Since Katie came out, there has only been a handful of times where I’ve been away from her for more than 1 night. Going to Texas in May was one of those times. The first time was back in December, when I took some time to visit my mom for a much needed week-long break. I’m so lucky to have my mom. She lives in this house in Texas that would cost millions here in Seattle and the level of having to think goes down substantially. I’m treated as a guest: I see my family, food is provided, I get my own room, I can work from my mom’s office (named aptly, The Woman Cave), and there’s a pool! Life is good when I’m there. In the past, I typically get to a point where I want to get home after spending time with my family. I want to see Katie again, to get back my routine. The trip back in December was difficult for me to get to that point again. Back then, I was still in mourning. There was a point where I looked at my iPad and realized the picture of Kyle on my screen was not the person I knew anymore. Our future was a black hole and I felt very alone. It was during that trip that I started writing, that I created this blog in hopes I could find support from others like me out in the world.
This last trip to Texas was no different. I relaxed. I worked in silence, removed from the day-to-day of my coworkers which was a nice break. I played with my mom’s puppy. I ate too much and I sunbathed. That said, I was surprised by the slow phenomenon that seemed to creep over me while I was there, this feeling that my life here in Seattle with Katie doesn’t seem real. When I’m with Katie, we are normal. We talk to each other like we always have. We laugh at the same jokes. We cook together. We socialize with friends. She annoys me with random nerdy facts I didn’t want to know. When I leave Katie, it’s a different. While in Texas, removed from my life with Katie, it became such a strange experience talking about our lives together, as if it’s totally normal that he is now she. Katie often describes her emotions as looking through the window at what she should be feeling but not able to open the window to actually touch them. I have to say, my trip to Texas felt much the same way. I was looking at my life, totally baffled by how I got to this point, unable to open the window.
My mom, sister, and I treated ourselves to a long-planned and over-priced Justin Timberlake concert while I was there. Guys, I love JT, not just because his music is fun, but because he can perform! Even in the nose-bleeds, we had such a great time! There was a moment when I was watching the concert, where I realized how happy I was to be there and then realized how long it had been since I felt that kind of pure, uninterrupted joy. As quickly as the negative thought entered my brain, I shoved it aside. “Not today, Satan,” as they say. I refuse to let the complexities of my life inhibit my ability to find goodness and be present in the moment. There is only so much I can control right now, my attitude being one of them. I may not know with certainty what it will be like to be married to someone with boobs, but I do know how I can communicate about my feelings on the topic. I’m choosing glass half-full as a self-preservation technique. I honestly believe half-empty would kill me.
Coming home this past trip was hard. Katie picked me up in downtown Seattle and there was a tension neither of us could totally help. I learned she had spent Memorial Day Weekend somewhat reclusive and dysphoric. I got upset that I didn’t know she was having a hard time, knowing full well that she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want to interrupt my trip. I love that about her, but at the same time, I asked her to let me decide when Katie is too much for me. Let me draw the line if her feelings are getting in my way of feeling joy. We talked about my disconnection from her, about how it’s confusing to feel supportive of her, our marriage, and the transition, but still feel conflicted by what my confusion about it all means. My biggest fear is that my moments of doubt mean something more. What if we can’t make it? What if I’m not strong enough? The kicker: what if we spend all this time working on our individual selves and our marriage and we don’t make it? It’s terrifying to consider.
This time in my life feels like I have 2 personalities. there’s the part of me that completely understands what’s happening with my spouse and supports it. This part of me loves Katie and wants to take her shopping and make her happy and plan our future together. This part of me braved Ikea with her this past weekend and then celebrated that we made it out alive. Then there’s the other personality that is like “what the fuck? How did I get here?”. It’s confusing and interesting to reflect upon. Now, I feel it’s important to impress upon all of you, my family and friends, that these feelings of alienation from my life are not the start of The End for me or for Katie. These moments, which happen less frequently, serve as my reminder that this is a transition for me, as much as it’s a transition for Katie. I’m still getting used to my life. I have to remind myself that I have only known about Katie for 9 months. If this transition were a baby, we would have duped our parents into how easy parenting was going to be because we slept the first 2 nights when getting home from the hospital. They don’t know what’s coming in Night 3 (hello, 4am!). I’m choosing to believe my moments of doubt are there to teach me Patience. I need to learn patience with myself, with Katie, and with being comfortable not knowing what’s in my future. I need to live in the moment, let the music wash over me, and dance like no one is watching. Honestly, hopefully they aren’t looking because these dance moves are not ones that should ever be replicated.