Thursday, 16 June 2011

Plan B

    I should move to Mount Athos or something.
    Seriously, the south of England on a warm summer's day was not a good place for someone who is gender dysphoric. Beautiful women aglow with happiness everywhere I look.
    Antidepressants are great. They really do work, at least for me they've suppressed the emotional reactions I was suffering to any of life's stresses. I might not be fixed, but I can do normal everyday stuff without bursting into tears.
    What they haven't done though is entirely fix the underlying depression. Sounds odd, you'd expect that from an antidepressant, but I guess fixing the annoying symptom is better than nothing. So I've found myself dwelling rather a lot on my inner girl. You might say she's becoming oppressive.
    I feel rather guilty saying this, but knowing I could go for it makes it hard not to think about it.

    There, I've said it. For someone who's so set on avoiding it, right now I can't stop thinking about going full-time female, transitioning and not looking back. Not just idle thought, but almost feeling as though I'm plotting it.

    Is this what if feels like to reach the point of no return? It had better not, because I'm sure as hell not giving up without a hell of a fight. My wife, quite simply, is worth it.
    But it ain't going away, is it.
    What is there to be done? The fight back starts here I guess. I do need to face up to something though. I could lose this one. My wife is no fool, she's perfectly aware of that. And as part of the fightback we need between us to face up to it. What happens if it does all go horribly wrong?

    In short, we need a Plan B.

    If this were some kind of make-believe world, I would smoothly transition (with no associated problems, naturally) and she'd declare herself delighted with the result and we'd happily stroll arm-in-arm into the sunset as a lesbian couple.
     But in the real world, she married a bloke. She's been amazing so far in the level of tolerance she's shown for her bloke as his inner girl struggles to get out, but she is not a lesbian. The make-believe world scenario is not going to happen.
    And then there is me. I'm acutely aware that everything is up for grabs for someone on HRT. I have never fancied a bloke in my life, but I'm not naive enough to imagine that would remain the case were I to receive that prescription. It would be too much to expect for my wife to put up with that.
    So enter Plan B. Whatever eventually does happen, we need to decide now rather than in the heat of the moment how we're going to deal with it. It is our observation that the more chaotic circumstances come to those onto whom this is thrust in short order, therefore we should use our luxury of extra time to think about it carefully.
    There are so many factors to consider. Would we stay together? If so, in what form? What about a family? I want one desperately no matter what, but would she? How about housing, for that matter?
    It is important to realise that this is not in any way a capitulation. I'm still hanging in there because despite the annoyances life is throwing at me I have more reasons to hang onto the scruffy bloke than I do to become the oversized girl. But if I am to do the best I can by the woman I care most about then the least I can do is remove some of the uncertainty that surrounds our situation.
     We're off to spend a day walking over the Downs in the rain. Somehow I think this will give us plenty to talk about.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny, this is one of those awful aspects of transitioning and you seem to be dong the right thing by thinking and talking it through now. Nobody has a blueprint or map for this, it sounds like you already know that. Good luck for both you and your wife whatever you decide to do.

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  2. It seems to me that no matter what course of treatment we are talking about, no matter what the ailment, it is important to believe in the efficacy of that treatment. That is the placebo effect at work. In the case of anti-depressants, and in the case too of living with transsexualism, we are treating the symptoms, not the underlying condition.
    What you have written here captures the heart tearing itself up a well as anything I have read, and better than anything I have written.
    There is no doubt about one thing from what I read. You love your wife and want what is best for her too.
    We all wish for that make-believe world ending. I hope the walk and talk went well.

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  3. I don't think we have a plan - other than I suppose that we will part if I go full time. The rest of it we have made up as we have gone along - although everything I had thought about doing is discussed before action.

    The bit about being lesbians was not realistic for us - sad to start with but more obviously wrong as time has gone on. I guess I never understood how much I would mentally change.

    It's not easy but some can find a way, lots of compromises on both sides but somethings are too good to lose.

    I hope that your Plan B has lots of options and avenues to explore that mean you can stay together.

    Becca

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  4. This is rough, Jenny. Good on you for doing all you can to hold on to who and what are important to you.

    One thing I'm curious about. You always write "scruffy bloke." I don't know how literally you mean that, but assuming it's true, what if the bloke were less scruffy? If you should be female, I know there's no way to embrace being male (believe me, I tried), but maybe polishing up the bloke might take a little of the sting out of being male.

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  5. Dear Jenny,

    I cried for you, me and all of us suffering this bloody condition and for our long suffering partners. What else can we do?

    Love Jae

    I'm so sorry I can never add anything that helps.

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  6. Plans don't always go as well as we hope. One can lose a whole lot of sleep with all the what if scenarios. Often it comes down to a survival mode.

    Women make sacrifices for their loved ones all the time. Often sacrificing a major part of their own identities for their partners. Will yours do that for you? Will you do that for yours?

