During those days, I could not go a day without pouring out my broken heart to anyone who would listen. I am sure that everyone who I worked with at my new job, if they spent any amount of time with me, they were very familiar with my lost love story. It devastated me for a very long time and it completely changed my life in many ways but none more than in the way that it further demasculinized me emotionally and mentally. Her parents had severely impacted me in that one night that emotionally raped me. After I came back from Minnesota, I was clearly not the same person, I had lost much of my inner confidence.
As time went on, I settled into my new job and was loving the new pace of my life. Christmas came around that year and I took time off to go to Puerto Rico with my parents. It was just supposed to be for week but I stayed there another week because I had met and started dating a girl that was a family friend. It was nice to be wanted after having been rejected for so long and I just loved the attention. The relationship with her did not really last although she was a sweet person. I guess that I was too busy having a career, I had recently purchased a brand new Camaro, bought a new mountain bike and was just trying to focus on other things.
Throughout that time I was still wrestling with my broken heart and then one day I received a package in the mail sent from Minnesota. I knew who it was, my ex-fiance had sent me everything that I had given her, including dried rose petals. I bawled my eyes out that day and was thrown into more grief over all of it. That was when I started my bad habit of overspending. I used things like a drug addict uses drugs, to the numb their senses and any pain. I would go to the store and by stuff and then a month later would return it. I may be why Circuit City ended up eventually going out of business, I was always taking advantage of their store policy of return it if you don’t like it. At work, I was getting to be known to be Mr. Consumer Electronics because if it was to be had, I had it.
I continued to do this for many years later and it ended up putting me into serious credit debt. Money used to just burn a whole in my pocket, at least that is what my dad used to say about me. I had a great job but in reality, I was only making ten bucks an hour, hardly a career back in the early 90’s. It was a couple years into my new job that I was finding myself attracted to someone else. Her name was Leticia and she was recently hired at my television station to head up a new close captioning department and she was gorgeous. All of the guys at work had their eyes on this shapely and beautiful Latina. Somehow she fell for me or so I thought. We hit it off after going out together to watch a movie. She was nothing like my simple, no-frills ex-fiance, no, this girl was definitely a head-turner. She commanded attention wherever she went and she knew it and she was very smart to boot. I ended up introducing her to my parents and at first they were happy for me but when they found out that she was recently divorced and already had a child, my dad exclaimed, oh no son, she has cancer. What he meant by when he said that was that any woman who divorced was said to have cancer, not literal obviously, but that she was tainted. I was immediately upset by his statement and I refused to accept that.
I had fallen in love with Leticia and her little five-year-old daughter and we started to make plans to get married. We even looked at purchasing a home together and put down $5000.00 back then to hold one. I ended up spending $6000.00 on an engagement ring and was ready to live the rest of my life with her. She was constantly trying to make me metrosexual before metrosexual was even a word. She was grooming me to be this elit yuppy. I was told not to shuffle my feet , to hold my head up high and to be proud of myself. It worked for a while too but everything came crashing down when I found out that she still had feelings for a guy that she had met prior to me. He was already that yuppy that she wanted to make me into and she had just been using me all along to get back at him. Again, I felt completely demasculinized by a woman, I was just used by her, she did not love me for me. How could she, I didn’t even love my own self anymore?
I had been in and out of contact with my ex from the years of 1991 to 1994 and it seemed like every year I would make plans to see her. In 92, it was meeting her at my best friend’s apartment in Norfolk, Virginia, in 93, I saw her on my way back from a vacation to Canada with that same friend, as my plane stopped over in Minneapolis and I visited with her for a few days. All of this was done behind her parent’s back. They did not want me to have anything to do with her and they prohibited her from speaking to me but once and a while, we would talk. I told her that I still loved her and that I would fight for her, no matter what it would take. That year, I knew that things were going to be different because she asked to cut off communication completely and that is what we did. It was in late 93 that I met Leticia and my relationship with Leticia went through until the Spring of 94.
I had recently gotten a raise and had just moved out of my parent’s house in the Spring of 94 and I was finally realizing my own adult independence. I had a cool little studio apartment in the up and coming town of Rancho Santa Margarita. Life was starting to really pick up for me and after a few months of being broken up with Leticia, I decided to reach out to my old ex. She told me of all that she had been through, her three months of being in Honduras as a teacher, her job in her town and her acceptance to Wheaton College in Illinois. I told her all about me and what had transpired in my life. We spoke like old friends and she and I continued to talk. By October, she had agreed to come out to California to see me. During that time, we ended up getting re-engaged. I was so happy, finally, life was going to be alright. I was thrilled, we were in love and we were again together.
