Saturday, Robin crushed my heart. Sunday, I thought for sure I was going to crush my mother’s heart. My parents were in town, and there in the mental hospital I was going to have the conversation I was hoping to have much later and under much better circumstances. It was time to start coming out.
It’s about two hours until my parents get here and my mind is churning. I don’t know how I am going to tell my mother this! Or all the crap that led up to Thursday.
She’s going to resent Robin so, so badly. I don’t want her to, and I will tell her not to, but she will anyway. That makes me want to cry. Should I be harder on Robin than I’m being? No, because I understand why she wants to move on. So I still love her and I don’t blame her.
Now, how do I tell her?
“Mom, I’m transgender” makes the most sense. Just say it plain and deal with the reaction. She probably won’t quite understand at first, like no one else does.
My dad’s reaction is going to be typical for him, I think: “Transgender, what the hell is that?” It will be uncomfortable and confrontational, followed by Mom’s “Paul, it’s … ” and his “So, what, you want to be a woman?” and Mom’s “Paul!” I know my parents well.
Well, that sucked.
Not the telling my parents part. That went about as well as expected given the circumstances. My dad was a lot less abrasive than I expected him to be. It still had to be explained to him, and to my mom, sort of. There was the expected “That doesn’t mean you’re gay, does it?” and my mom’s trying-to-be-understanding comment that “I grew up with several gay cousins, so … ” Then it shifted to “We love you no matter what” and “We just want you to be happy,” etc. No rejection, no disgust. Good.
What sucked was that the conversation soon shifted to what happens when I leave here. Robin had come along to be my rock while I told my parents, but she’s starting to chance. She’s starting to push me away more actively. She does not want me to come back home! When I leave here, she wants me to go to another place — an apartment, a friend’s house, whatever. She is afraid that if I come back home I will spiral again or try to win her back.
I was livid. After all this drama, she wants me to not go home? To a few days of normal? I can’t find a place to live from in here. Am I supposed to go wherever she finds me? I can’t do that. I won’t do that! If she wants me to make a plan to move out then I will do that … when I get out.
I understand her position. But I cannot leave this place and not go home, even if it’s for a few days.
I also hate that my parents were there to be part of this discussion. But at least now they are aware.
I am reduced to reality. Reality sucks.
I just can’t stop dwelling on last night’s bombshell. I know they’re preaching “mindfulness” here, but when it’s midnight and you’re left to your own sorry thoughts, it’s hard to do. Being in here is like being in Purgatory. All I can do is dwell on what happens when I get out.
When I speak to her next, I will appeal to her better nature. “Have the sympathy and human decency to see it from my perspective,” I’ll say. “It’s cruel,” I’ll insist. “The fact that you’d even consider this tells me where our relationship stands,” I’ll argue. “I don’t have any illusions anymore.”
I have always been good at shifting her emotions. Maybe I have one more good run left in me before she divorces herself from me enough that it doesn’t work anymore.
SPOILER ALERT: Turns out, I did. But not as much as I’d hoped. Also turns out that I still had a lot of adjusting to do, both mentally and emotionally, before I could fully deal with the situation awaiting me after discharge. But that’s a story for another post.