So it’s been a week or so since I spoke to my mother, or indeed since she has spoken to me. Some call it cold turkey, I just call it healthy.
I also had a counselling session yesterday which was very cathartic. I discussed with Tina what Mum had said, using material from this very blog, actually. She has an honest, and warm, focused but relaxed approach which was definitely needed yesterday.
She wasn’t unduly shocked, surprised or reactionary, just supportive which is nice. But the main word that sprung out from the session was denial.
As Tina suggested, Mum is not just saying she doesn’t like something, or that she is struggling with something, or that she is finding it hard to accept. No – she is effectively telling me I am still a boy. As I have said before, genitalia should not define a person. It can be an issue, but it is not how we define ourselves.
You see, for the blessed majority in this country, their bodies, souls and mind match. That is to say, in extremely simple terms, they are ok, and have no desire to change sex. But for those of us who do, it is a different story.
But as much as it was cathartic to have the session, its revelations were also crushing. Naively, I had not actually progressed in my thought process to considering denial. I was still at the stage of being stung by her words.
But denial, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. Denial would be to give a pithy example, saying it’s 25 degress outside when it is pouring with rain. Denial is to refuse to acknowledge the truth of who I am. Her denial leaves me with an unwanted identity. To be clear, I am not at all suggesting for one second I believe I am, or ever was. But she clearly still does, and that is gutting.
When I cried, she told me to stop, when I challenged, she told me to toughen up. Tina said she was treating me like a child, and in many ways, it was similar to the emotional abuse I suffered as a child. Like a vicious monster awakening from its eternal sleep, snarling its head off, then going back to sleep again.
I could understand her caution if this had only been five minutes, a phase. But 2005 was a long time ago, and to me my days of living a lie are gone. Rather than embracing it, she has problematised it, even pathologised it. I am not suffering from a psychotic delusion. This is me. I am not sweeping away the past, but as I said to Zina, it’s a bit like divorce.
You don’t get with a new partner then hanker after the old one, or wishing for your old marriage. There would be no point at all in this process if I lived half n half, Hannah sometimes then sometimes somebody else. The medical community would rightly interpret this as ambivalence, and self-doubt, rightly so as well.
No I have made a brave and bold statement about how I want to live my life, and nothing will blow me off course ever.
So what of my relationship with my mother in the longer term? Social networking is a pervasive, interactive, of the moment medium, and many people talk to me about this blog. I agree with my friend P, who said she simply went too far, and I agree with that analysis. There are I believe unwritten forcefields we don’t cross. Telling me I’ll never be a girl when I live like one every day is pretty much futile.
But I thought she supported me. However, I’m guessing she does not, and that hurts to know too. Very few people would choose to walk the path of transsexuality. It is not a choice. It just feels like something you must do. It’s not even something you’d like to do, or even something you want to. It’s something you have to do. After all, who really wants to be different from the norm? No one. But sometimes we just have to be and run the risk of being abused and ridiculed.
It is not all abuse and ridicule though. It is nice to gain support and friends and to perhaps be able to support others is a great gift. Someone told me I was an inspiration the other day. I used to think inspiration was a patronising, dewy-eyed word. But to be able to inspire and to support others is a great gift, not to mention privilege.
As well as people commenting on the blog, I have had people tell me their stories, and this inspires me for the future too, and helps me to realise I am not alone. There is no greater gift than being yourself, and just because you cannot see gender dysphoria, does not mean there are not people tormented by its knotting ache, and a longing for a more supportive, and honest, and fulfilled life.
As to my mother, let her live in denial if she wants. I want to live in the present and future. I am not “her boy” I am Hannah, I am me, I was born this way and I feel sexy and free.