One of the greatest stories of World War I, was that of the two sides putting down arms to celebrate Christmas together. I’ve always loved that story. So, in the spirit of the holidays, I reached out to my sister on Monday, in hopes of finding a way of putting this difference in opinion about how I live my life aside, even temporarily, for the good of the family.
I won’t post the emails here. I told her I wouldn’t do that. In fact, I took down the email she wrote to me in April. I realized, in hindsight, that doing so just fanned the flames between us. So, it was doing no good to have it up there. What I will do is summarize my efforts to solve this in the most mature way possible.
I started on Monday, sending her an email after speaking with our mom about how we could possibly handle Thanksgiving. I, initially thought my sister was proposing to come early and I would come later. But, it turns out it was my mom’s idea. She’s been a saint throughout this ordeal. I wasn’t sure if my sister would respond. Much to my surprise, she responded a few minutes later. Her tone, however was not pleasant. She doesn’t see any reason to talk about it. She doesn’t regret anything said in her April email. And, although she has never said specifically why she doesn’t want to be around me, she stated that I knew why.
Now, over the last few years, I’ve been guessing what her concerns are. She’s not been very specific. I like specifics. I hate talking around an issue. The only way to solve any problem is to get to the absolute core. Otherwise, what’s the point? Your just wasting time. So, I sent a polite email asking for clarification. And asked if she would like to sit down at mom’s house so that our parents could possibly act as moderators. Again, she responded without specifics. She’s clearly upset about the two Facebook posts where I’ve referenced her. She said that she didn’t have access to my Facebook account (her fault). But, she’s been having friends tell her when I “trash her”. I’ve gone back and found those two posts. There has been no trashing. I volunteered to give her access to my account. I volunteered to take screen shots of the posts in question. No answer from her. I went to bed Monday night thinking I had enough. I tried. It didn’t work. Time to move on.
I had a hard time sleeping Monday. When I awoke, I still had a hard time understanding her decision to cut me off. Especially considering the overwhelming support I’ve gotten this year from both friends and family. Tuesday afternoon, after thinking about how I wanted to phrase it, I wrote another email. I asked if her concerns were religious in nature. I also asked if she was hurt because I was taking away her older brother. I still remember her telling me when we were teenagers, that she wanted me to walk her down the aisle when she got married. It never worked out that way. She ended up getting married by a judge when she was 9 months pregnant and when I was away in the Navy.
I told her that I was tired of bending over backwards to satisfy her unreasonable concerns. I had to move on. Although I was sad not to have her in my life, I could no longer handle her negativity. But, I left the door open. I told her that I thought she might benefit from speaking with a professional. And if she wanted to come back into my life in a positive way, I would of course accept her with open arms.
She never responded via email. This time it was over text message. She told me that she didn’t think she had to be specific. But, since I had pushed for it, she felt that she, as a mother, had to protect her children from me and my deviant life. That was like putting a knife in my heart. How could she use that word? That was the most hurtful thing someone has ever said to me.
One of the things I mentioned in my last email was that I no longer would call mom’s house before coming over to try to avoid a confrontation with her. The reason I said that was because I don’t see the need. I still look the same. Yes, I’ve lost weight. And if you look very closely, you might see very small breast development. But, the way I dress obscures that anyhow. As all my friends and family have said since I came out to them, there is no way just looking at me, they would guess that I’m trans or working my way toward transition. But, after sending that, I immediately knew she would hone in on that. I spoke with my mom later and agreed to keep calling to arrange visits in deference, not to my sister, but to my mom.
My sister, of course didn’t like that part of my email. She acted very angrily with “Thanks. If I had any doubts about decisions, you sealed them up for me. Just remember you push me with regards to my children…I will push back!” Yep. I gave her the out she so desperately wanted. Although, she’s only seen me once since April, she reads this blog and just assumes that there are more changes than there are.
My mom has told me that in their talks my sister often says “He needs to understand that his actions have repercussions.” In one of the emails I sent on Monday, I referenced that because those same words are in her April email. I feel she is using access to her family as a form of ransom. I also feel she has been treating me like a little kid.
I’m tired. I don’t need anyone like this in my life right now. I don’t understand her concerns. Although I was deeply hurt by her use of the word “deviant”, I know I’m not. Nobody sees me that way. Now, as I write this on a Friday night, I’m more confident and upbeat than I was on Monday night. It saddens me that my sister has chosen to not be in my life. But, this is her choice. I’ve dealt with my demons. It’s now time for her to look in the mirror and deal with hers.