"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Monday, 30 December 2013

Parenting As a Subversive Activity

It has been a while since the previous offering here. Some friends have told me that they have wondered how a year taking spironolactone has worked out. I will honestly say that if I was twenty years younger, I would have hated myself as I am right now; basically neutered. Because I have no ambitions to further procreate, and the love that my sweetie and I share no longer hinges upon sexual adventures, it suits me at the moment.
The evidence of how well this chemical sterilization is working might be measured by the time between posts here I suppose. It might have been that I'm not feeling a need for the outlet of writing. That has not been the case. The real reason is that packing up our household and moving it all down the road has and to some extent still is monopolizing my days.

It would be dishonest to suggest Spiro has taken away all of my feelings of loss at not presenting as a female and pursuing transition. It is just a lot less urgent.

Now and then I read a blog from a young trans-person who has decided not to have children. I understand this. There was a time in my life when I was convinced the world was better without another version of me, a person nobody could possibly love if they knew the real person behind the mask. 

I have written before about the Great Denial, a time when I rejected all that self doubt and created the man my wife fell in love with. That deception, as terrible as it was for my psyche, turned out to be pivotal. In spite of the devastation of a part of my person, I feel the world is better because of my children and in retrospect, it seems to me that having a parent who struggled with gender conflict was if anything some sort of advantage for them. This might well have been true if I had transitioned when they were younger. I will never know.

It was lucky that when we met my wife wanted me enough to teach me everything about being a sexual partner. We were both determined to have children. One of the factors I was never proud of was I wanted to be the one bearing the children. I dreamed of being their mother, and relished every opportunity to live that dream after they were born. I was the first to hold our son. The bond with those two is more complex than any male or female stereotype.

My friend Caroline was the first to tell me about "Golden Handcuffs". She used it in connection with the news of impending grandparenthood. Yes, I am 'Gran', and I will tell you all, it is a wondrous feeling to look at your own child while simultaneously holding their child in your arms. In a fall of amazing high points, this was the highest. Being a parent and now a grandparent is a wonderful thing, but it tends to bind you into place, thus the handcuffs of gold.

Our son who is in his thirties spent a day with us, helping us with the move. In every way he is a gentleman. Literally, a gentle man. In an ironic twist, his wife has commented many times how alike he and I are. It has been a matter of great pride to me that he embraced many of my better qualities too, not just a quirky sense of humour. He and I share a self-sufficient attitude. There is no part of keeping a home, inside or out that we cannot, or will not do, or at least attempt.

Our daughter, his older sister and new mom, shares that same self-sufficiency, and expected and got that from her spouse. She understands how things work, and together, she and our son-in-law will take on any project. They are going to be awesome parents.

It has been my contention since I began corresponding with other trans folk that we are among the most intelligent yet compassionate people on the planet (and yes January, very, very geeky!). It may simply be a matter of survival. We needed to be smart, we had to learn how to forgive and live with ourselves.

These are qualities worth passing on, somehow.