In previous posts I have detailed how various people that I have known have reacted to the news that I am a woman, and how they have come to terms with it… or not as the case is, at least for now, for both my brother and my daughter. For both of them it is because they have not been encouraged to talk about it with anyone and, for my daughter, at the same time as trying to come to terms with me being a woman she is also dealing with her own hormones. As with everyone, I need to give them all the time they need, help them if I can, and hope they will eventually come back to me.
As for my brother, I don’t have any idea how he might come back to me. Now, he hasn’t rejected me as such, and emails me about once a week, but he is having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that he has lost a brother and gained a sister. Perhaps I am hoping that when my parents come over and stay with me in April, they will report back to him after their stay in a very positive fashion and it will bring him to his senses.
My daughter’s relationship with my ex- is very up and down. On the one hand their relationship is as close as one would expect between a mother and child where they spend much time together. On the other hand I consider that my ex- treats her like a slave with little reward and is very strict with her – she has to do a lot of chores (including vacuuming the whole house weekly and ironing their clothes, for example) and she is only allowed to do one outing with a friend per month, either going to a disco or going shopping down town.
In October 2013 while I was working late at night in Dublin I had a call from my daughter begging for me to come and get her because she “couldn’t live there any more” with my ex- and that she hated her; this was after they had a big argument after daughter was late coming home from being out playing/chilling, and my ex- had left her at their house and stormed off in the car after an argument that included physical contact with my daughter. From Dublin I was on the phone while I was trying to work for about an hour, listening to my daughter pleading with me as I tried to calm her down, sending texts to my ex- to try and diffuse the situation, and phoning the mother of my daughter’s BFF to arrange for my daughter to come over for the night if my ex- did not return home; I could not leave as I had missed the last train. Anyway, after all that phoning, my ex- eventually returned home and things calmed down.
So when I told my daughter about my feminine self at the very start of 2015, my pre-amble for this news served to remind her that I am not so strict, I don’t get her to do loads of chores, I let her do things with more frequency than my ex- does, and that I love her loads. When it shortly subsequently became clear that she would have difficulty coping with me being a woman (hardly a surprise), I clearly remember voicing the opinion to friends that I would give her all the time and support that she needed, but that I half-expected that the turning point could well be the next time my ex- and my daughter had a big bust-up…
…and last night that is exactly what happened! As is usually the case, these bust ups are partly my daughter’s fault, and frequently because she withholds the truth from my ex- because she knows the response will be in the negative. Yesterday evening my daughter wanted to go to a St Patrick’s Day disco, especially because it was the birthday of one of her friends, but because of a previous argument where my ex-who said she would not be allowed to go to such a disco for a whole year (which seems extreme punishment to me) then she did not tell my ex- and was at her BFFs house ready to go… except that BFF’s mother rang my ex- about the disco, at which point my ex- hurtled over to collect my daughter and a big argument ensued…
…after which I got a load of phonecalls from my daughter!! I missed three of them as the phone was at the other end of the house, and then I heard the next one, ran over to get the phone, and when I saw it was her phoning I answered, took a deep breath, and spoke in my best girlie voice… and there was my daughter, sobbing at the other end of the phone, saying “I can’t live here any more… I hate her… I’ve had enough”, and so on. I talked to her softly, got her to explain to me what had happened, explained that I have told her before that she has to be honest and not lie, because it only makes matters worse between her and my ex-. Then I said to her that I hoped she didn’t mind my new voice, and she said that she didn’t. I said I understand that she finds our situation difficult to understand, and that I hope that she will go to counselling and she said that she will. I asked her if she ever talks about the situation, and she doesn’t… which is where the counselling must surely help, because at the moment her head is glued up with it. But I asked if she is sleeping better, and she is. I mentioned that my ex- said to me that my daughter sees no point in seeing me… but my daughter said that she never said that. I then said that in January my ex- said that daughter didn’t want to see me again, but my daughter said that she didn’t mean forever, only that weekend. After some time she calmed down a bit… and I eventually got cut off, due to poor signal…
…at which point I noticed a text had arrived from my ex- saying “If you want her, come and pick her up”, and of course I would have loved too… except it is not quite as simple as that. For a start, I had had a drink, and so could not drive to pick her up; not an insurmountable problem. But my ex- had previously told me that I could not see daughter until she had started counselling, which is sensible, and it would also not be wise for daughter to immediately meet the new-me without even knowing what I look like, and preferably until my ex- has met the new-me first, as suggested by my clinic; it could just make matters worse. The situation concluded itself by my ex- obviously having some word with my daughter after all those calls and texts from me, and daughter reluctantly agreed with my ex-‘s plan to go away to some family cottage for the weekend, and I gave her some suggestions on how to have a good time… because daughter said that she would be totally bored as my ex- just “spends the whole time in bed”.
Anyway, to me it seems quite a good step up has happened here in bringing my daughter and myself back a bit closer together – there’s still much to do I am sure, but my hopes are higher.