Today my mom gave me a necklace with “Rebecca” in Hebrew letters. (Not Rivka, the Hebrew version of Rebecca, but ‘Rebecca’ spelled phonetically in Hebrew.) I think she was a little hurt that I wasn’t as excited about it as she was, so I said, “It’s beautiful, I just have a complicated relationship with Judaism.”
I wish I could have been more excited for her, because I know how hard she’s trying to support me (and how much she enjoys buying me girlie things with “Rebecca” on them like she did with my old name when I was a child). But I don’t always know what to do with a “Rebecca” puzzle. Or keychain. Or Hebrew necklace.
Meanwhile, I talked to my dad tonight, for about 4 minutes. I’ve been meaning to call him all week, and was trying to summon the energy to do so. I’m actually really sorry he called, and I probably shouldn’t have answered the phone, because I had neither the energy nor inclination to have a good conversation. I could (should) have told him more about the new girl we’re hiring at work, my raise, my little trip this weekend to Wisconsin, and asked more about how he’s doing. But I always end up feeling like my words go in one ear and out the other, anyway, so it’s hard to find the energy.
In a comment to this post, M wrote:
Your relationship with your dad confuses me. When he’s not supportive you get mad at him, when he is supportive you get mad at him.
I know I’m the outside looking in, but I think you took his email the wrong way. I think he was trying to show you that he’s getting his act together and wants to be there to support you, and that never again will he let you down.
I don’t think he was implying that without him you’ve been alone.
I think that you’re right, my relationship with my dad is a little ridiculous right now. When he’s not supportive I get upset, and when I think he’s either being ignorantly supportive or self-centeredly supportive, I get upset. That said, I’m conciously trying to restructure the relationship and not cut him the slack I feel I have been. My therapist and I have talked a lot about my relationship with my dad (tres cliche, I know) and we’ve been very satisfied with a ‘status quo, don’t rock the boat’ relationship.
Well, I don’t want that kind of relationship with him anymore, if I ever really did. So I am giving him a hard time, hopefully to get our relationship to a place where I feel more comfortable interacting and spending time with him.
PS – He replied saying, basically, “change ‘alone’ to ‘without my support’”, to which I replied thanking him for his support because it does mean a lot. I’m not trying to scare him away or hurt him when he tries to be supportive, but I’m also not trying to let him off easily when he’s saying something I think isn’t fully thought out.
My dad (both my parents, actually) came to see my performance at the end of the week-long workshop, and he sent me this email a day later:
I have to tell you that I was extraordinally impressed by the quality of all of the performances, including yours. More than that, however, I was moved almost to tears by your words as well as your acting, both of which obviously came from deep within you. I am truly sorry that you have had to shoulder your pain and anguish alone for all these years. But never alone again. I love you very much. Dad
I know our communication is a bit strained right now, but the lines “I am truly sorry that you have had to shoulder your pain and anguish alone for all these years. But never alone again.” really struck a nerve on how he sees my identity as trans and how I’ve dealt with it. I sent him the following response:
Continue reading 'From dad; to dad'»
This is what I just sent, as a followup to this post.
I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. As I said, I’ve needed some time to think things over, and figure out where I am.
I think for right now I’m not really up to an overnight trip. I would like to spend more time with you, and maybe even figure out a weekly or bi-monthly time to go for a couple-hour bike ride (like we did over fathers day) but I think overnight is a little too much for me.
Continue reading 'Letter to my dad'»
As I mentioned before, I’m not thrilled with the side effects of lowering my hormone levels to (eventually) be able to deposit sperm. I’m basically at a constant low level of irritation, have been for a little under a week, and probably will be for another couple weeks until I can start bumping the levels back up.
On top of that, I’m currently not talking to my dad (following this conversation; scroll down for it) and just talked with L, my therapist, about all of that. (All of that being what my dad and I had talked about, how I’d felt about it afterwards and since then, and what I can/should do about it now.)
Continue reading 'Augh!'»
Obviously, it’s not a contest. But damn if it doesn’t seem that way when she’s right and I’m wrong…
So the first one is about clothing, the most mundane (and yet oh-so-important) of things. L was saying I needed to just go to Target, where no one would care what I was looking at or trying on, and get something. I was whining and backpedaling and letting fear of embarasment keep me from doing it. See, among other things, I really don’t like to feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. And buying women’s clothing? I don’t know what I’m doing.
But I finally got up my courage and went to Target. (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write…) After putting off the women’s clothing section by looking at all the cool Lego Star Wars toys and the GPS systems and the make-your-own-ice-cream things, I finally meandered slowly past the clothing section. I felt like a bad spy in a satire, where if no one notices the spy before they try to ‘sneak,’ everyone damn sure will after.
Then I lost my nerve and went next door to Office Max, hating myself all the way. Continue reading 'Therapist: 2 – Me: 0'»