Monday, 31 May 2010

Daughter, sort of

   "We can tell that there 's something more, what is it? We need to know!". 
My mother caught me as I returned from my usual Sunday-at-my-parents dog walking. She was weeding her flower bed in the sun, I was sitting on an upturned bucket. I dodged the issue: "It's nothing serious, you don't need to worry". She was unimpressed, and told me so. The dog let out one of those wonderfully expressive bored doggy sighs, and lay down in a patch of sun.
   I got up and wandered down the field to find a patch of mobile phone signal to ring my wife at her work. She suggested it was time, I'd better tell my mother.
   I think I got her really worried when I said "I'm afraid this is probably going to upset you, I think you'd better come inside and sit down". So when I told her I think it was a relief for her. She'd expected some serious mental illness or something. Unexpectedly it wasn't upsetting for her and she was immediately understanding. It turned out her childhood friend's son-in-law transitioned a few years ago and he is still in touch with her even though her marriage to his daughter broke up, and my mother heard all this second hand so surprisingly was aware of all the issues. Wow.
   The biggest surprise to me was that my mother had no idea. I was certain she was aware of my childhood crossdressing but either she's forgotten or she genuinely didn't know. She did remark that she's always thought I had feminine mannerisms though. Blimey, is it that obvious to everyone?
   So, we had the Very Long Chat. I got no work done on my car yesterday afternoon. I told her the state of play, how I'm dealing with all this and where it's going. I didn't go into detail on the crossdressing front, best not to overload her with too much. Most touchingly I could see she was trying to talk to me as a daughter. I almost cried.
   She's going to have a word with my dad about it this evening. Give him a day or two to digest it before I see him again. I doubt he'll be difficult about it but it's got to be a shock to him.
   To think, I've tied myself in knots with dread abut this for years. And it was all OK in a summer afternoon chat.
Crazy, isn't it.


  1. I was going to say, 'mothers know everything,' but I'll have to fall back to the reserve position: you're her child. You're the same person. She loves you.

    Good for her. The lady deserves many hugs.

    You've made me tear up here. And it's all good. I'm so happy for you. :)

    Cat XX

  2. another elephant in the room turning into small fluffy animal :-)

  3. I used to think I was fairly good at understanding people until I started coming out. Hardly anyone responded the way I expected and there were surprises both positive and negative. I suppose you never really know until you take the leap and say the words.

    My mother was by far the hardest person to tell for me. I'm glad your mom responded so well. :)

  4. Jenny this is so wonderful! A huge weight lifted from you. Thank you and the rest of the ladies for the reassuring words. All of this is still in the future for me, and it is such a burden. You have passed along some hope.

    Hugs, Halle

  5. The trouble is that the we read and hear of that many 'bad' stories wheras people haven't reacted well over someones gender issues, that we believe that's the norm. Luckily it isn't and it's stories like yours that prove this. Ms Shandy took the words out of my mouth about understanding people. I have been totally proved wrong by certain peoples reactions since I came out. In todays world being transgender isn't a huge issue, not like it was anyway.

  6. Thanks everyone for your kind words.

    The elephant has well and truly left the building :)

    My experiences coming out have all been pretty positive, it's true. I've yet to have anyone take it badly but that's not to say someone won't. Pride comes before a fall and all that.

    My worries were based on my mother being from a very different generation, I'm the youngest of my family and she was old for a mother when I arrived so we have quite a generational gap. They were obviously groundless and I have a fantastic parent. I think seeing me in girl mode would be beyond her comfort zone though. At least now it wouldn't exactly be a shock.

  7. Good for your mother, for being so understanding. I hope you dad handles it as well.

    Melissa XX

  8. What a great result!
    You have a great mum there.

  9. Thanks both,

    My dad it seems had a similar reaction. I'm left feeling a little silly for having worried about it so much.

  10. Nice to hear this, Jenny. I hope it goes just as well with your dad.

    Calie xxx

  11. Thanks!

    I'm told my dad's reaction was much the same as that of my mother. Surprise, some shock, but nothing adverse.

  12. I'm a little late coming to this. But I'm delighted for you.

    Yes, that perspective - tied in knots for years, all OK in a summer afternoon chat. Boy, do I know that one. Hugs.

  13. As I said to someone else: I envy the 1960s generation, they could shock their parents!

  14. I really have to get up-to-date here. I feel awful learning of this two weeks late!

    Either I'm in an unusually weak state, or this hit close to home, as I am welling up. A little of both perhaps. I would love to be able to share this important fact of my life with my folks, but I fear burdening them, or creating a distance between us.

    I can't begin to say how pleased I am for you, Jenny. Like Halle said, giving us all hope.

  15. Thank you Leslie, I'm sorry if I caused you upset.

    I think it happened in as good a way as it could, with my mother forcing it out of me. I'd never have had the courage otherwise.

  16. Coming to this late, catching up after holiday, but really pleased it went well with your Mum.

  17. ditto jess' comment. glad things went well.

  18. Thanks both.

    Something I was thinking yesterday, a week or two down the line, how normal it all is with my parents in the aftermath. I appreciate that comment will elicit a "well duh!" response in that it's stating the bleedin' obvious, but having built it up into such a scary thing for so long I guess it's taken me a while to really come to terms with it proving not to be so.