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I'm not much for New Year's resolutions; I usually break them by 04 January, anyway.  There is, however, something that I need to do, lest my life crumble to dust, and I with it.  I have been through considerable emotional upheaval over the last three months, due at least in part to my hormone treatment.

I have always felt strongly, I have always loved deeply; but now my emotion has a power I have previously known only in fairy-tale and fable.  It is frightening to those around me, and it is that much more frightening to me.  It is well that it is not physically possible, for it feels to me that my emotion has the power to level mountains, to create seas where once were plains.

I need to understand this.  I need to bring this under my control.  If I do not, I will be devastated and devastating; the term "collateral damage" will have taken on new meaning.  If this is a resolution, then it is one I must keep, for my own sake and for the sake of those close to me.

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I would often wonder what I would feel when my folks finally died.  Would it be grief or relief?

I suppose that I know now.

I Remember

Nov. 8th, 2011 08:37 am
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I was perhaps eight years old, sitting with my father on the Old Loading Dock on Kelley's Island on a summer night, sharing chocolate chip cookies while we fished for perch.  Oh, gods!  Whatever happened to that man?
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I just woke up after about five hours of sleep.  I had had a dream involving an abstract algebra class at a strangely distorted Marietta College, taught by my freshman calculus professor at Pitt.  There was also something about walking from the Math building to the dorms, past the Catholic elementary school I had endured as a child, with a soundtrack of a song about being in love with a transvestite.  And let's not forget the part about an urban renewal project in Parma which included renovating a three-story, pagoda-shaped Chinese restaurant at the corner of State and Snow roads, with coolies jumping out of the windows.

I'm not sure if this means that I'm shaken up, or if it's just another of my usual dreams.

My face isn't burning as it was when I lay down; perhaps I'm cried out for a while.  There's a vague thoracic/abdominal ache, probably from all of the crying.  I can't believe that I've laid them to their rest, yet I did it because I had to do it.  I don't want to hate them; perhaps that is the reason for the "funeral".  Perhaps I'm trying to freeze my perception of them, trying to prevent its getting any worse.  It is so unfortunate that they believe that I humiliate them; do they think so little of themselves that they define their own self-concept on the basis of what I am and do?

I have to deal with the things said in that last conversation with them, if one can call their diatribe a "conversation".  I have to deal with my father's "You humiliate us" delivered from across the room, giving me no opportunity to reply.  I have to deal with my mother's "I'll never accept you".  These are my last memories of them; this is not The Jazz Singer, I am not Neil Diamond, and they are not Sir Lawrence.

The road ahead is dark. I know not where it leads, but I have to walk it.  I can't stand still.

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Sobbing, shaking, I am cold.  Around me, there is only emptiness.  In heated arguments all those years ago, I would never have thought it possible, but I am grieving.  I am grieving, not for what I have lost, but for what I never had and what was never to be had.

I don't know what to think, I don't know what to feel.  I am lost.  I need to hold on.  I need to get through this.
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Especially to Jessie and Marie, I offer this:

They have written me out of their lives.  For some degree of closure, I have lain them to rest.  It tore my heart from me to do this, but I felt it necessary to preserve my sanity.  They can now have their world without me, I will keep a memorial to attempt to fill the void.

The first section of my post describes my feeling that their souls died long ago; when, I'm not sure.  As I search my memory, it must have happened before they adopted me; I wonder if it happened when my mother had the emergency hysterectomy.  There are stories that describe them as decent and honorable people; if they once were, I never knew them that way.  But I think again, and wonder if, in my father's case, that description isn't entirely accurate; I can remember a very few times when he was honorable, even good, but never while my mother was around.  I will treasure those moments with him for the rest of my own life.

They want me to begone.  I will comply, but please allow me to set a stone in memory, or perhaps a desire for what never was or could be.

In Memoriam

Nov. 7th, 2011 02:48 pm
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I do not know the precise time, place, or manner of their passing.    I know only that, upon discovery, the remains were already badly decomposed.  Knowing only the date of discovery, I set that here, in memory.

All I wanted was to be able to love them.  I was alien, I did not know how.
I will not remember them in bitterness, nor will I long to change history; that serves no purpose.
In my world-view, there is no resurrection, but there is an afterlife.
As I lay them to rest, with a great emptiness in my heart, I wonder: Is that emptiness their eternal life?

