Note: I meant (and tried) to post this last night. After a night out with the girls I arrived home to find everyone asleep, including my internet connection. Today is a new day (thank G-d) and my internet seems to have come back to life (again, thank G-d)…
I knew better than to exhale. I repeatedly remind myself to remember that this is a work in progress and that there will likely be many instances of one step forward, two steps back. I have drilled into my head that I have no control over anything as well as the fact that I have no idea what each new hour might bring. Yet, I allowed myself the luxury of feeling pretty good about things. Dope.
Nothing dramatic has happened, and nothing has changed, yet this afternoon included a few hours (which is a “few” too many) of the crap reminiscent of life with George (n.c.i.) and, despite my most valiant efforts, I am left feeling more vulnerable than I have in a while. It started with a call from an “879” number (for the uninformed, 879 is the prefix of the many numbers attached to the school) just around the time of the closing bell. Damn it. It was a friendly voice on the other side (it is always a friendly voice) who immediately asked if I had a minute. Not a second, but a minute. I know from experience that when I am asked by a school-type person if I have a minute, it really means several minutes and it also not a call to check in on me. Resisting the urge to say, “no, in fact I don’t…why don’t you try Rich?” I answered in the affirmative and settled in for yet another as yet unknown piece of information.
The specifics of what happened will remain private. I had written about them in slim detail, but when I asked Jessie how she felt about me sharing today’s issue, she, for the first time, asked that I not write about it. I have always said that I will never write about something that will in any way upset or compromise my kids or my family, and I intend to uphold that promise. The details don’t really matter, rather, it is the thinking they encouraged which are the real story.
After being filled in and given the opportunity to bat things around with my therapist, I found myself again in that constant internal battle I have over distinguishing between that which is related to having identified as transgender and that which is more everyday growing pains. I am acutely aware that while she has settled into the very routine that we all craved, she is suddenly feeling ill at ease. The first few weeks of her social transition were remarkably smooth and without incident. She was constantly under the watchful eye of her parents, her teachers and, to an only slightly lesser extent, her friends. Things have settled in and now it is almost as though she doesn’t quite know how to maneuver her life without drama. I liken it to the feeling I had about six months after my run in with cancer. I had been doted upon, cared for, paid attention to and shown love in such great quantity, that when it was evident that we had made it through and the attention (appropriately) dwindled away I was left feeling lonely, sad and a little bit lost. I went from being foremost on people’s mind to having proven my strength thereby enabling everyone to move on. Perhaps that is how Jessie is feeling now? I know intellectually that no one can answer that question. I know emotionally , however, that I really wish someone could.
Now, with the day coming to an official end, I am feeling like I can exhale a little bit, but not all the way. I see that we took one step forward but only one step back, so we are actually pretty much where we left off. The benefit of a few hours out with the girls has brought me back to an okay place. (And I am sure the margarita didn’t hurt).