This post is PART 13 in a guest blogger series following author Rachael's transition from an A.M.A.B (Assigned Male at Birth) individual to that of a self-identified trans woman.
If you are just discovering Queer as me, start the story from the beginning here.
They say that hindsight is 20/20. This I know to be true. Looking back on those last days, there are so many regrets, words I wish I could’ve taken back. Things that I did, so much pain, sorrow, and anger. It took me a long time after that period to even talk about what happened. I’m strong enough now. This is the reason I write this now and not before. I’ve become more, I understand so much more about myself and the world, things that I could never have imagined I now know. But at the time it was chaos, simply utter chaos.
Due to my wife being on disability I couldn’t live in the same house as her if I wished to go back to work. I had spent the last two years staying at home taking care of her and my grand kids. I realized that for me to pursue my future I would have to change our relationship even more than I previously thought. I thought that I could still live in the same household at least, but again I was proven that anger is the most destructive force in the universe. A few days after this had all come out to my family, my wife came home crying. She had spent most of the day out with her daughter. I tried to calm her down, I begged her to tell me what was wrong, as she continued to cry, and then she told me.
I was given ten days to move out, where? Her daughter didn’t care, but if I wasn’t out in ten days, well, her fiance would be back by that time, and I would be “taken care of”. The chill I felt on hearing those words made me realize that my life was now being threatened. If I tried to fight this, I would destroy my family, I had no choice, but to leave.
I hoped that I could at least move in with a local friend, but my step daughter didn’t like him much and that idea was vetoed or I’d never see my grand kids again. I was scared I had no money and no place to go. I didn’t have a lot of friends that I could stay with, not to mention that I was out as a gay man, and that of course hadn’t gone over well with most people that I knew. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to my last best hope…I called my mom.
If you want to know someone who is amazing on so many levels, that is only a fraction of the person who is my mother. It was her support that got me free. She sent me money to move back to Canada. It wasn’t much but at least it was enough, that and my few possessions I could cram into my car was all I could bring. I had to lose almost everything that I held dear to my heart to survive, to live my truth. Leaving hurt more than anything I had ever thought I’d felt previously in my life. My family and I had gone through so many battles, had survived so many difficulties, and had come through stronger. Yet, my words and my stubborn desire to be me, finally overwhelmed us all. I tried to put on a brave face, but I was breaking inside. The shock of this death threat stunned me into numbness. As I hugged my grand kids and wife, I felt so alone and adrift, I was about to lose everything I loved. But I couldn’t, I just couldn’t lie to myself or to anyone else anymore that I was different, that I wasn’t what the world thought of me. I got into my car rubbing my arm against the flow of tears and drove away, for the very last time.
I was free to be me, but oh God what a price.
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 14: Cold wintry north, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 12: The breaking, For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.