Author Topic: Letting go - how to do it???  (Read 1615 times)

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Antonia J

Letting go - how to do it???
« on: August 08, 2013, 08:51:54 pm »
One of the recurring themes in my life is the struggle I face when letting go. No more so than with people and relationships. I am close to 42 years old now and most of my friendships go back to my teen years and early twenties. And it is not the length of time I am most proud, but rather the honest, interesting and generous people who are a part of those relationships. Even after coming out, most of my friends have not only supported but encouraged me on my journey.

It's not that I am terribly social, either. Nor am I blessed with any special gift of gab (though I have kissed the Blarney Stone). I enjoy people, but I equally like my alone time with a good book or video game. Mainly, I just don't suffer loud and rude people for too very long. When I find someone who is special and with whom I click, I try really hard to hang on tightly to that person.

Life is short, and I appreciate that intirnsically. I have a very rare form of muscular dystrophy and use a wheelchair much of the time to get around. I've been fortunate that the chair has not been a big burden, and have accumulated a lifetime of experiences in my travels and professional work. However, I have known very deep and profound loss associated with the disease.

Several close friends have had aggressive and severe forms of muscular dystrophy. My first "best friend" passed away when we were both 15. We met when we were both 6 years old, and became inseparable after that. Three other friends with the disease passed away before I graduated college. These were all kids I would hang out with, play at their homes, talk about girls, and just do what friends do. Even now I can clearly see their faces, hear their voices, and feel the bonds of love I had for them like it was yesterday. Mike, Chris, Ron, and AJ were their names.

Some would call it a classic mid-life crisis, but last year I began to feel my own mortality in a way that has since upended my world. A girl named Antonia, who had been hidden so very far away in darkness, began to cry out for a chance to play, grow and simply experience the world of light above. Her voice became so loud that nothing I did could silence it. Eventually, I fell defeated and gave over to her struggle. In February of this year she took her first tentative step out of darkness.

As I get to know Antonia and see her grow, I have the joy of developing a relationship with a wonderful young lady. She is full of energy and sees the world as if through the eyes of a child. Everything is bright and new (and sometimes lacy!) and I get to experience it with her. It has been beautiful, even though it is often times very frightening for her. In those times of fear I try to hold her hand and remind her simply "you've been through worse, and you have the strength to get through this, too."

Lately something has been bothering me, though...and it has been building. With the divorce hanging over me, and my time devoted to Antonia, I have not given it much attention.  It too is a voice inside, and tonight I listened. It talked a long time about loss. In six short months I have lost a wife who was my best-friend, and the person with whom I thought I would share eternity. Along with her I am also losing a relationship with the man who has had this 42 year journey. I am quite possibly going to relocate to a new home and maybe even a new city in the next 90 days.  It all feels bittersweet, and letting go is not easy. How does one let go of love, or a lifetime of memories? Who will hold Antonia's hand if I am not here?  Can Antonia and the man both exist together?

So many questions...


Offline mrs izzy

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Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 09:55:50 pm »


Some would call it a classic mid-life crisis, but last year I began to feel my own mortality in a way that has since upended my world. A girl named Antonia, who had been hidden so very far away in darkness, began to cry out for a chance to play, grow and simply experience the world of light above. Her voice became so loud that nothing I did could silence it. Eventually, I fell defeated and gave over to her struggle. In February of this year she took her first tentative step out of darkness.

As I get to know Antonia and see her grow, I have the joy of developing a relationship with a wonderful young lady. She is full of energy and sees the world as if through the eyes of a child. Everything is bright and new (and sometimes lacy!) and I get to experience it with her. It has been beautiful, even though it is often times very frightening for her. In those times of fear I try to hold her hand and remind her simply "you've been through worse, and you have the strength to get through this, too."

Lately something has been bothering me, though...and it has been building. With the divorce hanging over me, and my time devoted to Antonia, I have not given it much attention.  It too is a voice inside, and tonight I listened. It talked a long time about loss. In six short months I have lost a wife who was my best-friend, and the person with whom I thought I would share eternity. Along with her I am also losing a relationship with the man who has had this 42 year journey. I am quite possibly going to relocate to a new home and maybe even a new city in the next 90 days.  It all feels bittersweet, and letting go is not easy. How does one let go of love, or a lifetime of memories? Who will hold Antonia's hand if I am not here?  Can Antonia and the man both exist together?
.

