January 7, 2020

Selfishness…

Today I almost made the decision to not transition.

I sobbed my way into work after getting some blood-work done to check my thyroid (Hypothyroid) and my testosterone and estrogen levels (Gender Dysphoria).

This is somewhat a carry over from my last post but a conversation with my daughter this morning shook me to my core.

My kids didn’t have it easy growing up. Their mom was/is likely bipolar and perhaps had some other issues. I wasn’t perfect but our life as a family was hellish. Everyone walked on eggshells around my ex. You never knew what you were walking into.

Some of it was (sadly) predictable. If we had a family or social event to attend or if I ever had plans just for myself things would, without fail, blow up at home and ruin the entire day for everyone.

She was also physically abusive to myself and the kids. I could defend myself no problem but it happened 3 or 4 times. I have been punched in the face and had things thrown at me. The kids have been choked, punched, kicked, faces smashed into the arms of a couch, demeaned and insulted.

She was also a liar and cheater. I hated her and hated my life.

She got into doing coke and was cheating. I didn’t care about the cheating. I hoped it would continue so she would hook up with someone else and leave.

She would lie about where she was going and who she was with. I smiled and said, “Cool. Have a good time.”

More than a few times she would just say she was leaving all of us and drive off. She always came back within a day or two except for one time when she ended up in some alleged rehab but was really with some other guy. She made up fake stories about being in therapy and rehab.

Then she came home. Within a week she sat me down to say she was leaving for good. She disclosed the new boyfriend and seemed to expect me to beg her to stay. “So do you want to talk about this?”

Me: “Nope…but [insert name of youngest daughter] stays with me. I’ll use every penny I have to make sure it happens.” (My other two daughters are older, not my biological kids and were closer to their mom still)

She agreed to let my daughter stay with me.

Soon enough things started to unravel with her new relationship. She called in tears saying she was done with the kids again and was going to drive herself of a cliff.

I was tired of this shit. I called 911 and jumped in my truck to drive for 2 hours to get my other kids. I brought a pile of trash bags with me and loaded up everything of theirs I could fit in my truck. We all lived in a hotel room for a couple of months while I looked for a place to live and made an adjustment to my employment.

I raised the girls for nearly six years on my own. Their mom would sometimes go a month or two without seeing them.

At one point my ex called me and apologized for everything and asked for a second chance. The girls told me that she had changed.

I let her move back in (do it for the kids!) but within a month it was all unraveling again. She was out partying and cheating. I waited. “Hey I’m going out to [insert fake name of pretend female friend]’s birthday. We’ll be drinking so I’ll probably sleep over.” She was slutted-up to the nines. Perfect. She would be leaving again.

A few days later she said she was with someone else and would be moving out. No argument here. Fuck off….yesterday.

A couple of years ago my older twin daughters decided to move back with their mom. My youngest stayed with me and we moved away to a different city in a different part of the country.

My daughter has done so much better being away from her mom. My house is kind, loving and stable. We are close and she actually talks to me about her life.

Things with my ex had been calm for too long now. She even apologized for all she put me through and admitted I tried to do my best but she made it impossible. Lots of sharing of silly Instagram and Facebook horseshit via text message from her…fronting like she’s my friend now.

This Christmas my daughter went to visit her mom but she was stuck in the hospital due to complications with some elective surgery she had. My kid mostly spent time with her sisters and friends.

My daughter hung out with a kid we don’t like…and some older boys got invited over. Apparently my daughter left (she’s a good kid) but this revelation bugged the shit out of my ex and she abused my daughter via text message like a tyrant while running me and my girlfriend down.

My daughter showed me the abusive texts and said she had blocked her mom.

That evening my ex texted me to intervene with our “out-of-control” daughter. Of course not mentioning how she treated her in the messages she sent. I was polite but asked her to not involve me or my girlfriend when we have nothing to do with her problem.

She texted me back blaming me for everything you could imagine and even made fun of me when I mentioned I was going through some hard stuff right now.

My daughter asked for a ride to school. I needed to leave early to get in line for blood-work but decided I’d delay so I could talk to her during the drive to school. I think she needed to talk too.

She told me about her life and how her mom treats her and how much better things are with me and how she finally feel like she can be a kid and enjoy her life for once. She shared a message for her mom that she never sent. She sounded so intelligent and mature in her perspective. She was able to explain very eloquently the effect her mom has had on her life.

My kid is so mature. Back in December she asked if she could go to counseling (because I always told her she could). She’s seeing a counselor at the same place I go. Our local gender advocacy group pays for all our counseling which is great. I don’t ask what she talks to her counselor about – it’s none of my business. She can complain about me if she needs to. This is about her.

When she visited her mom in the hospital and told her about counseling my ex demanded to know what she was talking about in session.

Wonderful parenting.

I am geographically and socially isolated where I live. I suffer greatly from Gender Dysphoria. I am depressed, stressed out, scared and sad. I have also been terminated from my job due to company closure.

This is all too much.

My daughter told me that just now she finally has a life. I see it. She has never been even close to this happy. Looks forward to school and friends nearly every day. Has a nice first boyfriend that I like. She feels comfortable at home because I treat her with love and respect.

She’s a beautiful, smart, confident young lady and I love her to death.

She is also the reason I still live and breathe.

How selfish can I be? Really. She finally has a life. She told me…in tears.

All the stuff she has had to deal with since she was very young and now she loves her life with me. We bought a house together finally.

So against the backdrop of her life, her mom, her happiness, we may have to pull up stakes and move who knows where so I can continue to provide. Her whole little life ripped up just as it gets going in a positive direction.

