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Support for Siblings

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becky:
Hi all,
Communication with my sibling has gotten easier.  Dani now has a computer, so is doing more emailing instead of phone conversations.  If there is something in the email that I don't want to deal with right at the moment I can skip over it and read what I want to, and go back to that issue later,and that leaves me with a much better feeling. I think having the computer makes him feel less lonely in the evenings, so he is not calling every other night.

But we are also able to talk honestly about feelings.  Dani and I have always had a pretty good relationship, and have always been able to communicate well with each other, even when it would be weeks and weeks without contact. 

The last phone conversation a few nights ago left me laughing when I hung up instead of tearful and unhappy.  I can't remember what was funny, but the good feeling that I STILL like this person was back.  Also the fact that my father, who is 84 years old, can find some humor in what my sib is going through, and can joke some about it, much to my step-mother's shock and dismay, makes talking about it with them easier.  No one is tiptoeing around the issue in this family.

Thanks again for letting me vent.
Becky

becky:
I forgot to add to my other post that we finally got pictures of my sib "dressed." 

Dani had put it off (with us nagging and pleading) for a while, because of not "looking just right", but finally understood our need of seeing  the progress, and not just an appearance in a year and looking like a complete stranger!!!

My reaction was not "Oh my God, what is it!"  But, "With some time, he could actually pass as a pretty convincing middle aged woman."  We could still see our Danny, but can also picture what Dani will look like when the transition is complete.

Becky

stephanie_craxford:
Hello Becky,

It's great to hear from you again.  From your post it's obvious that the issues between you and Dani are on the mend, that's really great to see.  Just being able to talk is a huge plus, and whether that talking is done live on the phone or electronically makes no difference, it's the communication that counts.

Being able to laugh at life is one of the best ways to cope with those curve balls that life throws at you.  But when it comes to Dani, I imagine that it was a screw ball.  Having this out in the open removes a huge burden from every ones shoulders, you know what they say about problems being shared.

I bet Dani was very happy with the way the pictures transpired, acceptance is a big part of this whole thing, and at the start of this it can be pretty rough going, with lots of self doubt.

Venting, nope it's just you talking about what's on your mind and having someone there to listen.  That's what Susan's is all about.

Take care, keep us posted, and don't be a stranger,

Steph :)

Peggiann:
Dear Becky,
 Wow you have made me feel all levels of the emotional spectrum here. I have read through the entire post since your first one including all the replies.

As it was said by one of those and dittoed, ”Your brother has changed on the outside, but the essence of his soul has not, in fact her feelings, thoughts, convictions are probably still the same as you knew.” This is probably true for now but as time goes on with the hormone replacement some of those mannerisms of temperament may change. It’s like you when your hormone levels rise and fall. (You may want to read Suzanne Summer’s The Sexy Years it will help give you some insight about the hormone roller coaster.

I agree with this pat too. One thing to understand is that this is how your once brother now sister has been all her life, so you're not really losing anything.  When people come out and wish to transition, that person is not changing whom they are, they're changing what they look like. This is really true of anyone that under goes and surgical change to the body. Think of breast implants on women, or face-lifts or nose job or tummy tuck and liposuction.

Also I think this could be true too. But you won’t know if you don’t ask. I think it’s also Dani values your insight and womanly knowledge and what you can bring to your relationship now. “Your brother was reaching out for your help.” maybe…”If she felt she could do it on her own, she probably wouldn't have bothered.” Probably.
 
You have to know that waiting to be free of the body he felt was housing the real Dani has been there for such a long time. Letting the remodeling process go with out talking over how the rooms are changing and the excitement of having the start of what has been long for would be impossible.  Because she's been keeping this inside for a very long time, doesn’t mean that Dani wasn’t thinking of it all this time privately. You just weren’t in the particular loop. Ouch that probably hurts too. I know it did for me when my significant other told me. (You could read about the in intro forums) It was one no other was privy too. Ouch again. I’m sure there are things in your life you share with no one but you maker too maybe. Which is ok… I make no judgment here.
“When I was "growing up" and when my daughter was turning into a young woman, THAT was not the whole focus of our lives.”
This may be but allow for uniqueness and individuality. You were also not deprived the in it’s own time growth process either. Attempt something that has been put off because putting others first in your life for so long and see if you don’t bubble over with enthusiasm. I have waited for years to be come a grandma. Our children moved out of the home and on into create their own worlds some 13 years ago. We just actually became grandparents in March. I talk of this baby everyday to everyone who’ll listen. That’s the key here finding who will listen! Dani has found you for this. It was said by another to stear the conversation in another direction from the details that make you uncomfortable. I agree. In all Dani’s excitement it’s lost that you have a very feminine, and lady like set of ears and feelings. The set Dani has are not fully developed to such heights of sophistication yet.

