Notes from the Front Lines of a Dissolving Marriage
I am home for an extended period, with children and wife in residence. But there is a weird energy in the air. A strange frostiness has crept into my daily life. It is as if I am holding my breath in my own house.
My wife keeps her bedroom door closed. She keeps her office door closed. She usually sits in the corner of the living room, but she is rarely there. I never know where she is, when she will be coming or going, whether she is joining for meals.
It is weird to walk through the house and see the closed doors. To not know if someone is actually present. My children have picked up some of the habits, and also now also largely exist behind closed doors. I couldn’t stand it today, so took them out to lunch. Wife nowhere to be found.
It is as if there is a lot of mean and bad energy in the house. This has changed in the past few weeks, from right after I told her about being trans, to now, as she has digested it in an increasingly hostile way. I have started burning incense and clearing rooms of bad energy, especially the ones I use most, but that is not going to be enough.
A hostile environment for spiritual healing
“Are you the one who’s making it smell like India in here?” was the comment. But pretty much every “conversation” consists of some kind of mean or cold remark. I certainly wasn’t going to tell her why I was doing it, to clear out the hostile energy…
When we first met she was very into the occult, and healing, and in some ways still is–she is very active in the areas of grounding, alternative touch-based healing methods, diet…but she is also an anti-hippie, and thinks all of this “New Age” stuff is ridiculous. She has been giving me a hard time about it lately. The other day it went up a notch, after I mentioned that I a direct descendant (matrilineal line) of someone who was tried and put to death for witchcraft. This was the story I related on the plane to the shaman I sat next to, who told me, “therefore, you are too. You carry her inside of you.” And of course I knew it to be true.
I shared that little story with my wife and children. I then experienced the Spanish Inquisition. I held up pretty well, considering, but under a sustained chill wind from my wife, I need to get up and go for a walk.
“Do you know where the teapot that was in the dining room went?”
“Yes, I have it.”
“Why’d you take it”
“I needed one.”
“I wasn’t aware that we were taking our stuff.”
“You don’t use it, do you?”
“It’s mine, right? Ms Z. gave it to me for Christmas, right?” I said, Z. being a friend of ours. There was only a flicker of a response on her face—the inconvenience of truth. “Why buy a new one if I already have one?”
“I didn’t know we were taking stuff.” And I am thinking, ‘you don’t even drink tea!’ This conversation isn’t about a tea pot! It seems to me such a non-substantive thing, that it’s like putting stuff that you might need from one home to another. It needn’t be symbolic, particularly when it is your own stuff.
You see what you want to see
I wrote about this once before. I am convinced that whatever attitude or tone we take into the world is the way the world feeds back to us.
My wife is choosing to review me, and every aspect of our lives together—past and present, through a new and very negative lens. I need to give her time to process. But I also am reaching a point where I have to say enough is enough…
Setting of Boundaries
One of my therapists, the famous one, thinks I have a real struggle with boundaries. When she said it, I am sure you know where I went—with other people’s (given the recent dissolution of my submission to a Domme). But no, not like that. With my own. That I accept too much criticism, that I take on too many bad things of others, that I accept responsibility for other people’s feelings too much…that I am really bad at self-protection.
She is right, but as I said to her at the time, “I don’t mind. I suck at arguing because I really easily find my way into their shoes. And I don’t mind being hurt, because it is part of love, and each time you try again, you get a little better at it.” She has prescribed me another book. I will review it once read. In her view, this over-empathy, over-willingness to bend and change is the opposite of narcissism. That was nice to hear. Who wants to be a narcissist anyway?
My life right now
I got a new job. Starting tomorrow. I don’t know if it is going to be a good job, but it will be nice to have a go at it and see about paying the bills. But the consequence of this, of being under the same roof as my wife, means that the main source of joy in my life, this transgender self-expression, has to be quiet and hidden for a while…in part because it is delicate and beautiful and I don’t want her to poke at it, but also because the energy in the house is hostile to me, and I need to protect myself for the time being.
What do you do when you can’t be alive on the outside?
I realised today that it is time to really focus on the inside. Specifically, that means for me that I will be intensely focussed on exercise and fitness. It also means that I will be and can be strict and healthy about diet…religious about sleep and hydration. These things will keep my body in a good and happy place.
Next, there are some important learning opportunities I have before me—topics I want to learn about and will have the time to do formal training for. I have signed up for several courses which will play out over the coming months, and which are very much part of a portfolio of “future skills” that I see coming together for me.
And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I will have time and energy for spiritual reflection. Taking this time, learning to meditate, to breathe, to be soft with my own psyche and body, will be healing, and I feel that it will be needed to move ahead with a positive energy and attitude.
In Greek Philosophy they say that the soma is a sema…that the body is a “prison” for the soul. That thought has stayed with me since I learned it in my “sophomore” year in US high school…and one that at the time was reflected in my growing sense of self, gender, and my body. I long thought, and perhaps still do, that the body I was given was a punishment for something done in a past life or was given to me as a lesson that my soul needed to learn…My struggles with masculinity are small compared to what society is wrestling with, but they stand between me and self-acceptance. The weirdest thing is, the more I dress in a feminine way in public, the more male energy I pick up on, and I have to say that some of the people that I would be scared of have proven to be the most generous towards me.
Things to look forward to
I have some wonderful dining experiences ahead of me in London, but the first place I am going has a strict “dress code” and although I would not strictly be in violation of the dress code, I could just imagine such a place not wanting a non-binary “man” in a dress in their posh place—and not wanting to create a scene, I will just have to find a way to compromise. I look forward to dining there, nonetheless.
I also have some trips planned out into the countryside, including a lovely yoga retreat—something I have never done before. It should be fun…and it will be quite something to have to sit still for such a long time—not just fifteen minutes but 7 days!
Taking the time to relax and breathe and to focus on strengthening the core—spiritually and physically—is just what this girlieboy needs.