Most people don’t know what it is like to have NO family. There are good, sound families and there are dysfunctional families. But the concept of _NO_ family is foreign. People have grandparents, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses, children, in-laws, etc, right? No, not all of us!!
I was an only child. My only surviving grandparent, my maternal grandfather, died when I was two years old. My father died when I was 5 years old. My last surviving uncle passed away in 2003. Most of them had died in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I have a plethora of cousins, but for most of them, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation, I’ve never met them. For my 1st cousins, I don’t know their addresses or telephone numbers or email addresses. I don’t know exactly where they live and have never been invited to their homes.
I was denied a spouse, because I grew up thinking I was a lesbian, while in fact, I was transgendered. I knew this from the time I was 3 years old, but there was no cognitive ability to understand it, and no realistic ability to overcome it. So, I repressed it. But nothing mattered to me more than family, the one thing I was denied.
Eventually, what could be repressed no longer rose to the surface, and I successfully transitioned from female to male. Oh, yes, it was medically and legally recognized, with all the prescribed letters of approval, the surgeries, and the hormone treatments. The transition was recognized on my birth certificate, my state non-driver’s ID (since I’m also visually impaired), and on my passport, as well as by the Social Security Administration.
Well I’d lost my dad’s side of the family already because he’d made the faux pas of marrying a non-Catholic while he was 1st-generation Italian-American. My mother was so narcissistic, and I was so much under her thumb, that she’d impeded me becoming close to her side of the family. My “lesbian” relationships had gone wrong because they were still taboo. So, I was totally alone.
And then I met Paula Khier — or Paula Simmons — or whatever her name is…. And she took me as I was, body as whole as medical science and legal documents could make it, with my vision impairment, and every other travail I’d undergone. I thought the Red Sea had parted and Fate had shifted in my direction. Only to find myself more hurt and decimated than ever….
So how do you glue back together a life so shattered??? To build a house, you must have the first brick in the foundation. I think I might have found a cracked brick or two. But I’m still struggling. How do you go for years on end without a hug? Without a birthday remembered? I don’t know, but I’m still feebly trying. There’s a contact form in my About page. If any of this resonates with you, please write to me and let me know. If anything I’ve written has touched your heart, I need to know. Please “like” and subscribe to my blog. I have a heck of a lot more to share, if only I know someone is listening and cares.
Thank you, from the bottom (and top) of my heart.
This is me wearing my adored Marine hat at about age 8.