(by Alysyn Ayrica)
Stability. That oh so elusive standard of living which most women desire, but very few actively seek. Somehow the dramatic turmoil seems to bring about the romantic drive within us, sparking our earliest imaginings of what that Cinderella story would entail.
Just as boys want to wield their sword and shield and battle the dragon, girls imagine the storm waves of passion crashing about them making love’s embrace all the more thrilling.
But life is rarely like that, is it not? Our movies are merely condensations of the collected commonalities and only rarely are they singular scenarios.
So the quest becomes this: how to reconcile the nesting and nurturing instinct of an innately identified woman with the distinct wanderlust of a very confused and unresolved masculine persona…no, stability is not so easily established.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”(Bible; Book of Proverbs)
In struggling with my internal identity I realized that, even at a young age, it was often perceived to be unnatural. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what “unnatural” really meant. Biblically, I realized that it was defined as “that which was not intended”, which, in turn, was often labeled an abomination. But the dilemma came when making the distinction between the absolute biblical understanding and the spurious social definition.
It took me until my advanced adulthood to understand that society defines “unnatural” as “anything that we don’t understand and are unwilling to flexibly attempt to identify.”
Nothing can prepare a child more for the bends and breaks than the incontinency of a societal misapprehension of the meaning of life’s basic identifiers. When the adults around you are so unaware of their own function in life, how oh how are they supposed to guide the virginal comprehensive infrastructure of one still growing out of infancy and childhood fancy?
I began to find my solace and education in the literary works of not only my favorite sci-fi authors, but poets, debaters, politicians of old, and Christian commentators and historians. In their musings and verbal excursions there was clarity. Things were explained. Ideas were meted out to refine reason. These were my first loves.
I also came to realize that this foundation in rational thought was also a means to maintain my masculine identity and somehow shut out the flood of emotional intensity which was, daily, filling up my basement. It became, over time, much easier to deny that this house had, in fact, no basement than to come up with new excuses as to why the door was locked and barred. Eventually the water rises and begins to seep through the cracks in the floorboards and under the doorjamb…
It seemed a feasible reaction – delving into in-depth biblical studies – the goal, of course being to somehow clearly define this quandary of gender quantification. I’d grown increasingly weary of constantly, year after year, waveringly breaching my feminine nature and then stepping back into the masculine role offered me at birth, disgusted at not only my lack of sophistication at the task, but also at how like a trapped animal it made me feel. At these times I was surely ready to gnaw my own foot off to merely gain a taste of freedom. It was the longest decade of my life…
“Whoever thinks that he is helping to keep God’s work going on the earth cannot help but believe that God will help him.” (Charles Fillmore)
When a couple is first married, usually the first few years are fraught with adjustments to each others personality differences, and for a while tears are the norm. How much more so when the other in the union sets a standard of perfection which, on the face of things, seems impossible to achieve, while, in reality, the expectation of achieving these goals is not actually placed upon you. To enter a relationship with a perfect God can be daunting, for sure. Spending the time to get to know that person is difficult and often mind-bending.
With an earthly marriage (to a woman whose own personality demanded every ounce of strength and composure of me) to maintain, as well as working and going to school full time to enhance my career and prepare for the advent of the inevitable offspring (which inevitably came!) I began to realize I was fighting a battle on two fronts with quickly diminishing ammunition. Despite the decades of crying out in desperate prayer, fasting as a means of enhancing the meditative quality of that prayerful delivery, and service within the church leadership and various missions, I was still without recourse or decision. Time was slowly running out, as I soon came to realize.
After our first year of marriage my wife began displaying obvious symptoms of her bi-polar disorder…increasing migraines. This lasted for the better part of our second year and opened up some doors in our marriage which needed, at very least, better hinges. That is to say, once opened they never closed, if they didn’t fall off altogether. The turmoil of not being able to find competent medical assistance, of her constant state of paranoia and hallucinations which put me into situations of having to defend myself where no offense was extant, became an emotional burden that, I admit, I was not “man” enough to handle with grace. In time, the symptoms became more subtle as she learned to hide the paranoia, to become ashamed of the hallucinations, to fear being found out by those within the church and labeled “crazy”. Though she was loved by many, and it is doubtful that such a thing would have happened, she was loathe to accept this as reasonable and only exacerbated her condition by not admitting that she was becoming worse; eventually she was beyond help.
