Monday, March 1, 2010

Emotional Blackmail

No long rants this time. In fact, due to my new (temporary) job, I really should be heading for bed right now but I wanted to throw out a rhetorical question. not rhetorical because I wouldn't like an answer, but only because there are only a couple of people who comment on this blog at all. But anyone who reads it is welcome to send me your thoughts on the subject by whatever venue.

The basic idea is this - If I continue forward living "full time" in this identity, I risk the literal mental stability of my spouse and thereby create real issues in terms of my children.

Or at least, that's what I'm supposed to believe.

You see, I'm stuck in this conundrum in which I have suspicions I am uncomfortable with. Not that I am attributing deceptive motives - not at all. But the basic problem is that she so desperately wants "the man back" that I fear she will say or do anything in order to leverage that decision. If I get the impression she might kill herself, or run away, or have a total breakdown - well, if that makes it more likely I will "straighten up" then that's not a bad thing, from her point of view, right? I'm not saying she is aware of this, but rather that on an instinctive level subconsciously, there's blackmail going on which boils down to "if you don't do what I want, I'll make the price you pay more than you can bear.

After all, consider - if she did kill herself or try to because of my actions, there would be not one ounce of sympathy to be found for me on the whole earth. I would be the most hated person any of my acquaintances could imagine. what better retribution could one exact from the person who tore your world apart?

So I'm stuck in a place where I must offer unconditional surrender of all that I believe about myself, live a lie and wear a mask that everyone knows is a mask, in order to avoid emotional devastation to her . . . or I choose to be truly alive and fulfilled in a way I never have before now, and know that by doing so I wreck another person's very existence - and that a person I love beyond words.

I confess that I can see no good outcome here. I do know that if I were to revert to something less than female in my appearance and behavior it would be for a temporary and relatively short period - I will NOT grow old as a man, whatever it takes to keep that from happening. But would I suspend that transition for three years or so while the boys grow up? I just might. But that would come with a loud and defiant statement that I AM Laura and she will NOT be put back in the closet. But I honestly don't know for sure that I can, especially if I see no effort on her part to grow in her tolerance for people like me.

So, the question is this - is it the right thing to do to succumb to such tactics, or to not dignify them by submitting? Honestly I see a good case for both choices. I'm sure that those who think I am wrong would be only too happy to see me surrender, and only too joyful to dance on "her" grave as if they had won the point - that galls me. But at the end of the day I will not decide one way or the other how to deal with this based on the opinions of the judgmental. Laying aside those for whom it is an easy call to tell me to "knock it off" - I find that I'm very convinced of the legitimacy of both competing arguments here. I know of no easy solution to the contradiction.

1 comment:

  1. The right thing to do is to NOT give in to stupid demands. The people who truly care will get over it and those that don't will fall by the wayside of their own accord. It's important to note though that those people who were the most "Well I NEVAH!" about my transition had already distanced themselves for other reasons (some numerous times). Fair-weather types, you know? ;-)

    But some key people stayed close to me and we are still close now (some 7 years later). Some people who felt weird about it and had just sort of floated away have since come back into my life. So it is really a mixed bag in my opinion.

    I can't tell you what to do about your relationship, but realize two things: 1) that it's never "just x years" until the kids grow up -- there's the real chance that you'd be waiting until they graduated high school, college, etc. If they are old enough to understand the situation, then why not give them a chance to? 2) If someone is looking for a reason to end a relationship, they will find it no matter what.