Tag Archive | Family

No time for me

img_20180921_185953I’m nearing the end of a week-long overnight work week and I’m feeling the strain. As a department supervisor, I have to go overnight to do some organizing in my department, something we do twice a year, once at the beginning of the spring season, and after summer ends. It’s a glorious task!

I’m kidding. It’s exhausting. Some supervisors only had to do two or three nights, but since I’m in one of the main departments, hardware, I have an entire week. I’m still not going to get done with everything. There’s that much to work!

So while I’m working the night shift, I don’t have much time for myself. My sleep is out of sync, and it’s getting to me. I’m not cranky or anything, but I’m just really tired. I don’t have the energy to do anything other than lie in bed and stare into the void. Or my phone.

Honestly though, I haven’t really taken any me time lately. I usually take my days off for myself, but my last day off didn’t really pan out as I had a friend who needed attention. Afterward, I decided to see my parents. I don’t go visit them as often as I should.

This coming weekend isn’t looking good either. I’m planning on going to the WT homecoming game as it’ll be the last one at Kimbrough Stadium. I have a lot of memories there. I was in the marching band back in my college days. As much as a new stadium is needed, it’s still a little bittersweet. I’ll be my last trip there as a college stadium.

Sunday, my parents are supposed to be coming to visit. I complained a bit that they never visit me in Amarillo. They go to Lubbock and Muleshoe to visit my other siblings, but never me. I don’t mind most of the time, but it would be nice for them to take time to remember me. I’m sounding too much like a whining brat, so I should leave it.

All the same, this weekend doesn’t look good for me. I do have next Tuesday off, so I’m sure I’ll make the most of that. I’ll probably end up getting caught up on my cleaning. So even if it is a Stefani day, it’ll be a shorts and tshirt day.

That seems to be my usual outfit these days. I used to get all dressed up, even if I was just going to stay in. Now I don’t bother unless I’m heading out, which is such a hassle. Showering, shaving, dressing, doing makeup, it’s such an ordeal. I love the end result, and I feel great, but it’s so time consuming.

Right now, though, I have to make it until Saturday morning. I may try to sneak a few hours for myself this weekend. I do miss the freedom to be myself. I envy those who have the courage to go all in and transition, but at the moment that’s not in the cards. I’ll have to make do with the precious few hours I do have. One day that may change. I can only hope.

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I made a friend

IMG_20180520_160255_877.jpgWent to the bar a couple of weeks ago with a friend. That in itself is not remarkable. Though we haven’t gone lately, we will occasionally go to get out, have a couple of drinks, and maybe play some pool. By the way, I totally kicked my friends butt that night. The last time we went, however, I was not as fortunate.

But this is not about our last outing, but the one before that, the night I came out the winner. Starting out, we were asked to show our ID’s even before we stepped into the bar. That usually doesn’t happen, so I was taken aback, more so because my ID does not match my gender. Reluctantly, I pulled my license out, waiting to be called out. All that the bouncer said was that I looked good for 42.

With that, we began the evening, getting a bucket of beers, and playing a few games. Across from out pool table sat a couple, a man and woman, who seemed to be enjoying the night out as well. They were talkative, and my friend Jessica was happily interacting with them, but I less so. I hate talking because more than anything, my voice outs me. I hate my voice!

We continued to play, and the couple across from us continued to visit with those around them, including us from time to time. The man was making me a little nervous, but I ignored him as much as I could, and concentrated on the game. Soon, we were out of quarters, and I was ready to finish that last of my beer, and head home. The couple across from us had other plans.

They invited us to join them, which Jessica was keen on accepting. I followed, afraid of being rejected, or worse attacked, as sat down at their table. With introductions out of the way, the man turned to me and asked if I was trans. Feeling as though the jig was up, I admitted I was. What came next nearly left me speechless. He confessed he was a trans man. I never could have guessed that in a million years!

After that revelation, I was a little more receptive to a conversation, he talking about his journey, and me sharing mine. For him, he feels as though he is obviously a woman living as a man, while I feel the opposite, a man trying to live as a woman. In his case, he feels obvious, though of course that’s his own insecurities manifesting. He is not obviously trans. He looks and acts like a cis male.

How much of the struggle to fit in, therefore, is an internal struggle? How much of it is our own insecurities? For me, I know getting on hormones would help, as much as being on hormones helps him, but a lot of passing is partly being confident in living our true gender.

For him, he’s living life as the man he is, with a woman he loves. I’m still living part time, whenever I can spare the time to be me. The thing is, the trans experience is valid for both of us. He transitioned, I have not. Some people go all the way, hormones, top and bottom surgery, or maybe just top surgery. Some never get on hormones, some never accept being trans.

