I met up with my sister yesterday for a coffee while collecting my son from his grannies.
I had turned down driving to hers for Hogmanay and instead had used the day to binge watch Money Heist on Netflix (It is a fabulous series btw) it has a trans character in later chapters, which is nice even though her story arc isn’t the most original. Unfortunately, though she does well, the character is not played by a trans actress, however my sister wanted to make sure that I was ok. Apparently one of my social media statuses had worried her.
I’d done a couple but these are the two most likely
“First Hogmanay in a while where I just went to bed and ignored it all without being on nightshift. 2021 left in disgraced silence. Hopeful that 2022 brings the positive changes I need to see in my life.”
Neither was particularly dramatic in my opinion, but reflected the flatness I felt. I don’t believe in only portraying my best side. What you see is what you (mostly) get.
I explained that I am frustrated, I miss my kids when they are not staying with me. My ex, as much as she claims to love them seems to take very little interest in them outside of treating them as an accessory or bargaining chip. Again, as far as the universe is concerned we get on. Standing up to her was never my strong suite.
Face to face she’s always nice to me, but I literally sat and heard the moaning aimed in my direction via a phonecall with her mum when I was there dropping him off and we had realised my son hadn’t remembered to take his ADHD meds down with him. Granted she was hungover from her Birthday celebration, but why does seeing him have to be so much hassle for her?
As an ex couple we decided early on to split the school holidays down the middle, so in Scotland that’s a 2 week Christmas break. The kids legally split their residency 50/50 between us as parents until they are old enough to make their own choices.
I call the 2nd Christmas, “Hobbit Christmas” as they get another full day of food and presents and Christmas nonsense, however their mum didn’t bother given that I got 1st Christmas this year and apparently organised pizza because that’s what my son wanted.
Not including the 2 half days of travelling either side, my son was with his mum for 3 days, he is not hard to have around these days, feed him regularly and point him in the direction of the wifi connection and he entertains himself. When he was younger and couldn’t communicate he was exhausting but it breaks my heart that his mum, who was supposed to have him for a week could barely cope 72 hrs. Worse is that I am the one telling him he HAS to go and see her, because while she is not part of my family any more she is part of his and does love him. He called me every day, for no reason other than boredom, so at least he wasn’t getting into trouble, and he even called me several times around 10pm because he wanted to video call me for the bells, and I told him I was going to bed and that he was supposed to be bringing them in with his mum.
(I found out yesterday that he’d stayed at home while they went outside to look at the local community fireworks so he as on his own for New Year.)
Then my youngest who spent the time with me being called by their preferred name and pronouns wasn’t doing any of that with their mum, because she had effectively belittled it when they had told her they were NB and Pan, (earlier in the summer they had announced that they thought they were NB/gay and had been barraged with reasons as to why that couldn’t be the case because the two can’t work together) They wrote their birth name on the presents to their mum, whereas every present I had labelled with their prefferred name. It’s not hard to do the name change, but the they/them is harder sometimes, but that’s more because english is a clunky language, but even her nanna was getting it right more often than not.
I even bought a bottle of decent gin to go with the wee presents they had spent the pocket money I had helped them save up to buy their Christmas presents with, because while asking I found out that the new stepdad had organised sweet F.A with his step children to mark their mums 40th Birthday which is literally 2 days after Christmas, which he’d done nothing with them for either.
It annoys me to no end that I effectively have to cover for the total lack of their awareness.
I can feel myself getting worked up again, but I’ve already vented with a good friend and he assured me that it is not just me that was getting annoyed by it. My family always say “Why don’t you just get both kids to live with you?” Because I know she would fight it, just out of pride, she does love her kids but borderline neglects them because her life, hobbies and interests have always come first. I want to show my children how to have actual adult relationships with other people whether they like them or not. My exes mum would also stick her oar in just for the sake of doing so.
My son would happily stay with me and has vocally said that the entire time, my “daughter”
(I would love to have a useful NB friendly differentiating term here other than youngest or just naming them the other sprog, which sounds so cold help and options appreciated) will stay out of misplaced duty. They love their mum and would see it as a betrayal, I know, because they are very much like me emotionally.
Anyway, all this was recounted to my sister and she understood why I didn’t really feel like celebrating. She asked how I was getting on with my search for a job and I had to say that was being frustrated too.
She asked me if I am looking elsewhere and I said I am and I have already applied for a few places and been turned down. I know the chances of me finding somewhere welcoming, doing what I do now are slim.
I can apply as Dee to anywhere, but while my personal references are all in my preferrred name and gender my professional ones have to be in my old name or I risk being outed where I am, and that would dump far too much stress on me and my son as it is not an enlightened metropolis that we live in.
She asked if I had looked abroad for work, and I said that while I hadnt ruled it out, I had not started actively searching elsewhere, the benefit of being in Scotland is having the NHS pay for medical surgeries. I like what I do, just not where I am and who I am doing it with right now. I want to be myself, and be appreciated for my talents with people that accept me for who I am.
She has obviously been realising that while I will be taking on all of the same prejudices and obstructions that she faces in her daily life, I am also going to be facing the added risks that come from outing ourselves, not having job security, not having a chance to just live anonymously, unless we are willing to travel to somewhere where others do not know me. Her stated, “you could find yourself unemployed!” Is not news to me, I panicked about this 3 years ago. My house comes with my job, it’s why I have had to be so careful, but starting hormones has started a countdown timer, eventually I will start changing noticeably, and I have until then to get out of where I am and into somewhere new and accepting. Maybe I am hunting after an imaginary perfect existance that I won’t find, unicorns may not exist, but transitioning is hard enough and scary enough as it is, I can’t disappear into a chrysallis and come back out the new me. So why not have a dream to focus on?
The whole reason I have never shown my face clearly on here is not because I am too shy to do so, though I suppose I am to an extent, but because of that less than 1% chance that someone I know, but haven’t told yet will get the blog randomly on their reader selection and say, “I know them!” but one day it won’t be a big deal for me and then if I am still writing about my life experiences and hopes and dreams, someone will be able to put a face to the name.
I suppose I’ve ranted for long enough, my son is home with me now and other than asking permission to break into all the Christmas shortbread which I am studiously trying to avoid now, he has been preoccupied with his new console games while I spent the morning attempting to remove the hair on my chest unsuccesfully with a removal cream and catching up here…
So just a normal stormy winters day