I often explain to those with whom I discuss these things in depth that my transition was, in essence, the “straw that broke the camel’s back” regarding my marriage. I was the only one who was willing to admit that the marriage was falling apart. You can only be told to leave “because that’s what you really want!” so many times in five years, even if it’s not what you really want, before you begin to realize that it’s actually what she really wants. Hoping that it would somehow bridge a proverbial gap in our marriage – the one she perceived being built of regretful mistakes and the loneliness that it brought to her life – she vied for the conception of a child hoping to bring some semblance of meaning to the vows. It was the near death of our second child due to spinal meningitis that we both reached our breaking points. It was the beginning of the end, and it ripped at the very fabric of my being.
The fighting, the emotional distrust, the accusations, the constant fear being projected into every event…the constant series of trials…for some reason it doesn’t make it any less painful when a marriage finally disintegrates.
“’Fallacy of the Continuum’ and other commonly wielded verbal weapons.”
I began hormones without my wife’s knowledge.
Well, that’s not exactly true. We had discussed it as the next step, but she was to go on a church retreat that weekend and we were to continue toward our decision when she came back. I know it was deceitful, and inevitable…wrong, and exactly what I had to do. I don’t excuse my actions, but I also know that no matter what she had decided on her part, for me the decision was irrevocable. She discovered the extent of my deceit a few months later when my breasts began to form.
Until then she had been trying so hard to find a way to make me change. From church counseling to constant lovemaking she knew that a loss was in the works, and her fragility could not even begin to fathom the extent. Most women have to deal with the loss of their husband, but know that the man will still be there in some capacity, whether for the children or merely out of congenial familiarity. How painful is it to live with the loss of not only your husband, but the actual male identity that once inhabited the persona, while still interacting with that person? I don’t pity her the difficulty it caused her. I often attempt to place myself within that same scenario on a hypothetical level utilizing all that I experienced, and often feel that I would make the same decision as she did; but without the insanity part, of course.
The battle on both fronts continued to wage well into my first year of transition. Not only was the din of war deafening within the marriage itself, but overwhelming within the conscience I had nurtured to vigorous health all my life. I had knowingly committed myself to an act that had a great probability of destroying all that I held dear in my life…family, friends, even my children…and risked just as great a destruction of my own soul. Is it possible to remain spiritually intact after having performed such a heinous act?
As our discontent became the inevitable separation, and as that separation progressed into divorce, her depiction of me became more and more monstrous. I had finally found the quiet place in my life, realizing that in becoming outwardly truthful I was able to silence the battles which had waged for so long within. Though hurtful, the harm that she sought to inflict upon me via court battles and the constant demeaning of my character to others close to us eventually became as effective as whining children…frustrating to deal with, but ultimately and effectively harmless.
Her death brought the much needed, if reluctantly accepted, peace; and there is hope for further growth, unhindered by the barriers of irrational behavior.
The most troubling part of my journey through the brambles of transition has been witnessing firsthand the many intelligent and hurting ts women who have chosen to turn their backs on God merely because of their transsexual condition. My dismay isn’t because it is not such a difficult and life-questioning event; in fact it is so much so that anyone who hasn’t had to deal with it should praise whoever it is they pray to and give great thanks for sparing them this trial. My dismay derives from the fact that the only real perspective they will receive is through the spiritual growth they obtain while working through this and communing with their God all the while. The truth of the trial comes not in the clothes, the hormones, the relationships…the truth comes from the Truthgiver. All things derive their meaning from some source. All things are created for a purpose. To assume that any act is random is foolish and ignorant. We don’t always know immediately what we are here for, but rest assured, there is a reason, and it will be revealed in its proper time. Everything leading up to that point is growth…maturity.
It took me 36 years to really understand this.
I still don’t really know as of yet what my real purpose here is. I guess I have a lot of growing still to do. I do know that, one, I am solely responsible for the healthy growth and development of two human beings. I say this tongue in cheek, but if there was ever a time to question the wisdom of God, this would be the decision I would present. I, being the least qualified to be a parent, am suddenly the only parent that my children have. There are things in this world that I will truly never understand, I admit. There is one thing, though, that I do know without a doubt…
I am no longer afraid.
To my sisters with love from my heart,
Friday, October 28, 2005
(by Alysyn Ayrica)
Posted by Alysyn at 12:34 PM
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