I have to wear the mask about 70% of the time now. This is an improvement from the 99.9%, but it could be better. I hate having to wear it while I am home. I try my best not to resort to being “him” at all, but when people come to our home I have to. I’m not ready to come out fully, mentally I am, but there are a lot of moving parts to life and I don’t actually get to choose when I come out. I can just throw caution to the wind; hope my mother isn’t too ill at that point to deal with my issues, that my job will still be there the next day. I don’t actually get to choose when to come out. But it’s getting closer and I am ready mentally.
I am going to my therapist next week, without my mask. I am excited and looking forward to not just my session, but being able to be me for almost four days. (I’m taking two days off and I get the weekend) Then I will return to the mask, my breath stifled by it, my vision limited, no longer able to look in the mirror and see myself. The brief respites, my times without the mask, are precious and few. I get depressed about the prospect of returning to the mask, but those times are getting fewer and eventually I will be free of the mask. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my life is worse than others. We all have our troubles.
We are starting our annual Christmas gift baskets for family. I am making beef jerky, a small amount is made with Carolina Reapers, some of the hottest peppers on the planet. The peppers come courtesy of my brother S who mailed them to me last week. I’m making a small amount so that everyone doesn’t send themselves to hospital. The rest is made up of a chipotle marinade, which is my favorite. My wife and I are also baking and making Christmas candies for the baskets. It’s probably my favorite time of year, the making of the baskets, even more so than Christmas day itself.
I worry that my two brothers and my stepfather, who have put up with so much from me in the past won’t be able to deal with who I am. I think that my little brother P would be ok after a while, but I don’t know if S will be able to deal. I am probably not giving them enough credit, I tend to do that. Perhaps they will be shocked, I don’t know, once the shock is gone, will they think of me as their sister? That would be nice. If they look back and really think about our lives they should have noticed something was different about me. I remember once that we were playing a game of truth or dare, and during that game I was dared to wear our (then) stepmother’s clothes. I’m honestly not sure if I nudged the game that way or if they had come up with it on their own. Of course, I took that to mean her bra and underwear and a dress, along with high heels. They were a bit shocked that I didn’t just wear one of her shirts or something. It was my first time allowing my brothers to see a small part of me. It was fleeting and gone, I’m sure lost in a maze of memories they have made since then. Obviously, I hope for the best, but I am prepared to lose them if I must. It will break my heart even though we aren’t really that close anymore. I have to stop assuming I know how they will react, I’m already making myself sad over the thought of it.
My biggest problem is employment. I can deal with loss of friends and family, but losing the ability to pay for food, to provide for my wife and children would be a very big issue. This will be my final hurdle, employment. I have started searching for trans friendly work in the area, I think I might pass about 60% of the time so I can’t just get a job and hope they never ask or find remnants of my life before. I don’t like the idea of announcing that I am trans to anyone. The prospect of interviewing with an employer and using the entire time explaining what sex I am or who I am, frankly makes my stomach turn. Trans friendly would be optimal, but trans tolerant is worth considering. I hate that what I am, what I wear will overshadow what I can do or what skills I have. I don’t want to move, so my prospects are limited to the length of commute I am willing to travel each day. Of course, with fuel costs, that can enter into a scenario of diminishing returns. In the end, it won’t be the people I know and love turning from me that will delay my removing the mask for good, it will be my current of future employers. That can’t be right, can it?