How the hell can I look her in the eye and tell her I’m (beyond any belief) a transgender person? That amongst all her uncertainty, that I am going to make a decision that will likely feel like her dad being taken away?

I nearly died inside after our talk.

I am stuck here inside. I have to somehow be me….but at what cost? I would die for this beautiful girl. My only biological child.

What do I do? How do I live? What kind of selfish asshole am I to even consider transition?

Those words and the look on my daughter’s face…I am dying inside.

I really don’t know if I can do this at all. I have to be what she needs me to be. I have to be Dad. I have been there for her every moment of her life. I was the first to hold her after she was born.

I can’t hurt her. I just can’t….

Alli xoxo

7 Comments

  • Do you really have to be “dad”? I mean, she’s clearly never had a mom worth speaking of, who says you can’t become the mother she’s always wanted? needed? Plus, if she’s as perceptive as she sounds, she’s probably already sensing the stress and depression you’re trying to keep under wraps. And eventually, you’re not going to be able to keep it that way. I dunno, I’m no professional, but from my own experiences, it’s just a matter of time before the truth comes out. It might just set you free.

  • Allison,
    I can relate to your pain and sacrifice and want to give you some hope. I have a wife and kids I love and would never want to hurt or disappoint. I felt trapped like you do. Those year when the kids were younger I pushed off the decision to transition so I could be there for my kids and not bring disruption and pain to their lives. I allowed myself outings, perhaps once a month or every couple of weeks and used those years to work on my presentation so when my kids were older I would be ready to come out and be confident and comfortable and not embarrassing to anyone. Makeup and hair skills, movement, conversational style and especially voice take a lot of work and a lot of time to learn. Perhaps you can use this time to work on those things while being a loving and supportive Dad to your daughter. You are blessed to have someone that loves you in your life and that you love as much as you do. It sounds like she is mature and loving and might be accepting and in a stable enough situation in the not to distant future for you to transition. It will make it much easier for her to accept you if you are presenting as a confident passable woman that doesn’t draw unwanted attention and scrutiny. Make your plan, allow time for your daughter to build her identity and confidence while you work on yourself, with a definitive goal down the road that you can continue to work towards. My most dysphoric times are when I feel like I am not growing and moving towards a life as a woman. Even small baby steps, as long as I am going in the right direction, can help me get through. When I am stagnant or regress is when I really feel down. And never say never. Hope my experience helps you, you are not alone.

    • Thank you Tracey. I honestly hadn’t thought of it that way but that resonates with me a bunch.

      I am also considering telling her and asking her to tell me how she needs me to be. Dovetails nicely into your suggestions I think. 😉

  • Alli, I like that. You know her better than anyone, trust your instincts whether it is the right time now or not. Handled correctly and at the appropriate time, it could in fact be a gift to her that you are sharing this part of your life with her. But just the very nature of transition involves much self involvement on the part of the transperson, so just be sure she is in a good place to handle that. The other factors I neglected to mention that helped me so much was having a steady dialog with an experienced therapist and also a close few friends in the TG that I can identify with and relate to to share our struggles and successes.

  • Alli, I feel you! You love your daughter fiercely and rightly so! Since you are a great parent, you also hate to cause her any pain. I’m working through that same guilt myself. I’ll repeat to you what I was told, even though I’m still absorbing it myself. 🙂
    It’s not your fault you’re transgender. It’s not your daughter’s fault you’re transgender. Any struggle she has because you transition is not your fault. Arguably, you’ll be a better parent when you’re living authentically and more fully able to be emotionally present in her life (seems like you’re already head and shoulders above average). Also arguably, not transitioning is potentially more “damaging” to her in the long run.
    All (*good*) parents have an instinct to want to protect their children from hard things. However, how do we ever learn and grow if we’re never stretched by something that seems hard to us. You’re not responsible for the challenges she may face when you transition, but you can be responsible for helping her to develop greater love, compassion, authenticity, resilience, and empathy by how you approach the transition together.

    I haven’t fully internalized all that myself, but I do believe it. I think that mindset shift might help you, too.
    It’s a real bummer your employment might cause you to move when she’s finally settled. That’s unfortunate timing. The good news, though, is that she now has the skills and abilities to create that kind of life for herself, and she’ll be able to do it again wherever you end up. It’ll still hurt if you have to move. At least this time she can move knowing that she knows how to build an awesome life! (And, also, no guilt necessary for providing for your child! She sounds mature enough to understand that a good job provides needed stability and is to be prioritized over a meager income in order to stay in the present location.)
    You’ve got a LOT on your plate, dear, and I’m confident you’ll be able to handle it.
    Don’t accept the crappy pseudo-male life you’ve lived at the expense of your authentic life because of fear of unknown uncertainties. Neither of us knows what hard things transition will bring, but you also don’t fully comprehend the good things it will bring, either!
    Hugs and love for you, dear lady!
    – Christina

    • Oh sure get all inspiring 🙄💕

      You speak so wisely my friend. I wish I could get my head around not sacrificing my happiness for others. Makes me wonder if being unhappy my whole life is part of the problem here…just doesn’t seem like a big deal to fall on my sword here and be miserable forever. That being said we are talking about a rather profound level of unhappiness here.

      I can’t disagree with anything you said. Being kind of everything to my daughter makes it hard too. I’m the rock in her life.

      I really feel like these conversations are going to happen soon my my daughter and girlfriend. I need this weight of my shoulders asap.

      Thank you so much for your very much appreciated wisdom.💕💕

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