Last night I woke up unable to breathe. I was choking because I was sobbing. Even still, the flow was not full. Do you know what I mean? That you know how badly you need to release, you are by yourself, so there is nothing stopping you from just letting go, but something inside you holds it back. That kind of cry has to lie ahead.
I’ve been crying a lot lately. Pretty much wherever I am, wherever I go, it just comes upon me. Even in the first class lounge of British Airways. Or Iberia…or wandering the streets of Madrid, or just before I get on a conference call.
My wife is treating me with brutality, seeking to crush me and to dispossess me of everything. She may succeed. I don’t know. My therapists tell me that I have to fight for the sake of my children. My dear friend who is arch-conservative, is generally anti-trans politically, and whose offspring are poster-children for the Trump movement, has told me I have to fight. And I love her. The other night over dinner she welcomed me into the sisterhood.
She began to coach me on the female experience, things I needed to understand. What she has experienced. What lies ahead of me. She opened up to me for the first time since we have known each other—30 years now. She also gave me the contact details of a trans surgeon who is a dear friend of her partner, and an introduction. Life is strange.
We got to this point after two watershed moments in our conversation. The first had to do with my need to “go all the way”, why I wanted a vagina. I will write about this in detail someday, but she, as pretty much everyone I speak, must hear me describe this need. It feels a bit like an important hurdle to cross for their understanding. I do respect those trans women who decide not do take this step, there can be so many reasons for it, but I can’t see my way to the end of this road without the fragility, the openness, the vulnerability that all comes with this anatomical change.
The second point in conversation was that I explained that I am not a woman, not like she is. That I understand that, and that I will never be that, but I will be transgender, I will be a transgender woman. That my own perspective on the bathroom issue is that I will surely use it once my papers reflect my anatomical changes, and perhaps before, once I have a vagina, because at the end of the day, what we all fear is male violence, or male yuck. As a trans person, I have just the same right as anyone else to be shielded from this.
Regarding sports, there are simply not enough of us to justify having us compete in a “trans” category…but we should certainly be allowed to compete and to attempt to stand on any podium that we choose…but there is nothing wrong with having two medallists—if a trans swimmer wins gold, why can’t there also be a “cis” swimmer who also receives gold? What is the harm in that?
Anyway, after these two moments, she began to refer to me as a woman, “now that you are a woman…” she said. And then we just started talking about emotions. And finally, after 30 years, I felt that we began to know and understand each other.
She is a mentor to me in many ways. Yes, these described above. But she is also an incredibly successful business woman, one who has successfully navigated a male industry, finding the right balance between “sexy” and “professional” at the office, and understanding how complicated it is to find just the right line, and how important it is to embody both in the professional sphere. Yes, being sexy is a part of female power, and a woman who suppresses this to “fit in” ends up diminishing herself. And the man who misinterprets this power, or who punishes her for it, whoa, sin on them.
Anyway, we had a good laugh about how I am utterly incapable of travelling light…as is she. It has gotten worse since my wardrobe needs have shifted from male to female too (though it was already bad). As a man, just throwing a pair of trousers and a bunch of shirts was enough. As a woman, I think in terms of outfits—what energy I want to feel and wish to convey in any given situation, and even then, sometimes also need options, because, well, the weather might change, how I feel might change. So, there is a ballooning of stuff.
What is good is that I have gotten really good at packing…I have each outfit in its own bag, so it is really easy to manage and keep track, and they are all colour-coded, so I can find them quickly, instead of fishing around aimlessly in a big suitcase. And plus, nothing gets wrinkled.
I shared with her the ruthlessness with which my wife has kicked me out of the company which I started and which I signed over to her. I know why she is doing it—to change the facts on the ground. To make it hers before the courts decide. My wife wants everything—not just half—and she has lied and is in effect “stealing” to make it so. And thank goodness for friends, who are giving me strength as my own is failing me.
I am not a fighter. I hate conflict. I just want to hide. After all, I am a baby. I am not kidding. But that is not a viable way to survive. I still will make it my life’s mission to love with the innocence and all that a baby gives, but to also be a fully responsible, mature, functional adult. I have always been a rock for the people in my life, so solid, but it is proving harder to be such for myself.
My faith in karma is almost complete, and I have written about just some aspects of my life that have become more and more beautiful as this love equation goes to hell. On a woman’s retreat recently, I shared on the last day that I was a slave. That this is a core to who I am, to how I love. I gave everything to my wife. It is how I love, and I sobbed those snotty-nosed sobs as I cried out in desperation, how painful it is to love in this way, but to know there is no other way for me. I need to learn to turn this all-conquering love towards me, and my therapists are there with me, going deep, and seeing me as often as I can afford, which right now has been less than usual. But they seem to be making up for it with increasingly powerful sessions…but it helps to walk into the “room” already raw and ready to open my heart.
