Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Major Problems

Well, my life became a LOT more complicated on Sunday. (3/24/13)

As some of you know, my Wife and I live with my wife's mother due to our inability to afford anything else, which directly correlates to my inability to find a "real job." We pay rent.

Mother in law (MIL) is in her 60s. She is a an extreme conservative. She is extremely racist and intolerant of any viewpoints that differ from her own. For example, she has two sons. One married a Latina, and the other a Filipino. MIL complained about "N****rs and ch**ks taking over this country" In FRONT of the Filipino. She didn't take that well. She has remarked to me on several
occasions that she regrets that she only has one "all white" grandchild (my daughter.) That always causes an argument as I point out her views are archaic and hurtful.

Anyway.

As usual on Sunday morning, my Wife, MIL, and my daughter went to church.  MIL does the babysitting there and is usually the last one home. And it was Palm Sunday, so I figured it would be a longer mass than usual.

So, I brought home some laundry leftover from Keystone. The "unmentionables" were in the wash when MIL arrived home a couple hours early. She went directly to the washing machine, which stopped seconds before she reached it. She opened it, pulled out everything, looked at them, put them in the dryer, turned to me and said "Interesting stuff."

I said I was selling it on eBay for someone. First excuse I could think of. As I sell things for her, I hoped it wasn't too much of a stretch.

After maybe 10 minutes, I pulled everything from the dryer, threw it in a bag, and went to their church, where my Wife and daughter were participating in an Easter Egg hunt.

When I arrived, I asked Wife if her mom had called. Not yet. I explained to her exactly what happened (Thank God she knows about me being TG) and asked her to confirm my story if asked. Literally FIVE seconds later, her phone rang. MIL.

Wife confirmed my story. She was on the phone for several minutes.

Turns out MIL didn't buy the story, and thinks I'm cheating on her. She was pressuring her to talk. I started texting people for help, including Dr. Osborne.

Needs Help.  Obviously.

After the Easter Egg hunt, we went home. MIL was just leaving for another babysitting job. MIL and Wife spoke a few minutes as I went inside with my daughter.

Wife came in a few minutes later, obviously rattled. She then said "I want to tell her about your crossdressing."

My stomach dropped out.

"I'd prefer if you let me think about that. She won't take it well and there will be fallout" I said. I have no illusions- she hates LGBT peoplePassionately.

"I can't take this. She thinks I'm being a fool."

We went back and forth a bit. She categorized being TG as being an addiction. I said it wasn't- that it is biological.

Dr. Osborne offered to meet with her, but can't until next week. Jen doesn't want to be part of the "Spouse support group" because "Why should I pay $50 to share my private life with people I don't know and don't want to know?"

I then left for work, a 4-9 shift. Her mom would be home at 7. I was visibly shaking my whole shift.

I'm a former paramedic. As I say a lot, I used to run into burning buildings with no fear. Yet now I was so scared. I was sure she'd spill everything to her mom before I returned home.

On my way home after work, I had to pull over and get sick. My stomach was a knot. I was more scared about this than I was telling my Wife about Sophie in the first place. At least there, I had some control in the situation, some options. Here, I was totally helpless.

I arrived home, and sat in the driveway a couple minutes, summoning my courage.

Then I went in.

MIL was already in bed. Wife asked why I was sitting out there. I told her I got sick on the way home. She asked "Is it because of me?" I said yes.

She sighed and said "I haven't told her. Yet. I probably won't."

 So I texted people. Asked people in my therapy group for advice. I even asked for prayers, as if I have the right to them.

Monday. I worked until 8. Wife was home before 6:30. That night was "DWTS" which MIL and Wife watch religiously. Would she spill?

Later that night, I was sitting on the couch back in our "living room" when Wife came back to join me.  She told me she HADN'T told her mom, but the topic came up.

She said "I told her you had a crossdresser friend named Mel who was in financial trouble, and you were selling this stuff to help them out.  He knows how intolerant you are and didn't want to hear you complain, so he fudged the story a little bit."

I told my "Big Sis" Mel this story.  She was amused by it.  (Wife met Mel once soon after I came out to her, when I invited Mel to dinner.)

Wife says MIL seemed to buy this story.

BUT...Knowing my relentless MIL, I don't think Wife will be able to hold out for long if she DOESN'T buy it.

As I mentioned, I'm scared. Very scared. It's like waiting for a bomb to go off, and knowing I can't do anything to stop it.

Things are going to change in my life in a BIG hurry.

I've messaged with some people about this as well.  Lisa Empanada summed it up perfectly when she wrote me "I am always afraid when I fear someone will find out, then after they don't I yearn for the liberation that I did not get."

And that's True.  The Die being cast.  Out. 

Dr. Osborne says I "need to control the narrative."  And I know that's Vital.

