Things I wish I could’ve said to my ex-wife before we parted ways 

As anyone familiar with my blog or my life will know, coming out as transgender (or rather being found out) around this time in 2011 was devastating to my ex-wife and soulmate, who I refer to as ‘S’ for the sake of her privacy. Our relationship had essentially already died as we’d drifted apart, but it hit her hard, at a time when she was already going her own issues.

We divorced in 2013, but we lived as roommates up until I left South Florida in January 2015. We had many fights and it was extremely difficult for both of us to coexist. During those fights and even in normal conversations, S had already come to many conclusions about me and about what happened. I never got the chance to explain and it was too painful and too triggering for her to even discuss, so it often came out in the form of anger.

Anyway, these are some of the things she said to me and perhaps she believes them, or perhaps she really doesn’t. Either way, I need to set the record straight, if only to try to help me move on:

“You made love to me with hate”
– Wrong. I made love to you in spite of my self-hate and I enjoyed the times we made love, even though they became few and far between. I take the blame for this as I didn’t make you feel beautiful or wanted and I kept drinking my problems away. I have always suffered from a low libido, even before hormones. I also hate my body, even from a non-gender perspective, so it was difficult to be intimate when I couldn’t possibly imagine how you would find me attractive. But talking the time and making you climax several times made me feel very happy, as did just lying in bed afterwards and just cuddling and talking until one of us was got up to make coffee. There was no “hate” I promise you.

We’ve drifted apart”
– On the surface, that was true. You were in the living room smoking away, I was in the bedroom drinking my problems away and shutting out the world. But I never stopped loving you or caring for you. I was just so locked inside my head that I was out of my depth and didn’t know what to do or say.  It was the most excruciatingly painful time of my life.  

“I don’t know you anymore”
– S, aside from my gender identity, you knew me better than anyone else on earth and that is still the case. Remove alcohol and gender from the equation and I’m the same person you fell in love with back in 2003; the same person that embraces you at London Heathrow Airport when I saw you for the first told.

“I’d rather you cheated on me than this”
– I’d rather have not done either, but I didn’t cheat. I cheated you by not being honest about my gender identity, but I wasn’t ready to face that. For some reason I thought it was something you might eventually grow up accept and that it would bring us closer, because I’d be happier and stronger for you.

“I’ll never be able to trust anyone again, you betrayed me”
– Yes, I betrayed you and I hate myself for it. I betrayed your trust just like the others did to you and that guilt will eat away at me forever. I take full responsibility. I was supposed to be different – someone you could trust and depend on. I turned your entire word upside down. But you will trust again and that person will be worthy of it. Like me, you’ve had awful luck with people, even within your own family. You did not deserve what I put you through.

“You are selfish “
– Yes, I am. I was selfish to bring you into my fucked up existence with the problems that I had (and still have). I wish you’d never met me. I wish I hadn’t put you through so much stress, but I loved you too much. Too much to the point that I became so worried about you that it overpowered everything else. I was not someone you could confide in – I was an anxious, neurotic mess. It’s taken us splitting up and me un-becoming that weirdo to realize how far gone I was and for years.

“I’m not a lesbian” and “You made me question my sexuality”
– I’m sorry this happened too. But you met me as a male, you slept with me as a male and we got married as a man and a woman. You are off the hook. You were honest from the beginning when you told me you wanted a divorce. You are straight and you need to be with a man. Had I been comfortable with the sex I was assigned at birth and I had I been more “normal” I would have loved to and would have been honored to be that man, someone who could’ve met your needs. This is not on you at all. It’s my fault for not being honest with you or with myself when we met. A parent transitioning to another sex kills most relationships, so don’t feel like it’s just you. It’s rare for a marriage to survive something so drastic. But do I wish it were otherwise? Of course. Only because I think Rebecca could’ve made you happier and been a fat better friend and companion to you, but I don’t blame you at all. I blame myself.

On a final note, I hola that life is being kinder to you. I hope you are able to put the damage I caused behind you and that you meet the right person who can love you as much as I can / do, but in the way that you need and deserve to be loved.

But you will always be my soulmate and my only true love. I don’t remember the fights, I remember us in Paris, or staying at haunted hotels or taking road trips. I remember your goofy sense of humor and how you were a great source of comfort and strength to me. I’ll never forget that you gave me the best years of my life, despite our problems.