Acceptance begins with yourself. For me it began when I accepted who I was. It was helped by the scores of friends who have accepted me, who have cared for me, who have loved me. It’s an ongoing journey, a journey of discovery and learning to live being true to myself.

I have had few negative experiences going out as Stefani, and so many positive experiences. That night at the 6th Street  Saloon was one of positive experiences, one where I met some new friends. I just have to remember to give others a chance.

Family drama

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I’ve been seriously stressed out lately. Since telling my parents, I thought things were going okay. I wasn’t making plans on showing up as Stef any time soon, but I thought there was some acceptance there. Even when my sister found out and turned on me, I thought maybe I wouldn’t be so alone. I was wrong.

About a month ago, my mother told me I needed to go home because they needed to talk to me. Nothing gets me more anxious than someone telling me that we need to talk, but I went, needing to get it over with. It was as bad as I feared.

My sister, it seems, has been crying about this to my parents. She claims she fears that I’m going to suddenly show up as Stefani to family events, and is saying she doesn’t think she’s going to a family reunion because of it. The more my parents spoke, the angrier I got.

In the end, my parents said that how I lived my life was my business, but they didn’t want to know. They don’t want me to come around as Stefani, nor do they want to see pictures. If, as they said, I decide to go the Caitlyn Jenner route, they couldn’t support me. They love me, they claimed, but they can’t go against their religious beliefs.

And people wonder why so many in the LGBT community turn our backs on the christian community!

They told me I needed to talk to my sister, and tell my last remaining brother. It took me a week, but I contacted my sister. All it was was an opportunity for my sister to attack me. “What, are you going to date guys now?” or “And you think you’re happy dressing up with dresses and fake boobs and makeup?” She was using her training in social work to put me in a defensive position. I never felt such venom!

It’s been almost two weeks since that conversation, and I’m still on edge. My stress has spiked, I feel as though my heart just wants to beat out of my chest. I go to sleep wondering if I’m going to have a heart attack and die alone in the middle of the night. Part of me welcomes death. I just don’t want to deal with this shit anymore.

But I’m still here, living my life. My sister is not really a part of my life, and never has. I never liked her. The judgment and the hypocrisy she espouses keeps me at bay. She presents herself like a typical Christian, posting religious nonsense, pretending to be holy, but seething with hate. I have enough to deal with.

Part of me wants to be done with my family. I have friends, very good friends, who love me for me. They don’t care if I’m Joe or Stefani. They don’t care if I’m gay or straight. They don’t care about nothing except that I’m being honest about who I am. My family, it seems, doesn’t love me as unconditional as they claim.

So I’m stressed out. I’m wondering about myself, who I am, and where I’m headed. Why does my future hold? Will I transition or not? Do I have the strength to live my life without my family? I put off telling them because I was afraid they would disown me. Turns out, I had every reason to be afraid.

This is what it is to live my life. I feel trapped in limbo, not able to breath, not able to live my life. I don’t have the energy to do anything at this point. Breathing feels like it takes too much out of me, but I have to go about my business, pretending to be okay.

Discovered!

IMG_20160603_210251I got a text from my ex-wife yesterday evening telling me that we needed to text later. I hate it when people do that, by the way. “We need to talk,” is rarely met with good news. I text her back asking what was wrong, and she replied that it wasn’t anything bad. “…it’s actually a good thing.”

I finally managed to cajole the news out of her. My step-daughter was playing on my ex’s phone, got on Facebook, and saw my Stefani profile popup under people she might now. She said “…that looks like a dude cuz of his eyebrows…she needs to shape them and thin them out….” My ex-wife proceeded to tell her that Stefani was in fact me, her step-father. She was okay with it.

I haven’t had a chance to actually talk to my step-daughter, but I’m still processing what it means. If she’s in fact okay with it, then does that mean she’ll get to meet Stefani? Will she want to? Will my ex-wife allow it? Will my ex-wife want to meet Stef?

My emotions are all over the place. On the one hand, there’s one less person I have to worry about keeping the secret from, but that also means there’s one more person who can accidentally out me. I wondered out loud to a friend how long I could keep me a secret. Stefani’s grown and is kind of taking over. It’s exciting and frightening!

Maybe this will lead to a better relationship with my step-daughter. I can only hope it won’t lead to a greater estrangement. Only time will tell, I suppose, but that’s one less person I have to hide from. I’m guessing I’ll have to come out sooner or later. When I do, I fear I will lose my family altogether, but again we’ll see.