But what if I can't?

In a short story I wrote back in 1990, the narrator posited the question "What if you AREN'T the hero of your own story?  What if you're the villain, or worse- just a secondary character?"

I thought about that last night.  If I control the narrative, am I the Heroine?  the Villain?  Or just the Subject?

And does it matter?

This story is far from over.  My story is far from over.




 

10 comments:

  1. Sophie,

    I really feel for you and I know you are in a tough situation over which you feel you have little control. I think that you want to come out to everyone eventually, so take some solice in knowing that in some way this is inevitable, although as your therapist said, you want to control the dialogue.

    You have a therapist and I assume you have been diagnosed with GD, so in esence this is a medical issue for you and not a hobby or fetish. When I came out to my parents I used a letter, written with the assistance of my therapist, that explained GID and my situation.

    There is no way of knowing how she will take it but if it is expalined to her that you have a medical disorder and you are being treated by a team of medical professionals, you will at least have a strong argument. I think that you have some power in this situation also because she depends on you for a place to live etc.

    It may get worse before it gets better or it may not get worse at all. Having come out to your wife, you probably realize that the worst time is the anquish in anticipation of how things will turn out. The hardest part is opening your mouth and it is all downhill from there. I hope for a smooth ride for you and I will be reading to see how this all turns out. A lot of us are pulling for you, so please be strong...

    Hugs,
    Tammy

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    1. Yes Tammy, I have a GID diagnosis.

      As for power, it's backwards.. we depend upon HER for a roof over our heads.

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  2. Sophie -

    Tammy is right.... Yours is a medical condition. They have recently found a correlation between the number of circuits in one part of the brain and the likelihood that a person is transgender.

    Trust me, your wife still has compassion for you - she was willing to help you with the lie. But there is only so far she can go. And it is like a bomb waiting to go off, as you have only bad vibes about your MIL.

    I wish I lived nearby. I would be willing to chat with MIL and help drain fuel from the fire. Some information about GID best comes from someone else other than you. But who that has to be is someting else.

    Now your wife may have resistance to therapy. Most people do. Our culture teaches us that we have to be self reliant. But this can not always be the case. We need people to vent our feelings to, and trained leaders to help us focus on real issues while we vent. Hopefully, this resistance will ebb....

    Good luck....

    M

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  3. First off, I most certainly understand your fear - most of us have felt that at some point. But . . .
    The cynical part of me can't help but think that you are seeing a therapist, I think your on HRT, your starting to come out to people. Didn't you see this coming sooner or later? (or were you just hoping it would BE later?)
    When I discovered that a few of my coworkers had found out about me, I wanted to crawl under a rock and die. Can't do that, so I went to work every day and just plowed my way through it.
    If your mother in law knows or comes to know, then you are gonna have to do the same thing - go home everyday, and plow your way through it.
    You will survive my friend, and more than likely come out the other end much stronger for it.

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  4. It's not WANT it to be later- I NEED it to be later. I NEED to get out from under her roof before she finds out.

    As to your other bits, I'm on HRT (3 1/2 months) but only 1 person knows aside from my wife. And the community. :)

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  5. In your post about telling your wife you note that your wife is "more human" when MIL is away leading to the inference that you have difficulty being tolerant to your wife when she is not human or less than human when your are both with your MIL.

    You go on to state, "I know my wife's mind on Transgenderism. She is a strict Catholic and thinks that TG people are an abomination." You show no tolerance for there being any merit to any religious beliefs that she may hold. You equate her religion to a tacit hatred of TG. Even after she accepts Sophie and gives you a comforting hug you do not find it in your heart to even acknowledge that she is entitled to her beliefs in a religion that professes love and forgiveness.

    In the above post you cliam that your MIL is an "extreme conservative. She is extremely racist and intolerant of viewpoints that differ from her own...""...she hates LGBT people. Passionately." In making these claims of intolerance about your MIL you link to a progressive opinion piece with the captioned illustration "The hate-group branded Republican Party". You also link your claims of intolerance, bigotry and extreme racism to the Tea Party.

    In many of your blog pieces you claim that truthfulness is important to you and yet you not only create fictions you prevail upon your wife, a person who clearly loves you and who you profess to love, to lie on your behalf. You pretty much left in place and unrefuted the thinking by your MIL that you were cheating on your wife...her daughter. How does your wife feel about her mother thinking that her SIL is so dishonest as to cheat on her daughter. You have a daughter. How would you feel if you were of the belief that her husband was unfaithful to her?

    Sophie, I recognize that you have a right to be bitter and resentful of others, including your wife, your MIL, anyone who does not share your political views, etc. I also want to be fair and reasonable to you and refrain from passing any form of judgment. It just seems to me that those of us in the gender community who seek acceptance from others, who work towards understanding, who put energy into being tolerant of others in the hopes that others will be tolerant of us could do more for the cause of peaceful co-existance if we ourselves were more tolerant and understanding of the humanness of others.

    You may be entitled to your dislikes of your MIL or the libertarian, conservative, constitutional supporters in the Tea Party whose beliefs in a smaller government with less taxes differ with your own political views but you seem to be carrying so much hatred and intolerance for others that your own hatred and lack of tolerance serves as a source of conflict and pain for you.

    I truly wish you well wherever things go with your wife and MIL. In this season I wish you peace, understanding and forgiveness.

    I agree with Kim's advice that you 'plow through' the difficult issues. I would add that you try to do so with some love and understanding. I find that if you give love and understanding you have a better chance of having it returned than if you demonize others out of your own lack of tolerance for others.

    Buena Pasqua
    Pat

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    1. Hi Pat!

      I'll respond to this in parts. I'll be quoting you.

      In your post about telling your wife you note that your wife is "more human" when MIL is away leading to the inference that you have difficulty being tolerant to your wife when she is not human or less than human when your are both with your MIL.

      >>>>No, you infer incorrectly. it's not tolerance. It's "she isn't happy and takes it out on me. And as you base the rest of your arguement on this fallacy...


      You go on to state, "I know my wife's mind on Transgenderism. She is a strict Catholic and thinks that TG people are an abomination." You show no tolerance for there being any merit to any religious beliefs that she may hold. You equate her religion to a tacit hatred of TG.

      >>>Are you familiar with Catholicism's take on TG? Look it up.


      Even after she accepts Sophie and gives you a comforting hug you do not find it in your heart to even acknowledge that she is entitled to her beliefs in a religion that professes love and forgiveness.

      >>>She can believe what she wishes. And what her religion professes CAN be different from what it practices (see: Islam)

      >>>I am a Christian. I see what the radical right has done with that label. they've twisted it to a movement of intolerance and hate. Christ preached neither of these things. In fact just the opposite...

      In the above post you cliam that your MIL is an "extreme conservative. She is extremely racist and intolerant of viewpoints that differ from her own...""...she hates LGBT people. Passionately." In making these claims of intolerance about your MIL you link to a progressive opinion piece with the captioned illustration "The hate-group branded Republican Party". You also link your claims of intolerance, bigotry and extreme racism to the Tea Party.

      >>>Yes. I have experienced all of these things first hand. I've known MIL 22 years and heard her hatred almost daily. This very night she said my hair (growing out) makes me "look like a faggot." So, As i know her better, don't you think My jhudgement MAY be accurate. As to tea party, I've been to 3 meetings and seen their hatred of African American ("President N****r") and liberals (Put them in camps and let them rot") first hand. Have you? And knowing that the Tea party is funded by the Koch bros, who fund the GOP... connect the dots.

      (to be continued in part 2)

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    2. PART 2:

      In many of your blog pieces you claim that truthfulness is important to you and yet you not only create fictions you prevail upon your wife, a person who clearly loves you and who you profess to love, to lie on your behalf.

      >>>That is correct

      You pretty much left in place and unrefuted the thinking by your MIL that you were cheating on your wife...her daughter. How does your wife feel about her mother thinking that her SIL is so dishonest as to cheat on her daughter. You have a daughter. How would you feel if you were of the belief that her husband was unfaithful to her?

      >>>She knows the stakes of this game. Sounds like you don't. i suggest you re-read a little closer.

      Sophie, I recognize that you have a right to be bitter and resentful of others, including your wife, your MIL, anyone who does not share your political views, etc.

      >>> I am NOT bitter, etc, against those who don't share my views. It's America. When they ACT on their hate- like the GOP does- different story.


      (Cut a bit foir brevity, but you make a good point with it)

      You may be entitled to your dislikes of your MIL or the libertarian, conservative, constitutional supporters in the Tea Party whose beliefs in a smaller government with less taxes differ with your own political views but you seem to be carrying so much hatred and intolerance for others that your own hatred and lack of tolerance serves as a source of conflict and pain for you.

      >>>Ah yes, the Tea party myths. Remember the 2 examples I cited above? First about PROFESSING and DOING. Then about what I have SEEN from the Tea party first hand. What you state are the platitudes they say in the media, none of which will work, but I'll get to that. But that is NOT what they're about. And you know it. They want an America that died long ago- where women and queers and minorities knew their place, and white men reigned supreme.

      >>>Less taxes? Ok, what shall we cut? Police? Fire? Ambulance? Education? Infrastructure? Oh wait- ALREADY CUT TO THE BONE. Military? Oh thats crazy talk! Besides them billionaires need more money to create jobs... OVERSEAS!

      >>>As for "small government" I hate to break it to you, but the era of the Marlboro Man making his way in the dusty west free of them thar gubbiment regulations never existed. You REALLY want less government? REALLY? Well, transperson, that means DEATH to us. And i do not exaggerate. less government means less rules and laws, including those to protect US from those to seek to do us harm. The Arizone GOP 2 days ago passed a law saying it is LEGAL to discriminate against transpeople. Think we'll see any justice for transpeople beaten and murdered in Arizona? Think that the blueprint for that legislation hasn't been sent to ALL other GOP statehouses? Think again on both counts.

      >>>This is where you and I differ- I am watching what the GOP are trying to do (as are organizations like NCTE). They are enacting laws of HATE. Remember what I wrote above? About those who ACT on their hate? I fight them. YOU vote FOR them. You ASSIST them. I cannot understand this.


      I truly wish you well wherever things go with your wife and MIL. In this season I wish you peace, understanding and forgiveness.

      >>>Thank you

      ...(cut) I find that if you give love and understanding you have a better chance of having it returned than if you demonize others out of your own lack of tolerance for others.

      >>>Again, your whole arguement is based upon a fallacy. I demonize NO ONE. I expose the truth about those who want us DEADE or worse.

      I appreciate your good wishes though, and wish you the same!

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  6. Sophie

    Thank you for your responses. I enjoy reading what you have to say. You write with such energy and vigor that it sometimes seems like your head is ready to explode.

    I suppose for now we can agree to disagree on some issues and agree to agree on others. ( I hope that that sentence does not sound too much like Rummy's "known ~ knowns ~ unknowns, etc.). I have been to a few Tea Party events and at no time did I sense any intolerance, racial or otherwise. In fact, the scenery was so benign that even my wife suggested that if I wanted to dress in the style of Betsy Ross that she may even consider going to a Tea Party rally with me. That is the only time she has suggested being out and about with me while I was dressed. At each event there were people of various ilks, white, brown, black, etc. There was no shortage of diversity either from the event organizers or the crowd. After the events ended the area was left spotless.

    There is so much waste and duplication built into the government. Rules overlap rules, regulations strangle the energy out of so many and the tax code is so complex and confused that it makes people want to lie and cheat. My sense of all things is that we need good laws and good rules and that they should be clear enough to be understood by all, accepted by most and enforced without regard to wealth, political affiliation or station in life. I tend to lean towards the Jeffersonian concept of "If men were angels" as written about in a book of that name by James Buckley (former NY senator and brother of William).

    It is always sad to see strife in any family. I truly regret the difficulties that you have had in your life seeking to try to find some way to peacefully co-exist with your own family and with your MIL. My folks are long gone (dad in 1976...mom in 1996. I miss them dearly and feel bad that my own children did not get to know and appreciate their grandparents. I also miss my inlaws. I am now the same age as my FIL when he passed. I would have liked to have known him better).

    I wish you peace and happiness. I would also not be upset if as you level your aim at various targets you used a single shell rather than bird shot.

    Pax
    Pat

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    1. Pat -

      I don't want to get into a discussion of the evils of big government to say, that like the human body, duplication and efficiency are built in - and time only serves to make things more complex. It is impossible to untangle the Gordian Knot of runes and regulations without destroying the rope (government) in the process.

      Sophie has a big problem. She has to hide from her Mother In Law, because MIL is an intolerant racist bigot. MIL will find excuses to hate others who are not like her, and that will include Sophie if given the chance. MIL is not introspective. Instead, she points the finger at others to blame for the problems of the world. MIL is incapable of seeing the world in something other than a binary view, and would find it impossible to accept any reality that uses shades of gray, or even a full spectrum of color.

      Over the years, I have read Sophie's blog and have determined that her MIL is not the kind of person Sophie would associate with had she a choice to do so. Doing laundry over there is a big risk, as MIL could always stop by. And yet, Sophie has to do so, as doing laundry at a public laundromat is very expensive for a person on a very tight budget. I can only imagine what Sophie must be feeling whenever she has to visit (or be near) that house.

      But I have digressed from the current problem.

      Sophie will eventually be forced to deal with MIL and her intolerance. I'd suggest taking the initiative and discussing Intersex conditions before discussing Transgender issues. MIL will likely NOT be convinced of anything. But Sophie will be in control of the breakup, not MIL in a fit of anger. This is very important when one is dealing with control of a field of "battle". The wife and kids will be hurt - there is no avoiding that. Sophie will be hurt - again, there is no avoiding that. But Sophie, and Sophie alone must control her full outing to MIL. Who knows? MIL may surprise Sophie if she controls things for what could be one last meeting....

      In this case, I don't know how to make the next move. And I feel that Sophie has to take the initiative - whatever she does. I hope that Sophie gets a better result than what she fears. Being there for her is the most important thing now....

      M

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