Author Topic: Letter about the New Normal  (Read 855 times)

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Offline Anne T

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Letter about the New Normal
« on: October 17, 2019, 08:49:32 pm »
I have not been active on this thread in many months as I've been learning to live a new normal since my spouse came out to me last December.  My spouses ex girlfriend wants my perspective on my journey as she has been struggling to accept the transition. I wrote her the letter below  explaining my heart. I thought I should update you on my new normal with my spouse Susan R whom some of you may know from this site.

Beginning of letter:
I want to tell you a story of a love that knows no boundaries. 21 years ago I found love with a man who made my heart soar.  I knew in that very moment that connection would bring us together for a lifetime. The man I found love with was a strong soft and gentle, kind hearted, quick forgiving and easy to be with. The first few years were easy as we blended our families together while nurturing our love.  Then slowly over time something happened. The person I married started fading.  A strong willed-person took over who always had to be right. We had many happy milestones but there was always some underlying depression and anger. Which caused some egg shells to always be present causing some of our intimacy and closeness to take a back burner. This alpha male took over completely and I lost that quiet easy-going person I had found love with. And over the years we found ways to carry each other through rough patches as well as the good times.

Since 2009 there have been many periods of depression always carried by this underlying resentment I could not figure out. John always seem to come out of it slowly but then in 2017 I noticed that his depression was staying longer and longer. I thought maybe it was because he hadn't properly grieved his brothers death or his father's death. I figured in time maybe the depression would go away. Yet that was not to be as in December 2019 I noticed that John was barely moving through life there were days I couldn't get him off the couch. Getting him to shower was a battle. There were times I found him crying in the bathroom and I didn't know what to do. So I prayed and hoped that he would eventually talk with me. On the night of December 13, John finally said he wanted to talk with me. I knew it was going to be serious so I went to the bathroom and prayed and I distinctly heard God say give grace. As John's story unfolded, I decided that Grace is exactly what it was called for. It was with deep shame, embarrassment and fear that John told me about his gender issues. He told me of the abuse of his family with his cross dressing during his childhood. He cried as he told me about his fear of losing me but felt he needed to tell me what he had been going through. That his depression about his past and frustration over not being able to live the way he felt inside was causing him to sink deeper into depression. He had spent his whole life stuffing down who he really felt he was inside. As tears went down his face, my compassion took over and love was the only answer. John told me he had been transitioning for three months without my knowledge.  I could've gotten angry. I could've raised hell but this person that I married needed me so my heart responded with grace. The John I knew who never took any medicines would never have done this unless he felt it was a last resort to saving himself.  What really amazed me that night was that he gave up being who he felt inside to be with me! How unselfish was that! How much must he love me!?

Oh I cried and I cried for four days. I cried and didn't eat. And then I thought maybe I need to see who this new person is because I have to believe that the core person of John is inside. As my whole world broke into a thousand pieces...everything I believed about my marriage turned out to be not what I expected.  God gave me the strength, compassion and empathy to embrace this woman that John had been hiding. Was it easy?...not at all.  Yes, I've had my struggles and questions. But as I saw this new person emerge, those struggles and questions didn't seem to be as unsurmountable as I thought they would be. I decided to trust that God had a good reason for this and to just love. I had made a marriage vow 'for better or for worse' and I intended to keep it for nowhere in my vows does it say one can leave a person because they change gender. As this new person emerged, I started seeing the person I married very early on in our marriage again. That soft person, that easy going person, the one that was never quick to anger. And that intimacy, that closeness that we have once shared started to bloom again. I wrote Susan a poem to let her know what my heart felt. And this is what I wrote:

I know the moment I fell in love with you
You said my name in the world stopped in place.
You looked into my eyes and saw all of me.
I knew that moment that I would forever love you.

The years have all gone by.
We have walked side-by-side, Hand in Hand
Through every sunny day and stormy sea.
And the one thing that always remains is our love.

In every moment I have loved you
Through all the changes, through all the tears and heart aches.
For our love always remains the one true thing that carries us through life.

I can truly say that I see YOU, know YOU and love YOU.
Our love is the one true thing that will always remain as our compass.

