I need to stop romanticizing my relationship with S, largely out of respect for her and because tumultuous and thanks to yours truly, devoid of any kind of passion.
I’ll never stop feeling guilty about wasting so many years of S’s life or for making her unhappy. I cannot even begin to imagine how lonely and trapped she must’ve felt, as I spent almost every night drinking alone in the bedroom until I fell asleep. All I did was worry incessantly about her and it drove both of us mad.
Then there’s the “secret” I kept from her and from everyone else. I didn’t just become transgender in the 7th year of our relationship. I’ve felt this way for as long as I am remember, but I buried it because I wanted to be normal. I was so desperate to be the person she wanted me to be and needed me to be. I wanted us to have a good life.
But I became trapped. While she was suffering alone in the other room, I didn’t know what to do or say and I tried to drink mine and our problems away. “I’ll deal with it tomorrow” was always my motto. S and I were living like nothing more than depressed roommates, trapped in dead end jobs and a dead end relationship.
I made the sorry mistake of confiding in an ex girlfriend of mine, Bernadette. I was drunk that evening in May 3011. (as always). I told her I wanted to be a woman, thinking it would help me to confide in someone that had been with me. She seemed supportive at first, then she said she was going to find S on Facebook and tell her. I was terrified, but I didn’t think she would actually go ahead and do it.
But 2 weeks later, she did just that. I remember it well; it was a Saturday sometime around this time in June 2012. I had just left our condo to go an buy pastries from the French bakery we used to go to in Sunset Place (Miami). I had just merged onto the I-95 south onramp when I got a text from S and my heart instantly sank:
“Who the fuck is Bernadette and what is it that she wants you to tell me??”
I knew it. I got off at the next exit to make a u-turn, almost rear-ending another car. I made my way back to the condo and that’s where the fight started. I ended up telling S and she was both livid and devastated. The first thing she said was “I want a divorce, I’m not a lesbian”.
The thing was, just a few weeks prior to the T bomb being dropped, S and I were going to separate. She came into the bedroom one evening and said that we’d “drifted apart”. The plan was that she was going to move to Boston and I was going to move to NYC. Up until the T bomb hit, we had been very civil with one another. The crying and suffering that I did, I made sure to keep hidden from her. Sometimes I’d go down to the car just to drink and burst into tears. My drinking definitely intensified.
S and I ended up moving to Massachusetts together, despite the issues. I tried to bury my gender identity again, but it led me back to the drinking and S wasn’t fooled for one second.
I have so many questions that I wish I could ask her. I’ve mentioned this to my therapist and he has given me his own theories. I keep wondering when she stopped loving me, whether it was early on in the relationship or after the T bomb. Does she really believe that I made love to her with hate or that she didn’t know me? Because to this day, she knees me better than anyone else.
But I’ve got to stop looking at the relationship with rose-tinted glasses. She was very unhappy and felt treated and that was my fault. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I don’t ever regret meeting her, but I wish she’d never met me. I keep thinking how much better her life could’ve been without me causing her so much stress and pain.
That guilt will never go away. Even if it could be taken away, I wouldn’t want it to be. I didn’t want to drag what was clearly my soulmate into this mess and have her suffer because of it. I’ve not heard from her in a long time, but wherever she is, I hope she’s alright.