    You have my sympathies and best wishes dealing with internal struggle.

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  7. I hope your walk was helpful. I wonder if it would be good for the two of you to go somewhere together that neither of you have ever been? I find that revisiting places brings on the temps perdu stuff, and new places offer, well, new adventures. Sometimes. Good luck, both, anyway.

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  8. I do not envy your position Jenny, not for one moment. You both have much to talk about and more importantly, decisions to make. There are really only two main options (and many small ones too!). One is you both split up and two you stay together. Once that decision has been agreed upon you both then have to decide what is possible between you and what isn't. A lot of compromising decisions which only the two of you can sort out. The thing is Jenny the situation in which you find yourself is not uncommon and it involves you both. There are many ways to reach a resolution but it has to suit you both if you are to stay together. I do hope you can stay together whatever happens.

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  9. Jenny
    I wish I could say something to help you sort out your feelings just as much as I wish someone could do the same for me in my almost identical situation to you. However, I know only too well that we need to sort out for ourselves which is the lesser of two evils; not transitionaing or not staying with our wives. there is no easy answer, but then you know that already.
    Louise

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  10. i really feel for you, jenny, and i hope your wife understands in some way just how much you are trying to give up for her. i am glad my partner never asked that of me, and accepted and loved me for who i am. i mean, he didn't really have much of a choice (if he hadn't been able to accept me as a guy then i would have left him!) but that's kind of my point.

    i agree with dru, too. sometimes going to new places and spending more time together (with you as a woman, i'm thinking) can help. after all, of course it doesn't 'feel right' to be in a lesbian relationship - not because there's anything wrong with it being same-sex, but because, in a way, it's a new relationship. you need to nurture it and explore it and enjoy it as you might any new relationship. if your wife is prepared to put in as much effort as you are clearly putting in, then eventually that relationship can become as time-thickened and stable as your old marriage. (that's how i see it, anyway.)

    take care.

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  11. Thanks all.

    We had a long walk yesterday. My wife's boot disintegrated and had to be repaired with duct tape, we watched the sun and wind sculpting the open downland. Amazingly it didn't rain.

    We both want this to work and for each other to be happy. It's not just me hanging in there for her, she's hanging in there for me. But if neither of us can be happy then we realise it's better to part amicably than to let it all go horribly wrong. We're not there yet but it's a possibility it would be rather silly not to countenance.

    The problem with walking places that are new to us in that of those within easy range there are now precious few of which we don't have at least some previous exposure. But I understand, somewhere unencumbered by shared memories.

    Interesting point about becoming something less of a scruffy bloke. Of all those commenting here only Jae is in a position to judge the level of my scruffiness. It's possible I'm not as scruffy as all that, but that I feel scruffy, 'cos being a bloke is a bit scruffy for someone in my position. I do know this, I really do not get on well at all with smart men's clothing - suits, ties etc. I had far too much of that at school.

    That's an interesting perspective, that of seeing the relationship with her as being a new one compared to that with him. I think that is beginning to happen as she is becoming used to going out with me in girl mode. The trouble is, she finds it very difficult to overcome the fear of others' reactions to me and I don't blame her. I am better blessed physically than some trans women but my sheer size does make me less than inconspicuous.

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  12. Jenny,

    Casual not scruffy is my view of you when not preenting as Jenny. As you stated above your perception is "cos being a bloke is a bit scruffy for someone in my position"

    Jae

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  13. its hard to see you both trying so hard to come to a happy place
    but i no you both love each other so much and that is what will keep you both together you are both trying so hard to understand and cope with a changing landscape and you both should be so proude that you are hanging in there together
    i have grate hope for you 2 as i no you are both lovile people
    you can always call me if you need to talk hun

    and as jea says Casual bob mode lol

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  14. Jenny, I've reached "that point" more times than I can count. It always results in periods of depression, but I've always managed to work my way through it. I'm older than you, and I've survived it so far.

    One difference you and I have had is kids. I've always said that as long as my body and mind are constantly active, I can fight this. The activities with kids kept our family busy for years. For me, it was long work hours on weekdays and kid's activities on weekends.

    I crashed when our last child moved out. It was and still is the lowest period of my life....but I successfully fought it with the help of friends, like Alex.

    You have a lovely spouse and she is your best friend. For both of you, I hope this works out.

    Mt Athos? Think REAL hard and you might see how that particular island haunts me, let sustains my status quo....keeps me going. It has something to do with a monk. Think about it, and this has nothing to do with religion.

    Calie xxx

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  15. Children are another matter entirely, whether we will have any is something I can't look far enough ahead to. I seem to have been born with that annoying parental gene, but she looks at the security presented by a gender dysphoric husband and not surprisingly is less enthusiastic.

    Mt Athos? Now I understand. OV00.

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