In the winter of 1994, I went to visit her in Chicago and it was then that we decided that I was going to leave my current job to move to the Nashville, Tennessee area, that way I would be but eight hours by car away from her, one hour by plane. I made plans after returning home and ended up moving to Nashville in the beginning of the new year in 1995. I did it, I drove all of the way from California in my little Saturn and started to dog sit for a friend. In a month, I had found a room to rent and I was starting to pick up freelance camera jobs around town. Later that Spring, I drove up to Chicago and picked her up because she was going to be spending the summer with me in Nashville. I remember the phone call that she made to her parents when she told them that we were going to be living together in Tennesse for the summer. They were incredibly disappointed but they did not stop her. That summer was wonderful and challenging at the same time and by the end of the summer, she ended up going back to Wheaton to finish up her last semester.
She ended up coming back down to Tennessee after she graduated and eventually settled into her own apartment, after renting a room from a friend of mine. She had found a job working for Opryland USA theme park and then later went to work at a daycare center. She loved kids, always did. She came from a big farm family of four brothers and one sister. Her dad was an old-school hogs and corn farmer and that was their way of life ever since they could remember. That life was far different from the life that I knew and a big family was never something that I had ever planned on having. (I’d like to say that although I never planned on having a large family, I still do and always have loved each and every single one them always and forever, they are a part of me).
She ended up telling her parents that we were planning on getting married in the Fall of 96. Her parents finally gave their blessing but asked that we would hold off getting married until 1997 when her sister and husband were then on furlough from being missionaries on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. She actually eventually visited the Philippines in the Fall of 96 and was able to spend time with her sister and her family. We agreed and it was settled that the wedding would be moved to Minnesota that next April. Everything was finally lining up and set to work out how we had originally envisioned them. I was happy, she was happy, work was picking up more and more and we both could not be more than pleased. One thing with her and I was the fact that we got along, she was my best friend and I did love her.
With everything that had happened since 1991 and the several years leading up to 97, I am sure that you are wondering what had happened to my gender dysphoria and the gender issues that I was dealing with? Well, I would be lying if I told you that I was fine, I wasn’t. I just tried to distract myself from thinking about it. In an effort to disguise any of it, I became extremely homophobic. I wanted to make sure that my feelings were fortressed in and completely undetectable. Throughout that time I mentioned none of it to anyone, except for that one time at the cabin, I promised to never mention it again, not to anyone.
The thing is that GD doesn’t care, it does not matter how much you want to hide it, it has it’s own way of surfacing up and vying for your attention. It was only a few months into living in Nashville that I found myself in the women’s section of Walmart buying a bunch of clothes so that I could go home and get lost in envisioning myself as a woman. I did just that and then brought it all back for a refund the very next day. I was constantly beating myself up about it, why did I just do that again? Was God going to punish me for having these desires, was I going to lose my fiance over this? Again, I never told her a thing, she had no clue and apart from the cabin confession years prior, she thought that I had grown out of it.
What she did not know is that when she would leave my apartment to go home, I would go to my computer and start to read all about it. I was not ever into porn but I was into escaping my reality and imagining myself as the character in these transgender fiction stories. I was addicted to reading these stories for over a decade. I could not help but dream of the day that I could actually transition. Of all the goals in life, that was mine for sure. Yet I was torn because I wanted so badly to be normal. I loved her, yet I had this gnawing sense to escape my masculinity, it felt like such a prison to me for most of my life. Looking back, I truly wish that I would have been honest with myself but I just wasn’t, not with myself, not with her, not with anyone.
If I had any advice to offer those of you who are contemplating on making major changes in your gender, please, above all, be honest with yourself and with those that you love. They deserve total transparency from you, anything less than that is just plain wrong. I wish that I had had the guts to tell my now ex-wife wat was going on with me. I had not been honest with her, that was to haunt me for the rest of our relationship. I found it easy to just hide things from her, whether purchases or feelings, I just never gave her all of me. How could I though, I didn’t even accept my own self?
…to be continued…