Hello!! this is my first blog post


Hello!!

My Mom passed away in 2006, before my grandchildren were born, before anyone knew about me. It was very difficult to mourn her passing, I was sad and lonely and in a very depressed mental state.  I wrote her a letter for her upcoming birthday in March. It's written to mostly to help me mourn her passing but also to help tell my story.

In all reality it was before I could even giggle...

Happy Birthday Mom,
                Today you would have been 89, a lot has happened to us in the years since you’ve been gone. Your eldest granddaughter, Mary, has two children, Rachel and Geoff. Rachel is a beautiful, brilliant and artistic young lady about to turn 11 (she reminds us of Mary daily). Geoff, unfortunately, has cerebral palsy with epilepsy. When he’s in control of himself, he is an extremely loving and caring 9-year-old boy.  They are wonderful, you would have loved them to pieces.  I know Vanessa and I do. Mary and the kid’s father are no longer together, sadly it did not end well. There were issues of abuse, neglect and domestic violence.  After many allegations, legal battles and custody claims, Rachel lives here in North Carolina with Mary while Geoff lives in Massachusetts with his Dad. Mary has been brilliant in handling this disaster, but it is very clear to all (judges included) Geoff and Rachel cannot live together. Geoff’s outbursts are too violent, Rachel is not safe.
Perhaps someday I can write and explain all this to you, but it is long and sad and gut wrenching and honestly not what I want to talk to you about today.
I want to tell you about me.
Below is my story, I sure would’ve loved to talk with you about this. I know now, I should have never left that den all those years ago without introducing myself…

My name is Jaimie and I’m your daughter. 

