Sunday, December 16, 2012
It's been a whole/just 2 months since I came out to everyone and prepared to live my life full time as an honest "Me." I look back and can't believe that I ever lived any other way! It has been fantastic at work and the people have been wonderful. I am amazingly more engaged with (almost) everyone in my life! On Friday I had lunch with a business friend and we just had simple girl chat and talked about friends and family, the holidays, work-life balance, manicures and coloring hair. What the heck did I talk about back in September at lunches? I Dunno!
Before I went to lunch, one of my co-workers, "B" got a call from a mutual friend, "J", who was unexpectedly early in the lobby of our building and taking B to lunch. B had to "stop off in private" before she went down so I trotted off to see J downstairs. As I headed out I asked B, "Oh, does J know that I've made changes?'" B said, "No, but she'll be fine." Well I get down there, step off the elevator and J's jaw drops and she rushes over and gave me a huge hug! She grabbed my face and looked me in the eyes and started to cry. We both stood there sniffing and weeping and carrying on until B came down and then the three of us hugged and wept and carried on! J's face and her energy reminded me so much of my departed Mom many years ago that when she said, "I am just so proud of you!" I just about lost it. It was so affirming and I felt so Loved.
The thing that makes me feel so Blessed is that the love and acceptance I got from J is what I've gotten from so many people. I cannot believe how lucky I have been! I know so very very many trans people who have had such suffering and so much pain. I had accepted that I would have that also, especially since it is what I always had in the past. But I haven't had that, and I feel like I've won the Grand Prize! Sometimes I worry that someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and tell me that there was a mistake and they need to take me back where I was. I also try to tone it down with my trans peers because I don't want to come off like some boastful thing. I know that my experience is not typical, but I think it's getting more feasible every day! It is possible. But again, my life is not typical.
So the loss? I can't run into work 15 minutes after I roll out of bed any more, but that's bad for your constitution anyway. I have also lost whatever tenuous relationship I had with my son and daughter in law, and grandson. And that is hard. I reached out to them and asked about us coming by to drop off Christmas and Grandson Birthday presents. I said I would do Guy but that I wasn't going to get a haircut or have my nails soaked off. I would not be who I am everywhere else. My son replied quite flatly, "No." He said that any "dressing" was too much and they would not have their son exposed to me.
I am "dangerous."
I know I didn't raise a bigot so I guess he learned it somewhere else. I sent them a politely pointed email in reply saying how I felt and that they could expect me to keep reaching out to them. It also pointed out that I had tried to compromise and been rejected and that I had been patient and told that patience would not be rewarded. And I couldn't help but underscore that I have a conservatively estimated 150 people in my life who accept me including politically conservative LDS Moms, Marines and Harvard educated attorneys and that my son and daughter in law represented the only two total people who have flatly rejected me. That's a 98.7% approval rating and I consider that a landslide victory! Their total rejection does hurt. And I may not see my grandson, or the second baby they are expecting, for many years, if ever again, but I would have to say it is still completely worth it for the amazing improvement in the way I feel about life.
Every growth journey involves some loss. The hope is that the tears of joy can balance out the tears of pain. So far for me the tears of joy are winning!