Somewhere Oscar Wilde must be nodding. The other caption to the picture above is, 'Imagine being gender dysphoric and a survivor.'
This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of my father's birth. My brothers have planned a lunch together with all our families and a trip to his grave site. Both brothers and their wives know of the abuse my sister and I suffered at the hands of my uncle. What they don't know is that my father sexually abused both my sister and me. I haven't told anyone in RT about that or about my gender issues other than my wife and my therapist. Many of my friends 'here' know about Andrea, but my name in real life is the same as the uncle who abused us.
I'm struggling with the visit because while I need to go and will go, I am so torn about the day. I forgave my parents a long time ago for what they did (my mother molested me, but I don't know if I was the only one - my diary here, 'The Pageant,' is entirely true and entirely autobiographical). What I am having a hard time dealing with is the feeling of being isolated in the midst of many; that almost set aside feeling from not being able to speak.
My brothers know it will be hard for me because all of us suffered physical and verbal abuse by my dad. There won't be any temptation to speak of any other hurts on Sunday; what we all dealt with will be sadly sufficient enough to bring all of us to tears. It's that helpless feeling; keeping silent because of the needs of others.
And while my wife knows I have a gender 'issue,' I haven't been able to discuss any of the most recent memories regarding 'me.' Knowing at a five that I felt wrong and out of place as a boy. Becoming a target because I didn't just resemble my sister, but that I likely acted much like how I felt inside. My son knows nothing of who I am 'here.' There's a longing to tell them both...and to tell my brothers as well. Perhaps someday, but not on Sunday.
One of the most melancholic moments in my life has to be only a few weeks after I told my older brother about the sexual abuse. We were at my late sister's husband's house and as we were leaving he had tears in his eyes. I knew why, and I stepped closer and he hugged me. Wonderful because he knew how much I hurt. Sad because I so much wanted to tell him that the sibling he was hugging wasn't his brother...was never his brother in so many ways. That he was hugging his sister.
And I know I'm not alone.