Reasons why I cannot be in a relationship, despite longing for one…

As much as I want a relationship, I am incapable of being with anyone because:

  1. I hate myself.
  2. I’m ugly.
  3. I’d never be comfortable being naked or even semi-naked with someone.
  4. I don’t like sex because I have a very low libido and I hate what’s between my legs.
  5. I don’t even like kissing.
  6. I have too many insecurities which often lead to jealousy.
  7. I sabotage relationships as a form of self-harm.
  8. I’m not romantic at all.
  9. I failed to make any of my previous partners feel loved.
  10. Sometimes I just want to be left alone.
  11. None of my previous partners could handle my depression.
  12. I can’t trust people.
  13. I ruin people’s lives.
  14. There’s a very strong likelihood that I’ll end up taking my own life, so it would be selfish to put someone through that.
  15. I still love my ex-wife and I cannot imagine anyone coming close to replacing her.  

Fuck it….I’m better off alone.

Longing for normalcy 

I fell out with an online friend I’d known for over 2 years.  They are a non-binary transgender person that I’d met through a Facebook polyamory group.   They objected to my anti-BYP (be yourself people) post on Facebook a few days ago.  They didn’t like my point of view and they took it very personally. I wasn’t saying “don’t be yourself“,  I just urge pragmatism and caution when giving such advice.  I certainty didn’t mean to upset them.  Besides, their situation was / is not the same as mine.  Throughout their period of transition, they had a circle of friends, albeit small, a partner and children.

I didn’t sleep well last night.  My somewhat elevated mood bombed when I got back to my apartment building and passed by the usual residents chatting among themselves in the lobby area.  I sat down there for a while, but they showed no signs of leaving. I didn’t like that they were talking about subjects that not only triggered me, but could’ve triggered anyone else walking by.   Of course, it was 3 men.   I ended up having to go to the empty common room to wait, because I didn’t want to go back to my apartment.  They eventually left and I waited to see the on call member of staff, who I vented to for 30 minutes or so, before returning to my apartment.  

Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way if I were a long distance truck driver and had no idle time in which to be tormented by my thoughts.   Even if I weren’t driving, I’d be too tired to think about anything beyond eating, showering and going to sleep.  I don’t even have friends in my life, never mind a parent or children to have to miss when I’m gone form home for days or weeks.

Being around people but having no people in my life causes me endless pain.  It’s like being hungry and forced to watch people eat all of your favorite foods from behind a thick glass screen.  Therefore, if I can’t eat with them, I don’t want to watch.   That’s how my existence is; forced to watch others happily live the life that ugliness, poor brain chemistry and plain old bad luck denied me.

In another dimension, perhaps there’s a version of me that made it in life, despite the afflictions.  That version of me is cisgender, a writer, a parent and living somewhere in beautiful New England with my beloved S.  in this dimension, she is happy too.    I would appear normal on the surface, but quirky and eccentric to those who know me.    I would have a good relationship with my family, as I wouldn’t be a freak or a loser.  Even if my gender identity was an issue in that particular life, maybe I’d have been able manage it and avoid transition, because my life was otherwise good and stable.  I would be foolish to throw that away to become a freak.

I object to the “be yourself” movement partly because in my case, becoming marginalized and socially isolated has proved to be a disaster to my mental wellbeing.  My need to fit in somewhere and socialize is just as much of a core aspect of who I am as my gender identity is. I was forced to make a choice between one or the other, or going from one prison to another.  Overall, I’m no more ‘authentic’ than I was ore-transition.  I’m now unable to do many of the things I could do before and my social anxiety has become social terror. And while I’ve never been popular, I’d always had at least 2-3 friends and several acquaintances.  I used to enjoy traveling, even by plane.  Now I can’t afford a car and places such as airports, bus stations and train stations pose considerable risk of harassment to me and others like me.

I can’t and won’t de-transition.  You can’t open Pandora’s box, then close it shut again 3 1:2 years later.  I do wish I were just a regular cisgender woman, so that I’d be completely authentic.  I would be able to as normal or as different as I liked.  I would’ve been raised as a girl, so I wouldn’t have been as depressed as a child, nor would I have gone off the rails as a teenager.  Even if I’d have still suffered from mental illness, my life would’ve panned out very differently.  Pre-transition, I tried several different approaches to keep my gender identity buried. These included:

– Making myself feel guilty and wrong for wanting to be a girl.
– Telling myself “an ugly boy can never be a girl”
– Treating it as a mental illness, rather than my identity.  I refused to give into the whims of a mental illness.
– Not thinking about gender and just trying to make the best of it.
– Forcing myself to appear as stereotypically ‘male’ as possible by pursuing interests that men pursue such as football (soccer) and weightlifting.
– Trying to find other ways to achieve happiness or contentment.
– Drug and alcohol abuse. I was never addicted to the substance, but rather the escape from reality.  I didn’t think about gender when I was high on cocaine or ecstasy or when I drank every night until I passed out asleep.
– Lastly, my desire to be a parent was also a major factor in why I buried my identity.

