Two Year Traniversary

This morning at 8:22am I texted my wife to wish her a Happy Tranniversary.  Two years ago our lives changed as she stepped out of the shadows.  It’s humbling to think about how much has happened in consideration of how little time has passed. It’s also tremendous to realize how long some of these days have felt.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been having a terrible time.  The combination of graduate school, working, and learning to navigate transition has been daunting and I’ve been struggling.  This is coupled with revelations by my wife about how unhappy she is in our marriage, about how she feels as though there is a lack of physical touch and I’m not able to meet her needs emotionally.  The part of me who wants to validate my wife’s feelings while also standing up for myself has struggled to see how we move forward.  In the almost-seven years we’ve known each other, neither of us have ever doubted our relationship in the ways we have doubted over the past month.  I’ve never felt less secure in it.  Since Katie came out, we do fight more and that’s scary for two people who barely bickered before. The divide between our individual understanding of what’s been happening created a deep valley I didn’t know how to traverse.

I believe we are two individual people with individual needs.  I believe we love each other.  I believe we’ve done an excellent job at navigating this very difficult journey. I believe the increased bickering we have experienced is because there are now two whole people in our relationship where there was only one and a quarter before. We didn’t have two sets of emotions to navigate before Katie came out, we only had mine.  Katie’s were buried in the valley we didn’t know was between us. To learn  my interpretation of the events since Katie came out might be inaccurate, that maybe my wife is truly unhappy with meis a shame I haven’t carried very well. I’ve isolated myself from my usual social routines.

All of these conversations about our longevity together were happening simultaneously with Katie’s increased days in bed.  When I wrote that post, I thought my exhaustion was because of our incongruent communication and the rift in our relationship.  I thought my stress was the result of the limited energy now being split between school, work, transition, and our marriage teetering on a precarious ledge.

After I wrote the last post, I went to the bedroom where Katie lay in bed at 7pm on a Monday, the day’s events before having caught up to her to the point where she couldn’t do more than lie down, and I told her I was experiencing a difficult time.  Terrified, I asked her if she thought our lives had to be this hard. I explained everything I’ve been observing: her discontent with me and our marriage, the stress I feel, my own inability to function at what is normal functional levels for me, and my concerns about the increase in low-energy days. I asked her if she had ever considered that maybe, just maybe, the days she has that are good days are not even the best they could possibly be.  I asked her if she thought she needed medication.

Now, I’m writing this post in fear of what people will think about me. Common’ Natalie, you can’t actually think medication will fix your marriage? Katie’s just being herself, she’s low because you’re making her miserable. You’re coming to the solution of anti-depressants pretty quickly, Drug User. How selfish are you to think this is about you when it’s about Katie?

I’m not naïve enough to think that medication will fix the things we still need to address in our relationship. I know our fights haven’t stopped and that we still have work to do. That said, if I imagine every person can only give 100% of their energy on any given day, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Katie capable of giving it. Depression has been this conversation point we have talked about a handful of times, each time identifying a potential solution that caused us to believe that maybe, just maybe, she’s not clinically depressed. When she was at her lowest point since I’ve known her, Katie came out to me – was it dysphoria or depression? We’ve spent the past two years doing the work, each in therapy together and separately, trying to assess our own individual boundaries and roles in our relationship, trying to do the right thing for both of us. It’s been hard fucking work. And after I wrote my last post, I realized – maybe it doesn’t have to be thishard.

On that Monday two weeks ago, Katie agreed that maybe, just maybe, things could look different. Maybe the chemicals in her body aren’t able to make her happy and if the chemicals in her body normalized, the things she wanted to accomplish wouldn’t be so hard. Maybe she wouldn’t need to feel so sad all the time, or so low-energy. Maybe Katie’s best-energy day is only 60% – what would our lives look like if she had even an extra 10-20% to give? Maybe I’m tired because I’m over-functioning (a point I will be addressing in therapy, by the way).

I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is. What I do know is Katie talked to her therapist and her doctor last week. We’ve had numerous conversations about if anti-depressants are the right choice for her. I believe this decision is Katie’s – this is her body, her mind, her life.

Today, on her Two-Year Traniversary, Katie got a prescription for anti-depressants. She is confident in the decision. I’m so proud of her. This has been a journey in the making for decades.

