Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ripping the band-aid off

I went home today to celebrate my sister's birthday and every time I go home, I leave feeling stressed and upset.

I love my family and we get along for the most part but the more I move toward becoming a woman, the more I feel like there's an 800-pound gorilla on my shoulders weighing me down every time I see my family. The disconnect between who I am and who they see me as/want me to be is growing larger all the time.

I had hoped to talk to my sister today to feel out if she might be a potential ally in the family but I didn't get the chance. I had hoped to show her pictures of my Halloween costume as a way of gauging her feelings about crossdressing in general, since Halloween is sort of "safe" since everybody dresses up as unusual things for Halloween, but her computer was running too slow to load the pictures before my parents got there. And a couple of things my sister said while I was there made me question if she could even be supportive. Right after we sat down to eat lunch, she made the comment that my hair is too long and I need to get it cut. Then after I mentioned a woman's name, she asked if I liked her and after I said she was married, she asked if I have a girlfriend and if there's anyone I like. Finally, when we were playing a board game later, she said my fingernails were too long.

To me, these comments make it apparent that my sister has a very particular view of me as an average, if someone quiet and nerdy, guy and I don't know how easily being a woman will fit in this view. It doesn't mean she couldn't be supportive of my decision but it does give me pause about discussing the subject with her.

This is the disconnect that I mentioned before between my family's view of me and the truth. And I'm all alone in dealing with this disconnect; my parents want to ignore it or just hope it will go away and the rest of my family doesn't know about it at all. Trying to deal with this all on my own often leaves me frustrated and upset.

Sometimes I feel guilty about how nice and generous my family is to me, questioning if I even deserve it; if they knew that I want to be a woman, would they still be nice to me? At other times, I feel angry about having to hide who I really am. And many times I feel the same at once.

I sometimes feel like just ripping the metaphorical band-aid off and dealing with the consequences because that would be a lot better than trying to hide an 800-pound gorilla.

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