Flux

Life is constant flux. Knowing is transitory. Grasping destroys even the most beautiful things.

When Simon transitioned, I knew—knew down in my bones—that this would be better. For him. For our family. For Jane. But that knowing clashed against my belief about who I was—defined largely by being a lesbian. I couldn’t conceptualize how I could be gay and be with Simon. People often rail about being put into a box—they don’t want to be labeled. But I did want to be labeled. I’d worn this particular label (lesbian) for over 20 years. And I was pissed that someone would try to snatch that away from me. I felt betrayed by Simon’s need to be himself. Because that self wasn’t what I’d signed up for.

Everything I wrote about that summer—two years ago now—was true. We did reconnect in meaningful ways. Our physical spark returned. We fell in love again.

But all the while, I felt off-kilter. Like I was lying to myself. I didn’t know if I could be married to a man. Because I didn’t want to be. I’d married the person I wanted. Now she was gone. And in her place was this guy—who looked like her, who both was but was not the person I fell in love with. My everyday life was a total mindfuck.

Angry. Sad. Betrayed. Lonely. Scared. All of this I felt with varying intensity, all the while cheering Simon on through his transition. Which was never about us (it couldn’t have been; it shouldn’t have been). Simon transitioned so he could live, really live, his own life. Which left me to figure out how my lesbian self—fit into this new life of his. And how he fit into mine.

More and more, I was convinced that he didn’t.

I crafted the life I wanted to live. I built it up brick by brick, carefully constructed to fortify me in case of disaster. Because disaster loomed large any time paused long enough to evaluate our situation. Which wasn’t often. Emotional survival became the ultimate goal.

When shit went wrong (like, really, really wrong), my fortification didn’t do jack to protect me. I felt vulnerable. Crushed. And searingly lonely. Everything I’d believed to be true for more than 13 years suddenly felt like a lie. A complete fabrication. I couldn’t breathe.

But I could see clearly.

I saw that grasping at a label—even one that served me so well for so many years—was destroying me. I finally saw the person standing in front of me—and he had real needs, fears, desires. Those had both everything and nothing to do with me. When I could just see us standing there—me and him, stripped of labels, and free to choose—then I knew that I wanted him. Not in that sure, we’ll stay together way. But in an I choose you way. Not you are good enough, but you are ALL that is ever going to be good enough.

So I chose him. And in the choosing I found freedom.

2 comments

  1. Paul S · 5 Days Ago

    Kendra! My how I have missed your writing here. I have missed seeing you about! So I was so very excited to see this come up on my reader.

    I loved this to my core. I was with you all the way, wondering where you were going to go with it. I totally remember the transition (at least at first) and have sometimes wondered how you have been doing. And this is a wonderful post that says it all. What a stretch it must have been for you. I can’t imagine having to strip away the label(s) that you crafted for your life. I imagine if my wife transitioned to male. Would I be brave enough to stay, to embrace it?

    Thanks for this.
    Paul

    Like

    • Kendra Lee · 5 Days Ago

      Hi, Paul!

      I’m so glad you commented! I’ve missed your insights, humor, and genuine warmth.

      We really are doing quite well over here, but it’s been a wild ride. It hasn’t been easy–but what worth having really is? I’m definitely going to write more about the journey… Everybody’s got a story, right? And stories, they need to be told.

      Did I happen to hear that you wrote a book?!?

      Take care,
      Kendra

      Like

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