Edward, Father  16 March 1925    - 6 November 2011
Lillian, Mother    18 October 1924 - 6 November 2011

Requiescant in pace
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And I'm cold.  I'm so cold.

Always

Oct. 31st, 2011 02:57 am
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We met online, via one of those ubiquitous connection/dating sites.  Let me tell you, at the outset, that I was looking for a friend, someone with whom I could converse.  Given my perhaps "pathological" intelligence, it is not easy for me to converse with anyone, let alone the plethora of IC Light-swilling Steelers fans to be found within walking distance of me.  It had surely not been easy for me to converse with those few who would answer my personal advertisements, as they were were looking for things I did not intend to give.

But he was different.  One of the points in his "I am seeking" list was someone who could suggest a book to read, and his response to my suggestion of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid was wildly enthusiastic.  As we exchanged e-mail messages, I discovered that he was intelligent, articulate, and sensitive.  A round of exchange between us could take hours, with three or four threads open simultaneously.  I discovered that he was not the consummate scientist that I am; even better, he had a deep appreciation of the arts, of philosophy.  I discovered that he was a person unlike any I have known, save one.

In our e-mail exchanges, I had told him my story, the story of my transsexuality.  I had told him what I was, what I had been.  He assured me that he saw me as nothing less than a woman.  Of course, I was guarded.  Some people will say anything to sound good, and others will say "I accept" before they realize the full significance of what it is that they are saying.  Of course, I was trying to be careful.  I knew that we were progressing toward an in-person meeting.  I knew, also, that something was happening within me, something I had not believed was possible.

When we did meet in person, for lunch at a Chinese restaurant quite near to me, I found, to my amazement, that everything he had appeared to be, he was.  A person of reasonable ability can create a character on a page, I have done it, myself; but no actor, however skilled, can portray a character of the intelligence, the warmth, the sensitivity, as that of the person who sat across from me at that table.  We had considered viewing a film; we instead decided that the time that would have been spent in silence would be better spent in further conversation.  In what some might consider a rash decision, I invited him to my humble abode.  I found it worth whatever risk others might have seen; I was not to be proven wrong.  As the level of coffee in my 1½ gallon coffeemaker dwindled, we were engaged in rapt conversation; and we were quite astonished to find, upon a chance viewing of a clock, that five hours had elapsed and that it was time to part.

The next weeks found me riding an emotional high that was so stratospheric that I was likely officially manic.  My mind was like a scene from one of those cheap science-fiction films, with equipment on fire and throwing sparks everywhere.  I was shaken to the core.  I was changing, fundamentally.  All of us who transition as adults spend more than a little time second-guessing ourselves.  Socialized to our birth-genders, we do experience some difficulty seeing ourselves as the people we know we are.  That was changing.  His total acceptance of me, coupled with the raw power of the emotion he elicited within me, was burning away the self-doubt.  I was a woman.  In my mind, my self-concept, there was no longer any question of that.  There was also no question that I was a woman in love.  I was in love with him.  For all that I might have thought that I was a good little lesbian, I was in love with him.

But it is also the case that everything too good to be true probably is.  There was a question on my mind, a concern that I had, a subject that I had to address.  It turned out that I was not the only concerned party.  You see, he is a man of a not insignificant position; his associations are with those of no small influence.  We both knew where this was going, we both we were surprised at the direction this was taking, we both had been blindsided.  We both also knew that he had much to lose on the account of an intimate association with me, especially one that would be in the public view.  I was, I am, open about my status; with the slow pace that my transition must take, honesty is the only way I can explain myself.  He could not afford the public and professional criticism and censure that a relationship with me would surely garner him, and I knew that at least as well as he did.

But through all of this, through the loss and pain, he has given me something worth more than all of the riches I could ever acquire.  He has solidified my identity as a woman.  He has shown me that I can love without regard to the packaging.  He has become part of the framework of my world-view, of my very essence.  He has changed me forever.  He has taken his place as one of only two people who have had so fundamental an impact upon my life.  Of the two, I believe that he has had the greater impact, because while the other had her impact upon the man that I was, or at least had tried to be, he has had his impact upon the woman that I am.

Thank you, Ron.  I truly love you.  Always.

May 2013

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