“I have been trying to find a way to tell this story nearly all my life or at least since I was thirteen. The emotional pounding, we as a family have taken over the last few years has left me questioning, well, everything. Most importantly my own honesty to myself, which translates to honesty with everyone else. With that said I am compelled to tell my biggest secret…
                When I was 12-13 years old, I would take my Saturday evening shower in the lone bathroom in the house. The medicine cabinet shelves housed my mother and sister’s collection of makeup. It was mostly a raspberry lipstick and a tube or two of mascara. I would try them on and just swoon. It was wonderful. I’d then jump into the shower, wash them off and no one was the wiser. That is until the mascara was changed to a waterproof version. Try as I might, I could not wash it off. I did the best I could, left the bathroom for the next person’s turn.  My mother was in the kitchen when she saw me she said “why are your eyes so dark?”. I nearly panicked, but managed to say, “I don’t know”, then run off to watch TV. This scared me beyond words, I swore to myself I’d never to that again. But I did many, many times. I dreamed of being a girl and wearing makeup and skirts, smiling and giggling. To me being a girl had way more advantages than being a boy. It was just right, it was me. I hated living as a boy, I was always the last one picked for any sports, I was week, my nose was always running. I felt like a disgusting mess.  
                Then one day when I was 13 or 14, I couldn’t take it anymore, I decided to run away and become a girl. I packed up the girly things I might need makeup, nail polish, electric shaver so I could shave my legs. I hid in Grandpa Roberts attic and waited while folks searched for me, they came close, but did not find me. As night wore on, I got scared and concocted a story about being in the woods falling down and hitting my head. I even banged my head against a rock until I scraped the skin and bled a little. Then I went home… there were lots of hugs and crying relieve. Also, there was a promise of a “talk”.  Mom and Dad took me to Holden Hospital emergency room to have my head checked (too bad they only checked the outside…). The doctor told Mom and Dad some boys struggle with puberty and I’d probably outgrow this type of behavior. The next day after school and into the evening I was expecting to get called into the “talk”, but nothing happened. The next day same thing, not a word about it. On the third day the talk request came. The three of us sat together in the den, me in a chair in the middle of the room. They wanted to know why I did this and what I was feeling. I started to explain my compulsion, that I was really a girl. Mom gasped and said, “Oh my God that’s what makes criminally crazy people”. I may not have the quote perfect, but the essence is the same. Dad told her to hush. She didn’t say anything else the whole time. It definitely shut me up, too (at least until now). So, when they asked me if I wanted to be a girl I said “No”. They asked what I liked about putting on makeup, I said “I don’t know it makes me feel good”. They asked if I could promise to not do it again and I said, “yes I promise to not do it again”. Then nothing was ever said again. I should have answered those questions differently, but I was scared.  In hindsight, that promise was impossible, the urges and dreams never left.
                Things pretty much went on the same as before, right up to me leaving for college. My roommate on the first day announced that college was not for him and his parents were forcing him to go. He then told everyone on my floor I was queer and weird, so any friends I might made were gone. I was the butt of all the pranks and jokes. I came home every weekend and was miserable. I was so lonely. For the first time in my life, I actually did all my homework, wrote my papers and prepared for tests. And made the Dean’s list.  Then one day while waiting for French class to begin, I was passing the time reading a chess book, a guy came up to me and introduced himself. He also played chess, so after class we played. We played a few times during that first semester but hung out a lot during the second semester. It was wonderful, I had a friend. The unfortunate part was he drank a lot and didn’t go to many classes. I just followed along. The outcome was Dean’s list first semester, academic probation second semester. Mom and Dad were not happy, they insisted I prove myself at Worcester Jr college. I felt humiliated.  I didn’t make it through the first semester before I dropped out and got a fulltime job at a screw factory in Worcester.
                The next really significant thing (and to me the most significant thing) that happened, I met girl. I clearly remember the first time I saw her.  At that time, I was living in a house with Bill M., Mike M. and some of Mike’s friends from MIT. Bill dragged us to a Silva Mind Control seminar, she was there, and she was wearing green eye shadow. I liked her right away. Of course, I was too scared to say anything even to say, “Hi I like your eye shadow”.  I attended Quinsigamond Community College, made some friends while performing in the chorus for spring musical “Mame”.  We were instructed to do our own makeup for the show, foundation, eyeliner and lipstick.  I did not wear any, I was too afraid someone would notice how much I liked it.  The next semester I actually took Drama and ended directing the play “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. One day as we were planning the cast party for after the show, Bill’s girlfriend told me there was a girl that saw me playing chess in the student lounge and would like to get to know me. It was Vanessa, but to me it was the girl wearing the green eye shadow! How awesome was that!
                I shudder to think what might have happened had I not met her; I believe with all my sole Vanessa literally saved my life. I love her more now than ever and will for as long as I live. She even dressed me a girl one Halloween. Throughout nearly 45 years, she caught me a few times, we played a few times and sadly I lied a lot. It’s not salient to this story to reveal all those details, they can remain between Vanessa and me.
                Anyway, back to the story.
                After three weeks together, we got engaged. We got married after 6 months and have two kids and two grandkids.  One time before we were married, I pierced my ear, when Vanessa saw it, she was OK with it. Unfortunately, I had pierced the wrong ear. Back then when boys had earrings you were “straight” when it was in the left ear and “gay” when in the right ear. I didn’t know that. Today there is no distinction.  I sure would love to have multiple ear piercings!
                In 2010 (I think, the years run together, especially in the tear-filled haze I’m writing this through) our son came out as transgender. This was difficult and joyous for me in many ways. I was jealous. I was happy for her. I was worried about the path she was undertaking. I was afraid I did something that caused her to be this way. I wanted to talk with her about her feelings and experiences, but I was afraid she’d know why I knew about it. I’ve been reading and studying about transgenderism all my life.
Jane, I am so sorry for not supporting you more. I should have helped you more with your journey, shared what I knew, shared what I felt, how I felt. Please forgive me.
                What is going to happen next? Lots of things, some I don’t even know, yet. One thing I’m sure of, I can’t lie anymore. I am a transgendered woman.  Since Halloween 2019, with the full support of Vanessa and our family, I’ve been living full time as my true self. I expect that to continue, forever.”

Well Mom, that’s my story. I expect this is a shock, though it really shouldn’t be. We all knew something was different. We’ll talk more as changes come and I’ll keep you update on Mary, Jane, Rachel and Geoff.
The most amazing, stupendous and surprisingly wonderful thing has happened since I told Vanessa, I am happy. I never knew what that felt like before.
Love,
Jaimie Melissa 

P.S. I got my ears pierced, 8 times!! Pretty cool!!
                 

Comments

  1. Dearest Jaimie-Mom and Dad may not always have understood how to reach into complicated issues, but they loved you. I had a dream the other night, on my birthday, where Mom called me and asked me how I was, the first time that had ever happened. I think maybe she will check on you, too. With love, your little sister.

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    Replies
    1. I can't begin to tell you what the love and acceptance mean to me, it's just awesome. I have dreamed of talking to Mom many times, that's why I wrote her the letter. I'm sure I'll need to write her more as I stumble through this transition. Maybe you can help me know if she reads them.
      Oh I know they loved me now, I just wish they talked to me tried to help me then. I did learn, directly and indirectly, three key parenting points.
      1. Love unconditionally. Parents make mistakes, kids make mistakes it is what holds everything together.
      2. Communicate. This is a "two-way" street, but parents need to keep the street open. Kids will talk if they feel safe, loved and assured they can say anything without reprise.
      3. Sometimes there are issues. When you don't know what to do, it's rare that the answer is do nothing. At least talk, make your first question "What can I do to help?"

      Love XOXO,
      Jaimie

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