Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: husband, Judaism, survivor of child sexual abuse, survivor of incest, transgender
Last week, I told my therapist that in a week my ex-husband is shedding his/her male identity entirely, and going full-time female. (She began her new life as an outwardly-appearing female today, though she has understood herself as a female for about a year and a half now.) Yes, we are still living together.
I thought I was past the grief, but I guess no matter how much you anticipate a punch, it still hurts. So I have been crying over the loss of what I thought was a man who loved me. The only man who ever loved me, who ever waited long enough to let me work up to sex with him, the only man who I was ever able to trust as a lover. Of course, it all makes sense now that I was able to trust him as a lover – he was actually a she inside. If you believe the prevailing theories, which I do, then you believe that transsexuals are people who have the body of one gender, but the brain of the other one. So, in the case of my husband, while she has the body of a male, she has the brain of a female.
Anyway, my therapist said “Have you thought about having a funeral for him? For the husband you have lost?”
I like the idea of it. I like the idea of rituals, certainly. I remember once I took a class called “Women and Judaism”, and it was taught by a female rabbi. She said that sometimes incest survivors like to ‘claim their body back’ as their own, and they do a cleansing ritual called a ‘mikvah’. (The mikvah looks strikingly similar to the Christian practice of baptism, in that they both involve water.) When the Rabbi told us about that idea, I liked it. I like rituals that validate the things we experience in life.
The thing about my kind of loss is that it’s not quite as ‘real’ a loss as everyone else can see. I mean, for instance, my mother in law lost her husband to cancer two weeks before I lost mine to another gender, and everyone came to her house and ate with her and passed the horrible shitty time where it was all raw and the loss was so bad. It was like that for me, all raw and shitty, for like 7 months or so. From the time she told me she’s a she to a month or two after I almost died in the hospital. The thing is though, where my mother in law has had the world acknowledge her loss, I have had mine hidden for the most part. With each new person that my ex ‘comes out’ to, it’s kind of a coming out for me too. But even then, the focus is on her (as it should be). With each ‘coming out’, I was reminded of what I had lost.
While I still ‘have’ my ex in human form, I have lost my marriage, my future with this man, and any dreams/plans that came along with that. I am suddenly in the process of divorce and single, and worst of all, shunned by a lot of idiots who can’t seem to deal with a male-looking person appearing as a female in front of them. We went to the restaurant the other day, and the waiter stared at us for so long and hard, I wasn’t sure if he was actually going to take our order or not. It was pretty pathetic.
But definitely one of the worst parts is the fact that she doesn’t seem to want me anymore. She is very focused on herself and her trajectory towards femaleness, in physical, emotional, and social spirit. She is exactly where she should be, in terms of her life path. I am dust in the wind now, someone that she used to love in the way that two people in love can love each other.
In thinking about a ceremony, I wonder what kind of ceremony is appropriate. In a terrible way, she is actually yet another person who gained my trust and then set about breaking it. And then broke me in the process. I feel as though I cannot trust what anyone is telling me. It’s not her fault; I mean, she says she didn’t know that she was a woman until a year and a half ago. But the effect on me is the same. In a way, this whole thing is so similar to surviving incest. There’s so much loss and grief that goes along with surviving it, and yet no one grieves with you. No one comes over and brings a casserole and just sits with you because they know you have lost something and are sad and hopeless about life. Surviving incest needs a freaking ceremony too. A funeral for who we were, the innocent child that has died. A ritual for all that we have lost. And a celebration that we survived and all the great things we will accomplish because of the adversity we have suffered.
I wish I did have the courage to bury ‘him’ and this relationship along with it. I wish I had the courage to walk free and break free of my own chains. I wish I had the courage to even just be my best self. Fuck, I wish I had the courage just to walk out my own front door without overwhelming fear and panic.
I don’t feel ready to bury him. I suppose no one is ever ready for death though. I feel like an idiot even discussing this. The actual person is alive just in a totally different form that includes wigs, dresses, a lot of time spent with make-up in front of the mirror, and constant “Do I look alright?” questions. The superstitious part of me is afraid of even talking about this, lest G-d take the human too instead of just the man.
I pray for a positive end to this suffering, to the nights spent in terror and the days spent in hopelessness.
I thought about cutting myself the other day, for the first time in 10 years. I hate myself so much for ever trusting him, for marrying him, for being so fucking stupid about all of this.
6 Comments so far
Leave a comment