Friday, 14 October 2011

White picket fence

    It's very easy when writing for a blog like this one, to slip into a constant cycle of melancholia. I'm depressed, I'm not sleeping, I had a noisy girl day, my female colleagues sometimes get me down by being so damn female, most of you will know the day-to-day angst of the semi-closeted trans person.
    In fact, that's maybe why I've written a bit less over the past few months than I might otherwise have done. I'm anxious to avoid such repetitive moaning. This blog should be full of tales of fun stuff, and geeky yet fascinating (To me anyway!) pieces on language and other issues of the day.
    But life goes on, and I have to admit that all is not always well in Paradise. Our white picket fence does at times appear to be in need of a coat of whitewash.
    In particular I find myself pulled down by the intractable situation my wife and I find ourselves in. It sometimes seems as though none of our possible routes lead to happiness for both of us. If we continue to live as non-transitioning husband and wife then we're both unhappy, she so because I'm in a state, but if we were to give up and go our separate ways or if I were to transition then neither of us would be happy either.
    Neither of us wants to give up. But it isn't going to get any better. This is a downhill slope, you can't put it away and despite what the nutty people who believe we can be cured by religious means think, there is no cure. Even transition is not a cure, if you doubt that try coming off your hormones for a while and tell me you are not merely managing the condition.
    So my wife and I are attending counseling together, as a couple. The purpose is slightly different to that of psychological counseling, in the simplest terms my wife needs a forum in which she can work out how she can deal with this, both in terms of coping strategies and in terms of how much of this she can take.
    As with so many counseling experiences for a trans person, there has been an element of breaking in the counselor. But this isn't about the trans-ness itself but our relationship, so that matters less than it would if this was medical counseling. Our counselor is a very calm and experienced middle-aged lady who has guided us very well in exploring our relationship and the factors affecting it.
    The most important thing to have come out of it is to have it spelled out that we have a very good relationship. Our counselor is used to dealing with couples who are at the stage of arguing over who gets which half of the family dog, so she's in a good position to pass comment on this matter. Also while matters of gender do at times appear to have taken over it is important to remember that our relationship is subject to all the same pressures as any other, we are no different in that respect to anyone else. Such positive realisations are vital, for they remind us that things are not as bad as they could be.
    I have begun to realise over the last six months that resisting this condition is likely to be a futile exercise. But I can not stop trying, for the same reason as always: my wife is worth it.


  1. Yes, your life is worth it. Finding that balance of relationship of a marriage and personal self value is very difficult to judge, and more of a struggle to find.

    There are quite a few couples who separate after a partner transitions; and the community is learning about more couples who work together and find a way to stay together. Overcoming other people's pressure, guilt, fear to not transition is a minefield.

  2. At least, by the sound of it, you've got a good counsellor. I've visited two counsellors in my time, and with hindsight could wish that I had been more discriminating in my choice. Though that would have needed knowledge that I didn't then have.

    Don't worry about repetitive moaning. That's not how you come across.

  3. Jenny, it is not futile if you you want it to work...your existing relationship, that is. You have your orchard, the wreck and your friends. If you still can't keep your mind off of the subject, then find other diversions.

    As I have said many times, it is part of me, every minute of every day.

    And, yes, I hear what your saying about your female colleagues at work. Just yesterday, while lamenting about diet with one of my female colleagues, she replied, as she has in the past...."you're such a girl". I just laughed but to myself I said..."and your point is?".

  4. I think that for those who do not suffer the indignity of having to cope with your condition life is much sweeter, understanding is more difficult and mere words are simply not enough to convey a meaningful simpathy, nevertheless we try. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be for you (both) and I won't pretend that I do save to say that my heart goes out to you both in the hope that something good will come out of it all. Love

    Shirley Anne xxx

  5. It speaks volumes for your sincerety and care for your wife that you are so committed to finding a joint answer. All sorts of ways of living lives as an individual and by extension, as a couple are possible. I often think it helps to look at the position and try to recognize the true position, for instance, 'am I really unhappy today, as we are? Is it the fear of the future and the yearning for a solution which is the source of the anxiety?' I don't know thw answer to that, i hope the question and the fact that we are, as correspondents to your positon genuinely concerned may be some little comfort.
    I wish you both all the very best.

  6. I seem to wear the melancholy like a familiar coat. I think that the hardest part is when the gloom spreads to my partner.

    It's good to post though as an outlet ?


  7. Don't worry all, we're still standing.

    On balance it helps more to post on other things than to relive bad stuff. This week I've been a little otherwise engaged as you'll see in my most recent post, several different friends have needsd a bit of support for different reasons.