Overcoming Fear: A Night of Growth

I realize that the anxiety I was feeling about my cousin staying at my mom and dad’s house has a lot to do with fear of the unknown. Luckily there isn’t a fear of judgement because my cousin would never judge me. I was afraid that my cousin would try to play peacemaker because we are the type of people who love harmony and peace and believe that family is important. I was afraid that my younger cousins (my cousin’s oldest 3 children) would be prejudiced towards me or get the wrong idea of me because there are pictures of me at the house and my mom uses a feminine nickname for me with she/her/hers. It has caused issues with my nephew when he was younger. Luckily for me, my brother and my nephew’s mother, whom I consider a sister, are supportive of me and my transition, so I am Uncle Evan to my nephew and my mom is the odd one out. I realized this morning that there is no need to fear anything about my little cousins because when we meet and engage, the reality of me will overcome any idea of me imposed and presented by another.

I’ve given up fearing over my cousin playing peacemaker because in truth who knows what will happen? Who knows if she’ll mention me at all or mention my parents to me at all? If she does, I can hear her out or not, and just say to her that my relationship with my mom/parents is between us. There is a reason that we are not in each other’s lives. For me it is for my own mental health and sense of well being and self respect. My love is without condition yet my relationships come with conditions. I choose to share my life with people who are positive, uplifting, supportive, and interested in genuine, authentic, communication and ways of relating. The energy of my mom’s, “I will never accept this. I will never go along with this. Everyone is just going along but I know I am right with God” and so on, doesn’t leave any space for a healthy relationship for me. It would be different if it were, “This is hard for me, I don’t understand this, I will try but it might take me awhile, be patient with me, I love you, I don’t want to hurt you, you’re important to me, I want you in my life.” or something like that. Something said and followed through with the energy of willingness.

I didn’t tell my parents about my transition and then medically transition and when they didn’t act like I wanted them to cut them out of my life. It is way more complex than that. It was close to 3 years after I told them that I removed myself from interacting with my mother and almost 4 years that I stopped interacting with my dad. I was soul tired of having to explain why I was hurt, why it was important to me, that this was me, that this was my life, that this is not a phase.

My mom has told me that she knew I was Trans when I was a kid. Like age 10/11. I didn’t even know! I wasn’t a tomboy growing up. I used to read a lot in my room not run around outside. Yet, she saw something innate in me. Sometimes I feel she could have saved us a lot of time, she could have saved me a lot of anguish if she didn’t go against what she knew and try to change me. If she had instead of making me dress the ways she wanted me to, until I was 16 and got a job and could buy clothes for myself, if she..I mean if she had just talked with me about how I was feeling it would have made such a huge difference.

My dad and I would maybe not be estranged but for the fact that one of the last times I saw him, he didn’t want me to use the men’s bathrooms in public.  I had been on testosterone for 2 and 1/2 years at that point and completely living socially as male.  I couldn’t use the women’s bathroom any more than he could!  Also, that day he said the same thing to me about being out as Trans that he said when I came out as gay at age 16. I mean, 18 years later he was saying the exact same thing to me, don’t announce it, don’t tell anybody, why do you need to tell people? The context for this conversation was that we were going to be around a lot of people, old family and friends, for a funeral, and that I just shouldn’t say anything. Now, I wasn’t going to say, I’m Evan, I’m trans to everyone I met but I would introduce myself as Evan. My mom had in the recent past and I felt would have done again and again,  introduced me as my old name and as “my daughter” as she had done when introducing me to her new neighbor. I mean, seriously, looking like I did, with a my receding hairline, broad shoulders, facial hair, me being Trans was not a secret but they unrealistically wanted me to what..pretend? For who’s sake? Certainly not for my well being.

I’m off on a tangent, which I hadn’t expected to be, when I started typing. The point is, if my cousin says anything about working it out with my parents, I will simply say it is between them and I and leave it.  Another fear that I was feeling was that my cousin would tell my parents about my recent surgery (chest reconstruction surgery to have a more masculine chest) and that my parents would be upset about it. I am feeling especially vulnerable because I am still healing and just..I don’t want any negativity around it. Especially because having had the surgery is such an affirming, good, necessary thing for me. The thing is, I won’t tell my cousin not to say anything and it really doesn’t matter in the long run. It’s a done deal. My body. My life. So, nothing to fear.

Another reason why I could let go of all these fears is because I do not need to worry about things that are not here. Things that might not ever be. It is a complete waste of energy; a misuse of imagination.

Two things really contributed to helping me get to the place that I am at today.
1. Last night I started watching Season 2 of American Horror Story, which is based in an Asylum. I’ve always been intrigued yet afraid of watching it because I thought there would be horrible things to see in it and was worried about these things being too much for my psyche. I am sensitive, have a vivid imagination, and tend to empathize with fictional characters to a large degree, and internalize what I see. I thought it would give me nightmares. I started watching it and I was fine. I appreciate the performances and aesthetics of the show (the productions value is tops!) and I am along for the ride so far, as far as the storytelling goes. I am on episode 5 and for me that translates into the realization that there was nothing to fear and worry about. I could take that same feeling to my family issues and feel that there is nothing to fear and worry about. The fear of the unknown or what is possible was squashed (for now!)
2. I woke up this morning and was able to do my self-massage (abhyanga) for the first time in 24 days! This is the longest I’ve ever gone without doing it in… I would say maybe 9 or 10 years. Maybe longer. I used sesame seed oil as my carrier oil (sometimes I use coconut oil) and therapeutic grade Lavender essential oil. Lavender relaxes and calms the body and mind and worked wonders on me. I was able to think clearly and reason my way out of my fearful emotional state. I was able to talk with my Aunt about my feelings and I was able to write about it. So far today has been a great success!

Happy Thursday All! (or Happy ___day!)

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