Saturday, August 01, 2009

Laser Drama, Laser Trauma

I almost remember typing this exact line for some other blog, but there are no better words. The last 48 hours have been hectic.

At work Thursday, my boss asked if I was going to be there Friday. I explained I had a vacation day with and was planing to take it Friday and make a little extended weekend. He said he thought so. Which makes me curious, because I don't believe I have ever mentioned my upcoming laser appointment outside of blogger and twitter. Perhaps my secret is out and a few people around home know of my sites. Maybe a few co-workers in technology know because I occasionally check sites from work, over a proxy. If so, I don't blame them. It is well established that it is not a private connection, and personal communication does violate the use policy, so if something I did got flagged and they checked it and found my site, then no hard feelings.

But, putting my curiosity aside and returning to the story, I volunteered to work late to keep my absence from causing a problem. Then he told me I could count the extra hours toward Friday and not use my last vacation day. And so it was that Thursday I worked until 1 Am, though I had a 9:20 AM laser appointment friday morning, in a town 3 hours from home, not counting stops!

When I got home from work, Mom found out what I was doing and launched the first gender related argument we have had in a long time. She basically told me I had lost all my friends, and that I would lose all my family and wouldn't have a life, and as always credited me with destroying her life. I felt guilty and helpless as always. She doesn't understand. She is not ready to try to understand. So it doesn't matter what I say. She gets angry that I want to talk to her, but she opens every conversation by saying, not that she thinks, but that she knows, I am wrong. She leaves no room to discuss. It is my decision, my life, a problem I have grappled with silently through most of my days. But she insists I don't understand, haven't thought this out and that she knows exactly what I should do. She makes it clear I should be listening, and she should be telling me the truth I am supposedly to blind to see on my own.

By the end of the argument, I was locked in my room like a defiant teen, and she was standing at the door shouting unanswered questions into the silence while I huddled in bed, feeling guilty and ashamed. It was 3:30 am, and the fight was over, but I was too keyed up to sleep, my mind occupied with all the things I wish I had tried to explain to Mom. But she was not in a receptive mood. It is just as well that I didn't try.

At 5:30 I got up to start the drive. But Mom heard me. As I was closing the front door behind me, I heard her yell for me to stop. I was terrified we were going to get tangled in another lopsided argument so I ran. I closed the door, turned and ran out into the dark and rain. In my emotional state I forgot that the drive was being worked on at that a 3 foot high piece of rusty metal mesh was standing between a gravel section and a concrete section. I ran full speed into it, and fell into wet and muddy gravel. I still heard Mom calling behind me, so I got up and ran to my car.

As I started my car she was in front of me. I think she intended to block my path. But after a moment she stood aside. As I pulled past I could see the hurt on her face. She obviously expected me to roll down the window and talk. But I couldn't. I was remembering the argument from the night before and I knew nothing could be said that would change her mind or mine. Neither would say anything that would make this departure easier on the other. I pulled away without a word.

It turned out I had cuts on both my legs, and bloody, muddy cuts on an elbow and a palm. I stopped by wal-mart for bandages and alcohol, grabbed a little breakfast at McDonald's and changed into some clothes that weren't muddy.

Laser went okay. even though there was less hair this time, it hurt more than ever. I think my skin is getting more sensitive as my hormone therapy progresses. I cried the entire time, partially form the pain and partially form thinking about Mom. My dermatologist probably thinks I'm unstable now. Aside form all the crying, the whole session was awkward. I was traveling in boy mode when I left, because immediately after laser, I don't have a choice. But the only clean clothes I had in the car were a women's stretch knit tee and some jeans. So I showed up looking strange, tired, out of sorts and caught between genders.

The drive home was uneventful, and halfway back, I finally got past the hurt from the argument to put things in perspective. Yes, Mom and I are experiencing some strain. And yes, I had to show up at my appointment looking strange, and I am cut up, and have sore, tense muscles all over my body and a dry achey face. But, no matter what happened, I stayed on course and did what I came to do. And now I am a step closer to where I need to be. I started thinking over how far I have come since last year, and how much I have to be thankful for. My friends, my family, my happiness now that I am finally doing what I was meant to do, and all the successes i have had in transition.

I arrived home tired, but with a smile. I decided not to let a few minor set backs rob the joy of the moment. Its all going to work out.


Leslie Ann said...

Drama, indeed! Have you ever written down any of your feelings in a letter to your mother? It sounds like talking rationally is not an option, and then you could say everything that you want to say. It seems a little impersonal on first glance, but there is a real intimacy to a well-written letter. And we've all seen that you can write well! Just a suggestion. I wouldn't have the emotional fortitude to deal with her. Stay strong, stay the course!

Oh, and are you up to date on your tetanus booster? Cuts and rust are not a good combo.

Love ya!

ms.shandy said...

I have written to Mom and Dad in the past. And I've never really had luck getting through. A letter written in response was what hard my feelings bad enough to push me into the last purge of my life. And since then, I have written only when I would be gone for reasons that would have caused fights to discuss in person. In the newer letters I go into some of my feelings, but not in very much depth. I think I still resist writing anything that would prompt them to write me back.

Anonymous said...

As I read, I had the exact same though Leslie expressed about writing them a letter. Sometimes that's the only way to get a word in edgewise. When I finally came to understand being transgendered, I wrote my wife a 12 page letter, explaining everything I knew up to that point. The biggest difference being that my wife has always been willing to talk with me about anything...even this subject. It's just that it's often easier to really dig out your true feelings and use just the right words when you use a letter. A quiet, uninterrupted place is essential. Rereading and editing are essential too.

I know it must be very frustrating to have parents that refuse to listen and even consider another side to the story. Just be patient Shandy. Look at Leslie's wife and how much more communicative and receptive she seems lately. I've always been hopeful that she would beging to come around. I feel the same way with your family. I also wonder if they still feel they have some control over you and your life since you are still living with them. I know it's convenient and saves money living with them, but is it really worth it? Maybe so. I continue to pray for you and your situation. You're such a beautiful young lady and it makes me sad when others can't see that too.

If you like, I can Photoshop that clicker out of your
Love ya,

Amy K. said...

Wow, it sounds like my mom and your mom should get together for coffee or something! I hope yours comes around eventually. I started having "conversations" like this around 2003, and she seems no closer to accepting me now than she did then.

I remember laser treatments. The lady who operated the machine (who was a nurse in this case) was a total sweetheart. As far as I'm concerned, it hurts worse then electrolysis.

I wish you the best of luck with your mom and any other problems that have arisen. :) - Amy