In my last post, I talked about how I couldn’t get off the couch after realizing Katie would be starting hormones soon. I know, I know. How could I not know she would start hormones? It’s not so much that I didn’t know, but how I chose to acknowledge this step of the process. As some of you know from the beginning of this journey, there are about a million questions that come up when you find out your spouse is transgender. Due to the overwhelming amount of things to be concerned about, including the complications in my relationship, I’ve chosen to focus on the short-term day-to-day goals. Something we have worked on through our therapy is asking each other, “How are you today?” This allows us to live in the moment and focus on our immediate needs. Focusing on today has limited an immense amount of anxiety. I cannot predict the future of my life with Katie, so why try and hypothesize about it? This method has been working for my sanity. That is, it’s been working until Sunday, when I realized that my wife would actually start physically becoming my wife. I’ve gotten so used to this concept, and yet the idea of not knowing all the physical changes she will be going through is overwhelming. Let’s be honest, the physical transformation is what’s the most uncomfortable for me. What if I cannot love or have sex with a woman? What if I’m not strong enough? What if I love her, but her body grosses me out? (Queue bad Soap Opera Drama music) “These are the Days of Natalie’s Lives.”
Katie casually mentioning at dinner her appointment to get the prescription the following day was more than I was ready for. To set the scene, I had also just returned from a weekend in Las Vegas with 3 women and we DID Vegas right. We danced until 3am, went to a Chippendale’s show, played slot machines (I won $200!), ate too much, drank more and generally didn’t stop, even when 1 of us fell (not me!). Dinner with Katie on Sunday was as much about getting food that wasn’t fried as it was about telling Katie about how great my weekend was. For those who don’t know me, it’s not like me to make it beyond 12am doing anything. It’s also not like me to not be totally sick the next day after a night of drinking. I fought the Vegas, and I didn’t lose! In the midst of my wind-down from this experience and a flight home, I computed what it meant that my wife would be starting the hormones that will eventually give her boobs, less hair, and unknown emotional irregularity. My immediate reaction was to cry, although we were in public, so I held it together until we got home. That’s when, as you know, I cried most of the day on Monday, unable to detach myself from the total devastation of loss.
Upon my return to work, I’ve been a zombie. Headphones in. Forcing myself to engage socially with those I work with so that I don’t appear out of sorts. Leaving promptly at 4:55 to get in my car by 5pm. Yesterday, I listened to that song “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap on repeat because I needed to cry and I hoped memories of my anxious teen-age self would help me do so. As I walked to my car at 4:55pm, my tire was flat. Like, an undrivable flat. I called Katie to come help me, which caused a total shame spiral. I want to be a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need someone to change a car tire, but I just couldn’t be. I know changing a tire isn’t complicated, but I hadn’t done it before and I was worried I would mess it up. (Sidenote: Katie and I are going to practice it this weekend. I will never need help with this again!). A nice man helped me while I waited for Katie. After he was done, I sat in my car and cried, although I had to stop because I was afraid someone I knew would see me. This was irrational provided no one was left at work to help me out, but I digress. When Katie got there, I wordlessly got out of the car, handed her the keys and got in the passenger seat.
We drove home in silence except to talk about what to get for dinner. Pizza. I submitted an order to Ballard Pizza (Seattlties, do yourself a favor and eat here if you haven’t. It’s excellent). When we got home, I sat on the couch and watched the new Rosanne episode (SO. GOOD.). It wasn’t until 15 minutes after the pizza should have arrived that I realized the order wasn’t submitted at all. Queue the total meltdown. “I’m not good enough. I can’t do anything right. I can’t change a tire. I can’t be stronger for my wife. I can’t even order a pizza.” I’m not this person. I’m not the person in total paralyzing self-doubt who can’t look at a shitty situation for what it is and realize it has nothing to do with WHO I AM. Katie was so patient and hugged me. Reassured me this wasn’t about me as a person. She’s so great, and I’m so lucky.
That said, this week can be over now. I’m at Les Schwab trying to combat being upsold for $1,000.00 worth of new struts and breaks. Is it Friday yet?