You will never be able to let go of the memories, but the ones you choose to relive is your choice either good or bad.
I was 3 years older then you are now when i stepped out of the darkness and released the male from my feelings. I walked away from a 24 year marriage to someone who i thought was my life mate but through all of this found out she love the security i gave here more then the person she was married to.
At this same time i was giving into to the fears of moving forward with being true to myself. To this day i ask myself "why am i still here?" Not for a split second am i still here on this earth (those thoughts are not the answer unless you are a coward) I know now why i am still here, i am here for Isabell to live but at the same time the man has to die.
I was scared, fear struck me hard. I cried and cried and cried over the loss of all the male me did. No matter how bad i felt inside it never hurt me because of being female, it was because of all the male roles i had in memories.
Through all the pain i seen that i needed to let go of the past being it is the past and it can never be changed. I can only change the present and the future and that is what i did.
So after that faitful day the first day of the new year 2005 i stepped out of the darkness and never ever looked back.

Ok i am rambling i think. Girl take things one day at a time, or one hr at a time if needed. Look forward with your head held high. You are a wonderful human no matter what society tries to shove at us. Look around and you will see us walking along side of you on your path to women hood.

Hugs
Izzy
ps i still have this old flashlight shinning in the darkness.
Mrs. Izzy
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"Those who matter will never judge, this is my given path to walk in life and you have no right to judge"

I used to be grounded but now I can fly.

Antonia J

Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 07:58:48 am »
It's just so hard to let it go, though, isn't it? The past is known and safe and I have had 42 years of training.  I think I am still in the crying a lot stage ;)

When you decided to let go and move ahead, did you have any doubts or second guessing your decision early on?

Offline mrs izzy

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Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 08:13:58 am »
It's just so hard to let it go, though, isn't it? The past is known and safe and I have had 42 years of training.  I think I am still in the crying a lot stage ;)

When you decided to let go and move ahead, did you have any doubts or second guessing your decision early on?

Never once question i needed to stay true to my path in transition but i also was on HRT 5 years up to the point of going full time. Yes i cried myself to sleep many a night due to the hurt inside of loosing someone i love with all my heart and soul. Its the same as if they passed. After a little time i came to understand its has to be about me in life.  I for so long lived for others (my x and children) and keeped stuffing these feelings deeper and deeper. Now standing here today VERY HAPPY i know i did what i needed to do for Isabell to survive. I refused to let society rule my life anymore and lived for me today.
I really wish after all these years i had the perfect word to tell others, and i guess it would be LIVE. Live true to yourself. Live for today, tomorrow the best you can and stay safe in the process. It sure has been one bumpy ride for sure.   

Hugs
Izzy
Mrs. Izzy
Trans lifeline US 877-565-8860 CAD 877-330-6366 http://www.translifeline.org/
"Those who matter will never judge, this is my given path to walk in life and you have no right to judge"

I used to be grounded but now I can fly.

Antonia J

Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 03:50:41 am »
I have been doing really well with discovering myself and building a new life.  However,  the last two nights I have had some really vivid and intense dreams about my ex.  It's 4:30 am right now and I just woke up crying.  Ugh.  When does the pain go away?  Peace.  I just want peace.

I think the root of it is a throwaway comment another friend made about my marriage.  It was something about celebrating the 13 years we were together. 

I'd genuinely love to, but I am still so deeply hurt by the speed and aggressiveness that she left me... it was for her own happiness and peace of mind... that I feel she was rejecting the entire time together.  Worse,  I feel like once she made up her mind that having a transgender husband was not in her life plan,  then she executed a project plan to utter efficiency to end things.... despite the fact it was only 4 months after I came out and said multiple times I was figuring things out.

Now,  after ironically ending up somewhere closer to my guy mode in presentation, but more sensitive and thoughtful in manner,  I think our marriage could have worked.  I think she would have liked who I am becoming.  We'll never get the chance to find out, though.

