Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy

Storm

Turmoil

21 Comments

After a period of extreme inner turmoil, I decided I could no longer bite the bullet. So I popped The Question. Not the, “Will you marry me?” one – that one I tucked under my belt many years ago.

This time it was even more difficult to ask B. No, let me be honest, it was excruciatingly difficult. Mostly because I would be breaking a promise – a promise made more than a year ago when I had to ask for her blessing on my having top surgery.

“I’ll stop transitioning after top surgery,” I promised and got her blessing.

Demon

Little did I know that the demon was already lurking. I told myself I would be content with a chest. Losing the breasts would banish my dysphoria. Ha. The demon was giggling with glee in the recesses of my mind. For months he was silent, biding his time.

Then he slithered out and announced himself. “I’m here to stay,” he said.

I ignored him at first. Banished him back into that recess where he was lurking, but he was insistent and true to his word. Nightly he would crawl out.

“Let’s talk,” he says.

“Go away,” I say.

“You know you can’t ignore me any longer,” he says and bares his teeth.

“Push off,” I say, knowing I do not mean it. He has taken over my mind.

Turmoil until I could bear it no longer.

“Can we discuss something?” I ask B.

The look in her eyes and the grim set of her mouth tell me she is apprehensive. My tone must have alerted her.

Then I fire my bullet, telling her about my turmoil, my need, my desire to go on T.

“I just want to talk to my GP,” I say. “Just a low dose of T so that my Mickey Mouse voice lowers somewhat. Just enough to help me dispel the dysphoria. Just to help me feel more confident in this body. He might not even agree to prescribe T.”

Silence.

I cannot see the shield that had gone up around her, but I can feel it. It might just as well have been an iron curtain.

“You promised me,” she says in a voice shrouded in hurt and stress.

I feel like a jerk. “I know,” I say. “And I am very sorry to break that promise. It was made in haste. I did not know the dysphoria would surface and grow again. I had hoped top surgery would have been enough, but I now realize it is not.”

“What about me?” she asks in a hurt voice. “I have barely made peace with the whole gay issue, then you dumped the trans thing on me. And now this. I can’t handle more!” She does not want to talk to me any more and we go to bed in icy silence.

Stalemate

Stalemate.

For a day she is broody, cold, distant. Then she slowly defrosts and things go back to “normal”. She does not refer to our conversation and neither do I.

The demon is still lurking, jabbing his fork at me at each opportune and inopportune moment. I know I will have to broach the issue again.

For now I go my normal way. The turmoil is increasing.

 

How did you first approach your partner about transitioning and what was their reaction?

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Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

21 thoughts on “Turmoil

  1. Still with you Kris. Pretty much where you are. I’ve felt like a kindred spirit with you and Jamie. Watching you both approach top surgery and thinking to myself, “If Jamie and Kris are happy (stop) there, so am I” Even though T kept taunting me. And now you’ve both mentioned T… the other two of my 3 musketeers. Can’t be coincidence. My spouse is very against me “becoming a man”, as she puts it. I keep trying to say it will make me myself only moreso. My depression over it has gotten us to a new phase in the journey though. At least we’re talking about it. As always, I love reading about and sharing your journey. Thank you.

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    • Ah, Hali, good to hear from you! Yes, the depression… the Black Dog keeps following close on my heels through the journey. B has clammed up on me and we are not mentioning the T-word at all, which is not good. At least your spouse is talking about it. B is also dead set about me “manning up” – childhood demon that is haunting her. Between us and our demons, we are threatening to take over hell – Lucifer, watch out. All I can do, is wait it out and keep niggling at B with subtle hints. It might be enough to get her talking, it might drive her further away. All I am certain about, is that the future is foggy. I hope your journey branches off to green pastures and (more) manhood. Keep in touch, please – and take care. Hugs.

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  2. Drat Kris, I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope B will come around. I really, really hope so. And I understand completely about the voice issue. If I could change only one thing, and not anything else, I’d definitely go for a lower voice. Andrea Bocelli comes to mind…

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  3. Hum, what a tough situation. I really feel for you, you are obviously trying your best, but just can’t help the dysphoria. The way you describe dysphoria here makes it sound like it doesn’t like you? Obviously it is asking for things that can cause great turmoil in your life, but it is also part of you, it is innate and there is no fault in you for having to feel this way. I’m hoping for things to work out for you both xx

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    • Yes, Jamie(?), the dysphoria and I are at war and is a continuous battle to overcome it. Others may be able to live with it (you perhaps?), but it urges me to make more changes, transition more – top surgery is not enough. I may not win the battle and have to live with it, but only time will tell. Thank you so much for your wishes, much appreciated! Take care.

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      • Jamie/Amy, is all good 😛 I understand, I just found it unhappy that you describe it as having bared teeth. For me, the dysphoria called longingly for me to ‘let go’. It knows about all the damage it will cause, all the hurt and difficulties, but it tells me ‘It’s ok, come over anyway.’ My own seems loving, yet niave.
        The way I perceive it is, that though unfortunate, our bodies know who they are, what they want, it is outside our control, even outside our responsibility to quash what cannot be quashed for the sake of others. You are fighting and that’s what counts, fighting for your partner, for yourself….sometimes dysphoria seems like it is fighting you, but I guess I want for us to be able to see it as loving as well, it wishes to embrace.
        It’s so hard not being able to show someone clearly what is happening inside, because we all know that the fear of watching a loved one transition would melt away if they could feel it for just a little while.

