Live right now, Just be yourself,
It doesn't matter if that's good enough for someone else,
It just takes some time,
Little girl, you're in the middle of the ride,
Everything, everything will be just fine,
Everything, everything will be all right,
...I don't remember when time felt like it was moving again.
I don't remember much more of the rest of that day, except mourning.
Tears, talking, booze, take-out food, reminiscence, more tears and more talking.
We talked about all of the people, places and things we'd loved, hated, seen, done, eaten, drank, puked, partied, travelled to, said goodbye to in the last 12 years.
I had striven for a different way through, an alternative ending to make the film happier.
But I had to settle for director's commentary and post production notes.
But there would be no bonus features, there would be no sequel.
One thing was clear to me when we went to bed that night, this woman who I love dearly was no longer my wife, because in her eyes at the very least, I was no longer her husband.
The next day, Sunday morning, I was out of the house early. My in-laws were coming over to help my ex-wife out, moving furniture (a bed) to the spare room etc
But that's not the reason I was leaving, I had to get to North Manchester from Warrington.
I had a mission, something I had been planning for years. All the while terrified of the repercussions, convincing myself it would all be okay and then listening to anxiety's voice,
"Your friends will abandon you".
But now it didn't matter. I was already at my lowest ebb, so telling my friends that I have gender issues no longer registered on the difficulty scale.
The entire way to the first friend's house, I was moving between a state of panic over what I had to accomplish, to a state of absolute misery, fighting tears through songs, skipping the really tough ones entirely, then back to panic.
Rinse and repeat.
I came out to two of my closest friends that day and also shared with them the news about the end of my marriage.
Both of them, their own wives included, welcomed me with love and open arms
"As long as you're happy"... "We just want the best for you"...
Why hadn't I told them sooner? They weren't rejecting or cruel. These were my friends, they loved me. I've never felt love from friends more than I did this day.
I would go as far to say that I was quite overwhelmed.
By tea time ('dinner time' for Southerners and 'Muricans) relief had allowed me to lower my guard. I was heading home and on the motorway when my Spotify betrayed me and it was too much. Lemme tell ya, 70mph and bursting into tears are not compatible.
All because of bloody New Found Glory (I normally love them, but not that day).
I was only 10 minutes from home when I remembered;
"Shit! I'm supposed to be in work tomorrow", I called work from the car, my manager was on duty, so I went in to tell her the news.
All of it. Face to face. Divorce, gender issues, the lot.
I cried more in her office than I had all day, I was in no fit state to work.
I was in no fit state... full stop.
And to cap it off, I had taken my glasses off in my manager's office (crying, remember?) and whilst looking for a bin for the orange-sized ball of wet Kleenex in my hand, I saw a black circle on the floor and tossed the mucous soaked clump into it. After another bout of tears and finally drying my eyes, I put my glasses back on to see that the 'Bin' I had used previously was in fact, my manager's handbag!
"Lynne, why didn't you say anything?" I gasped
"You were just such a mess, I didn't have the heart to stop you!"
I laughed the most genuine laugh I'd made in over 48 hours and it felt good.
Sorry again, Lynne (if you ever read this).
After more Spotify betrayal on my way home, I decided on radio. Spotify was shelved for a few weeks for the safety of myself and other road users. That night over more take-out food myself and My Ex Mrs essentially re-did the previous night's events in more of an abridged, 'Can we not dissolve into tears this time?' sort of fashion.
We even found some happiness in play fighting over laying claim on silly things from the house that we each wanted to keep (I got the 'Domestic Goddess' apron), we did anything to avoid emotions.
We agreed to live together in the house until we could pay off our debts and save our own deposits for new places. My birthday was coming around again on the 25th, so we planned to still have a party for it on the 30th (after payday, obvs), despite all of the upheaval, because god-damn-it, it's my Birthday Party and I'll cry if I want to. I'd long planned a day when I would see all my friends together and they could meet me as Samantha. And this was to be that day.
Something to look forward to at least...
I woke up the following morning with an urge to go and tell more people.
I needed to come out. But I also had to break the bad news, to try and figure out just how many people I was going to be able to lean on. In the coming days and weeks, I came out to just about everyone I care about staying close with.
And you wanna know the best part about any of this tale so far?
Not one person...
Not. One. Person. Had any kind of negative or unkind thing to say to me.
All I got was a chorus of;
"We only want you to be happy", "Your gender is not you. We love you because you're a good person", "You need to do what is right for you, nobody else". And my personal favourite
"You still like cars though, right?"
I can honestly say I feel humbled by my chosen family this year.
I also feel truly sorry that I ever doubted them....
Fuck. *sigh* I'm crying just typing this...
This would be the day that I would cry in a house-wares shop because of love songs on the radio. Public place. Balling my eyes out. I had to leg it out of there.
And... this was also the day that I stopped sharing a bed with my wife.
On Saturday we had agreed that we would both stay at our house, neither of us was in a fit state to move out, be it financially, emotionally or even physically.
But on Sunday, my inlaws had helped my wife move the sofa bed back into the spare room.
Nights are fucking lonely by yourself. It's even worse when the woman you love is only in the next room. She was there, but she was not.
|TV power supply with blown capacitors vs the fruits of my soldering|
Over the next few days I came out and broke bad news to more friends, repaired a broken TV power-board and cried intermittently at adverts like some kind of mad person.
By Wednesday I was exhausted, I needed to recuperate from the last 7 days of relentless movement. I needed to chill.
I needed to be me. So i got dressed how I wanted to, not how I needed to, how I felt obliged to.
And that was the first day I felt better, more like myself. It wasn't much better than,
*can refrain from crying for 3 hours*
But it was better. A candle, a mile down the tunnel, kind of feeling.
A diluted form of hope. Being dressed gave me a sense of what could be, how I could eventually be happier with myself.
I picked my wife up from work that night as I normally do.
But when she got in the car and told me
"I have something to confess, and I don't think you're going to like it"
My reflex response was
"Is it money?... Are you pregnant?" and to be fair to me, this would be the worst possible time to be pregnant. 18 years of child support payments ran through my head in a split second...
"No, none of those", she almost laughed as she said it.
Then like an elephant sat on my chest, it dawned on me...
"You've met someone haven't you?"
Her pause that followed, in reality was probably only two seconds, but felt like a hundred.
"No...." she said *Phew!*
"...well, not yet... Lets talk when we get home okay?"
So I drove. Mind racing. Heart breaking. My arms, literally shaking as they held my hands to the wheel.
(Please take a moment to disable any ad-blocking software on your device.
If you're feeling particularly generous, why not click on one of them?
I monetise through google so it's all above board, no malicious malware, and if I've set it up right, at least one of the adverts will be targeted to you via your browser history.
I do this in my spare time, I am not a pro-writer, but due to some unforeseen life changes, I'm taking what I can get. Please help me out, click an ad. If you like the blog, share it with a friend, I really appreciate it xx)