender realization and it became quickly evident to me that her rather explosive outburst in anger was a result of this deeper resentment.

Immediately after the tiff we went into separate rooms and sort of cooled off for a little bit until my wife decided to come out and talk with me. She apologized for her angry outburst and said she didn’t know why she was angry with me. I, having puzzled through this already, told her that I knew why she was angry with me. I was completely open and said that she was angry with me because I’d ruined her life. Although that might be a rather dramatic description of her issue, I believe it’s relatively accurate. By deciding I can no longer hide who I am and by deciding to embark on the difficult and frightening adventure into physical womanhood, I was more or less ruining the life that she’d built with me. By changing my direction I stole away the future she’d been constructing in her mind by changing one of the most fundamental components to that future, her male husband.

At first she didn’t really respond but I could tell by her expression that I’d hit the nail on the head and after a few moments of thought she admitted that what I’d said was true. She admitted that by making this change I was ruining the life she’d imagined for herself and for us. She went on from there to finally admit, through teary eyes, that she was mad at me, even though she didn’t think I deserved her anger. She said that she knew it wasn’t really my fault or that I really had a choice in things but she couldn’t help but feel some anger with me. She also admitted that she wished things didn’t have to change and that I didn’t have to do this, but understood why I needed to. After that she opened up about a lot of the thoughts and worries that she’s been carrying around (which I won’t describe in detail for the sake of her privacy) and told me how she was feeling and what she was thinking.

It was difficult to stand there and listen to her because it broke my heart to hear how tormented she felt about everything. I knew she was suffering, but watching her cry as she struggled to find the words to describe what she thought, how she felt, and what she wanted, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Because I know that the best way to ease another person’s suffering is to merely allow them the room to be themselves without argument or contradiction, I stood silently for the majority of the conversation until she asked me to outline my timeline for the coming changes. I explained to her that it would take a few months before I was ready to go on hormones because I wanted to go to therapy for a while, and I wanted to grow my hair out some before I started the physical changes. After that it would take upwards of a year before any real significant changes would be noticeable (based off of what I’ve seen from the HRT videos on youtube it seems like the 1 year mark is when the changes become more pronounced).

From there we both came to the understanding that we both loved each other, that we both wanted things to work out between us and that we both wanted to stay together, but neither of us wanted the other person to be miserable either. I honestly believe this conversation was very fruitful and allowed my wife to release some of the anger and anxiety she is feeling. I hold no illusions that our struggles are over, but for the time being I’m happy to know that we are both on the same page with regards to our relationship. We both know that we want to try to make things work, but  if they can’t or won’t then there is no obligation to force something that cannot be. For now, I am content with that agreement.

 

Changing subjects a bit, I’m finding it surprisingly depressing to not have painted fingernails anymore (I removed the paint last night so I wouldn’t get strange looks at work). Every time I go to look at my fingernails with the happy expectation that they will be purple I’m slightly crushed that they are back to normal. I wish I could just wear them around and could feel that yet another part of me was a true reflection of what’s on the inside, but I guess I’ll have to wait for that day to come when things are better suited for it.

Well, that’s about all I have for today.

-Emma

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