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  4. Not an easy one for sure, the fear of the unknown. It took me nearly two years to decide on transitioning, I kept investigating and then pushing it back down. Fear of what peoples reactions would be, my family, my job, my friends etc. Eventually I was in such a dark space and not happy with my life. I had superficially mentioned it to my partner (together 19 years) on and off, but never too seriously until that final time. We sat and watched YouTube video’s for hours about other peoples experiences and we went into it with the agreement that if at any point it did not seem to be working out I would stop. I tried to include my partner in the process as much as possible, she came with to the doctors with me, she researched with me, she came to the support groups with me. There are still fears and worries and we try deal with them, some fears never go away, but we are doing ok, one step at a time. Wishing you the best Kris and that it will work out.

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    • Hi Geoff, thank you so much for sharing your journey. I understand that fear is a huge factor in my wife’s reaction and being emotionally very fragile even without my transitioning, she must be in a very scary place. I understand and empathize, but I am also in a dark place, needing to go on T. As Jamie mentions in his comment, T might not be the panacea, but I need to try it to find out what works for me. I will keep pushing B a fraction at a time and hope like hell she relents. Thank you for the good wishes and the FB invite to contact you. I might just do so if this blog’s outlet does not proof to be enough. All the best to you too!

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  5. I talk myself into and out of low dose T once a week. Donna has stepped out of the way (basically she said “I don’t like the idea and I’m scared of it, but I don’t want to be the reason you are not doing it”). The stepping out of the way took three years, and heart surgery, and her deciding to make some medical decisions that I was unhappy about and realizing that what she was doing was unfair. I’m still on the fence.

    I think when something gets under your skin like that you need to do it to see if it has become a placeholder for all of your trans feelings, or if taking it really makes you feel better. If you take it and you feel more authentic, then you know. If you don’t do it, you just stay in purgatory. I know people who have gone on T and then off because they didn’t feel “right” on it – but then they knew it was not the panacea they were looking for.

    Good luck waiting her out and pleading for mercy.

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    • Yes, it might not be the panacea, but then at least my voice will have lowered, a huge issue with me since… well, forever. I don’t know if I have your patience to wait years, so the pleading might come soon and often!

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      • I did my begging with top surgery. I’m aware that in my house, in terms of our ability to whine for and get what we want/need, Gracie is the most effective and efficient of the three of us.

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  6. A very suspenseful post, Kris! You know you need to be true to yourself, and you are brave and honest to deal with it upfront. Of course I hope B will come around when she sees that the T just makes you more into your real self.

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    • Thank you. I know she is scared of the possible side effects T might have on me – HRT for women has been linked with breast cancer scare for so long and she is afraid of losing me as well. Take care.

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  7. Ah Kris, that sounds like hell … ten thousand ‘bravo’s’ for speaking your mind … ten thousand hugs for risking your heart … ten thousand candles on the altar to light your way.
    (there may not be quite ten thousand candles on the altar – but close to it 🙂 )

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  8. B sounds a bit like Candace. I’ve experienced this many times over the past few years. I didn’t tell her in one step that I had decided to transition. Instead it was many little steps like you’re doing. I approached the T thing as an experiment and that seemed to work for her. I wasn’t lying about that to her or trying to mislead her as that was truly how I approached taking a low dose of T. I wanted to see if it made me feel any better because I was experiencing a lot of depression around my gender and life in general at the time. She went with me to the appointment with my endocrinologist and was able to ask any questions she had and see how the process worked first hand. Once I did start taking the T she could clearly see that it did make me feel better and our relationship even improved because of it and that was a big positive for her. Fear is normal and B is not alone in that. T is a powerful hormone and even a low dose can create some serious changes that may or may not be welcome. Body odor changes (reversible), voice can deepen (not reversible usually), facial hair can pop up, etc. You know all this I’m sure but B might not. I kept bumping up my dosage to see where I was going to feel the best. Every time I did that I got a surge of new side effects and a mood boost. It’s been an interesting experiment and I think the jury is in on the verdict that my brain NEEDS this hormone to function at its best. At my core I am the most at peace that I have ever been since puberty (and possibly before..not sure about that). I’m much more patient, tolerant, calmer and nicer in my opinion. I do remember every time I bumped up my dose I went through a short faze where I was actually easily angered and the violent feelings I had scared me a bit but as I got used to the dose that went away. The things that Candace have mentioned to me that she noticed was body odor (she didn’t like that) and my disposition improving (she liked that a lot) and now gives me my shots most weeks. I share this stuff with you to both give you hope and also to let you hear my experience since it might be similar to yours in some ways. My guess is, if you try the T and it doesn’t make you feel better you’ll know it very soon and can stop taking it. There’s very little risk and it might help B accept you trying it out at first. Give her a few days but don’t let her put this on a permanent backburner because she will if she’s anything like Candace. Good luck my brother.

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    • Thank you, Shawn, and thank you so much for relating your own experience and the advice. B is seeing her therapist soon and I suspect she will discuss this with him. He has been on my side in the past and I hope he will be again. Otherwise I think B will keep silent and hope it goes away. I am going to keep on chiselling away at her. Take care, chum.

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