EDIT: She finally came up around 1PM and we talked. Had a chance to explain how important doing this is for me and it’s not playing dress up. There’s no need for her to worry about anyone, including unexpected guests who might come. Told her that if anyone asks her about me, including my 5-yr old nephew, she should point them to me. I’m an adult and I’m not doing this for anyone but me. If they are too childish to talk to me as an adult, then that’s on them. She said if I want to, I should get ready.
The day is still tarnished, but at least I’m not barred from expressing myself that makes me happiest because of what a child might say or think (or my mum’s lingering resistance towards my own life choice).
For the first time in probably over a decade, I was in a festive mood. Like, how children don’t really want to sleep on Christmas Eve. That spark that had left me so long ago had been relit and was slightly sparkling. My mum snuffed it out in moments.
Last year, I was selfish and only got gifts for myself and my close friends as I recall. Had a miserable time with family as everyone happily exchanged and I looked on.
The year before, I felt obliged to get a few things for family and a lot of them were cop-out-I-don’t-really-give-a-fuck gifts. I don’t recall getting much of anything and didn’t really care either way.
This year, given everything I have put the people in this house through, I genuinely cared about setting a strict budget and making sure I got a little something nice for everyone. I took the time to write heartfelt notes in generic cards to make the whole experience more meaningful and personal. This was the year I truly had begun to care and love myself and, with those feelings and thoughts, had rekindled a spark of excitement for the holiday spirit that I had lost years ago after finding out the debt my mum had accumulated for the sake of “Christmas”.
I had gotten through my first Thanksgiving without a hitch and I was looking forward to ending the year on a positive note with Christmas as well. My mum knocked on my door just as I was about to start on my makeup and this is what happened…
“You aren’t getting dressed up are you?”
“Is that a problem..?”
“I would prefer you not because [your nephew] is here. I don’t want him to get confused.”
“He’s seen me before though.”
“Yeah…and I remember his reaction to it.”
“…” My expression must have been something along the lines of “are you seriously doing this?”
“So, because of that, I would prefer you not today.”
And that was the end of it. She still doesn’t get it. I am not a crossdresser. This is not for personal pleasure. This is not for fucking around with people.
I proceeded to take off everything I had put on and then stared at myself blankly in the mirror for what must have been 10-15 minutes.
Every negative emotion came rushing back. Anger. Disappointment. Sadness. Frustration. Shame.
Even with those eyes, I hated who I saw in the mirror.
I sent my mum a text that said the following:
If he gets “confused” that’s my problem not yours. Complying with your wish will only feed later supposed confusion. I know it’s more than just [my nephew] for you & I thought we were past that after Thanksgiving.
After sending that, I fought with my self. Fought against the request of my mother whom, as I said in my card, I am indebted to eternally. I grappled with the reflection that could be changed in a moment with light makeup, still enabling me to go downstairs in the way that makes me feel most comfortable as a girl. I truly meant that my nephew’s confusion is my issue, but it was more about rebelling against my mum by wearing the wig cap that eventually led me to don all the underwear and clothes I had removed, throw off my wig cap in anger, and just stare some more at the male who my mum was manipulating me to give in to.
The guy who I was letting beat the girl inside of me. The guy who always won out during the week out of pure necessity for the same damn reason my mum chose to use on me, despite everything. All the progress. All the experience. All the talks. All the therapy. All the coming out.
As much as I didn’t believe this day could be ruined so fantastically, it really has been. My mum’s insensitive request wins by default and I wind up broken on the inside for being manipulated & misgendered in the worst possible way on the worst possible day. I’m debating not going downstairs at all. Not even for food; skipped the breakfast my mum made already. Ironically, my sister, though slightly intoxicated, kept asking me yesterday if I was alright. The fact that I was and sincerely had a bit of excitement for today is double ironic.
Enjoy my honest, heartfelt card and hope you like your sweater, mum.
Merry fucking Christmas.