Me, Me, Me alert!: I promise this will be the last entry (for a while, anyway) where the word “I” appears more frequently than any other. It is difficult to tell your own story without using it!
When you were left hanging, the lady in me had just made herself known.
As it became clear that this was not a temporary take-over that the lady inside had engineered, telling my wife what was going on (as I understood it at the point) became imperative. This did not go well. I will not detail the events, because you, gentle reader, are not without some imagination and intellect.
To keep it short, the love of my life (literally) had married a man, and a man is what she wanted. All of the concerns of the uninformed were asked and addressed, but the damage had been done to our relationship, and only time has put together new understanding. More than once she has wished out loud that I had never told her. Having no one to talk to about this has been, and continues to be very difficult. At any rate, we have re-established that love is our bond, and we are best friends too. She is a wonderful and patient person. It had never been a picnic being married to me. Maybe things are actually better with Halle in charge. I’d like to think so anyway.
As for the lady inside, like the prisoner she had been, (forty years incarcerated in solitary) she was not a happy person. The amazing thing is how quickly she rallied. Hopefully not getting too ‘split-personalitied’ here, it is possible that a lifetime in solitary gave her time to plot her moves in the event the door opened just a crack.
Once out, she moved me in the only way she knew how, with deep feelings. To be honest about the feelings, I was smitten with myself. She told me that she liked what we had done so far with the old place, and as long as I didn’t slide backward, she was willing to work to make it even better. She even promised to renovate the crappy attitude toward the rest of the world.
The biggest change was the new attitude toward my body. Gone were the days of neglect (or maybe abuse is a better description). As I (Halle) took over we began a new regime of caring about the old ‘display case’.
Whenever the old patterns of behavior such as nail biting, etc. tried to make an appearance, the message went out; ‘Thou Shalt Not Desecrate This Temple’. This might seem a bit biblical in tone, but that is what it took at first. An old friend once told me ‘God does not make junk!’ Until now, I had not really believed it in regard to myself. It took a huge effort to convince my male side that we were worth the effort it took to actually like our self.
Any woman knows, it takes more time to treat our self well. This is part of the change in attitude that is very obvious to my sweetie. Even though there are still days when I can come in from working in the shop, or in the yard and ‘hit the shower’ and be out the door in ten minutes, there are other days when a leisurely full treatment can take an hour; and remember, I maintain a façade, so we are not talking about make-up or fancy hair-styling here.
Nails finally growing past the end of fingers need shaping and smoothing. The ‘guy body’ has hairs growing from places no lady expects to see them. I shave my face more closely than ever before, and moisturize too. It looks and feels so much better, but it is still a man’s face. The other hairs, from the nose, and the ears…YUCH! If there was a genetic plan, why did it have to include gradually getting less hair where everyone expects it (on top) and more growing from places where it really is pretty disgusting? Such is Halle’s life, and she deals with it!
In the winter, when the façade does not include shorts and sandals on the guy, the leg hair can go. I know, some of you are thinking that even in the summer, a lack of leg hair shouldn’t be a problem for a guy, but where I live, it just pushes the boundary too far, at least for now. I have purchased a small wardrobe of feminine clothing to compliment the new body, but that is only for special times when there is no (or very little) chance that doing so will ‘out’ my sweetie and I.
The above might seem to be superficial and vain. So be it, but part of being able to maintain my façade of maleness in an intolerant world while maintaining sanity, is the ability to convince myself that I am honouring my true feminine nature, in as many ways as possible.
My biggest change was self-acceptance. The effort required moving that ingrained person from self-loathing to acceptance was huge. Remember, since the time when the war was declared, and victory claimed, the armor the guy wore was never taken off. Getting him to accept the reality of a truly kind, loving and worthwhile personality was a very difficult victory. When it was won, I figuratively stripped him of the armor, so he could see what he really was, and grow to like it. Many tears have been shed.
Regretfully, my sweetie does not really appreciate how involved she is in the success of this process. The way she helps is pivotal. She is my best friend, even though we do not relate as women. She did not marry a woman, and I don’t expect her to try that now. She is getting used to the new me, and I try to be the best person I can be every day, one day at a time, for her. If she can ever accept and get to know Halle as an individual, that will be icing on my cake.
I credit much of the success of my effort to others here in www-land and, of course, to my family here in Blogistan; too many of you to mention. Some I will never have the opportunity to thank, but I do thank you all for the sharing that goes on here.
Finally, the reason for “Maintaining’s” existence has nothing to do with bragging, although I do feel proud of the new me, but has everything to do with what you read on the banner. These are letters to a younger self.
My deepest regret, and the apology I make to myself every day, is I didn’t allow myself to know or accept these things long ago. The approval of others should not be a motivation for a lifetime of misery. No one need look for more evidence to prove it, than the number of sisters here sharing angst over the ramifications to children and spouses and family and friends made during our times of denial. While our decisions as to how to act differ, I believe we all agree on one thing; everyone should be able to somehow live true to themselves, one day at a time.
Hugs to all of you,