I was convincing enough, for the most part.  I was even quite heavily into football, largely because it made connecting with others much easier and made me appear normal.   But some people noticed that there was something make that I was concealing.  The mask grew heavier over time.  

Anyway, I apologize for my endless rambling.  Aside from talking to therapists and support workers who are paid to listen, this blog is now my only outlet.  It’s difficult to talk to the 2-3 online friends that I used to talk to constantly.  One of them has disappeared after we had a falling out and I’m quite worried about her.

I’ve not spoken to my mum in over 2 weeks after we fell out.  Even though it’s likely that I’ll get the court order to change my legal name and won’t need to return to the UK, I still find myself unable to forgive her for her coldness and cynicism.   I could’ve accepted that she just didn’t want to help, but when she started throwing obstacles my way, I had to sever ties.   I don’t think she understands how important my transition is to me and until she does, it’s for the best that contact is avoided.   Contrary to what she believes, I do not hate her (not even close).

I’ll publish this later.  I feel too groggy to go to the clinic right now and my mood has taken a nosedive since yesterday.

The pain of losing a soulmate 

I had a nightmare involving S (my ex-wife) on Wednesday night.   I forgot to write about it because I’ve been too preoccupied with my name change. 

I know that I probably shouldn’t write about her, mainly because I’m scared that she will find this blog one day and will think that I haven’t let go.  But I can’t not write about her.  Of all the people that have come and gone from my life since childhood, she is by far the most important to me and the one in which I shared a strong bond with.  Nobody knew me as much as S did, not even my own family.  I’ve loved others, but not in the same way or with the same intensity.  I don’t think she ever believed that I loved her, because during few time we were together,  I was unable to show it and we were living as roommates rather than soulmates.  I remember the day in the early summer of 2011, when a particularly toxic ex of mine decided to track S down on Facebook and tell her about me.  But even before that, we were most likely going to split up. S had asked for a separation just a few weeks prior.

I often think to myself that we could have had a wonderful lifelong relationship had it not been for my gender identity or our mental illnesses.  I can still see another version of S and I in another dimension, living happily ever after in New England with 2 kids and us both being writers, doing what we love, rather than trapped in dead and jobs that we both hated.  We would be financially comfortable, but not rich. And in the same dimension, our families would be loving and supportive.  We would take the kids to the UK every year to see my parents.  We would take trips down to Florida 3-4 times a year to see S’s parents and her brother.  Our kids would go off to college and we’d grow old together.

While I don’t give a damn about myself, I do care about S and I always found it so hard to see her in pain.  Not only was I helpless, but my issues actually made it worse for her. In my last but one email to S,  I told her that while I am glad that I found her and had her in my life for as long as I did, I wish she’d never have met me, for her sake. I did not mean to hurt her, but it was inevitable.  I betrayed her trust in me and became just like everyone else who had betrayed her trust in the past.

I don’t want her forgiveness and I will never forgive myself for this.  I took away 9 years of her life. In those 9 years, she could’ve met someone better and gone to school. She would never have been burdened with me or my issues.

The reasons why I came back to the United States 

I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t blame myself for the fact that I’m in this dire mess. At the end of the day, no one put a gun to my head and forced me to return to the United States.  I”m a grown woman and came here on my own volition.  These were the reasons that swayed my decision to come back here, specifically to Rochester NY:

  1. I panicked because of Brexit (Britain’s decision to leave the European Union). 
  2. I was heavily coerced by a former friend, Holly.   She even wanted me to bring the kittens with me that I gave to my mum. 
  3. I didn’t want to borrow money from my mum for the flat I was going to move into, because it was her retirement savings.
  4. I was getting better mental health support here.
  5. I was determined to change my name finally and was given the impression it was solely an immigration issue, not requiring a court order.
  6. I was chasing the ghost of my ex-wife once again (it took me a long time to finally admit this, even to myself).
  7. I wanted to start my life again in the United States rather than the UK because having been gone since early 2004, the UK just didn’t feel like home anymore.  
  8. I was misled into believing that I could get SRS here and had given up with the Gender Identity Clinic in the UK.  
  9. I didn’t think for one second that Trump would win the election.

So there were many factors that made me decide to come back, but if I’d know that my deadname would rear its ugly head again, I would have stayed put.

