Two years since Jane told me she has ‘gender issues’. Actually the anniversary was about a week ago… its not the sort of anniversary that I’ll ever remember the exact date of… it’s just the awful thing that happened in that crazy time between Christmas and New year two years ago.
I havn’t felt like writing about it before now becuase…. well… I needed to work out how I felt.
Two years from the man I loved to the woman I live with.
Do I still love her…. yes.
How much of that love is because she used to be the man I loved?
Nearly all of it.
Could that have been different?
There was a couple on morning telly a couple of months ago… a couple like us in many ways… staying together (although in their case the gender issues were known about i think from the start of their relationship and transition held back for the sake of children etc) but watching their body language… it was the transwoman taking care of her partner still. Aware what she’d put her partner through… comforting…. maybe even grateful.
With Jane… its hard to believe that once upon a time she was on the verge of getting therepy becuase she didn’t dare tell me in case I ran away.
But she doesn’t seem to realise the strain I’m still under…
Having a partner who transitions is like having a partner who dies… the process the partner goes through is very very similar (if not the same) as a grieving process. I can imagine if you split up and never see each other again its virtually identical.
Imagine having a partner who you are grieving except almost every day they appear….or you hear their voice…a cough… see a movement that is theirs.
It makes it very difficult to move on.
Imagine too that at the same time you are trying to support a new partner (who moved in immediately your old partner moved out) who is undergoing a huge life change and needs masses of support… needs to feel you accept and love them.. knowing you could be the only constant thing in their life.
Add to that that this means you yourself are undergoing the hugest of life changes and don’t have a partner to talk to about it.
I’m not sure if the above is overly complex…or over simplified.
I just know this has been the worst two years of my life and another anniversary hasn’t changed anything.
In some ways I wish Jane had told us and then just fucked off and done it all…. then come back as she is now and maybe met me as a ‘stranger’… maybe then there would be enough of the person I loved to love her again (without her having put me through the last two years).
I wish she could have slowed things down (I totally know why she felt she couldn’t) but I wish she had. Two years..it feels like I’ve been avalanched into a new partner, a new life.
We’ve been together nearly nine years…. not long enough for Jane to commit to marriage… such a big life changing step after all.
But two years has been long enough to totally change the person I’d be getting married to…sorry…civilly partnerd to.
I’ve been googling around the grieving process… but nothing i can find covers my bases.
Grieving for a partner, child, parent, dog….. they all say the process just takes as long as it takes.
None of them say how much longer it will take when your partner hasn’t actually died…. just gone away for ever and you’ll never ever see them again.
Jane and I get on…. the household ticks along…. but I have a hollowness… and I still miss John.
I’ve tried so hard… I’m still trying so hard.
This isn’t about not accepting her transition… Ive supported her everystep of the way with that and there isn’t a single bit of me that thinks of her still as John.
But at the same time she’s my only reference point for my loss of him.
I don’t think she ‘gets’ it at all…. after all…I loved the man she couldn’t bear to live with.
I’ve coped by saying time after time that John and Jane are the same person…I’ve said that so many times it has to be true. And it is…. but it’s not.
Two years on and I’m tired and confused and lost.