I am not sad over the loss as much as the rejection.  It still messes with my mind,  and I know the healthy thing is to let it go.  I am trying,  but I haven't figured out how to, yet.  My dreams won't let me.

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Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 04:10:19 am »
He stayed with me most of my life, he nursed my shattered psyche after I was brutalised, he protected me when I was I was trying to survive by selling the only thing I had left, me.

He smiled at me when I emerged from my torture, he held my hand. He guided me to the psychiatrist, he watched me take the first blue pill.He danced with me as my joy of life emerged.

I kissed him farewell.

Greater love has no man than to give his life for hers. He has now gone, may he rest in peace.

Toni, I wish you happiness and joy.

Cindy; the woman that Peter protected.

Antonia J

Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 05:11:16 am »
Cindy,

Thank you. That was very eloquent and elegant, just like you, my dear :)

I wonder,  do we hang onto things because we still need them, or because we are afraid of the unknown?

Toni

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Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 05:39:15 am »
Both I think.

Remember our past is ingrained. I always knew I was female but in my era it was not understood. So I was forced, literally, to be a 'man'. Once I was set free I found that he died. He went very quickly (in retrospect).

One day I came back from the hairdresser, looked in the mirror, liked how I looked. I sat down with a drink and feeling nice and realised he had gone.

He had truly protected me. I also think, in retrospect again, that he was my shelter, my shield. His strength was the shield for my shattered psyche. As my friends now I still wake screaming some nights and it has been many years since my days of grief.

IMO letting go is part of growing, growing has its own pain, we lose our security blankets and we have to leave things and people who we related to. That is not easy. We face the unknown, will we be happy? Have we made the right choice?

We lose so much and have we gained enough to compensate?
These are not easy questions.

When do we move on? When we are comfortable or when we have to face the future?

Antonia J

Re: Letting go - how to do it???
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2013, 08:32:48 pm »
Eight. That was the number of days I went this time around before crying over the loss of my marriage. An improvement maybe. It's appalling to me that I still get stuck on thinking about her, and then go down a rabbit hole of what ifs and why?

- Why did she make her mind up to leave me a few weeks after we had a beautiful month together?

- Why did she decide to divorce me just five months after I came out of the closet?

- Why did she not want to separate and live apart while I explored what it meant to be me?

- Why wasn't our marriage worth more to her?

One of the biggest complaints she had time and again about me over our 13 years together was that I was a flibbertigibbet - flitting one way and another - and never settling down. Perhaps this was one bridge too far, and she just got tired of the changes. Maybe she was afraid I would fully transition and understood me to be more binary than what I am. She said time and again also that she was not a lesbian and needed to be authentic to herself as I was to myself.

It just hurts so bad. Since the divorce I have turned down a couple of job offers, worked on improving the one I am at and building on the work I have done already. I have decided to just keep the low dose HRT as it accomplishes what I need without going higher. Ironically, I feel a "nesting instinct" and want to build a home where I can stay and come home to recharge. I think she would have really liked the person I became over the last 6 months, but she didn't stick around to find out.

I think what I am struggling with is trying not to be angry and bitter.  Angry because I was the one who lied 13 years ago. I hadn't figured this out at the time, but I knew I felt gender variant. That's on me and I own the consequences of not articulating what I had struggled my whole life. I wish I had sought counseling in my 20s for it, and been able to tell her when I met her at 29 how I understood myself.  I'm angry at myself and angry that the situation happened as it did early this year.

I am bitter that I came out in late February and by early July she told me she was going to divorce me, moved out a couple of weeks later, and then filed a week or two after that.  4 months from the time I came out until the divorce discussion. 5 months and 10 days until she filed. 13 years flushed down the toilet. During that time she told me she was divorcing me so we could remain friends, and that she was my biggest supporter, and would even be there if I needed help. She hasn't talked to me in over 2 months, though. I contacted her a few weeks ago and she said she needed space and asked me to leave her alone.  Our marriage was magical. It really was. We went from magic to not even talking and divorce being final in 7 months and 11 days. All because I disclosed I was gender variant, and said "I don't know what this means and need time to figure it out."

And I still cannot let it go.