Today I will arrive at my parents’ house in Mississippi for the Thanksgiving holiday. I am traveling alone — the kids are traveling elsewhere with my ex — and will be staying until the weekend.
I wont lie and say that there hasn’t been anxiety leading upto this The last time I saw my parents, in August, we were just beginning to talk to each other about my identity. But every time the topic has come up since then over the phone, my mother has found a way to change the subject very quickly.
There was one particular incident last week that kind of hit home with me how uncomfortable my parents are with all this. My mother asked, out of nowhere, “It will be [real name] showing up at our door, right?” I wasn’t sure exactly how to feel about that question. I tried to hide it with humor, asking, “Unless you want me to show up some other way!” To which she replied, “No, you’d give your father a heart attack. Me, too.”
I have been stressing about what to wear when I get there, how to comb my hair, if I should buy new shoes, if I should stop wearing this or start wearing that. Should I be proactive in talking to them about things? Or let them bring things up? I have no idea how this will go.
I know they love me, and I know they’re trying, and I know I have it luckier than some other women do with their families. So I will endure no matter what. But it’s not been a pleasant couple if days leading up to the arrival.
More stressful, though, is seeing my sister. She’s the most conservative and Christian member of my family, and she’s married to a likewise conservative ol’ Southern boy. I have only talked to her via a couple emails since things came out to my family, and never about my identity. Having her reject me would be hard enough; but her rejection would also mean losing access to my nieces and nephew, and that would be the worst part.
Suffice to say, I will be blogging about how this week goes, good or bad. But I’ll be hoping for good. Wish me luck!