Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Fabric of Love

August 20, 2016

When we are born we are born into a fabric of life, of people's lives, into a multifaceted fabric, related through blood and love and sometimes lust and sometimes just happenstance. Sometimes our birth is celebrated, wanted, desired above all else; others are tolerated, others a burden, and some detested. Regardless of how we got here, here we are, launched into the collective of our family. If we are lucky we resonate with those around us and they like us and enjoy us and even plan summer vacations to spend time together. Others are shunned or worse forgotten and wonder what those nostalgic family movies and 4th of July ad campaigns are about.

Nevertheless, our collective, our people, are like quilt squares sewn together or knots in a giant macrame wall hanging. We are held together until there is a fire or a wielded knife or the strain of keeping everything together takes its toll and there is a hole and then a great unraveling. When this unraveling occurs many questions arise; like what was it that kept us together in the first place? Was it love? Obligation? or just happenstance? or simply something in between?

There is a popular song on the radio these days and the words are, "I love you. I hate you. I hate that I love you." The question in my mind is is love a constant and hate visits without a real place to land, or are they both more like hot and cold water faucets, each with their own handles, L and H.; easy to turn on and off at a moment's notice.

If you have read my previous blogs you might recall that I am in a standoff with my 30 year old daughter. I transitioned from female to male and even though it took a few years, she somehow got to the point of just saying "No thank you" to me and has turned her sights on other women in our family to replace me.

She and my mother are closer than ever and it really hurts. I can't bear the loss of my daughter and I also can't bear my mother's acceptance of my daughter's rejection of me. I know it is silly and that I cannot orchestrate who likes who but it is a daily source of deep pain.

One of the oddest outcomes of my transition is having a fresh set of eyes within my own skin. I am still me but I am also very different. I see how I clung to a juvenile version of me for many years, not fully maturing into a woman; I just couldn't make the leap, it wasn't me. But I also missed out on developing important parts of a mature adult and find myself now about thirty years behind my colleagues in terms of career, hobbies and a variety of ways that people enjoy their lives. This isn't anyone's fault but something I live with and ask myself daily: what do I want?

Unfortunately for me, the major driving force in my pursuit of happiness has been being a parent. The rejection by my daughter and the loss of my grandchildren leaves me hollow, like a sailboat without any wind, waiting and hoping for a gust of love to bring me to shore.

I wonder how many times I will write about this pain. Have you ever burned a part of your body? I have. I burned my hand by accidentally picking up a burner grate that was still hot after cooking. It throbbed  like hell and I kept my hand in a bag of ice that I had to replenish multiple times through the night. At some point it just stopped hurting. I just haven't gotten to that point yet.

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