Last night, my wife, kids and I decorated our holiday tree. The condominium we were living in the past few years was so cramped that it couldn’t accommodate a tree, so we made do in previous years with some lights and a miniature, artificial (1 foot tall) tree. The house we moved into this past October has huge, vaulted ceilings and more than enough room for a full-sized, real tree so we bought a six-foot noble fir this year.
Because of this, this year is special for the kids and for me and my wife. Our sons are 5 and 2, which means that this is the first time they’ve ever gotten to decorate a tree, and we had to slow them down numerous times so they wouldn’t tear into the decoration box and accidentally smash things in their excitement and haste.
For my part, I tried to bask in their excitement and enjoy the moment, but it was an active struggle to do so, as melancholy thoughts fell like snow in my head.
I found myself wondering if this first time decorating a tree as a family would be our last. My wife has been clear she’s angry and upset about my progressing transition and that we’re heading towards a separation. The body changes being driving by the hormones are obviously noticeable to her in the close confines of our domestic life and she doesn’t like them.
What’s happened and continues to happen is her rejecting me on multiple levels, even as we both continue to love each other at a deep, emotional level.
It’s confusing, heartbreaking and crazy-making at times to say the least.
What’s taken a while for me to sort out and is the kernel of my strength is that while I am being and feeling rejected, it doesn’t mean that I’m defective in any way. I’m just trying to be me and find a comfortable place to dwell in for the rest of my life, since the place I had been in left me feeling uneasy and unfulfilled.
My wife is rejecting the physical and emotional manifestations of my non-pergenderism but I am not defective. If anything, I’m trying to fix the parts of me that I think are defective so I can build greater acceptance of myself, which will spill into greater acceptance from others.