Love hurts

The other day, my younger sister shared a video with me. I’m not 100% sure the one below is the exact same video, but it is the same song, and it definitely captures her feelings on my transition.

Though I understand her pain – we’ve always been very close, and now she feels like she’s lost a sister – there’s unfortunately not much I can do about it.

So hun, this one’s for you.

I see where you’re coming from. Or at least I think I do. You feel like you’ve lost me, when the truth is, you really haven’t. I still love you as much as I always did. We can still be as close as we used to be, because I haven’t changed.

Now I know this is hard for you to wrap your head around, and you feel like I have taken a U-turn, but reality is, I’ve only stopped fighting myself. I only finally set myself free to become who I’ve always been.

You think you lost a sister, but though it seemed like I was a girl, I never really was. Outwardly I was, but on the inside? Never. Like it or not, but you’ve got a brother. A brother who loves you to pieces and would like nothing better than to see you happy.

We don’t get to choose who we are. If we could, I’d have chosen to be a girl. To be your sister. Heaven knows I tried hard enough. But I can’t do it anymore. It’s too hard. Trying to be a woman almost killed me. Twice. And even though I never tried to end my life after that second time, I still have had to fight my suicidal ideations again and again and again.

I never told you, or Mum and Dad, or anyone else, but I’ve been on anti-depressants on and off ever since that last time back in 1990. And I only got them when my depressions got so bad I was actively planning suicide again. It would take weeks (horrible, frightening weeks) before they kicked in, and then I’d take them for half a year or longer, until I felt I could manage without them again. All because of the gender dysphoria.

As much as I love you, I cannot go on living that way. I will not. I don’t want to die from being forced to live in a female body.

I know you suffer. I know Mum and Dad suffer, but try to imagine what it would be like for you if you had to live in a male body for all those years, knowing deep down that you were female. How would you feel? That’s roughly fifty years of constant suffering. Day in day out, with no holidays or even a single day off. Would you want to live that way? Would you want someone you love so dearly to live that way? Of course you don’t!

You may think you lost me, but you never did. I’m still the same person I always was.

If you think back for maybe a little over a year when I finally allowed myself to dress the way I felt comfortable… you didn’t think you lost me then, did you? But that’s when I embarked on this journey. I just changed my hairstyle and the way I dressed, and nobody thought anything of it. Which is weird, considering that it was a gigantic change. From hyper-femine (this is called over-compensation, BTW) to what felt good and normal to me, but is in fact, quite masculine.

All this time, you’ve been fine with me dressing as a man, but only now that I came out as transgender, you suddenly feel that you’ve lost me. That seems a little irrational to me. Yes, I changed my name – though unfortunately I cannot change it legally yet. But my new name doesn’t make me a different person. Also, when you changed your name, did that make you a different person? I don’t think so.

My body will change, yes, but so did yours. Your added weight didn’t turn you into a different person, did it? So why would a different fat distribution turn me into a different person? And would a lower voice, or hairier arms, legs and chest all of a sudden turn me into a different person? What do you think?

I’m still me. What’s more, I don’t desire to be anyone but me. Don’t run from me. That does neither of us any favours. Don’t be afraid. The changes will not happen overnight and you will get time to adjust to them. But only if you come along on this quest with me. It’s not as scary as you think. I promise.

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12 Responses to Love hurts

  1. Josh Moll says:

    O, Liam! What a love you have for your sister. Hugs for you both!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. dexxwizard says:

    Liam, thanks for sharing, this must be hard but you clearly think hard about how to approach this issue. I am not quite at the stage to let everything out to my family but I know this will hit my brother hardest. We are best mates, live together, share everything and just pray he does not feel he has lost his brother when all this starts to get real. Dexxy xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dexxy! I get you. I made the mistake of thinking my sister would understand and embrace my being transgender without any problems because we’ve always been so close. Big mistake, and I should have known better. I hope your brother will not hurt like this when you do come out to him. Take care.

      Like

  3. Claire says:

    I’m sure she will get there, she’s in denial and grieving for what she thought she had, been there, for the. T shirt! She just needs time to understand, I have no doubt eventually she will get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. krisalex333 says:

    Here’s to hoping love will conquer. Take care.
    Kris

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tam says:

    One of the hardest parts of transitioning for me was the repeated requests to attend my own funeral to grieve a me that never really existed but managed to make my life miserable. At certain points that meant giving folks the space to grieve but taking a time out for myself. I missed them but in the long run it was for the best because when we reacquainted the transition was more sharply defined and real for them instead of a gradual blur.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Apoetie says:

    My twinnie, yes, I know we’re almost 5 years apart, but still, we both know we have always been closer to each other than many other siblings may have ever been, are or will be.
    I’m quite sure you will remember a conversation we had a couple of months ago, about our bodies, and really, although you made peace with your boobs when breastfeeding your children, you know I never really made peace with them. For you breastfeeding came natural, for me it was rather painful.
    When I went to hospital to have my tonsils removed, I told the nurses I hoped I would never enter puberty.
    And the books? Famous Five was my absolute favourite series, I bought many of them with my pocket money and George was the character I identified with.
    Do you still remember that day when we both got our hair cut short? I was the one who decided I would do it anyways, and you agreed to also have your hair cut short, as you would like to have short hair too.
    You know who looked up the ads for jiu jitsu, and who took you and Dad to the dojo? Yes, that was me too.
    So here’s my struggle trying to understand you. I love you dearly and I don’t ever want to loose you. But the thing is, we are so similar that I really have trouble understanding this. Believe me or not, although so many things are similar, the thought of a transgender never even occurred to me. And I just know that I’m a woman, I have no desire for a transition.
    Maybe it would not be so hard to understand if there weren’t so many similarities.
    You never admitted it, but I have been suspecting you needed anti-depressants from time to time.
    And I know that my struggling now hurts you just as much as it hurts me.
    I have never commented on any of your hair or dressing styles, as far as I know, simply because I belief everyone has their own style of dressing, which might change from time to time. I myself feel most comfortable in a shirt and jeans, I don’t care much for dresses or skirts, they’re rather uncomfortable.
    My name changing wasn’t such a huge difference as the one you are proposing now. I still use one of my given names, and it took years before Dad & Mum really started using it occasionaly, but that’s fine with me, because they are Mum & Dad.
    And no, my added weight, mainly due to hypothyroidism, doesn’t make me a different person, and as you may well know, many women put on weight when they get older….
    A brother is really something I’m not familiar with by far. Usually I don’t feel comfortable around guys anyways, which is making this pretty awkward.
    You know I will always love you, but it will take a lot of time for me and the rest of the family to make peace with this, and to get used to such a major change.
    (btw, you don’t have to publish this)
    lots of love,
    xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, that was almost a novel, sis! I tried to answer your questions in my next post. Not sure if I succeeded, but I do hope so. May have missed a thing or two. If so, I’ll get back to them later.

      Like

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