I got back from visiting my family in Texas on Monday night very late. I can honestly say I don’t recall ever dreading to come home as much as I did this trip. After a few days with my family, or anywhere really, I’m always ready to come home and re-immerse myself in cooking my meals, making my own schedule, avoiding laundry, and socializing with my tribe. This time was different. I booked Texas at the end of October knowing I would need a break from my life, knowing that it would be nice to take a breather, getting away from the stress of the transition. I didn’t realize how much of a break I needed until I was on the plane coming back and dreading every minute of my return. It’s the first time since I’ve met Kyle that I felt like I didn’t know who I was coming home to. It’s such a counter-intuitive feeling to know that Kyle/Katie is the same human who sends me 427 memes a day via text, but I’m not physically seeing Kyle anymore. At one point during the flight, I glanced at my iPad and realized the background of my phone (a picture of Kyle as seen on this post) isn’t the person I’m going to see anymore. It’s unreal.
These feelings created a distance for us in the car ride home and on Tuesday night while we made dinner together. We still went about our day same as usual, but I think we could both tell that things were different and we didn’t know how to deal with it. I explained this to our therapist on Wednesday night, telling her and Katie about how alone I feel. How isolated. How devastating it is to not be able to see Kyle anymore. I don’t know how to explain this to people who have never gone through this process. There is really nothing to compare it to but a death except I don’t get to have a funeral and there is less reading material or companions with which to share the experience. Everyone has experienced loss of some sort, but not everyone has had their partner change genders. Not to mention of the population who has had their partner change genders, very few seem willing to talk about it which makes finding resources very, very difficult. The worst part is it’s not like Kyle isn’t still a physical presence in my life. Katie’s physical form is still very similar to Kyle’s. She hasn’t started hormones yet. This is a death that still sleeps in the bed next to me, kisses me on the lips, and laughs when Carla (one of the shittens) falls on the ground while attempting to jump on the window sill.
Our therapist suggested doing some sort of ceremony to mark the passing of Kyle, my own version of a funeral. I’m starting to look into this now, although I don’t know where to begin. How do I surmise all of my love for this human and the loss I feel in such a way that honors him respectfully?
On an unrelated note, I bought Katie a red beanie from Nordstrom that has rhinestone cat ears. She loves it.