When I wrote this, I accepted Susan in my heart knowing that there would be trials, that there would be losses and yet hoping for gains. And that has been proven true. This was no easy thing to let Susan bloom and to let John die. Yes, it is a death. It is  the loss of a husband, it is a loss of a father and for some a loss of a friend. It was quite a struggle during the transitioning to go back-and-forth between John and Susan. John gave me the gift of authority over this whole thing of when Susan was allowed to present. At first, I thought I could only allow Susan to live in our bedroom but then I thought that wasn't fair. For I wouldn't want to be cooped up being myself just in one room. Then I gave her permission to be herself within the confines of the whole house. Soon after, I began thinking that also was not fair.  I would not want to be confined to one place only. This person has every right to live a life feeling comfortable and safe as them self. And that's what I wanted for her. I wanted her to feel that she could live life. In giving her that permission and freedom she has bloomed, she has blossomed into this outgoing kind funny person for the core person of John is still there... it's just wrapped in a different package.  I like to say it's just a different flavor of soup.

Yes, despite this acceptance there was still struggles. It was hard sharing a bathroom with another woman. But suddenly our bathroom looked like bed and beyond! It was hard sharing my clothes in the beginning until Susan got her own wardrobe.
It was especially hard when we had to tell our children. It was hard when we had to tell the grandchildren and it was hard telling our family members. And then it was even harder to tell our neighbors and our church. It caused us both a lot of stress. It caused fear and a lot of tears. But we pushed through so that Susan could live a fulfilled life. I grieved for my children who lost another dad. I grieved for my grandchildren who lost Papa John. And I grieved for myself who lost a husband. It was hard donating all of John's clothes to Goodwill. There are memories and gifts attached to those clothes. There was one sweater that I couldn't part with so I gave it to a friend's husband just because that sweater reminded me of that big bear of a man who protected me and loved me. I grieved again when we went to the courthouse where the judge legally changed John's name to Susan Kelly Raabe and her gender to female on all her ID's, passports and birth certificates. It was like a nail coming down on the coffin. From that moment on, it's been Susan...and Susan it will be from this day forward.

You may be wondering about the spirituality of it all knowing my strong faith in the Lord. I came upon Galatians 3:28. (NIV)
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

To my way of thinking when we go to heaven we do not go as a body but as spirit therefore when John/Susan goes to heaven it would be as a spirit. While we are perfectly formed in the womb we do not know if God meant body or spirit.

Another thought they came to me is that we believe that sin is sin. But there is no difference between sins meaning that no one sin is more sinful than another. If that is true...then how can a person who has lied, or stole still be included and welcomed in to the church. Yet a <not allowed> person is not welcomed into a church. Has anyone who enter a church in Sunday been sin free that week, that month or that year!? I could not find a passage in the Bible that says being transgender is a sin. You may want to read this viewpoint : https://baptistnews.com/article/why-being-transgender-is-not-a-sin/#.XajoTtFlChB

Jesus's second commandment says to love your neighbor as yourself. How is secluding some of Gods children from the church loving your neighbor? I have met many trans people who love the Lord. It's the church and people who say they are unworthy to be included, valued or loved.  I have seen people weep over the treatment that Christians dish out toward the LGBTQ community.  Everyone is worthy of Christ's love and that includes Susan. I can not solve an age old question of theology. What I can do is be open to the Holy Spirit and prayerful over the decision I have made to stay with my spouse.

In looking back over the past 10 month despite the losses and heartaches, John made a wise decision for himself. It took courage to come out, courage to change. I have fallen in love with this wonderful person all over again. Our laughter is real, our compassion and empathy for one another is stronger, our commitment to each other remains strong. Love shouldn't come and go when a mighty storm rises up. Rather we should crest the waves together holding fast to Christ and our love for each other.

With a prayerful heart I send this to you. I pray God heals and opens your heart with understanding and compassion for your friend.  May you have peace.

Love,
Frances

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"
                                                       ~John Lennon

Offline Lexxi

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2019, 09:53:48 pm »
Hi,

I don't know whether to address you as Anne or Frances. But I wanted to tell you how powerful I found your letter! The compassion you've shown to Susan is simply amazing. A lot of spouses can't do what you've done. They can't find enough love or compassion within themselves to let their spouses start living as their true identities. It's just too much for them, and they often leave the marriage. That's definitely not you! The love you have for Susan knows no bounds. You two are great role models for married people.

When I first came out Susan was one of the first people I connected with here at Susan's Place. She used to write me messages giving me encouragement and advice. During the course of those letters she'd always update me about her life too. You were always the main focus of her comments.

When I would compliment you on something you had said or done that made her feel especially loved, she said she would let you know what I said. She thought it was very important to make sure you were totally involved in all aspects of her life. It was very obvious to me that she loves you just as much as you love her. I think you two have a very special life together.

I hope your letter to that woman helps her deal with whatever she's going through. Maybe she can take some strength from what you've written.

Thank you for sharing your letter with us!!

