13 August 2009

I Don't Want To Recruit Them; I Just Want You To Love Me

Another visit with Dr. Jennifer. She said I'm a "poster girl for post-op recovery." Everything is healing even better than it should, she says, save for a slight tissue build-up in one area. I'm going to see her again next week; she's "playing it safe," and that's what I want.

I called Mom today. She was looking at houses with my brother. She's returning to Florida on Saturday and my brother will continue her search. I honestly don't think she and Dad are going to move. For one thing, they can't agree on what they want. For another, they own their house outright; all they have to pay are taxes and the usual expenses that come along with maintaining a house. I don't think they really want to take on a mortgage, or even rent payments, at this point in their lives. Besides, they've been in Florida for long enough that a readjustment to life in New Jersey, or almost anywhere north of where they are now, would be difficult.

One thing I noticed is that she doesn't talk as much, or as freely, with me when she's with the brother who doesn't speak to meas she does when she's with one of my other brothers or her own house. So, if I can't reach Mom on her cell phone, I can't call the home number of the brother who doesn't speak to me. When she's with another brother, I can call his house and at least he is brotherly with me; if my sister-in-law Barbara answers, she pretends to be nice but at least she'll let me talk with Mom or Dad on their phone.

When I was with Mom, Dad and Aunt Nanette the other day, Mom often mentioned the things the brother who doesn't speak to mehas done, and has offered to do, for her. She and Aunt Nanette agreed that he's a "really good son." I wouldn't disagree with that; in fact, I'd even say that he's a great father. I wonder whether Mom or Dad ever tells him that I say things like that about him. I'd love for him to read this blog, especially the entries in which I mention him. Even though he's cut me out of his life, I think he's a good man and want him back.

And, really, I didn't mind Mom or Aunt Nanette talking about how good he is. To be fair, Mom did mention that I've offered to move to Florida or simply to go there more frequently than I do. Aunt Nanette said that was very kind; Mom agreed, but added that because I don't drive, I can't help in the same ways my brothers could.

Another thing: My niece will turn 16 in October. Surely she knows there are gay kids in her school; just as surely, she's heard about (if she hasn't met) transgender people. What she knows may be rumor or exaggeration, but it's still more than people of my generation knew at her age. And I can't help but to think that she and her brother have asked what happened to me, and I can't help but to wonder what, if anything their parents have told them.

I don't know whether my brother or sister-in-law fear that I will try to "recruit" their kids. Really, I couldn't do that, even if I wanted to. You either feel that you were born into the wrong body or you don't. You feel that you should have been born as the sex opposite the one on your birth certificate, or you don't. And you have to think about your gender identity, or you don't. Nobody can make you do any of the "you don't"s. It really is that simple.

Besides, I have always loved my nephew and niece as they are. Why would I even want to try to make them into something I can't make them into, anyway? For that matter, I have always loved my brother, too, just as he is. And I still do. Why can't he accept that?

Someone--I forget who--once said, "People are afraid of being loved forever. Which are they afraid of: love or forever?

OK, I'll stop whining about my family now. Besides, loving my family members doesn't make me noble. About the best thing I can say for myself is that it's a sign that I'm grateful for the life I have. Now, I'd say my mother's love for me ennobles her, simply because of what she had to endure with me. And I say the same for Marilynne and her husband, and the way they've supported their daughter.

I don't see how I'll ever be expected, or have the opportunity, to love somebody that way. For that matter, I don't think I can even be as helpful to anyone as the people who've been with me during this time in my life.

All I want is for the people I love to love me. Most of them do. But I want those others, too.

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