I gave up my

freedom

and gave it to my

daughter

 

She is not a bad kid, not at all. She is talented and funny, the most sarcastic and sassy little firecracker you ever met. She is a hurricane wrapped in softness.

Video games and DVDs began to go missing. At the neighbor’s house, she said. Empty cigarette boxes piled up in her room. Out at all hours of the night. Sleeping until well into the next evening. Maybe tomorrow she will look for a job. The car would move from one spot to another. Someone needed a jump start. Half a tank of gas missing, no answer this time, no excuse.

So I offered a choice: the spare car key she has been using to sneak the use of a car that she is not licensed to drive, or her house key and I would give her my car key and the title.

She packed her things.

She is only eighteen. Older than I was when I left home for the first time, in my own car, everything I loved stuffed into the backseat and trunk. I was pregnant at the time, and soon homeless, living in that car in the middle of a cold winter.

Our only means of freedom, getting groceries, running errands, was that car. Being homeless forever scarred me, I always liked to maintain at least one vehicle, even if not running, for back up housing. That assurance and our freedom is now gone.

I just could not handle the lies anymore. I could not carry the stress she kept putting on me, the worry of the late nights, the missing things, the bills she fell further and further behind on.

It could not have been easy for her living here, with two disabled people. Perhaps it was this place, this environment, that drug her down. Hopefully a nudge can get her going in the right direction.

I told her I loved her, that she is welcome back if she decides she can contribute in some way, if she gets pregnant, if she has nowhere else and it is too cold outside.

I love her absolutely.

She is the most beautiful thing I have ever made.

I hope this is the right thing for her.

My daughter has gone out into the world. She is better equipped to handle it than I am. She is a hurricane.

Hey! Listen!

In the update schedule set up by Morgan and Bartholo- I mean me, today is transition blog Sunday. Last week I set out a schedule by which I would update my various projects, and really only followed through on two of them, but I did a whole lot of work on all of them, so it felt like a win. Two out of seven isn’t bad, right? Ugh, it looks horrible saying that now.

Anyway, I wanted to cover any number of transition related topics which tumbled out of my brain last week, but I am absolutely, one hundred percent, completely and totally distracted from any of that.

Instead my mind is filled with worry and upset and just plain hurt.

Without getting too caught up on the details, my daughter is off and seems to be absolutely incapable of letting me know where she is, when she will be back, and has no consideration for my feelings. Fairly typical of a teenager, I know. She is only a few months away from eighteen, which is that really awkward period for parents where you’re technically responsible for the offspring, but the offspring are already way out of the nest and flying around doing stupid things and trying to live their own lives.

And she should live her own life.

This is just one more thing in a long series of things where she does not let me know what is going on, leaves me sitting here worrying, and does not consider my needs in the matter. This occurs almost daily.

I know, teenagers are notorious for getting wrapped up in themselves and their own needs and I shouldn’t let it bother me. I should just brush it off, keep my boundaries clearly stated, and not worry about things I can not control.

But I feel weak. Really weak and torn down. Like I sit here doing my very best to cope, to manufacture my own self-esteem and happiness, build up the reserves of emotional and physical energy, and then she comes along and not only steals away the products, but tears down the walls and kicks at the foundations. Not maliciously, not even consciously.

I should be the strong adult, but I just feel weak and worn out. It’s my responsibility though. Sometimes that gets tough to carry and I just need to get it out of me and vent and put the feelings here so they don’t fester inside of me.

And I utterly hate that I can’t vent. Because venting puts it out there for people to judge and give advice. I don’t need advice; I don’t need to be told the hundred ways I have failed and am still failing. I need my happiness and self-esteem factories to be rebuilt and stop kicking them down in the first place. Unless I ask for help or advice in parenting, do not give it.

I see this everywhere. Someone feels bad and just needs to vent or be told that people have experienced the same thing. Yet people just leap in to give advice, to admonish and shame, usually with ideas that have already been tried, so it just feels like more admonishment and shame that those ideas did not work. I probably see it so often because it is what I need, maybe those people are seeking advice, but I’m so tired of advice. I just want support and understanding.

I just want someone to listen.

You Just Never Know

One of the worst things about this process is being accepted for who you really are. Or, rather, the fear of rejection by people you care about. How many years have I spent with a certain person? That is a lot of investment in a relationship.

Of course when you traipse along this process, you open yourself up to new friends, similar folk and allies, so you can add new relationships. And naturally you shouldn’t keep people in your life if they aren’t adding to your life. Someone just taking up your mental and emotional energy and not giving back, well why are they there?

But I digress. Maybe I’m strange. And I don’t mean that my friends have to daily compliment me or help me out in some way, or be in constant contact. I have a group of wonderful friends I only see one month a year (you know who you are) but they’re there for me hardcore during that one month where we all try to write an insane amount together without going completely insane ourselves.

Have I digressed from my digression?

My point is, you never know who is going to support you and who isn’t. In anything, not just transitioning or coming out, but even little things like say, I want to take up pottery!

Okay, that’s a crazy example.

Today I discovered that there are other people like me, living right here in this town. That was amazing. Connecting with like people and sharing is something that is hard wired into us. We are social creatures, even the most introverted ones of us.

And, trust me, after this many years of playing the homebody introvert, I’m ready for some serious connecting.

So all boosted up from that wonderful little event, I gave my uncle a call.

Now, my parents are both dead, my father when I was 6 and my mother when I was 14. My grandparents who had a hand in raising me also died. So what I have left are two uncles, an aunt, and a lot of cousins. They don’t live near me, I don’t talk to them often. Why? Because last time I went to some family gathering and mentioned I was dating a woman, I got some serious flak for it. I basically left and swore never to talk to any of them again. Which was unfair, that one person didn’t speak for everyone.

And it wasn’t even a ‘real’ coming out, it was just a test. It was the best thing I had at the time to label who I was, lesbian. It was also fairly accepted, just not in the middle of small town Missouri so much, and not with my family.

So I haven’t spoken to most of them in a few years.

I came out to my twitter friends first and gathered quite a lot of additional amazing twitter friends. However, Facebook is full of real life friends and a few gaming friends, plus two family members. So that took just a little while longer. Still, nothing blew up. Okay, all good.

Then I was warned, the gamer community is awful about LGBTQ issues, but I love my gamer friends. So one by one I felt them out and every single one of them has been nothing but supportive. Do I know how to pick friends, or what?

But those are friends. Family you can’t pick. And what if they reject me? The pain would be so much.

And yet… why am I worrying?

The loss is THEIRS. If they reject me and I have to remove them from my life for my own mental well-being, then it is THEIR loss. They have lost the wonderful, beautiful, amazing creature that is me in their lives.

And it is. NOT. MY. FAULT.

This is who I am. Yes, I’ve had kids, yes I’ve lived 35 years fitting into typical female gender roles, but that was just pretending. This is the real me and I’m too TIRED to hide and pretend anymore.

Yes, it will hurt to be rejected, of course it will, and someone that you put so much love and time into not accepting you as you are can hurt so badly. But it’s better to go for it and find out instead of living the lie.

So I did. I called my uncle. I asked him how he was, made sure he was feeling okay first, and then I said it. “Happy Fourth of July, your niece is now a nephew, and I love you.”

And he said “Really? Well… okay then, yeah, OKAY. I love you, too.”

That’s all that matters. Just love each other. Don’t judge, don’t hate, just love.

I’m such a fucking hippie.