Lexxi
Finally started the process of becoming the real me! 5/20/19
Came out online 5/20/19
First time coming out face to face 6/3/19
First therapist appointment for HRT 6/3/19
Got my letter for HRT 6/10/19
Came out to my mom 6/18/19
Started HRT 7/12/19

Offline Anne T

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2019, 10:15:53 pm »
Thank you Lexixi for your kind words.  I forgot I had my real name on it...oops 😉. My screen saver on our computer reads: Love knows no boundaries. It's a constant reminder to us to love each other despite life's challenges.

May you continue on your own journey with courage!
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"
                                                       ~John Lennon

Offline BlueJaye

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 10:56:54 pm »
Hi, Frances,
I want to thank you for having the boldness in Christ to share this. My wife is really struggling with all of this. We, like you and Susan, are deeply committed Christians. We first met each other serving in ministry to at-risk-youth and love the Lord with all of hearts. Although my wife saw signs that something was wrong (as you did with Susan), I never revealed my problem to her until spring of 2018 after 9.5 years of marriage and having six children together. It has been difficult, but she is very resolute like you in that she made vows and she will keep them, for better or for worse.

I want you to know that Pastor Wingfield (the pastor from the article you shared) and I have both been praying for the spouses of transgender people to share their stories and experiences for the benefit of other spouses of transgender people in the Church. We just discussed it last Friday.

You sharing this is literally an answer to our prayers. Thank you so much!

Offline Anne T

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 11:35:54 pm »
Hello,
  I'll be honest,  I almost took the "easy" way out of talking to my spouses ex about the transitioning by just having a cofffee chat. But I felt convicted to write it all out. I'm so very glad it spoke to you. I've had to leave my church after teaching a women's bible study there for 5 years. They said that they would be supportive of me but not my spouse. It was a great loss to me as my calling and gifts are still there. I believe in time God will open another door to ministry in his timing.

  Every significant other needs to supported just as much as the person transitioning.  My heart goes out to those struggling. I hope and pray that the two of you give each other grace, compassion and love all through your days and nights. May Christ richly bless your marriage.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"
                                                       ~John Lennon

Offline LizK

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2019, 12:38:57 am »
You letter moved me to tears which these days I seem to be more at ease with. I am not a religious person at all but I was humbled to see the way your faith carried you through an incredibly difficult time in your life. Quite often the spouses of those who transition can be left behind to pick up the pieces of a life they thought was once so secure.

I cannot imagine the kind of grace(that word again) and pure courage it took for you to make the decisions you made to embrace this woman into your life.

I wish you both joy and happiness

Liz

Offline Quinn

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2019, 04:58:44 am »
That is a very emotional letter that had me in tears, Thank you for sharing this here with everyone, it shows that the person transitioning is not the only one that struggles with transition. The spouses and family members also have to transition but can make it thru and be happy.
 
Your love and caring shows thru this even with your struggling at the start it has brought you back the inner loving compassionate person that you fell in love with to start with.

These are the kind of posts that I enjoy the most, ones that inspire and show how incredible and understanding people can be

Thank you for this
 

Offline Allie Jayne

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2019, 05:30:17 am »
Anne, I too was moved to tears by your story and your unconditional love. Susan has shared her thoughts with me on how we both love our wives and our struggles to stay with them. You put into words the struggles my wife and daughter are going through to cope with the loss of a husband and father, and their suffering is my greatest pain. Your unconditional love and support of Susan earns you my greatest admiration, knowing how hard is is for you. I am in awe of my wife and daughter for their support while grieving for the person they love so much, and, even though I know it is not my fault or decision, I can't help but feel responsible for their pain.

Susan is so lucky to have you, and I am so happy you've found in her the qualities which brought you both together in the first place. Thank you for posting and know I wish your life with Susan will bring joy and so many rewards, as you both deserve them!

Hugs,

Allie

Offline Anne T

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2019, 07:53:04 pm »
@LizK @Quinn @Allie Jayne

Thank you for all your heartfelt responses.  I'm just glad my comments touched some hearts here.  We are all on these journeys together and it's nice to have a supportive community there in both good times and bad.

Anne T (AKA: Frances) ;)
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"
                                                       ~John Lennon

Offline JudiBlueEyes

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2019, 08:30:04 pm »
Thank you for sharing Frances.  I know Susan as a caring, thoughtful woman who is quick to offer a comment of hope and love.  I must admit, your description of her prior self was similar to mine.  I know she is happier and I hope your marriage gets stronger for it.

Judi
Wind blew in, cloud was dispersed
Rainbows appearing, the pressures were burst
Breezes a-singing, now feeling good
The moment had passed like I knew that it should

Online barbie

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2019, 08:22:31 am »
Thanks for sharing your letter. You are so thoughtful and dedicated. Although my spouse is not good at writing as you, she probably felt the same things. A difference is I maintain all my official documents as a husband and a dad. Even I am not on hormone treatment.

