I’m having a good day listening to Christmas music and primping. Since I must dilate in a couple hours, there wasn’t time to initiate much that wouldn’t interfere with the second of my thrice daily rendezvous with the guys (aka stents). So I’ve enjoyed my presspot of French roast and yogurt with fruit, cleaned up around our apartment, and worked on my face and eyebrows. I feel productive, a rarity during this healing period.
Yesterday I had a significant anxiety attack during the afternoon on a beautiful day in paradise. Loneliness and fear permeated me. I was overwhelmed with being misunderstood in my past. For example, this dread, shortness of breath, and smothering darkness came over me when I was thinking about Christmas with my spouse and children many years ago. It’s like I felt I *really needed* to relive it and do it right this time… I was so upset and couldn’t shake it. I had to go outside and do deep breathing exercises. But logically this doesn’t make sense because no one can go back in time to relive holidays regardless of crossing gender barriers. These panic/anxiety attacks totally isolate me, giving a very real sense that it’s very real.
So I’ve been thinking lately about being misunderstood. No one knows what’s inside someone else’s head. Growing up, my parents and siblings didn’t know I waited for opportunities to escape to one of my sisters’ rooms into their clothing and world. This wasn’t easy in a house with up to nine people… I was not home alone that often!
At church, on the job, with friends, raising my children… none of them knew the identification struggle that was continually raging inside me. I prayed, fasted, and “cast out demons” to no avail. This thing was not going away. So I mastered sending the signal that I was a faithful, compassionate, spiritually stable soul.
But my children knew something was up. They discerned I was a phony and they distanced themselves from me. So I tensed up and tried using the Bible card to get them to line up with my way of thinking. You know, that “rebellion is sin,” “honor your parents,” and “spare not the rod” stuff. It didn’t work. My spouse communicated with our children on my behalf when I was upset, which was often. I was always a wall flower in business and social settings so it was natural to assume that role in our family. In photos and real life, I stayed in the shadows and my office unless I was in the kitchen where I was at ease!
I worked hard at producing as a dad, husband, minister, brother, son, friend, and general guy. And even though I was a touchy-feely person, I was misunderstood by everyone. I was in feminine receiver mode and avoided confrontation except when I got religious. Then I felt I was justified to use the Bible and my diminutive understanding of God’s heart to judge others. My spouse knew of my struggle with gender identity but thought, as did I, it was behind me. So as my identity-encompassing feelings gradually overtook me in subsequent years, it was quite difficult for her. But she’s the absolute BEST and gave me space.
Looking at the big picture, I feel that 2/3 of my life is behind me. So, in light of the fruit, relationships, and my family, I fulfilled my responsibilities and others’ expectations. Now my remaining years are Jane’s season to emerge and release her peace and joy. In her fullness it is wonderfully new and beautiful… The best is yet to come!
I have a soft side that is a river flowing through life. That’s my personality. It’s natural. It’s me being Jane and into which I so rightly pour myself! I simply ooze with the grace, joy and elegance that are my mom and was her mother. I am welcomed and honored everywhere. It’s so easy because it’s real!
I love being me. Finally!
Yesterday in front of sailing vessel America 2