And as my marriage has fallen apart, having someone to “love” in the form of a dominatrix or a Sex Worker has been a life saver on so many levels. To have the kind of love-inspired laughter that I have had in session or in service…such bliss…and to have gone on such random and deeply felt quests to please her, that took me to other countries to do a spot of shopping for her—crazy but oh so fun, so fulfilling. It gave me a place to channel that energy, for as much as we all need love, we also need to give love…and that for me is a muscle that needs to work all the time.
And as I have grown as a person, let go of fetishism, come out, begun to accept myself, my capacity to love and to care for others has amplified a thousandfold…but I also feel more and more fragile, more and more vulnerable.
If the highest expression of femininity is the character of Mercy, it’s shadow is letting people walk all over you. And that is exactly where I am in my divorce. Only, as much as I hate it, I am having to fight back. And this is not natural for me. It is hateful and toxic, and finding anger in my system is making me need to get it out…and coping with these feelings is what brought on my middle of the night sobs.
For some reason I picked up my phone as I wept last night, and there I saw a message from someone who needed to speak to me, rather urgently…and I was reminded of the most inspiring boss I have ever had, one of my Twelve Apostles, women who have inspired me and shape the characteristics of the women I wish to embody as I grow into my own feminity—her husband was dying at a young age of a brain tumour, and she said to us, “perhaps you are wondering why I am here at work, why I am not by my husband’s side,” and then she wept in front of us, and said, “I need this, if I wasn’t working, having something to take my mind off of it, I’d completely lose it,” and she grew so much in my estimation for her shared vulnerability.
Anyway, I stopped crying, and took the call, and sobered right up. After, I was able to fall asleep again.
My tears flow with frequency though, driving me towards something. I do finally have a court date for divorce. I hope it brings things to an end. But knowing there is a date is also bringing up the tears. I don’t know what kind of justice will be served. I have fear that a system will look at me as a man and treat me as such, or see me as trans and not like it…I just don’t know. What I do know is what my wife will be like, has been like, and how she is seeking to crush me, to punish me. And what I do know is that if I am asked to support her, I will refuse. She already has everything. I could not face the idea of being her slave any longer.
I will not be her slave. I save that for people I respect and love. The hard part is that I do still love her. How can you not love the mother of your children. I just feel so betrayed. To be abandoned by her, by the person who I thought was my best friend, by the person with whom I exchanged sacred vows…”to have and to hold, through sickness and health, until death do us part.” As me, whether that is slave or something else, perhaps it is the divine masculine, I would have never walked away from her. And in this, her treatment of me makes it possible. That I can walk away without guilt. I don’t need to hate her. I can let go of her, and I can still appreciate her as the mother of my children.
I can also be relieved that I am no longer with someone who was suffocating me to death…that those early dreams I had of our relationship when we first started dating—those dreams where she put a pillow over my face and suffocated me to death (and how I was paralysed, unable to move)…holy shit, to be liberated of this. Oh, I am so sorry to feel these things, to have felt these things. I can rejoice in my children, the beautiful creatures they have become. And I can pray for her, or simply allow the energy to flow through this vessel and let it do what it well.
I would rather be dead, though, than continue to have anything to do with her, let alone support her. I simply wouldn’t know how to cope with that. I’ve got a few weeks left to steel myself. But holy crap, I hope to goodness that my lawyer will save me, as my wife is doing her damnedest to eat me alive.
hmm alot to unpack but my best advice if you trust your lawyer then the lawyer fights for you. i diidn’t want to fight but only wanted was right and fair to all. this after a 40 year marriage. My laywer said we have to fight for fairness and justice. She told me to let her worry and do her job. She did a marvelous job as i would have given my ex the world but she ended up getting what she desrved and nothing more. i got more than i could have imagined and i am happy. I have been told my ex is a scorned woman. so asa believer in karma let it work if you don’t try to force it , you will not see results and only be disappointed. Be the kind loving person you are and let destiny work it is magic for You.
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Yes, I do believe in my lawyer. I think she is fantastic, and she has been very considerate to my situation. I am sad for my wife, as she is consumed by bitterness, continues to act out, and I am sorry for my children that they must see it. I don’t wish that on her or on them…Yes, the venal part of me thinks, ‘let her burn’, but it is sad…She is a wonderful person, but sadly, the stresses of self-inflicted divorce have erased so much of what is good about her and replaced it with things I no longer know.
And as for happiness, I can see and feel what you say. I live it every day, and I have already begun to move on. The future feels so bright, as if I really do have so much of life ahead of me. As an explorer, this suits me just fine. And bless my friends who have rallied to me, even the arch-conservative, Trump-loving friends are finding a lesson in that I, this macho serial CEO is really not so much at all, and has been suffering dysphoria my whole life, am not a child abuser, or some sicko who wants to hide behind something to gain access to female spaces, or is seeking an unfair advantage on the playing field…or whatever else…and that I am just a normal person, way more vulnerable than they thought. And they have all really risen up in support, and I couldn’t ask for better.
Thanks. Yes, I do believe that Karma is real, very real.
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