“My anger is not directed at my sibling.  My anger is for the whole situation.  I have always known my brother was "different', and for a time I thought he was gay.  So I was neither shocked or surprised when he told me of his choice to become a woman.

Something is not letting you to see her for who she really was inside. I mean if you say a horse is a dog it’s not so. Neither if you say Dani has been a brother all your life is that so. Take away the gender, brothers are male and sisters are female issues. Remember the “Tom-boy girl you knew growing up. It’s not nobodies fault he was trap in the wrong house. It’s like a maze. Dani has just found the opening out but it has a long hallway to get completely out.

My sadness is for what he has been hiding (or thoght he was hiding) all these years, and for my lovely sister-in-law who thought she had the perfect marriage because her spouse was so empathetic and kind.

No Matter how long they were together, no matter what level of marriage they had. Your Father being a Minister has even spoke these vows in marriage ceremonies. “For better or worse, for richer for pourer, in sickness and health till death do you part. Your sister-in-law probably even repeated a version similar to this. Were did she repeat “ unless Dani does something I can’t handle?” It’s ok to feel sad for her but she hasn’t even tried to live with the changes ahs she? This reminds me of a card I was sent by Leah when she was still he and not transitioning. It had a comic princess on a white steed and a toad on the grown looking up to it and the caption read something like “So our is not your typical story book romance.” She may have grown deeper and closer in the relationship. At the point Leah and I are that is true. I pray for patience, understanding and wisdom daily. Also for strength to meet what ever the day brings me.
 
God did not EVER make mistakes. Who is to say living 50 years in a male body wasn’t by some grand design?" Remember you were raised to not question the Devine Wisdom. Well when man has intervened and there became slightly off or whatever degree off what we perceive as perfect. “All in the eyes of the beholder” No Judging! It causes us to be separate from our maker. I’m so thankful we have a merciful God. To bad more of the people we encounter in our life’s path deviate from His divine image and don’t pass on that mercy.

They all think if they pray hard enough he will change back to who he was before.  My prayer for him is that he can find peace and happiness and acceptance. I feel you should include prayers for Dani’s former Minister and Congregation too. They will need God’s mercy.

Someone said “femminine pronouns should always be used when reffering to your new sister.” Out of respect and in support of Dan’s choice I agree. If Dani’s stands before you in female garb then she’s a she. You need to respect this. For your sake you ma need to ask Dani to move a bit slower and let you have him as a brother once in a while. When some one dies without warning you have the chance to say your goodbyes. When they have knowledge death is coming then you can prepare more. You naturally go through a with drawl. Maybe it will help you get past some of your anger. For if you look at as though Dani will be gone and actually died in body after the transision’s complete you will be far more blessed to have the sister born from that death. As Cassi so stated too.

The only thing I guess I've really got to go on as far as relating to your feelings is the sense of loss I felt when my step dad died. The empty feeling knowing I would never again be able to sit with him on the end of his bed as he sat in his chair by the window were he watched the birds at the feeder and carried on about tales from his youth. But then no one moved into his place and said I'm your mother who used to be your father and I have special needs and need special attention. I think my reaction would probably be who the heck are you and what have you done with my dad. Cassi.

Grandma used to say don’t judge another or voice opposition to another’s choices till you’ve walked in their shoes. I think many people in Dani’s life need to take theirs off socks and all and put on those of Dan’s for a better feel of how pinched Dani’s toes have been.

Becky you have grown a lot in the weeks and months. It is good to be able to find compromise on both parts. I’m glad your family let Dani be a part of such a big day. They will not have regrets later, as they might have had they stuck to their guns on the issues they set at first.

Picture are a good way for Dani and you to help fine tune some of what needs attention in grooming as a women now. She will be able to see just how she is progressing and if she likes the “New Me she is becoming.” I used to use them a lot working with the young women for Pageants. The critiques don’t have to be said sometimes because they can see for themselves and asked for help addressing the issues.

Please do keep us in your loop as your future transpires. We care here at Susan Place.

Prayers for you all,
Peggiann

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