Whatever I wear, look like or am called, I have been essentially the same person to my family, relatives, friends, and colleagues. My soul has been the same whatever my outer appearance looks like.

BTW, IMHO, sins and are products of humans, not of God. If you live alone in the world, you do not need moral or law. Ethics and law would become meaningless if you live alone in the world or in an isolated island. Your nature was not bad or good at birth. By making relationships with other humans, certain social rules were created, and we call them moral or law. Nowadays, the states and nations are the most detrimental in establishing ethics and law. This is a basic teaching of Buddhism and also you may find a similar rationale in the best-selling book "Guns, Germs and Steele" written by J. Diamond.

Thanks again for your moving post.

barbie~~
Just do it.

Offline Confused1

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Re: Letter about the New Normal
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2020, 03:38:41 pm »
First, I don't care if I get credit for this post. I need to write it! ...Confused

I have not been active on this thread in many months as I've been learning to live a new normal since my spouse came out to me last December.  My spouses ex girlfriend wants my perspective on my journey as she has been struggling to accept the transition. I wrote her the letter below  explaining my heart.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Frances, I hope you are still on here and find my reply.

I was deeply moved by this to the point of tears! You are a GREAT wife. I have struggled on and off throughout my life with thoughts that seemed to be wrong as I think your spouse probably did. I am more non-binary and don’t have much need for the social aspect. I think I have come across Susan R’s name during my searches here. I am a Born Again Christian and attend a very conservative church. As you did, I perform a couple of functions in the church besides being just a member. I am married with adult children.

I suffer an issue caused by a surgery that is worse than my dysphoria. I have searched everywhere I could think of to try to find a way to alleviate it. On another forum that led me to Susans I found what seems to be the only path to fix my surgery issue and in addition could help my dysphoria. I have actually read a few posts on Susans over a few months. A couple weeks ago, I came across another thread here that is the life story of another member written over the last couple of years. It touched me as yours and stirred my heart to start posting and get in the conversations. The author has struggled over doing what was needed and hurting her spouse and ruining the marriage. It helped me to get another look at myself.

I have prayed to God more than once for guidance on what I should do. The surgery I mentioned was for prostate removal. I made a mental plan for when and who I was going to see for a therapist. The cancer returned and changed my timing a little. It also caused me to get radiation and 2 years of Lupron recommended. The Lupron shuts off Testosterone production. This way I got to experience the effect of little to no testosterone without having to go to an endocrinologist to get hrt. Every step of the way God seems to affirm that this is what I need to do. If I pray for a sign to prod me on to the next step, it happens.  My interaction with doctors and the way my first therapy session went also helped to confirm that.

I was very scared to go to a therapist, especially in the area I live. I felt I had to tell the absolute truth. When I had my first therapy session I told the therapist that my number one reason for GRS was more about the surgical issue than dysphoria. I told her everything including a confrontation with my urologist about a year earlier. I gave the therapist a copy of what he wrote about it. It was bad enough it actually helped!   I timed therapy so she got to see the me with and without testosterone. She confirmed I was Transgender on the second visit and told me she was going to see if she could short circuit the process because of what she realized I was enduring. I told her I can make it as long as it takes to get GRS, but I didn’t want to live a long life like this. It normally takes 2 letters and I get the impression she might help me with that to get the surgery.

My wife was not as understanding as you, at least not at first. She does not know of my dysphoria, only the other issue. She was the first person I opened up to about GRS after mulling it around in my head for about 6 months. We had discussions over a few weeks that didn’t seem to make any progress. I finally asked her if she would have a problem living as my wife if I had been in the military and stepped on a landmine destroying the parts she seems to need. After a week or so of thinking about it, she came back and told me that the land mine really hit home. She said she loves me and will still love me no matter what. When I told her of the 1st therapist appointment I could see a little disappointment, but she is still behind me.

After more prayer, I talked with my preacher. I knew the Transgender part would not be well received by many in my church, so I did not name it. We live very much in the Bible belt. When he understood the physical ailment I have, my preacher actually supported my doing it. I still have questions, but actually feel that my path has been opened up by God, maybe to change a few minds? At this point I don’t know who or how many we will open up to and tell. I think one of my children will be able to accept it, but not so sure about the other. I am much more concerned as to what any of this might do to my wife than to me. While I think no Christian should purposely sin, I do agree that nothing in the bible appears to call being Transgender a sin. As you, I have looked to see.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 05:10:55 pm by Confused1 »

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