I cried at my desk when she texted to let me know she obtained the prescription. In the flurry of Monday morning. I had forgotten Katie even had the appointment. The potential for relief for both of us feels so tenuous and volatile and, just like two years ago, all we can do is take the leap. If it’s anything like the leap two years ago, I’m optimistic. Despite all the unknowns and struggles, we’ve had an incredible two years.

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Two Year Traniversary

  1. 1957carol

    I’m so glad she’s going the meds route. I’m grateful they exist because they have helped me and millions of others to function and live our lives. When brain chemistry is off, you just can’t will yourself to be better.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Donna Selwood

    Both myself and my parter (MtF) Emily are on antidepressants, before Emily came out. Her emotions come out as anger so she takes them to manage that, but as we see a couples counsellor we have hope that the transition and therapy will allow her to reframe her emotions.
    I take them for anxiety and depression, the dose has been increased since Emily cane out to me. Like you I have a demanding job, we have a 5 year old and I am very much the caretaker and organiser in our wider family. I’m constantly needed to provide something so I drain out quickly nowadays. I’m learning how to take time for myself, how to recognise my energy levels and when it is okay to say no.

    I know there are going to be days that you can’t keep everything together…. that’s okay. Maybe you need a couple of bed days too.

    Sending you understanding, love and permission to have an off day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Soph and I are in therapy at the moment and our therapist said “In a relationship, we constantly lose our partner and then find them again” and it’s something I’ve been thinking about since.
    Also on the topic of antidepressants, I’ve been on and off them for years (lots of different ones and doses) and they’ve absolutely changed my life – sometimes your brain just won’t make serotonin and you’ve got to put it in there yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s never easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. (Platitude, yes, but true) Being happy is great, but depression doesn’t care about happy, it doesn’t see and isn’t affected by happiness. Dysphoria and depression are unfortunately too often companions in the psyche of trans people. I’m glad she is making positive steps and you are seeing things as they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What-versary??

    FYI, “tranniversary” is disturbingly similar to a particularly nasty slur used against trans people. It might be a good idea to change your wording around this one

    Like

    1. Virginia Davis

      I don’t find it particularly problematic. Maybe it could be cleaned up by writing it tran-iversary, but if read as one would the base word it comes from it comes no where close to the slur. I have used this portmanteau myself, as a trans woman, to fill in friends and family on my progress.

      Like

  6. adkelly89

    Depression is hard enough to grapple with when there’s not much else going on in a person’s life. Throw in grad school and a gender transition and changing, complicated family dynamics and it all kind of adds up to … More than a lot. So bravo to you, and Katie also, for recognising that this may be going on and finding some resources to deal with it. People are complex – my spouse always says being transgender is the least interesting thing about them – you can be trans and have depression and be awesome at Nintendo and be Buddhist and know French and and and …
    I hope things start looking up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Tranniversary to you and Katie. I am happy that Katie was open to listening to you when you asked if she needed extra help with her lack of energy. I hope medication works for her, so you two can get back to life. Juggling transitions, work and school must be complicated. I hope with the meds Katie is able to get out of bed and help with the day to day part of life. Thank you for sharing your and your wife’s journey with us. I wish I could be as helpful as you been to us. Your blog and all the other cis-females married to trans-females helped me on my journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Angela

    I just wanted to tell you how much your blog has helped me. I found your blog about a week after I came out to my wife and have read everything you’ve posted. You are a wonderful person and even though things can get rough you have an optimism that brings hope for my life. My wife is not as understanding and prefers to ignore the situation rather than work through it, but after reading everything I have hope that one day we can get through this together.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I continue to be impressed by the power of your writing. Your posts ooze the deepest emotions and I feel like I am in the same room with the two of you (not in a creepy way) as I follow you both on this amazing yet terrifying journey. Depression I believe is part and parcel of the trans experience. Ground zero is the individual with dysphoria and the closer you are to that person the more the depression-quake (bad metaphor sorry) impacts you. So, in my layman’s view the sooner Katie takes immediate action to bring it under control the better of you all will be. You both can then restart/continue down the path toward the conclusion that I believe you both sincerely want. As my wife and I have yet to even start our way down the path every step I see you both take even the backward ones bring me joy. Note that doesn’t mean that you Natalie won’t have a depression quake yourself. So don’t rule out meds for you should the need arrive. PS nobody is judging you. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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