Hi! I'm Courtney and this is a place for me to be the person that I think I want to be. Where I can share my thoughts at least semi-anonymously. It's also a place for me to learn and practice my dev skills, which are still stuck in what I last learned in school 10+ years ago :/
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December 26, 2023 12:13 AM
-- Last Christmas by Wham! --
ohmigosh it's been a while
#ALOT has happend since my last post and I figured now is as good a time as any to sumarize it the best I can.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I made a few mistakes that I'm not proud of. The 1st one happened when visting my spouse's extended family. The plan from her and her parents was that their grandma wouldn't know about my transition as she is again quickly and has been developing dementia. This had seemed like a fair ask to me and something I thought I could handle. Prior to us traveling to the small town where her family is, I confessed to my spouse that I wasn't as comfortable as I thought I had been. I was just reaching a really high point of confidence in myself and having to use my deadname and not present as myself (if even just for a few hours) was didn't come across as a good time to me. However, I had said that I would be able to make it through just fine.
Sadly, I didn't end up handling things very well. All of my spouse's extended family knew about my transition except for their grandma, which made it feel even worse than it had before. They were basically keeping me a secret, which felt a bit gross to me. When we were there, anyone who talked to me was super nice and one person even asked me what name should be used. I felt stupid when replying that I wasn't using my chosen name that day. It sucked that I had to lie about myself too, just for the comfort of everyone else. I also basically pouted the whole time we were there. I wasn't feeling great about all of it and wasn't great about hiding those feelings. Ultimately, I wasn't behaving like an adult and I super regret it. Even if I don't like what was being asked of me, I could have still acted like a reasonable human and not pouted the whole time. I even understand their reasons for asking things to be this way. It wouldn't be fair to their grandma and her memory issues to come out and then basically have to do it over and over as needed. It would just be a lot of unfair stress on everyone. I definitely understand it, but I still don't like it. I still regret my behavior though as I wasn't in control of my emotions and that's something I really wanted to focus on in transition. And I especially care about my wife and what she thinks of me.
In another story, I was originally scheduled to go visit my mom December 21st to the 24th. I hadn't seen her since November of '22 and it needed to happen. In the week before I was going to visit, I sent her a text saying that my preferred name was Courtney and that my pronouns are she/her. My mom did not handle this well. She started throwing all the usual things at me like "You'll always be my son and you'll always be addressed as XXXX XXXX", which wasn't great. I initally didn't respond to her and just vented to some friends who told me not to visit her. My mom later followed up with a text to both me and my sister saying something like "If you come visit, people will be called by their given names, etc....." and it drove me crazy. She was outright saying that my identity didn't matter to her. Since it was presented as a choice of whether we would visit, I pondered it for a few days and asked my wife, parents (dad/stepmom), sister, and friends for advice. All of them said I shouldn't go.
When I told her that I wouldn't be going, she essentially blamed me for ruining Christmas, even though she had basically given me the choice. It was a familiar experience that I'd had with her before and felt super manipulative. A few days later, she said that wanted me to reconsider visting so we could talk about things, saying she wanted to understand more about what was happening with me and my transition. My brain knew it probably wasn't a good idea to go through with her request, but my heart has longed for "fixing" my relationship with my mom and I wanted to assume positive intent over her wanting to understand things. I reached out to the same people for advice and they all still said I shouldn't go.
So, of course I made yet another mistake and decided to visit. I'll share more soon, but for now, it's super late (early?) and I need to sleep.