The truth is, aside from the housing issue, things have been going wrong since I arrived here and got treated like a criminal by Customs & Border Protection at New York JFK, because my identities didn’t match.   It’s been a couple of triumphs eclipsed by a series of setbacks that have done a number in my mental health, despite the excellent support I get and regular therapy. 

Add to that, my mum telling me I have an assessment with the GIC in 3 weeks that I waited over 2 years for has really hit me like a freight train.   

The invisible lonely woman

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I had a nightmare, in which I way trying to catch Negan from the show The Walking Dead.  I woke up several times, freezing cold.  When I got up, I noticed it had snowed overnight. I checked the thermostat in the apartment… it was a frigid 54 degrees.  Fortunately, my oven has been hooked up, so I turned on the oven and the hotplates and made mysslf spaghetti for later.  I managed to get the temperature up to 64, although I’m sure it’ll drop quickly again now that I’ve turned off the oven.

Despite it being 15 outside and with a wind chill of -8,000, I really need to get online, to try to fight this loneliness.  I quite literally cried mysslf to sleep last night, remembering that I once mattered to someone.  I thought about my ex-wife and how I once had friends, albeit no more than 1-2, but I never needed an entourage of friends.  I can’t even talk to my online friends, though most of them have given up on me.

In an effort to socialize, I sat in the common area last night for 3 hours, but no one acknowledged me.  I spent all day in the care management waiting area yesterday.  There were a couple of other women doing the same thing…. passing time.  They talked to me a bit, but I didn’t know what to say.   I just wanted to be around other people while I accessed the internet, even if only to hear them talk amongst themselves.

I managed to read more of the book Second Glance. It’s definitely captured me, although reading again after a decade of never picking up a book has made me realize how bad my near vision is, especially in my right eye.  I can only read in relatively short bursts before my eyes start hurting and my vision in both eyes goes blurry.

Anyway, I’d better get dressed and ready to dash across the parking lot in Arctic temperatures to publish this. I honestly wish that all these situational changes had happened in the summer, because I could’ve gone out a lot more.  Part of the reason why I hate cold is that it forces me to wear a coat, which makes me look big as tall.

Fuck, it’s cold.   It’s the kind of cold that stings your face and makes it painful to inhale.  

Bad people get what they want

My ex-girlfriend didn’t treat me very well.  We broke up in May last year, largely because her version of polyamory involved her quite literally ‘replacing’ me with her new girlfriend, who was a friend of mine.  This all took place while I was still living with her.  For a while, I was essentially cooking and cleaning for my ex, her son and her new girlfriend (her son was the only one who showed any appreciation).   They both tried to turn my friends, my support worker and even my mother against me.  It pushed me over the edge, but in the end, my mum and her husband got me and 2 of the kittens that my ex was going to give away to spite me out of there.

I still keep in touch with that particular ex from time to time on Facebook, which is where I met her in 2015.  For all of her problems and despite the fact that she treated me and her other girlfriends badly, she now has a new girlfriend, a friend with benefits and she told me she was meeting some other girl over the weekend.  I am not judging her for her lifestyle choices, but will someone please explain to me how this is fair?’  She treated me and others lkle shit, she used me as a stopgap, a maid and a babysitter.  Yet I’ve been alone for almost a year and I can’t even make a friend. Not only has she not had to deal with the consequences of her actions, but she has seemingly been REWARDED for them.

Why am I mentioning this?  Because it goes to show that being a bad person gets you further in life.  Though god forbid I were to cheat on someone, because the guilt would devour me, just like it does for what happened with my ex-wife (when she found out about my gender identity in 2011).  My ex girlfriend can go on screwing people around (or just screwing people) amd I’m eternally alone, because I’m stupid and ugly.  She hates herself as much as I hate mysslf and was always complaining that she could never meet people, but she does.  She’s never had to be alone for a prolonged period, because she hops from one girlfriend to the next.

I wish people wouldn’t talk to me about their relationships, period.  I fell out with an online friend, because she was also poly and she kept talking about her partners to me.  It got to the point where I snapped and ended up blocking her, because she just didn’t get it.   It’s a shame, because she lived in Syracuse, which isn’t that far away, so she could have become an actual ‘real’ friend. But why do people do this?  Why would you talk to your single friends that are struggling with loneliness about your relationship(s)?

Then I have to remind myself that the president of the United States, Donald Trump is a horrible person.  When he won the election last November, it served to remind me that bad people get far in life, unless they’re cursed with bad luck  This is one of the main reasons why I don’t want to carry on.

I don’t have a good heart anymore, because this is how people see me: