Monday, June 10, 2013

Death, Disclosure and Delaware

I wish I could sugar-coat this entry, but sorry folks, this one is gonna be brutal.

If you read the last entry, you know that my friend JoAnne Roberts passed away.  I'm still trying to sort that out in my head.  I mean, I heard that she was sick, and the very next day I heard she's gone.

And there was nothing ANY of us could do.

Angela Gardner wrote a wonderful piece about it for TG Forum.

The day after she passed, I had to go on a trip.  I didn't want to, really, but Wife called in a marker.  You see, her family was renting two vacation houses down in Bethany Beach, Delaware for the week.  One was for Wife's middle brother, his wife (the homophobic bitch I mentioned here), and their litter of five.  The other was for Wife's youngest brother, his wife and their four kids (one of whom was 10 days old on Saturday), Wife, Daughter, Mother in law (MIL), Wife's Uncle (MIL's brother) and his wife... and me.  At least for one night, as Wife wanted me to drive her down there. 

So, as no one would be home, we brought the Dog with us to my parents, who live in southern Delaware not far from Bethany Beach.  We were to stop there, drop off the dog, then head to Bethany.  I would stay the day.  That night, we would take my parents out to dinner for Fathers Day, then the next morning early, I'd pick up the dog and head home, where I'd be alone for a whole week.

A day at the beach.  Even with my wife's horrific family, how bad could it be, right? 

So we woke up early Saturday and hit the road.  On the way down, Wife happens to mention something.

"My mom told me she thinks you're a crossdresser.  She mentioned you shave your legs and wear earrings and then there was the laundry thing."

"What did you tell her?" I said.

"I didn't say anything.  I kept stone faced.  Thank God she's not good at reading people."

And that was all she said about it before changing subjects.  And she would discuss it no further.

Gee thanks.

So.  My incredibly everything-phobic right-wing hate filled MIL thinks I'm a crossdresser.  Which I'm really not, but that's splitting hairs.  The fact is she'll be LOOKING for evidence of transgender activity.

In my educated opinion, I am SCREWED.

It will only be a matter of time before she finds some form of proof that I'm transgender.  And then all hell will break loose.  Needless to say, this news made me very anxious.  I texted and emailed people for advice.  Mostly they said "she can't prove anything" or "so what?"

Well, Wife and I live under her roof... THAT'S what!

Before I told my wife about being a woman, I made plans and back up plans.  I still have these plans.  Part one is to pack up everything I want to keep or that I can sell for food money. 

We arrived at the beach house, and MIL was already there.  It was pouring rain.  We unpacked our car... and hers.  I was soaked.  Then, my daughter, being so excited was hyperactive... and Loud.

Within an hour, the Uncle and Aunt arrived.  He is a Navy retiree.  Submarine service.  He and his wife are evangelicals...and hard core right wingers.  They are both quite pleasant except when politics are discussed.  They passionately hate anything to do with President Obama. "N" words are commonly used by them in reference to him.

He looked at me strangely, but said nothing about my appearance.  He offered me a beer, which I accepted.  Before it was finished, the youngest brother and his family arrived... and the noise began.  There were now five kids under the age of six... and all were over excited... and trapped indoors by the rain.

There was no escaping them anywhere in the house.  I tried to take a nap and they jumped onto the bed, shouting.  I wanted to take a ride somewhere... anywhere.  I was still dealing with JoAnn's death and the news Wife gave me... and all the screaming didn't help.

Wife said "No, you are NOT leaving me here alone with them."

Ummmm SHE was the one that WANTED to be there!

Then the middle brother arrived with his wife and five kids...

At one point, I locked myself in a bathroom and cried quietly.  Twice.  The kids started knocking on the door wondering what I was doing.

Eventually, the time came to go to dinner.  The sun finally came out.  We went to Harpoon Hannahs, which is a great place.  Dinner was good.  My daughter fell asleep.  Go figure.  On the way back, I stopped to get wine.  I knew it was going to a long night.  When we arrived back at the house, the middle brother and his family were gone, but the kids were in overdrive.  And my daughter had her second wind. 

And the TV was tuned to Fox news, so MIL and the other two old people were fired up.

As the weather was clear, I asked Wife to take a walk with me.  It took her fifteen minutes to clear it with her mom.  Then we walked for a little while.  I asked her again about what her mom said... and she refused to discuss it. 


We stopped and got ice cream, then walked back to the house.  Then the long process of taming all those kids and putting them to bed began. 

After that, I had a glass of wine.  I walked out onto one of the porches, sat down and cried again.  I was the only one awake at that point.  I was completely broken and felt hopeless. 

I was supposed to go to Harrisburg that night for a TCPA meeting, and see friends.  Be Me.  Be happy.  Instead I was trapped miles away.  In drab.  Yes, I was feeling VERY sorry for myself.

During the night, I was awakened several times by children crying in the darkness. 

At 7:30, my daughter one of the nephews jumped on top of me, shouting "Daddy wake up!  One of them punched my right boob.  Ow!

Within an hour, I was on the road for picking up the dog, then to Pennsylvania.  Then to work.  This morning (Monday), I was up early for work.  Tonight, I started packing.

Crossdresser or Woman?

One other thing happened Saturday that I'm still sorting out. In the AM when we dropped off my dog at my parents for the night, my dad indicated that he wanted to talk before we left for Bethany. So me, him and my dog walked out onto the pier as Wife, daughter, and mum waited by the car. He didn't look at me when he said "My days are numbered. I want you to take care of your mother when I'm gone."

My dad is not one for hyperbole. Or to discuss his health.  Ever.

He said he wanted to sell the house and move inland, but mum didn't want to sell. He bought it for $28,000 back in 1977, and did a LOT of work on it himself. It was just assessed at $550,000.

Eventually dad went to the bathroom, so I told mum what he said, and asked what was wrong. She rolled her eyes and said "Ach, he's just being dramatic. He's convinced since all his siblings are having such poor health, he's next."

So.  One of them is lying.

Which one?

So, after this brutally long weekend, I woke up this morning for work, listening to a thunder storm.  It was peaceful.  I showered, then injected my estrogen.  Today marks six months on HRT.

This whole week they are all in Delaware.  it's just me and the dog.  I'll be out and about tomorrow during the day, maybe Wednesday, Thursday is the Transhealth conference, and Friday during the day I'll be out as well.

I need to be me...  all the time.  Soon.  And if I'm right, I'll get the chance whether I want it or not.



  1. We ARE ourselves...even when we go to work, in boy mode, we dont check our female soul or mind at the IS who we are, reguardless of how we temperarely present. We are smart enough, to know that this is a nesscesary evil, to provide for ourselves and our family. Too many trans people, dont plan for the life ahead, before jumping into it...and regret it (even though, they deny it) Its the stronger, wiser soul, that knows to wait, till the proper time. I applaud you Sophie, for yearning for what we ALL want, but being wise enough, to temper the rush. We know WHO you are, be patient enough, to know youself. :) Hugs, Kristyn

  2. Nice photo... if only you didn't look so angry.

    I can understand about the family. I don't care much for family gatherings either.

    Congrats on the six months though!

  3. i love the way you write dear, we can feel it when we read it, good or bad.
    The question still is what did the MIL actually all say to wife.............the story continues..

  4. Sophie, I certainly feel for you and I know this is a hard time and I know it might get even harder before it gets better, but it will get better. Even though that is the oldest cliché it is a true one.

    Changes are coming, both to you personally and in your life. At some point there will be will be no way to hide them and at some point you will not be able to keep the façade up, you will have to be yourself. Who knows which will come first but perhaps your MIL having her suspicions could work to your advantage, at least in the sense of sort of pushing you along. It has been my experience that in transition, we have to push things along or either something else comes along to push things along. It's better when you have the most control over your own situation, coming out etc.

    I am not sure where you are with coming out to your wife about your entire transition but I recall that was a source of stress for you recently. Now the MIL is suspicious and may start watching you more closely. It will be better to have your spouse fully in your corner and the only way to do that is to be completely honest with her. It is so awesome, and a good sign, that she knows as much as she does and is so supportive of you.

    Perhaps you could work with your therapist to develop a game plan to come out fully to everyone, if not at the same time in a succession of events. People will be more likely to support you if you are not hiding anything and believe me, you will feel 100% better when you are not hiding anything either. You Have to be you, all the time, and you will be, its just a matter of when and how that is achieved.

    I wonder if you have a "carry letter" from your therapist stating you have GID and that part of your treatment is taking hormones, living as a woman etc. If so, that is a good thing to show anyone in the family if you are ever cornered in a confrontation. It is easier and better to craft a letter or have a coming out talk before such a confrontation occurs and that strategy should give you a better chance for success (acceptance or at least tolerance).

    You have a disorder (dysphoria), whatever you want to call it) that you are being treated for and knowing that with some official backing will make it much harder for someone mistreat you unlike if they think you are a cross dressing fetishist. Whatever your MIL thinks in her head about you, it is undoubtedly worse than it actually would be if she simply knew the truth. Good luck and I will be staying tuned to see how this works out and I really hope it goes well.

    I never thought my Fox News watching, conservative Southern Baptist family would accept me but they did and it did not hurt that I had the backing of 2 therapists, one with a PhD.