Ok…so I have some decisions I need to make and I am not sure what my best course of action is going to be at this point…
I mentioned yesterday that my sister in law (SIL) had a talk with one of my cousins over Christmas about my transition. This is my brother’s widow and when I started this journey, I knew she would have a difficult time accepting me, if she ever could accept me. Her political views, in my opinion, are extreme far right and she cannot debate topics with others. Instead of debating, she begins to either attack the other person personally or start to play the victim. Its because of this that I made a conscious decision to send a written letter to my SIL to disclose to her.
Since I sent that letter at the start of the summer, she and I have not spoken. She has called twice. Once over Labor Day and then again last week. Both times, I wasn’t able to talk at the time and when I called back each time, there was no answer. She hasn’t written me, emailed or sent a text. I don’t know at this point if her calls to me were intentional or unintentional.
Keep in mind too that she was a VERY vocal supporter of North Carolina’s (now repealed) law stating that any transgender/transexual person had to, by law, use the bathroom of their birth gender. She is also vocally supporting the Trump Administration’s desire to force genetic testing on transitioning individuals and deny us the ability to change our gender on our birth certificate.
So over Christmas, my oldest cousin asked my niece and nephew how I was doing. I haven’t been able to communicate with them as it seems my SIL blocked my number to their phones…but hasn’t told the kids anything about what is going on with me. When the question was asked and as my niece and nephew gave their answers saying they didn’t know anything and they just guessed I “was too busy to make time for” them, my SIL apparently had a very disgusted face. It was so bad that this cousin then asked my SIL to speak with her in another room.
Apparently the discussion that ensued was exactly like I had mentioned earlier. What has been communicated from my cousin to me is that my SIL thinks I’m crazy and that I should either be institutionalized or forced to endure conversion therapy (which has been deemed unethical, btw). After the initial comments of me being sick and some sort of deviant freak, the conversation apparently then turned to how she was the victim of my need to transition. How could I send her a letter… Didn’t I have any concern about how this would impact her… How could I do this to the kids… I was going to ruin their reputation… Didn’t I even consider the impact it would have on her… And apparently the rant went on.
At one point my cousin, who was initially adamantly against my transitioning but, according to my sister, is working to understand it and accept me, asked my SIL if this sort of response might be precisely why I decided to write and mail a letter instead of calling or telling her face to face. Apparently my SIL then basically said I had no integrity because I wouldn’t tell her face to face. I admit, I nearly chocked on my food when I heard that as my SIL has never confronted anyone since my brother’s death and instead chooses to be passive aggressive and talk about people behind their backs until the other individuals confront her.
I admit, what happened with my cousin is the exact reason I hand wrote that letter to my SIL. I knew her reaction would be one of the most extreme I would experience and honestly, it was a matter of caring for myself at that point. I didn’t hide anything in my letter. It was one of the most honest and sincere letters I have ever written in my life. It took me weeks to write as I cried knowing how she would respond.
I’m not worried about the personal attacks my SIL wants to make towards me. While I love her, I don’t like the person she has become over the past 10 years. I am not judging her because I have no idea what its like to lose a spouse in the way she did. I do, however, firmly believe that she never recovered from my brother’s death and is so angry that she is choosing to blame almost everyone else for anything wrong in her life instead of looking at herself. That saddens me greatly.
I am still, and will continue to be, horribly upset that she has cut my contact with my niece and nephew as well as failing to be honest with them about what is going on. Its not like they are 5 or 6 at this point. They are 15 and 16 and have developed their own views on gender and sexual identity by now. The fact that she has left them thinking I have no time to even speak with them angers me more than I can express in words.
I need to figure out what my next move will be with this situation and I know that no matter what choice I make, it will not be an easy one. As I tell my friends and clients when discussing dysfunctional relationship dynamics, in some cases you have a rational person trying to understand and communicate with an irrational person. That never works and usually just results in a disastrous conversation. That is certainly the case here. As I said, I have a lot to consider over the next week or so. I know I need to be the better person here and I need to do my part to try and move beyond the current impasse. The important question though is, how do I do that and ensure my emotional safety from unwarranted attacks?
I need the warmth of a wood burning fire, hot chocolate and my favorite blanket to help me feel warm and safe while I figure out what to do next. This one will not be easy.
See it on Flickr.
Foxcity – Cold Outside 4
Books – Arrangement 2
Clifton Cast Iron Fireplace – White
Cosmos Flowers – Red
Signe bleached canvas rug
Inspiring Quotes Frames
Camber Coffee Table 1
Camber Newspaper Decor