Friday, August 19, 2011

The path leads back home.

I'm flying home again.  I travel a lot and these flights home always give me a chance to slow down and ponder my life's big mysteries.  An hour or two at the airport with a multi hour flight home usually means a quick meal and a blog post or two.  These last few weeks have been rather non eventful.  I spent some time in Chicago where more then a few seemed to see the old Rick.   I'll be honest it did shake my confidence.  It seems to effect me the most after the day is over and I'm in the hotel room alone.  Late at night all the worries come out.

Over the last few months I have manage to tell everyone in my life about Dana.  I venture I've had to break the news to somewhere between 50 and 75 people.  Most over the phone and a few in person.  It never gets easy, but it's easier now and I've gotten better at it.  M knew all along of course, she knew as I knew.  K knew too.  Next came my FF friends.  Telling them wasn't a huge shock for most of them.  They knew for years I was crossdressing almost daily so the transformation to Dana wasn't a huge surprise.  Telling the boys was hard.  M and I raised them to be open and fair.  For the most part I knew they'd be OK.  I was a little worried about the shock of the news, and I worried that somehow they'd think less of me for it.  They took it well, very well actually.

M told her brothers.  Not sure that went as well.  Her family is pretty well spread out across the states and so we're pretty disconnected from them.  So this kinda of news is huge and right out of right field.  It most have hit them like a sledge hammer.  I think most of the people M has told are surprised she's staying with me.  But that's M and she works hard at our marriage, as do I.

As I posted a few months ago, I told work about Dana.  This seems to be completely non eventful.  Again, I think the shock of the news is a bigger thing then the news itself.

So I've been Dana now for 2 months or so, and I feel great.  Everyone in my life knows and no one has abandon me, I still have a job, I still have great friends, I still have my family.  It's hard to believe and if you had told me last year at this time this would be the case I would have laughed at you.

So there you have it, everyone knows.  Everyone except my parents.  Yup I haven't told my parents yet.  And because I haven't told my parents, my brothers don't know.  As with M's family we're pretty spaced out.  The last time we all got together was a family reunion cruise almost two years ago.  I hardly ever talk to my brothers, and rarely talk to my parents.

It's hard to explain really.  M and I moved to California 20 some odd years ago and we just never looked back.  I'm not really sure of the reason I've separated myself from my family.  I'm sure my struggles are a large part of it.  I think the distance makes it hard and I just never put the work into it.

More and more of the last year I find myself missing them.  And as with H, I'm worried about the fallout of telling them.  Except with H, I was worried about my livelihood, my career and my business.  With my parents I worry about disappointing them.  I am certain with enough time they will come to understand one of the reasons for the disconnect is the struggles I've endured.  I'm worried they will be disappointed that all these years things could have been different if I had had the courage it took to tell them back then.  Would we be closer as a family if I had?  Would they have understood the distance and difficulties if they had known the whole time?

How do you tell two people in their 70's that their oldest son is changing, no make that has changed, genders.  How do you tell them you have struggle your whole life with this as a secret.  How do you tell them that 45 years ago you knew?  You knew things were wrong.  That you wanted to be a girl even back then.  Back when my mom was in her 20's.  How do you tell them of the struggles throughout your teenage years.
Does telling them now explain a lifetime of mysteries and difficulties to them.  Is there enough time to go back and fix things?  Is there enough time to make up for that time lost?

Will they be upset at not knowing for so long?  Will my mom understand?  Will my dad be disappointed?
As I tell people I have not told my parents yet, the common refrain is 'wouldn't you want your boys to tell you?'  And, yes I would.  I would want to know.  But our family is different, and times are different.  It's not fair to compare myself in the 2010's to my dad in the 1960's.

M and I have talked about this awhile now.  M finished the conversation with just one question, 'Are you doing this for yourself or for your parents?'.    I've struggled with this question for months now.  Why am I doing this?  Is this just to make my life easier?  Is it so I don't have to rush to the phone whenever my parents do call so that they don't hear the voice mail message?   Or even worse so I can have a Facebook account with MY name on it?

I don't have answers for any of these questions.  There is no way for me to know these answers, and if I did, the right course of action would be obvious and I wouldn't struggle with them as I have.  But, once again I do have Karma.  And as I posted many months ago, I am going to rely on Karma to help me out.  And once again the Karma here is pretty simple.  If you do the right thing for the wrong reasons bad things happen.  If you do the wrong thing for the right reasons good things happen.  So as I type away, 31,000 feet in the air it occurs to me what to do.

'Are you doing this for yourself or for your parents?'

Yes, I'm doing it for both them and me.  I've been separated from them for 30 years now.  Both emotionally and physically, both by distance and by my secrets.  The struggles have claimed my relationship with my parents.  Telling them now is really my last chance to expose these struggles to them and hope to repair our relationship.  By doing this now, I still have time to enjoy my parents as me, and for them to enjoy me as me.  Things may not work out, any of my worse worries may come true, but by trying now I still have time to right a wrong.

I'm still walking this path I'm on.  But I've come to a small 'Y' in the path.  The way forward is starting to become lit.  And I'm just started to come to terms with my fears about this trip.   But that way forward is blocked.  And the only way around the blockage is down a small, dark and abandoned driveway.

A driveway labeled 'Home'.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Hi Dana,

Just like you, I'm new here to this neighborhood, even newer than you. And I am still struggling with some of this identity stuff. I have some memories that have been buried so deep and for so long, that it is taking a long time to come to terms with it all.

Unlike you, my parents have been gone for many years now. Personally, I really believe I would opt for telling them, if I still had them. I guess it all depends ( no, not the diaper ) how you think they will respond.

Prayers certainly can't do any harm. It seems I seek the Lord's council on everything I do. God is truly gracious.

Prayers and Hugs,

Cynthia XX