The last week has been a series of ups and downs. I got back from a work related trip and still had most of last weekend to spend with August and our dog and had an all around good weekend. Got the marriage license application in the mail this week, as well as took the clothes I’ll be wearing for the legal ceremony in for alterations. Most importantly, August got his first testosterone injection today. We went out to dinner last night to celebrate since he has an evening class today.
Those are all big things, great things, and I know when I look back at the week, I should be happy with the the progress that has been made. I am, don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely happy with all of that. I’m genuinely excited to see August start his transition and am so glad that I am home the week he started, even if I couldn’t be there with him when he received the shot. I wasn’t sure that I would be, since work is taking me away from home again in a few short days. I think it would have been much harder for me if it had happened next week when I was out of town and unable to even see him at all that day.
All this being said, I’m miserable at work. I have to put on this mask of being just a lesbian. It would be different if I was choosing to hide this from them, but the reality is that I’m being forced to. Since I work in a predominantly male office, the fact that I am physically a woman is often brought to my attention. I’m not talking sexual harassment or anything of that nature. It’s more that they watch what they say and are worried about offending me simply because of my physical gender. Or they will say something to one of the other guys, then realize I’m there and apologize for it, especially the ones that have never worked with women before. I realize they are trying to be polite and unoffensive, but I really just wish they would treat me like one of them.
When I received the text from August today telling me he had just gotten his first injection, I was elated. I know how badly he needs this, how badly it has been eating him up inside. Soon after the excitement came a flood of emotions about my own situation. I hate that, I don’t want to detract from his happiness and the wonderful things going on for him. I don’t want to be making it about me. I feel my resentment towards work growing. The wait for my own transition feels so unbearable, but it’s not even that alone. It’s that I can’t even come out to people at work about how I feel. If I could do that, but still had to wait until my time there was over to transition, it would suck but it wouldn’t be near as bad because at least I wouldn’t have to keep pretending.
There are times at work that I just can’t wait to get home and be comfortable and knowing that is awaiting me gets me through the day… But knowing that there will be a period of time where I will spend months in their constant presence, away from home. I won’t get to see August, I won’t have any privacy, I will have to wear this heavy mask at all times. When I think about what I have ahead of me, I don’t know how I’m going to get through that, let alone getting through the rest of my contract. If I could guarantee that I wouldn’t lose the education benefits, that the consequences wouldn’t blemish my resume when looking for future employment, I would just be out with it and let them get rid of me. Get rid of me for nothing more than being me. Not harming anybody, just wanting my skin to match my soul.
The worst part of it all, though, is that I feel like I can’t even be there for August. I will miss his graduation because of work. I will miss his next birthday. I will miss most of the first year of his transition. I realize that some of this matters more to me than it does to him, but I feel like I’m missing out on so many important things in his life because of a job for an organization that I have long ago lost the desire to be a part of.
All of this has been on my mind for some time, but when I got that text today and I was filled with so much happiness and excitement for August, all of this came rushing in on its heels. I was on a bus coming back to the office after a work event, surrounded by my coworkers, struggling to keep my composure as I was filled with these overwhelming emotions. I managed, somehow, to last until we got back to the office building, told them I was going to lunch, walked across the parking lot to my car, climbed in and just let it go. It was a brief cry, maybe a minute, probably more like 30 seconds. I didn’t need a good long one, I just needed a short release, needed to get enough out so I wouldn’t overflow. Then I started the car and went to lunch.
I can’t get away from this. It’s not going to get better for at least another year, and even then I’ll have a wait ahead of me. All I can do is take it one day at a time and not look too far into the future. It’s when I start thinking further ahead that I get overwhelmed.